Dave Mishkin | Author Talk at Oxford Exchange

When: Thursday, June 13, 6:30 pm - Select Tickets
Where: Oxford Exchange, 420 W. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33606

A moving story of family, loss, love, and hope.

Noah Nicholson has a gift. He is blessed with extraordinary hand-eye coordination. This gift has helped him build a successful career as a minor-league hockey player. But Noah is damaged. His parents died in a car accident when he was twelve, and he has dealt with mental health issues ever since. It's only after Noah loses his gift in a career-ending injury that he is able to begin the healing process.

Readers will meet indelible characters: Noah's mother, cerebral and mentally tough; his good-natured, even-keeled father; his crusty grandmother, who has a soft spot for Boston's sports teams; his effervescent, talented, Russian-born teammate, who becomes Noah's mentee; an orange cat whose meow doesn't have an 'm'; an eleven-year-old girl who looks like Pippi Longstocking; and the pediatric dentist with a sense of humor and a crooked smile who makes her way past Noah's defenses and captures his heart. Then, of course, there is Noah himself. Smart, selfless, and silently struggling. We cheer for Noah, but unlike the fans who come to watch him play, it is not in appreciation of his singular, one-of-a-kind gift. Instead, we cheer for Noah because he is plainly, ordinarily human.

Blind Squirrel is now available at these retail locations within the greater Tampa Bay area

Barnes & Noble
128 S. West Shore Blvd., Tampa

Back in the Day Books
355 Main Street, Dunedin

Tombolo Books
2153 1st Ave S Saint Petersburg, FL 33712

Bookstore1Sarasota (Online Store)
117 S Pineapple Ave, Sarasota, FL 34236

Tampa Bay Lightning Team Store

The Gilded Page

123 E Court Street

Tarpon Springs, FL 34689

727-940-4469

Rinkside Sports (two locations)

TGH IcePlex

10222 Elizabeth Place

Tampa, FL 33619

AdventHealth Center Ice

3173 Cypress Ridge Blvd.,

Wesley Chapel, FL 33544

Dave Mishkin will donate a portion of book sales to Tampa Bay Thrives.

Tampa Bay Thrives is a coalition of community leaders committed to improving mental health and substance use disorder issues in our region. Their goal is to strengthen behavioral health outcomes by mobilizing communities, improving early intervention, and guiding access to professionals.

For more information, click here.

Dave Mishkin has been the radio play-by-play broadcaster for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning since 2002. Before that, he spent eleven years as a broadcaster in hockey’s minor leagues. Eight of those were in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where much of this novel takes place. He is a 1991 graduate of Yale. Blind Squirrel is his first novel.

In the late 2000s, Dave Mishkin had an idea for a novel.

A minor-league hockey player, whose parents died in a car accident when he was a boy, struggles with his mental health. The player possesses uncanny hand-eye coordination, but after being hit with a puck in the eye, he is forced to retire. Then, the player begins his recovery.

Excited by the premise, Dave started writing. Before long, however, he became stuck, unable to advance the story. Frustrated, he left the fledging manuscript on his computer’s hard drive, thinking he'd return to it at some point. Or not.

The years passed. In the spring of 2022, the Lightning were on the brink of elimination in a first-round playoff series. Facing the prospect of a longer offseason, one in which Dave had no projects planned, he wondered how he might occupy his time. His wife, Dulcie, suggested he revisit the novel.

Over the next several weeks, the story came together in Dave's mind. As it turned out, the Lightning survived their first-round series and advanced to the Stanley Cup Final. At that point, he was ready to restart. Keeping only a small portion of what he had produced earlier, he began again. He wrote the entire novel in three and a half months.