Spotlight & Giveaway: Thrown By A Curve by Jaci Burton

Posted February 26th, 2013 by in Blog, Spotlight / 72 comments

Today it is my pleasure to welcome NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Jaci Burton to HJ!

Jaci welcome to HJ, could you tell us a bit about yourself? What would you say are the defining characteristics of a Jaci Burton novel?

jaci-burtonI’ve been writing romance for about about twelve years now, published for ten. I live in Oklahoma with my husband and three crazy dogs. Between my husband and I, we have three kids, all grown up and making their own way in the world.
As far as the characteristics of a Jaci Burton novel, I’d have to say fun, sexy, emotional, with a lot of dialogue. My characters like to talk! And you’ll always find a happily ever after in my books!

In your opinion, what ingredients are needed to make up a good love story?

It’s always about the characters. Without compelling characters that the readers grow to love and care about, the story doesn’t matter. In my opinion, characters who are flawed, make mistakes, hurt each other, but in the end really love each other and will do anything to be with each other create the best love stories.

If you had to pick one book that made the biggest impression on you in 2012… ? Why?

Tough question, because I read a lot of really great books in 2012. I love Jill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor series. Forever and A Day was one of my favorites. It made me laugh and tugged at my heartstrings. A very unforgettable romance.

What are you currently working on? What can we expect from you in 2013?

I’m currently writing Melting The Ice, Book 7 in my Play by Play sports series.
And I have a lot of books releasing this year! Thrown By A Curve in March, which is Book 5 of my Play by Play series. In April is Nautier and Wilder, the second anthology I’ve done with awesomely talented author Lora Leigh, which features another of my Wild Riders books. In May is the release of Wild Nights, a digital novella previously featured in the now out of print Exclusive anthology. In June will be the release of the Hot Summer Nights anthology, which will introduce readers to my Hope contemporary romance series. Following that up will be Hope Flames in September, the first single title of my Hope series. And in December I’m releasing Holiday Games, a Play by Play holiday novella.

-Let’s talk about your newest release ‘Thrown By A Curve ’, If you had to sum up the book for the reader here…

curve_350Thrown By A Curve is Alicia Riley’s story. She’s a sports medicine specialist assigned to rehab St. Louis River’s star pitcher, Garrett Scott. It’s a big assignment for her, and not an easy one. Both of their careers are on the line, and the heat between the two of them is explosive. They both walk a fine line between getting involved and keeping it professional. Fun stuff! J

If you had to pick your favorite scene from the book..

There’s this scene in the dugout…

Who would play Alicia and Garrett in the movie version of your book? And why?

I’m going to leave this one unanswered because I hate to give readers a preconceived notion of how my characters should look. I’d rather they create their own visual. And actually, I never put an actor or model’s faces on my characters or visualize anyone as them. In my head, they’re unique. I’m weird that way, I guess.

Jaci, thanks for a fab Interview 🙂

Giveaway: Winners choice of 1 backlist from Play by Play books (print or digital)

To enter giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter below and post a comment to this Q: How do you visualize characters when you’re reading? Do you give them TV or movie star faces, create what they look like in your head, or none at all?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


An excerpt from ‘Thrown By A Curve’

“Lift your arms up, straight overhead. Touch the overhead.”
He did. His left arm went up just fine, but he winced when he straightened the right. And he wasn’t straightening it as easily as the left arm.
“It’s just a stretch, nothing too strenuous. Keep it up there and try to straighten your right arm, keeping your arm as close to your ear as you can.”
She stood behind him, silently watching.
“See anything?”
“Yes. Now, drop your arms, shake them out for a few seconds, and do it again.”
He gave her a look over his shoulder. “This doesn’t seem to accomplish anything.”
“That’s why you’re the pitcher and I’m the therapist. Do it again, and hold for a count of ten each time.”
He shrugged but reached for the top of the doorway again.
She had him do it five more times. By the last time, it felt like his form was much better. She came up behind him and grasped his shoulders, pushing against the muscles and tendons.
“Right side feels tight,” he said.
“Of course it feels tight. You don’t move enough. You don’t stretch enough. The more you keep your arm immobile, the more scar tissue forms. That’s half your problem.”
He turned to face her. “And the other half is?”
She tapped the side of her head. “You thinking that your career is over. And because of it, you don’t do your home exercises like you should. And because you don’t do your home exercises like you should, your shoulder isn’t healing. Self-fulfilling prophecy and all that. “
Garrett didn’t like how easily Alicia had him pegged. Then again, wasn’t that the reason he’d chosen her in the first place? She’d seen right through him, had told him what he needed. And what he needed was someone to push him.
He needed to get back on the mound. He was twenty-nine years old and still had a lot of years left to pitch. He wasn’t going to let this injury derail his career. Being out of commission this long had fucked with his head, and he didn’t know how to change that.
The one thing he’d always had was control—over his pitches, over his career, and over his life. The past year he’d lost all of it, and he wanted it back. All the team doctors and athletic directors and therapists hadn’t helped him get it back.
The therapists he had befriended had done nothing but enable him, allowing him to make excuses and not get the strength in his arm back.
Was that what he wanted?
Maybe Alicia was the key. She seemed confident in her ability to help him, so he had to trust in her. He was running out of options.
He looked down at her, wondering how much he could challenge her. “You’re kind of short.”
She snorted. “Oh, but I’m mighty. Just you wait and see.”
He liked that she didn’t insult easy. “You must have brothers.”
“One. And cousins. You don’t scare me.”
“Wasn’t trying to.”
“Let’s go for a walk,” she suggested.
“Aren’t you going to work out my shoulder?”
“In good time.”
“You know it’s winter out there.”
She cocked her head to the side. “Yes, I do. Afraid of a little weather?”
“No.” He hated cold weather. If he’d wanted to be in cold weather, he’d have played football.
“Good. Put your coat on.”
“Is this part of my therapy?”
She grabbed her coat. “No. I love freezing my ass off and thought you might want to join me.”
“You’re kind of a smart-ass,” he said as he slid into his heavy winter jacket then his beanie.
“Yeah, I’ve never heard that one before.” She slipped her hat over her head. “Everything I do with you is part of your therapy. Let’s go.”


About the book

curve_350Thrown by a Curve
Book Five in the Play-by-Play Series

She thinks she knows this player—but he has a few surprise moves.

For Alicia Riley, her job as a sports therapist for the St. Louis Rivers baseball team is a home run—until she becomes the primary therapist for star pitcher, Garrett Scott. Out of the lineup with an injury, he’s short-tempered, hard to handle, and every solid inch, a man.

Right now, the only demand he’s making on Alicia is that she get him ready to pitch in time for opening day. Except the sexual chemistry between them is so charged, Alicia’s tempted to oblige Garrett just about anything. But both their careers are at stake—one bad move and it’s game over for both of them.

Garrett also feels the hot sparks between them, and the way he figures it, what better therapy is there than sex? Now all he has to do is convince the woman with the power to make the call.

Coming March 5, 2013
Berkley Trade
ISBN-10: 0425253457
ISBN-13: 978-0425253458
Subgenre: Contemporary,Sports, Erotic Romance


72 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Thrown By A Curve by Jaci Burton”

  1. Kat Morrisey

    I have been dying to start this series! As for characters, I picture them in my head, based on the description in the book. Sometimes this meshes with an actor, but usually it’s just some made up person. 🙂

  2. orchid7

    I like to make a picture in my head. I also prefer my book covers to show just a tiny portion of the hero’s face, not the whole thing. Just a strong chin and jawline and some nice abs. Yep- that’s enough to get my mind working! 😉

  3. roslyngroves

    I usually imagine them visually based on how they are described in the book – taking bits and pieces of people I know or know of. However, I tend to imagine the heroes in sports romances as actual athletes.

  4. Rita Wray

    I make up what they look like from the description in the book. Also the cover of the book should look like the description in the book.

  5. MichelleW (MsRomanticReads)

    I definitely try to conjure up an image of the character based on an author’s description. The more descriptive, the better the picture I get. Luckily, thanks to the beautiful book covers, the majority of the work is already done 🙂 Thank you for the giveaway!

  6. Rachel

    I just recently discovered Jaci through another author on twitter and FELL. IN. LOVE. Gosh I just can’t get enough of her. This whole series has me by the heart and refuses to let go!

    For me, they’re never celebrities or people I know. More like general visions and they reoccur. More often than not, a character’s name determines what they will look like in my head way before the author gives a physical description and I can’t for the life of me picture the character with those physical qualities because the name gave me a different image. Hair color, hair length, and facial hair are all determined as soon as I see the names in context and begin to imagine the story coming to life on page 1. It’s very weird.

  7. rebecca moe (@beckymmoe)

    I come up with my own interpretation of the characters, mostly based on the author’s description, but I swear sometimes big parts are my own fevered imagination. They may kind of look like famous people, but mostly it’s all in my head. Literally. 😉

    (Dying to read this series, BTW!)

  8. Kai W.

    I imagine what the character would look like from the book description. Something if the book has the characters on the its cover, those images stuck with me.

  9. Leanna H

    I love the Play by Play seried. I would say I don’t sprnd much time picturing the characters in a book. I don’t try yo think of a movie star that could play a role. I do like it when there is s picture of the charscters on the cover.

  10. DebraG

    I do imagine what they look like but only in my head. I do not imagine any actors as the characters.

  11. Chris Mead

    Sometimes I imagine them as different actors and actresses, and sometimes I get a vision in my mind of what they look like. Thanks for a chance to win!! 🙂

  12. Jennifer Zorko-Legan

    I usually can picture the hero in my head as I am reading the book. Not defined features, or TV characters, but a general sense of what they look like, a little out of focus or just out of reach.


    Never TV or Actors faces … I rely on the author to give me a good description that I can visualize in my head! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  14. Arely Z.

    I’ll create like general things — height, muscle build, hair color. But I never visualize the face or the eye color (unless it’s mentioned a million times in the book). Even so, most of the time the picture I have in my head doesn’t match the description in the book regarding details.

  15. Christina brault

    I picture the characters as I think they should look – in the case of things where they’ve made the book into a movie, I often get frustrated by who the actor ends up being because it is rarely as I picture them!

  16. Megan Parsons

    I do visualize them, but they aren’t famous people. It’s people like you and me : )

  17. Evelyn

    I can’t wait for this book to come out. I usually picture them like how the author describes them, no actors for me.

  18. winnie

    I do somewhat visualize characters in my head. Never of an actor or celebrity of any kind since what I visualize isn’t really a clear image anyway. It’s hard to explain lol…

  19. Kim

    Thanks for the interview & giveaway.

    I have to say I picture the characters in my head, based on what the author’s description says. I’m horrible at knowing who people on tv are, so I can never name names.

  20. dawnstermonster

    I always start off picturing them as famous people but they end up being however the author describes them and I like them even more 🙂

  21. Brenda M.

    Most of the time the characters take own their own looks just because most authors explains them so well. Jaci’s more than others. I can’t wait for This book!!

  22. Lisa H

    I see everything in my head as the story goes along. The buildings, cars, trees, animals, people, sky, everything. Sometimes, a particular star may be in my head for some reason. But most likely, it is all me and I watch it allllll….:-) lisakhutson(at)cox(dot)net

  23. Shannon G.

    Most of the time I come up with something in my head based on the author’s description but sometimes – depending on the character or description – I may start to visualize a specific person from movies or tv, etc.

  24. Winnie Lim

    I usually visualize them through the description given by the author. However I fiind myself usually visualizing the male characters rather than the female characters.

  25. CaribbeanAccent

    I base it on how they’re described in the book, which is why I hate when authors gloss over details about how characters look, and to a lesser degree, what they’re wearing

  26. Alicia Jespersen

    I have a base “character” dark hair and tall. Even if they are described. I’m not really sure why or how this started but……. I have also been known to have characters that aren’t well described by the author they just stay a blur. Which is kind of sad really. It’s like never getting to know what a friends face looks like.

  27. joni78

    I use their description in the book to visualize them in my mind while I am reading. I also like it when authors post pics of their characters for the fans to see I have found that makes it so much easier to see them as they were meant to be seen.

  28. Tara Chevrestt

    That’s a good question…I just visualize them based on the description…unless the description doesn’t suit my tastes. LOL. Like, I don’t dig long hair on men so I try not to visualize that. The women…I don’t visualize cause while I’m reading, I AM her.

  29. cahmmerritt

    Love the series! Best cover art EVER! I let the author tell me what each person looks like through their description! Cannot wait for this book to be out!

  30. Aline

    I usually visualize them based on the author’s descriptions. But if somewhat the descriptions don’t suit my tastes for example a hero with mustache then I won’t even try to visualize them at all because I don’t like men with mustaches LOL

  31. Cecilia

    I usually visualize by Movie star or model on the TV. If the cover books that have a picture both hero and heroine, i usually imagine with them.

  32. Sunny

    When I was younger, I always visualized characters with actors – I always wanted to be a casting agent. These days, I don’t end up doing that but going with how the author describes them. Clean slate.

  33. Mary Preston

    I go by the description given in the story. Never by the cover or a real person. Mostly they tend to be vague figures.

  34. savonna

    First, I have to say I love this series!! I read a lot and I like to visualize the characters based on their physical description in the story, their personality/behaviors, and my own vivid imagination. It’s a great combination and it works for me!

  35. Diah Didi

    Most of the time I’d go by the author’s description (except for the mustache, I prefer not imagining it at all). If it’s hard, I just imagine one of my favorite man who has the closest descriptions. But for this book, and for most of the other time, it’s super duper easy. Just imagine Paul Marron. sigh …
    And I’d surely pick the print copy. 😀

  36. ov099

    Hi! 🙂 And boy, do I want to try this series! 🙂 Me… well, I’m not very imaginative, so the people inside tend to look like their cover versions. Of course, this isn’t helpful when they a) have no heads or b) there is only one person or c) no person… but I try. 😉


  37. Amy

    I have a tough time visualizing characters, which is why I like to see them both on the cover – then I don’t have to guess! Congrats on all your success!

  38. Sue G.

    I do not picture famous people, I just put something together based on the descriptions in the writing. If a book is going to get turned into a movie, then I start picturing famous people who could play the roles.

  39. Joanne B

    I try to imagine the characters based on the descriptions from the book. I don’t see them as TV or movie stars.
    This book sounds fantastic. Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

  40. Tawnya Bentley

    I usually take the authors description and match it up the best I can to an actor/actress, because I need a visual in my head. But that is almost always just with the hero/heroine of the book, everyone else is just blank faces unless I’ve read about them in a previous book.

  41. Rebe

    I usually visualize the person in my head. I’ve never really been a fan of looking for famous people and matching their pictures to the book description.

  42. Leolani

    I’m so excited for this new book that I just cannot wait. I’m re-reading the 4 books prior and forget how much I just LOVE the Riley family! So excited!

  43. Annie

    I do a bit of both. It depends on the series and the book though. Sometimes I can’t find a perfect image in my head and it changes a lot.

  44. Sarah M.

    When I’m reading, I visualize the characters in my head. They may share traits with actors or people in my life, but the character takes on a life (and appearance) of his or her own.

  45. Sharlene Wegner

    I usually go by the author’s description. I don’t assign anyone particular’s face. I do love the bodies on those cover models of yours, though, Jaci!

  46. Christina

    When reading the character’s descriptions, I usually just visualize what they would look like in my head. I really enjoy how most authors just give you enough description then it’s all up to me on completing them. I usually don’t visualize any actors when reading books.

  47. Christina

    I visualize the character by the author’s description. I love it when authors give you just enough of a description and I let my imagination finish them off. 🙂

  48. P.J. Evans

    I go by the author’s description and form a picture in my head. Really looking forward to this one! It seems like I’ve been waiting FOREVER!!

  49. Fiery Na

    I never really picture any living persons or actors but rather go with the descriptions in the story and the characters are a mix of my imagination and real people.

  50. Olivia Tan (@Leev_7787)

    sometimes by the author’s description, sometimes by my own imagination. i luv this cover so badly. yeay!! paul marron is on the cover.
    thanks for the chance 🙂


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