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Pre-order Release Feature: Lara’s Story by author Diane Merrill Wigginton

I am pleased to announce a great new release by Diane Merrill Wigginton, an author I met during my journey! Her young adult sweet historical romance, Lara’s Story, officially went up for pre-order and will be released on January 4th!

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

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

Diane is giving us a look at her sweet YA historical romance, Lara’s Story, today.Great cover!

This is the blurb for Lara’s Story:

SHATTERED BY HEARTBREAK
“When a heart breaks, it does not break evenly, cleaving in half exactly down the middle.”

Surrounded by her large, boisterous family in 1840s Ireland, Lara Flannigan has never known anything but love and belonging—until the day tragedy strikes, leaving her abandoned and forced into indentured servitude.

REMADE IN A NEW WORLD.

Just when all hope seems lost, Lara is discovered by a childless American couple, visiting Ireland to aid in the famine-relief effort. With barely a chance to look back, she’s swept away to a bustling new continent—and a dizzying new reality. One of petticoats, opulent townhouses, and the cold reaches of Philadelphia high society. Desperate for a future, Lara works tirelessly to fit into her new life… while still haunted by a past that won’t let her go.

Set in a fascinating historical period, Lara’s Story is a gripping young adult novel that explores the strength of the human spirit and the power of forgiveness to heal a broken heart.

And here is an excerpt to entice you with.

April 27, 1854

Philadelphia Wharf

 

EVERY QUESTION BEGINS WITH a quest for answers, and every testimony of what is true begins with a test of our resolve. I am reminded of this simple formula as I stand here on this boardwalk, looking out to sea. Each life is a journey, defined by turns we take or the roads we choose or those which fate chooses for us. Some of us move from one place to another, along a well-worn path or the path less taken; it really doesn’t matter much as long as it leads you home again.

Memories of my home involuntarily flash through my mind as Mama’s words come back to me like a sounding board that has followed me my entire life. She would often tell my sisters and me, “Don’t ever make yerself smaller to satisfy the needs of another.” Mama was always insightful and perceptive when it came to her children.

Oh, how I still miss her so, even to this day. I smile to myself, wishing my ears could hear that beautiful, rhythmic sound of Mama’s voice again, just one more time as a terrible memory of the last day I saw her alive flashes through my mind and I vigorously shake my head to dispel the thought.

When a heart breaks it does not break evenly – cleaving in half exactly down the middle. It breaks, jagged and rough, cutting one to the very core of their soul. And while things may appear perfectly normal to the naked eye, beneath the surface lies the real tragedy, fragmented and splintered beyond reconciliation. Heartbreak is not an innocuous pain, easily excused like a stomach ache. It is more insidious, spreading throughout ones’ system, like an infection. Merely closing my eyes to the pain does not eliminate it in the least.

Just breathe in, then breathe out and move forward, I remind myself. This simple little mantra is something I taught myself so many years ago, and it has gotten me through more than a few dire situations.

I was born Lara Flannigan, on the twenty-first day of April, in the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and thirty-three. Mama liked to tell me it was a beautiful spring morn, the day I was born, which would have been an unusual occurrence for that time of year.

Mama also said, “I knew ye were special and destined for greatness the moment ye took yer first breath, don’t ye know. Cause the sun poked out from behind the clouds with yer first breath of life. Why twere’ like the Heavens above truly recognized that an angel had been born to me,” she teased.

If truth be told, I believe mama told this exact story to each of her six children. But I loved hearing it nonetheless.

I was the sixth child of the seven children born to Rory and Laurel Flannigan, and I was named for my Da’s mother. Our days were long and our lives were hard, but our nights belonged to us. I never knew life could be anything other than what I had experienced. My world was very small in those days, so I never missed the things I didn’t have.

I am an Irish immigrant and I came to America at the tender age of thirteen, a disillusioned child, harshly mistreated by the very people entrusted with my care. I tell you this not to solicit your sympathies but to impart knowledge and gain your understanding, for I was a pitiful, angry child who was unaware of how many things in my life were about to change. People meeting me today might say that I was more fortunate than most. Yet they would never have heard my story nor known that I suffered in silence. I did not wear my pain, like a badge of honor, but kept it deep inside of me, hidden away from the prying eyes of others.

Fear has made me keep my story to myself. I was afraid of the repercussions from the actions I took in the name of survival, when my whole world fell apart. Furthermore, I feared the behavior of peers, those who would use the circumstance of my birthplace and subsequent difficulties to hold me back or bludgeon me with my story like a weapon.

For many years I have pushed from my thoughts memories of home and all that happened there. And yet, every now and again I indulge myself with less painful memories of the past, that push their way to the surface, and I give myself permission to embrace them, loving, bold, nostalgic memories that are impossible to forget. This is especially true today as I find myself waiting, yet another day, for a ship to come in, one that I thought would never arrive upon these great American shores.

Oh, I have everything a person could ever desire. Enough food to ward off hunger for a lifetime. Good health, a beautiful home, fashionable clothes, and the love of my family. I truly have every comfort one could want at my disposal, yet still, I long to recover the missing pieces of myself torn from me the day I left my native land of Ireland. A loss that can still be keenly felt whenever I lay my head down upon my pillow at night. And even though I am far from familiar old haunts, I swear I hear the land beckoning to me in my dreams, calling from across the ocean, summoning me home to the cliffs of Dunmore Head on the westernmost shores of Ireland. Closing my eyes now, I can still recall the smell and taste of the breeze on my tongue and the tangy feel of her salty sea air as it mixes with the sweet scents of wildflowers growing on her craggy cliffs.

The memories grab hold of my soul, leaving me longing for home, even more this day.

“Ireland,” I whisper, as it all comes flooding back to me — the green grassy moors waving in the gentle breeze like waves on the ocean. I can still feel the way the grass tickled my bare feet when I walked upon it.

In my mind’s eye I can see the ancient moss-covered rocks and hills that seem to roll on forever, and the overwhelmingly familiar smells of home assault my senses and kindle even more longing inside me. Peat moss burning in the hearth, the earthy smells of fresh mud coming from our simple thatched roofed dwelling, built from wattle and daub that plastered the rocks and boulders in place to form walls. The rain that often leaked upon my head in the middle of the night whenever a storm blew in just right. The way the sweet earthy tones mingled with the bitter as they played across my tongue whenever I chewed on a blade of grass.

Vivid, sweet memories wash over me, transporting me back in time as I see myself as a little girl, sitting in the middle of a field of tall grass, watching with fascination as the wind blew the grass to-and-fro. Then I see myself laughing and playing among the cliffs again with my best friend, Jamie. There are so many precious and sweet memories that I had denied myself for so long.

I swallow hard to push down the lump that forms in my throat. I can recall every ridge, crag, twig, and moss-covered rock that littered our unyielding plot of land.

There were so many afternoons spent upon those cliffs, basking in the glorious sun after bathing in the ocean with Mama and my two sisters. Alana loved tickling me just to hear me laugh while I lay upon the warm cliffs, soaking up the last glorious rays of sunlight. A cool breeze would kick up, washing over my skin, and chilling my flesh with her gentle touch. Those were the days I thought would never end, and it is those same sweet memories that now make me mourn the loss of them all the more.

I shake my head quickly, dispelling any more memories of the past as I hold back more tears, attempting to keep them from escaping. Swiping at the unfortunate few that trickle down my cheeks, I feel anxious and frustrated all at the same time.

Please do not mistake my tears for weakness, for they convey more than mere words are able and can express so many different emotions.

One should never assume that there is only one reason to shed them. There are tears caused by overwhelming grief and pain and tears of contrition. There are tears of joy and love, or tears of annoyance caused by situations that are beyond your control. Yet my tears today are a culmination of so many different emotions that are simply hard for me to put into words.

Book Info:

Genre:  Historical Romance, Young Adult, Sweet Historical

Release Date:  January 4, 2019

Pre-order Purchase Link:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/bMQjzV

Wow! ♥♥♥ This looks like quite an emotional read!😉

The story should appeal to Christians, young adults, and any readers who enjoy sweet romance tales…

Thank you for telling us about your new book, Diane! I know we all can’t wait to read this YA romance! 🙂

 

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this sweet historical tale!

Author Bio

Diane Merrill Wigginton was born in Riverside, California in 1963. Her family moved to San Diego near the end of 1970, where she grew up in the newly developed community of Mira Mesa. Spending portions of her summers each year in Burly, Idaho with her mother’s parents, Florence and Orval Merrill, Diane developed a love of animals and a respect for the land. It was during this time on the farm riding horses, herding cattle and taming wild kittens that Diane also developed a love of storytelling. She dreamed that one day she would become a published author and tell her stories to the world. Having spent her entire life in California, Diane and her husband made the move from Sacramento, California to Kalispell, Montana to retire in February 2018. Now she is able to pursue her passion of writing books full-time.

“I am thrilled and elated to be doing what I love.”

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Book Release, Books, coming soon, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, new release, Readers, Romance, sweet romance, Young Adult

Exclusive Interview with author Karina Bartow, plus a look at contemporary romance, FORGETTING MY WAY BACK TO YOU!

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

We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with the talented author of contemporary romance, Forgetting My Way Back to You. Please join me in welcoming Karina Bartow to ILRB! 🙂

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

Author Karina Bartow:  Hi, Marie! I really enjoy your blog and your love of romance.

Marie:  Aww, thanks! It’s such a pleasure to see you here!

I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.

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

I know I’m overloading you with questions, but we’re really interested in finding out more about you…

Karina:  I’m a full-time author, and I write love stories and mysteries. I enjoy it very much, but you’ll have to ask my readers if I’m good at it!

Marie:  (Laughs.) I’m sure your books are great, at least judging by what I’ve noticed so far. 😉

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Karina:  My parents have been married for forty-five years, and I have an older sister. She and her husband have an eleven-year-old son, so I enjoy being an aunt.

Marie:  Nice!

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?

Karina:  It was a simple ranch when I was born, but we added a second story and turned it into a Cape Cod style. We live in the country with an acre of land, which gives me good space to drive my prized possession, my golf cart.

Marie:  Awesome!

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

Karina:  Like any girl, I love to shop, but I have a sporty side, too, and I’m a big baseball fan. I also really enjoy listening to music and reading.

Marie:  Wow! Such an eclectic blend of pastimes!

Shopping is my Achilles heel. If I have any spare money, I can get myself into trouble 😉

So…what is your greatest dream?

Karina:  To have a family of my own.

Marie:  Oh, me too! I can’t have biological children, so when my fiancé and I get married, we’ll have to get a little creative.

The closest I’ve come so far is adopting kitties. 😛

But I think life has a way of surprising you just when you need it the most. ♥

Let’s try another question.

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

Karina:  I wish I could be someone who, as they say, doesn’t sweat the small stuff. I don’t know what holds me back. Probably age and circumstances.

Marie:  I know what you mean…I wish I could be a bit more casual about everything. I can get too serious about the stuff going on in my life.

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

Not to pry too much, but who was your first love?

Karina:  Dean Cain in his Lois & Clark days. Needless to say, it was unrequited!

Marie:  (Laughs.) OMG, how did I forget that? I was nuts about him when I watched that show. Those dimples were to die for! 😉

Let’s try something else now.

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

Karina:  Frankly, my disability. I was born with Cerebral Palsy and have tried to make the most of my life, but it affects every part of it. I don’t wallow in that, but I can’t say I’m thankful for it, either.

Marie:  Oh, no! 😥 I’m so sorry you have to deal with that, and I can’t blame you for getting discouraged. I have epilepsy, and I’ve definitely had to shape my life around that disability.

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

[Karina 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?

Karina:  To be a published author, and of course, I did achieve it!  It hasn’t been what I expected in that it’s not as glamorous as Hollywood makes it look. Unless you’re well-known, you don’t get a nationwide book tour or a call from Oprah. Authors have to put in a lot of time marketing their work, but I’ve come to enjoy that.Marie:  True enough! I don’t think most people realize how difficult it is to make a name for yourself in the publishing world.

So, who is your role model, Karina?

Karina:  My parents.

Marie:  Lovely! I know my folks were definitely an influence on my outlook with regards to how ‘love’ should be, and I can blame them for my interest in writing romance. At least a little. (Chuckles.)

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Karina:  Nobody truly likes everyone they meet, but I try to be polite, regardless. Some test that, though!

Marie:  For sure! But I like your attitude…we need more of that in the world these days. 😀

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Karina:  To be faithful to God.

Marie:  All right.

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

Karina:  Clowns!

Marie: 😯 Wow, I didn’t see that one coming! Though I guess they are a bit freaky.

I want to try something different next, Karina… 

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

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

Karina:  Charlee works as a physical therapist at a senior center, where her dad lives. She moonlights as a trainer for her alma mater’s football team. At age 29, she’s still single, quietly holding a torch for her high school sweetheart.

Marie:  Nice! I love second chance stories!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Karina:  She’s loyal and devoted to her family.

Marie:  Commendable, of course!

And what are her greatest weaknesses?

Karina:  She can act in haste, which sometimes leads to disaster.

Marie:  Okay…

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of her favorite foods?

Karina:  Brownies, coffee, and ice cream—anything sweet!

Marie:  (Chuckles.) Oh, I definitely have a sweet tooth too!

How about another question?

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

Karina:  She’s open-minded and trusts people, often giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Marie:  Not such a bad trait!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Karina:  I hope they’ll like her because of her mix of innocence, tenacity, and caring nature.

Marie:  Works for me!

Now that we have a real taste of Charlee, we have a few questions for you as well as the author, about the writing process of your book.

What first gave you the idea for Forgetting My Way Back to You?

Karina:  Forgetting My Way Back to You is comprised of parts of my first book, which was about a woman who developed selective amnesia after a head trauma. As young as I was—eighteen—when I started, I’d already experienced some events I wouldn’t have minded forgetting, just to be free of that baggage. Thus, like many stories, it began with the elusive ‘What if?’.

Marie:  Gotcha! Many of my stories launched that way.

Interesting how the muse works, huh?

Let’s try something else.

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

Karina:  Pantster all the way! I enjoyed improv in high school drama class, and that’s how I write. It’s all extemporaneous. I think on where I am in the story throughout my day and sit down with a generic idea of where I want to go, but I never know the details until I’m in the moment.

Marie:  Sounds like quite a ride!

How about another question?

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

Karina:  It took me nine years from the time I started it to when I signed the contract, so it was a long process. As far as writing it went, I couldn’t find satisfaction in it for a good while, and I think my maturity level played into that. I didn’t have enough experience to write good conflict, so it kept coming out as pretty childish. All in all, though, I wouldn’t change it because I learned a lot about myself and my craft.

Marie:  I know what you mean. My first historical romance took me nine years to write too, and I definitely matured as a woman throughout the experience. 

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 Forgetting My Way Back to You appears to be. Congratulations on your new release, since it just came out in mid-October!

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this modern romance by Karina Bartow, a talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for Forgetting My Way Back to You:

When Charlee Stoll loses all memory of him, Hunter Jett knows his mistakes led to this moment. Though tempted to give up on their future together, he’s determined to use the twist to right his wrongs.

Through charm and deception, can he win back her love…before she discovers the truth?

Karina is also offering us a peek of the book!

After finishing off the Tuscan chicken and other treats from the buffet table, Hunter and Charlee wandered outside to look at the estate’s breathtaking gardens. In the last seconds of daylight, the colorful flowers’ bright petals stood out under the darkening sky. The staff members around them were busy deconstructing the sites where the two ceremonies had taken place and didn’t notice them at all. A few other guests strolled the grounds, too, but on such a large property, they crossed paths just once with each of them, leaving them alone for the most part.

They came upon a stone bridge, which no doubt had played a part in many weddings and photos over the years, and the two stopped to observe the scene. With the sun dipping out of sight, the stars came out in full display. The lit-up mansion softened the aura of everything that much more, showcasing the late Pennsylvania summer at its best.

“I didn’t think it could look any more beautiful,” Charlee mused aloud.

Hunter wanted to tell her that he thought the same every time he saw her, but he feared it would intimidate her.

“How’d you know about this place, anyways?”

He contemplated his reply, again worrying his honest answer would force her away, but he took the chance. “My grandfather took my grandma here on their first date, and because he’d heard the story of how it swept her off her feet, my dad gave it a try with Mom. Considering that my grandparents stayed together for over sixty years and my folks just celebrated their thirtieth, I figured it’d be a good choice. It beats taking you to a dance where everyone’s pushing us apart, at least.”

“Yes, that’s where we went wrong,” she joked. “But can crashing a wedding set us up much better?”

Hunter chuckled and shrugged his shoulders. “Well, if my family’s tradition doesn’t work out, maybe your dad’s motto will come true: ‘It isn’t about the way you started…’”

“‘It’s the way you finish that matters.’” She completed the proverb her dad had drilled into her head since her days of learning to walk.

He gave her a considering look, trying to discern how far he should take the romancing, before he extended his hand. “Speaking of which…”

She’d resisted taking his hand the whole evening, but she relented, letting him lead her back towards the carriage house. He veered off to the side instead of going into the building, where they could hear the opening words of ‘Wonderful Tonight’ playing inside. He took hold of her, and they danced under the moon the way they had years earlier.

“Was any of this an accident?”

“I may have made a request to the deejay,” he remarked with a grin. “Other than that, though, I could only hope you’d agree to come here with me. That said, I don’t think you and I being together can ever be called an accident.”

History repeated itself once more when he leaned in to kiss her. The same sparks flew, but this time, they glowed brighter.

Wow! I’m curious to find out what happens next in this book… 😀

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/bWzOPq

Publisher:  https://www.vinspirepublishing.com/forgettingmywabacktoyou

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this contemporary romance! ♥♥♥

About Karina Bartow

Karina Bartow grew up and still lives in Northern Ohio. Though born with Cerebral Palsy, she’s never allowed her disability to define her. Rather, she’s used her experiences to breathe life into characters that have physical limitations, but like her, are determined not to let them stand in the way of the life they want. Her debut novel, Husband in Hiding, was released in 2015 and was well-received by readers. She’s excited about her new love story, Forgetting My Way Back to You, available now from Vinspire Publishing. She may only be able to type with one hand, but she writes with her whole heart!

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the fascinating Karina Bartow, here are some author links:

Website:  http://www.karinabartow.com/

Blog:  https://karinabartow.wordpress.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KarinaBartow

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Karina-Bartow/e/B076L4FCGV/

https://amzn.to/2RyZIz9

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15045283.Karina_Bartow

Google+:   https://plus.google.com/117505120642906778021

Once again, I want to thank Karina Bartow, the brilliant author of this romance, for stopping by!  It was a pleasure to have you here! Readers, check out her work!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Release, Books, characters, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Interview, new release, Readers, Romance, Second Chances, small town, Writing

A Character Interview with Darryl from BLESSED plus a conversation with author Maggie Blackbird!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. I know it’s been a while since we did one of these. If you remember, we interviewed Amber Daulton’s character back on June 7th, and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Maggie Blackbird, the author of Blessed, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Darryl Keejik, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Maggie in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Darryl!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Character Darryl Keejik:  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?

Darryl:  Sure.

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

Darryl:  I’m the self-governance coordinator for the reserve. I’d say I’m very good at what I do. I’ve been in this field since I graduated university. I’ve worked for two other aboriginal organizations in Winnipeg before I returned home to Ottertail Lake to help my Ojibway community work towards developing their own model for governing the band.

Marie:  All right.

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Darryl:  There’s only my aunt and I. I’ll leave it at that.

Marie:  Okay…I sense there’s a story here, but I won’t push.

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?

Darryl:  It’s one of the first homes built on the reserve, made from logs and constructed by my great-grandfather. My grandfather installed the hardwood floors. It’s nothing elaborate. A simple two-bedroom home with a wood-burning stove for heat.

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

Darryl:  I enjoy fishing, hunting, trapping, hiking, and camping. I’m an outdoorsman at heart.

Marie: Nice!

So, what is your greatest dream?

Darryl:  For the Anishinaabe Nation to become a sovereign nation as we once were before.

Marie:  (Nods.) I see…

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

Darryl:  I wish I could be more forgiving, but after what my people experienced at the hands of the government and religious institutions, it’s a little hard to be that person.

Marie: That makes sense.

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

Who was your first love?

Darryl:  Emery Matawapit.

Marie: Aww. I love romance. ♥

So…not to be a downer, but I do have a pretty deep question next.

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

Darryl:  Losing my whole family in a boating accident. My parents were drunk, going for supplies. I was at home with my aunt, only four, and too young to go.

Marie:  Oh, no! I’m so sorry! 😥

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

[Darryl 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?

Darryl:  As I said, my dream was to help my people become a sovereign nation. I’m still working on that dream. It’s a little hard to achieve when band members at our reserve practice different…spiritual ways and have differing beliefs, such as the Matawapit family.

Marie:  I understand.

So, who is your role model, Darryl?

Darryl:  Basil Skunk. He’s the elder for the Traditionalists Society.

Marie: Okay.

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Darryl:  I tolerate Deacon Matawapit. We play our little game of politeness.

Marie:  Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Darryl:  A family of my own.

Marie:  Oh, yes, I think a lot of people want that…

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

Darryl:  That I’ll never have a family of my own.

Marie: I have that fear as well. Having kids would be almost impossible for me medically, unless I decide to adopt.

I’m so fortunate you were comfortable enough to tell me everything.

Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Darryl. 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 Maggie Blackbird on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Maggie!

Author Maggie Blackbird:  Hi, Marie! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.

Marie: Of course! I love to have authors on ILRB. 😀

So, we just got to talk to a male character from your story, Darryl Keejik. Quite an interesting character. He’s a little tight-lipped and stoic. Can you tell us more about him?

Maggie:  Well, as you can see, your interview hit a few nerves with Darryl. He’s having some problems reconciling the past with the present. He’s an inter-generational survivor of the Indian Residential Schools. But I’m rooting for him. Darryl’s a fighter. He won’t give up.

Marie:  Admirable, of course!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Maggie:  His ability to lead. Although Darryl’s stubborn and opinionated, he has a great ability to listen, once he gets past his anger.

Marie:  Oh, we could definitely use better listening skills in the world. Everyone is all ready to jump at the next person for each little thing.

And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?

Maggie:  His inability to forgive. Darryl holds on to past hurts. He’s all about the grudge.

Marie:  Ah. Well, I’m sure some of our readers can relate. It’s not always easy to let go.

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of Darryl’s favorite foods?

Maggie:  Darryl loves his aunt’s homemade moose stew and bannock. He also enjoys a good shore lunch of walleye, pan-fried potatoes, and corn when he’s out on the lake.

Marie:  Sounds delicious!

How about another question?

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

Maggie:  Darryl doesn’t realize how much love he has to offer others. His resentments stop him from becoming a great leader, because he sincerely loves his people and wants to see them succeed.

Marie:  All right.

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Maggie:  It’s a little hard to say.  Some enjoy Darryl, others find him a bit of a jerk at the beginning of the book. Darryl’s an emotional and passionate man with a big chip on his shoulder. His childhood wasn’t the greatest, growing up without a family and raised by his alcoholic aunt who’s an extremely bitter woman. I’d say she passed on a lot of her bitterness to Darryl.

Marie: Okay, that makes sense…

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

What first gave you the idea for Blessed?

Maggie:  I come up with ideas based on the problems the Indigenous People of Canada face. Then I put a spin of “what if” on it.

Marie:  Awesome! Isn’t it fascinating how the muse works? 😉

Let’s try something else.

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

Maggie:  I call myself a planster – part panster and part planner. I always have a logline and blurb, my GMC, character arc, and sketches done. But I’m no BIG planner down to the details of chapter goals, scene goals, et cetera. The characters determine those.

Marie:  Nice!

How about another question?

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

Maggie:  Finding a publisher was hard because Blessed doesn’t fit a specific niche, and publishers do have their niches. It’s heavy on religion and spirituality, but doesn’t fit inspirational or Christian fiction because there are some very explicit adult sexual scenes, and profanity. As for doing anything differently, it is what it is. Darryl and Emery wrote their story, and I typed what they had to say. I’m not a writer. I take dictation for my characters. LOL!

Marie:  (Smiles.) Yeah…sometimes I think the characters are directing the story more than I am.

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 Blessed appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this sexy MM multicultural romance with a slight inspirational angle by Maggie Blackbird, a very talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for Blessed, book one of the Matawapit Family Series:

A mixed-blood Catholic seminarian struggles to discern his true calling:  the priesthood or his ex-lover, a proud but damaged Ojibway man.

It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man. In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.

Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered: the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon, and he intends on using his newfound power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and the church.

Hoping to save the church, Emery races home. But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life: please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.

An erotic spiritual journey…

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

“You see what?” Darryl slapped his thigh. “Dammit, I’m trying to figure out why Basil asked me to talk to you first, instead of Clayton and the kids, ‘cause I knew we’d end up argu—”

“Basil asked you to speak to me?” Great, Darryl hadn’t phoned on his own accord. The elder had forced him to meet Emery.

“Yeah.”

A coward slunk away. A man of courage fought for what he wanted. Emery stood tall. “I appreciate your consideration. Why’d you listen to Basil?”

Darryl continued to glare.

Emery forced a chuckle. Maybe teasing would relieve the tension between them. “I’ve never known you to listen to anyone.”

“I always listen to Basil.” Darryl’s tone could cut rocks.

The anger permeating the air had nothing to do with Clayton, the protest, or Annie. Emery sucked in a breath. “What do you want me to do? Take off my clothes? Is that what I have to do to make you happy?”

“Sarcasm isn’t what I expected from you.” Darryl cocked his brow. “Fine. Take them off. Take them all off. If you need help, I got two willing hands.”

Ripe heat kissed the flesh buried beneath Emery’s underwear. His skin shimmered hot and cold. “I guess… guess I was right.”

“Wrong.”

As Darryl continued to glare, an irritating prickle sprang up at the nape of Emery’s neck. He scratched the mosquito bite.

Darryl turned and stomped around the four-wheeler, his breaths huffing and puffing. “I promised myself I wouldn’t behave like Saint Kateri’s father did. The thing is—I am.”

His face reddened. He kicked the rear wheel of the machine. “You make me so goddamned mad. Fine. I’ll let the youth down. I’ll let Clayton and the Traditionalists Society call me a traitor. And I’ll most likely lose the next election ‘cause I tossed my integrity out the door. Bottom line. I’ll do anything to make you happy. You come before anything that means everything to me.”

Darryl dug out his keys. “And even though I put your feelings first, I don’t expect you to do the same. Go ahead and love your god till the end of time.”

Had a tornado torn through the powwow grounds? This wasn’t how they were supposed to resolve the problem. Emery forced out the words caught in his throat. “Wh-what are you talking about?”

Darryl slid onto the four-wheeler. He jammed the key into the ignition. The engine roared to life. His eyes matched the snarl of the machine. “I’m voting in favor of paying the church’s hydro bill.”

When he revved the throttle, Emery leapt forward. “Oh, no you don’t. You’re not leaving me to eat dust again.” He clamped his hand over Darryl’s.

“You said you’re voting for the church to make me happy.” Emery kept his hand put or he might get run over. “As much as I appreciate what you’re doing, I won’t let you compromise your beliefs. My savior wouldn’t approve. Neither do I. I can’t be happy at another’s expense. At your expense.”

“And what about the people you spoke about earlier?” Darryl’s hand tensed beneath Emery’s. “Your parents? The others who go to church? If you let me vote, they’ll be happy. Don’t they count?”

“The Lord is their savior. They wouldn’t want you to compromise your beliefs, either.” Emery squeezed Darryl’s fingers. “Please, listen to me.”

Jaw clenched, Darryl scowled at the sky.

A few seconds passed. Emery’s heart ceased to beat for a moment. Now what was going through the head of the most stubborn person in the world?

“You got a million mosquitoes swarming you.” The fire in Darryl’s eyes vanished. “We can finish talking at my place.”

Emery’s heart swelled. His happiness did come first. Wait a second. He couldn’t go to the house. People would talk—especially the protesters. For sure they’d call Darryl a traitor.

The word no sat on the tip of Emery’s tongue. He swallowed. If he objected, he’d offend Darryl again. “‘Sure.”

Intriguing! Love the tension. ♥♥♥ Can’t wait to read this book…🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/4AYy8o

Publisher:  http://www.extasybooks.com/maggie-blackbird/978-1-4874-1973-8-blessed/

Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40722164-blessed

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this great MM romance! ♥

About Maggie Blackbird

An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes. When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.

Book:

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

Website/Blog:  http://maggieblackbird.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BlackbirdMaggie/

Amazon Author Page:  https://amzn.to/2CJUAEs

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18176196.Maggie_Blackbird

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/105368516440582848319

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/maggie-blackbird-032798169/

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/maggie-blackbird

Publisher:  http://www.extasybooks.com/maggie-blackbird/

 

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Darryl, a male character from Blessed, and Maggie Blackbird, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, characters, Contemporary, Erotica, Event, Faith, family, Fiction, Guest Writer, Interview, LGBT, Multicultural/Interracial, Readers, Romance, Writing

Book Feature: The Milanese Stars by author Pamela Q. Fernandes

I am pleased to announce a great book by Pamela Q. Fernandes, an author I met during my journey! She’s stopping by to tell us about her thrilling romantic suspense, The Milanese Stars, which released back in June!

Woo hoo! It’s always fun to discover new authors and books. 😀

Pamela is allowing us a look at her mysterious, suspenseful romance, The Milanese Stars, today.

Intriguing cover!

This is the blurb for The Milanese Stars:

The heist of the decade and yet, no one would have guessed… it was her.
The Milanese Stars are missing from the famous Buccatino boutique. When American insurance investigator, Samuel Keane is called in to liaise with the polizia, he finds the whole heist odd. Not only are the Milanese Stars, a set of five pink diamonds, not listed in the inventory of stolen items, worse, none of the surrounding owners witnessed a thing.
Samuel is anxious to solve the case and partners with local café owner, Vita, who has a very good vantage point to watch Buccatino.
As Samuel digs further into the history of the stars, he discovers Vita’s friends and her physically challenged sister are all connected to them.
The more Samuel investigates, the more dangers he and Vita face.
What will he do when he learns the heist of the decade isn’t about stealing pink diamonds… it’s about settling the score!

And here is an excerpt to tease you with.

Vita laid out the glossy brioches and colorful macaroons at the Café Milano, located on Via Rosa street, in time for the swarming tourists of Milan. The summer months proved good for business in Italy, but more so in Milan, when the music festivals, exhibitions, and the seas beckoned people from all over the world. Their exploration of this historical city fueled by food and drink from her café meant more money in the till. Hearing it ring made her heart skip.

These days another kind of tourist swarmed the area—Polizia. Hundreds of them. Ever since the renowned Buccatino store had been pinched last week, the place teemed with them. Pinched was an understatement, since the Carabinieri marched up and down the street too, flashing their badges and lights.

The door chimed. Vita looked up from the display counter and put a cup under the espresso machine. Half expecting her regular customers, she stood stunned when she saw the tall man in his tailored suit and polished leather shoes walking toward the counter. There was something different about him. He had an air of confidence as if he was used to being in command. His black suit fit snugly across his broad shoulders. The scent of his cologne hit her hard, a combination of pine forest and mandarin. He belonged to a different set. His kind of crowd didn’t come to her café for their morning cuppa.

Vita said the first thing that came to her mind. “Bon Giorno.” She took in the etched cheekbones, the strong nose, and the cleft in his jaw. His hair was a dark chestnut brown, combed to the left, and his eyes were whirlpools of gray with flecks of black.

He smiled. “Good morning, Madam. Can I get a cappuccino?” he asked, bending down to observe the display. “You got lots of delicious things here, but what’s the sweetest thing you have?” She noticed his eyes drift to her lips.

“It depends entirely on your taste,” she said, flashing her dimples at him. He was cute, she had to admit. He’d dressed in an exquisitely cut suit over a snowy white shirt and a thin blue satin tie. He was tall and lean. As he tapped his long fingers on the display, she couldn’t help noticing his engraved cuff links. And he didn’t have a ring on his left hand. Christmas had come early. She boxed in her excitement. He stepped closer to the counter and his scent filtered to her; she could almost taste him. If she were a dog, she would have drooled all over him. But she was Vita. Goofy, silly Vita.

“How about the salted caramel macaroon. I love sweet stuff.”

“Good choice,” she said, quickly regaining her senses, although her heart galloped with the mild flirtation. Heat suffused her. Did she just flirt back with him? Her? Maybe it was his cologne. Gosh, it drove her crazy.

“Would you like to have it here or take away?”

“Takeaway, please. I’m in a bit of a rush.” His eyes glanced over her café.

His deep, timbered voice, caused goose pimples to flare all over her. She observed him from the corner of her eye. He wasn’t a tourist, but he wasn’t Italian. His twangy accent revealed he was an American, but he wasn’t sightseeing.

Fear seized her. Could he be with the police? They didn’t dress like him though. They couldn’t afford to, and if they could, they wouldn’t flaunt it in public. Curiosity got the better of her, but she went with her gut, and her gut told her to keep her mouth shut.

“There you go,” she said. His fingers brushed against hers as he handed her three euros. She held her gasp and made a receipt. She itched to ask him who he was and what he was doing here. A million questions raced through her mind, the most important one being, ‘Do you have a girlfriend or do you even like women?’

She exercised restraint, biting her lip.

“That’s your receipt, and have a nice day, Sir.”

“I will. Thank you.” He paused. “Do you serve meals?”

“Yes, after eleven thirty, when the lunch hour crowd comes in.”

“I’ll be seeing more of you then,” he said and left. She watched him march out of the café onto the road. Women were turning their heads. Men nodded at him. Even old women smiled at him. She took two steps to the window and saw him walk to Buccatino’s—Don Giovanni’s diamond store. It sat diagonally opposite her café, across the junction.

Warning bells clanged in her mind. So, the handsome hunk had something to do with the store. The less she saw of him, the better. Because if he was here to catch the thief, he didn’t have to look too far.

Purchase Links:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/mBP5AO

Publisher:  https://touchpointpress.ecwid.com/The-Milanese-Stars-p105503897

Wow! ♥♥♥ Love the tension. This looks like quite a tale!

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

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book! 🙂 Or you can add it to Goodreads!

Author Bio

Pamela Q. Fernandes is an author, doctor and medical writer. She writes romantic suspense, contemporary romance, women’s fiction, Christian non-fiction and speculative fiction. She also hosts the Christian Circle Podcast.

Pamela is the author of Seoul-Mates, Cinders of Castlerea, The Milanese Stars, Under A Scottish Sky, and Ten Reminders for the Single Christian Woman. She loves to practice the keyboard and bake brownies. In her free time, she binges on British crime shows and Hallyu dramas. You can find out more about her at her website.

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Mystery, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Writing

A Character Interview with Mason from ARRESTING MASON plus a conversation with author Amber Daulton!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. I know it’s been a while since we did one of these. If you remember, we interviewed Remy Marie’s character back on February 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 Amber Daulton, the author of Arresting Mason, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Mason Harding, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Amber in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Mason!

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

Character Mason Harding:  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?

Mason:  Sure.

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

Mason:  I’m a mechanic, and yeah, I’m pretty damn good at the job. I like it too. My dad taught me everything I know about cars, and even though we don’t talk anymore, I’m still grateful to him for showing me the ropes. In all honesty, I didn’t plan to be a grease monkey growing up—in fact, I never really thought about the future when I was a stupid teen—but then I landed in prison and everything changed. A few years before my parole, I participated in an automotive work/study program to brush up on my rusty skills.

Marie:  All right.

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Mason:  My big brother, Alan, is supportive but overprotective. After all the crap I’ve put him through, though, I understand why he watches over me like I’m still a kid. Alan’s son, Danny, is adorable. I love my nephew to death, and I’m determined to not set a bad example for him. My parents and I are estranged. Alan is pressuring me into making amends with Mom, but I don’t think it’ll happen any time soon.

Marie:  Oh, no! How unfortunate! 😦

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?

Mason:  It was just a typical two-story, cookie-cutter house in suburbia. You know the type: a big yard to play in, flowerbeds lining the foundation, and nosy neighborhoods. The best thing about my home was that it was only a few blocks from the city’s downtown area, but I guess that wasn’t a good thing after all. I got into way too much trouble back then, and most everything was within walking distance.

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

Mason:  Besides work, which I really enjoy, I like to exercise and read. I picked up both hobbies while locked up, and they seemed to have stuck now that I’m on the outside. I like to keep my body in good shape because I never know if some creep from my past will find me and make trouble. I read when I need to wind down after a stressful day. Disappearing into another world helps take my mind off my problems, you know.

Marie:  I know what you mean! 😉

So, what is your greatest dream?

Mason:  I’d like to stay out of trouble, permanently, and just live my life with Mia at my side. She’s a wonderful woman and doesn’t deserve any of the bad stuff that’s happened to her. If I could forever keep her safe, I’d be happy.

Marie:  (Nods.) That makes sense…

Let’s try another question.

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

Mason:  I want to be a good husband, and I want to give Mia a few babies, but I’m not looking forward to telling my kids about my prison sentence. I’m not necessarily ashamed of my past, but I don’t want my son or daughter to look at me differently after they would know the whole story.

Marie: Well, when they’re grown enough to understand, I think they’ll respect you for making your life better after what you went through.

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

Who was your first love?

Mason:  I’ve had a lot of girlfriends before I met Mia, but never loved them. I cared about them, sure, but after being cheated on a few times, I’d learned to step out first before the girl I cared about stabbed me in the back. I regret doing so, and I’ve vowed to Mia to never hurt her like that. She’s my first love, and I know better than to throw away her trust.

Marie: Aww. I understand that. ♥

So…not to be a downer, but I do have a pretty deep question next.

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

Mason:  Most people in my situation would probably say going to prison, but not me. The most terrible thing I ever did was when I robbed a liquor store with some friends. I knew it was wrong, but did it anyway. That mistake affected the outcome of my life, and there’s a part of me that wishes I could take it back.

Then again, I don’t think I would change anything I’ve ever done or had done happen to me because I’m happy right now. I have Mia and a great job, and I probably wouldn’t have either without doing the mistakes I’ve made.

Marie:  That’s true!

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

[Mason 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?

Mason:  Like I said earlier, I didn’t think about the future growing up. I just wanted to have fun and that backfired on me.

Marie:  I see.

So, who is your role model, Mason?

Mason:  Don’t have one.

Marie: Gotcha!

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Mason:  No, I’m a pretty honest guy. If I don’t like you, I’ll tell you. No pretending for me.

Marie:  That’s refreshing!

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Mason:  Just to live a good life under the radar from cops and criminals alike.

Marie:  Sounds like a plan!

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

Mason:  That I’ll mess up and land back in prison. Alan and Mia would never forgive me for it, so I try my best to stay out of trouble.

Marie: All right.

I’m so glad you were comfortable enough to tell me everything.

Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Mason. 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 Amber Daulton on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Amber!

Author Amber Daulton:  Hi, Marie! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.

Marie: Of course! I love to have authors on ILRB. 😀

So, we just got to talk to a male character from your story, Mason Harding. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about him?

Amber:  Mason is a very frustrating character. He’s so stubborn with a temper a mile wide, but then he can be so sweet and caring. He definitely swept his lady love, Mia, off her feet.

Marie:  Nice!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Amber:  When he puts his mind to something, he never gives up, no matter the obstacles in his way.

Marie:  How admirable!

And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?

Amber:  His temper. He gets upset way too easily and says things he regrets.

Marie:  Ah. Well, I’m sure some of our readers can relate. It’s not always easy to avoid confrontation.

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of Mason’s favorite foods?

Amber:  Anything, really. After being in prison, he’s not picky.

Marie:  Okay.

How about another question?

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

Amber:  His ability to love. Though Mason wants to be a good person, he doesn’t think he deserves to have a woman show him unconditional love and acceptance. But when he loves someone, he doesn’t let anything stop him from showing and proving it.

Marie:  Great!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Amber:  Mason has made a ton of mistakes—everyone has to one degree or another—but he’s ready to change and move on with his life. I think a lot of readers could relate to that, and they’ll like him because he’s a good person beneath all the scars and tattoos.

Marie: Very true!

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

What first gave you the idea for Arresting Mason?

Amber:  A few years ago, I found a submission call for a bad boy anthology, and the stories were supposed to be pretty short. By the time I finished the first draft of my manuscript, I had exceeded the word count and still wanted to add more scenes. So I forgot all about the submission call and kept revising the manuscript until it clocked in at 80 thousand words and sparked ideas for more books, which is now a 5-book series.

For how I came up with the plot, I must thank my subconscious since I dreamed about it. For days after, I kept thinking about the hero, the heroine, and her brother, and the characters wouldn’t leave me in peace until I wrote out a rough plot line. Though it changed quite a bit as I put the dream down on paper (or rather computer), the main premise remained the same.

Marie:  Awesome! Isn’t is fascinating how the muse works? 😉

Let’s try something else.

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

Amber:  Both actually. I plot as much as I can, but I get new ideas once I start writing and I usually follow them.

Marie:  (Smiles.) Yeah…sometimes I think the characters are directing the story more than I am.

How about another question?

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

Amber:  The biggest challenge for me was the word count. As I already said, I needed to write a short story (around 15k word count), but ended up with a manuscript that was around 40k. Then I kept building on it to make it a full length novel. Weaving in all those new scenes was difficult and required lots of re-writing to scenes already done. The only thing I would probably do differently next time would be to plot better.

Marie:  I hear you. I’ve written myself into a corner with plots a time or two.

I was in your situation before as well. Once I had an anthology challenge too, and it was so hard to keep within those guidelines. I think as a writer, I don’t like to be boxed in. (Laughs.)

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 Arresting Mason appears to be. Sounds like it’s right my alley!

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this romantic suspense by Amber Daulton, a very talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for Arresting Mason:

Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.

Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.

When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?

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

“Which one is your car?” She glanced around the crowded parking lot. A few streetlights pushed back the darkness and shadows. The restaurant served customers until midnight on the weekends, but no one loitered in the lot, at least from what Mia could see.

“Don’t have one at the moment.” Mason hooked his thumbs in the belt loops of his jeans. “I took the bus. It stopped a few blocks from here.”

“Would you like a ride?” She pulled the car keys from her purse. “I feel a little ridiculous we met here tonight. I just wasn’t sure if you were some kind of freak.”

His eyebrow lifted, and he closed the distance between them as a tiger would zero in on its mate. A sexy, masculine smile curled his lips. “Have you made up your mind yet?”

“I’ll let you know in the morning.” Desire trickled down her spine. Mia nodded toward the passenger side of the car for him to hop in.

He confiscated her keys instead to unlock and open the driver’s side door for her like a gentleman. Then he leaned closer and nuzzled her temple with his nose.

Not sure if he planned to seduce her in the parking lot or if he merely wanted to tease her, Mia pressed her hand to his chest and tried to think straight. “You’re the first guy I’ve gone on a date with since my divorce. I haven’t slept with anyone since Evan.”

He tunneled his fingers through her wavy, chestnut-brown hair. “I haven’t dated anyone in a long time either. We’ll take it slow or fast, whatever you want, but I promise you one thing. After I’m done with you, you won’t even remember that bastard’s name.”

Oh, God. She almost melted right then and there. “Fast. I want you, Mason.”

“Take me to your place and you can have me.”

And some teasers!

Wow! Love the sexy tension. ♥♥♥ Can’t wait to read this book…🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07BHGMQRK

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

Publisher:  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5779-arresting-mason.html

Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39005064-arresting-mason

We’ll be sure to get a copy of this romantic suspense! ♥

About Amber Daulton

Writing is the fruit of happiness.

Amber Daulton lives her life by that one belief even though she normally isn’t so Zen.

As a fan of contemporary, paranormal, and historical romance novels alike, she can’t get enough of feisty heroines and alpha heroes. Her mind is a wonderland of adventure, laughter, and awesome ways of kicking a guy when he’s down. She probably wouldn’t be too sane without her computer and notebooks. After all, what’s a girl to do when people are jabbering away in her head and it’s hard to shut them up? Write! Nothing else works.

Books:

https://books2read.com/u/3nOgre
https://www.amazon.com/Callas-Summer-Fantasy-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B01G99PUB4/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_14?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932161&sr=1-14&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Beginnings-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B01IYI0AJK/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932135&sr=1-12&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Valentine-Adventure-Contemporary-Romance-Daulton-ebook/dp/B01BMSI3ZC/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932135&sr=1-8&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Cinderella-Treasure-Trove-Lynette-Sofras-ebook/dp/B019E764YA/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-2&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Mirrors-Time-Samna-Ghani-ebook/dp/B01709VVQA/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-7&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Honor-Mirrors-Time-Book-ebook/dp/B014G2IFJ0/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-9&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Cinderella-Body-Club-Collection-ebook/dp/B00YG0K1HW/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-3&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Cinderellas-Enchanted-Night-Cinderella-Body-ebook/dp/B00Y1DAIKE/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_11?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932179&sr=1-11&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Handmade-Christmas-Collection-Jennifer-Conner-ebook/dp/B00PUM5MQ0/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932464&sr=1-10&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Mistletoe-City-Handmade-Christmas-Book-ebook/dp/B00PE54JEE/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932725&sr=1-13&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Montana-Ranch-Willow-Lightning-Bennett-ebook/dp/B00OJ9LLJM/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932464&sr=1-1&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Lightning-Over-Bennett-Ranch-Collection-ebook/dp/B00KWEFP9K/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932464&sr=1-4&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Sexy-Romances-Short-Stories-ebook/dp/B00H2WPFVI/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932938&sr=1-15&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Heros-Heart-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B00GFCZI40/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932744&sr=1-6&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Forever-Winter-Amber-Daulton-ebook/dp/B00C2DWLWI/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932744&sr=1-5&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY
https://www.amazon.com/Marry-Merry-Christmas-Terry-Long/dp/1938076265/ref=la_B00ALQITWY_1_20?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1524932938&sr=1-20&refinements=p_82%3AB00ALQITWY

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AmberDaulton1

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/14JoZff

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6624921.Amber_Daulton

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

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/amber-daulton/87/538/368

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/amberdaulton5/

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

Publisher:  https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2362_amber-daulton

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Mason, a male character from Arresting Mason, and Amber Daulton, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! 😀

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, characters, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Interview, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Writing

Book Feature: Aurelius by author Jessika Klide

I am pleased to announce a great book by Jessika Klide, an author I met during my journey! She’s stopping by to tell us about her awesome modern erotic romance, Aurelius, which released back in September!

Woo hoo! It’s always fun to discover new authors and books. 😀

Jessika is allowing us a look at her sexy romance, Aurelius, today.

Hot cover!

This is the blurb for Aurelius, Book 5 of A Scorching Stripper’s Love Story:

It’s my turn. I’m ready. I want the “Golden God.” I choose Aurelius Moore.

F*ck, that’s a sexy name. I’m going to turn my Wild Thang loose on him because I know he can handle her.

When Aurei returns home from his military obligation at the same time Siri has been dropped off by the taxi, she turns up the heat determined to let their chemistry take them on a thunderous ride.
  
I’m going to scorch him, brand him, and make him mine! 
* – _ – * – _ * – _ – * – _ –  * – _ – * – _ * – _ – * – _ – * – _ –
This is a serial romance story that will take you on an unforgettable journey of true love between two soulmates. There is no cheating or deceiving. There are scandals and secrets! Each book is full of heart, humor and scorching heat!
And here is an excerpt to tease you with.

My eyes fall to his round ass and my palm starts to tingle. That is a perfect ass and I can’t wait to squeeze it and feel it in motion. When he stands up, he walks in front of me, and squats down. “Hop on. You can ride me.”

I laugh and think preview, sling my purse over my head and shoulder, push it to the back, and mount him piggyback style, wrapping myself around his neck and his waist. He hooks my legs with his arm and starts toward our building. The feeling of his muscular body moving under me, between my thighs with my pussy hanging just over that perfect fucking muscle, and the bounce of his step, is exquisite. I bury my face in his back enjoying the feel and smell of him, and I purr happily.

Oh my, Golden God! You ooze sex. Everything about you is perfection! 

Then I start to giggle.

“What’s so funny?”

I pull myself up to his neck. “My panty-less ass is hanging out of my dress.” He stops immediately, puts his hand back there and feels under my skirt touching my bare skin as I drop my legs to stand back up, giggling. “Not very ladylike.” As he turns around grinning, I pull the leather back over my booty. “My shoes, please.”

He drops the cooler where he stands, then scoops me off my feet.

Surprised to be lifted, an “Ohhh!” slips out of my mouth as he cradles me in his arms. I laugh, putting them around his neck again. “Is this necessary?”

“No, but you wanted a ride to the front door.”

“Ah, trickery,” I tease, studying his handsome profile as he starts walking again. “Hey, what about the cooler?”

“What about it?”

“Are you going to just leave it there?” I ask, staring over his shoulder.

“Affirmative.” Then he laughs down into my face. “That’s army talk for yep.”

I throw my head back and giggle hard. When I open my eyes again to enjoy his handsome profile, he isn’t watching where we are going. He is watching me and the gentle, but deeply passionate look on his face, wipes the smile off mine. His voice is husky when he says softly, “You are stunning, Siri. Simply stunning.”

My heart melts, but I can’t help but tease him. “Flattery will get you everywhere, Hard-Core.”

His grin is perfect. “Ah, how far will honesty take me then?”

I roll my eyes and look away. “Umm. It’s such a novel concept. Let me think about that.”

“Till the end of time?” The depth of his words aren’t lost on me, and my eyes are drawn to his.

“But time will never end.” I hear my own husky voice thick with passion answer.

His head tilts slightly and a sexy as fuck smile only teases his lips. “That’s the whole idea.”

Sweet Zeus! Try not to swoon, Siri. 

As well as some other teasers!

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B075H8G59L

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/aurelius-jessika-klide/1127127757?ean=2940155177708

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Aurelius/Jessika-Klide/9781976154072?id=7205747130327

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/804372

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/aurelius

IndieBound:  https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781976154072

Wow! ♥♥♥ Love the steamy tension. This looks like quite a tale!

And for a limited time, get books one and two for FREE on Amazon! 😉

Awesome! Thank you for telling us about your book, Jessika! I know I can’t wait to read this sexy romance series!

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book! 🙂 Or you can add it to Goodreads!

Author Bio

Jessika Klide is my pen name. I’m from LA … Lower Alabama. The Deep South. My mind is extremely sensuous, some call that slutty, so it’s just better to use a pen name. Trust me on this! 😉

I married my high school sweetheart and have been married to him longer than I have lived without him. He is not only my soulmate but my best friend, and what I have learned about love is that not all relationships are a struggle. When you find the right one, it is easy and fun!

“I believe lust and love form perfect unions and the stars do align for true love. Be unstoppable for love!”

If you’re looking for a story that will make you laugh and cry, lust and love, then come take a walk on the wild side and enjoy Siri and Aurei’s thunderous journey; where ultimate seduction and ultimate discipline clash for one hell of an explosive ride!

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Event, Fiction, Readers, Romance, steamy, Writing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marie:  Nice! 

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Suzanne:  Driven. Chaotic. Next question, please.

Marie:  Oh, I hear you there! 😉

Let’s try something else, okay?

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

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

Marie:  Great!

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

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

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

So…what is your greatest dream?

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

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

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

Let’s try another question.

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

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

Marie:  (Laughs.) Very true…

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

Who was your first love?

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

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

Let’s try something else now.

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

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

Marie:  Can’t blame you there!

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

[Suzanne nods.]

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

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

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

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

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

So, who is your role model, Suzanne?

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

Marie:  All right.

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

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

Marie:  No problem. I respect your privacy!

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

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

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

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

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

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

I want to try something different next, Suzanne… 

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

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

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

Marie:  I see.

So, what are your characters’ greatest strengths?

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

Marie:  Admirable for sure!

And what are her greatest weaknesses?

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

Marie:  Okay…

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of her favorite foods?

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

Marie:  (Chuckles.) Nice!

How about another question?

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

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

Marie:  Works for me!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

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

Marie: All right.

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

What first gave you the idea for Watched?

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

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

Interesting how the muse works, huh?

Let’s try something else.

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

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

Marie:  Sounds like quite a ride!

How about another question?

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

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

Marie:  Okay.

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

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

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

Here is the blurb for Watched:

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

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

Suzanne is also offering us a peek of the book!

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

Male.

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

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

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

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

Purchase Links:

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

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

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

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

.•°☆ RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY °•.

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

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

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

About Suzanne Jefferies

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

Books:

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

Website:  www.suzannejefferies.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/suzannjefferies

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

https://amzn.to/2GrvJrQ

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

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

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

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

Book Feature: The Maze Effect – Finding Mr. Right by author Majel Jay

I am pleased to announce a great book by Majel Jay, an author I met during my journey! She’s stopping by to tell us about her awesome modern multicultural romance, The Maze Effect: Finding Mr. Right, which released back in January!

Woo hoo! It’s always fun to discover new authors and books. 😀

Majel is allowing us a look at her cool contemporary romance, The Maze Effect: Finding Mr. Right, today.

Nice cover!

This is the blurb for The Maze Effect: Finding Mr. Right:

Every woman wants the perfect man… or at the very least, a decent man.
“Mr. Right”
How do you find him?
What does he look like?
Is there a formula to know who he is?
Just ask Kimberly Kay Nezda, a successful young diva with a budding career in a big city. She had it all, or so she thought. She had many encounters and was confident she had finally found Mr. Right.
A rich, handsome suitor, the mark of perfection, but did she let him walk “The Maze?”
Was it the perfect love story or the perfect storm?
The Maze Effect is a steamy, riveting short story about dating, sex and falling in love. You’ll be captivated as you read Kimberly’s story of an epic life-changing journey into love and finding Mr. Right.

And here are some excerpts to tease you with.

EXCERPT 1

I caught myself and regained my focus quickly just in time to check him out from head to toe without being obvious. He wore a well-tailored, ash blue suit, custom made, I’m sure. The material was of excellence and so was the stitch work. Under his jacket, he wore a light, smoky baby blue shirt that was missing a tie and had the first three buttons open, exposing a bit of his neckline. His shoes were a mixture of ostrich skin and what appear to be soft baby calf leather and another skin I couldn’t decipher. Damn! I thought… his shoes looked as if it cost my whole entire wardrobe collection. He smelled divine. Without skipping a beat, I replied to his question.  “Sure, I have a little time. Jaz, do you mind?”

I turned to look at Jaz who was already prompted and ready to go.

“Yup!” she stated.

That’s my girl, I thought. I can always count on my ace to be down when need be.

He gently held my hand and beckoned for us to follow him. Through the crowd and back into the now emptying dining hall we went. He led us to a quiet corner where he proceeded to properly introduce himself.

EXCERPT 2

We stood outside the door bidding each other a good night, but neither of us moved. I looked into his face; he was pure perfection. The intense chemistry between us pulled us close without me even noticing it. Our lips touched and fireworks went off inside me. His lips were soft and full. I gently slid my tongue into his mouth and he willingly received it. He slowly cupped my tongue in his and sucked gently. Chills went down my spine. My body shivered as he pulled me into the warmth of his body and clasped me up in his arms. It was beautiful… He was beautiful. After our lips separated, I quickly sucked in a gulp of air. Marcus had officially taken my breath away.

He tenderly caressed my face and, looking deep into my eyes, he said, “Good night.”

I stayed up the rest of the night as I couldn’t sleep. The scenes of the day we spent together played in my mind like a looping video clip.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B0792656KC

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-maze-effect-majel-jay/1127960722?ean=9781983975929

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Maze-Effect/Majel-Jay/9781983975929?id=7205747130327

IndieBound:  https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781983975929

Wow! ♥♥♥ Love the steamy tension. This looks like quite a tale!

Thank you for telling us about your book, Majel! I know I can’t wait to read this romance!

Readers, don’t forget to pick up a copy of this awesome book! 🙂 Or you can add it to Goodreads!

Author Bio

I grew up in a big city, where I currently reside with my husband and dogs. I’m an all American girl that enjoys traveling and experimenting with different foods. I love life and believe in enjoying it to the fullest.

My writing was inspired by the way I was brought up. My mother spent a lot of time teaching me how to love myself and others. I wanted to bring this across, in a simple way, to women of all ages. I want all women to know that they are precious, priceless and irreplaceable.

Author Links

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/100197961282853855523

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Majel-Jay/e/B079FYMWFJ

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17627975.Majel_Jay

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Multicultural/Interracial, Readers, Romance, short stories, Stories, Writing

Pre-order Release Feature: Captive by author Jenny Lynn

I am pleased to announce a great new release by Jenny Lynn, an author I met during my journey! Her new adult romantic suspense, Captive, officially went up for pre-order and will be released on March 13th!

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

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

Jenny is giving us a look at her intriguing new adult romantic suspense, Captive, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Captive:

In the city of sin, who will be saved?

Beckett Carter is the last of his family; the head of Carter Enterprises and a reclusive billionaire living in a luxurious Las Vegas penthouse. Since his parents’ murder, his obsession with justice has steadily grown stronger, leading him to become the masked vigilante known to criminals as the Phantom. When he’s not out playing the part of a filthy rich playboy he trains his body hard, and in his disguise, he brings the criminal underworld to its knees.

Crime reporter Ella James keeps everyone at arm’s length, throwing herself into her work and her quest to find out what happened to her missing sister. She doesn’t let anyone get close enough to her to see how damaged she really is and afraid to trust anyone fully; she has never let a man touch her. While going undercover she puts her life in danger and discovers the secret identity of the Phantom as he ruthlessly eliminates a room full of criminals. This one night sets off a chain of events neither of them expected.

Faced with the threat of being exposed, Beckett is left with only one choice. He takes Ella captive, keeping her in a secret room until he can complete his mission. In Ella, Beckett finds an opponent unlike any he’s met before – she’s smart, resourceful, and worst of all, innocent. The untouched woman locked away in his penthouse is the greatest temptation he has ever faced.

A tense rivalry between the two grows into something so much more than either could have imagined. When Beckett gives in and shows Ella how dark he can be, can she succeed and show him the light?

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

Book Info:

Genre:  Contemporary, New Adult, Romantic Suspense

Release Date:  March 13, 2018

Pre-order Purchase Link:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B07B3WN26F

Wow! So steamy. ♥♥♥ This looks like an intriguing read!😉

Thank you for telling us about your book, Jenny! I know we all can’t wait to read this dark romance! 🙂

 

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this riveting tale!

 Author Bio

I’m a contemporary romance writer who creates complex characters, exciting plot twists, true love and steamy scenes that keep readers up and night wanting to turn the page. When I’m not writing I’m playing with my toddler son, going on dates with my husband, petting my cat or I’m in a dimly lit lounge sipping wine while I daydream about my next story idea. I have a background in creative writing and have had short stories published in multiple literary magazines.

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Action & Adventure, Authors, Book Release, Books, coming soon, Contemporary, dark romance, Event, Fiction, New Adult, new release, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Thriller/Suspense, Writing

Special Film Feature: Twisted Threads

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

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

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

Intriguing cover!

This is the info on Twisted Threads:

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

What are people saying about this book?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Purchase Links:

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

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

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

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

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

 

Author Bio

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

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

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

Author Links

 

Director Bio

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

Links

Website:  http://film-14.com/

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

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/film14trailers

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/film14tweets

LinkedIn:  http://bit.ly/2sFBkoi

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

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

 

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

Happy viewing and reading, everyone!🙂

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

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