Tag Archives: sports romance

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

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

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

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

 

Nice Guys Don’t Always Finish Last

Everyone knows the cliché ‘Nice guys finish last’.

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

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

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

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

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

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

He has to live.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You okay, Mr. Betts?” he asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trish had her heart set on Westland, too.

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

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

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

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

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

Purchase Links:

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

B&N:  https://goo.gl/79zZej

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

Kobo:  https://goo.gl/Ddf8rc

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

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

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

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

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

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

Guest Bio

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

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

Author Links

Website:  www.lstevensbooks.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LStevensAuthor

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

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

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

Tumblr:  http://lynnstevensauthor.tumblr.com

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

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

 

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

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

We may have other posts before then, though.

Have a great week, everyone!

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

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

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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.

http://marielavender.blogspot.com/2017/09/400th-anniversary-post-early-autumn-mega-book-giveaway.html

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

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Lashanta Charles

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

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Lashanta Charles, who has a few things to say about the question at hand.

For me, romance means life and insanity. It’s said that insanity is constantly doing the same things over and over, hoping that you’ll get a different outcome. Isn’t that what we do in our never-ending quest to find that perfect romance? In life, we search and we search and then we search just a little bit more, always trying to find that one person who completes us. That one person who will make us feel cherished. Appreciated. Needed. We want someone or something that will give us purpose, other than living, other than existing. And what could be better than that feeling of surprise and wonder that we get when we’re presented with just because gifts? Or when we’ve had the day from hell and our significant other makes it an all about you night?

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

We spend so much time vying for that moment where we can have that goofy smile and starry-eyed look, yet we fail to realize that it isn’t always perfect, nor is it always easy. Romance is just as much work as love, and what’s that old saying – love is never easy. Well, my friends, neither is romance. I’ve centered my writing career on the highs and lows of romance, and even in the fictional words and characters I create, it isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. I absolutely live for my next book boyfriend, no matter if it’s one I create or if it’s one that another author creates. Yet, knowing they aren’t real and neither are those scenes where they go all in and confess their undying love in the most amazing way possible, I still yearn for it. I swoon. I cheer them on. I laugh with them and I cry with them and when it’s all said and done, I do it all over again – INSANITY!!

I began writing romance novels because, at the time, I was missing that aspect in my life. I saw romance as the elusive and dangerous creature that I wanted to hunt down and make my tame little pet. I wanted so badly to feel the romance that I’d read about in countless books or saw in the plethora of movies I’ve watched. I wanted my very own hero to come and save me (who cares if I wasn’t in danger), my very own bad boy who reformed his ways just to make me happy, my very own prince to whisk me off to his castle where I would eventually become a queen and rule by his side.

I never got that! Insane, right?? Because I totally deserve that! What I did get was my husband who I’ve been married to for nearly a decade, and I love that man like it’s nobody’s business. Is he as romantic as I had hoped? Not a chance in hell! Would I trade him for that hero, bad boy, or prince? You bet your sweet bottom I wouldn’t! He is mine and I am his and we are perfectly flawed, but together we are perfectly phenomenal. He makes me laugh, yet he makes me cry. He makes me feel appreciated, but manages to forget things that I think are important (news flash, I’m so much worse at this than he is – guess who forgot our anniversary last year . . . not him). He tests my patience even more than our kids do, but his soul is beautiful and he chose to share that astounding soul with little old me. How romantic is that, right?!

Adapted from vector created by Freepik

I still read just about any romance novel I can get my hands on, no matter how cheesy (I’m a sucker for insta-love and paranormal romances with the whole one true mate – le sigh) and I still watch the movies with perfect romantically nice endings, getting lost in those fictional worlds, but once they’re over I’m right back to my reality, my husband. And I always realize that romance isn’t something that’s set in stone. It isn’t a written rule that everyone has to follow. It’s just you and your relationship, regardless of if that’s with a real person, one you’ve read about, or one you saw in a movie. It’s all yours and it’s what you have, so enjoy it to the fullest. And, in the meantime, if you’re in desperate need of a book boyfriend, I encourage you to meet Nico…

So true! I happen to believe that those very normal moments are exactly what help to encourage and strengthen a romantic bond. If you can get through that, while slowing down occasionally to appreciate the little things we often take for granted, then you can handle anything. 😉
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Lashanta! Lovely to have you here! ♥
Guest Bio

Lashanta Charles was born and raised in the small town of Orangeburg, SC. She has always been an avid reader of all genres, but Romance has always been her true love and is what inspired her to pursue a writing career. In high school, she began letting her classmates read the short stories that she would write and based off their feedback, her passion for writing pushed her to become a published author. She published her debut novel, Lovely Lies, in 2013 and released the sequel, Lovely Lies 2, in February 2014. Her third novel, Splitting Karma, was released in October 2014. She lives in Tacoma, WA, with her husband and three children and also serves in the US Army. She’s a home body who enjoys SLEEPING, reading, eating, SLEEPING, white chocolate mochas, sexy alien romances, SLEEPING, and of course, writing. Oh, and she hates spiders; they’re extremely creepy…why do they need eight legs?!

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

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Ricardo Mejías visits us on May 4th! Yay! 🙂

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Love, Message, Readers, Romance, sports romance, Writers, Writing

Pre-order Release Feature: Heart of a Savage by author LaShanta Charles

I am pleased to announce a great new release by LaShanta Charles, an author I met during my journey! Her fascinating new adult sports romance, Heart of a Savage, officially went up for pre-order and will be released at the end of the month!

Yay! Just in time for Valentine’s Day! That’s awesome, LaShanta! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

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

2017-967-ebook-lashanta-charles-heart-of-a-savage

 

LaShanta is giving us a look at her new, intriguing MMA romance, Heart of a Savage, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Heart of a Savage:

Bailey Ross-O’Malley has spent her whole life catering to others. She used to enjoy it. Until her father died. In an attempt to protect her, her father chose Connor to be her husband, but that was a mistake. Connor was supposed to love her, be her rock – but some rocks need to be tossed as far away as possible. She only has one source of happiness now, her son, and if Connor doesn’t get his way, he’ll take that joy from her as well.

MMA fighter, Dominic Prince, has only one mission in life: forget his past. Forget the pain, the drama, and the loss of things taken away from him too soon. He’s guarded and secretive and that’s the way he likes it. He was doing a damn good job of keeping it that way. Until her. Bailey showed up and Dominic’s life became a minefield. He can’t decide if he wants to kiss her or shake her, but he does know that he’ll fight to keep her safe. He’ll be as savage as he is in the octagon, outside of it.

Neither of them wants to accept it happening, but the past has a way of sneaking into the present. Hearts will be shattered and bonds will be broken. Will they survive it?

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

teaser01-1500x760

teaser03-1500x760

Thrilling!  🙂

Book Info:

Genre:  Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Sports, Suspense

Release Date:  January 31, 2017

Pre-order Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B01M7YMJK6

B & N:  http://bit.ly/2jfFWZw

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

Kobo:  http://bit.ly/2idni2o

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32868147-heart-of-a-savage

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

Thank you for telling us about your book, LaShanta! I know I can’t wait to read this new adult sports romance! 🙂

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

2017-967-ebook-lashanta-charles-heart-of-a-savage

Author Bio

me

LaShanta Charles was born and raised in the small town of Orangeburg, SC. She has always been an avid reader of all genres, but Romance has always been her true love and is what inspired her to pursue a writing career. In high school, she began letting her classmates read the short stories that she would write and based off of their feedback, her passion for writing pushed her to become a published author. She published her debut novel, Lovely Lies, in 2013 and released the sequel, Lovely Lies 2, in February 2014. Her third novel, Splitting Karma, was released in October 2014. She lives in Yelm, WA, with her husband and three children and also serves in the US Army. She’s a home body who enjoys SLEEPING, reading, SLEEPING, eating, SLEEPING, white chocolate mochas, SLEEPING, sexy alien romances, and of course, writing. Oh, and she hates spiders; they’re extremely creepy, why do they need eight legs??

Author Links

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/twiety01

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Lashanta-Charles/e/B0083HO95Y/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6984092.LaShanta_Charles

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

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/104019449563926608746

 

Well, I certainly have to agree about the spiders. LOL.

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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

A Character Interview with Zoey from SECOND HALF plus a conversation with author Monica DeSimone!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Vivienne Vincent’s character on August 16th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Monica DeSimone, the debut author of Second Half, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Zoey Elizabeth McEvoy from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Monica in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Zoey!

zoey

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

Character Zoey Elizabeth McEvoy: Thank you for having me, Marie.

Marie:  Of course! It’s my pleasure!

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

Zoey:  Sure.

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

Zoey:  Founder of the Coach’s Shadow Foundation. I like to think that I am. I have a tendency to be tenacious at times so that I get what I want.

Do I like it? Absolutely love it!

Marie:  Great to hear! 😀

Tell us…what is your family like?

Zoey: Both of my parents have passed away so I’m pretty much an orphan! LOL.

My family is amazing, I have a loud, involved, often times obtrusive family that I have had from birth as well as those that I have chosen over the years.

Marie:  Oh…😦 Sorry to hear about your parents. I’m glad you have other family, though.

Let’s try something else, okay?

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

Zoey:  Considering that Derrick and I live there now, it is an amazing home. Traditional Cape Cod with a lot of extensions added onto it. I think my mother originally fell in love with it because she didn’t want kids. It was often lonely and cold but Claire, my sister, made it a home.

Marie:  All right.

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

Zoey: I run. A lot. It is as much a passion for me as running the Coach’s Shadow Foundation and football.

In my down time I love watching Sci-Fi movies and reading. Oh and shoes! I love, love, love shoes! I also enjoy throwing a great gathering with my family and friends. But I hate to cook. So I do the planning and shopping, and Derrick makes my menus come true.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Nice! 😉

So, what is your greatest dream?

Zoey:  Derrick.

Marie:  Indeed! (Sighs.) I love romance…♥

Okay, back to the interview.

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

Zoey: I have pretty much accomplished what I wanted to be. It may not be in the traditional way, and I had to take a very dark journey to get where I am, with several set backs, but I’m here. I’m alive, happy and just keep going every day. The one personality trait that I wish I could be better with is not to be so ready to forgive the wrongs that have been done to me.

What is stopping me? My heart and ability to lose.

Marie: I think we all feel afraid sometimes that we’ll lose everything we hold dear. Faith gets us through it all.

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

Who was your first love?

Zoey:  Derrick Hendrickson.

secondhalf2-full-cover

Marie: But you got a second chance, right? That’s great!

So…let’s try another question.

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

Zoey: At twenty-one I fell into a deep depression and attempted suicide.

Marie:  Oh no! I’m so sorry…

[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]

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

[Zoey 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?

Zoey:  No. I floundered with what I wanted to do in the months, years really, after my attempted suicide. I was so tired of people telling me that I would find my way. At the time the darkness was all consuming and I didn’t see the light. I was really good at faking things, though; so I faked my way happy. Forced myself to push through the darkness. I finished my degree in English Literature, got a job in corporate America. I loved doing what did. It allowed me to nourish the part of myself that had always felt left behind. Wanting to be a combination between Betty Crocker and a Mother Hen while allowing me to be creative yet in charge behind the scenes, because I hate the spotlight, was my end result.

I ultimately found my dream. My own happiness, which has brought me true contentment. The Coach’s Shadow Foundation was born out of sorrow and guilt. However, it was through that sorrow and guilt that I proved to myself that I am no longer the broken girl who was left behind by both her mother and lover. It took a lot for me to realize that where I am today is exactly where I am meant to be.

Marie:  Wow! Tough times.

I’m so glad you found a light to pull you through that darkness. ♥

So, who is your role model, Zoey?

Zoey:  My sister Claire. She is everything that I strive to be. Strong, independent, courageous, and kind.

Marie: Great! It sounds like your sister is a very special person.

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Zoey:  I absolutely hate Matt, Derrick’s agent. I always feel as though I need a shower after being around him.

Marie:  Oh, that’s not good…maybe your intuition is trying to tell you something?

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Zoey:  To be loved.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there!

What is your greatest fear?

Zoey: Spending my life alone and unloved.

Marie: It’s understandable to have that kind of fear, but I believe there is a stronger force guiding us, that good things come to good people. And I know you’re one of the good ones. 😉

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

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author Monice DeSimone on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Monica!

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Author Monica DeSimone:  Hi, Marie. Thank you so much for having me.

Marie: Oh no, the honor is mine.😀

So, we just got to talk to a female character from your story, Zoey Elizabeth McEvoy, or rather, just Zoey. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

Monica: Zoey is so tenacious and vibrant. She encompasses everything that I had ever wanted to be. I think that is because she has come so far in her battle with depression. She has fought for what and who she is today. Zoey loves deeply and carries her emotions on her sleeve. The obstacles in which she has overcome, although yes somewhat self-inflicted, are an admirable quality about her. The struggle of depression is overwhelming and all consuming. For Zoey to have pulled herself out of that, yes with help, and still be a kind, loving and generous person is amazing. She gives with all her heart and truly wants the best for everyone. Not everyone has the mental wherewithal to be able to pull themselves from that hole. It is admirable. Although it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t have flaws as well as a bit of a mean streak. Which I have to admit that I love.

Marie:  (Laughs.)

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Monica:  Zoey loves with everything in her being which feeds her ability to forgive. This can be considered a strength as well as a weakness, but forgiveness would have to be Zoey’s greatest strength. That and not willing to give up on anything she believes in.

Marie:  Definitely admirable!

And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?

Monica:  Because of her capacity to forgive Zoey is often left open to be hurt by those she believes in.

Marie:  Sorry to hear that… 😦

What are some of Zoey’s favorite foods?

Monica:  Gosh, Zoey is “technically” an overall healthy person. A lot of greens and proteins. However, if you put a bowl of Utz Cheese Balls in front of her I would watch out. She is a kind person but sharing those yummy treats aren’t in the cards.

Marie:  (Giggles.) Nice!

How about another question?

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

Monica:  Zoey is a lot stronger then she gives herself credit for. She is the heart of her family. Not necessarily the core of it, because that is Claire, but she is a fierce protector with a strength that she often underestimates.

Marie:  Great!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Monica: I think that most readers will appreciate how damaged Zoey is and how far she has come to pull herself out of her depression. However, I also think that it is a toss-up if people will love her or want to hit her. If a reader can understand that forgiveness isn’t a weakness, that it is truly a strength and that love often has no rhyme or reason and that sometimes, not always, “soul mates” do exist, truly exist. If they can understand that, appreciate it, then I think that they will love her.

Marie: Definitely!

And I prefer characters to be real, flawed human beings anyway. Don’t you?

Now that we have a real taste of Zoey, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Second Half?

Monica: I had been writing my entire life, so when my father passed away in April 2015, I promised myself that I would finish one of my books. I have a few sitting on my laptop. One night in December 2015, I had just finished reading A Lover’s Lament by AL Greyson and BT Urruela, and Zoey started talking to me. God, she is a pushy little thing too because it wasn’t until she finally made a deal with me – she would be quiet so that I could work and sleep if I promised to tell her story. That was January 3, 2016. I finished Zoey and Derrick’s story and sent it to my editor on May 17th.

Marie:  Interesting how the muse works, huh?

Sorry to hear about your dad. 😦

Let’s try something else.

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

Monica: I’m a character-driven writer. As such I like to be surprised. You have to remember, ultimately I’m a reader. So if I can “Holy Sh**” myself, it’s a good day.

I am totally a pantster. My mother always said that I was a fly-by-the seat-of-her-pants girl. My writing isn’t any different. It makes it difficult for Nadine Winningham, my editor, but I think it makes it more enjoyable for everyone.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Hey, whatever works for you…

I am also a character-driven writer. They often bug me before I go to sleep. 😉

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

Monica: I reached out to a first-time writer, thinking that because they were up and coming they would be receptive in offering any advice. That was a mistake. After multiple emails, I finally got a response. It was not at all generous and honestly quite hurtful. Which caused me to become blocked. That was my fault, allowing the words of someone else to affect me. But in my defense, I respected this person and what they had accomplished. I was unable to write for six weeks. It wasn’t until I met, rather apprehensively, other authors at a signing and seeing first-hand the openness and kindness within the community that allowed me to get past the block and finish Second Half within three weeks.

What would I do differently the next time? I self-published and I wouldn’t change one thing about that. I was told by a very wise woman that this is a business and that you better treat yourself and writing as such. That my first product better be as good as my most current one. Because someone will always go back and read that first book. I took those words to heart, finished the book and with the help of some amazing people put a product out there that I will never be ashamed of. Whether someone is reading my first book or being introduced to me on my tenth, God willing, book they will find a superior product that they won’t be disappointed in reading.

Marie:  Wow! Sorry you had such an unfortunate experience with that writer! 😦

But I’m glad it all worked out for you, that you didn’t let a bitter person ruin your journey.

And you’re right. Generally, there is a nice community of authors who are willing to offer advice, or at least direct you to someone who can answer those questions. So much goes into the process, and we need all the help we can get.

Thanks for the additional tips!

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 Half appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this modern sports romance by Monica DeSimone, a very talented author! :)

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Here is the blurb for Second Half:

Zoey McEvoy is a strong, sassy, independent woman that has vowed to herself that she will never allow anyone the opportunity to determine her emotional well-being again. After a battle with depression that ended in an attempted suicide, she has clawed her way out of the all encompassing darkness. Founding the Coach’s Shadow Foundation in honor of her father, Zoey finds herself thrown back into the life of the man that emotionally destroyed her eight years earlier.

Derrick Hendrickson chose his career over Zoey and is now back to recapture the love that he so recklessly tossed away. Unaware of the devastation his departure caused, he has to reestablish the trust that he lost when he left her. With the help of their best friends and Zoey’s sister Claire, Derrick has a strong chance of proving that he never stopped loving her. However, Zoey’s trust issues are major hurdles that need to be crossed. Will Zoey ultimately find the strength to forgive and allow Derrick and love back into her life, proving that the Second Half can be so much brighter?

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

MY ALARM GOES OFF and I don’t even remember setting it. I always use my cell phone as an alarm, never the actual alarm clock. It is purely for decoration and is actually across the room on my dresser. So the fact that it is going off right now is confusing. I roll over to get out of bed and run smack into a solid mass. I know that I had an emotional day yesterday, but not so rough that I would forget having someone in bed with me.

Derrick. I burrow my nose into his back for just a second, and burn his scent into my memory so that I have it there for later. It’s been so long since I’ve felt him next to me. But then I remember where we are, what year it is, and that he isn’t mine any longer. Jumping out of bed faster than I have ever gotten up, I’m slightly dizzy and trying to gather my bearings.

As I’m getting my feet fully under me, Derrick says, “Duchess, shut off the alarm will you? I don’t have to be at the training facility until eight.”

What the fuck? What did I miss last night? No more blue Xanax, Zoey.

Recovering quickly, or as quickly as I can, I walk to the end of the bed and shove Derrick’s foot buried under my comforter.

Rolling over, Derrick looks all sleepy, disheveled, and sexy as hell. His right arm, the one that has the half sleeve of tattoos on it, is draped over his chest. The chest that is perfectly muscled and beautiful, and that I just want to lick. As I devour him with my eyes, I notice that there is a tattoo on his left ribcage. It’s a saying or something, I can’t tell exactly from this distance and I want a closer lick, I mean look of it.

Jesus… pull it together, Zoey!

“What, Zo?” I’m literally just standing at the foot of the bed, the alarm blaring, gawking at this beautiful man. “You gonna turn that off?” he asks, shifting his head toward the noise. “Then you can come back and cuddle with me.” He’s smirking now. Bastard! He knows that I love to cuddle, and Derrick was always the best at it— warm, strong, and soothing.

“What the fuck, Derrick? Why are you in my bed? With me?” I ask, attempting to recover some of my brain cells and come back to reality. “And where are my dogs?” I’m a horrible pet mom; instead of ogling the hot half-naked man in my bed, I should have realized that Reilly and Steeler aren’t where they always are. “What did you do with my dogs, Derrick?”

“Calm down, Duchess, they’re right here.” He shifts, and I see not just Reilly and Steeler on the right side of him, but that Sam is there as well. Oh… my… God… even my dogs prefer him. Traitors.

“Can you please shut that thing off? I have a hell of a headache and that isn’t helping.”

Walking over to the dresser, I turn off the offending alarm. I still don’t know how it got set, but really, I have bigger things to worry about. Like why there is a six-foot-five-inch god in my bed. Is that a V peeking out from under the covers? Zoey! I chastise myself. I’m staring, hell I’m more than likely drooling.

Recovering as quickly as I can, I ask, “Why are you in my bed, Derrick?”

“I needed to be close to you,” he says as he gets out of bed.

The boys jump to the floor, not liking that Derrick was starting to move around, but knowing that with their humans up they will get fed and go outside. They are now sitting on the bench at the foot of my bed.

As Derrick stands to his full height, I have to bite my lip to hold in the moan. The man has a body that only ancient gods had. I notice his tattoos that are covering half of his shoulder. Yum! He is turning around when I gasp in shock. There are a pair of eyes on his left shoulder, adjacent to his heart. But they aren’t just any eyes… they’re mine.

Ooh! Interesting! I love the tension here…🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01LWIPOLT

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/second-half-monica-desimone/1124603461

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Second-Half/Monica-Desimone/9781483580494

Kobo:  https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/second-half

iBooks:  http://ibookstore.com/products.php?i=B01LWIPOLT

BookBaby:  https://store.bookbaby.com/book/Second-Half

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this sporty romance, book one of the Coach’s Shadow Trilogy! ♥

About Monica DeSimone

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Monica lives in northern New Jersey with her three dogs, Sam, Reilly, and Steeler. Raised by a football coach in the heart of Texas, football is a passion that is deep rooted. Introduced to Nora Roberts by her mother at the age of thirteen, she spawned a lifetime love affair with books, all things romance and happily-ever-afters. Outside of writing, you will find Monica on her back porch enjoying time with her “boys”, family, friends, and a really good Dirty Martini.

Book:

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Monica DeSimone, here are some author links:

Website:  www.monicadesimone.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Monica-DeSimone-Author-859944790794911/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MonicaDe12

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

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15808209.Monica_DeSimone

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/monicade12/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Zoey, a female character from Second Half, and Monica DeSimone, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! :)

2 Comments

Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Readers, Romance, sports romance

A to Z Challenge: Victory Lane by Shelly Davis

As you know, I’m putting myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging for the month of April.

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For these posts, I’ll be giving an I Love Romance Blog score, not an official review, for books currently on my shelf at home (I know readers must wonder what books inspires us as authors) or ones that are on my TBR list (what I want to read so bad I can’t stand it!). For each book, I will give the blurb, a few lines from the text, then why I liked the book or why I’d want to read it. And for fun, I’ll give a heart rating! ♥

This is my scoring system:

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I hope these A to Z Challenge suggestions will help you find a new favorite author, or further cement your love for one, if that’s the case.

Let’s jump into our next book, shall we?

Victory Lane by Shelly Davis

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Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb:

Toni Rizzo has done everything she can to escape a past full of cruelty and pain. With the help of her father, her closest friends and family, she becomes stronger but she can never truly move on. The strength she does find allows her to pursue her dreams – to be a mechanical engineer on a race team. But the team she is assigned to, could be trouble. Her childhood crush on the famous driver and her inability to get beyond her past could destroy her dreams.

Julius Fuller is used to having whatever he wants. Whether it’s in the driver’s seat or with women, he’s never denied. Since the one woman who was supposed to love him destroyed his world, Julius doesn’t let anyone in. The only people Julius cares about are his family and his team. He knew there was a woman interning with his crew chief, but when he sees her for the first time he’s dumbstruck. She’s beautiful and when pushed, she’s fierce. His instant attraction to her unnerves him.

Two people traumatized by past events, each has the ability to help or ruin the other. Toni wants things she never thought she deserved. Julius sees a future beyond racing for the first time in years. But Julius knows Toni’s hiding a big secret.

When Julius reaches the finish line, will Toni be there?

How long will Julius be able to wait before reaching his personal Victory Lane?

A few choice lines from the book:

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My Score:

I love conflict…in stories, that is, characters with dark pasts or secrets they’d rather not come to light. And the conflict with Toni and Julius is appealing, not to mention the obvious sexual tension. I like the added element of the childhood crush, because all too often those crushes are destroyed by reality.

I haven’t read this title yet, but I have added it to my Amazon Wishlist! I hope I can get my hands on a copy soon! 🙂

I give this one four hearts.

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This looks to be book one of the Shady Falls Series.

6 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Readers, Reviews, Romance

A Character Interview with Devereaux from DEVEREAUX COX plus a conversation with author Palessa!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Tracy Kincaid’s character on September 8th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Palessa, the author of Devereaux Cox, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Devereaux, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Palessa in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Devereaux!

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

Character Devereaux Cox:  Hello.  Thanks for having me.

Marie:  Of course. We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Devereaux: Sure.

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

Devereaux:  I play football for the Atlanta Mercury, in the Steinger Football League. It’s a semi-professional league with about 20 teams from all around the country. It’s like the pros, but we have a different way to play the game and I think our fans are more intense that the pro league. Am I any good at it? Do I like it? Well let me put it this way, they call me the Mercury Juggernaut. Plus I get to knock guys on their asses on a regular basis. Who wouldn’t love this job?

Marie:  (Laughs.)

All right. So, what is your family like?

Devereaux:  There’s a lot going on right now, that I’m sorting out or at least trying to wrap my head around. If you’d asked me that question six months ago, I would have had a much clearer response. Right now, all I have is ‘complicated.’

Marie:  Okay. What did your childhood home look like?

Devereaux: It was pretty good. My parents were good. I can’t complain. I was their only concern for seven years until Bryson showed up. (Chuckles.) I always remind him how he ruined my childhood. Nah, I’m kidding. Bry is cool. He’s my little bro and my best friend.

Marie:  Aww…

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

Devereaux: Well, right now, my hobbies are on hold because I’m in school. Doing my masters in chemistry so I’m basically on lockdown. I was able to finish up my assignments before the season started so that’s off my chest, but if I’m not practicing or playing or hanging out with my folks for dinner, I’m studying. I know, I know, the exciting life of a football player.

Marie:  All right. So, what is your greatest dream?

Devereaux:  A family. I thought I would have one by now but, things don’t always turn out the way you plan, do they? I suppose one day…

Marie:  I honestly believe everything happens when it’s supposed to.

Lets try something else, okay?

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

Devereaux:  I wish I could be one of those guys who just goes home to his wife and kids and just lives that contented life. A lot of people think that’s boring, but there’s something about being with the right person all the time that just makes things click and work. As far as what’s stopping me…something like that doesn’t just happen with anyone. So I guess you could say when I find the right one, it’ll work out.

Marie:  Good point. So I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Devereaux:  She was this girl I met in college. Rebekka. She was just this hard working smart girl and I got to know her and…I’d never felt like that before. But I found out she did something and I tried to look past it, but it was just too much. Funny enough, we found each other again but, it’s like history repeating itself with her and my parents…again, it’s complicated.

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Marie:  All right.

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

Devereaux: I’ll tell you all about it when it’s over.

Marie:  Okay…

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

[Devereaux 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?

Devereaux:  My dream was to be a football player, a professional one. Back then the NFL was looming large but when I learned more about the SFL, I just felt like this was the place for me. It’s like a big family and the fans are an extension of that. I’m glad I’m here.

Marie:  Great!

So, who is your role model?

Devereaux:  My Dad. He’s one of those chill guys. The way he is with my mom, it’s like he just lets her do her thing and then does his. It’s not that they aren’t partners, it’s that they complement each other so well. My Dad is just calm and likes to see all sides first.

Marie:  I can respect that.

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Devereaux:  (Shrugs.) I don’t have time for that. I figure, if you like me, fine. You don’t, fine. I’m too busy to play pretend.

Marie:  I agree.

Let’s try something else…

So, what is your deepest desire, Devereaux?

Devereaux:  Just being happy, like I was…back then. I want that kind of happiness.

Marie:  What is your greatest fear?

Devereaux:  Losing my family. I just don’t want to miss a thing. Those moments you just can’t get back and they’re important.

Marie:  That’s true.

Well, we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Devereaux. It was so interesting getting to know you!  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

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

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Author Palessa:  Hello.  Thank you for having me here.

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

Palessa:  Dev is this big guy with a big heart that packs a punch on the field. Off the field, he’s got his priorities, which is to build on his natural athleticism. Smart guy, really smart and disciplined enough to look ahead to life after football and take care of his business now.

Marie:  I can certainly admire that!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Palessa:  Dev’s smart and fairly well-balanced. He’s not one to fly off the handle.

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

Palessa:  For Dev, it’s this blind trust he has that comes with being such a big-hearted guy. It also makes him take a bit more time to absorb certain things, which is the opposite of what he’s like on the field, where reaction/response time is critical.

Marie:  All right.  What are some of his favorite foods?

Palessa:  He’s a clean eater for the most part. His body is a well-oiled machine and he’s highly regimented about what he eats and needs to eat to achieve a certain result. That doesn’t mean he’s boring. He’s just got his focus on taking care of his body.

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

Palessa: He’s a lot like his father, Jeffrey even though he may not realize it. Calm but determined to understand when he feels it’s necessary.

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

Palessa: I think they’ll like him, but they’ll remember what he did or didn’t do. He’s human, not perfect and he’s made mistakes that he’s trying to put right. For some, it may be hard to forget and maybe even forgive completely.

Marie:  All right.

Well, now that we have a real taste of Devereaux Cox, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for your book?

Palessa:  The world of American football is fascinating. I’ve always wondered what some of these guys were like off the field because they are these intense, hulking figures that ram against each other for a paycheck and accolades. Of course, we know what some of these guys do, as is evidenced by Michael Vick and Aaron Hernandez and OJ Simpson, but I think that with the sheer number of players in the NFL, it’s like an iceberg. I wanted to create a league where I could go behind the game and see some of these guys and the league itself. It won’t all be love and roses, but I’m prepared to see what I can of the SFL world.

Marie:  Interesting!

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

Palessa:  My writing style is evolving. Not sure what it’s become yet, but I do some kind of an outline so I can form the idea more clearly. Then I write. Sometimes it’s from start to finish in sequence but lately, some later scenes have come on strong so I’ve had to write those out first and go back. It’s a process.

Marie:  Isn’t it strange how that works out? Only the muse can tell us where to go.

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

Palessa:  This book was blissfully smooth. It took me longer to write this than Tobey Fine because it’s a more emotional story and I wanted to really work on that. As far as getting it published, while I’m with Beau Coup, I’m not taking it for granted that they’ll like everything. I just take it one story at a time. What I am doing is I’m working on drafting out a few books in the series at a time. I wrote Tobey Fine and Devereaux Cox together. I did have half-a-draft of book 3 (which is not a full draft), but I’m going to take the time and really work on book 4 and maybe see if there’s a book 5 before I tackle this series again, no pun intended. So just really writing out the first few books of the series is now my game plan. It may take me some time, but I’m more concerned with getting the stories right so it will take as long as it takes.

Marie:  That’s a great plan!

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 Devereaux Cox appears to be.  I certainly want to learn more!

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

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Here is the blurb for Devereaux Cox (Sacked & Tackled, Book 2):

As the six-feet-five juggernaut of the Atlanta Mercury, Christopher Devereaux Cox knows how to make his impact felt on the field. Off the field, he’s the devoted son of a prominent family with ties to presidential history, as well as one of Atlanta’s most eligible bachelors. He is a credit to his family, his team, and his name. Nothing could be more perfect.
Within the SFL, a problem threatens to spread through the organization. Cast as an unwitting scapegoat is Rebekka Stallman, a physiotherapist for the league and the only woman Devereaux ever loved. Seeing each other again after all those years ago when her life took a devastating turn was unexpected, and Rebekka wasn’t about to miss the chance to unleash her fury on her former boyfriend, who turned his back on her when she needed him.
But things aren’t what they seemed then or now.
Secrets and lies will be exposed as Rebekka forces Devereaux to question everything and everyone he ever trusted, including himself. As the dust settles and some facts about the league’s doping scandal come to light, Devereaux must decide whether the life he yearns for with the woman he still loves is worth the price of holding onto his family.

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

“I didn’t do it,” she screamed. “I would never do anything like that.”

The man’s voice just as loud but harsher replied, “You were the only one who handled both of them. And one of the other physios told me specifically that you gave him the stuff with a wink and a nod.”

“What the hell is that supposed to mean? A wink and a nod.”

“I don’t know but until this investigation is done. You’re suspended without pay.”

“You can’t do that. I’m entitled to plead my case.”

The man’s voice was low, mostly inaudible to outsiders, but it was enough to draw out a mighty curse from the woman.

Devereaux slowly walked past the door. Suddenly it opened and a woman bumped into him and seemed to bounce back. Devereaux actually felt the impact of her which caused him to wobble slightly, which was a feat unto itself.

“Sorry,” he apologized, partly for the eavesdropping. “I didn’t—Rebekka?”

When she heard her name, she tilted her head slightly to look at him and he saw the color drain from her face.

“It really was you,” he muttered and he saw her face move from shock to annoyance.

“And this day just keeps getting better, doesn’t it?” She chuckled mirthlessly as she put her hands on her hips and looked at the ground.

“How—”

“You’re seriously going to ask me how I’m doing right now, Chris?” Her voice crescendoed as she spoke, attracting stares from some of his team mates who were exiting the locker room. “I’ve just been suspended, probably fired or worse, for something I didn’t do or even have a clue how to do or whatever. Some asshat claims I gave him some stuff with a wink and nod. Then I bump into you. So this day is just not…it’s going to shit really. Yeah. Total crap.”

She harshly pulled the rubber band that was holding her hair up and shook it out. It was longer than he remembered. Then she stepped past him and briskly walk away.

Stopping midstride, Rebekka turned on her heel and declared, “Give your mother my best.” The sarcasm in her voice was biting. “Oh,” she exclaimed, putting her finger to her temple as if she were trying to remember something. “Wait a minute. She probably wouldn’t want to hear my name after she sandbagged me back at Kenton, would she? So, never mind, Chris. Been fun.”

Devereaux visibly flinched at the bitterness he heard in her voice. He watched the woman he once loved stalk away and shook his head. For the first time in his life, he felt as if he had been run over by a tank.

And he didn’t like the feeling one damn bit.

Riveting! I definitely want to read more!  😀

Purchase Link:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B015C5UR3M

About Palessa

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Palessa started reading her first romance novel at the age of 11. Then she got introduced to V.C. Andrews, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Anne Rice and many more notable contemporary authors, as well as some of the classics, A Tale of Two Cities, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Great Gatsby and others. It was during her teenage years that she dabbled in writing. First, it was in her diaries, then she started creating characters, stories about romance, the supernatural and much more. Being an I.B. student as well as entering college, left little time for writing and so she put it and the ideas aside to pursue a career. It would take almost 20 years, a radical move from the city she grew up in, Miami, FL back to her Caribbean birthplace, and a chance Facebook meeting with Sable Hunter to start the juices flowing again. After some fits and starts, the Baxter Family Saga was born. Unchained Hearts is Palessa’s first published fiction book with Beau Coup Publishing.

She considers herself just a storyteller that sees no reason to shy away from the juicier romantic elements. She currently lives in the mountains of Jamaica with her crazy, cracker-munching-mutt Ivy and a farm, primarily managed by agribusiness partner, also known as Dad.

Palessa’s Books:

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

Website/Blog:  https://authorpalessa.wordpress.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/authorpalessa

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Palessa/e/B00IMLM4VW/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/100266014519625067283/posts

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7765546.Palessa

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

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/palessa/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Devereaux, the male main character of Devereaux Cox, and Palessa, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here! 🙂

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