Monthly Archives: September 2016

Guest Post #1: Hurt by Catherine Musemeche

HURT
The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care
by
Catherine Musemeche, M.D.
Genre: Medicine / Medical History
Date of Publication: September 6, 2016
Publisher: ForeEdge
# of pages: 268

The heroic story of the invention of trauma care, from
battlefield triage to level 1 trauma centers
Trauma is a disease of epidemic proportions that preys on the young, killing more Americans up to age thirty-seven than all other afflictions combined. Every year an estimated 2.8 million people are hospitalized for injuries and more than 180,000 people die.
We take for granted that no matter how or where we are injured, someone will call 911 and trained first responders will show up to insert IVs, stop the bleeding, and swiftly deliver us to a hospital staffed by doctors and nurses with the expertise necessary to save our lives. None of this happened on its own.
Told through the eyes of a surgeon who has flown on rescue helicopters, resuscitated patients in trauma centers in Houston and Chicago, and operated on hundreds of trauma victims of all ages, Hurt takes us on a tour of the advancements in injury treatment from the battlefields of the Civil War to the state-of-the-art trauma centers of today.

 

PRAISE FOR HURT: THE INSPIRING, UNTOLD STORY OF TRAUMA CARE
 

“Musemeche’s fast-paced medical history mixes the gritty reality of treating life-threatening injuries—including her own heart-pounding experiences as surgeon—with an unfettered optimism about what trauma care can now promise: an assurance that most people will survive even a devastating injury.”

 

—Publishers Weekly

 

 

“Hurt is a fascinating journey through the history of trauma care in this country. Musemeche’s unique ability to weave moving, personal stories with intriguing facts takes this book well beyond a great read. It is an education in the human spirit.” —Paul Ruggieri, MD, author of Confessions of a Surgeon and The Cost of Cutting

 

 
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GuestPost 

Spinal Cord Injury: The Unplugged Power Main

Guest Post

By Catherine Musemeche, M.D.

 

About a month ago we got an early morning call that our friend Tim had broken his neck in a bike accident in LA. He was on a bike path, wearing a helmet and following all the rules when another bike came at him head on going the wrong direction. Tim was forced to veer off the path and into a fence. And that’s when it happened. His third cervical vertebrae, the shock absorber of the neck, couldn’t take the impact and snapped. Tim fell off his bike still clipped into his pedals and knew instantly that something was wrong because he couldn’t feel his hands or feet. Passerby came to his aid immediately but Tim was alert enough to tell them, “Don’t move me. I might have a neck injury.”

 

And that’s the way injury happens. It comes out of nowhere when we’re minding our own business on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon and totally disrupts our life. Injuries are a part of daily life that we will never escape. There is no vaccine we can take to prevent them. There is no medicine that will magically make them go away. Once we get hurt we’re going to have to find a way to heal, just like the rest of the 2.8 million people in this country who are hospitalized every year for traumatic injury.

 

The spinal cord is the power main of our bodies. When it gets bruised, broken or severed it’s like the cord’s been unplugged. Almost always we will suffer some degree of paralysis temporary or permanent. And it’s a long slow process to get the power up and running again. If we damage just a single nerve in our bodies it can takes weeks to months to regenerate. Think of the spinal cord as a bundle of hundreds of nerves. There’s a lot golng on in even a tiny sliver of it, hundreds of complicated nerve impulses crisscrossing in a tight space signaling when to move, to feel, to breathe.

 

Tim was in the ICU for a week and then started inpatient rehab where he’s been for three weeks. He was finally able to type his first email night before last. Yesterday he walked thirty steps with assistance. He still has a long way to go but the way things stand right now, Tim’s one of the lucky ones and he knows it.

 

More on spinal cord injury in HURT, Chapter 13 “The Road Back.”

 

            Dr. Catherine Musemeche is a pediatric surgeon, attorney and author who lives in Austin, Texas. She was born and raised in Orange, Texas and attended Lutcher Stark High School. She is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, The University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston, The Anderson School of Management in Albuquerque, New Mexico and The University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas. Dr. Musemeche is a former surgery professor at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, the MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute and the University of New Mexico where she was the Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Trauma. She currently works in the field of regulatory medicine.
             In addition to publishing extensively in the medical literature, Dr. Musemeche has been a guest contributor to the New York Times. Her writing has also been published on NPR.org, KevinMD.com, in the anthology At the End of Life: True Stories About How We Die and in the Journal of Creative Nonfiction.  Her first book, Small: Life and Death on the Front Lines of Pediatric Surgery was nominated for the Pen American/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Award and was awarded the Writer’s League of Texas Discovery Prize for nonfiction. Her second book, Hurt: The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care will be published in September of this year.

 

Check out the other great blogs on the tour! 

 

9/28
Review
9/29
Guest Post #1
9/30
Excerpt #1
10/1
Review
10/2
Promo
10/3
Author Interview #1
10/4
Review
10/5
Guest Post #2
10/6
Excerpt #2
10/7
Review
10/8
Author Interview #2
10/9
Promo
10/10
Review
10/11
Guest Post #3
10/12
Review
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Review: Riverside by Brett Burlison

RIVERSIDE

 

by

Brett Burlison

Genre: Thriller / Suspense / Action Romance
Publisher: Barton Creek Press
Date of Publication: January 4, 2016
Number of Pages: 348

 

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It’s summer 1993 in Austin. Two young lovers decide to move in together and open a cafe only to be hindered by their own pasts, drugs, and bad guys from New Orleans. Set in Austin, Texas in the early nineties.
Bobby Patrick, abandoned by his mother as a child and by his alcoholic father during high school, wants a better life for himself and his true love, Katie. The couple decides to open a café and chase their dreams under the radiant Austin sunsets. There, the long, hot days of summer in inspire their passion–but complications arise when Katie’s former love interest returns, bringing with him a whirlwind of trouble.
As Katie’s dark past reveals itself, Bobby fears it could threaten all they have been striving for. Along with Katie’s best friend, Sara, with whom Bobby has his own secret history, the couple becomes tangled up in a drug deal and falls under close watch by Austin police and New Orleans mobsters. 
Bobby must find a way to protect Katie, help Sara, and help himself to thousands of dollars from the ill-fated deal. If he can’t, his future with Katie could be shattered forever. 

Part romance and part suspense story, Riverside is a tell-your-friends-about-it, good old-fashioned crime novel about a young couple struggling for the American dream, and the lengths to which they will go to protect it.

 

“A steamy tale and beguiling thriller, with plenty of local color and some provocative twists.” – Kirkus Reviews
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300b2-review
I didn’t even read the synopsis before signing up to review this one. To me, there is only one Riverside in Texas. And just as I figured it would be, that Riverside is Burlison’s Riverside as well.
My Riverside was cheap, somewhat ghetto (really depended what complex you lived in), but had great eats and epic college parties. In fact, most apartments on east Riverside wouldn’t let you live there unless you were a college student.
Burlison’s Riverside houses college dropouts with a similar backdrop, despite the 20-year time difference. (By the way, I didn’t notice the year it was set in until they talked about the Clinton administration.) These young 20-something-year olds seem to drink beer, smoke weed, and have sex around the clock when they’re not working shifts or eating at iconic restaurants such as Kerbey Lane and Trudy’s.
As soon as Paul shows up leading a parade of coke heads to back bedrooms, you know that something bad is going to go down. Especially when you find out that he’s responsible for the stitches on our protagonist’s noggin. The ape chest thumping of young males throughout the book can be annoying, but I found myself worried about Bobby’s well being.
As juvenile as Bobby and Katie’s romance is, I still wanted them to make it out of this thing unscathed. A tall order when Katie’s best friend is the increasingly erratic Sara, who is obviously jealous of the two’s relationship (you find out later why). Not to mention, Sara is willing to do anything to help her boyfriend Paul. And Katie wants to look out for her friend. Of course, Bobby is a standup guy who won’t let anything bad happen to his girlfriend Katie. You see where this is all going?
Throw in an older lesbian couple who grows hydroponic weed and a cop buddy willing to help with messy matters for a cut of the money, and you’ve got quite the colorful cast. I didn’t know what to expect but I found myself hoping that the two lovebirds didn’t end up in jail or dead.
Riverside was an entertaining read and I recommend it especially to anyone who has lived or partied in Austin. I will be on the look out for more of Burlison’s work.

 

Brett Burlison is a writer, lawyer, and Texan living in Northern California. He grew up in the piney woods of East Texas and went to school in Austin.

He practices law in San Francisco, and writes romantic suspense stories about young couples up against difficult odds.

 

 

  
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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

 

9/13
Excerpt 1
9/14
Review
9/15
Author Interview 1
9/16
Video Guest Post
9/17
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9/18
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9/19
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9/20
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9/21
Author Interview 2
9/22
Review

 

 


 

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Author Interview: A Wife of Noble Character by Yvonne Georgina Puig

A WIFE OF NOBLE CHARACTER
by

Yvonne Georgina Puig

Genre: Women‘s Contemporary Fiction
Date of Publication: August 2, 2016
Number of Pages: 320

 

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Thirty-year-old Vivienne Cally is wealthy in name only. Orphaned as a child and raised by a cold but regal aunt, Vivienne was taught to rely on her beauty and Texas tradition, and is expected to marry a wealthy and respectable man who will honor the Cally name. Friends with Houston’s richest and most prominent families, she’s a beloved fixture at the social events big and small, and suffers no shortage of access to some of the city’s most eligible bachelors. Preston Duffin has known Vivienne and her set since childhood.  He’s never shared their social aspirations or their status but is liked and respected for his sharp wit and intelligence. About to graduate from a prestigious architecture program, he is both fascinated and repelled by this group of friends he sits on the cusp of. He’s long admired Vivienne’s beauty and grace, but isn’t sure he holds any place in such a traditional life. Intrigued by Preston’s ambitions and the extent to which he challenges the only way of life she’s ever known, Vivienne both courts Preston’s attention, and rebuffs his critiques of her predictable and antiquated priorities and values. 
Inspired by Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, Yvonne Georgina Puig’s A Wife of Noble Character shares the original novel’s astute social commentary at the same time that it illuminates the trappings and rewards of coming of age that are wholly unique to the twenty-first century. Charming and shrewd at once, this Texas love story takes readers from Houston to Paris and Switzerland and back again, and will speak to both fans of Wharton and anyone who has every struggled to find their way in life.


Praise for A Wife of Noble Character

“A fun take on Edith Wharton’s classic.”—Marie Claire
A Wife of Noble Character is equal parts wry social commentary and heart-fluttering romance — an insightful journey for both the head and the heart.” —Refinery29
“This sharply drawn novel about Houston’s oil-money elite strikes a beautiful balance—rollicking at times while deeply felt at others.”—Elle.com
“A compelling and complicated love story…The characters hearken back to Wharton’s while still not feeling like archetypes, and the interior narration matches the introspective style of Wharton’s writing.”—Book Riot
A Wife of Noble Character possesses something that is intrinsically Houstonian: a sense of humor. . . Apparently, no matter how far you move, Houston sticks with you; Puig has the local milieu down cold.”—Texas Monthly
“In this vivid, socially acute novel of manners set in oil-money Houston society, Yvonne Puig charms us with prose and braces us with insight—a masterful, sharp-eyed and eloquent debut.” —Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint it Black
“A fresh, funny look at what it means to be an adult in the 21st century and a juicy Texan comedy of manners, at its heart, A Wife of Noble Character is a good old fashioned love story.” —Sarah Bird, author of Above the East China Sea
A Wife of Noble Character is a wildly unique creation: A social novel that is simultaneously classic and utterly modern. I found it sharply insightful, lyrically written, and often laugh-out-loud funny; and could barely put it down until the last page. Puig is a talented satirist and a breathtakingly astute observer of character.”—Janelle Brown, author of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

 

AuthorInterview

Author Interview 1 – Yvonne Georgina Puig

How has being a Texan influenced your writing?

I think growing up in Texas made me a writer. For better or worse, Texas really is outrageous, and I love that about it. You grow up hearing stories, and meeting larger-than-life people from all currents of life—I believe growing up in Texas attuned me to story. Also, my dad, who grew up in Houston, is a great storyteller.

Where did your love of all things bookish come from?

It seems to me it came from many places—from where I grew up certainly, but also from my parents and grandparents, who all love/loved to read. Books and stories were an escape for me. I didn’t much feel like I fit in at school, and so I learned to be an observer. And writing comes out of observation. I also feel I was born loving words – I can’t explain it, but even before I learned how to write, I was filling journals with pretend writing (I remember making little make-believe cursive lines from right to left in a spiral notebook).

How long have you been writing?

As long as I can remember—filling those spiral notebooks with pretend writing before I knew how to write. I didn’t think of it as writing back then. I don’t remember what I thought. I just loved to put pen to paper.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

Poetry, essays, fiction, and more recently trying to see how I do with screenplays. We’ll see how it goes!

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

I’m curious to hear this question answered from a reader’s perspective. It seems to me writers are too close to their own writing to be able to see it clearly – I just hope that to readers my writing is somehow true or familiar to an experience of their own hearts.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

It was hardest to make the love story feel true and real, and not too sappy. I hope I succeeded. It was also challenging to take the themes of The House of Mirth and apply them to modern-day Texas. I believe the questions that Wharton poses in The House of Mirth are still relevant today. But on the other hand, things really have changed for women since her time. It was difficult but wonderful to write over that tightrope and let both those things be true at once.

What did you find most useful and/or most destructive in learning to write?

Aiming for perfection is destructive. Comparison is destructive. I think comparison is hardest- when you read something so incredible you just think to yourself, I’ll never be able to do that. And maybe you won’t –but you will be able to something else! And it will be your own.

What is your intention in reimagining The House of Mirth?

I’d like to answer this question because I’ve noticed that people wonder if I thought I could somehow do the The House of Mirth better than or even equal to Wharton. That is not the case. No one can match Wharton. I wanted to write a story that jumped off the premise of House of Mirth and asked similar questions about women, and the extent to which women are free today. What does it mean to be a wife today?

 

 

 


Yvonne Georgina Puig’s fiction and essays have appeared in Salon, Variety, Los Angeles Magazine, and The Texas Observer, among others. She holds a Masters in Professional Writing from USC. She lives in Santa Monica with her husband. 

 ————————————— 

 

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9/14
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9/15
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9/16
Author Interview 1
9/17
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9/18
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9/19
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9/20
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9/21
Review
9/22
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9/23
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Review: Oh, How the Years Fly By! by Annette Bridges

Oh, how the years fly by!

A whimsical coloring journey. . .

&
A whimsical inspirational journey . . .
by
Annette Bridges
Genre: Inspirational Adult Coloring & Quote Books
Date of Publication: August 1, 2016
Publisher: Ranch House Press
# of pages: 72
 

 

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Oh, how the years fly by! A whimsical coloring journey is an adult coloring book that features thirty vibrant original illustrations and quotes that will take you on an enchanting voyage of reflection. Be reminded of the simple pleasures that make you feel happy. Find the encouragement you need to nourish your soul and refresh your spirit. Get out your colored pencils or crayons and discover the stress relieving, calming pleasure of coloring.  
Oh, how the years fly by! A whimsical inspirational journey is a smaller hardcover full-color rendition of the coloring book featuring the same illustrations and quotes.

 

 

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*Spiral bound coloring book only available through website
Coming soon to the Ranch House Press Etsy Store!
 
300b2-review
I had the privilege to review both the hardcover quote book and the large, paperback coloring book. One look at the cover and I knew that this adult coloring book had what all of the other adult coloring books on the market lack: whimsy. And not just because it has the word as part of its title, but because one glance takes you right back to your childhood.
The large eyes of the people, the curved lines that just seem to go on and on. The bright pops of color, like a muted Lisa Frank coloring book. Childlike, but sophisticated at the same time somehow. I don’t know how that was achieved, but it was very successful.
Most adult coloring books look like those pretentious coffee table books that nobody really looks at. Trendy shapes repeated over and over again into some pattern that spirals outward to the edges of the page. Nothing that makes you want to jump into the page. Bridges’ book feels familiar but like an adventure all at the same time.
I wish that the quote book was more than a miniature, colored version of the coloring book. I know that it’s meant to just be an inspirational quote book, but I would have loved to read a little blurb about each picture, which were inspired by Bridges’ actual family photographs. I also would have liked to see more original quotes within as well.
Illustration-wise, the little airplane in the quote book didn’t go anywhere. It would have been nice to see it move as you turned the page. That would have been a great opportunity to do a flip book type thing where it would look like plane was zooming around. Or maybe the plane could have been used as a vehicle to provide explanations for the illustrations. Either through cloud writing or with a streaming banner from the tail.
In the coloring book, the airplane is gone, leaving a lot of blank space on the backs of the pages. But that could be a good thing if someone chose to color with markers instead of pencils.
I highly recommend this book to people of all ages. Anyone who loves color, who loves to color, or just needs some uplifting words in their life. This would make a wonderful gift.

Annette Bridges is an author, publisher and women’s retreat host on a mission to help every woman realize her story is extraordinary, valuable and noteworthy.

 

 

Before writing books, this former public school and home school educator spent a decade writing hundreds of helpful, instructive, and lighthearted columns published by Texas newspapers, parenting magazines, websites, and bloggers.

 

 

Annette lives on a Texas cattle ranch with her husband John, dachshund Lady, and lots of cows. She can drive a tractor but only if wearing a fresh coat of lipstick and it’s not her pedicure day!

 

 

Annette loves to journal in color and create word art. She especially enjoys coloring with glitter markers. She looks forward to spending hours with her daughter coloring this book and giggling together as they remember their many happy adventures.

 


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9/13
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9/14
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9/15
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9/16
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9/17
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9/18
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9/19
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9/20
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9/21
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9/22
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9/26
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Guest Post #2: The Republic of Football by Chad S. Conine

THE REPUBLIC OF FOOTBALL
Legends of the Texas High School Game
by
Chad S. Conine
Genre: Texas Sports History / Biographies
Date of Publication: September 6, 2016
Publisher: University of Texas Press
# of pages: 288
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Anywhere football is played, Texas is the force to reckon with. Its powerhouse programs produce the best football players in America. In The Republic of Football, Chad S. Conine vividly captures Texas’s impact on the game with action-filled stories about
legendary high school players, coaches, and teams from around the state and across seven decades. 

Drawing on dozens of interviews, Conine offers rare glimpses of the early days of some of football’s biggest stars. He reveals that some players took time to achieve greatness—LaDainian Tomlinson wasn’t even the featured running back on his high school team until a breakthrough game in his senior season vaulted him to the highest level of the sport—while others, like Colt McCoy, showed their first flashes of brilliance in middle school. In telling these and many other stories of players and coaches, including Hayden Fry, Spike Dykes, Bob McQueen, Lovie Smith, Art Briles, Lawrence Elkins, Warren McVea, Ray Rhodes, Dat Nguyen, Zach Thomas, Drew Brees, and Adrian Peterson, Conine spotlights the decisive moments when players caught fire and teams such as Celina, Southlake Carroll, and Converse Judson turned into Texas dynasties.

“This is a wonderful, well-written book, full of compelling details and stories. A ‘must read’ for any Texas football fan.” —DAVE CAMPBELL Dave Campbell’s Texas Football

 
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GuestPost

The Memorable Moments

Guest Post

By Chad S. Conine

There are moments from writing The Republic of Football that resurface and make me wish I was still in the middle of the adventure of gathering all the material for the chapters.

I interviewed around 130 former and current football players and coaches during a 14-month period that was kind of a roller coaster. That 130-ish might sound like a big number, but the actual number of interviews doesn’t seem that high to me. It’s less than 10 a month when I could have easily and happily conducted 10 per week. The big number is the quantity of emails and phone calls I made to get the interviews. That anxiety I felt as I waited for returned calls or emails definitely proved the most difficult part of the project. Those are not the moments that I remember fondly. But they had their purpose.

In the summer of 2014, I was attempting to patch together an NFL training camp tour. This was a key part of the project because once the NFL season started, I knew I would have a hard time getting access to the players I wanted to include. Then, following the season, they would scatter, and I really wouldn’t be able to do any interviews until OTAs (optional team activities) in May and June of 2015. I was supposed to turn in the manuscript by the start of football season 2015, so it wasn’t going to be possible to turn 15 interviews from OTAs into chapters in that amount of time. It had to be in training camp.

Then things came together. I targeted a specific area of the country that had some of the biggest names from Texas — Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby, Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford, and Indianapolis Colts defensive lineman Cory Redding. Others said “no” but the ones I listed are the ones who said “yes” by the last Saturday in July of 2014, when I got in my car and headed north. The next 12 days produced many of the moments I mentioned above, in the first paragraph. Moments like: driving into downtown Detroit and eventually all the way up 8-Mile Road, all the while listening to Eminem; playing golf in Chicago with my buddy Sean DelBacarro and his dad; making friends and having drinks with the person who checked me into my hotel in Mankato, Minnesota; looking out of my car window at the beautiful West Virginia state capitol (oh yeah, I ended up going to West Virginia too, more on that later); and turning a corner in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and discovering there was a massive Manchester United versus Real Madrid soccer match that sold out Michigan Stadium that day.

I haven’t made it back to Mankato, Minnesota, but it’s on my to-do list. That’s where I arrived after the first two days of driving because that’s where the Vikings were holding training camp. I checked into the hotel and asked the friendly person at the desk, whose name was Lindsey, where I should have dinner. She told me to go unpack and she would have some recommendations when I was on my way out. That’s what I did and we chatted for a few minutes before I headed for a local Italian place. When I returned to the hotel, she was still at the desk and it was a slow evening, so we must have talked for most of an hour.

The next day, after I interviewed Adrian Peterson, I went to a coffee shop that Lindsey recommended. I wanted coffee and I needed to record the interview and send some emails. One of the emails I sent went to the New Orleans Saints. Having had a great interview with Peterson, I was feeling momentum, so I inquired about speaking with Drew Brees. Within an hour, the Saints called and said Brees agreed to the interview. That meant that after I interviewed Stafford the following Friday in Detroit, I would then drive across Ohio to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, where the Saints were holding camp. But it would be worth it.

Soon after I received the call from the Saints, Lindsey came by the coffee shop to hang out for a bit. We made plans to drink beer at a bar near the hotel called the Loose Moose. We ended up talking and playing pool until pretty late. That was a good day.

And that’s why, when I’m at the gym on a run-of-the-mill Wednesday these days, and certain songs come through my headphones, I wish I was still driving around the Midwest running down the interviews that formed The Republic of Football.

Conine is a freelance sports
journalist who has written for the Sports Xchange, Reuters, and Golf.com, among others. He has been covering Texas high school and college football since the late 1990s. He lives in Waco, Texas.

 

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Check out the other great blogs on the tour! 
 

9/5
Review
9/6
Promo
9/7
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9/8
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9/9
Author Interview 1
9/10
Promo
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9/11
Review
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9/12
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9/16
Review
Country Girl Bookaholic
9/17
Guest Post 3
9/18
Promo
9/19
Review

 

 

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