Shannon here: Carolyn Miller shares the inspiration for her latest Contemporary Romance, Love on Ice. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for winner’s choice of an e-book copy of The Breakup Project or Love on Ice. Dealine: Feb 5th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Carolyn:
Love on Ice
The first book I wrote (before any of my historicals) was based on a couple I saw at the closing ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, when I noticed an Aussie female athlete holding hands with a US male athlete as they entered the stadium. I was intrigued about how two elite athletes from opposite sides of the world could meet, let alone sustain a relationship that they’d be happy to show the world.
Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find out who they were, so I eventually wrote ‘their’ story, which is how Love on Ice began. I made her a short track skater (because hello: awesome bravery and toughness right there!) and he was an ice hockey player (bc: tough, skilled, and handsome 🙂
I’ve always been intrigued with long-distance relationships, and how couples can maintain a romance when apart. Relationships can be hard at the best of times, but add in distance and 14 hour time zone differences, and other commitments (like training and study and work) I can imagine that finding time to really connect with someone on the opposite side of the world would be extremely challenging.
And yet it happens. One of Australia’s gold medal-winning athletes Lydia Lassilos married a man from Finland. My own sister (an Aussie) lives in Canada, and has recently become engaged to a South African man who lives in England – their journey to romance definitely hasn’t been easy!
I loved exploring how Love on Ice’s fictional couple (Holly Travers and Brent Karlsson) could meet, because I knew it couldn’t just be a ‘met at the Olympics’ kind of deal. So I gave Holly a backstory of being an exchange student, who became best friends with Brent’s twin sister, Bree, who gets her own romance in last month’s release The Breakup Project, which is where we first get to meet Brent.
Brent Karlsson has allowed professional success to go to his head, and along with endorsements and hordes of screaming female fans, he’s also let go of some of his godly grounding, resulting in a string of girlfriends that suggest he’s not just a player on the ice. Holly’s down-to-earth attitude means she’s unimpressed by his celebrity, and when they’re partnered at Bree’s wedding sparks soon start to fly.
After The Breakup Project’s intervention, Brent is keen to prove he has changed and that he’s living God’s way now, attending the online Bible study group that connects Christian hockey players in the NHL. This proves the link for the books in the Original Six series – which is based on a real pro sports Bible study group.
But Holly remains unconvinced, Brent’s reputation proving hard to get past when pictures on the internet suggest he hasn’t really changed. This is where the tyranny of distance proves problematic, as it’s one thing to prove yourself faithful when you live in the same town, but trust is a lot harder to earn when you live far away.
Their relationship develops as Holly starts to see his good qualities, especially during his care for her during a family tragedy, and Brent learns that real love takes grit, patience and grace. I always enjoy working these real qualities of love into my stories – I want my books to provide more than just warm fuzzies – and it’s wonderful to see readers responding with messages and reviews that reflect their appreciation for these things.
I’m so happy that Love on Ice has just released, just in time for next month’s Winter Olympics, and I’m excited to give readers a sneak peek into some of the behind-the-scenes details of this major sporting event.
For any readers who might be worried that there is too much sports readers have told me that it’s way more romance-focused than sporty! So if you’re someone who enjoys sweet and swoony Christian contemporary romance, and like stories with Christian characters trying to live God’s way, then I hope you’ll consider reading Love on Ice, and enjoy this book about how two people from opposite sides of the world can connect and find romance that leads to love and a God-given happily ever after.
About Carolyn: Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher.
A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer and LM Montgomery, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives. Her contemporary romance series includes the Original Six hockey romance series, and the Independence Islands series, and her historical series include the Regency Brides and Regency Wallflowers series. Learn more & connect:
About the book – Love on Ice:
She’s focused on winning gold. He wants to lose the player tag. Can a fake relationship become something real?
Aussie short track skater Holly Travers has one goal – make the Vancouver Games, no matter what it takes. She has no time for distractions, even if they come in the handsome form of her Canadian best friend’s twin brother. This hockey player may say he’s not a player, but can she trust him?
Brent Karlsson has one goal – make his sister’s best friend realize he’s a changed man and she should give him a chance. When a set-up in Hawaii helps these two opposites realize they have more in common than they thought, what happens when he wants to turn their fake relationship into something real? And how can a relationship work when these two elite athletes never see each other and live on opposite sides of the world?
Love on Ice is the second book in the Original Six hockey romance series, a sweet, slightly sporty, contemporary romance series. Want to find out more? Visit Carolyn Miller series and see some of the photos from my travels that inspired this series, as well as fun Pinterest images, and check out Holly’s workout playlist on Spotify! Read a good book and get fit as well!
Question for Readers: Do you or those in your family enjoy watching sports or the Olympics? If so, have you got a favorite sport to watch, or read a book that depicted sports in some way?
Come back Feb 1st for Laurie Wood!