Hi guys! Today I am so excited to welcome the fabulous authors from the new Playing Ball Anthology: Kerry Freeman, Marguerite Labbe, Shae Connor, and Kate McMurray! These lovely ladies are here to chat with us about the fun of sports romances (you can also check out our Favorite Jock Stories if you are a fan of sexy athletes!). They have also have two fabulous giveaway prizes for lucky winners along the tour. Please note you must enter through Rafflecopter, not on the blog!
So please join me in giving them all a big welcome!
Why You Should Try Sports Romance Even If You Hate Sports
Sometimes when talking about my baseball stories with a new reader, they’ll say, “I don’t like sports stories.”
And I understand that. Everyone has their preferences. Some people like historicals, while others prefer contemporaries. Some readers love shifters, and some want to read about sexy cowboys.
Still, if you don’t read sports romances, I have one good reason for you try:
Just hang on and I’ll eventually make sense.
I hate basketball. No, you don’t understand. I hate basketball. I’m obviously a baseball fan, and football season is sacred since I met my husband. (Roll Tide!) I have never remotely liked basketball.
But I love Amy Lane’s books. The Keeping Promise Rock books. Hammer & Air. Truth in the Dark. Love. Her. Books.
I saw the cover of The Locker Room, and as soon as I noticed that basketball, I decided I was not adding it to my collection. The only sport I can imagine wanting to read about less is golf. (No offense to all the basketball and golf fans.)
When the book was released, however, it was popping up everywhere online. Twitter. Blogs. Facebook. Goodreads. It all wore me down, and I finally gave in. I bought the book and settled in.
I love The Locker Room. Really, I love that book. Xander and Chris have a story that will swell your heart, rip it out of your chest, stomp on it, and put it back where it came from. Basketball brings them together and is central to their lives, but it not what the story is about in the end. It’s about men who feel they must hide who they are and who they love to have the careers and live they’ve dreamed of.
The Locker Room is a book I’ve reread. Several times. Even the basketball scenes. Still hate basketball – that didn’t change – but I’m glad I read a basketball book.
Baseball—America’s favorite pastime—provides a field wide open for romance. A Home Field Advantage may not help when Toby must choose between the team he’s loved all his life and the man he could love for the rest of it. In 1927, Skip hides his sexuality to protect his career until he meets One Man to Remember. Ruben and Alan fell victim to a Wild Pitch, leaving them struggling with heartache and guilt, and now they’ve met again. And on One Last Road Trip, Jake retires and leaves baseball behind, hoping to reconnect with Mikko and get a second chance at love.
The anthology contains the following novellas:
Home Field Advantage by Shae Connor
Toby MacMillan, grandson of Atlanta Braves owner Ray MacMillan, lives for baseball and loves his team. When he meets new team member Caleb Browning, an innocent welcome-to-the-big-leagues dinner leads to a not-so-innocent night together. Toby quickly calls things off, afraid of the ramifications of their tryst, but the two men develop a friendship that soon becomes more. After Caleb takes a fastball to the head, their budding romance hits the news—and Toby’s grandfather hits the roof. When Ray MacMillan demands Toby deny the relationship, Toby must choose between the team he’s loved all his life and the man he could love for the rest of it.
One Man to Remember by Kate McMurray
It’s 1927, and in New York City, Babe Ruth and the Yankees’ unstoppable batting lineup, Murderers’ Row, is all anyone can talk about. Across town, the Giants’ rookie infielder Skip Littlefield racks up hits, creating a streak to rival the Babe’s. Worried his secrets could get out, he avoids the spotlight, but he catches the attention of lauded sports reporter Walter Selby, a notorious dandy whose sexuality is an open secret. Skip reluctantly agrees to an interview, and mutual attraction is sparked. Skip can only hope the more charismatic stars will draw attention away from his romance with Walt. Otherwise, his career and everything he loves is at stake.
Wild Pitch by Marguerite Labbe
Ruben Martell fell in love with Alan Hartner during their years playing baseball. They stepped over the foul line once, but the encounter left them struggling with heartache and guilt, turning away from each other to focus on their families. Now retired from the majors, they run a batting cage together and coach rival Little League teams as they juggle fatherhood and being single again. Though Ruben has never given up hope that Alan might look at him as more than a friend, Alan seems determined to keep things the way they’ve always been. But long-buried feelings and desires have a way of resurfacing, and Ruben can’t wait forever.
One Last Road Trip by Kerry Freeman
With the last game of his Major League Baseball career behind him, Jake Wilson hits the road. Years have passed, but he never got over the romance he shared with Mikko Niemi back in college. Finally, he’s ready to do something about it. He starts with some crucial visits to his ex-wife in New Mexico, his son in Oklahoma, and his daughter in Tennessee. But his true destination is Mikko’s home in Georgia, where he’s hoping to get a second chance at love.
Buy at Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4197 (ebook)
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To celebrate the release of PLAYING BALL, we’re giving away two great prizes:
Grand prize: A print copy of PLAYING BALL signed by all four authors, a unisex BBQ apron featuring hot athletes from Originals by Lauren, and swag from all four authors.
Runner-up prize: An ebook copy of PLAYING BALL and swag from all four authors.
The giveaway will run from 12AM Central on September 21, 2013 to 12AM Central on October 11, 2013. To give an opportunity for the authors to get together to sign the book and gather swag, the winners will be picked and the prizes shipped after the end of GayRomLit 2013.
You must be a resident of Earth, 18 years or older, who lives in a place where the viewing of adult material is legal. By entering the giveaway, you are indicating your agreement to the rules. Winners must provide a physical mailing address to receive their prizes. If a winner does not respond to the prize notification within 48 hours, the prize will be re-awarded.
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