Match Point: Digging Deep with Leigh Carman

July 19, 2016

Leigh Carman joins us today to talk about her new sports romance, Match Point.

FinnandDex

Hello fellow Dreamspinner lovers! I’m Leigh Carman and I’m so excited for the release of Match Point, my sports romance with Dreamspinner Press. This is my first release with DSP, and it’s been nothing less than incredible. I am literally still in shock and awe that my book will be alongside some of my favorite gay romance authors. If there’s one thing a reader knows when purchasing a Dreamspinner book, it’s that you will get nothing but the best.

So why would a girl want to write gay romance? I’m sure everyone asks this at one time or another. I hear the question all the time from friends, family, and readers of my M/F romance. Well, I’m not sure if there’s a single answer to that question. Don’t get me wrong, I love my M/F romance, but there’s something about M/M romance that gives me, as an author, an extra layer to my characters that I can work with. The relationship between two men is obviously much different from that of a man and a woman, and I’m not speaking sexually. I love to explore the masculine side of romance. Even in my M/F books I’ve been told my male characters sound like they’ve been written by men.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never been a gushy, flowery, girly girl and I don’t like reading about men waxing poetic about their beautiful delicate woman. Maybe it’s because I’m a total dude when it comes to romance, no flowers, no jewelry, and no gifts necessary to make me happy. I pretty much don’t even care if I get a card on an anniversary.

So, I don’t know specifically why I prefer writing gay romance. I do know that I don’t care for the story of a man swooping in to save the woman every single time. I guess you could say from a writer’s point of view, a relationship between two men is more balanced. No one has to be the hero. Or both can be the heroes. Or yes, it can be traditional and one of the men can be the hero. Any way you cut it, to me the story is more about the dynamic between the two men than the situations they’re placed in. Does that make sense?

I like to dig deep into the emotional side of men. We all know that most men are raised to hide their emotions from other people, so it takes quite a bit of work to get their feelings out of them. That’s what I love to do. Put the screws to my guys and tighten them until they have no choice but to acknowledge what they’re feeling. Get them to face their fears, question their masculinity, and delve into the fear of losing their masculinity if they show any emotions whatsoever.

That kind of makes me sound like an evil scientist, doesn’t it? But in truth, that’s what writers are. We create characters we love only to hurt them, drown them, wring them out, and see what we’re left with at the end. Hopefully, they are made stronger, better, more real after their journey.

Match Point is a pretty emotional journey, and a study in two men who finally acknowledge that their self-destructive behaviors stem directly from feelings they’ve ignored for too long. I hope you love Dex and Finn, I know I certainly do.

Currently, I’m working on three more sports romances to complement Match Point. One sport for each of the four seasons. Beach volleyball is summer, football is autumn, hockey for winter, and baseball for spring. There are characters who appear in the book prior to their own, so keep your eyes out for anyone in Match Point who might have a story to tell.

Happy reading!

 

Here’s a peek…

 

Finn

“Get it. Get it. Hurry, hurry!”

I scramble for the ball while Coach yells out encouragements—or possibly reprimands. I can never be sure which. Either way I’m on top of my game today. I hustle to the net, get under the ball, and bump it with my wrists, arcing it high for Dex.

Dex waits for it to come down and lifts it using his fingertips. As the ball goes in the air, I take a running jump, curve my body so it doesn’t touch any part of the net, and smack the ball over our opponent’s head. It hits the sand.

“Yes,” Dex shouts and holds up a hand for me to high-five. Grinning, I reach out and slap my hand into his. Dex holds on to it for a brief moment. The contact is quick—less than a second—but the heat that sears through my palm leaves a lasting impression. It’s time to switch sides and it’s my turn to serve. Dex puts his hands behind his back and gives me the signal to hit it left with no spin. I toss the ball up and hit it over the net.

Beautiful. Our opponent drops to his knees and makes the save, but he can’t get to his position quickly enough to reach the ball his partner perfectly sets for him. Dex cheers and pumps his fist in the air. I grin at his enthusiasm. Watching Dexter Savage have the time of his life is mesmerizing. It infuses me with an energy I’ve never felt before. I no longer see Dex as just another charming guy. He has me spellbound and hanging on his every word.

“Nice whiff, dickhead,” I call out when he misses a dig and comes up with a mouthful of sand.

I can’t have him thinking I like him or something.

Dex laughs and spits out the sand. “Shut up, Callahan.”

By the end of the day, we should be exhausted, but we’re riding high on winning the New Orleans Open, and on the thirty-minute ride back to the hotel on the river, we both get our second wind. Dex is literally bouncing around. He’s so full of energy, he’s making me dizzy.

“Come on, Finn. Let’s go out to celebrate. This is New Orleans, The Big Easy. There’s sin on every corner and a ton of awesome clubs here.”

I roll my eyes. “I doubt your idea of an awesome club is the same as mine, Savage.”

“What?” Dex squints at me. Then his eyes widen almost comically. “Oooooohhh. You don’t think I can handle a gay club?” A slow, snarky grin spreads across his handsome face, and my breath hitches.

Hello dimple.

I shake off my dirty thoughts to get back to the subject at hand. “No. I don’t. God. I can’t even think about you going into a gay club without laughing.”

Or getting hard and groaning.

“Hmph.” Dex levels his intense hazel eyes at me and quirks one eyebrow in challenge.

“No, Dex.”

“Yes, Finn,” he sings gleefully.

“No way.”

Dex chuckles and nods his head. “Oh yes. Pull out your sparkly top, baby, because we’re hitting the gay clubs tonight.”

“Fuck you, Savage. I don’t own a sparkly top.”

“Rainbow?”

“No.”

Dex gives me a disgusted look. “What kind of gay man are you?”

“Not a very good one, I guess.”

One who crushes on his straight teammate, that’s what kind of gay man I am. A stupid one.

After five minutes of back and forth, I finally get Dex to let go of the idea of cruising gay clubs tonight, but only on the promise that I’ll take him to one when we get back to LA. I’m hoping he’ll forget by then, because seeing his gorgeous ass shaking on a dance floor while hot, sweaty guys grind on him? I’d implode before the night was over.

We change and grab a cab, and Dex directs the driver to head toward Bourbon Street. “Really, Dex? Bourbon Street? Can’t we go somewhere a little less—”

“Less fun? No, Callahan, we can’t. You’re having fun if it kills me. Tonight I’m officially removing the stick from your ass….” Dex twists his head and shoots me a scorching look that has my dick throbbing painfully in my shorts. “Even if I have to pin you down to yank it out.”

Holy fuck.

I swallow, and my mouth suddenly disconnects from my brain as every drop of blood in my body turns to lava and collects in my groin.

“Whatever, Savage,” I mumble, turn to the window, and shift my hips so Dex can’t see my now fully hard cock.

Dex laughs and shoves my shoulder. Does he not know what he’s doing to me? I sneak a glance at my teammate. He’s looking out his own window, eyes glittering, smile as wide as a kid on Christmas morning.

No. He has no clue. He’s truly excited to go out and have fun. In fact he’s practically bursting out of his skin, he’s so wound up. But then, Dexter Savage always was the life of the party. He’s comfortable in his own skin. It’s what makes him so attractive. Well, besides the tousled, just out of bed hair, the perfectly straight nose and full mouth, and the body to die for. But his outgoing personality was what had me crushing on him in college—and the reason I hated his guts. I watched him every day at practice as he charmed everyone around us, and knew he would never be available to me.

“Here it is.” Dex throws some money at the cab driver and leaps out of the car. I take a look at my surroundings and thump my head on the glass. We’re on a street thick with pedestrians clutching hurricane glasses and sipping through long straws as they mingle in the crowd. Neon signs line the business fronts on both sides of the cab, each promising a different kind of debauchery inside.

Dex leans down and sticks his head in the backseat. “What are you waiting for, Callahan? Let’s get this party started.”

Ugh. Tonight is going to be pure torture.

 

Check out Match Point today!

MatchPoint_postcard_front_DSP

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon
ARe
iTunes
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Barnes and Noble

Blurb:

Two stubborn men.

One is a rude jerk. The other, the life of the party.

It was hate at first sight.

Pro beach volleyball players Finn Callahan and Dexter Savage have been rivals since college. While Finn always comes out on top on the court, Dexter’s carefree and fun-loving personality earns him scores of adoring men and women. And as much as Finn fights to deny it, there’s another reason for the tension he feels when Dex is around. Hate wasn’t the only thing he felt when he first laid eyes on his opponent.

When they’re forced to team up, the two men must bury their differences—on and off the court—if either of them is going to succeed professionally.

 

Author Bio:

Leigh Carman is the pen name for the M/M romances written by bestselling Contemporary romance writer, Heather C. Leigh.

She lives outside Atlanta with her husband, 2 kids, and French bulldog.

She is leaving explicit directions in her will for her friends to discreetly scatter her ashes around Fenway Park. Then they are to sit back, watch a game with a beer and a Fenway frank and have a wicked good time.

https://twitter.com/HeatherLeigh_8
http://instagram.com/heatherleighauthor/
https://www.goodreads.com/leighcarmanauthor
http://heathercleighauthor.com/leigh-carman-novels/

 

One Response to “Match Point: Digging Deep with Leigh Carman”

  1. H.B. says:

    Congratulations on your new book! It sounds fantastic and I haven’t read many books with volleyball as a focal point (can probably think of maybe four or five I’ve ever come across in the m/m genre).

    I’m looking forward to getting to know Dex and Finn and Finn handles his attraction to his straight volleyball partner XD

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