Sunday 18 December 2011

Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After

I received an early Christmas gift – well that’s how it felt when Debs Carr sent me a review copy of Tears and Laughter and Happy Ever After.

It occurred to me as I read that it would make a brilliant gift for anyone who loves reading short stories and when you see the names of the writers, many of whom you will recognise, you know you are in good hands! And if you’re looking for a book to take on holiday or curl up with in front of the fire, then look no further.

The very first story by Helen Hunt draws you in with the title alone, A Single Strand of Spaghetti, A Single Drop of Olive Oil. Brilliant! That’s before you even get to the story which is a feast in itself.

Next up is How Deep Is Your Love by Cally Taylor. This one about the perils of internet dating made me laugh. And so I began a roller coaster ride as I travelled through the stories meeting a whole variety of characters. It does what it says on the cover, taking you through a range of emotions.

All the stories are enjoyable, but for the purpose of this review I picked out a few of my favourites: Hive Talking by Leigh Forbes – I liked Gerald and his quiet passion for his lovely bees and I very much liked the satisfying ending. At Death’s Door by Jill Steeples – a thought provoking tale which anyone who has suffered with a partner with the dreaded man flu will appreciate, but perhaps not in the way you’d expect. Never Too Late by Deborah Carr came close to my heart, reminding me of how much I worried about my mum after she was widowed which is something so many of us go through and identify with. Karen Clarke’s powerful story, Ghosts was beautifully written and really tugged at my heart – a story that haunted me long after I finished reading it. And the last story in the book, The Girl in the Yellow Dress by Bernadette James – a lovely one to end the book with as you say a contented “Ahhhh”.

You can read more about the writers and how the book came to be born here and buy the kindle version here .

The writers of the 26 stories are, Deborah Carr, Karen Clarke, Sarah Dunnakey, Leigh Forbes, Helen M Hunt, Bernadette James, Helen Kara, Jenny Maltby, Kathleen McGurl, Tamsyn Murray, Sally Quilford, Jill Steeples and Cally Talor.


  1. Thank you so much for your wonderful review of our book.

    We thoroughly enjoyed writing our stories and it's great to hear that someone as respected as you are, as a short story writer, liked them too.x

  2. Thanks for such a lovely review. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

  3. It was a pleasure, Debs - and I thank you for sending it to me x

    You're very welcome, Helen x

  4. That's a great idea for a gift!

    I haven't been online much lately and I've just read all your news. I am so sorry to hear the news about Tilly, bless her.

    Best wishes to you all for Christmas xx

  5. What a lovely review - thank you so much, Teresa :o)

  6. Think your right about it being a good Christmas present.

  7. Sounds good. Thanks for that Teresa x

  8. Great Christmas idea :) Thanks, Teresa!

  9. Very pleased you enjoyed the book Teresa. Thank you!

    The paperback isn't out yet - should be early next year - but for people who don't have Kindles you can download the ebook onto your pc and/or other devices. People much cleverer than me (Helen and Leigh!) have put details on the Tears and Laughter website.

    Hope you have a lovely Christmas! x

  10. Thank you, penandpaints - hope you have a lovely Christmas x

    Loved your story, Karen! It's really stuck in my mind x

    Well if there's one thing we writers love it's books isn't it, Patsy x

    Thanks, Diane x

    Thank you, Lacey x

    Thanks, Bernadette - I should have pointed out that it is only available on Kindle at the mo. I don't have a Kindle, but I do have it on my PC - so I hope not having one doesn't stop anyone buying the ebook - but waiting for the paperback to give as a physical present will be good too :-)

    Hope you have a lovely Christmas too x

  11. Great to know it's available on kindle as that's by far the easiest way to get all the lovely books I want to read (I still love print too, but kindle is quicker). Thanks for highlighting this, Teresa.

  12. I'm rapidly becoming a Kindle convert, Rosemary - but so far only on my PC x

  13. Sounds like a great read for the holidays. Thanks for the details.
    Merry Christmas.

  14. Thanks for the review, Teresa - much appreciated!