Sunday, August 23, 2020

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Kissing Daisy Parker by Michael Milton - Book Tour

Kissing Daisy Parker by Michael Milton @mikemiltonbooks @lovebooksgroup


 
First loves. Last chances. Street Fighter II.

Daisy is a Sylvia Plath reading, Robert Smith devotee, planning on a summer of Australian beaches with or without her two favourite boys. Obsessed gamer and jealous boyfriend Greg needs the prize money from the Scottish Street Fighter II championships to join Daisy in Oz. She wouldn’t really go without him. Would she?

Scottish-born, English-accented Junaid is the couple’s best friend. Haunted by that school dance and terrified of the future, he finds himself falling for his best friend’s girl. When a disastrous event at the video game tournament brings Daisy and J closer together, Greg attempts the ultimate redemption.

Each makes decisions which alter the course of their friendship, and their lives, forever. But do the answers to life’s biggest questions truly lie in kissing Daisy Parker?

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EXCERPT
JUNAID: Destroy the image, and you will break the enemy.
Bruce Lee, claw marks across his face and torso, stalks the evil Mr Han in the room of mirrors. Mirrors which play tricks on the senses. Mirrors which make their epic fight as much a battle of wits as it is of physical prowess. But when those words of wisdom come to him, Bruce knows what to do. He smashes the mirrors one by one, allowing him, finally, to defeat his nemesis. Delivering his patented running side kick, Bruce impales Mr Han on a spear and saves the day. The immortal scene comes from Enter the Dragon, the film that made Bruce a global superstar.
I re-enact it in my bathroom.
First, I touch my toothpaste “claw marks” and taste my own “blood”. Next, I deliver (fake) blows to the cabinet doors and the shaving mirror above the sink. Then I’m on the landing, and I Bruce-Lee-running-side-kick a pillow I’ve stuck in the laundry basket.
‘WWAAAAZZZAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!’
I first watched Enter the Dragon on the 24th of April 1986. I remember because it was my tenth birthday. Eight years later, I’m officially an adult. Supposedly a man. But I’m still kung-fu kicking pillows with toothpaste on my chest. Usually, it’s “Mr Han” who flies to his death against my bedroom door. But it’s not Mr Han I kick today; it’s Greg. I boot my best friend from one side of the landing to the other, because Daisy is all I can think about since she became, you know…sexy. I never thought I cared about appearances. Turns out I do.
In the shower, I daydream about the upcoming summer in Australia, a trip to celebrate Daisy’s eighteenth and the end of school forever. I imagine Greg being eaten by a crocodile in the wilderness, leaving Daize and me mourning together in a log cabin. The outback’s so hot that we grieve in our underwear, and there’s only so long we can wait before touching each other’s sticky bodies…
I wash my guilt down the plughole with the toothpaste. And, having just fantasised about his crocodiley demise, I need to look Greg in the eye at the bus stop.
Happy Birthday, Junaid.
 Author Bio

Michael Milton spent the first 25 years of his life pretending to be other people. After switching drama school for university, he travelled the world as an English teacher and returned home to complete his MA in Creative Writing.
 His stories have been long and short listed for the Fish Prize, the Bath Short Story Award, the Mogford Prize and the Emerge Impact Creative Writing Prize. Kissing Daisy Parker is his first novel, and yes, he can beat you at Street Fighter.

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