The Jock and the Fat Chick
Debut Romance Novel * 250 pages * HarperCollins
YA / NA. Mild swearing. No explicit sex.
No one ever said high school was easy. In this hilarious and heartwarming debut, one high school senior has to ask himself how much he’s willing to give up in order to fit in.
Kevin seems to have it all: he’s popular, good looking, and on his way to scoring a college hockey scholarship. However, he’s keeping two big secrets. The first is that he failed an assignment and is now forced to take the most embarrassing course ever–domestic tech. The second is that he is falling for his domestic tech classmate, Claire.
As far as Kevin is concerned, Claire does have it all: she’s funny, smart, beautiful, and confident. But she’s off-limits. Because Kevin knows what happens when someone in his group dares to date a girl who isn’t a cheerleader, and there’s no way he is going to put himself—or Claire—through that.
But steering clear of the girl of his dreams is a lot harder than Kevin thought…especially when a cooking project they are paired together for provides the perfect opportunity for things to heat up between them outside the classroom….
Born into a literary family.
Could write before speaking.
Spent childhood in sunshiny green meadows devouring highbrow literary works.
More like she was told that C-average, learning disabled students couldn’t possibly grow up to be writers.
Nicole proved them wrong.
English B.A. from the University of Toronto. Loves cats, books, horror films, globe hopping and home-baked cookies. Had once been spotted wearing a sundress.
Cool dudes and motorcycles: TT Full Throttle
Hot guys and romance: The Jock And The Fat Chick
Nicole is currently at work on her third book involving magic called, The Conjurer.
I raise an eyebrow, letting her know I’m listening, but I’m not sure where she’s going with this.
“I tell you what to do and say around Mrs. A, and that way I keep my A and you can pass this class.”
I consider Claire’s offer. On the one hand, I don’t like her calling me a dumb jock. On the other, she’s amazingly good at cooking and needs to keep her grades high, which means if I do what she says, I’ll pass too. I’ve got nothing to lose, so I nod.
“Okay,” I say.
She gives me this big warm smile, like I’ve made her day.
“Good.” She motions to the fish. “Keep flaking.”
I respond with a “Yes, Coach,” as a lighthearted way of sealing our deal.
When I’m done flaking, Claire adds the fish to the thick rice mixture and then stirs, making my mouth water. It looks and smells incredible. There must be a million grams of carbs in there. If I ate all that, I’d slip into a carb coma.
Claire pulls a large wooden spoon from the drawer and then offers it to me. “Want to taste?”
She’s surprised when I shake my head, like I have no clue what I’ve turned down.
“Ugh,” she says. “Don’t tell me you’re one of those carb-counting gym rats.”
I make a face. “I hate the term ‘gym rat’; it makes me sound greasy.”
“True.” Claire sizes me up and then adds, “And you’re definitely not greasy.”
Hey, did she just check me out?
“Okay, how’s ‘don’t tell me you’re one of those carb-counting fitness bunnies’?”
I grunt, amused.
“I bet you work out twice a day,” she goes on, stirring the risotto, “and you eat nothing but skinless chicken and steamed broccoli.”
She bobs her head, like she’s confirming something. “Yeah, you look like a guy who denies himself pleasure….”
An unexpected rush of heat spreads across my face. “Well, if you want six-pack abs, there’s got to be sacrifices.”
Claire glances at my stomach, and even though she can’t see anything under my shirt and apron, she turns her gaze away and smiles, big.
That was definitely a check-me-out move.
Please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
Thanks for having me on your blog, it’s great to be here. My current YA book is called THE JOCK AND THE FAT CHICK. It’s about Kevin who questions how much he’s willing to give up in order to fit in. See, he’s keeping two big secrets. The first is that he failed an assignment and is now forced to take the most embarrassing course ever–domestic tech. The second is that he is falling for his domestic tech classmate, Claire. Claire is funny, smart, beautiful, and confident, but she’s off-limits. Because Kevin knows what happens when someone in his group dares to date a girl who isn’t a cheerleader. But steering clear of the girl of his dreams is harder than he thought…especially when a cooking project pairs them together.
When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
When I was a student at the University of Toronto, I joined Hart House’s New Filmmaker’s Club. There were roughly thirty of us at our first meeting, sitting at this huge Harry Potter dining hall style table. The other students were vying for the director’s position in the club, So while they chatted, I used the time to write my first ten-minute short film. When I was done, something just hit me. It was like a horrible cliché; it felt as if the clouds parted and a ray of sun shone down upon me. I just knew storytelling was what I wanted to do.
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
My friend Ron Rash once referred to his first drafts as a “dawg’s breakfast”. That shifted my attitude from trying to perfect the story in one draft to just getting down the ideas and letting them flow onto the page without trying to edit as I go. His other great piece of advice was, “Onward!”
What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?
I’m a big European road racing fan, in particular, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races. When I’m unable to travel to the tiny isle and see it in person, I’ll listen to the races on the internet or through their app. I’d love to see more races like the Northwest 200 in Northern Ireland or the Macau in China.
What has been your biggest adventure to date?
I had an amazing time researching my first novel TT FULL THROTTLE, based on the Isle of Man TT Races. I was granted a press pass, allowing me full access to riders, mechanics, pit crew, marshalls, organizers, and the press. Incredible.
If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?
I would love to travel to Mongolia. I’m not sure why, but there’s something about the culture that intrigues me along with the wild and stunning landscape. I’d love to see it in person.
When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?
There is a lot of food talk in my debut romance novel, THE JOCK AND THE FAT CHICK. I’m definitely a foodie. Not a food snob, but a foodie. I have several friends who are chefs and I totally envy their talents and abilities.
What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?
Blowdryer. No one wants to see my hair when it’s air-dried.
What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?
A motorcycle ride on a beautiful sunny day, which includes stopping off at a random quaint restaurant with a gorgeous view. Good food, good conversation, lots of laughter, the open road and a moment of silence to stop, reflect, and take in the scenery, including a pretty hot guy in a leather riding jacket, sporting two-day stubble. *swoon*
How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you?
I’m so hardwired into my writing that I can easily become a recluse. I think my friends would describe me as hardworking, kind and honest.
What is your favorite comfort food?
That’s tough. Roast beef dinner with a dollop of horseradish and garden pulled greens; fresh baked salmon drizzled with a fresh squeeze of lemon. Grilled vegetables on the BBQ. Thanksgiving dinner. Returning home after playing outside with friends on a cold winter’s day to a hot bowl of crockpot soup with a thick slice of bread with butter.
What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?
I adore autumn. I love the crisp air, the noise wind makes as it rustles through the drying leaves (it sounds like a round of applause). Of course, I love how the leaves change, turning the trees and ground into a kaleidoscope of autumn colours of greens, reds, oranges and yellows.
What project are you working on next?
My next project is a YA novel, THE CONJURER which touches on magicians and magic (close-up, parlor rather than fantasy).
Any place we can find you in person or on the net this month or next?
Cool dudes and motorcycles: TT FULL THROTTLE
Hot guys and romance: THE JOCK AND THE FAT CHICK