Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Guest Post with Kate McMurray

I am very excited to have Kate McMurray on the blog today. She's talking a bit about Out in the Field and giving you a shot at winning the book. If you haven't heard the buzz about how good this book is, well just check goodreads to see why people are loving this book. So give a warm welcome to Kate McMurray!

When I first moved to New York City ten years ago, I lived in a largely Dominican neighborhood in Upper Manhattan. I loved it because it was cheap (for Manhattan) and close to one of my favorite parks in the city (Fort Tryon). I even picked up some Spanish while I lived there; a lot of the signage was in Spanish, and the owner of the bodega on the corner of my block barely spoke English. (I’m semi-fluent in Italian, so it was easy enough to make out the signs, but I knew that some Spanish had osmotically sunk into my brain when I overheard the checkout girls at the grocery store making fun of customers—it took me a moment to realize they were speaking in Spanish and I understood.)

I was really poor in those days, so I was always on the lookout for ways to keep myself entertained without spending a lot of money. I lived across the street from Inwood Hill Park, though, so one of my favorite weekend activities was to walk to the ball fields there, buy a hot dog for a dollar, and watch the Little League games. Baseball was a pretty huge deal; the parents at these games took it very seriously.  had those Dominican kids playing Little League ball in mind when I decided to make Iggy in Out in the Field Dominican—in a way, he’s part of a tradition of boys who played baseball on the streets of Santo Domingo hoping the scouts from the Major League teams would recruit them for baseball camps that have become a big part of baseball today. Iggy’s a kid who grew up wanting to be the next David Ortiz. It’s hard to think about the sport outside of the gazillion-dollar salaries the Major League players are pulling in, but in some ways, the game is a great equalizer. It’s not expensive, it’s easily improvised. When we were kids, my brothers and I lost a lot of balls in the woods behind my dad’s house when we made our own games. My cousin’s daughter is doing well on her high school’s baseball team. Thousands of ordinary kids pick up a bat and glove every day.

In Out in the Field, Iggy and Matt both become huge baseball stars, but both had humble beginnings. Matt grew up in a big Italian family in southern Brooklyn. I imagine his father is a lot like mine, who tells stories of sneaking into Comiskey Park as a kid in Chicago. Iggy is first-generation American; he was born in the States, but his parents were immigrants from the Dominican Republic. To Iggy’s father, baseball represented America in a unique way, and he passed that love of the sport onto his son. In other words, these are ordinary guys in extraordinary circumstances.


“You’re not going to pull another disappearing act, are you?” Matt asked.

“Where would I go?” Iggy settled into the bed and tugged the quilt over his body.

“Well, let’s review.” Matt sat up. “We made eyes at each other one evening and almost confessed some things, and you bolted. We had sex in the locker room last week, and again, you bolted. That looks like a trend to me.”

Iggy was silent for a long moment. Matt was fairly convinced he wouldn’t answer until he said, “Look, this is all very strange for me.”

“How so?”

Iggy sighed. “It’s crazy enough that I got pulled up to the majors. That’s been my dream since I could hold a baseball bat. Then on top of that, I was traded to the Eagles. It’s like, if I could have designed my life, this is how things would have turned out. And then on top of that, I am currently in bed with Matt Blanco. I had a poster of you on the wall of my dorm room in college.”

Something about that hit Matt the wrong way. He jerked away from Iggy a little but didn’t get out of bed. “Really?” he said.

“Yeah. I mean, come on, the best player on my favorite team. That’s a no brainer. It doesn’t hurt that you’re hot. So you’ll excuse me if I’m a little freaked out that I am now…you know, having relations…with the guy whose picture once looked down on me from the wall as I fell asleep each night.”

That freaked Matt right the fuck out. He did get out of bed. Realizing he was still naked, he grabbed the sheet and pulled it in front of his crotch. “Jesus. So is that why you wanted to have sex with me? To realize some teenage fantasy. Because I’ve got news for you, buddy—”

“No. No, of course not. Matt, get back in bed.”


Iggy sat up, letting the quilt fall to expose his naked—and beautiful, Matt couldn’t help but notice—chest. “Look, I have never done anything like this before. It’s not like I go around pursuing my idols. That day in the locker room? When we, I don’t know, had that moment or whatever? I knew we understood each other, first of all, and that kind of blew my mind. I thought it was going to be hard enough to be on a team with you, considering how much I idolized and, yes, fantasized about you when I was in college. And then I saw in your eyes that you were…” He shook his head. “I was going to tell you that afternoon, tell you all of it, but I freaked out. I still can’t believe that you’re gay. And the times we’ve been together, they’ve been like a dream. And that’s why I bailed, if you must know. Because I’m still trying to reconcile this thing I worshipped with you as a real man. And you are a real man. I’m learning that now. You are a complicated, interesting, sexy man, and you’re not the perfect man of my fantasies, but I still think you’re really great, and for whatever reason you’re attracted to me, and… Can you see why I might have some trouble wrapping my head around all this?” He frowned. “And now you’re completely spooked. Great.”

Matt had avoided sleeping with fans—for the most part—because he didn’t want to be worshipped. And it wasn’t even as though he thought that he and Iggy really had something. They still barely knew each other, but he thought it would be different this time. After everything, all he really wanted was someone who saw him as he really was, who loved Matt and not Brooklyn Eagles First Baseman Matt Blanco. Because let’s face it; there won’t be a Brooklyn Eagles First Baseman Matt Blanco much longer.

He let out a breath and sat on the edge of the bed. “I’m sorry for freaking out.”

“You have a right to. This is a very strange situation.”

Matt looked back at where Iggy lay, propped up on his elbows, naked chest still exposed. Matt said what was foremost on his mind, which was, “I like you, Iggy. A lot.”

“Thanks. I like you too. And not just in the man-of-my-fantasies way. Turns out you’re not perfect. I like that about you.”

Matt laughed. “So what now?”

Iggy put a hand near Matt’s back, not quite touching but present all the same. Matt leaned back a little to indicate it was okay for Iggy to touch him. “Well,” Iggy said, pressing his palm into Matt’s back. “I don’t see as we have a lot of options.”

Matt figured this was coming. That this little interlude between them couldn’t last long. He just hadn’t expected it to be over quite so soon. That was disappointing. But he said, “Yeah.”

“I mean, clearly we’re going to have a torrid affair, during which time we might get to know each other better. You’re going to dispense with all the myths about you that I’m still holding on to. Really, it’s all a terrible tragedy that we’re going to have to have really great sex for the rest of the season. Can you imagine a worse fate?”

Matt laughed. He turned around and lay back down on the bed next to Iggy. He slid his legs under the quilt. “I bet you were a little terror as a kid.”

Iggy moved closer and snuggled in next to Matt, pressing the whole length of his body against Matt’s side. “It kept me from getting beaten up,” Iggy said. “As did baseball. The kids stopped calling me a faggot when I started leading our team to state championships.”

“Yeah, I get that,” Matt said. Baseball had saved his life too.

Matt Blanco has had a Hall-of-Fame-worthy career as the first baseman for the legendary Brooklyn Eagles, but age and a knee injury are threatening to end it. That's when rookie Ignacio Rodriguez walks into his life. Matt has a policy of not getting involved with anyone for fear that they might share his secret with the world: that he's a gay professional athlete. But this new rookie has him wanting to throw that policy out the window.

Iggy Rodriguez just got everything he ever wanted: a position in the starting lineup of the Brooklyn Eagles, his favorite team since he was a kid. Even better, he's playing alongside his idol Matt Blanco. A locker room encounter one day reveals that he and Matt have even more in common than he would have guessed.

When Matt and Iggy fall for each other, they have a hard road ahead, their path to happiness blocked by injuries, trades, and the New York media hungry for a scandal. Fate has pitched them a game-winning run, but will the choice between love and baseball make them with a no-hitter instead?

Buy Link: http://www.loose-id.com/Out-in-the-Field.aspx

Author Bio: Kate McMurray is a NYC-based writer, editor, and baseball fanatic. She writes m/m romances and reads lots of books. She also likes crafts and plays the violin and lives in Brooklyn in an apartment over an ice cream parlor. Visit her at www.katemcmurray.com

*You can win a copy of Out in the Field by going HERE to Kate's website and leaving a comment. Contest runs until May12th!*

1 comment:

  1. I've seen lots of good reviews for this one. Looking forward to reading it. :)


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