, ,

Score a copy of PLAYING THE GAME by clicking the image above!

It’s rare I actually mention a giveaway in the title of a post, but my guest tempted me with the title of her book … and I bet she’ll tempt YOU with her generous giveaway! She’s quite the character herself (and I mean that in the best possible way) so you might want to brace yourself, because she fits *right* in around here. On that note, those of you not fleeing in terror (ahem), please meet Queen Stephanie … uh, Queen.

*GIVEAWAY CLOSED* Congratulations to Karen C, whose name was chosen as the winner via a random drawing!

Welcome, Stephanie, and congratulations on the release of PLAYING THE GAME. Before we get into it, I’d like to decree (as part of your Queendom for the day) that everyone here go read your bio. Hilarious. Did I catch there you are a teacher? Is that in the literal sense, or did you get philosophical on me?

Sure. I teach by my queenly example. But also, once upon a time, I was a math teacher. That was before I realized how many of my students were better at math than I was.

LOL! I love math, but my kids do not. Which makes me not like math so much. ;c) PLAYING THE GAME is a marriage (so to speak) of romance and sports. Can you introduce our readers to the story? 

There’s two games going on, but the game of seduction takes center court over basketball when Roxanne and Barry try to out-cool each other, pretending not to care as they get sucked into a very emotionally involved relationship. He’s trying to stay on top of his game while she’s driving him to distraction—and then tragedy hits.

Ooooh, nice hook! How does it tie in with the rest of the series? Do you revisit the same characters?

The “Playing” series features stories of sports and romance in Boston and the New England area.  I’m a fan of cameo appearances of characters from all my books and love to criss-cross my fictional worlds. Not sure what the royal therapist would say about that…

Not sure about your therapist, LOL, but as a reader, I love seeing some “old friends” pop up in new stories. What might readers be surprised to learn about the plot or characters of PLAYING THE GAME?

The research doctor character is based on a kind and brilliant man who I once knew and greatly admired. Alas, his Kingdom is long-gone.

Aw. *sniffles* Let’s have some fun with PLAYING THE GAME. What’s the first sentence?

“Damn it,” Roxanne muttered.

That sounds like how I start most of my days, LOL! (My toddler likes to wake me by throwing her diaper at me, but I digress.) What’s your favorite line in the book?

“She was really starting to dislike this guy.”

(Caveat: that’s the first “favorite line” I found. I assure you, there’s more.)

LOL! I’ve always figured I’d go nuts having to answer that question for that *very* reason. How about an excerpt … three sentences long! Yep, that’s it. Three!

“Double damn. My nipple is showing!” This time she forgot to keep her comment under her breath.

I happen to think this poor woman has fabulous issues. ;c) Which scene of PLAYING THE GAME was most difficult for you to write? Why?

After writing the courtroom scene where the charge of murder against Roxanne is heard, I had dreams reminiscent of the Hemmingwayesque “troubled drunk writer” cliche.  Roxanne suffers blistering humiliation before a decision is made on her fate. She’s stripped of everything until she realizes there’s only one thing left that she cares about.  The painful emotional intensity is hard to write because you must experience it with the character to be sure it’s coming across on the page. It took two weeks of chocolate therapy, but now I’m fine, albeit heavier.

I put poor Roxanne through a lot—I wouldn’t be surprised if she really started to dislike me.

Chocolate therapy? I’m in. Chocolate, rum, and … oh, is this thing on? Ahem. Seriously, that sounds pretty intense (for both of you). What are you currently working on?

THE HOT SHOTS is in the works and set to be released this summer as book two of the romantic comedy mystery series, The Scotland Yard Exchange Program. It’s a fun series of stories where Scotland Yard types mix it up with the Boston Police Department to solve crime while someone falls madly in love.

The teaser for PLAYING THE GAME:

Playing the Game:  About more than a ball.

Can a woman bring down a legend by distracting him from his game?

Since her disastrous marriage ended, Roxanne Monet has sworn off serious relationships with men. She has more important things to worry about, like no money, no job and accusations that she murdered her wealthy husband.  But when she meets superstar Barry Dennis and he challenges her to a game of seduction, she decides to play ball. When the game turns serious, she unintentionally exposes the legend to be a flawed man.

Barry Dennis picked the wrong woman to play games with when he decides to flirt with the enigmatic Roxanne. Being the best takes all he has. He can’t afford to let anything or anyone interfere with his first and only priority–Basketball. But as the attraction between them heats up, he finds himself losing sight of his life’s game plan.

While the sports world’s microscope is trained on Barry’s game and the media hounds Roxanne about her husband’s mysterious death, the stakes are ratcheted up even higher when Barry’s young daughter, Lindy is injured. Roxanne gives Lindy the attention she needs while Barry struggles to cope with the demands of his new priorities.

Can Roxanne rely on Barry to do more than play ball?  She takes the risk and gives him the last thing she owns–her heart.


STEPHANIE QUEEN | about & linkage

Five things about Stephanie Queen:

First of all, I have a cat. Named Kitty. Kitty is a legitimate name for a cat. Don’t judge.

Second, I do not wear a crown to the grocery store. I leave it in the limo with my driver and dash inside with dark glasses.

Third, I have a hard time taking interviews seriously.

Fourth, my novel, Playing the Game, is not as lighthearted as I generally write—it’s a departure. But it’s about one of my other passions – sports.

Fifth, I’m a jockette.



I’m going to throw out one more for that list and say Stephanie is quite *generous* … ya know why? Because she’s giving away a **$10 Amazon gift card** to one lucky reader. To enter, simply comment *with your email address.* For entertainment points (which have no bearing whatsoever on your odds of winning), let us know which sport *must* be allowed in your personal kingdom. (If you’re not a sports person, lifting chocolate counts. So does eating cheesecake.)

Stephanie, I’m thrilled you were able to join me today. Look … we’re all doing the wave in your honor! (I’m the one at the end. The anchor. With the cheesecake.) And my kingdom, for the record, demands NFL football. So, readers, how about yours?