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Top 10 Dating Tips for the Modern Woman: a guest post by author Kai Nicole

Top 10 Dating Tips for the Modern Woman

by Kai Nicole

 

Let’s face it, dating in this digital era is getting a bit crazy. We are in a cultural shift where women have a lot more money and freedom than they used to have, all while traditionalism is still desired by many. So, how are modern women to navigate the madness? Here are 10 tips to help the single women out there:

  1. Be Whole

Do not date with the expectation that there is someone else outside of you who will complete you. You are a complete person, and you should date like one.  If you don’t feel fully complete then dating should not be your priority. You should take the time to focus on yourself becoming whole and happy.

Happy women always have a better dating life.

  1. Be Open

One of the biggest reasons women are disappointed with their dating experiences is because they have so many expectations that cannot be met. In order to have better dating experiences, you have to be open. That means no expectations! Let the dates flow and enjoy the moment!

  1. Stop “Husband Shopping”

“If you are one of these women who is searching for a husband, you are not dating, you are shopping. You are looking for a guy who fits some requirements you have created in your mind – a fantasy. Stop doing that. If you want to date, you need to understand the reality. Dating is taking time to get to know someone. That’s it. You give your time and in turn a man gives his time to you so that you both get to know each other.” – Date Like A Woman

  1. Only accept dates from men who are genuinely interested in you

Clarisse Meyer, Unsplash

How can you tell that a man is genuinely interested? He will risk rejection. Ladies, if a man risks nothing, especially public rejection, he really isn’t that interested in you, period. You are just some woman to pass the time with. When a man is REALLY interested in you, he is going to make sure you know it even at the risk of being embarrassed. Because in his mind you are worth it. The men who risk something to ask you out, those are the men you should date. They are genuinely interested.

  1. Date In Your Circle

When it comes to dating, there are many types of circles/leagues. However, your dating experiences are best when you date within your leagues/circles. I talk about dating circles more in-depth in my book. If you want to know what circles you are in, you should take a look at your own life. Chances are you spend time with those who are most similar to you. The men who are most similar to the folks you hang around are the men who are in your circles.

Pixabay, pexels.com

Why are dating experiences with men in your circle better? Because you have more in common and will have more to share and talk about.

  1. Avoid online dating and dating men who only send you DMs

As I like to say, “shoot your shot in public so I know it’s real.” Men who only date online or shoot their shot in DMs lack either true interest in the woman or their ability to talk to women is lacking in some way. When a man is not genuinely interested in a woman, the dating experience is always subpar.

While online dating and DMs have made it easier for men to access women, especially men who are scared to speak to women in person, the increased access to women means there is a decreased chance of genuine interest. Of course, many people love to fight me on this point, stating that they either met their spouses online or know someone who has met a spouse online. Whenever this happens, I simply point out that the success rate for online dating is 5%. That means 95% (that’s ninety-five percent) of the time online dating does not work. On top of that, the online dating business is worth $2 billion dollars. Online dating sites make more money if they keep you single. So, if you are okay with that, then please, by all means, keep dating online.

  1. Be more than a pretty package

Matthew T Rader, Unsplash

Focus less on how you look and more on who you are as a person when you date. “You must be more than just a pretty face. If you aren’t interesting, men are not going to be interested in you. You must be more than just a ‘wrapping.’ You have to give your date more than just an appearance. You have to give your date something to get to know.”’ – Date Like A Woman

  1. Date more than one man at a time

If you are not in a relationship, you’re single. Act like it. DATE!

Huy Phan, Unsplash

 

Shanique Wright, Unsplash

  1. Learn to let go

If a date doesn’t go the way you want it to, don’t sweat it. Letting go and moving on when things aren’t “right” is one of the key components to a great dating life.

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

Remember, this is dating, not a relationship! If one guy isn’t for you, date a different one!

  1. Buy Date Like A Woman!

Get Date Like A Woman, the BEST dating guide for women, if you really want a better dating life!

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

 

Want to read more dating blogs? Check out DateLikeAWoman.com’s Blog. Be sure to also check out Kai’s personal blog at FlyMommy.net! And, don’t forget to buy the best dating book for women, Date Like A Woman!

Too right! Thank you, Kai, for giving us your impression of how to navigate dating in this modern age.

Well, readers, shall we take a look at the book on which her philosophy is based? Sounds like a plan!  😀

Great cover!  🙂

Here’s the blurb for Date Like a Woman:

Date Like A Woman (DLAW) is for the 21st century woman who is ready for a new narrative about dating, romance, sex and life!  DLAW helps women move from fear to freedom. It offers practical dating advice, teaching women to navigate through the often challenging and daunting dating world, while countering the sexist, stereotypical and, frankly, stupid “instructions” spewed at women by self-professed male “dating experts.”

DLAW puts the FUN back into dating while also providing no-nonsense guidance that empowers and encourages women who have grown weary, been disappointed, and are still holding on to outmoded and unrealistic expectations about their dating choices. DLAW reminds women of their worth, helping them understand that they do not need to fit some antiquated model of being “accepted” or “chosen” by men.

For women who are so ready to sever the cord – quickly, forcefully and permanently – that has kept them bound by dangerous dogma and silly, sexist “thought leaders,” DLAW offers fresh, funny advice for discovering themselves, deciding what they really want, and enjoying dating!

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/0692864350

Add it to Goodreads:   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36164605-date-like-a-woman

♥♥♥ Ooh…love it! This looks like such a helpful read! 

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

Author Bio

Published author, blogger and attorney Kai Nicole has emerged as an exciting and unique voice on dating and relationships. A graduate of Harvard University and Howard University School of Law, Kai’s professional experiences encompass diverse fields including legal, tech, and entertainment. She is a mother, world traveler, foodie, and lifestyle enthusiast.

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book News, Books, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, reflections, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Singles, Traditions, Writers, Writing

Love at First Sight: a guest post by author Holly Bargo

Love at First Sight

by Holly Bargo

 

Immortalized in movie scenes when our hero and heroine exchange that first glimpse from across a room, love at first sight occupies a permanent place within the romantic lexicon. Nowadays, though, it’s called “instalust” or “instalove.”

Ryan Jacobson, Unsplash

Apparently, that’s more accurate or realistic.

I think it’s derogatory.

What man or woman doesn’t want to feel that moment of instant attraction, that wondrous lightning strike of knowing that he or she is “the One”? That sizzling realization that you’ve just met your one true love can and should knock you off your feet.

Does it happen?

Mohamed Hassan, Pixabay

In fiction, it happens all the time. Consider that ubiquitous fairy tale, Cinderella. The prince gazes across a sea of hopeful ladies to see the glittering beauty of an unknown woman. He rises from his chair, wades through the crowd, and takes the unknown beauty by the hand. They dance all night until the clock strikes midnight and she flees. The next day he goes in search of the woman who captured his interest with just a glance and then took his heart prisoner over a single evening. And he doesn’t even know her name.

Paranormal romance, especially in shifter and vampire romances, capitalizes on love at first sight, using the practically instantaneous attraction and mating instinct possessed by many animals. Our hero (usually a shifter) recognizes his mate (usually a human) and then spends the rest of the story persuading her that he’s going to love her and take care of her forever.

Leandro De Carvalho, Pixabay

I think that most people crave that sort of obsessive devotion, which is why the “love at first sight” trope endures in popularity. However, it has its dark side, too. In Deerskin by Robin McKinley, our heroine’s parents have that sort of single-minded focus upon each other until the heroine’s mother fears the ravages of age and her father transfers his insane focus on his own daughter. The daughter grows up mostly ignored until that creepy and awful transference of obsessive love: her parents cannot focus on anyone but each other. They have no love to spare for their own child.

The ideal of it … ah, doesn’t that make you shiver with the longing to have someone whom you love forsake all others to dedicate himself or herself to your happiness? The trope generally builds upon a man’s instinct to possess and protect, taking those instincts to psychotic levels. The trope generally demands obedience from the submissive in the relationship—usually the female. He takes care, she is cared for—until the tables are turned and she ministers to him.

Andre Furtado, pexels.com

Love at first sight hearkens to the ideal of mutual care, mutual benefit, mutual pleasure, mutual support. It takes the concept of a utopian community and applies it to the two-person community of a romance or the slightly larger group of a polyamorous relationship. It takes that idealized, interdependent caring and support and adds sexual attraction.

I love love at first sight. It’s a wonderful catalyst to jump-start a character-driven romance. It complies with my no-cheating requirement in romance and ensures commitment even when intimacy occurs before the ceremony.

Intriguing post ! Thank you, Holly, for giving us a peek into the advantages and disadvantages of the ‘love at first sight’ trope.

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at her paranormal romance? Sounds like a plan!  😀

Great cover!  🙂

This is the blurb for The Eagle at Dawn:

Rachel’s brother uses her as collateral to settle a debt with an outlaw motorcycle gang. She flees to a local bar and pleads with a darkly handsome stranger to help her. His help results in homicide. When eagle shifter Diego’s vacation is interrupted by the innocent young woman he recognizes as his mate, he flees with her across national borders because she’s his and he’s not letting her go.

Having essentially swapped one captor for another, Rachel knows the dashing, sexy Spaniard is keeping secrets from her. He showers her with kindness and generosity in exchange for her obedience. Diego’s control over her and his secrets elicit her distrust and resentment.

When freedom beckons, Rachel answers its call; however, freedom brings hardship and indignity. Will she return to the controlling alpha male who stirs her blood or cling stubbornly to her freedom?

Here is an excerpt.

Rachel awoke to dark liquid eyes staring at her and the gentle stroke of fingers over her cheek and along her jaw. She gasped and drew back, initially confused. Memory slammed into place and she took another deep breath.

“What is it?” she asked, realizing the absence of engine noise and the stillness of the aircraft.

“We’ve arrived, mi encantadora.

She blinked and sat up, rolling her shoulders and stretching. Diego’s gaze sharpened and the small muscle at the base of his jaw clenched. His demeanor subtly changed from tender to ferocious and Rachel wondered what she’d done to anger him. As though realizing that he intimidated her, Diego pressed his full lips together in a thin line, closed his eyes in a long slow blink, and visibly relaxed his muscles.

He held out his hand and she took it, thinking he merely intended to help her up from the cot like the gentleman he claimed to be. However, he did not release her, but reeled her in so that her soft breasts pressed into his body and his heat easily penetrated her thin summer clothes. His other arm wrapped around her and clamped her against him. She inhaled again with sharp surprise at both the unexpected embrace and the surge of arousal that sparked low in her belly.

She swallowed, the sound audible, and blinked rapidly. “What’s going on?”

“Us,” he replied, his voice a husky murmur. Diego’s hand skimmed upward and cupped the back of her head, holding her in place and pressing her ear against his heart. The strong, steady beat thudded and calmed her nerves even as the enticing scent of him stirred her blood. She felt the soft waft of his breath over her hair and then the brush of his lips.

“Why did you kiss me?” she whispered.

“Because you’re not ready for more.”

Rachel gulped again. “What if I’m never ready for more?”

“You will be.”

Purchase Links:

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

Add it to Goodreads:   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46421105-the-eagle-at-dawn

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46682405-the-eagle-at-dawn

♥♥♥ Ooh…love the tension! This looks like quite a romantic read! 

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

Author Bio

Holly Bargo lives with her husband on a southwest Ohio hobby farm with a menagerie of four-legged pets. Their two children are grown. Holly works full-time as a freelance writer and editor, and has published over 20 titles since 2014. She primarily writes fantasy and romance, often blending the two genres. Her latest release is The Eagle at Dawn, the fourth book in her Immortal Shifters series in which, yes, readers get to experience the effects of love at first sight. Holly enjoys hearing from and meeting readers. She will be at the 2019 Summer Book Fair in Springfield, Ohio. Contact her via the Hen House Publishing website.

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writers, Writing

We All Have Dreams: a guest post by author Sheri Langer

We All Have Dreams

by Sheri Langer

 

We all have dreams. As a child, mine was to have long polished fingernails, a sparkly diamond ring, a husband, kids, and a puppy. It was my firm belief that my children would be the luckiest on earth because I would love them beyond reason. My only other wish was to be a movie star, admired by all.

We all have dreams that change. As a child I loved movies, especially the ones where sultry, stunning actresses had to do nothing but stand in a room to have every man in sight desire them. Their allure was disarming and enviable and as I got older, I wanted to be one of them. As a teen, it became somewhat painfully obvious that a 5’2”, very bosomy, bottle-blonde was not exactly the ingenue Hollywood was banging down doors to find. I still watched movies with palpable yearning, but as a matter of practicality, I knew I would have to switch gears.

We all have dreams that change us. I went to college because I had no choice but to graduate and be a “something.” I had given up my dreams of being an actress and so I returned to my most organic desire – to be a wife and a mother. My first serious boyfriend didn’t feel ready to comply with my wishes and broke up with me. Shortly after, I met the guy I believed was Mr. Right. He transferred to my school so we could be together. It was all very romantic in the screenplay I was writing in my head.

Aaron Burden, Unsplash

We all have dreams that work – until they confuse us.  We got married. I went for my MA in English Ed so I could actually be a “something.” I loved words. The problem was I didn’t want to be a teacher or a journalist. I didn’t want to be anything that required punching a time clock or reporting to a boss. I wanted to write movies, but as far as I was concerned those were created in some far-off land by nameless sprites.

We all have dreams that shape us. I got pregnant and realized that being a mother was my truest calling. Except for the pen and paper that beckoned me in the wee hours, I was a mom all the way from colic to toddlerhood and then onto my next pregnancy, and my next pregnancy, and my next pregnancy. All the while, my movies kept me company. They reminded me, while my own marriage was unraveling, that true love was still out there.

Ani Kolleshi, Unsplash

We all have dreams that save us. I got divorced. It was a blessing, but destabilizing, nonetheless. I was no longer part of a couple. We divvied up the friends, but I got to keep the videos. The weekends I didn’t have the kids became my nights for take-out and rom coms. I needed to reinforce my childhood notions of love. I started dating, which I found was not the way to secure those notions. The more I dated, the more I needed my movies.

At some point, we all stop dreaming and start doing. One day, my sister said, very matter-of-factually, “just write your movie already.” Really? Maybe she was right. Maybe the only way I could have the love I wanted was to create it myself. I started writing a screenplay and while developing the main conflict, decided to reach out to my first serious boyfriend. I was in NY. He was safely tucked away in Florida. Maybe he would be able to explain why I was relationship-challenged.

We all have dreams that come true. My former boyfriend was now divorced and seemed to have been waiting for my call. We kept in touch and after a few weeks he said he needed to see me. Our time together convinced me to keep writing. Upon the advice of my late, treasured mentor, I novelized my screenplay and LOVE-LINES emerged.

My boyfriend moved to NY, proposed, and after a mere dozen years of living together, we got married this past New Year’s Eve.

Brian Hartley, Unsplash

Keep dreaming.

Wow! Thank you, Sheri, for giving us a peek into your life and offering some of us a reason to have hope for our romantic futures. You are so right. Love is worth waiting for, and I’m glad your life journey also led you to writing that book! 😉

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at this contemporary romance? Sounds like a plan!  😀

Great cover!  🙂

This is the blurb for Love-Lines:

What if you could find the love of your life just by reading between the lines?

Single mom Fordham Price is juggling her job at a small publisher, her precocious ten-year-old daughter, and her feisty mother. She wants to find time for men, but after a series of dating disasters, her relationship status is still stuck at single.

As if her macchiato lite wasn’t already overflowing, a co-worker gets pregnant, and Fordham is expected to step in and deliver the company’s latest reality read from the Flowers from the Heart series. She must now supplement her own romantic misadventures with tales of cynical cat-ladies, identical-twin husbands, spunky monks, and countless other web-crawlers.
As she wades through the submissions, she finds one from a widower whose story gives her tingles in all the places she forgot existed. His words draw her in until she finds herself daydreaming about him more than she’d care to admit.

Could she have a love like that, or will her romantic fate be forever bound to her philandering ex-husband?

What are people saying about this book?

“Humorous romance. Entertaining tale of a divorcee meeting her Prince Charming but also encountering her first love. Will she rekindle that former romance where her heart was broken? Will she find out who is Prince Charming? Where does her daughter’s handsome principal fit into the story? All the answers will be there, as well as some surprises and laughs along the way.” — Barbara Tobey, Amazon

I must say I’m impressed. I’m not sure if a “virgin” reader’s enthusiasm is a plus or not, because I haven’t read a book in 50 years. No joke, that’s how long it’s been, and that book was the first fiction book I had read. Didn’t like it and figured it would always be like that.
This was fun, lighthearted, cute, serious, sad, happy, ridiculous, confusing, surprising detailed, vividly real as everything I read brought the characters to life in my mind, and they remained unchanged throughout. Most of all, a great read that I reluctantly put down every time I had to stop reading. Kudos, Sheri Langer!
” — Tony, Amazon

I love, love, love this book! Fordham struggles to figure out who she is and what she wants in life after being let down by her father, her first love, and her ex-husband. She finds herself raising her daughter with her mother and doing a job that makes her feel like she’s in way over her head. I enjoyed all of the characters and how you aren’t really sure how it’s all going to work out in the end.” — KReads83, Amazon

“Cute book! I loved all the different characters’ relationships throughout this book. Whether you are young, old or middle aged, love can show up! It was a quick, fun read and I’m looking forward to this author’s next book!” —R. McCleaf, Amazon

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/mv7GN2

Add it to Goodreads or BookBub:   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43699742-love-lines

https://www.bookbub.com/books/love-lines-by-sheri-langer

The link to a book excerpt is: https://bit.ly/2DVHsLb

♥♥♥ Nice! This looks like quite a romantic read! 

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

Author Bio

Sheri Langer is a chocoholic writer and editor who routinely feasts on romantic comedies. She’s been known to spontaneously reenact scenes from classic favorites like When Harry Met Sally.

A self-proclaimed moderately talented home-cook, Sheri spends a fair amount of time concocting dishes that can never be repeated. A creative rebel at heart, she has always colored outside the lines and has an instinctive aversion to recipes. To keep the calories from getting too out of hand, Sheri does step and aerobic workouts in the privacy of her bedroom, where no one has to be subjected to her lack of rhythm.

An avid word fan, Sheri frequently plays Just Words, Boggle, and Scrabble, mostly against the computer so she has excellent odds of winning. With her four kids all grown up – three of whom live in various locations across the map – Sheri and her guy, Brad, spend much of their downtime watching General Hospital and football, shopping, and pursuing the best ice cream on the planet. Much to the chagrin of their waistbands, they can often be spotted sitting on a bench outside their favorite creamery, eating obscenely overstuffed giant waffle cones.

Please feel free to connect with Sheri on social media. You can help her procrastinate by engaging in spirited exchanges or viewing pics of her great-looking family and ridiculously adorable cat, Zoe.

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, reflections, Relationships, Romance, Writers, Writing

A Radio Interview!

Hi, readers! I have exciting news! ♥

This Thursday, August 30th, yours truly will appear on Thorne & Cross’s Haunted Nights Live! radio show. Favored hosts and writer duo Alistair Cross and Tamara Thorne are set to read a cool excerpt from my paranormal romance, Blood Instincts, and they’ll be interviewing me about my work. Yay!

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07DFL8DRR
https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07DFL8DRR

It should be a fun time for all! I’ve been on their paranormal themed show in the past, and it was always an enjoyable experience.

You do not want to miss this radio interview, but if that is the case, it will be uploaded to the site afterward. Here is the link:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/authorsontheair/2018/08/31/marie-lavender-revisits-thorne-cross-haunted-nights-live

If you’d like to tune in live, you’ll find the details here on BlogTalkRadio, or you can find more updates on the Thorne & Cross blog, and their Facebook and Twitter pages. The show usually runs on Thursdays at 5 pm Pacific, 6 PM Mountain, 7 PM Central, 8 PM Eastern.

Here is the eternal link for the interview, though the aforementioned one should work until the end of the year…

Very exciting! Don’t forget, and enjoy your week! 😉

4 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Event, Guest Writer, Interview, Marie Lavender, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Radio, Readers, Romance, Writing

The Fiction Fact on Writing About Love: a guest post by author Khaled Talib

The Fiction Fact on Writing About Love

by Khaled Talib

 

I queried a UK book blogger a while back about the possibility of reviewing my newly released thriller, Gun Kiss. She agreed to read it, but it didn’t turn out well for me. The blogger was abusive in her review of my book, highlighting nothing positive about it. In fact, she even went to the extent of saying that it was not a book she would recommend to anyone. Yet she cared enough to publish the review on her blog, book cover and all. Why bother if you hate it that much?

Of course, I didn’t agree with the reviewer’s unsubstantiated comments even though the blogger was just one of the many reviewers that I had contacted. So, it’s not the end of the world. I am accustomed to receiving criticisms. And just like other authors, I have enjoyed my fair share of positive reviews. Gun Kiss was no exception as it also received praise from some renowned critics.

I could have responded to all her nitpicking, but I didn’t see the need because other reviewers and readers didn’t have problems with them. However, the blogger highlighted something that I felt compelled to write in this article in a counter-attempt to defend my writing. She complained that my protagonist fell in love with the co-protagonist “like instantly” after seeing her once. She added: “Had seen her once, when he rescued her and now he [sic] in love.”

Created by Freepik

If the reviewer had paid more attention to my words, she would have noticed the depth of the story. I had explained the protagonist’s reaction when he first sees the co-protagonist, who happens to be a famous Hollywood movie star despite the circumstances they were both embroiled in. I explained the excitement and infatuation amidst chaos, then later some reflection of thoughts when the protagonist was in a better situation.

But really, what’s the problem with someone falling in love instantly? It’s not unnatural. Must the setting be languid and calm as opposed to a tense backdrop? I knew someone who fell in love with his wife instantly at university, then proposed to her after two weeks. I also know cases of men who got married within a day’s notice. Hell, I also read a newspaper article where a couple fell in love when they met at a funeral! Some people might fall in love slowly, but it can be lightning speed for others. What has time got to do with falling in love?

The one thing authors learn about the craft of novel writing is that the story must sound believable. It must sound real. To do that, all writers know that they must control their imagination while injecting information or facts that sound realistic albeit in the realm of fiction. While writing Gun Kiss, I didn’t stray from the lessons I’ve learned. I did no wrong in creating scenes where the protagonist expressed his love for the co-protagonist. In fact, I wrote those scenes reinforced by fact.

It was reported in the media that scientists claimed it takes only 8.2 seconds for a man to fall in love at first sight. Imagine that! Based on a study, they discovered that the longer a man’s gaze rests on a woman when they meet for the first time, the more interested he becomes. The report highlighted that if it lasts just four seconds, the person may not be all that impressed. But if it breaks the 8.2 second barrier, he could already be in love. There you go… I didn’t embellish my story. I was not even lazy in my description and I certainly did not go out of my way to produce the unbelievable. I wrote the novel based on possibilities by simply translating fact into fiction, according to acceptable standards. Now had I written a supernatural work of fiction, that would be an entirely different story. You could fall in love in two seconds by taking a pill or some injection in the world of science fiction.

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

I am not an expert in behavioral science, but I am aware that nobody on this planet, not even book bloggers, have answers about what causes men and women to relate to each other. Rumi can talk about love, but he for sure knows Jack shit how it works. So, who is to tell me why my protagonist can’t fall in love the first time he sees the movie star?

I am not about to delve into this crazy topic of love; it has been written a gazillion times. I cannot add any new theories to it. But I don’t think I was wrong in describing my male protagonist’s reaction. The story was intended to be that way. As a storyteller, I am entitled to write however I want the story to be so long as it doesn’t appear unfocused.

Stories with love themes have been written before I was even born. So many different angles, plots and themes have been taken. Some have been rehashed and recycled. All I did was to put a fresh spin as they were intended to be.

You might agree with me or you might not, depending on your own personal experiences and observations of other people. All I know is this: when it comes to love, 1+1 doesn’t always equal 2. And that, my friend, is a fact…

Wow! Thank you, Khaled, for giving us a peek into your writing world and showing us a different spin on relationships. You are so right. Love is quite complicated, its intricacies oftentimes inexplicable. My fiancé claims he fell in love with me right away, but was hesitant to admit it for a while until he was sure we were a perfect fit. For myself, being both a romance reader and author, I have no doubt that people can fall in love quickly. After all, this is the I LOVE ROMANCE BLOG, right? 😉

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at this romantic thriller? Sounds like a plan!  😀

Great cover!  🙂

This is the blurb for Gun Kiss:

A stolen piece of history, an abducted actress and international intrigue…

When the Deringer pistol that shot Abraham Lincoln is stolen and ends up in the hands of a Russian military general, covert agent Blake Deco is tasked by the FBI to head to the Balkans to recover the historical weapon. Meanwhile, the United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen.

After Blake’s return from overseas, he receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana. With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue. What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.

What are people saying about this book?

“From Washington, D.C. to Hollywood and Veracruz, Gun Kiss by Khaled Talib is a terrific adventure involving the FBI, drug lords, movie stars, and Russian generals. Grab your copy, drop into your favorite reading chair, and prepare yourself for breathless suspense.” — Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassins

Gun Kiss is a whip-smart thriller that brings to mind Don Winslow’s masterful work that includes, most recently, The Force. Khaled Talib rockets to the top of the pop culture pack with a tale in which every page is chock full of angst-riddled action and searing suspense. Gun Kiss manages to be hot and cool at the same time, a genre bender that breaks a host of rules while crafting new ones in their place. Featuring both a classic man-of-mystery hero and an equally classic femme fatale, this is reading entertainment of the highest order.” — Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of The Rising

“Take a deep breath, because Gun Kiss‘s special brand of high-octane action is on its way to market, and it’s a hell of a ride especially recommended for thriller readers who like their action not only nonstop, but tempered with a bit of romance and a lot of world-hopping political confrontations…with a range of subplots designed to keep Gun Kiss unpredictable, unexpected, and sometimes unsettling as events keep on creating new connections and surprises…Readers experience a supercharged plot that grabs interest tightly and does not let go. The mark of a superior thriller lies in its ability to seamlessly transcend borders, boundaries, and special interests to provide a series of interwoven subplots that all come together in a satisfying crescendo of intrigue designed to keep readers on edge right up to the end. Take a deep breath before reading Gun Kiss. Its special brand of activity and complex personal and criminal interactions makes it hard to put down, and highly recommended for thriller and crime readers alike.” — Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“Talib’s wisecracking hero in Gun Kiss propels readers on an unforgettable ride across several continents. This blockbuster thriller offers the perfect mix of elements to satisfy any reader, including the quest for historic artifacts, a fierce battle against drug lords, and a memorable romance with a Hollywood starlet. Add it to your must-read list.” —K.J. Howe, author of The Freedom Broker

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B077GF1Z67

 

♥♥♥ Nice! This looks like quite a riveting romantic read! 

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

Author Bio

Khaled Talib is the author of Gun Kiss, a thriller published in December 2017 by Imajin Books in Canada. He is a former magazine journalist and public relations practitioner. His articles have been published and syndicated to newspapers worldwide, and his short stories have appeared in literary journals and magazines. The author’s debut thriller, Smokescreen, was listed by Indie Reader as one of the six “boundary breaking” indie novels while his second novel, Incognito, won the 2017 AuthorsDB Silver Award for its cover. Khaled is a member of the International Thriller Writers.

Author Links

Website:  www.khaledtalibthriller.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/khaled.talib/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KhaledTalib

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Khaled-Talib/e/B00DYPSB72/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6940359.Khaled_Talib

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

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

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

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

7 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Writing

You Complete Me?: a guest post by romance author Bry Ann

You Complete Me?

by Bry Ann

 

From as long as I can remember I have been the most independent person I know. I always believed I never needed anyone. While most girls dreamed of finding Prince Charming, I dreamed of starting my own company. While most girls were straightening their hair, I was diving into my text books so I could learn all I could to be successful. It was never about riches or success in the way most people are thinking. For me it was about building the life I wanted. Working for myself.

Then I don’t know what happened. I started writing. I became fascinated with relationships and how life struggles affected them. I softened up. I read more and more romance novels. One thing that has always stood out to me is the ‘you complete me’ concept in a lot of books. I get it. I really do, but it’s never been my cup of tea. Everything I’ve written and felt has been more along the lines of ‘you make me better and I love you, but I could live without you’. I would one day be okay if we didn’t work out. I wanted to talk a little about that. How to write two independent characters who fall in love and make each other better versus constantly needing each other.

I think a key thing in writing is the difference between leaning on somewhat for support when you are trying to make yourself better or overcome something, versus letting someone do something for you. Letting them fight your battles. For example, Sam and Logan’s story in Saving Her.

Sam leans on Logan a lot throughout her struggles, but never once does she use his celebrity to fight her battles for her. She does it on her own and uses him to help her when she’s down. Emotional support. Love, and sometimes having her back when she needs it. That’s important, and it’s the reason their relationship works. He respects her.

I think another key thing is the character having their own life. For example, in Axel’s story, Aly’s family always pushes her to marry and be a housewife. She is never even allowed to consider another possibility. When Axel helps her get free and makes that an option, she immediately starts working. Even though at the end Axel can easily provide for her and she could spend her days doing whatever, there is no kid, nothing to do. She goes to college, gets an education and starts to figure out what her dreams could be outside of their relationship. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with Aly.

All in all I wanted to throw out another version of relationships. I wanted to bring into a light that codependency can be a very negative thing if your whole identity lies with one person. Respect, dignity, love, healthy competition, attraction all can go hand in hand. In fact I think that when there is a good dose of respect for what the other person is doing, it can strengthen the bond your characters have and make your readers fall in love with both people versus just the relationship itself.

Anyway, thank you guys so much for reading! I hope you will check out Sam and Logan’s story in Saving Her now on Amazon. The story depicts this perfectly and I just know you will love them.

Have a great week!

Wow! Thank you, Bry Ann, for giving us a peek into your writing world and showing us a different spin on relationships.

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at this gritty romantic suspense? Sounds like a plan!:)

Great cover! 😀

This is the blurb for Saving Her:

SAM:

What is love?
Is it patient?
Is it kind?
Who the hell knows.
I don’t.
I just know I must save the one person I’ve ever opened my cold heart up to.
I don’t care what it takes to save her.
I sell drugs. I sell my soul. I don’t care. She just has to live.
Then enters Logan Prescott.
He makes sure to screw everything up. He makes me care.
He makes me feel…
And that is just not okay.

LOGAN:

Hollywood.
Lies. Sex. Fans. Attention.
Lonely.
I’ve been alone for far too long, caught up in a world I love but is slowly killing me.
The real me. The one behind the lights.
Then there’s her. The smart ass waitress who hates me with a fiery passion.

Trigger Warning: This is not a typical love story. Sam and Logan’s story contains disturbing scenes, drugs, sex and strong language.

Here is an excerpt.

After two hours of being alone in the dark with no one coming in or out, I was completely lost in the memories. It was like I was in a fog and nothing else existed. The memories wouldn’t stop coming. I closed my eyes and screamed bloody murder. Someone had to save me. I was lost. It seemed so real. I couldn’t go through that again. Even if it was all in my head. A nurse came running in. I just kept screaming and crying. She didn’t exist to me. Nothing did but the pain. She tried to talk me down, but I wouldn’t come down. I couldn’t. I was shaking so badly. I saw her put in the sedative before I could stop her.

“No please! I don’t want to sleep,” I said as my body fell limp. “No.”

“It’s okay, sweetie.”

“Logan, please,” was the last thing I remember saying.

I woke up hours later. It was still dark outside. I shook violently but stopped when I felt a strong hand on my shoulder.

“I’m here, Sam.”

“Logan.” I let all the air out of my lungs. The relief filled me.

“Yeah, it’s me. Sam, what’s going on?”

I somehow managed to get myself up to seated and tuck myself into a ball. I curled myself up as tight as I possibly could and cried. I couldn’t stop. Logan crawled into the bed next to me and pulled me into him.

Safe.

Purchase Links:

 

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B078LN3WZ4

♥♥♥ Gripping! This looks like quite a romantic tale! 

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

Author Bio

Bry Ann is a psychology student at Arizona State University. She currently lives up in the Rocky Mountains in Granby, Colorado. She spends most of her free time reading dark romance books, writing anytime she can get her hands on a computer and doing homework anytime she can squeeze it in. Bry Ann has been writing for as long as she can remember. Even from the youngest of ages she was writing about characters with dark pasts and shady stories. As she got older, she decided everyone should get a love story so soon her dark stories got happy endings. She loves to hear from her readers and talk all things books, so feel free to contact her on any of her social media pages!

Author Links

Website:  http://www.authorbryann.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/authorbryann

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/authorbryann

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2DRO10Y

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17095210.Bry_Ann

Tumblr:  www.authorbryann.tumblr.com

Instagram:  www.instagram.com/authorbryann

Pinterest:  www.pinterest.com/authorbryann

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/109937895438594736337

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writing

Back to Christmas Town: a guest post by romance author Anna Adams

Back to Christmas Town!

by Anna Adams

 

Here we go again, and I am dancing! Every year, a group of Harlequin Heartwarming authors moves to Christmas Town, Maine. We build families and businesses and homes. We visit with all the friends we haven’t seen since last year. And the traditions—Santa comes back to the green, the whole town decorates together, and everyone puts on a Christmas pageant. Most of all, a kiss in the gazebo before midnight on Christmas Eve means a wedding in the new year.

Back in June, I started planning my Christmas Town holiday beneath a blue sky that didn’t seem to threaten with snow. As I dreamed of scenes between my injured soldier and the woman he’d loved and once left behind, the world looked more like this.

I had to take steps, so I turned to my favorite streaming station, Swingin’ Christmas Radio. I have a secret to share—when you’re living in a snowy landscape, surrounded by the sound of your favorite carols, the summer world can turn a little wintry.

I hope you’ll enjoy Santa’s Secret Heart. My hero, Mason Alexander, had no interest in the holidays, so naturally, I thought he needed to learn from inside Santa’s suit.

Mason Alexander has one goal—to get back to his unit on deployment, but Emma Rycroft and her son distract Christmas Town’s newest and most unwilling Santa. When Mason and Emma join forces to restore a child’s faith in the holiday, they also find the love they once lost.

 

Wow! Thank you, Anna, for giving us a peek into your writing world and getting us into the holiday spirit.

What a beautiful cover! 😀

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at this lovely Christmas anthology? Sounds like a plan!:)

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Heartwarming Holiday Wishes:

Your favorite Harlequin Heartwarming authors are back with ten all new Christmas stories set in charming Christmas Town, Maine. This year, a stocking brings a special holiday wish to each story.

Save on your next Heartwarming purchase. Details inside the book.

This holiday season, warm your heart with 10 connected sweet, clean & wholesome holiday romances set in Christmas Town from 10 Harlequin Heartwarming authors who are USA Today bestselling authors.

This collection of PG-rated holiday romances are all set in Christmas Town, Maine, a location introduced in the 2014 Harlequin Heartwarming release, Christmas, Actually.

Heartwarming Holiday Wishes will bring you laughter, tears, and happily-ever-afters (no cliffhangers), for more than 1000 pages.

Santa’s Secret Heart by Anna Adams
Merry Christmas Carol by Melinda Curtis
Miracle on Joyful Street by Liz Flaherty
Finding His Fiancée by Christmas by Cheryl Harper
The Christmas Window by Tara Randel
Mistletoe and Holly by Leigh Riker
Gingerbread Girl by Carol Ross
The Christmas List by Anna J Stewart
A Case for Christmas Magic by Amy Vastine
Jingle Bell Love by Cari Lynn Webb

Check out the Amazon ‘Look Inside’ feature for a great excerpt!

What people are saying about this holiday anthology:

I do so love it when the holiday books arrive! I enjoy reading them all year long but when fall hits, there is nothing better than a whole box set. I’ve read them all and enjoyed my yearly visit to Christmas Town. I only have one word to describe them all: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!” —gds, Amazon

“Loved it! I was torn between reading it quickly because it was so good and reading it slowly to savor it.” —Rachael B., Amazon

I love visiting Christmas Town, Maine. Heartwarming Holiday Wishes lets me enjoy this wonderful town. The love and magic I found here took me to my happy place.” —Rosemary, Amazon

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B073ZMMYL2

B&N:  http://bit.ly/2u6UHFb

Google Play:  http://bit.ly/2tcPSY8

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/heartwarming-holiday-wishes/id1261084826?mt=11

♥♥♥ Interesting! It looks like special romantic read for the season! 

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

Author Bio

Anna Adams is a USA Today Bestseller, who has written for Harlequin Heartwarming and Harlequin Superromance. She’s working on new contemporary romance stories, and she’s excited about returning to Christmas Town, Maine, where the holidays are always sweet with her Heartwarming friends. You can find her at www.annaadams.net.

Author Links

Website:  http://annaadams.net/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnaAdams

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Anna-Adams/e/B001HD1C2O/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21942.Anna_Adams

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

4 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Guest Writer, Holiday, Love, Message, Readers, Romance, Writing

Behind the Title (Creation of a Love Story): a guest post by romance author Cynthia Roberts

Behind the Title: Creation of a Love Story

by Cynthia Roberts

 

 

Creating romantic fiction has been a passion of mine, ever since I was old enough to understand the connection between the sexes.  I think I was twelve, when I wrote my first love story and like most young minds; I truly thought it was a masterpiece.

 

There’s another masterful connection that has been going on now for centuries, and that is the one between music and literature.  There is a full alphabet of songs that have been written retelling a work of literature as far back as the 18th century.

 

“If I Die Young” by The Band Perry was based on a poem, “The Lady of Shalott” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. “Love Story” by Taylor Swift is loosely based on Romeo & Juliet.  The artist Sting’s “Moon Over Bourbon Street” was based on an Anne Rice Novel, Interview With A Vampire.

 

More interesting, though, the anatomy of a song has also within its lyrics a pretty fascinating back story as well.  For more than five decades, authors have been creating fictional pieces and bringing readers deep inside the lyrics.  I grew up listening to my mom’s collection of romantic ballads from the 40s, 50s, and 60s.  Those lyrics have forever been embossed into my brain; I still sing along whenever I hear them.  Lyrics like those back then told a story, and they were so strong, and emotional, their affect were everlasting.

I have a library of love songs on iTunes I listen to religiously, while I write, as a source of inspiration and a tool that gets me in the mood and mindset I need to be in.  It is from this list, I began to formulate a series of ideas, followed by cryptic notes on paper, and finally the creation of my Love Song Standards Series.  I made a list of the songs I connected with personally, whittling it down to thirty-five.  That number was quite overwhelming and I thought virtually impossible to create that many scenarios.  So, I chipped away at the songs and their lyrics, until I decided on a top ten.

 

I had made a commitment to myself to finish one book a month throughout 2016, writing a chapter every day, leaving me ample time to polish and edit each one.  I knew from the start what I wanted my covers to look like.  They had to resemble each other in a way that would tie them together, but strong enough for them to stand on their own.  My designer Covers by Ramona did an exceptional job tying all my ideas together.

After Book 6, Chances Are, was completed, my brain was fried.  I took a short reprieve and switched it up a bit with a Romantic Suspense, A Pawn for Malice.  Happily, the first two books of my series received a 5-Star Readers Favorite Award, which ended my promotion efforts.  I was forced to take an extended break due to personal issues that had set me back both physically and emotionally.  My focus now is to both promote my series and finish the final four titles All The Way, It’s Impossible, Sincerely, and Unforgettable.

 

If you’re a lover of contemporary romance, please do check out my Love Song Standards Series.  I know you’ll be pleasantly pleased.  Buy links and descriptions are available on my website at RomanceAuthorCynthiaRoberts.com.  If you subscribe to my mailing list, we can stay in touch as to when the other titles are completed PLUS you’ll receive a complimentary copy of Book 1, Unchained Melody.  All that I ask is for you to please, please share an honest review at the online retailer you use most. It will help me dramatically towards promoting my book and the series.

 

Hugs from me to you. ♥

 

Wow! Thank you, Cynthia, for that riveting take on the connection between music and books.

And I agree! I often listen to music while I’m writing. ♪♫

Those are such beautiful covers! 😀

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

Nice cover!

This is the blurb for Unchained Melody:

Pamela Landers had it all, a senior partnership with a top law firm, expensive car, and a luxurious condo. What she desired most was a loving husband, children and a life filled with precious memories that would comfort her through her golden years.

Funny how fate has a way of steering you down that path where dreams really can come true. When Pamela encounters Gavin Templeton along her journey, she has some life-altering decisions to make that eventually lead her to the happily ever after she always dreamed of.

Cynthia is also offering us a fun excerpt from this inspirational romance.

What people are saying about Cynthia’s books:

” This is definitely a novel that I would read again. It is going to stay on my bookshelf for a very, very long time.”  —Readers’ Favorite

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01B8AWOM2

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unchained-melody-cynthia-roberts/1123345646

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Unchained-Melodies/Cynthia-Roberts/9781523759743?id=6842447479054

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/unchained-melody-5

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6033059

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

Don’t forget to subscribe to her mailing list, and you’ll get a copy of this book to read!

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

Author Bio

website-photo

My love of reading romance fiction goes back to those early years when I was raising a young family. It wasn’t until much later in life I actually took up the pen to write my first historical romance, Wind Warrior. I really don’t fit into one specific niche.  Once a story starts to flow, it’s only then I know what genre/sub-genre it will fit under.

I have only one regret, and that is not getting to this point in my career much sooner, rather than later.  Life has a way of setting up road blocks, which for me, was supposed to work out that way.  Because of those detours, I have become a more passionate and expressive writer, allowing me to create the kind of raw human emotion I want my readership to feel.

It is my hope you walk away with not just an entertaining read, but the importance in knowing, “Without imagination & dreams, we lose the excitement of wonderful possibilities.”

Author Links

Website/Blog:  http://www.romanceauthorcynthiaroberts.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Cynthia.Roberts.Author

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/cynthiasromance

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Roberts/e/B001KCK0U2/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3433035.Cynthia_Roberts

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

Instagram:  https://instagram.com/romauthorcroberts/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/100112528079816795315/posts

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

5 Comments

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

A Character Interview with Sepalika from SAVED IN SRI LANKA plus a conversation with author Devika Fernando!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed K.C. Sprayberry’s character on March 3rd and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting Devika Fernando, the author of Saved in Sri Lanka, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Sepalika, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to Devika in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Sepalika!

vinu_siriwardhana_sithumina_lankapics.com8

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

Character Sepalika:  Hello.  Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Sepalika: Of course.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Sepalika:  (Smiles.) I work as a tour guide in Sri Lanka, and I absolutely love my job. I get to watch people while they catch a glimpse of my country. It’s fascinating witnessing all the different reactions and creating little stories about them. I do think I’m good at my job because I add some fun and spice to routine.

Marie:  That’s great!  So, what is your family like?

Sepalika: (Frowns and sighs.) I wish you hadn’t asked. My father is suffering from chronic kidney disease. The doctors have only given him a few more months to live. As for my mother, she’s devastated…and worried about me. I don’t have any siblings, and I don’t really bond with any of our relatives.

Marie:  Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Let’s try something else.

What did your childhood home look like?

Sepalika:  I grew up in my mother’s ancestral home in a small village off Kandy amidst paddy fields, but we moved to Colombo when I was small, so after that it was modern city life for me. It was a huge change from the old, big house open to wilderness surrounding it, to the small, neat apartment surrounded by traffic and noise.

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Sepalika:  I love history and reading. Actually… (blushes.) I love dancing and singing too, but I hardly ever let that side of me out.

Marie:  I love reading too!

So, what is your greatest dream, Sepalika?

Sepalika:  I’d love to visit Australia one day.

Marie:  Well, that’s certainly a worth goal! (Smiles.)

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

Sepalika: I hate being such a coward. I wish I had the courage to stand up for my own happiness and really live life the way I want it. But that’s not easy if you live in Sri Lanka…and if you have a family to take care of.

Marie:  I see.  Yeah, obligations can often tear you away from what you want.

Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Sepalika:  I’ve never really been in love. I did have a huge crush on an English student when I went to university in London, but our relationship was doomed to fail. Now though, I think I’ve found the one… (Stares dreamily into the distance.)

Marie:  Well, that’s great that you found someone new! I’m happy for you. I won’t beg you to tell me more, though I’m dying to know…(Laughs.)

Saved in Sri Lanka new

So, Sepalika, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Sepalika:  Finding out that my father has less than a year to live because of kidney failure. I’d give anything to save him.

Marie:  How terrible! I’m sorry. I wish I could do something…😦

Well, let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[Sepalika 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?

Sepalika:  I always wanted to see more of the world, and I’ve achieved that partly because I spent years studying in England. But I’m not sure I’ll ever get another chance to travel…

Marie:  I see.

So, who is your role model?

Sepalika:  All those great women in history who took life into their own hands and proved that they’re worth just as much as men, if not more.

Marie:  I agree. How inspirational!

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Sepalika:  Erm, quite a lot of people, to tell you the truth. It’s the only way to stay sane in this society… There’s a certain Mrs. de Souza – no, I won’t say more, I’ll just get worked up.

Marie:  All right. I’ll let you get away with being vague. (Winks.)

So, what is your deepest desire?

Sepalika:  Finding someone who recognizes the real me and loves me for who I am.

Marie: Yes, I believe we all want that…

Let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Sepalika:  Living a loveless life full of pretense.

Marie:  All right.

Well, I hate to say it, but we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Sepalika.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Devika Fernando on the stage today. Hi, Devika!

profile pic

Author Devika Fernando:  Hi. Thank you so much for having the two of us over, Marie! 🙂

Marie:  My pleasure! 

As you know, we just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Sepalika. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Devika:  Sepalika is pretty modern for a Sri Lankan, you could say, almost “Western”. She’s stuck in an awful situation that makes it difficult for her to live the way she wants and deserves, but I know she’ll find a way out because she’s stronger than she thinks.

Marie:  (Nods.) I gathered some of that from talking to her. 

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Devika:  Her kindness and her intelligence.

Marie:  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, is her greatest weakness?

Devika: Her self-doubt.

Marie:  So, what are some of her favorite foods?

Devika:  She loves traditional Sri Lankan food like spicy vegetable curries and fish. And she’s a big fan of all the exotic fruits growing in her family’s garden, like guavas, mangoes and papayas.

Marie:  Well, I can’t blame her. I love papayas!

Let’s try something else.

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

Devika:  She’s really good at explaining and teaching things.

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

Devika:  So far, readers really liked Sepalika because she is fighting for her own happiness but also always putting others first.

Marie:  Well, that is certainly honorable.  Now that we have a real taste of Sepalika, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Saved in Sri Lanka?

Devika:  I’ve had many people tell me they’d love to read a romance novel set in Sri Lanka because I live here and am half Sri Lankan. I immediately knew if I ever wrote a story like this, I’d want to include a hero from a European country. And I’d want to show off this island’s beauty. The story sort of wrote itself then, with Daniel as the hero from Ireland and Sepalika as the tour guide falling in love with him.

Marie:  That’s great!  It does sound lovely.

So, Devika, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Devika:  A mix of both, I guess. I do write a plot outline, plan the first few chapters and create character profiles, but I don’t go into too much detail and see where the story is taking me.

Marie:  (Nods.) I do both as well. I let the story come out naturally in scenes, then I start doing heavy plotting and character work-ups. I write more from there, but I will still let the characters interfere with my plans if they have more to say.

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

Devika:  I found myself including too many descriptions, country facts and backstory. It always happens with my stories, but I cut those scenes out during my four or more rounds of editing. I’m very thankful for my awesome beta readers, they’re a big help.

Marie:  I know exactly what you mean! I don’t know what I’d do without my beta readers, critique partners and my proofreader.  🙂

Well, it was such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog.  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Saved in Sri Lanka appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome new book by Devika Fernando, a very talented author!

Saved in Sri Lanka new

Here is the blurb for Saved in Sri Lanka.

Some people are destined to meet.

It sure feels that way when Sri Lankan tour guide Sepalika meets Daniel. The mysterious tourist from Ireland steals his way into her heart and makes her question everything her life is built upon. Instant attraction turns to love – but does he feel the same? And what about the secret she’s hiding from him?
Follow the two on their quest for a happy ending amid the beauty and wonders of the tropical island paradise of Sri Lanka.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00U5ZY8AI

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saved-in-sri-lanka-devika-fernando/1121331845

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/524106 

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/saved-in-sri-lanka

Google Play:  https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Devika_Fernando_Saved_in_Sri_Lanka?id=QsreBgAAQBAJ

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/saved-in-sri-lanka/id973289991

About Devika Fernando

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Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Her trademark is writing sweet, yet deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust. What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a self-employed German web content writer, as a translator, and as a faithful servant to all the cats, dogs, fish and birds in her home. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.

Having always loved to read and write, Devika made her dream come true in 2014 when she became a self-published novelist. The Amazon bestselling author has published several eBooks in the genres contemporary romance, paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Her German and Sri Lankan roots influence her writing.

Devika’s Books:

Saved in Sri Lanka new

9732450

6560661

1541424

4986055

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Devika Fernando, here are some of her author links:

Website:  http://www.devikafernando.com

Blog:  http://www.devikafernando.com/blog

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Author_Devika

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Devika-Fernando/e/B00ISH0RD2/

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/devikafernando1/

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

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7980006.Devika_Fernando

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Sepalika, the female main character of Saved in Sri Lanka, and Devika Fernando, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here! Readers, don’t forget to check out this awesome new release!  🙂

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Multicultural/Interracial, Readers, Romance, Women's Fiction, Writing, Writing Tips

A Character Interview with Keri Sunderland from LOST & SCARED plus a conversation with author K.C. Sprayberry!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. It’s also our 200th post so it’s even more exciting! Yay!

If you remember, we interviewed Celia Kennedy’s character on February 24th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting K.C. Sprayberry, the author of Lost & Scared, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Keri Sunderland, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to K.C. in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Keri Sunderland!

Keri

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

Keri Sunderland:  Hello.  Thank you.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Character Keri:  Sure.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Keri: I’m a junior at Landry High School in Landry, Georgia, and like my twin, Shane (I call him big bro, cause he’s like ten minutes older than me), I get stellar grades. School is the best place in the world, and if I don’t get good grades El Creepo (AKA my dad) will give me grief.

Marie:  Okay. So, what is your family like?

Keri: Wow. Tough one. My family is complicated, and I mean really complicated. There’s Shane and me, Kenny, Stacy, Jimmy, and baby Krissy, but there are two other kids. Something bad happened a long time ago, but I don’t like talking about it, or even thinking about it. Not even Mom talks about it. She’s cool now but for years she put up with El Creepo smacking her around. Shane and I finally did a “come to Jesus” meeting with Mom, and now the jerk is out of the house. We’re learning to get along without him, which means a lot more laughter and fun.

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?

Keri: Our house is this sweet Craftsman style with two floors. The bottom one is normal—a couple of bedrooms (one’s a computer place for Big Bro and I), bathroom, living room, a great eat in kitchen where I love, love, love to experiment with recipes, and a playroom for the little ones. The upstairs is two huge bedrooms, one for the girls and one for the boys, and a bathroom the six of us have to share. The boys always leave that bathroom so nasty, and I have to clean it. But that’s part of being in a big family. What I love most about our house is the rest of the lot. It’s absolutely huge! Like we can invite the all the cheerleaders over for a barbecue, and the whole football team, and there’s still room for the marching band and a bunch of our friends. Oh, and the little ones can still play without getting bumped around. And there are huge, old trees back there, some tables and chairs. It’s the most totally cool place to hang out in the summer!

Marie:  That’s great!  🙂

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

Keri:  I love cooking. Did I already mention that? Well, I do, and I love experimenting, to find great new dishes. There’s cheerleading, and I’m hoping with all my heart to be the head cheerleader next fall, when my senior year starts. Big Bro and I also do this thing at Christmas every year, to pay back all the people who have helped us in the past. We get local merchants to donate gifts, a local tree farm gives Christmas trees, and then most of the high school and some adults give this stuff to needy families on Christmas Eve.

Marie:  How nice!

So, what is your greatest dream, Keri?

Keri:  So much bad has happened in our house, but I wouldn’t leave that willingly for the world, because good has also happened there. My greatest dream is to have our dad out of our lives. He used to be a good person, but he’s not now and he hasn’t been in a long time. He hurts Mom all the time, physically and emotionally by bringing his girlfriends around while she’s at work. He’s always screaming at us or making the little ones cry. Then he disappears, usually taking all of our money, but then it’s good. We’re happy for a while, until he comes back.

So, yeah, getting El Creepo out of our lives is my greatest dream right now. Oh, please don’t tell Mom that I’m calling him El Creepo. She doesn’t think that’s right, but the name fits.

Marie:  So sorry to hear about your dad. That must be hard.

Let’s try a different question.

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

Keri: I want to be a normal teenager, with a normal home, and no worries other than what I’ll wear to school, or if the guy I’m crushing on thinks I’m cute, or if my bestie wants to go shopping with me. But I can’t be that now. I have to help my mom after I get out of school and before she comes home from work. Shane tries to help too, but he has a job, to save for college.

Marie:  I see.

Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Keri: Axe Markson. His first name is really Gerald, but only his grandma calls him that. He’s Axe to everyone else. Sigh! He’s so cute, and sweet, and I think he more than likes me but… this is so awkward… his dad is a cop, one of the cops who always show up when El Creepo acts like a total jerk. I mean, how can a girl get a guy to like her when he knows all her horrible secrets, and his dad is always at her house? But I hope one day that Axe will get past all that and actually ask me on a date!

Marie:  Oh, I hope so too!  I love romance…;)

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So, Keri, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Keri: The night Cindy and Sam died. Shane and I know the truth, but we can’t ever tell. We just can’t. El Creepo promised to do the same thing to us if we did, and that would totally destroy Mom. But that secret is getting so hard to hold onto anymore. I think Big Bro and I might tell soon, before we absolutely bust from this horrific secret.

Marie:  How terrible! 😦

Well, let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[Keri 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?

Keri: My dream is to have a house where I don’t have to worry about my dad screaming at everyone, or hitting them for messing up. All I want is a place where I don’t have to worry, where I can think about the rest of my life without being afraid of doing something wrong and having to pay his price. ‘Cause his price is always too high.

Marie:  That makes sense. Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home.

So, who is your role model?

Keri:  My bestie, Carly Jameson. She’s totally cute, adores Shane, and I can’t think of anyone better for him. She is always there when things are bad or good. Carly is the best thing in my life, unless Axe decides to ask me out, and then she’s second best, but only ‘cause she’s probably going to be hanging out with Shane.

Marie:  (Laughs.)

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Keri: Not really. People know that what they see is what they get with me. Except for the big secret, I’m probably the most open person in the world. If something bugs me, I blurt it out. Well, except for my other girlfriends, who dumped me fast once they figured out my dad was a total jerk. That hurt, but I couldn’t tell anyone how I felt. That would mean opening up about other things, and I don’t think I’m ready to do that yet.

Marie:  So, what is your deepest desire?

Keri: To go on a date with Axe, to have a happy family, and to go to college. The college thing might a bit hard, since I can’t get a job, but Shane told me that he’d give me part of his money from the savings.

For the future, I’m not sure. I plan on getting a business degree and finding a job after college, but I’m kind of scared of getting married. Seeing what my dad did to my mom for so many years makes me afraid of commitment, but then there’s Axe. He’s always made me feel safe, but what if he turns out to be like El Creepo? I couldn’t handle that.

Marie: Yeah, I can understand that. I had a bad experience with my ex, and it was hard to trust again after that. Luckily, I found a very patient man and we are so happy now.

Let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Keri: Losing someone else from my family. I still have nightmares about the night Cindy and Sam died, and my cowardice afterward. Yeah, I was seven when it happened, but still… it’s not like I’ve ever really held back from telling people what’s on my mind about anything else. I don’t get why I’m so scared of telling now, well, I kind of know why. Thinking about what he could do to me if I ever did tell shuts my mouth on the subject forever.

Marie:  So sorry to hear about the situation you’re in, Keri. That’s tough. (Pats her hand.)

Well, I hate to say it, but we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Keri.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have K.C. Sprayberry on the stage today. Hi, K.C.!

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Author K.C. Sprayberry:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure! 

We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Keri. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

K.C.: Keri is a teenager, just completing her junior year of high school. In a lot of ways, she’s an overachiever, always ready to volunteer to help out, giving more than her fair share to her community, and studying hard to get the best grades. All of this hinges on an event when she was seven that has marked her, driven Keri to fight back, but she also is still very much the frightened child, terrified that her boogeyman will hurt her too.

Marie:  I see.

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

K.C.:  She’s loyal to those she knows won’t abandon her, a talented cook, and is willing to help out anyone in need. She also won’t quit, refuses to give up on someone she loves. These last two traits will serve her well when she’s faced with a situation she knew could happen, but never believed it would until it did.

Marie:  Okay.  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

K.C.:  She can’t bring herself to tell the truth about the night Cindy and Sam, twins two years younger than Keri and Shane, died. A great believer in going to church and her religion, she loses her faith during a very tough time, and almost loses the heart to keep fighting back.

Marie:  So, what are some of her favorite foods?

K.C.:  Keri loves Sonic’s Chicago Dogs and Pineapple Upside Down Master Blast, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese, extra pickles, no onions, and hot chocolate with tons of whipped cream.

Marie:  (Laughs.) All healthy choices, of course.

So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

K.C.: Keri has never been called on to stand up to her abusive Dad directly or to go against him when she knows that he will lash out with his fists. She’s avoided that since he started using drugs and drinking. But she’s faced with a situation where she knows that she has to do the impossible, take on things she’s never done before, or possibly lose another sibling. No spoilers, but I can say that when faced with a life or death situation, she discovers an inner core of steel that allows her to do what is right instead of cowering in a corner.

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

K.C.:  Readers will like her plucky attitude, her resilience despite the tragic situation she finds herself in, and how she doesn’t ever really give up. They might dislike how she loses faith in her abilities or leans on Shane’s perceived strength, discounting her own inner strength. She points out that he’s better with the physical stuff without even thinking about what she’s capable of doing.

Marie:  Great!  Well, now that we have a real taste of Keri Sunderland, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Lost & Scared?

K.C.:  I had two names, Keri and Shane; they actually came to me at the same time, and they had to be twins. Then I saw a story about a child who had been taken by their non-custodial parent and I began to research the subject. Some of the information I discovered chilled me to the bone. Finally, I discovered this website for survivors of non-custodial parental kidnapping and couldn’t stop reading the stories on it.

That’s when a pivotal scene exploded into my head, of seven-year-old Shane and Keri hearing what’s happening to their younger twins, Cindy and Sam. The story evolved from there during the 2014 NaNoWriMo competition. I “finished” the book, about 51,000 words, during November and spent the next six weeks immersed in this book, as more and more information about them came out.

Marie:  That’s great! It’s interesting how research can spark more ideas.

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

K.C.:  More of a panster. Stories come to me. Sometimes as a whole, other times in bits and pieces. I have stacks of paper lying around my office with ideas on them and files in my computer with half-finished stories just waiting on me to get to them.

Marie:  (Laughs.) That sounds a lot like me!

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

K.C.:  The biggest challenge in writing Lost & Scared was in keeping it real. That can be difficult to do while also paying attention to the plot lines and crafting believable characters. Also, some of the scenes were so intense that I couldn’t stop working on them until I had finished, so that they didn’t kick me out of a sound night’s sleep.

What would I do next time? Honestly, I don’t think I’d do anything differently. All of my books are like this. They reach a point where I have to continue working, ignoring the dust bunnies, my husband and son screaming for food, even the dog whimpering at me to play with her. I’ll become immersed in the story, to the point where nothing else matters, and that’s when the layers start to come together, to make the characters three dimensional, the action intense and real, and the outcome believable.

Marie:  I hear you. I am just as determined when I am focused on a project.

Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog.  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Lost & Scared appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome new book by K.C. Sprayberry, a very talented author!

lost and scared cover art

Here is the blurb for Lost & Scared.

When their younger twin siblings were murdered by their cold-blooded father, Shane and Keri’s own twin connection deepened. Their father shamed Shane and Keri into silence, and then went on to bring four more children into a house shuddering under the weight of his unpredictable temper.

Ten years later, what should have been a regular visitation turns into a horrific nightmare. Trapped in the Superstition Mountains with an addicted and dangerous father, Keri’s faith and determination wavers, but she knows she must save her brothers and sisters and return all of them to the home they love.

She now faces one insurmountable obstacle. He can’t afford to let her go.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00TXJ48FC

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/lost-scared/

About K.C. Sprayberry

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

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

K.C.’s Books:

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

Website:  www.kcsprayberry.com

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/kcsprayberry/boards/

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

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

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

Manic Readers:  http://www.manicreaders.com/KCSprayberry/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Keri Sunderland, the female main character of Lost & Scared, and K.C. Sprayberry, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here! Readers, don’t forget to check out this awesome new release!  🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Fiction, Interview, Mystery, Readers, Romance, Thriller/Suspense, Writing, Young Adult