"The Bannister Brothers series has everything I love...
hockey, humor, and heart!"
SKIRTING THE ICE
Bannister Brothers #3
Releasing Dec 8th, 2016
"The Bannister Brothers series has everything I love...hockey, humor, and heart!" - Kristin Miller- New York Times Bestselling author
Buttoned-up accountant Jack Bannister lives an uncomplicated life until his teenage crush moves back into the house next door…all grown up and sexy as hell. Murphy Ryan is still wild and reckless, and danger has followed her to Colorado. Jack will do whatever it takes to protect her, even it means letting her go…again.
Murphy Ryan is focused on building a new NHL women’s hockey team. But staying on her game is hard with the distraction, and the memories, of the hot nerd in the house next door. Jack Bannister had been her first kiss, and she wants him to be her last. With his dry humor and sexy glasses, being smart never looked so good.
Jack’s been given a chance to win back the one that got away, but worries this gorgeous hockey player is still out of his league. He’s kept his heart on ice, but now that Murphy’s back, she might be the one to finally thaw it.
REVIEW: SKIRTING THE ICE (BANNISTER BROTHERS) BY JENNIE MARTS
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Recently there has been a new trend within the world of romance fiction. I hope it sticks around. In a world where females are relegated to second class citizens, I love that more authors are empowering women with their independent heroines. With Skirting the Ice, Ms. Marts created a wonderful role model in Murphy Ryan. She's a dreamer with a fighting spirit and negativity only strengthens her resolve. Her truth lies in the success of a women's hockey league and she is willing to go the distance in order to make her fantasy reality. Along the way, this firecracker makes enemies, reconnects with an old friend and mixes it up on the ice. Skirting the Ice tackles sexism, romance and mystery through the eyes of an inspiring individual with humour and heart. Positive message, captivating story and impacting reading.
The sound of a screen door banged behind him, and he heard a woman’s voice shout, “What the hell do you think you’re doing with my dog?”
He froze, his chest contracting as he lost his breath.
He knew that voice.
But it couldn’t be.
He turned around, facing the back porch of the house and the tall angry blond standing on it. Her long hair was pulled up in a ponytail, she held a baseball bat in her hands, and her eyes flashed with a mix of anger and fear.
He may not have seen her in years, but he knew it was her.
She looked different, older, but he recognized that tight set of her mouth, the flash of annoyance in her narrowed eyes, the way she held her shoulders in a posture of pride mixed with attitude.
She took a step closer, her eyes widening as her expression changed from anger to surprise. “Jack, is that you?”
He couldn’t believe it—couldn’t believe she was standing in front of him. He’d dreamed of this moment so many times, imagined running into her on the street or in a crowded airport. But he’d never imagined he’d see her again while he was standing amidst a yard full of weeds, shirtless and sweaty, his arms full of his squirming dog.
Although this was exactly where he should see her—in the same spot he’d stood when he’d first met her all those years before.
A stray hockey puck had flown into John’s yard, and he’d hopped the fence to get it. She’d come out on the porch then too, with the same prideful stance, a huge chip evident on her shoulder, and looking just as gorgeous as she did now.
Except she was a girl then.
She was a woman now, in a pair of black shorts and a snug white T-shirt, her body a mix of hard and soft. Her legs were toned hard with muscle, but the thin cotton T-shirt clung to soft curves that she didn’t have when she was a teenager.
His lungs tightened, and he struggled to wheeze in a breath. He couldn’t breathe.
No, seriously, he couldn’t breathe.
Shifting the dog under his arm, he used his free hand to pull his inhaler from his pocket as he fought to get enough air. Inhaling as he took a puff, the spray filled his lungs, opening his airway.
“Jack! It is you!” She dropped the bat and ran down the steps of the porch. The bat rolled off the porch as she crossed the yard then stopped short, as if unsure if she should hug him or shake his hand.
A happy grin covered her face, lighting her eyes, and sending a swirl of butterflies careening around his stomach. “Jack Bannister. What are you doing here? Besides trying to steal my dog?”
He shook his head, still stunned to see her.
“Um, I’m not, I mean…” he stuttered, falling back into the role of the shy teenager that he’d been when he’d last seen her. “I’m not stealing your dog. This is my dog.”
She smirked and gestured to the fence behind him. “Yeah? Then whose dog is that?”
He turned to see another Sheltie standing on the other side of the chain link.
“Sorry,” he mumbled, handing her the dog in his arms. A dart of heat raced down his spine as her fingers brushed against the skin of his bare chest. “I saw her running around in the yard, and I just thought she was mine.”
Murphy took the dog then set it on the ground to run over to greet the other sheltie. “Except she is actually a he. But I can see why you made a mistake. They do look a lot alike. Almost identical.”
He took off his glasses and cleaned them with the end of his shorts. “My dog’s always breaking out of our yard, and my glasses were foggy, and I just assumed it was my dog. I usually wear contacts, but tore one this morning.” He didn’t know why he felt like he had to explain why he was wearing his glasses. Or why he felt like he was babbling.
He should just stop talking now. He swallowed, his mouth suddenly dry.
He couldn’t stop staring at her. She looked amazing. He scrambled for something to say—anything that might sound halfway intelligent.
“Holy crap—your dog is peeing on my shoe.”
Jennie Marts is the USA Today Best-selling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. Readers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and the “perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam.” Fic Central claimed one of her books was “the most fun I’ve had reading in years.”
She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.
Her books include the contemporary western romance Hearts of Montana series, the romantic comedy/ cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky hockey-playing men in the Bannister family in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small-town romantic comedies in the Lovestruck series of Cotton Creek Romances.
Q & A (IN HER OWN WORDS)
Describe yourself in five words or less. Funny, tender-hearted, hugger, kind, positive
Can you tell us a little about your book? Skirting the Ice is the story of a buttoned-up accountant and a wildcat hockey player. Jack lives an uncomplicated life until his teenage crush moves back into the house next door--all grown up and sexy as hell. Murphy Ryan is still wild and reckless, and danger has followed her to Colorado. Jack will do whatever it takes to protect her, even it means letting her go...again.
Murphy is focused on building a new NHL women's hockey team. But staying on her game is hard with the distraction, and the memories, of the hot nerd in the house next door. Jack Bannister had been her first kiss, and she wants him to be her last. With his dry humor and sexy glasses, being smart never looked so good.
Jack's been given a chance to win back the one that got away, but worries this gorgeous hockey player is still out of his league. He's kept his heart on ice, but now that Murphy's back, she might be the one to finally thaw it.
If you had a theme song, what would it be? My current theme song is Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song”. I just love the spirit and the power behind it. And it’s a great one to turn up loud in your car and just belt out those lyrics and they make you feel strong just by singing along.
Name one thing you won’t leave home without. Chapstick. And sunglasses.
Name three things on your desk right now. Purple pens, planner/calendar, and a stack of notebooks
What are you favorite types of stories to read? I love to read women’s fiction and romantic suspense. I love stories set in small town with quirky characters and I love when the story has at least an element of suspense. Some of my favorite authors are Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Nora Roberts, Fannie Flagg, Lianne Moriarty, and Janet Evanovich. And of course, I adore all of the Harry Potter books.
What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part? The part that I like best is creating great stories that elicit laughter and heart-felt moments from readers. And hearing from a reader about how my story touched them or helped them through a hard time by giving them something to laugh about is an incredible feeling and makes it all worth it. The most challenging part is the fact that everything about writing books takes a long time. It takes a long time to write a book and to publish one and to wait for publishers. And my writing career is now a business and that means that I am constantly working on all parts of it, not just the writing. I still have to do my own promotion, and create ads, and do blog posts, and write newsletters, and make graphics. And I love doing those things, especially when it gives me a chance to connect with readers, but all of those things take away from time spent writing. The whole thing is challenging, but writing books is my true passion and what has me excited to get up every morning. And I wouldn’t go through all of this if I didn’t love it so very much!
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? The Bannister Brothers Books have all been such fun because hockey has been such a big part of my family’s life. My husband played growing up then coached our sons when they played growing up. I was a die-hard hockey mom and we are huge fans of the Colorado Avalanche. Lots of the hockey parts from the books are from personal experience. And one fun thing about this book is that it has two Sheltie dogs in it that look alike and get mistaken for each other and one of them is based on our own Sheltie, Maggie. I even named one of them after her.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? A writing career is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes a long time to write a book, to create a fan base, to turn your writing into a career. Keep writing. And learn everything you can. Take Classes, go to conferences, join a local writing group, and find a tribe of writers that you can offer and accept support from. Enjoy the ride. And be nice to everyone.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans? Thank you and I adore you for reading and loving my books! I couldn’t do this without you and I’m working so hard to bring you more of your favorite books and to create new amazing, wonderful book boyfriends for you to fall in love with.