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Monday, October 19, 2020

Blog Tour- JUST SHELBY by @BrooklynJames7 With An Interview & A #Giveaway! @RockstarBkTours

 

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the JUST SHELBY by Brooklyn James Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: JUST SHELBY

Author: Brooklyn James

Pub. Date: October 27, 2020

Publisher: Arena Books

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 290

Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle,  B&N, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords

A secret note square found in a handmade guitar proves that small town gossip is not only ubiquitous but occasionally true. This gossip comes with strings rivaling those on Ace Cooper’s guitar, the safest strings he will ever have around his heart.

Ace’s father warns him to stay away from the Lynn girl. Daughter of a deceased bootlegger and a barely living addict, Shelby Lynn is no stranger to small town contempt. She keeps her nose in the books and feet to the ground, a college scholarship the only escape from her tumultuous life.

As Ace’s heartstrings unravel, so does his family’s role in Shelby’s broken past. Thrust into a precarious journey of their roots brimming with music and betrayal, the two have never been closer…to the truth of how Shelby’s father died. One truth transforms every facet of their lives forever.

A dual POV friends-to-first-love story, Just Shelby is an unsuspecting mystery that depicts how growing together can sometimes hurt worse than growing apart.

 

Interview:

Hey Brooklyn! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books. I’m glad you could stop by for a chat! JUST SHELBY sounds AWESOME and I can’t wait for everyone to read it!

For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about JUST SHELBY and the characters?

Just Shelby is a dual POV friends-to-first-love story that depicts how growing together can sometimes hurt worse than growing apart. Although Shelby and Ace experience the same small town very differently, they find more that unites them than separates them. The daughter of a deceased bootlegger and a barely living addict, Shelby is no stranger to small town gossip. She's an outcast who dreams of nothing more than college, city life, a place where her family's tumultuous past does not define her. Ace pridefully plans on staying in his hometown because his own mother left it, and his father, in the rearview mirror years ago. Not exactly a golden boy, Ace's moody and mysterious demeanor coupled with his solid job as a miner make him a hot ticket in the traditional Appalachian community. The one person's approval that Ace seeks the most is his father's, following in his footsteps at the mine to ensure it. Until he and Shelby grow closer and she discovers Ace's hidden talent and desire for music. One of her mother's triggers, Shelby is just not that into music. But when Ace plays it, she can hear its intoxicating melody. As Ace becomes the one constant in her chaotic life, Shelby encourages his musical aspirations, much to his father's chagrin. This ultimately leads to the discovery of a secret note square hidden for eighteen years in a handmade guitar, which proves that small town gossip is not only ubiquitous but occasionally true. What role did Ace's family play in Shelby's broken past?

What are you working on now?

As an indie author/singer-songwriter, I often work on a book and then on music or occasionally work on both simultaneously as with my first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me, which comes with an original music soundtrack, making for a unique Audible experience. The music element of Just Shelby inspired a new run of songs that we are working on at Wonderland Studios, Austin, Texas. So that is first on the agenda for me, getting a few new singles and videos turned out in 2021. I am outlining two other novels in the meantime, one Adult and one YA. If Just Shelby is well received, we will follow-up with an audiobook as well.

Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?

One need not read any further in my writing than The Boots My Mother Gave Me (based on the true-life event of growing up with an abusive father) and Born in the Bed You Were Made: One Family's Journey from Cesarean to Home Birth (my true nonfiction book to date) to know that I often approach writing as “creative therapy.” Just Shelby may have been the first book I've written where I identified as much with the male protagonist as with the female protagonist, in large part due to Ace's music aspirations and his strained relationship with his father because of those aspirations. And growing up in a small town quite similar to the one Shelby is so desperate to break free from, I knew immediately who she was.

Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?

Side characters are usually my favorite to write. Enisi—Shelby's Cherokee paternal grandmother—was my favorite character to write in this book. Speaking of characters being inspired by real life, Enisi's ceremonies, wisdom, and self-reliance were inspired by an extraordinary woman whom I had the pleasure of meeting and becoming forever friends with nearly ten years ago on a writing retreat/seasonal position I took part in at Brooks Lake Lodge in Dubois, Wyoming. My least favorite character to write was Shelby's mother, Maisy, only because of the addiction she struggles with. The topic itself requires great truth but great care. My father struggled with alcoholism, a catalyst in his abuse, for years before his suicide. The effects of addiction are quite raw to me. But Just Shelby is a story of redemption. In that respect, writing Maisy's character was satisfying and pivotal to the outcome.

What is your favorite passages/scenes in JUST SHELBY?

My favorite passages in most any book are those that portray the romance aspect. Just Shelby being a friends-to-first-love story, there are many of those types of scenes. Shelby and Ace have an easy friendship. They share playful banter. They support and encourage each other. They are adept at and quite enjoy pressing one another's buttons. All things that make for an easy transition from friends to first love. However, they are guarded, and rightly so. Shelby doesn't want to end up like her mother, in love and pregnant at seventeen and stuck in a small town forever. Ace doesn't want to end up like his father, falling in love with the only girl in his small town who would leave him the way his mother left his father. So their transition from friends to first love comes with its fair share of strife. Shelby is book smart but quite naive in the romance department, unlike Ace. The first time they almost kiss, I relate to her internalization of that feeling: Forget butterflies and mush. This feels like a chemical reaction. Exothermic. Combustible. Humans can’t actually explode. Can they? And when they do actually kiss for the first time, I love how everything—even the sensation of kissing Shelby—comes back to music for Ace: Akin to one more song…it'll never be enough.

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

I researched Appalachia, the setting, which I found to have much in common with the rural Pennsylvania town I grew up in. I researched addiction, the opioid epidemic specifically, as Shelby's mother became hooked on prescription painkillers after her teen pregnancy/birth with Shelby. There was some Cherokee language and herbal medicine research required for the side character portrayal of Enisi. Twenty years removed from high school, I YouTubed the origami technique of folding a secret note square, which became a favorite homeschool art project for my children.

Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?

My ultimate book boyfriend is Jeremiah “Miah” Johnson from The Boots My Mother Gave Me because I surprisingly and eventually married the muse for the character.

What inspired you to write YA romance?

The inspiration to transition from Adult Romance to YA Romance grew out of a personal reading slump. My preferred reads are romantic novels that are not exactly romance novels. Don't get me wrong, it is the romance aspect of any book that keeps me reading. However, as a reader I thoroughly enjoy books that give me experiences and feelings beyond love. Coming of age, underdog archetypes, and memoirs always satisfy my reading sensibilities. Even nonfiction is a favorite genre of mine. But I came to a point where I was looking for something else, a change of reading pace, which led me ambivalently to YA. As an adult with a propensity for “steamy” romances, I assumed that there wouldn't be much for me in YA novels. Was I ever wrong. My TBR list teemed with YA must-reads that provided countless experiences and feelings beyond love. Just what I was looking for! Dual POV YA books—Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park to name one—were some of my absolute faves. That's when Just Shelby morphed from a single POV Adult novel to a dual POV YA novel. In retrospect, I believe I was in a writing slump as well, Just Shelby slowly coming to life as an Adult Fiction manuscript. As soon as I took it in the direction of YA, it gave new and expeditious life to the manuscript, challenging yet refreshing all the same. The detail I relished most about writing YA is the freedom to explore endings that are uplifting and inspiring without being quintessential happy-ever-after endings. Something that I have run into before in writing Adult Romance is that there seems to be a lot of pressure to go in the happily ever after direction where love is the be-all and end-all. The majority of Young Adult books I have read, and the ones I enjoy most, leave the reader with a clear sense of who the characters are and how they have transformed, but love is merely a part of that transformation and not the journey itself. A true joy to read and write!

Lightning Round Questions

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read? 

I am currently rereading Where the Crawdads Sing. Can't get enough of that book! For our homeschool curriculum, we are reading The Call of the Wild. Apparently they released the movie at the beginning of this year, which we will be watching after we finish the short adventure novel.  I'm listening to Written in My Own Heart's Blood (Outlander, Book 8) on Audible. Up next on my TBR, I have Heart Bones, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, and Recommended for You.

Instagram, Twitter or Facebook?

I am more active on IG and FB these days than I am on Twitter. A newbie to IG, it is my current preferred platform. I like Instagram's display and ease of navigation. It speaks to the minimalist in me. For the singer-songwriter aspect of my work, I use YouTube and SoundCloud. SoundCloud is wonderful for sharing sounds, not simply music but audiobook snippets as well. I do have to remind myself to post to social media. It is not something that I prioritize naturally. For all the benefits of social media, it definitely falls into the category of moderation for me as it can easily become too much of a good thing.

Favorite Superhero?

A child of the eighties, I was pretty proud of my Incredible Hulk Underoos, even though they were predominantly marketed to boys back then. A Marvel fan, I'm obsessed with the character development Hulk has experienced! He will always be one of my favorites. But, I tell you, the ladies are killin' it for me these days, Captain Marvel (that fiery mohawk) and Black Widow among my faves. And Mystique—never have I rooted for a supervillain more.

Favorite TV show?

We are into Big Bang reruns currently, the Marvel-obsessed cast of characters providing some of the best Marvel references and cameos. 

Sweet or Salty? 

Totally salty!

Any Phobias?

Hmm... Is “What If They Hate My Book” a phobia?

Song you can’t get enough of right now?

Lee Brice—One of Them Girls & Brandi Carlile—The Mother

Fall/Winter 2020 Movie you’re most looking forward to? 

I have been looking forward to Marvel's new Black Widow movie that was supposed to release this past May. Then they said maybe fall, but now they're saying May 2021, because of covid. At this point, I'd see pretty much anything in an actual theater!

 

Thanks so much Brooklyn for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read JUST SHELBY!

 

About Brooklyn:

Brooklyn James is an author/singer-songwriter who savors any opportunity to blend books with music. Her first novel, The Boots My Mother Gave Me, has an original music soundtrack, making for a unique Audible experience. Out of Boots grew a platform where it was Brooklyn's honor to serve as a guest speaker with a focus on awareness and prevention of domestic violence and suicide.

Her latest speaking engagements centered around accessibility, rights, and choice in birth, as well as writing workshops on how to put pen to paper composing one's own birth story with the release of her birth memoir, Born in the Bed You Were Made: One Family's Journey from Cesarean to Home Birth.

Just Shelby gifted both the challenge and the thrill of this author's primary exploration into the Young Adult genre. She cherishes reader reviews, if you should be so inclined.

Moonlighting occasionally in voice-over and film, Brooklyn played a Paramedic in a Weezer video, met Harry Connick Jr. as an extra on the set of When Angels Sing, appeared in Richard Linklater's Boyhood for all of a nanosecond, and was a stand-in and stunt double for Mira Sorvino on Jerry Bruckheimer's Trooper pilot for TNT. Although reading, dancing, working out, and a good glass of kombucha get her pretty excited, she finds most thrilling the privilege of being a mother to two illuminating little souls and a wife to the one big soul from whom they get their light.

Brooklyn holds an M.A. in Communication, a B.S. in both Nursing and Animal Science, and lives in Texas Hill Country.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | SoundCloud | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a Signed Paperback that comes with a 3-set candle gift pack (one limited edition Just Shelby book scent "Gray Fog," one fall scent, and one winter scent). The Signed Paperback/Candle Set is valued at $35. US Only.

3 lucky winners will receive an eBook of JUST SHELBY, International.





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/19/2020

Two Chicks on Books

Interview

10/19/2020

JaimeRockstarBookTours

Instagram Stop

10/20/2020

What A Nerd Girl Says

Excerpt

10/20/2020

What A Nerd Girl Says

Instagram Stop

10/21/2020

Lisa Loves Literature

Guest Post

10/21/2020

Lisa Loves Literature

Instagram Stop

10/22/2020

Abbott Can’t Write

Review

10/22/2020

A Dream Within A Dream

Excerpt

10/23/2020

Bookhounds YA

Interview

10/23/2020

BookHounds

Instagram Stop

 

Week Two:

10/26/2020

Lifestyle of Me

Review

10/26/2020

Cuzinlogic

Excerpt

10/27/2020

The Phantom Paragrapher

Review

10/27/2020

Books A-Brewin'

Excerpt

10/28/2020

Pine Enshrined Reviews

Review

10/28/2020

Lisa-Queen of Random

Excerpt

10/29/2020

Rajiv's Reviews

Review

10/29/2020

Rajiv's Reviews

Instagram Stop

10/30/2020

Bookswithpaulak

Review

10/30/2020

Oh Hey! Books

Excerpt


2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting, Danielle! The cover was designed by Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations. She is magic! Thank you, Jaime, for hosting and for all of your hard work with the Just Shelby tour <3 Hugs, Brooklyn

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