C.R.’s giveaway winner is Kathleen Shaputis! Congratulations, Kathleen, C.R. will be in touch! Thanks to everyone who stopped by and special thanks to those of you commented.
Pleased to be turning the blog over to fellow Tule author, C.R. Grissom today. C.R. lives in San Jose, California—smack dab in the middle of Silicon Valley. She works for a high-tech company by day, and at night writes contemporary sports romance featuring young adults as they transition to college. Winner of the 2018 RWA Golden Heart Award in young adult romance for her first manuscript: Mouthful. Take it away, C.R…
Hello everyone, I’m excited to be featured on the blog today. I want to thank Nan for inviting me back to talk about my latest release, Handful.
About the novel:
Family lore about falling in forever love made for fun fireside fairy tales, but Kirsty Durnin isn’t interested. After spending her high school years washing baby vomit out of her hair and rerouting her college plans after her mother’s surprise pregnancy, she’s finally ready to finish her undergrad degree before pursuing her master’s. No more distractions…until she indulges in an impulsive, mind-melting New Year’s kiss with Gladiators offensive lineman, Everest.
Everest McBride oozes chiseled, mountain-sized masculine perfection and dominates on and off the field. Everest thought he had his life plan lined up like hash marks on a football field before he met Kirsty. Suddenly, he can’t get the pint-sized pixie out of his head. Everest’s go-to game plan to win Kirsty’s heart involves charm, but getting ghosted isn’t in his playbook.
Kirsty refuses to let a single smooch, no matter how hot, detour her path. By ignoring Everest, she’ll forever fracture her family’s “love at first kiss” fairy tale, but Everest plays to win, and, besides, he gives really good text.
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When I first started writing Handful, I already knew the characters. Everest and Kirsty were both in the first book in this series, Mouthful. Writing a novel with established characters lets the author sink back into that world. However, it’s not always a cakewalk since you’ve written the backstory and background. I’d seasoned previous stories with character motivation, and now I had to stick to it.
Everest is freakishly strong mentally and physically. Think a Captain America type personality. Adding conflict and turmoil can be tricky when navigating a world you’ve already cemented around them. Tone and circumstances become exponentially harder to manage, and my friend became the first gate for what worked for Everest. The estimable Seana Kelly, stupendous author, and critique partner, kept hitting this imaginary buzzer when I’d get him wrong.
Everest loves riddles and often texts them to Kirsty. After they met, she spent the entire spring semester back home only adding reactions to his texts. Kirsty struggled with her desire for the mountain and her commitment to focus on her studies. Once she transferred to Fortis, her attraction to him became harder to deny.
I threw these characters into a friends-with-benefits type relationship. Those circumstances only work when both parties expect and share a more casual attitude toward intimacy. I had a lot of fun nudging them into something more. At its core, Handful is about family, friendship, and how personal choices affect those around you.
For a chance to win a digital copy of Handful, please post whether you enjoy playing or watching sports. Do you have a favorite team? My family lives near Stanford we often spend our Saturday afternoons at Stanford Stadium watching football.
You can sign up for my newsletter at crgrissombooks.com. All new subscribers get an Everest bonus story, “Dutiful.” Links to follow me on social media can be found here. Thanks for stopping by today.