Tag Archives: romantic thriller

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

The Fiction Fact on Writing About Love

by Khaled Talib


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

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

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

Created by Freepik

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

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

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

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

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Great cover!  🙂

This is the blurb for Gun Kiss:

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

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

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

What are people saying about this book?

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

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

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

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

Purchase Links:

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


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

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

Author Bio

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

Author Links

Website:  www.khaledtalibthriller.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KhaledTalib

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

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

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

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

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


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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂



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

Special Film Feature: Twisted Threads

Hi, readers! I am beyond pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. Here is a great new book trailer for author Kaylin McFarren. Please help me in welcoming a trailer release to this romance blog! Twisted Threads, a steamy romantic thriller, released in November. How exciting!

That’s awesome! :) Congrats on your latest release! 😉

LA-based studio, Film 14, and BestThrillers.com are giving us a look at their romantic thriller trailer, Twisted Threads, today.

Intriguing cover!

This is the info on Twisted Threads:

Akira Hamada is driven by past failure. Two years earlier, she had a chance to kill her greatest enemy–Kaito Mitsui. Instead, the Yakuza boss forced her to become an assassin in his employ. Now Akira carries out the bloody business of the notorious crime syndicate and hates herself more each day.

When Mitsui hears that his sister’s murderer will be on the cruise ship Starfish, he immediately tasks Akira with eliminating the man once and for all. This is what Akira has trained for, but a series of strange events on the ship tests her resolve and shows her a way to redemption.
Devon Lyons, on the other hand, has nothing to do with assassins. He’s merely accompanying his aunt and uncle, Sara and Paul Lyons, on a free cruise. Little does he know that the two are the true targets of the charming Japanese tourist he has just met!

Akira knows that either Sara or Paul is the killer but doesn’t know which one. She hopes seducing the handsome Devon will lead to better intel, but she is surprised to find herself trusting him. And soon, the pair finds themselves fighting for their lives on the high seas.

*2017 NYC Big Book Award Winner, Thriller Category; First Place in the 2018 Feathered Quill Book Awards Program, Romance Category; First Place in the 2018 Bestsellers World Award for Best Romance
Check out the book trailer here!

Twisted Threads | Official Book Trailer from FILM 14 on Vimeo.


This looks like a compelling, sexy ride for ILRB readers.

Thank you for telling us about your new trailer! It looks great! 🙂

What are people saying about this book?

“Twisted Threads is a titillating page-turner that captivates from start to finish, and never fails to stimulate the senses.” — Brittney Decker, Foreword Reviews/Clarion Review

“Kaylin McFarren has written a novel with a mix of intrigue, romance and action, resulting in a story for readers wanting adventure and love all in one exhilarating book.” — Ella Vincent, Pacific Book Review

“Twisted Threads is exactly that. Filled with twists and turns that will keep you tapping those pages to see what happens next. And oh boy, you will not be disappointed.” — Gabrielle Sally, The Romance Reviews

“Erotic and suspenseful, the reader is totally involved in the twisted threads that make this novel such an engaging read.” –Susan Roberts, Romantic Times Book Reviews

Twisted Threads has a stimulating, complex mystery plot with a nice action-filled finale. Well worth your time to read.” — Rachel Smith, Entrada Publishing

“A tantalizing glimpse into a secret world of desire. Dive deep into the layers of this intoxicating blend of twisted pleasure and intricate mystery. Edgy, fierce, and undeniably stimulating.” — Alicia Tomelloso, San Francisco Book Review

Readers will want to follow this book all the way to the end and should have no problem doing so after being gripped by its memorable characters and suspenseful storytelling. Whether you’re new to this series or just getting started, this book will leave an impression and keep the audience guessing all the way until Akira’s final showdown.” — Michael Radon, US Review of Books

Twisted Threads delivers a story full of suspense, lively, complex characters, and a sexy, fun-filled adventure. Followers of McFarren’s Threads series will be thrilled, and readers of this divertingly different, first-class murder mystery will be too.”– Angela Fox, Publisher, Clackamas Review/Oregon City News

“Steamy scenes and constant surprises, right up to the thrilling conclusion.” — Blue Ink Review

Twisted Threads grabs the reader’s attention from the very beginning, thanks to the many ‘twists’ McFarren expertly weaves into the narrative. An exotic mix of mystery, murder, and romance, Twisted Threads is sure to please a wide audience of readers, either as a standalone or as part of the series.” — Self-Publishing Review

A sexy mystery that brings the timeless themes of murder, revenge and family loyalty to the high seas. A great series for fans of romantic suspense.” — BestThrillers.com

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B0783PSMR1

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twisted-threads-kaylin-mcfarren/1127440198?ean=9781975921354

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Twisted-Threads/Kaylin-McFarren/9781975921354?id=7157917489570

IndieBound:  https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781975921354

Readers, don’t forget to check this book out at available booksellers, or add it to your Goodreads bookshelf. You’re sure to be thrilled!


Author Bio

Linda Yoshida, aka Kaylin McFarren, is a rare bird indeed. Not a migratory sort, she prefers to hug the West Coast and keep family within visiting range. Although she has virtually been around the world, she was born in California, relocated with her family to Washington, and nested with her husband in Oregon. In addition to playing an active role in his business endeavors, she has been involved in all aspects of their three daughters’ lives – taxi duties, cheerleading coaching, script rehearsals, and relationship counseling, to name but a few. Now she enjoys spending undisciplined time with her two young grandsons and hopes to have many more.

Although Kaylin wasn’t born with a pen in hand like so many of her talented fellow authors, she has been actively involved in both business and personal writing projects for many years. As the director of a fine art gallery, she assisted in furthering the careers of numerous visual artists who under her guidance gained recognition through promotional opportunities and in national publications. Eager to spread her own creative wings, she has since steered her energy toward writing novels. As a result, she has earned more than forty national literary awards and was a 2008 finalist in the prestigious RWA® Golden Heart contest.

Kaylin is a member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers. She received her AA in Literature at Highline Community College, which originally sparked her passion for writing. In her free time, she also enjoys giving back to the community through participation and support of various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest, including her own non-profit—the Soulful Giving Foundation, benefiting cancer research, care, and treatment at hospitals in Oregon.

Author Links


Director Bio

Film 14 is an LA-based film studio. We produce cinematic book trailers, author’s videos, short films, and more.


Website:  http://film-14.com/

Writer/Director’s Filmography:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0039192/?ref_=tt_ov_dr


Twitter:  https://twitter.com/film14tweets

LinkedIn:  http://bit.ly/2sFBkoi

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/Red14Films

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/film.14/


Thanks again, Kaylin and Film 14! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime, perhaps with your next release. 

Happy viewing and reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under book trailers, Books, Erotica, Event, Fiction, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, steamy, Thriller/Suspense, Trailer, Writing

63 FREE Romance Books!!

Hi, readers! I wanted to pop in here today to let you know about a very cool, mega giveaway going on over at the Writing in the Modern Age blog this week. Among other genres, 63 romance novels are available.All you have to do to enter the contest is comment on the thread with all your genre preferences as well as a contact email, and you’ll have 164 chances to win books! Awesome, right?

Here is a list of some of the books offered. They’re in no particular order, but I’ve included the subgenres so you know how varied the giveaway is.

Sports Romance

Paranormal Thriller with Romantic Elements


Mystery Romance with Horror

Multicultural Romance

Historical Romance

Paranormal Romance

Science Fiction Romance

Erotic Romance

Romantic Comedy

Holiday Romance


Romantic Suspense

Contemporary Romance

Romantic Thriller


Western Romance


LGBT Romance

Time Travel Romance

YA Romance

Inspirational Romance

Fantasy Romance

This contest is exciting! There are swag prizes too! 🙂 If you’d like to participate, please jump on Writing in the Modern Age to put in your entry (you can also email me directly at marieannlavender@gmail.com with the subject heading ‘Early Autumn Giveaway entry’, in case you’re a little shy about including your personal info).

The giveaway will run until Friday at midnight EST, but winners won’t be chosen until the weekend.


So, why not go for it? These are FREE books! You won’t be sorry! 😉

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Giveaways, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, inspirational romance, LGBT, Marie Lavender, Mystery, New Adult, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Romantic Suspense, sports romance, Thriller/Suspense, Time Travel, western, Writing, Young Adult

Radio Interview!

For our lovers of paranormal romance, you’ve gotta check this out…

Later today, I’ll be chatting with awesome author team and radio hosts of the Haunted Nights Live! show, Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross. This radio show is quite popular, and the Thorne & Cross team has seen some very famous authors on there. Check out the list of past guests here.

Check us out at 8PM EST to get some sneak peeks of two books I have coming out later this year, a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy, Blood Instincts, book two of the Blood at First Sight Series, and Awakening, a paranormal romantic thriller collection.

Plus, for those who have a fascination with the supernatural, we’ll be talking about that too. 😉

So stop by tonight! You can call in with questions or sit back and listen in. I’m not sure if the interview will be posted right away on the site, but you should be able to hear it as it airs.

Here is the official link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/authorsontheairradio2/2017/04/07/marie-lavender-joins-thorne-cross-haunted-nights-live

Follow the Haunted Nights Live! duo on their Facebook page here, or check out their Twitter handle and blog.

As always, thanks so much for being great readers on the I Love Romance Blog! ♥♥♥

Happy reading, and have a wonderful day! 🙂


Filed under Authors, Books, coming soon, Event, Fiction, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Radio, Readers, Romance, Thriller/Suspense, Writing

Pre-order Release Feature: A Pawn for Malice by author Cynthia Roberts

I am pleased to announce a great new release by Cynthia Roberts, an author I met during my journey! Her thrilling romantic suspense, A Pawn for Malice, officially went up for pre-order and will be released on November 7th!

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

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

Cynthia is giving us a look at her new, intriguing romantic suspense, A Pawn for Malice, today.


Great cover!

This is the blurb for Pawn for Malice:

Does an ex-cop ever lose his “nose” for investigating? Freshmen Senator, Bryon Gallagher, certainly hasn’t, when the love of his life, Jessica, is kidnapped by a mad man. No stone is left unturned, as he plays the role of senator by day and rogue detective by night, calling in favors and working his past snitches to the bone to find her. The only problem is, who does he focus his efforts on … her deranged, former father-in-law who lusts after her, a crazed felon hell-bent on revenging the execution of his brother put to death under the Senator’s newly passed Death Penalty Bill, or an unknown psycho, looking for his “moment of fame”?

A Pawn for Malice is a thrilling, passionate, and suspenseful romance that entails self-discovery, survival and a love that is so strong, it conquers the evil trappings of a criminal mind.

Read the first two chapters of A Pawn for Malice on Cynthia’s website here. Subscribe to her email list and you’ll also automatically be registered to win one of (2) $25 Amazon Gift Cards.

How exciting!  🙂

Book Info:

Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Suspense

Book Heat Level: R

Release Date:  November 7, 2016

Pre-order Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01LZUXZ1Q

B & N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-pawn-for-malice-cynthia-roberts/1124676776

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/666822

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/a-pawn-for-malice

iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-pawn-for-malice/id1157620765?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D10

What an interesting story! ♥♥♥ This looks like a riveting ride!😉

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


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


Author Bio


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

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

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

Author Links

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/cynthiasromance

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00EDT9E4M

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

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

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

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


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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂


Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Thriller/Suspense, Writing

Free Romance Books!

Readers, I wanted to direct you to a huge giveaway of books by different authors, which is hosted on my alternate blog, Writing in the Modern Age. It runs until Saturday evening and the giveaway is Halloween-themed, so if you like either paranormal romance, romantic suspense or time travel romance with a bit of mystery thrown in, you’re in for a treat! And the list goes on in case you read other types of genres!

Also, you know I love romance so I can’t resist telling you about it. Scary and lighthearted books await you on the blog…

Halloween blog promo2

You can find the giveaway here:  http://marielavender.blogspot.com/2015/10/halloween-extravaganza-multi-author-book-giveaway-WritModAge.html

Or at the shortened URL here:  http://bit.ly/1ZHmrss

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the Writing in the Modern Age Halloween giveaway post (tell what you like to read and how to contact you), and you’ll be entered into this mega giveaway with over 135 opportunities to win! Yay!  🙂

Remember: there’s a limited time on the giveaway as it ends on Saturday night.

Happy hunting! Or romance reading, as it were…;)

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Filed under Authors, Book Giveaways, Books, Children's Books, Erotica, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Thriller/Suspense, Time Travel, Writers

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