Friday, June 7, 2013

No Brainer Blog Stop




Two weeks before junior year, Darcy hops a plane to Orlando for a little R&R with her best friend Dylan and his family. Fresh off the heels of solving three murders in Valley, you'd think she'd sit back and enjoy the vacation capital of the world … maybe if you're a noun. Darcy Walker, however, is nothing but verb. 
Before her feet hit the Orlando soil, she's meddling in the disappearance of a five-year-old boy who vanished six months earlier. 
With authorities still no closer to solving the case, Darcy is shanghaied by her impulsivity and runs headlong into that proverbial burning building, convinced she can bring him home. 
She travels down a road that not only follows this missing child but branches off into the corrupt and sinister world of mob activity when she tampers in a case on which Dylan's detective grandfather is working.
After a near disastrous midnight meeting in a warehouse and a date with a mechanical bull, Darcy realizes she might've bitten off more than she can chew. Add the boiling flirtationship with her best friend and the appearance of his romantic rival, and she is in over her head. 
Will she survive a life of flirting with death too easily? Or will her flirtationship with Dylan become the actual death of her instead? 
For a girl with a habit of finding dead bodies, No Brainer gives Darcy Walker more of the same…surprising twists and turns…and running for her life.



Guilt consumed me.
     Should I even try to count up all of my offenses? If tapping into government property were frowned upon, walking into OBT would make a preacher swear. I was literally a victim of my own impulsivity. But I was 15 years old, and at this point, I’d learned to embrace my dysfunction. Maybe that was step-one to recovery, or maybe I’d learned to employ rationalization at its finest. Either way, the universe didn’t take too kindly when you rationalized. Right when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, life cut me off at the knees with another dose of how-low-can-you-go.
     Yankee pranced inside the back pool entrance and was now an albino blonde. She’d either dumped a bottle of peroxide on her head or her hair aged fifty years overnight. My stomach burned and twisted, and it felt like I’d scarfed a jar of habanero peppers.
“Greetings, ladies,” she smirked. That statement felt as fake as her hair. She slinked over the black pavers in a barely-there red bikini, worming her way directly between Sydney and me who lay totally horizontal on chaise lounges. Today was convection-oven sweltering, and I'd been drinking everything in sight like a camel in the desert. I’d chugged two bottles of water, a can of Coke, and half a glass of iced tea and hadn’t had the need to tinkle once. Wearing my skimpiest of white bikinis, for me that meant the string part stretched two inches instead of one. For Sydney, it meant a pink piece of thread her mother made the sign of the cross over. They argued, but Sydney laughed and hiked it up higher.
     “Where’s Dylan?” Yankee asked snootily.
     “Out,” Sydney interrupted. Not true. Dylan had just swam two-dozen laps and stepped inside to watch a ballgame.
     But guess what, Darcy’s lips were sealed.
     Yankee lifted her chin in a pout. “I’ll wait.”
     Whatever, I thought. And I hope you drop dead in the process.


“I’d be destroyed if you were suddenly got from my life,” he whispered. Dylan Taylor, No Brainer

Author Interview

What made you decide to start writing?     I majored in English and Journalism in college, so I always liked to write, but I pictured myself more as an investigative journalist, than author, though. Writing the Darcy Walker Series is as surprising to me as anyone else!!
Where do you get the inspiration for your stories and characters?     I get inspiration for my characters from past experiences, so if I ever run across you and you strike me as interesting, you just might make it onto the page. As far as stories, my inspiration comes from pop culture and the daily news. I read about 10 online magazines and newspapers a day. I’m sort of nosy that way…LOL. I HAVE to know what is going on around me.
What is your writing process like?    Every night I outline what I’d like to accomplish the next day. Most of the days that outline is completed, but sometimes characters will take you down paths and mess up what you intended. A lot of the times I do not write scenes in sequence. I’ll get hung up on some aspect of the story, and the characters in that scene won’t shut up until I finish it in the fashion they approve of. I have ten-plus books outlined for the Darcy Walker Series with certain scenes written in all of them. Let’s just say I know what is going to happen to Darcy, how it’s going to happen, who it’s going to happen with, and at what age. Details may be surprising, but I know how the whole thing is going to end.
Which character of yours is your favorite and why?   Obviously, I love Darcy, but in No Brainer, I’m very fond of Dylan Taylor, Darcy’s best friend. All of the books in the series are written in the first person point of view of Darcy, but as the author, I have the benefit of knowing what goes on in every character’s thoughts and hearts. There will probably be one other book that is a joint POV between Darcy and another character, but that won’t happen until books eight or nine.
Do you have a specific writing style?    I try to write to the characters and the plot about the same, but if I err in one direction, I’ll mostly write toward the character.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?    I want them to realize that even if life dealt you a hand that isn’t particularly fair (believe me, I understand unfair) then I don’t want anyone to ever give up. Cry for as long as you need to cry, but then get up and try again. Failure, or what you may perceive as failure, is only an example of what not to do or what to do better. Don’t throw in the towel. Embrace what you have, be glad that you’re unique, then go at what you want like a Pit Bull on a bone.  I believe the universe rewards hard work. Does that mean you will reach every goal that you have for yourself? Maybe not, but I wholeheartedly believe if that’s the case, then something else will materialize along your journey that you might be better at.
Who are your favorite authors?    JR Ward, Karen Marie Moning, Janet Evanovich, Stephenie Meyer, Lara Adrian, M. Leighton come to the top of my mind.
What books have most influenced your life most?    The book that has influenced me the most, bar none, is the Bible. The authors that have influenced me the most are JR Ward, Karen Marie Moning, and Janet Evanovich. They write action, suspense, and romance the way I like to read it. Plus, they infuse tons of humor and raw, gritty language and plots like I like to use. I’m never going to write boring. You’re not just going to see a dead body…you’re going to know what it looks like and how it makes the characters feel. Darcy is kind of like Nancy Drew…on STEROIDS.
What book are you reading now?    Nothing right now, but I just finished an advanced copy of “The Search” by my indie author and friend, Kelley Grealis, and I loved it!!
Who designs your book covers?    My book covers are designed by the geniuses of ’68 Zombie Comics, Mark Kidwell and Jay Fotos. Girrrrrlllll, I feel honored to have them do my covers!  I pinch myself every time I look at what they do. I went to high school with Mark, and he and I will have a conversation and then he’ll shoot me off a pencil drawing of what he envisions. Not once have I wanted to change anything…I think I changed some fingernail lengths, but that’s it. He’s that good at what he does. And Jay will color them and make them look three-dimensional. How he does what he does is a gift. He makes pictures have “light.”
What was the hardest part of writing your book?    When I first started doing this, I wanted to inflict my desires on the characters. That didn’t fly at all. Characters will wake you up at night and tell you that you are going down a wrong path and that you are a flaming idiot. I’m glad I have that type of relationship with them (I know that sounds schizophrenic), but it’s true. They keep me in check and let me know if I’m doing something that is totally out of line with their characterization.
What was your favorite part of your book(s)?    Jeez, the comedy. In the words of Forest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” I find if I can laugh, then the bad times aren’t so paralyzing.
Is there anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?    Everything that goes on in my books is based on real life. Granted, I don’t find dead bodies on a regular basis, but the things that happen to the characters in my book are experiences I’ve drawn upon.
How do you come up with the titles for your books?    Heck, if I know. They just sort of pop into my mind.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?    I’m a mom, so I shuttle my kids everywhere! But when it’s just my husband and me, we like to go to movies and out to dinner with friends. Also, we’re rabid hometown sports fans so we like to watch the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals. I’m sort of a jock like that.
If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?    I have two. Jesus…just so he could tell me face-to-face I’m not the eternal screw up that I fear that I am…LOL. And any of my favorite authors. I drool at all of their books, and I’d love to have conversations with them about their writing processes. Plus, I like Ronald Reagan…yeah, my inner journalist thinks he would be a really, really cool interview.
Do you have any upcoming projects?    No Brainer is obviously now out, and 100 Proof Stud (book three in the Darcy Walker Series) is coming out at the end of the year.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?    Thank you, thank you, thank you for welcoming Darcy Walker into your life. I’d be nowhere without you taking a chance on me, and not a day goes by that I don’t realize how lucky I am to have met you. I take nothing for granted…nothing. I’ve been at the bottom, and I’ve been at the top. And I’ve had a whole lot of oh-crap situations in between. I pray I’ve created a character that shows you that tenacity and the iron will to never quit is what will get you up in the morning when your days is not so stellar. That’s who Darcy is to me.

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About AJ Lape

AKA - Ada Miracle Lape


1. I can dislocate my left shoulder on command.
2. I started running high school track when I was in the sixth grade.
3. I would’ve been a police officer or journalist if life didn’t land me where I am.
4. My favorite movie is It’s a Wonderful Life…cry like a baby when George Bailey starts yelling, “I want to live again…I want to live again.”
5. I had an academic scholarship.
6. I like to shoot 9mm guns (dying to shoot an Uzi) in my spare time…look out Target World, every once in a while you have to walk your inner hillbilly
7. I’m like Rain Man when it comes to fractions.
8. I used to write and record songs. I won Honorable Mentions in the John Lennon Song Writing Contest and Music City Song Festival.
9. I’m a notorious sleepwalker.
10. I’ve cliff-dived off a 40-foot cliff into a lake…wouldn’t recommend it…painful.
Find A. J. Lape Online: 



8 winners chosen on 16thto allow a few last min. entries.
Be sure to drop by each stop of the tour to gain more entries plus the chance of a daily Ebook of No Brainer!! These Ebook winners will chosen from pooling that days comments left on your blogs and picked by Random. Org . Be sure to post the blog list to allow your readers a chance to visit each days blog stops. 

 1- $30 Amazon gift card, 1- autographed copy of No Brainer, 4- Ebooks (either Grade A Stupid or No Brainer - winner's choice), and 2- SWAG pack winners (SWAG includes signed Iniquity Engineer bookmark, signed postcard of both books, and refrigerator magnet of both book covers)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I'm loving this giveaway! Thank you for it! I have the first book, but haven't read it yet. I think I am going to wait and read them both at once. Also, is there going to be a 3rd one?

    1. They are great books Mimi! Yes, 3rd book, 100 Proof Stud, will be out later this year. Be sure to subscribe to the blog to stay updated :)

    2. Hi, Mim!!! Thanks for stopping by:) ANd yes, book three is out in the fall!

  2. can't wait to read this one, already have the first one, would love to win the second one too!

  3. Tracy Graczykowski

    Jill Prand

  4. Thank you for sharing the AJ LOVE!! Following you blog via GFC!!

  5. Thank you all so muchf or stopping by!!!