Spotlight & Giveaway: The Art of Catching Feelings by Alicia Thompson

Posted June 18th, 2024 by in Blog, Spotlight / 17 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Alicia Thompson to HJ!

Hi Alicia and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Art of Catching Feelings!


Please summarize the book for the readers here:

Fresh off signing her divorce papers, Daphne Brink goes to a baseball game, gets drunk, heckles baseball player Chris Kepler, and . . . ends up making him cry. When she slides into his DMs later to apologize, she messes THAT up, too, by forgetting to include the part about how she was the actual heckler. They end up talking, and both get swept up in the intimacy of their text conversations, even though he still doesn’t know who she is. And when Daphne starts working for the team, Chris has no idea that she’s also his secret texting pen pal. The way their relationship unfolds is fun and exciting and a little tense and hella romantic – just like a baseball game!

Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

I was having a hard time deciding, so I opened to a random page and this is what I came up with!

“He really shouldn’t feel a possessive surge at seeing her wearing his t-shirt. But fuck if he didn’t like it. Suddenly he found he was having all sorts of fantasies about just how much he liked it.”


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • I’ll choose all music-based trivia just to stick to a theme!
  • Sarah Grunder Ruiz and Sarah Hogle helped me pick Chris’ walk-up music for when the book starts, because I wanted it to be Glass Animals and I knew as huge fans of the band the Sarahs were the ones to ask “what song specifically do you think would make great walk-up music in baseball?” I don’t name the song in the text, but I can tell you that it’s “Life Itself.”
  • There are also FOUR Third Eye Blind references because I was listening to them a lot while drafting.
  • I really did have the superstition around Fastball’s “The Way” I reference in the book for quite a while, but writing this book is what gave the song to me.


What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

One thing I love about an epistolary component in a romance is the way it allows the characters to fall for each other based around words and other connections that aren’t physical. I think Chris is drawn to Daphne right from her first message because of how open and funny and sweet she seems – she has a way of writing that makes him feel like he knows her, and like she understands what he’s going through even though he himself barely puts words to what he’s going through. And Daphne immediately sees in Chris’ messages that he’s a very kind person, like he’s making an effort to connect with her and assure her about things even though he barely knows her.

Chris is an athlete with a great body, so Daphne isn’t immune to that! She also loves his eyes. For Chris’ part, he loves Daphne’s hair and her freckles – there’s one by her mouth in particular that he can’t help looking at.

Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

There’s a phone sex scene that definitely made me blush while writing it:

“Daphne set her phone next to her on her pillow. It would be better if she could forget he was even there, that he could hear her.

The fact that he could hear her would be what got her off.”


Readers should read this book….

Readers should feel free to read whatever they want lol! But I like to think this book has a lot to say about opening up to love even when you’re going through it, and how beautiful it is to find someone else who sees you and appreciates you and is there for you through it all. Plus I hope the book is tender and funny and hot and just a good time.

What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

I’m currently editing my 2025 romance, which is set on a cruise ship and features John, one of Asa’s housemates in Cold World! I also have an Amazon Original short mystery story coming out in October called A Classic Case.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: One finished copy of THE ART OF CATCHING FEELINGS for a U.S. only winner.


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: If you were a baseball player, what song would you want as your walk-up music when you came up to bat?

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Excerpt from The Art of Catching Feelings:

Berkley Romance Trade Original | June 18, 2024

Several beers later—three? four? They were local craft-brewed IPAs flavored with raspberry and vanilla and were surprisingly smooth—Daphne was in a much better mood. So what if her life was stalled out? The sun was shining and she was at a baseball game with her best friend, making more friends by the minute.

The older goateed guy next to her, for example. It turned out she didn’t need to understand the game-just mimic his reactions. Soon they were high-fiving when the Battery scored a run, or he’d slap the netting in front of them and say, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” and she’d say, “I know, right?” and shake her head. Kim had limited herself to one beer-someone had to be sober to drive them home-and observed this new dynamic with amused indulgence.

“You’re really getting into this, huh?” she said at one point. Daphne took another gulp of her beer before letting out a loud boo with the rest of the crowd.

“Come on, play the game!” she yelled. She was proud of herself for having figured this one out. Whenever the opposing pitcher threw over to first base instead of making another pitch, the entire crowd reacted, and the guy next to her would throw up his hands and say something similar to what she was now shouting herself. Only usually with more colorful language.

Another part that was really fun-you could heckle or cheer for players with little puns on their names. Daphne didn’t have to be a baseball expert to figure that one out-she just glanced up at the scoreboard, where they put a picture and information about the batter currently on and the next one up. There was an opposing player named Chapman, which was a quick consonant change away from Crapman. She was pretty pleased with herself for that one.

It was especially easy when the players were right there. Kim had a point-Layla had given them great tickets, and they were just behind the on-deck circle, where the next batter up swung his practice swings while he waited his turn. If Daphne wanted to shout to the guy named Bummer-at her current inebriation level, she wasn’t above picking some low-hanging fruit-she could. Meanwhile, Kim chose to focus her energies in a thirstier direction.

“Mmm, the forearms,” Kim said as a bigger guy came to the on-deck circle. “You can have the infielders. I want those designated hitter muscles.”

Daphne giggled. “He’ll hear you.”


“Hey, Gutierrez!” Daphne yelled, until Kim pulled her in and clapped a hand over her mouth, laughing the whole time. Apparently she wasn’t as sanguine about being perceived as she claimed to be. Daphne, on the other hand, had no such inhibitions at this point. Who cared? These guys made millions of dollars and were probably used to people shouting at them. It was a nice outlet. Like scream therapy.

The atmosphere had been buzzing with excitement when the Battery scored a few to take a narrow lead, but toward the end of the game, that lead was long gone and they had their backs against the wall. At least, that’s what Goatee Guy reported, looking as red-faced and fired up as though he were on the team’s coaching staff.

“And now it’s Chris fucking Kepler on deck,” he said, gesturing angrily toward the guy coming out of the dugout with his bat. “Bottom of the ninth and this joker’s on the interstate. Hell, put me in to hit for him. Who’s running this fucking team?”

“Dude,” Kim said under her breath, “it’s April. Chill out.”

But Daphne liked Goatee’s passion. He was just a man who cared about his team. Wasn’t that a good thing? Shouldn’t people care more? “Chris Kepler?” she said, more to feel the name in her mouth than anything else. Kepler. That was a hard name to do anything with. Chris Kepler, watch your step-ler! She’d sound like an after-school special rap battle. The very idea had her laughing so hard she almost choked on her beer.

“You are on another planet,” Kim said, and Daphne couldn’t tell, but she didn’t look as amused anymore. More concerned, but truly, she had no reason to be. Daphne felt great. She’d gone to sporting events with Justin before and always felt like she was solely there to make sure he had a good time-hold his cup when he needed her to, make the snack run when he didn’t want to miss any of the action, stay sober enough to drive them home. She’d never have been able to let loose like this on his watch. This was freedom, baby! She cupped her hand around her mouth.


Kim wasn’t wrong. Baseball players did have amazing forearms. There was netting between them and the players, but this guy was so close that she could practically feel the texture of the red clay streaked down one leg of his white pants. He twisted one foot every time he took a swing, flashing the bottom of his shoes, and she could see the clumps of grass and dirt stuck in his cleats. His back was to them, and there was a small nick on his left elbow, the dried blood of a scab. Daphne felt like she could reach out and open it up with the flick of a fingernail.

Which was an extremely weird thought to have.

She felt her mood starting to tilt precariously, like it was a boat on choppy waters she had to get back under control. Chris Kepler. What could she do with that?

Excerpted from The Art of Catching Feelings by Alicia Thompson Copyright © 2024 by Alicia Thompson. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

A professional baseball player and his heckler prove that true love is worth going to bat for in the next swoony romance by USA Today bestselling author Alicia Thompson.

Daphne Brink doesn’t follow baseball, but watching “America’s Snoozefest” certainly beats sitting at home in the days after she signs her divorce papers. After one too many ballpark beers, she heckles Carolina Battery player Chris Kepler, who quickly proves there might actually be a little crying in baseball. Horrified, Daphne reaches out to Chris on social media to apologize . . . but forgets to identify herself as his heckler in her message.

Chris doesn’t usually respond to random fans on social media, but he’s grieving and fragile after an emotionally turbulent few months. When a DM from “Duckie” catches his eye, he impulsively messages back. Duckie is sweet, funny, and seems to understand him in a way no one else does.

Daphne isn’t sure how much longer she can keep lying to Chris, especially as she starts working with the team in real life and their feelings for each other deepen. When he finds out the truth, will it be three strikes, she’s out?
Book Links: Amazon |

Meet the Author:

Alicia Thompson is a writer, reader, and lover of baseball. She has never caught a foul ball but she was once two seats down from a Jumbotron proposal and that has to count for something. She’s currently taking in home games in sunny Central Florida with her husband, two children, and a cat named Luna who has yet to hit for the cycle (aka has not escaped out of every door in a single day, although with the numbers she’s been putting up . . .)

17 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The Art of Catching Feelings by Alicia Thompson”

  1. glendamartillotti

    I’m not sure. What’s a catchy song about tripping over your own feet?

  2. Amy R

    If you were a baseball player, what song would you want as your walk-up music when you came up to bat? Bodies by Drowning Pool