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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Playing for Keeps by Liz Matis

by Liz Matis 
The Tao of Liz, at

My idea for Playing For Keeps stems from my teens when despite Title IX and a 1978 lawsuit ruling in favor of a woman sportswriter who was banned from going into the locker room at the World Series, women were subject to discriminatory practices.

My Uncle Fred was a baseball writer in the sixties and seventies and though he had no problem with
women sportswriters he believed they didn’t belong in the men’s locker rooms. And not because he thought they would ogle the men but because at the end of the day women were ladies and should not be subjected to the crass locker room culture. Now, he came from at different time—hell, he wore Clark Kent type glasses, wore a suit and sported a hat. Though he didn’t think women should be allowed in the locker room I never considered him sexist.

For example, at my grandmother’s house on Thanksgiving Day I was spared from cleanup duty when my Uncle Fred called me into the living room with the other men folk to watch football. I was only nine years old and I still remember it clearly. It left an indelible mark on my female self that women did not have to be relegated to the kitchen. In fact when I got married I had a holiday rule with my husband that when it’s my family’s house I help with the cleanup and when it’s his family’s house—he cleans up.

Anyway, when I decided to write a romance I wanted to write about a heroine I wished I had the guts to be and Samantha Jameson was born. I gave her a hunky football player to challenge her every step of the way.  ~ Liz Matis



 BLURB:   Journalist Samantha Jameson always wanted to be one of the boys, but Ryan Terell won’t let her join the club.

Fresh from the battlegrounds of Iraq, reporting on a bunch of overgrown boys playing pro football is just the change of scenery she needs. If trying to be taken seriously in the world of sports writing wasn’t hard enough, Ryan, her college crush, is only making it harder. As a tight-end for the team she’s covering, he is strictly off limits.

Ryan Terell is a playmaker on and off the field, but when Samantha uncovers his moves, he throws out the playbook. Just as he claims his sweetest victory, Samantha’s investigation into a steroid scandal involving his team forces him to call a time-out to their off the record trysts. But then a life threatening injury on the field will force them both to decide just how far they’ll go to win the game.


Judith Ashley said...

Great post, Liz! I'm older than you and it still amazes me how much young girls have available to them (not that there isn't a way to go!). The look on my granddaughter's face when, in answer to her question about what sport I played in high school, I said "There were no girl sports when I was in high school."

Love the deal you have with your husband - in our house my mom was as big a sports fan as my dad so dishes and clean up were left until after the game, half-time, or even the next day. Everyone pitched in to get things done if there was a bit of time before the game or if there wasn't a competing game on so half-time was freed up.

Liz said...

Thanks Judith! So glad you stopped by. It's amazing how far we've come!
My mom went to a all girls Catholic school so they did have sports and she played basketball but they only played half court because females were considered delicate! LOL.

Elf Ahearn said...

We girls had sports by the time I was in high school, but we always got the crappy fields and the crappy times to use them. Boys sports always took precedence. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if that's not still the case despite Title 9.

Kathryn Attalla said...

Very nice. I enjoy your sport's stories and now I know what drives your love of 'players'.

Sarah Raplee said...

The times, they are a-changing!

My daughter was barred from pitching fast-pitch softball when she was 13 because she is a girl.Discouraged, she instead danced on an award-winning drill team in high school.

Her daughter played tackle football in middle school.

Another granddaughter, a 6th-grader,has played golf and basketball since she was a preschooler. She's physically gifted and has played JLPGA golf and softball, as well as played on both school and invitation-only BB teams.

She gets good grades, and her parents believe she'll win a BB scholarship to college.Her classmates, both male and female, look up to her.

In one generation, a sea change has occurred. A tipping point was reached. There's still work to do, but the difference in attitude is amazing!

charmainegordon author said...

Cheer leading and watching the boys play was all that girls could do in the old days. And how I longed to play tennis,baseball and run track. Years later I excelled in those sports as a mother of grown children. Yes, what a difference. Super post, Liz just like your terrific books.

Liz said...

@Elf - yes, in my day the boy got to practice first right after school on full court and us girls had to wait and only got half court

@Kathy - thanks you and glad you to know the reason for my passion

@ that's great Sarah - how exciting! Scholarships are still harder to come by for girls.

@CHaramine Thank you! And yes even though I played sports in high school I still liked to watch the boys! :)

Judith Ashley said...

My granddaughter was telling me this past week that the boys are given special treatment - when the girls have a game the boys can still be outside on their field (which abuts the girl's field) for practice but the girls cannot be outside when the boys have a game -they have practice in the gym and weight room.

Things are vastly improved since the 1950's but there is still a ways to go...there will be a woman jockey in the Kentucky Derby. I think she is the second or third to get a ride at that prestigious event.