Arlene Hittle | Diva in the Dugout
January 29, 2014
Hello, everyone! My name is Arlene Hittle, and Iâ€™m excited to be making my Fresh
Fiction debut. I write contemporary romantic comedy. My first novel, DIVA IN THE DUGOUT, was
released in October 2013 by Turquoise Morning Press. Weâ€™re following it up with
two more â€śAll Is Fair in Love and Baseballâ€ť stories this spring: BEAUTY AND THE
BALLPLAYER in March and SLIDING INTO HOME in April.
I fell into writing about baseball players somewhat by accident when BEAUTY AND
THE BALLPLAYER finaled in the RWA Golden Heart contest in 2011. You can read
more about my dirty little secret at Just Contemporary Romance.
For now, allow me to introduce you to my Boys of Summer.
Think itâ€™s too early to be talking about baseball? Think again. Even though
football fans are still gearing up for the Super Bowl, baseballâ€™s spring
training starts in mere days. Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers and catchers report
Feb. 6 and the full team starts practice Feb. 12. Other MLB teams report to
spring training sites in Arizona and Florida about a week later.
My Arizona Condors is a minor league team based in Phoenix, but they have spring
training in my adopted hometown of Flagstaff. (I realize Flagstaff is freezing
in Februaryâ€”a little suspended disbelief, please. Maybe itâ€™s just wishful
thinking on my part that Flagstaff could ever host spring training in
Shortstop Dave Reynolds, the hero of DIVA IN THE DUGOUT, is one
of baseballâ€™s baddest bad boysâ€”or was. He has to grow up fast when he finds
himself the father of a rambunctious 4-year-old, courtesy of a one-night stand
in his wild days.
BEAUTY AND THE BALLPLAYERâ€™s catcher, Matt Thatcher, is the solid, dependable
one. Heâ€™s the level-headed guy everyone else goes to for advice until he meets a
crazy-haired beauty who turns his world upside down.
In SLIDING INTO HOME, first baseman Greg Bartlesby is a young hothead who wants
nothing more than to outrun the shadow of his father, MLB great Jake â€śBig Manâ€ť
Bartlesby. Too bad his attempts to distance himself frequently end with him in
handcuffs, which is how he meets the woman who helps him come into his own.
I drafted some lightning-round questions to help you get to know the men of the
Dave: Whateverâ€™s on tap
Greg: The house microbrew
Favorite ballgame concession?
Matt: Hot dogs
Greg: Are you kidding? I donâ€™t put that crap in my body.
Matt: (snorting) Donâ€™t let him fool you. He puts away nachos, extra cheese, with
the rest of us.
What pisses you off?
Matt: Wild-armed rookie pitchers
Greg: Sports journalists who compare me to my father.
Whatâ€™s on your breakfast table?
Dave: (arching brow) Trying to expose my vices now, eh? Iâ€™ll â€™fess up. Lucky
Matt: Room service.
Greg: If Jennâ€™s cooking? Omelet.
Matt: With cheese.
Greg: So I like cheese. Sue me.
Besides the women in your lives, what or who do you love most?
Dave: (pointing to Matt) This guy. Kept me sane when my life suddenly got
Matt: Thanks. The feelingâ€™s mutual. But I have to go with playing ball for a
living. Thereâ€™s not much better than stepping onto the field and hearing the
fans chant your name.
Greg: Good point, man. I love baseball, tooâ€”but I love my father more. Even if
we do butt heads like two pitchers battling for one starting slot, Iâ€™ll missâ€”
(Breaking in) Itâ€™s getting heavy in here. Letâ€™s lighten the mood. Boxers or
Dave: Wouldnâ€™t you like to know?
Greg: (grinning) Let me show you ...
Hey, hey. Wait a minute! Greg, youâ€™re supposed to have outgrown your penchant
for getting arrested. Keep your pants on, or youâ€™ll end up down at the station
on a charge of indecent exposure.
Greg: (grumbling) Yeah, yeah. Donâ€™t need another arrest on my record.
Over to you, dear readers. Do you root for a particular baseball team?
About Arlene: Arlene Hittle is a Midwestern transplant who now makes her home in
northern Arizona. She suffers from the well-documented Hittle family curse of
being a Cubs fan, but will root for the Diamondbacks until they run up against
the Cubs. Longtime friends are amazed she writes books with sports in them,
since sheâ€™s about as coordinated as a newborn giraffe and used to say marching
band required more exertion than golf. Find her at http://arlenehittle.com, on Twitter
at http://twitter.com/arlenehittle or on
Facebook at Arlene Hittle,
14 comments posted.
Re: Arlene Hittle | Diva in the Dugout
I used to be a real "sports nut" in general, until I moved to the area I'm living in now. All I get on my tv is channels from Canada, and they don't show ANY sports worth mentioning, outside of golf, which I find boring!! I don't care to listen to it on the radio, because it's not the same as actually watching the action play out, so I've pretty much given it up, as I have a lot of things I've enjoyed of my prior life before I moved. The withdrawal was hard, but you get used to it. Your books sound like a fun read, and I think the titles are really cute and snappy in their own way. They'll make for a great read this time of year. Congratulations!!
(Peggy Roberson 10:14am January 29, 2014)
Arlene, your story sounds amazing! And I root for Ohio teams--especially Cleveland, since they don't have the best luck in sports in that town. :)
(Jenn Stark 11:24am January 29, 2014)
Love your heroes' responses, Arlene. Sounds like a fun series! I grew up in Texas,
and there was a minor league team called The Missions where I saw a few games.
The Astros were big, too. But my favorite was basketball, and the San Antonio
Spurs. My dad would take me to games, and I have great memories of that time.
Now, my husband has pulled me into watching more football. (I've won my
family's fantasy league twice!) My favorite teams there are the Ravens, Colts,
Panthers, and Broncos.
(Anne Marie Becker 11:30am January 29, 2014)
This sounds like a super fun series! I didn't really discover baseball until I moved to Seattle and everyone was into the Mariners. Since then I've had a great time taking my boys to the games.
(Amy Raby 11:46am January 29, 2014)
I loved this book, Arlene. I hope everyone has a chance to read it. The
responses from your heroes are such an insight to your Boys of Summer.
Baseball and romance-what's not to love? My best wishes for your entire
series. Looking forward to Beauty and the Ballplayer!
(Susan Haught 11:53am January 29, 2014)
I want to hang out with these guys. How fun. Maybe you should write As
short story just about their bromance.
(Chris Campillo 12:18pm January 29, 2014)
Thanks, Peggy! I agree watching sports, preferably live, is the way to go. You see
so much more that way â€” not just the action on the field, but in the stands.
Jenn: Cleveland, huh? Drew Carey says Cleveland rocks. :D Having grown up in
northern Indiana, I'm more of a Chicago fan. (My maternal grandparents lived in
Hammond â€” on the street Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" lived on, but that's
another story â€” so I rooted for the Bears growing up. Then the Colts moved to
Indianapolis â€¦ my brain hurt when the two played each other in the Super Bowl.)
But I will, forever and always, be a fan of the Cubbies. Lovable losers â€¦
(Arlene Hittle 12:53pm January 29, 2014)
Hi, Anne Marie! I used to work with a guy who liked the Astros. I think their luck
is as bad as the Cubs'.
Thanks, Amy. Even though the Diamondbacks are only a couple hours away, I
haven't had a chance to go to a game since the D-backs played the Cubs in a
championship series a while back. (I think it was the NLDS, but I can't be sure.)
(Arlene Hittle 12:56pm January 29, 2014)
Thank you, Susan. BEAUTY comes out in a little more than a month. I'm starting
to count the hours â€¦
Chris: They are fun to hang out with (at least in my mind). I try to write
characters that I'd like to have dinner with. As for your suggestion, I think I feel a
short story coming on. That could be fun.
(Arlene Hittle 1:00pm January 29, 2014)
Oh, your boys of summer sound like they'll be fun in any season!
As for me and who do I root for? Well, I grew up about two miles away from Yankee Stadium. I'd probably self-destruct if I rooted for anyone but the Bronx Bombers!! :)
(Maura Troy 1:17pm January 29, 2014)
Thanks, Maura! Seems as if everyone either LOVES or hates the Yankees. Growing
up so near, you have good reason to root for them.
(Arlene Hittle 4:19pm January 29, 2014)
I haven't rooted for a team in years. Just can't work up an interest anymore.
(Carol Woodruff 4:12pm January 30, 2014)
Red Sox! GO Sox!
(Beth Fuller 7:45pm January 30, 2014)
Beth, I was so pleased when they broke their streak of not making the World
Series â€¦ Figured if they can do it, so can the Cubbies! (Yeah, hope springs
(Arlene Hittle 2:26pm January 31, 2014)
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