Book Review Lie of the Tiger by John Martin (it is part of a promotion, and it’s about cats)

Lie of the Tiger by John Martin

More about Lie of the Tiger by John Martin

Paddy – if that is indeed his real name – has taken the reins of the Windy Mountain Tasmanian Tiger Museum, only to discover the previous manager left the building in a coffin.

Then he finds out that the devious owners don’t actually want him to succeed anyway.

The old men’s dogged determination isn’t good news for a third octogenarian who has the only legal dog in town, but stuff him.

Oodles and Wish-Wash have good reason not to like The Mayor anyway and if he won’t help, they are prepared to break the law.

This is a funny, sometimes touching story with a quirky character around almost every corner.

Lie of the Tiger is book 1 of the Windy Mountain series. Each book has its own story.

But if you enjoy this one, Blokes on a Plane (book 2), Whitey and the Six Dwarfs (book 3), Blokes in Donegal (book 4), and Blokes in the House (book 5, inspired by the events of 2020), await with many of the same endearing characters.

Lie of the Tiger is free as part of this PROMOTION until 31 August

I read Lie of the Tiger last week and it really made me smile. And! I had never heard of a Tasmanian tiger.

Here’s my review:

Lie of the Tiger is a quirky satire about a Tasmanian tiger museum. The book is educational (I had never heard of this extinct cat) and funny. Yes, it is because John Martin has a funny way with words. Character names are playfully chosen Wish-Wash and Oodles, and later Sergeant Stretch (especially when someone stretches out their arms to catch him). The plot is engaging. To keep his job, Paddy must succeed in reopening the museum, but this means proving that these stripy wildcats are still alive and well near Windy Mountain. Recommended for cat lovers, big cat conspiracy enthusiasts and readers with a sense of humour.

Apologies, I did promise to write a blog post about an interesting conversation I had with my sister-in-law. This will be about books, reading and why we choose to read certain books. I haven’t written the post yet because I’ve been really suffering with fatigue. I’ve got MS, it’s just something I have to put up with.

At least I can still read. And write! Another reason I am worn out at the moment is I am writing my next book. This is about a woman trying to find her way in life after lockdown. Although I am enjoying writing it, I am drained!

Have some free books on me, have a great weekend, Samantha 🙂

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:

The next instalment of Curmudgeon Avenue

Happy reading, Samantha xx

Join My Mailing List – Innit!

Join my mailing list

Hello Everyone!

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

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

It is All Happening on Curmudgeon Avenue! #Kindle #Audiobook news

Free kindle books plus audiobook news

Hello, me again, honestly, I have something good to say.

The other day, I received an email from ACX (the audiobook marketplace) to say that I had received an audition from a narrator for my book Curmudgeon Avenue!

In the past few years, one of the ‘things’ that folk have been saying to me is ‘why don’t you do an audiobook?’ I was a bit ambivalent, how do I do this? I’ve got enough to do! Writing, marketing, physiotherapy, MS surviving, everything! I have spoken before about the amount of overwhelming advice on the internet about being an indie author… anyway, eventually, I got round to investigating ACX.

I found it easy to set things up, there are a few options for sorting out the money side of things – can I be completely honest, I did not expect anyone to want to take a chance on Curmudgeon Avenue (the reason I thought this was because, on the set up form, I was asked how many Twitter followers I have ‘eg. 10,000??’ !!) I thought I would have to be’ better known’.

HOWEVER, giving things a go has worked, six weeks later, I am honoured to announce that voiceover actor Lindsay McKinnon otherwise known as Theatre of the Mind Productions is going to narrate Curmudgeon Avenue – I am starting to talk about it now in anticipation of its release! Lindsay has narrated the book in exactly the same way that I imagined when I wrote it – the house is talking with a real disdain for its guests, and the voice given to Edith and Edna is hilarious! Especially the bit where Edna covers her face with her turtleneck jumper! I am so looking forward to sharing this version of Curmudgeon Avenue with everyone. 

Don’t forget, The Ghosts of Curmudgeon Avenue is due for publication on Thursday 31st October (preorder now by clicking on the pink link). The Harold and Edith Adventures (book 2) is free until this Thursday 31/10/19 and Edna and Genevieve Escape From Curmudgeon Avenue (book 3) is free too! (until Thursday, as above). Curmudgeon Avenue book one is 99p.

Untitled design

Happy reading (and soon to be listening) everyone! Samantha xx

PS, if you happen to be in the Bury area on Thursday, I will be doing an author talk at The Tottington Library (used to be Totty library) at 2pm.

Book Review The Butcher by Nathan Burrows plus link to a free copy. (limited time 16th.11.18)

First, let me give you the link for this and some other free books  Copy this link, and with a few clicks you will have lots of free satire books downloaded to your smart phone (to play books)

I am reading ‘The Butcher’ by Nathan Burrows at the moment, I am 3/4 finished, it is really funny, and a good story. I am blogging about it today because the free link is available from BookFunnel for two weeks only.

Here is the blurb, that I borrowed from the BookFunnel promotion:

More about The Butcher by Nathan Burrows
Remember that nice joint of pork you devoured for your Sunday lunch? Well, what if it wasn’t pork…?

Emily Underwood has just started work as an inspector for the Environment Agency. As the new girl, she’s struggling hard to find her feet, and one or two minor disasters don’t help. From machete-wielding restaurant owners to rioting football fans, her first few months don’t go as expected. Then she meets two lovely gentlemen from the country..

Frank is a butcher, and Tom runs a small pig farm with its own bucolic abattoir beyond the roses and sheds of their ramshackle farmhouse. Business is booming, and the brothers are doing quite well, in spite of the lack of labour, or even the rather conspicuous absence of pigs.

From the author of Blind Justice, this deliciously funny dark comedy will change the way you look at sausages forever.

Happy reading, Samantha.


Free books – about diaries!

First, let me give you the link to some free books about diaries (I admit to being nosy so I am really excited)

I have read one of them ‘The School Report’ by Simon Northouse, here is my review:  What a fun, short book. This book will make you laugh out loud, a collection of school reports enhanced (I hope) for your amusement. Brought back memories, made me smile, and I enjoyed the nick-names.

Even the book description will make you laugh: A humorous look back at school reports of yesteryear when teachers could speak their mind without fear of retribution, litigation or trolling. (this is from the page)

Happy reading Samantha xx

PS don’t forget to click on the BookFunnel link for the free books

It’s that time of year to curl up with a good (free) book

Here is the link for the latest BookFunnel promotion, Back in Time (Romance)

I won’t go on, because there are loads of books to enjoy on here.

Happy reading! Samantha x

interior of house
Photo by Pixabay on

Publication Day! Curmudgeon Avenue (The Terraced House Diaries : Book One)

On the day this all started, the sky was full of August apologies for a summer undelivered.

DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAILWell, you are all probably sick of the sight of me harping on about my book ‘Curmudgeon Avenue’ It’s out today and is desperately seeking readers.

Synopsis: On the day this all started, the sky was full of August apologies for a summer undelivered. When a four storey Victorian house in Whitefield takes a disliking to its new owners, it starts narrating a diary about the intertwined lives of sisters Edna and Edith. They could not be more different if they tried. Edith cannot help bumping into ex partners of Edna’s. First there was Maurice, you will not believe what happened with him, then when Edith is heartbroken and vulnerable she meets the notable Harold. But things change again when Madame Genevieve Dubois appears on the scene.

Curmudgeon Avenue is available via the following places Amazon 99p  Also available in US .com also paperback. £4

Kobo (free)

Barnes and Noble (free)

BookFunnel (free)

It will also be on NetGalley for one month – August.

I promise that book two of the Curmudgeon Avenue series ‘The Harold and Edith Adventures’ is also almost ready, so there will not be too long to wait for the next one. This WordPress blog is the official headquarters of Curmudgeon Avenue, where all news of future publications will be posted.

Happy reading everyone Samantha. 🙂

How an Elephant Made Me Write

black elephant near trees
Photo by Venkat Ragavan on

It would have been the winter of 1979 or the spring of 1980, my first year at Primary school. One morning, we received a very serious sounding telephone call from a woman who worked at the school, she was not the secretary or one of the teachers. I won’t name her, let’s just call her the school busy body. When my mum put the phone down, she was – well I wasn’t sure if she wanted to laugh or not (I would have been aged four so I can’t remember), but seemingly the woman from school was telephoning around to tell all the pupils not to come to school today, because during the previous night, an elephant had somehow escaped from an elephant lorry (?) because the driver had taken a wrong turning and was trying to turnaround on the main road. I can’t remember, I think the reason we could not go to school was something to do with them having to make the damaged railings safe. NOW, I think it might have been the way the telephone call delivered this bizarre story so matter-of-factly, subconsciously I must have thought ‘wow’ strange things can happen. And I think this is why I write the way that I do, I always note and remember quirky little things that happen in life.

With the advent of social media, I did ask about 12 years ago did this really happen? Yes it did, and my Mum remembers it too. I believe the elephant was unharmed. The thing is, there is no zoo near here making the story even stranger. And I do not know what made me think of it more recently, but when deciding how the address for my latest novel ‘Curmudgeon Avenue’ should suddenly become vacant – well lets just say this is where I got the idea about the elephant, Deirdre…. oops can’t tell you any more without it being a spoiler!

To download your free copy of ‘Curmudgeon Avenue’ and read my take on the elephant story, follow this link to download it from BookFunnel

Happy reading! Samantha

Favourite Things to Read, Five Days (not necessarily consecutive)


A couple of weeks ago, I started a what’s your favourite book thread on Facebook. This was by no means as popular as the previous bombardment of ‘ten days of favourite albums’. Anyway, I want to restart this on my blog, right here where it is more likely to be received by book lovers, (like myself) . The first favourite books I would like to talk about is SERIES BOOKS.

The ones I am reading at the moment are

The Selkie Moon mystery series by Virginia King. is the website for the series.  This is where we meet Selkie, who has been known as ‘Elkie’ for most of her life. The books follow a transformation and empowerment theme where by Selkie follows the folklore connected to her name. In the first book ‘The First Lie’ (which is the one after the prequel pictured above), Selkie is pulled in all different directions, not knowing who to trust. Strange and mysterious things are happening all around her and to her. It has been challenging to review these books without giving too much away.  They are set in all different places, Hawaii Paris Sydney… They are really enjoyable. I am currently reading The Third Note. This one is set mostly in Ireland Selkie is trying to solve family tree mysteries, murder and Irish superstition is involved. Appealing to those who like to read something a bit different. Saying that, I am sure that this would appeal to the grown up Harry Potter generation. I can’t put it down. I don’t want it to end. I know there is another book in the pipeline so I don’t have to phone the ‘helpline for readers who don’t know how to cope when a series ends’ There is no such helpline, I made that up.

I save series books up as a special treat in between taxing life and work moments. This is one of the things I do maybe it is part of my time management regime. If I read a book I am really enjoying then this does not tax my brain or wear me out too much. Series books are like visiting old friends, you’ve got to know them, and the story is not over! Oh joy, you don’t have to wonder what would have could have should have happened to those characters that you have got to know so well.

Another set of series books I enjoyed was Alexander McCall Smith’s ’44 Scotland Street’


These books are charming, a cross between reading a sitcom and a soap opera. Set in Edinburgh about the lives of people who happen to live on the same street. Now, I had heard of Alexander McCall smith, but had not read anything by him. In 2014, I was lucky enough to join a Creative Writing class at a library. The class and the library are no longer in existence unfortunately, however this really jump started my ambitions and increased the amount that I read. I said lucky before because the teacher… I have never met anyone so passionate about reading and writing, she is/was brilliant. The first short story I wrote ‘Winter’ she compared to Alexander McCall Smith’s writing, so I went out and read a lot of his books. Right up my street. Every pun intended, because, four years on I am about to embark on the publication of my very own set of series books ‘Curmudgeon Avenue’ for a preview, here is the link to a free copy of the first book on BookFunnel It takes a few clicks to download it. I am hoping that my characters will become like old (annoying) friends. I just want someone to read it (sigh) …

Other series books I have started and are on my reading lists are:

a brand new look for the kearton bay series! (4) The Kearton Bay series by Sharon Booth.

Fragile Cord And the DS Coupland psychological thriller series.

Well, I had better end it there. There are many more series books that I have read, loved and am yet to read. I don’t want to go on too much.

Happy reading, Samantha