False Alarm is a wry, fish-out-of-water story about Kate McCabe, a dedicated but somewhat neurotic woman trying to juggle her career at a sports management firm with her marriage to a lawyer-about-to-quit-his-job-to-become-a fireman husband, who seems more interested in hoses than a home life. Things get complicated when Kate enters an office bonus race to sign the dashing football player Pedro—throwing her competitive all-male colleagues in chaos—and even more complicated when Pedro falls for Kate. Will Kate land Pedro before Pedro lands her? False Alarm gives us a hilarious view not only into a land of jocks, but also into the dog-eat-dog financial management world that makes “Jerry McGuire” look staid.
PRAISE FOR FALSE ALARM
“Humorous and lively” —Publishers Weekly
“I really enjoyed False Alarm. Unlike any other sports book I’ve read, this one really peers into the character of agents and professional athletes so that you understand their insecurity and motivation. It is absolutely dead on.” —Rod Gilmore, ESPN
“Sound the klaxon and bang on the gong for False Alarm, a chipper and wickedly funny first novel from Heather Stallings. Imagine Jerry McGuire on estrogen, and you will get the drift of this story. False Alarm crackles with ambition, humor and insight.” —Barbara Lloyd McMichael, The News Tribune
“False Alarm reads effortlessly. The chapters capture…McCabe’s endless struggle to get the bonus and sign Pedro Araguz, the Jerry Rice-like wideout. A pleasant read.” —Mark Luce, San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle
“Set in San Francisco, this first novel is about the comic tribulations of Kate McCabe, a woman juggling her ambitions at financial sports managing and her efforts at a meaningful personal life. The book–which incorporates city scenes in the financial district, the Mission and Noe Valley–is creating a media buzz.” —Nora Villagran, San Jose Mercury News
“..the voice of an American Bridget Jones and the writing savvy of a Lorrie Moore. Stallings’ writing is crisp and funny, plumbing the rich potential for humor inherent in everything from Kate’s having to accompany a client to his drug test, to her suspicious sniffing of the passenger seat of her husband’s car. Stallings’ debut novel is a seriously amusing—and affecting—book.” —Sheri Boggs, The Inlander
“In False Alarm, novelist Heather Stallings imbues the Jerry Maguire-esque world of sports agents with the heartfelt ironies of a young Anne Tyler. As her character Kate McCabe struggles to “trap a mink,” that is, to sign a star football player without falling for his Latino charm, Stallings paints a droll picture of San Franciscans at the millennium. She offsets an eccentric gallery of jock-sniffing colleagues with fine observations about Kate’s pyromaniacal husband who wants to be a fireman and her much-divorced “modern” mother whose latest lover is an unsuccessful internet geek. Stallings’ debut novel is a touching comedy filled with laugh-making observations about the human condition. False Alarm rings all the right bells.” —Barnaby Conrad, III, author of The Martini and The Blonde.
“I laughed throughout False Alarm, a sharp, witty look at a woman trying to understand her place in a world that does not take her seriously enough. False Alarm‘s neurotic but eminently likable heroine comes alive under Stallings’ eloquent, precise writing style. This highly readable book has the rare quality of being both lighthearted and wise. Stallings covers such diverse subjects as firefighters, sports agents, and marriage with a wry introspection that kept me eagerly turning the pages. Pick up this book and you will see what I mean.” —Caroline Paul, author of Fighting Fire and San Francisco firefighter