Okay kiddos. We’ve got something a bit different in store for you today. I was just on the verge of starting a new blog post when I found out a friend of mine was releasing a new book today. So now she’s an even better friend because she got me out of writing a blog post. Say hello to my new best friend, Lisa Nowak.

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I met Lisa by freak chance. She was doing some research for a character in a book she was working on. That character just so happened to be a trucker. Well, apparently Google’s algorithms were screwed up that day because she somehow landed on my blog. We struck up an email conversation and I quickly discovered Lisa’s great sense of humor. And because of that, I bought the first book in this series, Running Wide Open.

But wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s let Lisa tell you what these two books are about and then I’ll come back and give you my thoughts.

Getting Sideways: Book 2 in the Full Throttle Series

Getting shipped off to live with his uncle Race was the best thing that ever happened to fifteen-year-old Cody. Then a wreck at the speedway nearly ruined everything. Cody’s making every effort to get his life back on track—writing for the school paper, searching for the perfect girlfriend, and counting the days until he gets his drivers’ license—but there’s no escaping the nightmares that haunt him.

A chance to build his own car seems like the perfect distraction. Until Cody realizes he’ll have to live up to Race’s legendary status. But that’s the least of his worries, considering he doesn’t have his dad’s permission. All he has to do is the impossible: keep Race from discovering his lie until he can convince his dad that racing’s safe.

Yeah, sure. That’ll be easy.

Haven’t read the first book? Running Wide Open is on sale now for 99 cents.

Running Wide Open: Book 1 in the Full Throttle Series

Cody Everett has a temper as hot as the flashpoint of racing fuel, and it’s landed him at his uncle’s trailer, a last-chance home before military school. But how can he take the guy seriously when he calls himself Race, eats Twinkies for breakfast, and pals around with rednecks who drive in circles every Saturday night?

What Cody doesn’t expect is for the arrangement to work. Or for Race to become the friend and mentor he’s been looking for all his life. But just as Cody begins to settle in and get a handle on his supercharged temper, a crisis sends his life spinning out of control. Everything he’s come to care about is threatened, and he has to choose between falling back on his old, familiar anger or stepping up to prove his loyalty to the only person he’s ever dared to trust.

Praise for Running Wide Open:

“It doesn’t matter if you are a racing fan or not, Running Wide Open will captivate you and capture your heart.” – Cari J, Amazon reviewer

“The roar of engines practically explodes off the page in this compelling, heart-thumping debut. Cody Everett is a straight-shooter with attitude, smarts, and whip-cracking wit; he doesn’t pull any punches, and neither does author Lisa Nowak. The collision of Cody and the world of stock car racing makes for a great story, one of the best I’ve read in a long time. Running Wide Open is a book not to be missed.” – Christine Fletcher, author of Tallulah Falls and Ten Cents a Dance

“The racing is easy to understand and does not get in the way of a rattling good story. I still couldn’t put it down on a re-read.” – Elisabeth Miles, Amazon reviewer

“We race stock cars during the summer and even though this is a recommended read for Young Adults, we are seniors and enjoyed every page. We can hardly wait for the sequel to come out. MUST READING!” – Maxci Jermann, Barnes and Noble reviewer

“I say read this book, it’s fun, it’s beautiful, it’s a very cool read that will give you a feel-good state of mind. Awesome read.” – L.E.Olteano, Butterfly-o-meter Books

Author Bio:

In addition to being a YA author, Lisa Nowak is a retired amateur stock car racer, an accomplished cat whisperer, and a professional smartass. She writes coming-of-age books about kids in hard luck situations who learn to appreciate their own value after finding mentors who love them for who they are. She enjoys dark chocolate and stout beer and constantly works toward employing wei wu wei in her life, all the while realizing that the struggle itself is an oxymoron.

Lisa has no spare time, but if she did she’d use it to tend to her expansive perennial garden, watch medical dramas, take long walks after dark, and teach her cats to play poker. For those of you who might be wondering, she is not, and has never been, a diaper-wearing astronaut. She lives in Milwaukie, Oregon, with her husband, four feline companions, and two giant sequoias.

Connect with Lisa online:

Thanks Lisa. Now first, you peeps need to understand that I’m not much on Fiction. That’s The Evil Overlord’s department. I enjoy listening to Fictional audiobooks sometimes, but by and large, I stick to Non-Fiction. I figure if I’m going to take the time to read a book, I may as well be learning something while I’m doing it. Still, Lisa’s witty emails had caused me a few gut laughs, so I figured, what the heck; I’ll give it a shot. Me being a tightwad and all, it helped that the e-book version of Running Wide Open was only 99¢.

Well, I have to tell you. I don’t regret my massive outlay of cash one little bit. I was amused throughout and always looked forward to the next time I could get back to the book. This being a YA (Young Adult) book, I wasn’t expecting subject matter that made me ponder the meaning of life. Stuff like that hurts my brain too much anyway. What I got was a book with interesting characters, great dialogue, and a lot of laughs.

I have to admit that Cody got on my nerves a few times. So much so that I found myself wanting to reach into the book to wring his scrawny little neck. Then again, he’s a teenager so I guess that’s natural, right? I mean, who hasn’t wanted to strangle a teenager at least once in their life? Just the fact that I had that strong of an emotion about a fictional character is a testament to Lisa’s writing. Cody wasn’t always choke-worthy though. His quick wit and smart aleck attitude earned him some brownie points in my book. Another thing I loved about Cody’s character was his choice of shirts. He was always wearing a tee-shirt with some funny little saying on it. They never failed to get a chuckle out of me.

Cody’s uncle, Race is probably the second coolest uncle in the world. Sorry Lisa, but I’m claiming the top spot in that category, despite what my nephews say. Race is the kind of guy you want to have as a best friend. As I turned the pages, I almost had to concede that he was a cooler uncle than me, but in the end my delusion held up. I still win. But only by a bumper.

What really made Running Wide Open a fun read was the banter that goes on between all the characters. Cody, Race, and some of the characters that hang out at the race track are as snarky as can be. And y’all know I love me some snark.

Perhaps the best praise I can give to Lisa Nowak’s writing is that I care about the characters enough that I’ve already bought Getting Sideways. And it was more than 99¢. Looks like Running Wide Open is still 99¢ too. So why don’t you good folks give it a shot and support an indie author. If you like it as much as I did, you can move right into Getting Sideways. If not, well, you’ve only wasted 99¢. And heck, even I wouldn’t whine for more than a week or two for losing 99¢.

Photo by Boay kely via Flickr

About the Author
I'm a 22-year truck driver with an interest in tech stuff. I do the Trucker Dump podcast and blog, which is all about life as a trucker. I have also written two trucking books, "Trucking Life" and "How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job."
7 comments on “TD79: Book Review: Getting Sideways: A New Book By Lisa Nowak
  1. Lisa Nowak says:

    Thanks for featuring me, Todd! It looks like you wound up writing plenty of that blog post anyway. 🙂 I’m so glad you liked the characters and the humor. I hope you enjoy Getting Sideways. I mean the book, not on the highway.

    1. Todd McCann says:

      See what I mean, folks? Lisa Nowak, ladies and gentlemen. She’ll be here all week.

  2. Can’t wait to read! Just bought the first book for my Nook!

    1. Lisa Nowak says:

      Thanks, Pamela. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

      1. Lisa – I am!! Definitely will be buying the other sequel!

  3. Rose L says:

    I watched the birth of Lisa’s book and have seen it mature. I am so proud of my friend, Lisa, and recommend her book to everyone! Know a teen? Buy them the book as a stocking stuffer! They will loe it!

    1. Todd McCann says:

      I wholeheartedly agree.

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