Hooked? – 2

Here are three more books and their opening lines.

Assuming the book is in a genre that might interest you, do you want to continue reading after the first lines? The authors hope so. What do you think? Are you interested enough to turn the page?

1. Grumpy Old Menopause by Carol E. Wyer

Have you started to write post-it notes with your kids’ names on them? Do you need to change your underwear after every time you sneeze? Guess it’s time to read this book then.

….  It’ll help you get through “that” time of your life with a spring in your step and a smile on your face. (Yeah right!)

GOM High Resolution Cover




2. Made in Nashville by Mandy Baggot

The lights were so bright, brighter than the strongest spotlight Honor had ever stood under. They were coming from all directions. Right. Left. Overhead. The crowd was roaring, clapping, stamping their feet, dancing. They moved like a sea, swaying, bobbing, rising up and falling back in time to the music. This was what she’d dreamed of since she was a little girl.

Made in Nashville



3. Kurinji Flowers by Clare Flynn

The beginning of July, and the sky was the colour of a dirty pigeon. 1936 had been a terrible year; dull, grey days, abnormally cool and unremittingly miserable. At least, that’s how I remember it.   

Kurinji Flowers LARGE EBOOK




Turning Points – Carol E. Wyer

Meet today’s guest, author Carol E. Wyer.Headandshoulders

Carol writes light-hearted humorous fiction and non-fiction aimed at those who wish to grow old disgracefully. Recent books caught the attention of the media and with the release of Grumpy Old Menopause, she appeared on BBC Breakfast television, over thirty radio shows, and now makes regular appearances on BBC Radio Derby as a Loud Mouth. (I can’t imagine why!)

Carol says:

My novels are full of twists and turns so it’s difficult to say they have one turning point. In reality there will be several moments where the reader will raise his eyebrows in surprise (I hope). Just Add Spice is one of those. It’s about Dawn, a middle-aged woman, who joins a writer’s group full of eccentric characters-and a young man who has a keen interest in her- in order to learn how to best write her first novel. She is advised to make her character as credible as possible by thinking and behaving like them. That’s fine, except her character, Cinnamon Knight, is an avenging Lara Croft type, out to exact revenge on every badly behaved male she encounters and who will happily murder them if necessary. Gradually, Cinnamon Knight begins to take over her creator, or has she always been there lurking in the depths of Dawns’ soul?

Through writing, Dawn discovers her own true identity and soon realises that she has been blinkered to the truth behind her own marriage. The complexity of relationships, love, marriage, danger, lust and confusion are all within the pages of the novel which might make you wonder if you should inject some spice into your own life.

Here’s an extract:

It was very late when she went to bed having completed the latest chapter. Jim was fast asleep and didn’t hear her slip quietly between the sheets. He was making that puffing sound he usually made, just before he burst into rhythmical snores that would increase in decibels until Dawn felt like screaming. She was tired now. Her eyes were sore from staring at the screen and she needed some rest before Jim decided that it was time for them both to wake up.

He was one of those, “early to bed and early to rise” people. About five o’clock he would start to become restless in bed which would inevitably waken Dawn. He would then yawn noisily several times and huff as if he didn’t fancy another day on the planet. Some short time after that, he would throw back the covers and tumble out of bed, clumping about the bedroom, opening wardrobe doors noisily and then running the bathroom tap for ages and flushing the toilet several times, oblivious to Dawn who was still bleary-eyed from tiredness.

Age was creeping up on him. She glanced at him. Light cast from the digital alarm clock glowed blue across his face. His mouth was open and he was dribbling slightly. She prodded him gently in the side to encourage him to move off his back and onto his side, where he might not make that irritating puffing sound.

Dawn pulled the covers up to her chin and nestled into the warm of the duvet. The puffs turned into gentle rumbles. Dawn burrowed further under the duvet. The rumbles became louder. Dawn gave him a prod. The rumbles stopped. Dawn sighed and covered her head with the duvet. Sleep wasn’t far away. She edged towards it relaxing and welcoming the night which would envelop her and leave her refreshed. She began to drift, floating towards that comfortable oblivion.

She was woken from the almost dream-like state by an almighty snore. Jim was at full volume. She shook him gently. Nothing. He continued to snore. She tried to move him. No way. He was out for the count. She hid her head under the duvet and fumed. She needed some sleep for goodness sake. It was 3 a.m. She needed those two precious hours.

Cinnamon suddenly appeared from nowhere. She was in Dawn’s mind whispering to her. Cinnamon wouldn’t listen to this holy row. She’d give him a sharp kick. As soon as the thought entered her mind, Dawn’s leg shot out involuntarily and caught Jim’s sharply on the tender portion of his calf muscle. The snoring stopped instantly. Cinnamon winked at Dawn. Dawn snuggled down again. A few minutes later the rumbling began once more. Cinnamon leapt up and grabbed the Tempur pillow from under Dawn’s head. It was weighty and sank in the middle. Straddling Jim with her long strong legs, she placed the pillow over his head and prepared to hold it over his face. Dawn shook her head. Too much Cinnamon. He’ll suffocate. Cinnamon blew a strand of hair away from her nose, nodded and got off Jim. Dawn leant across and instead pinched Jim’s nostrils together until he started spluttering. As soon as he started coughing, she feigned sleep. Jim coughed some more, then rose to get a drink of water. When he got back to bed he turned over onto his side and dozed back off.

Dawn smiled quietly in the dark and held her thumb up to Cinnamon who disappeared again into the recesses.

Just Add Spice


Amazon UK

Amazon US

Safkhet Publishing





Christmas Interview – Carol E. Wyer

Today’s Christmas interview guest is Carol E. Wyer. Don’t be alarmed when you read that she calls her husband Mr. Grumpy. It’s all done with love. Here is Carol, author of several humorous books about which you can find out more at the bottom of the page. Welcome, Carol.

Carol E Wyer

1.Do you celebrate Christmas?

Since our son left home Mr Grumpy has decided that we shall no longer celebrate Christmas. Consequently, we now go for a walk in the morning and then he spends the rest of Christmas day ranting about the television offerings, while I hide in my office and watch the latest box set of Dexter DVDs that I squirrel away during the year ready for the event.

2. Have you ever spent Christmas alone?

 No. Although these days I quite fancy spending Christmas alone!

3. Have you ever had a non-traditional Christmas dinner? What did you have?

Last year we had a pot of yogurt and an apple. We had huge problems with our drainage system that meant we had no water for three days and couldn’t flush toilets, cook, wash, etc. Mr Grumpy spent the entire afternoon in the pouring rain attempting to bail water out of a ditch in an attempt to prevent it from backing up to our bathrooms and flooding them. It wasn’t our best Christmas.

4. What are your thoughts on gift giving?

They have changed over the years as I now feel there is far too much emphasis on gifts and not on the true meaning of Christmas. Nowadays, I only give gifts to my mother, son, and his girlfriend. Mr G and I don’t give each other presents either.

5. What was the most fun activity you’ve done at Christmas?

The best Christmas was one we spent in France. We opened stockings filled with gifts in the morning, had next door’s children around to choose chocolates from the Christmas tree, went out for lunch at a local restaurant filled with French ambiance, then had a walk around a picture postcard perfect village that twinkled with lights, snowflakes, and charm. We then went back home in the snow, made Lego toys out of my son’s present with him, sang Christmas carols while we did that and had an idyllic time.

6. Do you have stockings either at Christmas, or on St. Nicholas Day?

We always used to have stockings first thing on Christmas Day. The presents were always small gifts but we had such fun opening them. Even Mr Grumpy used to enjoy opening silly presents such as a DIY small glider when our son was younger.

7. What was the best gift you ever received at Christmas?

Tricky question. I always love anything I get because someone has taken time and trouble to get it for me. I am rather fond of a fluffy teddy bear that Mr Grumpy bought me. It was because it was out of character for him to buy such a sentimental present and he knew I would fall for it.

8. What was the best homemade gift you ever received?

My father made me a ‘ship in a bottle’ using a walnut shell and a tiny bottle. He called it HMS Nutiless. I treasured it for years.

9. Have you ever given a homemade gift? Tell about it.

I always made Christmas boxes for the lunch table. They became the focus of Christmas. I started making them to replace Christmas crackers which I thought were a waste of money and never had any nice presents inside them. I made up a box filled with Christmas chocolates, a little gift like a nice key ring, jokes that I printed out from the computer. I drew holly branches and Christmas trees on the little slips. Each set of jokes were relevant to the person so one year Son got jokes about drinking and Hubby got jokes about aeroplanes. Each box had an exploding popper to represent the ‘bang’ in a cracker and a kazoo or blower to make a noise with. Over the years, the boxes got bigger and had more in them, including puzzles and challenges like ‘sing this Carol in a foreign language’ (words provided). My son loved the boxes more than the stocking presents. They certainly made lunchtime entertaining and invariably meant I burnt the turkey.

10. What would you change about Christmas?

I hate that shops start trying to sell you stuff already in October. I would prefer it if everything began on December 1st, towns had Christmas parades and illuminated their decorations then, and stores kept everything under wraps until the same time. In fact, Mr Grumpy would like it if it were abolished altogether.

11. What would you keep the same if you could?

Christmas Nativity plays and Christmas carols. They are always the best part of Christmas for me.

12. What is your favourite Christmas music or song?

Mistletoe and Wine by Cliff Richard.

13. What do you like best about Christmas?

Having a glass of champagne at lunchtime!


And here is a photo of last year’s snowfall that kept Carol housebound for quite some time.


Here are three of Carol’s books. Check them out if you’re looking for something fun to read.



How Not to Murder Your Grumpy cover frontSurfing-in-Stilettos-cover-180x240


Writing Styles – Part 10 – Just Add Spice

My guest today is Carol E. Wyer, an author from the UK. You’ll love the humour in her novels. Carol will enlighten us about her writing style giving us a sample of a setting, a scene ending, and a character description.


I love teasing the reader. With a book called Just Add Spice I had to make it sound suggestive in parts but even the title is a play on words, and has more than one meaning. Writing light-hearted novels allows me many opportunities to make the reader guffaw and this book was no exception. My opening scene sets the tone for the book. How many readers managed to get the wrong idea about this?

The windows in the old Golf GTI were almost completely steamed up, thanks to the activities of the middle-aged woman and the young man inside it. The sudden rapid barking of a dog in the distance made the woman jump. She was already sweating and aware of a rancid aroma pervading the car. It was most certainly was coming from her partner–in-crime. He turned his head towards her and scowled.

“Hurry up, will you? I could have finished this twenty minutes ago.”

Dawn shrank at the reprimand. He might have been twenty-five years her junior, but he oozed menace. His dark eyes burrowed into hers.

The ending to this scene will surprise you. I intended the whole novel to surprise and delight readers and I think I succeeded. There are twists, turns and a whopper of a finale.

Just Add Spice is about a bored housewife who decides to write a novel. She joins a class of eccentric writers in town where she also meets the delicious Jason who shows more than a passing interest in her. It was tricky to write the book because it is about what happens when a writer gives too much life to a character. I had to write two credible characters and gradually weave them together in such a way that I still surprised the reader.

 Dawn Ellis craves excitement and adventure. Her character, Cinnamon Knight is a wild, wanton kick ass heroine who spends most of time wreaking revenge on cheating men. Dawn gradually gets taken over by Cinnamon and the line between reality and fiction blurs in a dramatic way.

The subject allowed me to write from two points of view and gave me plenty of scope to shock and amuse my readers. Cinnamon’s antics provide a lot of the spicy moments. Be warned, you may never be able to look at a lollipop n the same way again. I loved Cinnamon. She is outrageous. When she isn’t causing mayhem she keeps popping up and ‘talking’ to Dawn. She gives Dawn a lot of advice especially on the subject of her failing relationship with her husband:

“It’s his age,” commented Cinnamon from the bed. She was sitting on the edge of it, filing her long, painted nails. They were a deep maroon colour and matched her lipstick. Dawn looked at her own broken nails and made a mental note to file and paint them later that day. “His libido has dropped. His hormone levels have dropped, like yours have, and he’s discovering he can’t perform certain activities like he could. It’s not just his age. It’s probably all related to being thrown out of his job. He’s been emasculated. That has affected his physical prowess and, consequently, his ability to perform in the bedroom. Let’s be truthful here, he’s never been that great, has he? Not that you’d know what ‘great’ is. He is ignoring you, rather than try to start something he is worried he might not be able to finish. Check it out on the internet. He’s got physical difficulties due to stress and anxiety.”

Dawn reflected on that for a while. It made sense. Jim had changed dramatically since he gave up working. He was much more short-tempered than he ever used to be, and he seemed to be dispirited. She dressed and fired up the computer. There was plenty of information on various health websites. Three hours later, she was convinced her husband was definitely depressed and that the depression was due to being unemployed. She needed to help him. First things first, she needed to make him feel masculine. Cinnamon hovered about all the time she was online. She kept whispering in Dawn’s ear. In the end, Dawn gave in. She typed the word Viagra into Google and read some of the pages that came up.

It took no more than a click of a button for the deed to be done. Cinnamon yawned and stretched. “That should sort you both out. Now, what shall I get up to? I feel like having my own night of torrid sex with a good-looking man. Could you write me a nice scene, please?”

“Cinnamon, if I could muster up the imagination, I would, but at the moment I’m stumped. You’ll have to have a night off. I can’t do sex scenes. I am in an angry mood anyway, so I can’t even fire up any faded memories.”

Cinnamon gets some comic lines too:

It was Cinnamon’s fault she now held little blue pills in her hand and was planning on turning Jim into a sex machine.

On cue, Cinnamon appeared as Dawn hovered over the toilet, considering flushing the pills down it.

“Ah! Those’ll put some lead in his pencil,” she drawled.

“I’m not so convinced. I did some more research online. Some of these things aren’t safe. What if they are Chinese fake pills and are made up of blue paint and lead? Or, what if they make his heart beat too fast and he dies of over-exercise?”

“Or, over-sexercise,” suggested Cinnamon and snorted.

Most of the comedy comes from the eccentric writers that meet up each week and a post woman called Viv who catches Dawn in all manner of embarrassing situations.

Viv stood on the doorstep grinning wildly. Her electronic signature pad stuck out of her coat pocket, and her hands were behind her back.

“Morning!” she trumpeted when Dawn opened the door. “Got something for you, all the way from Canada.” A rather small packet covered in sticky labels appeared. Viv gave it a little shake as she handed it over, beaming at Dawn again.

“Now, let me see, what might it be? A tiny can of maple syrup, perhaps, or maybe a small model of a beaver, or some super-duper[C1]  pills you can’t get in Boots?” she joked. “What would you order online from Canada?” She asked, waggling her eyebrows in a comic fashion.

The characters in the writing group also provide a release from the plot:

“No, but boy, oh boy, does it sell books,” voiced Margaret, getting into the conversation now that it was no longer a spat between the two most vociferous members of the group. This latest Zee Zee Bagor novel is all over the newspapers. I was in Sainsbury’s yesterday, and copies of Hot and Lusty were flying off the shelves. Women were fighting each other to get a copy.”

“Did you get yours?” asked Craig, the cheeky car salesman from Essex.

Margaret blushed.

“Ah, you did then. Lend it me when you finish it, will you?” he laughed and blew her a kiss.

“Part of the success of Hot and Lusty is the mystery surrounding the author. No one has managed to track her down or interview her yet. Mystery sells as much as sex it seems,” commented Blake as he stacked up a pile of papers he had marked for the group.

“I bet she’s over eighty years old and has a face like a slapped arse,” said Craig.

The book is full of comic moments. I try to juxtapose humour alongside pathos. The two sit nicely together. Humour enhances tragedy, so I use it sparingly for that purpose. I always have some comic characters that offset the serious ones and I endeavour to put humour into most of the chapters, whether that be a throwaway line from one of the characters or a funny situation.

Reading one of my books is a roller-coaster journey, you’ll have moments when you reach for the tissues and then suddenly you’ll be laughing at something. Laughter and feeling good is imperative to my writing. The book has to finish on a high or a surprise or something that makes the reader want to read the next one. I can’t divulge the ending to this one but it’ll make you say, “Ooooh!”



Amazon UK Author Page :    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Carol-E.-Wyer/e/B005U34XNM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Amazon US Author Page :     http://www.amazon.com/Carol-E.-Wyer/e/B005U34XNM/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Website: http://www.carolewyer.co.uk

Safkhet Publishing:  http://www.safkhetpublishing.com/authors/Carol_Wyer.htm

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/cewyer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carol-E-Wyer/221149241263847

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carolewyer

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5061207.Carol_E_Wyer