Guest Post – Sweetpea – The Playlist by C J Skuse


I am super excited to have our British Books Challenge author of the month for April, C J Skuse on Tales today with a brilliant playlist to celebrate the release of her first adult thriller Sweetpea which was release on the 20th April 2017.

If you’ve not read Sweetpea yet then your missing out!  It’s deliciously thrilling and I loved it!

C J Skuse was our #BritishBooksChallenge17 author of the month for April 2017!

Check out the #BritishBooksChallenge17 Spotlight on C J and her books and find out why people love her so much – here

You can find out more about the #BritishBooksChallenge17 here


About Sweatpea

The last person who called me ‘Sweetpea’ ended up dead…

’I haven’t killed anyone for three years and I thought that when it happened again I’d feel bad. Like an alcoholic taking a sip of whisky. But no. Nothing. I had a blissful night’s sleep. Didn’t wake up at all. And for once, no bad dream either. This morning I feel balanced. Almost sane, for once.’

Rhiannon is your average girl next door, settled with her boyfriend and little dog…but she’s got a killer secret.

Although her childhood was haunted by a famous crime, Rhinannon’s life is normal now that her celebrity has dwindled. By day her job as an editorial assistant is demeaning and unsatisfying. By evening she dutifully listens to her friend’s plans for marriage and babies whilst secretly making a list.

A kill list.

From the man on the Lidl checkout who always mishandles her apples, to the driver who cuts her off on her way to work, to the people who have got it coming, Rhiannon’s ready to get her revenge.

Because the girl everyone overlooks might be able to get away with murder…


Sweetpea – The Playlist

Music is my co-writer and always has been. Certain songs unlock certain scenes and sometimes have the effect of reimagining scenes in my head. For Sweetpea, a lot of my ‘writing’ has been done on long car journeys – whole scenes conjured up while driving along. And when I’d get home, they’d pour forth onto the screen almost exactly as I’d imagined them (but not as good, obvs – they never are!) Here are 10 songs which leant themselves very well to scenes from my first ever adult novel, Sweetpea

Rhiannon – Fleetwood Mac

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7VkrUNOXGY%20

I heard this song and knew my main character had to be called Rhiannon. Her original name was Tamsin. The lyrics She’s like a cat in the dark and then she is the darkness and She rules her life like a bird in flight and who will be her lover?’ are about a Welsh witch but they just spoke to the exact kind of person I was trying to create – mysterious, sexually-powerful and highly secretive.

Cheap Thrills – Sia

The lyrics depict a woman getting ready to go out for the night to dance and have fun but in my head mean something completely different. ‘Baby I don’t need dollar bills to have fun tonight.’

Glory Box – Portishead

Insidious, creepy, perfect. And the band are from Bristol which makes them even more perfect. Through this new frame of mind, a thousand flowers could bloom.

Milkshake – Kelis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AwXKJoKJz4%20

She’s just reeling them in, all the time … ‘I know you want it, The thing that makes me, What the guys go crazy for. They lose their minds, The way I wind, I think it’s time…’

Them Bones – Alice in Chains

This song gave me my ending, along with a tide of goose bumps when I realised what she was going to do next. *FUN FACT*- I really, really didn’t want the book to end that way. Unfortunately, Rhiannon did. And she always wins.

Daddy Lessons – Beyonce

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60aCpaG2S6E

I could have put every Beyonce song on this list to be honest because she was in my head throughout the whole writing process. The lyrics of 6 Inch and this song in particular really sum up exactly where Rhiannon’s coming from in my mind. She learned an awful lot from watching her dad.

Candy Shop – 50 Cent

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRcnnId15BA%20

I love the predatory tone of this and though the lyrics are obviously about something else, when you apply it to Rhiannon’s predilection for murder, it bears a whole new meaning. Well, it does for me anyway. In Sweetpea, the roles are reversed –

You could have it your way, how do you want it?

You gon’ back that thing up, or should I push up on it?

Temperature rising, okay, let’s go to the next level

Dance floor jam-packed, hot as a tea kettle

I break it down for you now, baby it’s simple

If you be a nympho, I’ll be a nympho

In the hotel, or in the back of the rental

On the beach or in the park, it’s whatever you into…

Nirvana – Dumb

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8Nyjzq5jCg%20

She’s an unhappy little soul in many ways and does what she can to get by. Murder is the troubling addiction to which she clings. ‘I’m not like them but I can pretend, The sun is gone but I have a light, My heart is broke but I have some glue, Help me inhale and mend it with you…’

The Sound of Silence – Disturbed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Dg-g7t2l4%20

This song is overflowing with meaning for me and also carries on the flowers theme in a dark little way which I really love. The Disturbed version is better than the original, in my opinion.

…because a vision softly creeping

left its seeds while I was sleeping…

And the vision that was planted in my brain

still remains within the sound of silence…’

Perfect Day – Lou Reed

You’re going to reap just what you sow …

You can buy a copy of Sweetpea here or from your local bookshop


About C J Skuse

C.J. Skuse was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels, works as a freelance children’s fiction consultant and lectures in Writing for Children at Bath Spa University. Sweetpea is CJ’s first adult novel.

You can follow CJ on twitter – CeejaytheAuthor


You can find previous posts from CJ on my blog or by clicking on the links below …

Hot Boys In My Books!

Hidden Easter Eggs In Books

I also love this article by CJ of 10 Things I’s Like My Readers To Know here


A huge thank you to C J for such a fab post and embracing the #BritishBooksChallenge17

Have you read Sweetpea?  What did you think?  What was your favourite part?  If you have not read it yet have we tempted you to go and grab a copy?   I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this review or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy!

Happy Reading!

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I am often known to be a bit clumsy and a little loopy! Book loving (obsessed), theatre loving, slasher film loving csi geek!
Winner of UKYABA Champion Newcomer 2015 and nominated for Champion of Social Media 2016 and Blogger Of The Year 2016!

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