Sunday, 13 February 2011

The Voodoo Valentine's Review: How To Meet A Guy At The Supermarket by Jessica L. Degarmo

...Now see how a real author puts it better... Jessica L. Degarmo on Amazon

...The conclusion being that I've just been looking in the wrong places for romance all of my life, so whatever I do next obviously can't involve nightclubs, or loitering in cemeteries. I can't believe all that time spent as a teenager was wasted. Except of course for the zombie muses, but with a name like Voodoo Spice I don't think that comes as a big surprise.

Anyway, on the HarperCollins writer's forum website,, is a lot of talent. And some of them can write as well! And most of them, I can't even picture having spent any time at all sitting in trees, sneaking around in burnt-out derelict buildings, or reading gravestones when they were youngsters. It is a real eye-opener.

One of my favourite authors on the site so far, whose writing skills go far beyond the range of my immediate knowledge (trust me, after understanding the concept of a Valentine card, I have no experience what the rest of the stuff on sale this time of year is used for) is Jessica L. Degarmo. Now published by Night Publishing, I bought her first novel "How To Meet A Guy At The Supermarket" soon as it was available on, and a hilarious migrating decimal-point pricing error had been addressed. I mean, wow. Like she said herself "I can't wait to see what the royalty on that is!"

So the book arrived, featuring a lovable character called Quinn, whose dilemmas meeting men are only matched by the challenges of keeping her writing column entertaining, and once she hits upon a way to combine the requirements of both, puts on her best produce aisle-strutting shoes and heads out to practise squeezing grapefruit with intent.

But real men out doing their weekly food shop aren't there to be plucked from the shelves like a special offer. Quickly sussed out by the staff, and confusing the occasional entirely well-meaning elderly gentleman or First Aider presented by her antics, she wonders how she's ever meant to find a relationship - or write a popular themed column - when she's closer to being barred from the store and restraining orders than to any dates.

But dates she does find, from a handsome beach babe to a Mr. Average with the passion of a cornflake, to finding love in the form of replacing her imaginary lost dog with a real one. And all along, you kind of know she's going to fall on her feet by the end...

Jessica's style of writing is perfect for romantic comedy, how she pushes her female protagonist to the cringe-worthy limits of a singleton's comfort zone, but brings her in line with humour and her character's own sense of the absurd in her situation.

I said to Jessica, having read this in one sitting, that I felt like I was watching a Jennifer Aniston movie. The story is so accessible and the humour so warm, and the character so identifiable, that I'm sure in the right hands it could go a long way indeed.

If you're single this Valentine's, (and zombie tales don't do it for you, although I can't think why not!) Jessica's laugh-out-loud book can be found on Amazon now in paperback and Kindle. Enjoy :)

L xxxxxxxx

1 comment:

  1. I've read the book myself and couldn't agree more. Great review!