Thursday, October 6, 2016

Virtual Tour - MAKING THE PLAY (Hidden Falls, #1) by T.J. Kline

Making the Play
Hidden Falls, #1
by T.J. Kline
Releasing September 27th 2016
Avon Impulse

T.J. Kline launches a brand new series with the charming story of an NFL player who finds love when he least expects it…

From The Book Junkie Reads . . . Making the Play (Hidden Falls, #1) . . .
Life has a way of handing you outcomes you were not wanting or expecting. From Grant it was an injury and for Bethany it was her husband walking out and not looking back at her or their son. Life also has its own way of putting chance/destiny in front of you when you are not looking to find it.  Here lays the chance meeting of Grant, Bethany, and of course James.

It was sweet and endearing the interaction between Grant and James. It was almost like a tether was drawing them near. But for Bethany trust was not something she was willing to give out easily. Abandonment carries its own set of scars and walls become a little harder to take down. Then with Grant and the fact he was a professional athlete did not help the two cultivate a strong relationship, but Grant was not willing to let it end there.

Kline had given me another read that was sweet and endearing. James was a scene stealer without even trying. His disadvantage just made it that much sweeter for me to love him and he enthusiasm for the small things.
**This ARC was provided via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.**

Hidden Falls series:
Making the Play – Hidden Falls, #1
Dare to Fall – Hidden Falls, #2  coming soon

Grant McQuaid has dedicated his entire life to his football career. Now an injury threatens his place on the team and he’s forced to return home to rehabilitate. But when he meets his “biggest fan,” a precocious, blue-eyed, hearing impaired boy named James—and his beautiful mother, Bethany—Grant begins to question whether football is the future he still wants.

Bethany Mills has been doing just fine since her husband walked out on them… and she definitely doesn’t need another man to disappoint her—or her son. But when James runs into his hero at the park, Bethany admits there is a void in her son’s life that she just can’t fill. Her attraction to the handsome football star is undeniable, but a man in the limelight is the last thing she wants for herself, or James.

Grant doesn’t want to subject Bethany to the chaos of dating a professional athlete. But the more time he spends with her and James, the harder it is to resist making a play for her heart…
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Grant waited at his car for Bethany and James to finish up inside the classroom. He’d spent the rest of lunch recess entertaining nearly forty kids who’d come running over when they realized James knew a professional football player. The smile that lit James’ face when he introduced Grant had been well worth the discomfort he’d faced trying to explain why he was at the school to Bethany.
He couldn’t blame her for being standoffish with him when she first saw him there. What kind of weirdo showed up at your job the day after you told him to take a hike? But something had shifted in her today. He’d seen it in her eyes when he tried to explain why he’d come. Enough that he was willing to push his luck and see if she wasn’t up for having ice cream today.

Grant saw her heading toward her older model sedan in the school parking lot, juggling an armload of books, papers and teaching supplies. James wore a small backpack with a cartoon character he didn’t recognize on his little shoulders but Bethany carried an overfilled tote bag that had to weigh more than she did.
“Hey! Here, let me get that for you.” He hurried to her side, sliding the bag from her shoulder. Apprehension colored her hazel eyes and, for a moment, he wondered if she wasn’t going to tell him to leave again. Instead, she unlocked her car.
Grant wasn’t sure if he should ask but knew it would look far more suspicious if he didn’t now. “What are you guys up to? I thought maybe I could convince you to get that ice cream today.”
James’ face brightened and he looked up at his mother. “Can we?”
Bethany bit her lower lip. “We can’t.”
Grant tried not to take the second rejection to heart and nodded in understanding.
“Our downstairs toilet broke this morning and I had to turn it off. Now I’ve got to run to the store for the part and figure out how to fix it,” she explained.
Relief he hadn’t expected coursed through him. Maybe she wasn’t shooting him down after all. He let the corner of his mouth tip up playfully. “Ms. Mills, that sort of sounds like a load of C-R-A-P,” he spelled, laughing at his bad pun.
Her eyes widened but she smiled at his audacity. “Mr. McQuaid,” she scolded.
James giggled beside her and Grant immediately realized his mistake. “Mom, he spelled a bad word.”
“How did he . . . never mind. I should have known this genius could spell that,” Grant said, trying not to laugh. “How about if I help you fix your toilet?”
She popped open the truck, indicating that he should set her bag inside. “You want to fix my toilet?” Bethany crossed her arms and leaned a hip against the side of the car as she closed the trunk. “Really? That’s the line you want to go with?”

Grant shrugged but the smile never left his lips. What was it about this woman and her kid that made him feel so comfortably at ease? He hadn’t felt this relaxed in a long time. She made it easy for him to forget about his injury, the pressure of his upcoming training camp and his possible job loss.
“What do you say, little man? You think between the two of us men, we can fix the toilet for your mom?”
“Yes!” he yelled cheerfully. James climbed into the back seat of the car and buckled himself into his booster seat.
“I’ll meet you at the hardware store.” Grant turned to walk back to his car.
“I’m not going to get rid of you, am I?”
Grant paused and looked back over his shoulder at her. “Why would you want to?” he asked with a wink and jogged the rest of the way back to his car.
Buy Links:
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How would you describe you style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
I’m an optimist to a fault. Whether the blame lies with Disney or with a love of happy-ever-afters, I will always write romance with the same message, that there is always hope.  Even when I’m writing about something dreadful, and I have written about some very painful topics (eg. child abuse, alcoholism, PTSD), there is still a feeling that, with love, even the most painful experiences can be dealt with.

What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)?
As much as I’d like to have a routine, that is simply wishful thinking on my part. I am at my most productive when I’m in my office, in the quiet (although I edit with music). However, with three teens in a very busy household, it doesn’t always work out that way. So, I’ve learned to make the best of any situation. I’ve plotted out stories in a notebook sitting in the stands of football games. I’ve written in coffee shops or in my car waiting to pick up kids. I’ve edited on my phone. I guess my mindset it just to “make it work.”

Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?
Oh, I am definitely a people watcher. I love to make up backstories for people I see. I’ve had several of my books begin with seeing a person on the street and wondering, “What if…” Most of my stories are very character-driven. I feel that the character is what makes the plot. A different character would make different choices and change the entire story. However, that being said, as much as I try to flesh out my characters before beginning a story, they always surprise me. Like real people, they sometimes act in ways I don’t expect (or agree with) and they tend to be very stubborn.

Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)?
While there is always a bit of me in my heroines, Bailey and Jessie (Wild at Heart and Heart’s Desire) were most like me. However, if you want to know which of my character I adore most and would want to be best friends with, it would be Julia Hart (Taking Heart) and Bethany Mills (Making the Play) – hands down! Bethany is the woman that every mother can relate to and, even when she doesn’t have it all together, she’s still the friend you know who would have your back.

Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
Linc McQuaid. He’s the fourth son in the McQuaid family and, while he makes appearances from time to time throughout the series, I’m really looking forward to getting his story down. He’s a sexy country music star (that would be enough, right?) with a great sense of humor, family loyalty and thinks he’s heading home for a break after a national tour. Little does he know, he’s going to find far less rest than he plans.

Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the unexperienced?
Yes, I have this insatiable need to do more. I really don’t understand it. It’s not that I feel something is lacking because I love my life, however I can’t stop this feeling that each step is just one of many in a long patchwork of stepping stones, each just as wonderful as the next. So I am constantly achieving one goal and moving toward the next in the same breath. It’s only a problem when I realize, I never sit still for long enough to catch my breath.

I got this one from a friend. If you could have dinner with 7 fictional character, who would they be?

Not just one but SEVEN?!?! Okay, let’s see…
1)    Serius Black (Harry Potter Novels, JK Rowling) – because he was just such a complex, yet ultimately good, character with so much impact.
2)    Augustus “Gus” McCrae (Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry) – his visionary spirit couldn’t be dampened and he maintained a sense of humor regardless of how dark the situation.
3)    Screwtape (The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis) – he is the perfect subject to study as to why, in the midst of being so very evil, he believes he is doing the right thing.
4)    Scout (To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee) – her pure innocence, goodness and naiveté would balance out Screwtape’s evil.
5)    Gandalf (The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien) – I’d love to pick his brain (not that he’d be forthcoming with information) and allow him to keep the entire dinner party under some semblance of control once it got out of hand – and it would with this crew.
6)    Rait Caldwell (Wild Western Desire, Kathy Jones) – one of my favorite historical westerns and one of the first western heroes to make me swoon
7)    Theo Sutherland (Tempt Books 1-5, Alexis Anne) – just because Theo is probably one of the sexiest heroes I’ve read. A perfect blend of an Alpha and a Beta. He still makes me swoon!

Can you share you next creative project? If yes, can you give a few details?
I am currently finishing up the third book in the Hidden Falls series – Andrew’s story. It’s been a very complicated ride but he’s a very complex man – sexy, opinionated, demanding yet, for the first time, we get to see a gentle side of this McQuaid bad-boy emerge.
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Author Info
T. J. Kline was raised competing in rodeos and Rodeo Queen competitions since the age of 14 and has thorough knowledge of the sport as well as the culture involved. She writes contemporary western romance for Avon Romance, including the Rodeo series and the Healing Harts series. She has published a nonfiction health book and two inspirational fiction titles under the name Tina Klinesmith. In her very limited spare time, T.J. can be found laughing hysterically with her husband, children, and their menagerie of pets in Northern California.
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