Tag Archives: novella

Book Review: Valentine in Venice by Kaya Quinsey

As a special Valentine’s Day edition of the weekly I Love Romance Blog review, this week’s selection is Valentine in Venice by Kaya Quinsey.

This is another short story that I wish were longer (What can I say? I love to read!), but if you’re looking for a quick, entertaining story this Valentine’s Day – check this one out.

Valentine remembers when she first visited Venice in high school. Although the sights and sounds are amazing, she definitely remembers her first kiss. Ten years later, she returns to Venice – plus one camera and minus one husband. But, fate isn’t done with her yet and Valentine is about to get her happily ever after…I think.

Though a short story, the author has done a great job of describing Venice.  The way the story was told, I was taken back to my own trips to Italy and strolls down the canals of the ancient city. Considerably less steamy than last week’s selection, but heavier on the romance – this story was definitely enjoyable.

“Happily ever after…I think?”

I know, you’re wondering what that was about. The setup is there for the HEA, but we’re left to imagine it for ourselves. I actually found myself flipping a couple pages ahead to see if there was more story – then, I was a little bereft. What happened to Valentine? Did she move to Venice? Did she go back to Chicago? I’ve certainly answered all those questions for myself and Valentine is doing just fine where she is.

It is well-written and entertaining, but the speedy, cliffhanger ending was jarring – I give Valentine in Venice by Kaya Quinsey 3 HEARTS!

Recommended Read

Book Info:

Valentine Wells returns to Venice. After having visited ten years earlier when she was just sixteen years old, it was where she had impulsively met Lorenzo Dipachio. Her first kiss. Her first love.

Now twenty-six, Valentine is a successful wedding photographer in Chicago. Still impulsive, Valentine is recently divorced after being married for about a minute in Las Vegas. And she doesn’t miss the irony of being a divorced wedding photographer. Also dealing with her mother’s recent diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s, Valentine’s father convinces her that she needs a break.

Now that she is back in Venice, Valentine wants to prove to herself that she’s no longer the impulsive, daring girl who got married (and quickly divorced) in Vegas to a man she barely knew. Now, she is living by a new set of rules: planned, cautious, and carefully executed.

But her plan is challenged when she falls (literally) into the path of her first love, Lorenzo. And with Valentine’s Day around the corner, will Valentine be able to keep herself from making another big mistake?

Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/3LGKNM

AUTHOR: Kaya Quinsey

TITLE: Valentine in Venice

GENRE: contemporary romance, holiday romance, sweet romance, second chance romance

RELEASE DATE: January 1, 2019

PUBLISHER: Books to Go Now

ISBN/ASIN: B07MPDCLN6

OUR RATING: ♥♥♥

REVIEWED BY: Kevin Ethan

Up Next Week: Bedroom, Boardroom by Gemma Snow

Thanks for reading our weekly book review on ILRB!

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Filed under Blogging, Book News, book reviews, Books, Contemporary, Event, new release, Readers, Reviews, Romance, Second Chances, short stories, Stories, sweet romance, Valentine's, Writing

Exclusive Interview with author Suzanne Jefferies, plus a look at erotic romance, WATCHED, and giveaway!

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. We’re doing something a little different. This is our second official author interview on this romance blog! I know in the past, we did character interviews then switched over to the author’s take on it, but this approach is a bit unusual.

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with the talented author of erotic romance, Watched. Please join me in welcoming Suzanne Jefferies to ILRB! 🙂

Marie Lavender:  Hello, Suzanne. Please have a seat.

Author Suzanne Jefferies:  Hi, Marie! Lovely to meet you.

Marie:  It’s such a pleasure to see you here! I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.

Obviously, we know your occupation as an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have any other occupations? Do you believe you’re any good at them? Do you like what you do?

Suzanne:  I’m a copywriter, specializing in corporate marketing collateral, government case studies (South Africa), and personal profiles. I’d like to think I’m very good at it! I love it. I get to work on some really exciting client projects from the comfort of my home. Win/win all round.

Marie:  Nice! 

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Suzanne:  Driven. Chaotic. Next question, please.

Marie:  Oh, I hear you there! 😉

Let’s try something else, okay?

If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Suzanne:  We moved a lot, including from the UK to South Africa. My earliest home was my favorite; surrounded by a cobblestone wall, overlooking the cold, grey Atlantic, and four houses from my best friend. We used to go down to the beach in our Wellington boots, dodging stinging nettles and sheep droppings. Every day was an adventure.

Marie:  Great!

Do you have any hobbies, Suzanne? What do you enjoy doing?

Suzanne:  Rolling on the mat at jui jitsu. Running half-marathons with my youngest sister. Drawing stories about the young me adventuring on that cold coast in South Wales.

Marie:  Wow! Such an eclectic blend of pastimes! 😀

So…what is your greatest dream?

Suzanne:  I’m still single. So, I’m wishing and a hoping for true love/the fairytale/someone who I can partner with. Maybe a family.

Marie:  There’s certainly nothing wrong with those dreams…

As I’ve learned, true love has a way of surprising you just when you need it the most. ♥♥♥

Let’s try another question.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

Suzanne:  I could do with being more extroverted. What’s stopping me is my introvert tendencies. I can do extrovert best when I’m a little drunk – that doesn’t roll so well on a Monday morning!

Marie:  (Laughs.) Very true…

Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Suzanne:  A boy named Gareth, with a lazy green eye who worked at the Pro Shop and smoked Camel filters. Did he break my heart? With a sledgehammer.

Marie: Aww…okay. I sense a big story there. ♥

Let’s try something else now.

What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Suzanne:  Lots of terrible things happen all the time, and I’ve certainly had more than my fair share. The funny thing, though, about terrible things is that, sometimes, they can lead me on to better, wonderful things. Other times, they’ve led me to the therapist’s door.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there!

Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?

[Suzanne nods.]

What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?

Suzanne:  I wanted to write books. And, yay, that’s what I’m doing.

In a million years, I never dreamt that publishing would be so hard. In my career as a writer I’ve been plagiarized (legal fees nailed that one), had an agent run out on me, had a publisher go bust and close its door weeks before my release, and another publisher used my book as a vehicle to legitimize her self-publishing business. Epic.

For every step forward, another twenty or so back. People think of E.L. James or J.K. Rowling when they think of writers, but they’re outliers. Most writers I know are doing well, but aren’t finding their photo in People magazine.

Marie:  True enough! I don’t think most people realize how difficult it is to make a name for yourself in the publishing world.

So, who is your role model, Suzanne?

Suzanne:  Jane Porter. She moved me to tears with her story, because it was my story too. The difference was, she had the guts to stand up there and share. She’s a writer who never gave up, a successful publisher and a dedicated mom. I think she’s awesome.

Marie:  All right.

Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Suzanne:  Yes. I will not be revealing said person’s name to protect the innocent (me).

Marie:  No problem. I respect your privacy!

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Suzanne:  To have a child of my own (looking super unlikely at this point).

Marie:  I know what you mean. The closest I’ve come so far is adopting kitties. 😉

So, tell me something, Suzanne. What is your greatest fear?

Suzanne:  That it will be too late – that all the things I still want to do and experience in my life, will somehow slip away from me into time’s black hole, and it will all be too late.

Marie: Well, I certainly understand your fears that time is a losing battle. But I don’t think it’s ever too late to accomplish what you set out to do.

I want to try something different next, Suzanne… 

Readers, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective on some of her characters.

We’ve heard rumors about the heroine of your story, Professor Eve Brown. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Suzanne:  Professor Brown, Evie, is newly divorced and questioning everything about her life. All of the roles and titles that seemed to apply, no longer do. She used to love her job, but she feels her passion slipping away. She’s no longer a wife. She’s no longer young. Everything’s changing.

Marie:  I see.

So, what are your characters’ greatest strengths?

Suzanne:  Resilience. She gets up, gets out there and gets on with what needs to be done.

Marie:  Admirable for sure!

And what are her greatest weaknesses?

Suzanne:  Young men named Cameron! The tendency to look backwards towards the past. That’s not where she’ll find her answers.

Marie:  Okay…

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of her favorite foods?

Suzanne:  Sushi, vegetarian lasagna, and steak, mid-to-rare, with fries. And Chardonnay.

Marie:  (Chuckles.) Nice!

How about another question?

What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

Suzanne:  She’s open to change, open to experience, and open to difference. It’s not something she thinks of consciously; it’s part of who she is.

Marie:  Works for me!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Suzanne:  It could be easy to dislike her, considering that she does ‘break the rules’ with Cameron. But it’s part of her breaking her shackles to the past, and the person she was.

Marie: All right.

Well, now that we have a real taste of Evie Brown, we have a few questions for you as well as the author, about the writing process of your book.

What first gave you the idea for Watched?

Suzanne:  Trawling through YouTube videos I came across the Christopher Atkins turkey ‘One Night in Heaven’. Something about the teacher/student angle, had me thinking. And then I watched Laura Branigan’s video for ‘Self-Control’ and somehow the two non-related ideas kind of mushed and melded together (Still not sure how this inspiration thing works!).

Marie:  Gotcha! And I hear you. My story ideas come from all over the place.

Interesting how the muse works, huh?

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Suzanne:  Pantster all the way! I let the story take me where it wants to go and hang on.  

Marie:  Sounds like quite a ride!

How about another question?

I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Watched or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Suzanne:  Yes, there was a minor challenge. The relationship with Sophie is fluid, a friends with benefits, casual affair. So, it had to be clear that Evie wasn’t cheating on her. However, Sophie is polyamorous, so it’s not that Sophie would mind particularly. I had wanted to explore this more, but publishers were not so keen. Luckily, I reworked parts of the story and Wild Rose Press was happy to publish.

Marie:  Okay.

It was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog!  And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Watched appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this scorching romance by Suzanne Jefferies, a talented author! :)

Now, let’s learn more about Suzannne’s blog tour going on right now.

Here is the blurb for Watched:

Newly divorced Professor Evie Brown notices her student Cameron Slade and how attentive he seems, so totally unlike her ex-husband. Cameron is also delicious to look at, all taut body, broad shoulders, and hot eyes. He’s forbidden territory, but one late afternoon as she pleasures herself in an empty lecture hall, she looks up to find she’s not alone. He’s there…watching her.

And then there’s Sophie Walker. Ever since Evie met the sensual woman, she’s allowed her inhibitions to unreel, one by one. It’s Sophie who’s been sharing Evie’s erotic awakening, Sophie who she yearns for. Or is it?

Suzanne is also offering us a peek of the book!

I wipe clean the whiteboard, enjoying the push of the felt, swinging from side to side as I move, the squeaking sound it makes as it erases the past three hours’ worth of hard work. An image replays over and over—that unexpected reveal of Cameron’s torso—a handspan of bareness, the grooved shadow of muscle. It was a shock to the sterility of that lecture hall. My mouth waters. Bare, taut skin—that male skin, so much rougher, harsher than a woman’s.

Male.

I replace the lids on the markers and switch off the projector. Alone. Facing late afternoon emptiness.

If Cameron were to give me something I’d like… I’d like him, close to me, all sweet-sandy raw male youth, at my knees. Male.

I swallow back the desire that is starting to slither through me, stroking the space between my neck and collarbone. Cameron. I picture the way he ran his hands through his lightly gelled hair, the bulge in his arms as his hands extended behind his head. The soft curve of his lower lip. That vulnerable stretch of torso that was making my mouth salivate like a beast before its slaughter.

Nice! I’m curious to find out what happens in this book… 🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07B2BR84Z

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/watched-suzanne-jefferies/1128033307?ean=2940159047809

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/watched-19

Plus, Suzanne is giving away some wonderful prizes, two ebooks of Watched, during this tour. Two lucky winners will receive a copy. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here.

.•°☆ RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY °•.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/801c221b33/

Let’s offer some kudos to Suzanne’s sponsor as well…

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this erotic romance! ♥ Readers, don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

About Suzanne Jefferies

Suzanne Jefferies loves to write romance. As a member of ROSA (Romance Writers of South Africa), she knows that she’s not the only believer in romantic tension and emotional power smacks to keep the romance reader hooked. A movie fanatic, she spends most of her time as a writer-for-hire. Working in communication, she has done more than her fair share of corporate and investor PR, and now freelances in between editorial jobs for big, glossy company magazines. The Joy of Comfort Eating, her first contemporary romance novel, won the 2016 Imbali Award for excellence in romance writing.

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the intriguing Suzanne Jefferies, here are some author links:

Website:  www.suzannejefferies.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/suzannjefferies

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Suzanne-Jefferies/e/B0076INQUU/

https://amzn.to/2GrvJrQ

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8193878.Suzanne_Jefferies

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/115131914653334849624

Once again, I want to thank Suzanne Jefferies, the brilliant author of this hot novella, for stopping by!  It was a pleasure to have you here! Fans, enter the cool giveaway while you still can!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, characters, Erotica, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Interview, new release, Readers, Romance, steamy, Writing

Blog Tour Feature: Vegas Gambler by Adriana Kraft

✫✶• NEW RELEASE•✫✶

 

Can Jack Hawthorne keep up with two women? How will he protect his heart?

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Adriana Kraft, an author I met during my journey! Congratulations on your new erotic romance release! :)

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

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

Let’s hear a little about this great book…

Such a steamy cover!

This is the blurb for Vegas Gambler:

He’s fifty-one; they’re in their twenties. Can Jack Hawthorne keep up with two women? How will he protect his heart?

Fresh with success from a recent stint in a musical on the Las Vegas Strip, Meghan Keenan takes some time off to play with her current flame, Jack Hawthorne, professional poker player. She’s delighted to add her petite masseuse Tia Minh to the mix and even more thrilled when she learns Tia’s relationship with her boyfriend Tony Sanders is on the skids. It’s the perfect challenge!

Tia has different ideas – she thinks Tony would be perfect for Meg, and she conspires to throw them together any way she can.

Ever the gambler, Jack catches on to her game quickly and keeps the ruse going behind Meg’s back. Who knew his heart was up for grabs?

This is a Contemporary Erotic Romance.

Adriana is giving us a peek at her sexy modern romance, Vegas Gambler, today.

Here is an excerpt.

Jack cocked his head to the side. “You sure you won’t stay beyond the summer?”

Meg shook her head. They’d been over this ground before. “You know I need to get back to New York. I need to get on with my life.”

“Sorry I’m such a drag on you.” He gave her a wicked smile. “And you always say my age doesn’t matter.”

“Fifty-one doesn’t make you ancient.”

“I have my days,” Jack said, flipping over a card. “But I know what we have is transitory. Don’t worry about me getting carried away.” He smirked. “But you have been a breath of fresh air for me.”

“Cripes, the way you hang out around poker tables, anyone would provide a breath of fresh air.” Meg smiled and purposely softened her tone. “And you’ve been very good for me, too. I don’t know how I would’ve made it through the hectic pace of the last six months without your steady influence. You’ve always been there, and with few demands.”

“Perhaps,” Jack began wistfully, “I should’ve been more demanding.” He must’ve seen her nostrils flare, because he lifted a hand, forestalling her response. “You’ve renewed my faith in life.” He grinned devilishly. “Even in love.”

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07B2WBSRR

Publisher:  http://www.extasybooks.com/978-1-4874-1333-0-vegas-gambler/

Wow! Love the tension here. ♥♥♥

 

Plus, Adriana is giving away one free download from the publisher’s website to each of two winners. Winners may select from books One through Four in her Meghan’s Playhouse Series. You can find all series books at this link: http://www.extasybooks.com/meghan-s-playhouse/. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember, you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. You may find those locations here

.•°☆ RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY °•.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/801c221b29/

 

Thank you for telling us about your new erotic romance, Adriana! I know I can’t wait to read this sexy novella! 🙂

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

Author Bio

Winner of the 2014 Bisexual Book Award for erotic fiction, author Adriana Kraft is a married couple writing Sizzling Romantic Suspense and Erotic Romance for Two, Three, or More.

One man, one woman, danger and intrigue – always a happy ending, but oh, what a ride! Readers can count on our Romantic Suspense line for gutsy characters, hot sex, and breathtaking intimacy as our hero and heroine battle outer threats and inner demons to stay alive and fall in love.

A man, a woman (or two), or another man, threesomes, foursomes—what’s your fantasy? We write our Erotic Romance stories to entertain, of course, but most of all we write them because we believe in happy endings for all who fall in love, whatever their gender, sexual orientation or numerical combination. Here you’ll find multiple partners, three-way, four-way and more, swing lifestyle, lesbian, bisexual, ménage and polyamory, in both contemporary and paranormal settings.

Together we have published over thirty-five romance novels and novellas with outstanding reviews. We love hearing from readers at adrianakraft99@yahoo.com, and here is our website, When It’s Time to Heat Things Up.

Newsletter Sign-up:  http://eepurl.com/uRvCr

Publisher:  http://www.extasybooks.com/adriana-kraft/

 

Thank you for telling us about your awesome book tour! I know readers can’t wait to get ahold of this delicious romance!

And don’t forget to enter the cool giveaway!

Thanks again to Adriana and her blog tour sponsor!

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, giveaway, new release, Readers, Romance, steamy

Blog Tour Feature: The Boy Next Door by Ann Anders

✫✶• NEW RELEASE•✫✶

 

A decade. A divorce. They meant nothing. He’d simply have to convince her.

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Ann Anders, an author I met during my journey! Congratulations on your new steamy military romance release! :)

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

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

Let’s hear a little about this great book…

Such a nice cover!

This is the blurb for The Boy Next Door:

Sometimes a girl needs a little sexual healing…

Penny never intended watching her new neighbor, but the window is right there. And, damn, those abs, that chest! Camo pants worn like that ought to be illegal. He’s way out of her league. And so young! But a girl can look, right? Ever since the divorce she’s just felt so… invisible.

Military pilots get almost any woman they want. So when Penny tells Chaz he’s too young for her, he can’t help but take a second look. She’s not his usual type. She’s sassy, she’s earthy. She’s real. Hell, if she doesn’t do something for him.

A thirty-something divorcee and a twenty-something injured naval pilot fall head first into fate’s trap – a trap that lands them both in some serious sexual healing. And it’s good. It’s really good. Which leaves them both wondering. Can fate turn into love?

Ann is giving us a peek at her sexy military romance, The Boy Next Door, today. Here’s an excerpt.

She hadn’t imagined the heat coming from him, his strength and what had felt like protection. He’d stirred more than sexual arousal in her. He’d awakened her need for human contact, damn him.

Inexplicably, she choked on a sob. Being touched, barely touched like that, ought not to have affected her like this.

Crumpling under the weight of unwanted emotion, she slid down the tile and then huddled on the shower floor.

Water pelted her from above.

And suddenly she let out a wail.

She’d put all of that behind her. Feeling like a woman, feeling just a little bit beautiful, worthwhile… like she mattered.

It shouldn’t hurt like this.

Feeling again.

****

“A decade. An entire decade.” She stopped in front of the Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers dinners. Opening the freezer door, she picked out two lasagna dinners, two baked chicken dinners, and two chicken enchiladas and tossed them all in the basket.

Chaz flinched at the thought of all the preservatives she was going to consume.

“You on a diet or something?”

She counted the meals in her basket and let the door slam shut on the freezer case. “I don’t cook.” She shrugged.

“A decade is nothing. In the grand scheme of things.”

Then she picked out coffee and sugar free flavored creamer. “I’m also cynical and divorced.”

And a box of donuts.

“You’re a strange woman, Penny.”

“Not strange,” she responded without thinking. “Realistic.”

He could argue with her. He could tell her about the lives he’d been unable to save, lives of innocent kids who’d witnessed an eternity of hell.

Death was a deal breaker. All bets were off. A decade. A divorce. They meant nothing.

He’d simply have to convince her.

And here are some teasers to entice you with!

Title:  The Boy Next Door

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Military

Heat Level: HIGH

Release Date:  February 12, 2018

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B079BQMWBT

Just $1.99!

Wow! Sounds like a hot read, and a great deal! ♥♥♥

 

Thank you for telling us about your new, sexy modern military romance, Ann! I know I can’t wait to read this steamy novella! 🙂

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

Author Bio

Married to the same man for over 25 years, I am a mother to three children and two Miniature Wiener dogs. After owning a business and experiencing considerable success, my husband and I got caught in the financial crisis and lost everything; our businesses, our home, even our car.

At this point, I put my B.A. in Poly Sci to use and took work as a waitress and bartender.  Unwilling to give up on a professional life, I simultaneously went back to college and obtained a degree in Energy Management.
And then the energy market dropped off.
Then my dog died.
I can only be grateful for this series of unfortunate events, for, with nothing to lose and completely demoralized, I sat down and began to write the romance novels which had, until then, existed only in my imagination.

I am happy to have found my place in life.
Finally.

 

Thank you for telling us about your awesome book tour! I know readers can’t wait to get ahold of this sexy romance!

We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, Readers, Romance, steamy

On Writing Romance: a guest post by Ricardo Mejías

On Writing Romance by Ricardo Mejías

 

Writing, for me, is a second language. I’m not quite fluent in it, but it allows me to see and articulate the world in a very specific yet wonderfully abstract way. I can pick and choose my letters, line them up and listen to their sounds, playfully arranging similes like a child stacking Legos. It’s an experimental exercise, a fun, freeing and fantastic excuse to allow the tongue to sleep and the mind to clear its throat.

I started to write when I was twelve. I typed with my index fingers, very slowly, and very deliberately. I had a story I wanted to get out. No one told me to do it. I wasn’t going to share it with the world, tossing the pages out the window so strangers could say, “This child is a genius!” I was just tired of holding onto the letters in my head, tired of their weight. I had created an entire universe, and if I could only condense it into words then maybe I could be free! Free to think of something else. Free to write more. And when it came time to write another story, I learned to tilt my head to the side—watch as it tumbled out my ear, splashing on the page in a tangle of prose. Then I waited for the rain to fill me whole again, so I could continue the cycle until I ran out of pages, out of words, and out of ideas.

 

Unsplash, Aaron Burden, Creative Commons License.

Writing, as sticky as it is when preserved on the page, is a very flexible tool of expression. Like water, it is fluid, the meaning of a sentence changed by the deletion of a word, the inflection shifted by punctuation. The narrative is a shapeshifter, who might be a suspenseful point of view in one story or a cynical teenager in the next. It is putty in our hands, and we are artists in search of the figures that lie within.

In college I started to try out different styles. I eventually stumbled into a genre I didn’t think I’d ever consider: romance. Not just romance…steamy romance. And though it started as a simple writing exercise, I learned to respect the genre in a profound way. I had taken it for granted. I saw Romance as fluff. It was a guilty pleasure read and nothing more, filled with flowery language and prolonged sex scenes. But the romance genre is one of the few genres where the writer and reader are truly intimate. While other books take a reader’s hand to lead them down a wild adventure, romance stories kiss your hand and bring you closer. They cause you to blush. They whisper in your ear, waiting for you to make the first move: to undress and find pleasure in the state of being vulnerable.

Writing is inherently a close affair between the author and reader. Without you to read these words, I don’t exist. Right now I am closer to you than anyone will ever be, because I have the pleasure of occupying—for a very brief moment—the privacy of your thoughts, and that is a privilege I don’t take lightly. And while other books are granted this privilege as well, what they’re sharing with you isn’t a secret; romance, however, is. When the prose starts to move to the bedroom, the author is taking you along with them. In many ways, the reader is not reading about the heat of his body—she’s feeling it. The reader is not reading about the curves of her figure, he’s exploring them. So as a writer of romance, the reader is allowing me to enact a fantasy with them. It’s a quiet act that only works if one can earn the reader’s trust.

Unsplash, Alejandra Quiroz, Creative Commons license.

I learned this because when I started to write romance I wasn’t sure how to approach it. As it turns out, I wasn’t writing for myself but for you. It was like a relationship, I wanted you to be happy—and not just to be happy, but to enjoy what I was doing. So I treated you as the protagonist, and wrote scenes that only worked if you willingly participated in them, and to do that we needed to reach a level of intimacy other books never had to strive for. You have to woo a stranger before the kiss. When I realized this, it made me look at romance fiction in a completely different light.

And that was how my romance novella, Fixation, came into being. I learned that I couldn’t write it like I had with my other stories. It helped me understand the nature of words and the act of reading them. There is a lot happening between the lines, a playful back and forth that simply feels different when writing romance. It’s flirtatious and fun. I’m still figuring out who I am, but the great thing about words is that it allows me to be formless. Fixation started as a personal challenge, but it turned into a lesson that opened my eyes to the beauty of storytelling. Maybe that is why our language is so rich and overflowing instead of blunt and minimalist, because we know on a deeper level these sounds are doing more than making noises.

They’re asking us to dance.

Wow! As both writer and reader, I totally agree.

Thank you, Ricardo, for that riveting take on writing in the romance genre.

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

Coming soon to major booksellers:

Fixation cover

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Fixation:

Michael has dreams, abstract fantasies of a woman wearing only a smile. He knows she’s not real, but she keeps appearing each night. She wants more than his body, but he can’t figure out what that is. To make matters more complicated, he’s falling in love with his co-worker, Lisa, and this makes the woman in his dreams angry. As the lines between love and lust blur, he must distinguish the difference and make a choice before he loses his soul to his fantasies.

Ricardo is also offering us a sexy excerpt from his upcoming romance novella.

He imagined the heat between her thighs, as if she’d spent the entire day drinking the sun’s warmth, her skin holding onto it like a cherished memory. His ghostly touch wandered playfully along her hips and stomach, stirring the passions until he searched for the one spot that would make her tremble.

“I want you to do exactly as I say.”

“Tell me,” she whispered. A tremor caught on the end of her voice.

“I’m sliding my fingers inside you.”

He heard a rustling sound as she mimicked his instructions. She was concentrating, likely wondering what it would feel like if they were actually together in bed, breathing on each other between long, lip-smacking kisses.

“I want you to come now.”

With an explosive release, she muffled her cries over the phone.

“I’ll call you next week.” He hung up before she could reply then stared at the ceiling, not quite sure what to feel. Phone sex only heightened his sexual frustrations. He was restless, bothered by a strange sensation that had settled uncomfortably on his chest. Emotionally, he felt parched, dehydrated and in need of…what exactly? If he knew what was good for him, he’d stop searching, but he was never one to listen to his own advice. Instead, his monthly credit bills were adding up to amounts that, at a glance, gave the impression there was real value to what he was doing, a tangible reward worth the risk of debt to his wallet and his soul. But he never got off during the calls. A conscious choice. Empty words for an empty orgasm, but he kept calling the 1-900 numbers, a road that led down familiar paths.

First, he’d scroll through porn, drawn by faceless women who promised to quell an urge he didn’t know how to control, only to be numbed by the flesh and fluids. He wanted to stop, to cut off what was an unhealthy habit, but what harm was it doing, really?

And then the dreams started.

The woman’s phone voice was similar to the woman in his dreams, hushed and raspy in the way she pronounced her words, but—

She wasn’t the same.

He glanced at the clock radio. “Crap.” There were still three hours left until he had to get ready for work. He wanted to sleep, to dream of the woman again, the woman who always appeared when he needed her, to tease him like a stripper might tease a crowd, but with a control so absolute it was a law of nature. She was the very definition of lust, the culmination of every man’s fantasy.

But something was very wrong with his dreams. She held the promise of granting him anything he asked for. Those crimson lips, like rose petals bleeding with the kind of sexuality that made him melt, begged him to take her. But she haunted him. He knew what she wanted: to feel his muscles tense, to enjoy the solid weight of his body on hers. But she had a secret agenda, and she was in no rush to reveal it.

Each night he woke up in a cold sweat, confused and dazed by the overwhelming emotions the dreams produced. No other woman had ever made him feel this way, but her love wasn’t any more real than the woman’s on the phone.

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

http://www.twbpress.com/fixation.html

And readers, this riveting novella will be out very soon!

Fixation cover

 

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Ricardo, and a look at your upcoming release, Fixation! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Author Bio

Bio Photo

Ricardo Mejías discovered his love for prose in his senior year of high school while taking a creative writing course. He majored in Creative Writing at SUNY New Paltz with a double minor in philosophy. Wanting to learn more about the publishing industry, he pursued an editorial career and worked at Disney Hyperion as an Assistant Editor for five years. During his time there, he personally edited several middle grade novels and successfully helped pitch an idea for publication. Currently residing in New York with his fiancée, he’s now looking to explore new careers as well develop his writing and poetry crafts.

Author Links

Website/Blog:  http://wanderingprose.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ricardo.mejias.752

https://www.facebook.com/Fixation-124873584255732/

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2aPa10O

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/112907865782283224885/posts

Publisher:  http://www.twbpress.com/authorricardomejias.html

 

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

As always, happy reading, everyone!   😉

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Fiction, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

Reminder to Vote for the BTS Red Carpet Book Awards!

As I mentioned not too long ago, the Heiresses in Love Series and M&M were nominated for this award, the 2014 Red Carpet Book Awards .  You can vote now for each category.

The Heiresses In Love Series (book three is in progress now)

UponYourReturn_E-bookCover     Upon Your Honor

Here is the link to vote for these romance novels in the historical category.

The Magick Series (book two is written and almost ready to be published)

Magick and Moonlight

Here is the link to vote for this novella in the paranormal category.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite authors in the other categories here.  You can also learn more about the BTS Red Carpet Awards at this link.

Thanks so much for following my work!  🙂

Solsticebooks

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Award, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Romance, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Writing

M&M just got two new reviews!

Magick & Moonlight just received two new five star reviews!  How exciting!  🙂

Here are the reviews I found on Amazon:

This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)
I just fell in love with this book from the beginning. It was so romantic. I felt like I was there experiencing everything that happened. Hope to read more from you
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)
Can a Wiccan find true Love? Jessie and Ethan come across each other at what appears to be the right time in their lives, but not by his free will. She needs him and he needs her, and together they find each other. It’s a delightful romance about two people who are so different from each other. Opposites attract, or do they? Fun, sweet, exciting, and joyful make up this feel-good romance. So worth reading!

Carole McKee, Author

Magick and Moonlight

2 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Love, Readers, Reviews, Romance, Writing

Big Surprise!

Lions and tigers and bears…oh, my!  I just found out that Magick & Moonlight has a spot in the nominations for the paranormal category of Red Carpet Book Awards!  Yay!  It is up there with such greats as Paige Tyler and Dianne Duvall!  🙂

Voting has begun.  If you loved M&M, my love story with fantasy elements, cast your vote here!  And don’t forget to vote for your other favorite authors in the additional categories!

Magick and Moonlight

Start voting and let the paranormal games begin…;)

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Filed under Authors, Award, Books, Contemporary, Fiction, Love, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Reviews, Romance, Writing

Update on SECOND NATURE

Just got through edits with my editor on Second Nature!  Yay!  That should be published soon.  So, in honor of this occasion, I thought I’d provide some preliminary teaser pics for the first book in the Blood At First Sight Series.  Enjoy!  🙂

Second Nature second teaser

Second Nature third teaser

SECOND NATURE pre-promo

Second Nature fourth teaser

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Filed under Books, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Romance, Writing

New contract!

Wow!  Solstice just offered me a contract for my paranormal romance manuscript, SECOND NATURE!  Yes!  I am so excited!

yay

Just to give you some background, here is the initial blurb for Second Nature:

She never expected it…

Desiree Edwards has a problem. She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things. It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare. But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be. He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her. To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.

She was unlike any other…

Alec has a problem. The animal in him wants Desiree. But, so does the man. The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants. But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human. The two species don’t mix that way. Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is forced to make a choice. His life or hers.

Can Alec’s soul be saved by this unique human? Or will it be far too late?

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For teasers, please visit these links on the blog here and here.    🙂

6 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Fiction, Love, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Relationships, Romance, Writing