Friday, February 2, 2018

Friday's Film Adaptation: Everybody's All-American by Frank Deford


Summary:
Gavin Grey is everyone's all-American. A star running back at the University of North Caroline in the late 1950s, he graces the covers of Time and Life magazines and appears on the "Ed Sullivan Show." Everyone wants a piece of him or to be around him to bask in his glory, including his nephew Donny, who narrates the story and is Gavin's only real confidant.

After college, Gavin goes on to the NFL where he has a solid career. As his playing days wind down and the cheering stops, however, he finds the adjustment to life as an ex-athlete difficult to accept. His wife "Babs" goes off to work, becomes the primary breadwinner for the family while Gavin continues to trade on his memories of old times, when he was everybody's All-American.


PART ONE
THE GREY GHOST
Chapter 1
The dawn of May 8, 1864, brought a heavy fog, but it lifted soon enough, and it was almost a summer heat that bore down on the civilians of the county as they made their way to church. Several of them saw Stuart near Todd's Tavern, riding toward Spotsylvania, with Garnett and Lomax, Hulliben and Venable. All of their uniforms were splattered with spring mud, had been torn and patched and torn again, and while Stuart was no cleaner than the others, he still carried himself with the style and Γ©lan of the cavalier. Certainly, he affected no concern over the Yankees, who, in far superior numbers, now pushed hard on Richmond.

Up a hill leading to the Church of the Redeemer, the local Episcopal parish, he and his men overtook a group of women walking to the morning services. Garnett and Lomax, in the lead, slowed and saluted the ladies, but Stuart immediately reined in his huge chestnut, Skylark, and called for the others to do likewise. There was no time to linger, either. They were already lagging behind schedule for meeting with Bragg, and Venable started to remind the general of their tardiness.

Stuart must have sensed what was on his mind, however, for even as he dismounted, he turned to Venable. "Major," he said, "we owe these ladies an apology. All that they have heard of us—and now, what must they think of Jeb Stuart's cavalry, not to hold a dance on a Saturday night, nor to join them in Scripture on Sunday? What's the sense of fighting battles if there's no time for music or prayer? Isn't that what we fight for?" He took off his plumed hat and shook his head. "Ladies, you have General Stuart's personal regrets, but we have been troubled by a host of tiresome military details."

He asked them, then, if they would like the use of the horses to ride the rest of the way up the hill, but the women all declined, for in their long, full skirts there was no acceptable way for ladies to have sat the cavalry saddles. But Stuart would not be satisfied with that. There was one child in the group, and he impulsively reached down and gathered her up, and together they climbed onto Skylark, where he held her in his lap. The child's name was Madeline McAdams, and she had just turned five earlier that spring of '64, but she never forgot those moments for the almost full century more that she lived.

Whatever materials would strike her as she grew older—talking pictures, television, an airplane ride, a chance encounter in Atlanta with Margaret Mitchell—Miss McAdams would only shake her head, smile, and say, "But of course, I saw General Jeb Stuart ride with his cavalry one fine spring day in '64." For nothing could ever match that vision: Always, Stuart was the largest in her life. Always, too, she spoke of him as a great, tall man, and surely he must have loomed as that to a child. Besides, even if he did stand short of six feet, he had a long trunk and short limbs, and so he appeared all the taller in the saddle of the huge beasts he always sought out to ride.

And, indeed, he was transformed there upon their backs. Even as a young boy, he was known for his courage and horsemanship alike, and though he passed an indifferent tenure at West Point, his greatness had been recognized almost immediately upon his commission to the cavalry. For Jeb Stuart could do this one thing well: Just getting astride a horse, he was another man; going to battle on one, he was an exceptional man. He was a colonel of the Confederacy at twenty-eight, a brigadier before he was thirty, and a full legend by the time Madeline McAdams found herself swept up into his kind, dusty arms. Stuart was extraordinary at this single thing in life, and it was his good fortune that it was a romantic thing and that history gave him a chance to exploit it when he was hardly past being a boy.

So the general bade the others to escort the ladies up the hill on foot, and with one arm holding the child firm at the waist, he snapped at the reins and cantered off toward the spire. When his men reached the church several minutes later, they found Stuart sitting in the shade of the graveyard, back up against a tombstone, with little Madeline facing him, resting against his knees. She would reach out and touch his thick, cinnamon beard, mesmerized by his soft blue-gray eyes and by the sweet Virginia voice that was telling her of the great balls and cotillions he had graced, of the belles in their beautiful gowns, and of the dancing till dawn. There was no talk of the fighting, nor either of his own little Flora, who would be just this child's age had she not died the mean winter before last, when the general was with his horse troops in the Shenandoah.

His aides and the ladies approached only so close. If Stuart realized they were there, he showed no awareness, only concentrating more devotion onto the little girl. At last Hulliben nudged Venable, and the major took a tentative step forward. They had to meet Bragg. But just then Stuart finished recounting a story, rose, held Madeline by one hand, and began to sing to her. He sang his favorite, "The Girl I Left Behind Me." No one moved a muscle. Some old men and some women and children were already settled in their pews, but they came out and stared, to see General J. E. B. Stuart himself singing full voice to a child in the May morning. The song lifted out over the tall trees, past dogwoods, where the fresh petals lay on the ground, and then down over the fields that were bare from no men or mules to handle the spring planting.

Lieutenant Hulliben simply thought, "If the Yankees could only see this."

When the general finished the song, he kissed the little girl, ripped a shiny button from his coat, and gave it to her. "I'm sorry we couldn't dance last night," he said. "When this war is done, Madeline, will you save a dance for an old man?" She smiled at the ancient fellow of age thirty-one. Then Stuart moved to the chestnut, a glorious golden in the sun. The others waited impatiently for him to climb upon the horse, but he gently admonished them to walk their mounts until they were a polite distance away from the church. "I'm sorry, sir," Venable said, "but we really better mount, for there may even be Yankee patrols back up in here."

"Major," Stuart replied evenly, walking Skylark, "I appreciate your concern, but you must know by now that there are two things I'm not the least bit frightened of. One is Yankees, the battle. The other is what the Yankees can give me: death. I have faced them both enough to grow very familiar with what both have to offer. I feel content to give the Blues back whatever they risk with my encounter, and I feel just as peaceful a resignation if I must go at God's bidding to join my darling little Flora."

"I know well enough you're not scared, sir," Venable hurried to say.

"Oh," Stuart replied, "I have my fears, Major. Only, most men fear the battles; I fear what lies after them. The music can't ever again be so sweet for us, can it?" And then abruptly he sprang into the saddle, snapped up the reins, clucked to the chestnut, wheeled to the left away from the road, and started to cut across field, going full gallop, as the crow flies, toward the Chickahominy.
—DONALD MCCLURE, 
The Life and Death of the Knight of the Golden Spur
EVEN NOW, LOOKING BACK, THERE HAS NEVER been anything so exciting in my life as the weekend when I was wide-eyed and fourteen and visited Gavin Grey at Chapel Hill. I still measure all my other memories by it.

In that autumn, when he was twenty-one and in his senior year at the University of North Carolina, it stayed Indian summer right up through the Duke game; Gavin Grey was famous, handsome and heroic, and in no ways a man or a real person. He stood six foot even and weighed one hundred and eighty-five pounds, a body perfectly proportioned, and as agile as it was classically formed. He played right halfback and was the fastest man on the Tarheel team, number twenty-five. We always said, "Gavin Grey, number twenty-five in your program, number one in our hearts." The two previous years he had been chosen an All-American, but now it was something else again, now he was known as everybody's All-American; when anyone referred to him, they always said, "Gavin Grey, everybody's All-American," as if the apposition was part of his name. But then, the feats he performed between the sideline stripes were incredible, and the whole world (as opposed to merely the sports world) knew of him, because he was on the covers of Time and Life and on The Ed Sullivan Show.

The latter especially certified him. Even years later, when people would meet Gavin, they would not mention how they saw him play Virginia or Wake Forest or whatever; instead, they would say, "I saw you when you were on Ed Sullivan." They said that as if that appearance was what had made him famous. "And all I done was stand up and wave," Gavin used to protest.

He was known far and wide as "The Grey Ghost," which immediately conjured up images, not only of his elusive ball-carrying abilities, but of the transcendent glories of the Old South as well. In those days—the 1950s—it was still permissible to celebrate the Confederacy. All the teams that played football—each one's marching band played "Dixie" to specifically salute their team. It was everybody's song, and went on all during every game, first one side playing "Dixie" and everybody jumping up and waving Confederate flags, and then the other side doing the exact same thing.

There was a very old lady from Virginia, a Mrs. Madeline Stringfellow, who lived in Chapel Hill. She was well into her nineties, because this was 1954, and the point of bringing her up here is that when she was a little girl she had seen General J. E. B. Stuart ride off, full steam, going after Sheridan near Spotsylvania. Stuart was the last cavalier: Into battle he wore white buckskin gauntlets, a silk saber sash, gold spurs, and a cloak lined with scarlet. Flowers were woven into his horse's mane, and two buglers rode with him as heralds. Mrs. Stringfellow met General Stuart when she was on her way to church with her mother in the spring of '64. The general was to be mortally wounded within the week and laid in the ground at the age of thirty-one. Perhaps this made the memory all the more vivid for the child. She never forgot that handsome face and the gallant figure, majestic in the saddle, who turned and tipped his hat to her as he rode off to meet the Yankees one more time. Lord, but she even recalled the black ostrich plume he always wore in his hat, standing out against the clear blue Southern sky.

The local newspaper went to interview Mrs. Stringfellow on the occasion of her ninety-fifth birthday, and as she had done for years, she recounted this dear old recollection. It was a litany with the old lady by now. But then, this time she suddenly added, "All my born days, I never thought these old eyes of mine would see such a sight as General Stuart riding to Spotsylvania, and they didn't, either, till two weeks ago when I saw The Grey Ghost in the second half against State." She had been there, with a corsage, when he had torn up North Carolina State single-handedly. Gavin was immediately rushed in to pose for an Associated Press wirephoto, with Mrs. Stringfellow kissing him on the cheek and presenting him with an ostrich feather that someone had hurriedly turned up—with assurances that General Stuart had worn it into the fray at South Mountain. Soon, wherever Gavin appeared, everybody waved ostrich feathers (or reasonable facsimiles), and they planned to paint one on his baby-blue Carolina helmet until he vetoed that as ostentatious.

GAVIN WORE A crew cut, flattop style. He had bright blue eyes, a clean face, a dazzling smile . . . but on the field, when he had the black grease painted under his eyes (to cut reflection), he magically took on the bold, menacing countenance of a warrior. I could imagine him with Jeb Stuart, riding a great steed to battle, wearing his football uniform, number twenty-five, shoulder pads and all, with the black under his eyes. I could just imagine the damn Yankees seeing that coming at them alongside Stuart. (The Yankees, I knew well enough, were not a very bright bunch and could be easily rattled.)

Generally speaking, at that time Gavin Grey was faultless. The fame and attention of one whole state and much of a nation did not appear to have gone to his head. It was often written in the Carolina papers that he still wore the same helmet size as he had when he had first appeared on campus (in fact, it was written in those exact same words every time). Gavin was conscientious about his appointments, he made passable grades, dressed neatly, did not smoke, and owned to an occasional 3.2 beer only so long as it did not conflict with his training regimen. He identified himself as a Christian, and, during an interview before the midterm elections that fall, he came out solidly for democracy in general and, specifically, for the value of every single vote. In the off-season, he addressed youth groups. In the spring, he ran the one-hundred-yard dash for the university track team. This was still a time when, apparently, white people could run as fast as black people in the United States. It was the last of the good old days, although we did not know that at the time.

Beneath the fairest breasts in North Carolina there beat not a heart that did not beat—yea, flutter—for The Grey Ghost. But, as you might expect by now, there was only one girl for him. Babs. Barbara Jane Rogers, from High Point. Her father was prominent in furniture. She went to the Women's College at Greensboro, about an hour away from Chapel Hill. This was an ideal arrangement, notably from Gavin's point of view. He could see Babs all weekends and special times, but he could also sneak off with some of the other players and enjoy what they called "poontang." For this purpose there were a number of agreeable local backwoods girls and one immoral Yankee with huge tits from Wilmington, Delaware, over at the Duke Nursing School. On special occasions, after a great deal of the 3.2 beer, there was also a colored whore-house in Raleigh. Of all the things Gavin counseled me in, I think what left me with the most wonder was when he said, "Donnie, you just haven't lived until you've split black oak."

But perhaps you will not be harsh on Gavin and will forgive him these wild-oats-sowing hijinks if you understand that Babs was a virgin. Of course. This was common knowledge. This was known. She would not put out, even for The Grey Ghost himself, until they were officially married the next June. Because she is a girl, I can describe Babs better than Gavin. First of all, she was five foot seven, one hundred and twenty-three pounds, and measured thirty-eight/twenty-three/thirty-six. I know this precisely because this information was all revealed when Babs became Queen of the Blueberry Festival at White Lake. On account of this singular honor, she had to take her sophomore year off and travel all over the country—"from Maine to Mexico"—extolling the virtue of Carolina blueberries. This was why she and Gavin were no longer in the same class and why she never graduated from the W.C., which is what we called the Women's College (and without ever knowing that more sophisticated travelers would think it was a double entendre). Babs had another year to go in school and was planning to shoot for Miss North Carolina when Gavin finished at Chapel Hill, but she left and went with him into the pros instead.

Babs had black hair, a peaches-and-cream complexion, and a way about her. I guess I have never stopped fantasizing about her. Close my eyes now, I can visualize her perfected the way I saw her that last football weekend, lying on her bed, still, eyes closed, there in the white sheet Gavin had wrapped round her. In the South, when I was growing up, we fell back on the word "creature" as the ultimate compliment. I cannot improve upon that, although if you have not heard the word employed in quite that way, I may not be able to fully convey its meaning. But everybody used to say, "Babs Rogers must be the most beautiful creature that God ever put upon the face of this earth."

The day Babs posed with Gavin for the Life cover at the Old Well, the campus landmark, a crowd of a thousand or more assembled to watch, and when Babs idly allowed at one point that she was just a teensy-weensy bit thirsty, several boys ran off to get her a soda pop, and there was a really considerable commotion when they all came back, trying to break through the crowd to hand her their drink. She accepted the first half dozen that came, sipping in turn from each—a Nehi, an RC cola, a Pepsi, and so on—rather like a president signing a bill with a score of fountain pens. For his part, Gavin spent most of the in-between time autographing items and kissing the ostrich feathers that were pressed upon him. He and Babs loved every minute of it, and the Tarheels were undefeated on the year.

I CAME OVER to Chapel Hill to visit Gavin for the Clemson weekend from Wilson, where I lived, in the eastern part of the state. Gavin was my uncle, my mother's younger brother, and my going to see him, to be with him at the height of his glory, was the first unordinary thing (never mind outstanding) that had ever happened to me. At that time I was a freshman at Fike High, but "small for my age," which was fourteen. I was skinny, my voice had not changed, and—unlike, say, Gavin—I did not have the head for a crew cut, which I had to wear nonetheless because everyone did, and my mother made me. As a consequence, my life went in cycles: The more distant from my last haircut, the longer the scrubby brown shoots on my pinhead, the happier I was. I carefully planned my visit to Chapel Hill so that my coiffure would be at its most extreme length.

While many people claimed that I was the first genuine celebrity-type person to come out of Wilson since 1946, when Trudy Riley went on from being Miss Wilson to become Miss North Carolina, the fuss made over me was not all flattering. Much of the high-school elite chortled at the silly ironies of Mother Nature, that she could possibly fashion a Gavin Grey and a Donnie McClure out of the same family clay. More than ever I felt short-changed, and in my despair too often became what was known in my family as "cross."

"Don't be cross with your mother," my father said.

"But she—"

"Don't call your mother 'she.'"

"Yes, sir."

"I'm tired of you being cross."

When Mother then began to suggest that I would need an early haircut in advance of my trip, I gave up the ghost and began looking for an excuse to get out of the visit. I might have found one, too, but for our next-door neighbor, Judge Frank R. Pace, Jr., who called for me to come over one day when I returned home from school.

Judge Pace was the first grown-up ever to accept me as a person, and not just as the son of Edna and Kinloch McClure. I don't suppose he was yet fifty years old then, but so evenly did he treat me that it seemed to me that he must be a venerable as he was sage. He exhibited an omniscience that struck many of his contemporaries as overbearing, but it didn't bother me a bit because I didn't have the nerve to dispute any adult under any circumstance. He was "the judge" manifest. Had he in fact not been a judge, had he just been a tobacco warehouseman hanging around the Moose Lodge or kicking tires down at the Betholine-Sinclair filling station, I'm sure he would have still been known as "Judge" to his cronies.

He was a widower, and he lived alone, except for the maid, Clarissa, who looked after the judge and called me "Cake," to my constant mortification. She was a dear old black lady, nearly illiterate, who had been in the Pace family all her life. The judge had suggested that she go take care of his niece, Dolly, over in Rocky Mount, who was having a baby and couldn't take care of herself (which is why she was having a baby) but Clarissa had finally grown tired of being shuffled about the Pace family, and had vowed to stay with the judge. Clarissa's funeral insurance had just been paid up, so she could exert herself. And anyway, she adored the judge.

When I approached his porch, where he was sitting on the top step, I saw that he was carving up a jack-o'-lantern for Halloween, which was a few days off. "I admire jagged, uneven teeth," he said, notching out a mean incisor. He carved nimbly with a kitchen knife, and from the motion, I glanced down at his wrists, which were uncommonly powerful for a man so lean. Judge Pace was supposed to have been a great baseball prospect in his time—and even more of a musician. He was a piano player and a crooner, the only person from Lenoir County ever to have won on Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour, but he had given up "show business" for marriage and night law school, and I never even once heard him play the piano that sat so prominently in his living room.

"Let's give him a scar thisaway on his cheek," Judge Pace said, with great enthusiasm for the task. I only nodded grave assent. As I said, and particularly early on in conversations, before I got my feet wet, I was reluctant to actually speak, because I was embarrassed about my soprano voice.

Film
Twenty five years in the life of a great football player.

Release Date: November 4, 1988
Release Time: 127 minutes

Cast:
Jessica Lange as Babs Rogers Grey
Dennis Quaid as Gavin "Grey Ghost" Grey
Timothy Hutton as Donnie "Cake" McCaslin
John Goodman as Ed "Bull" Lawrence
Carl Lumbly as Narvel Blue
Ray Baker as Bolling Kiely
Savannah Smith Boucher as Darlene Kiely
Patricia Clarkson as Leslie Stone



Author Bio:
Click to read Frank Deford's Obituary from NYTimes May 29, 2017
 Frank Deford (born December 16, 1938, in Baltimore, Maryland) is a senior contributing writer for Sports Illustrated, author, and commentator.

DeFord has been writing for Sports Illustrated since the early 1960s. In addition to his Sports Illustrated duties, he is also a correspondent for HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and a regular, Wednesday commentator for National Public Radio's Morning Edition.

His 1981 novel, "Everybody's All-American," was named one of Sports Illustrated's Top 25 Sports Books of All Time and was later made into a movie directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Dennis Quaid.

In the early 1990s Deford took a brief break from NPR and other professional activities to serve as editor-in-chief of The National (newspaper), a short-lived, daily U.S. sports newspaper. It debuted January 31, 1990 and folded after eighteen months. The newspaper was published Sundays through Fridays and had a tabloid format.

Deford is also the chairman emeritus of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He became involved in cystic fibrosis education and advocacy after his daughter, Alexandra ("Alex") was diagnosed with the illness in the early 1970s. After Alex died on January 19, 1980, at the age of eight, Deford chronicled her life in the memoir Alex: The Life of a Child. The book was made into a movie starring Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia in 1986. In 1997, it was reissued in an expanded edition, with updated information on the Defords and Alex's friends.

Deford grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and attended the Gilman School in Baltimore. He is a graduate of Princeton University and now resides in Westport, Connecticut, with his wife, Carol. They have two surviving children: Christian (b. 1969) and Scarlet (b. 1980). Their youngest daughter Scarlet was adopted a few months after the loss of Alex.


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Release Blitz & Blogger Review: The Short Stories Collection by Louise Lyons

Title: The Short Story Collection
Author: Louise Lyons
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: January 31, 2018
Summary:
A collection of three short stories.

In Darkest Peru
When shy and geeky Rhys White is ditched by his boyfriend of five years, and made redundant from his job in the space of one week, he decides to make some changes. Tired of being boring and hiding being his computer, he throws caution to the winds and buys a plane ticket to Peru.

The adventure in Peru starts out well, but then disaster strikes when the bus he is travelling on is held up by thieves. Rhys loses everything, including his passport, wallet, and phone.

Stranded in Cuzco, not too far from the famous Inca city of Machu Picchu, Rhys tries to find someone to help him. Just when he begins to lose hope, sexy Brazilian, Rafael, comes to his rescue, and his desperation situation takes a turn for the better.

One Snowy Night
After yet another failed date, Keith Brambles' luck turns from bad to worse, as he tries to drive home in heavy snow and crashes his car. With no phone signal, no warm clothes, and the weather worsening, he fears freezing to death overnight.

But help is at hand in the form of a knight in a white van. Mike Talbot stops to help Keith, and takes him home to warm up—in more ways than one, when the pair's mutual attraction kicks in.

Mike is everything Keith has ever dreamed of when he thinks of his ideal man. But can Mike really be Keith's dream come true, or is their night together just another bit of fun?

Lost and Found
When author Philip Johnson loses his much-loved dog, Prince, he buries himself in the fantasy world of his latest novel. But as his heartbreak gradually lessens and he focuses more on the happy times he had with Prince, he realises the hole left in his life needs to be filled with a new puppy.

After responding to an advertisement for a young dog, Philip is surprised to find the owner is none other than Edward Manby, the very good-looking vet who took care of Prince in his last hours. Philip is delighted to discover his attraction to Edward is returned and despite the twenty-year age gap between them, their love for their pets brings them together and leads to romance.

In Darkest Peru
Original Review February 2015:
When it comes right down to it, most of us aren’t what is generally thought of as real risk takers. I am pretty sure I would not have taken the kind of adventurous risk that Rhys takes in In Darkest Peru. I think I’d be too concerned with the possibility of exactly what happened to Rhys happening.

He’s faced with his life turning upside down and decides to shake things up by going to Peru. After a couple of days of smooth going, everything is turned upside down when he loses everything in a holdup. After that and what caused him to go to Peru in the first place, why should he take the kindness from a stranger, Rafael, at face value? I don’t think I could have but Rhys does.

The character development and the setting created by Louise Lyons is spectacular, not always an easy thing to accomplish in a short story or novella. But this had me hooked from the beginning. When faced with so few pages, you don’t expect to find this kind of imagery or for the characters to burrow their way into your heart and yet that’s exactly what you do have with Peru. I can’t say as I’ve ever really had any interest in the kind of trip that Rhys takes but I felt as if I was there right beside him the whole time. I already had Miss Lyons on my radar but if I hadn’t, Peru would have definitely put her there.

One Snowy Night
As someone from Wisconsin I certainly can understand finding yourself stranded having gone off the road because of snowy conditions.  I can also say that when the cold and snow arrive, if I'm going farther than 10-15 miles I also store extra winter gear in the trunk so I can't imagine finding myself in the exact same position as Keith but considering his emotional state when he took off I guess we don't always use common sense in those scenarios.  Being from a winter weather state I very much appreciated Louise Lyons' attention to details in regards to the weather, not something all authors do especially in a short story. 

Now as for Keith and Mike.  Talk about a first meeting to remember, a stranger in a white van comes to your rescue.  Might not be the knight on a white horse but Mike is pretty close.  I love their instant connection and camaraderie.  One Snowy Night may be short but its long on passion and connection and for me that spells fun.

Lost and Found
Not all people understand the connection between a person and their pet and for those people Lost and Found may seem a little out of reach when it comes to Phil's heartache over Prince's passing.  Well, it may be over 20 years since I last had a pet but I still remember the tears and emptiness that Whiskers left behind, so its perfectly understandable the way Phil shuts himself off.  When things start to look up and Phil and Edward's paths cross some might find the age gap an issue, I did not because its their connection that makes this story lovable.  Frankly I can't find a better word to describe Lost and Found that's more fitting than lovable.

Collection
I really don't have too much to add to what I already said in the above individual story reviews but I will just say this: I love and appreciate the attention to detail the author gives in these short stories.  Authors don't always do that when it comes to the shorter tales simply because they don't have the space.  Louise Lyons took the time and even though they might be small scenes or not even scenes but a line or two of inner monologue they really heighten the reading experience.  So whether it was the scene setting in In Darkest Peru, the weather in One Snowy Night, or the heartache and loss in Lost and Found they all made the stories better and more real.  This is a great little collection of romance, friendship, new experiences, and connection with just a little bit of fate because lets be honest every decision we make today can have a huge effect tomorrow.

RATING: 

Author Bio:
Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the Church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered Fan Fiction in her late twenties.

Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.


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EMAIL: louiselyons013@gmail.com






Giveaway
Louise is giving away a signed paperback copy of her
2015 fantasy/vampire romance novel, The Eye of the Beholder,
which is no longer available for sale. Please comment on any of
the Release Blitz posts to enter. Available for worldwide shipping.

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Release Blitz: I Wanna Text You Up by Teagan Hunter

Title: I Wanna Text You Up
Author: Teagan Hunter
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: February 1, 2018
Summary:
When I put up a ROOMMATE WANTED poster, he was the last person on earth I thought would respond.

He was also the last person on earth I’d agree to let live with me…on purpose.

But, here we are—roommates. I’m certain we can coexist without it being awkward, and I’m determined to make it work. There will be no sexual tension building with each accidental touch, no flutters when he wears that stupid backward baseball cap, and definitely no flirting when we text back and forth.

Caleb Mills can’t be the guy for me. He’s my best friend’s ex-boyfriend.

And that would be wrong…right?



What Other's Are Saying:
“I Wanna Text You Up was an incredibly sweet, sexy, hilarious, and highly entertaining standalone romantic comedy, and I absolutely loved it!” - Julia - *The Romance Bibliophile*

“I Wanna Text You Up was a sweet, sexy and hilariously laughable romantic comedy.” - Aurora *Whoo Gives A Hoot*

“Ms. Hunter definitely has a way with words and has easily become one of my favorite authors!” - Amanda Mann *Rabid Readers Book Blog*

Author Bio:
By day I’m a freelance cover designer. By every other free moment, a writer. I’m a Missouri raised gal, but I currently live in North Carolina with my US Marine husband where I spend my days begging him for a cat. I survive off coffee, pizza, and sarcasm. When I’m not writing, you can find me binge-watching various TV shows, especially Supernatural and One Tree Hill. I like cold weather, buy more paperbacks than I’ll ever read, and I never say no to brownies.


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