Fifty Shades Of Overrated

It seems that the release of the much anticipated ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ has caused quite a stir in Hollywood. Receiving mixed reviews from critics, the novel itself started out as Twilight fan fiction written by the British Author E.L James who quickly shot to fame in 2011. The public were overworked and hungry during the 2011 UK recession, but their hunger for food quickly escalated into something else (coughs.) It seems that the something was ‘Fifty Shades.’

The cast
When it was announced that a film was going to be made, and Dakota Johnson would play the role of Ana Steele, people were sceptical. Others feared that her acting might resemble Kristen Stewart’s abysmal performance in the Twilight trilogy. The question is, was she truly terrible? The answer is no. Considering how irritating the character of Anastasia Steele is in the novel, the film gave her a more likeable side. Dakota Johnson was well suited to playing the clumsy student turned submissive. Gone are the cringe worthy utterances of ‘oh crap’ and the constant reference to her inner Goddess as she portrayed the character with an edge of vulnerability. Casting Christian Grey was more difficult, when thousands of brooding middle aged women already had fixated ideas of what he should look like. Blonde, first choice Charlie Hunnam didn’t stand a chance when he was initially cast. Some claimed that he looked wrong for the part, and he wasn’t attractive enough and he backed out of the contract just one month after the initial casting was announced. Social media went into uproar when a replacement had to be found and there was talk of casting the likes of Henry Cavill and Ryan Reynolds. It seems that the public already had a firm favourite. Over 100,000 people signed a petition to cast the then 36-year-old Texas born White Collar star, Matt Bomer as Mr Grey. He had everything; a chiselled Grecian profile and piercing blue eyes. As a gay actor, he probably wasn’t even considered for the part. Even in this day and age, it seems that it’s still not acceptable to be openly gay and ‘out’ in Hollywood. (Even if you are beautiful and talented. His time will come.)
In November 2013, Northern Irish model and actor Jamie Dornan (best known for his role in the BBC TV series ‘The Fall’) was named as Charlie Hunnam’s replacement.

So how did the film work out?
It was surprising to see some familiar faces in the form of 1995, Pride and Prejudice’s Jennifer Ehle, who played the role of Ana’s Mum. Despite the stir of Rita Ora being cast as Christan Grey’s adoptive sister Mia, her screen time was clipped to the minimum.
The film did have a few ‘laugh out loud moments’during the main characters’ first encounter, as Mr Grey is seen stocking up on masking tape, rope and cable ties in the DIY shop where Ana works. “You’re the complete serial killer.” She states. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
The cinematography was pretty (even beautiful) in places, as Sam Taylor-Johnson’s attention to detail was clear when filming scenery (not BDSM, *awkward cough.*) However, the desperately lacking plot let the entire film down. The books were heavily focused on the BDSM relationship between the two main characters, but of course the sex scenes were tamed and subtly done for the cinema screen. Instead, we were left with Jamie Dornan’s jerky and slightly wooden acting and average body, while Dakota Johnson managed to hold the fort during the entire film. Sometimes it felt like a spark wasn’t there between the two leads, but I suppose Christian Grey ‘doesn’t do relationships’ anyway. He’d rather play in his ‘red room of pain.’ (Shudders.)
-Was it a bad film? No it wasn’t, but was it over hyped? The simple answer is yes. It was Fifty Shades Of Overrated.
Mr Grey wont see me now. 

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

The Defeatist- Prologue

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I wasn’t always miserable.
I had a reasonably happy childhood, and as a boy growing up in the 1990’s, Mum and I relied on each other. I had to keep Mum going for her sanity. I made it my duty to make her laugh as often as I could, and kept my problems to myself. Violet Reed was the most genuine person I had ever met, and this fact remains the same. She was the only person I’d ever dare to have a heart to heart conversation with, or cry in front of. As I got older, I stopped crying. I don’t think it did me any good.
“You have a tomato ketchup moustache!”
I grin and wipe my mouth with the damp piece of kitchen roll Violet Reed has just handed to me. My life has not always been easy, but this was a better time for us. I bin the paper and Mum pets our dog, Maple who is circling at her feet. Maple raises her head and smiles a doggy grin.
“Your Dad will be home at about 7pm, Jude.”
I have butterflies in my stomach, but I force a smile. That always makes me feel better. I glance up at the clock. It’s 6.15pm now.
“What are you thinking, Jude?”
My Mum is an attractive woman, she barely ages. I always think that I look plain compared to everyone else. Perhaps one day, I won’t be.
“Umm, I was just thinking that I like your hair.”
She laughs. “Thanks. It probably needs cutting again, but I hate how my hair reacts to getting cut. I can’t do anything with it.”
“It looks great the way it is.”
This makes her smile, she’s surprised. I don’t think she gets many compliments from Dad. I think I’d be upset if I was grumbled at or asked why dinner wasn’t quite ready, when I’d be working so hard. I always wonder why my Dad doesn’t cook dinner. Mum works too, even if it is just for a few hours in the morning. That doesn’t matter, she deserves a break. Sometimes I want to offer to cook it, but we don’t tend to make proper meals in Food Technology at school. I’m sure that I would burn the food to the bottom of the pan. Mum and I sit in silence for a few minutes, until Maple scrambles up onto my lap, and licks my hand. Mum chuckles.
“I wonder if she’s hoping to find a tasty morsel. Sorry Maple, human food is bad for doggies. Don’t worry; it will be time for your din-dins soon.”
I kiss Maple’s fur. “We don’t want to kill her off.” I mutter, as I wrap my arms around my dog’s neck.
“No we don’t. She’s a very special girl.”
“Yes Jude?”
“Can I ask you something?”
“Gosh, of course you can.”
Mum sits in the chair opposite to me, and leans forward. She’s listening intently. Violet Reed always was the best listener. When I don’t say what I was about to straight away, she looks concerned.
“Am I a freak?”
She’s horrified. I don’t understand why, I don’t fit in at school and never have done. I’m one of those children who go to school, aim to get my work done to the best of my ability and survive the day. Mum pauses, before opening her mouth.
“Jude Reed, I’ve met some strange people in my life and you are not one of them. You’re such a capable boy and I’m very proud of you.”
Mum wraps her arms around me. Her hugs always were the best, because in her arms I feel safe.
She raises her head again. “You’re a worrier, try not to worry. You’re young yet, one day all your hard work will pay off. You may feel like you’re only taking baby steps now, but eventually, you’ll spread your wings and fly.”
“Now then, you need cheering up, Jude! How about we go for a walk?”
I loved walking, even at that age. I always feel that it helped to clear my head. We pull on our winter coats, attach Maple to her lead and off we go. Once we’re there, we release Maple and she bounds around us in circles. She keeps coming back to us, before she runs off again. Mum and I laugh at her funny behaviour, as we wrap our arms around each other to keep warm. I gaze up at her, in awe. My Mother is wonderful.
Someone said that good things can’t last for ever and they were right. In an ideal world, some people might have wanted to stay at this age forever.
My life took a huge nose dive in 2013; things happened that I wasn’t proud of. A part of me wants to go back and pick up the pieces, or try and find the route of the problem. Until November 2013, people who knew me would have deemed me as being conscientious, focused and caring. The side of me most people saw, was the person I wanted to be. Every day I tried to be like my Mum, but deep down I feared that I had turned into my Father. In truth, I was shit scared. Some might say that I’d been putting on a brave face for too long.

My previous novels (Teddy & Azure) are available on Amazon.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

The Defeatist- An extract from chapter 14

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-I have written the very first draft of this novel, and hope to revise/ redraft it before releasing it as an E-book later this year.

November 2013 :

“Turn that light off!”
“It’s pitch black and I need to see.”
“Selfish bast…”
“Oh great, cheers Joe. That’s very mature of you.”
“Stop winding me up, Jude. Don’t just flounce in here, all squeaky clean from your shower like nothing has happened.”
Oh God, he’s furious. They say never go to sleep on an argument, we need to fight this out.
“Joe, we need to talk about this. You didn’t let me finish earlier. I still love you. I really do.”
I perch myself on the bed, and gaze into his eyes. He’s so beautiful and gets better looking with age. Think of something decent to say, Jude. I don’t, instead I reach forward to stroke his cheek. He tickles me. In shock, I lose my balance, but he catches me and pulls me back onto the bed. I’m scared that he might strike me, but instead he just shakes his head and laughs.
“You’re such a pushover.”
How dare he! There’s no way that I want to share a bed with him now. I pull my pillow and the whole double duvet from our bed and stomp down the staircase. I’m sleeping on the sofa and don’t give damn what he says.
“Oh Jude, what the hell? Stop being such a diva. Come back, I’m going to freeze!”
“Good!” I yell. He’s following me, running actually. Shit! What is he going to do?
“Bring the duvet back, you idiot! What’s the matter with you?”
I don’t know what the matter is. My legs are trembling uncontrollably, I think I need to sit down. He’s quick on my heels, and yanks the double duvet so hard from my tightened grip, that I fall to the floor.
I’m struggling to catch my breath and-and my ankle hurts. I look to my left and Joe is crouched beside me. He looks really pale, I wonder why. He’s shaking me back into reality and pulls me to my feet. Woah, it hurts to stand, putting any weight on my left ankle is almost unbearable. I sit down, he’s rubbing my back and I remember what has just happened. I don’t know what to do. Joe says that he loves me, but I don’t think so. I lie along the sofa, with the duvet draped over me. I don’t say anything, I’m afraid to.
I think I fell asleep. Where am I? Hang on, one moment ago I was lying on the sofa, now I’m tucked under our thick duvet. He-he’s beside me. Oh crap, how did this happen? Did Joe carry me to bed? No! I said that I wasn’t going to sleep in the same bed as him. No way. I slip out of bed, don my dressing down and curl back on the sofa. It’s not the most comfortable of places, but I would rather be in control. It’s colder than I thought. Brrr! I reach my hand to the left and realise that the heating must have been off for a while.
Crap! My heart freezes, I leap up from where I am trying to sleep and my ankle smarts.
“What on earth are you doing, sleeping alone on the sofa?”
“Why did you carry me to bed when I made it quite clear that I wasn’t sleeping with you, Joe?”
“Oh Jude, I knew you weren’t serious. You never are about anything.”
“This time, I meant every word.”

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Aira Force

Aira force

-Based on the Cumbrian folk tale.

The besotted lovers were not long betrothed, drums forced Sir Eglamore to war
He promised his weeping Emma that he’d return as he had done before
Emma yearned for her Sir Eglamore, the Knight so gallant and fine;
But alas, he had to depart, abandoning her for some time
News came that Eglamore had perished, grief hurled her into depression
Her health deteriorated seriously and she lived in a deranged possession
In time, Emma began to sleepwalk and the knight did not know;
That she was far from the sweet lady he had met some years ago
One day he returned, alive from the war to be reunited with her
He was not aware of Emma’s condition, or that her mind was deterred
Sighting her near the beck, he approached, tapping her upon the shoulder
But terror struck, and she stumbled, then tumbled over a slimy boulder
Down she plummeted as she fell on a prepiece and over the waterfall
The Knight could only watch in horror as there was nothing he could do at all.
He pulled his lover to the edge of the pool and up, onto the side
It was then Emma lost her life, for in his arms she died.

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Pit Of Hell

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John :

This bed is my prison; the iron cast frame is the bars

In my semi conscious state, I lie trapped here for hours

I want to be in the garden, but it is not safe for me now

I cannot leave my confinement, my body doesn’t know how

My painful bones are a punishment, alongside my aching chest

It might be will of God. Everyone thinks that he knows best

I am a man of thirty-eight, but it’s as if I am ninety-two

My body is slowly shutting down. Was this God’s plan too?

People fear the fires of hell, and take the up most care:

To study the bible day by day and the word of God they share

Perhaps I should have gone to church and worshipped him as well

I fear I have fallen too far. I am condemned to the pit of hell.


Teddy is available on Kindle (Amazon) for a small donation of £1.03/ $1.71
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©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014


Teddy cover for wp

John :

I see a kind young woman, one who is pretty and fair

Genuine and fine of figure, with a mane of fiery hair

She is support for her Mother and caring as can be

Bonnie is a dedicated worker, I think she takes after me

She is only fourteen years old and so wise for her age

She has a hot temper, but carefully controls her rage

I know she will do well, Bonnie is hard-working and clever

My! Children grow up so fast. We cannot hold their hands forever.

Teddy is available on Kindle (Amazon) for a small donation of £1.03/ $1.71
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©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014



Peter :

This conman is a crafty one, eccentric and aloof

He has many aliases, his fake passports are the proof

Why would he escape prison, with a matter of months to go?

What were his initial motives? Perhaps he doesn’t know

Neal doesn’t look his usual self, dressed in prison clothes

He seems refined somehow, even though he’s wearing those.

He’s composed and witty: he wants to strike a bargain with me

But why after he ran, does he suppose I should set him free?

©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014


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Queen Evangeline :

Who is this pompous child of mine, with his shock of chestnut hair?

He doesn’t possess any self-composure, yet about him every one cares

People say he is a talented boy, but they cannot see through his smile

Theodore is a flighty thing and that side shows once in a while

His paintings are mediocre, but his Father is so full of praise

His newest creation sat in our hall for more than several days

He was more amiable as a little boy; Mr Howard kept him out of my sight

I saw him for under an hour each day, when he kissed me on the cheek at night

Lady Jane seems to have taken to him and she does well to play her part

Yet I doubt that she will even fall for my son and offer him her heart

Oh Theodore, why must you defy me? You’re ignorant and obtuse

On other instances your behaviour turns and your actions are aloof!

I will not hesitate to strike you my boy, if that is what it takes

Mend your frivolous manner. Your crown and kingdom are at stake.


Teddy is available on Kindle (Amazon) for a small donation of £1.03/ $1.71
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©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014

Kindred Spirits

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Maira & John :

We were kindred spirits for twenty years, but life is leaving you.

Why must God be so cruel, when you’ve endured all you can do?

I want to hold you in my arms and tell you that you’re not going to die

But precious John, you and I know that it does not do to lie.

Do you remember the times in the meadow, when we sat under our tree?

Or we talked for hours on end, and you poured out your heart to me.


Maira back then we were but children, how fast the years have passed

I always feared that we were over-content and things were too good to last

I feel safe as my head rests on your shoulder and Bonnie enters the room

I watch her tears fall once more and fear that I will be gone so soon

I promise to cling on to life, and exist for as long as I can

Thank you both for completing me. You made me the man I am.


Teddy is available on Kindle (Amazon) for a small donation of £1.03/ $1.71

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©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014


Teddy cover for wp

Father you’re in agony, what can I do to ease your pain?

Can I fetch you a glass of water, before you fall asleep again?

Tell me how I can help, for I cannot watch you suffer so

Day after day, night after night your head writhes to and fro

We don’t want to leave your side, though you sleep all of the time

I will stay with you now and listen to the clock’s hourly chime.


Bonnie is that you? How pleasant it is to hear your voice

I loathe being indisposed: my useless body gives me no choice

Darling, you make me so proud. You have achieved far more than I

Hush now, don’t pity me. Please, I don’t want you to cry

My eyes are growing heavier, but before I sleep I must say

I am grateful to have a daughter, who makes me proud each day.


Teddy is available on Kindle (Amazon) for a small donation of £1.03/ $1.71

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©Sophie Bowns 2011-2014