Today I am so pleased to welcome Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn to Joyfully Jay. Avon and Piper Vaughn have come to talk to us about their latest release, Off the Ice. They have also brought along a fun giveaway! Please join me in giving them a big welcome!

Off the Ice Tour Banner


Hi! I’m Avon Gale, and I’m here to talk about HOCKEY! I have a new book out, Off the Ice, co-written with the wonderful Piper Vaughn! Piper and I got the idea for this book when we heard about a St. Louis Blues player, Colton Parayko, who was attending college in case something didn’t quite go as planned with his hockey career. We were imagining what it would be like to be the teacher who had that guy in your class, and then…we sort of looked at each other and went, “AHA!”

If you’re thinking about getting into hockey, I have a few suggestions for you! You may take or leave them as you wish, but just remember this one thing: caring about sports is terrible. Seriously, run away right now.

  1. The Team Of Your Heart Picks You, Not The Other Way Around.

I yell about this all the time, especially when I’m suffering through yet another Boston Bruin power play. Seriously, I started watching the Canucks with my best friend, then got seduced to the Bruins because everyone said I should hate them. Look, I’m contrary, okay? But you’ll know it when your team picks you. The team of your heart will be the one who makes you cry, whether they win or lose (and, if the team of your heart is the Boston Bruins, it will probably be lose 😐 ). There is no way to fight this. You just have to accept it.

  1. The Other Team’s Announcers are Biased Against Your Team

This isn’t true, but you’re going to think it is. If you are stuck listening to the opposing team’s announcers, you will become enraged and possibly find the game on the radio and try to adjust the live game with the radio delay to make it synch up, just so you don’t have to listen to the idiots who aren’t your team’s announcers. Um. I told you there’s nothing rational about loving sports, right?

  1. People Will Hate Your Team And It’s Okay

Look. Everyone has a favorite team, so that means they usually have a rival. I’m a Bruins fan, so I hate the Habs. Habs fans hate the Bruins. And the Leafs. And the Senators. And usually their own team. Anyway, my point is that you get your team and THEN you get a rival! But you also will find teams that you just hate for whatever reason, and it won’t be logical. (Ask me why I hate the Lightning sometime, it is so dumb.) And this means the same is going to be true for your team with other fans – people will hate your team, it will not make sense to you and you will be confused and possibly angry about this (looking at you, Pittsburgh Penguins fans). And it’s fine. Sports!hate is part of the fun of the whole thing, so just go with it.

  1. You Will Hate Teams For Silly Reasons

“One time I heard their announcer call our goalie a sieve who couldn’t catch a sneeze and one of their fans yelled at me on the train.” This is a perfectly valid reason to hate a team. So is, “Their mascot is stupid” and “My ex-girlfriend liked that team.”

  1. Sports Is Not A Narrative

This one is the hardest to deal with, I think, for new fans. Look at the Nashville Predators last season. They had this storybook playoff run that no one expected and seemed to be scripted right out of a movie/book. Did they win the Stanley Cup? Nope. Instead, the team that won the year before won it again, which was very anticlimactic (unless, I suppose, it was your team that won last year). There’s a tendency sometimes to ascribe morality to teams, and I do it myself by joking that my team is evil. But that’s the thing about sports, right? It’s all chance. And it won’t make sense, it’s unfair and terrible and why are you doing this to yourself? Seriously, escape while you still have a chance!

Come yell about hockey with me on Twitter! I love talking to other fans – new fans, old fans, other Bruins and Blues fans, heck, even Habs fans. What I love most about hockey fandom is that while my heart might break season after season, at least I’m in great company!


Off the IceTristan 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.


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:


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:


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!

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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