excerpt, THE WHOLE MAN

Two months!

Two months from today, February 7th, my debut romance novel, THE WHOLE MAN, will be released into the wild.

Two. Months.



Anyway, here is an excerpt from my book. I would love to know what you think. And I hope you’ll want to read the WHOLE book. See what I did there?

As a set-up, Evan runs into JB’s brothers at the baseball game JB coached and they invited her to come out – without knowing she and JB had a history.


JB hadn’t run into Evan in a couple of weeks. He hadn’t wanted to stoop to asking Brandon about her. Evan made it clear she didn’t want to see JB, which irked him. He wasn’t obsessed with her or anything, but he wanted closure. Or at least the chance to look at her. Maybe even to kiss her, just to see if he remembered the feel of her lips on his.

His eyes slid down her body. She wore a clingy blue tank top, and her hair hung loose under a New York Mets cap. White shorts showed off her tanned legs down to her sandals. Those legs. Long and toned and smooth. He definitely remembered how they felt wrapped around his waist.

They stopped in front of JB and Tyler, who had a smug grin on his face.

“JB, you know Katie, and this is her friend, Evan,” Riley said.

JB nodded at them, then glanced back at Tyler with raised eyebrows.

“C’mon, Katie, let’s dance,” Riley said. He practically dragged Katie onto the dance floor. Tyler started following them, but turned and said, “Don’t fuck this up,” to JB before walking away.

JB and Evan stood awkwardly. She had a full drink in her hand so he couldn’t offer to go to the bar and get her one. He didn’t understand how his brothers knew her or why they would foist her upon him. Unless somehow Evan asked them to.

But she seemed to be as uncomfortable as he was, looking everywhere but at him. He couldn’t stop staring at her. Just like he couldn’t stop thinking about her. Her shirt showed off the tops of her breasts, and JB thought about running his tongue across them.

He still remembered how she tasted.

“I had nothing to do with this,” Evan said, jolting his gaze back to her face.

He couldn’t help the corner of his mouth tilting up into a half-smile. “Is that your story?”

Evan narrowed her eyes at him. That earned her a full out grin from JB. Gorgeous and feisty. He couldn’t wait to hear her response, especially after the attitude she gave him when he saw her at lunch. Her smart mouth had attracted him to her from the moment they’d first met, and he felt relieved that hadn’t changed. Maybe she was still the same girl who’d haunted his dreams for the past decade. Maybe he’d get the chance to find out.

“Are you OK?” she asked, sounding like she was genuinely concerned.

Not quite the response he’d hoped for. “Yeah?”

“I figured you’d have to be either completely hammered or mentally deranged to think for one second I’d finagle an invite to spend time with you.” She took a sip of her drink but kept her eyes on his.

“Finagle?” Really? That she threw an SAT word around almost made him laugh. But at least she still continued the conversation, still stood in front of him providing him with an amazing view.

“Yeah. Rhymes with bagel. Means achieving something through manipulation.” Evan placed her half-full glass on the tabletop next to them and folded her arms across her chest, with the unintentional result of highlighting her cleavage.

“I’m aware of what the word means.”

“Well, good. Because I didn’t do that. I don’t even know why I’m here engaging in this conversation.”

JB leaned in so close he could smell her signature vanilla and lemon scent and said into her ear, “I think you do. And I’m glad.”

Evan lifted her chin, and her lips were so close he only needed to move a fraction of an inch and he’d be kissing her. He couldn’t believe how much he wanted to, especially when her lips parted.

“Stop it,” she snapped, her green eyes flashing sparks as she took a step back to break the tension. “Your brothers introduced themselves to me at the baseball game. Riley said he recognized me, and they invited me here. I wasn’t going to come, but Katie wanted to go, so here we are. I have no clue what’s up with your brothers.”

He knew exactly what was up with his brothers. He didn’t know how Riley would know Evan, but he’d bet they saw a beautiful woman and figured JB needed the distraction. They just had no idea what kind of distraction.

Part of him wanted to sink into her. The part above the waist wanted to run as far away as possible.

Instead, he shrugged. “Let’s go find your friend.”




Book, Personal

Baseball and me

The brown chair held more dust than an old attic.

At least, that’s how it felt when I curled up in my father’s favorite seat. The cushioned monstrosity had been banished to the corner of the living room, which is a funny name for a room that we didn’t live in. The family room is where we gathered to watch television or read books.

The living room featured a plush green carpet, a gold and yellow couch that probably could’ve been covered in plastic, two orange wing-back chairs and a piano. And that brown chair, big enough to hold the extra-large frame of my 6′-4″ dad, and large enough for me to tuck my entire body.

The room also had an old black-and-white TV and, by some miracle, picked up Channel 11. Our house was near Hartford and getting a New York station half a state away wasn’t a given in the days before cable. But hey, my father had to listen to games on a radio when he was a kid, so this was an upgrade, if not quite a livestream on an iPhone.

WPIX meant I could watch New York Yankees games all summer long while my parents lived in the family room, watching whatever boring thing parents watched.

I’d sit in that chair, resting a pad of paper on my lap, and write down what each player did. When he came up the next inning, I could say, “He struck out last time, let’s see what he does this time.”  I had no idea back then that people actually got paid for keeping a scorecard, or that there was an official way to do it.

None of that mattered to me. I was too busy falling in the love with the magic of the games, never knowing which player would be the hero – or the goat (and not the G.O.A.T, because Greatest of All Time was an acronym not even thought of yet).

I fell in love with the stories that unfolded in front of me. I fell in love with baseball.

Years later, that passion led me to become a teller of those stories, covering Major League Baseball as a journalist.

And now, I’m bringing that passion to you. Except this time, my story is completely fictional.

The hero of THE WHOLE MAN, Jesse “JB” Walsh, is a former professional baseball player. I figured all the time I spent talking to those guys gave me a good idea of what makes them tick. Writing athletes is fun, though from a completely different perspective than I did when I covered them as a beat reporter.

JB is not based on a particular player. He loves the game, and baseball is part of who he is. I hope you enjoy reading his story as much as I enjoyed writing him.

Maybe you’ll even snuggle up in your favorite chair and fall in love, too.