Welcome to Michele Michael Rakes today on the Fourth and Long blog tour. Michele chats a bit about the book, how it came to be, and is also giving readers the chance to win some great prizes, including an e-book set of Saving Kane and Fourth and Long to two winners, or a $15 Gift Card grand prize.
How Fourth and Long came to be…
Football is about passion, teamwork, and athleticism. The game is adrenaline inducing and rooting for your team is a year round experience. These athletes are the new gladiators. Football players epitomize the ultra-masculine ideal. Yet, there is always controversy. Trades abound. Players shake up the game with powerful personalities. There is sex appeal. Hard bodies. Just check out the football players in the yearly body issue of Sports Illustrated.
To this fan, their skills are sexy, and even a little homoerotic. All that slap ass gets me going as much as a phenomenal play and sends this writer of gay erotic romance to the laptop Tuesday through Friday. Saturday through Monday, from September to December is all about football. The excitement continues through February and brings my family together for exciting Sundays with good food and a lot of shouting. For me, the season begins with draft day, which I’ve taken off this year so I can watch with family and friends.
Football is a game of strategy. A game that inspires a competitive nature. A game I love and wanted to share with readers. The game provided an interesting backdrop to the story inside my nugget. There were technical issues. My desire to bring football to people who don’t normally watch it was one of the elements I had to contend with and keep the story readable enough for the nonfans. Yet, it needed to be football enough for those that love the game to feel like they are seeing behind the curtain. A glimpse inside the pro-locker room and the lives of our favorite gladiators.
Inspired by the guys who could out smart their opponents, I wanted to bring the players who could catch a ball in double and triple coverage to life on the page. I wanted the readers to connect with the menbeneath the pads. To look beyond the grill of the helmet to see the man behind the visor and understand what drives him.
The need to compete.
The love of the game.
This then made me wonder how to make competitive men fall in love. Would they battle on and off the field? What if I made them start out on opposing teams? One team the best in the league. The other a lowly expansion team only two years out and falling on hard times. Conflict? Yes. Trash talk? Absolutely! Oh, and lots of testosterone. Injuries and intrigue. Nothing says hot, like two football players slamming their chests together, slapping ass, and hollering out their aggression. It’s like sex on a field with lots of balls. Lots of first downs. Down to the wire games. Drama. Love. Sex. Respect.
And no, we don’t want deflated balls.
The story needed to be able to stand on its own, but bring in the continuation of a story started in my first book, Saving Kane. Irus Beaumont exists in Saving Kane only in name. He is Auntie Beulah’s nephew. Kane’s former lover. A man who let that love slide because of his need to compete. A life destined for football.
Who could fall in love with a man like that but another man who has similar needs? You’d think they’d fall into a bromance from the get go, but not if they feel threatened by the fact that one is an offensive player and the other is defensive player which places them firmly on the opposite sides of the ball. Even in practice, they would be put up against each other in preparation for a battle each week.
Great moments for conflict and attraction.
The scenarios are limitless.
Make one of those players a little older, been in the league for a few years, and the other a year off their rookie season. Still young enough to be brash, loud, and intense. Make one black. The other white. How about one already suspected by his team and others in the league as being gay, while the other one remains firmly entrenched in the closet with a ‘no football player’ rule?
Might work? I gave it a try.
Blurb: Irus Beaumont, cornerback for the Highlanders, has an issue with his nemesis: wideout for the Pirates, Jackson McCoy. Partly jealous over Jackson’s skill and ability to scrub coverage, Irus also struggles against an unbearable attraction to the receiver. Firmly ensconced in the closet, Irus also has a no football player rule, leaving his desires for Jackson unfulfilled. Anti-gay sentiment in the league keeps Irus closeted, even though he’d rather be out and proud.
When Jackson McCoy suffers a gay bashing at the hands of his team mates after winning the national championship, he finds himself traded to the Highlanders. Spring training brings out Jackson’s competitive nature, eliciting the aggression of his new team’s cornerback, Irus Beaumont.
In practice, Irus hurts Jackson badly. The injury places Jackson on the reserve roster. Jacks has plenty of time to contemplate his life, career, and his attraction to the sexy cornerback. Off to Orlando for the best rehab where guilt inspires Irus to call him every evening, Jackson can’t stop thinking about Irus, or what the season holds for his team.
About the Author: Michele Micheal Rakes lives in a small town in the shadow of a big mountain. She works as a surgical technologist assisting in the removal of tonsils and testicles. She has three grown children, two psychotic Egyptian Mau’s, a husband with hair down to his ass, two Harley’s, and a ferret named Teeny Tiny Ferret Feet (husband insists her name Little Feet, we all know he’s wrong).