Friday, February 20, 2015

Just Add Spice by Carol Wyer

Ebook:  Kindle Edition 577KB  (Paperback 184 pages)
Genre:  Humorous Contemporary Fiction
 Safkhet Publishing.  July 2013
Source: The author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review
First Sentence: The windows in the old golf GTI were almost completely steamed up, thanks to the activities of the middle-aged woman and the young man inside it.
My Opinion: Hilarious and highly entertaining.

It is just over two years since I read and reviewed Carol Wyer's début novel Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines and I have followed her career and rise to fame as a humorous novelist ever since. My thoughts at that time were that here was a novelist who knows how to make you laugh and take you away from the cares of the world for a few hours. She has gone on to prove this in a big way over the last few years. Unfortunately her rise to fame coincided with what turned out to be a very bad period in my own life and suddenly I did not feel like reading her particular brand of humour. Life has moved on, now I am stronger and once again able to laugh at things that just last year I would not have been able to find amusing! Carol has very kindly given me the opportunity to catch up with her writing, so I was fortunate to have ' Just Add Spice' to read on my Kindle on a recent flight.  I do not normally enjoy reading books that are so short, under 200 pages, but as it happens this was perfect for the journey. It was a good laugh and actually I do not feel it would not have worked had it been longer! 

As well as being very funny the storyline is very touching, with two female protagonists, although the second Cinnamon Knight is just in the imagination of the real heroine Dawn Ellis. Dawn is bored with her life, finding her life dull and with the spark gone from her marriage, she decides to take up a new interest in the form of a writing group. It is thanks to this class that Dawn creates the character Cinnamon, for the novel she plans to write. Dawn takes her writing very seriously and the further into the story one gets the more the characters of Cinnamon and Dawn seem to blend into each other. Is Cinnamon Dawn's, alter ego? It certainly becomes difficult to distinguish between their life's but that is all part of this cleverly constructed novel. Hilarious and highly entertaining is as much as I am going to say, no spoilers. 

There are going to be many readers that are going to enjoy this story as it is full of comments and characters that they are going to be able to relate to. Highly recommended to all those women of a certain age that are finding life a little mundane, as well of course those that are happy with their lot, but will appreciate the humour! 

 My earlier reviews   Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines     Surfing in Stilettos

The video trailer is a humorous look at ' Just Add Spice' and does not contain any spoilers.

                      Just Add Spice (Spicy) Book Trailer

Author Profile

Somehow Carol has so far managed to keep her age a secret from the media and there is no autobiographical about her birth that I could find online!
Author Biography is in her own words and reproduced from her website

Well, what can I tell you about myself? Like many people I have worn many different hats over the years. I actually began my working life abroad, in Casablanca, Morocco, where I taught English in an American language school. It was soon discovered that I could speak French rather well, and so I became a translator and teacher to large organisations and companies such as ‘Regie de Tabac’, Morocco’s largest cigarette company, and the Mediterranean Shipping Company. I’d race around the streets on a clapped out VéloSoleX  bike, avoiding donkeys and other clapped out bikes, to get to the jobs on time. I had one run in with a donkey at a set of traffic lights which caused me to fall off my bike – but that’s another story.

After a few years, I returned to the UK to teach and run the English as a Foreign Language department of a private school. (Imagine Hogwarts without the wizardry.)

Although I enjoyed wearing a gown and a mortar board and being called a mistress, I left the school to set up a language company and ventured out on my own.

A recurrence of spinal difficulties that began when I was a teenager, forced me to give up teaching. In order to deal with my health problems, I attended a fitness course, took the qualifications to become a fitness instructor and became a personal trainer. I even appeared in a major fitness magazine
as a ‘success story’. Those were the hedonistic days when I
could actually touch my toes with my hands rather than my knees with my stomach!

I have always written stories. My early stories were for children and sported silly titles like Humphrey and the Dustbin Cats, Hurrah for Hugo! and Noir and Blanc - Two Naughty Cats. They taught French language to younger children and were accompanied by a tape of French songs, mercifully not sung by me.

I began writing for adults after my son left home. I converted his old bedroom into an office and set about writing humorous novels largely aimed at women of a certain age.

The rest is history. Following much media success with Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines, I signed the Amanda Wilson novels with Thornberry Publishing. In 2012, I was lucky enough to be offered a three book deal with Safkhet Publishing. They have published How Not to Murder Your Grumpy and Just Add Spice, and Grumpy Old Menopause, the sister book to How Not to Murder Your Grumpy.

I now write full-time. When I am not working on a novel, I'll be writing articles for magazines such as Woman’s Weekly, or blog posts for The Huffington Post and Indies Unlimited. More recently, I decided to take up another challenge and did my first comedy stand-up gig. It went so well that I'm going to be doing a few more. Called Smile While You Still Have Teeth, look out for one near you.

The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and her writing.

Goodreads Author Profile   Carol E Wyer - Author - Facebook Page   Twitter - Carol E Wyer

Amazon Author Page      Offical Website - Carol Wyer     YouTube -Carol E. Wyer


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I like to read a short novel after reading a lengthy one. I'll add it to my list. Glad you are able to laugh once again.

    1. Ann I am delighted you are going to read this, I hope it makes you laugh. Thanks yes, it has been awhile since I have been able to appreciate Carol's particular brand of humour.


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