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Why YOU Should Read at Least One Romance Novel in Your Lifetime: a guest post by Lady Silver

Why YOU Should Read at Least One Romance Novel in Your Lifetime

 

When people hear the term ‘romance novel’, usually they think of some cheesy story where true love triumphs at the end and it fulfills someone’s secret desires.

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However, there is so much more to these stories than just “sappiness” and “smuttiness.” They deal with hard truths about the world and give those who are struggling to find the good in humanity hope. In fact, everyone should read a romance novel at least once in their lifetime because of the following reasons.

  1. Life Lessons

During the course of certain romances, characters have to undergo character development so that they can appreciate the love that they have found. On the way, they learn certain life lessons that can be applied to the real world. An example is in The Darkest Craving by Gena Showalter.

The main character has to deal with sexual abuse that caused him to feel worthless and “less-than.” On the way to recovery, he realizes that what happened to him isn’t his fault and that it’s okay to cry over the wrongs done to him. Even the female character has to overcome her own forms of abuse and by the end, they are stronger as individuals and as a couple.

Carly Rae Hobbins, Unsplash

There are other lessons that can be taught through these novels such as being compassionate, being loyal, never giving up, et cetera; all of which can be applied to the real-world.

  1. Relationship Advice

Obviously, there will be some relationship drama in a romance novel. However, the journey through the relationships can provide insight into real-life dramas. For example, if the main character finds out that they have a child by another woman in the midst of his current relationship (which happens in almost all of Pippa Grant’s books), then the story deals with how the love interest adapts to becoming a step-parent and how the main character adapts to becoming an actual parent. This scenario is played out countless times throughout the media and in real-life, so it’s good to see a book tackle how to approach this situation.

Guillaume de Germain, Unsplash

Also, everyday struggles like not knowing how to act in front of in-laws and sharing space are all struggles anyone in a serious relationship will deal with, and all are tackled within romance novels.

  1. Comic Relief

Some romance novels have an underlying humor to them. Just like movie goers flock to the cinema in order to see the new Kevin Hart movie, readers love romance novels for their comedy. Humor can bring a happy release at the end of a hard day, joy to a horrible situation, and can lighten a dark mood.

Vanessa Serpas, Unsplash

Romance novels have a lot of funny lines, such as, “I guess I’m the sole monolinguist. Which either means I know a single language, or I’m committed to eating one box” (The Master by Kresley Cole).

They also have hilarious situations like a Greek god popping out of a book naked to the surprise of a modern-day Louisiana woman (Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon).

Either way, the comedic scenarios in these books help lighten their reader’s day. Also, they’re just plain entertaining.

  1. Ideas

Of course, there are plenty of steamy scenes within romance novels, and I would be lying if I said that readers just read them for the above reasons. There is satisfaction in reading a good sensual scene between fictional characters. Sometimes, it’s not the “sex” that makes these scenes enjoyable but the tension between the two that readers love. Not only does it give fuel to fantasies, it also gives ideas for real-life partners who want to “spice it up” in the bedroom. There’s a reason why Fifty Shades of Grey did so well, and it isn’t the plot.

Stokpic, pexels.com

Sure, these scenes bring in readers, but they aren’t the only reason for reading.

Yuri Efremov, Unsplash

Romance novels give real-world advice on how to handle love and life while still being entertaining and wholesome.

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Too right!

Thank you, Lady Silver, for offering some great suggestions to non-romance readers, and reaffirming the fascination for loyal fans! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

I am an anonymous blogger who explores how the romance genre impacts the real world while also deconstructing all elements of romance.

Links

Website/Blog:  www.ladysilverfeather.com

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LadySilver9

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/103970957583905254546

 

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

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

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Filed under Blogging, Books, Event, Faith, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, romantic ideas, Stories

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Katherine McIntyre

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. In 2017 and 2018, 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 Katherine McIntyre, who has some things to say about the question at hand.

In real life, romance has meant different things to me at different times in my life. There’s the brand-new love sort of romance, that addicting thrill of hope and possibility that comes with initial attraction, or that flash of compatibility.

JD Mason, Unsplash

A lot of people get stuck in this cycle, as there’s an addiction to the intensity of the feelings, which can be hard to sustain for the other sorts of romance.

Then there’s the long-term sort of relationships, the goal for many of those early loves, the hope that they mature into something like this. Except one of the things I didn’t realize until I entered into one myself was the amount of work it takes to sustain those relationships. As the adrenaline rush from the beginning fades, then comes the real work. Life gets in the way, and time can dull that initial thrill, which is why I had to learn to continue to feed the romance, to schedule dates and make sure we spent quality time together.

Jelleke Vanooteghem, Unsplash

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In finding that other sort of romance, the long-lasting kind, it’s not a flash in the pan, but instead a steady hearth stoked over time.

Except the thrill of early relationships, of finding ‘the one’ is seductive. There’s a giddiness that can’t be replicated, the feeling of stepping to the edge of a precipice and daring to jump.

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Which is exactly what led me to reading and writing romance.

Ben White, Unsplash

Debby Hudson, Unsplash

Through the genre, I’ve experienced love through the eyes of thousands of different characters, which has led to a deeper understanding of why I fell for the genre in the first place.

Romance is this beautiful, healing thing. It’s hope. It’s a force of good, when there is so much sadness and pain in the world. In my Tribal Spirits series, I’ve written romances between a hero and heroine who are equally stubborn and had never managed to find commitment before, and a later book features a couple who both believe themselves too broken to ever find love.

The sheer amount of variability allows me to keep diving into the genre again and again, because as no two individuals are the same, every romance is unique.

What I adore about romance isn’t just the bringing of two people together, but how the relationships impact their individual communities, their families. When people unite, they can become something stronger than when alone, and seeing those individuals bolstered and supported often offers a glimpse of their best selves. Romance becomes a source of power, of strength, and of growth.

Bruce Mars, pexels.com

For me, romance has always meant hope.

Too right! ♥♥♥
Thanks for stopping by with your inspiring guest post, Katherine! Lovely to have you here! 😀
 
Guest Bio

Strong women. Strong words.

Katherine McIntyre is a feisty chick with a big attitude despite her short stature. She writes stories featuring snarky women, ragtag crews, and men with bad attitudes–high chance for a passionate speech thrown into the mix. As an eternal geek and tomboy who’s always stepped to her own beat, she’s made it her mission to write stories that represent the broad spectrum of people out there, from different cultures and races to all varieties of men and women. Easily distracted by cats and sugar.

Author Links

Website/Blog:  http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/kmcintyreauthor

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1816179461992109/

Twitter:  https://www.twitter.com/pixierants

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00J8U4VNU

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6473654.Katherine_McIntyre

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/103953984130384189045

Newsletter Sign-Up:  http://eepurl.com/duIScb

Publisher:  https://bit.ly/2B6QKGa

 

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

Readers, stay tuned for a romance blog tour feature on November 27th! Yay! 🙂

Have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 🦃

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

Top Historical Romance Books We Can’t Stop Reading: a guest post by Dating Connections

Top Historical Romance Books We Can’t Stop Reading

 

Whether you’re in a biker dating rut and need some way to keep things interesting, or are a bookworm that’ll read anything and everything, today we present a short yet comprehensive list of historical romance books that are a true hit with their readership!

Javier García, Flickr

Mostly set in England, these novels will keep you on your toes much like Pride & Prejudice – you know Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth have to get together in the end, but it’s all so complicated that it seems impossible! ♥

#1: Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon

The story of Claire Randall is set in the Scottish Highlands just after WWII. A combat nurse just back from the war, Claire is reunited with her husband, but soon finds herself as a Sassenach – an ‘outlander’ in a war-torn Scotland when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Claire discovers that her only chance to stay safe depends on Jamie Fraser, a handsome young soldier who steals her heart. She must find her way through the world of danger, passion, and violence as she is trying to reconcile two irreconcilable lives. One of the most popular historical romances (with a time travel slant) on Goodreads with a score of 4.22 out of 5 based on more than 665,000 ratings, Outlander is an explicit book that uses descriptive, energizing and highly engaging writing.

#2: Westcott Series by Mary Balogh (Someone to Love)

The death of Humphrey Westcott, Earl of Riverdale, leaves behind a fortune and a secret he had kept for so long – a daughter no one ever knew he had. Anna Snow, who grew up as an orphan, learns her father was the late Earl of Riverdale, and she stands to inherit a fortune, but her siblings want nothing to do with her. When the new Earl’s guardian becomes interested in Anna, he assists her with the transformation from an orphan to a lady, stepping in to rescue her only to find himself vulnerable to the feelings he has kept hidden for so long. Someone to Love is the 5th book in a series, but good as a stand-alone as well as evidenced by its rating of 3.8 on Good Reads and plenty of praise.#3: The Hathaways Series by Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight)

When Amelia Hathaway discovers she’s about to inherit a fortune and find herself in London society, she realizes that tending to her two younger siblings is far easier than navigating the ways of the aristocracy. Matters are further complicated when she falls for a tall, dark, and handsome Cam Rohan, who’s unfathomably rich and tired of society’s petty restrictions. He offers only friendship when Amelia reaches out to him for help, but both are soon tempted by the desire that blindsides them both. Mine Till Midnight scored 4.08 out of more than 50,000 ratings on Goodreads, and it’s perfect for anyone who can’t resist love at first sight!#4: The Brothers Sinister Series by Courtney Milan (The Duchess War)

Minerva Lane is a quiet, bespectacled girl who tries hard not to get anyone’s attention. The last time she was at the center of things she had to change her name to escape her scandalous past. Hence, when a handsome duke comes into town, the last thing she wants is to catch his eye, which is precisely what happens. But Robert Blaisdell, the Duke of Clermont, is no fool, and quickly realizes there is much more to Minnie than she lets on, and once things get heated he discovers that this little shy girl could prove to be more than he can handle. Beloved by its readership with a Goodreads rating of just under 4, The Duchess War is a must for anyone looking for steamy historical fiction.#5: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

No list on the most popular historical romance books would ever be complete without Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. One of the most popular novels in this genre, Pride and Prejudice tells a story of incredibly stubborn Elizabeth Bennett, one of five sisters who must marry rich to secure their status, who meets just as incredibly arrogant and rich beyond measure Mr. Darcy. Filled with humorous dialogue, this story of courtships draws readers in with inconceivable force, and delivers a very satisfying finale to the delight of all. With more than 2 million ratings on Goodreads, and a score of 4.25 out of 5, even its old English in which it is written can’t take away from the intrigue and the narrative that are absolutely breathtaking.

#6: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

Although depicting some historical accuracy peppered with a little drama for good measure, Phillipa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl is a compelling historical novel about two sisters fighting for the affection of the same man, Henry the VIII. When Mary is set off to his court at a tender age of 14, she catches the eye of the powerful king and is soon swept off her feet thanks to his genuine infatuation with her. However, Mary soon realizes she’s a pawn in her family’s scheme to move up the social ladder, and as the king’s interest in her fades, she must step aside for her best friend and mighty rival – her sister Anne. With 4.05 out of 5 on Goodreads, The Other Boleyn Girl is highly praised by its readers for making history so much fun and addictive to read.

Yuri Efremov, Unsplash

Wow! What a great sampling of historical romance books!

Thank you, Dating Connections, for such great tips for our reading lists! ♥♥♥

Guest Blogger Bio

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

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BoyanUlv

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

 

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

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

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Filed under Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Gifts, Guest Writer, Historical, Historical Romance, Message, Readers, Research, Romance, romantic ideas, Stories, Time Travel

“Aching Heart” – a poem

Aching Heart

Taillights easing farther away,

my eyelids shutter.

Patrick Tomasso, Unsplash

Even before you’ve left, I ache for you.

Missing you is pain.

In bed I yearn for your arms to hold me tight once more,

yet the room is dark and cold.

Ahmed Ashhaadh, Unsplash

All I have are memories,

the remnant of your kiss on my lips,

your scent surrounding me.

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Even though I know you’re driving home,

I worry for you, hoping you’ll get there safe,

just as I always have.

Joe Gardner, Unsplash

These miles separate us too often…

Digital messages pale to the real thing…just having you beside me is a blessing.

Still, I ache.

I keep myself busy each day, but there there’s that moment,

when a joke comes along, or a sight I want to share…

William Iven, Unsplash

but you’re not here.

It’s frightening to need someone this way.

Yet I know it’s love,

the true kind.

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Yearning for the day we can finally be together without the world getting in the way…

it’s a long wait to say ‘I do’.

Brian Hartley, Unsplash

But I’ll keep going.

You are my strength,

my hope,

my heart,

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the only one I want to touch me in a million ways.

You mean so much to me.

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Before I say goodnight – knowing that maybe…just maybe I’ll see you in my dreams –

I will state one last thing you’ll never have to doubt.

I am…

always,

always yours.

Brooke Winters, Unsplash

© Marie Lavender, 2018.

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Filed under Blogging, Hope, Love, love poem, Marie Lavender, Message, poem, poems, Poetry, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writing

Book Feature: The Milanese Stars by author Pamela Q. Fernandes

I am pleased to announce a great book by Pamela Q. Fernandes, an author I met during my journey! She’s stopping by to tell us about her thrilling romantic suspense, The Milanese Stars, which released back in June!

Woo hoo! It’s always fun to discover new authors and books. 😀

Pamela is allowing us a look at her mysterious, suspenseful romance, The Milanese Stars, today.

Intriguing cover!

This is the blurb for The Milanese Stars:

The heist of the decade and yet, no one would have guessed… it was her.
The Milanese Stars are missing from the famous Buccatino boutique. When American insurance investigator, Samuel Keane is called in to liaise with the polizia, he finds the whole heist odd. Not only are the Milanese Stars, a set of five pink diamonds, not listed in the inventory of stolen items, worse, none of the surrounding owners witnessed a thing.
Samuel is anxious to solve the case and partners with local café owner, Vita, who has a very good vantage point to watch Buccatino.
As Samuel digs further into the history of the stars, he discovers Vita’s friends and her physically challenged sister are all connected to them.
The more Samuel investigates, the more dangers he and Vita face.
What will he do when he learns the heist of the decade isn’t about stealing pink diamonds… it’s about settling the score!

And here is an excerpt to tease you with.

Vita laid out the glossy brioches and colorful macaroons at the Café Milano, located on Via Rosa street, in time for the swarming tourists of Milan. The summer months proved good for business in Italy, but more so in Milan, when the music festivals, exhibitions, and the seas beckoned people from all over the world. Their exploration of this historical city fueled by food and drink from her café meant more money in the till. Hearing it ring made her heart skip.

These days another kind of tourist swarmed the area—Polizia. Hundreds of them. Ever since the renowned Buccatino store had been pinched last week, the place teemed with them. Pinched was an understatement, since the Carabinieri marched up and down the street too, flashing their badges and lights.

The door chimed. Vita looked up from the display counter and put a cup under the espresso machine. Half expecting her regular customers, she stood stunned when she saw the tall man in his tailored suit and polished leather shoes walking toward the counter. There was something different about him. He had an air of confidence as if he was used to being in command. His black suit fit snugly across his broad shoulders. The scent of his cologne hit her hard, a combination of pine forest and mandarin. He belonged to a different set. His kind of crowd didn’t come to her café for their morning cuppa.

Vita said the first thing that came to her mind. “Bon Giorno.” She took in the etched cheekbones, the strong nose, and the cleft in his jaw. His hair was a dark chestnut brown, combed to the left, and his eyes were whirlpools of gray with flecks of black.

He smiled. “Good morning, Madam. Can I get a cappuccino?” he asked, bending down to observe the display. “You got lots of delicious things here, but what’s the sweetest thing you have?” She noticed his eyes drift to her lips.

“It depends entirely on your taste,” she said, flashing her dimples at him. He was cute, she had to admit. He’d dressed in an exquisitely cut suit over a snowy white shirt and a thin blue satin tie. He was tall and lean. As he tapped his long fingers on the display, she couldn’t help noticing his engraved cuff links. And he didn’t have a ring on his left hand. Christmas had come early. She boxed in her excitement. He stepped closer to the counter and his scent filtered to her; she could almost taste him. If she were a dog, she would have drooled all over him. But she was Vita. Goofy, silly Vita.

“How about the salted caramel macaroon. I love sweet stuff.”

“Good choice,” she said, quickly regaining her senses, although her heart galloped with the mild flirtation. Heat suffused her. Did she just flirt back with him? Her? Maybe it was his cologne. Gosh, it drove her crazy.

“Would you like to have it here or take away?”

“Takeaway, please. I’m in a bit of a rush.” His eyes glanced over her café.

His deep, timbered voice, caused goose pimples to flare all over her. She observed him from the corner of her eye. He wasn’t a tourist, but he wasn’t Italian. His twangy accent revealed he was an American, but he wasn’t sightseeing.

Fear seized her. Could he be with the police? They didn’t dress like him though. They couldn’t afford to, and if they could, they wouldn’t flaunt it in public. Curiosity got the better of her, but she went with her gut, and her gut told her to keep her mouth shut.

“There you go,” she said. His fingers brushed against hers as he handed her three euros. She held her gasp and made a receipt. She itched to ask him who he was and what he was doing here. A million questions raced through her mind, the most important one being, ‘Do you have a girlfriend or do you even like women?’

She exercised restraint, biting her lip.

“That’s your receipt, and have a nice day, Sir.”

“I will. Thank you.” He paused. “Do you serve meals?”

“Yes, after eleven thirty, when the lunch hour crowd comes in.”

“I’ll be seeing more of you then,” he said and left. She watched him march out of the café onto the road. Women were turning their heads. Men nodded at him. Even old women smiled at him. She took two steps to the window and saw him walk to Buccatino’s—Don Giovanni’s diamond store. It sat diagonally opposite her café, across the junction.

Warning bells clanged in her mind. So, the handsome hunk had something to do with the store. The less she saw of him, the better. Because if he was here to catch the thief, he didn’t have to look too far.

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/mBP5AO

Publisher:  https://touchpointpress.ecwid.com/The-Milanese-Stars-p105503897

Wow! ♥♥♥ Love the tension. This looks like quite a tale!

Awesome! Thank you for telling us about your book, Pamela! I know I can’t wait to read this romantic suspense!

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book! 🙂 Or you can add it to Goodreads!

Author Bio

Pamela Q. Fernandes is an author, doctor and medical writer. She writes romantic suspense, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, Christian non-fiction and speculative fiction. She also hosts the Christian Circle Podcast.

Pamela is the author of Seoul-Mates, Cinders of Castlerea, The Milanese Stars, Under A Scottish Sky, and Ten Reminders for the Single Christian Woman. She loves to practice the keyboard and bake brownies. In her free time, she binges on British crime shows and Hallyu dramas. You can find out more about her at her website.

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Mystery, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Writing

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by C.L. Donley

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 C.L. Donley, who has some things to say about the question at hand.

It took me my entire 35 years to realize that I was a romantic person.

It was the last thing anyone would ever accuse me of being. None of the telltale signs were there. I didn’t particularly enjoy romantic movies, never had any bouts of boy craziness or childhood crushes. Certain love songs made me cringe. I was never particularly girly, didn’t go to dances or prom, hadn’t really been on a proper date really. Certainly I wanted to be in love, like any woman. And when I met my husband it was likely all of these misnomers that caused me to accept much less than I deserved. Anniversaries went uncelebrated; Valentine’s was just another corporate holiday. Even birthdays could sometimes be considered vain, if too much money was spent.

Several years and three kids later, after enduring all this, not to mention infidelity and a host of other problems, I found myself wanting to escape. It’s cliché, I know, but which part? The situation itself or my reaction to it?

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I knew I couldn’t very well get in the car and leave my family behind. If only there were a way to go somewhere without physically leaving. Instinctively, I reached for romance.

At first it was a concession, a guilty pleasure. Like everyone else, I knew all the stigmas attached to the genre. As an English major and writer, I had to get over my own pretenses and open my first romance novel. I chose a Harlequin, being familiar with the name. And it didn’t take long for me begin a steady diet of romance literature.

Within a week I was coming across some really compelling stories and I realized that like anything else, romance could be done well. One day I remember reading something and just feeling completely alive and happy. I realized that I actually was a romantic person. That romance wasn’t necessarily a certain order of outward gestures or traditions. It was the business of loving and being loved and the fruit of that, because all love bears fruit. I learned that it wasn’t romance I lacked, but sentimentality. It’s this lack of sentimentality that makes my voice unique among romance writers.

It didn’t dawn on me at first that I should write romance. I was a writer in denial, on the run. I never wrote for fun; the idea of writing as a job sounded like the worst torture. I pretty much only wrote for school, which was years ago, and after three small kids all under five, the idea of writing for me was pretty much laughable. Part of me was unsettled, because it was the most prominent talent I had. People that barely knew me would ask me if I was still writing, and I would have to break the news to them. In the back of my mind I felt all kinds of guilt that I wasn’t utilizing my gift.

In the thick of a separation from my husband, I was starting to think about the future, and what, inevitably I would have to do for money. I dusted off my résumé, started looking into childcare prices for my kids. In the midst of that I got a germ of an idea. Not unusual. I got story ideas all the time, all of which I ignored. But this one was a romance, and it gnawed at me all day. The thought of taking pencil to paper was nauseating, so I saved an audio note on my phone. And that was the moment the floodgates opened.

Aaron Burden, Unsplash

The ideas wouldn’t stop. I wrote for twelve hours that day. I had 12,000 words by the end of the weekend. In three weeks I had the whole novel, the initial draft of what eventually became Amara’s Calling.

Romance saved my life. Not only did it connect me to my heart, but to my identity as a writer. It kept me from taking out my frustrations on my family, propped up a marriage that would’ve otherwise crumbled before its time, and was the hope that kept me buoyant after it was over. It showed me that love was not a matter of being attractive or deserving, but a necessary part of being alive, not to mention a necessary part of being a woman. It made me realize that nothing was wrong with me or my sexuality, that my marital issues were less about my personal failures but more about the fact that I was being starved. Without that realization I might still be blaming myself today.

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I suspect that all women have an infinite capacity to be loved, as in no amount of romance is enough. It sounds like it’s a bad thing, but it isn’t. Do we ever get to the point as humans that we’ve had enough food and we no longer need anymore? No, because it’s not the way the system works. I suspect love is like food in that it can have a variance in quantity and quality, and these variables can positively or negatively affect the health of the individual.

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Love should be daily, fresh and new in the same way. To me, romance is life itself. And now that I’m waking up every morning, excited to see what more I can create, I’ve never felt more loved than I do now.

Great! Love should improve us in various ways…and like you, I agree that reading and writing romance opens your mind and heart to its possibilities. 😉
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, C.L.! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

C.L. Donley is a future New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of multicultural and interracial romance. Armed with an B.A. in English and M.A. in Writing, she is a natural born writer and can’t wait to be done with this bio so she can get back to it. Her writing style is sophisticated yet simple, apologetically escapist and character driven. She likes to write lovable, redeemable and believable characters and place them in equally lovable, romantic and relatable settings and scenarios– removed from reality just enough so that reader can properly escape, and even revisit!
She loves hearing from readers and discussing her favorite parts of her own books, so feel free to indulge her. Check out her website, Facebook page, Twitter page and feel free to email her at cldonleyauthor@gmail.com.

Author Links

Website:  cldonley.com

Facebook:  facebook.com/AmarasCalling

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/C_L_Donley

Amazon author page:  https://www.amazon.com/C.L.-Donley/e/B078Z6TSS8/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17605062.C_L_Donley

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

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

 

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

Readers, stay tuned for a historical romance blog tour feature when author Sofie Darling visits us on April 24th! Yay! 🙂

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Multicultural/Interracial, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writers, Writing

Book Feature: Aurelius by author Jessika Klide

I am pleased to announce a great book by Jessika Klide, an author I met during my journey! She’s stopping by to tell us about her awesome modern erotic romance, Aurelius, which released back in September!

Woo hoo! It’s always fun to discover new authors and books. 😀

Jessika is allowing us a look at her sexy romance, Aurelius, today.

Hot cover!

This is the blurb for Aurelius, Book 5 of A Scorching Stripper’s Love Story:

It’s my turn. I’m ready. I want the “Golden God.” I choose Aurelius Moore.

F*ck, that’s a sexy name. I’m going to turn my Wild Thang loose on him because I know he can handle her.

When Aurei returns home from his military obligation at the same time Siri has been dropped off by the taxi, she turns up the heat determined to let their chemistry take them on a thunderous ride.
  
I’m going to scorch him, brand him, and make him mine! 
* – _ – * – _ * – _ – * – _ –  * – _ – * – _ * – _ – * – _ – * – _ –
This is a serial romance story that will take you on an unforgettable journey of true love between two soulmates. There is no cheating or deceiving. There are scandals and secrets! Each book is full of heart, humor and scorching heat!
And here is an excerpt to tease you with.

My eyes fall to his round ass and my palm starts to tingle. That is a perfect ass and I can’t wait to squeeze it and feel it in motion. When he stands up, he walks in front of me, and squats down. “Hop on. You can ride me.”

I laugh and think preview, sling my purse over my head and shoulder, push it to the back, and mount him piggyback style, wrapping myself around his neck and his waist. He hooks my legs with his arm and starts toward our building. The feeling of his muscular body moving under me, between my thighs with my pussy hanging just over that perfect fucking muscle, and the bounce of his step, is exquisite. I bury my face in his back enjoying the feel and smell of him, and I purr happily.

Oh my, Golden God! You ooze sex. Everything about you is perfection! 

Then I start to giggle.

“What’s so funny?”

I pull myself up to his neck. “My panty-less ass is hanging out of my dress.” He stops immediately, puts his hand back there and feels under my skirt touching my bare skin as I drop my legs to stand back up, giggling. “Not very ladylike.” As he turns around grinning, I pull the leather back over my booty. “My shoes, please.”

He drops the cooler where he stands, then scoops me off my feet.

Surprised to be lifted, an “Ohhh!” slips out of my mouth as he cradles me in his arms. I laugh, putting them around his neck again. “Is this necessary?”

“No, but you wanted a ride to the front door.”

“Ah, trickery,” I tease, studying his handsome profile as he starts walking again. “Hey, what about the cooler?”

“What about it?”

“Are you going to just leave it there?” I ask, staring over his shoulder.

“Affirmative.” Then he laughs down into my face. “That’s army talk for yep.”

I throw my head back and giggle hard. When I open my eyes again to enjoy his handsome profile, he isn’t watching where we are going. He is watching me and the gentle, but deeply passionate look on his face, wipes the smile off mine. His voice is husky when he says softly, “You are stunning, Siri. Simply stunning.”

My heart melts, but I can’t help but tease him. “Flattery will get you everywhere, Hard-Core.”

His grin is perfect. “Ah, how far will honesty take me then?”

I roll my eyes and look away. “Umm. It’s such a novel concept. Let me think about that.”

“Till the end of time?” The depth of his words aren’t lost on me, and my eyes are drawn to his.

“But time will never end.” I hear my own husky voice thick with passion answer.

His head tilts slightly and a sexy as fuck smile only teases his lips. “That’s the whole idea.”

Sweet Zeus! Try not to swoon, Siri. 

As well as some other teasers!

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B075H8G59L

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/aurelius-jessika-klide/1127127757?ean=2940155177708

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Aurelius/Jessika-Klide/9781976154072?id=7205747130327

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/804372

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/aurelius

IndieBound:  https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781976154072

Wow! ♥♥♥ Love the steamy tension. This looks like quite a tale!

And for a limited time, get books one and two for FREE on Amazon! 😉

Awesome! Thank you for telling us about your book, Jessika! I know I can’t wait to read this sexy romance series!

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book! 🙂 Or you can add it to Goodreads!

Author Bio

Jessika Klide is my pen name. I’m from LA … Lower Alabama. The Deep South. My mind is extremely sensuous, some call that slutty, so it’s just better to use a pen name. Trust me on this! 😉

I married my high school sweetheart and have been married to him longer than I have lived without him. He is not only my soulmate but my best friend, and what I have learned about love is that not all relationships are a struggle. When you find the right one, it is easy and fun!

“I believe lust and love form perfect unions and the stars do align for true love. Be unstoppable for love!”

If you’re looking for a story that will make you laugh and cry, lust and love, then come take a walk on the wild side and enjoy Siri and Aurei’s thunderous journey; where ultimate seduction and ultimate discipline clash for one hell of an explosive ride!

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Event, Fiction, Readers, Romance, steamy, Writing

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

The Fiction Fact on Writing About Love

by Khaled Talib

 

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

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

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

Created by Freepik

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

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

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

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

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great cover!  🙂

This is the blurb for Gun Kiss:

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

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

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

What are people saying about this book?

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

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

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

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

Purchase Links:

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

 

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

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

Author Bio

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

Author Links

Website:  www.khaledtalibthriller.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KhaledTalib

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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

“A Lover’s Vow” – a poem

A Lover’s Vow

Well over ten years have passed…

Still every touch,

every word,

every look feels right.

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

When you hold me close at the day’s end,

once all our obligations have subsided,

and I can at last rest against your chest as we talk softly,

you’re the only home I’ve ever wanted or needed.

Created by Freepik

It’s always been easy between us,

a cosmic thread dragging us toward each other.

Especially when life got in the way,

still we’re here.

Through long talks and silly spats,

laughing until we cry,

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

wins and losses,

even personal heartaches,

our bond hasn’t changed.

It’s unbreakable,

just like the ever-flowing tides of the ocean.

Created by Kireyonok_Yuliya – Freepik.com

My love for you is steady and deep.

Attraction aside, I need you the way I require my next breath.

Your face,

your voice,

the heart that I crave,

completing our circle of hearts and minds as we explore the world together.

Created by Senivpetro – Freepik.com

We chose an eternal symbol to represent who we are…for plenty of reasons,

but I’d live whole lifetimes with you,

and perhaps we have before,

in past lives,

our souls connecting many times.

Everton Vila, Unsplash

Just know you mean everything to me,

and I yearn for the day I can proudly claim to be your wife.

Created by Freepic.diller – Freepik.com

Until the moment our hearts and hands become one,

I’ll keep praying for your smile,

your touch,

your laugh and every part of you,

Created by Freepik

as you continue to brighten each day of mine.

This is my vow…

 I will always be yours.

JD Mason, Unsplash

© Marie Lavender, 2018.

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Filed under Blogging, Hope, Love, love poem, Lovers Like Us, Marie Lavender, Message, poem, poems, Poetry, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writing

Special Music Feature: Christopher Ferguson

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Here is some great romantic themed music by Christopher Ferguson.

Please help me in welcoming our first musical post to this romance blog! With Love, an album featuring some romantic songs, is available on ReverbNation.

First of all, I’d like to point out that Christopher reached out to me after a reader of the I Love Romance Blog referred him to us.

That’s awesome! :) Congrats on your album! 😉

Let’s take a look at this romance themed album, With Love, today.

Nice cover!

This is the info on With Love:

Check out one of the songs, “Tell You Hello”, here!

Sounds great! This song features Keith Taylor (Dean of Music, University of Alabama), Ami Kim (vocalist from Memphis) and Christopher Ferguson on upright bass.

Also, listen to “My Heart”, here!

Wow! Thank you for telling us about your album! It looks wonderful! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to check this album out at ReverbNation. You’re sure to be moved by these songs!

Musician Bio

My name is Christopher Ferguson. I am primarily a musician/composer (….a bass guy) and have also been writing for NPR for the last couple of years, as well (mainly just short stories that I narrate and that get broadcast on our local NPR station here in Alabama).

I call my brand of music “With Love”. The music is piano, bass and vocal. It is intentionally not loud or aggressive. I am writing gentle songs, that are soft and require the attention of a listener, with the intent of giving them something to use to reflect upon their own thoughts and feelings of love.

Link

ReverbNation:  https://www.reverbnation.com/fergusonandwithlove/songs

 

Thanks again, Christopher! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime, perhaps with your next musical release. 

Happy listening, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Contemporary, Drama, Event, Faith, Hope, Love, Message, music, Readers, Romance