18 January 2016

Blog Blitz & Giveaway: Coach Maddie and the Marine by Blaire Edens

Coach Maddie and the Marine
by Blaire Edens.
Audience/Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance.
Publication: January 11th 2016 by Entangled Publishing, LLC (Bliss).
After the combat death of her Marine husband, grief counselor Maddie Westerfield has thrown herself into helping other families—leaving no time for dating. Which is just fine with Maddie since falling in love again, especially with another man in uniform, is out of the question. No matter how gorgeous he is. Plus, she’s busy looking after her eight-year-old nephew for her deployed sister.

For the last eight years, Lieutenant David Sterling has lived with the guilt of losing one of his soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan. So when the opportunity presents itself, he jumps at the chance to help the beautiful widow coach her nephew’s football team. But keeping things strictly professional between them is harder than he expected. And even though he knows a relationship with Maddie will only lead to heartbreak, he can't help falling for her.

Reviewed by Kelly.

Maddie is taking care of her sister’s 8 year old son while his mom is deployed in Afghanistan. The young boy, Andrew, needs a new coach for his football team and tries to recruit Lieutenant David Sterling. Maddie doesn’t want him around. She is attracted to him but more importantly he knows what the last minutes of her late husband’s life were like. David was his commanding officer.

David realizes who she is after a few minutes of conversation. He believes it was his fault for the death of her late husband. But it was an accident. Now the two dance around the topic often. They also find themselves kissing each other and then saying it was a mistake. They just don’t know what to do.

Meanwhile, Maddie is coaching the little league team with the help of David. She learns everything from David and is getting really good at it. You go girl!

Maddie is a grief counselor. Interesting choice since she had her own loss.

The story seemed a little rushed for me. I have no problem with insta love but it didn’t work that well for me here.
I love Andrew, he is so cute and observant and determined. He breaks down every once in a while wishing his mom was home. I don’t even know what that’s like to worry about your mom while in a war zone.

This is a relatively short book with a HEA. The ending was very cute. For a bliss book, it was a little more pushing the acceptable borders for this imprint.

Guest Post: Playlist & Football & Romance Novels...

A good football game and a heart-warming novel are two of my greatest pleasures. When I got the idea for Coach Maddie and the Marine, I was a new mom, watching a Clemson University football game with a book in one hand and a nursing baby in the other.
My son is now nine and it took lots of revisions and lots of changes, but Coach Maddie and the Marine is finally a reality, a real book. When you’re a writer, it’s impossible to pick your favorite book, but this one is near and dear to my heart. When I initially had the idea of a completely unqualified surrogate mom coaching a football team, I wondered if there were other women like me, girls who loved sports and also loved high heels and frilly dresses. I wondered if there would be an audience.
Thankfully, there are lots of girls like me and I’ve been fortunate to meet so many of them as I worked and reworked this book.
Football is something I shared with my dad. We were the only two people in the house who kept up with stats and scores, playoff berths and Wild Cards. As a fighter pilot and then, later a private people for folks who owned their very own jets, he was gone a lot. In the days before the internet and YouTube, I kept up with all the games, made notes and told him all about the best plays when he got home. It was our time. We laughed, we argued. I still hate the Dallas Cowboys, chiefly because the Old Man loved them.
My dad passed away in 2010 and I still think of him every time autumn arrives and the season gets into full swing. Even though I miss him, I feel like he’s with me when I sit down to watch a game. It’s a way to reconnect to all those wonderful memories of games past. Sometimes, I can even smell the peanuts he perpetually snacked on when I’m watching the game.
There’s a lot of my dad in David. They’re both military officers, they’re both strong-willed and determined. Even though my dad didn’t play college football, he played tennis is college, so he, too, had that jock swagger.
Maddie is trying to balance everything: job, home, mothering her eight-year old nephew and she’s mostly successful until she’s pressed into service as his football coach. Maddie isn’t okay with failure, even if that means busting her butt to learn a new skill. I admire that in people, the determination to grow and learn, especially when the new skill is a service or a help to someone we love.
Coach Maddie isn’t just about football. It’s about succeeding in difficult circumstances, learning how to step into your own power and making sure you always leave enough room in your life for love. Even if you’re not a football fan, I think you’ll love watching two people learn that choosing love, even after great heartbreak, is always worth the risk.
I hope you enjoy Coach Maddie and the Marine!
P.S. The day Coach Maddie and the Marine releases my alma mater, Clemson University, is playing in the college football championship. Thanks, dad, for reminding me there is no such thing as a meaningless coincidence. Go Tigers!

I’ll Just Fall by Lucero
I Will Not Be Broken by Bonnie Raitt
Fight Song by Rachel Platten

Love Buys Love by Solomon Burke
What Are You Listening To by Chris Stapleton

Carolina Girls by General Johnson and Chairman of the Board
Queen Bee by Taj Mahal
I’m Gonna Be Your Man by Keb Mo
At Last by Etta James

Sandy Beaches by Delbert McClinton
Misty Blue by Etta James
Drinking Town with a Football Problem

Country Nation by Brad Paisley

She willed her legs to move, taking one step, then another until she reached the front door, bracing for the uniform on the other side of the door. This time it would likely be law enforcement instead of the Corps. The royal blue of the Springdale Police instead of dark navy of the United States Marine Corps.
Oh my God, I can’t do this again.
She placed her hand on the cool brass doorknob and took a deep breath to calm down. In. Out. She opened the door.
It wasn’t the Springdale Police. It was a Marine. Only he wasn’t in uniform. He wore a faded grey t-shirt with Semper Fi emblazoned across the chest, and black running shorts, and had one arm draped around Andrew.
Relief washed through her, soaking into every cell of her body. She was torn between the need to cry and the desire to laugh hysterically. She struggled to get her feelings in check, not wanting a total stranger to glimpse the raw emotion just below the surface.
“Ma’am?” he asked in a deep, bass voice. “I’m Lieutenant David Sterling. I met Andrew at the track just before I started my run and I followed him home on his bike.”
The name hit her like a Mack truck.
She took a deep breath, but it felt like she was breathing through a blanket.
Lieutenant Sterling. Frank’s commanding officer. He’d been with him when he was killed. It couldn’t be. Surely there was more than one Sterling in the Marine Corps. Fate wouldn’t do that to her.
She forced her mind back to the present. She continuously looked for a link to the past, a way to make sense of Frank’s death. There was no reason to think this was the same man. What were the odds? Even if Sterling wasn’t a common surname, surely there was more than one in the Marine Corps.
She was lying to herself but couldn’t seem to stop.
If she weren’t flooded with adrenaline and relief, she might be able to think more clearly. Her hands shook and she tucked them in the pockets of her shorts.
Andrew shuffled his feet and looked down at the floor of the porch.
She bent so that she was eye to eye with the child, lifted his chin with her palm and said, “Where have you been? It’s after eight o’clock.” She pulled him toward her, attempting a hug, but he resisted. Looking him over, she checked for scratches or bruises. Satisfied he was unharmed, she said, “I was scared that something terrible had happened to you.” He bowed his head, ducked and ran past her down the hall. She stood and turned. “Come back here this instant. You need to apologize.” The slam of his bedroom door echoed down the hall.
Maybe she should’ve tried a softer approach, but that might have turned on the waterworks that always seemed to be so close to the surface these days.
“I’m sorry,” she said, turning to the Marine, embarrassed. With one hand on the doorknob, she leaned into the door. “I appreciate you bringing him home.”
“Ma’am? I’d really like to talk to you a second.”
“Oh, well, I really need to handle this situation with Andrew.” She eased the door forward a couple of inches.
Maddie wanted to shut him out more than she’d ever wanted anything. In her heart, she knew he’d been with Frank at the end and she’d worked so hard to get past her husband’s death. She wouldn’t let anyone threaten her progress.
She was determined to forget.
She’d loved Frank more than anything in the world and his death left a hole so deep she was certain it could never be filled. There would never be another Frank.
“It’s about Andrew and I think it’s important.” His amber eyes were filled with concern.
“Okay, well, in that case, please come inside.” She reluctantly stepped back from the door and extended her arm. She really couldn’t deny his request. After all, he’d brought her nephew home safe and sound.
As he moved past her, his scent filled her nose. An intoxicating mixture of woodsy, clean aftershave, and the salty tang of sweat.
Her body reacted to him in a way she wasn’t expecting. It had been a long time since she’d felt that sizzle and it made her even more nervous and edgy.
He towered over her, easily standing a couple of inches over six feet. His thick dark hair, cropped close to the head, hinted at a tendency to curl. Under the thin T-shirt and loose shorts, it was easy to tell that he had the body of a well-toned athlete. His was not the kind of body that ran a couple of miles a day, but the kind that could compete in The Ironman.
She tried not to look and failed.
“Thank you, Ms. . .I’m sorry, I didn’t get your name.”
“Sorry. I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Maddie Westerfield.”
His eyes went wide. “But Andrew said his last name was Ingle.”
“It is. Westerfield is my husband’s name. Was my husband’s name.
He stepped backward and blinked rapidly as if it was too much to take in at once. Finally, somewhat recovered, he took her hand in his and shook it. His hands were large, nearly double the size of hers.

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Blaire Edens lives in the mountains of North Carolina on a farm that’s been in her family since 1790. When she’s not plotting, she’s busy knitting, running, or listening to the Blues. Blaire loves iced tea with mint, hand-stitched quilts, and yarn stores. She refuses to eat anything that mixes chocolate and peanut butter or apple and cinnamon. She’s generally nice to her mother, tries to remember not to smack her bubble gum, and only speeds when no one’s looking.

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  1. Question to the author: Who's the most overrated author/book in your opinion?

  2. Where is your favorite go to spot to read?

  3. Coach Maddie and the Marine sounds like a good read ♡ Thank you

  4. I enjoyed the excerpt - looks like a good read. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. The book sounds interesting. Thanks.

  6. I really enjoyed the excerpt and look forward to reading more.