By: Julie Brannagh
Releasing December 2nd, 2014
Holly Reynolds has a secret. Make that two. The first involves upholding her grandmother’s hobby answering Dear Santa letters from dozens of local school children. The second...well, he just came strolling in the door.
For the last two years, Holly has not been able to stop thinking about gorgeous Seattle Shark Derrick Collins. His on-field exploits induce nightmares in quarterbacks across the NFL, but she knows he has a heart of gold.
Derrick has never met a woman he wants to bring home to meet his family, mostly because he keeps picking the wrong ones-until he runs into sweet, shy Holly Reynolds. Different than anyone he’s ever known, Derrick realizes she might just be everything he needs.
When he discovers her holiday letter writing, he is determined to play Santa too. And as the pair team up to bring joy to one little boy very much in need, they discover the most precious Christmas gift of all: love.
Derrick Collins had two jobs today: to smile, and to sign the credit card receipts. Derrick’s mama and grandma had been asking—well, nagging—him to join them for a trip to Noel, Washington, for the past couple of years. If they went on his Tuesday off from the Sharks, they might have fun, and he might not have to sign a hundred autographs before they left the parking lot. Hopefully he’d have the element of surprise; nobody expected a six-foot-five, three-hundred pound male in a place he imagined was dominated by females 365 days a year. The first week of December was prime time to spend a few hours in a snow-dusted holiday paradise.
Noel was a little town a hundred miles east of Seattle that had arisen from the ruins of a former logging town. The city fathers believed that “all Christmas, all the time” might be a way to bring tourism and the resulting jobs to the area. Surprisingly enough, their idea paid off in a big way.
Julie Brannagh has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She lives in a small town near Seattle, where she once served as a city council member and owned a yarn shop. She shares her home with a wonderful husband, two uncivilized Maine Coons and a rambunctious chocolate Lab.
When she’s not writing, she’s reading, or armchair-quarterbacking her favorite NFL team from the comfort of the family room couch. Julie is a Golden Heart finalist and the author of contemporary sports romances.
Please welcome Julie Brannagh to Diane’s Book Blog.
The Woman’s Guide to Watching Football
I write football romances. It’s not necessary to know a thing about football to read my books, though. I hope they’re enjoyable for football fans, and for women who prefer to find something else to do while her boyfriend or husband is losing his mind over sudden death overtime for the third time this week. At the same time, why let the men have all the fun every Sunday, Monday, Thursday and some Saturdays from September until February each year?
I refuse to relinquish my love for a sport I’ll never play to the guys. I don’t need to wear a pink jersey or to have my husband pat me on the head and send me to the kitchen to get him another beer instead of enjoying the game. It’s not just short pants and big sweaty guys. It’s strategy and struggle. It’s a game of inches. It’s endless discussions over rules and officiating decisions, and huge community celebrations when your favorite team wins it all. Give it a try, and you might love it, too
1. Football: The two teams form a line facing each other on the field. Offense (guys with the ball): Trying to score. Defense: Trying to stop the guys with the ball from advancing it. The guys with the ball have four chances (otherwise known as “downs”) to advance the ball ten yards to get another four chances to advance the ball. They’re headed to the end zone, where they will score six points if they get there by running or passing. The guy who scores may do an elaborate dance or spike the ball. There it is.
2. A simple overview of football can be had at http://www.nfl.com/rulebook/beginnersguidetofootball. If you grasp the basics, you can ask the people watching with you questions, but it’s always a good policy to wait for the commercial.
3. The NFL rules book is gigantic. I have been watching football for quite some time now. I don’t know all the rules, especially when the rules are constantly changing as well. Neither do most of the guys you’re watching with. Don’t worry if you don’t know everything.
4. It doesn’t matter what you wear. Well, let me amend that: If your significant other is a football fan and loves the 49ers, it might be advisable to wear something other than a Seahawks t-shirt. Same goes for Jets/Giants, Cowboys and anyone else, Patriots and anyone else. The safest to wear: Green Bay. Everyone loves Green Bay. Well, everyone that’s not the Colts or the Bears. Or the Seahawks.
5. Food is important, but you are not the only person capable of making sure it’s present or prepared. Order a pizza or send the football fan to the grocery store for ready-made stuff. If you’re having a Super Bowl party, ask people to bring stuff. Being stuck in the kitchen all day is not fun. Being in the midst of the excitement – fun!
6. If you’re really, really uninterested in the game, there are compelling (and fascinating) human interest stories on every team. I’m a little biased, but my Seattle Seahawks are full of them. Check out guys like Russell Wilson, Michael Robinson, Derrick Coleman, and Kam Chancellor. You might find yourself rooting for them to succeed, just like I do.
Holy, the heroine of HOLDING HOLLY, loves football almost as much as her NFL Player Husband, Derrick. Did you ever date a football nut? How did you handle it?