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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie - Charie D. La Marr

A Review by Carol

Book – Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie 
Author – Charie D. La Marr
Publication Date – December 6, 2013
Type – Stand Alone (short stories)
Genre – Humor, Shock Factor
Rating – 4 out of 5 Stars

Book provided by author in exchange for an honest review.


Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie is a book of short stories in a brand new genre—Circuspunk. It contains 26 stories about the circus, carnivals, sideshows, midways and fairs featuring clowns, magicians, freaks, carnies and the crazy cast of characters that go along with them.
“This ain't your mama's roller coaster ride! That is unless your mama does acid before hitting the amusement park!” says Mimi Williams, author of Beautiful Monster.

“Hate clowns or love them, you are going to enjoy reading her zany and sometimes poignant look at a world we both love,” adds Jim Rose of the Jim Rose Circus and author of Freaks Like Me.

This is a wild ride of stories that begins with the rape of a circus poodle by one of the show’s rescue mutts and doesn’t let up until an overweight daredevil Elvis impersonator becomes a circus stuntman—diving 35 feet into a flaming kiddie pool of water. In between, the combination of satire, splatter and the wild and wacky will have you laughing, with brief respites of stories that will touch your heart and make you think.

A professional clown for 9 years, Ms. La Marr tells it like it is, like it should be and like those of you who with clown phobia would like it to be. Put on your rubber nose, put your big shoes up on the coffee table and enjoy Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie.

The first Circuspunk book ever!


OMG – I don’t even know how to start this review or get out everything I want to say…..I had soooo much fun with this….and I never imagined in a million years that I would.  When the author approached me about this book, I was hesitant at first because I didn’t think it was my normal genre of books.  I am so happy I gave it a chance because there were times my sides felt like they were gonna split with the sarcastic humor from the author!!

 “Circuspunk” - combine humor, satire, shock factor, exaggeration, sarcasm and splatterpunk genres while telling stories about carnivals, circuses and traveling shows – all of this together is “Bumping Noses and Cherry Pie”.

What I liked most about this book are the different stories – I think if the author tried to write a book about the shenanigans from one circus troupe, it wouldn’t have held my attention like this book did.  I do have a feeling there may have been some stories in this book that are based somewhat on the truth and experiences of the author while she performed at the circus.  What I’m trying to say is that there is a bit a truth in there with an extreme amount of exaggeration built around the story (or I really hope so…cause it would be shocking if this isn't the case).

Think about it – we are getting a bunch of stories here from a “seasoned” clown and what it’s like on the inside.  How many of us are there who are petrified of clowns or know someone who is.  Yeah, my son is deathly afraid of clowns and he is 24 years old (sorry TJ).  I used to take my kids every year to B & B Ringling Bros. Circus until that fateful night when my father was watching “Killer Clowns from Outer Space” and my son snuck upstairs (granted he was only around 5 at the time).  When I heard the whining…I found him in a fetal position against a corner rocking back and forth while my father laughed his ass off.  Poor TJ – we never stopped after that episode – he got porcelain clowns from other family members for presents – we didn’t tell him about Pennywise when he got older and had a “family night” of watching “It” on VHS.  To this day, TJ does not feel comfortable around clowns……I think I may get him to read this book to try and overcome his fear of clowns!  Yeah – we are a sadistic family 

Honestly though, there were a few stories I didn’t connect with, but what does that matter when each story is only a few pages long.  If I got to a story I couldn’t connect with, I knew a new story was right around the corner. 

Read about a contortionist who wants to perform “oral sex” on himself and about a junior at Harvard who wants to be a rodeo clown.  Read more about the stories of a multi-millionaire who gives up everything to be a clown and about 2 female clowns battling it out for prime spot in the parade.  I think my favorite was the story of a trailer trash family who win tickets to the circus and their idea of a good time.  You will also learn some of the slang of the “Big Top”!  Just have to throw in there that “Bumping Noses” and “Cherry Pie” have meanings you learn in the book.



This is such a fun read but may have you cringing a few times.  An easy read for anyone who loves to hate clowns or those who hate to love clowns!!

A Word from the Author

Hi my name is Charie D. La Marr, creator of the genre Circuspunk. Some of you might know me from Facebook as Persiphone Hellecat and some might even know me from the nine years I spent as a professional clown as Kotton Kandy.

So why, do you ask, does a person who spent nine years wearing the motley suddenly start writing stories where clowns blow up? First of all, that is only a part of Circuspunk. Circuspunk can bring in any other genres that you want—from romance to sci fi and everything inbetween. The stories include circuses, carnivals and fairs, midways, freak shows and sideshows, clown, magicians, freaks, acrobats, carnies … all of it!

And the reson is simple. Behind all that splatter and funk, I love the circus! This is a very irreverent, but loving look at a subject near and dear to my heart. But I just got tired of hearing people say, “I hate clowns!” I would show them my picture and they would agree that as a clown, I was adorable, but they still hated clowns and wanted to see them wiped off the face of the earth. So I decided, if people want to blow up clowns, let’s do it MY way—with tongue firmly planted in cheek. And so Circuspunk was born. I hope that it makes people laugh and desensitizes that clown phobia.

Now, that is not to say that I don’t understand clown phobia in children. As a clown, I took many courses in the psychology of children and how to handle them. I understand that we raise our kids telling them not to talk to strangers. And yet the first time they see a clown, they push the kid into the clown’s arms and get out the camera. I would freak too if my parents made me hug the strangest person I ever saw! I learned to get down to their level, stay back and talk softly and work to gain their trust until they came to me. I would talk about what was on their t-shirts, what their favorite subject in school was, anything to loosen them up and gain their confidence. And the truth was, I ended up in literally thousands of baby books because I never met a kid who ended up not liking me.

Sadly, I cannot say the same of their parents. I was a performing clown. I did magic shows, I walked around with magic tricks in my pockets and puppets. I was not a gumball machine. I didn’t give out cheap trinkets or make animal balloons. I saw way too many parents allow young ones to suck on those balloons and once saw a kid have to have a cheap ten cent ring pulled out of her throat.

My message is simple. Love us. We walk around all day in costumes that sometimes weigh close to ten pounds with wigs and full makeup in the hot sun. We get shin splints from working on unforgiving concrete surfaces. We work hard taking classes and keeping our skills and talents sharp and growing. And we ask nothing more from you than a smile. Is that a lot to ask for?

About the Author

Distantly related to Mary Shelley on her father’s side, CHARIE D. LA MARR has created a genre called Circuspunk which is listed at Urban Dictionary. BUMPING NOSES AND CHERRY PIE is her first work in her new genre. She also has upcoming stories in Alex S. Johnson's heavy metal anthology Axes of Evil and Shwibly Magazine, James Ward Kirk's Bones and Ugly Babies 2, In Vein for the benefit of St. Jude’s Hospital, Chupa Cabra’s We Walk Invisible, Dynatox Ministries’ Witches!, Ripple Effect for Hurricane Katrina relief, Surreal Grotesque,Oneiros’ Books CUT UP! and other anthologies. She was September's featured writer at Solarcide. She is known for writing in many different genres from crime to bizarro to erotica and even Seussian. She is currently editing a Circuspunk anthology trilogy called The New Whakazoid Circus—the Greatest Show on Paper. And she has just sold a bizarro book to James Ward Kirk Fiction called Squid Whores of the Fulton Fish Market.

A redhead with a redheaded attitude, she lives in NY with her mother and son (who works for her as her PA) and fur children Bailey Corwin, Babe Ruth and Casey Stengel. She has a degree in Interior Design, Summa Cum Laude, from New York Institute of Technology.

Connect with the Author

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