Friday, July 20, 2012

Prime Time (Book Review) by Jane Wenham-Jones

My guest today is Jane Wenham-Jones, the author of Prime Time. If you are a fan of romantic comedy, you might want to check out this book. Here is Jane to tell you a little more about it.

Prime Time - full-length romantic comedy novel

My new novel, Prime Time, is the story of Laura, who is persuaded onto a TV discussion programme which has life-changing consequences.

I’ve done a few TV shows now – often on little-watched channels with three viewers - and one of the things I’ve learned is that you need to be ready for anything…

On Loose Lips on Living TV, I was called upon to give off-the-cuff relationship advice as part of a live phone-in.

            I’m not sure what sort of counsel I cobbled together – the woman in question was having an affair I seem to remember, so I probably said: For God’s sake don’t get caught – but it was the first in long line of situations where I’ve had to think on my feet.   

I once nearly spluttered on air having just heard myself introduced by one regional radio station (clearly desperate to fill five minutes before the travel news) as a “relationships expert” and finding I was being called upon to offer guidance  to Helen who felt Kevin no longer loved her, when I’d thought I was just there to plug a novel.

  I rose to the challenge though, trawling my memory for every cliché from every agony aunt page I’d ever read, suggesting quiet nights in and heart-to-heart chats over candlelit dinners, even though I knew that Kevin, if he was like most blokes would probably much rather watch the football than have any sort of discussion about his feelings, and would be totally aghast when Helen switched off the TV and served up chicken a la mode in the dark instead.

In fact, I  obviously showed a bit too much enthusiasm for her plight because they then rather misguidedly  kept me on the line and offered me Veronica and her problems with her mother over  which I was utterly lost -  “put the old dragon in a home” evidently being not quite what they were looking for.

 On another occasion I got involved in a "documentary".  Again, I was supposed to be talking about affairs, but this time, how to get away with them (it was when my second novel, Perfect Alibis, which deals with that exact knotty issue, had just been published).

When I got there –"on location" to a frighteningly expensive house in North London - they wanted me to shave my legs on camera.  The director - who looked about twelve – was the creative type.

They were also filming a Betrayed Wife,  the suitably scary   Lady Sarah Moon – she who cut her husband’s bespoke Savile Row  suits to ribbons and distributed his vintage claret collection around the village.

We met in the hall. “What are you angry about?” she asked me. I opened my mouth to explain only to find it covered by one of the crew’s hands.

“For God’s sake don’t tell her you’re promoting affairs” he said, as she was taken down to the kitchen to hack off chickens' legs with alarming savagery, and I went upstairs where it was considered jolly arty to have me sitting in the bathroom half-dressed (the cameraman squashed uncomfortably in the bath with the lighting man on top of him) pretending to get ready for a night out. 

I haven't shaved my legs for years (this is not an admission of German ancestry - I have them waxed) and was apparently not much cop at pretending.

As I sat there under a weight of shaving foam doing Take Fifty-three, repeating the same sentences over and over again, I not only drank all the rest of the Lady Chicken-chopper's cooking wine to get me through the ordeal but persuaded the runner to go out and get me another bottle.

This was, on balance, a mistake. I will spare you the rest of the story but it involved slurring, agreeing to greater states of undress and nobody telling me my make-up had run.

Most of the footage ended up on the cutting room floor – thank the Lord – but in the bit I saw, I looked utterly deranged and in need of a good social worker.

Nothing is lost however. I drew on that very experience to inform Laura, my heroine in Prime Time, who, one way and another, ends up feeling pretty bonkers too….

About the Book:

A British romantic comedy by Jane Wenham-Jones, author of 'Perfect Alibis'.

Laura Meredith never imagined herself appearing on TV, she's too old, too flabby, too downright hormonal, and much too busy holding things together for her son, Stanley, after her husband left her for a younger, thinner replacement. But best friend Charlotte is a determined woman and when Laura is persuaded on to a daytime show to talk about her PMT, everything changes. 

Suddenly there's a camera crew tracking her every move and Laura finds herself an unlikely star. But as things hot up between her and gorgeous TV director, Cal, they're going downhill elsewhere. While Laura's caught up in a heady whirlwind of beauty treatments, makeovers and glamorous film locations, Charlotte's husband, Roger, is concealing a guilty secret, Stanley's got problems at school, work's piling up, and when Laura turns detective to protect Charlotte's marriage, things go horribly wrong. The champagne's flowing as Laura's prime time TV debut looks set to be a hit. But in every month, there's a "Day Ten" ...

About the Author:

Jane is the author of four novels and two non-fiction books – Wannabe a Writer? - a humorous look at becoming a scribe  - and Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard Of?  a guide to the art of book and self promotion.  As a freelance journalist she has appeared in a wide range of women's magazines and national newspapers and writes regular columns for Woman's Weekly and Writing Magazine, where she is the agony aunt. Jane is an experienced tutor who is regularly booked by writing conferences and literary festivals to run workshops and give talks on all aspects of the writing process. She is also a member of Equity, has presented for the BBC on both TV and radio and has done her fair share of daytime TV, particularly when promoting her controversial second novel Perfect Alibis (subtitled How to have an affair and get away with it...) It was those – sometimes hair-raising – TV experiences that inspired Prime Time, her new novel. For more information see and

    My Review:

         I am not a fan of reality television, and apparently, not a fan of reading reality television. I read several chapters and could not get into the story line. The book has definitely found its audience as it has garnered great reviews.

         So, if you are fan of “reality television” and an avid reader, this book is one you will enjoy. I encourage you to follow one of the links and read the reviews on Amazon, and then make your own decision. 

Prime Time is available in paperback or e-book from Amazon:

Be sure to follow my blog for more book reviews!


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  1. I hope no one comes over to my blog and leaves me nasty comments, but I'll tell you a little secret....I've never watched a reality show. Not even one. LOL
    I'm thinking this one is best left for those who really do like those shows! Thank you for a good review!

    1. The only reality tv that I watch is Wipe Out. And, it's actually a game show but it is so funny. Too much reality around me, I don't need it on tv too.


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