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

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

Bleak House and Curmudgeon Avenue: A Comparison

Bleak House and Curmudgeon Avenue both written about houses.

Imagine my surprise when this years first book of my creative writing and English literature degree was announced as Bleak House by Charles Dickens.

Bleakhouse serial cover.jpg

I had never read this book before, and it rolled onto my Kindle with an estimated reading time of twenty seven hours (I think they guess these times on your personal reading speed). The first thing I did (not for academic purposes) was to have a quick nosy on Wikipedia… Then I read this sentence ‘The novel has many characters and several sub-plots,’

Let’s just have a look at that again  The novel has many characters and several sub-plots, 

Remind you of anything?

Yes, Curmudgeon Avenue – the six and a half part series also has many characters and several sub-plots but I promise… or as we say in Manchester I swear down I had not read Bleak House before I started writing Curmudgeon Avenue.

Image result for gif I swear down
Here is a Gif of the American version of ‘SWEAR DOWN’ just in case my North West England vernacular confuses you.
(Also, we don’t spell it Northwest England).

When the multi talented Lindsay McKinnon of Theatre of The Mind Productions narrated the audiobooks of Curmudgeon Avenue, she wrote a post on her website ’50 Shady Characters & More’ which you can read and see her contact details (if you are looking for a narrator) by clicking on the words in bold.

I didn’t realise I had written 50 characters, but with all the supporting extras they do add up! Especially if you include all six and a half books.

Bleak house has 52 characters.

Incomplete sentences, some reviewers (in the US) have picked up on this. Yes I write with British English grammar and spelling, this includes a creative turn of phrase. My character Wantha Rose likes to refer to herself in the third person – particularly if her boyfriend Ricky has upset her (as so often he does).

Nobody upsets Wantha Rose. NOBODY.

See what I mean?

Charles Dickens was also a fan of incomplete sentences. The opening to Bleak House starts with the one word sentence ‘London.’ Say what you like about Curmudgeon Avenue but even George Eliot’s fancy-piece George Henry Lewes (famous philosopher and literary critic) was unable to review Charles Dickens into submission – even though they were ‘dear friends’.

Charles Dickens, the Victorian literary genius and me (I can’t say and I – I’m from Manchester) both like incomplete sentences in our books.

That’s books about houses, Bleak House and Curmudgeon Avenue.

Bleak House is set in London and Lincolnshire – there is an actual Bleak House in Broadstairs, Kent

Curmudgeon Avenue, is of course, fictional. This street could be anywhere in Whitefield, which as you know is a real life town north of Manchester.

Whitefield is located in Greater Manchester

Narration

Bleak House and Curmudgeon Avenue both have unusual narration choices.

Dickens’s Bleak house was serialised and the finished novel version appeared in 1853. The serials published in three or four chapters. The novel is narrated by a third-person omniscient narrator and the first-person limited account of character Esther Summerson. Though these narrative voices greatly differed, Bleak House worked because the narrations were not mixed within the chapter, (so readers either got Esther or the omniscient narrator speaking to them). This meant that Victorian readers of Dickens’s Bleak House knew what was going to happen next before the narrator Esther Summerson.

I’m about to write a long explanation… wait for it…

The Curmudgeon Avenue Series is written from the point of view of the first house on the street. The house becomes an omniscient character and so, the name Number One Curmudgeon Avenue has capital letters. This means that the books are second person witness narrated.

Very unusual, most books are either first person ‘I’, third person ‘they’. Second person is hardly ever used, the reader is addressed ‘you’. I couldn’t help it… I wanted the house to tell the story, and this technique allowed me to satirise the people who lived in the street:

‘Edna’s costume jewellery jangled like tinnitus’ [Who said this? Number One Curmudgeon Avenue, of course]

There is a review on Goodreads that explains it all from a reader who ‘got’ the Curmudgeon Avenue Series. The reviewer said something like ‘I wondered at first how the house got to know everything. But then I remembered I was reading a book where the house told the story, so why wouldn’t the house know everything?’

As writers, we must trust our readers to make what they will of our books. Otherwise, we would write books that TELL rather than SHOW. And although I am not against telling a little, it is much more fun to show the reader what you mean, that there is a house with a personality with eyes and ears watching every move and making fun of it (for our benefit).

A bit like Charles Dickens having fun with his readers when Esther Summerson doesn’t know what we know because we’ve already read about it when the omniscient narrator was having a turn. (I was going to pop a spoiler in here because Bleak House is a famous book, and if you were to Google it, you can read a plot summary, but I decided not to because that is cheating!) All I will say is the book is about Esther Summerson’s parentage and the long running Jarndyce and Jarndyce legal case.

Image result for Charles Dickens free image

Repeated phrases.

Charles Dickens used repetition to remind his readers which character or location they were reading about. (Ideal for those early readers who caught the serialised editions in Household Words). Fog is mentioned thirty times as a literary device, a curtain of fog… readers must wait for the fog to clear before they get to know the plot. Mud is mentioned thirteen times, ‘mud and mire’, all a bit grim around Chancery and Tom-all-Alone’s. Mrs Bagnet’s domestic dinner-times. Grandfather Smallweed who does not go out without his Grandaughter, Judy who he speaks to as though she is his servant. And Mr Krook’s bottle shop and lodgings are said to symbolise ‘rock bottom’.

Repetition in Curmudgeon Avenue is just for fun really, I suppose I could say that I was trying to reflect the house’s disdainful personality. Repeated phrases (that I slotted in wherever I could) are ‘For longer than reasonably necessary’ or ‘quite some time’. Both probably reflect that Curmudgeon Avenue has been hanging around since Victorian times.

Social satire

Yes, both Bleak House and Curmudgeon Avenue are social satires.

Time

Bleak House was written as a contemporary novel in 1853, Curmudgeon Avenue is a contemporary novel of current times.

Dialogue

Dickens wrote Bleak House is a social commentary. The upper middle class characters are very well spoken ‘Anything to vary this detestable monotony. Oh, go on, do!’ This is Lady Dedlock, she sounds very posh to me. Dickens’s poorer characters have a colloquial vernacular which Dickens wrote in non-standard English grammar. ‘I know wot she’s come for!’

Curmudgeon Avenue is a bit of fun… All the characters are Northern, working class and speak with a Manchester turn-of-phrase. Using this technique aims to bring character to the… characters. Nobody ever says ‘and I’ in North West England. When we greet each other, we say ‘Alright’ sometimes, the exuberance of a hello sounds like ‘Alrite’ . These are not typos – it is how things are round here. ‘I knows someone called Ricketts(from The Terraced House Diaries)

Photo by Olenka Sergienko on Pexels.com

I regularly watch a film or read a book and think ‘that reminds me of’ another film or book. Reminds doesn’t mean the same as. I love it.

Have you read a book/watched a film that reminded you of another story?

Happy reading, Samantha xx

Do Fictional Characters Listen to Music? (in the parallel universe they exist in).

Do fictional characters listen to music?

I remember hearing something on the radio (BBC Radio 6) that stuck in my mind. I am always returning to the past, recalling snippets of random stuff. I then waste almost a full day thinking, doing internet searches and finally, wondering what made me remember this nugget of useless information.

I was on my way home from work (that’s how long ago it was), when I heard a presenter talking about an Irvine Welsh interview.

Apparently, Irvine Welsh compiles a playlist for his characters when writing a novel.

This was on the radio, and as I was driving so I couldn’t write this down… this idea stuck in my head.

(I can’t find the interview on the internet but if you Google Irvin Welsh loads come up for him).

Despite this concept sticking in my head, I don’t remember reading a book since where a playlist was obvious. (Please let me know if you have).

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I must have had music in mind when I wrote some of my books.

In 1962 (An Uplifting Tale of 1960s Lancashire), my character Rose Bradshaw sings (no lyrics were used) Edith Piaf songs to her Uncle Billy.

Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

The Curmudgeon Avenue series references plenty of music (without using the lyrics).

In book 2, Harold and Edith get asked a question about Nirvana, at their pub quiz (on accidental proposal night). Later on in the book, they listen to Afternoon Delight by the Starland Vocal Band. Wantha and Ricky turn up the ‘CHOONS’ when club classic Shine On by Degrees of Motion is played on the radio.

Book 3 brings the new character Gil Von Black. Patchouli met him at a speed dating event in Radcliffe. Gil Von Black is ‘famous person royalty’ in my fictional version of Whitefield. He is a retired session musician who has played with Black Sabbath and even (ha!) Def Leppard.

Plenty more heavy metal references are dropped in book 4, but it isn’t until book 6 that we get to find out the characters’ guilty pleasures.

Suzanne ‘Toonan’ Rose’s guilty pleasure is Vanilla Ice (remember Ice, Ice Baby?) Edith Ricketts’ guilty pleasure is the theme tune to Murder She Wrote. Wantha Rose doesn’t have any guilty pleasures, Wantha Rose apologises to nobody. Patchouli, however…. well her guilty pleasure is Lionel Richie, the reason for this is a corker. (Sorry, I can’t tell you it would be a massive spoiler).

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

All of the advice on the internet is you cannot use song lyrics in your book because of copyright. (Some sites give details of how to ask permission but I presume this will cost). I choose not include lyrics but referring to artists is fine.

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

During the second half of this year, I plan to start writing my next standalone novel. The characters have rattled around in my mind for a long time. I think it is time I figure out their tastes in music.

I hope it’s awesome…

Happy reading and writing, Samantha

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

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.

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