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Friday, May 15, 2015

Tour Excerpt & Giveaway! The Game of Love by @araTHEwriter @InkSlingerPR

Game of Love Synopsis:

Game of Love is set in the high-stakes world of professional tennis where fortune and fame can be decided by a single point.

Gemma Lennon has spent nearly all of her 21 years focused on one thing: Winning a Grand Slam. After a disastrous and very public scandal and subsequent loss at the Australian Open, Gemma is now laser-focused on winning the French Open. Nothing and no one will derail her shot at winning - until a heated chance encounter with brilliant and sexy Andre Reyes threatens to throw her off her game.

Breaking her own rules, Gemma begins a whirlwind romance with Andre who shows her that love and a life off the court might be the real prize. With him, she learns to trust and love… at precisely the worst time in her career. The pressure from her home country, fans, and even the Prime Minister to be the first British woman to win in nearly four decades weighs heavily.

As Wimbledon begins, fabricated and sensationalized news about them spreads, fueling the paparazzi, and hurting her performance. Now, she must reconsider everything, because in the high-stakes game of love, anyone can be the enemy within… even lovers and even friends.

In the Game of Love, winner takes all.

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“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.”
~Marilyn Monroe

The locker room facilities at Roland Garros were reminiscent of an exclusive spa. Considerably different from the days when she’d changed in a car or public restroom. The lighting was warm, the wood-inlaid locker doors built by craftsmen, and the aroma of oils and designer shampoos accented the air. Now, in the latter rounds of the tournament, the locker room was mostly empty, desolate, providing Gemma with the quiet she needed.
She turned her attention to the senior trainer, meticulously preparing Gemma’s feetor what was left of them. She padded the callouses, wrapped her jammed toe, then applied tape until her feet felt as indestructible as rhino skin. No blinged-out pink nails here. What would Glamour or Cosmo think?
As soon as the trainer finished, she cleaned up her supplies and walked away without a word. Gemma appreciated professionals who understood when to stay and when to leave.
Gemma slipped on her lucky socks then opened her bag. She removed all five racquets and squeezed their handles. We’re in this together, she told each one. She carefully returned them to the bag then drank the first of three water bottles fortified with electrolytes. She ate one banana and kept the second one for later during the match.
She noticed Paulina, her opponent, stretching and talking to her reflection in the mirror. The loneliest sport in the world. No one to pass to, no one to speak to during the match. Athletes learned very quickly that they started alone and by the end, even if they won, they stood alone.
A few minutes later, the French Open match official entered. “We are ready,” he said.
Gemma rose, hoisting her bags over her shoulder and exchanged a greeting with Paulina. They were friendly off-court, but war would soon be waged on the court, and the psychological match had begun. No awards were given for congeniality in tennis. From this point, win or go home.
Gemma knew everything about Paulina. She had studied hundreds of hours of footage. She knew what to expect from her serves, her returns, and her volleys. Gemma would exploit Paulina’s single-handed backhand and sub-par second serve. No longer would she leave anything to chance or luckor talent. Today she would be in control of her destiny.
They followed the official through the long corridor toward center court. The faces of past champions adorned the walls on either side. Would she be on these walls one day?
Gemma slowed, giving Paulina the lead by a few paces.
When Paulina’s name was announced, she walked onto the court to a cheering crowd. Then Gemma’s name was announced, and the cheers transformed into thunderous roars. Paulina flinched. Gemma could practically read the woman’s mind. In that moment, both the home field and mental advantage transferred to Gemma. The first, albeit unrecorded, point of the day was hers.
Gemma stepped out, and the noise doubled, then tripled. The loose red clay on the field rattled. She had her share of critics, but she also inspired legions of fans. Fans who had remained loyal through all her failures. Fans who were her last remaining source of fuel.
She turned slightly to take in the complete view of center court, absorbing the waves of support. All successful athletes were coached to shut out the crowd. But she couldn’t, wouldn’t. What she couldn’t get from her failed relationships she would get from the game. She searched their faces and smiles, longing for their energy. Unlike anywhere else, inside the stadium she felt loved.
Gemma’s jaw muscles tightened, her throat went dry, her ears rang, and her eyes stung. Streaming through her veins was what she thought of as combustible adrenaline.
Game time.

Ara Grigorian Bio:

Displaying 34019c_ecb294aa4a244d158202952d64580733.jpg_srz_p_165_150_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.jpgArmenian by heritage, born in Iran, lived in Barcelona, and escaped New York until he found his home in Los Angeles, Ara’s first eleven years were both busy and confusing. The fruit salad of languages would slow down his genetically encoded need to tell stories. Until then, an alter ego would be required…
He received an engineering degree from California State University Northridge and earned his MBA from the University ofSouthern California. Today, he is a technology executive in the entertainment industry. True to the Hollywood life, Ara wrote for a children’s television pilot that could have made him rich (but didn’t) and nearly sold a video game to a major publisher (who closed shop days later).
But something was amiss until his wife read him the riot act. “Will you stop talking about wanting to be a writer and just do it?” So with her support (and mandate), and their two boys serving as his muse, he wrote stories.
Fascinated by the human species, Ara writes about choices, relationships, and second chances. Always a sucker for a hopeful ending, he writes contemporary romance stories. He is an alumnus of both the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and Southern California Writers’ Conference (where he also serves as a workshop leader). Ara is an active member of the Romance Writers of America and its Los Angeles chapter.

Ara is represented by Stacey Donaghy.


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