Sunday, April 11, 2021

A Winning Combination

 Books with a sports background have always been among my favorites to read or write. Sports stories were a staple when I visited the library or bookstores. My first attempt at fiction writing involved a romance between a young woman involved with a football star, and my first published book was about a baseball manager and a sports broadcaster. M  longtime career was as a journalist (though I started out wanting to be a sports reporter) Years later, my first published novel was about a female broadcaster and a baseball manager.

This week in My Writing Corner, I am pleased to feature authors Liz Crowe and Desiree Holt and their latest book -- a story involving the combination of my favorite subjects -- sports and romance.

USA Today best-selling and award-winning author Desiree Holt writes everything from romantic suspense and contemporary on a variety of heat levels up to erotic, a genre in which she is the oldest living author. She has been referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, and is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nominee. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications. 

Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville living in Central Illinois. She's spent her time as a three-continent expat trailing spouse, mom of three, real estate agent, brewery owner and bar manager, and is currently a social media consultant and humane society development director, in addition to being an award-winning author. With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, inside fictional television stations and successful real estate offices, and even in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are compelling and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, at times frustrate, and always linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

Let's get more on their new book, Numbers Game:

Former pro football player and coach Duncan "Hatch" Hatcher fumbled his career and marriage. Now divorced and ready to tackle his future, he has an opportunity to redeem himself as coach of his college alma mater's football team. But how can he can turn the team's losing streak around and keep the secret of his downfall buried when the school agrees to a documentary that will allow a lovely journalist to dig her way into his past...and into his heart?

Olivia Grant's ex-husband almost wrecked her journalism career while he definitely did a number on her self-esteem. The documentary on Duncan Hatcher is the perfect way to rebuild both. As a freshman in college, she'd had a crush on the senior football hero, but he hadn't known she existed. She never expects the sparks that fly between them as they work on the project nor the struggles they must face if they both want to win.

Sounds like a great read! Let's dig into those characters, starting with Duncan:

What frightens you about having a journalist dig into your past?

Oh, pretty much everything. Just kidding. Actually, having a good relationship with the media is something I’ve always prided myself on. And it’s not always easy to be either a player or a coach and sustain good relations with people whose job it is to be a fly in the ointment, to ask tough questions, to force you to face your own failures with questions like “How does it feel to lose that game, coach?”

I’ll admit that when the AD asked me if I’d be willing to do this, I was reluctant. The public eye has not been kind to me the last few years, even though I’ll admit my own part in that. But Olivia has the best interest of the program in mind, and I trust her completely to do right  by it, and by me.

What draws you to her personally?

Her tenacity, her strength of character and spirit, her alma mater, her cooking skills, and her ass. (Can I say that? Oh well, I did. It’s very appealing.)

What is your strongest drive or appeal?

Me? Well, I’m told I’m a good coach, I like to think that I am. I worry sometimes about trying to lead young men who are all barely teenagers into adulthood. I know what a knuckle head I was at their age, and sometimes I’m afraid I won’t have the courage or patience to do it right. But ever since I pulled myself out the giant hole I made in my own life, I’ve been 100% focused on turning things around in my life. And you can ask anyone who’s ever coached me in anything: I do not like to lose and I’m loyal to a fault.

How do you want people to see you?

As the man who was lucky enough to meet, fall for, and convince Olivia to be with me forever.

Now let's talk to Olivia? 

What draws you personally to Duncan?

His strength as a person and as a coach, without being overbearing or demanding. His willingness to share with the media without being arrogant. I see the way he runs the team, fully in charge but at the same time aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each player. I think what impressed me the most in the beginning was not something on the field, but aa few minutes he spent with a handicapped child after a race we both ran. His sense of humanity is so incredible and shows the softer side of him.

What frightens you about him?

Not much, really. Maybe his total dedication to the game that can sometimes separate him from everyone and everything else. I’ve known men for whom their career was the absolute focus of their life and people came second. I don’t see it in Hatch but as his success with this program grows I worry…just a tiny bit…that it will eclipse everything else.

 How has being a woman in what is basically a man's world shaped you?

I learned to fight hard for my place without losing my femininity. I played soccer in college so I am tuned in to competitive sports, and I still run races when I have the chance. But I also know I have to be confident without being obnoxious and not let men who think sports is a man’s world knock me off the track. And also be a complete student of sports, so people know I’m knowledgeable and know my subject and the world of sports. I want to be very successful without being, a you know…

What are your hopes for the future?

I hope this video will be a huge, huge success and open a new path for me to do more of them. I am hoping for recognition and respect for me as a knowledgeable sports reporter. And I hope Hatch sees me as the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with.

These characters are great, and the book sounds like an off the field winner! 

Here are Liz and Desiree’s links for more information on their new book:

Desiree Holt: 

Twitter: @desireeholt

Pinterest desiree02holt


Follow me  on BookBub 

Amazon Holt/e/B003LD2Q3M/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1505488204&sr=1-2-ent 

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 Liz Crowe:


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Thank you both so much for bringing us your latest book! Any comments or questions?


  1. Thanks so much for hosting us today. We're very excited about this book.

  2. sounds great and thank you for joining Desiree I love the interviews she does here

  3. Sounds like an amazing read! I love all Desiree Holt books so this will definitely be on my to read list.


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