Consider every sports movie you’ve ever seen. They follow a pretty predictable pattern: the hero is usually a scrappy, down-on-his-luck player—probably a has-been whose career already peaked—who finds himself on a team of misfits who can’t possibly win a game, except the team somehow comes together and faces adversity head-on. The hero and his team win the big game, the hero gets the girl, we all cheer, the end! You don’t have to know the first thing about field goals or RBIs to follow the story.
Me, I love sports movies. I’m a total sucker for those up-close-and-personal stories they do about the athletes during the Olympics, so a movie deliberately engineered to pull an emotional response from the audience is going to get me. The themes are universal: overcoming obstacles, triumphing over adversity, pushing yourself to do things you never thought yourself capable of, and finding true love in the end. What’s not to love?
So, too, with sports romances. In a good one, the athlete has something to overcome, but it’s something we all experience: injury, age, prejudice, and so on. It can make for a compelling set-up, with clear opponents and challenges. You don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy that (though certainly it doesn’t hurt if you are!)
Team sports are particularly compelling because it’s a group of people who have to work together to achieve a goal. Friendships and camaraderie develop, brotherhoods are formed. I always imagine it must be completely wrenching to get traded, to have to move to another city and leave your team behind. This must be especially true in baseball, where you have to figure out how to make the team function as a unit over 160 games each year—more if you go to the play-offs—but then the whims of team ownership send you to a new group of players you have to figure out how to work with. There’s a lot of potential for stories there.
Well, and also, let’s face it: athletes. Not hard on the eyes.
A mutual love of sports romances and baseball in particular drove me, Shae Connor, Marguerite Labbe, and Kerry Freeman to collaborate on an anthology of baseball stories. Each is pretty different, which only goes to show how much material there is to mine from in the sports world. We had a blast putting the book together and we hope all of you love it, too.
The Playing Ball anthology is available now from Dreamspinner Press! You can enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to win a copy of the book and some other great prizes here: https://www.facebook.com/authorkerryfreeman?sk=app_228910107186452
About today author: Kate McMurray is an unabashed romance fan. Her first published novel, In Hot Pursuit, came out in February 2010, and she’s been writing feverishly ever since. She likes stories that are brainy, funny, and of course sexy, with regular guy characters and urban sensibilities. When she’s not writing, Kate works a nonfiction editor. She also reads a lot, plays the violin, knits and crochets, and drools over expensive handbags. She’s maybe a tiny bit obsessed with baseball. She’s currently serving as Vice President of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT romance chapter of Romance Writers of America. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with a pesky cat. Visit her at www.katemcmurray.com.
Playing Ball by Shae Connor, Kate McMurray, Kerry Freeman and Marguerite Labbe
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press; 1 edition (September 24, 2013)
Amazon Kindle: Playing Ball
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.
Home Field Advantage by Shae Connor
One Man to Remember by Kate McMurray
Wild Pitch by Marguerite Labbe
One Last Road Trip by Kerry Freeman
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