Please welcome Amy Lane with
Fall Through Spring
a Winter Ball novel
As far as Clay Carpenter is concerned, his abusive relationship with food is the best thing he’s got going. When a good friend starts kicking his ass into gear, Clay is forced to reexamine everything he learned about food and love—and that’s right when he meets troubled graduate student, Dane Hayes.
Dane Hayes doesn’t do the whole monogamy thing, but the minute he meets Clay Carpenter, he’s doing the friend thing in spades. The snarky, scruffy bastard not only gets Dane's wacky sense of humor, he also accepts the things Dane can’t control—like the bipolar disorder Dane has been trying to manage for the past six years.
Dane is hoping for more than friendship, and Clay is looking at him with longing that isn't platonic. They’re both positive they’re bad at relationships, but with the help of forbidden desserts and new medication regimens, they prove outstanding at being with each other. But can they turn their friendship into the love neither of them has dared to hope for?
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By Amy Lane
When I was in eighth grade, I tried out for every sport my school had. We didn’t have a drama department—although I was in choir—but we did have sports teams and I played my heart out.
And was a dismal failure.
Worst athlete on four teams—soccer, volleyball, basketball, and softball. You name a sport and I officially sucked at it.
I earned the benchwarmer’s award. Yeah, sure, they called it “Good Sportsmanship” but I was a first-class whiner, so we all knew what it meant. It meant I showed up at every game and hoped I’d get that awesome Chicken Little moment but it was never going to happen. In my case, brain and body were never destined to meet, and anybody who has ever seen me teach a class and get so caught up I trip over chairs, tables, and trashcans can attest to that.
Which is why, I think, Rec League games appeal to me so much.
My husband (of course) has played in a rec league of some sort since we’ve been married. We’ve had at least one kid in soccer for eighteen consecutive years. (Not the same kid, which almost makes it worse.)
The thing is, my Mate is decent because he’s smart about the game—but he was never an all-star athlete in school. My daughters are blood thirsty and have their father’s game smarts, but they’re too much my kids to be awesome athletes, and I’ve apologized to them for that many, many times.
But still—they get to play.
Because if you’ve got the heart to do it, and the opportunity, sports are fun. Sports are a chance to be competitive, to do something active in a group, to work on a skill and then use it and perfect it.
And in rec league, it shouldn’t matter that your family genetic profile traces back to a chubby clumsy woman with a long line of relatives whose bodies seem randomly put together with pipe cleaners and tacky glue. What matters is that you’re there to play your heart out, and hopefully enjoy doing it. You’re there to love a sport and appreciate what it can do for you, body and soul, and to learn how to function as a group in the most productive way possible.
You’re there to have fun.
So while writing professional basketball and baseball players is sexy and enjoyable, my heart doesn’t really lie with the pros. When I’m writing athletes, I like the imperfect ones, the guys who gather together to get muddy and happy and to lose themselves in a game that many of them have loved since they’ve been children.
That’s what “recreational league” means—you don’t play it as a blood sport. You play it as a game. And you get all the rewards that dedicating yourself to a game and a team can reap.
That’s why I love my Rec League Soccer series so much—because sports at their best are so much more than sports. They’re a way to bring people together in the best of ways.
About the author:
Amy Lane lives in a crumbling crapmansion with a couple of growing children, a passel of furbabies, and a bemused spouse. Two of her books have received a RITA nomination, she's won honorable mention for an Indiefab, and has a couple of Rainbow Awards to her name. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action-adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance--and if you accidentally make eye contact, she'll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She'll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
You can find Amy on her website, blog, or Twitter.
Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.