Posts tagged with: New Jersey Ice Cats

Winner! Anna Sugden’s Launch Party

1BanditBootyThank you so much to everyone who stopped by and joined in the fun with Nancy and me on my book launch day! We had a blast – hope you did too.

A Perfect Compromise CoverWithout further ado, the cats have eaten their treats and chosen a winner for the signed copy of A Perfect Compromise

Congratulations to Kate Sparks!

Please email me via my website or the mailroom here with your snail mail details and I will get your prize off to you.

Coming in February!

This is Valentine’s month, so we’re celebrating!

This is what we have planned:

A Perfect Compromise Cover

On February 4th, Nancy and Anna Sugden get together to talk about the latest release in Anna’s award-winning New Jersey Ice Cats series.

February 14 will be our Valentine’s Day Bash with assorted banditas

On February 26, Nancy Northcott blogs about guilty pleasures.  Join her and share yours!



What’s your favorite thing about February?

12 Days of Christmas Master Prize Post

Blake BrosThanks to all that participated in the Romance Bandits 12 Days of Christmas…

On the 1st Day of Christmas SUSAN SEY gave away a Kindle copy of the Blake Brothers Boxed Set TROUBLE and a bag of Crapola Granola to SHANNON!  Email Susan at to claim your prize!

On the 2nd Day of Christmas SUZANNE FERRELL gave away an ebook copy of Close To Christmas and an ornament to JANE and COLLEEN C! Email Suzanne  at to claim your prize!!Forget Me Not

On the 3rd Day of Christmas, CAREN CRANE gave away a copy of the anthology FORGET ME NOT to BRENDA RUMSEY! Email Caren at to claim your prize!

On the FOURTH day – AKA the FUDGE FIGHT between Cassondra and Jeanne – the winner is KATE SPARKS!  (Please message Jeanne on FB within 30 days to claim your prize!)

On the FIFTH day – AKA – GRAVY WARS – the winner is Louisa Cornell – I have your email, so I’ll email YOU!!  Congrats, ladies!!

red_question_mark_circle_clip_artOn the 6th Day of Christmas TRISH MILBURN gave away a surprise pack, and it goes to…MARY PRESTON! Congrats!

Send me your mailing info either through the Lair mailroom or message me privately on Facebook


On the 7th Day of Christmas JO ROBERTSON awarded every commenter a free e-book of WITHOUT MALICE.  I think everyone responded and got her claimed her copy.  Thanks for participating!KOBO JO ROBERTSON MALICE

Cover2a-APerfectStormOn the 9th Day of Christmas, ANNA SUGDEN gave away a New Jersey Ice Cats ornament and a set of signed, limited edition, NJ Ice Cats short stories to … KI and to PISSENLIT! To apologise for not making it to the blog (due to bad weather, bad traffic and a bad migraine) she will also give away a free signed, limited edition copy of A Perfect Storm to any of the BBs who commented on her day. All winners, please email your snail mail details to Anna via her website or the Lair mailroom.

Moors Tear 1600x2400On the 10th Day of Christmas DONNA MACMEANS gave away a Mardi Gras mask ornament, a digital copy of THE MOOR’S TEAR, and a digital copy of SCOTLAND CHRISTMAS REUNION to….  BARB HEINTZ!   Barb, please email your contact information to to claim your prize!ScotlandChristmasReunion B&N

On the 12th Day of Christmas, NANCY NORTHCOTT gave a dragon ornament to…GAMISTRESS66! Please email Nancy via her website, nancy northcott dot com (no spaces) by January 8 to claim your prize.

The GRAND PRIZE Winner is SANDYG265.  Sandy, everyone will mail separately, but if you’ll email contact info to Nancy per the listing for the 12th day, she’ll get it to everyone.

Congrats to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who joined in our celebration!

Hope you all had fun.  I know we did. Jeanne and Cassondra will announce their winners a little later, but they will be announced 🙂

Wishing everyone a very happy New Year!


On the 9th Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me …

9 delicious hockey hunks!

I could just stop there, couldn’t I? 9 delicious hockey hunks … yum! We could all enjoy them. Who needs anything more?

See you all after Christmas 😉


Okay, as I’m getting dirty looks from Sven, who wants a proper Christmas post in the Lair, I suppose I’d better do this properly. Jeez – just because Zach and the other hockey hunks pilfered one or two (or several) of Sven’s stash of festive bubbly after their latest win …

It’s great to be released from my writing cave, so I can spend time with you all. Missed you! In honour of the occasion I thought I’d give you some festive cheer in the form of some hockey teams showing us how to celebrate Christmas, followed by a special Christmas Quick Five.

First up, the Belfast Giants and All I Want for Christmas is You …

Thanks, lads!

Next up, the Sheffield Steelers took a different approach to a favourite English Christmas tune, Merry Christmas, Everyone …

Moving over to the NHL, the defending Stanley Cup champs have released a holiday album you won’t want to miss!

Heading north of the border, we have the Ottawa Senators’ rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas …

Ottawa Senators 12 Days of Christmas

Unfortunately, the Calgary Flames didn’t fare so well …

Calgary Flames Ugly Christmas Sweaters

And finally, that Christmas classic, The Night Before Christmas, from the Dallas Stars …

Dallas Stars The Night Before Christmas

As you might imagine, not all goes smoothly filming these videos …

St Louis Blues Outtakes

(I’m sorry the last four were only available on the NHL console.)

Cover2a-APerfectStorm All of which goes to show that just because these guys are hot on ice, they can’t be good at everything! 😉


And now, over to you for a Festive Quick Five. In honour of the season, I’m giving away a New Jersey Ice Cats Christmas Ornament and a complete set of my limited edition, Ice Cats’ short stories to one lucky commenter. Don’t forget, you still have a few days to download A Perfect Storm, my FREE December Ice Cats’ short story, on my website in the For Readers section here.

  1.  Christmas sweaters – yes or no?
  2. Are you a fancy wrapper, with bows, ribbons and all the bells and whistles or a toss it in a gift-bagger?
  3. Worst Christmas present?
  4. Favourite Christmas ornament?
  5. What would you like Santa to bring you?


Oh, I nearly forgot … a Christmas cookie recipe. This is for Lizzie’s Sweet Treats Shortbread Cookies. Lizzie appears in the NJ Ice Cats short story, A Perfect Party (which is still available for download on my website, in the For Readers section here).

Ingredients: (approx 12 cookies)Cover-APerfectParty

150g self-raising flour
150g salted butter
50g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
Cadbury’s Chocolate Buttons or any chocolate pieces (optional)
Cling-film or plastic wrap.


Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F

  1. Add flour, sugar and butter (plus vanilla) to food processor or mixer and pulse until mixture is like wet sand.
  2. Lay out a large piece of cling-film on the counter and pour the mixture onto it.
  3. Using the cling-film to help keep the mixture together, press and roll, until you have a long, solid roll of dough, wrapped in plastic.
  4. Store in refrigerator for an hour.
  5. Slice dough into ¼” or ½” rounds and put onto a well-greased or sheet-lined baking tray.
  6. Cook for approx 15 mins. Note: timing depends on how thickly you cut the rounds.
  7. When cooked, use a spatula to slide onto a wire rack. Note: the cookies will be very soft when warm, so if they’re too fragile, it’s okay to let them cool on the tray for a few minutes to let them harden a little.
  8. (Optional) While cookies are cooling, add chocolate button to the centre of each cookie.

Note: If you don’t use metric measures, keep the flour, butter and sugar in the ratio of 3:3:1 (eg 6oz, 6oz, 2oz)

However you celebrate the festive season, I hope it is a happy, healthy and fun one for you and yours and that 2016 is a great year.

Time to Party – A Perfect Catch is Here!

Yes, it’s party time in the Lair! Today we celebrate the launch of the third book in my New Jersey Ice Cats series – A Perfect Catch! So grab a delicious snack, a hot/cold/alcoholic drink and a hot hockey hunk and let’s have some fun.

A Perfect Catch CoverFor those of you who have been following the series – a huge thank you to you all – this is Ike and Tracy’s story. Eisenhower ‘Ike’ Jelinek is the Ice Cats goaltender and older brother to Tru Jelinek (A Perfect Trade). Tracy Hayden runs her own business providing services to people who are relocating and is Maggie’s younger sister (A Perfect Distraction). As you’ll have seen from the previous books, these two stubborn people have a shared past, which didn’t end well. Now, the time has come to see if there is a chance for them to have a shared future.

A Perfect Trade finalHere is the blurb:

He’s the perfect catch…for now! 

When it comes to romance, Tracy Hayden is not looking for a rematch. She’s had epic passion—and problems!—with professional hockey player Ike Jelinek. Brilliant on skates and magic in bed, his too-traditional-for-her views were like a bucket of ice water on their affair. 

Then an injury takes Ike out of the game, and everything changes. Suddenly he needs her services-providing business—even though he once claimed it was their biggest problem. Tracy’s determined to be professional, despite the sizzling attraction between them that won’t go away. Maybe they need a second fling to fix that!

APDcoverI’m thrilled that RT Book Reviews gave A Perfect Catch 4 stars! They say: Sugden’s novel is fun, in spite of Ike sustaining an injury. The quirky, fun hockey players add lots of color to the story and the chemistry between Ike and Tracy is seriously hot.

And here’s a sneak peek:

Tracy had just reached Ike’s room when she heard him roar.

“I don’t need a freaking straw in my drink and I don’t want you to cut up my food.”

A young blonde volunteer in a striped uniform rushed past Tracy, her face flushed. “Perhaps you’ll have better luck with him.”

Tracy smiled sympathetically, then strode into the room. “Someone’s in a foul mood.”

“You’d be miserable, too, if you weren’t even al­lowed to use a freaking knife and fork,” he growled, crossing his arms awkwardly over his broad chest. The bandages that covered his arm from fingers to shoulder hampered his movement.

The flowery pastel-blue gown should have looked silly on such an obviously masculine body. Instead, it emphasized his honed chest and arms, making him look more manly, rather than less. But Ike didn’t need to know that.

Nor that he’d made her pulse skip. “Good job I’m here to give the staff a break from your charming personality.”

He narrowed his gaze. “Do not push me.”

“Seriously?” Tracy rolled her eyes. “That might work on a sweet young thing like that candy striper, but I’m immune.”

Ike’s green eyes turned fiery, challenging her to take him on.

She tamped down her body’s instant heated re­sponse. Besides, she shouldn’t tease a wounded man. Especially one whose pride probably hurt as much as his arm.

LUD_413_LIV_COUV.inddEven better, today is actually a double celebration! It’s also the day that the French version of A Perfect Trade  – La Proposition Idéale – is released! I do love those French covers (and no, I don’t have his email address either!)

So, as it’s time to party, we’re going to open up the ballroom, stoke the logs in the huge fireplaces and turn on the champagne and chocolate fountains! Sven has laid on an incredible buffet of finger food with something to tempt every tastebud. Lars has got his brother, Nils, to play DJ, so we’ll be all set for great music. Paolo has sent the pesky bird off on his travels with dire threats if he returns befor emidnight. The Romans are organising the party games and Zach and the hockey hunks have promised to look after your every party need.

Over to you. As it’s a double celebration, I’m giving away two prizes. One each to two lucky commenters – an exclusive New Jersey Ice Cats notebook.

1. What are you wearing? 

2. Which song would you like Nils to play for you?

3. What’s your favourite party game?

4. What drink and snack would you like brought to you?

5. What dire threat do you suggest for the pesky bird?

New Year, New Experiences

A belated Happy New Year to you all. I hope 2015 is treating you well and that you have lots of wonderful things to look forward to this year.

I’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions. With the benefit of my advancing years, I’ve learned that I rarely keep them — for a variety of reasons, not just laziness — and they become something to beat myself up about around September. Not very healthy! What I’ve learned to do instead is to take some time to think about what I want to do that’s new over the coming twelve months.

DSC_3211Some years, the focus is on travel and visiting new places. One of the benefits of being a romance author is that I can go to the national conference and either visit somewhere new or use it as a stepping stone to somewhere new. We also have family and friends scattered in different places, which gives plenty of opportunity for visiting and exploring. Last year, for example, the new places we visited were Kelowna in BC, Seattle, Edisto Island in SC and Columbia in SC.Amsterdam 2014 017

Even when we return to a place we’ve visited previously, we always try to see something new. Again, last year, we returned to San Antonio and Amsterdam. The Riverwalk had changed enormously since our last visit to San Antonio, so that was fun to explore. Amsterdam is a great walking city, so you can potter away for days and see new areas. But the new experience for us was going to the recently refurbished – and spectacular — Rijk’s Museum.

LUD_413_LIV_COUV.inddThis year will get off to a great start when Doc Cambridge and I head to Paris for the day, to a book signing. Although I visited Paris many years ago, it was only on an in-and-out business trip and it wasn’t the best experience. This time will be very different, I’m sure. For a start, we’re going to travel on the Eurostar – the train that goes under the Channel – a new experience! Then, we’ll be meeting some of my French readers for a fun day to celebrate the launch of La Proposition Idéale — book 2 in my New Jersey Ice Cats series (ie A Perfect Trade).straw plaiting

Some years, the focus is on learning a new skill or advancing an existing skill. Over the last couple of years I’ve learned how to knit in the round, crochet and make jewellery. Earlier this month, I went to a session at my local WI (Women’s Institute) and learned the art of straw plaiting. While I wasn’t very good at it and probably won’t do it again, it was fun to learn all about an important trade from this area.

IMG_1953Another area where I like to have new experiences is cooking. I keep meaning to make a new recipe from each of the recipe books in my collection, but I get so busy I stick to the old favourites. However, again, in previous years I’ve been on courses to learn the art of Indian cookery and how to make sushi! (I was much better at sushi than straw plaiting!)

A Perfect Catch CoverOver to you – do you like to have new experiences in a new year? Have you planned any for 2015 – travel to new places, courses for new skills or cookery? One commenter will get to have a new experience as they will win a copy of my new book, the third in my New Jersey Ice Cats series – A Perfect Catch – which will be out in a couple of weeks.

Quick 10 with Anna Sugden

Hey everyone – Anna Sugden here. Yes, the resident Brit with a love of hockey, cats, shoes and penguins ;).

A number of you have told me how much you enjoy Quick Five and Quick Ten blog posts, so I thought it would be fun to do a Quick Ten about myself, this month.

christianlouboutin-ronron-3080438_BK01_1_1200x12001. Favourite colour – Red

2. Favourite flower – gerbera daisy

3. Favourite music – anything with a great beat, but I’m really a rock chick!

4. Favourite eggs – Eggs Benedict

5. What was the last pair of shoes you bought? A pair of black suede Christian Louboutin Ronrons – to celebrate my two contest wins (The Maggie and The Golden Leaf) for A Perfect Distraction.

Penguin 16. So how many penguins do you have? I haven’t counted them for a while, but the last time I did I had around 400! That includes ornaments, clothes, household items (like tea towels, curtains, an ice cream scoop and a spoon rest) and pictures. This Christmas, several more joined the family 🙂

7. Place you’d like to travel to – even though I don’t like the cold, it would be cool to go to Antarctica and see Emperor Penguins in their natural habitat! I’d also like to go to Macchu Picchu – though I don’t think I’ll ever get there because I’m no good with heights!

8. What job would you like to do, other than writing? I’d love to be a film director. I used to work in Marketing and spent time in studios, on sets and on location filming TV advertisements. I loved the whole process from concept to brainstorming ideas to storyboarding shots to filming. It would be such fun to shadow a famous film director for a few months and watch the process for a major film.

9. If you could have dinner with 5 famous people, living or dead, who would you choose? Hmm there’s a bit of a theme here – Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Errol Flynn and Paul Newman. The problem is, I could have filled another table of 5 people, also from the world of movies. And one more after that too!

A Perfect Catch10. Tell us about your next release. A Perfect Catch is out at the end of January and is the third book in my New Jersey Ice Cats series. It’s the turn of Eisenhower ‘Ike’ Jelinek, the team’s elite goaltender, to meet his match. Only, he’s already met her and the last  time they got together, things ended badly. Those of you who’ve followed the series might have noticed that there is always tension between Ike and Tracy Hayden (Maggie’s sister from A Perfect Distraction). In A Perfect Catch, you’ll find out what happened, where it all went wrong and whether this time Ike and Tracy can make it work!

He’s the perfect catch…for now! 

When it comes to romance, Tracy Hayden is not looking for a rematch. She’s had epic passion—and problems!—with professional hockey player Ike Jelinek. Brilliant on skates and magic in bed, his too-traditional-for-her views were like a bucket of ice water on their affair. 

Then an injury takes Ike out of the game, and everything changes. Suddenly he needs her services-providing business—even though he once claimed it was their biggest problem. Tracy’s determined to be professional, despite the sizzling attraction between them that won’t go away. Maybe they need a second fling to fix that!

A Perfect Distraction Wins Maggie!

A Perfect DistractionSo thrilled and honoured to tell you thMaggies Finalist badgeat A Perfect Distraction, the first book in my New Jersey Ice Cats series, won the prestigious Maggie Award from the Georgia Romance Writers!

Another Reading Fun Quick Five

Welcome to another Quick Five Sunday. Hope you’re all having a great weekend, wherever you are. I’m stuck in my deadline cave, writing the second book of my New Jersey Ice Cats series – working title, Rescuing Jenny. The hockey hunks are busy practising, because it’s not long until the hockey season starts! 🙂 Paolo is on snacks and drinks duty, bringing me cups of hot tea or glasses of cold lemonade and nacho cheese tortilla chips with sour cream dip or hot, buttered popcorn for when I’m flagging. He also refills the bowl of treat-size Cadbury’s chocolate, as necessary.

For today’s fun, I thought I’d make things easy for you and do a Quick Five based around the book you’re currently reading. Now, I know you’re all busy reading A Perfect Distraction 😉 – although some of you, like Helen, have already finished! 🙂 Sorry – I’m going to post answers from A Perfect Distraction, so you’ll have to pick another book.

APDcoverAre you ready? Then let’s get to it:

1. Which novel, other than A Perfect Distraction, are you currently reading?

2. What is the opening line of the book?

3. What the hero and heroine’s names? (If you’re not reading a romance, give the name of the main character).

4. Turn to Chapter 9 and give us the sentence that starts on or about the 22nd line.

5. What’s next on your TBR pile?

So, my answers are:

1. RaeAnne Thayne’s Currant Creek Valley (from her Hope’s Crossing series – I’m reading all five, one after the other) and Lorraine Heath’s Passions of a Wicked Earl (from her London’s Greatest Lovers series – I’m reading all three, one after the other)

2. From A Perfect Distraction – “You didn’t tell me there would be paparazzi!”

3. Jake ‘Bad Boy’ Badoletti and Maggie Goodman

4. “Bad Boy has come home and he’s taking no prisoners,” the voice-over intoned as Jake’s picture faded to a video montage.

5. Lisa Gardner’s Touch and Go.

Since one of my prize packages from my recent blog tour wasn’t claimed, I’m offering it up to our loyal BBs instead. So, if you take part in the Quick Five fun today, you will be eligible to win a signed copy of A Perfect Distraction and a special commemorative pack of the Royal Mail’s Jane Austen stamps.

Launch Party! A Perfect Distraction is Here!

ice hotel 6Sven marches up to Paolo and hands him 3 enormous steel padlocks. “You need to put these on the door to Erminarde’s tower. There is no way we want her escaping today.”

Paolo gulps. “No. The hockey hunks have said that they’ll make me wash all their gear for a month if she gets out.”

Sven shudders at the thought. “Well, Zach and the other hunks have been working hard to get the ice rink and ice lounge ready for Vrai Anna’s launch party. The guys who made them came from my hometown in Sweden. They make the famous ice hotel every year. It’s been a bit of a challenge with the summer temperatures, to get everything to stay frozen.  The last thing they need is that overgrown lizard melting the ice bar, the ice seats and the ice tables. “

ice hotel 5“Not to mention the ice sculptures. Especially after the hockey hunks had to spend so long posing for the artist.”

“Yeah. I’m not so sure they were too worried about that. They love showing off their muscles.”

“Your sculptures of the Golden Rooster and Ermingarde are really good too. I didn’t know you could carve ice.”

“Ah, I have hidden talents, grasshopper.”

“I uh wouldn’t say that too loud around the Banditas and BBs if I were you. They’ll hound you to discover what else you’re hiding.”


ice hotel 4“Oh yes. I mean. Oh dear.” Sven turns and calls out to the gladiators, “You can bring those trunks in now.”

“Is that the blankets and quilts to keep everyone warm?”

“Everything the Banditas and their BBs need to keep warm in the ice lounge. Fake fur coats, hats, mittens and boots. Plus skates, for anyone who wants to dance.

Paolo looks worried. “You know all those women, they’ll use the ice party as an excuse to snuggle in corners with their favourite guys.”

Sven grins. “I can’t wait.”

APDcoverWelcome everyone to the launch party for A Perfect Distraction. I’m so excited to see this first book in the New Jersey Ice Cats series hit the shelves (both real and virtual!). As you can see, the men of the Lair have gone all out to create an ice lounge around the hockey rink – yes, everything made of ice! So grab a drink and someone to keep you warm and join in the fun.

And to get things started, here’s a little excerpt. Maggie, her sister, Tracy, and her daughter Emily, have been invited to the Badoletti Labor Day Barbecue. Here’s what happens when they arrive.

When Maggie accepted Jake’s invitation to the Labor Day barbecue, she hadn’t imagined the view from the Badoletti’s deck would be so spectacular.

A dozen men, half bare-chested and half wearing sleeveless vests were embroiled in a game of American football. She’d never seen such a prime collection of six-packs, glutes and pecs.

“Holy cr—”

Maggie cut Tracy off with a stern look. “Little pitchers.” She patted Emily’s head.

“Sorry.” Her sister grinned sheepishly. “But take a look at that.”

She followed Tracy’s gaze to the tangle of men. “Oh my.”

Jake. Shirtless. Glorious.

Muscles rippled in his broad chest, as he scrambled free and leaped to catch the ball. Her heart thudded at the lean, corded strength in his arms and legs.

He must have sensed her watching, because his gaze homed in on her like an ice-blue laser. His triumphant grin turned feral as his eyes skimmed her body from head to toe, lingering on her bare shoulders before dropping to the hem of her sundress and focusing on her legs. Then he winked and turned back to the game.

She exhaled deeply. Jake Badoletti was one hard man to ignore.

“You’ve been holding back on me,” murmured Tracy, as Emily sat on the steps. “What’s going on between you and Bad Boy?”

Maggie swallowed. “Nothing.”

“Uh-huh. That look made my temperature go up thirty degrees, and he wasn’t aiming it at me.”

“Jake’s all wrong for me.” She ignored her body’s vehement disagreement.

“I’m not suggesting you marry him. What’s the harm in a couple of dates?”

That’s how it had started with Lee. The perfect antidote to her father’s dictatorial rule, her ex had offered everything a sheltered eighteen-year-old had dreamed of. His charm had thrilled, while his brooding good looks had tempted. But the prison he’d trapped her in had been far worse than the one she’d left behind.

Still, that didn’t stop her wondering what a date with Jake would be like. How it would feel to have his attention, his charm focused solely on her. To be the woman in the glamorous dress, on his arm, as they went to a smart restaurant or a Broadway show. How the evening might end with…

Stop! She wouldn’t let her mind stroll down that dangerous path.

One lucky commenter today will win a prize package of a signed copy of A Perfect Distraction, a collector’s pack of the Jane Austen commemorative stamps and some real Cadbury’s chocolate.

All you have to do is name an ice-themed cocktail for the party and tell us what’s in it. If you’re not into drinks, then name a special ice-themed snack or dessert.

[All images are from – for more information about the fabulous ice hotels, click the link!]

Early heads-up for our lovely BBs – I’m going to be running a prize draw to win some Anna Sugden goodies. As I’m in the UK, I won’t be seeing my book in the stores, so I’m asking for some help. All you have to do is send me a pic of you with A Perfect Distraction – the book, on your e-reader or on a shelf in a store – and you’ll be entered into the prize draw! I’ll be announcing this on my website and Facebook/Twitter, but wanted to let you all know to watch out for it! Get snapping!

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