You are viewing beren_writes

  • My Books
  • The Chronicles of Charlie Waterman
  • Cat's Call by Natasha Duncan-Drake
  • Cat's Creation by Natasha Duncan-Drake
  • Cat's Confidence by Natasha Duncan-Drake
  • The Haward Mysteries
  • Sacrifice of an Angel by Tasha & Sophie Duncan
  • Stockings by Tasha and Sophie Duncan
  • Vampires: The New Age
  • Advent by Natasha Duncan-Drake
  • The Beginning by Natasha Duncan-Drake
  • The Soul Reader Series
  • Forgotten Soul by Tasha D-Drake
  • Forbidden Soul by Tasha D-Drake
  • Fortunate Soul by Tasha D-Drake
  • Dark Reflections
  • Me, Myself and I (Dark Reflections #1) by Tasha D-Drake
  • My Stand Alone Short Stories/ Novellas
  • Face of the Dead by Tasha D-Drake
  • Chip Off the Old Block? by Tasha D-Drake
  • Three Bullets by Tasha D-Drake
  • When Darkness Beckons by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan
  • Out of the Frying Pan by Natasha Duncan-Drake
  • The Trade by Natasha Duncan-Drake
  • My Anthologies
  • Myriad Imaginings by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan
  • Half of Everything by Natasha Duncan-Drake
  • Book of Darkness by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan
  • Beyond Our Horizon by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan
  • Supernature by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan
  • Romantica by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan
  • Bright Young Things by Natasha Duncan-Drake and Sophie Duncan
This is me making use of LJ's new sticky posts to put a Welcome message at the top of my LJ.

To all those new to my LJ, my name is Tasha (aka Beren for fanfic purposes). I am a full time author and run a small publishing company (Wittegen Press) with my sister thwax. On this journal you will find me talking about my books, my fanfic, my favourite movies, my favourite bands, recipes and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Check out my user info or the links down the side for my fanfic listings and below are all my books.

I welcome all friends, but please don't be offended if I don't friend you back if you have nothing on your LJ or your don't post much or you're under 16. If you are new to LJ, so your LJ is empty, drop me a comment here so I know you're not a troll/spam bot. 98% of all my posts are public, so it makes no difference.

The Chronicles of Charlie WatermanCollapse )

The Haward MysteriesCollapse )

Vampires: The New AgeCollapse )

The Soul Reader SeriesCollapse )

My Short Stories/Novelettes/NovellasCollapse )

My AnthologiesCollapse )

Where to find me elsewhere on the web:
Wittegen Press Author's page
Twitter (@beren_writes)
Tasha's Thinkings (blog)
Tumblr (berenwrites)
Dreamwidth (beren_writes)

Other Useful Links:
A page full of links to resources for Bloggers, Designers and Illustrators at my blog Tasha's Thinkings
23 October 2014 @ 12:00 Memories
22 October 2014 @ 17:40 Memories
I found what said it was an English fansub of Higanjima the tv series and it isn't *pout*. It's all in Japanese with no fansubs in sight. Since my Japanese consists of how to say hello and good bye and call someone an idiot I have no idea what is going on.

If only they would release an international version with real subs I would be happy, but they don't tend to release jDramas on DVD for the general market. There is a Japanese DVD, but it has no English sub titles.
22 October 2014 @ 12:01 Memories
22 October 2014 @ 10:42 Memories
Title: Dracula Untold
Rating: 15
Luke Evans ... Vlad
Sarah Gadon ... Mirena
Dominic Cooper ... Mehmed
Art Parkinson ... Ingeras
Charles Dance ... Master Vampire
Vlad, as the prince of his people must maintain peace with the feared Turks, but when the Sultan demands 1000 boys for his army and Vlad's son, he can no longer pay the tribute. Instead he goes to the monster living in the mountains and makes a bargain to give him the strength to defeat his enemy.

I really enjoyed this film. It could have done with some more female characters who actually had lines, but it was still entertaining and had a good story line.

There are no surprises as far as how the plot goes because we all know this is about Vlad becoming Dracula so he has to make certain choices and go a certain way, but I really liked how they did it. It was exciting even though we all knew where it was heading. This is not a film with grey areas and the good guys are good and the bad guys are bad, in this case good guys are Vlad's people and bad guys are the Turks are bad. Charles Dance might be the monster in the mountains, but he's more of chaotic neutral as far as the plot goes.

One of the things I really enjoyed was how Vlad is the hero all the way through. It doesn't matter that he's a monster, he is still the hero and it is awesome. Luke Evans does a great job in the part. He's sexy and tormented and wild around the edges; just what you want of Dracula.

Then you have the rest of the cast. Sarah Gadon is vital as Mirena, Vlad's wife. Her passion for Vlad and her need to protect her son come through so clearly. She is strong and a force to be reckoned with without ever picking up a weapon. Dominic Cooper is delightfully nasty as Mehmed, ruthless in his demand for Vlad's people and son. He is a character designed to be hated and Cooper makes you want to stab him between the eyes the moment you first meet him. Then we had Ingeras, Vlad's son played by Art Parkinson who is brilliant. He is a loyal son and brave, but still a child - a great balance.

And, of course, we have Charles Dance as the Master Vampire. He is delightfully evil and yet the lesser of two when it comes to the Turks. The scene where he and Vlad meet properly for the first time is so beautifully filmed. I do hope they make the sequel the whole film points to, because I would love to see more of him.

The rest of the cast is like spot the actor and then you have to work out if you saw them in Midsomer Murders or Game of Thrones :). I exaggerate, but this is a cast you will recognise from all over the place and they stand up well.

The film is only 92 mins long and I think this is perfect. It has action and enough character building that it's satisfying and any longer and parts would have dragged. There are plot points I have not seen used before in Dracula and it was a refreshing take on his legend. This is by no means a perfect movie, but it is good. I hope they make a sequel because I think that will be even more interesting and I will definitely be adding this to my collection as soon as it turns up on Blu-ray.
This entry was originally posted at
I looked at my LJ yesterday and my fonts all suddenly look smaller.

I thought I had accidentally zoomed out, but I hadn't - they just all look smaller.

BTW - this wasn't on the feed, just on my LJ style. I know I didn't change anything until this morning when I went into the back end and made them bigger, but they definitely don't look like size 12 fonts to me at the moment.

Edit: I think it must be something to do with my browser ... hmmm ... just not sure what ...
21 October 2014 @ 12:00 Memories
21 October 2014 @ 08:53 Memories
Dear Yuletide Author,

First off, welcome to my LJ and thank you so much for writing for me. This is the first time I've finally been organised enough to join up for Yuletide so I hope I am doing this right. It's far more complex than any fest I've been in before and I can only imagine how much work it takes, so thanks to the organisers too.

Click to see the whole thingCollapse )

P.S. I'm beren over on AO3
20 October 2014 @ 17:43 Memories
So I'm actually getting my act together this year to sign up for Yuletide - never managed to do it before.

One thing I have realised is that signing up seems a lot harder than I think writing will be :).

So who else is signing up this year?

I'm trying to write a letter at the moment and so am going round everyone else's having a look at what type of things people put in them.

I've even found people who requested the same fandoms as me - since I've not seen more than one of two fics in these fandoms before this pleases me :D.
20 October 2014 @ 12:00 Memories
19 October 2014 @ 12:00 Memories
17 October 2014 @ 12:01 Memories
16 October 2014 @ 13:43 Memories
So, I might be into band looming :D - but I would like to point out I discovered it over a year ago before every other ten year old did as well! It's fun and I especially like the little critters you can make.

I played around with several Youtube tutorials and I was looking for a Cthulhu pattern, but I couldn't find one, so I created one myself.

Click to see the restCollapse )
This entry was originally posted at
16 October 2014 @ 09:25 Memories
Is it just me or does having ?style=mine at the end of the URL no longer work properly on people's journals? (It should display their LJ in your style).

I noticed when I tried to comment on someone's LJ (and it's happened a couple of times) that my header shows up, my side bar shows up, but the rest of the style is not there (like when it fails to load when LJ is having a hissy fit and it shows raw layout rather than CSS layout).

I've just been testing is some more and it doesn't seem to work on any of the pages I have tried.
15 October 2014 @ 12:00 Memories
I feel like I'm getting more and more confused.

Like I've told several people I left my question about the whole IP address thing open and this afternoon I had a reply:

Your internet service provider is routing you through a proxy, which uses
the IP address you saw listed on the error page, but, as you noted, that is
not your actual IP address.

Community Care Team

Now I took this to mean that the server is masking all of our IP addresses and giving it's own. So I rang Sky to find out why. Problem is, they say they don't do this. I asked if they could check the server to see if it is acting as a proxy when it shouldn't be, but clearly that was out of my service chap's remit because he just kept suggesting I reboot my router and see if that changed anything and that the problem has to be at LJ's end.

I tested it out on Dreamwidth and they record my proper IP, however, on a traceroute they don't seem to go through the same server, and neither do any of the other sites where I can see my IP address. So now I'm out of empirical data.

a) LJ is not registering individual IP addresses - which I have asked them to clarify They have responded and they do register individual addresses.
b) that particular server is incorrectly configured and is acting as a proxy
c) LJ blocked a server IP by accident (but then I don't understand why this is registering as my IP when I post anonymously)
d) something else is happening that I simply do not understand

I is still confuzzled.
14 October 2014 @ 12:01 Memories
14 October 2014 @ 10:21 Memories

NaNoWriMo is almost here!

This year I actually have a strong idea of what I'm writing before November 1st - so yay! I've decided to do something completely new that I think will make a good 50k book, rather than what I usually do, which is write 50k of a longer book.

My working title is:

Mirabel's Bad Day and Beyond

and this is my synopsis:
Miri, or Mirabel if you're her mother, is a very powerful witch. When she wakes up on an obnoxiously bright morning she knows it's going to be a bad day. First of all her familiar, Ran, has decided being a cat is no longer interesting enough and has taken to walking around as a naked young man. Not good for her equilibrium, not good at all. Then she bumps into a friend, Ted Hanson, she hasn't seen in five years and she starts feeling the witch's mating urge. Think hornier than Sid James in a Carry On film, only worse. Being a demisexual with few close friends, this is kind of new and confusing.
Oh and her next door neighbour has been murdered, which might be a problem.
I have ideas so far about Mirabel, her mother and a little bit about the murder, but not a lot else. The idea came to me while lying in bed the other day and I think it's a good one for just writing by the seat of my pants (which I often do anyway ;)) and should flow for NaNo.

The camaraderie of NaNo is always so much fun. Lots of authors all doing the same thing at the same time. If you would like to become writing buddies I'm beren_writes over there.

So, who else is doing NaNoWriMo this year? Do you know what you are writing yet? Do you make lots of preparations?

This entry was originally posted at
12 October 2014 @ 12:00 Memories
According to the articles linked below Adobe Digital Editions 4 takes information about any ePub you put in your library (including ones that have no DRM so are nothing to do with them) and sends it in plain text, over the internet to their server.

Adobe is Spying on Users, Collecting Data on Their eBook Libraries

Adobe’s e-book reader sends your reading logs back to Adobe—in plain text

Adobe Digital Editions caught calling home with user logs

This is very worrying.

I used to use Digital Editions to check my ePubs when creating them for Google, but I've now swapped over to a reader called Bluefire which doesn't send information places. I also use Calibre for most things, but like to have a backup for file checking. I don't think I had any trouble actually, because I'm still on Digital Editions 1.x :), but I'm not taking the risk.

Why does it need to know what page you read when just to do DRM checks - which is what they are claiming?
Why is it sending all the info in plain text where anyone can read it?

Of course it is possible that it's simply really, really lazy coding and no one could be bothered to put in an if clause to check to see if the book was actually DRM enabled and add in an encryption algorythm ... but given that there seems to be overkill on the data, I'm doubting it.

I dislike DRM intensely anyway. Pirates can remove it in seconds (even I know how to do it so professional pirates can do it without blinking), so it's useless for that, so all it does is piss readers off. And it also gives sellers a hold over the reader that is just plain wrong - Amazon deleting people book libraries anyone? I don't like being told I don't actually own something I paid for when if it was on paper I would.

Yes you need some way to track library books, but recording what page you're reading and in what order seems very dodgy to me - how is that anything to do with, have you had this book longer than x no of days? Also, some people are reporting that if you add a false host to your host table for the server Adobe are sending to for the logs, the library lending part still works fine. Not sure how that works as all about DRM then?

The only time DRM is ever on books by Wittegen Press is if the publishing platform has added it without our permission (W.H.Smiths used to do that before they went nuts and removed all self-pub books and I think Apple do - but I've never successfully opened a book from iBooks so I wouldn't know). Sometimes we don't get a choice, but on places like Amazon and Smashwords and Google where they ask first, we make sure it isn't added.

This entry was originally posted at