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What Book Inspired Brenda Beem, Author of KNOCKDOWN? Find Out Here! (Plus a Giveaway)

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end!

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Welcome, Brenda! Tell us more about your book—take us beyond the official “book blurb”.

Although this novel takes place on a sailboat, it is about the characters on the boat. They each have strong personalities that grow and change as they fight to survive and adapt to their changing world.

Every character has his or her agenda as well. The main character is Toni. Toni and her brothers want to find their parents. Her brother’s girlfriend just wants to go home, but there is no home left. Everyone wants to hear from their families, but cell service is gone.

As the characters overcome one disaster after another, their bond of friendship grows and romances develop.   But this causes conflict. Two crew members compete for the same girl. Toni’s brother gets drunk and abusive. Injuries occur. There is no medical help and a munity is threatened.

But there are many lighter moments as well. A four year old little girl in the story finds joy in simple things like a barking seal and having her nails painted. The crew finds warm and funny moments with one another when they aren’t fighting for their lives.

I agree with the little girl–it’s always easier to face the world with a new manicure. 😉


Give us more info about your main characters—who are they?

Toni and Takumi are the two main characters. Toni is a sixteen-year-old competitive diver, and the youngest in her family. She has always lived under the shadow of her twin football-playing big brothers. Takumi is a seventeen year old Japanese American soccer player. He is somewhat a stranger to everyone on the sailboat.

Toni and Takumi are immediately attracted to one another, but Toni’s brothers are protective. Toni and Takumi find creative ways to be alone. But when disaster strikes, Toni pushes Takumi away. The story becomes Toni’s journey to accept loss, grow, and become the strong woman she was meant to be and the woman Takumi loves.

Wow! They sound like a really strong pair.


What scene in your book was the most fun to write, and why?

I love writing action scenes, and there are a lot of them in this story. One of my favorites was the scene where the sailboat gets knockdowned. I built a shoebox model of the boat, and used the model to see where the characters would be when the boat tipped sideways and upside down.

Ah, research. Fun!


How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I recently helped move my parents and found a number of old photo albums. When I was in third grade I printed dialog of what the people in the photos might be saying beside photo after photo.

So, I’ve always been a writer. Seven years ago I stopped teaching and began working on a novel. After five years, I learned a lot, finished the book, but decided not to try and publish it. This is my second novel.

Congratulations! Very impressive.


What do you like best about being a writer?

I love sitting down and letting the story reveal itself. I truly believe in muses. And I look forward to meeting with my talented writing groups every week and talking about their stories and mine.

Support is so important…


What is the most challenging part of being a writer?

Life gets in the way of being a writer. Finding time to write is always a challenge.

Very true! It’s so easy to find other things to distract you…like the Internet. Hungry kids. Dishes. Playoff games…


What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I am working on Book two of the Knockdown series. It picks up where the first book ends and tells the story of how the characters survive on an island. I am so excited to get off the boat.

I’ll bet your characters are too! At least until you start giving them even more challenges on the island…


What authors and/or books have inspired you?

This is such a tough question. I have a degree in English and I love the classics. I read almost everything. A well-written book is always a joy. Hunger Games inspired me to write a dystopian-type novel.

Somehow this question is always harder for the English majors… 😉


What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?

I am just finishing Win The Rings by K.D. Brunt and loving it.

I’ll have to check it out!


Please share a favorite scene from your book with our readers.

There are so many action scenes I had fun with, but this is my favorite “sweet” moment:

Takumi glanced around the cabin. Both the aft and bow bedroom doors were closed. He grabbed my hand. “Come with me.” He pulled me across the main salon and into the bathroom. He put the toilet lid down and sat me on top. He closed the door and stepped into the only extra space in the tiny room, the shower.

I pulled my legs up on the stool and hugged my knees.

“Are you mad at me?” he asked.

“Hell, yes,” I said. “You totally embarrassed me just now.”

“No, before this. You’ve been distant this morning.”

“Takumi, we almost died yesterday. I may never see my parents again. My brother is…”

Takumi shook his head. “Would you go to Homecoming with me?”


“Would you go to Homecoming with me?”

My mouth opened and closed but no sound came out. “You’re crazy,” I finally whispered.

He knelt on the floor next to me and took my hand. This was getting weird. I jerked my hand back.

“Look,” Takumi said. “I never asked a girl to Homecoming.  There wasn’t a girl I wanted to ask. Now I’ve met someone and there won’t be a Homecoming dance. But if there was one, would you go with me?”

I tipped my head.

He grinned up at me.

“You are totally insane.” I smiled.

“Well, would you go to Homecoming with me?”

“Okay. Yes, if there was a Homecoming to go to, I would go with you.”


“Is that what you wanted to ask me?”

“Yeah. I know we just met. I know we might not survive all this. But I need to have something, some positive thought, or person to think about. I want to lie in bed at night and imagine what it would be like to go on a date with you. To give you a corsage. To sit with you at a fancy restaurant…”

His eyes began to water and he faced away. I slid to the floor and reached for him. He took me in his arms. We hugged and cried silent tears for all the ways our lives had changed.

I wiped my eyes. “What color dress would I wear?”

“I don’t care…No, wait. Not black.”

“Okay, no black. But pink’s good?”

“Pink’s good. Red would be better.”

“Red, huh?”

“Yeah, I like red.”

“Okay, if we could go to Homecoming, I would wear a red dress.”

“Thanks, Toni.” He took my chin in his hand. Our eyes met and we smiled. Then he kissed me. A soft and gentle kiss.

And my heart became his.

Awww! That IS a sweet moment…one of the sweetest ever to take place in a sailboat’s bathroom, I think. 😉 Thanks so much for sharing, Brenda!
Keep reading to find out more about Brenda, her book, and to enter the giveaway!


About the Author:facebook image




I am an only child and growing up books were my best friends. My love of literature and the Pacific Northwest continued at the University of Washington where I earned a degree in English.

I began sailing with friends when my children were small, and continue to sail the inland waters of the Puget Sound.

When I’m not with family, friends, or writing groups, I’m sailing, kayaking, or boating on the waters of the Puget Sound and Lake Washington. I also like to hike the many trails on the lake and near my cabin.





By Brenda Beem


Blurb: A sail boat can tip over and come back up again. Sailors call this a knockdown.


In eighteen hours a mega tsunami will hit the Pacific Coast. It will leave in its wake massive destruction and the threat of an ice age.

Sixteen-year-old Toni, her brothers, and their friends race the clock as they sail Toni’s family boat far out to sea. They must get beyond where the wave crests, or the boat will be crushed.

Without their parents to guide them, the reluctant crew improvises. Romances bloom and tempers flare. There is no privacy. Cell phones won’t work. The engine breaks down. They are running out of time.

Even if they survive the wave, there is nowhere in this ravaged world to go. When disaster strikes, it is up to Toni to find the strength to lead the crew when her brothers cannot.



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