Showing posts with label humor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label humor. Show all posts

Thursday, February 14, 2019

"The Unlounging" by Selraybob


REVIEW and GIVEAWAY
The Unlounging
by Selraybob

The Unlounging by Selraybob

The Unlounging by Selraybob is currently on tour with Reading Addiction Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.


Description
Mid-twenties, beaten down and out of shape, Selraybob spends his days on his worn out lounger, drinking quarts of Busch and talking to his buddy Herm on the phone. Productivity is a forgotten dream. Until, right in the middle of his wife’s long-overdue kiss-off speech, Selraybob has an epiphany. It’s about Time. Time, he determines, is a count. It’s only a count. Einstein was wrong. And life on the lounger will never be the same.
With warm wit and a complete lack of pretense, Selraybob shares his journey from a man stuck in his lounger to a verified, and often vilified, time-theory iconoclast.


Excerpt
Chapter 1: No Good Time to Lose a Wife.
I was sitting by the window, quart of Busch on my belly, when my wife Joalene walked in and commenced to tell me that I’m a witless, no-good, washed-up nothing and how I’m never going to amount to even a worm on a pile of mole scat if I spend all my time sitting on the lounger and drinking beer—which, just to be clear, I was not drinking, since it was on my belly. But while Joalene was talking, just as she said the word time, instead of looking out the window at the leafless oak like normal, I looked at the clock. And I started thinking about the black marks on the white face and the hands and how they go round and round and round and round and what that means now that we have digital clocks, one of which was on the top of the movie recorder. So I looked over there. The red numbers were 9:45, and the circular clock, as close as I could tell, was pointing at 9:38. So while Joalene was breathing in, which she almost never seemed to do, I asked her if she had seven minutes I could have. “Because I’m thinking,” I said, “that if you would just move over a bit, so as I can’t see the clock there that says 9:45, then it will only be 9:38, and I’ll have seven more minutes to sit here with my beer, and maybe drink some, and then, if you don’t mind so much, sweetheart, you can get me some lasagna from out of the fridge.”
She scowled and spun around. Her hair went swooshing past her neck, and she went swinging those delicious heart-shaped hips of hers into the bedroom and then back out a couple minutes later with her hair curled, eyes done up all blue and hot, and her lips puffed out showing teeth smudged red with lipstick in the way that used to make me want to jump up and start mashing my tongue into her mouth to clean them off. But it didn’t work that way anymore. She’d become the errand woman and me the pizza eater.
Now that’s no way to think about your high school cherry turned wife. I knew it, too. It’s crap. But when I looked at her parading herself back and forth for me, trying to get me going in that malicious way of hers, I didn’t think about us driving up to St. Louis to get her now dearly-departed toy poodle Lexie, or barbecuin’ quail by the river and sitting naked later and giggling.
No. I thought that she was wasting my time, and where was she going, and why wasn’t she getting me that lasagna? And if she was just going to flaunt herself at me and not come over close so as I could smell her, then she may as well call the pizza man and order us a large pepperoni.
I didn’t say anything, though. She may have been parading, but she was scowling while she was doing it. And even with this acorn I got in my head, after eight years you learn when to shut up. And sometimes you actually do.
So I looked at the clock again, at the circular one with a second hand that goes round and round, tick by tick, then back to the skirt hugging Joalene’s curves and back to the red numbers and back to Joalene as she walked back into the bedroom and slammed the door. I caught myself sitting up and listening and wondering whether she was packing or undressing or adding another coat of gloss to her lips. But I sure wasn’t going to have her burst out and catch me gawking at the light under the door. So I went back to staring at the clock. I almost got myself hypnotized watching the second hand go round and round, which would’ve been good, I tell you, to keep my thoughts from turning on. Because unfortunately, they did. I caught the red number clock flip four to five, and it got me to wondering why one time is right and another is wrong and why one is fast and another slow. Why do we even watch the clocks, and who decided what a minute is anyway?
Of course, then Joalene came out with her yellow suitcase, hand-painted with red flowers—by her, with the paints I’d bought—and planted her heels in the vinyl brick of the entranceway and glared down at me and said, “I’ve waited long enough for you to make something of yourself. I have. A long time, Selraybob.”
After she said that, I said, “Eight years.”
EIGHT YEARS!” she yelled. “And you’ve become fatter and fatter and less and less.” And I had, I admit. I’d tried plumbing school a few years back, thinking all that bending over and getting up would slim me down, but two weeks in, I flooded a funeral home with a backed-up toilet. After that came furniture moving with my friend Herm. But not three days after the fatal encounter between little Lexie and the blind man with the spiked cane, Herm and I dropped a dresser on a two-pound Chihuahua. Two dead dogs in three days. It was rough. Tearful even. I took it as a sign to ease back on the physical strain. So Joalene was right. “It’s a long time to wait, Sel. It really is.”
I hate to say it, because she sounded a little sad, but instead of looking at her while she was talking at me, I was checking the clock and counting. And the next thing I did was ask her, “Joalene,” I said. “What is this thing ‘time’ you keep talking about, and does it really make sense to wait, or have you just been working a whole lot on improving me while I’ve been doing a good deal of sitting on the lounger and enjoying my quarts of Busch?”
She called me an asshole and told me to get my own self to the unemployment office from now on. Which scared me a little. Joalene had done the financial statements for us. And it’d been three years since I’d been downtown. I didn’t even go the river anymore, and the Mississippi’s king. So I sure didn’t want to go searching Waketon, on a bus, for some office of biggeties telling me all the things I should’ve done. It was a traumatic moment.
What I should’ve done is gotten up and said something, like told her, Baby, all these years I know I’ve been bad, been a selfish swine, but in the future I’ll be different. Promise. Soon as you can blink an eye, I’ll be a new man.
Didn’t though. I couldn’t. Because I tell you, I sure as hell didn’t see any new man popping out of my gut. I did say, “Baby…” but then nothing. I clammed right up.
So she opened the door and let the frigid in, stepped out, turned around and told me, “I’m done caring for you, Sel. I can’t do it anymore. I just can’t.” I didn’t answer, and she waited a few seconds and then said, “Nothing? That’s it?”
My head was still empty and my body cold from the winter coming in, so I just looked at her and shook my head. She spun away disgusted and slammed the door, and I leaned over the arm of the lounger, picked the old corded phone off the floor and set it on my belly and then called the grocery mart to have them deliver a few more quarts of Busch. But I heard Joalene’s fan belts squealing in her old Malibu and then her tires screeching out of the driveway, and I got myself a hankering real strong for some chicken, which, because she’d grown up downwind of a chicken farm and couldn’t stand the sight of it or the smell, even on my breath, I hadn’t eaten since our first date in high school, three years before she’d moved in. So I ordered a roasted one, as large as they had, and mashed potatoes, and some slaw too, since I needed vegetables, and also a piece of chocolate cake. While the mart people were doing their calculating with the register, I looked out the window. The moon was gigantic and low. If I’d still been a farmhand, I’d’ve been out there harvesting into the night. But I wasn’t. Just a guy staring at the moon that pretty much took the whole window. It was a beautiful thing, dammit, and it got me to thinking of Joalene when she wears her gray pants. Not that she’s got an ass as big as a moon, but the pants are spotted, and she only wears them when she’s digging in the garden, which is how we spent our first anniversary together—seeding watermelon and cucumbers and getting ourselves all dirty before we went to the fancy hotel, sudsed each other up in the whirlpool tub and then did what married people do on their first anniversary.
My eyes got foggy. And I don’t mind admitting now that it was probably because of Joalene. No sense sitting and sulking all night though, so I said, “Dammit, Sel!” and punched my thigh—hard too, bruised myself—then I heaved myself out of the chair and put on my jacket, walked outside and stood and watched the moon. I stood so long I saw it move, which got me thinking about sunset and moonset and where Joalene was heading and if she saw the same moon I was seeing and at the same time? What would her watch say and what would mine if I had one, and would we be looking at the moon at two different times if there are two different watches?
The mart guy drove up and I paid and walked inside to the fridge and put the beer in. I found the forks and knives and napkins, got myself a plate and went to the lounger to eat. As I squatted to sit, I passed a little backside wind. And as I settled down I heard the chair squeak and smelled the thick cloud of gas from my insides—the putrid gas since Joalene had been forcing broccoli down my gullet. It was mixing with the spices from the steaming chicken, which should have watered my mouth, but nearly gagged me instead. Luckily, I only passed once, and since the chicken was still hot and steaming and still putting off its smell, I just had to sit quiet, breathe into my hand, and relax and let my bones settle and blood go while the nastiness squeezed its way out beneath the doors.
Once it had, I settled back and watched the clock circle and started calculating the minutes she’d been gone, and then the hours and the number of quarts I’d drunk that day, which wasn’t many really—three, in fact, like every day. Then I took a bite of chicken and tasted that long-lost succulent flavor. I closed my eyes it was so good. Moist and falling off the bone but not overcooked, and with still-crispy skin that I tore off and let sit on my tongue while I looked out the window at the moon and wiped chicken juice from my chin. I took another bite and chewed slowly, trying to make it last. And I found myself doing what they call ruminating. I took another bite and chewed and ruminated some more, then another, and I kept on ruminating.
What happened, the thing that pretty much changed my world—not to say watching Joalene step out didn’t—I’m not making light of that in any way; it’s just not the same—but the thing that screwed with me bad was that two-thirds through the roaster, right after sucking the meat off a wing, I had something foreign and strange—an epiphany, a new thought. A decision.
What I decided was this: all we’ve been doing when we tell time, since we started telling time, is counting things. That’s it. We’ve been counting. I wasn’t sure what things the cavemen counted, but I’d seen on the old westerns some Indians talk about many moons ago, so I figured they counted moons. What other folks counted, though, I didn’t know. I did know that I counted the number of times the clock went around and around and that every time the hours went around twice, I was supposed to put an X on the calendar and add one to the days. Simple. And I caught myself yelling towards the kitchen. “It’s a count, baby. Time is a count.” So I looked over and saw the counter clean and Joalene’s apron hanging on the oven handle. The dish towels were all folded and her spices organized. I glanced to the bedroom. A lamp was still on. I mumbled, “Baby?” And then, “Joalene?” And I heard the sink drip, and the neighborhood cur bark, and the round clock tick and the water drip and the clock again tick, and tick, and tick, and tick.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
“This humorous novel is one I had one of my eyes on (the curious fun-loving eye) for a few months. It’s an indie book that received starred reviews from both BlueInk Review and Kirkus Reviews, even landing on the Kirkus ‘Best Books of 2018’ indie list. Color me impressed. Although, my other more cynical eye was skeptical, and here’s why. Usually for me, if someone says a novel is very funny or laugh out loud, then it isn’t. For me. I know that humor and what is considered funny is subjective and very different for everyone. But I rarely find books declared hysterical to actually be hysterical - until now. The Unlounging is funny - really funny. I burst out laughing often while reading it and - let me tell you, folks - that means something to me. It really does.” ~ Scott Semegran
“Selraybob grows on you: from a loser, that appears as a quitter and a cartoonish version of a redneck, comes a brilliant interpretation of time and deepfelt, meaningful and sarcastic opinions about daily life. This is a read that will give you a really good time.” ~ Marcia
“The writing is really great, it is funny, skillful, surprising and I really enjoyed every page. The character of Selraybob is also very entertaining and likeable, he grew on me more and more throughout the story. I can really recommend this book to everyone, and that is not something that happens often. I think that anyone can enjoy a well-written, interesting, funny and enjoyable story, regardless of age or literary genre preferences. If you have the chance, try it, it will grab you in the first five pages.” ~ Sanjin
“Funny, smart, and stimulating, the Unlounging of Selraybob will have you questioning your own preconceived notions of how we measure our days, and maybe even unlounge you out of your own rut of an existence. That is, if you can stop laughing long enough to consider getting up. Truly the most interesting book i've read in a long time. Read it now!” ~ Bob Dzik
“This book was a great read. Loved Sel, and Susy Liu Anne even more... the author captured their personalities perfectly. Laughed throughout and learned some interesting facts along the way. Pure entertainment!” ~ C Holmes


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
When his wife Joalene walks out on him, Selraybob spends his time reclining in his lounger, drinking beer, and ruminating on random thoughts such as, “What is Time?” This leads to him starting to Think, which can never be a good thing. One epiphany leads to the next and, before you know it, to the unlounging of Selraybob. A road trip with his quirky friends in search of the meaning of Time might just result in Selraybob finding himself.
This book is written in the form of a memoir, with the main character being the author of the book. It is full of astute observations, humor, romance, mystery, and pathos. In the humorous glossary at the end, Selraybob explains difficult concepts in his own unique way. This is truly philosophy for the common man.
I love the reference to The Princess Bride being “the most romantic movie ever.” I totally agree!
Funny, touching, genius.


About the Author
Selraybob
Selraybob is a philosopher, writer, and, given his modest Missouri background, one of the least expected deep thinkers on the planet. His theory of time - that Einstein and Hawking and the rest of the spacetime preachers are misguided to the point of lunacy - has invited ridicule and hatred and threats of violence. He has become, arguably, an iconoclast. Selraybob continues to pursue Time, related physics theories, and, with the help of his buddy Herm, Herm’s wife Susy Liu Anne, and a small but growing band of supporters battle the narrow minds of the Time Fixers.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a copy of The Unlounging by Selraybob.

Links

Books featured in this post:


Wednesday, January 30, 2019

"Picture Not Perfect" by D. E. Haggerty


GUEST POST and GIVEAWAY
Picture Not Perfect
(The Not So Reluctant Detectives Book 2)
by D. E. Haggerty

Picture Not Perfect (The Not So Reluctant Detectives Book 2) by D. E. Haggerty

Picture Not Perfect, the second book in The Not So Reluctant Detectives series by D. E. Haggerty, has just been released and is currently ON SALE for only $0.99.


Also available in this series: Finders, Not Keepers (read my blog post).

Finders, Not Keepers by D. E. Haggerty

Picture Not Perfect is currently on tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, a guest post by the author, an excerpt and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.



Description
A picture tells a story. But is it the truth?
When the police find pictures of Melanie hanging up at her murdered colleague’s house, they’re convinced he was stalking her. Maybe she even killed him. Melanie was not being stalked! And she certainly didn’t kill her supposed stalker – as if. But Mel – always up for a bit of drama – jumps at the chance to go search for the real killer. When Mel’s ex-boyfriend, Owen, discovers her plans, he pulls out all the stops to ensure she’s safe and to win her back. No matter what happens with the murder investigation, he’s not letting her go. With the police setting their sights on Mel, he may need to jeopardize his own career on the police force to protect her.
Will Mel find the real killer before the detectives arrest her for murder?


Excerpt
Chapter 1
There once was a creepy dude
“I’m not sure how gentrification will get more students to read,” Mel complained as she shelved yet another book. Why had she agreed to help her friend re-shelve the entire library? Oh yeah, because she would be getting a nice little bonus in her next paycheck. Usually, she had two days off during parent-teacher conferences. As the school guidance counselor, she didn’t teach classes. This year, however, her friend Terri who was the school librarian had convinced her to help out in the library for two days. It was the evening of the second day and Mel was beyond bored. She didn’t understand how her friend could get excited by books. She wasn’t a reader. Sitting still was not an activity she did unless forced.
“Not gentrification. Genrefication.” Terri corrected.
“Genrefication?” Mel chuckled. “Now you’re just making up words.”
Terri grabbed her arm. “You’re getting crabby. Time for a break.” Mel opened her mouth to deny she was crabby but stopped herself. If being crabby bought her a chance for a break from the endless boredom of shelving books, she could be crabby. Judging by the number of books still stacked on the floor, they were going to be here a while.
“Genrefication is the organization of books by type instead of using the Dewey Decimal system,” Terri explained as they sat down at the big table at the front of the library. Amongst the litter from the remains of their lunch was a freshly brewed pot of coffee.
“Uh-huh,” Melanie mumbled as she poured herself a huge cup of coffee. Terri may be her best friend in the world, but when she started to speak library geek, Melanie tuned her out.
“I know you’re not paying any attention to me, but I don’t care. The library is going to be awesome. Students are going to be able to find books they want to read easier. Everyone’s going to be reading more.” Terri rubbed her hands in excitement.
Melanie hoped her friend was right since Terri had been working her butt off. She’d spent the past month re-cataloging and assigning a genre to all the fiction titles in the library. Then, she’d made new labels for each book before creating signage for all the genres. Huh, looks like she didn’t tune out Terri’s library geek speak the entire time after all.
“And,” Terri waggled her eyebrows, “how’s Owen?”
Melanie huffed. Terri had been nagging her about her ex-boyfriend, Owen, for the past month. She’d rather listen to library geek speak than talk about her ex. “We’ve haven’t gone out yet.” Which Terri knew since she asked Mel the same question every single day. Talk about a broken record.
“Really? It’s been a month since you promised to go out with him.”
Melanie had agreed to go on a date with Owen after he provided her with information she’d needed to help Terri solve a murder. With his police connections, he’d been able to find the address of some goons who’d chased them. It was a long story. “It’s not my fault. He’s been busy.” She may claim she didn’t want to go out with the man, but she was more than a bit miffed he didn’t seem to have time for her.
“Busy? Doing what?”
Mel shrugged. She had no idea, and it was literally driving her crazy. First, the man bugged the heck out of her insisting she agree to a date, and then he dropped her. Well, he didn’t completely drop her. He still sent her text messages a few times a day, but he didn’t seem to have the time to take her to dinner. She couldn’t wait to get the entire obligation over with. The waiting was killing her!
“He must be busy. The man is majorly into you.” Terri waggled her eyebrows again. She looked completely ridiculous, and Mel couldn’t help but laugh. “Uh oh, incoming.”
Mel turned to look out the glass windows covering the entire front of the high school library. She watched as Alfred Schultz, the social sciences teacher, walked to the entrance. “Please tell me you locked the door,” Mel’s words were muffled as she tried to speak without moving her lips.
“Of course, it’s locked,” Terri whispered before shouting. “We’re closed, Mr. Schultz. I’ll be open tomorrow.” She smiled and waved as he nodded in acknowledgment. “Now, walk away, creepy dude.”
Mel and Terri watched as he backed up and slowly walked past the glass windows keeping his eyes locked on Mel who held her breath until he was out of sight.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]


Praise for the Book
Picture Not Perfect was a page-turner. I couldn’t help but enjoy the second chance at love.” ~ My Reading Journeys
Picture Not Perfect was twisty, angst-ridden for Melanie (and reader), with some hot topic contemporary big issues (stalking and instances of inappropriate or overbearing police behavior), and I was kept turning the pages rapidly, too engrossed to stop reading.” ~ Mallory Heart’s Cozies
“I loved the book and the mystery portion because I did not suspect the killer until the clues were all revealed at the end and it was quite a surprise how it all came together.” ~ Storeybook Reviews


My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.


By Lynda Dickson
This is the second book in the series. This time we follow school counselor Melanie, who is trying to sort out her relationship with ex-boyfriend Owen. When a teacher at her school is murdered, and numerous photos of Melanie are found in his home, she comes under suspicion by the police. Of course, when Owen (who just happens to be a police officer) says to Melanie, “You are not going to investigate this murder,” you just know she will. Especially given the success she had in solving a mystery with best friend Terri in the previous book. This time, they enlist the help of Pru, the new English lit teacher. Melanie is a cute character, but with her abundance of energy and her recklessness (“I’ll wing it”), she’s bound to get them all in trouble. As their list of suspects grows steadily, I was left guessing, and so will you!
Warnings: murder, sex scene, sexual references.


Some of My Favorite Lines
“She didn’t understand how her friend could get excited by books. She wasn’t a reader. Sitting still was not an activity she did unless forced.”
“Apparently, being creepy wasn’t an offense.”
“She wasn’t going to ruin her shoes to prove a point.”
“Maybe you should watch less television and read a book sometime.”
Home. Owen’s lips on hers again felt like home.”
“If women still swooned, Melanie would be on the floor right now.”
“Maybe yoga wasn’t a good idea. Nope. Yoga was always a good idea.”

Guest Post by the Author
How the Title Picture Not Perfect Was Born
Sometimes writing a book seems like the easiest part of being a writer. Like when you have to figure out a title for one of your manuscripts. I swear I could write another book in the time it takes me to settle on a title. Slight exaggeration, but you get what I mean. Titles for books in a series are even more difficult. At least in my case, that’s true as I like the idea of keeping the titles or at least the style of the titles similar.
The first book in The Not So Reluctant Detectives series is Finders, Not Keepers. The name is a play on the expression ‘finders, keepers’. As I used a common expression for the first book in the series, I thought using an expression for the second book would be fun. But what expression?
I spent days, hours, weeks combing the internet for common expressions. Seriously, I spent more time than I should have. First, I wanted to find a children’s rhyme as ‘finders, keepers’ is not only a saying, but it’s a common rhyme in schoolyards everywhere:
Finders, Keepers
Losers, Weepers
I gave this up after spending entirely too much time on parenting websites. Who knew there were so many websites for parents? Not this childless lady, I tell you.
I went back to common expressions. I wanted to use an expression that had something to do with how things are not as they seem. The kern of the story behind Picture Not Perfect is how police detectives accuse the heroine of murder as she was being stalked. The accusation is based upon pictures the detectives found of the heroine at the murder scene. This led me to the expression “every picture tells a story”. According to the Cambridge dictionary, this expression is used when what has really happened in a situation is clear because of the way that someone or something looks.
But what if a picture tells a story that isn’t true? I could hardly title the novel Every picture tells a story, but is it the truth? That’s a bit long for a title and my graphic designer would kill me for making him figure out how to put a title that long on a book cover.
What about other sayings involving pictures? Maybe there was one I could use that wasn’t quite the mouthful of Every picture tells a story, but is it the truth? ‘Picture perfect’ is another common saying, but again the meaning of the saying didn’t fit with the story. That’s when I had my a-ha! moment. I could – just like with the previous title in the series – add a ‘not’ to the saying.
I ended up with the title Picture Not Perfect. Not only does the title match the previous title in style, but it’s nice and short, and hints at the book’s story. Phew.

About the Author
D. E. Haggerty
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed.
College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear.
After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law.
But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul, where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go.
But ten years was too many to stay away from my adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where, in between tennis matches and failing to save the world, I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.
Picture Not Perfect is my fourteenth novel.

Giveaway
Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Links


Books featured in this post: