About the book:
From an engagement to a cross-country trip in just ten weeks? And with no experience in bicycle touring—or marriage? While Tim left behind a 26-year corporate career and familiar surroundings, Debbie was about to enter a “classroom” she hadn’t seen in her 24 years of teaching. Was it a grand getaway or a big mistake?
By Tim Bishop
Debbie and I did some brainstorming recently. We came up with seven characteristics of Two Are Better that set it apart. But you might rather think of these as seven reasons to come play with us as we travel across America on bicycles and learn what marriage is like at 52 years of age!
Our “playground,” however, isn’t your typical one. Ours is filled with beauty and discovery, where each new day promises a fresh start and an unpredictable finish. It doubles as a “classroom” with plenty of room for willing students, but only those who are prepared to carry their own load, to look inside, and to consider what this once-in-a-lifetime experience may expose in their own journeys.
Check out some of the apparatuses on our playground:
- Dual-author narrative (or would that be duel?). Many have told us Two Are Better is a real “page turner.” Why wouldn’t it be? When you awaken each morning to explore an as yet undiscovered world around you, you can’t wait to get on the road. The only predictable element in this journey is the inevitable clash of the personalities of two polar-opposite newlyweds. But every teeter-totter has a fulcrum to keep it in balance. There are lessons to learn here. Each of us tells the story from our own perspective. And, believe me, we each have one!
- Over 100 color photos from the seat of a bicycle. How many paperback memoirs have you seen stuffed full of beautiful color photography, artfully laid out on 80-lb paper? I would suspect not many. But when you explore new places, it’s simply unfair to omit them. That would be like building a playground where there was no hill to roll down, or no tree to climb. When we returned from our trip with an incredible assortment of photography, we couldn’t wait to share it with you. These photos will enhance your vicarious travel experience. You will be right beside us all the way through the book.
- No sugar coating here. There are certainly plenty of sweet moments in our book, but when we walked through what felt like a miraculous time, there was no need to embellish. The honest account speaks for itself. Besides, what’s a memoir without some real candor? You can’t really benefit from the experience of others if they don’t tell you the truth. We bring the entire trek, complete with its tears, laughter, frowns, and smiles. Every swing ride has its ups and downs. Ours is no different. You’ll detect glimpses of yourself in these pages. How might you have handled some of these situations? And what dilemma do you face right now that our journey and our experience can help clarify?
- Turning midlife crisis on its head. Have you ever wondered why they call it “midlife crisis”? I did too…at least until I lived through one. If you’ve not arrived there yet, here’s a warning: be prepared for some issues that will either catapult you into an exciting new chapter of your life or wreak havoc with you. Remaining entrenched in unending problems is just like playing tetherball and beating down the small plot of ground around the pole. True to its nature, Two Are Better jumps off the merry-go-round of routine and turns midlife crisis upside down. Sometimes, we can get bogged down in the sandbox of life. We like playing there, in our comfort zone, even though the larger world around us calls. Instead of resigning oneself to the beginning of the end, why not begin a new chapter of an exciting season of life? Now more equipped than ever to make an impact on the world, it’s time to move forward. Will you? We are called to make a difference.
- More than just a travelogue. If you think Two Are Better merely chronicles an adventure across America, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find much more. Debbie and I were also surprised—and impressed with the many life lessons that we learned on our cross-country tour and the beginning of our married life together. Don’t get me wrong. The travelogue will not disappoint. Much like the slippery slide, you’ll work your way up to the top of challenging hills and enjoy the rapid descent down the other side. But if that’s all we communicate, we’ve not done our job well, nor would we have written this book in the first place. There’s something about living through a time that was so profound and life changing that you need to share it with others. That’s what Two Are Better is all about. And that’s why we wrote it. It’s for you.
- Inspirational. Whatever you believe about God, this book will inspire you. Early reviews say so. When long-needed change and adventures collide, we’re ready to summon assistance from, and attribute credit to, something beyond ourselves. With faith and perseverance, you can survive the bumps and bruises of life’s jungle-gym and ascend to safer and more rewarding levels. While Debbie and I still have more climbing ahead, we’re confident that our experiences will encourage you as you clutch onto your own monkey bars.
- Ending well. Don’t you just love a happy ending—especially when it is real? We’re inundated today with bad news. So when prayers are answered and dreams come true, it improves one’s frame of mind and restores hope. Two Are Better is all about pursuing dreams. And it pedals home the point that it is never too late. Yours dreams can also come true!
Not only is our playground fun, but we also learn about life on it. Come along for a ride through beautiful mountain passes, evergreen forests, and golden wheat fields—and through major life decisions, some needed changes, and the blessings that follow. We’ll hit a few bumpy roads, some trying hills, a construction zone or two, and some detours. But whether you’re coasting downhill, cruising through farmland, or crawling up mountains, such is the ride through life. So come enjoy this ride, but just make sure you keep pedaling. We don’t want to leave you behind without a map to find your way home!
Over The Top (pgs. 90-91)Just 15 minutes into the day, we arrived at Rogers Pass and the Continental Divide. When I saw the sign, I was shocked. You’re kidding! I thought. Where are the Rockies? We had seen so few snow-covered mountains. Climbing through the Rockies had been much easier than expected and, other than Lolo Pass, did not seem like climbing at all. Rogers Pass only stands 5,600 feet above sea level.
Unbeknownst to us, we had been ascending and fast approaching the beginning of the downhill ride east. Another friendly tailwind had shrouded the climb. But we weren’t about to get cocky. After all, there were 3,000 miles to go.
Arriving at this landmark would not have surprised most bicycle tourists, but it did surprise us. We had done so little pre-trip planning and were so busy with other aspects of the trip that we hadn’t reviewed the map in detail, except when making immediate decisions about when and where to turn. But sure enough, there it was on the map: the Continental Divide!
The phantom climb up Rogers Pass seemed insignificant, but the descent was a treat. The eastern side of the pass was steeper with some switchbacks. My fearless wife, who sees no use for brakes when descending, flew around the curves and down the mountain. After all, why use brakes and spoil the fun after you worked so hard to get up the hill? Wasn’t this the reward? Of course, she does have a good point!
Purchase from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Two-Are-Better-Midlife-Newlyweds/dp/0985624825/
Purchase from Open Road Press: http://www.openroadpress.com/store/
About the authors:
Originally from Maine, Tim Bishop has over thirty years of experience in business, first as a CPA, then for many years in various roles in the corporate world. In addition to consulting for small businesses, Tim serves as a Hope Coach for TheHopeLine, a nonprofit organization that seeks to reach, rescue, and restore hurting teens and young adults.
Debbie Bishop has taught for over twenty-five years, for the past ten years as a literacy specialist in Framingham, Massachusetts. She has a passion for reading and seeing that young people do it well. She also has high interest in recovery issues and encouraging others with her own triumphs over struggles earlier in her life. Debbie also serves as a Hope Coach for TheHopeLine.
Visit the authors online at www.openroadpress.com.
Two Are Better Virtual Book Tour Schedule
Tuesday, September 3rd
Guest post at Lori’s Reading Corner
Wednesday, September 4th
Interview at Blogcritics
Thursday, September 5th
First chapter review at Cheryl’s Christian Book Connection
Friday, September 6th
Book spotlight at Diane Estrella: That’s What I’m Here For
Monday, September 9th
Book spotlight at The Writer’s Life
Tuesday, September 10th
Interview at Examiner
Wednesday, September 11th
Interview at As the Pages Turn
Thursday, September 12th
Interview at Literarily Speaking
Friday, September 13th
Book spotlight at 4 the Love of Books
Monday, September 16th
Interview and book giveaway at Tribute Books Reviews and Giveaways
Tuesday, September 17th
Book review at JoJo’s Corner
Wednesday, September 18th
Guest post at Paperback Writer
Thursday, September 19th
Guest post at Review from Here
Friday, September 20th
Guest post and book giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily
Monday, September 23rd
Interview at Pump Up Your Book
Tuesday, September 24th
Book excerpt at Between the Covers
Thursday, September 26th
Book review at My Devotional Thoughts
Friday, September 27th
Book review at The Book Connection
Tuesday, October 1st
Book review at Maureen’s Musings
Friday, October 4th
Book review at Library at the END of the Universe
Friday, October 11th
Interview at Spoilers, Sweetie