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PLAY FAKE -- and Happy New Year!

We’ll be releasing a new story in the PLAY MAKERS universe this month. It is novella length (although a lot longer than PLAY BY PLAY was/is) and the cast of characters is much smaller than the last few books.  I’m trying to balance the needs of newcomers to the series who are sometimes overwhelmed by the Triple Threat group, but I also want to reward the loyalty of long-time readers of the series who love seeing the old gang and the long, messy plots.

It was easy to make the new novella – PLAY FAKE – more of a straightforward standalone since it deals with a different football team: the Rustlers in LA rather than the Lancers in Portland. In other words, the Triple Threat characters aren’t hanging around.  We’ll see Aaron Spurling, of course, since he’s the head coach of the Rustlers. And there’s a cameo by Wyatt Bourne since he’s their QB.

After PLAY FAKE, we’ll have another book out in early summer, and trust me, that one will be a big, big book where we’ll catch up with the whole gang even though the hero and heroine aren’t Portland based. (Wait till you see who they are!) That big summer book will be a tribute to the readers who love the overarching storyline and large cast of characters in the main series as much as I do. in the meantime, you’ll love PLAY FAKE, too, I promise. Wait till you meet Nick! And check out the Epilogue for news about Deck.)

As soon as I have the finalized cover for PLAY FAKE I’ll post it here along with a blurb about the story.

Thanks and Happy New Year!
Kate

PLAY CALLING

Here's what it's about:

Daniel Riga, the controversial head coach of the Portland Lancers, has the same rule for press conferences as for anything else during football season: football only. The man doesn’t even date except in the off-season. So why are these reporters asking about some sociologist who inexplicably called him a zombie in her latest newspaper column? On the Lifestyles page, no less!
Noelle Sharpe is mortified that her words have been taken out of context, since her tongue-in-cheek point was that zombies focus on a single obsession—eating brains—but a brilliant, vibrant man like Daniel Riga should broaden his horizons past football-only. Her attempt at apologizing in print only leads to another round of jokes at the handsome coach’s expense, so she tracks him down for an in-person apology.
As frustrated as he is with this zombie nonsense, Daniel goes wild for Noelle and they end up in bed. Unfortunately, it’s football season, so he asks her to wait for him until the off-season. By now, she’s so crazy about him, and so worried she’ll cost the Lancers their season by distracting him, she readily agrees.
Zombies consume brains. That’s all they do. And Daniel Riga consumes football. That’s all he does. Or at least until Noelle Sharpe writes her way into his life and gives football some serious competition.

Play Makers updates

Just a quick note to say:
(1) Daniel Riga’s book will be out soon -- yay!
(2)  We’re restructuring the Play Makers series over the next few days so you might see some growing pains. For example, there are currently two books labelled Book Three exc on Amazon as they make the shift. When the dust settles, it will be:
Playing for Keeps – BOOK ONE
Play Date – BOOK TWO
Power Play – BOOK THREE
Playing for Kicks – BOOK FOUR
Next full-length Book (to be released this Summer 2016) – BOOK FIVE
Another Full-length Book (to be released early next Summer 2017) – BOOK SIX
          
We also have a novella (PLAY BY PLAY), and we'll be adding a second one this coming January. And after that, a few others. It’s awkward placing the novellas in the mainstream-series lineup so we’re excluding them but still marking them as Play Makers stories. They enhance the main threads – which are the Triple Threat, the Portland Lancers, the Spurling family, and the Murf Murphy sports agency – but they don’t really fit the flow and thus can be read out of order.

For example, I’m finally writing a short novella about a guy named Luke Stoddard, whom you may remember as the rookie QB whose career skyrocketed then imploded on the LA Rustlers. We heard about Luke’s woes in POWER PLAY and PLAYING FOR KICKS but I didn’t want to interrupt the momentum by building a full book around him. By placing the novella outside the main timeline, we can have another full-length book right away (Daniel Riga) but also have Luke’s story, which takes place during the same summer as PLAYING FOR KICKS and right before Riga’s book.

With this freedom, I can also play around with format and subgenre in ways I don’t feel comfortable for the big books. I try to make each book individual and unique, but I know there are reader expectations, too.  So I can maintain a level of consistency for the big books and still keep them fresh, but for something really different, novellas might provide the outlet I need.  (In PLAY BY PLAY for example I experimented with using blog posts as a storytelling device, which I loved. For the Stoddard book we’ll have a hint of suspense in the background although the major emphasis will still be on romance, humor and football). Hopefully series readers can pick-and-choose which novellas they find appealing without being concerned about missing Triple Threat action.

Hmmm, did I promise you a “quick” note? Sorry, but I’m unreasonably excited about this tweak to our game plan. All we’re really saying is: Novellas don’t get a “series number” any more but they’re still in the Play Makers universe. Works for me, and hopefully works for you, too!

Kate
p.s. I’ll share more about Daniel soon – he’s hunky and totally obsessed with football so he was fun to write.

PLAYING FOR KICKS now available

Sean Decker's book is finally available! Actually it was released on Monday but I was at the beach for a few days with limited internet access, so I'm treating today like the first day.  As I've mentioned a zillion times, Sean is my favorite guy in the fictional world. I hope you enjoy him half as much as I do!
Kate




PLAYING FOR KICKS

Sean Decker's book has a title! And a cover. Yay!

PLAY MAKERS/Sean's book: UPDATE

Sean’s book in the PLAY MAKERS series is finally in production, meaning it’s scheduled for copyediting, cover design and sprucing up the back-cover blurb. We’re still on track for a pre-Super Bowl release!

If you’ve enjoyed Sean Decker (the kicker) in previous books, you might just love him in this one. He’s been through so much, romance-wise, he finally understands you can’t rush it. Better to be alone than to be with the wrong person, right? That philosophy is put to the test when he meets Tess Colby, since he’s sure she’s the one (isn’t he always sure?) but luckily, Tess won’t be his “rebound” date despite his smokin’ green eyes.

We see lots of Johnny in this book (and on a whole new level). And you can’t have a Triple Threat book without Bam Bannerman, so of course he’s there too. His loyalty to Sean is so basic, so touching, they’re more like brothers, even though Bam harasses the poor kicker every chance he gets.

Sean has been my all-time favorite since he stepped onto the page in PLAYING FOR KEEPS, so hopefully I’ve done him justice.

I’ll let you know when it’s out. Thanks for your support of this series, it means so much. And wait till you see the cover!
Kate

PLAY MAKERS updates

I'm excited that POWER PLAY is now available everywhere! I hope you enjoy it. As mentioned earlier, Sophie and Jake have their wedding in the epilogue with all the gang in attendance, but really, this book is the Darcie and Wyatt show. Their banter is unusual for this series because it's Wyatt who puts up roadblocks to the relationship whereas in the first three books, it was the woman trying to resist. Wyatt definitely has his reasons given his history with women, but it's a completely different dynamic that I really enjoyed, mostly thanks to Darcie because it was so much fun pretending to be confident and sassy like her.

So in other minor PLAY MAKERS news, we've made the first book in the series -- a short novella called PLAY BY PLAY -- free for a few weeks in hopes of attracting new readers for the series. Also, I just found out that my publisher doesn't use NetGalley any more, so if that was something that worked for you, I just wanted you to know I feel bad about that.

Finally, I'm four chapters into Sean Decker's book and since you all know how I feel about him, it's pretty awesome spending all day alone in a room with him. Although of course, his latest crush is there too and trust me, she's perfect for him.  Too bad her refrain is -- I don't date guys who get involved with married twins. She also thinks it's crazy how he falls in love so easily. And of course, she right about all of that. Still, Sean has his work cut out for him trying to romance Tess.

I usually have my title picked out for a book before I start formally writing it, but for Sean's, I have three possible candidates. When I was writing PLAYING FOR KEEPS, the idea was to call Sean's PLAYING FOR KICKS (since he's a kicker, right?)  But I eliminated that along the way in favor of three others. But for some reason, it drives me crazy writing a book with no name, so hopefully the right one will jump to the fore soon.

Meanwhile, let's take another look at that cover!  I hope you've been enjoying POWER PLAY. Thanks for reading! Kate


Almost a year after he met her, Jake is marrying his Elevator Girl.  When and where?  It all takes place in the Epilogue to the next PLAY MAKERS book: POWER PLAY (the Surgeon's book).

I adore Jake Dublin. He was originally the inspiration for a short story about sports bloggers, because I think they're the best and most hilarious writers around. It was just a series of blog posts at the time, written by Jake himself about his crush on Elevator Girl (the "cute girl" he met in his building). Those posts turned into a novella entitled PLAY BY PLAY, and the novella spawned a series of full-length sports books. Along the line we met a good-looking quarterback named Wyatt Bourne -- also known as The Surgeon.

Legend has it Wyatt's nickname began with his precise, surgical passing but quickly became shorthand for his surgeon-like God complex. In other words, he's ever-so-slightly arrogant.

Women "love" Wyatt Bourne, but who could actually love him? I guess we'll find out in POWER PLAY. Here's a sneak peek at the cover. I'll tell you more on opening day!


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