Today I am so pleased to welcome Vanessa North to Joyfully Jay. Vanessa has come to talk to us about her latest release, Roller Girl. She has also brought along a great giveaway! Please join me in giving Vanessa a big welcome!

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Why Roller Derby?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, since I announced I was writing this book, why I chose roller derby as the sport around which it was set. I don’t have a simple answer because it wasn’t a simple decision—if I was going to write another sports story, it had to fit Tina’s post-divorce and post-transition narrative.

I made the decision to write another sports story while writing Rough Road. I knew I wanted to write a book about Tina finding love again after her divorce, but I didn’t decide how until I wrote Eddie’s story. There’s a scene where Tina strips down to her bikini while on Eddie’s boat, and he notices bruises. Big, nasty-looking bruises. And she blissfully tells him she’s taken up roller derby. I chose to make a big deal of the bruises because that scene was an important moment in Eddie’s narrative, a moment that pushed him a little closer to his own HEA. But it also set the scene for what would become Tina’s narrative.

So, why roller derby?

The sport is openly, unequivocally trans-friendly, would leave bruises for Eddie to notice, and is welcoming to women of all ages. But beyond that, it’s a sport that subverts society’s demands on women’s bodies. Derby isn’t a nice sport. It’s fast, bloody, vicious and full contact. All body shapes have advantages, and it is a body-positive sport. When you’re a fat girl, wearing booty shorts and fishnets is an act of revolution against a society that says you must not.

This is the sport I chose for Tina—a sport that celebrates female athleticism, sexiness, and gives two middle fingers to the patriarchal gaze.

Fuck yeah, roller derby.


Roller GirlRecently divorced Tina Durham is trying to be self-sufficient, but her personal-training career is floundering, her closest friends are swept up in new relationships, and her washing machine has just flooded her kitchen. It’s enough to make a girl cry.

Instead, she calls a plumbing service, and Joanne “Joe Mama” Delario comes to the rescue. Joe is sweet, funny, and good at fixing things. She also sees something special in Tina and invites her to try out for the roller derby team she coaches.

Derby offers Tina an outlet for her frustrations, a chance to excel, and the female friendships she’s never had before. And as Tina starts to thrive at derby, the tension between her and Joe cranks up. Despite their player/coach relationship, they give in to their mutual attraction. Sex in secret is hot, but Tina can’t help but want more.

With work still on the rocks and her relationship in the closet, Tina is forced to reevaluate her life. Can she be content with a secret lover? Or with being dependent on someone else again? It’s time for Tina to tackle her fears, both on and off the track.


Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

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Roller Girl GiveawayTo celebrate the release of Roller Girl, Vanessa will be sending one lucky winner a special gift basket! Gift basket will include an autographed copy of Roller Girl, a purple Lake Lovelace Roller Girl t-shirt in your size, a pair of waffle earrings, some derby stickers, and more! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 30, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post