Dear Mr Pop Star by Derek & Dave Philpott #BookReview #BlogTour

A collection of hilarious letters to iconic pop and rock stars with fantastic in-on-the-joke replies from the artists themselves: Eurythmics, Heaven 17, Deep Purple, Devo, Dr. Hook and many, many more…

For more than a decade, Derek Philpott and his son, Dave, have been writing deliberately deranged letters to pop stars from the 1960s to the 90s to take issue with the lyrics of some of their best-known songs. They miss the point as often as they hit it.

But then, to their great surprise, the pop stars started writing back... 

Dear Mr Pop Star contains 100 of Derek and Dave's greatest hits, including correspondence with Katrina and the Waves, Tears for Fears, Squeeze, The Housemartins, Suzi Quatro, Devo, Deep Purple, Nik Kershaw, T’Pau, Human League, Eurythmics, Wang Chung, EMF, Mott the Hoople, Heaven 17, Jesus Jones, Johnny Hates Jazz, Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, Chesney Hawkes and many, many more.

I'm delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Dear Mr Pop Star toda…

Victory for the Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell #BookReview #BlogTour


Sunderland, 1942

With the war showing no sign of abating, Helen is thriving in her role as shipyard manager. But at home the return of her father brings a shocking discovery that tears her family apart.

Gloria is shouldering the burden of a terrible secret. If the truth comes out there could be dire consequences, and it will take all her resolve to resist the pressure around her.

Meanwhile Rosie is throwing herself into her work, taking on as many shifts as she can. Anything to keep her mind off the fact that she hasn’t heard from her sweetheart in months…

With life in the shipyards tougher than ever, will the strength of their friendship see them through to victory?

It's my pleasure to be one of the hosts for the final day of the blog tour for Victory for the Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell today. Many thanks to the author and Rachel Kennedy from Arrow for inviting me to take part in the tour and for my advance copy of the novel.

Victory for the Shipyard Girls is the fifth book in Nancy Revell's Shipyard Girls saga but the first I have had the pleasure of reading. Returning readers will be coming back to old friends but as a newcomer to the series I had to learn who all the characters were. It's a fairly big cast and it took me a little while to figure out the various relationships but I felt that Nancy Revell handled the tricky balance between introducing characters and their back stories to new readers without slowing down the pace of the novel really well. It wasn't long before I became completely invested in the lives of these strong, resilient women who have to deal with their various domestic dramas alongside working in a busy shipyard under the ever present shadow of the Second World War.
The storylines are mostly focused on three of the women; Rosie, Gloria and Helen. The former two are easy to like, both separated from the men they love - although for very different reasons - they are both kind and resourceful and regularly put their friends needs before their own. Helen is a complex character, however and many of her actions in the book are frustrating at best. She's not the most naturally sympathetic woman but she actually became my favourite character as I felt there was a fascinating juxtaposition between the different facets of her personality, shaped as it has been by her selfish, scheming mother, Miriam and the generous love of her father, Jack.
Families and absent fathers in particular play an important role in the novel and for two characters, a long-held secret is finally revealed. Though most of the book is set in 1942, there are some scenes set in the past and through them we understand more about how two lives became shaped by a pivotal moment and realise that a mother's love can take different forms. The women in Victory for the Shipyard Girls are daughters, wives, mothers and lovers and each have their own reasons to celebrate, their own fears for loved ones and their own secrets. Their strength comes from the gritty, hard-working area they live in and from the friendship and support systems that exists in such communities.
Over seven hundred women worked in the Sunderland shipyards during WWII but their bravery and fortitude is little known. Nancy Revell's series should help to right that injustice and though it may be fiction, the women in the Shipyard Girls saga are a wonderful tribute to the real-life inspiration behind the books. I loved Victory for the Shipyard Girls and with the series still only in 1942, I know there is still plenty of heartbreak and drama ahead. I'm delighted to have finally discovered this captivating saga and am looking forward to reading the next instalment, Courage of the Shipyard Girls in March 2019.

Victory for the Shipyard Girls is published by Arrow and can be purchased here.

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour, details are below.


About the Author
Nancy Revell is the pen name of writer and journalist Amanda Revell Walton, who has worked for the national press for the past 25 years, providing them with hard-hitting news stories and in-depth features. She has also worked for just about every woman’s magazine, writing amazing and inspirational true life stories.
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