Guest post by S.M. Stevens, author of Contemporary New Adult novel Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, recently published by TouchPoint Press. Hello, Jeri’s Book Attic readers! Here’s a bit of info about Horseshoes and Hand Grenades and me, plus an excerpt to give you a flavor for the story, which is uplifting and entertaining even though it addresses heavy themes (or so my reviewers tell me!).
woman holding iphone with horseshoes and hand grenades novel on screen and cup of coffee
Why I Wrote It: I have two goals with Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, or HAHG as I like to call it. First, to help victims of “mild” sexual harassment and abuse acknowledge that their experiences matter. We women are great at “discounting” our traumas, which can prevent healing. Second, I hope it answers those annoying questions society keeps asking of harassment and abuse victims, like Why didn’t you say something sooner? and Was it really that bad? Excerpt: Horseshoes and Hand Grenades is a dual narrative. In this scene, 24-year-old Astrid narrates. “Get in, get in,” Tina urged, picking Shelby and me up in front of Campbell Lewis at five o’clock on the third Friday in June. “I can’t double-park for long; there’s a cop right there.” We piled into her Chevy Citation—nicknamed the Situation because it broke down on a regular basis—and joined the hordes of city workers fleeing to Cape Cod, plugging along toward ocean breezes, warm sand and fresher air than the city could ever provide. The horrendous drive took ninety minutes longer than it should have, but I was young and single and headed for adventure on a beautiful island with my girlfriends, so I didn’t care. We settled into seats on the top deck of the Woods Hole/Martha’s Vineyard ferry, determined to soak up as much of the unseasonably hot sun as possible. “You guyyyys, are we going to try to get lucky this weekend?” Tina asked, like a child considering doing something naughty behind her mother’s back. “I think it’s mandatory,” Shelby said in her matter-of-fact way. “Astrid?” “God knows we all need it! This drought has to end,” I said. Shelby nodded in approval. “Listen, I have to say something serious. We must use condoms,” Tina said like a high school sex-ed teacher. Shelby and I giggled. “I mean it. No taking chances.” “Yes, Tina, of course we will,” I said in response to her glare. Tina nodded. “We’re so crass. We sound like guys,” she said, a tinge of pride in her voice. “Oh no we don’t,” I countered. “We could never sound like guys. Men are truly a different species. It’s hard to know what they really want, from life and from us. I should write a book called What Men Could Tell Us to Make Us Better Girlfriends.” “Hm. Or how about, What Women Don’t Know About Men and Never Thought to Ask?” Shelby offered. Tina attempted to join in. “What Women Don’t Know About Men but Really Want to Know?” “Not exactly catchy, Tina, but keep trying,” I said, laughing with Shelby. “Try this one: What Women Don’t Even Know They Don’t Know About Men. No, wait—What Women Don’t Really Need to Know About Men, Even Though They Think They Should—” “—and What They Need to Know but Don’t Have A Clue They Need to Know, Never Mind How to Ask,” Shelby finished. Our laughs drew disapproving looks from the people next to us, which made us laugh harder. I sighed that end-of-a-good-laugh sigh. “Why do I feel like our IQs just dropped twenty points?” “That’s okay. We’re at the beach. Who needs an IQ?” Shelby asked.
About Me: I began writing fiction during back-to-back health crises — a shattered pelvis and ovarian cancer. If you really want to know more about that crazy story, click here. Where to Buy Horseshoes and Hand Grenades: How to Follow Me on Your Social Media of Choice: #MeToo #TimesUp #HAHG #AlmostCounts
cover #metoo novel horseshoes and hand grenades
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