~ BLOG TOUR PLUS ARC REVIEW & AUTHORS’ POST~*DISENCHANTED* by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

I was thrilled to receive an Advanced Reader Copy of Disenchanted, penned by the writing duo Heide Goody and Iain Grant. I invite you to put your feet up, scroll down and find out about this fun-filled book and read my review. You can also read a post compiled by the authors – another of Dr Alexander’s letters to them, which contains an insight into the research material used to create the novel. I am particularly pleased to be hosting this particular letter as it features the town of Tamworth, which I know very well. More of Dr Alexander’s letters can be found on the other blog’s in this tour. 🙂

Book Blurb

“Ella Hannaford has a small business to run, an overworked father to look after and a future stepmother who wants a perfect wedding. 
Can she avoid a girly night out with her clueless stepsister? Can she side-step lovesick suitors at every turn? Not if it’s up to that team of foul-mouthed dwarfs who want to forcibly drag her into her happily ever after.
Gingerbread cottages, dodgy European gangsters, gun-toting grannies, wisecracking wolves, stubborn fairy godmothers, ogres, beanstalks and flying carpets abound in a tale about what happens when you refuse to accept your Happy Ending.”

My Review ~ 5 Stars *****

Magic and mayhem collide in riotous fairy tale romp!

As someone who is an unabashed romance novel addict and who also loves fairy tales, I could not resist the chance to review Heide Goody’s and Iain Grant’s Disenchanted. The premise of the novel – where the heroine very definitely does not want a HEA, despite the meddling of a host of formidable magical creatures, also appealed to my sense of the perverse. Indeed, I found the read to be a real tonic and I defy anyone to read it and not crack a smile and/or stifle a gaffaw within reading the first few pages!

If you thought that fairy tales were firmly consigned to superstitions from the past and story books for children, then think again. Magical creatures really exist, although Ella the heroine would much rather they were not quite so fixated on controlling her life. Much of the action takes place in rural England (predominantly the Midlands), as Ella veers from one adventure to another in her quest to avoid her prospective suitors at all costs and at the same time unravel issues from her family’s past. I loved the fact that Ella is a 21st century woman (no simpering miss) and does not need a ANY interference, magical or otherwise, in her life thank you very much. Her efforts to resist the fate her fairy godmother and her associates have planned for her drive the plot forward and the conflict makes for some hilarious scenes as the authors expertly turned the usual HEA fairy tale tropes on their head…

This unique and humorous tale includes an evil stepmother to be, a gung-ho grandmother, unlikely prospective suitors, a fairy godmother, dwarves, a big bad wolf and more. Combined with an indomitable heroine and a series of larger than life characters, it’s a fast-paced, laugh-a-minute, feel good read, with some excellent one-liners.

It was my first experience of the authors’ work and I now have a real taste for their irreverent humour and will be reading some of their other works very soon. Thoroughly recommended to readers who enjoy a fun filled read and magical read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that an ARC of this book was given to me by the authors for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

The links are:

UK kindle:   UK paperback:   US kindle:   US paperback:

A Post from the Authors

Heide and Iain’s latest novel, Disenchanted, is out this month. The fairy tale fantasy comedy was written with no small assistance from Dr Epiphany Alexander of Sheffield University’s Department for Folklore and Oral History. As an insight into the research material used to create Disenchanted, we present another of Dr Alexander’s letters to the author duo.

My Dear Friends,

When last I wrote to you, I believe I was trapped  in the trunk of a Lincoln Continental in downtown Tucson, Arizona. I found time to reflect upon some of the unusual things that have happened in my  life over recent days, and I was able to draw some useful conclusions. So it was that when Pak Choi suggested that we might slip out via his homeland, I immediately agreed, as I had determined what should be our next course of action.

One should always be wary of spending too much time in Faerie, as it ages the skin terribly, so I had Pak Choi immediately open another portal back into the real world, and this one to the town of Tamworth.

As I am sure you’re aware, Tamworth was the seat of the Saxon rulers of Mercia, and it was for this reason that I needed to visit. The photograph in the domunculus I had seen in Tuscon was unmistakeably a picture of Æthelflæd. Æthelflæd was the daughter of Alfred the Great, and known as the Lady of Mercia. Pak Choi opened a convenient doorway that emerged in the river meadow in the shadow of Tamworth castle.

The castle is built at the confluence of two rivers, the Tame and the Anker, and this important junction is the subject of a local fairy tale, known as The Mermaid and the Mother. A local boy, Tom, liked to spend time by the river, although his mother warned him to be careful of mermaids. Tom was confident that he would not be tricked by the notoriously sly mermaids, and continued  to pass his days on the pleasant grassy banks. When a swan engaged him in conversation he was not afraid, and even took the swan home to meet his mother. It turned out that the swan was a mermaid, and by inviting her over the threshold of his home, Tom was now betrothed to her. Tom didn’t mind the prospect of spending the rest of his life swimming in the river with this fascinating creature, but his mother was determined to prevent the marriage so she heated up the oven, preparing to roast the swan. The cunning mermaid passed word of this to the town’s magistrate, who was naturally obliged to protect the royal bird and so threw the mother in jail, and presided over the nuptials in her absence.

[Here is a picture of the mother preparing to cook the swan]

Pak Choi and I enjoyed the brief and pleasant walk up into the town, passing by the Assembly Rooms, which bears Tamworth’s unofficial coat of arms. This features a pair of mermaids, popularly supposed to be Tom and his bride.

I wanted to visit the library, where I believed there was an archive of the local newspapers. The late Mabel Swift had a popular history column in this for many years, and it was her work that I wished to review, as I had heard that she had a great deal of expertise regarding the life of Æthelflæd and I needed to find out what link there might be with Andrew Lang’s Black Fairy Book. In the library, a bespectacled assistant called Ernest offered to copy all of the relevant material for me, and suggested that I should enjoy a walk around the shady pathways between the library and St Editha’s church while I waited. Pak Choi and I enjoyed this very much, as there are lots of cheeky squirrels who seem unafraid of people and so Pak Choi was able to have a hearty gossip with them without attracting too much attention. He passed on a bawdy tale of squirrel-based derring-do which I will relate here for your amusement, as I know that your book Disenchanted touches on some rather base elements.

A squirrel called Ewan declared himself king of the nuts, by virtue of the fact that nobody else had thought to do it first. He had a throne constructed of nuts and made all of his subjects bring him nut-based tributes. He was an unpopular ruler as nobody could ever see any benefit to his reign, only the burden of supplying nuts for his insatiable appetite.

It became known that he needed so many nuts to sustain his lovemaking, as he liked to visit whatever passes for a red light district in squirrel terms (I’m afraid that Pak Choi’s excessive mirth made this point a little unclear to me). Ewan’s subjects decided that they could cure these urges with the use of a classic honey trap. They recruited a delightfully pretty girl squirrel. Pak Choi used the term hotsy totsy. I honestly don’t know where he gets it from, I think these squirrels are a bad influence. The attractive squirrel was charged with engaging the squirrel king in energetic lovemaking, but whenever he reached for a nut (as he would do throughout) she would bite him vigorously. You might think that this tale ends with Ewan’s re-education, perhaps renouncing his reign over the nuts, but you’d be wrong. It actually ends with him contracting tetanus and dying, which had Pak Choi and his bushy-tailed friends falling about and hooting with laughter.

[Here is a picture of the King of the Nuts]

There is an interesting anchor-themed sculpture near the church. It is a memorial to Colin Grazier, one the three British seaman who retrieved secret documents from a sinking German submarine in World War Two. The Enigma code books were amongst those documents, enabling those clever people over at Bletchley Park to understand the Germans’ encrypted messages. Sadly, young Colin, a local lad, drowned when the sub went down.

[here is Pak Choi’s sketch of the sculpture]

I had my own mystery to solve and codes to break and felt inspired by Colin’s example as I went back into the library to see what Ernest had found for me. The librarian had uncovered and photocopied a wealth of local history material for me.

Ernest looked at me intently and enquired if I would like to join him for a drink of locally brewed real ale, over which he could tell me some more about the local area. Lovely though the little man was, I can’t abide real ale. I dismissed his advances with brief thanks and made a sharp exit. I had much to think about. I was not in need of ale but of some quiet thinking time and a cup of Pak Choi’s soothing tea.

I post this to you in the knowledge that I have promised to meet you in Birmingham tomorrow to help celebrate the launch of your new book. I see no reason at all why I can’t get to the bottom of this mystery and then come meet with you, dear friends.

Yours,

Dr E. Alexander

Dr Epiphany Alexander’s latest book, “One Day My Prints Will Come: How Early Printers Hindered the Spread of Fairy Tales” is currently available from Sheffield Academic Press.

Heide Goody and Iain Grant’s novel, Disenchanted, is available now from Amazon.

UK kindle:   UK paperback:   US kindle:   US paperback:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tamworth Literary Festival Brings to Life the Written Word

 

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Tamworth LitFest 2017 Celebrates the Written Word

Tamworth’s inaugural Literary Festival (3-11 March 2017), has LOTS to interest fans of all genres and  includes theatre, live stand-up and more!

Opening Night

bookshopme2-carol-wyerCarol E Wyer, who writes both humorous and thriller fiction, will be opening the festival at 7.00pm on Friday 3rd March at Tamworth Central Methodist Church with her signature stand-up routine alongside Birmingham’s Ministry of Improv (tickets £5 per head). Carol’s recent release, Little Girl Lost, a serial killer novel, reached number 2 in Amazon’s digital download charts.

An Evening with Author Mike Gayle

Meet Romantic Fiction author Mike Gayle on Monday 6th March. Mike, the author of twelve novels including Mr mg_colourCommitment, Turning Thirty and Wish You Were Here, will be at Tamworth Town Hall at 7.00pm (£4 per head). Mike  became a full time novelist in 1997 following the publication of his Sunday Times top ten bestseller My Legendary Girlfriend in 1997, which was hailed by The Independent as ‘Full of belly laughs and painfully acute observations,’ and by The Times as ‘A funny, frank account of a hopeless romantic.’

20 Years of Not Being Published…

poultonsmith2_400x400On Tuesday 7th March local Author Anthony Poulton-Smith presents… 20 Years of Not Being Published. The author of 74 published works, Anthony offers tips and advice based on his mistakes and experiences. The event takes place in Tamworth Central Library at 1.00pm (£3 per ticket).

A Case of Mistaken Identity…

Shoebox Theatre’s performance of the medieval ballad/mummers play King Edward IV and a Tannertanner-of-tamworth-image-project-gutenberg of Tamworth, has its own suspected crime scene. Witness how the hapless Tanner mistakes the king for a common thief and has to face the consequences for his error! The performance takes place at 7.00pm on the evening of Wednesday 8th March at the Central Methodist Church in Tamworth. Tickets priced £4 per person.

Author Crime Panel

crime-panel-thursday-march-9th-lf-2017A Crime Panel, chaired by Gary Hyde a former policeman takes place on Thursday 9th March. The panel comprises:

Crime fiction writer Hugh Fraser (Captain Hastings from Poirot);

Chris Collett, whose latest publication A Good Death continues the compulsive series of books based in Birmingham, featuring DI Tom Mariner;

Stephen Booth, who writes the iconic Cooper and Fry series set in the Peak District, and

True crime author Gordon Lowe, whose most recent publication examines the notorious Black Panther.

The panel will examine the similarities and differences of writing crime fiction and true crime. The event, which takes place in The Globe Inn, Tamworth at 7.00 pm, costs £5 per head.

The Origins and Meanings of Local Pub Names

On Friday 10th March local Author Anthony Poulton-Smith looks at the Origins and Meanings of Local Pub Names. The event takes place in Tamworth Castle (£3 per ticket, payable at the door).

Thriller Panel

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A free to attend Thriller Panel takes place at 2.00 pm Saturday 11th March in St Editha’s Church Hall, featuring AA Abbott and Rob rob-sinclairSinclair. AA Abbott writes addictive crime thrillers about murder and mayhem, often set in Birmingham and the City of London. Her latest novel The Vodka Trail is available in e-book and dyslexia-friendly paperback. Rob Sinclair is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series of espionage thrillers featuring embattled agent Carl Logan. His latest release is the pulsating psychological thriller Dark Fragments.

Free to Attend Book Blasts and More!

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J A Heron, author of the Erotic Thriller, 30 Days, and Ian Cawley, author of Gnosis, a Techno/Political Thriller, are just some of the 20+ authors at the festival’s two free Book Blasts in St Editha’s Church Hall on Saturday 4th and Saturday 11th March.

Other authors and genres include: Lucy Felthouse (Erotic Romance), Simon Goodwin (Horror), Pat Spence (Young Adult Paranormal and Romance), Sara Read (Women’s History), Vivian Khan (Cookery and poetry), Heide Goody (humour and paranormal), Sharon Rose (Inspirational and Self-Help) and representatives from New Street Authors (true crime, paranormal, horror, Steam Punk and more).

New Street Authors will also be holding a writing and self and indie publishing session, How Indie Authors Took Over the World, covering how you can turn your ideas into books (March 4th) and a DIY guide to Punk Publishing (11 March). Both sessions are free to attend.

Pop into the Book Blasts anytime between 10am-4.pm to meet authors, publishers and poets for advice and chat. Many books will be on offer and there will be FREE refreshments. To help us plan for the day you can register on our Eventbrite pages:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tamworth-litfest-book-blast-author-signings-more-tickets-31221992821?aff=es2

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tamworth-litfest-book-blast-author-signings-thriller-panel-more-tickets-31409986114?aff=es2

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To Book Tickets

To book tickets telephone 07562 653565/07913 686295 or email tamlitfest@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/TamworthLiteraryFestival/

Image of King Edward IV and the Tanner of Tamworth courtesy of Project Gutenberg