Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Guest Post & Giveaway - Just Shut Up and Drive by Chynna Laird

Just Shut Up and Drive
by Chynna Laird
Genre: Coming of Age, Contemporary

One teen, one cranky old man and the open road. What could go wrong?
Eighteen-year old Wil Carter can think of more than a fistful of things he’d rather do than go on a road trip with his ninety-five year old grandfather. But when Gramps Wilf barks an order, you listen or get an earful of grief.
Wil lost his parents in a horrible car accident when he was five. Gramps has been the only parent he has ever known. Now that he’s ready to go off to college, the old man says he has things Wil needs to learn to be the man he’s supposed to be. But the trip turns out to be more than he bargains for.
Along their week-long road trip across the Canadian Prairies, Wil not only learns tidbits about his own life, but realizes the grandfather he thought he knew has mysteries of his own. With each stop they make, a new layer of emotional truth is revealed…for each of them.
Will Gramps teach Wil what he needs to know before the journey ends? And is Wil strong enough to hear it?

Talking with author Chynna Laird!

What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
            Oh boy. This is a tough one for me, but here we go (in no particular order):
~ It – Stephen King. This book scared the crap out of me for weeks. He so deserves the title of ‘King of horror’.
~ Letter to My Daughter – Maya Angelou. I love almost anything she writes.
~ Chocolate On A Stick – Carole Bellacera. She’s my writing mentor and helped inspire me to get Out Of Sync out.
~ Tasting Rain – Kim Malchuk
~ Anything by John Grisham
~ Thinking In Pictures – Dr. Temple Grandin. Very inspiring book for those living with or raising a child with Spectrum disorders and/or SPD.
~ Anything by Jodi Picoult.
~ Whale Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardiff.
~ Mutant Message Down Under – Marlo Morgan. Oddly, this was a book I had to read for University but I read it in two days. The message in the book of self-healing is so powerful.
~ Leaving the Hall Light On -  Madeline Sharples. A book about raising/living with a child who lives with Bipolar Disorder. The book hit very close to home for me. 

What book do you think everyone should read?
I am a book geek so I am very well read in many different genres (you should see my book shelves!). I am a huge fan of Maya Angelou. She was one of the most gifted, deeply spirited and wisest women I have ever known.
What I loved about her above all else was that she was never afraid to speak her mind on any subject, regardless of what others thought. She was the model of what every girl and woman should aspire to be: strong, courageous, perseverant, confident and inspiring. Her readings, books and sayings have gotten me through many a tough time. And she went through hard times and made bad decisions, like any of the rest of us. The difference is, unlike a lot of people, she learned from those bad decisions and hard times and used them as a way to come to a better place.
Although I’d recommend any of her books for different reasons and where a person is in his or her life, “Letter To My Daughter” hit really close to home for me, especially being a mom of three girls. All girls and women, as well as the men who love them, should read this book.

"Good grief, boy!" Gramps yelled. "You drive like an old lady on a Sunday afternoon drive. Don't be afraid to push down on that gas pedal."
"Gramps," Wil sighed. "I'm going the speed limit. Anyway, what is the hurry?"
"The hurry is I hate being a passenger, especially yours," he said, emphasizing each word. "And watch your mouth, boy. You aren't too old for me to give a whoppin' to."
"You're just ticked because they won't let you drive anymore. It's your own fault for not taking care of your eyes. And for the record, I'm not exactly thrilled at the moment having you as a passenger."
"You better watch your attitude, or I'll take this truck back."
"Correct me if I'm wrong, but it was Dad's, right? And I think you told me he wanted you to give it to me. Guess that means it isn't yours to take."
Gramps got a sour look on his stern face, like he'd just sucked on a lime. "Don't you be talking to me like I'm some crazy old coot who's lost his mind. I remember what I said. Shoulda charged you for it, considering the lip I have to put up with every time I'm gonna be in here with you."
"And what makes you think I'm going to drive you around everywhere in this beautiful truck? I'll chauffeur you around in my car."
"That piece of crap? Hmph. Forget it."
Wil stared at the road ahead of them. "You could take a cab, you know. Or the bus." Sam Hill help the poor drivers.
"Nah," Gramps said, slugging back the rest of his coffee and shoving the empty cup in a plastic bag. "I get much more pleasure out of torturing you than I would a stranger."
I noticed. "Alrighty, then. So you got a plan for us, or are we just going to keep going until we run out of gas?"
Gramps crossed his arms over his chest and looked out his window. "First stop is gonna be Elie."
Wil released a sharp breath and squinted. "Seriously? There's, like, 100 people living there."
"Six hundred and fifty."
"Close enough. And I'm sure the census people were able to gather them all in one place and count them at once. C'mon, Gramps. What could possibly be in that small town worth checking out? If we drive straight on, we can get to Portage la Prairie for lunch—"
"Just because a place isn't all lit up like Vegas doesn't mean it shouldn't be visited," Gramps interrupted. "Some places need to be seen because they're gold mines for memories. We're stopping at Elie."
Wil had a smart-butt retort clinging to the tip of his tongue, but he held it there after giving Gramps a side-glance. The old man rested his chin on his right fist and stared out his window.
"Fine. I guess we're stopping at Elie," Wil mumbled.
Like my vote even counted.
CHYNNA LAIRD – is a psychology/criminology major, freelance writer and author living in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, Ryan, three daughters [Jaimie (fourteen), Jordhan (twelve), and Sophie (eight)] and baby boy, Xander (ten). Her passion is helping children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder, mental and emotional disorders and other special needs.
You’ll find her work in many online and in-print parenting, inspirational, Christian and writing publications in Canada, United States, Australia, and Britain. In addition, she’s authored an award-winning children’s book (I’m Not Weird, I Have SPD), two memoirs (the multi award-winning, Not Just Spirited: A Mom’s Sensational Journey With SPD and White Elephants), a Young Adult novella (Blackbird Flies), an adult Suspense/Thriller (Out Of Sync), a Young Adult Suspense/Paranormal (Dark Water) and a contemporary New Adult novel (Just Shut Up and Drive,). She is presently working on a sequel to Not Just Spirited as well as the next book in the Dark Water series. Stayed tuned as Chynna has several Works-In-Progress on the go.

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