Do Not Lick the Phones review

Do Not Lick the Phones review

‘Do Not Lick the Phones’ is intelligent chick lit about the strange world of the TV psychic. It’s the smartest, most thoughtful page-turner we’ve come across in a while. Fans of Scarlett Thomas and Joanne Harris are going to love it.

Buy on Amazon Kindle: Do Not Lick The Phones for £1.14

Once upon a time there was a small TV studio owned by the devil. It sat in the heart of London on Great Portland Street near the BBC. But it was not the BBC.

Britney Bronte is a psychic talent with a genuine knack for peering beyond the veil. A friend manages to fasttrack her into a job as a TV psychic at the TV network ‘Daystar TV’, and Britney – desperate for escape from the dull and ordinary, as are we all – jumps at the chance.

What can one expect in the world of the TV psychic? Nothing, not even her tarot skills, can prepare Britney for the haphazard chaos of a profession where, on her first day, she is handed the following laminated set of instructions:





It’s just human error, though. These are the instructions for the Babes, the permatanned Amazons who enage in phone titillation on your TV screens. They are Daystar TV’s other cashcow, their black and pink cubicles just a moan away from the cluttered and be-crystalled desks of Britney’s fortune tellers. Tits and tarot? Well, they both sell, don’t they? And thus are we drawn into a bizarre world filled with warring bosses, greedy ineptitude, grief, lust, yearning and talented yet sometimes hapless psychics more skilled at dealing with tarot cards than the cut-throat world of TV.

Can Britney keep her job? As she sells her skills to desperate believers and heavy breathers, can she keep her soul intact? And will she end up with the terrible bastard or with the hip hop moviemaker whose underpants co-ordinate with their trainers? To be honest, that bit’s pretty obvious (or is it?). However, although ‘Don’t Lick the Phones’ presents itself as fresh and engaging chick lit, I suspect it’s more than likely to appeal to the intelligent and exacting fans of writers like Joanne Harris and Scarlett Thomas. What holds the novel together is the shining smarts and grounded outlook of Britney herself, a woman capable of questioning and deftly pinpointing why we look for more than what we’ve got, whether it’s magic, money, meaning or love.

The name ‘Britney Bronte’ is, of course, a nom de plume. She changed her name, as she did the name of the TV network and all the characters involved. The circumstances she describes are largely – though impossibly – true, and one of the delights in reading this warmly witty novel lies in knowing it’s hard to separate the fact from the fiction, as it’s the most unlikely episodes that are, in fact, real.

‘Do Not Lick the Phones’ is, among many other things, a thought-provoking guide to an industry we’ve probably never given a thought to. It’s also a clever page-turner from a relentlessly funny and self-aware writer who is as willing to question as to believe, who’s geek enough to namecheck medicloreans when referencing Star Wars, and who’s flawed (and human) enough to be constantly attracted to the wrong one.

You can buy Do Not Lick The Phones on Kindle for the paltry sum of £1.14.

If you don’t have Kindle? That’s not a problem. Click this Amazon link to download a free Kindle reader onto your PC, which lets you read Kindle stuff without having a Kindle.

Also, if you like the sound of ‘Do Not Lick the Phones’, please pass this review onto someone you like who does have a Kindle. We’ve included a few excerpts below to whet your appetite as we at Mooky Towers wait – in anticipation – for the prospect of seeing ‘Do Not Lick the Phones’ in print. Agents and Publishing Houses, take note. We prophesy a bidding war over this one. And when it comes to prediction, we mooks are rather magical ourselves.

Excerpts from ‘Do Not Lick the Phones’


Orgone energy – It’s a bit like the Force in Star Wars before medicloreans got involved.


Vid was not seeing the channel at its best. Kumar had introduced him to a new, expensive and highly complex piece of tech. He had given us all a long warning / lecture / hiphop poem on the perils of breaking the miracle equipment, only to pour his soup into it. Then, out of nowhere, Gordon the psychic appeared and walked onto the set, thinking we were on an ad break. He marched up to the front desk where I was presenting and deposited two pints of milk in front of me.

“You’re being paid in milk now,” he smiled, before being physically hauled off by Kumar. And the audience kept on watching.


On another occasion, I spoke to a lady so broken-hearted there was only one thing that could have happened to her… a bereavement almost too painful to bear. I waffled on trying to be helpful when suddenly she burst out with; ‘Please, please, I so want to believe, just give me something, anything… tell me, what colour were the flowers I put in her coffin?’

This kind of question is just dreadful for a medium, because the conscious mind instantly starts thinking of possibilities (Pink? No, don’t be daft, no-one uses pink for funerals! Red? White?) and any connection with the other worlds or deeper self is lost in a guessing game one dare not lose.

It becomes impossible to clear the mind, because one is already trying to second guess the answer. So the medium who is not picking anything up will say something safe, like ‘I see someone weeping. Someone has sent white flowers.’ Weeping at a funeral is usual, and white flowers are traditionally sent to UK funerals. It’s a cop-out.

I tried to concentrate and all I could see were white and blue flowers. I told her and she said she had put blue flowers in. She was not that impressed. Then a silence fell upon us both and I knew something important was about to happen. It was a pause, like someone waiting for me to be quiet, to shut my ego up and tell her something as I was seeing it, so that is what I did.

I saw a card. The card opened. It had the word ‘Forever’ in it. A white female hand appeared and wrote the words ‘And ever’ in pen across the bottom, and a voice spoke these words as I watched. I recounted this and the lady burst into tears. There had indeed been a card with ‘Forever’ written on it. The hand that wrote ‘And ever,’ had been her own. She cried and laughed and thanked me and cried some more and thanked me some more, and she was so happy, I was happy too. And somewhat stunned.

I knew I wasn’t making it up. So what was it?

This is one of the major problems with psychic work. People are so determined to prove it’s all fake that no thought is given to what it is, if it exists at all.


Gerard’s little daschund Delilah was stunning. Gerard would read the question out and spread the cards in a fan shape on the desk. She would open her mouth, drop her pencil, and pull a card out with her teeth. Gerard would turn the card over and interpret it while she sat there politely.

Gordon was rubbing his hands with glee at the incredible volumes of money Delilah was attracting from the viewers phoning in. His joy ended abruptly when Angry Arwel walked in, grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and pushed him against a wall. Gordon asked him what the hell he was doing.

“Shut up, you stupid f*cktard!’ screamed the moderator, ‘the mikes are live!’ Naturally she hadn’t switched them off before she said this.

You can buy Do Not Lick The Phones on Kindle for the paltry sum of £1.14.

You can buy Do Not Lick The Phones on Kindle for the paltry sum of £1.14.