Mt. Olympus Employment Agency, #1
Publisher: Bottle Cap Publishing
Date of Publication: July 18, 2015
Number of pages: 224
Word Count: 81,120
Cover Artist: Yocla Designs
Wynter Greene is a chronic quitter—in work, in life, and in love. When she quits a job, a boyfriend, and a seemingly minor craft project all in one day, the dormant deity blood in her veins triggers a Welcome Package from the gods. A talking—and singing—houseplant named Phyllis bullies Wynter into taking a job at the Mt. Olympus Employment Agency.
Stuck with a job in the Muse department, Wynter discovers that helping others finish what they start isn’t easy, especially for someone who can’t seem to finish anything of her own. And how is Wynter supposed to focus on anything when that guy from the Dreams and Nightmares department keeps distracting her with his rippling muscles and magnetic stare?
Wynter needs to figure her job out soon. Each failure is a tick mark on her record, and if she continues to miss her deadlines, she’ll be reassigned to the Underworld as a dog walker.
And scooping poop for a giant three-headed dog is nobody’s ideal career.
Wynter has had a very bad day, only to come home to find her philadendron has begun talking to her. After trying (and not succeeding) in pretending it's her imagination (or delusion) she put the plant outside for the night.
I managed to doze for a few hours before the courtyard erupted in a rap song. A loud rap song.
I listened for a moment before I realized it was the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, as sung by someone’s beloved Nana.
I groaned and wrapped the pillow around my ears.
A few seconds later, a window facing the courtyard lit up and someone yelled for quiet.
My mouth went dry. Oh my God. They can hear it, too.
I scrambled out of bed and pulled on a lavender kimono I sometimes used as a bathrobe, then ran for the back door and flung it open.
In the glow of Mrs. Terwilliger’s porch light, my philodendron bopped its leaves to the beat of its own song. “…to the cabbie, ‘Yo, homes, smell ya later!’”
“Wynter, is that you singing?” Mrs. Terwilliger yelled across the space.
“No ma’am!” I yelled back, then hissed between my teeth and lowered my voice to a whisper. “Would you stop it! You’ll get me evicted.”
I snatched up the singing plant and rushed inside. As soon as I closed and locked the door, she stopped singing.
“You know, it’s cold out there, Wynter. That was a mean thing to do.”
“Waking up my neighbors was mean, too,” I said. I shifted my feet, self-conscious about talking to a plant now that the plant could talk back.
“Can we stop with the games now and discuss this like rational adults?” Every word she uttered was accompanied by a shushing sound of leaves rubbing against each other.
“It’s the middle of the night.”
There was a long pause before she spoke again in a tight, disapproving voice. “It seems to me you have nothing better to do anyway.”
“Don’t you judge me. You’re a freeloader hanging around all day while I work at a crappy job taking shit from customers. I got tired of people yelling at me. Don’t I deserve better than that?”
“Do you think you do?”
I opened my mouth to argue—as if arguing with a houseplant were the most natural thing to do in the middle of the night—then snapped my jaw shut, frowning. “Are you trying to psychoanalyze me?”
“Do you think you need therapy?”
“Are we playing the question game?” I tilted my head at her.
“Would the question game help you make better decisions?”
“Can you help me make better decisions?”
“Yes. Yes I can.”
I grinned. “I win. That wasn’t in the form of a question. Thank you for playing.”
I was a huge fan of the Monster Haven series by R.L. Naquin and was sad to see it end. However, I was excited to see that a new series was in the works. Then we got a cover, and isn't it pretty? Completely different than the Monster Haven books, but no less interesting. I was counting down the days till it was released. To say I was completely stoked when the author contacted me to see if I was interested in a review copy was an understatement.
The book begins with Wynter breaking up with her boyfriend, quitting her dead end job and then when she comes home, quitting her latest craft project - a quilt. It's a this moment, when she hits bottom, that her plant, Phyllis the Philodendron, starts talking to her. Poor Wynter, she thinks at first that she has finally snapped. But Phyllis proves Wynter's not crazy, just ready for a new direction in her life - Mt. Olympus Employment Agency. Turns out Wynter has some Greek God somewhere in her family tree.
I had a lot of fun with Wynter as she stumbled her way through Orientation and her first days on the job. You could really see the growth of her character as she gained friends and self-confidence. The secondary characters have some quirky personalities and are great foils for Wynter. I didn't want to put this book down once I started it. I am giving it 4 stars.
Thanks to the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.