Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fascination comes in many forms and for many subjects

Throughout my life I have been fascinated by many, many things—how pizza is made, do older people have sex, scary legends, why women have boob jobs. Yeah, you got it. My mind works in strange, mysterious ways. There is actually very little that doesn’t fascinate me, sometimes to extremes.
Take football, the object of my unrelenting fascination for years.
I always enjoyed watching football games, but not to any excessive degree. I could take it or leave it. When I was in college football Saturdays were the most exciting day of the week. I attended the University of Michigan and for me, believe it or not, the most exciting part of the game was when the high stepping, quick timing band strutted out onto the field to the staccato beat of the drums.
So how did I get to this point, where from August until the Super Bowl my life revolves around football weekends, not to mention the Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday games? In 1980 my family and I moved to Tampa, Florida. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were a mere four years old and everyone had Bucs fever. All anyone talked about was the Bucs and football and football and the Bucs.
To converse intelligently, I bought a book titled How to Watch a Football Game. I read the first couple of chapter, sat down on Sunday with the book on my lap, and turned on the television. And holy crap! I knew what was taking place on the field. Suddenly I became like an alcoholic craving the next drink and the next.
A monster was born. I couldn’t get enough of the action on the field, the analyst shows, the sports talk shows. From Saturday early morning until late Sunday night I never left the television, often watching two games at once. I was hooked and there was no cure at all.
I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to work football into my stories. Now I can’t seem to stop. Last Valentine’s Day I released a novella Quarterback Sneak, and the dam was broken. I just finished Forward Pass, the first in an eight-book football series and who knows where it will go from there.
And in case you missed Quarterback Sneak, here’s a little taste for you.
Stacy Halligan has spent her adult life focusing on her career, choosing men with far less care than she does her professional path. That’s probably the reason all of her relationships end in disaster. Now she’s senior editor of the magazine where she works and she was so sure this latest hunk would be the one. When he dumps her, just before Valentine’s Day,  who does she complain to, as always, but her next door neighbor and friend, backup quarterback Max Sullivan. She sees Max as her best friend. Comfortable. Easy to be with.
Max doesn’t mind hanging out with Stacy but in the three years they’ve lived next door to each other he’s hoped for a lot more. Now he sees his opening. When he offers to put on a blitz leading up to Valentine’s Day to make the guy jealous, he has an ulterior motive. He wants to show her he’s the one she should pick, because he wants Stacy for himself. His campaign includes, chocolate, flowers, little gifts and hopefully, really hot sex. Because he’d been dying forever to get her into his bed and keep her there.
Will this work? He only has until Valentine’s Day to find out.

“Knock knock.”
Kurt lounged in her doorway, jacketless, sleeves rolled up, a big grin on his face. Butterflies danced a jitterbug in her stomach as she remembered the last time they’d been naked together.
“Rumor has it you’re the new queen of chocolates.” He chuckled.
She saved her document and turned to face him. “And they are delicious.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t think of sending them myself.” His gaze raked over her as if his eyes were undressing her. “New outfit? I like it. Very sexy.”
Oh, my God. Men are so predictable. Max called it. How interesting what a flirty outfit and a mysterious admirer could do to a situation. If she’d shown up in her usual slacks and sweater, without the secret admirer, would he even have known she came to work?
“Thanks.” She gestured at the box. “Have some candy, why don’t you?”
“Won’t your ‘secret admirer’ object to you giving them to another guy?” He used his fingers to gesture air quotes.
“Why?” She deliberately plucked a chocolate from where it nestled in the box and popped it into her mouth. “Is there some reason he should be jealous?”
Kurt unkinked himself from the doorjamb and ambled over to her desk. “There might be. Who is this guy, anyway? How come no one has ever met him? And where was he when you and I were doing the horizontal tango?”
“He was there all the time, a deep voice boomed from behind him.
Kurt’s head whipped around.
Max appeared behind Kurt, a fake smile plastered on his face although a touch of anger flashed in his eyes. “Stacy and I had a little misunderstanding. No biggie. It’s all patched up now. Anyway, she won’t be doing the tango with anyone else anymore. Her dance card is filled.”
Deedee stood in the doorway, eyes wide, face flushed with excitement. “Sorry, Stacy. He said you were expecting him and just breezed on past me.”
“No problem. He’s right. Go on back to your desk.”
Deedee was a statue in the doorway, eying Max like he was a piece of candy in that box.
“Go on, Deedee,” Stacy repeated.
Kurt narrowed his eyes. “Wait, you’re Max Sullivan, right?”
Max put on his professional smile—the one he used when local news interviewed him after a triumph on the field.
“Yes. And you would be?”
“Kurt Macallister.” He reached out a hand. “I never miss a Warriors game. ESPN is still replaying that video of the Hail Mary pass you threw in the game against the Patriots.”
“Yeah, my fifteen minutes of fame,” he joked.
Stacy watched the two men in her tiny office space and smiled to herself. She could almost hear Kurt’s brain burning as he tried to figure out what she was doing with Max Sullivan. Max, on the other hand, behaved pleasant but aloof and looked as if he wished Kurt would get out of there already.
Winking at Stacy, he walked around the other man, lifted her from her chair, and pulled her in tight to his chest. Then, without further warning, he brought his lips down on hers in a kiss that curled her toes and sent moisture flooding her panties. His body was hard against hers. All of him was hard including his rock-hard penis imprinting itself on her flesh through her flirty little skirt.
If he gave a performance, it was a damn good one. So good her wits scattered like leaves in a breeze.
“Well.” Vaguely, Stacy heard someone clearing his throat. “Apparently this isn’t a good time to chat with you.”
She opened her eyes and glanced over Max’s shoulder. Kurt still stood in front of her desk, hands in his pockets, irritation and maybe jealousy lining his face.
Max lifted his mouth from hers. “Yeah, that’s right. Stacy’s leaving for lunch and won’t be back for a while.” He turned his face to Stacy, still holding her close to him. “You ready, sugar?”
Stacy’s mind spun. She barely heard whatever comeback Kurt made, too busy staring at Max through lust-clouded eyes. Lordy, the man was gorgeous. Clad in black slacks and a black V-neck sweater, with a smidgen of sexy chest hair peeking over the ribbing, his outfit practically matched his hair, and the blue in his eyes appeared deeper than ever. He topped it all with an elegant camel colored sport jacket and a smile that came straight from the devil himself.
“Get your purse, Stacy,” he told her. “Time to go.”
“Um,” was all she could manage.
Max took a step back, his sensuous mouth crooked up in a smile. Sensuous mouth? When had she put those two words and Max together?
“Stacy? You ready, sweetheart?” His warm voice wrapped itself around her like an erotic blanket.
“Uh, yes. Let me get my purse.”
Pulling her scrambled brains together, she managed to retrieve her bag from her desk drawer without dropping it.
“She may be late getting back,” he told a dumbfounded Deedee as they sailed into the hallway.

And check out my web site: www.desireeholt.com


  1. Great excerpt, Desiree!

    Context is a funny thing. I was never interested in football at all. It seemed like an incredibly stupid game, just a bunch of burly guys mashing into each other. Then I hooked up with a man who was crazy about it. He taught me how to watch a game, what to look for, and suddenly I was interested.

    Now I'm married to a guy who believes that all professional sports are nothing more than a plot to keep people occupied so they don't focus on more important issues like war, injustice and the NSA snooping into our emails. Bread and circuses. He may be right. In any case, I've totally lost any interest I once had.

    I do love this snippet of your story, though!

  2. I've always wanted to live in that world of football where long legged, large breasted, narrow hipped women love me for the beer I drink

  3. I'm rooting for Max here. Looks like he'l turn the tide his way if he plays it right.

  4. Go Max! My hubby is football obsessed - the Redskins (oops) his hometown team, now it's the Chargers. I had no interest whatsoever but now I'm pretty much up on how the game works. I still prefer real football (soccer) and rugby. No padding and the mashing can be just as scary especially in rugger. Nice excerpt Desiree!

  5. I love that moment where something clicks and suddenly makes sense, Desiree, and I treasure the moments when I can remember that happening. So often I have a book to thank for it!

  6. I was raised on baseball, but that's the only team sport I can say I understand pretty well. There are times, though, especially when reading old British mysteries, when I wish I could get excited about cricket.