Posted in General

Anyone for the Brooklyn Bus Stop….?




Tomorrow six of us are heading for the Theatre Royal in Bath to see the stage version of Saturday Night Fever.  I saw the movie in 1977 when snake hipped John Travolta was one of the new rising stars in Hollywood.  It was a good time for the Brothers Gibb as well.  With the score to SNF they not only recharged the disco scene but also re-launched their careers.

The movie brought back all sorts of memories of that year. It was the Queen’s Silver Jubilee and she was due to launch a new ship at Barrow in Furness.  HMS Invincible was the first of three modern replacements for the soon to be mothballed air craft carriers in the British fleet. The then man in my life was a very junior member of the design team and we got to go to the launch. That was the year he also bought his first boat. It was kept in a small yard at a place called Shell Bay next to Studland on the Dorset coast.  The guy who owned the yard was a grizzled old ex-mariner who told us the boat would be quite safe with him because he had what he referred to as the ultimate deterrent against burglars.  ‘I hit ’em with a piece of four by two and ask questions afterwards.’ he told us with a grin. I loved the whole boating thing – getting out on the sea gives you so much freedom and we had some fabulous weekends and days out with friends.  Yes those were great days.

Of course it wasn’t all ‘plain sailing’ if you excuse the pun. My man was a bit like an enthusiastic Labrador; someone with a great sense of adventure and precious little common sense   On one of our first trips out we managed to get stuck on a sandbank. Over the side he goes, sure he can remedy the situation with the simple application of muscle – and sinks up to his knees in the sand.  He managed to get enough leverage to move the boat clear but then found he couldn’t move. Thankfully we had a couple of friends with us – I’m not sure what I would have been able to do on my own.  Anyway we managed to tie a rope around him and use the boat to pull him free losing him his footwear in the process.  I remember he was always very cautious out on the water after that.

imagesEU8MMUWGI was not aware that famous white suit started any fashion trends in our small provincial town.  If anything the Bee Gees had more impact as many guys copied that open shirted medallion look.  I cringe now when I think of it, it’s totally awful and brought the phrase ‘medallion man’ into the English language. Thankfully the only time I ever came into contact with anyone wearing this was at fancy dress parties, where the occasional white suit and black shirt would also put in an appearance.

The seventies were big party times for us and invitations to bring a bottle came quite regularly. Most get togethers were standard parties with food drink and loud music but I particularly loved fancy dress. I was amazed at the work which went into costumes – of course everyone made their own, it was unthinkable to hire, that was seen as cheating! From bishops to Batman, concubines to crusaders, they were all there – an amazing array of innovative designs and ideas.   There were other themed get togethers too, like wild west, flower power or vicars and tarts parties and although I never attended one of the latter I’m reliably informed one or two of the more outrageous guys occasionally came in basques and stockings – a sort of early Rocky Horror Show vibe.

A few weeks ago I went with my husband to a Buddy Holly tribute evening featuring Marc Robinson, who is the leading BH tribute artist in the UK.  Now Buddy Holly was way before our time but my OH considers him the man who  laid the foundations for rock music.  I have to admit even though I wasn’t a great fan I did enjoy the evening; great entertainment, a huge age range in the audience and loads of people up and dancing.  I had no idea Buddy Holly had been such a prolific songwriter or that he had written for so many other artists – so an educational outing as well.

The Bee Gees, of course, have also written an enormous number of songs over the years both for themselves and other famous performers.  The score for Saturday Night Fever was pure dance music and I remember magazines featuring a ‘how to do’ on some of John Travolta’s moves.  The mass dance routine, which must have been an early template for line dancing was referred to in one magazine as the Brooklyn Bus Stop and it seemed to catch on at dances.  In fact I went to one later that year where the DJ had everyone on the floor in rows dancing to ‘Night Fever’ just like in the movie.  Today I guess the modern day equivalent is  Lil Jon’s Bend Ova – although thinking about it…maybe not!

So think of me tomorrow night when I’m sitting in the audience taking myself back to my misspent youth, I’m sure I’ll have a blast!





Posted in Writing


Deadly Lies Tour Banner



Husband and wife stand on opposite sides of a divide created by lies and rooted in a dark and deadly past… As a teenager, Jill Shannon fell victim to her stepfather’s cruel abuse. Now as an adult, Jill’s made it – she has a successful career and a solid, if not static, marriage to Detective Alex Shannon. Together they live out what seems to be a perfect life in Seattle.  The vow she made as a teenager to never again be a victim lies dormant – until one day a reporter lures her to his hotel room under the pretense of an interview – and suddenly all of it comes rushing back. Jill seeks revenge on the reporter, triggering a series of events that leads Jill down a wormhole of retribution, forcing her to spin an ever-widening web of lies.  Meanwhile, Alex is pulled into a case of a series of murders that began as cyber relationships. There seems to be a familiar fingerprint on these crimes, but Alex refuses to believe the murderer could be someone close to him… “Chris Patchell”s debut novel, Deadly Lies, is a taut, fast-paced thriller that grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go. Patchell is a master storyteller with a real talent for creating pulse-pounding suspense.”—Kevin O’Brien, New York  Times Bestselling Author of Unspeakable.

 My Review

I didn’t plan to sign up for this book tour.  I had just been on two other book tours for Brook Cottage Books and was right in the middle of my own edits so planned to step back from reviewing for a while.  However when the dates for Deadly Lies were advertised I checked the book out on Amazon and thought ‘Why not?’  – and I am so glad I did.

This is a brilliant debut novel written from the viewpoint of both main characters Alex and Jill Shannon.  Married for five years their respective police careers don’t make for a normal or even stable married life.  A gulf is opening up in their relationship; one which has already seen Jill drifting into an affair with her boss Jamie King.

When their liaison ends with tragic consequences she finds herself promoted into a more senior role.  Invited to speak at a conference she meets journalist Peter Young who asks to interview her and invites her back to his hotel room.  What takes place there dredges up memories of teenage years with her abusive father and sets her on a course of action to take revenge on Peter and those closely associated with his activities .

Meanwhile Alex, who has made connections with a neighbouring police force in relation to an abduction case he is working on, finds himself helping on one of their murder cases.  As he gradually slots the pieces of the puzzle together he makes an alarming discovery.

I really enjoyed this book; the writing was excellent, the characters believable and well developed.  I loved the way the the plot teased you, taking you forward but not giving too much away at a time. I have to say the ending was a surprise… and quite a sad surprise but when I thought about it, inevitable I guess. A wonderful five star read – I look forward to reading more from Chris Patchell in the future.

I would like to thank the author for donating an e-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author Chris Patchell When Chris Patchell isn’t hiking in the Cascade Mountains or hanging out with family and friends, she is working at her hi-tech job or writing gritty suspense novels. Writing has been a lifelong passion for Chris. She fell in love with storytelling in the third grade when her half-page creative writing assignment turned into a five-page story on vampires. Even back then Chris had a gift for writing intricate plots that were so good her father refused to believe she didn’t steal them from comic books. Years later, Chris spent long afternoons managing her own independent record store and writing romance novels. After closing the record store and going to college, Chris launched a successful career in hi-tech. She married, had kids but amid all the madness, the itch to write never really went away. So she started writing again. Not romance this time – suspense filled with drama, and angst, speckled with a little bit of blood. Why suspense? Chris blames her obsession with the dark on two things: watching Stephen King movies as a kid and spending ridiculous amounts of time commuting in Seattle traffic. “My stories are based on scenarios I live every day, distorted through the fictional lens. And my stories come with the added bonus of not having to be restrained by socially acceptable behavior.”

To learn more about Chris and her debut novel, DEADLY LIES, visit Join her on Facebook for book giveaways and more gritty fun at


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