anyone for tennis?

Faithful readers, I hope your Valentine’s Week (if there is such a thing) is going better than mine! I got back to Joburg on Monday evening after an awesome extended weekend in Cape Town and have spent the ensuing several days trying to get around this petrol-fueled city without my car, which is being held hostage by the world’s most inefficient panelbeaters. Commuting to work via taxi and begged rides from co-workers is really less than ideal, and I can’t wait to retrieve my beloved, TARDIS-blue Honda tomorrow. At least I hope the mechanic meant it when he said tomorrow…

So to cheer myself up in this final furlong before the weekend, why not have a cover reveal? There are almost exactly two months to go before the release of my second sports romance with Carina Press, LOVE IN STRAIGHT SETS, the story of an uptight professional tennis player and her deliciously laid-back coach. I love this cover almost as much as I love this novel (which is a lot). Please to enjoy!:

Love in Straight Sets

Regan Hunter came to tennis late in life, but she’s worked hard to become one of the world’s top players. Beating the odds has made her unstoppable on the court and neurotically controlling off of it. So when her manager hires a new coach, a has-been who left the sport after a scandal, Regan wants him gone, fast.

Ben Percy, a former Grand Slam winner, is well aware of Regan’s reputation for driving coaches away—usually screaming. But working with the notoriously mercurial Regan could be just the break he needs to take his career to the next level, and he’s never been one to scare easily. He must stick to only one rule: hands off Regan.

Keeping his distance from Regan is more difficult than Ben ever imagined. Behind her tough, sexy exterior is a woman he wants to get to know better. And Regan feels a connection with her patient, easy-on-the-eyes coach that’s hard to ignore. But with the biggest championship of all on the line, romance may be completely out of bounds…

I won’t lie, probably one of my favorite elements of this cover is the hero’s slight resemblance to Roger Federer. Did you know that ol’ Roger is half South African? Or that he’s on a huge, billboard-sized ad for Moet Chandon that I pass every morning on my way to work? In fact sometimes I sit at the red light and just stare at all ten floors of him. Certainly improves the morning commute!

Roger Federer


Bunker-Play Blog Hop

I’m not going to lie to y’all – I’m not a huge fan of professional golf. It takes ages, winners and losers are often determined long before the game is finished, and how seriously can you take a sport where guys like Angel Cabrera can become champions?

Angel enjoys a performance-reducing drug.

I always groan when golf is the sport du jour on the gym TV screens…yet I don’t mind playing a bit of mini-golf or even hitting a few balls at a driving range. Just recently I found myself taking a couple of swings at a golf course here in Johannesburg, and with a cloudless blue sky and incredible highveld vistas I suddenly understood why so many people love to play.

Which brings me to that essential distinction: sports we love to watch vs. sports we love to play.

bunkerhop2I’m a fairly committed middle-distance runner, always training for the next 10K or half-marathon. A colleague recently asked whether I was interested in joining her harriers club, and as I analyzed what turned me off about the prospect I realized that what makes running my favorite activity is that it’s completely solitary. Every run comes down to me versus my personal goals, and having to make conversation or keep up with a group is the last thing I want.

On the flip side, one of my favorite sports to watch – but not play – is football (or soccer for my fellow North American natives). Weirdly, what I love most about it is the team dynamic! I find it fascinating that a player can be a superstar on one team yet become shockingly bad when he moves to the next, or the way the addition of a new player can transform the cohesion of a side. And let’s not forget those on-pitch moments that are practically soap operatic with thrown-up palms and angry pointing!

The Striker's Chance by Rebecca CrowleyHow do your preferences shake out when it comes to playing versus watching? Are there any sports you love to do but can’t bear to sit through on TV? Tell me which sports you love and loathe and why, and one lucky commenter will win a copy of THE STRIKER’S CHANCE, my Carina Press debut about a sexy soccer superstar who joins a failing team and meets his match in – and loses his heart to – the ambitious publicist assigned to revamp his image.

BUT WAIT! As part of the Bunker-Play Blog Hop you also have the chance to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway including some awesome swag from author Lily Malone whose latest, Fairway to Heaven, is available now! Follow the links below for the giveaway and to visit the other amazing bloggers, and be sure to check back here on January 15th to see whether THE STRIKER’S CHANCE will be winging its way to an eReader near you!

Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

And click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list!

two-for tuesday

Tuesday is generally my least favorite day of the week – yup, even worse than Monday. On Monday I still have a little optimism and energy left over from the weekend, but on Tuesday that’s all gone and I’m facing four more days before the next one. A friend of mine once mused that one day she woke up and found that twenty-seven years of Tuesday had simply passed her by, and ever since then I’ve tried to do something a little special, a little remarkable on Tuesday to prevent that happening.

Today I’ve got TWO bits of excitement to share. I’ll start with the abs-less piece of news first: Carina Press has acquired my second contemporary sports romance, LOVE IN STRAIGHT SETS! It’s slightly quirky and offbeat in that the heroine is the sports star, a highly strung professional tennis player who falls hard for her annoyingly laid-back coach. Here’s the blurb:

Professional tennis player Regan Hunter is at the peak of her career – and the end of her tether. Beating the odds to excel in her sport has made her unstoppable on the court and neurotically controlling off of it, and two months before the Baron’s Open – her best chance at winning a Grand Slam – she’s fired so many coaches that there are none left. Her anger when her manager lays down an ultimatum that sticks her with an untried amateur is nothing compared to her fury at the new coach’s attempts to wrest control from her grasp – or to the sizzling attraction that instantly blazes between them.

Former Baron’s Open-winner Ben Percy lost everything when his father embezzled his money and left him flat, but his only complaint about the life he’s built for himself is his lack of funds, particularly when he’s trying to save enough to bring his sister over from their native Zimbabwe. Coaching the notoriously mercurial Regan Hunter could be the career break he needs – or a career finisher if he fails to get her to a Grand Slam win. His dubiousness grows when her manager delivers a strange condition – if he touches Regan, he’s fired. But as he’s increasingly intrigued by the complicated, fascinating woman behind her take-no-prisoners façade, he realizes the contest for her heart will be fiercer than any Grand Slam final.

LOVE IN STRAIGHT SETS will be released in the first week of April…but before that hits the virtual shelves, I’ve got two firsts on March 4th: my first release with Samhain, and my first contribution to the world of romantic suspense! And so without further adieu, I give you the cover reveal for SECURE TARGET, the tale of an Afrikaans-speaking super-cop with a huuuuge… gun.

SecureTarget cover smSECURE TARGET is already available for pre-order from Amazon and Amazon UK. I love the Samhain “warning”: Contains a sexy South African cop with the heart of a lion and by-the-book determination, and a mild-mannered receptionist with a reckless streak a mile wide. Throw in love on the run, and it’s full “steam” ahead!