Miranda Dickinson’s Top 5 Songs and Searching for a Silver Lining! #BlogTour

Today I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Miranda Dickinson to my blog! Miranda has shared five of her favourite songs from the 1950s and explained what they mean to her and how they fit in to her gorgeous new novel Searching for a Silver Lining!

My Favourite Fifties’ Songs by Miranda Dickinson

Music plays a huge part in my book, Searching for a Silver Lining. I first came up with the idea in a café that plays fabulous 1950s music – which in turn gave me the idea to have a running playlist through the chapter headings of the books.

There’s something wonderfully evocative and positive about Fifties’ music. It captures a time when young people were finally finding a voice and an identity and had high hopes for their own future. This is the world that the five young singers of The Silver Five inhabited – and their hopes and dreams form a central part of the story.

Trying to pick my favourites was hard work, but here are my top five 1950s songs:

1.Ain’t That a Shame by Fats Domino (1955)

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The moment you hear the opening bars of this song you can imagine yourself in the 1950s. It’s a classic that never fails to make me smile. In my book it’s the title of the opening chapter, where we first meet Mattie Bell as she comes to terms with losing her beloved Grandpa Joe – and battles regret about the argument that stole her last precious months with him.

2.That’s All Right by Elvis Presley with Scotty and Bill (1954)

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I’ve developed a bit of a thing for Elvis lately (you may have seen my Lego Elvis posts on Twitter and Instagram!) and this is the man himself at the very beginning of his career. I love the confidence and exuberance of his performance.

3.Memories are Made of This by Dean Martin (1955)

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You have to love Dean Martin! It’s a cute, catchy tune with Martin’s trademark smooth crooning – pure Fifties’ magic. In Searching for a Silver Lining it’s the title of the chapter where we see Mattie’s shop with all its retro treasures and the invitation to share them at a local retirement home’s memory day that will change Mattie’s life forever…

4.The Story of My Life by Michael Holliday (1958)

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Only in a 1950s tune can whistling work! It’s two minutes, twelve seconds of pure joy and I love it. In my book this is the title song for the chapter where former Fifties’ singing star Reenie Silver begins to share her memories with Mattie.

5.You Send Me by Sam Cooke (1957)

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I just adore this song. It’s romantic, sweet and Sam Cooke’s wonderful voice gives me shivers. It’s very special now because it’s the title of the very last chapter in Searching for a Silver Lining. I’m not giving anything away, but this chapter is my favourite in the entire book.

I’ve also written and recorded the song that appears in the book as The Silver Five’s biggest hit. Keep watching my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channel to find out how you can download it…

Thanks so much for reading this blog exclusive! For more, follow my Searching for a Silver Lining blog tour. I really hope you enjoy reading the story!

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Huge thank you to Miranda for writing this fabulous post for my blog. I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading it as much as I did.

 

About the book:

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It began with a promise . . . 

Matilda Bell is left heartbroken when she falls out with her beloved grandfather just before he dies. Haunted by regret, she makes a promise that will soon change everything . . .

When spirited former singing star Reenie Silver enters her life, Mattie seizes the opportunity to make amends. Together, Mattie and Reenie embark on an incredible journey that will find lost friends, uncover secrets from the glamorous 1950s and put right a sixty-year wrong.

Touchingly funny, warm and life-affirming, this is a sparkling story of second chances. Perfect for fans of Cecelia Ahern, Searching for a Silver Lining will take you on a trip you’ll never forget.

About the author:

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Miranda Dickinson has always had a head full of stories. From an early age she dreamed of writing a book that would make the heady heights of Kingswinford Library and today she is a bestselling author. She began to write in earnest when a friend gave her The World’s Slowest PC, and has subsequently written the bestselling novelsFairytale of New YorkWelcome to My WorldIt Started With a KissWhen I Fall in LoveTake A Look At Me Now,I’ll Take New York and A Parcel for Anna Browne. Miranda lives with her husband Bob and daughter Flo in Dudley.

To find out more about Miranda visit www.miranda-dickinson.com and find her on Twitter @wurdsmyth.

 

 

 

 

 

My September Reads

During September I read sixteen books and think I can safely say that I’ve got my reading mojo back! I read some absolutely brilliant books this month and honestly can’t pick a favourite. Here is a list of the books I read (in the order I read them), I’ve not reviewed all of these books but will link to the ones I have.

 

Sophie Someone by Hayley Long

Fragile and Perfectly Cracked: A Memoir of Loss and Infertility by Sophie Wyndham

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter

Abroad by Katie Crouch

A Parcel for Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson

Somewhere in Between by Katie Li

Chronic Pain: The Mananagement Plan by Robert Lewin

Never Too Late by Amber Portwood

#PleaseRetweet by Emily Benet

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart by Jane St. Anthony

Bulletproof by Maci Bookout

Carefully Everywhere Descending by L. B. Bedford

Bright Stars by Sophie Duffy

Breaking Away by Anna Gavalda

It’s impossible for me to pick a favourite book from this list, I was lucky enough to read so many amazing books. I think honourable mentions have to go to A Parcel for Anna Browne and Christmas at Lilac Cottage because of the wonderful, magical powers these two books have to just make your day so much brighter and sparklier! I also want to mention #PleaseRetweet because it was the first book I’ve read in a really long time that had me full on laughing out loud. And finally I have to recommend Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart because it is such a beautiful, moving look at grief and yet remains uplifting. It’s a MG/YA book but I’d recommend it to everyone, especially people who have lost a loved one.

Review: A Parcel for Anna Browne by Miranda Dickinson

 

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Anna Browne is a very ordinary woman living a perfectly satisfactory life, but nothing exciting ever happens to her… that is until the day that a parcel arrives at work for her. Inside she finds a beautiful gift, which becomes the first of many wonderful parcels sent to Anna by a mysterious benefactor. Each gift brings real joy to Anna and she finds herself growing in confidence and happiness. But who is sending her these gifts and why?

This novel is magical and wonderful and just perfect! It draws you in and you don’t want to let it go. Anna Browne is such a great character. She is down-to-earth, caring and kind but her life is lacking any excitement. The joy she feels on receiving each gift, and how these gifts bring her out of herself is magical – it’s like her life suddenly gets sprinkled with fairy dust, and who wouldn’t want that? Each gift brings a bit more of Anna to life, she smiles a bit more, gains confidence, feels better about herself – these are the real gifts she receives. I love how the parcels never change who Anna was, they just allowed who she always was to shine

The supporting cast of characters in this book really add to its all-round loveliness. I loved Ted the security guard, he has a conspiracy theory about everything but his heart is in the right place. Anna’s neighbour, Isadora, was so lovely too, I adored reading about their time together.

Then there were the men! The book keeps you wondering for a good while about who Anna will end up and I loved that. Ben was a man of mystery but he kept me reading as I wanted to know more about him, and I just adored Jonah – he’s the kind of man we all want in our lives (plus I really want his camper van!).

The mystery of the parcels will keep you guessing, you’ll think you have it all worked out and then more intrigue comes along. I was convinced I knew who the mystery parcel sender was at several points in the book and was proved wrong! It’s so fantastic to be kept guessing, it adds to the magic of the story.

It felt very serendipitous that I received this book when I did as it arrived at just a time when I needed a lift and Anna Browne’s story was a tonic to me. I swear this book has an effect on its readers the same way the mysterious gifts have an effect on Anna! A Parcel for Anna Browne is without a doubt Miranda’s best novel so far, I can’t recommend it highly enough!

I was sent this book to review for Net Galley but will definitely be buying my own copy when it is released on 24 September as I know this is a book I will read again and again, it is set to become one of my firm favourites.

Available for Pre-order now from Amazon