Today I'm happy to have author Stacey Brutger return for a visit. She's a super cool lady who writes about some super cool magic. ***As a special treat, she will be offering one lucky commenter a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card or the winner's choice of a digital copy of one of her books. So be sure to include your email with your comment.***
Melissa: Welcome back, Stacey. See, I've even brought out one of my cheesy lion pictures as a welcome. :) Glad to have you here again. To start, why not tell us what's been going on in the world of Stacey lately?
Stacey: I’m working on book two of my Raven Investigations Novel series called Electric Moon. It’s great to get back into their world. I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed it! I’m also finishing a kitchen remodel that seems to have taken on a life of its own. Thank goodness it’s almost over.
Melissa: Ha, yes, I've heard about the kitchen remodeling. Still can't help but chuckle about your husband's mishap. And that's great news about Electric Moon. You left me hanging with Electric Storm! Now which comes to you first, the world or the characters? Do you build your world around your characters or vice versa?
Stacey: Since I don’t plot, the characters come first for me. Usually a character and a scene form together, and they take off running…right into trouble. Although the characters come first to me, my stories are usually a little plot heavy.
Melissa: Well, that just makes them all the more interesting to me. So, I know you've delved into the world of magic, vampires and shifters with your previous release, Electric Storm, so how did you get the idea for BloodSworn?
Stacey: Merrick was the first character that came to me, a fully formed lion with trouble riding hard on his *ss. Trina was a little more difficult to pin down. The plot came easier to me than trying to pin down the secrets Trina didn’t want revealed. She didn’t want anything to do with me until she met Merrick. A few chapters into the story and everything fell into place…more or less. :)
Melissa: Yeah, well I'd have no problem meeting Merrick either. So will BloodSworn be a part of a series? Do you have any more books planned for other characters in the series? Or will it be a single release? Just tossing this out there, but Weston and Judith. I could see a match happening there. Ha. :)
Stacey: I have a lot of stories on the burner, too many to count. I might have a short story brewing in the back of my mind for Weston and Judith. I wanted to leave my options open with them. I also might have plans for a novel, NightSworn, and why a vampire needed a magic vial of blood that he was willing to betray his king to get.
Melissa: A short about Judith and Weston. Oh yeah! And I was a bit curious about that vampire and his motivation! So I have to ask, can you share one of your favorite excerpts from BloodSworn with us?
Stacey: I have just the scene, a little something to peak your interests. Merrick has been wounded and needs the damaged muscles of his back massaged in order to function. Be warned, it’s a little naughty. lol
"Trina set down her pen and paper then massaged her hands. Part of her trembled at touching Merrick again, but the bigger part of her was eager for it and that scared her more than anything. “I’ll warn you now. This is going to be painful.”
Trina knelt at Merrick’s side, her hands on his body, doing her damnedest to try and not get aroused. No way in hell would she survive if Merrick learned of her weakness to him. It was that sheet, the way it draped over his ass, revealing the upper swell of those muscles that her fingers itched to explore.
No matter how hard she tried to prevent it, her eyes trailed over his form, her fingers lingered on his well-defined muscles more than was proper for a doctor.
Even the nape of his neck drew her attention. She wanted to scrape her nails through the fine hair then lean over and lick the strong cord of muscle to see how he’d react. Worst of all, she knew he wouldn’t protest anything she wanted to do to him.
She glanced around the room, her breathing a little fast, her heart thundering, desperate for a distraction before she followed through on her fantasies.
She latched onto the topic with the desperation of a kid with a Popsicle in his grip. She was a doctor. Violence should sicken her, but she’d been on the razor edge of it for years. She respected violence, the need for it to protect those weaker. “Tell me about the sword.”
Air exploded out of his chest at her demand. Between the pain and lust, his beast was going wild. He wasn’t in much better condition. Those hands of hers were pure heaven and hell.
The smell of her arousal tinged the air.
Humans might not detect those signals, but shifters sure the hell could and often used that skill to their advantage.
If she hadn’t spoken, he wasn’t certain if he’d have had the strength not to roll over and demand she work the front side as well for the agony she put him through. Devil take it, if her hand swept down and touched his ass one more time, his dick was going to hammer a permanent impression into the mattress. "
Melissa: Great excerpt to tease us with! So, something I noticed, you didn't stick with the romanticized version of the vampire in romance, you tend to stick with the more gruesome side of their characters (smell of decay, etc.). What made you decide to deviate a bit and take the non-traditional route?
Stacey: I’m all for romance and a happy-ever-after, but I like to have my characters work for it. Most of my characters feel that they are too different, are in too deep to be saved. I like to see that love can redeem them. Then there’s the fact that I might have watched a wee bit too much SciFi as a kid. <big grin>
Melissa: Lol I'm sure you're not the only one. :) Now I've heard that you've written historicals before? Can you tell us anything about that?
Stacey: I have five historicals written! They were my first books. I’m not sure if I’ll ever publish them, but I sure had a blast writing them. Two are straight historicals and the other three are paranormal historicals with Druids. The drafts are very rough, needing a good polish before they are fit for anyone’s eyes but my own.
Melissa: Mmm I like druids. Since you're an avid reader, what are some great books you've read lately? You tend to keep this up-to-date on your website also, if I'm not mistaken. Probably a bit weird of me, but I typically like to know what the authors I like are reading.
Stacey: I do try to read a book a week, posting on my blog to keep me honest. I love reading, but don’t have near enough time as I would like. I’m between books right now, but I’ve read a couple of great books this year. I’ve really enjoyed Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series.
Melissa: I haven't tried that series yet, but have heard great things about it. I also like that you post reviews of what you've read for the week on your blog as well. So, what's in the works for you? What are you working on currently?
Stacey: While waiting for my edits on BloodSworn, I plotted out a short story I was going to try. I’ve always written longer pieces, so we’ll see how it goes. The story has werewolves, fey, magic, castles and Scotland. What’s not to love? But I put the story away to finish Electric Moon.
Melissa: Any teasers you are willing to share? :)
Stacey: Here’s a short blurb/excerpt:
Raven’s very private life explodes into the spotlight when she is nominated to the elite paranormal police force. It couldn’t happen at a worse time. She needs to keep the secrets of her past hidden. Nothing could interfere with her application for pack status with the paranormal counsel, or she could lose her claim on those closest to her.
As the two worlds collide, she must juggle the demands of both, battle the effects of the moon on her love life and catch a killer targeting the most vulnerable of the paranormals, shifters without pack protection. If she can’t maintain the delicate balancing act, the resulting casualties might be more than she can survive.
"“Dance with me.” Taggert carefully reached across the table and withdrew her touch from Jackson.
Only when she was on the dance floor with him did he take a deep breath, dragging her body up against his. The moon heat came back with a vengeance, and she groaned in complaint. “Taggert—”
“Now isn’t the time to distract Jackson.”
She peeked over Taggert’s shoulder to see Jackson’s hungry eyes devour her, and she quickly jerked her gaze away. “I was only trying to help. It worked with you and Durant.”
“But we’re pack. Your touch impacts us differently than it does him.”
Raven closed her eyes. “Shit. What did I do?”
The smile that lit Taggert’s face did little to sooth her. “I’d say you just made yourself a target for one very determined wolf. And you know how they love to stalk their prey.”
Taggert laughed, seemingly undisturbed, drawing her closer to feel him twist and move to the beat of the music. His body flowed around hers, making her feel inept and very much worshiped by his. Each light brush of his body lured her closer.
“You don’t seem worried.”
Teeth flashed as he smiled. “You’ll make him pack.”
“You seem awful sure.”
“You claimed him when you first met him. You just didn’t get around to sealing the deal.” Taggert shrugged.
“You like him too much to let him go.”
The dance floor grew crowded, the air around them warmer. They were nearly of height, him with only a few inches on her. His lips hovered around hers, and she curbed the irrational need to taste him.
She blinked, a little dazed by the heavy pounding of the music, the flashing lights in the darkness, and the heavy taste of his arousal that swamped the air around him. “What?”
“Taste.” He cupped the back of her head, drawing her inexplicitly nearer until his body covered hers, and they were hardly moving.
She found his leg pressed between thighs, the movement of his hips heating her blood to boiling. Her lips pressed against his throat, and she inhaled deeply, enjoying the smell of forest. She licked her lips, accidentally brushing against his neck and felt him shudder. A low groan vibrated in his throat, and he pulled her closer.
“Again.” His hips moved in time to the music, his hard thighs rocking against her. The pressure building between her legs was almost overwhelming, the need for more nearly drowning her under the onslaught. That they were in public didn’t matter.
She lifted her chin, brushed her lips against his neck and felt his hands settle on her ass, moving them in a rhythm that made her muscles turn to mush.
She licked him again, enjoying the way his breath caught. Then she nibbled on his neck, her teeth nipping lightly at his skin. Power thrummed under the tender skin, the pulse of his life. His arms turned to bands around her, squeezing the breath out of her. Not that she minded.
She inched her hands down his back, enjoying the flex of his muscles under her palms, the way he shuffled her closer as if in invitation to take more.
Then he was ripped from her arms. Jackson’s hand settled on her elbow, his grip bruising, though she didn’t think he was aware of it as he dragged her toward the table.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Raven had to clear her throat twice before she could speak. “Dancing?”"
Melissa: Well damn. Just damn. I feel like I need to read some more now. So glad you shared that sneak peek! I can't wait now. :) And thank you so much for stopping by today!
Stacey: Thank you for having me on your blog. I had a wonderful time!
Blurb: Ten years after they bound her powers and banished her, Trina Weyebridge had successfully carved out a new existence in the human world. She put her life as a witch behind her. But, her magic would not be denied, the bindings holding them in check are weakening. Vampires who crave a taste of the powers stored in her blood are hunting her with deadly force and have kidnapped her sister to lure her out. In a desperate bid to free her sister and gain her own freedom, Trina bargains with the all-too-tempting lion shifter who calls out the long forgotten wild side in her...she would be his concubine in return for pack protection. She’d be safe…until they found out the truth.
UNDENIABLE DESIRE. FORBIDDEN LOVE. INESCAPABLE DESTINY.
When Merrick spots a female intruder living on his property, he’s intrigued by her daring. Curious to find out more, he follows her and comes to her aid when she falls prey to an attack. After weeks of unnatural silence, his beast awakens at her touch, and he suspects that she might be the only one able to save his race from a disease killing his kind. Not willing to take the chance of losing her, he binds her to him the only way he knows how…by claiming her as his own. All he has to do to save her is uncover the secrets of her past, stop a pack revolt, convince her that she’s desperately in love with him in return, and prevent a war.
Review: I know there were some complaints with the typos and font size, but I managed to get a corrected copy that was reissued through Amazon by the author. So, not a lot of issues on that front for me. Any minor typos in my copy were easily overlooked because I was too wrapped up in the story. And no issues with the font size in my copy either.
Personally, I love Ms. Brutger's books. This makes my third that I've devoured and I can't wait to read more. I read a sample of this particular book at the end of The Demon Within and have been waiting for it since then.
This author has a great way of writing the element of magic in action scenes in her stories which I really enjoy. Definitely keeps me flipping the pages, or in this case, touching my kindle screen. I've never been the biggest "magic" or witch lover, but it's really starting to grow on me. Of course, throw some shifters in the mix, and I can't help but get caught up in it since I love shifters.
Merrick and Trina are both likeable characters. They seemed to compliment each other and it was pleasant to read their attraction shape up into a romance while they're dodging attempts on both of their lives. There was a nice balance of romance and suspense in Bloodsworn in my opinion.
And Merrick...There's just something about an alpha male chasing after the woman he's fallen in love with. Of course, it doesn't hurt that he's a possessive, sexy, lion shifter either. So, it should come as no surprise that I love this hero.
There were also some secondary characters I would love to read more about, such as Weston and Judith. Weston had that air of secrecy that made me quite curious about him. And Judith, well, I just liked her, even in the beginning. I like tough women that don't mind doing what needs to be done in order to get to the top.
All in all, I thought Bloodsworn was another great read by this author, and I can't wait to read more.
Available for purchase at: Amazon
*Also Stacey is offering a giveaway on Goodreads for Bloodsworn*
Author Bio: Stacey Brutger lives in a small town in Minnesota with her husband and an assortment of animals. When she’s not reading from her thousands of books in her tbr pile, she enjoys creating stories about exotic worlds and grand adventures…then shoving in her characters to see how they’d survive. She enjoys writing anything paranormal from contemporary to historical.
Be sure to drop by and visit Stacey here: Website
***Don't forget to include your email with your comments to be entered to win a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card or a digital copy of one of Stacey's books, winner's choice. Good luck!***