Tag Archives: Five Stars


Happy Friday! Seeing as that it’s the school holidays, I thought I’d entertain you with a movie review. If you can get a sitter for the kids, I thoroughly recommend checking this out! The Heat is a 15 Certificate in the UK.


I’d seen the trailer and it got me hooked. I like Sandra Bullock in her ditzy power-woman roles. Miss Congeniality is an all-time favourite, as is The Net. As is, incidentally, The Proposal. Unsurprisingly, I was keen to see her latest film. So keen in fact, that I managed to catch it on opening night here in Lincoln. I can’t recall the last time a film drew me to the cinema on opening night!

The basic story is this. Uptight and somewhat unpersonable, know-it-all-and-is-never-wrong FBI agent, Sarah Ashburn (Sandra Bullock), would like that promotion. Her interpersonal issues and the universal dislike of her co-workers stop her boss awarding her said promotion. Instead, he sends her on a ‘choice’ assignment to Boston to take down a drug lord. Perhaps if she succeeds, the promotion may be on offer.

Within about five minutes of arriving, Sarah unwittingly and unknowingly locks proverbial horns with her soon-to-be partner, Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy). You see, Sarah does everything by the book. She quotes the book quite a lot too, she’s like a walking encyclopedia. Shannon is a bit of a rogue cannon with extremely colourful language. Speaking of cannons… we soon discover that Shannon has a fridge full of… guns. Her food stores seem to consist of days-old sandwiches that she repeatedly tries, and fails, to pass on to McCarthy. It takes the agents a while to rub together, but when they do, they are truly a force to be reckoned with.

The plot was gripping with a twist that brewed and brewed and brewed…and then twisted once more upon itself, surprising the audience as much as Mullins and McCarthy. The clash between the two agents’ outlook on the right way of doing things, and the extremely feisty character and colourful language of Mullins set up deadpan joke after joke that had the audience laughing and cheering, even in the goriest of circumstances.

Favourite quotes?

Mullins: You’re giving her beauty advice? Do you even own a fucking mirror?
Is that really what you want to say?  Because you’re saying that out loud.
Ashburn: … tongue in cheek! [You’ll get this when you see the movie, I promise!]

Bullock delivers a solid performance, as expected; she aced the role at every turn. Yet to me, it was the outstanding delivery by McCarthy that really made the film. I’m fairly sure that I recall seeing an interview with Sandra Bullock during which she explained that a lot of the comedy moments were unscripted and simply ‘erupted’ because of the chemistry between the actors. I may have misunderstood, but I can certainly believe that happening ~ Bullock and McCarthy are a dream team!!

THE HEAT is a nail-biting thriller with intense suspense and peppered with hilarious belly-laugh moments all the way through. If you’re only going to see one film this summer, I suggest you make it this one.


CentreStage with Samantha Stroh Bailey: Meeting Jamie and Finding Lucas

Welcome to CentreStage!

CentreStage showcases fabulous authors from around the world, and today it is my extra-special, huge pleasure to welcome the fabulous Samantha Stroh Bailey, author of the outstanding romantic comedy, Finding Lucas. Sam has a tremendous sense of humour and over recent weeks we’ve discovered that we have so much in common, it’s like we’re long-distance soul sisters. I kid you not! So without further ado, I give you:

Samantha Stroh Bailey!


Thanks so much to the fabulous Nicky Wells for inviting me here today.

Nicky: Why, thank you for visiting! I’m so thrilled you could make it all the way from Canada today, Sam!

Nicky and I met through social media and instantly bonded over writing, motherhood and sassy senses of humor. I loved Sophie’s Turn and am so happy to have found another author I admire.

Nicky: *blushes* why, thank you!

I thought I’d give a peek into the, perhaps, somewhat unexpected aspects of my personality. Here goes!

  1.  I’m a Gemini, so I have a dual personality. While I’m very easygoing and down- to-earth, I’m also anxious and stress about the little things.
  2. I love meat and nothing is better than gnawing on a giant bone. Disgusting, I know.
  3. I don’t like bread and pasta.
  4. I’m scared of thunder, snakes, heights, and not accomplishing everything I want to.
  5. Technology also scares the crap out of me.
  6. I love alternative music and a lead singer who screams has me for life. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden has the sexiest voice in the world.
  7. I’m addicted to celebrity gossip.
  8. People think I smile all the time, but they don’t see me when I first wake up, and I’m a bear.
  9. When you’re talking to me, I’m watching your every move for writing fodder. Sorry.
  10. I was a competitive dancer for years until stage fright derailed my plans of going to Juilliard and re-enacting Flashdance. The audition part—not the exotic dancer part.

Nicky: Wow, Sam, thank you for sharing! I’m with you on most of these points although I have to confess loving my carbs. And now I’ll forever envisage you in the role of exotic dancer… 🙂

I’m always excited when readers feel a connection to Jamie Ross, the protagonist in my debut novel, Finding Lucas. And I am so intrigued when people point out our similarities and differences from their perspectives. Well, here’s my view!

Jamie and I:

  1.  are both huge coffee addicts.
  2. love to drop the F bomb into adult conversation.
  3. both have gorgeous and tall BFFs.
  4. adore men with messy hair and stubble.

 Unlike Jamie…

  1. …I am quite fond of the color pink.
  2. …I tend to embarrass my family instead of the other way around.
  3. …I wish I had her ass.
  4. …I’m a better dancer.

I’m so grateful to everyone who has read and enjoyed Finding Lucas.


Nicky: Sorry to interrupt again but… Me! Me! I loved Finding Lucas. I couldn’t put it down. I laughed out loud, and I cried, and I gnawed my fingers when the plan… (don’t want to give any spoilers here!)…um…shall we say, when the plan comes to fruition. Sort of. It’s an awesome, fabulous, life-affirming and sassy read and I couldn’t recommend it more. LOL, end of broadcast. Sam, you were saying?

And I hope you liked this little glimpse into the real me! I love to hear from my readers, so please connect with me!

And here’s how! You can find Sam in these places:


Finding Lucas is available here:


Go get your copy now!!! 🙂

Let’s have a big round of applause for Sam, please! Thank you!

Now then. Which of Sam’s personality traits do you share?
Which one most surprises you?
Do you have a quirky trait that you’d like to share with us?

(Please do! Here’s mine: I suffer from two forms of phobia: Podophobia, and Spheksophobia. Oh, and I’m the world’s lousiest swimmer!)

Two Rave Reviews for Sophie’s Turn Today, including FIVE STARS!

Well, I have to say, my Friday hadn’t got off to the best start.  The children were grumpy on the last morning of term; instead of the promised snow, all we got was snow and drizzle; and then I got home after the school run and realised that I had accidentally taken my four year-old’s glasses home with me.  So yes, I had to trudge back to school again!

Imagine my delight, and the turnaround of my fortunes and mood, when I found not one but TWO fantastic reviews for Sophie’s Turn waiting for me!


The first review is by Kate on her lovely book blog, Me, My Books and I.

Kate and I ‘met’ on Twitter, exchanged a few DMs and emails, and then she set about reading Sophie’s Turn in something like… two days flat!  Kate really connected with the premise of the book as it reminded her of her own teen band obsessions.  Yes!!! This is exactly what I had in mind when I was writing the book in the first place, and I am so happy to hear that comment!  🙂  Kate concludes:  “This is an exciting, fun story that captivated me from start to finish, I simply can’t wait to read the second story in the trilogy to find out what happens next for Sophie.”  To read the full review, please visit Me, My Books and I, and feel free to leave a comment if you have a moment.

Thank you, Kate, for taking the time to read Sophie’s Turn and for writing such a detailed, thoughtful and enthusiastic review!  That makes all the difference to this here indie author.  XX


The next review is a customer review posted both on Amazon and Goodreads.  It’s worth (drumroll!) FIVE stars and titled “Chick-lit at its best!”  The review ends on a really high note:  “I absolutely loved this book. The plot is funny, exciting, full of chemistry and I couldn’t put it down. As others have commented, the ending will surprise you…. Looking forward to the sequel! ”

You can read the full review here; if you do go and visit, perhaps you might feel inclined to press the “Yes” button regarding the question of whether the review was helpful to you; that way, other customers will see it right at the top.  You can also see the review on Goodreads, where pressing the LIKE button again will be helpful if you’re so inclined.

A big thank you to the happy reader who left this thoughtful five-star comment.  You made my day!