Special Guest Marie Force

Today I welcome special guest, Marie Force, whose debut book, Line of Scrimmage, is available this month!  I first learned about this book several months ago and as a romance and sports fan, I have been looking forward to it’s release.


Here’s the blurb for the book:


She’s given up on him and moved on…


Susannah finally has a peaceful, calm life and a no-surprises man. Marriage to football superstar Ryan Sanderson was a whirlwind of passion, heat, energy, and excitement, but Susannah got sick of playing second fiddle to his team, watching women throwing themselves at him, and living in terror of the hard hits he took on the field. With their divorce just days from being final, she’s already planning a wedding with her new fiance…


He’s finally figured out what’s really important to him. If only it’s not too late…


Ryan has just ten days to convince his soon-to-be ex-wife to give him a second chance. He has just brought home his third championship and his career is at its pinnacle, but during the year of their separation, Ryan’s come to realize it doesn’t mean anything at all without Susannah…



Now, here’s Marie to tell you a little more Line of Scrimmage.


Line of Scrimmage: It’s All in the Name

By: Marie Force


Thanks for having me today, Jennifer! I’m delighted to be visiting with such a great friend of the Casablanca Authors Blog!


Over the last week, I’ve had the huge thrill of hearing from friends and family around the country who’ve seen the book in their local bookstores. I’m still waiting to wake up from what surely must be a dream!


I’ve made no secret of the fact that Line of Scrimmage is the seventh book I wrote. I still have high hopes for the six that came before (in fact, number three, Same Time Sunday, will be published next spring) and for the four I’ve written since. In the process of writing eleven books, I’ve learned a few things. One is that some of them name themselves the way Line of Scrimmage did, and others defy naming. Don’t even get me started on the naming process for Same Time Sunday! That one had about ten different names, but Line of Scrimmage was always Line of Scrimmage.


I know the name doesn’t scream ROMANCE the way titles such as Her Sexy Quarterback Comes Home or Sex, Love and Football would have. So why Line of Scrimmage? I’ve written a lot about how I wasn’t a football fan before the Muse showed up with Ryan Sanderson, every inch the NFL quarterback. I was forced to immerse myself in football to learn the lingo and capture the essence of the game for my purposes in the story.


One snowy Sunday afternoon in 2006, I was watching yet another game with my irritated husband—who wanted me and my endless questions to go away so he could watch the game in peace—when the announcer said something about the teams facing off at the line of scrimmage. The term facing off struck me, and I realized right away that I’d stumbled upon the perfect name for my book about a soon-to-be divorced couple facing off in an epic battle of wills. I’ve read that the goal is to get the story’s central conflict into the title. Easy enough, right? Not! However, I think I succeeded with Line of Scrimmage, which conjures up a visual of two sides locked in combat. While it might not give you warm, fuzzy romance vibes, it’s an apt image for a story that is very much a romance!


After this epiphany, of course I pictured Ryan and his wife Susannah nose-to-nose on the cover. Fortunately, the marketing gurus at Sourcebooks had a better idea and came back with that yummy guy who has generated lots of conversation. By the way, if you happen to meet my husband someday and he tells you he posed for the cover, let’s just say he’s allowed to have his dreams, too.


While Line of Scrimmage all but named itself, it still presented me with big challenge—telling the story of a couple together for more than a decade. In most romances, including most of mine, boy and girl meet on page one or in chapter one, and their romance unfolds as the book progresses. I realized early on in the writing of this “reunion” romance that I had to weave in their backstory slowly and strategically. Late in writing of the book, I was still learning things about Ryan and Susannah, including what brought them together and more about what broke them up. I got a kick out of that, and I hope readers will, too.


I’d love to know what your readers think of books with titles that don’t scream romance but are packed full of conflict and sexy heat. In addition, I’m curious about your thoughts on “reunion” romances. I’m also happy to answer any questions about the writing process, and now that I’m a fan, I’m ready to talk football! I’ll give away a copy of Line of Scrimmage to one lucky commenter, so bring it on!


Read more about Marie, her journey to publication, and her books on her website at www.mariesullivanforce.com.
She’s also holding a launch party this week on her blog at
http://mariesullivanforce.blogspot.com where you can win a copy of Line of Scrimmage and other great prizes


As for the contest here, I’ll announce the winner of a copy of Line of Scrimmage on Saturday, Sept. 6, so be sure to check back to see if you won!


26 Responses to Special Guest Marie Force

  1. Laura J says:

    Hi Marie!

    First of all I love stories with sports heroes. Football players, hockey players, baseball players, they are all good. Maybe because they have such big egos to begin with and then having a strong heroine to bring them back to reality. I really don’t like to watch sports so I don’t really know why I’m drawn to sport stories.

    I mostly love friends to lovers stories, but reunion stories are good too and there seem to be few where it’s a married couple that is reuniting. It’s good to see stories that show that marriage is not easy and sometimes you have to fight to make it work.

    Occasionally a title will catch my eye to pick up a book to read, but generally I go by the blurb on the back of the book, the excerpt in the front of the book if there is one, or a friend’s recommendation. And sometimes it the book cover and they did a nice job on the cover. I’ll definately be looking for your books.

    Hey Jennifer–just wanted to say, I love the picture you took that is at the top of the blog. It’s beautiful. Makes me want to head out to the beach!!!

  2. Marie says:

    Hi Laura,
    Glad to hear you like sports heroes. I have an idea for a baseball book that I might do at some point. If you love stories about men with big egos and the women who keep them grounded, then you’ll enjoy Line of Scrimmage. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Marie, reunion romances often have so much more conflict to resolve, because they couple has so much more history together. And conflict makes for exciting reading. And yummy guys on the cover are like icing on a cake.

    Your book is on my tbr list for sure

  4. Helen says:

    This book sounds wonderful I am a big sports fan although I follow all of the Aussies sports cricket and rugby leauge it will be good to learn about more sports.
    Love a reunion story it is like having a argument with your other half making up is always fun LOL

    Have Fun

  5. Jennifer Y says:

    Thanks, Laura. I lucked out on that picture and the full version is even more beautiful. I’ll try to put it up when sometime next week when I post about the trip.

    And I agree. I LOVE Sports heroes in romances. I grew up with an older brother who played multiple sports (and even today he is an assistant football coach at a high school) so I basically grew up at ballparks and stadiums…LOL. You knew what time of year it was by which sport you were watching on tv or in person…LOL. Of course, even as a child I always took a book with me to the games and even today I read while watching my fave teams play…LOL

    And as Michele Ann Young mentioned, reunion stories can be really interesting because of the history that characters have together…it can add conflict. That’s another reason that I love friends-to-lovers stories, as well. Like reunion romances, they also deal with characters with a history. I love watching two people who have known each other for a while reconnect or come together for the first time.

  6. Marie says:

    Hey Michele,
    Thanks for popping by! I agree about the great built in conflict when you have an established couple. it was eye-opening to me to confront the various challenges that came with writing this different set up, but I’m happy with the results. Thanks for keeping LOS in your TBR file. I’m looking forward to your new book, too!

    Hi Helen,
    Thanks for coming by! I have to take your word for it on cricket and rugby. I don’t know much about either of them except that my cousin once broke his neck playing rugby! (He is fine today.)

    Thanks for having me, Jennifer. Sounds like you’ve seen your share of yummy football boys over the years!

  7. Kendra says:

    Hi Marie! LOL about your naming process…my first book went through several named (none of them, I will openly admit, much good). Fortunately, Deb had an epiphany and came up with a great one. Second one always had its name. Funny how some books’ titles just leap into your arms, and others play hard to get, to use a romantic analogy (ha ha).

    I kind of like historicals where there’s history between the hero and heroine, not necessarily a relationship. He will either have worshipped her from afar, or thought she was just young and annoying years before. Again, it’s that built-in conflict, and it can be lots of fun…which is how your story sounds!

    As far as picking up titles, I don’t care if it sounds all “damn, this must be a hot one!” It just has to catch my interest and make me wonder what the book is about:-)

  8. Marie says:

    Hi Kendra!
    I’m so glad it’s not just me! I have an idea for a new book and already know the name will be perfect for it. However, I just now submitted Same Time Sunday to Deb and the list of names that books has had is hilarious. I finally stumbled on the right one, but it was an agonizing process. Naming kids is MUCH easier.

  9. Hey Marie,

    Let me say it ONE MORE TIME: SUPER CONGRATS on your debut release!

    I think Line Of Scrimmage is a very evocative title and I immediately had the image of the hero and heroine facing off to do combat! LOL! Guess that shows where my mind often wanders.

    I actually got the title for my first romantic suspense before I even had an idea for the book. I heard the incidental music for the opera “Jewels of the Madonna” and thought, what a GREAT title. So I set out to write a story to go with it. 🙂 Yup, I’m still hopeful that one will sell too.

    I also agree that naming kids is easier, esp. when you name them after a character in a book, which is what *I* did!


  10. Robin Kaye says:

    Hi Marie~

    Love the blog and the way you came up with the title. My first pretty much named itself, the second was named by Deb and the Sourcebooks team. The title for the third was all mine.

    I’m not much of a football fan, but I sure had a good time dating the players! One of my old boyfriends played professionally and is now a defensive coach for the Packers. I went a linebacker to a Domestic God. Not a bad trade.

    Robin 🙂

  11. RobynL says:

    Oh I love football and the heroes. This sounds like a great read and congrats on your release book.

    I like reunion stories because it enforces the sanctity of marriage and couples trying to make an effort and it working.

  12. Marie says:

    Hey Cindy,
    I love both your titles, and will keep my fingers crossed for the Jewels of the Madonna. I’m glad you conjured up the right image when you first heard the Line of Scrimmage title. I wondered if all the romance people out there were saying, huh? Cindy’s book The Wild Sight will be out later this month (doncha LOVE that I said it that way?) and it’s fabulous! PW gave it a starred review, so be sure to check it out.

    Hi Robin,
    You gave up football players for the lovely Stephen? What sacrifices you make for that man. No wonder why he brings you coffee in bed each morning. He’s afraid you’re going to go back to flirting with the offensive line. It all makes sense now! Can’t wait to read Robin’s Romeo Romeo, out in November! If you love a man who’s as good in the kitchen as he is in the bedroom, Robin’s book is for you!

    Hi Robyn,
    Glad you are a fan of football heroes! I am quite fond of my Ryan and I think you will be, too!!

  13. Marie,
    Today I went, I bought, I read, and I enjoyed!
    I highly recommend that others do the same. Great story! A guitar-playing, Eagles-singing quarterback! Oh…my…God!!!!!

  14. Marie says:

    LOL, thanks, Cheryl, for reading LOS in ONE sitting. I appreciate your kind words. Check out Cheryl’s new book Warrior, out this fall. Rumor has it, it’s full of JUICY BITS! :–)

  15. Marie,
    Oh, yes! Very juicy bits! Thanks for the plug! Must check into guest blogging here…..

  16. Jennifer Y says:

    Cheryl, you’d be welcome any time…that goes for any author out there.

    By the way, Cheryl, I just grabbed your book, SLAVE, to read when I finish my current read.

  17. Liza says:

    Line of Scrimmage sounds really great! I’ll have to add it to my tbb list.

  18. Jennifer,
    You’ll be hearing from me soon! Thanks!

  19. Fedora says:

    Hi, Marie,
    Thanks for the post today–I do enjoy sports stories (not being very athletic myself, sports are yet another thing to live vicariously by reading…) and I LOVE a good reunion story–I really like how one that’s well done seems all the richer and more believable because there’s a longer, deeper history blended with heat and the developing relationship. I’ll be looking for your books!

  20. kh says:

    love your blog, congrats on teh book, my fav things romance and football and hot men.

  21. Teresa W. says:

    I’ve been hearing alot about this one. I love this time of year when college football season starts. My team is the Michigan Wolverines (GO BLUE)! Congrats on the release!

  22. cheryl c. says:

    Congrats on your debut release! How exciting for you! I love romance books that feature sports figures. Susan Elizabeth Phillips has written some really good ones. I also love reunion stories, so your new book sounds like a story I would really like. I also like the sexy cover! 😉

  23. Marie says:

    HI Fedora, KB, Teresa and Chery C,
    You guys snuck in overnight. Glad to hear reunion romances and men in tight white pants are striking a chord with readers. I may have to come up with some other men in tight white pants! I agree that Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ football books are great, and Teresa, I’m so glad you’ve been hearing a lot about Line of Scrimmage!

  24. Beth R says:

    I also enjoy reunion romances as well as sports related stories.

  25. Maureen says:

    I like reunion stories. There seems to be a lot of emotion in them and I’ve shed a few tears over them in the past. Also, I have trouble remembering titles because they are very similar nowadays so one that has meaning to the story is going to stay with me more.

  26. acdaisy77 says:

    I like to read reunion stories. Line of Scrimmage sounds great. Congrats on the new release! 🙂

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