I very rarely return to a book here on Linda’s Book Bag but with Melanie Blake’s The Thunder Girls, a story I thoroughly enjoyed and out as a special 99p e-book this month on Kindle, I am delighted to support this blog tour and would like to thank Martina Ticic at Midas PR for inviting me to participate.
You can read my original review of The Thunder Girls (along with a brief account of a fabulous launch event I attended for the book) here.
The Thunder Girls
Chrissie, Roxanne, Carly and Anita, an eighties pop sensation outselling and out-classing their competition. Until it all comes to an abrupt end and three of their careers are over, and so is their friendship.
Thirty years later, their old record label wants the band back together for a huge money-making concert. But the wounds are deep and some need this gig more than others.
In those decades apart life was far from the dream they were living as members of The Thunder Girls. Breakdowns, bankruptcy, addiction and divorce have been a constant part of their lives. They’ve been to hell and back, and some are still there.
Can the past be laid to rest for a price, or is there more to this reunion than any of them could possibly know? Whilst they all hunger for a taste of success a second time around, someone is plotting their downfall in the deadliest way possible . . .
Melanie and Lockdown!
Melanie Blake has said that lockdown has turned out to be one of the most positive and life-affirming times in her life against the odds.
As one of the UK’s most successful female entrepreneurs, self-made millionaire and an agent for leading TV stars from Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, EastEnders and Loose Women as well as a stable of theatre and live performers, when the lockdown started, all performance related income ceased. Having to furlough her staff and put her agency on ice until things return to normal meant the loss of nearly a million pounds overnight. On top of this, Blake and her long term partner parted ways the week before the lockdown started, so she found herself alone and single for the first time in her life.
Melanie says that the experience of losing a fortune and breaking up with her partner has completely transformed her and for the first time in her life she has been able to stop, take stock and put herself first. She is the first to admit that she was a slave to her job and has worked every single day of her life since she was 16 years old and that she could never be alone, always needing a man by her side.
The lockdown is the first time she has been able to stop work and the first time she has found herself living on her own, which she says has completely changed her for the better.
She has started a “binge-read” book group with her street in North London. Eight of her neighbours “meet” three times a week, opening their windows and discussing their chosen books across the street with a glass of fizz. Each neighbour orders the books online and then drops them off on their neighbour’s doorstep at night. They are reading three books a week, which is why they are calling it the Binge Read Book Club.
A handbag addict, with an enviable collection of Chanel handbags, with nowhere to use them, it made her realise just how frivolous it was to have a ‘handbag room’ and she started gifting her prized – and many of them still in the box – handbags to friends who had lost their jobs or loved ones during the pandemic. She has taken down her prize display of handbags in her house and replaced them with books.
The loss of her income has made her re-evaluate what is important in life. Melanie was no stranger to a weekly £500 facial and as a blow dry addict hadn’t washed her own hair in over a decade, but now is taking pride in looking after herself at home and spending time in her own company.
Finally, she has found time to finish her second novel, she had all but given up on it, having suffered from writer’s block for six months, but has now finally found the headspace she needed to write – none of which would have been possible without finding herself in lockdown.
About Melanie Blake
At fifteen years old Melanie Blake was told by her high school career advisers that her decision to do work experience at a local record shop was an ‘embarrassment and a clear example that she wouldn’t go far in life or her career’. They were wrong. By twenty-one she was working at the BBC’s iconic Top of the Pops show and by twenty-seven she had built a reputation as one of the UK’s leading music and entertainment managers, with her own agency and a roster of award-winning artists who had sold more than 100 million records.
After a decade at the top, Melanie decided to manage a smaller client list and concentrate on her other passion, writing – first as a columnist for a national newspaper, then as a playwright and now as a novelist. They say write about what you know, and having lived and breathed every aspect of the music and entertainment industry, in The Thunder Girls she certainly has.
There’s more with these other bloggers too: