Category Archives: Military Romance

Exclusive Interview with author Linda Diane Wattley, plus a look at inspirational military romance, A LOVE STORY TO REMEMBER!

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

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with a talented author. Please join me in welcoming Linda Diane Wattley to ILRB! 😀

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

Author Linda Diane Wattley:  Hi, Marie!

Marie:  Hey, such a pleasure to have you here!

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

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

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

Linda:  I am an Assistant Manager at a union-based company that services membership support to our field staff. I am a talk show host who enjoys interviewing people who have a heartfelt truth they would like to share with the world.

Great! ♥

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Linda:  My family is a small nucleus but filled with a lot of love and loyalty. My mother is 82 years old and so filled with life. My two sons, Marcus and Robert, make me a proud mother as they have a heart for children and their future. Currently they are unified as football coaches who are not coaching them on the football field but the realities of life as well. I am a widow hoping to marry again one day. But in the meantime, I enjoy my beautiful, lovely grandchildren, Jaelynn, Myla, Marcus, Mara and one on the way. Also, two brothers of whom l love dearly.

Marie:  Wow, so many!

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?

Linda:  I remember a beautiful white house that my mother kept perfectly clean.

Marie:  All right.

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

Linda:  I enjoy listening to music, especially music from the 70’s. I enjoy reading and writing. Family time means a lot to me. Walking in the park is another favorite. Meditation and Yoga is a practice I hope to improve. Love watching music and going to my sons’ football games.

Marie:  Nice! 😀

So, what is your greatest dream?

Linda:  My greatest dream is to be so free I don’t have a worry in the world!

Marie:  Sounds like a plan!

Let’s try another question.

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

Linda:  A healthy and rich person. For now, I can say I am healthy, but I could do better with fitness. Now being rich, I just don’t know how to make it happen. If my book becomes a movie, that would be great.

Marie:  I know, right? 😉

So, who was your first love?

Linda:  My first love was not the guys I met in school, but the one I met in the United States Army. He was the man in my life who taught me what love looks like. He married me and gave me two amazing sons. Robert D. Wattley III is my heartthrob.

Marie:  Aww! ♥♥♥

With the next question, I hope I’m not prying too much, but we are curious…

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

Linda:  Becoming a widow at the age of 27 with two sons to bring up.

Marie:  Oh, goodness, I’m so sorry you went through all of that! 😥

Let’s move on to another topic, shall we?

[Linda 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?

Linda:  At first, I wanted to be a schoolteacher. Then I wanted to be a psychologist, but all that changed once I had children. I guess I lost myself while tending to my children. Eventually, after realizing the power of words, I wanted to be an author who aided in the healing process of heart and soul.

Marie:  Wow! 😀

Who is your role model, Linda?

Linda:  I do not have a role model, but I can say my sons have taught and showed me many things that make me a better person.

Marie:  Great!

Well, let’s try something else.

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Linda:  Interesting question! (Laughs.) None I can recall.

Marie:  Okay.

What is your deepest desire?

Linda:  Great health!

Marie:  (Nods.) Can’t blame you for wanting that! And, of course, you deserve it! ♥

Let’s go for a different approach now.

Just curious here, but what is your greatest fear?

Linda:  Death.

Marie:  That’s an understandable fear. 😕 It is odd sometimes to realize how very short life is.

Let’s switch gears for a second.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, what five essentials would you need with you? They don’t have to be practical.

Linda:  Blanket, iPad, phone, food and water.

Marie:  They all sound good to me! 😀

Okay, readers, let’s get the author’s perspective on one of her characters.

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

Linda:  Leona Tillard is the main character, who shares her journey from being a little girl to becoming a young woman. While growing up, she didn’t see happy adults so she was not in a hurry to grow up, but she does and discovers a world of love and self-awareness that comes with a price that she must grow to understand. Joining the United States Army marked the beginning of how her past experiences affected her understanding of normality and love.

Marie:  All right.

And what are Leona’s greatest strengths?

Linda:  Leona’s greatest strengths are her ability to seek understanding of life, trust God, honesty and compassion.

Marie:  Nice!

Any weaknesses of which we should be aware?

Linda:  She does not trust people and she is naïve.

Marie:  (Nods.)

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are Leona’s favorite foods?

Linda:  Cookies, ice cream, chicken, greens and hamburgers.

Marie:  (Chuckles.) All great on their own, of course, but I would never combine them. 😉

How about another question?

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

Linda:  Leona is gifted with intuition and healing others mentally and physically. She is incredibly determined to understand others as well as herself.

Marie:  How admirable!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Linda:  I believe readers will love Leona because she is not a negative person. Though she was dealt a tough hand, she moves forward and she reveals our human need to understand self, love and life. She refuses to be a victim.

Marie:  Happy to hear it! 😀

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

What first gave you the idea for A Love Story to Remember?

Linda:  I came up with that title based on the loves Leona experiences from birth to becoming a woman. The male roles in this story are real and reveal how men love women who have suffered unjustly in life. It also reveals God’s love for us behind the scenes.

Marie:  Nice! It’s fascinating how the muse works, huh? 😉

Let’s try something else.

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

Linda:  I am more of a plotter; I believe in having a bottom line and supporting it.

Marie:  Okay.

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

Linda:  I read this book at least twenty times, and every time I read it, I found errors. I had help with editing, but all errors did not go away even then. If you can get a great editor, get one because no one likes to read books with errors. As far as publishing, I knew I wanted a publishing company that listens. The publishers were great.

Marie:  That’s great advice! And believe me, I feel your pain. I learned it the hard way years ago, and was even inspired to write an article on my alternate blog about the importance of editing.  

Well, it was a total pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great tale A Love Story to Remember appears to be… ♥

Let’s learn more about this book.

Title: A Love Story to Remember

Genre: Military Romance, Inspirational Romance

Publication date: September 15, 2019

Here is the blurb:

A Love Story to Remember reveals the intrinsic realities of our need to love and be loved.  There is something about hearing the words, ‘I love you’ that enriches our lives even though its meaning is endless. Leona Tillard, a soldier of the United States Army, woke up one day drowning in the sea of love. ‘I love you’ ruled her life.

She knows God loves her, but she does not know who He has chosen for her to love. Sometimes God speaks through others to reveal answers we seek. Are you chosen to reveal her true love?

Linda is giving us a peek at the story…

“I can’t take any more chances. I don’t want to feel anymore. Don’t you understand? I’m cursed. Stay away from me,” I cried as I ran down the trail into the darkness.

“Leona. Where are you? This isn’t funny, you’re scaring me.”

Tony finally caught up with me. When he did, I placed my arms around his neck and kissed him.

“Whoa, Leona!”

Seeing Tony calm down from my touch reminded me how powerful touch can be.

“I love you, Tony.”

“You don’t have to say that.”

“Yes, I do.”

When we got back to the house, Tony turned off the car and got in a comfortable position and tilted the steering wheel. He looked like a different person than the young man who came to pick me up. I wondered if I looked different as well.

“You’re beautiful, Leona. I just wish you would see it. Let me make you feel good.”

“I don’t think I’m ready for sex yet.”

“That’s not what I’m talking about. I want to touch your heart and mind first, and then your body. I want you to feel me every time you breathe. I want my presence in your life to be the source of your strength, faith, hope, love and certainty. I want your heart and everything in it.”

“You sound like God, you know?” I smiled.

He laughed.

“How did we get on this subject, Leona?”

“You started it,” I said as I laid my head on his shoulder.

Tony and I found each other again. This time it seemed like we had God with us. Talking about God so freely reminded me of the freedom I shared with my first crush, Andrew.

Tony and I spent a lot of time together. He became my healer. I was ready to rejoin my life in the Army. I had one week left before I was due to arrive at Fort Sill, and I wanted to take Tony with me. Even though I was enjoying him, I couldn’t wait to get back into my life as a soldier.

The day I was set to leave, Tony came over and had dinner with us. My mom made the best roast, but it wasn’t enough to kill the sadness hanging over the room. Tony wasn’t himself, and his silence was beginning to make us uncomfortable, so I took him by the hand and pulled him outside to the porch.

“What’s the matter?”

“Nothing, I do have quiet moments, you know,” Tony answered defensively.

“Talk to me, Tony.”

Tony turned away from me and began walking toward his car.

“Sorry, Leona, I got to go. Have a safe trip.”

“Just like that, you’re walking out on me!  Why?  Be man enough to tell me why!” I yelled as I walked toward his car.

“I will never have you, Leona,” he said mournfully.

I shook my head in confusion. “What are you talking about?”

“Did you know you talk in your sleep?  I thought it was no big deal at first. But then one night, no two nights, you cuddled up with me on the couch and called me Doug!  Leona, I can’t compete with a ghost!”

I let out a sigh. “Don’t do this, Tony. My parents are waiting for us. Can we talk about this later?”

Tony shut the car door and walked back up on the porch.

“I would like us to at least make it through dinner,” I said.

After dinner, my dad and Tony watched a football game while Mom and I cleared the table and washed dishes. When we finished washing dishes, Tony and I decided to go out for a while alone. As soon as we got in the car, we both apologized to each other at the same time.

“No, wait; let me say this before we go any farther. I may have said Doug’s name in my sleep, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have room in my heart for you. I was traumatized, Tony. Sudden death is no joke.”

“I know. I guess I was a little jealous.”

“I have a surprise for you. At least, I hope it is a surprise. I wanted our last night together to be special.”

We rode in silence, listening to one of Tony’s jazz list of music. We pulled up in front of a hotel and Tony parked the car, got out, and came over to my side to help me out. With his hand in mine, we walked into the hotel. We didn’t have to check in because he already had the key to our room. I didn’t know how I felt about this. All I knew was he and I were about to be alone. When he opened the door, the candlelight and roses all over the room overwhelmed me. There were rose petals strewn all over the bed. Before I could say anything, Tony picked me up and threw me in the middle of the fragrant pile.

Intense! Can’t wait to find out what happens next. 😀

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/mqD5av

Publisher link:  https://www.penitpublications.com/product-page/wattley-linda-a-love-story-to-remember

What are people saying about A Love Story to Remember?

 

 

“This book shows us how previous generations can affect later ones. Family issues, trauma, abuse, and mental health can affect us all. Overcoming our past is a part of the human struggle. Very engaging read.” – Earl Hall Studio, Amazon

A Love Story to Remember by Linda Diane Wattley is a fictional love story about life, the need for love, redemption, and personal internal survival. The author draws from her own experiences as a veteran in the United States Army. Even in this fictional account, Linda demonstrates the inner strength to overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and find a path to recovery.

I encourage you to read all of Linda’s books and engage with her through her online television show, ‘The Truth Will Set You Free’ by TLBTV. This platform and the Liberty Beacon Project has proven to be a powerful beacon of light. Linda is available for speaking engagements, book signings and interviews.
I endorse this book and all of Linda’s endeavors to help PTSD survivors.” – Theodocia McLean, Book Marketing Global Network

 

Looks fantastic! 😉

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

About Linda Diane Wattley

LINDA DIANE WATTLEY is a veteran of the United States Army. She is an advocate for sufferers of PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and for those who have suffered from all forms of victimization to include domestic violence and sexual abuse. Her message is all about getting to the best truths that allows victims to be set free. Linda does this by sharing her gifts and talents that God gave her. One being an author of several books that lead readers to go deep within themselves to find their own inner strength and voice.

Linda was also a contributing columnist with the Frost Illustrated Newspaper in Fort Wayne, Indiana titled, “THE BEST WILL SHOW THEMSELVES” for over twelve years where she shared truths that stirred hearts and minds of readers in spiritual matters.

Today, she has opened a platform for others to share their truths with the world. Her online television show, THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE by TLBTV and the Liberty Beacon Project has proven to be a powerful beacon of light.

Her current book, A LOVE STORY TO REMEMBER is a uniquely written book sharing the journey to love after a dysfunctional past. It shows how men love and have their own spiritual understanding of life. Understanding someone with PTSD in relationships brings out the best in you in numerous ways. This love story will have you wondering who the man God has chosen for the main character, Leona Tillard. Will you choose him after reading her story?

Linda Diane Wattley lives to do God’s Will. She is available for book signings, speaking engagements and interviews.

Books:

https://books2read.com/u/mqD5av
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CZPKXQ7/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i1

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

 

Once again, I want to thank Linda Diane Wattley, the brilliant author of this military romance with an inspirational romance theme, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! Readers, check out her work! ♥

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Exclusive Interview with author Chris Ann Yim, plus a look at military romance, LIAISON IN LYUDINOVO!

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

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with a talented author. Please join me in welcoming Chris Ann Yim to ILRB! 😀

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

Author Chris Ann Yim:  Hi, Marie!

Marie:  Hey, such a pleasure to have you here!

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

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

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

Chris:  I am a former history teacher turned military romance author. I LOVE writing in this genre. I have to say, the more I write the better I become. Reading and learning from other authors has been tremendously beneficial to me as well.

Marie:  Wow, that’s awesome! 😀

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Chris:  I am married to an Army veteran who treats me like a queen. He provides for our family, allowing me to write full-time from home. We were both only children and have an only child cat.

Marie:  Wonderful! I have fur babies too. 😉

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?

Chris:  I grew up in a suburban ranch home with two bedrooms and one bathroom. Dad added a second bathroom when I was in middle school, and we got central air when I was twelve. Harvest gold kitchen from 1969 with knotty pine cabinets. It was full of love, and there was an RV in the backyard. I wouldn’t trade my years there for anything.

Marie:  Nice! 😉

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

Chris:  Writing used to be my hobby. Now that I write full time, photography has become my biggest hobby. I enjoy capturing the essence of Southern American culture, whether it be muggy sunsets, cornbread, or old cemetery headstones.

Marie:  Cool!

And what is your greatest dream?

Chris:  At this point in my life, my greatest dream is to raise a healthy, well-adjusted family with the love of my life.

Marie:  Sounds like a plan. 😀

Let’s try another question.

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

Chris:  The one thing that I haven’t perfected is being patient. However, if I were still in my twenties, I’d tell you that I want to become the person that I am today. My thirties have been extremely enlightening. After finishing school, finding my husband, changing careers, and all of the other tedious steps that I took to get to age 31, I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I just have to hone my craft of writing. I think that comes with time.

Marie:  True. I wish I could be a little more patient as well.

So…who was your first love?

Chris:  My father was my first love. He is a strong man who’s been seasoned by life’s many trials and experiences. He also has a love of muscle cars and America like I do. He has really affected my outlook on life, and I am very thankful.

Marie:  Aww! ♥

With the next question, I hope I’m not prying too much, but we are curious…

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

Chris:  When I broke up with my college boyfriend, after three and a half years of dating, I would have told you that it was the most terrible thing that ever happened to me. That was tragedy to my twenty-two year old brain. Two years later, when I got broken up with from my first G.I. Joe, I knew my life was over because he was my dream man. I know now that my life was just beginning.

I’ve lost a best friend. I’ve battled not being able to use a limb after major surgery. I’ve struggled with depression. My husband and I struggled with infertility. But, I feel like every ‘tough’ experience I’ve ever gone through has made me stronger. It’s forged my steel. I’ve gone through some rough times, but nothing screams ‘terrible.’ Thanks to the good Lord, I’m incredibly blessed.

Marie:  Yikes, so many things! 😕

But what an incredibly inspiring outlook to have. How admirable! 😉

Let’s move on to another topic, shall we?

[Chris 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?

Chris:  My dream growing up was to be a psychiatrist, but the Lord changed my path in the middle of organic chemistry lab, junior year of college. I know that it was divine intervention. Thinking about it now, I would still be in an incredible amount of debt from medical school, and I have a habit of shouldering people’s problems. My brain would be racked with worry because I honestly care too much.

So, when that didn’t pan out, my next dream was to be a history teacher. Did that. Then, I quit that profession to start a family and write novels. Working on that now. Bette Davis said it best, “Success only breeds a new goal.”

Marie:  So true!

Well, let’s try something else…

Who is your role model, Chris?

Chris:  All praise to my mother. She did it all; school, work, family, cooking, cleaning, helping others. She never cracked, either. At least, not in front of me. She is the strongest woman I know. If I even manage to somehow be half of the woman she is, I will have succeeded. She’s just that amazing.

Marie:  Nice!

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Chris:  I don’t think it’s possible to like everything about everyone. I have people that I completely dislike, but I pray for them…sometimes. I try to be nice. I know some people don’t like me. I don’t even like everything about myself. So, overall, no.

Marie:  (Chuckles.) Okay.

Let’s do something different.

What is your deepest desire?

Chris:  Unconditional love. Also, warm summer nights riding around in my Mustang. Drinking a chocolate malt. Listening to Junior Kimbrough with my man by my side. I’m not complicated in my desires. I value my Southland, my family, and my faith more than anything.

Marie:  They sound like great goals to me! 😉

And what is your greatest fear?

Chris:  Losing everything due to something unforeseen or uncontrollable. Losing my family or my home. I just have to keep on believing that won’t happen and be thankful because…I have it all. I truly have it all. And, I don’t mean that in a prideful way. I just know that the Lord has gotten me this far. He’s not going to forsake me now.

Marie:  True…

Let’s switch gears for a second.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, what five essentials would you need with you? They don’t have to be practical.

Chris:  If we can forgo practical things like shelter, showers, and basic food, I would NEED an air conditioner, a bible, a radio, and a full service BBQ restaurant. Sweet tea included…of course.

Marie:  😀

All right, readers, let’s get the author’s perspective on one of her characters.

We’ve heard rumors about the hero of your story, Jackson Lee of Palmer Lake, Colorado. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?

Chris:  Jackson is an engineering sergeant with the U.S. Army’s 10th Special Forces Group. He is a highly trained builder and demolitions expert. He grew up on a horse ranch outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and values the simple things in life like his team and his family.

Marie:  Nice…

And what are Jackson’s greatest strengths?

Chris:  Jackson is great at solving problems and tackling just about anything that comes his way. He is also a good judge of character.

Marie:  Any weaknesses?

Chris:  Jackson gets in his own way sometimes. He lets his mind overthink what his heart needs.

Marie:  (Nods.) I think a lot of people do that.

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are Jackson’s favorite foods?

Chris:  He loves a rare steak and a good beer.

Marie:  All right.

How about another question?

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

Chris:  Jackson has a way of making those around him feel safe. He is very intelligent, but sees himself as an ordinary guy.

Marie:  Great!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Chris:  Readers will like Jackson more and more as the book progresses. He is a good-looking guy who doesn’t know it, and he gets slightly nervous when a woman takes an interest in him. He is innocently adorable, despite the fact that he works on a team of trained killers.

Marie:  Aww…

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

What first gave you the idea for Liaison in Lyudinovo?

Chris:  For the basics like espionage and Russia, I looked to television and movies. I took a trip to Russia with my husband, and my Dad also worked there for a brief time when I was a kid.

For the heart of the story, I looked to my personal experiences. I adore Fort Carson, Colorado. I spent a considerable portion of my life there and know it like the back of my hand. That became my secondary setting. After meeting so many soldiers during my life, finding a team of guys to carry out the mission in the story was easy. They are a conglomerate of friends and acquaintances.

My heroine, Sam, was a completely new creation. She shares some qualities with me, but really has a lot of qualities that I’d like to have. It took a bit of research to create her.

Marie:  Cool!

It’s fascinating how the muse works, huh? 😀

Let’s try something else.

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

Chris:  I’m both. I start out as a panster. I get an idea, run with it, and then plot along the way.

Marie:  (Laughs.) That sounds like me! 😉

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

Chris:  I wouldn’t do a thing differently. Writing is a process, and there is not one, single formula that can accurately tell all authors how to go about making their careers successful. Authors are all unique, and success is relative.

Writing the book was the first hurdle. Liaison is the third novel I’ve written. It took the writing of the first two to show me who my characters would be in this novel, now the first in the series. I got attached to the characters in my other novels and had to force myself to create new ones. Once I got rolling, I fell in love with these characters just as much. Point being, you have to write and write…and write some more to be able to find your niche.

Editing was the second hurdle. I can edit my manuscripts all day long, but quickly learned the value of a professional editor. The editing process was incredibly beneficial. It forced me to go back and rethink plotlines, deepen characters, and improve my writing skills.

Publishing was the third hurdle. I’d already pitched my first novel to an agent from L.A. That was only because he was at a writer’s conference that I attended. It’s not like he answered one of my 86 query letters that I sent all over the United States. He told me after one minute of me describing my southern book to him to get out of the south and travel the world. He said I should come back when I had lived more life. WHOO BOY. What he didn’t realize was that I already was a world traveler with three college degrees. I had lived all over the country, not just in the south. I was a woman of thirty years with a bevy of unique experiences under my belt that he couldn’t possibly comprehend. And, the book I was pitching was written about THE SOUTH. So, at first, I was mad. He didn’t know me. How could he say that to me? In my mother-in-law’s words, “Hasn’t he ever read Gone with the Wind or heard of Harper Lee?” Well, I was still bummed. HUGELY BUMMED. Was I missing something? Were my life experiences not adequate enough content for me to consider myself an author? I felt defeated. So, I almost gave up.

I thought traditional publishing was the only way to go because that’s what the agent told me. He quickly shot down mine and other author’s questions about self-publishing. Well, now that I think about it, that makes sense. He was in the traditional publishing world. But, I sat on that glorious, southern novel that I was so proud of, traveled the globe some more, then met some fantastic, supportive writers in my local community. TURNING POINT OF MY CAREER. You have to network and make friends. This is something that can be difficult for introverted writers. Some in the group were self-published authors and some were traditionally published, but they all told me to do what worked for me. So, I quickly realized, SELF-PUBLISHING IS A THING! And, not only that, it’s okay. I had been told my whole writing life that you had to have an agent, you had to have a New York publishing house behind you, and you had to do this ‘writing thing’ a certain way. NOT SO.

So, the moral of this story is, DO NOT get discouraged! The important thing to know as a writer is that you have to keep on writing, keep on reading, and keep on keeping on. True writers don’t write for the fame. They write with their hearts and souls about the things they love. If you hear back from a publisher, FANTASTIC. You’ve beat me at that game. If you don’t hear back, you CAN do it on your own. If you need help, message me, I’ll help you. We have to support each other because our chosen path as writers is quite solitary. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there are a lot of us. We are just individually out there in our cozy little spaces, pouring our hearts out into stories.

Marie:  Such sound advice! 😀

Indeed, it is tough to navigate the publishing world. But I’m glad you figured it out.

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 Liaison in Lyudinovo appears to be… ♥

Let’s learn more about the book.

Title: Liaison in Lyudinovo

Genre: Military Romance

Publication date: August 6, 2019

Here is the blurb:

Sam Browning is a feisty and romantically jaded young CIA case officer who has uncovered a problem involving one of the Agency’s own. But she doesn’t have the evidence to expose the man she assumes to be a traitor working for the Russian government.

That was six years ago. Now she has what she needs to take the operative down and a skilled team of unique men working alongside her. Can they bring an end to a deadly operation and two high-value targets in defense of the United States? Then this life of government espionage will be behind her. But not before she discovers an unexpected bond with an untrusting, reserved member of the team.

Will this group of men teach Sam the final lesson of her career? Will the end of this case mean the end of Sam’s life? Just how strong can a bond be between those who defend the land of the free?

Chris is giving us a peek at the story…

 

Excerpt #1:

He smiled. “You okay, killer?”

She darted her eyes back and forth. “Well, I sort of need a little help in here.”

Jackson un-propped himself and went through the partially cracked bedroom door. He put his back to it and shut it behind him, looking at Sam in her dress.

Sam’s eyes trailed up his built, sophisticated form, taking in the wide-eyed expression on his face. He looked different without his beard. Younger.

“Too much?” she asked, looking back over herself.

“Uh.” Jackson shook his head. “Uh…no.” He blinked several times. “No, ma’am.”

“It’s red,” she said, hesitantly.

Jackson nodded, slowly, taking in every inch of her body under that red fabric. “I can see that.”

Excerpt #2:

About a mile from the cabin, Jackson pulled off onto a side road.

“What are you doing?” Sam asked, pushing the cuticles back on her fingernails.

He smiled. “Samantha Browning, have you ever driven a stick shift?”

Sam hesitated and looked away from him at the sky like a spaceship could land at any second. “Why?”

“Because the only reason you didn’t drive today is the car is a manual.”

She continued her fake search of the skies for anything to keep her eyes off him. “How do you know—”

“Come on now, Officer Browning,” he said to her as if he were trying to get a kid to fess up to a lie. “Your V8 Mustang is an automatic. You obviously like power, but you don’t know how to handle it.”

Well, that got her fired up. “Listen, Jackson Lee, I can ​handle power just fine. My Daddy tried to teach me once, but I just…I just…” She clenched her fists.

“You want to know a secret?”

“O…kay?” She shrugged.

“You know that you can try again, right? Some humans do that when they fail at something. Don’t let the secret out, though.”

She rolled her eyes. “Now? You want me to try now?”

“Now,” he repeated as he glared at her. “Do you and the guys have some sort of quilting contest going on back at the cabin, or do you want to learn?”

“Jackson Lee, we are not in a country where we can be distracted from the mission, shooting off on back roads for the enemy to find us. This is not the place to—”

“Do you trust me?” Jackson interrupted her.

She eyed him and shrugged. “This has nothing to do with—”

“Do you trust me?” he asked again, more firmly this time.

She hesitated but nodded. She didn’t like not knowing how to drive a stick shift, but she got frustrated easily with this particular skill.

“Did the Agency not require that you know how?” Jackson asked her.

Sam hem-hawed around at the question. “Well, yes-ish. I took the test.”

Jackson stared into her eyes, waiting on the rest of the story.

“I didn’t really pass the test, but to be fair, I tried. And, I’ve never had trouble since. I’m very thankful for that. And, I know it ​could have gone pretty bad in some situations, but…”

Jackson’s eyes were narrowing in question. “Do I even want to know how any of that went down, the not passing and yet surviving in foreign lands with foreign vehicles?”

Sam rubbed her forehead. “Eh?”

“Fine. Another day,” Jackson said, “but today, you’re learning.”

Ooh…love the tension! Can’t wait to find out what happens next. 😀

Purchase Links:

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

Add it to Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47551036-liaison-in-lyudinovo

What are people saying about Liaison in Lyudinovo?

 

 

“Spy and romance – what more could you want? This book is amazingly written. You feel you are there. Gets intense and you are right there feeling it. Love this brilliant writer!!!” – Connie King, Amazon

“Romance with military special ops. Author has researched the proper tactics, language and weapons for authenticity. Loved the romance part also.” – Deborah Palmer, Amazon

What a fun, suspenseful read!” – Robert G. Karcher, Amazon

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

About Chris Ann Yim

Chris Ann Yim is a historian and author of the new novel Liaison in Lyudinovo. As the wife of an Army veteran, she holds an appreciation for the relationships between military service members and their families. With a background in the social sciences, she has spent the majority of her life researching military leadership, the psychology of war, and the development of culture in societal groups. Chris is a cat mom who enjoys Blues Rock and Big Band music, drag racing, and photography. She lives and works out of her home on the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee, and spends her vacations eating good food and traveling the globe with her husband. Her claim to fame was once being chosen as a contestant on ‘The Price is Right’, and in the future she aspires to go an entire week without tripping over her own feet or spilling a glass of sweet tea down her shirt.

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the fascinating Chris Ann yim, here are some author links…

 

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

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Book Review: Unglorious War by Maxine Flam

Our latest I Love Romance Blog review selection is Unglorious War by Maxine Flam. What a read! 😀

The novel was a gift copy provided well before I became an official reviewer on ILRB. Going into this review, I should state that even though I love reading historical romance, this is not one of my favorite time periods to read about (and I only have two or three that I try to avoid). I don’t claim ignorance about the Vietnam War. My own father served, and has his own stories – at least what he is allowed to reveal. Much of what he did remains classified. However, to be fair as both reader and reviewer, I reserved judgment until the book was finished.

Unglorious War is an appropriate title, for reading the story proved to be a rather enlightening experience. The characters were compelling. Marla, especially, was someone I grew to further respect as the tale progressed. The secondary characters were just as fascinating.

I must congratulate the author for her historical accuracy. She clearly did her research, and this book has the seal of approval from three war Veterans.

One issue I saw – both from the standpoint of a writer and a reader – was the head-hopping interspersed throughout the story. The approach was unusual overall, hinting at more of an omniscient narrator. Still, this fact wasn’t enough to pull me out of the fictional world, in most cases.

The varied emotions on the page were real, and the love story was deeply moving. The connection between Marla and Thomas was believable and heartfelt, even with the threat of war all around them.

As for an HEA or HFN – the one aspect a romance reader yearns for – I’d probably label the novel historical fiction with elements of romance. Possibly with a hint of inspirational romance, and definitely a military romance. We have to be realistic too with any tale about war. With the intent of being remotely authentic, it can’t be all hearts, flowers, and butterflies. I am not a person who likes to give away spoilers. I will do my best to avoid doing so here.

ONE WARNING: When something bad happens, don’t give up on this read. There is so much more to discover, to be resolved. And the ending is…well, open to interpretation.

In any case, my rating for this read is three hearts ❤️❤️❤️ – for a well told story and a realistic romance. Nice job, Maxine! 🙂

Book Info:

Major Thomas Harrison Smith is critically wounded while escaping from a POW camp deep inside Laos during the Vietnam War. Stabilized by medical personnel in Vietnam and Japan, he is flown to Oahu, Hawaii for surgery and rehabilitation. Emaciated, dehydrated, and half-dead from torture and constant beatings, he meets Lt. Marla Bristol, a nurse-therapist assigned to his case. During Major Smith s recovery, he and Lt. Bristol fall in love and marry, but the military wants Major Smith to do another tour of duty and if Major Smith does return to Vietnam, will he see his beloved Marla again?

Who is Lt. Anthony Lambello and what part does he play in whether Major Smith returns from NAM? Thomas and Marla are scared but each pray to God that they should be reunited soon. They find their faith tested and God answers their prayers, but is it the way that they hope for?

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/bP0AAr

Here is an excerpt.

AUTHOR: Maxine Flam

TITLE: Unglorious War

GENRE: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational, Military Romance

RELEASE DATE: February 19, 2009-2012

PUBLISHER: Flamingo Publications

ISBN/ASIN: 098211740X/9780982117415

OUR RATING: ♥♥♥

REVIEWED BY: Marie Lavender

You can find an ebook copy for free on Smashwords! 😉

Up next time: Kurt Seyt & Shura by Nermin Bezmen

Thanks for reading our latest book review on ILRB!

 

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Big Myths That Should Be Dispelled About Romance Novels: a romance blogger post by multi-genre author Marie Lavender

Big Myths That Should Be Dispelled About Romance Novels

 

If you’re a fan of romance, then you’ve probably heard an insult or two regarding your favorite genre. And for those who don’t often gravitate towards romance for various reasons, now is the time to listen up and take this into consideration. You might be wrong about your assumptions! 😉 So, read on and learn more here…

I’ll list some myths that I’ve heard and read before.

  1. “It’s all smut.”

    freestocks.org, Unsplash

    Uggh…this word can annoy an avid romance reader. Some might think this myth is outdated, but there are people who still believe romance novels are smut, or trashy reads.

Bodice rippers went out of style by the mid-80s. The genre, as well as authors and readers, have evolved considerably. Erotica is a different subject matter entirely. Plus, bodice rippers promote rape culture, and most romance novels nowadays don’t even touch on that topic in a romantic relationship. With good reason, of course. Both sexual partners should be willing.

‘Mommy porn’ is also a derogative term which is used by certain parties in reference to romance books. Come on, not every romance author writes Fifty Shades-esque material, and readers are certainly not just mothers. Some are single, professional women. Romance readers are intelligent, capable people just as they are, and they’re not reading ‘smut’ or even ‘fluff’. It takes a lot of effort and smarts to digest a full romance novel (historical romance is heavy on time period description) – or in the case of fantasy and sci-fi romance, lots of world-building – in one sitting, and keep coming back for more.

Yuri Efremov, Unsplash

And no, we don’t just skip to the good parts! 🙄

  1. “Gross! I’m a guy. Men don’t read or write romance.”

Geez…get with the times! Men like to read romance too. ♥ For God’s sake, my reviewer for this blog is a guy. He adores reading romance books! And yes, he’s also a romance writer. I’ve also met a handful of other male authors who sometimes write in the romance genre.

There’s nothing wrong at all with dudes getting into romance reads, as writers or readers. More power to them! 😀

  1. “These books are so simple. 1+1 = 2, right? It’s not that difficult to understand.”

Actually, romance stories are complicated. It takes a hell of a lot more than just throwing two unique people next to each other, and then expecting fireworks. Life is full of ups and downs, a roller coaster journey, so to speak. Why wouldn’t a romance read have the same drama and tension?

Created by bearfotos- freepik.com

Authenticity is everything. Readers won’t care about characters or a story which isn’t relatable, or read something that couldn’t feasibly occur in reality. Even if the tale has fantastical elements, we have to believe in what’s happening, and see the reason why these characters are compatible.

Carly Rae Hobbins, Unsplash

  1. “Romance books are standard, or boring! Not for me…I need something that holds my attention.”

Really? With the constant evolution of multiple themes and sub-genres of romance, we’re not likely to run out of new ideas, nor are readers liable to call it quits any time soon. It’s one of the most popular book categories for a reason! 🙂

If you like shapeshifters, there’s always paranormal romance. Who doesn’t like vampires, werewolves or witches?

Favor a good spy tale or mystery/thriller? Try romantic suspense or a romantic thriller for some heart-pounding action.

Do you crave stories that are…a tad darker? There’s a type called dark romance, and even unique themes such as mafia romance or MC (biker) romances are available.

Prefer adventure tales? Maybe fantasy romance or romantic adventure is more your style.

You could be a science fiction fan, but might be willing to try something with a romantic storyline. As you know, many of the most popular sci-fi films usually have a romance angle to appeal to audiences. Why not go for science fiction romance, dystopian romance or even a good time travel tale?

 

Maybe you like stories about war veterans. Well, we have military romance

In other words, this genre has sooooo many options! ♥

  1. “I don’t believe in love at first sight. I can’t get into romance novels.”

Even as someone who has read tons of romance novels in some capacity since the age of thirteen, I can’t say I go for love at first sight either. However, I do believe that two people can connect right away. Lust also happens pretty fast too, but that’s beside the point. With these two facts, I know it still takes time to build a good relationship. I’ve read plenty of novels that don’t fall into the trap of the love at first sight ideal. I think it’s why the ‘Happy for Now’ ending works so well; most novelists get that this is more realistic on some level. I think that a lot of writers these days are doing their best to show that it’s not really love at first sight – rather it’s more about chemistry and an instant connection evolving quickly into something substantial. And this isn’t unheard of in real life.

But we don’t have 1,000 pages to explain the whole courtship/dating period; therefore it falls on the writer to try to make it a believable story in a short amount of time.

As a writer of romance as well, with twenty-four published books and 125+ works-in-progress, I usually do my best to avoid the idea of immediate love. Chemistry is easy, though.

Created by yanalya – freepik.com

It’s everything else that complicates the story. Even in my shorter romantic fiction, I try to explain that enough time – even though I don’t always go into the normal life details – has passed for these two people to actually develop feelings.

With The Missing Piece, a story that was part of a holiday romance anthology and was then made into a single ebook (new adult romance), I was careful to simply show the stirrings of romantic interest in such a short time.

For me, I see insta-love as a notion that often works well for supernatural creatures in fiction, simply because their primal, possessive instincts are winning out over logic. This can merge into affection rather quickly because all of their senses are more heightened than usual. Everything is so vivid that it must be love.

  1. “Romance novels are too sexy. I can’t handle all that heat.”

So steam isn’t for you. We totally respect your preferences! If you find that most romance reads are rife with heated or even graphic content, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Try inspirational romance. Have you seen Amish romance in bookstores? Yeah, that’s one type, among so many others.

But let’s say you’re open to looking outside spiritual reads. Also available on the market are clean romance and sweet romance. Plus, cozy mysteries typically lack sexual content, and amid all the other events in the books, there’s sometimes a romance angle.

In any case, the authors of these clean reads subscribe to the notion of a sweet romance, or at least closed door romance. We’re all adults here, right? But at least if sexual content bothers you in any fashion, you can rest assured that with these types of books, it usually won’t go beyond kissing. And even if it does, what happens is implied and never vividly described. Cut to the next scene!

Anyway, if you believe you can’t read romance because it’s just too hot for your taste, that no longer has to be the case.

  1. “Please…romance novels aren’t even real fiction!”

Hmm…ouch. 😥 Still, this myth is just wrong.

Let’s look at the basic formula for fiction.

The character is introduced. There is some action happening, a type of conflict. Something prevents him from getting what he really wants (usually the antagonist, which can be a person, place, thing, or even a concept). By the end of the story, this character must change in some capacity, internally or externally. The tale reaches its conclusion, however satisfying – or unsatisfying – it may be for readers.

These are the principles of fiction, of course. And you have interactions with secondary characters, dialogue and tension that help shape the story and your idea of who this person is. There’s also the climax of the tale, that pivotal movement when things get really tense for the character – the reader too – and he or she is close to losing everything. But I digress.

Every romance meets the requirements of fiction as well. It’s a lot more than two people being brought together like magnets. Chemistry is just a small part of it. The question becomes…how do we realistically connect these individuals? They have to fit somehow.

Created by yanalya – freepik.com

Numerous elements go into making that happen. There’s a specific plot, as well as subplots. The character must want something, have a goal in mind. The story isn’t always just about romance, but also the way characters come to believe new truths about themselves. They’re not only capable of love. Maybe the main character wants a promotion. But to do that, she’ll have to step outside her comfort zone to impress her boss. In any case, an HEA (Happily Ever After) or HFN (Happy for Now) is only possible if the character reaches the proper mindset to have a real romantic relationship. Without that, it’s just attraction – then it becomes erotica alone, which is something else altogether.

For example, being with an emotionally unavailable person is like hitting your head against the wall. In the end, it’s just pointless. For this type of relationship to qualify as a real romance, the characters must change – events might happen in their lives to help adjust their worldview – and they can reach a certain level of happiness. But it’s going to be a hard journey to get there. Romance stories aren’t all hearts, flowers, and butterflies.

Frank McKenna, Unsplash

True fiction is housed in every romance tale. The character still goes through a range of emotions to achieve what he/she wants. As aforementioned, often there is an antagonist preventing the couple from being together, whether it’s a person, a misconceived notion, or another external force that keeps them apart.

Sometimes it’s more than one antagonist. It’s never easy right away. Eventually, the characters must find a way around the barrier. Every relationship in real life takes effort, and these stories are no different.

Oh, wait!

Pixabay, pexels.com

The character wanted something, had a goal in mind. To reach that aspiration, he took action, and then the events that occurred reshaped his way of thinking. But at least he found what he was looking for. And he changed on some level, right? Yep…sounds like fiction to me! 😉

  1. “These books are useless drivel, and they create unrealistic expectations for people.”

To me, that sounds like it’s coming from someone who is afraid of the power of genuine emotion. But, let’s explore the aforesaid theory.

Relationships are hard work, and those in romance novels take just as much effort. If a writer is doing his or her job correctly, this will come out on the page.

Unrealistic? Hmm…if anything, I think the romance reader will see reality for what it is. No, finding happiness is never easy, but it’s worth the journey.

To illustrate this point, I’ll reference the trope often seen in historical romances…Marrying for Convenience versus Marrying for Love.

The truth is that even modern readers understand the benefits of a marriage of convenience. With financial and social stability, it’s a match that makes sense. But more often than not, we’ll root for the opposite outcome.

Why? Are we silly dreamers?

Not at all. It’s just that deep down, we all want to be happy. This is in our nature as human beings. We’re conditioned to know that events should play out a certain way – getting married and having kids is usually expected – but our instincts tell us there’s more to the story. Of course, those eventualities don’t work for every person. Still, why wouldn’t we want happiness for the characters we’ve come to care about?

Inna Lesyk, pexels.com

So, is it unrealistic to crave love? I don’t think so. At least in my opinion, romance novels have the power to teach us what we want in life. And who couldn’t use a little more self-awareness? I know I’d rather be in a relationship that works well, which helps me evolve as a person, rather than one that might look okay on paper, yet will only serve to hurt me in the long run.

Plenty of people are unhappy because they made the wrong choices. Maybe they feel trapped, but in the end, they have to figure a way out on their own. Some will settle, others won’t. That’s the thing about life, though. If you make a mistake, the best you can do is try to repair it. And if that’s not possible, you get creative and find a new route to achieve your goal.

Being logical is one way of thinking. Listening to your heart, really opening yourself up to what will make you happy? That takes courage.

I believe romance novels can teach us a lot about ourselves, and help us to understand the motivations of other people too.

Is this realistic? Probably not. But it can prevent someone from making a rash decision, to use their heart and instincts to discover what they want, and determine the best solution for them. How admirable, right? Outsiders can judge all they want, and it won’t matter as long as that person is satisfied with what they’ve chosen.

At any rate, romance novels are lot more complex than they may seem at first glance. Reading these books can offer many benefits – numerous insights and a source of entertainment, just to name a couple! If you’re interested in learning more, you can view a full list of sub-genres and romance tropes below.

https://marielavender.blogspot.com/2016/03/understanding-romance-genre-by-marie-lavender-plus-giveaway.html

https://www.mindyklasky.com/index.php/for-writers/romance-tropes/

I hope I’ve reaffirmed some aspects for loyal fans, and offered advice worth considering for people who are new to the romance genre. If you know of anyone who still believes these myths are valid, please refer them to this article. 😉

Have a lovely rest of your week, readers! 🙂

Host Blogger Bio

Multi-genre author of Victorian romance, UPON YOUR RETURN, and 23 other books. Reached the Top 10 Authors list on AuthorsDB.com for the last 4 years. Featured interview in the January 2018 issue of Womelle Magazine. The Heiresses in Love Trilogy made the TOP 10 on the Anthology category on the 2018 P&E Readers’ Poll, and BLOOD INSTINCTS reached TOP 10 status in the Romance category. The Heiresses in Love Trilogy and DIRECTIONS OF THE HEART both reached the semi-finalist round in the 2018 AuthorsDB Book Cover Contest. Voted TOP BLOGGER for 2018 on the Romance Lives Forever Blog. TOP 20 Authors of 2018 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog. DIRECTIONS OF THE HEART was nominated and made it past the first round in the 2018 Author Academy Awards. UPON YOUR LOVE and THE MISSING PIECE placed in the TOP 10 on the 2017 P&E Readers’ Poll. DIRECTIONS OF THE HEART was nominated for the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards. The I Love Romance Blog became a finalist in StartDating DK’s Romance Blog Awards of 2017. ILRB landed on Feedspot’s 2017 TOP 100 Novel Blogs and TOP 100 Romance Blogs. DIRECTIONS OF THE HEART placed in the TOP 10 Books of 2017 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog. TOP 20 Authors of 2017 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog. Mystery Blogger Award for 2017. A to Z Blog Challenge Survivor in 2016. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013, 2014 and 2016. 2013 and 2014 Amazon Bestseller Ranking for UPON YOUR RETURN. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and two cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 24 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, dramatic fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She writes adult fiction, as well as occasional stories for children, and has recently started some young adult fiction. She has also contributed to several anthologies. Her current published series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Eternal Hearts Series, The Magick Series, The Code of Endhivar Series and The Blood at First Sight Series.

Links:

Official Website: http://marielavender.com/

Blogs: https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
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Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
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Amazon author page: https://amzn.to/2SMRcRD
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Publisher: http://www.solsticeempire.com/products.aspx?categoryid=262

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Sign up for Marie’s Newsletter: http://bit.ly/1g3wO13

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Happy reading, everyone! 🙂

Pixabay, Pexels.com

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Book Feature: Texas Maverick by authors Sable Hunter & Ryan O’Leary

I am pleased to announce a great book by Sable Hunter and Ryan O’Leary, two authors I met during my journey! They’re stopping by to tell us about their steamy western military romance, Texas Maverick, which released back in 2016!

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

Sable and Ryan are allowing us a look at a sexy military romance, Texas Maverick, today.

Nice cover!

This is the blurb for Texas Maverick:

Maverick Cross is a Texas hero, not the flashy kind, he’s a war veteran who served his country overseas and now serves it at home as an Austin firefighter. To look at him – and women love to look – he’s a ripped athlete who takes care of himself and has it all together.
Only his next door neighbor knows the truth; Maverick suffers from PTSD.
Everly Winterfell is almost invisible, blending into the crowd is fine by her. She’s a hero too, not the kind who wears a cape, but the kind who isn’t afraid to dig for the truth and expose it for all to see. Everly’s alter ego is Eve Winters, an award winning journalist who doesn’t seek the limelight, she’s content with writing stories that change people’s lives without drawing any attention to herself.
Nothing much escapes Everly, she has a talent for seeing beneath the surface, reading people for who they really are. From her vantage point in Apartment #701, she has learned that the occupant in #702 is lonely. He has a habit of pushing people away before they can get too close, especially women. Maverick can offer a woman great sex, Everly can vouch for that fact. The walls are thin between #701 and #702 and many nights she has lain there wishing she was on the receiving end of his attention. He’s intrigued by his odd little neighbor, who seems to want to be his wingman and he has no idea that her ulterior motive is to be his friend. After some negotiations, they strike a deal – she’ll find him women who know the score, who won’t expect more than he can give, and in return he’ll see if he can advise her on how to attract a man for herself. To facilitate their odd arrangement, they install a chalkboard on the narrow wall separating their front doors, leaving messages about their shared adventures.
The more time they spend together, the less important finding dates for the other becomes. Everly and Maverick discover they share a chemistry that’s off the charts, they can’t keep their hands off one another. There’s only one problem – Maverick has no idea Everly is his secret obsession, Eve Winters. Sometimes what we need is right in front of our face. Sometimes what we’re looking for is right next door…

**CONTENT WARNING: This book contains adult language and sexual situations. It is intended for ages 18+ ONLY**

Release Date: July 15, 2016

Genre: Steamy contemporary romance, western romance, military romance

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

“Maverick, it’s me. Everly.”

He opened his eyes, expecting to see flashes of gunfire and explosions from IED’s. Instead, he looked into delicate features, eyes warm with concern. “Everly?”

“You were dreaming,” she whispered.

Fuck, he was dreaming now. “What are you doing here?”

She kept her hand on Maverick, seeking to soothe him. “I heard you through the wall.” Rising, she stood next to the bed. “Do you want some water before I go?”

“Did I hurt you?” He grabbed her hand, pulling her back down to sit on the bed.

She twined her fingers with his. “No, of course not.”

“Don’t go.” His hand came up to weave itself in her hair. “Where’s the whale spout, Tink?”

“What are you doing?” she whispered as his other hand skimmed up under her shirt, caressing the soft skin of her back.

“I need you,” he pulled her head down until their lips met.

Now Everly thought she was the one who must be dreaming. Could this be real? His mouth moved on hers, a gentle graze that made it hard to breathe. She wanted to kiss him back so badly she could die.

“Open.”

His demand made every nerve ending in her body spark to life. There was no way on God’s green earth she could resist this man, she wanted him too much. Tentatively, she responded to his strength, his passion. Parting her lips, she touched the tip of her tongue to his and he groaned, pulling her to the bed beside him. Everly’s blood raced through her veins. She craved him – she craved his touch and she craved to touch him. Clutching his shoulders, she began to kiss him back with desperate intensity.

Her surrender seemed to free something within him. Maverick began to devour her lips and she trembled as his big hands roamed all over her body. Never had she been kissed this way. His mouth on hers was the single most wonderful thing that had ever happened to her.

A haze of desire clouded Maverick’s brain. Her body was soft and warm as his mouth blazed a trail across her face and down her throat. When his lips brushed the pulse point that betrayed her excitement, he knew he wanted more.

(this section was edited out for this post because it was too hot for ILRB…LOL!)

Maverick pulled her into his embrace, the act of release seeming to give him peace. Everly held him close, marveling at what had transpired. A small smile played on her lips. Tingles of elation mixed with shivers of remorse. He’d been in the throes of a nightmare when she’d come to his bed, offering him comfort. Oh, he’d taken it all right. The only problem was that Everly wasn’t sure this was something he’d have done in any other circumstance.

Easing out from under him, she made a grab for her shirt, pulling it over her head. When he didn’t move, she felt around in the bed for her panties, but found nothing. “Dang it,” she whispered, then froze when he moved again, his hand running over the covers. Was he looking for her?

No matter, he wouldn’t find her.

Coward that she was, Everly Winterfell backed out of Maverick’s room and retreated to the safety of her own apartment.

The cold light of day would tell the tale. If what they’d done together meant something to him, he’d let her know.

And if it didn’t….

Well, she’d deal with that when the time came.

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/bPZ7EA

OMG! ♥♥♥ Love how steamy this is. (Fans herself.) Seems like quite a read!

So, what are readers saying about this novel?

These two have an interesting relationship; funny, confusing, no matter what they have each other’s backs, misunderstandings, and lots of making up. It is a very good story and one I would recommend reading.” – Linda Knott, Amazon

While I’ve never been to Austin, I feel like I know the city from reading this latest release in the Texas Heroes series.
Everly is the kind of person we all should want to be – loving, kind, outgoing, artistic, talented, with a heart of pure gold. She and Maverick are next door neighbors but don’t really know each other until she offers to help him with his lady problems. He can’t seem to keep a girl more than one night and she’s sure she can help him with that. But along the way, they develop a deeply honest friendship. Of course there are bumps and bruises along the way, but in true Sable Hunter/Ryan O’Leary fashion, they eventually reach their HEA.
If you’ve never read Sable Hunter, this is an excellent place to start. In my opinion, she never disappoints the reader and always leaves you wanting more.
” – Shirley, Amazon

“Another home run! Sable Hunter and her co-writer Ryan O’Leary are at the top of my auto buy list. With every book, they continue to set the bar higher and higher. This book is well written with a fully developed plot and intriguing characters. In many of Sable’s books the hero and his love ignite sparks from the get go. This book deviates from that a bit in that Maverick and Everly start out as friends and develop deeper feelings as their relationship progresses. Sometimes what you have always wanted and needed is right in front of your face. The heat factor is high as usual, and as an added bonus the authors include very detailed descriptions of the Austin area. I loved this book!!!” – Mamiecj, Amazon

Thank you for telling us about your book, Sable and Ryan! I know I can’t wait to read this sizzling western military romance!

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

Author Bio

Sable Hunter is a New York Times, USA Today bestselling author of nearly 60 books in 9 series. She writes sexy contemporary stories full of emotion and suspense. Her focus is mainly cowboy and novels set in Louisiana with a hint of the supernatural. Sable writes what she likes to read and enjoys putting her fantasies on paper. Her books are emotional tales in which the heroine is faced with challenges. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and swoon. If she can wring those emotions from a reader, she has done her job. Sable resides in Austin, Texas with her two dogs. Passionate about all animals, she has been known to charm creatures from a one ton bull to a family of raccoons. For fun, Sable haunts cemeteries and battlefields armed with night-vision cameras and digital recorders hunting proof that love survives beyond the grave. Welcome to her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy, to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where right prevails, love conquers all and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream.
Author Links:
Website:  http://www.sablehunter.com/  
Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/qRvyn
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/authorsablehunter/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/huntersable
Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Sable-Hunter/e/B007B3KS4M/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4419823.Sable_Hunter
BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sable-hunter

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

 

Author Bio

Rarely will you find Ryan O’Leary in a state of rest; if he’s not on the ice or kicking around a soccer ball, he’s plotting his next story or out on the town with friends. His fun and flirty nature makes it possible for him to write the kind of romance that makes the reader both smile and tingle.

Author Links

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/team_oleary

Amazon author page:  https://www.amazon.com/Ryan-OLeary/e/B00BEJ2NUQ/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6074123.Ryan_O_Leary

 

Thanks again, Sable and Ryan! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book News, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Event, Fiction, Military Romance, Readers, Romance, steamy, western, Writing

Book Review: Beneath This Mask by Meghan March

Hi, readers! Please welcome Kevin Ethan, our new official book reviewer, to ILRB! He’ll be hanging out with us once a week from now on, taking the time to give us his take on ⭐the coolest romance novels⭐! 😎

Let’s give him a hand… 😉

Kevin, take it away and show us what you have for today.

Thanks! ❤ This week’s I Love Romance Blog review selection is Beneath This Mask by Meghan March. I have to tell you that I just kept reading and reading! The story, which juxtaposes the “normal” romance roles, will definitely keep you interested.

Charlotte was a rich girl with many, many silver spoons. But, when her father is locked in a cell without a key, she has to learn to find her own way. Falling off the grid and on the run from the FBI, Charlotte “Charlie” Agoston leaves the world of Chanel and Armani for one of classic rock band t-shirts and her favorite pair of chucks.

When a group of drunk guys wander into her workplace, Charlie is quick to give them the brush-off. Her new, no-nonsense attitude, body art, and piercing eyes catch Simon’s attention, though.

He’s a Navy veteran and congressman’s son who, in my mind’s eye, is hot hot HOT. When Charlie decides to have one night of fun, it’s Simon who turns away. From there, the story takes some great twists and turns that you’ll just have to read for yourself by getting your copy FREE on Amazon.

The author, who was also a lawyer in real life, puts her legal knowledge to use while still keeping you engaged in the romance. I found myself really feeling for (and kind of in love with) Simon, who was ready to be all-in. But, with Charlie’s past, she’s the one always running away.

The author definitely understands building suspense, but in this case, the suspense is sexual tension. Unlike some books that put it all out there (Wham, bam, thank ya’ ma’am), the author keeps you warm without overheating, you know? At least in the beginning.

My only point of real contention with the book has to do with Simon. As an Afghan war veteran, he is revealed to have PTSD. On the plus side, he seeks help, which is amazing! On the flip-side, though, the author has somehow attached his PTSD to Charlie and the relief she provides. It really boils down to, “I’ve had PTSD for 4 years! But my girlfriend healed me!”

As a vet myself, I have to say, “That’s not how this works! That’s not how any of this works!” So, in the future, my advice would be to research the affliction before you attempt to heal it.

In the end, though, I love a happily ever after (HEA). So, if you’re looking for your book’s characters to find everything they ever wanted, this one is for you.

The story is interesting, and the romance is hot, but with some of the parts leaving me saying, “Really?!” – I give Beneath This Mask by Meghan March 4 HEARTS!

Recommended Read

Book Info:

Former Navy fighter pilot. Son of a congressman. Successful businessman in my own right. With a résumé like mine, women have never been a challenge.

Until I met her.

This sexy, tatted-up bad girl wasn’t part of my plans, but that punch to my gut every time I see her tells me I have to know more.

She’s a mystery. An enigma. A challenge.

I’m going to figure her out—and then I’m going to make her mine.

We’ll find out what she’s hiding… beneath this mask.

 

Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGANz

AUTHOR: Meghan March

TITLE: Beneath This Mask (book one of the Beneath Series)

GENRE: contemporary/military/romantic suspense

RELEASE DATE: September 29, 2014

PUBLISHER: Red Dress Press

ISBN/ASIN: B00NQ1EVG4

OUR RATING: ♥♥♥♥

REVIEWED BY: Kevin Ethan

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Filed under Blogging, book reviews, Books, Contemporary, Event, free books, Military Romance, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Writing