blog tour · book review · Giveaways · humour · romantic comedy · women's fiction

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Janet Jackson’s Yorkshire B&B (plus a giveway – UK only)

Janet Jackson’s Yorkshire B&B

Yorkshire lass and dental receptionist Janet Jackson has just taken a big risk. Using all her savings, she’s turned her spacious garage into a Bed and Breakfast, slapped a sign on it and without any experience at all, is now awaiting her very first guests.

With a moody teenage daughter and a crazy sister to contend with she’s already got her work cut out. The trouble she soon discovers, is that guests have undesirable habits, annoying pets and endless demands. ‘Is it bloody worth it?’ she asks herself a dozen times a day. Janet gradually learns her trade – but not without being tested to her limits. The question is: will she come through the experience with her bank balance, cottage and her sanity intact?

Hugely entertaining but a word of warning: if ever you’ve thought of running a B&B, read this hilarious debut novel first– you might want to think again!

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Janet-Jacksons-Yorkshire-B-ebook/dp/B0B77SK3QK/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Janet-Jacksons-Yorkshire-B-ebook/dp/B0B77SK3QK/

Author Bio

Becky Papworth has spent 20 years making people laugh as a TV Producer on shows like Have I Got News For you, Rab. C. Nesbitt and Citizen Khan.

She’s hoping to entertain some readers with this account of running a B&B, much of it based on her actual experience, she’s not saying which bits…

Social Media Links

https://twitter.com/beckypapworth1

https://www.instagram.com/beckypapworth/

Giveaway to Win a Lottie Shaw’s Seriously Good Hamper (Open to UK only)

For full information and extra photos of this hamper please look at https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/lottieshaws/product/fabulous-treat-hamper

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link under the above graphic.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

My Review

When Janet Jackson decides to convert the “garage/annexe” into a B&B, she does so without any of the usual research most people would do, and she has no idea what awaits her. She soon learns it’s much more work than painting a few walls, and adding some matching cushions, rugs and knick-knacks. Her first guest opens her eyes to everything she has overlooked, and from that point on she is playing catch-up to find out what running a B&B is all about.
Daughter Chloe helps out with building a website and online profile for the B&B and … whoosh, the bookings take off. Janet has to squeeze the cleaning of the room between changeovers with her job at the dentist’s. There are never enough hours in the day, but somehow she manages to pull it off.
The diary aspect of this story means that there’s quite a lot of repetition as she struggles to get everything ready. For me, this slows the pace down considerably as it seems like a never-ending loop of client-clean-client-clean. That said, the clients are diverse and each one teaches Janet another lesson about her growing business.
I really grew to like Janet when her awful neighbour, Laura, objects to her running the B&B and reports her to the council. Fortunately, Sharon at the council (my favourite character by a country mile) takes it all in her stride and guides Janet through the minefield of planning rights and permissions.
Janet’s sister, Maureen (Mitzi), adds a humorous touch with her poetry nights out and her steady stream of men friends. Her laissez-faire attitude rubs off on Janet and she finally puts her divorce behind her and has some fun – in between cleaning, of course.
Overall, it’s a fun read, and watching Janet grow into her new role is amusing, sometimes sad, occasionally repetitive (but that’s just life) but always engaging.

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culture · Europe · humour · lifestyle · travel

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Gerard Philey’s Euro Diary: Quest For A Life

Gerard Philey’s Euro-Diary: Quest for a Life

‘Could there be a world of interest and adventure beyond the Midlands? A world of confidence, sex and excitement? A better life – a better me?’ These are the questions Gerard Philey grapples with over New Year, 1995. Sitting in his rented Black Country room, reflecting on his thankless teaching job and miserable love life, he courageously decides to abandon his humdrum existence and embark on a quest for Euro-fulfilment, fun and fitness on the Continent.

After a shaky start in Brussels, events manoeuvre him to Amsterdam where chance encounters shift his world well and truly into fifth gear. He samples the trials and tribulations of new relationships, alongside managing a sex shop in the city’s Red Light Area – on top of the challenges of fat-free living and international travel!

Through his bittersweet diary, we see how Gerard steers a laugh-out-loud course through farcical episodes and fanciful characters…and how entanglements from past and present draw him unwittingly into a criminal underworld where events ultimately take their toll.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3spEKZ9

Author Bio

Brendan James is the author of the new comedy novel, “Gerard Philey’s Euro-Diary: Quest for a Life”. Though this is his first novel, he has a large number of non-fiction publications (under the name Brendan Bartram) as a former university lecturer and researcher.

A passionate linguist and Europhile, he spent a number of years working in the Netherlands, France and Germany. He lives in the West Midlands with his husband.

Social Media Links

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/450811.Brendan_James

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendan-james-4343a8237/

Twitter @Brendan23015569

My Review

There’s much to like about this book, and as a fellow Midlander and Europhile, this totally appealed to me. It’s humorous, sad, eye-openingly honest, far from subtle and, generally, a fun read. Gerard’s encounters with the likes of Frank, Joop and Sandra are heart-warming and puzzling in equal measures. Getting to know them is an adventure, it’s a challenge, but oh so worth it. These people, with all their idiosyncrasies, show him a side to European culture that differs from the glitz and glamour of Paris and Rome. In Brussels and Amsterdam, Gerard lives a life that is colourful in an altogether different way – from working in a sex shop to delivering “paintings” to shady characters for an even shadier thug-boss.

Here, the British tendency to “polite silence” is shot down by vocal outbursts, blunt statements and a laissez-faire attitude. This is all too visible when his friends from England venture across the Channel on a visit. It is cringingly uncomfortable to see their reaction to this “permissive” society, and it’s all quite pompous of them to look down on Gerard’s lifestyle compared to his life back in Walsall.

Stepping out of his comfort zone makes him reflect on his past life and question whether this time away from his old life could ever be a permanent thing. He has his doubts, wonders if he’s just drifting through life, but it is the relationships he forms that convince him how much richer is life is. I can’t wait to see how how things develop for him and hope a sequel is not too far away.

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blog tour · book review · drama · humour · women's fiction

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Old Friends Reunited

Old Friends Reunited

Divorced and on a deadline, bestselling novelist Bea Pinkerton has a serious case of writer’s block. With her agent breathing down her neck, Bea will do ANYTHING to avoid writing another word.

So an invite to a reunion with her old school friends at a beautiful chateau in France, is Bea’s perfect chance to escape. Surely here, relaxing with old friends and drinking cold fizz, Bea will find inspiration?

But as soon as Bea arrives, she realises this is not going to be the peaceful getaway she anticipated. Her old school friends Gin and Audrie are in various states of marital distress and to top it off a camera crew has arrived to film the goings on at Chateau De St Cyr.Far from being calm, the trip is total chaos!

Thank goodness for Bea’s new French neighbour Laurent Sinclair – handsome, charming and perhaps exactly the romantic muse she needs to get her mojo back.

But is Bea brave enough to take a second chance at love at her age?

Perhaps with a little help from her friends…

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3KQVpL9


Author Bio

Maddie Please is the #1 bestselling author of novels including The Old Ducks’ Club and Sisters Behaving Badly. Having had a career as a dentist and now lives in rural Devon where she enjoys box sets, red wine and Christmas. She will be taking a new direction in her writing for Boldwood with joyous tales of older women.

Social Media Links

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/maddieplease

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MaddiePlease1

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/maddieplease1/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/MaddiePleaseNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/maddie-please

My Review

I seem to be travelling around France with this author, having recently read and enjoyed Sisters Behaving Badly, and I’m not complaining for one minute! If anything, I enjoyed Old Friends Reunited even more.
What’s not to love about three women in their sixties getting together again, reminiscing and reflecting … and having a ball doing so. Writer, Bea and newly-divorced (again) Gin visit their old school friend Audrie (the owner of the château). Since school, their lives have taken them on very different journeys. Reuniting allows them to look back fondly on those years whilst also putting their current lives in perspective. The three women are funny, endearing, quirky and definitely have lots more adventures left to live.
Misunderstandings and uninvited guests lead to shocks and surprises, some funny, others heartwarming. For Bea, through whom the story is told, there comes a delightful new romance and a realisation that old friendships are worth nurturing especially when they can so dramatically turn your world upside down (in the best way).
The perfect way to escape everyday life and live out dreams of pastures new if only for a few hours.

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blog tour · humour · serial killer

Blog Tour – Sister Agatha

Sister Agatha: The World’s Oldest Serial Killer

Sister Agatha is 118 years of age, whose vim and vigour would put the most robust athletes to shame. However, during a routine check-up, her doctor claims that she has just a week to live – inconvenient, seeing as the beloved sister once made an improbable vow: to be the oldest person in the world. At last count, she was the fifth.

Never one to admit defeat, Sister Agatha concocts a bold Plan B. Using her final days, she intends on travelling the world to meet the only four people whose birthday cakes boast more candles than hers.

And then, one by one, she will kill them.

Purchase Links

UK- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sister-Agatha-Worlds-Oldest-Serial-ebook/dp/B09X21ZNY2/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Sister-Agatha-Worlds-Oldest-Serial-ebook/dp/B09X21ZNY2/

Author Bio

Hailing from Navan in the royal county of Meath, Domhnall is a graduate of the Bachelor in Acting Studies Programme, Trinity College Dublin, later completing a Master’s in Screenwriting at Dún Laoghaire IADT.

He now works as an actor and a journalist, dividing his time between Galway, where he films TG4’s award-winning series, Ros na Rún, Dublin and Venice, where he and his Italian lover continuously promise their well-worn livers that they will refrain from quaffing so much Prosecco. (Unfortunately, it seems some vows, just like nearby Rome, were not built in a day.)

Wine-drinking aside, for more than four years, Domhnall has also enjoyed the responsibility of being Assistant Editor at Irish Tatler Man, a title whose various awards includes Consumer Magazine of the Year. Thanks to this role, he interviewed a host of high-profile names such as Tommy Hilfiger, Chris Pine, Kevin Spacey, David Gandy, and Jacques Villeneuve.

Domhnall has written for the majority of Ireland’s leading newspapers and magazines, including the Irish Independent, The Irish Times and RTE. He also writes a monthly column in Woman’s Way, the country’s biggest-selling weekly magazine.

His first novel, Sister Agatha: the World’s Oldest Serial Killer, was released in 2016 to critical acclaim (Tirgearr Publishing). His second and third books, Colin and the Concubine and Crazy for You were published by Mercier Press, Ireland’s oldest publishing house.

Social Media Links

FB – Domhnall O’Donoghue (facebook.com)

T – https://twitter.com/Domhnall1982

IGhttps://instagram.com/domhnall82

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blog tour · book review · humour · Regency Romance · romance · romantic comedy

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – A Wedding at the Jane Austen Dating Agency

A modern-day matchmaker’s happily-ever-after bubble is about to burst in the second novel in this charming series of love and all its misadventures.
 
Sophie Johnson appears to be living the perfect life. She has landed her dream job as managing director of The Jane Austen Dating Agency and is dating the world’s most desirable man, Darcy Drummond.
 
But all is not as it seems. The relationship with Darcy is failing to live up to expectations and his awful mother is determined to cause trouble. To add to Sophie’s problems, the agency is struggling to attract enough eligible men, she has a Regency wedding to plan, and then there’s the amusing and disturbingly cute Henry Baxter who is making it hard for her to concentrate.
 
The problem is Sophie wants it all, but in trying to manage everything, she’s in danger of losing what matters most.
 
Can she keep the dating agency afloat and find her own happy ever after? Or is business and romance an impossible combination?

Praise for The Jane Austen Dating Agency
“There were some wonderful surprises . . . Those, particularly Janeites, who enjoy light women’s fiction blended with romantic comedy would be the target group for this one.” —Austenprose
 
“The Jane Austen Dating Agency may resemble the stories of both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility at times but Fiona Woodifield has done a remarkable job of twisting these well-known plots into a very modern love story all of her own.” —Travelling Book Junkie

About the author

As a young child, Fiona spent hours reading, curling up with a book was one of her favourite past times. Her current volume would accompany her everywhere, to school, on daytrips, holidays and visits. The idea of providing an imaginary world in which others can escape is a wonderful one and this became Fiona’s dream, to become a published author.

From an early age, Fiona’s parents encouraged her writing – it all started when they gave her a simple red lined exercise book. Soon she had a collection of notebooks, small, large, plain, The Snowman, Brambly Hedge, they all became full of her jottings. 

Years later, Fiona studied for a Combined Arts Degree at Durham, then a Masters in English – writing her thesis on Jane Austen and Masculinity. In total contrast she went to work for a renowned fashion magazine in London, then various marketing posts. Four lovely daughters later, during which time she has graduated from laughing at Mrs Bennet to sympathising with her, she continued to scribble away, only the notebooks are somewhat bigger. Fiona has written for national magazines on diverse subjects from Jane Austen to caravanning! One morning the idea came to her for ‘The Jane Austen Dating Agency’ and this was the first book she just had to write. The sequel, ‘A Wedding at the Jane Austen Dating Agency,’ was published in August. 

Fiona is also the author of the lockdown romance, ‘Love in Lockdown,’ which was published in November 2020 by Avon Books, under the pseudonym Chloe James. 

Fiona obviously loves writing, especially romantic comedy, meeting with friends and family, dancing, visiting historical houses (dreaming she lives there of course) walks by the sea and escaping into a book whilst consuming a worrying amount of chocolate.

My Review

I received an advance review copy thanks to Random Things Tours and I have written this review voluntarily. This is the second book in the series but can – for the most part – be read as a standalone, although there were times when I felt it would have helped to have read book one beforehand.

I considered myself enough of a Jane Austen buff to tackle this kind of story although some Austen references went over my head. Clearly my memory is not all I hoped it would be. Nonetheless, principal characters were easy enough to identify and match up to the Austen equivalent, and as such the story does flow with relevant ease and a healthy dose of humour.

The team at the Jane Austen Dating Agency are planning a wedding for one of their clients and in the run-up to the big day there are several events that build the Regency theme, from a sports day to a ball. These are particularly evocative and also great fun bringing the era to life. Sophie and Emma set the bar very high in their recreation of the period using stunning settings and fun activities to produce unforgettable events. There was no doubt in my mind that the wedding would be just as memorable for the same reasons.

Running alongside the wedding planning – or, to be honest, taking up the bulk of the story – is Sophie’s own story. Her romantic hopes with new boyfriend, Darcy, seem thwarted by his overbearing and snobbish mother. And since he is also her boss that doesn’t bode well as a result of some of her less appropriate (yet highly amusing) escapades.

There’s a very real element of escapism to this book, offering a return to the Regency era, yet it’s comparison to Sophie’s modern-day life shows that some things have not changed. I enjoyed how she evolved and wanted her to get the Happy Ever After she desired. It all seemed to be going wrong, but as in all the best romances, things tend to go wrong for a reason … maybe she was looking for Mr Right in the wrong places (you’ll need to read the book to find out 😉 Sorry!)

It was a fun read, although more to do with Sophie’s life than the wedding of the title, but I look forward to a third in the series to find out what happens next.

As always,

Contemporary Romance · humour · mystery · self discovery · Spain

Book Review – The Spanish House

The Spanish House

One bizarre to-do list to earn her inheritance. One Spanish summer. One huge family secret.

‘⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ An absolutely delightful and captivating read!’ – Lucy Coleman, bestselling author of Summer in Andalucia

Juliana makes a modest living as an ‘ethnic’ TV/film extra – even though the only connections with her Spanish heritage are her cacti, Spanish classes, and some confused memories of a Spanish mother she hasn’t seen since she was seven.

When her beloved Uncle Arturo offers her the chance to discover her roots while housesitting his coastal home in a quiet corner of Andalusia, Juliana can’t believe her luck. Especially when he reveals that the house will be hers if she fulfils ten life-enhancing ‘Conditions’ within 90 days.

Redecoration of the house and a visit to the old film studio where her mother used to sew costumes seem ridiculously simple tasks for such a wonderful reward. But little does Juliana realise that there are family secrets and inherited rivalries awaiting her in sunny Spain, and the condition that she has to ‘get on with the neighbours’ – who include a ruggedly handsome but moody artist – may be harder than she thinks.

The perfect escapist read for fans of Rosanna Ley, Jo Thomas and Sue Moorcroft.

The Spanish House is gorgeous romantic escapism that you won’t want to miss!’ Holly Martin, bestselling author of Sunlight Over Crystal Sands

WoW! This book was simply a joy to read!‘ Reader review

‘Loved this enjoyable book!’ Reader review

It was funny, cute and intriguing‘ Reader review

‘This is the first novel of Cherry Radford that I read and it was beautiful … One cannot resist wishing to visit Spain after reading this splendid book … The story is heartwarming’ Reader review

‘A wonderful book, that I would recommend to anyone‘ Reader review

‘A light and heart warming read set in a beautiful location’ Reader review

‘I could not put this down, it was my first book by this author and wish I had found her a while ago. Fantastic writing, fantastic plot development and I just loved the main character’ Reader review

‘This was my first Cherry Radford book and it was a beautifully written story. The description of Spain made the reader feel like they were there with Juliana’ Reader review

‘A great summer read!’ Reader review

‘This is a great book! Well written, complex storyline with various moving parts … Would so recommend this amazing read!‘ Reader review

‘Absolutely loved this sweet romance … So glad I came across this’ Reader review

‘It’s just right for a summer read … although it would be delightful to spend time in Spain in the middle of the winter!’ Reader review

‘This was such a gorgeous read!!!! I really enjoyed the plot and the writing style was gorgeous!! The character build up is fantastic and I couldn’t put it down’ Reader review

Purchase link

My Review

Sometimes a book title will call out to you. The Spanish House did that to me, no doubt because of where I live and how I got here. I can’t seem to resist a story set in my adopted country! The fact that I’m familiar with Almería and can visualise the descriptions only added to my enjoyment.

It was comforting and entertaining to take a step back and read about Juliana’s experience of doing up her Uncle Arturo’s house in San Rafael. Her encounters with the local and non-locals alike felt so realistic; I loved her “stream of consciousness” outpourings as she ummed and ahed over how to ask certain questions, wondering whether her vocabulary was as effective in Spanish as she intended. But more than that I loved the relationships she built with her dear uncle, with Josemi next door and even with his “Miserable Bag” of a mother.

Conflict came in the form of a family secret (I’m not giving any spoilers here!) that initially angered her but then helped her understand who she was. Why it seemed inconceivable that a parent would hold back such information, in the end Juliana benefitted in so many ways. Her life changed forever, and for the better. What felt like betrayal of trust eventually became an explanation, an understanding and her future.

Her uncle’s “to do” was super specific and yet vague – she should visit the site where her mother worked on the set of Once Upon a Time in the West, a Western made in Spain years before her birth. She should visit all the beaches, and get along with the neighbours. None of the tasks seemed too onerous, yet they were indeed very random. However, Uncle Arturo was a wise man, mending bridges that Juliana didn’t even know existed, let alone that they’d been broken in the past.

As she went about the task of painting the house, replacing bits and pieces, and making it into a home, it was evident she would have to inherit the place. But, of course, it was not as straightforward as that, especially when he ex threw a huge spanner in the works and put her one true romantic relationship in jeopardy. Would she be able to fix that mess? And how could she live in the house if not?

A lovely story about family, friends, memories and being true to yourself. Set amidst stunning scenery within a village of fun, lively and believable characters. Evocative and dramatic, quirky and hugely entertaining. A great read for a rainy day – although there aren’t many of those here! 😉

As always,

Reviewed on Amazon UK by Meandthemutts

book blitz · contemporary fiction · humour · literary fiction

Book Blitz – Everyday Magic

EverdayMagic2

Great news! If you pre-order a copy of Everyday Magic by Charlie Laidlaw, you will receive a signed edition! But you have to order before May 26th!

Everyday Magic Front cover FINALEveryday Magic

Expected Publication Date: May 26th, 2021

Genre: Literary fiction/ Contemporary Fiction/ Humour

Publisher: Ringwood Publishing

Carole Gunn leads an unfulfilled life and knows it. She’s married to someone who may, or may not, be in New York on business and, to make things worse, the family’s deaf cat has been run over by an electric car.

But something has been changing in Carole’s mind. She’s decided to revisit places that hold special significance for her. She wants to better understand herself, and whether the person she is now is simply an older version of the person she once was.

Instead, she’s taken on an unlikely journey to confront her past, present and future.

Everyday Magic is an uplifting book filled with humour and poignancy, and reminds us that, while our pasts make us who we are, we can always change the course of our futures.

Pre-Order HERE!

About the Author

download

Charlie Laidlaw lives in East Lothian, one of the main settings for Everyday Magic. He has four other published novels: Being Alert!, The Space Between Time, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead and Love Potions and Other Calamities. Previously a journalist and defence intelligence analyst, Charlie now teaches Creative Writing in addition to his writing career.

Charlie Laidlaw | Facebook | Twitter

 

Book Blitz Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

books · ebooks · Giveaways · humour · mystery

Mysteries with Humour – A Giveaway!

Today, I have a fun surprise to share with you…

I’ve teamed up with 30+ fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of Mysteries with Humo(u)r series starters to 2 lucky winners!

Oh, and did I mention the Grand Prize winner gets a BRAND NEW eReader? 😁

You can win my novel Just a Simple Little Holiday,

plus books from authors like Eliza Watson and Zara Keane.

Enter the giveaway by clicking here 👉 bit.ly/HumorousMysteries-Oct2020

Good luck and enjoy!

Thanks for reading,

book blitz · dark · humour · RABT Book Tours

Book Blitz – Dead Serious (with giveaway)

Dark Humor/Comedy
Date Published: 6/10/2020
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
“In the past five years, I’ve lost four grandparents, three uncles, two aunts, three cousins, five classmates, and my parents. Even a car died on me…”
Comedian Michael Malone’s life has been punctuated by tragedy. He’s been to over a dozen funerals, but just three weddings – two of which were for the same friend. No stranger to loss, Malone has had ample time to reflect on what it means to grieve, and how to move forward when you’ve outlived so many of your loved ones.
Dead Serious is a look inside Malone’s mind and journal since losing his parents; a dark-humored exploration of depression, suicide, grief, and religion. Designed to be opened and read at any page, this collection of journal entries, illustrated one-liners, and humorous musings combine to create an unorthodox self-help book for anyone who has ever lost someone close to them and doesn’t know where to go from here.
Comedy has always been the lens through which Malone chooses to view the world; a way to shine a light on the dark times so his audiences feel less alone, and less crazy, during their own hardships. Dead Serious offers readers his signature comedic comfort on all life’s ups, downs, and confusing in-betweens.
Michael Malone is an award-winning comedian, actor, writer, and film director who is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. He has been featured on Showtime, Comedy Central, FOX, Hulu, XM Radio, and his Amazon Prime special, “Laugh After Death” has over 2 million views. Michael is known for his dark sense of humor that breaks down the idiotic ways we deal with life, death, love, and sex.
SCROLL UP AND GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!
Quote from Brad’s foreword:
“If you have any doubt that the best humor comes from deep, dark places, this page-turner will make you a believer. Malone’s life journey, which he describes with blinding transparency and unforgiving irony leaves you laughing your ass off as he candidly exposes how he himself has risen from the bowels of depression and self-loathing to personal and professional success.” – Brad Garrett
About the Author

Michael Malone is an award-winning comedian, actor, writer, and film director who is currently based in Los Angeles, CA. Michael has been featured on Showtime, Comedy Central, FOX, Hulu, XM Radio, and his one-hour special, “Laugh After Death” is now streaming with over 2 million views on Amazon Prime. “Bits and Pieces” is Michael’s first book, but not his first written work. Michael has a monthly column in Face the Current magazines that based on his popular storytelling podcast, “Punched Up.” Michael is known for his dark sense of humor that focuses on breaking down the idiotic ways we deal with life, death, love, and sex.
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RABT Book Tours & PR
blog tour · book review · cosy · crime · humour

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Marrow Jam

MURDER, MYSTERY…AND MARROWS

Some people would describe Beattie Bramshaw as a pillar of the community. Many would applaud her numerous successes in the bakery competition at the annual village show. A small number might say, if pushed, that they find her a little on the bossy side. And one or two might just whisper the words ‘interfering’ and ‘busybody’ behind her back.

But no-one would have her down as a murderer.

So why is she being questioned in Dreighton police station after being found in the local allotments, at the dead of night, wielding a kitchen knife just yards away from where local lottery winner, Yvonne Richards, was found stabbed to death? And what does all of this have to do with Doug Sparrow’s prize marrows?

Marrow Jam is a comedy crime caper in the spirit of Agatha Raisin. It will have you chuckling all the way through many a cup of tea.

Amazon UK

My Review

The story jumps straight in with Beattie being arrested after having been found brandishing a knife on the allotments. Unfortunately for Beattie, a body has also been found nearby, the victim stabbed to death by a weapon similar in size to her knife. The police officer in charge is adamant Beattie is the killer, and when during her rambling account of events she admits to not liking the victim, then jealousy seems the most likely motive for her crime. 

In an attempt to prove her innocence, Beattie insists on giving a full and frank account which involves steering off topic so many times as to test the police officer’s patience.

I’ll be honest, I was ready to lock her up and throw away the key – not for the murder, but for simply being so annoying! As Beattie’s explanation unfolded, she didn’t endear herself to me until very close to the end when the reasons for her pernickety, prudish and determined nature was clarified. 

The nostalgia of 1999 was lovely to reflect on, especially right now, and the author came up with some of the best metaphors I’ve seen in a long time that so depicted the era and took me right back. 

I’m a big fan of cosy mysteries. You might say “it’s my jam”, and while this was entertaining overall, it didn’t quite resonate with me in the way most mysteries do. The constant timeline changes, while clearly marked at each chapter’s start, meant I had to flick back a lot to double-check where the story was. Maybe I wasn’t concentrating hard enough! The pace began well, faltered a little in the middle but then picked up again towards the end – there was a lot going on in that village. 

Marrow Jam is more of a funny story than a real mystery in my eyes, the humour often bordering on slapstick, Set in a typical English village with the ubiquitous annual fête, it offers a cast of quirky older characters with huge personalities. A charming story with plenty of laughs thrown in. 

About the author:

Susan A King lives with her husband in a quiet suburb in Hampshire. Between them they have four grown-up sons.

The inspiration for her first novel, Marrow Jam, came from her long experience and observation of competitors at the local Romsey Show, where she regularly aspires to win Best in Show with her floral arrangements. 

Social Media Links

Twitter – Susan A King

Twitter – Eye and Lightning

 

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