Blitzing Julie!

Julie 2Happy New Year, Bandits and Bandita Buddies!

And what could be better in early 2014 than a debut author! Introducing Julie Brannagh whose first book for Avon Impulse, BLITZING EMILY, is out TODAY! Huzzah!

Here’s the blurb:

Emily Hamilton is a rising opera diva whose career has been sidetracked by a cheating ex-boyfriend. Brandon McKenna is the aging defensive star of the Seattle Sharks football team. He has a large public relations problem.

After a misunderstanding, Emily and Brandon believe the best solution is to get engaged for thirty days. Their decision improves both their careers immediately. Even better, sparks are flying.

Will Brandon and Emily discover that the greatest career success means nothing without each other?

You can find out more about Julie on her website:

Julie, welcome to the Bandita lair! Congratulations on the release of your debut book from Avon Impulse,  BLITZING EMILY. Can you tell us about this story?  

Julie 1Hello, everyone! I’m thrilled to be here!

Emily Hamilton doesn’t trust men. She’s much more comfortable playing the romantic lead in front of a packed house onstage than in her own life. So when NFL star and alluring ladies’ man Brandon McKenna acts as her personal white knight, she has no illusions that he’ll stick around. However, a misunderstanding with the press throws them together in a fake engagement that yields unexpected (and breathtaking) benefits.

The shorter version: BLITZING EMILY is La Boheme meets the NFL!

Wow, great pitch! What were the inspirations behind this book?

One of the better things about being an author is writing about things (and people!) we love. I love football, and I love Seattle, my hometown.  This book also had a fairly interesting start. Susan Elizabeth Phillips (queen of contemporary sports romance!) had a message board for her fans for several years. She asked those posting on her board to write a 1500-word “cute meet”. I wrote those 1500 words and kept on writing!

Love SEP! I notice there are two more books coming out in the Love and Football series. We’d love to hear more about those! Can you tell us?

Julie 3I’d love to! RUSHING AMY (formerly titled LOVE AND FOOTBALL) is out on February 9th. It features Amy Hamilton, Emily’s younger sister. She meets her hero, former Sharks player turned game analyst Matt Stephens, an hour after her sister’s wedding. Amy is busy with the flower shop she owns, and even the drop-dead handsome Matt can’t distract her. Matt is determined to get one (or more!) dates with a stunning florist whose stubborn streak matches his own. Will Matt have to send flowers to every woman he’s ever met before Amy finally agrees to a date? Will Amy fall in love with the irresistible Matt?

CATCHING CAMERON will be out in May, 2014. Zach Anderson plays for the Sharks. Cameron Ondine is a game sideline reporter for Pro Football Network. They’ve avoided each other for the past ten years as a result of a pretty big secret: Zach and Cameron were once married. For three days. Zach thought he was over Cameron a long time ago. It turns out he wasn’t, and he wants another chance. Will he convince Cameron to try it again?

Both sound great. What else is coming up for Julie Brannagh?

Two words: More books! I submitted CATCHING CAMERON to my editor this morning, and we’re talking about upcoming novels featuring the Sharks!

julie 4Here in the lair, we love call stories. Could you please share yours with us?

My call story is a little different, but here goes! BLITZING EMILY was out on submission. My agent (the wonderful Sarah Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency) told me it might be as much as a month before we heard from any of the editors she’d submitted the book to. I got an e-mail from her a couple of weeks later asking if she could give me a call. I took several deep breaths before I answered the phone that morning. If I had even one offer, I’d be thrilled.

julie 5There wasn’t one offer. We had several, including a three-book offer from the publishing house I dreamed of writing for. I was so stunned I didn’t know what to say besides “Thank you.” Sarah told me to take a little time to think over my options. I accepted the offer from my dream house, Avon, one week later.

My new editor was out of town, so I couldn’t tell anyone but my husband for almost three weeks!

Congratulations! What a great story. Sports romances are such a hot topic at the moment. Why do you think there’s such a proliferation of heroes who are elite athletes?

Ladies love alpha males, and elite athletes fit the bill! Elite athletes are full of confidence, can be a bit cocky at times, and will compete for her heart as fiercely as he would on a field or a court. Plus, let’s face it – what red-blooded woman doesn’t love a six-pack?

Well, I’d hate to say I wasn’t red-blooded! Julie, do you have a question for the Bandits and Bandita buddies to get the conversation rolling?

BanditBootyI’d love to hear about some of YOUR favourite sports romance heroes! What do you believe makes them irresistible?

Get commenting, people. Julie has very generously offered a download (international) of BLITZING EMILY for someone who leaves a comment today. Good luck!

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  • Jane says:

    Happy Release Day, Julie. I’m a sports fan, so I love sports romances. Some of my favorite sports romance heroes include Ty Savage from “True Love and Other Disasters,” Wade from Jill Shalvis’ “Slow Heat” and of course Jake from Anna’s “A Perfect Distraction.”

  • Julie Brannagh says:

    Hi everyone,

    It’s so great to be here! I’ll be checking in throughout the day to answer questions and visit with the commenters!

    In the meantime, I seem to remember Ty from True Love and Other Disasters. Yum, yum!

    • Welcome, Julie! And huge congratulations on the release of your debut book today. How exciting!!!! Thank you for spending your book’s birthday with the Bandits.

  • Jessi Gage says:

    Congrats, Julie! What a beautiful cover! Your blurbs are simply wonderful. I can’t wait to read them all!

    I read an inspirational romance recently with a hero who retired from the NFL when his wife died. The romance leads him to trying on his skates again. It was very sweet. My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade.

  • flchen1 says:

    YUM, Julie!! A huge congrats on your debut and the stories to come–I love the sounds of the series already!

    A big SEP fan here, too–I love her Chicago Stars and . I also really enjoyed Jill Shalvis’s baseball duo, Kate Angell’s Richmond Rogues, Marie Force’s Line of Scrimmage, Kelly Jamieson’s hockey stories, Jaci Burton, Rachel Gibson’s See Jane Score, Deidre Martin, Bella Andre, Cassandra Carr, Jami Davenport, Ann Jacobs, VK Sykes… the list is long, even without including Anna’s very fine stories! And Sarah Mayberry has a boxing one, Below the Belt.

  • Helen says:

    Hi Julie

    I do love the sound of this series firstly I love books in a series and secondly I do love a great sports hero and yes Jake from Anna’s A Perfect Distractions is hot and I also am loving Australian author Donna Gallaghers League of Love series about Australian Rugby League players and characters from the Sydne Jets team and Brodie is one of my favourites

    Congrats on the release I need to add these to my must read list

    Have Fun

    • Helen, shame on me, but I hadn’t heard of Donna’s books until she finalled in the Australian Romance Readers Association awards this week. They sound great!

      • Helen says:


        They are really great stories I have loved all of them in the series they are hot but emotional as well 🙂

        Have Fun

    • Julie Brannagh says:

      Helen, thank you so much for stopping by! I’m wondering if our Australian friends can explain Rugby to me. One thing that doesn’t need explanation: THE MEN. 😉

      Have a great day!

      • Helen says:


        Our rubgy league game is fast and tough they score tries instead of touchdowns and then kick for goal there are 13 players on the team and no padding LOL and I love watching it and reading about them in stories

        Have Fun

    • Anna Sugden says:

      Thank you so much, Helen! 🙂 Oooh must find Donna’s books – love rugby heroes!

  • Suzi Love says:

    Congratulations on your release.
    I love sports stories and adore the ones of Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
    Best of luck with the new book.

  • Anita H. says:

    Hi Julie, it’s great to find another sports romance writer! I’m a sports fan and I love mixing two of my favorite things (sports and reading).

    I’ve always enjoyed SEP and also Rachel Gibson and her Chinooks hockey series.

    Congrats on your release!!

    • Julie Brannagh says:

      Hi Anita,

      Sports and reading are two of my favorite things, too! 😉 I’m so glad you stopped by!

      I’m very excited about all the sports romance books hitting the market right now, too.

      Have a great day!

    • Anita, I read my first RG hockey story SEE JANE SCORE late last year and just loved it. Must read more. I’ve read other romantic comedies by Rachel but I think the sports setting was wonderfully well done.

  • Quantum says:

    Hi Julie
    Opera and sport are two of the ‘Must Have topics’ in my life. Emily sounds a great heroine!

    I think that fictional sports heroes should in some way reflect real world stars. Now that I’m getting a bit older I have noticed that the flamboyant, outrageous, dedicated, exhilarating sporting heroes of my youth have somehow matured to become respectable thoughtful pundits commenting on the new stars and hopefuls.

    Consider for example McEnroe and Becker in tennis or Seb Coe in athletics. I would love to see this aspect of sport reflected in a romance novel. A sporting ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ perhaps?

    You guys could make it happen! LOL

    • Julie Brannagh says:


      I had no idea before I started the research that my opera diva heroine and my NFL hero had anything in common. Both careers are hugely competitive. Both Brandon and Emily had to grow a thick skin to deal with the industries they work in.

      Speaking of romance heroes that may be a little older than the norm, you might enjoy Matt, the hero of RUSHING AMY. He has a pre-teen daughter and has lived enough to know exactly what he wants!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Quantum, I couldn’t agree more. Love how Andre Agassi matured too – even when he was still playing top flight tennis. And he still kept that light in his eye as well. I’ve noticed with a lot of the sports books, it’s players toward the end of their career (See Jane Score for example) so they’ve got all that life wisdom to help them form a lasting relationship. Love that.

  • Caren Crane says:

    Julie, welcome to the Lair! I’ll admit, I’m not always into sports or athletes. But done well (like Anna Sugden’s NHL hockey players!), they can be wonderful. I think we get to see the softer side of these very alpha males in a romance, which is quite appealing.

    I do recall an episode of “New Girl” where the big, hunky NFL player Jess was dating turned out to be a crier. That killed it for her (and me!). We want soft, not a simpering pool of damp tissues and need! That was funny to me, because it showed so clearly what we want and what we don’t from our alpha heroes. 😀

    Best of luck with all the books. They sound amazing!

    • Julie Brannagh says:

      Hi Caren!

      I’m thrilled to be here, too. I hope you’ll love Brandon from BLITZING EMILY as much as I do. He’s tough as nails on the field, but gentle and funny with his heroine.

      Thank you so much for your good wishes, too, and I hope you’re having a great morning!


    • Ha ha, Caren, bah to that crier! 😉 It’s interesting, isn’t it? I must say when someone has written a really convincing alpha and he cries (once!) at a moment of maximum emotion, I’m always absolute mush at that moment.

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    Ryan Sanderson from Line of Scrimmage by Marie Force. He knows he messed up with wife Susannah and wants another chance. He has only a few days before the divorce is final to convince her she wants the same. Only she’s marrying someone else once she’s free of Ryan. Through it all he never gives up, continuing to fight for the woman he loves. They’ve been through tragedy, can they find their way back to one another? Such a hero!

    • Julie Brannagh says:

      Debbie, thank you so much for stopping by! I haven’t read LINE OF SCRIMMAGE yet; it seems I’m going to have to soon!

      I hope you’re having a great day!

    • Debbie, that sounds great. Reminds me a bit of His Girl Friday with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.

  • Laurie G says:

    I do like Deidre Martin, Carly Phillips, Susan Mallery, SEP , Jill Shalvis, Rachel Gibson , Joanne Rock and Victoria Dahl.

    A couple of my favorite sport heroes:
    ex football legend Brandon Vaughn in Carly Phillips HOT STUFF

    ex football legend Reid Buchanan in Susan Mallery’s SIZZLING.

    They’re athletic, sexy, charming and compassionate! They’re actually nice guys underneath all the hoopla that surrounds their careers.

    • Julie Brannagh says:

      Hi Laurie!

      I loved Susan Mallery’s Reid Buchanan, too. He was hilarious — and really sexy!

      Thank you so much for stopping by today!

    • Laurie, those guys sound great. I’ll have to check out the stories. It amuses me muchly lately – I can remember when it was a romance truism that readers hating a sportsman hero. I guess that’s been proven to be VERY wrong!

  • Celeste Deveney says:

    This book sounds fantastic. Can’t wait to get into it and the whole series. I love Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s books about the Chicago Stars (I’m from Chicago originally) and I’m sure I’ll equally enjoy reading about the Seattle Sharks. Great idea, Julie!

    • Julie Brannagh says:

      Celeste, it’s so good to see you here! 😉 I hope you’ll enjoy BLITZING EMILY. I loved writing it, that’s for sure!

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • Celeste, SEP’s books were my intro to sports heroes. Still love them! Love that she’s moving through into the next generation now.

  • Michelle Cellini says:

    Hi Julie! So proud of you! I love the story line in your book.

    All my love,
    Raider Hayter

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Hi Julie! Welcome to the Lair! So excited to have you here. I adore sports romances, and I have to say this sounds delicious. :>

    I’ve enjoyed SEP’s books, and Robin Kaye’s as well….can’t think of others at the moment, but I will say…

    GO PANTHERS! Grins.

    • Julie Brannagh says:

      Hi Jeanne,

      I’m so glad you’re here! Sports romances rock, even if I do say so myself. 😉

      Good luck to your Panthers this weekend!


    • Jeanne, just did a double take there. I assume the Panthers are a US football team. It’s just they’re a (not particularly successful) NRL team here in Australia – they’re my brother’s fave team.

  • Hey Julie, welcome to the Lair and congrats on the fantastic sounding books! (I’m a huge football fan and am definitely looking forward to reading these!)

    Okay, I’m not going to talk about my favorite fictional football hero…no, I want to talk about my idol: Clay Matthews…not junior…nope, senior. He played inside linebacker for the Cleveland Browns for 16 years. One of the best in the game. #57 and I loved, loved, LOVED watching him play. Sigh.

  • Maureen says:

    Congratulations Julie on the new book and series! A favorite series of mine with sports heroes was by the New York Blades series by Deidre Martin.

  • Patty L. says:

    I love a sports hero and I just bought Blitzing Emily and pre ordered Rushing Amy. I am a huge fan of SEP, Deidre Martin, Luann McLane, Toni Aleo, Roz Lee and Jaci Burton. They all write great sport theme books and I am sure that I will add your name to that list. Good luck with your writing, I hope you sell a million.

    • Julie Brannagh says:

      Hi Patty,

      I hope you’ll love BLITZING EMILY, and thank you for pre-ordering RUSHING AMY, too! I love Brandon, but Matt (RUSHING AMY’s hero) stole my heart from the moment he showed up on the page.

      Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!

    • Patty, thanks for picking up Julie’s books! They sound like wonderful reading.

  • bn100 says:

    they’re athletic

  • Susan Sey says:

    Hi, Julie! Your love & football series sounds amazing! I love a good sports story–also a huge SEP fan!–and am sure to fall in love with yours!

    Love your call story, too, btw! Gives me goosebumps every time!

    • Julie Brannagh says:

      Hi Susan,

      I know most people cry when they get on the phone and find out they’ve sold. I was in so much shock I didn’t cry till a couple of weeks later. Of course, my husband was mystified by this!

      I hope you’ll love BLITZING EMILY. Thank you so much for stopping by!


    • Susan, we just love call stories, don’t we? Can’t get enough of them. And Julie’s is such a great one!

  • Anna Sugden says:

    Welcome to the Lair, Julie and congrats on your debut. As a big fan of sports romances, I’m always on the look-out for new authors! It’s wonderful that all those naysayers were wrong – hot sports heroes rock! Naturally, though, I’m biased towards hockey players 😉

    As well as the others mentioned, I adore Susan Sey’s James Blake from A Taste for Trouble. A delish footie (soccer) player!

  • may says:

    I live SEP’s sports heroes. … I like how confident they are!

    • So true, May. And then they go crash, bang, wallop on their handsome faces when they fall in love and they’re not in control anymore!

    • Julie Brannagh says:

      May, I love SEP’s sports heroes, too. It’s always fun to watch what happens when they meet their match in a sassy woman who gives them the chase of a lifetime!

      Thank you so much for stopping by!


  • Julie Brannagh says:

    Anna, thank you so much for the welcome! Of course, now I’m going to have to read Susan Sey’s book, too. I love sports heroes!

    It’s great to see you, and I hope all is going wonderfully for you!


  • SecretNinja says:

    I love finding more sport romances to read!! I’m a huge fan of sports, mainly hockey but I’ll read any with an athlete involved!! I’ve read SEP, Jaci Burton, Rachel Gibson, Deirdre Martin, Toni Aleo and I’ve got Anna Sugden’s book in my TBR pile! Going to love adding more books to my ever increasing pile 🙂

    Congratulations on your release, Julie!

    • Ada, Julie’s book sounds right up your alley! So glad we could feed your sports romance addiction!

    • Julie Brannagh says:

      Hi Ada,

      I’m so glad you stopped by! I love the authors you mentioned, too. I wait impatiently for their books, too!

      I hope you’ll love BLITZING EMILY!

  • Hi Julie –

    Congratulations on the release. I’ve loved Susan Elizabeth Phillips stories. Fell in love with the first one I read, FANCY PANTS, that had a golfer as a hero. Love Anna Sugden’s Hockey Hunks as well.
    Yours sound great. Congratulations on having the three closely timed releases – that’s not easy!

    • Julie Brannagh says:

      Hi Donna!

      FANCY PANTS was the first SEP I ever read, too. I still love that book!

      The close releases is ALLL my wonderful editor, Amanda Bergeron of Avon Impulse. I am so lucky to have her!

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

    • Donna, I was hooked with my first SEP too. It was actually Lady Be Good which is the sequel to Fancy Pants! Mind you, I didn’t understand any of the golf terminology. Re-read it last year and still don’t!

  • pjpuppymom says:

    Congratulations, Julie! I love sports and football is my favorite so I’m very excited to hear about your books. I will definitely be checking them out!

    • PJ, these books sound very much like something you’d like! Thanks for swinging by.

      • pjpuppymom says:

        Anna, considering the fact that I spent most of last night yelling at the TV during the college football national championship game, I think it’s safe to say I love me some football. 😉

        I love SEP’s Chicago Stars series, Rachel Gibson’s hockey books and adored Anna Sugden’s debut. Can’t wait for more books from her!

    • Julie Brannagh says:

      pjpuppymom, it’s so great that you stopped by! It’s always nice to meet another woman who loves my favorite sport — football.

      I was watching the BCS championship last night, too…

      I hope you’ll love BLITZING EMILY!

  • Thanks to Julie for being such a great guest. Thanks to all the Banditas and Bandita Buddies who swung by to wish her debut book well. Julie, all the best with BLITZING EMILY!

    Don’t forget to check back to see who won the copy of the book!

  • Julie Brannagh says:

    Hi everyone,

    It was so great to chat with you about BLITZING EMILY! The winner of the free digital copy is … drumroll, please! …

    ANITA H.!

    Anita, please contact me on Twitter at @julieinduvall, and I will make sure you get your copy of BLITZING EMILY!