Tag Archives: coming soon

Special Film Feature: Forever My Girl

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

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

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

Great movie cover! So romantic!

This is the info on Forever My Girl:

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

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

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

Check out the movie trailer here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marie:  Of course!

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

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

Marie:  Sounds like quite a family!

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

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

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

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

Much love ♥♥ Bethany

OMG! This looks perfect for ILRB readers.

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

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


Writer/Director Bio

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


Website:  http://www.forevermygirlthemovie.com/

Writer/Director’s Filmography:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0039192/?ref_=tt_ov_dr

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/4evermygirl

Book Link:  http://amzn.to/2tXS9G9

Film Link:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4103724/?ref_=nm_flmg_wr_1


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

Happy viewing, everyone!🙂


1 Comment

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

Heroes & Heroines Special Feature: Character Tommy from WITHIN SIX MONTHS by Cleo Scornavacca

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Recently, I asked authors to come to the blog with a little background into their characters. Exactly what is it about them that keeps a writer up at night, composing those romance novels we love? I wanted to dig deep into each of these characters. Today is the next post in this series.

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Cleo Scornavacca, who has some things to say about her character.

Hi, Cleo! Describe one of your main characters and why he or she impacts the story.


Tommy: The Unforeseen Hero

When I started to write my debut novel Miss Taken, book one in a three book series, I wanted it to be slightly different. I wanted my female lead to have a best friend, but not the typical girlfriend. I wanted her friend to be a guy. One, that as the story developed was not her childhood sweetheart, but instead her childhood hero.

Secondly, I wanted the lead alpha pursuing the female lead to have issues with her best friend, versus the female in the book having jealousy issues over  another woman.

Tommy’s character was all of that and more. The thing is ‘the more’ was very much of a surprise to me. Although he was a secondary character, he was quite strong and almost a third lead.

            That being said, when the books came out I received letters and emails from readers saying how much they loved Tommy. At first I put the comments in the back of my mind…yeah, he is great but he isn’t the alpha.

Tommy to me was the boy next door with the bad boy looks. Yet, because he was written as a secondary character in book one and was not being concentrated on heavily until the end of the book, I hadn’t realized at first what the readers were feeling. My focus was the two main characters and how they grew and interacted with each and with everyone around them.

As Rain’s character had to deal with an incredible amount of turmoil with Dominick in Miss Taken and in the following two books, Tommy become somewhat of the glue or the anchor that held her together, when Dominick wasn’t part of the scenario.

            He was her sounding board, her friend, her devil’s advocate. He was her light at times when there was darkness and he was the person that knew when to step up and to also step away and let her fly on her own.

He knew every part of her…the good, the bad and the ugly, but he was never her lover.

He was the unforeseen hero…especially for me as a writer. He was the character that took me by surprise, the one I didn’t see coming, yet now that I’m writing a new series with him as the alpha, he’s the character whose story I never want to end. The story that I want to do right by…to do Tommy’s character the justice he deserves.

His book, Within Six Months, is due out at the end of summer this year.

It’s the story of a man that always put everyone before himself and now the part of him that he neglected, the selfish part, wants to find true love. You would think with Tommy’s charm and sexy looks it would be easy, right?


You see, Tommy has set his sights on a girl who’s done with men and doesn’t want commitment, and even if Tommy could persuade her, in this story he has something far more difficult to deal with…a memory.

Jade, the female lead, lost a very important man in her life and much of her decision-making comes from the tragedy that took that man’s life. Tommy has learned to accept that he may never find love with her.

There’s only one problem…

She’s the only woman he wants.

The new book takes Tommy on an internal journey of how to cope with his past to move forward towards his future. He’s renovating a beach house, while almost renovating himself.  To top everything off, Tommy has given himself a time frame to get the girl, finish the house and start a family…

…all Within Six Months.


Wow! Fascinating, Cleo! This sounds like quite a read!

Congrats on your upcoming release. When a new book comes out, it’s always an exciting time for an author!

Let’s learn more about the novel with some teasers, shall we? 😉
Nice! ♥♥♥ I hope you all get a chance to read this contemporary romance when it comes out! 🙂

Cleo is giving away book one of the Miss Taken Identity Series, MISS TAKEN, in the cool offer below. 

.•° GIVEAWAY °•.

Instafreebie giveaway

Thank you for telling us about your contemporary romance, Cleo! I know I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

Don’t forget to pick up a free copy of Miss Taken, everyone!

Readers, please check out the whole series! It looks fantastic! And we’re all looking forward to the new series, Wild Roses! ♥

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

Guest Bio

In 2012, Cleo began writing Miss Taken, her debut novel and book one in the Miss Taken Identity Series. Identity, book two, was published in 2014 and The Ties That Bind followed in 2016, which completed the series. In addition, Cleo is currently working on several other titles. Two of which are Within Six Months, one of four standalones in her new Wild Roses Series, which will feature the secondary characters from Miss Taken Identity, and The House On Leighton Avenue, which is an adult romance with a haunting twist; an unusual departure from her other books.

Cleo was honored to be a part of two anthologies. This Beautiful Escape: Volume One, contains her personal short story called “Small Gestures”. All of the proceeds to This Beautiful Escape go to the fund for Ataxia Awareness. Cleo is the senior columnist for Lust Bites Magazine and a proud member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the New Jersey Romance Writers (NJRW) organizations.

When she isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her family, friends and her Dobie, Brayden. Cleo enjoys reading all types romance, books on Italy, listening to 80’s metal bands, watching movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age, indulging in pink Prosecco and of course, squishing her feet in the sand down at the Jersey Shore every chances she gets.

Author Links

Website:  https://www.cleoscornavacca.com/

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/cleoscornavaccabooks

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/cleoscornavacca

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Cleo-Scornavacca/e/B00FW92ILS

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7242174.Cleo_Scornavacca

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/115250823507233903870

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

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

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/cleo-scornavacca?list=author_books

Booksprout:  https://booksprout.co/author/482/cleo-scornavacca


Thanks again, Cleo, for giving us a peek into the world of your character. Awesome! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Molly Lovell visits us on September 5th! Yay! 🙂

We’ll definitely have many other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Leave a comment

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

Pre-order Release Feature: Directions of the Heart by yours truly, plus giveaway!

For our 400th post on the I Love Romance Blog, I wanted to pop in here and let you know about a new release by…yes, moi. My modern romantic drama collection, Directions of the Heart, is officially available for pre-order and will be released on July 25th!

Woo hoo! :)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author! So, I am really anxious to show this book to readers!

I’m giving you a look at this dramatic contemporary romance set of four tales, Directions of the Heart, today.

This is the blurb for Directions of the Heart:

Embark on a remarkable journey of drama, romance, and passion…

​In all of these amazing stories, there’s one burning question…is love worth the risk?

Without You

Reece and Jenna are two childhood friends separated by time and distance. Can they find a way to heal their bond, or perhaps forge a new one?

Strange Heat

Spurred by her friend’s close call, Victoria decides to take a risk and prove the lifestyle she led was her downfall. But as Tory sinks deeper into the tumultuous abyss of desire with the mysterious Rick, can she climb back out before it’s too late? Or does she even want to?


Struggling to run her family’s farm on her own, Sadie takes on a hired hand, Matt. As they grow closer, so does the danger. Someone wants her legacy. Can they combat this new threat, as well as the demons of the past, before Sadie loses everything, including her life?

A Touch of Dawn

Caitlyn thought she’d be in the dark forever. But with the light came Jack, the police consultant who found her. Can they take a journey of healing together, or will Caitlyn retreat into the darkness of her mind, where she lived for so long?

(CONTENT WARNING: With an abuse awareness theme in this collection, there may be triggers here for past trauma sufferers. However, HEAs are guaranteed.)


And here are some teasers to entice you with.

Book Info:

Genre:  Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance, Western Romance, Romantic Drama Novella Collection

Release Date:  July 25, 2017

Pre-order Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071WVZZPV


Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/729271

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/directions-of-the-heart-marie-lavender/1126548251

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/directions-of-the-heart-a-romantic-drama-collection

CreateSpace link:  https://www.createspace.com/7239124


I hope you all get a chance to check out this romance! 🙂

☆.•°☆•°*EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY!*°•☆°•.☆

Just for being great ILRB readers and the fact that this is quite the anniversary for our blog here, I will give one ebook copy away to a random winner today. Simply comment on the thread below with why you’re still fond of romance novels – maybe it’s the hotties that continue to make you sigh! 😉 – and you’ll have a chance to win a free ebook of Directions of the Heart! ♥ Don’t forget to give us your name and email address for swift delivery. (Note: This giveaway will run for a week.)

Also, stop by the Facebook release party on the 25th for a chance to win a signed paperback, as well as other cool prizes, including books by guest authors!


Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this book with characters that easily captured my heart!

Author Bio

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. 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 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three 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, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

Author Links

Website:  http://marielavender.com/

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



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


Twitter:  https://twitter.com/marielavender1

Amazon Author Page:  Author.to/MarieLavender

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

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


Happy reading, everyone!🙂


Filed under Authors, Book Giveaways, Book Release, Books, coming soon, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, New Adult, new release, Readers, Romance, western, Writing

Radio Interview!

For our lovers of paranormal romance, you’ve gotta check this out…

Later today, I’ll be chatting with awesome author team and radio hosts of the Haunted Nights Live! show, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross. This radio show is quite popular, and the Thorne & Cross team has seen some very famous authors on there. Check out the list of past guests here.

Check us out at 8PM EST to get some sneak peeks of two books I have coming out later this year, a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy, Blood Instincts, book two of the Blood at First Sight Series, and Awakening, a paranormal romantic thriller collection.

Plus, for those who have a fascination with the supernatural, we’ll be talking about that too. 😉

So stop by tonight! You can call in with questions or sit back and listen in. I’m not sure if the interview will be posted right away on the site, but you should be able to hear it as it airs.

Here is the official link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/authorsontheairradio2/2017/04/07/marie-lavender-joins-thorne-cross-haunted-nights-live

Follow the Haunted Nights Live! duo on their Facebook page here, or check out their Twitter handle and blog.

As always, thanks so much for being great readers on the I Love Romance Blog! ♥♥♥

Happy reading, and have a wonderful day! 🙂


Filed under Authors, Books, coming soon, Event, Fiction, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Radio, Readers, Romance, Thriller/Suspense, Writing

Scifi Romance Spotlight: Blue Vision (Marie Lavender)

Coming November 15th! 🙂

Belinda Y. Hughes: Writing, Editing & Social Media


Had enough of current affairs? Run away on a romantic winter vacation with your brand-new book boyfriend of another color! One-click Blue Vision, the new scifi romance by Marie Lavender and step into the snowy woods of Montana – and the extraordinary eyes of Colin Fielding. You’re welcome.

Brooke Sanders just wants to get away from her life for awhile. A remote cabin in Montana fits the bill. She doesn’t expect to encounter a mysterious stranger with unusual blue eyes, or events that cannot be explained…


Colin Fielding is on a mission – scout a planet and return home to Endhivar. Simple really. What he doesn’t anticipate is that fate has a pretty twisted sense of humor. Suddenly, this human calls to him, every part of him, like the call of a true mate, and he can’t deny the connection as he gets closer to her.


Little do they know, someone is out to do…

View original post 284 more words


Filed under Authors, Books, Contemporary, Fiction, Marie Lavender, Readers, Romance, Science Fiction, Uncategorized

Prologue Reveal Feature: SOMEWHERE TO BEGIN – Poison and Wine Series – by author Mika Jolie

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Mika Jolie, a friend and author I met during my journey! Her contemporary romance, Somewhere to Begin, officially releases on September 20th! Yay! That’s awesome, Mika! :) Congrats on your upcoming release!:)


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

Mika is giving us an exclusive look at her intriguing romance, Somewhere to Begin, today.


Awesome cover!

This is the blurb for Somewhere to Begin, book one of the Poison and Wine Series:

There are wounds that never show on the body.

For twenty-nine years, Colbie Bennington does as expected with an eternal smile stained on her lips. The biggest chances she’s ever taken can be counted on one hand, three fingers to be exact—her battered red chucks, painting her toenails a vibrant blue, and her wedding dress. Always the dutiful daughter and a Stepford fiancée, she has never acted on impulse, never been in love.

She’s never lived.

On her wedding day, Colbie ends a toxic relationship, drops the fake smile, and says, “I can’t do this anymore.”

Navy SEAL Zander Serrano returns home broken and burdened with a volcano of remorse. Too trapped in a mental war to be at peace and too damaged to be at war, he shuts the world out. The last thing he expects is to feel, especially for a runaway bride with her own baggage.

Two empty hearts marred in different spots find themselves drawn to one another. Each with their own scars. Some, the world can see. Others, unseen to the naked eye.

They say two broken people should not be together. But for Colbie and Zander, their attraction is undeniable, unexpected.

Can two souls with fractured parts be the best cure for each other’s wounds?

Starting over is never easy, but sometimes in life, everyone needs somewhere to begin.

And here are some teasers to entice you with.





Also, the much awaited prologue…

“Somewhere there’s a war.”

~ Mika Jolie


Afghanistan, six months ago . . .


Zander’s body hit hard against the concrete. Bones cracked. Muscles snapped.

Another massive blast shook the building, blowing everything up in its path. Walls screamed. Lights flickered. Tables jumped. Chunks of the ceiling caved in. A cacophony of sounds hit his ears like a tidal wave—the crunching of metal, the tinkling of glass shattering as the explosion blasted its way out of the complex, the sound of a shrill and deafening alarm warning of danger.

“Evacuate. STAT. Bomb. Bomb.” The raucous blaring of the overhead radio jarred through his head.

Black dust hung in the air, burning Zander’s throat and invading his lungs. They were ambushed by enemy fire, facing a barrage of bullets from all directions. Every cell in his body reeled at the immediate assault.

Too close. Much too close.

Human instinct told him to counterattack. Ignoring the initial urge, he waited and gathered his wits. Years as a Navy SEAL taught him never to invest in the first option that crossed his mind.

SEALs held back to see what else showed up.

He spotted a shadow darting around the corner of an adobe wall, assault rifle in hand. Zander drew his semi-automatic pistol. With only a split second to decide, he squeezed the trigger and watched the body collapse.

A deathly silence loomed.

Choking on the lack of oxygen, he released a breath, rolled onto his chest, and scanned the room. Blood dripped from his forehead into his eyes, blurring his vision but not enough to obliterate the horror staring at him. His friends lay like rag dolls in the position of death—lifeless and dismembered, flesh and brains erupted in liquid halos, a plethora of shattered bones—arms outstretched, burning flesh, cracked skulls, brains blown out.

Death tinged the air.

He coughed and swiped his mouth. Through cracked lips, he spat a glob of blood mixed with saliva onto the floor, then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. Squinting, he inspected the room through the swirling dust for Ben.

A few feet away, his best friend, wet with gore, slouched against a wall. His face was twisted in a grimace, his skin pale and clammy as molten-red fluid pumped from his stomach.

“Help me.”

The desperate plea sent chills down Zander’s back. Nausea rolled in his stomach. He closed his eyes for a moment and swallowed hard, pushing back the vomit from his parched mouth. “I’ll get us out. Don’t move,” he cautioned when Ben motioned at the wound on his thigh. They were brothers—not cut from the same cloth, but they’d shed blood together. “I promise—” His words cut short by another deafening explosion.

In the chaos, he analyzed the environment and assessed the risks. Two doors. Four windows. Enemies to the right and left. They were ambushed—a well-organized attack—leaving his band of brothers dead or critically injured. The chance of surviving was nil, but he’d die trying.

Zander flicked his mind to autopilot mode—survival instinct—willing himself out of his surroundings. Becoming invisible was a powerful mental skill he’d mastered over the years when shit got real. He was trained to control the situation, to never react on emotion and to judge every move with logic.

Bullets continued to plow through the room like metallic hail, chipping the pavement around him. Some passed so near to his face he could feel the air being cut in front of him. He snatched one of the fired rounds from the ground and rolled it between his soil-covered fingers. So light, so cold, a trinket designed to take the only thing that really mattered, life.

He shook hands with death, acknowledged it, and whisked it away like a bunch of fruit flies caught in a heavy gust of wind.

Time to kill or be killed.

Relaxing his grip, the bullet slipped through his fingers. The empty casing hit the concrete, making a hollow clinking sound. Zander planted his hands on the floor and pushed himself up. A stifling sensation, as if shaving with a flamethrower, shot through his body.

His legs wobbled.

Gravity yanked him down.

Winded, he dragged himself to a sitting position. Back pressed against the wall, he peered at his legs. Below his knee, blood turned his khakis a deep Tuscan red.


Quickly, he stripped off his jacket, tied it around his thigh, and scanned the area. Not a sound could be heard, either close at hand or in the far off distance. Even his own breath seemed to die as soon as it left his mouth. It was an eerie sort of tranquility as if the world was encased in a cocoon or a bubble, and there was no way out. So instead of being soothed, his senses heightened.

He spotted an M4 carbine inches away. Stretching his arm, he grasped the handle and hauled it toward him. Gun in hand, he belly crawled along the floor, scraping his fingernails across the puddle of his own blood. Sweat and sanguine fluid poured in warm rivulets down his face. He went from body to body, patting down the corpses of James, Pete, and Scott for identification.

Something. Anything to commemorate their existence.


Because SEALs often worked behind enemy lines, a dog tag or something that could give away their identity was considered a huge unnecessary risk. He knew it, but he’d hoped. Pushing back the thought he’d have to identify every one of them later—if he survived—Zander wormed his way from one side of the room to the other and sat next to Ben.

His elbows burned from the effort. None of that mattered. “Put your arms around my shoulder.”

Ben glanced at him. His blue eyes dazed, his skin pale as a ghost.

Shit. Not Ben, too.

Zander rose to his feet, his teeth cutting on his bottom lip. The injury down his thigh protested, and he staggered a little. Ignoring the fire blazing through him, he dragged Ben’s weight down the hall. Tiny lead pellets traveled at twice the speed of sound through what remained of his left leg, the pain intensifying with each dragging step, jarring and brutal. He winced as the pain burned without mercy, penetrating to the cells that should have been protected by smooth skin but most likely lay open and raw.

He was a soldier.


He trained for war, stood for justice, and fought to win.

With all the strength he could muster, he pushed his weight up against the doorway, dragging his left leg along with him. After leaning Ben’s body against the wall, he palmed the door open and picked out the details of his target. A group of insurgents stood in a circle, plotting. They thought they’d won.

Every movement became robotic, more machine than man. The rush of combat spiked his psyche with crazy excitement and hyperalertness. Curling his finger around the trigger, he aimed and squeezed. A hail of bullets jingled in rapid succession, pushing through the air with elegance, striking bodies with extreme precision.

Flesh tore. Arteries split. Indistinguishable faces marked with red splatter extinguished without a wisp of silvery smoke.

For a moment, silence loomed. Time stood still and yet it raced. Sand shifted under his combat boots. Suddenly he heard the sound of blades in the sky. With a deadly whoosh, the helicopter launched its missiles. A storm of dust came stinging, numbing the air with an acrid smell of death.

Exhausted, he leaned against the doorway, drowsiness coiling insidiously within him. An uncomfortable premonition—a feeling in the pit of his stomach as if he was looking death right in the eye—swept over him.

Another earsplitting sound rumbled in the distance. Clouds of fire belched upward. Weightless, he collided with the ground, drenched in his own blood. He sucked in a breath as every muscle throbbed in pain. The faces of his parents, his sister, his brothers, and home dangled in front of him as the gate of hell opened. Eyelids fluttered shut. One last memory of roughing it in a football game with his band of brothers crossed his mind.

A smile curved his lips.

And then everything faded into an abyss.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01LK0VKI4

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/somewhere-to-begin-mika-jolie/1123601804 

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1097910088

Books2Read:  https://books2read.com/u/mlKe6A

Ooh! What a fascinating story! This looks like a sexy, interesting ride!😉

I can personally vouch for this one, as I was a critique partner for Mika. And I’m a big fan of her Martha’s Way Series.

(Sighs.) I love romance. ♥♥♥

Thank you for telling us about your book, Mika! I know I can’t wait to read this book again! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order your copy of Somewhere to Begin today!

You can also add it on Goodreads and follow Mika Jolie as an author there.

Enter the cool gift card giveaway on Rafflecopter:


Good luck in the giveaway, readers!🙂

Wow, this new title looks great! Be sure to get your copy next week, or pre-order it today!


Author Bio



Mika Jolie is the bestselling author of the Martha’s Way series. She lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. A sports fanatic and a wine aficionado, she’s determined to balance it all and still write about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When she’s not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, you can find her on a hiking adventure, apple picking, or whatever her three men can conjure up.

She loves to hear from readers. Connect with Mika on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon.

For latest news on her current works-in-progress, interviews with fellow authors, or just to see what she’s up to, check out her website: http://www.mikajolie.com or sign up for her newsletter http://mikajolie.us8.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=031e437e36c82d666bd5f3d46&id=af83626053 where you can hear her latest news and enjoy giveaways.



Author Links

Website:  http://mikajolie.com/

Blog:  http://mikajolie.com/blog/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/mikajolie.author

Amazon Author Page:  http://amazon.com/author/mikajolie

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8294433.Mika_Jolie


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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂



Filed under Authors, Book Giveaways, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Readers, Romance, Writing

On Writing Romance: a guest post by Ricardo Mejías

On Writing Romance by Ricardo Mejías


Writing, for me, is a second language. I’m not quite fluent in it, but it allows me to see and articulate the world in a very specific yet wonderfully abstract way. I can pick and choose my letters, line them up and listen to their sounds, playfully arranging similes like a child stacking Legos. It’s an experimental exercise, a fun, freeing and fantastic excuse to allow the tongue to sleep and the mind to clear its throat.

I started to write when I was twelve. I typed with my index fingers, very slowly, and very deliberately. I had a story I wanted to get out. No one told me to do it. I wasn’t going to share it with the world, tossing the pages out the window so strangers could say, “This child is a genius!” I was just tired of holding onto the letters in my head, tired of their weight. I had created an entire universe, and if I could only condense it into words then maybe I could be free! Free to think of something else. Free to write more. And when it came time to write another story, I learned to tilt my head to the side—watch as it tumbled out my ear, splashing on the page in a tangle of prose. Then I waited for the rain to fill me whole again, so I could continue the cycle until I ran out of pages, out of words, and out of ideas.


Unsplash, Aaron Burden, Creative Commons License.

Writing, as sticky as it is when preserved on the page, is a very flexible tool of expression. Like water, it is fluid, the meaning of a sentence changed by the deletion of a word, the inflection shifted by punctuation. The narrative is a shapeshifter, who might be a suspenseful point of view in one story or a cynical teenager in the next. It is putty in our hands, and we are artists in search of the figures that lie within.

In college I started to try out different styles. I eventually stumbled into a genre I didn’t think I’d ever consider: romance. Not just romance…steamy romance. And though it started as a simple writing exercise, I learned to respect the genre in a profound way. I had taken it for granted. I saw Romance as fluff. It was a guilty pleasure read and nothing more, filled with flowery language and prolonged sex scenes. But the romance genre is one of the few genres where the writer and reader are truly intimate. While other books take a reader’s hand to lead them down a wild adventure, romance stories kiss your hand and bring you closer. They cause you to blush. They whisper in your ear, waiting for you to make the first move: to undress and find pleasure in the state of being vulnerable.

Writing is inherently a close affair between the author and reader. Without you to read these words, I don’t exist. Right now I am closer to you than anyone will ever be, because I have the pleasure of occupying—for a very brief moment—the privacy of your thoughts, and that is a privilege I don’t take lightly. And while other books are granted this privilege as well, what they’re sharing with you isn’t a secret; romance, however, is. When the prose starts to move to the bedroom, the author is taking you along with them. In many ways, the reader is not reading about the heat of his body—she’s feeling it. The reader is not reading about the curves of her figure, he’s exploring them. So as a writer of romance, the reader is allowing me to enact a fantasy with them. It’s a quiet act that only works if one can earn the reader’s trust.

Unsplash, Alejandra Quiroz, Creative Commons license.

I learned this because when I started to write romance I wasn’t sure how to approach it. As it turns out, I wasn’t writing for myself but for you. It was like a relationship, I wanted you to be happy—and not just to be happy, but to enjoy what I was doing. So I treated you as the protagonist, and wrote scenes that only worked if you willingly participated in them, and to do that we needed to reach a level of intimacy other books never had to strive for. You have to woo a stranger before the kiss. When I realized this, it made me look at romance fiction in a completely different light.

And that was how my romance novella, Fixation, came into being. I learned that I couldn’t write it like I had with my other stories. It helped me understand the nature of words and the act of reading them. There is a lot happening between the lines, a playful back and forth that simply feels different when writing romance. It’s flirtatious and fun. I’m still figuring out who I am, but the great thing about words is that it allows me to be formless. Fixation started as a personal challenge, but it turned into a lesson that opened my eyes to the beauty of storytelling. Maybe that is why our language is so rich and overflowing instead of blunt and minimalist, because we know on a deeper level these sounds are doing more than making noises.

They’re asking us to dance.

Wow! As both writer and reader, I totally agree.

Thank you, Ricardo, for that riveting take on writing in the romance genre.

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at one of Ricardo Mejías’ books? Sounds like a plan!:)

Coming soon to major booksellers:

Fixation cover

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Fixation:

Michael has dreams, abstract fantasies of a woman wearing only a smile. He knows she’s not real, but she keeps appearing each night. She wants more than his body, but he can’t figure out what that is. To make matters more complicated, he’s falling in love with his co-worker, Lisa, and this makes the woman in his dreams angry. As the lines between love and lust blur, he must distinguish the difference and make a choice before he loses his soul to his fantasies.

Ricardo is also offering us a sexy excerpt from his upcoming romance novella.

He imagined the heat between her thighs, as if she’d spent the entire day drinking the sun’s warmth, her skin holding onto it like a cherished memory. His ghostly touch wandered playfully along her hips and stomach, stirring the passions until he searched for the one spot that would make her tremble.

“I want you to do exactly as I say.”

“Tell me,” she whispered. A tremor caught on the end of her voice.

“I’m sliding my fingers inside you.”

He heard a rustling sound as she mimicked his instructions. She was concentrating, likely wondering what it would feel like if they were actually together in bed, breathing on each other between long, lip-smacking kisses.

“I want you to come now.”

With an explosive release, she muffled her cries over the phone.

“I’ll call you next week.” He hung up before she could reply then stared at the ceiling, not quite sure what to feel. Phone sex only heightened his sexual frustrations. He was restless, bothered by a strange sensation that had settled uncomfortably on his chest. Emotionally, he felt parched, dehydrated and in need of…what exactly? If he knew what was good for him, he’d stop searching, but he was never one to listen to his own advice. Instead, his monthly credit bills were adding up to amounts that, at a glance, gave the impression there was real value to what he was doing, a tangible reward worth the risk of debt to his wallet and his soul. But he never got off during the calls. A conscious choice. Empty words for an empty orgasm, but he kept calling the 1-900 numbers, a road that led down familiar paths.

First, he’d scroll through porn, drawn by faceless women who promised to quell an urge he didn’t know how to control, only to be numbed by the flesh and fluids. He wanted to stop, to cut off what was an unhealthy habit, but what harm was it doing, really?

And then the dreams started.

The woman’s phone voice was similar to the woman in his dreams, hushed and raspy in the way she pronounced her words, but—

She wasn’t the same.

He glanced at the clock radio. “Crap.” There were still three hours left until he had to get ready for work. He wanted to sleep, to dream of the woman again, the woman who always appeared when he needed her, to tease him like a stripper might tease a crowd, but with a control so absolute it was a law of nature. She was the very definition of lust, the culmination of every man’s fantasy.

But something was very wrong with his dreams. She held the promise of granting him anything he asked for. Those crimson lips, like rose petals bleeding with the kind of sexuality that made him melt, begged him to take her. But she haunted him. He knew what she wanted: to feel his muscles tense, to enjoy the solid weight of his body on hers. But she had a secret agenda, and she was in no rush to reveal it.

Each night he woke up in a cold sweat, confused and dazed by the overwhelming emotions the dreams produced. No other woman had ever made him feel this way, but her love wasn’t any more real than the woman’s on the phone.

♥♥♥ Interesting! It looks like quite a romantic ride! 😀


And readers, this riveting novella will be out very soon!

Fixation cover


Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Ricardo, and a look at your upcoming release, Fixation! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Author Bio

Bio Photo

Ricardo Mejías discovered his love for prose in his senior year of high school while taking a creative writing course. He majored in Creative Writing at SUNY New Paltz with a double minor in philosophy. Wanting to learn more about the publishing industry, he pursued an editorial career and worked at Disney Hyperion as an Assistant Editor for five years. During his time there, he personally edited several middle grade novels and successfully helped pitch an idea for publication. Currently residing in New York with his fiancée, he’s now looking to explore new careers as well develop his writing and poetry crafts.

Author Links

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

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ricardo.mejias.752


Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2aPa10O

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/112907865782283224885/posts

Publisher:  http://www.twbpress.com/authorricardomejias.html


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

As always, happy reading, everyone!   😉


Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Fiction, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

The Secret Life of an Erotica Writer: a guest post by Charity Parkerson

The Secret Life of an Erotica Writer by Charity Parkerson


Follow just about any Erotica author online and you’ll be treated with pictures of delicious men, snarky jokes about spanking, and tons of other fun tidbits. No doubt, my online search of sexy topics—purely in the name of research, mind you—has landed me on more than one pervy, government watch list. Opening my email has become a daily adventure. I never know what sort of fan mail I’ll find inside. I’ve seen things…horrible things…things I cannot unsee. The award for keeping a straight face while answering questions should arrive in my mailbox any day.
During a recent interview, I was asked to describe a day in the life of Charity Parkerson. This was the moment I realized two important things. Not only is my life vastly different than what people think, I also have not lost the awesome ability to horrify people speechless.  For anyone interested in hearing about a day in the life of an erotica writer, here it is:
After dragging myself out of the bed—kicking and screaming—I get my two boys ready for school, secretly praying they are going to spend the day with someone blessed with infinite patience. Eventually, I discover we are already ten minutes late. I then spend another ten minutes standing by the door screaming for everyone to get their damn shoes on, and praying someone with tons of patience is waiting to greet me at the school. Thirty minutes of travel time from one end of town to the other— in order to drop them at two separate schools— is spent listening to several arguments. The top one usually consists of my youngest accusing my oldest of being mean. The debate landing in second place is the one where I am accused of never seeing how annoying my youngest is being to my oldest. If you add in my fervent prayers for all the wonderful teachers out there to have strength, you have the first couple of hours of my day.



Once I have the house to myself, I drink a ton of coffee while catching up on tweets, Facebook messages, and emails. After obsessively checking my sales ranking and crying into my third cup of coffee, I stare blankly at the wall for four hours while dreaming of hot MMA fighters, police detectives, and demons. When I catch sight of the clock, I spend another thirty minutes wailing over how I’ve wasted the whole day, before going on Facebook to confer with my friends, only to realize they’re doing the same thing. This, of course, makes everything right with the world again. With that said, if it’s a month until my deadline, those four hours are spent alternating between clicking away at the computer keys and hyperventilating into a paper bag. If it’s the day after I’ve completed my manuscript, I’m patting myself on the back and lying about how I wasn’t worried in the least. Oh, and occasionally I spend my day dreaming about an organized computer where all my files are competently labeled, making them easy to find. Then I remember I can’t afford minions and I’m over it.

Sorry to disappoint everyone who believed I spent my day swinging from the chandelier. Maybe one of these days hot cover models will feed me chocolate-covered strawberries. Unfortunately, it will—most likely— only be because I’m in the nursing home and it’s their job. Until then, you could always read about the lives I live inside my mind…

Thank you, Charity, for that amusing take on a daily look at an erotic romance author.

Well, readers, shall we take a look at one of Charity Parkerson’s books? Why not? 🙂


Great cover!

This is the blurb for Break, Hard Hit Series, Book 6: 


Noah’s career means everything to him. That is, until he loses his true everything.

Noah has been in love with his best friend, Troy, for as far back as he can remember. There is no one else he can picture spending his life with. After signing a contract with the Blue Fires, Noah heads to New Orleans, ready to start his new life as a pro hockey player. With the career he’s always dreamed of having in his hands and the man he’s always loved in his bed, Noah thinks everything is golden.

But nothing could prepare Noah for how being the star player would change his life. Each time he finds a reporter’s mic underneath his nose, Noah can’t stop himself from pushing Troy farther away, making Troy the dirty secret. That is, until the day Troy has had enough.

With Troy gone, Noah can’t find his footing, but neither does he have the words to fix the things he’s broken. No matter how many times Noah picks up the phone, fear stops him from saying all the words he’s avoided. Until a single call and a tragic accident changes everything.

“He arrived at St. Luke’s Medical Center… Labels no longer counted. Opinions were out the window. Nothing mattered any longer.”

Hurt, anger, and bitterness have Noah throwing back the curtain, showing the world his every secret. But is it too little too late?

♥♥♥ Interesting! It looks like quite a ride! 😀

And readers, while you’re at it, why not add it to your Goodreads TBR list? You can also get this MM romance on pre-order on Amazon.

Purchase Links:

Amazon Universal:  http://mybook.to/Break

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/break-charity-parkerson/1123523392

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6112849


Pick this title up on April 18th! 😀

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Charity, and a look at your upcoming release, Break! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Author Bio

Charity Parkerson Facebook pic

Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with several companies. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.

*2015 Readers’ Favorite Award Winner
*Winner of 2, 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards
*2015 Passionate Plume Award Finalist
*2013 Readers’ Favorite Award Winner
*2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner
*2012 ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance
*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath


Author Links

Website:  http://www.charityparkerson.com

Blog:  http://charity-thesinners.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/authorCharityParkerson

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/charityparkerso

Amazon Author Page:  http://author.to/CharityParkerson

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4506281.Charity_Parkerson

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+CharityParkersonAuthor/posts

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

Tumblr:  http://thesinnerauthor.tumblr.com/

Shelfari:  http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a2942626/Charity-Parkerson/

Publisher:  http://www.punkandsissypublications.com/charity-parkerson.html


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

Happy reading, everyone!   😉


Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Erotica, Fiction, LGBT, Message, new release, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

Marie Lavender stops by to chat old flames and a new book!

The lovely and talented Raegyn Perry interviews me on her blog about my upcoming contemporary romance, Second Chance Heart! You can pre-order it today! 🙂

Raegyn's World

When I first got signed with Solstice Publishing, and joined the author’s group, I had no idea what I was doing. Multi-genre and amazing writer, Marie Lavender offered to interview me (or actually one of my characters) on her site. It was the first time I really felt ‘out there’ in the public eye. I will always appreciate her support. Okay, enough of the mush, let’s get to talking to Marie.Hello there Marie, it’s so great having you here! What is the name of your newest book?   Second Chance Heart     Second Chance Heart - final cover

To tease you with her talent, here’s a blurb for Second Chance Heart

View original post

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, new release, Readers, Romance, short stories, Uncategorized, Writing


Amazing early review for SCH! 🙂

Source: SECOND CHANCE HEART by Marie Lavender

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, Readers, Reviews, Romance, short stories, Stories, Writing