My thanks to Bei at Midas Public Relations for providing me with a copy of Ruthless Women by Melanie Blake for this blog tour.
AN EROTICALLY CHARGED THRILLER SET ON AN INTERNATIONAL TV SHOW
FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE THUNDER GIRLS
Ruthless Women takes readers on a wild ride behind the scenes of beloved TV drama Falcon Bay, beamed globally to millions three days a week from its picturesque location in the Channel Islands. But even in this beautiful coastal spot, tensions swirl. Once one of the world’s most popular soap operas, but now with ratings and syndication at an all-time low, the production has been sold to an American business woman, beautiful and malevolent Madeline Kane, the new network owner who arrives on the tiny island just off Jersey, determined to do whatever it takes to get the show back to number one.
Writer Farrah, star Catherine and producer Amanda are the driven, ambitious women who keep the show on the road. But Farrah is losing episodes to the network’s lead male rival, Catherine is terrified of the public falling out of love with her and Amanda’s evil husband Jake, vice president of the network, is plotting to get his own wife kicked off the show.
As the dawn of a new era begins, cast and crew turn against each other with loyalty, decency, and trust, replaced by scandal, betrayal, and an outrageous ambition to survive.
In a true battle of the sexes, these women will do anything to stay on top. But can they team up to bring down their male rivals? Or will jealousy, betrayal and revenge tear their long held friendships apart?
As the story reaches a climax so shocking readers will be talking about it for decades, one thing is certain: only the most ruthless woman will survive…
Our Author – Melanie Blake
MELANIE BLAKE IS BACK!
AND ONCE AGAIN SHE’S WRITING ABOUT A WORLD SHE KNOWS WELL.
As one as the UK’s most successful agents, managers and publicists for music stars and TV actresses, Melanie Blake has represented some of the most famous faces on British television and international screens.
Where her debut novel, the No. 1 bestseller The Thunder Girls, was inspired by the early years of her career spent working in the music industry, her follow up novel Ruthless Women is heavily influenced by the last 15 years Melanie has spent representing more female actresses than any other agent in her genre. Her clients have included Patsy Kensit, Beverley Callard, Michelle Collins, Stephanie Beacham, Emily Lloyd, Denise Welch, Jennie McAlpine, Claire King, Gaynor Faye, Laila Morse, Danniella Westbrook, Sherrie Hewson, Amanda Barrie, Gillian Taylforth and Nadia Sawalha, to name just a few. Nicknamed The Queen Of Soaps, there is no one better placed to write a novel based around a continuing drama and its leading ladies.
As one of the UK’s most successful female entrepreneurs, over the years Melanie has had two careers at the top tier of the entertainment industry. Her first 10 years were as a music manager with a roster of award-winning artists who sold over 100 million records and the second decade as one of the UK’s leading acting agents representing some of the most famous faces on British television. The Thunder Girls is inspired by her time in the music business and Ruthless Women which is out in 2021 is inspired by her years in the world of soap opera and drama. Her own management company, which has covered both genres, has turned over more than 30 million.
With no formal education herself, Melanie is a true champion for working class women who are so often overlooked in our society. The Thunder Girls is a celebration of women from diverse demographics and all the lead characters in the novel are over 40 and working class. As well as having written the book, Melanie has penned The Thunder Girls the play which embarks on a nationwide tour in 2021. Melanie Blake might just be the world’s biggest Jackie Collins fan. She first read Rock Star aged 9, after smuggling the copy out of the library by telling the librarian it was for her mum! Melanie was dazzled by Jackie Collin’s world where women clawed themselves from poverty into glamorous, moneyed lives. In Jackie Collins’ novels, women were bosses and winners who achieved everything they wanted and it was these novels that inspired Melanie to become her own boss and a lady entrepreneur.
For the first time, Melanie reveals her biggest secret – that her career actually started as an ‘extra’ on the set of Coronation Street and EastEnders. It was there she began clawing her way from the bottom of the ‘Soap Opera ladder’ to the very top, going on to represent the leading ladies of the very shows she was hired to stand in the background of. It’s a one in a million story, by a uniquely determined woman. From extra to celebrity agent, she’s seen it all and that journey enabled her to write ‘the must read book of 2021’. During the promotion, she’ll be sharing more of her own unique journey as well as some of the celebrity bombshells, which inspired her to write her new novel.
My Review – Ruthless Women
Well, apart from the fact I was totally in the wrong place physically for reading this, I felt like I should be next to a sun drenched pool. This book ticked lots of boxes. Its been a while since I have read anything from the ‘bonk-buster’ genre like this, but I can see it selling really well.
Its characters all work at Falcon Bay, a TV soap thats losing ratings and its new owner Madeline Kane wants it back on the number 1 spot. Its the 40th anniversary and she wants everything possible done to get it there. They have done all the usual stunts before – explosions, shootings, fights – Madeline wants more and it seems what Madeline wants, Madeline gets. And woe betide any crew or cast who get in here way.
Cast are scared that they will be axed, crew members scuttle around like bees bidding their queens work. Melanie’s use of the media is brilliant, up to date with mentions of twitter and Instagram and theres a big launch and new cast member meet. Its great for ratings and even better for advertising and the Network.
Falcon Bay has several cast and crew that have been there for years, and live and breath the Bay. None more than Catherine Belle, leading lady and the only cast member to have lasted 40 years. Her friends Farrah, Amanda, Helen and Sheena work there too. Helen is casting director and takes full advantages of her casting couch. Amanda is married to Jake and they run the show, though Amanda has just returned from maternity leave and finds things aren’t as she left them. Sheena is Catherine’s agent. And Farrah used to be Catherine’s on screen daughter, but now prefers to be behind the camera and is one of the shows directors.
Basically – they all want there own way and though the male cast and crew try, they can’t stop them. It’s the women in Falcon Bay that rule the roost and every single one of them is ruthless. Toxic friends are not wanted and are brought down with one liners only the bravest would dare utter. The use of drugs and drink, grooming and teenage sex are part of the story, however harrowing for the people involved. But worked into the story so well, they aren’t glamourised, like often can be.
Melanie Blake has used her years of being an agent, attending star parties and awards and being a TV extra as writing knowledge. Mark Twain, once said “write what you know” and Melanie has done just that. Jackie Collins finally has a true rival. I didn’t even bother to finish reading 50 Shades is was so awful, but Ruthless Women though, is brilliant, a big fat 5 stars from me!
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