A Curmudgeonly Christmas

Every summer, I notice writers talking about their Christmas books on social media. A bit upside down, I thought. But last December, I brought Curmudgeon Avenue to a close with the final book in the series ‘A Curmudgeonly Christmas’. 

Curmudgeon Avenue has been going on for quite some time, some would say for longer than reasonably necessary… In this Curmudgeonly final, the nincompoops of Curmudgeon Avenue would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Gordon Bennett is obsessed with the pothole growth on the street as we get proper emosh at Wantha and Ricky’s wedding. But! Did Wantha ever get to find out who her daddy is?
Christmas is coming, and Francesca is getting fat meanwhile Zandra may have overdone it with the scented candles. And the ghosts are immune to any and all lockdown restrictions.

Put down the selection box and the sausage rolls, A Curmudgeonly Christmas is a perfect end to the Curmudgeon Avenue series and the year!


Don’t just take my word for it, I noticed a fabulous review has popped up for Curmudgeon Avenue #1 – my cheeks are hurting I’m smiling so much! 

If you are enjoying the most wonderful time of the year, maybe you would like to have a look at this Christmas book promotion : https://books.bookfunnel.com/christmasjuly21/p2re6562xn

Just a quick post from me this week because I’m doing my packing for our Christmas holiday... I mean summer holiday (in the UK).

Happy reading, Samantha.

Twenty Years Ago, I Had a Dream About John Lennon, and He Told Me Off

Photo by Golnar sabzpoush rashidi on Pexels.com

Actually, this happened slightly longer than twenty years ago because I remember the job I was in and who I spoke to about this vivid dream I had about John Lennon. He told me off and I was gutted.

I was born in the mid seventies, I missed the Beatles boat age wise. However they were still EVERYWHERE when I was growing up in the north of England (Manchester, not Liverpool). Mum always had Radio 2 tuned in before we set off for school, and I do remember John Lennon’s death in the news. I would have been five and a half years old. Old enough for a significant news event to stick in my head I suppose.

John Lennon 1969 (cropped).jpg

Here’s the dream, all I remember is that John Lennon told me off. He really shouted at me and I remember being gutted because John Lennon’s showbiz persona always seemed so friendly. I knew he had his causes but there was no need to give me a telling off.

YOU SHOULDN’T BE DOING THIS (he meant my job), YOU SHOULD BE MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH.

I knew that John Lennon meant my job, because the dream was ‘set’ at my place of work at the time (I won’t lie, it was a stressful place to work in the care sector). I thought I was good at my job, and leaving my nursing career was not my choice. I eventually retired due to ill health (I have MS). At the time I had this dream, I was completely healthy. Yet here was the most famous and talented Liverpudlian ever to grace earth with his presence telling me I was in the wrong job.

The dream was so powerful that my mind was still blown when I turned up for work later that day (I was most probably on a nightshift, knowing my luck).

I told one of my colleagues that John Lennon told me off in a dream and she was very interested. ‘There’s a book about that,‘ she told me. Now, this was well before smartphones, so I couldn’t ‘Google it’ and the work colleague could not remember the name of the book, but she was convinced of its existence. She had read about it somewhere, or someone had told her about it. I know there is the magic of Facebook, but even if I was in touch with this person I wouldn’t ask ‘Do you remember a conversation we had over twenty years ago?’ I already sound potty.

The dream has stayed in my mind and I have been reminded of it every now and then (the Beatles are still everywhere). I haven’t managed to find a book about what it means to dream of John Lennon.

I did find a book on Amazon about John Lennon’s actual dreams – I think this means John Lennon’s ambition. It is an inspirational book for children, rather than what I am talking about.

John Lennon (Little People, BIG DREAMS Book 52) by [Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Octavia Bromell]
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08LR2DNHX/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

And if you search for ‘Dreams about John Lennon’ then loads of results come up about Paul McCartney. Apparently he regularly dreams about John Lennon (but does not get told off). That’s understandable, they were best song writing mates (and had actually met, not like me – some random fool).

Paul McCartney smiling

Photo from Wikipedia, Here is a link to one of the articles about Paul McCartney dreaming about John Lennon. https://www.nme.com/news/music/paul-mccartney-john-lennon-dreams-the-late-show-with-stephen-colbert-interview-the-beatles-2550940

This could potentially be a great idea for a book – if someone hasn’t already written it (so many books out there it is really hard to search).

What about John Lennon’s message, ‘I should be making people laugh?’

This could have been a weird psychic, intuitive glimpse into the future. At the time I had the dream, yes I loved reading but I had no idea that I would one day become writer (that’s not strictly true, I do remember telling my parents that I wanted to be an author, and wrote the word on a box then put a doll in the box. Who knows if I had just found the word ‘author’, but I like to think I meant it). I also said that I wanted to be a nurse. How accurate young Samantha was!

Twenty years later I have made a few readers smile with my Curmudgeon Avenue series. And some have actually laughed – they said so in a review!

I’m dying to know if anyone else has had a celebrity dream – especially one with a message. And especially a dream including a message from John Lennon!

Some time after the dream, but before this post I did see this John Lennon quote; I think this is his real message:

Happiness Is The Key To Life | John lennon quotes, Happy quotes, Words

(Actually, I saw this quote originally as ‘the teacher told me I didn’t understand the question’ – they don’t say ‘assignment’ in Liverpool 😉 ) Just be happy, innit?

Have a great weekend, Samantha 🙂

PS two of my books are listed in promotions at the moment. The final of Curmudgeon Avenue can be found in the Christmas Fun in the Summertime promo until the 31st of July 21. And ‘1962 (an uplifting tale of 1960s Lancashire) is part of the Soulful Reads promo, which runs until the 19th of July.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/~/e/B01M4LPH9U

Christmas in July and a Book Review

For the past few years I have noticed authors talking about their Christmas books during the summer months. At the time, I felt a bit left out but this year everything has changed because Curmudgeon Avenue ended last Christmas with A Curmudgeonly Christmas. I am pleased to say has joined this book promotion : https://books.bookfunnel.com/christmasjuly21/p2re6562xn which runs until the end of July.

THE ONE WHERE IT’S THE CURMUDGEONLY FINAL

It’s Christmas during pandemic and for a change, it’s fun. (US reader)

A Curmudgeonly Christmas wraps up this delightfully funny series with two weddings and a final farewell for one much-loved, prominent character and two others who I thought deserved it! (Against the Flow Press)

Curmudgeon Avenue has been going on for quite some time, some would say for longer than reasonably necessary… In this Curmudgeonly final, the nincompoops of Curmudgeon Avenue would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Gordon Bennett is obsessed with the pothole growth on the street as we get proper emosh at Wantha and Ricky’s wedding. But! Did Wantha ever get to find out who her daddy is?
Christmas is coming, and Francesca is getting fat meanwhile Zandra may have overdone it with the scented candles. And the ghosts are immune to any and all lockdown restrictions.

Put down the selection box and the sausage rolls, A Curmudgeonly Christmas is a perfect end to the Curmudgeon Avenue series and the year!

Photo by Ena Marinkovic on Pexels.com

Although all the books are set at Christmas, they all have very different vibes. Of course, I have sampled one of them Christmas at Mistletoe Ridge by Angie Ellington – It’s very Christmassy!

Christmas at Mistletoe Ridge by Angie Ellington

Deals require negotiations, but for Cole Stevens, this could be the riskiest deal of his lifetime. Holland Jenkins has been disappointed so often that she questions her purpose and her talent as an artist. The cabins she helps lease for her family is the one constant in her life. Birch Falls’ small town peppermint festival is quickly approaching. As Holland is preparing ornaments for her booth, she’s in search of inspiration, even if she won’t admit it.

Cole has a deal to close, and after a little unexpected change in route, he decides to rent a cabin at Mistletoe Ridge. He finds himself falling for the charming small town, and also falling for Holland, which wasn’t part of the plan.Holland doesn’t know about her grandparents’ plans to sell Mistletoe Ridge, and although they think they are doing it for the right reasons, keeping it a secret has all involved reconsidering.

Perhaps, a dash of ginger, a sprinkle of sugar, and a little magic can make their Christmas wishes come true.
Includes a recipe for Chicken Parmesan

My little 5* review:

Lovely, heartwarming and cute!
I didn’t know that you could wish on mistletoe – I do love lucky themes.
This is the story of a start of a romance, Holland the artist and Cole the businessman including warm drinks, stone fireplaces and mild tension in the plot. Will this Christmas romance melt in January’s thaw?
Apart from making decorative ornaments, Holland works renting cabins at her family’s business in the close-knit town, Birch Falls. Cole (attractive name) comes to stay for three days before Christmas does he have an ulterior motive? It doesn’t matter if he does because everyone in Birch Falls knows Holland and has a bit of Christmassy-life-wisdom to share with Cole on his way around the village.
Also, there is a recipe at the end of the book for chicken parmesan which made me smile.

The above image is proof that during July, Father Christmas encourages reading time. https://books.bookfunnel.com/christmasjuly21/p2re6562xn

Don’t overdo it on Sunday (if you are watching the football). Happy reading, Samantha x

The Soulful Reads Book Promotion

Hi Everyone,

What a great title for a book promotion! The tagline reads ‘Enjoy books that will touch your heart and mind.’ So I was attracted to this as a reader (and an author). https://books.bookfunnel.com/soulfulreads/t6p3xc0jiz

Those of you that joined me in the middle of June will know that my book ‘1962, A Nostalgic Tale of 1960s Lancashire’ is lucky enough to be part of this promotion, which runs until the 19th of July 21.

I’ve read one of the books so far, ‘The Woman Who Lost Her Love’ by Jo Lobato. I thought this was a beautiful story and like the promotion promised it did touch my heart and mind.

The Woman Who Lost Her Love by Jo Lobato

The story is about a woman called Diane who sets off with her husband, David on a holiday to Australia. But as the story unfolds, Diane’s holiday turns into a different journey to the one she expected.

Photo by Sheila on Pexels.com

Here’s what the blurb says:

The Woman Who Lost Her Love: the life-affirming book of the spring!

A heart-warming and uplifting story of a single woman on an emotional journey of rediscovery. Perfect for fans of Mike Gayle, Gail Honeyman and Sarah Haywood.

Meet Diane, a woman in her fifties who’s lost her creativity and love of art. When her husband abandons her en route to their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary in Australia, she is forced to confront the reason he’s left, the prickly woman she has become and the secrets she’s hiding.

As Diane uncovers the passions and creativity she’s been stifling, and meets characters mysteriously connected to her past, will she manage to keep her carefully curated persona in check?

And what is the heartbreaking truth from which she’s desperately trying to flee?

A page-turning holiday read, this emotional popular women’s fiction will have you rooting for single woman Diane to find her inner strength. A book that’s both heartbreaking and heart-warming, about the power of female friendship and the importance of holding onto the passions that make us unique.

“UPLIFTING, LIFE-AFFIRMING, REDEMPTIVE.” Debi Alper.

“‘EAT, PRAY, LOVE’ MEETS ‘THE MAN WHO DIDN’T CALL’ IN THIS BRILLIANT BOOK.” Goodreads Review

And here’s my little review (five stars)

Brilliant! Diane heads out on holiday to Australia with her husband, David. Except, David is the type to choose Diane’s clothes (the horror!), and he has something to say about her hairdo. Then… as the blurb says, David abandons Diane on the plane. With no husband and no luggage (imagine), Diane has no choice but to continue a journey. Don’t worry, the women in Diane’s life back in England (book club friends and sister) are in her head telling her what to do and how to behave. Then there is her daughter, Bertie, who Diane continually emails and imagines what she would think of her Australian adventures. Diane’s transformation is truly uplifting, and as the plot unfolds, you’ll need something to wipe your tears away with.

Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

Don’t forget the promotion link to help you find the book : https://books.bookfunnel.com/soulfulreads/t6p3xc0jiz

Here are some more covers from the promotion (but the best thing to do is click on the link to see the books)

Soul Deep by Angela Kay Austin
1960: My Black Skin by Angela Kay Austin
A Journal of Cosmic Memories: The Dimension of Trees by Ben Benyamin
The Sun Rose in Paris: Portraits in Blue - Book One by Penny Fields-Schneider
Friend of My Enemy by Raven Banks
The Valley of the Dogs, Dark Stories by James Musgrave

Coming next… I will probably write one of my mini-drama posts there is always plenty going on in my sit-com life. AND Curmudgeon Avenue has just joined a Christmas book promotion, in JULY! Click here for Christmas books: https://books.bookfunnel.com/christmasjuly21/p2re6562xn

Happy reading everyone, see you soon, Samantha 🙂

PS: I wrote the Curmudgeon Avenue series

Literary Fiction is Not Dead (and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise)

KathyWilkins1212.jpg

I love books, reading has saved me, and writing has provided me with a true sense of self after my career ended.

So imagine my surprise when I read (a communication) that ‘no one reads anymore’, it was as though the internet was saying ‘what is the actual point of you?’ I will not have it!

Photo by u0410u043du043du0430 u0413u0430u043bu0430u0448u0435u0432u0430 on Pexels.com

Our modern brains may not be as geared up to settle down with a lengthy novel, we have been raised on television and we have the internet and social media to fill our minds with. I presume that readers who are already ‘into’ reading are still novel lifting (I know I am).

In Dickensian times, folk had less time to read, People often worked six days a week for eighteen hours per day (thank you source). And really, it was only towards the end of the 19th century that literacy improved in Britain. Rich folk had all the tea to drink (see photo), but those lengthy classics that we see today were mostly serialised – even in Victorian times, readers were choosing an accessible medium.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Books are an essential tool to tap into if you are feeling under the weather mentally.

You may feel that you are unable to commit to reading a full novel, or most likely reading sounds off putting because you are struggling to concentrate.

Firstly, about concentration. Remember, reading is a solitary hobby. NO ONE IS MARKING YOU, You are under no obligation to give what you are reading your full attention. That may seem like an odd thing to say, but you are reading to relax, for fun, you deserve it… you will not be expected to write an essay about what you have read. Imagine the sense of achievement you will feel after finishing a book (even if that means ‘I gave it a try, and now I’m finished with it’). It is only natural to feel guilt for not finishing a book, but it is also freeing to let it go and have a look at another book (there are plenty to choose from). And if you can’t – no biggie, come back to it or try something else… But…

The benefits of escaping into another world are even more important now.

Don’t give up! The book on the side in your bedroom that is covered in dust? You will get to it eventually. Reading became difficult for me when both of my eyes (at different times) were affected by MS. With lighting, modern technology (Kindle) and a good old fashioned trip to the optician’s I can read as long as I don’t overdo it and look after my posture (I am on about my neck). I am breaking away from the sick role, if I can adapt and find a way to do something I want to do – I will.

Photo by u041eu043bu044cu0433u0430 u041du0443u0440u0443u0442u0434u0438u043du043eu0432u0430 on Pexels.com

You don’t have to commit to a lengthy novel. Again, no one is marking you, so it does not matter what you read. Reading is a very personal thing. People do recommend books to one another, but soon, you will be choosing your own. It does not have to be literary fiction.

You can always try audio books.

Go with the cover you like – that is fine people DO judge books by their covers.

There is no law that says you have to finish a book – even if you don’t like it.

PE-dontbelieve.jpg

I refuse to believe this hype about ‘people not reading anymore’. Stories are what makes us human, after all. The evidence is all around us, and as for me there IS a point and I will continue to write.

The following are links to reading evidence that springs to mind when I think about this subject.

Research finds reading books has surged in lockdown source The Guardian 2020.

BBC Radio 4 Book Club (running currently)

Nearly half of young people reading more in lockdown (Source: Penguin)

The Graham Norton Book Club on Audible

Between the Covers BBC2

Richard and Judy Book Club

The Only Way is Essex Book Club

20 Inspiring Virginia Woolf Quotes on Knowing Oneself

Happy reading everyone, Samantha.

PS I wrote these books:

A New Cover For ‘1962: A Nostalgic Tale of 1960s Lancashire’ (the relaunch!)

I had a great time writing ‘1962: A Nostalgic Tale of 1960s Lancashire’  which I published in 2017. I had an even better time revisiting the book and have relaunched it this week with a new cover. Later, there will also be a collection of four short stories I wrote at the time, all set in 1962.  😊 My dad provided inspiration for this novel. He was a cycling enthusiast, entered races (and won), and he was in his late 20s in 1962 – so the characters were not based on him, or his life story. He just gave me the idea. In 2012, we were watching a programme that marked 50 years since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Dad turned to me and said ‘You know, people were petrified that we would all be blown up, but I just wanted to get a good time in the time trial race I had entered on Sunday.’ This conversation sparked something in me, and the book was born!  Dad helped me with a bit of research, including asking everyone he knew if they remembered how they felt about the looming threat of nuclear war in 1962 – as a person living in the north of England. Interestingly, Mum said she hardly remembered anything about it! 

I have been lucky enough to join a book promotion called ‘Soulful Reads’ which runs from June 19 to July 19. Well worth a nosy, I’ve had a preview of the titles – some will definitely end up on my reading list. 

Click this link : https://books.bookfunnel.com/soulfulreads/t6p3xc0jiz to check out the Soulful Reads promotion.

I will be releasing the prequel to 1962: A Nostalgic Tale of 1960s Lancashire later this year.

The Queen’s Speech (and other shorts from 1962) is a collection of four short stories I wrote in 2017 when I was researching the novel. I think this prequel will get readers in the mood for reading about 1962.

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

Unfortunately, there are no MINI’s in the short story collection, just one in the novel.

Happy reading everyone, have a great weekend, Samantha 🙂

On Why I Use a Walking Stick

Accepting walking aids.

Why I Use a Walking Stick (written originally for the MS Society blog)

Recently, my physiotherapist has encouraged me to try and increase my exercise routine. I used to go to hydrotherapy, but this is not running currently. This got me thinking about why I use a walking stick when out and about.

     It all started when I was still working. I used to be a nurse, and my final post was a community psychiatric nurse. One winter’s day, I was tasked with escorting someone to an important solicitor’s meeting in Manchester city centre. This person was really shy, and had difficulty understanding others, he used a lot of non-verbal communication to make himself understood.

     It was all going well until I parked up in the nearest available space. As soon as I stepped out onto the street, I suffered the familiar sensation of blurred vision, indescribable dizziness and a feeling that I MUST grab onto something to steady myself.

  Even when I was a child, I had a sensation that ‘tall buildings might fall on me’. I suppose this is an irrational fear, and some have suggested this is anxiety, but I don’t think it is.

    I must tell you that we did manage to make the appointment although I must have looked rather strange clutching onto walls, lampposts and traffic lights. This made me feel terrible in my role. I was meant to be easing another person’s worries by providing physical support, and I must have looked as though I wanted to crawl along on the pavement. I could not explain what was happening because of the communication barrier. The man clutched at his chest, appearing even more anxious himself. I knew then that I had to do something – this is when I started using a walking stick.

     The feeling I described earlier has worsened over the years. Although I do get blurred vision at home, it is manageable in familiar surroundings. Triggers to the problem for me are bright lights (such as fluorescent lighting in supermarkets reflecting on shiny floors). Wide-open spaces (such as the big field that dog walkers use near my house). Or the opposite – city centres with a dense concentration of tall buildings. Looking at the sky, and then back to straight in front of me causes it too. I think that this is something to do with moving clouds, the contrast in lighting and my eyes not catching up.

     I am told that optic neuritis is quite common in MS, eye problems were the first thing I noticed, and I have been treated for it several times in the past. An MS nurse once told me that the lasting results of optic neuritis can be spatial awareness. I would say this is true for me because I do sometimes think there is a step there when there isn’t. And again, sticks come in handy in this instance.

   The walking stick has helped me immensely over the years. I feel more confident when out and about. I have noticed that if I try and walk without it, I am very unsure, slow and looking for somewhere to sit or lean when I should be looking ahead of me at my destination. I believe walking with a stick acts as a visual marker in a crowded situation that I might become unbalanced if I don’t have space.

     A couple of things to think about with walking sticks: as a person who follows the advice of my physiotherapist, I am conscious not to hunch over the stick. Get it at the right height (most walking sticks are adjustable and there is an NHS page on how to use them). My physio is always advising me to ‘turn my stomach muscles on’ and so I actively do this when moving. If anyone asks me ‘why are you using a stick?’ I try and keep my answer short and sweet because strangers don’t need to know my life story. Accept that the walking stick can only do so much, I use a scooter for longer journeys – planning is everything.

     Ultimately, I wanted to write about walking sticks because I did feel self-conscious when I first started using them. Now I embrace it. I have many sticks in different colours and patterns to match what I’m wearing, and I keep them in the car and just by the front door. I think it is essential to make life easy for yourself, whatever your particular problem is living with MS.

Me at the big field – sunglasses always help!

Happy reading everyone, Samantha 🙂

PS I wrote these books ~

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FQXFV6R

I’m Back! (and other mini-dramas)

I haven’t blogged for a while, or participated (properly) with social media. It’s all been for a good cause – I concentrated all of my energies on my BA (Honours) English Literature and Creative Writing degree, of which I have now completed the first half of my third year.

I used to be able to do more – either my MS is getting worse, I’m getting older, or the course is getting more demanding. Probably mostly the latter but also (probably) a combination of the three.

I have still been reading for fun, of course but all the other things (book promotions, reviews, adverts) have had to take a back seat.

I plan to use my summer to write my next standalone novel – I am too anxious to reveal the title today, although I’m not sure why.

First, I plan to relaunch my 2017 novel ‘1962 (an uplifting tale of 1960s Lancashire)

You know, someone hurt my feelings about this cover earlier this year and I could really have done without it. There’s a long story behind the cover, my dad didn’t want his face on the cover (!) and the person I gave the photograph to to draw a picture from didn’t illustrate an image of the bike. Amazon KDP were not happy with the original cover (too blurry) until eventually I was forced to change it. The cover you see above is aiming to be an old Penguin.

Postcards From Penguin: 100 Book Jackets in One Box: Amazon.co.uk: Penguin  Group USA: 8601404201011: Books

Anyway, I plan to change the cover when I relaunch.

One advantage of being an indie author is that I can make these kind of decisions and change things whenever I fancy it. (Although it doesn’t provide protection from busybodies)

Thank you for understanding, I hope everyone has a fabulous summer, Samantha 🙂

PS I wrote these!

Book Review Alia Henry and the Ghost Writer by Christine Betts #IARTG

This great book is part of a multi-genre promotion about books set in France! https://books.bookfunnel.com/fromfrancewithlove/1un9lt0lk6

I read loads… loads and loads of books everyone is using that word ‘voracious’ these days (huge appetite lol!) I do love reading, and apart from a few of the set books chosen by the Open University, I usually only read what I enjoy.

Anyway… this week I found a book that was right up my street!

Alia Henry and the Ghost Writer by Christine Betts

The blurb from the book’s Amazon page :

After a stunt lands heiress and comedian Alia Henry in lock-up, she finds herself under house-arrest in a crumbling mansion owned by Whitehall International, a company she discovers controls much of her ‘free-range’ life. Detoxing and device-free, she must write her contracted novel or face dire consequences.

But she is not alone on the once-magnificent estate. Phillip, Whitehall’s unquestioning aide-de-camp, intrigues and infuriates her in equal measure and wandering the house at night, she meets Braith, eccentric writer-in-residence and mixer of marvellous cocktails.

Each day she struggles to write but at night, under the light of an increasingly implausible full moon, Alia delights in exotic drinks and dazzling conversation with the mysterious Braith.

Not usually one for asking questions, she wonders is Braith a ghost…?

Or is she?

Funny, smart, and full of heart, Alia Henry discovers what happens when you look up from your screen long enough to see the people in front of you.

Actually, when I started reading this book I wondered if it reminded me of anything else I had read. I think that’s why I liked it so much, it is a good fiction that did not fit into any pigeonhole. Women’s fiction, I reckon. It did remind me in a funny sort of way about a new series I started watching this week – The Flight Attendant starring Kaley Cuoco. Because both of these fictions have a female protagonist who can see ghosts (if that’s what they are!)

The Flight Attendant Poster

Here is my little five star review:

5.0 out of 5 stars You will be rooting for Alia

Don’t you love France? Alia (short for Thalia – brilliant) is a talented young heiress with a bright future ahead of her… although… things have not always been great; she lost her parents and dealt with this bereavement by drinking.

Oh… and when we meet her, Alia is in a bit of a pickle, getting arrested for a naked stunt in London.

Fortunately (although it feels unfortunate to Alia at first), she ends up on house arrest in a gorgeous Paris chateau with NO MOBILE PHONE (imagine!), and forced to write the children’s novel she is contracted to. At night, the building is different and Alia starts seeing things that others don’t, staircases that others can’t climb, and then she meets Braith, a poet, novelist and charmer.

A brilliant read for those who like a mystical narrative, literature and backing a character who needs a shove in the right direction!

Photo by Czapp u00c1rpu00e1d on Pexels.com

Happy reading everyone! PS, don’t forget to click the link for all the books set in France 🙂 Samantha xx

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

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