#Review by Lou of Evergreen – A New Fantasy Audio Serial by Sam Russell Narrated by Catherine Russell @SamRussellComic @catherinerusse2 @evergreenbook1 #fantasy #podcast #podcastandchill #audioserial

Evergreen – Book 1 of Everman Trilogy –
A New Fantasy Audio Serial

Written By Sam Russell
Narrated By Catherine Russell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Evergreen banner

Reviewing Evergreen came about because I was approached by Catherine Russell to do some retweets about this fantasy serial that I had started to listen to. Catherine Russell is known for Holby City and more… Sam Russell for improv comedy… There’s more about them at the end of my review.
I am enjoying Evergreen so much, that I though it worth the time on writing a blog review too, so just maybe people not on Twitter etc could get to know about it. I have provided their links below so you can find where to listen to Evergreen. It is FREE to tune in. It’s broadcast fortnightly, but all the episodes recorded so far are there, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re up to date or just starting out in listening to it.

Thanks to Sam Russell for providing the artwork, which I must admit, is very cool. Take a look for yourselves, and also find out a bit more…

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EVERGREEN – Book 1 in the Everman trilogy 


Adam, the first man and his wife, the first woman, Eve, were punished by God with separation and immortality.

Adam spends his long life searching for her, inadvertently becoming the catalyst for many of humanity’s myths and legends.

Now, after 200 years searching other realms, Adam lands, a fish out of water, in present-day London with a fresh lead on his wife’s location…


Evergreen is an audio fantasy serial released just like a podcast, a new chapter every two weeks. The vibe of the project is to create that same atmosphere of when you used to listen to a tape at bedtime as a kid. 


Evergreen image 2Evergreen is set between Sherwood Forest and Nottingham Castle; with so many myths, legends and history, it is a great setting for this audio podcast/graphic novel, which in itself is also an ingenious idea for storytelling as it allows readers to listen from many places. Please see the link to show you how and where.

Evergreen image 1From the outset, this is an intriguing story about Norman who suddenly finds himself in a castle in a precarious position. Norman is a character who is quite ordinary as his work in in the bakery, but extraordinary things happen as he becomes a castle guard. 

Evergreen image 6There are twists and turns, some humour and a quest.  Norman changes career from the bakery to castle guard, big difference in career, but to Norman the shift makes sense, but he is far from your typical guard in personality and this makes it even more intriguing to see what happens.. Action ensues and there’s a lot for Norman to learn in this fast-paced, curious and absolutely enthralling fantasy story that has its characters on edge and ready for any siege on the castle.

The way characters make appearance is absolutely wonderful, especially for readers who perhaps are not too familiar with Sherwood Forest and its people, for those who are, nothing is lost either. This is skillfully thought-out and somehow still adds intrigue and excitement, especially to see what happens to Norman.

There is a clever mystique about this story and there is a quest. A quest to find a mysterious man’s wife.

There is the weaving into Brian’s life in very modern times, which injects some romantic times of his past, however awkward from this business man, into the tale. He’s a very particular man and there it shows how society has changed and how times have moved onwards for better or worse. It is most observant and it is bittersweet and intriguing as something unexpected happens when he is on a patch of land he likes so much in London.

Evergreen reels you in and makes you want to know more and more until you’re so immersed that there is a need to listen to more episodes and then there’s that sweet anticipation when waiting until the next episode.

The descriptions are rich. The weaving of intrigue, social aspects, illness, sadness, kindness, romance, bittersweet and a terrific dose of humour makes Evergreen a most entertaining and poignant tale to listen to.

There’s an amazingly long friendship who are kindred spirits in Evelyn and Faye. When younger, their imaginations were funny that bring back childhood memories. Listeners also get to know about their adult-lives and then something happens with a man in a nearby boat…

It shows London through new eyes, in a way that perhaps in a new appreciation of what is there, yet often taken for granted.

This is a story that is also about being in places you may not quite feel like you belong in and so much more…. It’s also philisophical, especially where life, love and romance is concerned.

The time changes give depth and much interest.

Peter “Pete” Smith at the UCL brings something more political to the story. Amongst the wit is something deeper and  thought-provoking and which brings a truth of today’s world. It also brings a certain reunion so, just as you wonder where this fits in, it really does and the two people end up on a quest…

The writing is fantastic, every word counts and matters, with every scene painting a picture of what is happening. The narration is easy to listen to. Catherine Russell is excellent at narrating/reading this. It would be easy to listen to all day. She really brings the story to life, as though many people are playing the parts. She uses a lot of her acting skills with aplomb!

The Links

Click linktr.ee/evergreen_book for options where to listen.

The Author and Narrator

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Sam Russell is perhaps best known for his comedy and being part of Improv Comedy group – Shoot from the Hip. Click Here for more info.
Follow on Twitter – @SamRussellComic

Catherine Russell is best known for acting on stage and screen. She has starred in many tv shows from Chandler and Co. to The Inspector Lynley Mysteries to Holby City and more… and in films such as Bridget Jone’s Diary – The Edge of Reason.
On stage she has appeared in many theatre plays, such as What the Butler Saw, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and more. She is also Patron of Streatham Hill Theatre.
Follow on Twitter @catherinerusse2

#Review (by Lou) of Paul McKenna’s Positivity Podcast @ImPaulMcKenna – Rated 5 stars #podcast – A fascinating podcast of interviews about mindset, books, films and more… #PositivityPodcast #Podcast

 Positivity Podcast
Hosted by Paul McKenna
Featuring Various Guests
Rated: 5 stars *****

Positivity Podcast

Paul McKenna is an International Bestselling Author and Hypnotist. He also does online Zoom events and (when times are better, live venue events).
For a good while now, he has been doing a podcast, where he introduces his objective to the podcast, being to interview the most interesting people in the world and get insights to discover how it is they do what they do, what makes them unique and fascinating, their success mindset and what keeps them positive as well as what books they have published. The interviews are more realistic and down-to-earth than you would think, which is a postive in itself. Paul McKenna also has a new book out about changing your life, to add to his collection of many published bestselling books; he also has newspaper articles with practical steps to help reduce stress for adults and children, in national newspapers and online events. He also presents on radio and gives interviews about his latest work on national radio and tv.

As well as interviews on his podcast with well-known celebrities, he has also produced some podcasts that encompass techniques you can try at home – Unlocking Lockdown – Coronaphobia ♦ Unlocking Lockdown – Motivation for Life ♦ Control Stress ♦ Deep Sleep ♦ Stop Comfort Eating ♦ Stay Positive & Happy. All of this can be accessed for Free via this link: https://www.globalplayer.com/podcasts

I am impressed by Paul McKenna’s interview style and the questions and the time and attention he takes with his guests and how much he allows them to speak and really answer the questions. The questions mainly focus around what he knows best and seem formal and serious at times, but there are elements of lightness, that does come from him. His guests sound at ease, which allows listeners to gently ease themselves into the episodes and time passes by swiftly as they are compelling.

Each podcast takes just 30 minutes, which is absolutely perfect for those with busy lives and yet to hear some fascinating insights, which you may not already know about a person. It’s also perhaps, a bit thought-provoking for your own life as well There is something heartwarming and uplifting about these podcasts. As much as most of the questions appear to be the same or similar in the episodes, they are so open-ended that every answer (because everyone has their own individual lives and has different experiences), is where the real interest and unique content is.

He has made many episodes, all of which are still available. I am unsure whether there are more to come or not. Here are just a bit of what you can expect and with whom. I’ve written (with hopefully no spoilers), about 3 interviews Paul McKenna conducted with a sportsman, a dancer/author and an actor.

Positivity Podcast

Gareth Southgate – English Professional Football Manager (Currently for the English National Team  and Former Player).

This is a really lovely, grounded interview, which is just a joy to listen to.

He talks about being optimistic and a high work ethic and building resillience.

He has a new book – Anything is Possible. A set of life lessons, princpals for the journey of life. It is for people for all ages and covers many interests (not just sport). There is the basis for giving hope for the future. The proceeds go to The Prince’s Trust, which is an excellent charity.

Gareth Southgate talks about the dream he had for playing football and having a goal and how he overcame hurdles and obsticals and how he transfers it over to his team and breaking down big goals into something manageable to progress and improve. It sounds a realistic interview and how there are good and bad days and how to overcome the bad days and keeping perspective.

He also talks about who influenced him, which is an interesting mix of people, who created a balance for him.

Paul McKenna talked about how he helped in some of the preparation and how to visualise and getting into a peak state of performance.

He talks of his proudest achievement and what makes him happy and his projections for the future… Listen to find out what this…

Positivity Podcast

Anton Du Beke – Professional Dancer (can be seen on Strictly on the BBC and in theatres) and Author.

He has a new book (now published) A Christmas To Remember. It’s 3rd in the series, but all are standalone. He sets his novels just before the end  2nd World War. The book sounds terrific and is based on what he knows about elegance and dance. He can hear the people speaking and sounds and he can visualise it all. It all sounds opulent.

He has some wonderful advice of not looking back and talks about how he doesn’t plan for 5 years time and instead, looks a week at a time and makes an interesting presumption about his life. There are some great anecdotes and really good wiseness of life. It turns out Anton Du Beke is incredibly wise.

He talks of humble beginnings and it is absolutely fascinating how his parents came together and how they ended up in the UK. He talks about how he came across dancing and what he wanted, but was uncertain of the career path as to how to reach his goal, and yet sounds like he was certain how he wanted to dance.

He talks of internal conflict in being competitiveness and artistic dancing and how he chose which form of dance to concentrate on.

The interview swiftly moves onto character traits and this is possibly the most fascinating, with his sheer determination and optimism.

You can learn something about Anton Du Beke that is very surprising indeed relating to his mindset about his personality and what upsets him and also just how lucky he is, but also who he was starstruck with and how he reacted.

He says not to give up on your dreams. He has some great advice around this and there’s a kindness and warmth around it.

Positivity Podcast

James Cosmo – Actor of many films, tv programmes such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and much more…

He talks about his upbringing in Clydebank, Glasgow and how ordinary it was. He talks of being disinterested in some things and how he came to acting. He also has a wonderful word that it sounds like Paul McKenna himself learns.

James Cosmo talks about his mentors and who inspired him. The answer is very differently to how you may expect.

The way he talks about having a bad day or bad period of his life in such a realistic way and this is one of the things that comes through in the podcasts, is a realistic outlook and optmimism. He talks about growing up and perspectives and being grateful. He talks of his traits and how independent he was and the impact of this and being in tough times and surviving them. Where he gets joy from is absolutely wonderful and moving. They talk about giving and supporting each other and kindness and how nourishing it is.

He talks of his proudest achievement and his view on success, as well as being starstruck. What makes him happy shows him as having a humbleness.

He has just finished working on an audiobook called Hyde – a retelling of Jekyll and Hyde, which is very dark and gothic.
He has a movie coming soon, called Skylines (filmed a few months ago), which is based in a futuristic, dystopian world, which has aliens in it.
You can also find out what Paul McKenna likes to watch on tv, which relates to a show that James Cosmo was in, which is talked of with such fondness, especially the actors James worked with and there is much joviality.

James Cosmo has some lovely advice to give to listeners and how taking one road isn’t always the easiest ones, but can be the best ones to take. He also talks about a question involving younger people.

Discover more at https://www.globalplayer.com/podcast

#Review by Lou of Partners In Crime Podcast @adamcroft @RobertDaws @CrimeFicPodcast #Podcast

Partners In Crime Podcast
Created and Hosted by
Adam Croft and Robert Daws
Rated: 5 stars *****

Partners In Crime

Partners In Crime Podcast is available from Fridays and I listen in most weeks or play catch up on it at a weekend. The podcast is brought to you by Adam Croft, a hugely successful crime fiction author who writes in every single type of sub-genre and Robert Daws who is also a hugely successful actor and author and sometimes Adrian Hobart who is a founder of Hobeck Books with Rebecca Collins. Each episode is 30 mins long and it is just some bookish and tv fun really, but with added banter of two great friends, that adds to creating a lovely, delightful atmosphere that is rather jovial, mostly uplifting and with plenty of humour.

There is a very genuine, relaxed quality as they put the world to rights in their own unique way. They have various eye-catching titles, with the latest being Don’t Dally In A Doorway, that draws you into their world of intrigue to see what on earth that could possibly mean.

They have, despite lockdown, been able to keep to the rules and did their podcast in various ways, outside, apart and how’s this for the ultimate social distancing? Robert Daws was away filming in Latvia, whilst Adam Croft was still in England. It just shows what technology can do…. except there are some gremlins where they live in England.

The pair talk about the latest crime fiction books they have enjoyed (and sometimes their own that they have written) as well as some of the latest tv dramas, creating a great platform for other creatives to get their work mentioned and to inspire and inform people for what is available or coming soon.

I like that Adam Croft and Robert Daws give a little information about themselves and what they’ve been doing before really getting down to business as it were. It’s an easy listen and a good podcast to escape into for half an hour in a week. In our busy lives, 30 mins of escapism is a good thing and the podcast is a perfect length to fit in.

The podcast has been running for over 100 episodes. They did a Live (or rather, Adam Croft did) for the 100th episode and that isn’t the first time they have been Live. They have also done a Live with Adam Croft and Adrian Hobart (who is a founder of Hobeck Books who publishes Robert Daws books) at the Morecambe and Vice Festival, when festivals were a normal thing.

Some of the latest works by Adam Croft, who has 2 more books coming soon. He has written many books and is highly successful.

Works by Robert Daws who has another book coming soon in his hugely popular Rock series, set in Gibraltar.

#Review by Lou of Blank Podcast @Blankpod by Giles Paley-Phillips @eliistender10 @jimdalycomedy #Podcast

Blank Podcast
By Giles Paley-Phillips
and Jim Daly
British Podcast Awards Nominee 2019
Rated: 5 stars *****

Blank Podcast pic 

Giles Paley-Phillips is an author, musician and an Ambassador for Action Aid UK.
Jim Daly is a comedian and author.


Everyone has those difficult blank moments sometimes.

Whether in your personal life, career, relationship, or in a public situation, writer’s block, social anxiety, imposter syndrome, being off-form or having an identity crisis can affect anyone at any time. It’s part of the human condition and yet it can throw us off course and make us feel helpless.

Giles Paley-Phillips and Jim Daly host an informal, insightful podcast in which they chat to well-known people from comedy, acting, writing, broadcasting, politics and sports about their careers and how they get through these moments when things aren’t going to plan

Together Giles and Jim have created Blank Podcast where they talk about moments that aren’t going so well in a relatable and non-judgemental and down to earth way. It isn’t as depressing as it sounds. It does have some good uplifting and insightful moments as they talk to everyone from authors to actors to documentary makers to comedians and more…
It is very fascinating as what they talk about isn’t what they usually talk about. It’s those “blank moments” and almost a peek behind the scenes as it were. “Blank moments” take the chats in various directions, which makes it engaging and pretty compelling. Blankness means something different to everyone.
There will be an accompanying book early next year simply called Blank.

I listened to a few of the podcasts, which has some pretty well-known famous people. They are recorded in the Nordic Bar in Oxford. The podcasts appear Every Wednesday Morning. It is FREE and you can subscribe as well so it can drop into wherever you choose to listen to podcasts.

Before I move on, I would like to thank Giles Paley-Phillips for getting in touch with me to listen to his podcast. I was told I could just do a shout-out about it if I wanted, but once I got listening, I got inspired to write a blog because this is good!

Here are links where you can access Blank Pod and further below is a little about some 3 I have listened to and a bit of info on 3 episodes I have listened to so far.

Castbox http://bit.ly/2PHWUCI
Spotify http://spoti.fi/2qikmYK
Acast http://bit.ly/2qgGLpA

Blank Podcast pic

Michael Rosen

Known for writing poetry and children’s books and more…

It was interesting hearing about when he was younger and where he lived in London and reveals “MetroLand” and some secret places. You can find out what he means by this in the podcast. There are some insights into his life going back as far as being a child and what a very different type of world it was back then, into how his parents were and what they stood for and it may not be all that you would assume and not all is what you would think would go together at all in their religion and political leanings.

There is some humour that pokes through within this podcast as he, with great candour and vivid memories, talks about his life and that of his parent’s lives.

He talks of his career plans. How they changed from wanting to be a doctor to being a writer and also how his parent’s rated career paths. He did other jobs apart from being a writer, including with the BBC and find out the mysterious goings on.
There is an interesting part about creativity and how everyone is creative in some form or another and about what he calls “ego-strength”, which is absolutely fascinating and I think people will find useful and is certainly thought-provoking in his advice. He also talks about his children’s poetry and the risks he takes and how he is fascinated by performance and writing and all the different forms that he is involved in.

Rebecca Callard

Known for acting in The Grand, Coronation Street, The Detectorists, Ordinary Lies and much more

Discover what is in Rebecca’s film collection (she still has VHS) and her reminisces of video shops as well as what they are watching by more modern means and some of the most watched Netflix shows. It is interesting to hear why she watches certain shows. It’s interesting hearing her mindset from when she was younger to now about acting and watching it, including her love of horror and yet affects her.

They also talk a bit about insomnia and what perhaps affects this and also how it could have started very early on in her life and the anxieties and how it affects her and also how she learns lines and how to manage work, family and insomnia. It’s talked about in such a convivial way. She talks about her challenging times and stage-fright and how she felt isolation, until people around her told her how they’ve had it. She talks about the importance of talking about things and the discussion goes onto some deepness and how people can be hard on themselves.

Rebecca Callard has started writing and the projects she started and didn’t finish. She finally finished a piece and won a prize and garnered some success and may write more. Some of her ideas sound rather good and refreshing. Find out more in the podcast. She touches on her mother Beverley Callard having depression and also how strong and successful she is. She also talks of true friendship!

Louis Theroux

Known for making documentaries and more…

He talks a bit about his life of flitting between the US and the UK. He is writing a book and is most famously known for making documentaries. He talks of feeling most home in the UK.

It is interesting as he talks about some of the people he has met along the way in tv.

He is writing, what he calls a professional memoir. He talks about being a studious and curious person and talks of some of his interests and also how he drifted into certain jobs, including journalism and other jobs that perhaps you wouldn’t immediately associate with him. He taks about getting into that stage where you don’t quite know about what the next steps were and moved around in the US. He takes listeners around different parts.

He talks about needing structure and direction in life and seems like that’s more what he is used to. It’s relatable to and having a period of time of not knowing this.

He talks of what sounds like some real challenges in some of his films, social media. He also talks about some of his documentaries and it is some great insights from Louis Theroux’s point of view. He talks about the times when things change direction, the research and being on location. It is a fascinating peek behind the scenes a little that isn’t shown on tv.

He talks a bit about the junctions that appear in life and to try and keep things fresh.


Castbox http://bit.ly/2PHWUCI
Spotify http://spoti.fi/2qikmYK
Acast http://bit.ly/2qgGLpA