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Friday, May 27, 2016

Windswept Shores Two Preorder on Smashwords by Janice Seagraves

I've decided once the three months with kindle select was over, I'd launch it again through smashword.

I've been wresting with the meatgrinder this last week. That's what they call the upload and check program on smashword that also reformats your book into different reading formats.

It give me a headache, but I always do the formatting myself.

There's a template that makes everything easier and I use that. Fill it out, load in your book in the chapter section, chapter by chapter, and your good to go.

I used it because Smashwords makes your book available to: Apple iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch/Mac, Apple iBooks app from the iTunes app store,  Bluefire or FB Reader, Android devices, most e-reading app, MOBI (Kindle), PDF - for most Adobe Acrobat, and RTF.

The release date is my mother's birthday May 29th. Happy birthday, Mom.

The hero, Seth, has my mom's warm grey eyes and my dad's dimples. And the heroine lives in Anaheim California, where one of my uncles used to live.

Guess I made my hero and heroine part of the family.

WindsweptShores2_432
Blurb: Megan and Seth are finally rescued off their little island, but things are far from idyllic. Megan's husband is somehow still alive, and then Seth is arrested for murder. Which puts all plans of a wonderful future in jeopardy.
Will they ever get back together again or see the life they envisioned?

Except:
Handing him the loofah and soap, Megan turned away. Seth soaped up and started washing her back in small circles. “You know I love ya?”

She nodded.

“Liz really did sneak into the room, and I really was asleep.” He hoped she understood. He wouldn’t have brought her halfway around the world to then sleep with his ex.

Megan stiffened. “She wants you back.”

“I reckon she does, but I don’t want her. I only want you.”

After she rinsed off, she grabbed the soap and loofah from him. She gestured for him to change places with her. “I’m not one to fight over a man.” Megan worked her way from the top of his shoulders all the way down to his butt. “I never fought with Jonathan’s mistress over him. I told him to stop seeing her, but of course he didn’t.”

“Megz, I—”

“But if Liz gives me any more trouble, she’ll wish she hadn’t messed with me.”

Seth gritted his teeth against Megan’s hard scrubbing. “I reckon she will. Blimey, I know I am, and I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“No, you just lay there, letting it happen!” The soap and loofah bounced off the shower wall.

Seth turned, wrapped his arms around her, and pulled her against his chest. “I’m sorry Liz is giving you such a hard time. She’s a bit of bitch most days and a drama queen the rest. Why do you think I left?”

“Yeah, I kind of figured.” She sniffed and leaned her head against his chest.

“This is a right mess, eh?”

Megan sighed. “What are we going to do?”

“Once things get settled, I could get us a house, yeah? It’ll be a nice big mansion on a hill overlooking the ocean. In the master bath, the shower will look like your waterfall, and in the garden, we’ll have a pool and fix it so it looks like our old swimming lagoon. I’ll make us a pergola and more chairs, and you can weave the bottoms and backs. I’ll plant palm and banana trees. You can have a garden. We’ll pretend we’re still on our little island and make love all day long, eh?”

Megan looked up at him with sad sea-green eyes. “Seth, that sounds so lovely, but your father’s dying and your son misses you. You can’t leave. You’re needed here.”

He ran his hand down the side of his face. “Then what do we do, eh?”

“I don’t know.” She rested against him. “Just bide our time, I guess. But don’t blame me if you come home late one night and your ex is black and blue.”
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Windswept Shores (One) only $0.99:  http://www.amazon.com/Windswept-Shores-Survivors-Love-Story-ebook/dp/B00AS9NDNO/
Windswept Shores Two: http://www.amazon.com/Windswept-Shores-Two-survivors-story-ebook/dp/B01BPLNHTI/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
In the UK, Windswept Shores (One):  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Windswept-Shores-Survivors-Love-Story-ebook/dp/B00AS9NDNO/
In the UK, Windswept Shores Two: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Windswept-Shores-Two-survivors-story/dp/1523945117/

Preorder Windswept Shores Two on smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/637092



Thursday, May 26, 2016

You want me to pay what?




For at least as long as I’ve been paying attention, pricing for books has been a controversial subject. The advent of the digital age has only added to the fire. Amazon may not have started it, but they definitely added fuel to the slow-burning fire and transformed it into something hotly contested. They used their vast pool of buyer data to figure out some of the psychology behind who buys what, something with which the Big Publishers have a hit-or-miss relationship.

As someone who first started with smaller epublishers before swan diving off the cliff into the world to Indie publishing. I really didn’t think I’d become part of the controversy. After all, I wasn’t part of the system of corporate greed. I was just a lowly author hoping to sell enough books to eventually replace the windows in my house.

Boy, was I wrong. (And not just because the only window I replaced was due to hail damage.)

It started with my first publisher, Siren. My first book with them (about 100K words) cost $5.99, and people liked it, so it sold. After that, they charged more for the same number of words, even going as high as $7.99, which I found shocking for an ebook (though I did enjoy the royalty checks. We took our first vacation in five years.) My second publisher, Loose Id, had a similar pricing structure, charging $6.99 for a 60K novel. Again, I was shocked—but at the time the market supported those price points.

Then Amazon kicked the publishing community again, this time targeting small publishers like Siren and Loose Id. They offered authors unlimited publishing of anything, which led to a glut of free and 99 cent books. That began the deluge of low quality works that never would have made it past and editor’s desk. (Note: There was a lot of great stuff too, but much of it was lost in the torrential downpour of books suddenly on the market.)

My next publisher, Omnific, rode that low-cost-to-the-reader wave, only their gimmick was to offer high quality works that had passed the “committee of editors” test. What could go wrong with that? Vetted and cheap—it had to be a winning combination. I now had two 65K novels out there for $2.99. I loved the Kiss Me series. It was arguably some of my best work—but it is also unequivocally my worst-selling series. Kiss Me Goodnight and Kiss Me by Moonlight were stories that tugged at my heart. Lacey and Dylan haunted my dreams and stole my thoughts for almost a year. Their journeys were arduous and heartbreaking.

But very few readers take a chance on it. Why? I used to think it was because I’m known for BDSM stories, and this is a mainstream series. However reviews and feedback were great, so I had to consider other explanations. I think it goes back to basic psychology. When people have to pay more for something, they automatically assume it’s worth more. If it’s priced low, they assume it’s probably not worth the time. Readers have become wary of novels that cost less than $3.99. The latest market research tells us that readers currently like their novels to be priced between $3.99 and $6.99, and I’ve found that to be true for now. Reader psychology is a difficult and ever-changing field, and I’m poised to keep up.

I’d charge more for the Kiss Me series, but it’s out of my hands. However, I urge you to take advantage of the low-low-low price.

Blurb for Kiss Me Goodnight:

I'm Lacey Hallem, and I have a few secrets. These aren't them: I wash my hands a lot and lie when I'm stressed. Also, I have horrible taste in men. That's how I knew Dylan was trouble the first time I saw him...

Life can be challenging for Lacey, especially when things don't come in sets of six, but she's smart and funny and able to keep her demons at bay--most of the time. She might have sensed trouble when she set eyes on Dylan, a delectable musician in a vintage T-shirt, but that doesn't stop her from thinking about him, or spending more and more time in his company.

Enter Thomas. Wealthy, handsome, and completely adoring of Lacey (flaws and all), he's everything a man should be. So why can't she convince her heart to fall in love?

Prepare to be swept up in Michele Zurlo's emotional and compelling story of learning to trust yourself, facing the past, and finding strength you never knew you had.

Blurb for Kiss Me by Moonlight:

Hey there. It's Lacey again. Falling in love and landing Dylan hasn't been the panacea I thought it would be. For starters, he moved into my apartment without asking, and he continues to have no respect for my need to have things in sets of six. Pile that on top of my emotional upheaval after losing my stepfather, and you have a recipe for disaster no amount of German chocolate cake can cure...

Yes, Lacey Hallem's life remains fraught with challenge, but you know she's a fighter. Forming a talent management agency with her best friends has been the best career move she's ever made--even if it's the only thing currently working according to plan. Lacey's OCD is getting the better of her, and this time her hands aren't the only casualty. When her lies ruin her relationships with both Kiss Me Goodnight and Dylan, she's forced to confront her demons in ways she's never had to before. As she again faces her past, can she learn once and for all to let love and friendship through the barriers she's built?

Both harrowing and hilarious, this conclusion to the tale of Lacey and Dylan will leave you laughing, crying, and fanning yourself--sometimes all at once. Michele Zurlo triumphs again in this moving story about life's quirks and what we all have to do to get by.

On a side note, I'm looking for blogs to host me next month for the Re/Leased (Doms of the FBI 5) Release Blitz. I also have ARCs available for review. Use this link if you'd like to host and/or review (non-bloggers welcome): Re/Leased (DFBI 5) Blitz or Review Signup

List of Important Links:
Kiss Me Goodnight: http://amzn.to/22C2RN3
Kiss Me by Moonlight: http://amzn.to/1r2nx5I
Michele Zurlo’s Website: http://www.michelezurloauthor.com
Twitter: @MZurloAuthor
Kissing Bandits (closed FB group for MZ fans): https://www.facebook.com/groups/499290280156304/

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Escargot Or No



According to the National Day Calendar, today, May 24, is National Escargot Day. I wonder where they come up with this stuff. Since I blog on the 24th of each month, I wanted to write a blog around whatever the national day is for that date. When I saw National Escargot Day, I groaned. How could I write about escargot and relate it somehow to my books? I decided to give it a shot.



I’m not afraid to experiment with new foods. I’ve eaten kangaroo in Australia and alligator in Charleston, South Carolina. They both taste like chicken. I draw the line at horse meat, though. Once on a trip to Italy, some meat was placed in front of me that I didn’t quite trust. I didn’t eat it. Found out later it was horse meat. Europeans eat horse meat. No thanks.

I ate escargot once many years ago. I don’t remember where I had it, possibly Toronto, Canada, when I lived there, or a restaurant in Philadelphia. All I remember is the garlic. The snails themselves had no taste, but were swimming in garlic. I never ate escargot again. Tried it once and that was enough.

Unlike my willingness to try different foods, I’ve not gone outside my writer comfort zone as much as I would have liked. I love contemporary romance and have pretty much stuck to that. I do have several “foodie” romances, as I love to cook. I stretched myself to write my first romantic suspense, Logan’s Redemption (Redemption Book 1), and enjoyed the experience so much, I’ve gone on to write three more romantic suspense stories. And I intend to write more.

My biggest stretch was writing my very dark paranormal romance, Cursed Mates. This book is so different from anything I’ve ever written. It’s one of my favorites of everything I’ve done. It took a lot out of me emotionally to write something so dark, and I’ve not written another dark paranormal since.

I think pushing myself to go out of my contemporary romance comfort zone has helped me grow as a writer. As I will most likely not eat escargot again, I doubt I’ll write another dark paranormal, but I’m glad for the experience. And I got a book I love and am proud of.

My next “stretch” will be to write a historical romance. For years, I’ve wanted to write a book set during the Gilded Age, a time that fascinates me. I even have a rough plot. Just as I hope to have the opportunity to try more exotic foods, I hope to someday write this book. In the meantime, I’m committed to a boxed set with some local authors, several of whom are NYT and USAT bestsellers. In this set, I’ll write a historical romance, if you call 1970-1971 historical. I’ll rely on my own memory plus some research to write my Vietnam War era story. Who knew a period during my lifetime would now be considered history?

What about you? Are you a fearless eater, willing to try exotic foods at least once? Have you written stories that took you out of your comfort zone? How’d that work out for you?

Below are covers for my first foodie romance, A Catered Romance, and my most recent foodie story, Capri Nights. Also the cover for Logan’s Redemption, which is free now, and the cover for Cursed Mates. I hope I’ve whetted your appetite to try my stories.


 Buy Links:

  Print: http://www.amazon.com/Cursed-Mates-Cara-Marsi/dp/0991597583

Capri Nights:

A Catered Romance:
Print: http://www.amazon.com/Catered-Romance-Cara-Marsi/dp/0991597567

Logan's Redemption:

#Giveaway ~ Author @Elaine_Violette talks about her newest #Historical #Romance on #RB4U

Thank you for the kind invitation to tell your readers about my newest Historical Romance eBook, THE DIARY OF NARCISSA DUNN, launched May 1st.
When I first began writing novels, they were strictly British romances, always my favorite to read. Perhaps because I love to travel, I sent my heroine in my third book, A KISS OF PROMISE, on a harrowing journey across the ocean to Boston. In THE DIARY OF NARCISSA DUNN, the setting is 1800s New England as two men vie for the same woman for different reasons.  My inspiration for THE DIARY OF NARCISSA DUNN came from a morning walk in a cemetery. After reading a compelling and captivating epitaph on an old gravestone, I knew I had to write a novel based on the message.  No spoilers!  I hope readers will be captivated as well.

THE DIARY OF NARCISSA DUNN is a ghostly love story that arouses our social conscience and can test our ability to forgive the unforgivable.  Set in New England, pre-Civil War, the story reveals the complex relationship between a father and daughter. When Olivia’s father, a minister, tries to force her into an unwanted marriage, mysterious events occur, creating havoc in the parsonage.
Meanwhile, Benjamin Pratt, desperately in love with Olivia discovers an old diary that exposes long hidden secrets that could shatter her identity and destroy her family. As he competes with another suitor, her father’s choice, he is torn between revealing destructive truths or keep the secret and watch her marry another. Either way, he’s bound to lose her unless a mysterious woman intervenes.

Pre-order Buy Links:
The Diary of Narcissa Dunn for Kindle: http://amzn.com/B01EBA54T6

About the Author
Elaine writes British and American Historical Romances. Part of the fun of writing Historicals, she says, is doing research into the past and creating characters that live and love in those sometimes glorious and sometimes harrowing times. A veteran English teacher, she resides on the Connecticut shoreline with her golfing husband, Drew, and delights in being a wife, mother, and grandmother. Other favorite activities apart from reading and writing are nature walks, kayaking, and baking yummy desserts.

Author Links
Sign up for Elaine’s newsletter on her website:  www.elaineviolette.com  
“Like” her on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/elaineviolette.author

Drawing for a Gift Card to Amazon!
We authors love to connect with our readers. I’m giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card for one reader who comments on this blog and signs up for my newsletter on my website www.elaineviolette.com.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Only 3 Days Left: FALLING FOR FORESTER by Renee Vincent

That's right, romance lovers! May 24th marks the release date of the third book of my Mavericks of Meeteetse series and I can't wait for you to read it! It's one of my favorites as I've not written a hero quite like Cole Forester.

If you enjoy cowboy romance, then I encourage you to pick this one up. Even though it's the third story in the series, each of them can be read as stand alones. However, for a much more enjoyable read, I recommend reading the series in order, and rest assured, each book has a Happily Ever After!


*And for your reading enjoyment, I've included a tempting little excerpt. I hope you enjoy!

FALLING FOR FORESTER
Mavericks of Meeteetse, Book 3 (Cole & Crys)
Paperback: Amazon

Nothing says damsel in distress like white smoke billowing from the hood of a full-sized pickup truck on the side of the road. And nothing wills a man to pull over like a nice curvy butt in jeans.

Cole Forester shot a quick glance in his rearview mirror before he decided to stop and help, taking in the length of the woman’s blonde hair falling down her back. Much to his surprise, her beautiful golden locks almost reached her ass, stopping short of her low-rise denim belt loops. He tamped down a smile, pulled over, and threw the shifter into Park.

Looks like my shitty day is finally perking up.

Sammy, his Australian Blue Heeler, barked twice and sat up on the front seat beside him. Cole noticed he no longer struggled with rising to his feet, despite the long, gruesome scar running across his hind leg from a protective mama grizzly a few months ago. Doc Peterson had said it might take as long as six months for Sammy to heal. Cole was thrilled it had taken less.

He scratched Sammy behind the ears and commanded him to stay. The dog whined once in protest but did as he was told.

Cole stepped out of the cab as he adjusted his cowboy hat. Steam still spewed from the radiator of her truck, which he noticed was a three-quarter-ton GMC with alloy wheels and a killer paint job, but the cute blonde was nowhere to be found.

He shut his truck door and pointed another warning to Sammy before walking toward her vehicle. He examined the scene. New truck. Texas plates. Matching horse trailer. And a disappearing lady in distress.

He chuckled to himself, wondering where the hell she went. He’d heard the folks in Texas didn’t mess around. With his luck, she probably ran inside her living quarters for a gun. When he brought to mind her small stature, he couldn’t imagine one ounce of aggression in that sweet little body, much less a woman equipped to wield a firearm.

He walked around the passenger side of her truck and looked down the length of the rig behind it. By the time he peeked through the tinted cab windows, he heard the unmistakable sound of a pump-action shotgun behind him.

He froze and slowly raised his hands to shoulder level. “Easy, ma’am.”

“I’ll ease up after you get back in your truck and roll on, mister.”

Cole smiled, entertained by the woman’s bravery. At six foot five, two hundred forty pounds, he was nothing to sneeze at. And based on the good look he got of her as he drove by, he figured she couldn’t have been much taller than five foot seven.

“I don’t blame you for being cautious in this day and age, little lady, but I’m harmless.”

“Yeah, that’s what they all say.”

“They?”

“Rapists and murderers.”

Cole scoffed. “Might I give you some advice? You shouldn’t hang around people like that.”

“You think you’re funny?”

He did, but was mighty glad she couldn’t see the grin on his face. She’d have pumped his ass full of lead. “Call it a defense mechanism for having a gun pointed at my back. I’m only trying to be a gentleman.”

“Unfortunately, I don’t know you well enough to tell if you’re lying. And the longer you stand here, the more suspicious I become of your Good Samaritan act. Consider this a fair warning. I know how to use this thing, I’m far from gullible, and I have trust issues.”

You don’t say. “Look, I couldn’t care less whether you believe me or not. But you’re not going anywhere with that radiator overheating. You need fluid in that engine, and the closest place is about ten miles up the road. It’s called the Wagon Wheel. Nice little place that serves cold drinks and hot bar food. I’m driving that way myself and wouldn’t mind giving you a lift.”

“It’s kind of you, but I’ll pass.”

“You’ll never make it without some sort of fluid to cool the engine, especially with that trailer. And it’s a long way on foot.”

“I’ve got a horse.”

“At least tell me you have a phone—”

“Got that too. Should I call the police right now?”

Cole slowly turned around and looked at his stubborn adversary. She stood with her feet spread and gripped a gorgeous Remington Model 870 Wingmaster pump-action shotgun at her shoulder like a pro, unlike a novice who’d be hip-shooting.

Nice.

“Something else funny?”

He must have smiled, but he quickly erased it. “Not at all. I was just admiring your weapon of choice. Got one just like it.”

“Then you know it’s pretty lethal at close range. Not to mention it has a solid steel receiver and twin action bars for flawless cycling. It’s an American icon that will take you down in the blink of an eye.”

Cole didn’t hide his amusement this time. She’d grabbed his attention with her sweet little ass but stole his heart with her proficient knowledge of firearms. He could almost marry her. A picture of them standing together at an altar beneath a rustic arbor of elk antlers popped into his head. She wore a simple white sundress, cowboy boots, and a scowl, much like the look she was giving him now. “I do,” he stated, “know all that and more about the Remington.”

“Good. Now, please don’t make me prove it.”

He watched her step to the side, giving him room to move between her and her truck. Her sights remained on him. “Yes, ma’am.”

Keeping his hands raised, he held her gaze as he slipped past. While glad to leave in one piece, part of him was disappointed he hadn’t snagged her name. It wasn’t often a woman like that waltzed into his world. Most were typical powder-and-paint chicks whose expertise lay in accessorizing and lip gloss application. This one was a genuine cowgirl with piss and vinegar running through her veins. She had a free, untamable spirit and a big Texas ego, for neither of which she’d ever apologize. Like the crisp mountain breeze of Wyoming, she was truly a breath of fresh air.

Staring down the barrel, he backed up all the way to his truck and climbed inside. Sammy remained quiet and submissive, greeting him only with a happy tail wag as he tugged the shifter into Drive. From his view in the side mirror, he could see she kept aim. He pinched the brim of his hat and nodded a polite cowboy farewell at her reflection before pulling away.

Driving off proved harder than he expected. She’d made a considerable impression on him, and he hated that he’d never see her again. Against his better judgment, he glanced at his rear mirrors from time to time. He fought the urge to tromp down on the brakes and spin a U-ee. Was he crazy? Was he trying to get himself killed?

You fool! She’s a girl, made of gunpowder and lead who’d love a good excuse to prove it.

Sammy nuzzled next to him as if he sensed his discontentment. Cole absently stroked his fur, mulling over his options. Essentially, he had none. Whether she fascinated him or not, he couldn’t go back there without the risk of getting shot.

Sammy barked, jerking Cole’s focus away from the long stretch of blacktop behind him. He pulled his dog closer and patted him soundly. “You’re right. She ain’t worth it. Besides, women only complicate things, don’t they?”

Sammy acknowledged him with another yap and offered his paw. Cole laughed and shook it, pretending to accept the dog’s proposition. “Deal. Only a bachelor’s life for us.”

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Other books in the series:
LONGING FOR LANGSTON: Novella, Book 1 (Brody & Liv)
MADE FOR McKINLEY: Book 2 (Jonas & Ava)
FALLING FOR FORESTER: Book 3 (Cole & Crys)
WILD FOR WALLACE: Book 4 (Sawyer & Charlotte)

*All the books in this series can be read as stand alones*
Click HERE to read more about the Mavericks of Meeteetse Series or on each individual book.

Available now!
Novella, Book 1
(Brody & Liv)
Available now!
Book 2
(Jonas & Ava)
Coming May 24th!
Book 3
(Cole & Crys)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May - Ready For Some Beach Volleyball?

Most writers use all sorts of experiences from their past, inserting details from real life. I certainly could be called a gym rat at one point in time. Both my daughters played club volleyball in high school, and then played in college. I was familiar with the smell, the feel of the gym and the groups of girls who came and went, their entourage in tow. Girls were looking for coaches to scout them to perhaps give a spot to try out for a team, perhaps defraying part of college costs. Indeed, for my girls, playing volleyball did help out with college expenses.

My new Band of Bachelors, Book 2: Alex, releases next month. The heroine of this story, Sydney Robinson, is a beach volleyball player, seeking a new partner after her old one is injured. Of course she will meet Navy SEAL Alex Kowicki on a blind date, one of many he's allowed his bachelor buddies to arrange for him. Their first encounter is as an explosive and unusual affair involving zombies, popcorn with Junior Mints and soda. Not fair for me to give you all the deets.

It's the first time I've written a six foot four inch lady, and one who is taller than the leading man. She has an Amazon body, and isn't afraid to use it. And she's a complicated mess at first when the reader gets first introduced to her. She has her strong side, and her soft little girl side she doesn't let people see very often.


     He watched her sleep, as she hugged his upper arm, burying it into her chest, looking like little girl lost, like she’d never let go. Her face with a soft crease between her brows indicated perhaps she’d had a sudden bad dream. Maybe that’s what wakened him.  Carefully he used his other hand, drawing the strands of brown hair from her forehead to watch her more closely. She clutched his upper arm tighter, rolling her hips against his thigh in her sleep.


I wrote about soccer players in SEAL's Goal in the Kindle World Game For Love. I spent hours and hours on the sidelines at soccer matches, even getting tossed for making a comment about a reffing call. For the most part, I behaved.

Bringing sports into my SEAL stories has been a fun adventure for me. There are so many similar things an elite athlete does, just like a Navy SEAL. The focus, the training, the working with teammates--all these things are similar and make for good content. How they get expressed, or not expressed, adds some tension to the romance. Competition can be a good thing. In a romance it can also be a bad thing.

I wrote this scene describing the fictitious gym called The Beach in my town of Santa Rosa. It's a gym, if I could have about $10M and some change to build, that would be a huge youth center and a boon to the community. It also will figure heavily in the later part of the book in a surprise twist. Here's the scene, as I saw it:

    She arrived at the Beach Inc. complex twenty minutes early. Already the parking lot was filling with Suburbans as scores of high school girls teams poured into the main gym, knee pads floating above their socks at their ankles.
            Sydney walked through the heavy glass doors and heard the roar of voices, whistles and team shouts. The air was cool, electric with excitement, purpose. She could smell the competitiveness hitting her flush in the face and she loved it. Drank from it. Inhaling, she discovered she’d been holding up the entrance, so stepped aside to let several young players and their chapperones enter.
            Carly had reserved a sand court, she’d told her. Sydney began to walk further into the space. The two-story structure had perhaps a dozen traditional indoor courts, on both floors. Large expanses of glass divided the playing areas, with skylights bathing the whole interior in natural light. The state-of-the-art facility was impressive.
            Several games were in progress. Sounds of whistles, the never-ending “sideout” and team cheers echoed throughout the huge structure. Parents and other team players sat on padded seats on risers instead of the standard metal or wooden benches Sydney was used to.
            A Hawaiian-themed snack bar was down at one end of the building, near the four sand courts. Beach Boy and Margaritaville music boomed while two attendants in flowered Aloha shirts helped the customers. A short line of thin giraffe-like girls waited for smoothies and bagels for breakfast. Sydney had been one of them not too long ago. The squeal of an espresso machine pierced the air and surprised her.
            Sydney smiled and shook her head. This was not what her growing up had been like. She’d played in hot smelly gyms all over California, from brand new courts in the Central Valley to dingy inner city courts lined with graffiti and exploded toilets in the Bay Area and L.A. She’d attended summer camps at colleges that didn’t have gyms as nice as this one was.
            “Hey, bitch!” Carly’s voice streamed across the room. “You ready to play, or are you going to go have a smoothie?”

How about you? Do you enjoy reading about sports in romance novels, and if so, which sports? Do you like reading about men or women's sports, or both?



Sharon Hamilton
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.

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