Please welcome guest author Pamela Aares to the Cafe!
In almost every book I write there are a couple of characters that show up fully formed. Italian heiress Zoe Tavonesi, the heroine of The Heart of the Game, book #6 in my Tavonesi series is one. And her unlikely hero, Cody Bond was another.
Zoe is a world ranked competitor on the international women’s polo circuit. And Cody was a rodeo champion in his early years, before he became a Major League Baseball catcher. Cody and Zoe meet when he is buttonholed by Zoe’s cousin to round out her team for an important charity match. The captain of her team sprained his wrist adjusting a garland (more on that in a later post…) and never mind that Cody has only an hour to learn the game–he quickly discovers that the sport he’d once considered a game for rich boys is kicking his butt.
Polo has been around for thousands of years. It’s a game of power, strategy and finesse. Some sources show the “Game of Kings” starting as early as 500 B.C.
One of the great pleasures (and often a source of prevarication!) is doing the in-depth research that makes it possible to bring characters alive in my love stories. Here are a few shots from the Audi International Polo competition held in September. Polo in Sonoma County California? Yes, please!
I sat in the broadcast booth, separated from eight thundering horses and riders by a six inch high piece of wood that served as the boundary marker. At one point when the ball shot toward us, landing within a foot of the plank, my heart caught in my throat. But the horses and riders chased the ball to within inches of the boundary and then moved in a thundering flurry of hooves and mallets toward the goal at the end of the field. It’s so rare to be enveloped by the sound of thundering hooves; it’s a sound out of another time. And rarer still to observe horses and riders move with such grace and competitive charge, with such focused intent. Haiti, the United States, Argentina and Panama fielded teams for the match.
Here’s the U.S. Team (and note: there’s a woman on the U.S. team!)
Here’s a shot of me with one of the referees. Refereeing polo is a tough job and while it’s known as a gentleman’s sport, tempers can flare on the field if a ref isn’t on his mark and experienced. His horse was so handsome!
And of course there’s the fashion and the glitz.This past weekend I visited Hawk and Horse Vineyards, north of Napa County and watched young women between the ages of eleven and twenty-four compete in a barrel race. It’s been a few years since I have been around rodeo competitors and I wanted to refresh my memory. Here’s a shot of two of the young women preparing to race.
or on my website: http://www.PamelaAares.com.
Happy and steamy, delightful summer reading!
Best, Pamela Aares
P.S. If you’d like to know when my next books are coming out, you can click here to sign up for my New Release Newsletter. I’d love to hear from you!
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Pamela Aares is a USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance novels. Her contemporary series, The Tavonesi Series, explores the lives, loves, friendships and sizzling romances of the Tavonesi family.
Her popularity as a romance writer continues to grow with each new book release, so much so, that the Bay area author has drawn comparisons by reviewers to Nora Roberts.
Pamela Aares writes romance books that she loves reading, particularly those that entertain, transport and inspire dreams while captivating and tugging at the heart. She takes her readers on a journey with complex characters in both contemporary and historical settings who are thrown in situations that tempt love, adventure and self-discovery.
Before becoming a romance author, Aares wrote and produced award-winning films including Your Water, Your Life, featuring actress Susan Sarandon and NPR series New Voices, The Powers of the Universe and The Earth’s Imagination.