Guest Post: Off the Ice by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn

Our Paths to Hockey

Hello! It’s Piper Vaughn and Avon Gale and we’d like to thank Queer Books Unbound for having us today! OFF THE ICE, the first book in our Hat Trick series, is being rereleased by Carina Press on March 25, and we’re super excited to have it back in the world, especially because we just started working on the final book in the trilogy!

So how did we come to be hockey fans? Our paths to the game were pretty different! For me, Piper, I actually fell in love with a couple of players, including Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, from posts I’d seen on Tumblr. This led to me wanting to write a hockey romance, but the problem was, I didn’t know a thing about the sport itself. To remedy that, I asked my husband, a longtime hockey fan, to start teaching me while we watched games together. I started watching late in the 2014-2015 season, right in time for the Blackhawks to win their last Stanley Cup! You can imagine how exciting it was to start your career as a hockey fan with your (then) favorite team winning hockey’s greatest prize. From then on, I was hooked! I mean, I was looking up statistics, visiting the NHL website every day, reading books about the sport, etc. At this point I’m about 4 seasons in and I’ve been to hockey games in different arenas, different states. I own multiple jerseys and have a decal of Jonathan Toews on the wall above my desk. I even have a vial of the melted ice from when the Hawks won the Cup, though these days my main team is the Minnesota Wild. As Avon told me from the beginning, the team chooses you! We became friends when I first started watching the game, and she’s taught me so much! Somewhere along the way, we decided to write our series, and here we are, two books in and working on number three! Funny how life works sometimes.

For me, Avon, I got into hockey when one of my besties, a Canadian, had me watching her favorite team, the Vancouver Canucks, back in 2010. I’m from the South, so hockey was not something I understood (I’ve told the story before, but at a game with my college boyfriend/now husband, I thought there was a swimming pool beneath the ice. For real.), but I loved the fast pace of the game and came from a family with a long history of overinvesting in sports. While watching, my friend told me idly that I should pick a team to cheer for in the Eastern Conference. I decided, having a long-standing love of villains, to ask “Who’s the team everyone hates?” For whatever reason, the answer I kept getting was the Boston Bruins. I started watching their games, and they became my team. That was the 2010-2011 season, and if you’ll recall, the Boston Bruins played the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final. Oops! My team beat her team, and she was graceful enough not to stop speaking to me! She even went with me to Boston literal days after the Cup final. My first hockey book, Breakaway, is dedicated to her. Piper and I started chatting on Facebook about hockey right after I started publishing, and even though they are a Blackhawks fan (boo!), we bonded immediately. We even have matching hockey tattoos, which say, “With a little more fire,” from the excellent documentary Ice Guardians about hockey enforcers. I love our series, and writing with them has been awesome. You should see us watching a game sometime, we get pretty into it!!

Be sure to check out OFF THE ICE! The second book, GOALIE INTERFERENCE, is set to release on June 17. Both are available to purchase at Amazon and other e-tailers.


Title: Off the Ice
Author: Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn
Series: Hat Trick, #1
On-sale Date: eBook March 25, 2019 / MMP March 26, 2019
Previously published; newly refreshed by the authors


He’s hot for teacher

NHL star Tristan Holt may be at the top of his game, but he’s already thinking one play ahead. Hitting the books in the off-season means he’ll have a business degree to fall back on when it’s time to hang up his hockey skates.

But his straightforward plan is complicated by his undeniable attraction to his sexy sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.

Impressed by Tristan’s brain as well as his brawn, Sebastian can’t help lusting after the gorgeous jock. With tenure on the line, Sebastian won’t break the rules by becoming involved with one of his students—at least, not until the end of term. Once final grades are posted, though, their naughty mutual fantasies can become reality.

Tristan’s not sure he’s up for being the poster boy for openly gay hockey players, but Sebastian’s never been the type of man to keep his sexuality—or his relationships—in the closet. For Tristan, being with Sebastian might mean risking more than just his heart.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Goodreads | Carina Press | Amazon | B&N
(Re-)release Date: March 25th


Avon Gale lives in a liberal Midwestern college town, where she spends her days getting heavily invested in everything from craft projects to video games. She likes road trips by car, rock concerts, thunderstorms, IPAs, Kentucky bourbon and tattoos. As a queer author, Avon is committed to providing happy endings for all and loves to tell stories that focus on found families, strong and open communication, and friendship. She loves writing about quirky people who might not be perfect, but always find a place where they belong.


Piper Vaughn is a Latinx author and longtime romance reader. Since writing their first love story at age eleven, they’ve known writing in some form was exactly what they wanted to do. A reader to the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book.

Piper grew up in a diverse neighborhood in Chicago and loves putting faces and characters of every ethnicity in their stories, making their fictional worlds as colorful as the real one. Above all, Piper believes there’s no one way to have an HEA, and every person deserves to see themselves reflected on the page.


Genre: Contemporary Orientation: Gay Pairing: M/M Publisher: Carina Press Tag: Age-Gap Tag: Celebrity / Famous Person Tag: Guest Post Tag: Part of a series Tag: PoC Tag: Sports

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