Friday, August 9, 2013

Jami Deise "scores" with her debut novel...plus a book giveaway

Introduction by Melissa Amster

Last year, I received the honor of getting to review a draft of Keeping Score by Jami Deise. I think she was looking for writing connections near where she lived at the time and I raised my hand, so to speak. Before I knew it, we were meeting up for lunch and then a draft of her story made its way into my inbox. Of course, once I started it, I found it impossible to stop reading. Afterward, I was eagerly awaiting the day when we could feature this wonderful debut author at CLC. In the meantime, she ended up winning the review associate contest we held last year, so her name has been all over our blog for quite some time. As a result, I couldn't, in good conscience, review her book here. (That would be like grading my kids' homework and giving them all A's, even if those were completely warranted.) Therefore, I invited a guest reviewer to give it a whirl, and she loved it too! (See her review.) Not only that, but our Chick Lit Cheerleader, Jen Tucker (author of The Day I Lost My Shaker of Salt), was rooting for Keeping Score from the moment I posted about it on Facebook:

"Jami Deise hits it out of the park with her fresh and fun debut novel."

I have a feeling Jami is going to get many home runs and won't have to worry about striking out! Given that I know very little about baseball, I enjoyed reading about the competition off the field and felt it was good preparation for if my kids ever take interest in playing baseball or any other sport.

Jami Deise recently moved to St. Petersburg, FL after living her whole life in Maryland. After writing and trying to sell screenplays for the past ten years, she recently completed and self-published her first novel. (Mom lit!) Now that her son is in college (and still playing baseball), Jami has plenty of time for reading (for book reviews), writing, watching TV, and blogging at "My Year on Vacation." You can find her at Facebook and Twitter.

Last month, Jami wrote this post with the intention of featuring it as a "Home and Away" piece. (How fitting for baseball!) However, we thought it would be a better vehicle to promote her novel, especially since it provides some insight to the story. If you want to check out Keeping Score, it's only $3.99 for Kindle. (There's a reason for that price...see if you can figure it out!) You can also enter to win a copy, as she has two paperbacks and a Kindle to give away to some lucky readers in the US and/or Canada. (US only for paperbacks.) Jami is also giving away a special gift to a lucky reader who posts a review on Amazon by August 15th. I'd like to up the ante for this by giving away some swag to another reader who posts their review on Amazon, as well. (And Jami will pick that winner too.)

Summer Vacation in 7 Innings*
By Jami Deise

Ah, summer. It’s a time when families take those long vacations to places far away: the Grand Canyon. The Sequoia National Forest. Wyoming. Montana. The beach. Maybe even Europe.
Unless you’re a baseball family, in which case your summer will not feature two weeks of camping, beaching, or hiking. It will feature baseball, more baseball, and even more baseball.

My son Alex began playing travel baseball the summer after fourth grade (many kids start two years earlier). “Travel” baseball meant we got to spend every weekend in such exotic, magical locales in Maryland such as Rockville, Olney, Bowie, Frederick and Calvert County. And when I say every weekend, I mean every single weekend in June and July, including the fourth of July (the Rockville Tournament was always over the holiday.) The first game would always be on Friday night; there’d be two games on Saturday and at least one game Sunday. If the team did well, the boys could end up playing as many as five games on Sunday (the team never did that well.) The tournaments all had several things in common in addition to four bases around a diamond: Fields without any shade and temperatures in the 90s; completely insane parents; blind umpires; and unmanned snack bars. The last tournament of the summer would always be that first weekend in August; after that you’d get maybe a week or two off, but then baseball practice would start again for the fall season.

For 12-year-olds, add in a week at Cooperstown Dreams Park in upstate New York, the most competitive tournament for that age group in the country. It’s a chance to be humiliated by teams from California, Texas and Florida, whose 12-year-olds look like they’re old enough to have children of their own. We were lucky enough to attend this tournament two years in a row. Every team is guaranteed nine games. Of the 19 Alex played in, his team won four. It’s such a wonderful experience, my husband had to talk him out of quitting the sport for good.

Summer baseball continues in high school, only this time the stakes are higher. College scholarships are the prize, and the biggest tournaments are put on by Perfect Game, in Atlanta, in July. Baseball players are supposed to have five tools (speed, arm strength, hit for power, hit for average, fielding), but apparently there is an unnamed sixth – the ability to play 7 innings in the Georgia heat in a game that starts at noon. In addition to Georgia, high school players are expected to attend college camps at the schools they want to attend and play in showcases sponsored by other schools. This isn’t every weekend in June and July. This starts in late May and goes on straight throughout the fall, until the
player secures a scholarship or his arm falls off.

Baseball is no day at the beach. Looking back, I have to wonder why we played in all those tournaments – in addition to games twice a week every spring and fall. Surely we could have taken one weekend off, visited Old Faithful or even the World’s Biggest Ball of Yarn. At the time, though, every single game seemed do-or-die. Every single one.

*Tournament baseball is only 7 innings until the college level.

Special thanks to Jami for not only being a great reviewer but also sharing her first novel with us and our readers!

How to win: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. If you have questions on how to use it, e-mail us.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


US/Canada only. (US only for paperbacks.) Giveaway ends August 14th at midnight EST.

25 comments:

Nova said...

I always root for the BIG RED MACHINE: the Cincinnati Reds!
Most competitive thing i have ever done was try to raise a certain $$ amount for the CC Take Steps Walk/Louisville.

Jessica said...

I don't really root for a baseball team because I don't watch baseball. I'm also not a very competitive person but I guess competing for my job was the most competitive thing I've done so far.

Thanks!
-Jessica M

Janine said...

I hate to say it, but I'm not a big sports fan. But, since my husband is a big Texas Rangers fan, I'll go with them. After all, there is always a game on the tv.

susieqlaw said...

Cincinnati Reds

Running

Bonnie K. said...

I don't usually watch baseball but since my daughter has become a fan of the San Francisco Giants, I have been watching some of the games on television.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

Bonnie K. said...

The most competitive thing I have ever done is playing board games or answering trivia questions.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

PuttPutt1198Eve said...

Always the Detroit Tigers!!

StephTheBookworm said...

In my family, you have to root for the Yankees!

Kim Pinch said...

The Toronto Blue Jays!!!

Kim Pinch said...

I have played ice hockey since I was young and have played some pretty intense games. The oldtimer games now are all fun and hoping you can get up if you fall.

Chrissy TheEveryFreeChanceReader said...

Got to root for the home team...the Pittsburgh Pirates! They currently have a winning record!

Most competitive thing...I swam in high school. (I did okay.) And a mock trial competition in law school. (My partner and I won.)

Jess Bair said...

I always root for my home team, Boston Red Sox!

The most competitive thing I've ever done is play in the New England Invitational Sled Hockey Tournament(ice hockey for people in wheelchairs) junior division in Buffalo, NY in 2000. My team took 2nd that year!

jessbair15@gmail.com

Tina Brannan said...

I always root for the Atlanta Braves.

Charlotte said...

Braves
Cake contest

CABWNANA1@bellsouth.net

JenTucker said...

Take me out to the ball game... Congratulations, Jami! XO Jen

Jeryl M. said...

I like the Yankees and the Mets. The most competative thing I have done is try-out for a play.

bn100 said...

not a baseball fan

nothing competitive

Maureen said...

I am rooting for the Yankees.

Maureen said...

I played softball when I was a kid.

Kristen said...

Kansas City Royals, and getting into grad school!

Britney Adams said...

Being in Texas, I will root for the Texas Rangers. I am probably most competitive while playing games.

texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Not much of a sports fan, but being from Texas I had better root for the Texas Rangers. The most competitive thing I have ever done was to enter a typing contest which I was lucky enough to win and won a trip to Cancun.

Ann Ellison
abilene-nana@yahoo.com

krazymama_98 said...

Sons & husband would shoot me if I said anyone but the St Louis Cardinals. Though, honestly, I could not care less.

krazymama_98 said...

The most competitive thing? I am the least competitive person on the planet I think. I suppose maybe board games or cards? Geez, how boring am I? LOL

Jennifer H said...

St Louis Cardinals of course!

Pretty competitive at work!