Monday, 20 September 2021

Blog Tour: Grenade Bouquets (Runaway Train #2) by Lee Matthew Goldberg {Excerpt + Guest Review + #Giveaway} @LeeMatthewG

Grenade Bouquets by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Grenade Bouquets by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg 

Title: Grenade Bouquets 

Series: Runaway Train #2

Publisher: Wise Wolf Books 

Publication Date: August 5th 2021 

Category: Young Adult, Runaways, Outcasts, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Depression, Mental Illness 

Tour Dates: August 31 - September 24, 2021 

ISBN: 978-1953944078 

Available in Print and ebook, 286 pages

 Grenade Bouquets

Description Grenade Bouquets by Lee Matthew Goldberg

I had stars in my eyes and I couldn't see around them... The year is 1995 and my parents have finally allowed me to take the summer to tour in a VW van across the country with my boyfriend Evan and our band. Yes, my dream to be a singer became reality. Even with Clarissa, Evan's jealous ex-girlfriend, as the lead singer, it's my presence on stage that led us to a major record deal. There are moments you'll always remember in life, but I can't imagine anything more cool than hearing your song on the radio for the first time. But being a Rockstar isn't as easy as it sounds. Using alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms, nothing but tension surrounded me, hurting my still blossoming relationship, and continued grieving over my sister's death. A love letter to the nineties and a journey of a girl becoming a woman, Grenade Bouquets charts the rollercoaster ride of a band primed to explode on the scene, as long as they keep from actually exploding.

Praise Grenade Bouquets by Lee Matthew Goldberg

"An engaging '90s pastiche with an earnest heart beating at its center."- Kirkus Reviews

 "Runaway Train is a high-energy testimonial to the redemptive power of a road trip with an awesome soundtrack. Lee Matthew Goldberg balances the urgency of youth with a whiff of anticipatory nostalgia for the music and misadventures of late adolescence. Attuned to way distinctions between music genres and teen idols can feel like impermeable walls worth defending, and then crumble as a teen like Nico Sullivan finds her own voice."- Jenn Stroud Rossman, author of The Place You're Supposed to Laugh 

"Raw. Riveting. Runaway Train stays true to its title as it explores the deep pain of a teenager desperately trying to find peace in a world full of pain. Lee Matthew Goldberg is a master at bestowing sympathy and strength on deeply flawed characters. Realistic and shocking, hopeful and satisfying, Runaway Train will keep readers turning the page."- USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Forster

  "It's an incredibly challenging task for an author to utilize a darkly comedic tone without coming across as disingenuous--but Goldberg executes it here with expert precision. Brimming over with the visceral atmosphere of the early 90s grunge era, RUNAWAY TRAIN is a must-read for those willing to buckle up for the ride."-Peter Malone Elliott (Director of Operations, Book Pipeline) 

Buy Grenade Bouquets by Lee Matthew Goldberg



Bizarre Love Triangle – Frente! 


The flight to Vegas from L.A. is basically up then down, barely any time for me to have more than an oj. I’d never flown solo before and the stewardess is super nice and makes sure I’m getting picked up by someone when I arrive. “Yeah, my band will,” I say, casually with a flip of my hair like it’s no big deal, and her eyebrows rise with respect. I feel more adult in that moment than I ever have before. She gives me an extra bag of peanuts.

I’m munching on the peanuts while dragging my suitcase from the arrivals when I see Evan, all lean with his hair styled in a messy swoop across one eye and a fuzzy sweater with holes. A peanut nearly gets trapped in my throat and I hack as he notices and I’m all red in the face by the time I reach him.

“Rogue peanut,” I say, pointing at my throat but he scoops me up with a big swirling hug and we are THAT COUPLE kissing in the airport like we’ve been apart for eons. He tastes like spearmint Chewels gum with the spurt of goo in the middle.

“How was your flight?” he asks, as we walk holding hands out of the airport.

“It’s so good to see you.” His hand is clammy and I think that’s cute because he’s nervous like I am. We’re entering a new stage of our relationship after being apart for months with only one visit when he came to L.A. I feel like I want to declare my love for him but stop my stupid ass from being embarrassing. I repeat to stay cool, keep cool, over and over in my head until it’s mantra.

“It’s good to see you too, Nico.” He smiles, and I relax. Part of me worried he might’ve regretted inviting me along to sing, but I know that’s only me jinxing myself. I’m worthy. “The Bouquet’s are parked in the lot with our van.”

Our van is a broken-down VW that’s fire-engine red on the bottom and white on top with five windows on each side and tiny bubble windows by the ceiling. It’s rusted and gnarly and perfect. Ed and Randy wait outside of it, Randy playing air drums against Ed’s back. Clarissa smokes a 100 cigarette, hand on her hip, while talking with Lacey, our band manager.

“Nico,” they all cheer in a way that warms my heart. Well, maybe Clarissa didn’t cheer because she used to date Evan and can’t be too jazzed I’ve arrived, but everyone else seems genuinely happy to see me.

Ed gives a big hug being a big guy, his arms squeezing like a bear. Randy, the oldest of the group, and likely around thirty, is less exuberant with a hug but still says he’s glad to see me. I missed the two of them, imagining how I’d come to think of both as older brothers looking out for me on tour.

“Nico,” Lacey says, pulling me into her embrace. She runs her fingers through my hair. “Love the blue dye job. Manic Panic?”

“You know it.”

Lacey always looks so cool in her vintage get-ups: librarian glasses with a Sally Jesse Raphael vibe, a bob haircut, and a polka dot dress buttoned-up to her neck with saddle shoes.

“Hi, Clarissa,” I say, because she’s the only one who hasn’t approached me yet. She’s shaved the right side of her head with the left kept long like Ani DiFranco. Raccoon eyes and dark, dark lip liner, and a D.A.R.E. to Keep Kids Off Drugs tee under a leopard strappy dress. And Doc Martins, we’re all wearing Doc Martins.

“Hi,” she says, exhaling smoke and stamping the cigarette out under her boot. No hug, but I didn’t expect one.

“This could be our album cover,” Evan says, smiling through the awkwardness of the situation and snapping a pretend picture as we all pose.

“Wait, I’ll take a picture for real,” Lacey says, and rummages in her purse for a camera. We all pose again: Ed giving a roar, Randy getting close to Evan, Evan flipping his bangs out of his eyes, Clarissa looking bored and unaffected, and me squelching a burp. The sun is hot and boiling and glimmering off of the VW and I wonder if we’ll look back on this years later if we’re all still together and think of how young and hopeful we were. 

Guest Review by Gracie

'Grenade Bouquets' is a powerhouse of nostalgia for the rockstar generation of the 90's. With references to basically every Grunge band you can think of, Lee Matthew Goldberg has created a masterpiece of 90's memories and reminiscences. Every chapter is a reference to a song from the decade, creating something of a playlist out of the table of contents.

The book is the second in a series, the 'Runaway Train' series, to be exact. Goldberg's ode to teenage rebellion and Kurt Cobain that was released earlier this year is the first book in the series, 'Runaway Train.'

'Grenade Bouquets' picks up shortly after the first book left off, with Nico, now seventeen years old, leaving Los Angeles to join a tour with her band, the Grenade Bouquets.

Still a lover of Cobain and all things Grunge, Nico sings back up vocals in the band, behind the lead singer, Clarissa. Now, Clarissa hates Nico, not just because the younger woman tends to draw bigger crowds than she does, but because Nico is also dating Clarissa's ex, Evan. Clarissa is determined to get Nico out of the band, and between her attempts to destroy her, and the complications of her growing fame, Nico has a lot of new problems to deal with in this novel.

Goldberg's writing is top notch, and his grasp of what it was like to grow up in the 90's is so perfect that I can only assume he really did. Nico is a teenage girl growing up with payphones and cassettes, viewing the last decade of the 20th century in a way that only she can. I found myself rooting for her every step of the way, and hoping that she would be able to take down Clarissa, repair her relationship with Evan and her best friend, Winter and manage to avoid the pitfalls of fame all at the same time.

About Lee Matthew Goldberg

Grenade Bouquets by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of seven novels including THE ANCESTOR and THE MENTOR, currently in development as a film off his original script, and the YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, Hypertext, If My Book, Past Ten, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. 

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Giveaway Grenade Bouquets by Lee Matthew Goldberg

This giveaway is for 3 print or eBook copies, 1 each per winner. Print is open to the U.S. only, eBook is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on September 25, 2021,midnight pacific time.  

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 Grenade Bouquets by Lee Matthew Goldberg

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