A warm welcome to author Piper Vaughn joining us today to talk about her new co authored release “Off the Ice”, written with Avon Gale.
Check out her post about sport romance and don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom.
Welcome Piper (and Avon)
Why Sports Romance? How Hockey Saved Me
By: Piper Vaughn
Hi, everyone! Piper Vaughn, here. Thanks for having me and for joining Avon Gale and I on our OFF THE ICE blog tour! Today I’m going to talk about something that’s a little personal to me and answer the question, “Why sports romance?”
I’ve said before that hockey saved my life. This isn’t hyperbole; it’s the honest truth.
I came to hockey through rather unconventional means. A few years ago when I was a lot more invested in Tumblr than I am now, I accidentally encountered RPF (real person fiction) about a few different hockey players. Generally speaking, I’d never been a big fan of RPF because it felt invasive reading about real people as opposed to fictional characters, but because I didn’t know these men, these players, back then, it felt like reading about any other character. They hadn, t crossed into my reality yet.
But that was then. Soon I got to know the players through fanfic, then through Tumblr posts and news articles, and finally, I decided I wanted to write a hockey romance. No, a whole hockey series!
Problem was, I’d only ever watched one hockey game, and I didn’t know a single thing about the sport beyond it being played on ice and having sticks and pucks involved. I decided I couldn’t write about the sport while being so ignorant of its rules and intricacies, so I asked my husband, a longtime hockey fan, to watch games with me and explain the rules.
Almost immediately, I was caught up in the hockey vortex, and I haven’t looked back or regretted it a single moment since. But while my hockey obsession was just beginning, I was also in the middle of my worst depressive episode ever. I was struggling badly and nearly had to be hospitalized. Hockey became a sort of lifeline for me. I latched onto it because I felt like I was drowning, and it was one of the few things that distracted me from my hopelessness and despair.
I found my favorite players. I found my favorite teams, or rather, as Avon would say, they found me. Hockey became an integral part of my life. I caught myself checking the NHL website daily, downloading apps, looking up stats, staying up-to-date on the latest news, and religiously following certain players and teams. I cried over losses. I cried over wins. Basically, I fell in love.
Sports have been around since the start of human history, I’m talking pre-historic times here. There are cave paintings depicting swimming, sprinting, and wrestling matches. In my own Puerto Rico, native Tainos played a ball game (batu) on a rectangular plaza referred to as batey. The function of the ball game has been contested by historians, was it simply a game or used for more serious purposes, like resolving tribal disputes without resorting to war? But whatever its function, it was an intrinsic part of Taino culture.
I’ve stood on a batey in Puerto Rico and seen the petroglyphs carved into the granite and sandstone surrounding it. The court was used for more than just the ball game, but for feasts, celebrations, and religious ceremonies as well. And when I stood there on the court, I felt transported. I felt like a part of something bigger than myself.
Why do certain people become so invested in sports? Why do we cry and scream and cheer? Because the ritual of sports is pretty much part of our DNA! Civilizations formed and people started competing against each other, while others simply enjoyed being spectators or betting on the show. Sports offer an escape, a spectacle, a sense of belonging, a common goal (i.e, beat the enemy, aka the other team). The outcomes are unscripted (mostly) and many player stories are inspirational. Sports fans thrive on the drama of the competition. We see ourselves as an extension of the team and we celebrate or mourn with them.
Why tie this to romance? Because, for me, romance and books were also lifesavers. In a world where I felt alone, friendless, and couldn’t imagine a happy ending, books were my companions and provided me with happily ever afters. In a similar fashion, hockey provided a distraction and cause for celebration when it felt like my life was in shambles. It isn’t about chasing a trend for me , though, hey, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with an author writing to the market. We’re all trying to make a living. But for me it’s about so much more than wanting to write about hot hockey players. It’s about combining the sport I love with the genre I love. And maybe, with the two things that saved me, I can provide someone else a few hours of happiness and comfort too.
Thanks for joining Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn on the OFF THE ICE blog tour. In the Hat Trick series, love and hockey collide and create enough heat to melt the ice. Join the players as they chase both the Stanley Cup and their own personal happily ever afters.
About Off the Ice
Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire, if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.
Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the Sociology Department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game.
But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk their hearts when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.
Available now from
About Avon Gale
Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal Midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert, and will never say no to candy.
At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.
Connect with Avon:
- Website: www.avongalewrites.com
- Blog: www.avongalewrites.com/category/blog/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/avongalewrites
- Twitter: @avongalewrites
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/avongalewrites/
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/avongale/
About Piper Vaughn
Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book, fantasy, young adult, romance, sci-fi, she loves them all (and has an over-two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She’s an avid tea drinker, a hockey fanatic, a vintage typewriter collector, and loves to travel so much she has “wanderlust” tattooed on her ankle and dozens of countries on her bucket list. Recently, she discovered the world of nail art and realized she’s pretty handy with a paintbrush, as long as it’s a miniature one.
As a bisexual and Latinx person, Piper takes great pride in her heritage. She grew up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood and strives to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, son, and a cat that has Piper wrapped around her little paw. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life, even if it’s only in a book.
Connect with Piper:
- Website: http://pipervaughn.com/
- Blog: https://pipervaughn.wordpress.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pipervaughn
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/pipervaughn
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pipervaughn7/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/piper.vaughn/
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/104698982870458063898
To celebrate the release of Off the Ice, one lucky winner will receive a Venom t-shirt in their size and Venom notebook! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 4, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!