5 May 2014

Sliding Into Home by Arlene Little

Sliding Into Home
By Arlene Hittle
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Humor
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Publication Date: April 2014

More than anything, Arizona Condors first baseman Greg Bartlesby wants to make his own name in the big leagues. Too bad being the son of MLB legend Jake “Big Man” Bartlesby makes that impossible. Even worse? His failed attempts to differentiate himself from his old man frequently land him in legal trouble. His latest brush with the law brings him in contact with an attorney he’s met before — as a dancer at the club where he was arrested for protecting her.
Jenn Simpson isn’t a stripper—not that she can convince her idiot client her twin is the one doing the dancing. When Greg offers her sister a job at his father’s Foundation, Jenn is the one who accepts. She soon discovers she likes the work—and her boss—more than she should. The closer they get, the more important it becomes for her to convince Greg she’s not who he thinks. And when his father is hospitalized, compelling Greg to fast-track his leap to the majors by capitalizing on Big Jake’s fame, it might be too late to come clean.
Barnes & Noble
All Romance Ebooks

Guest post by Arlene Little
I write Contemporary romance because I’d never be able to keep track of all the details I’d need to keep straight to pen a historical.
Authors of historical romance have to know whether their heroine would wear a wristwatch and what to call the frippery that trims a lady’s gown. They need a working knowledge of what went on at Almack’s and gentlemen’s clubs. And they have to know the difference between a viscount, duke and earl—something Gene Chandler, the guy who wrote “Duke of Earl,” clearly did not.
Seriously, though: I give mad props to anyone who writes historical romance. Some days, it’s all I can do to remember the color of my heroine’s eyes or my hero’s biggest flaw. (They’re always so easy for me to fall in love with.)
More than that draws me to Contemporary romance, of course.
I like grounding my stories in a world that already exists. It frees me to focus on developing the characters and getting them together so they can interact. Writing dialogue is my favorite. In fact, my first drafts are almost entirely dialogue, written as the play unfolds in my head. I go back and fill in more details in subsequent passes.
There’s something satisfying about helping two lonely hearts find one another, too. Real life is hard. Contemporary romance can provide an escape—but a plausible one. I hope readers can imagine themselves doing and saying the things my characters do and say ... or wishing they’d said something like it in a similar situation.
Does everyone come up with the perfect retort six hours after the conversation, or is it just me? Tell me it’s not just me.
As for the title, Sliding into Home, it came about with a little—OK, a lot of—help from my friends.
I sold Sliding to Turquoise Morning Press as part of a two-book deal. When they offered me a contract for Book 2 in my All Is Fair in Love and Baseball series, Beauty and the Ballplayer, they bought Book 3, too. At the time, I’d written the first couple of scenes and had a one-sentence premise: The hero thinks the heroine is a stripper, but the stripper is really her sister.
For months, it was known as “Untitled Book 3.” As the deadline to turn it in loomed, I knew it needed a real name. Titles are not my strong suit. Unless they come to me right away (as my soon-to-be-released indie titles Blind Date Bride and Trouble in Paradise did), I have a heck of a time deciding what to call a book.
I asked my RWA chapter for suggestions. I asked folks on my Facebook author page. My boyfriend called and said a title came to him in a dream.
Alas, the dream-inspired “Catch of a Lifetime” didn’t fit. I wanted something with alliteration to go with Diva in the Dugout and Beauty and the Ballplayer. So I wanted a _________ in the, on the, with the __________ construction.
Anne Marie Becker, a member of my RWA chapter who writes romantic suspense, and I meet to write a couple times a week, and we spent a lot of time—probably too much—brainstorming titles. Among those that didn’t make the cut?
Indiscretion with the Infielder
Sweetheart down the Stretch
Error in Judgment
Home Field Advantage
Misleading the MVP
Savvy down the Stretch
Reckless with the Runner
MVP’s Million-Dollar Mistake
Misconduct with the Millionaire MVP
Heaven in the Homestretch
Once Anne Marie and I exhausted the possibilities, I posted the list in my online writer’s group. They helped me brainstorm a few more titles, and then narrow the list to five, which I posted on my FB page as a graphic:

Sliding into Home was the best received—and I liked it. It worked on a lot of levels.
On the surface, Greg is a ballplayer—a damn good one, even if he has trouble staying out of jail. In the story, it’s the off-season, and he’s struggling with being home, in the shadow of his famous father. He’s trying to find his place in his father’s company...to find his way home, if you will.
And then there’s the whole baseball as a metaphor for sex thing. It’s a safe bet he slid home once or twice over the course of the book.

" … You promised me dinner.” She dug her fingers into his knotted shoulder muscle and started to work out the kinks. His bat dropped to the ground, wood thunking against concrete. “I’m hungry.”
A low, guttural sound—could have been groan or growl—rumbled from his throat as he whirled to face her. He settled his hands on her waist and hauled her against him. “Me, too.”
Then he captured her lips.
Surprised by his move, but not really, Jenn did more than let herself be kissed. She kissed him back. Enthusiastically and without reservation. She’d spent the better part of a month pretending not to be attracted to Greg, and she was tired of faking it. Time to press her advantage.
Their tongues tangled with a ferocity fueled by weeks of heightened awareness. Every shared glance, every accidental brush of their fingertips poured into the experience.
When she pulled away, they were both breathless and his arousal pressed into her stomach.
Looking as dazed as she felt, he stroked her chin with his thumb. “Whaddaya say we call out for pizza?”
She leaned in to press her lips to his. That it put the rest of her parts in alignment with his was a bonus, one she savored. He quivered when her lips brushed his ear. “I say, ‘Mangia!’”

Arlene Hittle is a Midwestern transplant who now makes her home in northern Arizona. She suffers from the well-documented Hittle family curse of being a Cubs fan but will root for the Diamondbacks until they run up against the Cubs. Longtime friends are amazed she writes books with sports in them, since she’s about as coordinated as a newborn giraffe and used to say marching band required more exertion than golf. Find her at arlenehittle.com, on Twitter or on FacebookGoodreadsAmazonPinterestInstagram. Newsletter sign-up (via FB) or her blog (sign-up in right top corner of my blog page)


No comments:

Post a Comment

Hiya! Thanks so much for stopping by the Fiction Dreams site. If you have the time, I'd love to hear from you so please do leave a comment :D xx