Congratulations to Judy, pandabree13, and taramdscott! They all won an ebook copy of The Set Piece by Catherine Lane. Woo!
All sorts of cool stuff happening in the world right now. Women and playing soccer, the gays in the US are getting married (not gay married, just married), and I’m prepping like crazy for my impending road trip. No matter how busy I am, I’m never too busy to learn about an awesome new book.
The Set Piece by Catherine Lane is available now from Ylva Publishing and it’s set in the world of soccer. Talk about good timing, yes? And, to make it even more fabulous, Ylva is giving away three ebook copies of The Set Piece here at Women and Words. To enter the drawing, leave a comment in the handy comment box below. I’ll draw the winners on Friday, July 3.
Watching the Women’s World Cup this past month has reminded me what a wonderful game soccer is. In fact, some of my happiest moments have been spent chasing a ball around a grassy field. I played all through my childhood, in college until I had to choose passing French over my love for the game, and for years afterwards when thankfully I could go back to speaking English—believe me, the people in France are still cheering.
Even though I’ve always tried to play on the most skilled teams I could find, at my best, I was only a solid, middle-of-the-road player. Nothing special, but I did have a great corner kick. I could serve up a beautifully lofted ball for headers or a hard-driven ball right across the net. Whatever the situation called for, usually I could deliver. That’s why when the set pieces came along, my blood always started pumping.
A good plan, executed correctly or incorrectly, can be a real game changer in soccer. I’ve seen successful set plays win games, but when they go badly, well, it is amazing how quickly an entire strategy can fall apart. I’ve always thought it was exciting, and totally crazy, how the outcome of the game or even an entire tournament can come down to one single kick.
So I guess it’s no wonder that when I sat down to write my first lesfic romance, I turned to the metaphor of the set piece. I didn’t want to draw too much on the obvious life-is-a-game parallel, but how often do we all go into a situation with a good strategy only to find big surprises which totally screw everything up?
That’s exactly what happens to Amy in The Set Piece. When she agrees to be the beard of a gay soccer star, she’s all for following the scripted play. But suddenly there is a player in the game who comes out of nowhere—the adorable and sexy Casey. Amy feels an instant connection to her, but she can’t act on her feelings. There’s no room in the set play for her to fall in love for real with someone else, especially a woman. Now Amy is scrambling and forced to improvise while she watches everything fall apart around her. To me, this moment is where the story gets really interesting. How do you make a plan work when there is no plan anymore?
I am always surprised by how messy life can be. Amy comes up against this realization repeatedly in the novel, and just like real life, there’s lot of craziness and miscommunication. But sometimes messes can be good too. One summer, a while ago now, a friend talked me into trying out for a soccer team which was representing L.A. for the Gay Games. Back then, I didn’t really have the time for such a commitment, but I went anyways. I remember walking out to the field, a ball at my feet, only to see the coach for the first time. She stood there with a clipboard, checking us all out. She was athletic, brown hair cut in a cute bob, and had a dazzling smile. Talk about messy and cliché when you start dating your coach. She’s my wife now, and happily we have been messy together ever since.
To find out if Amy and Casey get their happy ending too, check out The Set Piece. I hope you enjoy the book and the championship game of the Women’s World Cup next week.
Catherine Lane started to write fiction on a dare from her wife. She’s thrilled to be a published author, even though she had to admit her wife was right. They live happily in Southern California with their son and a very mischievous pound puppy.