Thursday, April 27, 2017

Blog Tour and Giveaway with Guest post for Just Shut Up and Drive by Chynna Laird

Just Shut Up and Drive
by Chynna Laird
Genre: Coming of Age, Contemporary

One teen, one cranky old man and the open road. What could go wrong?
Eighteen-year old Wil Carter can think of more than a fistful of things he’d rather do than go on a road trip with his ninety-five year old grandfather. But when Gramps Wilf barks an order, you listen or get an earful of grief.
Wil lost his parents in a horrible car accident when he was five. Gramps has been the only parent he has ever known. Now that he’s ready to go off to college, the old man says he has things Wil needs to learn to be the man he’s supposed to be. But the trip turns out to be more than he bargains for.
Along their week-long road trip across the Canadian Prairies, Wil not only learns tidbits about his own life, but realizes the grandfather he thought he knew has mysteries of his own. With each stop they make, a new layer of emotional truth is revealed…for each of them.
Will Gramps teach Wil what he needs to know before the journey ends? And is Wil strong enough to hear it?
Where were you born/grew up at?

Oh boy. I don’t admit this unless openly asked (lol). I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada. It’s called a ‘Prairie City’ as it is smack dab in the middle of the Canadian Prairies. It’s known for its flat landscape; long, cold and very snowy winters; and mosquito-infested summers. Although not a place a lot of people plan their vacation time to visit, the province does have some good points.
It doesn’t have the beautiful mountains or popular tourist attraction resorts as found in Alberta or British Columbia, but there are some of the most beautiful lakes found in Manitoba, including West Hawk Lake where my grandfather built the cabin we were fortunate enough to have been able to escape to every summer of my childhood. There is also a strong focus on the Native culture, which I always loved and a major influence in much of my writing.
I moved away from Manitoba many years ago, however, there are a few things I will always treasure and hold close to my heart.

If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

You know, I find this question so ironic because I have been very close to it recently.
Long story short, I had been diagnosed with cervical cancer (for the third time). Because it was a reoccurring cancer, I had to undergo a more intense investigation into the problem to make sure that it hadn’t spread, as well as to see if there were any underlying health issues. There were.
I found out that not only did I have the cancer to deal with, I also have liver disease, digestive issues, a lung condition and one functioning kidney. Most disturbing to me was that due to the damage and scarring from these conditions, it was determined that I have been dealing with them my whole life and not known it. On top of all of that, I was experiencing vertigo problems and blacking/passing out constantly. After an incident where I passed out and hit my head, it was discovered through a head MRI that I had an old neck injury (fracture) in my neck that I had re-injured, causing the passing out, etc.
Needless to say, I was rather overwhelmed and did not handle it in the positive ways I always have. I turned to alcohol for a few months, which, of course, intensified my symptoms and caused further damage. It was a temporary crutch that I gave up without much difficulty, but not before having several hospital trips. The last one, the doctor on call advised me, in front of my husband and my older two children, that if I didn’t change my lifestyle and start being more proactive and aggressive with treating my conditions and symptoms, he gave me two months to live. Needless to say, that scared me back to reality.
So, to answer your question: I would spend my last day thanking God to have allowed me to be here this long, being grateful to those who have stuck by me and made me strong enough to go on, forgiving myself, and simply enjoying the love and support of my beautiful children. After all, everything I do and everything I am has been for them.

What kind of world ruler would you be?

This probably would mean nothing to those who are not avid Walking Dead fans, however, I see myself as being the sort of ruler that King Ezekiel is. He is wise, but welcomes insight from those around him. He is fair, but ensures there are consequences for not following rules or bringing harm to others. He is strong, but has no fear in being vulnerable or showing/sharing his emotions. He is aware of what is going on around his kingdom, right and wrong, and ensures that those he is responsible for understand his or her position in the world. He doesn’t expect anything from anyone that he is not willing to undertake himself. He strives for equality, peace, awareness and knowledge as well as instills a strong sense of self-reliance, self-respect and empathy towards others in all those who follow him.

Plus he’s got a white tiger for a pet. How cool is that?

CHYNNA LAIRD – is a psychology/criminology major, freelance writer and author living in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, Ryan, three daughters [Jaimie (fourteen), Jordhan (twelve), and Sophie (eight)] and baby boy, Xander (ten). Her passion is helping children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder, mental and emotional disorders and other special needs.
You’ll find her work in many online and in-print parenting, inspirational, Christian and writing publications in Canada, United States, Australia, and Britain. In addition, she’s authored an award-winning children’s book (I’m Not Weird, I Have SPD), two memoirs (the multi award-winning, Not Just Spirited: A Mom’s Sensational Journey With SPD and White Elephants), a Young Adult novella (Blackbird Flies), an adult Suspense/Thriller (Out Of Sync), a Young Adult Suspense/Paranormal (Dark Water) and a contemporary New Adult novel (Just Shut Up and Drive,). She is presently working on a sequel to Not Just Spirited as well as the next book in the Dark Water series. Stayed tuned as Chynna has several Works-In-Progress on the go.