The Code

Today it is my pleasure to welcome authors Jacqueline Ruby and Marcellus Moses and their novel, The Code.

Author’s description

The story of the two entangled stars is well known.

Albert Collins, entomology professor, becomes a social media sensation; the sensation becomes a giant celebrity; the celebrity becomes the “Manliest Man” alive.

The small time gangster, Memphis Smith, becomes a prisoner; the prisoner becomes the new Tupac Shakur; the new Tupac takes the world by storm.

Their parallel rise to fame and their fateful meeting on the Tonight show all played out in real time before their legions of fans and detractors.

Now, for the first time, their inside story, their secret story, is told by those who were closest to them.

Jacqueline (Jack) Ruby, super agent, reveals the methods that allowed Albert Collins to become the most desired man in the world. She takes us behind the scenes to the bankers, film producers and heiresses that made Albert into the very definition of manhood in the 21st. century.

Marcellus Moses does the same for Memphis Smith. He shows us the arrests and prison fights, the raw racism and brilliant talent that made Memphis Number One With A Bullet.

Jacqueline and Marcellus tell their insider accounts to the award winning novelist, Susan Brown, who weaves it altogether in the thunderous adventure of The Code.

My Review

The Code is based on the slick premise that two fictitious characters are allegedly telling the “true story” of how each of them created a celebrity.

Although I struggled with the initial concept of an unknown professor appearing sexy for no particular reason when seen on film, I squelched my inner cynic and read on. I’m glad I did as there is much I appreciated about this novel. Compelling writing. Exquisite details about of the world of celebrities and those who make them. And most impressive of all, an excellent if unforgiving look at our culture.

One of many great quotes:

“Why do your powerful, rich friends want to know me? They already have everything.”

“They have everything but they never have enough. They’re addicted to novelty and the fulfillment of new dreams. You’re the new flavor.”

I also particularly liked Jessica, Albert’s pretension-adverse wife. She plays a fine foil to his growing immersion in his new life and her drab academic research into André Breton’s novel Nadja makes for an almost eerie comparison to Albert’s growing status as a star. 

There were things I liked less, however. I hoped the story would really be told through the eyes of the agents, at least mostly, but it isn’t even close. Although Albert’s agent Jack is involved from the beginning of his tale, most of the telling is done from Albert’s point of view, often involving his thoughts or scenes Jack knows nothing about.  Memphis, on the other hand, doesn’t even meet his agent Marcellus Moses till the second half of the book, making the premise even more flimsy with him. I suppose the reader is supposed to believe these two agents somehow know everything, including their creation’s inner monologues, but my ability to suspend disbelief wouldn’t stretch that far.

I found the brutality of the prison scenes difficult to read. I didn’t expect them and might have passed on the book altogether if I’d known. While I agree some of it was necessary to the story, I think even those with more of a stomach for such things would probably have appreciated it if the author had dialed it back a bit.

Like other novels with fascinating premises, the story is difficult to conclude and the only real option is for it to end as a tragedy. The author finds an interesting and unexpected way to do this, though, and it is one that ties everything together and states her thesis one more time. It works.

About the Authors

JACQUELINE (JACK) RUBY is the founder and CEO of Jack Ruby and Associates, New York’s premiere talent agency. She is the co-author of The Code, a book based on real life events involving celebrity, greed, adultery, vanity, and violence. From the nation’s mansions and universities to TV shows and Instagram accounts, The Code reveals the inner workings of celebrity culture and moral decay permeating it.

MARCELLUS MOSES is the head of Bad Man Records. Among others, he has built and managed the career of Creep-E and Fat Marcus.

Jacqueline and Marcellus tell their insider accounts to the award winning novelist, Susan Brown, who weaves it altogether in the thunderous adventure of The Code.

Find the Author

CONNECT with JACQUELINE (JACK) RUBY at

Website: https://jackrubyauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jackrubyauthor
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20241319.Jacqueline_Ruby

Buy the Book

Amazon.com https://amazon.com/dp/0228821444
Amazon.ca https://amazon.ca/dp/0228821444
Kindle https://amazon.com/dp/B087N3753X
Indigo  https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-code/9780228831952-item.html
Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-code-jacqueline-ruby/1136925493
Bookshop https://bookshop.org/books/the-code-9780228821458/9780228821441
Book Depository https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Code-Jacqueline-Ruby-Marcellus-Moses/9780228821441
Kobo https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-code-30

Yes, there is a giveaway

The authors will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Jack walked behind Albert and put her hands on his shoulders. She started to massage him, kneading the muscles along the top of his back and along the base of his neck.

“Professor,” she said, continuing to work on his shoulders, “Edward has taken all these tweets and YouTube views and Facebook posts and Google searches and analyzed them. Edward, tell us what we know so far.”

Edward tapped the keys on his computer and a large graph appeared.

“Here is the answer to the question ‘who is this man?’ Here’s what people say unprompted. They say simply—just like miraclehoneyful and raviebabe—he’s a man, a real man. He is the man. The remarkable thing about the answer is that it seems to be consistent everywhere. You see all the different segments of the graph: men, women, black, white, gay, straight, Jewish, Christian, atheist. All the same. They agree. Even Democrats and Republicans. The man in the video is the man.” Edward paused.

“But I still have no idea what it means. It’s so vague.”

“What it means is that they read into that figure in the video certain traits and qualities that make up the aspiration of modern manhood,” Jack said.

“And what is modern manhood?”

“Who knows? But they see it in you. They may not know precisely what it is, but they feel you embody it.”

“But I’m not the man. I’m just me, an underachieving, over-mortgaged middle-aged professor, specializing in insects.”

“Ah, but nerds are very sexy right now. Have you ever seen the world’s sexiest math teacher?”

“No. What does that have to do with me?”

Jack looked hard at Albert. Maybe there was a hot nerd angle to be mined. Or maybe not. She would let the great river of social media decide. It was a decision for later.

“Nothing for the moment. But you need to understand that you are much, much more than you think you are,” Jack said, flattering him as she did all her clients.

Thank you!

Thanks for sharing The Code with this blog.

Is Blood Thicker

Today it is my pleasure to welcome the author Kruze and her urban fiction novel, Is Blood Thicker.

Author’s description

Have you ever looked at your circle and wonder if the people in it are really down for you? That’s the question Ceasar constantly asks himself. In his eyes betrayal is a worse crime than murder, so think twice before crossing him.

Daquans’s was life was filled with what he considered to be normalcy. He is completely devoted to his wife, Aviana, and their son. But how deep does his loyalty run? Can he stay with Aviana when her past catches up with her, attempting to collect an unpaid debt?

Nolan is a prominent member of his family, but he’s also the only one who managed to make it out of the hood. His family looks to him for all type of assistance, including money, because he doesn’t have the heart to tell them enough is enough. Maybe it’s the guilt he feels from his secret that keeps him digging in his pocket for his loved ones.

Join us as we dive into these strangers lives to explore their inner circles. Lies will be told, secrets won’t be kept, and graves will have to be dug. Take this ride with us, and maybe you could answer the question, is blood thicker?

Should you involve your family in your writing?

Having written a series of books about a family myself, I was curious about how much Kruze let members of her own family influence the characters in her story. After all, it is a novel about about family ties. I got a chance to ask her, and here is her interesting response.

My family influence me a lot when it comes to writing, but I did not tap into any of that influence when writing this story. Although the situations in this story have nothing to do with any family member, I know they exist within other families. I will admit that sometimes my family will come to me with ideas that they want me to use. Sometimes I use those ideas and sometimes I won’t. It all depends on if I feel it is a good fit for my story. I do not wish I used more of their influence in this story because I feel like everything came together perfectly. I will be using some of their influence in the near future with several of my upcoming projects.

About the Author

Kruze was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although she always enjoyed writing poems as a way of expressing the things she didn’t feel comfortable saying out loud, she didn’t decide to seriously become a writer until after she graduated from high school. She started Urban Legends Publishing & Media as a way to create good literature for readers to enjoy. A self-described urban author with an erotic flare, Kruze wrote and published Cap-Poetry, a collection of poems about life, love, and sex from the viewpoint of a Capricorn as her first project. In November 2016, she released Lock and Load, a novel she co-wrote with Ace Capone, an author she signed to Urban Legends Publishing. Next up, is her novel, Is Blood Thicker, which was made available 8/4/2020.

Kruze has several single and joint projects coming out in the future, including another book of poetry, Letters to my Exes, and several novels, including Sins of the Father, Domain High, and The Money Team. She is always working, always striving for self-improvement both in her personal and professional lives. Be on the lookout for Kruze Hatch and Urban Legends Publishing & Media.

Find the Author

You can find Kruze on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kruze.da.author215, via her website at www.urbanlegendspm.com, or email her at kruze.da.author215@gmail.com.

Buy the Book

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Thicker-Family-Worse-Enemy/dp/0578713209

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

It was Christmas morning, and Daquan watched as his son slept in Symone’s bed. This isn’t how we should be celebrating, he thought. He felt guilty. He blamed himself for Zahir waking up to no gifts, no tree, but most importantly, no Aviana. Symone hadn’t returned from looking for Aviana, so Daquan didn’t know how to feel. Did they find her yet? Is Aviana dead? What am I gonna tell Zahir? He thought.

Zahir began to move around but was still asleep. Daquan prayed that he wouldn’t wake up. He hadn’t figured out what to tell Zahir about why Aviana wasn’t there or why they were at Symone’s house.

“I have to make something happen,” he said to himself.

Daquan was his son’s hero, so letting him down wasn’t an option. Daquan headed to the kitchen and searched the cabinets and refrigerator for something to cook. He soon found out that Symone didn’t keep her house stocked with groceries.

“How does she survive like this?” Daquan questioned aloud, still searching for food.

“I don’t need much to survive,” Symone answered, startling him.

“Why are you creeping up on me?” Daquan questioned.

“How am I creeping in my own house?” Symone asked.

“You know what I mean,” Daquan said and closed the refrigerator. “You hear anything about Aviana?”

“Not yet,” Symone regrettably answered.

“What am I gonna do?” Daquan plopped down at the kitchen table. “It’s Christmas, and I have to tell my son I have no idea where his mom is.”

 

When Lions Roar

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Karen Leigh Gruber and her women’s fiction novel, When Lions Roar

Author’s description

Two women from different lands, each struggling to survive; a child’s mysterious disappearance will alter both their lives forever…

 

Maggie has become unrecognizable to herself, succumbing to the predictability of being a mother and wife. Every day she reminds her daughter to brush her teeth, has the same conversation with her husband about what’s for dinner. Maggie struggles to cope with the disenchantment of the monotonous tedium that has become her life. Despite her boredom, when her husband David is called on assignment to South Africa, Maggie resents having to rearrange her life just because David has decided they all need to traipse halfway across the globe.

 

While on safari, Maggie awakens one morning to a mother’s worst nightmare; their daughter Hannah has gone missing. Just when things can’t get any worse, Maggie is confronted with the harsh truth of her emotionally abusive marriage and what she has allowed her life to become.

 

When Lions Roar is set against the backdrop of the exotic and intriguing landscape of South Africa, when the country is reeling from the aftershocks of apartheid. Will Maggie find the strength and courage to abandon the fragile ties of her marriage and confront her self-destruction in time to save the life of her daughter?

About the Author

Karen Gruber is an international #1 best-selling contributing author, inspirational speaker, and a Leadership Development Coach for women and moms. She specializes in inspiring moms to realize their potential as mothers, women, and leaders. Karen has had extensive specialized training in parenting, feminine spirituality, and leadership.  Over the past 15 years she has provided innovative leadership coaching for moms and has dramatically transformed her own life.

Sharing her life with her husband Jim and daughter Jaymie, presenting her message to other women, and traveling the world bring her the greatest joy.

She is the founder of The Inspired Mama, a company located in gorgeous Denver, Colorado that focuses on the inspiration, leadership, and wellbeing of women and moms.

When Lions Roar is Karen’s debut fictional work. She is freakish about Christmas lights and loves to play Baccarat.

Find the Author at

Website:         https://theinspiredmama.com/
Facebook:       https://www.facebook.com/karen.kraussgruber
Instagram:      https://www.instagram.com/inspiredmama/

Buy the Book at

Book Pre-sale: https://theinspiredmama.com/product/when-lions-roar-pre-sale-copy/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/When-Lions-Karen-Leigh-Gruber/dp/1734976004

Yes, there is a giveaway

The Author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

I moved from the hall into the kitchen. Without a moment’s hesitation, I reached for the cabinet door, the one that is closest to the refrigerator, the one that contained my relief. I reached for the bottle. It slid off the shelf with a satisfying sound, but I quickly realized it only had a sip or two left. Damn it, not nearly enough. I padded out to the garage where we keep all our spares. Just the way David likes it: spare toilet paper, spare baggies, backups of all our canned goods, and for me, of course, a generous backup supply of alcohol. I grabbed my favorite vodka and headed back inside. On the way in, I noticed a candy wrapper on the floor of the garage—a Dum Dum wrapper, to be exact—Mystery Flavor, if I was not mistaken.

I’ll pick that up later, I thought to myself. My hands were a bit full. And right then, I had more important things to tend to.

Back in the kitchen, I pulled myself a nice long pour, then to the fridge for some juice. Damn it, again. I was out of cranberry juice. It would have to be Diet 7-Up today. I topped off my glass with a splash of the soda, and I headed back to the front of the house. I passed the mirror yet again. For the third time that day, I looked into the mirror, but this time I raised my glass, and looking into my own deep blue eyes, I mocked, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

I regarded myself as I took a deep, long drink.