I am very happy and excited to be hosting one of today’s tour stops for the release of AJ Lape’s No Brainer, book 2 in The Darcy Walker Series This is a young adult mystery series that teens and adults will enjoy. I read Grade A Stupid, the first book in the series, and found myself laughing out loud on several occasions! I can’t wait to dig into No Brainer and find out what Darcy is up to these days.
AJ graciously offered up the following excerpt from No Brainer. She was also kind enough to answer some interview questions for me. Please enjoy and then don’t forget to enter the giveaway! Good luck and happy reading!!
No Brainer Excerpt
Guilt consumed me.
Should I even try to count up all of my offenses? If tapping into government property were frowned upon, walking into OBT would make a preacher swear. I was literally a victim of my own impulsivity. But I was 15 years old, and at this point, I’d learned to embrace my dysfunction. Maybe that was step-one to recovery, or maybe I’d learned to employ rationalization at its finest. Either way, the universe didn’t take too kindly when you rationalized. Right when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, life cut me off at the knees with another dose of how-low-can-you-go.
Yankee pranced inside the back pool entrance and was now an albino blonde. She’d either dumped a bottle of peroxide on her head or her hair aged fifty years overnight. My stomach burned and twisted, and it felt like I’d scarfed a jar of habanero peppers.
“Greetings, ladies,” she smirked. That statement felt as fake as her hair. She slinked over the black pavers in a barely-there red bikini, worming her way directly between Sydney and me who lay totally horizontal on chaise lounges. Today was convection-oven sweltering, and I'd been drinking everything in sight like a camel in the desert. I’d chugged two bottles of water, a can of Coke, and half a glass of iced tea and hadn’t had the need to tinkle once. Wearing my skimpiest of white bikinis, for me that meant the string part stretched two inches instead of one. For Sydney, it meant a pink piece of thread her mother made the sign of the cross over. They argued, but Sydney laughed and hiked it up higher.
“Where’s Dylan?” Yankee asked snootily.
“Out,” Sydney interrupted. Not true. Dylan had just swam two-dozen laps and stepped inside to watch a ballgame.
But guess what, Darcy’s lips were sealed.
Yankee lifted her chin in a pout. “I’ll wait.”
Whatever, I thought. And I hope you drop dead in the process.
Author Interview with AJ Lape:
What inspired you to become a writer?
I majored in English and Journalism in college, so I’ve always had a pen or pencil in my hand. I’ve written songs, poetry, a manifesto on how to save the world (just joking, I barely know how to spell the word manifesto). Darcy Walker, though, seems to be the one creation that insists on sticking around.
How did Darcy Walker come to be? What inspired her character?
Darcy Walker came to life Friday, the 13th, 2008. That was a particularly crappy day, and after a marathon crying session to my husband, I picked up my laptop and Darcy “walked” right onto the page. She’s never gone away. I guess the inspiration for her character comes from my feelings about people in general. I have a soft spot in my heart for those that are wired a little differently than everyone else, who try to fit their square-peg mind through society’s round hole. Darcy’s an underdog, but she’s an underdog with a Pit Bull attitude. I like that, I like it when people refuse to quit…and I firmly believe the universe rewards that.
There are a lot of hilarious Darcy-isms in the book - the phrases that Darcy says; how did you come up with these?
Oh, jeez, thank you!!! You know, I just type what I hear Darcy say, but thankfully the Good Lord gave me a healthy sense of humor, mixed with a slight dose of sarcasm. I mean, if you can’t laugh or find humor in the most horrible of situations, it’s hard to survive. I’ve got a whole arsenal of E! True Hollywood Story crap that I’ll tell you about one day, but trust me, humor is a massive coping mechanism in my mind…LOL.
You opted to set your story in your hometown of Cincinnati; why did you choose that location over any other or a fictional town?
I love my city, and Cincinnati is what I “know,” full of amazing landmarks, traditions, and opportunities. But it still has that small hometown feel and geographic influence that I wanted to place in Darcy’s life. Her father’s from the South, like me, and let me tell you, weird crap happens in the South that only another Southerner can believe. Plus, Cincinnati is full of Southern transplants. It was a perfect setting to pull those influences and particular idiosyncrasies into her every day. I live for “weird,” and Darcy’s world is full of weird.
I believe that there's a little bit of an author in every book, whether that be in a character, setting, certain actions, etc. Are you reflected in Grade A Stupid in any way?
Absolutely. In several characters, actually. I can’t claim to possess Darcy’s genius IQ, but we are very similar in our make-up. Like her, I have this horrible habit of laughing when things are uncomfortable or inappropriate. At this point in my life, I just embrace that crap and go on. Darcy’s also an underdog and doesn’t quit when there is something that she wants. I can be like a dog on a bone when I want something, but like her—my teenage years were fraught with the insecurity that every other girl has. Do I look okay today? Am I disappointing anyone? Why did I get myself into that mess when I knew better? Like Darcy, I was a jock. I liked bad-boys; I got burned by bad-boys; and some of the best friends I’ve ever had “were” and “still are” of the opposite sex. Her internal thoughts are very similar to what mine were as a teenager, but the way I make my decisions are probably closer to how her best friend Dylan Taylor conducts his life. My thinking skews toward the black and white. If you love you love; if you’re loyal then you’re loyal. I’m pretty simple like that.
Find A. J. Lape Online:
Daily giveaway: leave a comment on this blog and remember to include your name! Everyone who leaves a comment on today’s tour stop will be eligible to win an e-book of No Brainer. Winner will be selected by Random.org & an announcement will be posted here, so remember to check back!
Tour giveaway: Enter the Rafflecopter contest for your chance to win:
1- $30 Amazon gift card
1- autographed copy of No Brainer
4- Ebooks (either Grade A Stupid or No Brainer - winner's choice)
2- SWAG pack winners (SWAG includes signed Iniquity Engineer bookmark, signed postcard of both books, and refrigerator magnet of both book covers).
JUNE 8th & 9th
• No tour for the weekend!