Tag Archives: new adult

Heroes & Heroines Special Feature: Character Aaron Betts from FULL COUNT by Lynn Stevens

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

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

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

 

Nice Guys Don’t Always Finish Last

Everyone knows the cliché ‘Nice guys finish last’.

It’s ingrained in our brains. It’s an excuse for all the nice guys who lose out on the job or on the girl. And it’s an excuse for nice guys to do bad things.

Aaron Betts is a nice guy. He’s a good ole country boy with a heart of gold, dedication to his family, and respect for others. In a literary world full of alpha males and bad boys, he breaks free of that mold.

FULL COUNT began as a NaNoWriMo project. I started it because there weren’t enough guys like Aaron Betts out there. Don’t get me wrong, he’s far from perfect. He makes mistakes, some of which are catastrophic. To quote Aaron, “I’m bound to do something stupid. I’m a guy.”

I failed miserably, stopping around 34,000 words after three weeks. About eight months after I gave up, Aaron Betts was still in my head, still whispering at me to tell his story. To finish what I’d started. I picked up where I left off and completed the first draft. As I was adding words, I realized how important his story was. Aaron’s got more to offer than just nailing every girl he sees. He’s got more integrity than thinking life is just sex, sex, sex. Not all guys are like that. Not all guys want to be like that. Aaron’s a one-woman man from the get go. I found that refreshing and honest. He didn’t want to sleep around. He wanted someone to love long term. He wanted to be loved long term. Definitely not the typical alpha male who changes his ways for the right woman.

Another one of my favorite things about this character is his loyalty to his sister. Chelsea and Aaron have a special bond that warmed my heart. They would do anything for each other, and they clearly love each other. His parents are loving too, even when they are at odds with their son. It’s a family not devoid of drama, but one that doesn’t thrive on it either. A true All-American family.

And Aaron’s pure of heart, even pure of intention. He’s deep and shallow, hard and soft. He’s the polar opposite of himself at times. Much like we all are. He has to work to get what he wants. He has to pay the price for his mistakes.

He has to live.

There is no cheating, no insta-anything with Aaron. He puts himself through the ringer and he has to pull himself out the other side.

We all make our choices. We have to live with consequences. That’s the way life is. And that’s why Aaron’s story was so important for me to write. His choices, his consequences, they needed to be shared. Nice guys don’t always finish last. Some of them don’t even finish. And a lot of them just don’t finish where they think they will.

 

Fascinating, Lynn! And seriously, gentlemen are my weakness. For all that people appear to like bad boys, the bad ones in my life only made me miserable.
Anyway, this book sounds great!
Let’s learn more about the novel, shall we? 😉
Here is the blurb for Full Count.
Anyone who says they’re having the worst day hasn’t met me. My girlfriend cheated, I blew out my knee, and probably trashed my chance of going pro. All in one day. Then my jerk professor tells I’m almost on academic probation.
Awesome. Now I get to find a tutor.
Enter Mallory Fine, quiet, a little intense, and my kind of gorgeous. Who also happens to hate baseball and any guy who plays it.
Hello, curiosity.
I tell myself this will be nothing more than a tutoring relationship. I’m a liar. I want this girl. How hard can her secrets be to unravel? It might be a challenge, but so is getting back on the ball field and I’m determined to make that happen—no matter the cost.
And Lynn is giving us a peek at her novel!

We’d only been playing about five minutes when I went down. The rookies kicked the soccer ball right at Chuck, who caught it against his chest. I broke down the field as he flung the ball toward me. The throw was perfect, hitting the grass in front of my feet. I deked left to fake out Rosenthal, a freshman pitcher who could clock ninety-nine on the gun. He was also tall and a bit of a klutz. He raced my buddy Seth, who blocked for me. Seth was fast, but the lanky freshman’s stride was too much. Rosie’s long pipe cleaner of a leg caught my calf as I fell. My knee bent in a way God never intended, and I hit the dying grass with a thud.

I think I screamed. I think I cried. I know I passed out, because I woke up in the hospital.

Fluorescent lights flashed over my head as the EMT rolled me down the hallway. My eyes burned at the glare. We weren’t in any hurry. The guy grunted and turned the gurney right. The room was small—no window, just a bunch of machines, a bed, and a small TV high on the wall without any sound.

“All right, Mr. Betts, let’s get you on this bed,” the EMT said, blowing his coffee-scented breath over my face.

I held him off, using my own strength to get from the gurney and onto the bed. It felt like someone stuck my knee into a blazing fire and decided to stoke it with a sharp poker. My teeth ground together as I tried not to let the EMT see how much it hurt.

My father always told me, “Never let them see you flinch.” It was a lot harder than it sounded.

“You okay, Mr. Betts?” he asked.

Was I okay? Fuck if I knew. Why did I play that pickup game? If Chuck hadn’t insisted it was my responsibility as co-captain to haze the rookies, I wouldn’t have bothered. I hated soccer.

Baseball was my game. And I was damn good at it.

The EMT glanced around the too-bright room for a moment before grinning down at me. “Saw you play last year against Stilton. Took my boy over to the game and watched you hit for the cycle.” He chuckled at the memory. “When you smashed that 3-0 count over the right field wall, Malcolm about lost his voice from screaming. Had to buy him a Hawks shirt. He wears it almost every day now. Wants to play for Westland, too.”

Despite my pain, I smiled at his excitement. That had been one of the best games I’d ever been a part of.

“Can I ask you something?” He paused and waited for my consent. Most people usually just asked away. “Heard you got drafted out of high school. Why’d you turn it down?”

I snorted. It wasn’t the first time someone asked me. The minute I stepped into our team meeting at Westland my freshman year, five guys asked me in five minutes. “I can do better than the thirtieth round.”

“Then why didn’t you go to a Division 1 school? I heard Texas and Iowa wanted you.”

Texas and Iowa did want me, but they offered partials. Westland offered a full ride. Besides, I’d dreamed of playing baseball at the same college my father played. My parents only had to shell out the cash for food and a room. Everybody understood the money, but nobody understood the sentiment.

Trish had her heart set on Westland, too.

I shrugged with a grin. “Why do men always screw up their lives? For a girl.”

That sent him into a belly laugh. “Ain’t that the truth.” He clasped my shoulder and squeezed. “You take care, Mr. Betts. Hopefully we’ll see you on the field this spring.”

The little drip of happiness our conversation gave me dried up. That had been my first thought as soon as my knee turned into scrambled eggs. The way it bent before separating and snapping back together, the fact that my kneecap wasn’t in the right place anymore…I doubted I’d be out in centerfield this spring. But maybe I was wrong. I had to be. The draft was in June, and I was eligible again. Not playing would drop me out of the first round, probably even the second, if not completely. Every day I wasn’t on the field lessened my chances.

Sighing, I glanced at the bandage holding the ice pack to the bowling ball that was now my knee. There wasn’t anything I could do to change what had happened. Any of it.

That’s the shitty thing about “the past.” It’s unchangeable.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071J7CGTT

B&N:  https://goo.gl/79zZej

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Full-Count/Lynn-Stevens/Q472301342?id=6842447479054

Kobo:  https://goo.gl/Ddf8rc

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/7209956

Publisher:  https://entangledpublishing.com/full-count.html

Ouch! But intriguing! I definitely want to know what happens next! ♥♥♥

How exciting to learn about your new adult sports romance, Lynn! I know I can’t wait to read it! 🙂

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Full Count!

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

Guest Bio

Lynn Stevens flunked out of college writing her first novel. Yes, she still has it and no, you can’t read it. Surprisingly, she graduated with honors at her third school. A former farm girl turned city slicker, Lynn lives in the Midwest where she drinks coffee she can’t pronounce and sips tea when she’s out of coffee. When she’s out of both, just stay away.

Sign up for Lynn’s newsletter for news on upcoming releases and monthly giveaways.

Author Links

Website:  www.lstevensbooks.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LStevensAuthor

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Stevens/e/B072C947B9/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16771319.Lynn_Stevens

Newsletter:  http://lstevensbooks.us1.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=9a853c02e8bcbb7b82724c274&id=690e626c95

Tumblr:  http://lynnstevensauthor.tumblr.com

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

Publisher:  https://entangledpublishing.com/author/lynn-stevens

 

Thanks again, Lynn, for giving us a peek into the world of your character. Awesome! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author D.E. Haggerty visits us on October 17th! Yay! 🙂

We may have other posts before then, though.

Have a great week, everyone!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, characters, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Message, New Adult, Readers, Romance, sports romance, Writers, Writing

Blog Tour Feature: Bella Jeanisse’s Shredding Dreams Tour presented via Words Turn Me On

✫✶• NEW RELEASE•✫✶

The battle for love is never easy…

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Words Turn Me On and Bella Jeanisse, an author I met during my journey! Congratulations on your new steamy, rockstar romance release, Bella! :)

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

Plus, here at the I Love Romance Blog, we love new romance novels!

Let’s hear a little about this great book…

Such an awesome cover!

This is the blurb for Shredding Dreams:

Lead guitarist, Ian Tate, loves his wife with all his heart. It kills him that she is not ready to end their separation. After two years, he is willing to do whatever it takes. The problem is, he doesn’t understand what went wrong. Since she won’t tell him what he did to destroy their bond, he stays close to figure it out.

Sherry Tate hates that her rocker husband is hurt by their time apart. However, she can’t take him back until he changes. The emotional rift between them continues to grow, but she needs him to see for himself what he has done to her. She just hopes he does it soon.

Will Ian discover why Sherry threw him out? Does Sherry still hold a place in her heart for Ian? Can they start over after all they have put each other through? That and more in the second Rock Star Romance of the Velocity series.

Warning: For those 18 and over only. May not be suitable for all readers. Be prepared to laugh, cry, scream and squirm in your chair.

 Bella is giving us a peek at her erotic rockstar romance, Shredded Dreams, today. Here are some teasers to entice you with.

 

What people are saying about this book:

This may be my favorite book by Bella Jeanisse yet, and since I love some of her others, that is saying something.This book is ALL heart and love – but don’t worry – Bella’s trademark hotness is evident as well. Well done!!” ~ Kara’s Books blog

Bella does it again with an excellent emotional story. Tugs at your heart strings & keeps you glued to the story at the same time.” ~ Michelle M.R.

The first thing I have to say is wow! What a truly amazing story! Although this is the second book in the series, I have not yet read the first, but I think it’s safe to say that enough detail is given to allow it to be read as a standalone. However, I will definitely be reading the first book.” ~ Sarah G

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B074S7K5P8

B&N:  https://goo.gl/1JazJ7

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/742142

Kobo:  https://goo.gl/TMp8LY

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/shredding-dreams-velocity-book-2/id1271308708?mt=11

Wow! Love the tension here. ♥♥♥

 

Plus, Rockin’ Rhythm, book one, is on sale for 99 cents for a limited time!

.•°ROCKIN’ RHYTHM °•.

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01LXH4UMH

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rockin-rhythm-bella-jeanisse/1124593470?ean=2940153727943

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/664925

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/rockin-rhythm-velocity-book-1

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/rockin-rhythm/id1153912098?mt=11

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6573626

Let’s also give Kudos to Bella’s sponsor:

#WORDSTURNMEONBJSD

Thank you for telling us about your new adult sexy rockstar romance, Bella! I know I can’t wait to read this riveting book! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome novel, which is book two of the Velocity Series!

Author Bio

Bella Jeanisse lives for rock music. Addicted to concerts, Avenged Sevenfold, fictional rockers, and blasting music in the car, she can’t get enough. After her father turned her on to Queen, there was no going back. Of course, it didn’t stop there. Playing guitar became a pastime, which didn’t turn into a career… until she started to pen her fantasies and publish them.

Originally from Brooklyn, New York City, she grew up with access to clubs like L’Amour and CBGBs, hung out in Greenwich Village, as well as had plenty of friends in bands. No wonder rockers stayed on her mind. Bringing her ideas to life was a long time coming.

She is now living near Tampa, FL with three kids and two grandkids, as a single mom. Her family supports her writing even when it seems to take up more time than they feel is necessary. Can’t stop the muse, ya know!
Besides erotic rock star romances, Bella also writes about wild bikers, hot college men and more.

Wattpad:  http://www.wattpad.com/user/BellaJeanisse

Thank you for telling us about your awesome book tour! I know readers can’t wait to get ahold of it! 😀 Visit Words Turn Me On and their Facebook page to see what else they’re up to these days.

Thanks again to Bella and Words Turn Me On! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Event, Fiction, New Adult, new release, Readers, rockstar, Romance, Writing

New Release Feature: Directions of the Heart by Marie Lavender

I am pleased to announce a great book release by well, yours truly! My modern romantic drama collection, Directions of the Heart, officially released this week!

Yay! Awesome! :)

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

I am thrilled to show Directions of the Heart to readers today. ♥

This is the blurb for Directions of the Heart:

Embark on a remarkable journey of drama, romance, and passion…

In all of these amazing stories, there’s one burning question…is love worth the risk?

Without You

Reece and Jenna are two childhood friends separated by time and distance. Can they find a way to heal their bond, or perhaps forge a new one?

Strange Heat

Spurred by her friend’s close call, Victoria decides to take a risk and prove the lifestyle she led was her downfall. But as Tory sinks deeper into the tumultuous abyss of desire with the mysterious Rick, can she climb back out before it’s too late? Or does she even want to?

Memories

Struggling to run her family’s farm on her own, Sadie takes on a hired hand, Matt. As they grow closer, so does the danger. Someone wants her legacy. Can they combat this new threat, as well as the demons of the past, before Sadie loses everything, including her life?

A Touch of Dawn

Caitlyn thought she’d be in the dark forever. But with the light came Jack, the police consultant who found her. Can they take a journey of healing together, or will Caitlyn retreat into the darkness of her mind, where she lived for so long?

(CONTENT WARNING: With an abuse awareness theme in this collection, there may be triggers here for past trauma sufferers. However, HEAs are guaranteed.)

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

Here’s the book trailer:

What people are saying about this book:

There were family and friends but also some depraved people in the stories, heartache, fear, sadness, tears, anger, hate, hope, a chance for happiness, healing and peace. There was a nice flow to each of the stories and the characters were multifaceted. What you saw wasn’t always what you got and you had to delve deeper under the surface. All the stories had nice closure and I felt the endings were realistic.” – JoAnne on Goodreads

“Your theme and storytelling are very eloquently tied. I know you put warning labels upfront, but I love your writing, knew you had a happy ending if I would just be brave enough to try to get there despite the scary feels, and I was well rewarded. Your best story ever, hands down!!!” – Belinda, beta reader

“Sensitive issues tactfully interwoven into beautiful stories…I really believe that honest writing puts us in touch with who we really are. As humans, one of our flaws is that we prefer to live in denial about our dark side. But everyone has one and I don’t have the words to express how much I loved reading this unrestrained book. ” – Vivienne, early reviewer

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071WVZZPV

myBook.to/DoH

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/directions-of-the-heart-marie-lavender/1126548251

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/729271

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/directions-of-the-heart-a-romantic-drama-collection

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/7239124

 

I hope you all get a chance to read this romance! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of Directions of the Heart!

Author Bio

 

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. Mystery Blogger Award for 2017. A to Z Blog Challenge Survivor in 2016. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

Author Links

Website:  http://marielavender.com/

Blogs:  http://marielavender.blogspot.com/

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58

https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/marielavender1

Amazon Author Page:  Author.to/MarieLavender

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

Youtube/Book Trailers:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

 

Happy reading, everyone! 😉

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Drama, Event, Fiction, Marie Lavender, New Adult, new release, Readers, Romance, Stories, western, Writing

FREE Book: The Missing Piece by yours truly

I am pleased to announce a cool book offer by, that’s right…me! A new adult romance, The Missing Piece, is FREE via a short Q&A contest on The Romance Reviews only today! How exciting! 🙂

These free offers are awesome for both authors and readers because we get to meet lots of new people! The contest was scheduled from midnight last night to 11:59 PM EST today. You’ll find the contest by scrolling down the page for this book title. So, don’t miss your chance! Swing by and check it out if you can!

I’m giving you a look at my new adult romance story today…

This is the blurb for The Missing Piece:

When Alyssa wakes up on the lawn of a local fraternity, she can’t remember what happened the previous night. A new friend and frat guy, Justin, offers to help her out. As she makes discoveries that force her to accept a different reality, she finds herself drawn to Justin for a number of reasons.

Can the biggest mistake of Aly’s life turn into the promise of new love?

And here is an excerpt and promo to tease you with.

Nausea rose in her throat and she felt as if she’d lose her breakfast at any minute. She didn’t even dance. To think she had been all over some guy she didn’t even know, it was so unreal. “I, I’m sorry. I can’t—”

She turned away and left the house. On the lawn, she tried to breathe slowly to prevent the knot from rising any further.

“Hey, you all right?” Justin was at her side in what seemed like seconds.

She shook her head.

“Can you breathe?” At her gasp, he touched her shoulder then moved a hand to her back. “Just focus on breathing. Don’t think about anything else.” After her breathing slowed, he said, “You panicked, that’s all.”

“Really. You’re a genius.”

He frowned.

She shrugged. “What if I did do that with him? Everything he said… none of that is like me. It doesn’t make sense.”

“Maybe you liked Brendan. You talked for a while.”

“I wouldn’t act like that.”

“How do you know how you would act in that situation? If you were really into someone?”

“I don’t. But I’m usually smarter. I wouldn’t just do that with anyone, someone I don’t know.”

“That makes sense, but maybe it wasn’t as bad as you think.”

“What are you saying?”

“I don’t see the problem.”

“You wouldn’t understand. You’re used to that kind of life, sleeping with utter strangers and all. Taking risks.”

He lifted a brow. “Alyssa, I only mean that I don’t understand why you’re upset. Brendan can be trusted. And he’s not the type you’re talking about. He hasn’t been with many women.”

“How can you know that?”

“He’s my friend.”

“And you’re ridiculously loyal!” When she turned away, he grabbed her arm so that she faced him. He was very close now, too close for comfort. She shivered, an odd response, but she knew it wasn’t due to fear.

“I’m not taking sides,” he said softly. “I just know him. That’s the only reason I can give to keep you from freaking out. I can assure you he’s a good guy. I can’t prove it. I just know.”

“It’s hard to know someone that well. People are surprising sometimes…”

“Maybe, but I’ve known him for a long time. He can be trusted.”

“If so, then why isn’t he here? How did I end up outside? Why can’t I remember it, or him?” She swallowed hard, fighting the power of uncertainty.

He gently cupped her face with his hands. “I don’t know. But I promise we’ll figure it out… together. Okay?”

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  myBook.to/MissingPiece

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/the-missing-piece/

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6933779

 

Readers, don’t forget to enter the contest to get a FREE copy of this new adult romance today! Also, you have a chance to win other great romance books this month with the same event! Cool, right? 😉

 

Author Bio

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. Mystery Blogger Award for 2017. A to Z Blog Challenge Survivor in 2016. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

Author Links

Website:  http://marielavender.com/

Blogs:  http://marielavender.blogspot.com/

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58

https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/marielavender1

Amazon Author Page:  Author.to/MarieLavender

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

Youtube/Book Trailers:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/marie-lavender/

 

Books:

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Filed under Authors, Book Giveaways, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Marie Lavender, New Adult, Readers, Romance, short stories, Stories

Double Reviews for THE MISSING PIECE!

As most of you know, I released this new adult romance short story in February. It originally appeared in the Valentine’s anthology, Cupid’s Arrow, for Solstice Publishing, but the publisher decided to release it on its own as well. Here are two great recent reviews:

Kiss of Love, June 4, 2017
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: The Missing Piece (Kindle Edition)
“By the time I reached the last page, l was encouraged. I am still smiling. I really enjoyed this story. For sure we need to be reminded, love is a many splendid thing. Excellent writing style for readers seeking a heartwarming experience. Great job!”

 

 The Missing Piece by Marie Lavender #mf #review @marielavender1


addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da14Kim Talks TomesTAG“The Missing Piece is a uniquely done love story where unexpected things happen to a college aged girl. She wakes up on the front lawn of a fraternity not knowing what happened the night before. A boy from the party offers to help her piece together what happened and they end up bonding and sharing a kiss. She begins to feel things she never felt before, until the boy she spent the forgotten night with shows up at her door. Just when you think you know what is going to happen, the author takes a sharp turn and offers up suspense and intrigue. This sweet story is well written and a definitely attention grabber! While I wasn’t immediately wowed by the subject of the story (college kids partying too hard and blacking out), I couldn’t put this book down! Luckily it’s not long and I absorbed it in one night.I highly recommend this book to anyone!”

Woo hoo! Thank you, Linda and Kim, for your kind commentary! ♥

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Filed under anthology, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Marie Lavender, New Adult, Readers, Reviews, Romance, short stories, Stories, Writing

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Dianne Hartsock

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 Dianne Hartsock, who has a few things to say about the question at hand.

What does romance mean to me? You’d be surprised how many times the answer has changed over the course of my life!

Created by Jcomp – Freepik.com

When I was fifteen reading Jane Eyre, Little Women, and the sweet romances of Gene Stratton-Porter, I would have sworn it was the glorious pain of separation, the unrequited love which left me in the depths of despair, and the unequaled joy of reunion. My lover on his knees pledging undying hopelessness if I didn’t return his love would be the ultimate happy ending.

In my twenties it was dinner and dancing at a favorite club and drinks by a fire afterwards, or watching the moon set over the mountains and a very early breakfast before tumbling into bed together, tired and happy.

When my kids were little, it was the height of romance when my husband would come home from work and kick me out of the house to have dinner or watch a movie with friends. Or those precious hours on a Saturday afternoon when he would take over, leaving me free to do whatever I wanted. That usually meant antique shopping and used book stores and a coffee shop afterwards without little hands touching everything. I loved my kids, still do! But those hours saved my sanity.

As they grew older it was the stolen weekend at the beach or mountains with my husband while Grandma watched the kids. We’d get a room and order room service, sleep, make love, sleep some more, hardly leaving the hotel except for the occasional walk or trip to a nearby coffee shop.

Nowadays, things are different. The kids are grown, but thank goodness they both live an hour’s drive from my front door, so we get to see them often. Romance means quiet evenings by the fire while we cuddle on the couch with a favorite glass of wine. It’s my husband walking downtown with me to my favorite coffee shop, even though he doesn’t drink coffee. It’s out to dinner for no other reason than I’ve worked hard and come home tired.

It’s putting in the new kitchen sink we’d been talking about as a surprise for Valentine’s Day and the million little things he does around the house that shows his love.

So, what does romance mean to me in my writing? Why, all of the above! And all the sex I don’t talk about in my personal life. Because yes, we can have romance without sex, but I think it’s the funnest part.

My men meet and there’s that spark of something between them, the racing pulse, anticipation and exquisite attraction. Who is this person? They have to get to know them. Maybe one has that delicious self-confidence I love and buys the other guy a drink. Like the beginning of most relationships, everything is wonderful—at first, even the way he smiles at everyone.

Wait. Did he just flirt with that other guy? Weren’t they going to be exclusive?

The doubts we all have rush in. I try to keep the angst to a minimum, but sometimes it’s hard when you see the person you love with someone else, even if you’ve misinterpreted the situation.

But with my characters, as in my own life, I have them sit down and discuss what is wrong, work through the problem, and listen to each other.

It’s the little things they do that shows their love. A phone call when they’re going to be late. Surprise dinner at a favorite restaurant. A flower or—my personal favorite—a cup of coffee in the morning, just because.

And then there’s the sex. I do write m/m erotic romance, after all, and my stories not only have some hot sex, but they show the emotion behind the act. All the feels. Because romance, at the end of the day, is how that special someone makes us feel. And I believe this is when we fall in love. Love at first sight? I believe in lust at first sight, that overwhelming need to be with someone. But love comes gradually, whether we want it or not. And romance is how we express this most delicious, consuming feeling. Hopefully it is returned in full.

Wow! So true…
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Dianne! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

Dianne is the author of paranormal/suspense, fantasy adventure, M/M romance, and anything else that comes to mind. She lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play. She says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write. There’s something about being cooped up in the house with a fire crackling on the hearth and a cup of hot coffee warming her hands, which kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.

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

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Susanne Matthews visits us on May 16th! Yay! 🙂

We may have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Guest Writer, Hope, LGBT, Love, Message, New Adult, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

4 Stars for THE MISSING PIECE!

I just learned about this review yesterday. Thank you, Sandra, for your kind words regarding this new adult romance story! 🙂

https://iloveromanceblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/05/78528-sandrasbookclub_header1.gif?w=556&h=141

 

Review: THE MISSING PIECE by Marie Lavender

Alyssa is a reserved college student, an English lit major that preferred the company of a paperback more than anything else. “She wasn’t prepared to venture into the dating scene like everyone else on campus. Of course, ‘dating’ was actually a pretty loose term these days. She preferred her own company to that of the male persuasion. They all seemed to be caught up in the weekend scene and were so full of themselves that it was probably better if she avoided them altogether.”

One morning, she wakes up on the lawn in front of an unknown fraternity house with a raging hangover and absolutely no recollection of the night before. It’s at this point that she learns that, under the influence of too much alcohol, she actually went upstairs with a guy she didn’t know. Oh, no! You don’t suppose that they…that she…? With rampant thoughts of pregnancy and STD’s, Aly becomes paranoid and seeks to find answers to what happened that night. Did she go all the way with some guy named Brendan? Fortunately, the guy’s roommate, Justin, was willing to help her out.

The “missing piece” is finding the truth for young Aly, and the reader becomes interested to find out, too, especially when Aly is such a sweet girl that you can’t bear for anything bad to happen to her. You feel for her as she goes through the stages of confusion and panic over the possible what-ifs of that night. I liked that Justin was there for her, making Aly realize that her crisis may have revealed a very small and very cute diamond in the rough.

Short and compelling, this story is a quick, satisfying read.

Purchase Links:

Amazon Universal:  http://myBook.to/MissingPiece

Print anthology:  https://www.createspace.com/6933779

 

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Filed under Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, New Adult, Readers, Romance, short stories, Stories, Writing

Pre-order Release Feature: Hard to Love by author S. Jones

I am pleased to announce a great new release by S. Jones, an author I met during my journey! Her contemporary new adult romance, Hard to Love, officially went up for pre-order and will be released on May 3rd!

That’s awesome! Congrats on your new release!:)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author! Also, this is S. Jones’ debut novel, so there’s even more cause for excitement! Welcome to the romance genre!

S is giving us a look at her intriguing new adult romance, Hard to Love, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Hard to Love:

Leaving a safe, predictable relationship and falling straight into the center of a whirlwind was never part of Emily’s plans.

From that very moment when the stranger’s hand takes her by the wrist, she is thrust into a world where she is flooded with feelings she cannot ignore.

Torn between her head and her heart, she quickly realizes that fighting her attraction to Chase Newman is an impossible task. He’s a man who always gets what he wants and with his sights set on Emily, she doesn’t stand a chance. A one-night stand will never be enough, though, when she wants so much more than that.

When secrets and lies threaten to destroy the trust between them, Emily starts to question her own decisions. With doubt and suspicion plaguing her mind, is what they have worth fighting for? Or will the truth tear them apart?

And here is a teaser to entice you with.

Book Info:

Genre:  Contemporary, New Adult Romance

Release Date:  May 3, 2017

Pre-order Purchase Link:

Universal Amazon link:  myBook.to/HardtoloveSJones

Wow! I love the emotions here. ♥♥♥ This looks like a great novel!😉

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

☆.•°☆•°*S. JONES RELEASE DAY & GIVEAWAY!*°•☆°•.☆

Head on over to Sandra’s Facebook page to enter her giveaway for the chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card, Signed Paperback AND a Alex & Ani Bracelet. 

 

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this wonderful book!

Author Bio

Sandra Jones lives in Upstate, N.Y with her husband, her two teenage children, and her adorable golden retriever Marley. She is a wine lover, coffee drinker, domestic chef, housekeeper, chauffeur, dog walker, and world traveler… Oh, and she is also a hopeless romantic!

When she’s not doing laundry, mowing her lawn or taking care of her family, you can usually find her on the computer planning out her next vacation, having a drink with her friends or reading a nice juicy book.

She loves to hear from her readers. You can connect here.

Author Links

Website:  https://www.sjonesauthor.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/sandyjones23

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Alistair-Cross/e/B00N446AZS/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/64271197-sandra-jones-author

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

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, New Adult, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing

Double Reviews for New Adult Romance!

Great news! Two new reviews popped up this week for my new adult romance story, The Missing Piece. Yay! 🙂

-from Amy Shannon’s Bookshelf Reviews’ blog

 

 

 

Likeable story

It’s a sweet novella about Alyssa, who with the help of Justin, tried to figure out what happened the night before.

The story was well written, and probably would have been better as a novel, than a novella, but the plot and details that are needed to make a great novella is here. It takes a lot of talent to write a thorough novella, and Lavender definitely has that writing talent. The story was sweet, and likable, and engaged the reader on the journey that Alyssa was forced to take.

-from Feathered Quill Book Reviews

Can one mistake cause someone to find love and change their entire life? Author Marie Lavender writes about that possibility in her new romance The Missing Piece.

The Missing Piece is a short story about good-girl Alyssa Masters. One morning Alyssa wakes up on her college fraternity’s lawn with a massive headache and a spotty memory, and instantly panics. Parties aren’t her scene, she’s a recluse and doesn’t drink. She’s a good student and doesn’t do anything that involves too much risk, until last night, apparently.

As Alyssa struggles to take in her surroundings and figure out what day it is, a young man named Justin helps her to put some of the pieces together. She finds that she did, in fact, attend the frat party and clearly drank, but much of what happened afterward is still a mystery. All she knows is what Justin has told her – that she had spent time with a fraternity member named Brendan and eventually followed him upstairs after doing some jello shots. In an instant frenzy, she thinks of the worst possible outcomes, only to be assured by Justin that Brendan is a good guy. He vows to help her figure out the pieces of her missing memory, but they could very well find that they were each other’s missing piece all along.

The Missing Piece was a quick and fun read, and I enjoyed meeting Alyssa and the other characters. Given the constraints of the short story format – this is a 30-page story – it’s difficult for the author to “flesh out” the characters and really develop them. I would have loved to see the characters be more deeply developed, and I would have loved to be more involved in this story. I really did want to keep reading more, as the style of writing was easy to follow and intriguing. I am hoping for a sequel to this short story, as I would like to know how the romance between characters develops and if Alyssa comes to change her good-girl ways or finds someone who will accept her for everything she is and always was.

Quill says: The Missing Piece is a mysterious and romantic read that readers will find themselves wanting more of and definitely looking for other stories by this author.

Thank you, Amy and Diana, for your kind words! 😀

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Filed under Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, New Adult, Readers, Reviews, Romance, short stories, Stories, Writing

New Release Feature: I Wanna Get Laid by Kade by author duo Nikki Ashton & Victoria Johns, plus giveaway!

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Nikki Ashton and Victoria Johns, both authors I met during my journey! Their contemporary new adult romance, I Wanna Get Laid by Kade, officially released today! Yay! That’s awesome, ladies! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

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

Nikki and Victoria are giving us a look at their sexy modern romance, I Wanna Get Laid by Kade, today.

Wow! Great cover!

This is the blurb for I Wanna Get Laid by Kade:

If you lived on the streets and someone offered to change your life, would you? Of course you would, who wouldn’t? But, what if changing your life ruined that of the one person who cared about you? The one person who you cared about in return.

That’s what happened to me, Kade Sutton.

I became the star of a reality TV show, a show that was a catalogue of lies and duplicity. The show meant I got to spend time with Daisy Ingles, a girl whose beautiful smile brightened up my day, every day. This show also meant that I betrayed her. This show gave me many things, but I lost an awful lot too.

Set within the world of reality TV, ‘I Wanna Get Laid by Kade’ will have you hissing and booing at the bad guys, and cheering on the good ones. Kade will make you fall in love with him and Daisy will make you want to fight her corner.

With love, sex and betrayal this is a book you just can’t miss – it’s the path you’re meant to take.

And here is a teaser to entice you with.

 

What people are saying about this book:

“Seriously, there were so many great things about this book…Without a doubt, the authors have done a wonderful job with this one.”

“Such a strong story line with lots of believable twists and turns. I ended up staying up way too late finishing it.”

“The story is so much more than a simple tale of reality television.”

Goodreads Reviews

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01NAVGP0K

Mybook.to/NAVJKade

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-wanna-get-laid-by-kade-nikki-ashton/1125960625

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Wanna-Get-Laid-Kade/Nikki-Ashton/9780995667884?id=6842447479054

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/i-wanna-get-laid-by-kade

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6877452

Nice! Who doesn’t love a gentleman? ♥♥♥ It looks like quite a ride!😉

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

 

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

Oh, it almost skipped my mind. Drum roll please…*** This dynamic author team has a great deal for you today. Just head on over to their Facebook page to enter their release day giveaway! Who doesn’t love free? ***

So, check out this great romance novel! ♥

Author Bio – Nikki Ashton

Nikki lives in Cheshire with her husband, two dogs and lovely mother-in-law who supplies her with endless cups of tea. She writes romance with a touch of humor and lots of love, and hopes that she puts a smile on her reader’s faces.

Her ambitions of becoming a writer started at the age of 10 when she started writing poetry at school, and was given the honor of reading one of her poems to the rest of her year group (a truly embarrassing experience that she will never forget).

Nikki is grateful for the wide variety of strange and wonderful people in her life, otherwise she’d never know what to write about! She is currently talking to family and friends, finding out their innermost secrets in readiness for her next book.

Although all Nikki’s books are standalone stories, characters do make ‘guest appearances’. So, the best order to read them is:

Guess Who I Pulled Last Night

No Bra Required

Get Your Kit Off

Rock Stars Don’t Like Big Knickers

Rock Stars Don’t Like Ugly Bras

Rock Stars Do Like Christmas

Cheese Tarts & Fluffy Socks

Author Links

Website:  https://www.nikkiashtonbooks.co.uk/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/NikkerAsh

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Nikki-Ashton/e/B00C7QKDE8/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7085471.Nikki_Ashton

Pinterest:  https://uk.pinterest.com/davnikash/

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

 

Author Bio – Victoria Johns

Victoria Johns is a Cheshire based writer with a wild imagination for steamy stories; she believes it’s every girl’s dream to experience a happily ever after.

Realizing it was time to live her own dream, she now enjoys daydreaming and creating fiery romance novels. When she’s not doing that, she can be found spending time with her family, cycling the countryside or enjoying pink fizz with her crazy friends.

Author Links

Website:  https://www.victoriajohnsbooks.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/victoriajohns75

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Johns/e/B00O24HYL8/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5072971.Victoria_Johns

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, New Adult, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing