Tuesday 22 July 2014

Grunge Gods and Graveyards by Kimberly G Giarratano Blog Tour and Giveaway!

Welcome to my stop on the Grunge Gods and Graveyards tour! Ive already read and reviewed the book and really enjoyed it. You can check out my review HERE

Title : Grunge Gods and Graveyards
Author : Kimberly G Giarratano
Pages : 313
Published : May 31st 2014
Publisher : Red Adept Publishing

Parted by death. Tethered by love.

Lainey Bloom’s high school senior year is a complete disaster. The popular clique, led by mean girl Wynter Woods, bullies her constantly. The principal threatens not to let her graduate with the class of 1997 unless she completes a major research project. And everyone blames her for the death of Wynter’s boyfriend, Danny Obregon.

Danny, a gorgeous musician, stole Lainey’s heart when he stole a kiss at a concert. But a week later, he was run down on a dangerous stretch of road. When he dies in her arms, she fears she’ll never know if he really would have broken up with Wynter to be with her.

Then his ghost shows up, begging her to solve his murder. Horrified by the dismal fate that awaits him if he never crosses over, Lainey seeks the dark truth amidst small town secrets, family strife, and divided loyalties. But every step she takes toward discovering what really happened the night Danny died pulls her further away from the beautiful boy she can never touch again.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20887429-grunge-gods-and-graveyards

Excerpt : 

Crime Scene Part 1 
(The Afghan Whigs, 1996)

 The Lady in Blue had stopped to play with the ghostly orphans when a flash of red caught her eye, interrupting her nightly ritual. She’d planned to play hide and seek with the children. She loved feeling their spectral forms flitting around her like butterfly wings. The game gave her and them something to do until the rest of the town woke at sunrise. Then she’d glide off to her old house at the edge of the woods where she could watch the teenaged girls who lived there now putter around the kitchen as they scoured for cereal boxes and slammed cupboard doors. She knew the girls’ mother had died a few years ago. Even now, she longed to go inside and fry them up some eggs or make a batch of pancakes, the way her grandmother used to do for her when she felt blue and out of sorts. Many mornings, the Lady watched Lainey Bloom, the younger of the sisters, a girl with hair the color of holly berries, sit on the countertop with a vacant stare until it was time to go to school. At which point, the Lady would float over to the neighbor’s garden to inhale the scent of lavender. Even after being dead for forty years, she could still smell the aromas of her youth. But those plans would have to wait. Lainey sprinted past her, skidded to a halt, and rested against the trunk of a large maple. Although the Lady couldn’t see them, she sensed the dead children as they crowded around her and grabbed her crinoline with their tiny fists. The children had been dead so long even their ghostly forms were nothing more than light and shadow. The Lady gently patted the children’s arms, or what she assumed were their arms. “It’s only Lainey. You’ve seen her before.” She felt them release her lace hem. She smiled until she saw Lainey’s bottom lip tremble and her eyes glisten with tears. A flashlight was tucked into the crook of Lainey’s arm, illuminating lush green leaves and ancient gravestones. Lainey inhaled deeply and ran her hand over her forehead, wiping away sweat and makeup. The ghost ached to reach out her own hand to gently clean away the black smudges underneath the girl’s blue eyes. Lainey rubbed at her lashes and wiped her tearstained fingers on her jeans. “Pull yourself together,” she muttered. She lightly slapped her cheeks. “It’s not a big deal. So you’re late. Danny will understand.” Lainey swore under her breath then bolted off into the forest. Dusk was fast approaching, and the darkened woods weren’t the safest place for a girl with no sense of her own well-being. The ghostly woman could not in good conscience let Lainey, a girl she’d watched grow up, run off into the woods without making sure she wasn’t headed for some tragic demise. “I’m sorry, little ones.” She patted the orphans’ heads, and her fingers grazed invisible ridges of thick braids and soft waves. She glided after Lainey. The Lady in Blue’s bare feet barely touched the ground as she padded silently after the girl. Lainey’s black high-tops, on the other hand, crushed the carpet of dried leaves with each heavy step. Lainey stuck closely to the deer path, careful not to trip over roots and the thick pieces of slate jutting up from the forest floor, but occasionally she had to stop and free her T- shirt from the clutches of a thorn bush. When Lainey approached the edge of the woods, she stopped and smoothed the red strands of her hair into a thick ponytail. She wiped more sweat from her brow. The Lady recalled the humidity of those June nights back in the ’50s and felt a pang of sympathy for the mortal girl. She patted her own blond curls with her palm. It was never easy to look one’s best in this dreadful heat. The Lady hovered next to Lainey and cocked her head. Her mother used to say girls who met boys in the woods got nothing more than ruined reputations. Or worse. Then again, her mother had not been a romantic. The Lady peered around Lainey and caught sight of the old roadhouse. The red slanted roof, pitched like a teepee, sat on the old log cabin exterior like a second story. There was a cracked window pane in what must’ve been the attic. Shadows of tall, dry grasses nearly obscured the roadhouse’s peeling brown paint. A few months before, tractor-trailers and pickup trucks had littered the gravel driveway. Deep male voices had rung out from inside, and music from an old jukebox had echoed weirdly through the forest, invading the ghost’s sanctuary. Now, heavy silence blanketed the old place, enabling the Lady in Blue to hear the faint rustling from Lainey edged forward along the tree line, aiming her flashlight at the ground. The Lady drifted after her toward a small yellow cottage further back on the property. A thin boy stood on the cottage’s sagging porch. The gentle night breeze played with his open plaid shirt, revealing a black T-shirt underneath. The ghost saw why Lainey was so worried about being late. With his dark hair and light-brown skin, he could have made the Lady’s own breath catch—if she’d had any. So this is Danny. He is dreamy. She smiled at Lainey. What a night for a romantic rendezvous. Her mother had been a fuddy-duddy. What had she ever known about love? The evening breeze tickled the wind chimes that hung from a rusty nail, playing a haunting lullaby. She imagined the scent of burning leaves, reminiscent of summer campfires. Yes, it was a glorious night for young love. Her worries about a possible tragic demise seemed ridiculous now, especially when she saw Lainey’s face. The girl wore a ridiculous grin. Oh yeah, she has it bad. Perhaps Lainey will finally be happy. The ghost was prepared to return to the orphans, convinced that she had followed the girl long enough, until the corners of Lainey’s The Lady turned her attention to the porch. A blonde in a short skirt and see-through top emerged from the front door. The ghost put her hands on her hips and clucked her tongue. She knew what her mother would say about a girl who dressed like that. Lainey fell back into the darkness of the tree line and stared, open-mouthed, as the blonde threaded her hands around Danny’s neck and kissed him on the lips. Lainey gasped and dug her nails into her palms. The Lady remembered the crushing blow of a lost love. It was, after all, why she was still here. The blonde smiled into the darkness, directly toward where Lainey was concealed. Danny followed her gaze, then broke away from the half-naked girl and jumped over the porch rail. He squinted at the tree line. His voice rose in a panic. “Lainey?” Lainey clutched the flashlight. The beam pointed toward the blackened sky. Danny hurried toward her, but she backed away. Her foot snapped a dry twig in half. It sounded like the click before a gun fired. Old heartache burned in the ghost’s chest. Yes, back away. Go home and tune him out. He’s nothing more than a huckster, a liar. But Lainey did not go home. She darted The ghost followed. At this time of night, the roads around town should be free of cars and trucks, but this was Devlin Road. Because it led toward the interstate, that patch of asphalt had an unfortunate history, starting with the ghost’s. The Lady’s memories swam around her like biting fish. She recalled the night she’d died—the sound of crushing metal, the hood of her car folding against the tree trunk like an accordion. There was screaming and hands encircling her neck. The ghost gestured at Lainey in a frenzy. “Please, get off the road.” Danny caught up to Lainey and grabbed the hem of her shirt. They both skidded to a halt on the painted yellow line. He reached out to her. “Please, stop.” Lainey’s voice wavered. “Don’t. Just don’t. I don’t want to hear your excuses.” She stared down at the gravel and rubbed her eyes. The Lady saw distant movement and gestured wildly. “Get out of the road!” But she was no more visible to mortals in the street than she had been in the woods. Danny’s dark eyes searched Lainey’s face. “Please let me explain. Wynter and I were Lainey brushed away the wetness from her lashes before turning to meet his gaze. “Only what? Only kissing? I saw everything.” “Listen.” He gently took Lainey’s hand, but she snatched it away. “You won’t give me “You don’t have to explain. Wynter’s your girlfriend, and you obviously still love her, or you wouldn’t be kissing her on your porch. It was stupid of me to think there could be anything “It’s more complicated than that.” Danny brushed a strand of hair away from his face, then paced in a circle. “Let’s talk about this.” She crossed her arms over her chest. “There’s nothing really to say.” He motioned for Lainey to follow him back to the cottage, but when she wouldn’t budge, Danny sat cross-legged in the middle of the road. “What are you doing? Get up.” Danny shook his head. “Not ’til you agree to talk to me.” “You’re crazy.” Lainey threw up her hands. “I’m not playing these games. I’m going “You’re heading toward the river,” Danny pointed out. “I know where I’m going.” Lainey crossed Devlin Road and slipped into the woods. “Stubborn girl.” He stood up and wiped the back of his jeans. Specks of gravel fell to the “Now get out of the street,” the Lady commanded. Danny grumbled to himself. The aroma of scorched wood permeated the summer air. “Mierda!” His eyes locked onto the roadhouse, and his shoulders tensed. The Lady followed Danny’s gaze and saw a plume of gray smoke rising from its roof. He looked to the woods, and the Lady imagined him weighing his options. Should he run after Lainey or investigate the smoke? Go after Lainey. You always run after your girl. The distant movement from down the road was nearly upon them. “Go back,” the ghost But Danny couldn’t hear her. An engine revved, tires squealed, and headlights turned night into noon. The vehicle plowed into him and never stopped. Danny screamed his way through the air and tumbled to the asphalt with a sickening thud. Lainey emerged from the woods at a dead run and nearly ran right through the ghost on her way to Danny’s side. Her breaths came in panicked gasps. “No!” Danny lay sprawled by the side of the road, a mangled mess of limbs and torn flesh. His left arm was twisted at a grotesque angle. He was missing a sneaker, and a pool of crimson puddled around his head. Lainey clapped a hand over her mouth, but her action couldn’t fully silence the gut- wrenching sound that keened past her fingers. Cradling his head in her lap, Lainey patted his cheeks, smearing her fingers with his blood, and murmured to him to wake up and not leave her. Danny’s eyelids fluttered. Lainey gasped a grateful sob. He whispered, “Don’t leave me alone.” “I won’t,” the ghost and Lainey said at the same time. As Danny’s chest no longer rose and fell and the blood pool spread to the ditch along the side of the road, the Lady in Blue wondered what would become of his spirit. Not everyone who died remained tethered to the physical world. Roaming the woods of a town you’d loathed more than forty years ago was a curse. The ghost knew that eventually, her spirit would dissipate, and she’d never experience the peace of crossing over to the other side. Flames crackled in the distance. Acrid smoke from the burning roadhouse drifted across the road. Lainey rocked back and forth as if in a trance, clutching Danny’s lifeless body. The ghost crouched down and stroked Lainey’s hair. Yes, I hope Danny has found peace already. And I hope, dear girl, that you can too.

Guest Post : 

Top 5 of the 90s
by Kimberly G. Giarratano

Every generation has their great decade. For my grandparents, it was probably the 50s. For my parents, I’d guess the 70s (my mom loves Disco). But for me, it was definitely, without a doubt, the 90s. I was a teenager in the 90s. In fact, I’m the same age as my main character, Lainey Bloom. We were both 17 years old in 1996. [I’d like to think that Lainey is a hipster mom living in Park Slope, Brooklyn right about now.] In honor of the dopest decade, I’d like to present my top 5 favorite (excuse my American spelling) memories and top 5 favorite bands of the 90s.

My Top 5 Favorite Memories of the 90s
1.      Woodstock ’94 -- It was a three-day rock festival commemorating the 25th anniversary of the original Woodstock. I was 15 years old and much too young to have gone, but I was hungry for the music. I was glued to MTV for those three days in August. I remember desperately wanting to hear Green Day, but because the entire concert was on Pay-per-View, I could only listen to them because my cable scrambled the picture.  I remember seeing video of the concert-goers covered in mud and the mud fight that ensued when Green Day was on stage. I truly believed I was missing out on something historic.
2.      Getting AOL – It was 1994 and my dad decided to subscribe us to America Online. The disc came in the mail or the newspaper (I can’t remember) and we downloaded the software to our computer. We paid $9.95 US a month for five hours of internet usage. 5 hours! For a month! I spent a long time coming up with my screen name (it was some homage to Tori Amos) and I couldn’t wait to log on the minute I got home from school and hear, “You’ve got mail.” It was life-altering.
3.      My So-Called Life premiered – Again, it was August 1994 and MTV had been airing promos for this awesome new show about angsty fifteen-year-olds. I’ll never forget when it premiered because my family and I were camping in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and I was so upset that I couldn’t see the show (and that I was camping). But my dad did me a favor and brought a small black-and-white TV with us and hooked it up in the pop-up trailer so I did get to see it after all.
4.      My first cellphone – It was 1998 and my 19th birthday. I was a freshman in college and parents bought me my very first cellphone. It had 30 minutes of talk time and was only meant to be used in emergencies. I was on the cutting edge.
5.      U2 concert – It was 1997 and I paid an extortionist (ie ticket broker) to get tickets to see U2 at Giants Stadium in New Jersey for their PopMart Tour. They were amazing, as expected, and they initiated a stadium-wide Karaoke session of “Sweet Caroline.” According to best friend who reminded me of this just now, we got lost on our way home.

My Top 5 Bands of the 90s
1.      The Afghan Whigs – Who you might say? Never heard of them? Listen, if you want to hear one of the most incredibly talented frontmen on the planet, then you need to look up Greg Dulli. He is a genius. We live in the age of Spotify and YouTube so just jump online and give them a listen. Then send thank you tweets to @KGGiarratano. Trust me, you will.
2.      Radiohead –I have to admit, I am more of a fan of the Radiohead of my youth than the Radiohead of now. I love Thom York but I feel like I need a PhD in Philosophy to understand his lyrics. My favorite albums are The Bends and Ok Computer with a little Pablo Honey thrown in for good measure.  
3.      Tori Amos – She’s not a band, she’s a goddess. Whenever I hear her, I feel like I should be prancing around an enchanted garden dodging malicious sprites. I find her music to be both haunting and beautiful at the same time. My favorite song is “Precious Things”. I used that song as a chapter title in Grunge Gods.
4.      U2 – Every time I hear “Acrobat” on iTunes, I think of my good friend singing the lyrics into her milk carton in our college dining hall. She did it one time and yet I still remember that moment clearly as if it was yesterday. It’s also a stellar tune.
5.      Oasis – One word: “Wonderwall.” That is my most favorite Oasis song ever. The video for that song turned Liam Gallagher into the ultimate hottie.

Okay, dear readers. Now it’s your turn – what’s your favorite 90s band? Or favorite 90s memory? Sound off in the comments below.

About The Author

Kimberly G. Giarratano, a forever Jersey girl, now lives in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and small children. A former teacher and YA librarian, Kimberly adores Etsy, Jon Stewart, The Afghan Whigs, ’90s nostalgia, and (of course) everything YA. She also speaks Spanish, but is woefully out of practice.
Kimberly always dreamed of being a published author. Her other dream is to live in Key West, Florida where she can write in a small studio, just like Hemingway.
 You can visit her blog at kimberlyggiarratano.com or tweet her @KGGiarratano.
Giveaway : 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for the opportunity!

  2. Wow, you really were cutting edge! The first person I knew who had a cell phone was in 1999. And we all thought the idea was ridiculous. Who needed a phone that you could carry with you all the time?

    On the other hand, my family's been online since the early 1980s, so I really can't throw stones here. :)

    1. Lol, I thought the same when I read her top 5. Phones were for the elite back then!!