Folks, join me in introducing fellow Austin RWA member Farrah Rochon. Her latest release is on sale Wednesday, September 1st, and is the launch book in her new series with Harelquin’s Kimani Romance line. You can find out more at www.farrahrochon.com, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/farrahrochon and on Facebook.
Today is also full of extra awesomeness because one commenter will win an autographed copy of HUDDLE WITH ME TONIGHT!
Thank you for having me at the blog today, Jess. As one of the few blogs I frequently check in on, it’s extra special to be a guest.
Tell us about HUDDLE WITH ME TONIGHT?
I’m extremely excited about HUDDLE WITH ME TONIGHT, the launch book in my brand new series with Kimani Romance. First, just getting the chance to write for a Harlequin imprint is like a dream come true. My first taste of the romance genre came from reading my great aunt’s Penny Jordan and Carole Mortimer Harlequin novels.
The idea for HUDDLE came about in a pretty unusual way. One afternoon, while driving, the name “Paige Turner” popped into my head. I thought it was cute and quirky, and would be a great name for a heroine that worked in the book industry. The ideas started flowing: make her a blogger/reviewer, have her review a popular football player’s memoir, stage an online war between them on her blog. That was the foundation for the story. By the time I pulled my car onto the side of the interstate to jot down all of these ideas, I’d decided to make the memoir part cookbook and throw a cooking competition into the mix. The result was a story that combined two of my very favorite things: football and food!
You recently had a feature article in Romantic Times Magazine, “Are you Ready for Some Football—Romance Style,” that talks about your family connection to the NFL. Can you elaborate and tell us how it influenced HUDDLE WITH ME TONIGHT?
Anyone that knows me knows that I love football way more than the average person, male or female. A big part of that comes from growing up in a huge football family. My uncle has been a player and coach for nearly 30 years and his son just started his second season as a starting wide receiver for the Cleveland Browns.
Whenever we could, my brother and I would travel to games. I’ve had the chance to stay in the team hotels and watch NFL games from the sidelines and press box. Not everyone has the opportunity to have such close access, so I consider myself extremely lucky. When writing HUDDLE, I used those past experiences to add a bit of authenticity to my fictional football team
What has been the best thing about writing this series?
I love, love, love writing the scenes between the football players. There is something about the camaraderie between guys, especially on a sports team, that is so entertaining. It’s as if I’m peeking in on the “boys club.” My first series was centered on three brothers, and some of my favorite scenes in those books were when the brothers got together for a game of pool, or golf, or basketball. I love the banter that goes on when guys get together. Boys are fun.
Can you share a bit about upcoming books in the series?
As of right now, there are four books in the New York Sabers series. The next book, I’LL CATCH YOU, features the team’s bad boy, star running back, Cedric Reeves, who finds himself without an agent just before contract negotiations. Much to his horror, it seems the only person willing to take him on as a client is spanking new sports agent, Payton Mosely. What Cedric doesn’t realize is that Payton has been around football her entire life, and not only is she sexy, but she’s also extremely savvy. I loved writing this book. The chemistry between the characters pops off the page.
I just turned in the third book in the series, which features the team’s punt return specialist and the new freelance choreographer for the Sabers’ cheerleading squad. It was so much fun to write. Seriously, how many people get to watch clips of “Dancing with the Stars” on YouTube and call it work?
Can we get a sneak peak of HUDDLE WITH ME TONIGHT?
Here’s a small excerpt from the first time my hero and heroine meet:
Paige rounded the corner of Mancini’s Grocery and spotted the owner in his usual spot, just outside the door, a green apron tied around his waist and a broom in his hand.
“How’s it going, Bruno?”
“Just fine, Ms. Turner,” he answered, giving the sidewalk in front of the store’s entrance a sweep, then extending his hand to help her up the single step. “Got a special treat in the store today: celebrities,” Bruno said.
“Really? You finally got Jerry Seinfeld into your store?”
“Not yet,” Bruno shook his head. “A couple of Sa–“
A large woman with a teased hairdo stomped out of the store. “Bruno Mancini, this artichoke is not fresh,” she barked.
Paige gave Bruno an apologetic shrug as she left him to handle the irate shopper. She unfolded her canvas grocery bag and went straight for the produce section. She wasn’t sure about the artichoke in question, but as far as Paige was concerned Bruno stocked the freshest produce for miles. It was one of the reasons she walked six blocks out of her way to shop here.
Paige squeezed a Roma tomato and placed it in her bag. She heard the slight commotion before she looked up and saw it reflected in the mirrored wall behind the tomato display.
Paige’s eyes widened. “Oh, good God.”
Torrian Smallwood and Theo Stokes. They were there. Right there.
And here she was, looking like a rag doll.
Torrian finished signing an autograph and left his teammate, stepping into the produce section.
Paige pulled her Running Princess cap further down until the bill nearly touched her brow. She tucked her canvas bag in close, and tried to surreptitiously walk away.
No such luck.
She ran smack into a solid wall of muscle instead. Her grocery bag fell to the floor.
“Oh, excuse me,” Paige said, glancing up. The sight caused an instant zing to shoot down her spine. He was twelve hundred and eighty times more gorgeous in person than he was on her tiny fifteen-inch television screen. He’d have to get rid of that shirt for her to determine if the real life Torrian could top the picture on the cover of his book, though.
He wore a cap. Pulled low across his forehead.
“Excuse me,” he said, his voice as smooth as butter.
Paige stooped to the floor to retrieve her bag. Torrian crouched beside her. “Let me help you with that.”
“It’s okay, I’ve got it.”
They reached for the tomato at the same time, their fingers touching. Electricity raced through her blood, traveling like lightening to the spot where his slightly rough fingers connected with hers. He looked from their hands to her face and that same electrical current shot across the span of air between them.
Paige pulled her hand away first, but she couldn’t tear her eyes from his. They slowly rose from their crouch together; their twin gazes never wavering.
“Here you go.” Torrian held the tomato out to her. “Wait.” He pulled it back before Paige could grab hold of it. “This one’s a bit bruised.” He picked another tomato from the display. “Here we are. This one’s perfect.”
“Um…thank you,” Paige said, reaching for the tomato.
He pulled it just out of her reach, and extended his right hand instead. “I’m Torrian, by the way.”
“Yeah, I know,” Paige answered, staring at his extended hand. Something in her brain told her not to touch it. Temptation came in so many forms, and six plus feet of decadent chocolate male was definitely temptation at its worst.
Thanks so much for being with us today, Farrah. I hope everyone is as excited about HUDDLE WITH ME TONIGHT as I am. Its sounds like the kick off to a fantastic series!