Friday, March 14, 2014

Looking for La La by Ellie Campbell (Review, Excerpt)

In a recent survey 65% of mothers admitted feeling undervalued, over-criticised and constantly tired.
Cathy is no exception. Her dull, uneventful days as a stay at home, mother of two, are radically transformed however with the arrival of a heavily lipsticked postcard addressed to husband, Declan. Who is the mysterious La La? Could Declan really be having an affair? And is Cathy actually being stalked?
Whatever – it will definitely prove riveting gossip for the Tuesday Twice Monthlies, Cathy’s 'Mothers Restaurant Research’ group where scandal flows as recklessly as the wine. But what starts as a light-hearted investigation with best friend Raz, soon turns into something much more sinister.
With a possible murderer on the scene, a sexy admirer igniting long-forgotten sparks, and all her friends hiding secrets, it’s not only Cathy’s marriage that’s in jeopardy. Add in the scheming antics of Declan’s new assistant, the stress of organising the school Save The Toilet’s dance and the stage is set for a dangerous showdown and some very unsettling, possibly deadly, revelations.
Twitter: @ecampbellbooks
The Authors:
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe are Lorraine Campbell and Pam Burks,  two sisters separated by the Atlantic Ocean.  We didn’t exactly set out to write together. Both of us were already established short story writers before all those long telephone conversations led to Ellie Campbell.  We are equally passionate about writing, travel, horses, dogs, the outdoors, and although Pam now lives in Reigate, not far from London, with a husband, three children and a dog, while Lorraine is  on a small Colorado ranch near wild and wonderful Boulder with husband, three horses, five cats, one dog and four chickens -  we both believe in enjoying life to the fullest, be it digging up carrots in the allotment, listening to audio books while scooping manure in the corrals or going on a trail ride in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
322 pages published February 2013
Genre is women’s Fiction/chicklit.
My Review:
First of all, I have to say I loved the cover to the book. It really lets you know that you are in for a little mystery and humor.
What would you do if your husband began receiving postcards in the mail from "LuLu" with suggestive messages? Probably start a little investigation into what your husband has been doing and where your husband has been.
What ensues is the hilarious adventures of a wife in pursuit of LuLu. It's not all fun and adventure as relationships are strained and life gets in the way. You'll be surprised at how the story unfolds. If you like a little romance, a little adventure, and a little mystery you will no doubt find this book a great read.
For American readers, there will be somewhat of a language barrier that at times may leave you scratching your head as to meanings, but most phrases and words are easy to figure out. I am going to give the book 4 stars.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Purchase Looking for LaLa on Amazon in Kindleor Paperback
Looking for La La
In a recent survey over 65% of mothers questioned admitted feeling undervalued, over-criticised and constantly tired.


Not a sound is heard as it lands silently on the mat. No drums rolls, crashing thunder, shafts of light. The walls don’t start crumbling, the ground doesn’t vibrate with terrifying tremors and a yawning fissure fails to zigzag across the kitchen floor and separate my husband from his breakfast marmalade.

In short, I’ve no clue as to the impact it’ll have on our lives. Mayhem. Marital breakdown. Murder. It should at least have been written in blood or come in the beak of a dark-winged raven.
It is a postcard. “Love from London” blazoned above a giant pair of pouting lips kissing a cherry-red heart.
At first sight it appears to be one of those “Please Come to Our Rave” flyers which get thrust through my door periodically. Now the chances of me, a world-weary, put-upon mother-of-two, going to a rave are slim to none, but heck it’s nice to be invited.
I turn it over.
Dearest, sweetest Declan – it begins. My eyes widen as I take in the blue spidery handwriting and race to the signature. ‘Love from La La.’
A tiny blip courses through me as I beetle down the hall attempting to identify the exact emotion I’m feeling.
It’s – I recognise it now – excitement. A blip of excitement forcing its merry way around my clogged up veins.
‘Postcard for you,’ I say nonchalantly, opening the door and stepping back into the kitchen, ‘from La La.’
I had a blip when I first spotted Declan at Bubbles, a dingy disco located east of the pier in downtown Bognor Regis. It was Sandra Mason’s leaving work party and I was nineteen years old. Sandra was tear-stained and puffy faced – partly from drink, partly emotion and partly because she always had a fairly puffy face. We’d given her a pretty good send off, bought her sexy underwear and filled an enormous padded card with witty farewells and humorous poems, all of them sounding a whole bunch better than my lowly “To Sandra, All best – Cath”.
The fifth yawn of the evening had just wormed its way out of my mouth corner, when I spied Declan dancing under a glassy mirror ball, had the blip and knew immediately we were destined to become involved. I wasn’t sure how. Perhaps he’d introduce me to a mate or better-looking brother. Not that he repelled me exactly, but spiky ginger hair had never been top of my “must haves” and the way he was swinging those hips in perfect rhythm with a blonde nymphet, well, they looked set for life. In and out they gyrated to Unchained Melody, his large hands caressing her tanned shoulder blades. I found out much later she was his long-term girlfriend, Lucy. Juicy Lucy, I labelled her. Not very original maybe but it inevitably served its purpose of getting right up Declan’s nose.
They made quite a couple. Lucy laughing, licking her glossy lips, and my future spouse leering lovingly at her, beads of sweat running down his freckled brow. I was entranced for a good few seconds before being beckoned back to earth by Sandra, who wanted an all-embracing photo of the girls from Credit Control. So, blocking out the blip, I pasted on a wide cheesy grin and darted across the room.
He sits motionless, his knife suspended in the Flora margarine, blue eyes gazing into the far distance, as he listens to a heated political debate on Radio 4.
‘Postcard, darling, from La La.’ I raise my voice, aware it’ll take a more urgent tone to break that level of concentration. Either that or blasting out the latest match score. Arsenal 0 – Manchester City 2. He reminds me at times of De Niro in Awakenings, forever trapped in a catatonic state. I often wonder if I throw a ball at him whether he’d whirl round in his chair and catch it in one swift movement.
‘What?’ He finally looks up, granary toast perilously close to his open mouth. ‘Not more bills, surely?’
‘La La,’ I repeat, handing the postcard to him.
‘Who the hell’s La La?’
‘Sounds like a telly tubby,’ I return to my half-eaten boiled egg, disguising my curiosity. ‘Not sure which colour though? Ask Josh and Sophie about it tonight.’
Purchase Looking for LaLa on Amazon in Kindleor Paperback
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