Category Archives: Contemporary

How to Design A Camping Trip for the Summer That Will Please Your Romantic Partner: a guest post by Dating Connections

How to Design A Camping Trip for the Summer That Will Please Your Romantic Partner?

 

There are various ways to show your partner how much you care, and putting together a little camping trip for the summer to sweep her off her feet may be just the thing. You’ll have your work cut out for you if she likes the outdoors, but today we offer little tips and tricks if your partner is a city girl who can’t do without the electricity and a full bath. You may be infatuated by cougar dating, or she may be just fresh out of college.

Created by Jcomp – Freepik.com

Whatever the case is, camping will give you a chance to show you’re capable of taking care of her, and below we offer advice on how you can excel when presented with the opportunity deep in the woods.

#1: Put Your Thinking Cap On

People who’ve never gone camping have no idea how much work it entails actually.

pxlpusher, Flickr

Setting up the tent, tying the tarp to protect it from the rain, organizing all the ‘kitchen’ stuff so that the food is accessible, making meals using nothing but a few raw ingredients and the fire that you have to keep going, and finding the time actually to enjoy the trip isn’t easy at all.

Kyle Glenn, Unsplash

What you’ll need to do to impress your partner is let your boy scout skills shine. Bring an extra umbrella because chances are it will rain at some point, don’t forget an extra flashlight when the batteries in hers die, bring an extra tent in case yours gets wet, and don’t forget a few additional layers of clothing even though it’s summertime.

#2: Feed Her And She’ll Love You Forever

If your camping trip lasts for more than a few days, just bringing food from home is not going to cut it. You’ll have to prepare meals, and ‘survive’ on what you have, which might not be your partner’s forte.

Lukas Budimaier, Unsplash

If you’re a good cook, there has never been a better time to show it. Use the campfire to cook meals, stop by the local market to get fresh fruit, bring plenty of fresh water, and don’t forget to throw away the scraps after you’re done.

Bring a small fridge or two to store the food, and make sure not only that she never goes hungry, but also that she eats tasty, fresh meals to have enough energy for all the activities that go with taking a camping trip.

Created by Freepik

#3: Compromise with a Pop-up Camper or RV

Even if in theory they love the outdoors, most women out there tend to get pretty girly and may we say difficult when it comes to actual camping. If you think your girl would spend the entire trip trying to stop the insects from climbing up her hammock, using a pop-up camper or RV could be a great way to compromise and slowly introduce her to nature.

dimitrisvetsikas1969, Pixabay

KounG, Pixabay

Not even all experienced camping fanatics have RVs or campers parked in their backyards, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t rent one for your trip as the first step in helping your girl embrace the simple life out in the woods.

#4: Outdoor Activities Make The Trip

Created by Prostooleh – Freepik.com

Camping is all about swimming in the lake, going hiking, riding your bikes all day long, playing badminton, and taking a nap in the shade. Bring a few good books for her to read after lunch, and plan out your activities so that your days are filled, but she’s not beat by 6 pm.

Get up in the morning and go for a quick jog, have breakfast and give your body some time to digest it.

Created by Nensuria – Freepik.com

Go for a swim or a bike ride, and come back to your site when it’s time to prepare another hearty meal.

Take a nap after lunch and go hiking afterward, and sit by the fire and tell scary or romantic stories at night. If there are friends who’ll be joining you on your trip it may not be the most romantic of getaways, but it will be filled with laughter, shared memories, and lots of stories retold in the years to come, plus you’ll both get to enjoy all the camping stuff that much more.

Drew Farwell, Unsplash

Nice! These are some great tips for anyone who wants to introduce their partner to the idea of camping. You definitely need to take a lot into account with this type of venture, but in the end it’s worth the experience…

Take it from me. I used to go on camping trips all the time with my family as a kid.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such wonderful 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, and Happy Fourth of July tomorrow!

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

Blog Tour Feature: Wolf Around the Corner by Aidee Ladnier

¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨ NEW RELEASE¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨

Giving into his wolf’s need for love could risk the quiet life Frank has created for himself—and his heart…

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Aidee Ladnier, an author I met during my journey! Congratulations on your new MM 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…

Very nice!

This is the blurb for Wolf Around the Corner:

Frank’s family taught him that his wolf was dangerous, unwanted. Now his best friend’s brother wants him in bed and on stage. But giving into his wolf’s need for love could risk the quiet life Frank has created for himself—and his heart.

Settled in the small town of Waycroft Falls, Frank is content to be a lone wolf among the white picket fences and dollar book bins until he finds himself sniffing his best friend’s brother. Tom smells like hot apple pie and his Broadway smile has Frank lolling his tongue. But when the visiting actor learns Frank’s secret and plies him with hot kisses to get him to star in his play, Frank can’t help but wonder if Tom is only acting.

Tom ran away from family obligations to be a Broadway star. If he could make it there, he could make it anywhere…but he didn’t. Trudging home to Waycroft Falls to open his sister’s new performance space brings him face to face with a werewolf—a werewolf that would be perfect for Tom’s shoestring production of Beauty and the Beast. Staying in Tiny Town USA would be worth it if he can somehow convince the sexy wolf to expose his furry condition on stage and howl privately in Tom’s bed.

Wolf Around The Corner, a paranormal semi-finalist in Passionate Ink’s 2017 Sexy Scribbles Contest, is a full-length fairytale romance with a side of wolf shifter. If you like your romance with gorgeous men, humor, and small town magic, you’ll love Wolf Around the Corner! Buy your copy now and settle in to watch the drama unfold!

Ann is giving us a peek at her LGBT paranormal shifter romance, Wolf Around the Corner, today.

Great cover!

Book Info:

Genre:  Paranormal Romance, MM Romance, Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 3, 2018

Here is an excerpt.

The first thing he always did was take a large lungful of air. It reoriented him to the outside. His animal cataloged the smells—car exhaust, grass, tree pollen, and wait, a mouse skittering in the Dumpster out back. Frank’s urge to run built. He circled the apartments, looking for the storm drain near the landscaping wall. Inside him, his animal wiggled in excitement at the prospect of being freed. Frank shucked his clothes behind the wall and tucked them into the shelter of the pipe, out of view. Then he shifted, his hands lengthening, hair sprouting, and muzzle growing. His point of view shortened, now three feet from the ground as he blinked through the eyes of his wolf-like animal. Frank couldn’t stand still any longer. He sprang into the woods.

Frank ran, crashing through the underbrush and into the darkening shelter of the trees. He leaped over a shrub, felt the give of a sapling as he plowed through the brushwood. The animals and birds quieted at his loud, headlong dash, knowing he wasn’t of the forest, only disguised and playing at being a creature of the wood.

His paws skidded on a pile of old leaves. Frank almost lost his balance as he skipped up and over a fallen log. Around him, the scents of the forest all pushed in on him. Here a whiff of mold, there an astringent sniff of decay, everywhere the menthol of evergreen sap and wild herbs growing scattered on the forest floor.

Dry twigs snapped beneath his paws. His tongue lolled from his mouth, the fresh taste of the woods painting the back of his throat. The sun dipped below the horizon, the sky inking the tops of the trees. And Frank ran on until his limbs stopped, shaky and trembling. He collapsed onto a blanket of pine needles and leaves, moss and fungi cradling him as he panted.

As he caught his breath, the sounds of the woods lapped back around him. Insects and birds first. A harsh caw from a crow shrieked a hundred yards to his right. The chirp of a cricket sawed a few feet away. The rat-a-tat-tat of a woodpecker echoed above. And the still of twilight calmed him.

When he’d rested enough that his legs would support him again, Frank began the slow jog back to the apartments, letting his nose guide him through the darkening visibility of the woods. He could smell Mrs. Reynolds’s nighttime cocoa, and Mr. Reynolds’s liniment that stank of capsaicin. The lighted windows of the apartment building led him the last few feet, and he scurried up to the storm drain.

But his clothes weren’t there.

The sky darkened into night.

Frank knew Mrs. Anderson was out, but he could try to get the elderly Reynolds couple to buzz him inside. And hope they didn’t ask why he was naked trotting up the stairs.

Or he could stay in wolf form without a tag, which meant a night outside running from animal control and/or dodging every human that would mistake him for a stray dog.

Or wait, a third option. There was an oak that almost reached the ledge of his apartment window on the second floor. He never bothered to lock the window. Frank shifted back to human and sprinted across the yard.

He leaped for the lower boughs of the tree, grunting as the bark dug into the flesh of his palms. Frank swung himself up to straddle a branch, regretting it as the rough wood scraped his thighs. He crouched in the tree, awkwardly trying to shield his more delicate parts from the smaller whiplike twigs. He skirted around the trunk, grimacing as a low branch brushed a little too close to his groin. There. He was now on the side that faced the apartment house.

Frank balanced upright, his arms pinwheeling until he caught another branch higher up to steady himself. The leaves around him shivered on their stalks, the rustling loud. Please don’t let Mrs. Reynolds look out her window.

Using the taller branch as a guide, Frank placed one bare foot in front of the other and inched away from the security of the trunk. The limb beneath his feet shook as his weight tested its strength. He slid a foot farther out on the branch. It dipped, the leaves at the tip brushing against the side of his window. Just a few feet more.

An ominous crack sounded beneath him, and Frank froze. The branch popped again. It wouldn’t hold. He could make a jump for it. Frank swallowed hard. He should make a jump for it.

Frank jumped. And missed the house, falling into the azalea bushes.

Just as his hunky new neighbor from across the hall walked out of the apartment building and down the front steps.

Frank had seen Tom in the hall that morning, carrying boxes. Trying to be neighborly, Frank had introduced himself and offered to help. Tom had turned Frank down but flashed the whitest, most even teeth at him. Frank had seen nothing whiter outside of a movie theater big screen. They’d exchanged pleasantries, commented on the weather, and then gone their separate ways. Or rather, that was what Frank wished had happened. What went down was:

“Need help?” Frank barely got the words out when his new neighbor turned in the doorway. Frank froze. God, the man was gorgeous.

“Naw, man. I got it.” Tom shifted the box in his arms to hold out his hand. “I’m Tom Davidson.”

Frank wiped a clammy hand on his jeans and shook Tom’s hand. “Hot.” And Frank knew his mouth had disclosed the exact thing his brain was thinking. Idiot. Who said that to a guy he’d just met? A guy like Tom already knew he was hot.

Tom tilted his head as if he hadn’t heard Frank right. “Yeah. The temperatures are a little warm for this time of year.”

Frank didn’t dare correct him and kept his mouth shut, afraid he’d say something worse.

“Okay, well then, see you around, Frank.” Tom chuckled and continued into his apartment.

Meanwhile Frank beat it down the stairs, unsure how he managed not to walk into traffic as his mind ran over the exchange fail again and again.

So yeah. That was the less than stellar first impression he’d given Tom this morning. And now Frank followed that up by hunkering down naked in the azalea bushes.

“Are you okay?” The gleam from the safety light caught Tom’s dark gold hair as he tilted his head to peer over the shrubs. The shadows sank into his chiseled cheekbones. He looked like a brooding movie star ready to sweep a celluloid damsel off her feet.

Too bad Frank was a naked man trying to keep from exposing himself. Frank crouched down farther, making himself as small as possible, hoping the azalea’s pink blooms would distract Tom from looking at his hairy backside.

“I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?” Tom leaned closer. “Are you… Do you have any clothes on?”

Frank racked his brain for some reason he’d be naked and hiding in the bushes. “Um, I, uh, just got out of the shower, and I leaned too far out my window.”

“Oh my God. Did you fall from that height?” Tom glanced up to the second floor, to Frank’s closed window and then back down. “Do you need an ambulance?”

Frank sighed. This conversation was only getting worse. Cupping his hands over his privates, Frank rose from behind the bushes.

“I’m okay. Just need to get back inside. I have a hidden key if you can get me past the front security door.”

Tom’s eyes widened when Frank stood. Frank winced, sure he looked like one long scrape covered in leaves. He blew at the hair in his eyes. A twig dangled, caught in an auburn strand, but Frank was unwilling to expose himself to yank it out.

“Sure. Sure.” Tom fumbled for his key and opened the door. Frank half hopped over the acorns and chestnut burrs to slide past Tom. Tom wrinkled his nose as Frank passed. Good old wet dog smell. It always clung to him after a run in the woods.

Frank took the stairs two at a time to escape.

After a shower and shave—why did going furry always lead to needing a shave? The rest of his hair receded. Why didn’t his beard?—Frank spent thirty minutes in front of his bathroom mirror, trying to psych himself up to knock on Tom’s door and invite him over the next day for coffee or to watch football. He scratched behind an ear, feeling the healing scab from a graze he’d gotten when he’d fallen into the azalea bushes. Staring at his reflection, he tried to look earnest and approachable. He could do this. He had game.

“Hey, I know you don’t know many people in town, and I’m a loser, but would you like to spend time with me?” Frank made a face at himself. Probably shouldn’t label yourself as a loser.

“Yo, you want to watch football? No, how about basketball? Baseball? No? What about Mexican wrestlers?” Oh God, what if Tom doesn’t like sports?

“I ordered two large pizzas by mistake tonight, and I could use some help, or I’ll be gorging on pepperoni for a week.”

Lame. Frank’s own gaunt features stared back at him from the mirror. Who was he kidding? He’d always be the guy who lost the genetic lottery and ended up with the family curse.

Galen’s syndrome was rare, only affecting about one in 2,000, but well-known enough that most people had at least heard of it. The Greek surgeon Galen had coined the word lycanthropy to explain the shape-shifting curse that traveled down through a family tree. Like most recessive gene disorders, it only manifested when two genes were passed down to a child, leading early scholars to think the afflicted had been re-cursed or spared for a generation due to divine providence. It was only with modern medicine that curses were found to be attached to DNA, breaking and molding chromosomes like magical radiation. But despite better understanding of the disorder, the stigma remained, not helped by the occasional local television feature linking the disorder to werewolf mythology.

All Frank knew was the recessive curse gene made him even more different from his family. He’d already been pushing it when he came out as gay. Turning into a wolf at sixteen had been…well, more than his father and stepmother could handle. She wanted to protect the kids, she told him. He loved his half siblings, didn’t he? It wasn’t safe to have a wild animal around children.

It had gutted him. They turned him out of his own home. He’d been angry. He’d done something stupid, lashing out, snapping at his sister Robbie. It still hurt, remembering the tears on his baby sister’s face, her eyes wide and scared. Of him. It was then he knew his stepmother had been right. Dangerous animals didn’t belong in a family. So he’d left, traveling all the way across the state until he landed in Waycroft Falls. It had been hard that first year. There were a lot of adult things he still hadn’t figured out.

Like how to ask out a guy who he hadn’t known his whole life. Moving from one small town to another had been a bad idea. Frank bonked his head against the mirror, gazing down into the white porcelain sink. He rubbed at a stray hair that clung to the side.

But on the plus side, small towns meant he rarely needed a car. And he could shift and run if he needed. He should take his clothes with him.

Purchase Links:

Universal reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/4DlgQ7

Wow! Love it. ♥♥♥

Without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Aidee Ladnier, who has some things to say about the book at hand.
Hi, Aidee! ♥ A pleasure you could drop in for a brief chat.
Wolf shifters are very popular. In fact, there are thousands of books out there in this genre. Inquiring minds want to know…
How do you write a shifter story that stands out as distinctive and original? What will readers find in Wolf Around the Corner that’s new and exciting?
Aidee:  Hi! And thanks for having me on your blog. 🙂

This is a great question! Actually, the shifter book saturation issue is why I never thought I’d write a werewolf protagonist. I’ve read a lot of werewolf books and most of the shifter tropes like alpha males, the wolf pack in danger, and fated mates never appealed to me as an author.

But then I imagined a world where lycanthropy was treated more like a very rare medical condition. I renamed the malady Galen’s Syndrome, using the medical convention of naming a disease after the first person to describe it. In late antiquity, the Greek physician Galen described a patient with a ravenous appetite and other qualities of a wolf. If I made Galen’s Syndrome a condition that appeared in less than 1 in 2,000 individuals, it would classify it as a rare disorder and 80% of rare disorders have a genetic component. So I could keep a bit of the magic of werewolves; I made my shifter the possessor of a genetic curse. In other words, if someone is cursed with lycanthropy, the curse becomes a mutation passed down as a recessive gene. Therefore, although individuals could become carriers of the curse and still be normal, if someone gets the recessive cursed gene from each parent, they’ll be able to shift into a wolf.

So I have my werewolf, but I’m still not fond of the shifter tropes. Just to be contrary, I set out to make his story the opposite of all the shifter romance conventions. My shifter, Frank Braden, is insecure and awkward—the opposite of an alpha. He also doesn’t have a pack. In fact, he doesn’t have any friends with the same disorder and he’s even been asked to leave his family home because his father and stepmother are afraid he’ll be a danger to his half-siblings. He’s essentially, a lone wolf. And there are no fated mates in this universe. I love the idea of a fated mate, but if I personally have to go through the embarrassing and excruciating dating dance, I’m going to make sure my characters do too. I won’t give my protagonists any shortcuts to love.

I also made my werewolf the lead actor in a theatrical version of Beauty and the Beast. I’ve known several actors and the transformation scene for this particular fable has always been either to use a mask or a double to allow the main character to run off stage and take off their makeup. I thought a director might faint with joy at having a real life werewolf shift onstage during the transformation scene. Who wouldn’t buy a ticket to see that? Especially in a world where many people think werewolves are folktales. The play would be part sideshow and part theater. Which leads to a built-in conflict—because there’s a person behind that transformation, not just a spectacle to gawk at. I wanted to raise the moral question of how a director could both have an actor use a special trait without making them feel used. Where do you draw the line at exploitation and performance?

But, the book is still very light-hearted and sweet. I grew up in a small town and tried to put my favorite things about small towns in the fictional Waycroft Falls. From niche bookstores, to strange statues, and Founder’s Day bed races. Frank and Tom’s romance doesn’t run smooth, but it does skip along awkwardly to a hopeful beat.

Ooh…it sounds like a sexy, fun tale!

Thank you for giving us a glimpse into the writing experience of Wolf Around the Corner. 😉

Aidee is giving away a $5 Amazon GC, $10 Amazon GC, Ebooks from her backlist, and print books from her backlist. The winners will be chosen by Rafflecopter. Please use the RaffleCopter 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.

Link:  https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/801c221b56/

Thank you for telling us about your new MM paranormal contemporary romance, Aidee! I know I can’t wait to read this wonderful novel! 🙂

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

Author Bio

Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, believes that adventure is around every corner. In pursuit of new experiences she’s worked as a magician’s assistant, been a beauty pageant contestant, ridden in hot air balloons, produced independent movies, hiked up a volcano, and is a proud citizen scientist. A lover of genre fiction, Aidee’s perfect romance has a little science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.

Author Links

Website:  http://www.aideeladnier.com/

Blog:  https://www.aideeladnier.com/blog/

Tumblr:  http://aideemoi.tumblr.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AideeLadnier

Amazon Author Page:  amazon.com/author/aideeladnier

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6570769.Aidee_Ladnier

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/aideelad/

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/aideelad/

 

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

Thanks again to Aidee and her blog tour sponsor!

We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Giveaways, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, giveaway, Guest Writer, new release, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, small town, Tour, Writing

Blog Tour Feature: True by Ann Everett

¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨ NEW RELEASE¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨

Things just got hotter in Texas.…

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

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…

Very nice!

This is the blurb for True:

Sometimes it takes losing everything…

True Shanahan must be the unluckiest woman in the world. Either that or she’s cursed. After another failed relationship, True leaves Dallas with a broken heart and new attitude. It’s time to walk on the wild side. But when she makes a wrong turn and ends up in Bluebird, Texas, the only man she wants is anything but reckless.

…to find all you’ve ever wanted.

Ritter Malone is the town’s favorite son and has the local hero awards to prove it. Seems he’s always in the right place at the right time. But when he crosses paths with True, his life takes a turn he never sees coming. Her songwriting skills may be questionable, but her ability to turn him inside out is indisputable.

Welcome to Bluebird, Texas.

Where a chance meeting gives two people a chance at love.

Ann is giving us a peek at her modern romance, True, today.

Great cover!

Book Info:

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: June 13, 2018

Here is an excerpt.

When Ritter arrived at the gym, he spotted Cole jumping rope. He stopped and glanced at the wall clock. “You’re late. Roommate didn’t have you tied up, did she?”

“Very funny. We got a dog. Stayed up playing with him. I hit the snooze one time too many.”

Cole ran a towel over his face, then his lips curled. “That’s not good.”

“What? Getting a puppy?”

“Naw. The we in that sentence sounds like a contract extension.”

Ritter stretched. “I won’t lie. I’ve gone home to an empty house so long, thought having someone there would drive me nuts, but it hasn’t—for the most part.”

Cole stepped on the nearest treadmill, turned it on, and ran a steady pace. “I gotta hand it to you. You’ve managed to sleep with her and keep your hands to yourself. Or have you?”

Ritter climbed onto the machine next to Cole’s and matched his stride. No need to confess he hadn’t exactly resisted, but he’d not passed second base—by much. Had it not been for the phone call, he would have hit a home run. He’d had the wood for it. “No.”

“Come on. No way you haven’t hit that. Especially after what you told me about her coming on to you.”

“That’s why I can’t let her stay. My resistance is wearing thin.”

Ritter and Cole’s phones sounded a text at the same time. Ritter read his, then shot Cole a look. “Turns out, we’re off this afternoon.”

Cole dropped his cell back into the cupholder. “I’ve never been to New Jersey. You?”

“Nope, but looks like the storm is calling us there.”

And here are some teasers to entice you with…

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07DQKRBC4

Wow! Love it. ♥♥♥

Ann is giving away five awesome prize packages. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember, you may enter every day for your chance to win one of the prize packages. You’ll find the tour locations here.

Link:  https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/801c221b60/

 

¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨ EXCLUSIVE CONTEST ON ANN’S BLOG¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨

NAME THE TWINS CONTEST:

Submit your name choices via comment on Ann’s blog post, http://www.anneverett.com/2018/06/15/contest-and-new-release/ or to her email ann.everett@rocketmail.com

Thank you for telling us about your new contemporary romance, Ann! I know I can’t wait to read this wonderful novel! 🙂

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

And don’t miss out on the contests!

 

Author Bio

Award winning author, Ann Everett embraces her small town upbringing and thinks Texans are some of the funniest people on earth. When speaking to writing groups, businesses, book clubs, and non-profit organizations, she incorporates her special brand of wit, making her programs on marketing, self-publishing, and the benefits of laughter, informative and fun.

Author Links

Website:  http://anneverett.com

Blog:  http://anneverett.com/blog/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/talkintwang

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B005J5OJB2/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5195211.Ann_Everett

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/107360383807590096531

 

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

Thanks again to Ann and her blog tour sponsor!

We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Giveaways, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, giveaway, new release, Readers, Romance, small town, Tour

Blog Tour Feature: Vengeance Is Mine by Kat Henry Doran

¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨ FUN GIVEAWAY¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨

Will they find the vengeance they crave? Or something more valuable?

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Kat Henry Doran, an author I met during my journey! Many successes with your contemporary romance collection! :)

Here at the I Love Romance Blog, we love discovering romance novels!

Let’s hear a little about this great book…

Nice!

This is the blurb for Vengeance Is Mine, a three-story collection:

Ever consider going back to study hall and facing down the school bully?
The mean girls?
The brainless jocks who made your life a pure misery?
For Dru Horvath, gypsy orphan turned Pulitzer Prize winner; Rafe Archangeli, once the Scourge of Summerville and now leader of a multi-million dollar trust; and Fiona “Fat Aggie” Thorpe, current high fashion model with her own A-list agency, the opportunity to exact revenge is too good to pass up.
Will they find the vengeance they crave?
Or something more valuable?

Kat is giving us a peek at her modern romance collection, Vengeance Is Mine, today.

Intriguing cover!

Book Info:

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Here is an excerpt.

“Tough way to find out about the other woman.”

“Other woman, hell,” Dru groused. “The assistant was some young stud from Tommy’s gym with abs to die for.”

With that. she side-stepped him and reached for the knob on the bathroom door.

Fast on his feet, Rory’s counter move brought them nose to nose. “Play much poker, Horvath?”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“Before you started trash talking the cheating ex-husband, your face lit up like the Fourth of July. That tells me you’ve got something stashed in the tote. Until you let me look inside, it stays out here.”

Clutching the canvas tote to her chest, she sneered, “The only thing in here is my outfit for tonight’s event. If you think I’d go naked, one of us is a couple fries short of a happy meal.”

His response came in the form of another gimme motion with those thick, blunt fingers. “How about I close my eyes if I encounter any lacy unmentionables?”

“As if.”

She knew the instant he found the back-up phone. The screw-you look morphed into a smirk. “It’s not smart to mess with Homeland Security, sweetie. Those guys eat small rodents for breakfast.”

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

Purchase Links:

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

Universal Amazon print:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/1533214514

Wow! Love it. ♥♥♥

 

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Kat has put together an incredible list of prizes for this tour. They are just beautiful! Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Join us on an exciting tour of great blogs to read more about Vengeance Is Mine, interviews, and guest posts. Remember, you may enter every day for a chance to win the prizes. You may find the list of tour locations here.

Link:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/801c221b48/

 

Thank you for telling us about your contemporary romance, Kat! I know I can’t wait to read this awesome collection! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this great book! Or add it to your Goodreads list!

Author Bio

Legal nurse consultant, victim advocate, sexual assault nurse examiner Kat Henry Doran and her alter ego, Veronica Lynch, has been there and done that–many times over. She often travels to the wilds of Northern New York State, witnessing the wonders of Mother Nature at her best. From the shores of Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River to the historic Adirondack and Catskill Mountains, she creates stories featuring strong women and the men who love them.

When not writing, she can be found latched to one of her sewing machines–or chauffeuring the four brightest stars in her life: Meredith and Ashlin, Owen and Kieran.

Author Links

Blog/Website:  WildWomenAuthorsx2.blogspot.com

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

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/Kathenrydoran1

Amazon Author Page:  https://amazon.com/Kat-Henry-Doran/e/BO1M5861P7

Goodreads:  Goodreads.com/author/show/2905614.Kat_Henry_Doran

Google+:   https://plus.google.com/108399299558975484377

Pinterest:  https://pinterest.com/KatHenryDoran

 

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

Thanks again to Dana and her blog tour sponsor!

We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

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Filed under anthology, Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, giveaway, Readers, Romance, Tour

Blog Tour Feature: Love at Rincon Point by J. Haney & S.I. Hayes

¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨ 99 CENT DEAL¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨

As Addilyn bangs away at her novel with little success, Declan’s volleyball matches and irregular hours keep her from much progress…

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by J. Haney and S.I. Hayes, an author duo I met during my journey! Congratulations on your contemporary romance sale! :)

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

Let’s hear a little about this great book…

This is the blurb for Love at Rincon Point:

Successful, driven and divorced mom Addilyn Tate writes romance novels. She has only eleven weeks to deliver the next one to her publisher and scout for her first film. So, this year’s annual beach vacation with her three kids Bexley, Ryker and Laken will be a working vacation for Addilyn.

Upon arrival, the family soon meets their new next-door neighbor and landlord, buoyant, reckless surfer Declan Torrance, with whom they will be sharing walls and a patio for the next two months. Declan cranks up his music at night, sleeps late, and allows his furry friends to run around at will.

As Addilyn bangs away at her novel with little success, Declan’s volleyball matches and irregular hours keep her from much progress. But when Declan finds himself bonding with Bexley, Ryker, and Laken; Addilyn begins to see a different side of this man child. Soon the two see each other in a whole new – and attractive light.

The ladies are giving us a peek at their modern romance, Love at Rincon Point, today.

Nice cover!

Book Info:

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 14, 2018

Here is an excerpt.

Addilyn

¯¯¯

When I come downstairs to unpack a few staples I knew I’d need, like coffee, I notice there’s already coffee and breakfast items. Just simple things, like cereal, milk, and oatmeal, but thank God for small favors. I barely get a drink of coffee when Laken and Ryker are coming down the stairs with Bexley.

“Mommy, I’m hungry,” Lake whines.

“Yeah, can we go out to eat?” Ry pleads.

I smile at my loves. “Bex, there’s cereal, oatmeal, and milk in the fridge. Fix them something to eat while I finish up our shopping list.”

Bexley just nods at me and goes about making breakfast for herself and her siblings. They aren’t even sitting at the table for a minute when she speaks up.

“Uh, Mom, why is there a naked man on our patio?”

“What?” I ask as I turn to see the guy I dealt with last night. Jesus Christ. I shut the blinds and tell the kids, “Stay here and don’t look out.”

I slip out the door and walk closer to the naked man who is in the process of pissing in the wind. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I whisper-shout.

The guy scratches his ass before turning his head. “Where’d you come from?”

“I’m renting for the next eleven weeks. I talked to you last night?”

“That happened?”

“Yeah, it did, and I have three kids inside that just saw your backside.”

“Well, I suggest you go inside unless you want to catch a look at my front side.”

“Ain’t nothing I haven’t seen before.”

He turns to face me, then calmly walks past. “See ya later,” he throws over his shoulder.

“I hope not,” I growl.

After breakfast, we all get dressed and head out to the store. It’s afternoon when we finally make it back to our home for the summer.

“Lake, I think your toys are over by the patio doors if you want to play while we carry everything in.”

“Okay, Mommy,” Laken says as Ryker and Bexley help carry stuff in.

“Bex, you can put stuff away and keep an eye on your sister please.”

“Yeah,” responds my moody teenager. I’m walking out the door at the same time the blonde bimbo is coming out of the neighbor’s and she’s dressed in the same thing as last night. The walk of shame. I just shake my head and back down the steps I go.

“Hi, how are you doing?” Cherry says.

“I’m well, thank you.” I grab another bag from the back of my car as she hops into her convertible and drives away.

I check on Laken before I go back to get more. She’s on the patio with two dogs pretty much accosting her. I try to shoo them, but they don’t move. I walk over to the neighbor’s and knock on the door loud enough to be heard over his snoring. UGH! The man is naked again. The guy grunts and mumbles something, but I can’t understand him.

“Want to try that again?” I ask with my hands on my hips. He goes to get up, but instead, trips and falls flat on his ass. “Do you ever wear clothes?”

“Can I help you with something?” he asks me, throwing a blanket over himself.

“Dec, was it? Well, Dec, I’m pretty sure your dogs are accosting my four-year-old.”

“Is that all?”

Is that all? You’ve got to be fucking kidding me! How do you know she’s not allergic or something?” I all but shout.

The guy stands and holds the blanket so it’s just covering his goods, then takes two steps in my direction. “Frankie, Johnnie, come!” he says very sternly. The dogs come inside and sit down by their door. “There, the dogs are no longer accosting your child.”

“Thank you,” I say as I walk away.

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

 

ONLY 99 cents for a limited time! 😀

Purchase Links:

Universal reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/3yDvlL

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Love-Rincon-Point/S-I-Hayes/9781987658804?id=7205747130327

Wow! Love the tension here. ♥♥♥

Follow the blog tour HERE for exclusive content, and check out the Rafflecopter giveaway on the link below for a $5 Amazon gift card! Three lucky participants will win. 😉

Link:  http://www.silverdaggertours.com/sdsxx-tours/love-at-rincon-point-book-tour-and-giveaway

 

Thank you for telling us about your contemporary romance, J. Haney and S.I. Hayes! I know I can’t wait to read this riveting novel! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book at the sale price! Or add it to your Goodreads list!

 

Author Bios

Haney was born and raised in Kentucky, currently residing in Greenup County, Kentucky with her family, where she is the proud mamma to Jessalyn Kristine and co-owner to Proud Momma Designs, which she runs with her amazing Momma. J. Haney’s work tends to lean toward sweet and sexy, with suspenseful undertones giving her readers something to hold onto. It’s what she calls Real Life Romance.

S.I. Hayes was born and bred in New England, currently living in Ohio. Running around Connecticut, she used all of her family and friends as inspiration for her many novels. When not writing Paranormal Drama or Erotic Romance she can be found drawing one of many fabulous book covers or teasers, to see them check out her web site.

The pair met while working for a previous publisher and became fast friends, their split dynamics and views on life, family and love in general led to the idea of A County Fair Romance and A Sex, Drugs and Rock Romance adding to it Working Class Beauties and soon Kincaid Falls. Along with various standalone novels. So, keep your eyes open and a fresh pair of panties close by…you know, just in case.

J. Haney’s Author Links

Website:  http://www.jhaneyauthor.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Author.J.Haney

Her Facebook group:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/JessJems/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/authorjhaney

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2znP7l6

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8473740.J_Haney

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

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/authorjhaney

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/authorj.haney

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-haney

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/bgQIFT

 

S.I. Hayes’ Author Links

Website:  http://www.sihayes.com

Blog:  http://shannonihayes.blogspot.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/S.I.Hayes.Author

Facebook for author team:  https://www.facebook.com/HaneyHayesAuthors/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/shannonihayes

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2zAmxO9

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/SIHayes

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

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/s.i.hayes

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

 

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

Thanks again to ladies and their blog tour sponsor!

We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, giveaway, Readers, Romance, Tour

Blog Tour Feature: Threat of Danger by Dana Marton

¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨ NEW RELEASE¸.•*´¨❥¸.•*´¨

Falling in love can be a deadly proposition…

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Dana Marton, an author I met during my journey! Congratulations on your new military romantic suspense release! :)

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…

Very nice!

This is the blurb for Threat of Danger, book two of the Mission Recovery Series:

Falling in love can be a deadly proposition in this pulse-quickening Mission Recovery novel from the New York Times bestselling author.

Jess Taylor and Derek Daley were in the throes of first love in a small Vermont town when they were kidnapped by a serial killer. They escaped his clutches—but not the trauma of the unsolved crime. With their lives changed forever and their romance cut short, they went their separate ways to exorcise their fears.

Jess is living on the edge as Hollywood’s hottest stuntwoman. It’s no longer terror thrumming through her veins. It’s adrenaline. Derek is a former Navy SEAL spinning his ordeals into heart-pounding bestselling thrillers. But when Jess is called home on a family emergency, she must face the past—and face the man she left behind, who is just as haunted and, like her, still so much in love.

Now, as an old flame reignites, Jess and Derek are taking advantage of second chances and putting their bad memories behind them. But here, in the quiet town of Taylorville, a killer is getting a second chance as well.

Dana is giving us a peek at her military romantic suspense, Threat of Danger, today.

Great cover!

Book Info:

Genre:  Military Romance, Romantic Suspense

Release Date: June 5, 2018

Here is an excerpt.

 

Common sense said to walk away. She’d worked hard to make a life for herself in LA that worked for her.

Screw common sense. He stepped forward and reached around her, looped his fingers around her slim wrists, and tugged her hands from her pockets. Then he took those hands and drew her closer to him.

“Derek . . .”

“I wasn’t sure if you’d ever come back.”

“I’m only back temporarily.”

“Is that how you left things with Eliot?” That she’d be going after him soon? His mouth tightened at the thought.

“He had to go. He had meetings scheduled with directors. And new equipment coming in that he has to test and make decisions on before the next shoot.”

When she talked about Eliot, she talked about the business. That gave Derek hope. Sounded like they’d parted as friends and colleagues, not as lovers who couldn’t wait to reunite.

Two and a half weeks left, at the most. He knew her shooting schedule from talking with Zelda. About eighteen days more before Jess had to report to the set. So why in hell was he wasting time?

He dipped his head and brushed his lips over hers. He’d gotten lost once in the Iraqi desert for three days. He hadn’t been as thirsty for water back then as he was now for a taste of Jess.

When she didn’t protest, he pulled her fully into his arms and kissed her.

The point of no return. He needed to find out if things could still work between them. He wanted her, and he could no longer pretend that he didn’t.

Her body was firm, but her lips were soft and silky, as sweet as Zelda’s prize-winning angel food cake. As sweet as the old Jess. Except, this new Jess, she was a woman. She had the power to bring Derek to his knees.

He’d told her that he would give her whatever she needed from him. He hoped she’d figure out that he was what she needed. He was going to have to help her reach that conclusion.

He breathed her in. She smelled like redemption. Like maybe he could have a do-over and get it right this time.

She stood still in the circle of his arms. Undecided. Wary.

Better than a sharp knee in the balls, but Derek wanted more. He nibbled her lips and licked the seam, tasting her.

She tasted like a whole new world opening up. She tasted like the blank page of a book before he’d written the first word, the possibilities limitless.

Was the story of his life written on her heart? Was the story of her life written on his?

Too early to tell. But he wanted to find out. Letter by letter, word by word, sentence by sentence. If only she’d let him.

She did let him in, let him deepen the kiss. Progress, but this was just the opening of her lips, not the opening of her heart. Still, Derek wouldn’t have been a good SEAL if he didn’t grab every advantage, no matter how small. And, really, the kiss could not be called small by any measure.

As he swept into Jess’s mouth, he felt his boundaries expand. Need rushed in, and filled him like water flooding into a torpedoed submarine. He sank onto the seabed of things he always wanted but never believed he could have. Jess’s forgiveness . . . and more.

All these years, he’d thought her forgiveness was all he wanted.

He’d been stupid.

He wanted this. Jess. And he knew in that moment that he was going to do whatever it took to get her and keep her. Eliot couldn’t have her, no matter how handsome he was, or how much they had in common, or how hot women thought it was that the guy was some grandmaster of stunts.

Derek wasn’t going to let Eliot have Jess. He didn’t care if the guy jumped out of a burning helicopter, tied hand and foot, with a ticking bomb in his backpack, and got an Oscar nomination in every single category for the performance.

Purchase Links:

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

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Threat-Danger/Dana-Marton/9781503950054?id=7205747130327

Wow! Love it. ♥♥♥

 

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Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway on the link below for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card, as well as a cool Dana Marton tote bag! 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

Link:  https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/801c221b54/

 

Also, check out book one of the series!

Thank you for telling us about your new military romantic suspense, Dana! I know I can’t wait to read this riveting novel! 🙂

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

Author Bio

If you love heart-pounding, romantic suspense books you can sink your teeth into, you’ll love New York Times bestselling author Dana Marton’s stories. Kirkus Reviews calls her writing “compelling and honest.” RT Book Review Magazine says, “Marton knows what makes a hero…her characters are sure to become reader favorites.” Her writing has been acclaimed by critics, called, “gripping,” “intense and chilling,” “full of action,” “a thrilling adventure,” and wholeheartedly recommended to readers. Dana is the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, the Readers’ Choice Award, and the RITA Award, the highest industry award for romance.

Beyond being a bestselling author of romantic thrillers, Dana also writes a popular fantasy romance series: Hardstorm Saga. Book 1, RELUCTANT CONCUBINE, spent 6 weeks at #1 on Amazon’s fantasy romance list.

Author Links

Website:  www.danamarton.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/danamarton

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Dana-Marton/e/B001HMNK34/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/150270.Dana_Marton

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

Pinterest:  https://pinterest.com/danamarton

 

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

Thanks again to Dana and her blog tour sponsor!

We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

1 Comment

Filed under Action & Adventure, Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, giveaway, new release, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Tour

A Character Interview with Mason from ARRESTING MASON plus a conversation with author Amber Daulton!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. I know it’s been a while since we did one of these. If you remember, we interviewed Remy Marie’s character back on February 8th, and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Amber Daulton, the author of Arresting Mason, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Mason Harding, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Amber in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Mason!

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

Character Mason Harding:  Thank you for having me, Marie.

Marie:  Of course! It’s my pleasure!

We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Mason:  Sure.

Marie:  So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?

Mason:  I’m a mechanic, and yeah, I’m pretty damn good at the job. I like it too. My dad taught me everything I know about cars, and even though we don’t talk anymore, I’m still grateful to him for showing me the ropes. In all honesty, I didn’t plan to be a grease monkey growing up—in fact, I never really thought about the future when I was a stupid teen—but then I landed in prison and everything changed. A few years before my parole, I participated in an automotive work/study program to brush up on my rusty skills.

Marie:  All right.

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Mason:  My big brother, Alan, is supportive but overprotective. After all the crap I’ve put him through, though, I understand why he watches over me like I’m still a kid. Alan’s son, Danny, is adorable. I love my nephew to death, and I’m determined to not set a bad example for him. My parents and I are estranged. Alan is pressuring me into making amends with Mom, but I don’t think it’ll happen any time soon.

Marie:  Oh, no! How unfortunate! 😦

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?

Mason:  It was just a typical two-story, cookie-cutter house in suburbia. You know the type: a big yard to play in, flowerbeds lining the foundation, and nosy neighborhoods. The best thing about my home was that it was only a few blocks from the city’s downtown area, but I guess that wasn’t a good thing after all. I got into way too much trouble back then, and most everything was within walking distance.

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies, Mason? What do you enjoy doing?

Mason:  Besides work, which I really enjoy, I like to exercise and read. I picked up both hobbies while locked up, and they seemed to have stuck now that I’m on the outside. I like to keep my body in good shape because I never know if some creep from my past will find me and make trouble. I read when I need to wind down after a stressful day. Disappearing into another world helps take my mind off my problems, you know.

Marie:  I know what you mean! 😉

So, what is your greatest dream?

Mason:  I’d like to stay out of trouble, permanently, and just live my life with Mia at my side. She’s a wonderful woman and doesn’t deserve any of the bad stuff that’s happened to her. If I could forever keep her safe, I’d be happy.

Marie:  (Nods.) That makes sense…

Let’s try another question.

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

Mason:  I want to be a good husband, and I want to give Mia a few babies, but I’m not looking forward to telling my kids about my prison sentence. I’m not necessarily ashamed of my past, but I don’t want my son or daughter to look at me differently after they would know the whole story.

Marie: Well, when they’re grown enough to understand, I think they’ll respect you for making your life better after what you went through.

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

Who was your first love?

Mason:  I’ve had a lot of girlfriends before I met Mia, but never loved them. I cared about them, sure, but after being cheated on a few times, I’d learned to step out first before the girl I cared about stabbed me in the back. I regret doing so, and I’ve vowed to Mia to never hurt her like that. She’s my first love, and I know better than to throw away her trust.

Marie: Aww. I understand that. ♥

So…not to be a downer, but I do have a pretty deep question next.

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

Mason:  Most people in my situation would probably say going to prison, but not me. The most terrible thing I ever did was when I robbed a liquor store with some friends. I knew it was wrong, but did it anyway. That mistake affected the outcome of my life, and there’s a part of me that wishes I could take it back.

Then again, I don’t think I would change anything I’ve ever done or had done happen to me because I’m happy right now. I have Mia and a great job, and I probably wouldn’t have either without doing the mistakes I’ve made.

Marie:  That’s true!

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

[Mason 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?

Mason:  Like I said earlier, I didn’t think about the future growing up. I just wanted to have fun and that backfired on me.

Marie:  I see.

So, who is your role model, Mason?

Mason:  Don’t have one.

Marie: Gotcha!

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Mason:  No, I’m a pretty honest guy. If I don’t like you, I’ll tell you. No pretending for me.

Marie:  That’s refreshing!

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Mason:  Just to live a good life under the radar from cops and criminals alike.

Marie:  Sounds like a plan!

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

Mason:  That I’ll mess up and land back in prison. Alan and Mia would never forgive me for it, so I try my best to stay out of trouble.

Marie: All right.

I’m so glad you were comfortable enough to tell me everything.

Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Mason. It was so interesting getting to know you!  🙂

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have author Amber Daulton on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Amber!

Author Amber Daulton:  Hi, Marie! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.

Marie: Of course! I love to have authors on ILRB. 😀

So, we just got to talk to a male character from your story, Mason Harding. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?

Amber:  Mason is a very frustrating character. He’s so stubborn with a temper a mile wide, but then he can be so sweet and caring. He definitely swept his lady love, Mia, off her feet.

Marie:  Nice!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Amber:  When he puts his mind to something, he never gives up, no matter the obstacles in his way.

Marie:  How admirable!

And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?

Amber:  His temper. He gets upset way too easily and says things he regrets.

Marie:  Ah. Well, I’m sure some of our readers can relate. It’s not always easy to avoid confrontation.

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of Mason’s favorite foods?

Amber:  Anything, really. After being in prison, he’s not picky.

Marie:  Okay.

How about another question?

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

Amber:  His ability to love. Though Mason wants to be a good person, he doesn’t think he deserves to have a woman show him unconditional love and acceptance. But when he loves someone, he doesn’t let anything stop him from showing and proving it.

Marie:  Great!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Amber:  Mason has made a ton of mistakes—everyone has to one degree or another—but he’s ready to change and move on with his life. I think a lot of readers could relate to that, and they’ll like him because he’s a good person beneath all the scars and tattoos.

Marie: Very true!

Now that we have a real taste of Mason, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Arresting Mason?

Amber:  A few years ago, I found a submission call for a bad boy anthology, and the stories were supposed to be pretty short. By the time I finished the first draft of my manuscript, I had exceeded the word count and still wanted to add more scenes. So I forgot all about the submission call and kept revising the manuscript until it clocked in at 80 thousand words and sparked ideas for more books, which is now a 5-book series.

For how I came up with the plot, I must thank my subconscious since I dreamed about it. For days after, I kept thinking about the hero, the heroine, and her brother, and the characters wouldn’t leave me in peace until I wrote out a rough plot line. Though it changed quite a bit as I put the dream down on paper (or rather computer), the main premise remained the same.

Marie:  Awesome! Isn’t is fascinating how the muse works? 😉

Let’s try something else.

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

Amber:  Both actually. I plot as much as I can, but I get new ideas once I start writing and I usually follow them.

Marie:  (Smiles.) Yeah…sometimes I think the characters are directing the story more than I am.

How about another question?

So, now I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Arresting Mason or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Amber:  The biggest challenge for me was the word count. As I already said, I needed to write a short story (around 15k word count), but ended up with a manuscript that was around 40k. Then I kept building on it to make it a full length novel. Weaving in all those new scenes was difficult and required lots of re-writing to scenes already done. The only thing I would probably do differently next time would be to plot better.

Marie:  I hear you. I’ve written myself into a corner with plots a time or two.

I was in your situation before as well. Once I had an anthology challenge too, and it was so hard to keep within those guidelines. I think as a writer, I don’t like to be boxed in. (Laughs.)

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 Arresting Mason appears to be. Sounds like it’s right my alley!

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this romantic suspense by Amber Daulton, a very talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for Arresting Mason:

Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.

Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.

When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?

Amber is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

“Which one is your car?” She glanced around the crowded parking lot. A few streetlights pushed back the darkness and shadows. The restaurant served customers until midnight on the weekends, but no one loitered in the lot, at least from what Mia could see.

“Don’t have one at the moment.” Mason hooked his thumbs in the belt loops of his jeans. “I took the bus. It stopped a few blocks from here.”

“Would you like a ride?” She pulled the car keys from her purse. “I feel a little ridiculous we met here tonight. I just wasn’t sure if you were some kind of freak.”

His eyebrow lifted, and he closed the distance between them as a tiger would zero in on its mate. A sexy, masculine smile curled his lips. “Have you made up your mind yet?”

“I’ll let you know in the morning.” Desire trickled down her spine. Mia nodded toward the passenger side of the car for him to hop in.

He confiscated her keys instead to unlock and open the driver’s side door for her like a gentleman. Then he leaned closer and nuzzled her temple with his nose.

Not sure if he planned to seduce her in the parking lot or if he merely wanted to tease her, Mia pressed her hand to his chest and tried to think straight. “You’re the first guy I’ve gone on a date with since my divorce. I haven’t slept with anyone since Evan.”

He tunneled his fingers through her wavy, chestnut-brown hair. “I haven’t dated anyone in a long time either. We’ll take it slow or fast, whatever you want, but I promise you one thing. After I’m done with you, you won’t even remember that bastard’s name.”

Oh, God. She almost melted right then and there. “Fast. I want you, Mason.”

“Take me to your place and you can have me.”

And some teasers!

Wow! Love the sexy tension. ♥♥♥ Can’t wait to read this book…🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07BHGMQRK

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/3nOgre

Publisher:  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5779-arresting-mason.html

Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39005064-arresting-mason

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this romantic suspense! ♥

About Amber Daulton

Writing is the fruit of happiness.

Amber Daulton lives her life by that one belief even though she normally isn’t so Zen.

As a fan of contemporary, paranormal, and historical romance novels alike, she can’t get enough of feisty heroines and alpha heroes. Her mind is a wonderland of adventure, laughter, and awesome ways of kicking a guy when he’s down. She probably wouldn’t be too sane without her computer and notebooks. After all, what’s a girl to do when people are jabbering away in her head and it’s hard to shut them up? Write! Nothing else works.

Books:

https://books2read.com/u/3nOgre
https://www.amazon.com/Callas-Summer-Fantasy-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B01G99PUB4/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_14?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932161&sr=1-14&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Beginnings-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B01IYI0AJK/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932135&sr=1-12&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Valentine-Adventure-Contemporary-Romance-Daulton-ebook/dp/B01BMSI3ZC/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932135&sr=1-8&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Cinderella-Treasure-Trove-Lynette-Sofras-ebook/dp/B019E764YA/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-2&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Mirrors-Time-Samna-Ghani-ebook/dp/B01709VVQA/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-7&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Honor-Mirrors-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B014G2IFJ0/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-9&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Cinderella-Body-Club-Collection-ebook/dp/B00YG0K1HW/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-3&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Cinderellas-Enchanted-Night-Cinderella-Body-ebook/dp/B00Y1DAIKE/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-11&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Handmade-Christmas-Collection-Jennifer-Conner-ebook/dp/B00PUM5MQ0/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932464&sr=1-10&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Mistletoe-City-Handmade-Christmas-Book-ebook/dp/B00PE54JEE/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932725&sr=1-13&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Montana-Ranch-Willow-Lightning-Bennett-ebook/dp/B00OJ9LLJM/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932464&sr=1-1&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Lightning-Over-Bennett-Ranch-Collection-ebook/dp/B00KWEFP9K/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932464&sr=1-4&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Sexy-Romances-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B00H2WPFVI/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932938&sr=1-15&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Heros-Heart-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B00GFCZI40/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932744&sr=1-6&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Forever-Winter-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B00C2DWLWI/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932744&sr=1-5&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Marry-Merry-Christmas-Terry-Long/dp/1938076265/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_20?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932938&sr=1-20&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Amber Daulton, here are some author links:

Website/Blog:  http://amberdaultonauthor.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/14JoZff

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624921.Amber_Daulton

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

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/amber-daulton/87/538/368

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/amberdaulton5/

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/amberdaulton

Publisher:  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2362_amber-daulton

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Mason, a male character from Arresting Mason, and Amber Daulton, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, characters, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Interview, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Writing

Addressing Anxiety During Tough Times with the Help of Talkspace: a guest post by Talkspace

Addressing Anxiety During Tough Times with the Help of Talkspace

 

Are you in a relationship? Do you find yourself becoming overwhelmed with anxiousness when you and your significant other run into a disagreement?

Created by Bearfotos – Freepik.com

You are not alone. Arguing with a loved one tends to bring on much more stress than usual because of how emotionally attached you are to that person. You care what they think above most because their choices can affect your life immensely and vice versa.

Created by Yanalya – Freepik.com

Anxiety may prove overwhelming. The heightened level of panic and nervousness anxiety induces can cause everything from poor concentration, irritability, labored breathing, to chest pains. The over anxiousness associated with anxiety might increase significantly during tough times. That’s somewhat understandable and expected. Anxiety shares a connection with feelings of wanting to something troubling to be over with. Anxiety sufferers definitely want to get tough, strenuous times past them as quickly as possible. Things don’t always move fast so they may seek help for their anxiety. Anxiety sufferers may find it valuable to explore several ways to cut down on both stress and an anxious state of mind.

One way to deal with a tough situation involves determining how long the situation could feasibly last. Not every bad situation goes on forever. Understanding that the bad times may soon pass could ease tensions about the situation. Granted, certain tough scenarios could very well last a long time or be permanent. While difficult to accept, such facts shouldn’t deter someone from trying to see the positive side of any difficult or trying time in life.

Created by Freepik

An acceptance of the difficulty of the situation might also help matters. This is not a suggestion to embrace feelings of helplessness. Rather, take acceptance in the fact that certain things just might be far outside of your control. By understanding the reality of the situation, more effective steps could be employed to deal with the times.

TalkSpace shows that many more steps likely exist than you realize. TalkSpace affords the opportunity to contact a therapist by way of smartphone texting. People use their smartphones for all sorts of different purposes. The devices open many doors for expanded communications. Through TalkSpace, those communications now include working with a therapist. Proactive steps such as contacting a therapist may help remove feelings of helplessness and restore some control.

Taking action remains important, but another point must be made here. What you don’t do is equally as important as what you should do. In particular, avoiding anything capable of heightening feelings of anxiety probably would be a good idea. For example, the next time you find yourself in a heated conversation with your significant other, take a moment to draw large, deep breaths, compose your thoughts and explain to your partner in a calm manner.

Created by Jcomp – Freepik.com

Created by Bearfotos – Freepik.com

Dwelling on a difficult situation won’t exactly assist the process of calming down. Poor dietary choices don’t help matters either. Reaching for highly-caffeinated beverages my drive anxiety levels up due to a stimulation effect. People don’t always realize caffeine can heighten anxiety, which is why they may not curtail the use of it. Problems sometimes follow.

Andrew Neel, Unsplash

Anxiety makes life difficult at times. Anxiety sufferers can take solace in the fact that ways to address anxiety exist. These ways include both self-help strategies and seeking the assistance of others.

Nice! These are some helpful tips for anyone whose anxiety is starting to disrupt their relationship. Who hasn’t experienced stress that just got too overwhelming, especially nowadays when we are pulled in so many different directions?

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

Guest Blogger Bio

With Talkspace online therapy, anyone can get therapy without traveling to an office – and for significantly less money than traditional therapy. Start therapy now with a licensed therapist that understands how you live your life today.

Links

Website:  http://www.talkspace.com/

Blog:  http://www.talkspace.com/blog/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/talkspace

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

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/company/talkspace-online-therapy

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

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

 

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

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

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Filed under Anxiety, Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, family, Hope, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Singles, stress

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Dating A Single Parent: a guest post by Dating Connections

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Dating A Single Parent

 

Dating nowadays is undoubtedly not a walk in the park, yet dating a single parent introduces a whole new level of hard. Now, we don’t want to imply that it isn’t a worthy and rewarding experience, because it is; it’s just that it requires far more attention, dedication, and empathy.

Namely, there are a quite a few things you should be aware of should you start dating a single parent. As you already assume, it’s entirely different compared to other sorts of dating, such as senior dating for example.

Created by Asierromero – Freepik.com

 

So, what are in our opinion the top five things you should be concerned about when dating a single mom or dad, you ask? Just read the following paragraphs, and you’ll get the idea.

#1 Being A Single Parent is Overwhelming, So Good Date-Planning skills Are A Must.

Single parents usually, but not necessarily, assume the role of both parents. What you should do now is take a moment to picture how often an average individual takes for granted the help they get from the spouse. Or how easily he/she complains about not getting enough sleep or help around the house, often forgetting about the challenges imposed on single parents.

So, in the context of dating and translated to real life, this is how an average single parent usually thinks:

  • It’s the end of the day, and they are finally available for you, so they want to have a fulfilling and meaningful date that will recharge their batteries.

    Created by Freepik

  • They’re looking forward to it and might have a bit higher expectations because they know it can help them get energized appropriately for the following day, with all its challenges and small setbacks that might arise along the way.

We believe that this example perfectly illustrates the possible pattern of a single parent’s way of thinking while teaching us to be creative and caring when organizing dates at the same time.

#2 They Have to Plan Ahead.

Yes, they have to hire a babysitter and make plans far more in advance in order to enjoy their alone/date time. Childless people usually can’t grasp how it’s like because they haven’t walked in a single parent’s shoes.

Free Photos, Pixabay

On the other hand, you should be aware you’re not entitled to plan your partner’s schedule on their behalf whatsoever since it can cause issues, misunderstandings, and other additional problems.

No, no one is blaming you for wanting to head out for a romantic getaway with your partner, but you should understand that this isn’t always possible because their kid might have flu, or the babysitter might have canceled on short notice, just to mention a few possible reasons.

In this light, you’ll often need to be ready to come up with some viable alternatives that will be equally pleasant and will sometimes include your partner’s kid/s.

#3 Say Bye-bye to Spontaneity.

Hitting clubs until wee hours and struggling with massive hangovers is apparently not an option for your partner anymore, regardless of their age.

Created by Freepik

They have to be fully functional the next day since children – especially if younger – require constant commitment and attention.

So, if you can make it work for both sides where you get to enjoy the nightlife without hurting your relationship – great! If not, perhaps it would be a good time to reconsider both your personal desires and mutual goals to determine whether you’re on the same page.

#4 Your Relationship will be Different…

…And there’s no point denying it. Caring profoundly about your partner doesn’t mean buying expensive gifts and taking them out to fancy dinners; it understands accepting them both as a parent and person you’re dating.

It can be confusing at times, we know, and no one expects you to be a parent to their children because they obviously proved they could live their life independently before you entered the scene.

Created by Freepik

Creating a genuine and unique bond with their kid, on the other hand, will reassure them that you’re a right partner for them.

Finally, kids can always tell if you’re a fake and won’t be afraid to express their opinion about it.

#5 They Will Sometimes Fail to Grasp Your Position.

Yes, they won’t do it on purpose, but you should always keep in mind that the person you’re dating will probably struggle to invest equally in their parental efforts, career, and house and that day only lasts 24 hours.

Sure, they might be getting occasional help from family or even an ex-spouse (if they separated on good terms, of course) but sometimes, it might just not be enough.

Created by Asierromero – Freepik.com

Consequently, this can lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety that might have a negative impact on your relationship. If this be the case, keep in mind that healthy and straightforward communication can be vital to solving this problem and is otherwise a basis of every stable relationship.

Are you dating a single parent at the moment? Have you done it in the past? We’d love to know all about it so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Created by Freepik

Nice! These are some helpful tips for anyone who has their eye on a single parent. You definitely need to take more into account with this type of relationship, because it’s not just the two of you in this…

Take it from me. I tried dating a single parent once.

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 weekend!

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

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by C.L. Donley

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, 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 C.L. Donley, who has some things to say about the question at hand.

It took me my entire 35 years to realize that I was a romantic person.

It was the last thing anyone would ever accuse me of being. None of the telltale signs were there. I didn’t particularly enjoy romantic movies, never had any bouts of boy craziness or childhood crushes. Certain love songs made me cringe. I was never particularly girly, didn’t go to dances or prom, hadn’t really been on a proper date really. Certainly I wanted to be in love, like any woman. And when I met my husband it was likely all of these misnomers that caused me to accept much less than I deserved. Anniversaries went uncelebrated; Valentine’s was just another corporate holiday. Even birthdays could sometimes be considered vain, if too much money was spent.

Several years and three kids later, after enduring all this, not to mention infidelity and a host of other problems, I found myself wanting to escape. It’s cliché, I know, but which part? The situation itself or my reaction to it?

Created by Jcomp – Freepik.com

I knew I couldn’t very well get in the car and leave my family behind. If only there were a way to go somewhere without physically leaving. Instinctively, I reached for romance.

At first it was a concession, a guilty pleasure. Like everyone else, I knew all the stigmas attached to the genre. As an English major and writer, I had to get over my own pretenses and open my first romance novel. I chose a Harlequin, being familiar with the name. And it didn’t take long for me begin a steady diet of romance literature.

Within a week I was coming across some really compelling stories and I realized that like anything else, romance could be done well. One day I remember reading something and just feeling completely alive and happy. I realized that I actually was a romantic person. That romance wasn’t necessarily a certain order of outward gestures or traditions. It was the business of loving and being loved and the fruit of that, because all love bears fruit. I learned that it wasn’t romance I lacked, but sentimentality. It’s this lack of sentimentality that makes my voice unique among romance writers.

It didn’t dawn on me at first that I should write romance. I was a writer in denial, on the run. I never wrote for fun; the idea of writing as a job sounded like the worst torture. I pretty much only wrote for school, which was years ago, and after three small kids all under five, the idea of writing for me was pretty much laughable. Part of me was unsettled, because it was the most prominent talent I had. People that barely knew me would ask me if I was still writing, and I would have to break the news to them. In the back of my mind I felt all kinds of guilt that I wasn’t utilizing my gift.

In the thick of a separation from my husband, I was starting to think about the future, and what, inevitably I would have to do for money. I dusted off my résumé, started looking into childcare prices for my kids. In the midst of that I got a germ of an idea. Not unusual. I got story ideas all the time, all of which I ignored. But this one was a romance, and it gnawed at me all day. The thought of taking pencil to paper was nauseating, so I saved an audio note on my phone. And that was the moment the floodgates opened.

Aaron Burden, Unsplash

The ideas wouldn’t stop. I wrote for twelve hours that day. I had 12,000 words by the end of the weekend. In three weeks I had the whole novel, the initial draft of what eventually became Amara’s Calling.

Romance saved my life. Not only did it connect me to my heart, but to my identity as a writer. It kept me from taking out my frustrations on my family, propped up a marriage that would’ve otherwise crumbled before its time, and was the hope that kept me buoyant after it was over. It showed me that love was not a matter of being attractive or deserving, but a necessary part of being alive, not to mention a necessary part of being a woman. It made me realize that nothing was wrong with me or my sexuality, that my marital issues were less about my personal failures but more about the fact that I was being starved. Without that realization I might still be blaming myself today.

Created by Katemangostar – Freepik.com

I suspect that all women have an infinite capacity to be loved, as in no amount of romance is enough. It sounds like it’s a bad thing, but it isn’t. Do we ever get to the point as humans that we’ve had enough food and we no longer need anymore? No, because it’s not the way the system works. I suspect love is like food in that it can have a variance in quantity and quality, and these variables can positively or negatively affect the health of the individual.

Created by Freepik

Love should be daily, fresh and new in the same way. To me, romance is life itself. And now that I’m waking up every morning, excited to see what more I can create, I’ve never felt more loved than I do now.

Great! Love should improve us in various ways…and like you, I agree that reading and writing romance opens your mind and heart to its possibilities. 😉
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, C.L.! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

C.L. Donley is a future New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of multicultural and interracial romance. Armed with an B.A. in English and M.A. in Writing, she is a natural born writer and can’t wait to be done with this bio so she can get back to it. Her writing style is sophisticated yet simple, apologetically escapist and character driven. She likes to write lovable, redeemable and believable characters and place them in equally lovable, romantic and relatable settings and scenarios– removed from reality just enough so that reader can properly escape, and even revisit!
She loves hearing from readers and discussing her favorite parts of her own books, so feel free to indulge her. Check out her website, Facebook page, Twitter page and feel free to email her at cldonleyauthor@gmail.com.

Author Links

Website:  cldonley.com

Facebook:  facebook.com/AmarasCalling

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/C_L_Donley

Amazon author page:  https://www.amazon.com/C.L.-Donley/e/B078Z6TSS8/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17605062.C_L_Donley

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

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

 

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 getting 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, C.L., for giving us your take on what romance has come to mean to you. Lovely! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for a historical romance blog tour feature when author Sofie Darling visits us on April 24th! Yay! 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Multicultural/Interracial, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writers, Writing