Category Archives: feature

Win A Copy of BLUE VISION, and other books!

Hi, readers! Hope everything is going well on your end. I just wanted to jump in here and let you know about a cool giveaway happening this week.

A copy of Blue Vision, my sci-fi romance, is up for grabs today, during the I Heart Romance Week at The TBR Pile site. Yay!

Note: Check the buy link above for more info about this book.

There are lots of other prizes with this event as well! 🙂

Here is the event schedule with some of the giveaways offered, including a bookmark set of mine (Oct. 7th)…

October 1st

 

9am – Introduction to I HEART Romance post.

Prizes:

$20 Amazon gift card

4 Item swag pack by HARLEY WYLDE

 

2pm: JAMES COX Post (m/m)

Prizes:

$5 Evernight gift card,

Book bundle:Bubbly Uncorked by SHEA BALIK

Loved by a werewolf by BRONWYN HEELEY

Prize list book

 

5pm: DANIA VOSS post (m/f)

Prizes:

$10 Amazon card,

Book Bundle: Redemption by APRIL ZYON

Calling All Villains by JAMES COX

Crossing Quinn by GAIL KOGER

 

October 2nd

 

9am; SHEA BALIK post (m/m)

Prizes:

$10 Amazon gift card

Book bundle 1: Bring That For You by BRONWYN HEELEY

Future Broken by JACEY HOLBRAND

The Devil’s Cum in his Eye by JAMES COX

 

2pm: GAIL KOGER post (m/f)

Prizes:

$10 Amazon gift card

Book Bundle 1: Safe in the Hitman’s Arms by KAIT GAMBLE

The Cyborgs Secret Baby by CYNTHIA SAX

A Wolf’s Tale by SUZY SHEARER

Book Bundle 2: Lie to Me by CHRISTINE KIRCHOFF

Rescued by the Mountain man by MARIN BLACK

Finding Euphoria by C. BECKER

 

5pm: CHRISTINE KIRCHOFF post (m/f)

Prizes:

Book Bundle 1: Untraceable by BETH D CARTER

The Devil Take You by HK CARLTON

Hothar’s Folly by GAIL KOGER

Book bundle 2: Back to Good Paperback by LAURA BENSON

 

October 3rd

 

9am: ELYZABETH VALEY post (m/f)

Prizes:

$10 Amazon

Book Bundle 1: Calling all Villains by JAMES COX

Breakwater Beach by CAROLE MOLETI

Finding Euphoria by C BECKER

Book Bundle 2: Lie to Me by CHRISTINE KIRCHOFF

Watched by SUZANNE JEFFERIES

Valentina’s Miracle by PAIGE WARREN

 

2pm: MAGGIE BLACKBIRD post (m/f)

Prizes:

Book Bundle: Raking The Ashes by KAIT GAMBLE

Blue Vision by MARIE LAVENDER

The Widow’s Walk by CAROLE MOLETI

Book Bundle 2: On The Ropes by DANIA VOSS

Lie to me by CHRSTINE KIRCHOFF

Prize list book

 

5pm: DANIA VOSS post (m/f)

Prizes:

Book Bundle 1: Sassing Saul by GAIL KOGER

Melting her Dom’s Heart by SUZY SHEARER

The Cyborg’s secret baby by CYNTHIA SAX

Book Bundle 2: Lie to Me by CHRISTINE KIRCHOFF

Storm Watch by CAROLE MOLETI

Forever in a Moment by CHARLOTTE O’SHAY

 

October 4th

 

9am: JAMES COX post (m/m)

Prizes:

$10 Amazon gift card

Book Bundle: Matching Mates Collection by BRONWYN HEELEY

 

2pm: JACEY HOLBRAND post (m/m)

Prizes:

$5 Evernight gift card

Book Bundle: The Triple Towers series by JAMES COX

 

5pm: KERI KRUSPE post (m/f)

Prizes:

Book Bundle: Daemon’s Are Forever by SUZY SHEARER

The Cyborg’s Secret Baby by CYNTHIA SAX

The Warrior’s Whisper by DANIA VOSS

Book bundle 2: Lie to me by CHRISTINE KIRCHOFF

Calling All Villains by JAMES COX

The Cyborgs Secret Baby by CYNTHIA SAX

 

October 5th

 

9am: ANA RAINE post (m/m)

Prizes:

Book Bundle 1: The Triple Towers series by JAMES COX,

Prize 2: Whiskey and Moonshine audio book by ELIZABETH NOBLE 

 

5pm: CYNTHIA SAX post (m/f)

Prizes:

$10 Amazon card

Book Bundle 1: Touched by SUZANNE JEFFERIES

Redeemed by MAGGIE BLACKBIRD

Arresting Mason by AMBER DAULTON

Book Bundle 2: Calling all Villains by JAMES COX

Lie to Me by CHRISTINE KIRCHOFF

Prize list book

 

October 6th

 

9am: HK CARLTON post (m/f)

Prizes:

$10 Amazon gift card,

Book Bundle 1: Indian Paintbrush by JOHN HELDT

Rescued by the Cyborg by JESSICA COLTER SMITH

Lie to Me by CHRISTINE KIRCHOFF

Book Bundle 2: Otherworld series by JAMES COX

 

5pm: DANIA VOSS post (m/f)

Prizes:

Book Bundle 1: Grease Monkey by HARLEY WYLDE

Texas Twang by PAIGE WARREN

Her Cyborg Lover by ANNE KANE

Book Bundle 2: An Alien Exchange by KERI KRUSPE

Calling all Villains by JAMES COX

Lie to me by CHRISTINE KIRCHOFF

 

October 7th

 

9am: Closing post

Prizes:

$20 Amazon gift card

Bookmark bundle by MARIE LAVENDER

October 8th – Winners will be announced.

Don’t miss your chance to win a prize! Keep checking back at The TBR Pile during I Heart Romance Week, and go ahead and dive in for today’s events! ♥

Happy reading, and happy autumn! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Book News, Books, contest, Event, feature, free books, Gifts, giveaway, Marie Lavender, Readers, Romance, Science Fiction

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by The Smut Report

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on the I Love Romance Blog. In recent years, 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 to the heart of each person. And I’ve gotten some incredible feedback.

Without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to blogger The Smut Report, a female team with a few things to say about the question at hand.

What Does Romance Mean to Us?

 

At The Smut Report, we read a lot of romance novels. Like, a LOT of romance novels. And let’s be real – there’s a stereotype floating around that people who read romance novels have a skewed idea of romance and relationships. Obviously, we must be delusional spinsters or miserable sex-starved moms who expect men to read us poetry and/or fight monsters and/or know exactly what we want at all times.

Romance is also super oversimplified. There are pivotal life events like birth and death that, when addressed in literature, are considered really “deep” and vulnerable and raw. This non-genre fiction is lauded for its thoughtfulness and meaning. There’s a whole sub-genre dedicated to “coming of age” and all the inner turmoil that comes with that — but a genre whose sole purpose is to unpack the delicious, unsettling, sloppy moments leading up to individuals falling in love? That’s for unsatisfied housewives.

freestocks.org, Unsplash

Falling in love transforms individual people into something new, something with overlap and grey area and messiness. And strength. In romance we see people coming together to form a stronger whole, yet we also see how having the support of a loving partner can provide a wellspring of strength to an individual.

Ryan Jacobson, Unsplash

But before that can happen, all the messy feelings and social and personal obstacles must be resolved. There are new debates in the romance community every day about whether it’s romance if there’s no happy ending, if there’s no sex, if there’s this, or that, or the other thing. These arguments reflect this messy, sexy, grey area that exists in our lives when we love. This genre, maybe more than any other genre, asks us to be honest about what a satisfying life looks like. And it acknowledges that the answer is different for different people.

Created by Freepik

Even though the three of us have somewhat divergent tastes (Erin likes heroes who ooze power, Holly prefers her books on the sexy side, Ingrid sometimes skips the sex scenes so she can get back to the witty banter), there are a few things that we all love in a romance novel. Far from creating unrealistic ideas of what romance is, the best romance novels feature satisfying portrayals of emotional connection. It makes us ask what pleasure looks like for YOU, what commitment looks like for YOU. You know, that extra spark that brings out the swooning romantic in the most jaded of us. (That would be Holly, in case you were wondering.)

Created by Senivpetro – Freepik.com

Romance can be just a fun, sexy romp or a swashbuckling adventure, but it can also bring you closer to yourself. It’s a safe way to examine romance in your own life–your likes, your dislikes, what you want to feel and how you want to be loved. You know it when you read it.

Flower photo created by tirachard – http://www.freepik.com

We recently went to an author talk in which Sarah MacLean said she loves the increased use of dirty talk in romance because it’s “ongoing consent”. How amazing is that? That there are authors looking for ways to make love scenes more clear, more unfettered, by making sure the consent is obvious AND beautifully done. This stuff matters.

Romance is a largely inclusive genre – and that’s important. The authors who write these books are constantly bursting open doors and welcoming more people in. It matters to have characters that look like real people and who love like real people do. Race, gender identity, sexual orientation–it’s all discussed in the romance literature written every day. Possibly there are not really people in love with shifters, we acknowledge (if there are, Erin would like to hear from you). But in all seriousness, there are so many different combinations of who loves whom (and how many love together) out in the world that it’s appropriate and necessary for such love to be reflected in our literature.

Created by Ijeab – Freepik.com

And where reality fails us, we have the opportunity to explore the notion of romance in the “other” in paranormal, sci-fi, and other sub-genres of romance. The authors who are opening these doors and windows for us readers are also readers themselves, and we support each other. Romance creates community, even if we never speak directly to one another.

Created by Pressfoto – Freepik.com

In short, romance means a lot to us. It’s been a source of comfort and connection for us for decades. It’s made us think about things in different ways. It makes us test ourselves. It’s made us uncomfortable and angry and happy. We have literally cried and literally laughed so loudly that we’ve scared pets and woken sleeping children.

Ben White, Unsplash

Romance brings us joy. It’s as simple as that.

Lovely! I couldn’t have said it better myself… 😉
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post! Great to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

The Smut Report is the brainchild of Erin, Holly, and Ingrid, three thirty-somethings who have been swapping smut books for twenty years. They’ve read a lot of smut and love the genre. They want to share their love of smut with people who already love to read romance, but also with people who are curious about the genre, yet are a little bit scared to dive right in. So, in order to further their goal of sharing the wonderful, witty, and downright weird corners of the world of smut with everyone they know, they started a blog, where they can chat about romance novels to their hearts’ content.

Links

Website/Blog:  https://smutreport.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/smutreport

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/91403885-smut-report

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

 

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 usually get booked fast, but don’t hesitate to join in! You do not need to be a freelance writer or author, or even from a romantic themed organization. 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, The Smut Report, for giving us your take on what romance (and the book genre) has come to mean to you, plus some food for thought. Awesome! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next guest post when Dr. Anne Hancock visits ILRB on October 3rd! Yay! 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Filed under Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, feature, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Special Feature, Stories, Writing