Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Two for One Spotlight & Extract: Cupid F*cks Up & My T(r)oyboy is a Twat by Paula Houseman

Cupid F*cks Up
Ruth Roth is a straight shooter. Pity Cupid’s not.
Smart-mouth Ruth is an inspirational humour columnist for a popular women’s magazine. Recently divorced, she has found the love of her life. Without any help, mind you, from the little fat love god. Ruth has decided she herself is her one and only.
And she’s in a comfy place. Why wouldn’t she be? No need to yell ‘Put the bloody toilet seat down!’ No need to hoover toe-nail clippings off the carpet.
But then a silver-tongued Prince Charming fronts up in his shiny Merc and tickles her discarded, little-girl fantasies. He tells her their love is written in the stars.
It must be a misprint.
A romance with this particular PC is not so PC! Still …
Ruth’s life plays out more like ancient myth than fairytale. And what hot-blooded woman can resist forbidden fruit?
There's a problem, though. Ruth does not have a hot-blooded mum. Ruth has a pain-in-the-arse mum whose squawking disapproval cranks the taboo up a notch.
All the more reason to take up with the stud! But it means taking on the harpy.
Tensions mount, and even Ruth’s man can’t protect her from the trash-talking voices in her head. It looks like he can’t muzzle his own either. When an earth-shattering revelation causes him to give her grief, it makes her feel like she’s dating her mother.
Taking the kind of advice she doles out to her readers is not so easy, and Ruth wonders if this love can survive. More to the point, is it worth the trouble?

Amazon UK      Amazon US 


The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I stepped onto Portnoy’s front porch, which was guarded by one of her gnomes. Lazy little bastard was reclining on his left side. He held a pipe in his right moulded hand and stared at me with cold, hard eyes. I stuck my middle finger up at him, but then thought better of it. I gave him a horn hand gesture—the index finger and pinky up, the thumb holding the two middle fingers down. It was to ward off the evil eye.
Dear God, I am turning into my crazy, superstitious mother!
The gesture seemed fitting, though. I felt like I was approaching the threshold of Hades. I rang the doorbell, which made a long bzzzt sound loud enough to wake the dead. Also fitting. There was no answer. I rapped hard on the door. Still no answer. I turned to leave. My breath caught as I knocked over an old broom propped up against the wall. Jesus! Try parking your fucking vehicle in the driveway like a normal person!
I stepped off the porch and looked left. I noticed one of the narrow casement windows on either side of the main fixed one was open a crack. I edged closer. She was there all right. I heard her shuffling around in the lounge. I crept over to the big window, stood on tippy-toes and peered through the rhombic venetian spyhole. As I took in the dark, squalid room, she came out of left field, the side of her face smack bang against the gaping maw. I gasped. She started turning towards the sound. I jumped back, and squatted down so I was out of sight.
It wasn’t entirely true that I’d never seen Portnoy. Even though I often worked on my laptop in the dining room, I’d never seen her during the day. But I’d caught a glimpse of her one night while I was watching TV. I’d heard a noise outside, so I ran over to the window and opened the shutters a fraction, just enough to snatch a furtive glance. Illuminated by the streetlight, Portnoy appeared as a silhouetted figure. She was making her way to her letterbox with the teetering gait of someone who was sozzled. Drunk as a skunk, she was just like this nocturnal creature that creates a stink from the shadows.
But now that I was so close to her, I felt cold and clammy and feared I might pass out. I dropped my head down between my knees and the lightheadedness started to abate. I considered aborting the mission, but I’d come this far, and needed to look the enemy in the eye. First, it was imperative that I map my trajectory just in case I had to flee. I turned around to take in the positions of all the earthenware cretins dotting her front yard.
I gasped again. Directly behind me, one of Portnoy’s gun-toting figurines had his weapon trained on me. Bugger off, hard-arse! She’s always loaded; your gun is not. I looked past him and inspected the yard. Jesus Christ! Portnoy was deranged. There in amongst her private army was a new gnome. With arms folded behind his head and sunbaking on his back on a green clay fringed towel, he was stark naked except for his blue boots, a red hat, sunglasses, a feather sticking out of his mouth, and a pubic hair fig leaf around his little stone penis—above it, not covering it. His cheeks were ruddy; probably sunburnt. Well, clearly, someone hadn’t Slip-Slop-Slapped. Serves you right, arsehole.
I stood up, faced the window again and inched towards it. I heard Portnoy talking—the woman had a gravelly voice. She was either having a conversation with herself or she was on the phone. Once again, I craned my neck and peered through the gap.
The phone pressed to her ear—she was probably reporting in to Sylvia—she had her back to me, but it was still a spine-chilling sight. Quelle beast! A towering woman, she was shaped like a prize-winning pear, with a narrow upper body and a humungous derrière. A thatch of straggly, straw-like, DIY bleached hair sprung from her head and blended in with the mangy, skanky cat hanging off her shoulder. I sucked in a deep, shuddering breath. Portnoy heard and whipped around towards the window.
Sweet suffering Jesus. I was about to shit my pants!
He who advocated looking the enemy in the eye must have been spouting from an ivory tower. Yet, like staring at a train wreck, I couldn’t look away. This particular enemy was a bug-eyed monster. One of her peepers bulged like a giant orb.
Ice blue and surrounded by a mofo sclera—surprisingly, barely bloodshot—it was this that had been filling the space between the slats. It probably protruded permanently and to such an extent from favouring it too much during her stake-outs (just like that section between the venetians had ended up in a permanent, yawn-like form). Oh man. This was worse than when Sylvia had hung her evil-eye bead on my cupboard door to ward off the demonic spirits that might influence me to surrender my virginity. Or, to bare my boobs in the centrefold spread of a football magazine (like Maxi had done when we were seventeen). Only, where that ‘eye’ was glass, this was the real deal. Forget the Hydra. I was living opposite a Cyclops!

My T(r)oyboy is a Twat
Love, romance, marriage, and a dark little secret. Shh … Small things let loose can grow out of hand.
Ruth Roth’s new husband can’t keep it in. If only he had all those years ago, things might be different now.
His big mouth sends every family member into hell. Except for Ruth’s late mother. She blows in from there. Seems the woman just won’t die. Or let up. Faaaark!
As if Mama’s earbashing isn’t enough, everyone else needs a scapegoat. Ruth is it. Somehow, this mess is her fault.
With everything falling apart, she feels overwhelmed. Until a hunky celebrity pants man—who clearly wants to get into hers—befriends her and makes her feel all warm and fuzzy. At the same time, an educated silicone seductress has designs on hubby.
Temptation abounds. But it’s overshadowed when a startling discovery throws Ruth and her man into uncharted waters, and life comes crashing down.
Ruth has survived plenty with the help of her friends. And as a writer, her wry wit, dirty muse, and a bent for ancient mythology have sustained her. This, though, might be her undoing.

Paula Houseman was once a graphic designer. But when the temptation to include ‘the finger’ as part of a logo for a forward-moving women’s company proved too much, she knew it was time to give away design. Instead, she took up writing.
She found she was a natural with the double entendres (God knows she’d been in enough trouble as a child for dirty wordplay).
As a published writer of earthy chick lit and romantic comedy, Paula gets to bend, twist, stretch and juice up universal experiences to shape reality the way she wants it, even if it is only in books. But at the same time, she can make it more real, so that her readers feel part of the sisterhood. Or brotherhood (realness has nothing to do with gender).
Through her books, Paula also wants to help the reader escape into life and love’s comic relief. And who doesn’t need to sometimes?
Her style is a tad Monty Pythonesque because she adores satire. It helps defuse all those gaffes and thoughts that no one is too proud of.
Paula lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband. No other creatures. The kids have flown the nest and the dogs are long gone.

Twitter     Goodreads     Facebook     LinkedIn