If you don’t know Becca’s name, you will. She’s the first female to sign a letter of intent with a Division II level (or higher) college and the first woman to receive a scholarship to play football with the boys.
And guess what? She’s a kicker.
When I wrote GOAL, I gave a message: YOU CAN.
GOAL is about the first female kicker in pro football. People laughed when I said I planned to write a romantic comedy similar to the fun of Jerry Maquire BUT about a female player. And they laughed… right up until GOAL released.
I was unprepared for the number of emails I’ve received from women like Becca (no haven’t heard from her) who wanted to play football and had their dreams crushed because the option wasn’t available to girls. I had my dreams crushed as a young girl too. I was told “the police force is no place for a woman” and “girls aren’t allowed to play football.”
If you think about it, football is the only sport that doesn’t offer an alternative woman’s team for kids. WHY? Or in Becca’s case, WHY NOT? Maybe you haven’t heard of Women’s Football Alliance one of several adult leagues for women who love the sport. I’ll admit I didn’t even know they existed until I was deep into researching Like a Girl. These tough women play tackle football and there are leagues all over the world. What if women learned to play football as kids? Most (close to all) pro athletes don’t start their careers as adults. To learn a sport and play it professionally takes years of practice and hard work.
The American Football Without Barriers organization recently sent, Marshawn Lynch, and Cleveland Browns tight end, Gary Barnidge, to Finland to teach their first all-women’s football camp.
To be fair, I visited the Pop Warner Football website to see if girls were playing. I couldn’t find a statement anywhere saying girls can’t play but I also didn’t see a single picture of a girl in uniform or any statement saying they welcome girls. They offer cheerleading and hey, I’m not knocking it. I was a competitive cheerleader and so were my three daughters. But that doesn’t change that my dream was to play football and I was never given the opportunity.
I want to share some of the emails I received about GOAL and maybe you’ll see that it’s easy to crush dreams. We need to empower women and girls and never tell them there’s anything they can’t do. And yes, that includes playing football like a girl.
Shelly ~ “Thank you for writing GOAL. I always dreamed of being a football player and was crushed when my parents told me girls don’t play for the NFL.”
Lori ~ “My first dream was to play football but I couldn’t so I moved to soccer.”
Laura ~ “I’ve been a lifelong football fan and wanted to play just like Jordan.”
Tammy ~ “I come from a family of five children and I’m the only girl. My brothers all played football and I cried each year when I couldn’t. I never understood. Thank you for writing Goal because I was able to live my dream through Jordan’s eyes.”
Keep those emails coming ladies. I plan to use them in the sequel: GOAL the Second Season
If you have time and a Twitter account, please say congrats to Becca Longo and show your support. You will find her Twitter account here.
Like a Girl is now live!
The buy links are at the bottom of this post.
Several factors went into writing Like a Girl. My thoughts started rolling after taking my dog for a walk and seeing a young boy and girl playing in the local schoolyard. They told me they were best friends and I couldn’t help remembering when I was young and had a boy as my best friend. His name was Gordy. We climbed trees, ran wild, and yes, even played football together. I don’t remember thinking I was any different than he was.
Childhood eventually comes to an end and the differences in boys and girls is no longer only biological. We are patterned to behave like a boy or like a girl. Boys are not cheerleaders and girls are not football players.
WAIT RIGHT THERE!
Boys are cheerleaders. So, what about girls?
I took the idea for a story about the first female kicker in pro football to my husband the football fanatic. “No,” he said. “It will never happen.”
I didn’t give up. “But what if she’s a kicker?”
“Hmm. The NFL needs good kickers but I don’t know about a woman.”
Have I ever mentioned how tenacious I am? “They’re the worst team in the NFL and they need a kicker.”
He frowns. “You know kickers aren’t well liked in football.”
“Then she’ll fit right in because the players will hate her.”
“Sounds like you’ve already written the book.”
And… Like a Girl was born. I don’t mind breaking the rules because against all odds, in real life, I graduated from the police academy at the age of 45. I also loved playing football with the boys when I was young. I remember when they no longer wanted to play with me and the heartbreak I felt at realizing I had no chance at a career in football.
Like a Girl is a cross between When Harry Met Sally and Jerry Maguire. It’s humorous, smexy, and a world of fun. I’m not asking you to suspend belief. I’m asking… what if?
PS. My husband has come around in regards to Like a Girl. He says it will be my best-selling book of all time. His suggestions made this book the best it could be. I love this man because he thinks there is nothing I can’t do.
I live in a community of avid readers. You would think this wonderful news for a romance author but my community does not embrace romance novels. If you could see the eye rolls when I say I write romance novels, you’d be amazed. I had a librarian tell me her boss would look down on library personnel for reading romance. What?
Our local library was hosting author appreciation days recently and my two emails to participate went unanswered. The movie theater in town has great advertising rates and they’ve also refused to respond to my emails. Three to be exact and no reply whatsoever.
The thing is… we’re all here because of romance. Gone are the days (in the US) when women are mere prizes and sold into marriage. That crazy thing that starts the baby making process is called romance. We meet the person of our dreams, fall in love, start a life together, and continue the romantic story. Romance is life.
So why the snub and especially from a library? I don’t have an answer but if people wonder why a library isn’t used as much as it should be, look for the number one selling book genre in America to be absent the shelves.
When my husband witnesses the eye roll behavior he always says, “I’m glad I’m not married to her.” This makes me smile. I’m a romantic and proud of it. Romance isn’t just one day a year. It’s part of our life every day. If you love someone it’s part of yours. I don’t expect everyone to read romance books or to read them all the time. But to disrespect romance is to pretend the birds and bees is for only birds and bees. We know that isn’t so.
I will continue writing what I love and continue loving who I love. I’ll watch, read, and dream romance because I’m proud that I have a romantic heart and I’m unashamed to show it or speak of it. Call it what you want… Smut, sex, whatever. It’s two hearts beating as one that makes the world go round.
Have a delightfully wicked Valentine’s Day and may LOVE be with you always!
No not my birthday, my husband’s.
For six months, he’s older than me and I enjoy every minute of it. We’ve been married since we were 18. When he turned 20 he called me a teenybopper for six months. BIG mistake. This girl never forgets. Here’s a sample of yesterday’s (his actual birthday) conversations.
Me: You look good for your age.
DH: Thanks, that helps.
Me: You don’t look a day over 56.
DH: That’s because I’m not a day over 56.
Me: Do you feel old?
DH: Yes, so stop asking.
Me: I don’t think you heard my question a minute ago, your hearing must be going.
Me: Walmart has a sale on geriatric vitamins.
DH: You’re not making this any easier.
Me: You know what they say… Age is a matter of mind. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
DH: A 20 year old wrote that.
Me: Thank God I love older men.
DH: That’s supposed to make me feel better?
Me: I promise I’ll love you when you’re old and gray.
DH: I’m already old and gray.
Me: See. I keep my promises.
Happy Birthday to the sexiest old man I know!
Book 5 in the Hotter Than Hell Series is out.
Each book is a standalone but they are so much better if you read in order and know all the players.
Here’s a snippet from Ignite:
The men watch me around the clock. Getting my hands on a cell phone is a fluke and I still can’t believe my luck. I need to send a text and get out of Peter’s room quickly.
I don’t have much time to think about what I send, but I need to be smart. I can delete the history after sending the text. This opens up a new set of problems. If Peter notices his missing messages, he’ll check his phone account online and trace the text. If that happens, it won’t be just me in danger. Fear travels through my veins and makes my already rapid heartbeat speed up even more. I put myself into this mess and now I’m endangering someone else. I shake off the fear and look back down where my fingers clench the phone.
Shakily, I type his number followed by my message.
This is Beth Hoffman, Nick’s sister.
I’m in trouble and being held by Angelo Gimonde
Camp Springs, Montana
I take a deep breath and click Send. The trembling in my fingers doubles as I delete the text history. I’m so screwed. It’s little comfort that Angelo won’t immediately kill me. He’ll hunt Rack down and kill him first. I’ve endangered Rack even if he checks Angelo’s name on the Internet and decides I’m not worth saving. If only I were more intelligent in the beginning and never stepped into this mess.
I don’t know Rack well. He was my brother’s best friend in the military. Seeing Rack through Nick’s eyes really doesn’t count. Nick told me more than once if I ever needed help and he wasn’t around, to call Rack. A shiver passes through me. Did Nick somehow know that he wouldn’t be around, that an IED would take him out only a few months before his return to the States?
I only met Rack once. It was a few months before my first wedding date. My fiancé delayed the first one and then the second. I squelch the stupidity I feel that there was ever more than one. The last few years of my life are one bad decision after another. When Rack visited me his expression had none of the carefree qualities my brother described. Oh, I expected the dangerous undertone, just not the dead eyes. His gaze held a complete lack of humanity. And still, my body betrayed me. Rack is a force of nature and like nature, he’s raw and compelling. His insanely green eyes turned my insides to jelly. His muscles stretched his polo shirt to near bursting. His square jaw spoke of strength and determination. His dark hair with its closely cropped military cut took the danger he radiated up a notch. Everything about him made me think of silk sheets and hot sex. I swear, by the way his luscious mouth smirked he was reading my body like a map. He didn’t miss the shortness of breath, sweaty palms, or my accelerated heartbeat. He couldn’t have. God, I actually wondered if he could smell the desire my body exuded via wet panties. His eyes literally changed color to a deeper green and his nostrils flared as I came undone at his proximity. The experience was mortifying and made worse by my engagement to another man.
I held so much guilt over that one meeting. Or at least I did until I discovered my fiancé in bed with my best friend the night before our third calendar wedding date. Now my ex-best friend and ex-fiancé. I hope the two of them spend eternity together making each other miserable.
I sigh into the quiet room. Even with all the trouble I’ve brought down on my head, I’m a vindictive bitch and I’m not ready to forgive and forget. I check the time on the phone. Angelo will return shortly and I need to get out of Peter’s room.
If Angelo finds out about the phone, he’ll kill Peter for this. Peter is a young fool. He’s infatuated with Angelo’s lifestyle. The lifestyle of a mobster where kidnapping is just another walk in the park. I have absolutely no reason to feel sorry for Peter. Like me, he’ll need to live with his decisions.
I rest the cell phone back on the nightstand and walk to the door. There are cameras in the hallway. I’m carrying one of Peter’s long-sleeved flannel shirts, which is the reason I entered his room to begin with. I need Peter to pocket his phone when he returns and keep his mouth shut about leaving it behind this morning. My only chance is that Peter knows Angelo will kill him for the mistake. I still can’t believe my luck in discovering it.
HEAT, the first book in the Hotter Than Hell Series, is now FREE. It’s a complete story with no cliff hanger ending and introduces your to my wild outlaw world of very bad men who steal your heart. Not to mention the kickass women who complement them. Get it while it’s HOT and FREE.
IGNITE, book 5 in the Hotter Than Hell Series, releases December 26th and is now available for pre-order. My amazing friend Wendy Higgs says this is the best of the series so far. She also said she wouldn’t hold it against me that I made her cry. I’m an evil woman because I was glad to hear the story took an emotional toll. I had to walk away before writing a certain scene because I couldn’t see the keyboard through my tears. As always, though, I promise a happy ending. The last line of the book may be my favorite ending EVER!
My friend, the amazing author, Susie Haught, is part of a wonderful Facebook Hop and 99 cents book sale (December 7, 8 & 9). Each book features characters over the age of 35 and there are 24 authors participating. All the info can be found at http://www.seasonedromances.com and the FB hop starts at https://www.facebook.com/events/968128219997294/
Fill your kindle while these great books are on sale!
Here’s the info on Susie’s book…
One woman. Three promises—one honored, one broken, one pledged.
She’s struggling with shocking truths while trying to move on; he’s caught in the crossfire of a battle he doesn’t know how to fight.
Another round of turmoil isn’t on her agenda, but when Ryleigh Collins discovers a blood-stained journal among her deceased mother’s belongings, her curiosity leads her to a puzzling Mark Twain look-alike who shatters her family history—and her sense of belonging.
Bearing a treasure chest of secrets and a deeply scarred heart, Ryleigh returns home to her ex-husband’s appeal to take him back. Overwhelmed, she seeks refuge in the quiet majesty of the Rocky Mountains. But as the snow deepens, so do her feelings for Logan Cavanaugh, the distinctly reserved resort owner.
Two lost souls collide in a paralyzing snowstorm, but when the skies clear, Logan surrenders to a deepening guilt he can’t fight. Ryleigh’s sense of abandonment is further compromised with his sudden departure, though she refuses to believe they’ve left their shared memories frozen in the mountains of Colorado.
Three men love her. Sometimes there’s only room in a heart for one; sometimes, there’s a special place where everyone belongs.
In 2016, I gave away 7 Kindle Fires. In 2017, I’m giving away 14. I went hog wild on Black Friday and ordered these babies. Someone needs to win so why can’t it be you? I also have an easy peasy Newsletter Exclusive Contest every month and all you need to do is email me with the “contest word” in the subject line of your email and you’re entered to win one of two Amazon $10 Gift Cards.
This is my way for thanking my readers for all they do. So my question is… are you one of my Wicked Newsletter Subscribers?
If not, it’s super easy to sign up: http://eepurl.com/bQ66U5