Tag Archives: family life

Exclusive Interview with author Angela Ford, plus a look at new adult sweet western romance series, THE HEALING HEARTS RANCH!

Hi, readers! I am pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. We’re doing something a little different. This is our nineteenth official author interview on this romance blog! I know in the past, we did character interviews then switched over to the author’s take on it, but this approach is a bit unusual.

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with a talented author. Please join me in welcoming Angela Ford to ILRB! 😀

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

Author Angela Ford:  Hi, Marie!

Marie:  Hey, such a pleasure to have you here!

I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.

Obviously, we know your occupation as an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?

I know I’m overloading you with questions, but we’re really interested in finding out more about you…

Angela:  Numbers by day…Words by night! I work in Accounting during the day and when evening sets in, words come from my heart. I write romance – happily-ever-afters – sometimes sweet…sometimes spicy…sometimes suspenseful.

Great! 😀

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Angela:  Loving…supportive and big…strength in numbers! I have six siblings. I’m the second youngest.

Marie:  Wow, so many!

Let’s try something else, okay?

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

Angela:  Warm and welcoming. A modest three-bedroom bungalow until Dad finished the basement, with an extra bedroom! But back then it felt bigger…must have been all the love in it!

Marie:  Nice… 😉

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

Angela:  Reading…walking…and chasing that sunset! I love crafts, but it’s not one of my better talents. (Laughs.) I do collect seashells while walking the beach and chasing that sunset! Lately I’ve been autographing those seashells and sending them to my readers as a keepsake…remind me to send you one!

Marie:  Oh, that would be fantastic! Love the beach! 😀

So, what is your greatest dream?

Angela:  I’m living it! Writing from the heart and sharing with my readers 🙂

Marie:  Sounds like a plan. ♥

Let’s try another question.

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

Angela:  I like who I am…a kind soul. My mom taught me to treat others the way I want to be treated. Live simply…love generously.

Marie:  All right.

Who was your first love?

Angela:  My mom. The first to give me warmth and love…the first voice I heard…and the first to show me what love really means.

Marie:  Aww! ♥

With the next question, I hope I’m not prying too much, but we are curious…

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

Angela:  I focus on the positives in life…they keep me a strong and kind soul.

Marie:  Okay.

Let’s move on to another topic, shall we?

[Maggie nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Angela:  I’ve always wanted to write…it’s always been in my heart. I have achieved this with over 50 published works and my readers make my heart smile every time we connect.

Marie:  Awesome! 😀

Who is your role model, Angela?

Angela:  I have two! My parents. They’ve loved, taught, guided and supported me through the years. They’re also my ‘fairytale’ couple and inspire the true love in my romance writing.

Marie:  I know what you mean. My parents are a good match, too. 😉

Well, let’s try something else.

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Angela:  No, not one soul. There may be some whose behaviors I don’t agree with, but that’s what makes us all individuals and unique.

Marie:  True!

What is your deepest desire?

Angela:  I hope to meet my soul mate in this universe someday and have my own happily-ever-after.

Marie:  (Nods.) And, of course, you deserve it! ♥

Let’s go for a different approach now.

Just curious here, but what is your greatest fear?

Angela:  The time that will, unfortunately, come without my parents.

Marie:  I know. Mine are getting on in age. It is odd sometimes to realize how very short life is.😕

Let’s switch gears for a second.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, what five essentials would you need with you? They don’t have to be practical.

Angela:  Well…if there’s basic food, shelter, safety, and those I love are okay…then I’d pick my laptop (so I can write!), wine, chocolate, music…and Kenny Chesney…a girl can dream!

Marie:  (Chuckles.) 😀

Okay, readers, let’s get the author’s perspective on one of her characters.

We’ve heard rumors about the heroine of your story, Raine Willows. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Angela:  Raine is in her mid-twenties as the story begins. She’s a social worker, living the city-life until she receives news of her grandfather’s passing and returns to the farm she lived on with her Gramps. Coming home brings her peace and helps her find the love in her heart, through the wise words left by her Gramp’s letter.

Marie:  All right.

And what are Raine’s greatest strengths?

Angela:  She’s a strong, caring, gentle soul with self-driven, hard-working ethics.

Marie:  Nice!

Any weaknesses of which we should be aware?

Angela:  Forgetting who she was and the love she has to offer.

Marie:  (Nods.) It is tough to open your heart again once it’s been bruised.

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are Raine’s favorite foods?

Angela:  She loves and lives for bacon! Also loves pancakes and the dinners Luke makes…he’s the boy-next-door, her childhood best friend and the one who her heart belongs to. At the end of each book, I share a recipe of one of Raine’s favorites..

Marie:  Cool!

And bacon with pancakes…yes, please! 😉

How about another question?

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

Angela:  Once she’s returned home to the farm and reads her Gramps’s letter…she begins to realize the love in her heart is plenty to share and help other’s hearts heal.

Marie:  How admirable!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Angela:  They’ll love Raine…she’s a good soul, down-to-earth, caring individual. She’s had her struggles and heartaches to which we can relate to; and her giving, kind heart that keeps us loving her.

Marie:  Happy to hear it! 😀

Now that we have a real taste of Raine, we have a few questions for you as well as the author, about the writing process of your book.

What first gave you the idea for The Letter Left?

Angela:  My daughter requested a YA series…one for her age group. One of the sweet romance genre, and most important…a story based around the love of horses and healing hearts.

Marie:  It’s fascinating how the muse works, huh? 😀

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like, Angela? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Angela:  I consider myself a planster! I plot to a certain point…then I just write!

Marie:  Me too! 😉

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

Angela:  The Letter Left was my 25th published single title and even with the experience I’ve gained along the way, I continue to challenge myself to improve my writing and my research to make it realistic. A story, we as readers, can relate to as we enjoy the journey. And I will continue to do so with the next story! And to continue to write from my heart, loving what I do!

Marie:  Sounds like a plan! 

Well, it was a total pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story The Letter Left appears to be… ♥

Let’s learn more about this series.

Title: The Letter Left (book one of The Healing Hearts Ranch)

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western, New Adult, Sweet Romance, Family Saga

Publication date: July 29, 2019

Here is the blurb:

A story of remembrance, a gift, and a love rediscovered through healing hearts.
Angela Ford takes a different direction this time to bring you a new adult series. A story centered around family, horses, true love, and finding your way from the wise words left to you.
Jack Willows was a great man. He always put others first. He’d taught his granddaughter to do the same. Raine Willows left her grandfather’s farm at eighteen to find her way in life. Seven years later, his death brings her back to the farm and her first love–the boy next door.
An empowering story of healing through horses. A farm that introduced her to the boy next door–Luke Daniels. The one she could never forget, no matter how many years and miles came between them. Grief reunites them, horses help heal their hearts, and gives them an idea to help others. An idea that had been her grandfather’s dream for her. The letter he left, changed the direction of her life and her heart.

Angela is giving us a peek at the story…

Raine found Luke in the kitchen cleaning up the breakfast he’d prepared for her. A slight touch of guilt for his gesture crossed her. “Hey.”

​Luke kept washing the dishes in the sink. “Just wanted to clean up my mess before I left.”

​His tone pulled at her heartstrings. Guilt set in a little deeper. “I’m sorry, too. I didn’t mean to be unappreciative of your nice gesture of breakfast. I was just – shocked to find you here.”

Luke reached for the dishtowel and turned to face her as he dried his hands. “But making light of the situation only came across as me being an ass.” He chuckled. “For that, I’m really sorry.” He walked closer to her. “Jack didn’t want you to know about the farm because he knew you’d keep him here, give up your job in the city and take care of him.”

Raine nodded. “And that, he clearly didn’t want.” She would have done it. She would have done anything for Jack Willows.

Luke leaned against the counter. “He loved you, Raine. More than anything. He knew you loved him and would have taken care of him.”

Raine stood quiet for a moment. She knew Luke was right. She was as stubborn as her grandfather. “But why didn’t he mention you were here? Why are you here, Luke?”

Luke took a deep breath. “Jack is”—he corrected himself—“was a great man. After my father passed, I came back to save the farm, but my dad had let it go along with himself. Jack heard about it and asked if I’d do him a favor.” Luke smiled at Raine.“Who wouldn’t do a favor for Jack Willows?”

Raine nodded in agreement and Luke continued with the reason he’d been there. “Jack wanted to leave the farm to you, Raine; but he didn’t want you to turn down the offer at the hospital to care for him. He told me he always wanted you to find your own way in life.” Luke paused with a smile, “But he also said the farm was a big part of you, and when the day came, you’d know what to do.”

Luke turned and opened a drawer. He pulled out two envelopes. One he opened and showed it to Raine. A letter in her grandfather’s handwriting, dated almost two years ago. It was an agreement signed by him and it reiterated what Luke had just told her. Raine looked at Luke and then pointed to the other envelope in his hand. “What’s that?”

Luke moved closer and handed her the envelope. “Jack wanted me to give this to you after his death.”

Raine felt the moisture build in her eyes. With trembling fingers, she took it from Luke’s hand. She stood for a moment in silence. She didn’t know if she could read the last words from her grandfather.

Luke pulled a chair out from the table and motioned for Raine to take a seat. “I’ll give you some time to read that in private.”

Raine smiled. “Thank you.”  She appreciated the respect he offered while she read her grandfather’s letter. He nodded and placed the letter opener on the table and made his way up the back staircase.

Raine reached for the opener and let it slide across the sealed letter. Slowly, she opened the neatly folder paper to find her grandfather’s writing. As she read the words he’d left her with, a solemn tear fell down her cheek. The lump in her throat gave her the sensation it would not be a single tear, but she fought hard against the urge to cry. She needed to relax her tangled thoughts to read his words to her.

Intense! Can’t wait to find out what happens next. 😀

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/b6kq6p

Publisher link:  http://bookstogonow.com/books/the-letter-left/

Add it to Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46643279-the-letter-left

What are people saying about The Letter Left?

 

 

What a beautiful second chance romance, a story with mixed emotions of memories, loss, and new beginnings. It is a story of dreams, healing, and renewed sweet romance. The story is a sweet, clean, heartfelt romance with a great cast of characters and interaction. It is the first of several in this new series, The Healing Hearts Ranch. ‘One day at a time.’” – Redrabbit, Amazon

Family love. Separation. Death. Patience. Dreams. This story has everything, absolutely loved it. Sweet, thoughtful and also a tear jerker. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!” – Melissa, Amazon

I REALLY LOVE THE LETTER LEFT. IT IS A VERY EMOTIONAL AND POWERFUL READ WHICH WILL MAKE YOU CRY AND LAUGH. THIS IS A WELL WRITTEN STORY WITH CHARACTERS THAT FELT VERY REAL IN EXPRESSING THEIR EMOTIONS AND GRIEF. THE STORYLINE IS VERY BELIEVABLE AND SO ARE ALL THE CHARACTERS. I THINK THIS IS SOME OF ANGELA FORD’S BEST WRITING. I ENJOYed THE STORY OF HORSES HELPING PEOPLE HEAL I THINK ALL ANIMALS CAN BRING COMFORT TO PEOPLE WHEN THEY NEED IT. THE LETTER LEFT IS A MUST READ. AUTHOR ANGELA FORD NEVER DISAPPOINTS WITH HER WRITING AND STORIES. SHE IS A MUST READ AUTHOR AND IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES.” – Victoria Zumbrum, Amazon

Looks fantastic! 😉

Let’s switch to the sequel…

Title: Harvest Homecoming (book two of The Healing Hearts Ranch)

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western, New Adult, Sweet Romance, Family Saga

Publication date: September 29, 2019

Here is the blurb:

An empowering story centered around family, horses, love and loss, friendship and betrayal, and finding your way from the wise words left to you. The wholesome family saga continues on a ranch in the Montana mountains in the small town of Crystal Creek.

The lazy-hazy days of summer give way to shorter days and endless views of vibrant colors during the town’s harvest festivities. Crystal Creek High kicks off the season’s opening game while seniors, Cassidy and Kaitlyn prepare for the horse show, a cheating boyfriend, and saddle up for a promposal to the homecoming dance.

Love is in the air as the festivities begin. Equine therapist, Dr. Pam Whitfield, arrives at the ranch on the day of Raine and Luke’s engagement party and meets a local farmer in attendance. Jackson Knox makes an impact and she remembers his name like its been engraved on her heart. With the first guests arriving shortly after the festivities, Trainer Kelly Brannan must deal with a past romantic issue which may affect the opening of the Healing Hearts Ranch and her job.

Angela is giving us a peek at this story as well…

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/mKxqgB

Publisher link:  http://bookstogonow.com/books/harvest-homecoming/

Add it to Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48152900-harvest-a-homecoming

What are people saying about Harvest Homecoming?

 

 

“Crystal Creek felt like home. The Healing Hearts Ranch book series are sweet, wholesome stories that could be read by teenagers as well as adults. The story is a sweet, clean, heartfelt romance with a great cast of characters and interaction. They are full of real-life emotions, young love, new beginnings, old friends, town traditions, and friendships. While this is a saga, the story is well-written and could be read as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend that you read the first book, The Letter Left, that sets up this series.” – Redrabbit, Amazon

“Sweet, clean and delightful! I really enjoyed Angela Ford’s Harvest Homecoming, her second story in ‘The Healing Hearts Ranch’ series. We get to meet new characters that are charming and lovable. It’s a captivating story focused around family, horses, hope and second chance. It’s also sweet, clean and refreshing! If you love horses, you will easily connect with this new series!” – Nicole Laverdure, Amazon

This was a cute fall read that continues from one of this author’s other books. It has a homey, family feel to it and brings all the loves of fall together!” – Cara C., Amazon

Wow, love these book covers!

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this sweet, new adult modern western romance series, with an occasional YA twist! ♥♥♥

Healing Hearts Ranch – An empowering series centered around family, horses, love and loss, friendship and betrayal, and finding your way from the wise words left.

About Angela Ford

Angela resides in Nova Scotia – Canada’s Ocean Playground. Inspired by sunsets, the ocean, her family, and books! She is never without a book, whether she’s reading or writing. Angela is a bestselling and award-winning author who has been in the Amazon top fifty, Readers’ Choice Awards and ScreenCraft. She has over 50 published works in paperback, eBook, audiobook, and foreign translation. An Award of Distinction sparked the idea for her first book Closure, which hit Bestselling Action & Adventure, Women’s fiction. In between mysteries, Angela writes short contemporary romance. She loves to connect with her readers!

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the fascinating Angela Ford, here are some author links…

 

Once again, I want to thank Angela Ford, the brilliant author of this new adult, sweet contemporary western romance series, with the backdrop of a family saga, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! Readers, check out her work! ♥

 

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Exclusive Interview with author Maggie Blackbird, plus a look at multicultural romance, SANCTIFIED!

Hi, readers! I am pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. We’re doing something a little different. This is our eighteenth official author interview on this romance blog! I know in the past, we did character interviews then switched over to the author’s take on it, but this approach is a bit unusual.

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with a talented author. Please join me in welcoming Maggie Blackbird to ILRB! 😀

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

Author Maggie Blackbird:  Hi, Marie!

Marie:  Hey, such a pleasure to have you here again!

I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.

Obviously, we know your occupation as an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?

I know I’m overloading you with questions, but we’re really interested in finding out more about you…

Maggie:  I am a full-time author. I write contemporary and historical romance about Canada’s Indigenous People. I sure hope I’m good at it! (Laughs.) And yes, I very much enjoy what I’m doing.

Great! 😀

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Maggie:  My family is hubby and two Alaskan Malamutes aka our fur babies. We live a quiet life out in the country. Hubby and I are both from the rez, but we love where we live, although most of our families still live on the reservation.

Marie:  Wonderful! I have fur babies too. 😉

Let’s try something else, okay?

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

Maggie:  My childhood home was a typical rez house. Box-shaped. Three bedrooms. An oil stove. All the houses from this era look the same because that’s how Indian Reserves built homes. I won’t get into the “why” of it because I’d have to give a lengthy explanation on how housing works on-reserve and its challenges. But I can tell you the hero Jude talks about it in Sanctified, book three in the Matawapit Family Series.

Marie:  Okay.

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

Maggie:  I enjoy walking, exercising, golfing, fishing, and boating. As of late, I haven’t done much golfing, fishing, or boating because of my new job.

Marie:  True. Being an author often keeps us busy…

And what is your greatest dream?

Maggie:  To leave this earth, knowing that I tried my best to make this world a better place. Corny?  Yes. But it’s what I strive for.

Marie:  Nice! Sounds like a plan. 🙂

Let’s try another question.

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

Maggie:  The kind of person who makes people walk away feeling better about themselves after they’ve talked to me. There is nothing stopping me. Many times I pull it off, and other times I fail.

Marie:  All right.

So…who was your first love?

Maggie:  You’re asking me to reach waaaay back. He was a local boy from the rez. A very nice boy. I think he’s living in one of the prairie provinces now.

Marie:  Aww! ♥

With the next question, I hope I’m not prying too much, but we are curious…

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

Maggie:  Losing my niece.

Marie:  Oh, no! I’m so sorry. 😥

Let’s move on to another topic, shall we?

[Maggie nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Maggie:  My dream was to play music for a living. I have two right hands (am a leftie) when it comes to music. (Chuckles.) So instead of playing music, I appreciate it in every aspect of my life. I cannot function without music. I love love love it.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there! I think I’d be lost without music too. 😉

Well, let’s try something else.

Who is your role model, Maggie?

Maggie:  Mother Theresa.

Marie:  All right.

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Maggie:  It’s looking at it from another perspective. There are people out there who probably dislike me and put on a show to pretend they like me. So yes, there are a few people I do dislike, but tolerance and patience are a must. The earth doesn’t revolve around me, I revolve around the earth, so it’s all about how I handle those who aren’t on my favorite list. (Laughs.) It’s a matter of trying to do my best to show them kindness, tolerance, and patience.

Marie:  What an incredibly inspiring outlook to have. How admirable! ♥

Let’s do something different now.

What is your deepest desire?

Maggie:  Burnt popcorn? (Giggles.) What can I say? I love popcorn.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Why not? 😉

And what is your greatest fear?

Maggie:  My fears aren’t what they used to be. As I get older, they’ve lessened. I do sleep with the light off now, but the dark was a biggie for me to conquer. I can’t say that I’m totally over that fear, either.

Marie:  It is odd sometimes to be in the dark, especially when things around you don’t sound quite right…it can freak you out! 😕

Let’s switch gears for a second.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, what five essentials would you need with you? They don’t have to be practical.

Maggie:  Essentials. Hmm. My dogs. My husband. Water. Food. And dog food.

Marie:  😀

Okay, readers, let’s get the author’s perspective on one of her characters.

We’ve heard rumors about the hero of your story, Jude Matawapit. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?

Maggie:  Jude is thirty-eight. Freshly divorced. A father of two children. And the new principal at the school in Ottertail Lake, his home reserve where his parents and younger brother reside. He’s starting over by taking on a new job and new community since he resided in Thunder Bay his whole life.

Marie:  And what are Jude’s greatest strengths?

Maggie:  Jude is a natural leader. He doesn’t panic, and steps in to take charge if everything goes pear-shaped. He’s not a quitter, but a fighter.

Marie:  Cool! 😉

Any weaknesses of which we should be aware?

Maggie:  Jude is on the bull-headed side, he can be a little too controlling, and he isn’t the greatest of listeners. He could try be a bit more sympathetic to the plight of others.

Marie:  (Nods.) Okay.

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are Jude’s favorite foods?

Maggie:  Jude enjoys prime rib (rare), a stuffed baked potato, and a side of greens. He’s a meat, potatoes, and veggie sort of guy.

Marie:  Gotcha!

How about another question?

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

Maggie:  That he can show sympathy, even empathy. It’s a matter of the right person showing him what lies hidden, such as Raven, his leading lady in the novel.

Marie:  Great!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Maggie:  I think they’ll like Jude. My crit partner really liked him. He called Jude “a really great guy.”  I think they’ll like what a great father he is, how he tried to be a good husband in his doomed marriage, and the understanding he shows Raven when they begin dating. How he doesn’t judge Raven even though her past is very shady, and respects her recovery from drug addiction.

Marie:  Sounds like quite a guy! 😀

Now that we have a real taste of Jude, we have a few questions for you as well as the author, about the writing process of your book.

What first gave you the idea for Sanctified?

Maggie:  It’s part of a series. Jude’s the eldest, followed by Bridget, and then Emery. Sanctified is the third book. Blessed, Emery’s book, started as a short story and expanded into a full novel. Jude makes an appearance in Blessed, and I wanted to expand on his character. He was living a great life:  six-figure job with a great pension and room for promotion, a stunning wife who also has a great job, two beautiful children, active in his community, lots of volunteer work, his dream home. I wanted everything to fall apart for him and see how he’d handle it.

Marie:  Looks like you have a good sense of the series!

It’s fascinating how the muse works, huh? 😀

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like, Maggie? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Maggie:  I’m a planster — (laughs) — part panster and part plotter. When I start a story, I always have a logline and blurb. I also know my beginning, middle, and ending, but I don’t outline it. I let the characters lead the story while I’m fast-drafting.

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

Maggie:  I had no problems getting Sanctified published because I already published two books in the series with eXtasy Books. I just finished the fourth book in the series and subbed it to them on Friday, September 13, 2019. And at the time I’m typing this post (Sept. 17th,, by the way), I’m drafting two short stories for eXtasy Books’ Christmas and American Thanksgiving call-outs.

As for doing something different with the series, I’m famous for saying, “It is what it is.”  But I do think I’d try to get at least the first draft for each story done before tackling self-edits. There was a big lag between Blessed’s release (July 2018) and the second book in the series Redeemed (April 2019). I wouldn’t want the releases to be that far apart again.

Marie:  Sounds like a plan! 😀

(Laughs.) We are twins, I swear. My fiance gets annoyed every time I say, “It is what it is.” He thinks I’m such a stoic.

It was a total pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Sanctified appears to be… ♥

Let’s learn more about the book.

Title: Sanctified (book three of Matawapit Family Series)

Genre: Multicultural Romance

Publication date: September 27, 2019

Here is the blurb:

In the midst of a battle for leadership at their Ojibway community, two enemies of opposing families fall in love…​

After suffering a humiliating divorce, infuriated Catholic Jude Matawapit bolts to his family’s Ojibway community to begin a new job — but finds himself thrown into a battle for chief as his brother-in-law’s campaign manager. The radical Kabatay clan, with their extreme ideas about traditional Ojibway life, will stop at nothing to claim the leadership position and rid the reserve of Western culture and its religion once and for all, which threatens not only the non-traditional people of the community, but Jude’s chance at a brand-new life he’s creating for his children.

Recovering addict Raven Kabatay will do anything to win the respect and trust of her older siblings and mother after falling deep into drug addiction that brought shame and anger to her family. Not only does she have the opportunity to redeem herself by becoming her brother’s campaign manager for chief — if he wins, she’ll have the reserve’s backing to purchase the gold-mine diner where she works, finally making something of herself. But falling in love with the family’s sworn enemy — the deacon’s eldest son, Jude — will not just betray the Kabatay clan. It could destroy everything Raven believes in and has worked so hard for.

Maggie is giving us a peek at the story…

Frost nipped at Raven’s exposed skin, the kind of frost that burned. At least there wasn’t a wind chill, or minus thirty-seven would become minus forty-seven. She scurried from her sister’s truck she’d parked, dashed up the shoveled walkway, and into the school.

All was quiet, classes for the kids having finished for the day. The scent of pine cleaner permeated the squeaky-clean hallway. She hurried to the adult education classroom. Since her vehicle was the lone truck in the lot, she might be the only one here. Even the new principal wasn’t present, unless he’d foolishly walked over.

She entered the classroom to Jude Matawapit sitting at the teacher’s desk, hunched over, writing on some paper.

“I was beginning to wonder if any of my students would arrive.” His strong fingers gripped a pen. His jet-black hair with blue undertones was slicked off his face and tapered to a short-trimmed back. Dark irises richer than a moonless night, so dark his lashes gave the illusion of a generous coating of mascara and liner-rimmed eyes, stared at her.

Not gawked, not ogled, not leered like every other guy did. He simply stared. His plump lips didn’t form into a flirty smile, either.

Jude stood. A white dress shirt hugged his pumped biceps and shoulders that formed into the size of baseballs. A black belt wrapped his ultra-slim waist. And a gold clip kept his line-striped burgundy tie secure. “Have a seat. It looks to be you and me tonight.”

Raven inched up the aisle. Her boldness remained at the door, where she’d probably dropped her tongue. She clutched her books and sat at the desk directly in front of him.

“I’ve been reviewing your file.” He closed the folder, and just like Deacon Matawapit, crossed his strong arms. They even shared the same rich baritone — direct and full of authority. “You were an A-plus student, but as of late you haven’t been handing in assignments. Once you get behind, it’s difficult to catch up. I’ve seen this happen too many times during my years educating others. When a student falls behind, most give up.”

A flame of annoyance flickered in Raven’s stomach. Never mind Jude Matawapit’s handsome white teeth, flawless red-toned brown skin, or run-her-nails-along-his-muscles build. Who was he to talk down to her like a kid? He was worse than her siblings and Mom.

Raven stared up at the white stucco ceiling. “I’ve been extremely busy. Not all of us make big money and do what we please. I’ve been pulling extra shifts at the diner.”

“Did you review your last three assignments, then?” Jude stuck the end of the pen into his mouth.

There was something about the way his red lips and white teeth nibbled on the cap. And she hadn’t witnessed a man in his late thirties gnawing on one like a hungry beaver.

Jude popped the pen cap between his rich lips, as if sucking on a lollipop, and released it. When he rounded the desk, his thick fingers glided across the top. He stopped in the middle, the fingers of his left hand still lingering on the desk’s surface. He rested his buttocks against the edge while crossing his sturdy thighs.

His stance, a get-down-to-business sort of manner, should have intimidated Raven but failed. His brows-bunched-together stare and drawn-in cheeks seemed to coax her to lean in closer and rest her elbow on top of her own desk. She set her chin on her knuckles. “I’m completing them here tonight.”

“Do you have any questions?”

She shook her head, still holding his stare. “I guess I should get comfy, huh?”

“Comfy?”

“Remove my toque and coat.” She sat back, hands brushing the edge of her desk and arms spread wide.

****

Jude shouldn’t care if Raven was about to undress. He’d seen many students remove their outerwear in class. But the down parka on Raven didn’t swallow her ballerina-lithe body like a garbage bag. The coat was the fashionable snug style, silhouetting her supple form. Long strands of black hair lay against her sharper-than-razors cheekbones.

Her perfectly applied winged eyeliner gave her slanted black eyes a mysterious cat-shape appeal. Rich burgundy lipstick, matching the shade of his tie, plumped her lips to a sensual pout, or maybe her mouth naturally retained a pucker. As she stood to drape the parka over the chair, she gave him a nice view of the skinny jeans painted on her slender thighs and gently rounded butt.

She whipped her head around, peeking at him through the fringe of her super-long lashes.

Heat climbed onto Jude’s face. He shoved the pen back into his mouth and chewed on the cap. Adult or not, she was a student — his student. Maintaining a professional distance was a must.

Raven’s moist-looking mouth tugged at the corners. A hint of triumph flashed in her eyes. Well, well, she’d stolen a look purposely, expecting him to check her out. A hot coal flared in Jude’s chest. He rounded his desk, making sure to move slowly, heels clicking one after the other on the floor. She’d get the hint he meant business.

“Why don’t you catch up on your lessons? There’s no point in reviewing the next one until you’ve finished those.” He used his pen to point in her direction. Traditionalist or not, she could suck up his supposed rudeness. In his world, pointing told another a man wasn’t screwing around or willing to play games.

Raven sat. She flipped open her textbook and binder.

“Which lesson are you working on?”

“History. A pity. We are the First People, but it’s all about…those who sailed over here.” Her husky voice, deeper than most women’s, with a light scratch to the tone, was sensual nails grazing Jude’s skin.

He gripped and re-gripped the pen. “At my former school, we were building the curriculum into the current courses.”

“Did you teach high school or elementary? You taught for the Catholic Board of Education, didn’t you?”

“Elementary.”

“I see.” Raven lowered her head. Her black hair veiled her face. Not narrow, like Clayton’s hawkish looks. The hollowed cheeks, delicate long nose, and tapering chin complemented Raven’s smoky eyes and wide mouth. A traditional diamond-shaped face, like the Indigenous people of the old days.

No wonder she’d stolen a glimpse at Jude when she’d removed her parka. Raven was probably used to men gawking at her wherever she went. If the fashion designers ever took a chance on hiring Indigenous women to model, they’d be scrambling to photograph Raven.

Why was he still thinking about her anyway? This was ridiculous.

Jude plopped in the chair. If she didn’t require assistance on her lessons, she should’ve finished her assignments at home. All Raven had done was make him stay late.

Ooh…love the tension! Can’t wait to find out what happens next. 😀

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/4AxXYo

Publisher link:  https://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-2663-7-sanctified/

Add it to Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48160324-sanctified

What are people saying about Sanctified?

 

 

Familial & Communal Drama At Its Finest… Chocked with intense, multilayered plot lines, entrenching enough to hook any reader. From spirituality to taboo relationships, substance abuse to criminal activity, these books detail the raw realities of those living in the Ojibway community. In SANCTIFIED, the third installment of the series, Maggie does not disappoint as she masterfully creates yet another character’s struggle to earn familial redemption, career success, and most importantly, love. Raven Kabaray, the book’s female protagonist, once succumbed to a debilitating drug addiction. Now that she’s recovered, she wants nothing more than to earn back the trust and respect of her family.

Matters grow complicated, however, when Raven unwittingly falls in love with Jude Matawapit, whose family’s Westernized beliefs completely clash with the strict, traditional ideals of the Kabaray family. As these two entities fight for communal leadership in the midst of their opposing political views, a relationship between Raven and Jude (who’s dealing with his own fair share of personal issues and struggles) would be deemed highly forbidden. And therein lies Raven’s dilemma; give up genuine love for the sake of her family and career, give up those things for the sake of love, or figure out a way to find common ground amongst both families in order to have it all…

SANCTIFIED is an emotional, fulfilling, well-rounded saga built on unforgettable characters whose complicated circumstances will leave readers riveted as they discover the life-altering outcomes/consequences each character faces.” – Denise W., Amazon and Goodreads

Wow! We’ll be sure to get a copy of this multicultural romance! ♥♥♥

About Maggie Blackbird

An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes.  When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the fascinating Maggie Blackbird, here are some author links…

 

Once again, I want to thank Maggie Blackbird, the brilliant author of this multicultural romance, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! Readers, check out her work! ♥

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book News, Books, characters, Contemporary, Event, Faith, family, feature, Multicultural/Interracial, new release, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

14 Memorable Fourth of July Date Ideas

Charles has some great holiday date ideas for you! ♥♥♥

phicklephilly

It’s that time of the year again.

For many of us, the Fourth of July is just another holiday to party hard, sleep in or lounge around at home.

But this time around, it’s time you do some something different with your loved one.

This independence day, indulge in a few activities that are fun and yet, patriotic!

14 Fourth of July date ideas

Do you remember the happy Independence Day celebrations you loved so much when you were a child?

What’s stopping you from doing that, now that you’re all grown up?

Instead of just waiting for the fireworks to light up the sky at night, go on out there and enjoy the day.

Here are 14 great ways to make your Independence Day date memorable, fun and oh-so-perfect!

#1 Raise a flag. This is something you can do first thing in the morning!

Plan ahead the earlier night…

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Filed under Blogging, Dating Tips, Event, family, Holiday, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Singles, Traditions

New Release Feature: Redeemed by author Maggie Blackbird

•..•Redeemed by Maggie Blackbird•..•

There’s nothing he isn’t willing to do to win back his son–and Bridget…

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Maggie, a talented author I met during my journey! Her new erotic multicultural romance novel, Redeemed, book two of the The Matawapit Family Series, officially released a few days ago!

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

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

Maggie is giving us a look at her steamy multicultural romance, Redeemed, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Redeemed:

A single woman battles to keep her foster child from his newly-paroled father—a dangerous man she used to love.

Bridget Matawapit is an Indigenous activist, daughter of a Catholic deacon, and foster mother to Kyle, the son of an Ojibway father—the ex-fiancé she kicked to the curb after he chose alcohol over her love. With Adam out on parole and back in Thunder Bay, she is determined to stop him from obtaining custody of Kyle.

Adam Guimond is a recovering alcoholic and ex-gang banger newly-paroled. Through counseling, reconnecting with his Ojibway culture and twelve-step meetings while in prison, Adam now understands he’s worthy of the love that frightened him enough to pick up the bottle he’d previously corked. He can’t escape the damage he caused so many others, but he longs to rise like a true warrior in the pursuit of forgiveness and a second chance. There’s nothing he isn’t willing to do to win back his son–and Bridget.

When an old cell mate’s daughter dies under mysterious circumstances in foster care, Adam begs Bridget to help him uncover the truth. Bound to the plight of the Indigenous children in care, Bridget agrees. But putting herself in contact with Adam threatens to resurrect her long-buried feelings for him, and even worse, she risks losing care of Kyle, by falling for a man who might destroy her faith in love completely this time.

Here is an excerpt to entice you with!

Adam took another drag. “I’m talking now, ain’t I?”

“True.” The heat in his gaze seemed to touch Bridget’s cheek. She rubbed the purse strap.

“I don’t got nothing to hide. ’Kay?”

“You were hiding something last time?”

“Nope. But I know my not speaking pissed you off.”

“There’s no reason to bring up the past. I told you I’d help and that’s what I’m doing.”

“Yeah, you agreed to help…” His gaze roamed around her face.

Bridget recoiled and glanced away.

“Y’know, kwe, we’re doing a lot of dancing.”

“Dancing?”

“Lookit me.”

She forced herself to raised her head.

His dark eyes smoldered. He leaned forward. His hand stretched out, and he ran his strong fingers along her braid.

Sensuous heat and angry lightning erupted under Bridget’s skin. “Don’t you dare.” The words hissed from her mouth.

“What’re you afraid of, kwe?”

“Quit calling me that.” The order snapped from deep inside Bridget’s constricting chest. “You have no right calling me by that name. Not after what you did.” She stood and yanked her purse off the bench.

He tilted his head up, his jawline tightening. “I know what I did, kwe. You remind me all the time.”

“I do no such thing.” How dare Adam turn this around as her fault.

“Yeah, you do. It’s in your eyes. They hang me like a noose. It’s in your lips. They condemn me like a villain. It’s in your voice. You slap me with your tone.”

“What’d you expect after what you did?” she huffed out. “You were charged with aggravated assault. The judge had every right to throw the book at you.”

“I know what I did, kwe.” Adam’s voice remained flat. “I live with it every day. I don’t take the easy way out and blame it on the booze.”

“You were skidding around for months. I can only imagine what else you did.” And no, she wasn’t jealous.

“I drank. I drank some more. I did something really bad to another human being. Got arrested. Sat in remand until my trial. I won’t say he deserved it. I won’t say anything. I did it. I went to prison for it.”

“And did you only drink?” She silently cuffed her rear end for continuing to poke at the damned same question.

Adam’s thick lips tugged at the corner. “If you mean was I out screwing around? Nope. You’re the only woman for me, kwe.”

Delight exploded through Bridget’s veins. Then she clamped a lock on her heart. Only a moron bought his answer. He’d been drunk for four months in Winnipeg. He must have picked up some woman in a bar.

“I was hurting bad.” His voice sagged. “You think I was happy when you told me to fuck off? You killed me, woman.”

The sharp tone of his last statement was pure insult, an affront to the feminine strength that had dragged Bridget up from the depths of Hell where Adam had stuck her. “If you want to continue speaking, tell Dirty Harry to leave. I only deal with Mr. Darcy.”

Adam stood and set his enormous hands on his hips. “Mr. Who—? Look, I’ll tell Dirty Harry to take a hike if you call off Sarah Conner. I’m not the Terminator sent back in time to harm you.”

At his full height, Adam towered over Bridget, made her five-nine stance shrink to a doll. He’d reduced her to a doll, helpless in the possession of his hands, made to dance, talk, or walk under his orders.

Heat built in her lungs. She was too independent to draw back and scuttle away. No man provoked fear in her. The worst part was, she didn’t fear Adam’s physical presence, she feared the thick, steamy aroma of testosterone he forever used to challenge her, weaken her, seduce her. The masculine aroma dripped from the pits of his arms, his thick chest, and the bulge of his biceps.

“Out of my thirty-eight years, I fucked up thirty-seven of ’em. I ain’t fucking up again.”

“Thirty-seven?” His scent kept assaulting Bridget’s knees, swirling around her, until she wobbled.

“Yeah. Thirty-seven. I can’t count the year the three of us were a family. Me. You. Kyle.”

Bridget’s resolve continued to crumble. Adam kept dusting her femininity with his husky declarations, fierce scent, and sensual stare.

She pivoted on her heel and bolted for the truck. She’d dump him off at the halfway house and go home. If he wanted to tease and torment her during their drive, he could, but she’d don her mask of hate-fueled resentment created by him.

She pushed the button on the keys, and the locked doors opened.

Purchase Links:

Publisher link:  https://www.extasybooks.com/product/product/?series_id=1534&product_id=6400

Publisher: EXtasy Books

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

Thank you for telling us about your new book! It sounds fabulous! 🙂

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

Author Bio

An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes.  When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

Author Links

Website:  https://maggieblackbird.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BlackbirdMaggie/

Amazon author page:  https://www.amazon.com/Maggie-Blackbird/e/B07KQP1FFG

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18176196.Maggie_Blackbird

LinkedIn:  https://bit.ly/2Ut8kbY

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/maggie-blackbird

Publisher:  https://www.extasybooks.com/maggie-blackbird/

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book News, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Event, Faith, family, Fiction, inspirational romance, Multicultural/Interracial, Readers, Romance, Writing

Addressing Anxiety During Tough Times with the Help of Talkspace: a guest post by Talkspace

Addressing Anxiety During Tough Times with the Help of Talkspace

 

Are you in a relationship? Do you find yourself becoming overwhelmed with anxiousness when you and your significant other run into a disagreement?

Created by Bearfotos – Freepik.com

You are not alone. Arguing with a loved one tends to bring on much more stress than usual because of how emotionally attached you are to that person. You care what they think above most because their choices can affect your life immensely and vice versa.

Created by Yanalya – Freepik.com

Anxiety may prove overwhelming. The heightened level of panic and nervousness anxiety induces can cause everything from poor concentration, irritability, labored breathing, to chest pains. The over anxiousness associated with anxiety might increase significantly during tough times. That’s somewhat understandable and expected. Anxiety shares a connection with feelings of wanting to something troubling to be over with. Anxiety sufferers definitely want to get tough, strenuous times past them as quickly as possible. Things don’t always move fast so they may seek help for their anxiety. Anxiety sufferers may find it valuable to explore several ways to cut down on both stress and an anxious state of mind.

One way to deal with a tough situation involves determining how long the situation could feasibly last. Not every bad situation goes on forever. Understanding that the bad times may soon pass could ease tensions about the situation. Granted, certain tough scenarios could very well last a long time or be permanent. While difficult to accept, such facts shouldn’t deter someone from trying to see the positive side of any difficult or trying time in life.

Created by Freepik

An acceptance of the difficulty of the situation might also help matters. This is not a suggestion to embrace feelings of helplessness. Rather, take acceptance in the fact that certain things just might be far outside of your control. By understanding the reality of the situation, more effective steps could be employed to deal with the times.

TalkSpace shows that many more steps likely exist than you realize. TalkSpace affords the opportunity to contact a therapist by way of smartphone texting. People use their smartphones for all sorts of different purposes. The devices open many doors for expanded communications. Through TalkSpace, those communications now include working with a therapist. Proactive steps such as contacting a therapist may help remove feelings of helplessness and restore some control.

Taking action remains important, but another point must be made here. What you don’t do is equally as important as what you should do. In particular, avoiding anything capable of heightening feelings of anxiety probably would be a good idea. For example, the next time you find yourself in a heated conversation with your significant other, take a moment to draw large, deep breaths, compose your thoughts and explain to your partner in a calm manner.

Created by Jcomp – Freepik.com

Created by Bearfotos – Freepik.com

Dwelling on a difficult situation won’t exactly assist the process of calming down. Poor dietary choices don’t help matters either. Reaching for highly-caffeinated beverages my drive anxiety levels up due to a stimulation effect. People don’t always realize caffeine can heighten anxiety, which is why they may not curtail the use of it. Problems sometimes follow.

Andrew Neel, Unsplash

Anxiety makes life difficult at times. Anxiety sufferers can take solace in the fact that ways to address anxiety exist. These ways include both self-help strategies and seeking the assistance of others.

Nice! These are some helpful tips for anyone whose anxiety is starting to disrupt their relationship. Who hasn’t experienced stress that just got too overwhelming, especially nowadays when we are pulled in so many different directions?

Thank you, Talkspace, for such great advice! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

With Talkspace online therapy, anyone can get therapy without traveling to an office – and for significantly less money than traditional therapy. Start therapy now with a licensed therapist that understands how you live your life today.

Links

Website:  http://www.talkspace.com/

Blog:  http://www.talkspace.com/blog/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/talkspace

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

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/company/talkspace-online-therapy

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

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

 

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

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

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Filed under Anxiety, Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, family, Hope, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Singles, stress

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Dating A Single Parent: a guest post by Dating Connections

5 Things Everyone Should Know About Dating A Single Parent

 

Dating nowadays is undoubtedly not a walk in the park, yet dating a single parent introduces a whole new level of hard. Now, we don’t want to imply that it isn’t a worthy and rewarding experience, because it is; it’s just that it requires far more attention, dedication, and empathy.

Namely, there are a quite a few things you should be aware of should you start dating a single parent. As you already assume, it’s entirely different compared to other sorts of dating, such as senior dating for example.

Created by Asierromero – Freepik.com

 

So, what are in our opinion the top five things you should be concerned about when dating a single mom or dad, you ask? Just read the following paragraphs, and you’ll get the idea.

#1 Being A Single Parent is Overwhelming, So Good Date-Planning skills Are A Must.

Single parents usually, but not necessarily, assume the role of both parents. What you should do now is take a moment to picture how often an average individual takes for granted the help they get from the spouse. Or how easily he/she complains about not getting enough sleep or help around the house, often forgetting about the challenges imposed on single parents.

So, in the context of dating and translated to real life, this is how an average single parent usually thinks:

  • It’s the end of the day, and they are finally available for you, so they want to have a fulfilling and meaningful date that will recharge their batteries.

    Created by Freepik

  • They’re looking forward to it and might have a bit higher expectations because they know it can help them get energized appropriately for the following day, with all its challenges and small setbacks that might arise along the way.

We believe that this example perfectly illustrates the possible pattern of a single parent’s way of thinking while teaching us to be creative and caring when organizing dates at the same time.

#2 They Have to Plan Ahead.

Yes, they have to hire a babysitter and make plans far more in advance in order to enjoy their alone/date time. Childless people usually can’t grasp how it’s like because they haven’t walked in a single parent’s shoes.

Free Photos, Pixabay

On the other hand, you should be aware you’re not entitled to plan your partner’s schedule on their behalf whatsoever since it can cause issues, misunderstandings, and other additional problems.

No, no one is blaming you for wanting to head out for a romantic getaway with your partner, but you should understand that this isn’t always possible because their kid might have flu, or the babysitter might have canceled on short notice, just to mention a few possible reasons.

In this light, you’ll often need to be ready to come up with some viable alternatives that will be equally pleasant and will sometimes include your partner’s kid/s.

#3 Say Bye-bye to Spontaneity.

Hitting clubs until wee hours and struggling with massive hangovers is apparently not an option for your partner anymore, regardless of their age.

Created by Freepik

They have to be fully functional the next day since children – especially if younger – require constant commitment and attention.

So, if you can make it work for both sides where you get to enjoy the nightlife without hurting your relationship – great! If not, perhaps it would be a good time to reconsider both your personal desires and mutual goals to determine whether you’re on the same page.

#4 Your Relationship will be Different…

…And there’s no point denying it. Caring profoundly about your partner doesn’t mean buying expensive gifts and taking them out to fancy dinners; it understands accepting them both as a parent and person you’re dating.

It can be confusing at times, we know, and no one expects you to be a parent to their children because they obviously proved they could live their life independently before you entered the scene.

Created by Freepik

Creating a genuine and unique bond with their kid, on the other hand, will reassure them that you’re a right partner for them.

Finally, kids can always tell if you’re a fake and won’t be afraid to express their opinion about it.

#5 They Will Sometimes Fail to Grasp Your Position.

Yes, they won’t do it on purpose, but you should always keep in mind that the person you’re dating will probably struggle to invest equally in their parental efforts, career, and house and that day only lasts 24 hours.

Sure, they might be getting occasional help from family or even an ex-spouse (if they separated on good terms, of course) but sometimes, it might just not be enough.

Created by Asierromero – Freepik.com

Consequently, this can lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety that might have a negative impact on your relationship. If this be the case, keep in mind that healthy and straightforward communication can be vital to solving this problem and is otherwise a basis of every stable relationship.

Are you dating a single parent at the moment? Have you done it in the past? We’d love to know all about it so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Created by Freepik

Nice! These are some helpful tips for anyone who has their eye on a single parent. You definitely need to take more into account with this type of relationship, because it’s not just the two of you in this…

Take it from me. I tried dating a single parent once.

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

Guest Blogger Bio

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

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BoyanUlv

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

 

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

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

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Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, family, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Singles

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.

Links

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!🙂

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

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Debbie White

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

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

When I was asked if I’d like to participate in Marie’s theme of what romance meant to me, I was hoping I could truly make it work with my schedule. After all, I am a romance writer. As I sat and contemplated with my hands positioned on the keyboard ready to type away, I realized that romance is more about the journey for me than an actual moment or incident. I’ll explain.

Just as in my romance books, the couple doesn’t start off being romantic. They build up to it.  They meet, they talk, they gather information that leads them to their next step in the romantic dance.

Romance, for me, is the same way. We just celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary. That’s a big deal, especially in today’s throw-away world. It hasn’t always been easy. Oh, heck no. We got married young and so financial worries were always front and center. Back then, romance was probably kissing and well…you know the other stuff young people do. Then we had a family and life got pretty busy. After taking care of babies all day, exhausted and often falling into bed with my clothes on, romance was the last thing on my mind. As the kids got older, we seemed to be even busier if that was possible. Often it was while lying in bed with our eyes shut, resting from the day’s work, that we’d snuggle and talk.

During those years, romance was probably more about celebrating anniversaries with a nice dinner out.

Then we fast forward to our soon to be retired years. We’re empty nesters now and have a few more pennies to our name. We still find time to be romantic – we have more free time, that’s for sure. But for me, romance is about remembering me with a thoughtful gesture or an unexpected bouquet of flowers or taking me out to dinner at the spur of the moment – no special day to celebrate, just celebrating each other. Or when he tries his hand at cooking dinner and even sets the table with candles and flowers, or when he surprises me with a thoughtful gift – just out of the blue. These are the romantic moments that make up our journey and what ultimately romance means to me.

And the two things we’ve done from the very beginning of our life together have been to start the day with a kiss and words of wishes for a great day, and end the day with a kiss and I love you. It’s worked for 42 years and no matter how angry, upset or tired we are, we always make sure we say and do this little ritual. Even at four in the morning when he’s leaving for his long commute to the city, he doesn’t leave the bedroom before kissing me and telling me he loves me. Sometimes my reply is a mumble, but I always let him hear those words from me before he starts his day.

Romance can be different things to different people, but for me, it’s the regular and mutual showing of appreciation and caring every day and not just on special days.

Very true! You made some great points there. Oh, and Happy Anniversary! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by with your heartwarming guest post, Debbie! Lovely to have you here! ♥
Guest Bio

Debbie currently lives in northern California where the jagged coast meets rolling hills dotted with vineyards. When she’s not writing the next best-selling romance novel, she’s spending time with her family, traveling, wine tasting and anything to do with the outdoors.

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

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

 

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

 

Thanks again, Debbie, for giving us your take on what romance itself has come to mean to you. Beautiful! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Lashanta Charles visits us on April 27th! Yay! 🙂

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great week, everyone!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Romance