My fondest Olympic memory comes from 2018, when my husband and I gathered in our curling club warm-room with dozens of other members to watch the men’s gold-medal match, which took place in the middle of the night Eastern Time.
Team USA’s skip, John Shuster, had had a string of disappointing, heartbreaking Olympics, and it looked like 2018 would turn out the same way. But somehow he and his team pulled together to win the last several games. America loves an underdog, so millions of new curling fans stayed up late to watch Team Shuster take on two-time world champions Team Niklas Edin from Sweden, whose curlers were slick, confident, and well-financed (and in the case of Oskar Eriksson, smoking hot). One podcaster I follow tweeted that the matchup looked like a minor-league baseball team versus extras from the movie Blade. 🤣
The gold-medal match was close and tense—I was so glad to be with friends at the curling club instead of gnawing my fingernails at home. When Shuster did a massive takeout to score five in the eighth end, everyone went nuts—cheering, hugging, dancing.
It was hands down one of the best nights of my life. John Shuster later visited our club for photos, autographs, and a Q&A. I brought him a copy of Throwing Stones for him to autograph to me, and he asked if I had an extra copy for him—and would I autograph it?
Of course I said yes, and I did! 😍
In a sport where Murphy’s Law rules supreme, one slip can mean falling behind—or falling in love.
Oliver Doyle needs to win. After his reign as one of Canada’s top curlers is cut short by scandal, he arrives in Glasgow to coach Scotland’s next big team to a national championship. All that stands in the way of Oliver’s redemption is a band of upstarts led by an infuriatingly cute skip.
Luca Riley needs to chill. Or so he’s always believed, crafting a Zen-like serenity to carry his underdog curlers to the edge of greatness. To reach Nationals, Team Riley just have to keep calm and beat their arch-rivals—and their hot new Canadian coach—in one final bonspiel.
Luca and Oliver form an instant, irresistible bond. For the first time, Oliver shares the secret shame that’s kept him off the ice for years, and Luca finds true acceptance for who he is. As the tournament races toward a nail-biting climax, Oliver must face his past before it consumes him again. And Luca must choose between the dream he can taste and the man he could love.
First in a spinoff series featuring the hottest sport on ice! Like all the Glasgow Lads novels, this may be read as a stand-alone, as it features a happy ending with no cliffhanger.
Get the book here: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/un5l2loqw2
Competition/giveaway – CLOSED – the winner is Jennifer Shannon
I’m a sucker for underdogs, and the curling team in my book Throwing Stones is no exception. Team Riley—aka Team Smiley for their positive attitude and composure under stress—has none of the advantages of their archrivals, Team Boyd, who have just hired a world-champion Canadian coach to help them win a season-long tournament. The fact that that coach is distractingly cute provides yet another obstacle for Luca Riley to overcome.
I’m giving away a free ebook of the winner’s choice from my backlist. Just tell me in the comments if you love underdog characters and/or rivals-to-lovers stories too.
Closes February 11, 7 am, LONDON