Tag Archives: guest post

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Lilly Christine

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 to the heart of each person. And I’ve gotten some incredible feedback.

Without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Lilly Christine, who has a few things to say about the question at hand.

What does romance mean to me?

In both real life romance and fiction, a partner or would-be partner goes the extra mile to create a special experience for their beloved. I hope everyone has memories of first real life romantic gestures…the carnation or special Valentine in middle school, a first dance, prom, et cetera. My first “real” boyfriend would pick me up from work and take me out for milkshakes, so teaberry milkshakes STILL spell *romance* for me!
I write romances because I love developing a journey to love for my characters, and my readers seem to enjoy it, too! My McGreers series features flawed characters challenged by this “thing called love”, sending them on journey that is often inconvenient, difficult, or near impossible. In McGreers #1, Crashing into Tess, the new girl Tess gives up hope before single-dad rancher Jake finally comes around. In #2, Crazy on Daisy, Hank Gallagher’s pined for barrel racer Daisy for years, and in #3-6 Right Kinda Bull/Whole Lotta Bull, Lindsay keeps a secret, testing Ty McGreer more than any of my other heroes.
I also enjoy weaving contemporary challenges couples face into the mix, so in #5, Loving Lulu, Lulu, a young mom, wants a career, which puts stress on her marriage, while her brother Kyle, an Iraq vet and Janie’s beau, struggles with PTSD. In #8, My Kinda Bull, Heath McGreer, a fossil fuel engineer, bumps into Christina Rodriguez, a Greenpeace activist, in Alaska.
My novels mirror the challenges of love-in-real-life, which for me makes writing the stories and crafting the characters that much more exciting. Thanks so much for reading!
Wow! Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Lilly! Lovely to have you here! ♥
Guest Bio

lilly-headshot

Lilly Christine’s debut novel, Crashing Into Tess, won TRW’s 2013 “Catherine Award”,  was a 2014 finalist in DRW’s “Best First Book”, and “Best Contemporary” categories, and is the first in the popular McGreers Series. Lilly returns to her birthplace for the setting of “Philadelphia Love!” an exciting new urban rom-com Holiday Novella Series! In 2017, look for Valentine, Baby!, Sing It, Baby! and Independence, Baby?

Lilly currently resides in Reno, Nevada. When not writing, she can be found walking her Daschahuahua rescue puppy on the Truckee River.

Sign up for Lilly News

She’s always available for book-signings, readings and appearances, especially to benefit her reader’s favorite animal shelters and rescues. Contact her at LillyChristine13@gmail.com, or find her on Facebook!

Author Links

Website:  http://lillychristine.com/Books.html

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/3sg8X

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lilly.christine.71

https://www.facebook.com/PhiladelphiaLove1/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lillychristine1

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Lilly-Christine/e/B00GLY93A2/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7276542.Lilly_Christine

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lilly-christine-a4839bbb

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lillychristine1/

 

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, Lilly, for giving us your reasons for writing romance, and how you incorporate your own romantic beliefs into your books. Awesome! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Cynthia Helwig visits us on March 30th! Yay! 🙂

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

2 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Romance, western, Writers, Writing

The Eyes of Love: a guest post by Dr. Matthew Anderson

The Eyes of Love by Dr. Matthew Anderson

 

Romantic love is the every-person’s opportunity to experience divine grace and as such it brings a gift that has numerous (divine) qualities. Grace falls like rain and soaks the heart of one who is then blessed with this love. This grace, this love, brings us a gift of new sight by which we can see the Other, our Beloved, with divine eyes. In this state of heightened awareness, we are able to see our Beloved as she truly is, in all her wonder and beauty, and she, lifted and filled with the same love, can see us as we are. In these sacred moments we no longer see with our natural eyes but with our Heart which is the center of True Sight. It is from this vantage point that all the glory of our lover is revealed to us.

It is the heart’s great desire to be seen this way. It is here that all our doubts about being lovable and valuable drop away. Through the grace-filled eyes of our lover we come to know our best and highest self and are carried up in an intense yearning to rise to, become, reveal and celebrate that awareness. At the very same instant that this self-revelation occurs, we also see our Beloved for who she is in her highest and best self. We want to do everything we can to nurture her and give to her so that she can sustain her precious being.

Romantic love, and its gift of the eyes of love, is not earned and, like rain, it falls on every heart. We cannot choose or cause it but once soaked by its divine dew we can only surrender to its transformative power. If we try to resist we will find ourselves torn into pieces. If we accept our fate, we will be given an experience of wholeness that is worth whatever price love may ask of us. That precious wholeness can only be seen through the eyes of love and it is up to us to nurture and sustain that sight as we love and live with our Beloved.

Scott Webb, Unsplash.

Every person who has ever fallen in love has had an experience of the eyes of love. But for most, that glorious vision of the Beloved quickly dims and then is only a memory. It is then, too often relegated to an experience of intoxication, and is interpreted as an imagined and unrealistic perception of another person created by the distortive energies of emotion and lust. Many of these same couples yearn to revisit this experience, but both believe that it cannot be revived and lack the skills to reconnect with it. The good news is that the eyes of love need not dim and both partners can learn to sustain and nurture this wonderful vision of the Beloved.

 

(Author’s Note: Michael and Dianna are real and deeply in love. Every topic in the book is followed by a dialogue between these two lovers and how it affects their relationship.)

 

Michael and Dianna – Eyes of Love

 

Michael begins in a very serious and pensive voice.

“I believe very deeply in this idea of the eyes of love. Yes, I used to think, just like everyone else, that it would come and go and I would have no control over it. I would enjoy it while it lasts and then accept its passing. I remember being overwhelmed by my feelings for you and the first time I looked, really looked into your eyes. The intensity was so great I stopped breathing for a moment. It was incredible. I did not expect it. I knew I found you attractive and interesting and all of that but for some reason, I leaned closer to you across the table and bang, lightning struck and my breath disappeared and I fell a rush of wild energy dance all over my body. God, I can feel it right now, Sweetheart. It was like being high but better, far better. And the truth is, I still feel many versions of it when we are together in all sorts of situations. I thought I would only feel it when we were making love or dancing together or in some typical romantic situation, but I was wrong and I am so glad I was wrong. I can really feel that way almost any time I decide to pay attention to you and allow my heart to open and that love dances. That is the best description I can find for the experience. My love dances wildly all through my body and I love you so much I could eat you up!”

Dianna responds as Michael pauses to take a breath.

“Honey, I know I sound like a broken record sometimes but I feel just like you do. Maybe that is one of the great things about this experience. We go so deeply into loving each other that we get in sync and flow together. I love that wild dancing feeling too, Honey. But you got so caught up in your story you forgot the topic. We are talking about the eyes of love. I want to share more about that now. (Michael laughs and nods his head.)

You and I have discussed this idea a hundred times over the years and it has come to be a really important concept for me. Not just because it is a lovely idea but because it actually is real. I do see you, the beautiful you, and I love that person and I can often see how you react to my vision of who you are and can be. You get inspired by it and you live up to it and I think my love for you and the way I see you is a big part of that.”

Michael nods in agreement and picks up the conversation.

“Thanks, Sweetheart. I do want to comment more about this idea. I am convinced that the difficulty for many people is that we don’t trust the way our lover sees us when we fall in love. That phrase ‘love is blind’ is part of the problem. Love is not blind. The truth is actually just the opposite. Love, this sort of love, gives us the ability to see another individual in all their glory and beauty. I remember the statement in the Bible by the Apostle Paul when he said ‘Now I see through a glass darkly but the face to face: now I know in part but then I shall know even as I am also known’. Yes, I know he was not referring to romantic love. He was talking about a relationship with God, but I think his words can also apply to what happens to us when romantic love takes over our hearts. Before it shows up we cannot see the other person for who they truly are, but this love gives us the sight to know, really know, our Beloved and that makes all the difference.

I see you, Dianna, and you see me, in a way no one has ever seen either of us. It is not a fantasy and it is not a form of intoxication. Our minds are not poisoned by love. To even think that is absurd and yet so many people fall prey to that ridiculous idea. I see you, Sweetheart! I see the real you and you are absolutely beautiful. I know you see me the same way. When that occurs, we are both given a tremendously wonderful gift. Maybe it is the greatest gift one person can give another; to see them as so beautiful. I think every person who ever lived yearns for that precious experience; to be truly seen by another person. It is a completely validating event.

Once we are seen this way, we are changed. We do not forget it, ever. And, if that way of being seen is sustained, we begin to grow into that image. We actually fill it out and live up to it and that causes us to be even more grateful for our Beloved because she gave us the gift of becoming the best that we are.

Now, I just want to clarify one more thing if I can. (Dianna nods her agreement.) That special and wonderful being that we see through the eyes of love is not a blueprint, it is the real person that, in a sense, lives in hiding in us behind our negative self-image that so often dominates our self-perception. This negative picture of who we think we are is the true impostor that has fooled us all our lives. Suddenly, with no warning, someone shows up and looks right through that crap and sees our real being, and everything changes. I know this is what happened to us, Honey, and I am so grateful for you and how you see me every single day. You feel the same, don’t you?”

Dianna responds with enthusiasm.

“Yes, Sweetheart, I love how you see me. At first I had a hard time with it. I never thought of myself that way. I mean, you see me as so special and precious and that felt good, but also it felt strange. But then two things happened and keep happening, and they help a lot. You are consistent in your wonderful perception of me, and I see you the same way. It helps a lot that I see you that way because I think it helps me accept your vision of me. I want you to accept how I see you as real, as valid. I love it when you do that, so it makes sense that you would feel the same way. My gift to you is to respect how you see me through the eyes of love. You offer me the same gift. That is how I see all this.”

Michael hugs Dianna and voices his approval.

“Honey, you said it the best! That was it, all in a few words. Thanks! You are great!”

Well, there you have it! How inspiring, and apropos for our blog here! ♥♥♥

Thank you for stopping by to give us your wonderful take on romantic love, Matthew, and a little slice of your new book! 🙂

Readers, for a limited time, you can get a copy of The Resurrection of Romance by our guest, Dr. Matthew Anderson, for only 99 cents! So, pick up your copy today on Amazon! You won’t regret it. 😀

Romance_BookCover3

Here is the blurb for the book:

The essential ingredients in a healthy and successful, lasting romantic relationship.

Purchase Links:

Amazon Universal link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01BB5SU2W

Guest Bio:

pic matt hat

Matthew Anderson, D.Min. has been a relationship coach, a motivational speaker and an author for over 40 years. His new book The Resurrection of Romance: How to create and sustain a world class romantic relationship that lasts a lifetime will be available through Kindle on January 30th. He is very much in love with the woman who is his muse and inspiration for the book. Matthew is 70 years old and is in year 4 of a 33 year plan to live to 100+. He lives and works in Boca Raton, Florida.

Guest Links:

Website:   www.Mattcoyote.com

Blog:  www.TheResurrectionofRomance.com

Amazon Author page:  amzn.to/1PPWkr8

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/matthew.anderson.3591267

Matthew’s Book:

Romance_BookCover3

Once again, I’d like to thank our guest author for giving us a little romantic encouragement in our lives, and letting us see a bit more about his new book! It was a pleasure having you on the I Love Romance Blog, Matthew! 🙂

9 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Event, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance

Guest Poet Spotlight: Honcho Mars

Hi, readers! As part of our romance theme on ILRB, I decided to recognize a pretty special time for writers and readers alike. April is National Poetry Month, and it’s about time I bring in a guest poet here on the blog, don’t you think? I love poetry, almost as much as I love romance! It is music for my eyes, and a song in my heart. 🙂

poetry

To recognize this wonderful holiday, I have asked the talented and insightful poet Honcho Mars to stop by and give us a little taste of his poetry today. Hello, Honcho!

10447052_1435612340036889_2672300518382223832_n

Honcho: Hello! It’s a pleasure to be here, Marie.

Marie:  The honor is mine, I assure you. Thank you for visiting us, and welcome to the I Love Romance Blog, where we get to talk about my favorite subject, love! So, take a moment and please give us some lovely poetry to thrill our romantic hearts…

romantic-heart-253788

Poems by Honcho Mars

A TRUE BEAUTY

Your beauty blossoms like a flower in spring

A beauty unmatched

Which words can not speak?

A beauty when the leaves change colors

A beauty that my eyes desire

A beauty that my heart has dreamt

A true beauty

Untouched by men

Where a thief cannot steal

A beauty within

A beauty that does not fade away

On these knees I have prayed that such a beauty

Was real I have found that beauty

In you

The beauty of a love

Outlasting eternity

Just you and me.

man-kiss-girl-forehead

A Moonshine love

Under a moonlit night I held you tight

The glow of your eyes

Out shined the moons presence

If we must go our separate ways

If you wonder if I still care

Look up and see

That same moon

Casting a light

So bright

That is my love for you

Never feel blue I will always Love you

As the man on the man

Who let you go to soon?

The space between earth and the moon

I would walk

To be by your side

That is my place

Let us kiss

Upon a pale blue night

Out of this world

Our love takes flight

No need to fight

A beauty pure

My heart you have always had

From the very first sight

love-word-18235-hd-wallpapers

In bloom

The time is spring

3rd of April

Slight breeze

Fragrant of flowers in the air

Sun is shining

Birds in the sky

It is you to has caught my eye

The sparkle of your headband

Glows of gold and rare stones

Your hair you toss oh so gently

Moment of beauty

Taking my breathe away

The smile thrown in my direction

Reassures me of the love you give

So freely you give it to me

I approach counting every step

Till I closeout the distance between us

Our shadows greet each other

Our hands touch

Embraced as if they were in war

Leaning in our lips say hello

Sealing our love with a kiss

Setting off the firework show within

Our hearts beating the same song

Eyes never lose sight of each other

Closed by the veil of love

Opening to glace into our souls

Speaking the words

I love you

With all my heart and more

Our love is beautiful

BeexTTACIAAHzek

May her love

May her love and light

Grace the night sky

Mixing with the stars

Becoming a beacon of hope

In this life

Forever leading my broken heart

Through the days of beautiful suffering

A moment to boast

To say my love was with her

To say her heart I knew it well

WD904Forever

My response

 

One night as we were lying under the stars

You asked me a question

How much do you love me?

I thought about it

My response was this

More than the stars in the sky

You then said

There are too many to count

I said my love cannot be counted

Then you asked me again

How much do you love me?

I asked can you swim to the bottom of the sea

You said no it is too deep

I said so is my love

You asked me once more

How much do you love me?

My response was this

My love for you grows

Like a flower watered by love

Like the love of summer’s rain on a hot day

The joy of waking each morning Next to you Is God’s gift to me

The fire of my passion for you

Is like a volcano erupting

Like firework on the fourth of July

I then looked into your eyes

I said not a word

For the answer you seek

Was revealed by the whisper of my soul

The beating of my heart

couple-silhouette-1600x900-1600x600

With one kiss

 

 With a gentle kiss upon my lips

The storm brewing within

Dissipated

With one look

I was yours

With a smile

I knew it was true

Love has finally found me

Down here where

The lonely reside

Happiness I shall not hide

Tears no longer drops of pain

As your hand touches my face

Brushing away the years

The years I cowered in fear

Lost in the darkness of uncertainty

Your love showing the way out

Out of misery

Into the land abundance

Sheltered by love

Enclosed in your embrace

With you by my side

I know that my days are filled

By the look in your eyes

I have read your soul

I know I am now finally complete.

9214214466_981fa5b49c_z

Poet Bio

10447052_1435612340036889_2672300518382223832_nHoncho Wolfgang Von Mars began his journey as a youth in San Antonio, Texas. Having a strong desire to join the music scene, he combined forces with his brother Michael Gonzales and they formed Kin of Cain, a local rap group. From there, he felt like his future was laid out before him. Searching for his voice, he found it in writing poetry.

Writing for three years now, Honcho believes poetry is a way to release built up emotions, which is why he founded Writers of the Storm, an online community of thousands of poets around the world. Currently, he is in the process of writing a poetry book. While he’s against promoting evil and hate, his main desire is to lighten up the darkness of the world with love and positive thoughts.

Poet Links

https://www.facebook.com/Honcho.Mars78

https://instagram.com/honcho_mars/

http://www.poetrysoup.com/poems_poets/poems_by_poet.aspx?ID=56991

Once again, I want to thank our distinguished guest and poet, Honcho Mars, for stopping by the I Love Romance Blog!  It was such a pleasure to have you here! Readers, don’t forget to follow this awesome poet’s work! 🙂

9 Comments

Filed under Event, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Poet, Poetry, Readers, Romance, Writing

The Genesis of a Book – Leather and Lace by Marie Lavender

 This was a guest post on Exquisite Quills blog.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Start with a Title
My newest book is Leather and Lace, a romantic suspense.  It was released in November.  It is about a cop and the stripper he pursues because not only does he believe she is involved in a crime, he also can’t shake his desire for her.  But, there is a lot going on under the surface of things.  Patrick knows Angie is into something she can’t get out of, and yet she won’t tell him the truth.  His only choice is to try to gain her trust.  Angie, however, is a tricky girl and she makes him work for it.
Leather and Lace by Erica Sutherhome
When I first had the idea for Leather and Lace, all I had in mind was the title.  That’s not normally how I work.  The title is usually last.  But, I thought it was an awesome title and I went with it.  The premise of the story started to fall into place right away.  I had always been fascinated with women who use their sexuality to make money.  And I don’t mean prostitution, but exotic dancing.  Though I have done a strip tease (*blush) for my fiancé before, I just find it interesting that there are women comfortable enough to do that as a profession.  I don’t think I’d have the courage.
The fun thing about writing is that when you’re researching and composing, you kind of fall into the roles of the characters.  For a brief time, you can imagine yourself as those people.  So, it was really exciting to “become” Angie for the time I was writing Leather and Lace.  She is a multi-faceted character, and our hero, Patrick, has to work pretty hard to see those layers.  But, he was just as complicated a character and I had to not only give him cop instincts, but find out more about the location they were in.
I had a grand time researching Boston.  In fact, I found it so interesting, I plan to write about it again.  I wanted Patrick and Angie to live and work somewhat close to each other and after a bit of maneuvering, I figured out a way to do it.  I tried to use real places to give the story some authenticity.  For the rest, I used some creative license.  There is a restaurant that the couple goes to in the story, and I plan to go there too when I visit.  It is so amazing what you can find online these days.  I used the menu and pictures of the restaurant to describe it the best way I could.
As for Patrick, it was pretty fun researching what precinct or “district” he would work in as well as showing exactly the way a detective worked.  Patrick was not just a cop though.  He was a man with a pretty interesting background and I did my best to show that.
Overall, I found Leather and Lace to be one of my greatest joys.  I hope you find it just as exciting to read.
Blurb

When Detective Dreyling sees Evangeline Lewis standing over a dead body, his whole life changes. Determined to not only find out what she knows about the crime but also to make her his, he will go to any lengths, even bribe her boss, to have more time with her.

Angie fights the overwhelming desire she feels for Patrick, but there are some things in this world you can’t fight. There are rare kinds of attraction. No matter how much she tries to keep her heart from him, she can’t help the feelings that strike her.

What makes it all harder is the secret she keeps from him, the reason she has put herself in some pretty bad situations. Can she come clean with him in time or will the lie destroy any chance they have at happiness?
Author Bio
Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands.
At the tender age of nine, she began writing stories. Her imagination fueled a lot of her early child’s play. Even growing up, she entered writing contests and received a certificate for achieving the second round in one. She majored in Creative Writing in college because that was all she ever wanted – to be a writer. While there, she published two works in a university publication, and was a copy editor on the staff of an online student journal. After graduating from college, she sought out her dream to publish a book.
Since then, Marie has published seventeen books. Marie Lavender’s real love is writing romances, but she has also written mysteries, literary fiction and dabbled a little in paranormal stories. Most of her works have a romantic element involved in them. Upon Your Return is her first historical romance novel. Feel free to visit her website at http://marielavender.webs.com/ for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
A list of her books and pen names are as follows:
Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return
Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace
Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life
Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

1 Comment

Filed under Books, Romance, Writing