Blog Tour & Guest Post: The Trials and Tribulations of an Unusual Name

Today, as part of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper blog tour, I am joined by author Phaedra Patrick who talks about ‘The Trials and Tribulations of an Unusual Name’.

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper in a nutshell:

Having been married for over 40 years, 69-year-old Arthur Pepper is mourning the loss of his wife. On the anniversary of her death, he finally musters the courage to go through her possessions, and happens upon a charm bracelet that he has never seen before.

Purchase: Amazon


The Trials and Tribulations of an Unusual Name

Phaedra PatrickRihanna, Beyonce, Apple and Harper – these days an unusual name is essential for grabbing attention. However, as a shy, studious Oldham schoolgirl in the eighties, I definitely didn’t want to stand out. Back then, I often wished I was called Lisa, Debbie, or even Dave.

My name is Phaedra, after Some Velvet Morning, a Nancy Sinatra song that not many people have heard of.  In Greek mythology, Phaedra was the wife of King Theseus. She fell in love with her stepson, Hipplytus, caused his death and then killed herself. The Nancy Sinatra connection is much less gory.

People read my name, I see their eyes glaze over, then they attempt, ‘Ffffff….’ as if they’re trying not to swear. I’ve been called Phoebe, Fedora (as in the hat), Deborah and, my personal favourite, Madeira Cake. ‘Tell him you’re called Louise,’ my mum, who gave me the name, used to whisper when we visited Father Christmas in his grotto. ‘Your middle name is easier.’

Each time I meet someone new, I have to explain how to say it, where it comes from and that, no, I have no Greek ancestry whatsoever. Nor am I Irish, as my surname and red hair suggest. It’s all very confusing.

Now I’m a writer, it’s rather nice to have a curious name. The late Peaches Geldof named her second son Phaedra, and Primal Scream and Kate Moss covered Some Velvet Morning, so it must be pretty cool. But how on earth do you say it? I prefer to use Phedra, with a flat ‘e’ as in ‘egg’. My friends from Oldham call me Phed. I’m fine with Phaydra too. But please never ever Pheedra. That’s a pronunciation too far.

About Phaedra
Phaedra Patrick studied art and marketing and has worked as a stained glass artist, film festival organiser and communications manager. She was inspired to write Arthur Pepper’s story by the memories of her own charm bracelet. She lives near Manchester with her husband and son.

Find out more about Phaedra: Author Website | Twitter | Facebook


I finished The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper at the weekend and I can honestly say the book has changed my life. I won’t reveal too much now as I’ll be posting a review sometime next week, but let’s just say life is worth living.

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Little Black Penguin Books

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I’m sure you’ve all seen the above, but if you haven’t, where have you been? Only joking, here’s the lowdown. For Penguin’s 80th birthday they released 80 classics from around the world to highlight just how amazing literature is! An additional 46 books were introduced in March so now there’s about 126.

The Penguin website says:

Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of the Penguin Classics list – from drama to poetry, from fiction to history, with books taken from around the world and across numerous centuries.

Sounds great, right?

And so for me the collection begins… I’ve decided that I’m going to purchase each one as little treats and at a price range of 80p to £2, how can you go wrong? I can’t wait to see the collection grow and look comfortable on my bookshelf.

I know there are ways to purchase the entire collection, but that’s no fun!

My favourite book I currently own has to be ‘The Book of Tea’ – fitting for my blog hehe.

Have you purchased any of the Little Penguin classics?


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Book quote challenge: Day Three

Well, that was a quick challenge! Today is my last day of the ‘Book Quote Challenge’ and I’ve had lots of fun! I never expected it to be so difficult to find 9 book quotes to showcase to you all.

So here goes, it’s the last instalment:

“Being interesting isn’t important. But being happy is. As well as being a person you’re proud of.”

– The Manifesto of how to be interesting, Holly Bourne

“Exuberance is not a trait of which I’m overly fond. I am not that fond of enthusiasm either.” – The Art of Letting Go, Anna Bloom

“Shoot for the moon, even if you fail, you’ll land among the stars.” – Cecelia Ahern, P.S. I Love You

I’m not going to nominate just one person to participate, I open it to everyone! Get searching for them quotes.

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Book quote challenge: Day Two

I’m back for day two of the ‘Book quote challenge’.

If you’re unfamiliar with the challenge, you can find out all the details here.

Today’s quote selection is:

“We need never be ashamed of our tears.”

– Great Expectations, Charles Dickens

“He used to say that one man couldn’t change the world, but he was wrong, he changed her world, made it a better place.”

– The Perfect Daughter, Amanda Prowse

“Home is now behind you, the world is ahead.”

– The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

Today, I nominate:
– Lisa from Lisa Talks About


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Book quote challenge: Day One

Thank you to Donna at Chocolatenwaffles for the nomination. For the next three days, I’m going to be participating in the ‘Book quote challenge’.

The rules are:

– Post for three consecutive days
– Pick three quotes per day
– Challenge three different bloggers per day

So here goes…

“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear”

– The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

“You never really know a man, until you stand in his shoes, and walk around in them.”

– To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

“There are a whole lot of things in this world of ours you haven’t started wondering about yet.”

– James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl

Today, I nominate:
– Amanda from Chocolate Pages


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Behind the scenes: Match Me If You Can Covers

It’s interesting to see how the same book is marketed differently depending on where its fans are based. Michele Gorman’s Match Me If You Can is published by Avon (Harper Collins) in the UK and by Notting Hill Press in the US. Avon took the lead in designing the marketing package for Michele’s UK chick lit fans, with a pretty teal cover, fun font and firm focus on the online dating/romance storylines in the book.

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Meet best friends Catherine, Rachel and Sarah. Yet to find Mr Right, they’ve been settling for Mr Right Now. But when Catherine, London’s finest matchmaker, gets the girls to join her dating site where they can rate and recommend their ex-boyfriends, they soon realise that anything could happen… There’s someone for everyone, right? These best friends are about to find out.

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To complement the UK cover, we at Notting Hill Press designed the US cover using the same fonts and heart motif. But something started to bother us. Match Me If You Can is also about strong women. It’s funny, cheeky, poignant and realistic. The women join the dating website and recycle their exes but their lives – their friendship, families and careers – are at the heart of the book.

And while both British and American fans are definitely romantics, American readers are also really partial to a feisty story about friends.

We had to admit it: our hot pink cover didn’t seem quite right for Michele’s US fans. So we had a rethink about it, and here’s the result!

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Meet best friends, Catherine, Rachel and Sarah. They’re fun, smart and successful, and haven’t had a date worth booking a wax appointment for in ages.

Catherine runs London’s most successful matchmaking business with her silent partner and ex-husband, Richard, who’s just announced that he’s marrying his twenty-three year-old girlfriend. Catherine has bras that are older than Magda, and now she’s barging in on their business with her meddlesome demands and wedding plans.

Architect Rachel’s got problems of her own. At work she’s competing against her ex-boyfriend, James, to win their biggest project and the promotion that comes with it. So when she joins Catherine’s website, RecycLove.com, where everyone brings an ex to recycle for the chance of an upgrade, she knows just who she’s going to trade in.

Homebody baker, Sarah, is in a rut thanks to family demands over the last few years. Reluctantly she joins RecycLove.com, where she’s convinced that some minor adjustments will improve her chances. But as minor adjustments turn into a complete overhaul and dates start falling at her newly-pedicured feet, will her popularity be worth the sacrifices she’s making?

A warm, funny story of friendship, strong women and self-discovery. Match us if you can, guys, but if not then please step aside and we’ll get on with being fabulous.

We hope you love the new cover and blurb as much as we do!

Sincerely,

Notting Hill Press
www.nottinghillpress.co.uk |