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20 Questions Book Tag

Hi, readers! I hopped on the bandwagon for this one. Thanks to the fascinating C.G. Drews at the Paper Fury blog, I stumbled across this awesome book tag post…

She didn’t officially tag me, just encouraged people to participate. So, I thought, hey, why not? I also missed Read A Book Day and International Literacy Day last week, and this is a great way to honor those unusual holidays. Plus, I love these questions! ♥

Let’s dive in! 😉

20 Questions Book Tag

 

1. How many books are too many for a series?

Is there such a thing? I guess in most cases, it doesn’t bother me. A series is as long as it needs to be. But I have followed J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Series for years – I am begging for forgiveness on my knees here, J.R. – and there is a point when I start to wonder…will it ever get wrapped up? I mean, I love a good hottie with fangs as much as the next girl (Wrath, come here, boy!… *whistles and pants). But does it just keep going until Jessica decides she’s done with vamps? (Chuckles.)

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

Oh, god…kill me now! Yep, I end up complaining like a little girl to my nearest and dearest, at least until I can grab a copy of the next book in the series. So, I’m not exactly a fan of cliffhangers.

This is probably why I do my best not to torment readers that way with my books. I just find other ways to torture my characters. 😀

3. Hardcover or paperback?

Either one is cool with me, but paperback is a tad more convenient. I always find the bigger books sliding off my lap or a table or something. (Clumsy Marie!)

4. Favorite book?

HOW DARE YOU!! No, I’m kidding. But, seriously? WHHHYYYYY MAKE ME CHOOSE?

Okay, I’ll answer. As of this moment, I guess I’ll go with Dark Lover by J.R. Ward.

Wrath and I can go make cute little imaginary Marie/Wrath babies in my dreams… 😉

5. Least favorite book?

The World I Made for Her by Thomas Moran. Big buildup, and major emotional letdown. This made me ugly cry, for sure!

6. Love triangles, yes or no?

I don’t usually like them, because it adds wayyy too much drama. I mean, I get enough drama in my own life, thanks!

7. The most recent book you couldn’t finish?

Opening Atlantis by Harry Turtledove. This was a gift from a loved one. For me it was a slow read, but I have hope that I’ll eventually get back to it one day and finish it. At least so I can say, hey, thanks for the good book! (even if the words are a tad late)

8. A book you’re currently reading?

Kurt Seyt & Shura by Nermin Bezmen. This is on my book review schedule for ILRB here.

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

The Chicagoland Vampires Series by Chloe Neill. Seriously, have you not discovered it yet? Merit is the quirkiest badass vamp heroine around…

10. Oldest book you’ve read by publication date?

Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson (the first official romance novel). This was published in 1740, but I managed to snag a 1919 copy at an antique store.

11. Newest book you’ve read by publication date?

The Impaler’s Wife by Autumn Bardot, published in April of this year. A gothic romance, with an unusual yet fascinating take on the legend and true history of Dracula.

12. Favorite author?

Damn, so many! J.R. Ward, Chloe Neill, P.C. Cast, Nora Roberts, Kris Tualla, Catherine Coulter, Tessa Dare, and the list just keeps going…

13. Buying books or borrowing books?

I buy a ton of books. I am a book whore, I’ll admit it. But I really need to stop! (Giggles.)

14. A book you dislike that everyone seems to love?

The Great Gatsby. Honestly, I just don’t get it. When I was in high school, I rented it from the library. To this day, I know it’s a classic and all, but I just can’t see why people make a big deal about the novel. And Leo DiCaprio being in the film doesn’t make me go all nuts to Netflix it either.

15. Bookmarks or dog ears?

Yes, I am guilty of dog-earing pages. Mostly, I don’t have a moment to think about grabbing a bookmark while I’m reading (um…where did I put the one I got at that new release party?), so I just mark it the quickest way I know how. When I re-read a book, then I see I enjoyed it because there are slight indentations here and there. Not enough to ruin the reading experience, though! 😉

So, what about you?

16. A book you can always re-read?

The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward.

17. Can you read while listening to music?

More often than not, I can’t multitask if I’m reading. It requires my absolute focus.

There is one other activity I can’t do while I’m listening to music as well, but I won’t go into details. Let’s just say, I get distracted by the music and in the past, I annoyed my boyfriends.

18. One POV or multiple?

I will take either one, just as long as there is no head-hopping. I can tolerate it to a point, but if I can’t figure out which character’s head I’m in, then I am tempted to throw the book across the room!

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

I have done both. If I read it in one sitting (or actually, eyes glued to the pages until sun comes up while I’m in bed), then that’s a great compliment on a writer’s ability to tell a good story. But if I am short on time, I’ll spread it out over a week or two. Maybe longer if I can’t quite immerse myself in the fictional world.

20. Who do you tag?

Tag anyone at all – a friend or just ask your readers to participate. AND YES, please do here on the I Love Romance Blog! 😉 Well, I assume if you dropped by, you’re an avid book reader too…so, enjoy!

 

Lend me your opinions in the comments below! How many books do YOU like in a series? What are your point-of-view preferences? (or tell me what you’re currently reading!)

Here’s a screenshot of my Kindle bookshelf. ♥

As always, everyone, have a great rest of your week and happy reading! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book News, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Gothic, Historical, Historical Romance, Interview, Literature, Marie Lavender, Message, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, participants, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

My TOP 6 Dream Wedding Locations: a romance blogger post by multi-genre author Marie Lavender

My TOP 6 Dream Wedding Locations

 

Ever since I got engaged to my soul mate a few years ago, I’ve thought about the perfect locations for a wedding.

Sweet Ice Cream Photography, Unsplash

My fiancé and I have entertained big and small celebrations, anything from local to international ceremonies. And yes, most options tend to depend on the size of your wedding budget and the number of guests you intend on having.

Now, even though I’m a dreamer by nature, I am also a realist. That must be the Libra in me, weighing both sides! LOL. But in real life, I am much more likely to see the glass as half empty than remotely full. Lately, though, I have begun to see the benefits of taking an optimistic approach with some facets of life. Why not dream a little after all? What could it hurt?

Sharon McCutcheon, Unsplash

So if money was no issue, where might I choose for my wedding location? Well, I can’t pick one right now, but I will try to narrow down the regions a bit.

  1. England

My familiarity with British TV shows and movies has always led to a fascination with areas ‘across the pond’, so to speak.

Benjamin Davies, Unsplash

           A. London

  • Museum of the Moon

Located inside the Natural History Museum, this is a very modern event space which is only available from May to September. Looks like a cool place to hold a wedding reception, right? 😉

Natural History Museum – London

  • Sky Garden

With its stunning panoramic views, a wedding there is bound to be an unforgettable event.

  • One Marylbone

If you’re looking for an elegant place for a wedding and reception, this seems like a good choice.

  • Porchester Hall

This modern event space with different rooms is rather versatile, suitable for any type of occasion.

  • The Penthouse – Brick Lane

This private event space at a bowling alley might not seem like a great idea at first, but if you’re set on a casual yet intimate atmosphere, and aim to treat your guests to a lot of fun, it’s just perfect!

For London and its surrounding regions, Canvas Events is a great source for reserving a venue. You can even book Kensington Palace!

Wild, right? 😀

     B. Castles/Manors

I have a weakness for historical romance novels, and I’ve always wanted to visit all the lovely castles in Europe. Let’s look at some fancy venues in England.

  • Hedsor House – a country house with an Italianate style on the Buckingham-Berskshire border, and set amongst 100 acres of historic parkland.
  • Hengrave Hall – a Tudor style mansion complete with great halls and elegant chambers in the Suffolk countryside.
  • Chiceley Hall – a Georgian country mansion, decked out in the Baroque style with 48 rooms, a restaurant and a bar.
  • Clevedon Hall – a huge wedding venue in Somerset, situated on seventeen acres and boasting 25 luxurious bedroom suites.

C. Hotels

  • Dumbleton Hall Hotel – a 19th century Cotswald stone manor house with nineteen acres of gardens and a private lake.
  • The Grand Hotel – located at Tynemouth, close to the beach with a clifftop overlook. It has quite a history, having been originally built as a home for the Duchess of Northumberland.
  • Matfen Hall Hotel – a 19th century country mansion in Northumberland, located on 300 acres of parkland. They recently added a newly refurbished wedding space.
  • The Lodore Falls Hotel – situated on the shores of Derwentwater in Borrowdale, Cumbria in Lake District National Park. The site has 40 acres of tranquil land with a waterfall and a lakeshore.

These are all great choices! Here are some other venues to discover in England.

 

  1. Ireland

I have always been drawn to Irish mythology and Celtic music. So when I found out about two years ago that my great-grandfather was a full-blooded Irishman, it didn’t come as too much of a surprise that Ireland has been one of my top bucket list locations.

Patrick Metzdorf, Unsplash

          A. The Cliffs of Moher

Despite my fear of heights, this vista, which spans about eight miles across the Irish coast, is just too amazing to pass up! So, why wouldn’t it be an interesting locale for a wedding?

Jesse Gardner, Unsplash

  • Hotel Doolin Located in County Clare on the West Coast of Ireland and famous for its traditional Irish music, this contemporary hotel has spacious, modern rooms.

Let’s explore some other great wedding venues in Ireland.

       B. Drenagh Estate a 19th-century house, complete with a tree-lined driveway and richly wooded grounds.


       C. Ballyfin Set at the foot of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in the center of Ireland, Ballyfin is an exclusive luxury five star hotel, situated on 614 private acres of parkland with a 28 acre lake.

       D. Dunluce Castle This medieval castle is on a cliff overlooking the sea in Northern Ireland, and is arguably one of the best and most memorable castles in the country, despite its state of ruins. It isn’t surprising that visitors go for the dramatic views, and yes, some choose to have a wedding ceremony there.

       E. Huntington Castle a 17th century house situated on more than 160 acres of gardens, woodland and farmland. And you might even spot the occasional peacock or rooster!


       F. Baily Lighthouse On cliffs extending into Dublin Bay from Howth, this is one of Ireland’s most photographed lighthouses on the eastern coastline. The cliff walk/path appears to be stunning and quite a romantic adventure. It’s no wonder some have chosen to set their wedding locales in clear view of the lighthouse!

       G. Ashford Castle (explore more wedding photos on the site here) A medieval castle which was transformed into a five star luxury hotel, situated on 350 acres of parkland, this castle has always appealed to me. I’ve been getting their brochures for years, and I can’t deny the pull I have to it!


       H. Adare Manor Set on 840 acres, this neo-Gothic architectural masterpiece, once the family seat of the Earls of Dunraven, has been transformed into a five star hotel and golf resort. Such stunning views!


        I. Castlemartyr Resort –The resort consists of a grand 17th century country manor house that sits adjacent to the ruins of an 800 year old castle. The five star hotel includes a 10 treatment room Spa and a luxurious golf course. With open meadows, manicured lawns and formal gardens, as well as a 24,400 square foot wellness, spa and fitness center, guests truly will want for nothing more.


        J. Castle Leslie – One of the finest castle luxury estates in Ireland, set on 1000 private acres of rolling hills, parkland and lakes to explore…why wouldn’t this be an idyllic countryside, just perfect for a dream wedding?

        K. Castle Durrow an 18th century country house in the Irish midlands – just an hour from Dublin – which was transformed into a luxury castle hotel. Looking over the wedding gallery on the site, the location has such picturesque gardens, and it’s easy to see why couples have chosen this site again and again.

Stunning! Here’s hoping that I make it to Ireland someday! Fingers crossed! 😉

Disover this link with more information on wedding locations in Ireland.

 

  1. New Zealand

Ömer Faruk Bekdemir, Unsplash

From bustling cities to dramatic mountainscapes to forests to scenic waterways, this country appears to have it all. At least everything you could want for a destination wedding. Here are some options, just to name a few.

           A. The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs Set on 6000 acres near Matauri Bay, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs affords spectacular 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean. Situated atop a cliff and overlooking three pristine private beaches, alongside offering the amenities of a serene spa and a golf course, as well as a hotel restaurant, numerous local activities, and spacious suites to stay in, you just can’t go wrong!


           B. Huka Lodge Regarded as one of the top luxury lodges in New Zealand, surrounded by seventeen acres of countryside on the banks of the Waikato River, the Huka Lodge features an outdoor swimming pool, a tennis court, free airport transportation and a hot tub. It has air-conditioned suites with a private terrace and lovely river views. It’s only a 10-minute walk to the famous Huka Falls. Sounds like a great place to visit!


           C. Blanket Bay Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Wakatipu on a 10,000 acre high country farm with quintessential South Island lake and mountain views, Blanket Bay Lodge offers guests a relaxing hot tub and rooms with stunning views. The staff at this luxury lodge in a majestic mountain setting can arrange mountain bike tours, jet boating and Milford Sound tours. What a perfect wedding or honeymoon retreat, right?

    D. Annandale Coastal Farm Escape and Luxury Villa In one of the world’s most spectacular coastal locations, this is a rare 4000-acre sheep and cattle farm which also offers exclusive use of four multi award winning luxury villas.

Here is a list of other options in New Zealand.

 

  1. Turks and Caicos

With such clear blue beauty, what couldn’t be better than this view during a wedding ceremony? ♥♥♥

tkelly8843496, Pixabay

Here are some locales for a destination wedding. I won’t go into much detail with each site from now on, as I think I’m starting to sound like a travel agent. LOL. I figure you can decide for yourself where you’d like to base your dream wedding, and if any of the pictures appeal to you.

             A. East Bay Resort

            B. Blue Haven Resort and Marina

            C. Beach House

            D. The Regent Palms

 

  1. USA

Why not go for something more local? I have always dreamed of living by the ocean, so I wouldn’t mind a beach wedding in the U.S. either! 😉

Lauren Richmond, Unsplash

Especially if it’s a little easier to get to, here in my homeland. Hmm…let’s see what’s possible.

A. Florida

Jorge Vasconez, Unsplash

These are some venues in this beautiful, sunny locale.

  • Hollywood Beach Marriott
  • Panama City Beach Legacy By the Sea

Barefoot Hide A Way Grill

  • Miramar Beach Sol Mate (vacation rental home which is sometimes used for a wedding venue)

  • Destin Emerald Grande

  • Fort Walton Beach Holiday Inn Resort

For more information on Florida venues, click here.

 

B. California

Maarten van den Heuvel, Unsplash

  • Muir Beach Pelican Inn

  • Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Dream Inn
  • Monterey Monterey Tides Hotel

  • Laguna Beach Surf & Sand

  • Santa Monica Shutters on the Beach

  • Ventura Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach

  • Santa Barbara Rincon Beach Club

  • Redondo Beach Chart House

For more California sites, click here.

 

C. Maine

  • Bar Harbor Harborside Hotel

Bar Harbor Inn

French’s Point

For more places in Maine to have your dream wedding, go here

 

D. Hawaii

  • Koloa The Beach House

Sheraton Kauai Resort

  • Lahaina Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

Montage Kapalua Bay

  • Kapolei Paradise Cove

For more places to have a wedding in Hawaii, click here.

 

E. Georgia

1778011, Pixabay

  • St. Simons Island

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort

The Golden Isles

  • Jekyll Island Villas by the Sea Resort & Conference Center

For more wedding venues in Georgia, click here.

 

F. North Carolina

AJ Gallagher, Unsplash

  • Manteo The Outer Banks of North Carolina

  • Nags Head Jennette’s Pier

  • Ocean Isle Beach Oceanfront Weddings of N.C.

  • Duck Sanderling Resort

  • Wilmington Southern Beach House

  • Havelock Neuse Breeze

  • Kitty Hawk Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks

For more locations in North Carolina, explore this link.

 

G. Massachusetts

skeeze, Pixabay

  • South Yarmouth Red Jacket Beach Resort & Spa

  • Mashpee The Club at New Seabury & The Popponesset Inn 

  • Provincetown The Provincetown Inn

  • Dennisport – The Sea View

Corsair & Cross Rip Oceanfront Resort

  • Hyannis Cape Codder Resort and Spa

  • North Falmouth Sea Crest Beach Hotel

  • Nantucket Galley Beach

Westcliff

Check out some more locations here for Massachusetts venues. And this is a link to additional sites in the U.S.

 

  1. France

Oops, I almost forgot! Can’t overlook France. It’s breathtaking!

Augustin de Montesquiou, Unsplash

So…I’ve always wanted to visit Paris for a vacation, but if I was going for a wedding venue? Nah, I’d probably pick something more natural or unique. Perhaps a villa, castle, a vineyard, or even some lavender fields.

  • Provence Chateau de Tourreau

Château d’Alphéran

Bastide St Mathieu

  • Loire Valley – Chateau de Jalesnes

La Chatellerie

Château de Chissay

Here is a link which includes more options in France.

Wow, lots of choices to go over!

Well, I hope I covered everything. Maybe this post sparked your own ideas for a dream wedding, huh?

Tyler Nix, Unsplash

So after all this, what place have we as a couple chosen for the big day? That will most likely depend on the date of the wedding and our budget for the event. Okay, so maybe I didn’t narrow them down all that much. I like to have some variety! 😉

I just hope this helped you in your own search. I’ll keep you informed of our decision, however…

As always, happy reading, and have a beautiful summer! 🙂

Host Blogger Bio

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

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

Links:

Official Website: http://marielavender.com/

Blogs: https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a

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Amazon author page: https://amzn.to/2yFx62c
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender

http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/

Creative Universal Reading List Link:  https://books2read.com/rl/marielavendersbooks

http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/

Publisher: http://www.solsticeempire.com/products.aspx?categoryid=262

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

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

Follow her on BookBub for new release updates: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marie-lavender

 

Have a lovely rest of your week, readers! 🙂

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Engagement, Event, Hope, Love, Lovers Like Us, Marie Lavender, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Traditions, travel, Wedding

How Shopping Correlates with Dating and Relationships: a romance blogger post by multi-genre author Marie Lavender

 How Shopping Correlates with Dating and Relationships

 

I love, love, love shopping…well, for almost anything! I can never be trusted with a credit card. 😉 Most of the time I resist temptation, but now and then, especially if I have some extra money on my hands, I indulge in one of my hobbies – shopping for clothes, or even books.

Created by benzoix – http://www.freepik.com

But whether you’re browsing online or in the store, shopping for clothing items is a whole other animal. At least with a book, you can be sure you will usually end up a satisfied reader. The only issue, for me at least, might be a bunch of glaring grammatical errors, or so much head-hopping that I get fictional whiplash.

Amanda Jones, Unsplash

Shopping for clothes, however, is a different story.

Created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com

If you’re looking at stores on the internet, you have likely done your research already. Maybe you vetted the company for positive customer feedback. Looking over product reviews is never a bad policy.

When you’re dating, though, it’s not like you can ask your date’s exes how things went in the past, or what pitfalls to anticipate. It’s basically trial and error, right?

Created by katemangostar – http://www.freepik.com

Sometimes that happens with shopping too. Just because you properly assessed the site, or even had prior experience with it – you got a great bargain and the product was offered in the right size – that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically love the shirt you bought every time. Hell, you won’t know anything until it arrives at your house and you can try it on. Maybe the color is off, or the shirt fits smaller or bigger than advertised. Every brand is different. The problem is there are no guarantees with any purchase.

Same thing goes with dating. Just because your date is handsome – or pretty – doesn’t mean you’ll be compatible. Life is about more than appearances alone. Can you at least carry on an intelligent conversation with this person? Can you tolerate their presence for longer than five or ten minutes? An hour? These are ways to test someone out.

Created by Bearfotos – Freepik.com

If you try on a jacket in a store, you may not love it the same way a week later. If I’m just ‘meh’ about an article of clothing from that first moment in the dressing room, I’ll probably feel that way, or even worse later on. I may have a weakness for shopping, but I am also a highly discerning customer. I know when to go for the hard pass. I usually don’t jump to buy anything without a lot of forethought, or unless I am sure about it right away. Online purchases, though? It’s a toss-up as to whether I’ll be satisfied.

That happens with a relationship too. There is no better version than real, face-to-face human interaction. You can text, email or use social media messaging, even video chat all you want, and it still won’t replace learning about someone in person. Only then can you tell how it will work.

Created by Freepik

What about facades, though?

Just as there are scam artists selling faulty goods online – or leaving you empty-handed – and vendors selling their wares on the street, some people aren’t upfront about themselves with a dating situation. And I don’t mean the horror stories we see on the news. Please refer to Dating Connections’ article from November of 2017 about safely dating in a high-tech world. What I’m talking about it is a fact we often overlook…

Some of us make assumptions about people without knowing the truth. All we see is surface. Keep in mind that it goes both ways. A certain majority of people put up a facade to protect themselves from being hurt. Others may do so for darker reasons, or because they’re shallower than you realize. I think the key here is to take your time when getting to know someone. If you’re serious about dating – and not just playing the field – your instincts will guide you to the right answer, and the perfect fit will find you.

Created by yanalya – freepik.com

Have you ever bought a pair of shoes, and then a month or two later they break? Or, maybe it happened with a purse or your favorite shirt which tore right away. You found out it was made cheaply, or it just didn’t work for another reason.

Your dating journey is about trying on different relationships until you reach the right fit. Don’t give up easily, but don’t stay with someone for a long time just because you’re afraid to be alone either. If you’re not meant to be together, you’ll notice the signs or glaringly obvious red flags. Heartbreak is sometimes just a temporary obstacle to finding out what you want in this life.

Created by Jcomp – Freepik.com

But, I can’t emphasize this enough. Identity is everything when finding your soul mate.

Of course, we all come from different backgrounds, affording us various experiences. but the most important thing to remember is to know yourself well first. If you’re aware of all your likes and dislikes – a useful skill we often develop with shopping – that will go a long way toward understanding what you want in a relationship. It’s true that wisdom from experience – maybe going through a couple baddies – can also bring you the same result. But knowing who you are in and out will prevent you from making some crazy mistakes too.

Created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com

Diversely, was there ever an item you didn’t usually wear, such as a scarf or hat, even a dress that you bought on impulse because something about it called to you? Perhaps later, you decided you really liked it after all, simply because it made you feel different. Consider the same with your search for a romantic partner. You may have an idea of the one for you, dreamt that person up in your head for years. However, don’t go looking with a certain image or impression in mind. The right person for you may be completely different, someone you didn’t anticipate at all. Yet, it somehow works.

Whereas we often focus on size, style and color with clothing, personality and compatibility are paramount in dating. Make sure you have a few things in common, but not everything. The best relationship still results in the occasional surprise, to keep things interesting.

Created by Senivpetro – Freepik.com

It is pretty rare when you go to a store, try on an outfit, and everything about it works. Later, once you’ve purchased it, you wear your clothes with pride and this feels so natural that you never want to take it off. Falling in love and being in love are similar. It’s a little scary at first to trust someone with your true self, to know that you’re accepted. It’s okay to be yourself around this person, and you won’t be judged. No, life won’t always be beautiful or exciting every day, but you can rest assured that you both respect and love each other. Being in love is like coming home to the open arms that always want you, even if you drive your partner a little crazy sometimes. And vice versa.

Created by Freepik

Having a real relationship takes effort. Dating is work, plain and simple. We all know it; I think that’s why some people do their best to avoid a real relationship.

My advice? Be as discerning in your romantic relationships as you should be as a consumer, out there browsing stores in person or online. So…who is the one person you can still imagine sticking it out with you fifty years from now? Take a risk now and then, and don’t be afraid to look for the right signs that will lead you to the place where you belong.

Bruce Mars, pexels.com

At times we grab the nearest product out of necessity, and then end up disappointed by its contents later on. When you’re dating, don’t settle for a situation you don’t want, simply because you’re lonely or desperate for companionship. You’ll just be miserable in the long run. Believe me, I know.

Finding your soul mate won’t solve all your problems. You have to get yourself together too. Figure out what you want in life and go for it. But having the right person at your side will certainly make the roller coaster of life – the whole journey – a lot more tolerable.

Keep the faith. I know you can do this…

Host Blogger Bio

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

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

Links:

Official Website: http://marielavender.com/

Blogs: https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a

https://www.instagram.com/marielavender1/

Amazon author page: https://amzn.to/2yFx62c
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender

http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/

https://books2read.com/ap/xrv162/Marie-Lavender

Creative Universal Reading List Link:  https://books2read.com/rl/marielavendersbooks

http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/

Publisher: http://www.solsticeempire.com/products.aspx?categoryid=262

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

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

Follow her on BookBub for new release updates: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marie-lavender

 

Have a lovely rest of your week, readers! 🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Faith, Hope, Love, Marie Lavender, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Singles

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

Big Myths That Should Be Dispelled About Romance Novels

 

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

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

  1. “It’s all smut.”

    freestocks.org, Unsplash

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

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

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

Yuri Efremov, Unsplash

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

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

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

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

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

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

Created by bearfotos- freepik.com

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

Carly Rae Hobbins, Unsplash

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Created by yanalya – freepik.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s look at the basic formula for fiction.

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

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

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

Created by yanalya – freepik.com

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

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

Frank McKenna, Unsplash

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

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

Oh, wait!

Pixabay, pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why? Are we silly dreamers?

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

Inna Lesyk, pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a lovely rest of your week, readers! 🙂

Host Blogger Bio

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

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

Links:

Official Website: http://marielavender.com/

Blogs: https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
Social Media: https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a

https://www.instagram.com/marielavender1/

Amazon author page: https://amzn.to/2SMRcRD
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender
http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender

http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/

http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender
http://manicreaders.com/marielavender/

Publisher: http://www.solsticeempire.com/products.aspx?categoryid=262

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

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

Follow her on BookBub for new release updates: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marie-lavender

 

Happy reading, everyone! 🙂

Pixabay, Pexels.com

6 Comments

Filed under Action & Adventure, Authors, Blogging, Book News, Book Release, Books, characters, Contemporary, dark romance, Event, Faith, Fantasy, Fiction, Guest Writer, Historical Romance, Hope, inspirational romance, Love, MC and biker romance, Message, Military Romance, Mystery, New Adult, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Romantic Suspense, Stories, sweet romance, Thriller/Suspense, Writers

A to Z’s of Romance: a Valentine’s romance blogger post by multi-genre author Marie Lavender

A to Z’s of Romance

 

I launched this blog in 2014. It just occurred to me that I haven’t written a post of my own in a while. Mainly I just share authors’ new releases, interview both authors and characters, we feature guest posts about romance, and we started offering book reviews in the new year. Sure, sometimes I feature love poetry I’ve written, but tackling a new article about romance?

Well…that’s just what ILRB is about, right? So I thought it was apropos to write something that might work for Valentine’s Day. ♥

Without further ado, here is my list of alphabetic advice for romantic relationships:

  1. Affection. By saying ‘I love you’, you can never go wrong. But your partner wants to see proof of your feelings as well.

    Carly Rae Hobbins, Unsplash

    Kiss your girl on the hand or forehead. Hold hands whenever you can. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to show your love. Simple gestures – love notes, for one – that express your affection will make your partner feel appreciated, and he or she will reciprocate in kind.

  2. Be Compassionate. We all have bad days or experience illness at one time or another. Some of us have a jerk for a boss. Listen to your partner and empathize with their problems.
  3. Creativity. If you think your romantic dates are getting stale, or stress is dragging you both down too much, get creative! Think of unique, fun activities to help you connect, and find different ways to appreciate each other.

    Created by Freepic.diller – Freepik.com

  4. Devotion. Stay devoted to your partner, and your relationship will be ‘deliciously dazzling’, and result in something ‘divine’ that you share. Do you see what I just did? 😉
  5. Excitement. When two people stay together in a relationship for a while, things tend to become more relaxed and that initial excitement you experienced evolves into a wiser love. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find some of those butterflies again. Arrange to meet your partner at a bar or other public location. Pretend you’re total strangers, that you’ve just met, and strike up a conversation.

    Created by Freepik

    Or act like it’s a blind date. Flirt a little. Feel free to explore each other all over again. Who knows? Maybe you’ll learn something new about your lover, and refuel your passion.

  6. Feed Your Partner. Just so you know, guys and gals, cooking a meal once in a while is a great way to show how much you care. You’re taking the time to make something nice that you both can enjoy.

    Created by Freepik

    Plus, as long as you don’t always launch into watching television right away, it can set the stage for a good, intimate conversation.

  7. Go On Dates Together. The origin of the word ‘date’, meaning a romantic liaison, can be traced all the way back to the 1890s and up to 1903 (I am such a word nerd! LOL.). No one is definite on the exact year.

    Created by Freepik

    Anyway…make date night a thing. By doing so, you’ll find ways to reconnect after a busy week and still enjoy yourselves.

  8. Have a Party at Home. How can that be romantic? Let’s find out. Well, you could throw a fun party just for the two of you, even add a theme to make it interesting. Exchange stories about how you fell in love. Share memorable times that made you appreciate your partner more. And heck, go all out with the food and wine. What a night, right?
  9. Identity. Recognize that you’re both unique people. Celebrate your differences and varying interests. For example, if the other person likes action, sci-fi or horror movies, volunteer to watch a film together.

    Created by Freepik

    Even your partner’s favorite one. Listen when they explain why this is their top movie. The experience will bring you closer, and help you understand the other person better.

  10. Just Be Open. Don’t forget to communicate more often. Be honest with each other about anything you’re feeling. Don’t go out of your way to be rude – tact has been tossed out the window these days, even though we should bring it back – but keep the lines of communication open. There’s a difference between texting and sitting down to have a real discussion without the interference of technology. You’ll feel much closer in the process.

    Created by Bearfotos – Freepik.com

  11. Kissing. A kiss is just a kiss, right? Hmm…not at all! There are different types of kisses. Sexy kisses, platonic kisses, light, affectionate kisses, and the list goes on. But there’s one I call the ‘floaty kiss’, the kiss of love. It’s the kiss where you can tell you’re in love, or at least almost there. How do I describe this? Well, your head spins, you get breathless – except that doesn’t seem to matter much – and the world disappears. All you can do is experience this thrilling, amazing kiss, and keep kissing back until you can no longer breathe. 😀

    JD Mason, Unsplash

    So, explore kissing with your partner. More often than not, this type of kiss happens when you can fully focus on each other. Kiss the one you love, and find a surprise on the journey.

  12. Lovers Rule. You don’t need to schedule your physical intimacy, of course, but if life has gotten in the way recently, try to reconnect in a romantic way. However, a satisfying quickie doesn’t hurt either! 😉

    Created by Pressfoto – Freepik.com

  13. Memories. Find some way to remember your happy moments together, to bring them to life. Go through pictures you took, or you could even make a collage or scrapbook of your romantic memories.
  14. New Activities. Try something new together. Take a class, go to a new, fancy restaurant, or learn a hobby as a couple. You’ll acclimate to working as a team, and share a new experience in the process.

    Created by Rawpixel.com – Freepik.com

  15. Observe. Pay attention to the subtle nuances in your partner’s life. Both men and women can feel taken for granted after a while, so help out with daily tasks when you can. Plus, if your partner has obviously been feeling down about something, go out of your way to make a special gesture that shows you notice him or her.
  16. Protect Your Private Time. It’s so easy to let life get in the way. Make an extra effort to spend more time together.
  17. Quietness. Savor your quiet moments together, even if you’re just cuddling and softly speaking. Life can be too hectic, and these times are precious.

    Created by Freepik

  18. Read a Romance Novel. Ha! Didn’t think I’d throw that one in there, did you? Guys, if you’re still calling these books ‘smut’ or ‘fluff’, get a table at Reality Check Diner. There are so many options with sub-genres now, from fantasy to paranormal, sci-fi and dystopian, all the way to romantic suspense and thrillers (here is a full list to make it easier to understand). There’s something for everyone. Or…maybe you’re into erotic romance. We won’t judge! ♥ Anyway, try reading a few romance books, and see if you still don’t have respect for them. Plus, immersing yourself in this type of fiction might let you know what your wife or girlfriend secretly yearns for. And having that knowledge is a good thing… 🙂

    Created by Freepik

  19. Sweetness and Sensuality. Be sweet and thoughtful with your partner. Never demean or make your significant other feel they aren’t worthy of love and attention. As for being sexy? Don’t be afraid to flirt, dress sexier or dance in front of your partner. Even if you feel foolish – and we understand that putting yourself out there causes vulnerability – your efforts won’t go unnoticed.

    Created by javi_indy – Freepik

  20. Talk. Stay interested in your partner’s life. “What are you doing today?” or “How was work?” are great conversation starters, and it’s better than an awkward silence. Even people who have been together for years develop a certain familiarity with each other and pay attention to unspoken cues. So, if you care, you’ll ask your partner what’s wrong when something is up.
  21. Unite. Make big decisions as a couple, instead of one partner going off and doing their own thing. If this will affect everyone, you should have a say too. Respect each other, honor one another’s opinions, and make an informed decision as a unit.
  22. Valued. Always make your partner feel valued. You want your significant other to see that you care, and you like to spend time with them.

    Created by Freepic.diller – Freepik.com

  23. Wedding…Yes or No? Hey, we get that marriage isn’t for everyone, but if you’ve been in a supposedly committed relationship for a long time, and the M word has never come up once, this a RED FLAG. Have a heart-to-heart, and find out if your partner has hang-ups about tying the knot.

    Katherine Hanlon, Unsplash

    Already married? Great! If you’ve been together for years, one idea to celebrate the romance in your relationship is to do it…again. Consider renewing your vows. Wouldn’t that be a fun event? What could be more romantic than remembering why you said yes, and marry your honey all over again?

  24. XOXO. Hugs and kisses are an important way to express how you feel about each other. These gestures can also be therapeutic during rough days. Touch is a big part of a romantic relationship…hey, not just the sexy kind of touching!

    Brooke Winters, Unsplash

  25. Youth Is Overrated. You don’t need to be a teenager or a twenty-something to still want romance in your life. Consider revitalizing your relationship with fun activities. At any age, you can always add in a gesture or two to spice things up.

    Thierry Hardoin, Flickr

  26. Zero. Contributing no effort at all will just cause trouble, at least in the long run. Relationships are hard work, but if you have a strong connection with your partner, none of these ‘little things’ you do for the one you love will ever feel like work.

    Created by Diller – Freepik

    And that’s my take for a prescription to achieve a lasting modern romance…

    So, what do you think? What might you add to this recipe for love? Comment in the thread below, and let’s start a discussion! 🙂 ♥

Host Blogger Bio

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years, and has more works in progress than she can count on two hands.  Since 2010, she has published 24 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, dramatic fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She 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 Instagram. Also, feel free to sign up for her monthly newsletter, and follow her on BookBub. Her books can be located at most online booksellers.

Links

Website:  http://marielavender.com/

Blogs:  http://marielavender.blogspot.com/

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58

https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/marielavender1

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/marielavender1/

Amazon Author Page:  https://amzn.to/2SMRcRD

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

Publisher:  http://www.solsticeempire.com/products.aspx?categoryid=262

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/marie-lavender

AllAuthor:  http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/

Youtube/Book Trailers:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

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

 

Happy reading, everyone! 🙂 And Happy Valentine’s Day!

Created by starline – freepik

4 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Books, Dating Tips, Event, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Traditions, Valentine's

2018 Reflections and New Beginnings

2018 Reflections and New Beginnings

 

Hi, readers! Wow, what a year! 🙂

If you’re a loyal follower, then you know I do a New Year’s Eve post every year. With the coming year brings a time of renewal – an opportunity for second chances, and even new beginnings. After a particularly difficult period in our lives, we often think about what it might be like if we ever had the chance to start over.

So today, I’m listing a bunch of books that encompass the ‘new beginnings’ theme.

How apropos for the new year, right? Let’s get started…

‘New Beginnings’ Romances

 

books2read.com/u/47Z7N7

[Disclaimer: These are simply suggestions compiled from titles I found on Goodreads. I have neither read nor reviewed them.]

These books look great, right? Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments at the end of this post.

Also, I’d like to give a BIG shout out, a mega thank you to all the authors, writers and companies that contributed to this year’s guest posts, features and giveaways! Thanks for all your hard work with writing and giving us a chance to see your books featured here on ILRB. ♥

Listed below are the links to all of our posts from 2018.

Character/Author Interviews

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/01/exclusive-interview-with-author-nermin-bezmen-plus-historical-romance-kurt-seyt-and-shura/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/a-character-interview-with-trini-from-jasons-awakening-plus-a-chat-with-author-remy-marie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/03/exclusive-interview-with-author-suzanne-jefferies-plus-erotic-romance-watched-and-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/07/a-character-interview-with-mason-from-arresting-mason-plus-a-conversation-with-author-amber-daulton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/a-character-interview-with-darryl-from-blessed-plus-a-conversation-with-author-maggie-blackbird/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/08/exclusive-interview-with-author-karina-bartow-and-a-look-at-contemporary-romance-forgetting-my-way-back-to-you/

 

New Release/Book Features

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/new-release-feature-saving-him-by-author-bry-ann/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/pre-order-release-feature-captive-by-author-jenny-lynn/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/book-feature-the-maze-effect-finding-mr-right-by-author-majel-jay/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/new-release-feature-never-retreat-by-author-bonnie-mccune/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/27/new-release-feature-undercover-siren-by-author-ellen-mint/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/book-feature-erotic-romance-aurelius-by-author-jessika-klide/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/book-feature-the-milanese-stars-by-author-pamela-q-fernandes/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/30/new-release-feature-dark-romance-even-at-your-darkest-by-author-aj-love-and-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/11/pre-order-release-feature-ya-sweet-historical-romance-laras-story-by-author-diane-merrill-wigginton/

 

Film/Music Features

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/special-film-feature-forever-my-girl/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/special-music-feature-christopher-ferguson/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/22/special-film-feature-twisted-threads-steamy-romantic-thriller-by-kaylin-mcfarren/

 

Blog Tours

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/15/blog-tour-feature-the-boy-next-door-by-ann-anders/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/01/blog-tour-feature-hell-yeah-kindle-world-tour-presented-by-sable-hunter-2/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/blog-tour-feature-vegas-gambler-by-adriana-kraft/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/22/blog-tour-feature-love-at-solace-lake-series-by-jana-richards/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/blog-tour-feature-the-starling-by-ellie-masters/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/24/pre-release-blog-tour-feature-tempted-by-the-viscount-by-sofie-darling/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/blog-tour-feature-tempted-by-the-viscount-by-sofie-darling/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/blog-tour-feature-military-romantic-suspense-threat-of-danger-by-dana-marton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/blog-tour-feature-contemporary-romance-collection-vengeance-is-mine-by-kat-henry-doran/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/14/blog-tour-feature-contemporary-romance-love-at-rincon-point-by-j-haney-and-s-i-hayes/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/blog-tour-feature-mm-paranormal-romance-boxed-set-weapons-of-redemption-by-saloni-quinby/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/blog-tour-feature-contemporary-romance-true-by-ann-everett-plus-cool-contests/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/blog-tour-feature-mm-shifter-romance-wolf-around-the-corner-by-aidee-ladnier/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/blog-tour-feature-erotic-romantic-suspense-besotted-by-madison-michael-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/blog-tour-feature-holiday-paranormal-romance-one-of-a-kind-christmas-by-lexi-post/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/blog-tour-feature-erotic-romance-moonlight-moet-by-madison-michael/

 

Blog Awards

http://blog.feedspot.com/romance_book_blogs/ (#33)

http://blog.feedspot.com/novel_blogs/ (#73)

 

Personal Book News/Reviews

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/new-release-this-week/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/09/free-book/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/02/its-here/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/guest-author-marie-lavender-creating-the-other-world/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/a-radio-interview-on-thorne-and-cross/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/free-paranormal-romance-trr-year-end-slash-party/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/winter-loves-a-treat-mega-book-giveaway-and-500th-anniversary-post/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/16/upon-your-return-by-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/27/vote-at-the-critters-readers-poll/ (You can still vote for this one!!)

 

Giveaways

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/09/free-book/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/blog-tour-feature-vegas-gambler-by-adriana-kraft/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/03/exclusive-interview-with-author-suzanne-jefferies-plus-erotic-romance-watched-and-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/17/book-feature-erotic-romance-aurelius-by-author-jessika-klide/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/05/blog-tour-feature-tempted-by-the-viscount-by-sofie-darling/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/blog-tour-feature-military-romantic-suspense-threat-of-danger-by-dana-marton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/blog-tour-feature-contemporary-romance-collection-vengeance-is-mine-by-kat-henry-doran/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/blog-tour-feature-mm-paranormal-romance-boxed-set-weapons-of-redemption-by-saloni-quinby/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/blog-tour-feature-contemporary-romance-true-by-ann-everett-plus-cool-contests/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/28/blog-tour-feature-mm-shifter-romance-wolf-around-the-corner-by-aidee-ladnier/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/blog-tour-feature-erotic-romantic-suspense-besotted-by-madison-michael-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/12/free-paranormal-romance-trr-year-end-slash-party/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/blog-tour-feature-holiday-paranormal-romance-one-of-a-kind-christmas-by-lexi-post/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/blog-tour-feature-erotic-romance-moonlight-moet-by-madison-michael/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/13/winter-loves-a-treat-mega-book-giveaway-and-500th-anniversary-post/

-Authors represented in the big giveaway:

K.C. Sprayberry, Vina Arno, Leslie Hachtel, Maggie Blackbird, Debbie De Louise, David Russell, Bry Ann, Lance and James Morcan, Devika Fernando, Remy Marie, Tanya W. Newman, Tina Donahue, Fiona Tarr, Palvi Sharma, Viviana MacKade, Diane Merrill Wigginton, CJ Warrant, Amber Daulton, Penny Estelle/P.A. Estelle, Carol Ann Kauffman, Kenneth Sumerford, McKenna Dean, Seelie Kay, Beverly Ovalle, Skye McNeill, Raegyn Perry, Alice J Miller, Jenny Lynn, Sofie Darling, Carole McKee, Bonnie McCune, Young (Bernard Foong), Marie Lavender, Cleo Scornavacca, Sable Hunter, Virginia Babcock, Madison Michael, Vicki-Ann Bush, Lisa Doughty, Theresa Sederholt and Lilly Christine.

 

Blog Hops & Personal Romantic Thought Posts

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/a-lovers-vow-a-poem/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/guest-author-marie-lavender-creating-the-other-world/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/aching-heart-a-poem/

 

Guest Posts

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/25/you-complete-me-a-guest-post-by-romance-author-bry-ann/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/a-singles-guide-to-surviving-this-valentines-day-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/07/tips-on-getting-a-romantic-partner-a-gift-for-valentines-day-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/the-fiction-fact-on-writing-about-love-guest-post-by-author-khaled-talib/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/six-surprising-ways-to-communicate-better-with-your-partner-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/unique-yet-perfect-date-ideas-that-wont-break-the-bank-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/26/five-things-everyone-should-know-about-dating-a-single-parent-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/03/addressing-anxiety-during-tough-times-with-the-help-of-talkspace-a-guest-post-by-talkspace/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/how-to-design-a-camping-trip-for-the-summer-that-will-please-your-romantic-partner-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/14/how-will-facebooks-dating-service-work-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/23/why-giving-flowers-shouldnt-just-be-for-holidays-and-apologies-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/25/twenty-romantic-fall-date-ideas-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/06/city-of-love-romantic-things-to-do-in-paris-a-guest-post-by-erica-fleming/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/15/top-historical-romance-books-we-cant-stop-reading-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/why-you-should-read-at-least-one-romance-novel-in-your-lifetime-a-guest-post-by-lady-silver/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/unique-and-romantic-date-ideas-for-those-crispy-winter-days-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

 

What Does Romance Mean to Me? Series Feature

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/29/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-bonnie-mccune/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-c-l-donley/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/20/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-katherine-mcintyre/

 

Heroes & Heroines Series Feature

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/heroes-heroines-special-feature-character-mason-harding-from-arresting-mason-by-amber-daulton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/heroes-heroines-special-feature-character-avery-beta-hero-from-finder-keeper-of-my-heart-by-vina-arno/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/16/heroes-heroines-special-feature-character-kieran-blackmore-from-captivating-melody-by-katherine-mcintyre/

 

Poetry

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/a-lovers-vow-a-poem/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/aching-heart-a-poem/

 

Well, I hope we’ve given readers some new novels to find, as well as fascinating romantic posts to glance over.

In other news, we may start offering book reviews in the future here on the I Love Romance Blog. Don’t get too excited yet and email me, though! A reviewer has reached out to me and when the details are finalized, I’ll put a page up with our review policy, dedicated solely to that service. So keep checking back! 😉

In the meantime, I’m always willing to help out with book features, new release features, author and character interviews, and other types of posts to promote your work.

I hope you have a wonderful, prosperous new year, and it leaves you healthy and content! 😀

And, as always, happy reading! ♥♥♥

2 Comments

Filed under annual, Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Holiday, Love, Message, New Beginnings, Readers, reflections, Romance, Second Chances

A Year of Romance and Second Chances…Reflection Post: 2017 – 2018

Hi, readers! As you know, the I Love Romance Blog is a place to celebrate all things “love”, including tips on romantic relationships, as well as reading love poems, exploring romance novels in the form of pre-order and new release features, blog tours, cover reveals, guest posts about romance writing, giveaways, and perhaps finding a new, favorite romance author. This year, we also started two cool new features. One was our ‘What Does Romance Mean to Me?’ guest post feature. We had a whopping 20 posts in that series! Plus, you can’t forget our ‘Heroes & Heroines’ feature, explaining some of the behind-the-scenes details about our favorite characters from romance novels. It has been an awesome year! Hopefully, the New Year will bring just as many new and exciting opportunities!

With 2018 approaching quickly, it becomes clear that we should reflect not only on the past, but also what the future may bring. This is a time of renewal and rebirth; it’s also an age of new beginnings. With the giving spirit of the season in mind, perhaps it might lead to the greatest challenge of all – forgiveness. Perhaps second chances are truly possible, hmm?

So, to honor how much we love romance as well, I thought we’d go a step further. Why not give readers a list of great second chance romance novels? Let’s get started, shall we?

[Disclaimer: These are simply suggestions compiled from titles I found on Amazon. They are merely meant to give you options for second chance themed romance books to read. I have neither read nor reviewed them.]

This list looks like a great set of novels to get us started for 2018. I love a good romance! 😉

Also, here is a second chance story of mine!

To fully honor 2017, I’d like to thank all the talented authors who stopped by to visit ILRB. I would also like to offer tons of gratitude to the dating companies and individuals who offered up relationship and dating advice to our readers! Such a variety of posts this year! Additionally, we had 85 authors, either guesting or with books spotlighted, on our blog alone this year. Many thanks to our readers as well, for giving the I Love Romance Blog a chance!

Here are some highlights from 2017:

Character/Author Interviews

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/29/a-character-interview-with-ellie-from-a-siblings-dilemma-plus-a-conversation-with-author-molly-v-lovell/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/character-interview-with-leona-from-unfathomable-love-plus-a-chat-with-author-linda-diane-wattley/

 

New Release/Book Features

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/pre-order-release-feature-heart-of-a-savage-by-author-lashanta-charles/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/19/pre-order-release-feature-the-angel-alejandro-by-author-alistair-cross/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/new-release-feature-too-sexy-for-love-by-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/new-release-feature-cupids-arrow-anthology-by-solstice-publishing/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/new-release-feature-with-one-more-look-at-you-by-author-mary-j-williams/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/new-release-feature-the-boy-friend-by-mika-jolie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/pre-order-release-feature-hard-to-love-by-author-s-jones/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/new-release-feature-timberline-by-skye-mcneil/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/new-release-feature-druids-portal-the-first-journey-by-cindy-tomamichel/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/new-release-feature-excess-baggage-by-laura-barnard/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/12/new-release-feature-seduction-en-pointe-by-gemma-snow/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/new-release-feature-love-uncovered-by-laura-barnard/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/new-release-feature-explicitly-yours-by-mika-jolie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/new-release-feature-hard-to-stay-by-s-jones/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/book-feature-king-in-chains-by-author-grey-francis/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/pre-order-release-feature-kurt-seyt-shura-by-author-nermin-bezmen/

 

Blog Tours

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/blog-tour-feature-hell-yeah-kindle-world-tour-presented-by-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/blog-tour-feature-j-j-montgomerys-gun-for-hire-tour-presented-via-reviews-by-crystal/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/21/blog-tour-feature-bella-jeanisses-shredding-dreams-tour-presented-via-words-turn-me-on/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/blog-tour-feature-sultry-nights-romance-anthology-tour-plus-madison-michaels-bedeviled-presented-via-reviews-by-crystal/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/05/blog-tour-feature-jackson-by-tracie-podger/

 

Blog Awards

http://blog.feedspot.com/romance_book_blogs/

http://blog.feedspot.com/novel_blogs/

http://www.startdating.dk/awards/romance-blogs-award-2017 (You can still vote for this one!!)

 

Personal Book News/Reviews

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/meet-monday-marie-lavender-interview-and-spotlight/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/new-release/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/5-star-review-for-uyr/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/new-release-alert-upon-your-love-by-marie-lavendar/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/radio-interview/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/a-short-but-sweet-5-stars/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/double-reviews-for-new-adult-romance/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/4-stars-for-the-missing-piece/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/five-amazing-stars-for-uyl/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/teaser-from-chasing-ginger-a-work-in-progress/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/double-reviews-for-the-missing-piece/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/mega-cool-review-for-uyl-5-stars/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/new-release-feature-directions-of-the-heart-by-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/23/vote-for-a-romance-cover/ (You can still vote for this one!!)

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/cool-book-nomination/

 

Giveaways

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/get-a-copy-of-uyl/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/new-release-feature-i-wanna-get-laid-by-kade-by-author-duo-nikki-ashton-victoria-johns-plus-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/new-release-feature-the-depth-of-the-spirit-by-linda-lee-williams-plus-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-cleo-scornavacca-plus-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/free-book-the-missing-piece-by-yours-truly/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/pre-order-release-feature-directions-of-the-heart-by-yours-truly-plus-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/last-days-of-summer-mega-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/63-free-romance-books/

 

Blog Hops & Personal Romantic Thought Posts

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/18/my-romantic-thought-of-the-day-50/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/book-lovers-tag/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/chivalry-doesnt-have-to-be-dead-a-romance-blogger-post-by-multi-genre-author-marie-lavender/

 

Guest Posts

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/top-5-relationship-myths-you-should-stop-believing-immediately-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/behind-the-title-creation-of-a-love-story-a-guest-post-by-romance-author-cynthia-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/top-5-ways-to-spice-up-your-relationship-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/the-relevance-of-romance-and-romantic-literature-in-modern-society-a-guest-post-by-inkitt/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/can-romantic-love-last-a-lifetime-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/five-ways-to-keep-the-romance-going-with-your-partner-a-guest-post-by-krissy-henley/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/from-friend-zone-to-love-prone-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/guide-to-lesbian-dating-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/back-to-christmas-town-a-guest-post-by-romance-author-anna-adams/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/innovative-yet-safe-ways-to-meet-your-soul-mate-in-this-high-tech-world-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/how-to-survive-holiday-stress-with-your-sweetie-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/chivalry-doesnt-have-to-be-dead-a-romance-blogger-post-by-multi-genre-author-marie-lavender/

 

What Does Romance Mean to Me? Series Feature

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/16/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-lilly-christine/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-isobelle-cate/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-debbie-white/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-lashanta-charles/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-ricardo-mejias/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-k-c-sprayberry/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-dianne-hartsock/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-susanne-matthews/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/18/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-tina-donahue/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-carole-mckee/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-nikki-ashton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/01/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-devika-fernando/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-tanya-w-newman/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-belinda-y-hughes/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-vivienne-vincent/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-rachael-tamayo/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-jeffery-martin-botzenhart/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/28/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-jenny-lynn/

 

Heroes & Heroines Series Feature

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/heroes-and-heroines-special-feature-character-george-bramley-from-devils-run-by-beverley-oakley/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/17/heroes-heroines-special-feature-character-tommy-from-within-six-months-by-cleo-scornavacca/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/heroes-and-heroines-special-feature-characters-cassie-versus-edric-from-a-siblings-dilemma-by-molly-v-lovell/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/heroes-and-heroines-special-feature-character-herod-dargyl-anti-hero-from-the-cynn-cruors-bloodline-series-by-isobelle-cate/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/11/heroes-heroines-special-feature-character-aaron-betts-from-full-count-by-lynn-stevens/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/heroes-and-heroines-special-feature-character-josh-from-fat-girl-begone-by-d-e-haggerty/

 

Poetry

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/guest-poet-spotlight-d-l-owens/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/dream-with-me-a-poem/

 

Well, I hope we’ve given readers some new novels to check out, as well as fascinating romantic posts to glance over.

I wish you all the best in 2018! Happy New Year!

I’ll catch you on the other side…and happy reading! ♥♥♥

 

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Holiday, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Romance, Second Chances

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.

Created by Freepik

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.

Created by Awesomecontent – Freepik.com

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.

Created by Jcomp – Freepik.com

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.

Created by Peoplecreations – Freepik.com

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.

Created by Freepik

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.

Created by Freepik

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.

Created by Freepik

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.

Created by V.ivash – Freepik.com

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.

Links

Website:  http://marielavender.com/

Blogs:  http://marielavender.blogspot.com/

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58

https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/marielavender1

Amazon Author Page:  Author.to/MarieLavender

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

AllAuthor:  http://marielavender1.allauthor.com/

Youtube/Book Trailers:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

 

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

Created by Sabrin_Deirani – Freepik.com

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

 

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

A Year of Romance: 2016

Hi, readers! As you know, the I Love Romance Blog is a place to celebrate all things “love”, including tips on romantic relationships, as well as reading love poems, exploring romance novels and perhaps finding a new, favorite romance author. With 2017 approaching quickly, it becomes clear that the New Year offers hope, the promise of good things to come, just like a fine romance.

So, to honor how much we love romance, as well as the idea of renewal, or even new beginnings, I thought we’d go a step further. Why not give readers a list of great romance novels that encompass the New Year’s theme? Let’s get started, shall we?

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[Disclaimer: These are simply suggestions compiled from books I found on Amazon. They are merely meant to give you New Year’s options for romance books to read. I have neither read nor reviewed them.]

How about that? Romance authors really can cover any topic. This list looks like a great set of novels to get us started for 2017.

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And to fully honor our wonderful 2016, I’d like to thank all the talented authors who stopped by to visit ILRB. We had 54 authors, either guesting or had books spotlighted, on our blog alone this year.Many thanks to our readers as well, for giving the blog a chance!

Here are some highlights from 2016:

Character/Author Interviews

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/a-character-interview-with-amy-from-the-lie-plus-chat-with-author-k-c-sprayberry/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/character-interview-with-emmi-vendetta-from-emmis-pride-plus-chat-with-author-jill-marie-denton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/new-release-feature-starlights-curse-by-author-k-c-sprayberry/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/a-character-interview-with-logan-gray-from-texas-c-h-a-o-s-plus-a-conversation-with-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/a-character-interview-with-luke-bryce-from-be-mine-plus-a-chat-with-author-isobelle-cate/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/a-character-interview-with-astrid-from-a-cowboys-true-colors-plus-a-chat-with-author-lana-k-dempsey/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/a-character-interview-with-izzy-from-dandelions-plus-a-chat-with-author-vivienne-vincent/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/character-interview-with-zoey-from-second-half-plus-chat-with-author-monica-desimone/

 

 April A to Z Blog Challenge Posts

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/a-to-z-challenge-awakening-the-fire-ally-shields/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/a-to-z-challenge-blood-brothers-by-nora-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/a-to-z-challenge-courting-the-countess-by-barbara-pierce/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/a-to-z-challenge-devils-embrace-and-devils-daughter-by-catherine-coulter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/a-to-z-challenge-elsewhere-by-linda-lee-williams/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/a-to-z-challenge-face-the-fire-by-nora-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/a-to-z-challenge-goddess-of-the-hunt-by-tessa-dare/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/a-to-z-challenge-heart-of-gold-by-j-r-ward/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/a-to-z-challenge-identity-by-cleo-scornavacca/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/a-to-z-challenge-jewels-of-the-sun-by-nora-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/a-to-z-challenge-key-trilogy-by-nora-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/a-to-z-challenge-lover-unleashed-by-j-r-ward/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/a-to-z-challenge-marthas-way-series-by-mika-jolie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/a-to-z-challenge-no-longer-a-stranger-by-joan-johnston/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/a-to-z-challenge-one-illicit-night-by-sophia-james/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/a-to-z-challenge-playing-with-fire-by-devika-fernando/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/a-to-z-challenge-queen-of-babble-by-meg-cabot/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/a-to-z-challenge-raising-landry-by-andee-michelle/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/a-to-z-challenge-sisters-of-the-night-by-linda-lee-williams/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/a-to-z-challenge-to-tempt-a-scotsman-by-victoria-dahl/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/a-to-z-challenge-unhallowed-ground-by-heather-graham/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/a-to-z-challenge-victory-lane-by-shelly-davis/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/a-to-z-challenge-weather-the-storm-by-jean-ferris/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/a-to-z-challenge-x-treme-dating-by-cathy-mcdavid/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/a-to-z-challenge-you-make-me-feel-brand-new-by-chicki-brown/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/a-to-z-challenge-zenith-rising-by-marilyn-campbell/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/a-to-z-reflections/

 

 New Release/Book Features

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/cover-reveal-feature-foil-by-author-isobelle-cate/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/cover-reveal-feature-texas-stand-off-by-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/cover-reveal-feature-backfire-by-author-keri-lake/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/new-release-feature-sins-against-the-sea-by-author-nina-mason/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/new-release-feature-starlights-curse-by-author-k-c-sprayberry/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/02/new-release-feature-love-me-i-dare-you-by-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/new-release-feature-a-vindicated-heart-by-author-c-l-bush/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/new-release-feature-turpitude-book-4-a-provocative-true-story-a-memoir-a-harem-boys-saga-by-author-young-bernard-foong/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/prologue-reveal-feature-somewhere-to-begin-poison-and-wine-series-by-author-mika-jolie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/new-release-feature-kidnapped-in-love-2-backfire-by-author-jamela/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/book-feature-the-good-thief-by-author-tanya-w-newman/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/pre-order-release-feature-a-pawn-for-malice-by-author-cynthia-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/new-release-feature-new-year-baby-philadelphia-love-series-by-author-lilly-christine/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/new-release-feature-desert-deception-by-susanne-matthews/

 

Blog Tours

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/18/blog-tour-feature-hell-yeah-kindle-world-tour/

 

Blog Awards

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/liebster-award/

 

Personal Book News/Reviews

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/great-4-star-review-for-sch/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/4-stars-for-second-chance-heart/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/second-chance-heart-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/second-chance-heart-by-marie-lavender-2/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/solstice-rocks/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/paranormal-romance-review-magick-and-moonlight-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/scifi-romance-spotlight-blue-vision-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/review-of-blue-vision-code-of-endhivar-1-by-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/que-sara-sera-review-for-blue-vision-by-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/vote-for-blue-vision/

 

Giveaways

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/tuesday-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/romance-and-food-go-hand-in-hand/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/free-book-feature-ill-see-you-in-my-dreams-by-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/free-book-feature-a-cowboys-true-colors-by-author-lana-k-dempsey/

 

Guest Posts

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/the-eyes-of-love-by-dr-matthew-anderson/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/the-secret-life-of-an-erotica-writer-by-charity-parkerson/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/on-writing-romance-a-guest-post-by-ricardo-mejias/

 

Poetry

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/yearning-a-poem/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/guest-poet-spotlight-honcho-mars-returns/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/poetry-romance-themed-winner-empress-of-the-universe/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/the-other-side-of-our-dreams-a-poem/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/you-and-the-muse-a-poem/

Well, I hope we’ve given readers some new novels to find, as well as some interesting romantic posts to glance over.

I wish you all the best in 2017! Happy New Year!

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I’ll catch you on the other side… 😉

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Holiday, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Romance

A to Z Reflections

As some of you may already know, I put myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging during the month of April.

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Basically, it required participating bloggers to do a post every day focusing on each letter of the alphabet. Sundays were the only excluded days. As you can imagine, this was a lot of work.

So, what really compelled me to take on this challenge? Well, I have to give my talented author friend, Devika Fernando, some credit here. Last year, she took on the challenge with her blog and absolutely nailed it. Check out one of her posts here!

Therefore, this year it was with courage and a bit of fear that I said, sure, what the hell…I’ll try it too. I decided to use a rating system for each book I covered, almost like a book review but not quite the same.

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To make a long story short, the experience was actually fun! 🙂 I not only got to revisit some titles on my shelf I hadn’t looked at for awhile, I also found some new books I wanted to try.

I hope you found some interesting reads as well. If you missed my A to Z Challenge posts, here they are in order:

 

–  Awakening the Fire by Ally Shields

Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts

– Courting the Countess by Barbara Pierce

Devil’s Embrace and Devil’s Daughter by Catherine Coulter

– Elsewhere by Linda Lee Williams

Face the Fire by Nora Roberts

Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

Heart of Gold by J.R. Ward

Identity by Cleo Scornavacca

Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts

The Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts

Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

Martha’s Way Series by Mika Jolie

No Longer A Stranger by Joan Johnston

One Illicit Night by Sophia James

– Playing with Fire by Devika Fernando

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

Raising Landry by Andee Michelle

Sisters of the Night by Linda Lee Williams

To Tempt A Scotsman by Victoria Dahl

Unhallowed Ground by Heather Graham

Victory Lane by Shelly Davis

Weather the Storm by Jean Ferris

X-Treme Dating by Cathy McDavid

You Make Me Feel Brand New by Chicki Brown

Zenith Rising by Marilyn Campbell

 

Perhaps you’ll find some interesting romance books in there, ranging from contemporary to historical, paranormal to fantasy, comedy to multicultural, even a time travel/science fiction. It was so much fun to participate in the A to Z Blogging Challenge, to see your comments and interact with you (many thanks for the shares and reblogging!), and to check out other bloggers’ sites who were part of the challenge. Here is a full list of the 1,348 participants this year. And to do my part, here are some links to a few other blogs from the April A to Z Challenge:

 

Thanks again for sticking it out with me during the challenge. I’m always happy to see some friendly faces around here. Please stay tuned for future posts on any random thoughts about love, articles or advice on romantic relationships…

Unsplash, Pixabay, 2016.

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and, as always – our favorite topic – learning about new romance authors and their book releases!

Have a wonderful May, everyone! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, Love, Message, Multicultural/Interracial, Mystery, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Reviews, Romance, romantic comedy, Science Fiction, Time Travel, western, Young Adult