Spotlight & Giveaway: How to Love Your Elf by Kerrelyn Sparks

Posted February 26th, 2020 by in Blog, Spotlight / 36 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Kerrelyn Sparks to HJ!

Hi Kerrelyn and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, How to Love Your Elf!

Hi, everyone! Thank you for inviting me, Sara!

Please summarize the book for the readers here:

How to Love Your Elf is the fourth book in the Embraced series, but also book one in the Embraced by Magic series, since it has a new publisher, Kensington. (The first three books were done by St. Martin’s Press). If you’ve been keeping up with the Embraced series, you will know there are five women, who grew up as orphans on the Isle of Moon and consider themselves sisters. They each have a magical Embraced power since each one was born on a night when the twin moons embraced (eclipsed). How to Love Your Elf is the story of the fourth sister, Sorcha, who has a volatile and fiery personality, a great match for her power to create fire. After she’s taken prisoner in the elfin kingdom of Woodwyn, she plans to use her fire power to make her escape. But her plans and her life are completely disrupted by the appearance of the mysterious Woodsman, an elfin Robin Hood hero. His power is the ability to communicate with trees and control anything made of wood. In other words, his power relies on wood, but Sorcha’s power destroys wood! Their relationship is going to ignite!

Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

This is an excerpt from a scene where Sorcha and the Woodsman accidentally consume half a bottle of Love Potion. In order to dilute the power of the Love Potion, Sorcha quickly drinks a lot of wine and gets tipsy.

“Sorcha, stop looking at me like that.”
Her eyes filled with horror. “Oh, no. I must have succumbed to the power of the potion.”
“No, you haven’t. You’ve been staring at my mouth since you first met me.”
Her face turned pink. “I can’t help it. You’re just so disgustingly handsome.”
“Was that a compliment?” he muttered.
She hiccupped. “It’s true. I find you terribly attractive.” Frowning, she picked up her cup. “Even though it makes no sense whatsoever.”
He clenched his teeth. “I’m not that bad a catch.”
“But you’re all wrong.” She drank some wine. “You’re not the elf who was foretold by the Telling Stones.”
“Didn’t I tell you about the Game of Stones that my sisters and I play together? Luciana has had unbelievable success predicting the man each of us will fall in love with. She was right about herself and Brigitta and Gwennore. When she picked the stones for me, she got the number five and the colors lavender and white. We figured the five refers to the Circle of Five. And the lavender—” Her blurry gaze met his. “Well, you do have lavender eyes. Damn you.” She hiccupped.
He recalled her horrified reaction to his eyes the day before. “Most elves do.”
“But thank the goddesses, your hair isn’t white. So that means you’re not—”
“I’m not the one,” he grumbled. Dammit. So, this explained what she’d said on the balcony. “Am I understanding this correctly? You plan to choose your future husband by the color of his hair?”
She shrugged. “I wouldn’t, but the stones did.”
Then she would reject him because of this stupid game? He was too aggravated now to tell her that his hair was actually dyed. “Doesn’t it seem ludicrous to you to choose a future mate based on the mandate of a few rocks?”
“Hmm. That is exactly what I thought.” She tapped her temple with her forefinger, but then her hand slipped and bumped into her nose. “But no matter what we think, the truth remains that the predictions keep coming true. I know!” Her eyes lit up. “We could prove the Telling Stones are wrong by having a quick affair!”
He sat back. How come her solution for everything was a quick affair? He was tempted to agree, just to see if she would really go through with it. But why the hell did she keep saying “quick”? If he ever took Sorcha to his bed, being quick would be the last thing he wanted. “I think you’d better eat some food. You’ve obviously had too much to drink on an empty stomach.”
She scoffed. “I’m not drunk.”
Her glassy eyes told another story. “You’re saying outrageous things.”
She waved a dismissive hand as another hiccup escaped. “It runs in the family. My brother says naughty things all the time, and Gwennore loves it. But then, she doesn’t have the sense of humor of a tree.”
He hissed in a breath. “I am not a tree.”
“Then why are you objecting to the idea of a quick affair?”
He balled his hands into fists in a vain attempt to remain calm. “Why are you willing to bed a man because of a few rocks?”
“Fine.” She lifted her chin. “Since you obviously hate the idea of bedding me, I recant my offer. I wouldn’t bed you if you were the last man on Aerthlan!”
He scowled at her. “What’s wrong with me?”
“What?” She gave him an incredulous look. “First you’re annoyed that I want to have an affair. Now you’re annoyed that I don’t. There’s no pleasing you, is there?”
“No, I am not pleased.”
She huffed. “Well, good. Because it would be a disaster if you did find me pleasing. Then we would never be able to fight off the effect of this potion.”
“There is no effect!” he shouted, then looked away in frustration. To his shock, everyone in the circle was watching him and Sorcha.
“Don’t stop now,” Morghen said with a teasing smile.
Father Kit nodded. “Best entertainment we’ve had in ages.”


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

The Woodsman was inspired by the legend of Robin Hood and by the elfin hero Legolas of Lord of the Rings. I loved creating a stoic hero, always calm and in control, then throwing the fiery Sorcha into his life!
The Woodsman and his followers hide out in a place called Haven, inspired by my trip to Hobbiton in New Zealand.


What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

The first time the Woodsman sees Sorcha, she’s in great danger. Sorcha and the Norveshki army are ambushed by the elfin army. Sorcha is dressed as a male soldier in order to hide her identity as princess and heir to the Norveshki throne. Aleksi, a dragon-shifter, is supposed to protect her by shifting and flying her away to safety. But while protecting her, he is hit by several arrows and unable to shift. Sorcha refuses to flee, trying her best to rescue Aleksi. When the Woodsman sees the brave soldier who is determined not to leave a man behind (his own motto), he is greatly impressed. And when he realizes the brave soldier is a woman, he thinks she’s the most beautiful and brave woman he’s ever seen.
Once Sorcha and Aleksi are taken prisoner, Sorcha is desperate to escape and save her unconscious dragon friend. When the Woodsman appears to help, she’s taken aback by his calm bravery and handsome face.


Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

I really think the Love Potion scene (see excerpt above) is one of the funniest scenes I’ve ever written. Here’s a bit more of it–

Dammit, but his control was slipping fast. He flopped down next to her on the blanket. “No matter what you might think, the fact remains that I will not allow a potion or a bunch of rocks to tell me what I feel.”
She sighed. “I suppose that’s true. After all, you’ve already told me that you have no feelings.”
“That’s not quite—”
“But it’s for the best, isn’t it?” She gave him a hopeful look. “We’ll be fine because you have no feelings for me at all.”
Ouch. “Sorcha—”
“So we’re safe!” She heaved a sigh. “I always found it annoying before, but now I thank the goddesses that you’re always so calm.”
He gritted his teeth. “You think I’m calm?”
“Yes.” She nodded. “Downright cold and wooden. You see, the potion is designed to inflame carnal passions, but since you obviously don’t have any–”
“Enough!” He wrapped a hand around her neck to pull her toward him, then planted his mouth hard on hers.


Readers should read this book….

For the fun and adventure! For the romance and suspense! (There is kissing…and there is killing)


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

I just finished doing the copyedits for the last Embraced book, The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea, which releases August 25, 2020. This is Maeve’s and Brody’s book, and the grand finale of the series.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: Signed copies of So I Married a Sorcerer (Embraced book 2) and Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (Embraced book 3). Open internationally.


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: Will we find out more about Gwennore’s elfish family? Who, exactly, is the Woodsman?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Excerpt from How to Love Your Elf:

This happens toward the end of the book, but I don’t think it really gives out too many spoilers. After all, you already know Sorcha will end up with the Woodsman.

“Your Majesty.” The Woodsman stepped toward Silas. “This may not be the ideal time, but I would like to ask you for Sorcha’s hand in marriage.”
Her heart lurched up her throat. He wanted to marry her? But wait, he’d never told her if he loved her.
Silas frowned at the Woodsman. “You’ve known her about a week. How can you be sure you want to marry her?”
“I’m sure.” The Woodsman turned to Sorcha. “I’m sure because I love her.”
Sorcha gasped. “Ye do?”
“Of course I do.” He took her hands in his. “You didn’t doubt me, did you?”
She winced. “Well, ye didn’t seem to trust me—”
“I didn’t want to endanger you with information that could get you killed. Sorcha, marry me.”
She snorted. “Pushy as always.”
“You mean decisive.”
She laughed. “I will.”
Silas cleared his throat. “I don’t recall agreeing to this.”
“Silas!” Sorcha shot him an annoyed look.
He groaned. “This has happened too fast.”
“Didn’t you fall for Gwennore really fast?” Sorcha asked.
“Of course I did, but Gwen is exceptional—”
Sorcha cleared her throat.
“And you are, too,” Silas mumbled. “But you realize, don’t you, that if you marry this man, you will be living in Woodwyn for the rest of your life?”
Sorcha glanced at all the villagers, who were smiling at her, since Father Kit was translating everything into Elfish. She’d drawn portraits of most of the children, and their mothers had praised her and given her sweets and handmade gifts. And when they had been in danger, they had listened to her and believed in her.
Bronwen gave her a sad smile. As the Woodsman’s cousin, Bronwen and her family would become Sorcha’s family here in Woodwyn.
“I hope you will stay,” Colwyn said in Elfish, and his family agreed.
“Colwyn, my love!” Tara clasped her hands together as she gave him an adoring look.
He glanced over at her. “Who is that?”
Tara huffed. “You don’t know me? If it wasn’t for me, we wouldn’t have been able to kill those soldiers over there!” She pointed at the men who had fallen from the bridge. “I can take care of myself, so who needs you!” She flipped her hair over her shoulder as she turned and stalked away.
Sorcha smiled to herself. Good for you, Tara.
“We’re not dead,” one of the soldiers whimpered.
“I think my ribs are broken,” the other one moaned.
“My leg. I broke my leg.”
Morghen walked over to them and gave them an assessing look. “You’ll live. Stop your whining.”
Riona shook a finger at them. “That’s what you get for trying to hurt our princess.”
Our princess? Sorcha’s heart filled with joy, and she turned to her brother. “Yes, I would be happy to live in Woodwyn.”
The villagers of Haven gave her a cheer, and the Woodsman squeezed her hands once more.
Silas took a deep breath. “It pains me to be separated from you, but I do want you to be happy.” He shifted his weight. “Very well. I will give you my blessing.”
Sorcha grinned. The Woodsman gave her a quick kiss, and the crowd cheered once more.
Morghen laughed. “Didn’t I tell you that every couple who drinks the love potion ends up married within a month?”

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

Raised in isolation on the magic-shrouded Isle of the Moon, five girls became five sisters. Now women, they are ready to claim their places in the world—and perhaps change it forever . . .


Sorcha knew the mission was dangerous. Leaving the safe grounds of her brother’s kingdom and parlaying with the elves across their border . . . well, treachery seemed at least as likely as true peace. But to support her sister, Sorcha would brave far more than the underhanded ways of the elves. Or so she thought, before she was taken hostage.

Of course, her captors didn’t count on her particular abilities—or on the help of the Woodsman, the mysterious thief who made his home in the forest. He saw the battle from the trees, saw the soldier attacking against incredible odds to save a comrade—and then saw the valiant fighter revealed as Princess Sorcha of Norveshka. He can’t tell if he wants to kidnap her or kiss her. But despite Sorcha’s stubbornness, his inconvenient honor, and a rebellion on the cusp of full war, something burns between them that neither can let go . . .
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | kobo | Google |

Meet the Author:

Kerrelyn Sparks apparently has issues with reality. After writing more than a dozen books about vampires, she has now completely gone off the deep end and wound up on another planet. But how thrilling that she can share this magical new world with her readers! Although she is best known (so far) for the Love at Stake series, which has hit as high as number 5 on the New York Times list and 22 on the USA Today list, she hopes her readers will love The Embraced as much as they did her merry band of vamps and shifters. To learn more about her paranormal, historical, and upcoming out-of-this-world fantasy romances, please visit Kerrelyn on Facebook, Twitter, or her website at
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | GoodReads |

36 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: How to Love Your Elf by Kerrelyn Sparks”

  1. John Smith

    “Will we find out more about Gwennore’s elfish family? Who, exactly, is the Woodsman?” Yes! Someone with whom Sorcha will end up!

  2. Artemis Giote

    I’m guessing that we will find out more about Gwennore’s elfish family.
    Woodsman is an elfin Robin Hood hero.

  3. Pamela Conway

    I haven’t read any of these books so I’m not familiar with them or the characters but they sound interesting!

  4. noraadrienne

    I own FOURTEEN of Kerrelyn’s books and loved them all. Most of the Love at Stake and three of the original Embraced books. I find her writing not only enjoyable but very entertaining. I’m looking forward to reading the Elf book. Either from the library or by winning it in your giveaway.

  5. Patricia B.

    We should be finding out more about Gwennore’s family. As for the Woodsman, is he perhaps a lost or hiding royal of the land?

  6. Julia B.

    Yes, I think we’ll find more about Gwennore’s elfish family, and the Woodsman is Sorcha’s destined man, an elfin Robin Hood who lives in the forest

  7. Glenda M

    I’ll be disappointed if we don’t! And of course he is Sorcha’s mate and future husband

  8. Julia B.

    Yes, I think we”ll find more about Gwennore’s elfish family , and the Woodsman is Sorcha’s destined man, an elfin Robin Hood who lives in the forest

  9. Janie McGaugh

    I’m sure we’ll find out more about Gwennore’s family. The Woodsman is an elf and is a Robin Hood type of character; hopefully, we’ll know more by the end of the book!

  10. laurieg72

    Sounds like we will visit the Elfin kingdom of Woodwyn and meet the Elves who live there

    The Woodsman is a mysterious, elfin, Robin Hood like thief, who lives in Haven, which is located in the woods around the Elvin kingdom. He will rescue Princess Sorcha from the elves and one day become her mate.

  11. BookLady

    What a fascinating book! I would definitely like to find out more about Gwennore’s elfish family. The Woodsman is Sorcha’s fated mate and elfin hero.

  12. Gail

    The Woodsman is going to help Sorcha escape during a kidnapping according to the excerpt I read. Yes, I am sure we will meet Gwennore’s family and learn more about them. I think there may be an evil elf in the Circle of Five.

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