Zenka by Alison Brodie book review

Zenka_Final

Zenka written and self-published by Alison Brodie is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2AlpBe1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Devious, ruthless, and loyal.

Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?

Maid-Marigold

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Zenka is Alison Brodie’s 6th published book; I’ve had the pleasure to read three of these books and each one has been a joy to read.  Alison Brodie has a great writing style taking you on a journey with the characters using dialect to help you be fully immersed in their personalities and traits.  Adding in wonderful wit and humour you leave Alison Brodie’s novels with a sense of satisfaction that it was an entertaining and enjoyable read.
Zenka is a dark, romantic comedy about Jack Murray, a London gangster, who saved a couple of Romanian girls from a fate filled with slavery and fear.  One of these girls is Zenka.  Zenka is bright, vivacious, intelligent and beautiful.  Since being saved by Jack she vows to be his guardian angel and soon picks up the unorthodox gangster ways with a fabulous twist of feminine ways.
When Jack learns he may be the father of a young man he swears to go on the straight and narrow, secretly flinging expensive gifts and money to his long lost son’s way. But finding out his son is shy and downtrodden Jack feels he needs to help build his confidence and there is no better person for the job than Zenka.  Zenka sprinkles some of her own magic Nicholas’ way and sets in motion a chain of events that will change the future for many.  However, neither Jack, Zenka or Nicholas have figured that love may be on the agenda.
A crazy fun-filled dark romantic comedy that you just don’t know what’s going to happen next. Jack Murray reminded me in a way of a ‘Robin Hood’ type character; in his own unorthodox way he was helping out those in need.  I loved Zenka’s dialect and her letters back home that were very honest and quite funny with her parting shot each time.  Zenka was such a brilliant, quirky character and I could imagine the author had so much fun creating her.  4.5/5*
To learn more about Alison Brodie please visit the following pages:

 

Guest Post: Extract from Zenka by Alison Brodie

Zenka_Final

Zenka written and self-published by Alison Brodie is available to pre-order in ebook format.  Date of publication is 6th November 2017.

To pre-order links:

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07534Y6QZ
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07534Y6QZ
Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07534Y6QZ
Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07534Y6QZ
Product Details (as per amazon page)

Devious, ruthless, and loyal.

Zenka is a capricious Hungarian with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will make Nicholas into the sort of son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says

About the Author

Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side.
Alison Brodie is an international best-selling author. Her books having been published in hardback and paperback by Hodder & Stoughton (UK), Heyne (Germany) and Unieboek (Holland).  Alison has now gone “indie”.
Here are some editorial reviews for her recent books:
BRAKE FAILURE: “Masterpiece of humor” –Midwest Book Review
THE DOUBLE: “Proof of her genius in writing fiction” -San Francisco Book Review.
To learn more about Alison Brodie visit the following links:

EARLY PRAISE FOR ZENKA:

“A riveting read. Powerful. Spicy” -Midwest Book Review

5* “To say I loved this story would be a massive understatement” –Bloggers from Down Under

5* “Will warm your heart and chill your bones” –Tome Tender Blogspot

5* “Top of my list for best fiction this year” – Lauren Sapala, WriteCity

5* “You won’t be able to put this book down” –Laura Reading

5* “Brodie nails it again. Intelligent wit and outstanding writing” –Charlie Elliott, author of Life Unbothered.



I’m delighted to be able to share an extract from Zenka.  Alison Brodie has chosen a brilliant scene to share with you all.

Maid-MarigoldAt ten o’clock, the doorbell buzzed. Nicholas padded down the stairs, smiling grimly as he imagined the battle-axe standing on the doorstep, a battle-axe who would storm into Jason’s room and order him to get his lazy butt out of bed and tidy up his mess.

Nicholas opened the door to see the top of a dripping blue umbrella. He saw it lift slowly to reveal a face. The small pointed chin and full lips belonged to a little girl, but the slanted green eyes belonged to a porno queen.

It took a moment for him to find his voice. ‘Can I help you?’

I am Zenka.’ Her accent was Eastern European, her voice husky. She smiled and held up a pair of yellow Marigold gloves.

Her smile was blinding. It took him a moment to drag his eyes from her to the Marigold gloves. He looked at them. He looked at her. Somehow, it seemed, they were connected.

A cloud of anxiety moved over her face. ‘You not vant me cleaning?’

Cleaning?’ He felt a jolt. She was the cleaning lady!

He quickly collected himself. ‘Come in, come in.’ He snatched the umbrella from her. ‘I’m upstairs. It’s not very big. It shouldn’t take you long. You might need a hand … you know … with-’

Stop babbling! he screamed inwardly.

As she threw off her hood, long red hair cascaded down over her shoulders, alive and bouncing, and screaming to be touched.

He clapped his hands vigorously. It made him think of a scout master summoning his troop. ‘O-kay! Let’s get to it!

He led the way, his nerve-ends alive to her presence, every male testosterone and mating instinct flashing on red alert. At the door of the flat, he stood back to let her enter. The shy look she gave him from under her black lashes made him catch his breath, and for the first time in his life, he was aware of his heart.

Your home is so pretty,’ she exclaimed, looking around. She handed him a leaflet. ‘I saw this on door mat. Thai boxing. That for you?’

He barely glanced at it. Everything about her was sensual; her little nose, the way she moved her lips to speak, and her eyes, oh God, her eyes, sliding to look at him from under thick black lashes, seeming to say: “I want to be friends with you, if you want to be friends with me.”

Nicholas, mesmerised, watched his beautiful visitor inspect the ornaments on the mantelpiece. Suddenly, she looked back at him and smiled. His reaction was instantaneous. It was the quickest, widest smile he had ever given.

Ver do you want me to start vith you, Mr Jaffrey?’

Nicholas.’ He couldn’t get the word out fast enough. ‘Call me Nicholas.’

She tried his name, speaking delicately, as if caressing the air with her breath, the “o” sound puckering those beautiful lips: ‘N-i-c-h-o-l-a-s.’

He sat down to hide his erection, thankful that she had gone into the kitchen. He felt the grin spread across his face. Oh, Jason, Jason, you stupid twat. Look what you’re missing. Nicholas was not prepared to share Zenka with that Neanderthal. Thankfully, Jason held his Saturday morning lie-ins sacred, and would never meet her.

Itt Vagyok!’

Zenka stood in the doorway of the kitchen. She had removed her raincoat and now wore a little French maid’s. She held up the bucket and mop. ‘I begin,’ she announced. As she pivoted into the kitchen, he glimpsed frilly white knickers. He got to his feet and followed.

Let me help you,’ he offered.

Frankly, Nicholas, I’m not impressed.’ It was twelve-thirty and Jason had just woken up, bleary-eyed and cantankerous. He inspected the kitchen sink. ‘Bloody hell, it’s filthy! Look at the crud. And the cooker!’ He ran a finger over it and held up a greasy fingertip in evidence.

Nicholas smothered a laugh. Jason was behaving like Lady Davenport-Tewksbury. ‘When did you get so house-proud?’ Nicholas asked, putting away the cleaning products.

Jason stiffened, outraged by the slur. ‘I’m not house-proud for your sodding information, but I know when some tit has been ripped off. And you, mate, have been royally ripped off.’

I’m happy with what she’s done.’

What?’ Jason swung wildly. ‘What has she done?’ He pointed to the window. ‘Look!’ Squinting, he inspected the glass, ducking from side to side as if dodging bullets. ‘Look at those smears. They weren’t even there before!’

Nicholas sighed contentedly. He had spent two glorious fun-filled hours with Zenka; his only regret was that – because of the agency’s strict rules – she couldn’t give him her phone number. They’d giggled when she hoovered up the duster. He had physically melted when she tapped a puff of Fairy Liquid foam on his nose. He had blown up the Marigold gloves until they looked like udders and proudly displayed them on his chest. He had shoved two chopsticks up under his top lip and hopped about the kitchen like a rabbit, making her buckle up against the fridge in helpless laughter.

They had talked … well …. he had bombarded her with questions. She was Hungarian. No, she didn’t have a boyfriend. She told him she was attracted to men who were brave and strong. ‘I want someone who can protect me,’ she’d kept insisting. ‘A man who is not scared to use his fists.’

He knew, at that moment, he would become that man … whatever it took.

Cover Reveal – Zenka by Alison Brodie

I’m delighted to be able to share with you today the cover for Alison Brodie’s new novel which is due for publication in November 2017.  The new novel fits in the genre Adult, Comedy, Romance, Thriller.  Early praise for Zenka:  “ZENKA is top of my list for best fiction this year. If Tina Fey and Simon Pegg got together to write a dark and hilarious mobster story with a happy ending, ZENKA would be the result!” -Lauren Sapala, Book Reviewer and Writers’ Coach

Without further ado here is the striking cover of Zenka …

Zenka_Final

Synopsis

“She’s the one to die for”

Zenka is a seductive Hungarian pole-dancer with a stubborn streak. When London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not.

“How can you be my guardian angel,” Jack scoffed. “You’re only five foot two.”

Zenka shrugged, “So vat? I am small, but a grenade is also small.”

Jack receives a letter saying he has a son, Nicholas. Nicholas is a wimp, bullied by his flatmate, pussy-whipped by his girlfriend and terrorised by his elderly patients.

Jack is delighted to be a dad, but he has to tread carefully. People are out to harm him and those close to him. Can he use his wealth, wiles and tough-guy contacts to make a man out of this mouse – before his enemies turn him into mincemeat?

Zenka takes charge. She’s going to “bring out the gorilla” in Nicholas. And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out exactly where the bodies are buried – because he buries them. He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill … or be killed.

As family ties become more disturbing, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?

***

ZENKA is a black comedy/crime thriller/romance set in gangland London in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

About the Author

Alison Brodie is an internationally-published author. GOOD HOUSEKEEPING chose her debut for their Pick of the Paperbacks. The Scottish Daily Mail reviewed ‘Face to Face’: “Vain but wildly funny leading lady.”

Alison has a criminal record for busking/disturbance of the peace in Piccadilly Circus; speeding in Spain and hustling in Athens. She lives in Biarritz, where she can be found speaking unnintelligabuble French.

Author links:

Wild Life by Alison Brodie book review

Wild Life

Wild Life written and self-published by Alison Brodie is available NOW on ebook.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

She says he’s got five per cent body fat and one per cent brain activity.
He says she’s a foul-mouthed tart.
Meet Faustine and McPherson.

Faustine is terrified of responsibility and never wants kids. She lives in New York filling her time with dead-end jobs and high-end stimulants but when she hears that Beech Wood Rise is about to be flattened, she sobers up and heads home to England. The ancient woodland holds her only memories of her dead mother and she’s going to fight every step of the way to stop the land developer.
McPherson is the land developer. He never wants kids because he believes he’s inherited his father’s violent temper. Having been evicted from his home as a child, McPherson’s mission is to build low-cost housing for the poor. And Beech Wood Rise is his next project.
Oscar, 9, has been taken from his crack-head mum in London and placed with his aunt in the countryside while Child Services find him a foster home. Oscar dislikes his aunt and takes up residence in the abandoned tree-house on Beech Wood Rise.
Suddenly, Oscar’s peace is shattered.
Oscar watches the battle between Faustine and McPherson with a spectator’s enthusiasm, while fanning the flames of war. Yet he knows his days of freedom are numbered. Rather than go into foster care, he plans to do a disappearing act.
When Faustine and McPherson discover that Oscar is not a middle-class brat dodging piano practice but an emotionally traumatised reject who is about to run away, they declare a temporary ceasefire as they try to save him.
What they don’t know is: all their careful plans to stay child-free are about to be challenged.
Oscar has decided that Faustine and McPherson would make great parents. HIS parents.
Now all he has to do is make them fall in love.

tree silhouette

Wow, I absolutely loved this novel and I didn’t want it to end.

A romcom story with great dialogue that makes you spontaneously laugh out loud and then it rips at your heart leaving you a crumpled mess, then your emotions are soaring high again.  It was so clever of the author, Alison Brodie, to bring laughter to a story that held a serious, sensitive subject to the crux of the storyline.

Faustine couldn’t believe her luck when she’d won the big modelling contract but then her heart sank a little when she learn’t that she had to now portray a certain elegant image.  She thought one last binge wouldn’t hurt then she’d do all she could to maintain the appropriate image for the mega bucks pay packet.  However, a plea of help from her sister to save the sacred trees near her ancestral home back in England may scupper her new image.

Property developer McPherson had set his sights on building a new housing development in a sleepy village in the Cotswolds.  He had a dream to make affordable housing and his aim was to bring families from inner cities to his idyllic location and let them feel and see the countryside all the time.  His dream was being hampered by local protestors appealing against his proposal hoping to save the ancient woodland which included the magnificent old tree lovingly named Old Bob by the locals.  He now had dwellers living in the tree which had been temporarily turned into a makeshift treehouse.  A young boy and woman were residing in the tree but McPherson felt no threat from them.  Little did he know that the woman residing the treehouse had a history with the tree and emotions were running high.

Faustine’s mission was to stay in the tree till the protestors won the appeal.  This tree Old Bob held so many childhood memories for Faustine and it hurt her deeply to think that someone could quite easily chop it down.  The young boy helping Faustine with her protest was Oscar.  A very street wise lad from London that was currently staying with his Aunt nearby whilst his mum was recovering from her drug addiction in rehab.  Through his bravado you could sense a vulnerability within Oscar and the more Faustine got to know him the more she realised he needed her help.  Faustine had never felt maternal but she felt a kinship with this child and with the unexpected help from the developer McPherson the adults strove to help young Oscar as much as they could.  Unbeknown to the adults young Oscar was plotting to bring the temporary warring adults together.

This was such a wonderful story full of warmth and good humour.  Alison Brodie had injected some sizzling sexual chemistry within the story and I felt that the shared love of the countryside was soon spreading it’s magic to our warring couple.  It felt like Old Bob was an anchor pulling all three main characters together; Oscar, Faustine and McPherson each had a part to play in helping one another.  A funny, sexy, heartfelt story cleverly blending around a serious issue.  5/5*

To find out more about Alison Brodie and her books please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.alisonbrodiebooks.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/alisonbrodie2

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/AlisonBrodieAuthor/

 

Brake Failure by Alison Brodie book review

brake-failure

Brake Failure written by Alison Brodie, publisher Clipboard Press, is available in ebook format from 9th January 2017.

To pre-order/buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Brake-Failure-Alison-Brodie-ebook/dp/B01MRQVFGA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1483439452&sr=1-1&keywords=brake+failure

Product Details (as per amazon page)

“Is it too late to tell him you love him when you are looking down the barrel of his gun?”

An English debutante transforms from Miss-Perfectly-Correct to criminally insane as she breaks the bonds of her rigid upbringing. Sheriff Hank Gephart tries to reel her in – but she’s out of control and she’s not hitting the brakes.

What happened to the genteel lady in twin-set and pearls? And why did she shoot Mr Right?

Brake Failure is set in 1999 in the months leading up to Y2K “meltdown” when the US government was spending $150 billion preparing for Armageddon As Lionel Shriver says in her novel, We Have To Talk About Kevin: “1999, a year widely mooted beforehand as the end of the world.”

santa-fe-poster-image

This is the first book written by Alison Brodie that I’ve read and Alison took me on a rip raucous journey with her story of Ruby escaping from her past and her present and breaking free from the mould that others had created for her.

Brake Failure is Alison’s 5th novel and Alison’s skill in weaving you a wonderful, funny, romantic story is evident from early on.  The story is set in 1999 with the world anxious about the new millennium and the ‘so called’ millennium bug.

The story is in two parts we start off just before midnight ready to celebrate the new millennium when a crime has been discovered at a retirement home in Kansas City, a second crime is also underway at the bank a few blocks down the road.  The townsfolk are in shock but also excited with the media attention.  One of the main suspects/hostages is missing … Ruby.

The story then looks back 5 months earlier to London and to Ruby’s nuptials with the equally shy Edward.  Ruby and Edward were quite similar they were both shy and had a difficult and unconventional upbringing.  Ruby was so excited for the wedding as she believed the newlyweds would be relocating to Paris but alas last minute plans saw them packed up and shipped off to Kansas City.  We follow this journey of Ruby and her new friends to the present day crime scenes.

Ruby has been preened and moulded to be the perfect lady and wife since moving in with her stepmum when she was just a little girl.  When Ruby first moved to Kansas City it was quite alien for her and her very British ways, the locals adored her accent.  The locals soon became friends and Ruby started feeling more at home and she made an effort to fit in with the lifestyle in this new country.

I loved Ruby’s character from the start her naivity was sweet and facing married life in a new country must have been very frightening for her.  I did love her transformation and some of the antics she got up to were so funny and unexpected!  I loved the discussions she had with her new friends and they liked to gossip about the Royal family, very amusing.  Ruby’s life started going crazy when she upsets local sheriff, Hank Gephart.  Sheriff Gephart was so different to her mild and meek husband Edward.  Gephart was rugged and strong and very handsome.  A chemistry sparked between Ruby and Hank and for some reason Ruby became quite irritated with him and did her best to prove she wasn’t any normal English girl.

A story full of colourful characters with wonderful wit, warmth, love and lust.  New friendships and new beginnings for Ruby in her crazytastic world.

To find out more about Alison Brodie and her books please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.alisonbrodiebooks.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/AlisonBrodieAuthor/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/alisonbrodie2