We’re on the cusp of March Madness when college basketball fans will soon begin dunking losing brackets into their wastebaskets. The final two minutes have been played in the NFL’s Super Bowl. At the Daytona 500 in February, NASCAR lowered the green flag on another year of races. We dutifully cheered our country’s athletes on through the Winter Olympics. Professional golf is on pins and needles awaiting the return of Tiger Woods. And, when it comes to bullriding in the PBR, eight seconds is just not enough for me to watch.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or just an armchair athlete, check out the list of novels below by fellow inspirational authors who have used various sports as background for their stories. I’ve read a few of these and made comments in parenthesis. The rest have been recommended, so I look forward to reading them.
Enter Turn Four with driver Chance Reynolds. The blurb on the back of author Tom Morrisey’s novel advises the reader to “buckle up and hold on tight.” (Living in the heart of NASCAR country, I had to read this one. I came away with good insight into both the technical and personal side of racing.)
Amy Clipston combines her love of stock car racing with suspense and romance in Betrayed, a novel from Harlequin’s NASCAR line. After the death of her parents, Lacey Fowler and driver Reese Mitchell struggle together to save the racing team built by her father.
The tagline for Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury reads, “A story of redemption and love where life’s real victories are won off the field.”
Snow Melts in Spring is the first book in the Seasons of the Tallgrass Series by Deborah Vogts. “When Mattie Evans is called in to save an injured horse, she finds herself tending the wounded relationship between an NFL quarterback prodigal son and his ailing father. Secret pain, passions and agendas play out against the beautiful landscape of the Kansas Flint Hills as love leads to some unexpected conclusions about forgiveness and renewal.” Deborah even throws a little rodeo into this one.
In the mid-90’s, Louise M. Gouge wrote two novels centered around the NFL. They can still be found on amazon.com: Once There Was A Way Back Home & The Homecoming.
Donna Winters uses the world of baseball in 1903 as the backdrop for her novel, Isabelle’s Inning, published by Great Lakes Romances.
For the romantic side of the Olympics, read the historical, Olympic Memories, a collection of novellas by Lynn Coleman, Melanie Panagiotopoulos, Gail Sattler and Kathleen Y’Barbo.
Karen Kingsbury gives a little insight into one my favorite sports venues, the PBR. A Thousand Tomorrows and Just Beyond the Clouds follows the bittersweet story of bullrider Cody Gunner as he deals with life’s wins and losses. (This is one to read with a hanky.)
The world of thoroughbred racing (another favorite sport) is the backdrop for Virginia Smith’s Love Inspired Suspense novel, Bluegrass Peril.
Camy Tang’s heroine, Lex Sakai discovers the answer to her grandmother’s ultimatum while on the volleyball court in the first of the Sushi Series books, Sushi For One. (What a fun read!)
Cave diving is a new term for me, but not for the author of Yucatan Deep—again, Tom Morissey. This is his first novel and a Christy Award Finalist in 2003. (I’m in the middle of this one.)
So, which novels have featured your favorite sports? Have you come across an activity new to you (such as my discovery of cave diving)? If you’ve read any of these books, please leave a comment and let me know your opinion.