Reader, I married a baseball fan.
To be clear: My husband doesn’t just enjoy baseball. He doesn’t just appreciate a beer and a dog and nine innings on a hot summer night.
My husband participates in a fantasy baseball league that drafts an entire team roster – down to the 25th man. My husband remembers specific plays from games that he watched – live or on TV – more than a decade ago. My husband was politely asked not to continue participating in a trivia game at the Baseball Hall of Fame because he knew the answer to every single question.
When we got married, I’d never actually watched an entire baseball game. The closest I’d come to baseball was playing softball in gym class, where we had enough people that we created a position called “outer left field”, which was far enough out that I could sit and read a book while the game went on far in front of me.
But in the name of love, a woman does what a woman needs to do.
At first, I started to memorize specific facts about baseball. Jason Varitek, the switch-hitting catcher for the Boston Red Sox, wore number 33. The most common double play is scored 6-4-3, which means that the shortstop caught the ball and threw it to the second baseman, who caught it and threw it to the first baseman. The infield fly rule states…
Okay, I’ve yet to master the infield fly rule. But you get my point. I memorized a lot of individual facts. And I watched a lot of baseball games on TV (knitting always in hand.)
Somewhere along the way, all those facts started to coalesce into a new whole. I understood details about the game that had been invisible to me before. I developed opinions about specific players – who was good, who was not, who was living up to his potential, etc. When I traveled (which I often did for work), I checked box scores in the morning, to see which teams had won.
And then my baseball life was turned upside down: Washington DC received its own team. Suddenly, we didn’t have to drive over an hour to watch a game in Baltimore. We had players featured on the front page of our local newspaper. We had rivalries with other teams.
At first, my husband and I purchased tickets to a conservative five games a year. Then, we joined a group, and we attended eight games a year. And then, two years ago, my beloved husband came to me with puppy-dog eyes and asked if we could get a quarter-season ticket – twenty games played between April and September (with the lure of post-season October ball after that.)
Now, twenty games are a lot. And, truth be told, nine innings are a lot. (A friend once confessed she thought games only had 7.5 innings, because her father always made her leave at the Seventh Inning Stretch. I think her father was on to something!)
Clearly, with a quarter-season ticket, I needed to do something to make all that baseball work for me.
I’m a writer, so the solution became clear. I needed to write books about baseball. But not just any books. I needed to write a series of romance novels – nine books, all built around the same (imaginary) team. Nine heroes, each a sexy, confident Raleigh Rockets Player. Nine heroines, each a sexy, confident… Well, something. Some profession that made her come in contact with the Rockets.
I developed my characters. I plotted my novels. I made sure that they had enough emotion (and enough love scenes!) to appeal to readers who aren’t baseball fans. I started writing them at the end of the baseball season. And now, with the start of the 2014 season, I’m ready to share the Diamond Brides Series with you.
First up – Perfect Pitch. Here’s the, um, pitch:
Reigning beauty queen Samantha Winger is launching her pet project, a music program for kids. All she has to do is follow the pageant’s rules—no smoking, drinking, or “cavorting” in public.
That’s fine, until D.J. Thomas—God’s gift to baseball—throws her a wild pitch. He slams her in an interview, and the video goes viral. Sam’s no shrinking violet. She parlays D.J.’s apology into a national T.V. appearance—and a very unexpected, very public kiss.
Soon, paparazzi catch the couple in a steamy make-out session, and Sam’s music program is on the block. The blazing hot relationship is threatened even more when D.J.’s son begs to trade in Little League for music class.
Can Sam and D.J. sizzle past the sour notes and find their perfect pitch?
It’s available in the Book View Café store today. And in two weeks, you can buy Catching Hell. And two weeks after that, Reaching First will hit the stands. And every month, till the end of baseball season – one new very spicy contemporary romance Diamond Brides book.
Because, really. I fell in love with a baseball fan. What else could I do?
You can find Perfect Pitch in the BVC Bookstore, value-priced at $0.99!