Monday 30 July 2018

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - Gina Kirkham

Mavis Upton is one of the most hilarious and endearing characters I've ever had the privilege to 'meet' and after having read Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong (you can read my review here) I couldn't wait to find out what she was going to get up to next.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is packed full of humour as we pick up with Mavis where we left her at the end of Handcuffs. She's busy juggling planning her wedding to her beloved Joe, dealing with her teenage daughter Ella, getting reacquainted with her long-lost father as well as having to try and catch a flasher who has a penchant for Krispy Kreme doughnuts!

But it's not all sunshine and roses in Mavis's life. Alongside the hilarity of her bumbling colleague Petey managing to lock himself in the back of the police van, there are the poignant moments where she has to deal with her dad's dementia. Gina Kirkham deals with this sensitive issue with a deft touch and as well as showing the sad reality of watching someone you love slowly disappear in front of you, she also brings a touching sense of mirth to it as well, which is so very true to life with this cruel condition.

I love Gina's writing style, as she manages to convey each and every anecdote in such a way that I feel as though I'm right there with the characters and at one point I was literally in amongst them all. There I was strutting my stuff in a hippo costume along with Mavis and her friends on her hen night, the tears were literally streaming down my face as I read that particular incident!

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is based on the authors real life experiences, although there are some changes for artistic licence purposes, and Gina has a real talent for storytelling. I do hope that there will be more from Mavis/Gina as I feel that we have become great friends and as a biscuit dunker I need to know which are the best ones to buy on my next food shop.

If you're looking for something to add a little sparkle to your day then I would definitely recommend you grab yourself a copy of this delightful book and get to know the captivating characters inside.

With kind thanks to Kelly Lacey at Love Book Tours and Urbane Publications for the review copy.

Saturday 21 July 2018

The Hippo Hands Over . . . . to Jimmy Misfit

Today I'm excited to be handing over to Jimmy Misfit, who, according to his website is a writer, author, storyteller and a parakeet aficionado. I can already tell that this is going to be fun!

Let's kick things off with an introduction and a bit about Jimmy's latest book The Silliest Stories Out of Bustleburg.

Photo courtesy of Jimmy Misfit

As a child, Jimmy Misfit wrote soap-operatic letters on motel stationery and left them for the housekeepers to read. This ended when his mother informed Jimmy that heiresses saying goodbye to their husbands forever before jetting off to South America rarely stayed at Travelodge, that they likely didn’t write in green magic marker, and that if motel housekeepers were his target audience, he needed to be much less messy so they’d have time to read.

Jimmy later attended George Washington University, which very generously awarded him a bachelor’s in American Literature. Under other aliases, Jimmy has been published in SNReview, Nuvein, Help: The Preditors and Editors Anthology, and in the anthology, Foolish Hearts (Cleis Press, 2014). Inspired by David Sedaris and Dr. Seuss, Jimmy is now an author of “ridicu-lit” fiction, and his book, The Silliest Stories Out of Bustleburg: America’s Worst City is a 2018 release from JMS Books.

Jimmy currently lives in Houston, Texas. Also, Jimmy Misfit is not his real name. You probably knew that.

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The Simpsons’ Springfield may be horrible, but here’s an invitation to explore a far more dreadful community.

Welcome to Bustleburg, a dying American metropolis where the mayor has stolen the last eleven elections and polluting vampire industrialists hope to blot out the sun.

The local televangelist takes credit for hurricanes through his prayer attacks, a media giant that never tells the truth just bought the TV station, and with the fire department on strike, blazes are everywhere.

Prominent citizens of Bustleburg include mafia don Boss Vostic, who buries his victims in the only part of town where trees are legal, ditzy social climber Mauve Mertz whose fashion fiasco might get her exiled, and Queen Zina, the mystical wife of the mayor and possibly the source of all the city’s woes.

You’ll never enjoy misery so much as your visit to Bustleburg.

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Hello dear Readers: The following conversation between two major characters in The Silliest Stories Out of Bustleburg was secretly recorded by BustleLeaks.  What did alleged crime kingpin, Boris Vostic, and his rival, the corrupt Mayor Bromley Kakisto, have to say to one another? 

Mayor Kakisto:  Gee, thanks for meeting me, Mr. Vostic.  That’s a nice hat, by the way.  Now then, I’m supposed to ask you to stop doing all those illegal things you keep doing.  Worst of all, stealing all the syrup from the big French Toast Social.  

Boris Vostic:  Really?  The missing syrup is “worst of all?”

Kakisto:  Well…along with arson, racketeering, and distribution of controlled substances. 

Boris:  When cake is a controlled substance, I’m not certain I am the problem.  

Kakisto:  This is Bustleburg.  Reverend Maple believes if we ban sugar, we won’t have problems with drugs because people will be so busy sneaking in cookies. 

Boris:  So if someone were, hypothetically, dealing in smuggled cookies they would be doing everyone a favor? 

Kakisto:  Right!  Wait…no. Cake and cookies and, well, everything delicious, is reserved for members of Reverend Maple’s church. 

Boris:  Is that accurate?  As long as you go to his church, you can have cake?  

Kakisto:  Yes.  Well.  As long as you donate a few thousand a month. Then you get enough church points to go to parties!   So much fun.  And his French Toast Social would have been perfect if someone hadn’t run off with all the syrup!

Boris:  So here’s the thing, Mayor Kakisto, the Reverend thinks he controls who can have sugar in this town and who cannot, but you and I know that’s not true.  What do you see in this photo?

Kakisto:  Why that’s a box of your illegal HeavenDream cream-filled chocolate snack cakes.  

Boris:  And now here’s the full photo of you.  You with that box of snack cakes.  And here’s a recording of you saying you’ll hand people those snack cakes if they vote for you.

Kakisto:  Reverend Maple will have my head!  Okay, Vostic, what do you want?

Boris:  Stop the police, and the church, and the church police from seizing my snack cakes.  

Kakisto:  That’s all?

Boris:  And perform the chicken dance at my niece’s birthday party tomorrow.

Kakisto:  You fiend!  You won’t get away with this, Vost—what are you doing?

Boris:  Measuring you for your chicken costume.   You know, mayor, keep up the good work, and you may win my vote again…

To read more of the nefarious Bustleburg underworld, check out the book here or download the free story.  The people of Bustleburg can’t wait to meet you!

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I've read some reviews for The Silliest Stories Out of Bustleburg and it sounds like it's packed full of interesting characters and I think I might need to pay a little visit myself! 😉

You can find out more about Jimmy Misfit and connect with him using the links below:

Amazon UK
Amazon US

I'd like to thank Jimmy for taking the time to stop by today and for giving us a peek into the character's lives in Bustleburg.