Hello Bloglandia!

Yep, it’s me…again.

And yep, there’s another video. But there’s also Colin Firth, Mickey Mouse, Brad Pitt, and…maybe I should explain.

Oh no, it’s me again.

The Goofy Videos Continue

Part Six of The Undead Mr. Tenpenny Book Launch Video Extravaganza is basically an intro to this blog post…because I’m not clever enough to work in all the images and GIFs you’ll see below that demonstrate my point.

So, if you’re ready for another dose of goofy, click the image below. Once you’re done viewing, just pop down to the “Some Sample References” section below where you’ll find a few examples of what I’m babbling about.

Having Too Much Fun

If you’ve been following along with Ye Olde Blogge this week, you’ll probably have heard me mention my newly released book The Undead Mr. Tenpenny once or twice. Okay, maybe a billion times.

This is the first book in my (nearly done!) Cassie Black Trilogy, and I think what has me most excited about these books is how much fun I had writing them. While I enjoyed crafting and drafting my Osteria Chronicles series and the Domna serial, they were pretty heavy in tone and covered some dark, moody topics.

Sure, there are some tantalizing troubles Cassie Black has to get through, and she has had a terribly tough time in life (as you learned in THIS POST), but she maintains a high level of snarky humor throughout most pages of the trilogy.

And as I was doing one of my hundred or so read throughs of The Undead Mr Tenpenny, I realized part of Cassie’s humor comes from quite a few of her cultural references.

Getting Referential

Now, as you might expect in a book that features a person being tossed into an unexpected world full of magic, magic lessons, and an evil wizard (because there’s always an evil wizard, isn’t there?), I do have a fair number of Harry Potter references.

Don’t worry, Cassie doesn’t go overboard with these because Mr Tenpenny HATES the Harry Potter books and fixes some scathing glares and rebukes on Cassie whoever she dares mention the Series That Shall Not Be Named. Oh, and you’ll find out the source of this hatred in Book Two (The Uncanny Raven Winston).

Some Sample References

But what about those other references? Well, on one of my read throughs, I kept track of them. All of them. I ended up counting well over thirty references to books, movies, and more in Book One alone.

So, just for poos and giggles, I thought I’d share the list and a few examples of the reference…


  • Zombieland“And so, rather than attack, double tap, or run, I stood there getting coated in Dewy Chiffon dust while Mr. Boswick took two clumsy steps with his hands held out like an unsteady toddler.”
  • Shaun of the Dead“I’ve seen Shaun of the Dead. I know what happens if you get bit by the undead: You end up locked away in your best mate’s garden shed. Oh, sorry, spoiler alert.”
  • The Exorcist
  • Mary Poppins – Don’t worry, there’s no horrid Dick van Dyke Cockney accent involved.
  • Seven – One chapter is titled “What’s In the Box?”



  • Doc Martin – There’s a clinic in MagicLand whose interior setting was inspired by Mrs Tishell’s pharmacy
  • Game of Thrones
  • Walking Dead – Cassie longs for a machete, or better yet, a crossbow when her first dead person wakes up (see Monty Python below).
  • Twilight Zone – “This was the stuff of nightmares and Twilight Zone episodes, and I really wanted to linger on the topic”
  • Wheel of Fortune, I Dream of Jeannie, Gilligan’s Island, and more – Cassie’s landlord loves watching television, especially classic reruns!
  • Monty Python –  “We didn’t have anything useful like a machete or crossbow or rifle in the funeral home — again, much like the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expects the Zombie Apocalypse.”


  • Looney Tunes
  • Alice in Wonderland“Mr. Tenpenny grinned. I did not like that grin. It had too much Cheshire Cat in it.”
  • Disney’s Sorcerer’s Apprentice“I’d basically been roped into an hour of free housekeeping. The only thing that kept me motivated were the coconut and almond butter cookies she kept insisting I eat. Regardless of the treats, I was beginning to feel like Mickey Mouse chasing after brooms in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”


  • As mentioned, Harry Potter

“Magic? Like I’m supposed to be a witch? Does that make you Dumbledore?”

He gave me a withering look and managed to maintain it as he scratched a sentence into my notepad. He stabbed out the final period for emphasis.

–There are so many misconceptions in those books. I refuse to discuss them any further.

I bit my lip to keep from laughing. I know J.K. Rowling has her critics, but I would never have guessed Mr. Tenpenny might be one of them.

  • Les Miserables – One chapter is titled “J’Accuse!”
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train (Agatha Christie) – At one point, Cassie needs to quickly come with a name. “Chubby Evans” is the first thing that pops into mind.
  • Pride & Prejudice“Although I bet Tobey would make a fair Mr. Darcy, this was all getting a bit Jane Austen-y for my taste. 


  • The Pied Piper“The front of the shop was empty, but from the back came the sound of someone humming. Feeling a bit like one of the Pied Piper’s rats, I followed the tune behind the counter, through a swinging door, and into an open plan kitchen with several workstations.
  • The Monkees – “Even so, none of that had me fully convinced the whole magic thing was real. But when I saw those erasers swishing back and forth without any human or robotic hands holding them, my mind went into full “I’m A Believer” mode with Micky Dolenz singing lead vocals as Davy Jones and I hummed a background tune of “holy crap.”
  • Bruge, Belgium’s, De Halve Maan Brewery Tour – During the tour, the guide tells a story of the horses being able to draw their carts back to the brewery without any guidance from their (likely drunk) drivers. “I don’t remember walking the five blocks home, but somehow, like an old draft horse, my feet knew the way. 

Hope you enjoyed this and that it gives you a little taste for the trilogy. Have a great week!!

And in case you need a little more Mr Darcy…



We’re Nearly Done!!!

Daily details of what’s in store (and what you’ve missed)….

  • Monday – The Inspiration for The Undead Mr. Tenpenny (with video)
  • Tuesday – Release Day! Links and a repost of a stellar review and another stellar review (no video, phew)
  • Wednesday – Double dose of videos. 1) The secret of my character names, and 2) Why my magic system made me drool more than once
  • Thursday – Oops, I forgot to tell you about the book. I do so in this post (with video).
  • Friday – I had too much fun with cultural references in the book, and thought I’d share a few (with video). And a surprise blog post from Book Club Mom.
  • Saturday – Paperback show off!! What not to do with paperback design, and the final result after fixing it (with video)
  • Sunday – A break from my books to post about what I read in February
  • Wednesday (3 March) – Finally, what’s coming up next (with video)





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