Where There's A Will,
There's A Woman
Wow… what a woman!
I met Mary Mae on a writing holiday in Tuscany and there was never any doubt in my mind that she would write the book she dreamed of writing. She had an aura of energy and drive that glowed and this, plus her great sense of humour, kept us amused, as well as encouraging us to keep moving forward. This wonderful amusing and sometimes so obviously painful book enforces this drive and energy that we, and most definitely myself felt. Mary Mae… I loved this warm and sometimes heart-breaking book that brings home just what an amazing woman and writer you are. I look forward to reading your next book!
Mrs M. A. Parish.
Love… and Adventure!
I read this novel in four days; once started it was compulsive reading! Be prepared to get swept along by this story of a young woman’s efforts to ‘reach for the stars’ and in doing so, to experience all the highs and lows that life can throw at her: love, adventure, travel, loss, family betrayal, it’s all here in this first novel by Mary Mae Lewis. Many women will be able to identify with Kath’s struggles to gain the acceptance and love of ‘the Mother-in-Law’, especially one as difficult as Tilly, and to still keep trying, against all the odds. In spite of everything that life throws at her, Kath stays true to her dreams and depicts how strong the will of a woman can be! A thoroughly satisfying read!
I love this book and hope there will be a sequel. I thoroughly enjoyed it and could hardly put it down.
Janna F. Fabian.
A great read and a page turner...
It was a rare treat to read an authentic Potteries accent which took me back to old times when I worked and lived in Stoke-on-Trent. This is a book about life lived to the full, however with lots of ups and downs, too. Mary Mae describes the hard work and persistence of a young couple wanting to progress, in spite of a lack of support from his family who must be called at least eccentric, if not delusional, although with flashes of brilliance especially through the father's art and the mother’s knowledge of antiques. A great first novel, I await a sequel.
A walk down Memory Lane
This book held my attention all the way through as it was a very clear description of the 70's life we lived. Also familiar and accurate descriptions of the life in The Potteries was read with fondness.
A Great Read!
Very well written. The characters come to life the more you read of their life in The Potteries - and further away. A great read. I didn't want to put this book down - or finish reading it. I look forward to the next book.
A very good title and a very interesting read. Well researched and very true to life. It would make a good saga.
Great gritty read.
I loved this story. A real tapestry of a story with sharp, gritty writing.
A really great read - in-depth and beautifully written
I was really blown away by the detail in its pages. It's almost as if I stepped into the 1960's of Stoke and London as the book starts and then I loved being led forward through the decades; seeing what became of the two central characters, Kath and Rob. It's a book for readers who love romance, but also it's very down-to-earth, steeped in local history, and really highlights the process of falling in love, being in love and staying in love, so well. I also relished reading about the other characters and how they grew throughout the book's pages. Kath's parents are the sort everyone would have loved to have and Rob's are very unique! There is a wonderful intrigue to the book too, so fans of mystery, antiques and history would love it as well. It made for a great read and it's cultivated an interested in the history of The Potteries too. A really Five Star read. Highly recommended.
Ms. O. Bright.
A Real Page Turner
A captivating read; it is hard to put this book down. We are taken from The Potteries of Stoke-on-Trent following the main character Kathleen Tyler to South Wales, London, Somerset and abroad, then back again to the UK. Kath now has a family, after a very sad time earlier and is still striving to do well and reach her targets, having been held back at times by a series of problems. The plot is quite magnetic at times and will keep the reader turning the pages furiously in order to find out what happens next. The characters we meet are expertly developed by a talented author who shows inspiration and creativity. Human strengths and weaknesses are shown with expert skill, leading the reader to feel empathy, anger, sorrow and other emotions when travelling with Kath on her long journey through life. Don't miss reading this book if you enjoy a book that just won't let you go!
Don't Stop The Fiesta
“This book from a Staffordshire author is an intimate, highly personal account of years’ wintering in the South of Spain. The open, direct writing pulls the reader in to reflect on their own travels and challenges. It is a book which will appeal to anyone with personal experiences of Spain - away from the bright lights of the big cities.”
Sir Brian Fender – Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mitchell Arts Centre, Stoke-on-Trent.
“You could travel anywhere in the world with Mary Mae and you’d have a smile on your face! Life with her is always challenging, unpredictable and full of surprises. It’s so exciting, at the same time. Having spent a happy holiday with Mary Mae in her 'casa', plus another in Italy, and then read this memoir, I can wholeheartedly say that when you read this book, you’ll be taken on a rollercoaster of an adventure too; enjoy the experience!”
Vivienne M Slater. MBE
“I have had the pleasure of featuring several of Mary Mae Lewis’s short stories in the annual anthologies that I publish. Her writing is easy to read, down-to-earth, and conveys real depths of emotion that resonate with the reader. Mary Mae’s new memoir Don’t Stop The Fiesta is written with refreshing honesty. Most of it concentrates on her adventures with her husband during the first three months they spend in Spain (2001). The rest of the book covers the intervening years and brings us up-to-date with the impact that the Pandemic had on their plans. The beautifully crafted narrative provides an authentic insight into the ups and downs of this indomitable couple’s struggles and their increasing familiarity with the Spanish way of life.”
Robert Fear (Editor and Publisher)
“This is such an excellent book. It gripped me from the beginning to the end. It was very emotional as well. The Reader will get the feeling of being taken on a journey not only to Adra and back, but also through yours and Chris’ lives.
Tabitha Seabourne (Literary Associate)
“Don’t Stop the Fiesta is a great read. Full of humour and anecdotes it charts Mary Mae’s journey from the first time she and husband Chris set out for their new house in Spain, right up to the uncertainty that faces all foreign residents following Brexit. Although it was something that the author had always wanted to do, setting up a second home in Spain wasn’t always easy, however… the magic never fades.
From the first stop at a layby in France and “the scent of spicy food and Arab music” Mary Mae feels “like a child at the beginning of a great adventure.” There are blips: the car she is driving has to be abandoned and there are issues with the house and some of the neighbours… but she and Chris always find a way. In the end, Mary Mae comes to realise that “…my two lives are now entwined, are enriched by each other”.
Misha Herwin. Author of Women’s Fiction (as Misha M Herwin) and Children’s Literature.
“An engaging and interesting story of travels across France and Spain to find a house in the sun, and the highs and lows of such an adventure. Written with fascinating and real-life experiences of starting a new life in Spain. Highly recommended.”
Alderman Raymond Andre Slater.
“Don’t Stop The Fiesta is yet another colourful novel penned by author, Mary Mae Lewis. Mary Mae paints a vivid picture of her and her reluctant husband Chris’ escapades while travelling through the Contentin Peninsula of Normandy. On their journey they pass by picturesque French maisons, buy baguettes and bags of pain au chocolats, stop at historic Mont St Michel, then head into Bordeaux - and onto their hair-raising trip through the Pyrenees! This adventure is followed by a much easier drive through Don Quixote’s magical La Mancha countryside and finally onto her beloved sueno “dream life”, Casa Sol Y Mar; her much loved residence in Almeria, Spain.
Mary Mae paints a colourful scenario of sightseeing to such exotic destinations as The Alcazaba, the spa town of Alhama de Granada, and the Guadix Caves. The author invites us to accompany her as she masters languages, enjoys Fiestas and Ferias while visiting with old and new friends as they down sangria and savour tapas, all while listening to cante jondo – deep song, and delight in the flaring dances of flamenco and fandango!
These events all take place as the author is settling into her beloved casa and surroundings, still finding time to wander the beach, collecting shells and driftwood for the fire - and help friends in need.
The author candidly takes us through the highs and lows of such an adventurous trip, vividly relaying the joys of once again greeting the friendly Spaniards with whom she and Chris have become acquainted, along with the sad news of fading family friendships.
Mary Mae honestly relays her husband’s excitement as he packs to return to the family’s Midlands home; whilst Mary shreds a tear… followed by a little smile - for she knows full well that she will soon be returning to her beloved Casa Sol Y Mar!”
Jo Ann Foster (CEO – Foster Co. Washington, D.C.)