Author Chat & Giveaway: When You Least Expect It (Lorna Schultz Nicholson) ~ US/CAN Only



When You Least Expect It

Author: Lorna Schultz Nicholson

Publisher: Red Deer Press

 Publish Date: November 20th, 2021






Meet When You Least Expect It!


Avid competitive rower Holly is seventeen. There is nothing she wishes for more than to compete in the Olympics. When she fails to make the rowing team that is going to Europe she is shattered. Her dream has exploded, and she is left dealing with the disappointment. She is also confronting a new reality at home: she and her mother have moved in with her mother’s boyfriend and his two sons. And then her mother announces she is pregnant. . . a situation she has been hiding from Holly. This news is a blow to the close relationship Holly thought she had with her mother. And it provokes her to secretly take up training as a single-scull rower with a coach who has his own tragic story. And when Holly starts seeing someone who could become a significant romantic partner, she hides that from her mother as well. How long can you keep secrets like this? This page-turning story is enhanced by fascinating detail of what it means to be a competitive athlete — as well as an emotional core that is powerful and compelling.


Amazon * B & N * Indiebound



Meet Lorna Schultz Nicholson!

Lorna SchultzNicholson has traditionally published children’s picture books, middle grade fiction and non-fiction, and YA fiction, as well as adult sport books. WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT is her 45th published book. Her books have been nominated for many different awards in Canada and are on many lists. She loves traveling (virtually as well) and presents to schools and at conferences to instill her love of reading and writing. Lorna lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband (Go Oilers Go) and Mexican rescue dog. 


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~Author Chat~


YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I rowed in high school and university and I loved the sport. We used to travel with our crew and through rowing I visited Philadelphia, Boston, Princeton, Oregon, Washington, San Diego, Connecticut, just to name a few places. There aren’t many books on rowing, so I wanted to write about this beautiful sport. I also dealt with a tragedy when I was coaching rowing, and it has been with me for so long. Too long. Writing can be a cathartic process. Read the Q and A in the back for more on that.


YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?

Can I pick two? (Insert smiley face here.) My teenage self loves Holly because she is driven and determined, plus she’s no pushover. She is not a quitter and I love that about her, and hope teen readers do too. I think we need more books with strong female characters who don’t give up, and who have a passion. She has a teenage snarky side, and my middle daughter was a bit like that when she was younger.  She is also no pushover. But my adult self loves Alan, and how he is trying to get through his grief.


YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why? 

There are many scenes in this book that I’m proud of but, without giving away the story, there are two verse sections that I love: What I Said and The End Of My Story. Both of those took a lot of energy to write and a few tears as well. But there is also the family scene in the chapter narrative section where Holly’s mother makes an announcement. I like this scene because it has some humor. I told you there were a few!



YABC:  Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

Treat every book as if it is the first book. Always learn. Always get excited. Always sit back and exhale when it is published. WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT is my 45th book and I had an editor who is an icon in children’s publishing in Canada. Working with him was like doing an MFA in creative writing. I was a sponge and I learned so much. I tried verse writing in this book, which is something I’ve never done before. So, sure, I struggled with punctuation, choosing the right words, but the learning curve brought me joy again. For that I’m grateful.



YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book? 

I LOVE the cover. It is so simple and clean. And I love the blue tone and the waves at the bottom. I thank artist Tanya Montini at Red Deer Press for such a beautiful job. I hope people pick up and read because of this beautiful cover. Then get immersed in the words.



YABC:   What’s up next for you?

 Oh gosh. Covid has made me write and I have four books being released in 2022. I know. I know. I’m not one to sit around unless I’m writing. So… can I share two? I have a book being published by Sleeping Bear Press and it is a picture book biography on Joey Moss. Joey was born with Down syndrome and worked as a dressing room attendant for the NHL Edmonton Oilers for over thirty years. He showed the world that people with Down syndrome can be active in their communities. I also have a YA novel out (Behind the Label) and it is about the Best Buddies Club and features the two voices of those Best Buddies. Gloria has FASD and Willa is her buddy and hides her dyslexia. This is the fifth in a series. I will be back on to promote and maybe in that giveaway I will include all five books!



YABC:   Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?

There is a scene near the end of the book where Holly and Alan are on the water, she’s rowing and he’s coaching, and a sudden storm comes up. Alan doesn’t handle it very well. This was difficult for me because it is a memory of what happened when I was coaching.



YABC:    What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?

Keep pursuing your dreams. Don’t give up. And if the dream slips by you, for whatever reason, there will be another dream waiting for you. Dreams turn into goals.  I was a rower, wanted to make the Olympic team, and I didn’t. BUT now I write about sports.  One thing led to another. Pursue your passion.

YABC:   What advice do you have for new writers? 

 Keep writing. Don’t give up. Listen to advice. And edit, edit, edit. That first draft is a working draft. It needs to be molded. Don’t be afraid to throw out your most beautiful sentence if it doesn’t push the plot ahead. I could go on, but this is enough. I love talking about writing with teens and adults. Yes, it’s my passion.



YABC:   Is there anything that you would like to add?

This may seem as if it is a sports book and just for athletes…but it’s not. It is a book about going after a goal and a dream no matter what the obstacles. It’s about pursuing your passion. All teens can get something from this book. It’s also about the layers of grief.




When You Least Expect It

Author: Lorna Schultz Nicholson

Publisher: Red Deer Press

 Publish Date: November 20th, 2021





Four winners will receive an signed copy of When You Least Expect It (Lorna Schultz Nicholson) ~ (US/CAN Only)


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5 thoughts on “Author Chat & Giveaway: When You Least Expect It (Lorna Schultz Nicholson) ~ US/CAN Only”

  1. Kelly McCreery says:

    This sounds like such a good book! I love hearing about new to me authors, and this story sounds right up my alley! Can’t wait to pick it up!

  2. Kathleen Karp says:

    I love the cover – it’s graphic and simple but completely eye-catching. This book sounds amazing; I grew up outside Boston and was always fascinated by crew/rowing, and this sounds like it will also have some great character-driven drama!

  3. Lorna Schultz Nicholson says:

    I rowed in Boston, years ago, in the Head of the Charles regatta. My favourite regatta, and an amazing city.
    I hope you enjoy the novel.

  4. Lorna Schultz Nicholson says:

    I hope you enjoy the novel. Thanks for picking it up. I look forward to hearing your comments!

  5. Danielle Hammelef says:

    The cover is simple and eye-catching. This book sounds emotional and fun to read.

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