Spotlight & Giveaway: Espoused, by Jean Marie Davis

espoused banner
Join Us for This Tour from August 16 to September 3!
 
Book Title:  Espoused by Jean Marie Davis
Category:  Adult Fiction 18+
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Literary, Humor
Publisher:  Wren Park Publishing, 264 pages
Release date: July 2021
Content Rating:  PG for the subject matter of adult relationships/marriage/divorce, but there is no bad language or explicit sex scenes.
 

Espouse:
(v.) to take in marriage; to make a marriage permanent by court decree;
the court-approved process by which couples may stay together beyond
the legal 15-year term.

In the contemporary world, fifteen years is considered the legal life cycle of a marriage. If a couple wants to stay together (married), they must hire a lawyer and petition the court to become Espoused.

After 14 years of marriage, Sara and Thomas Healy are still in love. Their decision to go to court to be espoused permanently is a source of great embarrassment for their children. Avery is ready for the benefits of uncoupling, and Sam really doesn’t need the social stigma of parents who decide to stay together, on top of everything else. Lame! Their espouse attorney, Gwen Stevens, has other problems. The judge for the Healy case is her nemesis, Carly Abraham, also known as “the Wicked Witch of the Bench.” Judge Abraham was previously married to Gwen’s husband Dennis, from whom she uncoupled after the allotted 15 years. She hates espouse lawyers on principle, and seems to have an extra dose of dislike for Gwen personally.

While the Healys struggle through the espouse experience—trial separation, uncouple counseling, and ongoing financial burdens—Gwen has to deal with the judge and her own struggles at home. In this fight for love, who
has the answers?

Buy the Book
Amazon
add to Goodreads

 

Meet the Author:

Jean Marie Davis was born and raised in Huntington, New York. After graduating from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, she moved back to Long Island where she worked in the Marketing Research industry for over 30 years. She currently lives in Centerport, New York close to her daughter and son.

Connect with the Author:  ​Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook  ~ Goodreads

 

Tour Schedule:

Aug 16 – I’m All About Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 16 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 17 – Twilight Reader – book review
Aug 18 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Aug 19 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Aug 19 – Viviana MacKade – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 20 – Lalitha’s World of Serenity – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Aug 23 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 24 – Kam’s Place – book review
Aug 25 – Based on a True Story – book review
Aug 25 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 26 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
Aug 27 – Lisa’s Reading – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 30 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 31 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Aug 31 – RebeccaReviewedIt – book review / giveaway
Sep 1 – Splashes of Joy – book review / guest post / giveaway
Sep 1 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Sep 2 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
Sep 3 – Adventurous Jessy – book review / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway!

ESOUSED Book Tour Giveaway

Spotlight & Excerpt: Not My Ruckus, by Chad Musick

not my ruckus

Not My Ruckus
by Chad Musick
Genre: Literary
Publisher: Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC
Date of Publication:  16 February 2021
ISBN: 978-1-953971-00-5
ASIN: B08LKJ12P2
Number of pages: 320
Word Count: 86,000
Cover Artist: Nada Backovic 

Clare knows only bad girls shoot people and set fires. But being good won’t save her best friend.

Folks know 14-year-old Clare isn’t normal, even for a tomboy. She runs too much, talks too little, carries a gun too often, and holds a grudge forever. Only her papa’s job at the bank keeps gossip quiet. It’s unwise to risk the cold anger of the man who knows everyone’s secrets.

Clare feels prepared for everything from fire, to flood, to what her momma calls demon attacks. When her neighbor Esther kisses her, though, Clare has no ready script. Maybe she could write one, given time she doesn’t have. At the moment of that first kiss, Esther’s mom is bleeding out from a gunshot wound.

Clare can read the signs everyone else is determined to ignore. A murder was only the beginning. Esther needs protection, whether she wants it or not, and Clare won’t abandon her friend just because things are hard.

Maybe one day she’ll be forgiven for doing what’s needed.


Excerpt

Esther kissed me once for free, when we were both just girls. We were sitting watching the Rangers play baseball—not the Olympics, because it was the summer of 1980 and Carter was choosing to hide in a boycott rather than fight the communists who were running it—and Gunnar went to the fridge to get a fresh bottle of beer.

“Daddy,” Esther called, “can we have some sandwiches?”

He grunted back, and we heard his breathing punctuated by the clatter of the silverware drawer and the rattle of the jam jar.

Esther swayed back and forth, making fun of how Gunnar had staggered as he walked to the kitchen.

“Usually I get his beers, or mom does, but you’re company.” She winked at me.

I wasn’t allowed at Esther’s house often, even though we should have been best friends all along. We were both 14, we lived across the street from each other, and we would go to high school together the next year, just like we’d always gone to school together. But her family wasn’t our kind of people.

On the day Esther kissed me, though, momma’d had a vision of her and Esther’s mom going shopping together.

When momma had a vision, you didn’t stand in the way, and so she had dropped me off and taken Esther’s mom in the big car to go shopping.

Gunnar came back with a paper plate of peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches for us, and a pair of beers for himself. He eased back down into his lounger with the creak of springs and scritch of leather on denim, and opened a beer. He let it dangle from his fingers, and it wasn’t long before he was snoring.

Esther crept up on him and eased the bottle from him.

She held it out, for me to drink. This was one of the reasons they weren’t our kind of people, and I shook my head no at her.

“I’ll scream,” she whispered, and held it out again. “It’s gross. He’s already drank off it.”

Esther pushed her finger into the neck of the bottle and wiped it, just a little pop of sound when her finger came out, then wiped the outside of the top. She made me take the bottle.

I drank some, of course I did. Not much, just a swallow, so she wouldn’t scream, and then I gave it back to her.

She finished the bottle, and then laid it down beneath Gunnar’s fingertips. There hadn’t been much left anyway, I told myself.

We sat on the floor in the Texas summer heat and leaned our backs against the new couch. The plastic on the seats got sticky and uncomfortable when the sun shone on it, but the unglazed terra cotta floor was cool, and her hand was warm when she put it in mine.

She was swaying again, and when she swayed my way, her head rested on my shoulder and stayed there.

“Esther,” I told her. She looked up.

“We’re best friends now.” She nodded.

Good. It was good to have a friend. Even if next year she didn’t join me in softball and running and volleyball and all the other sports I’d been denied in junior high because there were only intramurals, I’d still have a friend. Frank didn’t let me play with him anymore, because he was older and it wasn’t “cool” to have your little sister around, especially if she was better at baseball than you. He could get the bat on the ball sometimes, smash it high in the air with the powerful arms that he’d once used to hoist me on his wide shoulders, but he lacked control. Just about every hit was a foul or a pop fly. Even when he hit it well, he was never ready to run.

I’ve always been ready to run.

Esther didn’t care about baseball, even if she’d watch it on the tv with me. At school, I’d used to watch her when she double- dutched with the other girls, who called me boy like it was a curse word and stopped their ropes when I came around.

“I have a secret,” she said, without lifting her head.
“I want to tell it to you.”


About the Author:

 
Chad Musick grew up in Utah, California, Washington, Texas, and (most of all) Alaska. He fell in love in California and then moved with his family to Japan, where he’s found happiness. He earned a PhD in Mathematical Science but loves art and science equally.
 
Despite a tendency for electronic devices to burst into flame after Chad handles them, he persists in working in various technical and technology-related roles. 
 
Chad makes no secret of being epileptic, autistic, and arthritic, facts that inform how he approaches both science and the arts.
 
 
 
 

 

Spotlight & Excerpt: Folk Songs For Trauma Surgeons + Giveaway

BLOGTOUR-BANNER-folksongs

folksongs for trauma surgeons

FOLK SONGS FOR TRAUMA SURGEONS by Keith Rosson

RELEASE DATE: FEB 23, 2021

GENRE: Collection / Speculative Fiction / Magical Realism / Literary

BOOK PAGE @Meerkat Press

With Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons, award-winning author Keith Rosson delves into notions of family, grief, identity, indebtedness, loss, and hope, with the surefooted merging of literary fiction and magical realism he’s explored in previous novels. In “Dunsmuir,” a newly sober husband buys a hearse to help his wife spread her sister’s ashes, while “The Lesser Horsemen” illustrates what happens when God instructs the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to go on a team-building cruise as a way of boosting their frayed morale. In “Brad Benske and the Hand of Light,” an estranged husband seeks his wife’s whereabouts through a fortuneteller after she absconds with a cult, and in “High Tide,” a grieving man ruminates on his brother’s life as a monster terrorizes their coastal town. With grace, imagination, and a brazen gallows humor, Folk Songs for Trauma Surgeons merges the fantastic and the everyday, and includes a number of Rosson’s unpublished stories, as well as award-winning favorites.

BUY LINKS: Meerkat Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Blog-Tour-Banner-INSTAGRAM

Excerpt from “Brad Benske and the Hand of Light” by Keith Rosson

Splay-legged in my recliner, I’ve just returned from putting another note under Marcus’s door (In the next life your penis shall be multipronged, insectile, hot and bristling with pustules, gloriously prone to infection) when someone knocks on my door and I choke back a cry, startled. It’s midafternoon and my social life, never strident to begin with, has atrophied in recent months. Who could possibly be knocking? Reluctantly, I rise from my recliner and pull on my robe and, realizing at that moment that it might actually be Marcus, a Marcus angry about the insectile penis-note, and all the other notes, I open the door with a mad flourish, trying to be as intimidating as possible.

The day seems obscenely sunny, garishly so. I wince and blink. The man in the doorway is a stranger, and he takes a step back when he sees me. He’s wearing some kind of uniform—a blue shirt with a nametag and a pair of blue shorts. A little clipboard.

“Brad? Brad Benske?”

“Yes,” I say. It comes out tremulously; for a moment even I feel unsure. Is this who I am? And then, more confidently, “Yes.”

The man marks something off on his clipboard and flicks his thumb against one of his nostrils and says, “Brad, hey, what’s up. I’m with the water bureau.”

“The what?”

He says, “Water bureau. Your water?”

“Oh.”

“You’re late with your payment.”

“Am I?”

“Really late,” he says, and consults his clipboard. “Couple months late. As in, if you can’t pay it by the end of day today, we have to shut it off.”

“The water?”

He seems to see me for the first time then—the robe, the dishevelment, the haphazard leaning mess of the inside of the house that he can spy through the open doorway. I have a zit on my cheek that has over recent days gotten woefully infected and is now nearly the size of a ping-pong ball. Fifty-one years old and getting zits, if you can believe it. I need to drink more water, I think, and then have a moment of shock as I realize the water guy is right here in front of me. It’s like some kind of weak serendipity, some petulant magic.

“Are you okay?”

“Oh, I’m fine,” I say.

The nametag above his pocket says Cameron, and he looks like a Cameron. A beefy young man with big calves and a certain dumb purity, someone who did keg stands in college and can differentiate between different types of vape oil. A man who wears a hemp bracelet and sleeps on a futon, I decide, a man who sniff-tests his socks. Cameron peers into the dank chamber of my little house and his nose wrinkles. I step out onto the porch and shut the door behind me.

“Oh man, my grandma got shingles,” Cameron says, pointing a blunt finger at my face. “She was only sixty-two. It messed her up.”

“This is just a zit.”

“Oh. Sorry.”

The world beyond my yard writhes with life; a little boy wheels by on his bike, leaves on the trees tremble and sway, and I can hear the bass-heavy thump of music strobing through the window of a passing car. The air is rich with the smell of cut grass. And everything trills a memory. Emma has been gone for nine months now. Nine months! I spend a moment hoping Marcus’s penis becomes riddled with pustules in this life, and draft an internal note saying such.

Cameron clears his throat.

“My checkbook’s inside,” I say. “How much is it?”

He gives me a number. It seems a reasonable enough amount if I haven’t paid in months—Emma handled the bills, and it’s yet another instance where I have lagged, where I am lost without her—but he sounds unhappy about it.

“It’s okay,” I say. “You’re just doing your job.”

“I mean, I’m in a band,” Cameron says. “I do community theater. You know? There’s more to me than just this.” He sweeps a hand along his outfit, his clipboard.

“Of course there is,” I say. I walk inside and eventually find my checkbook beside an old sandwich on the floor that’s furred in ants. I write the check and step outside and kind of shake the ants off and hand it to Cameron, and his blue eyes as he watches this are rife with something like pity. “I hope you feel better soon,” he says quietly, and it’s clear he’s not talking about my goiter.

 

  • •  •

 

Melinda says, “So you’re still leaving him notes.” She lights a menthol and blows the smoke up to the ceiling.

“No,” I say.

She laughs outright and flips me off. “Oh my God, you’re such a liar. Such a bad liar, too.”

“I left one today,” I confess. May maggots tumble from thy dong, it read, and then it had a little doodle of that, a little picture.

Melinda winces. “Honey, why his penis, though? Why talk about his penis?” She adjusts her headband.

“I don’t always.”

“Well, when you tell me about it, the notes are always penis-related.”

“I’m trying to keep it funny. Light. Less worrisome than actual threats.”

“Maggots from his dong, though? That sounds like an actual threat to me.”

“It’s medical,” I say.

It had seemed a simple message, one suffused with appropriate dread and then buoyed a little by the silly drawing. I wonder for a moment if I have in fact turned some corner, gone some further distance than I intended. One I won’t be able to come back from. Maybe I have crossed some line.

“You know it’s illegal, right?” says Melinda. “It’s gotta be harassment or something. Menacing. You better hope you don’t get caught.”

“I won’t get caught. Marcus is too enmeshed in his bullshit.”

“If he installs one of those cameras above his door. You’re done.”

“Look,” I say, “can you just give me a reading? Please?”

Melinda, when she’s working, goes by Madame Ouellette. She has a palm reading and tarot practice out on the jagged stretch of 82nd Avenue, in a weird mobile home kind of thing that rests in an otherwise empty parking lot. She’s decked the place out in tapestries and unicorn sculptures and salt candles and incense; the atmosphere goes a fair way toward canceling out the brazen drug deals out front, the endless traffic, the shirtless guy screaming about aliens in his teeth at the Wendy’s across the street. Melinda and I slept together once in college, badly, and have ever since been continually thankful of the friendship that has sprung from it. Our shared history buoys us. Emma, at best, had tolerated Melinda during our marriage. Felt threatened by her. Which always surprised me, as she seemed otherwise so sure of everything. “Why can’t you just scratch your balls and yell about football with some guy from work? Drink beer and talk about cars?” she’d say, a rare instance where I saw the underpinnings of her insecurity. Melinda gives me readings for free now, and I ask her where Emma is, where they’ve sent her. If she’s happy, if she’s safe where she is. This, and bothering Marcus are as close to penance and relief as I get. Madam Ouellette offers me her visions and I imagine that they’re true. Half the time it seems like Melinda’s just trying to come up with the most outlandish shit she can, and I’m grateful for it. It almost assuredly beats the true narrative.

She makes me a cup of tea as we chat some more. I drink the tea and tell Melinda the story about our wedding day and how Emma had spilled a cup of coffee down the front of her dress, the same dress her mother had worn to her wedding, and had had to wear a last minute back-up dress that showed way more cleavage then she intended. It is a well-worn story; Melinda has heard it a million times. Hell, she was at our wedding, watched the entire event take place. But it’s part of the process of the reading, Melinda says. And when I’m done with the tea, she has me upend the cup on a plastic slip mat and we talk for a moment about my hopes with this, what it is I want to get from this. I say something, some bland proclamation. I want to feel close to her, I think. I want to believe that what you’re saying is really her life. We’ve done this perhaps a dozen times since Emma left me to join the Hand of Light. This is one of the only things I do anymore.

Melinda really gets into character, adjusting her jeweled headband, her hands taking on these exaggerated movements as she tries to withdraw the “intentionality” from the leaves. Tea has started to bead out from beneath the rim of the cup. Eventually she lifts it and frowns at the chiaroscuro of dark leaves on the plastic mat.

She talks, fully Madam Ouellette now. Her voice is clipped, more precise, colder.

She tells me that Emma is in a carwash in Biloxi, Mississippi.

“She’s working in a carwash? In Mississippi?”

“No, no. She’s in a carwash. In a car. Someone’s yelling about atonement. Maybe it’s the radio. There’s a baby in the backseat, but it’s not hers. The sudsy cleaning things slap against the window. It’s a kind of transformation for her.”

“You’re so full of shit,” I say, grinning. I can’t help myself. I’m almost happy.

“She got a haircut. She’s wearing sunglasses in the carwash. It’s dark.”

“Oh, yeah? Did they shave her head? Is she wearing a potato sack, Melinda? Are there snacks?” Part of me relishes these fantasies she makes up. I simultaneously wish they were true and only feel safe when I’m mocking them. I’ve had a private investigator on the payroll since she’s been gone, but he’s come up with nothing. He talks to me like I’m an aggrieved husband, speaks respectfully, and part of me hates the guy for it.

Of the two people in the world who know what an utter fuckup I am, one has absconded with the Hand of Light, and the other one’s looking at me right now, waving her palm over a bunch of wet tea leaves, offering at least some minute solace.

AUTHOR_BIO-GRAPHIC-Keith_Rosson

AUTHOR LINKS: Website | Twitter

GIVEAWAY: $50 Book Shopping Spree!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY LINK: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7f291bd826/?