Tag Archives: Second Chances

New Release Feature: Meant to Be Kept by author Amelia Foster

•..•Meant to Be Kept by Amelia Foster•..•

“She’s my wife, and I’ll do anything to keep it that way.”

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Amelia, a debut author I met during my journey! Her new second chance romance, Meant to Be Kept, officially released at the end of January!

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

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

Amelia is giving us a look at her contemporary new adult romance, Meant to Be Kept, today.

What a great cover!

This is the blurb for Meant to Be Kept:

One night. One too many drinks. One mistake. That’s all it took to derail my marriage.

Now, all I can do is beg for a second chance. To try and redeem myself in a bid not to lose the love of my life.

I’m determined to use every second, every moment I have to show my wife how much she means to me—to rebuild the trust I shattered.

But the harder I try, the more I start to realize our marriage had fallen into a routine of complacency and misplaced priorities long before my indiscretion.

Isabelle is a strong, passionate, beautiful woman—a wife who has sacrificed so much for me. I just hope it’s not too late for us, and that I’ll be able to convince her that our love is meant to be kept.

Here is an excerpt to entice you with!

All the air left her body in a whoosh and Izzy blinked a few times, certain she was seeing things. When the telescope and the mountain of blankets and pillows filling the bed of Tanner’s obnoxious yellow truck didn’t disappear, she spun around to face him.

“Tanner.” She breathed his name and lifted her hand to his cheek. So many thoughts ran through her mind, but none forming into coherent words. Instead she wrapped her arms around his neck, feeling closer to him than she had all week. Closer than she had in years.

His deep chuckled vibrated against her and she closed her eyes, reveling in the sensation. “I’m glad you like it, but we haven’t even gotten to the surprise yet, sweetheart.”

She pulled back, but held on to his shoulders. “What do you mean? We’re going to lie under the stars together on a huge pile of pillows, and you even got a telescope which is something we never had before. . . Tanner, what more could there possibly be?”

“Well, I’m glad you asked, sweetheart.” He stepped away from her with a grin and pulled something off the driver’s seat of his truck. When he turned back around her eyes widened at the present wrapped in dark blue paper. “A little something for you.”

Izzy shook her head, not accepting the proffered gift. “It’s not my birthday.” Her brow furrowed. “And it is still, what thirty-six days until our anniversary? So why am I getting a present?”

A brief flash of disappointment flitted across his face and served to only deepen Izzy’s confusion. But just as quickly as it had come, it disappeared. “No, it’s not your birthday or our anniversary or Christmas, even. You’re getting this because you deserve to get something you love simply because you love it, not just because I’m sorry for what I did. Which I am. Extremely.”

She couldn’t help the small smile that tugged at her lips when she finally took the nearly flat rectangle from his grasp. She took a few steps closer to the truck, needing the help of the interior light. Izzy’s breath caught when she pulled the paper away. She looked from the gift she held in her hands to Tanner’s expectant face and back several times before jumping in his arms, still clinging to the picture frame. “Tanner.” She choked his name past the tears clogging her throat.

His grip on her tightened under her thighs, holding her close.

Izzy put her hands on his shoulders and pushed back enough to look in his face, tears streaking down her cheeks. “You bought me a star.” A bubble of laughter escaped past the happy tears. “First you bring the sky inside and now you buy me a star.”

He grinned and carried her around the bed of the truck, setting her down on the tailgate before climbing up beside her. “Come on sweetheart, let’s lay down for a bit. Unless you want to look for your star. I got the telescope to see if we could find it. Or we could look for what-”

She put a finger against his lips silencing the stream of words. A tiny part of her enjoyed seeing always confident and capable Tanner just a little nervous. She slid back on the inflatable mattress and laid down on the pile of pillows. “Being right here sounds perfect.”

Izzy had to bite her lip to stop herself from laughing at how quickly he scrambled up beside her. He stretched out next to her, sliding his hand in hers and intertwining their fingers. “Belle, being anywhere with you is perfect.” He whispered the words, but they had the effect of a powerful windstorm.

“It’s been way too long since we’ve done this.”

Tanner stayed silent for a long time after her comment and part of her wondered if she shouldn’t have said anything. She chewed on her bottom lip and tried to think of anything she could say to ease the sting.

Finally he propped himself up on an elbow. “How long, Belle?”

She turned her head slightly and the earnest look on his face made her scoot closer to his side. “At least three years,” she said softly. “With the kids and work…we were just too busy.”

Tanner leaned down and brushed his lips across hers. “Not we. Me. Dammit, Belle, I’m sorry.”

She reached up to bury her fingers in his hair and pull his mouth more firmly against hers. The taste of him drove her to wiggle her body beneath his. His scent wafted over her and she barely contained a groan. She was finally surrounded by Tanner in every way and she never wanted it to end.

“Belle.” He murmured her name against her lips and began to kiss down her jaw, planting moist kisses along the column of her neck.

Izzy pulled Tanner until he was fully on top of her and her thighs were locked around his waist. When she lifted her hips and pressed against the evidence of his need she felt a gasp against her neck where Tanner had been licking and biting softly.

His hands slid under her shirt, caressing her back and drawing her closer to him. Tanner lifted the shirt over her head and began making a path of hot kisses across her bare chest. She arched into him again, her fingers tugging on his hair to bring his mouth back up to hers.

“Tanner.” She whimpered his name in between kisses, the soft cotton of his shirt rubbing against her skin, teasing every overly sensitized inch.

She’d always loved playing with Tanner’s hair and gave her fingers free reign to get reacquainted with each strand. When his hands skimmed down her sides and flicked the button open on her waistband she couldn’t help but shiver against him.

His mouth curved against hers. “You like that, sweetheart?”

She hadn’t realized until this moment just how much she missed his hands touching her and his lips leaving a scorching trail along her body.

His hands.

His mouth.

And one week ago they had been kissing someone else. Holding someone else. Touching someone else.

Izzy felt like a bucket of ice water had been dumped on her, freezing her movement. She pushed Tanner away and scooted to the far corner of the mattress. She grabbed her shirt and held it against her chest. Why didn’t I put on a bra, she chastised herself.

Even in the darkness she could see his face fall. “Belle, what’s wrong?”

“I can’t.” She sobbed and gripped the shirt tighter against herself. She waved her free hand in a sweeping gesture. “Tanner, this is beautiful and perfect and you gave me the most amazing gift. . . but I can’t stop thinking about her. And you.” Her heart splintered. “And you don’t feel like mine anymore.”

She tugged her shirt on over her head, jumped out of the truck, and ran towards the dimly lit house in the distance as fast as she could.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link: https://books2read.com/u/38xrJw

Publisher: http://www.limitlesspublishing.com/product/meant-to-be-kept/

Nice! Great sexiness and drama. Gotta love this sneak peek. ♥♥♥

So, what are people saying about this book?

A beautiful established romance with an HEA to make you swoon. While we watch Tanner fight for his wife in the present, we also see the sweet evolution of their love from their college-aged POVs. It’s one helluva ride, and one I highly recommend you take for yourself.” – Evie Drae, Amazon

Fantastically emotional debut. This past to present, heart-wrenching, beautifully written story drops us into the action from page one. It took hold of me and had me flipping through the pages to see how Tanner and IF Tanner could rekindle the love that was threaded through. I loved the idea of this story, that we get into the grind of daily life and need to remember to cherish what’s precious.
Izzy is the perfect lead, flawed, a little broken but wonderfully relatable. Tanner, despite his mistake, is swoon worthy. And their chemistry leaps off the page.
This book has everything: The feels that run the scale of tears to joy. Hot sex between a married couple – THANK YOU, Ms. Foster. A believable and deep plot. And two characters who grow and learn on an unstable path.
” – MaritT, Amazon

It’s so rare to read a romance about an established/married couple, which makes this one extra-special. Meant to be Kept is a heartwarming story of a couple who experience a crisis in their marriage and must determine how to move forward, not just to keep their relationship as-is but to strengthen it.” – Michelle O, Amazon

Awesome!

Thank you for telling us about your new book! It sounds fabulous! 🙂

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this riveting book! Or add it to your Goodreads bookshelf!

Author Bio

Books, coffee, and chocolate make up both the heart and body mass that is better known as Amelia Foster. She has been a lifelong lover of the written word, both as a reader and an author, and completed her first manuscript at the ripe old age of five complete with illustrations. Sadly, her art was a medium that never improved over time, although thankfully her writing has.

From sweet to salacious the only requirement Amelia has in books she reads – and definitely in the ones she crafts – is an excessively satisfying happily ever after… and then a little bit more.

Author Links

Website:  https://ameliafosterauthor.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/amelia.foster.1213986

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/afosterauthor

Amazon author page:  https://www.amazon.com/Amelia-Foster/e/B07MG7YBF7/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18784552.Amelia_Foster

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

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

Publisher:  http://www.limitlesspublishing.com/amelia-foster/

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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

A Year of Romance and Second Chances…Reflection Post: 2017 – 2018

Hi, readers! As you know, the I Love Romance Blog is a place to celebrate all things “love”, including tips on romantic relationships, as well as reading love poems, exploring romance novels in the form of pre-order and new release features, blog tours, cover reveals, guest posts about romance writing, giveaways, and perhaps finding a new, favorite romance author. This year, we also started two cool new features. One was our ‘What Does Romance Mean to Me?’ guest post feature. We had a whopping 20 posts in that series! Plus, you can’t forget our ‘Heroes & Heroines’ feature, explaining some of the behind-the-scenes details about our favorite characters from romance novels. It has been an awesome year! Hopefully, the New Year will bring just as many new and exciting opportunities!

With 2018 approaching quickly, it becomes clear that we should reflect not only on the past, but also what the future may bring. This is a time of renewal and rebirth; it’s also an age of new beginnings. With the giving spirit of the season in mind, perhaps it might lead to the greatest challenge of all – forgiveness. Perhaps second chances are truly possible, hmm?

So, to honor how much we love romance as well, I thought we’d go a step further. Why not give readers a list of great second chance romance novels? Let’s get started, shall we?

[Disclaimer: These are simply suggestions compiled from titles I found on Amazon. They are merely meant to give you options for second chance themed romance books to read. I have neither read nor reviewed them.]

This list looks like a great set of novels to get us started for 2018. I love a good romance! 😉

Also, here is a second chance story of mine!

To fully honor 2017, I’d like to thank all the talented authors who stopped by to visit ILRB. I would also like to offer tons of gratitude to the dating companies and individuals who offered up relationship and dating advice to our readers! Such a variety of posts this year! Additionally, we had 85 authors, either guesting or with books spotlighted, on our blog alone this year. Many thanks to our readers as well, for giving the I Love Romance Blog a chance!

Here are some highlights from 2017:

Character/Author Interviews

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/29/a-character-interview-with-ellie-from-a-siblings-dilemma-plus-a-conversation-with-author-molly-v-lovell/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/24/character-interview-with-leona-from-unfathomable-love-plus-a-chat-with-author-linda-diane-wattley/

 

New Release/Book Features

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/12/pre-order-release-feature-heart-of-a-savage-by-author-lashanta-charles/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/19/pre-order-release-feature-the-angel-alejandro-by-author-alistair-cross/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/new-release-feature-too-sexy-for-love-by-author-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/new-release-feature-cupids-arrow-anthology-by-solstice-publishing/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/23/new-release-feature-with-one-more-look-at-you-by-author-mary-j-williams/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/25/new-release-feature-the-boy-friend-by-mika-jolie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/01/pre-order-release-feature-hard-to-love-by-author-s-jones/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/new-release-feature-timberline-by-skye-mcneil/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/new-release-feature-druids-portal-the-first-journey-by-cindy-tomamichel/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/new-release-feature-excess-baggage-by-laura-barnard/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/12/new-release-feature-seduction-en-pointe-by-gemma-snow/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/new-release-feature-love-uncovered-by-laura-barnard/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/26/new-release-feature-explicitly-yours-by-mika-jolie/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/07/new-release-feature-hard-to-stay-by-s-jones/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/book-feature-king-in-chains-by-author-grey-francis/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/pre-order-release-feature-kurt-seyt-shura-by-author-nermin-bezmen/

 

Blog Tours

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/blog-tour-feature-hell-yeah-kindle-world-tour-presented-by-sable-hunter/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/27/blog-tour-feature-j-j-montgomerys-gun-for-hire-tour-presented-via-reviews-by-crystal/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/21/blog-tour-feature-bella-jeanisses-shredding-dreams-tour-presented-via-words-turn-me-on/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/14/blog-tour-feature-sultry-nights-romance-anthology-tour-plus-madison-michaels-bedeviled-presented-via-reviews-by-crystal/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/05/blog-tour-feature-jackson-by-tracie-podger/

 

Blog Awards

http://blog.feedspot.com/romance_book_blogs/

http://blog.feedspot.com/novel_blogs/

http://www.startdating.dk/awards/romance-blogs-award-2017 (You can still vote for this one!!)

 

Personal Book News/Reviews

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/17/meet-monday-marie-lavender-interview-and-spotlight/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/22/new-release/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/26/5-star-review-for-uyr/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/01/new-release-alert-upon-your-love-by-marie-lavendar/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/radio-interview/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/a-short-but-sweet-5-stars/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/double-reviews-for-new-adult-romance/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/4-stars-for-the-missing-piece/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/five-amazing-stars-for-uyl/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/teaser-from-chasing-ginger-a-work-in-progress/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/double-reviews-for-the-missing-piece/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/mega-cool-review-for-uyl-5-stars/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/new-release-feature-directions-of-the-heart-by-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/23/vote-for-a-romance-cover/ (You can still vote for this one!!)

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/cool-book-nomination/

 

Giveaways

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/get-a-copy-of-uyl/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/new-release-feature-i-wanna-get-laid-by-kade-by-author-duo-nikki-ashton-victoria-johns-plus-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/13/new-release-feature-the-depth-of-the-spirit-by-linda-lee-williams-plus-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-cleo-scornavacca-plus-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/free-book-the-missing-piece-by-yours-truly/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/pre-order-release-feature-directions-of-the-heart-by-yours-truly-plus-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/last-days-of-summer-mega-giveaway/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/63-free-romance-books/

 

Blog Hops & Personal Romantic Thought Posts

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/18/my-romantic-thought-of-the-day-50/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/18/book-lovers-tag/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/chivalry-doesnt-have-to-be-dead-a-romance-blogger-post-by-multi-genre-author-marie-lavender/

 

Guest Posts

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/top-5-relationship-myths-you-should-stop-believing-immediately-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/behind-the-title-creation-of-a-love-story-a-guest-post-by-romance-author-cynthia-roberts/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/top-5-ways-to-spice-up-your-relationship-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/the-relevance-of-romance-and-romantic-literature-in-modern-society-a-guest-post-by-inkitt/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/can-romantic-love-last-a-lifetime-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/five-ways-to-keep-the-romance-going-with-your-partner-a-guest-post-by-krissy-henley/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/from-friend-zone-to-love-prone-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/19/guide-to-lesbian-dating-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/back-to-christmas-town-a-guest-post-by-romance-author-anna-adams/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/16/innovative-yet-safe-ways-to-meet-your-soul-mate-in-this-high-tech-world-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/how-to-survive-holiday-stress-with-your-sweetie-a-guest-post-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/chivalry-doesnt-have-to-be-dead-a-romance-blogger-post-by-multi-genre-author-marie-lavender/

 

What Does Romance Mean to Me? Series Feature

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/16/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-lilly-christine/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-isobelle-cate/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/18/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-debbie-white/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-lashanta-charles/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/04/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-ricardo-mejias/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/09/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-k-c-sprayberry/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-dianne-hartsock/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-susanne-matthews/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/18/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-tina-donahue/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-carole-mckee/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/30/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-nikki-ashton/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/01/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-dating-connections/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-devika-fernando/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/08/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-tanya-w-newman/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/15/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-belinda-y-hughes/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-vivienne-vincent/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/29/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-rachael-tamayo/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/24/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-jeffery-martin-botzenhart/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/28/special-feature-what-does-romance-mean-to-me-by-jenny-lynn/

 

Heroes & Heroines Series Feature

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/heroes-and-heroines-special-feature-character-george-bramley-from-devils-run-by-beverley-oakley/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/17/heroes-heroines-special-feature-character-tommy-from-within-six-months-by-cleo-scornavacca/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/05/heroes-and-heroines-special-feature-characters-cassie-versus-edric-from-a-siblings-dilemma-by-molly-v-lovell/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/09/26/heroes-and-heroines-special-feature-character-herod-dargyl-anti-hero-from-the-cynn-cruors-bloodline-series-by-isobelle-cate/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/11/heroes-heroines-special-feature-character-aaron-betts-from-full-count-by-lynn-stevens/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/17/heroes-and-heroines-special-feature-character-josh-from-fat-girl-begone-by-d-e-haggerty/

 

Poetry

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/guest-poet-spotlight-d-l-owens/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/dream-with-me-a-poem/

 

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

I wish you all the best in 2018! Happy New Year!

I’ll catch you on the other side…and happy reading! ♥♥♥

 

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

A Character Interview with Melanie Thomas from SECOND CHANCES plus a conversation with author Carole McKee!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Amber Skye Forbes’ character on November 25th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting Carole McKee, the author of Second Chances, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Melanie Thomas, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to Carole in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Melanie Thomas!

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

Melanie Thomas:  Hello.  Thank you.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Character Melanie:  Sure.

Marie:  So, Melanie, what is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Melanie: I run a T-shirt printing shop. It’s called “Do-a-Tee.” Well, I started the company to give people who were down on their luck a second chance to pull themselves up. I hire the homeless–the ones who are hurting. Those who want to better their lives. I love it. Every time I see one of my employees better their lives, my heart swells.

Marie:  Great! So, what is your family like?

Melanie: My parents were killed in a plane crash a few years ago. I have a brother who lives in upstate New York. He does the same thing I do, except he runs a tool and die shop.

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?

Melanie: Well, I still live in it. It’s a big house in an upscale neighborhood. Lots of rooms. I still keep my parents’ housekeeper since the place is so big. Besides, given my mission, I could hardly let the housekeeper go. Anyway, it’s a really pretty house.

Marie:  Do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Melanie:  I enjoy running the T-shirt Printing shop. I love making those people happy. Other than that, I read. In the summer, I keep a small garden.

Marie:  So, what is your greatest dream, Melanie?

Melanie: To see everyone healthy, happy, and comfortable with a roof over their head. And of course, I would love to fall in love.

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

Melanie: I believe I am the person I want to be. Caring, compassionate, and helpful to others. My parents left both my brother and I very well off. There was also a huge insurance policy they took out before they got on that plane. Neither one of us will ever have to work, and there’s plenty of money to make a difference in others’ lives.

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Marie:  I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Melanie: I have to laugh here. I was a terrible romantic in high school. I fell in love with a boy in my French class. His name was Kurt and he spoke French very well. I just figured anyone who spoke the romance language that well had to be a great guy and a great kisser. Wrong on all counts.

Marie:  Oh (laughs). All right…this one is going to be a bit more serious.

Melanie, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Melanie: Of course, losing my parents. That was definitely the most terrible thing that ever happened to me and my brother, Matt. But the fire at the shop was also devastating, to more than just me. Everyone who worked there was out of work for awhile until we could rebuild.

Marie:  Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that. Let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

(Melanie nods.)

Marie:  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?

Melanie: I wanted to marry and have four kids. That’s all I ever talked about, growing up. I even had their names picked out. As of yet I have not achieved that dream, but there’s still time. Of course, I also wanted a career as a female executive. I sort of reached that dream, in a way.

Marie:  Well, that’s great! I also have one of my kid’s names picked out.

So, who is your role model?

Hands down–my Mom. She was everything I could ever hope to be. I loved her dearly. And I miss her.

Marie:  I know you do (pats Melanie’s hand). 

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.  Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Melanie: NO. If I don’t like someone, they know it. I like everybody I am in contact with.

Marie:  So, what is your deepest desire?

Melanie:  To have a loving husband and children. Maybe not four of them, though. I think I may have found the one. No, I’m sure I’ve found him. Tim. We got off on the wrong foot, but oh boy! The shoe is on the right foot now. I’m in love.

Marie:  That’s great! So…let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Melanie:  Probably losing my brother. He’s all I have left. We are close.

Marie:  Well, thank you for visiting us today, Melanie.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have Carole McKee on the stage today. Hi, Carole!

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Author Carole McKee:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

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

Carole:  I based her character on myself if I suddenly came into a lot of money. She is doing exactly what I would do. She’s kind, caring, and she gives her all to make a better life for the people who work for her. In return, they are loyal and they all love her.

Marie:  (Nods.) So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Carole:  Definitely her compassion and caring about others. She knows she grew up as a very lucky girl, and she just want to make life better for others who did not.

Marie:  Great!  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

Carole:  She probably doesn’t do enough for herself. Caring about the employees at the shop, her dogs and cats at home, her brother, and her best friend, Jack doesn’t give her much room to care for herself.

Marie:  I see.  What are some of her favorite foods?

Carole:  Italian, and — believe it or not–Deli food. Club sandwiches are high on her list as well.

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

Carole:  She’s beautiful, but she has no idea.

Marie: Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Carole: There shouldn’t be any reason to dislike her. She’s a terrific person. She’s kind and caring and she’s resourceful enough to help everyone with whom she comes in contact. She’s a beautiful woman who grew up in a wealthy household, and she believes in reaching out to others.

Marie:  Great!  Well, now that we have a real taste of Melanie Thomas, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Second Chances?

Carole: Well, doing what Melanie does has always been a dream of mine. In many ways she is like me, except for the beautiful and wealthy part.

Marie:  She definitely seems like a very special person, and from my own experiences with you, I know you are too.

So, what is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

Carole: My writing is character driven. I build my stories around the particular character I want to develop. I have a degree in Behavioral Health, so I tend to explore the psychological aspect of my characters–especially the bad guys.

Marie:  That’s great! I can see how having that background would help flesh out your characters.

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

Carole: No, not really. I did a lot of research, but it really wasn’t anything that held me back. I did my own cover. Since I’m not a computer wizard, I probably should have paid someone to do the cover. As far as the actual book goes, I am happy with it. I might consider publishing it in paperback now that I have a bricks and mortar store that carries my books.

Marie:  It’s definitely something to think about.

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 Second Chances appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Carole McKee, a very talented author! 

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Here is the blurb for Second Chances:

Melanie Thomas believes that sometimes people who are down on their luck just really need that little boost upward to improve their quality of life; and she can provide that. Since she started her tee-shirt embossing shop she has made a difference in her employees’ lives by giving them a new lease on life–hope–a second chance. Her employees are grateful and dedicated to her, but someone else wants her property for his own purpose. Things start happening after he approaches her with an offer to buy her building–an offer she immediately turns down. When inspectors start showing up, Melanie believes it’s a ploy to force her to sell and she silently laughs about it. But when the building burns, she knows exactly who to accuse. It hurts because she was falling in love with him. It seems everyone needs a second chance now and then.
Purchase Links:
About Carole McKee
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Carole McKee is originally from Pittsburgh, but has resided in Florida since 2002. Most of her contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels take place in the Western Pennsylvania area, the place she will always call home. Carole is a passionate writer, making readers feel the emotions of her characters. One reader exclaimed, “Carole McKee’s books help cleanse the tear ducts!” Her first novel, Perfect brought out so much emotion that she got phone calls from people who were in tears when they finished the book. Another reader says that she laughs and then she cries with every one of McKee’s books.
Carole’s writing career actually began in 1995 when she wrote a tribute to her beloved black Labrador Retriever when he passed away. The tribute was published in a veterinary magazine a few months after it was written. Although the stories were in her head, she didn’t begin writing seriously until 2006 when she began writing Perfect. It was published in 2007. She entered Perfect in a contest and it won an ‘honorable mention’ which was just the encouragement she needed to seriously pursue a career as a writer. The first of the “Choices” series was published in 2008. Readers didn’t want that series to end, so because of many readers asking for more of those same characters, she wrote Consequences, the fourth and last of the series. It was published in the Spring of 2013. It was time to end the series. “Choices” lead to “Consequences,” eventually. In addition to these books, which are available in paperback and eBook formats, Carole also published these four eBooks:  Kisses from the Heart, Second Chances, Maddie’s Garden and Going Home. Coming soon is another series entitled “Testosterone Poisoning” featuring new characters, and new circumstances.

Carole’s Books:

http://www.amazon.com/Consequences-Choices-4-Carole-McKee/dp/1482734370/ref=la_B0082D3810_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402898660&sr=1-3

http://www.amazon.com/Going-Home-Carole-McKee-ebook/dp/B00A619IUG/ref=la_B0082D3810_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402898660&sr=1-9

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http://www.amazon.com/Maddies-Garden-Carole-McKee-ebook/dp/B006WRG9TQ/ref=la_B0082D3810_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402898660&sr=1-8

http://www.amazon.com/Full-Nelson-Carole-McKee/dp/1438989830/ref=la_B0082D3810_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402898660&sr=1-4

http://www.amazon.com/Bushes-are-Red-Carole-McKee/dp/143896076X/ref=la_B0082D3810_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402898660&sr=1-2

http://www.amazon.com/Choices-Carole-McKee/dp/1434369641/ref=la_B0082D3810_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402898660&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Carole-McKee/dp/1434318907/ref=la_B0082D3810_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402898660&sr=1-5

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Carole McKee, here are some of her author links:

Blogs:  http://author-carole-mckee.blogspot.com/

http://what-carole-mckee-thinks.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carole-Mckee-Author/218075198224440

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Perfect/153710188036065 

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CaroleMcKee

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/Carole-McKee/e/B0082D3810/

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CaroleMcKee   

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Melanie Thomas, the female main character of Second Chances, and Carole McKee, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here! 🙂

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