Guest Post & Giveaway: Carrie Lofty

Romance and…Soccer?

By Carrie Lofty

As I write this, I’m watching the Spain vs. Croatia game in the UEFA 2012 European Championships. A little…obscure for an American romance writer to talk about? Maybe. Just hang with me for a bit.

The true definition of love, in the long run, is putting up with or even appreciating your partner’s faults, quirks and tastes in a way still keeps your relationship is a-ok. We all know that in real life, happily ever after is an ongoing process!

Roughly fifteen years ago, I decided that in order to date the Englishman who would be become my husband, I needed to learn about soccer. Oh. First lesson: football. I sat through drawings that explained the offside rule, tables that explained the relegation and promotion process, and brackets that explained the World Cup—a major math brain challenge. If it weren’t for Excel, I’d never keep up.

This wasn’t an endeavor for just one guy, by the way. I was learning the language of a huge part of the world. To marry an Englishman and understand British and European culture, I needed to speak this language. Or at least fake it. (I shall speak with said language throughout this post.)

Two years ago during the 2010 World Cup…I saw a man. I will not tell you this man’s name, because that would ruin the illusion. Readers will always see characters differently than their creators do. But this man…

I had been searching for an actor or model or whomever to represent, in my mind, Alexander Christie, the hero STARLIGHT, the second of my Christies series of Victorian romances. No one matched! No one was him. He needed to be a gentleman by day and an animal at night—the sort who howls toward the sky when someone finally shows him the moon. And of course, he needed to be hella hot.

My chance sighting of a starting member of the Spanish national side was an instant fit. I was in love…kinda literally, but mostly literarily. He just was Alex. Thus began my obsessive quest to find pictures! I learned he can wear the hell out of a suit, and that he’s a rough, scheming, hardcore b*****d on the football pitch. Win!

The accidental connection between football and STARLIGHT even inspired a scene where Alex is challenged by his lady fair’s Glaswegian friends to a friendly game of footie after a church picnic. Had STARLIGHT been a medieval romance, the challenge might’ve been a joust or an almost-but-not-quite-friendly swordfight. Football was growing by leaps and bounds in the late Victorian years, primarily because it was easy for working men to play. As my husband always says, “All we needed was a ball and jumpers [sweaters] for goal posts.”

In a roundabout way, my ambition fifteen years ago not only helped me communicate with my husband about the Beautiful Game, but it added an extra level of depth to a book I would write more than a decade later. Alex is “rough posh.” He is an astronomer who can get down and dirty with the roughest characters in Glasgow. In other words, he’s just the sort of man who needed a footballer as my inspiration.

And then there’s real life love. My darling husband went so far as to buy me the national jersey [uniform] of this particular footballer as a present. The problem, though? By the time you read this, England will have played in their final group stage qualifier for the European Championships. If all goes according to predictions, they will meet one particular team during their quarterfinal match later this week… Spain.


What’s next for me: After RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick  STARLIGHT hits the shelves, I’ll be looking forward to the release of HIS VERY OWN GIRL, a historical romance set in World War II. It’s not women’s fiction. It’s not literary fiction. It’s a genuine romance, complete with sexy times and a happy ending. Look for it September 4th as a Pocket Star digital original novel. I cannot wait to see how readers respond!

I’ll also be launching a new co-written pseudonym, Katie Porter, with my long-time friend and critique partner, Lorelie Brown. Our “Vegas Top Guns” series of contemporary erotic romances will launch from Samhain on July 31 with the release of DOUBLE DOWN, which is also a RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick. Two more from the series, INSIDE BET and HOLD ‘EM, will follow in August and September. You can learn more about these and future books at our website.

Where to find me:

Twitter: @carrielofty
I’d like to give away a copy of STARLIGHT, and I’ll ship anywhere. Just answer the question: Have you ever done or learned something in order to better communicate with your significant other? And for any of you who follow international football, I’ll welcome guesses as to my inspiration for Alex. That’ll be interesting!
Thanks again to Red Hot Books for having me!

This contest is closed. The winner is Crystal.


  1. Just this year I decided to tolerate sports on the television for my husband. Turns out it’s not that bad. In return, he took me to the college basketball playoffs and turns out – I actually liked it. I “learned” something to find common ground and we get a bit more quality time now because of it. 🙂

    • I won’t say it’s my favorite thing in the world, right? But that commonality is really worth it. And parts become interesting, more enjoyable, even worth anticipating. That’s a bonus when added to the extra quality time spent with a loved one. Glad you stopped by today!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Carrie, yes I ever done something in order to understand my other self. I became a singer in a band and joined creative writing class to explore my other self and understand life better n more importantly to understand myself more n more again, Aretha zhen, arethazhenATrocketmailDOTCOM

    • Hi Aretha! I think that’s part of the beauty of a long-term relationship. It can really push us to think beyond our own interests, for the sake of a lasting commitment, but also for the sake of our own exploration of life. Partnership has more benefits than just cuddles…although cuddles are really nice!

  3. My husband is an avid sportsman. I will go with him on his adventures and he is so happy when I do. He calls it quality couple time.

    • Now I’m curious what all the husbands are doing to return the favor! Let us keep mountainous TBR piles? Because that truly is a sacrifice *g* Good to see you, Crystal!

  4. I learned how to shoot and learned how to play the guitar for my sweetie. The shooting I quite enjoy; the guitar – not so much. But, it did lead to playing other instruments I DO enjoy and gives sweetie and I something to do together.

  5. Carrie's Husband says:

    Lucky results mean that England won’t be playing Spain until the Semi-Final now (if we somehow beat the Italians!). I hope you won’t mind me complaining about how much I hate “Alex” if he scores against us then.

    • As long as you don’t burn my jersey, darling, I won’t mind. And when it comes down to it, you know I’ll be supporting England. How could I not?? <3

  6. I don’t have a significant other (Ha!) but communication is soooo very important. At work I’ve learned that people fill a silence, so usually I won’t say much to hear what others have to say. It works out surprisingly well and people think you are a good listener! 🙂

    brunettelibrarian AT gmAil . c0m
    The Brunette Librarian Blog

  7. I think that’s a tool counselors are taught. Quiet spaces get people talking! Glad you came by today 🙂

  8. I haven’t had an SO long enough to do something like this for him, but I will say this post instantly reminded me of the Friends episode when Ross tried to play rugby with Emily’s Brit friends and got totally creamed. To quote Master Whedon, love makes you do the whacky.

    Happy New Release, Carrie!!

  9. I’ll learn about soccer all day long, but I’m never actually gonna *play* it! And Buffy! Hee! I do hope you’ve seen The Avengers, because Master Whedon kicked the ass. *g*

  10. When I started dating my husband it was the first time I had every heard of Magic the Gathering. Impressed with how okay he was with being a geek I had him teach me. He can’t stand it now cause I’ll play the joke cards no addy else will and he’s stuck speaking in pig Latin for 3 turns. 🙂

    • LOL!! It reminds me of how my daughter collects Pokemon cards based on how cute they are, not their strengths or whatever. I like the idea of subverting the “rules” for your own amusement! And anything to make an S.O. speak pig Latin is awesome.

  11. Well, I certainly started watching more football due to my fiance ( it’s hard not to especially while for the duration of all UEFA European Championships all I see on TV are football matches!) but what I had to learn was car language… I knew next to nothing about different car parts and now I know more than I should for my own good 🙂


    • Ooh, that’s one I won’t have to worry about. My husband knows how to…start a car. That’s about it outside of being able to drive it. Heck, even I know how to change oil if hard pressed. But we do like watching Top Gear–me mostly because of Hammond, and hubs because James May is one of his comic idols *g*

  12. The book sounds excellent! I learned to appreciate football and now I love it! I also learned a bit about cars, I paid attention to him and read the manuels, now I know enough to actually help. It makes him happy and I feel good for being able to do it too. Thank you for the chance to win!

    • We’re all a how-to on keeping things running smoothly! But now it’s *really* making me wonder what all these pampered husbands do to reciprocate! Thanks for being here, Wendy.

  13. I have learned other things in order to better understand and communicate with my husband. I learned about football and cars. I have grown to love football and I can now identify some cars based on their body style. Not the best at it, but getting better. We both have developed a great love of ice hockey together.

    About 8 years ago I have taken soccer as my sister in law playes for the NZ Ferns. They will be going to their second Olympics in a few weeks and we are so excited to be cheering them on. She is the Goaltender. After this she will retire, be we will forever be soccer fans now. We even follow the local college teams.

    bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

    • That’s so amazing! Congratulations to your SIL! On the very very off chance NZ soccer shows up on TV here, I’ll keep an eye out. But the Olympics always wind up being a source of frustrations, when coverage sticks with the big sports and the big teams. I’d hate to have a son who does shot put. Would never be on TV! Thanks for being here, Mel!

  14. Thanks for a fun post and giveaway! Congrats on the newest release!

    I learned about (well enough to fake it and carry/listen to a conversation) Apple productions, computers and video games. It actually works out well b/c as he plays w/ his computer/ipad/video games, I read and no one is upset at the excess time being spent doing either 🙂

    erin f

  15. For me it was learning all about cars and then later on it was learning to like going to the gym and sticking to it:)

    • My personal trainer has been setting up his new studio for the last six weeks. Did I keep working out during that time? Noooo. So tomorrow morning…I’m screwed *g*

  16. Actually yes I did, My ex-husband was a body man, he repaired cars. I learned how to do a compete paint job, sanding and all in order to be around him and help him, I don’t even remember how many times I swept the shop floor as he was finishing up in the paint booth. Unfortunately my desire to be with him and help him wasn’t returned and well now we are divorced, but oh well. Maybe I’ll meet me a hunky british man and live happily ever after…

    • That’s what this thread is making me so curious about: how many of these attempts to connect were reciprocated? You learned to do car paint jobs! You need a guy who can at least show you that much devotion in return. And if you find a hunky Brit, hide him away and keep him for yourself. They’re rather on the wiry side. Just so happens I like wiry 🙂

  17. In any relationship you have to listen & look, not only to what the person says, but to what they don’t say & what their body language is.
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

    • Which is why I think we love to read and write romance–a master class in what’s being said without words. That’s the best! Good to see you here, Di.

  18. I don’t have a significant other but I do have a pre-teen son and I have learned to tolerate BMX and skateboarding non stop on the TV at home.

    • Yes!! Same with Pokemon here. My daughters speak a whole other language when they start in on the names and powers and evolutions. I know a few names so I can fake it well enough, but if they really grilled me, I’d be totally out of luck.

  19. Natasha says:

    I don’t have a significant other, but I think communication and listening is most important. Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  20. I’ll never think of football quite the same way ever again! Football is a big thing where I live (in Asia) & most of us are England fans too (go England!) & my fav team in the EPL is Man U – tho I don’t really watch football per se; I just follow the results & watch the hilights.

    I don’t have a significant other but my mum picked up tennis watching with dad & she’s now a pro. In fact she’s keener than dad on tennis now! It’s fun to watch them both glued in front of the tv cheering their respective heroes. Mum’s a Federer fan & dad to be contrary will always side his opponent!

  21. Linda, that’s hilarious! What a cool turn of events. My MIL is a Man U fan, and she and my hubs give each other heck for the week’s results. That his team, West Ham, got promoted back to the EPL, it’ll be even more fun come autumn. Have a great weekend!

  22. I don’t have significant other. But my best friend is a guy. In my experience, in maintain any kind of relationship, firstly I must understand their character, habit, even their temperament. Because man wasn’t chatty human being (typically, though some of my male friends definitely more chatty than I am), so I have to become more understanding, more attuned with their behavior. I learn the hard way not to messing with their ego. thanks.

  23. Ha! I hadn’t thought of that, about their ego. They need to feel like they’re being appreciated, and that means their tastes too *g* Glad you came by to visit, Adist.

  24. Oh yes, I learned a lot about videogames. He likes to know everything about new games and releases and I just let him be, but I do love to beat his butt when I play videogames with him, haha.
    Spain is my favorite soccer team! Iker Casillas, Xavi Alonso, Messi. I loved when Raul was part of the team. Your inspiration for Alex came from Iker Casillas? Thanks for the giveaway Carrie.


    • Iker is close, but not quite. SO pretty. But you have really good taste! Let’s just say I’m riveted to the game right now, and very happy with who scored… **shhh**

  25. Congratulations on the book! No, I haven’t. Is it Xabi Alonso?


Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.