Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A SURREY STATE OF AFFAIRS: A PREVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED 
A SURREY STATE OF AFFAIRS
BY CERI RADFORD

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Constance Harding's comfortable corner of Surrey is her own little piece of heaven. She lives in a chocolate box house complete with an Aga and a parrot, her bell-ringing club is set to dominate the intercounty tournament, and she is sure she can get her son, Rupert, to settle down if she just writes the perfect personal ad for him. Naturally, things turn disastrous rather quickly. And she's about to learn that her perfect home conceals a scandal that would make the vicar blush.

Her Lithuanian housekeeper's undergarments keep appearing in her husband's study and her daughter is turning into a Lycra-clad gap-year strumpet. As her family falls apart, Constance embarks on an extraordinary journey. From partying in Ibiza to riding bareback with a handsome Argentinean gaucho whose only English words are "Britney" and "Spears," Constance is about to discover a wider world she thought it was too late to find.

Hilarious, inventive, and ultimately heartwarming, A Surrey State of Affairs will appeal to fans of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and the novels of Alexander McCall Smith. 

PRAISE FOR A SURREY STATE OF AFFAIRS:
“Wonderfully amusing. A comic gem.” -–Alexander McCall Smith

“Warning: unintended snorts of laughter may occur in public places. Comic satire erupts when modern mores and reality TV invade the comfortable confines of Constance Harding’s cozy upper crust world.  I loved every dizzy, delightful page.”Helen Simonson, bestselling author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand 

“Ceri Radford has perfectly rendered the inner monologue of a clueless but loveable Everywoman.  Comforting, witty, poignant, and delicious.”-–Beth Harbison, New York Times bestselling author of Thin Rich Pretty and Always Something There to Remind Me 

“With a heroine as sweet and naive as Constance, there is bound to be trouble. And there is. Hugely enjoyable, this is an unusual and sparkling debut.... The Diary of an English Provincial Lady de nos jours.”-–Elizabeth Buchan, author of Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman and Separate Beds

“The endearingly clueless Constance Harding brings all of her generous good intentions to bear on solving the problems of those around her. What results are the hilarious misadventures of a hopelessly well-bred Englishwoman, an insightful commentary on our times, and a wonderfully messy tale of friendship, parenthood and love.”-–Juliette Fay, author of Deep Down True and Shelter Me 

"Radford’s alternate persona as a middle-aged housewife was clearly successful in her earlier blog and remains as witty and outrageous in her first novel."-–Library Journal, Mara Dabrishus 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ceri Radford is a journalist and author who resides near Geneva, Switzerland. She has been called the “new Helen Fielding.” A Surrey State of Affairs is her first novel, which Publishers Weekly described as a “wildly entertaining and amusing debut.” 

SOME "Q&A" WITH AUTHOR CERI RADFORD:
Taken from the Penguin website, below are just a few of the interesting Questions and Answers with Author Ceri Radford and about her book. If you'd like to see the entire Conversation you can go HERE.

Q. You’ve chosen to tell this story in the most contemporary form of the epistolary novel—a blog. Can you explain how you decided on this narrative format, and what inspired this novel?
The novel actually started life as a blog, so it worked the other round: I began by experimenting with the blog as a narrative form, and then afterward decided to turn it into a novel. I started writing it when I was working as a journalist on the website of The Daily Telegraph, a British national newspaper. It began as a bit of a joke: The idea was to write the fictional diary of a fondly imagined, overly stereotypical reader, and to see if anyone spotted whether or not it was a spoof. I also fed in—with due trepidation—elements of my own mother, who, although very different from Constance, shared certain preoccupations in the marriage and hat–buying arenas. After I’d been writing the blog in an off–the–cuff way for about six months, I got the feeling that Constance had really come alive to me as a character—far more than I originally expected—and I wanted to tell the story in a more structured, coherent way, in a form that people would follow from beginning to end. That’s when I began working on turning the blog posts into a book, which involved a disconcerting amount of retrospective planning and rewriting.

Q. Were there any instances in which the blog felt limiting to you as the author? Were there aspects of the story that were more difficult to tell in this way? Any that were easier?
Yes, it did feel limiting, but I think limitations area very useful thing for an author, especially when you’re starting out. Instead of having to “find my voice”—a daunting prospect—I just imagined Constance’s and borrowed it. The aspects of the story that were perhaps harder to tell from one (mildly deluded) person’s perspective, like capturing Jeffrey’s real feelings, had to be suggested through details, such as the way he opens his newspaper at the dinner table or leaves the lawn to grow. I found it more interesting to tell the story this way, rather than delving into the inner workings of every character’s mind.
GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO THE FINE FOLKS AT
PENGUIN PUBLISHING, I HAVE ONE 
DELIGHTFUL HARD BACKED COPY OF
THIS SOON TO BE RELEASED BOOK
 TO GIVE AWAY TO ONE OF MY VERY
LOYAL ANDLUCKY FOLLOWERS
  
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS IN COMMENT

--ALL ENTRIES/COMMENTS MUST BE
SEPARATE IN ORDER TO COUNT

AS MORE THAN ONE ENTRY
HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT A SURREY STATE OF AFFAIRS THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK AND DON'T FORGET YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING AT AUTHOR CERI RADFORD'S WEBSITE HERE 


+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE WAY YOU FOLLOW MY BLOG. IF YOU FOLLOW MORE THAN ONE WAY, YOU CAN COMMENT SEPARATELY AND EACH WILL COUNT AS AN ENTRY
 
GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, MARCH 30
GOOD LUCK!

84 comments:

lag123 said...

I like the concept of a blog being the narrative format. Also I need some humor in my life.

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lag123 said...

Tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/lag32583/status/182051404683284480

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lag123 said...

I learned that Ceri started her career at Reuter's.

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debbie said...

I would love to see how she tries to keep her family together, when it sounds like an impossible task.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I am a email subscriber.
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debbie said...

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debbie
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holdenj said...

I like the play on words of the title. And it will be interesting to see how an epistolary novel for the 21 century plays out!
Thanks!
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I learned that Ceri lives in France.
JHolden955(at)gmail(dot)com

holdenj said...

I am an email subscriber.
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holdenj said...

I am a GFC follower.
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holdenj said...

I subscribe via RSS feed.
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rubynreba said...

I liked the reviews and I'd enjoy reading it. Sounds like a laugh out loud book!
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petite said...

This entertaining book is unique and special. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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petite said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

Ceri lives in France. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Karen B said...

This sounds like a wonderfully humorous read!
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traveler said...

An appealing format and idea. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

the author is talented and lives in France. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

I like the idea of the story being told through series of blig posts.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I tweeted:

http://t.co/IuEYZy61

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Carol N Wong said...

On her site, there is a video clip where she answers questions. I need to check with my U.K. friends to find out where Surrey is.

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Carol N Wong said...

I follow your blog with an e-mail subscription.


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Linda Kish said...

This looks like a fun book. I like the banter of blog entries. And, poor Constance is clueless. I hope she wises up a bit further on in the book. Or, does she remain clueless?

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

There are links to articles that she has written.

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Jolee said...

I enjoyed reading about the comedy of the book on your blog. joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

Jolee said...

I read on her site that she has been compared to Helen Fielding. What fun! joleehamlin [at] comcast [dot] net

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bloomerbear said...

Id like to know why her housekeepers Undergarments find their way into her husbands study

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thanks for the chance

mamabunny13 said...

I like that it has humor in it.
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