Rivals Blog Tour: Character Post + Giveaway

Hey everyone! Welcome to my stop of the Rivals blog tour! Rivals is the second book in a Young Adult romance & action series (Skid) written by Doug Solter, and they are about Formula 1 racing! Isn't that cool? 

For my stop, Manny agreed to come over to the blog to share a bit about himself and his girlfriend, Samantha. But before you go read his post, here's a little about Rivals:

Rivals by Doug Solter
Published September 23rd, 2014
YA Contemporary Romance

Last season seventeen-year-old Samantha Sutton shined as the hottest new racing star of Formula One, but the girl's rise to the top takes a hit when her boss steals her arch-rival Emilio Ronaldo away from Ferrari and makes the sexist jerk her team's number-one driver. This sends Samantha's perfect life into a tail spin that threatens to destroy everything she's worked so hard for. 

Despite her six wins last season, the best thing Samantha won was Manny, the cute German boy who saved her from herself. But Manny chafes against the new teen racing star rising above the ashes of the simple girl he fell in love with. Can he save that simple girl from destroying herself again? 

While Samantha's performance on the track suffers and her status on the team plummets, Emilio rises within striking distance of another championship.

Is this the final wake-up call the girl needs to beat Emilio and win the world championship? 

Or will the pressure finally break Samantha's spirit. 

Fans of Courtney Summers' strong female characters and those who love action-packed books like THE HUNGER GAMES should find RIVALS exciting and emotionally compelling. Fans of Ally Carter's HEIST SOCIETY should enjoy the international settings and lifestyle.

Alright, without further ado, I turn the blog over to Manny!

Hello, Everyone! My name is Manfred, or my friends like to call me Manny if you prefer. I'd like to thank Melissa and Doug for the invitation to write a post on this blog. I'm not sure why they asked me to write this because my girlfriend Samantha is the big Formula One racing star. She should be writing this post. I'm only a guy on the crew. Well, I'm the nephew of the racing team's owner Mr. Wolert, but I don't see myself as above everyone because we always work as a team to make the cars as best as they can be for every race, or grand prix as we call them.  

Sorry, I know you don't care about me. Everyone wants to know about Samantha. Ever since last season when she won six races and competed for the world championship, my girlfriend has become this huge racing star. People from around the world send her thousand of emails a week. They crowd shopping malls for her autograph. And other guys hit on her constantly which pisses me off. 

Starting this new racing season has been difficult because I never get to see my girlfriend as much as I want. The race weeks are so busy. Samantha bounces around between interviews, fan events, sponsor events, parties, parades, racing meetings–it's crazy. Some days I miss seeing her.

At the end of last season, Samantha and I spent winter break at her family's farm in Oklahoma, which is in America. There, I experienced the most spectacular months of my life. Samantha and I could spend every day together without any interruptions. She taught me how to ride a horse and we took rides together and talked. We jumped in her car and took small road trips across America. She let me hold her hand. Then she let me hold on to all of her. She let me play with her hair. It's soft and always smells nice, like a bouquet of – 

Sorry, I'm getting off track. Samantha can have that intoxicating affect on me. The reason I like her isn't because of her soft girly parts. Yes, I like girl parts but that's not the only reason I like her. One big thing I like about Samantha is her determination. She has this tenacity that I wish I had. If someone tells the girl she can't do something, Samantha will go out and do it anyway. Not in like some rebellious way. More like...it's a challenge to her. It fires her up and she gets brave. I think you have to be brave to be a great race car driver. Racing cars is dangerous. To be good you have to pretend that you can't die. You have to pretend that slamming into a wall at over 200 miles-per-hour can't kill you. A suspension of disbelief. That is what you have to have.

Some days I worry about Samantha. She's under a lot of pressure to perform this season. You see, our team boss Mr. Marcello snatched Emilio Ronaldo away from Ferrari and made him Samantha's teammate. Emilio has won the world championship eight times. He's a living legend. One of the best drivers in Formula One who ever lived. Samantha despises him. I don't like to talk about my girlfriend behind her back so...let's just say that Samantha has her reasons for hating Emilio and leave it at that. 

I miss seeing Samantha now. Those two months at her farm were so wonderful that I want to spend all my time with her now. But her race schedule makes that extremely hard. When she's in the garage, Samantha will touch my arm, touch my cheek, and sometimes she'll sneak in a kiss. Our relationship isn't a secret on the crew, they all know about us. And yet that doesn't mean I want the media to know. But I fear they'll find out one day and I'll regret it. I don't want to be in the spotlight. I only want to be with the girl I fell in love with. The real girl under that racing star persona she shows off to the media and to the fans. The girl who I met on that farm in Oklahoma. The girl who was so honest and real. The girl I want to be with for as long as she'll have me.

Sorry, I can't help myself. I know I'm boring you. Going on and on about my girlfriend. I obviously like her a lot. She does have her faults too. Samantha does have this big temper that gets her into a lot of trouble sometimes. She can't help herself either. It comes out of her like a volcano and you have to just hold on. Once in a while she does say things that hurt me. She apologizes for it afterward, but it still stings for awhile. Sometimes I disappoint her too, and yet she still sticks with me.

I sometimes worry this won't last. That as much as I think Samantha is the one girl I will spend my life with, I fear that all of this will change her. For every step she takes towards becoming a racing star, is a step that pulls her away from me. Or causes her to forget I even exist.

How could Samantha forget me? 

I'm becoming too paranoid. She won't forget me. I know I'll never forget that kiss she gave me in Belgium. I've never had a girl kiss me like that before. The way she leaned against me and...

I did it again. Sorry I spend so much time talking about my girlfriend. I would talk about myself more but I'm not that interesting. I should stop writing now so Melissa can have her blog back. Thank you again for letting me ramble on about my girlfriend.


Manny Wolert. 

P.S. - Again, I'm sorry for being so boring. I'm not much of a writer.

Aww! That's alright Manny, I loved your rambling. It's nice to see the vulnerable and insecure side of a guy from time to time ;). Thank you so much for coming to the blog and I wish you all the luck in the world with Samantha! 

About the Author

Doug began writing screenplays in 1998 and became a 2001 semi-finalist in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. His script Father Figure was one of 129 scripts left from 5,489 entries. Doug made the switch to writing young adult novels in 2008. Skid, a young adult novel set in the world of Formula One, is his first. Doug is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Doug respects cats, loves the mountains, and one time walked the streets of Barcelona with a smile on his face. 

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Skid (book 1) is currently free on all online retailers! Here are a few links:

Kobo | Amazon | Smashwords | Nook | iTunes 

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. A formula 1 novel... I have to read it!!! Manny sounds so sweet :) Great post Melissa!!

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

    1. You totally should give it a go! The first book is free! :) (I adored it <3)

  2. I adore Manny! One of my favorite things about Skid is how real all the characters are. Doug really did a good job bringing everyone to life. :)