Happy hump day! I love Wednesdays, the week is half over and the weekend is rapidly approaching! It’s also the day after book release day which means I’m usually swimming in new books. I *might* have a book buying problem. But that’s nothing compared to the main character of the book I want to share with you today.
A Justified Bitch by H.G. McKinnis releases next Tuesday, August 8th. I highly recommend putting this book on your tbr immediately! It is so unique and like nothing I’ve heard of before. Hoarding, phantom husband, lots of cats, and a severed finger! How can this book NOT be absolutely fantastic!? I’ll leave the Goodreads description below as well as the author info.
It takes a guilty bastard to make a justified bitch.
When a severed finger shows up on her doorstep in a seedy section of Las Vegas, Helen Taylor does not freak out. She’s already crazy, as evidenced by her junk-stuffed house and its ever-growing population of cats. There’s also Bobby, her long-dead husband. Helen talks to him regularly, and Bobby talks back.
The finger and the brutal murder it reveals are more than a hoarding cat lady with a phantom husband can ignore. Helen’s a suspect, and she ends up in jail. Summoned by the detective on the case, Helen’s sister Pat arrives from Phoenix with two teen-age boys in tow.
While Helen is AWOL from a mental facility, another gruesome murder is discovered. Pat, the boys, and the detective struggle to separate fact from insanity, but it takes power beyond the ordinary to bring the truth to light.
Author Q & A
- You live in Las Vegas, and that’s also where your book is set. Why do you think this city provides such a rich backdrop for storytelling.
For starters, Las Vegas is a 24-hour town. Where else can you golf or go bowling at two in the morning and follow it up with a meal at a nice restaurant before sunrise? Another amazing feature is that, as a resident, I don’t really have to travel. The whole world comes here – not only to gamble and drop inhibitions, but to conduct business, get married, and go to school. For a relatively young city, Las Vegas has a rich, fascinating history. Who would have thought that a tiny Mormon fort surrounded by desert would grow into a metropolis of two million in just over a century? Add in mobsters, showgirls, and nuclear physicists testing bombs, and you get a history that’s any novelist’s dream. I’ll never run out of stories.
2. Without giving too much away, what would you say is the main conflict in A Justified Bitch?
Helen’s overabundance of cats and ever-increasing hoard have reached critical levels, but her family—out of town and busy with their lives—are unaware of the growing complexities of her situation. When Helen is entangled in a murder investigation, the family can no longer look the other way. As they struggle to rescue Helen, they must reexamine their own relationships and identities.
3. Most books that really connect with readers speak to some universal truths. What universal truths are illustrated or discussed in your book.
Siblings are a pain in the ass!
Seriously, familial relationships are complex and demanding. They also shape our identities.
4. Can you tell readers how your personal background and experience informed your writing for A Justified Bitch.
I’ve lived in Las Vegas all my life and have answered the siren call of swap meets and thrift stores since I was a teenager. Because Las Vegas has a diverse and transient population, treasure hunting at bargain venues is always extra-rewarding.
Losing my husband has given me insight into the mental gymnastics needed to keep the pain at bay. I’m no Helen, but I have no trouble understanding how hoarding helped her cope with her loss.
5. Why did you choose to write about a hoarder.
I’ve met a number of hoarders in my life. I noticed early on that they all had interesting and complex back stories. Many people are unaware of the hoarders in their own lives. Ashamed, hoarders hide their condition to avoid embarrassment.
6. Is it possible to have a normal life in Las Vegas?
You’re asking a fish to describe water! I’ve lived here most of my life. I feel comfortable, productive, and… normal. And so do all the other nude dressers I’ve worked with!
7. In A Justified Bitch, we notice the characters going through financial hardship and the toll it takes on them. In your opinion, how does the economy affect the lives of everyday people?
An entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to work hard are hallmarks of many Las Vegans. The glamor of the city is a show we put on for tourists, and it takes legions of committed and diligent people to produce the experience visitors expect. When the economy sours and jobs dry up, we all have a choice: double down or leave town. It makes me proud that the prevailing attitude among true Las Vegans is: work harder.
About the author:
A life-long resident of Las Vegas and alumna of the University of Nevada, H.G. McKinnis knows her city as only a local can. By night she fluffs feathers and attaches rhinestones to the exotic wardrobes of the most glamourous venues on the strip, by day McKinnis writes about the often hardscrabble lives of her fellow desert denizens and the unlikely city they inhabit. A Justified Bitch, a twisted tale of insanity, murder, and redemption, is her first novel.
Find the author below!