Welcome to another meet the character. I’ve become a fan of Carolyn Miller’s sports romances. They’re just so fun and different from my typical read, and before I go any further, I want to share two promotions she’s doing right now. Muskoka Blue, book 6 (but can be read without the others) in the Original Six Hockey Romance Series, is on sale for $0.99. AND TODAY is her new release of Love Somebody Like You, which has a special introductory price of $0.99. So hop over and check out those two reads after you get the chance to meet Hannah Wade from Fire and Ice.
Before I introduce her, here’s a bit about her book:
Fire and Ice by Carolyn Miller
Hannah Wade’s heart might’ve once been touched by a rancher’s son, but her real passion has always been sports. Years later, when her sports career is cut short by injury, she jumps at the chance to be one of Calgary’s first female sports reporters. Trouble is, some of the old dinosaurs she works with think she’s only there to look good, add ratings, and stir controversy among the fiercely loyal hockey fans. She longs to prove herself, so when an opportunity comes along to interview newly traded defenseman Franklin James, she meets him. Or, more accurately, re-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. And there’s something about her that’s vaguely familiar…
Can these two overcome prejudice and find a way forward? And what has faith – or the lack of – got to do with anything?
Fire and Ice is a second-chance, forbidden romance and the first book in the new Northwest Ice hockey romance series, a sweet and swoony, slightly sporty, Christian contemporary romance series, perfect for fans of Becky Wade, Courtney Walsh, and Susan May Warren.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Books2Read
Now for our interview with Hannah.
CC: I’m so excited to get to introduce you to my readers, Hannah. Would you mind telling them a little bit about yourself?
HW: Hi. I’m Hannah Wade, a sports reporter for one of Calgary’s TV stations. People tell me I’m strong, smart, and can be sassy, but I prefer to think of myself as assertive. Which you’d think would make me the perfect fit to interview Calgary’s newest handsome hockey recruit. Except, he’s the guy who years ago got away…
CC: Oh no!! That must make for one awkward interview. Umm. . . So you can you tell us about him?
HW: Franklin James is – okay, I know it sounds corny – but he’s actually kind of dreamy. He’s tall, handsome, with blue eyes that seem to look straight through a person. But more than that, he’s a good guy. He’s decent, strong, got manners, he might have muscles to spare, but you can tell he’s from a loving family and that he’s been raised right. He’s a Christian, which probably has a lot to do with why he is so nice that nobody has a bad word to say about him. And as for his kisses…
CC: Oh my. Kisses??? Mmmm-hmmm. Definitely probably an awkward interview. And I imagine that wasn’t too helpful for your career. Being a sports interviewer in a male-dominated world must be hard. Who is your least favorite person to deal with?
HW: Gosh, some of the guys I work with seem to have forgotten it’s the twenty-first century. But while they may be dinosaurs, they’re not as creepy as some of Franklin James’s teammates, one of whom at least seems to think it’s okay to threaten a woman. As a female sports reporter, I’m used to guys belittling me, or reducing me to my looks (I know female sports reporters who have even had hot dogs thrown at them!), but this dude is on a whole other level of nasty.
CC: Yuck. That does not sound good. So let’s flip the questions and find out some of the good people in your life. Who is your favorite person to deal with?
HW: I have three favorite people: it may come as no surprise but one of my fave people is Franklin James (bc he’s just the archetype of a hero). Franklin’s sister Cassie (she runs her family’s ranch’s movie set!) is such a sweetheart and cheerleader of a friend. And another person I’ve come to know and love is Bree Vaughan, wife of Calgary’s hockey captain Mike Vaughan, and another all-round sweetheart and champion of women. I’d happily spend hours talking with any of them, as they all always build me up and remind me where I should be finding my hope and strength (hint: God, not me). I love them all to bits.
CC: It is so great to have those sorts of people in your life. But that doesn’t mean life can’t be hard. What are you biggest struggles?
HW: I sometimes feel like I’m a fraud. People might see someone who can seem tough, but inside I feel a little broken sometimes, like I’m unloveable. I think my dad leaving and my mom’s focus on work only exacerbated this, and I’m not sure God loves me either. I’d love to feel like I can be strong and loved and maybe one day have a family like Franklin’s awesome parents and sisters, but it’s scary to think that means I need to become vulnerable. Or maybe I just scare guys off. It happened in the past.
CC: Hugs. I think we all feel like frauds and vulnerable at times. It’s a hard place to be, but I’m sure with the help of those favorite people throughout your story, we may get to see you become more confident in God’s love for you and who you are in Him. It sounds like your family life has been a rough one. So do you enjoy family gatherings?
HW: Ever since my dad left, it’s only been my mom and me, and now it seems like she barely notices me, as she’s so busy focusing on her university career. So while Mom and I try to get together, it’s more out of obligation than anything else. Don’t get me wrong: I love her. Just don’t always feel the love from her, if you know what I mean.
CC: My heart just breaks for you, Hannah. I look forward to reading your story and seeing how love finds its way into your life. For our last question, if there is one thing you could tell my readers, what would it be?
HW: I used to think that independence was the way to go, that I couldn’t rely on anyone else but myself because people always let me down. That meant I started being the first to cut ties so I didn’t get hurt and could feel like I was in control. And it worked – until my body let me down. Now I know that I need people, I need relationships, and I can’t do things on my own. And not just people. I need God. I long thought I had to have things together so people would be impressed enough to love me. Now I know that God loves me anyway – despite all my flaws and failures. So I guess if there’s anything I want people to know it’s that God loves you, just like He loves me. And when we start trusting Him with our lives He has a way of working things out for our good. I’ve seen it in my life, and I’ve seen it happen in other people’s lives too.
Such a powerful message. Thank you so much for joining us today, Hannah! Readers, I hope you’ll pop over to Amazon and pick up Fire and Ice to read Hannah’s full story.
About Carolyn Miller:
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, and LM Montgomery, Carolyn 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, Muskoka Romance series, and the Independence Islands series, and her historical series include the Regency Brides and Regency Wallflowers series.
Connect with Carolyn: Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon | BookBub | GoodReads
Readers, Fire and Ice has to do with a female reporter and hockey. What other books have you read with either one? Do sports books interest you? (I know I was pleasantly surprised.)
We’ve finished the fifth month of the Unlocking the Past 2022 Reading Challenge: Around the World. This month we traveled to Europe, and my choice of story was Dusk’s Darkest Shore by Carolyn Miller Once you read my review, don’t forget to comment to be entered for your chance to win a copy.
*Want more interaction and/or suggestions each month? Join the Facebook Group. Want a bookmark with the monthly themes? Fill out this Google Form. Need a reminder on the details of the challenge? Go to the Unlocking the Past Reading Challenge page.*
Dusk’s Darkest Shores
by Carolyn Miller
It was such a joy to dive into a Carolyn Miller book. Someone initially compared it to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and while there might have been very loose parallels on occasion, this was its own beautiful story. Resplendent with a beautiful setting, a woman with a tender heart and special connection with God, and a blind hero, it was a unique read. I really appreciated the way the story dealt with God not answering prayers in the way we want, and leaving the reader with hope.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves regency stories, stories of spinster women finding love, spiritual threads that are strong but not preachy, and heroes who are not your typical hero.
(Forgive the especially short review. I’m editing and really tired. 😉 )
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency
How can a meek wallflower help a returning war hero whose dreams are plunged into darkness?
Mary Bloomfield has no illusions. Her chances for matrimony have long since passed her by. Still, her circumstances are pleasant enough, especially now that she has found purpose in assisting her father with his medical practice in England’s beautiful Lake District. Even without love, it’s a peaceful life.
That is until Adam Edgerton returns to the sleepy district. This decorated war hero did not arrive home to acclaim and rest, but to a new battle against the repercussions of an insidious disease. Mary’s caring nature cannot stand to see someone suffer–but how can she help this man see any brightness in his future when he’s plunged into melancholic darkness, his dreams laid waste by his condition?
Adam wants no charity, but he’s also no coward. If this gentle woman can work hard, how can he do less? Together they struggle to find a way forward for him. Frustration and antipathy slowly develop into friendship and esteem. Then a summer storm atop a mountain peak leads to scandal–and both Mary and Adam must search the depths of their closed hearts for answers if they hope to find any future path with happiness at its end.
Best-selling author Carolyn Miller is back with a fresh series that will not only thrill readers eager for more of her work, but bring in new fans looking for beautiful writing, fascinating research, deftly woven love stories, and real faith lived out in the Regency period.
What I loved: Adam’s spiritual walk and personal walk in learning how to live as a blind man. I found inspiration in his struggles.
Favorite Character and Why: Adam. While not always the most gentle in his responses, you could tell he was a good man who struggled. It felt real and relatable as he learned to accept a future different from the one he envisioned.
Who would like this? I would recommend this book to anyone who loves regency stories, stories of spinster women finding love, spiritual threads that are strong but not preachy, and heroes who are not your typical hero.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Book Depository | Bookshop.org | Christianbook.com | Indiebound.org
For your chance to win a book from my prize stash, comment with what book YOU read for this month and you will also be entered into the year-end Grand Prize Reader Basket. Use the Rafflecopter below for extra entries and to mark that you left a comment. Entries end on June 7th at midnight EST, and the winner will be drawn sometime that week and notified by email. The winner will be announced don’t the Rafflecopter widget. *Open to all residents of the contiguous USA, legally able to enter, and an e-book format or Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to those outside that range who are legally able to enter.
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What did you read for May’s Challenge? What do you hope to read in June’s?
There is something magical about writing a book that is hard to fathom for most non-writers. Our characters come alive and take on their own personalities. They are capable of making their own decisions and changing our plots. They become so real, they can be interviewed, just like any other person in the world.
Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to the Aussie skating heroine from Love on Ice by Caroline Miller, Holly Travers. Before we meet officially, let me introduce you to her story:
Love on Ice by Carolyn Miller
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.
CC: Hi Holly! We’re so excited to have you. So, how do you think others view you?
HT: I think others see me as busy, committed and focused, someone who loves God and who tries to be a good daughter and a good friend. But I know that sometimes between my university studies and my training I can forget there’s more to life. Why? Because I want to win gold at the next Winter Olympics!
CC: Wow! To go to the Winter Olympics must be amazing. Who is your least favorite person to deal with? Why?
HT: Honestly, I find Brent Karlsson a bit of a pain. Sure, he might be my best friend’s twin brother, and some might say he’s handsome (well, that’s what all the girls in Detroit seem to think anyway) but he’s arrogant, or at least he’s acted that way to me in the past, plus he’s way too tall. And while he might say he’s changed from being a ladies’ man, I’m not sure I can trust him. (Can you ever really trust a charming man?) He keeps trying to prove my assumptions about him are wrong – he’s part of this Bible study group for pro hockey players, and he even has favourite Bible verses! – but because of his past I’m never really able to relax around him. Not that I want to. Not that I should. My coach just wants me to focus, focus, focus on my training – so even if I liked him (which I don’t) then I wouldn’t have time for a relationship with him anyway. How could that even work, when I live in Australia and he’s there in Michigan? It couldn’t. It shouldn’t. So it won’t.
CC: Oh those charmers. What a challenge they can be. What is your biggest fear?
HT: My biggest fear is not making the Olympics, or if I did make it, hurting myself beforehand so I couldn’t actually compete. The Olympics is all I’ve dreamed about for so long, and proving myself there is all I want to do. Short track speed skating is who I am – there’s nothing like the feeling of flying on the ice. So I guess my biggest fear is not being able to show that, or finding out I’m not good enough. Because if I couldn’t skate, then who am I? And what would that say about what I’ve spent years training for? And what would I do for the rest of my life?
CC: Do you enjoy family gatherings? Why/why not?
HT: I LOVE family gatherings, especially because I live 1000 kms away from my family (I live and train in Brisbane, Queensland, and they’re 11+ hours drive away in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia). My family is really small – just my mum and dad, brother, uncle, granddad and me – so we try to make the most of our time together when we catch up. My parents have always been my biggest supporters – they encouraged me to go on a student exchange program when I finished school, which ultimately gave me the opportunity to learn to skate when I was staying with Bree Karlsson’s family (she’s now been my best friend for years), and then supported me to follow my dreams when I returned to Australia. I love them, and I miss seeing them for months at a time when I’m training away from home or travelling for competitions around the world. So when we gather for things like Christmas or Easter it’s the best! (And not just because I can get my boogie board out and go have a surf with my brother!)
CC: Your family sounds amazing! If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?
HT: You mean apart from a gold medal? Two things: I’d like to see my Granddad get better (we think he’s getting Alzheimers ☹) and I’d like to see people like my friend Jess come to know God as their savior and best friend. I try to share with her about Jesus, but she wasn’t lucky enough to grow up in a Christian family like I was, so I think she’s struggled with believing like I do. But I keep praying for her. And for Kate (my other training partner, who I’m pretty sure hates me). I’d love to see her get zapped by God – in a good way, of course! Oh, and I’d LOVE to spend more time with Bree. But she’s a newlywed and living in Calgary, so that’s not possible at the moment. But who know? One day in the future God might do a miracle and I could go live there where they have the BEST short track speed skating training facilities in the world. Now that’d be a real answer to prayer!
Wow, Holly. It has been an absolute joy to talk to you today and I look forward to seeing what Love on Ice has in store for you! Friends, you can find out to by picking up Love on Ice at any of the following links.
In the comments below, what questions would YOU ask of Holly Travers?
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes and Noble Books-a-Million Book Depository Bookshop.org
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 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.
Connect with Carolyn: website | facebook | pinterest | twitter | instagram | bookbub | goodreads
Heaven and Nature Sing
by Carolyn Miller
Thanksgiving and Christmas are a busy season, so for the next three weeks, I am going to be reviewing each novella from the Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection.
First up is Carolyn Miller’s “Heaven and Nature Sing.” May I say this was just an absolute joy to read? There were elements that hearken back to Pride and Prejudice without being a retelling of it. I delighted in all the characters, the Christmas traditions, and the sneaky plans of friends and family to reunite two people who love each other. It gave me all the feels and joy of Christmas. I simply adored it and look forward to reading the next two novellas in the collection.
Fans of Jane Austen, second chance love, and Christmas romances will devour this story in one sitting. I know I did.
Genre: Historical Romance, England, 1813
Two music lovers, deeply devoted to each other, were on the brink of engagement when family circumstances drove them apart. How can they ever overcome both their obligations and their fears to find their way back into each other’s arms?
But Christmas in the country presents unforeseen surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled . . . and determined to have nothing to do with him.
What I loved: I really loved the sweet, light-hearted aspect of this story. It truly was reminiscent of Jane Austen, and who can go wrong with that. The second chance at love was filled with lots of sweetness.
Favorite Character and Why: Where would a story be without the meddling god-mother? LOL I truly loved all her conniving and pushing.
Rating and Why: Five Stars. It was just such a fun, light little read that I slipped into for a few blissful hours and was not ready to rejoin the chaotic world afterward.
Amazon.com Baker Bookhouse Barnes and Noble Book Depository Christianbook.com