By Madeline Iva
Hey yo! Just stuffing my face with creme-O’s at 8:20 am. Today we’ve got Mindy Klasky in the house. She’s got a series about baseball players and babes, so let’s dish.
Reigning beauty queen Samantha Winger is launching her pet project, a music program for kids. All she has to do is follow the pageant’s rules—no smoking, drinking, or “cavorting” in public.
That’s fine, until D.J. Thomas—God’s gift to baseball—throws her a wild pitch. He slams her in an interview, and the video goes viral. Sam’s no shrinking violet. She parlays D.J.’s apology into a national T.V. appearance—and a very unexpected, very public kiss.
Soon, paparazzi catch the couple in a steamy make-out session, and Sam’s music program is on the block. The blazing hot relationship is threatened even more when D.J.’s son begs to trade in Little League for music class.
Can Sam and D.J. sizzle past the sour notes and find their perfect pitch?
MADELINE IVA: Let’s talk about your Diamond Brides Series. I presume we’re talking baseball diamonds and not a Girl’s Best Friend? ;>
MINDY KLASKY: We’re talking about both! When I first came up with the idea for the series, “diamond” certainly meant a square of green grass. But as I developed the individual stories, each one became the tale of a woman finding her true, life-long partner. And that sort of compatibility – in the bedroom, in the business world, wherever – seemed appropriate to reward with diamond engagement rings.
Oh. Wait. By “Girl’s Best Friend” were you talking about sex toys?
MADELINE IVA: Bah-hah. You wish. That’s next week’s post. ;>
MINDY KLASKY: Now I’m going to have to rethink the last few books in the series…
MADELINE IVA: What got you interested in writing a series that’s sports related?
MINDY KLASKY: At first blush, I’m the last person in the world who would write sports-related books. I was always the last person chosen on school sports teams, I have terrible hand-eye coordination, and I’ve never learned to love any organized sport (on the field, anyway).
But my husband is an avid baseball fan. And once I started watching games with him, I realized that baseball offered up a pool of sexy, confident men who were among the 750 best in the world at their chosen career. And that started to sound an awful lot like the beginnings of a great romance series.
(And let’s face it. An athlete is naturally going to be aware of his body, of all the things he can do with it. Plus, he’ll have a hell of a lot of stamina…)
MADELINE IVA: Now I’ve got all these steamy locker room fantasies going on in my head. (Gotta love a steamy locker room fantasy.) So, I’m curious–there are baseball players and then there are baseball playahs. Which kind are your heroes?
MINDY KLASKY: My guys are all over the place. They range from a hot-headed first baseman who’s never considered being faithful to any woman longer than it takes to get her into bed (REACHING FIRST) to an older, wiser catcher who realizes he has to take special care of the woman who’s had a crush on him since she was a kid (CATCHING HELL).
That’s the joy of writing a series – you get to meet all sorts of guys. I’m so not a fan of playahs in the real world, but that just gives me ample inspiration for, um, punishing them in my books ::wicked grin::
MADELINE IVA: Whoo-cha! Feisty goreous women punishing hot-bodies athletic playahs in steamy locker rooms. I think I need a minute alone. *** Okay, I’m back. So, Mindy, you used to write paranormal – what made you switch from witch-y women to contemporary sports romances?
MINDY KLASKY: I enjoy experimenting with a wide variety of stories. My paranormal romances are relatively long (100,000 words), and they involve a lot of serious issues (women coming to trust themselves and their female friends and relatives as forces for good in the world around us.) Okay, they also involve some flirting, and some comic misunderstandings both magical and mundane, and food – all my books involve food.
MADELINE IVA: Never a bad thing.
MINDY KLASKY: But when I came up with the idea for Diamond Brides, I wanted to explore a different type of story. I wanted to write books that were sexy, where women could ask for and work for what they really want – in and out of the bedroom. I wanted to explore some hot relationships that were a lot more explicit than the ones my paranormal readers had come to expect. And Diamond Brides was the perfect place to do that exploration!
MADELINE IVA: I’m very interested in your book CATCHING HELL. DH is a huge fan of baseball and was glued to the set every night last summer. I started getting into it too with the help of Red Sox third baseman Jose Iglesias. (Check out my post on Baseball men here.) Then not even a week later Jose was traded! I was stunned. Betrayed. It’s a cold cruel world out there for baseball fans. How clever of you, then, to use a trade as a plot device.
MINDY KLASKY: I so understand your sense of betrayal! My introduction to baseball was through the Red Sox (my husband’s lifelong team). Let’s just say that the names of Johnny Damon and Jacoby Ellsbury are not mentioned in our house…
To some extent, the big, hulking men who are baseball stars can be traded at an owner’s whim, sold off to the highest bidder. And I’m just wicked enough to want to explore what that does to a guy’s ego…
In CATCHING HELL, Zach Ormond actually has a coveted no-trade clause – his team can’t trade him to anyone without his approval. But Anna Benson, the acting team owner must trade Zach, if she’s to keep her team in contention for the rest of the season. Anna considers it a personal challenge to see if she can make Zach waive his no-trade clause.
MADELINE IVA: Were you worried that your readers would feel betrayed as well?
MINDY KLASKY: With each of the Diamond Brides books, I worry that my readers will feel a bit betrayed – after all, I’m showing them a complex hero, with real issues and a complicated life on and off the field. And then, I match that hero with a woman who has the wherewithal to challenge him.
MADELINE IVA: What’s next, Mindy? 🙂
MINDY KLASKY: The Diamond Brides books will be published through November 2 – one new book on the first Sunday of every month. I have an idea for a series of hot, contemporary romance novels built around a small law firm and the lawyers who work there… So many ideas! Now I just need to find the time to write those books!
MADELINE IVA: So funny that you mention lawyers. I have a trilogy proposal on my editor’s desk and one of these books deals with a lawyer/small law firm situation too. Brilliant minds, eh? Maybe we’re the start a new ‘Lawyers in Love’ romance trend. ;>
Well, my hungry little readers–I’m going to go sugar crash on the couch while re-watching Fever Pitch. You, meanwhile, might want to click on these links and buy these wonderful books: