At War With Cupid ... The Winners & a Bunch of Losers

Romance - Comedy
294 Pages
Reviewed on 05/04/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Paula Houseman thought her life was, well ... meh. Until she started fiction writing. Memories flooded back and she realised her existence had not been mundane at all; it had been bloody ridiculous!

And little wonder. Her muse is the potty-mouthed goddess of obscenity. Paula rediscovered this butt-ugly immortal while she was researching her university Honours thesis—fossicking around in ancient mythology, home to the archetypes of modern-day reality.

She, who embodies a holy kind of dirty, showed Paula the absurdity of the human condition and reminded her about the healing value of laughter. This irrepressible force that has the whip hand in Paula’s psyche is responsible for the bawdiness in her books, 'Odyssey in a Teacup' and 'Apoca[hot]lips'.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite

When I first dug into Apoca(hot)lips by Paula Houseman, my eyes bugged out and laughter bubbled up out of me. The main character, a divorcee called Ruth, has a somewhat tenuous relationship with her ‘cousin’ Ralph. Ralph is on a journey of his own to find out what he can about his birth mother. You see, they’re only sort of cousins. But it isn’t just Ralph making Ruth’s life more difficult than she’d like it to be. Her mother is a piece of work, her neighbors are making life difficult and, in general, Ruth has the entire world conspiring to turn her life upside down. Sounds like a lot of drama, right? Well, it is, but in the best possible way.

It took a while for me to warm up to Apoca(hot)lips and it had nothing to do with whether or not Ralph had a legit spot on the family tree. Paula Houseman has a unique writing style that took time to get used to, but the story telling and character development were solid. I truly appreciated Ruth’s tough as nails, “I ain’t no damsel" way of looking at the world. The way she takes on the people screwing with her own acceptance of her distorted fairytale was priceless and so true to her character that you couldn’t help but cheer her on. Ruth was unapologetic in her new approach to life and I found it admirable as well as highly entertaining.

WordsAPlenty - Charla White

Paula Houseman’s Apoca[hot]lips is an amazing new romantic comedy. In Apoca[hot]lips we see where Ruth Roth moves on after her divorce and discovering that Ralph is NOT her cousin! We see Ruth take on her mother and father, neighbors, come to terms with her ex-husband, her children and her new “in-laws” who have special and unique ties to her and her family!

“Everyone fought for a front row seat at the window after I closed the door. We watched the cops make their way across to Portnoy’s. Light seemed to be giving Dark a mouthful. They stopped in front of her yard, surveyed it from the footpath. I saw the diamond shape in her blinds get bigger. And Lighter. Her eye must have nearly popped out.”

I loved the interaction between her and her neighbor! It made me recall with a huge smile all the neighborhood fights I witnessed between my dad and the crazy guy across the street. I laughed until my husband asked if I needed to see a doctor!

Then there are the incidents involving her mother, Sylvia. Houseman relays the incidents with humor but also with eye opening insight into what was really being said or done and how her mother might have actually felt.

“Over the years she’d crafted a whole bag of tricks to make me feel responsible for her misery. When one, or ten, didn’t’ work, she’d pull another out of the hat. I didn’t’ always see it for what it was.”

Paula Houseman is a very talented author with a profound ability to be both funny and perceptive. Her style of storytelling is down to earth, real and importantly funny! There are moments of gravity, of course, but through it all her gift to her readers is one that is almost a therapeutic session. She shares insights, emotions and the reality of relationships that both captivates and helps to ease one into looking at things in a different light.

Sure, sometimes it is easier to go to bed, throw the blankets over you and hide for the rest of your life but where is the fun in that? Where is the growth in that? Houseman takes real life and gives it to her audience; it is said that laughter is the best medicine. So if you’re in need of a good laugh, run do NOT walk to the nearest online or physical book store. Paula Houseman’s Apoca[hot]lips is the book to get; prepare for hours of laughter as well as a book that will stick with you longer after you turn the last page. There will be times when you cannot help but think back to her book and begin laughing.

Her character development is spot on, she is consistent from book one to book two. Her plot is well written and strong. The strength of her plot is demonstrated through dialog and her character development as well as witty descriptions.

I honestly have not laughed so hard or felt so connected to a story. Absolutely brilliant!

WordsAPlenty awards this book with a five-star rating for it's entertaining humor, solid plot and brilliant creativity of the author, Paula Houseman.


Great bit of Romantic Comedy
Apoca[hot]lips is so funny! Ruth Roth is awesome, Ralph is irresistible, and the other characters are lovable—even the awful ones are strangely endearing! Ruth thinks fairy tales are ‘bull***t’ and wishes the damsel would ‘grow some balls’. Just as well she herself already has them because she needs to ‘man-up’ when she ends up in a kind of distorted fairy tale that stretches the imagination! I read this in one afternoon, couldn’t put it down.

Sally Asnicar

Hilarious, touching and thoughtfully written. Paula Houseman's Apoca[hot]lips is a wonderful follow-up to Odyssey in a Teacup!

In Paula Houseman’s second book, Ruth’s relationship with her ‘cousin’ Ralph is tenuous. She seems to be paralysed by baggage, unable to take the final plunge towards happiness.
Ralph has become consumed by the search for his birth mother, and focuses on building a relationship that threatens to torpedo the one he has with the woman he loves.

Meanwhile, Ruth has to contend with her suffocating mother, a loathsome neighbour, and various other repugnant characters who are seemingly drawn into her life just to torment her. Is God taking the piss?
As Ruth becomes distracted by other pivotal events in the family, she and Ralph struggle to reconcile the changes in each of their lives. Can they find their way back to each other?

Paula’s intelligent, unique writing style and hilarious wit make this an absolute pleasure to read. Touching and thoughtfully written, you will cry – although I guarantee most of those tears will be from hilarity than heartbreak. If you enjoyed Odyssey in a Teacup, you will love Apoca[hot]lips!