Fans of TV’s Pitch will love this wrap-up to the charming world of the Arlington Aces baseball team.
Arlington Aces’ backup catcher Ian Pratt lives every day to the fullest, focusing on having fun with the three Bs: babes, booze, and baseball. Life’s too short not to go out with a smile on his face.
For Pauly Byrne, being the only female starting pitcher in professional baseball means she’s determined, deliberate, and always staying one step ahead of the naysayers. Facing a difficult choice, she must decide whether to hang up her cleats to become the first woman to coach an NCAA baseball team or hold on to the unlikely dream of becoming the first to play in the Major League. Either way, she needs to win this season’s championship.
When Pauly’s usual catcher fails a drug test going into playoffs, Ian is thrust into the starting role, where their differences—and an unlikely attraction—threaten to derail their season. Their futures are on the line, but can these two total opposites find enough common ground to win the big game and a shot at happily ever after?
I was born and raised in Pennsylvania. After college (in Pennsylvania too), I married my high school sweetheart and we moved to Utah. From there, we moved to Wisconsin, and eventually we moved back to Pennsylvania, where we’ve been for the last 13 years. I’m grateful for all those moves, because I got to experience life from different locations and perspectives, and that helps me write books.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
THE PERFECT GAME is the final book in my Arlington Aces series, which follows along with an independent league baseball team. Indie baseball is professional baseball below the minor-league level. The idea for this series came from my love of baseball and my husband’s stint as a team physician for an indie baseball team in Pennsylvania. I saw how hard these guys worked despite their lousy pay and slim chances at making it to a higher level, and I admired (still do!) their persistence and character. I wanted to tell the stories of athletes who weren’t pampered, and I wanted to create romances for them that could stand the turmoil of low pay and gritty life on the road. I’m especially excited about this book, THE PERFECT GAME, because it tells the story of a female pitcher, Pauly Byrne. I got the idea for Pauly while watching the Little League World Series and Mo’ne Davis back in 2014.
How do you create your characters?
My characters come to me in some crazy ways. Sometimes, I’ll dream them. Other times, I’ll be daydreaming and a conversation will take place in my head, and I will see the faces of the characters who are talking. Once a character has made an appearance, I spend as much time as possible thinking about the character and the type of people they would surround themselves with. Once I have clear and repetitive thoughts, I write things down, usually in my phone’s note app. Eventually, a story will come to me, and that’s when I move things to my laptop.
What inspires and what got your started in writing?
Music inspires me. I’m a huge daydreamer. I can put on music and close my eyes and dream up complete stories to each song. I remember doing this as a child to fall asleep at night or on long car rides. Eventually, the daydreaming wasn’t enough, and I asked to borrow my mother’s typewriter so I could write down what I was thinking. From there, a writer was born.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
If the house is quiet, I write at the breakfast bar. I have two adult sons and one teen daughter, so the house is quiet much of the year. When everyone is home, however, I retreat to my office and play music to block the sound. Wherever and whenever I’m writing, I fuel myself with green tea.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
Ideas come from everywhere. Sometimes, it’s something I’ve read about online or seen on the news. Other times, it’s something that has happened to me or someone I know, and I wish things had happened differently or gone another way, so I rewrite the story in my mind. Songs have inspired books for me, too. That happened with my book CRASHING THE CONGRESSMAN’S WEDDING, which was inspired by a Taylor Swift song.
What do you like to read?
My reading tastes are eclectic. I read romance, of course. I also read popular fiction. I adore royal history, and enjoy reading historical non-fiction, too.
What would your advice be for authors or aspiring authors in regards to writing?
Love what you’re writing. If you don’t love it, you won’t be able to work through the rough parts. And there are rough parts. If you want a career in this, you’re going to be knocked down more times than you can count, and the only thing that will keep you getting back up is a love for what you’re writing.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m proud of writing and reading romance novels. In a world filled with cynicism, I choose love and happiness every time.