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Book review Book reviews Tuesday Book Blog

#TuesdayBookBlog Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl (The Quill Collective) by Christina Boyd and others, Tessa Dare (Foreword)(@xtnaboyd) A true delight for Austen fans #Giveaway

Hi all:

I bring you a collection of stories and novellas edited by Christina Boyd, from The Quill Collective, whose works I have reviewed before, and here they revisit one of my favourite Austen characters. Perhaps because she’s headstrong as obstinate, and so am I. Oh, I’m participating in the blog tour for the release of the book, so apart from my review, there’s also a feature by one of the authors, J. Marie Croft, and a giveaway. Don’t miss them!

Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl, The Quill Collective

Elizabeth: Obstinate Headstrong Girl (The Quill Collective) by Joana Starnes, Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Karen M Cox, Christina Morland, Elizabeth Adams, Beau North, J. Marie Croft, Leigh Dreyer, Christina Boyd, Tessa Dare (Foreword)

“Obstinate, headstrong girl!” For over two hundred years, the heroine of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, Elizabeth Bennet has enchanted and inspired readers by being that “obstinate, headstrong girl” willing to stand up to the arrogance and snobbery of her so-called betters. Described by Austen as having a “lively, playful disposition,” Elizabeth embodies the perfect imperfections of strong-willed women everywhere: she is spirited, witty, clever, and loyal. In this romance anthology, ten Austenesque authors sketch Elizabeth’s character through a collection of re-imaginings, set in the Regency through contemporary times. In ELIZABETH: OBSTINATE, HEADSTRONG GIRL, she bares her most intimate thoughts, all the while offering biting social commentary about life’s absurdities. Elizabeth overcomes the obstacles of others’ opinions, not to mention her own flaws, to find a love truly worthy of her—her Mr. Darcy—all with humor and her sparkling charm. “I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print…” wrote Jane Austen in a letter to her sister Cassandra, January 1813―and we think so too! Foreword by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Tessa Dare. Stories by: Elizabeth Adams, Christina Boyd, Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Leigh Dreyer, Jenetta James, Christina Morland, Beau North, and Joana Starnes.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998654051/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084VVW1HM/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B084VVW1HM/

https://www.amazon.es/dp/B084VVW1HM/

My review:

I thank Christina Boyd, the editor and also one of the authors of the collection, for sending me an invite to participate on the launch blog tour and for the ARC copy of the volume, which I freely chose to review. I have read and reviewed some of the other anthologies The Quill Collective has published and loved them, so I was delighted to be asked and to be able to participate.

I’ve decided to talk a bit about each one of them, because they are all quite different in style (some written in the first person, some in the third, some quite humorous, some more serious, some set in the same time period as the original and others not, some shorter and some longer) but somehow manage to live up to the spirit and the wit of one of Austen’s best-loved characters.

Each story/novella is introduced by a quote from the original, which highlights an aspect later explored in more detail in the text, and it is also signposted by an individual cover, all of them beautiful.

Foreword: Tessa Dare

Witty, clever, and a very fitting introduction to the subject matter and to the stories. Mark Twain gets a mention!

Resolution: Amy D’Orazio

Set within the period of the novel, this short story plays on the ‘what if’. What would have happened if somebody close to Darcy had decided to take things in their hands? How would that have influenced the outcome? And what if Liz had finally succumbed to life’s harsh realities and forgotten her prejudices? An interesting turn of events and an amusing (but romantic) short story, aimed at readers familiar with the details of P&P. Thank God for alcoholic beverages and meddling maids!

The House Party: Jenetta James

I have read short and long fiction by Jenetta James and she delivers, once more, in this short story/vignette, that moves forward the events to early XX century, in the setting of the Suffragist movement, and rewrites a memorable party and visit to the Bingley’s home. Wickham is up to his old tricks! A great story that could be read without previous knowledge of Austen’s novel, although it will be greatly enjoyed by fans of the original.

Atmospheric Disturbances: Christina Morland

This is, in a way, a Much Ado About Nothing situation, at least on the surface of it, when readers get to eavesdrop (well, and also get inside Elizabeth’s head) on an argument between Elizabeth and Darcy, after their engagement. For those of us who love the witty interactions between the two and the pull and push of their relationship, any opportunity to see them, and hear them, when they are in each other’s company is a pleasure, and so it is here, in a vignette that explores the dynamics of their relationship and we get to see a more vulnerable, but still reserved and proud, Darcy, and an Elizabeth prone to making a fuss, worrying, determined to know her future husband, and oh, so headstrong!

Love in Limelight: Beau North

North here transports the action to Hollywood in 1934. Elizabeth has become Eliza Bennett (her stage name) and she and Jenny are actresses, now in Hollywood. Charles Bingley is a film director, Darcy is, of course, the head of the studio, Pembley, and Georgina is Gigi, who was a child star and now is trying to move on to adult acting roles. There are misunderstandings and confusions at every turn, Wickham’s incarnation works extremely well, and I loved the use of expressions and language of the period, the bright and bubbly setting, the headlines and snippets of gossip news included in the story, and, well, everything.

The Uncommonly Busy Lane to Longbourn: Joanna Starnes

This short-story/novella reads like one of those movie outtakes included as a bonus in the luxury edition of a Blu-ray disc, or an alternative ending, where it is difficult to decide which one you prefer. It is set in the same time period as the original; the characters behave pretty much as we would expect them to, down to the long walks, the witty conversations, Elizabeth’s poor opinion of Darcy and her strong support of Wickham, but Darcy is a bit more forceful in his attempt at warning Elizabeth against the rogue and this sets in motion a chain of events that slightly alter things but do not derail the overall story where it matters. It also has pretty funny moments.

It felt as if this story could have pretty well replaced what actually happens at that point in the original (no, I won’t go into details), and it would have fitted perfectly well. This could well have happened in an alternative P&P universe.

Resistive Currents: Karen M Cox

I am a fan of Cox’s writing, both her Austenesque stories and novels and also those that stride away from the Austen universe, and this short story/novella delivers again. This is one of the stories in the collection that I think can be enjoyed by readers who have no particular knowledge of P&P, although Austen’s readers will get a kick out of it.

Cox offers us two stories, of two women in the same family, separated by several generations (one a teacher in rural Colorado at the beginning of the XX century, the other her great-granddaughter, in the 1980s, a girl studying engineering at university, a profession still dominated by men) and how their own prejudice towards men whom they think don’t value them or see their worth because they are women causes them to misunderstand and misjudge them. I would have been happy to read a whole novel about these headstrong girls and their beaus, and I’m sure I won’t be alone in this.

Something Like Regret: Elizabeth Adams

The author explores in detail an episode that is a favourite of many of us who are fans of the BBC series. Yes, I am talking about Lizzy’s visit to Pembury with her aunt and uncle, and her surprise meeting with Darcy (Sorry, no wet shirt here). Adams allows us a peep into Elizabeth’s mind, and we follow her train of thought, her doubts, her regrets, and get to experience first-hand her gradual change of heart. Although this story would not work for those who don’t know P&P, it would easily fit into the novel, down to the direct addresses to her “reader”, and I am sure Austen would have approved.

The Last Blind Date: Leigh Dreyer

Elizabeth and Darcy are here transported to modern-day Oklahoma. Elizabeth is a hardworking student who also waits tables, and Jane and Charlotte are her friends (although we only get snippets of it, their relationship is the stuff of chick lit and they are great together), and Darcy is an heir to a big oil company who has spent much of his life studying abroad. Neither of them is what the other expects at their blind date, and the reasons behind their behaviours are soon evident.

One of the shorter stories that could be read independently from the original, particularly recommended to football fans.

The Age of Nescience: J. Marie Croft

This short-story/novella would again fit into what I’ve referred to as the outtakes of a Blu-ray, or an anniversary luxury edition of P&P with added materials. Here, we get an insight into Elizabeth’s past, her life and experiences before we meet her in P&P, from her first attendance at a ball (at the tender age of fifteen), to her visit to Pemberley, and this allows us to enjoy more of her family life, learn about her dreams as a young girl, her disappointments in love, her interactions with her mother, sisters, and especially her father (we experience both his wit but also his lack of backbone and his unwillingness to challenge his wife and daughters, all in the name of a quiet life), and like her, we gain a greater insight and understanding of how she came to be how she is and why this visit is so momentous for her.

Again, a beautifully observed and written story (such attention to language!), and one Austen would have approved of, including the reference to the similarities of the characters and situations to those of Oliver Goldsmith’s The Vicar of Wakefield.

A Mate for Life: Christina Boyd

In this short-story/summary, we have an elderly Elizabeth talking to her granddaughter —who shares more than a few characteristics with her granny (she’s headstrong and obstinate as well)—and telling her about her love story with Fitzwilliam Darcy. Her granddaughter has found her own Mr Darcy (he’s proud and handsome as well), and the story seems to repeat itself, although thankfully it runs a bit smoother this time. The narration works beautifully as a summary and introduction to the original for those who might not have read it (I’d encourage them to consider reading this story first, perhaps), and although, but its own nature there’s a fair amount of telling, the interaction of Elizabeth with a woman of the new generation, Darcy’s imagined commentary, and the setting and freshness of the scene make this a delightful and perfect story to end the book with.

I recommend the collection especially to lovers of Pride and Prejudice, although it is not necessary to be an expert in it (and some of the stories can be read independently from the original), and to those readers who enjoy thinking of what else could have happened or wonder what went on behind the scenes. The writing is superb and I am sure all the fans of the many writers taking part will enjoy the stories and will be happy to discover new writers with similar tastes and interests. I congratulate The Quill Collective and hope they’ll keep coming up with new ways to keep Austen and her characters alive.

Here I introduce you to J. Marie Croft (and I truly loved her story):

Why Elizabeth? by J. Marie Croft

When Christina invited me to submit a story for Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl, I was already in the midst of writing a series of Pride and Prejudice vignettes, from Mr Darcy’s perspective, beginning in 1806. While writing those, I wondered what might have been going on in Elizabeth’s life during her adolescence. Contributing a piece to the anthology presented a wonderful opportunity to find out.

Beyond her formative years, what shaped Elizabeth’s outlook on life? In “The Age of Nescience”, I speculate on events and influences that might have determined the nature of her prejudice before Darcy and the Netherfield party even entered the picture.

For me, Darcy’s POV is far easier than getting inside Elizabeth’s head. Not having Austen’s genius, it’s a daunting task to come up with anything resembling her—hence Elizabeth’s—quick, forthright wit. I’m pretty much Elizabeth’s diametrical opposite. My verbal comebacks always come far too late. So, while I think of it, I say, “Brava!” to the other writers in this anthology for so perfectly capturing our feisty heroine’s spirit.

Elizabeth Bennet certainly has esprit. And—in addition to being lively, vivacious, and witty—she is a self-confident, independent, opinionated young lady who tempers aplomb with polite, respectable manners. Those are but a scant few of the attributes making her such a beloved character and why we, as fans, want to write stories about her.

“I must confess that I think her as delightful a character as ever appeared in print, and how I shall be able to tolerate those who do not like her at least, I do not know.” ~ Jane Austen (from a letter to her sister, Cassandra)

Elizabeth’s creator needn’t have worried. And those of us who do love Elizabeth are in good company. After all, her greatest fan is an intelligent, discerning gentleman who finally looks beyond her flaws and her family’s background and beyond fine eyes and light, pleasing figure to discover the fertile mind and the delightfully charming, impertinent, honest, loyal character within.

Within the pages of Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl, may you find even more reasons to love her. –J. Marie Croft (Joanne)

J. MARIE CROFT is a self-proclaimed word nerd and adherent of Jane Austen’s quote “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.” Bearing witness to Joanne’s fondness for Pride and Prejudice, wordplay, and laughter are her light-hearted novel, Love at First Slight (a Babblings of a Bookworm Favourite Read of 2014), her playful novella, A Little Whimsical in His Civilities (Just Jane 1813’s Favourite 2016 JAFF Novella), and her short stories in the anthologies Sun-kissed, The Darcy Monologues, Dangerous to Know, Rational Creatures, and Yuletide. Joanne lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. Connect with Joanne via Facebook / Twitter / website

Here, the giveaway.

⭐️Giveaway: The #OmgItsOHG (Oh-my-gosh, it’s Obstinate Headstrong Girl) Blog Tour began February 18 with announcement and cover reveal at Austenesque Reviews, and we hope you will continue to join us and connect with each author about their “Elizabeth” story. We’ve included a Grand Prize package giveaway (a book of your choosing from each of the eleven author’s backlist) as well as additional giveaway: my Silly Austen-inspired blank note cards and coordinating coffee mug. Open worldwide, so be sure to participate. 1) Enter the Rafflecopter for the Grand Prize package of books, and 2) comment on the blog stops to be counted for the additional giveaway (you need not comment everywhere to be entered in that drawing but we hope you’ll have your share of the conversation.) Ends March 31.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51329630-elizabeth

BuyLink: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998654051/

Here the note cards

 

And the mugs:

And, although I know this is a very long post, I couldn’t resist…

Thanks to Christina Boyd, to J. Marie Croft and to all the writers for the book, thanks to all of you for reading, remember to like, share, comment, click, review, take part in the giveaway, and always, always, be smiling!

Categories
Book review Book reviews

#Bookreview LIVE SHOW, DRINK INCLUDED – COLLECTED STORIES by Vicky Grut (@VickyGrut) @HollandParkPres) A diverse collection of beautifully observed and written stories #short-story

Hi all:

I don’t read many short-stories these days, but this collection is a must.

Live Show, Drink Included - Collected Stories by Vicky Grut
Live Show, Drink Included – Collected Stories by Vicky Grut

Live Show, Drink Included – Collected Stories by Vicky Grut

Fiction. Short Stories. For the stories in this collection Vicky Grut takes inspiration from a range of often ordinary situations and explores how easily things can go awry or take an unexpected turn. The stories veer from the realistic to the surreal, and nothing is quite what it seems.

To give you a flavour of what they are like here are a few snippets:

In “Rich,” two young people travelling towards Florence just after the Bologna bombing of 1980, decide to cadge a meal and a bed for the night from a girl they barely know. In the early hours of the morning, the atmosphere suddenly changes. They are in over their heads.

In “Mistaken,” an academic is mistaken for a shop assistant in a big London department store. When she reacts impulsively she finds herself in trouble. Help comes from an unlikely quarter–and for all the wrong reasons.

In “Into the Valley,” a woman tries to comfort her suffering mother-in-law on ward 19 in a small hospital in Wales. Underneath the ward sign it says, in English and in Welsh, “Bereavement Office / Swyddfa Profedigaeth.” There probably isn’t a ward 20.

Many of the stories have been shortlisted for awards and prizes over the years, including the Asham Award (twice) and the Narrative Magazine Contest in the US. Six of the stories were included in new writing collections from Serpents’ Tail, Pulp Editions, Duckworths, Granta, Picador and Bloomsbury, and two were published in the States by Harvard Review. The final story “Into the Valley” was included in the list of “Essays of Note in 2012” at the end of Cheryl Strayed’s edition of Best American Essays, 2013. Be prepared to not only be entertained but also taken by surprise when reading the fourteen mini-novels in this collection.

‘Some are dark and disturbing tales of lives viewed from under the mad end of a microscope, others are more of a glimpse of lives gone sideways.’ – Alexei Sayle

‘These delicious, dark, funny and affecting stories – reminiscent of Flannery O’Connor – remind us that life does not come with simple solutions and that often it is in the terrifying messiness that we are the most alive.’ – Tania Hershman

https://www.amazon.com/Live-Show-Drink-Included-Collected-ebook/dp/B07JK5HTQL/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Live-Show-Drink-Included-Collected-ebook/dp/B07JK5HTQL/

Author Vicky Grut
Author Vicky Grut

About the Author

Vicky Grut was born in South Africa and lived in Madagascar and Italy before moving to England in 1980 to study fine art at Goldsmiths. She has worked in community arts, for a small independent publisher, as a freelance editor, in the London office of the New Yorker magazine, as a creative writing tutor and a lecturer in several universities, including the London South Bank University and the University of Greenwich. Her first short story was published in 1994 in Metropolitan magazine and since then her work has appeared in new writing collections and literary magazines around the world, including collections published by Picador, Granta, Duckworth, Serpents’ Tail and Bloomsbury.

Vicky was twice a finalist for the Asham Award. “Into the Valley” was listed as a Notable Essays of 2012 in Best American Essays 2013. “In the Current Climate” won the Holland Park Press “I is Another” contest in 2015. Her novel-in-progress Human Geography was shortlisted for the 2017 Caledonia Novel Award.

https://vickygrut.com/home/

My review:

I received an ARC copy of the book from the publisher. This has in no way affected the content of my review.

This is a great collection of short stories. The author has a talent for being able to create a vivid background for her stories and she also gives us a good insight into who her characters are and what makes them tick. I am mostly a reader of novels, and I am aware that sometimes, even after reading a whole novel we still don’t have a clear sense of who these characters are, so this is a skill I particularly appreciate. The stories are beautifully observed; we get to see what is going on through the heads of the characters and also the situation that develops around them. The stories share a variety of moments and events in the lives of the characters, seemingly chosen randomly, ranging from tales of job difficulties, to family relationships, illnesses, and even the death of some of the characters.

I didn’t find any of the stories weak, and I enjoyed them all, although some of them might be better received depending on the mood of the reader and personal taste.

I’ll briefly comment each one:

In the Current Climate. A quietly menacing story that although somewhat surreal and taken to extremes seems very apt in today’s job market and big companies.

Debts. In appearance a vignette of everyday life rather than a complete story, it beautifully conveys how our state of mind can be reflected and amplified by everything around us: interfering neighbours, children’s tantrums, and even the weather. Mundane, wonderfully observed and beautiful.

Downsizing. After reading this story, I don’t think I’ll ever think of audits and management books in quite the same way. A great combination of realistic insight into the workings of modern companies and corporations and the whimsy and imagination of people that can never be totally subjugated.

Mistaken. Retail therapy with a difference. An articulate and high-achieving academic discovers that prejudice is still alive and well, sisterhood can have different meanings for different people, and some artworks can be prescient.

An Unplanned Event. The story of a man who never felt he belonged anywhere and finally gets to feel accepted and loved.

Escape Artist. A young woman ends up violently trapped at home and realises that she is also trapped in her relationship.

Live Show, Drink Included. What starts at a seemingly seedy and slightly menacing location turns up to be a beautiful love story full of light humour and some of my favourite lines.

“If you cut me open with a little knife there’d be a print of her right there in the middle of me” (Grut, 2018, p. 86).

A Minor Disorder. Two young men travelling in South Africa in the mid-1950s with very different attitudes to the situation are affected by the atmosphere around them in contrasting ways.

Saucers of Sweets. A story of life imitating art, especially recommended to people in the book publishing business, with some precious quotes.

“A book should be like a saucer of sweets, each chapter brightly wrapped and inviting in its own right” (Grut, 2018, p. 100).

Stranger. A lyrical observational vignette about an episode that feels oddly familiar and can be read in different ways.

Rich. This story contains the germ of a whole novel, full of fascinating characters (I loved Ashley), a compelling background and enlightening insights. It also has a great sense of time, place, and atmosphere. Its open ending can be discomforting to some readers, but I found it liberating.

There is a quote that particularly resonated with me:

“People equate emotion with weakness…” (Grut, 2018, p. 132).

Visitors. A vignette of small-town life in Wales, containing sharp observations about family relationships and motherly love.

On the Way to the Church. A possible life-changing revelation comes at the weirdest moment and explains many things.

Into the Valley. Having spent time in hospital with both of my parents in recent times, this story felt particularly touching and true to life. It records the last ten days in the life of a woman, spent in hospital, from the perspective of her daughter-in-law. The longest of the stories, it captures the feeling of numbness and routine that can take over one’s life in such circumstances.

“Night shift, day shift, back again to the night. We are far away from the world. We are in the Valley. Deep In” (Grut, 2018, p. 166-7).

There are characters with similar or the same names in different stories, and there are also typical corporate speech expressions which appear in separate stories, so as we read them we might find some similarities or links between the stories included, but as the end note explains, many of the stories have been published before, have received awards, and can, indeed, be read separately. I was impressed by the quality of the collection and this is an author I intend to keep a close eye on in the future.

Grut, V. (2018). Live show, drink included. Collected stories. London, UK: Holland Park Press.

Thanks to Holland Park Press and to the author for this wonderful book, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment, click, review, and always keep smiling!

Categories
Book launch book promo

#TuesdayBookBlog #Booklaunch WHAT’S IN A NAME. VOL. 2 by Sally Cronin (@sgc58) Guest post and fabulous collection of #shortstories.

Hi all:

It’s my pleasure to bring you a new book by a writer and blogger whom I met online but who’s been a constant presence and a friend throughout the years. I’ve enjoyed many of her books, and I love her blog, that offers advice (on health issues, writing…), entertainment, and promotional opportunities, not only to writers but also to artists, musicians, etc. I have had the pleasure of reviewing and translating one of her books and I hope you’ll enjoy her guest post as much as me. And here, without further ado, I bring you the wonderful, Sally Cronin!

A huge thank you to Olga for hosting this episode of my misadventures at work in my twenties. As I read the posts, I realise that I attracted trouble wherever I went, but I have to say it was a great deal of fun.

Odd Jobs and Characters – Car Crash and Crystal and meeting Sherlock Holmes by Sally Cronin

After I left the department store in the middle of Liverpool, I was appointed manager of a crystal and gift shop in Lord Street, Southport, which is where we had bought our first home.

It was at the north end of this mile long main street, and we sold high end gift items such as Moorcroft pottery, and our own cut glass crystal glassware from the factory in the Lake District. All the glass was classified as ‘seconds’, even though there would only perhaps be a small bubble in the glass, or the cut might not be completely standard. However, the prices were terrific, with at least 40% of the normal retail price. I still have some of the glasses that I bought 34 years ago, and I was lucky enough to get another 10% discount making them very affordable.

Going to work was very easy. I walked out of our gate, then a brisk five minutes down the road, and unlocked the shop door. I really enjoyed the next 18 months, but was then offered the opportunity to manage the three shops that had now been opened, with the other two being in York and Norwich. I would also spend time in the Lake District as marketing manager to oversee the running of the factory shop, and to develop a tour around the glassworks for visitors. This meant that I was away most of the week in one capacity or another, and I was given a large estate car to carry stock between the various shops.

On one occasion I had brought down a consignment of crystal to the Southport shop, picking up David from home, with the intention of delivering stock to the York shop and then spending the weekend exploring that very old and lovely city. We had set off down the motorway, which was busy with a Friday getaway, and because there was a great deal of commercial traffic, I was in the centre lane doing a steady 60 miles an hour and overtaking the trucks, and I was just in the process of passing a large articulated lorry, when it suddenly veered out into the middle lane without signalling, and hit my car.

I was being pushed out into the fast lane, where traffic was moving considerably faster and there was nowhere for me to go but forward. I hit the accelerator and managed to disconnect from cab of the truck and pull in front of it; then on to the hard shoulder, where I came to rest in a state of shock. It was only then that the driver realised what he had done, and he too pulled onto the shoulder behind me. Thankfully David was not hurt despite the passenger side door being badly damaged, and once I established that, I was out of the car and heading back to the lorry where the driver was hanging onto his wheel, waiting equally white-faced for one very angry woman charging up the hard shoulder towards him.

It was probably just as well the police arrived shortly afterwards to make sure none of us needed treatment or that other road users were impacted. David by this time had managed to open his passenger door and join the discussion.

The car was still driveable, although only having had it a couple of weeks; I was not looking forward to having the upcoming telephone conversation with my boss. After we had exchanged insurance details, and given our statement, which to be fair the lorry driver corroborated, we continued on our journey. However, we could hear the tinkle of broken glass from the back of the car, and knew it was going to be interesting unpacking several boxes of expensive glassware and removing it from its tissue paper wrapping. Thankfully it was insured, and we were unhurt, but it made me paranoid about overtaking trucks for a very long time.

I loved the job, especially in the summer months in the Lake District when I would tour most of the other tourist sites to deliver leaflets and take theirs to display in our own factory. The tour was now set up and we were about to begin accepting visitors, when I got a phone call from a gentleman who requested a private tour of the factory. It was unusual, but since we were not officially open for a few days, I agreed, and he made an appointment the next day.

It was 1984 and a new series of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes had been recently released on Granada Television, but I had not seen any of the episodes. However, I immediately recognised the man who arrived for the guided tour as the actor Jeremy Brett, because he had played Freddie in one of my favourite musicals… My Fair Lady.

We spent an hour watching glassware being blown, cut and put through the acid baths, before ending up in the crystal shop attached to the factory where he purchased one or two items. I could understand now why he wanted a private tour, as he was very well known and unlike today, stars tended to be a lot less keen to be photographed and approached by fans.

It was one of those encounters that you always remember, and I went on to watch several episodes of the series before we left to spend two years in Houston, Texas…Where I am ashamed to say I name-dropped shamelessly.

I have not as yet used Jeremy Brett as a character in one of my stories, but he is tucked away for a rainy day. As for the car crash… some events are better forgotten.

My thanks again to Olga for her generosity in hosting this guest post.

All the previous posts in the series can be found in this directory with links to my host’s blog https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/sallys-odd-jobs-and-characters/

About Sally Cronin

My name is Sally Cronin and after working in a number of industries for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to pursue a completely different career, one that I had always been fascinated with. I began studying Nutrition and the human body twenty years ago and I opened my first diet advisory centre in Ireland in 1998. Over the last 18 years I have practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as written columns, articles and radio programmes on health and nutrition.

I published my first book with a Canadian self-publisher in the late 90s and since then have republished that book and released ten others as part of our own self-publishing company. Apart from health I also enjoy writing fiction in the form of novels and short stories.

My latest book – What’s in a Name? – Volume Two.

Our legacy is not always about money or fame, but rather in the way that people remember our name after we have gone. In these sixteen short stories we discover the reasons why special men and women will stay in the hearts and minds of those who have met them. Romance, revenge and sacrifice all play their part in the lives of these characters.Kenneth watches the love of his life dance on New Year’s Eve while Lily plants very special flowers every spring for her father. Martha helps out a work colleague as Norman steps back out into the world to make a difference. Owen brings light into a house and Patrick risks his life in the skies over Britain and holds back from telling a beautiful redhead that he loves her.

My other books

All books are available Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Sally-Cronin/e/B0096REZM2

You can connect to Sally

Blog: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sgc58
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sally.cronin

Thanks so much to Sally for her post, thanks to all of you for reading, and remember to like, share, comment and CLICK! You won’t regret it!

 

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