Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Lyrical Chaos (R&R Book Tours Blitz Post)

Lyrical Chaos

Today I am excited to share the follow-up novel to Prodigal, Lyrical Chaos by Samantha Sanchez!

received_277950946760138Lyrical Chaos

Publication Date: August 13th, 2020

Genre: Contemporary/ Urban Fiction

The cameras are off but the world is still watching. The BFC have gone their separate ways and Lyric is learning that life in the spotlight isn’t as fun as it seems. She is publicly maligned by her fiancĂ©’s family, and privately disrespected by the man himself. His paranoia and possessiveness hint at a far deeper issue than just mere jealousy, as she struggles with the decision of whether or not to follow through with their marriage. Lyric's attempts to legitimize herself as an actress is less than ideal but her vocal talents catch the attention of one of the biggest rap duos of the day. While her celebrity status begins to create enmity within her church social group. How will the chaos in Lyric's life affect her heart? Will the pressure turn her into a diamond? or will the flame prove too hot, and shatter her mind like glass?

Excerpt

The audience applauded and the music started. I sang the first verse, with Anthony grunting and “yea”-ing in the background. Then it was his verse and I sang background repeating certain lines he would say. A couple of “Oh’s and a few “Yea’s” then came the hook which I
sang while he repeated key words and phrases in the background. Everything went flawlessly, as rehearsed until the very end. The music stopped, everyone applauded, we got a standing ovation and that should have been the end of it.

“Hold on!” Anthony called out. “Hold on, ya’ll” I started to walk away but Anthony grabbed hold of my hand. “Wait a minute, Lyric.” I snatched away but stayed still. He put his arm around my shoulder. Trey looked pissed. I was annoyed and I couldn’t hide it. I shrugged his arm from around me and tried to step away but he kept pulling me back. He wrapped his arm tightly around my waist, so tight that it hurt. I pinched the inside of his arm and he moved it to pin my arm to my side. His girlfriend looked confused too. Then he started rapping again.

“You know, I really gotta get this off my chest, this woman right here really is the best. I can tell you not happy, ya man not doin his job. F--k that nigga man he’s just a slob. When I had you I didn’t know what to do but MiMi, I’m sorry, I love you too.”

Before I could even process what he just said he swooped me up, dipped me and put hismouth on mine in a kiss. I felt his tongue trying to separate my lips and I tried to pull away but he had one arm tight around my shoulder and another arm tight around my waist. My arms were
pinned to my side. I turned my face but he followed. I could hear the audience hoot and holler at the spectacle. I grabbed his lip with my teeth and bit down as hard as I could. I could taste his blood in my mouth. He yelped in pain and moved one of his arms to hold onto his mouth. With
one hand free, I smacked him hard across the face and spit his kiss out of my mouth just as Trey rushed onto the stage with a fist to Anthony’s jaw.

Security moved to break up the fight between the two, just as Natalie snuck up behind me and grabbed me by my hair and hit me in my face. One hand reflexively went to the hand holding my hair. She pulled but the only thing that came out was the extensions the glue hadn’t
really dried all the way yet so I didn’t feel the pain when she pulled it out. I managed, even in heels which made me very proud to side step duck and swoop out of her reach and land a jab to her nose, and in quick succession a straight shot to her eye and a hook to her jaw. Did nobody
warn her that I took boxing lessons?

Natalie staggered backward and then tried to lunge at me. I moved out her way, she missed and I grabbed her in a headlock. I squeezed, not to kill but to cause her to lose consciousness. She beat against my hold scratching at my arm and my face, security got to me trying to get me to let her go, but got distracted when Anthony stumbled into them. Natalie’s friend managed to sneak past security and attack me to defend her friend. I was outnumbered but not for long. Cas distracted security by pretending that he was about to jump on stage and fight too. Keisha ran past the guy restraining Cas, jumped in and took off on the friend
and I started in on Natalie again.

Everyone was fighting, it was chaos. Kendrick ran up on stage, trying to get to me. Hepulled me away while I was still swinging at Natalie. Another security guard carried Keisha away and they finally managed to separate Trey and Anthony. I was pissed, Trey was pissed,
Keisha was having fun and Kendrick was laughing with pride.
We were escorted off the stage. Kendrick finally put me down when we got far enough away from the melee.

Availble on Amazon!

About the Author

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A native of San Diego, Samantha Sanchez is currently finishing a degree in psychology as well as in social and behavioral science. Having a background in both church and drama, she hopes to use her degree and creativity to reach and relate to many people in her community and beyond helping them learn to understand themselves and each other.

Samantha Sanchez

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Suburban Luchador

 


Alright y'all, this brightly covered short novel was sent to me by the Indie author himself, Philip Rivera. I am so glad that he did send it to me, because it was almost the perfect non-fiction comedy that gave me a good laugh at the end of a rough day. Philip tells us different tales that him, his wife, and three children have gone through with humor that comes from looking back. As a parent, I was definitely able to relate to some of the antics that they faced. From the zoo to Disney to the bathtub, Philip tells classic but hilarious tales that can be expected when trying to parent three kids under the age of ten. Besides showing how it can all be humorous, he does it all while wearing a Luchador mask at his son's request. I have a very good feeling that this is one of those things that parents everywhere will be able to enjoy and relate to. Since this is another novel that is under 100 pages, I am going to include one of my favorite stories from the book instead of the synopsis. Enjoy!

BREAKING WATER PRANK
"My water just broke" said the text for my wife. 

It's one of the select texts that make the record player of your life scratch and everything, for a brief moment, grinds into slow motion as the minions in your brain try to sort out the information. My wife was nine months pregnant and I was on permanent red alert.

W a t e r. B r o k e. Plumbing? No. Financial problem? Negative. Birth of child: check. As I glance at the text, I grip the steering wheel and pulled a "Fast and Furious: Riverview Drift" hair-pin turn on Big Bend Road... imaginary smoke and all. As soon as my 4-cylinder hot rod stabilized and the blinker was safely turned off, I called Yarei. 

"Are you okay?!"
 
All I heard was a nasal snort. 

"Hello? Are you okay?!"

 Snorting again... 

"BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Fooled you!!"

In the background I heard elf like snickering... I could only assume it was Elias, my then 2-year-old, who was in on this diabolical scheme. 

"What?! You were joking?! You don't joke about this! What if I send you a text saying 'I just broke my coccyx while I'm riding four wheelers?'?" (highly probable). 

Between bouts of mocking laughter, both adult and elf sized, she replied, "You thought it was true?!"

"Of course! I'm on high alert, you pot belly marker! You better not pull this again.. I'm likely to ignore you, only to watch the ambulance was by as you and Elias wave at me from the window... With grins on your faces." 

And so the record played resume the next song: It's The Final Countdown.

To add this hilarious book to your collection, be sure to head over to my page:
https://bookdragonsnotworms.blogspot.com/p/where-to-buy.html?m=1

Monday, September 28, 2020

Author Interview with Mia Mercado


Alright y'all, I met this lovely when I received her book Weird But Normal from HarperOne. I tagged her in the bookmail post naturally, and she responded! I still have to read and review her book, but I took a shot by asking her to do this interview! Thankfully she said yes, because I love the excitement and shock when I expect to be told no. So let's dive in shall we?

Q: What is your name and where do you live?
A: My name is Mia Mercado, and I live in Kansas City, KS.

Q: Are you an Indie Author or do you work with a publishing company? 
A: I’m working with the HarperCollins imprint HarperOne.

Q: If you do work with a publishing company, which one and for how long?
A: I sold my book to HarperOne in Fall 2018.

Q: What genre(s) do you write?
A: Humor and non-fiction essays

Q: What made you want to become a writer in the first place?
A: My bad brain that wants to talk about myself always and thrives on the approval of others. Also, I was just OK at science.

Q: Do you work a regular job in between books?
A: Kind of! I’m a freelance writer so I write regularly for places like Bustle and submit humor pieces to places like The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and Washington Post’s The Lily.

Q: How many books have you published?
A: One

Q: How many books do you have in the works right now?
A: I’m currently submitting a proposal for my second book.

Q: What was your hardest scene to write so far?
A: The essay “Depression Isn’t A Competition But Why Aren’t I Winning?” was probably the hardest to write for Weird But Normal because it required having hard conversation with my family about mental health. I came up with the idea for the essay and then immediately realized, “Oh no, Work Mia forced Real Life Mia to do a hard thing.” 

Q: How many books do you have that are not being currently worked on, but are half-written or complete but unpublished?
A: Exactly zero but I do have lots of tweet drafts if those count.

Q: Do you have a series developing?
A: Book-wise, no.

Q: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
A: I hope people are able to grow along beside me with each book I (hopefully) write. A lot of Weird But Normal was introducing myself to people who absolutely do not know me. I’m hoping future books will feel like checking back in with a friend. 

Q: What is your next book that is set to be published and when is the release day?
A: The most typing I have done recently is while doing the New York Times crossword puzzles. (This is a cry for help!) In that sense, my next book comes out tonight at 9 p.m.

Q: How long did it take you to write it?
A: My record for a Monday is 3 minutes 31 seconds. (Another cry for help!!!)

Q: What did you do when your characters stop talking (writer’s block) to you during the process?
A: When I get writer’s block I do the healthy and good thing where I panic that maybe I will never write anything ever again :) Then I get a snack and feel better. 

Q: What routine do you have when you sit down to write a book?
A: Rearrange my laptop and coffee for three hours, do research like “actor andrew keegan what is he doing now,” write down the name of everyone I’ve ever had a crush on, then just fill in the gaps with some transition sentences.

Q: Do you write it all out in long sittings or short ones (sprints)?
A: For satirical/conceptual humor pieces, I’ll try to write it in one sitting. This can mean anywhere from 30 minutes to 6 hours. (Truly the first honest thing I’ve said in this interview.) Personal essays take longer and I’ll try to break them up into chunks.

Q: Do you get exhausted or energized during writing sessions?
A: Oh my god people get energy from writing????? (Yeah, I didn't really know it was a thing either lol.)

Q: Where do you get your ideas for your books?
A: The witch who told me she could make me very famous if I traded her my ability to answer questions seriously.

Q: Is there another author you look up to or strive to be as successful as?
A: Samantha Irby, Lindy West, and Jia Tolentino are my personal holy trinity. Also, would love to pull a Margaret Wise Brown and put out a banger like Goodnight Moon.

Q: Are you a reader yourself? 
A: I am the least well-read writer and I say that with lots of shame and guilt! I try to read a little every night and most nights that is limited to the captions on TikTok. 

Q: If so, are you a beta or ARC reader for anyone else? (You don’t have to name for who if you do not wish to.)
A: Nope

Q: Do you like to read the same genre(s) you write?
A: Yes and no. I love a funny personal essay but I enjoy reading smart essays on dumb things, smart essays on smart things, murder stories, spooky stories, stories where teens are in love, and “Succession” fan theories.

Q: Do you have a favorite book or a book that stands out the most?
A: I didn’t really get what having a “voice” was and then read Tina Fey’s Bossypants and was like “yes okay I would like that.” Sucks that her habit with “comedic” racism in her TV shows and handling criticisms of that racism is uh…not great.

Q: Have you ever cried, laughed, or had a real emotional response to a book?
A: The most recently I cried really hard at a book was the end of John Green’s Turtles All The Way Down. It talked about mental illness in a way that really resonated with me. I tried reading the end aloud to my husband but couldn’t because I was like crying crying.

Q: What kind of social media do you have? 
A: The bad kind (all of them).

Q: Do you like to connect with your readers using your chosen platforms?
A: Twitter is okay in small doses (i.e. for three seconds each day) and I do enjoy Instagram Stories because I am part of the problem!

Q: Do you have any author friends that have helped you with your writing process or just been there for support?
A: Rachel Ignotofsky (author of New York Times’ best-seller Women in Science) introduced me to my agent which was purely an act of generosity. She also made me feel like I could write a book when I was like “but idk???” 

Q: What was the best money ever spent as a writer?
A: Therapy

Q: How does your family feel about your writing?
A: Fine, I think? My sister is the most enthusiastic about anything I do regardless of how cool, good, celebration-worthy it is. This is mostly because she alone is my target demographic.

Q: Is there anything about you that your readers don’t know that you would like them to know?
A: Cavatappi is the best noodle shape and I won’t be accepting any feedback on that at this time.

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There you have it y'all! Mia Mercado gave us a honest but hilarious collection of essays in her book Weird But Normal, and this interview was no different. I am so thankful that she agreed to do this interview, and that HarperOne sent me a copy of her book. I really hope that you guys check out her book, and social media pages.

Friday, September 25, 2020

...And Then He Shot His Cousin


Alright y'all I got this powerful beauty from the author himself, Jeremiah Cobra, after he reached out to me on Bookstagram. It is a short story that I honestly haven't read before, and I couldn't put it down! A lot happened in these 100 pages, but I wanted it to keep going. The ending had me wanting more, and asking why did it have to end that way?! It is so well written that I completely forgot that I was reading an Indie author's first book. I am so grateful that Jeremiah reached out to me, and kindly sent me a copy! I loved it, and may honestly read it again very soon!

SYNOPSIS
Stacey Bishop hasn't had the easiest life since his father died and his mother left him in the care of Gloria Rooks at a young age. All Stacey knows now is the family he has grown up with that consist of Aunt Gloria, cousins Twan and Justice, and Mama Etta. Justice has always treated Stacey as family even though he is just Gloria's foster child. Twan and Justice are both up to no good almost all the time, and pick on Stacey because he is the good kid. Justice tries to include Stacey, but it only works a little bit. 

After going to a party with Justice and Twan a few days ago, Stacey breaks Twan's jaw over a girl that neither of them really care about. This causes a rift between Stacey and the only people he has known as family for a decade, and leads to something Stacey never saw coming. Stacey shots Justice before Justice can fire a shot one night after days of the character difference becoming super clear between the two boys. While Stacey fights his internal battle, the Rooks' lives have all been changed forever.

If you want to add this powerful Indie to your collection, head over to my page:

Starting Over at Blueberry Creek

 


Alright y'all, I got this little beauty from Forever Pub and I am so grateful! This is a cute romance story that doesn't contain the typical instant love connection that you see a lot. Annie Rains did an amazing job of pulling me in almost instantly, and kept me hooked with the steady pace writing style. It was a romance story, but it was told in a way that can honestly happen anywhere. It is based in a small town, but that just made it better for me personally. Both backstories for the two main characters, Luke and Brenna, are super sad. However that made their connection at the end that much stronger, and made me wanting their HEA (Happily Ever After) even more. Especially when their vulnerability comes out in almost the same way as far as their guard up when it comes to love and dating. The last 60 pages were honestly a roller coaster, but made the ending that much better. 

THANK YOU FOREVER PUB FOR SENDING ME A COPY!! I am now on the hunt for the rest of the Sweetwater Spring series!

SYNOPSIS
Brenna McConnell has spent the past seven years taking care and raising her little sister, Eve, after the tragic death of their parents. She had to drop out of college, move back home to Sweetwater Springs, and take over their mom's catering business, A Taste of Heaven. Now that Eve is 18 and is pursuing her dream job of being a firefighter, Brenna has to start thinking about herself. 

Luke Marini is Brenna's new neighbor that she doesn't official "welcome" to the neighborhood until Spring. Luke avoids his neighbors as much as possible in order to avoid falling for one like he did in his hometown. He just wants to lay low and focus on his career at the SSFD. However Brenna makes it hard to ignore her when she brings over a box of homemade donuts. Her sister Eve gives him a bigger connection to her when Luke hires Eve at SSFD when the chief goes out due to injury. 

Very quickly Luke and Brenna realize there is a connection between them beyond being neighbors and Eve, but they try to keep it casual. Brenna decides to go back to college to finish her degree, so she can achieve her dream job as a teacher. Luke is promoted to temporary chief and is just trying to get everyone on the same page. Both Brenna and Luke agree to a no strings attached fling, but they both also realize that they are in love. The only question is will they tell each other or just try to keep it casual?

If you want to add this blue romance beauty to your personal HEA library or know someone who would love this love story, be sure to head over to my page:

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Time for a change (personal post)

 Hello again.

 If you've been reading my blog for a while and follow me on social media, then you know I recently had to take a hiatus due to a family emergency. Something came up in my family that forced me to put all my focus on that and left me with no desire to read. It even pushed me to the point of considering shutting down the blog. Now that everything is sort of back to normal, because let's face it everything's not normal right now in the world, I had time to sit down and think about everything.

 I realize that it got harder for me to read and put out the reviews either in the time frame I wanted or in the volume I wanted, because of two main reasons. One is it started to feel like it was a job, and I was spending more time trying to keep up the lengthy reviews. It wasn't fun anymore. Two is I would get into a reading funk a lot faster, because I felt like I had to stick to a very strict schedule and it took the joy out of reading for me. 

With both of those realizations and mine, I have come to the decision to keep the blog and my creative space going but I needed to make some changes. As much as I know some people probably love the lengthy reviews and the extra details I know is not seeing in a lot of reviews, it takes a lot out of me to take the notes to do those detail reviews. I went from summarizing a few chapters to trying to summarize like the first hundred pages by stopping every few pages to feeling like I was stopping every single page to make a note. And honestly it started to suck. 

I honestly started to hate reading the first hundred or so pages because I knew all the notes I would have to take. So I have decided to not do a page number anymore or take notes on every single detail inside that page number. I want to give a little more detail than the synopsis still, but I don't want to feel like it's taking me longer to read a book or time away from my family because I'm trying to take the notes needed to keep up with the detailed reviews. So from now on I will be giving the synopsis and adding just a few extra details here and there to it and focusing more on my opinion of the book. 

I understand I could have been doing that from the get-go, but I was writing my reviews the way I wanted to write the reviews for the past year. There is a chance I will change my mind when the world goes back to normal and I'm not trying to maintain a quarantined lifestyle anymore. For now though this is what I need to do in order to keep the joy I get from reading a book and the fun I have in writing these reviews. I will completely understand if there are people that are disappointed in this new format but I didn't decide to do this for the numbers or the views or the followers. I decided to do this because I wanted to share my love of books and reading and get my opinions out there to people who would actually appreciate them, because my friends and family are not book readers like me. I really hope that this will help me get back into the groove I was in before this year hit, but for now I just want to get back to enjoying my creative space and reading again. 

I want to say thank you to everyone that has at least looked at this blog in the past or in the future, as well as those that have reached out on social media. I truly do appreciate the support the bookish community has given me, and I can't wait to get back to a point where I can fully give the support back in a place where I am happy to keep doing this. I don't want to continue to do this because I feel obligated to do it, and that was what it was turning into. If you have actually read this post all the way through to the end, THANK YOU! And I hope that you continue to enjoy the content I put on the blog from here on out. 

Happy reading book dragons!!!

Author Interview with J Lynn Hicks

Alright y'all, this is another amazing author that I met through the FB Group Dystopian Ink. I haven't read her books yet, but I did...