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A few weeks ago I was delighted to receive an invitation to write for Luna Luna Magazine, a digital diary for creative thinkers, individuals, dreamers & darklings. I shall be writing for them once a month. My first article is a preliminary look at Sex & Tarot, in which I outline some of the basics.

Sex & Tarot by Toni Allen

Even if you’ve already read my book Sex & Tarot do pop along and have a read, because I’m always coming up with new insights and adding additional information which isn’t in my book.

If there are any tarot topics you’d like me to write about in future articles, either here or at Luna Luna, please leave a comment.

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According to the UK news this is a bumper year for spiders. The warm, muggy weather has been perfect for all those little flying insects that spiders love to eat.

Armed with my camera, a macro lens, and protective clothing in case the decided to jump me, I went on a Spider Safari.

The whole gallery can be viewed over at ToniAllenBooks


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Quill imageOut of the blue I’ve just heard from a new online publisher I pitched my novel Visiting Lilly to many months ago. They’ve requested the entire manuscript which will go before a review board, and hopefully on to full submission.

I’m absolutely chuffed.

Visiting Lilly crosses several genres and that has been one of the biggest issues in securing an agent or publisher. I believe it’s a romance, but it also has a police detective/mystery and elements of weird science. See my problem? It doesn’t fit into a nice neat category box.

Hence I’m thrilled that someone has invited me to send the entire manuscript and is willing to read it through.

I’m sure I won’t hear any news for a while, I know these things take time. So wish me luck! I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

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If anyone’s wondering whether I’ve fallen off the planet…the answer is yes, but only temporarily.

Last weekend 13th to 17th Sept I decided to do a bunk and take off to glorious Dorset in the West Country to spend the entire weekend writing my latest novel. It’s a self made writers’ retreat. I sit in my tent and write while my partner makes all of the meals. Bliss. We go for a few leisurely walks together and I take lots of time to plot my novel and get all creative.

The weekend tentHere it is, the little tent we bought for our weekend getaway.

So far so good, it’s a plan. Driving down to Dorset, some hundred miles from home, was frustrating. It was raining and for some inexplicable reason the traffic was dreaful. A two and half hour journey took four and a half hours. Not to worry, we had plenty of music and snacks in the car to keep us entertained.

Arriving at the camp site the heavens broke and it chucked it down. Not to worry, it’s only a little tent and easily erected. Now, did I mention that this was a new tent? Yep, we hadn’t checked it and one of the poles was broken! Never mind, we can ask the camp site owners for help. Fortunately they know us well and had some poles they’d salvaged from the bins and one of the fitted. By nightfall our litle tent was up and we were on the phone to the Chinese takeway ordering masses of food to be delivered while we dried out.

Excellent. I sat and wrote and wrote, my novel flowing easily. We didn’t care that it rained and the wind battered the tent, insde we were safe, dry and happy.

On Tuesday we broke camp, laughing as it continued to rain and saying what an excellent weekend we’d had. We’re easily pleased.

I know the route home like the back of my hand, that is until the police close a road and we head off down country lanes to goodness knows where. Okay, so we got to see a lot of roads and towns I’d never encountered before, but some hour after being diverted I see a road I recognise and we’re back on track.

Happy, happy we stop at a Little Chef for a rest and a snack. We’ve had a great weekend and I’ve written thousands of words for my novel.

It’s the home run, only forty or so miles to go. Outside Winchester I stop at a roundabout, knowing that my car under heavy load won’t outrun the vehicle approaching on the roundabout. We appear to be the only two cars on the road. Then. Wallop! Shock! A vehicle has hit the back of my car, shunted us forwards, flipped my head backwards and forwards. I can’t believe it! Where on earth did he come from?

Stepping out of my car I do the right thing and exchange insurance details, blah, blah even though my head is reeling and I feel like I’ve been punched into the middle of next week. My car’s a little 4X4 so there’s minimal damage, the spare wheel on the back taking most of the blow.

Traffic builds up and the police cruise by to make sure we’re all okay and once the formalities are over I drive to a quiet road and go, ‘I just need to shake off the shock for a while.’ Eventually I decide I’m up to driving the rest of the way home, but I need to take several breaks.

Once home I call a friend to take me to A&E to get checked out and after many hours of waiting I’m told that I have whiplash and can expect to feel worse the following day and should rest up for at least two weeks. That is not what I intended doing with my life, trust me.

In hopital they give you a useful information leaflet about whiplash symptoms, so that you know what to expect and what creates more cause for concern. ‘Mild headache (feels like someone’s hit me with a sledge hammer), feeling sick (without vomiting), dizziness (so which way is the floor?!), irritability or bad temper (who me?!!!), problems concentrating or problems with memory (Why did I walk into this room?), tiredness (Yawn), lack of appetite or problems sleeping (Nope, I’ve eaten more than usual and slept longer).

So if anyone’s wondering why I haven’t answered their blog post, please accept my apologies. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible once the brain redocks with the mothership!

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’50 Shades of Grey’ movie: How will it work on the big screen? – Movies News – Digital Spy.

I kept trying to ‘Press This’ and include the article but I was errored out with a message saying the file was too large. But hey, we all know by now what I’m talking about. Don’t we?

Yes, they are going to make 50 Shades of Grey into a movie. The big question is, would you have cast Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey? It’s the question that’s tripping from everyone’s lips and Google is hot with the search term, ‘who is Charlie Hunnam?’ Ahh! It’s him, the blonde boy Nathan from Queer as Folk…never much fancied him then and I, personally, can’t see that his sex appeal has grown much since he was a faye eighteen year old.

I have to be absolutely honest and admit that I haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey. Yes folks, I am out of the loop here. I have, however, dutifuly used Amazon’s search inside to read the opening chapter and discover what it’s all about. In that first introductory piece I met Mr Christian Grey and developed a picture in my head of what he looked like. He wore an expensive suit and was very suave. My interest was piqued. I could envisage him as sexy…according to my own parameters of sexual attractiveness.

So, now they’ve cast Charlie Hunnam in the role, and apologies to all Charlie Hunnam fans out there, but he isn’t a guy who gives me the hots. Disappointing. I often watch a really good movie and say, ‘pity the lead wasn’t sexy,’ or on a  bad day, ‘oh my god that guy’s really ugly, who chose him to play super smooth romantic lead?!’

This is the fundamental difference between a book and a movie. With a book, regardless of the author’s physical description of the sexy man, we are free to elaborate and embellish according to our own ideals…and desires. With our imagination we make him the hottest man in town. He is divine, he is ours, he is perfect. In a movie we are dealt up a so called ‘ideal’ and encouraged to believe that this is a sexy man, because that is what the producers would like us to believe, because that is what will sell their film.

It’s the same old connundrum. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I write novels and one day after my friend had finished proof reading a few chapters for me I said, “I have to be a little in love with all of my main male characters. I have to find them attractive enough to take to bed, or I really can’t connect with them.” She grinned and said, “I noticed. They are very sexy men.” She picked that up from my writing style, even though these are not romantic leads, they are just strong male protagonists. I’m teasing and alluring my audience with the promise that there might be more.

This is the power of the imagination, our ability to fullfill our desires by dreaming up the perfect man…or woman. Can a film satisfy that desire by telling us to find this man or woman sexy? Not for me. Will the 50 Shades of Grey film work? Will they create enough hype pre-release to have us storming to the cinemas? We wait, we see.

In the meantime enjoy your fantasies, nobody can create a movie as perfect as you can on your own internal screen.

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12 zodiac signsWeekly Horoscope 21st August to 27th August 2013

Last Friday August 16th I had the pleasure of talking to the Yateley branch of The Institute of Spiritualist Mediums. My topic for the evening was ‘Tarot, how it can be used for mediumship,’ and I had the most wonderful audience. I’ve talked to Yateley ISM before and it was lovely to be greeted so warmly by people I now consider my friends.

I started by talking about my personal experiences of psychic phenomena, including readings in which we have invoked spirit and received messages from departed loved ones. After our tea break I offered practical demonstration where anyone who wanted to have a brief 3 card reading could come forwards. The messages given were all very enlightening and we had some good laughs too, with one or two people saying, ‘I was only talking about that in the break!’

If you live within easy reach of Yateley and you’re on a spiritual path and looking for people to connect with then you couldn’t find a friendlier group to join in with. Click through the link and you’ll see this year’s list of speakers.


There’s no radio again this week as Paul Tizzard, the show’s presenter, is still on holiday. Lucky Paul! But, we don’t need radio to bring you you’re weekly horoscope so that you can see what lies ahead.

 Weekly Horoscope 21st August to 27th August 2013

The grand trine between Saturn, Neptune and Jupiter is still in alignment across Scorpio, Pisces and Cancer continuing the theme of elders and responsibility. This week sees the addition of a cardinal grand square in play between Venus in Libra, Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries and Jupiter in Cancer. This really muddies the waters for all star signs as cardinal grand squares push for action, so are very good at starting things, but without back-up from other planets find it difficult to see things through. Hence the beginning of the week sees most signs feeling sluggish, even though they are bursting for action. On the 27th August the grand trine goes out of exact alignment, Mercury goes into trine with Pluto and at long last, options can be analysed and a game plan for action decided upon. Phew!

Aries star signAries are in for a romantic week ahead although you will be confused about what you truly want. Do you want a permanent relationship or something less committed that’s all about fun? You may well come down on the side of commitment as long as you can retain a lot of freedom. Group finances, especially family funds, are being adjusted to release money for travel and children.


Taurus birth signTaureans, your stubborn streak rears its head this week. At work you will want to be seen as an authority in your field of expertise and push ahead for a higher position and greater success. At home others may perceive you as wanting everything your own way, so try not to be too argumentative with loved ones. Relaxation can be found in travel with just one good companion.


Gemini star signGeminis will be restless for most of the week. You have an abundance of dreams and plans, especially around sports and playful, creative activities; but getting others to agree with you, and putting those pans into action is sorely challenging. Your home life appears to be draining your finances and questions will arise concerning lifestyle and what you truly desire from life. Remember, people will like you for who you are, not what you have.

Cancer Star signCancerians are busy improving their homes, but some of you will be doing this with a view to selling and moving on. Positive communication is difficult for all signs this week, but you may feel that no-one is really listening to you. Sit quietly and read a book, or plan an overseas journey, both can be rewarding.


Leo star signLeos like to be seen and acknowledged for their achievements, but this week all the praise will need to come from yourself as for once you appear to be invisible to everyone else. This can be a beneficial time for anyone interested in spiritual or mediumistic pursuits with fresh insights into your chosen area. If you’re involved with teaching or training of any kind this will be a challenging week but the long terms results far greater than you could ever imagine.

Virgo star signVirgos will be on an emotional high this week. Serious discussions with romantic partners can bring agreements to get married, move in together or have children. The promises are rolling in and will be kept. If it’s all about moving in together then anticipate disagreements over space and style and whether you keep your kettle or your partners, and where everything goes.

Libra star signLibrans you have to be careful not to try and be all things to all people this week. You may be asked to act as referee at work or play and it’s your strong sense of morality and justice that sees you through. Being the middle man is never easy. If you’re artistic and creative this is a fabulous time to show off your work. Musicians will do especially well, and any of you who do a public performance, even if it’s a training session at work, will shine.

Scorpio star signScorpios are still steeped in responsibility and this week your strength is in the workplace. Family and work politics see you taking charge and making sure that everyone acts fairly. Home is your safe haven and quality time can be spent with family and friends, although there doesn’t appear to be much time for people venturing into new romances because work is so hectic. Invite that special person round to join you and your friends, because that’s where you’re going to feel most relaxed.

Sagittarius star signIn this week’s tug-of-war between the planets Sagittarians will find yourselves torn between wanting to chill out and stand bold and prove to others that you know what you’re talking about. Right now you’re holding facts that other people are very interested in, so whether you’re working in education or in charge of a team at work, making sure you get your point across clearly is essential. There doesn’t appear to be much peace and quiet at home so don’t fight it, go for a long walk. If you’re having a house built, or in the building trade, check all plans and make adjustments now.

Capricorn star signsCapricorns are in a romantic, playful mood and if you’re unattached new relationships can be forged in which one of you is quite a bit older than the other. This is a fun and flirtatious week, with more time spent out and about than at home. A work colleague can help you gain promotion, and lovers will lavish gifts. A good week for sudden windfalls.


Aquarius star signAquarians will be full of sudden ideas this week, but getting others to understand your grand schemes isn’t going to be easy. Be patient. Work brings success, but others may be envious and question your authority. Walking away is better than arguing, so keep calm, by the 27th things will have turned around and improved. Spiritual pursuits and long drives in the country bring rest and relaxation.

Pisces star signDreamy Pisces are in a carefree mood but work and elders push for duties to be performed. There’s a long term theme of you wanting to reinvent how others see you and this week’s challenges have you asking how you can be more free and independent long term. By the 27th people will be taking you seriously and help you find constructive ways in which to do less work and have more time for personal pursuits without going broke.

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12 zodiac signsWell after the initial excitement of last week’s radio broadcast on SusyRadio the presenter Paul Tizzard and I have been asked by the radio station controller to keep things simple and stick to outlining each star sign’s week ahead. I don’t understand all of the rules but it seems that Ofcom wouldn’t like what we were doing by offering insight into a real person’s birth chart.

It’s a great pity because although Sun sign astrology has its merits it really doesn’t get to the heart of the matter, and certainly doesn’t portray the true depth of astrology and the insights into personality structure that can be seen in an accurate natal birth chart.

You can still hear my dulcet tones on SusyRadio tomorrow between 13:15 and 14:00 BST, so listen in if you can. I’m sure we’ll be able to slip in a little general information about astrology somewhere.

So here they are, in advance of the show, this coming week’s predictions for each star sign.

The trine we saw last week between Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune is still in place this week and continues the theme of elders and responsibility, although as Mars has shifted away from Jupiter things ease up a little bit.

Aries star sign

Aries will want to spend the week getting ahead at work, but find many of their best efforts frustrated. Meaningful conversations with friends will help ease the way and towards the end of the week new personal and business relationships will make you feel a lot better about complex work situations.


TaurusTaurus birth sign will be in a playful mood for much of the week. They will be encouraged to take centre stage and share their opinions on many issues, especially if they are involved in education or training others. Housework will feel like a real chore, so leave the pots and pans until later, there’s far too much fun to be had.


Gemini star signWhether employed, self-employed or looking for work Geminis will be offered additional responsibilities which can lay down the foundation for future prosperity. Take those opportunities while they’re there. Home life is pretty easy going, but all Geminis have a habit of constantly rearranging the furniture, and this week sees you shifting things around, especially if you’re preparing for visitors to come and stay.


Cancer Star signCancerians are still finding life challenging, mostly in connection with family, home and property. Joining a group of like-minded people will offer a positive avenue to explore your own needs and so this is an excellent time to start pursuing a hobby that you’ve never found enough time for, but always wanted to do.


Leo star signLeos always like to have fun and play, but this week home and family situations urge them to be grown-up and discuss difficult situations. Don’t worry, travel, sports and spiritual activities offer plenty of opportunities to escape and have fun with upbeat friends.


Virgo star signWith lovely Venus in Virgo’s sign this week they will find themselves making new friends, while for the unattached romance is in the air. These will be different types of people to the kind of connections you usually make, and life will feel refreshing, exciting and stimulating.


Libra star signLibrans are due to meet some pretty quirky people this week who will invite you to sit down and tell them all about yourself. Don’t be shy; accept invites to social gatherings and by the end of the week you could find yourself with a very special new friend, who you won’t meet if you don’t take the risk.


Scorpio star signScorpios are still feeling the burden of responsibility, but this week you’re emerging as the authority figure and getting people around you to take you seriously. This can start to bring social and business success, and if you’ve been thinking of changing job this is an excellent week to put in your C.V. for that new position. Catching up with friends helps you balance work and play.


Sagittarius star signSagittarians will be feeling very restless this week; you really won’t feel like doing tedious things that need to be done, such as keeping on top of paying bills or doing the laundry. Any work will be irritating. Escape as often as possible to your favourite spiritual or sporting group to let off steam and put the world to rights.


Capricorn star signsThis week Capricorns will find themselves surrounded by people. They’ll make new friends, catch up with old friends and be so popular that there won’t be enough hours in the day to do everything they want to do. It’s an exciting time with lots of interesting conversations and if you’re involved with learning something new or teaching the ideas will just keep on coming.


Aquarius star signAquarians will be prioritising domestic issues this week, including getting those odd jobs done, clearing their desk at work of any back log, and spending quality time with their pets. Close friends will offer praise and invite you out to explore different places that you’ve never been to before. A good week to spend quiet time with that special person in your life.


Pisces star signPisces are always sensitive folk and this week any duties, both at home or work, can feel a little overwhelming. Good friends will come to your rescue and there’s lots of fun to be had going to the theatre or cinema, and buying a few treats for the home, such as soft furnishings or cooking utensils.

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