A warm welcome to author Tali Spencer joining us today to talk about new release “Breaking the Ice”.
The Frozen Tundra
I met my now-husband, a Philadelphia native, online. When I told him I lived in Wisconsin, his first words were “You’re kidding. The frozen tundra?” Let’s examine the two angles of that response.
First is the implication that Wisconsin is an exotic locale. I might as well have said I lived in Tajikistan.
Second, though, is the pervasive belief that Wisconsin is in the grip of perpetual winter. And has tundra. Let’s look at that definition: tundra is flat, treeless, and has perpetually frozen subsoil. Wisconsin is none of those things. Witness the pretty picture.
Still, the love of my life still considers Wisconsin flat (compared to Pennsylvania), though he has has come to appreciate the state has lots and lots of trees. And summer. And spectacular sausages. And mosquitos the size of bumblebees. It’s a ferocious state.
So of course, when I wrote Breaking the Ice, set in Wisconsin, I nodded to that whole tundra thing with the most frozen of all possible settings. Though I skirted the whole part about football.
The connection between Wisconsin and tundra originated with the Ice Bowl, the 1967 National Football League championship game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers. The date was December 31st and it was COLD. Minus 15 degrees Fahrenhiet cold with a wicked wind chill that made conditions even colder. When the cover on the playing field at Lambeau Field was removed, the grass flash froze. It was pretty amazing—and “frozen” was a spot-on choice of adjectives. A Sports Illustrated reporter called it “the frozen tundra” and the phrase was later picked up in film narration of the game. It stuck.
Frozen Tundra has become a cherished nickname for Lambeau, home field of the Packers. The Green Bay Packers are the heart and soul of Wisconsin sports, community-owned (the only professional sports team in the country to be so) and a true team of the people. Every game is sold out. Always. It’s nearly impossible to buy a season ticket because those are handed down from generation to generation like heirlooms. Lambeau tailgating, often in sub-zero temperatures, is legendary. Frozen Tundra? Bring it on! Even in sports-crazy Philly, a native Packer fan gets respect. We’re hardcore.
Both main characters in Breaking the Ice are Packer-Backers, something that gets mentioned because, well, that’s what Wisconsinites do. Only one character, though, worships winter. Through Matt, I had a blast showing the kind of winter weather that gives Wisconsin its frosty reputation—and also the men who love that weather. There’s a breed in Wisconsin that takes winter in stride, drives hundreds of miles in a blizzard, holes up in cabins, and will sit out on a frozen lake for hours hoping to catch a few fish.
I talk more about winter survival tips in other posts on the blog tour, but the fact is most Wisconsinites, including Matt and John, sit indoors around a TV watching their Packers and munching on nachos. Unless they get their hands on some game tickets, in which case they bundle up to sit in the stands—maybe under the same blanket.
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: April 19
For Matt Wasko, February in Wisconsin is the best time of the year, and ice fishing on Lake Winnebago is his idea of heaven. With shanty villages cropping up, barbeques on the ice, monster sturgeon to spear, and plenty of booze to keep everybody warm, things couldn’t be better—until a surprise storm hits and an uninvited guest shows up at his frozen doorstep.
Matt’s not happy to see John Lutz, a coworker who cracks lame gay jokes at Matt’s expense. But John’s flimsy new ice shelter got blown across the lake, and it wouldn’t be right to leave even a jerk outside to freeze. Would it?
In the close quarters of Matt’s fabulous ice shanty, between stripping off wet clothes, misadventures with bait, and a fighting trophy-sized walleye, the two men discover creative ways to keep the cold at bay. And when John confesses his long-running attraction, Matt must decide if he can believe in John’s change of heart—and crack the ice for a chance at finding love.
About Tali Spencer
Tali Spencer delights in erotic fantasy and adventure, creating worlds where she can explore the heights and shadows of sexual passion. A hopeful romantic and lover of all things exotic, she also writes high fantasy and science fiction. If you would like to see inspiration pictures for her characters, or glimpse how she envisions her worlds, including works in progress, check out her Pinterest boards.
Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org