Thursday, October 10, 2013

VBT: Rescued By a Stranger

Welcome to my stop on the Rescued by a Stranger tour. Check out the interview with the author, Lizbeth Selvig, read an excerpt, and I'm also sharing my review of the book. Lots of fun to be had! 

Rescued By a Stranger
By: Lizbeth Selvig
Avon Romance
Releasing Oct 1st, 2013

She’s a woman full of dreams
When a stranger arrives in town on a vintage motorcycle, Jill Carpenter has no idea her life is about to change forever. She never expected her own personal knight in shining armor would be an incredibly charming and handsome southern man-but one with a deep secret.

He’s a man hoping to outrun a tragedy
When Chase Preston jumped on his motorcycle to escape his wounded life, he didn’t expect the perfect woman to fall into his arms... literally! But though he can’t deny his feelings for the sweet and beautiful Jill, he doesn’t see any way he and his mistake-filled past will fit into her bright future.

Falling in love may require more than either can give
The longer Chase stays in Kennison Falls, the more deeply Jill and the people of her home town pull him in. The more Jill discovers heroic qualities in Chase, the more she wants to find a home in his arms-if only he would trust her with the truth. But will truth tear them apart when Jill’s dreams start coming true and Chase’s past finally returns to haunt him? Or, can they get beyond dreams to find the love that will rescue their two hearts?
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Tell me about yourself, and your writing.
I started out in junior high school writing stories about my celebrity crushes like the Beatles and the Monkees— what today we’d call fan fiction! I started my first romance novel when my son and daughter were young and, over the years, finished four a half manuscripts before I entered the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart contest in 2010. To my total surprise, and honor, I won the Single Title contemporary category. That win landed me an agent and a contract for my first book, “The Rancher and the Rock Star.” My dream come true!

I live in Minnesota, have a grown daughter, son and daughter-in-law, and a husband who is my very best friend, biggest cheerleader and full-time romance hero. We have a 13-year-old border collie named Magic, and I have a beautiful gray Arabian gelding named Jedi.

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?

I really have been writing since I was a little girl. When I was five and six, I told myself stories in bed at night and, when I learned to write them out, I did that instead. I now have two published books, both contemporary romances with Avon.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
So far I’ve stayed immersed in contemporary romance, because that’s where my heart lies. But, I admit I’ve considered writing futuristic (sci-fi) romance sometime in the future. (Wait, is that like a time-fold, oxymoronic, irony statement?) I don’t have any interest in (or the smarts for) writing historicals—but I can imagine having fun with some crazy future world I make up.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
I have tried my best to start a book by plotting, but I simply can’t do it. My brain shuts down when I force the storyline. I love starting to type and letting my characters grow and form as I go. I get to know them as they start talking and reacting to each other and their setting. But once I get 20-40,000 words into a 100,000 word manuscript I need to have a better handle on the plot. At that point I’ll dig in and figure out the gist of the story. I still won’t have a detailed plot, but I’ll know where the story has to go. Needless to say, the beginnings of my books always need a TON of trimming!

What is a typical writing day like for you?
I am loath to admit this if there’s even the faintest chance my editor will read it. But my day is thoroughly unorganized and unstructured. I’ve tried so hard to write before I ever check e-mail or FB, but I’m worthless if I’m wondering what news is out there waiting for me. So I usually spend my first two hours of the day on e-mail and social media. Then I buckle down and write for a couple of hours. After that I tell myself to get up and exercise, but more often I eat lunch and play with my dog. Then there’s another check on blogs and FB. Sometimes I do timed writing with a partner.

Truth be told, I don’t focus until well after the rest of the world is in bed. I’m a night owl, big time. So, very often you’ll find me getting the bulk of my writing done between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. Ben Franklin rolls over in his grave every time I turn on my laptop once hubby goes to bed.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
My current favorite authors are some of our romance icons: Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Kristan Higgins, Robyn Carr, Jill Shalvis, Susan Anderson, Lori Wilde. But I also love listening to mainstream/non-romance novels on audiobooks. I just finished reading “The Secret Life of Bees,” by Sue Monk Kidd, and “The Ocean at the End of the Lane,” by Neil Gaiman, both of which were fantastic reads. And I have a whole list of new, up-and-coming authors I love: Lena Diaz, Candis Terry, Jennifer Bernard ... suspense to hot romance—they’re the wave of future big stars.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I would love to finish the third novel and a novella for my current series by very early next year and then move on to finish an Alaskan series I’ve already started. I’d also love to sew up some job security by signing more books with Avon! They were always my dream publisher, and I was over the moon when I signed with them. The whole Avon family has lived up to my fantasies—so I’d love to stay right there!

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
The ability to teleport, like Samantha on “Bewitched.” Just imagine—no more forgotten items, no more being late, being able to check on people you’re worried about, or to jump out of harm’s way ... the list of uses for such an ability is endless!
If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
Can I be greedy? I would love two—a winged horse and a gryphon. I could combine them into a hippogriff, like Buckbeak in Harry Potter, but it would be more fun to fly off on my Pegasus and have my pet half lion/half eagle flying along beside us on a trail ride in the clouds.

Tell us a little about your latest release.
My newest book is “RESCUED BY A STRANGER” Here’s the blurb from my website:

Jill Carpenter is a woman with big Olympic dreams and an even bigger heart.
When a sexy stranger with a tragedy in his past and a secret too painful to share rides to her rescue on a vintage motorcycle, Jill's vision of her future changes quicker than she ever imagined it could.

Chase Preston wants nothing more than to forget his past and keep his identity to himself. He has no business getting in the way of Jill's dreams, even if he can't help but fall in love with her.

But a very unusual stray dog, two teenage sisters with attitude problems, and a crotchety old farmer, conspire to push Chase and Jill deeper and deeper into a love like they've never experienced before—a love that could lead to understanding, absolution, and a perfect happily-ever-after--if only they can learn to trust.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
I can’t live without a notebook and pen or pencil. At the very least I need to have some kind of paper in my purse or pocket, because the oddest things will strike me and I have to write them down. And, if boredom strikes, I can always handwrite a scene for my work in progress.

Could you ever co-author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
I’m pretty sure I could write with someone if she or he set up the parameters. The question is whether anyone could write with me considering my undisciplined work ethic. But, if I promised to be good, it would be an absolute thrill to write with one of my author heroines like Susan Elizabeth or Lori or Jenny Bernard.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
I have to go with the spiritual here and say Jesus. I would simply like to follow him and see what he was really like, what he really thought in his private moments, and have him tell me about his childhood. Think of all the mysteries that could be cleared up with just a day’s worth of hanging out!

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
My husband and I love to hike. We’ve hiked in every one of Minnesota’s 60+ state parks, and last summer we hiked 192 miles across northern England—an amazing experience. I also love to quilt. I don’t have as much time to sew as I wish I did, so I do a lot of smaller projects, but I am currently working on a queen-sized bed quilt. I also love to horseback ride. And read, of course. And talk – that’s my true talent!

What is something you've always wanted to do, but haven't done yet. Why not?
Take the mule ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It’s not something my husband would do in a million years, and so it’s not been on our shared bucket list. I recently learned one of my critique partners wants to do it, too, so I’m kind of working on that angle.

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
I’ll be immodest and choose one of my books. The easiest one for me is “The Rancher and the Rock Star” because I know who’d be in the movie. I’d have Hugh Jackman play my sexy rock star, Gray Covey, and Kate Beckinsale play my beautiful widowed horse “rancher,” Abby Stadtler.

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
I wish math came easily to me. I can do basic mathematics, of course, but solving story-type problems shuts down my brain, and I go running for my brilliant husband. Stronger math skills would make my sewing easier and might even make playing a musical instrument, like piano or guitar, easier too—because there’s another talent I wish I could cultivate!

Favorite color?
Blue—every shade of it.

Weather: Hot or cold?
Definitely hot. I live for the 80s and 90s and I can even stand a lot of humidity. My heritage is 100% Scandinavian, so they tell me, but I sometimes think I was adopted from a tropical country.

Favorite place to read?
In a cushy chair next to an open window with a beautiful summer breeze blowing in.

Favorite meal
My husband’s version of Emeril Lagasse’s macaroni and cheese. Rich, cheesy and as good as eating candy!

Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
A thick, decadent, topped-with-whipped-cream-and-a-cherry hot fudge malt!

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
My husband and I have a half-serious joke we tell our family when life gets stressful: we’re heading for the island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia. It’s a U.S. Protectorate north of New Zealand and the lifestyle is amazingly laid back. (Once they nearly passed a law prohibiting men from wearing ties!) The beaches are gorgeous, the weather is stunning, and who wouldn’t want to go to a place that sounds as if it was named by Dr. Seuss? I would head there in a heartbeat – and travel New Zealand and Australia on the way.

Author Info
Lizbeth Selvig lives in Minnesota with her cradle-robbing husband and a border collie that inspired the character Dug (”Squirrel!”) in the Disney movie Up. After working as a journalist and editor and raising an equine veterinarian daughter and a talented musician son, Liz entered and won RWA’s 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 play with her nearly twenty four-legged grandchildren.
Author Links

Heck, what good is having a big, strong, Southern biker around if he can’t protect you from boogie men?” Her eyes began to focus in the dim light. “Where’s the dog?”
She was right here.”
Angel?” Jill called. “C’mon, girl. Let’s go get you something to eat.” She’d responded to her new name all evening. Jill frowned.
Chase gave a soft, staccato, dog-calling whistle. Angel stuck her head out from a stall a third of the way down the aisle. “There she is. C’mon, girl.”
Angel disappeared into the stall.
Weird,” Jill said, and headed down the aisle.
At the door to a freshly bedded, empty stall they found Angel curled beside a mound of sweet, fragrant hay, staring up as if expecting them.
Silly girl,” Jill said. “You don’t have to stay here. We’re taking you home. Come.”
Angel didn’t budge. She rested her head between her paws and gazed through raised doggy brows. Chase led the way into the stall. “Everything all right, pup?” He stroked her head.
Jill reached for the dog, too, and her hand landed on Chase’s. They both froze. Slowly he rotated his palm and wove his fingers through hers. The few minor fireworks she’d felt in the car earlier were nothing compared to the explosion now detonating up her arm and down her back.
I’ve been trying to avoid this since I got off that dang horse.” His voice cracked into a low whisper.
He stood and pulled her to her feet. “Because I am not a guy someone as young and good as you are should let do this.”
You’ve saved my life and rescued a dog. Are you trying to tell me I should be worried about you?"
She touched his face, bold enough in the dark to do what light had made her too shy to try.
The hard, smooth fingertips of his free hand slid inexorably up her forearm and covered the hand on his cheek. Drawing it down to his side, he pulled her whole body close, and the little twister of excitement in her stomach burst into a thousand quicksilver thrills. Her eyelids slipped closed, and his next question touched them in warm puffs of breath.
"If I were to kiss you right now, would it be too soon?"
Her eyes flew open, and she searched his shadowy gaze, incredulous. “You’re asking permission? Who does that?”
Seemed like the right thing.”
Well permission granted, now hush.”
She freed her hands, placed them on his cheeks, roughened with beard stubble, and rose on tip-toe to meet his mouth while he gripped the back of her head.
The soft kiss nearly knocked her breathless with unleashed power. Chase dropped more hot kisses on each corner of her mouth and down her chin, feathered her nose and her cheeks, and finally returned wondrously to her mouth. Again and again he plied her bottom lip with his teeth, stunning her with his insistent exploration.  The pressure of his lips and the clean, masculine scent of his skin, took away her equilibrium. She could only follow the motions of his head and revel in the heat stoking the fire in her belly.

Review Rating: 4 LIGHTNING BOLTS

Review: What happens when tall, dark, and mysterious rides up to save a woman on a motorcycle? Love? Trouble? Or a little bit of both perhaps? That's Chase in a nutshell. He's battling a few inner demons, but he's one of those characters you could fall for instantly.  I know I did. I love the way he and Jill interact. Their banter sometimes just cracks me up!  And I love how their relationship builds slowly. They get to know each other. As they spend more time together, their feelings grow. nice and steady. 

Now, Jill, she's awesome too. A heroine I can relate to. She doesn't drive me crazy like some do. She's strong willed, full of life and dreams, and she's absolutely perfect for Chase. 

The story is emotional, great paced, and full of surprises. This is my second book by the author and I always come away at the end of her stories with a satisfied feeling.  Looking forward to more! 

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Naomi! You're so awesome to come visit here! I can't wait for your blog tour coming up for "Wonder Guy!"

  2. What a fun interview and a fantastic review.

    1. Thanks so much, Jody, my faithful companion and groupie! I hope everyone goes to find your new book "Rescue Me." Because I'm a groupie too!

  3. Great to get to know you! :) Looking forward to reading this!!

    1. Hi Peaces of Me (Great Online name!) It's lovely to meet you too. Thank you so much for coming by and for commenting. I hope you really enjoy the story.

  4. Hi, Liz! I'm running behind - didn't catch this one until the day after.