The top viewed, New Book on the Shelves for 2017 was the debut novel of Heather Kindt and I have updated with one of the recent reviews.
Earlier this year Moyhill was delighted to sponsor the first prize in Dan Alatorre’s renowned Word Weaving Writing Contest.
The winner was Heather Kindt with a story that impressed the judges and we are now very pleased to showcase her debut novel, Ruby Slips and Poker Chips. Heather selected her own cover, it was edited as part of her prize by Russell J. Fellows and David Cronin formatted the book for publication for Moyhill.
You can read more about the contest here: https://danalatorre.com/2017/08/15/here-are-you-winners-dan-alatorres-word-weaver-writing-contest-oct-2017
About Ruby Slips and Poker Chips
Second-grade teacher Dottie Gale lives in the tiny town of Quandary, Kansas, which is pretty much smack dab in the middle of nowhere. No mountains. No ocean. No life. Her ex-boyfriend and current school board member, Corbin Lane, cheated on her, making school functions more than a little awkward. But worst of all, a tornado named Maxine Westward rips through Dottie’s school as the new principal and has made her life at work a living hell.
When Dottie is chosen to go to a teacher’s conference in Las Vegas, she knows her life is going to change.
Driving from Quandary to Vegas, three strangers enter her life. Through a string of situations involving poppies, flying monkeys, and a life-size sculpture of an iconic rock star the four soon become inseparable. So, when Westward arrives on her broom in Vegas, Dottie is ready for battle. Her boss black mails her with stories of incarceration, thievery, and a steamy relationship with her travel companion, but Dottie knows that those who hurl insults shouldn’t hold secrets of their own.
An extract from Chapter One of Ruby Slips and Poker Chips
A tornado blew through the small town of Quandary the night before Westward arrived. The slim, rope-like twister was a two on the Fujita scale, but the damage it caused seemed more like a five. I wondered later if the storm came to drop her off before moving further east. The very next day, the school board voted and named Maxine Westward the new principal of Quandary Elementary. That day changed my life.
Now you may be wondering what I have against a woman who gives her life to shaping young minds. It just so happens that I was born with a sixth sense called woman’s intuition. When Maxine first walked into the school for her interview with her briefcase and painted-on smile, it was easy to size her up.
As I raced around the corner to copy my students’ homework in the last minute of music class, Maxine and I nearly had a head-on collision. She wore a navy blue power suit, six-inch heels, and her hair short and red. I wondered if the state sent her to inspect the school’s records again. The Kansas Department of Education has a nasty habit of sending their cronies in at the most inconvenient times.
I held up a homework sheet and extended my free hand. “I’m sorry, trying to get this done before I have to pick up the kiddos. I’m Dottie Gale.”
The phony looked me up and down, frowned, and brushed past me into the office. Glancing down, I searched for the coffee stain on my satin shirt. She painted her smile on again for Miggy Samuels, the school secretary, while I made my way to the printer. Before I even knew why she was there, my intuition kicked in, telling me she was no good for my school.
“I’m here for an appointment,” she said, looking around the office like she was too important to set foot in it. I wanted to tell her to take her heels, and get back to where she came from, but instead, I bit my lip and continued my copying. I kept my ears tuned in, pretending to mind my own business. I wondered why the school board was all there, getting the royal breakfast treatment from Wanda Jo in the lunchroom. A day of interviews to find the new principal would have to start with bacon and a short stack.
After school, I carried my stepladder out to the hallway to hang up my end of the school year bulletin board. The large, yellow butcher paper curled around me as I struggled to staple the first corner. One of the magazines my Uncle Embry subscribed to ran an article last year about the ten most hazardous jobs. I wanted to call the editor and give him a piece of my mind, because coal miners and structural construction workers have nothing on teachers. I could fall backwards and break my neck on the linoleum while hanging this stupid paper, not to mention the number of germs that attacked my body from the petri dishes on feet called second graders.
Just as I ruined my fifth staple, I felt a hand lift the paper. Corbin Lane stretched it across the board, holding while I attached the students’ papers.
“So did you hire the witch?” I watched him out of the corner of my eye. Corbin was the youngest member of the school board, as well as my ex-boyfriend. His black hair hung adorably in his eyes in a wistful fashion that reminded me of one of the characters in a comic book.
“And which one would that be, dear?” I hated when he called me that. I slammed another staple into the wall, intent on taking my aggressions out on the bulletin board instead of Corbin.
“Which one? The red head, of course! She marches in here with her superior attitude and expects we can’t see through it.” I hopped down from the ladder, moving it to the center of the board. Climbing back up, I pounded my fist into the stapler, again concealing my emotions in a way that I’m sure the stapler didn’t appreciate.
“We haven’t made a decision, yet.” He smirked. “But I guess I know where you stand.” Corbin moved the ladder this time and applied the next staple.
I froze realizing my mistake. Ever since he cheated on me in high school, he was constantly trying to please me – to the point of being highly annoying.
I snatched the stapler from Corbin’s hand, but found it empty. “Damn stapler.”
“Here, let me take it.” He took my abused weapon and went to my desk to rummage for more ammo while I thought about how I’d now become the sixth person on the interview committee.
I knew my comments would definitely influence Corbin’s decision. Looking back, I wished I had the sexual prowess to influence the other three men on the board. I guess I need a little more Ginger and a little less Mary Anne.
One of the recent reviews for the book
Dottie Gale is a snappy second grade teacher in a small town in Kansas who is about to get swept up into a whirlwind cross-country road trip on the way to a teacher conference. She makes some new quirky friends on her trip and finds herself in the most bizarre of situations by no fault of her own. Add to the mix a new principal with higher aspirations than staying at a small school in Kansas and an old cheating high school boyfriend and the adventure begins!
I found this to be a fun read with many chuckles throughout as Dottie was a wise-cracking main character that kept the pace moving quickly. I enjoyed the parallels between Dottie and Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz and found the author to give just the right balance between references to the old classic and this story. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a not-so serious, yet very enjoyable, read curled up in front of a fireplace with a warm blanket and a mug of tea on a cozy evening.
Where to buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Ruby-Slips-Poker-Chips-Dorothy-ebook/dp/B077Q8HWV3
Smashwords for other Ebook versions: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/hmkindt
About Heather Kindt
Heather Kindt grew up in Derry, New Hampshire, but now resides in the mountains of Colorado with her husband and two children. She loves writing YA fantasy and humorous fiction. Her debut novel, Ruby Slips and Poker Chips, won the Dan Alatorre Word Weaver Writing Contest. To learn more about her and the great things that are coming in her writing world, visit her website at http://heatherkindt.com/
Connect to Heather Kindt
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Heather-Kindt/e/B077QPHKKB
Thank you for dropping in today and it would be wonderful if you could head over and buy Heather’s book and also follow her on social media. As you all of you who are authors know, making contacts is so important as a new writer. Thanks Sally.