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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Tracy Richardson's THE FIELD

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Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for The Field by Tracy Richardson
April 1st Sabrina’s Paranormal Palace REVIEW
April 2nd A Dream With In A Dream 10 Random Things
April 3rd Writer Person REVIEW
April 4th Nazish Reviews THIS OR THAT
April 5th Insane About Books REVIEW
April 6th MHZ Book Reviews and Giveaways SPOTLIGHT
April 7th Book Cracker Caroline REVIEW
April 8th Jean Book Nerd REVIEW
April 9th Library of Seen REVIEW
April 10th Me, My Shelf and I REVIEW
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Synopsis
Eric Horton has been having disturbing nightmares of explosions and fire and someone screaming. The dreams keep him up at night, but during the day, as a goalkeeper on his high school’s varsity soccer team, he has been unbeatable, saving shot after shot with what feels like a supernatural awareness of where the ball is headed. He also shares an uncommonly strong connection with Renee, the attractive new French exchange student. The wild visions and synchronicities pale in comparison to the strange experiments Renee’s father is carrying out in the physics lab at the university, however. He has asked Eric to take part in the tests, which makes Eric question whether what he is seeing and hearing is reality or something far beyond it. When his friend Will develops a drinking problem and Renee starts flirting with other guys, Eric loses his confidence on the soccer field and in himself. If he is going to pull it all together, he will have to tap into a part of himself that he never knew existed.
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Praise For THE FIELD
“Readers will appreciate the fast-paced, compelling drama. A good choice for people who hope there’s more to space than space”. ~ Kirkus Reviews

The Field is a compellingly honest slice of life with fully dimensional characters whose struggles and triumphs matter and touch you deeply. Richardson is a worthy heir to Madeleine L’Engle, whose 1962 fantasy fiction novel, A Wrinkle in Time, introduced serious scientific concepts in a book for young adults, and to boot placed a girl in the center of the story. While L’Engle unfolds concepts of space and time and thrusts her characters into an unknown fifth-dimension, Richardson’s characters physically stay put yet intellectually travel beyond ordinary consciousness to delve into concepts of dark energy, collective [un]consciousness and universal energy fields. ~ 4 Stars ~ Rita Kohn, NUVO Newsweekly

A combination of the real world of soccer and the mystical world of the Universal Energy Field. This is a very imaginative novel. ~ Bookviews by Alan Caruba

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Excerpt

I position myself in the goal. I touch the left side of the goal, then walk to the right side, touch it, and then move to the center and touch the crossbar to orient myself. It’s my ritual. I crouch in the center with my knees bent and arms in position to catch a ball. I feel confident, strong—ready. The coach starts the play.

The other team immediately takes control of the ball and the play moves onto my side of the field. Good. More action for me.

The opposing team’s striker sends the ball out to his right and his midfielder runs onto it. I move to that side of the goal and my left back covers the front. Our defender is all over the midfielder. I see that the opposing striker has moved into position in front of the goal to take a pass from the midfielder.

“Watch for the cross!” I yell. I’ve got the near post of the goal covered, coiled and ready to spring and I want my center back to cover the forward.

The midfielder beats my defender and sends a pass through to his forward in front of the goal. I see it coming and leap out to punch the ball clear of the goal before the forward can head it in. My fist connects with the ball with a satisfying thwack! My center back takes the ball and sends it in a long arc to the other end of the field.

Yes! Adrenaline is surging through me and I’m pumped from stopping the cross. Now the play is on the other end of the field. I watch, staying focused on the action.

The other keeper makes a save and quickly punts the ball down the field before my defenders have moved back. The opposing forward runs onto the ball. He takes off, sprinting toward the goal, and beats my defender.

It’s a breakaway! My heart is pounding. It’s just me and him. The forward is approaching fast. Should I come out to meet him and dive at his feet or stay big and block the shot? It’s a split-second decision. Make the wrong choice and it’s a goal. Wait! A thought flashes into my consciousness. I know where the shot will be. Left side—DIVE! I’m off my feet almost before the forward’s foot connects for the shot. I feel myself flying through the air, arms reaching. The ball is rocketing toward me. The ball strikes my palms and I push it wide, deflecting it outside of the goal and then I crash to the ground.

 I jump up quickly in case the ball is still in play. My team has control of the ball and is moving it down the field. Squinting into the sun, I watch the play. Adrenalin is coursing through my veins. Total rush!

When I get subbed out I scan the sidelines for Will and jog over to him so we can rehash the play.

 Will smacks me on the back. “You stuffed him!” Will’s hair is dark with sweat, his face glistening and gritty. “How do you do that? I swear you were off the ground before he took the shot.”

I wipe my face on my shirt and take a long drink from my water bottle before answering. “I don’t know. Just reflexes I guess.” I don’t want to make too big a deal about it with Will, but sometimes I just get a feeling of knowing. It just flashes into my head. Maybe it’s from years of playing, but when it happens it feels different than reacting on instinct without thinking. It’s like knowing without thinking.

“I bet it gets you a spot on Varsity for sure. Maybe even starting.”

“Yeah, well you were like a brick wall out there. Nothing got past you. Your keeper didn’t have any saves to make.”

“Thanks. Glad you noticed that you’re not the only star out there.”

“Whatever.” I’ve been friends with Will forever and I know he’s got my back, but there’s always been a competitive side to our friendship. I’m thinking Right, how many saves did you make? but I keep my mouth shut and turn my attention to the play on the field.

After all the players have had a chance to play and the scrimmage is over, the coaches have us run two cool-down laps around the field and then gather by the trainers’ station to stretch. This is it. When they select the teams. But first the coaches go through this long speech about how everyone is a winner and good sportsmanship and how difficult it was for them to decide.

“We’re hot, we’re tired and we stink,” I say to the guys sitting next to me. “Just call out the names already.” This elicits a rumble of laughter around me.

“Okay, enough with the comments Horton.” Coach Swenson says. I shrug. “Let’s get to it. Here are the teams. Freshmen first. When I call out your name, move over across the field to where Coach Vince is standing.” He gestures to his right. He begins calling off the names for the Freshman team and then the JV team. Each player jumps up when his name’s called, relief on his face. Will and I wait through the JV names—we’re not called. Now it’s just the players who made Varsity and those who didn’t make it at all waiting on the grass. I have to believe that I made Varsity, but there’s still that small fear that I didn’t make the cut.

“Okay. Now for Varsity.” Coach Swenson calls out. “Ashmore, S., Asplunth, W.,” Will jumps up and I give him a high five. My heart is pounding. I’m waiting for the ‘H’s’. “Bartlett, B., Cohen, A.” My breathing is shallow, like I’m holding my breath. “Franklin, M., Gordon, S., Horton, E.” It feels like my heart actually stops for an instant. Horton! Varsity! I made Varsity! I jump up and jog over to the group surrounding Coach Vince.

“Eric, alright!” They clap me on the back. “Congratulations,” says Coach Vince and shakes my hand. Will grabs my shoulders, “Hey, man! We’re on Varsity!”

“I know,” I say stupidly. I actually feel a little wobbly in the knees the relief is so great. “Varsity. I know.” I lay down spread-eagled on the grass and savor the moment. The coolness of the grass feels wonderful. Yes! Varsity! But then I hear the coach call out ‘Morgan, B.’—Brett Morgan—the second string Varsity keeper from last year who’s a senior this year. My euphoria dims. I’ll have to beat him out to get the starting spot. What good is it to be on Varsity if I sit on the bench?
 

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About The Author
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Tracy Richardson is the author of  The Field (Moonbeam Award winner)  and Indian Summer. Her realistic fiction also delves into science fiction, just to keep things interesting. When she has free time, you will likely find her painting furniture, knitting scarves, gardening or whipping up gourmet meals for her vegetarian, no-carb, omnivore family. Ernie, her Jack Russell  Terrier, will eat anything.