Welcome to my tour stop for Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon. This is an adult romantic comedy and the tour runs February 24th- March 7th and will consist of reviews, guest posts, interviews and more. You can find the full schedule on the tour page.
Must Love Otters
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Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.
Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.
Top Ten Reasons to See a Hockey Game
What a weird topic, Eliza. Why are you talking to us about hockey?
In our sweet romantic comedy, Must Love Otters, one of the major players is a fellow named Concierge Ryan. In his former life, Ryan Fielding was a hockey player—he bounced around to a few NHL teams, not uncommon for the boys in this game—until a career-ending knee injury forced him to reconsider his career options. Though Ryan’s time on and off the ice has not been perfect, he does his best to show Hollie Porter that sometimes life is about more than the puck in the net.
With that in mind, if you ever find yourself positioned to see a hockey game—preferably Junior A (Portland Winterhawks) or professional (Vancouver Canucks)—DO IT! Why? If you’ve never been, it’s like nothin’ you’ve ever seen before.
1. Atmosphere: Nothing shy of electric. I suppose most sporting events are pretty nuts in the energy department, but there’s something about being in an arena with 19,000 other crazed fans that makes hockey games something special.
2. HOCKEY PLAYERS: Need I say more? (My personal favorites include Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa, Teemu Selanne, and Todd Bertuzzi. Who are yours?) Hockey players are big, muscly specimens. They also typically manage themselves better than other professional athletes. What’s the last scandal you heard about involving a hockey player? Sure, there might be the odd one here or there, but comparatively speaking, hockey players are good boys who respect the sport and their mothers.
3. The fastest sport on two feet: Honestly, TV doesn’t do justice to the speed of this sport. Watching these guys scream up and down the ice is so fun. There’s a reason why their shifts are so short—skating that fast is damn hard work!
4. The fights, for better and for worse: The funniest part about hockey is a lot of these guys will beat the living hell out of each other on the ice, and then spend summers together playing golf. Seriously crazy. Mr. Gordon, a former hockey player in his teen years, says that the fighting is actually a good thing. Hockey players are intense fellows, and a few punches on the ice means they get out their aggressions and go home to babysit kittens.
5. The excellent arena cuisine: Okay, that’s a lie. Arena food sucks, but it’s all about the experience, baby!
6. It’s indoors: No fighting the elements of a scorching hot summer day for baseball or a rainy or icy afternoon watching football in outdoor stadiums. Did I mention beer?
7. Funny traditions: Hockey has some crazy customs. For the past 50 years in Detroit, home of the Red Wings, fans toss dead octopi onto the ice when their team achieves a big win. This madness started after two brothers, co-owners of a fish shop, threw an octopus on the ice. Why? Back in 1952, the NHL was comprised of only six teams, and it only took eight wins in the season finals to collect Lord Stanley’s Cup. Each octopus appendage represented a win. Voila! Tradition! (Stinky Gary Bettman, NHL commissioner, put a stop to this and now fines fans $500 for octopus throwing. Party pooper.)
The Vancouver Canucks started the white-towel craze; the Florida Panthers had their plastic rats; and other teams ask fans to wear the same color so the arena is awash in team spirit—for example, in the “white-outs” of the Winnipeg Jets, fans wear white in support of the home team. Blinding-good fun!
8. The hat trick: In hockey, three goals by a single player in a single game is referred to as a hat trick, which originally came from English cricket back in 1858. Pointing back to #7 on our list, you guessed it—more tradition. After a player scores his third goal in the same game, fans jump to their feet and toss hats out onto the ice. It’s quite a mess, but three goals in a single game by a single player is a big deal. (Three goals by a single player uninterrupted by a goal from any other player is called a “natural” hat trick.) And the hats go to charity. Win-win!
9. The goal horn: Sounded when the home team scores, this is a real crowd-pleaser and not something we see in other major league sports. In Vancouver, it’s a ferry horn. And it’s loud. But no matter—you’re already on your feet, screaming like a maniac, because your team scored!
10. Following is a mishmash of my last few favorite things about live hockey:
~ Mascots—the Canucks have Fin the Whale, the Red Wings have Al the Octopus, the Los Angeles Kings have Bailey the Lion. Though four teams are currently without mascots, I’m sure you can find one beast to root for in the next playoff series.
~ Watching the spazzy coaches do their spazz dance from behind the bench when a bad (or unpopular) call comes down.
~ The sounds of skates against the ice and the fun of watching the Zamboni clean all the mess to smooth the ice into a pristine state. Nothing quite as pretty as a clean sheet of ice. (Okay, there are lots of things prettier than that, but it calms my crazy tendencies to see the ice made all shiny again.)
Hockey tickets, much like any ticket for a professional sporting event, aren’t cheap. If $300 for a game out isn’t in your budget, check around for Junior A teams close to your hometown. The tickets are cheaper, the environment is just as charged, and those players are intense—they’re the next boys headed to the NHL! Whether pro or Junior A, find yourself in the stands. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget!
$25 Gift Card (INT)
$25 Gift Card (INT)