Categories
Adult Fiction

Praise of Motherhood author Phil Jourdan

Please enjoy this guest post by Phil Jourdan, author of the touching memoir, Praise of Motherhood. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $500 in Amazon gift cards and 5 autographed copies of the book.

 

The Story behind this Real-Life Story
by Phil Jourdan

 

Back in late 2009, when I began working on Praise of Motherhood, I had envisioned a book very different from what I ended up submitting to my publisher. I’d just lost the woman who’d raised me, and when I wasn’t sitting around numb and brooding, I was frantically trying to contain the universe of loss and suffering in a single Word document on my laptop.

I wanted to write a book that expressed the impossibility of letting go. We’re often told, when someone close to us dies, that we have to move on, that things will get better. I couldn’t accept this back then: I didn’t think it was possible to let go of my mother, who had been so patient and kind during my weird teenage years.

The first two versions were entirely different from each other in form and tone, but they did have a certain delight in chaos in common. I was mourning the only way I knew how: by adopting a hundred different voices, each trying to say something about my mother that the others couldn’t say. One chapter was pure dialogue; another was a series of letters; for a while I wrote in breathless page-long paragraphs because it was the only way I could feel “honest” about what I felt. I’d swing from rage to self-pity to sadness to bliss to sheer bafflement.

It was only when I decided to turn this book into something that others could actually read without going insane that I figured out how to structure a book like this. I cut a great number chapters because they were “honest” but unhelpful. I tried to make myself a sort of antagonist, so my mother’s qualities as a human being could be emphasized. I left things relatively ambiguous instead of offering anything like words of wisdom to my readers. I tried to leave the book as open as the wound that stayed after my mother died.

This has irritated some people. They ask why I don’t provide a real sense of what my mother was like on a day-to-day basis, or why I focused so much on how she affected my life instead of just writing about her, as a person in her own right. Fair questions — but I never set out to just “write about my mom”. I wanted to write about the struggle of losing her, and what made losing her so painful. That’s why I ask questions in the book that I never really answer: because I was never able to answer them myself. They are questions that will remain.

Praise of Motherhood isn’t a book praising all mothers across all ages. It’s not meant to praise the idea of “motherhood” itself as some glorious ideal. I wrote this book because I wanted to transmit something of my mother to those who didn’t know her; those who, perhaps, need to hear that it’s okay to say you love your mommy and you wish she could still be here when you feel like crying.

 

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Praise of Motherhood eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $500 in Amazon gift cards and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of Praise of Motherhood for just 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event

About the book: Praise of Motherhood is a son’s tribute to the woman who not only gave him life, but helped him live: through various psychotic breakdowns, tumultuous teenage years, and years of feeling out of place in the world. Get it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Phil Jourdan fronts the lit-rock band Paris and the Hiltons, runs the fiction press Perfect Edge Books, and occasionally works on a PhD. Visit Phil on his blog, music site, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Categories
Reviews

Zombie Candy Guest Post, Frederick Lee Brooke

 

Please enjoy this guest post by Frederick Lee Brooke, author of the genre-bending mystery Zombie Candy. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

 

What Dad and I saw in Italy
by Frederick Lee Brooke

 

I was on the train yesterday returning from Rome back to Basel, where I live, and I mentioned Monte Chianti to my seatmate. We were on the Red Arrow, the Italian bullet train, which cruises at 180 mph and covers the distance from Rome to Milan in just under three hours. Rossana is a banker who was travelling to Milan on business; in her hand was a paperback mystery in English. That’s how we started talking. She sort of nodded and looked to the heavens and tried out the name: “Monte Chianti, hmmm. Nice.”

I like Italy so much I decided that the action in Zombie Candy, my latest mystery, should move to a fictional town in Tuscany called Monte Chianti in the second half. The action starts in Chicago, and moves to Tuscany.

But this trip wasn’t really research for Zombie Candy; for me, more of a victory lap. Plus Dad wanted to see Rome once in his life, so off we went on the train. On the way to Rome we spent three days in Como, in Northern Italy. We did not see Giorgio (that’s what the locals call George Clooney) but we did see some beautiful lake vistas. In the picture below we are coming down the side of the mountain in a cog railway. Sure hope the brakes hold on this thing!

I learned Italian at a language school. I also married an Italian speaker, but don’t ever try and learn a language from the person you’re married to. You have enough to argue about without her correcting your grammar. My wife’s English is better than my Italian anyway, but she likes it when I make the effort.

While in Rome Dad and I visited the Trevi Fountain. If you throw in a coin, legend has it that you’ll come back to Rome one day. I threw in a pocketful, just to be sure. Then we hit the Colosseum. The ancient brick dividing walls in the floor of the amphitheater kept the animals penned in before they were sent in to the ring to fight. How can this thing still be standing, after two thousand years?

This is what was left of our rental car after … no wait, just kidding! This mess was parked right outside our hotel, not far from the Vatican. The hotel desk clerk told us a moped caught on fire next to the unfortunate Mercedes. I didn’t believe him — do you?

We took an all-day excursion to the island of Capri, off Naples. This involved a long, cramped bus ride and a transfer to a ferryboat, but let me tell you, the views were worth it. Just look at the color of the Mediterranean, from halfway up the mountain.

And here is a picture looking up at the branches of a mature maritime pine tree. I couldn’t resist.

It was a great trip. Dad and I had some nice talks, we did a lot of walking, we ate like kings, and we saw some beautiful places. I hope that Trevi Fountain legend really works, and we’ll go back to Rome again soon.

 

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Zombie Candy eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of Zombie Candy for just 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event

About the book: Weaving elements of mystery, horror and romance in a hilarious romp that starts in Chicago and ends in a quaint medieval town in sun-drenched Tuscany, Zombie Candy is a genre-hopping knee-slapper of a novel. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Frederick Lee Brooke has worked as an English teacher, language school manager and small business owner and has travelled extensively in Tuscany, the setting of part of Zombie Candy. Visit Fred on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Categories
Reviews

If you like candy, try Zombie Candy – Novel Publicity Tour

Please enjoy this excerpt from Zombie Candy, a genre-bending mystery by Frederick Lee Brooke. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

 

 

They sit at long tables under grape arbors. Heavy bunches of grapes hang from the vines. An eight-piece dance band in white tuxes and black bow ties plays tunes from every decade. Heavy silver dessert forks and coffee spoons rest untouched on the linen tablecloth. She can’t eat another bite. All the glasses, at least, she has used: white wine, red wine, water.

A light breeze comes up. It feels heavenly on her face. With nightfall, the heat has gone out of the air. The heat must be trapped in these old stone walls — the walls of the farmhouse, the walls surrounding the vineyard. The aroma of fresh herbs floats from a nearby garden, rosemary, and mint, she thinks as she watches people dancing. The bride, her beautiful white dress with the daring silk bodice; the groom’s parents, a man with close-cropped gray hair and a red rose in his lapel, and his wife in a shimmering blue dress that looks specially made by an Italian designer.

She keeps one eye on the young man in the navy suit with the green silk tie. He looks like something Michelangelo might have sculpted, then breathed life into. This young man knows everyone here, and has danced every dance for the last hour. But he’s dancing with both older and younger women, probably cousins, friends, the mothers of cousins and friends. She has no idea who he is.

She feels outclassed in her red silk dress from Bloomingdale’s. She had worn the same dress at a wedding in June in Chicago. No one here has ever seen it. If there are any more weddings this fall, she will just have to go shopping in Siena or even Florence, that’s all there is to it.

“May I have this dance?”

Like a vision, Michelangelo man stands beside her. Has somebody cast a magic spell here? How did he sneak up on her like that? She didn’t even notice the song had ended. Or that another one had started.

“I’m not much of a dancer.”

“We’ll see.” He tugs her hand.

“Really, you don’t have to.” He obviously feels a duty to make sure every woman in the place gets at least one dance.

“Of course I don’t have to. I’ve danced with all the women I was obligated to dance with. Now I want to dance with you.”

She doesn’t need more arm-twisting than this. He leads her to the dance floor. The band is playing a quiet song from the 1940s, she thinks, something familiar. Grape arbors surround the dance floor and fill the air with sweet perfume. He turns and puts one hand around her waist. “My name is Giancarlo,” he says, switching to Italian.

“Candace,” she says. “I’ve been here for three weeks. I can’t believe I’m at this beautiful wedding.”

“Your Italian is marvelous.”

Your lips are marvelous, she thinks. Your curly hair, the color of black coffee, and your handsome chiseled face are marvelous too. But you can’t say such things to a man you’ve never met before. Not in Tuscany. At least not before the end of the first dance. He glides around the floor, leading her with slight shifts in his weight, slight pressure with his hands. Her feet know where to go, just as her mouth knows how to form the words.

“We don’t have weddings like this in Chicago. The food … the music … the grapes.”

“My uncle’s house is nice,” Giancarlo agrees. “But I am sorry for Lucia. She has married a playboy. I do not think they will be happy.”

“They certainly look happy.”

Giancarlo makes a face. “I should not talk about the details. I know him. I’ve known him all my life, and he will never change. I tried to talk to my cousin, but she is in love and blind. What can we do?”

Giancarlo’s smile, Candace realizes, has a hypnotizing effect. Thank God a fast dance is starting, the Bee Gees. He makes no attempt to bring her back to the table, merely releases his hold on her waist.

“You are a beautiful dancer,” he says when the Bee Gees song ends. The band takes a break. Everyone is leaving the dance floor. Her heart sinks. Somehow she has managed to cling to him for two dances, something no woman before her had managed. Now he will bring her back to her table, his duty done. He will go back to his people.

“Thank you for the lovely dances.”

“Come, let’s get some fresh air. I’ll show you around,” Giancarlo says. And the really amazing thing is he doesn’t let go of her hand.
As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Zombie Candy eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $550 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copy of Zombie Candy for just 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event

About the book: Weaving elements of mystery, horror and romance in a hilarious romp that starts in Chicago and ends in a quaint medieval town in sun-drenched Tuscany, Zombie Candy is a genre-hopping knee-slapper of a novel. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Frederick Lee Brooke has worked as an English teacher, language school manager and small business owner and has travelled extensively in Tuscany, the setting of part of Zombie Candy. Visit Fred on his website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Categories
Books

Syskosa is Free on Kindle!

Back in April I brought you a book review about a great 18+YA novel called Sykosa.

Click the link to re read its awesomeness!

This fabulous read will be available for

FREE

on Amazon.com June 6th and 7th!

Get your FREE copy now!

Did I mention it was FREE?

Free is good, right?

well?

what are you waiting for????

Categories
Books Reviews

Novel Publicity Tour: #TheHouseofOrder by John Paul Jaramillo

 

 

Ever wonder what some of your favorite characters might say in text messages to each other? With a little poetic license, let’s re-imagine a scene from The House of Order from chapter “Little Blue Box”:

Jefita: Relles? Relles! Ven acqui!

Relles: Si Jefita?

Jefita: Hijo, go down to Joe’s Grocery and get my little blue box.

Relles: {no response}

Jefita: Relles, are you listening??

Relles: Si, Jefita

Jefita: Don’t go to Marshall’s, just go to Joes’s.  Sabes?

Relles: …Why can’t you go?

Jefita: Hijo I’m frying calabacitas for Jefe’s lunch. Get going. 🙂

———

Neto: Why does Jefita need a little blue box?

Tevo: Cabron, it’s because she’s opening up and bleeding.

Relles: Shut up, Tevo. Go back home.

Tevo:  She puts them down in between her legs and keeps herself dry, cabron.

Relles: Shut up, Tevo.

Neto: What’s a blue box, Relles? Why does she put them down between her legs?

Relles: Shut up Neto.

Neto: No, I want to know.

Tevo: A woman bleeds because she’s got pains.  She flushes her eggs out once a month and bleeds.  Give me the box and I’ll show you.

Neto: What eggs? Flushes ’em where? Down the toilet?

Relles: That’s enough, cabrones.  I don’t want to know about the Jefita’s eggs or her bleeding. Now shut up or I’ll tell the Jefe. smh

——————-

Jefita: THE HELL HAPPENED HERE?  Damn it, I give you one job and you can’t even do that. I can even count on you to do one thing for me porque chingando.

Relles: Lo siento, Jefita

Jefita: Oy lo! Sorry?  WHAT HAPPENED??

Relles:  I dropped it, mama.

—————–

Jefita: Your Jefe comes and goes. Your brother is all over the place. You’re the man when the Jefe’s gone. I rely on you.

Relles: Are you bleeding, mama?

Jefita: Who told you that?

Relles: Nobody

Jefita: These are for women

Relles: Yes, mama

Jefita: You dont need to know no more.

Relles:  {no response}

—————

Jefita: GO TO BED.

Relles: fml

———–

And now let’s imagine a few scenes from House of Order greeting cards.

From Little Blue Box

Uncoventional Librarian

 

Return to Cacaville

Unconventional Librarian

 

You’re next. Here’s the caption: As long as you’re working hard, you’re doing fine.

 

—-                                                             —-                                                                       —

Novel Publicity Blog Tour Notes:

Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of The House of Order? Well, there are two ways to enter…

  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official House of Order tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I’ve posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the official House of Order tour page–either way works just as well.

About the author: John Paul Jaramillo grew up in Southern Colorado but now lives, writes and teaches in Springfield, Illinois. He earned his MFA in creative writing (fiction) from Oregon State University and, currently, holds the position of Associate Professor of English in the Arts and Humanities Department of Lincoln Land Community College. Connect with John Paul on his website, Facebook, Twitter or GoodReads.

Get The House of Order on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.