Confessions of a Figure Skating Grown-Up

Last year when I started figure skating lessons, my instructor gave me a sheet of picture cards for the basic moves I was learning. Each shows a model demonstrating the move. None of the skater-models is older than twelve.
Let’s just say I’m a little older than that.
Everyone has things we wish we’d done differently. One of mine is giving up ice-skating when I was thirteen.
That year the roller rink opened in my town, and everyone started going there rather than the ice rink.  Part of the allure was the roller rink’s disco verses the ice rink’s classical, but from then on, I was a roller skater.
Still, the ice held a certain fascination, and when I started to write romance, I knew if I wrote a female athlete, she would be a figure skater.

CARINA_0215_9781426899508_PairingOffIn “Pairing Off,” not only is the heroine a skater, so is the hero. Researching Olympic pair skating rekindled memories of skaters I’d loved watching. I drew on personal experience too. The Moscow rink where Anton and Carrie train looks a bit like the one in Illinois where I skated as a child.  Their moonlight skate in Gorki Park is on a pond that resembles the place I skated for the first time, at age four.

It also gave me the urge to get back on the ice myself.
Though I was terrified of looking like an idiot, one Friday afternoon, I tried our rink’s adults-only session. I wobbled on rental skates, close to the boards, but none of the more accomplished skaters laughed.  Instead, they welcomed me and urged me to come back.
I did.
In the two years since, I’ve made wonderful friends who love that I wrote a skating romance. One suggested the book’s title, another organized a party when “Pairing Off” sold to Carina. I still can’t do the cool moves they can, but I can do more than when I started. I even skated in the rock and roll number of our rink’s ice show, where I had the distinction of being one of the oldest, and newest, skaters.  013015_1756_2.jpg
From center ice, the applause sounded sweet.
Contemporary romance author Elizabeth Harmon’s debut novel “Pairing Off” is a February, 2015 Carina Press release. Set in the world of international competitive figure skating, it’s the first book in the “Red Hot Russians” series.” Pre-order on Amazon, add on Goodreads, or visit her online at
In the photo above, Elizabeth is the dignified skater on the left.
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