Today, I have a very special guest… Author Kathryn Biel!! I’m very excited to have this fellow RRBC Member visit my blog today and I think you’ll thoroughly enjoy her visit, as well. Please help me welcome Kathryn during her Rave Reviews Book Club’s “SPOTLIGHT” Author Week!!
Even though my tagline is “Telling Stories of Resilient Women,” I think I write romance. It’s actually women’s fiction, but to me, it’s all romance. I’m not romantic love between a man and a woman (although there is certainly some of that in each book). I couldn’t have stated this when I started out, but somewhere along the way, I’ve discovered that I like the story of the woman finding love. In herself. My characters learn through their journey that to love another, they must first love themselves. They don’t always start out perfect. Actually, they never start out perfect. If they were perfect, they’d have no journey. Throughout my story arcs, my women find that in order to love another, first they must love themselves. This is not as easy or as obvious as it seems, especially when we fail to live up to someone else’s expectations, when we fail to realize our own needs, when we don’t think we matter to our family, when we think we don’t deserve love. So my stories are ones that all women need to hear. We are worthy of love. We deserve love. And the one who we need to hear that from is ourselves.
Kaitlin Reynolds is the heroine of Jump, Jive, and Wail. She’s a former ski jumper, denied the opportunity to compete in the Olympics, which was her ultimate goal in life. An injury forced her to stop her jumping career right before women’s ski jumping was added to the Olympic roster. She’s coped by being angry. Toward everyone around her. But mostly toward herself. With no backup plan, Kaitlin is forced into a job that she hates, in a marriage that is terrible, and in a brand new city. Her poor attitude has ostracized her from her family, and she doesn’t know what to do. A chance encounter with Declan starts Kaitlin to thinking and evaluating her life. With insights provided by Declan, Kaitlin starts to realize there may be more to life than jumping, and that she needs to start looking to the future instead of grieving the past.
I’ve been told I have an anger problem. Yeah, so what. You would too if you were living my life. Once destined for greatness—for gold—now my life is crap. Complete and utter crap. So, yeah, I’m angry. Angry all the flippin’ time. I also have a swearing problem. I’m working on that.
The focus of my anger at this moment is two-fold: the TSA and my brace. My stupid brace. Always that. If it weren’t for the brace, I’d only be mildly annoyed at the TSA right now. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d still be annoyed. What kind of idiot puts a bomb in his underwear or shoe? Why’d he have to go and spoil it for the rest of us? That kind of imbecile deserves to have his frank and beans blown off. Okay, so my anger here is actually three-fold and includes the eejits who attach bombs to their privates to blow up planes.
Struggling to manage my overstuffed carry-on while holding my bulky winter coat, boots, and the brace, I finally manage to get through the security gates. Careful not to let my right toes drag on the ground, I step aside, drop my load, and set about donning it—that damn brace. Kirby. That’s its name. Or at least what I call it. Because having to wear a brace sucks more than an expensive vacuum cleaner. Shoving the bags off to the side and not wanting to sit down on the airport floor, I bend forward at the waist and precariously balance on my left leg while I lift my right one into the air. I’m out of the habit of squatting these days, since the plastic of my constant companion doesn’t let my ankle bend that way. Sliding Kirby beneath my dropped foot, I quickly get my limp, numb, useless right leg safely encased in its flesh-colored plastic tomb. It reminds me of a coffin because my foot just lays there for all to see—dead. One nylon Velcro strap across the ankle, another around the calf and I’m good to slide my useless appendage into my Ugg. Yes, I know; it is like the worst possible choice in shoes, other than flip-flops, which I’ll never be able to wear again. But I rationalize, like I do with so many other things, that my bad foot is fully supported in the brace, so the supportiveness of the shoe itself doesn’t matter. (I do completely ignore the fact that I have another leg and foot that is working, for the most part.) My physical therapist doesn’t buy my rationale but whatever. Let her walk—or limp—a mile in my shoes and see how she likes it.
I am getting lightheaded from being bent over, and I’m sure my ass in the air isn’t the most flattering view, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I’m sure the underwear bomber felt the same way, but I mean, who would ever think that that was a good idea?
The real reason I like the Uggs is that they hide the ugliness that is Kirby. I look pretty normal wearing them. They’re totally flat, which I need anyway, and they’re in fashion. Don’t know what I’ll do when they become passé but, like so many other things in my life right now, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
So here I am, keister in the air, just getting ready to lift my left foot up. Balancing on my right leg is always a bit dodgy so I have to mentally psych myself up for it. The brace gives me some stability, but it is still not a skill in which I excel. The last thing I want to do is fall down in the middle of a busy airport. I open up the mouth of the boot and as quickly as I can, slide my left foot in. When I put my foot down, my weight shifts back slightly and my rear end bumps into something.
Not something, someone.
A man, to be precise. A man’s crotch to be even more precise.
Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn Biel hails from upstate New York and is a spouse and mother of two wonderful and energetic kids. In between being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage the government and insurance companies to fund her clients’ needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Her musings and rants can be found on her personal blog, Biel Blather. She is the author of Good Intentions (2013), Hold Her Down (2014), I’m Still Here (2014), Jump, Jive, and Wail (2015), and the short story, Fly Robin Fly (Part of Cupid on the Loose!: A Valentine’s Anthology of Short Stories, 2015).
Thank you so much for stopping by today. Please continue showing your support to Kathryn and her other blog hosts by visiting the RRBC Spotlight page. And don’t forget to check out JUMP, JIVE AND WAIL!!
Let’s make it a great day, bloggers & readers!!