Monday, September 15, 2014

The Character Blog Hop!

Meet Shannon Stevens from KEEPING SCORE!

Thanks so much to Deb Nam-Krane for tagging me in this character blog hop! My book, KEEPING SCORE, has been out for over a year now, and I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about Shannon. Some people have said she’s a pushover; others that she’s too much of a helicopter parent. I’m excited to let Shannon get a chance to speak for herself!

What is the name of your character? Is s/he fictional/historical? Shannon Stevens. She is fictional, but some of her experiences are loosely based on my experiences from the first and second summers that my son played travel baseball.

When and where is the story set? Persimmon, Maryland, which is a stand-in for Potomac, Maryland. It’s a well-to-do suburb of Washington, D.C. where my family and I lived for 12 years.

What should we know about your character? Shannon is very much a Generation X type parent. She got four copies of Dr. Sears “The Baby Book” at her baby shower. Even though she went back to work when Sam was eight weeks old, she slept with him, nursed on demand, and carried him in a sling. She still feels guilty about not being able to make her marriage work, making Sam the product of a broken home. She has bought in completely to the current parenting mentality, which stresses giving your child access to all kinds of experiences and opportunities. Sam has taken art classes, singing lessons, and even did a drama camp a few years ago. But he and his friends gravitated toward sports, so Shannon made sure he got a chance to play every sport he wanted to try.

The second thing that Gen X parents are taught is to make nice with the ex no matter what. This generation came of age in the 70s – Kramer vs. Kramer. They listened to their parents fight about them and over them, and told themselves they would never do that to their own kids. When Gen X parents get divorced, the well-being of their children comes first. Rule number one: Never badmouth the other parent to your child. So even while she’s gritting her teeth, Shannon believes that helping out David will help Sam.

What is your character's goal? A happy kid. Sam tells her right around page 10 that he wants to play travel baseball. He wants to be on a team where he’ll have his name on the back of a jersey. So his goal is her goal. When he gets on the team but things don’t go smoothly, Shannon does what she can to help Sam. But at the same time, she does realize that going through these ups and downs and sticking with it can help him build character.

What is screwing up your character's life (main conflict in writerly speak)? Baseball being a game of winners and losers, there are other people who don’t want Sam to succeed, because they see his success coming at their son’s failure. Specifically, Jennifer and Scott. Jennifer was once Shannon’s best friend, and Scott was Sam’s “rec” baseball coach. Because Sam was a better baseball player than their son Matthew, watching Sam play is painful for them. They do what they can to keep Sam off of Matthew’s new baseball team.

What is the title? KEEPING SCORE

Where is the book available? Paperback and Kindle:
Barnes & Noble
Apple iBooks

blurb for KEEPING SCORE….

When her 9-year-old son wanted to play summer travel baseball, Shannon had no idea the toughest competition was off the field….

When her son Sam asks to try out for a travel baseball team, divorced mom Shannon Stevens thinks it’ll be a fun and active way to spend the summer. Boy, is she wrong! From the very first practice, Shannon and Sam get sucked into a mad world of rigged try-outs, professional coaches, and personal hitting instructors. But it’s the crazy, competitive parents who really make Shannon’s life miserable. Their sons are all the second coming of Babe Ruth, and Sam isn’t fit to fetch their foul balls. Even worse, Shannon’s best friend Jennifer catches the baseball fever. She schemes behind the scenes to get her son Matthew on the town’s best baseball team, the Saints. As for Sam? Sorry, there’s no room for him! Sam winds up on the worst team in town, and every week they find new and humiliating ways to lose to the Saints.

And the action off the field is just as hot. Shannon finds herself falling for the Saints’ coach, Kevin. But how can she date a man who didn’t think her son was good enough for his team … especially when the whole baseball world is gossiping about them? Even Shannon’s ex-husband David gets pulled into the mess when a randy baseball mom goes after him. As Sam works to make friends, win games and become a better baseball player, Shannon struggles not to become one of those crazy baseball parents herself. In this world, it’s not about whether you win, lose, or how you play the game… it’s all about KEEPING SCORE.

Thanks again to Deb for tagging me! Here’s her character blog post:

And next week Caroline and Monique are on...

It’s Just a Little Crush by Caroline Fardig:

The sleepy town of Liberty hasn’t seen murder in…well…ever. Residents are stunned when the body of a young woman is found strangled, and reporters at the Liberty Chronicle are thrilled, rather disturbingly, over the biggest news story to hit town this century.

Lizzie Hart has even bigger problems. Lately, she can’t seem to concentrate on her job as copy editor at the Chronicle with the new hunky investigative reporter, Blake Morgan, swaggering around the office. How can a girl work when she’s using all of her energy combating Blake-induced hot flashes and struggling to repress the giggly inner schoolgirl that’s constantly rearing her dorky head? It’s a good thing that Blake barely knows Lizzie exists.

After an odd string of events, however, Lizzie begins to wonder if Blake is really as fabulous as she has fantasized. When Lizzie and Blake find a co-worker dead, Blake’s personality changes completely—and not in a good way. Even though the police rule the death as an accident, Lizzie immediately suspects foul play and senses a connection to the recent murder. She is determined to bring the killer to justice, but is having some trouble getting her Nancy Drew on thanks to the pesky stalker she’s picked up—Blake Morgan. Wait, didn’t she want him to follow her around and pay attention to her? Not like this. Blake has turned from cool and smooth to cold and downright scary, making Lizzie wonder if he should be next on her suspect list.

About Caroline

CAROLINE FARDIG was born and raised in a small town in Indiana. Her working career has been rather eclectic thus far, with occupations including schoolteacher, church organist, insurance agent, funeral parlor associate, and stay-at-home mom. Finally realizing that she wants to be a writer when she grows up, Caroline has released her bestselling debut novel, IT'S JUST A LITTLE CRUSH. She is currently hard at work churning out more novels in the LIZZIE HART MYSTERIES series and in the JAVA JIVE MYSTERIES series. She still lives in that same small town with an understanding husband, two sweet kids, two energetic dogs, and one malevolent cat.

Anyway You Slice It, An Upper Crust Novella
By Monique McDonell

Piper Adams has one month to find a husband, and get a green card, or be kicked out of the country just when her chain of Aussie Pie trucks is about to start making some serious money.

Aaron is an ambitious lawyer keen to make partner but his Boston law firm only promotes lawyers who are married.

A marriage of convenience could solve both their problems if they keep it strictly business but convincing everyone else that this is true love while trying to convince themselves that it isn’t is a sure recipe for trouble. All the kissing and touching to prove that this is a true love sets the heat rising faster than the pies in Piper’s kitchen.

While Aaron is happy to be friends with benefits, Piper knows better than to mix business with pleasure, despite the undeniable chemistry. Getting married to save her business is one thing, but falling in love would mean risking her heart. Any way you slice it she’s getting more than she bargained for.

A little bit like a cross between Grease and The Proposal, Any Way You Slice It is sure to captivate readers who love romantic comedy and chicklit.

This is the first book in The Upper Crust Series.

About the author – Monique McDonell

I am an Australian author who writes contemporary women's fiction including chick lit and romance. I live on Sydney's Northern Beaches with my husband and daughter, and despite my dog phobia, with a dog called Skip.

I have written all my life especially as a child when I loved to write short stories and poetry. At University I studied Creative Writing as part of my Communication degree. Afterwards I was busy working in public relations I didn't write for pleasure for quite a few years although I wrote many media releases, brochures and newsletters. (And I still do in my day-job!) When I began to write again I noticed a trend - writing dark unhappy stories made me unhappy. So I made a decision to write a novel with a happy ending and I have been writing happy stories ever since.

I have been a member of the writing group The Writer’s Dozen for eight years. Our anthology Better Than Chocolate raised over $10,000 for the charity Room to Read and helped build a library in South East Asia. I am also a member of the Romance Writers of Australia.

I have written five stand-alone romantic comedies. Any Way You Slice It, is the first book in my new Upper Crust series.

To learn more about Monique McDonell and her upcoming books please visit her web site:

No comments:

Post a Comment