My Life With Books will be on a summer sabbatical and will return in October 2013.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Liz Reinhardt author of Forgiving Trinity Guest Post, Giveaway & Blog Tour

Jennifer was kind enough to ask my about my teenage shenanigans! First of all, let’s raise a toast to the glorious beauty of that word: shenanigans! Doesn’t that make you want to get into trouble?!

Growing up, I was a lanky kid with bad vision, a book addiction, and an overbearing mother who had, herself, gotten into so many shenanigans she knew every trick in the Shenanigan Handbook! Every single trick.

So I got away with NOTHING! Not a sneak out. Not a goosey night. Not a tiny tad of criminal mischief. Nothing at all.

You know how they say girls tend to fall in love with guys like their fathers? Well, I fell in love with a boy after my mother’s rebellious, trouble-making heart. I met him at the tail-end of the Reign of Terror he and his cousins let loose on our county. And my honors-classes-taking, hard-working, college girl heart was intrigued.

Intrigued by the tattoos, one completed when he was only sixteen and lied to the artist to get it done.

Intrigued by a tongue ring so large and clunky it chipped some of his teeth (and was also gotten illegally and resulted in an infected tongue).

Intrigued by a big, roaring truck with tires too high for any reasonable person to need, a smoking habit he decided to kick because I had a hard time breathing around him when he did it, and the kind of crazy camaraderie with bands of miscreant boys and men that happens in movies like The Boondock Saints and Social Distortion songs and inspires characters like Bender from The Breakfast Club.

Frank, my then-boyfriend-now-husband, had no curfew and hadn’t for years. He slept at any number of houses and crash pads, disappeared for weekends without letting his parents know, and kissed me until I agreed to join in with his fun. Kind of agreed.

One date in particular exposed me to the life of an aging Shenanigan-doer. See, in youth, things like lighting half the forest on fire, having a Copperhead bite the toe of your boot while you’re waiting to ambush some rival group of kids, or mouthing off to adults (including principles, police officers, and various authority figures) is all fun. Or seems fun.

Factor in a girlfriend with a raging conscience and a sense of proper human conduct, and even the baddest bad boy starts to squirm when various lifted trucks and jeeps start pulling into one-of-a-dozen’s aunts’ driveways minutes before a romantic dinner/movie date.

“What are your cousins and brothers doing here?” I asked, so ready to eat sushi and snuggle down for a good zombie flick but feeling, with a sinking dread, that I was going to have to forgo my California rolls and undead.

Frank shifted his eyes and took my hand, kissing my knuckles in that way he knew melted my heart. “Look, can you wait here for a few minutes? I’ll be back soon, alright? Don’t come out!”

Before I could agree or disagree, he had run to the front yard, crossed his arms over his chest, and was waiting while his cousin dragged his brother out of a truck and and over to Frank. His cousin gesticulated wildly, his motions jerky with excitement and, it looked like, rage. Frank kept glancing up at the window where I was waiting in his room, sure our date was over.

I watched girls pull out lawnchairs and offer them to Frank’s various male relatives, then sit, demure and cross-legged at their feet. There was a lot of stalking, pacing, phone calling, shouting, waving of arms, and clapping of backs.

It was a yard of shenanigan-experts preparing for a history-making shenanigan.

Frank finally came back to the room. “Don’t be mad,” he preambled, his hands up and his eyes wide. “I gotta stay here for a while.”

I got exactly one night a week off from the grind of college and work, and I wanted a romantic date!

“Am I allowed to ask why, or should I get you a lawnchair and a beer and sit at your feet until you send me to fetch something else?” I sneered.

“What?! No!” He gathered me up in his arms and held me close. “No. I want to be with you. Trust me. You have no idea. But my brother…”

“What? What happened?” I demanded, trying not to get woozy over the delicious smell of his aftershave.

“He got into it with this guy, and the guy is going to beat him up.”

I could tell from the tight set of his lips that this was the highly edited version of the story. “Okay. Call the police.”

He kissed me, an obvious attempt to divert my attention. Awesome. Wonderful. Not working. I turned my head away and he sighed. “Can’t.”


“Because my brother bashed his taillights in.”


“The guy talked smack to him. He had to.”

“Uh, no. No one has to smash anyone’s headlights in.”

“Taillights,” Frank corrected before he could stop himself.

“So, what are you going to do? Beat him up?”

“Yeah.” Frank looked relieved. Finally, I had seen the light!

“You’re going to wait for this guy to come here, then gang up on him and beat him up because he said something that made your brother decide to bash his taillights in?” I stared at Frank. He smiled.

“YES!” He leaned in to kiss me.

“Take me home, now,” I demanded.

Franks entire face fell. He argued. He cajoled. He begged, but it fell on deaf ears.

“Take me to dinner, or take me home. But I’m not sitting here and watching you idiots brawl, and I’m not waiting for the cops to come and arrest all of you for it.”

I couldn’t believe I was in this situation! I had waited my entire life to see shenanigans close up, and here I was, right in the thick of a big, broiling one, and I was calling uncle.

“Seriously?” Frank tested.

I gave him the face that communicated just how dead-set serious I was.

“Okay. Get your purse,” he said, and my eyes stung, because I knew I’d have to sit in my room alone all night. “Let’s go get some gross raw fish.”

“We’re going out?” I was shocked.

“I’m not choosing a backyard brawl over you,” he said.

“Frontyard,” I corrected. Then I kissed him. And thus began the bitter end of Frank’s long, twisted shenanigan history. All for a girl who wanted to see it fisthand, and wound up with no taste for it.

Well. Unless she was writing a book and needed knowledge about some kind of illicit/illegal activity. Frank makes an excellent fictional shenanigan source!

Thank you Liz for stopping by and sharing this sweet story I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. :)
If you would like to learn more about Liz you can find her on Twitter, Facebook and Blog.
Buy Forgiving Trninity at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Forgiving Trinity

At seventeen, Trinity McCabe has already made enough mistakes to fill a lifetime. Especially the one where she got high, drove a car, and almost killed a dog. And then let her friend Aidan take the blame.
She’s clean now and desperate to fix the messes she’s made, but first she’s going to have to get out of her pajamas.

As Trinity struggles to stop sleepwalking through life, she faces the painful, tingling sensation of waking up. It’s sometimes embarrassing (she really didn’t want to have lunch with Aidan’s mom), sometimes terrifying (group therapy is beyond intimidating), and sometimes, amazingly enough, pretty romantic (who’d have though Aidan would be such a great kisser?)
Giveaway time! 
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