Monday, February 27, 2017

Off The Ice (Juniper Falls, #1) by Julie Cross ~ Blog Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway

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Off the Ice (Juniper Falls #1) by Julie Cross
Publication Date: February 27, 2017
Publisher:  Entangled Teen

The NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Whatever Life Throws at You kicks off a brand-new series perfect for fans of Miranda Kennealy and Abbi Glines.

All is fair in love and hockey…

Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

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Guest Post

My Character Development Process
Julie Cross

Most of my books begin with a character. I know it seems odd to have a person to tell a story before there is a story to tell, but somehow it works for me. Often I have a personal conflict in mind or a question that sparks the character and then his/her/their story. For example, in my novel: Letters to Nowhere, that story began by thinking about how important parents are in the lives of female elite gymnasts like 2016 Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles. At the time, it was the 2012 Olympians like McKayla Maroney and Ally Raisman--teenagers who train like it’s a full-time job, have the weight of their country on their shoulders. Those girls didn’t go a day without help from their family. What if they suddenly lost both of their parents? How would that affect not only their emotional well-being, but also their big gymnastic dreams? 

With my YA novel, Whatever Life Throws at You, the entire plot formed around Annie’s relationship with her father, a former star pitcher for the Yankees (yes, I love my athlete characters) who pitched only one year before losing his leg to bone cancer. I had this vivid image of Annie and her father being super close, her negligent mom did little to raise her, and those two just regular working-class type people.  Once I got myself hooked on Annie’s bold yet loyal character and her father’s protective loving nature, I then began to look for things I could wedge between those two--being back in the glamorous world of Major League Baseball, the hot rookie pitcher Annie’s dad coaches, the horrible wife and mother her dad can’t seem to let go of, the new woman that enters his life.

In Tempest, I saw Jackson Meyer as a guy who lives for the here and now, fears making long term plans, appears shallow on the surface, but hides a tremendous amount of guilt about the death of his twin sister and as a result, he doesn’t open up to many people despite his charm and life-of-the-party vibe. Because you can’t just write a book about a guy who feels guilty and because I was already too attached to let Jackson go, I gave him the power to time travel, created a secret organization of time travel fighters to chase after him, a destroyed world in the very distant future for him to save, and the perfect girl to make him finally utter those three important words.

So there you have it, the ramblings of an author who loves her characters more than her story and makes sure to write a plot that guarantees their existence. Not sure if that’s really a process or just a way to get my way.

Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press).
She’s also the author of the Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.

She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.

Outside of her reading and writing cred, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.

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 One (1) winner will receive a Kindle Fire

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  1. OHHHH HOCKEY! My favorite! Gotta check this one out!

  2. I can forgive a plot problem, but the books I love most have strong characters. I really enjoyed Off the Ice and am looking forward to more Juniper Falls books.

  3. Never read her books but I will now. This is a different kind of read for me but that's the reason why I go to blogs to find different authors. Thank you, Two2s World aka Darlene Cruz

  4. You are a new author to me and I would enjoy reading "Off the Ice".

  5. You are a new author to me and I would enjoy reading "Off the Ice".

  6. I haven't read any hockey themed books that I can remember. Mostly football and a spatering of other sports.

  7. I love sports centered books and read one about a girl hockey player called The Girl Who Fell.

  8. I'm a huge hockey fan. Hockey players are tough.

  9. I've read several hockey sports romances & loved them! I'm not so big on watching other sports on tv, but hockey is one I find fascinating. The guys on the ice remind me of jousters at a tournament, just on skates instead of on horseback. I'm really looking forward to reading Off the Ice because it's not just a hockey romance, it's a bar romance too!

  10. I've never read any of Julie's books before.


  11. I don't tend to gravitate towards sports heroes.
    I have not read any of her books before.
    Any kind of competence is sexy.

  12. I love reading the sports romances, just read my first hockey one recently and loved it! What I love is that hockey is big in our it always hits home a bit!

  13. I love reading any type of romance novels, especially sports..