#BlogTour #TheGreenIndianProblem by #JadeLeafWillets @jade_leaf_w published by #RenardPress @renardpress 30.03.2022

Here is an extract of The Green Indian Problem –

1989

Trees

“Mrs R told us to make a family tree. She said a family
tree is a type of drawing that is also like a map of our
families. My family tree was hard to do, because some of
my family are living with the wrong people. I drew a lot of
trees. I put myself, my mum and my sister in the first tree.
Then I put my dad in the second one. I put everybody else
in the other trees.

Because I am in the top group and the teacher thinks
I’m clever, she lets me write stories when I have finished
my work. I don’t think I’m that clever, because I don’t
understand how spaceships work, and I am still trying to
do my Rubik’s cube. My dad can do it really quickly, but
I can only get one side the same colour. Orange. If I am
not working on a story, Mrs R sometimes tells me to go
and sit with Michael and help him with his work. She says
that Michael needs extra help. I know this is true because
Michael does not understand that 2 x 2 is 4 or 3 + 4 is 7.

Michael has also been writing his name wrong. He has
been writing ‘Micel’. Then the other day I showed him
how to write it. He copied his name out loads of times and
now he can do it right.

Michael is my best friend. He lives in the next street to me,
and he is allowed to stay out on his bike when I am in bed. I
can only stay out late if it’s not a school night and if my mum
is in the right kind of mood to let me. That’s just sometimes.
Michael lives with his mum and dad, his brother, his sister
and his dogs. He only drew one tree. There were too many
people in it because he drew his whole family – even his
aunties and uncles were dangling off the branches. He put
the dogs at the bottom of it, too. It looked like the dogs
had scared everyone, so they climbed away. When I had
finished my trees, I helped him to spell out the names in his
family. I know how to spell all the names in mine.
I live with my mum, my little sister Verity and a horrible
man called Den. Den is short for Dennis. I didn’t put Den
in our tree because he does not really belong there. He is so
horrible he should have his own tree with no other people in
it. I wish he was stuck in a tree and could never climb down.
There should be special trees for people like Den.

My dad is called Graham, but everyone calls him Gray
or Grayo. My mum is called Linda, and people just call her
Linda. I wrote down all my dad’s names on the branches of
his tree. I put his new family in the tree with him too. My dad
lives with a woman called Tina and my two brothers, Aaron
and Kai. When Mrs R was teaching us about families, she
said that some people can have half brothers and sisters.
She said half brothers and sisters only share a mum or a
dad, not both. I think it means only having one parent that
is the same as each other. It was a bit confusing. Michael
kept saying, ‘I dunno what she’s on about.’ If Mrs R is right, that would mean my brothers and sister are halves,
but I think that is just stupid, because you can’t have half
a sister. Sisters are not like fractions.
I wish my dad would live with us, but my mum said
sometimes mums and dads can’t stay with each other
because they do not like to live together in the same house.
I think they should check if they like to be around each
other before they get married. I think that would save
people from getting sad. I am sad because my dad does
not live with us, but I am also sad because I am stuck.

Mrs R said if we get stuck we should try to work things
out. She told us to do it on paper like we do in maths if we
can’t work out a sum. Then she gave us a spare workbook
each, just for working things out. She said writing things
down helps to work out problems. That is why I am writing
this out. It’s because I am stuck with things. When you are
stuck, it is called a problem, or a puzzle, and it can sometimes be called a mystery. My problem is a mystery because
something has happened to me that I don’t understand,
and I can’t work out why it has happened. The teachers
say if we try but still can’t work out the answer to something we should ask somebody, but I don’t know who will
know the right answer. I want to work out the mystery by

myself, but I think I will have to ask some questions to get
some clues. That is what I am going to do. I am writing this
down in my workbook, so it is going to be my clue book
too. I’m going to take it home so I can keep working on the
problem. I think it might take a long time to get the right
answer, because it is a very mysterious mystery.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
J a d e L e a f W i l l e t t s is a writer from Llanbradach,
a strange, beautiful village in South Wales. He writes
about extraordinary characters in ordinary worlds
and has a penchant for unreliable narrators. The
Green Indian Problem, his first novel, was longlisted
for the 2020 Bridport Prize in the Peggy Chapman Andrews category. Jade’s poetry has been published
by Empty Mirror, PoV Magazine and Unknown Press.
His short story, ‘An Aversion to Popular Amusements’
was shortlisted for the inaugural Janus Literary Prize.
All his stories are available for adaptation, should Wes
Anderson be interested. He is currently working on a
coming-of-age sequel to The Green Indian Problem
.

You can buy The Green Indian Problem from Renard Press HERE

You can follow Jade Leaf Willets on TWITTER

Renard Press are on INSTAGRAM & TWITTER & FACEBOOK

My #review of #WomenInLove by #MiriamBurke @renardpress published UK 23.02.22

‘I couldn’t sleep that night; our conversation was like a trapped bird flying around inside my head. The next morning, I texted to say I wouldn’t be coming back. I lied about having to return to my country to nurse a sick relative. I couldn’t bear to see my story mirrored in his eyes, and to see what we never had. I knew he’d understand.’

Women and Love is a thought-provoking collection of seventeen tightly woven tales about the power of love, all its trials and complications, and the shattered lives it can leave in its wake.

The stories explore a huge variety of sorts of love surrounding women in wildly differing settings and features an unforgettable cast including GPs, burglars, inmates, emigrant cleaners, carers, young professionals, and many more. Navigating heavy themes, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ experiences, including gender dysphoria and searching for a sperm donor, the stories leave the reader burning with indignation, full of empathy and wonder.

Firstly, Thank you to Will at Renard Press for sending me a copy Women in Love to review.

This isnt my normal genre of book, but I was so intrigued by the description, that I wanted to read something different.

Here is a book with a plethora of love stories about women, they are well written and its clear that Miriam Burke knows her subjects well, in the description of all the various characters throughout the book.

Here we have 17 short stories about women in love. The clear who sees relationships from the outside and has a sad secret, the wife whose husband of many years makes a decision that rocks her world forever, the struggling single mother who encounters every parents nightmare.

I loved the way the stories were written so frankly and found all of them easy to read and compelling. and you can really feel yourself emphasising with the chrachters. My favourite was The Currency of Love, really gripping. I will also say that there are going to be some trigger warnings in these stories.

Overall a nice collection of short stories by Miriam burke, and a word for Renard Press as I loved the book cover design!

A 4 Star read.

A writer from the west of Ireland, Miriam Burke’s short stories have been widely published in anthologies and journals. She has a PhD in Psychology, and before becoming a writer she worked for many years as a Clinical Psychologist in London hospitals and GP practices. Women and Love is her debut collection.

You can buy Women In Love HERE