Tag Archives: historical romance

Vote For A Romance Cover!

Hi, readers! I just wanted to stop in and announce that two of my books were entered in the big cover contest on Authors Database. Yay! When you get a chance, you can check it out and vote for the one you like.

Upon Your Love, book three of the Heiresses in Love Series, which is also a historical romance/family saga novel, is in there. As you can tell, Adrienne’s eyes were fixed recently, to honor their unique violet hue.

This is the voting page for UYL:

https://authorsdb.com/2018-cover-contest-results/25047-cover-contest-2018-upon-your-love

Additionally, the cover for Directions of the Heart, a modern romantic drama collection, was nominated for the contest. Woo hoo! 🙂 Many thanks to Sherry Soule at SwoonWorthy Book Covers for her awesome work on the romance cover! ♥ 

Here’s the voting page for that book:

https://authorsdb.com/2018-cover-contest-results/25046-cover-contest-2018-directions-of-the-heart

Also, check out my author page over at AuthorsDB here.

This is for the next cover contest coming up. So, cast your vote and let me know which one you like best! You can also see the current contest and all the participating covers at the site here.

Enjoy, and have a great week! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Award, Books, Contemporary, Drama, Event, Fiction, Historical Romance, Marie Lavender, Readers, Romance

63 FREE Romance Books!!

Hi, readers! I wanted to pop in here today to let you know about a very cool, mega giveaway going on over at the Writing in the Modern Age blog this week. Among other genres, 63 romance novels are available.All you have to do to enter the contest is comment on the thread with all your genre preferences as well as a contact email, and you’ll have 164 chances to win books! Awesome, right?

Here is a list of some of the books offered. They’re in no particular order, but I’ve included the subgenres so you know how varied the giveaway is.

Sports Romance

Paranormal Thriller with Romantic Elements

 

Mystery Romance with Horror

Multicultural Romance

Historical Romance

Paranormal Romance

Science Fiction Romance

Erotic Romance

Romantic Comedy

Holiday Romance

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Romantic Suspense

Contemporary Romance

Romantic Thriller

 

Western Romance

 

LGBT Romance

Time Travel Romance

YA Romance

Inspirational Romance

Fantasy Romance

This contest is exciting! There are swag prizes too! 🙂 If you’d like to participate, please jump on Writing in the Modern Age to put in your entry (you can also email me directly at marieannlavender@gmail.com with the subject heading ‘Early Autumn Giveaway entry’, in case you’re a little shy about including your personal info).

The giveaway will run until Friday at midnight EST, but winners won’t be chosen until the weekend.

http://marielavender.blogspot.com/2017/09/400th-anniversary-post-early-autumn-mega-book-giveaway.html

So, why not go for it? These are FREE books! You won’t be sorry! 😉

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Giveaways, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, inspirational romance, LGBT, Marie Lavender, Mystery, New Adult, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Romantic Suspense, sports romance, Thriller/Suspense, Time Travel, western, Writing, Young Adult

Heroes & Heroines Special Feature: Character George Bramley from DEVIL’S RUN by Beverley Oakley

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

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

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

Who is George Bramley?

In Devil’s Run, I needed an antagonist to spark my heroine into actions that went against her heart’s desire in one respect, but which, in another way, promised her her heart’s desire.

George Bramley was perfect.

He’s appeared in the two previous books of the Scandalous Miss Brightwell series, always trying to wreck the romances that my matchmaking sisters – Fanny and Antoinette Brightwell –  are trying to orchestrate, but in this book, Devil’s Run, he’s actually the one wanting to marry the heroine. Not because he loves her, mind you.

 

As for my heroine, the penniless, sweet, intensely focused Eliza, she is desperate to be free of her controlling aunt, which leads her to accept the only marriage offer she’s ever received, even if there’s a caveat.

George always has to have his finger in some pie, or be involved in some unsavory wager. And when George learns that Eliza is tipped to inherit her aunt’s fortune, he proposes on the basis that if the aunt dies before their marriage without bestowing her fortune on her niece, George will pull out of the betrothal, but if the aunt is still living at the time of their marriage, he’ll go through with it on the basis that Eliza will ultimately inherit, and he can persuade the aunt in the meantime to favor Eliza.

Now, why would Eliza agree to this?

Well, first it’s because, as mentioned, she’s at the end of her tether having tended to her aunt’s persnickety needs for seven years, and even marriage to a man she doesn’t love is preferable.

Then she discovers that her long-lost illegitimate child, torn from her at three-months old, is a pauper child in George’s household.

But when a very handsome, kind and honorable fellow called Rufus Patmore, arrives at George’s estate to buy a horse, Eliza falls instantly in love.

Rufus is everything she’s ever wanted in a man: He loves children, he is brave, having served during the Peninsular Campaign, and he adores Eliza.

There’s just one problem. Rufus is on the lookout for a virtuous wife of unblemished character to be by his side as he establishes a political career.

And that, Eliza believes, means there can be no future for them.

How intriguing!

Devil’s Run just released yesterday. Awesome! :)

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

Let’s find out more about the novel, shall we? 😉
This is the blurb for Devil’s Run, book three of the Scandalous Miss Brightwell Series:

A rigged horserace and a marriage offer riding on the outcome. When Miss Eliza Montrose unexpectedly becomes legal owner of the horse tipped to win the East Anglia Cup, her future is finally in her hands – but at what cost?

George Bramley, nephew to the Earl of Quamby, will wager anything. Even his future bride.

Miss Eliza Montrose will accept any wager to be reunited with the child she was forced to relinquish after an indiscretion — even if it means marrying a man she does not love.

But with her heart suddenly engaged by handsome, charming Rufus Patmore who has just bought a horse from her betrothed George Bramley in whose household her son lives as a pauper child, the outcome of the wager is suddenly fraught with peril.

And here is an excerpt.

This excerpt begins after Eliza has just plunged into the lake to rescue three drowning children and their nanny. Having dragged them – and herself – to shore, she makes a shocking discovery.

Chapter Two

Eliza had forgotten what it felt like to enjoy a man’s attention. He’d started to dry her in a vigorous attempt to warm her but then his touch gentled and he simply stared down at her.

The wonder in his eye as he murmured words of praise was a rare sensation. Embarrassed, she turned away. Yes, turned away because she could not afford to be so obviously disquieted by another man when she was affianced to George Bramley who stood a few feet away from her. He was also staring but there was no softness in his countenance.

Hoping to avoid any more gestures of admiration or kindness from Mr. Patmore, Eliza politely extricated herself and put out her hand to arrest the progress of the Foundling Home lad whom Nanny Brown was pursuing with a piece of dry linen.

His impish grin reminded her of young Miss Katherine’s, Lady Fenton’s daughter. Clearly the two had had a great adventure unlike Young George who was lying on his stomach upon the grass, shaking with sobs.

“Did you drink a lot of water, Young George?” Eliza asked, looking down at the crying boy but he ignored her.

“I said we shouldn’t go out! I said!” He pounded his fists. “No one ever listens to what I say!”

Eliza shared a wry smile with the rather lovely Mr. Patmore whom she found still staring at her but, as he looked about to approach her again, she turned her back on him and instead brought the Foundling Home boy to stand in front of her now that she’d succeeded in catching him. Eliza would not have Mr. Bramley – or anyone else – accuse her of encouraging the attentions of a man not her betrothed.

“Jack – that’s your name, isn’t it? Well, you’ll have something to tell them back at the Foundling Home.” She’d seen him only from a distance and now, mud bespattered and with his hair matted over his forehead, it was difficult to make out his features though she knew from various anecdotes that young Jack distinguished himself for keeping Miss Katherine’s wilfulness in check and peace between Katherine and her cousin, Young George.

Jack stood obediently before her as he started to wring out his threadbare shirt. “Nah, I’m fine, m’lady,” he said, glancing up to reveal a pair of small white teeth in a freckled face. “But thanks for savin’ me, an’ all.”

Eliza was about to let him go. Releasing her grip a second later might have changed the course of her life, she thought later that evening, and perhaps it would have been better if she had. Why repeat the trauma she’d already experienced?

But for now she was acting on instinct and instead of letting him go when it would have seemed natural, her grip on his wrist tightened while the air in her lungs disappeared, and she had to open and close her eyes three times before she was ready to believe what she saw.

“Gideon?” There seemed still no air to say his name. A great pressure was building in her head. Finally she was able to gasp in a breath, forcing herself to resist the urge to draw him into her embrace and wail her joy.

And pain.

How many other boys of seven years sported a tiny extra claw on their left hand? Or had been thrust into the cold, unloving world of the Foundling Home, she thought bitterly.

He stopped what he was doing to look at her uncomprehendingly and she added faintly, “Though that’s not what they call you, of course.”

An amused look crossed his face, making him look older and wiser than his seven years. Nearby, the weeping and wailing George was a puling infant. Smiling at her was a little man.

He pushed out his chest and said in a tone that was neither boastful nor self pitying, “There’s some ‘at call me Devil’s Cub, or bastard, but at the manor here they call me Jack.”

Devil’s Cub? The sixth finger accounted for the nickname, of course.

“Miss Montrose?” In the distance, Lady Fenton was calling her. Eliza was suddenly shaking like one suffering the ague. “Jack,” she repeated in a whisper, still staring at him as she clenched her own fists. Was the child tormented by his deformity? It looked as if not much troubled him though Eliza couldn’t remember how many times Eliza had been told the sixth finger was God’s punishment upon her bastard babe.

“Miss Montrose! Come away! Susan is waiting in the house with a warm bath and blankets. You must be chilled to the bone!”

Vaguely, she could hear the sounds of concern all around her but all Eliza could focus on was the impish face before her: that of her lost child.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B072BNV6DT

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/devils-run-beverley-oakley/1126385396?ean=2940154261316

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/devil-s-run-1

Wow! So intriguing! ♥ I hope you all get a chance to read this historical romance! 🙂

Beverley is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember, you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

.•° GIVEAWAY °•.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Devil’s Run!

Thank you, Reviews by Crystal, for providing us with all the book details.

Readers, don’t forget to check out the whole series! It looks fantastic!
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Beverley! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

Beverley Oakley was seventeen when she bundled up her first her 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Unfortunately, drowning her heroine on the last page was apparently not in line with the expectations of romance readers so Beverley became a journalist.

Twenty-six years later Beverley was delighted to receive her first publishing contract from Robert Hale (UK) for a romance in which she ensured her heroine was saved from drowning in the icy North Sea.

Since 2009 Beverley has written more than thirteen historical romances, mostly set in England during the early nineteenth century. Mystery, intrigue and adventure spill from their pages and if she can pull off a thrilling race to save someone’s honor – or a worthy damsel from the noose – it’s time to celebrate with a good single malt Scotch.

Beverley lives with her husband, two daughters and a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy the size of a pony opposite a picturesque nineteenth century lunatic asylum. She also writes Africa-set adventure-filled romances starring handsome bush pilot heroes, and historical romances with less steam and more sexual tension, as Beverley Eikli.

 

Thanks again, Beverley, for giving us a peek into the world of your characters. Exciting! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Cleo Scornavacca visits us on August 17th! Yay! 🙂

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

Have a great rest of your week, everyone!

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

Mega Cool Review for UYL — 5 Stars!

So, I am bursting to give you this news! I just stumbled across this awesome five star review for Upon Your Love, a historical romance/family saga novel and book three of the Heiresses in Love Series.

This is what the reviewer said on Amazon:

I always thought historical romances were boring, but I was wrong!!!, June 13, 2017

This review is from: Upon Your Love (Heiresses In Love Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
The first thing I noticed was the length of the book which might startle a modern-day reader, but this one’s totally worth it. A solid storyline that flows from one page to the next. I think the length of this book is a plus point because it allows you to really, really get to know the characters. So don’t let the number of pages scare you. Most romance novels don’t give you deep insight into the characters. They are all about formulaic plots and stereotypical heroes and heroines. But in this book, the characters felt deeper than a typical romance. It was almost as if the author spent a lot of time building the characters in her head, and as the story proceeded, the characters kept growing.

Although it’s a historical romance, it doesn’t feel dated or stylistic in any way because of the way the author has captured the essence of human nature and relationships. The characters are likable which is no ordinary feat because I find it very difficult to like female protagonists.

Two-thumbs up.”

Wow! Thanks for your kind comments!

Readers, don’t forget to check out the whole Victorian maritime romance series as well! 😉

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Filed under Books, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, Marie Lavender, Message, Readers, Reviews, Romance, Writing

New Release Feature: Druid’s Portal: The First Journey by Cindy Tomamichel

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Cindy Tomamichel, an author I met during my journey! Her time travel romance, Druid’s Portal, officially released this week! Yay! That’s awesome! :)

Congrats on your new release! 😉

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

Cindy is giving us a look at her “timey wimey” (Yes, I’m a Doctor Who nerd) romance, Druid’s Portal: The First Journey, today.

Cool cover!

This is the blurb for Druid’s Portal:

A portal closed for 2,000 years.

An ancient religion twisted by modern greed.

A love that crosses the centuries.

An ancient druid pendant shows archaeologist Janet visions of Roman soldier Trajan. The visions are of danger, death, and love—but are they a promise or a curse?

Her fiancé Daman abandons her before the wedding, her beloved museum is ransacked, and a robed man vanishes before her eyes. Haunted by visions of a time she knows long gone, Janet teeters on the edge of a breakdown.

In the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall and 2,000 years back in time, Janet’s past and present collide. Daman has vowed to drive the invaders from the shores of Britain and march his barbarian hordes to Rome. Trajan swears vengeance against the man who threatens both his loves—Janet and the Empire.

Time is running out—for everyone.

And here is an excerpt from Druid’s Portal: The First Journey to tease you with.

“Sister, may I speak with you? I’ve been having dreams, visions of the past.”

“And these worry you, my dear?”

“Yes, I’m afraid . . .”

“That you’re losing your mind?” the gentle nun smiled. “Janet, my dear child, you’re perhaps too sane for your own good. What you have experienced has made you strong, but you ignore the truth of your heart. Perhaps these visions are your heart talking to you.”

“My heart?” stammered Janet, thinking of Trajan.

“There are many mysteries in these dark forests that science struggles to explain. People born here have the weight of history and the forest secrets in their bones. This is your heritage, too, to see things that may be hidden. But one mystery is hope. Your heart hopes and yearns for love, despite the pain inflicted by Daman. The human heart—your own heart—is a mystery.” She placed her hand gently on Janet’s shoulder. “Maybe it is time you listened to yours. Follow where it leads you.”

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071LBLQ1G

Wow! Love the emotional struggle here. ♥♥♥

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

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book!

Author Bio

Cindy Tomamichel is a writer of action adventure romance novels, spanning time travel, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal genres. They all have something in common – sword fights! The heroines don’t wait to be rescued, and the heroes earn that title the hard way.

Cindy’s recent published work includes winning a fractured fairy tale competition with a twist on the Rapunzel story. The fundraising event Madwomen Monologues has presented two of her monologues on stage. She also has poetry and short stories in two anthologies by Rhetoric Askew.

Author Links

Website:  www.cindytomamichel.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CindyTomamichel

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Cindy-Tomamichel/e/B07148BH5Y/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16194822.Cindy_Tomamichel

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

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, new release, Readers, Romance, Time Travel, Writing

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Tina Donahue

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 the next post in this series.

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

From the time I first read Gone with the Wind in high school, I was hooked on historical tales. To me, the interaction between the heroines and heroes gives romance emotional weight rather than simply being plot driven. If I care about the people who populate a novel, I read on. If not, I’ll look elsewhere. Romance, to me, is a deeply personal connection between the world the author has created and the reader. It’s like growing to like and love someone, and inviting that person into your life as a trusted friend or lover. It doesn’t get more personal than that.

I’ve often heard that writing romance is easy. You know the old phrase: Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl. Generally speaking, that covers the plot but not the emotions. Romance, more than any other genre, is driven by feelings. Getting those emotions down on paper is exceedingly difficult. There are visceral reactions (palms sweating, heart pounding) and personal ones (If I give my heart will s/he treat it well or will s/he disappoint me as others have done in the past?).

Created by Freepik

Romance is about trust and taking chances. For example, in my historical series Pirate’s Prize, nothing is as it seems, at least to the heroines. In the initial book, First Comes Desire, Diana is convinced Tristen Kent is a murderous pirate. In truth, circumstances beyond his control drove him to where he is. Whether he’ll be able to convince Diana of that remains in question until he proves himself and their emotional bond grows. In a plot-driven book, narration would tell you that they’ve connected. That’s not enough, at least for me. I want to feel their burning need for each other. That comes from shared experiences, friendship, and loyalty. An easy matter to plot, but quite difficult to get on the page. Watching these two connect and fall in love is what romance means to me. That moment when a woman knows this is the man who’ll stay by her side for a lifetime, no matter the difficulties he’ll face. And when he understands what a woman truly needs: fidelity and respect.

In Days of Desire, the second book in the series, I upped the ante between the heroine and hero: Simone and Royce. He’s a disgraced noble on a mission to destroy the island paradise where she lives. She’s an islander, considered less by those who live in the so-called civilized world. In this instance, romance is about cultural problems that don’t need to exist and about giving your heart to someone no matter what the rest of the world thinks. Heritage and ideology have no hold where love is involved, nor should they. To witness Royce forsaking everything he’s been taught to embrace a life with Simone is what romance means to me. It’s risking everything for the one person you simply have to have and defending that individual against anyone who dares try to ruin the connection.

Far beyond being an entertainment vehicle, romance means showing the world that we’re all simply people with the same needs and dreams. Once we dismiss the unnecessary obstacles society puts in our way, we can find that one person who makes our heart sing, brings passion to our days, and secures our future.

Unsplash, Alejandra Quiroz, Creative Commons license.

Days of Desire is available for pre-order. Ready to read July 4th.

Wow! I couldn’t have said it better myself… 😉
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Tina! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

Tina Donahue is an Amazon and international bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary, and historical romance for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times, and numerous online sites have praised her work. She’s won Readers’ Choice Awards, RWA awards – Holt Medallion and NEC, and won a Book of the Year award. She’s featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company. You can find her online at:

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, Tina, for giving us your take on what romance has come to mean to you. Lovely! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Carole McKee visits us on May 25th! Yay! 🙂

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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

Five Amazing Stars for UYL!

Thanks, David, for your awesome commentary about Upon Your Love, book three of the Heiresses in Love Series!

on May 17, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition
Marie Lavender’s books revolve around strong female characters who find themselves struggling to attain their goals in spite of opposition from the social conventions of their times and the attempts of men to control their lives. Upon Your Love is no exception. Set in the nineteenth century, it is the story of Adrienne Hill, the daughter of a sea captain, who lives on a plantation near New Orleans.
Adrienne is no “shy flower.” She fences and she rides. She travels about the plantation without a chaperone or a guardian, protected by weapons hidden on her person. She goes to sea with her father, and at times, wished she were a sailor.
The book traces the rocky development of her love for Christian, a strong man with a “bad boy” reputation who is attracted to the independent, strong-willed Adrienne.
If you enjoy historical romances with strong characters, plot twists, danger, and love, you will like this book.

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Filed under Authors, Books, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, Marie Lavender, Readers, Reviews, Romance, Writing

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Susanne Matthews

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 the next post in this series.

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

What does romance mean to me?

Hello, Marie, and thank you for the opportunity to participate in your latest venture. Since I consider myself a romance author this should be an easy question to answer, but it really isn’t. Old-school as I am, I opted to check the online dictionary definition for ‘romance’.

Noun: 1. A feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. “In search of romance”

Synonyms: amorousness, love, passion, ardor, sex, desire, eroticism

  1. A quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life. “The beauty and romance of the night”

Synonyms: mystery, glamour, excitement, exoticism, mystique

Verb:1. Court; woo. “The wealthy estate owner romanced her”

Synonyms: woo, chase, pursue

  1. Another term for romanticize. “To a certain degree I am romancing the past”

Synonyms: idealize, glamorize, exaggerate

Wow! Talk about extremes. What’s a person supposed to take away from such a definition? I once had an editor tell me that her company published romances, not love stories—love stories came after the romance. Confusing? I thought so until I realized that while love may be a synonym of romance, it really doesn’t mean the same thing.

To me, romance is a complex and complicated word denoting several different aspects of human relationships. Person A meets person B, and they both live happily ever after, is a simplistic explanation for one of life’s most difficult challenges.

Regardless of who is involved, I see romance as the initial stage in a relationship between individuals, but one that may not necessarily end as the relationship progresses. This early stage can occur at different times and in hundreds of different ways and can certainly be a time of mystery and excitement. I had a friend at university who loved the romance aspect of a relationship. She saw it as the time when people went out of their way to impress the other person. As she put it, it’s the chocolate and flowers season. It’s a time to get to know one another, warts and all. Personally, I grew up when romance didn’t involve sex the way it does in many cases today. People dated, walked hand in hand, kissed, fell in love and went steady, and while someone might get to “first or even second base,” rarely did they “get to third and score a home run.” Not having that level of physical involvement made it easier in some ways for people who didn’t fall in love to let the relationship fizzle and die. Maybe that’s why marriage and relationships lasted longer than they do today.

The most common route to romance starts with attraction, a kind of undefined magnetism that draws individuals together. In a perfect world, that attraction becomes infatuation, which grows into desire. In some cases, the desire will grow into love. In others, the flames will burn hot and heavy, eventually extinguishing themselves. Not every romance leads to happily ever after.

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

There are times when the initial attraction doesn’t ramp up to infatuation right away and develops into a deep friendship instead. For some, that friendship stays as is and endures a lifetime. My first real boyfriend is still a cherished friend and married to my best girlfriend. I even introduced them, and they’ve been together 44 years.

Sometimes, romance develops when people are thrown together by circumstances, which is often the case in my books. Initially, they may not feel that instantaneous magnetic appeal, but there is something about the person they admire. Often, that admiration will grow into respect and that respect into love. Since I frequently put my characters in danger, there is a protective instinct that often comes into play.

I consider myself extremely lucky. I met my husband at university. The first time we met, there were sparks of interest, and when he asked me out, I accepted. On our first date, we talked for hours, getting to know one another. The following week, he sent me a funny card, something he did quite often. Over the course of two years, we dated exclusively and married shortly after he started his first job. We’ll celebrate 46 years together in September and he is still my best friend. Time changes relationships, especially marriages, but we both worked hard to keep the romance in ours. Even when the children were young, we had date night. It might only have been a romantic candlelight dinner after all the kids were in bed, but we made time for one another.

Today, now that we are in our so-called golden years, we still have date night and romance in our lives. We travel just the two of us, enjoying the things we’ve come to love together, understanding the limitations age has put on both of us. We have time with the children and grandchildren, but when it comes right down to it, we are a couple and the romance is still very much alive.

Getting to know one another, sharing and caring, doing whatever it takes to make the other person feel loved and cherished, to me, that’s what romance is all about.

When I create my characters, I try to give them the time to get to know one another. I make sure the reasons they don’t commit to one another are logical and understandable. I don’t have perfect people in my books, but flawed characters who have to overcome both physical and emotional issues before they can admit to themselves how they feel and commit to the other. In my novel, The Price of Honor, I have two old friends who are reunited by circumstances, but the past is as much what draws them together as it is what keeps them apart. The romance is there as they get to know one another all over again, searching for the truth and maybe saving the colony in the process.

For me romance is a journey of discovery that hopefully ends in a happily ever after.

Wow! I couldn’t have said it better myself…
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Susanne! Lovely to have you here! ♥
And gosh, I love that cover!

Guest Bio

Amazon bestselling author Susanne Matthews was born and raised in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She is of French-Canadian descent. She’s always been an avid reader of all types of books, but with a penchant for happily ever after romances. A retired educator, Susanne spends her time writing and creating adventures for her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.

Not content with one subgenre, Susanne writes romance that ranges from contemporary to sci-fi and everything in between. She is a PAN member of the Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, or traveling to interesting places she can use as settings in her future books. In summer she enjoys camping with her grandchildren and attending various outdoor concerts and fairs. In winter, she likes to cuddle by the fire and watch television.

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, Susanne, for giving us your take on what romance has come to mean to you. Lovely! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Tina Donahue visits us on May 18th! Yay! 🙂

We may have other posts before then, though.

Have a great week, everyone!

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

Get a copy of UYL!

By now, you probably already know that book three of the Heiresses in Love Series, Upon Your Love, released on February 26, 2017. Yay!

upon-your-love-final-cover

 

So, I’m popping in here to tell you about a new development. Today you have the chance to win a free ebook copy of UYL, if you just head over to the great 6th Anniversary Party over at The Romance Reviews. Congrats, TRR! 🙂

anniv2017

Stop by the party and answer the simple, yet brief Q&A to qualify for a chance to win in the contest for this historical romance/family saga novel! Plus, get a chance to win lots of other free prizes if you check out the event page daily this month.

Sounds great, right? Who doesn’t love free? ♥♥♥

So, go check it out! Maybe you’ll find something cool to read over there… 😉

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Filed under Authors, Book Giveaways, Books, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, Marie Lavender, Message, new release, Readers, Romance

New Release Alert: Upon Your Love by Marie Lavendar

My newest release!

Ruff Drafts

upon-your-love-final-cover

Amazon Universal link:  

https://bookgoodies.com/a/ B06XBPVS7D

myBook.to/UYL

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/ upon-your-love/

CreateSpace link:  https://www.createspace.com/ 6969887

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ book/show/29083654-upon-your- love

Book Trailer:  https://youtu.be/UVENg4kOros

My historical romance/family saga novel, Upon Your Love, book three of the Heiresses in Love Series, releases on February 28th. This is a Victorian era romance and the final book of the series. 

Blurb

The Hill family saga concludes as loyalties are questioned, faiths will be tested and undying love may come at a terrible cost…

uyl-promo-aFara Hill, mother and faithful wife, is torn between her family at home and her urge to be at sea. Soon, she learns some disturbing truths. Was the past a fairy tale instead of reality?
 
uyl-promo-c-adrienne-and-christian1Chloe Hill, loving wife and young mother, questions her faith when her husband sets an ultimatum she cannot meet. Will she be able to keep her marriage from falling apart?
 
Adrienne Bellamont Hill, born…

View original post 1,680 more words

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, Love, Marie Lavender, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing