Posted in book trailer
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, book trailer, bookblogger, books, books to read, booktube, booktuber, ebook, football, goodreads, kindle, kobo, Lachlan Waterman, literature, memoir, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, sports, story, The Mosquito Fleet, trailer, writer, writing
Numbers Game follows a football coach who’s relationship with a reporter turns into something deep and changes the direction of both their lives. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?
I love stories about athletes, having raised one of them and seen first hand how hard it is to truly achieve those sorts of goals. In fact, all three of my kids played sports of some kind or another in high school and I was always involved somehow — running the concession stand at football and soccer games, helping raise money as a booster, and of course driving to endless practices and attending games all over the U.S. that were necessary to get my youngest to her spot on a Division 1 Big Ten women’s soccer team. We lived in Ann Arbor at the time, and my kids’ school was located directly across the street from The Big House, where Michigan plays football. The town was utterly consumed by football on Saturdays in the fall and that sort of atmosphere was exhilarating to those of use who are sports fans (even if we weren’t Michigan fans per se, we did love living there on football weekends.) I got to meet both Harbaugh brothers (Jim is the Michigan coach) in 2016 when I helped run a fundraising auction and dinner for the high school’s athletic program that we invited them both to attend. It was a rush and meeting one of my favorite pro coaches (John, coach of the Ravens) was a highlight for me.
Desiree is an alum of the University of Michigan and we always made a point to meet up when she’d come to town from Florida to attend a game. I made sure to get her a signed commemorative football from our event and she keeps it on her inspiration shelf in her office. We’re both football fans, and we concocted our fictional Michigan football town with Ann Arbor in mind, without a doubt (even though I cheered for Michigan State …women’s soccer, anyway)!
Hatch and Olivia were intriguing and well developed characters. What were some driving ideals behind the development of their relationship?
We divided up the tasks of writing in their POVs. I wrote Hatch’s and Desiree wrote Olivia’s. It took us almost 2 years to complete this book since we started it as a romantic suspense but it kept turning in a more contemporary, second chances style story the more we wrote. We wanted our characters to both be older than the usual romance standards, both divorced, and having seen the puppet strings behind a marriage, somewhat disinclined to repeat that process. They are laser focused on the goals they’ve set for themselves: Hatch bringing his alma mater’s program back to prominence while leaving his gambling issues behind him. Olivia emerging from a bad marriage and re-capturing her mojo as a sports journalist. But one of the reasons I enjoy writing romance novels is the creation of characters on seemingly separate trajectories that end up colliding, and then what? It’s the “then what” that allows me to show them as people with real emotions, making mistakes, and ultimately recovering and finding happiness.
What was the writing collaboration like with author Desiree Holt?
It was a fun and learning experience. We’ve been published about the same amount of years, but Desires has a lot more books out than I do, as I’ve been working around days jobs while writing. What was amazing and satisfying to me was how well we meshed–keeping egos and pre-conceived notions about how the book should flow out of our equation.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I am working on several things at the moment, but the next book I’m releasing is the final book in a best selling series (Stewart Realty) also set in Michigan. It’s the second generation’s turn to have their happily ever after, and so BACKUP OFFER is a book that is a “ten years later” look at a relationship that fell apart in book 8 — for good, self-care sorts of reasons — and how everything comes back full circle in a mature, gratifying way for the couple in question, as well as for their friend and family. I think “second chance” stories are among my favorite to read and write. My characters are (sometimes too) fallible. They make mistakes, do dumb, human things. But I always redeem them.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, football, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, Liz Crowe, love story, nook, novel, Numbers Game, read, reader, reading, romance, sports, sports fiction, story, urban fantasy, womens fiction, writer, writing
The Mosquito Fleet takes readers through the golden years of the Carlton Football Club. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Football in the late seventies and early eighties was incredibly tribal. The game was yet to go national, so there were terrific suburban rivalries. In Melbourne, Victoria people lived and breathed the game, it was a religion. Matches were exclusively played on Saturday afternoons. The players were semi-professional, they all worked a normal 9-5 job and were able to relate and connect with the general public. I wanted to reconstruct those magical times again.
What was one of the fondest memories of that time?
Carlton had a team lacking height, just four players over 190cm. The Mosquito Fleet had the most gifted and talented group of small players in the competition that captured the football publics imagination with their breathtaking play. On Sunday nights the ABC had a weekly show The Winners that was must-see TV around Australia. It had the weekly results of matches; The goal of the day, Mark of the day, and Play of the Day, and Carlton seemed to feature nearly every week.
What were some of the ideas that were important to explore in this book?
Issues such as addiction to painkillers, depression and mental health were all important to uncover and explore. In the early eighties no one had the knowledge of stress and depression and ‘having a jab’ in an ankle or knee was commonplace. Mental health is a much stronger focus with professional sporting bodies today, but back then they just didn’t have the resources.
Concussion is another one. Several sportspeople have suffered post career with the affects of injuries to the brain.
When and where will you book be available?
The Mosquito Fleet is expected to be released in October this year and should be available in most bookstores and through Shawline Publishing. www.shawlinepublishing.com.au.
Author Link: Facebook
Posted in Interviews
Tags: australia, author, author interview, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, football, goodreads, history, kindle, kobo, Lachlan Waterman, literature, memoir, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, sports, story, true story, writer, writing
Amen and Amen by Gene Vickers is a simple but enchanting story set between the backwoods of Blairsville in northern Georgia and the elegant suburbs on its hilltop. While abject poverty and limited opportunities have kept one side of society barely scraping by, the other half lead extravagant lives filled with imported cars and vacation homes overseas. Long-buried secrets and animosity steeped in classism have divided the town for generations yet all that will start to change when the wealthiest boy in school befriends one of the poorest girls in the county. Their unlikely relationship will inspire a revolution throughout their town, leading to well-drawn lines in the sand becoming blurred as God and humanity intervene.
At its core, the book focuses on faith, family and football, first and foremost, and how those factors can come together to unite those who would be torn apart otherwise. Prepare to get swept away by interweaving tales that peer into the lives of the disenfranchised and the rich that prove that maybe the two have more in common than expected at a glance. Follow two disadvantaged adolescents in a heart-warming underdog story who join the elitist ranks of the football team in a move that upsets long-established social dynamics, for better or worse. Out on the gridiron, economics hardly even matter as the playing field is leveled to allow everyone’s God-given talent to shine through whether they reside in a trailer park or a mansion. Enemies can become brothers just as school friends can become lovers as long as everyone grows in grace and understanding.
Still, not everyone is without their faults and prejudices and, since the ages of old, the sins of the father can and certainly do come back to haunt his children so it’s easy to get caught up in the quaint town’s gossip mill and endless drama. Sinners and their descendants alike try throughout to reconcile with their past and present misdeeds from clandestine backroom dealings to unplanned pregnancies with only a hope and a prayer. However, with God’s eternal love comes forgiveness, culminating in a story brimming with vibrant characters, a touch of colorful language, and a whole lot of soul.
Amen and Amen is a twist on the classic boy-meets-girl theme yet the rags-to-riches theme can become repetitive. Some characters can feel one-dimensional at times as they heel-turn their previous convictions seemingly through faith alone and not necessarily hard work. Perhaps it just goes to show that humans are flawed and still God forgives all.
Read Amen and Amen if you want a feel-good Christian story filled with patriotic characters who, through their faith, prevail no matter what comes their way.
Pages: 357 | ASIN: B08DL6FB5P
The King of Halloween & Miss Firecracker Queen is a memoir of your life growing up in a family that traveled often and the challenges you faced and lessons you learned. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I wrote this book for my mother- to help her heal after my dad’s death. We had spent almost 20 years dealing with his decline. Thus, it became all we could remember and all my children knew of their grandfather. I thought that if I could write the complete story, it would help all of us remember the good with the bad. Once I got into it, it helped me understand myself more fully, and set me up to live my current life which is wonderful.
This is a ‘daughters tale of family and football’. What were some ideals you wanted to capture in this book?
I want readers to feel the love and complexity of this family. We had/have big love for each other, and had a big love for football. I want readers to know that you can overcome the hang ups from your childhood. I want readers to see that race in the South was more complex than is typically discussed. I want people to know that sports can be a bridge. I want families that are dealing with the cognitive decline of a loved one to know that they can forgive themselves their impatience and frustration with the situation; we are all just doing the best we can with the situation as we understand it in the moment.
The book shows the dedication your father had towards his career and family. What is something that stands out to you to this day about your father?
My father was relentless- that was the key to his success. He was full of optimism and faith in things bigger than himself.
What do you hope readers take away from your story?
First, that my father would not have made a different choice, but he did not make an informed one. I want parents to think carefully about letting their young children engage in any kind of contact sport. I want football in general, and the NFL in particular, to think more deliberately about additional reforms to football that will make it safer. I want the general public to understand the burden CTE places on a family. And I want families that have experienced CTE to draw some comfort from reading our story.
The King of Halloween & Miss Firecracker Queen tells the story of a football life from a daughter’s perspective. Chronicling a rise through the competitive ranks—from high school to college to professional coaching, and ultimately a Super Bowl championship—it also reveals the struggle to deal with the decline and death of the patriarch, Lamar Leachman, from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as a result of that life.
With forewords by NFL legends Phil Simms and Harry Carson, this is a true story of one family’s love for a game and for each other, one man’s strength of character, one woman’s love that sustained him.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: alibris, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, biography, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, college, cte, daughter, ebook, family, father, football, goodreads, grief, harry carson, high school, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, literature, lori leachman, loss, love, memoir, mother, nfl, nonfiction, nook, novel, phil simms, publishing, read, reader, reading, shelfari, smashwords, sports, story, super bowl, The King of Halloween & Miss Firecracker Queen: A Daughter's Tale of Family and Football, true story, writer, writer community, writing
The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen, written by Lori Leachman is the story of American Football coach Lamar Leachman from the perspective of his daughter. It follows a coach’s journey from professional player to high school coach to National Football League coach. We see the impact this has on his wife and two daughters. It is a uniquely feminine glimpse into what was ultimately a man’s world – where winning was everything!
Leachman writes of how her father’s chosen profession had an impact on herself and the life of her family. One impact was the geographical impact, always moving to where the job opportunities lay. The family had to move numerous times and she documents the effect this had on the children, in particular. They had to constantly make new friends, and learn the social mores in each new community. The children’s closest friends were often the children of the other football coaches. She describes how they were tough kids, they were coaches’ kids.
Leachman provides an interesting view of Black Civil Rights and how views differed among places. Her view of mixed race friendships were simple; if she liked someone she would be their friend. That of course, contrasted with the views many adults at that time had. She describes briefly living in Cartersville and being confronted by “Blacks Only” signs at the theater and the confusion she felt when she realized African Americans weren’t allowed to swim in the pool. This must have been a bewildering time for a young girl who was immersed in the professional world of football – where African Americans were respected for their skill.
Although her father’s career may have had some negative impacts for her, as she gets older she realizes that her lifestyle had some benefits. Leachman recounts the day she realized her family had some money to spare – something a lot of families did not have.
Tragically the person impacted most by his career choice was the coach himself. Leachman describes how her father’s mental capacity began to decline, and how he was eventually diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy attributed to injuries he received during his career.
This memoir is cleverly written, as it progresses through we see Leachman begin to understand her father’s talent as a coach, she recognizes his skill and determination and love for his wife and daughters. The only criticism of the book would be that on one occasion Leachman jumps back and forth between decades which interrupts the flow of the story.
This memoir is an interesting insight to the life of a professional coach, his dedication to the sport, and the impact and experiences for both him and his family.
Pages: 230 | ASIN: B07BRSTNNZ
Tags: african american, alibris, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, biography, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, civil rights, coach, college, ebook, family, football, goodreads, high school, highschool, ilovebooks, indiebooks, jim crow, kindle, kobo, literature, lori leachman, love, memoir, nook, novel, publishing, read, reader, reading, shelfari, smashwords, story, The King of Halloween & Miss Firecracker Queen, women, writer, writer community, writing
Jeremy Savage, an 8th grade quarterback phenom, has just been given the offer of a lifetime from Coach Robert Fletcher, a local icon, to come and play football for him at St. Michael’s Preparatory, the best football program in the state. As Jeremy struggles with this choice, the decision becomes increasingly difficult for him as situations arise in which the deep bonds he has with his friends become stronger and stronger. While Jeremy continues to work through his thoughts and feelings, it becomes apparent that there are other forces at play which have a vested interest in his decision. Will he ultimately elect to attend St. Michael’s? Or, will he stay with his friends at Centerville High and attempt to become a local legend?
Posted in book trailer
Tags: alibris, amazon, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, book trailer, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, brian amado, coin toss, ebook, football, friends, friendship, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, publishing, read, reader, reading, shelfari, smashwords, sport, story, teen fantasy, teen fiction, trailer, write, writer, writer community, writing, YA, young adult, youtube
Black Overalls by Tom Donaldson is an all-American tale of home-grown heroism, set in the struggling farms of Texas during the 1960’s. We follow Roy, failed football prospect turned journalist, as he digs into the history of his football idols – and discovers the tale of an unexpected hero. The story takes us from backwater Texas counties, to the State championships, to the horrors of Vietnam, and beyond. We find two seemingly separate lives are more intertwined than we think, and that there’s not much a small town with a big heart can’t do.
The comeback story has a universal appeal – you don’t have to know much about the game in question to appreciate the little guy standing up to the big team. And that’s exactly what this book is: a classic underdog story.
Black Overalls oozes with heart. Tom Donaldson clearly cares deeply about his subject, about the setting, about old-fashioned American values. The book touches on era-appropriate controversies, particularly around race, which culminates in war-torn Vietnam. I have to admit, it’s not where I expected the book to go. But it gives the story a touchingly human element and a feel-good ending. It’s nice to read a book where there’s no shocking twist, no depressing revelation; just a happy ever after. Occasionally that’s to a fault – scenes can lack conflict sometimes – but you certainly come out of it feeling okay about the human race.
This book is obviously a passion project for the author, but it struggles with a lack of proper grammar and punctuation. The pacing is sometimes confusing. The mixed perspective can occasionally jump between past and present without warning or context. And some chapters are often just technical descriptions of matches, venues, plays and lists of scores more comparable to Match of the Day.
Despite the flaws, a need for an editor, and dry sports commentary, I enjoyed Black Overalls immensely. If you’re a football fan or just looking for a short, light read then I think you might just enjoy it too.
Pages: 145 | ASIN: B01BNR347O
Tags: all american, amazon, amazon books, amazon ebook, american, author, author interview, black overalls, book, book review, books, ebook, ebooks, fantasy, fantasy book review, fantasy football, football, goodreads, historical fantasy, history, kindle, kindle book, kindle ebook, literature, love, match of the day, novel, publishing, reading, review, reviews, short stories, sport, sports, stories, texas, tom donaldson, urban fantasy, vietnam, writing