Posts Tagged ‘kate mcmurray’

PlayingBall_tourbanner

HUG IT OUT!

By Shae Connor

One of the Atlanta Braves’ newer stars is first baseman Freddie Freeman, a tall, red-haired, corn-fed boy from central California. All of 23 years old, Freddie’s nonetheless become a clubhouse leader and a fan favorite, not just for his stellar play on the field but also for one big reason: Freddie LOVES to give hugs.

freddiehugs

In particular, Freddie loves to hug his BFF, Dan Uggla.

freddiedanhugs

Freddie and Dan hug so often, and so well, that it’s become an advertising gimmick (link: http://wapc.mlb.com/atl/play/?content_id=27085283&c_id=atl), a meme (link: http://freddiefreemanhuggingpeople.tumblr.com/), and even a fandom, complete with their own portmanteau: Fruggla.

fruggla

Their bromance gets even cuter when you realize that Freddie is 6 inches taller, and Dan is 10 years older. Seriously, how many gay romance stories have you read with setups like that?

It’s close friendships between teammates like these that lend themselves to fiction, and baseball is full of them. No, the characters in Home Field Advantage aren’t based on Freeman and Uggla (though Caleb does have some similarities to Freddie), but that doesn’t mean they won’t end up in the pages in some form somewhere. If not mine, then someone else’s.

I’d love to hear from other fans about your favorite pro sports friendships. Not just in baseball, either! A friend of mine is a big fan of two hockey players who are BFFs. What sports friendships do you follow, and what makes them so great?

While you’re thinking that over, take a minute to enter our giveaway! We’re offering two prizes. The grand prize is a print copy of Playing Ball signed by all four authors, a unisex BBQ apron featuring hot athletes from Originals by Lauren (https://www.etsy.com/shop/OriginalsbyLauren), and swag from all four authors. The runner-up will get an ebook copy of Playing Ball and swag from all four authors.

The giveaway will run from 12 AM Central on September 21, 2013, to 12 AM Central on October 11, 2013. To give an opportunity for the authors to get together to sign the book and gather swag, the winners will be picked and the prizes shipped after the end of GayRomLit 2013.

Rules: You must be a resident of Earth, 18 years or older, who lives in a place where the viewing of adult material is legal. By entering the giveaway, you are indicating your agreement to the rules. Winners must provide a physical mailing address to receive their prizes. If a winner does not respond to the prize notification within 48 hours, the prize will be re-awarded.

  Click here to enter!

Playing Ball

Playing BallShae Connor, Kate McMurray, Kerry Freeman, and Marguerite Labbe

Cover by Aaron Anderson

Published by Dreamspinner Press

270 pages

Blurb

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.

The anthology contains the following novellas:

Home Field Advantage by Shae Connor

Toby MacMillan, grandson of Atlanta Braves owner Ray MacMillan, lives for baseball and loves his team. When he meets new team member Caleb Browning, an innocent welcome-to-the-big-leagues dinner leads to a not-so-innocent night together. Toby quickly calls things off, afraid of the ramifications of their tryst, but the two men develop a friendship that soon becomes more. After Caleb takes a fastball to the head, their budding romance hits the news—and Toby’s grandfather hits the roof. When Ray MacMillan demands Toby deny the relationship, Toby must choose between the team he’s loved all his life and the man he could love for the rest of it.

One Man to Remember by Kate McMurray

It’s 1927, and in New York City, Babe Ruth and the Yankees’ unstoppable batting lineup, Murderers’ Row, is all anyone can talk about. Across town, the Giants’ rookie infielder Skip Littlefield racks up hits, creating a streak to rival the Babe’s. Worried his secrets could get out, he avoids the spotlight, but he catches the attention of lauded sports reporter Walter Selby, a notorious dandy whose sexuality is an open secret. Skip reluctantly agrees to an interview, and mutual attraction is sparked. Skip can only hope the more charismatic stars will draw attention away from his romance with Walt. Otherwise, his career and everything he loves is at stake.

Wild Pitch by Marguerite Labbe

Ruben Martell fell in love with Alan Hartner during their years playing baseball. They stepped over the foul line once, but the encounter left them struggling with heartache and guilt, turning away from each other to focus on their families. Now retired from the majors, they run a batting cage together and coach rival Little League teams as they juggle fatherhood and being single again. Though Ruben has never given up hope that Alan might look at him as more than a friend, Alan seems determined to keep things the way they’ve always been. But long-buried feelings and desires have a way of resurfacing, and Ruben can’t wait forever.

One Last Road Trip by Kerry Freeman

With the last game of his Major League Baseball career behind him, Jake Wilson hits the road. Years have passed, but he never got over the romance he shared with Mikko Niemi back in college. Finally, he’s ready to do something about it. He starts with some crucial visits to his ex-wife in New Mexico, his son in Oklahoma, and his daughter in Tennessee. But his true destination is Mikko’s home in Georgia, where he’s hoping to get a second chance at love.

Buy at Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4197 (ebook)

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4198 (paperback)

Buy at ARe:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-playingball-1304727-166.html

Buy at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Playing-Ball-ebook/dp/B00FF0X2BE/

Check out the full schedule of this Blog Tour here:

http://shaeconnorwrites.com/2013/09/20/playing-ball-blog-tour-schedule/

Reviewed by Nikyta J.

(This review may contain SPOILERS)

TITLE: Save the Date
AUTHOR: Kate McMurray
PUBLISHER: Loose Id Publishing
LENGTH: 126 pages
BLURB: Tristan knows he and his ex-boyfriend Stuart were not meant to be, but that doesn’t make the invitation to Stuart’s wedding any less of a punch in the face. Tris decides that the only thing for it is to find a super hot date to prove to Stuart that he’s moved on and is doing just fine, thanks.

The path to the altar is fraught with obstacles, however, and Tris has to deal with the wilds of online dating, wardrobe malfunctions, men who look like pirates, emotional baggage, grooms with cold feet, and sports team rivalries before he even gets to the wedding. But when Tris stumbles on love in the last place he expects, he’ll need to let go of the past in order to move forward.

REVIEW:

When I read the blurb for this, I was thinking it’d be along the lines of the movie The Wedding Date, which I adored and have watched a bunch of times. While it does have a similar vibe to the movie, the big difference is this takes place mostly before the wedding and follows Tristan on his journey to finding a date to his ex’s nuptials. Going on blind dates and then online dating, he discovers Darren’s secret. Darren never meant to keep the fact he was gay from Tristan but he just never found the right time to tell Tristan or their friends. When the two get together, they start a relationship a little too fast and soon Darren is agreeing to go to Stuart’s wedding with Tristan. But now the question remains, is Tristan just using Darren or does he actually have feelings for Darren?

Tristan is a passionate individual. Even after years of being broken up from Stuart, he still loves him enough to be sad over being invited to the wedding. Tristan’s a bit melodramatic and exaggerates which makes him a bit of a handful at times. To counter that, he also has a love of sports that means he doesn’t exactly fit into the stereotypical gay role. He’s a bit self-absorbed but overall he’s sweet. Darren has been Tristan’s best friend since college and been in love with Tristan for years. He’s been in the closet for a while now, making Tristan believe Darren was straight this whole time. Together they’re a cute couple. Darren is shy but obviously adores Tristan while Tristan is a little over the top but eventually comes to realize his feelings for Darren.

A source of amusement throughout the whole book was the constant wondering just why Tristan’s ex, Stuart, would invite him to the wedding. More than that, the phone calls and weird conversations they would have had me chuckling a few times. While I can’t say I exactly liked the fact it was so focused on the ex, I can say that while Tristan’s actions towards asking Darren to the wedding are questionable, Tristan’s overall feelings for Stuart are more of affection towards a friend than a soul deep love between ex-partners of ten years, even if they have been broken up for a while. I will say that I adored Tristan and Darren’s friends. Kevin, Hugh and Alex had me chuckling a few times with their competitive sports banter and their figurative nose wrinkle at thinking of Darren and Tristan together because they all think of the two as ‘brothers’. It was cute and funny and I really enjoyed those parts.

I’ve always been a sucker for friends to lovers stories so I found this book overall sweet. It’s a bit predictable but has a cute execution. At times, the story dragged because a lot of it is spent in Tristan’s head so the monologue got a little too heavy for me especially when it seemed a bit repetitive. There’s also the problem that I felt like a lot of it was told instead of shown, which hindered my ability to get to know not only Tristan better but overall Darren. I didn’t feel like Darren was fleshed out enough, I couldn’t connect with him. I found him sweet but I ultimately couldn’t feel that connection between them because Darren wasn’t developed as a character. In the beginning, it was hard for me to stick with this story, I kept putting it down because it didn’t grab my attention. Around the 40% mark, however, it started to pick up and I was enjoying it but by the end, the epilogue kind of damped my enjoyment because the whole thing is told and I was expecting a little more something between Darren and Tristan to show how their relationship was after the wedding. I didn’t really feel satisfied with the ending because it just made me feel like I was missing much more than I should have been considering the length of time that passed and that made me sad.

Overall, I enjoyed the story but it took a while for me to do that. I found Tristan very amusing and I did like the potential between Darren and Tristan but I didn’t exactly feel like it was fleshed out enough for the level of love and commitment that they were explained to have. However, I think if you’re looking for a sweet, quick and semi humorous story, you’ll enjoy this one.

Nikyta’s Rating: 3-stars-out-of-5-300x70

BUY LINK: Loose Id Store :: Book Store

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Nikyta J. is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love.

To read all her reviews, click the link: NIKYTA’S REVIEWS
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