Spotlight on Out of Left Field by Kris Hui Lee, Plus Excerpt & Giveaway!

Screen-Shot-2018-05-10-at-11.33.31-AM

Today we're excited to spotlight Out of Left Field by Kris Hui Lee! Read on for more about Kris and her book, plus an excerpt & giveaway! 

 

Meet Kris Hui Lee! 

Kris Hui Lee is a contemporary YA author who also doubles as a graphic designer. In 2015, she was a finalist in the Pitch Wars writing contest hosted by Brenda Drake. When not writing or designing, she can be found cuddling with a dog on the floor. Learn more at krishuilee.tumblr.com
 
 
 
Meet Out of Left Field!
 
  

There’s no playing it safe in love or baseball in this sparkling debut, perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Kasie West.

Marnie has never had a hard time fitting in with the guys. It would take a lot more than their goofy antics to keep her from joining them at the neighborhood sandlot to do what she loves best: play ball.

An added perk of hanging out at the sandlot? Spending time with Cody Kinski, their high school’s star pitcher and Marnie’s best friend. Sure, he can be stubborn and annoying. He also knows how to make her laugh and respects her skills on the mound. And when he gets nailed in the arm by a bone-fracturing pitch, Marnie becomes the team’s best chance at making it to the playoffs. Except no one told the guys they’re supposed to be on her side.

With her own team against her, Marnie begins questioning her abilities. And when fate throws her a curveball, can she play without losing the game, Cody, and her belief in herself?

 

To purchase: 

Amazon // Barnes & Noble // BooksAMillion // Indigo // Indiebound


 
 
Excerpt:

SEVENTEEN YEARS OF EXISTENCE HAVE TAUGHT me many lessons—some relevant to survival, others not so much—but one that I have come to fully understand is that there are three kinds of idiocy.

The first is what I call Mundane Idiocy. This is the type of idiocy that happens when you, say, walk into a dark room thinking you can manage without the lights, and then you stub your toe on a table. It happens to the best of us.

The second kind is Voluntary Idiocy. Sticking your tongue to a frozen pole or prodding a beehive with a stick or eating fourteen brownies in one sitting would fall under this category. Discretion is advised.

And finally, the last level of idiocy has been achieved by only one person, and his name is Cody Kinski.

Here I am, in the bleachers of my high school baseball field on a brisk May night—crickets chirping in the darkness beyond the bright stadium lights, the scent of french fries hitching a ride on the gentle breeze. I’m on the tips of my toes, waiting in anticipation like all my fellow game goers. Usually the excitement at high school baseball games never gets higher than the occasional collective gasp after a great hit followed by an anticlimactic defensive play, but our team is far from what you’d call usual. And this particular game is miles from being typical. 

It’s the bottom of the seventh. The last inning. There are two outs and two strikes. Kyle’s on first. Cody’s at bat. We’re down five to four, and even though, to me, it feels like our chances of turning it around are borderline zero, everyone else seems to have an ounce of belief left in them. 

The pitcher’s given name is Santino Acardi, but in our neck of the woods, he is commonly known as Douche Face.

There are only two things you need to know about this olive-skinned, curly-haired, smarmy bastard: (1) no one on this planet knows how to wear a condescending, selfrighteous smirk like he does, and (2) every time he and Cody get within two hundred feet of each other, the apocalypse seems imminent. I mean, they’re two of the best pitchers in our entire region. They have both been playing on varsity since freshman year, on teams with a notorious rivalry. It’s the kind of clash that’s going to put an end to the world as we know it. 

Basically every time Cody has been up at bat during this game, Santino has thrown at least one brushback pitch past Cody’s face. It is only thanks to Cody’s lightning-fast reflexes that he hasn’t been knocked unconscious. Santino has been pulling this stunt since freshman year. He suffers from an oversize ego. Jock stuff—you know the deal.

Standing behind home plate, bat raised over his shoulder, eyes focused on Santino, Cody looks beyond prepared. He’s ready for anything. And he should be, considering Santino’s brushbacks are consistent. Parents, classmates, and residents from around the neighborhood cheer for Cody all across the home-team bleachers. Iron-Arm Kinski, they call him. He was first dubbed that when he was eight by his Little League coach. His killer fastball got him that name, but Cody is one hell of a hitter too. He’s not a god, but sometimes he doesn’t seem to be entirely human. 

On the mound, Santino winds up his pitch. Every part of his body, from his long legs to his muscular arms, displays his power.

Then it comes. The ball launches out of Santino’s hand at Major League speed. 

Right toward Cody’s head. 

But he must not be as prepared as he seemed. 

Does he move out of the way? 

No. 

He stands there like a moron, like there’s not some sadist on the mound. It’s only at the very last second that his left arm flies up to shield his head.

The ball smashes into Cody’s left forearm. His bat clatters to the ground, and it’s like everyone from here to the moon and beyond gasps. Cody clutches his arm to his chest as his face twists in pain. It’s a look I recognize to mean I’ve broken a bone, and I’m in some real fucking pain. 

Fire from the pits of hell radiate from the glare Cody shoots Santino, and if I were Santino, I’d want to jump on the next flight out of the country. All of Cody’s fury and hatred—three years in the making—engulfs his face, his whole body. Cody has never been the kind of guy to be provoked by cheap shots, which I’ve learned in the eleven years I’ve known him, but right now, not even I can predict his next move.

But even though he might want to react, Cody doesn’t get the opportunity. Jack Chizz, our coach, runs out to home plate as the ump calls, “Time!”

Joey, our guy on deck and Cody’s best friend, follows Chizz. The three of them—Chizz, the ump, and Joey—gather around Cody, blocking my view of what’s happening.

Santino’s cronies in the outfield crowd together too, but unlike those huddled around home plate, they seem unconcerned about what their overlord Santino has done. And Santino, for all the emotion he’s showing, might as well be standing in line at a grocery store. I’m surprised he isn’t shooting off fireworks and confetti of triumph over his good aim.

The buzzing energy is gone, and it's replaced by silent anticipation. And then: “WOOOO! WAY TO GO, CODY!” This is Sara, who’s standing next to me. To everyone else, it probably sounds like a cheer of encouragement. But Sara is no overzealous cheerleader.

She’s teasing him. 

“You’re an asshole,” I tell her, trying to keep a straight face. Under the florescent lights, her normally tawny skin seems lighter. Her grin widens as she claps loudly. “Bringin’ ’em to state!”

“Oh my gosh,” I mutter, but I can’t help but laugh a little. Sara, like me, has more than a decade of history with Cody, which entitles her to be a complete asshole to him in this very serious and stressful moment.

Cody, who has gotten some breathing room, takes off his batting helmet to reveal his disheveled dark brown hair. He then takes a moment out of the time-out to nonchalantly scratch his forehead with his middle finger in our direction. Those eleven years of friendship work in Cody’s favor too—he gets a pass on being nice. 

Cody drops his hand and listens intently to what Chizz is saying. At first, they both seem rather calm, given what’s happened, but then Chizz says something else, and Cody goes ballistic. His eyes bulge in rage, and his uninjured arm flies in all directions. Cody points to first base. Chizz points a commanding finger toward the dugout. 

“Don’t be an idiot, Cody,” I mutter. “Go to the hospital.” 

As if he can hear me, Cody kicks his bat to the side and stalks toward first. Chizz objects, but Cody shrugs him off. The interaction looks dramatic from here, which is so unlike Cody. He has always been a quiet, modest guy, but being on the field changes him. Out there, he’s the confident jock everyone expects him to be. 

Everyone cheers as Cody takes his base. I wonder if they can see him wince in pain with every step. Proud, stubborn bastard. 

As the game resumes, so does the crowd’s excitement. They’re exhilarated by Cody’s perseverance (or, as I would call it, idiocy).

The count: two outs, zero strikes, with Kyle on second, Cody on first, and Joey at bat.

Tufts of Joey’s blond hair stick out from under his batting helmet as he steps up to the plate and takes a few practice swings. This is a guy who walks into closed glass doors and trips on perfectly tied shoelaces, but I swear he has magic powers when he’s on the field. He will move mountains to catch a foul ball and has been known to belt homers at the exact moment they’re needed. You’d never know it though, because he can be a real baby sometimes. A few months ago, he was reduced to an inconsolable teary mess after he found out his ex-girlfriend is a lesbian. No one would have guessed at the time that the crying weenie he was then is our best hope for bringing in a miraculous run to tie up the game now.

On the mound, Santino winds up again. One of his trademarks is his sidearm pitching style. That’s why he’s one of the best; he’s unique. I feel like a traitor, but I must admit that I admire his skill.

He throws the first pitch against Joey: foul tip. Strike one. 

Second pitch: the ball and bat connect, and the crowd gasps. It’s a foul over the first baseline. There’s a collective sigh. Strike two.

The count: two outs, two strikes, five to four. The hopelessness settles in deeper.

On the third pitch, Joey smacks the ball with an echoing clink! and he runs. Screams of excitement follow him.

The ball soars toward the fence. It looks like it will be a home run between left and center field. Unfortunately, that’s the kind of luck you can only dream about.

The ball hits the back fence and bounces onto the grass where two fielders race to snatch it up.

Kyle’s past third, on his way to home, and Cody’s passing second. 

The ball is traveling from the outfield to shortstop. 

Kyle’s foot lands on home plate. It’s now five to five. 

Cody’s foot hits third. 

From the dugout, Chizz shouts at Cody to stop where he is. 

The ball is at the shortstop. And Cody’s going home. 

“Idiot!” Sara and I both shout. 

But it’s no use. The ball and Cody race toward home. 

The throw to the catcher is off by a foot. He steps away. 

Cody dives, headfirst, arms outstretched. 

He collides with home plate and becomes buried under a plume of sand and the catcher.

“Safe!” the ump shouts. “Safe!” 

The shouting and cheering intensify as our team hops over the dugout wall and dog piles Joey, who brought in the runs. Santino and his team look like they’re about to commit fifteen different types of manslaughter.

And there, still on the ground in the fetal position clutching his arm, ladies and gentlemen, is the third and final category of idiocy: Cody Kinski.

 
 
 
 
 

Out of Left Field

By: Kris Hui Lee

Release Date: May 1, 2018

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

 

Two winners will receive a copy of Out of Left Field (US & Canada only).

 
 *Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
Featured Review: The Secrets of Islayne by Kari Ly...
Blog Tour: Review of True Storm (True Born Trilogy...

Related Posts

 

Comments

Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

My Love is All Around
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Mommy Bear shows Baby Bear how love is all around...
I'm not a Mouse!
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Olivia really doesn't like her nickname - mostly because it...
My Panda Sweater
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The other kids may laugh, but I always feel safe...
One Day on our Blue Planet... In the Outback
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
From breakfast to dinner, dusk to dawn, children will love...
Mrs Bibi's Elephant
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A heartwarming story with a message as big as an...
The State of Us
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
"Dre and Dean have got my vote!"—Adib Khorram, award-winning...
My Calamity Jane
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to 1876 America, a place bursting with gunslingers,...
Little Creeping Things
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
A compulsively readable debut with a narrator you just...
Fae's Deception (Queens of the Fae Book 1)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Brea Robinson is a murderer. That’s what everyone tells...
The Forgotten World (The World Apart Series Book 3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Clark thought he knew what grief was. Addie thought...
Artemis Fowl: Guide to the World of Fairies
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
This beautifully illustrated novel is a compendium of Artemis Fowl's...
The Court of Miracles (Court of Miracles, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Les Misérables meets Six of Crows in this page-turning...
Personalized Notebook Doodles Adorable Pets Coloring Book
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From hamsters and hermit crabs to cats and canaries, you'll...
The Last Summer
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
For the first eleven years of their lives, neighbors Lila...
The Falling in Love Montage
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two girls embark on a summer of montage-worthy dates (with...
Super Puzzletastic Mysteries: Short Stories for Young Sleuths from Mystery Writers of America
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bestselling author Chris Grabenstein and the Mystery Writers of America...

Latest Member Reviews

A Dreadful Dream
 
4.0
"13 is a hard age. Josh experiences so much change in his early teens, he's barely making it. I like..."
Escaping to Freedom
 
5.0
"The story keeps you guessing what'll happen next. The main character is an average 16 year-old. Her world is thrown..."
My Love is All Around
 
4.5
"MY LOVE IS ALL AROUND is a sweet book about love between parent and child and the many ways in..."
I'm not a Mouse!
 
4.0
"I'M NOT A MOUSE! is a cute picture book about nicknames. Olivia's mother always calls her mouse, and she doesn't..."
My Panda Sweater
 
5.0
"MY PANDA SWEATER is a lovely book about the way that clothes can affect us. A young girl loves her..."
One Day on our Blue Planet... In the Outback
 
4.0
"ONE DAY ON OUR BLUE PLANET... IN THE OUTBACK is a picture book that follows a red kangaroo joey through..."
Mrs Bibi's Elephant
 
5.0
"MRS BIBI'S ELEPHANT is a sweet story about the special place we have in our hearts for our pets. Mrs...."
Outlawed
 
4.5
"The story: When her father forces her to travel back in time to correct the mistake he made, Maryanne..."
Artemis Fowl: Guide to the World of Fairies
 
4.0
""Written" by dwarf Nord Diggums with contributions from experts in the field of magical creatures such as Professor Ivana Therey..."
Beauty Mark: A Verse Novel of Marilyn Monroe
 
5.0
"What worked: Haunting, tragic tale of the life of Marilyn Monroe, told in verse which gives a powerful punch to..."
Personalized Notebook Doodles Adorable Pets Coloring Book
 
5.0
"ADORABLE PETS is full of quotes and pictures about animals. As the title suggests, the pictures are so cute and..."
The Falling in Love Montage
 
5.0
"THE FALLING IN LOVE MONTAGE is a beautiful YA contemporary romance that follows Saoirse (Seer-sha). Saoirse speaks to the reader..."
Super Puzzletastic Mysteries: Short Stories for Young Sleuths from Mystery Writers of America
 
5.0
"Short story collections are hard to review, especially when one includes so many fantastic authors! My students will be glad..."
Hope in the Mail: Reflections on Writing and Life
 
5.0
"HOPE IN THE MAIL is an autobiographical account of the author’s life as it relates to her writing. Wendelin Van..."
Crave
 
4.3
"After the death of her parents, Grace comes to an Alaskan boarding school. Once there, she senses something is 'off'..."
Daniela and the Pirate Girls
 
3.5
"DANIELA AND THE PIRATE GIRLS is a fun high-seas adventure about helping others and making new friends. Daniela is the..."
Child of Galaxies
 
4.0
"CHILD OF GALAXIES is a lovely poem about life and the broad meaning of it all. The poem begins by..."
Shy Ones
 
5.0
"SHY ONES is a sweet look at friendship and the people (or sea creatures) who are shy. The story is..."
Once Upon an Eid
 
5.0
"This collection has a wide variety of stories about different aspects of Eid, and is particularly poignant during this time..."
You Brought Me the Ocean
 
3.7
"YOU BROUGHT ME THE OCEAN is a graphic novel of the origin story for Aqualad. Jake is 17 and living..."