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New Kirkus Reviews review boosts Clitapalooza: Her flower blooms power, a sex-positive thriller romance 

A cheeky exploration of sex and feminism – Kirkus Reviews

Widowspeak Publishing is pleased to announce the Kirkus Reviews summary review of Billie Best’s third book, Clitapalooza: Her flower blooms power. In this sex-positive thriller romance, a 60-ish woman blows up her comfortable life feeling the years ahead are her last chance to break the rules of adulting, be adventurous and explore herself. What she discovers is her capacity for pleasure, her need for intimacy, and her affection for her own anatomy. 

From Kirkus Reviews:

All in all, Meryl has it pretty good: She’s a well-liked math professor at a university, she has a gaggle of friends, and her sex life with her husband, Bob, hasn’t yet cooled in their 40 years together. But at 60, she suddenly feels restless, fretting that she has settled for a stable life rather than an adventurous one. So, she makes a quick run of rash decisions, including abruptly retiring, tending butterflies, adopting a pig, and splurging on a $10,000 toothbrush from tech company NanoSmile, largely for its customizable AI companion, which she names Hamish. During a session of self-gratification, using both the toothbrush and her trusty vibrator, a piece of the toothbrush—a nanobot named Quanta—breaks off and enters Meryl’s bloodstream, setting up camp in her clitoris. Meryl investigates the incident with some of her former students and a close friend, Uma, uncovering a broader experiment by NanoSmile’s parent company, BioMantrix—an experiment Meryl may not be able to get herself out of. Through Meryl and her circle of female friends, Best explores multiple feminist and sociological themes that cross generational lines, such as female pleasure stigma, tech surveillance, and what defines true intimacy between two people. The presence of a mega-corporation masquerading as a stable of wellness companies that harvests personal data rather than truly addressing individual needs feels all too relevant, though the author tempers her dark subject with humor; upon discovering the robot in Meryl’s intimate anatomy, the morally bankrupt scientist Dr. Skimmerhorn debates whether to call the new device “iClitoris” or “ClitBit.” … Still, the message of the book, particularly for women who have never had affirming sexual education, is clear: “your body was made to orgasm…You have the right to an orgasm.”

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“Brave, boisterous, ballsy and just downright fun to read.” 

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In this uplifting memoir Billie Best tells the truth about her life. Things look perfect on the outside, but she’s faking it. Inside she’s a mess. After 32 years of marriage, she’s a widow alone in her dream house keeping up appearances as she discovers the details of her husband’s affair. Yet she protects his secret, even from her friends, because she feels like a failure. It takes years for her to embrace her mistakes, let go of her past, and reinvent herself, but with gutsy determination she does it. Women challenged by the need to adapt to a new life, downsize and start over, will be inspired by this story of strength and resilience.

Best’s story about finding love both sensually and architecturally—along with disaster in both realms—is brave, boisterous, ballsy and just downright fun to read. The voice is accessible but intelligent, candid but heartfelt. Get copies for your favorite friends because if they borrow it, they’ll never give it back! —Courtney Maum, The Year of the Horses

A force of pure energy and determination, there is nothing Billie won’t tackle: the perfect marriage, the mid-life career change from successful executive to idealistic farmer, and even, when her husband falls terminally ill, orchestrator of a flawless death-plan according to his wishes. But it takes her ten years of denial and suffering to confront and then triumphantly overcome the cracks in this ideal picture, the specter of infidelity beyond the grave, her obsessive need for tidiness and order, and her attachment to ephemeral things. —Hester Velmans, Slipper

Billie Best knows her way around rock bands, corporate America, small scale farming, and the most complicated business of all: matters of the heart. With her powerful writing, sentences that can lasso, seduce, inspire, and bring tears to eyes, Ms. Best ventures where few dare with such naked honesty. —Maria Nation, The Beach House

“Hilarious! And beautifully written. She has conjured an ageless way to shine.”

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Laugh! Love! Listen! Billie Best’s relatable point of view will have you doing all three as she shares the everyday truths of life beyond 60 in this collection of essays and short stories originally published on her blog at Easy reading meant to be consumed in bite-sized chunks, these three-minute riffs offer a mini vacation for your mind with bursts of gut punching humor, insightful observations, and colorful characters. Just what you need to age fearlessly. You’ll be validated, inspired, and amused. Previously published as a weekly blog, each post in the book is refreshed with an illustration by Brenda Rose.

Praise from readers — 

Once again, Billie Best has captured what it’s like to be a woman, and human! Each short story has a punch of reality, humor, and raw honesty. You’ll catch yourself nodding in agreement and understanding. Her writing is so intelligent and appealing, and makes you look at your own life and admit, I Could Be Wrong! — SF

Billie with her candid, witty, keen insight and hilarious writing style entertains and comforts with pizzaz! I LOVE this book. “I Could Be Wrong” is color, texture, and all heart. — SS

Hilarious! And beautifully written. By capturing her experience and allowing us to laugh, she has conjured an ageless way to shine. — HM