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Nailsea's paperback writers

Alongside coffee shops and charity shops  Nailsea has produced an abundance of fine sports people and per capita an amazing number of writers who have their books in print. Here are just two of them...
If sex sells two X-rated new books by Nailsea authors are sure to succeed.
Wit Christopher Hitchers is credited with saying ‘Everyone has a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay’?'
But the prolific output by people with strong Nailsea connections defies this adage.
The latest two we review are Stephen Ford and AC Marsh with others coming off the press this autumn...
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If sex sells this book nails it...

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REVIEW: Angels of Armour

A Nailsea writer has published her first book which is planned to be part of a series of epic proportions akin to the Twilight saga with Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan and Buffy the Vampire Slayer but more sexy.

There is also a whiff of Michael the 1996 American fantasy film with John Travolta as the Archangel, who is sent to Earth to do various tasks, including mending some wounded hearts.

And in the 2013 gothic fantasy film Beautiful Creatures there are echoes of false memories, recurring nightmares and mind games also in this story.

But Angels of Armour is more a battle between good and evil spiced with servings of red-hot Latino love and longing.

The heroine of the Angels of Armour is a bookish, introverted American 20-year-old who works in her Italian family’s café and delicatessen.

Marcella ‘Ella’ Romana with her waist-long hair and Rueben belly acts like an angel except when she lusts after men, then she’s just a horny young devil.

Recently split from David, a ‘shitty’ boyfriend, Ella prefers to sleep with her Alsatian Ruby while she has a love/hate relationship with the boy-next-door Will Baker who is also best buddies with her overprotective big brother Leo.

So far so good. The scene is set for the 353-page opening chapter.

Towering Adonis Will is a muscleman of Jason Momoa proportions (including his undercarriage) and adorned with tattoos and battle scars.

Pulses (not pasta) race when Lucas the new librarian looking, I imagine, like a young Damian Lewis with his long red curly locks stops by the café for a cappuccino. Lucas is described as ‘startlingly beautiful’.

Grandma Elena is safe and ‘beautiful’ too and described as SPK but even Google couldn’t define that abbreviation.

Best friend Malikea is a pan-sexual African American party animal with big Afro hair and dubious family tree.

In fact, all the characters are ‘beautiful’, no Brontë-style plain Janes laying back between the pages or the bed covers.

Talking of between there is very little fanny fiddling as sex is more BJs and rough rides right from the first encounter and you must wait until nearly the end of the book for any real action.

Early thrills are instigated with some safe sex ass-grabbing moves and meanwhile something scary is lurking at the bottom of the garden…

The writing is modern with little trace of Yankee slang and I did wonder about all the tea drinking.

It is a complex well-told yarn which could do with a Who’s Who bibliography but then that might spoil the many surprises. As for genre I would say a coming-of-age survival fantasy-fuck.

Like any book of this size the proof-reading mistakes are smiley – ‘taught’ for ‘taut’ and ‘led’ instead of ‘laid’.

Book reviewer RaeAnne Palmer gave Angels of Armour five stars online at Good Reads.

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She said: “This is such a good book!

“It flowed so well from chapter to chapter it kept my interest the whole time.

“I loved Will, oh my goodness.”

Andie Marsh is the author with a mega imaginative and fabulous way with words.

She lives with a bearded dragon called Freddie and a fiancé called Matty has already begun writing the sequence called Angels of Oblivion.

Update: Andie said: “Unfortunately we lost Freddie just a few weeks ago so he won’t be my writing buddy for the next book.”

And she tells us you can usually find her in the Royal Oak pub playing crib or curled up on the sofa reading or watching Netflix.

The paperback edition is on Amazon priced £10.99.

Order HERE.  

Carol Ann Deacon

In the style of another Stephen?

What do you do when a man you meet in the pub asks you to read his latest book and tells you he will welcome any constructive criticism?

Well here goes, my warts and all review.

Cab Ride to Crime is the third book by Nailsea writer Stephen Ford which is independently published by Amazon.

He said: "I write for the fun of it and if it gives someone else pleasure in reading it, that’s the icing on the cake."  
The blurb says:

  • A barrister and a call girl

  • A solicitor with a criminal lover

  • A cab driver facing financial ruin

  • Two corrupt police officers

  • And when their paths cross the result is an explosive climax leading to murder.

It sells for £5.99 on Amazon HERE and is currently number 81,137 in the thrillers best sellers list.

Okay so it’s going to be a slow burner but is it a bummer?

Well, I have to say for starters it is a good story and the structure and pace is great.

But, and it is a big but, the text is littered with grammar and spelling mistakes.

And when some of Stephen's male characters express their opinions, well - some anti-feminist sentiments and traits of misogyny are revealed.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Stephen, a former police officer and MD of the largest licensed taxi service outside London, said: "The book was inspired by an incident that happened to me when I was a licensed cab  driver.

"I was the one who drove a call girl about and I was the one who was offered a  job as a getaway driver!"  
There is lots of lust at first sight and some stilted sentences which sound like stage directions – in fact it would probably make a very watchable TV series for crime fans.

What jars most is the juvenile descriptions, women in the principal roles are always ‘attractive’ who wear pencil skirts and white blouses and provocative underwear.

Now I know about the three SSSs (shit, shave and shower) but the characters do the final ablutions aplenty.

I like to learn when I read and this book contains only three words I had never heard of in its 137-pages. Stertorous, Scrotes and azooSpermia (joke capital S) another triple SSS.

It does read like a crime report and the inconsistent printing of clock times is jarring like 5pm, 5 o’clock, 5:00pm, 17.00hrs and five oh clock, I kid you not.

Cab Ride to Crime is not a whodunnit because you know whodunit it is all about whether they will be caught and punished.

The set-up is the best bit however you must suspend all reason at some of the relationships.

You have the tart with a heart whose chosen profession as a prostitute gets blamed on an abusive childhood.

The big wig barrister gets down and dirty with her while his seemingly strait-laced solicitor wife has a one-night stand with Mr Very Big and we aren’t only talking about his dangly bits which don't dangly!

Add a married police motorbike rider who rides another officer in what is called a ‘torrid’ affair.

And then there is a sad cab driver who splashes the cash to ‘attract’ a glamorous dental nurse with a secret gambling addiction.  

Stephen said: “I believe that all the characters in the book are believable.

“Many of them are based on people I have met during the varied careers that I chose to follow.”

The road and trail rides work, the cliché sex scenes don’t unless you like reading about firm left or was it right? breasts and rounded bums.

How sexy is this ‘when her fingers reached the elasticated waistband of his joggers…’ and underneath she discovered…wait for it… ‘Lacoste underpants’.

Okay, it actually says ‘Without taking his eyes off her, he removed his tracksuit bottoms and black Lacoste underpants and lay naked besides her’.

Stephen conceded that ‘it may not be the sexiest line every written…’.

I can’t work out whether the brand placements were for fun (there isn’t much fun either between the sheets or the chapters) but the food, drink, motors, clothes and household fittings including a FFS candlestick are all named products. Oh, I forgot and the shower gel!

Apart from the overuse of ‘attractive’ the word ‘whilst’ appears on nearly every page.

The trouble for me was I had no empathy in any of the characters in this boys-only book at bedtime but Stephen does have lots of fans.

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The names of Ronnie and Reg for the bad guys, the Black & White St Paul’s café resurrected as Shades of Grey, we are told Lloyd the bouncer is black several times in one short paragraph and the chicken like me at this point is ‘jerked’ off!

As a storyteller Stephen definitely got something but he needs to slow down and concentrate on quality about quantity, sorry.

With three books already published a sequel to Cab Ride to Crime is now in production – I am glad because I really need to know how it all ends.

Carol Deacon

 

STOP PRESS: “Just a quick update on my book Cab Ride to Crime. Publishers Austin Macauley have offered me a publishing contract. Might be worth mentioning when you do your review," regards Steve.