I’m so excited to feature author Kat Latham and her debut contemporary romance, KNOWING THE SCORE. I bet you’ve never read a novel about rugby players before, but I promise you’ll love it! I’ve known Kat for a few years as a critique partner and friend, and I can never get enough of her fresh, emotional, laugh-out-loud writing. I can’t wait to tell everyone about her book!
Moriah Densley: Welcome, Kat! Give us the elevator pitch for KNOWING THE SCORE:
Kat Latham: A rugby player with a scandalous past gives up his vow of celibacy to help a virgin overcome her fear of intimacy…
MD: What’s your favorite scene? Will you share an excerpt?
KL: Oh my gosh, this is sooo hard! Will the questions get easier?
KL: I love this scene where Spencer tries to teach Caitlyn, an American, about rugby. They’re in a local park right next to the Thames on a crisp autumn day, and Spencer wants to help her understand the sport he loves. He gives her a rugby ball and shows her how to throw it backward, which is how the ball is passed in rugby.
|He took several steps back, standing behind her and to the right, holding his arms out to catch. “Try it.”She held the rugby ball in front of her waist, and raised and lowered it slightly as if testing its weight and shape. Then, with an awkward twitch, she spun it and let go.It bounced on the grass in front of her thick boots.“You need to throw it backwards, Yank. Not drop it.”“It doesn’t make sense. Why on earth would you want to throw it backward?”
“Because your team’s penalized if you throw it forwards.”
“But that’s just stupid.” She bent to pick up the ball and presented him with her back again. “How am I supposed to hold it here—” here being in front of her waist, “—spin it one way and throw it backward all at the same time? And you want me to eventually do all that while running? Running forward? It’s not possible.”
He chuckled. “I assure you it is. It might not be easy, but that’s why it’s a far superior sport to your American football.”
“At least football makes sense. The end zone’s in front of you, so you run forward and throw forward. But this—” she tried, and failed, once more to spin the rugby ball with both hands while hefting it back toward him, “—this is just physically wrong. At what point in our evolution would this have become a useful skill for us to develop?”
“I’ve always said rugby was a sport for highly evolved men. I’m glad you agree with me.”
If you want more excerpts, you can read chapter one on my website. You can also read one of my favorite smexy scenes on the Book Chick City blog. And I shared another scene (one word: bathtub) at Limecello’s blog.
KL: Spencer’s a rugby player in London. He’s a big tough guy who made a mistake when he was nineteen and nearly lost his career because of it. But despite his huge, tough exterior and his job knocking grown men off their feet, he’s devoted to his family…and to his heroine Caitlyn, once he realizes she’s the one for him.
Instead of telling you more about him myself, can I quote one of my favorite reviews? Dear Author gave Knowing the Score a B+ and said, “I want Spencer. I want to marry this man. We’ve had some reviews recently that mentioned heroes winning their heroines by treating them nicely and that fits here in spades. Not only is he patient and a sweetie, he’s sexy as hell. Spencer should be cloned and mass produced for export. Britain would have a trade surplus that would be the envy of the world.”
*sigh* I could read that over and over because it’s exactly how I feel about Spencer.
MD: Your international aid worker heroine fascinates me. Tell us a bit about her past and what makes her tick.
KL: Caitlyn suffered a horrific tragedy as a teenager. Just when most young adults are leaving home and starting to enjoy some freedom, Caitlyn experiences grief and shock that means she doesn’t get to experience the things other girls her age do.
Because she knows what it’s like to have a loved one stolen in the blink of an eye, she makes a career out of helping disaster survivors. Being a practical person, she becomes a sanitation engineer. Basically, she builds toilets in refugee camps.
MD: I loved the rugby theme. Are you a big fan? How did you get the inside scoop?
KL: Like most Americans, I didn’t grow up watching rugby. Then, when I was 23, I moved to Prague and met a British guy who was (and still is) a huge rugby fan. Despite being allergic to smoke, I spent three winters in unventilated, smoke-choked Czech sports bars watching every big match.
I fell in love with the sport from the first match I watched on TV. I swear I didn’t just spend my days in sports bars because I enjoyed the resulting sinus infections.
When Smarty Pants and I moved to London, we started getting tickets to big international matches, and there’s nothing more exciting.
The inside scoop? Well, Smarty Pants’ cousin is the doctor for a professional rugby team in Ireland, and he’s been really generous about answering my many questions. And Smarty Pants reads each of my stories to make sure I’ve got the rugby and Britishness as right as possible.
MD: What books are on your desert island list?
KL: The first book on that list would have to be Seize the Fire by Laura Kinsale—not just because it has a beautiful, sensual scene set on a desert island, which would fuel my shipwrecked fantasies, but because Sheridan Drake is the perfect anti-hero.
I’d have every book that Lisa Kleypas has written. Judith Ivory’s Untie My Heart would also be there, along with Persuasion by Jane Austen and Middlemarch by George Eliot.
I’d probably have a book about building boats out of palm fronds, too.
MD: What’s on your to-read list?
KL: You mean after I re-read all of your awesome novels? (Readers, if you haven’t picked up Song for Sophia, do it NOW!)
I recently discovered the erotic romance author Cara McKenna and her alter-ego Meg Maguire, and I’m hopelessly, desperately in love with her writing. She writes brilliant, provocative, completely unusual contemporary romance. Every book guts me. I love that. So her entire backlist and everything she plans to write EVER is on my to-read list.
MD: What’s your day job?
KL: I’m very lucky. I love my day job. I’m a writer and editor for a corporate foundation that gives millions of euros to children’s charities. I get to write all about the kids in Africa and Asia who now have an education and healthcare, thanks to the charities we fund. I also sometimes get the opportunity to visit the projects. Last year I went to Ethiopia and India.
I also do freelance editing for charities. Right now I’m editing a series of articles written by citizen journalists in Africa and Asia about HIV issues. It’s fascinating, challenging, infuriating and inspiring.
MD: What’s your next project?
KL: I have a Christmas novella—Mine Under the Mistletoe—coming out on December 5 from Carina Press. It’s not a rugby novel, but it is set in London. I absolutely love London at Christmas, and I hope I managed to capture how magical it is.
Playing It Close—the second book in the London Legends series—comes out in April.
I’m also working on proposals for more rugby books as well as a series set in San Diego, so keep your fingers crossed!
ABOUT KAT LATHAM
Kat Latham writes sexy contemporary romance set all around the world. She’s a California girl who moved to Europe the day after graduating from UCLA, ditching her tank tops for raincoats. She spent several years teaching English in Prague followed by several more working for a humanitarian organization in London. She now lives with her British husband and baby girl in a small town in the rural Netherlands surrounded by miles and miles of green pasture, canals and Shetland ponies. Kat’s slowly adjusting to life in a place where bicycles and cows seem to outnumber people.
With degrees in English lit and human rights, she loves stories that reflect the humor and emotion of real life. Kat’s other career involves writing and editing for charities, and she’s had the privilege of traveling to Kenya, Ethiopia and India to write about the heroic people helping their communities survive disasters.
ABOUT KNOWING THE SCORE
A rugby player with a scandalous past is tempted to give up his vow of celibacy to help a virgin overcome her fear of intimacy…
Rugby player Spencer Bailey is determined to win a spot on England’s World Cup team. But with a month break before the selectors start watching him, he’s eager to have fun with a woman who knows the score: the relationship will end when rugby season begins. The lovely American Caitlyn Sweeney seems perfect for the role of temporary lover, since her visa will run out soon anyway.
Caitlyn works for an international disaster relief organization and can handle the world’s worst crises, but she flinches from her own. Her past has left her with a fear of intimacy so deep that she has trouble getting close to anyone—until she meets sexy Spencer. His hot body and easygoing nature are too much for even her to resist.
Neither Caitlyn nor Spencer expects to fall hard for each other. But with their relationship deadline approaching, the old rules of the game seem less important than before…until past secrets surface, challenging everything they thought they knew about each other.
- Kat is giving away an ebook copy of KNOWING THE SCORE to one lucky commenter! Go ahead, say hello. Kat doesn’t bite, most of the time.
- And I’m throwing in this handmade blue glass, jasper, and Tibetan silver bracelet in LONDON LEGENDS colors to another reader who leaves a comment for Kat.
- Thanks for visiting, and come back on Wednesday Oct. 9, when we’ll announce the winners.
UPDATE 10/7/13: Announcing the winners of the giveaway:
Congratulations, Debra! You’re getting a free ebook copy of KNOWING THE SCORE by Kat Latham! Check your inbox for details.
And hooray for Melonie, winner of the bracelet in LONDON LEGENDS colors! Check your inbox, you lucky girl, you!
Thanks to everyone who stopped by to congratulate author Kat Latham on her release. If you haven’t read KNOWING THE SCORE yet, you should! It’s in my Top 10 favorite reads for 2013.