First up for my e-pub ’click to buy’ award, is White Lies and Custard Creams by Susan Alison. I actually read this a few months ago, and despite the fact that rom-com isn’t really my thing, the opening chapter was so convincingly written in terms of voice and energy that I had no hesitation in buying it.
Is this rom-com? I’m not even sure. It’s certainly a romp, although not, as I’ve seen it described, a ‘frothy’ romp, if by frothy we mean airy and instantly forgettable. I admit I can’t remember the ins and outs of the plot (which are many and various) but the characters (plenty of them too) are all delightfully idiosyncratic if not in some cases totally mad. The heroine (even that doesn’t sound quite right) is beleagured landlady Liz whose true love is a pooch called Mooch and who is is beset by a bothersome ex and a parade of unsuitable lodgers of whom the most loyal has a habit of setting alight to his trouser pockets and the most recent gets stuck in a dog flap. I’m not sure I’m doing justice to it here, but it’s written with amazing verve, my only criticism being I did eventually feel slighty exhausted by some of the ramifications and confess to having skipped ahead as I got near the end to the very satisfactory conclusion.
But even if I didn’t quite stand the pace, I still think this is the ‘real deal’ i.e. a self-pub book at a bargain price (that’s £0.99, by the way) that could just as easily be out there with a big publisher and on a bookshop display. The presentation is flawless (yes, I can actuallly move from chapter to chapter if I feel the need) and if there were any blots on the editing copybook, I didn’t see them.
I’ve actually just noticed that you don’t have to have a Kindle to read this (although it will save you a lot of money!) as White Lies is also on Lulu. And if you are a doggy person, so to speak, or have friends who are, do have a look at Susan’s blog for links to where you can buy her artwork, not to mention an insight into the ‘real’ Mooch.