Category: Blog Tour

Blog Blitz: Thalidomide Kid

Today I am one of the stops on the blog blitz for Thalidomide Kid by Kate Rigby. I will be sharing an extract from the novel. And if you live in the UK, there is a giveaway going on!

Book Description:

Daryl Wainwright is the quirky youngest child of a large family of petty thieves and criminals who calls himself ‘Thalidomide Kid’.

Celia Burkett is the new girl at the local primary school, and the daughter of the deputy head at the local comprehensive where she is bound the following September. With few friends, Celia soon becomes fascinated by ‘the boy with no arms’.

The story of a blossoming romance and sexual awakening between a lonely girl and a disabled boy, and their struggle against adversity and prejudice as they pass from primary to secondary school in 1970s Cirencester. The story deals with themes and issues that are timeless.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


This is an excerpt where Celia overhears a conversation about ‘the boy with no arms’.  Celia is still at primary school and her father, deputy head of ‘the big school’ has invited the head Miss Bond, for a meal. 

“Should we retire to the snug?” Dad said, when second helpings had long been demolished; a cue for the girls to clear away the plates and help Mum with the dishes. Celia and Abby took out the sherry glasses first, sipping the bits left at the bottom.  They knew which was Miss Bond’s glass by the pink shade of her lipstick.

By the time they’d done the dishes and their mother had seen to the coffees in the best Prinknash cups, the conversation had switched again. Dad, in one of the armchairs, was relighting his pipe, the blackened match nearly burning his fingers in its dying flare, while Miss Bond was holding forth on the studio couch, the tail end of which was about a fourth year boy from Upper Churnside who was always truanting and up to no good, even when he did attend school. 

“Let’s be blunt …” Miss Bond continued, her glasses on the end of a chain and her plump knees pointing to one side. “They’re a family of juvenile delinquents and congenital liars.”

Mrs Burkett, after offering the coffees, sat at the other end of the studio couch. Abby took the other armchair, leaving Celia with the milking stool one of the boys had made in woodwork at Dad’s old school in Accrington. She sat on it against the wall and pulled out one of her old Buntys that had somehow found its way into the magazine rack, having decided that it was OK to flick through her comic in this situation, seeing as the grown-ups were talking about stuff which wasn’t strictly for her ears. In this situation, discretion was a good strategy, she decided, and tried to lose herself in the pictures of fictional schoolgirls, some with pudding-basin haircuts like her own.

“It’s not surprising,” Miss Bond went on. “The father’s in and out of prison and a couple of the older ones have been sent to borstal.” She looked at their father over her slanted glasses. “Even the younger ones are at it. There’s one, only about ten years old.”

Celia noticed how this Bunty had lost its new smell, that hot off-the-press smell it had when the instalments were all eagerly waiting to be read.

“A Thalidomide,” said Miss Bond. “So he gets away with a lot of mischief because of his handicap. Apparently he was caught stealing and was sent home with little more than a slap on the wrist, except he hasn’t a wrist to slap, of course. Maybe he wants to prove to his family that he can be like them, though I think it’s more a case of them exploiting his handicap. He’d be about Celia’s age.”

Miss Bond glanced over at Celia who’d become enthralled by the story unfolding outside the confines of her comic. It must be him that Miss Bond was talking about. The boy with no arms. 

“I think he goes to her school,” continued Miss Bond. “The mother had a fight to let him go there, I believe, instead of the physically handicapped place. Of course, we’ll be presented with the same dilemma next year, though we pride ourselves on our progressive policies towards the integration of the handicapped at Cirencester High. A mark of any civilized society, don’t you think?”

The conversation gradually moved on again to the fourth year parents’ evening and PTAs and school governors, and Celia drifted off, glowing on dregs of sherry and thinking of May and June with their severed legs and the handicapped boy with hair the colour of a doll’s. Lovely, unspoilt hair.


About the Author:

Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England.  She’s been writing for nearly forty years. She has been traditionally published, small press published and indie published.

She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and has since been updated.

However she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s magazines.

Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).

Her novel Savage To Savvy was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA) Quarter-Finalist in 2012.

She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories, in an erotic anthology published by Pfoxmoor Publishing and more recently in an anthology of Awkward Sexcapades by Beating Windward Press.

She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).

She has re-Kindled her backlist and is gradually getting her titles (back) into paperback.

Contact Kate:
Website
Blog
Goodreads
Bookbub
Pinterest

 **UK GIVEAWAY**

 Win 1 signed copy of Thalidomide Kid

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Terms and Conditions –Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Blog Tour: Christmas Spirit by Nicola May

Today I share my review for the novella Christmas Spirit by Nicola May.  This is an enjoyable one that will help get you into the Christmas Spirit! There is also an international giveaway going on!

Book Description:

It’s two days before Christmas – and Evie Harris finds herself both manless and jobless. After a chance encounter with handsome Greg (and egged on by her toy-boy-eating friend, Bea) she agrees to work at a homeless shelter on Christmas Day.
Striking up an unlikely friendship with homeless Yves, Evie begins an unwitting journey of spiritual awakening, all set against the sparkling winter backdrop of London landmarks.

A New Year’s Eve revelation is on its way . . . but will it leave Evie with a happy heart, or will she allow the pre-Christmas past to dictate her future?

Author: Nicola May
58 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 31-November 1, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

This was a quick read to get you into the spirit of Christmas! Christmas can be such a crazy time and we can forget what the true meaning of Christmas is about: Helping others.  This story focuses on the helping of others while helping Evie to grow herself. She starts off the story without a job and left by her boyfriend.  She feels pity for herself, but the invite to volunteer at a homeless shelter was just what she needed.  (And yeah, ok, Greg is nice to look at too!)

Evie meets a homeless man Yves who she helps and in return he helps her!  This is a great short story that has a happy ending. This will be sure to help you get into the Christmas spirit! 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Nicola May lives near the famous Ascot racecourse with her black-and-white rescue cat, Stan.  Her hobbies include watching films that involve a lot of swooning, crabbing in South Devon, eating flapjacks – and, naturally, enjoying a flutter on the horses.

Nicola likes to write about love, life and friendship in a realistic way, describing her novels as ‘chicklit with a kick’.

She has written eight novels, with Christmas Spirit being her first novella.

Contact Nicola:
Website
Twitter @nicolamay1
Instagram

**International Giveaway!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Blog Tour: The Coco Pinchard Box Set

Today I am part of the blog tour for The Coco Pinchard Box Set by Robert Bryndza. I will be sharing my reviews for the two Christmas novellas in this series.  These were two enjoyable novellas and I look forward to reading the rest of the series! There is also an international giveaway going on to win signed copies of all the books in the series!!! 

**For the first time, all 5 books in Robert Bryndza’s bestselling Coco Pinchard romantic comedy series are available in one! And this box set includes a new introduction by the author. They are currently on SALE:

Amazon UK 99p
Amazon US: $1.99
Amazon AU $0.99
Amazon EU stores €0.99

‘Coco Pinchard has to be one of my favorite female characters. If you love the Bridget Jones series, then you need to check this out!’ Kerensa, Amazon Reader

Book Descriptions:

Book 1: The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard

If you enjoyed flipping through Bridget Jones’s diary, you’ll love perusing Coco Pinchard’s emails! Coco confides in her quirky, supportive friends as she deals with her life falling apart. Read the emails that tell the heart warming and often hilarious tale of Coco picking up the pieces, in this fun, feel-good Romantic Comedy.

Book 2: Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding

Coco thinks she’s on the road to happily ever after with Adam, until he inexplicably breaks up with her. Will one mistake cost them their whole future? Coco sets out to discover what has really happened, and uncovers a shocking secret Adam has been hiding from her… Full of hilarious twists and turns, Coco Pinchard’s Big Fat Tipsy Wedding is a witty, heart-warming, romantic comedy – the stand-alone sequel to no.1 bestselling, The Not So Secret Emails of Coco Pinchard.

Book 3: Coco Pinchard, the Consequences of Love and Sex

Coco Pinchard has a great life, a bestselling memoir, and a handsome second husband. Things are going exactly as planned — until her adult son runs into disaster, her ex’s mother butts back into her life, and she finds out she’s pregnant! Maybe life is more fun if you throw your plans out the window… The third book in Robert Bryndza’s bestselling Coco Pinchard series (which can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone story) is a hilarious diary with Coco’s trademark wit and honesty, tracing the raging hormones and extraordinary twists that take her to motherhood for the second time.

Book 4: A Very Coco Christmas

It’s 1985, and eighteen-year-old Coco Pinchard is home for Christmas after her first term at University. She’s fallen hopelessly in love with Daniel Pinchard, but Coco’s mother wants her to be with Kenneth, the son of posh friends Adrian and Yvonne Rosebury, who will be joining them for Christmas.

As snow falls softly over the city, and Coco tries to juggle a series of hilarious events, the stage is set for a Christmas lunch like no other. A Very Coco Christmas is a delicious, stand-alone prequel short story to Robert Bryndza’s smash-hit Coco Pinchard series.

Book 5: Coco Pinchard’s Must-Have Toy Story

A sparkling feel-good comedy, which asks the question – how far would you go to get your child the must-have Christmas toy? 

It’s December 1992, and children are going crazy for the Tracy Island toy – almost as crazy as the parents! Christmas day is fast approaching and Coco Pinchard is desperately trying to track one down for her four-year-old son Rosencrantz. 

From dodgy dealings in a motorway lay-by, to extreme shopping in Hamley’s with a Sylvanian Families fanatic, to having a go at the Blue Peter make-your-own Tracy Island, Coco tries everything in the hope that four-year-old Rosencrantz will open his must-have toy on Christmas morning.


Jessica’s Reviews:

Author: Robert Bryndza
Published: June 3, 2015
82 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 25-26, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

This is a short novella that introduces us to Coco (AKA Karen).  I knew Bryndza wrote crime thrillers (which I plan to read at some point!) but did not know he also wrote some chick-lit/romantic comedies! Needless to say I jumped at the chance to read it.  This is my first Bryndza novel and I really enjoyed it!

A Very Coco Christmas is a great introduction to Coco or would be a great ‘look back’ at her earlier life if you already know her.  I personally want to read the whole series now!  I can tell Coco will be a character I will enjoy reading with the crazy adventures she is bound to go on!

This short story takes place in 1985 and she has just finished her first semester of college and goes back home for Christmas…. Christmas can be a crazy time of year for everyone and chaos ensues for Coco: She can really find herself in some ‘interesting’ situations! You will need to read this one to know what I mean!  There is even a turkey in this story…. And he has a NAME!

If you are a fan of chick lit and fun yet crazy in a good way stories, give Coco a try! You will be sure to enjoy it!

Author: Robert Bryndza
Published: October 1 ,2015
144 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 2-6, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

It is 1992 in the UK and the ‘must have’ toy of the year is the Tracy Island.  Coco’s son wants one: The problem is that these toys are in very high demand and there is a limited supply!  The Tracy Island is so popular that there are also directions available to make a ‘homemade version’! 

This is the beginning of the novella and the many situations Coco finds herself in to locate a Tracy Island. Each time Coco is in a situation to procure one, things fall apart. Each situation is more outlandish (in an entertaining way) than the previous one.

I don’t have children, but I know parents will identify with this Christmas novella’s situation: How do you make your child happy when they want the most anticipated toy out there that is nearly impossible to get your hands on???? What extremes will a parent to go to get their child this particular toy?

This is an enjoyable novella that shows the chaos of Christmas and finding that certain gift.  **What I did not realize until I started working on this review is that the Tracy Island was a real toy in 1992! I cannot help my ignorance in this: I am an American and have never heard of Tracy Island before this novella! I have no idea if this show even aired in the US! I wish I had known while I was reading the novella that it was a real toy! 

These novellas are very enjoyable, and I plan on reading the rest of the series.  Buy these books and get to know Coco; you won’t regret it. I look forward to reading more from Bryndza!


About the Author:

Robert Bryndza is the author of the international #1 bestseller The Girl in the Ice, which is the first in his Detective Erika Foster series. It has sold over one million copies.

The Night Stalker, Dark Water, Last Breath and Cold Blood are the second, third, fourth and fifth books in the series. The sixth book, Deadly Secrets, has just been published.

Robert’s books have sold over 2.5 million copies and have been translated into 28 languages.

In addition to writing crime fiction, Robert has published a bestselling series of romantic comedy novels. He is British and lives in Slovakia.

You can find out more about the author at www.robertbryndza.com and on Twitter and Instagram @RobertBryndza

Sign up to Robert Bryndza‘s New Release Mailing List here: http://eepurl.com/UITxz

Contact Robert:
Website
Twitter: @RobertBrynd
Goodreads
Instagram

**International Giveaway!**

Enter to win signed copies of all the books in the series- You will read one and want to read them all: I do! And since the box set is currently on sale, I bought my copy!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the entire tour here:

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