Friday, 14 December 2012

Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Grade A Stupid by AJ Lape

We have a real treat for you today on Bex 'n ' Books, not only do we have a rocking review written by the crazy Justine, but we also have a superb interview (Oh how I love author interviews), plus we have a fantastic giveaway. So read on, enjoy, good luck and don't forget to spread the word!

Grade ‘A’ Stupid is a MUST read! This YA Mystery really transported me back to those drama filled and awkward teenage years. Darcy even at times reminded me of a teenage Stephanie Plum.

I must say AJ kept me in stitches with such gems as when Vinnie is trying to park his girlie POS bug, that’s pink and has eyelashes on the head lights!

"Cursing, he tried the whole thing again and lost three eyelashes off his right headlight. Heaven help us, we’d committed three hit and runs, and he’d blinded his Bug."

But sadly as all good things, this too came to an end; and as you will quickly learn, I am a stickler for endings!  As I exited Darcyville, I found myself delighted with my visit. AJ took over 400 pages to give us instantly lovable characters, a who-done-it that kept me guessing to the very end, and a conclusion that did just that concluded…………. For now.

Book 2 titled "No Brainer" is due this coming spring and I can tell you this, Bex will get out of the way or I’ll send the dingoes if I am not the reviewer of that book!
I am giving it 5 fairies!

Fifteen years ago, Darcy Walker's parents thought it was a good idea to give her a unique name: Darcy, meaning "dark walker." Whether that was a stroke of genius or stroke of stupid, they definitely nailed the irony. She lacks direction, her grades stink despite a high IQ, she's boringly average--although flirting admirers claim otherwise--and God help her, she's infatuated with a bad-boy.

A bad-boy that her hottie best friend, Dylan, wishes would get acquainted with his fist.

And, oh yeah, there's that tattoo that was a royally stupid idea.

With her life spiraling out of control, everything changes when she skips class and finds a dead fact, it gets worse. It jump starts Darcy's inner-verb, and her brain hard-wired for action gets caught up in a situation she can’t let go.

Set in the fictional Cincinnati town of Valley, Ohio, Darcy falls into a world of threats, violence, and gangland exploits chasing down every clue to finger the murderer. When a fellow misfit is fingered for the crime, Darcy goes from zero-to-sixty trying to clear his name--constructing aliases, breaking the law, everything that makes perfect sense to her but reeks of Grade A Stupid to everyone else.

Trouble is...will she live to see 16?

Purchase Links
Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Smashwords ~ B&N 

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself. I live in Cincinnati, OH with my husband, two daughters, a dog, and a hamster.  We’re boringly normal, it’s sad.

  1. What inspired you to write your first book? It was Friday, the 13th, 2008. It was a particularly crappy day, and I fired up my computer and Darcy Walker took over. She came to me as the quintessential teenager.  She came with flaws, she came troubled, she came to me hilarious, but mostly, she came to me ‘real.’ If I read of a character that isn’t…I can’t relate. The thing with Darcy, though, she finds humor in every situation, and she’s fearless.

  1. How did you come up with the title Grade A Stupid? Darcy’s favorite word is stupid, and I tend to be a labeler.  There’s stupid…and then there’s really stupid.  Darcy considers herself a verb in a world full of nouns.  In this book, she turns the world upside down trying to clear a friend who is accused of murder.  Constructing aliases, breaking the law, everything that makes perfect sense to her but reeks of Grade A Stupid to everyone else.   

  1. How are you the same/different from your main characters? I’m definitely not as smart as Darcy, but I like to think I’ve got her sense of humor, and I do have a tendency to zero in on what I want.  Character wise, I might be the most like her best friend, Dylan. I’m fiercely loyal and love is pretty black and white to me.  You either love someone or you don’t.

  1. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book? That I had patience enough to do it!!  Patience is not my virtue.  And also, that I heard so many different people in my head.  It was kind of scary (laughs) that I could channel bad people so easily.

  1. What are your plans for the series? Right now there are plans for 8 or 9 books through Darcy’s POV.  A possible spin-off, but we’ll see.

  1. Have you ever done anything strange or weird in the name of research? I do wear my Chuck Taylors a lot when I’m writing Darcy.  It helps me to get into her head.  And let’s just say the government had better not ever check my google records.  I google some pretty strange stuff all in the name of a good book!

  1. How long does it take you to write a book? I’d say six months, start to finish.

  1. What is your work schedule like when you're writing? Right now, I’m a stay-at-home mom so I work when they’re at school or in bed.  I write a lot of conversations on napkins and whatever pieces of paper I can find when I’m in the carpool line or at restaurants.  Wherever the mood hits, I take it because it’s the worst feeling in the world to have a great conversation in your head then lose it for lack of a piece of paper.

  1. Do you have any writing rituals? It’s just my dog, my hamster, and a lot of Coke. I do try to figure out what I want to accomplish for the day before I go to bed and the moment I get up.  I try to meditate and pick out either butt-kicking music or mood music depending on the scene.

  1. Who designed the cover for Grade A Stupid? The ’68 Zombie Comics duo of Mark Kidwell and Jay Fotos. They’re talent is unbelievable as you can tell by the cover.

    Night Aberrations (Night Aberrations, #1)
  1. What book are you reading now? Night Aberrations by JD Nelson.

  1. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? I have a passion for people that are put together a little bit differently than everyone else—whose square-peg mind doesn’t fit through society’s round hole.  Darcy is the benchmark.  She’s been blessed with this super high IQ but carries some baggage that makes life a little harder for her than most.  What she has going for her though is an exorbitant amount of moxie, enthusiasm, and a competitive spirit that never quits.  My hope is that readers embrace their dreams, own their flaws, and take a big bite out of life’s apple pie regardless of what people may say or how they may try to remold you.  And by all means…laugh.  Laughter can cure so many things

Random Questions:

  1. What’s in your fridge right now? Coke, milk, half a stick of butter, condiments, cheese, and leftovers.

  1. What song do you sing at the top of your voice every time you hear it? Anything on the radio!!  I’m that moron in the car that doesn’t care if anyone sees them.

  1. Other than writing, what special or unusual talent(s) do you have? I’m a decent singer, can make great spaghetti, and can play a mean game of softball.

  1. Where did you last go on holiday? Orlando

  1. If your house was attacked by feral aliens, and they were zapping your house with their Über super bombs, what five items would you save? My laptop, my family, my Bible, hamster, and dog

  1. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be? Mind-reading…I hate BS!
7. Who’s your favourite villain? Ooohhhh, hard one because I like the bad people.  Right now it’s Damon on the Vampire Diaries, but I like all of the people that have major flaws with that teeny-tiny glimmer of good that’s just dying to live.
Stalker Links
We have a lovely giveaway to celebrate all that is AJ Lape. She's generously giving away 5 ecopies of Grade 'A' Stupid and 5 lovely bookmarks too. There will be 5 lucky winners in total, so double whammy on the prizes!


  1. Great 1st review, Justine!! Looking forward to more :) Ren @ A Little Bit of R&R

    1. She's are star right! :) We do love her on Bex 'n' Books.

  2. AWESOME review Justine!!! YOU ROCK!!!!!

    1. It's not to shabby is it! I think we should keep her, what do you think Julia? :)
      You're pretty awesome yourself too! <3


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