Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rhonda Laurel and the Love of the Game

Twelve-twelve-twelve is a lucky day on the calendar of many cultures, and it’s very good luck here as I welcome Rhonda Laurel to talk about writing, romance and the pleasures of comfort food.  Rhonda and I both have recipes in Passionate Cooks, the delicious—and absolutely free—cookbook from All Romance Ebooks.  So without further ado, here’s Rhonda!

Tell us about your new book.

For the Love of the Game was released in November and is my second novella.  It is the story of Morgan and Seth, a couple who literally run into each other on a tropical island!

Do you have a favorite passage you’d like to share?

For the third time that evening Morgan regained consciousness. The pain medication the doctor had given her made her euphoric and sleepy. When she’d come to, a nurse had informed her she had a bruised rib but nothing was broken. She lay in bed watching the white ceiling fan above her rotate, thinking of how quiet and sterilized the office seemed. She heard a sound from the corner of the room and turned to see the muscle head guy who had run into her on the beach, sitting in a chair opposite her, watching.

“Good evening.”

“What are you doing here?” she asked, confused.

“I just wanted to make sure you were okay. I’m sorry about running into you like that. I didn’t see you.”

“I don’t take it personally. Nobody ever does. Besides, you were too busy flexing for the beach bunnies,” Morgan said, flashing a condescending smile. So what if he was six foot three and gorgeous? That didn’t give him the right to steamroll over people on the beach.

“Was not,” he scoffed.

“If you weren’t, then you had a bad case of tunnel vision. Ever think of trying out for a team? I could be your reference to confirm that you could tackle someone pretty good.”

“You know football?” he asked with an amused smirk.

“Steroid-pumped overgrown men on a field trying to throw a ball back and forth and scoring points.”

“Well, that’s the layman’s explanation for it. It’s more complicated than that, though. And minus the steroids.” He coughed. “I can explain it to you.”

Men and their posturing about sports. Morgan held up a hand. “No need. First you injure me; now you want to bore me to death. I have no need to fill my brain with random trivia about things I don’t care about.”

“Well, sports are a meaningful way of exercise, keeping in shape, strategizing, and it has a place for those of us who weren’t selected for the IQ Olympics.” He chuckled as he leaned back in his chair, crossing his leg over his knee. “What slogan will tomorrow’s shirt have on it? Your SAT scores? I’ve rather enjoyed reading your T-shirts the past three days.”

“I wouldn’t want to make the rest of the island feel inferior to me. Especially since they’re a bunch of muscle head jocks running around. I would fear for my safety.”

As he shifted slightly in the chair, she noticed how finely sculpted his body was and reaffirmed why he was out running around like an idiot. Every inch of exposed skin was muscled, well-defined, and lean. His shoulders were wide, but his waist narrowed, and he looked as if he ate five pounds of pasta for breakfast. But the face was in great contrast to the body. He had soft, striking features and piercing green eyes, giving him a hint of a boyish look, but she knew he hadn’t been a boy in a long time. And his smile was perfect and rehearsed, like he’d practiced it a lot. It seemed more controlled than natural. Did he feel the need to put on a pleasant mask all the time? Smiling on command wasn’t an easy thing. She’d ruined many a family photo because her two-second freeze frame would expire before the picture was taken. She wondered what would make him smile genuinely.

“Did you know that you moan in your sleep?” he asked in a low Southern drawl, surprising her.

“I do not.”

“I was wondering if your husband told you that.”

“I’m not married.”

“Hmm. Then maybe that’s why you moan in your sleep.” He smiled.

Morgan returned the smile. “I think I know what tomorrow’s T-shirt is going to say.”

“What’s that?” He leaned in closer to the bed.

“Up yours.”

I love the dynamic between Morgan and Seth—spirited sparring mixed with undeniable attraction!  My husband also taught me to appreciate football, so I know that can be a surprisingly romantic way to bond.  How do you find time to write your novels?

When the ideas start flowing I stop what I’m doing and write!

That’s really the only way to do it, isn’t it?  What’s next for you in your writing?

I am currently working on a few projects.  I have an outline for the sequel to For the Love of the Game titled MVP.  MVP is a further exploration of Morgan and Seth’s budding relationship.  We also get to meet Seth’s brothers!  His has a little brother that loves to get into trouble.

I am also working on Vendetta, which right now is teetering on the brink of being a full-blown novel.

Can you describe a favorite food that makes life a true pleasure?

One of my favorite dishes to make is baked ziti.  I enjoy the melding of the flavors of the pasta, sauce and cheeses.  The combination is divine.  This dish takes some time to prepare because I always want to make it better than the last time.  It’s an elegant comfort food and I love making it for parties.

Sounds delicious—and perfect for a cold winter’s evening.  Thanks so much for stopping by, Rhonda, and best of luck with For the Love of the Game.

Rhonda’s novel is available at:

Barnes & Noble
All Romance EBooks

You can learn more about Rhonda and her work at her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Goodreads


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for hosting me Donna!

Donna said...

It was a pleasure, Rhonda! Thanks to your inspiration, I'll be making some hearty Italian pasta casserole this weekend.