Title: Rio Grande, Wisconsin

Author: JoAnn Novak

Pages: 28 Pages

Publisher: Day One

The Blurb

This story was originally published in Day One, a weekly literary journal dedicated to short fiction and poetry from emerging writers.

Frankie is twelve, and she’s feeling a bit too old for family vacations. So on yet another trip to the Wisconsin Dells, she’ll use the rudimentary coping skills available to preadolescents: fake-sleeping in the car, ignoring her parents, tormenting her brother. And, of course, fantasizing about Bill Murray.

Her mother wants Frankie to watch her weight, but the tween refuses to police her body—or to be ashamed of her enjoyment of it. At every opportunity—in the pool, during dinner, at the wax museum—her mom pushes, and Frankie pushes back.

Imaginative and honest, Rio Grande, Wisconsin is a coming-of-age story about the awkward and dysfunctional ways mothers and daughters show love, and how one unique girl attempts to feed the insatiable existential hunger that comes with growing up.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Oh dear.

I read Rio Grande, Wisconsin unsure about what it would be about but I was intrigued by the cover. What I got was a story that was just a little bit pointless and a lot under-developed. The development of the story, of there being an actual point to the story would have made it more enjoyable but all I felt after reading it from beginning to end was that I had just wasted my time.

Rio Grande, Wisconsin by JoAnn Novak is available now.

Some Like it Hot at the Picture House by the SeaTitle: Some Like it Hot at the Picture House by the Sea

Author: Holly Hepburn

Pages: 100 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

Part Four in the brilliant new series from the bestselling author of The Star and Sixpence series. Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley.

After several months in Cornwall helping her grandfather run the family business, Gina has almost forgotten what London life is like, and her boyfriend Max has most definitely noticed…. With all her energy going into the newly renovated Palace picture house and the ever-successful Ferrelli’s ice-cream business, he’s not getting much attention. To make matters worse, Gina is spending more and more time with her friend and co-renovator, Ben, and old feelings are starting to resurface.

But as Gina’s time in Cornwall draws to a close and she starts thinking about returning to life in London with Max, the cinema’s very future comes under threat from a developer with greed in his eyes. Will Gina stay in Polwhipple? And can she help owner Gorran save the Palace before it is too late…?

The Review

Ahh, the final part of The Picture House by the Sea series has come and gone and I have that pleasantly comfortable feeling that you can get once you have read a good book. I like to think of it as the hot water bottle feeling. I feel snug.

Some Like it Hot at the Picture House by the Sea has the cinema reopening to much applause but before then there has been some dastardly plots afoot that Gina, Ben and the gang have had to try and fix but in the grand tradition of rom-com books it all works out in the end.

I am so glad I read this series. It really has been a warm hug on a cold day.

Well done, Holly Hepburn.

Some Like it Hot at the Picture House by the Sea by Holly Hepburn is available now.

For more information regarding Holly Hepburn (@HollyH_Author) please visit www.hollyhepburn.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

3 Stars

Dirty Dancing at the Picture House by the SeaTitle: Dirty Dancing at the Picture House by the Sea

Author: Holly Hepburn

Pages: 100 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

Part Three of the brilliant new series from the bestselling author of the Star and Sixpence series. Perfect for all fans of Cathy Bramley.

The picture house by the sea is the Palace at Polwhipple – a lovely art deco cinema, nestled in front of azure Cornish seas.

Gina is now in charge of Ferrelli’s, her grandfather’s ice-cream business, and is determined to modernise things.  Change has come to the Palace too and there’s a ‘closed for refurbishment’ sign hanging across the doors. But just because the picture house is closed, doesn’t mean there can’t be a movie screening… and there’s only one place for it! Will Gina pull off her biggest event yet…? And with Rose Arundell sinking her claws further into Ben, who will be the Johnny to Gina’s Baby…?

The Review

Out of the four books in The Picture House by the Sea Series this has been the one that I have looked forward to reading the most.

I love Dirty Dancing. It is my favourite film of all time ever. I have posters, limited edition DVDs, books, t-shirts. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the sexiest movie of all time. True fact.

In the latest instalment the renovations of the picture house are well under way but when Gina learns that the picture house is under financial pressure she knows that she has to do something to help raise funds. With that in mind and it being a glorious summer the cinema moves to the beach where they show the 80s classic Dirty Dancing. Things become fraught with tension when Rose Arundel tries to do everything she can to destroy all of Gina’s hard work.

Even more worrying is that Rose and Max seem to have a relationship that Gina doesn’t know about; worrying times for the people of Polwhipple.

Dirty Dancing at the Picture House by the Sea is great. It shows the more determined side to Gina in the face of a seriously bad situation and it makes you fall more and more in love with Cornwall….and make you want to watch Dirty Dancing all over again.

Dirty Dancing at the Picture House by the Sea by Holly Hepburn is available now.

For more information regarding Holly Hepburn (@HollyH_Author) please visit www.hollyhepburn.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

4 Stars

Singing in the Rain at the Picture House by the SeaTitle: Singing in the Rain at the Picture House by the Sea

Author: Holly Hepburn

Pages: 120 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

Part Two in the brilliant new series from the bestselling author of the Star and Sixpence series. Perfect for all fans of Cathy Bramley.

Gina has returned to her grandparents in the picturesque Cornish town of Polwhipple, to help run the Italian family’s ice-cream business while her grandfather recovers from an accident.

Dismayed to find her old haunt from childhood visits to Polwhipple, the little picture house by the sea, in a state of disrepair, Gina is determined to help. Long past its heyday now, the little art deco cinema needs all the love it can get. With the help of her old friend Ben, Gina goes to the town’s committee to ask for funding to renovate the hearthstone of Polwhipple’s community. And what better way to prove the little picture house’s worth, than by throwing another fantastic themed screening, complete with an exotic new Ferrelli flavour…

But Ben’s activities are closely watched by his old flame, the venomous Rose Arundell, who is determined to get her claws into him once more. Rose is used to getting what she wants – the trouble is, Gina is starting to wonder if she and Rose want the same thing…

The Review

After the success of the showing of Brief Encounters, Gina has once again taken the picture house by storm. This time she is showing the classic musical Singing in the Rain. Once again, she is met with trials and tribulations. In the second instalment of the Picture House by the Sea series Gina’s plans get bigger and bigger. She wants to renovate the picture house and return it to its former glory. But she still has the dastardly Rose to come up against along with a love triangle that is fast becoming a love square.

Singing in the Rain at the Picture House by the Sea is lovely. What is really great about this series is that Holly Hepburn has perfectly captured what it is like to live and breathe community spirit. I want to go to the movies in this picture house.

Singing in the Rain at the Picture House by the Sea by Holly Hepburn is available now.

For more information regarding Holly Hepburn (@HollyH_Author) please visit www.hollyhepburn.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

3 Stars

Brief Encounter at the Picture House by the SeaTitle: Brief Encounter at the Picture House by the Sea

Author: Holly Hepburn

Pages: 100 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

Part One in the brilliant new series from the bestselling author of The Star and Sixpence series. Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley.

The picture house by the sea is the Palace at Polwhipple – a lovely art deco cinema, nestled in front of azure Cornish seas. But it is long past its heyday now, and its only saving grace is Ferrelli’s, the family run ice-cream concession in the foyer, which is famed for selling the best ice cream for miles.

When Ferdie, the owner of Ferrelli’s, falls ill, his granddaughter Gina drops everything to come and help out, leaving her boyfriend, Max, in London. But when she arrives she is dismayed by the state of the cinema, which she remembers fondly from summer holidays when she was a teenager.

Enchanted by Polwhipple’s golden beaches and friendly faces, Gina sets about restoring the Palace to its former glory with a themed Brief Encounter night, roping in her old friend Ben to help. But can one night alter the fortunes of this beautiful old picture house by the sea…?

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Oh I do love a good will they won’t they love story (they have to otherwise what is the point) and that is exactly what I got with the first part o the Picture House by the Sea series. When Gina returns to Cornwall to help her grandparents with their gelato business she is welcomed back to the fold by people that she knows and loves and is returned to a world that is completely comforting to her. However, she is leaving behind her real life in London and with that comes some big questions.

I really enjoyed Brief Encounter at the Picture House by the Sea. There is a bit of a trend at the moment for nostalgia in stories. Several series have seen people going to cafes or bookshops or – in this case – cinemas to try and regain a sense of comfort in the old rather than bask in the new and trendy. Brief Encounter at the Picture House by the Sea is definitely one that will warm your hear when you read it and after such a cracking opening I cannot wait to read part two.

Brief Encounter at the Picture House by the Sea by Holly Hepburn is available now.

For more information regarding Holly Hepburn (@HollyH_Author) please visit www.hollyhepburn.com.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@simonschusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

35 Stars