Thursday, April 2, 2015

Book Spotlight, Top 10 List, and Giveaway - Raising the Stakes by Karen Rock

Raising the Stakes banner
This is my stop during the blog tour for Raising the Stakes by Karen Rock. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 1 till 7 April, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours.

Raising the Stakes CoverRaising the Stakes
by Karen Rock
Genre: Adult
Age category: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 1 April, 2015

Hiding from the world…

Tucking herself away in the Adirondack woods was supposed to keep Vivienne Harris safe. From dark memories of the Bronx, from danger, from entanglements. But when an orphaned bear cub raids her pantry and conservation officer Liam Walsh appears with news of poachers nearby, her private, peaceful world is turned upside down!

Suddenly two forces are drawing her out—Button, the cub who needs her help, and Liam, the man who's dead set against her rehabilitating the bear. If she can just win Liam's support, Vivie knows she can give Button a good life. And maybe find the courage to embrace a future with Liam…

You can find Raising the Stakes on Goodreads

You can buy Raising the Stakes here:
- Amazon
- Barnes & Noble
- Kobo
- Harlequin

A Top 10 List - Favorite literary characters by Karen Rock

  1. Eleanor and Park- from Rainbow Rowell’s book by the same name. I love how brutally honest these characters are with themselves and how they gradually open up and become vulnerable with each other. Both are the kinds of outsider/troubled/big-hearted teenagers I was when I was their age- and since this book is set in the 1980s, I can definitely relate! Not to mention it is a gorgeous love story.
  2. Jamie Fraser- from Outlanders- Swoon* I would time travel for such a loving, strong, funny, open-minded and principled man any day. He’s gorgeous, a fighter and a man who defends his woman. You’ve got to love that :-) 
  3. Elizabeth Bennet- Pride and Prejudice- I love a strong-minded heroine who staunchly defends her sisters and friends alike and doesn’t let a man (or a fumbling, nearly insulting marriage proposal) push her around. She stands up for what she believes in, has a great sardonic sense of humor and wit, and is the most grounded character in the book. I would definitely be BFFs with Elizabeth!
  4. Harry Potter- He’s an unwanted orphan living in a cupboard beneath his Aunt’s staircase who goes on to become a wizard capable of stopping the greatest threat to the magic and muggle worlds! Who wouldn’t root for him? Plus, he’s a loyal friend, clever, talented and brave. I was so worried J.K. Rowling would kill him in the final book that I waited on line at midnight for the book’s release, sat on the store’s floor, flipped to the back pages and read until I found my answer!
  5. Louisa Clark- heroine in Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You- I absolutely love this ordinary young woman living an ordinary life, supporting her mother, father and sister by working in a bun shop that shuts down. I adore how she grows in this book when she’s laid off from her job and takes one as a caretaker to a paraplegic to save her family and especially her dog. We learn why she’s lacked ambition from a tragic past incident and root for her as she overcomes that and a newer tragedy to become a strong woman with a huge heart I will never forget. She’s unintentionally funny, sassy, strong, doesn’t take any guff, and an underdog who comes out a champion. Best of all, the book will be a movie out this year!!
  6. Scarlett O’Hara- As God is my witness, (lol) she made me want to write romance so that I could have such complex, contradictory, strong, clever characters as Scarlett in my books. She has the kinds of weaknesses and tunnel focus (Ashley?!!) that makes her human and the superhuman fortitude to walk a carriage carrying a newly delivered baby and its mother straight through enemy lines to get home to Tara. There’s no denying Scarlett will always be one of the most richly drawn characters in literature.
  7. Jay Gatsby- The Great Gatsby- He’s filthy rich, glamorous, throws huge parties, and a hopeless romantic who still longs for a woman who’s too high, socially, for him to ever reach. He’s a tragic hero in the best way and despite the sham of a life he leads, I can’t help but love and mourn him always.
  8. Atticus Finch- To Kill a Mockingbird- Cary Grant aside (swoon*)- he’s exactly the kind of man every mother wants her daughter to grow up and marry! He’s an amazing, loving father, a kind neighbor, a crack shot who can defend his community… even against their own bigotry and worst instincts…, and a principled defender of all that is right and good. The world is a better place because Harper Lee created him.
  9. Augustus Waters- The Fault in Our Stars- The cancer-survivor who helps cancer patient Hazel Grace learn to stop living like she’s dying and just live… and love. He’s handsome, athletic, funny, ironic (he keeps an unlit cigarette in his mouth in defiance of his cancer), spontaneous and giving (he gives the “make a wish” he never made to give Hazel a trip she wants to Amsterdam) and a complete romantic in a masculine way that makes you fall head over heels for him. He’s absolutely irresistible and he’ll always stay with me.
  10. Jamie Sullivan- A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. She’s sweet, sassy and has tremendous faith, despite her terminal diagnosis. She’s not the popular girl in school, but that doesn’t bother her at all. She’s more interested in helping others than herself and it’s that strength of character that eventually draws the attention of this romance’s bad boy and all of the readers who wish we knew someone as special as Jamie.

That’s it! I hope you enjoyed the list. I could have gone on as I love so many books, but I narrowed the list to these people (characters are real in my head- lol) because they are the best example of what humans should be. Thanks so much to View from the Birdhouse Blog and all who stopped by for having me here today!

karen in gardenAbout the Author:
Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer. Currently she writes for Harlequin Heartwarming and her first novel for the line, WISH ME TOMORROW, has won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2014 Golden Quill Contest and a finalist in the Published Maggie Awards. The first novel in her co-authored YA series, CAMP BOYFRIEND, has been a finalist in the Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards.

You can find and contact Karen here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Tumblr
- Quarterly Newsletter
- Amazon Author Page


There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Raising the Stakes. These are the prizes you can win:
- a 100$ Amazon gift card (INT)
- a set of signed paperbacks of Wish Me Tomorrow, His Hometown Girl, Someone Like You and A League of Her Own (US only)
Raising the Stakes Grand Prize

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

There is a second giveaway for readers of View from the Birdhouse.  The prize is Raising the Stakes -- either winner’s choice of e-copy or paperback (US) or an e-copy (INT).   The winner will be drawn on Friday, 4/10.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sandy Klocinski said...

I adore animals and reads that involve animals are always scary for me, because I always fear them dying or becoming ill or being in such serious danger that I literately want to climb inside the book to save them myself. This looks to be heartwarming read of the best kind. With all the stress and anxiety in the world, I need to escape on a regular basis to a world of romance and lovingkindness.

poetryinleaves said...

it looks like a really nice story.