Tag Archives: love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

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

 

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

 

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

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

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great week, everyone!

5 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

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

 

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

 

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

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

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

4 Comments

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

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

Top 5 Ways to Spice Up Your Relationship

 

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

  1. Find New, Exciting Activities You Can Do Together

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

  1. Bring Back The Romance

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

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

  1. Don’t Plan Everything, Be More Spontaneous

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

  1. Role Playing In The Bedroom

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

Hannamariah, Big Stock Photo.

  1. Get Naughty In New Places

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

 

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

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

Guest Blogger Bio

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

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DatingConnect

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

 

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

As always, happy reading, everyone!  😉

2 Comments

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

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

Behind the Title: Creation of a Love Story

by Cynthia Roberts

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

Hugs from me to you. ♥

 

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

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

Those are such beautiful covers! 😀

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

Nice cover!

This is the blurb for Unchained Melody:

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

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

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

What people are saying about Cynthia’s books:

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

Purchase Links:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Bio

website-photo

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

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

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

Author Links

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/cynthiasromance

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

4 Comments

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

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

Top 5 Relationship Myths You Should Stop Believing Immediately

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

  1. Happy Couples Never Fight

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

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

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

Created by Freepik

  1. Having A Baby Solves All The Problems

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

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

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

Unsplash, Alejandra Quiroz, Creative Commons license.

  1. Opposites Attract

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

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

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

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

Guest Blogger Bio

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

Links

Website:  http://datingconnections.org/

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/DatingConnect

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

 

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

As always, happy reading, everyone!  😉

Leave a comment

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

“Dream with Me” – a poem

Dream with Me

My yearning for you is strong,

something I’ve never felt for anyone else…

There are nights like tonight,

when I ache so much for you that sleep eludes me.

With bated breath

I remember our last embrace,

savoring your arms around me,

the warmth of your body against mine,

your chest beneath my ear as I witness the steady beats of your heart,

a constant comfort.

I recall our quiet talks about nothing and everything,

our shared laughter.

You’re the only one who reaches me on all levels,

physical and emotional.

But the convenience of technology – firing up a text thread or dialing your number –

is a poor substitution for the real thing.

The truth is

I need you in my life.

It’s a forever kind of thing.

With the storm striking outside – rain pattering against the panes of glass,

the occasional rumble of thunder

and each curse of lightning –

despite it all, I’ll do my best to keep you safe in my heart tonight.

Soon,

maybe not tomorrow,

possibly in a week or so,

I’ll see you again and then our bond will be reaffirmed.

We’ll be one once more.

There are few things in this world that last,

even fewer powers resilient against time, hate or destruction.

But, love? Love will stand up to anything.

If you were lost to me,

I’d go anywhere,

do anything to search,

to find you again.

You mean that much to me.

It has nothing to do with loneliness.

This is about two hearts that were born for each other,

Two halves of a whole.

When we met, we spoke like old friends.

It was different yet utterly natural.

And no matter what happens in our lives,

this bond cannot bend or be broken.

This is love.

So close your eyes tonight and think of me, my love.

Dream with me…

Imagine a place of peace,

with lush, green land,

endless blue skies and beautiful seas.

A place where we’re together, dancing clumsily,

laughing and resting in one another’s arms.

Keep me in your heart, the same way I keep you.

I’ll see you soon,

on the other side of this hazy, slumberous journey,

to a world where eternity resides.

I wake to your face,

your warm smile,

the sound of your soothing breaths beside me.

And I know this is right where I belong.

© Marie Lavender, 2017.

Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

What does romance mean to me?

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

lilly-headshot

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

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

Sign up for Lilly News

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

Author Links

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

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/3sg8X

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lillychristine1

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

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

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

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

 

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

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

 

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

 

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

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

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

2 Comments

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

Guest Poet Spotlight: D.L. Owens

Hi, readers! Now and then on the I Love Romance Blog, I recognize poets and their wonderful, romantic poems. Today D.L. Owens has stopped by to showcase some of her work for us.

I love poetry, almost as much as I love romance! It is music for my eyes, and a song in my heart. 🙂

poetry

Honestly, I spend quite a bit of time stalking poetry groups on Facebook just to see what my fellow writers are doing these days. And D.L is one talented poet!

So, hello, D.L! Welcome to ILRB! 🙂

fullsizerender_poet-picture

D.L. Owens: Hello! It’s a pleasure to be here, Marie.

Marie:  The honor is mine, believe me. Thank you for visiting us. We’re so glad you came to the I Love Romance Blog, where we get to talk about my favorite subject – love!

And how fitting is it that we have D.L. today to show us some of her love poems, especially this close to Valentine’s Day?

So, take it away, D.L., and give us a peek at what you’ve brought to thrill our romantic hearts…

 

four hearts

Poems by D.L. Owens

poet

Remind Me Again

Remind me again of how it use to be

When innocence was like being free

When laughter was sincere

When one could speak with no fear

Remind me again when a friend was a friend

When a sin was a sin

When holding hands meant a lot

When a hug hit the spot

Remind me when love was love

When long lasting emotions rose above

When kissing was something we missed

When talking was as soothing as a kiss

follow

Passions Following Me

So how does the journey began

With a stare, a hug, a kiss

Will the rainfall frame our passion

Or will passion frame love’s bliss

My lips stay ready

My eyes fixed on you

My body is sensing

You want me, too

Rendezvous to the woods

Far from others’ calls

Where obsession, caressing

Will live outside all walls

Love is in us, tracing us

Trying to find ways to connect

There is no lock, nor key

Just passion trying to unite you and me

passion

Passion Becoming Poetry

Do you desire to kiss these lips

Taste these lips

Do you long to hold my body in your arms

And let my passions inhale your charms

Love is flying high

And I am sprouting wings

Love is soaring through the sky

And making my passion sing

Heat is soaring low

Almost walking the streets

Melting love beneath guided feet

Warming the passion in our souls

Can you feel me trying to feel you

Can you hear my body talking to you

If yes is unanimous then come in, close the door

And let our love roar

marking

Marking the Heart

Looks are mostly deceiving

They are definitely appealing

Second looks worth stealing

But what is uncontrollably the binding

Is that everlasting feeling worth finding

The one that won’t ever leave you sighing

The sticker to the core of the hearts twining

The permanent glue that can never be pulled apart

The one that captures all of you from the very start

Leaving a stain, an embedded memory, a permanent mark

Just from lassoing your soul through the eyes of your heart

love

Love of My Life

he watched in remorse

as she walked away

her trailing fragrance

of Japanese honeysuckle

wrapping around his face

he was wishing his pride would die

so he would beg her to stay

instead of crying inside

he just watched her walk away

dreams

Dream Stalker

he’s in all my dreams

in all my life themes

i cannot inhale

enough of him

until his fingers

touched the long

of the back of my neck

soothing my heart

calming my breath

midnight

At Midnight

our bodies form deep shapes in the sand

he looks over, throws a kiss, takes my hand

wants to make love under the endless stars

while the blue milky sky ocean’s the dark

climbing waves wet soaks us, calms our heat

journeying us to retreat our rapid heartbeat

Alejandra Quiroz, Unsplash.

Alejandra Quiroz, Unsplash.

 

 

♥♥♥ Perfect, D.L.! So romantic! Thank you! ♥♥♥

Poet Bio

fullsizerender_poet-picture

D.L. Owens began writing poetry at the age of eight. She would write on anything she could get her hands on: toilet paper, card stock sleeves from her mother’s nylons, paper bags from the market even the palm of her hands. This went on for a while until one day her mother realized this was not a phase. This prompted the purchase of a manual typewriter which quickly became her best friend. Years later, when D.L. (Lulu) became a proud mother of a beautiful daughter, she switched gears and wrote children’s stories and poetry.

Her poetry is comprised of the tempers surrounding her, from a baby crying for her mother’s touch to a couple smiling at each while holding hands. Her longer pieces vent from everything engrossed in her mind and from her dreams pouring into the pages like a love story. This “moody writer” writes poetry of all sauces with love and romance as a part of it. However, when it comes to short stories, novellas and longer pieces she finds herself locked in a mixture of sci-fi, mystery, fantasy mixed with a taste of romance.

Her addiction to writing and painting takes up much of her time when she’s not spending it with family and friends. Lately, she has been creating illustrations for the books written for her daughter. When she’s not doing this she loves to cook, make greeting cards and take pictures of the glorious nature.

Poet Links

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/a_moody_poet

Amazon Author Page:  amazon.com/author/dlowens

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/d.-l.-owens/id1126390032?mt=11

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

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

promo_15099429_1806156846321892_8738179537159847936_a

Artwork/Illustrations:  https://www.instagram.com/a_moody_artist/

Artwork:  https://twitter.com/a_moody_artist

Photography:  https://www.instagram.com/a_moody_photographer/

promo_moody-hues-of-truth-2

Books

1-225x225bb

3-225x225bb

2-225x225bb

4-225x225bb

51omnobyhol

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

2 Comments

Filed under Event, Guest Writer, Love, love poem, Message, poem, poems, Poetry, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Year of Romance: 2016

Hi, readers! As you know, the I Love Romance Blog is a place to celebrate all things “love”, including tips on romantic relationships, as well as reading love poems, exploring romance novels and perhaps finding a new, favorite romance author. With 2017 approaching quickly, it becomes clear that the New Year offers hope, the promise of good things to come, just like a fine romance.

So, to honor how much we love romance, as well as the idea of renewal, or even new beginnings, I thought we’d go a step further. Why not give readers a list of great romance novels that encompass the New Year’s theme? Let’s get started, shall we?

51rqdzwygfl

51p4e22z-el

517lb-o6zgl

51mxewd9n1l

51dinkhcrnl

51esr9vvwyl

511u79efeol

61w3s8noggl

516m1evyfl

516qxjn-17l

51rfxl75xdl

51nwnno13bl

51m9qvgstal

516bl433ml

61ujiwql-dl

51rpcmsfl1l

51smj1s0tul

51hrklswcwl

51fzvh694il

51lumocz-bl

41g79zeasvl

51btyktsbol

51izqmdhaal

51qxf2mg6ml

51iymmatjjl

51v4clqqxxl

51mmmfj2arl

51glei526el

51evlgtnynl

513-xfplbcl

51vvbiveswl

51bsururjjl

51v9-xn5sol

51tecsn6w8l

51nk7fs4mal

51bui-xxynl

51sepxs9del

51haes5uo4l

51rn6mxi9sl

51hbmfz1fl

41nvbsjqn3l

[Disclaimer: These are simply suggestions compiled from books I found on Amazon. They are merely meant to give you New Year’s options for romance books to read. I have neither read nor reviewed them.]

How about that? Romance authors really can cover any topic. This list looks like a great set of novels to get us started for 2017.

looking-back-and-moving-forward

And to fully honor our wonderful 2016, I’d like to thank all the talented authors who stopped by to visit ILRB. We had 54 authors, either guesting or had books spotlighted, on our blog alone this year.Many thanks to our readers as well, for giving the blog a chance!

Here are some highlights from 2016:

Character/Author Interviews

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/a-character-interview-with-amy-from-the-lie-plus-chat-with-author-k-c-sprayberry/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/character-interview-with-emmi-vendetta-from-emmis-pride-plus-chat-with-author-jill-marie-denton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/new-release-feature-starlights-curse-by-author-k-c-sprayberry/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/a-character-interview-with-logan-gray-from-texas-c-h-a-o-s-plus-a-conversation-with-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/a-character-interview-with-luke-bryce-from-be-mine-plus-a-chat-with-author-isobelle-cate/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/a-character-interview-with-astrid-from-a-cowboys-true-colors-plus-a-chat-with-author-lana-k-dempsey/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/a-character-interview-with-izzy-from-dandelions-plus-a-chat-with-author-vivienne-vincent/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/character-interview-with-zoey-from-second-half-plus-chat-with-author-monica-desimone/

 

 April A to Z Blog Challenge Posts

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/a-to-z-challenge-awakening-the-fire-ally-shields/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/a-to-z-challenge-blood-brothers-by-nora-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/a-to-z-challenge-courting-the-countess-by-barbara-pierce/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/a-to-z-challenge-devils-embrace-and-devils-daughter-by-catherine-coulter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/a-to-z-challenge-elsewhere-by-linda-lee-williams/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/a-to-z-challenge-face-the-fire-by-nora-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/a-to-z-challenge-goddess-of-the-hunt-by-tessa-dare/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/09/a-to-z-challenge-heart-of-gold-by-j-r-ward/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/a-to-z-challenge-identity-by-cleo-scornavacca/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/a-to-z-challenge-jewels-of-the-sun-by-nora-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/a-to-z-challenge-key-trilogy-by-nora-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/14/a-to-z-challenge-lover-unleashed-by-j-r-ward/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/a-to-z-challenge-marthas-way-series-by-mika-jolie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/a-to-z-challenge-no-longer-a-stranger-by-joan-johnston/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/a-to-z-challenge-one-illicit-night-by-sophia-james/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/a-to-z-challenge-playing-with-fire-by-devika-fernando/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/a-to-z-challenge-queen-of-babble-by-meg-cabot/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/a-to-z-challenge-raising-landry-by-andee-michelle/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/a-to-z-challenge-sisters-of-the-night-by-linda-lee-williams/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/23/a-to-z-challenge-to-tempt-a-scotsman-by-victoria-dahl/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/a-to-z-challenge-unhallowed-ground-by-heather-graham/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/a-to-z-challenge-victory-lane-by-shelly-davis/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/a-to-z-challenge-weather-the-storm-by-jean-ferris/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/a-to-z-challenge-x-treme-dating-by-cathy-mcdavid/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/a-to-z-challenge-you-make-me-feel-brand-new-by-chicki-brown/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/a-to-z-challenge-zenith-rising-by-marilyn-campbell/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/02/a-to-z-reflections/

 

 New Release/Book Features

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/09/cover-reveal-feature-foil-by-author-isobelle-cate/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/cover-reveal-feature-texas-stand-off-by-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/cover-reveal-feature-backfire-by-author-keri-lake/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/new-release-feature-sins-against-the-sea-by-author-nina-mason/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/new-release-feature-starlights-curse-by-author-k-c-sprayberry/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/02/new-release-feature-love-me-i-dare-you-by-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/30/new-release-feature-a-vindicated-heart-by-author-c-l-bush/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/new-release-feature-turpitude-book-4-a-provocative-true-story-a-memoir-a-harem-boys-saga-by-author-young-bernard-foong/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/13/prologue-reveal-feature-somewhere-to-begin-poison-and-wine-series-by-author-mika-jolie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/new-release-feature-kidnapped-in-love-2-backfire-by-author-jamela/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/book-feature-the-good-thief-by-author-tanya-w-newman/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/pre-order-release-feature-a-pawn-for-malice-by-author-cynthia-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/new-release-feature-new-year-baby-philadelphia-love-series-by-author-lilly-christine/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/new-release-feature-desert-deception-by-susanne-matthews/

 

Blog Tours

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/18/blog-tour-feature-hell-yeah-kindle-world-tour/

 

Blog Awards

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/liebster-award/

 

Personal Book News/Reviews

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/04/great-4-star-review-for-sch/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/4-stars-for-second-chance-heart/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/second-chance-heart-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/second-chance-heart-by-marie-lavender-2/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/solstice-rocks/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/10/30/paranormal-romance-review-magick-and-moonlight-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/11/scifi-romance-spotlight-blue-vision-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/18/review-of-blue-vision-code-of-endhivar-1-by-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/19/que-sara-sera-review-for-blue-vision-by-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/26/vote-for-blue-vision/

 

Giveaways

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/02/tuesday-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/romance-and-food-go-hand-in-hand/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/free-book-feature-ill-see-you-in-my-dreams-by-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/23/free-book-feature-a-cowboys-true-colors-by-author-lana-k-dempsey/

 

Guest Posts

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/the-eyes-of-love-by-dr-matthew-anderson/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/22/the-secret-life-of-an-erotica-writer-by-charity-parkerson/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/on-writing-romance-a-guest-post-by-ricardo-mejias/

 

Poetry

 

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/yearning-a-poem/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/guest-poet-spotlight-honcho-mars-returns/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/06/poetry-romance-themed-winner-empress-of-the-universe/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/the-other-side-of-our-dreams-a-poem/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/you-and-the-muse-a-poem/

Well, I hope we’ve given readers some new novels to find, as well as some interesting romantic posts to glance over.

I wish you all the best in 2017! Happy New Year!

happy-new-year-images

I’ll catch you on the other side… 😉

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Holiday, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Romance

“You and the Muse” – a poem

You and the Muse

There are few things in this chaotic world that make total sense to me.

Two, in fact, which I can name right now…

two-706896_1280

Often it feels like I’m a mere pawn on the chessboard of life.

pawn-power

Some choices are strategic; others are left to chance.

A few are mistakes one would rather forget.

There’s so much about all of it we can’t control.

The sun will rise and set regardless of what we do.

There are few parts of life I can totally rely on.

Two, in fact…

You and the muse.

9214214466_981fa5b49c_z

As you held me in your arms last night,

with your perfect embrace and your scent in my nose,

I had to fight back tears.

It wasn’t sadness which moved me.

Instead, it was a sense that everything was right.

Very few things in life make sense to me.

But you and our deep connection?

I’ve never been more definite about anything in my life.

We’re meant to be…

cff750c469e7c4430d6a3304cd593556

Then there’s the muse.

Writing is a drive inside me,

an unstoppable force.

The story calls, demanding to be told.

The characters live for a reason,

 and I live to get those interpretations on the page.

writing-unsplash-aaron-burden

But I live for you too.

I’d be lost without you,

my soul mate,

my best friend,

my lover.

My lover and the muse…

two constants I can’t do without.

stress-ball

There are times when the pressures of life get to be too much,

when stressors drag me down.

Then the muse inspires me to tell a tale,

to explore the human condition.

But you…

You inspire me to keep dreaming,

to keep loving you and every moment we spend together.

happy-couple-love-and-happiness

The truth is you are my muse.

My eternal muse.

You and the muse are the same.

And I’d be very little without you,

my love.

simple-scroll-clip-art-aTe7q57T4

© 2016, Marie Lavender.

5 Comments

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