Breaking the Ice by Tali Spencer: Exclusive “Driving on Lakes” Guest Post and Giveaway

BreakingTheIce4synopsisFor Matt Wasko, February in Wisconsin is the best time of the year, and ice fishing on Lake Winnebago is his idea of heaven. With shanty villages cropping up, barbeques on the ice, monster sturgeon to spear, and plenty of booze to keep everybody warm, things couldn’t be better—until a surprise storm hits and an uninvited guest shows up at his frozen doorstep.

Matt’s not happy to see John Lutz, a coworker who cracks lame gay jokes at Matt’s expense. But John’s flimsy new ice shelter got blown across the lake, and it wouldn’t be right to leave even a jerk outside to freeze. Would it?

In the close quarters of Matt’s fabulous ice shanty, between stripping off wet clothes, misadventures with bait, and a fighting trophy-sized walleye, the two men discover creative ways to keep the cold at bay. And when John confesses his long-running attraction, Matt must decide if he can believe in John’s change of heart—and crack the ice for a chance at finding love.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Title: Breaking the Ice
Author: Tali Spencer
Release Date: April 19, 2017
Category: Contemporary, States of Love
Pages: TBD (Novella)

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Guest Post

Driving on Lakes

My new release, Breaking the Ice, is set in Wisconsin. Better yet, it’s set in Wisconsin in winter. Wisconsin in winter on a lake. A frosty, beautiful, ice-sheathed lake.

The ice on inland lakes in the Upper Great Lakes region can get two feet or more thick. At that thickness, it’s possible to drive large trucks onto the ice. Lake Winnebago, where the story takes place, is 30 miles long and ten miles across. To save the time of driving around the lake, winter commuters sometimes just drive across it—if the ice conditions are right.

Once the ice is thick enough, Lake Winnebago, and many other lakes, evolve a road system. Fishing clubs—ice fishing is a major winter sport—plow roads and line these roads with discarded Christmas trees for greater visibility. They also put out ice bridges to span the inevitable cracks that develop near shore. Knowing how, when, and when not to drive on ice is an essential winter skill.

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Breaking the Ice’s main character Matt Wasko is an old hand when it comes to driving on lakes. His house sits on Lake Winnebago’s shore and he and his friends use his ramp to drive out to their fishing spots. Matt’s such an avid ice fisher he practically lives in his ice shanty out on the lake for much of the winter. His pick-up truck with the unicorn license plate frame is as likely to be parked on an icy lake as asphalt. To catch Matt’s attention, smitten John Lutz decides to venture out on the lake. For John, driving his car onto a sheet of frozen water feels worse than unnatural. It freaks him out.

John clutched the steering wheel with both hands and prayed for solid land. The road he was driving on wasn’t even a real road, just a track plowed across ice. In broad daylight, he’d seen it more or less clearly, but now that the sun had vanished, everything turned shadow blue, and the snow and ice had become indistinguishable. Wasko hadn’t been kidding about the way getting treacherous. Just minutes ago John had nearly missed the ice bridge that spanned the foot-wide crack between the shanties and the shore. Only seeing the shoreline looking robust and near gave him cause to celebrate.

And that’s not even taking refrigerator-sized sturgeon holes into account.

John could have used a few simple tips for safe driving on ice roads:

  • Always have a fully charged cell phone with you in case you get stuck or need help.
  • If you drive in the dark, drive slowly so you don’t run ahead of your headlights.
  • Don’t drive in storms. Wind and snow can create cracks and erase roads.
  • Don’t wear your seatbelt. Easier to escape. If you do wear your seatbelt, carry a knife in easy reach so you can cut yourself free if needed.
  • Carry a ball peen hammer so you can break your window to escape from your vehicle if you fall through.
  • Dress warmly to insulate your body should you fall in. Carry an ice pick or screwdriver in your pocket to help you crawl back onto the ice.

One thing to remember always is that ICE MELTS. As weather gets warmer, ice depth can become unpredictable. Ice melts fastest nearest the shore, so ice drivers need to be alert and vigilant about changing ice conditions. Every year someone gets their vehicle stuck out on the ice or falls through because they overestimated the strength of the ice.

It’s not possible, though, to overestimate the willingness of a man to drive his Hyundai onto the ice in pursuit of the man of his dreams. Which is what Breaking the Ice is all about.

 

 

meet the author

Tali Spencer delights in erotic fantasy and adventure, creating worlds where she can explore the heights and shadows of sexual passion. A hopeful romantic and lover of all things exotic, she also writes high fantasy and science fiction. If you would like to see inspiration pictures for her characters, or glimpse how she envisions her worlds, including works in progress, check out her Pinterest boards.

Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com
E-mail: tali.spencer1@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tali.spencer

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/talispencer/

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

GRL 2016: Guest Post Tali Spencer

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**Welcome Tali Spencer to Two Chicks Obsessed. I love Tali’s post about swag envy…I know I will be stopping by her Author’s Lounge at GRL. 🙂

Guest Post

Swag Envy

swag: goods acquired by unlawful means; loot

I’m an older author. You will notice this when you meet me at GRL. I’m the slightly mystified-looking one without much promo going on. Take swag. The term itself only really emerged in the 90s, when publishers took advantage of new technologies—printing, primarily—to produce inexpensive promotional material. For my first published book, back in when that meant mass market paperbacks, I had no swag at all. My publisher would have laughed at the idea.

In the last decade, digital publishers and self-published authors jumped on the promotional wagon and, before authors knew what hit us, it became part of our job to produce or purchase mind-blowing amounts of bookmarks, postcards, pens, mugs, trading cards, magnets and keychains with our names and/or book covers upon them.

Our imperative: Catch the Reader’s Eye. If we can catch a reader’s eye, she might find what she sees interesting enough to check out our book. Win!

Maybe. Or maybe swag just becomes another form of competition.

At my first GRL, a few years ago, I walked around the swag room and reached an ominous conclusion: my swag was… well, pretty sad, actually. Other, far more famous authors were giving away tote bags. Tote bags. Not only that, but some were handing out tee shirts, jewelry, and action figures. I think I saw bundt cakes on one table, but don’t quote me on that.

I was coming up small. Thank goodness I had ordered a custom shoulder dragon for myself and decided on the spot to hold a raffle to give that away, along with a cute mug. Whew!

Readers did take some of my postcards and bookmarks and magnets, but the one bit of swag from my table they really went for wil_570xn-499044782_npqmas individually wrapped unicorn horn hand soaps. People talked about those. The only reason I had any left was because I didn’t put them out all at once. And the best part was I felt almost as good about people liking my soaps, mug, and dragon as I did about them liking my books.

I felt like I was giving readers a gift. Thank you, it said. Thank you for coming and giving me a chance to meet you. If you have a moment, maybe you could take a look at my books.

Swag does cost money and authors work with budgets. Some have really tight budgets. Gifting readers is well and good, but swag ultimately is about getting the author’s name out or promoting one or more of their books. It has to be, or the expense is frivolous. That’s why I like the new setup for this GRL. Instead of a free-for-all swag room with all the goodies laid out on impersonal tables for indiscriminate picking, there are now Author Lounges where readers can meet the author behind the swag.

Naturally, authors are going to want to offer up their best swag. Anything it takes to lure readers in.

So visit my Author Lounges if you get a chance—one on Thursday and one on Friday. I’ll have unicorn horn hand soaps and unicorn horn rainbow bath salts. And journals. And coin purses. And bookmarks. Lots of postcards and bookmarks, all handed over with a smile.

As for me, I get to join other readers in seeing what authors far cleverer than me have come up with. At least one is bound to be giving away a tote bag.

Author Bithickasthieves2o:

Tali Spencer delights in erotic fantasy and adventure, creating worlds where she can explore the heights and shadows of sexual passion. A hopeful romantic and lover of all things exotic, she also writes high fantasy and science fiction. If you would like to see inspiration pictures for her characters, or glimpse how she envisions her worlds, check out her Pinterest boards.

Tali’s books include the three preceeding Uttor books: Captive Heart, Dangerous Beauty, Adored, and Victory Portrait, all with Resplendence. Her gay male high fantasy stories, Thick as Thieves, Sorcerer’s Knot, and The Prince of Winds,are published by Dreamspinner Press. She often publishes in anthologies, and puts up free stories and excerpts on her blog.

Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com
E-mail: tali.spencer1@gmail.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tali.spencer
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/talispencer/GRL Featured Blogger

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.