Thursday, March 9, 2017

"Off the Ice" by Julie Cross

Off the Ice
(Juniper Falls Book 1)
by Julie Cross

Off the Ice by Julie Cross is currently on tour with Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours. The tour stops here today for my interview with the author and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

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 Kenneally 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 But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie.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.

Click below to read an excerpt.

Praise for the Book
"Wow, this book had so much depth and heart. [...] This book has two characters dealing with some pretty heavy stuff, and I really loved how the author took us through that and the reactions and actions all made sense to me. It was just really well done. It made me feel for both of them, and I was intrigued with how they were dealing with it and how their relationship with each other would either benefit or hinder them." ~ Lenore Kosinski, Celebrity Readers
"I just loved everything about this novel. The characters, the setting, the romance, the stakes - it all worked for me. And I honestly am so excited to know that there will be more stories set in Juniper Falls, it seems to me like it's a town worth knowing." ~ Eva Scalzo, Definitely, Possibly, Maybe
"Cross does a great job of capturing the sweet, raw emotions of young love and coming-of-age through natural dialogue and real-to-life character reactions. The secondary characters keep this story moving as well. I'm excited for the next book in this series." ~ Dawn Alexander,
"The absolute best thing about this book is that it is book one in the Juniper Falls series and that means there are going to be more books!!! Already I can see so many possibilities for secondary characters in this book to have a chance to tell their story and I can't wait." ~ Madison, Madison's Library
"Readers will be drawn into the story and become invested in the character's lives. Definitely recommend!" ~ Kristen Cambensy, Victim of Books

Interview With the Author
Julie Cross joins me today to discuss her new book, Off the Ice.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
Probably 14 and up.
What sparked the idea for this book?
Well, I love sports themed YA, and I really wanted to try my hand at creating a fictional town and portraying small town life.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
For me, usually the characters. Then comes their problem(s) and that launches a story.
What was the hardest part to write in this book?
Probably Tate’s dad. He’s pretty horrible. I wanted him to be nice but his character shaped Tate’s and became a reality. But it was still hard.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
Like all my books, I hope it’s fun and engrossing. Maybe they shed a few tears?
What is your writing routine?
My routine is that I have no routine. Seriously. I’m self-proclaimed as consistently inconsistent.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
Read a lot. Enjoy life. Try new things. Take risks. And write.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like to cook and reorganize things. I teach gymnastics at the Y and really enjoy working with the kids in my classes.
What does your family think of your writing?
They are proud of it and sometimes they think it’s weird.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
I learned to read when I was only four years old and I haven’t stopped since. Books have always been a big part of my life.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I didn’t begin writing until I was 29 years old. It was just a little hobby and then it grew into more.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing?
Reading and developing an early love for books was a huge influence on my desire to write.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
That’s a really hard question to answer. I’m not sure if I could pinpoint any specific authors that shape my writing. But as a kid my favorite books were The Baby-Sitters Club series, John Grisham novels, most of the children’s classics.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I do hear from readers all around the world on a daily basis. And they say all kinds of things, everyone has a unique story and a unique reading experience.
What can we look forward to from you in the future?
There will be at least two more books in the Juniper Falls series and then I’m also finishing up a second Chasing Truth book.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today, Julie. Best of luck with your future projects.

About the Author
Julie Cross is a NY Times 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, and 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, long-time 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.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a Kindle Fire (US only).