Friday, 26 April 2013

Jonathan Hill


Maureen goes to Venice

I love the cover of this book. I found it appealing and the artwork is just superb. I was disappointed with the blurb. I felt I was bombarded with an in-your-face-advertisement, but I'm promised 'laughs' from this short novel and judging by the reviews I don't think I'll be disappointed. 

The 'look inside' feature hooked me straight away and told me about the character whose journey I was going to share in 53 pages. It was funny, visual and I LIKED Maureen from the start (glad she's fictional, mind!).

The book is a multi-POV which was a little distracting at times, but it was a clean read. Maureen is a wonderful character whose heart is in the right place. She's bossy, clumsy and loud. The story took off at a good pace and carried on in a fun and light-hearted way, which I was enjoying. But then something happened, and it'd spoil the story if I said what, so that's just say it took a sinister turn, which didn't bode well with the 'fun' theme. Hill tried to pull it back, but didn't quite succeed in my opinion. Other's mightn't agree with me (I'm a sensitive soul), but it marred the book a little.

Apart from that, Maureen Goes to Venice has genuine laugh-out-loud and oh-my-god moments, and it shows that Jonathan Hill has a good grasp of people's psyche. The ending was in keeping with the fun theme and Maureen had her revenge if unintended. I found the creation of Maureen to be a charming and eccentric character, and refreshing from the either ditzy twenty-somethings women to the older male ‘loveable rogues’ that are often the focus in comedy fiction.

I feel there's more to Maureen and I want to get to know her better. I shall be reading more of her adventures and have the next book on my Kindle: A Letter for Maureen.


Voted one of the Top 3 Best Short Stories in The Best Indie Books of 2012 Awards.

If Maureen were real, I would advise you to avoid her like the plague. She somehow attracts disaster and farce in equal measure wherever she goes.

As she is fictional though, it should be safe enough for you to encounter her from behind your Kindle. 

Maureen had a disastrous trip to a modern art exhibition in ECLECTIC: Ten Very Different Tales. Well, now she's back in her own feature-length adventure!

The book will give you plenty of laughs and a taste of Italy, so join hapless Maureen on her Venetian break and just be glad you're not there with her! 

A comic story of ~13,500 words.

Selected as a RECOMMENDED READ on the Goodreads UK Amazon Kindle Forum.

FIVE STARS:  "Jonathan Hill, you've created a monster! She's atrocious and I want to read more!" (Amazon reviewer)
FIVE STARS:  "Enjoyable...funny...the character Maureen I just loved." (Amazon reviewer)
FIVE STARS:  "Fabulous!" (Amazon reviewer)
FOUR STARS:  "Maureen is a fantastic character." (Amazon reviewer)
FIVE STARS:  "A super little book, well-written and a great character in Maureen." (Goodreads reviewer)
FOUR STARS:  "This is not only a very amusing story, it also properly establishes Maureen as one of those fictional characters who you feel could carry an entire series." (Amazon reviewer)
FIVE STARS:  "I wish I knew someone like her in real life" (Amazon reviewer)
FOUR STARS:  "Kept me turning the page" (Amazon reviewer)
FIVE STARS:  "A very funny tour around Venice with Maureen." (Amazon reviewer)

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Pete Sortwell

Dating In The Dark: sometimes love just pretends to be blind


The cover was bright and fun looking and that and the title reinforced what the blurb said: a romance. 

Though the blurb read a little too slap-stick and I wasn't impressed, but the book has good reviews with people saying how funny it is, and I'm in need of a giggle . . .

As soon as I begin to read I don't think the book should have been pink--it's a bloke's book. It's very unPC and I don't like the main character, Jason, at all. He's a mini Jim Davidson. But I push on, as you do when you've spent 97p. 

As the blurb says Jason wants a girlfriend or as he insinuates, a shag that stays around and so thinks up a plan of joining a dating agency--for disabled people. He meets and instantly falls in love with blind Emma or so he says, (there is no romance at all in the book) we just have to take his word for it.

The author tries to inject some sympathy for the character by killing off his mum and making him regret his blindness pretence, but doesn't pull it off. The character really isn't a very nice person. He's very self-serving, and depressed or not, I couldn't like him. I also never had a clue as to why Emma liked him, especially as he made a pig's ear out of their only date!

The book was short, and in my opinion, undeveloped.  It was classed as a romance but if the comedy was spread out a little, more romance injected (at least another date or two with Emma)  and have Jason punished (by Emma) for being such a tosser, this book would be amazing.

For comedy and one-liners I give this book a five (the author's an awesome comic), but for romance it's a two. It's very near the knuckle and slightly derogatory towards women. Also, midgets, blind people and guide dogs. 
But you have been warned. Bottom line: it made me laugh A LOT.

Blurb: Jason isn’t a midget, he’s an inch and a half off. He’s too short for the police and too tall for the pantomime. He’s also single and has been for all of his 32 years. It’s depressing. But not as depressing as being told by his mother that he looks like Humpty Dumpty – after the accident. So with a face not even his own mother can love, it’s hardly surprising that he’ll try anything to get a woman to go out with him, even if it’s only for a single date.

With little interest in anything other than his quest for a woman and a nice bit of cod and chips, Jason needs to think outside the box if he’s going to find someone who’ll give him a chance.

Along with Barry — his best mate — Jason comes up with the only thing he thinks will work: dating a blind woman. However, to do that, he needs to pretend he’s blind himself, which is a lot harder than you might think … especially when guide dogs are so hard to come by.

Eventually Jason’s efforts pay off and he meets Emma, a pretty professional with a host of friends. When he takes her out, they instantly hit it off. But will Jason be able to fool both Emma and her best friend Jerry into thinking he’s blind?

With everything to play for, Jason faces the biggest challenge of his life, and nobody — especially not him — can see how it’ll all turn out.