Welcome to the Blog Tour for Fire and Ice by Carolyn Miller, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m delighted to have Carolyn here today with some behind-the-scenes facts & some of her fave scenes!
FIRE AND ICE by Carolyn Miller
SERIES: Northwest Ice Division #1
GENRE: Contemporary Romance (Christian)
RELEASE DATE: July 10, 2023
Hannah Wade loves sports, so when injury is swiftly followed by an opportunity to be one of Calgary’s first female sports analysts, she jumps at the chance. Trouble is, some of the old dinosaurs she works with thinks she’s nothing but a fluff-piece, there to add ratings and stir controversy among the fiercely loyal hockey fans. She longs for the chance to prove herself, so when an opportunity comes along to interview newly traded defenseman Franklin James, she meets him, with disastrous effect.
Growing up with three sisters means Franklin thought he knew something about women, but nothing had ever prepared him for the sparkling firecracker that is Hannah. And yet her vibrant personality holds a sweetness and soft side, something that draws his interest and protectiveness when an interview goes south.
Can these two overcome prejudice and see a way forward? And what has faith – or the lack of – got to do with anything? Fire and Ice is the first book in the new Northwest Ice hockey romance series, a sweet and swoony, slightly sporty, Christian contemporary romance series that continues the legacy of the Original Six, and is perfect for fans of Becky Wade, Courtney Walsh and Susan May Warren.
by Carolyn Miller, author of Fire and Ice
5 behind-the-scenes facts about Fire and Ice
Fire and Ice is the first book in the Northwest Ice romance series, which stemmed from the Original Six contemporary romance series. Both of these series are based on Christian professional hockey players, and the online Bible study is based on a real Bible study that happen with Christian players, so I like to think these books are based on things that could happen in the real world.
I was originally only going to do one hockey series, as a way of incorporating books I had written long ago (Love on Ice and Muskoka Blue – both on sale now), but the interest in the Original Six books, with their relatable characters, banter, romance and a little bit of sports, showed that there is a market for Christian sports romance, and that it would be good to continue with more books based in the Northwest. I’d visited most of the places depicted in the Original Six series (including Boston, Chicago, Toronto and Montreal), and I’ve visited a number of places in this new series too, including Calgary, Vancouver and Seattle, so it’s nice to use some of what I’ve seen and experienced to help ground the books some more. Plus, having author and reader friends in these areas to help factcheck for me is also beneficial!
Franklin’s family live on a ranch outside Calgary. In my research I discovered there is a ranch 30 mins outside Calgary in the foothills of the Rockies that has its own Western movie set, and had been used for filming movies and TV shows, including a season of When Calls the Heart! Naturally, I had to make Franklin’s family ranch have its own movie set, and it then springboarded into a new series based on this ranch. The first book in that series comes out next year and is called A Cameo for a Cowgirl.
Researching how women are treated in sports reporting led to some fascinating insights, many of which I included in Hannah’s experience as a female sports reporter. Women have long been on the receiving end of all kinds of sexist and misogynistic behavior, and there are reports of women who have received death threats and have had to take out court orders. So getting hot dogs thrown at them (true story) seems mild in comparison! But it’s so sad that, even in this time of female sports finally receiving recognition, there can still be such double standards when it comes to women reporting on sports. I recently (re)watched some films that explore some of the inequalities and exploitation faced by women in the media, including Bombshell and She Said. These films are eye-opening but important for women to understand how others have been mistreated, and how a culture of silence helps perpetuate such issues. These films show that it’s vital for women to stand up and encourage each other to speak out against violence and sexism, and I hope Fire and Ice encourages women to be brave and speak up.
One of my all time favorite books is Becky Wade’s My Stubborn Heart, which involves a hockey player. Susan May Warren and Courtney Walsh are other authors who have included hockey players in their contemporary romances. So I was super thrilled to have Susan May Warren agree to give me an endorsement, describing Fire and Ice as “A delightful, laugh out loud romance!” As an Aussie author I can sometimes feel a bit like an outsider, so to have author heroes like these ladies agree to endorse and showcase my book means the world. And in case you’re wondering why an Aussie author likes ice hockey, let’s just say I think it’s such a cool sport to watch. And yes, I’ve seen a Chicago Blackhawks game (in Chicago!) and I’m seeing another game in Melbourne Australia this year, when the LA Kings take on the Arizona Coyotes for the first ever NHL game in Australia. I can’t wait!
5 Favourite lines / scenes from fire and ice
I love this scene as our hero and heroine reconnect after 10 years:
“Just so you know I’ve never ever used the phrase ‘humble charm’ to describe myself.” He grinned. “I might’ve used cowboy charm once or twice.”
Her laughter increased.
“So, you’re saying I left no impression on you, huh?”
“And we’re back to you needing to know how people feel about you. Again.”
“Well, if you prefer, we can talk about how I felt when I first saw this supermodel friend of my sister in a swimsuit, like every teenage boy’s fantasy woman.”
Her cheeks heated. “Come on. I was sixteen.”
“You were perfect,” he said, his blue gaze drilling into her. “Still are.”
I think there is wisdom is this paragraph shared by one of the Christian hockey players:
“I mean, I love my wife, but I think it’s not about the person you marry so much as the person you are to them. Tom Cruise was wrong. Loving someone isn’t about someone completing you. It’s about you loving them completely. And I think you can only do that when you really understand how completely you are loved by God.”
When talking about finding ‘the one’:
“I don’t ascribe to the ‘magic dot’ theory that you must walk a certain path and there is only one right person and if you slip up then you get it wrong and you miss out. That doesn’t say much about God’s ability to redeem things.”
And this is another fun scene showing some of the banter between the guys at their online Bible study:
“How you doing, Franklin?” Josiah asked. “You’ve been in the spotlight a little lately.”
“Hasn’t he ever?” Luc chuckled. “First the nose, then the interviews with the girl who beat you up.”
“She didn’t beat me up,” he protested, to the others’ laughter.
“She’s pretty,” Ryan said.
“She’s not a believer, so that’s that,” Franklin said flatly.
He caught Mike’s head tip in the video, as if wondering just what Franklin was thinking. Yeah, he didn’t know either.
“You mean she’s on the journey,” Josiah said. “God is working in the hearts of all people to draw them to Himself. It just takes some people a little longer to respond than others.”
I love this scene as our reporter does a quick interview with Franklin, while trying to hide her attraction:
Royce nodded, and pointed to the ice as the players moved off for the first break.
“Hey Franklin,” she called.
He drew near—he’d been warned this was happening—and glanced at the camera before his gaze fixed on her. Butterflies soared, and she smiled, then dimmed it back. Professional, remember?
She glanced at Royce and he nodded. Steadying breath. Smile. Action. “Hey Franklin, thanks for joining us tonight. You’re a homegrown Calgary player, playing for the team you cheered on as a boy in your first game here at the Saddledome. How’s the experience been so far?” She passed him the microphone.
His lips twitched and he leaned in. “It’s been great. The fans are obviously amazing, and it’s good to see we’ve got momentum going our way in tonight’s game.”
She nodded, smiling. “And this is your first game in regular season after playing in Boston for many years. How welcoming has this team been for you so far?”
“They’ve been great, such a warm welcome, Mike especially. I’m really glad to be here.”
“Well, we’re really glad you’re here too.” Uh-oh. Had that been too much? “Well, thank you for doing this. Good luck in the game tonight.”
“Thank you so much.” He grinned, and she kept her smile fixed, not looking in his direction until Royce nodded, and she relaxed and stole a peek as he skated away. Only to catch Franklin glance back at her, his gaze full of heat as he quirked a tiny smile that drew a heart triple-thump and arrowed fresh fire within.
Her breath was shaky as she exhaled. Her cheeks were so warm her makeup might slide off any moment. God forbid anyone had seen that.
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of romance, Carolyn loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her bestselling, award-winning Regency and contemporary novels are stories that offer hope, heart, and a twist of Aussie humour.
Connect with Carolyn by visiting carolynmillerauthor.com to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.
(1) winner will win a $25 Amazon gift card!
Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight July 10, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on July 17, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
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This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
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What about you? What makes you want to read Fire and Ice by Carolyn Miller?