When I first created the roster for the Red Valley Razors hockey team in 2011, I had no idea that one day I’d be welcoming you to the ninth book in the series! Some of you have been with me since the very first slapshot and hat trick and some of you are joining me for the first time. Either way, each story stands alone and you don’t even have to be a diehard hockey fan (gasp!) to enjoy them. Because I won’t rest until I’ve married off the entire team, Ice Cowboy is all about Jesse Chaparrel and his attempt to find his happily-ever-after. It’s out there, I promise, even though he doesn’t think it involves Laurell Monahan. From the moment Laurell steps onto his ranch, she’s like a fish out of water. They each have their demons, but there’s nothing like a picturesque piece of land in the middle of the valley to soothe your soul and inspire romance. As always, feel free to contact me here and be sure to sign up for my newsletter to receive info about giveaways, new releases and special offers.
It's Book Birthday time and today we're flashing back to November 12, 2014 when Hockey Gods made its debut into the world...
Between watching playoff hockey, binge-watching Game of Thrones and working on the next book in the Razors Ice series, my head was swimming with story ideas. Hockey and GOT don't have anything to do with each other, but sometimes that's just the way it works inside my crazy writer brain. Why not smash them together and get down to the nitty-gritty of the sport I love? So, I thought it would be fun to write something Game of Thrones inspired. A story about power and the things it does to people, and about a land that's as brutal as the villagers living on it. Plus, after reading so many historical romances where the helpless heroine is thrown over the shoulder of a man, relinquishing all power, I thought I'd write about a woman who was a kick-ass sort of gal. Although men are a pleasant addition to her bedchamber, she doesn't need one in order to survive. She can stand on her own two feet and fight her battles for herself. And so, Hockey Gods was born and Nataliya got to show what she was made of while Calder tried to figure out what he thought of the fierce female who ends up being his biggest competitor. I also got to crawl inside the mind of the evil villain, which ended up being a total blast for me. Who knew it would be so fun to be so malicious? Maybe someday, when I'm through documenting hockey players and their glamorous (and sometimes not-so-glamorous) lives, I'll venture into the realm of another world again where mythical creatures and mystical characters drip from every page...
Here in Northern California, we've been suffering through forced power outages. Our latest blackout was 47 hours long, beating the 43 hours we went without electricity a few weeks ago. No matter how much you try to prepare for it and how many batteries you stockpile, one cold hard fact remains: You are left in the dark. Literally and figuratively. We don't know exactly when or how often these outages will happen. They're predicting it will take at least ten years to upgrade the power lines (something that should have already been done.) Despite what we've been told, there's no rhyme or reason to the areas affected and the website that's been set up to keep us in the know crashes constantly, is highly inaccurate and provides vague generalizations to when power will be restored. Having no control over a simple utility like electricity is extremely disheartening. These last few weeks I've ran the gamut of emotions, including frustration, rage and overwhelming sadness. In addition, being without the internet is a sour cherry on top. Luckily, I write my books out longhand on paper or else it'd be impossible for me to work on a computer like most authors, and I'd have to spend hundreds of dollars I don't have on a generator. (Although, I may have to do that anyways if this indeed becomes California's "new normal." What a harrowing thought.) Enjoying my morning cup of tea is only a memory as my stove locks out at the loss of power, disabling the natural gas. Food choices are extremely limited and the extended hours of darkness in autumn make denial impossible. I am lucky to have water though, as some people's homes are on wells and they have to do without water, too, the most basic of all necessities. It's tough to find the positive in a situation that is caused by the colossal incompetency of a gluttonous company. If you don't know the backstory, in short, PG&E's faulty power lines caused a horrendous, devastating fire, and now every time the wind blows, they're shutting off power to millions of customers to prevent it from happening again. Except, during these blackouts there are still pockets where there is power and we were shocked to learn that a fire started in the town a few miles away from us where they'd left the power on. Go figure. As I sit here by lamplight, venting my frustrations, I'm reminded of how the actions of few can greatly impact the many in so many crucial ways. I don't like having choices ripped from me--no one does. Especially in a situation that shouldn't be happening in the first place. It feels downright un-American to be pushed into the Dark Ages and have absolutely no say in the matter. But I choose to remain an optimist. I guess I'm just too damn stubborn to let my mood be tarnished by something so thoroughly out of my hands. And, as the sun begins to rise up over the foothills and illuminate the valley I call home, I begin to hear the white-crowned sparrows chirp their morning greetings. To the birds, today is just another day. A time to sing into the sunshine, forage for food and enjoy the freedom to fly to and fro on a whim. So, I'll take a page out of the sparrows' carefree book and be glad that the sun will provide me with bright light to write by until the darkness falls again and the moon rises for the night shift. I have all that matters--in light or in darkness. My hubby who loves me wholly and unconditionally, and my cat snoring softly beside me, exhausted from wondering why we're using flashlights to take a trip down the hallway. My song might not be as bright and cheerful or as often as the birds', but I'm still here. Still thriving and creating because it's what I do. And no one or any one thing can ever take that away from me.
✔ Who is everyone’s favorite rock band in Red Valley? ✔Who do the Razors listen to in the locker room when they want to get pumped up for a game? ✔Which band did Carli play for Josh while he was in a coma in Falling Awake? ✔Who’s song did Everly have stuck in her head in Cooper’s Cougar? 🠚 The answer? Crush 21, of course! These California natives are finally getting their own book and I couldn't be happier to share the story of Red Valley’s rock star sweethearts with you.
February 21, 2020
Available for pre-order at the following retailers:
Rock star Cassidy St. Claire loves life on the road, touring from city to city and belting out the catchy songs her and her band Crush 21 is famous for. That is, until their North American tour comes to an end and she must return to her hometown of Red Valley, California for the first time in years. Suddenly, Cassidy is thrust back into a life she’s been desperately trying to forget. And when she gets a look at her high school crush, she knows she won’t be leaving town with her heart intact.
Lane Sullivan has put all of his energy into running his late father’s bar. Anything to keep from thinking about how close he was to being lead guitarist in the popular rock band Crush 21. He lost his one chance to be a rock star and now that he’s made his bed he must lie in it. Alone. Then a tour bus rolls into town and who else but Cassidy St. Claire saunters back into his life, reminding him of everything he’s given up in order to keep the promise he made to his father.
Can Cassidy and Lane put the past behind them, rekindle their love, fend off a deranged stalker and find peace after their best friend’s murder, all before the band begins their European tour? Cassidy’s life just might depend on it.
Are you as excited for Crush 21 as I am? Lemme here it...
I am a hockey fan. I pay hard-earned money to sit behind the glass. I hold my breath when a player is knocked down and I don't breathe until he gets back up again. I pay for a jersey with my favorite player's name on the back, even though he might not always play for the team on the front. I search for images on Pinterest and Instagram about hockey I like funny cartoons depicting Bettman as The Grinch. I flinch when a player is hit into the boards. My heart races when two players circle each other right before a fight. I have a pink jersey and wear it proudly, even though it's not my team's colors. Not because I'm not a "real" fan, but because I just love hockey period. I blink back tears when the players hoist the Cup whether or not I like them. I respect the hard work and dedication it took to win it. I get a lump in my throat when the National Anthem is sung. (for both the US and Canada.) I watch the playoffs all the way through, even if my team is eliminated. My TV never changes from the NHL Network. I love hockey. I am a hockey fan.