Narelle here. I’m delighted to welcome my Aussie author friend Meredith Resce to our blog today. Meredith’s latest release, Falling for Maddie Grace, is a Christmas novella in An Aussie Summer Christmas boxed set. Meredith is sharing her inspiration for Maddie and Zac’s story with us.
Maddie Grace has followed her passion, and against all odds has become the first female professional football umpire in Australia.
When an on-field accident sees her caught up in play, and on the receiving end of a blow to the head that knocks her out, Maddie’s career is in jeopardy—not because of the accident, but because of the young man who knocked her out.
Zac Beecham is one of Australia’s most loved professional sports stars. He’s used to the intrusive paparazzi who seem determined to ferret out some dark and dirty secret where there is none. Having been open about his faith and Christian morals, he knows he is a target. So when he ends up on top of Maddie Grace, dazed and in a stupor from concussion, the media pounce on the visual images and decide to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Ridiculous headlines: Zac’s secret love affair with the ref – investigation into corrupt umpiring.
Dodging headlines is one thing, but dodging Maddie Grace is another.
Meredith: Narelle, thanks for inviting me to visit Inspy Romance and share my novella with your blog readers.
Why is Maddie a professional field umpire? And why Australian Rules Football?
Well, I may be a little biased, but Aussie Rules Footy (as we affectionately call it) is the best spectator sport in the world (yes the world) and you’re missing out if you’ve never watched a game. But it is a traditionally men’s sport.
In recent years, a professional female goal umpire has been on the circuit, and I’ve really admired her tenacity and skill at doing her job. One day I saw her narrowly dodge one of the players (tall, solidly built, fast-moving players) as they both had their eyes on the ball. Then my crazy mind asked the question? What if he’d cleaned her up, and landed on top of her. That would be awkward. You know how it is with a writer’s mind—one little trigger and it’s off on a full scale romantic adventure.
So Maddie Grace was born, and became the first ever professional field umpire. There are some women coming through the ranks in the lower leagues, but none have yet made the premier league. Maddie has, and of course, Zac, our highly ranked, super-athletic, good-looking AND single player doesn’t see her when she gets caught in play, until he’s on top of her, and she’s out cold.
Fun times ahead.
FYI—if you decide to investigate Aussie Rules, The Adelaide Crows are the team to support. This keeps all of our Australian interstate rivalry alive. South Australia – the best state.
Visit Meredith’s website to learn more about Meredith and her books.
Narelle: Meredith, thanks for visiting with us. I have a confession: I grew up in Sydney and the Swans were the AFL team we supported.
Do you follow a sporting team? Have you heard of Aussie Rules footy?
Meredith and I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences.