Category Archives: Fiction

Blog Tour Feature: Jackson by Tracie Podger

✫✶• NEW RELEASE•✫✶

 

Can two broken people have the love they both desire? Or will dangerous, harmful outlets and loss forever consume them?

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

Such a nice cover!

This is the blurb for Jackson:

Jackson

“It’s time to get my shit together. Time to tell her that I love her. Time to right wrongs and put the past behind me. But I have an addiction, one that haunts me, that takes over my body and mind. One that leaves scars.”

Summer

“It’s time to get my shit together. Time to tell him that I love him. Time to move on from my past. But he has an addiction, one that scares me, one that I don’t feel capable of dealing with.”

 

Jackson – Son of a wealthy, abusive man finds peace in art. Whether that art be on his body or walls, it gives him an outlet.

Summer – A woman in mourning, finds peace in the arms of her friend.

Together they can fight their demons, they can put the past behind them – or can they?

Can two broken people have the love they both desire? Or will dangerous, harmful outlets and loss forever consume them?

 

More info: Angsty romance for those over 18. This novel contains scenes that could be a trigger for some. Please feel free to contact the author or refer to the Trigger Warning section on the author’s website.

Tracie is giving us a peek at her complicated modern romance with a touch of suspense, Jackson, today.

Here is an excerpt.

Her sobs had quietened as the room darkened. We were lying on her bed, and although it had been six months, her grief and anger still overwhelmed her. With every sob I’d listened to, my heart had broken just a little more. I had her wrapped in my arms; her head was resting on my shoulder and my t-shirt was sodden with her tears. Her breathing had deepened and I knew she had finally dropped off to sleep. Each night I’d lain with her, each day I’d sat with her. She was my best friend, but one I was in love with.

I breathed in deep the scent of her hair, the saltiness of her tears, and the pain she was going through. I wanted to turn back the clock; I wanted to absorb all her hurt but I couldn’t. Each day, it was getting harder and harder to conceal my feelings from her. As she turned in my arms to place her back against my chest, I curled into her. I wouldn’t sleep, I couldn’t. The feelings coursing through my body, hatred for her situation, love for her, and an overwhelming desire to fuck her, had my nerves on edge and my skin itching. For months, I’d been able to control my needs, but it was becoming more difficult. I had to make a choice, a very difficult one. I had to leave her, and that decision would destroy me.

I’d never loved a woman before; I thought I was incapable of that. The emotion needed to love had been taken away from me at a very early age. But the feelings she produced, feelings she was completely unaware of, were fucking with my brain, and I was getting dangerously close to revealing who I really was: one fucked up individual. One fucked up individual, who was about to get worse after receiving a text from someone I’d been hiding from.

I gently slid my arm from under her neck and rolled to the edge of the bed. Her alarm clock showed it to be early morning already. As I stood and looked down at her, I heard her murmur my name and a tear rolled down my cheek.

“I’m sorry,” I whispered.

No matter that my brain was telling my legs to move, for a moment my heart was keeping them still. Was I doing the right thing? I crept to the bedroom door and hesitated, taking one last look at her before I left. In my mind it wasn’t forever, I just needed to get my shit together. I needed to be honest with her and tell her how I felt, but I was scared it was too soon. I was terrified of her rejection and of tarnishing our friendship. If I couldn’t have her, the way I wanted, I’d take whatever she offered, but right at that moment, I was about to combust.

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

What people are saying about this novel:

“Loved this book!!! Another hit from Tracie. So very well written, Tracie has a way of drawing you into the story and her brilliant characters that she writes. Emotional, heartbreaking, beautiful, consuming, tragic and sad but so worthy of your time to devour.” ~ Tes T., Amazon

“Another fantastic book by this author. Is there anything she cannot write…? Jackson is such a great story, heartbreaking too. I love Tracie’s writing; she draws you into the book and does not let go until the last page. I went to bed last night and kept thinking I need to read more. I adored every minute of this book. This story will pull at your heartstrings so have some tissues handy. Enjoy this beautiful story.” ~ Charlie, Amazon

Jackson was an incredible and gripping read. You never know what Tracie will write next and that’s part of her charm. I love getting engrossed in one of her books and not knowing where the road will take me.” ~ Stefanie, Amazon

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B075RGLL83

mybook.to/JacksonbyTraciePodger

B&N:  http://bit.ly/JacksonNook

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/JacksonKobo

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1272946259

Wow! Love the emotions here. ♥♥♥

 

Plus, Tracie is giving away some goodies, a Kindle copy of Jackson and a $10 Amazon voucher, with this tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Help us out and visit the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

.•°☆ RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY °•.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cf62282d5/

 

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

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

Author Bio

Tracie Podger currently lives in Kent, UK with her husband and a rather obnoxious cat called George. She’s a Padi Scuba Diving Instructor with a passion for writing. Tracie has been fortunate to have dived some of the wonderful oceans of the world where she can indulge in another hobby, underwater photography. She likes getting up close and personal with sharks.

Tracie likes to write in different genres. Her Fallen Angel series and its accompanying books are mafia romance and full of suspense. A Virtual Affair is contemporary romance, and Gabriel and A Deadly Sin are thriller/suspense. The Facilitator is erotic romance.

Newsletter Sign-up:  http://www.traciepodger.com/newsletter

 

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

And don’t forget to enter the cool giveaway!

Thanks again to Tracie and her blog tour sponsor! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

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Filed under Angsty, Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, giveaway, new release, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense

Cool Book Nomination!

Hi, readers! I’m so excited because Directions of the Heart, my romantic drama collection, was just nominated for the 2017 Readers Choice Awards!

Please vote for it at www.tckpublishing.com/readers-choice-voting. You can find DoH listed in #7, the Romance Category. Scroll down the page to find the book cover. Feel free to skip through to get to the right category, or vote for each one!

Have an awesome holiday season! 🙂

via Cool Nomination!

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Filed under Authors, Award, Books, Contemporary, Drama, Event, Fiction, Marie Lavender, New Adult, Readers, Romance, western, Writing

Pre-order Release Feature: Kurt Seyt & Shura by author Nermin Bezmen

I am pleased to announce a great new release by Nermin Bezmen, an author I met during my journey! Her historical romance, Kurt Seyt & Shura, officially went up for pre-order and will be released sometime in December on Amazon!

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

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

Nermin is giving us a look at her dramatic historical romance and international bestseller, Kurt Seyt & Shura, today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great cover!

Let’s learn about Kurt Seyt & Shura, a story of Love, Passion and Longing:

An instant bestseller since its début in 1992, Nermin Bezmen’s Kurt Seyt & Shura is a classic of contemporary Turkish literature, a sweeping romantic drama set as the splendour of imperial Russia is obliterated in the wake of the Great War.

Bezmen tells the story of two star-crossed lovers fleeing the wave of devastation wreaked by the Bolshevik Revolution, and does so with great sensitivity: one half of this couple who sought refuge in the capital of the dying Ottoman Empire was her grandfather.

​Translated into twelve languages, Bezmen’s Kurt Seyt & Shura inspired a sumptuous TV series that continues to enchant millions of viewers across the world. With the publication of this novel in English, fans can finally read the true story of this great love affair that triumphed over so much adversity, yet failed to overcome human fallibility.

​In 2012, the prestigious Turkish production company Ay Yapim offered to turn the novel into a television series. The producers pulled together an A Team of cast, crew, and director, who in turn created the acclaimed T.V. series “Kurt Seyit ve Sura”, with Nermin Bezmen’s guidance as a consultant and Ece Yorenc as script writer. The leading roles were played by the talented (and ahem, may we add also gorgeous) duo Kivanc Tatlitug and Farah Zeynep Abdullah. After its initial viewing in Turkey, the series was distributed in many countries, including the United States, where it is currently shown on Netflix. The production reached millions of viewers across the world and stole the hearts of many, creating new excitement and awe around the life story of the two lovers, about 100 years after their first kiss.

​The books in the saga include:

  • Kurt Seyt & Shura
  • Kurt Seyt & Murka
  • Mengene Gocmenleri
  • Shura Paris Years 1924-1927

Main heroes:

Kurt Seyt:

The son of a wealthy Crimean nobleman is a dashing First Lieutenant in the Imperial Life Guard. Injured on the Carpathian Front and later sought by the Bolsheviks, he makes a daring escape across the Black Sea.

​Too proud to accept payment for the boatful of arms he hands over to the Nationalists, he faces years of struggle to make a new life in the Turkish Republic rising from the embers of the dying Ottoman Empire. All he has is his dignity and love.

Shura:

The innocent beauty enchanted by Tchaikovsky’s music and Moscow’s glittering lights falls in love with Seyit at the age of sixteen. A potential victim in the sights of the Bolsheviks due to her family’s wealth and social standing, and determined to follow her heart, she accompanies her Seyt on the perilous flight over the Black Sea.

​Their love is the only solace to the crushing homesickness for a land and family they will never see again, two lovers amongst hundreds of thousands of White Russian émigrés trying to eke out a living in occupied Istanbul.

And here is an excerpt to entice you with.

A Night in Petrograd, 1916

Snow fell in fat, lazy flakes, an immaculate white blanket settling over the sleeping city. The carriage turning left at Alexander Nevsky Square laboriously carved a wide arc through the snow that had piled up all night, rounded a corner, and drew up to the pavement outside a three-story house.

A few snowflakes fluttered at the windowsills, stuck to the panes and frozen solid. The coachman gazed upward as instructed; a net curtain parted, and a shaft of light beamed out. A male figure wiped the glass, waved, and withdrew.

 

* * *

The young man consulted the pocket watch he’d left by the lamp on the bedside table: it was coming up to four; he still had plenty of time. Carefully, so as to avoid rousing the sleeping woman, he lifted the duvet and got back into bed. He reclined against the pillow, still holding his watch. Then, a little more determined, he flung aside the covers and got up. He drew the curtain back a little more and looked out. The moon illuminated the whiteness starting directly outside the windowpanes, sweeping unbroken over the garden, the railing, and the broad expanse of road. A world in white. Everything sparkled when the moon shone between the scudding clouds, and the world looked more splendid under this white coat.

Heavy curtains kept the world outside the windows, where it belonged. In the semidarkness, the room spoke in scents: perfume revealed a woman’s presence, and vodka testified to earlier indulgences, both mingling with the lavender emanating from the bed linens.

He turned toward the bed for a look. Amplified by the snow, the moonlight cast a bright-white light on the sleeping woman’s bare back. He recalled what the darkness sought to conceal: the deep auburn of her hair, now cascading over the pillow in waves; the groove of her spine dipping delightfully from the nape all the way to her waist and vanishing under the covers; and the right shoulder glowing in the playful light, a flawless expanse of alabaster.

Seemingly oblivious to the cold, he leaned his bare back against the window; then, grinning at the memory, he moved to the round table by the fireplace. The fruit platter, carafe, and glasses still stood where they had been left: half eaten and half drunk from. She was an impatient one, that Katya. Or was it Lydia? Whatever. The auburn beauty had excelled at entertaining him that night.

He picked up one of the half-full crystal glasses, downed it in one go, and shook his head as the alcohol stung his throat. He lit the pink opaline lamp in front of the mirror, and the soft light of gas spread into the room. Digging into the jumble of garments on the sofa, he gathered his own clothing and collected his underwear. He was moving toward the bathroom when the woman spoke sleepily.

“Why so early, darling?”

He strode toward her, still carrying his clothes. She stirred, rounded shoulders and full breasts braving the cold, her face now more distinct. Sweeping her hair up with one arm, she reached out with the other. He stared with barely disguised lust; the charming armpit thus exposed looked as arousing as the ample breasts bathed in the pink light. The sleepy gaze was not necessarily reserved for this time of night: she had proven her expertise in seduction with those large dark eyes framed by long eyelashes, eyes that spoke of the bedroom, of the pleasures of the flesh. Full lips pouting in anticipation, she waited, eyes shut, arm still outstretched. Smiling at her unrestrained behavior and ravenous appetite, he sat down on the edge of the bed. Her provocative scent mingled with the bedclothes, fragrant from passionate hours.

He yielded to the invitation of the arms wrapped around his neck. Languid eyes smoldered into his as she tugged away the bedclothes separating them to free her warm, buxom figure and snuggle up to him. She stroked his back and the muscles in his arms, pressed his head against her breasts, and presented her nipples to his lips. Effectively captured by her skillful limbs—surprising on such a petite woman—he enjoyed a lingering kiss before drawing back.

“It’s time I got ready. You might like to get up too; I’ll have you dropped off.”

She pouted with a half shrug. “Couldn’t we stay just a little longer?”

“I need to set off.”

“Where to?”

“Moscow.”

“When will you be back? Will you call upon me again?” She stirred as if to get up during this barrage, hoping to tempt him to change his mind.

All she got in response, however, was a jaunty smile and a pinch on the cheek before he walked toward the bathroom. He mused as he washed; he couldn’t remember her name—just another one-night stand. Someone he had met at a wild party where the drink had flowed like water…and they had left together. She was no petty commoner, if the splendor of her dress and jewelry was anything to go by. In all likelihood, she’d arrived on someone else’s arm—probably the man who’d paid for that splendor.

As he shaved, his thoughts strayed to the journey ahead. Best to get a move on, given he had arranged to meet the others at the station in an hour.

By the time he’d returned to the bedroom with a towel wrapped around his waist, she was already dressed. He patted his cheeks and neck with lotion from a bottle on the console. “Wouldn’t you like to take a bath?”

“I never take a bath on my own,” came the flirtatious reply.

An irrepressible grin lit up his face as he combed his hair, thinking, Her husband—or lover, whoever it was—certainly has his work cut out. He dressed, ignoring his audience, who sat on the edge of the bed to admire the view.

Muscular and fit, the young man in his early twenties carried himself with an aristocratic posture and demeanor. His moustache and floppy fringe were chestnut. A cleft chin seemed to complete his striking looks: flashing dark-blue eyes, a straight nose, and a perpetually sardonic mouth.

The redhead patted her curls back into place and sighed. Her questions were destined to remain unasked as the young man, now in full uniform and boots, strode between wardrobe and dresser, clearly lost in his own thoughts. He picked up several items from drawers, and some books went into a suitcase. She watched, astonished that he appeared to have forgotten the many wonderful hours they had shared in bed. Her wiles had failed to hook him. She leaned back with another sigh.

Taking a ring from a box by the mirror, he placed it on his finger and then put a watch in his pocket. She remembered openly admiring them last night—she adored jewelry after all, and he’d said the sapphire-and-diamond ring was a family heirloom. The enameled gold watch adorned with rubies was a gift from Tsar Nicholas II, he’d told her.

Soon they were ready to leave. A muffled clatter rose from the street. The second carriage had arrived. He picked up his coat and hat. “All right, let’s go,” he said. “I’ll have you taken home.”

He extinguished the lamp and walked to the door. She followed, surprised and not a little disconcerted at the absence of one last kiss or a plea for another meeting, as if there had been nothing between them.

The coachmen leaped down and ran over the snow. The young man turned to his guest, took her hand, and said, “Aktem will drop you off. Fare thee well, my lovely.” Her name wasn’t even on the tip of his tongue.

“Will we meet again?” she tried one last time.

“Why not?”

Happier now, she presented her cheek for a kiss, unbothered by the coachmen’s presence. Finally, gathering her courage, and with a bashful smile, she asked the one question that had plagued her all this time. “Tell me your name again?”

His merry laughter rang in the snowy street’s early morning silence. So the night had not been that memorable for either of them! Except for the ending, that is. He bowed, as if they had just met, and enunciated deliberately: “First Lieutenant Seyit Memedovich Eminof.”

 

* * *

 As the two carriages drove away in opposite directions, the auburn beauty who had sweetened his night was already slipping from his mind.

Book Info:

Genre:  Historical Romance

Release Date:  December, 2017

Pre-order Purchase Link:

Book link:  https://www.kurtseytandshura.com/buy-kurt-seyt-shura-english-book

Wow! ♥♥♥ This looks like an intriguing tale!😉

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

 

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

Author Bio

Nermin Bezmen is an accomplished artist, art teacher, yoga instructor and broadcaster whose meticulous research into family history led to the publication of Kurt Seyt & Shura in 1992.

This fictionalized account of her grandfather’s life became an instant bestseller, and is now considered to be a masterpiece of contemporary Turkish literature to the extent that it has reached textbook status in several secondary schools and universities.

Exquisite detail distinguishes her writing as she proves that truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and that our ancestors call out to us all from the pages of history.

Her powerful character analysis and storytelling skills invite the readers to explore their own dreams, sorrows, anxieties and even fleeting fancies.

Bezmen has to date published fifteen novels, two of which are biographical, and one is a fantasy; a children’s novel, a collection of forty short stories and a book of poems. She has two children and three grandchildren and lives with her husband, actor Tolga Savacı in New Jersey and Istanbul.

 

Author Links

Website:  www.kurtseytandshura.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/nbezmen1

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2Ao8jjr

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1259947.Nermin_Bezmen

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Jenny Lynn

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 Jenny Lynn, who has some things to say about the question at hand.

Romance is a moment that we can all feel building up inside us. It can exist when we make fleeting eye contact with an attractive stranger across a room. It can exist in a first kiss that rips through our entire bodies like a forest fire, completely consuming us.

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

Or it can exist holding hands during an evening stroll with the person we have loved for years, decades even.

Romance exists all around us, every second of every day. I love to search for it, to observe it, and through my stories – to give it a voice.

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

I’ve always been a daydreamer, ever since I was a little girl. I loved romantic stories starting with Disney movies then I eventually discovered my mother’s romance novels and I was hooked. I liked that the stories were never straightforward, that there was always a point when these two people could stop and say, “It’s too hard; we can’t do this.” Of course, they never did. That’s the very essence of true love – believing that what you have is worth fighting for even when the world seems to be against you.

I dated throughout my teens and twenties, enjoying the blossoming excitement of first love and the crushing defeat of heartbreak. I learned who I was and what I wanted. I was so sure of myself. Then I met a man who broke all the rules I thought I had. As much as it sounds like I ripped this from the plot of one of my stories, I moved from a small town to the big city and met a tall, gorgeous tattooed musician who swept me off my feet. I fell hard and fast, and we had an exhilarating courtship that resulted in him proposing outside of an art gallery one evening.

It’s been almost a decade and I am still head over heels for my husband; we have added a cat and a toddler to the busy life we now live. It was with his encouragement that I started writing romance, and it is because of him that I am able to write about love.

My imagination is something that still drives my stories. I like to ask myself, “what if?” I do a lot of self-reflection on the types of fantasies I have, the type of men I find irresistible (mainly confident, somewhat cocky alpha males) and then I bring them to life. My characters tell me what they want to say, how they want to behave, but I tell them how they’re going to meet and how they’re going to fall in love.

In my first set of novels, a duet, I wove a thread of family intrigue and suspense into a billionaire romance first in Falling for the Heir, followed by The Abducted Fiancée.

My new standalone novel, Delicious, comes out December 1st and is a contemporary romance about a cocky New York chef who is hiding his lineage.

My characters come alive for me, and I always feel a sense of responsibility to do their stories justice.

I am in awe of the incredibly talented romance writers I have met while I’m starting out. They have given me so much support and advice, not to mention the readers whose wonderful feedback keeps me writing. Being a part of this world gives me a chance to create happy endings over, and over again. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Nice! I know exactly what you mean… 😉
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Jenny! A pleasure to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

I’m a contemporary romance writer who creates complex characters, exciting plot twists, true love and steamy scenes that keep readers up and night wanting to turn the page. When I’m not writing I’m playing with my toddler son, going on dates with my husband, petting my cat or I’m in a dimly lit lounge sipping wine while I daydream about my next story idea. I have a background in creative writing and have had short stories published in multiple literary magazines.

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

So, as the host, 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, Jenny, for giving us your take on what romance has come to mean to you. Lovely! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for  a great guest post by Dating Connections, which details some tips on how to better connect with your partner over the hectic holidays, when the company Dating Connections visits us on December 1st! Yay! 🙂

We may have other posts before then, though.

Have a great week, everyone!

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

Blog Tour Feature: Sultry Nights Romance Anthology Tour plus Madison Michael’s Bedeviled presented via Reviews by Crystal

✫✶• NEW RELEASE•✫✶

Love, passion, romance and desire…this set of 22 hot and sexy reads has just what you need…

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Reviews by Crystal and Madison Michael, an author I met during my journey! Congratulations on your new steamy romance anthology 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…

Such an awesome cover!

This is the blurb for Sultry Nights:

A Limited Edition Romance Collection

Containing Stories from: Nicole Morgan, Jocelyn Dex, Alison Foster, Kate Richards, Linda O’Connor, Samantha Holt, Jerrie Alexander, Whitley Cox, Krista Ames, Ursula Sinclair, Measha Stone, Tuesday Embers, Siera London,  Rachel Shane, Bonnie Phelps, Misha Elliott, Alyson Reynolds, Jenna Bayley-Burke,  Madison Michael, Pepper Goodrich, Marcia James, and Destiny Blaine.

Love, passion, romance and desire… No matter what your preference, this set of 22 hot and sexy reads has just what you need. From surprise love affairs to bad boys that we can’t help but fall for, and couples that were meant to be, this compilation from Romance Collections is sure to please your every single need.

Featuring:

Bedeviled

Beguiling Bachelors

Book 3

by Madison Michael

 Blurb:

Can a love be built on lies?

Charlotte Roche is escaping a menacing threat in Boston when she moves to Chicago for a new job and a new man. Alex is smart, sexy and quickly getting under Charlotte’s skin. A shared love of running gives the sassy beauty an excuse to be near her heart’s desire, but can Charlotte run Alex from the track to the bedroom without divulging her past and risking everything?

Alex Gaines, wealthy banker and philanthropist, has held women at arm’s length all his life to protect long-held secrets of his own. Now he is torn between loving the alluring Charlotte and protecting his dual lives. Can Alex trust Charlotte with the truth or is risking his fortune and family to pursue her? Can the two fall in love when they are bedeviled by lies and half-truths?

When danger follows Charlotte to Chicago, threatening her safety and their futures, Charlotte and Alex a forced to make a hard decision – choose the secrets of their past or a future together.

Bedeviled is the third novel in the Beguiling Bachelor series, a trio of steamy contemporary romances set amidst the luxury of Chicago’s elite society.

Madison is giving us a peek at her sexy modern romance, Bedeviled, book three of the Beguiling Bachelor Series, today.

Here is an excerpt.

“You look so beautiful,” he told her in a husky voice. “I have been wanting to do this all night.”

His head lowered to hers, pulling her close against him as he leaned back until all her weight was leaning on his and she had no choice but to twine her arms behind his head or the tree trunk. His lips captured her slowly, softly pressing against hers. One hand rested low, on the curve between her back and her behind. The other came up to tangle in her short hair, holding her head still as he deepened the kiss. His lips demanded response, plundering her mouth with his tongue. He tasted of expensive wine and Alex as his tongue explored the recesses of her mouth, hot and insistent. Her breasts were flattened against his rock-hard chest, her hips tight against his as he held her to him.

When he lifted his head, shadowed by moonlight behind him, Charlotte was unable to read his expression. Unsure and unsteady, she waited, catching her breath. Blood was coursing through her veins, hot and urgent. Her heart was pounding from just one kiss.

“God, I want you,” he rasped, the words torn from him, raw and insistent before he dipped his head to kiss her again. She returned the kiss, opening her lips to his insistent ones, entwining her tongue with his, increasing the pressure against his mouth as she ran her hands up into his hair. She held fast to him, feeling his hand move from her hair to the nape of her neck, down along her bare arms, tracing a pattern there with his fingers. The feel of his hands on her skin was warm, strong and sure. She had longed for his touch and now desired it everywhere.

Alex lifted his head reluctantly. “If we don’t get back in that car now,” he told her, his voice hoarse with longing, “I will not be responsible for my actions.”

He lifted her away from his body, steadied her and then hefted himself from the tree and wrapped his arm around her shoulders to lead her back to the car.

She felt bereft without the solid warmth of him hard against her. Neither of them said a word until he opened her car door and closed it again, without allowing her inside. Instead, he pushed her gently against it.

“Sorry, I can’t make it home without one more.” Alex took Charlotte’s mouth in a searing kiss that took her breath away, sucking her lower lip into his mouth then sliding his tongue over it and into the moistness of her mouth. He kissed her senseless until she would have happily made love there in the sand, and the world be damned. She wanted this man as she had never wanted anything before.

Charlotte kissed him passionately, running her hands up and down his muscular back as she tightened her hold on him, wanting to get closer, to feel his bare skin, until finally they mutually agreed to some restraint and dragged apart from one another. He kept his fingers touching her lightly until she got in the car and he closed the door behind her.

“Jeez,” he stated with a rough chuckle as he folded himself into the bucket seat, “I hope there are no cops out, cause I am planning to break speed records getting you home.”

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

What people are saying about this anthology:

“A superb anthology from some great authors! There is a great mix of action/adventure and suspense with liberal doses of smoking hot bedroom action! The action is fast paced but not at the expense of feeling rushed or not thought out. The characters are fully formed and all of their own little foibles! I also love the fact that the characters aren’t in their twenties – nice to see some slightly older characters in a romantic suspense who have history and experience rather than “fresh out the wrapper” twenty somethings!!” ~ Nikki Brooks, Amazon

What a hot and steamy book!! I have only read two books in this collection but if the rest are as good as these, then Amazing isn’t good enough description for this box set. ❤️” ~ Nerdy Despina, Amazon

This is a brilliant collection of books in this box set. It has something for everyone. I especially enjoyed Siera London’s book ‘Forbidden Distraction’. It’s a really enjoyable story with Well Written characters and very entertaining. I would recommend this Box Set to anyone.” ~ Karen Galloway, Amazon

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B074RM9HFB

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sultry-nights-nicole-morgan/1126974023?ean=9781537860725

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/sultry-nights-3

Scorching! Love the sexy tension here. ♥♥♥

Plus, the authors are giving away lots of goodies with this tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Don’t forget you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

.•°☆ RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY °•.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/801c221b16/

 

Let’s also give Kudos to Madison’s sponsor:

Thank you for telling us about your new sexy romance book collection, Madison! I know I can’t wait to read this riveting set! 🙂

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

Author Bio

Madison Michael traded 28 years in Fortune 500 tech and management positions for a chance to spend her days with sassy heroines, sexy, rich heroes and nothing but happy endings. Growing up the daughter of a librarian, she learned to love books, especially classics and romances, and spent winters cuddled under blankets losing herself in books.

Madison is the author of three novels in the Beguiling Bachelor series, as well as several short stories. She is a member of Romance Writers of America.

After living in the northeast, southeast and the west, Maddy returned to her Midwest roots. She lives in Evanston, IL with two feline editorial assistants and great views of Chicago’s famous skyline.

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

Thank you for telling us about your awesome book tour! I know readers can’t wait to get ahold of this anthology! 😀 Visit Reviews by Crystal to see what else they’re up to these days.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Thanks again to Madison and Reviews by Crystal! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

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Filed under anthology, Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, giveaway, new release, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Romantic Suspense, Sale, steamy

Book Feature: King in Chains by author Grey Francis

I am pleased to announce a great book by Grey Francis, an author I met during my journey! She’s stopping by to tell us about her awesome paranormal erotic romance, King in Chains, which released back in September!

Woo hoo! It’s always fun to discover new authors and books. 😀

Grey is allowing us a look at her sexy paranormal romance, King in Chains, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for King in Chains:

Two hundred years. For two hundred years, vampires Alastair and Cassie lived without their Master, Killian. Killian’s return is cause for rejoicing—and nights of unquenchable, burning passion—but Alastair still harbors the fear that his True Mate will abandon them once again.

Complicating matters, Killian still refuses to take his place as the rightful Vampire King, leaving it to Alastair to rule in his stead rather than serving as the Arm of Power.

As Alastair struggles with his doubts, a new threat appears in London. A new Master Vampire stalks the streets, launching brutal attacks on Alastair’s warrior patrols. When this dark new presence makes a brutal attempt on the life of Alastair’s son, war becomes a certainty.

With Cassie and Killian away on important business, Alastair must lead this war alone. He faces a dangerous foe: a necromantic Master Vampire of intense power and uncertain motivations—and intimate ties to Alastair’s past.

The second installment of Grey Francis’s erotic Into the Dark Woods series, King in Chains continues the sensual tale of Alastair and his lovers—and threatens to rip their eternal passion to shreds.

Ooh..interesting!

Let’s hear from the author! Hello, Grey! 🙂

Hi, readers!

Lovely to have you here, Grey! Tell us a little about this book.

A psychologically compelling and literary erotic novel, King in Chains reveals hidden secrets as a new enemy threatens all of Vampire Kind, one who offers the tormented Vampire King, Alastair, something his lovers, Cassie and Killian, never could. With the second novel, I was able to delve deeper into the psychology of the compelling but complex Alastair. As he struggles to resolve the scars of the past that still haunt him, he is confronted by a powerful and sadistic enemy, who threatens to destroy all those he loves and the realm he has built. I wanted to make King in Chains the story of a warrior’s reawakening, as Alastair discovers how to truly love and trust again. He must confront his darkest memories and greatest truths and learn to accept his fate as King, while fighting for those he loves.

Fascinating! King in Chains is the second erotic paranormal romance novel in the Into the Dark Woods series featuring the vampire trio Cassandra Monteclaire, Killian Monteclaire, and Alastair St. Germaine. What’s new for the trio in this sequel to Bound to a Vampire?

In the same way that Bound to a Vampire was told primarily from Cassandra’s perspective, focusing on her history and her journey, King in Chains is Alastair’s story. From his near death on a battlefield at age 10, to his early years as Killian’s Protector and Mate, this book sheds new light on the two men’s tumultuous and passionate relationship. In current day, the story picks up where Bound to a Vampire left off. Only now, it is Alastair who seeks answers. He questions Killian’s devotion to the sacred threesome when he refuses to take his place as King. Unlike the first book, there is a formidable single enemy, a female vampire from Alastair’s past threatening destroy all those Alastair loves and the realm he rules. It is his turn to fight, to visit the past and face his demons, seeking the answers he needs to save himself and his Mates.

Much of King in Chains focuses on Alastair’s mental state. What are some of the psychological issues he deals with in this novel?

When the book begins, Alastair is in therapy, trying to reconcile the trust issues he has with his Master and Mate, Killian. Two hundred years apart after being abandoned has left scars. However, Alastair carries with him a much deeper wound. Inside him lives a very real death wish. He will always feel guilty for being the only survivor of a battle during the 1600’s. As a Protector, warrior and later as a King, he has always believed his fate would eventually catch up with him. Twice now, his death has been predicted by Seers. The first time, he was resigned to it, but against all odds, Cassandra beat fate and brought him back. Now, centuries later, his death has been seen in a vision experienced by his son Haven. Haven is a precognitive and his visions of death are never wrong. Only this time, Alastair is up against an extremely dangerous enemy. But instead of telling his Mates, whose presence in battle would greatly better his chance of survival, Alastair tells no one of the vision, once again accepting his fate as a warrior and validating his own sense of sacrifice.

A necromantic Master Vampire of intense power stalks the streets of London in this novel. What can you tell us about this new villain, and how does it threaten Alastair and the rest of the vampire world?

Ever since Ashen was a little girl, she could speak to the dead. Her ability has always been exploited, but none worse than by her Vampire Masters, Violet and Ambrose. Ashen was also unfortunate enough to fall in love with Alastair after being sent to seduce him. Ultimately, she fails to break up Alastair and Cassandra, a plan orchestrated by her jealous Masters in exchange for eternal life. The last anyone saw Ashen, three centuries earlier, she had been sold to the vampire King of Russia, a collector of curiosities. In time, he would ultimately turn her into a vampire. But when Ashen becomes immortal, her dark gift transforms into something much more powerful and dangerous. Ashen, in her new form, can command the dead to do her bidding. And Ashen wants power. Even the strongest vampires cannot fend off her unearthly electrical attacks. But more than power, Ashen wants Alastair, the only man she’s ever loved, the vampire who rejected her, and the vampire who shares her she wolf spirit. She has waited a long time and now that the Russian King has been murdered, she has nothing holding her back.

What themes are explored in this novel and how do they affect Alastair, Killian, and Cassandra?

There are a few dominant themes in this book. The first is trust. Much of Alastair’s destructive actions throughout the book are driven by a lack of trust, primarily in Killian’s commitment to him when he refuses to take the throne that Alastair has held safe for centuries. Another important theme is the gift of life. Alastair has always struggled with his own long life when he believes he should have been dead centuries earlier. Alastair, deluded by the idea of sacrificing himself for the survival of his family, is forced to come to terms with the true value of his life and all those who depend on him. In a dream-like afterlife, wandering through death’s landscape, Alastair must revisit key moments in his long life to truly appreciate what a precious gift his life has been. And what it could be again – as a King, as a father, and a Mate. And what it means to lose it all.

King in Chains is your second erotic paranormal romance. What do you find challenging and/or interesting about this particular genre, and what have you learned after having written two books in this type of series?

The biggest challenge for me when writing this series is deciding which character’s story I want to tell next! I feel completely committed to Alastair, Cassandra and Killian’s world and all the fascinating vampires who inhabit their past and present. If I could change anything, it would be the ability to write faster! Writing erotica is very interesting because it needs to stay fresh and interesting. You don’t want to write the same bondage scene over and over. It needs to personify the characters and what they are personally going through at that moment. There is also a psychological component playing out in most of the erotic scenes. A Master must understand what each submissive needs in order to feel loved, safe and fulfilled. For Alastair, this might mean pain. For Cassandra it means to be completely overtaken. Balancing the psychological and erotic is always interesting for me. It became especially interesting with a character like Ashen, who simply doesn’t understand love and only wants control. That led to some pretty rough scenes. Going to the edge without going over it is a delicate balance and stretches me as a writer.

Are you working on another book and, if so, what can you tell us about it?

Yes! It’s called The Shapeshifter’s Heart, and it focuses on Tristan, Forrest, and Eloise. Tristan is such an interesting character to me. The ability to transform into any human or vampire opens the door for all sorts of exciting storylines. Aside from being completely devastatingly attractive and irresistible to both males and females, Tristan is very old, a political mastermind, and a renowned Sexual Dominant. Even though he has been mated for centuries to Eloise, his heart stopped beating the minute his Natural Mate, Bella, was murdered by Torians in the 1500’s. In a way, Tristan takes care of everyone in his realm, including his King, but he is unable to truly feel anything for himself.  When Tristan takes over for Killian on a diplomatic mission across Europe while mentoring Forrest, Tristan discovers that Forrest’s former boss, and guardian, Cyril Winterman, who betrayed the entire Sentient organization, is hiding out in Scotland. In Scotland, Tristan finds himself in tremendous danger as he confronts the very vampire who killed his human clan and made him a vampire. Facing danger and exploring their growing bond to one another, Tristan and Forrest set out on a journey that will reveal great truths and change them both forever.

Sounds intriguing! Let’s read an excerpt from King in Chains

England, 1648

With Alastair tucked inside his cloak, the Scotsman moves fast, giving him the sense they are soaring through the night sky. When they stop, he hears the Scotsman talking to someone. Alastair opens one blurry eye and sees a young warrior standing at the doorway of a fancy carriage. The next time he wakes, the ground is moving beneath them, the carriage rumbling along the muddy road. Alastair is given something warm and strange to drink but he never opens his eyes to see what it is. He only knows it takes the pain away and makes him feel stronger. Alastair continues to sleep against the Scotsman’s chest for several hours, inhaling his wondrous scent, too exhausted to lift his head. Dreamlike, he hears the Scotsman talking to the warrior.

“He’s a wee lad. How could anyone put him out there?” the younger voice says disdainfully.

The Scotsman chuckles. “He’s a little warrior. I doubt he gave them much choice.”

“How’s the wound?” the younger voice asks.

“No longer bleeding . . . ” the Scotsman responds in a low, concerned voice.

After a long pause, the younger man asks, “What is it? Is something wrong with him?”

“No. Quite the opposite,” the Scot says, something unsteady in his commanding voice. “He doesn’t smell or taste like anyone I’ve ever met.”

“Killian, would it be best if I held him for a while?” the younger man responds with concern in his voice.

Killian.

“No,” Killian answers sharply. “It was just a moment. I can control myself.” There’s a long pause and Alastair senses Killian’s hand on his forehead, stroking him. “We must take care of him, Finn. He is someone to me.”

That is all Alastair hears before falling back to sleep. He wakes to find himself alone in the carriage, sleeping on a cushioned bench, a blanket tucked around him. They are stopped along a roadway, some sort of commotion taking place outside. Alastair moves tentatively at first because of his wound, but quickly realizes with astonishment there is no more pain. He pulls up his torn, bloodstained shirt and sees that his wound is wrapped in clean dressing and is no longer bleeding. Even the bite on his leg and the deep slice on his arm have miraculously begun to heal. His mind spins, trying to remember what the Scotsman did to him, what he drank. It had been something warm and strangely quenching, and not from a cup. The shouts outside quickly distract him and he moves to the window.

He sees that soldiers have stopped Killian, Finn, and their driver. Alastair’s heart pounds with fear, wondering if this has something to do with him. Listening closer, Alastair realizes the soldiers are asking for papers and hassling his rescuers. What fascinates him is how indifferent Killian and Finn seem to this inconvenience. They have no fear of these soldiers. On the contrary, Alastair gets the sense the Scotsman is goading them.

The next thing he knows, weapons are being raised and in a blur, Killian is no longer standing next to the carriage but in front of two soldiers, splitting them open and slashing their throats with what appears to be very long, sharp claws, leaving both men dead before they hit the ground. Finn takes the other two soldiers down in fast, lethal strokes of a blade. The last soldier, stunned and having no time to react, is clutched in the Scotsman’s arms, his head bent back as Killian sinks huge fangs into the man’s neck and drinks, blood pouring down his face. Killian’s two young warriors merely watch impassively, Finn whistling as he wipes off his sword and returns it to its sheath.

Observing this, Alastair breaks out in a cold sweat, coils of fear gathering inside him. Killian is no human. He’s seen the creature’s sharp fangs and claws, and the power and speed with which he killed the soldiers, as if they were made of straw. It also explains how he drove off the scavengers in seconds, killing most of them. Killian is some sort of monster that drinks blood—an undeniable and frightening fact. But watching Killian slaughter soldiers from the same army that annihilated his regiment is a spectacular sight to behold. Never had he seen faster or more ruthless kills, all done without a single weapon.

Darker thoughts dawn on Alastair. Impressed as he is, maybe he is being naive. It’s possible Killian only saved Alastair to feast on his fresh young blood later. Breathing hard and ready to flee, Alastair finds himself conflicted. It would be easy to slip out of the carriage with Killian busy feeding and Finn occupied with collecting the bodies into a heap. But something stops him. Perhaps it is the feeling of safety he experiences being close to Killian that still lingers seductively inside him. Never has Alastair known such a feeling. If Killian wished him harm, he had had plenty of opportunity. And why go to so much effort to heal his wounds if the Scotsman only means to kill him later? If anything, he seems highly protective of him.

He touches his wound, something coming back to him. A taste left in his mouth. It had been blood, Killian’s blood. That was what Alastair drank, not from a cup, but from the flesh. Thoughts begin to fit together, stories told around the fire, folklore. He should be afraid, very afraid, but instead he cannot pull his eyes away from Killian, fascinated by a creature of such power and speed, beauty and brutality. A vampire. A real, sodding vampire.

What people are saying about this book:

It is exciting, perplexing, heart-breaking, sexy and superbly entertaining!” – C.J. Populus, Amazon

It was a book that was never dull, and putting all of the sex and torture aside, it is a story of a deep never ending love between the three main characters. I recommend reading the books in order and I can’t wait till the next book in the series.” – Linda, Amazon

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B075V5LRQR

 

Wow! Great excerpt. ♥♥♥

Thank you for telling us about your book, Grey! 🙂

You can check out book one of the series too…

 

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book! Or you can add it to Goodreads! 😉

Author Bio

Grey Francis, a native of Los Angeles, graduated with BA in Journalism before setting off for the New York publishing world. She later relocated back to Los Angeles to work in the film industry. She eventually put her fascination with the paranormal to work as a screenwriter, but it wasn’t until the birth of her series, Into the Dark Woods, that she found her voice as an erotic writer and novelist. Her first book, Bound to a Vampire, was published in January 2015 and the sequel, King in Chains, was released in September 2017.  Francis is currently hard at work on her third book in the series, The Shapeshifter’s Heart. When she isn’t writing, Francis is a busy full-time mother of two wonderful kids.

Author Links

Website:  http://greyfrancis.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/grey_francis

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

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13504371.Grey_Francis

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

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Dark Fantasy, Erotica, Event, Fiction, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Writing

New Release Feature: Hard to Stay by S. Jones

I am pleased to announce a great book release by S. Jones, an author I met during my journey! Her modern romance, Hard to Stay, 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!

Sandra is giving us a look at her contemporary romance, Hard to Stay, today.

Great cover! So romantic!

This is the blurb for Hard to Stay:

Leaving the past behind should be easy.

For Lexi Manning, escaping her past shouldn’t be so hard, but like objects in the rear view mirror, things end up being much closer than they appear.

Brad Morgan is no stranger to heartbreak. He gave his heart away once only to have it returned. This time around he’s not taking no for an answer.

His friendship with Lexi might have started off in his romantic blind spot, but it quickly turned into something he never saw coming.

When the life that Lexi is running from starts to catch up to her, she is forced to make an impossible decision. Is protecting the man she loves worth running back to the life she barely escaped from the first time?

Leaving Brad is the last thing she wants to do, but she knows ultimately it will be too Hard To Stay….

Here are some teasers to entice you with!

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B076YZTDKD

Wow! Love these sneak peeks. ♥♥♥

 

Also, for a limited time, get Hard to Love, book one of the series for 99 cents…

Sandra is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card in the cool offer below. 

.•° GIVEAWAY °•.

Rafflecopter giveaway

Woo hoo!

Thank you for telling us about your new book! It looks great! 🙂

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

Author Bio

S. 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.
Author Links

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sandyjones23

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16456017.S_Jones

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

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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

New Release Feature: Explicitly Yours by Mika Jolie

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Mika Jolie, an author I met during my journey! Her wedding-themed romantic comedy, Explicitly Yours, officially released this month!

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

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

Mika is giving us a look at her comical wedding romance, Explicitly Yours, today.

Great cover! So romantic!

This is the blurb for Explicitly Yours:

Marriage.
The final frontier. The end of dating. The number one cause of divorce.

I bet you every man who is about to take the plunge experiences a wide range of feelings. As a guy, whose wedding day is only seven days away, I know this.

Anxiety—Nerves are kicking in. Yeah, even confident, cocky guys like me are bound to face nuptial stage fright.

Let’s face it, forever is kind of a long time, right?

Excitement—Coriander and I are going to make it official. I’m marrying my best friend, the one I laugh with, live for, dream with.

Nothing can top this moment.

That is until I got the biggest surprise of my life…

***While this book can be read as a standalone, it is highly recommended to read The Boy Friend first to avoid any spoilers.***

Let’s hear from the author! Hello, Mika! 🙂

Hi, readers!

You are cordially invited to Dean Conrad Morello and Coriander ‘Moonchild’ Phillips’ wedding.

Friends since elementary school, their story began in The Boy Friend.

There, we watched the two transition from friends to lovers. In Explicitly Yours—a novella—I invite you to go on another journey with these two beloved characters. This time, they are lovers, friends, and in seven days, husband and wife. But anything can happen in a week.

Read an excerpt from Explicitly Yours

Dean

See that dapper guy in the navy-blue suit, crisp white button-down shirt, blue and silver silk tie, and matching silk pocket square? Yeah, I mean the guy standing under the oak tree, with the clean-shaven jaw, neatly trimmed, dark brown hair, and a giant smile on his face.

That’s me, Dean Conrad Morello. It’s time, ladies and gents. The big event we’ve been leading up to.

There’s a reason I look cool as a cucumber, and it’s not because of the October breeze zipping through the air. I’m stoked to make it official with the woman of my dreams. You heard right, no anxious thoughts, no toe-curling fear. All the feelings swirling through me are a combination of crazy-good emotions and impatience. I feel them in the pounding of my heart, in the calm of my chest.

That’s right. I can’t wait to slip that ring on Cori’s finger and make us official … And be naughty and have a lot of dirty wedding night sex.

“Beautiful day for a wedding.” My father looks debonair in a light gray suit as he shakes my hand. The handshake turns into one of those man hugs where we pat each other’s back.

When we step away, I meet brown eyes so much like my own. I see joy, pride, and a nameless emotion that comes from watching his only son marry the love of his life. And it hits me, one day, this will be Cori and me, hugging our child goodbye as they embark on a new journey with their spouse. A raft of conflicting feelings—happiness, certainly, but also profound sadness—tugs at my heartstrings.

With my eyes welling up, I adjust the cuffs of my suit. The garden of Martha’s Way is buzzing with excited chatter. Guests dressed in formal evening attire move around. Some take their seats at the area facing the breathtaking sunset, others stand, talking.

“You look beautiful, Mom.” Truth is, she looks stunning and elegant in a shell-pink gown with a matching lace shawl covering her shoulders.

She smiles. “You look very handsome.” She places a kiss on each side of my cheeks, then runs a thumb over the lipstick stain she probably left on my face, her blue eyes misty. “There’s something special about an outdoor wedding.” Her gaze sweeps over the outside setup Jason and his team at Martha’s Way have put together. “The unparalleled beauty of the fall season.”

“I agree with your mom,” my dad says as he links their fingers together. “Jason did a great job.”

I nod and let my gaze sweep over the outdoor decorations. Mellow autumn sunshine lingers warmly. The trees, having lost their green hues, offer a kaleidoscope of autumn red and orange. Mason jars filled with baby’s breath hang from their branches by twine loops. A cello’s mahogany wood, sloping inwards at the sides—much like a woman’s curves—rests against the oak tree beside a shiny, pitch-black piano. Burlap bows with large sunflowers and fall leaves decorate the chairs. A rustic wooden sign reads Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After.

Everything is a true representation of Cori and me: Bold, fun, and sexy.

Here are some teasers to entice you with as well!

What people are saying about this book:

 

 

This book is Da Bomb! It’s a great follow up to The Boy Friend! There are plenty of chuckles, happiness and a few tears in this story.” – Lisa Helmick, Amazon

A story that is amazing and that I loved reading. This is an author who knows how to write a book that has you captivated from the first chapter and I found myself reading it in one sitting.” – Laura Furuta, Amazon

Explicitly Yours is a comical gold mine of sexy perfection! Which will have you in stitches from the very start! Seriously, it’s a brilliantly genius, snarky, work of art that is so cleverly written! I was in shock! I horribly despise romcoms! But, with Mika’s writing it does feel like an over the top Romcom! It feels like she found shelter in my brain and took over it! Stealing my thoughts and placing them on paper!! OMFG REALLY!!! Now I’m having to stalk Mika Jolie on a daily basis!” – queenzany, Amazon

Don’t forget to grab The Boy Friend and go on a journey with the cocky Dean Conrad Morello as he’s fights his growing attraction for his BFF.

Happy Reading!

-Mika

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B0769XPFN7

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/explicitly-yours-mika-jolie/1127248689?ean=9781978190252

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Explicitly-Yours/Mika-Jolie/9781978190252?id=6842447479054

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/7680635

 

Wow! Love these excerpts. ♥♥♥

 

Thank you for telling us about your book, Mika! Readers, I can truly vouch for this one, as I was a beta reader. So grab it now! 🙂

You can check out book one of the series too…

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

Author Bio

Mika Jolie lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. A sports fanatic and a wine aficionado, she loves writing about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, she can be found on a hiking adventure, driving her boys around to their activities, or sneaking in a date with her hubby.

She loves to hear from readers. Connect with Mika on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Amazon and BookBub.

Author Links

Website:  http://mikajolie.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/mikajolie.author

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/mikajolie1

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Mika-Jolie/e/B00NA74B6E/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8294433.Mika_Jolie

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

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

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mika-jolie

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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

A Character Interview with Leona from UNFATHOMABLE LOVE plus a conversation with author Linda Diane Wattley!

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 Molly V. Lovell’s character back on August 29th, and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Linda Diane Wattley, the author of Unfathomable Love, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Leona Tillard, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Linda in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Leona!

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

Character Leona Tillard:  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?

Leona:  Sure.

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

Leona:  I am a soldier in the U.S. Army.

Am I any good at it?  Yes, in less than two years my rank went from Private to Specialist Four as a Finance Specialist.

Do I like it? Yes, the main responsibility I had was making sure everyone got paid and the workload was very fair and purposeful.

Marie:  Nice!

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Leona:  In the beginning, my family consisted of two brothers and myself. Mark was the oldest, then me, and Dennis was the baby, along with both my mother and father. One day we became a merger family. My parents divorced, and my dad remarried, which put us in a position of now having a stepmother, two stepsisters and a stepbrother.

Marie:  Sounds complicated.

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?

Leona:  It was a beautiful white two-story house with a beautiful backyard with lots of flowers and trees.

Marie:  Great!

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

Leona: I enjoy reading books and going for long walks, especially at the park.

I like reading and writing, listening to music and dancing. I like being alone also.

Marie:  (Chuckles.) Well, who doesn’t have those moments, right? 😉

So, what is your greatest dream?

Leona:  My greatest dream is finding out who I am and understanding what is normal.

Marie:  (Nods.) I think we all should understand ourselves better…

Let’s try another question.

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

Leona:  I wish I could be a person who is happy and fearless.

What’s stopping me?  My past is stopping me because I do not understand why I shy away from people who care about me, and I do not trust myself.

Marie: It’s tough when we have personal demons to work through.

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

Who was your first love?

Leona:  Andrew. We met in Kindergarten and were the best of friends. He was my secret crush until one day he told me we will eventually be more than friends.

Marie: Aww…so sweet. I remember those young crushes. ♥

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?

Leona:  Learning that my father took my virginity. That was a devastating reality because I wanted to be nun when I grew up. That made it impossible.

Marie:  Oh no! 😦 I’m so sorry. That must’ve been difficult. I have some personal experience with sexual abuse. I recently published a book dedicated to survivors of it. I can only imagine how hard that experience was for you, especially when you were so young and it happened with someone you should’ve been able to trust. I hope you’ve managed to find some peace over the years…

[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]

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

[Leona 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?

Leona:  At first it was to be a nun and belong to God. Once I realized I couldn’t be a nun, I didn’t know what else I wanted to be.

I am still looking for a dream. I am still looking for me.

Never will I know if it was what I expected.

I never achieved the dream because I felt you had to be a virgin to be a nun. A nun is all I ever wanted to be when I was a kid.

Marie:  All right.

Again, I’m so sorry. 😦

(Clears throat.)

So, who is your role model, Leona?

Leona:  My grandmother is my role model. She always protected me and talked to me about God. And, she always told me I was special and one day I will understand why.

Marie: That’s wonderful, and she’s so right. She sounds like a wise woman!

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Leona:  Myself. I don’t like myself because I feel so unworthy to be anything good or loved because I feel so dirty.

Marie:  It’s really hard to deal with shame. I’m still working through it.

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Leona:  To begin again and put my past behind me.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there! I think we’ve all felt that at one time or another…

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

Leona:  Dying is my greatest fear because I don’t know where I will be. I just know it won’t be with my family and friends.

Marie: A lot of people fear death. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. The unknown is often scary. My take? I don’t think we’re supposed to look that far ahead. Maybe it’s better to just live your life the best way you can, because you never know when your time will be up. 😉

But, 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, Leona. 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 Linda Diane Wattley on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Linda!

Author Linda Diane Wattley:  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 female character from your story, Leona Tillard. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Linda:  She is a troubled soul who is trying to find out who she is. In many ways she is an angel. Leona has a big heart to share with others along with a strong need to be loved.

Marie:  Well, I think we all need love in our lives.

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Linda:  She is gentle, a good listener, and she has many gifts to share with the world. And, Leona is very smart and spiritual.

Marie:  Nice!

And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?

Linda:  Low self-esteem, a strong need to be loved and understood, and some self-anger.

Marie:  All right. Many of us have certain insecurities, so I’m sure a lot of people can relate.

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of Leona’s favorite foods?

Linda:  Barbecue, french fries, chicken, mashed potatoes and she loves homemade cookies.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Sounds yummy!

How about another question?

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

Linda:  She has a pure heart and the gift of healing.

Marie:  Great!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Linda:  They will love Leona Tillard because she is damaged merchandise, but she lives life to the fullest and is as real as they come. The reader will understand her choices, even though they are not always the best choices, especially when it comes to love.

Marie: Okay.

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

What first gave you the idea for Unfathomable Love?

Linda:  The love experiences that come into Leona’s life are overwhelming to comprehend. The love is so deep and intimate, and it happens more than one time for her. Who would you choose for her and why? You too could be making a huge mistake.

Marie:  Intriguing!

Let’s try something else.

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

Linda:  It is so surreal for me to write. I feel like a vessel receiving data to write as the words are revealed to me. There is not a book I have written that does not amaze me. There are underlined messages throughout all my books that I believe God wants people to know in a unique way.

Marie:  (Smiles.) I hear you…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 Unfathomable Love or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Linda:  No, not really because Charge of Angel was the first book of the series, which made a way for Unfathomable Love to flow through the process very easily.

I might self-publish because it would have been something worth learning, though I am thankful to have a publisher at this time.

Marie:  Right! In some ways, writing a sequel is easier because you already know a lot about the characters. 

And sure, it doesn’t hurt to have a publisher, though indie publishing is also an option.

Thanks for the additional tips aimed toward our aspiring writers out there!

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 Unfathomable Love appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this inspirational romance by Linda Diane Wattley, a very talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for Unfathomable Love:

Charge of an Angel, the first of the “Love and Redemption Series”, continues as Leona Tillard, the survivor of an uncensored childhood love, begins her journey into the heart of Unfathomable Love.

When Leona graduated from high school, she joined the United States Army. It was then she learned there was plenty of love to go around; after all, the Army is one place where men outnumbered the women. Her only dilemma was figuring out which love was the best love for her to embrace.

Hearing the words ‘I love you’ heals our souls. The ironic thing about it, very seldom do two people share the same meaning for love. This is usually fine until someone else’s meaning of love changes our lives forever.

In Charge of an Angel, Leona Tillard asked for your help as she survived her daily childhood nightmare. Today, she is asking you to help her to choose the right man to love forever. Do I love the soldiers or do I love my big brother’s best friend?

Sounds like an easy task, doesn’t it? Trust me, you too just might choose the wrong one. Let’s see if we can save Leona once again.

 Lord God, so much love, help me choose!

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

Doug sat down, breathing hard and sweating. He had danced himself out. He put on a slow song, grabbed me by my arm and walked me down to the dance floor. Apparently, another girl had planned to dance with him and met us along the way. He kissed her on the cheek and kept walking while she gave me the evil eye. I smiled and kept on stepping.

He embraced me and our bodies melted together as we swayed to “Breathless” by Corrine Bailey Rae. He put my arms around his waist and I wrapped mine around his neck. Though I was a little taller than Doug, it didn’t take away from his ability to get his bump and grind going. I had never experienced this before. Between the high, his scent, and his perfect body, I was in another world. Each motion of his body felt like a request for a deeper caress. As the music played, our bodies became a new and emerging instrument that played a song so deep with emotions to stop would be a great loss.

My body wanted out of my clothes. I wanted the party to turn into a huge waterbed and everybody to disappear. But, the music began to fade. Abruptly, he released his hold and ran back to the platform to play the next song. Looking at me from a distance, his eyes looking through me, he motioned for me to come to him. I finally exhaled. I didn’t rush to him.  I just stood there and looked at him. The longer I stared at him, the longer and deeper he stared at me. By now the dance floor was filled with people, again.

The crowd danced around me as if I wasn’t there. I began to realize the feelings I felt with Doug were the same feelings I had experienced with Tony a long time ago. He and I met at my brother’s day camp when I was about sixteen years old. Our closeness had been leading to sex, but he cared enough about me to make sure we didn’t do it.

I didn’t know about Doug. He gave my body a lot in a room filled with people. I could only imagine what would happen if we were alone. Just the thought of it made me feel like a lit candle. If he blew on me, I would probably melt completely and disappear without a trace. I decided I’d better get out of there.

I slipped gracefully through the crowd and found my way outside the room. As I went to the lobby of the hotel, I saw a line of cabs waiting to take soldiers back on post. I floated out the front doors to a cab and sat down in the back seat. As the cab began to pull off, I felt wrong for leaving without telling Doug. Then, I realized it felt great knowing he would miss me. After all, he was too sure I was coming to the party.

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

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/1975939549

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/7522050

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

About Linda Diane Wattley

Linda Diane Wattley is a proud veteran of the United States Army. Born in Akron, Ohio, she attended the University of Akron majoring in Psychology.

Over twelve years, a religious/philosophical columnist for the Frost Illustrated Newspaper in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 2016, she addressed PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, by writing Soldier with a Backpack, Living and Dying Simultaneously which made her a nominee for the ‘Best in Nonfiction’ during the African American Literary Awards Show.

Currently, she shares her “Love and Redemption Series”, which is a dramatically written story revealing intimate truths about molestation and the impact it has on a child’s soul. Leona is the child growing up and sharing her soul.  Keep her close to your heart.

Available today is the first of the series, Charge of an Angel.  Here you witness the early beginnings of the secrets of sexual abuse. And, the second book, Unfathomable Love. Never will you witness a love as unique and beautiful as the love waiting for Leona. God only knows what can become of it. You don’t want to miss it.

Currently she joined TLBTV and the Beacon Project as host of “The Truth Will Set You Free Show”, where you don’t have to be a celebrity to share your truth with the world.

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Linda Diane Wattley, here are some author links:

Website:  http://www.lindadianewattley.com/

Blog:  http://www.lindadianewattley.com/blog/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/universalove

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Diane-Wattley/e/B00JNTEYK6/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14441999.Linda_Diane_Wattley

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

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

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Leona, a female character from Unfathomable Love, and Linda Diane Wattley, 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, Faith, Fiction, Guest Writer, inspirational romance, Interview, Readers, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips

Vote For A Romance Cover!

Hi, readers! I just wanted to stop in and announce that two of my books were entered in the big cover contest on Authors Database. Yay! When you get a chance, you can check it out and vote for the one you like.

Upon Your Love, book three of the Heiresses in Love Series, which is also a historical romance/family saga novel, is in there. As you can tell, Adrienne’s eyes were fixed recently, to honor their unique violet hue.

This is the voting page for UYL:

https://authorsdb.com/2018-cover-contest-results/25047-cover-contest-2018-upon-your-love

Additionally, the cover for Directions of the Heart, a modern romantic drama collection, was nominated for the contest. Woo hoo! 🙂 Many thanks to Sherry Soule at SwoonWorthy Book Covers for her awesome work on the romance cover! ♥ 

Here’s the voting page for that book:

https://authorsdb.com/2018-cover-contest-results/25046-cover-contest-2018-directions-of-the-heart

Also, check out my author page over at AuthorsDB here.

This is for the next cover contest coming up. So, cast your vote and let me know which one you like best! You can also see the current contest and all the participating covers at the site here.

Enjoy, and have a great week! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Award, Books, Contemporary, Drama, Event, Fiction, Historical Romance, Marie Lavender, Readers, Romance