Category Archives: Comics/Humor

BOO! A Chilling Tale of Too-Too #MeToo by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

BooBOO! by Simon Plaster, featuring a cast of some of the most idiosyncratic and humorously twisted characters this side of Oklahoma City, along with his memorable female protagonist, small town reporter turned big, Henrietta, just might be one of the author’s most entertaining and LOL novels yet. In BOO!, Plaster’s latest novel, the author takes satirical jabs at a variety of subjects, including sexual mores and the “Me Too” movement. It’s a book that will delight fans of Plaster’s and anybody who enjoys reading satirical novels that point out the lighter side of controversial topics. No matter if you’re a supporter of the “Me Too” movement or a critic of it, you’ll find something to laugh and think about in the pages of BOO!

As BOO! opens, Henrietta is working in OKC writing for the OKC SCENE, and she has a new boss, Mr. Nigel Fleetwood, a man who wants to take the publication in a new direction. Affecting an English accent, Fleetwood wants the OKC SCENE to incorporate touches that have long been staples of certain UK newspapers, like including more scandalous stories about celebrities and political figures, along with photographs of naked or semi-clothed ladies.

Henrietta’s boss requests that she writes a story for the OKC SCENE about haunted houses in Oklahoma. During her research online, she reads about a haunted castle known as LeRoy’s Castle that is open to the public and features “‘almost live’ entertainment.” The Haunted Castle is beset with all sorts of rumors associated with it. When Henrietta learns that the famous Hollywood producer/director Deano DeBoffo, a character who Plaster has incorporated in past novels in the series, plans to be there soon, she senses the makings of a good news story.

Flicks: A Tale of Cinematic Docudrama, Half-Truths and Half-Fictions by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Ray Palen

FlicksThe death, or in some people’s minds, murder of the late Hollywood star and Blonde Bombshell Marilyn Monroe is at the heart of this novel…sort of. This work by author Simon Plaster is entitled FLICKS: A Tale of Cinematic Docudrama, Half-Truths and Half-Fictions. The title isn’t the only thing ambiguous about this novel. I also found it hard to nail down as far as genre for it has bits and pieces of several: Expose, Satire, Crime, Filmography… I could go on. I settled with just calling it Fiction and allowing readers to decide where they thought it best fit.

FLICKS also features many parallel narratives, most of which cross paths with each other at times throughout the novel. There is no true protagonist or antagonist, just a myriad of colorful characters. We have Hollywood filmmaker Deano DeBoffo, who is making what he refers to as a docuflick about the late Marilyn Monroe entitled The Deadly Pepper Shaker. More importantly, DeBoffo claims to have in his possession a loop of film that purportedly details the how, who and why Miss Monroe was murdered rather than being the victim of an overdose. It also allegedly depicts Monroe caught in what is essentially a porn tape with one of the characters depicted in DeBoffo’s film.

There is Henrietta — the closest thing this novel has to a moral center — who is a writer for the hometown Oklahoma City series of newspapers referred to as the OKC. She is always in search of a good story and thinks she has one that combines some of the crazier local characters with Deano DeBoffo who is temporarily stranded in Oklahoma City and not letting that slow down the research process or creation of his film.

Spots: A Tale of Star-Struck Misfame and Misfortune by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Douglas R. Cobb

Spots by Simon PlasterSpots by the talented author, Simon Plaster, is his latest satirical novel featuring a small-town reporter, Henrietta, who is from the actual small town of Henryetta, Oklahoma. In Spots, Henrietta travels to Oklahoma City, where the novel is primarily set, to report on the days leading up to a TV awards show in which awards are given to the best actors/actresses in TVCs, or TV commercials, otherwise known as “Spots.” Because of this, other than Henrietta and her mother, Wynona Sue, many recurring characters from Plaster’s other novels in the series are not featured in Spots, but that is more than made up for with his cast of new characters, including ones from famous commercials, like William Shatner, the insurance gal, Flo, and the two guys who currently are in commercials for Sonic.

The Day Momma Made Me Dance by Patrice Brown

Reviewed by Veronica Alvarado

The Day Momma Made Me DanceAs any parent will attest, deciding how best to properly discipline a child is far from easy. It is truly a daily struggle and requires a careful mix of patience, sternness, and most importantly, love. In her new picture book, entitled The Day Momma Made Me Dance, author Patrice Shavone Brown offers her own perspective on the correct way to discipline one’s children.

Brown comes to this book with years of perspective and first-hand insight. A self-described visionary, motivational speaker, and go getter, Brown is also the single mother of two children. Immediately from the dedication, she positions her underlying viewpoint for the project: “A mother is strong when her children are weak, a mother stands when everyone else sits, and a mother loves unconditionally from the beginning of birth to the end.” This philosophy of tough love resounds throughout the book.

Mock My Words by Chandra Shekhar

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

Mock My WordsMock My Words is comprised of three storylines. Each one of them is interconnected with a plot that involves a renowned author by the name of David Tan, who left China to live in the United States. The main storyline not only revolves around David’s struggles and challenges as a new teacher at John Steinbeck University in Northern California, but also portrays the stress and anxiety that David experiences while trying to survive a rough patch in his marriage. The secondary storylines involve David’s wife, Laura, and Melissa, a student at the university.

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David is worried and nervous about whether or not the students in his writing course will accept and respect him. This dilemma is due to the disconnect between his writing and his speaking. Although David writes beautiful prose, he speaks English very poorly, which makes it difficult to communicate with people. Even though he wants to share his love of classical literature with his students, they are ill-mannered and rude towards him. It does not get any easier for him when some of his colleagues rebuff him. In addition to work issues, whenever David is at home, he always feels that he has to tread carefully around his wife’s feelings in order not to upset her and possibly ruin any chances at intimacy.

Timeless Travels: Tales of Mystery, Intrigue, Humor, and Enchantment by Joseph Rotenberg


Timeless TravelsWho is today’s American Jew? Joseph Rotenberg styles himself as a modern-day maggid (traditional Jewish storyteller), weaving tales from the everyday to the fantastic, each one bringing the reader a slice of the American Jewish experience. Just as Sholem Aleichem did more than a hundred years ago in his famous stories describing Russian Jewish life, these tales inform and entertain by uncovering little-known events and personalities that have impacted the American Jewish world. In the 1950s, the late Harry Golden, in his popular collections Only in America and For Two Cents Plain, introduced Jewish culture to many non-Jewish Americans. Joseph Rotenberg’s work updates that vision to depict the contemporary, modern American Jew who is today increasingly as much at home in the halls of the Ivy League, the corridors of power in Washington, the corporate boardroom, and the theater as he is in the beit midrash and the synagogue. You’ll laugh, cry, and wonder as you travel through Joseph Rotenberg’s incisive and at times laugh-outloud funny collection of tales.

Timeless Travels is a fascinating and thought-provoking account of the experiences and travels of Jewish people throughout history, by the talented author, Joseph Rotenberg. Timeless Travels will appeal to readers of all ages. I highly recommend this page-turning collection of short stories.”

Douglas R. Cobb – Reviewer for Bestsellersworld.com

Opry: A Semi-Musical Tale of Honky Tonk Lifestyle by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Ray Palen

OpryA raucous Oklahoma City Honky Tonk; a relentless bulldog reporter; a City Councilperson on a mission; a couple on the outs competing against each other in a winner take all Karaoke Contest.

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These are just some of a handful of characters in the wild, over-the-top, country music fueled novel OPRY. Did I forget to mention there are also a string of missing women including a prospective competitor in the Karaoke Contest?

Author Simon Plaster prides himself on his satirical novels featuring characters that resemble — or closely resemble — real life characters. OPRY is a big undertaking in which Plaster, from a literary standpoint, has many balls in the air to juggle all at the same time.

V.D. “Moon” Mullins is the sleazy owner of Honky Tonk, a self-proclaimed Texas style beer joint in the heart of Oklahoma City. His place is about to host their nearly famous KaraOkie Opry singing contest. Many have entered this extremely competitive competition and a handful of these ‘talents’ are featured in the narrative of OPRY.

Clownfish Blues: A Novel (Serge Storms) by Tim Dorsey

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

Clownfish BluesAs with most Tim Dorsey novels, it is nearly impossible to pigeon-hole Clownfish Blues into a particular category.

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News: A Tale of Too Much Information and a Girl by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Chris Phillips

News:  A Tale of Too Much Information and a GirlThere are the classic Who, What, When, Where and Why in this comic thriller. The cast of characters is settling in for their new situations. They think that nothing much should be happening to upset that world, yet, they are surprisingly wrong.

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This tale of innuendo, gossip, lies, misdirection and intrigue comes across authentically as a comedy of errors and misinformation. The premise is simple enough and just subtle enough to provide a good base.

Ma Foster provides housing for her “girls,” Bella, Chloe and Kitty. Currently the three in residence are missing. Ma makes a big deal about it. She even goes to the local newspaper when the local police do not act on her fears. She does catch the attention of the out-of-work detective, the new editor of the local newspaper and last but not least the town itself.

The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain by Bill Bryson

Reviewed by Allen Hott

The Road to Little DribblingMy second trip with Mr. Bryson as he walked (mostly) along the roads, walkways, and streets of England. His writing can sometimes become a bit tiresome or boring as it basically has no dialogue. It is strictly his comments and descriptions of the places and scenery that he passes. However all of it is also laced with humor and smart-alec asides (usually that he keeps inside and doesn’t express outward to whomever he is jostling.

A quick example, “..about the Internet. It is just an accumulation of digital information, with no brains, and no feelings…just like an IT person, in fact”.

All the while he is exploring and walking he is chiding the people of England as well as the people of the United States. Bryson does have dual citizenship as he was born in Iowa and after meeting his wife while on an excursion in England years ago he decided they would live in England eventually.

As a starter he claims the British do strange things in their handling of roads and zones. He says it is not to confuse foreigners at all. They do it to confuse themselves. He does quite a dissertation on some examples.

Also he tells about a secret U.S. training mission in Slapton Sands in 1944 but somehow the Nazis had U-Boats in the area and killed close to 1000 American soldiers on landing crafts that were practicing and not actually in combat! It was one of the most lopsided routs of the war as far as America was concerned.

The entire book is filled with bits and pieces of very interesting information about the idiosyncrasies, occurrences, and people of the British Isles. Not that it is derogatory in any fashion but basically a great telling of tales that have occurred over the many years that England has been a mighty nation in this world.

Bryson has written many books and mostly they are about his musings as he travels in places all over the world. Not too long ago a very good movie was made about another of his walks……it was called A Walk in the Woods and it was a good look at Bryson and his lifestyle I guess you would say.

It won’t be long until I dig into another of his writings because he is very informative, funny and, though not too easy sometimes to read, very entertaining. Try this one and you will see!!!