rita brassington


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Updates on book-type things and the adventures of Sprout also here!

By r brassington, Aug 12 2019 12:00PM

I just love a happy ending. Doesn’t everybody?

This year I decided to get off my moral high horse and indulge in the national treasure that has grown to be Love Island. The show has been on for five series, and I’ve managed to avoid watching up until now, dismissing it as trash TV even I wouldn’t watch. Then I found out my manager, the last person on earth I thought would ever watch it was engrossed, I had to give it a try. And I haven’t looked back.

For those who haven’t watched, it’s like Big Brother in the sunshine and infinitely less annoying and repetitive. Moreover, it feels like it’s for something, it’s got a purpose. The bronzed bodies entering might be in it for fame in the long term, but in my idealised head they’re in it for LOVE. They want to meet somebody, and doesn’t everyone? The fact they’re in there 24/7 and attached to a microphone must mean that even the most fame-hungry part-time model can’t fake their feelings all the time - their personality and feelings must show through eventually.

I think that’s where the charm comes from. These people are like the viewers watching, they can fall in love, and get hurt, they are human after all. They have emotions, feelings, likes and dislikes and ultimately they want to be loved - either by one of their fellow villa-mates, or by the public. Or both.

Which is what brings me on to Love Island 2019. It was a new experience for me. All the contestants must’ve watched previous years. Whether it was the challenges or the brutal ‘re-couplings’ they must’ve had an inkling of what was waiting for them. I viewed with fresh eyes, amazed and horrified when Islanders had to turn on each other to vote each other out. Like Big Brother, it’s one big psychological game on the part of the producers, to persuade them to couple up or ship out. And this year, it fuelled drama you couldn’t write (but maybe the producers did).

Cue the winners of Love Island - not the safe bet of Tommy and Molly-Mae, the longest standing couple who could’ve been picked to be together from a line up, but Amber and Greg. Respect to the British public for giving a relationship of only two weeks the green light. It could’ve been due to Amber being the victim of some horrendous gaslighting on the part of Michael, who chose another girl over her and then tried to persuade Amber it was somehow her fault. It could’ve been viewers felt sorry for her, and when she coupled up with new arrival Greg, a rugby player from Limerick who entered the villa only two weeks before the final, they wanted it to work for her. Overall they won due to a combination of respect for their characters and that good ‘ol happy ending we all want.

Amber didn’t go back to Michael, even when he confessed he still liked her after Joanna was dumped from the Island. She chose Greg at the re-coupling, much to everyone’s delight. Why was everyone so happy she chose Greg instead of going back to a toxic relationship? So much so they rewarded Amber and Greg the win? Because she had respect for herself, she had self-worth. Amber wasn’t going to let someone who treated her badly decide her fate. She made her own decision and went with the guy who treated her well, the nice guy who definitely didn’t finish last. Greg was being himself - not fake and playing games to get her to couple up with him, but being assured of himself while letting Amber know he liked her.

The most important thing about Love Island 2019 is the lessons younger girls (and guys) are going to take away from watching it. There’ll be impressionable fourteen year-old girls watching this year in their bedrooms, seeing how important it is to be true to yourself, and to not put up with being treated badly by their ‘Michael’. Give that nice guy a go. That’s what you deserve. Similarly, boys now know you don’t have to treat a girl like trash to keep her interested. Be yourself and she will respect you for it.

So thank you Amber and Greg, for being yourselves, and being rewarded for it. Forget the 50k prize money, millions of new Instagram followers and lucrative TV and sponsorship deals. You’ve got each other.

Now, when’s the wedding?

By r brassington, Jan 10 2018 09:08AM

I don’t want to be one of those mums who talks about their baby and nothing else, that I’ve never had any other life and I was born to be a parent and how often does your baby sleep…it can be infuriating for non-parents and I get it.

There is a life outside motherhood, just like there was a life before, and one after, when your child doesn’t need you to wipe their bottom anymore and persuade them sprouts are delish. I once heard that between the ages of 20-40, you’re in the ‘fat, fillet steak part of life.’ Not to say the other fifty or so years are the fat to trim off, but the fillet is probably when most of your life happens, including, maybe, having children.

It’s not a time to wish for the next stage, for your baby to now sit, or feed themselves, or not need a bottle anymore, or sleep through the night. If you are a parent, it’s bloody hard work and sometimes feels impossible, but it’s also a time to enjoy and not waste. One day I’ll want my daughter to need me, and one day she’ll have her own fat, fillet steak to enjoy.

When my daughter was about three months old, I met my friend Jayne for lunch, and, as usual, there was need for a nappy change. These are usually located in the disabled toilets, so after a poo explosion, I’d occupied the loo for quite a while. When I came out, there was an older lady with a walking stick waiting to come in. I apologised for making her wait so long but she reached out for Mina’s hand and said ‘are you being good for your mummy? It’s hard, isn’t it, but it’s worth it when they smile.’

In that second, I realised she’d been where I was, years before. She’d had broken sleep and babies who scream and now she was on the other side, looking back, but she’d still been that mum. People lead many lives, ones they miss, enjoyed, and in that one statement she’ll never remember, she made me appreciate mine a little more.

By r brassington, Oct 12 2017 03:59PM

So I've had a baby. A beautiful little girl. Life changes, and books are still a part of my life, but not the most important. I've still managed to carry on reading whenever I can, mainly on my Kindle from the feeding chair.

My 2017 reads so far:

* Faithful by Alice Hoffman ( Simon and Schuster)

* Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner (Random House)

* In the Light of What we See by Sarah Painter (Lake Union Publishing)

* Until I Met Her by Natalie Barelli (Thomas and Mercer)

* Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown (Random House)

Not bad for a new mum, I think.

Reviews to follow very soon...

By r brassington, Dec 22 2016 10:00PM

It’s the first time I’ve reviewed a TV show on my blog, and this one is definitely worthy of a review. Kings of Con is a web series produced by Lionsgate and airing on the new Comic Con HQ channel. Produced, directed by and starring Rob Benedict and Richard Speight Jr., it follows their adventures as hapless actors on the convention circuit, now starring (some reluctantly) in homages to their characters rather than pursuing any new acting roles. Summed up by Rob Benedict’s character (aptly named Rob), ‘I’m an actor. Like, I went to acting school. For acting.’

Although I’ve never been to a convention in my life, it’s easy to get a feel for the world this show is loosely based on, and, as rumour has it, most of the events portrayed in the episodes aren’t too far from real events Rob and Rich experienced during their years on the convention circuit.

Crowdfunded on Indiegogo, this is a gem of a series. Seven episodes in, and far too short in length, it benefits from sharp writing, surreal capers and an ensemble cast that helps the episodes achieve laugh-out-loud funny status (not the easiest to do).

Based in what appears to be a very similar hotel for every episode, the hapless duo have so far been arrested, had an unfortunate accident with a viagra substitute whilst in karaoke fancy dress, broken more than one cardinal convention rule (never sleep with a fan dressed as your character - bearded) and dealt with a pretentious thespian with a penchant for mashed potato. It is fast becoming a show not to be missed.

Predictions? Season two premiering on Netflix with an extended 30 minute time slot. Kings of Con has the potential to go all the way.

By r brassington, Dec 22 2016 09:30PM

So, I’m back, and just in time for the Christmas break.

It’s been a while (bringing elusive a whole new meaning), mainly because I got married and am now having a baby, but there’s finally a new blog post! It’s just a short message to say, yes, I am still alive, and am working on a new book, which will hopefully appear in the not too distant future. It’s not a sequel to The Good Kind of Bad, but a whole new story, this time based in the UK.

That’s as much as I’m willing to say right now, apart from have a merry Christmas and all the best for 2017. Oh, and in case you were dying to find out what I'd like for Christmas, I've put together a little list.


By r brassington, Jul 10 2016 06:39PM

More news from the blog tour!

Day six was the turn of Chat About Books to host a guest post about sense of place - all about setting and how imagination can fill in the blanks regarding the setting of books. It was hosted by the lovely Kerry Parsons and you can read it here:


Day Seven landed at My Reading Corner, and another guest post. This time it was about the power of the star rating, how effective they can be and what authors can learn from one star (and five star) reviews. It's an amazing blog all round, and the link is here:


Day Eight (today) is a review from Celeste Loves Books so please take a look! It's a great blog too.


Now the blog tour has only one more stop, there's still time to enter the competition to win some singed goodies on Linda's Book Bag:


Last day tomorrow!

Rita x

By r brassington, Jul 7 2016 04:19PM

The blog tour for The Good Kind of Bad is now well and truly in full swing, with day three (also my birthday!) stopping at Claire Loves To Read. Take a look at her review and lots of other interesting things on her blog here:


Day four was the turn of The Book Shelf Blog, and another great review! Take a look here:


Today is day five, and I've written a guest post all about literary qualifications on If Only I Could Read Faster. What do you need to become a writer - a handful of cerficates, a good imagination, or both? Have a read here:


Thank you so much to Claire Loves to Read, The Book Shelf Blog and If Only I Could Read Faster, and to Linda's Book Bag and Baatty About Books for day one and two.

You can still enter the competition on Linda's Book Bag to win TGKOB goodies by following the link here:


Good Luck!

By r brassington, Jul 4 2016 10:26AM

The blog tour for The Good Kind of Bad has begun! Yesterday the lovely Linda Hill at Linda's Book Bag hosted a competition to win a signed copy of the book and other goodies on her blog. You can enter here:


She's also got a link to a guest post I wrote on her blog earlier in the year entitiled The Art of Letting Go (not a bad title for a book!).

Each day a new blogger will be hosting a review or guest post, and today (Monday 4th July) is the turn of Baatty About Books, hosting a post about how likeable characters should be. The link is below:


Tomorrow is my birthday, and as a lovely present I'll be on Claire Loves to Read's blog!

Rita x

By r brassington, Jun 30 2016 05:30PM

I've been away for a while, getting married and going on our honeymoon, so have neglected posting entries for a while, but now I'm back, the long-awaited (mainly because I just never got around to it) blog tour for The Good Kind of Bad is about to begin! Sunday kicks off just over a week of a giveaway, guest posts and reviews. I've always wanted to do a blog tour, and am so grateful I now get the chance now. Details are on the infographic below, so be sure to check out the different blogs each day. Each blogger is fantastic and I highly recommend you take a look at their other reviews/content while you're there.

Roll on, Sunday!

By r brassington, May 2 2016 11:15PM

Intricate lives, destructive secrets

This sums up an intricately detailed slice of suburbia from Louise Candlish. There’s a house, the bedrock of the story, a sublime interior-designed piece of heaven that reeks of money. The previous owners, Jeremy and Amber, have sold up and left in a hurry, but why? This is what new owners Christy and Joe are dying to find out. Christy especially.

Embarking on her own investigation, she finds the street less than welcoming. Told from both Christy and Amber’s viewpoints, we get a clever mix of knowing-and-not-knowing, as the reader is let in on the secret while Christy is left trying to figure it out on her own.

What really got me about this book was the descriptions. I feel like I have visited this house, met these people. Although this book did not go where I thought it was going to, I was surprised at my own strong feelings towards the characters.

These people might seem like they have it all, but it’s rarely as simple as that. A fantastic read.

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