Thursday, August 8, 2013

Seattle Lumber Jacks by Jami Davenport (Guest Post/Giveaway)

Now we would like to welcome author Jami Davenport, joining us with her Seattle Lumberjacks series!

Writing for a Niche

I’m a long-time football fan, and I’m also a Romance writer.

As a native of the Pacific Northwest, I have been a Seahawks fan since their infancy, including being a season ticket holder during the Kingdome days. I’ve stuck with the Hawks through the good and lean times.

I’ve written since I was old enough to write words, but I never shared my stories. They were private to me. Many years ago, maybe ten or fifteen, I started a working on a Romance novel with a football player named Derek and his relationship with Rachel.

About five or six years ago, several friends encouraged me to share my stories and write for publication. I joined an RWA chapter (Romance Writers of America) and took tons of craft workshops. The first rule I was told about Romance writing was sports heroes don’t sell unless you’re Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Well, believe it or not, at the time I’d never read any of her books, so I bought them all and loved them.

Still, since sports heroes don’t sell, I stashed the partially completed book in a trunk and moved on to a book with more commercial appeal. Three years ago, I signed my first publishing contract. I’ve since published three novels as Jami Davenport and six additional novels under another pen name. However, Derek and Rachel’s story continued to beckon to me over the years.

With the popularity of eBooks and the increasing number of quality small presses, especially my publisher, Boroughs Publishing Group, a whole new world has opened up for writers. In the past, if you didn’t write a book with what was defined as mass-market, commercial appeal, you had little chance of getting it published. Now the smaller digital publishers are filling the niche markets -- areas certain publishers won’t touch because the mass-market appeal isn’t there, or they believe it isn’t.

I’ve never understood why certain publishers believe that football hero Romances don’t sell. After all, over 45 percent of NFL fans are women. Perhaps, it’s because many of the football hero Romances published today are written by authors who know nothing about the game and use it as a background prop. The female characters in their books aren’t football fans, rarely go to a game, and in several books the hero quit the game for the heroine. I didn’t want my book to be that kind of book.

Keeping that in mind, I dusted off my old football Romance and completely re-wrote it. I’ve never been one to write to trends or to write specifically what sells, and I hoped to share my passion for football with my readers. Fourth and Goal, my first Seattle Lumberjack Romance, is a different kind of football hero Romance, one in which the heroine loves football and is as knowledgeable as most men. My hero is a struggling football player, attempting to get his game back. The story not only follows the romance between hero and heroine, it also follows the team’s ascent from basement-dwellers to championship contenders. In fact, my editor stated this book was a football story with a romance, rather than a romance story with some football.

In the process of writing it, I wanted to make Fourth and Goal as realistic as possible. For starters, I attended the Seattle Seahawks Football 101 workshop. As a result, I toured the Seahawks training facility, listened to players and their wives talk about life in the NFL, and participated in some of the same drills the players use to hone their timing and reflexes. This workshop was entertaining and informative. Not to mention, I loved the goodie bags and raffles. The attendees met current players and their wives, former players, the head coach, and the TV personalities who do game commentary.Almost all NFL teams sponsor a Football 101 clinic in October to benefit breast cancer awareness. I highly recommend attending one of these workshops if you get a chance.

I watched even more football than I normally do and asked all sorts of questions of my husband, a former D-2 college player. I did online research, read books on football, became intimately familiar with the NFL Channel, and tried to get a feel for the game, which is somewhat difficult as I’ve never played football. I hope I’ve captured it somewhat accurately.

I enjoyed the opportunity to be able to combine my passion for football with my writing. I’ve since published three books in the series and book 4, Backfield in Motion is due out in the fall. Books 5 and 6 are plotted and I’ve begun writing book 5. Football Romance is alive and well and a growing genre in Romance—and one of my personal favorites.

Fourth and Goal (Seattle Lumberjacks #1)
In a game played on and off the field, only one of them will emerge the winner.
Armed with an uncanny ability for evaluating football talent, a dogged determination to succeed in a man’s world, and an empty bank account, Rachel McCormick agrees to help struggling wide receiver Derek Ramsey get his game back. Rachel believes Derek, her former best friend and lover, knows the truth behind the points-shaving scandal which ruined her father. She vows to expose the secret even if it destroys Derek in the process.
When Derek’s coach suggests sex as an excellent tension reliever the night before a game, Rachel takes one for the team. The next day, Derek has the best performance of his not-so illustrious pro football career. As Derek and Rachel rack up nights in bed and other places, the team racks up wins on the field. Rachel is torn between her loyalty to her father and her growing affection for Derek.
Now it’s fourth and goal, one second left on the clock. Their hearts are on the line. Do they trust each other enough to go for the long bomb or do they get dropped for a loss?

Forward Passes (Seattle Lumberjacks #2)
Quarterback Tyler Harris is about to find the woman who can get past his defensive line and reach his heart.
With two championships in as many years, superstar Tyler Harris is the best quarterback in the league. Gorgeous and rich, he’s at the top of his game. But everyone’s looking to take him down. There’s a building media frenzy around an unfortunate accident, and the only safe place seems a rundown mansion deep in the San Juans and owned by his late great uncle. There, Tyler gets sacked by the sassy redhead next door. It’s more alive than he’s felt in years.
Lavender Mead has a good reason to dislike jocks, namely an absentee father who deserted the family to coach college football. Maybe that explains her penchant for bad boys who play ball for a living and break hearts for a hobby. Her new neighbor seems just the type. Yet, something is different about Tyler, and sometimes love requires a Hail Mary. You draw back your arm, pray…and give it all up to fate. And sometimes you win your ring.

 Down by Contact (Seattle Lumberjacks #3)
It's showtime.
After twelve years in the league, all Zach Murphy wants is a Super Bowl ring. He’s been about hard hits not smooth manners, about breaking quarterbacks not making small talk at cocktail parties. But now he’s shattered something else. After dumping a tray of drinks on the team owner’s snooty daughter and accidentally feeling up the Governor’s wife, his tenure with his team looks perilously short. And things are getting worse.
Life is looking up for Kelsie Carrington-Richmond. A onetime beauty pageant star and mean girl, she only recently stopped living out of her car. But those times have passed. Her finishing school for real men has a real shot, and the Seattle Lumberjacks have hired her to polish their roughest player.
Except…it’s Zach. Long ago she broke his heart. He’s just the beast she remembers—gruff, protective—but she’s nothing like the beauty from his past. Yet, getting knocked down happens, and getting back up makes a contender. And they both have the hearts of champions.

Borough's Publishing is giving away one grand prize,  a five-book subscription to their Lunchbox Romances including one story by Jami Davenport, Love at First Snow to one winner from all the different tour stops.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. Thanks so much for hosting me today.

  2. Thank you for the chance!

    Favorite thing about football?
    I tend to enjoy watching certain QBs. How they can see if something has changed in the defense and change up the offense on the fly.


  3. I like watching the men watching.

  4. Let's see....aside from the really hot guys in tight pants, I love getting together with friends for Football Sunday.

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

  5. Sorry, not a fan of watching football. I do love reading romance with a sports theme though. Thank you for sharing. :)

  6. Where I live, football isn't popular & is not played much. Our football is what American's call soccer. Love watching the dribbling skills of players; if you're familiar with Messi or Christiano Ronaldo.

  7. Football is 2nd place in my sports heart to hockey, but I do enjoy the strategy of it- and watching those "tight ends" of course! Thanks for introducing me to a new series, I will definitely check it out

  8. Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting!

  9. Where I live, college football unites everyone no matter who/what/where we are. So it's fun b/c it's a common ground. Thanks for sharing!


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