Friday, May 28, 2021

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Not My Ruckus by Chad Musick @TheMusicks @GoddessFish

Not My Ruckus

by Chad Musick

GENRE: Literary


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.


I was still asleep when I hit the water, and I thrashed and sputtered before momma let me up for air. She let me recover, let me get my bearings and see that I was in the tub with her in front of me and papa watching, before she pushed me under again.

When she let me up the second time, she spat in my face. “I spit in your face, Satan, and baptize this vessel!”

Papa leaned close to her ear. “Do you think she’s had enough?” Maybe she would stop now, with even papa questioning.

She pushed me back under. I tried to hold my breath and still fight my way up, like I was just playing rough with Frank at the pool, but that made her keep me under longer, long enough the lifeguards would’ve thrown us out for sure. Every time she let me up, she had some new way to curse the devil and demand it leave.

Usually, when the devil took me, I could feel it. I could feel my blood getting stirred up, feel myself getting angry.

This was different. I just felt confused and upset.

I thought of Frank, and how he just laid there whenever momma said he had the devil in him, and she rarely had to give him Jesus’ love more than once or twice before the devil left.


I stopped struggling, decided to just let myself be drowned in the bathtub. That would show her who was tougher.

Interview with Chad Musick

What made you want to become a writer?

Carol Keene, the many people who collectively wrote Nancy Drew, made me want to be a writer. I loved those books, along with The Hardy Boys, and The Three Investigators. In second grade, I was a troublemaker of the highest order: I finished my work too quickly and got bored once I was done. So my teacher and I struck a deal that had me at the library for a large part of each day. I typically read two books a day. And I wanted to write so that there would be more stories.

What inspired you to write Not My Ruckus?

Different reviewers have suggested I’m trying to highlight social problems, or torment readers, or break hearts, but at the core of it, I wrote Not My Ruckus to remind myself that I had escaped. I’m happy. My life is good. Not everyone escaped – there are elements of grief in the book that are still tender 25 years on – but hope is at the heart of things.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Not My Ruckus?

There are only a few characters that appear on more than a smattering of pages:

Clare is the narrator and main character. She’s 14, and a tomboy. Esther is her neighbor, also 14. Their friendship and love is the heart of the story.

The girls’ families make up most of the other big characters. They each have their own motivations, except Esther’s mom, who dies at the beginning of the story, without us seeing her.

Beyond that, the characters are all tightly involved with each other. Sometimes that’s love. Sometimes that’s darker things. Untangling their relationships is the plot of the book.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

This depends so much on my mood. I have a whole lot of favorite authors, but in the context of Not My Ruckus: Arnold Lobel, the author of the Frog and Toad series of books. The love between those two friends resonates really strongly with me. Lobel coming out as gay after the books were successful caused many people to examine Frog and Toad’s friendship through that lens. For me, it’s a story of friendship even if the two are romantic partners. Clare and Esther have this in Not My Ruckus, and I’m lucky enough to have this with my spouse.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

I’m finishing up a fantasy book about a television-obsessed dragon trapped in a lighthouse by a magician who spends his days playing MMORPGs. It’s shaping up to be one of those books that you can read in a couple of different ways. This will be published in February of 2022, but I haven’t yet got a title for it.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The revision process. I worked with a great group of writers to tighten up the story, remove some things that were temporally impossible, and take out a whole lot of repetition. The result is fast-paced in a way that the first draft was not, and there was great satisfaction in seeing how much better the end result is.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.

Twitter ~ Website ~ Goodreads

Buy Link:



$25 Amazon/BN GC

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good book.

Victoria Alexander said...

Happy Friday! I've really enjoyed following the tour and reading all of the great posts along the way!