Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, September 14, 2015

First & Goal by Laura Chapman (Book Release Blitz: Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with author Laura Chapman and publisher Marching Ink, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the book release blitz event for First & Goal!

Author Guest Post

If you’re a follower of my blog, Change the Word, then you’re already well aware of my storied and tumultuous affair with fantasy football. If you aren’t familiar with the history, you can click here to catch up (or you can maybe guess the extent of my interest based on my use of words like “storied,” “tumultuous,” and “affair” to describe it).

Through three football seasons and five teams I’ve sought a fantasy football championship title. And five times I’ve fallen short. Regardless of my tragic fantasy football history, the journey has been good research for writing First & Goal, the first novel in my Queen of the League series.

Each season and team has been like a snowflake—unique and unpredictable, even though they’re all comprised of the same basic elements. And accordingly, I’ve picked up a thing or twelve along the way. (Some of these lessons learned may have found their way into the story…)

Here’s some of the wisdom I can impart to you:

Don’t draft drunk. You shouldn’t operate heavy machinery or a cell phone containing your ex’s number after having a few, and you shouldn’t build an empire while equally impaired. This can be challenging as football and booze tend to go hand-in-hand, but I urge you to resist the urge to overdo it. Pace yourself and hydrate. You’ll need your wits about you should your top picks go before you have a chance to take them.

Leave you sentimentality (and libido) at the door. I know there are some total hotties in the NFL. And I know you’re a longtime fan of… some team. So you definitely have favorite players if you’re a fan of the game. Forget them. Seriously. Unless you have a deep passion for Aaron Rodgers complete with a poster over your bed a desire to draft him (he’s a good pick, he’s very good) you’ll only hurt yourself by drafting with your heart or that funny feeling you get in your tummy. Talent and consistency are better drivers for your team’s future.

Sometimes you have to research. Even if you watch every game, enough decisions (and God forbid injuries) happen off the field that you have to pay attention outside of the parameters of regulation play. You don’t have to go crazy and read or watch every Fantasy Football program available, but don’t set your lineups blind.

Practice makes perfect. I used to roll my eyes at the idea of people doing mock drafts, but they really do help. If nothing else, going through the motions of pretending to draft a team before you have to will remove some of the nervous tension you might experience in the real thing. Best case scenario, you’ll notice some trends about which players will go fast that it will give you a game plan for making your own picks.

It’s okay to cry. Whether you’re happy, because you’ve somehow managed to secure a spot in the playoffs or beyond bummed that you’ve lost yet another game by a measly couple of points, give in to that urge to let it out. Just try to do it in a safe place so you don’t end up getting ridiculed by your friends or league-mates for years to come. And I highly suggest crying to punching someone in the face. It’s less messy.

I suppose I should close this out by saying something inspiring and sweet like, “The most important thing is to remember to have fun,” but I won’t. I’m sure some people find fantasy football fun (I know I did the year I was destroying every other team in the league), but it’s hard work. I’d say the most important thing is to stay classy and aware. These people may be your friends, but remember: this is war.

Links included:

About The Author

Laura Chapman is the author of First & GoalThe Marrying TypeHard Hats and Doormats and the Autumn and Tuck series, which appear in Merry & Bright and A Kind of Mad Courage. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Until she fulfills her dream of landing a British husband or becoming a Disney princess, you can find her in a bar penning her next novel.


Book Review

First & Goal by Laura Chapman
Book 1: Queen Of The League Series
Publisher: Marching Ink
Publication Date: September 6, 201
Format: eBook - 278 pages
               Kindle - 728 KB
BNID: 2940151152693
Genre: Chick Lit / Sports Theme - Football / Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in the virtual book release blitz hosted by the author and publisher.

Book Description:

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Then beat them.

When Harper Duquaine’s no-nonsense approach to work unintentionally ruffles the wrong feathers at her new job, she joins her co-workers’ fantasy football league to prove she can hang with the guys. Only problem: she doesn’t know a sleeper from a keeper (or any of the other lingo thrown her way).

Embroiled in a world of lineups, stats, and trades, Harper’s quest to make nice topples when her competitive streak emerges. And her promise to herself that she’ll be a strong, independent woman and leave the drama and heartache behind is seriously tested when she catches the attention of her two biggest competitors: J.J., a local celebrity determined to win a fantasy championship, and Brook, the mild-mannered coach who seems too good to be true. Both threaten her resolve to remain single… and, more importantly, her chances at winning the prize pool.

With a slew of conflicting advice in her real and fantasy worlds, Harper must figure out how to play the game and come out a winner.

My Book Review:

Finally! Author Laura Chapman takes her personal passion for fantasy football leagues and creates a hilarious chick lit story with a football theme to kickoff the 2015 NFL season! Yesssssssssss!

First & Goal is an entertaining chick lit tale that follows the trials and tribulations of Harper Duquaine as she delves into the competitive world of fantasy football leagues.

Author Laura Chapman weaves a sassy tale full of humor and drama that easily draws the reader into Harper's story as she tries to fit in with her new co-workers by joining their fantasy football league. As a newbie, it doesn't take long for Harper to set aside nicety and realize the competitive edge to the league ... and when you add in two sexy men who vie for her attention but who are also her challengers, what are her chances at winning the game and finding love?

As a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan who also plays the various fantasy sports leagues, I can so relate to the author's passion, and to Harper's competitive side as she learns the ins-and-outs of fantasy football leagues, and the drama that comes with it. I couldn't help but snicker as I read the story, it is just plain fun. I absolutely loved the intertwining of romance with a football theme, football fans get the best of both worlds in this nifty little story!

First & Goal is an exciting and fast paced story that flows smoothly and easily keeps the reader turning the pages. Author Laura Chapman sure knows how to weave an enjoyable tale that keeps her readers in stitches. You can't help but get caught up in Harper's roller coaster ride of a life full of crazy co-workers and fantasy football drama, and a sweet chance at romance, it's simply delightful!



  1. Thank you for the wonderful review. I'm so glad you enjoyed Harper's story. I had a lot of fun telling this story, and it's great to hear you had fun reading it. :) Thanks for sharing this post, too.

  2. Hi Laura! Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host the book release event for First & Goal. This was such a fun book to read, especially as the football season is just beginning. :)