Tag Archives: romance writing

“Dream with Me” – a poem

Dream with Me

My yearning for you is strong,

something I’ve never felt for anyone else…

There are nights like tonight,

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

With bated breath

I remember our last embrace,

savoring your arms around me,

the warmth of your body against mine,

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

a constant comfort.

I recall our quiet talks about nothing and everything,

our shared laughter.

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

physical and emotional.

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

is a poor substitution for the real thing.

The truth is

I need you in my life.

It’s a forever kind of thing.

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

the occasional rumble of thunder

and each curse of lightning –

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

Soon,

maybe not tomorrow,

possibly in a week or so,

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

We’ll be one once more.

There are few things in this world that last,

even fewer powers resilient against time, hate or destruction.

But, love? Love will stand up to anything.

If you were lost to me,

I’d go anywhere,

do anything to search,

to find you again.

You mean that much to me.

It has nothing to do with loneliness.

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

Two halves of a whole.

When we met, we spoke like old friends.

It was different yet utterly natural.

And no matter what happens in our lives,

this bond cannot bend or be broken.

This is love.

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

Dream with me…

Imagine a place of peace,

with lush, green land,

endless blue skies and beautiful seas.

A place where we’re together, dancing clumsily,

laughing and resting in one another’s arms.

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

I’ll see you soon,

on the other side of this hazy, slumberous journey,

to a world where eternity resides.

I wake to your face,

your warm smile,

the sound of your soothing breaths beside me.

And I know this is right where I belong.

© Marie Lavender, 2017.

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

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

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

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

What does romance mean to me?

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

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

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

Sign up for Lilly News

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

Author Links

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

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/3sg8X

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lillychristine1

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

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

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

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

 

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

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

 

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

 

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

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

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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

Guest Poet Spotlight: D.L. Owens

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

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

poetry

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

So, hello, D.L! Welcome to ILRB! 🙂

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

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

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

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

 

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Poems by D.L. Owens

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Remind Me Again

Remind me again of how it use to be

When innocence was like being free

When laughter was sincere

When one could speak with no fear

Remind me again when a friend was a friend

When a sin was a sin

When holding hands meant a lot

When a hug hit the spot

Remind me when love was love

When long lasting emotions rose above

When kissing was something we missed

When talking was as soothing as a kiss

follow

Passions Following Me

So how does the journey began

With a stare, a hug, a kiss

Will the rainfall frame our passion

Or will passion frame love’s bliss

My lips stay ready

My eyes fixed on you

My body is sensing

You want me, too

Rendezvous to the woods

Far from others’ calls

Where obsession, caressing

Will live outside all walls

Love is in us, tracing us

Trying to find ways to connect

There is no lock, nor key

Just passion trying to unite you and me

passion

Passion Becoming Poetry

Do you desire to kiss these lips

Taste these lips

Do you long to hold my body in your arms

And let my passions inhale your charms

Love is flying high

And I am sprouting wings

Love is soaring through the sky

And making my passion sing

Heat is soaring low

Almost walking the streets

Melting love beneath guided feet

Warming the passion in our souls

Can you feel me trying to feel you

Can you hear my body talking to you

If yes is unanimous then come in, close the door

And let our love roar

marking

Marking the Heart

Looks are mostly deceiving

They are definitely appealing

Second looks worth stealing

But what is uncontrollably the binding

Is that everlasting feeling worth finding

The one that won’t ever leave you sighing

The sticker to the core of the hearts twining

The permanent glue that can never be pulled apart

The one that captures all of you from the very start

Leaving a stain, an embedded memory, a permanent mark

Just from lassoing your soul through the eyes of your heart

love

Love of My Life

he watched in remorse

as she walked away

her trailing fragrance

of Japanese honeysuckle

wrapping around his face

he was wishing his pride would die

so he would beg her to stay

instead of crying inside

he just watched her walk away

dreams

Dream Stalker

he’s in all my dreams

in all my life themes

i cannot inhale

enough of him

until his fingers

touched the long

of the back of my neck

soothing my heart

calming my breath

midnight

At Midnight

our bodies form deep shapes in the sand

he looks over, throws a kiss, takes my hand

wants to make love under the endless stars

while the blue milky sky ocean’s the dark

climbing waves wet soaks us, calms our heat

journeying us to retreat our rapid heartbeat

Alejandra Quiroz, Unsplash.

Alejandra Quiroz, Unsplash.

 

 

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

Poet Bio

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

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

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

Poet Links

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/a_moody_poet

Amazon Author Page:  amazon.com/author/dlowens

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

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

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

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

Artwork:  https://twitter.com/a_moody_artist

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

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Books

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

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

“You and the Muse” – a poem

You and the Muse

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

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

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

pawn-power

Some choices are strategic; others are left to chance.

A few are mistakes one would rather forget.

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

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

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

Two, in fact…

You and the muse.

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As you held me in your arms last night,

with your perfect embrace and your scent in my nose,

I had to fight back tears.

It wasn’t sadness which moved me.

Instead, it was a sense that everything was right.

Very few things in life make sense to me.

But you and our deep connection?

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

We’re meant to be…

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Then there’s the muse.

Writing is a drive inside me,

an unstoppable force.

The story calls, demanding to be told.

The characters live for a reason,

 and I live to get those interpretations on the page.

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But I live for you too.

I’d be lost without you,

my soul mate,

my best friend,

my lover.

My lover and the muse…

two constants I can’t do without.

stress-ball

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

when stressors drag me down.

Then the muse inspires me to tell a tale,

to explore the human condition.

But you…

You inspire me to keep dreaming,

to keep loving you and every moment we spend together.

happy-couple-love-and-happiness

The truth is you are my muse.

My eternal muse.

You and the muse are the same.

And I’d be very little without you,

my love.

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© 2016, Marie Lavender.

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

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

“The Other Side of Our Dreams” – a poem

The Other Side of Our Dreams

 

Do you sleep?

Do you dream?

At night, do you sleep in hopes of meeting me when you wake?

Do you dream, dream of me the way I dream of you?

woman-dreaming

Do you pray?

Do you pray you’ll see my face? To hold me tight?

Because I think of you every night…

Every day, of course, but each night many times before I sleep.

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It’s not because I’m lonely.

When the day’s demands are winding down, the night gets so quiet you can only hear your heartbeat, the soft thump aligned with crickets humming in the darkness.

I think of you, imagine your face, your voice blessing me, your arms surrounding me.

I don’t think of you because I’m lonely and I need someone, just anyone.

You’re in my thoughts, always.

You’re the missing part of me I didn’t know about until I found you.

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You’re everything to me…

My friend, my lover, my soul mate, all wrapped up in one fine package.

Even without the trappings, I would’ve known you were the one.

Our hearts still would have called to each other.

We’ve always been this connected.

On a night like this, with the wind whipping around the house and the moon so bright, it’s hard not to think of you, to feel you afar.

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I’ll give you this other thought before I sleep…

Keep thinking, dreaming, praying, my love.

We’ll both slumber and find one another again, beyond our dreams, beyond time even.

Because this?

This is forever, and that’s more than enough for me.

hands

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

Guest Poet Spotlight: Honcho Mars returns!

Hi, readers! Last April, I recognized a pretty special time for writers and readers alike, National Poetry Month, and invited poet Honcho Mars to spotlight to some of his wonderful poems. Today he returns to showcase a little more of it for us.

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

poetry

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

Hello, Honcho! Welcome back to the blog! 🙂

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Honcho: Hello! It’s a pleasure to be here, Marie.

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

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

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

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Poems by Honcho Mars

Walking her home

She worked nights as a seamstress
Perhaps that’s how she knew
How to stitch back his heart
She mended with those caring hands
At that moment he felt safe
In his head he felt like he could love again
In his heart he knew he could
This began the journey of two lovers
So different but so much alike
She loved walks in the parks
Nights out at the movies
Dancing all night long
She adored dresses it made her feel like a princess
Searching for her long lost prince
Finally he was found
He to make her happy
He walked in the park with her
Went to the movies to be close to her
Danced the night away
He did all these things
Just to be near her
He did not care where they went
Just as long as she was next to him
He felt 10 feet tall when she walked with him
A beauty inside out
She captured his heart so many different moments
He could never compare them because
Each one made a different moment
He loved her madly
She loved like an angel
The spark showed when they kissed
Kids nearby thought it was the fourth of July
As they stroll side by side
They catch a glimpse of their future
As an elderly couple pass by laughing and holding hands
A simple nod between men
A smile between the women
As if they knew this will be them
In the years to come
He turns to her and says
I will love you till we are old and gray
She said I will love you more every day
Until we reach that point in life
First you have to make me your wife
Looking up at the stars shine above
She saw a glow as he was on one knee
Asking her for hand in marriage
She cried and yelled yes
At this moment the elderly couple looked back
To see this moment
They smile and kiss
They have lived this moment before
They are just here to walk out their journey
The way they started
Together

ba0f4daf167f431209409e460db2b916

My Spanish Rose

I met you on a hot Texas day
Wiping away the sweat
Maybe it was the fear
Whatever it was
Brought us here
On this road
In this town
On this day
As we glance
Our souls dance
Into a breeze
A sign
Of the years to come
A love
Unknown
We flourish
As we grew
Older and wiser
Our love planted
That day
As we gave in
Surrendering
We are now captives
Held by a bound
I am yours
You are mine
My young
My beautiful
Forever
My Spanish rose

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Wild Flower

Wild flower growing beautiful
Colors that broadcast
The perfect picture
For all to see
In a canvas
A rare flower
Growing amongst the weeds
So out of place
Yet your beauty
Stands out
For every eye to see
As they pass by
The scent in the air
Is a sweet aroma
That attracts me to you
A wild flower
In a perfect bloom
In this hour
For all to see
Standing tall
A perfect memory
Of this flower
Beautiful for all to see.

John_P_11_wall

Filtering

Through this smoke filled room
Filtering out the idea
Of love at first sight
Standing as a statue
Frozen by fear
Through my eyes
I see you smiling
Guiding me to safe shores
As if you were a lighthouse
My beacon of hope
Could this be true
That I have fallen
Like an exiled angel
Casted to roam alone
Given a second chance
Did the days
Of being forsaken expire
The time is now
I must move
Before the hands of time
Countdown to the midnight hour
And this fairy tale ends
I slither like a snake
To you, my eve
Tempting you
Corrupting words
A stolen heart
Stole moment
By one look of your eye
My life as I knew
Was over
At the very minute
I pledged my heart
My soul
My everything
To walk by your side
Into morning horizon
We ride out the fading night
Embracing the sun’s glory
Rays of light
As you light up
As a darkened night
On the fourth of July
How beautiful
To marvel at the sight
As I knew
I fell for you
At first sight.

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Everything

I didn’t love her
For the things
She said
I loved her
For everything
Her heart
Told me

Blog-Pic-Couple-Smiling-At-Each-Other-16732443

Undying love

She drove me into madness
A lonely wolf howling
At the new moon
I loved her
Like no other before
Pledging my commitment
Before hellfire desire
Sacrificing on the slab
The altar of my undying love

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I Am

I am your shadow
That follows you
I am the stars at night
Jealous of your beauty
I am all things
The cool breeze
Gently touching your face
Rain on a summers day
The light you see
Waking up every morning
Heaven’s sunray
I am the beating of your heart
The painter
Painting a smile upon your face
The silent whisper
Whispering your name
I am love
The key opening
Your hidden secrets
The hand that wipes
Away your tears.
I am jealousy
I am envy
I am lust
Desiring a taste
From the forbidden fruit
I am you
I am me
I am beauty
I am vanity
Peace and hope
Life and death
A sunrise and sunset
I am the tracks
Of your tears.
I am the melting wax
The wick of a burning candle
The wind that snuffs
Out the flame
I am good
I am evil
I am the lost
I am the found
I am all things
Like your shadow
I will always be around.

Her name is

Her eyes shined like diamonds
In the morning sky
Her hair flows like a river
Overflowing from the seasons of rain
Her love she gave in abundance
My hands always remained stretched forward
Forever waiting for her love
Her voice rang throughout the valleys
Like the bells being rung
On a Sunday morning
Her hands touched every soul
Like a cool breeze
In summer’s death grip
Her name was never spoken
I knew her well
At night time
She came to me
Opening up my door
Her presence was always welcomed
I built a temple for her
Within my heart
She is love
How I love her so
Sitting around a fire
Singing songs
For her
My heart’s desire
A love that never will expire.

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♥♥♥ Perfect, Honcho! So romantic! Thank you! ♥♥♥

Poet Bio

10447052_1435612340036889_2672300518382223832_nHoncho Wolfgang Von Mars began his journey as a youth in San Antonio, Texas. Having a strong desire to join the music scene, he combined forces with his brother Michael Gonzales and they formed Kin of Cain, a local rap group. From there, he felt like his future was laid out before him. Searching for his voice, he found it in writing poetry.

Writing for three years now, Honcho believes poetry is a way to release built up emotions, which is why he founded Writers of the Storm, an online community of thousands of poets around the world. Currently, he is in the process of writing a poetry book. While he’s against promoting evil and hate, his main desire is to lighten up the darkness of the world with love and positive thoughts.

Poet Links

https://www.facebook.com/Honcho.Mars78

https://instagram.com/honcho_mars/

http://www.poetrysoup.com/poems_poets/poems_by_poet.aspx?ID=56991

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

5 Comments

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

“Yearning” – a poem

Yearning

The moon over this cool night appears lonely,

its solo, pale white disc yearning for another,

perhaps even for its fiery opposite which rises each dawn.

Bonnybbx, Pixabay, 2014.

I imagine the moon is a bit like me tonight,

somewhat heartsick,

waiting for a hand to hold.

Takmeomeo, Pixabay, 2014.

Takmeomeo, Pixabay, 2014.

You see, I yearn for you like no other.

A thousand years could pass and I’d still want you,

need you,

love you.

This isn’t some temporary fling.

This is real, and I can’t stop this yearning within.

Alejandra Quiroz, Unsplash.

Alejandra Quiroz, Unsplash.

I know regardless of what I do,

what I accomplish,

how I laugh or cry,

Bells Design, Gratisophraphy. Creative Commons.

Bells Design, Gratisophraphy. Creative Commons.

I’ll still want you by my side.

Unsplash, Pixabay, 2016.

Unsplash, Pixabay, 2016.

That’s my unspoken vow.

We’ve expressed our feelings many times,

marveled at the deep connection between us,

but I don’t think you understand how much you make me whole,

on fire,

alive,

fearless even.

Charlie Hang, Unsplash.

Charlie Hang, Unsplash.

Without you, I know I’d try to dig deep,

I’d do my best to survive,

I might even accomplish something.

But life would be duller,

a part of me missing,

yearning for you,

waiting to find you once more in another life.

And even if I had never met you,

well, I’d still search for you like a time traveler who’s lost his way.

Mathias Herheim, Unsplash.

Mathias Herheim, Unsplash.

When we met, I found the mate of my soul,

my counterpart, so to speak.

Maybe I took time to admit it, and I love you for being so patient,

but the moment we met…

It was fate.

The stars brought us together that night,

sought to align us like a constellation,

Ryan Hutton, Unsplash.

Ryan Hutton, Unsplash.

two halves of a whole.

For I knew even then,

strolling and talking for hours so easily,

a conversation that had no end and somehow began like the echo of an old song,

I knew this was different,

special.

Antranias, Pixabay, 2015.

Antranias, Pixabay, 2015.

I know now that night after night,

I’ll still gaze up at this brilliant moon and still yearn for you,

colibri5, Pixabay, 2015.

colibri5, Pixabay, 2015.

time endlessly passing…

but the heart doesn’t care for trivialities.

I know if I bide my time,

perhaps in a few days,

maybe next week,

even if a month has passed,

before I know it,

you’ll be at my door,

and I’ll be in your warm arms again,

absorbed by your love.

Caleb Morris, StockSnap, 2015.

I have this ring that speaks my promise,

the symbol that is solely ours.

Scott Webb, Unsplash.

Scott Webb, Unsplash.

And I have you in my heart.

Your voice over the phone is some comfort.

The little notes you send are evidence of how you feel.

We talk like old friends,

we always have.

But still, I’ll yearn.

And I won’t be whole until you’re here, my head cradled against your heart.

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And I won’t be complete until we say the vows that make us one.

Until then, my love,

I will wait.

I will yearn,

until our eyes and hearts meet again…

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© Marie Lavender, 2016.

29 Comments

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

A Character Interview with Kristen from THE GUARDIAN OF MY SOUL plus a conversation with author Emily A. Lawrence!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Emily Walker’s character on December 1st and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Emily A. Lawrence, the author of The Guardian of My Soul, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Kristen Mancuso, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Emily in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Kristen!

Kristen

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

Character Kristen Mancuso: Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  Of course!

We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Kristen: Okay.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Kristen:  I graduated from UCLA with a degree in management, and now I work for my mother, who is a fashion designer, in her marketing division. I enjoy the experience and being able to learn from her, but one day I hope to be my own boss.

Marie:  Oh…interesting!

So, tell us. What is your family like?

Kristen: Born and raised in a wealthy family, I’ve always had everything my heart desired, except the freedom to make my own choices in life. Ever since my father passed away when I was little, I’ve lived with my mother. Her overprotectiveness increased as I grew older. Even though I know she means well, that she loves me and wishes nothing but the best for me, she sometimes smothers me too much. That’s when I wish I had other siblings the most.

Marie:  Parents can be difficult sometimes. 😦

Let’s try something else, shall we?

What did your childhood home look like?

Kristen:  I was raised in my family’s mansion in Los Angeles, where we still currently live. Located in Beverly Hills, it offers a wonderful panorama of the rolling hills north of Sunset Boulevard. My home is peaceful and it’s equipped with any facility one could possibly wish for, including a gym and a large swimming pool.

Marie:  Wow! Impressive!

So, do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Kristen:  I love horses and I’ve been riding ever since I can remember. Whenever I get some free time, I’m eager to escape the madness of the city and head over to my family’s ranch in Kentucky where I spend most of my time with Marley, my fourteen-year-old black stallion.

Marie:  Nice! I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride horses.

So, tell us…what is your greatest dream, Kristen?

Kristen:  One of my other passions is designing jewelry. My biggest dream is to one day have my own company. I’m just waiting for the best moment to bring it up to my mother, who is unaware of anything that has to do with my love for sketching all kinds of new designs, nor of the stash I’ve created, which I keep hidden from her. She’s always envisioned us working together and one day passing on her company to me. Now that her dream has come true, I’m not sure how she will receive the news, but I can’t help but hope she’ll be supportive.

Marie:  I see. Well, I hope it works out! \

Let’s try a different question.

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

Kristen: I wish I could be a normal twenty-one-year-old girl and experience the freedom that comes with that age. What’s stopping me? My mother’s fame. I can’t go anywhere without a bodyguard. She says it’s imperative to be protected at all times. Sometimes I wonder if it’s just another way for her to keep up with what I do or if there’s really any danger out there…

Marie:  That is unfortunate, but I’m sure she has a good reason.

All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Kristen:  I used to tell myself I would never fall in love…until I did. Problem is? He’s the very last person I want to love, the man I consider to be like a symbol of my lost freedom—my twenty-four-year-old bodyguard.

The Guardian of My Soul

Marie:  Love can certainly be unexpected.

So…what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you, Kristen?

Kristen:  My father’s death. He was my everything and then he was gone. Things were never the same after that…

Marie:  I’m so sorry to hear that. 😦

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

[Kristen 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?

Kristen:  I’ve always wanted to be independent, to be able to do everything I set my mind to do, travel the world and grow outside the influence of high society. I’m still working on that…

Marie:  Dreams take time, for sure.

Can you tell us…who is your role model, Kristen?

Kristen:  My father. He was gentle, caring, successful, and he always knew the right things to say.

Marie:  Sounds like he was a really special person.

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Kristen:  There are quite a few…but the one who creeps me out the most is the CEO of Jaya Cosmetics, Niall Tomlinson, who’s helping Mother with launching a fragrance.

Marie:  All right.

So, what is your deepest desire?

Kristen:  To grow old with the man I love and our children. To live life to the fullest and at the end of the day to have no regrets.

Marie:  Well, that’s not a lot to ask. I think everyone wants their little slice of happiness in the world.

Let’s try a different question.

What is your greatest fear?

Kristen: Losing another person I love. I’ve watched my mother suffer for so many years. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to survive another loss.

Marie:  Aww…again, I’m so sorry about your father. (Pats her guest’s hand.)

Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Kristen. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂

Kristen:  Thank you for having me, Marie!

Marie:  My pleasure!

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Marie:  Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Emily A. Lawrence on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to meet you! Hello, Emily!

Emily A. Lawrence

 

Author Emily A. Lawrence:  Hello, Marie!

Marie:  We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Kristen. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Emily:  Kristen is a twenty-one-year-old girl freshly out of college, who, instead of being offered more freedom, is shackled with a new bodyguard, whom she can’t stand at first. Or can’t she, really? She likes to be in control…until she meets her match—Alec Warner.

All right.

So…what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Emily:  She’s smart and cocky, and knows how to get herself out of a difficult situation.

Marie:  Works for me!

Now, let’s take the opposition on that. What, do you feel, are Kristen’s greatest weaknesses?

Emily:  Alec. No one has ever impacted her as much as he did. He opened her eyes in many ways and showed her a different world than the one she was accustomed to. She would do anything to protect him and their relationship.

Marie:  I see.

So, let’s try something else.

What are some of her favorite foods?

Emily:  She loves chicken, chocolate, and her favorite food is pancakes with maple syrup.

Marie:  Can’t blame her for that, but certainly not all at once!  (Laughs.) 😀

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

Emily:  Despite her wealth, she’s a humble, down to earth person.

Marie:  Great!

So, will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Emily:  Hmm, I think they will love her once they get to know the real her. She’s a strong woman who’s been through a lot, and I loved watching her grow throughout the story and become a woman in the end.

Marie:  All right.

So, now that we have a real taste of Kristen, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for The Guardian of My Soul?

Emily:  It was the idea of impossible love. Bringing together two people with apparently nothing in common, and from totally different backgrounds and social statuses, and watching them overcome all the obstacles they had to face in their relationship.

Marie:  I like it!  (Sighs.) I love romance…;)

Let’s try something else.

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

Emily:  I never sit down and plot. I don’t have an outline when I start a new story. I have an idea on how I want it to begin, certain events that should take place, and a vague ending, but I never know what’s going to happen next. I’m never sure what a writing day is going to be like. I get ideas as I write. Sometimes I have several options on how to continue and when that happens, I usually take a breather and detach myself from it for a while, thinking about how the story could develop depending on the path I choose. That said, I am definitely a pantser.

Marie:  Great!

Now, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing The Guardian of My Soul or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Emily:  My biggest challenge was and still is time. Since I am also an editor, I am always working on something, so it’s difficult to find time to write. When I do sit down to write, though, I shut everything off and focus on the words playing around in my head. If I were to offer any advice to aspiring writers it would be to write what they know, in the genres they enjoy reading most. If anyone wants to become a writer, they must be readers first—and most importantly, they must be willing to learn. It’s the only way to constantly improve oneself.

Marie:  Oh, I totally agree! That’s great advice.

Well, 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 The Guardian of My Soul appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Emily A. Lawrence, a very talented author! 🙂

 

The Guardian of My Soul

Here is the blurb for The Guardian of My Soul:

When Kristen Mancuso turned twenty-one, she thought she would finally find the freedom she craved. She was wrong.

In spite of the luxury she lived in, Kristen was unhappy, a prisoner in her own home. When her overprotective mother hired Alec Warner to be her personal bodyguard, Kristen rebelled against it, unaware of the true reason why he was needed. She didn’t know the kind of danger lurking just around the corner.

Having Alec shadow her every move was the last thing she wanted. Or, so she thought…

Kristen was drawn to the handsome, intimidating Alec. While committed to his job, he refused to allow her to control him the way she did other men. Though their relationship was volatile and explosive from the start, they discovered they had more in common than they ever dreamed. They battled each other while they fought demons from their past and secrets which could tear them apart.

This was a battle where losing could very well give them everything their souls desired…

*Content Warning: intended for mature audiences 18+

Emily is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

I heard a banging at my door, not a gentle knock but a loud racket which shook the whole door. My eyes sprang open. What in the world? I looked around the room, trying to get my bearings. The hotel room was bathed in warm, bright light and my heart skipped a beat when I realized it was morning.
“Oh, Kristeeen?” Alec’s grumpy voice sounded over the loud banging.
Fred jumped off the bed and rushed to the door wagging his tail, visibly excited to hear him.
“Fred, how can you fraternize with the enemy?” I grumped, heading to the door. As soon as I opened it, my traitor of a dog jumped into Alec’s arms and licked him as if he were his favorite person in the world, making him chuckle.
“Finally, the princess decides to greet the day,” he said and grinned at me once he was done petting the dog. Suddenly, his eyes dropped and his smile slowly faded away.
I blinked, perplexed. Is he staring at my breasts? My God, he’s staring at my breasts! The realization elicited tremors all over my body, causing my nipples to strain against the fabric of my nightgown. Holy crap! My nightgown! I tensed when I remembered the transparent lace across my chest.
“Give him to me!” I snatched Fred out of his arms and used him to hide my aroused state. “What’s wrong with you, hammering at my door like a crazy man?” I fussed.
He cleared his throat as if to regain his voice before he answered me. “I’ve been standing here for more than five minutes calling you and nothing. What was I supposed to do? You said eight sharp and it’s almost eight-thirty.”
“Damn it!” I hurried back inside the room and put Fred on the bed, then quickly looked for something comfortable to change into. I took out a pair of denim shorts and a white shirt from my suitcase, then tugged at my nightgown to pull it off over my head. I stopped halfway when I noticed him sitting on my bed, casually assessing me. “Alec!” I gasped. Shock made me freeze. “What are you doing in here? Can’t you see I’m trying to change clothes?” I couldn’t believe he’d gotten a glimpse of my equally transparent panties.
“I’m just waiting to take your luggage.” He gave me a smile that set my teeth on edge. Clearly he didn’t find anything wrong with his actions.
“Wait outside, you peeping tom!”
“My bad,” he said dryly and left my room.
It took me a moment to recover and register the warm wetness between my legs. I sighed, once more feeling betrayed by my own body. “I can’t believe him! And I refuse to be turned on, no matter how he makes me feel!” I grumbled.
When I exited the room, I found him waiting in the hallway, and I marched up to him. “You saw me in my underwear! I’m furious with you.” I walked on, eager to put some distance between us.
“Hey!” He grabbed my arm and pulled me abruptly, my chest slamming against his hard torso. “You’re right. What I did was inappropriate. I’m sorry. I just found myself absentmindedly walking in. I didn’t mean to be rude,” he excused himself.
“You expect me to believe that?” I murmured, flush against him. His sudden change in attitude astounded me.
“Yes, I do.”
“You were checking me out.”
“Was not,” he retorted calmly, his face inches away from mine. Then I caught the smile in his eyes. He was lying like a dog.
“Let go of me,” I whispered, my chest heaving in agitation.
Being this close to him was doing funny things to me. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe. Everything in me wanted to move closer, to lean in, to touch, but I stubbornly resisted the unwelcome temptation.
What are you doing to me? I cried out in my mind.
He leaned toward me slowly and I panicked, my breath catching in my throat. With a sudden jerk I managed to free myself from his grip and rushed to the elevator, never looking back. He followed me in silence, hauling my luggage after him. We traveled down together, and I was so aware of him, my whole body reacted as if he were a powerful magnet. I was drawn to him, hanging onto the rail just to stay upright. His eyes held mine with an intensity which made me feel lightheaded, and I gasped for air as the space around us suddenly appeared to be too small.

Ooh…love the tension. I definitely want to know what happens next! 😉

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Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00GQMHNNI

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-guardian-of-my-soul-emily-a-lawrence/1117525594

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/4536309

About Emily A. Lawrence

Emily A. Lawrence

Emily A. Lawrence lives in Transylvania with her family, hence her love for anything paranormal. Her passion for writing began in high school, and she hasn’t stopped since.

Having her family’s support, and encouraged by friends and fellow authors, she pursued her dream of becoming a published author, landing her first contract in 2013.

Emily loves immersing herself in the worlds she creates and giving life to characters readers can identify themselves with. Usually, she writes contemporary romance in three heat levels: sweet, sensual, and erotic. However, she plans to try her hand at other genres, too, such as paranormal or mystery.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures, new sceneries, food, meeting new people, or simply reading a good book.

Emily’s Books:

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513BB82+DvL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_

The Guardian of My Soul

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Emily A. Lawrence, here are some of her author links:

Website/Blog:  http://authoremilylawrence.blogspot.ro/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/author.emily.a.lawrence

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/EmyALawrence

Amazon Author Page:

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20344150-emily-a-lawrence

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/116252410801447580127/posts

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/authorlawrence/

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/emily-a-lawrence/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Kristen, the female main character of The Guardian of My Soul, and Emily A. Lawrence, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, New Adult, Readers, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips

Random Teaser from Blood Instincts!

If you follow my work, then you know I published a paranormal romance/urban fantasy book called Second Nature in December of 2014. Well, the sequel is not done yet, but I randomly find myself working on book two of the Blood at First Sight Series. It is titled Blood Instincts. Here is a brief teaser to keep fans in the loop:

subbotina, 123RF Limited.

Again, the conviction that this “date” was a bad idea didn’t leave. It was too late to cancel, and what was more, he actually wanted to see her. She had a lovely face, somewhat exotic, with dark, shiny hair he wanted to touch. He’d bet her long waves were soft. Her skin too, he thought idly. And those eyes…she had dark brown eyes, almost black but not quite…eyes he wanted to gaze into as she climaxed under his hands.

Oliver shook himself with a reminder that he didn’t have to get involved with her to watch her. He’d go out with her tonight, but following her might be a better idea after all. Oliver finished dressing and went to the car he’d rented for the evening. He wanted to celebrate this woman in style, to really treat her right. When he realized how that sounded, he cursed. It was too late to change his plans now.

By six-thirty on the dot, he was standing at the door to her apartment. Clearly being a practical woman, he knew she’d appreciate punctuality. Absently, he ran a hand through his short hair, then looked down, saw the single rose in his hand and scowled. He couldn’t have made his intentions clearer if he’d tried. Myah was going to think he was interested, and not just for the short-term. Of course, it was possible that she didn’t know the meaning of flowers as he did, for a single red rose meant ‘life-long devotion and love’. His chest began to ache, and he attributed it to guilt. He didn’t want to use her, he realized, not for blood and not for her body. She deserved…more.

He took a deep breath, and then knocked. A few seconds later, the door swung open. He was still looking down at the bloom in his hand when he caught her scent. His nostrils flared, aware of the heady combination of jasmine and the sweet fluid in her veins.

“Oliver, is everything all right?”

“Yes, it’s…” His gaze swung back up to hers, but didn’t stop there. Oliver took her in like a man long deprived of water. Tonight, her hair had a fine sheen and was straight as if she’d ironed it. It fell straight down her back and she’d gone to a little more trouble with her makeup, yet she still appeared natural. She’d done something amazing around her eyes, however, and they really stood out. He wanted to drown in that gaze. How silly, he thought, but then got a look at the rest of her. Her silver earrings dangled down in a marquis pattern. Her neck and the top of her chest were somewhat exposed as she’d squeezed herself into a mid-thigh length black dress with thin straps. The dress was made of soft black lace, causing him to wonder if she wore matching panties as well. Her legs were athletic, but smooth, and he had to stifle the urge to drop to his knees and kiss all the way up her perfect thighs. Her small feet were strapped into shining black heels.

“Oliver, did you hear me? Are you okay?”

He cleared his throat, forcing his eyes back to her face. “Ah…I’m fine. My God, you look amazing.” His throat was incredibly dry, and he was aware of a thirst that not only had to do with her appearance but her life essence. He worked on suppressing the bloodlust.

The blush that moved across her cheekbones was charming. “Oh, thank you. You clean up well too, Mr. King.”

He smiled, then handed her the rose. “This pales in comparison to your beauty, but I wanted to give you something.”

“Oh, it’s lovely! How sweet.” She leaned down, inhaling, and as her nose got closer to the red rose, he thought she made quite the picture. Again, he wished to paint her; he would use the brush strokes to really capture who this woman was. When she looked back at him, there was a teasing light in her eyes.

“What?”

She shook her head. “Oh, it’s nothing.”

“Tell me,” he urged her.

“I wasn’t sure you were interested the other night or if you just felt bad for me and did it to appease your guilt.”

He shook his head. “I wouldn’t have asked if I wasn’t interested. I thought the diner was the way to try to make up for it, of course, but the more I saw you, the more I wanted to know.” He didn’t add that his foolish, impulsive side didn’t seem to want to listen to anything he told it. ‘No’ clearly wasn’t in its vocabulary.

That pretty blush returned to her face. “Ah…let me put this rose in a vase.”

“Sure.”

When she came back, she’d put on a black coat, closing the two buttons in the front as she got to the door.

“Do you have everything you need?”

She nodded.

“Great. Shall we?”

“Of course.” Myah locked up, and soon they’d left the apartment building. He led her to the sleek black car at the curb. “This is yours?”

He shook his head. “A rental. It is nice, but I don’t usually drive cars.”

“May I ask why?”

Oliver shrugged. “I just prefer walking, that’s all.”

She stared at him with a strange look on her face for a moment when he opened her door.

“Is there a problem?”

She shook her head and smiled. “Not at all. I am partial to walking as well. But, this car…it is very fine and appropriate for the evening.”

“That’s what I was going for.” Her cheek dimpled and he couldn’t resist leaning forward and pressing his lips against it. Her face was warm, incredibly soft beneath his mouth, and he had to move away before he did something really stupid. The surprised glance she sent him sealed the deal.

He had to go slowly with Myah. He sensed an unusual innocence about her, which only made his protective instincts fire even more. “My lady,” he murmured, gesturing to the open car door. He reached out and grasped her hand to give her some leverage as she climbed into the leather seat in those insane heels. Her quiet thank you was natural, and yet it made him feel like he could climb a mountain. He shook off the sensation, closed her door then rounded the car and got in.

 

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