Thursday 8 July 2021

πŸ“– Paperback Publication Day ~ Ruthless Women by Melanie Blake

Happy Paperback Publication Day

Head of Zeus
8 July 2021

My thanks to the publishers and Midas PR for my copy of this book


Inspired by 20 years’ experience representing the best of Britain’s female TV stars, Melanie Blake’s Sunday Times Bestseller Ruthless Women takes readers on a wild ride behind the scenes of beloved TV drama Falcon Bay, beamed globally to millions three days a week from its picturesque location in the Channel Islands. But even in this beautiful coastal spot, tensions swirl. 

Once one of the world's most popular soap operas, but now with ratings and syndication at an all-time low, the production has been sold to an American businesswoman, beautiful and malevolent Madeline Kane, the new network owner who arrives on the tiny island just off Jersey, determined to do whatever it takes to get the show back to number one. Writer Farrah, star Catherine and producer Amanda are the driven, ambitious women who keep the show on the road. But Farrah is losing episodes to the network's lead male rival, Catherine is terrified of the public falling out of love with her and Amanda's evil husband Jake, vice president of the network, is plotting to get his own wife kicked off the show. 

As the dawn of a new era begins, cast and crew turn against each other with loyalty, decency, and trust, replaced by scandal, betrayal, and an outrageous ambition to survive. In a true battle of the sexes, these women will do anything to stay on top. But can they team up to bring down their male rivals? Or will jealousy, betrayal and revenge tear their long-held friendships apart? One thing Is for certain, only the most ruthless woman will survive... 

πŸ“– My thoughts..

I reviewed this book last year and absolutely loved it! I'm pleased to repost my review on Paperback Publication Day - have you got your copy yet?

Serial drama, Falcon Bay was once riding high in the TV ratings with its main stars regularly receiving prestigious awards but times have changed and a succession of new owners have seen the show plunge dramatically in the global ratings. With a new network owner, Falcon Bay, is once again the centre of controversy, and with a special anniversary looming the hunt is on for an explosive story line which will fire the imagination of the viewing public.

The cut-throat world of television is laid bare to scrutiny, and as we hover like flies on the wall we are privy to all the back room shenanigans in which careers are made and broken. However, we know that difficult times call for difficult measures and only the tough and ruthless are going to survive, and for writer and director, Farrah Adams, soap star, Catherine Belle, executive producer, Amanda King and Head of Casting, Helen Gold, life is about to get very complicated indeed. 

Ruthless Women is a sexy and sassy romp through the vagaries of TV production. All those added extra little titbits, which the author shares with such glee, are what make this such an entertaining read. I read the book in one sitting on a cold and grey day and was instantly transported to the beautiful Channel Island setting of Falcon Bay and became lost in the ruthless TV world which has been so passionately recreated. 

Ruthless Women made me laugh out loud in places, whilst at other times I was amazed by all the bitchiness that went on behind closed doors. The level of bed hopping reminded me of those glorious bonkbusters I devoured in the 1980s but in Ruthless Women this has all been brought marvellously up to date by an author who knows this industry like the back of her well manicured hand. The final denouement, when it comes, is every bit as good as I wanted it to be, deliciously different, and genuinely edge of seat stuff. I can’t wait to see what this talented writer will give us next time.

About the Author

At 15 Melanie Blake dreamed of being a writer, but was told by her English teacher that the only thing she’d ever write were labels for factory boxes. Severely dyslexic, and desperate to escape a childhood of poverty and religious extremism in Stockport, she left school with no qualifications and ran away from home. Against all odds, Melanie managed to blag her way onto the lowest rung of the showbiz ladders, working as an extra on Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Eastenders and a camera assistant on Top Of The Pops. It was during this time that she got her first big break aged 21, when soap icon Claire King chose Melanie to be her agent. Her agency was an immediate success, and she would go on to represent the likes of Patsy Kensit, Michelle Collins, Stephanie Beacham, Emily Lloyd, Denise Welch, Jennie McAlpine, Laila Morse, Daniella Westbrook, Amanda Barrie, Gillian Taylforth and Nadia Sawalha; earning herself the tag ‘Queen of Soaps’. 

Melanie wrote her first book The Thunder Girls when she was working in the music industry as a young woman. She was told no one wanted to read a book about middle aged female singers on a comeback tour and so it wasn’t until 2019, twenty years after she first put pen to paper, that The Thunder Girls was finally published by Pan Macmillan, becoming an Amazon number one bestseller. She adapted it for the stage herself and it went on to break box office records for a new work at the prestigious Lowry Theatre. Her second novel, Ruthless Women has been an even bigger success, going straight into the Sunday Times hardback fiction chart at number four, staying in the top ten for a month, and also charting in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, as well as foreign language translation rights being picked up by Russia, Romania and Hungary; meaning Melanie Blake is going global. 

Ruthless Women is inspired by Melanie’s behind-the-scenes knowledge of British soap operas. In the UK alone, over 25 million people a week currently tune in to watch the very stars Melanie represents in their globally syndicated shows. They say write about what you know, and in Ruthless Women, Melanie certainly has. Melanie still represents a high-profile stable of some of the best-known faces on British television but is also now enjoying success in her own right as a columnist, producer, author and playwright. 

Twitter @MelanieBlakeUK #RuthlessWomen




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