Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Most Important Thing I’ve Ever Learned by Lee Edelstein and Giveaway!

Brought to you by TLC Book Tours...

Chin music. A 95 mile-per-hour fastball thrown at a hitter's chin—an instant's difference between disrupting the batter's concentration and hitting him in the head. As a metaphor in life, chin music is the split second when destinies are altered and all of our certainties about who we are change forever.

Sixteen-year-old Ryan Buck is a talented athlete who was fortunate to escape with minor injuries from the horrific car crash that devastated his family. But factor in the suffocating guilt and the recurring nightmare that plagues him, and maybe Ryan wasn't so lucky after all. Two and a half years and countless hours of therapy later, Ryan still can't remember a thing about the accident and it's making for agonizingly slow progress. But everything changes when his mom, Susan, is forced to sell the old Babe Ruth artifacts that have been in the family for years.

Enter Sam Frank, a Yoda-like figure, who saves Susan from making a costly mistake. Sam's friendship and knowledge provides the support Susan needs to investigate a secret that has plagued her family for generations the remarkable encounter between her great grandmother Zel and the immortal Yankee slugger. As Ryan slowly makes progress, baseball becomes an important outlet, emotionally and physically. When his superior talent for the sport is recognized, a chance at the major leagues becomes a reality, leaving Susan torn between her excitement at Ryan's prospects and protecting her family from the truth that will turn their world upside down. When the facts emerge, it becomes a story with startling implications for the Buck family, baseball, and sports fans across America.

At once a moving story about a troubled kid's dream of making it in baseball and the struggles of a Mom suddenly alone, trying to do the best for her family, Chin Music will leave readers cheering for more.

The Most Valuable Lesson

The most important thing I've ever learned? Pursue your dreams. This is the guiding principle that I have followed since I emerged from my teen years and seriously started to think about who I wanted to be and what, in my heart, I would like to accomplish. While the answers to those very serious questions weren’t at all clear to me, it dawned on me that, at the end of the day, I didn’t want to look back on my life and feel that I never gave it a shot, took the leap, or reached for my own personal star.

Of course, few guiding principles stand by themselves, mine being no exception. There is a natural corollary to “Pursue your dreams” and that is “Achieve your dreams”. The steps between the two, I have learned, are critically important:

  • Prepare. Prepare yourself the very best you can. Learn your trade, practice your art. Know what you don’t know and learn from those who do.
  • Overcome fear. Fear is debilitating. Don’t be afraid to fail; all of us do. Avoid the trap of allowing fear to prevent you from dreaming your dreams and setting out to achieve them.
  • Take a leap of faith. After all is said and done, after all the preparation and positive thinking, achieving your dreams ultimately requires a leap of faith, for there never are guarantees. In this life, there is nothing owed to us.
  • Never Give Up. Adversity lurks. It will test you more than once and, in unexpected ways. Be tenacious in the face of setbacks.
Notice that my guiding principle is in the plural—Pursue your dreams—rather than Pursue your dream. My life is not static and my aspirations have evolved. Some dreams are forever, some have came upon me as I reached one of life’s crossroads. We’re leading longer, more productive lives. We need more than one dream.

There are four dreams of significance that I have aspired to in my adult life:

  1. Find a woman to love and share my life with.
  2. Build a family of happy, healthy children who feel good about themselves.
  3. Create a successful business consistent with values that are important to me. Meet or exceed my clients’ and employees’ expectations and do it profitably.
  4. Write a story that speaks to our humanity; that which is within us that wills us to overcome the adversity that, sooner or later, we all must contend with. Hopefully, a story that readers can find meaning in long after I am gone.
Each of the first three dreams took hard work, trial and error, persistence, overcoming fear, and, ultimately, a leap of faith. It took staring down adversity, too. That I had the good fortune to achieve all three—one of them sadly and unexpectedly twice—gives me a great sense of fulfillment.

It remains to be seen if I achieve my fourth dream. My novel, Chin Music, like all of my dreams, took tremendous preparation and effort. Fear of failure raised its ugly head on a regular basis. It took a giant leap of faith to move across largely unchartered terrain. But I didn’t give up—a basic survival skill for an author—and I gave it my best. Now it is up to you, the reader, to determine if the story I’ve spun brings pleasure and meaning to you.

So, pursue your dreams. Pursue them relentlessly. Good things can happen!

About the Author

Lee Edelstein was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where his love of baseball was kindled by his Dad, an ardent Dodger fan.

Lee started writing short stories in college but only for family and friends. Though he loved writing, Lee never seriously thought about it as a career. He enjoyed business, too, and it seemed to be a far more reliable way to make a living. As it turned out, Lee was much better at business than playing baseball. He was good enough that he was able to retire and pursue his other passion.

Chin Music is his first novel and he is hard at work on his second, Mound Music.


Thank you so much for a beautiful and uplifting post today, Lee! It was wonderful having you over at Books à la Mode.

Readers, Lee has been generous enough to offer a print copy of Chin Music to one lucky commenter today. To enter, all you have to do tell us dreams that you've pursued or want to pursue in this lifetime, then fill out the Rafflecopter form below :) For me personally, it would be to write a novel. I've wanted to do that since I was ten years old or so? It's been a while. I worked furiously on fiction writing from then until the first couple years of high school, but took a break because of the school/college workload. While I do have the passion and skill, I lack the commitment and time, which is something I definitely need to work on if I want to get anything accomplished. Personality flaw, so be it! I swear I'll start pursuing my dream once I can settle *or so she says*. What's your dream?
Rules and Disclosure:
Giveaway ends March 28th at 11.59 (your time).
Open to US/CAN residents only. Sorry, international folks! Check out my sidebar for all the current giveaways that are open worldwide.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.
I am in no way responsible for the prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Plus, you get extra entries ;)
Good luck!