Heather Babcock’s debut novel, Filthy Sugar, is a hot fudge sundae that doesn’t skimp on the cherries. Delicious and rich in detail, with a heroine to match, Filthy Sugar seamlessly incorporates the best parts of the naughty and rule breaking Pre-Code Hollywood film era with the author’s own flair for imagery and language.
Redhead Depression-era bombshell Wanda Whittle is straining in her corset to escape her limited rooming house existence in the slums behind the Market, where she lives with her world-weary mother and pro-union sister Evelyn.
While modeling fur coats in a department store, Wanda’s body positive confidence and zigzag curves make an impression on wealthy patron Mr. Manchester, the owner of the Apple Bottom burlesque theatre. A smitten Wanda accepts the job as a performer alongside peach scented cutie Lili Belle and smoldering sophisticate Queenie. Now dubbed Wanda Wiggles, she must navigate this sexy new world, where champagne flows freely and suitors and wolves are interchangeable. Through extreme ups and downs, Wanda must discover who she should keep close to her pasties…and who she should drop like a discarded glove.
Wanda Wiggles belongs to the ranks of misogyny-busting powerhouse femmes who tromped all over 1930s Hollywood in their lamé gowns. Mae West’s diamond clad curves, Barbara Stanwyck’s come hither or don’t swagger, and Jean Harlow’s sweet, but slinky sass all seem to be invisible angels on the shoulders of Miss Wiggles, whose unapologetic sexuality and grasp of self is inspirational for any era and ensures that both old Hollywood fans and those who can’t tell a Blondell from a Garbo will be entranced by her journey.
Surprises, social issues, and cleavage abound in this sexy page turner about female empowerment, desire, and wiping the grime from your dreams until they glitter like diamonds in the footlights.
*Pro-tip: Don’t just pack up after the story’s over! Keep reading and you’ll find a fun and handy 1930s slang glossary (peppered with a couple of Heather Babcock originals) and some notes on the text that you will not want to miss!
Filthy Sugar is available to order through Inanna Publications.
For an extra taste of Heather’s writing, please check out her wonderful blog, Meet Me at the Soda Fountain.