Becky’s Kiss by Nicholas Fisher – Book Tour

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“It could not be worse for ninth grader Becky Michigan on her first day at a new school, sitting in beet juice and staining her white jeans in a classroom about to fill up with students. In the nick of time, a gorgeous blonde boy named Danny comes in and offers his over-sized baseball jersey so she can cover up, get to the office, and change. By the time she pulls the shirt over her head, however, he has mysteriously disappeared.

 

Becky scours the school in search of her dream-athlete and wonders why after contact with him she has magically gained the ability to throw a fastball ninety miles per hour! Instead of finding the answer, however, Becky’s new skill pits her against the school bully and the entire varsity baseball team.

 

That night, after her exciting showdown in front of the entire school, Danny shows up at her bedroom window. If she will agree to meet him behind Rutledge High at midnight on the ball field at the edge of the woods, he promises to reveal a secret meant to alter the past and change her life forever.”

Purchase your copy here:

 
Nicholas Fisher is a college professor and
a sports enthusiast. He writes adult horror under another name, but thought of
the idea for Becky’s Kiss while
coaching his son’s baseball team. Since the story involved high school drama he
decided to write his first young adult piece. When not writing or teaching,
Nicholas Fisher enjoys pizza, reality television, and playing the banjo. He
lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and his son goes to Arizona State
University.

Connect with the Author Here: 

 

Excerpt from Becky’s Kiss. Becky is called down to
the Principal’s office because she threw an orange across the cafeteria at a
bully named Cody Hatcher, and knocked him out cold with it.
“I’m
Dr. Edward McGovern, the Principal here,” he said.  He glanced at a couple of things in the file,
closed it and leaned back, hands webbed behind the head, elbows out, face no
less serious.  “Twenty minutes ago there
was an incident in the cafeteria.  Can
you explain it?”
Becky
was pinching at the skin of her forearm and she made herself stop.  Her voice sounded small.
“I…I
was sitting with Joey.”
“Yes,
Joey Chen,” Horseshoe-head interrupted. “An excellent student, advanced in the
sciences…”  His voice trailed off because
Principal McGovern and Rent-a-Cop were staring at him.  “Sorry,” he muttered, getting out a pair of
bifocals and a pocket-sized spiral notebook to study.  Becky gave a little cough and went on.
“Cody
Hatcher was bullying us. I’ve got witnesses, but nobody likes me…well, not
until today…but I mean before, like when Cody hit Joey with an eraser and put
his dirty foot on my chair, and…”  Now
she faded off.  She was making no sense
whatsoever, and she closed her eyes to concentrate.
“Miss
Michigan,” Principal McGovern said.  She
opened her eyes and saw that everyone at the table was looking at each other
rather uncomfortably.  “I don’t think you
really realize why you’re here, and that in itself is a surprise to us.  I’m probably going to get a call from Cody
Hatcher’s father tonight and an email from his lawyer.  I am going to have to set up a meeting with a
member of the board, a union representative for each teacher patrolling the
lunch room, a disinterested third party, and a stenographer.  Do you know why I am going to have to go to
those extremes?”
“Because
I threw the orange?” Becky whispered.
This was a nightmare, a cold nightmare.
How was her mother going to handle this?
Her father would never speak to her again.  She would wind up going to one of those
special juvi schools, where sections were overcrowded with kids that had police
records, and the classes were monitored by uniformed security guards with
weapons.
“Threw
an orange,” Horseshoe-head said reflectively.
He was smiling slightly, and again, Principal McGovern and Rent-a-Cop
looked over at him.  He went back to his
notes and starting writing stuff furiously.
Principal McGovern breathed hard through his nose, sat forward, folded
his hands, and spoke at them.
“Gerry,
run the clip.”
Mr.
Ladd went over to a control panel over by the bookcase and hit a few
buttons.  A Sony flatscreen mounted in
the corner flashed on, and twenty or so small squares came visible.  Video monitors. Becky recognized the image by
the front entrance and another outside the gym where there was the water
fountain and the stairwell, though the angles were overhead from their ceiling
mounts and slightly tilted.
“Hit
number twelve,” Principal McGovern said.
The image flickered, and one camera shot filled the screen.  It was a black and white film of the
cafeteria, just above where Becky and Joey had been sitting, the Frederick
Douglass poster there, his cheek ripped a bit from the Tic-Tac.  The room was vacant.
“Rewind,”
Principal McGovern said.  Ladd clicked
away, and on the screen, the room filled with kids walking backwards, coming to
rest in their seats, then Becky being seemingly escorted back in and
half-circling down into a seat without looking.
Good hair day, she thought crazily.
Then
her new friends threaded off one at a time in backward mimics of their timid approaches,
and the grainy black and white image of herself was suddenly displaced into the
aisle, bent over in the follow-through position, and then across and down to
the right the orange exploded back into itself and shot in return to her hand.  There was the ‘wind-up’ that looked all
herky-jerky backward and sped up, and then she popped back over to the chair
across from Joey Chen.
“Stop,”
McGovern said.  “And play it in live
time.”
The
soundless tape played out, Becky sitting across from Joey Chen, her face hidden
by the positioning of the camera above and behind her.  To the right, Cody Hatcher was punching his
friend in the arm, eating grapes, and spitting one or two across the table at
his other friend, a burly boy in a dark tee-shirt who seemed to be threatening
that he was going to knock Hatcher’s tray off the table if he didn’t cut it
out.  Then, Hatcher seemed to spy Becky
across the room, next tapping and elbowing, like Look here, guys.’  He picked
off a grape, pushed up to a half-squat, and whipped it.  Across the space, it was evident that it hit
Becky, because her hair moved.  Hatcher
sat back down hard, and looked around, all innocent, as his friends bent in
fits of laughter.  He picked off a couple
more grapes and hurled them in a similar manner.
“He’s
quite a shot himself,” Horseshoe head muttered.
“Wait
for it,” Principal McGovern said.
Suddenly
the screen seemed to explode into motion, and some of it was so quick that it
blurred.  One moment Becky was sitting
there, shoulders slightly slumped, familiar in that odd displaced way that
video tended to portray people, and then she was a snap of motion.  She grabbed the orange and leapt into the
throwing lane.  Then there was the wind
up and the pitch, and suddenly Becky didn’t look like herself.  She seemed to grow taller, and everything
about her motion and mechanics looked…professional,
for lack of a better word.  And she
didn’t “throw like a girl.”  She didn’t
even throw like the typical boy.  The
exchange was a rhythmic flurry of knees and elbows and hips and backbone,
fierce and balletic, vicious and beautiful, and the orange shot out of her hand
like a dark messenger on a rope.  There
was a moment that it disappeared behind the concrete pillar obstructing the
view, and then it resurfaced on the far side, a streak shooting and exploding
in Cody Hatcher’s face.  The Rent-a-Cop
shifted in his seat and spoke for the first time, voice soft.
“Chills
you right to the marrow, doesn’t it?”
Horseshoe
head was still scratching away in his note book, and Principal McGovern
addressed him.
“Paul,
how far is Hatcher sitting away from her?”
“Sixty-one
feet, give or take six inches or so.”  He
smiled wide enough to show his fillings.
“My students would get a kick out of this.  You simply approximate…”
Principal
McGovern interrupted him by putting up his hand.
“Mike,
what’s the distance between home plate and the pitching rubber on a standard
baseball field, high school or pro?”
Rent-a-Cop
didn’t miss a beat.
“Sixty
feet.”
“And
what’s the weight of a big league hard ball?
“Five
and an eighth ounces.”
Principal
McGovern turned to Horseshoe head.
“How
much does a Florida Sunkist weigh?”
“Well,
first you have to consider…”
“Paul.”
“Hmm?”
“To
the point.”
Horseshoe
adjusted his position, ankle up on the knee.
“Right,” he said.  “The average
orange would be around seven ounces.”  He
nodded his head then, all smiles and squinting eyes.  “I know, I know.  Yes, even with the differential, you have a
basic match.  The common orange is
slightly bigger than a baseball in terms of circumference, and this one, by
appearance is of the smaller variety…”
“Oh,
it’s a match all right,” Rent-a-Cop said.
“Lock, stock, and barrel.”
Becky’s
heart sank and she looked down.  Why
couldn’t there be ‘differential,’ or whatever, just this once?  Gosh. Daddy
was going to kill her!
“Miss
Michigan.”  Becky raised her head and
felt her bottom lip trembling.  Principal
McGovern still had his hands folded, his eyes hard and his expression entirely
flat.
“Have
you ever done something like this before?”
“No!”
Becky pleaded.  “I swear!  I never picked up a baseball, let alone an
orange in my entire life!  Well, I’m
sorry, I’m sure I’ve eaten an orange or two, but I don’t even like them
really—“
Principal
McGovern had his ‘shush’ hand up again.  He
gently closed his eyes.
“Just
how fast did she throw that thing, please?”
            Horseshoe said, “Yes, considering
the approximate weight of the projectile and the distance, compared with the
visual I would estimate…mmm…eighty miles per hour or so.”
            Rent-a-cop was stroking his goatee.
            “I’m not really a betting man, but
I’d wager Paul is being too conservative here.
I’ve seen plenty in this life, but I’d swear she hit eighty-seven,
eighty-eight, even.”
            Principal McGovern shook his head in
wonder or disgust, it was difficult to tell.
            “Eighty-eight miles per hour.  In my lunch room, right under our
noses.”  He looked around the table and
said, to no one really, “And where do they pretty much set the bar for major
league pitching, please?”
            “Ninety,” Becky said, unable to stop
herself from talking ‘MLB’ with the rest of them.  “But there’s no way I could have hit
eighty-eight.  It’s impossible.”
  Principal McGovern sat back and folded his
hands at his gut.
            “What kind of pitch did you throw
back there?  Tell the truth, now.”
            “A four seam fastball.”
            “What did you aim for?”
            “His nose.”
            “You hit his forehead.”
            “I’m in sneakers and the floor is
polished.  I slipped an inch or two on
the follow-through, and there was no mound slope to let me come downhill.”
            Her hand flew up to her mouth.  It was all true, she knew, but how could she be so sure of this stuff when
she’d never been on an actual mound in the first place?
            “How many pitches do you have, Miss
Michigan?”
            None!  Becky’s mind screamed.  I have
none, and this is a weird fluke, and I never meant to break any laws!
            “Eight,” she
admitted, looking down and shrugging.
“But I don’t know where they came from, I swear.  I mean, the police can’t arrest me for what I
dream, can they?”
            “The police?” Principal McGovern
said.  Becky tilted up her chin and
nodded over toward Rent-a-Cop.  Dr.
McGovern gave a short laugh.
            “Mr. Rivers isn’t a policeman, Miss
Michigan.  He teaches shop and wears a
radio so he can call in injuries faster.
Liabilities and such.”
            “So he’s not a cop?” Becky repeated
back stupidly.
            “No.
He works here and coaches my varsity baseball team.  You interested?”
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  • SuziSummer

    This books sounds amazing…have to add it to my TBR list! Thanks for the giveaway. Terri Mcneal

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