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.
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!)
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
A convention of comedy-drama is that the narrative ends with a marriage. See Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Love’s Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Much 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.
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?)
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:
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).
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!
that my book, The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue is happy to be a part of
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.
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).
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.
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
This morning, The World Does Not Revolve Around Curmudgeon Avenue got a 5* rating from Readers’ Favorite (Thank you)
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).
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
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.
WELL, after much deliberation, I finally gave in to my husband’s demands (sorry – I meant suggestions) and put my book Curmudgeon Avenue Book One: The Terraced House Diaries forwards on ACX to investigate its audiobook potential. I did not think that anyone would want to narrate it, however, one sunny Sunday morning in October last year I received an email that has boosted my writing career no end –
From ACX: Lindsay McKinnon at Theatre of The Mind Productions wants to narrate your book.
Just to give you some context, when I read the email, I was sitting up in bed, and my husband was in the bathroom. Upon his return, he said ‘What are you grinning at?’ and I said:
‘I’ve just had an email, someone wants to narrate my book! She sounds AWESOME! Listen to this!’
Wow, I wish I had one of those ways to add audio to this blog post, and I wish you could get in my head because when I listened to Lindsay’s audition, I swear down, she sounded exactly like I had imagined my book would sound when I was writing it. What a voice. How lucky for this to happen – I went from lacking confidence, doubting that anyone would pick my book up to… THURSDAY EVENING THE AUDIOBOOK LAUNCH OF CURMUDGEON AVENUE BOOK ONE! Where we put on a book event at the local library – Radcliffe Library where part of the book is set!
(I need to catch you up here, from anywhere in the globe, I managed to meet a narrator who lives half an hour up the road from me – again- what a moment of serendipity!)
We met fabulous Librarian Sarah of Bury Library services and she had set a little room up for us inside Radcliffe Library (nice building – recently refurbished)
Soon, we had a room full of expectant faces and one helpful husband holding a camera up ready to listen to Lindsay’s reading of my book and my waffling on about it (you know what it’s like when you get onto a good subject!)
We played the Curmudgeon Avenue trailer, made for me by my friends J&E Productions:
Wonderful librarian Sarah introduced us, (I love librarians, can you tell? Also well jel of their job).
Then Lindsay kicked off the action by reading the dedication in her superb actor voice:
‘This book is dedicated to the Whitefield Massive!’
Lindsay then read the first chapter of Curmudgeon Avenue, August Apologies: ‘On the day this all started, the sky was full of August apologies for a summer undelivered.’ The first chapter is narrated by the house (yes, houses have personalities so why wouldn’t it narrate a book?) The scene is set for a proud, yet grouchy Victorian terrace who is suddenly empty and awaiting new residents… Enter sisters Edna and Edith, soon to be followed by lodger Harold.
Links for the Kindle and paperback copies of Curmudgeon Avenue Book One: The Terraced House Diaries UK and US
Trust me, links to the audiobook will be posted here the second that ACX starts to distribute it – any minute now!
Thank you for joining Lindsay McKinnon and myself for the cyber version of our audiobook launch.
If you are an author and are interested in Lindsay narrating your book through ACX I think, think the easiest way to find her is on Twitter @LindzMcKinnon or by typing ‘Lindsay McKinnon’ into the ‘search > producers for hire’ box on ACX.com or search Lindsay McKinnon on Linkedin. (Obviously, I want Lindsay to narrate the other books in the Curmudgeon Avenue series).