Book Review: “9 Lovers for Emily Spankhammer” by T.J. Brown and Kaleesha Williams

The great comic novelist and book lover Noah Goats once told me, “Books lead on to books, and sometimes in strange ways. They all seem to be connected somehow.” This is a good example. After reading T.J. Brown’s excellent ghost story The Last Photograph of John Buckley, I looked to see what else he had written. And the first thing that grabbed my eye was the image you see at the right.

Well, I mean, how could I resist?

As the cover suggests, this is a raunchy, bawdy comedy. Emily Spankhammer is a young, widowed Southern Belle who runs a beaver farm. And in case you are wondering if that leads to many, many Are You Being Served?-style double-entendres, why, yes, yes it does. It is that kind of book, and I’m not ashamed to say it made me laugh.

In her quest to find love, Emily is aided by her spirit guide, a wisecracking pink unicorn named Sparkle. Despite his appearance, Sparkle is, shall we say, anything but pure or nice. As he explains to Emily, he has been forced by the Ancient Greek Gods into the role of spirit guide after his decadent hedonism indirectly led to the destruction of Atlantis.

I’m not doing it justice. Let me quote Sparkle verbatim:

“This is the realm of gods and monsters, you silly woman. They don’t have moral codes in that place. If you’d spent more time watching sword-and-sandal movies, you’d know that. This is the domain of passion, of jealousy, of revenge, blood feuds, and raging hormones.”

Sparkle and Emily’s relationship is a turbulent one. Actually, all her relationships are turbulent, whether it’s with a mechanic whose home is filled with fake owls, a circus ringmaster, or a Scottish Highlander. Are you getting a sense now of what a wild story this is?

The long and short of it is, it’s a hilarious, madcap adventure. It reminded me a little of Richard Pastore’s The Devil and the Wolf and a little of Lindy Moone’s Hyperlink From HellIt’s not a coincidence that the best comparisons I can think of are indie books. This is what makes reading indie books so rewarding: these are the kind of unusual stories that publishers are too risk-averse to take a chance on, but are an absolute delight to read.

Now, I’ll admit that some readers might not see the appeal in it. If you don’t like raunchy humor, then it isn’t for you. But if you’re in the mood for a zany, somewhat off-color, fast-paced take-off of romance novels, you should give this one a try.

[Audio version of this post available below.]


    1. Thank you. And yes, that show had so many memorable lines:
      “Are you free?”
      {looks around thoughtfully at completely empty store.}
      “At the moment.”

    1. 1) Haha yes, maybe I should highlight books that are available for free. There are a number of good ones on Kindle!

      2) For years, my local PBS station would show reruns of Are You Being Served every weeknight. I think I saw every episode. And yes, Mrs. Slocombe was great.

    2. Your comment set me thinking about free ebooks to recommend. One that came to mind almost immediately was The Gossamer Globe, by Abbie Evans. Now, it’s probably not to everyone’s taste, but personally I found it to be a hilarious swashbuckling adventure full of lust, intrigue, betrayal and sword fighting.

      But… I don’t think I’ve been able to convince anyone else to read it yet, which is a shame because I think it deserves more attention. So, if you want something to read that won’t cost anything:

What's your stake in this, cowboy?