Edna and Genevieve are Having a Whale of a Time in France #Bookpromo

I am thrilled to bits that  Edna and Genevieve Escape From Curmudgeon Avenue (book 3 of Curmudgeon Avenue) is part of a BookFunnel promotion celebrating stories set in France.

The promotion is called ‘From France With Love’ and here is the link to a selection of multi-genre books https://books.bookfunnel.com/fromfrancewithlove/1un9lt0lk6 all written in with carefree, passionate, European style.

In Edna and Genevieve Escape From Curmudgeon Avenue the lovestruck pair move away from Manchester’s grey streets to Genevieve’s home country of France. Edna is thrilled to bits to leave her idiot sister Edith and husband Harold (Edna’s nemesis). Genevieve returned to Whitefield in book one and although she had previously broken Edna’s heart their romance was soon rekindled. 

Initially, Edna and Genevieve stay in a gite in Brittany, but quickly find out that rain in this part of France can be (almost) as persistent as in Manchester. They then continue their adventure and move to somewhere on the Bordeaux border in a fictional chateau called Chateau le Grincheaux. This is a very loose and creative translation of Curmudgeon Avenue. When I say ‘very loose’ – my 1980s high school French did not stretch that far… 

Edna is enthralled by a place in Dordogne called Rocamadour and persuades her hosts Diane and Jackson Bove to take Genevieve and her on a day trip to this medieval treasure. However, Genevieve refuses to go and instigates a tiff with Edna to support her plan. Later in the book, the same thing happens again when Edna wants to go to Paris! What is Genevieve hiding? Will the couple ever return to Curmudgeon Avenue? 

Speaking of Curmudgeon Avenue, as this is the third book in the series the existing Whitefield residents go about their business under the watchful eyes and ears of Curmudgeon Avenue. Yes, it is the house that tells the story in this social satire series.  

I am lucky enough that Edna and Genevieve Escape From Curmudgeon Avenue is part of a multi-genre promotion called ‘From France with Love’  These twenty-one books are well worth a look. Apart from my book, I have read ‘Hotel Deja Vu’  by Christine Betts which is a unique story beautifully written and set in Paris. 

Photo by Alex Azabache on Pexels.com

Just for fun, I am about to share some photos from a holiday we took to France seven years ago… (eek seven years!)

This is Rocabadour, where Edna managed to climb the many, many, many stairs because she had been drinking wine. I don’t know how I did it!

I’m rubbish at Jenga.

Inspiration for Edna and Genevieve’s French home (no one tell my husband I have posted a photo of him!)

Happy (French) reading everyone!

https://books.bookfunnel.com/fromfrancewithlove/1un9lt0lk6

Samantha xx

Have a Curmudgeonly Week Between Christmas and New Year!

Well, here it is, the week between Christmas and New Year. This is the week where, traditionally we are all grumpily requesting the return of our routine, because we have all been doing one another’s heads in at home. To be fair, that is how we have been all year, but getting along nicely in the next breath.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You may have eaten too much turkey, you may have had too much fun, you may need to put down the chocolates, wine and sausage rolls.

That is why I finished my Curmudgeon Avenue series this week – the week in between Christmas and New Year.

Curmudgeon Avenue is a six part series set in the actual town of Whitefield, just north of Manchester UK – fictional street. The house grew weary of its nincompoop residents and started writing a diary about the gossip, romance and dramas on the street.

(Unusual second person witness narrated with British English grammar, spelling and turn of phrase)

This final instalment has been great fun to write. A contemporary story, I decided to tell it how it is and include the current global crisis. BUT with three weddings to arrange, a socially distanced hen do and an unexpected turn of events, it was tricky!

An Excerpt:

Chapter 29: The Day This All Ended

On the day this all ended, the sky was overwrought for the end of December. This year had been going on for quite some time, EVERYONE would say, for longer than reasonably necessary, and some would even say this is the end of an era.

     Television programmes clung to the idea of Christmas while folk respectfully requested the return of their routine. Edna and Genevieve had searched high and low for the ghost of Edith, wishing to bid her farewell before their extended French holiday. Despite their sneaky suspicions about the under-the-stairs-door they could not open, they were unable to find her.

     Small Paul had not left Number One Curmudgeon Avenue disappointed; of course, Gordon Bennett agreed to be his best man. Zandra Bennett was thrilled too (and even cast aside her dismay at no new wedding outfit. Not even new costume jewellery).

     ‘Tooooonaaaaan!’ Wantha shouted at the spare room door of number four Curmudgeon Avenue. ‘It’s your weddin’ day, innit!’

     ‘Alright, Wantha I’ve only just got to sleep, been awake most of the night,’ Toonan said.

     ‘Toonan! What are you playing at? You’re gonna have bags under your eyes!’

      ‘Well, I suppose I’ll match Small Paul then, aww his mum’s so sweet she said nowt about his black eye.’

      ‘Do you want me to go round there and put some concealer on him?’ said Wantha.

     ‘No, I don’t think so, no thanks Wantha.’

     ‘The black eye gives him a bit of an edge, I suppose.’

     ‘Are you alright, Wantha? You look a bit peaky…’ surely nothing else could go wrong with Toonan and Small Paul’s wedding?

     Meanwhile, at Number One Curmudgeon Avenue…

    ‘I don’t know how much more of this I can take,’ said Edith. She had been trapped for days inside her prior sanctuary with a smell and two ex-husbands.

     ‘How much more of this? We were happy, Edith until Harold came along.’ Reg huffed.

     Harold (ghost of) wobbled his head and then stared into nothingness ahead of him. This is how Harold always dealt with confrontation, don’t forget. Pretend it was not happening, yet Edith could hear him, she could hear sniffing and swallowing, sighing and wobbling.

    Poor Edith.

Is it a happy ending? Bitter Sweet that’s how I’d describe it.

A Curmudgeonly Christmas opens with Zandra Bennett’s mother making Christmas plans in August, while Gordon Bennett is out on the street measuring potholes.

Ricky Ricketts and Tanya ‘Wantha’ Rose finally get married (it’s their third attempt). A Zoom wedding means that Wantha forgets all about being walked down the aisle – will she ever find out who her daddy is?

Francesca and Suzanne ‘Toonan’ Rose decide to have a double wedding but Francesca is acting and looking differently to her norm. She thinks her expanding waistline is due to lockdown love handles!

Gil Von Black has doubts about Patchouli, while Small Paul becomes everyone’s hero.

And the ghosts are immune to any and all pandemic restrictions.

Happy reading! Samantha.

https://books2read.com/u/4AK0k0

PS

You can get a free copy of the previous book in the series, Curmudgeon Avenue #5.5 by subscribing to my mailing list: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/d0q2h7

Happy Christmas Everyone – I’ve Published Another Book :)

Curmudgeon Avenue #6

A Curmudgeonly Christmas (Curmudgeon Avenue #6) is the final instalment of the Curmudgeon Avenue series and will be published on the 27th of December. Available to pre order from today!

Curmudgeon Avenue has been going on for quite some time. Some would say for longer than is reasonably necessary. 

Feeling proper emosh! I have finished writing the Curmudgeon Avenue series with a Christmas special. 

Gordon Bennett is obsessed with the size of potholes on the street, Wantha and Ricky may or may not seal the romantic deal. Christmas is coming, and Francesca is getting fat. Patchouli’s past comes back to haunt her – will Gil Von Black be able to cope? 

Oh – and the ghosts are immune from any and all pandemic restrictions. 

A Curmudgeonly Christmas is intended to provide a bit of light relief during the week between Christmas and New Year. You know the one, that week we are all fed up with eating, drinking and each other!

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

The book started with Harold Edith and Edna, and the story of how they ended up living together. The series evolved into a social satire about a group of neighbours and their intertwined lives. Gossip, romance, dramas and laughs follow all written with British English spelling and grammar and narrated with a voice typical of how folk say ‘stuff’ in the Northwest of England.

All lighthearted, all easy reads, all a bit of fun.

Audiobooks narrated by the hilarious and talented Lindsay McKinnon.

Pre order A Curmudgeonly Christmas here https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08QSJPQYT

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, happy reading, Samantha xx

Marriage: The Final Frontier

A convention of comedy-drama is that the narrative ends with a marriage. See Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Love’s Labour’s LostA Midsummer Night’s DreamTwelfth NightMuch Ado About Nothing and Two Gentlemen of Verona.

And more recently, last Christmas’s Gavin and Stacey Christmas special on the BBC ended with an unanswered proposal.

What will Smithy say? - PressReader

Ha! I bet you thought this post was going to be about Mr Henthorn and me; well, just for fun, here is a photo from our wedding day captured at the moment I realised he had forgotten to organise the ‘signing the register’ music:

Blimey, I don’t look happy do I? I can’t remember what music was supposed to be played, but we signed that certificate in complete silence and it’s been fab ever since.

Being me, is like living in a sitcom, and so it has been a natural process to write the Curmudgeon Avenue series about a house that detests its unlikeable owners.

I am just coming to the end of writing the final instalment of Curmudgeon Avenue ‘A Curmudgeonly Christmas’ which I am hoping to release the week between Christmas and New Year. 2020. (Don’t you agree that the week between Christmas and New Year is a time for curmudgeons to unite?)

Cover reveal:

I am hoping to put this on pre-order soon, but until the week between Christmas and New Year, here is an excerpt:

Chapter 6: He Learnt From The Best, He Learnt From Wantha.

Tuesday morning came around as so often they do in Whitefield. September had robbed the residents of Curmudgeon Avenue of an Indian summer, and thoughts were starting to turn to Halloween, bonfire night, (and dare I say Christmas).

     Wantha Rose was on the warpath yet again. But like a glamorous soap opera actor, she skulked around the street until somebody paid attention to her, keeping her anger just under boiling point.

    ‘Toonan!’ Wantha shouted through her sister’s letterbox. She rang the doorbell. And after a short wait, the door swung open to reveal Small Paul wearing pyjamas and carrying a bottle of anti-bacterial spray and a dishcloth.

     ‘Hiya, Wantha. Toonan’s at work, sorry.’ Small Paul started spraying and wiping the letterbox and doorbell button that Wantha had just touched (which looked a bit rude, to be honest. He should have waited).

     ‘Oh, FFS!’ Wantha was gutted that her sister was not at home. She watched Small Paul polishing his door furniture. Seemingly, he was in the mood for talking (again).

     ‘I’m not sure what time she’ll be home, but if you need anything, Sis,’ (he got that off Toonan). ‘Then, I would love to chat.’

     Wantha glanced towards the front of Genevieve’s delicatessen-cum-cafe, where her husband, Ricky Ricketts was at work. And even though Ricky could not see her from that angle, Wantha made a showy and sassy attempt to enter Toonan and Small Paul’s house.

I know it’s really short, but it was super hard to find a bit I could share, because there is a massive secret about to be revealed on Curmudgeon Avenue.

If you missed it, the book that precedes ‘A Curmudgeonly Christmas’ is free and available via a BookFunnel promotion here:

https://books.bookfunnel.com/funny-fall-reads/yvz8jzuoi9

The next instalment of Curmudgeon Avenue

Happy reading, Samantha xxhttps://www.amazon.com/~/e/B01M4LPH9U

Cheer Yourself up With a British Accent #CurmudgeonAvenue

A recommendation for indie authors looking for an audiobook narrator

Just over a year ago, I had the best bit of news since I started my indie author career.

An email arrived from ACX to informing me that a voice over actor had auditioned to narrate Curmudgeon Avenue #1 The Terraced House Diaries.

It turned out that the talented Lindsay McKinnon lives forty minutes up the road from me, she did such an awesome job of narrating that I am saying the audiobook is better than the book.

Last week, Lindsay sent me a video she has made which is an introduction to the characters and book

Obviously, I am keen to spread the word about Curmudgeon Avenue but I am also recommending Lindsay if you are looking for a voice over actor to produce your audiobooks. Lindsay’s website is called Theatre of the Mind Productions https://www.theatreofthemindproductions.co.uk/

Lindsay can also be found on Twitter @LindzMcKinnon

Obviously, I will be asking Lindsay to narrate everything that I write from now on.

Now scroll back and watch the awesome video!

Happy listening,

Samantha xx

Join My Mailing List – Innit!

Join my mailing list https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/d0q2h7

Hello Everyone!

I have recently started a mailing list which is something all the indie author advice people advise us to do.

https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/d0q2h7

I am a voracious reader, always adding adding and adding to my reading list, and two years ago, I joined BookFunnel which lead to me joining a lot of author mailing lists. Now HERE is mine!

But enough about me, here’s why I think fans of my series, Curmudgeon Avenue need to join my mailing list.

The residents are idiots, the city is in lockdown. Will they cope with the global pandemic?

Available free to mailing list subscribers is Curmudgeon Avenue #5.5 ‘Curmudgeon Avenue’s Manchester Lockdown’ . Get it by clicking HERE

The reason this volume is free to my mailing list, is because I had hesitated writing about the big global mess, but eventually I gave in (mainly when the phrase ‘new normal’ started popping up). Personally, I would not make light of Covid-19 but, folks need a bit of lighthearted escapism.

And when I say folks, I mean fans of Curmudgeon Avenue.

Curmudgeon Avenue is a social satire about a house that dislikes its owners.

So come on down, join my mailing list and grab yourself a free book, innit! (As Tanya Rose of Curmudgeon Avenue would say).

Happy reading, Samantha xx

Do You Believe in Ghosts? The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue?

HI Everyone!

Don’t you just love this time of year?

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.comA

An early Halloween memory for me is that a primary school teacher dressed the classroom windows with silhouette Halloween images.. Ahh, when the October sunlight shone on a northern prefabricated primary school… Those little cardboard cut out witches were real!

Enough about me, I have a Halloween book promotion for you HERE https://books.bookfunnel.com/halloweentwist/g6ubzlpz99

that my book, The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue is happy to be a part of

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Even though The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue is fourth in the series, I actually knew that the initial three books were building up to this. The ‘this’ being the actual ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue. (The clue’s in the title, some of the Avenue’s residents die, and then come back as ghosts).

This is the book where Harold, Edith and Edna return to Curmudgeon Avenue… after their own funerals.

Edith doesn’t know she’s a ghost until she chats to her grieving friend Patchouli in the bathroom.

When knew owners move in with their lovelorn daughter, Krystina The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue cannot resist meddling!

I had great fun writing The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue. Love can often be chaotic, confusing and nonsensical. The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue is a great one for those who are wondering what on earth is going wrong with their love life. (It’s probably a ghost)

Ghosts, raucous family drama, humour, sex, secrets and scandal. 

I like this story, with its quirky, varied characters, fantasy-inspired plot, and irreverent commentary on life, death love, marriage, relationships and sex. (Amazon reviewer).

Don’t forget to check out the book promo

Happy Halloween!

Samantha xx

PS I wrote these:

To join my mailing list, click HERE

The World Does Not Revolve Around Curmudgeon Avenue (Curmudgeon Avenue #5) Has Been Released Into The Wild! (Available on an E-reader Near You).

Hello Everyone!

Me again! Today I want to talk about my latest book, published today (30th of September)

The World Does Not Revolve Around Curmudgeon Avenue

What is it about?

THE ONE WHERE THE B*TCH RETURNS

Reformed rent burglar Georgina Foote moves back to Whitefield and into number 13 Curmudgeon Avenue. She is desperately seeking Kevin but all she finds is nonsense. Collecting enemies at work and at home, Georgina Foote does not belong here.

Meanwhile, a mass exodus occurs when Wantha Rose, Ricky Ricketts and newbie Krystina moved to Greenmount. They think that the world does not revolve around Curmudgeon Avenue, will they find out that it does?

A denouement of sorts resolves the ghost’s stories when Harold takes up residence in the House of Commons, and Edith reunites with her first husband.

Zandra Bennett’s career takes on a new direction when she unwittingly starts channelling the ghost of Edith in the under-the-stairs space.

We finally get to find out Mrs Ali’s first name, her story and her source of all knowledge.

Wantha and Ricky nearly get married, and we learn why the Rose sisters have such daft names. Their mother, Patchouli is still living the life of luxury, and occasional abseiling with Gil Von Black

Not intended as a cosy read, the characters in this social satire provide an utterly British escape.

Will the nincompoops of Curmudgeon Avenue survive without the street?
The ending is a shocker!

What is the series about?

Curmudgeon Avenue is a social satire comedy drama about a house that doesn’t like its inhabitants.

From Edna, Edith and Harold to Zandra and Gordon Bennett there are plenty of dramas, romances and quarrels.

The characters often come over as preposterous and unlikeable. Yet, they are all entertaining, in their own ways. Plenty of Manchester humour and language in the dialogue.

Readers are saying that the series is like a British sit-com, and one even said it is like a soap opera on speed.

How did I write book five?

Georgina Foote is a supporting character from book one. She had recently split from her husband Kevin, and so had moved home with her mother. But Pauline Foote had grown tired of her daughter, Georgina living with her and arranged for Georgina to rent a room at No.1 Curmudgeon Avenue. One day, she stole the rent and moved out, and we haven’t heard from her since.

IN BOOK FIVE Georgina is back, desperately trying to rekindle her relationship with Kevin. She thinks she is irresistible to men and cannot understand why Kevin is hiding from her… Or who is sending her hate mail.

While Georgina is collecting enemies all across Whitefield, Wantha and Ricky are trying to get married. But in an almost Far From The Madding Crowd style, Wantha turns up at the wrong venue.

SETTING

Curmudgeon Avenue is a fictional street in the actual town of Whitefield, North Manchester. I named the series Curmudgeon Avenue after an incident with a disabled parking space. And I chose Whitefield, because that is the place I always got stuck in traffic on my way home from my old job.

In book 5, Georgina is a psychiatric nurse who works in a community mental health team. Initially, I thought twice about this. But I decided to go with it. As writers, why shouldn’t our characters work in mental health care? It is the same as if Georgina had been a hairdresser. Because of the genre, we don’t get to meet any of the ‘service users’ just the staff, which leads me onto my next point.

I was a psychiatric nurse for twenty years. When I started my training, aged 18, I was told that I would be ‘eaten alive’. This was the early 90s and, even that recently (and unfortunately) attitudes towards mental health patients were terrible.

Obviously, I have created the character Georgina Foote using my own imagination.

You can buy The World Does Not Revolve Around Curmudgeon Avenue HERE

There’s more!

This morning, The World Does Not Revolve Around Curmudgeon Avenue got a 5* rating from Readers’ Favorite (Thank you)


Review
Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers’ Favorite

The World Does Not Revolve Around Curmudgeon Avenue replaces the stars of its previous novels with the Rose sisters (Toonan and Wantha), Georgina Foote, Zandra, and many other side characters (some fresh faces and some familiar ones). Wantha Rose stumbled upon Georgina Foote at Manchester Town Hall, where Wantha was scheduled to marry Ricky Ricketts. When Ricky Ricketts did not show up, the red-faced Wantha made Georgina swear that she would not talk about this day to another soul. However, Georgina Foote broke that promise over Facebook, thus insulting Wantha in her own territory, aka the internet. Georgina Foote, the rent-thief, continued her distasteful deeds, paving her way out of everybody’s hearts — not that she ever was in anybody’s heart — and onto their blacklists. On the paranormal side of the plot, with Edith’s ghostly help, Toonan created her tarot-card reading business. Since Edith was busy reconnecting with the ghost of her first husband behind Harold’s back, her inconsistent availability proved to be the biggest problem for Toonan’s business. The juicy gossips were just the right backdrop for the rib-tickling events.

Curmudgeon Avenue is a series that puts a never-fading smile on the lips of its readers as the nosey, loud, insensitive, and inappropriate nincompoops go about their ridiculous lives. The result is a hilarious novel that leaves its fans waiting for the next gossip of Curmudgeon Avenue. Although the star cast of the previous novels — Edna, Edith, and Harold — were mostly missing in this novel, “longer than reasonably necessary” and illogical conversations match the expectations of Curmudgeon Avenue series’ readers. Samantha Henthorn excels in introducing side characters in one novel and then putting these characters into the spotlight in the next book of the series. Her strategic act of passing the proverbial baton works flawlessly in just a matter of a couple of chapters. Wantha’s almost-wedding day, dishonorable actions by Georgina Foote, Zandra’s embarrassment about their unmentionable housewarming party were the building blocks of a novel that brimmed with excitement.

Samantha Henthorn has proved to be one of those authors who have a firm grasp of the expectations of their readers. Each novel of the Curmudgeon Avenue series is a testament to her awareness, and The World Does Not Revolve Around Curmudgeon Avenue is no exception to this fact. Humor fans will laugh at the illogical train of thoughts of the characters and gladly join in the gossip of Curmudgeon Avenue. I recommend not only this book but each novel of the Curmudgeon Avenue series to readers who enjoy light comedy.

IN OTHER NEWS!

Today is 30 days since book two of the Curmudgeon Avenue series ‘The Harold and Edith Adventures’ was submitted to ACX, so hopefully, it will be published soon for your listening pleasure.

Narrated by Lindsay McKinnon of Theatre of The Mind Productions

Lindsay has done a grand job again with awesome comic timing.

Lindsay is here on the left pictured at our book launch of book one’s audio at Radcliffe Library (pre-covid).

Buy book one’s audio HERE

Thank you for reading, happy Wednesday, Samantha and Petal cat.

No description available.

Chapter 33 of The Harold and Edith Adventures (weekly sample chapter from book two of the Curmudgeon Avenue series).

Chapter 33: Pathos

 Edith gathered information from a variety of different sources. Eavesdropping, watching the breakfast TV news, and from weekly magazines designed and written with a particular target audience in mind; the likes of Edith.

Harold always enjoyed spoiling other people’s fun. One day when the sun was bright, and the sky was white, Harold happened upon Edith’s half-finished crossword in her women’s magazine. Edith walked down the hallway and towards the front room as quiet as a mouse. She saw Harold sitting with a pen and her magazine. Oh no! She thought Harold is reading the quiz I was just filling in … And he is changing the answers! She stood there behind the door and peeped through the frosted glass. Harold had his concentration face on. He scribbled out a lot of answers, without reading them out to himself. This was torture for Edith. Say something… so that I can listen in Harold! Finally, he returned to a crossword clue that he just could not think of before.

3 Down: Always looks on the bright side, 10 letters.

‘OPTIMISTIC!’ Harold shouted.

Edith stood behind the door, smiling and clutching her nightdress to her breastbone.  Just then, Harold noticed Edith standing behind the frosted glass. Rumbled, he hid her magazine down the back of the settee cushion. Edith walked into the front room with her embracing arms open.

‘Oh, Harold! Do you think you are optimistic?! See, that’s me rubbing off on you. Making you look on the bright side!’ Edith flung her arms around Harold, looking over his back she spied the magazine stuffed behind the cushion. ‘Don’t be embarrassed about doing a quiz. They are meant to be good for your well being, your state of mind.’

‘It wasn’t really a quiz, Edith … it was a crossword.’

Edith’s face changed, and Harold’s game plan changed also. Initially, he had been worried he would be in trouble for doing her crossword. And initially, Edith had been concerned that Harold would be annoyed with her for filling in a magazine quiz about their relationship.

‘What bloody quiz?’ Harold licked his finger (disgusting), and started thumbing through the magazine.

There it was, printed in magenta and white:

HOW MOODY IS YOUR HUSBAND?  A twenty question quiz to find out if your husband is clinically depressed, or just a bit grumpy…

Edith was in trouble, deep trouble. She had been correct in the first place. She was the only person who had ever made Harold look on the bright side, ‘cheer up’ – ‘pull yourself together’- it was all down to Edith. Now Harold was reading and re-reading the questions. He folded the magazine up and put it in the back of his jeans pocket.

Edith did not know that look, and she did not know how to deal with it. ‘Oh, I’m sorry Harold, I didn’t mean anything by it… It’s just a quiz…’

‘Don’t worry Edith, I am going to go and ‘have a word with myself’ in the shed!’

This was a direct quote from the quiz, and to make it worse, they did not even have a shed. Edith sat there, sulking in the front room. Harold had gone off in a mood to the imaginary shed, with a look on his face that Edith had never seen in all the time they had known each other. Thinking back to how she usually deals with this kind of situation, Edith decided to make a dash for it to the under-the-stairs cupboard. Glancing at the calendar as she opened the door,  horror of horrors, Edith realised she had forgotten Harold’s birthday! This had never happened before! No wonder he is feeling grumpy and self-conscious. She looked around for something that would make up for it.

But Harold had everything a man could possibly want and more. There were belongings that even Edith did not know about, hidden away in that trusty rucksack of his. Harold moped around the house for the rest of the day, until Edith had it! A gesture, a kind gesture was what she would do for Harold! (Harold, who continued to mope). She was not the type to go rooting around in other people’s washing lines for an emergency gift. But she was the type to smile a smug little smile to herself for the rest of the day until it was time to reveal her nice surprise to Harold.

Harold stewed over the magazine quiz, which he begrudgingly realised, was obviously aimed at the likes of him. Edith, thinking she could cheer Harold up, was now about to reveal her surprise.

‘Let’s go to the pub quiz, just like the old days. Come on, Harold, cheer up! It is your birthday!’

‘Err are you losing it, woman! My birthday was two days ago!’ Harold folded his arms, he was only speaking to Edith because it was absolutely necessary.

‘Oh Harold, I had to wait for it to be Wednesday, pub quiz day! It’s not my fault your birthday landed on a Monday this year!’ Edith gushed.

‘Well I suppose so, Edith it is a Wednesday after all’ Harold could always be persuaded by Edith.

They got there just in time for the questions to start and ordered their standard one lemonade with two straws. They did not win the quiz, of course – they had never won. Harold and Edith had the curse of age against them. Many of the questions had been on the tips of their tongues. They knew the answers, but before they had time to think, they were on to the next question. The previous question having been erased from their memory. Then it was time to come home.

‘Fancy asking so many questions about nursery rhymes? Solomon bloody Grundy. I still can’t think what day he got worse on… Can you Edith?’ Harold said while brushing his teeth, creating extra cleaning for Edith with spots of toothpaste splattered on the bathroom mirror.

‘No, Harold… I am tired now’ Edith fell soundly to sleep, this was the best night’s sleep she had ever had in her life. But Harold lay there awake. He reached over to his jeans and pulled out Edith’s quiz from her silly women’s magazine. There had been a few things playing on his mind. A few of the questions and the conclusion. The ‘score’ that his wife, Edith, had directed him to by answering the questions. Harold read one of these silly questions to himself.

1) Has your husband/partner always been sullen in his nature? Or has his mood changed following a traumatic life event?

Edith had ticked A, that Harold had ‘always been sullen in his nature’. This upset Harold for two reasons. One was that Edith had condemned him as ‘moody’. Surely, if he was ever a bit moody, that was only a snapshot? Being caught at the wrong moment? Harold thought he took the rough with the smooth, just like any other man. Secondly, who were these lucky buggers who were allowed to blame their grumpiness on a ‘traumatic life event’? It did not seem fair to Harold. They were getting away with it, ‘I’m sorry I’ve been such a moody sod if only such a thing hadn’t happened’ Harold mimicked in his head.

Harold went on to read another question:

2) Does your husband/partner find it difficult to make decisions about trivial things?

Edith had circled ‘yes’. Me? Me! Harold thought. I do not find it difficult to make a decision, Edith! Harold pondered in the silence of the bedroom. He should definitely be asleep by now, but he was not… I did not have much trouble deciding to marry you, did I? … Harold had forgotten about his proposal being a happy accident at the Golden Gate’s pub quiz… I can make decisions! No problem! I will make a decision right now if you like. Harold said this to himself but was directing it both at Edith for having the stupidity to read these women’s magazines. And to the smiling psychologist/agony aunt whose face he was pointing at on the magazine page. Harold did make a decision, deciding then and there to go to sleep. But quickly revoked his decision, as he had not quite finished vindicating himself from the blame imposed on him in the said quiz.

There had been an incident the week before whereby Harold could not make a decision. It was something trivial, but he remembered it now, just as he was trying to drift off. It was the jar of Vindaloo paste that did it. This jar of curry paste had lived in of one of the kitchen cupboards for quite some time. Edna blamed Edith about it (but blamed herself when no one was listening). That was how long they had owned this curry paste, Edna had not lived at Curmudgeon Avenue for quite some time now. In recent years, ‘special offers’ were being picked up haphazardly in the supermarket and shoved in the cupboard. Now the bloody tin was out of date. Good food was going to waste, and no one likes that. Harold had thought about winging it, he would make a chicken vindaloo curry. Edith would not be able to tell if it tasted ‘off’ because she did not know what it was supposed to taste like. Why, if he made enough, he could invite Ricky Ricketts and his whole rag-tag gang.

Harold had left the jar on the side, and Edith had tidied it away. (Several times). Harold had thought about emptying the jar into the sink and then flushing the brightly coloured paste down the drain… But that did not sound like it would be good for the drains. He just could not decide. If he had of emptied it, at least he could recycle the glass jar. That would be good for the environment. He just could not decide. Harold lay there in his pyjamas, wide awake. Hang on, if I thought the vindaloo would not be good for the drains, then what would it have been like on my system? Good, God! No wonder he could not decide. Harold nearly drifted off to sleep, when he suddenly wondered what had happened to the jar? (It was Edith, who had blamed herself for marrying Harold. The man who could not decide what to do with an out of date jar of vindaloo paste. She had decided to put it in the understairs cupboard until Harold was feeling a bit better).

Harold was trying to count sheep, but he had a lot on his mind.  The other annoying thing about the quiz was the conclusion. The diagnosis that Edith had directed him to, was that Harold had been declared a ‘chronic curmudgeon’. A man who is terminally grumpy, irritable and stubborn.  The advice offered by the weekly magazine’s agony aunt/psychologist was to ‘Run as fast as you can in the opposite direction unless you are already married. Remember, husbands all have similar faults, and if you are married to a ‘chronic curmudgeon’ at least he is your ‘chronic curmudgeon’ … Looking on the bright side always helps, it might just rub off on him!’

So there Harold was all those years of stubbornness. All those years of thinking, he was always right. All those years of thought, he had a poignant quality that promoted sympathy and pity from others. It had worked in his younger days.  Now, he was married his pathos role could only be directed at one woman, his wife Edith, who had branded him terminally miserable. Their conversations were always so meaningless and difficult to follow. It was always ‘She said this and she said that’ or ‘They did this, and they did that’ Who was she? Who were ‘they’? For goodness sake!  No wonder I am branded as grumpy by Edith, I cannot tell who she is bloody well going on about! The author of Edith’s magazine article claimed to be a psychologist. She had warned women, that if their husband was over the age of thirty-five, there was no chance of them changing their personality. There it was printed in magenta and white; why should he take her advice just because she has a psychology degree? Because she says she is an ‘agony aunt’. He reread it.  Was it too late to change his ways?

Edith gently snored as she slept soundly beside him. My life would certainly be miserable without her, he thought. And for the first time accepting that this was because of her, and not in spite of her and her big house on Curmudgeon Avenue. I hope we die at the same time, Harold thought…

 

Well, we’ve got that to look forward to, I suppose…

 

Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to join me at the same time next week for the final chapter of The Harold and Edith Adventures and details of how you can get the whole book for free.

Happy reading, Samantha xx

The Harold and Edith Adventures

#Audiobook is HERE! Curmudgeon Avenue #1 is Now an Audiobook and I am Over The Moon! #IARTG

Hello Everyone!

I am sure by now that you all know the story about my husband encouraging me to put my book Curmudgeon Avenue #1: The Terraced House Diaries forward on ACX to see if anyone would transform it into an audiobook.

WELL I am glad he did and I am even more astonished/over the moon/pleased that the multi-talented voice-over actor Lindsay McKinnon contacted me about producing it.

Here is our book launch at a local library (pre lockdown)

You can read the blog I wrote about our live audiobook launch at Radcliffe Library HERE

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Curmudgeon Avenue is the book about a proud, yet grouchy Victorian terraced house in a (fictional) town in Whitefield. They do say that walls have ears, and some even say that walls can talk. So when mismatched sisters Edith and Edna Payne move in, the house has plenty to say.

One of the first ever reviews that Curmudgeon Avenue received described it as ‘Coronation Street on Speed’. I think that this explains it better than any blurb. Two years after first publication, I am currently writing book number 5 of the series.

The World Does Not Revolve Around Curmudgeon Avenue

(Yes it does, I can’t stop writing it!)

The book really lends itself to spoken word and Lindsay has done the finest job possible colouring the characters with accents.

Enough from me – here are the links: AUDIBLE     AMAZON

MORE ABOUT MULTI-TALENTED VOICE-OVER ACTOR LINDSAY McKINNON Theatre of The Mind Productions http://www.theatreofthemindproductions.co.uk/

Happy listening everyone! Please let us know what you think by leaving a review on Audible or Amazon,

Samantha and Lindsay xx

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