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Carina Press’ Sports Week

So we all know I love sports romances so when Carina Press emailed me to let me know that April 14, 2014, was sports week for them, I was excited. I had each of the authors share with us their favorite sports team and why.

I’m a Packers’ fan and have been all my life. It could be because I am from Wisconsin but my brother is a Viking’s fan. I don’t know where we went wrong there. Weirdly I’m not a Brewers or a Bucks fan. I just like football. No, I love it. I look forward to the fall when the kick off begins. I’m not immune to the terrible stuff that goes on from the drugs to the assaults to the general misogyny but I still love it.

I went to a Green Bay Packer game with a friend and we visited a bar that they frequented after. I was actually surprised at how small some of them were. Like Antonio Freeman? I think I could have taken him. He was a slip of a thing. Of course, I’d have to catch him first and we all know that he ran like the wind and could catch footballs off his back but still. In my mind, I figured I could totally tackle him.

My first memory of reading a sports related book is Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Chicago Stars series. Looking back there were a ton of disturbing things about the books but I still feel she got the sports pretty right. So what did the Carina Press authors have to say?

This week isSports Week at Carina Press, with brand spankin’ new sports romance from six authors. Each book features a different sporthockey, mixed martial arts, football, rugby, tennis and baseballand the authors are here today talking about their favorite real-life teams. Enjoy!
On the Surface Kate Willoughby

Kate Willoughby, author ofOn the Surface

I initially became a fan of the Los Angeles Kings hockey club because I happen to live in Los Angeles and my husband dragged me to a few games, but I’ve truly come to love the Kings and the sport of hockey. One of the main reasons is the idea of being a team extends beyond when they’re on the ice. Many of them live in the same neighborhood so they often carpool to work. I don’t know why I think that’s so cute, but I do. Drew Doughty and Trevor Lewis are long time roommates, and Jarret Stoll took in (now ex-) teammate Brad Richardson for a while. (Until recently, all but the most veteran NHL players roomed together on road trips. They still do in the minors.) And when someone is traded to Los Angeles, despite the fact that Kings staffers help with the acclimatization, the Kings go out of their way to make the new guy feel welcome, inviting him to their homes for dinner, showing him around the city, etc. They strive to be as much a team on the ice as they are off it and I love that.

Tap Out by Michele Mannon - 400px

Michele Mannon, author ofTap Out

Did you know MMA is the fastest growing sport, growing in popularity, from man caves to grandma’s kitchen, in a relatively brief amount of time? I say move over boys because  I’m hooked. Two fighters in particular stand out in my eyes. Dan “Pretty Boy” Cramer who is six feet two and weighing one hundred eighty-five pounds, and will fight in the middleweight MMA Bellator championship this month. Pulling off a major comeback this year, Dan fights smart, has mad mixed martial arts skills, has that relentless determination that I so admire in great athletes.  The second is Pat “Paddy Mike” Curran, a five foot nine, one hundred forty-five pound featherweight. But don’t let his weight fool you. Pat is pure muscle. Matter of fact, he  just captured the 2014 Bellator championship. Both Dan and Pat show resilience, intelligence, and best of all, they’re easy on the eyes. So, are you hooked on MMA yet?

Imaginary Lines by Allison Parr - 400px

Allison Parr, author ofImaginary Lines

Hands down, I’m cheering for the Patriots. (“Oh, that will make your popular” my friends tell me mockingly). Despite setting my books and going to school in New York, I’m Boston born-and-bred, and nothing makes me happier than a bit of Beantown pride.

I can’t help it. I love everything about my city’s football team. I love their fierce pride and fierce loyalty. I love their talent and energy. I love their uniforms (I mean, they’re pretty awesome uniforms, aren’t they?) I even love Tom Brady. I’m sorry, but it’s true. And okay, so Spygate was really not a good life choice, but I kind of love the scandal, too.

To me, it’s all about being part of a community – being wrapped up in the culture, in the mutual wave of excitement with fellow fans. It’s sitting in a bar and chatting with the people next to you as you watch the game, and defending your players fiercely when you’re out of state, and that rush of joy and exhilaration when your team wins. So I’m sticking with the Patriots no matter what state I end up in – but I’ll respect you if you stick by your team, as well.

Playing It Close by Kat Latham - 400px


Kat Latham, author ofPlaying It Close

I should probably talk about my favorite professional rugby teams, but there’s one non-pro team that holds a special place in my heart: Petrovice rugby club in Prague. My British, rugby-mad husband played for Petrovice when I met him, and I learned about rugby by watching his matches. Did you know there’s lots of male nudity after rugby matches? Yep. Lots. There’s also lots of singing. Combine the two? Hoo boy. *fans face*

After the very first rugby match I watched, Tim and I hung out at the clubhouse bar with the other players and their friends. Suddenly, all the guys except Tim stood up and formed a circle around the room. Then the players started singing. The words were Czech, but I recognized the tune and asked Tim, “Why are they singing ‘Father Abraham Has Many Sons’?” He just laughed and said, “I think we’d better go.”

Right then, the guys got to the point in the song where they were supposed to shake a body part. Instead, they all stripped off their shirts. By the time Tim dragged me out, there were thirty young, muscular, cute Czech boys dancing naked and singing about Father Abraham.

*clears throat* I think that memory just inspired a scene for a future book. Excuse me…

Love in Straight Sets by Rebecca Crowley - 400px

Rebecca Crowley, author ofLove in Straight Sets


When I won Wimbledon tickets in the annual ticket lottery in 2009, I was thrilled. When I learned they were for Centre Court on the day of the women’s semi-finals – a round Venus and Serena Williams were both likely to reach – I was ecstatic!

I’ve been a huge fan of the Williams sisters for years. They’re exciting, skillful players with aggressive, resilient, powerful styles that are often absent from the sometimes lackluster women’s game. They’re also brilliant ambassadors for the sport, advocating for equal prize money for women and men and working hard off the court to me for and inspire young players. They’ve overcome financial obstacles as well as implicit racial barriers to create palpable change in this old, traditional sport.

Both women made it to the semi-finals in 2009 and I still can’t decide which was better, Venus’s nearly perfect 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 match or Serena’s long, dramatic battle against Elena Dementieva. Seeing them both win their matches was even better than watching their Williams v. Williams final. And being an American expat in London, watching Americans close out the British Grand Slam? Priceless.

The Ace by Rhonda Shaw - 400px

Rhonda Shaw, author ofThe Ace


I’m a huge Detroit sports fan.  I enjoy all of our teams (yes, even the Lions), but two are my favorites.  First, the Tigers.  Summer is my thing and nothing is better than a warm, balmy night at the ballpark, watching the sexy Boys of Summer take to the field.  Regardless of whether we’re witnessing a pitcher’s duel or a slugfest, I love it all.  Seeing them pat each other on the butt doesn’t hurt either.

Not far behind the Tigers are the Red Wings.  Despite hating winter with a passion, I do enjoy hockey.  We had season tickets when I was a kid, so I witnessed the end of the “Dead Wings” era and their progression into greatness.  The expectations around them are so high now that when they don’t play well…ugh!  I want to pull my hair out!

Also, I’ll admit, once Steve Yzerman retired, my interest did diminish just a teensy-weensy bit.  The smooth, hunky center, aka “The Captain,” was my absolute favorite.  Anyone want to join me in a petition to get Stevie Y back on the ice?  That man’s still got it.

Readers, do you have a favorite sports teamreal or fictional?



Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Keri Ford
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 10:06:35

    “I think I could have taken him. He was a slip of a thing. Of course, I’d have to catch him first and we all know that he ran like the wind and could catch footballs off his back but still. In my mind, I figured I could totally tackle him.”

    LOL this is what I think about Son’s taekwondo master. I’m 5’2 and am TALLER than he is. Nevermind that he’s a blackbelt and was in the Olympics. Could totally take him.

    I’m a Pat’s fan! DH is all about the Bears. Son is all about basketball, so I’m wanting to get us tickets to see the Mavericks play next year and guide him to liking them. Not that I know anything about pro-ball and teams, but we could at least see the Mavs play every once in a while since they’re close.

  2. Crista McHugh
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 10:10:36

    I’m a pure football fan, through and through. I suppose some of it has to do with the fact my dad’s a football scout, and I attended my first Iron Bowl at the tender age of 6 weeks. My two favorite teams are the Auburn Tigers (NCAA Football) and the Seattle Seahawks.
    Of course, if my brother in law has his way, I’ll become a Sounders FC fan, too…

  3. Renda
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 10:18:16

    I am more of a sports romance fan than a sports fan.

    On my husband is a huge baseball fan and on his bucket list is to visit all the MLB stadiums. I have been to most of them with him. He has only two more to go. I have more, but I am okay missing some.

    But I do enjoy baseball because it makes my husband very happy to go with me and/or the kids. We don’t have to watch. We can take a book or cross-stitch. He just likes us there. Since he actually pays attention, he does have to warn us about hitters that may foul tip into our area, whatever.

    My son’s game is Ultimate (a Frisbee game). Watch clips on You Tube. They are probably the biggest/best college game you have never heard of.

  4. Kate Willoughby
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 10:28:55

    @Renda: My brother has the same goal!

  5. Andrea D
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 10:44:17

    Baseball is my first love, though I am a casual fan of the other major sports. My team is the Oakland Athletics, and they’ve kind of been in limbo over the past several years. The stadium is old and has numerous problems, and the ownership is doing its best to leave town. The team typically has one of the lowest payrolls in the league, and fan favorite players are around only for a few years before they get traded or sign big contracts with other teams. But they’ve had streaks of success, and even when they struggle, I always fall in love with the team, however it’s comprised.

    @Renda, That is such a cool thing to do! I would love to visit all of the stadiums. I’ve only been to six (and that includes two that are no longer in use).

    @Kate Willoughby, I’ve been looking forward to On the Surface ever since Jane tweeted about it, and I’m glad to be able to read it now! Though I must admit that I will not be rooting for your favorite team in the playoffs. ;)

  6. Amanda
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 10:57:37

    I might be the odd one here because I would rather watch Curling then football.

    However I am a baseball fan, the Braves were huge here in Western NC in the 90’s when I was a teen and they still are. I watch them and other teams to when I get a chance.

  7. Rhonda Shaw
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 10:57:44

    @Andrea D Always enjoy watching the A’s play even though they always seem to have the Tigers’ number. So frustrating! :)

  8. Divya
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:25:54

    I love football and soccer in romance, but not in real life. In reality, I am a huge fan of Roger Federer (tennis) and the Indian cricket team. All these books look awesome, but I wish someone would write a cricket romance. :)

  9. Release day party for Playing It Close! *throws confetti* *and prizes!* *LOTS of prizes!* — Kat Latham
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:31:59

    […] 14: Dear Author – group post               RT blog – group post               All About Romance – […]

  10. Andrea D
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:32:07

    @Rhonda Shaw, The A’s last three postseason appearances have been ended by the Tigers! Talk about frustrating. LOL. *shaking a fist and shouting “VERLANDER” a la “KHAAAN”*

  11. hapax
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:36:52

    We need fencing romances! There’s some YA out there, but hardly any adult.

    And fencers (male and female) are so graceful and athletic and cunning, and the lingo is all in French, and the sleek padded fencing gear is hot hot HOT.

    (Plus, if it’s foils, there’s a definite advantage to being left-handed and on the compact side. Yay, more sinister short heros!)

  12. Kat Latham
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:38:33

    @Amanda, I mostly watch the BBC, so during the Winter Olympics I watched a LOT of curling. I still don’t think I know how it works, but it was mesmerizing.

  13. Kat Latham
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:41:30

    @Divya, I’ve been toying with the idea of a cricket romance series. My husband is a huge cricket fan, and I really enjoy watching test matches. A few years ago, he and I went to India and decided to go to the cinema when we were in Jaipur. We saw Dil Bole Hadippa, and I loved it so much I bought the DVD. Talk about a sexy cricket story!

  14. Rebecca Crowley
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:46:40

    @Divya: I love R-Fed too and was so excited to discover that the model on my cover looked a wee bit like him! On the other hand I can’t stand Andy Murray, who seems to be tennis’s answer to Napoleon Dynamite.

  15. Lada
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:51:00

    Well, I’m a Vikings’ fan and had to play nice on twitter before when Jane has posted a picture of her damn GBP stock certificate. I could hang out with her brother, though. ;-) I like most sports and love spending every Mother’s Day outside watching the Twins play. I don’t love boxing or wrestling though so haven’t followed the MMA craze. I enjoyed watching some Masters this weekend and think golf would lend itself to romance well (the only one I can think of is SEP’s Lady Be Good).

    It has been awhile so I’m excited to try some new sports romance!

  16. Sirius
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:56:21

    @Divya: I am not sure if you read m/m, but if you do, here you go.

    There is significantly less cricket there than the blurb would suggest, but there is some.

  17. Kate Willoughby
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:56:46

    @Andrea D: What team are you rooting for, @Andrea D?

  18. Jane
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:57:42

    @Lada – I cheered for the Vikes a brief time while Favre played for them. It felt weird and I was glad he retired.

  19. Kate Willoughby
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 11:58:44

    @Amanda: There’s a place about 20 miles away that has curling for the public. I thought about trying it one day with my hubby. It looks like it would be fun.

  20. Angela
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 12:04:53

    I went to a Green Bay Packer game with a friend and we visited a bar that they frequented after. I was actually surprised at how small some of them were. Like Antonio Freeman? I think I could have taken him. He was a slip of a thing. Of course, I’d have to catch him first and we all know that he ran like the wind and could catch footballs off his back but still. In my mind, I figured I could totally tackle him.

    LOL! I had the same impression when I met some of them several years ago at the Fan-Fest that the Packers do.

    The Green Bay Packers are the team I follow and cheer for the most – otherwise it’s Wisconsin Badgers anything (football and hockey especially). I have one brother that’s a Lion’s fan (don’t ask me what happened there), and another that’s a Wolverine’s fan (*le sigh*).

  21. Andrea D
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 12:29:05

    @Kate Willoughby, I’m a Sharks fan. :D

  22. Kim
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 12:32:43

    I’m a baseball fan, so I like the NY Yankees.

  23. Lada
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 12:48:28

    @Jane: I agree. That was a very strange time. My SIL is from Wisconsin and a Packs fan with a Favre jersey and Packer galoshes she wears proudly and my brother tries to hide. I always thought this stuff would make a great humorous romance. Like the time my brother got a huge Vikings decorated cake for her birthday and she retaliated by printing out dozens of Packer pictures and plastering them all over his office…at work, not at home. He was opening file cabinets months later and still finding pictures. This stuff practically writes itself!

  24. library addict
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 12:55:14

    I am a Buffalo Bills fan, but only a casual football viewer. I picked Buffalo when I was 18 or so because being an Air Force brat we’d moved around so much I didn’t have a “home” team. We’d lived in upstate New York for a while and their quarterback’s last name was my first name so it seemed like a good pick. They soon made the Superbowl 4 years in a row but never won :( Basically I root for Buffalo and whichever team is playing the Cowboys.

    I am more into watching individual sports like tennis (huge Federer fan) and golf (Mickelson). And I’ll watch just about anything during the Olympics. But I hate US coverage of sports, so like to watch the BBC or the raw feed. Us commentators for most sports are horrid :(

    I bought four of these Carina books this morning and as soon as I finish real life stuff plan to start the new Kat Latham.

  25. Yttar
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 13:34:15

    My family is great. The half that lives in WI are Packers fans. The half that lives in MN are Vikings fans. My in-laws had season passes for the Vikings before moving to GA. They’ve even gone to Packs vs. Vikes games in Green Bay.

    I, however, am much more into martial arts. I’ve been curious to try some of the MMA romances, but my familiarity is with tae kwon do and I don’t think I’ve seen any TKD romances. I would love to read one of those. (I read a YA one with Kung fu, but that was a while ago.)

    As to people thinking they could take on a martial artists just because they’re small … The grandmaster of my school is rather short and nearly knocked someone out with just his index finger while he was sitting. So. Martial arts is the one places where bigger doesn’t necessarily equal better.

  26. Kate Willoughby
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 13:37:10

    @Andrea D: Oh dear. Heh heh. Well, we can be friends until Thursday.

    For everyone who doesn’t follow hockey, that’s the day the Kings face the Sharks in the first of their best-of-7 Playoff series. Our two teams have a history in the Playoffs, and I’m sure many in the Sharks camp have it out for our Captain Dustin Brown, whom they perceive as a jerk who took their rookie Hertl out for most of the season with a knee-on-knee intentional hit. It was not intentional. Tape shows it clearly, but blah blah blah, I’ll shut up now. LOL Andrea D and I are probably the only two who are hockey fans here. Fist bump until Thursday, Andy Dandy!! <–Did you see that? I gave you a hockey nickname. LOL

  27. Kat Latham
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 13:39:11

    @library addict: Awesome! Hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think. Good luck finishing up the real-life stuff. :)

  28. Rebecca Crowley
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 13:43:53

    @library addict: Hurray for R-Fed!

    And I agree on American sports announcers, although British commentators have their moments too (ahem, Gary Lineker during London 2012!). Now that I live in South Africa we get an odd mix of both depending on the match, and during the Olympics had the “experts” I can only imagine were rejected from both the US and UK channels. They were an odd mix of nationalities and seemed to occasionally fall asleep or take bathroom breaks, leaving long, bewildering stretches without any commentary that prompted us to check whether the sound on the TV was still working!

  29. Rhonda Shaw
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 13:53:33

    @Kim: I am going to be sad to see Derek Jeter retire…I really like him. I know a lot of people don’t like the Yankees, but I actually don’t mind them. You get a lot of haters when your team is good.

    @Kate Willoughby: Hey, now! I’m a HUGE Red Wings fan. Baseball is just a bit higher on my list. I’ll be rooting for the Wings starting Thursday…unfortunately, I just don’t have a real good feeling about them making it far into the playoffs this year. :(

    @Angela: Your brother willingly chose the Lions as his favorite? Wow, I didn’t realize anyone outside of Detroit watched them except for on Thanksgiving. Poor Lions. lol

  30. Kate Willoughby
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 14:03:07

    @Rhonda Shaw: How could I have forgotten?? My bad, totally. Well, it’s not like the Wings haven’t won the Cup before. LOL Unlike some other teams who shall remain nameless. Like one in San Jose. Whose symbol is a scary fish…

    Sorry, @AndreaD, I couldn’t resist. Go Kings!

  31. Nancy
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 14:20:15

    My favorite sport to watch and play is basketball. My college’s men’s basketball team recently started to get good and went to the playoffs this year so they are my new favorite team. My school didn’t have much of a sports culture and it was fun seeing alumni that never come to events show up to support the team.

    I see plenty of sports romances about MMA, football, baseball, hockey, but I’ve never read a sports romance about basketball. Anyone have any suggestions?

  32. Andrea D
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 14:39:35

    @Kate Willoughby, LOL. The Sharks’ playoff history is a source of much teeth-gnashing, even for a casual fan like me. I’m not optimistic about that changing this year.

    @Nancy, A few years ago, Smart Bitches had The Long Shot by Ellen Hartman as a book club pick. The hero is a former NBA player who comes back to his high school to help coach the team. I didn’t love it, but I remember thinking it was a nice story.

  33. bn100
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 14:47:19

    No, I don’t

  34. Cathy P
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 14:49:14

    I like college basketball (KU and K-State) and enjoy watching my KC Chiefs when they are playing.

  35. Jane
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 14:50:59

    @Nancy: My favorite basketball book is One on One by Tabitha King. I’ve never read a BB book in season which is too bad but there is one by Patricia McLinn called Hoops –

    and another one called the Long Shot by Ellen Hartman

  36. Divya
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 15:36:04

    @Kat Latham:

    OMG! If you were to write that, I would press the buy button so hard! Obviously there isn’t a wide audience/market for it (though maybe there is in India), but it would be very cool if you were to do it. :)

    @Rebecca Crowley:

    I agree completely. I’m not sure what the fascination is with Murray. He’s okay, but Federer (to me) is a lot better. I get so mad when all the tennis commentators always mention how “it’s time for Federer to retire.” Hello, he’s one of the greatest male tennis players ever AND still in the top #10.

    Also, sold. I can’t resist a cover model that even remotely looks like Federer!


    Oh, very cool. I read m/m infrequently so I probably won’t buy this, but it’s awesome to see cricket represented in the genre.

  37. Rebecca Crowley
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 15:46:41

    @Cathy P: I’m in (my hometown of) Manhattan, Kansas right now! I LOVE all K-State sports but especially football and women’s basketball. When I was in high school it was super easy to get tickets to the women’s basketball games and I used to go with my dad on a whim, so I have a lot of awesome memories of that team. :-)

    I’m not magnanimous enough to ever root for KU though, even in March Madness. Side effect of bleeding purple. ;-)

  38. Kelly C
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 15:48:27

    I don’t follow much in the way of pro sports, but I’ll root for the Packers in football because Randal Cobb is a UK alum. I’m also a Broncos fan, chosen when I was a wee one and a fan of anything horse-related, and maintained because I like Peyton, and they have Woodyard and Tamme, both also from UK. I like soccer, but not MLS. I always watch the World Cup, but I never really root for team USA, and I don’t know why. I just choose other teams randomly that I like, and root for them. Mostly, though, I’m a fan of college basketball, and I root for my hometown team the University of Kentucky Wildcats (Go Big Blue!). I watch our football games, too, but those have tended to be rather painful, as we are one of the worst teams in the SEC. Hopefully our new coach will continue improving the program, though, and the games will be more fun to watch.

  39. Christine
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 16:36:29

    @Rebecca Crowley: me, too, huge Federer fan! I bought Love in Straight Sets and Playing it Close this morning (because I love tennis, and I love Kat’s first rugby book :-)

  40. cleo
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 20:08:45

    I’m definitely a fair weather fan, so I root for any Chicago team that happens to be doing well. (Go Hawks!).

    A lot of my extended family follows college football and roots for different teams. Lots of fun with inter-family sports rivalries and conflicting loyalties – especially among the big ten contingent. I grew up in Ann Arbor, so I’m a Wolverine fan by default. Except when I visit my grandmother in So Ohio. :)

    I haven’t had a lot of luck with sports romance, although I did love the Chicago Stars series back in the day. And Tigers and Devils more recently.

  41. library addict
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 21:35:53

    @Kat Latham: I loved Playing It Close.

    @Rebecca Crowley: I think Federer is such a class act the way he does his pressers in multiple languages and answeres the same (often stupid) questions over and over. He doesn’t often lose his his temper on court. So to the US press he’s boring. They’d rather have players who cause drama. I don’t understand why it’s not about the actual tennis playing, but that’s not something I can change no matter how much it irks me. I really wish they hadn’t slowed down the grass courts so that all of the surfaces now don’t have as much difference. I think the game overall has suffered for that.

    I’ve just started Playing It Close. I understand why the Baron’s Championship is being used, but as tennis is a sport I follow the “made up” stuff may take some getting used to. Maybe that’s why it’s easier for me to read about sports I don’t watch since I don’t always know what’s real and what isn’t.

  42. library addict
    Apr 14, 2014 @ 21:37:25

    Oops looks like I forgot to close my italics. I shouldn’t try to get all fancy with the book titles. :(

  43. Anna Richland
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 00:00:28


    You’re not odd for liking curling! You’re cool! (If I say so myself).

    One of my children has decided to ditch soccer for “Learn to Curl” next fall. It helps that my family is half-Canadian and all-Olympic obsessed, of course, but he’s fascinated by the geometry. Sort of like playing pool on a bigger scale. And as a parent, I’m like … YES the curling rink is indoors and has microbrews, wifi and a snack stand. Find me a kid soccer field that has THAT, I say!

    I had this fabulous idea for a romantic suspense novel involving a special forces soldier and a member of a women’s curling team … but I didn’t have time to write it before Sochi. Maybe next time round. We’re still watching reruns of Olympic curling here … beauty of digital video recording. But my brother-in-law owns every Steelers highlights video going waaaay back, so I don’t see anything too crazy about continuing to watch curling only two months after it ended.

    Of the major American sports, I like watching baseball best. I married a Canadian, but I confess that watching a small puck on white ice hypnotizes me into sleep, and the only part of Hockey Night in Canada I can stay awake for is Don Cherry’s jackets. But baseball makes me very tense and agitated. It’s like an existential crisis when I watch a pitcher. And the duel of pitcher versus batter – it’s slow, but then it explodes, and I’m just trying to keep up. I really like being down in front and watching my kids play baseball. College baseball and softball are fabulous too – you can be right in the front, and the quality is pretty high. I recommend going to local college games.

    I’ll read any sports romance, though, b/c that’s a mindset that I like – working super hard to be at the top of something and then getting hit upside the head with LOVE. I don’t have to like the sport to like the sports romance.

  44. Anna Richland
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 00:15:12

    @Kat Latham:

    I really began to understand curling by watching the CBC – the Canadian feed – the announcers are wonderful. And the Canadians are so dominant in the sport that it is very well covered on their feed, and just fabulous. I’m an American, never even heard of curling until after my marriage, but I feel like I understand it quite well at this point b/c of the Canadian coverage. Although I guess in Sochi the British women did pretty well, didn’t they?

    Can you get CBC coverage in Britain? We’re in the US but close to the border, so we get it with our cable package. (The spouse would get it no matter what b/c that’s the only hockey announcers he can bear).

    We’ve also been impressed with how technically challenging the wheelchair curling during the Paralympics looked – well, the whole Paralympics is amazing, but we mostly watched curling this year. To manage to curl (spin) the rocks using a pole to release them is pretty impressive. Wheelchair curling was really interesting – gave us a lot of physics to think about.

  45. Ros
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 05:53:29

    @Anna Richland: And the British men. They won silver, while the British women took bronze. If Scotland vote for independence (which is not all that likely, tbh), curling will be one of the sports they do really well in, since all our Olympic curlers are Scottish. Tennis is another one, because of Andy Murray and his brother.

  46. Kat Latham
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 09:00:32

    @Divya: In that case, I’ll think hard about whether my cricket idea could become a full-length story. When I told my husband I was thinking about writing about a cricketer, he gave me a funny look and said, “Cricketers aren’t sexy. They’re just weird.” And he’s an avid cricket supporter. I think there are lots of sexy cricketers, though. (Freddie Flintoff, anyone?)

    @Christine: Aww, thank you! So glad you enjoyed Knowing the Score.

    @library addict: So glad you loved it! Thanks for letting me know. It means a lot.

    @Anna Richland and @Ros: I live in the Netherlands but I mainly watch the BBC (don’t think we get CBC here; I’ll have to check). The curling commentators were great, but I have an 11-month-old so my attention was split between listening to their explanations and preventing my newly crawling daughter from licking the electrical outlets. Curling seemed to be the only sport at Sochi that the Brits did really, really well at. Most of the BBC’s coverage consisted of Brits tumbling down mountainsides or comments like, “She’s our best hope for a medal in the snowbo–OOH! That looked like it hurt. She’s not moving. Let’s go back to the curling.”

  47. Chanpreet
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 10:51:32

    I’m both a sports fan and a lover of sports romance novels. My teams are all local; I’m from Atlanta. I will admit to being a huge Falcon’s fan. I only figured out the game three years ago and finally figured out why the game is so loved.

    Personally, I love to play sports as well. I’m not good at any of them but I always give it my best and have a great time.

  48. Erin L
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 22:28:47

    I really enjoy football. Go Seahawks! I casually watch rugby when it is on, because thighs.

  49. RachelT
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 09:07:30

    @Kat Latham: Hello – we got a gold in the women’s lskeleton (face down tea tray) in our best winter olympics yet.

    @Kat Latham: I agree about cricket – absolutely love it – I like the bowlers with lots of guile, tricking the batsmen into making a false stroke. I think MS Dhoni has always been rather gorgeous, and is ageing pretty well!

    @Rebecca Crowley: I have to disagree. Although RFed has been one of the greats, I find him smug now and when he is off form he has a tendency to denigrate his rivals during press conferences. Whilst I wish Andy Murray would keep his cool better on court (I’m sure it woudl help his game) there is much to admire in him. As well as his exciting tennis, he is turning into a superb role model, and is clearly a leader amongst an improving young British team – we hear of many of them spending time and learning from him and his team at his tennis camps in Miami.

    Looking forward to reading all the new sports novels.

  50. Kat Latham
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 09:24:00

    @RachelT: Really? That tumbling face-first down the mountain was purposeful?? ;) I was really only able to pay half-attention to the Winter Olympics this year, so I totally missed that it was Britain’s best so far. Sorry!

    And that’s two votes for a cricket romance. Any more?

  51. Kat Latham
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 09:25:25

    @Erin L: Amen, thighs. And bums. Abs too, for the most part. But rugby thighs are the BEST thighs in the world. No competition.

  52. RachelT
    Apr 17, 2014 @ 17:31:12

    @Kat Latham: cheeky,!

  53. Virginia H
    Apr 18, 2014 @ 15:02:21

    I like basket ball and base ball but don’t know much about other sports.

  54. flchen1
    Apr 18, 2014 @ 23:42:15

    I’m more of a sports romance fan than a sports fan ;) I’ll watch basketball or football or soccer if my kids are playing or if DH is watching, but don’t otherwise follow teams too much :) Adding these reads to my TBB!

  55. Justine
    Apr 19, 2014 @ 00:00:19

    My parents’ alma mater is phenomenal at men’s college basketball, so I root for them in March Madness.

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