Category Archives: Head of Zeus

Behind Her Back – Jane Lythell

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Behind Her Back by Jane Lythell

When Jane Lythell released Woman of the Hour last year a fictional story based around life at a TV studio it was a break away from the thrillers that Jane had previously written and it really worked. I loved the idea of the story and the characters. I was delighted to hear that there would be a follow up and now just released through Head of Zeus is Behind Her Back and this I loved just as much as Woman of the Hour.

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Jane Lythell writes with experience as she was a TV producer for many years so reading Behind Her Back does feel like you are a fly on the wall at StoryWorld. I really enjoyed the main character in Liz Lyon a busy single mother to a teenage daughter Flo.  Now after an enjoyable holiday in Italy she is back at the TV studio but there is a new face that has joined the team. Just who is Lori Kerwell? Liz is such an endearing character you just want the best for her as she works so hard at the station and coping as a single mum with all the daily challenges. The station apparently has brought Lori in to help increase the ratings and therefore increase in profits but Liz feels there may be another reason for bringing in Lori. Something is going on and Liz is not being told.

As you can imagine there are some rather big egos at the station and at times for Liz it is like walking on broken glass as she tries to keep her team happy and motivated and working together. It is not long before the memories of the wonderful holiday in Italy start to fade as realisation dawn that something is going on and that feeling of wishing you had eyes in the back of your head really does come to the fore. Who does Liz really trust at the station now and why was she not told they were recruiting before she left for her holiday. Jane Lythell really has written a brilliant and gripping follow up. If you have not read Woman of the Hour you will want to after reading Behind Her Back. At times it is explosive and will have you turning the pages rather quickly as you will want to know what is really happening. This is quality drama and a slice of real life drama. Jane Lythell hits the right note again with this follow up novel and one I highly recommend.

 

352 Pages.

Thank you to Head of Zeus for the advanced review copy.

 Behind Her Back by Jane Lythell is published by Head of Zeus was published on 10th August and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and all good bookshops.

 

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Woman of the Hour (StoryWorld) – Jane Lythell

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Woman of the Hour (StoryWorld) – Jane Lythell

The Last Word Review

Woman of the Hour is the third novel from Jane Lythell and a breakaway from her previous two thriller based novels.  As a former TV producer for 15 years, Jane has now turned her attention to writing a fictional account of life at StoryWorld TV and the behind the scenes accounts of the personal dramas being played out.

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Liz Lyon is Head of Features at StoryWorld TV and for most of us it must seem like the ultimate job in television but in reality for Liz it is a daily battle of stress and strain and she tries to cope with the dramas being played out behind the camera’s and also life as a single mum.

The story is told from Liz’s point of view from life at the studios based at London Bridge and the home of Liz and Flo her daughter. This is a wonderfully crafted novel from Lythell who has in my view written a real gem. Just imagine trying to cope with the enormous personalities on a daily basis and then trying to put together a TV show that will attract the viewer’s and the ratings. Now imagine then having to deal with the StoryWorld television executives after every show. Not so glamorous after all. The stress levels are extremely high every day with battles erupting it is not long before Liz becomes involved in a behind the scenes struggle. Jane Lythell has used all her previous experience and brought together a story that to anyone working in TV would actually may seem true to life. Some the characters involved are interesting and also fiery in particular one man who is thorn in Liz’s side Julius Jones who is the stations director, though Liz has run ins with Julius she has admiration for him. Some of the characters you will cheer on some you will not like at all. The perfect scenario for writing a behind the scenes look at the lives of people at a TV studio. ‘Real People, Real Life, Real Stories’ The stations motto seems to work for both behind the camera and also in front as the real life dramas are played out daily.

I have read Jane Lythell’s previous novel After the Storm which I really enjoyed but there is something about Woman of the Hour which makes this for me her best book I have read and the god news is that this is book one with a deal just recently made for book two which will be due out next summer.

With so many great summer holiday reads out there at present I would happily recommend Woman of the Hour to be in your hand luggage if you are off on a flight to a sunny destination. Terrific five star read.

My thanks to Head of Zeus for a review copy.

Woman of the Hour by Jane Lythell and published by Head of Zeus. Published on 14 July and is available through Waterstones and all good bookshops.

 

Another Love by Amanda Prowse

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Another Love by Amanda Prowse

Amanda Prowse returns with her best novel to-date. Stunningly written and deeply emotive. One book not to be missed

I  knew in advance what the new novel by best-selling author Amanda Prowse was about and it sat on my desk for a few weeks tempting me to pick it up. When I did I was completely blown away.

Only Amanda Prowse could write a novel that covers the effects of alcoholism and the devastation that it causes to a family. I have read a number of Amanda’s books and my research on the remaining ones leads to say that what we have in Another Love is Amanda Prowse’s seminal work to-date and is without a doubt her best. It hits home hard but that is the way that Amanda wanted it to be.

The story is based around Romilly who adores her husband David they have worked hard to get the perfect home in a lovely part of Bristol. The love for each other is ‘proper love’ Their daughter Celeste is at the heart of the family. Another Love is told in the third person through both Romilly and Celeste.

We all lead incredibly busy modern lives and sometimes at the end of the day we round it off with a glass of wine. With Romilly as her frailties came out, then a glass would then turn to a bottle and a bottle would turn to two bottles. You the story. Slowly but surely we witness the fall of Romilly into alcoholism pure and simple and through the eyes of not just Romilly but her daughter Celeste who I could have cried for as she witnessed things no young daughter should witness but this is real life as we know it happens.

David had to cope in some of the most appalling situations to arrive home and find his ‘bug girl’ in a heap drunk after drinking to excess. An alcoholic will never admit to their problem and takes on the persona of a Jekyll and Hyde character and we see this through Celeste.

Another Love is hard hitting and pulls no punches. It is stunning in its approach to the subject and I found incredibly intense at times to the point I had to put the book down. When a person such as Romilly suffers from alcoholism the profound devastating affect it has on those in the immediate family who love her and also close friends. The total affect is shocking as friends start to drift away and you feel the walls start to close in on you.

As the story moves on things get much worse for Romilly and rock bottom fast approaches. Then I really started to fear the worst. As I reached the climax to Another Love a tear rolled down my cheek this is a story that will break your heart in more way than you think. It left me numb.

Credit must be given to Amanda Prowse for approaching the subject of alcoholism, it is not an easy subject to write a novel about. It hits the mark here as it told in all its gory detail as we witness the shocking fall of Romilly the ‘scientist’ David’s ‘Bug Girl’ who had the world at her feet.

Another Love written by Amanda Prowse is published by Head of Zeus. The eBook is released 16 January with the Hard Back edition released 11 February.

To pre Order your copy from Amazon: Here

Stop Press:

Amanda Prowse has just been announced as the winner of the Sainsburys eBook of the year for A Mother’s Story

A Mother's Story

 

The Christmas Cafe by Amanda Prowse

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The Christmas Café by Amanda Prowse

 

Review Date: 5 December 2015

Author: Amanda Prowse

Release Date: 22 October 2015

Publishers: Head of Zeus

ISBN –10: 1784970379

ISBN – 13: 978-1784970376

368pp

Available in Paperback and Kindle

 

The Last Word Review

Set between Sydney and Edinburgh a story of love and heartbreak but also heart-warming

 

Amanda Prowse has done it again. I just wish I knew her secret on how she can come up with a story that will leave you as it has done with me. Writing with such prose is a gift. Amanda Prowse has that gift.

Amanda Prowse’s latest The Christmas Café is set in the Surrey Hills of Sydney, Australia and there Bea now 53 runs is struggling after the death of her husband. Bea believes only losing herself in her work can bury the true pain of loss that she feels and also the belief that she will never love again. So she sets about running their café alone. Anyone who has lost someone so very close to them knows only too well the sheer loneliness of that this can bring. So it is a blessing that Bea’s granddaughter Flora comes to stay as she is having a difficult time and this is the cause of some problems in her immediate family, then completely out of the blue comes a letter from the owner of the Christmas Café in Edinburgh there is within the email an invitation to join a worldwide forum for café owners. Bea has struck up a pen friend relationship with Alex and starts to open up about her innermost feelings. What Bea does not know at this time is that what she has started is about to change her life.

As time passes and both Bea and her Granddaughter Flora who is thirteen have really bonded with each other decide to travel to Edinburgh for the two weeks ahead of Christmas.

Imagine the climate change from the Australian Summer to the wilds of winter with added Snow thrown in Edinburgh for a thirteen year old. This is where Flora really comes into her own, I really enjoyed reading how they both adapted to the new surroundings.

From this point in the story now in Scotland really comes to the fore with Bea as there is a twist in the storyline and from here you struggle to put the book down and want to find out what happens next in the story.

This is another beautiful story from the pen of Amanda Prowse, and at the end it will leave you emotional but also with a warm glow that will see you through the coming holiday season.

I really enjoyed the main characters of Bea who was very down and struggling with life and using the café as an excuse to hide her pain and sorry after the death of her husband Peter. As for Flora the troubled teenager Amanda got this so spot on and this what makes the story run so smoothly.

This is book I know that fans of Amanda Prowse will automatically fall in love with, and if you have not yet read any of Amanda Prowse’s books, make a start this holiday season and stop of at The Christmas Café. You too will fall in love with Amanda’s books.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Meet the Author

Amanda Prowse

Amanda-Prowse

 Amanda has always obsessively crafted short stories and scribbled notes for potential books. Six years ago, she quit her job as a management consultant and began writing full time. Her first book, Poppy Day is a contemporary novel following an army wife whose incredible love for her husband gives her the courage to set out to rescue him after he was taken hostage in Afghanistan. Originally self-published in October 2011, Poppy Day quickly became a bestseller and Amanda joined the prestigious Head of Zeus publishing house.

The second in the No Greater Love series, ‘What Have I Done?’ was an eBook sensation where women worldwide identified with the theme of domestic abuse in middle class households and it was subsequently voted a ‘Best Book of 2013’ by Amazon Kindle. Amanda followed this by joining the team of the ITV This Morning show as their resident author in 2013 when a series of her ‘Summer Shorts’ were featured on the ITV website.

All of Amanda’s books in the No Greater Love series share one common theme – the main characters are ordinary women who find themselves in extraordinary situations where their strength, resourcefulness and determination is tested to their very limits.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

Follow Amanda on Twitter @MrsAmandaProwse, or become friends with Amanda on Facebook. For more information on Amanda’s books see http://www.amandaprowse.com

Perfect Daughter (No Greater Courage) by Amanda Prowse

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Perfect Daughter

Perfect Daughter (No Greater Courage) by Amanda Prowse

Review Date: 9 July 2015

Author: Amanda Prowse

Release Date:  2 July 2015

Publishers: Head of Zeus

ISBN 10: 1784970336

ISBN – 13: 978-1784970338

368pp

Available in Hardback and Kindle.

Authors Website: http://amandaprowse.org/

 

The Last Word Review

This will fill your heart to bursting, beautifully written, heartbreaking yet uplifting

 

What seems like just a few short months ago I had the chance to review A Mothers Story and also the opportunity to interview Amanda Prowse, the author now presents her latest book Perfect Daughter. I must thank Midas PR and Head of Zeus for the Advanced Review Copy.

Amanda Prowse is not afraid of writing books that touch on issues that either have affected readers directly or know someone who has been directly affected. With Perfect Daughter this is a story that this reviewer has had first-hand experience of so it touched me and brought back first hand memories.

We are presented a story of Jacks a wife, a mother, a daughter doing everything on a daily basis to keep the family on an even keel and trying to be a success at everything. Pete is her husband and perfect in every way, just trying in our modern world to bring up a family and work and finding a balance to make everyone happy is hard work in its self, now throw into this story Jack’s mother Ida, suffering from Alzheimer’s now the story takes on a who new dimension.

This is story that at times is totally heartbreaking, yet anyone who has looked after loved ones suffering from this terrible disease will know at first-hand what is involved. This is a family that I came to love at every turn of the page as it resonates with me.

The story set in Weston-Super-Mare starts with Jacks having just married Pete and is expecting their first child, a new home and plans for the future, not only in being a family but careers and renovating their new home. Jacks always wanted a conservatory to make the home complete. Now we move ahead a number of years and the family has increased as they have two children and still no conservatory. I loved the younger Jonty for his spirit and his at times his wonderful humour which the story needed to give it some lighter moments. I really wanted to throw my arms around Jacks at times and re-assure her that everything was going to be ok, just visualising what she was having to cope with on a daily basis, changing her mother’s soiled bed clothes and juggling the daily routines of bringing up a family.

At times I did have to put the book down and read something else as it brought back memories for me that I have tried to bury. Anyone who has been there will know what I mean here. Watching someone who you loved and inspired you fall away and regress to the point that they don’t know you anymore despite all the love you give them is totally heartbreaking.

I have believed that if you plan to write a book about issues such as these that will affect the large majority of us in time then you must do so with honesty and candour and tell the story holding nothing back. Amanda Prowse has done that with all her books to date and this especially is especially true. It is not easy to do. I loved the way that this story bounced back to the past to recount Jacks days growing up and bringing it back to reality and the everyday challenged of bringing up Martha and Jonty and making sure that they had everything they needed. Every family has its difficult times and it is the love that keeps it going and keeping it together.

Perfect Daughter pulls no punches and will fill your heart to bursting, for many reasons. How would you cope if you were Jacks would you do anything different. I guess that is the point that we are all unique and react different to situations.

If you are putting a list of books to read this Summer, think about Perfect Daughter as it is thought provoking in more ways than one. If you have not read any of Amanda Prowse’s novels to-date, and always wondered, make Perfect Daughter your first. I think you will become a fan.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Meet the Author:

Amanda Prowse

Amanda-Prowse

Amanda has always obsessively crafted short stories and scribbled notes for potential books. Six years ago, she quit her job as a management consultant and began writing full time. Her first book, Poppy Day is a contemporary novel following an army wife whose incredible love for her husband gives her the courage to set out to rescue him after he was taken hostage in Afghanistan. Originally self-published in October 2011, Poppy Day quickly became a bestseller and Amanda joined the prestigious Head of Zeus publishing house.

The second in the No Greater Love series, ‘What Have I Done?’ was an eBook sensation where women worldwide identified with the theme of domestic abuse in middle class households and it was subsequently voted a ‘Best Book of 2013’ by Amazon Kindle. Amanda followed this by joining the team of the ITV This Morning show as their resident author in 2013 when a series of her ‘Summer Shorts’ were featured on the ITV website.

All of Amanda’s books in the No Greater Love series share one common theme – the main characters are ordinary women who find themselves in extraordinary situations where their strength, resourcefulness and determination is tested to their very limits.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

Follow Amanda on Twitter @MrsAmandaProwse, or become friends with Amanda on Facebook. For more information on Amanda’s books see http://www.amandaprowse.com

The covers for the series are works of art in their own right by the award-winning designer Ami Smithson of Cabin London. Perfect Daughter was released on 2 July and is the eighth novel she has written. Three and a Half Heartbeats will be released in September.

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