#BlogTour Right on the Monet by Malcolm Parnell

I missed my spot on the BlogTour Right on the Monet by Malcolm Parnell (due to personal circumstances) – here is my post…

About the Author

Malcolm Parnell has a passion for painting and teaches art and drawing skills when he is not working on his next novel. His other passion, apart from his good lady wife, Marion, is Leicester City Football Club. Becoming an author and Leicester win the Premier League have been two of his greatest ambitions realised.

Follow @PaintAuthor @3ppublishing1 on Twitter, on Facebook

About the book

New York – Claude Monet painting is stolen.

Mediterranean – Of all the things Harry Chase had imagined in his life, being a drummer on a cruise ship band was not one that would have occurred to him. And yet, there he was. Centre stage, behind a young female singer along with his mates, Dave, Tony and Steve.

Which meant that getting involved in a jewellery theft, an on-board massage parlour and the hunt for an Old Master was even further from his mind as he cracked the snare drum.

And yet, this was exactly how he found himself being questioned by Interpol …..

Review

This is the third book featuring Harry Chase and his strange group of friends. The books can be read as standalone novels, but there is enough of the previous stories mentioned for the reader to follow the history of the group. The books aren’t necessarily recognisable as a series until you read the blurbs, perhaps it’s something which could be added to the book description or title. #HarryChase

What can I say about Harry & Co? Think men’s locker room banter and the typical sexist, and slightly misogynistic comments and jokes one might encounter in said environment. Then imagine a group of men, a few with their respective partners, solving crime. In essence that is Right on the Monet.

The theft of the painting plays more of a secondary role in the story. The book starts with the theft and then it isn’t mentioned until nearly halfway through the story. The first half is more about the banter between the group and how they accidentally tend to fall into mysteries and solving crimes.

The women are portrayed as nothing more than sexual objects and of course everyone has the hots for the main character Harry. Of course, because every man is irresistible to each and every woman.

The way the men, especially Harry tend to talk about their partners and women in general can be a bit off-putting, it depends on whether locker room thoughts and talk is your thing. If that particular aspect were taken away I think the read would find a bigger audience, because the rest of the story has a cosy mystery comedy feel to it.

Aside from that it is an entertaining comedy of awkward amateur sleuths with a propensity for falling into the midst of mysteries and strife.

Buy Right on the Monet at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. (Buy links to follow soon)

Buy A Brush with Death at Amazon Uk by Malcolm Parnell or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy A Fool and his Money at Amazon Uk by Malcom Parnell or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

#BlogTour Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek and Dave Philpott

Today it’s my turn on the absolutely colossal Blogtour for Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek and Dave Philpott. A collection of hilarious letters to iconic pop and rock stars with fantastic in-on-the-joke replies from the artists themselves: Eurythmics, Heaven 17, Deep Purple, Devo, Dr. Hook and many, many more… Don’t miss the fantastic Q&A and my review!

About The Philpotts

Derek and Dave Philpott are the noms de plume of two ordinary members of the public, working with help from a worldwide social networking community.

Follow @DerekPhilpott @unbounders on Twitter, Facebook/ThePhilpotts

Buy Dear Mr Pop Star

About the book

For more than a decade, Derek Philpott and his son, Dave, have been writing deliberately deranged letters to pop stars from the 1960s to the 90s to take issue with the lyrics of some of their best-known songs. They miss the point as often as they hit it.

But then, to their great surprise, the pop stars started writing back…

Dear Mr Pop Star contains 100 of Derek and Dave’s greatest hits, including correspondence with Katrina and the Waves, Tears for Fears, Squeeze, The Housemartins, Suzi Quatro, Devo, Deep Purple, Nik Kershaw, T’Pau, Human League, Eurythmics, Wang Chung, EMF, Mott the Hoople, Heaven 17, Jesus Jones, Johnny Hates Jazz, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, Chesney Hawkes and many, many more.

Q&A with The Philpotts

Tell us a little bit about Derek and Dave Philpott (keeping your 007 noms de plume alive and kicking here!) The most obvious question is where did the inspiration for this book come from? It’s basically my dad’s total ignorance of pop music. He would say the most remarkable things about songs that came on the radio and that I played at home. His lack of knowledge allowed a surreal take on lyrics that an impassioned music fan would bypass. For example, where you or I would listen to Lady Gaga singing ‘’How’d I turn my shirt inside out?’’ and equate it to a wild night at a club, he’d go ‘’Well, obviously you’ve pulled the sleeves the wrong way haven’t you!!’’, and then he’d be off on a rambling monologue about going to the launderette or something

When you started writing the letters was there any real expectation of one of the recipients sending a reply? Not because it’s an eccentric thing to do, but perhaps because it is more likely that your letter is just one of hundreds. None whatsoever. We just built this website and facebook pages and stuck the letters there unanswered, hanging in cyberspace, and we thought that was funny enough. We did tentatively try to get responses via official channels and management but soon gave up. The answers were procured through the ‘back door of the industry’, via facebook fans who were cousins of the bass players or roadies or next-door but one neighbours of someone that knew their hairdresser. It was totally organic and took a decade. We chose pseudonyms because they are not really us, they are deranged and overblown versions.

There are quite a few letters I thought stood out, both written by The Philpotts and by the artists/stars. Have you got any favourites? Seriously it changes with every dip, but this week I have to say that our duel with Christopher Butler from The Waitresses is a work of unmitigated genius.

Are there any replies you were genuinely surprised to receive? (Pop Stars are really busy sailing on yachts, riding their Arabian stallions and driving their expensive cars, right?) We didn’t think we had a hope of Alannah Myles or Devo coming back. We can only guess that their Porches and dapple greys must have been at the garage and vets respectively.

Where do Derek and Dave Philpott go from here? Is there another project in the works? Volume 3? Er.. see you in 2028 then…although, we are notorious now and it’s getting easier to get replies as the artists all tell each other and vouch for us..we’ll see how this book goes ..

Thanks for answering all of the questions! A pleasure!

Review

When I first heard about this book I thought it was a really amusing idea. I can imagine the status of celebrity comes with the additive of being the recipient of masses of fan mail or in the 21st century receiving messages on social media. There will probably be the occasional death threat (Mr Blobby can be very divisive) and eccentric messages may even equal the semi-normal ones.

Imagine being the recipient of a Philpott speciality, actually you might be surprised or unused to the ancient medium called letter writing. Using real paper, pens and envelopes to communicate with fellow humans. A Philpott communication promises to be witty, a wee bit convoluted and filled with snark. Recipients can take it with the pinch of salt with which is was intended or call their solicitors immediately.

Luckily for the Philpotts the response has been overwhelmingly positive and a lot of the replies are hilariously funny. Talented music artists and music icons have been gracious enough to participate in the joke, and the result is rather extraordinary. Musicians and bands including Katrina and the Waves, Tears for Fears, Squeeze, The Housemartins, Suzi Quatro, Devo, Deep Purple, Nik Kershaw, T’Pau, Human League, Eurythmics, Wang Chung and EMF, to mention just a few of them.

I wonder if these artists talk to each other about the Philpott letters? What I do know is that a lot of the responses are clever political missiles, amusing anecdotes and it’s definitely worth the read.

Buy Dear Mr Pop Star to Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Buy at Unbound 

Publisher: Unbound, Pub. date 20 Sept. 2018

#BlogTour Perfect Match by Zoe May

Today is my stop on the BlogTour for Perfect Match by Zoe May. Perfect Match is breezy light read with quite a few laughs. May doesn’t take herself too seriously and applies the same approach to her views on relationships and online dating. The result is an entertaining read.

Connect with Zoe May on Twitter:

Follow @zoe_writes @HQDigitalUK @HarperCollinsUK

Buy Perfect Match

About the book

Can you ever find true love online?

Sophia Jones is an expert in all things online dating: the best sites, how to write a decent bio, which questions to ask and the right type of photos to use. The only thing she’s not so great at? Picking the guys…

After sitting through yet another dreadful date with a man who isn’t quite what she expected, Sophia is just about ready to give up on the whole dating scene. But her flatmate, Kate, persuades her to give it one more chance, only this time she must create a profile describing her ‘perfect’ man.

Yes, he must look like Robert Pattinson and needs to own a multi-million pound business, but there are a couple of other deal breakers, too! So, when a guy comes along who ticks every box, surely there’s got to be a catch?

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Catherine Bennetto and Rosie Blake!

Review

There is a chapter in this book that had me in stitches, because it reminded me of a similar faux pas I once made, except mine was mistaking a small heated fluffy hand-towel for a dessert. I was crying tears of laughter when I read it.

What May hides really well in this humorous story is the serious question of our expectations vs reality when it comes to relationships and love, and if that wasn’t enough the author also takes a subtle pop at online dating. It has become the 21st century approach to meeting a potential mate. It has opened up opportunities, but it also brings certain safety concerns with it. Connecting with other people is now as easy as breathing air thanks to app, smartphones and technology in general.

Sophia has used nearly every website she can think of to find the right man. So far she has only met duds, bores and freaks. Then again she is extremely finicky. No one is handsome enough, rich enough, smart enough and certainly not entertaining enough for her.

In an act of desperation she writes a profile for yet another website with what can only be described as fantastical requests. In return she gets a lot of weird replies, but one of them is different, one of them matches the profile perfectly.

The moral of the story is you should never judge a book by its cover. Nothing could be more true in this case. As is the saying that you don’t want something or someone until somebody else has it and it is no longer available to you. Sophia definitely suffers from wanting what she can’t have and not wanting what she can have.

Perfect Match is a light-hearted rom-com with a frank take on 21st century dating and our inability to appreciate what we have, and to see what is often right under our noses. May entertains without losing sight of the point she is trying to make, and brings the serious tone when the story requires it. It isn’t often that a scene in a book makes me laugh out loud, so kudos to May for that.

Buy Perfect Match at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

147 Things by Jim Chapman

147 thingsIf I inherited anything from my father at all, because I damn sure didn’t get his maths genius gene, then it is a thirst for knowledge. I read a lot, and I acquire a lot of seemingly useless facts, tidbits or information.

You just never know when you’re going to need to know that penguins can jump up to three meters high or that it is illegal to hunt and kill camels in Arizona. Really? How many camels are there in Arizona that they need a law to protect them?

Essentially this is what 147 Things is about. A collection of odd facts connected via witty commentary. I don’t think I am going to get over the whole kangaroo fact, now every time I look at one I will be wondering about what is hidden in that pouch.

To be completely frank the concept of a book of random facts could be considered a wee bit boring after a while, and that exact thought crossed my mind just a few facts or chapters in. Then the book took a slightly different direction and became more personal. Specifically from Thing 19: Some people aren’t bad, they just do bad things, onwards.

The element, which I believe redeems the book, and makes it not only an entertaining read but also a heart-warming one, is the part of himself Chapman puts into the book.

He lets the reader take a close look at his memories and what is in his heart. He lets us in to take a snapshot of what has shaped him as a child and as a young man, and this is what makes this more than just a book about odd and interesting facts.

Buy 147 Things: My User’s Guide to the Universe, from Black Holes to Bellybuttons at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @jimchapman and @PanMacPublicity

Visit jimchapman.co.uk or his Youtube channel