✭✩✩✩✩Stinky Yes, But Not From the Cheese

il_fullxfull.329232323

Just joining our story?  It starts here . Or you can begin with this installment and hear what some readers think of the Big Cheesy Novel. Starting with this back cover blurb. You can always trust back cover blurbs, right? 

#

Praise for the Big Cheesy Novel

Beautiful, lush, and a tour- de-force, the Big Cheesy Novel is the late 20th century’s Vanity Fair. Bonnie Huber is a modern Becky Sharp: a plucky, likeable heroine climbing the American social ladder of the late 1970’s. Rich, poignant, and at times hilarious, this novel sets the standard for THE American novel.

Bob Burdicker, best-selling and award-winning author of the Lucky Hands and Winning Streak.

First Online Review for the Big Cheesy Novel

✭✩✩✩✩Complete Waste of Time – The Big Cheesy Novel is a Big, Gooey Mess.

By Ann Amison-Reader

The Big Cheesy Novel is appalling, ludicrous, superficial, and a complete waste of the time it took to write this sentence. Still, I wanted to warn readers out there who might believe the false advertising on the book cover and attempt to read this thing. There are so many things wrong with this book I don’t even know where to begin.

First, do we really care about another college girl’s trip to Paris and its ripple effect through the rest of her boring life? That premise might have been okay if a more interesting character undertook the journey. But Bonnie Huber is as lame as the name sounds, with a lackluster physique to match her late-1970’s era fashion sense, though of course she’s perfect for THAT lamentable era of smock tops, bellbottoms, and earth shoes. She is as bland as stale toast on a cloudy, midwestern day.

Don’t believe what the book title advertises; it’s marketing drivel, but I guess that’s how they sell books. I was expecting delicious, gooey cheese, and lots of it, and while there is a lot of SOMETHING in this novel that stinks, it’s not cheese, not even flavorless, cellophane-wrapped American cheese which would have been at least SOMETHING.

I am insulted by the blurbs on the back cover, like the one from the so-called famous author Bob Burdicker. Never heard of Burdicker. Based on how this novel is going, I won’t be checking him out soon.

The fact is that a wimpy, unsexy girl with a bad haircut cannot sustain even a small, “serious” novel, and certainly not a big cheesy one. Take my advice, avoid reader’s indigestion, and walk away now from the Big Cheesy Novel.

#

Bonnie considered Tom’s plea. It was going to be tough enough for him to survive in Paris without any knowledge of French, but no money and no passport could have some severe consequences. Sure, he might be able to eventually find his way to the American Embassy with help from some passerby, but here she was, capable, someone he knew, someone who already knew her way around Paris. How could she turn him down? It would be cruel.

Still, turning him down was her first thought. Her only thought.

He’d needed her before. He’d needed lots of people. But his needs were driven simply by an arrogant laziness; everyone knew that, including Tom. He was smart enough to know that the easiest, surest path to success was to have others lined up eager to do his bidding. And people seemed to fall all over themselves to do just that. Bonnie wasn’t one of those people, but it wasn’t because she’d always had the guts to say ‘no’ to him. He’d rarely asked her for anything. He didn’t have to. There were already plenty of people falling all over themselves to do whatever he wanted.

They guy had charisma, whether he was hung over or not. He lit up a room, and she could see that had not changed.

They were in the land of the Louis XIV, the 16th century monarch who’d ruled France at the height of its powers. Regarded as a miracle at his birth, he was also known as le Roi Soleil – the Sun King. The Louvre, now the world’s richest museum, had been his palace.

Tom was the Sun King of Sunray Lake High.

He had, however, been less than sunny the last time he’d asked something of her. They had been taking a calculus exam, one that counted for half of their final grade. Even though it was nearing eleven a.m., Tom was still wearing the rumpled overcoat of a hangover, and he leaned close enough for her to smell the alcohol on his breath. He nodded towards her nearly complete test paper, giving her what he probably thought was a charming look. She immediately dismissed him, shocked that he was actually insisting that she help him cheat. Bonnie had been willing to share a few homework answers here and there, but letting Tom copy an entire test was something else.

The flash of annoyance that crossed his face when it was clear she had rejected his request made it clear how he felt. No one turned down the Sun King of Sunray Lake High! For the rest of the year, whenever they passed in the hall — him with a half dozen friends, her alone —she could see that she didn’t seem to register in his face at all. He’d forgotten her the moment she turned him down and quickly moved on to more accommodating subjects.

And that was fine with her.

“So you will help me out?” he asked. “Right?”

“Sure,” she said. What else could she say? “After the Louvre.” She was not going to have him messing up her plans. She didn’t have a year to bum around Europe like he did, she had just two more weeks.

“The Louvre, huh. They serve wine there?”

She knew he knew exactly what the Louvre was. And how he would have preferred to spend the afternoon. The guy had lost everything, and still the only thing that mattered to him was where his next drink was. So she shrugged and gave the same response she’d given when he’d asked her to cheat on the final calculus exam.

“Suit yourself,” she said, turning away to and continuing on her way across the Tuilleries.

“Still a hard-ass,” he said, instantly at her shoulder again, “taking everything so seriously. Not everything’s a final exam.”

She kept walking, feeling the blood rush to her face. So he had remembered.

“Look, once I get things straightened out, I’ll take you to dinner. I’ll owe you,” he said.

Bonnie gave him another look and tried hard to detect even the smallest amount of sincerity. And while it was still the face of the Sun King that beamed back at her, she thought she might have seen the slightest dimming of his damnably blue eyes. Perhaps she had convinced him that dorky Bonnie Huber still had the guts to turn him down. But she would have to decide without knowing for sure, suspecting that she was seeing what she wanted to see in those blue eyes, and not the truth.

“I said I’d help you,” she snapped, “– after the Louvre.”

— Want more cheese? Head right this way —-

Rent a Drunk – FREE!

Go on a reading binge this weekend on your Kindle! Amazon Prime members can rent my “smashing debut” mystery, Washed Up — featuring morose, alcoholic Arvo Thorson — for FREE!  If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you can get a trial membership. More details at the link*.

Anyway. There you have it. Rent the book that Library Journal called “a smashing debut….with astute observation and gorgeous prose.” If you don’t like Arvo, you can give him back when you’re done with them. Of course, I’m hoping you will like him and keep him around for awhile!

Keep Local Dollars Local, Keep Local Art Alive!

North Star Press – Welcome.

Keeping Local Dollars Local

Perhaps you’ve heard about the new plans coming out of a major online retailer. Perhaps you haven’t. But, since you’re here, I’d like to take a few moments and tell you why it’s important to buy directly from publishers, authors, or independent stores. I have 10 reasons. I’ll share them with you and maybe you’ll pass them on. Maybe together, we can create something great!

1. When you buy directly from the author or the publisher, the author and the publisher get more of your money than they get when you buy online.

2. We mostly publish books about Minnesota, and mostly written by Minnesotans. Why should the dollars leave the Midwest?

3. We support Minnesota writers and so should you!

4. We are an independent company founded to bring out books that might not find a national market. We keep even the small voices from being silenced, and when you buy our books, you support free speech!

5. We’re a family company . . . we work together and work hard to bring interesting, amazing, and challenging books to the market, and we’d like those books to find homes with people who will appreciate them.

6. We produce local products, printed locally, by companies that take care of their people. We do our part to keep our dollars local.

7. We know our books and can personally recommend something for you, if you call us. We’re here Monday through Friday, 9-5, central. 320-558-9062

8. We can connect you with our authors for book clubs, events, and appearances. We can help you get signed copies!

9. We know that all it takes is a small group of people working together to make change, and we live that belief every day.

10. And if you buy three books (any combination of titles), using coupon code “3 Books” you’ll get free shipping from us, too!

Trish Hopkinson

A selfish poet

Wordletting

Like bloodletting, but with words

Smith Avenue

Top o' the High Bridge, Twin Cities, USA

talking in elevators

Random chatter you can't escape on life, love and what's for lunch.

Substitution Magic

For those who avoid gluten, dairy, soy, eggs & yeast

The Daily Dahlia

Not so daily, but definitely Dahlia.

Attacking the Page

Martial Arts & Action-Packed Fiction