Monday, February 13, 2012

How "Maddie Takes the Ice" Begins

Sporting Chance Press is the publisher of the very popular middle grade novel, Maddie Takes the Ice by Nicolette House. Maddie is the story of a young girl who must face pressure from many different directions as she heads to an important regional figure skating competition. The book is written by Nicolette House who has competed in National and International competitions herself. Lauded by teachers, figure skating moms, coaches and fans--Maddie entertains readers and has a lot to say. Here is how the story begins:

BRRR! When her alarm went off at 5:45 on the second Saturday of October, Madison Albright’s eyes flew open. Most girls would groan about waking up this early, but not Madison. She jumped out of bed, lifted her arms high above her head, and stretched.

She walked to her wardrobe and pulled out her favorite pink velvet skating outfit. Holding the dress in front of her, Madison looked in the mirror and sighed. The dress made her eyes shine. It was also her lucky practice dress and she would put it to good use getting ready for the regional figure skating championships scheduled for the following week.

“You ready?” called Madison’s mom.

“Be down in a minute!” Madison smiled to herself. Mom was always up on time, ready to drive her to practice.

She heard her mom’s signal: two beeps. Madison knew she was running late and flew down the stairs, grabbing a hoodie to wear in the cool autumn dawn.
“Feeling ready for regionals?” her mother asked as Madison slid into the car.
Madison grew quiet, hesitating. She didn’t want to tell her mom how nervous she was about the competition.

“Of course I am. Liz says ‘Everything is going great!’ I couldn’t be more excited,” Madison replied, reporting her coach’s opinion but hiding her own. But she was certain that Liz, her main coach, was preparing her for the regional event.
Madison knew just what to say to calm her mother’s nerves. If only Madison could do that for herself!

“Well, I’m glad to hear it. You work so hard, sweetheart. Liz said that you have a good chance of placing high—maybe even winning if you skate well.”


“I meant when, Madison. Don’t be so touchy. You feel ready, right?”

“Right…right, I am.”

Mother and daughter rode quietly until Mrs. Albright pulled up outside the Arctic Circle Ice Arena. Madison reached over and gave her a hug.

“Bye, mom. Thanks for the ride.”

Madison jumped out of the car, taking deep breaths. It’s not about where you place, she reminded herself, but how well you skate. Wasn’t that what Liz always told her? But then, why did she tell mom that I could win? Madison wondered.

Maddie Takes the Ice received excellent reviews from Figure Skating and It was also selected as an America's Battle of the Books selection and has found fans as far away as Oslo. Maddie includes an appendix that provides helpful information on figure skating and a letter to readers from the author. The author, Nicolette House, is a four-time United States Figure Skating gold medalist. Skating since the age of three, she went on to compete in European, World, and international ice dance competitions with her skating partner, Aidas Reklys. She currently coaches and performs in professional shows. Along with her skating partner, the author creates an annual ice show that features several top international skaters. Nicolette is a recent graduate of DePaul University in Chicago.

You can order Maddie Takes the Ice directly from the Sporting Chance Press.

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