April 19, 2013

Blog Tour: One Shot Away by T. Glen Coughlin – Review, Guest Post and G1veaway

Hey guys!  Thanks for stopping by the blog for our Tour Stop for

One Shot Away by T. Glen Coughlin

presented by Kimset Book Touring!


Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

It’s senior year and the last season for Diggy, Jimmy, and Trevor on the Molly Pitcher High School varsity wrestling team. And they all want the same thing: to win.

But Diggy’s got to compete with his older brother’s legacy, and now he’s in danger of losing his spot to newcomer Trevor. Jimmy’s got the cops after him, and a girlfriend who looks down on him. Then Diggy does the unthinkable—he betrays a teammate. Can the team forgive him? And can he forgive himself?

Experience the pressure with Diggy, Jimmy, and Trevor as the stakes rise and loyalties splinter. They’ve got just one shot to make weight and get onto the mat. But pinning your opponent is about more than just winning.

add to goodreadsOne Shot Away by T. Glen Coughlin
Publication Date:  October 12, 2012
Publisher:  HarperTeen

Available for Purchase:
Chapter-Indigo | amazon | B&N | TBD | indiebound

I couldn’t find a trailer, so here’s a song!
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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **

Gabby NewI’ve been really interested in reading One Shot Away after finding out that it was a story about wrestling. Even though I am a teenage girl I have done a bit of wrestling and while I didn’t exactly adore the training and repetitive movements that all aim at the pin—I did adore reading One Shot Away by author T. Glen Coughlin. It was a fun read that I got into almost instantly. Wrestling does sound like more of a boy sport and a novel that focuses on it should sound like a novel that is meant more for guys and manly men than female readers. Stop! Right there! I don’t care what gender you are, if you can get your hands on One Shot Away… you better get it.

One Shot Away tells the story of three different high school seniors who are all on the same wrestling team at Molly Pitcher High School. Out of these three boys they all want the same thing: To be the best wrestler on the team, get the pin and get a scholarship a.k.a. a one way ticket out of their town. This wrestling season looks like the toughest one yet for main characters Diggy, Jimmy and Trevor. Diggy wants to keep his spot at the 152 weight class and wrestle his way to the top, but it looks like his teammate Trevor is threatening everything he’s ever worked for. Diggy is struggling to make weight, his complicated relationship with Jane “the Stain” is getting him trouble he doesn’t need and Trevor seems to be doing everything in his power to take his weight class. How is it that just one year was all it took to make Trevor the varsity wrestler he is this year?

Jimmy is trying to keep the cops of off his back after his father digs them both into a never-ending hole. Now the police are hassling Jimmy about what really happened the night that he and his father were both driving away with stolen supplies. Jimmy’s girlfriend Roxanne is looking down on him over the whole situation and all he wants is to stay on the team, get his scholarship and leave before his situation gets messier than it already is. Then there’s Trevor a half Native-American boy whose father just died and whose mother seems to already be moving on. Wrestling was something that Trevor and his father used to bond over, but without his father Trevor is on his own and wants to use the varsity team to prove something to himself and to everybody in school that bugs him about his heritage. But with Diggy constantly bothering him and trying to bully Trevor out of the 152 weight class, Trevor’s finding that being on the team is harder than he anticipated.

Then Diggy does the unthinkable and betrays Trevor—and the team – nobody believes that they can trust Diggy after what he did. Even Diggy knows that after what he’s done everything he has ever worked for could be down the drain.

 I definitely think that One Shot Away is a novel that I will always have a soft spot for in my heart. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how there should be more YA novels about combative sports and One Shot Away filled the spot in my mind that has been aching for a good novel about sports that I enjoy. Despite being about Wrestling, One Shot Away is also the story about the struggles that these three boys have to go through and the physical hardships that come with having to make weight and perform efficiently. There are also the mentality problems that come from overbearing coaches and people who expect you to be able to get out there and win like it’s no problem at all. Honestly I could write paragraphs among paragraphs about the three main characters in the novel, they’ve left me with so much to think about and enjoy.

What I really enjoyed about the writing in this novel is how it’s in the third person and written in the present tense. Now, I don’t see that too often when I read, so it was very refreshing form the common third person, past tense scene. What makes the present tense so awesome for this novel is when it comes to the matches. It made every single scene feel so realistic and made the emotions and thoughts that the characters experience very believable. Every action describing takedown attempts, grips and techniques was seriously awesome. As somebody who knew what every word meant, I found it really easy to imagine the wrestling matches. To somebody who doesn’t know very much about wrestling, you may find it really hard to imagine, just a note.

As the novel progressed there were a lot of moments where I would have to sit there wide-eyed. I mean honestly, from the start of the novel to the end things do spiral out of control for almost every character. They go through things that either make or break them and I do have to admit that by the time the novel concluded I sat there and felt a bit sad. After all the emotions that were conjured up inside of me, after finally getting to experience everything with the cast of characters, I couldn’t believe the novel’s ending. How final it felt, but also how nicely it summed up the entire novel. The more I think about it, I really did love this book.

I’d recommend One Shot Away to fans of sports novels but mainly to readers who enjoy wrestling. Readers that are looking for a novel that will pull them in and never let go will probably love One Shot Away, definitely one of the best stories I’ve read this year. It’ll be hard for anybody and any novel to top One Shot Away after reading it.


The Evolution of the Title


Finding a title for a novel can be a fun process. The original title for One Shot Away was The Wrestlers.   My editor and I felt it was too generic.  After reading the novel in drafts several times, I came up with The Five Pound Orange.  This second title came from what I believe to be a true event that occurred one season before a wrestling match in my home town.  The coach was counting on a wrestler to come in at the correct weight.  The wrestler was renowned for over eating and then cutting weight the day before the match.  At weigh-in time, the wrestler stripped down and stepped on the scale.  He was five pounds over his weight class!  When the coach asked him how this could happen on match day, the wrestler exclaimed, “All I ate was an orange.”

The coach replied, “That must have been a five pound orange!”

This anecdote is a running joke each season and to this day there is a sign over the scale in the wrestler’s locker room, “Beware of the 5 lb. Orange.”

After the novel was purchased by Harper Collins, I was asked me to come up with a third title that more defined the story.  One Shot Away came from a speech by Coach Greco.  Before a match, the coach was firing up his team, telling them they are always “one shot away” from a win (in wrestling, it’s always possible to win a match by a pin).

I like the final title as it is often true in life that each of us are given one shot and we’ve got to take it and run with it.


About the Author:




Coughlin’s first novel, The Hero of New York, was finished when he was 23 years old and explored the dark side of the middle class suburban dream. New York Times reviewer, Dennis Smith (1986) wrote, “The Hero of New York is solid tough-guy entertainment, and Mr. Coughlin’s descriptions can be hilarious.”

Coughlin’s second novel, Steady Eddie, is a coming-of-age story set in Long Island, New York in 1977. George Needham wrote “Coughlin neatly captures a person’s essence in the simplest gesture, but each character is drawn with sympathy and wit, even when the characters themselves lack these attributes. A fine novel.”

Coughlin has published short stories in Doubletake Magazine, the South Dakota Review[3] and DUCTS, an on-line magazine. His story, “The Grief Committee” was analyzed in The Politics of Mourning: Grief Management in a Cross-Cultural Fiction.[5] Coughlin”s poetry has appeared in The Dead Mule – School of Southern Literature and Hanging Moss Journal.

In 2012, Coughlin published his first YA novel, One Shot Away, A Wrestling Story, Harpercollins. The novel is the story of three high school wrestlers trying to balance their personal lives, family conflicts and maintain their weight class on the Varsity Squad.

Connect with the Author:  Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour!

Tour Schedule:
Monday, April 8th – Mundie Moms
Tuesday, April 9th – Froggarita’s Bookcase
Wednesday, April 10th – Alice Marvels
Thursday, April 11th – Chick Loves Lit
Friday, April 12th – Simply Infatuated

Monday, April 15th – I Like These Books
Tuesday, April 16th – Sweet Southern Home
Wednesday, April 17th – The O.W.L. for YA
Thursday, April 18th – Basia’s Bookshelf
Friday, April 19th – Chapter by Chapter

Monday, April 22nd – The Book Cellar
Tuesday, April 23rd – Contessa at the Crossroads
Wednesday, April 24th – The Bookswarm
Thursday, April 25th – Buried in Books
Friday, April 26th – The Page Turners





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Kindle Paperwhite skinned in the One Shot Away cover art!

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  1. Viki S.

    How coming up with a title can be fun. I can’t write, so I’ll never have this to do but I would find it very hard. Thank you for the great post.

  2. Rose Milligan

    I think coming up with the title can be one of the best parts of writing. The title of the book really resonated with me. Acting, like wrestling, you have one shot to get cast in a play. When you audition, that is your one shot to impress the director. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  3. Caroline

    I know so little about wrestling and I’m excited to read a book that’s about people’s lives and stories, but also involves something I will learn about. It’s a subject matter that’s very new to me.

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