Category Archives: Relationships

My Romantic Thought of the Day 50

The person who’s right for you may not come in the package you’re expecting, so keep an open heart and an open mind.

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Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Isobelle Cate

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 our second post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Isobelle Cate, who has a few things to say about the question at hand.

Romance can come in many forms. For many romance authors, romance might be equivalent to lust. It is after all, the first stage of getting to know each other in books. The words that flow from pens or computers are aimed at titillating the reader, coaxing a basic need to be swept away by their imaginations of being made loved to by an alpha male.

Is romance erotica? There is only so much a writer can do when incorporating sex in every chapter of a book. The dictum ‘less is more’ may come to the fore to keep a reader’s attention. There should also be a story that draws the reader in to want to turn the page. It may be good for the first book of a series or even a standalone. But if the basic writing formula is not tweaked or – heaven forbid – becomes predictable with the same words and almost similar descriptions of previous works, at the very least your possible fan will just close the book or tap on their kindle to find another book to read. And your novel will be relegated to their own ‘slush’ pile of forgettable books, never to be seen again.

 

Is sweetness and light ‘romance’? Probably to some; but definitely not by a long stretch. Readers might call it cute. Others can consider it ‘saccharine enough to develop diabetes just by reading the book. Is romance a knight in shining armor or a shiny Harley or Ducati, sweeping a damsel in distress to safety? Not really. Damsels in stories nowadays are strong women who do not scream (think Janet Leigh in Psycho) at the first sight of the big bad handsome antagonist. Damsels are kick-ass women who have the wherewithal to put the opposition down. She becomes a partner of the alpha protagonist and saves the day.

Then, what is romance? To me romance is about souls and hearts. It’s where two souls know that their hearts will meet. It’s when two hearts know that whatever the odds, they will come out of it as better individuals.

Even if the end game is the end of the relationship.

A sucker for pain? No, not really. But romance isn’t happily ever after all the time, is it? It’s the journey of figuratively a thousand deaths, souls forged in fire, tempered in strength, and knowing in the end that either two people were meant to be or it just isn’t the right time. Maybe soon…

Romance squeezes the hearts that keep coming back to be burned in love’s furnace. Romance is that moment when one feels hollow when the other heart isn’t around. Heck, it is also missing that heart even when s/he’s around just because they can’t get enough of each other. Romance is when hearts say what mouths can’t because there is this fear of being rejected. So the hearts dance around the flame, tasting it, being singed by it, until both are willingly consumed as an offering. Romance is what so many songs’ lyrics say – sacrifice.

Still romance? Yes. But this time, romance has been transformed into love.

Wow! You made some great points there.
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Isobelle! Lovely to have you here! ♥
Guest Bio

Isobelle Cate is a woman who wears different masks.  Mother-writer, wife-professional, scholar-novelist.  Currently living in Manchester, she has been drawn to the little known, the secret stories, about the people and the nations:  the English, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and those who are now part of these nations whatever their origins.  Her vision and passion are fuelled by her interest and background in history and paradoxically, shaped by growing up in a clan steeped in lore, loyalty, and legend. Isobelle is intrigued by forces that simmer beneath the surface of these cultures, the hidden passions, unsaid desires, and yearnings unfulfilled.

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

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

 

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

 

Thanks again, Isobelle, for giving us your take on the romance genre, and what romance itself has come to mean to you. Awesome! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Debbie White visits us on April 18th! Yay! 🙂

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Top 5 Ways to Spice Up Your Relationship: a guest post by Dating Connections

Top 5 Ways to Spice Up Your Relationship

 

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a significant other from your own town, someone from your society, or if you’re dreaming of an interracial romance, we’re all actually looking for that special someone who will share a lifetime with us. Being in a serious, long-term relationship is amazing because it comes with many different perks. Regular sex, comfort, loyalty, and support. However, when two people are together for a long time, sometimes things can get a little predictable. There’s nothing wrong about that; serious relationships are drama-free, most of the time, but that predictability can damage a relationship. Especially if the couple doesn’t do anything to mix things up a bit. So, in order to help all the serious couples out there, here are the top five ways to spice up your relationship and keep the fire burning.

  1. Find New, Exciting Activities You Can Do Together

Laying around the house, watching countless TV shows and movies together is a perfectly good plan, but sometimes you need to change things up a bit. You don’t want to fall into the same routine every day because if this happens, your relationship may end pretty soon. So, instead of Netflix and chill, you should throw in a few different activities in the mix. It doesn’t have to be anything special and extraordinary; any kind of outdoor activity would be nice. You could travel together, take hikes and explore nature. These lovely activities will definitely make you feel more alive and that’s always good for a long-term relationship.

  1. Bring Back The Romance

It may sound cheesy, but romance is actually an extremely important part of every long relationship. People usually don’t get that, so they simply stop being romantic after a first few months of the relationship. Remember, you need to stay romantic even after the honeymoon phase is over. However, if you haven’t been romantic for years, there’s no need to panic because romantic gestures are not that complicated. You can take your significant other to a romantic dinner, wine tasting, or a lovely romantic getaway. If this is too much for you, there are always those “small”, everyday gestures like presents, flowers and sentimental cards.  Make romance your daily routine and your relationship will flourish in no time.

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  1. Don’t Plan Everything, Be More Spontaneous

When two people spend two or three years together, it’s only natural for them to stop being spontaneous at some point, but that’s not a good sign. Of course, planning your dates and everyday activities is important, but sometimes you need to cut loose, footloose, kick off your Sunday shoes! In order to spice things up in your relationship, you simply need to be adventurous and spontaneous. This is the only way you’ll be able to surprise each other. So, don’t wait for the weekend. Take your partner dancing in the middle of the week. Go crazy!

  1. Role Playing In The Bedroom

Although it’s not the most important part of a relationship, sex is definitely one of the crucial aspects of a couple’s life. At the beginning of every relationship, sex is rather hot and steamy. You’re exploring one another and that is extremely exciting. However, after a few years, sex life usually becomes a routine. In order to prevent this from happening to your relationship, you need to spice things up in bed. Role playing is definitely the best way to do so since both of you will be able to pretend to be someone else. A break from reality is always a good thing.

Hannamariah, Big Stock Photo.

  1. Get Naughty In New Places

The bedroom is not the only place for sex; always remember that. Surroundings play a rather important role when it comes to making love with your partner. Having sex in your own bed or on a sofa in the living room is hot, but making love in a different place will definitely get your blood flowing. You can try out the kitchen floor, a hotel room, backseat of your car, or you can go on a very hot camping trip, just the two of you. Having sex in nature is an amazing feeling.

 

True! I think sometimes we all need tips on sparking more romance in our lives.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for this great advice about romantic relationships.

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!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DatingConnect

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

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

As always, happy reading, everyone!  😉

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

Top 5 Relationship Myths You Should Stop Believing Immediately: a guest post by Dating Connections

Top 5 Relationship Myths You Should Stop Believing Immediately

We live in a modern society where people love to stick their noses into other people’s business. This is one of the biggest reasons why we have so many horrible misconceptions regarding dating and relationships. For example, cheating housewives are always the main target of these horrible stereotypes. People believe that most housewives are cheating on their husbands every chance they get. Unfortunately, this is just one of the many misconceptions about modern day relationships. In order to fight this reoccurring problem in our society, we decided to pick out the five most popular relationship myths people should stop believing immediately. Stick around and see if you’ve ever been fooled by any of these stories.

  1. Happy Couples Never Fight

Whoever told you this probably never had a serious relationship. Yes, happy couples seem so perfect on the outside, but you don’t know what happens behind closed doors. We assume that it’s all hearts, unicorns, and butterflies, but that’s not true at all. All couples fight at some point and that’s perfectly normal and healthy. Arguments are good for solving bigger problems in the relationship and without them, every couple would fall apart after a few months. So, to bust this old myth, happy couples do fight, but that doesn’t prevent them from being happy. It actually helps them to move on and improve their relationship.

  1. Good Relationships Don’t Require Effort And Hard Work

This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions out there! When people see a long-lasting happy couple they automatically assume that it’s always been easy for them. This is a huge mistake because people work hard in order to create something that will last long. Most people out there think that finding their soulmate is all it takes for a happy relationship and that it’s smooth sailing from there. This is a delusion!

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  1. Having A Baby Solves All The Problems

Many couples worldwide are trying to solve their problems by adding a baby to the equation and it backfires horribly most of the time. This is a common misconception simply because people think that baby will bring the parents closer together. Yes, that usually happens, but in a healthy relationship or marriage. Having a baby just to save your relationship is a bad idea. It will only create more problems for you and the innocent baby.

  1. Sex Is Great Only At The Beginning Of The Relationship

This is incredibly wrong, actually. If anything, sex is better as the relationship matures. For sex to be great, the two people need to have a good chemistry, but they also need practice, a lot of practice in order to get in sync. Every couple is a little bit clumsy and nervous at the beginning, but as the relationship moves forward, they start to get better and better in the bedroom.

Unsplash, Alejandra Quiroz, Creative Commons license.

  1. Opposites Attract

You probably heard this one a thousand times, right? Well, it’s true when magnets are concerned, but with people, the situation is completely different. Opposite people have nothing in common, and while it can be interesting in the beginning, it will turn into a nightmare when differences become unbearable. So, always try to find someone similar who has the same interests and passions as you. Don’t listen to this myth because you’ll only wind up in a dysfunctional relationship.

There you go, people, the five most common misconceptions about modern dating and relationships. If you want a normal, stable, and long-lasting relationship, the first thing you need to do is disregard every single one of them. Once you do that, you’ll be able to find your significant other. Good luck out there. ♥♥♥

Too right! As both romance writer and someone who has been in the dating scene before, then found my soul mate, I totally agree.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for this great advice about romantic relationships.

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!

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

Blog:  http://datingconnections.org/category/blog/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DatingConnect

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/101423157749445118069

 

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

As always, happy reading, everyone!  😉

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

“Dream with Me” – a poem

Dream with Me

My yearning for you is strong,

something I’ve never felt for anyone else…

There are nights like tonight,

when I ache so much for you that sleep eludes me.

With bated breath

I remember our last embrace,

savoring your arms around me,

the warmth of your body against mine,

your chest beneath my ear as I witness the steady beats of your heart,

a constant comfort.

I recall our quiet talks about nothing and everything,

our shared laughter.

You’re the only one who reaches me on all levels,

physical and emotional.

But the convenience of technology – firing up a text thread or dialing your number –

is a poor substitution for the real thing.

The truth is

I need you in my life.

It’s a forever kind of thing.

With the storm striking outside – rain pattering against the panes of glass,

the occasional rumble of thunder

and each curse of lightning –

despite it all, I’ll do my best to keep you safe in my heart tonight.

Soon,

maybe not tomorrow,

possibly in a week or so,

I’ll see you again and then our bond will be reaffirmed.

We’ll be one once more.

There are few things in this world that last,

even fewer powers resilient against time, hate or destruction.

But, love? Love will stand up to anything.

If you were lost to me,

I’d go anywhere,

do anything to search,

to find you again.

You mean that much to me.

It has nothing to do with loneliness.

This is about two hearts that were born for each other,

Two halves of a whole.

When we met, we spoke like old friends.

It was different yet utterly natural.

And no matter what happens in our lives,

this bond cannot bend or be broken.

This is love.

So close your eyes tonight and think of me, my love.

Dream with me…

Imagine a place of peace,

with lush, green land,

endless blue skies and beautiful seas.

A place where we’re together, dancing clumsily,

laughing and resting in one another’s arms.

Keep me in your heart, the same way I keep you.

I’ll see you soon,

on the other side of this hazy, slumberous journey,

to a world where eternity resides.

I wake to your face,

your warm smile,

the sound of your soothing breaths beside me.

And I know this is right where I belong.

© Marie Lavender, 2017.

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“You and the Muse” – a poem

You and the Muse

There are few things in this chaotic world that make total sense to me.

Two, in fact, which I can name right now…

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Often it feels like I’m a mere pawn on the chessboard of life.

pawn-power

Some choices are strategic; others are left to chance.

A few are mistakes one would rather forget.

There’s so much about all of it we can’t control.

The sun will rise and set regardless of what we do.

There are few parts of life I can totally rely on.

Two, in fact…

You and the muse.

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As you held me in your arms last night,

with your perfect embrace and your scent in my nose,

I had to fight back tears.

It wasn’t sadness which moved me.

Instead, it was a sense that everything was right.

Very few things in life make sense to me.

But you and our deep connection?

I’ve never been more definite about anything in my life.

We’re meant to be…

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Then there’s the muse.

Writing is a drive inside me,

an unstoppable force.

The story calls, demanding to be told.

The characters live for a reason,

 and I live to get those interpretations on the page.

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But I live for you too.

I’d be lost without you,

my soul mate,

my best friend,

my lover.

My lover and the muse…

two constants I can’t do without.

stress-ball

There are times when the pressures of life get to be too much,

when stressors drag me down.

Then the muse inspires me to tell a tale,

to explore the human condition.

But you…

You inspire me to keep dreaming,

to keep loving you and every moment we spend together.

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The truth is you are my muse.

My eternal muse.

You and the muse are the same.

And I’d be very little without you,

my love.

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© 2016, Marie Lavender.

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“The Other Side of Our Dreams” – a poem

The Other Side of Our Dreams

 

Do you sleep?

Do you dream?

At night, do you sleep in hopes of meeting me when you wake?

Do you dream, dream of me the way I dream of you?

woman-dreaming

Do you pray?

Do you pray you’ll see my face? To hold me tight?

Because I think of you every night…

Every day, of course, but each night many times before I sleep.

beautiful-woman-sitting-bed-portrait-home-looking-camera-61751898

It’s not because I’m lonely.

When the day’s demands are winding down, the night gets so quiet you can only hear your heartbeat, the soft thump aligned with crickets humming in the darkness.

I think of you, imagine your face, your voice blessing me, your arms surrounding me.

I don’t think of you because I’m lonely and I need someone, just anyone.

You’re in my thoughts, always.

You’re the missing part of me I didn’t know about until I found you.

Blog-Pic-Couple-Smiling-At-Each-Other-16732443

You’re everything to me…

My friend, my lover, my soul mate, all wrapped up in one fine package.

Even without the trappings, I would’ve known you were the one.

Our hearts still would have called to each other.

We’ve always been this connected.

On a night like this, with the wind whipping around the house and the moon so bright, it’s hard not to think of you, to feel you afar.

sad-woman-looking-at-moon-300x300

I’ll give you this other thought before I sleep…

Keep thinking, dreaming, praying, my love.

We’ll both slumber and find one another again, beyond our dreams, beyond time even.

Because this?

This is forever, and that’s more than enough for me.

hands

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A Character Interview with Amy Pearson from THE LIE plus a conversation with author K.C. Sprayberry!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Aurora Zahni’s character on December 29th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting K.C. Sprayberry, the author of The Lie, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Amy Pearson, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to K.C. in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Amy!

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

Character Amy Pearson: Thanks for having me here.

Marie:  Sure!

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

Amy: Okay.

Marie:  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

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

Amy:  Hi, everyone. My name is Amy Pearson. I’m a senior at Landry High School in Georgia, a band geek, and a musician. My brother, Bryce, is always telling me that I have to believe in what I can do, so I have to say I’m a great student with a 4.0 GPA. As a musician, I play the keyboard, flute, clarinet, oboe, and guitar. I also sing. And if my YouTube page can be believed, people actually like what I do.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Great!

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Amy:  Well… I have a brother, Bryce. He’s two years younger than me, plays football, always gives me grief about the stupidest stuff, but he’s a good person to talk to. My dad does reno on houses that my uncle sells. Dad’s kind of cool. He’s a volunteer fire fighter in his spare time. And then there’s my mom. Her and me—we don’t get along well. It’s because of my bestie, Jane.

Mom thinks Jane is a horrible influence on me, but she… Jane… doesn’t have any other friends. And she was so nice to me when I had asthma as a kid and couldn’t go outside much.

Marie:  All right. Sorry to hear that.

The mother-daughter relationship can be complicated sometimes.

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

Amy:  Just like everyone else’s around us. A typical middle class southern home. Nothing spectacular. Until we moved into the old home place, a gift from my grandparents after our house sold and we needed a place fast. It was right after that happened. Don’t ask me about that. It was really awful.

Marie:  Okay, sorry. I sense it’s a touchy subject. I know there’s a story there, but I won’t pry.

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

Amy:  My music is my life. I love recording tracks with my instruments. Sometimes just one, or I might do a few tracks with two or three instruments. Then I write songs and my brother sets up videos on our YouTube page.

Marie:  Sounds like fun!

So…what is your greatest dream?

Amy:  Graduate high school, go to Jacksonville State University in Alabama. Be a Marching Southerner. And get a general music degree. I don’t know after that. It’s too far away to think about.

Marie:  That’s understandable. It’s hard to see that far ahead. It was for me too.

Let’s try another question.

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

Amy:  I want to be a person my mom can love without getting all mad because of my only close friend. I want to be able to just hug her and not have her ask what Jane did now. And I want to have more friends than Jane. It gets really weird only being able to do things with her all the time, but she says everyone else makes fun of her, so I can’t do stuff with them.

Marie:  Wow, sorry to hear that! 😦

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

Who was your first love?

Amy:  Trey Melton.

He’s a hunk, kind of like that actor, Brant Daughtery from Pretty Little Liars. Was the quarterback for the Landry Wildcats, until he blew out his knee. And he’s pretty sweet. We’ve just started seeing each other seriously, now that I kicked Jane out of my life.

Marie:  Good to hear! (Sighs.) I love romance…

The Lie

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

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

Amy:  That. It’s really hard to explain, kind of complicated. See, the school board took away the band’s funding. And we got very upset. That’s when Jane came to me with this plan, but she couldn’t tell the other kids in band about it. I had to do that, or they wouldn’t have gone along. So, I did, but it didn’t feel right. And then it happened. We didn’t mean for it to happen. It was only supposed to be stink and smoke. The school wasn’t supposed to burn down.

Marie:  Yikes! Okay, 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?

[Amy 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?

Amy:  To be a musician. To go professional. Maybe. I’m not really sure I can do that, though. The kind of music I do isn’t really popular, but it’s what I like. But the people that like my YouTube page are always telling me I’m good enough to be on The Voice or American Idol. I mean really? Me? That’s so crazy.

Marie:  Well, it sounds like you have the talent! What I’ve learned is it’s easier to try something and then decide it’s not for you rather than regret you never did it. 😉

Okay. Let’s try something else.

So, who is your role model, Amy?

Amy:  To be honest, my younger brother. Bryce is so cool. He’s really smart too. And he never lets anyone put him down. He’s hot too (don’t tell him I said that!). Not only is he great in the classroom, but he’s a gunner on Special Teams for football, and he’s stellar at that. The biggest thing I admire about Bryce? Even though I get irritated with him about the silly stuff, he’s always there for me when something Jane talks me into blows up.

Theo James (Bryce)

Marie:  Good to hear! I’m glad you have a close relationship with your brother.

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Amy:  It took me a long time to figure it out, but I really don’t like Jane. Probably never have. But she’s so needy. And kind of mean. She always puts down my family, but I can’t tell her to go away. I don’t know why, just that I can’t. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t have any other friends.

Marie:  All right. I can see how pity might have led you into a rough situation.

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

Amy:  To have a normal life. Not to have to put up with Jane’s games, her constant innuendos that people hate her for no reason, or are down on her. She’s so harsh. Never gives anyone a chance. She even makes me feel stupid for wanting to do things without her. Jane smothers me, but I don’t know how to make her go away.

Marie:  Okay. How about another question…

What is your greatest fear?

Amy:  Losing the music in my head. I think I’d die if that happened. That music has always been there. I think I’d go crazy and fade away if it stopped.

Marie:  Funny, that’s exactly the way I feel about writing! 😉

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

Amy:  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 K.C. Sprayberry on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here again! Hello, K.C.!

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Author K.C. Sprayberry:  Hi, Marie!  A pleasure to be here.

Marie:  The honor is mine.  🙂

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

K.C.:  Amy is a typical teen. She works hard for approval from her parents, but is also pulling away as she starts her senior year of high school. Amy has an inner core of strength but she doesn’t realize that because of her bestie, Jane. But Amy is starting to pull free of Jane’s toxic influence, to spread her wings by making new friends, getting involved with her classmates, and getting ready for college.

Marie:  Okay.

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

K.C.:  She’s a loyal friend. Amy is willing to do what’s needed to help out when necessary. She also loves to cook and bake. Amy makes a killer pumpkin cheesecake and some really great sweet potato tarts.

Marie:  Nice! But seriously, she sounds like a great person.

And what are her greatest weaknesses?

K.C.:  Amy’s greatest weakness is that she likes to believe the best about people. She won’t give up on a friend, no matter how badly that friend treats her.

Marie:  An admirable trait, but I can see how that could get her into some trouble…

Let’s try something else.

What are some of her favorite foods?

K.C.:  She loves pretty much everything. The spicier the better. Her favorite burger is from Fuddruckers, the Southwestern.

Marie:  All right.

How about another question?

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

K.C.:  That’s she’s a sweet, loyal person who can do so much better than she thinks she can.

Marie:  Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

K.C.:  They’ll hate how she won’t stand up against Jane, instead leaning on her brother heavily. But when things get tough and Bryce isn’t around, Amy will discover she’s a really strong person who can take care of herself.

Marie:  Great! 🙂

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

What first gave you the idea for The Lie?

K.C.:  My editor and I were kicking around ideas one night on Facebook PM. And somehow the conversation got around to lying. How a lie is like the ripples in a pond and you never know how far those ripples go. Then I told her that I’d be right back, knocked out an opening to the first chapter, and showed it to her. She read it, suggested a couple of things, and told me to run with it. Boy, did I run with it. The Lie finished at a little over 102,000 words, the longest and most difficult book I’ve ever written.

Marie:  Impressive!

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like, K.C.? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

K.C.:  I do like to plan, plot out my books, but honestly, after chapter three, all planning flies out the window once the characters take over. They will direct from the background, often screeching out, “I would not do that!” until I fix the problem. Some stories have just been “panster” from beginning to end. I’ve tried being a plotter, but it never works out.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Sometimes those characters just don’t listen to us…

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

K.C.:  The getting published part wasn’t hard at all, but I have a fabulous publisher in Solstice Publishing. The real challenge lay in writing this book. Originally, it started out as single viewpoint, Amy. Then younger but definitely louder brother Bryce started screaming in my head that he was not going to let his sis go through this alone. So, sigh, I went back to the beginning and began inserting his viewpoint into the chapters. And he’s good. So’s Amy. Anytime I tried to shortcut on the story line, they were after me to get it together and do it right. The end result was not just the most powerful story I’ve done to date, but also the longest one.

Marie:  Awesome!

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 Lie appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by K.C. Sprayberry, a very talented author! 🙂 The book comes out on March 4th!

Here is the blurb for The Lie:

For high school siblings, Amy and Bryce, the night began with a football game. Bryce was stuck at home with a cold, brought on by an uncaring coach. Amy was in the stands, playing with the band whose funding had been taken away and given to the football team.

Her best friend, Jane, brought the band together to play a prank on the team in protest.

The prank went wrong. Horribly, tragically wrong.

And the lie that started it all would not stop.

K.C. is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

Amy:

The sun is peeping over the mountains all around us. The members of the Landry High School Band fill in the last of the holes where we placed our planned revenge to go off tonight. None of us has had any sleep since we woke up yesterday, yet we’re charged up and ready for the rest of today and well into tonight.

“Where are your friends?” I ask.

Jane Preston, my bestie, the true mastermind of this prank, smirks at me.

Her light brown hair flies around her face in the early morning breeze. She swipes a few strands away from her pinched mouth and grimaces. Jane is always angry, always ready to take revenge for what she sees as a slight against her. Her slender body hunches forward, what she calls a protection method against all of her enemies. A lot of people don’t like her. I’m her only real friend. That’s because I feel sorry for her. Honesty turned on… a trait I value not only in myself but everyone close to me… I sometimes wish that Jane will stop being so weird and mean, and learn to be part of the group.

And she won’t let me alone whenever I try to get away from her. Jane would make more friends if she tried a little harder. It’s like she enjoys scaring people, so they don’t get close to her. But she’s always complaining about how everyone hates her.

Bryce:

I hear Amy coming home. She doesn’t know that I’ve been awake all night, waiting on her. Not that she sneaks out much—she never does stuff like this, unless it’s a Jane plan. I pretty much figured that from what I caught of the muffled phone conversations going on until eight last night. That’s when I heard the window going up, a box being hidden behind the bush, and Amy sneaking away.

She’s lucky that Mom and Dad didn’t catch her. Thanks to me. If I hadn’t gone into the kitchen, faking that cough, Amy would have been in major trouble.

That fake coughing will have earned me another day off school, once Mom sees me this morning. She’s a total overprotective mom when it comes to our health. Big deal that I had asthma as a kid, even had to carry an inhaler that I lost whenever I could. I’m way past that now. The cough is what’s left of the cold I got doing sprints in a driving cold rain last Friday night, after we once again lost a football game.

At least I won’t have to do that tonight. Someone has to deal with Coach Williams. He’s totally out of control lately.

Interesting!

Pre-order Purchase Link:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01BX85XSG

About K.C. Sprayberry

 5011219

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

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, others in magazines. Three of her books (Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, and Mama’s Advice) are Amazon bestsellers. Her other books are: Take Chances, Where U @, The Wrong One, Pony Dreams, Evil Eyes, Inits, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates, The Call Chronicles 1: The Griswold Gang, The Curse of Grungy Gulley, Paradox Lost: Their Path, Canoples Investigations Versus Spacers Rule and Starlight. Additionally, she has shorts available on Amazon: Grace, Secret From the Flames, Family Curse … Times Two, Right Wrong Nothing In Between, and The Ghost Catcher.

K.C.’s Books:
Coming Soon:

 

The Lie

Available:

 

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FamilyCurse

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing K.C. Sprayberry, here are some author links:

Website:  http://www.kcsprayberry.com/

Blog:  http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-Sprayberry/331150236901202

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/KC%20Sprayberry/e/B005DI1YOU/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

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

Authorgraph:  http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kcsowriter

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/kc-sprayberry/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Amy Pearson, a female character from The Lie, and K.C. Sprayberry, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

2 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips, Young Adult

The Eyes of Love: a guest post by Dr. Matthew Anderson

The Eyes of Love by Dr. Matthew Anderson

 

Romantic love is the every-person’s opportunity to experience divine grace and as such it brings a gift that has numerous (divine) qualities. Grace falls like rain and soaks the heart of one who is then blessed with this love. This grace, this love, brings us a gift of new sight by which we can see the Other, our Beloved, with divine eyes. In this state of heightened awareness, we are able to see our Beloved as she truly is, in all her wonder and beauty, and she, lifted and filled with the same love, can see us as we are. In these sacred moments we no longer see with our natural eyes but with our Heart which is the center of True Sight. It is from this vantage point that all the glory of our lover is revealed to us.

It is the heart’s great desire to be seen this way. It is here that all our doubts about being lovable and valuable drop away. Through the grace-filled eyes of our lover we come to know our best and highest self and are carried up in an intense yearning to rise to, become, reveal and celebrate that awareness. At the very same instant that this self-revelation occurs, we also see our Beloved for who she is in her highest and best self. We want to do everything we can to nurture her and give to her so that she can sustain her precious being.

Romantic love, and its gift of the eyes of love, is not earned and, like rain, it falls on every heart. We cannot choose or cause it but once soaked by its divine dew we can only surrender to its transformative power. If we try to resist we will find ourselves torn into pieces. If we accept our fate, we will be given an experience of wholeness that is worth whatever price love may ask of us. That precious wholeness can only be seen through the eyes of love and it is up to us to nurture and sustain that sight as we love and live with our Beloved.

Scott Webb, Unsplash.

Every person who has ever fallen in love has had an experience of the eyes of love. But for most, that glorious vision of the Beloved quickly dims and then is only a memory. It is then, too often relegated to an experience of intoxication, and is interpreted as an imagined and unrealistic perception of another person created by the distortive energies of emotion and lust. Many of these same couples yearn to revisit this experience, but both believe that it cannot be revived and lack the skills to reconnect with it. The good news is that the eyes of love need not dim and both partners can learn to sustain and nurture this wonderful vision of the Beloved.

 

(Author’s Note: Michael and Dianna are real and deeply in love. Every topic in the book is followed by a dialogue between these two lovers and how it affects their relationship.)

 

Michael and Dianna – Eyes of Love

 

Michael begins in a very serious and pensive voice.

“I believe very deeply in this idea of the eyes of love. Yes, I used to think, just like everyone else, that it would come and go and I would have no control over it. I would enjoy it while it lasts and then accept its passing. I remember being overwhelmed by my feelings for you and the first time I looked, really looked into your eyes. The intensity was so great I stopped breathing for a moment. It was incredible. I did not expect it. I knew I found you attractive and interesting and all of that but for some reason, I leaned closer to you across the table and bang, lightning struck and my breath disappeared and I fell a rush of wild energy dance all over my body. God, I can feel it right now, Sweetheart. It was like being high but better, far better. And the truth is, I still feel many versions of it when we are together in all sorts of situations. I thought I would only feel it when we were making love or dancing together or in some typical romantic situation, but I was wrong and I am so glad I was wrong. I can really feel that way almost any time I decide to pay attention to you and allow my heart to open and that love dances. That is the best description I can find for the experience. My love dances wildly all through my body and I love you so much I could eat you up!”

Dianna responds as Michael pauses to take a breath.

“Honey, I know I sound like a broken record sometimes but I feel just like you do. Maybe that is one of the great things about this experience. We go so deeply into loving each other that we get in sync and flow together. I love that wild dancing feeling too, Honey. But you got so caught up in your story you forgot the topic. We are talking about the eyes of love. I want to share more about that now. (Michael laughs and nods his head.)

You and I have discussed this idea a hundred times over the years and it has come to be a really important concept for me. Not just because it is a lovely idea but because it actually is real. I do see you, the beautiful you, and I love that person and I can often see how you react to my vision of who you are and can be. You get inspired by it and you live up to it and I think my love for you and the way I see you is a big part of that.”

Michael nods in agreement and picks up the conversation.

“Thanks, Sweetheart. I do want to comment more about this idea. I am convinced that the difficulty for many people is that we don’t trust the way our lover sees us when we fall in love. That phrase ‘love is blind’ is part of the problem. Love is not blind. The truth is actually just the opposite. Love, this sort of love, gives us the ability to see another individual in all their glory and beauty. I remember the statement in the Bible by the Apostle Paul when he said ‘Now I see through a glass darkly but the face to face: now I know in part but then I shall know even as I am also known’. Yes, I know he was not referring to romantic love. He was talking about a relationship with God, but I think his words can also apply to what happens to us when romantic love takes over our hearts. Before it shows up we cannot see the other person for who they truly are, but this love gives us the sight to know, really know, our Beloved and that makes all the difference.

I see you, Dianna, and you see me, in a way no one has ever seen either of us. It is not a fantasy and it is not a form of intoxication. Our minds are not poisoned by love. To even think that is absurd and yet so many people fall prey to that ridiculous idea. I see you, Sweetheart! I see the real you and you are absolutely beautiful. I know you see me the same way. When that occurs, we are both given a tremendously wonderful gift. Maybe it is the greatest gift one person can give another; to see them as so beautiful. I think every person who ever lived yearns for that precious experience; to be truly seen by another person. It is a completely validating event.

Once we are seen this way, we are changed. We do not forget it, ever. And, if that way of being seen is sustained, we begin to grow into that image. We actually fill it out and live up to it and that causes us to be even more grateful for our Beloved because she gave us the gift of becoming the best that we are.

Now, I just want to clarify one more thing if I can. (Dianna nods her agreement.) That special and wonderful being that we see through the eyes of love is not a blueprint, it is the real person that, in a sense, lives in hiding in us behind our negative self-image that so often dominates our self-perception. This negative picture of who we think we are is the true impostor that has fooled us all our lives. Suddenly, with no warning, someone shows up and looks right through that crap and sees our real being, and everything changes. I know this is what happened to us, Honey, and I am so grateful for you and how you see me every single day. You feel the same, don’t you?”

Dianna responds with enthusiasm.

“Yes, Sweetheart, I love how you see me. At first I had a hard time with it. I never thought of myself that way. I mean, you see me as so special and precious and that felt good, but also it felt strange. But then two things happened and keep happening, and they help a lot. You are consistent in your wonderful perception of me, and I see you the same way. It helps a lot that I see you that way because I think it helps me accept your vision of me. I want you to accept how I see you as real, as valid. I love it when you do that, so it makes sense that you would feel the same way. My gift to you is to respect how you see me through the eyes of love. You offer me the same gift. That is how I see all this.”

Michael hugs Dianna and voices his approval.

“Honey, you said it the best! That was it, all in a few words. Thanks! You are great!”

Well, there you have it! How inspiring, and apropos for our blog here! ♥♥♥

Thank you for stopping by to give us your wonderful take on romantic love, Matthew, and a little slice of your new book! 🙂

Readers, for a limited time, you can get a copy of The Resurrection of Romance by our guest, Dr. Matthew Anderson, for only 99 cents! So, pick up your copy today on Amazon! You won’t regret it. 😀

Romance_BookCover3

Here is the blurb for the book:

The essential ingredients in a healthy and successful, lasting romantic relationship.

Purchase Links:

Amazon Universal link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01BB5SU2W

Guest Bio:

pic matt hat

Matthew Anderson, D.Min. has been a relationship coach, a motivational speaker and an author for over 40 years. His new book The Resurrection of Romance: How to create and sustain a world class romantic relationship that lasts a lifetime will be available through Kindle on January 30th. He is very much in love with the woman who is his muse and inspiration for the book. Matthew is 70 years old and is in year 4 of a 33 year plan to live to 100+. He lives and works in Boca Raton, Florida.

Guest Links:

Website:   www.Mattcoyote.com

Blog:  www.TheResurrectionofRomance.com

Amazon Author page:  amzn.to/1PPWkr8

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/matthew.anderson.3591267

Matthew’s Book:

Romance_BookCover3

Once again, I’d like to thank our guest author for giving us a little romantic encouragement in our lives, and letting us see a bit more about his new book! It was a pleasure having you on the I Love Romance Blog, Matthew! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Event, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance

“Yearning” – a poem

Yearning

The moon over this cool night appears lonely,

its solo, pale white disc yearning for another,

perhaps even for its fiery opposite which rises each dawn.

Bonnybbx, Pixabay, 2014.

I imagine the moon is a bit like me tonight,

somewhat heartsick,

waiting for a hand to hold.

Takmeomeo, Pixabay, 2014.

Takmeomeo, Pixabay, 2014.

You see, I yearn for you like no other.

A thousand years could pass and I’d still want you,

need you,

love you.

This isn’t some temporary fling.

This is real, and I can’t stop this yearning within.

Alejandra Quiroz, Unsplash.

Alejandra Quiroz, Unsplash.

I know regardless of what I do,

what I accomplish,

how I laugh or cry,

Bells Design, Gratisophraphy. Creative Commons.

Bells Design, Gratisophraphy. Creative Commons.

I’ll still want you by my side.

Unsplash, Pixabay, 2016.

Unsplash, Pixabay, 2016.

That’s my unspoken vow.

We’ve expressed our feelings many times,

marveled at the deep connection between us,

but I don’t think you understand how much you make me whole,

on fire,

alive,

fearless even.

Charlie Hang, Unsplash.

Charlie Hang, Unsplash.

Without you, I know I’d try to dig deep,

I’d do my best to survive,

I might even accomplish something.

But life would be duller,

a part of me missing,

yearning for you,

waiting to find you once more in another life.

And even if I had never met you,

well, I’d still search for you like a time traveler who’s lost his way.

Mathias Herheim, Unsplash.

Mathias Herheim, Unsplash.

When we met, I found the mate of my soul,

my counterpart, so to speak.

Maybe I took time to admit it, and I love you for being so patient,

but the moment we met…

It was fate.

The stars brought us together that night,

sought to align us like a constellation,

Ryan Hutton, Unsplash.

Ryan Hutton, Unsplash.

two halves of a whole.

For I knew even then,

strolling and talking for hours so easily,

a conversation that had no end and somehow began like the echo of an old song,

I knew this was different,

special.

Antranias, Pixabay, 2015.

Antranias, Pixabay, 2015.

I know now that night after night,

I’ll still gaze up at this brilliant moon and still yearn for you,

colibri5, Pixabay, 2015.

colibri5, Pixabay, 2015.

time endlessly passing…

but the heart doesn’t care for trivialities.

I know if I bide my time,

perhaps in a few days,

maybe next week,

even if a month has passed,

before I know it,

you’ll be at my door,

and I’ll be in your warm arms again,

absorbed by your love.

Caleb Morris, StockSnap, 2015.

I have this ring that speaks my promise,

the symbol that is solely ours.

Scott Webb, Unsplash.

Scott Webb, Unsplash.

And I have you in my heart.

Your voice over the phone is some comfort.

The little notes you send are evidence of how you feel.

We talk like old friends,

we always have.

But still, I’ll yearn.

And I won’t be whole until you’re here, my head cradled against your heart.

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And I won’t be complete until we say the vows that make us one.

Until then, my love,

I will wait.

I will yearn,

until our eyes and hearts meet again…

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© Marie Lavender, 2016.

29 Comments

Filed under Love, love poem, Message, Poetry, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writing