“Going for Two” by Laura Chapman
Blurb: Harper Duquaine is back for another season of fantasy football! This time she’s a year wiser and prepared to dominate the league. But while she finally seems to have her fantasy life in order, reality proves more challenging.
Her plans to peacefully play house with her boyfriend come to a halt when the high school suddenly names Brook its head football coach. The promotion comes with more responsibility on the field and less time at home. It also unexpectedly means more work for Harper, who already has her hands full helping a friend pull off the perfect proposal (while dodging questions about when she and Brook are going to get hitched already). Plus, a new development at work could leave her—and half of the fantasy league—jobless.
With the complications of her career and being “Mrs. Coach” adding up, Harper wonders if she’s committed to the life she’s already building or if there is something else out there.
Harper Duquaine – the fun, (sometimes) fearless, and fabulous heroine of my Queen of the League series – has a knack for baking. In Going for Two, the second book in the series, she develops a penchant for mug cakes. When it comes to food in books, I take my research seriously, and I tried my hand out at making a variety of mug cakes for myself. Here’s one of my favorite recipes from the experiment.
Sour Cream (Mug) Coffee Cake
1 tablespoon softened butter
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream
Dash of almond (or vanilla) extract
1/4 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
For streusel topping: 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour
Directions: Spray a mug with no-stick spray then soften 1 tablespoon of butter. Mix in ingredients one at a time resulting in a thick batter. In a separate small bowl, combine ingredients for streusel and sprinkle on top of the batter. Microwave for a minimum of 1 minute or a maximum of 1 minute and 30 seconds until done. Pro tip: watch it closely while it cooks in the microwave to make sure it doesn’t overflow. After that, enjoy!
With one day to go until our fantasy draft, I have a lot of prep work to do.
Last year I joined the league a few hours before the draft. My education had been a crash course from Wade on how to use the computer program and a few tips from my brother. I didn’t care at the time. I wasn’t in the league to win. I only joined in a desperate attempt to make my new co-workers at the car dealership like me. By the end of the season, my interest in the game—and Brook—had been piqued. I’d been willing to fight hard for a victory with both. Winning Brook’s heart had been easier than winning the league championship. Even after a major late-season rally, I finished in fourth place.
Not this year. I’ve spent the off-season studying the game and planning. And I’m determined to go all the way. Even if that means humiliating the man I love when we go head-to-head against each other. The worthy, but humble, opponent he is, I’m sure Brook will ultimately forgive me when I hoist the figurative league trophy over my head.
Unlike last year, I have a legitimate game plan. It’s called, “Study Up On All of the Top Players and Draft Them.” Subtitle: “Within Reason.” I still don’t feel right about having bad boys or total douches on my team, but I’ve made my peace. You have to make tough decisions like that when you’re in charge.
I plan to stock up on top-tier wide receivers and tight ends. In our league, we get points for each catch, which means I need players with good hands. Hands not unlike my ex-wide receiver boyfriend, only I put his hands to a much different, but equally important, use.
The other part, which is slightly more controversial, is my intent to plan one bad week. Theoretically, during one week—in my plans it’s week eight—I’ll have several of my top players out on bye weeks. That means I’ll likely lose, which should suck. I’ll have a total juggernaut team every other week of the season, so it won’t matter if I take a knee once. In preparation for implementation, I’ve done a few mock drafts online. Okay, I’ve done ten, but I really want to get all of the jitters out of me before the real thing. While it’s been interesting to watch some of the trends going in these fake draft rooms—it seems like we’re in another year of the overrated running back—I’m not going to let that influence the way I pick my team. I have a wish list, and I don’t plan to stray far from it.
We’re a ten-person league this year, so I’ve done a mock draft from each spot in a ten-person league. I have a good idea of who will and won’t make it on my team no matter when I draft. It’s comforting to feel this in control of my destiny.
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**About the author: Laura Chapman is the author of Going for Two, First & Goal, The Marrying Type, and Hard Hats and Doormats. Her work also appears in Merry & Bright, A Kind of Mad Courage, and the holiday collection All I Want For Christmas from Marching Ink. She loves Huskers and Packers football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Laura makes her home in Nebraska, where she is penning her next novel. Be sure to check her out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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