I'm thrilled to have Bill Chastain, author of RETROUVAILLES here with me today with his journey to publication!
This book is PHENOMENAL. Seriously. LOVED this book with all caps, obviously.
Now Available at all major online retailers!
Oh, & be sure to check out the giveaway, too...
I'm one of the lucky ones. I identified my passion early and I've made a living pursuing that passion for most of my adult life.
When I entered Georgia Tech in the fall of 1975, I figured I’d graduate, make some money, and that would take care of everything where my future happiness was concerned. Boy did I get that one wrong. Working at a job I didn’t like wasn’t for me.
I’d been a reader my whole life, and I loved sports. That prompted me to try and combine the two by becoming a sports writer, even though I had not studied journalism or creative writing. Classmates of mine, who graduated with Industrial Management degrees, went on to careers in accounting, business, finance, and quality control—not writing.
I freelanced initially, parlaying articles I’d written for smaller publications into assignments for national publications. That led to a full-time job as a sports writer with The Tampa Tribune.
My job with the Tribune proved to be everything I thought it would be. I mean, going to work every day and creating something is a fulfilling experience. The position also afforded me the opportunity to travel the country and see things I never would have otherwise seen. Many of those places have served well as settings for the novels I’ve written. While sports writing beat any nine-to-five job, I always liked reading and writing fiction best.
Favorite authors include Pat Conroy, Larry McMurtry, Tom Wolfe, and Rebecca Wells. All of them created characters, settings, scenes, and plots that jumped off the page and resonated with me. They inspired me. Writing has never come easy. But the pursuit of writing well invigorates me.
Given my background in sports, most of the books I’ve written, fiction or non-fiction, have been sports related. Retrouvailles delivered a new challenge. Sports writers aren't supposed to write love stories, right?
I embraced the idea.
Alex Overstreet and India Blue Kirkland are the main characters. Alex is studious, intelligent, responsible, and mature beyond his years. India Blue is the girl everybody falls in love with in high school. She's pretty, popular, funny, and has a mischievous side. Opposites often attract. These opposites fall in love.
The process of creating Alex and India allowed me to become intimate with their lives, plotting their fortunes, emotional highs, and lows, and their relationship together. More times than not, Alex and India told me the direction in which the story needed to go. I can’t tell you how often I read something I wrote and said to myself, “Alex wouldn’t do that” or “That’s just not India.”
I’ve resided in Alex’s and India’s heads for so long that they’ll forever be in mine. I’m pleased with what I’ve written.
Nobody forgets their first love.
A Romance Novel
Release Date: June 5, 2017
Publisher: Roane Publishing
Keywords: Contemporary, Romance Women's Fiction
Alex Overstreet is exceptional.
Mature beyond his years, he understands the value of education and where having one can take him. Adverse circumstances are no match for the "anything is possible" residing in his soul, a place where self-pity need not enter. His future is mapped in his mind. Staying the course will bring a worthwhile end game.
Enter India Blue Kirkland.
The most popular girl in school is the unknown Alex failed to factor into his carefully calculated life plans. She is everything he is not—outgoing and popular. A chance encounter with her sets into place a life-long love affair.
Together they find a passion and embrace the best of their different worlds while exploring the wonder of love. Both are more than ready for a future together. But Alex’s family situation looms in the background, and eventually catches up to him, forcing him to make sacrifices that change the course of his relationship with India. Though driven apart, their love never wavers.
Years later, Alex is successful on a large scale professionally, yet emptiness clings to him like free-floating lint to a dark suit. India should have been a part of it all. He's never moved on from her. She is the love of his life. Meanwhile, India is trapped in a marriage and longs for what she had with Alex. One glance of Alex at her father’s funeral sparks a romance that never died.
Retrouvailles validates the compelling power of first love and how the snapshots of moments together matter most. Those snapshots representing sweet moments in time can be more compelling than a lifetime spent together.
Alex sipped a Presidente while sitting on the deck outside “The Parched Pelican.”
Indian Rocks Beach had fancier places than the open-air tavern facing the Gulf of Mexico. Alex just preferred the dive with the dowdy name. The hand-painted sign showing a cartoon pelican with muscles and tattoos cracked him up—Florida tacky at its finest. Plus, no steel drum bands, no Tiki torches and, best of all, few patrons at that time of day. You could drink a cold beer and just be. Alex preferred to blend in with the scenery, be invisible, thus, serenity.
A salty breeze grazed his face and the rhythm of the gentle surf performed the duty of a fairy-tale sandman, making heavy his eyelids. Giving in to such an urge would be his normal inclination. Take a few steps down to the beach, stretch out in the sand underneath the azure sky, and suddenly he’d be blowing Z’s like Dagwood Bumstead.
Beads of sweat formed on his upper lip while his thumb picked off the label from the bottle of Dominican beer. He stared at the naked green bottle, hoping a state of nothingness would come to him. If he studied the inanimate object long enough he might forget the troublesome reality weighing heavy on his mind.
Maybe they’d waltz around the subject of her pending doom, tiptoeing like one of those Russian gymnasts on the balance beam, tension…tension…tension, but cool. Dying was an extremely personal matter and something she might not want to share with him. If she did, he couldn’t show pity and pity was hard to disguise. The slightest sign of it would piss her off. Taking a direct approach suited India.
Alex undid the top buttons of the light cotton shirt he wore loose at the waist and ordered another Presidente. Several months had passed since he awoke wearing socks and a monster hangover, unable to remember where he’d parked the car. The moment frightened him into an abstinence pledge.
Feeling too good for too long had brought him to the conclusion that his initial solution felt too much like Alcoholics Anonymous. He rationalized the step lacking from the guiding twelve steps was moderation; and all that guilt if you fell off the wagon for a couple of drinks. Besides, he enjoyed alcohol too much to quit. Common sense told him that all the alcohol in the world would not change his life. Thus, hoping to avoid self-destruction, he imposed a three-beer limit, installed like a father does a governor to his son’s go-cart to prevent him from driving too fast.
Alex’s eyes closed and he rocked back in his chair, evoking a sad moan from the deck constructed of rough-hewn two-by-fours. Balancing his body with one leg resting on an adjacent chair, he heard steps approach. A cold palm touched his face, then two moist lips met his for a lingering moment.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bill Chastain is a sports journalist who is the author of two previous novels, PEACHTREE CORVETTE CLUB and THE STREAK. He also has penned non-fiction sports titles including THE STEVE SPURRIER STORY: FROM HEISMAN TO HEAD BALL COACH; PAYNE AT PINEHURST: THE GREATEST U.S. OPEN EVER; HACK’S 191: HACK WILSON AND HIS INCREDIBLE 1930 SEASON; SEPTEMBER NIGHTS: HUNTING THE BEASTS OF THE AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST; and JACKRABBIT: THE STORY OF CLINT CASTLEBERRY AND THE IMPROBABLE 1942 GEORGIA TECH FOOTBALL TEAM.
A $10 Roane Publishing Gift Card!
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use a RoanePublishing.com Gift Code. No purchase necessary, but you must be 18 or older to enter. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter, and announced on the widget. Winner well be notified by emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Roane Publishing's marketing department.