Spotlight & Giveaway: Ruff and Tumble by Lucy Gilmore

Posted June 11th, 2021 by in Blog, Spotlight / 34 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Lucy Gilmore to HJ!

Hi Lucy and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, Ruff and Tumble!


Please summarize the book for the readers here:

Thanks so much for having me on HJ today! RUFF AND TUMBLE is basically my version of a sports romance, which is to say… puppy sports. (Okay, to be fair, the hero is a professional quarterback, and I crack an inordinate amount of football jokes, but the dogs are the real stars here.)

In the book, pro quarterback Cole Bennett wants out of the game for good, but family and team ties are making the transition hard—not to mention the curse that’s been hanging over his team for twenty years. He plans to leverage Hailey Lincoln, a production assistant on the Puppy Cup (*coughPuppyBowlcough*) to get the PR needed to bow gracefully out. She’s been a long-time fan of Cole’s, but she refuses to give in easily. She only agrees if Cole adopts one of the puppies and uses his fame to help boost nationwide adoptions. A fun, sexy battle of wills ensues.

My editor calls the trope for this book Charismatic Charmer/Awkward Bean, which I think is hilarious. Instead of the more traditional Sunshine/Grumpy pairing, we have a heroine who can’t say anything without sticking her foot in her mouth and a hero so used to getting his own way that he’s thrown for a loop when none of his usual tactics work.

“Agreed.” He extended a hand and held it out to her. She didn’t take it right away, eyeing his fingers like they were snakes. “If you don’t want to shake on it, we can always seal the deal with a kiss. You know I’m good for it.”

Her hand slipped into his with a speed that would have done his coaches proud. She shook and released his grip just as quickly, as if afraid lingering would lead to something more.

“It wasn’t that bad, was it?” he asked, only half joking. “I won’t do it again if you don’t want me to, but I’ve never had any complaints before.”

She released a chuff of air that bordered on a snort. “Of course you haven’t. Who would critique the great Cole Bennett to his face?”

A week ago, he might not have known how to respond to that question, but he knew the answer now. Especially since she hadn’t forbidden him from trying again. “You.”

The oh-so-familiar color started to mount to her cheeks, but something stopped her telltale blush before it reached all the way. With a toss of her head, she said, “You may have a tendency to lose too many yards behind the line of scrimmage, but I will say this for you, Cole Bennett. You know your way around a kiss.”

There are so many things I love about RUFF AND TUMBLE (family shenanigans! a high-profile man brought to his knees!), but the dogs are by far my favorite characters. Three fun facts about the canines that appear in this book:

  • Philip, the skittish, neurotic pit bull puppy who gets put in Cole’s care, is based off my own pit bull Molly (pictured below). Molly passed away over three years ago, but she was our baby for over fifteen years. When we adopted her from the shelter, she was scared of everything: plastic bags, wind, the entire kitchen. She’d been pretty badly abused prior to us getting her, but instead of becoming mean, she was the sweetest, most gentle darling ever. Nothing beats that pit bull smile!
  • Bess, the pregnant foster dog in Hailey’s care, is a golden retriever at my publisher’s request. They said that no breed looks better on a cover (or is as universally adored) than a golden. You’ll find lots of them in my books for that very reason. (Also, they’re freaking adorable.)
  • For some reason, I’m really bad at naming dogs in books. I usually end up asking my family and friends to choose the names for me. So if you don’t like what you read, it’s not my fault! Blame my kid!
Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: A print copy of Ruff and Tumble by Lucy Gilmore


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: The two dogs I own right now are both Akita mixes, and although they have yet to be featured in any of my books, I love them to death. If you have a dog (or have plans to get one someday), what’s his/her name? (Fair warning: I might end up stealing the good ones!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book Info:

This sweet, funny, wonderfully escapist contemporary romance takes a winking view at the year’s most anticipated sporting event: Puppy Football.

As a production assistant for the Puppy Cup, Hailey Lincoln knows all things puppies and football. She also knows all things Cole Bennett, star quarterback for the Seattle Lumberjacks and sexiest man alive. But years spent cheering for Cole from the sidelines never prepared her to meet his famous winning grin—or his unexpected plea for help.

Cole’s entire life revolves around football, but that’s not the future he wants. He’s in a bind: if he leaves the spotlight, he risks disappointing his team, his fans, and his incredibly tight-knit family. He needs a bit of good PR to help him out, and Hailey (and her puppies) are perfect for the job.

But winning at puppy football is only the start. If Hailey really wants to win—the game, the man, and the family she never thought could be hers—she needs to pull out all the stops. And Cole, who’s spent his entire life playing a game, has to realize that losing football isn’t nearly as catastrophic as losing the woman he loves.

Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | BAM |

Meet the Author:

Lucy Gilmore is a contemporary romance author with a love of puppies, rainbows, and happily ever afters. She began her reading (and writing) career as an English literature major and ended as a die-hard fan of romance in all forms. When she’s not rolling around with her two Akitas, she can be found hiking, biking, or with her nose buried in a book.

34 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: Ruff and Tumble by Lucy Gilmore”

  1. Mary Preston

    My neighbor has a large chocolate poodle called Ralph. He’s beautiful.

  2. Nicole (Nicky) Ortiz

    My dogs names were Tramp, Skippy and Lexus
    My older brother had a dog named Hershey and now has two names Sox and Stella
    My younger brother has a dog named Kaiya and Cash

    Thanks for the chance!

  3. Diana Hardt

    No, I don’t have a dog but my brother has a border collie named Sella.

  4. Karina Angeles

    A pug named Lily Steel and a rottweiler mix named Cupcake Chicken Nugget.

  5. Texas Book Lover

    I have three puppers: a five year old harlequin great dane name Bear. He is 165 pounds and is gentle as can be, well except when our neighbors daughter brings over her 5 chihuahuas, then you can find him galloping back and forth playing with them. It’s absolutely hilarious!

    Next is our Ruby Girl, who is a four year old shepherd mix that my oldest daughter found as an abandoned puppy on the side of the road when she was home visiting and ended up not being able to take back to Washington with her. She was covered in flees and had a stomach full of grass. We put up flyers and contacted everyone we knew but no one claimed her. She is not only now Alpha of the pack but also a cuddling lap dog.

    And last but definitely not least is our 11 month old golden lab Theo. Friends of friends of ours were giving them away, unfortunately way to young at 6 weeks, so he as some separation anxiety and HATES kennels. As long as you leave him in the back yard with the other dogs he’s fine, but if you put him him in a kennel he will hurt himself and get sick, even if you are there. It is good that we have one and half acres for them to play on. When he is inside he ALWAYS wants to be with you. My youngest daughter and I are used to it because we are home all day, but my husband works outside the house and it drives him crazy when he gets home and Theo is SOOOO excited to spend time with him. Theo is also our only pup that absolutely loves to play ball or frisbee. He’ll wear you out asking to play…well mostly my husband cause he can through it the farthest!

  6. Glenda M

    We’ve had 2 golden retrievers during our marriage named Ranger and Bounder. Ranger (Mr Ranger) had cat siblings named Yogi and Booboo. We’re currently without a dog but will get another golden probably this fall.

  7. Teresa Warner

    Growing up we had a poodle named Brandy and a cocker spaniel named Whiskey!

  8. Kay Garrett

    Our 16 1/2 year old chihuahua furbaby’s name is Snickerdoodle. When he found us, hubby and I were clowns. I love to bake, hubby loves cookies and my clown name was Cook E. Lady. So our baby had to have a cookie name. Hubby’s favorite cookie is Snickerdoodle so the name was easy peasy.

    He has been a ray of sunshine from day one. He was my Dad’s constant companion for the first 6 months. When Dad went to his heavenly home, he went to live with Mom for companionship. After 6 months, she said he was ready to come home. When Mom came to live with us with Alzheimer, he was the one she never forgot as he laid by her side. Life would most definitely be empty without him in it. He may now be on insulin shots twice a day, have arthritis in his hind legs, be virtually blind from cataracts and very hard of hearing, but he’s still the best thing in our lives.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  9. erinf1

    I have an 11 yo beagle/German Shorthair Pointer named Samuel Edward… only used when he’s naughty. But, ooh the variations… Sammie… Sam Sam… San San (from my dad)… Sam Man… Sannie Doo… Sammie Bananee… he answers to all! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  10. rkcjmomma

    Harley is 13 years old and lab pit mix hes a sweet rescue we found during bike week in daytona beach florida and a sweet 7 year old applehead chihuahua named Gigi and shes my furbaby princess and a 3 year old chihuahua weenie dog girl named Sadie who is my daughters dog and shes a silly one

  11. Patricia B.

    We have had 10 rescue dogs over the years. Our first was a beagle mix, Noli. She graced our home for 17 years. Next was a black lab mix. We were missing our beagle and our son was 10, so time for another one. Our daughter worked at a vets at the time and they came in to work on e morning to find a box with mom and 8 pups about a week old. By the time we got there, they had been picked up and taken to the animal shelter. We fostered the litter until they were old enough to adopt out. We had one “foster fail,” a sweet female. Our son named her Olivia, after Oliver Twist the orphan. She was with us for 17 years. We fostered many more litters and single dogs for several years. The last litter was 5 two day old puppies whose mother had disappeared. Bottle feeding was such fun. We had our second “foster fail” from that mixed terrier litter. She looked a lot like a black Cairn Terrier. Our son named her Marley, after Bob Marley. She was with us for 15 years. We have had a couple beagles (Annie and Susan), a border collie (Stitch) that just showed up to play with the girls and never left, and 2 pit bulls (Abby and Lucinda). We were up to 4 dogs at a time for quite a while. We are down to just one now, Lucinda. She is a pit our son’s friend found beaten and thrown into a ditch. She is a sweet dog, 10 now, but did have a few aggression issues with smaller dogs, especially around food. We had the lab, border, terrier and one pit at the same time. The second pit came after the border collie was gone. Now that she is an only, her temperament has leveled off even more. All of our dogs have made it to at least 10. We are thinking Lucinda needs a playmate to get her up and moving, but aren’t sure. We are definitely out of the puppy stage and would do geriatric dogs, but… Their care is expensive and it is so hard to take them to the vet when it is time for them to cross over the rainbow bridge. We may look at fostering again. It is so rewarding and you can keep them if it works out.

  12. Terrill R.

    We have an English Springer Spaniel. HER name is Reggie. Not my first choice, but the breeders named all the puppies unofficially and my daughter started crying when we were picking names. She said, “Her name is Reggie!!” So we kept it.

  13. joab4424

    I don’t have a dog right now but had several in the past. My favourite one was Tia, an Australian Shepard. She was our pet so we didn’t care that she was a herding dog. But that came in handy when she would run the deer out of the horse’s field. And I never had to worry about where my children were because she made sure they didn’t get into trouble. With 100 acres to roam, that could happen.