Triple Love ScoreBy Brandi Megan GranettSynopsisWhat happens when you stop playing games?Miranda Shane lives a quiet life among books and letters as a professor in a small upstate town. When the playing-by-the-rules poet throws out convention and begins to use a Scrabble board instead of paper to write, she sets off a chain of events that rattles her carefully planned world.Her awakening propels her to take risks and seize chances she previously let slip by, including a game-changing offer from the man she let slip away. But when the revelation of an affair with a graduate student threatens the new life Miranda created, she is forced to decide between love or poetry.Publisher: Wyatt-Mackenzie – Sept. 1, 2016
"An entertaining romance novel with an engrossing plot, a conflicted heroine, and a couple of surprising, poignant takeaways."— Kirkus ReviewsWhat readers are saying . . .
“Combustible romance and fame slather a sexy gloss over more complex issues of familial love and true accomplishment for Granett’'s cast of endearing characters. An entertaining and perceptive story of our times.”
— Kathryn Craft, award-winning author of The Far End Of Happy and The Art Of Falling
“Brandi Megan Granett’s beautifully written debut novel, full of twists, turns and truths about the ups and downs of life, had me spellbound from the very first page. Triple Love Score proves that, in matters of the heart—as in Scrabble—when you get it right, it’s nothing short of poetry.” — Kristy Woodson Harvey, author of Dear Carolina and Lies and Other Acts of Love
“A charming mash-up of viral poetry, relatable characters, and slow-simmering romance. Granett explores how doing the unexpected might lead to what you had always wanted.” — Amy E. Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake and Luck, Love & Lemon Pie
“Triple Love Score is a wonderful love story and a novel with such intriguing twists and turns that it kept me turning those pages until the very end! A fun, unique read.” — Anne Girard, author of Platinum Doll
"Women seeking a solid story of a poetry professor's awakening will find Triple Love Score a delightful romp through options Miranda never realized she had." — Midwest Review of Books
“Like tiles on a Scrabble board, Granett's characters unfold and connect and diverge again. Readers will be spellbound as they follow Poetry Professor Miranda Shane's unlikely adventures - ones that take her across the country and as far away as Istanbul and France - as her long-held dreams concerning love and career are both challenged and re-defined.” — Amy Impellizzeri, author of Lemongrass Hope
“A romantic pleasure with delightfully unique characters and a plot that takes you on an unexpected journey. Granett has a clear writing style that brings each scene to life and makes for a tremendously engaging read. As a fan of loveand poetry, I highly recommend it!”— Anita Hughes, author of Santorini Sunsets
“A love story that is on one hand sweet, but on the other full of surprises and intrigue, set against the background of competitive…Scrabble? It sounds entirely unlikely but this is exactly what Granett has spelled out in a slim novel that deserves kudos (using that ‘k’) and could easily become a guilty pleasure.” — Jacquelyn Mitchard, author The Deep End of the Ocean
Brandi Megan Granett is an author, online English professor, and private writing mentor. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University, Wales, an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College, a Masters in Adult Education with an emphasis on Distance Education from Penn State University, and her BA from the University of Florida.Granett is the author of My Intended (William Morrow, 2000). Her short fiction has appeared in Pebble Lake Review, Folio, Pleiades and other literary magazines, and is collected in the volume Cars and Other Things That Get Around. She also writes an author interview series for the Huffington Post.When she is not writing or teaching or mothering, she is honing her archery skills. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and daughter.Author Social Media LinksWebsite: www.brandigranett.com/Facebook: Brandi Megan Granett WriterTwitter: @brandigranettInstagram: mrsgranettGoodreads: Brandi Megan GranettPurchase Links
Q. What inspires your writing?A. I am inspired by “what if.” I like to imagine what can happen next. When I wrote Triple Love Score, I imagined what would it be like if you could choose your heart’s desire. Miranda faces something she always longed for, but now that it is being offered to her—is it something she still wants?Q. What is your favorite thing about being a writer?A. I love creating new characters. I love thinking about who they are and seeing the world through their eyes. When Miranda suddenly took charge of her life, telling a man in her life to “put out or get out,” I found myself surprised, and I loved it!Q. What is the toughest part of being a writer?A. I find the business side of things to be the toughest part of writing. In addition to writing, I’m a competitive archer. If I want to do well in a tournament, I know exactly what effort I need to expend to be competitive and what the rules of any given match are. In the business side of publishing, the “what to do” is a lot more ambiguous. Publishing has changed so much in the last ten years, and I am not sure anyone knows what the rules are.Q. If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?A. If I couldn’t be a writer, I would probably focus completely on archery. Luckily, for now, I get to do both! My next novel, Straight Shooter, even features archery, so I am finding more ways to combine both.Q. What would the story of your life be titled?A. Pluck. It covers how I like to approach the world and has echoes of plucking the bowstring!Q. What is your favorite book of all time?A. This is such a tough question. A book I return to and enjoy greatly is Feast of Love by Charles Baxter. I love how Baxter builds the story from multiple points of view and tackles the subject of love using literary fiction. It is a model for what I want to do in my own work.Q. Which character from ANY book are you most like?A. I’d like to be a character in an Alice Munro short story or maybe an Ann Beattie short story. I imagine someone with a glittering bracelet doing dishes to clean up after a dinner party. But that is who I would like to be, maybe not who I am!Q. Which character from all of your books are you most like?A. What a great question! I like to think that each of my characters contains some part of me. In Triple Love Score, Miranda has my creative abilities. But Lynn shares my joy and desire to experience the world and Scott shares my fears about the world.Q. Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?A. I would love to spend a weekend inside a Carl Hiassen book. He sets his books in Florida, and I would love to relax in the Keys or drive along the inter-coastal waterway with strains of Jimmy Buffett filtering in over the radio.Q. What do you want to be remembered for 100 years from now?A. I’d like to be remembered as a great teacher. I hope there are books on shelves where my name appears in the acknowledgement section rather than just on the cover page.Q. What is your favorite season?A. Late Spring! It is a beautiful time to be outside, and everything just feels possible when the grass is greening up and all the leaves come back on the trees.Q. What inspired your book cover(s)? Or what is your favorite book cover and why?A. Scrabble! For Triple Love Score, my publisher and I worked to create a cover that captured the time of year of the novel and Miranda’s use of the Scrabble board to create her poems. Hasbro nixed our first cover, and now after seeing the second one, I’m glad they did! My friend, Amy E. Reichert’s book, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake, has the most excellent cover; it is a chalkboard with a beautiful cake front and center. It really draws you in.Q. Are you working on something new?A. I’m working on a novel called Straight Shooter. I have always wanted to own a campground or summer camp; in this novel, I explore what it might mean to have your dream life offered to you. What would it take to accept it? It also let me write about archery!Q. Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?A. Thank you for having me on your blog, Emily! And thank you to your readers! I am so looking forward to sharing Miranda and her journey with others.
Triple Love Score
Brandi Megan Granett
Even at twelve years old, Miranda knew better than to dissuade her mother from orchestrating her own funeral.
"So," Louise began, "you will wear the brown dress. Not the black. You are too young for black. Anita will iron it for you and make sure you have fresh hose. Daddy, luckily, already wears the right suit. The town car will come for you. Yes, you will sit in the back. Don't even ask to ride up front. The car will take you to the church. The big one, downtown, the one my mother loved. I didn't like it there except for the music. I loved the organ and the choir. So that's what it will be. All music. No sense in your father standing up there to speak. I couldn't do that to him." Her mother’s voice quavered. She could pretend to be okay with dying for only so long.
Miranda, perched on the bow window seat of her parents’ bedroom, remained silent. There was no sense in talking. Her mother valued knowledge, concrete plans, and making sure everyone knew exactly what to expect.
Louise leaned back against the floral print chaise lounge and gasped for breath before continuing. She picked up the gold chain she wore around her neck. Her engagement ring, a single emerald cut diamond, hung from the chain, and caught the light. Cancer robbed her mother of the simplest of things like wearing this ring; all of her joints swelled from the treatment while everything else shrunk. The ring at once could not fit and could not hold. Louise let the ring dangle in front of her for a moment before tucking it back into her blouse. Miranda stroked the Hermes scarf on her mother’s head.
"Randa," she said, "it makes me feel better to know you are prepared. Tell me which dress you will wear."
Miranda knew what the doctors said and didn't argue. Her mother smelled like death, sickly sweet like overripe fruit. Her thick hair, a chestnut brown and wavy, like Miranda’s own, abandoned her shortly after the first treatments. Her arms could barely manage to lift a full glass of water. And Miranda's mother was always right. If Louise said knowing about the funeral would make it better, it would.
The funeral turned out as planned. The brown dress, which Anita ironed. The car where she sat next to her father. The big church downtown. But her mother hadn't mentioned the flowers. The smell of them: waxy, sweet, green. Yet the scent of their wilting decay hung in the air, too. Miranda clung to her father’s side as he moved up the crowded aisles. Her parents, both lawyers and popular ones at that, served on committees, argued cases, and taught at the law school. Throngs of people came to say goodbye. Each bent low and tried to look Miranda in the eye, but she couldn't match their gaze. Their eyes ringed red from tears didn’t mirror her own grief. They hadn't known what was coming; they hadn't sat in that sunny room and discussed death and funerals with her mother.Miranda spent her own tears long before the funeral.
Finally, they made their way through the crowd to the front where Linden, Bunny, and Scott sat. Bunny, her mother's best friend, knew the drill. Bunny hired the organist and booked the church. Linden arranged the car service. Even though they weren't related, they were family. Miranda slid over next to Scott as she always did. He was her brother and best friend rolled into one. He would play video games with her and sometimes let her win or picked her for his manhunt team. They watched movies together and re-enacted scenes for their parents’ applause. They took turns reading to each other on long car rides to the shore where they would swim and play Frisbee while their parents perfected the margarita with many failed but consumed batches. But today wasn’t like that. Miranda suspected no day would ever be like that again.
Of course, they sat in the front pew. Miranda knew that. Her mother stressed that point. “I know you don’t like being front and center, my girl,” she said, petting Miranda’s hair, then sun-streaked from the summer spent by the pool watching her mother try and fail each day to swim like she used to. “People expect you up there. Funerals are for everyone, not just the family. Try to remember that.”
But in the front row, they were closer to the flowers. And their smell. It began to stick to the back of her throat and reach down deep into her lungs. Her chest constricted. The Reverend signaled for everyone to stand. The weight of this day and all the days of her mother’s illness pressed down upon her. Miranda went to move, but her legs gave out from under her just as the thunderous noise from the organ began. She saw her father’s gaze transfixed on the cross over the altar and was grateful he didn’t see her falter. She tried again to stand. This time a hand around her waist lifted her. Scott looked down at her, his own eyes brimmed with tears. He lifted her up and then took her hand, pulling her arm close to his. He kept his arm tensed and flexed. She leaned into him, gripping his fingers so tightly that the knuckles on both their hands turned white. Embarrassed, she moved to let go.
“No,” he whispered, squeezing her fingers tightly back. He didn’t let go. He kept her upright for the entire service of music and through all the goodbyes in the foyer of the church. He held her hand until the driver opened the door to the town car and ushered her inside.
“Thank you,” was all she said to him.
He only nodded in reply.