Category Archives: Blogging

2018 Reflections and New Beginnings

2018 Reflections and New Beginnings

 

Hi, readers! Wow, what a year! 🙂

If you’re a loyal follower, then you know I do a New Year’s Eve post every year. With the coming year brings a time of renewal – an opportunity for second chances, and even new beginnings. After a particularly difficult period in our lives, we often think about what it might be like if we ever had the chance to start over.

So today, I’m listing a bunch of books that encompass the ‘new beginnings’ theme.

How apropos for the new year, right? Let’s get started…

‘New Beginnings’ Romances

 

books2read.com/u/47Z7N7

[Disclaimer: These are simply suggestions compiled from titles I found on Goodreads. I have neither read nor reviewed them.]

These books look great, right? Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments at the end of this post.

Also, I’d like to give a BIG shout out, a mega thank you to all the authors, writers and companies that contributed to this year’s guest posts, features and giveaways! Thanks for all your hard work with writing and giving us a chance to see your books featured here on ILRB. ♥

Listed below are the links to all of our posts from 2018.

Character/Author Interviews

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/exclusive-interview-with-author-nermin-bezmen-plus-historical-romance-kurt-seyt-and-shura/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/a-character-interview-with-trini-from-jasons-awakening-plus-a-chat-with-author-remy-marie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/03/exclusive-interview-with-author-suzanne-jefferies-plus-erotic-romance-watched-and-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/a-character-interview-with-mason-from-arresting-mason-plus-a-conversation-with-author-amber-daulton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/a-character-interview-with-darryl-from-blessed-plus-a-conversation-with-author-maggie-blackbird/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/08/exclusive-interview-with-author-karina-bartow-and-a-look-at-contemporary-romance-forgetting-my-way-back-to-you/

 

New Release/Book Features

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/new-release-feature-saving-him-by-author-bry-ann/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/pre-order-release-feature-captive-by-author-jenny-lynn/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/book-feature-the-maze-effect-finding-mr-right-by-author-majel-jay/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/new-release-feature-never-retreat-by-author-bonnie-mccune/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/27/new-release-feature-undercover-siren-by-author-ellen-mint/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/book-feature-erotic-romance-aurelius-by-author-jessika-klide/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/book-feature-the-milanese-stars-by-author-pamela-q-fernandes/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/new-release-feature-dark-romance-even-at-your-darkest-by-author-aj-love-and-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/pre-order-release-feature-ya-sweet-historical-romance-laras-story-by-author-diane-merrill-wigginton/

 

Film/Music Features

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/special-film-feature-forever-my-girl/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/special-music-feature-christopher-ferguson/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/22/special-film-feature-twisted-threads-steamy-romantic-thriller-by-kaylin-mcfarren/

 

Blog Tours

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/blog-tour-feature-the-boy-next-door-by-ann-anders/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/01/blog-tour-feature-hell-yeah-kindle-world-tour-presented-by-sable-hunter-2/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/blog-tour-feature-vegas-gambler-by-adriana-kraft/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/22/blog-tour-feature-love-at-solace-lake-series-by-jana-richards/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/blog-tour-feature-the-starling-by-ellie-masters/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/24/pre-release-blog-tour-feature-tempted-by-the-viscount-by-sofie-darling/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/blog-tour-feature-tempted-by-the-viscount-by-sofie-darling/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/blog-tour-feature-military-romantic-suspense-threat-of-danger-by-dana-marton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/blog-tour-feature-contemporary-romance-collection-vengeance-is-mine-by-kat-henry-doran/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/14/blog-tour-feature-contemporary-romance-love-at-rincon-point-by-j-haney-and-s-i-hayes/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/blog-tour-feature-mm-paranormal-romance-boxed-set-weapons-of-redemption-by-saloni-quinby/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/blog-tour-feature-contemporary-romance-true-by-ann-everett-plus-cool-contests/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/blog-tour-feature-mm-shifter-romance-wolf-around-the-corner-by-aidee-ladnier/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/blog-tour-feature-erotic-romantic-suspense-besotted-by-madison-michael-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/blog-tour-feature-holiday-paranormal-romance-one-of-a-kind-christmas-by-lexi-post/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/blog-tour-feature-erotic-romance-moonlight-moet-by-madison-michael/

 

Blog Awards

http://blog.feedspot.com/romance_book_blogs/ (#33)

http://blog.feedspot.com/novel_blogs/ (#73)

 

Personal Book News/Reviews

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/new-release-this-week/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/09/free-book/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/02/its-here/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/guest-author-marie-lavender-creating-the-other-world/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/a-radio-interview-on-thorne-and-cross/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/free-paranormal-romance-trr-year-end-slash-party/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/winter-loves-a-treat-mega-book-giveaway-and-500th-anniversary-post/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/16/upon-your-return-by-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/27/vote-at-the-critters-readers-poll/ (You can still vote for this one!!)

 

Giveaways

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/09/free-book/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/blog-tour-feature-vegas-gambler-by-adriana-kraft/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/03/exclusive-interview-with-author-suzanne-jefferies-plus-erotic-romance-watched-and-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/book-feature-erotic-romance-aurelius-by-author-jessika-klide/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/blog-tour-feature-tempted-by-the-viscount-by-sofie-darling/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/blog-tour-feature-military-romantic-suspense-threat-of-danger-by-dana-marton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/blog-tour-feature-contemporary-romance-collection-vengeance-is-mine-by-kat-henry-doran/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/blog-tour-feature-mm-paranormal-romance-boxed-set-weapons-of-redemption-by-saloni-quinby/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/blog-tour-feature-contemporary-romance-true-by-ann-everett-plus-cool-contests/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/blog-tour-feature-mm-shifter-romance-wolf-around-the-corner-by-aidee-ladnier/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/blog-tour-feature-erotic-romantic-suspense-besotted-by-madison-michael-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/free-paranormal-romance-trr-year-end-slash-party/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/blog-tour-feature-holiday-paranormal-romance-one-of-a-kind-christmas-by-lexi-post/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/blog-tour-feature-erotic-romance-moonlight-moet-by-madison-michael/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/winter-loves-a-treat-mega-book-giveaway-and-500th-anniversary-post/

-Authors represented in the big giveaway:

K.C. Sprayberry, Vina Arno, Leslie Hachtel, Maggie Blackbird, Debbie De Louise, David Russell, Bry Ann, Lance and James Morcan, Devika Fernando, Remy Marie, Tanya W. Newman, Tina Donahue, Fiona Tarr, Palvi Sharma, Viviana MacKade, Diane Merrill Wigginton, CJ Warrant, Amber Daulton, Penny Estelle/P.A. Estelle, Carol Ann Kauffman, Kenneth Sumerford, McKenna Dean, Seelie Kay, Beverly Ovalle, Skye McNeill, Raegyn Perry, Alice J Miller, Jenny Lynn, Sofie Darling, Carole McKee, Bonnie McCune, Young (Bernard Foong), Marie Lavender, Cleo Scornavacca, Sable Hunter, Virginia Babcock, Madison Michael, Vicki-Ann Bush, Lisa Doughty, Theresa Sederholt and Lilly Christine.

 

Blog Hops & Personal Romantic Thought Posts

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/a-lovers-vow-a-poem/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/guest-author-marie-lavender-creating-the-other-world/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/aching-heart-a-poem/

 

Guest Posts

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/you-complete-me-a-guest-post-by-romance-author-bry-ann/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/a-singles-guide-to-surviving-this-valentines-day-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/tips-on-getting-a-romantic-partner-a-gift-for-valentines-day-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/the-fiction-fact-on-writing-about-love-guest-post-by-author-khaled-talib/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/six-surprising-ways-to-communicate-better-with-your-partner-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/unique-yet-perfect-date-ideas-that-wont-break-the-bank-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/five-things-everyone-should-know-about-dating-a-single-parent-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/03/addressing-anxiety-during-tough-times-with-the-help-of-talkspace-a-guest-post-by-talkspace/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/how-to-design-a-camping-trip-for-the-summer-that-will-please-your-romantic-partner-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/how-will-facebooks-dating-service-work-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/23/why-giving-flowers-shouldnt-just-be-for-holidays-and-apologies-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/twenty-romantic-fall-date-ideas-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/06/city-of-love-romantic-things-to-do-in-paris-a-guest-post-by-erica-fleming/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/15/top-historical-romance-books-we-cant-stop-reading-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/why-you-should-read-at-least-one-romance-novel-in-your-lifetime-a-guest-post-by-lady-silver/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/unique-and-romantic-date-ideas-for-those-crispy-winter-days-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

 

What Does Romance Mean to Me? Series Feature

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/29/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-bonnie-mccune/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-c-l-donley/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-katherine-mcintyre/

 

Heroes & Heroines Series Feature

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/heroes-heroines-special-feature-character-mason-harding-from-arresting-mason-by-amber-daulton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/heroes-heroines-special-feature-character-avery-beta-hero-from-finder-keeper-of-my-heart-by-vina-arno/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/16/heroes-heroines-special-feature-character-kieran-blackmore-from-captivating-melody-by-katherine-mcintyre/

 

Poetry

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/a-lovers-vow-a-poem/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/aching-heart-a-poem/

 

Well, I hope we’ve given readers some new novels to find, as well as fascinating romantic posts to glance over.

In other news, we may start offering book reviews in the future here on the I Love Romance Blog. Don’t get too excited yet and email me, though! A reviewer has reached out to me and when the details are finalized, I’ll put a page up with our review policy, dedicated solely to that service. So keep checking back! 😉

In the meantime, I’m always willing to help out with book features, new release features, author and character interviews, and other types of posts to promote your work.

I hope you have a wonderful, prosperous new year, and it leaves you healthy and content! 😀

And, as always, happy reading! ♥♥♥

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Filed under annual, Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Holiday, Love, Message, New Beginnings, Readers, reflections, Romance, Second Chances

Blog Tour Feature: Moonlight & Moet by Madison Michael

.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨ NEW RELEASE¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨

Can the hottest man around melt this ice queen’s heart?

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Madison Michael, an author I met during my journey! Congratulations on your new contemporary erotic romance! :)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for authors!

Plus, here at the I Love Romance Blog, we love discovering new romance novels!

Let’s hear a little about this great book…Nice!

This is the blurb for Moonlight & Moet, B&B Billionaire Romance Series, Book 2:

Can the hottest man around melt this ice queen’s heart?

When her husband publicly cheats on her, Leigh Dobbs trades her humiliating reputation as an ice queen and a hometown that shuns her for the unknown of rural North Carolina. Taking over a small bed and breakfast, Leigh sets out to restore it, her dignity and her life. Excited at the prospect of adding more rooms and a full-service restaurant, Leigh’s big plans encounter the brick wall that is Caleb Rausch. Sparks fly even as Caleb votes no on the planning commission, crushing Leigh’s dreams.

Handsome powerhouse Caleb Rausch is a man on a mission, expanding his huge corporation without encroaching on the small town where it resides. His commitment to his products, employees and historic preservation are unwavering. What’s lacking is his commitment to one woman. Caleb is the most eligible bachelor in three states, dating celebrities and models, but never settling down. Until now.

Even as Caleb forces Leigh’s expansion plans on hold, the couple moves full-steam-ahead on their relationship, unable to resist the mutual attraction. So why, after a steamy night together, does Caleb disappear for weeks? Has Leigh put her heart out there again, just to be played?

Will the magic of a moonlit night be enough to kindle their love or will Caleb’s constant disappearing act prevent him from melting this ice queen’s heart?

Madison is giving us a peek at her hot contemporary romance, Moonlight & Moet, today.

Great cover!

Book Info:

Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Release Date:  November 14, 2018

Here is an excerpt.

Exhausted and anxious to return home, Leigh wasn’t paying attention as she stepped out the door of the small law office at the end of the row of storefronts. Leigh went down hard on the cement, her skirt flying up, her brochures flying. A shook-up Leigh assessed the damage and caught her breath. Her dignity was beyond repair.

Leigh was brushing the dirt from her palms, scraped from trying to break her fall when a shadow blocked the sun, and a large, dirty hand, attached to a long, strong arm reached down to assist her. Leigh’s gaze followed the flannel covered forearm up over a muscled bicep and continued until her scrutiny was arrested by a pair of coffee-colored eyes surrounded by the deep laugh lines of an outdoorsman. He was staring past the expanse of creamy thigh and more than a hint of her magenta panties. His expression told Leigh that he liked what he saw.

Leigh clumsily scrambled to lower her dress, gather the brochures fluttering in the breeze, and take the proffered hand all at once. Several pamphlets escaped down the sidewalk, but she quickly forgot them as she was lifted like a feather against the mountain’s chest and too swiftly placed gently on her feet. She winced when the blisters made contact with the hard surface beneath them and the lumberjack buried behind a grizzly bear beard reacted.

“Injured, little lady?” he asked with concern. “Let me help you get you to urgent care.”

“That won’t be necessary,” Leigh responded, smoothing her dress to cover her embarrassment and interest.

“Then at least let me help you to your destination.”

“I was just heading to my car, down the way,” Leigh tried to gesture with the arm the man still held. “But, I’m fine. Really. I can take it from here.”

“Fine, indeed,” Grizzly Adams replied in a sarcastic, deep baritone.

He was tall, covered in a subtle sheen of dirt and sweat, but Leigh quickly realized the shirt under her fingertips was the finest wool and his boots, caked in an inch of dried mud, were Scarpa Phantom 8000’s. He was a very wealthy Grizzly Adams, and a dedicated hiker too. Those boots were featured in the mountaineering store up the road for over $1000, way too rich for Leigh’s blood.

He stood still, his smile twitching as he caught Leigh checking him out. Then, without warning, he swept her into his arms, carefully adjusted her dress to modestly cover her behind while managing to slide his hand all along them. The man was a pro. Leigh couldn’t fault his effort, even as she realized he was copping a feel. Carrying her easily, he began taking long strides in the direction she had pointed.

“This is completely unnecessary,” Leigh repeated more than once, interspersed with “put me down, please” and “Really, I can walk.” He ignored them all, speaking right over her repeated and flustered objections.

“You took a nasty fall there. People are always missing that last step.” His face was too close and too handsome. He smelled of the outdoors – pine, sweat and sunshine. It was intoxicating.

“Are you sure you wouldn’t prefer I took you over to the doc’s office or the urgent care?”

“Just to my car, thanks,” Leigh requested, done trying to argue with the hard-muscled man. Who was she kidding? It felt incredible to rest against his broad chest, his arms holding her securely and his minty breath blowing on her face. He may have been filthy, a bearded mountain man who was certainly not her type, but he was sexy as hell. Leigh wished her car was miles away.

“Will you be okay to drive, Miss…”

“Leigh.”

“Miss Leigh,” he repeated, caressing her name. “Are you sure you’ll be alright to drive?”

Leigh bobbed her head in the affirmative. She loved resting her head against the power of this man’s chest, secure in his firm grip. Leigh looked up at him from under her eyelashes, admiring what she saw. She could tell that under the caked on mud and scruff, he was handsome, with a cocky smile and those laughing eyes. She wished she could see more.

“This is my car,” she finally motioned. “Thank you, Mr…”

“You’re certain you can drive?” he asked in his slow, smooth drawl, ignoring her question.

“I’m not going far,” Leigh reassured him. “I’ll be fine.”

The mountain man placed Leigh on her feet, holding her by the waist as if waiting for reassurance that she was solidly standing. Leigh looked down as if to assure herself both feet were there and with a deep breath made eye contact. The man was a head taller, broad and powerful, and staring at her as if he wanted to devour her. A hot flush filled Leigh’s cheeks, and she extended a hand to shake his.

“Well, thank you again. You certainly turned out to be my knight in shining armor today,” she jested.

“Well, Miss Leigh, then I guess I get my knight’s favor,” the man responded with a devilish grin. Leigh was still registering his warning when he lowered his head to hers and placed his warm lips upon her cooler ones.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07KKFCGGK

OMG! Love it. ♥♥♥

Ooh…what a sexy tale!😉

Madison is giving away a cool prize package worth $75. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter. Please use the link below to enter. Don’t forget you have a chance to enter every day, so be sure to visit all the stops on this tour. You may find those locations here.

Giveaway Link:  https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/801c221b81/

Thank you for telling us about your new erotic romance, Madison! I know I can’t wait to read this hot novel! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this awesome book! Or add it to your Goodreads list!

And catch the other book in the series!

Will Love Seal Their Deal?

These look great! ♥ We’ll be sure to check them all out! Don’t miss the giveaway!

Author Bio

Madison Michael is an indie publisher, blogger and the author of the Beguiling Bachelor Series as well as the novella Desire & Dessert, from her sizzling B&B Billionaire Bachelor series.

A Chicago native and hopeless romantic, Maddy was raised on Chicago culture, fairy tales, great literature and swashbuckling movies. Maddy employs that history, writing steamy contemporary romance novels set against the sumptuous backdrop of Chicago’s elite society.

After receiving a BA in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, Madison abandoned her writing to find her way in the corporate business world. Daughter of a librarian, it was inevitable that she would return to the world of books.

Maddy writes from high above Chicago where she can stare at its gorgeous skyline or the shores of Lake Michigan surrounded by feline assistants. When she is not writing, Maddy can be found lost in a book, fighting for the rights of the mentally iil or dining on Chicago’s famous cuisine. Hot dogs and pizza, anyone?

Author Links

Website:  https://www.madisonmichael.net/

Maddy’s Romance Madness:  https://www.madisonmichael.net/category/mrm/

Maddy’s Tours and Treats:  https://www.madisonmichael.net/category/tours-and-treats/

Blog:  https://www.madisonmichael.net/category/maddys-blog

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/madisonmichaelromance

Twitter:  https://www.twitter.com/madisonmichael_

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Madison-Michael/e/B01EVUGG6G/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15221601.Madison_Michael

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/madison-michael

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/114505272634052451507

 

Thank you for telling us about your great book tour! I know readers can’t wait to get ahold of this sizzling romance!

Thanks again to Madison and her blog tour sponsor!

We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥ Have a great weekend! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Event, Fiction, Gifts, giveaway, new release, Readers, Romance, steamy, Writing

Unique and Romantic Date Ideas for those Crispy Winter Days: a guest post by Dating Connections

Unique and Romantic Date Ideas for Those Crispy Winter Days

 

Whether you and your beau have been going out for a long time or you’ve recently met through a BBW dating site, you should take the time to plan your dates and spend quality time together to deepen your intimacy and strengthen your bond. You might learn new things about each other, have fun in unexpected ways, and warm up together under a blanket when you get home from a night on the town.

Created by Freepik

Sure, you can skip the night on the town and go straight under the covers, but if you’d rather leave the house you’ll find our top winter date ideas guaranteed to offer you fun, silliness, and adventure.

Siyuanhua, Flickr

#1: Go Ice Skating

A winter-only activity, ice skating can be incredibly romantic because you can sort of dress up for the occasion and wear a pair of white or predominantly white wool mittens, a white pom-pom beanie hat, and huge scarf and a pair of skinny jeans in which your legs will look longer and leaner thanks to your skates!

Created by Freepic.diller – Freepik.com

You’ll look like a snow angel, your partner will be absolutely smitten with you, and you’ll finish the date off with a cup of warm tea or hot chocolate sprinkled with cinnamon – the most romantic winter spice ever!

Mint Owl, Unsplash

#2: A $20-Dollar Gift Challenge

You’ll probably have a few gift challenges this winter, such as Secret Santa at work or with your nieces, but how about you do a $20-dollar-gift challenge with your partner and exchange the gifts over a romantic dinner or when you get home from the ice skating rink? Either make him a present or think long and hard what kind of a funny, sweet or useful gift you could get him for less than 20 bucks, tax included.

Kari Shea, Unsplash

#3: See a Live Show

Another date idea usually associated with the holiday season and Christmas time, catching a live show can be relaxing and entertaining with just a touch of posh.

Peter Lewicki, Unsplash

See a musical that’s on all year long and has exceptional reviews, a famous Christmas ballet, like The Nutcracker, or head to Cirque du Soleil and have dinner or desserts afterward at a café nearby. You can even go Christmas shopping before the show, but try not to look like a bag lady at the theater when you walk in with 5+ shopping bags.

Created by Freepik

#4:  Check Out the Holiday Lights Together

Brave the cold together and go for a walk through the downtown area to check out all the holiday lights or cruise around in a warm car if it’s insanely cold outside. This is your fall walk-in-the-park-to-enjoy-the-colors equivalent that doesn’t have to take all evening but it can still warm your hearts before you head home to have a few cups of eggnog in front of the fireplace.

Rawpixel, Unsplash

#5: Date Plus Hot After-party

Let him plan your date for next weekend even if he’s not particularly good at it and can’t make it past a dinner and a movie, and you plan the after-party. Book a room at a posh downtown hotel, check in at the appropriate time, and come back to the room following your date, especially if the hotel hot tub is open until the wee hours!

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#6: Book a Trip Somewhere South

You don’t ever get to appreciate the Dominican like you do in January or February, especially if you live in those areas where you don’t see +1 in the weather forecast for weeks on end. Swap your heavy parkas for bathing suits, dry winter indoor air for a summer breeze, and instead of driving through town actually step outside and take a long walk on the beach at sunset.

Syd Sujuaan, Unsplash

#7: Hit an Escape Room

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Do you and your beau work well as a team? Test your teamwork skills at a local escape room, and see how the two of you get out of a hairy situation together. You can make it even more interesting and hit that hot tub later but only if you make it out in time!

Sounds like quite a bit for us to do during the winter months!

Inna Lesyk, pexels.com

Created by Bristekjegor – Freepik.com

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great tips! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/datingconnections/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BoyanUlv

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great week!

1 Comment

Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Guest Writer, Holiday, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, travel

Why YOU Should Read at Least One Romance Novel in Your Lifetime: a guest post by Lady Silver

Why YOU Should Read at Least One Romance Novel in Your Lifetime

 

When people hear the term ‘romance novel’, usually they think of some cheesy story where true love triumphs at the end and it fulfills someone’s secret desires.

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However, there is so much more to these stories than just “sappiness” and “smuttiness.” They deal with hard truths about the world and give those who are struggling to find the good in humanity hope. In fact, everyone should read a romance novel at least once in their lifetime because of the following reasons.

  1. Life Lessons

During the course of certain romances, characters have to undergo character development so that they can appreciate the love that they have found. On the way, they learn certain life lessons that can be applied to the real world. An example is in The Darkest Craving by Gena Showalter.

The main character has to deal with sexual abuse that caused him to feel worthless and “less-than.” On the way to recovery, he realizes that what happened to him isn’t his fault and that it’s okay to cry over the wrongs done to him. Even the female character has to overcome her own forms of abuse and by the end, they are stronger as individuals and as a couple.

Carly Rae Hobbins, Unsplash

There are other lessons that can be taught through these novels such as being compassionate, being loyal, never giving up, et cetera; all of which can be applied to the real-world.

  1. Relationship Advice

Obviously, there will be some relationship drama in a romance novel. However, the journey through the relationships can provide insight into real-life dramas. For example, if the main character finds out that they have a child by another woman in the midst of his current relationship (which happens in almost all of Pippa Grant’s books), then the story deals with how the love interest adapts to becoming a step-parent and how the main character adapts to becoming an actual parent. This scenario is played out countless times throughout the media and in real-life, so it’s good to see a book tackle how to approach this situation.

Guillaume de Germain, Unsplash

Also, everyday struggles like not knowing how to act in front of in-laws and sharing space are all struggles anyone in a serious relationship will deal with, and all are tackled within romance novels.

  1. Comic Relief

Some romance novels have an underlying humor to them. Just like movie goers flock to the cinema in order to see the new Kevin Hart movie, readers love romance novels for their comedy. Humor can bring a happy release at the end of a hard day, joy to a horrible situation, and can lighten a dark mood.

Vanessa Serpas, Unsplash

Romance novels have a lot of funny lines, such as, “I guess I’m the sole monolinguist. Which either means I know a single language, or I’m committed to eating one box” (The Master by Kresley Cole).

They also have hilarious situations like a Greek god popping out of a book naked to the surprise of a modern-day Louisiana woman (Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon).

Either way, the comedic scenarios in these books help lighten their reader’s day. Also, they’re just plain entertaining.

  1. Ideas

Of course, there are plenty of steamy scenes within romance novels, and I would be lying if I said that readers just read them for the above reasons. There is satisfaction in reading a good sensual scene between fictional characters. Sometimes, it’s not the “sex” that makes these scenes enjoyable but the tension between the two that readers love. Not only does it give fuel to fantasies, it also gives ideas for real-life partners who want to “spice it up” in the bedroom. There’s a reason why Fifty Shades of Grey did so well, and it isn’t the plot.

Stokpic, pexels.com

Sure, these scenes bring in readers, but they aren’t the only reason for reading.

Yuri Efremov, Unsplash

Romance novels give real-world advice on how to handle love and life while still being entertaining and wholesome.

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Too right!

Thank you, Lady Silver, for offering some great suggestions to non-romance readers, and reaffirming the fascination for loyal fans! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

I am an anonymous blogger who explores how the romance genre impacts the real world while also deconstructing all elements of romance.

Links

Website/Blog:  www.ladysilverfeather.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LadySilver9

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/103970957583905254546

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great weekend!

2 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Books, Event, Faith, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Stories

Blog Tour Feature: One of a Kind Christmas by Lexi Post

.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨ NEW RELEASE¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨

The price they must pay for their chance at forever…just might be too high.

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Lexi Post, an author I met during my journey! Congratulations on your new, steamy holiday paranormal romance! :)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for authors!

Plus, here at the I Love Romance Blog, we love discovering new romance novels!

Let’s hear a little about this great book…

Nice!

This is the blurb for One of a Kind Christmas, A Christmas Carol Series, Book 4:

For her to love him, he must face a spirit, an archangel…and himself.

The spirit of Cameron Douglas has totally screwed-up…again. Now, he has to fix his mess in one night with the help of his best friend and somehow encourage his widow to move on.

Holly Douglas is anguished that this is the last Christmas she’ll be visited by her late husband, Cameron. For three years he’s sent her the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and they‘ve helped her cope with her loss. But now all that ends, and she doesn’t understand why he must push her away.

Ethan Stewart has been in love with Holly since Cameron’s death, but she isolated herself from everyone, including him. Then something changed, and he was welcomed back as her friend. But he wants more— to love her openly, and most of all to make her happy again. Though he loved his best friend like a brother and will do anything for Holly, as he’s pulled into the spirit world, he discovers the price they must pay for their chance at forever…and it just might be too high.

Lexi is giving us a peek at her hot Christmas-themed paranormal romance, One of a Kind Christmas, today.

Great cover!

Book Info:

Genre:  Holiday Romance, Steamy Paranormal Romance

Release Date:  December 5, 2018

Here is an excerpt.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath before opening them. “I miss Cam. It was as if we were two parts of the same soul. I lived vicariously through him even while I worried constantly about him. It was one of the reasons I was constantly warning him to be careful. I was afraid to lose him.”

Ethan looked away and rubbed the back of his neck. “And then I did.”

She felt as if her heart were breaking all over again, not for her but for Ethan. He was so good to her. He even loved her. And she…

“Ethan, I understand.”

His gaze returned to hers. Though she couldn’t see his face clearly, the limited light reflected off the sheen in his eyes.

She placed her hand on his cheek and rising on her toes brushed her lips across his in a feather-light kiss. She only meant to give comfort, but a spark of something else hit her heart.

She remained there, her lips close to his but not touching, wanting more but afraid to ask.

Ethan remained absolutely still, his breath mixing with her own.

He loved her but would never push her. It wasn’t his nature. She could walk away right now, but to what?

Nothing.

She stared at his mouth in the dim light. She wanted to live again. She wanted to feel again. Tilting her head, she pressed her lips more firmly against his, moving her hand down his stubbled jaw and behind his neck to pull him closer.

Ethan’s lips opened, and she slipped her tongue between them.

As his arms came around her, it was like waking from a dream. A slow burn flowed through her veins as he took control of the kiss and explored her mouth with his tongue. It was an unhurried exploration and heat built in her belly. When he pulled back to lick the underside of her top lip, she took her first deep breath. As she exhaled, tingles spread throughout her body.

He kissed the corners of her mouth before leaning his forehead against her own. “Ye catch my blood on fire, lass.”

Purchase Links:

Universal reader link:   https://books2read.com/u/mvKdGj

OMG! Love it. ♥♥♥

Ooh…it sounds like a sexy, seasonal tale with a touch of paranormal! Right up my alley!😉

Lexi is giving away a $25 gift card. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter. Please use the link below to enter. Don’t forget you have a chance to enter every day, so be sure to visit all the stops on this tour. You may find those locations here.

Giveaway Link:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/801c221b84/

Thank you for telling us about your new paranormal holiday romance, Lexi! I know I can’t wait to read this hot novel! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this awesome book! Or add it to your Goodreads list!

And catch the other books in the series! For example, book one, Pleasures of Christmas Past, is on sale for just 99 cents!

Jessica is assigned a hot, Scottish mentor who confuses her heart. But will he protect her soul?

Woo hoo! 😀 Fanning myself over here.

Oh, don’t forget books two and three…

Desires of Christmas Present

Sometimes not knowing is better…for everyone.


Temptations of Christmas Future

He set out to prove the future was far worse than she imagined. Now he wished it wasn’t.

These look great! ♥ We’ll be sure to check them all out! Don’t miss the giveaway!

Author Bio

Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she’s read, studied, and taught wonderful classics.

But Lexi’s first love is romance novels so she married her two first loves, romance and the classics. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a sensuous experience with a “whole lotta story.”
Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

Author Links

Website:  http://www.lexipostbooks.com/

Newsletter:  https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/c1w1g3

Blog:  http://www.happilyeverafterthoughts.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lexipostbooks

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LexiPost

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/1IEL2cc

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/6915542.Lexi_Post

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/lexipostbooks/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lexipost77/

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lexi-post

Don’t miss new releases:  https://books2read.com/author/lexi-post/subscribe/1/16171/

 

Thank you for telling us about your great book tour! I know readers can’t wait to get ahold of this sizzling holiday-themed paranormal romance!

Thanks again to Lexi and her blog tour sponsor!

We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, coming soon, Event, Fiction, giveaway, Holiday, new release, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Sale, steamy, Time Travel, Tour, Writing

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Katherine McIntyre

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. In 2017 and 2018, I asked both authors and romance readers to come to me with their responses to this big question: “What Does Romance Mean to Me?”

I was genuinely interested in what made us all tick, what continued to draw us to the genre. Why do we love “love” so much? I wanted to dig deep into the heart of each person. And I’ve gotten some incredible feedback. Today is the next post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Katherine McIntyre, who has some things to say about the question at hand.

In real life, romance has meant different things to me at different times in my life. There’s the brand-new love sort of romance, that addicting thrill of hope and possibility that comes with initial attraction, or that flash of compatibility.

JD Mason, Unsplash

A lot of people get stuck in this cycle, as there’s an addiction to the intensity of the feelings, which can be hard to sustain for the other sorts of romance.

Then there’s the long-term sort of relationships, the goal for many of those early loves, the hope that they mature into something like this. Except one of the things I didn’t realize until I entered into one myself was the amount of work it takes to sustain those relationships. As the adrenaline rush from the beginning fades, then comes the real work. Life gets in the way, and time can dull that initial thrill, which is why I had to learn to continue to feed the romance, to schedule dates and make sure we spent quality time together.

Jelleke Vanooteghem, Unsplash

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In finding that other sort of romance, the long-lasting kind, it’s not a flash in the pan, but instead a steady hearth stoked over time.

Except the thrill of early relationships, of finding ‘the one’ is seductive. There’s a giddiness that can’t be replicated, the feeling of stepping to the edge of a precipice and daring to jump.

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Which is exactly what led me to reading and writing romance.

Ben White, Unsplash

Debby Hudson, Unsplash

Through the genre, I’ve experienced love through the eyes of thousands of different characters, which has led to a deeper understanding of why I fell for the genre in the first place.

Romance is this beautiful, healing thing. It’s hope. It’s a force of good, when there is so much sadness and pain in the world. In my Tribal Spirits series, I’ve written romances between a hero and heroine who are equally stubborn and had never managed to find commitment before, and a later book features a couple who both believe themselves too broken to ever find love.

The sheer amount of variability allows me to keep diving into the genre again and again, because as no two individuals are the same, every romance is unique.

What I adore about romance isn’t just the bringing of two people together, but how the relationships impact their individual communities, their families. When people unite, they can become something stronger than when alone, and seeing those individuals bolstered and supported often offers a glimpse of their best selves. Romance becomes a source of power, of strength, and of growth.

Bruce Mars, pexels.com

For me, romance has always meant hope.

Too right! ♥♥♥
Thanks for stopping by with your inspiring guest post, Katherine! Lovely to have you here! 😀
 
Guest Bio

Strong women. Strong words.

Katherine McIntyre is a feisty chick with a big attitude despite her short stature. She writes stories featuring snarky women, ragtag crews, and men with bad attitudes–high chance for a passionate speech thrown into the mix. As an eternal geek and tomboy who’s always stepped to her own beat, she’s made it her mission to write stories that represent the broad spectrum of people out there, from different cultures and races to all varieties of men and women. Easily distracted by cats and sugar.

Author Links

Website/Blog:  http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/kmcintyreauthor

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1816179461992109/

Twitter:  https://www.twitter.com/pixierants

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00J8U4VNU

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6473654.Katherine_McIntyre

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/103953984130384189045

Newsletter Sign-Up:  http://eepurl.com/duIScb

Publisher:  https://bit.ly/2B6QKGa

 

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

So, I put the question to you as a reader today as well. What does the word ‘romance’ really mean for you? Is ‘romance’ a driving force in your life? How have your beliefs about romantic relationships informed your own relationships? Perhaps seeing other couples (parents or friends) were some kind of influence. By reading romance novels, does that help to reaffirm things for you?

If you’d like to participate in this special feature, please contact me at marieannlavender@gmail.com and I’ll schedule a spot for you. As you can tell from the schedule on the right hand side of the page, we’re always booked fast, but don’t hesitate to join in! You do not need to be a writer or author. We want to hear from anyone. We’d love to get your take on how you feel about romance, and why you keep reading our books! ♥♥♥ 

Thanks again, Katherine, for giving us your take on what romance has come to mean to you. Lovely! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for a romance blog tour feature on November 27th! Yay! 🙂

Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 🦃

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Faith, family, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writers, Writing

Top Historical Romance Books We Can’t Stop Reading: a guest post by Dating Connections

Top Historical Romance Books We Can’t Stop Reading

 

Whether you’re in a biker dating rut and need some way to keep things interesting, or are a bookworm that’ll read anything and everything, today we present a short yet comprehensive list of historical romance books that are a true hit with their readership!

Javier García, Flickr

Mostly set in England, these novels will keep you on your toes much like Pride & Prejudice – you know Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth have to get together in the end, but it’s all so complicated that it seems impossible! ♥

#1: Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

The story of Claire Randall is set in the Scottish Highlands just after WWII. A combat nurse just back from the war, Claire is reunited with her husband, but soon finds herself as a Sassenach – an ‘outlander’ in a war-torn Scotland when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Claire discovers that her only chance to stay safe depends on Jamie Fraser, a handsome young soldier who steals her heart. She must find her way through the world of danger, passion, and violence as she is trying to reconcile two irreconcilable lives. One of the most popular historical romances (with a time travel slant) on Goodreads with a score of 4.22 out of 5 based on more than 665,000 ratings, Outlander is an explicit book that uses descriptive, energizing and highly engaging writing.

#2: Westcott Series by Mary Balogh (Someone to Love)

The death of Humphrey Westcott, Earl of Riverdale, leaves behind a fortune and a secret he had kept for so long – a daughter no one ever knew he had. Anna Snow, who grew up as an orphan, learns her father was the late Earl of Riverdale, and she stands to inherit a fortune, but her siblings want nothing to do with her. When the new Earl’s guardian becomes interested in Anna, he assists her with the transformation from an orphan to a lady, stepping in to rescue her only to find himself vulnerable to the feelings he has kept hidden for so long. Someone to Love is the 5th book in a series, but good as a stand-alone as well as evidenced by its rating of 3.8 on Good Reads and plenty of praise.#3: The Hathaways Series by Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight)

When Amelia Hathaway discovers she’s about to inherit a fortune and find herself in London society, she realizes that tending to her two younger siblings is far easier than navigating the ways of the aristocracy. Matters are further complicated when she falls for a tall, dark, and handsome Cam Rohan, who’s unfathomably rich and tired of society’s petty restrictions. He offers only friendship when Amelia reaches out to him for help, but both are soon tempted by the desire that blindsides them both. Mine Till Midnight scored 4.08 out of more than 50,000 ratings on Goodreads, and it’s perfect for anyone who can’t resist love at first sight!#4: The Brothers Sinister Series by Courtney Milan (The Duchess War)

Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled girl who tries hard not to get anyone’s attention. The last time she was at the center of things she had to change her name to escape her scandalous past. Hence, when a handsome duke comes into town, the last thing she wants is to catch his eye, which is precisely what happens. But Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is no fool, and quickly realizes there is much more to Minnie than she lets on, and once things get heated he discovers that this little shy girl could prove to be more than he can handle. Beloved by its readership with a Goodreads rating of just under 4, The Duchess War is a must for anyone looking for steamy historical fiction.#5: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

No list on the most popular historical romance books would ever be complete without Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. One of the most popular novels in this genre, Pride and Prejudice tells a story of incredibly stubborn Elizabeth Bennett, one of five sisters who must marry rich to secure their status, who meets just as incredibly arrogant and rich beyond measure Mr. Darcy. Filled with humorous dialogue, this story of courtships draws readers in with inconceivable force, and delivers a very satisfying finale to the delight of all. With more than 2 million ratings on Goodreads, and a score of 4.25 out of 5, even its old English in which it is written can’t take away from the intrigue and the narrative that are absolutely breathtaking.

#6: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Although depicting some historical accuracy peppered with a little drama for good measure, Phillipa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl is a compelling historical novel about two sisters fighting for the affection of the same man, Henry the VIII. When Mary is set off to his court at a tender age of 14, she catches the eye of the powerful king and is soon swept off her feet thanks to his genuine infatuation with her. However, Mary soon realizes she’s a pawn in her family’s scheme to move up the social ladder, and as the king’s interest in her fades, she must step aside for her best friend and mighty rival – her sister Anne. With 4.05 out of 5 on Goodreads, The Other Boleyn Girl is highly praised by its readers for making history so much fun and addictive to read.

Yuri Efremov, Unsplash

Wow! What a great sampling of historical romance books!

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great tips for our reading lists! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/datingconnections/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BoyanUlv

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great weekend!

1 Comment

Filed under Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Gifts, Guest Writer, Historical, Historical Romance, Message, Readers, Research, Romance, romantic ideas, Stories, Time Travel

Exclusive Interview with author Karina Bartow, plus a look at contemporary romance, FORGETTING MY WAY BACK TO YOU!

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. We’re doing something a little different. This is our third official author interview on this romance blog! I know in the past, we did character interviews then switched over to the author’s take on it, but this approach is a bit unusual.

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with the talented author of contemporary romance, Forgetting My Way Back to You. Please join me in welcoming Karina Bartow to ILRB! 🙂

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Karina. Please have a seat.

Author Karina Bartow:  Hi, Marie! I really enjoy your blog and your love of romance.

Marie:  Aww, thanks! It’s such a pleasure to see you here!

I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.

Obviously, we know your occupation as an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?

I know I’m overloading you with questions, but we’re really interested in finding out more about you…

Karina:  I’m a full-time author, and I write love stories and mysteries. I enjoy it very much, but you’ll have to ask my readers if I’m good at it!

Marie:  (Laughs.) I’m sure your books are great, at least judging by what I’ve noticed so far. 😉

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Karina:  My parents have been married for forty-five years, and I have an older sister. She and her husband have an eleven-year-old son, so I enjoy being an aunt.

Marie:  Nice!

Let’s try something else, okay?

If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Karina:  It was a simple ranch when I was born, but we added a second story and turned it into a Cape Cod style. We live in the country with an acre of land, which gives me good space to drive my prized possession, my golf cart.

Marie:  Awesome!

Do you have any hobbies, Karina? What do you enjoy doing?

Karina:  Like any girl, I love to shop, but I have a sporty side, too, and I’m a big baseball fan. I also really enjoy listening to music and reading.

Marie:  Wow! Such an eclectic blend of pastimes!

Shopping is my Achilles heel. If I have any spare money, I can get myself into trouble 😉

So…what is your greatest dream?

Karina:  To have a family of my own.

Marie:  Oh, me too! I can’t have biological children, so when my fiancé and I get married, we’ll have to get a little creative.

The closest I’ve come so far is adopting kitties. 😛

But I think life has a way of surprising you just when you need it the most. ♥

Let’s try another question.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

Karina:  I wish I could be someone who, as they say, doesn’t sweat the small stuff. I don’t know what holds me back. Probably age and circumstances.

Marie:  I know what you mean…I wish I could be a bit more casual about everything. I can get too serious about the stuff going on in my life.

Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Not to pry too much, but who was your first love?

Karina:  Dean Cain in his Lois & Clark days. Needless to say, it was unrequited!

Marie:  (Laughs.) OMG, how did I forget that? I was nuts about him when I watched that show. Those dimples were to die for! 😉

Let’s try something else now.

What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Karina:  Frankly, my disability. I was born with Cerebral Palsy and have tried to make the most of my life, but it affects every part of it. I don’t wallow in that, but I can’t say I’m thankful for it, either.

Marie:  Oh, no! 😥 I’m so sorry you have to deal with that, and I can’t blame you for getting discouraged. I have epilepsy, and I’ve definitely had to shape my life around that disability.

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Karina nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Karina:  To be a published author, and of course, I did achieve it!  It hasn’t been what I expected in that it’s not as glamorous as Hollywood makes it look. Unless you’re well-known, you don’t get a nationwide book tour or a call from Oprah. Authors have to put in a lot of time marketing their work, but I’ve come to enjoy that.Marie:  True enough! I don’t think most people realize how difficult it is to make a name for yourself in the publishing world.

So, who is your role model, Karina?

Karina:  My parents.

Marie:  Lovely! I know my folks were definitely an influence on my outlook with regards to how ‘love’ should be, and I can blame them for my interest in writing romance. At least a little. (Chuckles.)

Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Karina:  Nobody truly likes everyone they meet, but I try to be polite, regardless. Some test that, though!

Marie:  For sure! But I like your attitude…we need more of that in the world these days. 😀

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Karina:  To be faithful to God.

Marie:  All right.

So, tell me something, Karina. What is your greatest fear?

Karina:  Clowns!

Marie: 😯 Wow, I didn’t see that one coming! Though I guess they are a bit freaky.

I want to try something different next, Karina… 

Readers, let’s shift somewhat and get the author’s perspective on one of her characters.

We’ve heard rumors about the heroine of your story, Charlee Stoll. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Karina:  Charlee works as a physical therapist at a senior center, where her dad lives. She moonlights as a trainer for her alma mater’s football team. At age 29, she’s still single, quietly holding a torch for her high school sweetheart.

Marie:  Nice! I love second chance stories!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Karina:  She’s loyal and devoted to her family.

Marie:  Commendable, of course!

And what are her greatest weaknesses?

Karina:  She can act in haste, which sometimes leads to disaster.

Marie:  Okay…

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of her favorite foods?

Karina:  Brownies, coffee, and ice cream—anything sweet!

Marie:  (Chuckles.) Oh, I definitely have a sweet tooth too!

How about another question?

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Karina:  She’s open-minded and trusts people, often giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Marie:  Not such a bad trait!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Karina:  I hope they’ll like her because of her mix of innocence, tenacity, and caring nature.

Marie:  Works for me!

Now that we have a real taste of Charlee, we have a few questions for you as well as the author, about the writing process of your book.

What first gave you the idea for Forgetting My Way Back to You?

Karina:  Forgetting My Way Back to You is comprised of parts of my first book, which was about a woman who developed selective amnesia after a head trauma. As young as I was—eighteen—when I started, I’d already experienced some events I wouldn’t have minded forgetting, just to be free of that baggage. Thus, like many stories, it began with the elusive ‘What if?’.

Marie:  Gotcha! Many of my stories launched that way.

Interesting how the muse works, huh?

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Karina:  Pantster all the way! I enjoyed improv in high school drama class, and that’s how I write. It’s all extemporaneous. I think on where I am in the story throughout my day and sit down with a generic idea of where I want to go, but I never know the details until I’m in the moment.

Marie:  Sounds like quite a ride!

How about another question?

I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Forgetting My Way Back to You or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?

Karina:  It took me nine years from the time I started it to when I signed the contract, so it was a long process. As far as writing it went, I couldn’t find satisfaction in it for a good while, and I think my maturity level played into that. I didn’t have enough experience to write good conflict, so it kept coming out as pretty childish. All in all, though, I wouldn’t change it because I learned a lot about myself and my craft.

Marie:  I know what you mean. My first historical romance took me nine years to write too, and I definitely matured as a woman throughout the experience. 

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Forgetting My Way Back to You appears to be. Congratulations on your new release, since it just came out in mid-October!

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this modern romance by Karina Bartow, a talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for Forgetting My Way Back to You:

When Charlee Stoll loses all memory of him, Hunter Jett knows his mistakes led to this moment. Though tempted to give up on their future together, he’s determined to use the twist to right his wrongs.

Through charm and deception, can he win back her love…before she discovers the truth?

Karina is also offering us a peek of the book!

After finishing off the Tuscan chicken and other treats from the buffet table, Hunter and Charlee wandered outside to look at the estate’s breathtaking gardens. In the last seconds of daylight, the colorful flowers’ bright petals stood out under the darkening sky. The staff members around them were busy deconstructing the sites where the two ceremonies had taken place and didn’t notice them at all. A few other guests strolled the grounds, too, but on such a large property, they crossed paths just once with each of them, leaving them alone for the most part.

They came upon a stone bridge, which no doubt had played a part in many weddings and photos over the years, and the two stopped to observe the scene. With the sun dipping out of sight, the stars came out in full display. The lit-up mansion softened the aura of everything that much more, showcasing the late Pennsylvania summer at its best.

“I didn’t think it could look any more beautiful,” Charlee mused aloud.

Hunter wanted to tell her that he thought the same every time he saw her, but he feared it would intimidate her.

“How’d you know about this place, anyways?”

He contemplated his reply, again worrying his honest answer would force her away, but he took the chance. “My grandfather took my grandma here on their first date, and because he’d heard the story of how it swept her off her feet, my dad gave it a try with Mom. Considering that my grandparents stayed together for over sixty years and my folks just celebrated their thirtieth, I figured it’d be a good choice. It beats taking you to a dance where everyone’s pushing us apart, at least.”

“Yes, that’s where we went wrong,” she joked. “But can crashing a wedding set us up much better?”

Hunter chuckled and shrugged his shoulders. “Well, if my family’s tradition doesn’t work out, maybe your dad’s motto will come true: ‘It isn’t about the way you started…’”

“‘It’s the way you finish that matters.’” She completed the proverb her dad had drilled into her head since her days of learning to walk.

He gave her a considering look, trying to discern how far he should take the romancing, before he extended his hand. “Speaking of which…”

She’d resisted taking his hand the whole evening, but she relented, letting him lead her back towards the carriage house. He veered off to the side instead of going into the building, where they could hear the opening words of ‘Wonderful Tonight’ playing inside. He took hold of her, and they danced under the moon the way they had years earlier.

“Was any of this an accident?”

“I may have made a request to the deejay,” he remarked with a grin. “Other than that, though, I could only hope you’d agree to come here with me. That said, I don’t think you and I being together can ever be called an accident.”

History repeated itself once more when he leaned in to kiss her. The same sparks flew, but this time, they glowed brighter.

Wow! I’m curious to find out what happens next in this book… 😀

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/bWzOPq

Publisher:  https://www.vinspirepublishing.com/forgettingmywabacktoyou

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this contemporary romance! ♥♥♥

About Karina Bartow

Karina Bartow grew up and still lives in Northern Ohio. Though born with Cerebral Palsy, she’s never allowed her disability to define her. Rather, she’s used her experiences to breathe life into characters that have physical limitations, but like her, are determined not to let them stand in the way of the life they want. Her debut novel, Husband in Hiding, was released in 2015 and was well-received by readers. She’s excited about her new love story, Forgetting My Way Back to You, available now from Vinspire Publishing. She may only be able to type with one hand, but she writes with her whole heart!

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the fascinating Karina Bartow, here are some author links:

Website:  http://www.karinabartow.com/

Blog:  https://karinabartow.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKarinaBartow

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KarinaBartow

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Karina-Bartow/e/B076L4FCGV/

https://amzn.to/2RyZIz9

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15045283.Karina_Bartow

Google+:   https://plus.google.com/117505120642906778021

Once again, I want to thank Karina Bartow, the brilliant author of this romance, for stopping by!  It was a pleasure to have you here! Readers, check out her work!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, characters, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Interview, new release, Readers, Romance, Second Chances, small town, Writing

Romantic Things to Do in Paris: a guest post by Erica Fleming

City of Love: Romantic Things to Do in Paris

 

Apart from being known for its quite severe history of liberation and revolutions, Paris is an everlasting inspiration for wanderers.

Cédric Klei, Unsplash

No matter how trivial it is, the City of Love has always been and will always be a place of romanticism drawing sweethearts from all over the world to taste the cheeses, hear an accordion playing some ballads and, of course, see the Eiffel Tower.

Louis Pellissier, Unsplash

 

Notwithstanding, Paris is not a one-sightseeing city since the possibilities of having a lovely weekend are vast there. For this, here is a list of top cherry-picks of what to do in Paris that will definitely turn a vacation into a fabulous journey.

Flickr, pexels.com

#1 Observation from the Tower

Even though it’s a heck of a difficulty to get to the top because of the myriads of tourists dashing from all over the globe, paying a visit to the famous Eiffel Tower is a must. The 324-meter beauty gazing upon the ville will give you the most memorable views of the whole trip.  It’s also nice to have a glass of cold sparkling wine in one of the floors’ bars. Furthermore, the peak of the tower is surely the most romantic place to propose or, simply, to take a selfie with almost 20 thousand lights in the background.

#2 Joy at the divine temple

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, located in the district of Montmartre, is not only a church that welcomes thousands of worshipers annually but also a place of fabled romantics and outstanding beauty. The temple is situated on a hilltop unfolding its staircase alongside a funicular downwards to the city. White domes with their gracious ornaments and chapels outside and 18th-century frescos inside are sightseeing wonders.

Bui Anh, Unsplash

The district of Montmartre is known to have been a home to many artists and painters starting with the end of the 1700s. Here, one can find a museum established in a mention that centuries ago belonged to an impressionist Renoir and realist Valadon. In the backyard of the museum, there are installations of famous artists.

Then, head to the place des Abbesses where you can find a chart on how to say ‘I love you’ in more than 200 languages and is located on the Wall of Love decorated by modern Parisian artists Baron and Kito.

#3 Romanticism again

Follow a path of tourists a bit to the South, and you’ll find another museum, Museum of the Romantics. This ordinary house with green window shades and a spiral staircase exhibits works of G. Sand, A. Scheffer, L. Hersent, A. Clesinger and many other romanticists.

TripSavvy

Delacroix’s works can be found in his former studio and now an exhibition place, The National Museum of Eugene Delacroix, such as ‘Chios and Missolonghi’ or the ‘Death of Sardanapalus’.

Paris tourist office

If you’re a fan of Notre Dame then the mansion of Victor Hugo is definitely a place to visit for you as well. The place is easily reachable through Parisian narrow alleys and marketplaces where they sell antiques and curiosities.

#4 Secret trails

There are shops and curiosity stores on the right side of the Seine that will absorb you with the 1800s nostalgia.

Dan Novac, Unsplash

In Passage Verdeau one can find worn out by time book library and manuscripts, whereas in Passage Jouffroy there are miniatures and toys.

Passage des Panoramas is the first place in the district to have been given gaslight in the early 19th century. There, at this marketplace, there is a vast range of collectables and antiques (portraits, post stamps or cards, tokens of honor, fabrics, etc.) that will motivate a change of your heart and make you buy at least a wee thing.

Paris tourist office

Also, if you are willing to try a typical cuisine of the 19th century, then head to Le Grand Vefour, where such foods can be discovered.

#5 Following the path of thousands

Canal St-Martin is for sure one of the most impressive places in Paris. It penetrates the city’s main streets and is embroidered with dozens of metal and stone bridges built in the 19th century.

Expedia

You may enjoy the view of one of the bridges open upwards in order to let a ferryboat through, or you can take one of the boats and have a ride in the canal. There, you can either enjoy a traditional French meal or open up a bottle of Champagne as you pass by crowded by tourists streets.

Huy Phan, Unsplash

Or, if water is not an option for you, it’s always possible to get a few things to go in Pink Flamingo and gaze upon the ville on a bridge.

#6 Just the two of you          

In case, if a ferryboat is too crowded and you’re looking for some time to be alone, then it’s always possible to rent a two-person boat at Bateaux Parisiens. Moreover, it’s a fascinating experience to come by the famous garden of Jardin Shakespeare, which accommodates most of the greenery (trees and flowers) from the Bard’s works.

TripAdvisor

#7 The Dinner

It’s inexplicably difficult to find a decent food court in Paris since the majority of places are either fast-food or too fancy for just two tourists. Nonetheless, Les Ombres has an amazing view on the Tower and a beautiful angle for pictures; whereas La Tour d’Argent offers a spacious rooftop for hot nights out, where you can contemplate about your future plans.

Noblesse & Royautés

More romantic than a restaurant with a view on the Eiffel Tower or a rooftop with an open bar can be only a restaurant refurnished in the best fashion of the 17th century with a labyrinth of candles, Le Coupe-Chou. Also, it’s a must to visit Bouillon Racine as a destination of a lovely night out.

TripAdvisor

Or, Le Frank that is located next to the famous Art Centre set up by the Louis Vuitton Foundation.

All in all, Paris is not a one-sightseeing city, such as the Eiffel Tower, but of thousands of places that fable one’s heart, making them wonder if this day can last for good. So pack your bags and prepare for the most extraordinary journey of your entire life!

Pedro Lastra, Unsplash

Nice! These are wonderful tips for those who are thinking about taking a trip to the City of Love. I don’t think you can go wrong here!

Thank you, Erica, for such great advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

My name is Erica Fleming. I support the effective adoption of new technologies or ways of working within writing by communicating complex information in an informative and inspiring way. My works you can find here. I’m fond of writing articles for students, helping with essays.

Links

Website:  http://sutree.com/

Blog:  http://freebooksummary.com/category/blog

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/EricaFl67487069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great week!

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Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Research, Romance, romantic ideas, Tour, travel

Twenty Romantic Fall Date Ideas: a guest post by Dating Connections

20 Romantic Fall Date Ideas

 

Although summer just technically ended and some days the heat is so unbearable that it feels like true fall will never come, it will, and soon enough! That’s why we’ve decided to compile a list of the best fall date ideas in case you find love online just in time for the most romantic season of all!

Kelly West Mars, Flickr

#1: A Walk through the Park

As obvious and cliché as this may seem, a walk through a nice park in the early fall before it starts to rain and gets too cold is incredibly romantic.

Leah Kelley, Pexels.com

If you’d rather go for something more creative, go get some dessert together afterwards.

Flavio Shibata, Unsplash

#2: Beer Tasting

In the spirit of Oktoberfest, fall is the season to go beer tasting. Lots of breweries out there offer this service as part of constantly improving patron experience, so pick one that you’ve heard nice things about, but keep in mind that nobody should really get drunk!

Elevate, Unsplash

#3: Camping

If you’ve got a weekend off, use it to go camping this fall and spend time with your date under the stars! Pick early fall dates to avoid the rain, bring a sweater or two, and enjoy each other’s company in the woods.

pxlpusher, Flickr

#4: Visit a Town Nearby

Make it a day trip or another weekend getaway, and go and enjoy the last bout of nice weather before the winter sets in. Take photos and soak up the stunning fall outdoors.

Created by Senivpetro – Freepik.com

#5: Go to a Sports Game

Most sports seasons start in the late summer or early fall, making it the perfect time to get a couple of tickets, and make a date out of cheering for your favorite team.

Andrew Gearhart, Unsplash

#6: Go Apple Picking

‘Tis the season for apple picking, and this is not only romantic but it’s highly helpful to the farmers nearby. Check out the orchards in the area, and go celebrate the arrival of the fall and its favorite fruit.

Carolyn V, Unsplash

#7: Make Apple Pie Together

Once you come back with loads of apples, bake an apple pie together!

Created by Freepik

#8: Take a Cooking Class

The fall is a great time to learn a new skill, and why not do it together! Master a few seasonal recipes, and work on improving your cooking with your partner.

Created by Rawpixel.com – Freepik.com

#9: Go Hiking

If there are scenic areas nearby, then fall is the perfect time to go check them out and make a date out of it! Breathe in the cooler air, and watch the seasons change before your eyes.

Roberto Nickson, Unsplash

#10: Brunch at a Local Pastry Shop

The smell of freshly baked dough in the fall is exhilarating, and it’s a perfect introduction to pumpkin and cinnamon season. Check out the new seasonal goodies with your partner on a Sunday morning.

Created by Freepik

#11: Picnic in the Countryside

Stock up on fresh bakery goodies, warm blankets, and a few hours of free time, and go have a romantic picnic with your loved one in the country. Or, you can always put your new cooking skills to use and prepare your own picnic food together.

Jelleke Vanooteghem, Unsplash

#12: Snuggle by the Fireplace

When the air gets crisp and the days get shorter, it’s time to turn on the fireplace and enjoy a romantic night in. Pick up a bottle of wine, put on your favorite wool socks, and chill by the fireplace until the wee hours of the night.

Created by Freepik

#13: Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Skip the grocery store this fall, and pick up your pumpkin directly from the source – a pumpkin patch! Make it a date to visit a pumpkin patch, and stock up on pumpkins to decorate.

Hide Obara, Unsplash

#14: Decorate Pumpkins

Decorating those fall pumpkins renews childhood memories, and it can bring you and your partner closer together as it evokes innocent feelings.

Bekir Dönmez, Unsplash

#15: Take a Long Drive around the Woods

Take a long drive with your partner in and around wooded areas and parks, and soak up the fall scenery as you snap photos and enjoy the silence, the smells, and the sights together.

Aaron Burden, Unsplash

#16: Visit a Haunted House

Robert Heiser, Unsplash

If you’re both into scary stuff, the fall and winter are the perfect seasons for visiting a local haunted house or taking a ghost tour, which plenty of cities offer, especially in old buildings or castles.

Cederic X, Unsplash

#17: Hit the Farmer’s Market

Fall is one of the richest seasons when it comes to fresh produce, and you should definitely take advantage. Shop till you drop one Saturday morning after breakfast with your sweetheart, and put your newly acquired cooking skills to the test.

Jordan Christian. Unsplash

#18: Watch a Scary Movie Together

Get into the Halloween spirit together by screening a few scary classics just in time for Halloween.

Created by Freepik

You might even get some costume ideas for this year’s party!

Tom Roberts, Unsplash

#19: Hit a Fall Festival

Every town gets rather festive in anticipation of the holiday season, and if there aren’t any fall festivities nearby, check out the area within a 100-mile radius to find a date-friendly event.

Dane Deaner, Unsplash

20: Go Horseback Riding

One of the last outdoorsy activities before the winter hits, horseback riding is not only romantic but it takes a certain level of stamina and an adventurous spirit. Plus it’s a perfect ‘excuse’ to wrap your arms around your partner.

Mohamed Hassan, Pixabay
Free background through Canva

Nice! These are awesome tips for those who need some help thinking of cool activities for you and your loved one this season. I don’t think you can go wrong here!

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/datingconnections/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BoyanUlv

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

Thanks again! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great week!

2 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Guest Writer, Holiday, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas