Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pooka in my Pantry by R.L. Naquin: Review: Bewitching Tour Stop


Character Interview with Silas the pooka from Pooka in My Pantry:

What is something people would be surprised to know about you? 

I know it looks like I'm a bad guy, but I'm really not. Do I laugh when somebody spills coffee in her lap because I'm sitting at the next table? Sure. Do I chuckle when I walk past someone and my mojo makes him slip on a banana peel? Who wouldn't? Did I bust a gut when a piano fell on that accountant a few years back? Come on. Seriously, dollface. It looked like a cartoon from where I was standing across the street. Somebody yelled "Lookout!" when the rope snapped and BANG! Accountant all over the sidewalk like strawberry marmalade.  

I don't cause these things on purpose. It's part of who I am. Sue me if I've come to terms with my own existence and find amusement in the bad luck I cause. What? Should I hate myself?  

Maybe I'm not particularly nice, but I'm not a bad guy.

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be? 

Probably that accountant. Once I stopped laughing, I did feel kind of bad about that. If I'd stayed inside the bank a few more minutes, the rope might not have broken and that guy might still be alive. I could be wrong, though. Bad luck isn't always my fault, you know. Sometimes it's organic.

What group did you hang out with in high school?  

The one that took the day off to drink and play pool. Weren't you there with me, doll? You look familiar. 

Who should play you in a film? 

I would go with Chris Hemsworth. I hear the ladies like him these days. Most people would probably suggest Danny DeVito, but we're talking a fictionalization of my life, right? Yeah. Chris Hemsworth. Let's go with that. 

What would we find under your bed? 

Why? What have you heard? Okay, fine. Yes, Cecile and I had a thing for a while. I thought a monster under the bed would be interesting. I never really saw her, since she wouldn't come out unless the lights were off. For all I know, she was a total uggo. She was mysterious, you know? But even a pooka can get creeped out getting his ankle grabbed on the way to the bathroom. To this day I can't sleep with my foot dangling from the covers. 

Shame.  She really was the perfect woman. Didn't talk much. Never wanted me to take her anywhere. Maybe I should give her a call. 

What makes you happy? 

Frequent naps, a really good belch, and boobs. 

Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it? 

Luck is what you make of it. Unless I'm around. Then you're probably screwed.

For a free short story set in the Monster Haven world (with a bonus peek at the first chapter of Pooka in My Pantry), visit here: Ill-Conceived Magic



Pooka in My Pantry
Monster Haven, Book Two
R.L. Naquin
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Carina Press
ISBN: 978-14268-9524-1
Word Count: 89,000
Cover Artist: Croco Designs

Book Description:

Zoey Donovan—empath, wedding planner, go-to girl for monsters with personal problems—has been marked twice for pickup by Death. On both occasions, Riley the smoking-hot reaper has refused to follow through. For his breach of protocol, Riley is now on probation. For her refusal to die on schedule, Zoey's right to live is challenged. She will have to undergo a life-or-death trial, but she won't know when or where it will happen

Staying alive might not be so difficult if the Leprechaun Mafia hadn't strolled into town. Now every business owner with the slightest connection to the supernatural community is being threatened with the most appalling bad luck if they don't pay up. Mirrors are smashed, bodies are dropping, and Zoey's still got clients waiting for fabric samples.

With a little luck, she might be able to save everyone and still have time for a second attempt at a decent first date with her favorite reaper.

Chapter 1

You help one monster in need, and everybody hears about it.
The recent appearance of various monsters and mythical creatures in my life took some adjustment. But no amount of flexibility prepared me to assist in the live birth of a sea serpent in my own backyard. That’s a lot to ask of anybody.
My swimming pool looked like a major crime scene, and I was pretty sure bits of mucus mixed with dried blood flecked my hair. I’d probably have to take out a personal loan to cover the water bill once I took a three-hour shower, then drained and refilled the pool.
When the sea serpent appeared in my pool a month before, I had no clue what to do about it. Fortunately, Maurice, my resident closet monster, was quick on his feet. While I stood slack-jawed at the kitchen window, he ran to get Molly to be our translator. Fluent in all sorts of crazy creature languages ranging from house pets to gargoyles, Molly, the brownie, lived in a mushroom house in my backyard with her kids.
As it happened, she was unable to decipher a word of sea-serpentese.
Fortunately, a pygmy dragon with a nasty cold had recently spent his convalescence in my garage. Molly spoke dragonish, and Bruce, the dragon, spoke serpentese. Problem solved.
Except it took over three weeks to find Bruce, leaving us with no idea why a listless, snorting sea serpent had moved into my swimming pool. Communicating in pantomime with a creature that had no hands was futile, absurd and probably hilarious to watch.
When Bruce (via Molly) explained the situation, I did my best not to panic. The sea serpent was pregnant, but she could tell something was wrong. Naturally, she came ashore to my house for help, since everyone in the supernatural community seemed to think I had the answer to every problem.
I had no experience delivering healthy babies of any species. All I had to go on were basic anatomy and zoology classes in college, and a wealth of medical procedural shows on television. And yet, something inside me clicked when Frannie went into labor and the baby stopped moving. I jumped into the water without a thought for my spangled, dry-clean-only shirt, or for the discomfort of wet jeans and high tops. In hindsight, I should’ve at least kicked off my shoes.
I’m not sure how to describe the supreme ick factor of having both arms shoved up to the elbow inside a sea serpent’s body. The baby was turned wrong, kind of folded in half and pointed to emerge center-first, rather than in a straight line with its head or tail facing the exit.
“Don’t push, Frannie,” I said. “I have to unfold the baby or it’ll stay stuck.”
Molly made a series of grunting snorts, which Bruce translated into a series of clicks and yowls. I felt the serpent relax around my squashed arms and wrestled the slippery baby into a better position. Another contraction hit and I stopped, waiting until I had more room to work.
The mournful cry from Frannie needed no translation.
When the contraction was over, I made another grab with one hand to hold the baby steady and pulled the head with the other. I’m not a dainty woman, but I’m not big enough to palm a basketball, either. That’s what it felt like I was trying to do in there, only the basketball in question had eyes I needed to avoid poking, and it was covered in what felt like tapioca pudding.
I got a good grip on a dorsal fin at what I hoped was the back of its neck as the next contraction hit.
Clacks and snarls followed down the translation line, and Frannie pushed while I pulled. My other hand shoved, guiding the rest of the baby straight. Once the head slipped into place, nature took over, and out everything slid. Right into my pool and all over me.
As an empath, I try never to leave the house without my protective walls up. The emotions of other people tend to overwhelm and drain me. But I was at home, and I was exhausted. I’d been so focused on the birth that I hadn’t built any barriers, so there was nothing between me and the small group around me to barricade my psyche against what wasn’t mine. I stood in the frigid water, unconcerned by my shaking body or the gore that covered me.
The emotional inrush saturated me in love and happiness.
Frannie nuzzled her new offspring, and a quiet joy settled over me, warming my freezing flesh. From Molly’s direction, relief lay across my shoulders like a heated blanket, and Bruce’s delight prickled my skin in electric jolts. My eyelids burned. I closed them to relieve the sensation. My back bumped against the side of the pool, and I let my knees bend so I could float.
They shot through the other emotions like tiny arrows. My eyelids cracked open, but only for a few seconds. Nothing was wrong. All was right. My job was done, so what would it hurt to take a little rest?
Thin fingers dug into the flesh in my arms, hauling me from the pool. I made a weak attempt to slap at the intruder.
“Zoey, come on, wake up.” Maurice was there, dragging me away from the water and piling towels on my wet skin.
My eyes snapped open. Well, crap. I lay flat on the pavement, still shivering, despite the previous illusion of warmth. Bodily fluids coated my skin, and Maurice had covered me with my good towels.
The closet monster’s big yellow eyes hovered inches from my face. His worry was so intense, it blocked all the warm fuzzy stuff happening behind him. He coaxed me to my feet, fussing at the towels to keep them from sliding off, and leading me into the house.
“Seriously, Zoey. I don’t know how you stayed alive before I got here. If you didn’t drown, hypothermia would’ve had you.”

I had a blast reading this book!  Chocked full of humor, mishap, and craziness; the situations Zoey found herself in just tickled my funny bone to no end.  Packed full of unusual characters and obnoxious villains, this story simply sucked me into Zoey’s world. 
I easily related to Zoey - loved her attitude, cherished her slightly befuddled voice, but mostly I admired her spirit and her loyalty above all else.  Stalked by bad luck, an OCD Reaper supervisor, and Leprechaun henchmen, Zoey’s life is never easy. She yearns for a “normal” date with her boyfriend, Riley but is knocked off kilter by one catastrophe after another.   I laughed aloud and cheered at the innovativeness with which Zoey manages to cope with her zany problems.  She is certainly a heroine after my heart.
Pooka in My Pantry is actually the 2nd book in this magical series.  It stands alone just fine by itself but I am definitely adding her previous adventure Monster in my Closet to my already overcrowded reading list.  Ms. Naquin is my newest favorite author and I cannot wait to read more.  The humor and zest in her writing is top-notch!
This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.
Reviewed by Laurie-J

Rachel’s head is packed with an outrageous amount of useless Disney trivia. She is terrified of thunder, but not of lightning, and tends to recite the Disneyland dedication speech during storms to keep herself calm. She finds it appalling that nobody from Disney has called yet with her castle move-in date.

Originally from Northern California, she has a tendency to move every few years, resulting in a total of seven different states and a six-year stint in England. Currently, she’s planning her next grand adventure. Rachel has one heroic husband, two genius kids, several annoyed cats, and an imaginary dog named Waffles.

She doesn’t have time for a real dog.

Next Few Stops

March 16 Guest blog

March 18 Interview
Musings of an Independent Artist 

March 18 review
Apocalypse Mama

March 20 Interview

One set of Monster Haven ebooks, both Monster in My Closet and Pooka in My Pantry.
And five ebook copies, winner’s choice of Monster in My Closet or Pooka in My Pantry.


1 comment:

R.L. Naquin said...

Laurie, thanks for having Silas and I on your blog today! We had a great time. I hope he didn't leave a mess. He does that.