Category Archives: Relationships

6 Surprising Ways to Communicate Better With Your Partner: a guest post by Dating Connections

6 Surprising Ways to Communicate Better With Your Partner


Good communication is the foundation of any stable relationship. In long-term relationships that are fulfilling and functioning on a day-to-day basis, we often forget to take a step back and treat them like living organisms that they are, ones that could not survive without constant, highly efficient communication. Whether you’re into long-term dating, cowboy dating, casual flings on trips abroad or you’ve settled down with your significant other a long time ago, we bet you’ll find our communication tips useful and adequate in any romantic situation.

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#1 – Learn A New Skill Together

Take a cooking or a photography class together, learn some Spanish or take a dance lesson. Wherever your interests lie, taking a new class and learning new things together can deepen the bond between you and your partner, and as a result strengthen communication.

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You’ll spend more time together, and have new topics to discuss as you master a new skill set.

#2 – Share The Small Stuff

Did a bus driver say something funny to you today? Did you see your spouse’s favorite car painted pink with a set of eyelashes? Share the small, insignificant things, and don’t shy away from small talk. Keeping things serious between you two all the time can get pretty tiring, whereas the stuff that doesn’t matter much can brighten the mood and loosen the tension.

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#3 – Listen More Carefully

Listening to your partner attentively is one of the most important things you can do for your relationship. If you want to show your partner you’re all ears when they’re speaking, encourage them to share their thoughts with you, and comment on them, but not by changing the subject to you. Ask questions, add something, and whatever you do, don’t interrupt them or say they’re too scattered, you can’t follow, or they talk about too much unnecessary detail and they’ll get to their point around this time tomorrow.

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#4 – Talk About Yourself

In addition to small talk, take initiative and talk about your desires, fears and hopes. Don’t take the floor for too long, and do allow your partner to join the conversation or take over if they feel like it, but don’t forget to keep your partner informed about what is going on with you. Often the best way to do this is to go on a low-key date, such as a long walk through town sans any device that could turn your attention away from your partner.

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#5 – Whisper Into Their Ear

Although this tactic could lead to anything but talking, whispering into your partner’s ear heightens intimacy, and resolves any trust issues that are between you.

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It shows you’re not afraid of healthy communication and baring your soul to reveal the most private thoughts and feelings. Whispering suggests secrecy, sharing information that is confidential and reserved only for those who are special..

#6 – Ask Questions And Mean It

Ask your partner questions during the time you spend together, and don’t assume you know the answers. A simple “how are you?” followed by a pause can start a conversation even when you go to bed in the evening after a hectic day at work.

Becca Tapert, Unsplash.

Ask it like you mean it, and listen to what your partner has to say. Ask about the things you know he/she finds important, like their hobbies, interests, or things that preoccupy their mind most of the time. Your partner will feel special, and you’ll see your communication reach new heights.

Nice! These are some stellar tips for improving communication with a significant other.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!








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

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great week!


Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance

The Fiction Fact on Writing About Love: a guest post by author Khaled Talib

The Fiction Fact on Writing About Love

by Khaled Talib


I queried a UK book blogger a while back about the possibility of reviewing my newly released thriller, Gun Kiss. She agreed to read it, but it didn’t turn out well for me. The blogger was abusive in her review of my book, highlighting nothing positive about it. In fact, she even went to the extent of saying that it was not a book she would recommend to anyone. Yet she cared enough to publish the review on her blog, book cover and all. Why bother if you hate it that much?

Of course, I didn’t agree with the reviewer’s unsubstantiated comments even though the blogger was just one of the many reviewers that I had contacted. So, it’s not the end of the world. I am accustomed to receiving criticisms. And just like other authors, I have enjoyed my fair share of positive reviews. Gun Kiss was no exception as it also received praise from some renowned critics.

I could have responded to all her nitpicking, but I didn’t see the need because other reviewers and readers didn’t have problems with them. However, the blogger highlighted something that I felt compelled to write in this article in a counter-attempt to defend my writing. She complained that my protagonist fell in love with the co-protagonist “like instantly” after seeing her once. She added: “Had seen her once, when he rescued her and now he [sic] in love.”

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If the reviewer had paid more attention to my words, she would have noticed the depth of the story. I had explained the protagonist’s reaction when he first sees the co-protagonist, who happens to be a famous Hollywood movie star despite the circumstances they were both embroiled in. I explained the excitement and infatuation amidst chaos, then later some reflection of thoughts when the protagonist was in a better situation.

But really, what’s the problem with someone falling in love instantly? It’s not unnatural. Must the setting be languid and calm as opposed to a tense backdrop? I knew someone who fell in love with his wife instantly at university, then proposed to her after two weeks. I also know cases of men who got married within a day’s notice. Hell, I also read a newspaper article where a couple fell in love when they met at a funeral! Some people might fall in love slowly, but it can be lightning speed for others. What has time got to do with falling in love?

The one thing authors learn about the craft of novel writing is that the story must sound believable. It must sound real. To do that, all writers know that they must control their imagination while injecting information or facts that sound realistic albeit in the realm of fiction. While writing Gun Kiss, I didn’t stray from the lessons I’ve learned. I did no wrong in creating scenes where the protagonist expressed his love for the co-protagonist. In fact, I wrote those scenes reinforced by fact.

It was reported in the media that scientists claimed it takes only 8.2 seconds for a man to fall in love at first sight. Imagine that! Based on a study, they discovered that the longer a man’s gaze rests on a woman when they meet for the first time, the more interested he becomes. The report highlighted that if it lasts just four seconds, the person may not be all that impressed. But if it breaks the 8.2 second barrier, he could already be in love. There you go… I didn’t embellish my story. I was not even lazy in my description and I certainly did not go out of my way to produce the unbelievable. I wrote the novel based on possibilities by simply translating fact into fiction, according to acceptable standards. Now had I written a supernatural work of fiction, that would be an entirely different story. You could fall in love in two seconds by taking a pill or some injection in the world of science fiction.

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I am not an expert in behavioral science, but I am aware that nobody on this planet, not even book bloggers, have answers about what causes men and women to relate to each other. Rumi can talk about love, but he for sure knows Jack shit how it works. So, who is to tell me why my protagonist can’t fall in love the first time he sees the movie star?

I am not about to delve into this crazy topic of love; it has been written a gazillion times. I cannot add any new theories to it. But I don’t think I was wrong in describing my male protagonist’s reaction. The story was intended to be that way. As a storyteller, I am entitled to write however I want the story to be so long as it doesn’t appear unfocused.

Stories with love themes have been written before I was even born. So many different angles, plots and themes have been taken. Some have been rehashed and recycled. All I did was to put a fresh spin as they were intended to be.

You might agree with me or you might not, depending on your own personal experiences and observations of other people. All I know is this: when it comes to love, 1+1 doesn’t always equal 2. And that, my friend, is a fact…

Wow! Thank you, Khaled, for giving us a peek into your writing world and showing us a different spin on relationships. You are so right. Love is quite complicated, its intricacies oftentimes inexplicable. My fiancé claims he fell in love with me right away, but was hesitant to admit it for a while until he was sure we were a perfect fit. For myself, being both a romance reader and author, I have no doubt that people can fall in love quickly. After all, this is the I LOVE ROMANCE BLOG, right? 😉

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at this romantic thriller? Sounds like a plan!  😀

Great cover!  🙂

This is the blurb for Gun Kiss:

A stolen piece of history, an abducted actress and international intrigue…

When the Deringer pistol that shot Abraham Lincoln is stolen and ends up in the hands of a Russian military general, covert agent Blake Deco is tasked by the FBI to head to the Balkans to recover the historical weapon. Meanwhile, the United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen.

After Blake’s return from overseas, he receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana. With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue. What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.

What are people saying about this book?

“From Washington, D.C. to Hollywood and Veracruz, Gun Kiss by Khaled Talib is a terrific adventure involving the FBI, drug lords, movie stars, and Russian generals. Grab your copy, drop into your favorite reading chair, and prepare yourself for breathless suspense.” — Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassins

Gun Kiss is a whip-smart thriller that brings to mind Don Winslow’s masterful work that includes, most recently, The Force. Khaled Talib rockets to the top of the pop culture pack with a tale in which every page is chock full of angst-riddled action and searing suspense. Gun Kiss manages to be hot and cool at the same time, a genre bender that breaks a host of rules while crafting new ones in their place. Featuring both a classic man-of-mystery hero and an equally classic femme fatale, this is reading entertainment of the highest order.” — Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of The Rising

“Take a deep breath, because Gun Kiss‘s special brand of high-octane action is on its way to market, and it’s a hell of a ride especially recommended for thriller readers who like their action not only nonstop, but tempered with a bit of romance and a lot of world-hopping political confrontations…with a range of subplots designed to keep Gun Kiss unpredictable, unexpected, and sometimes unsettling as events keep on creating new connections and surprises…Readers experience a supercharged plot that grabs interest tightly and does not let go. The mark of a superior thriller lies in its ability to seamlessly transcend borders, boundaries, and special interests to provide a series of interwoven subplots that all come together in a satisfying crescendo of intrigue designed to keep readers on edge right up to the end. Take a deep breath before reading Gun Kiss. Its special brand of activity and complex personal and criminal interactions makes it hard to put down, and highly recommended for thriller and crime readers alike.” — Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“Talib’s wisecracking hero in Gun Kiss propels readers on an unforgettable ride across several continents. This blockbuster thriller offers the perfect mix of elements to satisfy any reader, including the quest for historic artifacts, a fierce battle against drug lords, and a memorable romance with a Hollywood starlet. Add it to your must-read list.” —K.J. Howe, author of The Freedom Broker

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:


♥♥♥ Nice! This looks like quite a riveting romantic read! 

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Khaled! Awesome to have you here! ♥

Author Bio

Khaled Talib is the author of Gun Kiss, a thriller published in December 2017 by Imajin Books in Canada. He is a former magazine journalist and public relations practitioner. His articles have been published and syndicated to newspapers worldwide, and his short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines. The author’s debut thriller, Smokescreen, was listed by Indie Reader as one of the six “boundary breaking” indie novels while his second novel, Incognito, won the 2017 AuthorsDB Silver Award for its cover. Khaled is a member of the International Thriller Writers.

Author Links




Amazon Author Page:






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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂


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

“A Lover’s Vow” – a poem

A Lover’s Vow

Well over ten years have passed…

Still every touch,

every word,

every look feels right.

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When you hold me close at the day’s end,

once all our obligations have subsided,

and I can at last rest against your chest as we talk softly,

you’re the only home I’ve ever wanted or needed.

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It’s always been easy between us,

a cosmic thread dragging us toward each other.

Especially when life got in the way,

still we’re here.

Through long talks and silly spats,

laughing until we cry,

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wins and losses,

even personal heartaches,

our bond hasn’t changed.

It’s unbreakable,

just like the ever-flowing tides of the ocean.

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My love for you is steady and deep.

Attraction aside, I need you the way I require my next breath.

Your face,

your voice,

the heart that I crave,

completing our circle of hearts and minds as we explore the world together.

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We chose an eternal symbol to represent who we are…for plenty of reasons,

but I’d live whole lifetimes with you,

and perhaps we have before,

in past lives,

our souls connecting many times.

Everton Vila, Unsplash

Just know you mean everything to me,

and I yearn for the day I can proudly claim to be your wife.

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Until the moment our hearts and hands become one,

I’ll keep praying for your smile,

your touch,

your laugh and every part of you,

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as you continue to brighten each day of mine.

This is my vow…

 I will always be yours.

JD Mason, Unsplash

© Marie Lavender, 2018.

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Filed under Blogging, Hope, Love, love poem, Lovers Like Us, Marie Lavender, Message, poem, poems, Poetry, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writing

Tips on Getting A Romantic Partner A Gift for Valentine’s Day: a guest post by Dating Connections

3 Tips on Getting A Romantic Partner A Gift for Valentine’s Day


Picking the right gift for your partner can be rather tricky, regardless of whether you date a cowboy, a biker, or someone else entirely, while things get additionally complicated if you’re in a relationship for quite some time and therefore lack original ideas.

PIX1861, Pixabay

They say it gets easier as time goes by, but we have to be completely honest here and tell you this is nothing but a vicious lie. Moreover, people actually want to do their best once they get to know their romantic partners well, and thus tend to get overwhelmed with thinking because they feel like nothing is good enough.

This is kind of logical if you sit down to think about it. We bet you can probably recall being afraid more than once that your choice of a gift would disappoint your partner. All because kindred spirits aren’t supposed to make gift-picking mistakes, right? And this further led you to spend crazy amounts of money and other painstaking strategies which, sadly, didn’t bring desired results.

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But, what if we told you there’s an easy way to pick a gift for Valentine’s Day and that all you have to do is keep reading the following paragraphs? Moreover, the tips we’re about to share with you are both unisex and universal so we warmly advise you to stay tuned to find out more!

Tip #1 – Consider Their Likes & Interests

If you’ve been dating him/her for some time or the two of you are already living together, chances are you probably know their favorite TV shows, movies, comic book characters, and video games, which should significantly facilitate your gift-picking quest.

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On the other hand, there are literally thousands of online shops selling various geeky-oriented merch and they are usually catering to the needs of both male and female audiences. And if you’re pretty much convinced that your bae isn’t a type of person who gets entranced at the very sight of flowers or a romantic poetry book, but wants a Thor action figure instead, we warmly suggest you stick with this option. On the other hand, you can still complement one such gift with a red rose or a box of chocolates to give it a romantic vibe and make it a bit festive.

Tip #2 – Be Inventive Without Keeping Your Brain Too Busy

That’s right. Nowadays, there are many online sellers and shops that specialize in original gifts that are the embodiment of creativity and more importantly – their sole purpose is to be there for you in the times of crisis, which can save you from a lot of pain indeed. Moreover, opting for a kind of a gift that combines authenticity, romance and humor is our warm recommendation for everyone seeking out a well-balanced Valentine’s Day gift for their significant other. These come in a range from fondue sets for two to Kinky Truth or Dare adult games but the options are basically countless nowadays, and it just takes a couple of hours of browsing online.

Tip #3 – Relaxation Gifts Are Always A Win-Win

We all have crazy long working hours these days, so going with a spa coupon or something similar can be a great gift for your partner, regardless of their gender.

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Massages are also legit, but you can be inventive as well and devise some fun coupons that will include some non-standard – at home – services. The great thing about these is that you don’t have to be skilled with Photoshop, as you can always find some interesting free templates for your coupons, come up with some fun text, then print it and voila! Free cheat tip: Pinterest is basically full of fun DIY massage coupons so go ahead and feel free to borrow some you find the most appropriate.

Ha…nice! These are some cool tips for figuring out what to get the people we love for the upcoming holiday.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!








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

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😉 Have a great week!

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Guest Writer, Holiday, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Valentine's

A Singles’ Guide to Surviving This Valentine’s Day: a guest post by Dating Connections

A Singles’ Guide to Surviving This Valentine’s Day


Although Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a holiday of love and happiness, there are a lot of people out there who actually resent the date. Most of the people in question are actually single, which leads to being sick of all the lovey-dovey stuff that happens on the 14th of February.

Alina Cerny, Flickr

But what if we told you that you don’t have to be miserable on Valentine’s Day even if you didn’t have any luck with free singles dating sites or with hooking up with someone a week prior?

In fact, there is more than one way you can turn Valentine’s Day from a day you loathe to a fun experience that might even lead you to creating some friendships or even finding love.

1. Occupy Your Thoughts

It can be really difficult to ignore the “love is in the air” vibe that always comes with Valentine’s Day simply because it’s a greatly promoted holiday and it’s something all couples you know will talk about. Still, this is no reason for you to brood throughout the whole day, as there are other things you can do instead.

For starters, the easiest thing to do in order to not kill your mood completely on that day is to occupy your thoughts with something other than Valentine’s Day.

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You can get busy with your hobby, for example, especially if it’s a creative one.

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Carpentry and sculpting can be of great help here.

Another solution is to cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa and dive into a good book. Before you know it, time will fly by while you get involved with the latest crime-thriller novel by a great writer.

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2. Spend Time in Good Company

It might seem like a longshot on paper, but spending time in the company of good friends can actually be a very enviable situation if luck is on your side.

Namely, hanging out with your buddies and girlfriends that aren’t already involved with the dreaded holiday can take your mind of your love situation just as effectively as any hobby. It actually might be even better than being alone, as socializing with people you like usually brings much more benefits than isolation.

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3. Meet Someone

On the other hand, we have meeting new single people. Similarly to hanging out with friends, this can be a great way to make you involved with something else rather than dwelling on your romantic drought. But wait – there’s more!

Another (possibly more important) benefit of hanging out with other singles on Valentine’s Day lies in the chance of actually meeting someone you can spend the next February 14th with. You’re all singles there, you all dislike Valentine’s Day and none of you have anything better to do on that day – why not try to meet someone new (and single) who might just be your cup of tea and who might make you stop loathing Valentine’s Day?

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Definitely some food for thought here. These are great tips for taking our thoughts away from the dreaded romantic holiday, and possibly keeping our minds open to the idea of meeting someone new.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!








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

As always, happy reading, everyone!  😉 Have a great week!

1 Comment

Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Guest Writer, Holiday, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Singles, Valentine's

You Complete Me?: a guest post by romance author Bry Ann

You Complete Me?

by Bry Ann


From as long as I can remember I have been the most independent person I know. I always believed I never needed anyone. While most girls dreamed of finding Prince Charming, I dreamed of starting my own company. While most girls were straightening their hair, I was diving into my text books so I could learn all I could to be successful. It was never about riches or success in the way most people are thinking. For me it was about building the life I wanted. Working for myself.

Then I don’t know what happened. I started writing. I became fascinated with relationships and how life struggles affected them. I softened up. I read more and more romance novels. One thing that has always stood out to me is the ‘you complete me’ concept in a lot of books. I get it. I really do, but it’s never been my cup of tea. Everything I’ve written and felt has been more along the lines of ‘you make me better and I love you, but I could live without you’. I would one day be okay if we didn’t work out. I wanted to talk a little about that. How to write two independent characters who fall in love and make each other better versus constantly needing each other.

I think a key thing in writing is the difference between leaning on somewhat for support when you are trying to make yourself better or overcome something, versus letting someone do something for you. Letting them fight your battles. For example, Sam and Logan’s story in Saving Her.

Sam leans on Logan a lot throughout her struggles, but never once does she use his celebrity to fight her battles for her. She does it on her own and uses him to help her when she’s down. Emotional support. Love, and sometimes having her back when she needs it. That’s important, and it’s the reason their relationship works. He respects her.

I think another key thing is the character having their own life. For example, in Axel’s story, Aly’s family always pushes her to marry and be a housewife. She is never even allowed to consider another possibility. When Axel helps her get free and makes that an option, she immediately starts working. Even though at the end Axel can easily provide for her and she could spend her days doing whatever, there is no kid, nothing to do. She goes to college, gets an education and starts to figure out what her dreams could be outside of their relationship. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with Aly.

All in all I wanted to throw out another version of relationships. I wanted to bring into a light that codependency can be a very negative thing if your whole identity lies with one person. Respect, dignity, love, healthy competition, attraction all can go hand in hand. In fact I think that when there is a good dose of respect for what the other person is doing, it can strengthen the bond your characters have and make your readers fall in love with both people versus just the relationship itself.

Anyway, thank you guys so much for reading! I hope you will check out Sam and Logan’s story in Saving Her now on Amazon. The story depicts this perfectly and I just know you will love them.

Have a great week!

Wow! Thank you, Bry Ann, for giving us a peek into your writing world and showing us a different spin on relationships.

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at this gritty romantic suspense? Sounds like a plan!:)

Great cover! 😀

This is the blurb for Saving Her:


What is love?
Is it patient?
Is it kind?
Who the hell knows.
I don’t.
I just know I must save the one person I’ve ever opened my cold heart up to.
I don’t care what it takes to save her.
I sell drugs. I sell my soul. I don’t care. She just has to live.
Then enters Logan Prescott.
He makes sure to screw everything up. He makes me care.
He makes me feel…
And that is just not okay.


Lies. Sex. Fans. Attention.
I’ve been alone for far too long, caught up in a world I love but is slowly killing me.
The real me. The one behind the lights.
Then there’s her. The smart ass waitress who hates me with a fiery passion.

Trigger Warning: This is not a typical love story. Sam and Logan’s story contains disturbing scenes, drugs, sex and strong language.

Here is an excerpt.

After two hours of being alone in the dark with no one coming in or out, I was completely lost in the memories. It was like I was in a fog and nothing else existed. The memories wouldn’t stop coming. I closed my eyes and screamed bloody murder. Someone had to save me. I was lost. It seemed so real. I couldn’t go through that again. Even if it was all in my head. A nurse came running in. I just kept screaming and crying. She didn’t exist to me. Nothing did but the pain. She tried to talk me down, but I wouldn’t come down. I couldn’t. I was shaking so badly. I saw her put in the sedative before I could stop her.

“No please! I don’t want to sleep,” I said as my body fell limp. “No.”

“It’s okay, sweetie.”

“Logan, please,” was the last thing I remember saying.

I woke up hours later. It was still dark outside. I shook violently but stopped when I felt a strong hand on my shoulder.

“I’m here, Sam.”

“Logan.” I let all the air out of my lungs. The relief filled me.

“Yeah, it’s me. Sam, what’s going on?”

I somehow managed to get myself up to seated and tuck myself into a ball. I curled myself up as tight as I possibly could and cried. I couldn’t stop. Logan crawled into the bed next to me and pulled me into him.


Purchase Links:


Universal Amazon link:

♥♥♥ Gripping! This looks like quite a romantic tale! 

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Bry Ann! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Author Bio

Bry Ann is a psychology student at Arizona State University. She currently lives up in the Rocky Mountains in Granby, Colorado. She spends most of her free time reading dark romance books, writing anytime she can get her hands on a computer and doing homework anytime she can squeeze it in. Bry Ann has been writing for as long as she can remember. Even from the youngest of ages she was writing about characters with dark pasts and shady stories. As she got older, she decided everyone should get a love story so soon her dark stories got happy endings. She loves to hear from her readers and talk all things books, so feel free to contact her on any of her social media pages!

Author Links




Amazon Author Page:







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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

Leave a comment

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

Special Film Feature: Forever My Girl

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Here is a great new film release by writer and director Bethany Ashton Wolf. Please help me in welcoming our first theatrical release to this romance blog! Forever My Girl, a family romance with a touch of music and drama, releases in theaters tomorrow. How exciting!

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

Roadside Entertainment and LD Entertainment are giving us a look at their romance film, Forever My Girl, today.

Great movie cover! So romantic!

This is the info on Forever My Girl:

Forever My Girl tells the story of music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, Liam is suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind.

Roadside Entertainment and LD Entertainment are thrilled to debut the full-length theatrical trailer for the uplifting family romance Forever My Girl which will be released wide in theaters on January 19th.  Forever My Girl is the 7th collaboration for the two companies including multiple Academy Award® nominee Albert Nobbs and Biutiful.

Written and directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf, and based upon the novel by Heidi McLaughlin, the film stars Alex Roe, Jessica Rothe, Abby Ryder Fortson, Travis Tritt, Judith Hoag and John Benjamin Hickey. The film was produced by Mickey Liddell, Pete Shilaimon and Jennifer Monroe. Executive producers are Alison Semenza King, Nicole Stojkovich and Zach Tann.

Check out the movie trailer here!

We also have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak with the director of the film.

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

Bethany Ashton Wolf:  Hi, Marie! Lovely to meet you.

Marie:  It’s such a pleasure to see you here! Please tell us a little about Forever My Girl, your latest feature film. What steered you toward working on this project?

Bethany:  Female writer to female writer, I’m liking it already! I’m someone that if I read a piece of underlying material, or I have an original idea, and I see the whole entire vision of the film from its inception in my wildly creatively busy brain– aesthetically, audibly, all of its characters, their arcs, back stories, the details in every single scene from what they are wearing to what’s playing on the radio to what’s cooking on the kitchen stove, and I’ll see it in all three acts–I’M IN. I’M OBSESSED. YOU CAN’T STOP ME FROM WANTING TO WRITE AND DIRECT THE FILM. I’M IMMEDIATELY IMMERSED IN THAT NEW WORLD, AND I CAN’T STOP MYSELF OR MY IMAGINATION FROM SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS IN EVERY DIRECTION. It’s a thrilling moment when that happens as a filmmaker. It’s just how my brain naturally processes everything around me, since I was a little girl, and I didn’t know that was even a job growing up. I thought everyone’s brains were making their lives more fantastical around them, filming it in their head, editing it, and making it into something more magical. So, when I see all of that, I HAVE TO GO IN AND PITCH FOR IT, and I was inspired to that degree when I read Heidi’s book (Thank you, Heidi!). I saw the whole world and all of its characters and set pieces, everything that I mentioned above, I saw it for the film version, and I just had to write the screenplay, direct the movie, and develop all of the music for the soundtrack.

Marie:  Awesome! So, what is your target audience?

Bethany:  Everyone who loves romance, family, friendship, community, redemption, good music, the beauty of a town that has each other’s back in good times and in the difficult times, and likes to laugh, be deeply moved, and fall in love. It’s a romance at its core, but it is also a father/daughter story, a father/son story, a mother/son story, a brother/sister story, a story about finding your way back home to your true self. So basically LIFE. So if you like life and good music, this movie is for you!

Marie:  Nice! Have you directed a film or written a screenplay such as this in the past?

Bethany:  I have been hired by studios to write other screenplays that involve romance and love, and I’m grateful to say that I always have had something new to say and explore about love in each one. All of my work, screenplays, shorts and my directorial debut film are romances at their center no matter what the genre because love is all there is if we peel it all away and be truthful with ourselves. I’ve written and/or directed films that are epic biopics, sweeping romances, character thrillers, satirical humor, dramas, I’ve even been hired to write films about organ trafficking and time travel, but at the epicenter of all of my films and screenplays, all of the things that we experience in life really concatenates to love, if you think about it. Love is universal. We are either falling in love, seeking love, recovering from the loss of love, or trying to find peace in life without having love of another but just being centered with loving ourselves. Life and everything we do is all really about love, don’t you think?

Marie:  Of course!

So, I am curious about something. What was it like working with the cast/crew?

Bethany:  I have such immense love for my actors and crew. I would go to the ends of the earth for them. I am by nature, a nurturer and protector. I am a lover, gusher, hugger, but I am also a leader, collaborator, visionary, communicator, and most of all an artist who stands in my truth. I go to great lengths to create an environment where we can all stand in our truth together, a safe haven for all of our artistry to shine together as we step into our pilgrimage of making a film together. I am an actor’s director but I am also a crew’s director. I love my whole team; they become my family, and I will advocate, protect, shield, and move mountains for them all. I’m their leader, and I take that job very seriously. I lead with love, and my goal is to have that love permeate through the whole set and all of production, on through all of my post. I’m a mama bear and they are all my cubs!

Marie:  Sounds like quite a family!

As a fiction writer myself, I know location is everything in a story. Is there any special significance to the film’s setting for you? Was this filmed on story location, or on a set/in a different place?

Bethany:  Ohhh, this film is a love letter to the place that I was born and raised, Louisiana. I did change the location in the film to Louisiana because I felt that in that whole vision I first saw for the film, this was my opportunity to show the world the beautiful, loving, gracious people that I was raised by and the homespun values I was raised on. The friends, family, and community that I paid witness to growing up, and still witness now when I go home to visit, they are a safe haven of love that truly has each other’s backs in good times and in the extremely difficult. And I think it becomes a love letter to all small towns and communities in our beautiful country of ours. And not just small towns, but the communities within bigger cities. It’s triumphant to witness how we take care of our own in this country in the good times and in the extremely difficult. I think it’s a beautiful reminder for us how wondrous and magnificent we are as a country in the light of all that is going on in the world right now. We have each other’s back, no matter what. We are of light and love in each of our communities; even when faced with great adversity and tragedy, take notice of how communities take care of each other and love each other all over the vast tapestry of our Americana. 

Marie:  Without giving away any spoilers, what message do you hope our readers might glean from this movie?

Bethany:  Forever My Girl is a celebration of love, life, family, friendship, forgiveness, the power of music, and community. I want people to feel that they can always go back home, and that doesn’t necessarily mean literally home. It can, but it can also mean finding your way back to your own truth. That no matter where you are in life, you can always find your way back to your true self. Your authentic self. It’s never too late. And that you can laugh a little, cry a little, and sing a little on that pilgrimage home to self-discovery. And most of all, enjoy the ride! Sit down on your front porch with your family and friends and watch a sunrise together, take in a sunset. It’s there, every day for all of us to witness, no matter where we are in the world.

Much love ♥♥ Bethany

OMG! This looks perfect for ILRB readers.

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

Readers, don’t forget to check this movie out in theaters near you this weekend. We’re sure to be thrilled and heart-warmed!


Writer/Director Bio

Bethany Ashton Wolf, born and raised in Louisiana, has been a screenwriter and feature film director for the past 15 years. She began her career in the indie world of filmmaking co-writing the controversial short, Don’s Plum, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire. She wrote and directed 2 award-winning short films, The Burgundy Room, and Wait, followed by her first independent theatrical feature, the Cajun drama, Little Chenier, which won 21 awards on the festival circuit, including 10 Best Picture Awards and 6 International Best American Film Awards. She has had numerous screenwriting assignments for both independent companies and studios, including, On the 12th Day (Radio London Films), Bullrider (Free To Be A Filmmaker Entertainment), The Pilgrimage of Layla (Riche Productions), along with Other People’s Love Letters (CBS Films & Laurence Mark Productions) and Time Between Us (CBS Films & Schorr Productions). Wolf recently completed a festival run of her short film, Love Scene, based on her screenplay of the same name that chronicles the 25-year love affair of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier. The short, in which she wrote and directed, won Best Short and Best Screenplay awards all over the world. Her current feature film that she wrote and directed for LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions, Forever My Girl, will be in theaters in January 2018, accompanied by the release of a country star soundtrack that Wolf developed for the film. Wolf is currently in development on another feature film for LD Entertainment, along with writing and directing her next feature film based on the best selling novel, Archer’s Voice.



Writer/Director’s Filmography:



Book Link:

Film Link:


Thanks again, Bethany and LD Entertainment! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime, perhaps with your next film release. 

Happy viewing, everyone!🙂

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Filed under coming soon, Contemporary, Drama, Event, Hope, Interview, Love, Message, new release, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Romance Movies, Second Chances, Trailer

Chivalry Doesn’t Have to Be Dead: a romance blogger post by multi-genre author Marie Lavender

Chivalry Doesn’t Have to Be Dead


It isn’t a reach to suppose that many romance readers spent part of their childhoods dreaming of sweeping fairytale relationships, comprised of a white knight on a steed coming to a maiden’s rescue after slaying a dragon for her.

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Or, for a feminist type, perhaps she was indeed the one saving her chosen male. Why not? Such individuals not only still savor a great romantic tale, but also most likely continue to admire happy couples around them. We’re looking for that elusive ‘soul mate’. Some of us, myself included, took it a step further, and now write those sweeping romance stories that might capture readers’ hearts.

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I always dreamt of a love that would stand the test of time, a true romance like my parents had. Not an easy love, by any means. Even in romance novels, the journey includes ups and downs, as in life. But I hoped – and yes, even prayed – to find my soul mate, someone who understood me, accepted my dreams, weathered the storms of existence with me. And I would do the same for him. I poured that yearning into my stories, telling complex tales of imperfect people who found each other despite the obstacles thrown in their direction. For it’s true that real people are flawed. We live, love, hurt, and keep repeating the cycle. That’s life. I guess it’s one reason I launched the I Love Romance Blog – to not only discover new romance novels and the talented authors who wrote them, but also to learn how other people view romance. What were their romantic adventures? What advice might they offer up to readers?

I believe that within us thrives a light, a little hope for a companion to stand up and support us during our greatest accomplishments, as well as when life just gets too crazy. A partner, so to speak.

Yet, the perfect partner isn’t a perfect person. He or she has probably done something foolish before, and they might have a few regrets. There will be similar interests, but you’ll have a few differences as well.

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It’s true that I am fortunate. I found my soul mate. We’re creative people, and I love that I’ll never have to explain the intricacies of the muse to the man I love. But, there are occasional days when we disagree, when one of us tries to needle the other. I like to make plans, and my fiancé is definitely more casual about life. Though that might seem like a nutty match, it actually works because our differences make us stronger. Those little things complement each other.

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As partners, we challenge one another, and thereby put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. We’re both Libras too; so that makes for an interesting decision-making process when it comes to trivialities such as what to eat for dinner or which film to watch for the evening. We agree on so much, and yet there are traits that make us entirely unique. Still, at the end of the day, we have treasured moments of peace, cuddling and finding comfort together when words are no longer necessary.

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My point here is that whoever you imagine will be your soul mate might not be the person who ends up as the one tailor-made for you. It’s okay to be surprised. Life is unpredictable. Keep an open mind on the journey. Don’t close the door to new experiences. You just might find that your destiny turns out even better than you planned or imagined.

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Be your own white knight. Open yourself to the world, and enter it with a kinder heart. And this suggestion isn’t merely because Christmastime, the season of giving, is upon us. This is a year-round request. Do something nice for your neighbor, or the next person you see on the street. Of course, you can do that without seeming like a stalker. Just be kind. Open a door for someone, offer a smile. Give that person a rose from Roses Only.

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You never know how that small kindness will impact another soul, how many ways it might inspire. Perhaps by doing so, you’ve given them a small slice of hope, and it just might be enough to jumpstart them on their own new journey.

Someone out there is your perfect match, not because he or she is, in fact, perfect (no one is), but rather because that individual was made for you. When you’re both ready, at a precise moment in time, you will find the one. In the meantime, keep everyone else open to it too.


Romance is a dream we hold tight inside our hearts. But it’s not fictional at all. Romance can be a mere thought, a word, or an act. Something as simple as holding a person’s hand is a tactile gesture that can change your entire perspective. As reading can open new worlds us, so can our own dreams of romance. Think about the traits you might like in a mate. Someone trustworthy, dependable…perhaps inventive? Jot them all down, if you prefer. Remember not to limit your imagination, but don’t get tied down to appearances either. There are those who prefer blondes or dark-haired individuals. In reality, it’s superficial. Though it’s possible the person meant for you might have one of those specific traits, in all likelihood they may not.

Let me explain. In the dictionary, a soul mate is defined as “a person who strongly resembles another in attitudes or beliefs”. Sure, that makes sense. You’d want to have similar values if you were dating someone. The earliest known use of the word soul mate was when Samuel Taylor Coleridge implemented the term in a letter to a young lady, claiming that a person shouldn’t “settle, but rather [choose someone] whose character and sensibilities [are of] a nature suitable to [their] own”. It’s not about looks, but rather about two souls connecting.

That’s a better way of saying it, right? Opt instead for the person who is the perfect accompaniment to your own unique tune, and together you’ll create the best symphony in the world.

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Anyway, that’s my take on it! ♥♥♥

Host Blogger Bio

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has published 22 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 is also the moderator of three blogs…the I Love Romance Blog, Marie Lavender’s Books!, and Writing in the Modern Age. She’s the proud recipient of several blogging awards and book awards. Follow Marie via her author website, varied blogs, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Her books can be located at most online booksellers.






Amazon Author Page:



Youtube/Book Trailers:


Happy reading, everyone! 🙂 Have a wonderful holiday season!

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I’ll check back in for our end of the year post. 😉



Filed under Blogging, Books, Dating Tips, Faith, Holiday, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writing

How to Survive Holiday Stress With Your Sweetie: a guest post by Dating Connections

How to Survive Holiday Stress with Your Sweetie


The Christmas craze is upon us and as much as ladies love to shop till they drop with the greatest excuse of them all (it’s Christmas!), their partners are usually the ones getting the short end of the stick as a gift. Between bringing home half of Pottery Barn’s Christmas collection to capture the holiday spirit, not leaving an ounce of it for anyone else on the planet, and going all out this year in terms of gifts for family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, neighbors, and various charity organizations, it’s no wonder your partner can feel left out as you two face the stress of the holiday season.

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Let’s take a moment to reflect on an extremely important fact of life here – men don’t care for gifts.

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They want to have a nice dinner with their ladies over a bottle of wine and some Star Trek (choice of movie optional). They don’t care for shopping, home decor, expensive wrapping paper or Christmas cards, no matter how cute, inspirational or uplifting you may find the latest celebrity snapchats – the holiday edition! With this painful truth in mind, we present the top ways to give your man what he really wants this Christmas season without having to spend a cent on stress relief programs for yourself.

Shower Him with Affection

Your man wants you all year long, and doesn’t care what season it is. Although you’d rather go see that latest museum exhibit only in town until mid-December between picking your company Christmas party dress and getting your hair done before the actual holiday craze even begins, he’d rather lounge around the house with you and lay low until it all passes.

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Keep that in mind the next time you are faced with a tough decision whether to get him that sweater in navy blue or brown. Also, you can use these simple expectations to loosen up and relax with your man after an action-packed day, and get the best of both worlds.

Lingerie As A Gift For Him

If you absolutely must shop, buy yourself sexy new lingerie. He already has a closet full of dress shirts you keep buying that he never wears. But if you surprise him with a cute little hot pink number you’ll find yourself in a win-win kind of situation – you get to shop, and he gets to enjoy it.

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When picking new bras, busties, thongs, or babydolls, keep in mind the things he likes in terms of color, shape, and size. Surprise him by showing how much you’re thinking about his needs and desires, not by getting him tickets to the Christmas ballet show. Following your successful choice of sexy lingerie that he’ll absolutely love, you won’t feel guilty about scheduling that pricey yet much needed appointment at your favorite salon that will ensure you get a stress-free and fulfilling holiday season, too.

Stay Active Throughout The Holiday Season

Regular exercise not only reduces the risk of various physical health problems, but it also puts your mind at ease by reducing the effects of depression, anxiety, stress, and a host of other mental health issues.

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Find the time to decompress at the gym at least 3 times a week as this will help you unwind, lower your stress levels, and spend actual quality time with your partner later in the day. Stretching at home or during your lunch break can also boost your “happy hormones”, and increase your productivity so that you are free to go catch a movie or go for a walk with him, and forget all about the holiday stress.

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Don’t Make Him Get Involved

If a man can’t get what he wants, the second best thing that could happen is for him to be left alone. Don’t make him go with you to pick your mom’s present or ask his opinion on every little thing you bring into the house because that is just completely pointless. He doesn’t have an opinion on it, and even if he did, it would be a man’s opinion, which in all likelihood would be contrary to yours. Show you love him by letting him be, and he will be eternally grateful.

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While you’re at it, enlist the help of your friends, and have yourself a great girl’s night out to talk about all things Christmas and men over some wine and great music. You’ll feel amazing afterwards, and your partner will be happy for you both.

Definitely some food for thought here. These are great tips for staying connected with our partners, and keeping the Christmas hustle and bustle from driving us crazy.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

Dating Connections is a site that offers the opportunity for you to explore a variety of dating tips, previous relationship experiences and interact with other people!








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

As always, happy reading, everyone!  😉 Have a great rest of your week!

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Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Guest Writer, Holiday, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance

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

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked both authors and romance readers to come to me with their responses to this big question: “What Does Romance Mean to Me?” I was genuinely interested in what made us all tick, what continued to draw us to the genre. Why do we love “love” so much? I wanted to dig deep into the heart of each person. And I’ve gotten some incredible feedback. Today is the next post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Jenny Lynn, who has some things to say about the question at hand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest Bio

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

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

So, as the host, I put the question to you as a reader today as well. What does the word ‘romance’ really mean for you? Is ‘romance’ a driving force in your life? How have your beliefs about romantic relationships informed your own relationships? Perhaps seeing other couples (parents or friends) were some kind of influence. By reading romance novels, does that help to reaffirm things for you?

If you’d like to participate in this special feature, please contact me at and I’ll schedule a spot for you. As you can tell from the schedule on the right hand side of the page, we’re getting booked fast, but don’t hesitate to join in! You do not need to be a writer or author. We want to hear from anyone. We’d love to get your take on how you feel about romance, and why you keep reading our books! ♥♥♥ 

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

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

We may have other posts before then, though.

Have a great week, everyone!

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