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Hooyenga pens new novel

Tribune Staff • Mar 1, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Name of book: “The Slope Rules”

Author: Melanie Hooyenga

Literary genre: Young adult sports romance

Available at: The Bookman and online retailers

Synopsis of the book: Fifteen-year-old Cally accepted her fate as one of the guys, so when she meets Blake, a hot snowboarder who sees her for more than her aerials on the slopes, she falls fast and hard. But their romance can only last as long as vacation. Or so she thinks. A twist of fate — well, her Dad opening another brewery in a new town — lands her in Blake’s school, but the charismatic boy she fell for wants nothing to do with her, and worse, the Snow Bunnies, the popular clique, claim her as their newest recruit. Cally must learn to be true to herself — all while landing a spot on the ski team and figuring out who she is without her old friends. And when she finds out what Blake is hiding, she learns the rules on the slopes apply to more than just skiing.

Why did you write the book? I came up with the idea of a female skier while watching the Winter Olympics in 2014 — which also happened to be the winter we had record amounts of snow. I’ve always loved the outdoors and have skied my entire life, so writing a book that takes place in snowy Colorado was a lot of fun. Once I had the premise — a female trick skier — I borrowed from the movie “Grease,” where two teens meet on vacation and fall in love, then end up going to the same school. The trick was how in this day of technology and constantly being connected the kids wouldn’t know ahead of time. (I’ll give a hint: one of them lies.) Then I added a few mean girls, sprinkled in details about brewing beer, and my sports romance was complete.

Author's thoughts about the book: After working on a trilogy for nearly five years, it was refreshing to write new characters with new interests and personalities. “The Slope Rules” is my sixth novel and Cally, the main character, is the most like me out of all the characters I’ve ever written. I was a tomboy growing up and have always played a lot of sports, and aside from one or two close female friends, I hung out with mostly boys all the way through college. Writing from that perspective felt natural, and when I started describing the skiing scenes — especially the flips and tricks — I realized how much I enjoy writing about sports.

Book notes: “The Slope Rules”  was released Feb. 24 at all online retailers, and a book launch party will be held from 6-8 p.m. today (Wednesday, March 1) at The Bookman, 715 Washington Ave. There will be a brief reading, followed by cookies and hot chocolate.

About the author: Melanie Hooyenga’s young adult trilogy, the “Flicker Effect,” is about a teen who uses sunlight to travel back to yesterday. The first book, “Flicker,” won first place for Middle Grade/Young Adult in the Writer’s Digest 2015 Self-Published eBook awards. When not at her day job as the director of marketing and communications for the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, you can find her wrangling her miniature schnauzer Owen and playing every sport imaginable with her husband, Jeremy. While not a fan of matching Day-Glo outfits, Melanie’s been skiing since she was 5 and always points her tips up while exiting the chairlift. This novel, her fourth published, inspired her to purchase her first helmet. You can learn more about Melanie at melaniehoo.com.

If you have recently written a book and would like to share the information with our readers, contact mdeyoung@grandhaventribune.com, or call 616-842-6400, ext. 232.

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