I'm excited to interview Laura again and
let her take over my blog, and even more
excited for her newest release,
GOING FOR TWO,
the sequel to FIRST AND GOAL!
We decided to do the "interview swap" thing again, which means we both throw some questions into the ring and we both have to answer all of them. It's pretty fun! Read my answers on Laura's blog tomorrow: http://www.change-the-word.com/
Take it away, Laura!
In honor of Going for Two’s release, I’m sharing some fun facts about the book and Queen of the League series.
One of my favorite parts about writing First & Goal and Going for Two was getting a chance to capture my hometown in a story. I’ve lived in Lincoln, Nebraska, most of my life, and as a lifelong Husker fan, it was almost second-nature to weave details about both into the stories. Lincoln is a fun city. It’s the state capital of Nebraska, home to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and it is a booming location for tech startups. All of that adds a lot of life to the community.
I hope you will check out the other facts—view a complete listing of locations and dates on my website, www.laurachapmanbooks.com—and the series.
Thank you, Caroline, for featuring Going for Two—and me—today. Enjoy!
First to answer Caroline's questions...
Were you a big football fan in high school? A cheerleader, perhaps?
I’ve been a football fan most of my life. I grew up in Nebraska during the back-to-back National Championships in 1994 and 1995, followed by our last title in 1997. I also started following the Packers in the ‘90s, so I was a pretty spoiled fan. I loved football in high school, though to quote the great Taylor Swift, “But she wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts, she’s cheer captain and I’m on the bleachers.” I played percussion in the marching band, so I attended a lot of football games. My high school won the state championship my sophomore year. I unfortunately missed the game, because I had my wisdom teeth out. I did watch the game on TV, and I vaguely remember cheering my heart out. Unfortunately, I was pretty doped up (I had FIVE fully impacted wisdom teeth, so it was kind of a thing).
I knew I liked you, but now that I've learned you were a percussionist, we're "sister drummers"! The things you learn from interviews! Now that you’re grown up, would you prefer to go to a local high school football game, a college football game, or a professional football game?
I’ve actually never been to a professional football game, but would love to someday. That said there is no place like Lincoln, Nebraska, during a home football game. I suppose that’s where the line in “Dear Old Nebraska U” comes from. So I’ll always probably say college football, because that’s where my heart belongs.
Any big plans for the Super Bowl?
I’ll definitely watch, but how closely I follow the game depends on who actually plays. As I answer these questions, my Green Bay Packers are still contenders. If they play, I’ll be glued to my TV and probably drink too much beer and not eat enough food, which tends to happen when I get nervous during football games. I’ll also watch pretty closely if the Broncos play, because Peyton Manning was my fantasy football quarterback for several years, and he has a special place in my heart. If any of the other teams play, I’ll have the game on, but spend most of my time following the commercials while texting snarky comments about both teams to my friends and family. I’m also pretty excited to hear that Queen Bey will once again be on stage for the halftime show.
This series involves fantasy football. Do you play fantasy football yourself?
I have played fantasy football for several years. The past three seasons I have managed two teams, one a keeper league, which is a bit trickier. Like Harper, I’m frequently the token girl, though my league-mates give me less grief. My own experience with fantasy football is actually why I decided to write a series about it from a woman’s perspective. I had to use my imagination a lot to write it, though, because my fantasy football experience has been a lot less entertaining than hers!
Tell us about how you put together your team. Are they favorite players of yours or were they chosen for their particular abilities and stats?
The last two years I’ve thrown my teams together. This year, I didn’t check any player stats or projections before my drafts, because I was busy preparing for the release of First & Goal. For the first time, neither of my teams made it to the playoffs, but I have zero regrets. My second season I had both teams go to the playoffs, and I did a lot of prep work. Harper actually used a lot of my best practices to put her team together in Going for Two, which should shed some light on my method. Probably my all-time favorite fantasy football players have been Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, and Jordy Nelson. Sadly I didn’t have any of them on my team this year, and Peyton and Calvin are probably nearing the end of their careers, and Jordy spent the season recovering from a torn ACL. That might explain why my teams did so poorly…
Do you have a “soundtrack” to Going for Two? Or any songs that helped you get in the mood for writing it?
Absolutely. I make playlists for all of my books. It’s part of the pre-writing, brainstorming process. I curate it while I write and edit, and then I make it available to readers on Spotify once the book is published. You can find my playlist for Going for Two at https://open.spotify.com/user/1224839748/playlist/3kE1AWRP0v0XsXka0p4nmT. While writing this book, I probably most frequently listened to “Tighten Up” by the Black Keys, “Fire” by Augustana, and “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled. They helped set the mood.
I love your character names. How do you come up with such unusual names?
Harper’s name actually came to me in a dream. I was struggling with my first draft and not really feeling the name I had. Then one night I had a dream (which I explain in greater detail in this blog post: http://www.change-the-word.com/2015/09/wcw-meet-harper-duquaine.html) and poof “Harper” popped into my head. She’s originally from Wisconsin, so I researched common last names there to get Duquaine. Brook gets his first name from my all-time favorite Husker football player, the late Brook Berringer. And his last name MacLaughlin is a play on my high school football coach’s last name. He happened to be my homeroom teacher and was a great guy, so I wanted to pay tribute to him. (You can read more about it in this blog post: http://www.change-the-word.com/2015/09/mcm-meet-brook-maclaughlin.html)
What can readers expect to see from you in 2016?
In addition to reading Harper’s continuing adventures in Going for Two, readers should be able to see what happens next in Three & Out. I’m in the process of writing this one, and we plan to release it in the fall. Aside from that, I have a couple of other projects in the works, but I’m not talking specifics on any of those just yet.
And now to answer my own questions...
What was the first murder mystery you remember reading and what did you most enjoy about it?
I read And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie when I was in sixth grade. I was already a fan of mysteries—I’d worked my way through the Baby-Sitters Club mysteries and Nancy Drew, but this was my first time dealing with a serial killer in print. I remember being completely awed and shocked by the brilliance of the whole story. I’ve always been pretty good at deducing whodunit, but that was the first time I was left thinking “Oh. Em. Gee.” It’s been almost twenty years since I read it, and I still think about that book a lot.
Who is your all-time favorite fictional sleuth?
I am my mother’s daughter, and I am a big fan of both the Kinsey Millhone alphabet mysteries by Sue Grafton and Annie and Max Darling in the Death on Demand series by Carolyn G. Hart. I love that Annie and Kinsey are both pretty fearless and they’re so cool without trying. I wouldn’t mind shadowing both of them for a day on the case. I’d probably need some pre-sleuthing pointers from them to make sure I don’t accidentally give our position away to a murderer. I’m not terribly graceful, so that’s a real concern.
If you could spend a day with any of the characters in your most recent book, who would you choose and what would you do?
While I’m head over heels for Brook MacLaughlin, I know his heart already belongs to Harper, so I’m going to say J.J. While he might come off as a bit of a dick, I suspect that underneath that mask, there’s a good guy just waiting to be reformed. I’m also getting a bit of cabin fever now that winter has descended on Nebraska, and he strikes me as someone who would be good at getting me to ditch the sweatpants and go out on the town for a night. I imagine we’d explore the Railyard in downtown Lincoln, eat too much pizza and french fries, drink too many beers, and possibly get into a little bit of trouble if we bumped into any non-Husker fans during our excursion. It’s a good thing we’d only have a day together. I’m pretty sure I’d end up in jail if we spent a second day together, either because of the aforementioned trouble, or because I’d lose my patience mid-reformation and end up punching him.
Would you consider, or have you already written any books in other genres? If so, which ones?
I have several genres I’d like to explore. I’ve started a young adult, regency romance, and cozy mystery. One of these days, I’ll finish all of them—I hope. While I’m committed to finishing the Queen of the League chick lit series and a couple of other projects, I’ll probably take a little chick lit break within the next year and explore some of these other genres. I say that today, but who knows what tomorrow will bring. My writing priorities change all the time depending on what idea is speaking to me loudest.
If you were planning your dream writing retreat, where would you go, who would you invite, and what would be on the itinerary?
I always talk about wanting to run away to a cabin in the mountains for some serious writing. I’ve been binge-watching When Calls the Heart on Netflix lately, so I’m really feeling the greater Vancouver, Canada-area for the actual mountain destination. (I suppose I could make Breckenridge, Colorado, work if pressed.) I’ll pack a whole stash of sweatpants, leggings, sweatshirts, sweaters, and thick socks for my week in the mountains. I’ll drink my weight in hot chocolate with peppermint Schnapps and Fireball. I’ll eat a grilled cheese sandwich with black bean soup every day at lunch. I’ll work by the fireplace in the lodge’s great room, at the desk by the window and in the bed in my bedroom. And if I play my cards right, I might end up spending the evening having a romantic dinner with the smart, sexy, and single ski instructor I bumped into at the reservation counter on the first day. He’s trying to talk me into taking ski lessons from him, and I’m doing my best to resist his charms. And, bonus, he actually finds the fact that I didn’t bring any fancy dining clothes charming and refreshing. I’m not sure where this will lead, but the conversation and company will be a good break for me each evening after putting in a full day of hard work.
About the Book
Harper Duquaine is back for another season of fantasy football! This time she’s a year wiser and prepared to dominate the league. But while she finally seems to have her fantasy life in order, reality proves more challenging.
Her plans to peacefully play house with her boyfriend come to a halt when the high school suddenly names Brook its head football coach. The promotion comes with more responsibility on the field and less time at home. It also unexpectedly means more work for Harper, who already has her hands full helping a friend pull off the perfect proposal (while dodging questions about when she and Brook are going to get hitched already). Plus, a new development at work could leave her—and half of the fantasy league—jobless.
With the complications of her career and being “Mrs. Coach” adding up, Harper wonders if she’s committed to the life she’s already building or if there is something else out there.
Find the Book
And from January 20-29 you can get First & Goal, book one in the Queen of the League series, for only 99 cents.
About the Author
Laura Chapman is the author of Going for Two, First & Goal, The Marrying Type, and Hard Hats and Doormats. Her work also appears in Merry & Bright, A Kind of Mad Courage, and the holiday collection All I Want For Christmas from Marching Ink. She loves Huskers and Packers football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Laura makes her home in Nebraska, where she is penning her next novel.
Connect with Laura
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/laurachapmanbooks
Twitter - https://twitter.com/lmchap
Instagram - https://instagram.com/lmchap614/
YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/user/lmchap
Website - http://laurachapmanbooks.com/
I’m thrilled to announce that Bad Medicine, Book 3 of
the Lizzie Hart series, was named one of
Suspense Magazine’s “Best Books of 2015!”
Thank you to Julie Whiteley of The Book Review for nominating me and to the staff at Suspense Magazine for choosing my book for their annual list. It’s a real honor to be named among such great writers as Dean Koontz, Neil Gaiman, and JD Robb (AKA Nora Roberts).
If you haven't read Bad Medicine yet, visit my
Amazon page and get your copy today.
You can view the December 2015 issue of Suspense Magazine here.
Lizzie Hart is back!
I've got a special place in my heart for my first heroine,
Lizzie, and what better way to show it than to give her
a Valentine's Day story!
Join Lizzie and Blake as they race against the clock
to keep Blake out of jail and their Valentine's Day plans intact.
Debuting January 28, 2015
American-turned-Parisian Vicki tells it like it is, from her crazy Christmases growing up in the Midwest to her even crazier holidays in her new home in France. Bizarre gifts, stomach-turning food, and holiday travel disasters are just some of the tales you'll chuckle at in this installment of the Paris Confessions series.
This Christmas-themed memoir features 25 funny and heartwarming essays, all with a tenuous tie to Christmas, and pairs each with a delicious drink recipe. So grab your martini shaker and get ready for tasty cocktails and hearty laughs this holiday season!
A humorous collection of holiday-inspired stories with Christmas drink recipes
If you're looking for a great read this holiday season, don't miss Christmas Confessions & Cocktails! The 25 stories in this holiday collection take you on an adventure full of Christmas spirit (and spirits, including Christmas cocktail recipes like Christmas Cookie Martini, Peppermintini, and Glitter & Gold). And it makes the perfect Christmas gift!
Excerpt from Christmas Confessions & Cocktails by Vicki Lesage
Years later, I married the love of my life, Mika. It would be hard to find a bad quality about this guy. He’s patient. He’s kind. He’s funny and smart. He’s a wonderful husband and an amazing father.
But he absolutely sucks at killing bugs.
His technique: Grab a paper towel and stomp loudly toward the bug, usually scaring it away before arriving on the scene. If the stupid thing sticks around, it’s only because he’s thinking, “Get a load of this guy and his soft, fluffy paper towel. What’s he planning to do with that? Tuck me in to bed and sing me lullabies? Sounds lovely!”
Mika’s “plan” is to gently cover the area the spider is occupying, and to—I don’t know—just hope the spider crawls into the paper towel’s pillowy folds, leading itself to death? Of course the spider darts away each time and now Mika’s just wasted a paper towel.
“You have to smash it. With force,” I said, with all the knowledge of a backseat driver. “The paper towel is just to protect your fingers from the carnage. You actually need to kill it with your hand.”
He gave me a look like, “Holy hell, who did I marry?”
I gave him a look back like, “You better kill the next one or you won’t stay married for long.”
One week later, I was minding my own business (so, ending world hunger or spending too much time on Facebook) and I heard a loud SMACK in the kitchen.
“Check this out,” Mika said, entering the living room with a smile on his face and a dark smear on a paper towel.
Ah, my technique worked.
This doesn’t solve my mom’s problem, though. My newly-trained bug-killing husband was thousands of miles from St. Louis. My step-dad, Doug, will take care of any insect problem, but what does my mom do if he’s not there? She would never kill an intruder herself, but she can’t stay frozen in one spot all weekend.
Enter the best Christmas present ever, courtesy of SkyMall: the bug vacuum.
I’d traveled home for Thanksgiving one year, opting for the cheaper international fares for that time period compared to Christmas. After reading the in-flight magazine cover to cover (or at least taking the Mensa quiz to feel smart), I perused the SkyMall catalogue.
Have you ever looked in that thing? I wanted to buy everything on every page! And I nearly did.
Toy gun that shoots marshmallows? Perfect for my trigger-happy, sweets-loving brother. (Bonus: New way to play fetch with Chopper.)
A glass display case for children’s artwork where you slide in their new artwork while cleverly hiding their previous masterpieces so that you don’t have a house full of scribbles? Perfect for my colleague who has two adorable, prolific, artistic children.
Collapsible silicone wine glasses that you can—get this—fold up and tuck in to your back pocket so you’re ready for any occasion? I might just have to get those for myself.
A bug vacuum with extendable arm and a circular shield to trap the bug before being sucked away to
get zapped by a jolt of electricity go live on a farm in the country? Perfect for my easily-spooked arachnaphobic mother. She talks smack about bugs, but can’t handle actually smacking any.
Bonus gift: A battery-operated bug-zapping tennis racket for the flying critters. Plus it counts as exercise because it has “tennis” in the name.
I filled out the order form and dropped it in the mail when I landed. Christmas shopping had never been so easy.
Bug vacuum: $64.95
Battery-operated bug-zapping tennis racket: $16.95
Living in a bug-free house: Priceless
Follow the tour here: http://www.clpblogtours.com/2015/11/book-blitz-christmas-confessions.html
I love a good blog hop,
and Deborah Nam-Krane's are the best.
This time, we're doing "Best Twists."
Since we're going to be talking about twists, the whole blog hop is going to be one big SPOILER ALERT!
So, if you're one of the three people who hasn't read or seen Fight Club, don't read this. Trust me, it will ruin it for you.
Twists are what make a good story a great story, right? Sure, not every story can or even should have a twist, but don’t you love getting that kick-in-the-gut feeling when the writer has totally pulled one over on you?
I’m a big fan of twists. I try to incorporate a twist to the ending of every book I write, and that works well with mysteries. When I read a book or watch a movie, I love to try to figure out whodunit, or at least what I think is going to happen throughout the course of the story. I’ve gotten pretty good at “calling it” over the years, but some writers can and do fool me—which I love.
When I think of “best twists,” a lot of great books and movies come to mind—Gone Girl (of course), Girl on the Train, Shutter Island, The Uninvited, and The Sixth Sense, just to name a few. It was difficult to choose one, but I’ve chosen the one that has always sort of haunted me and caused me to go back and think the most about how different the story would have been had you known all along what you found out at the end. That story is Fight Club. I watched the movie years ago, and I just finished the book version. Both were great, and I honestly can’t say which I liked better. Okay, maybe I can—Brad Pitt takes his shirt off A LOT in the movie.
...and one more...
I will say that the twist in the movie happens a little more quickly than in the book. The book more slowly rolls out the realization that the Narrator and Tyler Durden are one and the same. Because of the quickness of the revelation in the movie, I’d say it had a more shocking effect than the book. However—I knew the twist when I started reading the book, so I wasn’t exactly surprised when it happened. And it’s really rather interesting how Chuck Palahniuk all but tells you they’re the same guy, with repeated lines like “I know this because Tyler knows this” and describing the way Tyler exits a room as “disappearing.”
Whether you watch it or read it, Fight Club is a fantastic story, and the twist is epic. Well, at least it would have been if I hadn’t just spoiled it for you. I know, I know. I just broke the first rule of Fight Club. Whatever.
Join Aaron Deckard tomorrow as the Best Twist Blog Tour rolls on!
Check Deb's blog for the full schedule!
DEATH BEFORE DECAF
is now available!
I signed the deal for this book on my 40th birthday in March, and it's been nonstop fun working with the crew at Random House Alibi to get to release day. Thank you to everyone who supported me, edited and read for me, and encouraged me to follow my dreams!
DEATH BEFORE DECAF is available as an ebook for all devices. Find the list here: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/531812/death-before-decaf-by-caroline-fardig/
I can't believe it's finally time for the release of
Death Before Decaf!
Below is the full list of stops I'll be making to celebrate the release of my first book through Random House Alibi.
Please join me on my tour!
The official release date for Death Before Decaf is November 17th.
Special thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for hosting the tour!
November 10 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review
November 10 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
November 11 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review
November 12 – Community Bookstop – Spotlight
November 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Guest Post
November 14 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
November 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
November 16 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Guest Post
November 16 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – Review
November 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
November 18 – Musings and Ramblings – Review
November 19 – Book Club Librarian – Review
November 19 – MysteriesEtc – Review
November 20 – Tea and A Book – Review, Interview
November 21 – 3 Partners in Shopping; Nana, Mommy, & Sissy too! – Spotlight
November 22 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review
November 23 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post
Today, I welcome back Susan M. Boyer
for her Lowcountry Bordello blog tour!
Read on for an excerpt from her latest book and a $50 Amazon card giveaway!
A Day in the Life of Liz Talbot, PI, by Susan M. Boyer
The dead are not altogether reliable. Colleen, my best friend, calls herself a Guardian Spirit. I can’t argue with the facts at hand: She’s been dead seventeen years, and she watches my back. I’m a private investigator, so situations arise from time to time wherein my back needs watching. Technically, Colleen’s afterlife mission is to protect Stella Maris, our island home near Charleston, South Carolina, from developers and all such as that. Since I’m on the town council and can’t abide the notion of condos and time-shares on our pristine beaches, protecting me falls under her purview.
Solving my cases, however, does not. She’ll tell me that in a skinny minute should I happen to mention how she could be more helpful. But she has been known to toss me the occasional insight from beyond that provokes a train of thought, which, upon reflection, proves useful. Here’s the thing: Colleen shows up when she detects I’m in danger. Sometimes she warns me in advance. Occasionally she drops by just to chat. But she doesn’t come whenever I think of her or call her name. It rarely works like that.
One Monday in December, I really could’ve used Colleen’s perspective. We were closing in on Christmas, and I was getting married on the twentieth—in five days. I was a teensy bit distracted, is what I’m saying.
It was a little after ten in the morning, and I was at my desk in the living room of my beachfront house, which doubles as my office. I was deep into research on a criminal case Nate, my partner and fiancé, and I were working for Andy Savage. Andy was a high profile Charleston attorney, and while this case didn’t amount to much more than fact-checking, we hoped it would lead to a lucrative relationship for Talbot and Andrews, our agency.
I stared at my computer screen and reached for one of Mamma’s Christmas cookies. My phone trilled out the ringtone named Old Phone. Old Phone was reserved for old friends. I grabbed my phone instead of the cookie.
Robert Pearson. He’d been a year ahead of me in high school, the same age as my brother, Blake. He’d married one of my best friends. Robert was also our family attorney, and he and I were both on the Stella Maris town council.
I tapped the green “accept” button.
After we exchanged the usual pleasantries, he said, “I wondered, if you’re not too busy, could you drop by this afternoon? There’s something I want to run by you.”
“I have an appointment at one that’s going to take most of the afternoon.” Multi-toned highlights are a maintenance issue, especially with hair as long as mine. My natural sandy blonde would turn Tweety Bird yellow if Dori looked at it wrong. She always took her time, but five days before my wedding she’d be excruciatingly meticulous. I couldn’t walk down the aisle with yellow hair.
“Noon?” he asked.
“Sure. See you then.”
“Thanks, Liz. I really appreciate it.” He sounded way too grateful for such an ordinary request. This is what should’ve tipped me off that something was up.
Copyright © 2015 by Susan M. Boyer -- This excerpt is reprinted by permission from Henery Press. All rights reserved.
Henery Press: http://henerypress.com/susan-m-boyer/
Buy Lowcountry Bordello:
Follow the tour:
November 9 – Caroline Fardig – Excerpt
November 10 – Chick Lit Goddess – Q&A & Excerpt
November 10 – Change the Word – Q&A & Excerpt
November 11 – Celia Kennedy – Review & Excerpt
November 12 – Fiction Zeal - Review
November 12 – Chick Lit Club Connect - Excerpt
November 13 – Granny Loves To Read – Review & Excerpt
November 16 – Nails and Tales – Review & Q&A
November 16 – The Phantom Paragrapher – Review
November 16 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
November 17 – Queen of All She Reads – Review & Excerpt
November 18 – Hello Precious Bliss – Review & Excerpt
November 23 – The Book Sirens – Review
November 25 – Fiction Dreams – Excerpt
November 27 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt
November 30 – Polished & Bubbly – Q& A& Excerpt
November 30 – Create With Joy - Review
Just in time for the holidays comes
Kathryn R. Biel's
Completions and Connections!
I had a hard time deciding which of the two excerpts Kathryn sent me to use. After I read them, I went out and bought the book immediately. (I connected with Christine's epic skiing fail.) The meet-cute in this story is ADORABLE! Get your copy now! Buy links below.
"Michele, you've got to be kidding me!" I'm trapped. I can't move. And my best friend is laughing at me.
"C'mon Christine, you can do this. It's going to be fun."
"No, it's not. It's going to be torture. A cold, painful torture that ends with me in a body cast."
"You said you'd try new things this year. Isn't this number one on your list? This is what you need to bring you out of your shell. It will be good for you. Think of it as an item you can check off your list."
"My shell is just fine. I don't see how throwing myself down a mountain in sub-zero temperatures can possibly be good for me." But she knows she's got me. I'm a list maker, and nothing makes me happier than checking things off my lists.
Michele snaps her boot buckles and stands up. She looks like the perfect snow bunny, all cute and adorable in her snow pants and coordinating sweater. Her blond curls cascade perfectly down her shoulders, and no hat will flatten them or make her look bedraggled.
I look bedraggled before I even start. My hair is a dull, coppery brown. I can't call it red, and it's not regular brown. The closest description I can come up with is an old penny. It's straight. Like pin straight. And even attempts at perming have not been successful. Hot curlers, curling irons—nothing. Pin straight and boring.
Just like me.
"When I said new things, I meant maybe cutting my hair or getting highlights put in," I mutter, trying to buckle my boot. The layers of clothes are constricting, and I'm having trouble breathing bent over like this. The buckle finally snaps shut, and I return upright, only to find myself out of breath and lightheaded.
Not off to the most auspicious of starts.
I've got a bad feeling about this.
Michele, who grew up skiing, is itching to get out on the slopes. Despite the fact that I've lived in Upstate New York my whole life, I've somehow managed to avoid this particular form of torture thus far. I've signed up for a lesson and am starting a novena that I don't die on the chairlift.
I pick up my skis from the rental shop and awkwardly carry them outside. We find Michele's skis on the rack, and in a few swift moments hers are donned and she's ready to swoosh off. I'm still trying to figure it out. Michele lets out an exasperated sigh and pops her ski off. She goes through the process again, step-by-step. Finally, I have my skis on.
Except now I can't move. She uses her pole to point to where I have to go and she's off, gliding on the snow like a figure skater.
Do you know how freakin' hard it is to move on skis when you're not on a hill? Or worse, when you have to go uphill? Not to mention that in order to fit my 5'10" (Okay, 5'10 ¾". Fine. I'm 5'11") frame, my skis are the length of Delaware.
I'm exhausted by the time I get to the ski group. But then the embarrassment continues. I'm the only adult in the group. This is so not worth it. Checking one stupid item (try something new) off my resolution list is not worth it.
Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn R. Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients' needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014),I'm Still Here (2014), Jump, Jive, and Wail (2015), and Killing Me Softly (2015).
Social Media Links:
Welcome back author
on her FIRST & GOAL blog tour!
Laura's Guest Post:
In First & Goal, book one of my new Queen of the League series, my main character Harper gets caught up in the drama surrounding a fantasy football league. Rather than ask for Harper’s take on football, the league, and everything—you can read her perspective in the book—today I thought we’d give a few of her colleagues a chance to weigh in.
Harper’s interest in joining the league begins when she overhears three salesmen talking about their need for a twelfth player in their league. Having recently been admonished for being too task-driven and not friendly enough, this seems like the perfect opportunity for her to get to know them better. For the three salesmen—Gio, J.J., and Wade—Harper’s involvement in the league means something else.
Gio is the senior man on the job. The father of two teenaged daughters, he has a joking nature mixed with a paternal instinct. J.J. is a former local college football star, who almost had a chance at the pros. He works at the dealership as more of a mascot than a salesman. And Wade is one of the top salesmen at the dealership. He also has the ability to see through most people’s machinations.
What were your first impressions of Harper when she came to work at the car dealership?
Gio: She was definitely Type A. She was intense and obsessed about making everything perfect. When I met her, she struck me as someone who might be…
J.J.: A pain in the ass?
Gio: Not my word choice, but basically.
J.J. I thought she was a pain in the ass.
Wade: I wouldn’t call her that either, but… I had a feeling she’d complicate our lives. And she did. She’s a real stickler for the rules and doesn’t back down.
What was your take when she joined the league?
Gio: I was relieved we’d have enough people to play. It would’ve been a bummer for us to be short a person.
J.J.: I was glad to see my chances at winning had gotten a lot better.
Wade: I thought she probably had no interest in being in our league, and only did it to win over J.J. I figured she’d come to regret her impulsive decision.
Describe your fantasy football strategy in three words.
Gio: Just have fun.
J.J.: Dominance. Annihilation. Murder.
Wade: Jesus, J.J.
J.J.: That was only two words.
Wade: One of these days—
J.J.: Oh what? Are you going to suddenly become a tough guy? If you try anything with me, you know you’ll—
Gio: Boys, boys. Let’s get through this questionnaire without turning it into a bloodbath.
J.J.: Oh, bloodbath. That’s a good word for my strategy. Let’s use that one instead of murder.
Who do you think will win the league this year?
Gio: That’s easy—Brook MacLaughlin. He always wins.
J.J.: His lucky streak is over. I’m saying this is the year of J.J.’s dominance—on and off the field.
Wade: I wouldn’t mind seeing some fresh blood win, but Wade’s right. My money is on Brook. He’s really good.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer a first-time fantasy football team owner?
Gio: Enjoy the ride. Even if you don’t win, fantasy football can be a lot of fun.
J.J.: He’s kidding. Fantasy football is only fun if you win. That’s why you have to destroy the competition, no matter what. Show them no mercy.
Wade: My advice: don’t play in a league with J.J.