Wednesday, May 6, 2015

FFBC: Welcome to the club, A Matter of Heart by Amy Fellner Dominy

A Matter of Heart
by Amy Fellner Dominy
Publisher: Delacorte
Release Date: May 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports
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Readers will happily sink into this emotionally grounded, contemporary young adult novel about the sudden end of one girl's Olympic swimming dreams and the struggles she endures before realizing there are many things that define who we are.

Sixteen-year-old Abby Lipman is on track to win the state swim championships and qualify for the Olympic trials when a fainting incident at a swim meet leads to the diagnosis of a deadly heart condition. Now Abby is forced to discover who she is without the one thing that's defined her entire life.

It’s a toss up between Lord of the Rings, Pride & Prejudice, and Watership Down.

The Walking Dead

The Princess Bride 

This week it’s Take Your Time by Sam Hunt

Does red wine count? :) Salt and vinegar chips are high on the list along with fresh-baked rosemary bread with butter. Yum. 

1. The world of Westeros in Game of Thrones. Though I don’t like the cold, I’d head for The Wall. Jon Snow needs me. 

2. The world of Graceling because I want to be graced with a secret talent. 

3. Middle earth, because I’ve already spent so much time there in my imagination. 

Jamie Fraser from Outlander. 

“If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.” Thomas J. Watson 

Waving hello to all the Book Addicts. Glad to be here among others who love books as much as I do. Thanks for letting me share your day! :)

A MATTER OF HEART is the story of Abby Lipman, a sixteen-year-old swimmer who is three weeks away from competing in the Olympic trials when she discovers she has a heart condition. If she swims, she could die. 

Abby’s greatest strength is her determination. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to be the best swimmer in the world. 

That focus is also Abby’s greatest weakness. By only seeing one thing she risks losing everything else—including her life. 

This is such a tough question, but here goes: Breathless, Heartbreaking, Hopeful, Romantic, Compelling.

When my kids were teenagers, I got an email from their high school about a heart test for student athletes. I learned that a former football player from their high school, Anthony Bates, had died from a heart disease that often goes undiagnosed. My kids were both athletes so I brought them to the school to be tested. That was the day I met Sharon Bates, Anthony’s mom. I was so struck by her story and by the foundation she’d created to bring heart tests to schools, that I knew I had to write about it. That’s how Abby, and this story, came to life. And that’s why I’m donating a portion of sales to The Anthony Bates Foundation. 

Uh oh. I’m going to have to admit to one of my crazy writing quirks here: I have a fear of reading my books once they come out. I mean, what if I find an error? A typo? A passage I think I could have made better? A new idea, a missed detail…. you get the idea. All of which means I can’t give you a favorite quote. But maybe you can answer this one for me, and email me with any favorite quotes. Then I’ll know how to answer this question in the future! :)

There’s a scene in the book where Abby is running through the desert and Alec comes after her. There was something magical and romantic and revealing about that scene for me. I felt like I escaped into the night with them. 

The song that comes to mind is Firework by Katy Perry. And really, it’s the determination of the chorus that feels like Abby to me. The feeling of showing them what you’ve got, of making them watch, and acknowledge that you are something. That you’re a firework ready to shoot across the sky. That’s how Abby wants to go out, I think, live or die.

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Amy Fellner Dominy worked as a copywriter in the advertising business before leaving to earn her MFA in playwriting. Her plays for adults and children have been staged in various cities around the country. Amy's novels for teens include OyMG (Walker, 2011) and AUDITION & SUBTRACTION (Walker, 2012.) Amy's next book is a contemporary YA coming Spring, 2015 from Random House. It's called A MATTER OF HEART.

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