Puppy Power aka: Pimp Haggis Monday!

No, not this guy:
(Am I the only one that thinks of Scrappy Doo when I hear “Puppy Power”?)

This guy:
Haggis 2

Not this stuff either:
(It’s just too gross looking to be a picture bigger than that. Sorry, folks.)

This guy:

got haggis T
One of my favorite T’s πŸ™‚

Haggis has been a buddy at my writing forum since I joined. He became the horror mod (much to our laughter), I mean… congratulations a few years ago. He always has the best horror prompts and short stories. At the room where I used to hang out (where the virtual bar is – where else would I hang out? Duh.), he soon became the co-mod because our fearless leader was scarce & well… frankly…we needed watching & someone had to do it.

A wonderful friend & I went to go visit him & his girlfriend a few years back & we had a blast! I’d love to get that way again, but the summer as you know has been crazy. Maybe I’ll make it when Dustin Time 2 comes out because well, he’s the guy that shares 1/2 the blame for #2 being written along with Adam. They both nailed down who Frank was when I was too dense to figure it out myself.

Anyhoo… (no, not this Hoo) being the buddy that he is, he asked for a signed copy of Dustin Time. I cringed like I always do when a guy asks to read it. Even though everyone that has read it said they really liked it, there is still that doubt that because it’s technically “Romance”, and that’s not usually a guy thing. After much teasing about my opening shower scene, he told me he really enjoyed it. I asked for a little review (I was thinking B&N or Amazon or sumpin’) & I got this instead. Far more than I expected & written only as our loving chihuey could.

Aw hell – it’s so damn good – I have to paste the whole thing!

One Guy’s Perspective: Book Comments – Dustin Time – Part II, a Guy Friendly Chick Book

(Not to be confused with the cheap imitation where he tried to jump in as Dusty with Stewie as Kaitlyn…)
Puppy & Stew Cover

Special thanks to Kay Theodoratus, from whom I have stolen the term “book comments.”

As you may recall, in the previous blog post (Why I Wasn’t an English Major, AKA Dustin Time Part I) I mentioned the title of a book, Dustin Time, and named the author, June “Bug” Kramin. And that’s pretty much all I had to say about it. The past couple of weeks my life has been a living hell because of that, what with June Bug plotting my death and all, so I decided I’d better take the time to write out a few book comments to go along with that sterling introduction. I’m writing book comments because I never do book reviews. Never.
Here we go.
In the interest of fair disclosure, I should admit I know June Bug personally. We have had more than one cocktail together and several meals too. I have introduced her to probably the best deli in the world inside of which sits the best cheese shop in the world. At least the best cheese shop in Ann Arbor. She could have shared a piece of the cheese she bought there had she been the kind of person willing to share her cheese which she is not.
No, I have not born any of Bug’s children, but it’s safe to say we’re friends. So you might think I’d let our friendship get in the way of a fair and accurate review of her book. Perhaps it is possible I might overlook glaringly purple prose, as-you-know-Bobisms or even excessive adjectivitis. Because we’re buds it’s conceivable I might avoid commenting on two-dimensional characters, poor plotting or ghastly grammar. Because we’re pals, I might just ignore seriously bad writing and give her great props, just because.
If Bug’s book sucked, I’d tell you so. Okay, maybe not. More likely, I wouldn’t write about it in the first place in order to spare her feelings. She’d do the same for me too, I know. That’s why I know when she finally blogs about any of my stories, I’m sure it will be a good review. That is, when she reviews anything of mine. Which she hasn’t yet but will, I’m sure.
Some day.
Any day now.
So, here’s the thing. You have to understand that Dustin Time is a chick book. I mean, all you gotta do is look at the cover to figure that out. I knew that going in, and the last time I checked I’m not a chick. So I wasn’t quite sure what I’d be getting myself into when I started reading. I did know Bug is insane and that she’s funny as sin. I hoped some of that would come through in the story to help get me over the hump of all the “relationship” crapola that would of necessity also be there in a chick book, draining my man-energy and forcing me to take periodic breaks flipping through chain saw catalogs in order to set my head straight. As it turns out, I didn’t have to do that. Bug fixed it for me. How, you ask? Shower scenes.
I’ll explain. But first you need to know a few things about the story.
See, there’s this chick, Kaitlyn who’s seeing this guy Dustin. There’s not a thing wrong with Dustin. He’s handsome, clever, funny, employed… But Kaitlyn, being a chick, has to find something wrong with him (if you’re a guy you’ll understand what I’m talking about here). Dustin’s younger than her, and in Kaitlyn’s mind this justifies ending the relationship–notice I just used the dreaded “R” word. So Kaitlyn’s thinking about all of this when she steps into the shower. She stops thinking about it when Dustin lets himself into her house (she gave him a key) and joins her in the shower, which is sort where I started paying attention to the story. And it’s that kind of thing which is repeated enough in the story so that it kept my attention from cover to cover. In other words, Dustin Time may be a chick book, but Bug wrote it with enough bait so a guy could enjoy it as well.
There are other things that make this novel guy-friendly. Kaitlyn travels back and forth in time repeatedly which is a kind of science fictiony thing which guys dig. Especially when you throw in the occasional grope, which Bug does. That is to say Bug writes about the gropes. She doesn’t grope herself. It’s Kaitlyn who does the groping. Well, Dustin too, but you know how guys are. Anyhow, there’s lots of groping. There’s an old janitor too, but I’m not going to talk about him, except to say he doesn’t grope. He might have when he was younger.
Don’t get me wrong. This book is certainly not pRon, nor is it erotica–not that there’s anything wrong with that. But there is enough sexual tension in it to maintain a guy’s…um…attention.
It has an ending too. A good ending. But I’m not going to tell you what it is because if I did there’d be no reason for you go out and buy this book, which you should. While you’re doing it, keep in mind that there will be a sequel too. And you’ll really like the sequel. I know, because I’ve been privy to some of the plot points. And you haven’t. Pbthhhht.
So guys, go ahead and get out your credit card and go here to order your copy of Dustin Time. If you don’t want the other guys to know you’ve ordered it, use your first initial on the order form. No one will be the wiser, and I won’t report you for any man-card violation. By the time you’re halfway through the first shower scene you’ll thank me.
You can tell his style of writing by this awesome review…er…. Book Comment. His blog is always a “hoot” to read. You get such a fun perspective on an otherwise usually “pain-in-the-bahooky” subject & sometimes just nonsense to crack you up.

As you can see, it’s is so tenderly pointed out that I didn’t review his book. My bad. I sent an e-mail that I enjoyed it, but I hadn’t yet gotten into slapping reviews everywhere I could or even my Pimp Mondays yet so…. even though it was too long ago to give such an awesome “plug” for him, I’ll give it a shot.

(it’s a linky)

The Blob and the Sous Chef is a collection of a lot of different short stories. Here’s the blurb:

Author Steve Barber’s unique take on relationships, life, death, and human nature are explored in this collection of short stories. He looks into our memories, our fears, even our deepest secrets. Reflected in a cracked mirror, you may see the woman down the street, whose son seems just a little off, the literary writer who let his rejections get to him a bit too much, the young man whose turn it is to take over a terrible family obligation, or the celebrated chef whose gambling gets him in way more trouble than he thought possible. Or you just may find your own secret self hiding among the pages.

Barber’s cast of characters includes ghosts, vampires, one of the undead, a serial killer, some creepy, terrifying creatures and one very hungry little boy.


Like he said, just because we’re friends you can’t lie. I am afraid I’m biased though because I do love him so. I hear him in the stories & it does make them a lot more fun for me. I’m not a novella/short story fan nor a horror fan, but there was no way I was passing up getting something of his. I was not surprised at all to have some stories making me laugh out loud while others made me want to send him text messages. “Puppy… you is a sick bastid.”Β  πŸ˜‰

In Minnesota you hear, “That’s different,” here & there. You aren’t always sure whether that’s a good thing or not. Well, I’m going to say this is different and hope it’s taken well. This is the most unique blend of odd stories I have ever read & will again… at least until he writes his next book. I wish I hadn’t waited so long or I could be more detailed. I remembered the giggles as I read “Woman Training” but no other specific details other than the pup has a way with words. I remember sending him an e-mail and named one story in particular but I can’t remember now. 😦 Wish I brought my Nook to work – I’d look it up. If you want a little blast of something not the traditional “cookie cutter stories” we’ve read over & over with different twists, give it a shot. Giggles AND gore. What more could you want?


Thanks for the great review, Pup. Wish I could have done yours more justice.Β  Get on that next one & I’ll work on my review skills. In the meantime… here. We good?



6 thoughts on “Puppy Power aka: Pimp Haggis Monday!

  1. Well, I’m not surprised that he liked your book, June. I remember once that some nutjob (Mac) made him temporary mod of the romance forum. Oh, the memories. It wasn’t long before us romance writers were guzzling beer, with Haggis in a cage and being forced to listen to all the non-sexy bits of our romance novels. We got him trained up for ye, June! He’s a good doggy!

    AKA dolores

    • Tee Hee… I must have missed that Mod-age! . I don’t know why I get such a kick out of dudes liking it…but I do πŸ™‚ So far they are all friends so I’m sure there is some bias there.

  2. GAH!Diane. Somehow I’d managed to successfully block that memory and now here you go opening old wounds.
    People you have no idea how vicious a pack of female romance writers can be. It was horrible. Just horrible.

    Bug, thanks so much for pimping my little collection. What ever gave you the idea to do it? πŸ˜‰ Well, it doesn’t matter. What with a bottle of 21 year old single malt between us, it won’t take long for us to forget that either of us had just pimped the other.

    BTW, I have also stolen your “I found this humerus” JPG. I will soon find some new place to post it and I will claim credit for posting it too.

    • S’okay.. I think I stole it from you ages ago. Ain’t old age great? πŸ˜‰ I’ll pimp you again in a year or so & it’ll be like new πŸ˜€

  3. I have his book, but haven’t read it yet. I have to get cracking on it.

    Thanks for your descriptions of the the stories. And now I can picture him shaking his head, sitting down at the bar, and ordering a beer.

    It’s okay, Haggis, I’ll make sure to have it read before I see you…and then I’ll buy you either cheese or a beer. πŸ˜€

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