Monday, October 20, 2014

Blog tour: Covering Kendall by Julie Brannagh

Covering Kendall
Love and Football # 4 
By: Julie Brannagh 
October 21, 2014
Avon: Impulse

Kendall Tracy, General Manager of the San Francisco Miners, is not one for rash decisions or one-night stands. But when she finds herself alone in a hotel room with a heart-stoppingly gorgeous man-who looks oddly familiar-Kendall throws her own rules out the window…and they blow right back into her face. 

Drew McCoy should look familiar, he’s a star player for her team’s archrival the Seattle Sharks. Which would basically make Drew and Kendall the Romeo and Juliet of professional football…well, without all the dying. Not that it’s an issue. They agree to pretend their encounter never happened. Nothing good can come from it anyway, right? Drew’s not so sure. 

Kendall may be all wrong, but he can’t stop thinking about her and he finds that some risks are worth taking. Because the stakes are always highest when you’re playing for keeps.

Julie Brannagh has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She lives in a small town near Seattle, where she once served as a city council member and owned a yarn shop. She shares her home with a wonderful husband, two uncivilized Maine Coons and a rambunctious chocolate Lab. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, or armchair-quarterbacking her favorite NFL team from the comfort of the family room couch. Julie is a Golden Heart finalist and the author of contemporary sports romances.

Hello Julie! Welcome to Roberta’s Dreamworld and thank you for your time. First of all, tell us something about yourself, both as a writer and as a person. How/when did you realize you wanted to become a writer? 

I wanted to be a writer from the first time I picked up a pencil. It took a long time to realize that I should pursue something I loved so much instead of getting older without accomplishing it.

Let’s speak about COVERING KENDALL. We’ve read the synopsis but can you tell us a little more about what the book is about?

The shorter version of COVERING KENDALL would be “the Montagues and Capulets in shoulder pads”. The San Francisco Miners are the arch-enemies of my Seattle Sharks; imagine what happens when the lovely, smart and sophisticated “boss lady” Kendall Tracy meets the handsome, intelligent and oh-so-available Drew McCoy! They shouldn’t date, but they just can’t stay away from each other.

How did you come up with the idea and how did you create the characters?

I am a Seahawks fan, which should be evident to anyone who’s ever known me. Our bitter rivals are the San Francisco 49ers. We play the 49ers twice a year, and both team’s fans wait for this all season long. (The trash talking goes on all year, too.) There’s also the additional problems involved when my female Miners GM starts sneaking around with one of the Sharks’ star players, who’s about to become the most sought-after free agent in the league…

If you should describe your books in three words, what would you pick?

Charming, funny, and sexy.

Do you have any favorite authors and did they influence your choice of the genre?

I have so many favorite authors. It would be hard (and time-consuming!) to list them all, so I’ll focus on a few of them.
Louisa May Alcott wrote LITTLE WOMEN when any woman novelist was typically forced to write under a pen name due to family and societal disapproval. Little Women is probably my favorite book. Jo (the main character) was the oldest of four girls. Her father was away in the Civil War. Her mother was doing her best to keep the family together despite poverty and hardship. I have re-read it so many times over the years, and treasure it to this day.
I write contemporary romance novels because I read Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ excellent FANCY PANTS several years ago. I read a second novel by another author, didn’t like it quite so much, and told myself, “I can do better than this.” I aspire to possess a shred of SEP’s wit and writing skill. Her books are unforgettable.
I believe the best contemporary romance novel ever written (so far!) is Jennifer Crusie’s BET ME. She makes writing an excellent, timeless story full of characters that leap out of the narrative and into your heart seem simple. Jennifer Crusie is the gold standard of romantic comedy, and I want to be just like her when I grow up. Plus, I’m in love with Cal.

What else do you enjoy doing, when you’re not writing? 

I wish it was something more exotic, but I read a lot. A LOT. I am a bit of a reality-TV junkie as well, specifically any show featuring brides. I love getting together with friends and family, going out to eat, or just hanging out.

As a writer do you get support from your family and friends?

I am lucky to have so many people in my life that are very supportive. My husband is first on that list. He worked so hard for so long to make sure I could follow my dream of being a published romance author. I have a little success now; hopefully things are easier for him as a result!
The most touching thing that has happened yet was all of the family and friends who came to my first book signing shortly after BLITZING EMILY was published. It meant more to me than I could ever tell them.

What are your dreams and plans for your future as a writer?

I would like to write for Avon for as long as they will have me. I am so, so lucky to have the wonderful Amanda Bergeron as my editor (thanks to my equally wonderful agent, Sarah Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency) and I still pinch myself every day. Just like so many other authors, my professional goal is to hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists. It is the pinnacle of success. 
My personal goal is to keep improving as an author and to keep writing books readers love. We’re not supposed to read our reviews, but I have to confess I’ve peeked at a couple. When someone says they loved one of my books, it gets pretty dusty in my office…

Would you like to say something to the readers to encourage them to read your books?

If you’d like a charming, funny and sexy read, I hope you’ll give the Seattle Sharks series a try! 


I have recently started liking sports romance and, even though I know nothing about football, I was sucked into the story from the beginning. I enjoyed the first part of the book, the instant attraction between the two characters, the fact that they were both bookworms and the major buzz kill when Kendall realized who Drew was.
I liked how they both tried to overcome the major obstacle on their way because of the way they felt for each other. Fighting for the one you love is one of my favorite themes. 
Drew was a very nice hero. I loved his humble attitude, even though he was a super famous player, and I loved how he cared for his parents. The thing I loved the most about him was when he went to visit the sick kid in the hospital, and all he did to cheer him up. That part was super sweet.
As for Kendall, I liked her determination to succeed in a man's world. I can only guess how tough that world must be and I was in awe of her for standing up against her male colleagues.
However, there were some parts I didn't like and because of these, I had mixed feelings about the rating. For one, although I did enjoy the chemistry between Kendall and Drew, I could've done without the two explicit sex scenes. This is just my personal opinion, so if you don't mind explicit sex, this won't be a problem for you. Secondly, I felt there were some parts where the story seemed to drag a little.
Also, even though I said I liked Kendall determination, I didn't like how she decided to put her job first if it came to choose between the man she claimed to love and her career. Maybe it's because I'm not career-driven, so I would always put my Prince Charming first. I realize this was part of the character though, so I understand the author's choice. It just didn't work for me, but any career-driven woman would most probably see herself in Kendall.
The icing on the cake, that earned the rating one extra shamrock, was the epilogue. I won't tell you anything about it, because I don't want to spoil the ending for you, but it totally swept me off my feet. I loved Drew in that chapter and I was really happy that the author decided to add the epilogue.
If you like sports romance in Romeo and Juliet style, you should definitely grab a copy of this book. Drew is a romantic, a little old-fashioned (in a good way) Romeo and Kendall is a kick ass modern Juliet. :)


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