The Women Friends

Klimt and Judith II

(Continued from Klimt and Judith I)

The brochure continues:

klimtjudith2brochure1997reduced“Perhaps influenced by the 1907 performance of Richard Strauss’s opera, Salome, Klimt returned to the subject of the femme fatale in 1909, when he painted Judith II. Here again, critics mistakenly identified the subject as Salome. Indeed, this Judith appears threatening and monstrous: her face and claw-like fingers instil fear, and her dress engulfs Holofernes’ head, symbolising his loss of identity. As in Judith I, the artist’s counter-decapitation of Judith is suggested by the two white stripes cutting across her neck.

“Klimt’s depictions of Judith and Holofernes deviate from the traditional narrative and express the ambivalent attitude towards women in fin-de-siècle Vienna. In art as in society, women were compartmentalised into one of two categories – vulgar prostitute or untouchable ideal creature. Sexual hypocrisy was rampant: many upper-class men carried on affairs with working-class young women, prostitution flourished and pornography developed into a thriving industry. Women’s unprecedented demands for political and social emancipation, the Secessionists’ call for sexual liberation and Freud’s writings on the unconscious all heralded a revolution in traditional perceptions of sexuality and guilt. However, the new, sexually-liberated life-style was seen by many men as a threat to their identity and also brought with it a gnawing fear of venereal disease. It was this terror which gave birth to the image of female lover turned insatiable predator – the femme fatale, epitomised in Klimt’s Judith I.”

The Women Friends is a series of novellas written by Emma Rose Millar and Miriam Drori, and based on the painting of the same name by Gustav Klimt. The first in the series, The Women Friends: Selina, will be published by Crooked Cat on 1st December, 2016.


Author of the Day

Sarah Louise Smith writes chick-lit. Her four novels to-date have all been published by Crooked Cat and one of them, Izzy’s Cold Feet, is free to download from Amazon for one day only. Sarah can be found all over the Internet, sometimes with Arwen the puppy.


The Truth About Ellen – a new chick-lit novel

I’m delighted to welcome back fellow Crooked Cat author, Sarah Louise Smith. I interviewed her here and now she’s back to tell us about her new novel, out in two days but available now for pre-order.

Over to you, Sarah.

Firstly, a huge thank you to Miriam for letting me hijack her blog today and a big friendly smiley hello to anyone reading this who hasn’t heard of me before; thanks for taking the time to come and find out more.

So, I am Sarah. And I write chick-lit. That’s not slushy, fluffy romantic nonsense. It’s fun, roller-coaster stories with a little comedy and realistic characters.

The Truth About EllenThe Truth About Ellen is my fourth novel and it’s about a girl who had a huge crush on a band when she was a teenager. We’ve all been there, right? You watch them on TV, you listen to their music, you put their posters on your wall. In Ellen’s case, she even followed the lead singer and her number one celeb crush Jasper to a hotel once and spent an evening with him.

Now she’s older, wiser, more mature – of course. Well over the crush on the band she used to love, who broke up long ago. Times have changed.

That is, until she meets Tom, the band’s bass guitarist, and they hit it off. She doesn’t tell him she was huge fan of his band because it was long ago. Or that she once spent a night with his ex-bandmate/ex-best-friend, Jasper.

Everything goes well until Jasper comes back into Tom’s life. And the truth about Ellen could spoil everything she’s ever wanted…

Seem like a book that you might enjoy this summer?

Visit my website (link below) or search for The Truth About Ellen on Amazon to get your copy.

The Truth About Ellen

It’s every girl’s dream to date a pop star… When Ellen starts dating Tom, a member of the band she adored as a teenager, she can’t believe how lucky she is. She neglects to mention that she’s a huge fan because that just wouldn’t be cool, would it? Ellen also keeps quiet about how she once spent an evening with Tom’s ex-bandmate/ex-best friend Jasper, her long-term celebrity crush. Tom doesn’t need to know about that, it’s all in the past. That is until Tom and Jasper get back in touch… and the truth threatens to ruin everything Ellen has ever dreamed of…

The Truth About Ellen is available to buy from:

About Sarah Louise Smith

Sarah Louise SmithSarah Louise Smith lives in Milton Keynes, England with her husband, step-daughter, loopy golden retriever and cheeky tortie cat.

Sarah has been writing stories since she can remember and has so far completed four chick-lit novels, all published by Crooked Cat:

  • Amy & Zach
  • Izzy’s Cold Feet
  • Independent Jenny
  • The Truth About Ellen

Connect with Sarah:


Interactive Interview: Sarah Louise Smith

This is the first of a series of author interviews. I decided to hold them interactively rather than sending authors a list of questions. That way, my questions can relate more to previous answers. I hope this will produce some interesting interviews.

My “guineapig” is Sarah Louise Smith whose new novel, Independent Jenny, was published by Crooked Cat Publishing last month.

Sarah Louise SmithHello Sarah and welcome to my blog. Could you start by telling us something about your new book?

Hello Miriam and thank you so much for having me!

Independent Jenny is about a woman who has just found out her husband cheated on her. While she’s trying to process this and figure out whether to forgive him, she finds out her brother-in-law has always had a thing for her. Confused and unsure which brother sh wants, she goes on holiday with her friend Hayley to clear her head… but Hayley has an ulterior motive which leaves Jenny to spend time with her ex-boyfriend; who is now married. It’s about love, lust, relationships, forgiveness and figuring out what you want.

This is the third novel you’ve had published by Crooked Cat. What do you think stands out in your novels? Why did Crooked Cat choose Amy and Zach – your first novel – over the many others it must have rejected?

Wow, that’s an interesting question and only Crooked Cat could tell you the real answer. I think I have quite a clear voice in my novels, they’re all written in the first person and the characters really talk to the reader. I also try to keep them fast-paced, and although there are sad moments, they have a bit of humour and light-heartedness which perhaps made the Cat smile on occasion 😉

I also think humour is important – even in novels that are basically serious or sad.

How important is setting in your novels? Do you have real or fictional settings? (Sorry I haven’t had a chance to read them yet.)

The setting is very important, and I tend to use real places. In my first novel, Amy & Zach, it’s all about a girl who travels from the UK to live in Boston, Massachusetts… in Izzy’s Cold Feet, Izzy goes on a bit of a trip … and as for Independent Jenny, the novel is set in two of my favourite places in the UK: Bath (Jenny’s hometown) which has so much character, I adore it … and the Isle of Skye in Scotland – I went there on holiday last year and found much of my inspiration for the novel while I was there…

I spent a holiday on the Isle of Skye several years ago. It is a beautiful place. I’ve never been to Bath, so I look forward to reading about it.

Do you think it’s possible to set a novel in a place you’ve never been to?

I think that very much depends on how much of that place features in the novel. In all of my books, the places are described quite a lot so I think I would find it tricky to set a novel somewhere I had never been without a lot of Internet research; but that isn’t quite the same as being in that place and soaking up the atmosphere…

How do you create your characters? Are they based on people you know?

My characters are completely fictional although the female lead in each one has some similar traits to myself. For example Jenny has a golden retriever, loves walking and taking photos – as do I! Each time I start a new novel I think about the central characters and what their personality traits might be, so I can (hopefully) give them some depth and make them feel more real.

I like walking, too. Perhaps we could go for a walk together – if the golden retriever doesn’t get too close!

My golden retriever likes to run out ahead if possible 🙂

Have you ever created a character with mental health issues?

No, chick lit is quite light and easy-going so it isn’t something I’ve really considered. My characters usually have emotional issues, but nothing as serious as that. I’ve thought about writing about a character with severe depression, but it doesn’t lend itself so easy to the fun-ness of my genre.

Do you think it’s important for authors to stick to one genre? Have you ever thought of writing in a different genre?

I think it’s different for everyone. But I have tried to build up a readership and brand for myself. If your reader expects a certain style or genre and you change, it may mean that your usual readers are disappointed and new readers are harder to find… I enjoy romantic comedy a lot anyhow so I have no plans to try anything else.

To finish off, what are your plans for the future?

I am currently writing my fourth novel, and hope to finish that very soon. It’s about a girl who has a fling and lies to the man she meets as she thinks she’ll never see him again. But things get serious and then it’s too late to tell him the truth…

Sounds intriguing!

Thank you so much for interviewing me, it’s been a lot of fun 🙂

Thank you for agreeing to be my first interviewee. I wish you lots of success.

Independent Jenny

About Independent Jenny:

“I slept with someone else.”
Those five words changed everything.

After her husband Ross drops a bombshell, Jenny’s emotions go hay-wire. Things are made even more complex when his brother Aiden makes a confession of his own…

A holiday escape with her friend Hayley seems the perfect way to figure out what – and who – she wants. But Hayley has a hidden motive that results in Jenny spending time with her ex-boyfriend Will, who is now married.

Should Jenny forgive Ross? Can she ignore her feelings for romantic Aiden? And why can’t she get Will out of her head?

One thing is for sure: Jenny doesn’t want to be alone. Surely any man is better than no man, right?

 About Sarah Louise Smith:

Sarah Louise Smith lives in Milton Keynes, UK, with her husband, a cute cat and a loopy golden retriever. She has an extremely lovely step-daughter and spends most of her free time writing, reading, cooking, and taking long walks.

She’s the author of three chick-lit novels: Amy & Zach, Izzy’s Cold Feet, and Independent Jenny, all published by Crooked Cat.

Sarah’s website/blog:


You can purchase paperbacks or e-versions from all the usual online book sellers.

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:

Follow Sarah on Twitter:

Find Sarah on Facebook:


Blog Hop, Stage 3

I’ve travelled south to Milton Keynes and the blog of Sarah Louise Smith, author of Amy and Zach and Izzy’s Cold Feet.

Today, I’m talking about arranged marriage.

Here’s my schedule so far:

18 June Catriona King My Route to Publication
20 June Cathie Dunn The Background to my Novel
22 June Sarah Louise Smith Arranged Marriage
Jeff Gardiner Life-Changing Decisions

For those of you who live in the UK, US and most other countries, the ebook version of my novel, Neither Here Nor There, is on sale for a limited time at Amazon, along with most of the other Crooked Cat Books. There’s even an eye-catching poster.

Crooked Cat Sale, June2014