#Blogtour #Extract #Spotlight: All The Fun Of The Fair by Lynda Page @LyndaPage9 @canelo_co #AllTheFunOfTheFair
Release date - 19th February 2018
Book length - 341 pages
Publisher - Canelo
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
I want to thank Ellie from www.canelo.co for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and for providing me with a gripping extract which you can read further on. But first, here is all you need to know about this book!!
ABOUT THE BOOK
It’s the 1950s and Grundy’s Travelling Fair arrives in town with a bang.
When night falls, the local town is drawn to the Fair. But when the fairgoers head home, the Grundys are left behind. Hours are long and the work back-breaking. But family and friends hold things together.
Gemma married into the lifestyle, her reliable husband Solomon making the work worthwhile. Solly’s Dad Samson is still the boss, but his other son, known as Sonny, is getting a reputation...
Times are changing. Can the family – and the fair – survive?
A saga with a twist, join the Grundy family in a gritty but heartwarming novel of love, friendship and secrets. Perfect for fans of Kitty Neale, Lyn Andrews and Rosie Goodwin.
Bestselling author Lynda Page has written over thirty books, and is a well-loved and critically acclaimed saga author. Born and raised in Leicester, where many of her novels take place, she began her prolific writing career in her forty-five minute lunch breaks. Best known for her Jolly’s Holiday Camp series, Lynda is writing a new series exploring life at a travelling fair in the 1950s for Canelo, with the first book, All the Fun of the Fair, out in February 2018.
For more information:
Twitter - twitter.com/LyndaPage9
Facebook - www.facebook.com/lyndapagebooks/
Late March, 1955. On a large slum-clearance site surrounded by a maze of dilapidated back-to-back terraced houses, factories and other industrial buildings, in a rundown area of a south Yorkshire market town, colourful flashing lights lit the dark evening sky and thumping rock and roll music blasted the air. Grundy’s travelling fair had arrived.
Inside the surrounding crumbling dwellings and in a progression of more prosperous streets stretching way beyond, a frenzy of activity was underway. Evening meals were being gobbled down, then a rush to wash and change out of school and work clothes for best. Tonight was not one to linger, all occupants desperate to be ready for the off. Every second of the next few hours was to be spent enjoying the thrills and excitement with money saved, stolen, begged or borrowed.
Leaning against a lamp post at the edge of the site, drawing deeply on a rolled-up cigarette, was thirty-seven-year-old Solomon Grundy, a ruggedly handsome, muscular man of five foot ten. He was dressed in a pair of black trousers, the sleeves of a white shirt worn under a black waistcoat rolled up to his elbows, and a black pork-pie-style hat that covered short dark hair beginning to grey at his temples gave him a distinguished look, he felt. His wife teased him that it was a sign he was just getting old. He smiled, gratified to see the never-ending stream of excited-looking people being drawn, Pied-Piper-like, towards the entrance. The evening was the sort you’d usually find people behind closed doors, huddled around a blazing fire, but the hordes of animated punters streaming out of side streets and hurrying over the waste ground didn’t seem to notice, the lure of the good time to come all they could think about.
It was never possible to predict how lucrative any session was going to be but, judging by the number of people already arriving this early in the evening, it looked set to be profitable.
Solly took a last draw from his cigarette before throwing it down, grinding it out with the heel of his shoe and joining the snaking crowd. He might have been on the go since five this morning doing his share readying the fair for opening tonight, the same as everyone else connected with Grundy’s, but along with a couple of gaff lads, he was also in charge of the dodgems tonight. As an expert in all the tricks of the trade, he knew he had already left the youths for far longer than he should, leaving them at liberty to supplement their meagre pay by wrong-changing or tapping, as they called it, the general public. Although it was known this practice went on behind the owner’s back it was not condoned and, if the culprits were caught red-handed, it was an instantly sackable offence.
Using centuries-old tricks of the trade to make a living was one thing but, as in all walks of life, there were those that were out for themselves who felt no shame in doing whatever it took to feather their own nest, illicitly or not. The Grundy family, same as all the other fairground operators up and down the country – from the huge outfits to the very small – always had to be on the alert for those blatantly thieving sorts that had infiltrated their fair for fear of tarnishing their reputation. But regardless, deep down, Solly couldn’t blame the gaff lads for lining their pockets by short-changing the odd threepence or sixpence as the pay they received for their hard labours hardly kept them in the basics of food, rolling tobacco and drink. After all, a fairground job was seen as a last resort for those unable to secure themselves anything better through varying reasons; mainly because they had no fixed abode or were ex-prisoners. It was far better than living rough. The job did have its perks for the gaff lads though, as a certain type of female was dazzled by any man connected to the fair, seeing them in the same light as a knight in shining armour and praying to land one and be whisked into what they believed was a glamorous, thrill-a-minute life, far removed from their mundane one, governed by their parents’ rules and regulations. They didn’t realise that, apart from an isolated occasion when a fairground employee did lose his heart to one of these girls, their only interest in them was for sex.
All the main rides were in the middle of the fair area, several circular stalls such as hook-a-duck and hoopla dotted between them, the rest forming a horseshoe shape around the boundary edge, the entrance being the gap in the middle. The living caravans were sited a few yards behind the stalls and rides before a tangle of dense undergrowth that edged a rundown part of a canal. The dodgems where Solly was heading were towards the back of the rides area and, to avoid having to fight his way through the crowds at the entrance, he skirted the back of the stalls and was just about to sidle through a narrow gap when above the noise coming from the fair itself, the sound of an angry voice along with someone else yelping in pain reached his ears. It was coming from the edge of the waste ground several yards away where a high wire fence separated it from a building site where the council was building new houses to replace slums. The lights from the fairground didn’t reach that far so Solly couldn’t see what was going on, but it seemed to him that someone was getting a savage beating.
He groaned inwardly. He really needed to be supervising the two gaff lads on the dodgems, the most popular ride at the moment; certainly Grundy’s most profitable one. He not only needed to be on hand to keep a watchful eye on the lads, but also to manage troublesome sorts who didn’t like waiting their turn and started making a nuisance of themselves. But apart from the fact that his morals would not allow him to walk away from someone who was in trouble, whether they deserved it or not, should a member of the public happen upon this and call the police, it would be enough excuse for them to close the fair down for the night. Off duty, the police enjoyed a visit to the fair with their families as much as anyone else did but, on duty, some of them regarded being called to deal with incidents at the fair as an extra burden they could do without on top of all the other everyday crimes and would therefore treat fair-related matters far more harshly. Without further ado, Solly spun on his heels and hurried over the uneven ground in the direction the commotion was coming from.
His guess that someone was being thrashed was a correct one. Due to the darkness and the lack of any man-made light in this part of the ground, Solly was on top of the scene before he could actually make out what was going on. A middle-aged, thick-set, shabbily dressed man was beating someone with a sturdy walking stick. They were scruffily dressed too, curled up in a foetal position on the ground, hysterically screaming for the attacker to stop. Solly noticed a large tear in the sleeve of his thin brown jacket.
The man had his arm raised, ready to deliver the stick down again on his victim, but, without further ado, Solly grabbed his wrist in a vice-like grip, demanding, ‘That’s enough of that now, unless you want to land in prison for murder.’
The attacker was stunned by Solly’s intervention and stood staring at him for several moments before he gathered his wits and tried frantically to free his wrist from Solly’s hold. ‘Get the fuck off of me! I’m only giving me son what he deserves. Now get off me, I said.’
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Hi fellow bookworms. My name is Linda and I'm a reviewer & blogger, wife & mother who loves all things books!
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