Tracy Price-Thompson dares to always give her readers something new with each book she writes. Theoretically all writers do, but most find themselves writing the same types of books. Not Price-Thompson. She’s guaranteed to deliver a novel vastly different from her previous work. You won’t find cookie-cutter storylines in her writing arsenal. The only commonality among her offerings is well-developed, intriguing characterizations.
In her latest release, 1-900-A-N-Y-T-I-M-E, she introduces readers to Bertha Sampson, a severely disfigured young lady who has an amazing voice and can sing like no other. As a disabled child, Bertha was forced to endure cruelty from strangers and family alike. Her own aunt and caretaker dragged her from city to city to sing, almost as a featured act of some sort of freak show, all for financial gain.
As Bertha grows older and ultimately lives alone, she decides she will avoid going out in public and subjecting herself to hurtful looks, rude stares and impolite whispers. As a result, she creates Bliss, an alter-ego. Bliss is nothing like Bertha - she’s outgoing, extremely sensual, and makes it her business to please. She starts 1-900-Anytime, a phone sex line she uses to give clients their ultimate fantasies. She creates a world where she’s free: free to explore her erotic side and free from the mean outside reality.
While Bertha/Bliss is an interesting character, the clients of 1-900-ANYTIME are what make this a captivating tale. They are all complex and emotionally damaged with varied backgrounds and unique reasons for calling Bliss. Her client list includes a closet bisexual female attorney, a caring older man whose wife is terminally ill, an Asian restaurant owner with racial issues, a black male rapper with a secret, and many more.
The story takes a sudden turn when two clients go looking for Bliss. They want to remove the veil of anonymity. They want to know where she lives. They want to know the woman behind the voice. They want her all to themselves. And one wants her dead.
Initially, this reviewer was a tad bit hesitant to read 1-900-A-N-Y-T-I-M-E, because while Price-Thompson is extremely talented and creative, what could she do with a phone sex theme? Well, she takes it to the next level, delving into the characters and presenting very realistic possibilities and very realistic pain. The book tackles emotional conflict, sexual struggles, family drama, and so much more. Admittedly, the jury is still out about the ending, but overall this is a pretty good literary journey. I can’t wait to see where Price-Thompson will take readers next.