Please welcome guest author Alison Packard to the Cafe.
Hi everyone, and let me start by thanking the Contemporary Romance Café for hosting me today. I’m so happy to be here! When I discovered this month’s theme was inspiring places, it took me about two seconds to think of an inspirational locale. Back in the day, I most likely would have chosen a tropical island with a white sand beach, crystal clear blue-green water and plenty of palm trees swaying in the wind. But ironically, in recent years, my inspiration comes from the place where I was born, raised and lived most of my life. Remember that old saying ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone’? Well, that expression is exactly how I feel about the San Francisco Bay Area.
For family reasons, I relocated from the Bay Area to Las Vegas twelve years ago and trust me when I say it didn’t take long for me to realize that I’d taken the place where I’d grown up for granted. Even now, after all these years in Nevada, I miss everything about it: my friends, the proximity to the ocean, the weather, and the myriad of things to do and see. I miss hopping in the car with my girlfriends and driving to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Napa, Monterey, or Lake Tahoe. And I most definitely miss the cooler summers and being able to open my windows in July and August—you can’t do that in Vegas!
It’s no coincidence that my current release STEALING SECOND takes place in San Francisco, or that my fictional Major League Baseball team, the San Francisco Blaze, is based upon my beloved World Champion San Francisco Giants. And as you can see by the pictures, my fictional ballpark, Blaze Field is a dead ringer for AT&T Park, and Kamu’s, the sports bar where the Blaze players hang out is inspired by MoMo’s restaurant right across the street. I’ve found that writing about the Bay Area and my native state makes me miss it a little less, and while I’m immersed in creating the story, I feel like I’m right back there… back in the place that no matter where I live, I’ll always call home.
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Katherine Whitton doesn’t purposely avoid men and relationships, but she doesn’t mind that side effect of immersing herself in her job with the San Francisco Blaze. Years ago she was betrayed by her one true love, and she’s never fully recovered, though she’s tried by building a new life in a city she loves.
It’s taken seventeen years for Tom Morgan to get over Katie—Katherine now. Sober now and faced with the incredible opportunity to manage the Blaze, he thinks he’ll finally be able to handle working with this beautiful woman without falling to pieces…as long as she doesn’t get too close.
A crisis with the team’s star pitcher forces Tom and Katherine to put in long hours together. Years of animosity melt away as the sexual tension between them ignites. But it’ll take more than scorching kisses to avoid the wreckage of the past. And neither Tom nor Katie are sure they’re ready to trust each other or risk their hearts for a second chance at happiness.
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Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Alison now lives in Las Vegas where she’s slowly adapting to the blistering summers and the odd sight of slot machines in every grocery store.
When not working at the day job that pays the bills, keeps a roof over her head, and supports her book and chocolate habits, Alison spends most of her free time writing. But when she takes a break, she enjoys reading, watching movies, and spending time with her family and friends.