(Face-Off Series #1)
Publication date: February 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Former collegiate athlete and successful sports agent, Charlotte “Coach” Coachman, is a straight shooter who has a very strict policy—no dating clients. The loves of her life are coaching little league basketball and managing the careers of her players, leaving no room for men.
Coach hasn’t met an athlete she couldn’t handle and a deal she couldn’t close—until she meets Alex Parker—the NHL’s most notorious bad boy both on and off the ice.
Alex is the best defenseman in the league, breaking records along with hearts. He’s made a name for himself as a womanizer, and after a scandal involving the owner’s granddaughter, Alex is traded to Philadelphia. Still reeling from the loss of his father, Alex is on a downward spiral, drowning himself in booze and women, until Coach takes him under her wing.
She might be attracted to the sexy hockey star, and certainly not immune to his charms, but Coach can see that Alex needs her help, and coaching players is what she does best. Now that the lines are blurred and the passion between them is too strong to deny, Coach has to decide if Alex is worth making an exception to her rules.
I’d like to welcome Jillian Parker here today, as part of this blog tour for Parker; the first book in the Face-Off Series. Welcome Jillian!
Ok, I have to ask because I live in Canada and love hockey too! Who is your favorite hockey team and is Parker based on a favorite hockey player of yours?
JP: I am from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I’m probably not allowed to cheer for both Pennsylvania teams without breaking an unwritten hockey rule, but I am a huge Penguins and Flyers fan. The reason I chose the Flyers for the Face-Off Series is because the story, like all of my books, is set in Philadelphia, and I grew up watching the Flyers.
Philly sports fans are diehards and cheering for Pittsburgh would probably get me in a lot of trouble, but I feel as though I can root for both teams since I’m from the same state, if that makes sense. My favorite hockey player is Sidney Crosby. I have a serious crush on him. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you will see proof of my fingerling. I’m sure my followers cannot wait until hockey season is over. Crosby inspired the series along with Tyler Seguin, Patrick Kane, Henrik Lundqvist, and Kris Letang.
I also dated a few hockey players when I was in high school and college, and I would by lying if I didn’t admit that a few of them, or at least their positions, were in the back of my mind when I created the series. The Face-Off Series follows a star defenseman, center, and goalie, all of which I have dated. I think I even dated a winger or two now that I’m thinking about it.
I have always been more drawn to hockey players than other athletes. I also think hockey is by far the toughest sport, both mentally and physically, and hockey players are not given enough credit or paid enough money for how intense the sport. I wish more people in the United States loved hockey as much as I do. I watch it every day from start to finish, no matter what team is playing. Finding someone who likes hockey in the US is more challenging than you would think. Football is a much bigger sport here, and I am not a fan of it at all, despite having a football family and friends who all love it.
What did you love most about your main characters?
JP: Charlotte is a strong woman who had to overcome not only a tough childhood but a career ending injury when she was on the fast-track to going pro. So much of my personal life and myself are present in Charlotte’s character. I went through similar scenarios in my life that helped shape her character. A few people told me the acknowledgments made them cry when they saw how much of my life had a part in this story.
Alex is a cocky star who is misunderstood and sort of lost after the death of his father and coach. He need another coach and he finds that in Charlotte. I love that while he has the playboy side to him, he loves kids and his fans and will do anything for the people he loves. Underneath the tough guy exterior, there is a really good guy that I loved writing about.
I really enjoy your blog Rant and Rave About Books! Has your experiences as a book blogger made it easier or harder to deal with criticism?
JP: Thank you! I am so glad you like my blog. As far as my experiences, I am a tough person in general. Few things bother me, especially reviews, because I have dealt with much worse in my life than a negative review. I also feel as though I could never dish out a rant on my blog without being able to take one myself. Reviews are about your book and not something an author should take personal, even though some reviews may sting a little. I haven’t had any reviews for my books that really bothered me for more than a few minutes. I usually just let them roll off my shoulder and keeping writing. My goal is to write what I think is the best book possible. If someone doesn’t like my book for one reason, I can find ten people who do like it for that reason. It’s a matter of opinion, something we are all entitled to, so when it comes to reviews, I don’t really put much thought into them.
I love that readers and bloggers take the time to critique my work, and believe me, that criticism does help in my overall writing process because it helps me gauge what readers like and don’t like. But I don’t let it sway me in any direction when I am writing. My creative process and stories I have planned in my head will not change because of a negative review. I have confidence in my work, and I hope that shines through to my fans and readers.
Where do you write from?
JP: I write from my house most of the time. I live in Florida, where it is always warm, so sometimes, I will write on the hammock next to the pool, but for the most part, I write in the kitchen or in my bedroom on my laptop. Sometimes I write on a notepad to get the creative juices flowing when I’m staring at a blank Word doc and I do that from the hammock. I watch hockey while I’m writing most nights, and the bigger TV is in my room. I write most of my books in my bedroom, even if writing on my bed is not most comfortable.
What does literary success look like to you?
JP: Literally success to me is reaching a larger audience and writing stories for the people who want to read my books. One of my greatest fears when I published my first novel, Corrupt Me, was that no one would want to read my book. The market is oversaturated with romance authors, and it’s not always easy to be that diamond that sparkles in the rough. I think as a new author I set my expectations at a reasonable level.
But I lucked out with Parker. The book hit Amazon’s top ten best sellers list in sports the week of its release and has been on Amazon’s hot new releases and best sellers list since and improving each day. I’m still in shock because I have only been a published author since January 17th. I am really grateful for the support from my readers and all the love I received from bloggers and authors. I’m just really lucky and soaking this all in for the moment and taking things one day and one book at a time.
How would you describe your writing style?
JP: I think my writing style is simple. I don’t like metaphors or overly complicated literary devices that make it confusing for a reader to understand. When I’m reading a book, I do not want to stop so I can open my dictionary to look up the meaning of a word that hasn’t been used in a hundred years, and I certainly do not want to sit there and play a guessing game as to what message the author is trying to convey with a complicated device. For that reason, I like to keep my writing simple and relatable. You will never find any purple prose or overly descriptive and unnecessary filler words or scenes in my books. It’s like the saying less is more. I feel the same can also be applied to writing.
I loved answering your questions. Thank you so much for having me on your blog.