TBR – The Bridge

Riya Jordan and her friends are excited about their trip to Brazil for a wildlife and forest organization before heading off to college. However, things take a turn for the worst when bodies are found mangled among their campgrounds left by two predatorial stalkers. They are forced to run and find safety, but end up helpless on a battered bridge.

While on this bridge, not only are they preyed upon by these beasts, but other deathly mishaps occur
on… THE BRIDGE.

Also interesting: what happens UNDER the THE BRIDGE???

 

Buy on Amazon.

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Author Interview: J.N. McGhee

Today I am going to introduce Author J.N. McGhee and her book Little Girl Blues

Who are you?! What are your credentials? Where are you from?

My name is Jasmine N. McGhee; I’m from Mississippi. I have a B.A. in English, and I’ve been writing poetry for 19+ years now. I’ve been published in several literary journals and anthologies. In the past, I participated in a few poetry contests as well.

What book(s) have you written?

One

What is the title of your most recent book and how did it come to be named?

“Little Girl Blues: Existence of an Image.” Long before I decided to publish a book,  I used to think to myself, “What would be the title of my book?” As a little girl, I loved swings. My grandfather used to have one on his porch. I would swing for hours and get lost in thought. Then, as I got older, I began to question my purpose and who I am. Hence, the title of the book.

What does the cover look like?

A little girl sitting on a swing while looking back at the reader in a mirror.

Describe the book in 5 words.

image, identity, self, existence, and discovery

What genre(s) do you think it fits into or breaks?

Poetry. And it’s a mixture of fiction and nonfiction

What’s the synopsis for the book?

The story is told through the eyes of a child as she transitions into adolescence. She questions her existence and her purpose. Witness the struggle for identity. Experience the emotional rainbow as this individual desperately searches for self through pre-made images.

What is one thing you want readers to know about this book that the official synopsis doesn’t cover?

We are all the little girls and boys within this book. We are all trying to tell our stories, and we want to be heard. No matter what you are going through or have gone through, you are not alone.

Where can we buy the book?

Online Bookstores and Retailers:

Amazon, Goodreads, Alibris, Abe Books, Book Depository, Indie Bound, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Physical Bookstores: Lemuria in Jackson, MS. Barnes & Noble in Ridgeland, MS, Downtown Marketplace in Yazoo City, and the Keepsake Poetry & Collectibles, LLC in Jackson, MS.

Where did your main sources of inspiration come from for this story?

I don’t have specific sources of inspiration. Inspiration just hit me from what people say, walking to class, listening to music, or a word. That’s just how sporadic inspiration is to me.

Who is the book dedicated to and why?

For the most part, I dedicated this book to the people who believed in me over the years, supported my talent, and stayed by my side throughout this journey. Most of them are no longer here; they’ve passed on.

Then, I dedicated the book to the voiceless, to people just like me. They don’t know how to express what they are going through. They are silently suffering. They don’t know who to trust or where to turn to. So they just internalize it which causes people to die a slow death.

What three other books would you use to describe your book?

I don’t know any.

Why is indie publishing important to you and why do you think it is important to our culture?

When it comes to poetry, it doesn’t have many, if any, opportunities to be published or promoted. A company told me that poetry rarely sells. That response made me very angry. Poetry is just as important to the literary family as any other piece of literature.

It’s important to have opportunities when other people have rejected you, your vision, and your talent.

If you could choose one ideal reader – no matter who – to read your book, who would it be and why?

I just want a reader who is open-minded, willing to listen to the little girl’s story without being judgemental, and truly embody her “poetic blues.”

If your book was an animal, what would it be and why?

I guess a chameleon. Because throughout this book, the individual goes through various phases and creates so many masks interchangeably.

What is your favorite sentence from the book?

This may seem odd, but I don’t have a favorite sentence from my book.

If you were to collaborate with another writer, who would they be and why?

I really don’t know. I’m new to the published author life, so I’m still connecting with other creative individuals and learning.

What books do you think the world needs to read more of and why?

That’s a very interesting question. I would say we have the books already. We, as human beings, just need to take the time to read them. We’re so picky about what we don’t want to read.

What does diversity in publishing mean to you?

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to present authors with opportunities and possibilities. I think that having diversity is better than having specifics. Everybody has their own preferences. If you take that away from them or leave something out, one will never know what they are missing.

How have libraries affected your writing?

Yes and no. When I was younger, I loved to read. As I got older, reading faded a little; however, writing took its place.

What do you see as problems that need to be fixed in the traditional publishing model?

It needs to be more flexible. Most traditional publishing models compare your book to other genres or other books that are selling well. But if your book doesn’t have an audience, it’s quickly discarded or rejected. You have so many literary greats like Walt Whitman, Will Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Langston Hughes, etc. who left their mark by their literary works. Of course, a lot has changed since then.

What is the best piece of advice you got from another writer?

Connect and network with other authors, writers, etc. Be a sponge to absorb the knowledge that they provide. All of it may not fit you, but you pick what you want to try. Then, just try it for yourself. If it doesn’t work, try something else. Keep at it.

What indie authors have influenced you and how?

I don’t know. I’m friends with a lot of indie authors. We’re just in this together by learning from each other and sharing knowledge, so we all can continue to support and uplift each other on this journey.

Is the Amazon publishing model scary to you in any way?

Not really. I’m not too familiarized with Amazon’s publishing.

What is something you learned about writing when writing your most recent book?

How to allow myself to be open and heard. I’m not used to people listening to me. I have the inability to communicate or to express verbally how I feel. Writing became the only way to convey the chaos within.

What do you think of the focus on indie bookstores over indie authors and indie books?

I don’t know. As I said, I’m still learning the whole process.

What are some ways you think gatekeepers in publishing (literary agents, librarians, book bloggers) can help indie authors gain discoverability?

I can’t answer this question. I’m still learning the whole process. I will say that one has to try multiple avenues before actually finding one that works for them. That’s what I’m doing now.

What is one book that changed your life and how?

I don’t have just one. There are quite a few that contributed to the person I am today.

What is your favorite online resource as an author?

I guess Facebook Groups because they were a lot of individuals who are helping me learn the do’s and don’ts as an indie author.

How do you feel about authors giving their work away for free?

I don’t have any problem with it. I’ve done it.

What are you reading now?

Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battles Against Your Giants by Pastor Louie Giglio

 What music do you write to or find inspiration in?

I’m an eclectic of music. But music doesn’t inspire me to write; it inspires me to think and feel. Just kind of “go with the flow” type of thing.

What roadblocks did you encounter when publishing your work?

Publishing was the easy part. It’s the promotion that gave me so much trouble.

What TV show are you watching now?

I don’t watch much TV these days.

Cat or dog or both person?

Both.

Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz – and why?

LOL, I love both. But I have to lean towards Alice in Wonderland.

Coffee or tea or both person?

Tea.

Print book or ebook or both person?

Print. I love the feel of a book in my hand. It’s harder to put it down.

How do you see book culture changing, other than the ways it already has, because of ebooks?

I really don’t know. For instance, I’ve sold more paperback than ebooks. It all goes back to readers’ preferences.

How do you see book culture changing, if at all, because of indie publishing?

Change is a good thing. It will give indie authors a place, a voice in the publishing platform. Indie authors deserve to be heard too.

What is one thing you would like to say to millennial readers?

Keep an open mind, but be careful of the information you read.

What is one cause or charity you support and want to give a shout-out to?

Right now, I don’t have one. I’m somewhat of a naive, introvert. I live inside my mind. But I will send a shout-out to literacy, education, and all the resources for indie authors.

What is your biggest grammatical struggle to overcome in your writing, or what is your most common typo?

Misspelled words, commas,  complex sentence structures…the list goes on and on.

Where can we stalk you? (What are the links to your social media platforms and blog?)

Stalk me? That’s hilarious.

Twitter – bluepoetevolves

Instagram- eyes2yoursoul30

FB Author Page: www.facebook.com/authorj.n.mcghee

My blog: abstractpoet87.wordpress.com

Thank you for taking the time to give us insight, Jasmine! 

 

Sponsored content. Learn more about my author interviews here.

Free Author Interviews For the Rest of November!

It’s No Pay November!

Submit your author interview answers to me by the end of November and I’ll post them for free. See the interview questions and typical guidelines here.  You can answer all or just some of the questions–it’s up to you! Interviews are normally $5, but tis the season of giving!

Why do I typically charge for interviews? Because I'm handing over my platform to you. I also offer other advertising opportunities here. I never charge for book reviews or TBR posts. Thank you for considering AmandaPandaduh!

 

TBR – The Automation by Anonymous

The capital-A Automatons of Greco-Roman myth aren’t clockwork. Their design is much more divine. They’re more intricate than robots or androids or anything else mortal humans could invent. Their windup keys are their human Masters. They aren’t mindless; they have infinite storage space. And, because they have more than one form, they’re more versatile and portable than, say, your cell phone—and much more useful too. The only thing these god-forged beings share in common with those lowercase-A automatons is their pre-programmed existence. They have a function—a function their creator put into place—a function that was questionable from the start…

Odys (no, not short for Odysseus, thank you) finds his hermetic lifestyle falling apart after a stranger commits suicide to free his soul-attached Automaton slave. The humanoid Automaton uses Odys’s soul to “reactivate” herself. Odys must learn to accept that the female Automaton is an extension of his body—that they are the same person—and that her creator-god is forging a new purpose for all with Automatons…

The novel calls itself a “Prose Epic,” but is otherwise a purposeful implosion of literary clichés and gimmicks: A Narrator and an Editor (named Gabbler) frame the novel. Gabbler’s pompous commentary (as footnotes) on the nameless Narrator’s story grounds the novel in reality. Gabbler is a stereotypical academic who likes the story only for its so-called “literary” qualities, but otherwise contradicts the Narrator’s claim that the story is true.

THE AUTOMATION is a this-world fantasy that reboots mythical characters and alchemical concepts. Its ideal place would be on the same bookshelf as Wilson’s ALIF THE UNSEEN and Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS—though it wouldn’t mind bookending Homer, Virgil, and Milton, to be specific.

And, yes, “B.L.A. and G.B. Gabbler” are really just a pen name.

I’m horny for more footnotes.

View on Goodreads.

You can also read this for free via Smashwords.

TBR – Speaking in Tungs by Karla M. Jay

In this entertaining first novel, set in rural Pennsylvania, a young San Francisco woman searches for her birthparents and from the moment she arrives in the backwoods town of Tungston, she falls under the spell of unforgettable characters, the unexpected-but-real threat of a violent fugitive, and the unexpected-but-real charm of a local fireman—all leading her to discover the true meaning of family.” Speaking in Tungs is too good to be anyone’s first novel….I enjoyed reading this witty novel with its colorful cast of characters, and so will you.” –Firoozeh Dumas, New York Times Bestselling Author

I love punny titles.

Buy it on Amazon.

TBR – Sex Hell by Joe Canzano

When Debbie de La Fontaine tries to spice up her love life by supernaturally tampering with her sex life, she is cursed to spend every future encounter in a magical place called “Sex Hell,” where the sex is ludicrous and amazing but the romance is scarce.

Her only chance for escape is through the stingy clues supplied by an obnoxious demon, and the only way to obtain the clues is by returning to Sex Hell again and again to have outrageous sexcapades with the man she most wants to avoid – or does she?

*This book contains profanity and adult situations*

Sex Hell sounds kind of like real life to me.

Learn more here.

TBR – Pretty Marys All in a Row by Gwendolyn Kiste

You’ll find her on a lonely highway, hitchhiking at midnight. She calls herself Rhee, but everyone else knows her by another name: Resurrection Mary. And when she’s transported home each night to a decrepit mansion on a lane to nowhere, she’s not alone.

In the antique mirror, call her name three times, and Bloody Mary will appear. Outside, wandering through a garden of poisonous flowers is Mistress Mary, Quite Contrary, a nursery rhyme come to gruesome life. Downstairs is another jump-rope rhyme—Mary Mack, forever conscripted to build her own coffin. And brooding in the corner with her horse skull is the restless Mari Lwyd.

They are the Marys, the embodiment of urban legend and what goes bump in the night. Every evening, they gather around the table and share nightmares like fine wine, savoring the flavors of those they’ve terrified.

But other than these brief moments together, the Marys are alone, haunting a solitary gloom that knows them better than they know themselves. That’s because they don’t remember who they were before—or even if there was a before. And worst of all, they don’t know how to escape this fate.

That is, until a moment of rage inspires Rhee to leap from the highway—and into the mirror with Bloody Mary. Suddenly, the Marys are learning how to move between their worlds, all while realizing how much stronger they are together.

But just when freedom is within their reach, something in the gloom fights back—something that isn’t ready to let them go. Now with her sisters in danger of slipping into the darkness, Rhee must unravel the mystery of who the Marys were before they were every child’s nightmare. And she’ll have to do it before what’s in the shadows comes to claim her for its own.

This is like an American Gods version of…urban legends?

Read more about it on Goodreads.

TBR – W by John Banks

A 1000-year-old Viking is discovered frozen on the slopes of Mt. Hood, Oregon – three thousand miles further west than any previously known European Viking-Age exploration.

While the world is focused on this remarkable discovery, Josh Kinninger’s world is falling apart. Three personal tragedies have left him bitterly angry and emotionally unmoored. Inspired by the Viking discovery, Josh plans a desperate western journey of his own to wreak a bizarre vengeance on the morally corrupt individuals who have piqued his ire.

Josh, however, isn’t the only Kinninger who tries to run away from his problems – and the problems of his country – by heading west.

By turns comic and tragic, W weaves several stories and styles into a rich literary fabric.

In addition to the story of how that Viking comes to reside in Oregon, there is the story of Josh’s ancestor, Jefferson, who in 1860 embarks on a journey by wagon train along the Oregon Trail to escape the violent strife preceding the Civil War.

And there is the story of Jefferson’s namesake descendant, who, one hundred years later, takes off westward to escape the racism of the Jim Crow South and to make a new life in San Francisco as a jazz musician.

On a related note, I recently visited the Heavener Oklahoma Runestone. 

Read more about this book on Goodreads.

TBR – The Book of Ralph by Christopher Steinsvold

A message appears on the moon. It is legible from Earth, and almost no one knows how it was created. Markus West leads the government’s investigation to find the creator.

The message is simple and familiar. But those three words, written in blazing crimson letters on the lunar surface, will foster the strangest revolution humankind has ever endured and make Markus West wish he was never involved.

The message is ‘Drink Diet Coke.’

When Coca-Cola denies responsibility, global annoyance becomes indignation. And when his investigation confirms Coca-Cola’s innocence, Markus West becomes one of the most hated men on Earth.

Later, five miles above the White House, a cylinder is discovered floating in the night. It is 400 feet tall, 250 feet in diameter, and exactly resembles a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. Nearly everyone thinks the cylinder is a promotional stunt gone wrong, just like the lunar advertisement. And this is exactly what the alien in the cylinder wants people to think.

Ralph, an eccentric extraterrestrial who’s been hiding on the moon, needs Markus’s help to personally deliver a dark warning to the White House. Ralph has a big heart, a fetish for Andy Warhol, and a dangerous plan to save the world.

How convenient that Ralph is an eccentric in such an eccentric novel!

Read more on Goodreads. 

TBR -Decresendo by Gerry Brennan

A sumptuous, lyrical novel, Gerry Brennan wanders down avenues of politics and philosophy, love and death, art and culture, reading the graffitti along the way, seeking out dead ends in order to scale walls and emerge in courtyards. The novel of ideas lives on in Decresendo, in language as musical as any sonnet.

 

I, too, stop and read the graffiti.