Marking 124th birthday of F. Scott Fitzgerald with a trailer with @noexitpress and @michael_f_smith #nicknovel #NickCarraway & #TheGreatGatsby

Today would have been F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 124th birthday. He is most well-known for The Great-Gatsby. I have some exciting news for fans of this book. There will be a prequel to this great classic, published by Exit Press and written by Michael F. Smith. It is simply, yet excitedly, called Nick and will be published in February 2021.
I have information about it and a wonderful trailer, which is a real treat to host on my blog, and a synopsis, early praise for the book, as well as some even more extraordinary news about his books.

The link to download the video is here
(Click on the link above). It will take you to We Transfer, and then click download and either accept or don’t accept cookies (your choice) and enjoy the video. It is atmospheric and has beautiful scenery. It is well worth the watch.

Synopsis

This rich and imaginative novel from critically acclaimed
author Michael Farris Smith breathes new life into a
character that many know only from the periphery. Before
Nick Carraway moved to West Egg and into Gatsby’s world,
he was at the centre of a very different story – one taking
place along the trenches and deep within the tunnels of
World War I. Floundering in the wake of the destruction he
witnessed first-hand, Nick embarks on a redemptive journey
that takes him from a whirlwind Paris romance – doomed
from the very beginning – to the dizzying frenzy of New
Orleans, rife with its own flavour of debauchery and violence.
NICK is an inspired concept realised with delicate,
rhythmic prose, profound characterisation and deep
emotion. Charged with enough alcohol, heartbreak,
and yearning to transfix even the heartiest of golden
age scribes, NICK reveals the man behind the narrator
who has captivated readers for decades.

Early Praise for the book

‘Anybody who believes that the war is                       ‘The new Nick is a man fully realized
over when the enemy surrenders and                       with a mind tormented by the war and
the troops come home needs to read                          by a first love that waned too fast to a
Michael Farris Smith’s masterful new                        fingernail moon of bitter memory…
novel NICK. Its stark, unvarnished                             A compelling character study and a
truth will haunt you’                                                      thoroughly unconventional prequel’
Richard Russo                                                                  Kirkus Reviews

 

About the Author and Publisher

No Exit Press also publish Michael Farris Smith’s novels Desperation Road, The Fighter
and most recently Blackwood. Farris Smith has been a finalist for the Gold Dagger Award in the UK, and the Grand Prix des Lectrices in France, and his essays have appeared in publications including The New York Times. He lives in Oxford, Mississippi, with his wife and daughters.

All three of his previous novels are set to hit the big screen. THE FIGHTER , going by the screen name Rumble
Through the Dark, is being produced by Cassian Elwes and directed by Parker and Graham Phillips of Phillips Pictures. Elwes has produced over 200 films, including Dallas Buyers Club and the Netflix hit Mudbound. BLACKWOOD, has been optioned to Parker and Graham Phillips, who will direct and produce along with Farris Smith. Phillips Pictures’ debut film The Bygone was released in November 2019. DESPERATION ROAD is currently casting, with Christina Voros of Yellowstone, set to direct.

 Links:
Website: michaelfarrissmith.com

#BookReview by Lou of #NewBook – Just Like You by Nick Hornby @nickhornby @VikingBooksUK @PenguinUKBooks

Just Like You
By Nick Hornby
Rated: 5 stars *****

Excellent observations and a whole mix of life, romance and politics and everything you would expect from Nick Hornby within his fabulously astute writing style. It’s all brought together to make a great story in Just Like You, with relatable characters.

Thank you very much to the publicist at Viking Books for allowing me to review Just Like You.

Blurb

Lucy married just the sort of man you might expect: a university graduate who runs his own business. Unfortunately he turned out to have serious dependency issues.

Joseph is shaking off the memory of his last date, a girl who ticked all the right boxes and also drove him up the wall.

On an average Saturday morning in a butcher’s shop in North London, Lucy and Joseph meet on opposite sides of the counter. She is a teacher and mother of two, with a past she is trying to forget; he is an aspiring DJ with a wide-open future that maybe needs to start becoming more focused. Lucy and Joseph are opposites in almost all ways. Can something life-changing grow from uncommon ground?

Nick Hornby’s brilliantly observed, tender and brutally funny new novel gets to the heart of what it means to fall headlong in love with the best possible person – someone who may not be just like you at all.

Review

What an opening paragraph!!! It’s powerful, enigmatic and thought-provoking, all with one question that is posed in Spring 2016.

Lucy and Emma are characters so many women will be able to relate to as they talk about things you only would with a best friend. Lucy is on the look out for a man, encouraged by Emma. Written down, the list of attributes and desires in someone in the male species of humans, is so funny! True and to the point, but full of wit, when it’s actually in written. The atmosphere is jovial to begin with and gets deeper as the book progresses, whilst the writing shows Nick Hornby has observed people very well and all is written so naturally, in a way that these people could be within your own street.

It’s an interesting observational book that takes readers into the world of blind dating and society quirks of schooling and the private and comprehensive systems, that Nick Hornby gets spot-on. 

There’s also a comprehensive look into society when it comes to attitudes of sport and race through the butcher – Joseph and his dad and other events that have happened politically. At the heart of it all however, is a moving and deep romance that also covers a considerable age-gap, which I feel works well is quite refreshing to read about, since this is a book that covers a lot of what is happening in the world and has very nicely also not shied away from this too.

Moving back to the dating. there’s also the conversation within the book that consist of how people view each other about who is dating who, in terms of skin colour and the way words are phrased. It’s a deep story. Somehow, I expected it to be a romance with deep undertones. It’s such an emotional book with plenty of humour. It’s also about how you think a person is very similar to you would be the one, without a doubt, and yet, it doesn’t always work out like that and sometimes complete opposites really do attract and shows very honestly that all is not always simple when it comes to that tug of the heart-strings. It has a solid realistic story of romance, not one that’s so unachievable and yet desireable all the same like in the movies, but romance that isn’t always so perfect and this is what makes it all rather compelling and so likeable and want to get to know more and more about the characters lives.

It’s written well, as there are clearly emotive points being made, but the plot of the story as a whole is rather like an honest observation of society and bravely doesn’t hold back in its astuteness. 

#BookReview by Lou of emotionally, beautiful #newbook – Butterflies By D.E. McCluskey @demccluskey1 @dammagedpro1 #ContemporaryFiction #RomanticFiction

Butterflies
By D.E McCluskey
Rated: 5 stars *****

Life can be beautiful, but also delicate. As delicate as a butterfly’s wings, as Olivia Martelle is about to find out as life shows her that as things take off, there are unexpected twists, in this beautifully, emotionally written book.
Thank you to D.E. McCluskey for the opportunity to review.

See below for the blurb and full review as well as a buy and social media links below.

Butterflies.jpg

Blurb

Olivia Martelle has it all. She’s young and beautiful and has just had her fairy-tail wedding to the man of her dreams, the man who makes the butterflies in her stomach swoop and swirl. Life is looking rosy indeed.

Then, a cruel twist of fate changes everything. Her future looks to be torn away from her. Her husband is incapacitated and every day seems to be a continual battle with her sister-in-law, who she is convinced, hates her.

Her beautiful blue butterflies have turned to black.

A desperate mistake, leads her onto a path that she doesn’t want to tread, and her life begins to spiral out of her control. 

Olivia is about to find out that butterflies don’t beat for everyone…

Review

Sensual, Emotional, Fragile, like the wings of a butterfly.
If you’ve ever thought of taking life for granted, you quite possibly won’t after reading this beautiful, yet heart-wrenching book, where the characters have it all until life changing events happen. One minute, life is all fluttery and beating like an active butterfly, the next, it is just as fragile as those silky wings.

I read the book in a day. It hooks you into the characters lives so easily and the need to know how it ends is a necessity, this is done with aplomb and I am more impressed than I thought I would be. The plot has depth and twists and turns and Olivia, allthough most definitely flawed, is a strong woman.
Butterflies, blue, silky winged butterflies feature throughout and are an intelligent way of representing feelings of nerves and love as the wings flutter, when all is well, turning black when life changes.
The writing all appears to be done with sensitivity and care.

Olivia Britt, a determined, sassy character, who’s wedding day it is in Geneva, experiences the butterflies of love in many different ways. The flutter of the wings of a butterfly is a clever use of describing not just the pre-wedding nerves, but also the lovemaking. This is sensual and passionately written.
Distaster strikes when they are driving along… The lovely, light atmosphere of love and joy changes as Olivia and Paul find themselves in hospital. The way it changes so dramtically comes across well and as strongly as the romantic scenes before. It shows, like a butterflies wings, how fragile life can be, as family, such as Angela – Paul’s sister meet in a hospital as unexpected events start to occur that has an impact and consequences on everyone’s lives.

The colourful butterflies from the beautiful blue before are described as turning black.
I like this as a depiction a lot, how the butterflies are still used, even when life isn’t as it used to be. It’s just as powerful.

Life gets even more complicated when Angela attempts to become more controlling in her agenda to gain everything. I think people will recognise that this can happen within families. People will have to give it a read to see if it is resolved or not.

The emotions around Paul on the wedding night and when he is in hospital are realistic and convey the love and turmoil strongly, including when Richard, Angela’s husband comes more into the scene and life becomes more tangled.

There are beautifully written flashback sequences to the wedding day and how the tender, silky winged butterflies reacted.

I absolutely recommend this book. It’s one you will find yourself needing to find out if the butterflies can ever return and flutter with the rhythms and beats of life ever again.

Links

Buy Link : Amazon

Social Media Link: Facebook Page

Twitter @demccluskey1                        @dammagedpro

#BookReview by Lou of emotionally, beautiful #newbook – Butterflies By D.E. McCluskey @demccluskey1 @dammagedpro ContemporaryFiction

Butterflies
By D.E McCluskey
Rated: 5 stars *****

Life can be beautiful, but also delicate. As delicate as a butterfly’s wings, as Olivia Martelle is about to find out as life shows her that as things take off, there are unexpected twists, in this beautifully, emotionally written book.
Thank you to D.E. McCluskey for the opportunity to review.

See below for the blurb and full review as well as a buy and social media links below.

Butterflies.jpg

Blurb

Olivia Martelle has it all. She’s young and beautiful and has just had her fairy-tail wedding to the man of her dreams, the man who makes the butterflies in her stomach swoop and swirl. Life is looking rosy indeed.

Then, a cruel twist of fate changes everything. Her future looks to be torn away from her. Her husband is incapacitated and every day seems to be a continual battle with her sister-in-law, who she is convinced, hates her.

Her beautiful blue butterflies have turned to black.

A desperate mistake, leads her onto a path that she doesn’t want to tread, and her life begins to spiral out of her control. 

Olivia is about to find out that butterflies don’t beat for everyone…

Review

Sensual, Emotional, Fragile, like the wings of a butterfly.
If you’ve ever thought of taking life for granted, you quite possibly won’t after reading this beautiful, yet heart-wrenching book, where the characters have it all until life changing events happen. One minute, life is all fluttery and beating like an active butterfly, the next, it is just as fragile as those silky wings.

I read the book in a day. It hooks you into the characters lives so easily and the need to know how it ends is a necessity, this is done with aplomb and I am more impressed than I thought I would be. The plot has depth and twists and turns and Olivia, allthough most definitely flawed, is a strong woman.
Butterflies, blue, silky winged butterflies feature throughout and are an intelligent way of representing feelings of nerves and love as the wings flutter, when all is well, turning black when life changes.
The writing all appears to be done with sensitivity and care.

Olivia Britt, a determined, sassy character, who’s wedding day it is in Geneva, experiences the butterflies of love in many different ways. The flutter of the wings of a butterfly is a clever use of describing not just the pre-wedding nerves, but also the lovemaking. This is sensual and passionately written.
Distaster strikes when they are driving along… The lovely, light atmosphere of love and joy changes as Olivia and Paul find themselves in hospital. The way it changes so dramtically comes across well and as strongly as the romantic scenes before. It shows, like a butterflies wings, how fragile life can be, as family, such as Angela – Paul’s sister meet in a hospital as unexpected events start to occur that has an impact and consequences on everyone’s lives.

The colourful butterflies from the beautiful blue before are described as turning black.
I like this as a depiction a lot, how the butterflies are still used, even when life isn’t as it used to be. It’s just as powerful.

Life gets even more complicated when Angela attempts to become more controlling in her agenda to gain everything. I think people will recognise that this can happen within families. People will have to give it a read to see if it is resolved or not.

The emotions around Paul on the wedding night and when he is in hospital are realistic and convey the love and turmoil strongly, including when Richard, Angela’s husband comes more into the scene and life becomes more tangled.

There are beautifully written flashback sequences to the wedding day and how the tender, silky winged butterflies reacted.

I absolutely recommend this book. It’s one you will find yourself needing to find out if the butterflies can ever return and flutter with the rhythms and beats of life ever again.

Links

Buy Link : Amazon

Social Media Link: Facebook Page

Twitter @demccluskey1                        @dammagedpro

#BookReview of a #Newbook by Lou – The Unravelling by Liz Treacher @liztreacher #ContemporaryFiction

The Unravelling
By Liz Treacher
Rated: 4 stars ****

I’ve read two books by Liz Treacher before – The Wrong Envelope and The Wrong Direction and enjoyed them. They were set in the 1920’s and quite comedic. Unravelling is different in that it is set in contemporary times as readers are invited to follow the character Ella’s life as it changes in a space of a week.
I thank Liz Treacher for inviting me to review Unravelling and for sending me a copy with a beautiful personalised message in it.
Read further to find out the blurb, review and about the author and links…

The Unravelling cover.jpg

Blurb

‘The Unravelling combines sinister atmosphere with witty insight, and characters we can relate to facing the supernatural fear of our most human nightmares’ – Helen Sedgwick, author of The Comet Seekers

‘A cappuccino.’ He spoke clearly but slowly, as if he were a stranger here.
‘One shot or two?’
He gazed at me with thinly veiled contempt. ‘Oh, you only get one shot.’

For Ella Aldridge, a brilliant Classics student, life was supposed to be exciting. Thirty years on, she’s stuck in the suburbs in a boring job and a failing marriage. Even her daughter, the one she gave it all up for, seems distant.
But a sinister encounter on platform three is about to change everything. Under the watchful eye of a shadowy ticket inspector and his mysterious associate, Ella finds herself spiralling into a murky underworld where portentous signs appear from nowhere, thoughts are stored on memory sticks and speeding express trains may be more than they seem. As she begins to lose her grip on reality, Ella embarks on an extraordinary journey that touches everyone around her, forcing her to confront the biggest question of all.
By turns poignant, chilling and tinged with dark humour, The Unravelling is a novel full of heart and beauty, about the myth and magic of everyday life, and the sacrifices we make for what really matters.

Review

A lot can happen in a person’s life between Monday to Friday and it certainly does in Ella’s. She has quite a romanticised view of love and wishes things to be better between her and Derek and for him to essentially be driven wild with jealousy that others could fancy her as well. There is so much more to her than this though, as she travels by train and potentially is being watched, starting at the train station she uses to catch the train. There is a slightly unnerving quality about the writing, within some of the atmosphere that is created, as the week progresses.

Ella’s behaviours come to light as she displays, whether she wants to or not, her insecurities, especially, now her marriage is failing and her job, her life begins to unravel as reality and fantasy start to almost merge. The book has a firm grip on reality, but slowly, Ella is increasingly losing hers and the effects are beginning to manifest themselves both psychologically and physically.

There is an interesting insight into all of the characters within the acutely observant writing as the story goes primarily between Ella, Derek, Brenda and Lily. They are characters that are believable and are easy to care about what is happening in their lives.

About the Author

Liz is a writer and an art photographer and a love of images influences her writing. She is married with two children and lives in the Scottish Highlands by the sea.

Liz was drawn to writing after she discovered a tiny suitcase belonging to her grandmother. It was tied up with gingham ribbon and full of letters sent by two soldiers on their way to the First World War. The cheerful tone of the soldiers and the way their letters seemed to conceal more than they revealed inspired Liz’s first novel, ‘The Wrong Envelope.’ She has since written a sequel, ‘The Wrong Direction’ and a darker, contemporary novel, ‘The Unravelling’.

 

#BookReview by Lou of The Magic Carpet by Jessica Norrie #Fiction

The Magic Carpet
By Jessica Norrie
Rated: 4 Stars ****

Today I bring to you a fictional diverse story of different families having to come together in an assignment set by the school to perform a range of fairy-stories. There are many challenging circumstances for families to overcome inside the brightly designed cover, which would sit looking very pretty, after reading on adult’s bookcases.
I thank the author of The Magic Carpet – Jessica Norrie for contacting me to review.
Follow down to the blurb, review and links.

The Magic Carpet cover

Blurb

Outer London, September 2016, and neighbouring eight-year-olds have homework: prepare a traditional story to perform with their families at a school festival. But Nathan’s father thinks his son would be better off doing sums; Sky’s mother’s enthusiasm is as fleeting as her bank balance, and there’s a threatening shadow hanging over poor Alka’s family. Only Mandeep’s fragile grandmother and new girl Xoriyo really understand the magical powers of storytelling. As national events and individual challenges jostle for the adults’ attention, can these two bring everyone together to ensure the show will go on?

Review

Most parents and other family members will be or have recollection of sitting through their child’s school play. A crying baby, the excitement and the nervousness of it all.

2016 is the year and the book starts in October with the school play. Wind back a month and September has the mum’s at the school gates, which is written through the eyes of a child – Alka Metha and how her mum is trying to sell the idea of a beauty business to other parents.

Theresa Perry is a mum who is reassured by letters from school and getting involved and gets over-excited. She also has so many insecurities and ends up rushing around, which also shows a critical side of her.

Mr Chan has a son – Nathan who wants his dad to help him with the story and to get Alka involved. What also shows is the judgements being made. Curiously Mr Chan is also looking for some romance to return into his life.

Safiya is mum to Xoriyo and like most mum’s relishes the opportunity of that elusive lie-in. There’s also the fact that Safiya can’t have any more children, that’s at play in their lives. There’s also the concern from Safiya that Xoriyo doesn’t really try, nor wants to fit in and she’s got to get to the bottom of it. She also teaches Xoriyo their background and culture, but also wants her to fit in well and be happy being British and living within the culture of the country she is in.

There’s the main cast and also quite strong secondary characters within this story of creating a story for school. Parents and school teachers are likely to relate to a lot of this book and how things can be within families and within the process of creating a school show. The book is also detailed about school days and school gate behaviour.
The way parents can be towards others and towards teachers is portrayed pretty well and accurately.
There’s also some secrets that emerge about how the children behave at school too. I think parents’/caregivers will find the novel both thought-provoking and enlightening. It also shows all these people from different origins and backgrounds trying to fit in and wanting to fit into one country and with each other.

The Magic Carpet, isn’t just the stuff of fairytales, that is the topic of the school play, but also the coming together of people from all different cultures, who now live in one country – the UK fitting together, or in the families cases, trying to; rather like the patchwork on the front cover of the book.

Links:

Website: https://jessicanorrie.wordpress.com

Buy Link:
 http://getBook.at/TheMagicCarpet