Please help me welcome Cate Cameron, author of the Corrigan Falls Raiders series books (PLAYING DEFENSE is out today!) to the blog. My review of PLAYING DEFENSE is here, in case you missed it 🙂
“The Rink” in Small Town Canada
Not all Canadians play hockey. And believe it or not, some Canadians don’t even like hockey. But play it or not, like it not, hockey has an influence on all Canadian lives, especially for Canadians living in small towns.
Because in small towns the rink is where things happen. For about eight months of the year, hockey-playing kids spend more time at the rink than anywhere else besides home and school. And at the rink, they tend to have parents and siblings with them. Families have one kid on the ice, two others doing homework or playing with their friends in the stands, while at least one parent sits around and supervises, getting caught up with neigbhours and hearing all the latest gossip.
Teenagers might start getting jobs at the rink, and hanging out there even when they’re not working. Small towns don’t usually have malls, so the rink is one of the main hang-out spots. There’s almost always some drama, but there are also generally enough adults within yelling-distance to keep things from getting out of hand.
There’s almost always a snack bar, selling thin, tongue-scaldingly-overheated hot chocolate in white Styrofoam cups, bought to be hand-warmers as much as beverages. Oh, there are arenas that have gotten a bit fancier, but those tend to be in the cities. In my local arena, the hot chocolate tastes exactly the same today as it did the first time I tasted it decades ago.
Small town politicians know about the power of the rink, and even after their kids are grown and gone, the savvy ones still stop by when they have the chance to hear the buzz and cheer on the players.
Because, yes, there are players involved in all this! Maybe they’re just practicing, but even then, they’re interesting, and you can hear the adults speculating about the relative skills and what little Bobby will be able to do after he hits his growth spurt.
The rink–for better or for worse, it’s the heart of a lot of small Canadian communities. And when I write about small town hockey players, I remember that the arena isn’t just theirs. It’s everyone’s. The small town rink is about more than just hockey.
Cate Cameron is the author of the YA Corrigan Falls Raiders books CENTER ICE and PLAYING DEFENSE and the adult contemporary romance Lake Sullivan books JUST A SUMMER FLING and HOMETOWN HERO. She can be found online at her website, Twitter, and Facebook.
PLAYING DEFENSE Synopsis:
Sixteen-year-old Claudia Waring has never kissed a boy. Never been popular. Never been to a hockey game. All that’s about to change. Assigned to tutor Chris Winslow, a prank-loving, gorgeous hockey player, Claudia’s perfectly planned life immediately veers off course. And she kind of likes it. But as fun as Chris is, she knows she’ll never fit in his world.
After his latest prank lands him in hot water, Chris has to get serious about school or lose hockey. Not an easy thing for someone as carefree as the defenseman. The biggest problem, though, is how much he wants to help his cute, buttoned-up tutor loosen up a little. But while confidence has never been a problem for him, around Claudia, Chris is all nerves. Why would a girl as smart as her ever fall for a jock like him?
This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, swoon-worthy kisses, and sexy hockey players. It may cause you to watch a hockey game…or ten.