The Playing for Keeps series was my first sports series. When the first book, FOR THE WIN, released almost a year ago, I wasn’t sure how my readers would respond to it. But I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did my readers embrace it, but I gained many new readers. I found a whole new audience for my work – a readership hungry for sports romances. So after penning FOR THE SAVE, the last book in the Playing for Keeps series, I decided to keep writing in the sports romance genre. I’ve always been a fan of small-town romances. I was once a big fan of shows like Dawson’s Creek and One Tree Hill. So I decided to write a series centering around one high school baseball team set in a small town. At first I kicked around the idea of following one couple throughout the series, but the truth is I’ve never been good at that. I like to write spinoffs much more than I like to write actual series. As much as I love every couple I write about, I do get a little bored writing their story after awhile. I enjoy the rush of starting something new, of getting to know new characters. So in the end, I decided to write about a new couple in every book. Still the book is considered a series because the books will need to be read in order. And if you love Christian and Emmy, don’t worry, they will be in the subsequent novels. When I sat down to figure out the plot for this book, the first idea that came to mind was falling for the older brother’s best friend. It’s a premise I’ve always enjoyed reading about. I mean, what girl doesn’t, right? And that’s when Christian and Cal emerged. After I had them, I came up with the remaining characters on the team. The name Prairie Creek came from one of my readers – Ginelle Blanch – so thank you so much! After having that, I had the completed roster for the Prairie Creek Panthers. That’s where the real Coach Hopkins came in. Both of my brothers are ball players. My brother Matt coaches and plays recreationally, and my brother Kagen is a professional pitcher. So I sent the roster to my brother Matt with stats on each character – age, weight, personality. Then he put them all into positions for me. This is when the story really came to life in my mind. I started to see the team, their dynamics, etc. And that’s when Emmy began talking in my head. Meeting Cal, Christian, Josh, Emmy and all of the other characters was such a fun experience. I really enjoyed writing their story and I hope you enjoy reading it.