Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Carly Phillips: Sports Heroes in the Hot Zone

What is it about athletes that makes a woman’s heart sing? Could it be the tight buns in those sexy uniforms? The bulging biceps on the field? It certainly couldn’t have anything to do with the way athletes pat each other on the back and their … uh … other body part. But seriously, when it comes to athletes, it’s all of the above and more that make women look twice.

Athletes, by virtue of their self confidence, good looks and firm bodies are one hot commodity – at least for this author! I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write about the athletes I adore, but I wanted a unique twist.
And so my HOT ZONE trilogy was born.

But how to write about athletes in a way that’s different? All that came to me was the idea of a bachelor uncle who is forced to raise his three nieces – the first prologue in Hot Stuff – where the girls have little bows on their panties and the poor man hasn’t a clue what to do with them – and from there the girls became publicists in their uncle’s sports agency. Uncle Yank is loosely based on my beloved Grandpa Yank who passed away when I was sixteen. He was a sports addict and enthusiast, a gambler of sorts, and he was never without a small black portable radio with earphones so he wouldn’t miss a game.

My whole family is sports addicted and we're not always on the same side! My mom is a die hard NY Yankee fan. I'm a NY Mets fan. (She insists I couldn't have come from her house, LOL!). My husband was born in New England, hence he's a Boston Red Sox fan, which makes my girls Red Sox and Mets fans. But wait, it gets better. My dad is a NONSPORTS man. (Impossible, you say? I know, I agree!). And my youngest daughter is a Red Sox fan and a Johnny Damon fan ... and she insists she roots for Johnny Damon but not for the NY Yankees. (Is this possible? I doubt it, but I wouldn't argue with her. She's a born negotiator!).

So you can see, things can get awfully complicated around here. Oh and since we're (obviously) New England Patriots fans, we named our new King Charles Cavalier puppy Dylan after Corey Dillon of the Pats ... but Dylan doesn't live with us anymore because my husband had an asthma attack. Dylan went back to her original owner but retained her name. And Buddy, my wheaten terrier named after NO athlete, is so much happier.

But back to athletes. Not everyone loves athletes the way I do – or so I’ve been told. The solution to this of course, is to write a solid relationship story because at the heart of every book I write are characters and relationships. I thought it would be fun to let you in on who I had in mind while writing my HOT Zone heroes. For inspiration, I’ve been known to hang up photos to glance at now and again while writing a story. So without further ado, here are my fantasies:

HOT STUFF’s Brandon Vaughn – Football Hero – OK anyone who knows me understands my serious Alias addiction (now Alias withdrawal). The name Vaughn came from Michael Vartan’s spy character, Michael Vaughn, in Alias. After looking at Michelle’s blog, I realize Tom Brady absolutely fits the bill!

HOT NUMBER’s Damian Fuller – I wrote this story of my baseball hero during Mike Piazza’s last year with the NY METS. I knew it was the last time I’d be watching him in my favorite team’s uniform (let’s call this Mike obsession, now Mike withdrawal – are we sensing a pattern here?) and I posted photos where I could glimpse as I wrote. It is worth noting, however, that my husband played baseball in college and wore # 22, which is where Damian Fuller’s number came from. See? My athlete addiction started early!!!!!

And lastly: HOT ITEM’s Riley Nash – I returned to football heroes for HOT ITEM, but Riley was a man unto himself. I didn’t have anyone particular in mind when writing Riley … so you can use your imagination!

It’s interesting how everyone will pick someone different after reading a story about a character. That’s the beauty of fiction. And when we’re talking about fiction involving sports heroes, there are just too many delicious looking men to choose just one!

So who’s your sports hunk fantasy? I’m dying to know!

Encore! Carly will be back in August to celebrate the release of "Cross My Heart" Don't forget to visit Carly and friends at www.PlotMonkeys.com!


Michelle Buonfiglio said...

WELCOME CARLY: THIS IS A NEW VERSION of the first blog. These two comments are forever lost to that one, but these are nice chicks who hang here often...



NOW SOMEONE IS SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE! And Michelle - I didn't respond to your previous blog entry about watching TV, because sports is all I watch... actually I also watch ESPN Sportcenter and RealSports with Bryant Gumble and the news... Anyways, I think modern day athletes are the closest thing we have to the mideval knights! Honestly... they've just traded the jousting pole for a baseball bat or a hockey stick!

One of my MOST favorite authors is Deirdre Martin (in fact if you could get her in your guest-blog-linup, you might just become one of my favorite people *LOL*), she writes hockey/romance. I interviewed her once for the RBL newsletter, here's a link if you're bored:


Then there's Rachel Gibson's BRILLIANT "See Jane Score" and Susan Elizabeth Phillip's Chicago Stars series (although I love her heroes, but not the heroines). All of these are great books for a girl who loves happy-ever-afters and sports hunks... Now I'm totally excited that I have Carly Phillips to add to my lineup! Thanks!

Michelle Buonfiglio said...


Welcome, Carly. I'm at work so I'm hoping to be able to take a break around 2pm to chat with you but in case I don't I want to throw my 2 cents in. :o)

I am rather petite in stature (5'1" on a good day) and for some reason I have always been attracted to big guys. By big guys I mean the kind you can't wrap your arms around and in my highest pair of heels, I barely (if I can) reach their shoulders.
My sports fantasy would have to involve a football player (rough, tough, can hold his own in a bar fight) a limo to an italian restaurant and a lot of champagne...and the rest is left the imagination. *g*

Michelle says: Oh, JulieO. Now I don't have to come up with one of my own. Big strapping guy, dinner I don't have to make, and nice private atmosphere. Is there a garlic issue that may be a problem here, or do we have to suspend disbelief?

Julie in Ohio said...

Michelle, if our fav authors can write about sex first thing in the morning without morning breath being an issue, I don't see why we can't suspend a little belief for our fantasy.

Julie in Ohio said...

Carly, Michael Vartan. WOW!
If you haven't seen him in "Never Been Kissed" with Drew Barrymore, you have to rent it/buy it/borrow it. Terrific movie and he is totally drool worthy. I'm glad I didn't have teachers like him when I was in school. I wouldn't have gotten anything done. :o)

carly phillips said...

Hi, everyone. So glad you stopped by to see me! To those who love athletes and sports, I have some other "me" comments on www.plotmonkeys.com that should make you laugh!

carly phillips said...

Also I have a Mommy emergency (nothing bad) just that my daughter needs a ride so I may have to run out at 2 but I will be back as soon as I can! It's around the corner, so hopefully I won't miss too much.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Thanks, Carly. We all understand the Mommy thing!

carly phillips said...

I'm back! Is this what we call a blog chat? I post here and look for posts?

Julie in Ohio said...

Just wanted to poke my nose in and say "Hi, Carly".

I haven't read you Hot Zone books yet but any book with heroes based on Michael Vartan and Mike Piazza has to be keepers.

BTW, Carly, I don't know if Michelle mentioned it but it is custom here that you have to make a sentence out of the word verifications...and may the force be with you. :o)

verif: Usually Sam Sits Especially Using Quilts.

Good luck.

kim h said...

so hot love tom brady!! alex rodriguez

amy kennedy said...

Hi Carly, I irritate my husband constantly by standing behind him, out in the garage, while he's watching sports--'cause that's all he watches--and pointing out all the cute guys.

"Oooh, look at him," I say.

Love Tom Brady, alas, I am a Minnesota fan--no matter what the sport. Although I do like the Utah Jazz for some unknown reason.

Can't wait to visit plot monkeys--and read the hot zone books. I'm at work, so I can't check in as often as I'd like.

Anonymous said...

For my family, it's pro wrestling. I'm a 4th generation fan, working on hooking the fifth gen, lol. There's an awful lot of drool-worthy men in the ring in scant tight stretchy pants. AJ Styles.... yummy.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

I think we've got a lot of lurkers today, Bellas, so props to those of you brave enough to offer your sports star fantasies.

MsFlexie! You have named so many of my fave authors and I also love the style of books. I think you'll enjoy trying the Hot Zone books, too. Especially since you can't get enough of the sports' stories. You're right about the knight analogy; sports and, of course, military heroes. Did I ever mention I LOVE a damaged-in-his-soul mercenary? (I hear you groaning, Bellas).

We;ve not talked pro wrestling much, laure. I've got a girlfriend who has a wicked UATW fantasy about the Rock. (that's up against the wall if you're new here) :) I kinda like the showmanship of the sport. There is a romance based around UFC.

Ames: I can't believe you talk about other guys around your husband! Are there any MN athlete cuties?

Hey, Kim. Right on, Bella. Two of the best. Glad you stopped in.

Hey, JulieO! I started on the Hot Zone books a couple years back; you know me and a series. I like that Carly's not afraid of an Alpha male, and her heroines are competent, but have vulnerabilities. The family dynamics are really interesting, too. And I still stink at the word vers, but find them endlessly entertaining. :)

I'll share my sports hunk fantasy, but not right now...

carly phillips said...

OK let's be clear. A sentence using the word "verifications"? Can I have an example of someone else's, LOL!

Manda Collins said...

Okay, I'm here, the party can begin (hahaha). I'm a tall gal so I love me some tall strapping sports stars...can't say that I've got a particular fave, though I did have a bit of a crush on Jason Sehorn(sp?) before he married Angie Harmon...

Welcome, Carly. The word verification sentence is just creating a sentence with the word verification letters making up the first letters of the words in your sentence. Like so:

My word ver here is: aqxguc

As Quinn x-haled, Gwen undressed carefully.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh, MAN, Manda. That was classic. I bow in awe before you. And yes, ya'll got this party started.

I'm short, and I love me some strappin big men, too. Now that I think about it, there was this one particular boy I dated on vacation in Virginia Beach who was an athlete. HooDoggie.

Manda Collins said...

Aww, Michelle, vacation boys are the best...sigh.

And I meant to agree with Julie that any book with Michael Vartan as the model for the hero has my vote. What a doll! Carly P. obviously has very good taste:) Yet another author to add to the TBR pile...

Speaking of which Ann Herendeen's book AND the new Edith Layton arrived in the mail today. Thank goodness I've got this new job to support my book habit....

Don't think I can top my last word ver. But let's see...jhuld...

John hiked up Lydia's dress.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh,Manda. Will you start Phyllida before Thurs? I really liked the new EL. Did you read the whole series about the "brothers?"

How's the new job goin?

Carly's got a bunch of books out there, not all sports heroes. I just got excited when I got Hot Item and got to feature it.

Stacy~ said...

Hi Carly! I love Plotmonkeys - I am one of your devoted followers LOL. Thanx for blogging w/ Michelle. She gets the coolest people here.

I am not the biggest sports fan - give me a hottie in tight jeans and a t-shirt or shirtless - so uniforms don't really do it for me. But there definitely are some cuties out there. Mike P. is one that comes to mind. Please feel free to refer me to others *g*

Amy, having been born & raised in MN, I was a Twins fan the 2 years they went to the World Series (though I had a bit of a crush on Atlanta pitcher Tom Glavine at the time - the real reason I watched). I was so sad when Kirby Puckett passed away - he was like a big ole teddy bear.

Yes, Michael Vartan is sweet! Julie, "Never Been Kissed" is a great movie - I have it on DVD. And I'd pick him over Ben Affleck any day!

I have 2 younger brothers who were constantly watching wrestling - it does nothing for me. I don't like all those overblown muscles. But if it works for you, more power to ya, girl.

Ms Flexie, I loved Rachel G's "See Jane Score" very hot. You ladies have great taste :)

amy kennedy said...

You guys, I'm terrible with names, especially sports names--I can't come up with them. Now if you say a name to me, I'll recognize it. So...coming up with sports hunks names...I just can't do it.

Laure, my father was a huge pro wrestling fan--and we're talking a magna cum laude graduate from the U of M--he loved it and I would watch it with him--I wanted to marry Vern Gagne (sure, I could come-up with his name) now my husband and youngest watch it--it's a little different now than in the 60s. But I get sucked into it every once in awhile.

word ver:zyfeh
Zach yerned for Elise's hairdo.

What can I say--Mandacoll is queen.

amy kennedy said...

Michelle, I'm always doing that (talking about cute guys to my husband--okay, maybe not always)I'm almost certain he doesn't care.


word ver: qblxwz

queen bee Lola x-claimed, "Why Zander?"

take that, Manda.
Come on, Carly--you have to try.

carly phillips said...

My husband once said when I asked if we could go see the Mets when they were playing Mike Piazza's new team: Hell no. that's llke letting him loose at a JLo concert front row, LOL! Too funny!

Thanks, everyone it's been fun. Come find me at www.plotmonkeys.com for blogging and www.carlyphillips.com for all other things!

FFUNQ (you've got to be kidding me!) - Fun facts undo new Queen (she said WHAT?!?)

Julie in Ohio said...

Amy, talking about cute guys with you DH. I made a comment to my DH about a waiter we had who had nice eyes (I have a thing for eyes). DH's eyes bugged out of his head. It was great. After all his ogling of waitresses, it was sweet revenge.

Manda, Jason Sehorn is a hottie and a half. I thought it was sweet that he proposed to Angie Harmon on the David Letterman Show.

I read Carly's Body Heat. It was a good book. It had a great family dynamic that Michelle mentioned before about another of her books.

Carly, is having a family feel to a book a theme that has a back story?

OK, is this fair: tiavbsq

Tammy is asking Victor back so quietly.


Manda Collins said...

Michelle, I just started Philander. Not sure if I'll be done before Thursday but I'll give it a try...I have read the other books in the Layton series. Daffyd was my fave so far. There's just something about a gypsy in a cravat;)

New job is going well. Thanks for asking. Library is soooo much happier-making than the law firm. Esp. since the library isn't all about billable hours...

Julie, Sehorn proposal to Harmon was too cute. Which is why I stopped my lustful feelings for him. Okay, not really, but I did start feeling guilty. Darn her for seeming so nice...

Yall's word ver sentences are good! Perhaps not as obsessed with various states of undress as mine, but hey not everyone sees underwear in every "u"...

Ver: My ice sculpture has an indelicate design.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

What delightful subtlety, Manda. Daffyd was my fave, too. Glad you're digging the 'brary. I still think about the sign you had above your desk that you told us about a while back.

Interesting how things get when the shoe's on the other foot, no, JulieO? My husband and I never slaver over the opposite in real life encounters. I like to razz him about Beyonce and a couple other women he likes. Who's the chick from Beautiful Mind? I think I used to do the "isn't she beautiful" thing with him, but he's never bitten.

The poor guy. If he ever had a question of who I was attracted to, now all he has to do is read this blog. I can always tell when he does, cause I hear the pained groan. Like: can't you keep a few things to yourself, Michelle? Do you have to write absolutely every thought that comes into your head?

Oh now that I think about it, Dave's a JLo fan, too. Must be something to do with their being New England boys. And I think I was the one who convinced dave JLo is cute and talented.

She's definitely on my "If you could look like any star, who would it be" list.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Carly. We'll be visiting PlotMonkeys (great name btw) on our daily blogcrawls. :) See ya in August, Bella.

Kristi Cook said...

I'm a day late chiming in, of course, but had to add my favorite sports hottie--Jimmie Johnson. Mmmmmm. I pick my favorite NASCAR drivers based on their cuteness factor--so, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon.

And Brett Favre isn't too bad on the eyes, either. Plus I went to college with him, so that's bonus points. He was a nice guy--and I assume he still is.

And how's this for word-verification fun: vebctok
"Very ego-centric boys can tick off Kristina."

Kristi Cook said...

Oh, and wavin' right back at Monica! Looking forward to catching up in Atlanta!! It's been *far* too long!