Thursday, 28 February 2013

Interview with Nico Rosso + Giveaway

Please give a warm welcome to Nico Rosso, whose latest story, Ironheart, a superhero romance just got released in Entangled's brand new superhero anthology aptly titled: Holding Out For a Hero! So take a seat, put down your cape and don't leave before sharing with us your own superhero name and power. ;-) 

Stella: Hi Nico, welcome to Ex Libris! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself, and more specifically what is your relationship with superheroes? How did it all start?

Nico: Hi Stella, thanks so much for having me! I’m a writer who worked in a few different forms and genres until I found the romance genre through my wife, Zoë Archer. My love for superheroes started at a very early age, where I picked up comic books from my brother’s floor. From there I started buying them for myself, and diving into the history of the characters in reprints of old comics.

Stella: Your latest story Ironheart was one of the four novellas released in the new Entangled superhero anthology: Holding Out For a Hero, congratulations! Can you tell readers what they can expect of Ironheart? 

Nico: In Ironheart, I wanted to capture the fun of the early comics I read. You’ll find gritty action and tough heroes, as well as a very human story of love lost and a desire for a second chance. Here’s a little teaser from Chapter Two:
Now that he was in her arms again, she remembered how deeply he shook her. All the rules of her life, the teachings of the Changali and the laws of society, seemed like brittle glass with Vince near her. His body. His power. His conviction. The two of them had lit some fires in the past, and she wanted that heat all over again. Watching him fight those GearHeads made her ache for his touch.

That reckless need could cost her more than she’d anticipated.

“I dreamed of this,” she said over the rush of wind. Not only did the other-worldly power in her create the energy cells, but it augmented her strength enough to carry his massive form. And when their bodies had clashed during earth-shaking sex, she’d had the force to keep up with him. “Flying with you.”

“Some nights, it took a lot of whiskey so I wouldn’t have this dream.”

Pain and anger spiked his words. She had earned it, and was thankful they hadn’t battled after all. But there were a lot of hours before daylight.

Stella: Could you introduce Vince and Kara, the hero and heroine of Ironheart

Taken from Vince’s team member profile for OmniForce (filed under “Former Members”)

Name: The Anvil
Height: 5’10” (more or less, wouldn’t stand still long enough to be measured)
Weight: (see note on height)
Special Abilities: Skin and body are extremely durable, while still looking like a normal human. Can withstand kinetic attacks such as bullets and artillery. Energy attacks are unknown. Because of body density, his strength is augmented to Class 30 (with a human world class athlete being Class 10)
Weapons: Prefers to use his hands.
Vulnerabilities: When facing weapons containing large proportions of iron, his Special Abilities are negated. His fighting ability is not affected.
Psychological Profile: Determined fighter. Good sense of justice. Lacks regard for authority (see note on height).

Taken from Kara’s profile as written by OmniForce when they teamed up with the WildFlowers. (Filed under “Ally Teams – WildFlowers”)

Name: SnapDragon
Team Affiliation: WildFlowers
Height: Unknown (5’8”?)
Weight: Unknown
Special Abilities: Like the rest of the WildFlowers, she has been imbued with cosmic energy, and can shape it into power cells that resemble plate armor or flower petals. These cells can be used as protection, weapons, or can be organized into wings, giving her the ability to fly. The cosmic energy also seems to have increased her strength (at one time, she lifted The Anvil and threw him into a coming asteroid, their combined force breaking it and rendering the remains harmless).
Weapons: As stated above, she can use the energy cells to create weapons such as armored fists and elbows.
Vulnerabilities: Unknown. Perhaps energy attacks.
Psychological Profile: Unknown. Like the other WildFlowers, she is young (college aged?) and untested beyond the initial battles summarized in the attached documents on The Paradox. Several surreptitious glances were noted between her and the Anvil – this is something we should keep an eye on.

Stella: Could you please summarize Ironheart in Twitter-style (in 140 characters or less)?

Nico: Superheroes Vince & Kara can stop bullets, but can they stop the reawakened flame of their past fling from burning down their world?

Stella: Do you still remember what inspired Ironheart? Was there a specific moment/event that sparked the idea for the story?

Nico: The first motivation came because of a call put out for superhero romance stories. After that I drew on my past of reading comics and tried to created scenarios I’d like to see. Truthfully, one of the main inspirations was the idea of two superheroes making love so passionately they wrecked the building around them.

Stella: If you were a superhero, what would be your name and superpower?

Nico: I asked my wife for this one and she suggested, The Forge. I can take small details from life and inspirations and hammer them together under the heat of imagination to create a completely new story.

Stella: Oh that is cool, and especially handy for an author ;-) Can you share with us some little secret trivia connected to the writing of Ironheart (a scene/character that did not end up in the final version, a real person inspiring a character, scene, etc.)?

Nico: Because he’s so powerful, Vince is almost always hungry. At one point he mentions to Kara that he knows a great late-night burrito place. The story takes place in San Francisco, but the burrito I was imagining is from a taqueria in Santa Cruz, CA – where both Zoë and I went to college. I figured that because Kara can fly, it wouldn’t take them long to get south along the coast to that particular burrito. I can almost taste it now.

Stella: Are you planning on writing any more stories in the Ironheart universe? What shall we expect from you, what is next on your schedule?

Nico: I’d love to work on more stories in the world I created for Ironheart. Not only are there the stories of the other WildFlowers to learn, but there are plenty of other heroes and villains out there. It all depends on demand from readers.

Next on the schedule is a three book paranormal romance series I’m working on for Carina Press. No dates yet, but I can say these pieces are raw, romantic, and raunchy.

A travelling trunk
Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia, something that not many people know about you?

Nico: When I’m not structuring books, I really enjoy planning and structuring carpentry projects for around the apartment. I’ve designed and built many bookshelves (mostly to contain Zoë’s collection) as well as other tables and consoles. Currently, I’m plotting a liquor cabinet that will look like a traveling trunk on its side.

Find Nico at his website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads.


Scarlett Fever by Christine Bell and Ella Dane

After five years in training, it’s finally time for Scarlett Fever and her fellow superheroes to leave the United Superhero Academy and test their powers out in the real world. There’s only one problem. She’s been assigned to partner with arrogant, by the book, and irritatingly hot, Blade of Justice.

Blade’s whole life has gone according to plan, and he’s more than ready to move on to the big time, protecting a metropolis of his own. But his perfectly ordered life is derailed when he’s teamed up with the fiery maverick, Scarlett Fever.

Sparks fly the moment they arrive in Plunketville, Oklahoma, as they each set out to force the other to request a transfer. They soon discover there’s more going on in this single stop-sign town than blowing up mailboxes and cow tipping. If Scarlett can get Blade to listen to his gut, and he can teach her to use her head, they just might have a fighting chance.

Ironheart by Nico Rosso

Vince might be hard as steel, but he’s not invincible. Not when iron touches him, especially in the hands of an evil minion. Not when Kara ran away after a whirlwind affair, just when he thought he might be falling in love. And definitely not when she returns, looking for his help.

The archvillain TechHead is coming for Kara and her superhero teammates, and he’s determined to use their combined power to create the ultimate weapon. But Kara can’t fight him alone. She needs Vince’s brutal skill, though being with him means she risks losing her beloved secret identity, leaving her nowhere else to hide.

When TechHead makes a play to capture Kara, Vince has more to lose than just his heart. But he will do anything for the woman he loves, even if it means putting his heart on the line again.

Playing With Fire by Tamara Morgan

Fiona Nelson has always been one hot ticket—even before she took the conversion serum that gave her superhu¬man abilities. Fiona’s powers come at a price: lack of human contact, or she won’t be the only thing burning. When she loses control of her emotions, her fire powers run rampant... and she’s hurt enough people already. Including herself.

But when the man behind her conversion returns to black¬mail her into helping him gain power, the only person she can turn to is Ian Jones, the man who broke her teenage heart. The man determined to expose the criminal known as Fireball, whose explosive escapades are just a little too close to Fiona’s M.O.

Ian is convinced Fiona’s dangerous, convinced she’s Fire¬ball, and convinced he’ll damn himself if he doesn’t resist a heat that’s always drawn him to Fiona like a moth to a flame—but Ian has his own secrets.

And he’ll learn far too soon what happens when you play with fire.

From the Ashes by Adrien-Luc Sanders

Sociopath. Killer. Deviant. Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called that and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded count¬less crimes to build his father’s inhuman empire.

Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford--antisocial graduate research¬er, quiet underachiever, and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve.

One kiss leads to an entanglement that challenges ev¬erything Tobias knows about himself, aberrants, and his own capacity to love. But when his father orders him to assassinate a senator, one misstep unravels a knot of political intrigue that places the fate of hu¬mans and aberrants alike in Tobias’s hands. As danger mounts and bodies pile deeper, will Tobias succumb to his dark nature and sacrifice Sean--or will he defy his father and rise from the ashes to become a hero in a world of villains?


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Entangled Publishing has generously offered an ebook copy of the Holding Out for a Hero anthology to a lucky commenter!


To be entered just leave a comment and tell us: if you were a superhero what would be your name and superpower?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 8 March 2013!

Good Luck!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Guest post by Nicole Helm + Giveaway

Please give a warm welcome to Nicole Helm, Entangled Indulgence debut author, who stops by to tell us a bit more about her brand new release: Seven-Night StandSeven-Night Stand's heroine works in reality TV. So I was curious to hear more about Nicole's relationship with it: how did inspiration strike? Does she enjoy watching reality TV shows? And most importantly why did she think this would make a great setting for a contemporary romance? So read on to hear what Nicole had to say and you could even win a copy of Seven-Night Stand.



I love TV. I always have. I love a good story, and TV tells a story just like a book or a movie does, only it keeps going week after week. I don't have to leave my favorite characters until the final episode (or, if I was watching a soap, until they're killed off).

To me, reality TV really isn't that much different than a sitcom or drama. We know they're scripted, so it's just like another recurring story. Even the reality competition shows are like their own story. The way something is filmed can create a villain or someone to root for or a whole lot of drama.

Still despite all my love of TV, when I set out to write Seven-Night Stand, it wasn't to pay homage to reality TV. Inspiration struck from an actual event.

My grandpa runs a small private airport (which is why you'll see a lot of airport stories from me in the next year). A few years ago someone called him with the idea of doing a television show about his business. It never went much farther than that. A few years later, I saw a writing contest for a 1,000 word start to a category romance that had to include a man and a plane. I'd already written a romance centered around an airport based on my grandpa's, but it didn't fit. The reality show idea, though, did, so I set about creating my own airport and the reality TV show that would be the story's conflict

Though Vivvy works in reality TV, none of this book actually takes place with a show being filmed. It's all about Vivvy scouting out an idea for a possible show concept. I thought that would be kind of an interesting angle for a backdrop because, at least for me, I don't really think about how a TV show comes to be.

And what better conflict for two contemporary characters than business versus business? Both characters love their jobs and for Vivvy to keep hers, she needs a hit show idea. For Nate to keep his business from becoming the butt of a joke, he needs to keep his dysfunctional family off TV.

Then love has to come along and mess everything up. Ain't it always the way?


I grew up with my nose in a book and a dream of becoming a writer. Luckily, after a few failed career choices, a husband, and two kids, I get to pursue that dream.

I write down-to-earth contemporary romance over the backdrop of America’s flyover states for Entangled Indulgence and Samhain Publishing.

I live in Missouri with my husband and two young sons, and write my novels one baby’s nap at a time. I’m slightly (okay, totally) addicted to Twitter (nicolethelm), the St. Louis Cardinals, and someday owning a barn.

You can connect with me at my WebsiteBlog / Twitter / Facebook


Reality TV scout Vivvy Marsh loves her job, but she'll lose it if she doesn’t find a hit. When she’s sent to Kansas to scout a show, it looks like a bust...until she meets sexy pilot, Nate Harrington. His family would make the perfect show to save her career.

Nate can’t deny his attraction to Vivvy, but no way can he let this show take off. The Harrington family is riddled with secrets, and she wants it all out in the open. For the next seven days, he’s going to stop at nothing to keep her out of his family's business, even if it means keeping her distracted in his bedroom.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Entangled Publishing has generously offered an ebook copy of Seven-Night Stand to a lucky commenter!


To be entered just leave a comment and tell us: do you like and watch reality TV or is it something you steer clear of? And by what kind of reality show would you be tempted to watch?

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 8 March 2013!

Good Luck!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Interview with Ophelia London + Giveaway

I am happy to welcome back to Ex Libris Ophelia London, who is celebrating the release of Speaking of Love, the second book in her Perfect Kisses contemporary romance series. Take a seat and get to know Mac and Rick and you could even win some great prizes! ;-) 


Stella: Hi Ophelia, welcome back to Ex Libris! :-) Speaking of Love, the 2nd novel in your Perfect Kisses series was just released by Entangled Publishing, congratulations!! Could you tell readers a bit more about this series and how the books are connected?

Ophelia: Thank you, Stella. I’m so happy to be back at your happy blog! Speaking of Love follows the relationship shenanigans of Mackenzie and Rick, who we met in the first book in the series, Playing at Love. Mac was the best friend/supporting character in book one, but I had so much fun writing her that I knew she needed her own story.

Stella: How did the idea for the story, the series come to you? Any specific moment/event that sparked the inspiration for it that you could share with us?

Ophelia: Well, like I said, I loved Mac, and after I’d written a few chapter of the first book, I was already dreaming of Mac’s story. I was visiting my sister in San Francisco and we were eating dinner at a restaurant that serves only mac and cheese (which isn’t important to my story, but it was so amazingly delicious that I wanted to share!). We started brainstorming about what things could happen in book two and we came up with the “weekend getaway snowed in” storyline. After that, I couldn’t wait to get started!

Stella: And more specifically, could you tell readers what they can expect of Speaking of Love?

Ophelia: It’s about matchmaking got haywire…in the best possible way. There’s lots of banter, lots of laughs and lots of kissing. ;-)

Stella: Could you introduce Rick and Mackenzie, the hero and heroine of Speaking of Love to us?

Anna Chlumsky as Mac
Ophelia: Sure! Mac’s got a huge personality crammed into a little body. Blonde hair, blue eyes. She wears glasses to make her look older. (Don’t we all wish we had that problem?) If you were to ask Rick to describe Mac, he would probably say that she has the biggest, sexiest mouth. Rick is tall and dreamy. When he’s working as a newspaperman, he favours tweed jackets and tousled hair. But when he puts on his tux for a night on the town, there isn’t a hair out of place. By the end of the story, Mac learns to appreciate both…as long as she has a nice view of his butt.


Arnie Hammer as Rick
Stella: If Speaking of Love was made into a movie, who would be your perfect cast?

Ophelia: Yes! I love this question! Mackenzie is the Anna Chlumsky, the little girl from “My Girl” all grown up (now from “30 Rock” and “Veep”). Rick is Arnie Hammer. You’ll remember him as the hunky actor who was man enough to play the hunky Winklevoss twins in “The Social Network.”

Stella: Mackenzie is a speech teacher/therapist, is it something you knew a lot about before writing the book or did you have to do some research? Why did you choose this path/job for your heroine?

Ophelia: I took speech classes in high school and college and was on the speech team. It was a huge part of my life back then and something that I always wanted to revisit. I knew that Speaking of Love was going to touch on the theme of communication—or more importantly, miscommunication—so I thought it would be interesting to give both Mac and Rick vocations in that field. It was a shock to Mac that she spent her 9-5 hours teaching proper communication, but when it came down to it, she couldn’t seem to find the words to talk to the man she loved. I love sweet irony! :-D

Stella: Speaking of Love is a friends to lovers story, one of my favourite tropes. Why did you choose it, what do you think makes it so appealing to readers? Any other tropes you are a fan of?

Ophelia: Yeah, it’s probably my favourite trope right now, too. I don’t know, maybe it’s something about having someone so close to you that you’re already comfortable with, enjoy being around and trust completely, and then the cherry on top is discovering that you’re in love. I think that’s a pretty powerful fantasy in itself.

I would love to write a fake fiancé or a marriage of convenience one of these days. Right now I’m working on a military trope with a little “brother’s best friend” thrown in there.

Stella: Did you already know when writing Playing at Love, the first Perfect Kisses novel that it will be a series or was it something that took shape once Playing at Love ended and the characters wouldn’t leave you? How many more books are planned in the series?

Ophelia: It was kind of baby steps for me, since Playing at Love was my first stab at writing category romance. After I sent the first few chapters to my editor, she loved it and we decided to contract for two books right then. So before I’d even written a synopsis for Playing at Love, I was committed to writing the spin-off. But like I said earlier, I loved writing Mac and wanted her story to keep going. She deserved a happily ever after. And that military book I mentioned? That’s book three. :-)

Stella: You have another novel recently released by Entangled Publishing, Abby Road, can you tell us a bit more about it?

Ophelia: Oh, Abby Road. (Can you tell I’m smiling ear-to-ear right now?) It will be released on March 26th…one month from today!! It’s the story about Abby, a kind of Gwen Stefani-ish rock star who runs away to a secluded beach in Florida to take a break from her crazy life and deal with some personal demons. On her second day of R&R, she meets Todd, the owner of a surf shop and the most wickedly-delicious guys she’s ever seen. But she’s only got three months until duty calls her back to LA. Can Abby find room in her insanely jam-packed life for a career and something normal like love, all while staying number one on the charts? Think No Doubt meets “Notting Hill”…but it a good way. :-)

Stella: Could you please summarize Speaking of Love for us Twitter-style (in 140 characters or less)?

Ophelia: Only after successful matchmaker Mackenzie sets up sexy rich-boy-Rick with another woman, does she realize he is her perfect match. #swoon

Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia connected to the writing of Speaking of Love (a scene/character that did not end up in the final version, a real person inspiring a character, scene, etc.)?

Ophelia: I wrote three different endings to the story. The version that made it past all the final edits is the one I wrote an hour before turning it in to my editor. I really liked the other last chapters, however…especially the one that ended with us at Rick’s apartment. Hee-hee

Stella: What shall we expect from you, what is next on your schedule?

Ophelia: Abby Road hits shelves (both literal and virtual) on March 26th (squee!) and hopefully book three of Perfect Kisses will be coming out sometime in late 2013.

Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia, something that not many people know about you?

Ophelia: I love classic movies and classic television shows. But I’ve always loathed “I Love Lucy.” Can’t STAND it. And it’s pretty much an American staple of classic TV. I also don’t care for “The Wizard of Oz.” Dorothy has always bugged me. I do love the Tin Man, however. There’s just something about a man who wants so much to love that he’ll face an evil witch to get a heart!


Ophelia London was born and raised among the redwood trees in beautiful northern California. Once she was fully educated, she decided to settle in Florida, but her car broke down in Texas and she's lived in Dallas ever since. A cupcake and treadmill aficionado (obviously those things are connected), she spends her time watching arthouse movies and impossibly trashy TV, while living vicariously through the characters in the books she writes. Ophelia is the author of PLAYING AT LOVE, SPEAKING OF LOVE... and ABBY ROAD. Visit her at http://ophelia-london.blogspot.com. But don't call when The Vampire Diaries is on.

Connect with Ophelia at her Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads


Book #2 in the Perfect Kisses series

Speech teacher and successful matchmaker Mackenzie Simms decides to find a woman for her friend, handsome newspaper tycoon Rick Duffy. Though they’ve been each other’s go-to dates for the past month, Mac and Rick couldn't be more different: she is outspoken, sarcastic, and completely loathes his privileged lifestyle. He's laid-back, unassuming, and seems comfortable at an upper-class charity function. So why can't she stop thinking about him?

Rick knows he and the opinionated-though-adorable Mackenzie are better off as friends, so he agrees to the double-date getaway Mac plans at his family cabin. But seeing Mac cuddle up with her “friendly” date rankles Rick beyond reason, and Mac regrets her matchmaking scheme the minute she sees the way her beauty-queen cousin looks at Rick. Can Mac 'fess up to what's really in her heart, when speaking her mind puts everything at risk?


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Ophelia is hosting a big giveaway to celebrate the release of Speaking of Love, to be entered just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 2 March 2013!

Good Luck!

Guest post by Jennifer Ryan + Giveaway

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Jennifer Ryan, who stops by today to tell you about her brand new contemporary romance series, The Hunted, and more specifically the very first book in the series: Saved by the Rancher. So please give her a warm welcome and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end! :-) 

Thank you to Stella  for having me at Ex Libris as a guest today to talk about SAVED BY THE RANCHER - Book 1: THE HUNTED Series.

One of my favorite things about writing romance is watching my characters fall in love on the page. From the first time they meet to the moment they realize they love each other and can't imagine a future without the other by their side. I like all the little steps in between. The first flirtatious smile. The first "accidental touch," to the comfortable way he takes her into his arms and she settles in because it's where they both want to be. The moment when a kiss burns so hot it ignites a consuming passion that can't be denied. Oh yeah, we all know that moment, relish it, and can't wait for it to happen again.

One of my favorite things to capture is that moment where friendly banter turns to flirty teasing that keeps the relationship fun, but brings the two that much closer together. They're still feeling each other out, but find themselves enjoying the other's company with an ease they haven't found with anyone else.

In SAVED BY THE RANCHER, Jenna and Jack have this moment after he's taken care of her for several days, tending her wounds after she ran from her abusive ex-husband. Jenna's been laid up in Jack's guest room for a couple of days. Evening sets in and they share a meal and comfortable conversation. It's the first time for both of them in a long time that they've let their guard down and opened up to another.

Excerpt:

"They sat inches apart, yet Jack never touched her. Relaxed with him, he didn’t want to push. He enjoyed just being that near to her and knew with every passing minute of shared conversation—and a few intense, heat-filled moments—he gained her trust little by little. He wanted more than anything to touch her, but she asked for time. He’d give her what she needed and gain what he wanted most. Her complete trust and understanding that he’d never hurt her, no matter what.

Her eyes drooped and she yawned several times, completely worn out. He helped her walk to the bed and settled her in.

“You’re getting your strength back. Maybe tomorrow I’ll take you for a walk outside, get some fresh air. It’ll be good to work your muscles again.”

“I can’t wait to see the ranch. I didn’t really see anything when we drove in. Too sleepy. Like now.”

Jack prepared another needle with the antibiotics.

“You’re not sticking me with that.”

“Come on. It’ll only hurt for a second, and I’ll get to look under that sheet again.”

“Jack, I’m not kidding. I don’t like shots. Enough already.”

“You need the medicine. Now gimme your cheek.”

“Ha. Ha. Very funny.”

She let him give her the shot and stuck her tongue out when he finished. He loved how easily she made him laugh.

“Smart ass.”

“Sore ass is more like it.”

He chuckled again. Even in her condition, she showed her playful side. Quite something, she trusted him enough to joke, play, and show him glimpses beneath the guard she kept up and reinforced when it slipped and she forgot and caught herself.

Sally lay curled next to Jenna sound asleep. “Looks like you aren’t the only sleepy one. Lucky dog. Good night, honey.”

“I like it when you do that.”

“Do what?”

“Call me sweet names.”

“I was talking to the dog.” He gazed down at her, trying his damndest not to smile or laugh.

She cracked up. “Ha. Ha.”

He leaned down and planted a smacking kiss on her forehead. “Sleep tight, baby.”

“Night, Jack.”

He trailed his fingers all the way down her uninjured leg as he walked the length of the bed toward the door. He’d slept in his bed alone for too long now. Having Jenna this close and not tucked beside him sent him through his dark, lonely room and straight into a cold shower."

What happens next?

Jack earns Jenna's trust and gets her right where he wants her, in his arms, in his bed, and in his heart and life forever...but not before her ex comes back and tries to take her.


Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three children, her dog, Bella, and cat, Shadow.

When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession for both is often revealed in the state of her home and how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.

For more information about Jennifer and her upcoming releases, visit www.jennifer-ryan.com.

Saved by the Rancher by Jennifer Ryan

From the moment rancher Jack Turner rescues Jenna Caldwell Merrick, he is determined to help her. Soon, he is tending more than her wounds, he is mending her heart. Jenna is a woman on the run—hunted down by her ex-husband, David Merrick, from the moment she left him, taking part of his company with her, to the second she found herself on the safety of Jack’s ranch. More than just a safe haven, Jack’s offering the love, family, and home she thought was out of reach.

Jack’s support and love will give her the strength she needs to reclaim her life. The hunted will become the hunter, as David gets what he deserves when they have an explosive confrontation in the boardroom of Merrick International. But not before Jack and Jenna enter into a fight…for their lives.


GIVEAWAY RULES:

Author Rescue has generously offered an ebook copy of Saved by the Rancher by Jennifer Ryan to a lucky commenter!


To be entered just fill out the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on 8 March 2013!

Good luck!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Interview with Brooke Moss + Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome back to Ex Libris an author whose debut novel enchanted me so much it became one of my favourite revelations of 2011 (you can read my review of The What If Guy here). Please give it up for Brooke Moss, who stops by today to tell us more about her brand new release Keeping Secrets in Seattle, a quirky contemporary romance just released by Entangled Publishing. And don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end! ;-)

Stella: Hi Brooke, welcome back to Ex Libris! Can you please tell us a bit about what you have been up to since you stopped here in August 2011 when you were promoting The "What If" Guy?

Brooke: Thanks for having me back, Stella! I released a full length contemporary romance called The Carny in July of 2012; and in April of 2012, I released a contemporary romance novella called Bittersweet in the Love Knows No Bounds anthology—all proceeds go to support Autism Speaks! (I have a son with Autism, so it was a charity very close to my heart.) I also completed my first Young Adult Fantasy, which is in the editing process and will be released sometime in 2013; and I completed my first women’s fiction, slated for self pub this summer. All this, and I’ve got five kids with a sixth on the way! I’m a busy lady…

Stella: Oh my, you sure have a lot going on, bravo! Your latest novel Keeping Secrets in Seattle was released by Entangled Publishing on 18 February, congratulations! Can you tell readers what they can expect of Keeping Secrets in Seattle

Brooke: Keeping Secrets in Seattle is a cross between Bridget Jones Diary and the 90’s movie My Best Friend’s Wedding…with a dark twist. They can expect laughs (because all of my books have that), romance, handsome heroes, and—of course—some deep, dark secrets coming to the surface. Here’s a small taste of what you’ll find:

The corners of his mouth pricked upward. “So the reason I came here without Alicia, is...”

“Because she can’t stand me.”

Gabe frowned. “She doesn’t hate you. She thinks you’re great.”

“Okay, you get an ‘A’ for effort, dude, but I’m not buying it. The future Mrs. Parker hates me.”

“She doesn’t hate you.” He looked away. “She likes you. It’s gotta be weird, though. For her fiancé to have a girl best friend.”

I nodded. “I guess. But there’s nothing between us. We’re completely platonic. Nothing to worry about, right?”

His face fell. Just the tiniest bit. “Right.”

We just watched each other for an awkward pause. “Listen, I wanted to ask you if...” Gabe paused, and
laughed nervously. “If?”

“It would really mean the world to me if you would be my best man.”

The race engine in my heart sputtered to an abrupt halt. I probably should have thanked him for the honor. I realize that. But my initial reaction was to jump off of the bed and yell, what the hell, dude? After all we’d been through, Gabe wanted me to stand next to him while he pledged his life to Alicia?

“You do realize that I’m not a guy, right?” I answered slowly.

“Believe me, I know that.” He swatted me with a pillow. “But, you’re my best friend. And it just wouldn’t be right without you standing beside me. Let me rephrase...will you be my best woman?”

I smiled despite myself. “Isn’t Alicia your best woman?”

Gabe rubbed his eyes tiredly. “Stop busting my chops. All right, will you be my...best person?”

“That sounds stupid. Just call me your best man.”

“Fine. Will you be my best man?”

“And Alicia’s totally okay with this?” I watched his face
for signs of impending doom.

“Oh yeah, of course. She knows how important it is to
me.”

My chest tightened. I was not only going to witness Gabe
getting married, but now I would have a front and center view while doing so. How intoxicated would I have to be to stand there without having any comprehension of what I was witnessing? Could one actually request a lobotomy?

“Vi?” Gabe snapped his fingers underneath my nose a few times.

I fisted my hands under the pillow in my lap. Part of me wanted to tell him to drop dead. After all, I’d only recently begun the arduous process of getting over my love for him. How dare he ask me to be his best-freaking-man in his wedding, which was being held on my birthday? But the other part of me wanted to play the part of the cool, collected best friend. Willing to do whatever brought joy to my oldest and dearest friend. I felt like I was going to split right down the middle, leaving my guts—and my adoration—all over my bedspread for him to see.

Stella: At first glance Keeping Secrets in Seattle may sound a bit reminiscent of My Best Friend’s Wedding, what would you say to readers, is it in any way similar to the movie? Or in what way is it different?

Brooke: It really is similar, except that in the movie, the woman the hero was marrying was a doll, this fiancé—Alicia—is wretched. And don’t forget…there’s that dark little secret our heroine is trying to find the courage to share throughout the book… :-)

Stella: Could you introduce the hero and heroine of Keeping Secrets in Seattle

Brooke: Violet Murphy is as real as they come. She’s bold, brash, curvy (she’s a size 12, gasp!), wears funky Rockabilly clothes, and loves body art more than anything else. She’s been in love with Gabe since she was knee high to a grasshopper, and is sick and tired of sitting idly by while he wastes his time with skinny models and snobby princesses.

Jesse Williams as Gabe
Gabe Parker is about as handsome as they come…(think Jesse Williams of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, and Grey’s Anatomy—I just got your attention, didn’t I?) He’s also a Golden Boy, always succeeding at everything he does, uber conservative, afraid to do anything that will bring disapproval on himself, and very focused. He’s marrying Alicia because he gave up on the prospect of love with Violet a long time ago.

Stella: Keeping Secrets in Seattle is like a love rhombus with Violet, Gabe, Landon and Gabe’s fiancé, could you give us 1 line run-downs seizing the essence of these characters? It could be as abstract and quirky as you wish (for example, describing them as colours, cupcakes, ice cream flavours) or as traditional as a shopping list ;-) lol

Brooke: Oh, that sounds like fun….here goes nothing:

Landon is a classic vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting. Nothing to crazy, sort of traditional, but tasty none the less. Who would turn down a cupcake like that?? I wouldn’t.

Gabe is a devil’s food cupcake with drippy chocolate frosting. Still sort of predictable, but decadent and completely irresistible. No diet can withstand that cupcake.

And Violet? Well…she’s a funfetti (multi colored) cupcake with fluffy frosting covered in bright sprinkles. She’s in your face, bold, and yummy.
David Beckham as Landon

Stella: If you could have your dream cast who would play them?

Brooke: I love, love, love this question!! Violet would be played by Scarlet Johansson; Landon would be played by David Beckham; and (of course) Gabe is and always will be Jessie Williams.

Stella: Could you please summarize Keeping Secrets in Seattle for us Twitter-style (in 140 characters or less)?

Brooke: Will Vi’s dark secrets come out before Gabe enters “wedded bliss”? Find out by grabbing a copy of #KeepingSecretsinSeattle

Stella: Do you still remember what inspired Keeping Secrets in Seattle? Was there a specific moment/event that sparked the idea for the story?

Brooke: A friend of mine requested a friends-to-lovers story, and it came about the same time I learned that another friend of mine went through something similar to what Violet went through in high school, but she’d never told anyone. The two stories melded themselves together and POOF.

Stella: And if I say Seattle, you say...

Brooke: Rain!

Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia connected to the writing of Keeping Secrets in Seattle (a scene/character that did not end up in the final version, a real person inspiring a character, scene, etc.)?

Scarlett Johansson as Violet
Brooke: In the original version of Keeping Secrets in Seattle, it was told from dual perspectives, both Violet’s and Gabe’s and the reader was better able to see why Gabe was choosing to be with Alicia rather than Violet, and they were also able to understand why he made the assumptions he’d made about Violet’s secret. I was sad to see that part go, as it really gave the reader a better understanding of what was going on in Gabe’s mind!

Oh, and in the original version, Violet was named Dillon—and Landon was named Gale. My editors made me change the names because they wanted more gender specific names—and because they didn’t want to compete with “Gale” from the Hunger Games movies (even though I wrote this book first, but whatever…) It was a joke between the two characters that she had a guys name and he had a girls name.

Stella: What shall we expect from you, what is next on your schedule? 

Brooke: My self pub, Baby & Bump, will be out this summer—and it is hilarious. Imagine falling in love with your gynecologist. Um…yeah. Silly stuff. And my YA should be out this year, too. So excited to share it (Underwater) with everyone!

Stella: Can you share with us some little secret trivia, something that not many people know about you?

Brooke: I rarely buy clothes retail…and it isn’t because of money issues! I just prefer to scour used and second hand shops for rare finds. I love mixing and matching different, random pieces together and making unique (and sometimes weird) outfits. I collect eyeglasses, too. I have eight pairs that I rotate, depending on the outfit. Some are cat eye, some are big 80’ frames, others are more respectable wayfarers. I also always wear scarves in my hair. I have dozens of them! Nothing brings an outfit together quite like a fun, bright scarf—and you can take that advice to the bank. :-)

Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss

Seattle hairstylist Violet Murphy always knew the day would come when her best friend Gabe Parker would want to settle down. She’d secretly wished it would be with her, but now that he’s chosen someone else—the prim, perfect Alicia—he wants Vi to be his best man.

Healing her broken heart isn’t easy, but when Violet meets Landon Harlow, a man who isn’t fazed by her funky style and less-than-delicate attitude, she takes a step in the right direction. Until Gabe’s fiancé’s gorgeous façade begins to crack, and Violet’s disturbing past comes back to haunt her, that is. Vi now finds herself armed with a series of lies that would break Gabe’s heart—and his engagement—if he knew their truth, and a secret from their childhood that could change everything.

With the wedding looming, her relationships unraveling, and the bachelor party of the century to plan, Violet must choose between a fresh start with Landon, or confronting her painful past and risking it all for a chance at a future with Gabe.

Buy at Amazon - B&N

Brooke Moss writes complex, character-driven stories about kismet, reunited lovers, first love, and the kind of romance that we should all have the chance at finding. She prefers her stories laced with some humor just for fun, and enough drama to keep her readers flipping the pages, and begging for more! 

Find Brooke elsewhere on the web at www.brookemoss.com.


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It's Monday, What Are you Reading? (#110)


It's Monday, What are you reading? is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books to list the books completed last week, the books currently being read and the books to be finished this week.

Hey Everyone,

Thankfully last week I was already feeling better, nothing worst than staying home in bed and being way too exhausted to read or even watch TV! So last week I was finally able to get some reading done:

Books I completed

I LOVE sport romances and when I was craving more, I saw that Deirdre Martin had a hockey romance series (the New York Blades series) with many many books in it, so I started Body Check, the 1st in the series and I devoured it! I loved it, so I can't wait to read Book #2, Fair Play.



When I heard that Tamara Morgan's latest release would be a heist romance I couldn't have been more excited, I LOVE heist movies, and to get in the mood I pulled a marathon re-watching Ocean's Eleven, Entrapment and The Italian Job ;-) And Confidence Tricks was great, I enjoyed it a lot! Wouldn't mind watching a movie adaptation of it! ;-) You now have the chance to win yourself a copy of Confidence Tricks, enter HERE.


Ever since I read All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins I became a big fan of her heart-warming quirky stories and was looking very much forward to reading The Best Man, but somehow it didn't resonate that much with me. Maybe because I felt that it wasn't primarily Faith and Levi's love story. There were more bittersweet than heart-warming moments and that made me rather sad. Detailed review to be posted soon.



I never can resist a reunion love story between a military hero and his sweetheart, and while A Prior Engagement was a nice emotional story, since I haven't read the previous books in the series I would have preferred if the secondary characters (heroes/heroines from the previous books) would have had less screen time. My review will be posted closer to its release day in May.


Book I'm currently reading
I really enjoy superhero romances, and until now Jennifer Estep's Bigtime series was the only one I've read, but Entangled Publishing recently released a superhero romance anthology called Holding Out for a Hero (I LOVE that song!) so of course I couldn't say no. I have already read 2 novellas: Scarlett Fever by Christine Bell and Ella Dane and Playing with Fire by Tamara Morgan, you can read my dual review with Marlene at Book Lovers Inc.  


Book I can't wait to start 


I think the time has finally come when I get to read The Officer Breaks the Rules by Jeanette Murray!! Was about time...

And what are you reading this week?

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