Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Release Blitz + Giveaway: The Bride Wore Starlight by Lizbeth Selvig

The Bride Wore Starlight 
By Lizbeth Selvig
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Once comfortable on stage in front of thousands, Joely Crockett is now mortified at the thought of walking—or rolling—down the aisle at her sisters’ wedding. Scarred and wheelchair-bound, the former beauty queen has lost more than the ability to walk—she’s lost her fire. But when one handsome, arrogant guest accuses her of milking her injuries and ignites her ire, Joely finally starts to feel truly alive again, and soon it’s impossible for her to resist her heart’s desire.

Alec Morrissey knows a little something about loss. A famous rodeo cowboy before he was injured in Iraq, he’s managed to create something of a normal life, even if it’s not the one he always imagined. Encountering stunning but damaged Joely, he sees a kindred spirit who can learn from his mistakes.

As these two healing souls begin to fall in love under the Wyoming stars, they must discover if they are willing to give in to the tragedies of life or fight for a future together.

BUY LINKS: Barnes & Noble / Amazon / iBooks / GooglePlay

Avon Impulse; February 9; $2.99; ISBN: 9780062413963

“Warm enough?” he asked. “Your back’s okay?”
“I’m plenty warm. And my back aches. It’ll be fine in the morning.”
“What would make it fine now?”
“Sven the masseur?”
He chuckled. “Your version of the cabana boy fantasy, huh? Fine, I can do Sven.” She’d been joking; he was not. “Come on. Stretch out on your stomach.”
She started to turn and changed her mind. “What about you?”
“I’m fantastic. I have a beautiful woman about to let me touch her wherever I want to.”
“Wait, I never said that.”
She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him, long and deep, taking the lead, pushing him onto his back instead of following his directive. When he groaned and pulled her to lie on top of him, she broke the kiss. She’d done it now, and her nerves almost got the better of her. Instead she closed her eyes and took a brave breath.
“Your leg has to be killing you,” she said. “I’m worried about it. I have no idea how to ask you about it because you never say anything, so I’m just blurting it out.”
“My leg is okay,” he said.
“You haven’t taken off the prosthetic in two days.”
“I have. Didn’t you wonder what the heck took a guy so long in the woods at night?” He took his turn kissing her, and she reveled, not just in his kiss but in the breadth of him beneath her. And in the swift, undeniable swell that proved what power her mouth had over him. Thrills pooled low in her pelvis.
The next words hung in her throat for a long time. If she said them, she’d have to be willing to offer the same in return. Her greatest fear rose in front of her.
“I want to know all of you. I want you to . . . trust me.”
“I haven’t wanted to weird you out.”
The words were light, slightly jokey, and still she clearly heard the underlying tension.
“That’s just dumb, Alec. Weird? It’s not weird. It’s you.”
Did she mean it? Of course she did. Then how could she do anything but open herself up in return? No matter how much it scared her.
“You’ve never made love to a one-legged guy.”
Fear flared hot just before her grin broke loose. “Am I about to?”
He pulled her back down against him and ran his hands over her seat, pulling her tight and rolling his hips. “It might be too soon.”
She rested one elbow beside his ear, brushing his hair back with the other hand, drinking in the texture with her fingertips. “I’m afraid to let you see, too.”
“See what?” A light, perhaps one of hopefulness, brightened his eyes.
“I have more scars than the one you’ve seen on my face.” She stopped combing through his hair. The breath she took this time was shakier than any so far. “I’d show you mine if you show me yours. Let’s be weirded out together.” The words were silly, and her heart skittered around her ribcage—a scared bird that had trapped itself.
He didn’t speak. Carefully, he rolled her off of him and placed one hand on her stomach. With gentle fingers he unsnapped her jeans and slowly rasped down the zipper. Then he sat up, and reached for her boots. One at a time he tugged them off.

About the Author

Lizbeth Selvig lives in Minnesota with her best friend (aka her husband), and a gray Arabian gelding. After working as a newspaper journalist and magazine editor, and raising an equine veterinarian daughter and a talented musician son, she won RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart® Contest in 2010 with her contemporary romance The Rancher and the Rock Star. In her spare time, she loves to hike, quilt, read, horseback ride, and spend time with her new granddaughter. She also has four-legged grandchildren—more than twenty—including a wallaby, two alpacas, a donkey, a pig, a sugar glider, and many dogs, cats, and horses (pics of all appear on her website www.lizbethselvig.com). She loves connecting with readers—contact her any time!

Author Interview

Hi Lizbeth, Thanks for joining us! To get started, why don’t you give readers an introduction into the Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys series, and The Bride Wore Starlight?

1. You have a passion for horses and horseback riding. How did that influence the themes and settings around your books?
Pictures of horses adorned my bedroom walls from the time I was five, when I was a little city girl in Minneapolis. I collected all the stories about horses I could and had my first book boyfriend crush on Alec Ramsay in The Black Stallion series. I got my first horse as a graduation from college present from my husband, and I was hooked for life, even getting my daughter her her first pony when she was six years old so we could ride together. She went on to become an equine veterinarian, and I still help her care for all the horses she’s collected since that first pony! I still have a horse of my own, so you can see I’m obsessed and have a hard time imagining a world without horses in it!

All my books have included horses to some extent. I’m not even stuck on one type of horse, or riding or rider—my first series of books revolved around English riding, dressage and eventing. My current series “Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys” takes place on a Wyoming ranch so I get to spend a lot of time with horses in these books. In my stories, I’ve used horses as therapy animals, as challenges for my characters, and as comforting best friends. I love sharing the beauty and versatility and healing power of horses with my readers.

2. What is it about your two main characters, Alec and Joely, that have made them so strong after going through such traumatic experiences?
I think what’s amazing about Alec and Joely is that neither of them has any idea when their story starts just where their real strengths lie. Joely was a beauty queen several times, and even though she isn’t vain she has always believed that what she has to offer the world revolves around her physical looks. What she discovers after her physical body is broken and scarred is that she doesn’t need to trade on outer beauty—her talents of kindness, understanding, and the ability to love despite peoples’ flaws are her truest assets—and they (along with Alec’s help) are what make her strong in the end.
Alec completely believes what makes him strong is the ability to bury things that remind him of pain and could make him bitter. He has a major physical disability, but he ignores it and gets on with life—and he even has the sunny disposition to go along with it. But what he doesn’t know is that burying his past and his anger really is a weakness. When he learns (with Joely’s help) to embrace what he sees as weaknesses and truly face his fears—he grows into the truly strong and resilient man he wants to be.

3. How long have you been writing and who influenced you?
I started making up stories and telling them to myself at night in bed as far back as when I was four and five years old. Later, when other kids were reading themselves to sleep, I started writing down these stories. I guess it was what would now be called fan fiction—I had lots of fun affairs and adventures with my favorite pop stars from Paul McCartney to Bobby Sherman! Eventually I started writing “real” short stories and then novels. In the 80s and 90s I fell in love with the romances of LaVyrle Spencer. To this day she’s my ideal when it comes to telling a love story and I don’t try to copy her, but I do try to live up to her example.

4. Do you have a favorite romance? Tell us!
I mentioned LaVyrle Spencer, and whenever I’m asked this question I have to go back to her. Sadly, most younger romance readers today don’t know her work, but she was known for her beautiful lyrical writing and her warm, identifiable characters. My favorite romance is a book by her called “Hummingbird.” It’s an American historical about a “spinster” who takes in a wounded train robber. Their love affair was so tender, and LaVyrle wrote such a memorable first-attempt at sex scene that I’ll never forget it. Suffice it to say the first try at lovemaking was awkward at best—but so realistic. Naturally, she made up for it later—and it was totally worth the wait!

5. Where is your favorite place to write?
I mostly write in my office at home. Lest you think that sounds hoity toity, however, it’s also my sewing room and storage for my granddaughter’s “grandma’s house toys,” so it’s very far from tidy and it’s not all that private. Still, it’s my clutter and filled with things I love, and during the day it’s very quiet. I have two windows so I can always see outside—perfect for daydreaming-ah, brainstorming!

6. What’s on your bucket list for this year?
I’m already planning to attend Romance Writers of America’s annual meeting in San Diego as well as the Romantic Times Reader Convention in Las Vegas. My “bucket list” addition is that I want my hubby to come meet me at both of them since I’ve never been to either city. I’d like to see Cirque du Soleil’s “Beatles Love” performance in Vegas, and I want to visit the zoo in San Diego because I love zoos. I’d also love to go back to Alaska and visit my dear friends—those I made when I lived in Anchorage from 2006-2009!

7. One of your books, Rescued by a Stranger was a *RWA RITA® Award Finalist. What was that like for you?
Oh my goodness, I look back on that and I still can’t believe it happened! I was so flattered and honored because it’s a peer award, and to have made the cut with some of my absolute idols (Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis) was a dream come true. I swear it’s also true that it was an honor just to be a finalist. I mean, with all the stellar fellow finalists—it didn’t matter in the least that I didn’t win. It was extremely special to be wined and dined and treated like a queen for a week at the convention—a very meaningful sure wouldn’t mind bringing home one of those gorgeous, golden RITA ladies!

8. Can you tell us anything about your upcoming works?
I’m super excited about the last four books of the “Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys” series. The next three books will belong to the triplets, Grace, Kelly, and Raquel who were named for their father’s favorite two movie stars! Grace comes next and she meets the small-time poker player who thinks he has a generation’s-old claim to Paradise Ranch (and a very precocious five-year-old daughter).  Kelly falls in love with a secondary character from “The Bride Wore Red Boots” – one of the veterans suffering from PTSD who has become a hotshot firefighter. It may or may not be the best choice for either of them. Raquel falls for a doctor who is a total science geek to her active tomboy personality. It’s hard to see how sparks can fly when one’s never seen Star Wars and the other won’t go out if it means missing Dr. Who. The last book of the series will introduce a surprise character: Cami Colarusso—a cousin to the Crockett sisters whom nobody knew existed. To end the series we need a little fun:  how about dinosaurs on the ranch?!

In addition to the Brides books, I’m working on a proposal for a completely new book in a slightly different genre—women’s fiction. More on that to come! And I have a cross-over story coming out in May as part of a Kindle Worlds series set in Sapphire Falls—the world created by bestselling author Erin Nicholas. One of the characters from the Brides series is going to make his way to Sapphire Falls. I’m so excited, so watch for that, too!


Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Romances

This is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where each week bloggers share a list of books for the prompt given. So hopefully I'll have a new list to share with you all each week!

This Week's Topic: Top Ten Romances

1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
2. The Deal by Elle Kennedy
3. Crash Into You by Katie McGarry 

4. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
5. Scoring Wilder by RS Grey
6. The Boyfriend League by Rachel Hawthorne

7. Persuasion by Jane Austen
8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
9. Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles 

10. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Book Review: Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedy

Midnight Revenge (Killer Instincts #7)
By Elle Kennedy
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Source: Publisher
From the USA Today bestselling author of Midnight Captive, the latest Killer Instincts novel is “off-the-charts-hot”* romantic suspense that takes readers into the heart of an enigmatic mercenary...

Out of all the stone-cold mercenaries in Jim Morgan's black ops organization, Derek “D” Pratt is the most intimidating. He is tight-lipped and covered in tattoos, and even the other guys on his team are afraid to ask him about his past. D’s been off the grid for years, but after his teammate Sullivan is mistakenly captured in his place, D is forced to come out of hiding and face his demons.

When D lands in Mexico, he’s ready to risk everything to save his friend. To complicate matters, Sofia Amaro, a feisty doctor whom D had a one-night stand with months ago, has tracked him down. And in an instant she’s unintentionally caught up in his life-threatening rescue mission.

Now D must extract not one but two people from the most violent world he's ever encountered. And one of them is carrying his child

I have loved every book I have read in the Killer Instincts series and, out of all of the characters, D is definitely the most mysterious. I couldn't wait to get to know him in this book and to see him finally start to show some emotion beneath that hard, tattooed exterior. 

D isn't a man of many words and he is one ruthless mercenary. He gets in, gets the job done, and moves on to the next. Emotions aren't his thing, so when he runs into Sophia, the doctor who helps out the men on his team, he's in and out for a hot one night stand and onto his next job. Three months later, D has finally figured out why one of their men was kidnapped and realizes that it was all his fault. As D goes in to extract his man and face his past demons, though, Sofia shows up demanding to speak to him. Sophia ends up being dragged into D's mess and D has to fight even harder to keep those who he hadn't even realized were important to him alive. 

Oh, D. You poor, poor man! Ugh, we finally get to understand who D is and why he is the way he is and it's absolutely heartbreaking. Seriously! D doesn't know what it's like to even have feelings for a girl, so the stirring of emotion he feels when he's with Sofia freaks him out. Sofia is one feisty doctor, though, and ends up in the middle of D's dangerous affairs with no way out. Even though Sofia isn't an operative like many of the other women in this series, I loved her character and how she could hold her own with the dangerous killers who work for Morgan. She truly saw the good in D and understood his past more than anyone else ever could. 

The beginning of this book was much more focused on the action part of this series and I had no problem with that. These characters got themselves into some pretty tricky situations and I was just dying to know how they were going to get out of them. Sofia and D definitely had chemistry, but a huge part of their story was focused on understanding each other and opening up to each other about their pasts, and I was sucked into D's horrible past and his battle to keep his no-strings-attached lifestyle. He was so reluctant to let anyone in, but Sofia was definitely not going to back down. 

Elle Kennedy delivered yet another addicting addition to her Killer Instincts series. 7 books in and I am still obsessed with these characters and the crazy situations they find themselves in. And talk about heat! I'm hoping for Ash's story next, but I guess I'll just have to (begrudgingly) wait for the next book to come out…

Friday, February 5, 2016

Book Review: Bully by Penelope Douglas

Bully (Fall Away #1)
By Penelope Douglas 
Release Date: February 18, 2014
Source: Publisher
My name is Tate. He doesn't call me that, though. He would never refer to me so informally, if he referred to me at all. No, he'll barely even speak to me.

But he still won't leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I've been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got more sadistic as time wore on, and I made myself sick trying to stay out of his way. I even went to France for a year, just to avoid him.

But I'm done hiding from him now, and there's no way in hell I'll allow him to ruin my senior year. He might not have changed, but I have. It's time to fight back. 

I'm not going to let him bully me anymore.

I am no stranger to Penelope Douglas's books. I have loved every book in the Fall Away series that I've read and, typical me, I have read books 2 and 3, but completely skipped over book 1. Seeing Tate and Jared so in love in the later books in the series, I was eager to finally read their story in Bully. 

Tate and Jared used to be best friends. They shared each other's secrets, pains, and dreams. The summer they were fourteen, though, Jared completely turns and spends his life tormenting Tate, driving everyone, especially guys, away from her. Tate has taken it for years, but when she returns home from a year in france for her senior year, Tate decides to take a stand and give Jared some of his own medicine. The more Tate pushes. the more she sees beneath Jared's angry demeanor and into the boy she used to know. 

Freaking Jared and Tate. I have no idea how I could have skipped over their book because it was SO GOOD. At first, I wasn't sure I would completely believe a book about a girl who fell for her bully, but Jared is so broken and just needs someone to tell him everything would be okay. He has had such a rough life, much rougher than Tate could even imagine. I was dying to figure out what had happened to him and for him to finally open up to Tate. Even though Tate hated Jared for making her life miserable. there was an undeniable chemistry that was driving her insane. The tension was off the charts and I could not stop reading until they finally, FINALLY, got together. And then I kept on reading until the end. 

Tate definitely grew throughout the course of this book and I loved seeing her go from the victim to a strong survivor. While she did give in a little too much to her anger and became the bully in some situations, I loved how much she stood up to Jared. Her retaliation was just awesome and I never knew how Jared would react to the latest thing she did. Oh, and she raced a car! I love any books that have car racing in them and while Jared was super hot behind the wheel of his car, I loved when Tate took a shot at it. Every moment Tate and Jared were together was supercharged with chemistry and tension that just sucked me into the story and refused to let me go. 

If you can't tell, I loved this book and hate myself for taking this long to read it. I am already planning on diving into book 1.5 soon (Until You), which I believe is this book from Jared's point of view. I'm already freaking out over how amazing it's going to be. I definitely recommend Penelope's Fall Away series if you want some amazing characters, intense emotions, and seriously hot chemistry.

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