Monday, April 17, 2017

Betting On the Power of Contemporary Romances

With: Lizbeth Selvig

Congratulations to "Ami S.", the winner in Liz's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

I’ve written often in the past about what an unabashed, contemporary romance nerd I am, and why this blog is such a great place for me. I admire with all my heart my fellow authors who are smart enough to write historical romance, creative enough to write paranormal and fantasy romance, or clever enough to delve into romantic suspense. Me? I feel compelled to stick with what I know and can research in today’s world. I’ve often wondered why I’m so enamored with the here and now.

I think it’s because I adore people, their stories, and learning about how they deal with today’s issues. In fact, issues are the key. I love the idea that romance can get us through our toughest times, our saddest moments, our most hopeless feelings even in today’s often angry world.

In each of my books I’ve tried to spotlight some kind of contemporary problem, with the knowledge that nobody who picks up a romance novel wants to read a heavy treatise or, heaven forbid, diatribe on deep or controversial subjects. But I’ve enjoyed exploring subjects like autism spectrum disorder, PTSD in veterans, physical disabilities and even parent/child rifts for my stories. I think the most satisfying review I ever got was when a reader thanked me for making her think about her own life and career and the way she deals with people who have disabilities.

That’s pretty cool. And it’s enough to keep me finding more “issues” to deal with in my books.

My brand new release Bettingon Paradise is no exception, but the themes in this story are much more subtle than some I mentioned above. This is book four in my Seven Brides for Seven Cowboys series and this one centers even more on the women of these books than the previous ones. My heroine Grace Crockett is exploring all the emotions and decisions women in today’s world have to face on a daily basis:  independence, feminism, passion, faith, being a daughter, being a woman in love… Most of all she has to find out how to balance loyalty to family with loyalty to herself.

Her hero Ty Garraway is a man searching for his future. He knows his past—most of the men in his life were alcoholic and abusive, and the women weak. But he has a young daughter, and he’s determined to break the cycle and secure her a legacy she can be proud of. In fact, he’s so determined, he nearly loses sight of the fact that a wonderful dad is all his child needs—and that’s something he already is.

If all of this sounds super-heavy, rest assured there’s plenty of passion, humor, and downright funny parts in the story. Ty’s daughter Lucky (real name Teagan Ann Garraway) is a five-year-old genius card sharp, spitting champ, matchmaking, riddle-telling darling. Grace’s grandma Sadie, who is now ninety-six years young tells of her rebellious past and even shows us her crush on a man ten years her junior.  (After all, in my opinion you’re never too old for romance!) And it turns out that Grace, despite being the family “good girl” who’s made a decision to abstain from sex until the man she can trust for the rest of her life comes along (and who might start out as just a tad sanctimonious), knows quite well how to play poker and hold her Scotch.

In the end, although I touch ever-so-briefly on the fact that spousal abuse has been around for centuries, Betting on Paradise is ultimately about learning to trust yourself. Grace is smart and has good ideas despite what she sometimes thinks; Ty is not his ancestors, he’s a wonderful father; Lucky can never have too much love; and people should always be accepted for who they are not what they are.

Those are the issues I’m betting on in this book while I try to show—maybe more importantly—that the answer to almost all of life’s questions is love! I hope you’ll check out Betting on Paradise and see what I mean! If you’re interested in the rest of the Crockett women and their legacy at Paradise Ranch, look for the first three books in the series:  The Bride Wore Denim, The Bride Wore Red Boots, and The Bride Wore Starlight. For more information check out the book’s page on my website http://www.lizbethselvig.com/betting-on-paradise.html

Giveaway:
I’d love to know what your favorite themes are in the books you read. Do you like it when real issues and subjects are broached or do you prefer lighter more thoroughly escapist stories? I have one e-book set of those first three novels for one commenter today!

And from our shameless promotions department:  I also have a Newsletter http://eepurl.com/Lgsw9 and a Facebook street team (more of a fun, readers’ team) called Lizbeth’s Loyal Legions https://www.facebook.com/groups/LizbethsLegions/. If you’d like to get news about new books and other “stuff” before anyone else, please sign up. I’d love to have you join me.

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST April 18th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@JustContemporaryRomance.com with a subject title of JCR GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway. 


22 comments:

  1. This sounds so good! Can it be read as a standalone? I love books that make me think and feel. As for the favourite themes, marriage in trouble, addiction and recovery, age difference... those are just a couple I'll seek out. Thanks for the giveaway!

    natalija(dot)shkomare(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. i Natalija,
      Thank you so much for stopping by today! Yes, this can definitely be read as a standalone. You'll meet characters from the other books, but you don't need to know their stories. Your themes are fantastic--already I'm getting ideas!! Thanks again.

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  2. Hi Lizbeth!! I prefer books that allow me to escape with lighter fare, more repartee between the characters than serious discussion topics. My favorite themes are best friend's siblings or friends/enemies to lovers, which IMO, have the best dynamics.

    ahui89 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Hi Ada! I can't blame you one bit for loving lighter fare--it's what's best about romance. I am definitely making a list of everyone's favorite themes. I love the friends-to-lovers trope. I think the idea of exploring changing feelings like that are totally romantic! Thanks for being here.

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  3. I enjoy both types. Love the Brides series - can't wait to read the latest.4

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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    1. Awww thanks so much! I'm so glad to have found you -- open to all kinds of stories. I hope to keep the series going all the way to book #7!

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  4. I enjoy both. My favorite themes are marriage of convenience,friends to lovers, unrequited love (esp. hero pines for heroine

    alysap at yahoo dot com

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    1. Hi JCP. I haven't yet tried a marriage of convenience story and that really has been on my list. Gives me more than a couple of ideas! Thanks so much for being here and commenting!

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  5. I enjoy both light escape stories and others that are deep and emotional... love a wide range of themes!

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    1. Colleen, hi! So glad to have another reader who loves all kinds of stories. Thanks for commenting here today!!

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  6. I do like stories that deal with issues that affect people.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

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    1. Hey Maureen! Another soulmate! I love to infuse the issues with humor and try to guess the best way people deal with their troubles. Thanks for commenting!

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  7. escapist

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    1. Hi BN--you're in good company. To escape is why we all read, right? Thanks for being here.

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  8. I like when books deal with real issues. yenastone@aol dot com

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    1. Hi Tammy!! My soul mate :-D Thanks for coming by to comment!

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  9. Hi Lizbeth... I will say that it depends on my mood. Sometimes I want to read a book with real life issues. But I admit majority of the time, I read as an act of escapism. So I prefer light issues to be presented.

    amie_07(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I totally hear you Ami. I feel that same way even when I'm writing a book! Some days I need to skip to the happier sillier parts, other days I can work on the other parts. Just like with reading--I can only try to balance the whole thing! Thanks for coming today!

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  10. While I do like stories with current themes I am not a fan of the cheating spouses in stories. I just got through reading one of my favorite authors books over the weekend and I had a tough time with it. It was brilliantly written, but I don't like the cheating. Maybe it's because I faced that in my own marriage years ago, I don't know, I would just rather not have that in a story. I realize everything is not sunshine and roses in a marriage but I do prefer not to read about that in a romance novel.

    linda dot henderson70 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Hi Linda. Wow I couldn't agree more. In a romance novel, I think it's hard to redeem a hero or heroine who cheats. We read romance to escape, no matter what the internal conflict is, and we want a form of fairy tale fantasy. In books that are more women's fiction we can explore the grittier side of life--but then you know to expect it. For romance--I'm totally with you! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  11. While I do tend to lean more towards lighter fare, it really depends on my mood and topic. I'm all for the Ugly Duckling themes - I love transformation stories!

    thebigbluewall77 AT gmail DOT com

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    1. Hey Anita! The magical thing about reading romance is that you can always find something that fits whatever you need at the moment! Ugly Duckling! Fantastic theme. Thanks for coming along today!

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