Category Archives: New Adult

Double Reviews for New Adult Romance!

Great news! Two new reviews popped up this week for my new adult romance story, The Missing Piece. Yay! 🙂

-from Amy Shannon’s Bookshelf Reviews’ blog

 

 

 

Likeable story

It’s a sweet novella about Alyssa, who with the help of Justin, tried to figure out what happened the night before.

The story was well written, and probably would have been better as a novel, than a novella, but the plot and details that are needed to make a great novella is here. It takes a lot of talent to write a thorough novella, and Lavender definitely has that writing talent. The story was sweet, and likable, and engaged the reader on the journey that Alyssa was forced to take.

-from Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Can one mistake cause someone to find love and change their entire life? Author Marie Lavender writes about that possibility in her new romance The Missing Piece.

The Missing Piece is a short story about good-girl Alyssa Masters. One morning Alyssa wakes up on her college fraternity’s lawn with a massive headache and a spotty memory, and instantly panics. Parties aren’t her scene, she’s a recluse and doesn’t drink. She’s a good student and doesn’t do anything that involves too much risk, until last night, apparently.

As Alyssa struggles to take in her surroundings and figure out what day it is, a young man named Justin helps her to put some of the pieces together. She finds that she did, in fact, attend the frat party and clearly drank, but much of what happened afterward is still a mystery. All she knows is what Justin has told her – that she had spent time with a fraternity member named Brendan and eventually followed him upstairs after doing some jello shots. In an instant frenzy, she thinks of the worst possible outcomes, only to be assured by Justin that Brendan is a good guy. He vows to help her figure out the pieces of her missing memory, but they could very well find that they were each other’s missing piece all along.

The Missing Piece was a quick and fun read, and I enjoyed meeting Alyssa and the other characters. Given the constraints of the short story format – this is a 30-page story – it’s difficult for the author to “flesh out” the characters and really develop them. I would have loved to see the characters be more deeply developed, and I would have loved to be more involved in this story. I really did want to keep reading more, as the style of writing was easy to follow and intriguing. I am hoping for a sequel to this short story, as I would like to know how the romance between characters develops and if Alyssa comes to change her good-girl ways or finds someone who will accept her for everything she is and always was.

Quill says: The Missing Piece is a mysterious and romantic read that readers will find themselves wanting more of and definitely looking for other stories by this author.

Thank you, Amy and Diana, for your kind words! 😀

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

New Release Feature: I Wanna Get Laid by Kade by author duo Nikki Ashton & Victoria Johns, plus giveaway!

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Nikki Ashton and Victoria Johns, both authors I met during my journey! Their contemporary new adult romance, I Wanna Get Laid by Kade, officially released today! Yay! That’s awesome, ladies! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

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

Nikki and Victoria are giving us a look at their sexy modern romance, I Wanna Get Laid by Kade, today.

Wow! Great cover!

This is the blurb for I Wanna Get Laid by Kade:

If you lived on the streets and someone offered to change your life, would you? Of course you would, who wouldn’t? But, what if changing your life ruined that of the one person who cared about you? The one person who you cared about in return.

That’s what happened to me, Kade Sutton.

I became the star of a reality TV show, a show that was a catalogue of lies and duplicity. The show meant I got to spend time with Daisy Ingles, a girl whose beautiful smile brightened up my day, every day. This show also meant that I betrayed her. This show gave me many things, but I lost an awful lot too.

Set within the world of reality TV, ‘I Wanna Get Laid by Kade’ will have you hissing and booing at the bad guys, and cheering on the good ones. Kade will make you fall in love with him and Daisy will make you want to fight her corner.

With love, sex and betrayal this is a book you just can’t miss – it’s the path you’re meant to take.

And here is a teaser to entice you with.

 

What people are saying about this book:

“Seriously, there were so many great things about this book…Without a doubt, the authors have done a wonderful job with this one.”

“Such a strong story line with lots of believable twists and turns. I ended up staying up way too late finishing it.”

“The story is so much more than a simple tale of reality television.”

Goodreads Reviews

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01NAVGP0K

Mybook.to/NAVJKade

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-wanna-get-laid-by-kade-nikki-ashton/1125960625

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Wanna-Get-Laid-Kade/Nikki-Ashton/9780995667884?id=6842447479054

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/i-wanna-get-laid-by-kade

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6877452

Nice! Who doesn’t love a gentleman? ♥♥♥ It looks like quite a ride!😉

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

 

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

Oh, it almost skipped my mind. Drum roll please…*** This dynamic author team has a great deal for you today. Just head on over to their Facebook page to enter their release day giveaway! Who doesn’t love free? ***

So, check out this great romance novel! ♥

Author Bio – Nikki Ashton

Nikki lives in Cheshire with her husband, two dogs and lovely mother-in-law who supplies her with endless cups of tea. She writes romance with a touch of humor and lots of love, and hopes that she puts a smile on her reader’s faces.

Her ambitions of becoming a writer started at the age of 10 when she started writing poetry at school, and was given the honor of reading one of her poems to the rest of her year group (a truly embarrassing experience that she will never forget).

Nikki is grateful for the wide variety of strange and wonderful people in her life, otherwise she’d never know what to write about! She is currently talking to family and friends, finding out their innermost secrets in readiness for her next book.

Although all Nikki’s books are standalone stories, characters do make ‘guest appearances’. So, the best order to read them is:

Guess Who I Pulled Last Night

No Bra Required

Get Your Kit Off

Rock Stars Don’t Like Big Knickers

Rock Stars Don’t Like Ugly Bras

Rock Stars Do Like Christmas

Cheese Tarts & Fluffy Socks

Author Links

Website:  https://www.nikkiashtonbooks.co.uk/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/NikkerAsh

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Nikki-Ashton/e/B00C7QKDE8/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085471.Nikki_Ashton

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

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

 

Author Bio – Victoria Johns

Victoria Johns is a Cheshire based writer with a wild imagination for steamy stories; she believes it’s every girl’s dream to experience a happily ever after.

Realizing it was time to live her own dream, she now enjoys daydreaming and creating fiery romance novels. When she’s not doing that, she can be found spending time with her family, cycling the countryside or enjoying pink fizz with her crazy friends.

Author Links

Website:  https://www.victoriajohnsbooks.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/victoriajohns75

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Johns/e/B00O24HYL8/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5072971.Victoria_Johns

 

Thanks again, ladies! 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 Adult, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing

New Release!

Here’s my latest release! ♥♥♥♥

Marie Lavender- Multigenre Author

The Missing Piece, my new adult romance, is finally out on its own! Yay! ♥

missing-piece-001-final-cover

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06W5RYBD8

myBook.to/MissingPiece

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/the-missing-piece/

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6933779

Wow! ♥♥♥ Thanks, Solstice, for giving my work a wonderful home!😉

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Love, Marie Lavender, New Adult, new release, Readers, Romance, short stories, Stories, Writing

Pre-order Release Feature: Heart of a Savage by author LaShanta Charles

I am pleased to announce a great new release by LaShanta Charles, an author I met during my journey! Her fascinating new adult sports romance, Heart of a Savage, officially went up for pre-order and will be released at the end of the month!

Yay! Just in time for Valentine’s Day! That’s awesome, LaShanta! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

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

2017-967-ebook-lashanta-charles-heart-of-a-savage

 

LaShanta is giving us a look at her new, intriguing MMA romance, Heart of a Savage, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Heart of a Savage:

Bailey Ross-O’Malley has spent her whole life catering to others. She used to enjoy it. Until her father died. In an attempt to protect her, her father chose Connor to be her husband, but that was a mistake. Connor was supposed to love her, be her rock – but some rocks need to be tossed as far away as possible. She only has one source of happiness now, her son, and if Connor doesn’t get his way, he’ll take that joy from her as well.

MMA fighter, Dominic Prince, has only one mission in life: forget his past. Forget the pain, the drama, and the loss of things taken away from him too soon. He’s guarded and secretive and that’s the way he likes it. He was doing a damn good job of keeping it that way. Until her. Bailey showed up and Dominic’s life became a minefield. He can’t decide if he wants to kiss her or shake her, but he does know that he’ll fight to keep her safe. He’ll be as savage as he is in the octagon, outside of it.

Neither of them wants to accept it happening, but the past has a way of sneaking into the present. Hearts will be shattered and bonds will be broken. Will they survive it?

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

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teaser03-1500x760

Thrilling!  🙂

Book Info:

Genre:  Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Sports, Suspense

Release Date:  January 31, 2017

Pre-order Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01M7YMJK6

B & N:  http://bit.ly/2jfFWZw

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

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/2idni2o

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32868147-heart-of-a-savage

What an interesting story! ♥♥♥ This looks like a riveting ride!😉

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

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

2017-967-ebook-lashanta-charles-heart-of-a-savage

Author Bio

me

LaShanta Charles was born and raised in the small town of Orangeburg, SC. She has always been an avid reader of all genres, but Romance has always been her true love and is what inspired her to pursue a writing career. In high school, she began letting her classmates read the short stories that she would write and based off of their feedback, her passion for writing pushed her to become a published author. She published her debut novel, Lovely Lies, in 2013 and released the sequel, Lovely Lies 2, in February 2014. Her third novel, Splitting Karma, was released in October 2014. She lives in Yelm, WA, with her husband and three children and also serves in the US Army. She’s a home body who enjoys SLEEPING, reading, SLEEPING, eating, SLEEPING, white chocolate mochas, SLEEPING, sexy alien romances, and of course, writing. Oh, and she hates spiders; they’re extremely creepy, why do they need eight legs??

Author Links

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/twiety01

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Lashanta-Charles/e/B0083HO95Y/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6984092.LaShanta_Charles

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

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/104019449563926608746

 

Well, I certainly have to agree about the spiders. LOL.

 

Thanks again, LaShanta! 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 Adult, new release, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, sports romance, Writing

A Character Interview with Mary Susan from THE ISLAND AND THE KITE plus a conversation with author Aurora Zahni!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Barbi Barnard’s character on December 22nd and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Aurora Zahni, the author of The Island and The Kite, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Mary Susan Bennett, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Aurora in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Mary Susan!

MaryS

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Mary Susan.  Please have a seat.

Character Mary Susan Bennett: Thanks for having me here.

Marie:  Sure!

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

Mary Susan: Okay.

Marie:  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Mary Susan:  My name is Mary Susan Bennett and I am from Heller Park, New Jersey. I come from a place where we don’t spend a lot of time describing what we look like, but I suppose I’m a frumpy redhead whose girlfriend describes as “curvy.” You can read about my adventures in The Island and The Kite by Aurora Zahni.

Marie:  Great! Thank you for that succinct description.

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

Mary Susan:  I am currently a waitress at a wonderful coffee shop named Cybele’s Reverie. I am a great waitress and can currently not think of a better way to spend my time and get paid for it.

Marie:  Well, it’s awesome that you enjoy your job so much. 🙂

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Mary Susan:  Small. Both my parents passed away recently and I lost touch with a lot of my other relatives after my cousin Coralie was also tragically taken away from us.

Marie:  Oh, no! I’m so sorry to  hear that. 😦

That must have been very hard.

If it doesn’t bother you too much, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Mary Susan:  It was a simple ranch style house. When I was twelve, my parents let me take over the basement.

Marie:  (Smiles.) All right, I can tell there’s a story there, but I won’t pry.

Do you have any hobbies, Mary Susan?  What do you enjoy doing?

Mary Susan:  I like to listen to music and meet new people. When I meet someone, I try to connect with them and learn what they are passionate about. Shared experience is the cure for the human condition.

Marie:  Oh, I fully agree! And what a refreshing take to hear that!

So…what is your greatest dream?

Mary Susan:  I just want to make it through this world leaving a positive mark on the Universe.

Marie:  That’s certainly admirable.

Let’s try another question.

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

Mary Susan:  I don’t understand. I am precisely who I am, can’t be anything else really and nothing stops me from doing anything really.

Marie:  Good to hear!

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

Who was your first love?

Mary Susan:  Stefi Angel. Is this a trick question and did Stefi put you up to this?

Marie:  Nope. (Winks.) I swear I didn’t know about you two before today.

In any case, it’s good to hear you say that. I just love romance, if the name of the blog wasn’t an indication. (Chuckles.)

The Island and the Kite

All right. So, let’s try something else.

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

Mary Susan:  I can’t talk about it. My entire existence is based upon moving forward.

Marie:  Okay, I respect that. I won’t push. I can see this is difficult for you.

[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]

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

[Mary Susan 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?

Mary Susan: I had such a carefree childhood that I never thought about it. I’ve always mostly accepted things for their own intrinsic beauty and appreciated what the Universe offered up to me. So I guess, yes, I have achieved my dream.

Marie:  Well, great!  😀

Let’s try something else.

So, who is your role model, Mary Susan?

Mary Susan:  My boss, Hilary Palmer who I think saves the world on a regular basis and would probably be much better for an interview.

Marie:  (Waves a hand.) Nonsense. You’re doing great! But, it’s good to hear that you admire your boss.

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Mary Susan: I’ve never done that. Why would you?

Marie:  Indeed! That’s an excellent point. I wish everyone could be so genuine.

So, can you tell us something? What is your deepest desire, Mary Susan?

Mary Susan:  Desires are never deeply hidden in me. I can get caught up in it on a moment’s notice.

Marie:  All right.

How about another question…

What is your greatest fear?

Mary Susan:  To fake anything in life.

Marie:  And it’s certainly refreshing that you’re not! 😉

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

Mary Susan:  Thank you for having me, Marie!

Marie:  My pleasure!

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Marie:  Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Aurora Zahni on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to meet you! Hello, Aurora!

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Author Aurora Zahni:  Hello, Marie!  A pleasure to meet you.

Marie:  The honor is mine.  🙂

So, we just got to talk to a female character of your story, Mary Susan Bennett. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Aurora:  Mary Susan is the best of me. She doesn’t judge and lives in harmony with the world around her. She has come through tragedy with a strengthened point of view, which she inherited from her parents.

Marie:  And as I was saying before with Mary Susan, I think that’s very admirable.

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Aurora: She is often nonplussed by conflict. She is so easy breezy that she can face off with just about anything like a champ.

Marie:  Wow. I wish I had about ten cups of that! (Laughs.)

That’s awesome!

And what are her greatest weaknesses?

Aurora:  She doesn’t judge anyone, good or bad. She is just as often hurt by this as she is saved by it.

Marie:  All right. So, a sensitive soul…I can relate to that.

Let’s try something else.

What are some of her favorite foods?

Aurora: She loves eating, and her favorite treat is a Binkie, which is a bacon laced cream filled angel food cake pastry which may or may not remind you of a Twinkie from both heaven and hell.

Marie:  Good Lord! That sounds evil and scrumptious! 😉

How about another question?

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

Aurora: Ha, “being unaware.” It’s like they say, birds don’t know they are flying. Mary Susan doesn’t realize that she has any positive or negative properties, just hopes she does good in the Universe.

Marie:  (Sighs.) I wish we were all so innocent.

So, will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Aurora: If you don’t like Mary Susan, I don’t want to know you. Mary Susan, however, would still be nice to you.

Marie:  (Smiles.) Great response.

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

What first gave you the idea for The Island and The Kite?

Aurora: Mary Susan had a small part in my first novel. She always stuck out to me as a character, and I wanted to give her a proper showcase. I wanted to send her on an adventure filled with trials and tribulations to see how she fared. And hey, I even gave her a love story, which I never do.

Marie:  Great!

Let’s try something else.

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

Aurora: I pants to plot points. I never plan out an entire book, because I feel that it guides the story too much and allows for “Hand of God” moments, as opposed to the organic development of a the plot. So I just write and revise often so I can always have an idea of what is ahead and keep it all in continuity.

Marie:  I can respect that. Sometimes it’s better to listen to the muse.

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

Aurora: This is my third published novel and it went fairly smoothly. I tend to write self-indulgent stories, but after two of those I was a lot more open to writing for an audience this time.

That balance is something important all writers need to address. You need to write the story only you can write, but that anyone can read.

Marie:  That’s good advice!  We should cater to different audiences at once.

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 The Island and The Kite appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Aurora Zahni, a very talented author! 🙂

The Island and the Kite

Here is the blurb for The Island and The Kite:

Two girls. Two stories. One day.

A murder spree and magic tea help two star crossed lovers see the light.

 Mary Susan and Stefi Angel are two constant exes who can never get it right, always as eager to give up as they are to start up again. But one day in New York City helps change that forever.

The city is in a panic as the T and S Killers rising body count has everyone on edge. Free spirit Mary Susan just wants to see a movie and ends up trapped in Hell’s Kitchen being chased by vigilantes and murderers alike. She spends the night trying to escape the city that never sleeps and deciding if she should give Stefi another chance.

Star basketball player Stefi Angel can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to love…until she drinks magical tea and suddenly has all the questions and the answers. She just hopes she can get Mary Susan to believe they have the kind of love worth fighting for and that it’s not too late.

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

“So…” Stefi took a deep breath. “How am I doing, red?”

“Not bad. Maybe you’ll get most of me after all.”

“I want it all this time.”

“We’ll see.” Mary Susan laid her head on Stefi’s shoulder. “Hey.” She poked Stefi’s arm. “I have a gift for you back at my place.”

“I bet you do. Just let me get you cleaned up first.”

“No, silly. A real gift in a box with a bow and everything.”

“I think I have everything I need.”

They devoured their breakfast and Mary Susan napped on the drive back to her place. “Where’s your roommate?” Stefi asked when they got there.

“At work.” Mary Susan removed her outer layer of clothing and announced, “I need to shower.”

Stefi smiled and took off her shoes and socks. “Okay.”

“That wasn’t an invitation. I’m filthy and I really need to shower. Will you wait for me?” Stefi nodded and then watched Mary Susan and the curves she loved walk to the bathroom in her skivvies. Be a better girlfriend. Stefi brought down all the shades and curtains in the room and put on some music at a low volume. When Mary Susan got out of the bathroom, she was already in bed waiting for her.

“Stefi…it’s been a long day. I don’t know what you think is going to happen here.”

“Be quiet and come here and trust me.” Mary Susan listened to her and then cautiously slid under the covers. Stefi put both her long arms around her and gave her a gentle kiss on the lips. “Now I want you to sleep. I’m here. I’m yours. And I’m not going anywhere.”

The Island and The Kite Teaser

 

Ooh…this sounds really good!

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00OOAXZYK

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-island-and-the-kite-aurora-zahni/1120965559

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/5189750

About Aurora Zahni

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Aurora Zahni is a former rebel who’s trying to bring a little bit of Judy Blume and Sylvia Plath to the Twilight Generation. Over the years, she has given half-assed / full throttle contributions to numerous zines and blogs, written a web movie and done significantly well in countless competitive eating events. When she was in the 8th grade, she was on the local evening news. A dead body was being lifted out of the water at a marina by the Meadowlands and you could clearly see her standing in the background watching, looking a bit excited for the camera. Looking back it may have been the highlight of her entire childhood.

Aurora’s Books:

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The Island and the Kite

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/aurorazahni

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Aurora-Zahni/e/B00I3JC9I6/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7092273.Aurora_Zahni

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/shirley5283/aurora-zahni/

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/aurora-zahni/

Radio:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/beaucouppublishingllc/2014/12/09/a-bc-chat

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Mary Susan Bennett, a female character from The Island and The Kite, and Aurora Zahni, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, LGBT, Mystery, New Adult, Readers, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips

A Character Interview with Kristen from THE GUARDIAN OF MY SOUL plus a conversation with author Emily A. Lawrence!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Emily Walker’s character on December 1st and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Emily A. Lawrence, the author of The Guardian of My Soul, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Kristen Mancuso, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Emily in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Kristen!

Kristen

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

Character Kristen Mancuso: Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  Of course!

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

Kristen: Okay.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Kristen:  I graduated from UCLA with a degree in management, and now I work for my mother, who is a fashion designer, in her marketing division. I enjoy the experience and being able to learn from her, but one day I hope to be my own boss.

Marie:  Oh…interesting!

So, tell us. What is your family like?

Kristen: Born and raised in a wealthy family, I’ve always had everything my heart desired, except the freedom to make my own choices in life. Ever since my father passed away when I was little, I’ve lived with my mother. Her overprotectiveness increased as I grew older. Even though I know she means well, that she loves me and wishes nothing but the best for me, she sometimes smothers me too much. That’s when I wish I had other siblings the most.

Marie:  Parents can be difficult sometimes. 😦

Let’s try something else, shall we?

What did your childhood home look like?

Kristen:  I was raised in my family’s mansion in Los Angeles, where we still currently live. Located in Beverly Hills, it offers a wonderful panorama of the rolling hills north of Sunset Boulevard. My home is peaceful and it’s equipped with any facility one could possibly wish for, including a gym and a large swimming pool.

Marie:  Wow! Impressive!

So, do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Kristen:  I love horses and I’ve been riding ever since I can remember. Whenever I get some free time, I’m eager to escape the madness of the city and head over to my family’s ranch in Kentucky where I spend most of my time with Marley, my fourteen-year-old black stallion.

Marie:  Nice! I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride horses.

So, tell us…what is your greatest dream, Kristen?

Kristen:  One of my other passions is designing jewelry. My biggest dream is to one day have my own company. I’m just waiting for the best moment to bring it up to my mother, who is unaware of anything that has to do with my love for sketching all kinds of new designs, nor of the stash I’ve created, which I keep hidden from her. She’s always envisioned us working together and one day passing on her company to me. Now that her dream has come true, I’m not sure how she will receive the news, but I can’t help but hope she’ll be supportive.

Marie:  I see. Well, I hope it works out! \

Let’s try a different question.

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

Kristen: I wish I could be a normal twenty-one-year-old girl and experience the freedom that comes with that age. What’s stopping me? My mother’s fame. I can’t go anywhere without a bodyguard. She says it’s imperative to be protected at all times. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just another way for her to keep up with what I do or if there’s really any danger out there…

Marie:  That is unfortunate, but I’m sure she has a good reason.

All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Kristen:  I used to tell myself I would never fall in love…until I did. Problem is? He’s the very last person I want to love, the man I consider to be like a symbol of my lost freedom—my twenty-four-year-old bodyguard.

The Guardian of My Soul

Marie:  Love can certainly be unexpected.

So…what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you, Kristen?

Kristen:  My father’s death. He was my everything and then he was gone. Things were never the same after that…

Marie:  I’m so sorry to hear that. 😦

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

[Kristen 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?

Kristen:  I’ve always wanted to be independent, to be able to do everything I set my mind to do, travel the world and grow outside the influence of high society. I’m still working on that…

Marie:  Dreams take time, for sure.

Can you tell us…who is your role model, Kristen?

Kristen:  My father. He was gentle, caring, successful, and he always knew the right things to say.

Marie:  Sounds like he was a really special person.

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Kristen:  There are quite a few…but the one who creeps me out the most is the CEO of Jaya Cosmetics, Niall Tomlinson, who’s helping Mother with launching a fragrance.

Marie:  All right.

So, what is your deepest desire?

Kristen:  To grow old with the man I love and our children. To live life to the fullest and at the end of the day to have no regrets.

Marie:  Well, that’s not a lot to ask. I think everyone wants their little slice of happiness in the world.

Let’s try a different question.

What is your greatest fear?

Kristen: Losing another person I love. I’ve watched my mother suffer for so many years. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to survive another loss.

Marie:  Aww…again, I’m so sorry about your father. (Pats her guest’s hand.)

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

Kristen:  Thank you for having me, Marie!

Marie:  My pleasure!

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Marie:  Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Emily A. Lawrence on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to meet you! Hello, Emily!

Emily A. Lawrence

 

Author Emily A. Lawrence:  Hello, Marie!

Marie:  We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Kristen. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Emily:  Kristen is a twenty-one-year-old girl freshly out of college, who, instead of being offered more freedom, is shackled with a new bodyguard, whom she can’t stand at first. Or can’t she, really? She likes to be in control…until she meets her match—Alec Warner.

All right.

So…what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Emily:  She’s smart and cocky, and knows how to get herself out of a difficult situation.

Marie:  Works for me!

Now, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are Kristen’s greatest weaknesses?

Emily:  Alec. No one has ever impacted her as much as he did. He opened her eyes in many ways and showed her a different world than the one she was accustomed to. She would do anything to protect him and their relationship.

Marie:  I see.

So, let’s try something else.

What are some of her favorite foods?

Emily:  She loves chicken, chocolate, and her favorite food is pancakes with maple syrup.

Marie:  Can’t blame her for that, but certainly not all at once!  (Laughs.) 😀

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

Emily:  Despite her wealth, she’s a humble, down to earth person.

Marie:  Great!

So, will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Emily:  Hmm, I think they will love her once they get to know the real her. She’s a strong woman who’s been through a lot, and I loved watching her grow throughout the story and become a woman in the end.

Marie:  All right.

So, now that we have a real taste of Kristen, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for The Guardian of My Soul?

Emily:  It was the idea of impossible love. Bringing together two people with apparently nothing in common, and from totally different backgrounds and social statuses, and watching them overcome all the obstacles they had to face in their relationship.

Marie:  I like it!  (Sighs.) I love romance…;)

Let’s try something else.

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

Emily:  I never sit down and plot. I don’t have an outline when I start a new story. I have an idea on how I want it to begin, certain events that should take place, and a vague ending, but I never know what’s going to happen next. I’m never sure what a writing day is going to be like. I get ideas as I write. Sometimes I have several options on how to continue and when that happens, I usually take a breather and detach myself from it for a while, thinking about how the story could develop depending on the path I choose. That said, I am definitely a pantser.

Marie:  Great!

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The Guardian of My Soul or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Emily:  My biggest challenge was and still is time. Since I am also an editor, I am always working on something, so it’s difficult to find time to write. When I do sit down to write, though, I shut everything off and focus on the words playing around in my head. If I were to offer any advice to aspiring writers it would be to write what they know, in the genres they enjoy reading most. If anyone wants to become a writer, they must be readers first—and most importantly, they must be willing to learn. It’s the only way to constantly improve oneself.

Marie:  Oh, I totally agree! That’s great advice.

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 The Guardian of My Soul appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Emily A. Lawrence, a very talented author! 🙂

 

The Guardian of My Soul

Here is the blurb for The Guardian of My Soul:

When Kristen Mancuso turned twenty-one, she thought she would finally find the freedom she craved. She was wrong.

In spite of the luxury she lived in, Kristen was unhappy, a prisoner in her own home. When her overprotective mother hired Alec Warner to be her personal bodyguard, Kristen rebelled against it, unaware of the true reason why he was needed. She didn’t know the kind of danger lurking just around the corner.

Having Alec shadow her every move was the last thing she wanted. Or, so she thought…

Kristen was drawn to the handsome, intimidating Alec. While committed to his job, he refused to allow her to control him the way she did other men. Though their relationship was volatile and explosive from the start, they discovered they had more in common than they ever dreamed. They battled each other while they fought demons from their past and secrets which could tear them apart.

This was a battle where losing could very well give them everything their souls desired…

*Content Warning: intended for mature audiences 18+

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

I heard a banging at my door, not a gentle knock but a loud racket which shook the whole door. My eyes sprang open. What in the world? I looked around the room, trying to get my bearings. The hotel room was bathed in warm, bright light and my heart skipped a beat when I realized it was morning.
“Oh, Kristeeen?” Alec’s grumpy voice sounded over the loud banging.
Fred jumped off the bed and rushed to the door wagging his tail, visibly excited to hear him.
“Fred, how can you fraternize with the enemy?” I grumped, heading to the door. As soon as I opened it, my traitor of a dog jumped into Alec’s arms and licked him as if he were his favorite person in the world, making him chuckle.
“Finally, the princess decides to greet the day,” he said and grinned at me once he was done petting the dog. Suddenly, his eyes dropped and his smile slowly faded away.
I blinked, perplexed. Is he staring at my breasts? My God, he’s staring at my breasts! The realization elicited tremors all over my body, causing my nipples to strain against the fabric of my nightgown. Holy crap! My nightgown! I tensed when I remembered the transparent lace across my chest.
“Give him to me!” I snatched Fred out of his arms and used him to hide my aroused state. “What’s wrong with you, hammering at my door like a crazy man?” I fussed.
He cleared his throat as if to regain his voice before he answered me. “I’ve been standing here for more than five minutes calling you and nothing. What was I supposed to do? You said eight sharp and it’s almost eight-thirty.”
“Damn it!” I hurried back inside the room and put Fred on the bed, then quickly looked for something comfortable to change into. I took out a pair of denim shorts and a white shirt from my suitcase, then tugged at my nightgown to pull it off over my head. I stopped halfway when I noticed him sitting on my bed, casually assessing me. “Alec!” I gasped. Shock made me freeze. “What are you doing in here? Can’t you see I’m trying to change clothes?” I couldn’t believe he’d gotten a glimpse of my equally transparent panties.
“I’m just waiting to take your luggage.” He gave me a smile that set my teeth on edge. Clearly he didn’t find anything wrong with his actions.
“Wait outside, you peeping tom!”
“My bad,” he said dryly and left my room.
It took me a moment to recover and register the warm wetness between my legs. I sighed, once more feeling betrayed by my own body. “I can’t believe him! And I refuse to be turned on, no matter how he makes me feel!” I grumbled.
When I exited the room, I found him waiting in the hallway, and I marched up to him. “You saw me in my underwear! I’m furious with you.” I walked on, eager to put some distance between us.
“Hey!” He grabbed my arm and pulled me abruptly, my chest slamming against his hard torso. “You’re right. What I did was inappropriate. I’m sorry. I just found myself absentmindedly walking in. I didn’t mean to be rude,” he excused himself.
“You expect me to believe that?” I murmured, flush against him. His sudden change in attitude astounded me.
“Yes, I do.”
“You were checking me out.”
“Was not,” he retorted calmly, his face inches away from mine. Then I caught the smile in his eyes. He was lying like a dog.
“Let go of me,” I whispered, my chest heaving in agitation.
Being this close to him was doing funny things to me. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. Everything in me wanted to move closer, to lean in, to touch, but I stubbornly resisted the unwelcome temptation.
What are you doing to me? I cried out in my mind.
He leaned toward me slowly and I panicked, my breath catching in my throat. With a sudden jerk I managed to free myself from his grip and rushed to the elevator, never looking back. He followed me in silence, hauling my luggage after him. We traveled down together, and I was so aware of him, my whole body reacted as if he were a powerful magnet. I was drawn to him, hanging onto the rail just to stay upright. His eyes held mine with an intensity which made me feel lightheaded, and I gasped for air as the space around us suddenly appeared to be too small.

Ooh…love the tension. I definitely want to know what happens next! 😉

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Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00GQMHNNI

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-guardian-of-my-soul-emily-a-lawrence/1117525594

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/4536309

About Emily A. Lawrence

Emily A. Lawrence

Emily A. Lawrence lives in Transylvania with her family, hence her love for anything paranormal. Her passion for writing began in high school, and she hasn’t stopped since.

Having her family’s support, and encouraged by friends and fellow authors, she pursued her dream of becoming a published author, landing her first contract in 2013.

Emily loves immersing herself in the worlds she creates and giving life to characters readers can identify themselves with. Usually, she writes contemporary romance in three heat levels: sweet, sensual, and erotic. However, she plans to try her hand at other genres, too, such as paranormal or mystery.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures, new sceneries, food, meeting new people, or simply reading a good book.

Emily’s Books:

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The Guardian of My Soul

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Emily A. Lawrence, here are some of her author links:

Website/Blog:  http://authoremilylawrence.blogspot.ro/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/author.emily.a.lawrence

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/EmyALawrence

Amazon Author Page:

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20344150-emily-a-lawrence

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/116252410801447580127/posts

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

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/emily-a-lawrence/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Kristen, the female main character of The Guardian of My Soul, and Emily A. Lawrence, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

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Huge giveaway! Many books! Many authors!

Hi, readers!  I wanted to direct you to a big giveaway going on right now at my alternate blog, Writing in the Modern Age.  Please stop by.  The instructions are included.  There are lots of different authors!

woohoo

Tons of books!  Multiple genres!  Join our party because time is running out.   pinkwink

http://marielavender.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-year-of-guest-authors-plus-multi_5836.html

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Filed under Book Giveaways, Books, Children's Books, Drama, Erotica, Fantasy, Literary Fiction, Mystery, New Adult, Non-fiction, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Poetry, Romance, Science Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Women's Fiction, Writing, Young Adult