By Karen Rock
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 1 December, 2014
He was attractive, talented…and way off limits.
Heather Gadway may have been a world-class college pitcher and a top university coach, but she’s a rank amateur when it comes to managing the Falcons, her father’s struggling minor league team. And when it comes to managing her aggravating attraction to Garrett Wolf, their talented new pitcher. It’s going to be difficult enough to make it as the first female manager in the league and prove to her overly critical father she’s worthy. No distractions. No missteps. And certainly no romances with players. Everything stands between them—including their troubled pasts—even as Heather’s world falls apart and Garrett’s the one who’s there to catch her…
You can buy A League of Her Own here:
Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer. Currently she writes for Harlequin Heartwarming and her first novel for the line, WISH ME TOMORROW, has won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2014 Golden Quill Contest and a finalist in the Published Maggie Awards. The first novel in her co-authored YA series, CAMP BOYFRIEND, has been a finalist in the Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards.
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Guest Post – Sweet doesn’t mean Syrup
Thank you so much for having me on I am a Reader! It’s a thrill to be on such a wonderful blog that celebrates uplifting, moving stories… exactly the kind I’m drawn to write. As an author of sweet romance for Harlequin Heartwarming, it amazes me how sometimes others mistake the term “Sweet” or “Heartwarming” for “Sappy”. This couldn’t be farther from the case. “Sweet” refers to the heat level in the book, not the issues or conflicts which are contemporary, raw and edgy. Here’s an example of such an assumption from a recent review that said, “A LEAGUE OF HER OWN is part of the Harlequin Heartwarming series of stories. Don’t be misled by the inclusion of this book. There’s nothing sappy or condescending about this lovely and at times raw story.”
Don’t get me wrong. It was a beautiful review. I cried when I read the critic’s praise. That line, however, made me sigh. Just because a story does not contain racy or objectionable content, doesn’t mean it lacks fire, high stakes, emotional intensity or edge. Quite the opposite. We aren’t serving weak tea. Our characters are flawed, face raw issues, must overcome high stakes, make hard choices, and through it all, conquer what’s held them back to find lasting love. In other words… life and people in all their imperfect glory. I’m inspired to reflect what I see in the world rather than create an improbably flawless one that didn’t even exist on The Andy Griffith Show. (I am still addicted to it!)
Here are some examples of me doing just that: WISH ME TOMORROW, my Sept 2013 novel that was the recipient of the 2014 Golden Quill award for Sweet/Traditional romance and the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for Contemporary Series Fiction, features the true-to-life struggles of a single father recovering from cancer. His tough path to believing in a future he’d counted out… and find lasting love touched me deeply and I’m glad that it moved others as well. In March 2014, my novel, HIS HOMETOWN GIRL, depicted a heroine who assumes more than her fair share of ‘mom-guilt’ as she battles to pay for the high-level care her autistic son needs but she can’t afford. In the end, she comes to realize that love and acceptance is what they needed most of all. My September 2014 novel, SOMEONE LIKE YOU, was inspired by my grandfather’s experience with PTSD. I wanted to feature a wounded war hero who doesn’t believe himself worthy of the life he’s been spared or the love that’s waiting for him. He contemplates suicide until my heroine shows him how valuable his life truly is. Addiction was a central issue in my December baseball romance, A LEAGUE OF HER OWN, in which a young woman finds it hard to entrust her heart to a recovering alcoholic on her father’s baseball team because of her addict-mother’s struggles and betrayals. Finally, my April 2015 novel, RAISING THE STAKES, focuses on the mental and physical recovery of a rape victim whose retreat to the “safety” of the country isn’t coping… it’s hiding… something she comes to realize as she heals in the arms of a strong, good man.
That’s a cup of strong coffee, in my books, and maybe a little cream and sugar, too. J
I hope, after reading this, you might see “sweet romance” differently and know that while authors of it hold back some possibly offensive content, we still give our readers real, raw and meaningful stories that will hopefully touch your hearts. Thanks again for having me! I wish everyone well in this holiday season J
– a 100$ Amazon gift card (INT)
– a set of signed paperback of Wish Me Tomorrow, His Hometown Girl, Someone Like You and A League of Her Own (US only)
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