Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blog Tour: Barking Mad by Jamieson Ridenhour (Review + Guest Post + Giveaway)

Genre:Supernatural, Mystery
Publication.Date  June 6th 2011
Published By:  Typecast Publishing    | 
WebsiteJamieson Ridenhour

Barking Mad - Goodreads
My review copy:Received from Kismet Blog Touring for the blog tour
Where to get:  Amazon

     The year is 1931. The scene is werewolfishly classic English fare. And tonight the moon hangs as full as a royal pie plate in this inaugural Reginald Spiffington mystery when the none too obsequious playboy, Reggie, sets out for a delectably long weekend at Huffsworthy Hall to assist his dear friend, Moony, in his failing endeavor to take the hand of his lady-love and to partake in the culinary talents of the genius chef running the kitchen. With no one reason more important than the next, he ll be off straight after breakfast. Reggie s itinerary for the weekend turns abruptly less toothsome when he decides to solve the unexpected murder of another of the Hall s guests, a guest whose luggage is secretly packed full of nefarious plans. Soon, all Huffsworthy s inhabitants are potential suspects, including Reggie s saucy, quick-witted love-interest, Mimsy Borogrove. Aided by his invaluable valet, Pelham, and armed only with his knowledge of detective novels and a newly acquired set of keener, canine senses, Reggie sets out to find the killer before another meal falls to ruin.

Now, I love Moony as a brother. Best of the best, bosom what-do-you-call-it, all that. But it is the considered opinion of his nearest and dearest that reaching Moony's "wit's end" is at best a short walk and one in which you're unlikely to break a sweat. No disrespect intended.
 "The telephone, sir. It was ringing as I came from the street. It's your grandfather."
"Does he sound in a remonstrating mood?"
"He did apply several adjectives to your name which are not commonly deployed when one is feeling satisfied with the subject to which they are applied, sir."
"Nag?" he repeated dangerously, seizing on the least important portion of my speech as I saw it. "My Abercombie is a nag?"
"Well, it's hardly a sprightly animal, is it? I mean to say, we all but flung a roadster at the poor thing's head and it still stands there as if it's been fly-papered."

     Barking Mad is one insanely funny book! I had a BLAST reading it and will definitely recommend it to everyone I know. It's a deliciously savvy blend of historical fiction, comedy, and fantasy/supernatural (werewolves!). Ridenhour's deft and witty writing style makes for a delightful and totally exhilarating read. I can't remember last time I laughed so hard when reading a book! OMG, can I please have more of that?!

      Set in 1930s England, Barking Mad tells a story of Reggie Spiffington, who, in order to help his "readily upset and easily depressed" friend, Moony, win the heart of the beautiful Arabella Biscuit, agrees to join him at Huffsworthy Hall for the long weekend. What promised to be a moderately delectable few days filled with culinary delights (the Huffsworthy chef is supposedly a culinary expert like no other!) and playing matchmaker for his close bud, turns out to be so much more than anyone (especially poor Reggie) ever expected. Not only is our character constantly verbally attacked by Fitchley Skorjenhensen (a Swedish brute), but he also gets bitten by a werewolf, and, when one of the other guests turns up dead, Reggie takes it upon himself to solve the mysterious murder case! Talk about an eventful weekend! Thank God for Pehlam! Without his invaluable sidekick/valet, our silly playboy would be in real trouble!

     From the moment I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. It's intelligent, laugh-out-loud hilarious, and highly entertaining. Unique and flavorful. Jamieson Ridenhour's ability to both enthrall the reader with his posh 1930's language, and at the same time make him/her laugh long and hard, is truly extraordinary. There aren't enough writers like him. He is no doubt a glittering wordsmith, destined to be a bestselling author. Plus, being only 172 pages long, Barking Mad is a  fairly quick read that you'll find hard to turn away from. I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't enjoy it.

      Considering the length of this book, the characters were remarkably well-drawn and dynamic. Each of them brings something unique to the story and I had a lot of fun watching them interact with each other - whether it was tips on dating, flirting, quarreling or just a friendly conversation. I especially enjoyed the hilarious back-and-forth between Reginald and Fitchley, and Reginald and Sir Lionel - best verbal slaps you could possibly imagine! I loved the sarcasm. The dialogues were sharp, intelligent and oh-so-funny! It was such a pleasure to read this book, I ended up wishing it was longer. I didn't want the story to end. I really wanted to read more about Reggie and Pelham. I hope it's a beginning to a great new series, rather than a stand-alone novel, cause I definitely want more of this pure awesomeness!

      Fabulous characters, wicked plot, katana-sharp humor and a beautiful historical setting - what could I possibly want more? It's a fabulous book. And just so fun to read!


About the author:
Jamieson Ridenhour is the author of Barking Mad: A Reginald Spiffington Mystery, available from Typecast Publishing in June of 2011. He is the editor of the Valancourt edition of Sheridan Le Fanus 1872 lesbian vampire novella Carmilla, as well as creator of the award-winning short fairy-tale horror film Cornerboys.
The South Carolina native now lives in Bismarck, ND, where he writes poetry about movie monsters and murder-mysteries with werewolves in them. He also plays wicked lead guitar with Bismarck-based rock and roll band Blind Mice, lectures on vampires and Charles Dickens (though not at the same time), and generally frolics on the plains. He lives with his wife Gwyn and their two children Ian and Eva.
You can stalk him here: website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

And now something even more fun! A fabulous guest post from the phenomenal author himself! :) 

A Guest Post by Jamieson Ridenhour

     I’m really happy to be here at the Bookish blog, and grateful to Evie for hosting this stop on the Barking Mad blog tour. Evie asked me to talk about the timeline for publishing Barking Mad, and to do that I guess I need to go back to 2009, when I first had the idea to combine werewolves and murder with P.G. Wodehouse-style comedy.

      The idea hit me in the shower, as most good ideas do. I love all three of these genres (the 1930s British comedy, the classic murder-mystery, and the old-style Universal horror films), and I thought it would be really cool if all three happened at once. I had the basic concept in place by the time I towelled off. I began writing Barking Mad (which was without a title at the time) in November of 2009 as part of National Novel Writing Month. My son and my daughter were doing it with me, and we all happily typed away. I did not make the goal, falling way short of the 50,000 challenge, but I did have the start of what I thoguht was a pretty good book.

     The ubiquitous advice articles for aspiring writers often say that getting published is a matter of knowing the right people and being in the right place at the right time. I always found that to be singularly unhelpful advice. How could I control that sort of thing?

     In February of 2010, I got a visit from Jen Woods, an old grad school friend who I hadn’t seen in over a decade. In those ten years, Jen had worked as an editor for various presses, eventually starting an award-winning poetry magazine which led to the founding of her own publishing company—the amazing little literary press Typecast. I run a speaker series at the university where I teach, and I brought Jen in to talk to students about the publishing industry and the state of poetry in the 21st century. While she was here, I pitched a version of my short film Cornerboys, which had just won a couple of awards and which I thought would make a great illustrated book (I still do—hint, hint to any publishers out there…). She passed on Cornerboys, but wanted to know if I had any fiction I could submit. I had the first fifty pages of Barking Mad lying dormant in my computer, and I gave it to her to take back to Louisville. Two weeks later Jen called and said she and her partner loved it. They wanted a complete manuscript by May, and would that be a problem? I said of course that wouldn’t be a problem, and then I hung up the phone and wondered how I’d possibly write most of a book in three months.

     I did it, mainly by getting up very early to write (a habit I still have) and by squeezing in a couple hundred words any time I had a break of any kind during the day. The first draft was turned in first week of May, 2010, and a contract was signed at that point. The summer was spent revising, based on feedback from advance readers and from Jen, who is as talented and gracious an editor as she is a savvy business woman. We also spent a lengthy period in the summer and fall of 2010 debating titles. “Barking Mad” actually came pretty late in the game, and I won’t embarrass myself by sharing some of the other titles that were being tossed around. The final draft (with title) was completed and approved in August.

     Then it went into the design phase, which for me meant sitting back and waiting. Typecast pay a lot of attention to the book as art object, and they spend a lot of time making their products as physically attractive as possible. Barking Mad has illustrations by Ali LaRock, who I also work with on the animated horror films I make. The book’s cover was designed by Eric Woods at Firecracker Press in St. Louis, and Firecracker also letter-pressed the covers. That means all the covers for Barking Mad were hand-printed on vintage letter-presses (and vintage paper!) and then shipped off to the commercial printer who assembled the final product. It’s gorgeous—I’m very proud of the look of the thing.

     That takes us into early 2011. Initial review copies went out in May, I think, and the final printing was done at the same time. I worked during the spring booking the Barking Madnesstour of bookstores, which happened in July. The book itself was released on June 13th, 2011. The whole process was smooth and painless, mainly because the folks at Typecast are such a joy to work with. Barking Mad is my first novel, but from what I understand this was a relatively quick turn around. It was under two years from my shower epiphany to the book being in stores. And now I’m spoiled—I want it this way for every book. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Jamie is offering a giveaway for all entries gathered during the Tour. A signed copy of Barking Mad, 4 unique signed character cards and a DVD.

Open US/Canada.

Enter through Raffl below!
(if you can't see it, you need to click on "Read more>>" (pink button)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Stops 
(make sure to visit them all!)

Monday, February 6th – Reel Swell Blog – Character Interview with Reggie Spiffington
Tuesday, February 7th – A Casual’s Reader Blog - Writing About Historical Eras
Wednesday, February 8th – Evie Bookish
Thursday, February 9th – My Bookish Way’s 
Friday, February 10th – Bewitched Bookworms

Monday, February 13th – Sitting Here and Read
Tuesday, February 14th – Books and  Things
Wednesday, February 15th - Books and Other Creative Adventures 
Thursday, February 16th – Sweeping Me
Friday, February 17th - Reviews by Mary

Monday, February 20th – Unabridged Andra
Tuesday, February 21st - Buried in Books
Wednesday, February 22nd – Hooked on Books
Thursday, February 23rd -Glorious Books
Friday, February 24th –  A Cupcake and A Latte 

Thank you Danny and Heather from Kismet Blog Touring for organizing this fantastic blog tour! :)

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


One Pushy Fox said...

I loved this book too! Pelham was by far my favorite: I adored his bone dry sarcasm!!!

DJL said...

This book sounds just too funny! And it involves werewolves, so that means it's definitely on my TBR list. :) Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

Barbara E. said...

Barking Mad sounds like a fantastic story. I love the 1930's English setting, and that the book is a great blend of historical fiction, comedy and paranormal. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

this sounds like a great book. Loved your review.

ZaraAlexis said...

Thanks Evie for your enthusiastic review. I'm all for an intelligent, funny read with the turning of a werewolf. Hope I win!

Zara D, Garcia-Alvarez
On Twitter: @ZaraAlexis

Lolawid said...

Great review, and I really enjoyed the author interview! It's always wonderful to read about the process that it takes to create a book! Thanks!

Unknown said...

thank you for the giveaway! :D

Sayomay said...

THis sounds totaly epic! :DD Def not ur typical werewolf book!

Anonymous said...

This sounds hilarious and ooh werewolves! Gotta read it. Thanks!

Enbrethiliel said...


It sounds like Wodehouse with werewolves! LOL!

Thanks for letting me know about another great book to put on my wishlist. =)

Jaime Lester said...

From the first line of this synopsis, I knew that this one had to be a funny read. Actually, I had a feeling from the title. I wouldn't have even picked up this title before, but I saw it in your review pile, and found a blurb that fascinated me. I really have GOT to STOP judging books by their covers. I would think that by now, I would have learned my lesson. Sigh. Anywho, this book sounds right up my alley, and thanks to your review, I have a new determination to play by the judging cover rules.

Fenny Wong said...

Werewolves! I didn't expect that. The cover is beautiful, though. :)

Unknown said...

"Barking Mad"- I instantly thought of werewolves and I was right! What I wasn't expecting was that it's a funny book! Would love to read this! Added to my TBR list. Thanks for your thoughts! :))

Books Glorious Books said...

I also took part in this tour (as Glorious Books) and loved the book just the same!

aliaa said...

I have never heard of this book before. It sounds really interesting! I would love to read it too!

Diana Terrado said...

I have not read anything by Jamieson.. I would love to read the book though, :) Nice review!

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