Teaser for Behind the Catcher’s Mask #YA #romance #shortstory

Thanks to Nancee Cain for reading and reviewing Masquerade: Oddly Suited, a young adult anthology including my sports romance short story, Behind the Catcher’s Mask.

Fast-pitch softball is Andie Wilson’s life. She’s a fierce pitcher hoping to score a college scholarship, and she hates the annoying distraction of cocky baseball players crashing her high-school charity game. But she doesn’t anticipate the impact of one baseball player: Colt Turner. As Colt stares at her through his catcher’s mask, his steadfast gaze may be just what she needs to guide her through a crisis. And Colt may need Andie, too—to cope with the secret hiding behind his mask.



Nancee’s review reminds me that I want to share a teaser from my story with you. This scene takes place after the story, from Colt’s perspective.

Sharp air fills my lungs as I stride toward Andie’s front door. This early cold snap has blown in uninvited. Welcome to Ohio.
Andie skips out and closes the door behind her before I reach the porch. She turns her face up to mine, fresh and pink in the glow of the porch light. Her pastel-striped knit hat fans out her long, blond hair over the collar of her coat.
“You sure your parents are cool with you going to a senior party?” I ask.
She rolls her eyes. “Alex will be there, so he’ll protect me.”
Her older brother’s the starting quarterback for USC. “Your brother’s in town for Christmas?”
“Just for a couple of days, then he has to head back to L.A. before the bowl game.”
When she shivers, I reach for one of her mittens, tug her closer, and lean down to kiss that irresistibly soft and rosy cheek. “C’mon, let’s go.”
I hold the passenger door open for her, and she snuggles into the seat. “Oh, it’s so warm in here!”
I hustle to my side of the car, praying, Don’t break down again. I left the car running to help my chances. As I back out of her driveway, I boast, “Vlad’s got a good heater.”
Her eyebrows scrunch. “You named your car Vlad?”
I nod.
Her head tilts.“What kind of car is this?”
“Chevy Impala. A very old Impala,” I add.
After a few seconds, her giggles fill the car. “Vlad the Impala!” She snorts. “You’re a genius, Colt.”
My dad was the clever one who came up with the name, actually. My smile fades. This will be our first Christmas without him.
We arrive at my teammate’s house and climb out of Vlad.
Her mitten envelopes my glove. “Are you okay?”
I realize I haven’t spoken the entire car ride. “Great.”
The worried look in her hazel eyes remains, sparking a stab of guilt in my chest. My denial wouldn’t impress my sport psychologist.
“Just thinking about…my dad,” I admit.
She slows her stride. “Holidays must be tough.”
I cringe. After meeting her at a charity softball game in September, I’ve already cried once in front of her, on Thanksgiving. Not cool.
The kicky beat of a pop song draws my attention to the house, where my teammate stands in the now-open doorway. “Turner!” Nate hollers. “Get your ass in here.”
Nate is a senior, like me, and my favorite pitcher to catch. Check that—Andie’s my new favorite pitcher. I lead her into the house.
“Hey, Andie.” Nate snatches her hat off of her head as she crosses in front of him.
She spins around and yanks her hat back, right before elbowing him in the gut.
“Oof.” Nate doubles over, but his grin lets on that she went easy on him.
Andie tosses her coat and hat onto the growing pile on the floor. “Don’t get grabby,” she tells Nate as she shakes out her hair.
This. This is why I love being with an athlete. Andie’s low-maintenance vibe is a total turn-on. After my coat joins the outerwear mountain, I follow her into Nate’s house.
Nate also plays wide receiver, so there’s a mix of baseball and football players trash-talking their way through video games in the family room. Andie ignores their beers and heads toward the two-liters of soft drinks in the quieter kitchen. I’m scooping ice into two cups when I hear my name.
A blond guy close to my height sidles up to me. “Congrats on your full ride, Colt. You’re going to UF, right?”
I shake his hand. “Yep. Thanks, Alex.”
“Well, I guess I don’t have to introduce you guys.” Andie shrugs.
Her brother keeps looking at me as he tells her, “Pour me one too, Andie.”
Her eyes flare as she fakes a curtsy, but she does pour soda into the third cup of ice I’ve scooped.
“I hear you could go straight to the bigs, though,” Alex continues. “The Reds want you. What’s your deal?”
I take a sip of coke. “Florida’s a lot warmer than Cincinnati.”
“California’s warm, too,” Alex says. “But I’d give my left nut to be in the NFL.”
Andie glances at his crotch and smiles as she hands him his drink. “Not much of a sacrifice.”
Alex glares at her, then returns to lecturing me. “Don’t waste this opportunity, man. You could get injured in college ball, flush millions down the toilet.”
I swallow as he stares at me. I wish he’d shut up. “I want to play in college first.”
“But, why?” Alex shakes his head. “That’s stupid.”
Andie steps in front of me, wedging herself between us. “Back off, Alex.”
“Why?” He frowns at her. “I’m just trying to help him.”
She looks at me over her shoulder, blinking up at me. As she holds my gaze, I realize I’ve been holding my breath. I exhale and pull her back into me, feeling her warmth as my hand rests on her hip.
“Colt doesn’t need your help,” she tells Alex. “His dad left early for the NFL, and he always regretted not finishing college. He always wanted Colt to get a degree. So, Colt’s doing what’s right for him and his family.”
Alex lowers his drink as his face falls. He retreats back a step. “I heard what happened to your dad.”
hate reactions like these.
“I’m sorry, man.” Alex shakes his head. “I’m an ass.”
A football player calls for Alex to join them, and it’s like he can’t get away fast enough.
Andie turns around after he leaves. “Wow. I’ve never heard him admit he’s an ass before.”
“There’s a first time for everything, I guess.”
She grins at me as she cocks her head toward the family room. “Like the first time I whoop you in Fortnite?”


New Release! MASQUERADE: ODDLY SUITED #YA #romance #shortstory #anthology

An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

Find love at the ball…
Can a fake dating game show lead to love? Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince? Can a softball pitcher and a baseball catcher work together? Is there a vampire living in Paradise,Newfoundland? What’s more important—a virtual companion or a date to the ball?

Ten authors explore young love in all its facets, from heartbreak to budding passion. Featuring the talents of L.G. Keltner, Jennifer Lane, C.D. Gallant-King, Elizabeth Mueller, Angela Brown, Myles Christensen, Deborah Solice, Carrie-Anne Brownian, Anstice Brown, and Chelsea Marie Ballard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will mystify and surprise even as they touch your heart. Don your mask and join the party

“READ IT! There is something for everyone! Do you want Love? Got it! Do you want vampires? Got it! Do you want time travel? Go it!” – Jessica Renfro, book reviewer

“A diverse collection of m/f YA clean-reads romances to transport readers between thepast, present, and future, from the sea bottom to the virtual clouds.” – J. Lenni Dorner, author

“Stories that will chill your heart, bring smiles to your lips, and keep you turning pages.” – Beverly Stowe McClure, author

Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130407099?ean=2940155956860

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N893HPT

iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/masquerade-oddly-suited/id1451605312?mt=11

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/masquerade-oddly-suited Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43785750-masquerade



I’m honored to have written the second story in the anthology, Behind the Catcher’s Mask.


❤️Who can help her through a meltdown on the pitcher’s mound? ❤️

Fast-pitch softball is Andie Wilson’s life. She’s a fierce pitcher hoping to score a college scholarship, and she hates the annoying distraction of cocky baseball players crashing her high-school charity game. But she doesn’t anticipate the impact of one baseball player: Colt Turner. As Colt stares at her through his catcher’s mask, his steadfast gaze may be just what she needs to guide her through a crisis. And Colt may need Andie, too—to cope with the secret hiding behind his mask.

Thank you to author Elizabeth Mueller for creating this visual of baseball catcher, Colt!

Head to all of the authors’ blogs to read their blurbs and view their characters.

Myles Christensen www.myleschristensen.com
Available April 30, 2019

$14.95 USA, 6×9 Trade paperback, 200 pages, Freedom Fox Press

Young Adult Fiction: Romance – General (YAF052000) / Paranormal (YAF052050) / Contemporary (YAF052020)
Print ISBN 9781939844644 eBook ISBN 9781939844651
Order through Ingram, Follett Library Resources, or publisher direct
$4.99 EBook available in all formats
Freedom Fox Press A division of Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C. P.O. Box 383, Pikeville, NC 27863-0383  
inquiries@dancinglemurpressllc.com  
http://www.dancinglemurpress.com

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database; articles; monthly blog posting; Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram groups; #IWSGPit, and a newsletter. http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

#IWSG Release Date Nears #MasqueradeOddlySuited #shortstory #anthology




Welcome to our writerly support group. We share hopes and fears the first Wednesday of every month. Bunny hop over to Alex Cavanaugh’s blog to sign up.

Thanks to our co-hosts for April:


As one of ten authors with short stories in the Masquerade: Oddly Suited IWSG anthology, I’m psyched about the release date in less than one month. April 30, baby!

Add the anthology to your Goodreads shelf. And you can pre-order on Amazon and other sites.

Author Elizabeth Mueller has created gorgeous masked and unmasked images of our characters that we will reveal as the release date approaches.

We also wrote 600-word teasers with our short-story characters. My baseball catcher, Colt, picks up softball pitcher, Andie, for a high-school party in my teaser, Get Your Own Girlfriend. Carrie-Anne Brownian’s blog will feature my masked image and teaser on 4.25.19.

Happy writing!

Masquerade: Oddly Suited Blog Tour Interview

Today my pub sister, Nancee Cain, interviews me about Behind the Catcher’s Mask, my story in the Masquerade: Oddly Suited anthology!

Check out the interview HERE.

Stories Featured

Oddly Suited, LG Keltner
The silliest situations may be oddly suited for romance.
Behind the Catcher’s Mask, Jennifer Lane
Who can help her through a meltdown on the pitcher’s mound?
The Dark Charade, CD Gallant-King
The new girl in town falls in love for a mysterious boy who is maybe, probably, most definitely, a vampire.
The Cog Prince, Elizabeth Mueller
Falling in love, saving the day, and a masque—oh my! Will a missing key free a clock-bound prince?
A Diver’s Ball, Angela Brown
You can be anything you want in the online world of Cumulus. A human. An elf. A powerful beast mutation from your wildest imagination. But can you be in love?
Flower of Ronda, Myles Christensen
What if life’s price of servanthood could be changed?
Fearless Heart, Deborah Solice
Is he a figment of her imagination conjured to keep her sane, or is he something else…something more?
Charleston Masquerade, Carrie-Anne Brownian
Can two worlds come together and find love?
Sea of Sorrows, Anstice Brown
What could a shapeshifting siren know about love?
Remedy, Chelsea Marie Ballard
Everything is against Remy and Rudy, but on the night of the Masquerade Ball, they must choose: each other or their lives?
You can find out more about the authors of Masquerade: Oddly Suited here.

Giveaway

The authors of Masquerade: Oddly Suited are giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to one winner. To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open internationally from 12:00 am GMT 17th March to 12:00am GMT 6th May.

Tour Schedule

Visit the other blog tour hosts below to find out more about the stories and authors featured in Masquerade: Oddly Suited.


About the Anthology

Title: Masquerade: Oddly Suited
Release date: April 30th, 2019
Genres: Young Adult Fiction: Romance – General / Paranormal / Contemporary
Print ISBN: 9781939844644
EBook ISBN: 9781939844651

#IWSG Masquerade: Oddly Suited Anthology #YA #romance

How’s your February going, writers? Join us for the monthly support group at Alex Cavanaugh’s blog.


One of the best aspects of the IWSG is meeting diverse and talented writers across the blogoverse. The opportunity to be part of our next anthology has highlighted this benefit for me.

Check out this shining group of authors contributing stories to Masquerade: Oddly Suited!


Fellow author Anstice Brown created this fun cover reveal video:



If you want to support the anthology, please like our Facebook page.

And you can sign up for the blog tour HERE.

Happy Singles Awareness Day on February 14th!

Cover Reveal for MASQUERADE: ODDLY SUITED #YA #Romance

It’s been a thrill getting to know a new group of authors who wrote short stories for the upcoming anthology, Masquerade: Oddly Suited. I love their fun marketing ideas, like sharing puzzle pieces of the cover over the weekend before the cover reveal today.

The anthology features young adult romance with a masquerade/mask theme. Dancing Lemur Press specializes in speculative fiction, and I believe many of the stories are fantasy, paranormal, or supernatural.

The cover certainly has an other-worldly feel!


My story, Behind the Catcher’s Mask, is void of green monsters but does contain young love between a softball pitcher and baseball catcher:

Fast-pitch softball is Andie Wilson’s life. She’s a fierce pitcher hoping to score a college scholarship, and she hates the annoying distraction of cocky baseball players crashing her high-school charity game. But she doesn’t anticipate the impact of one baseball player: Colt Turner. As Colt stares at her through his catcher’s mask, his steadfast gaze may be just what she needs to guide her through a crisis. And Colt may need Andie, too—to cope with the secret hiding behind his mask.


The release date is April 30, 2019. Stay tuned for more information about the blog tour, giveaways, and advanced reader copies!

#IWSG Young Adult Romance Anthology MASQUERADE: ODDLY SUITED

Happy New Year to all writers!


I’m vacationing in Florida this week so I’ve abdicated all responsibility, including a timely post. Today we went to Universal and I walked 23,000 steps!

But I’m especially excited to share that my short story was selected for the next IWSG anthology, Masquerade: Oddly Suited

When I first learned of the anthology’s young adult romance / masquerade theme, a vision of smoldering blue eyes behind a catcher’s mask came to me. I built on that image to write a YA sports romance involving a baseball catcher and a softball pitcher.

Congratulations to all authors who submitted. Here’s the list of titles for the anthology:  

Oddly Suited by LG Keltner
Sea of Sorrows by AV Brown
Behind the Catcher’s Mask by Jennifer Lane
A Diver’s Ball by Angela Brown
Fearless Heart by Deborah Solice
The Dark Charade by CD Gallant-King
The Cog Prince by Elizabeth Mueller
Flower of Ronda by Myles Christensen
Remedy by Chelsea Ballard
Charleston Masquerade by Carrie-Anne Brownian 


The top story has the honors of being included in the title. LG Keltner’s story came out on top! Way to go, LG.

A huge thank you goes out to the IWSG administrators and judges. I really appreciate your time.

Kelly Van Sant, agent at Red Sofa Literary Agency 
DL Hammons, Write Club founder
Gwen Gardner, author and previous IWSG anthology winner

Look for Masquerade: Oddly Suited late spring.


And thank you to our co-hosts this month:

Patricia Lynne, Lisa Buie-Collard, Kim Lajevardi, and Fundy Blue!