When love is about prejudice

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop Book Cover True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop
The Lonely Hearts Bookshop
Annie Darling
humour, contemporary, love, sex and marriage
August 24, 2017

It's a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good job, four bossy sisters and a needy cat must also have want of her one true love. Or is it?

Another delightful novel from the author of The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts. Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jenny Colgan

Verity Love – Jane Austen fangirl and an introvert in a world of extroverts – is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and her fictional boyfriend Peter is very useful for getting her out of unwanted social events. But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated.

Johnny could also use a fictional girlfriend. Against Verity’s better judgement, he persuades her to partner up for a summer season of weddings, big number birthdays and garden parties, with just one promise - not to fall in love with each other…

Or is it Pride?

Anyway, lots of Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice quotes for each chapter which tell you what the main thrust will be. Nicely played.

Oh, and it is set in a part of London we love – Bloomsbury. Just around the British Museum and which is full of blue plaques to famous people.

I really enjoyed this book. Partly for its literary references but also because I found the writing to be warm, funny, and good-natured. I too like some solitude and find parties stressful, and again because I was brought up in a very busy household with no place that was away from everyone and with some constant noise.

The story echoes the warning I give to many people about not trying for 4th child of another sex when you’ve got 3 the same. My GP did that and ended up with twins – 5 boys (!!!!),; and here it is 5 girls. Which is worse I wonder? Hormones versus smelly feet and constant washing of muddy sports gear?  Any comments anyone?

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Guest Blog: Failures?

The Amy Binegar-Kimmes-Lyle Book of Failures
Amy Lyle
Funny Memoir, family, marriage
Amy Lyle
(3 May 2017)

THE AMY BINEGAR-KIMMES-LYLE BOOK OF FAILURES is a humor memoir. If you have ever failed at love, finances, been fired, not fit in, self-diagnosed yourself with disorders and conditions and/or said, "I really need to get my s*** together," this is the book for you.

You may appreciate your own dysfunction a little more as you take a journey through Amy’s debacles including: “I Was Not Talking to You,” where Amy mistakes a handsome man waving at her as a potential suitor but in reality, he was only trying to inform her that her belt was dragging on the freeway and “In the Neighborhood,” where members of a cult moving in concurred with a suspicious decline in the cat population. You will relish the chapters entitled “Calls from Sharon,” where Amy’s best friend rants about her kids not getting a fair shot because public schools are ‘so political,’ as her OB/GYN reported her vagina was ‘too clean’ and how the most eligible bachelor from 1982 married a whore. Enjoy “I’m Going to Kill You,” where Amy compares her lack of sleep from her husband’s snoring to CIA agents extracting secrets from a POW. Feel 20-32% better about your own life after reading “Getting Divorced Sucks,” where 911 was called after Amy had an adverse reaction from taking Xanax.

The book has been featured in Scoop OTP, Georgia Followers, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Points North Atlanta Magazine, Just4Fun Radio and the WXIA-TV morning show, "Atlanta & Company.”

Ten percent of book proceeds are donated to The Place of Forsyth County, a non-profit helping people to become self-sufficient.

Now That’s Love
My book begins “I’ve been married for twenty years, not to the same people but regardless….”
I’m very pro-love and relationships. However, if you’ve never tied the knot, let me share a little of what happens AFTER you are supposed to be living your happily ever after.
That euphoric feeling of new love has similar qualities of a drug addiction: including heart palpitations, wild fantasies, lack of sleep and the vacillation between euphoria and misery eventually calms down. After being married for ten years what makes my heart race is when my
husband surprises me with a giant, gluten-filled, pack of brownies and lets me pick the Netflix movie.
It’s a challenge sleeping in the same bed and frankly, sharing a sink with another human being.
I started to ask questions I never dreamed would need to be asked:

Are those your pubic hairs in the shower soap, did you not see the pubic hairs?

Why in the world did you not rinse the soap off?

Haven’t I asked you not to chomp? You know I have misophonia (become
enraged at chomping sounds) stop chomping.

Is that oatmeal? For the love of God how does a person chomp oatmeal?

You bought a reciprocating saw and you’re upset that I bought strappy sandals?
Would you not agree that both are useful?

Did you just put sauce on my fish? That’s adding one million calories, why would you do that?

I told kid number two NOT to go out; she has a D in psychology. Why did you allow her to go out? I’m always the bad cop. Do you think that’s fair?

Do you? Do you? Do you?

Even when you love a person, the day to day responsibilities and routines can wear on your last nerves. But, having someone you trust and know in and out has its advantages.
You no longer freak out if he/she doesn’t reply to your text in less than three seconds.
In social settings, you have a secret language and understand what it means when your husband/wife says “Excuse me for a minute, I must have left my glasses at the table.” It’s code for “The guy talking is full of dog s*** “ so I need to exit immediately, or I will stab him with the tiny umbrella from your pina colada.
If a serial killer came crashing into your bedroom, they would do everything possible to save you over saving themselves.
If you’re lucky, you find a person that thinks you’re attractive in the morning, offers you ice water when you’re sick and laughs at all of your jokes.

These are the reasons people stay married. Now you know.

About the Author

Amy Lyle is an author, comedienne, actor and screenwriter who works as a playwright for a large nonprofit in Alpharetta, Ga. Obsessed with fellow female comedians, Amy developed a writing style that is self-deprecating, hilarious and slightly neurotic.

Although she describes her book, The Amy Binegar-Kimmes-Lyle Book of Failures, as a “how not to” book, her message of “You are not a failure, you’re just having a little bit of trouble right now” is prompting people to share how the book made them feel (#bookoffailures), including the relief of knowing they are not alone in the world of missteps. Fan posts of people reading the book have been popping up from all over the world, including Lake Como, Italy, Amsterdam and The Great Wall of China.

The funny memoir, dealing with everything from getting fired to trying to blend a family, has been described as relatable and authentic, while sparking conversations about how we all handle failure.

The author has been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Points North magazine and the WXIA-TV morning show, “Atlanta & Company,” in addition to writing a monthly column for My Forsyth magazine.

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When a man diets.. or doesn’t!

Sex, Lies and Chocolate Cakes Book Cover Sex, Lies and Chocolate Cakes
Steven Morris
humour, contemporary, love, sex and marriage
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
(1 Jan. 2015)

After accidentally exposing himself to his son’s girlfriend, and realising that because of his over-hanging stomach, she couldn’t actually see anything, Eric Baxter decides it’s time he went on a diet. Unfortunately, due to an exercise allergy, and an eating obsession, it isn’t going to be as easy as he first thought. Throw in a battle of wits with his neighbour’s cat over toilet rights to his garden, a son who lives in the shed and dreams of being discovered on The X Factor, a stroppy teenage daughter with a Wayne Rooney fixation, a wife who doesn’t want to sleep with him anymore, and an amorous work colleague who does, and you have all the ingredients to Sex, Lies and Chocolate Cakes: A delicious laugh out loud comedy.

It is really great to have a male writer writing about his male character’s weight and dieting issues.

I found this book funny but with pathos as the lure of the cake, the biscuits, pork pies and even the burgers undo every effort our hero makes – even using his cycling machine.

He does manage to resist the lure however of the sex-hungry receptionist at work – even if only just.

Fun reading with a well portrayed central character.

My husband who also read it, found it punchy, funny, and insightful and would like to read more of this author.

 

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Adventures?

Misadventures of a Good Wife Book Cover Misadventures of a Good Wife
Misadventures #2
Meredith Wild and Helen Hardt
contemporary fiction, romance,
Waterhouse Press
(3 Oct. 2017)

Kate and Price Lewis had the perfect marriage--love, fulfilling careers, and a great apartment in the city. But when Price's work takes him overseas and his plane goes down, their happily-ever-after goes down with it.

A year later, Kate is still trying to cope. She's tied to her grief as tightly as she was bound to Price. When her sister-in-law coaxes her into an extended girls' trip--three weeks on a remote island in the South Pacific--Kate agrees. At a villa as secluded as the island, they're the only people in sight, until Kate sees a ghost walking toward them on the beach. Price is alive.

Their reunion is anything but picture perfect. Kate has been loyal to the husband she thought was dead, but she needs answers. What she gets instead is a cryptic proposal--go back home in three weeks, or disappear with Price...forever.

Emotions run high, passions burn bright, and Kate faces an impossible choice. Can Price win back his wife? Or will his secrets tear them apart?

Oh I do wish that the title were true. This book doesn’t even include an adventure for the wife, whether or not she was good.

Her husband on the other hand does have some adventures.

Again, a lack of humour and an over concentration on sex means little room for the story and thus soon gets boring.

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The Unwelcome Gift

Marriage Pact Book Cover Marriage Pact
Michelle Richmond
psychological, mystery, suspense, contemporary
Michael Joseph
July 27, 2017
432

Alice and Jake are the perfect couple - sort of. On the day of their wedding, a stranger offers them the chance to join a mysterious group, known as The Pact. With its promise of a lifelong marriage of happiness, Jake and Alice are persuaded to accept. The goals of the society seem sound - and the couple are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, sense of community and like-minded couples. But then one of them breaks the rules. Alice and Jake are about to discover that, like marriage, The Pact is for life. The members will go to any lengths to ensure nobody leaves - until the marriage of their dreams becomes their worst nightmare. Under The Pact, 'Til death do us part' has a whole new meaning. . .

A story that gets darker as it develops.

So here is the fairly typical West Coast USA couple. Well educated, good careers with some previous experimentation, living together in a bijou house in a nice neighbourhood. Marriage seems the next and logical step.

And a friend introduces them to this ‘organisation’ that started in Ireland, which aims to help people have better marriages and fewer divorces.

Strangely, to join the organisation you have sign a contract, and then are given a very large book of rules of behaviour. The rules are very precise and specify minutiae – as an example, if your spouse rings you, you must answer within 2 rings. Now you may ask, what happens if you answer in 3 rings? And how would the organisation know? Which is where the story starts getting creepy. Apparently they do know. And you will be ‘reported’ and ‘dealt’ with.

The story is told by Jake, who is a counsellor and therapist, and it is his marriage to Alice that is examined in the book.

If you are married, or about to be married, there are definitely some elements of this story that you might want to think about. How often do you talk to your partner properly? Not just about day to day chores and work. How often do you surprise them with a gift? For no reason other than that you want to?

The statistics about divorce are horrendous and also those about how often marriage counselling fails. So the idea of (self) help and how to make a successful marriage appeals. But, I suspect, that what works for some couples, works for them alone, just because they are who they are, and not someone else. So don’t copy their behaviour!

Which is why I don’t think that the concept of the Pact was useful as an idea from the cult leaders. Who clearly had the wrong sort of psychological training…..

I really like the story and got more and more horrified as the story went on. And the final chapter was completely unexpected.

 

 

 

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