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Queen Bee By Jane Fallon

Queen Bee‘Queen Bee’ is the latest book by Jane Fallon and just like her previous novels, nothing is what it seems in this suburban drama.

When Laura’s marriage falls apart, the last thing she expected was to move out of her home without her daughter and moving into a small granny flat whilst trying to get in life in order. Moving into an area of success and wealth, Laura is already under a watchful eye box being a single woman so when a husband of her neighbour, claims that she left him a book with an inscription, Laura finds herself amongst the cast of ‘Mean Girls’ as the women of the neighbourhood turn on her and cast their loyalties with their friend called Stella, an extremely bitchy and insecure woman with 2 bitchy daughters who enjoy nothing more than belittling Laura’s little girl called Betsy. Laura is determined to clear her name and prove people wrong, with her aid of her employee Angie who works for Laura’s cleaning business to help find evidence to prove that she’s not interested in Stella’s husband.

‘Queen Bee’ is another sharply written and observational story by Jane, a story about the dynamics of the rich and privileged and how they treat the not so rich, particularly when it comes to female friendships. I loved Laura and how easily she fitted into The Close, but even when she was blamed for something that she had nothing to do with, she rose above it and claimed her innocence and even making an unlikely friend along the way. Her main concern and priority was wanting to create a safe and homely environment for her sweet little girl. Stella was also a great character, bitchy and privileged, scenes with her and Laura always made for entertaining reading as they swiped at one another.

The story has a great mix of personalities and the people from different societies and classes also made for interesting reading in the story. I found the story to well written with a nice pace and flow to it, with a lot of dry wit and humour, that mainly came from the protagonist of the story.

A story that can be consumed in one sitting and really brightened up a wet and dreary afternoon. ‘Queen Bee’ is another fun and revengeful story from the ‘Sunday Times’ bestseller, with drama, twists and plenty of Jane’s trademark wit, this book was a compulsive read!

You can buy ‘Queen Bee’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Jane Fallon Reveals New Book Called Tell Me A Secret

Tell Me A SecretWonderful news as Jane Fallon reveals her book for 2019, called ‘Tell Me A Secret’.

What the back cover says –

Best friends Holly and Roz tell each other everything.
Until Holly gets a surprise shot at her dream job.
Why isn’t Roz popping the champagne?

Now Holly feels like she’s got a target on her back.
Perhaps it was a mistake to tell Roz all her secrets.

It takes two to tango. But it only takes one to start a war…

This is definitely one book that is going to the top of my TBR pile!

You can pre-order Tell Me A Secret from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 10th January 2019.

Skeletons By Jane Fallon

Skeletons‘Skeletons’ is the latest book by Jane Fallon.

Since she was a little girl Jen always wanted a big happy family. Being an only with just her lonely mother for company was too gloomy for Jen. So when she married Jason and became part of the Masterson clan – a family that could easily have appeared in an Enid Blyton novel – she got exactly what she wanted. For years everything was perfect. But then Jen sees something that she was never meant to see: a scratch on the gloss of her perfect life; a secret that will slowly but surely seep its way to the surface of her world and destroy everything in it. If she keeps this dirty little secret to herself, how long can she pretend nothing is wrong ? How long can she live a lie?

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Jen, a woman who is living the perfect life, happily married to Jason with two daughters, she enjoys her job as a reception manager and looks forward to her weekends away with her husband’s family, an accepting family that she immediately fell in love with. Having grown up in empty house with only herself and her mother, she relishes the hustle and welcoming arms of Jason’s family. For years Jen lived a lonely life, a life that I can sadly relate to, as an only child and my parents separated, I almost felt like Jane had based Jen on myself although I was quite content with my books! Jen’s relationship with her mother is quite strained, as Jen regularly questions about her father and her mother refuses to get into conversation much to Jen’s frustration as she wonders why one day her father just up and left, so with no proper explanation, Jen is just left to assume that she was never good for her fathers attention.

So when she meets Jason, with his huge loving and welcoming family, Jen is delighted to step into the family that she has always longed for. Amelia, the mother of the family, is a kind lady who takes Jen under her wing and provides Jen with the mother that she has always wanted, caring, attentive and always there to listen and Charles, the father a humorous character and well respected pillar of the community whereas Jason’s sisters Poppy and Jessie present Jen with siblings and new best friends.

But sadly one day when Jen goes out on her lunch break, she witnesses something that will tear the loving family apart. It seems that the perfect family Jen has settled into comfortably has been living a lie and now that lie has been discovered it wants to be brought to the surface and expose it’s ugly truth with or without Jen’s help. But Jen is stuck between a rock and a hard place, does she tell the truth and risk losing it all or does she leave the skeleton in the closet.

Typical of Jane’s previous books, ‘Skeleton’s is a book that is a captivating story, dark and witty with a strong cast. Jen in particular is interesting, in love with a family but once she sees something, it seems that she has removed the rose tainted glasses and every flaw and everything she made allowances suddenly changes her opinion and everything is not so perfect. Realising the life she had become part of is all a lie, Jen battles with her conscious whether to tell the truth or just to leave it well alone.

A story of morals, secrets and living a lie, ‘Skeletons’ is Jane Fallon at her best, an edgy, gritty and unpredictable story that leaves you cynical of happy families. A welcome return to one of my favourite authors.

You can buy Skeletons from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Christmas Gifts for Readers and Writers

Favourite Books

No gift guide would be complete without a few great books thrown in, so along with a collection of reading related gift ideas, I have compiled a list of books which I have enjoyed recently and would happily read again and again.

If you can think of any great festive gift ideas for book lovers, share it in the comments below

Recommended Books

  • Cuckoo by Julia Crouch
  • About Last Night by Adele Parks
  • You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sara Manning
  • The Accidental Proposal by Matt Dunn
  • Meet me At the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan
  • Me and My Sisters by Sinead Moriarty
  • The Truth About Melody Browne by Lisa Jewell
  • The Ugly Sister by Jane Fallon
  • Kate’s Wedding by Chrissie Manby
  • The Leopard by Jo Nesbo

Personal Library Kit

Personal Library KitThe “Personal Library Kit” is the perfect gift for book lovers that don’t mind lending their books out, but like to keep a track of them. With the aid of this quirky kit complete with stamp and checkout cards — it is the ideal gift for the secret librarian in all of us.

Penguin Mug

Penguin MugsOne thing I have discovered from interviewing authors, is that the one item most writers need beside them whilst sitting down to write, is a hot mug of tea. These traditional Penguin mugs featuring Penguin classic’s such as “Jane Eyre” and “Pride and Prejudice”, are sure motivational tool to help inspire a best seller.

Amazon Kindle

KindleIf you know someone who loves reading and can’t to take enough books with you when out and about, then the Amazon Kindle may be the ideal gift. Small enough to fit in your pocket and capable of holding up to 1400 books, you will definately not run out of something to read with this handy little device.

The Creativity Hub Rory’s Story Cubes

Rory's Story CubesLike a story with your own personal twist? Then “The Creativity Hub Rory’s Story Cubes”, may just be the thing to make Christmas morning a little bit more entertaining. The ideal gift for a party, Story Cubes provide hours of entertainment with unlimited story combinations, as the roll of each cube opens the door to a unique twist on each story. It is a a game for everyone and is perfect for young and old alike.

Misery Bear’s Guide to Love & Heartbreak

Misery Bear's Guide To Heartbreak“Misery Bear’s Guide to Love and Heart break” is a delightful book for a more mature audience, based on the story of Misery Bear. It contains a collection of his poems, thoughts, photos plus so much more. Though it will probably not improve your love life, it will make a lovely thoughtful gift, as we all cross our fingers and paws that Misery Bear will eventually find someone to love him.

Moleskine Large Plain Notebook

MoleskinesMoleskines, the perfect treat for jotting down notes in the simple, traditional ruled notebooks that have become popular with designers and writers.

What I Read (Red) Mini Journal

Mini JournalIf you are like me and like to keep track of books that you have read then the “What I read” Mini Journal is ideal for jotting down book names and ideas and small enough to slip into the smallest of bags. With its beautiful red cover, the mini journal makes the perfect stocking filler.

Alice In Wonderland, Retro Shopping Bag

Alice in Wonderland Bag Like a lot of girls that in the world, I not only love books but I also love bags. So combine these two key ingredients together and you will find this retro “Alice In Wonderful” canvas shopper is a lovely treat. Throw this over your shoulder and fill it with books, just like all bags should be.

SUCK UK Bookrest lamp

Book Rest Lamp Is it a book, is it a light? Nope, it’s actually a Book Rest Lamp, perfect to rest your book on whilst you pop out to the kitchen to put the kettle on. Made from frosted glass, the lamp gives off a soft light, making an ideal environment for reading.

Jane Fallon

Jane FallonJane Fallon was born in Harrow in North London, before becoming a successful author, she was a scriptwriter and later producer of Eastenders. After Eastenders she then went onto produce gritty television series “This Life” and “Teachers” In 2006, she wrote her first novel “Getting Rid of Matthew” which was selected by the “Richard and Judy Bookclub”. “The Ugly Sister” is her fourth book and tells the story of the complicated relationship of sisters Caroline and Abi.

  1. Jane, to those who aren’t familiar with you or your writing, can you
 tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing?
    My fourth novel – “The Ugly Sister” – is about to be published. I worked in TV for about 15 years before I started writing books, first as a script editor and then a producer. I produced drama shows like “This Life” and “Teachers” but writing novels was always my real ambition. I had always written but never had the courage to show anyone anything until I suddenly decided it was now or never. My first, “Getting Rid of Matthew”, was published in 2007.
  2. Your latest book “The Ugly Sister” will hit the shelves in September, can 
you tell the readers of HandwrittenGirl, what the book is about?
    It’s about sisters. Abi and Caroline have been more or less estranged since Caroline was spotted when she was 16 and went on to become Cleo the supermodel. Abi has always missed her sister and when she receives an invitation to spend the summer wiCleo and her husband and 2 daughters she hopes reconciliation might be on the cards. But Cleo plainly has other things on her mind…
  3. What author do you admire?
    So many. All the obvious like Jane Austen and Dickens but also modern writers like James Frey who has really original ways of telling stories. The greatest influence on my writing was Fay Weldon. I discovered one of her books on my sister’s bookshelf when I was about 15 and it changed my whole way of looking at writing. Her style was so free flowing and conversational, unlike anything I’d read before. Oh and also my friend, Adele Parks, who has just finished her 12th book! 12! And they’re all great reads. 

  4. You have had quite a successful career varied from script writing for
 some of the grittiest televisions dramas to popular soaps and comedies and
 now you are an author. Is there any part of your career that you are 
particularly proud off?
    I did more script editing and producing than script writing but I think “This Life” was something I felt particularly proud of because it felt like we were making something new and exciting. We looked at every aspect of the process from casting to camera work and tried to do things differently to everyone else. Nothing can ever beat the moment of my first book coming out though and then discovering that it had gone into the Top 10. 

  5. What was the first story you ever wrote?
    Gosh, I can’t remember because I have always written all the time. I still have my old exercise books from primary school and a disproportionate amount of my stories seem to have been about animals. We also had to write a diary every day and I obviously had a big imagination because most of it seems to have been lies! 

  6. What part of the writing process, do you find the most difficult?
    Having the idea. I spend about 3 months of every year staring off into space trying to come up with a story that I like, that I think is original and that I think has enough scope for twists and turns. There’s a fine line between doing that and just staring off into space doing nothing and I often cross that line.
  7. Here on the HandwrittenGirl website, I would like to be able to offer
 potential writers like myself advice. Are there any areas you would suggest 
a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    Write every day. And move on; don’t spend too much time going over and over the same paragraph. There’s time for detailed editing later but I found that I tended to use it as a stalling tactic and I never got anywhere. I still have to force myself to stop. 

  8. Many book lovers have a hard time excepting screen adaptations of classic and popular stories. What film has been your favourite book to screen to adaptation? If any?
    I think with film adaptations you have to be prepared for the story to be changed and reshaped (unless it’s a classic when it does feel like sacrilege!). People expect something different from movies. They can’t hold your attention in the same way a book does if they move too slowly. “One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest” is a great example of how changing the perspective of a story can turn a great book into an even better film. The book is written from the point of view of the Chief Bromden. We know from the off that he can speak, he just prefers to listen. Imagine the film not having that great moment when the Chief suddenly turns to MacMurphy and talks. Imagine the film if MacMurphy wasn’t the star. I think we, as both writers and viewers, can be too precious about a story. If changing a few things turns a book into a better film then do it.
  9. Did you read any writers guidebooks during your career? Are there any 
that you would recommend?
    I didn’t I’m afraid. I think the most important thing is for you to find your own style. It took me years to feel I was writing naturally.
  10. If you were ever stranded, of the books you have read or created, which
 would be a must have desert island read?
    For some reason the book I always come back to is “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote. There’s something about the atmosphere he creates that is so compelling. And “I Capture The Castle” by Dodie Smith for comfort. 

  11. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    Whether I want her or not the cat is usually there getting in the way.
  12. And finally Jane, do you have any new projects or releases on the
 horizon, which you would like to share with the readers of the blog?
    Well, as you mentioned “The Ugly Sister” is coming out soon – September 29th – and I’m just (finally!) starting on my next book. Other than that I’m keeping my fingers crossed for one of the various film versions of the others that are in the offing to actually happen.

Read more about Jane Fallon online and on Facebook Jane Fallon