Category Archives: Fiction

New Release Feature: Excess Baggage by Laura Barnard

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Laura Barnard, an author I met during my journey! Her romantic comedy, Excess Baggage, officially released today!

Yay! That’s awesome! :) Congrats on your new release! 😉

When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!

Laura is giving us a look at her modern romantic comedy, Excess Baggage, today.

Such a great cover!

This is the blurb for The Boy Friend:

Stuck in a dead-end relationship, Erica Bennett finds herself daydreaming of her first holiday romance. She was fifteen, it was exciting, new and full of possibilities…and Jack Lawson was hot as hell. That kind of thing leaves a mark.

So when her friends suggest a girls holiday to Luna Island, it’s exactly what she needs to take her mind off things. What she doesn’t expect is to spot Jack – a much older, hotter version of him – across the hotel lobby.

Their attraction is still there and it isn’t long before sparks fly, but fifteen years is a long time. They aren’t the same people they were back then and besides, it’s only a week, right?

Is it a second chance at something real or will their excess baggage ruin their shot at love after they leave Luna Island?

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

What people are saying about this book:

“An absolute must read this summer!” – Lady Living in Bookland

“Quintessential British humor; I felt like I was on a girls holiday with my own chicks.” – Perusing Princesses Book Blog

“Almost made me pee myself, I laughed so hard!” – Shelly’s Book Corner

Goodreads Reviews

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  myBook.to/ExcessBaggageLB

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/excess-baggage-laura-barnard/1126290214

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Excess-Baggage/Laura-Barnard/9780995655423

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/excess-baggage-10

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/excess-baggage/id1231279481?mt=11

Wow! Love the hotness here. ♥♥♥

 

Thank you for telling us about your book, Laura! I know I can’t wait to read this romance! 🙂

Win a SIGNED PAPERBACK and Amazon voucher (details below)…

♥♥♥ EXCESS BAGGAGE RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY! ♥♥♥

Head on over to Laura’s Facebook page to enter her release day giveaway, and have a chance of winning a signed paperback of EXCESS BAGGAGE and a $5/£5 Amazon gift card!

Woo hoo! Sounds great! 😀

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book!

Author Bio

Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes romantic comedy or ‘chick lit’ as it’s so often described. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks like Jamie Dornan, Ryan Gosling and Leo Dicaprio.

​She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She’s a real fan of the power nap, loves setting her friends up together and, of course, READING!

​She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!

She’s an Amazon best seller and also the winner of Favorite British Author 2016 – Two Peas in a Pod Reader’s Choice Awards and Favorite Romantic Comedy Author 2016 – Obsessed with Books Indie World Awards.

Author Links

Website:  http://www.laurabarnardbooks.co.uk/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BarnardLaura

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Laura-Barnard/e/B00E4WTI26/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3490836.Laura_Barnard

Pinterest:  https://uk.pinterest.com/barnardlaura/

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

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Writing

New Release Feature: Druid’s Portal: The First Journey by Cindy Tomamichel

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Cindy Tomamichel, an author I met during my journey! Her time travel romance, Druid’s Portal, officially released this week! Yay! That’s awesome! :)

Congrats on your new release! 😉

When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!

Cindy is giving us a look at her “timey wimey” (Yes, I’m a Doctor Who nerd) romance, Druid’s Portal: The First Journey, today.

Cool cover!

This is the blurb for Druid’s Portal:

A portal closed for 2,000 years.

An ancient religion twisted by modern greed.

A love that crosses the centuries.

An ancient druid pendant shows archaeologist Janet visions of Roman soldier Trajan. The visions are of danger, death, and love—but are they a promise or a curse?

Her fiancé Daman abandons her before the wedding, her beloved museum is ransacked, and a robed man vanishes before her eyes. Haunted by visions of a time she knows long gone, Janet teeters on the edge of a breakdown.

In the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall and 2,000 years back in time, Janet’s past and present collide. Daman has vowed to drive the invaders from the shores of Britain and march his barbarian hordes to Rome. Trajan swears vengeance against the man who threatens both his loves—Janet and the Empire.

Time is running out—for everyone.

And here is an excerpt from Druid’s Portal: The First Journey to tease you with.

“Sister, may I speak with you? I’ve been having dreams, visions of the past.”

“And these worry you, my dear?”

“Yes, I’m afraid . . .”

“That you’re losing your mind?” the gentle nun smiled. “Janet, my dear child, you’re perhaps too sane for your own good. What you have experienced has made you strong, but you ignore the truth of your heart. Perhaps these visions are your heart talking to you.”

“My heart?” stammered Janet, thinking of Trajan.

“There are many mysteries in these dark forests that science struggles to explain. People born here have the weight of history and the forest secrets in their bones. This is your heritage, too, to see things that may be hidden. But one mystery is hope. Your heart hopes and yearns for love, despite the pain inflicted by Daman. The human heart—your own heart—is a mystery.” She placed her hand gently on Janet’s shoulder. “Maybe it is time you listened to yours. Follow where it leads you.”

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071LBLQ1G

Wow! Love the emotional struggle here. ♥♥♥

Thank you for telling us about your book, Cindy! I know I can’t wait to read this romance! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book!

Author Bio

Cindy Tomamichel is a writer of action adventure romance novels, spanning time travel, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal genres. They all have something in common – sword fights! The heroines don’t wait to be rescued, and the heroes earn that title the hard way.

Cindy’s recent published work includes winning a fractured fairy tale competition with a twist on the Rapunzel story. The fundraising event Madwomen Monologues has presented two of her monologues on stage. She also has poetry and short stories in two anthologies by Rhetoric Askew.

Author Links

Website:  www.cindytomamichel.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CindyTomamichel

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Cindy-Tomamichel/e/B07148BH5Y/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16194822.Cindy_Tomamichel

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

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, new release, Readers, Romance, Time Travel, Writing

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Tina Donahue

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 Tina Donahue, who has a few things to say about the question at hand.

From the time I first read Gone with the Wind in high school, I was hooked on historical tales. To me, the interaction between the heroines and heroes gives romance emotional weight rather than simply being plot driven. If I care about the people who populate a novel, I read on. If not, I’ll look elsewhere. Romance, to me, is a deeply personal connection between the world the author has created and the reader. It’s like growing to like and love someone, and inviting that person into your life as a trusted friend or lover. It doesn’t get more personal than that.

I’ve often heard that writing romance is easy. You know the old phrase: Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. Generally speaking, that covers the plot but not the emotions. Romance, more than any other genre, is driven by feelings. Getting those emotions down on paper is exceedingly difficult. There are visceral reactions (palms sweating, heart pounding) and personal ones (If I give my heart will s/he treat it well or will s/he disappoint me as others have done in the past?).

Created by Freepik

Romance is about trust and taking chances. For example, in my historical series Pirate’s Prize, nothing is as it seems, at least to the heroines. In the initial book, First Comes Desire, Diana is convinced Tristen Kent is a murderous pirate. In truth, circumstances beyond his control drove him to where he is. Whether he’ll be able to convince Diana of that remains in question until he proves himself and their emotional bond grows. In a plot-driven book, narration would tell you that they’ve connected. That’s not enough, at least for me. I want to feel their burning need for each other. That comes from shared experiences, friendship, and loyalty. An easy matter to plot, but quite difficult to get on the page. Watching these two connect and fall in love is what romance means to me. That moment when a woman knows this is the man who’ll stay by her side for a lifetime, no matter the difficulties he’ll face. And when he understands what a woman truly needs: fidelity and respect.

In Days of Desire, the second book in the series, I upped the ante between the heroine and hero: Simone and Royce. He’s a disgraced noble on a mission to destroy the island paradise where she lives. She’s an islander, considered less by those who live in the so-called civilized world. In this instance, romance is about cultural problems that don’t need to exist and about giving your heart to someone no matter what the rest of the world thinks. Heritage and ideology have no hold where love is involved, nor should they. To witness Royce forsaking everything he’s been taught to embrace a life with Simone is what romance means to me. It’s risking everything for the one person you simply have to have and defending that individual against anyone who dares try to ruin the connection.

Far beyond being an entertainment vehicle, romance means showing the world that we’re all simply people with the same needs and dreams. Once we dismiss the unnecessary obstacles society puts in our way, we can find that one person who makes our heart sing, brings passion to our days, and secures our future.

Unsplash, Alejandra Quiroz, Creative Commons license.

Days of Desire is available for pre-order. Ready to read July 4th.

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

Guest Bio

Tina Donahue is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary, and historical romance for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times, and numerous online sites have praised her work. She’s won Readers’ Choice Awards, RWA awards – Holt Medallion and NEC, and won a Book of the Year award. She’s featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company. You can find her online at:

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

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Carole McKee visits us on May 25th! Yay! 🙂

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

2 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Historical, Historical Romance, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

Five Amazing Stars for UYL!

Thanks, David, for your awesome commentary about Upon Your Love, book three of the Heiresses in Love Series!

on May 17, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition
Marie Lavender’s books revolve around strong female characters who find themselves struggling to attain their goals in spite of opposition from the social conventions of their times and the attempts of men to control their lives. Upon Your Love is no exception. Set in the nineteenth century, it is the story of Adrienne Hill, the daughter of a sea captain, who lives on a plantation near New Orleans.
Adrienne is no “shy flower.” She fences and she rides. She travels about the plantation without a chaperone or a guardian, protected by weapons hidden on her person. She goes to sea with her father, and at times, wished she were a sailor.
The book traces the rocky development of her love for Christian, a strong man with a “bad boy” reputation who is attracted to the independent, strong-willed Adrienne.
If you enjoy historical romances with strong characters, plot twists, danger, and love, you will like this book.

5 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, Marie Lavender, Readers, Reviews, Romance, Writing

New Release Feature: Timberline by Skye McNeil

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Skye McNeil, an author I met during my journey! Her contemporary romance, Timberline, officially released in April! Yay! That’s awesome! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!

Skye is giving us a look at her modern romance, Timberline, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Timberline:

After leaving heartache in the Midwest, Jessamine Davis ventures to the mountains of New York City to pursue her dreams of editing best-selling novels. At the top of her game, Jessie sees no pitfalls in her future until a wedding invitation makes its way from Colorado. After her assistant mistakenly sends her RSVP, which includes a plus-one to attend her ex-fiancé and sister’s wedding, Jessie searches for a picture-perfect date to drag across the Rockies.

Asher Whitaker is in a writing slump. The words that usually flow screeched to halt a year ago. Hoping to gain inspiration, he takes a part-time job at his favorite coffee shop. Nothing could have prepared him for the unusual meeting with a gorgeous tea fanatic. Despite his reservations, Asher agrees to accompany Jessie to a week of family time on Mount Princeton.

Hilarity ensues as the two strangers attempt to pass off their faux relationship to the onslaught of her family. Torn between wanting to keep her distance from the ex-Army Ranger turned barista, Jessie begins to feel something other than repulsion for the opposite sex. Asher isn’t the typical Wall Street type, so her attraction to him startles her. With his bold tattoos and teasing demeanor, Asher mirrors everything she didn’t think she craved in a man. His dimpled smile and tall stature puts her at ease and creates havoc in her celibate mind.

Between fishing and four-wheeling, Asher’s connection to Jessie deepens along with the tall tales he spins regarding the real reason he left his mundane side job. Every hour he spends at Jessie’s side only furthers his desire to be more than a boyfriend. Yet, his secret identity holds him back from fully disclosing the truth.

Though they had ulterior motives for their hiatus, the two discover something greater in each other.

In a moment of irony, Jessie discovers who the tattooed barista truly is—a well-known author of novels that leave women weak in the knees—but more importantly, the man she was supposed to sign with her publishing house before leaving New York City.

Jessie’s time spent with Asher forces her to choose between being scorned by love or transforming her heart for the future.

And here is an excerpt from Timberline to tease you with.

The commercial airplane taxied down the runway while Asher studied the sports magazine in his hands. It was opened to an article about baseball, a subject that enraptured him a majority of the time. Any words he read were lost to him. He couldn’t keep his attention fixed on anything with Jessie so close. She smelled like books. Freshly printed books with a hint of lemon. He might have been able to handle karma’s bitch-slap if she wore her hair up in a bun again.

Swiveling his eyes to her in a stealthy manner, he steadied his breathing at the sight of her mildly curled hair, which fell below her shoulders by a good four inches. That, coupled with her deep blue blouse and tan capri pants that exposed toned calves, sent him reeling. Today, Jessie didn’t look like the uptight executive who spilled her tea over them both. She looked normal. Well, normal for a New Yorker. The knowledge that she wasn’t born and raised in the city startled him at first. Her go-getter temperament and drive was typical for the bustling hub. Not many outsiders thrived under the circumstances. Many moved to the suburbs to escape the havoc, but she admitted to living in the heart of the city that never sleeps.

“What did you say you do for work again?” he pestered when he realized they never touched on the subject other than her offering to get him a job. He was shocked at her proposition, but then again, she knew him as a barista and that was all. He would never accept her job offer, but she didn’t need to know yet. Though he didn’t want to divulge his mainstream of income, he was interested as to hers.

Jessie tucked a curl behind her ear. “Oh, I um.” She stumbled as if in search for the right words. “I work in the publishing sector. Nothing too fancy. Books, magazines, websites, etc.”

Asher let his face relax, but only slightly. The little research he did online of her was somewhat satisfactory. In her personal life, she was an internet ghost, save one social media account which was marked as private. As to her occupation, Brecon Books boasted her as an established editor. Her titles varied were predominately romance, but a few mystery, and non-fiction titles had her name attached to them. A stray thought filtered through his mind, but he shoved it aside. Jessie didn’t recognize him, so she couldn’t be the editor who was supposed to meet with him from the publishing house.

“What about you? Is barista your sole job title?” Jessie asked, shuffling through pages of the latest fashion magazine.

“As a matter of fact, no. I’ve dabbled here and there with other professions,” he clarified, skirting the whole truth. She didn’t need to know the reason behind his coffee shop experiment. It would make things awkward.

“So a nomad hippie?” she asked with a disconcerting tone. “They will love it.”

The seatbelt sign flipped off, so Asher turned in his seat to face her. If she knew the truth, her family would love him. He didn’t like to deceive her, but the exposure on the other end was a far cry from the quiet getaway he longed for. “Yeah, it’s not a very stable occupation, but I’m fond of it.” She flipped another page. Her cavalier nature unnerved him. “Since you’re not a fan of me being a barista, what should we tell your relatives? Should we make up a profession? I can play along.”

Closing the magazine, Jessie eyed him from head to toe. As a rule, he would encourage such exploration, but the way her icy blue eyes slid over him was in no way seductive. “You’re an actor too? I guess it works to our advantage.”

Asher opened his mouth to explain, but slammed it shut as she continued. “Nothing pretentious. My mom will look you up online the instant she hears your name, so a quiet profession would be best.”

Asher grinned at the thought of a maternal form of Jessie. He pictured her now as a warm and nurturing type who had a bit of a stalking tendency when it came to the men her daughters dated. “Don’t worry. There isn’t much online to find about me. I’m not very active on the social media platforms. I like my privacy,” he concluded in partial truth. Her mom wouldn’t find anything about Asher Whitaker that wasn’t positive. Without a doubt, she would discover his military history, but it wouldn’t be so bad.

“So do I.” She unbuckled her seatbelt. “It looks like we have one thing in common.”

“Oh, I’m sure there’s more than one.” He plastered a grin on his face and it deepened when her face turned a shade of red. “Anyway, my occupation.”

Jessie tapped her index finger against her knee, deep in thought. “You were in the military, so what about a facet off that? A security company or military recruiter?” she proposed with a hopeful smile.

Thinking over those options, Asher figured they were safer than business. He was horrible at business. He had Mike to deal with the money side of things. “I could pass for a recruiter.”

“Perfect.” Jessie produced a book from her oversized satchel and handed it to him. “This should give you a rundown on what you need to know, although, I’m certain you already know most of it.”

Staring at the thick book, Asher held in his surprise. It was apparent that she’d thought this through last night. She managed to find a book on his fake career named The Basics of Recruiting. The humor wasn’t lost to him on the title either. Opening the bright green cover, he sucked in his breath. He could pass as a recruiter without reading this mumbo jumbo, but she seemed adamant he read it. “Thanks, Mina. It was real nice of you.”

Jessie’s blue eyes darted to his face at the nickname derived from her full name. “It’s Jessie not Mina.”

“Whoa, calm down there, Mina. Why the temper? It’s part of your name after all,” he prodded, skimming her features with his eyes. She was frustrated at his attempt at a nickname. He’d never met a girl named Jessamine before, and though he was surprised she chose Jessie instead of Jessa as a nickname, he liked to play with names. It was one of his favorite parts of his real job. The way her eyes turned to fireballs was irresistible.

“Because he called me Mina,” she somehow seethed through clenched teeth.

Asher understood the dilemma, and right off hated the man who turned Jessie to stone. It wasn’t fair of her ex to monopolize her future. He liked the nickname and he wouldn’t stop because another man tainted it.

Leaning toward her, he lowered his voice. “The best revenge is to move on and be happy. If your ex sees a new man calling you the same name, one I know you secretly love, he will accept the fact you’re over him.” Opening his mandated book to a new chapter, he added, “Plus, I like the name.”

He watched as her face went from prissy to understanding. “My dad wanted boys, but he didn’t get them, so he named us. Jessie for me and Bobbi for my sister. My mom was the one who fancied the names up so people knew we were girls.” She slapped a hand over her mouth. “I don’t know why I told you. Just forget it and read your book.”

Asher watched with vigilance as she jammed ear buds into her diamond-studded ears. The accidental tidbit told him quite a bit about his week-long girlfriend. She didn’t want to be a woman with a flowery name. She wanted to be mistaken for a man. A woman whose desire was to run with the big dogs of New York City.

He smirked when she all but scooted to the edge of her seat as though her insight somehow changed his perception of her. It did, in reality. Her slip up still resonated through her slender frame. The more he learned about her, the more Asher was enthralled. She would make an excellent story character.

Settling back into his seat, he skimmed the pages of the book which was altogether worthless. He was positive his date had also stuffed a book about the security profession in her bag, in case he opted for the other route. Holding in a grin when she mouthed the words from the song playing in her ears, Asher did his best to mind his own business. When she crossed her legs and sat upright like a jolt of lightning hit her, his focus was on her alone. “Everything all right?”

“The list. I forgot to go over the list with you,” was her stammered reply.

“What list?”

Her hands dove into her carryon and produced a notebook with scribbled handwriting in black ink. “I wanted to go over some ground rules for this week.”

Intrigued by her incentive to write out rules, he set his homework aside. “All right, shoot.”

Jessie licked her lips and kept her eyes on the book. “No ifs, ands, or buts on not sleeping together.” She looked up and explained, “My family has this rule where you can’t sleep in the same bedroom unless you’re engaged.”

Asher couldn’t help but insert, “We could pretend to be engaged.” The flush on her cheeks was worth the glare that followed.

“No.” She ticked the sentence off her list. “I’m not a real touchy-feely type of person, so limiting our physical interactions would be appreciated.”

Crossing his arms, he shook his head. “Well, I’m a very hands-on person. If your relatives are supposed to believe we’re together, some touching will be required.”

She narrowed her eyes but then relinquished her prude statement. “Fine, but minimal.”

“Unless you beg for more,” he said under his breath.

“What was that?”

Asher hid a smirk. “Nothing, Mina. What’s next?”

It was clear the use of his nickname aggravated her, but she didn’t correct him. “My mom is nosy, so try not to make up some outlandish story about us.”

“Duly noted.” He pointed to the next one. “No showering together? What? Now, that’s just irresponsible.”

Jessie’s face smeared in panic. “What? It’s not on there.”

“Oh, so we can shower together to conserve water? I know it’s important in the mountains.”

Her eyes flashed annoyance. “Not what I meant when I put ‘abide by mountain rules.’” Lickety-split, she scribbled more words after the sentence. “Yes, we need to conserve water and the like, but not by doing so together.”

“Mmm, you say so now.”

“Asher, be serious.” Jessie offered him a stern glance.

“Proceed.” He held out his hand, giving his approval.

For the next five minutes, the beauty next to him rattled on about the dos and don’ts of the week ahead. Well, five days, but who was counting? It was clear Jessie was a control freak, and her tendencies didn’t stop when they flew over the Midwest states.

By the end, he was somewhat peeved at her requirements. “If I’m getting this right, you want a perfect boyfriend for the week. Sound accurate enough?”

Jessie stuffed her notebook into her purse. “In essence, yeah. I mean, not too perfect, though, because they’ll see through you.”

“Right, because that would be horrible.” He let out a frustrated breath. “I don’t know why you want perfect, Mina. No one is perfect.”

“It’s what I want,” she said, her mind obviously set on that fact.

“And now I know why you’re single,” Asher pointed out, settling back into his seat. He didn’t bother to look over at the expression of malice which covered her face. It was an intentional jab. She desired perfection in an imperfect world. Though sad, it opened his mind to the real reason why her fiancé cheated on her.

The pilot announced their turbulence over the intercom and Asher buckled his seatbelt. He was in for one hell of a ride, beginning with navigating the dicey waters running through Jessie’s veins.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06XQXR5VR

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/timberline-skye-mcneil/1126183742

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/712494

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/timberline-2

Wow! Love the tension here. ♥♥♥

Thank you for telling us about your book, Skye! I know I can’t wait to read this romance! 🙂

 

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book!

Author Bio

Skye McNeil began writing at the age of seventeen and has been lost in a love affair ever since. During the day, she moonlights as a paralegal at a law firm favoring criminal law.

Skye enjoys writing romantic comedies and cozy mysteries, novels that leave readers wanting more and falling in love over and over. She writes contemporary and historical novels ranging from sweet and sassy to steamy and sultry.

Her constant writing companions are two cats and two dogs. When she’s not writing, Skye enjoys spending time with family, photography, volleyball, traveling, and curling up with a cup of coffee and reading.

Author Links

Website:  www.skyemcneil.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Skye_McNeil7

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Skye-McNeil/e/B017Y63B6C/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14437675.Skye_McNeil

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

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Susanne Matthews

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 Susanne Matthews, who has a few things to say about the question at hand.

What does romance mean to me?

Hello, Marie, and thank you for the opportunity to participate in your latest venture. Since I consider myself a romance author this should be an easy question to answer, but it really isn’t. Old-school as I am, I opted to check the online dictionary definition for ‘romance’.

Noun: 1. A feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. “In search of romance”

Synonyms: amorousness, love, passion, ardor, sex, desire, eroticism

  1. A quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life. “The beauty and romance of the night”

Synonyms: mystery, glamour, excitement, exoticism, mystique

Verb:1. Court; woo. “The wealthy estate owner romanced her”

Synonyms: woo, chase, pursue

  1. Another term for romanticize. “To a certain degree I am romancing the past”

Synonyms: idealize, glamorize, exaggerate

Wow! Talk about extremes. What’s a person supposed to take away from such a definition? I once had an editor tell me that her company published romances, not love stories—love stories came after the romance. Confusing? I thought so until I realized that while love may be a synonym of romance, it really doesn’t mean the same thing.

To me, romance is a complex and complicated word denoting several different aspects of human relationships. Person A meets person B, and they both live happily ever after, is a simplistic explanation for one of life’s most difficult challenges.

Regardless of who is involved, I see romance as the initial stage in a relationship between individuals, but one that may not necessarily end as the relationship progresses. This early stage can occur at different times and in hundreds of different ways and can certainly be a time of mystery and excitement. I had a friend at university who loved the romance aspect of a relationship. She saw it as the time when people went out of their way to impress the other person. As she put it, it’s the chocolate and flowers season. It’s a time to get to know one another, warts and all. Personally, I grew up when romance didn’t involve sex the way it does in many cases today. People dated, walked hand in hand, kissed, fell in love and went steady, and while someone might get to “first or even second base,” rarely did they “get to third and score a home run.” Not having that level of physical involvement made it easier in some ways for people who didn’t fall in love to let the relationship fizzle and die. Maybe that’s why marriage and relationships lasted longer than they do today.

The most common route to romance starts with attraction, a kind of undefined magnetism that draws individuals together. In a perfect world, that attraction becomes infatuation, which grows into desire. In some cases, the desire will grow into love. In others, the flames will burn hot and heavy, eventually extinguishing themselves. Not every romance leads to happily ever after.

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

There are times when the initial attraction doesn’t ramp up to infatuation right away and develops into a deep friendship instead. For some, that friendship stays as is and endures a lifetime. My first real boyfriend is still a cherished friend and married to my best girlfriend. I even introduced them, and they’ve been together 44 years.

Sometimes, romance develops when people are thrown together by circumstances, which is often the case in my books. Initially, they may not feel that instantaneous magnetic appeal, but there is something about the person they admire. Often, that admiration will grow into respect and that respect into love. Since I frequently put my characters in danger, there is a protective instinct that often comes into play.

I consider myself extremely lucky. I met my husband at university. The first time we met, there were sparks of interest, and when he asked me out, I accepted. On our first date, we talked for hours, getting to know one another. The following week, he sent me a funny card, something he did quite often. Over the course of two years, we dated exclusively and married shortly after he started his first job. We’ll celebrate 46 years together in September and he is still my best friend. Time changes relationships, especially marriages, but we both worked hard to keep the romance in ours. Even when the children were young, we had date night. It might only have been a romantic candlelight dinner after all the kids were in bed, but we made time for one another.

Today, now that we are in our so-called golden years, we still have date night and romance in our lives. We travel just the two of us, enjoying the things we’ve come to love together, understanding the limitations age has put on both of us. We have time with the children and grandchildren, but when it comes right down to it, we are a couple and the romance is still very much alive.

Getting to know one another, sharing and caring, doing whatever it takes to make the other person feel loved and cherished, to me, that’s what romance is all about.

When I create my characters, I try to give them the time to get to know one another. I make sure the reasons they don’t commit to one another are logical and understandable. I don’t have perfect people in my books, but flawed characters who have to overcome both physical and emotional issues before they can admit to themselves how they feel and commit to the other. In my novel, The Price of Honor, I have two old friends who are reunited by circumstances, but the past is as much what draws them together as it is what keeps them apart. The romance is there as they get to know one another all over again, searching for the truth and maybe saving the colony in the process.

For me romance is a journey of discovery that hopefully ends in a happily ever after.

Wow! I couldn’t have said it better myself…
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Susanne! Lovely to have you here! ♥
And gosh, I love that cover!

Guest Bio

Amazon bestselling author Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She is of French-Canadian descent. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Not content with one subgenre, Susanne writes romance that ranges from contemporary to sci-fi and everything in between. She is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traveling to interesting places she can use as settings in her future books. In summer she enjoys camping with her grandchildren and attending various outdoor concerts and fairs. In winter, she likes to cuddle by the fire and watch television.

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

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Tina Donahue visits us on May 18th! Yay! 🙂

We may have other posts before then, though.

Have a great week, everyone!

2 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Historical, Historical Romance, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by K.C. Sprayberry

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 to the heart of each person. And I’ve gotten some incredible feedback.

Without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author K.C. Sprayberry, who has a few things to say about the question at hand.

Romance with Gray Hair and Saggy Skin

 

What images come to mind when you hear about a new romance book? Are the couple young, beautiful, and out to set the world on fire? Does the cover entice you with in-shape people who look as if they have their lives ahead of them? Does the story promise a long courtship or short period of getting to know each other before they settle into creating a family and living out their lives in what most assume must be boredom?

Most think a book where one of the characters decides on career over marriage and children wouldn’t be a romance. They’d decry that book if it was the woman making this decision. Yet, in our modern world, more and more women are putting aside romance and marriage to focus on a career. Yet, once that career is over and they’re facing retirement, they see their friends have something they lost along the way and they wonder… what if I’d taken the shot at a family?

Two Hearts One Soul is about such a couple. Beginning in the 1970s, Mel receives a proposal from Joe. She’s so focused on making a career in the Air Force she doesn’t think twice about telling him no. In her mind, he’s her best friend and had held that honor for years. Joe is lost and angry when she turns him down, so much so that he doesn’t reenlist, instead returning home to marry another girl on the rebound and raise a family.

Flash forward nearly thirty years and this is when the story of romance for those over fifty begins. There are no nursing homes, no couple that is less than healthy living out their last days. Mel and Joe rediscover what they lost. Can they make it as a couple?

This short story examines the difficulties of restarting a relationship and how they are overcome when both parties realize how much they still mean to each other. Has their love cooled? Or has it been simmering in the background, only to be revived once they’re in the same room? Is their romance one of the hot, passionate whirlwind associated with love for the twenty or thirty year old set? Or do they have a cautious approach, one where both are afraid they might never have this chance again?

Created by Freepik

For that, you’ll have to read the book and discover how a woman without children can reconnect with a man who has a passel of them. Perhaps along the way you’ll learn that gray in the hair and saggy skin doesn’t mean the heart doesn’t beat a little faster when that special person walks into the room. There are still discoveries to be made for those of retirement age; it only takes people with the desire to find them to be willing to accept they may or may not reconnect with an old love.

Two Hearts One Soul is available on Amazon, a short read that will confirm that those of us over fifty still have romantic hearts.

Wow! Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, K.C.! Lovely to have you here! ♥
And, of course, age has no bearing on a good romance…
Guest Bio

Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair game when plotting a new story.

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, K.C., for giving us a peak into romance for the retirement set, and how you’ve incorporated your own romantic beliefs into your books. Awesome! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Dianne Hartsock visits us on May 11th! Yay! 🙂

We may have other posts before then, though.

Have a great week, everyone!

4 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

4 Stars for THE MISSING PIECE!

I just learned about this review yesterday. Thank you, Sandra, for your kind words regarding this new adult romance story! 🙂

https://iloveromanceblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/78528-sandrasbookclub_header1.gif?w=556&h=141

 

Review: THE MISSING PIECE by Marie Lavender

Alyssa is a reserved college student, an English lit major that preferred the company of a paperback more than anything else. “She wasn’t prepared to venture into the dating scene like everyone else on campus. Of course, ‘dating’ was actually a pretty loose term these days. She preferred her own company to that of the male persuasion. They all seemed to be caught up in the weekend scene and were so full of themselves that it was probably better if she avoided them altogether.”

One morning, she wakes up on the lawn in front of an unknown fraternity house with a raging hangover and absolutely no recollection of the night before. It’s at this point that she learns that, under the influence of too much alcohol, she actually went upstairs with a guy she didn’t know. Oh, no! You don’t suppose that they…that she…? With rampant thoughts of pregnancy and STD’s, Aly becomes paranoid and seeks to find answers to what happened that night. Did she go all the way with some guy named Brendan? Fortunately, the guy’s roommate, Justin, was willing to help her out.

The “missing piece” is finding the truth for young Aly, and the reader becomes interested to find out, too, especially when Aly is such a sweet girl that you can’t bear for anything bad to happen to her. You feel for her as she goes through the stages of confusion and panic over the possible what-ifs of that night. I liked that Justin was there for her, making Aly realize that her crisis may have revealed a very small and very cute diamond in the rough.

Short and compelling, this story is a quick, satisfying read.

Purchase Links:

Amazon Universal:  http://myBook.to/MissingPiece

Print anthology:  https://www.createspace.com/6933779

 

3 Comments

Filed under Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, New Adult, Readers, Romance, short stories, Stories, Writing

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Ricardo Mejías

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 Ricardo Mejías, who has a few things to say about the question at hand.

Romance in a relationship is a lot like dancing. Not the spontaneous kind, but one that requires practice. There’s an art to it, and when it comes to art there is always an ideal form one aspires to; dancers appear surreal to those watching; elegant in motion, graceful, years of hard work made to look effortless. But no one can be perfect. They can have moments, beautiful and brief moments that take our breath away, but even perfect moments are only meant to be remembered, not lived. And this can be disheartening, always trying to be at your best, straining to get it right.

This is only one point of view. Just as there are many ways to dance, there are many ways to interact with love. But for me, romance is a passionate exercise in living outside yourself. It is learning to dance with your partner. Discovering how they move, the beauty in their steps so refreshingly new and yet complementary to your own; figuring out ways to glide and sashay across the floor, together; knowing you are only as strong as your partner, savoring in the ache of your muscles, relishing in the many mistakes that will follow because that means there is still work to be done.

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

Ineffable, tinged in sadness, made to look elegant and is in constant motion, forever practicing with the one you love on a vast stage. It is hard and never truly ends. It is sweat and tears. It is earned.

I find the more beautiful an idea or object, the greater the weight of sorrow it carries. It can be easy to fall into the fantasy of pure romance, with stories ending on a note of warmth and comfort because they, by nature, necessitate a beginning and end. But we do not live in chapters, and because we inherently know this we can be pulled even more towards that ideal—ironically adding to the pain we seek to avoid.

My writing has always been infused with this sentiment. Romanticizing love’s other half, celebrating the elegant figure of Imperfection but always keeping the bigger picture in mind; you may trip and hurt yourself in the process, but it is worth it. There are very few happy endings to my stories. My prose is never settled, never really content with itself. It can always be better, and a lot of times I hate it. But I keep writing, and when I edit my work I am flirting, knowing I will always come back for more even if it is not exactly how I want it, that sometimes I may have writer’s block and sometimes I will have so much to say but no words to write them down, yet the page will always be waiting for me, whispering gently: there will be moments…brief, perfect moments to remember.

And how incredibly romantic is that? I fall for it every time.

So true! Life is a lot like writing; there are often hurdles to overcome, but in the end it is a worthy endeavor. I believe the same about romance. Those very real, normal moments and struggles combine with the small, beautiful, perfect ones to create a canvas. And from that you can build a future with the person that calls to your soul. 😉
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Ricardo! A pleasure to have you here! ♥
Guest Bio

Ricardo Mejías discovered his love for prose in his senior year of high school while taking a creative writing course. He majored in Creative Writing at SUNY New Paltz with a double minor in philosophy. Wanting to learn more about the publishing industry, he pursued an editorial career and worked at Disney Hyperion as an Assistant Editor. Currently residing in New York with his wife, he’s now looking to explore new careers as well as develop his writing and poetry crafts.

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

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author K.C. Sprayberry visits us on May 9th! Yay! 🙂

We may have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Poetry, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

Pre-order Release Feature: Hard to Love by author S. Jones

I am pleased to announce a great new release by S. Jones, an author I met during my journey! Her contemporary new adult romance, Hard to Love, officially went up for pre-order and will be released on May 3rd!

That’s awesome! Congrats on your new release!:)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author! Also, this is S. Jones’ debut novel, so there’s even more cause for excitement! Welcome to the romance genre!

S is giving us a look at her intriguing new adult romance, Hard to Love, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Hard to Love:

Leaving a safe, predictable relationship and falling straight into the center of a whirlwind was never part of Emily’s plans.

From that very moment when the stranger’s hand takes her by the wrist, she is thrust into a world where she is flooded with feelings she cannot ignore.

Torn between her head and her heart, she quickly realizes that fighting her attraction to Chase Newman is an impossible task. He’s a man who always gets what he wants and with his sights set on Emily, she doesn’t stand a chance. A one-night stand will never be enough, though, when she wants so much more than that.

When secrets and lies threaten to destroy the trust between them, Emily starts to question her own decisions. With doubt and suspicion plaguing her mind, is what they have worth fighting for? Or will the truth tear them apart?

And here is a teaser to entice you with.

Book Info:

Genre:  Contemporary, New Adult Romance

Release Date:  May 3, 2017

Pre-order Purchase Link:

Universal Amazon link:  myBook.to/HardtoloveSJones

Wow! I love the emotions here. ♥♥♥ This looks like a great novel!😉

Thank you for telling us about your book, S! I know we all can’t wait to read this romance! 🙂

☆.•°☆•°*S. JONES RELEASE DAY & GIVEAWAY!*°•☆°•.☆

Head on over to Sandra’s Facebook page to enter her giveaway for the chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, Signed Paperback AND a Alex & Ani Bracelet. 

 

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this wonderful book!

Author Bio

Sandra Jones lives in Upstate, N.Y with her husband, her two teenage children, and her adorable golden retriever Marley. She is a wine lover, coffee drinker, domestic chef, housekeeper, chauffeur, dog walker, and world traveler… Oh, and she is also a hopeless romantic!

When she’s not doing laundry, mowing her lawn or taking care of her family, you can usually find her on the computer planning out her next vacation, having a drink with her friends or reading a nice juicy book.

She loves to hear from her readers. You can connect here.

Author Links

Website:  https://www.sjonesauthor.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sandyjones23

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Alistair-Cross/e/B00N446AZS/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/64271197-sandra-jones-author

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

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, New Adult, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing