Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Hockey Hotties Blog Hop

Yay! You're here, so glad you could make it to the Hockey Hotties Blog Hop. Cassandra and I came up with this idea back in the summer and have been excitedly planning it as well as hopping (pun intended) on the spot for the start of the season to begin.

I, however, unlike a lot of my fellow hockey romance authors, live in the UK. My local team is The Cardiff Devils, who are actually pretty damn good and based in the capital of Wales. I manage to keep up with the NHL online, thank goodness, but have never been to a match Stateside.

Getting into hockey has been a slow burn for me. Unlike in the US it's still a secondary sport for most UK people, and I would guess a lot of folk wouldn't know the name of their local hockey team. Football (soccer) is a different matter, it is the nation's obsession when it comes to team sport, certainly for the blokes anyway, and, to be honest, more and more women these days - me included!

So how did I get the hockey bug? Reading of course. I read a few hockey romances and loved them. The descriptions of the sport, the adrenaline, the speed, the smells and sounds completely gripped me. I also became immersed in the heroes and their rough and ready, go for it attitudes as well as their obvious hunkyness. The women who tamed them, snared them, tempted them into their beds were seriously lucky, or so I thought. So when it came for me to write a sporting romance for Ellora's Cave I couldn't help but let my mind wander down the hockey route. That's when Logan 'Phoenix' Taylor came into existence, the star of Hired, book #1 in my Hot Ice series.

I'd had this idea brewing about a couple thrown together in a beautiful villa on a desert island. Her having been sent there to stop him from drinking and wallowing in misery, but, and of course there's always a but, he doesn't know that she's been hired for the job of babysitting him. Naturally things get complicated when they find they can't keep their hands off of each other...

It seemed natural to make Logan a hockey player, a sullen, sulky player who's on a week suspension for bad on-ice behaviour. Brooke is a sweet girl who desperately needs money to finance her dreams of being a nurse, she doesn't intend to even talk to the Neanderthal in the corner! Ahem... oh yeah, she does a lot more than talk!

Hired was a great success, winning Best Cover 2010 on D Renee Bagby's blog and Best First Chapter (you can read it here). This success got me thinking about one of the secondary characters in Hired, Brick. He'd been a bit of an ass in book #1 to tell the truth, and gets his butt kicked by Phoenix, but I still felt there was more to him. So I created a feisty, determined heroine for Cross-Checked who literally wanted to hunt him down. You see, Carly is also a world class athlete and used to getting what she wants, however Brick, and the sport of love and lust, proves to be a whole different game for her and she soon finds herself tangled in her own rules! Cross-Checked went on to win Sizzling's Best Sporting Romance Award 2012 which was very exciting and I'll always have a soft spot for Brick.

By this point I was getting more into hockey and had befriended someone involved with Cardiff Devils (who drinks at our local pub).

I write anonymously so didn't tell him about my raunchy interest in the game but was more than happy to dig out details about my local team and chat about their recent wins and defeats and what was going on in the locker room and the player's lounge. All the time we chatted and drank wine I was plotting my next story, Slap Shot, which I wanted to make about the captain of my fictional team, The Orlando Vipers.

I quickly decided that I wanted Rick 'Ramrod' Lewis to have a bit of kink when it came to the bedroom, not that my other players didn't have, but this was a more, hence the title. The woman he persuades to join him, Dana, is not looking for romance or even a man in her life, so he has to pull out all the stops to get her but when he does... phew, I loved writing this book! I lost 5k of words at one point which was pretty frustrating, but I went back and re-wrote and in the end was particularly pleased with the intensity of the pole dancing scene.

When it came to book #4, Teamwork, I went into what I consider a real comfort zone of mine, menage a trois. My very first novel, Shared, is a story about a threesome (set in Cardiff believe it or not) and I've always enjoyed going back to 'more in a bed'. Enter Raven Starr and Todd 'Pretty' Carty, they're as talented off the ice as on it when it comes to teamwork.

Although there are threesome scenes, hot, dirty, sweaty threesome scenes in Teamwork, I really liked the idea of using one of my male leads in the next book. M/M is fairly new to me and I will confess that I wasn't sure how I'd manage to portray the difficulties a gay hockey player would have in the US. The news is big about gay athletes coming out of the closet and I wanted to do my characters and plot line justice.

High-Sticked therefore required some online research but I'm thrilled with the end result and judging by readers reviews so are they. 

One of the things I've made sure of with my Hot Ice series is that the books can all be enjoyed as standalone reads. Each story focuses on a new player and his journey to happy ever after. But, if they are read in order the star of the next book will have had a cameo appearance in the last, plus the previous characters pop up at parties or games or other events so if you've read them all you'll be able to say hi.

In both Teamwork and High-Sticked the goaltender is briefly mentioned, Dustin 'Speed' Reed and he's the star of book #6 Misconduct, not yet released.

I'm looking forward to this one hitting the shelves, the chemistry between Dustin and Gina, the daughter of The Vipers owner, is explosive, plus he too has his own kinks that he's only too happy to tell her about... oh yum!

So what's next for Hot Ice? Well, I intend to keep on writing as long as people keep on reading. The next book is started, Russian Heat, and stars Vadim, featured in Misconduct, and I'm thoroughly enjoying a trip to Moscow in my head at the moment. After that there will be another player who needs my attention, possibly young Jackson who's had a hard time in Misconduct. One thing is for sure I love my Viper boys through and through and I hope my readers do too!

If you would like to know more here are a bunch of links.

First Chapters

Hired   Cross-Checked   Slap Shot   Teamwork   High-Sticked

Blurbs - Lily Harlem Website Hot Ice Page

Reviews - Lily Harlem's Rockin' Reviews

Buy Links

Amazon   Amazon UK    ARe    Sony    Kobo 
Bookstrand  B&N Ellora's Cave

Pinterest - The Real Deal     Hot Ice

Newsletter sign up - so you know when new Hot Ice books are released!

So now to the important stuff! The prize! I'm going to giveaway 3 copies of Hired the first book in the Hot Ice series, so just leave me a comment along with your email address and I'll pick a winner at the end of the hop - good luck!

Note - below are links for the hop, not the sign up!


  1. I see I have some new reads to add to my TBR pile! Your Vipers sound delicious!

  2. Not much of a hockey fan but I enjoyed reading your blog.

  3. Wow, new author & series for me. I love to read and am a huge hockey fan. Of course I am a huge Chicago Blackhawk fan. I love goalies. They are so freakin' sexy. We have several semi-professional teams here is Iowa> I am a big fan of our local Cedar Rapids Rough Riders. Definitely going to be checking out this series and this author. Thanks for the heads up and the chance to win.
    christinebails at yahoo dot com

  4. I love sports romance books but my crack is hockey sports romances, I have now added the series to my wish list on Amazon & goodreads.

  5. I actually know a bit about the Cardiff Devils, because Rob Davison of the San Jose Sharks (my favorite NHL team!) played for them during the '04-'05 lockout. Even though northern California isn't a traditional hockey market, there's a strong contingent of fans and players thanks to the Sharks, their ECHL affiliate the San Francisco Bulls, and many youth programs. I love the Hot Ice series...since I have HIRED, would it be possible to get HIGH-STICKED if my name is drawn? This m/m fanatic would be eternally grateful! Either way, what a great hop...

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

  6. Lily I enjoy anything you write! I didn't realize this was a whole series - somehow I thought High-Sticked was a one of.

    I love series' - love seeing the partners grow and change as the books shift to someone else.

    Email - hhand (at) sasktel (dot) net

    1. Congratulations Heather you have won a copy of Hired!

  7. Thank you to everyone for stopping by on the first day of the Hockey Hotties Hop, I adore reading all of your comments.

    Take care and have fun :-)

    Lily x

  8. What a fun sounding series. I've read books about other sports but not hockey yet!

    daringzoey at yahoo.com

    1. Congratulations Melissa you have won a copy of Hired

  9. Hi Lily, I'm a reader from Canada. I love hockey. I recently read Scored and loved it. I'd love to start Hired and see where this newly discovered series takes me. Keep writing. C

  10. I am a huge hockey fan and I love hockey romances. So excited to find you have a series. Can't wait to get started.

  11. During our lock-out last year I became a fan of European hockey. A girl needs her fix. I love how true to the sport your books stay.

  12. I love hockey romances. I'm putting this series on my TBR list right away :)

  13. One of your "hockey" themed books that I, for some reason, haven't read yet. I have loved Scored, Cross-Checked, & Slap Shot. I also enjoyed The Glass Knot. Thanks for having the hop & the giveaway1

    1. I'm a bad girl! I forgot my email
      JessieL62 AT comcast DOT net

  14. This looks like a very good series and I look forward to reading it. Thanks for the giveaway.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

    1. Congratulations Sherry you have won a copy of Hired

  15. Being Canadian - this series sounds pretty fantastic - hockey is genetically coded into us :-)