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My Foolish Heart (Deep Haven)
by Susan May Warren

Published: 2011-04-18
Paperback : 384 pages
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Unknown to her tiny town of Deep Haven, Isadora Presley spends her nights as Miss Foolish Heart, the star host of a syndicated talk radio show. Millions tune in to hear her advice on dating and falling in love, unaware that she's never really done either. Issy's ratings soar when it seems ...
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Introduction

Unknown to her tiny town of Deep Haven, Isadora Presley spends her nights as Miss Foolish Heart, the star host of a syndicated talk radio show. Millions tune in to hear her advice on dating and falling in love, unaware that she's never really done either. Issy's ratings soar when it seems she's falling in love on-air with a caller. A caller she doesn?t realize lives right next door.
Caleb Knight served a tour of duty in Iraq and paid a steep price. The last thing he wants is pity, so he hides his disability and moves to Deep Haven to land his dream job as the high school football coach. When his beautiful neighbor catches his eye, in a moment of desperation he seeks advice from My Foolish Heart, the show that airs before his favorite sports broadcast.
Before he knows it, Caleb finds himself drawn to the host?and more confused than ever. Is his perfect love the woman on the radio . . . or the one next door?

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Excerpt

Chapter 1 ~ Excerpt
For two hours a night, Monday through Saturday Isadora Presley became the girl she’d lost.
“Welcome to My Foolish Heart, where we believe your perfect love might be right next door. We want to send special greetings out to KDRT in Seattle, brand new to the Late Night Lovelorn network. BrokenheartedInBuffalo, you’re on the line. Welcome to the program.” ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

From the publisher:

1. Issy is paralyzed by panic attacks which keep her trapped in her home. She’s afraid that if she goes out into public, she’ll have an attack and make a spectacle of herself. Have you ever been so afraid of something it’s kept you from living life?
2. Caleb hides his physical challenge from the school board – just until he proves himself. Do you agree with his decision? What would you have done?
3. Why does Caleb call into the radio show? Have you ever called into a talk show? Why?
4. Issy is drawn to the caller on her show – why? And why is he safer than Caleb? Do you think it is possible to fall in love with someone you’ve never met?
5. In the subplot, Lucy and Seb have a secret – what is it? Do you agree that this secret should have affected Lucy as much as it did? Why or why not? Do you have any mistakes in your past you find it difficult to move past?
6. Seb returns to Deep Haven to be a star again. Have you ever returned to some significant place in your past, wishing for old times? Did you find it the same…or different? How?
7. Do you think Issy would have fallen for Caleb without the radio show? And vice versa?
8. What horrible moment does Caleb endure when Issy comes to the field? Have you ever been terribly embarrassed in front of someone else? A crowd of people? When and how did you handle it?
9. What does it mean, “Perfect love casts out fear,” and how does it apply to our lives?
10. What do you think is next for Issy and Caleb, Seb and Lucy?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Note from Susan Warren:

This book, unlike most of my others, started with the title…My Foolish Heart. I heard it in a song and loved it…and then thought, “What determines a foolish heart?” Obviously, someone who loves someone else illogically. It struck me then that love is really quite illogical – we get hurt by it all the time. A wise, conservative person might say that love isn’t worth the risk, but only a person who has never truly been in love, which sparked me to think up a crazy premise – what if a person who had never been in love gave out romance advice? Where would she get her advice – how about romance novels?

In fact, what if she devised her own “perfect man” list and could “order him up” so to speak? However, the truth is we rarely fall for someone we predict – usually we are taken by surprise. I loved the paradox of a woman who thinks she knows what she wants and then discovers she loves someone completely different. But…how to accomplish this? Well, what if she falls in love with one of her listeners…but he’s nothing like she suspects? What if, in fact, he’s the boy who drives her crazy? Enter…My Foolish Heart!

Backstory from Susan Warren:

I am a football mom -- I have two strapping sons who play football. I love football and everything about it. In fact, I love football so much, I even wrote a Christmas story two years ago about football. Because, see, football is more than just a sport…it’s training boys into men. Football is hard. It hurts. A player has to learn to play through the pain, play for his teammates, to listen and trust his coach, to give it everything he has. It’s the modern day version of training young warriors for battle.

Around our home, we take football very seriously. Not so seriously that we think we’re creating future NFL stars, but enough that we buy quality equipment, eat right, encourage the boys to work out in the off season…and attend every game. And, that’s saying something because we live in a tiny pocket of northern Minnesota. Our closest team is two hours away. And sometimes we play in snow. And sleet. And, while the boys are slipping around the field, I’m in the stands, in my parka and mittens and hat cheering until I’m hoarse. Because football players need fans.

Coaches also need fans. I’m a huge fan of our coaching staff – Mitch Dorr, Mike Boomer, and the rest of the Cook County Viking Football staff. They have a huge responsibility. It’s this responsibility that I laid upon the shoulders of my two heroes – Seb and Caleb. I wanted to contrast the differences between the men, how one wanted to relive his glory days…and one wanted to create glory for his players. My biggest challenge was getting into the mind of a coach. I talked to our coaches and asked them for advice. Coach Dorr even wrote me a couple plays! And I asked my son to walk me through practice – pretending he was a coach. I read books on coaching. I watched every episode of Friday Night Lights! Most of all, I tried to divest myself of my “mom” skin and get inside the skin of a coach. I’m not sure I got it right, but I think it’s close.

But this book isn’t really about football. It’s about fear. And overcoming fear. And there’s no better example of overcoming fear than looking it straight in the face of a 300 lb. defender about to mow you over and possibly break your legs. Life can sometimes feel that way – that you are staring at the impossible – or worse, that it’s about to tackle you, take you out and make you suffer. Football teaches you to take a deep breath and charge forward, to take it out before it hurts you.

My Foolish Heart is a girl’s football book – it’s not about plays or coaching…it’s about small town life, the smells and joys of summer, of secrets and true love, and most of all falling in love with heroes who aren’t afraid to give it all they have to become men to whom we’d give our foolish hearts.

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