Category Archives: Special Feature

New Release Feature with Q&A: Rescue Road by author Gayle M. Irwin

•..•Rescue Road by Gayle M. Irwin•..•

Can their broken paths weave their hearts together as they travel the rescue road?

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Gayle, a talented author I met during my journey! Her new clean contemporary romance, Rescue Road, book one of the Pet Rescue Romance Series, officially released on October 19th!

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

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

Gayle is giving us a look at her clean romance with a pet rescue theme, Rescue Road, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Rescue Road:

Freelance writer Rhiann Kelly shelved romance for years. Her dream of starting an animal sanctuary takes deep roots after finding the perfect location in southwestern Montana and purchasing the property for back taxes.

Emergency medical technician Levi Butler knows his elderly friend left the ranch to him in his will. Levi anxiously awaits the probate to be complete so he can plan his retirement and begin his dream of raising and selling horses.

When Rhiann and Levi find each other at the ranch simultaneously, sparks fly – and not the romantic kind. Yet their mutual attraction deepens, especially after Levi finds Rhiann injured in an accident. Meanwhile, land developer Dallas Patterson sets his sights on charming Rhiann to obtain the land.

Can Rhiann and Levi work together to detour Patterson and find a solution in which neither needs to give up their dream, or will the fence line of their hearts – and the property – separate them forever? Can their broken paths weave their hearts together as they travel the rescue road?

Here is an excerpt to entice you with!

Rhiann stood on the porch of the mid-century ranch house. Cup of coffee in hand, she watched the blazing orange sunrise. Streamers of light cascaded on the mountains west of the property, casting a rosy glow on the rocks and patches of snow upon the higher elevation. October’s morning danced with the browning grasses of the nearby pastures as touches of frost shimmered upon tan sprigs surrounding the house. Overhead, a flock of Canada geese in traditional V formation honked as they winged their way south.

Rhiann observed them and whispered, “We have something in common. We’re starting over.”

****

            As he drove closer to the ranch house, Levi noticed a small, red dual-cab pickup parked near the building. His eyes squinted. He remembered seeing a similar vehicle at the Twin Bridges Campground yesterday. He parked next to the truck.

“Who in the world could that be?” he murmured as he exited his pickup.

He looked at the license plate. He didn’t remember George knowing anyone from Washington state. He saw a heart-shaped sticker on the side. Levi scowled. He meandered to the driver’s side and saw the “Rescue Road” emblem.

“Can’t be,” he muttered.

He looked up when he heard the front door of the house slam. He stared.

“What are you doing here?” he and Rhiann asked simultaneously.

****

            Rhiann couldn’t believe her eyes. Left hand on her hip and straw broom in her right, she glared at the man she had met yesterday.

“Well?” she questioned, looking Levi in the eye. “Answer my question. What are you doing on my ranch?”

“Your what? YOUR ranch? This is my land,” he snapped.

“Uh, unless your last name is Kelly or McCallister, I don’t think so.”

Levi stalked toward the front porch. Rhiann took a step back. She looked into his smoldering gray eyes as he said, “George Nelson left this place to me. Just who are you to come claim it as yours?”

Before she could respond, he rushed on, “Are you related to George? I didn’t think he had any kids or grandkids. Are you a niece or something?”

Rhiann shook her head. “I didn’t know Mr. Nelson. I’m the granddaughter of Mary Martha McAllister. She was born here, in that log cabin over there.”

She pointed to the two-room dwelling to her right.

“That’s my house,” Levi said.

She detected the curt tone, and she responded in kind.

“I don’t know why you keep saying you own this property. That cabin, this place, has been mine for nearly four months and was in my family for two generations. I’m just now getting here after settling the back taxes.”

Levi’s face blanched. “Back taxes? What are you talking about?”

At that moment, his cell phone rang. She watched him pull the device from a back pocket of his jeans. He turned away from her.

“Mr. Williamson, Yes, this is Levi Butler. You have news for me?” He paused in his conversation. “I see.”

Rhiann continued observing him. He gradually turned toward her. His eyes darkened, and his teeth clenched. Rhiann took a step back, holding the broom in both hands. I’ll swing this thing at his head if he takes one more step.

“Yes, yes, I’ve met her. In fact, I’m looking at her right now.”

His icy statement sent chills up Rhiann’s spine.

****

            Levi gripped the cell phone tighter. His mind tried to process the words spoken by George’s attorney. A few moments later, he said, “I see. Not the news I expected to hear, but thanks for letting me know.”

He clicked off and stared at Rhiann. He noticed she held the broom as if to fend off an attacker. He wanted to punch something, but knew he couldn’t. He took a deep breath and clenched a fist. He exhaled a ragged breath. A moment of silence ticked by. Levi inhaled again, trying to steady himself. As he released the air and unclenched his fist, he spoke in a terse, but controlled tone.

“Someone who knows nothing about this place, its history, or the man who lived here…I guess it’s yours after all.”

Levi stalked to his pickup and jumped into the driver’s seat. He backed the Chevy toward the Y junction and stomped the accelerator. He heard a large spray of gravel as the truck tires dug in, and he drove from the house.

Purchase Link:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/47EDAg

PRAISE FOR RESCUE ROAD

What a delightful book! If you love dogs, you will love this book! Rhiann Kelly dreamed of creating an animal sanctuary. Levi Butler dreamed of raising and selling horses. Will their dreams come true? Read this book that is truly engaging and a very enlightening storyline to find out the answers. This is the first book in the Pet Romance series and I can’t wait for book two!

Gayle Irwin writes from her heart and adds touches of drama, and lots of love of animals and even a bit of humans to this book. Get yours today!”Nancy Butler, Amazon

Y’all, I loved every dang page of it! Rhiann is a girl that has a heart for animals and people, but she got burned 15 years ago by her state trooper boyfriend. Levi has been hurt before but when he becomes Rhiann knight in a shining EMS truck… life changes.
It’s been a while since I really sat down and read a book – like almost 3 months due to life and my health. However, I was intrigued and thought this might be exactly what I needed. Rhiann reminded me of myself with the love of her grandparents. Most of y’all know how much my Pawpaw meant to me…if not, check out Southern Perfection. Her caring and genuine attitude was something I admired as well as Levi’s willingness to help others. I also really enjoyed the drama with Dallas. It gave a little extra excitement but also didn’t linger too long. I can’t wait for the second in this series!
Rescue Road is a book that will have you turning each page, cheering for true love and happily ever after for people, a farm, and many precious pups along the way!
If you’re looking for a clean, sweet animal lovers romance with a little twist of danger, one-click
Rescue Road today!”Casey, Amazon

Hard to put down! Great story line! Rescue Road is a story with romance, drama, and intrigue. I wanted to keep turning the pages to see what happens next. There’s a lot of rescuing going on, between the people and with the dogs. And pet adoption is a large part of the story, and that’s something I advocate and support. I’ve read other stories Gayle created and I find her writing very engaging. If you enjoy light and clean romance and like dogs, you’ll love this book!”Judy Lund, Amazon

Nice tension! Gotta love this sneak peek. ♥♥♥

I can just imagine this will be quite a read for me!😉

(Rapid knock on the studio door.)

(Marie frowns.)

Who could that be? I’m not expecting a package or anything.

(Footsteps approaching.)

Oh, my! Wow, I didn’t know you were coming…

 

This is even better, readers. We have the author, Gayle M. Irwin, who just dropped in for a quick visit. Let’s give her a warm welcome! 😀

 

It’s great to have you here, Gayle. Please come and sit down for a sec. Aww, you brought Jeremiah too. Good thing I took my Benadryl this morning. (Laughs.) 😉

Author Gayle M. Irwin: Hi, Marie! Thanks for letting me stop by.

Marie:  Of course, it’s my pleasure! So nice to meet you in person, by the way! (Shakes hands with her guest.)

Gayle:  Great to meet you too.

Marie:  Well, I hope you don’t mind if I ask you a few questions while you’re here?

Gayle:  Sure, I’d love that! 🙂

Marie:  Awesome!

Can you tell us a little about your background? When did your first book come out and where can we get it?

Gayle:  Prior to becoming an author in 2007, I was a journalist for small-town newspapers. I enjoy sharing stories that inspire, educate, and entertain children and adults. I am also a freelance writer, providing stories to newspapers and magazines, and I’m a contributor to seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books. In addition to writing, I am an advocate for pet rescue and adoption, serving as a volunteer for various animal welfare organizations and weaving that passion into some of my writing, including my new novel, Rescue Road, which released earlier this month. My first book is titled Sage’s Big Adventure: Living with Blindness, a chapter book about courage and perseverance based on the life of my blind dog. The book is available through Amazon.

Marie:  That’s great!

A lot of readers love origin stories. What inspired you to start writing?

Gayle:  As a child, I wrote poems and TV scripts. I enjoyed telling stories through writing about my favorite television characters and sharing the beauty of nature through poetry. As a young adult, I continued crafting poems (just for myself) and tried my hand at short stories. I took journalism and creative writing classes while in college. Upon graduating from the University of Idaho with my bachelor’s degree in communication, I worked for community newspapers in Montana, becoming editor of the West Yellowstone News for a few years. I enjoyed sharing stories about America’s first national park and the surrounding forest lands and special small community in which I lived. I continue crafting special stories in my freelance work, which includes online and print publications. I find the same joy in writing books, whether for children or adults, encouraging, inspiring, and educating as well as entertaining.

Marie:  Nice! 😉

How did you get into writing romance?

Gayle:  I took a fiction writing class at my local community college about six years ago, in which I began another middle grade dog story. I followed up with another creative writing class the following year and decided to venture into a new genre (romance) that could help educate adults about pet rescue. Several revisions and years later, Rescue Road resulted and released recently. I plan this to be a series, which I’ve titled “Pet Rescue Romance”. Book two should be available next summer.

Marie:  Wonderful! 😀

What, do you feel, sets Rescue Road apart from other books in the genre?

Gayle:  This clean, contemporary romance weaves the concepts of pet rescue and adoption into the story.  My female protagonist rescues dogs and wants to create an animal sanctuary on land she’s purchased. My male protagonist is an EMT. Both do rescue work. They also rescue one another from the bitterness of past relationships. They take a chance on each other and they give second chances to others. It’s a story about second chances, forgiveness, and trust, not only among the couple, but with the dogs. That’s what rescue, whether we rescue a human or an animal, is all about. That’s what love is about, too.

Marie:  True! ♥♥♥

(Phone rings.) 

😥

Oh, no, it looks like our guest had to take a personal call outside. I guess I’ll have to chat with her via email again when I get a chance. But in the meantime, let’s give her a big round of applause for her new release, shall we? Believe me, it’s not easy to write a book, and especially a challenge to polish one and get it out on the market.

How about a hand for Gayle?

Woo, that’s better… 😀

Thank you for telling us about your new pet rescue/clean romance book! It sounds fabulous! 🙂

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

Author Bio

In addition to her book writing, Gayle is a freelance writer, including a contributor to seven Chicken Soup for the Soul books, such as. The Dog Really Did That? and The Spirit of America. She began submitting and seeing her stories published in this internationally-acclaimed publication in 2008; her first accepted piece was simply titled “Sage,” about her blind springer spaniel. Sage was the catalyst for Gayle’s book authorship, with her first publication, Sage’s Big Adventure, a chapter book, published in 2007. She’s written several other children’s books since then, most featuring her dogs as the primary characters.

Her writing career started more than 30 years ago when she began working for newspapers. She continues freelancing for various publications, including Prairie Times in Colorado and Wyoming Rural Electric News (WREN). Her pet columns have appeared in the Douglas Budget, River Press, and Our Town Casper. She also writes and publishes a weekly pet blog.

Gayle has won several awards for her writing, for magazine and newspaper articles as well as her books, including accolades from the Wyoming Press Association and Wyoming Writers, Inc., a state-wide writers’ group.

​Her passions are pets, nature, travel, photography, and writing, which she stitches together in the tapestry of her life and weaves into her writing and speaking.

Author Links

Website:  http://www.gaylemirwin.com/

Novel Information on Website, including Book Trailer and a FREE Chapter:  http://www.gaylemirwin.com/novels.html

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/wyoauthor1/

Amazon author page:  https://www.amazon.com/Gayle-M-Irwin/e/B008J5KJSQ

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7970923.Gayle_M_Irwin

Pinterest:  www.pinterest.com/gaylemirwin

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

And Happy Thanksgiving! 🦃 🥧

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Filed under Authors, Book News, Book Release, Books, clean romance, Contemporary, Event, feature, Fiction, Guest Writer, inspirational romance, Interview, new release, pets, Readers, Romance, Second Chances, Special Feature, Writing

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by The Smut Report

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on the I Love Romance Blog. In recent years, 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 to the heart of each person. And I’ve gotten some incredible feedback.

Without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to blogger The Smut Report, a female team with a few things to say about the question at hand.

What Does Romance Mean to Us?

 

At The Smut Report, we read a lot of romance novels. Like, a LOT of romance novels. And let’s be real – there’s a stereotype floating around that people who read romance novels have a skewed idea of romance and relationships. Obviously, we must be delusional spinsters or miserable sex-starved moms who expect men to read us poetry and/or fight monsters and/or know exactly what we want at all times.

Romance is also super oversimplified. There are pivotal life events like birth and death that, when addressed in literature, are considered really “deep” and vulnerable and raw. This non-genre fiction is lauded for its thoughtfulness and meaning. There’s a whole sub-genre dedicated to “coming of age” and all the inner turmoil that comes with that — but a genre whose sole purpose is to unpack the delicious, unsettling, sloppy moments leading up to individuals falling in love? That’s for unsatisfied housewives.

freestocks.org, Unsplash

Falling in love transforms individual people into something new, something with overlap and grey area and messiness. And strength. In romance we see people coming together to form a stronger whole, yet we also see how having the support of a loving partner can provide a wellspring of strength to an individual.

Ryan Jacobson, Unsplash

But before that can happen, all the messy feelings and social and personal obstacles must be resolved. There are new debates in the romance community every day about whether it’s romance if there’s no happy ending, if there’s no sex, if there’s this, or that, or the other thing. These arguments reflect this messy, sexy, grey area that exists in our lives when we love. This genre, maybe more than any other genre, asks us to be honest about what a satisfying life looks like. And it acknowledges that the answer is different for different people.

Created by Freepik

Even though the three of us have somewhat divergent tastes (Erin likes heroes who ooze power, Holly prefers her books on the sexy side, Ingrid sometimes skips the sex scenes so she can get back to the witty banter), there are a few things that we all love in a romance novel. Far from creating unrealistic ideas of what romance is, the best romance novels feature satisfying portrayals of emotional connection. It makes us ask what pleasure looks like for YOU, what commitment looks like for YOU. You know, that extra spark that brings out the swooning romantic in the most jaded of us. (That would be Holly, in case you were wondering.)

Created by Senivpetro – Freepik.com

Romance can be just a fun, sexy romp or a swashbuckling adventure, but it can also bring you closer to yourself. It’s a safe way to examine romance in your own life–your likes, your dislikes, what you want to feel and how you want to be loved. You know it when you read it.

Flower photo created by tirachard – http://www.freepik.com

We recently went to an author talk in which Sarah MacLean said she loves the increased use of dirty talk in romance because it’s “ongoing consent”. How amazing is that? That there are authors looking for ways to make love scenes more clear, more unfettered, by making sure the consent is obvious AND beautifully done. This stuff matters.

Romance is a largely inclusive genre – and that’s important. The authors who write these books are constantly bursting open doors and welcoming more people in. It matters to have characters that look like real people and who love like real people do. Race, gender identity, sexual orientation–it’s all discussed in the romance literature written every day. Possibly there are not really people in love with shifters, we acknowledge (if there are, Erin would like to hear from you). But in all seriousness, there are so many different combinations of who loves whom (and how many love together) out in the world that it’s appropriate and necessary for such love to be reflected in our literature.

Created by Ijeab – Freepik.com

And where reality fails us, we have the opportunity to explore the notion of romance in the “other” in paranormal, sci-fi, and other sub-genres of romance. The authors who are opening these doors and windows for us readers are also readers themselves, and we support each other. Romance creates community, even if we never speak directly to one another.

Created by Pressfoto – Freepik.com

In short, romance means a lot to us. It’s been a source of comfort and connection for us for decades. It’s made us think about things in different ways. It makes us test ourselves. It’s made us uncomfortable and angry and happy. We have literally cried and literally laughed so loudly that we’ve scared pets and woken sleeping children.

Ben White, Unsplash

Romance brings us joy. It’s as simple as that.

Lovely! I couldn’t have said it better myself… 😉
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post! Great to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

The Smut Report is the brainchild of Erin, Holly, and Ingrid, three thirty-somethings who have been swapping smut books for twenty years. They’ve read a lot of smut and love the genre. They want to share their love of smut with people who already love to read romance, but also with people who are curious about the genre, yet are a little bit scared to dive right in. So, in order to further their goal of sharing the wonderful, witty, and downright weird corners of the world of smut with everyone they know, they started a blog, where they can chat about romance novels to their hearts’ content.

Links

Website/Blog:  https://smutreport.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/smutreport

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/91403885-smut-report

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

 

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 usually get booked fast, but don’t hesitate to join in! You do not need to be a freelance writer or author, or even from a romantic themed organization. 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, The Smut Report, for giving us your take on what romance (and the book genre) has come to mean to you, plus some food for thought. Awesome! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next guest post when Dr. Anne Hancock visits ILRB on October 3rd! Yay! 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Filed under Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, feature, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Special Feature, Stories, Writing