Date Published: January 19, 2015
As an offensive linewoman for the Cleveland Clash, Tanya Martin is tough inside and out. The 5'9" beauty can take a hit and keep on going. But when the man she was best friends with - and secretly in love with - in high school comes home the same day she learns her father's gym is in financial trouble, she's unexpectedly blindsided.
Super Bowl MVP Cam Simmons is only back in town to convince his mom to move out of her failing neighborhood and live in luxury with him in Boston. But running into Tanya stirs up plenty of old feelings he never resolved. He was happy to leave his old life behind him when he hit the NFL, but walking away from their friendship was a mistake he wants to rectify.
As they work together to help save her dad's gym, Cam and Tanya's easy camaraderie and undeniable chemistry resurface. But can she open up enough to trust him with her heart a second time around?
Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?
My publisher put it best when they came up with this tagline for some promotional materials: Who says tough isn’t sexy? Of course, the message behind that is women can be strong and capable while being alluring too. The idea that a strong woman is a turn-off or an annoyance bothers me. Strong women alongside strong men built this world into what it is today. It took all genders, and it will take all genders going forward.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Ha! After 12 published books, you would think the challenges would be waning. Nope. I still struggle with the basics like characterization and pacing. Depending on what’s going on in my life, it can be hard to write as my character instead of writing as me. That’s where I struggle the most.
How many books have you written and which is your favorite?
Well, I’ve written 15, and eleven of those are currently published with No. 12 coming out in May. My favorite is hard to pick, because it feels like a mother picking a favorite child, but I will tell you that I’m very partial to Change My Mind: Kemmons Bros. Baseball 2, and those characters Nel and Grey. There’s just something about that story that makes me want to re-read the book. And believe me, I avoid re-reading my work once it’s published and can’t be changed.
If you had the chance to cast your main character from
who would you pick and why? Hollywood
I know exactly who I’d like to see cast as
Morris Chesnut. Yum! That man was born to play a professional football player.
He also does sincere and emotional scenes very well. For Tanya, that’s tougher.
The actress would have to embody her strength, and that’s hard to find in
younger actresses. Let’s just say I’d like to see Serayah McNeill, from Empire,
read for the role. She’s breathtakingly beautiful and sassy with a capital S.
When did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing professional for about 16 years now. The first ten years of that were non-fiction, writing for magazines and eventually winding up at the Walt Disney Company. Fiction, and the world of total creation, was always calling to me though, and in March 2013 my first romance was published.
How long did it take to complete your first book?
My first book, which will never be published because it’s too big of a mess to fix, took ten years to write. I started it when my kids were wee tiny and I often had no money to buy new books for myself and no car to get to the library to borrow them. Since I didn’t know what I was doing or have anything other than enjoyment on my mind, writing it was a very lazy process.
Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?
Judith McNaught would be the big inspirationg. I read her books with the same necessity as I breathed. Holding one made me feel like I’d never be alone or unhappy again.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
When I feel what the character is feeling, it’s the most gratifying part of writing. It’s like I’m literally giving birth to these people I’ve created. There really are no words to describe that feeling.
Describe your latest book in 4 words.
Football. Passion. Second chances.
Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?
The second book in the Cleveland Clash series, Crossing the Line, releases in May, and that book tells the love story of wide receiver, wild child Jillian Bell and her offensive coordinator, former Marine Carter Howl. Lots of sparks between the two as they battle for control. I’m currently writing the third book in the Cleveland Clash series, Keeping Score, which features
, Jade Wren, a Korean-American, and a sports radio
shock jock, Rome Rizelli, as her unlikely hero. I’m having lots of fun with
that one! Cleveland Clash Center
Elley Arden is a born and bred Pennsylvanian who has lived as far west as Utah and as far north as Wisconsin. She drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness.