About the Book:
The Next Breath, 313 pages
I kiss him, choosing love over honesty, which is a choice nobody should ever have to make…"
Robin loves sweet, responsible Nick, with his penchant for Beethoven and Ben Folds Five. But she also still loves her college boyfriend Jed, an irreverent playwright plagued with cystic fibrosis. Now Robin is struggling to reveal her secrets and confront her past, as she finally performs in the play that Jed wrote for her, eleven years ago. Will Robin have the strength to keep her promise and stay true to her heart?
Alternating between present-day scenes, college flashbacks, and segments from Jed’s play, this tear-jerking yet uplifting tale illustrates how life is finite but love is infinite, and the road to recovery begins with the next breath.
About the Author:Laurel Osterkamp becomes very attached to her characters, and it’s hard for her to stop writing about them. The Holdout, November Surprise, Blue State, Campaign Promises, American Angst and The Next Breath all feature the Bricker family, as their stories continue. (But you can read any of these books in any order.)
You can find Laurel on Twitter but she needs to work on sending clever Tweets. A better idea is to follow her blog at www.laurelosterkamp.blogspot.com.
Laurel teaches in Minneapolis, MN, where she tries to stay warm, spend time with her two nearly perfect children and husband, and find the time to write. Her other novels are Following My Toes and Starring in the Movie of My Life. Visit her at www.laurelosterkamp.com.
But What Is My Genre?
I love a good story, whether it’s from a book, movie, or television show. Recently I finished The Husband’s Secret on my kindle – it was excellent! Also, my husband I just got to the end of the second season of The Americans, which we really enjoyed. And I am sort of obsessed with the TV show Bates Motel, partly because I’m a big Psycho fan, and I love to watch for the subtle references to the movie.
I watch a lot of movies. I like drama, suspense, political thrillers, and comedy the best. Not too long ago I saw Contagion, and I had to ask myself, “What is it about watching a bunch of people die from a deadly virus that I enjoy?” It even took place in my home town of
which made the whole scenario seem that much more realistic. Minneapolis
In any movie, novel, or TV show, there’s going to be conflict; without it, there’s no story. But while some stories are for escape – pretty people doing fairytale like actions, others, like Contagion, we watch so we can be horrified without being at risk ourselves. It’s the equivalent to riding a scary rollercoaster: all the thrills, minus the danger.
So I ask myself, if my life was a movie, book, or TV show, what genre would it be? It could be a gritty urban high school drama, like Dangerous Minds or Freedom Writers, because the high school where I teach has a high poverty rate, and also a lot of minority students. But I’m not nearly as inspirational as Michelle Pheiffer or Hillary Swank, and when I watch those movies I laugh cynically at how unrealistic they are.
Besides, while I have my fair share of trials and tribulations, I’m pretty lucky when it comes right down to it. I have a wonderful husband who is NOT a vampire, two beautiful, healthy children, and there are no nasty people stalking us or threatening our livelihood. That rules out both drama and suspense. In addition, there are no ghosts, spirits, or demons inhabiting our house (that I know of), and we’ve never been visited by aliens, although my nine-year-old son claims that he is one. Still, I think I also need to rule out horror and science-fiction.
I’m not nearly important enough to be the center of a political thriller.
And while I’m happily married, I’ve been married for twelve years, and I’m no Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, or Jennifer Anniston. So I’m pretty sure my life wouldn’t qualify as a romance.
Unless I’m forgetting a genre, I believe that leaves comedy. My kids can say and do some pretty funny stuff. The same is true for my high school students. My husband has a wicked sense of humor, and I like to believe the same about me. So yeah, my life would have to be a comedy, but it wouldn’t be a slap-stick, Bridesmaids sort of a comedy. It would be more like an independent film, quietly funny, where the actors aren’t as good looking as normal, big screen stars. Think Away We Go with pregnant Maya Rudolf and John Krasinski with a beard. It’s a comedy, but it’s all about where they’re going and what they’re doing next. It makes you laugh, but there are serious moments too. Not everything is wrapped up at the end, but that’s a good thing. The soundtrack is full of artists you’ve never heard of, but maybe you’ll download it from itunes later.
In the end, that’s a lot better than having my life be like Contagion. It may not be watched as much, and there may not be all the big-name stars. But Gwyneth Paltrow doesn’t die in the beginning either. And that’s saying something.
$25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
Ends December 3rd, 2014