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!