Sports themed books, movies, and TV shows have always been a love of mine–with or without romance (though a love story is always a plus). Surely I’m not the only female who feels this way? And although Off the Ice features ice hockey, I have written another YA that features a female elite gymnast, another with a ballet dancer, and in my YA novel Whatever Life Throws at You my main character, Annie, is a long distance runner for her high school track team. I really enjoy writing female athletes as well as the boys from Juniper Falls in Off the Ice.
The knowledge of a sport is generally not required to enjoy a fictionalized story that revolves around athletics. In fact, readers with extensive knowledge of a sport can ruin a fictional story featuring the sport of their expertise because authors often take liberties with rules and details to be able to tell the most interesting story.
What attracts me to reading and writing sports themed stories is that they often feature very driven characters who take action without hesitation. Who wants to read about a protagonist that complains all the time but never does anything? Not me. These driven athletes often have very clear, easy to follow goals–win the match, run faster, jump higher, etc…additionally these goals can create intriguing conflict when something (or someone) becomes nearly as important to them as their beloved sport. Another wonderful aspect of sports themed stories is the community often created either within an athlete’s’ team or the town or fans supporting the team. Everyone wants to see the underdog take the win and when they do, the warm fuzzies are plentiful.
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About Off the Ice
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 But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie.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.
About the Author
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.