The Foxhole Court

The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic
Contemporary, Older YA/College Sports
January 15, 2013 from Smashwords Edition

Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, he’s fast, he’s got a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher.

Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn’t need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed.

But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team. One of Neil’s new teammates is a friend from his old life, and Neil can’t walk away from him a second time. Neil has survived the last eight years by running. Maybe he’s finally found someone and something worth fighting for.

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Exy is a huge thing in this trilogy, as it is the center and connection in all of the characters lives, so I’ll give you the lowdown on the sport.

exy
(Image Source)

Exy is a sport played on a soccer-sized court that has walls and ceilings made of Plexiglas. It is “an evolved sort of lacrosse with the violence of ice hockey.” A team consists of six players, each of which has a racquet with varyind depths of netting. To score, the players must shoot the ball at the goal, a rectangle marked on the shorter wall. The goal will light up in red if it has been hit. The objective of the game is to out-score one’s opponents.

Six players per team are allowed on the court at a time. Generally speaking, this allows for two strikers, a dealer, two backliners, and the goalkeeper. The goalkeepers is an optional position, however, a manager may sacrifice the goal for an extra player under certain circumstances. The minimum size for an NCAA team is nine players. In theory, this allows for six on-court players and a sub for each position save goalkeeper.

[Read the authors full explanation of Exy on her website here!]

There are four positions:

  • Striker: The striker is offense and plays to score. They start the game on the half-court line. Strikers on the serving team start on the inside; strikers for the defending team are on the outside.
  • Offensive Dealer: The dealer serves and is the thereafter the middleman; dealers have the option to specialize as offense or defense and can play as an extra striker or backliner depending on how the game is going. Dealers start on the first/far-court lines.
  • Backliner: The backliner is defense and protects the goal. Backliners start on the first/far-court lines.
  • Goalkeeper: The goalkeeper guards the goal.

The equipment’s needed are:

  • racquet
  • ball
  • helmet
  • armor

AKA my fox children: the Exy team of Palmetto State University.

In their first year, Palmetto State refused to sign any female players Coach Wymack asked for. After their disastrous first season, he was allowed to sign the three women and made Danielle captain – the first female team captain in NCAA Class I Exy. GO LADIES!!!

  • Coach Wymack
  • Neil Josten
  • Andrew Minyard
  • Kevin Day
  • Danielle Wilds
  • Renee Walker
  • Aaron Minyard
  • Allison Reynolds
  • Matt Boyd
  • Nicky Hemmick
  • Seth Gordon

“It sounded like a dream; it tasted like damnation.”

–Nora Sakavic, The Foxhole Court

“Hope was a dangerous, disquieting thing, but he thought perhaps he liked it.”

–Nora Sakavic, The Foxhole Court

“Neil couldn’t remember what it felt like to have someone hold him up. It was terrifying and liberating all at once. His life was out of his control now; he was giving it to Andrew and hoping Andrew would keep it safe.”

–Nora Sakavic, The Foxhole Court

“It’s not the world that’s cruel. It’s the people in it.”

–Nora Sakavic, The Foxhole Court

Sagittarius & barista. Army brat & Japanophile. Sex-repulsed aro-ace. Love-hate relationship with writing; love-love relationship with alcohol. You gotta work for your happy ending around here.

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Swept Off My Feet

Swept Off My Feet by Ines Bautista-Yao
Young Adult Contemporary Romance, Filipino Lit, Sports
September 19, 2017

Why my life sucks
by Geri Lazaro

1. My dad left when I was a kid.
2. My mom is in love (insert eye roll).
3. With a guy who is like 10 years younger than her!
4. My friends think he’s hot. (Gross)
5. I love ballet but our dance studio has a leak and we have to dance in this smelly studio that doubles as an aikido dojo.
6. There’s this Dojo guy who thinks the studio belongs to him.
7. Friends think Dojo guy is cute. (Ew.) (Okay, objectively maybe but still, ew.)
8. I’m failing algebra.
9. Need to quit either basketball or ballet. Or both.
10. Dojo guy keeps showing up! (Fine, he does aikido in the same building but whatever.)
11. Dojo guy is asking me to dance with him. And maybe he is as cute as my friends say.
12. I don’t know what to do anymore!

The main characters Geri and Bas and their friends are into a few sport activities, which plays an integral part of their lives and story.

 

  • Geri plays basketball, but her passion is ballet. You could feel her passion emanating from the page.
  • Geri and Bas can ball against each other in some healthy one-one-one competition. (spoiler alert: Geri won! Bas was winded, but he tried.)
  • Geri having to choose between her two loves: ballet and basketball, because her grades are suffering. This was a true depiction of what some student athletes face when juggling school with their activities.
  • They integrated ballet with aikido for Bas’s performance. This concept sounded pretty cool, and I wish that we could actually see how it looks like.
  • Accurate portrayal teenage pains: navigating through school, home life, after school activities, friendships, life decisions, and emotions they’ve never felt before. It was an all too familiar nostalgic feeling.
  • Tight-knit family dynamic, though not perfect nor typically traditional.
  • Lessons of forgiveness in a multitude of ways.
  • Challenges the asian academic excellence/straight A’s stereotype. Geri struggled with math, and her working on bringing her grade up was a huge part of the story. It showed that no, asians are not automatically/effortlessly smart in every single subject. I related to her a lot because, like Geri, I too am Filipino who sucks at math. It was always my least favorite subject. Still is.
  • Michael Jordan and Steph Curry idolization and appreciation. (I might be biased about Steph Curry as a Bay Area girl)

Salamat = thank you
Kuya = term of respect for older male relatives
Lola = grandma
Yaya = nanny
Naku = no direct translation; it’s used as an expression of exasperation or frustration
Balikbayan = a box filled with stuff that one ships back home to Philippines
Merienda = light meal or snack

I loved watching women’s sports. There was something so empowering about seeing girls do what many people tell us we can’t or shouldn’t be doing.

–Ines Bautista-Yao, Swept Off My Feet (pg. 53)

I knew what I had to do to hit the goals I set for myself. I could see where I wanted to take myself.

–Ines Bautista-Yao, Swept Off My Feet (pg. 62)

“[Y]ou dance like you’re on air, and you play like you’re on fire.”

–Ines Bautista-Yao, Swept Off My Feet (pg. 82)

When you’re used to building a thick layer of granite around your feelings, it isn’t easy to chip away at it to reveal the soft, vulnerable rawness underneath.

–Ines Bautista-Yao, Swept Off My Feet (pg. 110)

The sensei introduced us, saying this was Bas’s idea and that he wanted to do something different to show how aikido had changed his life. My eyes flew open and I stared at him. “I didn’t know that’s why we’re doing this.”

He smiled at me, all the earlier tension gone, as if he had made peace with the performance in the few seconds I had my eyes closed. “That’s why there’s no one else I want to dance with but you.”

–Ines Bautista-Yao, Swept Off My Feet (pg. 134)

It didn’t matter if my dad had broken my heart. Because even if he had flown away, even if he had to leave us to find himself, I could forgive him. I could move on. And I could let go of the fear that all boys were going to hurt me the way he did.

–Ines Bautista-Yao, Swept Off My Feet (pg. 136)

“How are we going to get to your car now?” I glanced down at my ballet shoes. “My feet will get soaked!”

“I’ll carry you.” Bas smirked.

“I don’t think so.”

“I’ll find an umbrella. Maybe you can ride on my back?”

“This isn’t a Korean drama, Bas.”

–Ines Bautista-Yao, Swept Off My Feet (pg. 138)

That response was absolute gold. I actually LOL’d.

“I never thought the inside of your head was such a war zone.”

“You didn’t know what you were getting into.”

“Doesn’t mean I still don’t want to be here.” He took my clammy hand in his warm one. “I never wanted to be anywhere else, Geri, since the first time I saw you dance.”

–Ines Bautista-Yao, Swept Off My Feet (pg. 146)


Bas is swoon-worthy.

Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, Only A Kiss, and When Sparks Fly. She has also written several short stories. Among them are “Plain Vanilla,” “Flashbacks and Echoes” which is part of a compilation called All is Wanting, “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival, and “ ings I’ll Never Say,” part of the Summit Books anthology Coming of Age.

She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher. She is also a wife and mom and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at http://www. theeverydayprojectblog.com. Author Project (http://theeverydayprojectblog.com/inesbautistayao-author/) is a section in her blog devoted to the stories in her head.

She lives in the Philippines with her husband and two little girls. She posts on Instagram and tweets @inesbyao and her author page is facebook.com/inesbautistayao. Her e-books are available on Amazon and Buqo.ph.

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Love And Other Questionable Choices

Love and Other Questionable Choices by Chi Yu Rodriguez
Contemporary Romance, Filipino Lit, Short Story Collection, LGBTQ+
April 28, 2018

Rae and JR choose to begin, taking that final step into something new.

Rachel and Geoffrey choose to give in, claiming what they’ve always wanted and running with it.

Punky and Jazz choose to accept, acknowledging that they’re different and that’s okay.

Some choices leave a small imprint in our lives, a little push, a little nudge. While some… can turn our worlds upside down.

Where will their choices take them?

Manila, Philippines

(Image Source)

Misua

A Chinese soup, consisting of variety of salted noodles made of wheat flour and often times served with ground pork.

(Image Source)

Ate = sister
Kuya = brother
Tita = auntie

Jazz carefully reached out for the lightest touch of Punky’s puffed cheeks. It was barely there, like a butterfly’s kiss, but Jazz felt like there were tiny sparks under her fingertips as she gently stroked Punky’s jaw.

She noticed a mole under the tip of Punky’s nose. It made her smile and reminded her of the time Punky talked about moles being cute.

–Chi Yu Rodriguez, Five Inches Below the Knee, Love and Other Questionable Choices (Loc 770)

Seeing how Punky was looking at her in that moment, reassuring her that they were friends, scared Jazz instead of comforting her. It made her feel like her heart was about to detach from her chest slide up her throat, and come out of her mouth in the form of the words: But I like you, Punky.

–Chi Yu Rodriguez, Five Inches Below the Knee, Love and Other Questionable Choices (Loc 835)


Chi Yu Rodriguez has many feelings. Sometimes these feelings find their way to paper in the form of short stories and fiction online. Sometimes they don’t come out at all and end up as unresolved sexual tension or terrible internal angst.

She prefers making imaginary people go through these feelings for her pleasure. Her muses hate her for it, and they repay her by being forever fickle.

She wrestles with them in her head everyday.

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