Tag Archives: guest post

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

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

 

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

 

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

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

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great week, everyone!

5 Comments

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

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Isobelle Cate

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

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

Romance can come in many forms. For many romance authors, romance might be equivalent to lust. It is after all, the first stage of getting to know each other in books. The words that flow from pens or computers are aimed at titillating the reader, coaxing a basic need to be swept away by their imaginations of being made loved to by an alpha male.

Is romance erotica? There is only so much a writer can do when incorporating sex in every chapter of a book. The dictum ‘less is more’ may come to the fore to keep a reader’s attention. There should also be a story that draws the reader in to want to turn the page. It may be good for the first book of a series or even a standalone. But if the basic writing formula is not tweaked or – heaven forbid – becomes predictable with the same words and almost similar descriptions of previous works, at the very least your possible fan will just close the book or tap on their kindle to find another book to read. And your novel will be relegated to their own ‘slush’ pile of forgettable books, never to be seen again.

 

Is sweetness and light ‘romance’? Probably to some; but definitely not by a long stretch. Readers might call it cute. Others can consider it ‘saccharine enough to develop diabetes just by reading the book. Is romance a knight in shining armor or a shiny Harley or Ducati, sweeping a damsel in distress to safety? Not really. Damsels in stories nowadays are strong women who do not scream (think Janet Leigh in Psycho) at the first sight of the big bad handsome antagonist. Damsels are kick-ass women who have the wherewithal to put the opposition down. She becomes a partner of the alpha protagonist and saves the day.

Then, what is romance? To me romance is about souls and hearts. It’s where two souls know that their hearts will meet. It’s when two hearts know that whatever the odds, they will come out of it as better individuals.

Even if the end game is the end of the relationship.

A sucker for pain? No, not really. But romance isn’t happily ever after all the time, is it? It’s the journey of figuratively a thousand deaths, souls forged in fire, tempered in strength, and knowing in the end that either two people were meant to be or it just isn’t the right time. Maybe soon…

Romance squeezes the hearts that keep coming back to be burned in love’s furnace. Romance is that moment when one feels hollow when the other heart isn’t around. Heck, it is also missing that heart even when s/he’s around just because they can’t get enough of each other. Romance is when hearts say what mouths can’t because there is this fear of being rejected. So the hearts dance around the flame, tasting it, being singed by it, until both are willingly consumed as an offering. Romance is what so many songs’ lyrics say – sacrifice.

Still romance? Yes. But this time, romance has been transformed into love.

Wow! You made some great points there.
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Isobelle! Lovely to have you here! ♥
Guest Bio

Isobelle Cate is a woman who wears different masks.  Mother-writer, wife-professional, scholar-novelist.  Currently living in Manchester, she has been drawn to the little known, the secret stories, about the people and the nations:  the English, the Irish, the Scots, the Welsh, and those who are now part of these nations whatever their origins.  Her vision and passion are fuelled by her interest and background in history and paradoxically, shaped by growing up in a clan steeped in lore, loyalty, and legend. Isobelle is intrigued by forces that simmer beneath the surface of these cultures, the hidden passions, unsaid desires, and yearnings unfulfilled.

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, Isobelle, for giving us your take on the romance genre, and what romance itself has come to mean to you. Awesome! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Debbie White visits us on April 18th! Yay! 🙂

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

4 Comments

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

Top 5 Ways to Spice Up Your Relationship: a guest post by Dating Connections

Top 5 Ways to Spice Up Your Relationship

 

It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a significant other from your own town, someone from your society, or if you’re dreaming of an interracial romance, we’re all actually looking for that special someone who will share a lifetime with us. Being in a serious, long-term relationship is amazing because it comes with many different perks. Regular sex, comfort, loyalty, and support. However, when two people are together for a long time, sometimes things can get a little predictable. There’s nothing wrong about that; serious relationships are drama-free, most of the time, but that predictability can damage a relationship. Especially if the couple doesn’t do anything to mix things up a bit. So, in order to help all the serious couples out there, here are the top five ways to spice up your relationship and keep the fire burning.

  1. Find New, Exciting Activities You Can Do Together

Laying around the house, watching countless TV shows and movies together is a perfectly good plan, but sometimes you need to change things up a bit. You don’t want to fall into the same routine every day because if this happens, your relationship may end pretty soon. So, instead of Netflix and chill, you should throw in a few different activities in the mix. It doesn’t have to be anything special and extraordinary; any kind of outdoor activity would be nice. You could travel together, take hikes and explore nature. These lovely activities will definitely make you feel more alive and that’s always good for a long-term relationship.

  1. Bring Back The Romance

It may sound cheesy, but romance is actually an extremely important part of every long relationship. People usually don’t get that, so they simply stop being romantic after a first few months of the relationship. Remember, you need to stay romantic even after the honeymoon phase is over. However, if you haven’t been romantic for years, there’s no need to panic because romantic gestures are not that complicated. You can take your significant other to a romantic dinner, wine tasting, or a lovely romantic getaway. If this is too much for you, there are always those “small”, everyday gestures like presents, flowers and sentimental cards.  Make romance your daily routine and your relationship will flourish in no time.

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

  1. Don’t Plan Everything, Be More Spontaneous

When two people spend two or three years together, it’s only natural for them to stop being spontaneous at some point, but that’s not a good sign. Of course, planning your dates and everyday activities is important, but sometimes you need to cut loose, footloose, kick off your Sunday shoes! In order to spice things up in your relationship, you simply need to be adventurous and spontaneous. This is the only way you’ll be able to surprise each other. So, don’t wait for the weekend. Take your partner dancing in the middle of the week. Go crazy!

  1. Role Playing In The Bedroom

Although it’s not the most important part of a relationship, sex is definitely one of the crucial aspects of a couple’s life. At the beginning of every relationship, sex is rather hot and steamy. You’re exploring one another and that is extremely exciting. However, after a few years, sex life usually becomes a routine. In order to prevent this from happening to your relationship, you need to spice things up in bed. Role playing is definitely the best way to do so since both of you will be able to pretend to be someone else. A break from reality is always a good thing.

Hannamariah, Big Stock Photo.

  1. Get Naughty In New Places

The bedroom is not the only place for sex; always remember that. Surroundings play a rather important role when it comes to making love with your partner. Having sex in your own bed or on a sofa in the living room is hot, but making love in a different place will definitely get your blood flowing. You can try out the kitchen floor, a hotel room, backseat of your car, or you can go on a very hot camping trip, just the two of you. Having sex in nature is an amazing feeling.

 

True! I think sometimes we all need tips on sparking more romance in our lives.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for this great advice about romantic relationships.

Guest Blogger Bio

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

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DatingConnect

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

 

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

As always, happy reading, everyone!  😉

2 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance

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!🙂

4 Comments

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

Top 5 Relationship Myths You Should Stop Believing Immediately: a guest post by Dating Connections

Top 5 Relationship Myths You Should Stop Believing Immediately

We live in a modern society where people love to stick their noses into other people’s business. This is one of the biggest reasons why we have so many horrible misconceptions regarding dating and relationships. For example, cheating housewives are always the main target of these horrible stereotypes. People believe that most housewives are cheating on their husbands every chance they get. Unfortunately, this is just one of the many misconceptions about modern day relationships. In order to fight this reoccurring problem in our society, we decided to pick out the five most popular relationship myths people should stop believing immediately. Stick around and see if you’ve ever been fooled by any of these stories.

  1. Happy Couples Never Fight

Whoever told you this probably never had a serious relationship. Yes, happy couples seem so perfect on the outside, but you don’t know what happens behind closed doors. We assume that it’s all hearts, unicorns, and butterflies, but that’s not true at all. All couples fight at some point and that’s perfectly normal and healthy. Arguments are good for solving bigger problems in the relationship and without them, every couple would fall apart after a few months. So, to bust this old myth, happy couples do fight, but that doesn’t prevent them from being happy. It actually helps them to move on and improve their relationship.

  1. Good Relationships Don’t Require Effort And Hard Work

This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions out there! When people see a long-lasting happy couple they automatically assume that it’s always been easy for them. This is a huge mistake because people work hard in order to create something that will last long. Most people out there think that finding their soulmate is all it takes for a happy relationship and that it’s smooth sailing from there. This is a delusion!

Created by Freepik

  1. Having A Baby Solves All The Problems

Many couples worldwide are trying to solve their problems by adding a baby to the equation and it backfires horribly most of the time. This is a common misconception simply because people think that baby will bring the parents closer together. Yes, that usually happens, but in a healthy relationship or marriage. Having a baby just to save your relationship is a bad idea. It will only create more problems for you and the innocent baby.

  1. Sex Is Great Only At The Beginning Of The Relationship

This is incredibly wrong, actually. If anything, sex is better as the relationship matures. For sex to be great, the two people need to have a good chemistry, but they also need practice, a lot of practice in order to get in sync. Every couple is a little bit clumsy and nervous at the beginning, but as the relationship moves forward, they start to get better and better in the bedroom.

Unsplash, Alejandra Quiroz, Creative Commons license.

  1. Opposites Attract

You probably heard this one a thousand times, right? Well, it’s true when magnets are concerned, but with people, the situation is completely different. Opposite people have nothing in common, and while it can be interesting in the beginning, it will turn into a nightmare when differences become unbearable. So, always try to find someone similar who has the same interests and passions as you. Don’t listen to this myth because you’ll only wind up in a dysfunctional relationship.

There you go, people, the five most common misconceptions about modern dating and relationships. If you want a normal, stable, and long-lasting relationship, the first thing you need to do is disregard every single one of them. Once you do that, you’ll be able to find your significant other. Good luck out there. ♥♥♥

Too right! As both romance writer and someone who has been in the dating scene before, then found my soul mate, I totally agree.

Thank you, Dating Connections, for this great advice about romantic relationships.

Guest Blogger Bio

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

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DatingConnect

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

 

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

As always, happy reading, everyone!  😉

Leave a comment

Filed under Blogging, Contemporary, Dating Tips, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance

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. 😀

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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:

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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! 🙂

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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!

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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…

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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

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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

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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.

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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! 🙂

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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

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Filed under Books, Romance, Writing