The Romance of Figure Skating- The NHK Trophy

This past weekend the Grand Prix of Figure Skating’s fourth event, the NHK Trophy, took place in Osaka, Japan.

Figure skating is extremely popular in Japan and which isn’t surprising, considering that some of the world’s current top skaters are Japanese. The men’s discipline is especially strong with Yuzuru Hanyu and Shoma Uno among the top stars. Top Japanese ladies include Satoko Miyahara and Rika Hongo, who both competed at the NHK Trophy.

 

In Shining Through, Tabitha’s hopes for a victorious season that takes her straight to the Winter Games hits a big roadbump early on, courtesy of 14-year-old Japanese skater Machiko Furkawa, who stuns the world with her International Series debut.

Though the Japanese ladies weren’t as dominant in this year’s NHK Trophy, enjoy this video of Satoko Miyahara skating her long program, from the competition.

2017 NHK Trophy winners included Sergei Voronoz of Russia (mens), Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia (ladies), Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China (pairs) and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada (ice dance).

Next up is the Internationaux de France in Grenoble, France, Nov. 17- 19. Catch it on the Olympic Channel Nov. 17 and 18, and on NBCSN Nov. 19. Check local listing for broadcast times.

Enter a Goodreads #giveaway for a signed print copy of Shining Through! Or, to start reading right now download the ebook from your favorite online retailer:

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And come back next week for more Romance of Figure Skating!

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The Romance of Figure Skating- Cup of China

This past week the Grand Prix of Figure Skating traveled to Beijing, China. Though Chinese skaters are among the world’s best, especially in pairs, China’s figure skating program didn’t get started until the late 1970s. They’ve come a long way!

In Shining Through, Daniil’s jerky rival Viktor Domachev competes in the International Series’ China event and doesn’t do as well as he hopes. For Daniil, this is both good news and bad news. The Russian figure skating powers-that-be would prefer to have Domachev as the skater who goes to the Winter Games. With Daniil ahead in the standings, what will they do to keep him out?

I doubt any of the real-life skaters competing at the Cup of China are as nasty as Domachev. In fact, I have a fond memory of watching one of them at Skate America 2014, Elizaveta Tuktamysheva of Russia.

I recently learned she skated an exhibition program last season to Jeff Beck’s “I Put A Spell On You,” as Tabitha does in Shining Through. I had to dig deep into You Tube to find a video, but I did! While Liza looks nothing like Tabitha, it will give you a sense of the program I imagined— right down to the twizzles and deep edges. Fast forward through the announcements, her program starts about a minute in.

 

Cup of China winners included Mikhail Kolyada of Russia (mens), Alina Zagitova of Russia (ladies), Wenjing Sui and Cong Han of China (pairs) and Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron of France (ice dance).

Next up is the NHK Trophy in Osaka, Japan, Nov. 10 through 12. Catch it on the Olympic Channel Nov. 10 and 11, and on NBC Nov. 11. Check local listing for broadcast times.

Or download a copy of Shining Through, from your favorite online retailer.

Amazon | B&N | iTunes Books | Kobo | Google Play Books | Goodreads

And come back next week for more Romance of Figure Skating!

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The Romance of Figure Skating- Skate Canada

Last week, some of the world’s top skaters traveled to Regina, Saskatchewan for Skate Canada, the second competition in the Grand Prix of Figure Skating.

In Shining Through, Tabitha travels to Vancouver, where Daniil and her good friend (and rumored boyfriend) Brett, are skating in the Maple Leaf Classic. Though Tabitha isn’t competing, she hopes some extra time working with her choreographer, and with Daniil, will rekindle some of her passion on the ice. Returning to her roots as an ice dancer rekindles her passion on the ice. Teaching some moves to Daniil sparks passion off it.

Skate Canada included some of the world’s best ice dance teams, including Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who were the silver medalists in the 2014 Olympics. After Sochi, they sat out two competitive seasons before returning in 2016. They’re back again this year as strong as ever. Check out their Skate Canada short dance:

Virtue and Moir were the winners in ice dance. Other Skate Canada winners were Shoma Uno of Japan in Men’s, Katelyn Osmond of Canada in Ladies and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford in Pairs.

Next, it’s on to Beijing for the Cup of China, Nov. 3 through 5. Catch it on the Olympic Channel Nov. 3 and 4, and on NBC Nov. 5. Check local listing for broadcast times.

Order Shining Through in print or digital from your favorite retailer.

Amazon | B&N | iTunes Books | Kobo | Google Play Books | Goodreads

And come back next week for more Romance of Figure Skating!

 

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The Romance of Figure Skating

With the 2018 Winter Olympics coming, it’s going to be an exciting season for figure skating fans!

In my new figure skating romance, Shining Through, American skating superstar Tabitha Turner and Russia’s bad boy of the ice, Daniil Andreev, heat things up during a make-or-break season that they hope will take them both to the Grenoble Winter Games.

Along the way, in addition to sexy times in some of the world’s most romantic cities, they compete in a multi-event international competition known as the International Championship Series.

The series includes competitions in the United States, Canada, France, Russia and China, with a final championship held in Spain.

It (loosely) mirrors a real-life international skating competition series, the Grand Prix, which kicked off Oct. 20, with the Rostelecom Cup in Moscow.

Check out this video of Russian skater Moris Kvitelashvili (competing for Georgia) skating to Imagine Dragons music, just like Daniil  does in Shining Through. Moris doesn’t look much like Daniil, though they have similar musical tastes—only Daniil uses the real version of Radioactive!

Rostelecom Cup winners include the USA’s Nathan Chen, Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia, pairs team Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov of Russia, and US Ice Dancers Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani.

Next up: Skate Canada, taking place Oct. 26- 29. Check out the competitions on the Olympic Channel on Friday 10/27 and Sat. 10/28, and on NBCSN, Sunday, Oct. 28. Refer to your local listing for broadcast times.

Enjoy!

Learn more about Shining Through:

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Author Interview with Elizabeth Harmon

Thanks Splashes Into Books for having me on as a guest today, and for loving some Red Hot Russians!

splashesintobooks

Please give a warm welcome to Splashes Into Books to the amazing author of the Red Hot Russians series,
Elizabeth Harmon!
I was delighted when she also agreed to be interviewed -read on to find out more about her writing process and the inspiration for her new release,
Shining Through!

Where did you get inspiration for the book?

When I was writing Getting It Back, the third book in the series and created the character of Daniil, I knew I wanted to write about him. When that book came out and a number of reviewers commented on him, even though he was a minor character, I saw that readers wanted me to write about him too!

Since Daniil was already established as a bad boy, and I love casting opposites, I knew that the story’s heroine was going to be a wholesome good girl. But it wasn’t until I…

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Review: Shining Through by Elizabeth Harmon

I’m so excited to share this great review of my new release Shining Through from Coffee Books & Passion.

Books, Coffee & Passion

Shining Through by Elizabeth Harmon

Shining Through by Elizabeth Harmon

Release Date: October 2, 2017

Series: Red Hot Russians #4

Genre: Contemporary/Sports Romance

Synopsis

The Biggest Season of her Career…
America’s sweetheart Tabitha Turner is on track to win figure-skating gold in the Winter Games. Her family has sacrificed everything for her career, but the pressure is taking its toll. Burned out and living a lie, can Tabitha let off a little steam without melting the ice?
The Last Chance of His…
Russia’s bad boy of skating Daniil Andreev is determined to prove the toughest thing about him is his competitive fight. When Tabitha tempts him to help her take a secret walk on the wild side, he gives her a taste of the freedom she craves, never expecting that one unforgettable night could turn into something more.
Two Hearts on Thin Ice…
Chicago, Vancouver, Paris… the international figure skating season unfolds. Tabitha and Daniil compete…

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Happy Book Anniversary Vlad & Hannah!

Turning It On, the second book in the Red Hot Russians series was released this week, in 2015. To mark the occasion, I’m reposting this interview with Turning It On’s hero, Vladimir Shustov, aka. Vlad the Bad! The post originally appeared on Angela Highland’s Boosting the Signal blog.

Looks can be deceiving, especially when you’re a contestant on TV’s sexiest reality show.

Turning It On In “Turning It On,” (Red Hot Russians #2),  my new Carina Press release, due out June 29, shy book editor Hannah Levinson, tries to keep her fame-hungry fiancé from the clutches of a scheming dental hygienist,  with the help of an unlikely ally, sexy Russian male stripper, Vlad the Bad.

When it’s impossible to tell what’s real and what’s an illusion, can Hannah trust that there’s more to Vlad than meets the eye?

Read on, as Vlad reveals himself to Boosting The Signal….

Ei, pretty lady.  That’s right …you. Don’t be shy.  I see how you look at me.  That’s okay, I’m used to it.  If I minded, wouldn’t be standing here without a shirt, wearing skin-tight jeans made to tear right off my body. I wouldn’t spend hours in gym, or on beach, so I could look this way.  I’m not boasting, it’s just fact.  When you make your living as I do, looking good is part of the job.

My name is Vladimir Shustov, but here in Miami, most people know me as Vlad the Bad. Maybe you’ve seen me dance at The Male Room.  Nyet?  Well, The Male Room is a strip club for women, if you haven’t guessed.  I’m one of the top acts. Stella, my boss, says that’s because I know how to make every lady think I dance only for her.

Flkr_Alan_LightSome women who come in, may not have a man pay attention to them in real life, so when they are here, I like to make them feel good.  They pay me very well, and for a guy who grew up with nothing, and came to this country with nothing, that is important. But is not the only reason I do it. It’s something I can give to another person, even for just a little while. May not mean much, but right now, is all I have.

Back in Russia, I was once an ice dancer.  My partner and I even won some medals and we might have had a chance to compete at Winter Games, until we took a bad fall. She broke her hip and decided she didn’t want to skate any more. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, only that I needed to make a lot of money.  Stripping was a way to do that.

But when you’re a stripper, people decide who you are without ever bothering to know you. People think I’m stupid, and that all I care about is getting laid. Or getting paid. And yes, most people assume I do one to get the other.  I don’t.   I won’t lie and say I have no regrets, but it is not who I am, nor is it all I want to be.

What I really want… is to be a writer.

I can tell you’re surprised. Most people are.  And it’s true…because I trained as figure skater, my education was miss or hit, as Americans often say.  Science I liked, but at math, I was no good.  History?  What about it?  Living in Russia in 1990s and 2000s, was like living in history as one nation died, and a new one took over.  Everyone for themselves…that was what my mother always said. With so many questions about future, who cared about past?

But reading, I always loved, and did whenever I had a chance. My favorite stories were those set in worlds even darker and scarier than mine. Compared to robots, demons and flesh-eating aliens, what does it matter if your mother and her boyfriend are in deep with Russkaya  Mafiya?   Whenever I wasn’t skating, I was often at library, escaping from home, escaping from everything. Before long, I wasn’t content only to read, I began to write.

So far, I’ve written  one novel and started a second one, called The Flesh Zone.  It’s coming of age story about hard working immigrant, who comes to United States and is paid fortune to take off his clothes. Then monsters attack his city. I try to do what they say…write what you know. Except for the monsters.

Most people would say two books is good, especially since I’m only twenty-five.  Why rush, they say.

Because I know  I can only dance for so long, and after, my future doesn’t look so bright. You see, the longer you stay in this life…the life that is lived mostly in the dark…the harder it is to get out.  Just ask my mother.  She never got out at all.

More than anything, I don’t want to end up that way.  Maybe what I really want isn’t simply to be a writer…it is to be someone good and honorable.  I haven’t known many people like that, but there have been a few.  Not in this life, but before, when I skated.  My Uncle Ivan, for one.

What would mean the most is to live a life of which I’m not ashamed…and to be loved by a woman who isn’t ashamed of me. I know, sounds crazy, to think that way.  But to me, dreams are like stories. They cost nothing and anybody can have one.

Even a guy called Vlad the Bad.

Get your copy of Turning It On!

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