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The Cantankerous Molly Darling by Alvy Carragher – Blog Tour Book Review

Synopsis

Molly Darling wants life to be as simple as wellies and porridge – this is rural Ireland after all. Instead, Mum’s hiding in the attic; Dad’s run away, leaving only a PowerPoint to explain; her sister has a ham sandwich for a fiancé; there’s a boy and THE silence; her BFF will stop at nothing to go viral; and the chickens are missing. It’s enough to make a girl cantankerous. But she’ll fix it all. Easy, right?

Author

Alvy Carragher grew up in rural Ireland. She has an MA in Writing, as well as a first collection of poems published by Salmon Poetry. A former resident of both Louisiana and South Korea, she is currently holed up in Vancouver where she is tinkering away at a second novel and learning to speak Canadian.

Find her on twitter at @alvycarragher

What I Thought

This is such a fun book, from the very first line you know you are going to be in for something different.

The Molly Darling of the title is an Irish teen who has every right to be cantankerous. She lives on a run down farm, her parents are separated, her mum is throwing herself into her art and her new boyfriend, and neglecting Molly and her sister Polly.

To top it off Molly’s pet chickens have “just disappeared”. The chickens were the only bit of normality in her life, giving her companionship and routine. And they form much more of the plot than you might be expecting. Like Molly, and everyone on social media, you will fall in love with Lady Macbeth the rooster that is at heart a chicken. Will they get their peaceful ever after?

Mum’s new boyfriend happens to be the father of one of the hot boys in school and complicated relationships with boys, friends, enemies and veganism abound. Polly’s imminent wedding brings their absent father back into the mix too!

The rural setting of the farm gives a unique backdrop to daring chicken rescues, activist meetings in a chicken shed and a family farm house with a teetering Great Wall of Books on the stairs. With the addition of viral and doctored social media videos you just know the peace and tranquility is going to be toppled.

Alvy Carragher writes with wit, warmth and humour and this book is just simply a joy to read.

Thanks to Laura and Chicken House Books for my #gifted copy for the purposes of an honest review.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour stops.

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Payback by M.A.Griffen – Blog Tour Guest Post

BLACK BOOKS

by M. A. Griffin

I can’t tell you how excited I was when I first saw the cover to my new novel, PAYBACK.

I’d known the cover had been causing them a few problems. The design team knew what they were after but couldn’t quite get it to work. The wonderfully talented Helen Crawford-White was given the gig, and the publication date was put back as she laboured away; April became May became July.

Then the cover arrived, a pdf attached to an email. I was blown away. It was black, with cool, reflective gold foil lettering. And – I suspect I’m alone in this – I’d always wanted a black book. I have a thing about black books.

Here’s why. To me, black books are holiday books. I guess this goes back to the horror-obsession I had during my teenage years in the late 1980s. As my family’s summer break loomed each year, I’d pack black books about monsters. I remember James Herbert’s The Rats and The Fog, Guy Smith’s The Crabs, Steven King’s stuff and Peter Benchley’s The Deep (which might’ve been more like dark blue.)

It’s worth mentioning that PAYBACK – a heist novel about a gang of anti-capitalist teenage thieves – has little relationship to my summer reading all those years ago. PAYBACK is a thrilling series of robberies, an exploration of direct action and its consequences, a story following powerful and idealistic young activists as they target corrupt organisations and redistribute wealth to the needy. It’s Robin Hood meets The 39 Steps. Nothing like King or Herbert.

Other than, of course, in the colour of its cover.

Black books do special things when you take them to a sunny beach or pool, and this is why I love them:

1. They absorb heat and nearly burn your fingers when you pick them up.

2. The glue that binds them melts faster than other books and the pages begin to separate.

3. Sand attaches itself to the tacky glue between the pages in fine lines. The book almost crunches as you leaf through it.

4. The covers often curl as they dry so your summer read assumes the shape of that elongated ‘m’ we use to indicate distant birds in childhood pictures.

5. Splashed swimming pool water gathers in beads on black covers. Each becomes a super-heated pinprick before it evaporates.

So there you go, folks – five very good reasons to pack PAYBACK in your suitcase this summer!

Cover design by Helen Crawford-White  studiohelen.co.uk

PAYBACK by M. A. Griffin out now in paperback (£7.99, Chicken House)

#Payback

Follow M.A. Griffin on twitter @fletchermoss and find out more at http://www.chickenhousebooks.com

Do check out the other stops on the tour.

Thanks to Laura Smythe and Chicken House for the copy which I’m really looking forward to reading and burning my hands on in this heatwave.

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