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Archive for December 4th, 2013

CARINA_1213_9781426897566_ChristmasCurveballWhen newly-single Rachel Tanner finds out that pro pitcher Kevin Ganlin has come home to recover from an injury, her heart skips a beat. She’s loved him from afar since her preteen years, never bold enough to let him know.

Kevin is less than thrilled when Rachel shows up at his doorstep. She’s his best friend’s little sister and officially off limits. Besides, he’s staring early retirement in the face, a one-man pity-party with no interest in anything more serious than quick flings on the road. Until an icy mishap lands Rachel cozied up on his sofa, irresistible in his practice sweats.

A little game of Truth or Truth reveals much more than Rachel had ever dared to hope and leads to a midnight make-out session that leaves them both panting. But can she trust that he’s truly changed his ways? This Christmas, Kevin will do whatever it takes to make Rachel understand she’s the only one for him.

 

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Fatin was my very first book friend and the first person I got to meet in person from the book world, so getting to write my first blog post for my debut book for her just seems right. Since I’ve never done this before, I asked her if there was a particular topic she wanted me to write on and she asked me to answer the question: How did I come up with the story idea for Christmas Curveball?

Oh, sure. Dive right into the convoluted workings of my brain, why don’t you, Fatin?

I first came up with a particular scene, and not even a scene. More like a picture, or a moment, as part of a scene. And the funny thing is, that scene didn’t make it in this book. I tried writing that scene several different ways, but it just wasn’t right for this particular story. And no, I’m not going to tell you what that particular scene is because I hope to still include it in a book down the road someday.

But right after I had that scene in my head, I had the idea for the hero’s job and why he was in a cabin by himself—he was a professional baseball player recovering from a career-ending injury. At first I saw him on crutches, but trying to orchestrate the kind of set-up that would be needed to create such a devastating injury was a little much for a holiday novella. Which meant he had to be a pitcher. That was all there was to it. My next problem, though, was then figuring out exactly what kind of injury he’d need to suffer to truly end his career.

For that, I turned to Sierra Dean. If you don’t follow her on twitter or only know her through her Secret McQueen books, you might not realize just how much of a baseball fan Sierra is. I wouldn’t call her obsessed…well, maybe I would. She definitely knows her baseball facts and she reassured me that I didn’t need anything elaborate to take out poor Kevin.

Baseball pitches are fast. Like 90 mph fast. That means return hits are fast. By the time the pitcher has thrown the ball, the ball has traveled 60 feet to home plate, and the batter has hit the ball back toward the pitcher, only two seconds has passed. There’s always a chance the ball could come straight back at the pitcher (line drive), and if the ball hits the pitcher’s arm, causing a bone bruise or shatters his elbow—which is what happened to our hero—his career is done.

For a couple months after Angela James’s holiday anthology submission call, I struggled to make the story that wanted to be written fit with the original picture in my mind and they just wouldn’t gel. There were several reasons for this. One was the tone. The original idea wasn’t as easy-going and probably not as natural to my voice as I’ve since learned. Another was the actual sub-genre. My original idea would’ve had me submitting to a different anthology, but the story that wanted to be written was solidly contemporary, so that’s what I wrote.

The original idea for my heroine, Rachel, wasn’t anywhere close to how she ended up. She’s a completely different person and was born from a twitter conversation based on a blog post about favorite tropes used in romances. I enjoy so many different ones and in love with my best friend’s little sister is one of my favorites. Since my heroine needed to be a completely different person and I was writing the story, I decided I could write one of my personal favorites and hope it goes over well with readers.

Even though this isn’t a true sports story, I did find out that there is such a thing as groupies for professional baseball players, and depending on the position of the player, the better chance he has of getting some after any and every game. Pitchers rank very high on the ladder for being able to have a woman in their bed every night.

So I married a little bit of a sports theme with a guy who has the reputation for being a manwhore with the in love with the best friend’s little sister trope. Favorite tropes are talked about all the time, but for this giveaway, I want you to tell me: if an author were going to write a book for you, what theme would you want married to which trope?

 

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For more information and buy links, visit www.sharimikels.com.  And for the chance to win a digital copy of Christmas Curveball, just leave a comment below answering Shari’s question. Good luck! 😀

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