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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Carpe Bead’em By Tonya Kappes

     This book was recommended to me by Lee Lopez, who blogs with Tonya on The Naked Hero and The writer’s guide to e-publishing. And it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Like Hallie in the book, who had a life in Chicago, and then was transferred back to her hometown of Cincinnati to live with her crazy aunt. I found myself in a similar situation.
     My water heater’s bottom dropped out, and sent nasty rust colored water all over the apartment. The super couldn’t fix it for three days, which put me and my roommate into forced evacuation. She went to her boyfriends, and I thought I’d go to my mom’s. But, my aunt from Boston was visiting with her two lil fiends. That's from the Irish side of my family. It makes for interesting holidays, and lots of arguments. I could have taken one of my sisters rooms, because they ran for the hills, to escape the relatives from hell. Anything was better then spending three days with the fiends, so I opted for Nona.
     Soooo, I moved in for three long days, with her three demonic cats, all named after saints. 
     For three days I endured, pushing through a jungle of underwear hanging in the bathroom. Avoiding the cats, who gave me the stink eye at every opportunity. They know I have a bird. Forever the jeopardy tune will be embedded in my brain from it blasting from the new giant flat screen my dad and uncles bought Nona for Christmas. It takes up the whole living room! They got it way cheap from a cousin, who is, well less than honest.
     Then Nona insisted that I needed to eat breakfast. I woke to the sound of pots and pans being crashed together. I stumbled downstairs in the dark, since the sun wasn’t even up yet. Nona stood at the stove in her pink duster, with her hair wrapped in toilet paper, with a piece hanging down the side of her face, with a lit cigarette dangling from her thin little lips and the kitchen smelling like gas!
     I ran to the window threw it open, screaming about the gas. She screamed back at me, that the pilot went out and she was trying to light it, as she struck a match that wouldn’t spark. I grabbed a tea towel and started to fan her, ripping her cigarette from her mouth, and tossing to the ground and stomping on it. I fanned the room, the stove, as I screamed in English,  her in Italian. Then the match lit.
    There was an actually fiery mini mushroom over burner. The tea towel went up in smoke, like a vampire stepping out into the sunlight. And Nona’s toilet paper ignited, like a fuse to a bomb. I screamed, she screamed and I grabbed a large stock pot and put it over her head. She screamed at me, from under the pot, "Che fa lei? La sono matto! Lei ha rovinato appena uno strofinaccio da cucina che mia sorella ha inviato me da Napoli." as a little ribbon of smoke trailed out from the rim. 
     I lifted the pot off her head, to make sure she still wasn’t on fire, and she says, rather calmly, "Giuro lei è delle noci. Nessun prodigio che lei non sono sposato ancora."
Something about crazy and marriage. 
    But I digress, I really enjoyed Carpe Bead’em. Like me with Nona, Hallie had to endure the antics of a aunt who raised her. Aunt Grace has a pinched pink poodle, and likes to climb flag poles to kiss the eagle. But I liked best about this book was Hallie’s journey from the professional world to being a self made business woman, who made jewelry. At first it was a stress reliever, but when her talent shined, it was put in stores and suddenly she had a small business that actually made her happy. She didn't know she was unhappy before, but realized her own self worth. Her life took a very unexpected turn for the better, in a city she thought she didn’t want to live in. This is a fun read, and hard to put down. I won’t give too much away, you’ll have to read it yourself. But if you’re on a journey of self-discovery, this is a great read. 

So I gave it a #8, it's pretty darn bitch'n.

Does anyone know how long it takes for eyebrows to grow back?  


  1. Thank you, Cari!! I'm very excited the world is getting to read about my quirky characters and LOVIN' them! Thank you soooo much!!

  2. Tonya, I really enjoyed your book. It was a fun read, and I could relate completely.