"A daughter's tale of family and football."

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The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen

The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen is a memoir about growing up in the South, football, and the death of the patriarch from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). It tells the story of a life in football from a daughter’s perspective. It provides an intimate look at one family’s rise through the ranks of competitive football—from player to high school, then college coaching; followed by coaching in the WFL, CFL, and NFL, and ultimately to Super Bowl champions. It also chronicles the family’s struggle to deal with and understand the decline of the father who was at the center of this lifestyle from CTE.

Told in a rich Southern voice, this is a story of one family’s love of a game and each other. It is a story of one man’s strength of character and the woman’s love that sustained him. It is a coming of age story of a strong-willed, independent young woman. It is a story that will make you laugh and make you cry.

Upcoming Signings and Events

  • Barnes and Noble, UT Knoxville on September 16th @ 1pm
  • Barnes and Noble, Georgia Tech on September 29th TBA (based on start of the game)
  • Books Inc on Chestnut San Francisco on October 17 @ 7pm 
  • The Tattered Cover, Denver CO on November 5th @ 7pm
  • Barnes and Noble, Flagstaff AZ on November 10th @ 12pm
  • Sedona Library on October 13th @ 2pm
  • Changing Hands, Phoenix AZ on November 20th @ 7pm

Upcoming Podcasts and Interviews

  • Average to Savage 
  • Monday Morning Critic 
  • For the Win 


The King of Halloween and Miss Firecracker Queen is available in e-form at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and Morgan-James-Publishing.com. The print version of the book can also be found at Books-A-Million, Chapters, and Powell's.


“With humor and grace Leachman has woven a tale about a smart, headstrong southern girl coming of age in a male-centric world. Full of tragedies and triumphs, it is a powerful love story of one family’s devotion to a game and each other.”

— Katharine Ashe, USA Today bestselling author of THE DUKE.


“A daughter’s heartwarming account of growing up in a football family. A family’s heartbreaking account of dealing with neurodegenerative disease.”

— Kevin Guskiewicz, MacArthur Genuis Award Winner; member NCAA Concussion Committee,  director Center for the Study of Retired Athletes.


"Ultimately, it is a story of her parents’ marriage, growing up in the South and then losing the father who stood at the center of it all.”

— Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life, among others; Member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers























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Lori Leachman is a professor of economics at Duke University. She has been teaching economics at the university level for over thirty-five years. She earned her Ph.D. in economics in 1987, from the University of South Carolina. Before turning to literature, Dr. Leachman wrote for and published in a variety of academic Journals. Lori also has a passion for painting when she is not working as a professor. Her paintings are sold here, and in galleries all over the US. She has been included in "Who's Who of America's Teachers". In 2003, Dr. Leachman was awarded the Howard D. Johnson Distinguished Teaching Award fr teaching excellence. 



Paintings by Lori