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#TuesdayBookBlog FIVE TIMES LUCKY by P. David Temple The perfect antidote for these colourless times #comedy

Hi all:

I bring you a funny book. I needed a change, and I thought you might enjoy it as well.

Five Times Lucky by P. David Temple

Five Times Lucky by P. David Temple The perfect antidote for these colourless times

In FIVE TIMES LUCKY, an intrepid traveler gets more than her share of tabloid celebrity. Who hasn’t wondered what life was like inside the velvet rope of the Hollywood in-crowd? In this fast-moving comedy by P. David Temple, the quest for fame has no boundaries…but celebrity has its downside. We follow ex-actress BunnyLee Welles, who returns to Los Angeles for her best friend’s wedding and finds that she is instantly recognizable. From the customs officer to the baggage clerk to the Lyft driver, everyone knows her single-dimple smile. They mimic her. They take selfies with her. They hand her unsolicited film scripts. In the four years she has been traveling abroad, her sole commercial role for Dial-a-Denture has recently become an online meme. Like it or not, BunnyLee is now famous.

It seems like everyone BunnyLee crosses paths with is seeking to exploit her notoriety. An old boyfriend from college is using material gleaned from their relationship to further his stand-up career. Another college acquaintance, a burgeoning local TV news reporter, trades on her friendship with BunnyLee for a scoop on the evening news. BunnyLee seeks shelter in the rambling estate of an aging Hollywood heartthrob whose own career has been derailed by a years-old altercation with Kermit the Frog on Sesame Street. He can relate to BunnyLee’s plight as others in his sphere—a duplicitous chauffeur, a social-climbing cook—vie for a piece of his fame. But as much as BunnyLee strives to keep things platonic, romance is a snake lurking in the underbrush. BunnyLee borrows Buck’s vintage Mustang and hits the road with her new puppy on what begins an odyssey through a culturally conflicted modern-day America. Along the way, car trouble leads to her rescue by an injured professional wrestler whose career is a cautionary tale about trading everything meaningful in life for the chance to bask in the limelight of fame.

“An engaging tale about celebrity, love, and the search for one’s place in the world. Temple’s prose is exact and full of color, capable of both madcap humor and wistful lyricism.” — Kirkus Review

“P. David Temple’s story provides numerous laugh-out-loud moments. Its special blend of humor, philosophy, romance and adventure will keep readers involved and guessing about the outcome to the end. The story ultimately questions the price and goal of fame and fortune, using a tongue-in-cheek observational style that is simply unforgettable.” — Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“A delightful and skilled writer, I enjoyed every moment. The whole thing went down as easily as a glass of bubbly.“ — Mitchell Levin, Senior Script Analyst, DreamWorks.

“I love the way the characters are drawn. [Temple] has a way of crafting characters who are human—flawed and real and dimensional. And so funny.”—Shanna McNair, Founder of the New Guard

“A delicious comic novel through the underside of Hollywood’s fame game. With a sure hand for deft cinematic prose and a remarkable ear for dialogue, Temple has crafted vivid characters that are often zany, sometimes seedy and always hilarious.”—Jerelle Kraus, Art Director, The New York Times

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PQ6Y1YR/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08PQ6Y1YR/

https://www.amazon.es/dp/B08PQ6Y1YR/

Author P. David Temple


About the author:
New York-based author P. David Temple has worked in the entertainment industry in numerous capacities including director and director of photography, was a judge for the Emmys, and traveled for a stint as a cameraman for the World Wrestling Federation in the days of Hulk Hogan and André the Giant. He is a proud member of IATSE Local 52 film union. Temple has witnessed scores of Americans scaling the steps of fame. One piece of advice that he learned early on and is willing to share with the dauntless: “Be nice to the people you meet on the way up, because you will be meeting them again on your way down.”

https://www.amazon.com/P-David-Temple/e/B08RCWK25Q/

My review:

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (authors, if you’d like to have your book reviewed, check here), and I was provided an ARC copy of the novel, which I freely chose to review.

I didn’t know the author before I came across this novel but after checking a sample of it, I thought it would be the perfect antidote to the dreary mood that seems to hang over everything these days. I looked forward to a light read. This is a funny book (laugh-out-funny at times), but it comes with its share of serious moments as well. And I enjoyed both aspects of it.

What to say about the plot of this novel… Well, I’ve said it’s funny, and it is a comedy, or rather, it touches on several comedy genres at once: a soap opera; a romantic comedy (yes, there is a central love story and other possible ones hovering around the edges); a quasi stand-up comedy routine full of jokes; a madcap comedy at times; there are elements of physical comedy; we have big spectacle as well (and it’s easy to see how handy the author’s experience with the World Wrestling Federation has been); a more intellectual/phylosophical-style comedy, and everything in between. The description of the novel does a pretty job at providing some semblance of a plot, and the story starts with BunnyLee, a —no longer so young— woman who after trying to become an actress has been working as an English teacher in Thailand for several years and is on her way back to LA to attend the wedding of one of her best friends. She is also going to stay at her friend’s apartment for a couple of weeks while she’s away on her honeymoon, but as her luck (she’s been told by a shaman priest that she is five-times-lucky) would have it, through a series of misunderstandings (I forgot to mention the farce, didn’t I?), she ends up staying as a guest in the house of an ageing Hollywood star, Buck LeGrande, who isn’t quite ready to become a has-been yet, and their friendship/perhaps-something-else falls victim to further misunderstandings and more than a fair bit of paranoia and jealousy. Somehow, the novel becomes a road trip for a while, and a whole host of new characters join the motley crew of BunnyLee, Buck, Buck’s chauffeur (and aspiring scriptwriter), Buck’s Chinese cook (for whom popular culture, media, and his Chinese relatives seem to be the source of all knowledge), and Puddles, the dog, a labradoodle and a true star. Austin, a cowboy and WWF celebrity on his way down, is also on the road, running away from a couple of women on a pink camper van, and their paths are, of course, set to cross. Characters from the world of professional wrestling, a local cowboy, a waiter, a Native American fish and game warden, staff at a Zen spa… also come into the story, don’t ask me to explain how. If you want to know, I invite you to read the book.

Fame, the world of TV and acting, Hollywood, celebrity culture, grief and loss, philosophy and the search for meaning, family relationships… these themes and more make it into the novel as well, and as I’ve said, despite the comedic elements I felt quite touched by the story at times.

I’ve mentioned some of the characters we come across, and although a few of them play small parts, all of them are pretty memorable. The book might be written as a comedy, and we might laugh at the characters at times, but they are not mere caricatures, rather all too human, and no matter how distant they might be from our everyday experience, they are universally recognisable and have endearing and redeeming qualities, even when (or because of) they are making total fools of themselves. Because, who hasn’t been there, especially when there are toupees and tight Spandex leggings involved? (If I had to choose one character, I admit to having a soft spot for Austin, the wrestler, although it’s difficult to top Puddles).

The book is narrated in the third person from a number of different points of view, which are clearly separated in the novel, so there’s no risk of getting confused about whose perspective we are following. This is a very self-aware novel, and an omniscient narrative voice sometimes pokes fun at the whole enterprise, in an interesting exercise of metafiction. It is a very visual novel with scenes that scream to be turned into set pieces in a movie or TV series, and this is combined with digressions where characters and/or author wonder about all kind of weighty subjects, from fate, to the nature of love and life itself. We have contemplative moments interspersed with scenes that explode in a whirlwind of action, energy, and laughter creating a perfect combination of light fun and reflection.

I have highlighted many jokes, insightful and crackwise comments, and many of the scenes, but some are far too long to share. As usual, I’d recommend readers to check a sample of the novel before deciding if it is a good fit for them, but I couldn’t resist sharing a few examples of what you might find.

Like the reader of fiction, one needed to have faith in his or her author, faith in the belief that the narrator knew how best to tell the story, faith that what may have seemed like irrelevant philosophical digressions were in fact well-crafted artifices both necessay and sufficient to the telling of a compelling story.

He wasn’t afraid of heights per se. It was the depths surrounding them that gave him pause —gravity being the one law you should never tempt breaking.

Like so many icons afoot these days in the pantheon of emerging American heroes, Chief Tenaya was a confluence of mixed metaphors. He was an icon in search of a meaning.

The ending fits both the comedy and the romance conventions. It ends up in a high note, and that’s exactly what most of us need right now.

So, if you’re looking for a fun/crazy read, with a bizarre catalogue of characters, are prepared to put your faith in the author and his criteria, are happy to follow him down some unusual and unexpected paths, and are looking for a break from the grey and dreary reality, this is your antidote. I hope this turns into a TV series or a movie, because it will be a hoot.

Thanks to the author for his novel, to Rosie and her team for all their support, to all of you for reading, and remember to keep smiling, to keep safe, and to keep reading!  

Categories
New books Reviews

#BookReview Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz (@authoramymetz) . A fun and delicious taster of the folks and tales of Goose Pimple Junction. And check out the rest of the Goose Pimple Junction series.

Hi all:

As you know because I keep repeating myself, I have a few books to read on my list and whilst I’ve been sharing my own writing I’ve accumulated a few reviews that I’m trying to catch up with. Today it’s my great pleasure to return to Amy Metz’s Goose Pimple Junction and share with your the fun and amusement of the latest book published in the series (although not the latest chronologically in the story). And, as I realised I hadn’t shared the review of the second book of the trilogy here, I decided to share all of them because we all need a laugh every so often and I’m sure if you missed the original posts you’ll want to know more (and also because as I took part in a blog tour for the first book, that post contains a fair amount of information in case you’re curious). But first things first. Here is my review of:

Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz
Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz

Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction. A collection by Amy Metz

I was offered a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve been following the series of Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries from the first book and have enjoyed them enormously. The quirky characters, the fantastic local atmosphere, the dialect and Southern sayings, the imaginative stories and the heart-warming relationships between the inhabitants are a breath of fresh air. After reading the stories one wants to live there, or at least to visit for a long vacation. And I challenge any readers to not end up quoting the sayings.

This small volume collects some short stories, vignettes that give readers more insight into certain characters and events (like how Jack and Tess got engaged) with a longer novella about the new sheriff and a missing elderly lady (Lou’s sister).  There are further complications when somebody is impersonating one of the sheriff’s men, resulting in a less than warm welcome for the new man in the job. But with a bit of canine collaboration, everything ends up well.

The events taking place in this book fall between the two novels Murder & Mayhem and Heroes & Hooligans. It is filled with wisecracks and local expressions, and it’s a quick read that will leave you wanting more. I’m not sure it would be satisfying enough on its own right if you haven’t read the other books in the series, but it is a great addition to it. Ah, and don’t miss the delicious Apple Pie recipes at the end.

Just a couple of expressions I highlighted, to give you some idea:

‘Clive, if I was doing any better, I’d be twins.’

‘He’s so stupid, mind readers charge him half price.’

If you love good-humoured fun, a menagerie of odd but endearing characters, don’t hesitate and get the whole series.

http://amzn.to/1VUPXaU

http://amzn.to/1VUPXaW

If you fancy previewing it, you can do so here:

As I said, I don’t want you to miss on the rest of the series, so I’m sharing my previous posts about the two novels in the series. A must read.

Murder & Mayhem in Pimple Goose Junction by Amy Metz’s Blog Tour

Hi all:

Today I’m pleased to take part in the Blog Tour for a great novel by author Amy Metz Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction. I truly enjoyed the novel and I’m including my review later on. I leave you some details about the author and the book first.

Amy Metz, author
Amy Metz, author

 

 

About the author
Amy Metz is the mother of two sons and is a former first grade teacher. When not actively engaged in writing or enjoying her family, Amy can usually be found with a mixing spoon, camera, or book in her hands. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky and can be found at:

http://amymetz.com.

Contact details:
email:

amy@amymetz.com
Twitter:
@authoramymetz
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmy Metz

Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Hertz
Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz

Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz

Over one month on Amazon Best sellers lists
Murder & Mayhem In Goose Pimple Junction is a humorous southern mystery that will keep you laughing and guessing until the very end.


 

Tess Tremaine starts a new life in the colorful town of Goose Pimple Junction thinking she’s moved to a quiet little burg. Curiosity leads her to look into a seventy-five-year-old murder, and suddenly she’s learning the foreign language of southern speak, resisting her attraction to local celebrity Jackson Wright, and dealing with more mayhem than she can handle.
A bank robbery, murder, and family tragedy from the 1930s are pieces of the mystery, which Tess attempts to solve. As she gets close to the truth, she encounters danger, mystery, a lot of southern charm, and a new temptation for which she’s not sure she’s ready.

Amazon Best seller lists:
Top 100 in Books & Kindle Women Sleuths

Top 100 in Books & Kindle Mystery
Top 100 in Author ranking Books & Kindle Mystery

Review summary:
Rated 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon from 125 reviews
“The author has created a cast of characters that are quirky and lovable. Their southern charm, crazy antics and hysterical dialogue will keep you in stitches.”
–Kathleen Anderson, Jersey Girls Book Reviews

“This book will soon be a favorite for all southerners. Very rarely do you find an author who can respectively capture the essence of the south and that quaint southern charm, but Amy Metz has done just that.”–Jennifer, of Southern Belle

“Enticed by a mystery, riveted to the swoon-worthy romance and tickled by the “countrified” life, I was thoroughly entertained on all levels.”–Carmen Pacheo, The Reading Cafe
Book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vIbieSgVjk

Book details:
Publisher: Southern Ink Press
Kindle and Paperback: 256 pages
Word count: 93,000
Genre: Mystery, humor
Available from: online stores such as amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com (see links below)

ISBN-13: 978-0989714037 (eBook)
SRP: $2.95
ISBN-13: 978-0989714020 (paperback)
SRP: $15.95

And now, my review:

Review of ‘Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction’ by Amy Metz. Cosy mysteries, writers, plenty of humour and Southern flavour.

When I read the title and the description of Amy Metz’s ‘Murder & Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction’ I knew I had to read it. And I’m sure if I’d gone by a place with a name such as Goose Pimple Junction I would have felt compelled to visit it. And the place and the book were worth the visit.

There are novels where you might enjoy the story and the plot (it might be a clever or complicated one, one that makes you think, takes you to fascinating places you’ve never been or teaches you new things), but maybe you don’t connect with any of the characters. There are books where you feel as if you knew the characters and they could be your best friends, but the story is neither here nor there (you just hope to visit them again when something more interesting is happening), there are books that are wonderful flights of fancy you might follow or not… There are books that seem to have a bit of all in the right amount, and you can’t think of anything else that could make them any better. And there are the books that seem to fit in perfectly with the type of reading you need right at that moment.

‘Murder & Mayhem’ was the type of book that fitted perfectly with what I wanted and needed at the time. Life was a bit too serious for me, and the novel gave me a good laugh. I kept looking forward to Pickles’s T-shirts, to the trips to the dinner to try and guess what the orders would sound like, and to the fantastic conversations, and pratfalls. It has mystery and an interesting story that kept my thoughts engaged (and took me away from some not so nice topics), but not so complicated that it made it impossible not to lose track. It also expands through several generations and follows the families and events that have made the place and the people what it is. It has a gentle love story where the protagonists are writers of a certain age and with backstories but both the salt of the earth (what woman would not love Jack, and Tess is also irresistible), it has unforgettable 4th of July celebrations, strange family liaisons, food, dogs…

Author Amy Metz manages to juggle all the balls and doesn’t let them drop. She keeps the pace of the story, turning from past to present, mixing local flavour with mystery and shady dealings, and creates realistic characters that keep surprising you by refusing to be caricatures or one-phrase jokes. The novel is a good old-fashioned mystery, a great romance, a fun book (without nastiness or bile) and it will leave you with a smile on your face.

If you’re looking for gritty, realistic and bloody crime books, you dislike local character, or expect heavy sex scenes; this will not be your book. But if you’re looking for a fun book, that will keep you reading, laughing and thinking, and will take you away from your day to day life, do not hesitate and read this book. I know I’ve already booked a space for the whole series in my Kindle.

And buy links:

Amazon:
http://amzn.to/1VUQEko

B&N:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/murder-mayhem-in-goose-pimple-junction-amy-metz/1113760741?ean=9780989714020

 

And: 
#Bookreview Heroes and Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz.

Heroes and Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz
Heroes and Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction by Amy Metz

Title: Heroes and Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction. (Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries. Volume 2).
Author: Amy Metz
Print Length: 299 pages

Publisher: Southern Ink Press, an imprint of Blue Publications; 1 edition (December 17, 2014)

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

ASIN: B00R6CWTYU

Genre: Cozy mystery, general fiction (humorous)

Body of review:

Another fun filled wander through Goose Pimple Junction

I had the good fortune of taking part in the blog tour for Amy Metz’s first novel in the Goose Pimple Junction Series. To tell you the truth, when I received the e-mail inviting me to take part and read the title of the book ‘Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction’ I had to find out more. And once I read the premise, I knew I could not resist.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book. As you’ve probably noticed if you follow my reviews, I don’t read in specific genres (I have some favourites, but if there’s something about a book that grabs my attention, I’m willing to give it a go). Thrillers and horror books are among the ones I read more often, and I don’t mind how hard core they might be, but I also enjoy the somewhat old-fashioned pace of good mysteries of yesteryears.

I loved Amy Metz’s first novel and, somewhat surprisingly for blog tours organised by others, I did exchange a number of e-mails with the author. When she kindly alerted me to her new book I put it immediately in my ‘to read’ list, although circumstances dictated that a few months passed before I managed to get to it.

Having read and loved ‘Murder and Mayhem’ I was a bit concerned that the details of the first book would not be as fresh in my memory as I’d like them to, but soon enough I felt at home in Goose Pimple Junction, a charming Southern town, with a gorgeous bookshop (that features less centrally in this book than in the first one), a diner with one of the most entertaining couples I’ve met in any books (and fab descriptions of foods), a new chief of police (and very dashing), and a mystery or two. I was happy to revisit two of the main characters in the first story, the two writers, Jack and Tess, and see how their romance was progressing, although this time the mysteries centre around Martha Maye and her estranged and fairly narcissistic husband, Lenny, and some odd robberies.

My impression is that a reader who hadn’t read the first book in the series would be able to follow this novel, although would probably feel intrigued, as there are several times when the events of the first novel are referred to without giving many details.

I enjoyed the Southern proverbs and use of dialect as much as I did the first time around, although like everything that’s quirky and adds to the atmosphere rather than the plot, it might not be to the taste of all readers.

If I had to compare it to the first novel in the series, I’d say ‘Heroes and Hooligans’ is a much easier read, as there are no different time frames or stories taking place in different historical periods. There are also fewer characters being truly involved in the case and the family connections are far less complicated, although I think that added to the texture and experience of the first one. The two main characters, Johnny, the new chief of police, and Martha Maye, are easy to like, and in the case of Martha Maye due to the family connections and our previous knowledge she feels very familiar. We don’t know much about Johnny other than he is besotted with Martha Maye, but he plays the hero part with aplomb, and seems perfectly matched with her. I still felt closer to Tess and Jack, but I always like writer characters.

On the side of the hooligans, Lenny is thoroughly creepy and unlikeable as I already mentioned I think he fits into the category of narcissist too. His brother is a strange character, somewhat more complex than Lenny and the murderer… Although there are some clues, who the guilty party is, is far from evident. (And I won’t spoil the mystery).

The two mysteries and the secondary characters (Pickles and his T-shirts, Martha Maye’s fabulous family, including the fantastic Lou and her aunt), the fabulous titles of songs and the Oktoberfest (that easily rivals the 4th of July celebrations of the first novel, if not surpasses it) will give most readers the right amount of intrigue and humour and will keep them coming back for more, as will the quality of the writing.

A fun, light read, full of unforgettable characters. I’m eagerly waiting for the third novel.

What the book is about: Several mysteries taking place in a small Southern US town. Full of character and humorous.

Book Highlights: The proverbs, the Southern language, the characters and their relationships.

Challenges of the book: Might miss some of the complete experience if read alone and not after reading the first one. The ‘Southern charm’ must be lost on some readers.

What do you get from it: A good time and an escape into a gentle (most of the time), nicer way of life.

What I would have changed if anything: I’d like a bit more background to Johnny but maybe that will come in time.

Who Would I recommend this book to?: Anybody who enjoys cosy mysteries and likes to visit small-towns full of character in their reads.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5

Buy it at:
Format :
Paperback:  http://amzn.to/1Snge2D

Kindle:  http://amzn.to/1Snge2K

Thanks to Amy Metz for her amazing collection of stories, thanks to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and of course, CLICK!

 

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