Thursday, October 13, 2022

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Jus Breathe by B. Lynn Carter @GoddessFish


Jus Breathe

by B. Lynn Carter

GENRE: Women’s (speculative) commercial fiction


BLURB:


Their seesaw love affair started when she was five, even though they didn’t meet until she was eighteen. It started the day she heard Daddy slur, “She ain’t mine. You had the nerve to name her Dawn. Look at her! You shudda named her Midnight!” Then Daddy left . . . for good. And the loving music that had filled Dawn’s life went silent.

That was the day that a “Midnight” Duckling invaded the mirror, took up residence in her chest, and controlled her ability to breathe. That was the day she learned to recognize “leaving time” . . . her superpower.


Couched in speculation, Jus Breathe is the tale of a young Black woman’s struggle to defy her inner “Duckling” and embrace her true self. Set in New York City during the turbulent sixties, it’s an improbable love story with precarious impulses, secret pasts, and inner demons.


Dawn, a survivor, flees her stepfather’s violent home. While struggling to attend college, she perfects sofa-surfing and hones her superpower, her ability to leave a situation in an instant.


But in the mist of the chaotic uprising that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, serendipity spins Dawn into beautiful Danny’s rollercoaster world.

Toxically in love, no longer a “leaver,” Dawn realizes that in order to survive, she must break free of Danny’s dominance. But that Duckling, who has allied with Danny, threatens to squeeze the life-breath from her if she dares to leave . . . that ugly, midnight-black Duckling, she has to kill.


Excerpt:

There was pain. It shot up from my jaw to my brain and back down again. Ghostly figures were, moving fast, a blur of white overalls, the smell of wall paint, shuffling feet, a scuffle.

That voice was rolling through my brain—one word, an echo from far away.

Attack . . .”

It’s summer. It’s always summer when I slip into those childhood days. The boys have hijacked my Spalding ball, again. I chase them. I sic Sigfried on them. She does her most ferocious growl and a playful tug of war on their shoestrings as I yell, “Attack!! Attack!!”

Attack!!”

A voice was shrieking that word. It occurred to me that it was my own voice, gradually returning me to the stark reality of the situation; back to ‘moving-in day,’ to what just happened, to the moment that my mother’s new husband’s fist impacted my face; back to Sigfreid lunging at his neck, taking him down, to the painters trying to free him from her grip, trying to get me to call her off.

Dazed, I remained in my head, lingered in the fantasy that my big-boned shepherd could take a man down like that, fascinated that she even had it in her. I think I did call her off or maybe she relented of her own accord. That’s when “that thing” took possession of my lungs, again. Gasping for air, I think maybe all of them, the painters . . . my mother’s husband, were franticly yelling.


Interview with Lynn Carter

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

    This was the second full length novel that I’d written. The first was a piece about two women’s struggle with friendship verses the premise that “business is business.” Like this book, there were some paranormal and speculative elements. Not to mention that the characters took off, taking the book into previously unintended directions. Though the book was well received by my writing peers, I felt it had very little to do with me. The old saying ‘write what you know,’ haunted me.

    I decided to write a book set on the CCNY campus, in the late 60’s when I was in college. I had intended to write a straight-forward retelling of events that I experienced during that time. There was not to be a girl who was traumatized into a “dark skinned complex” by her father. But when the name Dawn popped into my head, the rest went on auto-pilot. This is how I got interested in the theme of the book.

    The creature in the mirror and Dawn’s “light-skinned outside me,” announced themselves later. The theme is that Dawn had to find a way to defeat her demons, kill them before they found a way to kill her. With the clock ticking, this would be the only way that she would be able to exist in the world, comfortable in her own skin.


    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

    Once the theme was clear in my head, it was my intention to guide Dawn through several trials, and adventures. I didn’t want her journey to self-actualization to come too soon or too easily. There are ups and downs. The idea was that Dawn who, though she wasn’t aware of it, was already a strong self-sufficient woman, a survivor. Her relationship with Danny puts those assertions to the test. She loses her way. But I do think I achieved my goal of having Dawn defeat her demons and come back into her own.


    What was the hardest part of writing this book?

    Parts of the book are a conglomeration of short memoir pieces that I had written. It was a challenge to merge those tales into one coherent work. Also, because the book is shaped after my own life, it was hard to take a good, honest look at some of the events that happened so long ago. And finally it was hard to make sure that I didn’t cross the line. I needed to keep Dawn’s story, basically, separate from my own.


    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

    I enjoyed the actual process of writing the book. I like writing. I’d sit down at 7:00 am and be there until 7:00pm.

    I had a writing buddy, Alice. We’d meet once a week and share and critique each other’s work. I enjoyed working hard so I’d have something impressive to show Alice, who I considered a better writer than me. It’s good to work with someone you feel is better than you. It’s motivational.

    I lost Alice to cancer in 2020. Just before she transitioned, she made me promise to start sending out my work.


    Whee there alternate endings you considered?

    I had written a completely different ending, but most of my beta readers urged me to change it. I was stuck on my original ending because this is how my own story ended in real life. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of reality. But I’m glad that I did.


    Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

    Apart from the music and musical artist of the time, I didn’t really have to do much research on the book. That is, if you don’t count the extensive research I did on copyright laws regarding the use of lyrics. Although I think they were wrong, my publisher Between The Line Publications, insisted that I take out almost all the references to the MoTown and British invaders music of the time.


    What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

    I enjoy reading women’s books, young adult and new adult books. I especially like books venture into speculation and the paranormal. I also like futuristics and dystopic works when the worlds are well drawn and allow one to easily suspend disbelief.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born and raised in the Bronx, NYC, B. Lynn Carter graduated The City College of New York with a degree in creative writing. She’s also studied at the Writing Institute of Sarah Lawrence College.

Her short story "One Wild Ride," published in Aaduna magazine, was nominated for the Pushcart Award in 2014. She’s had short stories and poetry published in the Blue Lake Review, Drunk Monkeys, Ascent Aspirations, Enhance Magazine, The Story Shack and the Bronx Memoir Project, among others. Besides “Jus Breathe,” Ms. Carter has written two additional full-length novels. She is also listed in Poets & Writers directory of writers.


Social Media:

Website: lynncarterbxwriter.com

Twitter: iLynzee2u

Tik Tok: iLynzee

Instagram; ilyncee

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lynn.carter.1004



 

Giveaway:

$25 Amazon/BN GC 




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1 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

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