For the Win


An exciting excerpt from the upcoming new romance by the bestselling author

Raine Thomas

It didn’t take long to get to their destination. Will had given the driver an address a few blocks from his house. It was a safety measure his father had suggested years ago when Will first started living on his own. There had been several times when the advice had saved his ass, especially once he started getting more well-known.

They pulled up to the curb in front of the dark dwelling belonging to the incorrect address. “Nice neighborhood,” the driver observed as he entered their arrival into his app.

Will finished entering a tip amount in the app on his own phone, knowing he’d likely forget otherwise. “Yeah, it’s quiet,” he said as he reached for his door handle. “Thanks for the ride.”

“Hey, wait…can I get your autograph?”

Although Will wanted nothing more than to get out of the car and into the crisp December air, he obliged the driver by signing a couple of greasy napkins that looked as though they were the source of the cheeseburger smell. He signed one for the driver and one, he was told, for the driver’s son, then made his escape.

He focused on his phone and pretended to get absorbed in responding to a text on his way up the driveway. As soon as the car pulled away and turned out of sight, Will put the phone in his pants pocket and walked along the silent suburban streets to his house.

The driver had been right about the neighborhood, he idly thought as he rounded the bend towards home. The houses were all well-tended and there was little crime in the area. In the months he’d been renting there, he hadn’t met a single unfriendly neighbor. It also suited him being a short drive from the ballfield and convenient to Denver nightlife. Although he doubted he’d be there much longer since his contract was up and his agent was close to finalizing a deal with Atlanta, the neighborhood had served him well.

His head throbbed dully with every step he took, telling him he was sobering up. He longed for a bottle of water. A frigid wind had him picking up the pace and burying his hands in the pockets of his Berluti suede bomber jacket. He sure as hell wouldn’t miss the Denver winters, he mused as he finally headed up the path to his front door and fished his keys out of his pocket.

Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash

He’d forgotten to leave the porch light on, so he struggled with finding the right key on his heavily shadowed front porch. The cold night air quickly numbed his fingers. He dropped the keys with a jarring clang.

Cursing, he shifted to look for them. His foot connected with them, sending them skittering under one of the two porch chairs. He cursed again, more loudly this time, and bent to retrieve them. He couldn’t see a damn thing under the chair.

Having an a-ha moment, he pulled out his phone and triggered the flashlight. He turned the light towards the chair and caught the glint of light off metal.

Then the shadows in the second chair moved.

He jerked back into a standing position and braced himself for a possible assault. His heart throttled into overdrive.

“Who’s there?” he demanded.

Jesus, Campbell, he thought. Could you sound any more like a fucking horror movie cliché?

Forcing his hand to remain steady, he aimed the phone towards the second chair. His racing heart calmed as fear eased into confusion. There was a small, shivering lump sitting on the chair…a lump with two long braids and wide, glistening eyes staring right at him.

A little girl.

Why the hell was there a little girl on his front porch?

For the Win


It’s what gets Jasmine Li out of bed every morning. She’s determined to overcome the injury that has derailed her career in ballet, the only love she’s ever known. She can’t afford to allow a baseball player to distract her, no matter how hot and persistent he might be.


Will Campbell defines the word. It’s what makes him a successful pitcher and it’s helping him learn how to be a single dad to a little girl with plenty of trust issues. Just his luck, the one person his daughter—and his heart—finally respond to is a stubborn, sexy ballerina with plans that don’t involve relationships or children.

But Will didn’t become the best closer in the majors by giving up. He knows what he wants and what his daughter needs, and he’s going to get it. Jasmine Li has met her match … and he’s playing for the win.

For the Win will be published in the summer of 2020.

Raine Thomas

Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult fiction. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine has signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen.

She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Get to know Raine on her

And follow her on Twitter @Raine_Thomas.


Baseball and My Yearly Mystery, by Douglas Dorow



9-English - high resIt’s spring! That means rain, mud, green grass, robins and BASEBALL. And my yearly mystery.

When baseball starts each Spring, I think back to my childhood. There were two things I loved to do when I was young: play baseball and read.

I played baseball in elementary school for the Longfellow Lions. We were a group of kids who went to the same school and signed up together to play park board baseball. We were OK. I played second base and right field.

One year during the baseball season,  I found a fictional story about baseball to read. I really liked the book.  It is one of the few books I remember reading more than once.

The book was about a young boy who was the batboy or ballboy for a team. He did odd jobs for the team. He searched through clover fields and made some of his own four-leaf clovers to give to the players for good luck. There was also a big play in a game. The batter was going to fake a bunt and then take a full swing at the ball to drive in a winning run. 

That’s all I remember about the story. That, and the fact that I liked the book so much that I wanted to write the author and let him know. The librarian showed me how to figure out who the publisher was from the copyright page. We found the address for the publisher, and I wrote to the author via his publisher. And he wrote back! I remember the typed pages on flimsy paper. I had them for a while, but that was a long time ago, and I don’t know where they are now.

My mystery is I can’t remember the name of the book or who the author is. investigate

Today, as a reader and an author, I enjoy how easy it is for reader and author to connect via social media or email. As an author, I’ve received some great emails from readers who are surprised to hear back from me. I respond because I remember how I felt getting a letter back from an author so long ago.

I still want to solve this mystery. I’ve looked for the book on-line, talked to librarians, made other posts about this, but still the mystery goes on. I was hoping to find the book and share it with my son as he was growing up and playing baseball. He’s almost too old to enjoy it today, but it’s still something I’d like to share with him.

If you can help solve my mystery, I’d appreciate it. There are a couple of clues above from what I remember about the story and here are some more:

baseball question markBall or batboy makes four-leaf clovers for the baseball team for luck. They think he found them.

There’s a big hit in the game, fake bunt to full swing hit.

Probably written in the 1960’s as I read it from my school library around 1970.

US – New York publisher, I think.

Not a lot to go on, but if it was easy I would’ve found it by now.

Thanks and good luck!

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 doug dorow profile photo

Douglas Dorow, a retired little league baseball player, is now a thriller writer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

You can check out his thriller THE NINTH DISTRICT or learn more about him and his writing at Or come visit:  Twitter:  @dougdorow