Saturday, August 30, 2008

Magical Musings Loves Line of Scrimmage

"Marie’s debut novel is wonderful! I was captured on the first page, and her characters are bigger than life. The emotional tug-of-war between two people who loved deeply but lost, takes you to the core in matters of the heart. Marie does a marvelous job leading you to the edge, and back again. So buckle up for a fun ride!

I look forward to Marie’s second novel, Same Time Sunday, a spring 2009 release from Sourcebooks."

Read the complete review!

Thanks, LaDonna!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Yankee Romance Readers Love Line of Scrimmage!

"Line of Scrimmage by Marie Force is not only a fantastic read for the romance fan but also for the female sports fan. I found this story ripe with emotion, steadfast with passion and downright endearing. Ladies hold onto your hats cause this Line of Scrimmage is full of secret game plays."

Read the full review!

Thanks, Terra!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Book Binge Gives Line of Scrimmage a 4 out of 5!

Here are a few highlights from the review:

Ryan was a fantastic hero. I loved him. If I didn’t already have a husband, I would want a husband like Ryan. He was a man that could admit to past mistakes. A man that wasn’t afraid to play dirty to get the woman that he loves. Only a man would wait until only ten days remain when he’s had a whole year to reconcile. That was okay though and the reason for that is believable.

I enjoyed the book. It’s a fast paced, cute love story. Just what I was looking for when I picked up the book.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Another Big Thrill—Line of Scrimmage in Bookstores!

Here I am visiting Line of Scrimmage at my local Barnes & Noble!

We're in a very good neighborhood next to Lori Foster, one of my favorite authors.

As we were waiting to pull into the partking lot, Rod Stewart's "You're In My Heart" came on the radio—Ryan and Susannah's wedding song. Karma? I'd like to think so! Either way, it was pretty cool!

Revisiting the Moon Gives Line of Scrimmage a Nine out of Ten!

Rating: 9/10

Line of Scrimmage doesn't waste any time, as the book starts with Susannah, our heroine, dining with her fiancé and future in-laws when her soon-to-be ex-husband drops his cowboy boots in the foyer. Ryan Sanderson, the boot dropper, is a famous quarterback and has just won his third Superbowl, but he wants his wife back, and is going to spend the last ten days of their marriage to show her he's a worthy husband.

I couldn't put this book down and I did tear up a couple times because it shows a couple working through their difficulties with such heartbreaking detail. Susannah and Ryan started having serious problems when she miscarried and they couldn't share their grief with one another, so they started drifting apart. When they're together again, they talk through their feelings from that terrible time and get closer than they were before. Of course this wasn't just a tearjerker, as there were plenty of times where I chuckled.

You'd think the book would be pretty thin if they get together by the end of ten days, but there are more conflicts layered on. Susannah has to deal with her fiancé, who was her friend since she was a teen, and he's always been hoping for her marriage to fail so he could have her back again, feeding her with ugly thoughts about Ryan. Then Ryan is set up a couple times and the evil fiancé makes him think that Susannah is too good for a guy with a low class childhood. You'd think it would be too much conflict, but it really worked and I think Force found a great rhythm.

Ryan is the perfect guy. He knows he's made mistakes and wants to work it out and thinks his wife is the perfect woman for him. I'd usually say that I wish he were mine, but I liked Ryan and Susannah so much that I'm glad their story ended so well. I will definitely be reading more Marie Force; she has another book coming out next year.

Thank you, Dora!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

When Great Things Happen to Great People

My nine-year-old son Jake has a friend named Ryan. For the last few years, Jake has followed Ryan's career as a star high school baseball and basketball player. We live on the street that leads to our local high school, so Jake and his dad walk up the hill to watch every game that's played at the school. And like both his grandfathers, my son has never met a stranger. He makes friends everywhere we go just by taking the time to have a chat with someone he finds interesting.

After every game, Jake would wait patiently for the opportunity to shake hands with Ryan and to compliment his performance on the field or court. Ryan always made time for Jake, and over the years, the two became friends. Ryan was heavily recruited as a standout athlete and was offered an athletic scholarship to Vanderbilt University in Nashville earlier this year. He went to visit the school, and brought back T-shirts for all his friends. We noticed the high school boys wearing the shirts on a Saturday morning this past winter when they were serving as officials in Jake's youth basketball league. That afternoon, Jake and his dad went to watch the varsity team play a home game. As always, Jake waited to say hello to Ryan after the game. "Hey, buddy," Ryan said. "Come here. I've got something for you." He handed Jake a yellow, kid-sized Vanderbilt T-shirt. Jake was thrilled and overwhelmed by the gesture (in fact, a few days later, I had to take the shirt off him to wash it!). We have a great photo of the two of them together that Jake will cherish forever.

In June, Ryan Westmoreland graduated from high school and was drafted by the Boston Red Sox. Yes, you read that right. The home team came a'calling, and Ryan faced the decision of a lifetime. Around town, people debated the pros and cons. What should he do? Go to college? Say yes to the Sox? What if he gets hurt in college? What if, what if? It was a tough decision, but a win-win no matter how you looked at it. Last week came the word that he had accepted a five-year, $2 million deal with the Sox. Jake was thrilled for his friend. Jake's parents were thrilled to see a nice, down-to-earth kid come out on top. Later this summer, Ryan is expected to play for a Red Sox farm team in Lowell, Massachusetts, which is about two hours from our house. Jake and his dad will be there, and Jake will hope for the chance to say hello, and to let Ryan know that one of his biggest fans is still thrilled to watch him play the game they both love.

In announcing the deal with the Sox, The Providence Journal's headline said "Sox Are Getting a Man of Character in Westmoreland." We couldn't agree more.

More Reviews...

Today I received my box of author copies of Line of Scrimmage! What a thrill!!! The book looks fabulous. I couldn't be happier to see it after all these months of waiting for it!

Here is what Book Loons had to say about it:

"Marie Force makes a nice debut in Line of Scrimmage. She does a masterful job in Ryan’s characterization: he never backs away from his goal of winning back his wife's love and trust. . . Line of Scrimmage is an enjoyable and often insightful story, especially during those moments when Susannah and Ryan are onstage and working through their differences."

J. Kaye Oldner, my new best friend (LOL), wrote a really nice review on her blog, J. Kaye's Book Blog:

This is what she had to say:
When I read about this book, I was in the mood for a rock-on good romance. There were a couple of things that had me worried though. The first was Ryan Sanderson. He is a successful quarterback for the Denver Mavericks, making it to the Super Bowl three times. So what’s wrong with that? I’m not a sports fan. From the beginning, Force embraces the sport like a fan, but she weaves it into the story with a finesse found in a great story teller.

The second thing that had me concerned was there seemed to be no surprises. Exactly what is read on the back happens in the first quarter of the book. If you read the review from Publishers Weekly, that will take you to about three-fourths of the book. By the time I made it there, I knew how the story would end. Guess what? I didn’t care. My eyes stayed glued to the book and I couldn’t stop reading until it was over.

It was a book that made me laugh as well as cry. The three-dimensional characters were so vivid. I’d have no trouble plucking each one out of a crowd. LINE OF SCRIMMAGE is Marie Force’s first novel. Her next is scheduled to be out in the spring of 2009 and it’s titled SAME TIME SUNDAY. You can bet I’ll be in line to get my copy, because hands down, this is the best romance I’ve read this year.

Thank you, J. Kaye, and to all her friends who are excited about Line of Scrimmage!

Friday, August 15, 2008

So What's Changed?

I'm blogging today on the Casablanca Authors Blog about how things have changed since I got "The Call" a year ago. Come on by and check it out!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Reviews Rolling in For Line of Scrimmage

I entered a new phase in my journey to publication this week—reviews! Here's what's being said about Line of Scrimmage:


Susannah Sanderson is all set for her upcoming wedding, until her soon-to-be-ex husband, football superstar Ryan Sanderson, shows up. Ignoring her protests, Ryan informs her that since their divorce isn’t final for ten more days, he still owns half of the house, and he intends to live there. Susannah has a hard time maintaining her boycott of the handsome, hunky athlete, especially when he’s in such close proximity. To further complicate things, it’s all too easy to compare him with Henry Merrill, her nerdy new fiancé, who comes complete with his domineering mother. Ryan has taken some hard hits on the playing field, but nothing prepared him for the break-up of his marriage. Now he’s throwing Super Bowl level energy into a reconciliation, and this is one game he’s determined to win. With its humor and endearing characters, Force’s charming novel will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers, reaching far beyond sports fans. —Shelley Mosley

A Top Pick by Romance Reader at Heart:

"I really enjoyed LINE OF SCRIMMAGE. Ryan Sanderson is a bigger than life hero. He plays hard and he loves even harder. He will do whatever it takes to change Susie's mind about the divorce because he cannot live without her. Susannah was a great heroine to read. She stood by Ryan's side for many years, seemingly unseen. But in the ten days they spend together, she comes to know just how much Ryan cares for her. She is tough and doesn't let Ryan get away with anything, part of the reason he loves her so much.

The cast of supporting characters, many of which are friends of the couple and also involved with Ryan's team, the Denver Mavericks, add to the warmth and realism of this tale.

I look forward to reading more novels from Marie Force. I thoroughly enjoyed LINE OF SCRIMMAGE and this one is definitely going on the keeper shelf." —Maame Kanbi

Reader Review:

Average Rating: 5 stars
A reviewer, A reviewer, 07/30/2008
LINE OF SCRIMMAGE is a 'line in the sand' that new author Marie Force challenges romance readers to cross. It is a fun and interesting story of an imaginary, yet typically sexy NFL quarterback making a last-ditch effort to save his marriage while guiding his team to the Super Bowl. As Force’s first published work (available in stores September 1st), she shows that she has what it takes to become a familiar name to readers. Although she writes in the women's fiction and romance genre, it is clear that she can accurately research for the subplots as well as the main storyline. The creativeness in her 'football speak' is accurate and timely. I predict well see this author's name on bookracks again in the near future.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

More Photos From San Francisco

After meeting my Sourcebooks sister and Casablanca blog mate Cindy Munoz for the first time and making some noise in the lobby on Thursday, we set out for Chinatown with my New England Chapter friend (and assistant newsletter editor) Jennie Brown and her sister Pam. Here are some photos from our adventures, including Pam's efforts to teach me to eat with chopsticks. As others before her have discovered, I'm just not wired that way. However, being the high school teacher she is, Pam was determined, and I succeeded in getting some food to mouth without a disaster.

Cindy, who lives close to San Fran, took us to this little hole-in-the-wall restaurant where we had to traipse through the kitchen to get to the dining room. The whole way, Cindy was sing-songing, "Don't look, don't look." Once we were seated, menus were flung at us and we were asked, "What you want?" The food was spectacular. The company? Outstanding. The experience? Unforgetable.

Of course Cindy made me show the Sourcebooks folks my new chopsticks skills the next night, and let's just say that didn't go so well. Fork, please!

On Friday, I played hookey from the conference (scandal, but hey, I can't do that when I'm working a conference, so give a girl a break!) and spent the morning at Fisherman's Wharf. The weather was pristine in San Francisco, as lovely as I have ever seen it. So even though I stood right on the same pier two years ago when I was there with my family and took these same photos, I took them again because it was so clear.


San Francisco's famous sea lions. When someone referred to them as seals, Cindy straightened us out by saying seals don't have external ears. This is the kind of stuff writers have to know!

And of course, The Golden Gate.

Sigh.... Have I mentioned that I LOVE San Francisco? How lucky am I to say that my first RWA National occurred in my favorite city? Can't wait to go back. San Francisco truly has my heart. And, it plays a big part in one of the two books I sold when I was there! More to come soon on that....

Pinch Me, I Must Be Dreaming

Last Friday night was, by far the best moment I've had yet as a writer. Our Sourcebooks Publisher Dominique Raccah and Editor Extraordinaire Deb Werksman treated us to a limo ride through the rolling hills of San Francisco and a yummy dinner at Vietnamese restaurant Ana Mandara. It was the first chance many of us had to meet each other after months of working together on our Casablanca Authors blog and supporting each other through the publication process. What a thrill to be in the company of these dynamic women!

Our chariot awaits...

In the limo with Cindy Munoz (w/a Loucinda McGary) and Judi Fennell, aka "The New Girl." Judi just sold a mermaid trilogy to Sourcebooks in June.

Once at the restaurant, Dominique and Deb offered up a toast to Sourcebooks Casablanca and their fabulous authors.

We'll drink to that!

Deb and Dominique graciously posed for photos with each of us.

Here's the whole gang. Back row (l-r) Michele Ann Young, Linda Wisdom, Dominique Raccah, Gail, Beth, Sharon Lathan, and our lovely publicist Danielle Jackson. Front row (l-r) Deb Werksman, Robin Kaye, Marie Force, Malena Lott, Judi Fennell and "Aunty Cindy" Loucinda McGary.

Back at the hotel, we hit the 39th Floor where they very smartly gave us our own room (read: PLAYPEN) behind a screen, away from their more civilized guests. (l-r) Robin, Marie, Judi and Cindy.

Malena, Robin, Marie and Judi. Note that Robin and I, fused at the hips, were unwilling to move to let others take photos. That was her idea, not mine...

And finally, here are Robin and I with her very own domestic god, Steven. I tried to find the faults. Really, ladies, I did. I gave it one hell of a try. But other than him chopping down her beloved tree, there were no chinks in the armor. He did, however, show up with a woman named Theresa who I was told was his "girlfriend." If you ask me, therein lies the scandal, but that could just be my overactive imagination at work.

While I was in San Fran, I had a funny lobby chat on Saturday with my New England Chapter mate Jessica Andersen, whose latest release, Nightkeepers, is on fire! She said something that really struck a chord with me when she was talking about how she has gotten better about taking the the time to celebrate EVERY moment along the writing journey—no matter how big or small. I've heard this advice before, of course, but after the Friday night, I had a whole new appreciation for it.

This was a very big moment for the Casa Authors, and I think we did it proud.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I Can't BELIEVE I Failed to Say This... my earlier post... I was so caught up in my Nora Roberts fan girl spiel...

ONE MONTH FROM TODAY Line of Scrimmage will launch!!!!!!!!!

Let the countdown begin.

My Life is Now Complete

Yesterday I was in the same room with Nora Roberts. I know, take a breath, don't hyperventilate! Her chat was my only MUST on the workshop agenda at RWA Nationals. That makes me sound like such a fan girl, I know, but hey, I am! I love her books, I adore her practical, plain-spoken wisdom, and I admire her longevity in a difficult business—a staggering 193 published books and still going strong. I always knew I wanted to write fiction, but Nora and her books helped to steer me toward romance. I wanted to take a picture to post here, but I didn't want the camera to flash during her talk. Oh and guess what else? I even asked her a question. I did not, however, run my fingers through her hair like I did when I met Patrick Kennedy. I'd like to think I've grown up a little bit since then. When you read the next paragraph and see what ELSE happened yesterday, you will have a better appreciation of just how big a deal seeing Nora for the first time was for me.

Yesterday afternoon, I also met my editor and publisher in person, and we worked out the details of what will probably be books 2 and 3. That was a pretty big deal, too! More to come very soon on that! My editor, Deb Werksman, is as lovely in person as she is on the phone. I really enjoyed having the chance to sit and talk with her. This can be such an odd business where you have these intense and very important relationships with people you've never met. That's also true for fellow writers. I got to have dinner in Chinatown last night with my dear friend and Sourcebooks sister Cindy Munoz—again, someone I feel I know so well but had never met until yesterday. Do check out Cindy's book (written under the name of Loucinda McGary), The Wild Sight, out October 1 from Sourcebooks. Last night, I also connected with some online friends at the From the Heart Chapter gathering.

Later today, I'm looking forward to meeting Danielle Jackson, our Sourcebooks publicist, and to our Sourcebooks dinner where I'll get to meet online friends and blog mates Robin Kaye, Linda Wisdom and Michele Young. I hope to also run into my lovely new agent, Kevan Lyon. This morning I played hookey from the conference and went down to Fisherman's Wharf. It's a beautiful, clear day in San Francisco, my favorite city in the world. I'll post some photos when I find my doo-dad for the computer. I'm starting to feel ragged after eight days on the road and living out of a suitcase!

Will post more from RWA National over the weekend!