Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Blogtour and Review: The Outfielders by Robert P. Rowe

Please say hello to Robert P. Rowe and 

The Outfielders


Sometimes love can come out of left field.

Tony was waiting until he went away to college to come out to his parents and start his new gay life. Unfortunately, at twenty-four, it doesn’t look like college is going to happen after all. Stuck in a dead-end job in a small town and still living at home, with all the arrested development that entails, he finds escape in playing for the company baseball team and lusting after his straight outfielder crush, Alex. But Tony’s best friend, Jennifer, thinks she’s found a plan in the pages of gay romance novels. All Tony has to do is convince Alex he’s gay for you… or for Tony. It’s easy—just find some excuse to be alone in bed together and let nature take its course. What could possibly go wrong?

You can’t get to first base if you don’t take a chance and step up to the plate.

Hi. I’m Robert P. Rowe and I’ve just finished my latest novel for Dreamspinner Press entitled: The Outfielders. Unlike my first novel, Second-Story Man, this book is intentionally light.

I like stories that tease the reader. The Outfielders begins with a blurb that tells just enough to get the reader interested without revealing all of the stories plot details. Once inside the book the tease goes on as readers follow along with my main character, Tony, wondering if romance will ever happen for him. The big tease in the book is an inside joke for readers of gay romance and the whole gay-for-you genre.

People often ask me where I get the ideas for my stories. In this case I was looking for characters that would be average all-American guys. Well, what’s more all-American than baseball? And it doesn’t hurt that baseball players happen to be hot.

Speaking of average, I also like characters that lead average lives and face the same struggles as the rest of us. One of the major struggles in a bad economy is the fact that too many adult children can’t afford to move out on their own, or go away to college. This generation finds themselves still living with parents and too often still acting like children. The struggle becomes one of truly growing up and facing the challenges of the world. But as I mentioned, this story is light. The struggles remain a backdrop to the real challenges of romance.

I’m considering writing a few more stories centered in the fictional town of Groverville. In The Outfielders readers are introduced to an interesting cast of characters. It would be a shame if we never had a chance to learn more about them.

My various story interests are more endless than my time. I’ve just started a new job that has me pretty busy art directing theme park attractions. Still, I’m determined to find some time to tell a few more tales.

In The Outfielders,  my main character, Tony, is not the brightest. He’s been hiding his secret crush, and the fact that he’s gay, for years. He hides another secret too. He really likes to bake cookies. With that in mind I’ve included one of Tony’s favorite recipes here. There’s no better way to curl up with a good book than to have a batch of fresh baked cookies nearby. Enjoy.

Catcher’s Snickerdoodles


1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 2/3 cup flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Use ingredients above the break for cookies. Additional sugar and cinnamon used to roll cookies.
2. Cream butter, shortening and sugar.
3. Mix in eggs.
4. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt.
5. In separate bowl, mix 1/3 cup sugar and cinnamon.
6. Shape heaping teaspoons of dough into balls.
7. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar and place on a greased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes.

Get the book:


Sandra's review:

Really cute friends-to-lovers story. If the implied possible GFY in the blurb is keeping you from buying this book - don't worry, there's no GFY here at all. None.

Tony is 24, stuck in a dead-end job working for the local big box store that has driven all the small business out of their little town, and still living at home. Both have crushed his dreams of college and coming out to his parents. He plays baseball on a small team with friends he's known since high school, and lusts after his straight best friend Alex, also 24, when he thinks no one is looking.

And he loves to bake cookies. Lots and lots of cookies that he brings to the baseball games, and pretends his "girlfriend" made, so nobody will know that he's a gay man who bakes cookies. He bakes cookies when he's upset, or frustrated, or thinking too much. Rocky Road cookies. Oatmeal Raisin cookies. Chocolate chip cookies with coconut. Lots. And. Lots. Of. Cookies.

He has a beard of sorts, his friend Jennifer, who's officially his girlfriend, just to keep any rumors at bay, because Tony can't come out. Jennifer knows all about Tony's lust for Alex, and comes up with a plan to get them together - Tony just needs to get Alex alone, and convince him that, since all guys are horny, and if something should happen, Alex is just gay for Tony.

Right. That's not creepy at all.

Tony is not convinced that this plan will work - he foresees a black eye and possibly broken bones, if he were to make a move on this straight friend, and then lose his best friend, and he's not keen on that idea either. But he reads the book Jennifer gives him, which is about two men who live in a small town and play on the same baseball team. Like, a book within a book, with some similarities to Tony's situation.

The rest of the book is a comedy of errors and misunderstandings and false assumptions. I laughed a lot. Tony is soooo oblivious. He should win an award for how very oblivious he is. This was also where I had a bit of a niggle, because he sounded so much younger than his 24 years, and I had a hard time believing that anyone could be so blind. However, considering the fact that Tony, much like Alex, still lives at home because of the dead-end job and no college money, it's not completely infeasible to still be not quite an adult and sound like not quite an adult.

But whatever, I enjoyed this book a lot, and I laughed and laughed, like during the camping trip, or whenever Alex's snarky younger brother is in the scene, or when Zach tries to put the moves on Tony, and Alex is upset, and Tony doesn't get it.

I laughed and laughed and laughed when Tony finds out that his big "gay" secret isn't so secret after all, and when Alex and Tony finally get their acts together and show up at the baseball game with huge smiles on their faces (I'm sure you can guess why), "skipping like schoolgirls", I smiled too.

This is a fun rom-com, with lots of likable characters, a religious nut mom who gets put in her place, supportive parents (except that one), and friends who love our MCs just the way they are, and who might have been keeping secrets of sorts themselves.

Also, baseball. Hot players in uniforms. Fun!

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves rom-com; just ignore the fact that the MCs sound a bit younger than their actual years.

Good stuff. This was the author's sophomore offering, and I can't wait to see what else he'll come up with. Sign me up!!

** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher. A positive review was not promised in return. **

Meet the author:

Robert P. Rowe has spent his entire career as a storyteller making an incredible leap from Disneyland ride operator to show-designer and art director at Walt Disney Imagineering. Immersive storytelling presents a distinctive challenge unlike that of live theater, film, radio, or print media. Although he currently freelances, his work can be found around the world, primarily in Disney and Universal Studios parks. The theme park industry is a very cyclical business where it’s either feast or famine. For Rowe his active imagination can’t seem to take any time off. When he’s not designing fantastic worlds he’s writing about the characters who live there. Additionally his outside interests include all aspects of architecture with a specific fascination for the theatrical design of homes from mid-century movies and television. He has a keen enthusiasm for mid-century science fiction.

Find out more on his website.

Promotional materials provided by the author.

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