The Perfect Blindside: Book Giveaway
Recently, Catholic author Leslea Wahl contacted me and asked if I would be willing to interview her and share a book giveaway on Catholic Fire. As I was not familiar with Leslie’s writing, I asked her to send me a copy of one of her books. Leslie sent me her Young Adult novel The Perfect Blindside. What a treasure this book is!
In The Perfect Blindside, Wahl weaves an exciting story about, Jake Taylor, a sixteen-year-old Olympic champion with a silver medal. He is an attractive, confident, somewhat cocky snowboard prodigy whose parents transplant him to an area that he believes is way too small for his celebrity status. His parents, who are teachers, desire that he live an ordinary life, rather than that of a celebrity; thus, they insist that he attend high school in a small town in Colorado rather than receive private tutoring like other athletes. The family moves from their home in Kansas to Silver Springs, Colorado, where Jake meets Sophie, an honors student, who dislikes him due to his arrogance. She believes she knows exactly who Jake is even before she gets a chance to meet him. Sophie is judgmental and doesn’t trust Jake. She thinks his good looks make it far too easy for him to get what he wants.
The two teenagers are both so tuned into one another’s flaws that they fail to see the other person as they really are and what they could be, given God’s grace. Sophie plans to expose Jake for the egotist she believes him to be, until she discovers Jake’s compassionate, sensitive side. The two become close friends. As they work together to solve the mystery of the bizarre occurrences taking place at the abandoned silver mine, exploring secret tunnels, they unravel the truth about who they really are and challenge each other to become who God wants them to be.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, which is told from the vantage point of both characters, revealing a candid look into the thoughts and emotions of two older adolescents who are attracted to one another. Both characters are likeable and realistic. The plot was suspenseful, filled with tension, adventure, and mystery. The tale also highlights the beauty of nature, prayer, and the development of a warm and caring friendship. The Perfect Blindside is the hopeful, uplifting, and heart-warming story of how two people influence one another in a positive way, helping draw out their unique gifts, to glorify God and grow in their love for him and for others. It is a book I highly recommend for young adults and adults as well.
What is The Perfect Blindside about?
The Perfect Blindside is an adventurous Young Adult novel about two teenagers, Jake and Sophie, and the mystery that surrounds their Colorado mountain town. Jake’s a silver medal winning snowboarder who is dealing with his new-found fame and the unwanted move to the small town. Sophie is a high school student focused on her grades who thinks Jake is an arrogant jerk. But the two are forced to work together to uncover what’s happening at the town’s abandoned gold mine.
How did you get the idea for the book?
As my own children started to grow I was very concerned with the messages they were receiving through TV, movies, music and even books. Often these messages didn’t fit the values I was trying to instill in my kids. One day the story idea quite literally popped into my head. I kept thinking about it until I finally had to write it down. I truly believed God had called me to write this story and realized this was an opportunity to create fun, exciting novels with positive messages and role models.
What is the theme of your book?
The underlying theme of my book is that we all have God-given gifts that we can use to help others. When I visit classrooms to share about my books, I encourage the students to think of their own gifts and how they could use them. I like to share examples about my own children who have helped me immensely with my books. My oldest son is a Marketing major and has helped me create some promotional ideas. My daughter helps me with editing (those pesky commas sometimes get in the way of my creativity!). And my adventurous youngest son not only helps me with my website but also had the unique opportunity to help prove to the publisher that a certain scene I wrote involving cell phones and duct tape could actually work.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Ever since I can remember I was a creator of stories with ideas swirling through my head. But, I never thought about writing a whole novel or writing for teens.
Do you have any advice for those who are searching for their own gifts?
God blessed each of us with unique interests and talents. Sometimes it may take years to find your calling but God has a plan for each of us. My own personal journey is a perfect example of this. It took 6 ½ years from the time I started writing the story until it was published. These years included 97 letters of inquiry to agents and publishers, 35 rejection letters, lots of disappointment, but finally one contract.
Do you have more projects in the works?
My second novel, An Unexpected Role, was released in October. I will have a third novel published next year and I’ve recently finished the sequel to The Perfect Blindside. I’ve also recently joined a group of other Catholic authors who share my passion of writing for teens. We have created a new website to showcase Catholic teen books in a variety of genres.
Leslea Wahl is a Colorado native who enjoys writing Catholic teen fiction. She hopes her fun, adventurous mysteries will encourage teens to grow in their faith. In 2016, The Perfect Blindside was awarded a First Place Catholic Press Association Book Award. For more information please visit her website: www.LesleaWahl.com or www.CatholicTeenBooks.com.
Enter to win a Free Copy of Leslea Wahl’s award-winning young adult Catholic/Christian novel. Drawing Begins on June 13th, 2017 at 12 am and ends on June 20th, 2017 at 12 am.