My author friend, Jami Deise, is taking over my blog today! Check out her new novel, KEEPING SCORE! Buy links are at the bottom of the post.
Thanks for having me on your blog, Caroline!
My name is Jami Deise, and I recently self-published my first novel, “Keeping Score.” “Keeping Score” is about divorced mom Shannon, whose 9-year-old son Sam decides he wants to play travel baseball rather than “rec” (recreation) baseball. My son Alex has been obsessed with baseball since he was 6 years old, and I have so many stories about what he went through on the road to becoming a college pitcher. In fact, it took him 2 years to even get on a travel team because he kept flubbing up at try-outs! The competition, the politics, the mean kids, the blind umpires… being a baseball parent is like living on a different planet. At the same time, all those trials and tribulations taught my son so many valuable lessons. How to control his emotions. How to persevere. How to get better and stronger. That’s what I tried to write about in “Keeping Score;” not just about the baseball stories or the competition between the baseball parents, but how sports can help shape a child’s character. Because a child who can walk back up into the batter’s box after striking out at his last at bat, or get back on the mound after giving up a home run, will be well-equipped to handle challenges off the field.
Below I’ve included one of my favorite scenes. Shannon isn’t an athlete – neither am I – and she does something for Sam I could never imagine doing for Alex: pulling on gear and catching a bull pen for him so he can get ready to pitch in a game the next day….
It was still early, so we headed home for a quick costume change, then hit the softball field at Chamberlin. Luckily, no one had grabbed the field for practice yet, so we didn't have an audience. I started to pull on the catcher's gear, but Sam stopped me.
"We have to warm up first. Then you can get dressed."
I dropped the catcher's gear near the dugout bench, and walked with Sam to the first base line. I stuffed my left hand into the mitt. The glove was so stiff, I could barely open it.
"I don't know how I'm going to catch with this," I said.
"Yeah. We should have bought you one that was already broken in. And a regular glove. That one's not really made for playing catch."
Sam pulled his arm over his shoulder, stretched out a bit, touched his toes. "Mom, you really should stretch first," he reprimanded.
"I'll be okay."
"I warned you…" He put on his glove, grabbed the baseball, and threw.
I put out my hand. I could see the ball coming toward me -- and suddenly, I couldn't. Where did the damn -- ouch! It crashed right into my shin. I knew I should have put the gear on right away.
"Mom," Sam scolded, "you have to keep your eye on the ball at all times!"
Baseball looks a lot easier to play than it actually is.
I hunted for the ball and found it underneath the dugout bench. My shin must be a lot more rigid than I thought. I walked back toward Sam, swung my arm back, and threw.
The ball dribbled out of my hand and landed about three feet in front of me.
Sam exploded in laughter, doubling over and holding his stomach. It was the snorty, spitty kind of laughter that sometimes leads to a pants wetting.
I sulked. “It wasn’t that funny.”
"I can't believe you're like fifty years old and no one ever taught you how to throw!"
"I am nowhere near fifty and who would have taught me?"
"Maybe Coach Kevin should give you a pitching lesson!"
After Sam got his laughing under control, we started throwing again. He gave me a few pointers -- something about keeping my elbow up, and using my glove to point at him. When I followed them, I could get the ball to go a little further. But he was still biting his lip to keep from giggling by the time we were done.
Sam helped me strap on the catcher's gear. The leg guards were obvious, but the chest protector had hooks and fasteners and other things I couldn't figure out. Then, when I put on the mask, I was done. I couldn't see a damn thing. How could anyone catch and throw a ball wearing this thing?
"Just stand first," Sam instructed. "Don't crouch down yet."
I had completely forgotten about the crouching down.
Sam stood a few feet in front of the mound and threw me the ball. I couldn't see where it went. Until -- bonk! It hit me right on the head. I was grateful for the helmet.
I thought that would send Sam into another cascade of giggles, but instead he just looked at me. At least, I think he was looking at me. It was hard to tell underneath the life-saving helmet.
"Mom, we're going to have a problem."
"I can do this. I can."
And I made myself do it. If no one else could help my son get in the work that he needed, then I would. I missed a bunch of balls, and when I crouched down, it was even worse. The ball hit me on top of the head, on the mask, on the chest protector, and even in the neck -- which really hurt, because there's no protection there. But little by little, I started to see the ball.
Of course, when I finally got the glove on it, the ball popped right back out.
"You have to squeeze it, Mom," but I thought I heard a small note of pride.
I had only caught about five real pitches when Sam said it was time to pack up.
"I have an actual game tomorrow," he said in a tone that was almost patronizing. "I can't waste everything tonight."
As we walked to the parking lot -- with me still in my catcher's gear -- a team of older boys and their parents were there, unpacking baseball equipment. A few of them gave me a very strange look.
But boy did I feel proud when I heard one of the dads say, "Now THAT is a real baseball mom."
Links to buy KEEPING SCORE:
Smashwords (Nook, Sony reader, iPad)
My Social Media:
LinkedIn: Jami Deise
Today, my author friend Carolyn Ridder Aspenson is doing a cover reveal for her latest book, UNBREAKABLE BONDS, due out in November. I read the first book in the Angela Panther series, UNFINISHED BUSINESS, and loved it! (See my review 2 posts down from this one.) You can win a free copy of UNFINISHED BUSINESS, see below for details.
An Angela Panther Novel
Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
When Angela's best friend Mel thinks her husband is having an affair, she turns to Angela for help. The two come up with the perfect plan to catch him in the act but to make it work, they'll need help from Angela's mother, Fran.
There's just one teeny, little problem.
And since Angela's psychic gift is currently out of service, connecting with Fran is a little complicated.
While Angela searches for a way to fix her psychic radar Fran and a multitude of other ghosts continue to try to make a connection. And it's driving Angela crazy.
But Fran won't let her daughter's problem stop her from helping someone she loves and she sets out to catch the cheater on her own, using a few tricks and tools from the afterlife to get it done.
Book two of the Angela Panther series will be available November, 2013 in e-book and paperback.
View the book trailer for UNFINISHED BUSINESS here.
For more information
Follow Carolyn on Twitter
Win a free e-copy of the first book in the Angela Panther Series,
An Angela Panther Novel
Share this blog post on twitter and @writingwoman
Share it on Facebok and tag Carolyn Ridder Aspenson, Author in the post
Enter every day until August 15th!
I'm thrilled to be "In the Spotlight"
on the MASQUERADE CREW'S blog today!
They asked me to do a guest post on my
"Top 5 Fave Fictional Detectives".
Go here to read it!
by Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
on sale now for only $0.99!
I loved the way the author told this story. The underlying subject matter was serious, but her funny, snarky tone lightened the mood to make it a very enjoyable read. The author has a great sense of humor, even about death, but when the story called for it, she was reverent and empathetic in the way her characters handled each other.
I really identified with the main character—she’s just a mom, trying to do the things she needs to do to keep the family on track. She’s not an overbearing supermom by any means, but she will do anything to keep her kids safe, even siccing her ghost-mom on her daughter’s frenemies.
I highly recommend this book if you like chick-lit, especially if you want a book with more substance than most. I would love to read more by this author.
Guess who's going on a BLOG TOUR this summer?
Come along with me on the first-ever
IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH Blog Tour!
Some of my writer friends have graciously agreed to host me on their blogs
from August 18-22. See the list below for all of the tour stops!
Follow the IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH tour to these great blogs!
Lilian Roberts author blog
Please check back often to see my updated schedule!
SPELLBOUND IN HIS ARMS
By Angel Sefer
Get your copy on Amazon.com!
SPELLBOUND IN HIS ARMS is a fantastic first novel by author Angel Sefer. Set in Greece, mostly on the island of Corfu, with some scenes in Athens (I was excited to find a short scene took place in Plaka, a historic neighborhood in Athens and my favorite spot when I vacationed there!). The author describes the Greek scenery beautifully (she is from there, after all), and the location is definitely a major player in the story.
The chemistry between the main characters, Jackie and Michael, is fiery and passionate right from the start, but what I really liked is that they were able to keep their heads to solve the mystery even as their relationship blossomed. Jackie is a feisty heroine, and nothing, even super-hot detective Michael Apostolou, is going to keep her from finding the truth about who is harming her family. There are plenty of bad guys and plenty of action in this book—perfect for a fast and fun read.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery with a good amount of romance. I look forward to reading more novels by this author.
I'm thrilled to have Diantha Jones here on my blog today, making a stop on her ORACLE OF DELPHI Blog Tour!
Please visit her website here, and purchase her new release,
PROPHECY OF SOLSTICE'S END (Oracle of Delphi Series #3) here!
And now, for her guest post...
Wrangling the Myths: How I Did It
I didn't really. Wrangle the myths, that is.
Greek mythology is so massive, it would take a lifetime to learn everything. Even then, I bet there'd be something you missed. It's an impossible thing to take on. I've studied the myths for the past four years and still feel like a fish out of water at times. There's just so much of it, so many interpretations, that in the end it all boils down to which tall tale you choose to believe.
When researching the myths for my Oracle of Delphi series, I started with...duh, the Oracle. That was easy enough, I guess. Then I moved on to the Olympians. That went well too...at first. Then I realized there was so much more to the big twelve than I had ever known. They are each the god of at least ten different things. They've also got a beast or two that is attributed to them, plus plants and other symbols. And let's not start with the love interests! Out of control, I tell you.
But I didn't stop there. To understand the ways of the Olympians, I had to also study the Titans (Kronos, Rhea, Hyperion, etc.) and the gods of the Cosmos (Uranus, Gaia, Nyx, etc.). Then came the myths themselves. My favorite is the story of Cupid and Psyche and how their romance came to be. But there are other cool myths as well, such as the quest of Jason & the Argonauts, and the twelve labors of Hercules, both which are important to the Oracle of Delphi series.
Then there are all of the minor gods and demigods who played major roles in Greek mythology. Really ya'll...it's a lot, but not for a moment have I ever felt bored with it. It's all such exciting stuff! Each time I open one of my books or bring up a website, I'm excited wondering what new, amazing myth I'm going to discover. So have I conquered the Greek myths? Not even close. But I'm sure having a blast trying.
I'm giving away
TWO signed copies of IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH
Enter here to win!
I have just been named a SEMIFINALIST in
The Kindle Book Review's 2013 Best Indie Book Awards
for my book, IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH!
Find the list of semifinalists here.
Winners will be announced October 1, 2013.
Keep your fingers crossed for me!