Hi everybody! It’s Cynthia D’Alba here! Today I have the pleasure of hosting my very good friend, Leigh Duncan, here on ENLR. Leigh and I met way back in 2006 when I was just starting down the “author road.” She has been unfailingly supportive and helpful to me. Her next book, THE DADDY CATCH, is all about fishing but contains a serious message about our environment and the threats assailing it daily. I’ll tell you all something reallycool..The review of THE DADDY CATCH won book of the week at the Long and Short Reviews! ! AND…THE DADDY CATCH is a recommended read from DearAuthor.com WAY TO GO, LEIGH!
Without further ado, here’s Leigh….
When I was a kid growing up in Florida, camping was as much a part of my life as spending long summers on my grandmother’s farm. Most weekends, Mom would pack food and linens into a huge plywood chest that Dad loaded into the station wagon just before he hooked on the pop-up trailer. Then, it was off for a weekend of adventure. Swimming. Fishing. Hiking. S’mores and songs around a campfire at night. Bacon crisping in a frying pan on the Coleman stove in the mornings. One summer, we camped all the way from our home on the east coast of Florida to the Grand Canyon and back.
So, I grew up thinking I knew a thing or two about how to camp. Apparently, college and the early years of marriage robbed me of those memories because the first—and only—time hubby and I took our kids camping, disaster struck.
First, we borrowed a tent. One that came with a gazillion poles and pegs, but no instructions. By the time we drove five hours to a state park and selected a site that looked reasonable, dusk was turning to dark. Things got tense while we struggled with canvas and rope. So tense that our neighbors—the ones with the mammoth, air conditioned Winnebago—brought us a cake and offered to help out.
“Dinner first,” I protested. Lighting charcoal in the campsite grill, I plopped hamburger patties on the grate. Do you know what happens when ground beef heats up on a grill if the slats are too far apart? Just about the time the meat sizzles and a wonderful smell fills the air, just about the time your mouth waters, the patties collapse through the grate and into the fire. Out of two pounds of ground beef, we wound up with one lousy hamburger to share between four people. Good thing we had that cake!
That night, we learned why erecting a tent on a hill over an ant bed is a bad idea. At two AM we woke to find all four sleeping bags in an ant-infested pile at the bottom of the tent. We spent the rest of the night in the car.
Undaunted, hubby and I took our brood fishing the next morning. Which would have gone so much better if someone hadn’t slammed the car door, breaking the rod tips off all fishing poles. If the power boats that sped past our rented canoe hadn’t created so many waves that we all got sea sick. If there’d actually been fish to catch. And if I hadn’t been holding the heavy ice chest with one foot planted on the dock and one foot still in the boat when the canoe drifted away.
My glasses went overboard, making it impossible for me to help with the long drive home. On the plus side, I could no longer see the spiders in the public bathroom. Or maybe that was a minus, ‘cause one bit me.
Exploding bottles of fermented orange juice and an ice chest that leaked all over the car added to the general mayhem. This was capped off when our two kids refused to dip their toes, much less anything else, in the water at the swimming hole. They took one look at the roped off section of the lake and scampered back to the car, screaming that they wouldn’t swim in the same water where fish pooped. Even though we hadn’t seen a single fish all weekend.
We limped back home (literally, since a huge splinter led to an infected toe), vowing never to camp again. And since he had to buy all new fishing poles anyway, hubby replaced them with fly fishing gear. Done well, fly fishing looks like effortless poetry. All that grace doesn’t happen overnight, though. Before he learned to place the fly in the water and not—Whap!—up against my back, I considered buying one of those padded outfits fencers wear.
Now that he’s gotten really good at it, I appreciate this new sport of my husband’s. I even wrote about it. In The Daddy Catch, mysecond book for Harlequin American Romance, more than hooks and lines are in the lesson plans when an upcoming fishing trip with his new business partners forces thoracic surgeon Dan Hamilton to hire a feisty fly fishing guide. Their temperatures rise faster than mercury on a summer day…until Jess Cofer learns the handsome doctor has his eye on more than her curves—he plans to steal the land from under her feet.
Fortunately for Dan and Jess, their fly fishing trips generate a whole different kind of heat than my hot-under-the-collar camping experience. How about you? Have you tried camping? Or fly fishing? Do you have an interesting story about it you’d like to share?
This is Cyndi again…I read THE DADDY CATCH from it’s first incarnation to final draft. It is a wonderful, heart-warming read.
To buy THE DADDY CATCH, link on one of the following links:
B & N | Borders | Indiebound | Amazon | Powell’s | Harlequin