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A Character Interview with Trini from JASON’S AWAKENING plus a conversation with author Remy Marie!

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 Linda Diane Wattley’s character back on October 24th, and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Remy Marie, the author of Jason’s Awakening, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Trini Davos, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Remy in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Trini!

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

Character Trini Davos:  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?

Trini:  Sure.

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

Trini:  Right now I work in the Meekins sheriff’s department. I am a deputy sheriff; however, before I moved to Meekins I worked in retail, selling video games and comics at a store call Geek Haven.

Marie:  Cool!

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Trini:  It’s a typical American family. I’m an only child, so it was always the three of us. My mom is very supportive of my lifestyle, however my father, not too much. While he’s not supportive of my life choices, I know he loves me. It comes with the territory, I guess. I miss them, though. Since my change, we’ve been forbidden to visit anyone in our past lives to keep the werewolf secret.

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?

Trini:  I grew up in a trailer park. My parents still live in the same double-wide that I grew up in.

Marie:  All right.

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

Trini:  I am huge geek, like my friends Mohinder and Jason. Therefore, I love playing video games, watching movies, and reading comics and drawing my own heroes. Jason and I once had an idea to start our own comic book. I would do the drawing, while he would write it. We couldn’t come up with anything original, but it was fun just to hang out with him. I’m a huge fan of punk rock as well. If you looked on my Ipod right now, it would contain Fall Out Boy, Green Day, and Blink 182.

Marie:  Nice! 😉

So, what is your greatest dream?

Trini:  That’s a good question. Before everything that happened to me, I was unsure. I was with a deadbeat boyfriend working a retail job that was going nowhere. However, after my transformation, I feel like I can do anything now. You know? I see myself settling down. I wouldn’t mind having kids, but also I wouldn’t mind becoming sheriff of Meekins. I sort of like being a cop.

Marie:  (Nods.) Well, I think you can do whatever you put your mind to…

Let’s try another question.

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

Trini:  I want to be able to protect the ones I love. I never want to see one of my friends or a loved one die again. What’s stopping me? Well, it’s harder to do than explained. If I could be everywhere, I could. Even I’m not fast enough for that. Perhaps it’s a job for Superman or the Flash, depending on who I think is faster.

Marie: It’s understandable to want to keep bad things from happening. I guess the reality is we just can’t. 😦

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

Who was your first love?

Trini:  I would have to say Tobey Maguire from the first Spiderman. However, my first kiss was with Ben Thomas, in sixth grade underneath the bleachers.

Marie: Aww. So sweet. I remember those young crushes. ♥

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?

Trini:  I would have to say that night in the woods, when we were attacked by the werewolf in white. I’ve never been so afraid before. We lost a good friend that night.

Marie:  Oh no! 😦 I’m so sorry. That must’ve been difficult.

[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]

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

[Trini 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?

Trini:  As a kid I always wanted to be an astronaut; it was a dream of mine to travel through space and discover planets and such. My dad was a huge Trekkie, so naturally, I liked Star Trek as well. That is where the dream originated. However, over time, I realized that to be an astronaut you have to learn multiple levels of science and math. Something that I’m terrible at. So that dream was dead. After high school, I started working at Geek Haven, and my dreams sort of disappeared until I met Jason. Jason and Mohinder got me out of that funk, made me see past my current life, towards the future.

Marie:  Nice! So, who is your role model, Trini?

Trini:  Jason Barton; he’s the love of my life, and I thank God that I’ve found him. However, he’s not only that. He’s the sweetest person you could ever meet. His compassion for others is one I strive to copy each and every day.

Marie: How admirable!

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Trini:  I would have to say Rose, but that’s a long story I don’t feel like getting into.

Marie:  All right.

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Trini:  I would love for everyone to find their happiness. That includes Greg when he gets in his moods, Jennifer and Mohinder when they have their child, and Jason and me as we begin our new life together.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there! I think we all want our loved ones to be content in life…

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

Trini:  That’s easy. Death. I know it sounds taboo, for someone who can now live up to four hundred years, but my life is suddenly so violent. Before the transformation, I’ve rarely ever got in a fight. Now it’s seems like every month, there’s a new deadly challenge that threatens the people that I love and me.

Marie: A lot of people fear death. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. The unknown is often scary. And, of course, for your situation, it increases tenfold. I understand that it must be extremely difficult to feel so uncertain about life.

But, 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, Trini. 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 Remy Marie on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Remy!

Author Remy Marie:  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 female character from your story, Trini Davos. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Remy:  When you first get a look at Trini Davos, you will typecast her as a goth/geek. However, there’s a lot more to Trini. Each tattoo she has tells a story. For instance, her Powerpuff girls tattoo, on her left arm, is the first tattoo she’s ever gotten. She’s a huge geek who isn’t afraid to talk comics or superheroes with anyone. Her favorite video game is Street Fighter vs. Marvel, and she was ranked in top 100 in the game online. She loves to listen to punk rock, and has a strong sense of adventure. If you ever dared Trini to do something, she would try it without thinking of the consequences.

Marie:  Nice!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Remy:  That’s easy. It’s her bravery. Trini will jump in a burning building without thinking for one of her friends.

Marie:  Wow! Such loyalty…

And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?

Remy:  I would have to say her trust in people. When Trini first meets someone, they instantly become friends, due to Trini’s friendly nature. However, Trini is often blindsided by the people she trusts, and she takes it hard on herself.

Marie:  I see.

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of Trini’s favorite foods?

Remy:  Trini is a fan of anything with Nutella on it. A typical breakfast for her is a banana covered with Nutella, along with toast covered in Nutella.

Marie:  (Laughs.) I am a chocaholic too!

How about another question?

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

Remy:  I think the one quality that Trini is unaware of is her loyalty. If you’re friends with Trini, she will have your back no matter what. She will take a punch and throw a punch for any one of her friends in a heartbeat.

Marie:  That’s commendable!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Remy:  I think many people would like Trini. She was one of my favorite characters to write. She was easy to write due to how many layers she has in her character.

Marie: Great!

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

What first gave you the idea for Jason’s Awakening?

Remy:  Honestly, it started off as a superhero novel. The three characters, Jason, Trini, and Mohinder were all still there, but the entire plot was different. My wife gave me the idea, of making it a paranormal romance novel instead. So, I rewrote the entire plot and came up with other details as I wrote it.

Marie:  Intriguing!

Let’s try something else.

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

Remy:  I would say it’s a little of both.  Jason’s Awakening was a mixture of plotting and just writing. I feel like that’s a perfect combination. I like to let the story flow without having a structured outline. When I’m writing the rough draft, sometimes what I write there is better material I came up with than when I outline it.

Marie:  (Smiles.) I know what you mean…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 Jason’s Awakening or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Remy:  I would say getting the funds to have it professionally edited and beta read was a challenge. As an indie author, you have to pay for all of it. It’s even worse, when it’s your debut novel, and you don’t have a name for yourself. It seems like I spend more time marketing my book than actually writing it.

Marie:  (Groans.) Oh, me too!

Remy:  What I would do differently is have more beta readers. I only had three for this book, and at the time, I thought it was enough, however some reviews have been blunt on my mistakes and I wish I would have caught them before I published. With more beta readers, I think we could’ve made a good book amazing.

Marie:  Right! The editing stage is quite a challenge. 

Thanks for the additional tips aimed toward our aspiring writers out there!

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 Jason’s Awakening appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this paranormal romance by Remy Marie, a very talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for Jason’s Awakening:

Jason Barton isn’t your typical hero. In fact, his small frame, high IQ, and deep compassion for others keeps him in the friend zone most of the time. But despite his anti-hero traits, he still has a one-track mind when it comes to women – mainly the one who has been by his side for the last five years.

Trini Davos is the polar opposite of Jason. She’s a brave, Goth geek, who never met a problem she couldn’t solve. But a brazen attack by a group of rogue werewolves changes everything for her and her long-time friend. They narrowly escape death only to discover that wild beasts are the least of their troubles. An unlikely romance may prove to be the biggest challenge of all for them.

Jason’s Awakening offers a fresh take on the paranormal romance genre. Filled with non-stop action, steamy romance, and twists no one will see coming, this book will keep the reader hooked from start to finish.

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

Gradually, the couple neared a lingerie boutique. Jason couldn’t help but to look inside as he saw the mannequin bust of women displaying the latest lingerie style. There was a particular underwear brand that caught Jason’s attention. It was a pink lace thong with a strappy front and cheeky back. The longer Jason stared, the more he imagined Trini wearing the same article of clothing. Trini suddenly broke Jason’s attention by squeezing his hand.

“You know I have that one. It’s in black,” she added with a devilish grin.

“Wait, a what?” Jason muttered as he was awkwardly awakened from his sexual fantasy.

“I have that style in black,” Trini repeated. “I bought it two weeks ago when it went on sale. It’s a nice fit. I got this month’s catalog yesterday too. Did you want to go inside with me to see their new styles?”

“Are you not hungry?” Jason asked nervously.

“Food can wait. I just got paid this week. Come on, it would be fun. We are just going to take a quick look.” Trini proceeded to drag Jason into the store.

There were countless women in the boutique. There were some men. Most looked annoyed as they watched their partners search for the latest deals. Jason was the opposite. All of his life, he had always walked past this store and not ever gone in, he never had a reason to; today changed that reason.

Trini dragged Jason to the new arrivals section of the store as Trini browsed the new undergarment line. She muttered to herself as she brought up each underwear style and held it up to the light. She finally decided on a black satin push up bra laced with gold trimming and a golden laced black thong.

“What do you think about this?” Trini asked as she placed the bra and underwear over the clothing she had on.

Jason felt his heartbeat quicken. The longer he stared at the outfit, the more he felt his sexual desire grow for Trini. Jason finally managed to stutter, “It looks good, and do you like it?”

“I do, but you can never be too sure about these things. Come with me,” Trini said as she grabbed hold of Jason’s arm. She brought him to the fitting room location where a store clerk stood waiting.

“Men are not allowed in the dressing room,” the store clerk barked. She was an average size woman. She looked like she had already worked two full shifts as her hair was lazily placed into a ponytail.

“Actually, I wanted to come over and say that there is a woman over there who said she needed your help,” Trini said as she pointed to an older lady at the corner of the store.

“Why didn’t she come and ask for help directly from me then?”

“I don’t know? Listen, I work in retail. I know how customers are. Total bitches. I’m just trying to help you get a sale for the commission.”

A smile appeared on the woman’s face. “I do need the extra money, thanks for looking out,” she replied as she left her post.

Trini smiled darkly as she watched the store clerk approached the older lady.

“Okay, the coast is clear. Come on,” Trini said as she dragged Jason into the dressing room.

“Trini, we shouldn’t, what if we get caught,” Jason replied, worried.

“Oh, come on, you wuss. Where is your sense of adventure?” She dragged Jason into an open dressing room and closed the door right after they entered. She gave a flirtatious smile to Jason. “All right, now turn around.”

“Wait, what about Kyle?”

“It’s cool; you’re not seeing me naked or anything. It’s like seeing me in a two-piece. You’ve already seen that before. We’ve known each other for five years. That’s five years of seeing me in a bikini, right?”

“I guess.”

“You see? Nothing to worry about, now turn,” Trini commanded as she grabbed Jason’s shoulders and turned him in the opposite direction. Jason stared at the white wall as he waited for Trini to change. Jason began to stare at the sloppy graffiti written on the wall when he started to notice Trini’s articles of clothing being thrown to the ground. First, it was her tank top, followed by her bra.

She’s topless right now, Jason thought as he felt the sexual urge grow deep within him. Her dark blue skirt and underwear were discarded next. Jason felt his blood pump faster as he realized she was completely nude behind him.  Jason felt his manhood grow stiff as he fantasied about turning around and seeing what Trini’s body looked like at the moment. What I would give to see her now. Jason heard shuffling and the sound of Trini trying on the undergarments.

“All right, you can turn around now. What do you think?” Trini asked as she placed her hands on her hips, modeling the outfit.

Jason had to clench down on his teeth to keep his mouth from dropping. His throat grew dry as he looked at her desirable figure. Jason looked at every curve of her body as his eyes scanned her breasts being pushed up by her bra. Her pale bosoms looked twice as large in her satin bra. His glance made his way down to her stomach. Jason noticed she was trembling as he looked at her flat stomach. Her belly button was pierced with a black U shaped piercing.

I always liked that piercing. He finally made it to her thong, which displayed her toned shaped thighs. She slowly turned around and showed the cheeky backside of the thong. Her pale legs trembled with anticipation, as Jason inspected her. He ogled her sculptured buttock as it gently curved into a muscular shape. The thong fit her body perfectly as it showed a healthy amount of skin but still kept the mystery.

God, she looks sexy, Jason thought as he fought the temptation to touch her.

“So?” Trini asked once more.

“Ugh, you look amazing, or as Mohinder would say smashing,” Jason replied, using Mohinder’s British accent. Trini let out a small laugh at Jason’s comments. “It suits you. I think you should get it.”

“Thanks, I like it too, but I think I’m going to wait till it goes on sale. Are you ready to head out?”

A part of me wants to stay and watch her model more, but I have broken so many friend codes today. Slowly, Jason nodded in agreement.

“Let’s go and get some dinner,” Jason suggested.

“Yeah, let’s go.” Trini gave an irresistible grin to Jason as she used her finger to tell him to turn around. Once Trini was done changing, she placed the undergarments back on a return hanger and left the dressing room. As they left the store, the store clerk gave the couple a dirty look as she realized that she was duped in Trini’s scheme. The couple snickered as they left the store together.

After passing a few more stores, they were at their final destination. G&Fs was a large chain restaurant with a large arcade section in the restaurant as well. Jason loved this restaurant but didn’t eat there often because of how expensive it was.

Mohinder’s twenty dollars should help with the cost, though, Jason thought as he walked inside with Trini. After greeting the hostess, she led Trini and Jason to their table. Once they sat down, she smiled and placed the menus on the wooden table.

“Your server should be with you soon.” She smiled at the couple as she walked away.

“Thank you,” Jason replied as he opened his menu. “What did you want to get?” Jason asked Trini as he searched the menu.

“I like their beer and play special. You know the one where you pick two appetizers and get a bucket of beer and fifty tokens for games. Did you want to do that?”

“Yeah, that sounds amazing,” Jason replied.

“Great, I was thinking of getting the mozzarella sticks.”

“Nice choice as usual. Let’s add chicken spring rolls.”

“Yum, sounds good to me,” Trini responded. When the waiter arrived, Jason placed the order while Trini checked her phone for messages. Once he was done ordering, Jason placed his attention back to Trini.

“Everything okay?” Jason asked

“Yeah, it’s just Kyle is a literal asshole. I swear the man can’t function without any help.” Jason nodded in response and noticed the server returned with the bucket of beers.

“Well, here comes something to put out those flames.” A wide smile appeared on Trini’s face as she grabbed a beer. She managed to chug half a bottle before she placed the bottle back on the table.

“I fucking hate working retail.”

“Why is that?” Jason asked as he took a sip of his beer.

“It’s just too many damn policies to start with. Plus, people are plain rude. They treat you like shit. I’m proud of Mohinder and you, though. It sounds like you guys are kicking ass in school. Congrats on finishing another semester,” Trini said as she held out her beer bottle for Jason to cheers.

“Thanks,” Jason replied as he clashed the beer bottle with Trini’s and took a long swig. Once Jason was done, he placed a beer bottle on the table. “Why not go to school again? You know, for instance, you could go to community college.”

Trini created a fake laugh at Jason comments. “Unlike you, I’m not a genius. I don’t belong in college. I barely passed high school. I don’t really have any special skills. That’s why I’m stuck at some no-name job in the mall,” Trini replied as she finished off her first beer. She reached for a new beer from the ice bucket and swished down a third of the bottle.

“Easy with those. You realize you’re driving back, right?”

Trini raised her eyebrows at Jason.

“I’m fine once I get some food in me, mom,” Trini snapped back in an unusual tone. Judging by the tone, Jason knew not to push the issue further.  The couple was silent until the food finally arrived and Jason grabbed a small plate and placed two mozzarella sticks on it along with one chicken spring roll. Jason took a bite of the hot spring roll and tasted the savory cabbage as he washed it down with his beer.

“Listen, Jason, I’m sorry for snapping at you. I know I need to work on that.”

“It’s okay, we all screw up sometimes.”

Trini nodded as she dipped her cheese stick into her marinara sauce. The couple ate in silence until the two appetizer baskets were empty. “Hey, I know that were supposed to play some arcade games after this, but did you want to get a rain check? We can always come back later.”

“Yeah, sure, I’ll pay for this,” Jason signaled the waiter to pay for their meal.

“Are you sure?” Trini asked.

“Yeah, I got it. I had a great time with you today. You looked great in that lingerie set.”

A grateful smile parted her lips. “I had a great time with you too.” Trini reached across the table and rubbed Jason’s hand. She passionately looked into Jason’s eyes. “I’m sorry I ruined the moment. I didn’t mean to be an asshole. I think Kyle is starting to rub off on me.”

“It’s fine, like I said I had a good time,” Jason said as he took the bill from the waiter. He frowned as he looked at the bill.

“What’s the damage?” Trini asked.

“It’s not too bad. I got it,” Jason lied to Trini as he dug in his pants for change. This is going to set me back for a week, Jason thought as he laid two twenty dollar bills on the check.

“Are you ready to go?” Jason asked.

“Yep, lead the way,” Trini replied.

A half-hour later, Trini and Jason arrived outside of Jason’s apartment complex. Trini kept the engine running as she looked at Jason with a smile. She reached across the vehicle and rubbed Jason’s knee and looked passionately into his brown eyes. Her lips quivered as she gave a flirtatious smile to Jason.

“Listen, I had a great time. We should really consider doing this again. You know, just the two of us,” Trini said as her upper chest clenched forward as she seductively looked at Jason.

Jason gave Trini a strange look. Does she want me to kiss her? Is this the moment that everyone talks about? Jason felt himself moving forward towards Trini’s lips and noticed that Trini was inching closer to him as well. Jason placed his hand on the side of Trini’s face and felt her body slightly tremble from his touch. She let out a soft moan as she embraced his hand on her face. Jason continued to lean towards Trini until he stopped suddenly.

Wait a minute, she has a boyfriend. Don’t be stupid. Kyle may be an ass, but I don’t want to be the guy to cheat on him, Jason contemplated. Jason rejected his movements and reached for the door handle instead. As the door handle unhatched, Trini’s face showed confusion.

“Trini, I had a good time with you. I’ll be back to pick you up around eleven,” Jason blurted out as he hopped out of the car.

Trini shook her head in a negative motion as Jason got out of the car. “Yeah, whatever. I’ll see you at eleven,” Trini said, slightly depressed as Jason closed her car door.

Jason watched as Trini’s car backed out of the parking spot and zoom away.

“What have I done?” Jason whispered as he watched her taillights disappear into the distance.

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

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B077SFKGQL

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jasons-awakening-remy-marie/1127616332?ean=9781981472369

BAM:  http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Jasons-Awakening/Remy-Marie/9781981472369?id=7157917489570

IndieBound:  https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781981472369

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

About Remy Marie

Remy Marie is a paranormal and urban fantasy author who loves to write about charming heroes and brave heroines. His passion for creating stories and world building originates from him creating fantasy realms with his toys when he was five years old. While writing never came naturally for Remy, he continued to strengthen his craft, by constantly reading and writing. If he is not writing or reading, he is usually watching TV with his supportive wife, aggressively cheering for his college and professional sports teams, playing video games, or crunching numbers at his daytime job.

Book:

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

Website/Blog:  https://manlymanromance.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/remymarieauthor

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Remy-Marie/e/B077YL6734/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17373475.Remy_Marie

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/103932048666368939790

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

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

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Trini, a female character from Jason’s Awakening, and Remy Marie, 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, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips

Exclusive Interview with author Nermin Bezmen, plus a look at historical romance, KURT SEYT & SHURA!

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 first 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 bestselling novel (also optioned into a television series), Kurt Seyt & Shura. Please join me in welcoming Nermin Bezmen to ILRB! 🙂

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

Author Nermin Bezmen:  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?

Nermin:  I am an author. I believe I am good at what I am doing, and I do not only like but love writing.

Marie:  Happy to hear it! 😉

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Nermin:  My family is very loving, kind, considerate and close-knit but everybody with a space of his/her own. We are all very artistic and all have free minds and free souls.

Both my daughter and son left their highly paid businesses to pursue their artistic dreams, and I am so proud of them for they have chosen to do what they love most and not what they earn more from. Earning your money from what you love to do as a hobby is a great happiness, even if it does not pay like the corporate life. I have three sweet grandchildren who are all into art one way or another. My husband is an actor and his son is also another dreamy artist. I think I should convince my son-in-law to spare some time for his drawing abilities in which he is great, but has no time from his corporate life.

Marie:  I love that your family is so creative! As for your son-in-law, I’m guessing he does what he can.

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?

Nermin:  Due to my father’s business (he was a civil engineer), we had to move quite often, and I remember vividly every one of the places we lived in. I loved them all because they were all home for me… home where my mom and dad, then my sister were, and where there was unconditional love — always. Our home was always tidy, neat. Mom made sure everything was in order, no matter what. And she spared time to read to me every morning and night till I learned to read on my own. There were always books. Both my parents read. My grandparents read. I can still smell the delicious cakes mom freshly baked for me every afternoon when I came back from school. I can still picture her singing to my dad at our dinner table and I can hear the tango playing on the radio, and I see my dad and mom getting up from the table to dance. I can see that they are in love. They were always in love…

This is what my childhood home looked like… it looked like LOVE.

Marie:  What a perfect picture for our readers, as we’re all about romance here! ♥♥♥

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

Nermin:  I love reading, listening to music – mostly classical, painting, growing orchids, classic cars, boating, yoga.

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

So…what is your greatest dream?

Nermin:  My dreams never end and so there is no such thing like “the greatest dream” for me. One dream that seemed “the greatest” only a few years ago now is realized, so I have new ones on the horizon.

Now that my first novel is published here in America, I am dreaming of Kurt Seyt & Shura climbing to the top of the bestsellers list and then maybe made into a cinema movie and then maybe winning the Oscar. But as much as I work for this dream, I pray to God that I keep my mental and physical health to go on writing and seeing my family grow with love and happiness.

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

Kurt Seyt & Shura has such a great cover too!

 

Let’s try another question.

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

Nermin:  I am not a rigid person who goes by others’ rules. Never have been. So unless it hurts somebody or my ethics, I always choose the life I want to live and I can be the person that I want to be. Nothing stopped me, nothing stops me.  I am happy with myself. I like the person in me. This person is in great harmony with this body, this heart, this mind and soul. Although there are people I admire very much, I never envied anybody or wanted to be in someone’s place, no matter how successful or beautiful they are.

Marie:  That’s rather admirable, and refreshing to hear!

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

Who was your first love?

Nermin:  LOVE itself. Since I was a little girl I remember myself wanting to be in love and be loved. I imagined myself deeply, blindly, unconditionally falling in love… so much in love that it even hurt and made me cry. There was no figure, no physical reflection of any body. It was just LOVE itself that I was after. God must have heard me well. When my first husband kissed me for the first time, all of a sudden love gained a physical appearance. After he was gone, I thought I had my share of love and never again could love or be loved. But my prayers must still be echoing that God introduced me with a new love, my second husband.

Marie: Aww…(sighs.) I love romance. ♥

Wow! I’m so glad you were blessed with not just one perfect match, but two.

Let’s try something else now.

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

Nermin:  Quite a few terrible things happened to me, but nothing to call “the most terrible” because I always managed to make something positive out of them.

Marie:  How inspiring!

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

[Nermin 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?

Nermin:  I have always been a dreamer. There is always a dream in the niches of my grey cells. Most of the time more than one.

My first great dream was to enter and win the examination of AFS (American Field Service) scholarship. I was only seven years old then and to be eligible for AFS, you needed to be seventeen. So for ten years I went to school and studied with that dream. For ten years every night when the lights were out, I dreamed of myself giving a “farewell” speech to my family and friends on my imaginary way to America. When I reached seventeen, my dream was realized and my “farewell” speech was written already. There are so many other dreams that I had and worked hard to make each one come true. For me, dreams are like a lovely sail boat on the horizon while I am sitting on the shore. I don’t just watch it go by, I swim towards it.

Marie:  Such a nice thought! You’re truly a go-getter!  🙂

So, who is your role model, Nermin?

Nermin:  My role models are the women of my family. They are kind, elegant, passionate, loving, hard working, strong, no-nonsense women with great dignity.

My ancestors, both from my father’s and mother’s side have been refugees from different lands. They all had to leave behind once a very good life, great lands, houses and loved ones too, and had to run away on horseback or in a fisherman’s boat. And those women, without nagging, once stood beside their husbands and shared the struggle to start a whole new life from scratch, and raised their family. When some of them lost their husbands, they never bowed down to anybody to make life easier, but proudly took responsibility for their families.

When I was doing research for my novels, I could clearly see how steady they all were and how much pride they had in themselves even during the most vulnerable times.

Marie:  I agree. They all sound quite heroic!

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Nermin:  I believe life is too short to pretend. I never pretend for anything. I simply exclude the people I would not like from my life, and keep and pamper those I like.

Marie:  I respect that!

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Nermin:  To see the whole world in great harmony of peace and love.

Marie:  I’m with you. There’s far too much hate in the world right now… 😦

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

Nermin:  That evil people will not let this happen.

Marie: True enough. 

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

We’ve heard rumors about the hero and heroine of your story. Quite interesting characters. Can you tell us a little about them?

Nermin:  Kurt Seyt Eminof is the first son of a wealthy Crimean nobleman, a dashing first lieutenant in the Imperial Life Guard of the last Russian Czar Nicholas II. Injured on the Carpathian front and later sought by the Bolsheviks, he makes a daring escape across the Black Sea. Too proud to accept payment for the boatful of arms he hands over to the Nationalists, he faces years of struggle to make a new life in the Turkish Republic, rising from the embers of the dying Ottoman Empire. All he has is his dignity and love.

Shura  (Alexandra Julianovna Verjenskaya) is an innocent sixteen year old beauty enchanted by Tchaikovsky’s music and Moscow’s glittering lights, who falls in love with Seyt. A potential victim of the Bolsheviks due to her family’s wealth and social standing, she is determined to follow her heart and accompanies Seyt on his perilious flight over the Black Sea.

Their love is the only solace to their crushing homesickness for a land and family they will never see again, two lovers among hundreds of thousands of White Russian émigrés trying to eke out a living in occupied İstanbul.

Marie:  Fascinating!

So, what are your characters’ greatest strengths?

Nermin:

Before revolution: Seyit’s strength, besides his brave character, comes from his family, his title, wealth, education, and his military position. Shura, on the other hand, is protected by her wealthy, aristocrat family, being pampered as the youngest of her five siblings.

After revolution, they both lose all the physical and emotional touch they had with their families, motherland, wealth, titles and what strength remains is only their love and the desire to survive in a foreign country.

Marie:  All right.

And what are their greatest weaknesses?

Nermin:  His pride… Her naiveté.

Marie:  Okay…

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of their favorite foods?

Nermin:  Karski, kievski, caviar, çibörek.

Marie:  (Laughs.) I’m not familiar with some of those! I guess I’ll have to try them sometime.

How about another question?

What’s a positive quality that your characters are unaware that he or she has?

Nermin:  Both Kurt Seyit and Shura went through so much tragedy and had to endure so many hard times, that there was not a quality left hidden in them. They had to bring out and use them all to survive.

Marie:  I see.

Will readers like or dislike these characters, and why?

Nermin:  It depends on how deeply they will read the psychology behind every action, every decision. While we are sitting in our cozy, warm rooms, cuddled up on a soft sofa it is very easy to judge the characters in the book. One should just dive into the pages and start following the characters on their pathways and feel not only love but also pain, heartache, bloodshed, atrocity, yearning, struggling that they went through and had to endure.

Marie: That’s a fine point!

Well, now that we have a real taste of Kurt Seyt and Shura, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for Kurt Seyt & Shura?

Nermin:  Kurt Seyit is no stranger to me. He is my grandfather. I grew up listening to his adventures and for me, he was the Prince Charming that nobody wrote his story. My grandma kept telling me about him and his life each year with more details while I was growing up. And Shura was the most important character of that narration.

Years later, when I decided to write about my grandpa and grandma, starting with the second chapter, Shura was in my life and then I grew such a great admiration and love for this special woman that I decided this first novel would be of Kurt Seyt & Shura and then the second one of Kurt Seyt & Murka (my grandmother). I believed these two very different but great women each deserved a book with their own name on it.

Marie:  That’s awesome! I wish I had all the finer details about my grandparents lives; I might do the same.

Interesting how the muse works, huh?

Let’s try something else.

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

Nermin:  I don’t draw lines for my writing. If I am writing a true story, a true character, it has its own demands and if I am writing a fiction novel, then it’s different.

I generally start writing in my mind with a feeling of “love at first sight” for either a character, or a place, or even a dream. I immediately have the name and the first sentence of the novel that very moment. If it is going to be based on a true story, then comes the deep research, which is very challenging, not just because you keep deciphering a great puzzle but you also have to know when to stop the research and start writing. A thorough research can lead the writer to other stories, too.

Psychology of the characters is very important for me. I work on the psyche of each character like I am sewing a tailored dress made to order, one of a kind dress for them.  It is the psyche of the person, what makes him/her converse, decide, feel, love, hate the way he/she does. It is the core of the novel. After I am happy with the details, I have to start writing… If it is fiction, after the few chapters my characters, mostly my hero/heroine tells me what kind of life they want, who they want to choose as a friend or a lover, where they want to travel, et cetera. So even fiction becomes real for me.

Marie:  Nice! And I think that’s pretty normal for a writer. I know I haven’t touched the deep heart of one of my characters until I laugh or cry along with them while I’m writing a scene.

They definitely have minds of their own, for sure! 😉

So, how about another question?

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

Nermin:  It was twenty-five years ago that Kurt Seyt & Shura was published in my motherland, Turkey. After taking the book to many publishers and being put in line to be reviewed for a year, if not rejected, I was so frustrated. I had already spent four years with very painstaking research, and one more to write it. It was not only years that I put into this novel, it was my heart, soul and many tears. Seeing my disappointment, my dear late husband decided to self-publish it. And on the first week in the book stores, it was a best-seller. After that, the rest of the Kurt Seyit saga followed and many more which made it to the top of the charts.

Now, after twenty-five years, here we are. This time in the United States, and again meeting with our readers with a self-published Kurt Seyt & Shura. Funny? Yes, now it sounds funny, but again I had such heartbreaking times. Kurt Seyt & Shura, having been translated to eleven other languages and adapted into a TV series and touched the hearts of millions all over the world, still got rejection from literary agents. And, you know, in America you cannot reach a publisher if you do not have an agent. So, I decided to go ahead with self-publishing. But my wish would not have come true in such a short time with this accuracy if my darling daughter Pamira did not take the burden of preparing, coordinating, launching the book. She has done wonders and I can’t thank her enough for what she has achieved. She practically left her own business, which is photography, aside and has been dealing with publishing matters for me. And my darling son Pamir Cazım, who has done the cover designs for most of my novels with great perfectionism, now contributed his masterful skill again. The cover has to give the feeling of the interior. He made it happen so beautifully. Dear Feyza Howell’s translation was another exciting process. She is a great translator working on every detail as if she is going to write the book herself.

Create Space editors also did a great job. They worked very meticulously.

Since this was the first self-publishing for us here in the United States, we learned a lot during the process. I am sure next time it will be much easier.

I hope that I will be able to touch the hearts of American readers with Kurt Seyt & Shura like I have done in so many other countries.

Marie:  Well, I’m sure you will!

I’m a bit of hybrid, having been published by a publisher, as well as self-published several titles. It’s a juggling act either way, so I certainly feel your pain.

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 Kurt Seyt & Shura appears to be. Congratulations on your release to the U.S., Nermin!

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this sweeping historical romance by Nermin Bezmen, a compelling author! :)

Here is the blurb for Kurt Seyt & Shura:

An instant bestseller since its début in 1992, Nermin Bezmen’s Kurt Seyt & Shura is a classic of contemporary Turkish literature, a sweeping romantic drama set as the splendour of imperial Russia is obliterated in the wake of the Great War.

Bezmen tells the story of two star-crossed lovers fleeing the wave of devastation wreaked by the Bolshevik Revolution, and does so with great sensitivity: one half of this couple who sought refuge in the capital of the dying Ottoman Empire was her grandfather.

​Translated into twelve languages, Bezmen’s Kurt Seyt & Shura inspired a sumptuous TV series that continues to enchant millions of viewers across the world. With the publication of this novel in English, fans can finally read the true story of this great love affair that triumphed over so much adversity, yet failed to overcome human fallibility.

​In 2012, the prestigious Turkish production company Ay Yapim offered to turn the novel into a television series. The producers pulled together an A Team of cast, crew, and director, who in turn created the acclaimed T.V. series “Kurt Seyit ve Sura”, with Nermin Bezmen’s guidance as a consultant and Ece Yorenc as script writer. The leading roles were played by the talented (and ahem, may we add also gorgeous) duo Kivanc Tatlitug and Farah Zeynep Abdullah. After its initial viewing in Turkey, the series was distributed in many countries, including the United States, where it is currently shown on Netflix. The production reached millions of viewers across the world and stole the hearts of many, creating new excitement and awe around the life story of the two lovers, about 100 years after their first kiss.

​The books in the saga include:

  • Kurt Seyt & Shura
  • Kurt Seyt & Murka
  • Mengene Gocmenleri
  • Shura Paris Years 1924-1927

Main heroes:

Kurt Seyt:

The son of a wealthy Crimean nobleman is a dashing First Lieutenant in the Imperial Life Guard. Injured on the Carpathian Front and later sought by the Bolsheviks, he makes a daring escape across the Black Sea.

​Too proud to accept payment for the boatful of arms he hands over to the Nationalists, he faces years of struggle to make a new life in the Turkish Republic rising from the embers of the dying Ottoman Empire. All he has is his dignity and love.

Shura:

The innocent beauty enchanted by Tchaikovsky’s music and Moscow’s glittering lights falls in love with Seyit at the age of sixteen. A potential victim in the sights of the Bolsheviks due to her family’s wealth and social standing, and determined to follow her heart, she accompanies her Seyt on the perilous flight over the Black Sea.

​Their love is the only solace to the crushing homesickness for a land and family they will never see again, two lovers amongst hundreds of thousands of White Russian émigrés trying to eke out a living in occupied Istanbul.

Nermin is also offering us a peek of the book!

A Night in Petrograd, 1916

Snow fell in fat, lazy flakes, an immaculate white blanket settling over the sleeping city. The carriage turning left at Alexander Nevsky Square laboriously carved a wide arc through the snow that had piled up all night, rounded a corner, and drew up to the pavement outside a three-story house.

A few snowflakes fluttered at the windowsills, stuck to the panes and frozen solid. The coachman gazed upward as instructed; a net curtain parted, and a shaft of light beamed out. A male figure wiped the glass, waved, and withdrew.

 

* * *

The young man consulted the pocket watch he’d left by the lamp on the bedside table: it was coming up to four; he still had plenty of time. Carefully, so as to avoid rousing the sleeping woman, he lifted the duvet and got back into bed. He reclined against the pillow, still holding his watch. Then, a little more determined, he flung aside the covers and got up. He drew the curtain back a little more and looked out. The moon illuminated the whiteness starting directly outside the windowpanes, sweeping unbroken over the garden, the railing, and the broad expanse of road. A world in white. Everything sparkled when the moon shone between the scudding clouds, and the world looked more splendid under this white coat.

Heavy curtains kept the world outside the windows, where it belonged. In the semidarkness, the room spoke in scents: perfume revealed a woman’s presence, and vodka testified to earlier indulgences, both mingling with the lavender emanating from the bed linens.

He turned toward the bed for a look. Amplified by the snow, the moonlight cast a bright-white light on the sleeping woman’s bare back. He recalled what the darkness sought to conceal: the deep auburn of her hair, now cascading over the pillow in waves; the groove of her spine dipping delightfully from the nape all the way to her waist and vanishing under the covers; and the right shoulder glowing in the playful light, a flawless expanse of alabaster.

Seemingly oblivious to the cold, he leaned his bare back against the window; then, grinning at the memory, he moved to the round table by the fireplace. The fruit platter, carafe, and glasses still stood where they had been left: half eaten and half drunk from. She was an impatient one, that Katya. Or was it Lydia? Whatever. The auburn beauty had excelled at entertaining him that night.

He picked up one of the half-full crystal glasses, downed it in one go, and shook his head as the alcohol stung his throat. He lit the pink opaline lamp in front of the mirror, and the soft light of gas spread into the room. Digging into the jumble of garments on the sofa, he gathered his own clothing and collected his underwear. He was moving toward the bathroom when the woman spoke sleepily.

“Why so early, darling?”

He strode toward her, still carrying his clothes. She stirred, rounded shoulders and full breasts braving the cold, her face now more distinct. Sweeping her hair up with one arm, she reached out with the other. He stared with barely disguised lust; the charming armpit thus exposed looked as arousing as the ample breasts bathed in the pink light. The sleepy gaze was not necessarily reserved for this time of night: she had proven her expertise in seduction with those large dark eyes framed by long eyelashes, eyes that spoke of the bedroom, of the pleasures of the flesh. Full lips pouting in anticipation, she waited, eyes shut, arm still outstretched. Smiling at her unrestrained behavior and ravenous appetite, he sat down on the edge of the bed. Her provocative scent mingled with the bedclothes, fragrant from passionate hours.

He yielded to the invitation of the arms wrapped around his neck. Languid eyes smoldered into his as she tugged away the bedclothes separating them to free her warm, buxom figure and snuggle up to him. She stroked his back and the muscles in his arms, pressed his head against her breasts, and presented her nipples to his lips. Effectively captured by her skillful limbs—surprising on such a petite woman—he enjoyed a lingering kiss before drawing back.

“It’s time I got ready. You might like to get up too; I’ll have you dropped off.”

She pouted with a half shrug. “Couldn’t we stay just a little longer?”

“I need to set off.”

“Where to?”

“Moscow.”

“When will you be back? Will you call upon me again?” She stirred as if to get up during this barrage, hoping to tempt him to change his mind.

All she got in response, however, was a jaunty smile and a pinch on the cheek before he walked toward the bathroom. He mused as he washed; he couldn’t remember her name—just another one-night stand. Someone he had met at a wild party where the drink had flowed like water…and they had left together. She was no petty commoner, if the splendor of her dress and jewelry was anything to go by. In all likelihood, she’d arrived on someone else’s arm—probably the man who’d paid for that splendor.

As he shaved, his thoughts strayed to the journey ahead. Best to get a move on, given he had arranged to meet the others at the station in an hour.

By the time he’d returned to the bedroom with a towel wrapped around his waist, she was already dressed. He patted his cheeks and neck with lotion from a bottle on the console. “Wouldn’t you like to take a bath?”

“I never take a bath on my own,” came the flirtatious reply.

An irrepressible grin lit up his face as he combed his hair, thinking, Her husband—or lover, whoever it was—certainly has his work cut out. He dressed, ignoring his audience, who sat on the edge of the bed to admire the view.

Muscular and fit, the young man in his early twenties carried himself with an aristocratic posture and demeanor. His moustache and floppy fringe were chestnut. A cleft chin seemed to complete his striking looks: flashing dark-blue eyes, a straight nose, and a perpetually sardonic mouth.

The redhead patted her curls back into place and sighed. Her questions were destined to remain unasked as the young man, now in full uniform and boots, strode between wardrobe and dresser, clearly lost in his own thoughts. He picked up several items from drawers, and some books went into a suitcase. She watched, astonished that he appeared to have forgotten the many wonderful hours they had shared in bed. Her wiles had failed to hook him. She leaned back with another sigh.

Taking a ring from a box by the mirror, he placed it on his finger and then put a watch in his pocket. She remembered openly admiring them last night—she adored jewelry after all, and he’d said the sapphire-and-diamond ring was a family heirloom. The enameled gold watch adorned with rubies was a gift from Tsar Nicholas II, he’d told her.

Soon they were ready to leave. A muffled clatter rose from the street. The second carriage had arrived. He picked up his coat and hat. “All right, let’s go,” he said. “I’ll have you taken home.”

He extinguished the lamp and walked to the door. She followed, surprised and not a little disconcerted at the absence of one last kiss or a plea for another meeting, as if there had been nothing between them.

The coachmen leaped down and ran over the snow. The young man turned to his guest, took her hand, and said, “Aktem will drop you off. Fare thee well, my lovely.” Her name wasn’t even on the tip of his tongue.

“Will we meet again?” she tried one last time.

“Why not?”

Happier now, she presented her cheek for a kiss, unbothered by the coachmen’s presence. Finally, gathering her courage, and with a bashful smile, she asked the one question that had plagued her all this time. “Tell me your name again?”

His merry laughter rang in the snowy street’s early morning silence. So the night had not been that memorable for either of them! Except for the ending, that is. He bowed, as if they had just met, and enunciated deliberately: “First Lieutenant Seyit Memedovich Eminof.”

 

* * *

As the two carriages drove away in opposite directions, the auburn beauty who had sweetened his night was already slipping from his mind.

Intriguing! I’m curious to find out what happens next… 🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B078T3WPNY

Kindle:  https://www.kurtseytandshura.com/product-page/kurt-seyt-shura-kindle-e-book-english

Website (international shipping for non-U.S. readers) :  https://www.kurtseytandshura.com/buy-kurt-seyt-shura-english-book

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

About Molly V. Lovell

Nermin Bezmen is an accomplished artist, art teacher, yoga instructor and broadcaster whose meticulous research into family history led to the publication of Kurt Seyt & Shura in 1992.

This fictionalized account of her grandfather’s life became an instant bestseller, and is now considered to be a masterpiece of contemporary Turkish literature to the extent that it has reached textbook status in several secondary schools and universities.

Exquisite detail distinguishes her writing as she proves that truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and that our ancestors call out to us all from the pages of history.

Her powerful character analysis and storytelling skills invite the readers to explore their own dreams, sorrows, anxieties and even fleeting fancies.

Bezmen has to date published fifteen novels, two of which are biographical, and one is a fantasy; a children’s novel, a collection of forty short stories and a book of poems. She has two children and three grandchildren and lives with her husband, actor Tolga Savacı in New Jersey and Istanbul.

Books:

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

Website:  www.kurtseytandshura.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/nbezmen1

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2Ao8jjr

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1259947.Nermin_Bezmen

Newsletter:  https://www.kurtseytandshura.com/sign-up

Once again, I want to thank Nermin Bezmen, the brilliant author of this fascinating novel, for stopping by!  It was a pleasure to have you here!

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Filed under Authors, Books, characters, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Historical Romance, Interview, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing

Book Feature: Sweet Reunion by author CJ Warrant

I am pleased to announce a great book by CJ Warrant, an author I met during my journey! She’s stopping by to tell us about her awesome modern romance, Sweet Reunion, which released back in November!

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

CJ is allowing us a look at her cool contemporary romance, Sweet Reunion, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Sweet Reunion:

On the brink of losing her bakery, Beth Monroe must accept help from Bryce Landry, the college love who broke her heart, or watch her dream fail.

After a broken engagement, Bryce gave up on the idea of real love until he walks into Beth’s bake shop. He has no clue why she is curt with him. But to get into her good graces, Bryce gives her an offer she can’t refuse, which opens up both their hearts and exposes the love they had for each other.

And here is an excerpt to tease you with.

BETH

Beth Monroe thought it was a joke when she got a call from the bank saying that her business partner, Hannah Larson, had emptied out their business accounts.

Not believing for one moment that her friend of seven plus years could betray her, Beth tried numerous times to contact Hannah on her cell phone, but her calls went straight to voice mail.

Worried that it could be foul play—that someone actually forced her take the twenty thousand of their hard earned cash, Beth contacted the police. If there was foul play involved, she hoped Hannah was alive and safe. Money could be replaced, but not a friend.

Beth trusted her partner wholeheartedly. She never thought Hannah would do something so terrible as stealing. They’d each put their heart and sweat into Sweet Cupids, a bake shop they had opened up in the South Loop of Chicago three years ago.

They were equally passionate about the bakery. Or so Beth thought until the cops confirmed that Hannah had in deed acted on her own accord.

After the police ran through the security cameras, which showed her walking into the bank alone and withdrew all of the money, they checked Hannah’s apartment. It was empty with all the furniture gone, except for a broken coffee table and the fridge.

Beth hadn’t thought twice and filed a police report. Although she was baffled—and angry for what Hannah did. How could she not see the signs? If Hannah wanted out of the partnership, all she needed to do was open her mouth and say something. No, instead she stole the damn money—all of it. There was no money to pay for any additional needs for the shop. Nothing.

After leaving the station that morning, Beth had opened a new account at a bank down the street from the shop. She had to transfer some money from her personal account—which wasn’t much, but barely enough to cover the bills. Thank God, she hadn’t had a chance to deposit what the weekend had brought in, but Beth knew it wasn’t enough.

Rent was due, plus the upcoming expenses of supplies and employees salaries had to be paid, leaving only a few hundred dollars for Beth’s personal needs. What was worse? Christmas was less than two weeks away and she wouldn’t have enough money to cover their supplies through the New Year.

“God, why, Hannah?” Beth leaned against the black marble frosting bar at the back of the bakery. She contemplated on what she had done to deserve this lousy crap happening in her life.

Beth assumed their friendship was tight. They had been friends since their NIU days. How could she not know, or see through Hannah’s treachery?

Yet, it didn’t matter anymore. Twenty thousand dollars were gone, and Beth couldn’t get it back. Well, not right now anyways.

She wiped a runaway tear from her cheek.

What the hell was she going to do if she had to close the shop?

Get a grip. You know you can do it.

Yes. Beth knew what she needed to do. Sweet Cupids had to survive. Her livelihood hung in the balance. And there’s no way in hell was she going to run back to her parents and ask them for help either. They would only sneer at the news about Hannah stealing the money.

They were against the partnership from the beginning, but I had calmly explained to them that Hannah had the revenue while Beth had the ingenuity to get the business to take off.

Beth thought it was a perfect partnership. What did they see that she didn’t?

“Damn it, Beth. Stop blubbering,” she scolded herself while wiping away the tears with her not-so-clean floured apron. It had been four days since Hannah split, and not a single word or update from the police on the whereabouts of Hannah. And, every night Beth worried the shop wouldn’t earn enough revenue to stay afloat.

A chime from the front door caught Beth off guard. Crap. She forgot to lock it again. She rushed to the front of the shop and said, “Sorry, we’re closed. We’ll be opened tomor…” Beth’s words faltered the second she locked eyes with the and only, Bryce Landry.

Oh. My. God. Her breath hitched in her throat and her heart thrashed against her chest so hard that it hurt to breathe. Her college love stood just inside the doorway with a tentative smile across his handsome face. Even more attractive than when he left for Harvard four years ago. Bryce was the one who got away. Or actually, she ran away so she wouldn’t have her heart broken by this man.

Oh, boy, he was still beautiful. Sun-kissed blond hair, combed back as though he’d used his fingers. Beth always loved that disheveled look on him. His strong, squared jaw showed a five-o’clock shadow. And his beautiful full lips were still very much kissable. She had dreamed many times of his mouth bearing down on her, on her body, and her sex.

“Hey, Bethie.” Those two words pulled her out of her revelry. How she hated him calling her that.

His voice was the same. Just as deep and hypnotic as ever. His glorious blue eyes instantly woke the side of her she had hidden—no, packed up with duct tape and thrown into the deepest recesses of her mind.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  myBook.to/Sweet_Reunion

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

Thank you for telling us about your book, CJ! 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! And by the looks of things, we have sequels to look forward to as well. 😉

Author Bio

CJ Warrant is an Award Winning Author for dark romantic suspense and contemporary romance.

A lover of strong coffee, baking and family, but not in that order.

She’s a wife, a loving mother of three and worked in the beauty industry for many years until the stories in her head took over. Now she’s a full time author, CJ brings her dark gritty stories to life.

Author Links

Website/Blog:  www.cjwarrant.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/cjwarrantauthor

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/cjwarrant

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/cjwarrant

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/cjwarrant

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/CJ-Warrant/e/B01BTK1T40/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14714883.C_J_Warrant

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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

Pre-order Release Feature: Kurt Seyt & Shura by author Nermin Bezmen

I am pleased to announce a great new release by Nermin Bezmen, an author I met during my journey! Her historical romance, Kurt Seyt & Shura, officially went up for pre-order and will be released sometime in December on Amazon!

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

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

Nermin is giving us a look at her dramatic historical romance and international bestseller, Kurt Seyt & Shura, today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great cover!

Let’s learn about Kurt Seyt & Shura, a story of Love, Passion and Longing:

An instant bestseller since its début in 1992, Nermin Bezmen’s Kurt Seyt & Shura is a classic of contemporary Turkish literature, a sweeping romantic drama set as the splendour of imperial Russia is obliterated in the wake of the Great War.

Bezmen tells the story of two star-crossed lovers fleeing the wave of devastation wreaked by the Bolshevik Revolution, and does so with great sensitivity: one half of this couple who sought refuge in the capital of the dying Ottoman Empire was her grandfather.

​Translated into twelve languages, Bezmen’s Kurt Seyt & Shura inspired a sumptuous TV series that continues to enchant millions of viewers across the world. With the publication of this novel in English, fans can finally read the true story of this great love affair that triumphed over so much adversity, yet failed to overcome human fallibility.

​In 2012, the prestigious Turkish production company Ay Yapim offered to turn the novel into a television series. The producers pulled together an A Team of cast, crew, and director, who in turn created the acclaimed T.V. series “Kurt Seyit ve Sura”, with Nermin Bezmen’s guidance as a consultant and Ece Yorenc as script writer. The leading roles were played by the talented (and ahem, may we add also gorgeous) duo Kivanc Tatlitug and Farah Zeynep Abdullah. After its initial viewing in Turkey, the series was distributed in many countries, including the United States, where it is currently shown on Netflix. The production reached millions of viewers across the world and stole the hearts of many, creating new excitement and awe around the life story of the two lovers, about 100 years after their first kiss.

​The books in the saga include:

  • Kurt Seyt & Shura
  • Kurt Seyt & Murka
  • Mengene Gocmenleri
  • Shura Paris Years 1924-1927

Main heroes:

Kurt Seyt:

The son of a wealthy Crimean nobleman is a dashing First Lieutenant in the Imperial Life Guard. Injured on the Carpathian Front and later sought by the Bolsheviks, he makes a daring escape across the Black Sea.

​Too proud to accept payment for the boatful of arms he hands over to the Nationalists, he faces years of struggle to make a new life in the Turkish Republic rising from the embers of the dying Ottoman Empire. All he has is his dignity and love.

Shura:

The innocent beauty enchanted by Tchaikovsky’s music and Moscow’s glittering lights falls in love with Seyit at the age of sixteen. A potential victim in the sights of the Bolsheviks due to her family’s wealth and social standing, and determined to follow her heart, she accompanies her Seyt on the perilous flight over the Black Sea.

​Their love is the only solace to the crushing homesickness for a land and family they will never see again, two lovers amongst hundreds of thousands of White Russian émigrés trying to eke out a living in occupied Istanbul.

And here is an excerpt to entice you with.

A Night in Petrograd, 1916

Snow fell in fat, lazy flakes, an immaculate white blanket settling over the sleeping city. The carriage turning left at Alexander Nevsky Square laboriously carved a wide arc through the snow that had piled up all night, rounded a corner, and drew up to the pavement outside a three-story house.

A few snowflakes fluttered at the windowsills, stuck to the panes and frozen solid. The coachman gazed upward as instructed; a net curtain parted, and a shaft of light beamed out. A male figure wiped the glass, waved, and withdrew.

 

* * *

The young man consulted the pocket watch he’d left by the lamp on the bedside table: it was coming up to four; he still had plenty of time. Carefully, so as to avoid rousing the sleeping woman, he lifted the duvet and got back into bed. He reclined against the pillow, still holding his watch. Then, a little more determined, he flung aside the covers and got up. He drew the curtain back a little more and looked out. The moon illuminated the whiteness starting directly outside the windowpanes, sweeping unbroken over the garden, the railing, and the broad expanse of road. A world in white. Everything sparkled when the moon shone between the scudding clouds, and the world looked more splendid under this white coat.

Heavy curtains kept the world outside the windows, where it belonged. In the semidarkness, the room spoke in scents: perfume revealed a woman’s presence, and vodka testified to earlier indulgences, both mingling with the lavender emanating from the bed linens.

He turned toward the bed for a look. Amplified by the snow, the moonlight cast a bright-white light on the sleeping woman’s bare back. He recalled what the darkness sought to conceal: the deep auburn of her hair, now cascading over the pillow in waves; the groove of her spine dipping delightfully from the nape all the way to her waist and vanishing under the covers; and the right shoulder glowing in the playful light, a flawless expanse of alabaster.

Seemingly oblivious to the cold, he leaned his bare back against the window; then, grinning at the memory, he moved to the round table by the fireplace. The fruit platter, carafe, and glasses still stood where they had been left: half eaten and half drunk from. She was an impatient one, that Katya. Or was it Lydia? Whatever. The auburn beauty had excelled at entertaining him that night.

He picked up one of the half-full crystal glasses, downed it in one go, and shook his head as the alcohol stung his throat. He lit the pink opaline lamp in front of the mirror, and the soft light of gas spread into the room. Digging into the jumble of garments on the sofa, he gathered his own clothing and collected his underwear. He was moving toward the bathroom when the woman spoke sleepily.

“Why so early, darling?”

He strode toward her, still carrying his clothes. She stirred, rounded shoulders and full breasts braving the cold, her face now more distinct. Sweeping her hair up with one arm, she reached out with the other. He stared with barely disguised lust; the charming armpit thus exposed looked as arousing as the ample breasts bathed in the pink light. The sleepy gaze was not necessarily reserved for this time of night: she had proven her expertise in seduction with those large dark eyes framed by long eyelashes, eyes that spoke of the bedroom, of the pleasures of the flesh. Full lips pouting in anticipation, she waited, eyes shut, arm still outstretched. Smiling at her unrestrained behavior and ravenous appetite, he sat down on the edge of the bed. Her provocative scent mingled with the bedclothes, fragrant from passionate hours.

He yielded to the invitation of the arms wrapped around his neck. Languid eyes smoldered into his as she tugged away the bedclothes separating them to free her warm, buxom figure and snuggle up to him. She stroked his back and the muscles in his arms, pressed his head against her breasts, and presented her nipples to his lips. Effectively captured by her skillful limbs—surprising on such a petite woman—he enjoyed a lingering kiss before drawing back.

“It’s time I got ready. You might like to get up too; I’ll have you dropped off.”

She pouted with a half shrug. “Couldn’t we stay just a little longer?”

“I need to set off.”

“Where to?”

“Moscow.”

“When will you be back? Will you call upon me again?” She stirred as if to get up during this barrage, hoping to tempt him to change his mind.

All she got in response, however, was a jaunty smile and a pinch on the cheek before he walked toward the bathroom. He mused as he washed; he couldn’t remember her name—just another one-night stand. Someone he had met at a wild party where the drink had flowed like water…and they had left together. She was no petty commoner, if the splendor of her dress and jewelry was anything to go by. In all likelihood, she’d arrived on someone else’s arm—probably the man who’d paid for that splendor.

As he shaved, his thoughts strayed to the journey ahead. Best to get a move on, given he had arranged to meet the others at the station in an hour.

By the time he’d returned to the bedroom with a towel wrapped around his waist, she was already dressed. He patted his cheeks and neck with lotion from a bottle on the console. “Wouldn’t you like to take a bath?”

“I never take a bath on my own,” came the flirtatious reply.

An irrepressible grin lit up his face as he combed his hair, thinking, Her husband—or lover, whoever it was—certainly has his work cut out. He dressed, ignoring his audience, who sat on the edge of the bed to admire the view.

Muscular and fit, the young man in his early twenties carried himself with an aristocratic posture and demeanor. His moustache and floppy fringe were chestnut. A cleft chin seemed to complete his striking looks: flashing dark-blue eyes, a straight nose, and a perpetually sardonic mouth.

The redhead patted her curls back into place and sighed. Her questions were destined to remain unasked as the young man, now in full uniform and boots, strode between wardrobe and dresser, clearly lost in his own thoughts. He picked up several items from drawers, and some books went into a suitcase. She watched, astonished that he appeared to have forgotten the many wonderful hours they had shared in bed. Her wiles had failed to hook him. She leaned back with another sigh.

Taking a ring from a box by the mirror, he placed it on his finger and then put a watch in his pocket. She remembered openly admiring them last night—she adored jewelry after all, and he’d said the sapphire-and-diamond ring was a family heirloom. The enameled gold watch adorned with rubies was a gift from Tsar Nicholas II, he’d told her.

Soon they were ready to leave. A muffled clatter rose from the street. The second carriage had arrived. He picked up his coat and hat. “All right, let’s go,” he said. “I’ll have you taken home.”

He extinguished the lamp and walked to the door. She followed, surprised and not a little disconcerted at the absence of one last kiss or a plea for another meeting, as if there had been nothing between them.

The coachmen leaped down and ran over the snow. The young man turned to his guest, took her hand, and said, “Aktem will drop you off. Fare thee well, my lovely.” Her name wasn’t even on the tip of his tongue.

“Will we meet again?” she tried one last time.

“Why not?”

Happier now, she presented her cheek for a kiss, unbothered by the coachmen’s presence. Finally, gathering her courage, and with a bashful smile, she asked the one question that had plagued her all this time. “Tell me your name again?”

His merry laughter rang in the snowy street’s early morning silence. So the night had not been that memorable for either of them! Except for the ending, that is. He bowed, as if they had just met, and enunciated deliberately: “First Lieutenant Seyit Memedovich Eminof.”

 

* * *

 As the two carriages drove away in opposite directions, the auburn beauty who had sweetened his night was already slipping from his mind.

Book Info:

Genre:  Historical Romance

Release Date:  December, 2017

Pre-order Purchase Link:

Book link:  https://www.kurtseytandshura.com/buy-kurt-seyt-shura-english-book

Wow! ♥♥♥ This looks like an intriguing tale!😉

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

 

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this popular book!

Author Bio

Nermin Bezmen is an accomplished artist, art teacher, yoga instructor and broadcaster whose meticulous research into family history led to the publication of Kurt Seyt & Shura in 1992.

This fictionalized account of her grandfather’s life became an instant bestseller, and is now considered to be a masterpiece of contemporary Turkish literature to the extent that it has reached textbook status in several secondary schools and universities.

Exquisite detail distinguishes her writing as she proves that truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and that our ancestors call out to us all from the pages of history.

Her powerful character analysis and storytelling skills invite the readers to explore their own dreams, sorrows, anxieties and even fleeting fancies.

Bezmen has to date published fifteen novels, two of which are biographical, and one is a fantasy; a children’s novel, a collection of forty short stories and a book of poems. She has two children and three grandchildren and lives with her husband, actor Tolga Savacı in New Jersey and Istanbul.

 

Author Links

Website:  www.kurtseytandshura.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/nbezmen1

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2Ao8jjr

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1259947.Nermin_Bezmen

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing

Book Feature: King in Chains by author Grey Francis

I am pleased to announce a great book by Grey Francis, an author I met during my journey! She’s stopping by to tell us about her awesome paranormal erotic romance, King in Chains, which released back in September!

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

Grey is allowing us a look at her sexy paranormal romance, King in Chains, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for King in Chains:

Two hundred years. For two hundred years, vampires Alastair and Cassie lived without their Master, Killian. Killian’s return is cause for rejoicing—and nights of unquenchable, burning passion—but Alastair still harbors the fear that his True Mate will abandon them once again.

Complicating matters, Killian still refuses to take his place as the rightful Vampire King, leaving it to Alastair to rule in his stead rather than serving as the Arm of Power.

As Alastair struggles with his doubts, a new threat appears in London. A new Master Vampire stalks the streets, launching brutal attacks on Alastair’s warrior patrols. When this dark new presence makes a brutal attempt on the life of Alastair’s son, war becomes a certainty.

With Cassie and Killian away on important business, Alastair must lead this war alone. He faces a dangerous foe: a necromantic Master Vampire of intense power and uncertain motivations—and intimate ties to Alastair’s past.

The second installment of Grey Francis’s erotic Into the Dark Woods series, King in Chains continues the sensual tale of Alastair and his lovers—and threatens to rip their eternal passion to shreds.

Ooh..interesting!

Let’s hear from the author! Hello, Grey! 🙂

Hi, readers!

Lovely to have you here, Grey! Tell us a little about this book.

A psychologically compelling and literary erotic novel, King in Chains reveals hidden secrets as a new enemy threatens all of Vampire Kind, one who offers the tormented Vampire King, Alastair, something his lovers, Cassie and Killian, never could. With the second novel, I was able to delve deeper into the psychology of the compelling but complex Alastair. As he struggles to resolve the scars of the past that still haunt him, he is confronted by a powerful and sadistic enemy, who threatens to destroy all those he loves and the realm he has built. I wanted to make King in Chains the story of a warrior’s reawakening, as Alastair discovers how to truly love and trust again. He must confront his darkest memories and greatest truths and learn to accept his fate as King, while fighting for those he loves.

Fascinating! King in Chains is the second erotic paranormal romance novel in the Into the Dark Woods series featuring the vampire trio Cassandra Monteclaire, Killian Monteclaire, and Alastair St. Germaine. What’s new for the trio in this sequel to Bound to a Vampire?

In the same way that Bound to a Vampire was told primarily from Cassandra’s perspective, focusing on her history and her journey, King in Chains is Alastair’s story. From his near death on a battlefield at age 10, to his early years as Killian’s Protector and Mate, this book sheds new light on the two men’s tumultuous and passionate relationship. In current day, the story picks up where Bound to a Vampire left off. Only now, it is Alastair who seeks answers. He questions Killian’s devotion to the sacred threesome when he refuses to take his place as King. Unlike the first book, there is a formidable single enemy, a female vampire from Alastair’s past threatening destroy all those Alastair loves and the realm he rules. It is his turn to fight, to visit the past and face his demons, seeking the answers he needs to save himself and his Mates.

Much of King in Chains focuses on Alastair’s mental state. What are some of the psychological issues he deals with in this novel?

When the book begins, Alastair is in therapy, trying to reconcile the trust issues he has with his Master and Mate, Killian. Two hundred years apart after being abandoned has left scars. However, Alastair carries with him a much deeper wound. Inside him lives a very real death wish. He will always feel guilty for being the only survivor of a battle during the 1600’s. As a Protector, warrior and later as a King, he has always believed his fate would eventually catch up with him. Twice now, his death has been predicted by Seers. The first time, he was resigned to it, but against all odds, Cassandra beat fate and brought him back. Now, centuries later, his death has been seen in a vision experienced by his son Haven. Haven is a precognitive and his visions of death are never wrong. Only this time, Alastair is up against an extremely dangerous enemy. But instead of telling his Mates, whose presence in battle would greatly better his chance of survival, Alastair tells no one of the vision, once again accepting his fate as a warrior and validating his own sense of sacrifice.

A necromantic Master Vampire of intense power stalks the streets of London in this novel. What can you tell us about this new villain, and how does it threaten Alastair and the rest of the vampire world?

Ever since Ashen was a little girl, she could speak to the dead. Her ability has always been exploited, but none worse than by her Vampire Masters, Violet and Ambrose. Ashen was also unfortunate enough to fall in love with Alastair after being sent to seduce him. Ultimately, she fails to break up Alastair and Cassandra, a plan orchestrated by her jealous Masters in exchange for eternal life. The last anyone saw Ashen, three centuries earlier, she had been sold to the vampire King of Russia, a collector of curiosities. In time, he would ultimately turn her into a vampire. But when Ashen becomes immortal, her dark gift transforms into something much more powerful and dangerous. Ashen, in her new form, can command the dead to do her bidding. And Ashen wants power. Even the strongest vampires cannot fend off her unearthly electrical attacks. But more than power, Ashen wants Alastair, the only man she’s ever loved, the vampire who rejected her, and the vampire who shares her she wolf spirit. She has waited a long time and now that the Russian King has been murdered, she has nothing holding her back.

What themes are explored in this novel and how do they affect Alastair, Killian, and Cassandra?

There are a few dominant themes in this book. The first is trust. Much of Alastair’s destructive actions throughout the book are driven by a lack of trust, primarily in Killian’s commitment to him when he refuses to take the throne that Alastair has held safe for centuries. Another important theme is the gift of life. Alastair has always struggled with his own long life when he believes he should have been dead centuries earlier. Alastair, deluded by the idea of sacrificing himself for the survival of his family, is forced to come to terms with the true value of his life and all those who depend on him. In a dream-like afterlife, wandering through death’s landscape, Alastair must revisit key moments in his long life to truly appreciate what a precious gift his life has been. And what it could be again – as a King, as a father, and a Mate. And what it means to lose it all.

King in Chains is your second erotic paranormal romance. What do you find challenging and/or interesting about this particular genre, and what have you learned after having written two books in this type of series?

The biggest challenge for me when writing this series is deciding which character’s story I want to tell next! I feel completely committed to Alastair, Cassandra and Killian’s world and all the fascinating vampires who inhabit their past and present. If I could change anything, it would be the ability to write faster! Writing erotica is very interesting because it needs to stay fresh and interesting. You don’t want to write the same bondage scene over and over. It needs to personify the characters and what they are personally going through at that moment. There is also a psychological component playing out in most of the erotic scenes. A Master must understand what each submissive needs in order to feel loved, safe and fulfilled. For Alastair, this might mean pain. For Cassandra it means to be completely overtaken. Balancing the psychological and erotic is always interesting for me. It became especially interesting with a character like Ashen, who simply doesn’t understand love and only wants control. That led to some pretty rough scenes. Going to the edge without going over it is a delicate balance and stretches me as a writer.

Are you working on another book and, if so, what can you tell us about it?

Yes! It’s called The Shapeshifter’s Heart, and it focuses on Tristan, Forrest, and Eloise. Tristan is such an interesting character to me. The ability to transform into any human or vampire opens the door for all sorts of exciting storylines. Aside from being completely devastatingly attractive and irresistible to both males and females, Tristan is very old, a political mastermind, and a renowned Sexual Dominant. Even though he has been mated for centuries to Eloise, his heart stopped beating the minute his Natural Mate, Bella, was murdered by Torians in the 1500’s. In a way, Tristan takes care of everyone in his realm, including his King, but he is unable to truly feel anything for himself.  When Tristan takes over for Killian on a diplomatic mission across Europe while mentoring Forrest, Tristan discovers that Forrest’s former boss, and guardian, Cyril Winterman, who betrayed the entire Sentient organization, is hiding out in Scotland. In Scotland, Tristan finds himself in tremendous danger as he confronts the very vampire who killed his human clan and made him a vampire. Facing danger and exploring their growing bond to one another, Tristan and Forrest set out on a journey that will reveal great truths and change them both forever.

Sounds intriguing! Let’s read an excerpt from King in Chains

England, 1648

With Alastair tucked inside his cloak, the Scotsman moves fast, giving him the sense they are soaring through the night sky. When they stop, he hears the Scotsman talking to someone. Alastair opens one blurry eye and sees a young warrior standing at the doorway of a fancy carriage. The next time he wakes, the ground is moving beneath them, the carriage rumbling along the muddy road. Alastair is given something warm and strange to drink but he never opens his eyes to see what it is. He only knows it takes the pain away and makes him feel stronger. Alastair continues to sleep against the Scotsman’s chest for several hours, inhaling his wondrous scent, too exhausted to lift his head. Dreamlike, he hears the Scotsman talking to the warrior.

“He’s a wee lad. How could anyone put him out there?” the younger voice says disdainfully.

The Scotsman chuckles. “He’s a little warrior. I doubt he gave them much choice.”

“How’s the wound?” the younger voice asks.

“No longer bleeding . . . ” the Scotsman responds in a low, concerned voice.

After a long pause, the younger man asks, “What is it? Is something wrong with him?”

“No. Quite the opposite,” the Scot says, something unsteady in his commanding voice. “He doesn’t smell or taste like anyone I’ve ever met.”

“Killian, would it be best if I held him for a while?” the younger man responds with concern in his voice.

Killian.

“No,” Killian answers sharply. “It was just a moment. I can control myself.” There’s a long pause and Alastair senses Killian’s hand on his forehead, stroking him. “We must take care of him, Finn. He is someone to me.”

That is all Alastair hears before falling back to sleep. He wakes to find himself alone in the carriage, sleeping on a cushioned bench, a blanket tucked around him. They are stopped along a roadway, some sort of commotion taking place outside. Alastair moves tentatively at first because of his wound, but quickly realizes with astonishment there is no more pain. He pulls up his torn, bloodstained shirt and sees that his wound is wrapped in clean dressing and is no longer bleeding. Even the bite on his leg and the deep slice on his arm have miraculously begun to heal. His mind spins, trying to remember what the Scotsman did to him, what he drank. It had been something warm and strangely quenching, and not from a cup. The shouts outside quickly distract him and he moves to the window.

He sees that soldiers have stopped Killian, Finn, and their driver. Alastair’s heart pounds with fear, wondering if this has something to do with him. Listening closer, Alastair realizes the soldiers are asking for papers and hassling his rescuers. What fascinates him is how indifferent Killian and Finn seem to this inconvenience. They have no fear of these soldiers. On the contrary, Alastair gets the sense the Scotsman is goading them.

The next thing he knows, weapons are being raised and in a blur, Killian is no longer standing next to the carriage but in front of two soldiers, splitting them open and slashing their throats with what appears to be very long, sharp claws, leaving both men dead before they hit the ground. Finn takes the other two soldiers down in fast, lethal strokes of a blade. The last soldier, stunned and having no time to react, is clutched in the Scotsman’s arms, his head bent back as Killian sinks huge fangs into the man’s neck and drinks, blood pouring down his face. Killian’s two young warriors merely watch impassively, Finn whistling as he wipes off his sword and returns it to its sheath.

Observing this, Alastair breaks out in a cold sweat, coils of fear gathering inside him. Killian is no human. He’s seen the creature’s sharp fangs and claws, and the power and speed with which he killed the soldiers, as if they were made of straw. It also explains how he drove off the scavengers in seconds, killing most of them. Killian is some sort of monster that drinks blood—an undeniable and frightening fact. But watching Killian slaughter soldiers from the same army that annihilated his regiment is a spectacular sight to behold. Never had he seen faster or more ruthless kills, all done without a single weapon.

Darker thoughts dawn on Alastair. Impressed as he is, maybe he is being naive. It’s possible Killian only saved Alastair to feast on his fresh young blood later. Breathing hard and ready to flee, Alastair finds himself conflicted. It would be easy to slip out of the carriage with Killian busy feeding and Finn occupied with collecting the bodies into a heap. But something stops him. Perhaps it is the feeling of safety he experiences being close to Killian that still lingers seductively inside him. Never has Alastair known such a feeling. If Killian wished him harm, he had had plenty of opportunity. And why go to so much effort to heal his wounds if the Scotsman only means to kill him later? If anything, he seems highly protective of him.

He touches his wound, something coming back to him. A taste left in his mouth. It had been blood, Killian’s blood. That was what Alastair drank, not from a cup, but from the flesh. Thoughts begin to fit together, stories told around the fire, folklore. He should be afraid, very afraid, but instead he cannot pull his eyes away from Killian, fascinated by a creature of such power and speed, beauty and brutality. A vampire. A real, sodding vampire.

What people are saying about this book:

It is exciting, perplexing, heart-breaking, sexy and superbly entertaining!” – C.J. Populus, Amazon

It was a book that was never dull, and putting all of the sex and torture aside, it is a story of a deep never ending love between the three main characters. I recommend reading the books in order and I can’t wait till the next book in the series.” – Linda, Amazon

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B075V5LRQR

 

Wow! Great excerpt. ♥♥♥

Thank you for telling us about your book, Grey! 🙂

You can check out book one of the series too…

 

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

Author Bio

Grey Francis, a native of Los Angeles, graduated with BA in Journalism before setting off for the New York publishing world. She later relocated back to Los Angeles to work in the film industry. She eventually put her fascination with the paranormal to work as a screenwriter, but it wasn’t until the birth of her series, Into the Dark Woods, that she found her voice as an erotic writer and novelist. Her first book, Bound to a Vampire, was published in January 2015 and the sequel, King in Chains, was released in September 2017.  Francis is currently hard at work on her third book in the series, The Shapeshifter’s Heart. When she isn’t writing, Francis is a busy full-time mother of two wonderful kids.

Author Links

Website:  http://greyfrancis.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/grey_francis

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

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13504371.Grey_Francis

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

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Dark Fantasy, Erotica, Event, Fiction, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with Leona from UNFATHOMABLE LOVE plus a conversation with author Linda Diane Wattley!

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 Molly V. Lovell’s character back on August 29th, and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Linda Diane Wattley, the author of Unfathomable Love, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Leona Tillard, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Linda in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Leona!

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

Character Leona Tillard:  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?

Leona:  Sure.

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

Leona:  I am a soldier in the U.S. Army.

Am I any good at it?  Yes, in less than two years my rank went from Private to Specialist Four as a Finance Specialist.

Do I like it? Yes, the main responsibility I had was making sure everyone got paid and the workload was very fair and purposeful.

Marie:  Nice!

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Leona:  In the beginning, my family consisted of two brothers and myself. Mark was the oldest, then me, and Dennis was the baby, along with both my mother and father. One day we became a merger family. My parents divorced, and my dad remarried, which put us in a position of now having a stepmother, two stepsisters and a stepbrother.

Marie:  Sounds complicated.

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?

Leona:  It was a beautiful white two-story house with a beautiful backyard with lots of flowers and trees.

Marie:  Great!

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

Leona: I enjoy reading books and going for long walks, especially at the park.

I like reading and writing, listening to music and dancing. I like being alone also.

Marie:  (Chuckles.) Well, who doesn’t have those moments, right? 😉

So, what is your greatest dream?

Leona:  My greatest dream is finding out who I am and understanding what is normal.

Marie:  (Nods.) I think we all should understand ourselves better…

Let’s try another question.

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

Leona:  I wish I could be a person who is happy and fearless.

What’s stopping me?  My past is stopping me because I do not understand why I shy away from people who care about me, and I do not trust myself.

Marie: It’s tough when we have personal demons to work through.

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

Who was your first love?

Leona:  Andrew. We met in Kindergarten and were the best of friends. He was my secret crush until one day he told me we will eventually be more than friends.

Marie: Aww…so sweet. I remember those young crushes. ♥

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?

Leona:  Learning that my father took my virginity. That was a devastating reality because I wanted to be nun when I grew up. That made it impossible.

Marie:  Oh no! 😦 I’m so sorry. That must’ve been difficult. I have some personal experience with sexual abuse. I recently published a book dedicated to survivors of it. I can only imagine how hard that experience was for you, especially when you were so young and it happened with someone you should’ve been able to trust. I hope you’ve managed to find some peace over the years…

[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]

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

[Leona 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?

Leona:  At first it was to be a nun and belong to God. Once I realized I couldn’t be a nun, I didn’t know what else I wanted to be.

I am still looking for a dream. I am still looking for me.

Never will I know if it was what I expected.

I never achieved the dream because I felt you had to be a virgin to be a nun. A nun is all I ever wanted to be when I was a kid.

Marie:  All right.

Again, I’m so sorry. 😦

(Clears throat.)

So, who is your role model, Leona?

Leona:  My grandmother is my role model. She always protected me and talked to me about God. And, she always told me I was special and one day I will understand why.

Marie: That’s wonderful, and she’s so right. She sounds like a wise woman!

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Leona:  Myself. I don’t like myself because I feel so unworthy to be anything good or loved because I feel so dirty.

Marie:  It’s really hard to deal with shame. I’m still working through it.

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Leona:  To begin again and put my past behind me.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there! I think we’ve all felt that at one time or another…

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

Leona:  Dying is my greatest fear because I don’t know where I will be. I just know it won’t be with my family and friends.

Marie: A lot of people fear death. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. The unknown is often scary. My take? I don’t think we’re supposed to look that far ahead. Maybe it’s better to just live your life the best way you can, because you never know when your time will be up. 😉

But, 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, Leona. 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 Linda Diane Wattley on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Linda!

Author Linda Diane Wattley:  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 female character from your story, Leona Tillard. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Linda:  She is a troubled soul who is trying to find out who she is. In many ways she is an angel. Leona has a big heart to share with others along with a strong need to be loved.

Marie:  Well, I think we all need love in our lives.

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Linda:  She is gentle, a good listener, and she has many gifts to share with the world. And, Leona is very smart and spiritual.

Marie:  Nice!

And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?

Linda:  Low self-esteem, a strong need to be loved and understood, and some self-anger.

Marie:  All right. Many of us have certain insecurities, so I’m sure a lot of people can relate.

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of Leona’s favorite foods?

Linda:  Barbecue, french fries, chicken, mashed potatoes and she loves homemade cookies.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Sounds yummy!

How about another question?

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

Linda:  She has a pure heart and the gift of healing.

Marie:  Great!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Linda:  They will love Leona Tillard because she is damaged merchandise, but she lives life to the fullest and is as real as they come. The reader will understand her choices, even though they are not always the best choices, especially when it comes to love.

Marie: Okay.

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

What first gave you the idea for Unfathomable Love?

Linda:  The love experiences that come into Leona’s life are overwhelming to comprehend. The love is so deep and intimate, and it happens more than one time for her. Who would you choose for her and why? You too could be making a huge mistake.

Marie:  Intriguing!

Let’s try something else.

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

Linda:  It is so surreal for me to write. I feel like a vessel receiving data to write as the words are revealed to me. There is not a book I have written that does not amaze me. There are underlined messages throughout all my books that I believe God wants people to know in a unique way.

Marie:  (Smiles.) I hear you…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 Unfathomable Love or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Linda:  No, not really because Charge of Angel was the first book of the series, which made a way for Unfathomable Love to flow through the process very easily.

I might self-publish because it would have been something worth learning, though I am thankful to have a publisher at this time.

Marie:  Right! In some ways, writing a sequel is easier because you already know a lot about the characters. 

And sure, it doesn’t hurt to have a publisher, though indie publishing is also an option.

Thanks for the additional tips aimed toward our aspiring writers out there!

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 Unfathomable Love appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this inspirational romance by Linda Diane Wattley, a very talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for Unfathomable Love:

Charge of an Angel, the first of the “Love and Redemption Series”, continues as Leona Tillard, the survivor of an uncensored childhood love, begins her journey into the heart of Unfathomable Love.

When Leona graduated from high school, she joined the United States Army. It was then she learned there was plenty of love to go around; after all, the Army is one place where men outnumbered the women. Her only dilemma was figuring out which love was the best love for her to embrace.

Hearing the words ‘I love you’ heals our souls. The ironic thing about it, very seldom do two people share the same meaning for love. This is usually fine until someone else’s meaning of love changes our lives forever.

In Charge of an Angel, Leona Tillard asked for your help as she survived her daily childhood nightmare. Today, she is asking you to help her to choose the right man to love forever. Do I love the soldiers or do I love my big brother’s best friend?

Sounds like an easy task, doesn’t it? Trust me, you too just might choose the wrong one. Let’s see if we can save Leona once again.

 Lord God, so much love, help me choose!

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

Doug sat down, breathing hard and sweating. He had danced himself out. He put on a slow song, grabbed me by my arm and walked me down to the dance floor. Apparently, another girl had planned to dance with him and met us along the way. He kissed her on the cheek and kept walking while she gave me the evil eye. I smiled and kept on stepping.

He embraced me and our bodies melted together as we swayed to “Breathless” by Corrine Bailey Rae. He put my arms around his waist and I wrapped mine around his neck. Though I was a little taller than Doug, it didn’t take away from his ability to get his bump and grind going. I had never experienced this before. Between the high, his scent, and his perfect body, I was in another world. Each motion of his body felt like a request for a deeper caress. As the music played, our bodies became a new and emerging instrument that played a song so deep with emotions to stop would be a great loss.

My body wanted out of my clothes. I wanted the party to turn into a huge waterbed and everybody to disappear. But, the music began to fade. Abruptly, he released his hold and ran back to the platform to play the next song. Looking at me from a distance, his eyes looking through me, he motioned for me to come to him. I finally exhaled. I didn’t rush to him.  I just stood there and looked at him. The longer I stared at him, the longer and deeper he stared at me. By now the dance floor was filled with people, again.

The crowd danced around me as if I wasn’t there. I began to realize the feelings I felt with Doug were the same feelings I had experienced with Tony a long time ago. He and I met at my brother’s day camp when I was about sixteen years old. Our closeness had been leading to sex, but he cared enough about me to make sure we didn’t do it.

I didn’t know about Doug. He gave my body a lot in a room filled with people. I could only imagine what would happen if we were alone. Just the thought of it made me feel like a lit candle. If he blew on me, I would probably melt completely and disappear without a trace. I decided I’d better get out of there.

I slipped gracefully through the crowd and found my way outside the room. As I went to the lobby of the hotel, I saw a line of cabs waiting to take soldiers back on post. I floated out the front doors to a cab and sat down in the back seat. As the cab began to pull off, I felt wrong for leaving without telling Doug. Then, I realized it felt great knowing he would miss me. After all, he was too sure I was coming to the party.

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

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/1975939549

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/7522050

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

About Linda Diane Wattley

Linda Diane Wattley is a proud veteran of the United States Army. Born in Akron, Ohio, she attended the University of Akron majoring in Psychology.

Over twelve years, a religious/philosophical columnist for the Frost Illustrated Newspaper in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 2016, she addressed PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, by writing Soldier with a Backpack, Living and Dying Simultaneously which made her a nominee for the ‘Best in Nonfiction’ during the African American Literary Awards Show.

Currently, she shares her “Love and Redemption Series”, which is a dramatically written story revealing intimate truths about molestation and the impact it has on a child’s soul. Leona is the child growing up and sharing her soul.  Keep her close to your heart.

Available today is the first of the series, Charge of an Angel.  Here you witness the early beginnings of the secrets of sexual abuse. And, the second book, Unfathomable Love. Never will you witness a love as unique and beautiful as the love waiting for Leona. God only knows what can become of it. You don’t want to miss it.

Currently she joined TLBTV and the Beacon Project as host of “The Truth Will Set You Free Show”, where you don’t have to be a celebrity to share your truth with the world.

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Linda Diane Wattley, here are some author links:

Website:  http://www.lindadianewattley.com/

Blog:  http://www.lindadianewattley.com/blog/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/universalove

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Diane-Wattley/e/B00JNTEYK6/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14441999.Linda_Diane_Wattley

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

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

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Leona, a female character from Unfathomable Love, and Linda Diane Wattley, 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, Faith, Fiction, Guest Writer, inspirational romance, Interview, Readers, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips

A Character Interview with Ellie from A SIBLING’S DILEMMA plus a conversation with author Molly V. Lovell!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. I know it’s been quite a while since we did one of these. If you remember, we interviewed Monice DeSimone’s character back on November 8th of 2016 and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Molly V. Lovell, the author of A Sibling’s Dilemma, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Ellie Kent, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Molly in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Ellie!

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

Character Ellie Kent:  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?

Ellie:  Sure.

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

Ellie:  Um, right now I work at the Kensington Group as Mr. Kensington’s—the CEO’s—assistant. Keeping this between the two of us, I’m just working here because Cassie, my sister and a private detective, wants me to keep an eye out on Mr. Kensington for one of her clients. Although I don’t feel too good about being here as a spy.

Oh, sorry, you asked me if I liked the job too. I almost forgot. Um, I actually like it here. Mr. Kensington and I got off to a um…rough start at first. He can be really intimidating and, well, I’m shy to begin with. Being around him made it so much worse and it was really stressful. But, we’re good friends now so I actually enjoy my job. Although I wish I were there under better circumstances…

Marie:  Can’t blame you there! That’s a tough situation to be in. 😦

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Ellie:  Cassie’s the best sister I could ever ask for. She saved my life when we were younger and she’s sacrificed so much for me. I would do anything for her. She’s so strong-willed and powerful, and if she sets her mind to something, she just does it. I wish that I were as strong as she…

Marie:  Well, I’m sure you haven’t found the one thing that will test you just yet. I think we can surprise ourselves sometimes.

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?

Ellie:  Um…s-sorry. That’s not…um…can we move onto something else? I’m sorry.

Marie:  All right. Sure…let’s see.

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

Ellie:  I know this sounds really boring, but I like playing with my dog, Spots, and volunteering at the soup kitchen down the road. I believe in helping others. I actually just graduated with my degree in social work and I was set to work in that field, but Cassie needed me at the Kensington Group, so here I am. Wait, I think I might have already told you that last bit earlier. Sorry if I’m repeating myself. I do that when I’m nervous sometimes…

Marie:  (Chuckles.) No problem! I think we all have a nervous tick or two, right? 😉

So, what is your greatest dream?

Ellie:  I want to run a non-profit someday and work to eradicate extreme global poverty. I know I won’t be able to end it myself, but with the right capital and money management, I could at least stop a lot of people from dying from malnourishment, unsanitary conditions, and the like.

Marie:  Nice! It definitely sounds like a plan…

Let’s try another question.

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

Ellie:  I wish that I were a stronger person—someone who is confident and voiced her opinions more often. But, it seems like almost every time I go to say something confrontational, I just think ‘who am I to say this? What if I’m wrong?’ and I lose my nerve and I don’t say anything at all. Cassie and Mr. Kensington are always so vocal about what they want in life and I wish I were more like them.

Marie: I think most of us are afraid of speaking out about things, to go against the mold, so to speak. I think that when you find that something worth fighting for, you’ll know it.

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

Who was your first love?

Ellie:  Love is a pretty strong word. I think to love someone is a beautiful thing—you give up a piece of yourself to the other person. The only person I can say that I love is my sister. Not in a romantic way, of course, but I want her to be happy and I’m willing to make sacrifices to see that happen.

There is someone I really like, though—Mr. Kensington. He’s so handsome, smart, and strong-willed. He’s been a good friend to me too. I would say that Edric, I mean Mr. Kensington, is one of the few people that I can talk to where I don’t clam up. I need to get over this infatuation, though; he’d never date a girl like me. All his girlfriends in the past were beautiful models. Maybe if I were prettier he’d like me, but I’m not. It’s never going to happen and I just need to get over this silly crush.

Marie: Aww…(sighs.) I love romance. ♥

I think you should just go ahead and crush to your heart’s content, Ellie. You only live once, right? 😀

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?

Ellie:  I was sick a lot as a kid. I’m not sick anymore though, so it’s nothing to worry about. But, um…I-I don’t like to talk about it much. I’m sorry…

Marie:  Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear it. That must’ve been difficult. I’m glad you’re okay now, though.

[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]

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

[Ellie 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?

Ellie:  I didn’t dream of much growing up. I didn’t think I was going to make it to adulthood, to be honest. In a way, being alive, healthy, and able to live a relatively-normal life is a dream come true. On top of all that, I have a Master’s Degree, a decent job, and people that I care about and who care about me. Life is so much better than I expected.

Marie:  Happy to hear it!

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

So, who is your role model, Ellie?

Ellie:  My role model? For people I’ve never met, I would say Kristine Pearson. She helped to develop a radio that allowed for educational programs and information to be easily accessible in developing countries, even with no power. I would love to make that big of a difference to so many people someday.

For people I know, I would say Mr. Kensington. He’s the hardest-working person I’ve ever met. He works, at least, twelve hours a day. And when he’s not working, he spends time with his younger brother and older sister, which is very sweet of him. He’s incredibly smart too—he helped make a brand-new type of video game technology. He’s admirable in those regards.

Marie: Wow! I agree. He sounds like a great man!

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Ellie:  I try not to dislike people. Whenever I find myself disliking someone, I put myself in their shoes and see why they act the way they do. Usually, it makes me a bit more sympathetic to them. It’s not always easy, but I try.

Marie:  Well…that is definitely admirable of you! I respect that you can do it.

Let’s try another question.

What is your deepest desire?

Ellie:  Um…I…um. Wow, I um, feel really embarrassed admitting this but, um, I want to be with Mr. Kensington romantically. I guess if I’m talking about him in that light, I should refer to him as Edric. But I want to be with Edric. I should desire other things that are more beneficial to society, but, um…that’s my deepest desire. I’m so embarrassed. Please, please, please don’t tell anyone. I would be so mortified if Edric were to find out. I don’t think that I could look him in the eye again if he knew I felt that about him.

Marie:  Hey, it’s just us girls here! No worries. Your secret is safe with me.

Plus, who can blame you? He sounds like a total hottie.

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

Ellie:  I would say that my biggest fears are rejection and public speaking. Well, I suppose that I’m afraid of public speaking because I’m afraid of rejection. I always clam up when I talk to new people. Thank you for listening to me, though, and I’m sorry to have just rambled on about myself the whole time. It felt so good to get stuff off my chest, so thank you for that.

Marie: It’s understandable to have those fears. And public speaking? Yikes! Heck, I still get really nervous before my radio interviews. I’m always afraid I’m going to forget an important detail, or sound really dumb, you know? I think we’ve all been there before, hon.

But, 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, Ellie. 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 Molly V. Lovell on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Molly!

Author Molly V. Lovell:  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 female character from your story, Ellie. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?

Molly:  She’s one of the few characters in A Sibling’s Dilemma that I can say is actually a good person. Her sister, Cassie, tries to be, but is willing to set aside her beliefs to get ahead in life. Edric, Ellie’s main love interest, is good to those he’s closest to, but is mistrustful and can sometimes be cruel to others.

Ellie wants to do the right thing in this story, but she doesn’t quite know what the right thing is. Cassie, a private investigator, wants Ellie to spy on Edric. Ellie reluctantly agrees, but when she gets to know Edric, she thinks that he’s actually a decent person and doesn’t want to be a part of destroying his company. She’s split between helping her sister and doing what she thinks is right. She’s in a rough predicament.

Marie:  No kidding!

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

Molly:  Ellie’s greatest strength is her compassion. She treats everyone with kindness, dignity, and respect. Ellie treats a multi-billion dollar CEO the same way that she treats a homeless person. She doesn’t care much about material things and actually does want to help others.

Marie:  Excellent!

And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?

Molly:  I would say that Ellie’s greatest weakness is her insecurity; it causes most of her problems. Ellie can’t seem to trust herself and, since she’s been hurt in the past, she doesn’t really trust others either, with the exception of her sister. I think that’s really sad—no one should have to go through life not trusting themselves or others. Now, Ellie would say that she does, in fact, trust others. She thinks that she trusts other people too. But, her actions show otherwise. She’s very, very guarded and won’t confide in others or let them help her. Getting her to talk about potentially painful things is like pulling teeth out of her; it’s not going to happen easily. Her insecurities and guardedness is something that she works hard to overcome.

Marie:  Okay… 😦 I think we all have certain insecurities, so I’m sure a lot of people can relate. And who hasn’t found it difficult to trust before?

Let’s try something fun, shall we?

What are some of Ellie’s favorite foods?

Molly:  Ha ha…Ellie’s perfect meal would consist of half a tuna fish sandwich to eat, peppermint tea to drink, and tapioca pudding for desert. She eats it literally every day for lunch. Edric sometimes brings her in something different, though, since he thinks that it’s a little sad that she eats just a half of a tuna fish sandwich each day.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Interesting!

How about another question?

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

Molly:  Ellie’s really smart and hard-working. She’s a lot more competent than she gives herself credit for. She can accomplish work-related tasks that are nearly impossible. Since she’s so insecure, she doesn’t notice this about herself, though, and views herself as a bumbling, incompetent person who’s lucky to have a job.

Marie:  Aww…well, maybe she’ll be enlightened about that soon.

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Molly:  For the most part, I think that readers will like Ellie because she’s a good person. But, at the same time, they might find her insecurities annoying at certain parts of the story.

I like to make all my characters multi-dimensional. I hope that my readers will both like and dislike my characters during different parts of the book. In life, people are multi-dimensional. I try to have my characters be as life-like as possible. So, long story short, I think that readers will cheer for Ellie sometimes, but want to shake some common sense into her at other times.

Marie: Oh, yes, I know what you mean!

And I prefer characters to be real, flawed human beings too.

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

What first gave you the idea for A Sibling’s Dilemma?

Molly: Okay, so originally I wanted to write a novel about a sassy, foul-mouthed private detective (Cassie) that falls in love with a jerk CEO (Edric), who she’s supposed to spy on. But then, I started to really develop the characters. When I fully fleshed out the characters and added in more (like Ellie), I had to re-examine the premise of the story. I moved the main couple away from being Cassie and Edric to Ellie and Edric. The story changed a lot over time.

Marie:  Nice! Interesting how the muse works, huh?

Let’s try something else.

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

Molly:  I would say that I’m a combination of both. I really, really flesh out my characters. Then, I daydream about certain scenes in the book and I connect them all together. Once I have a general map going, I start to write. When I write, unexpected things come up and I either keep these new plot points, or cut them out entirely. I like to work in drafts. My first draft of A Sibling’s Dilemma was much different than the current version (and not just because my first draft was riddled with typos. Ha ha!).

Marie:  (Laughs.) I hear you…sometimes characters have minds of their own. The ones in Upon Your Love wouldn’t shut up for me until I wrote them into the story too. 😉

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 A Sibling’s Dilemma or publishing it?  What would you do differently the next time?

Molly:  Okay, so I didn’t have too many problems with writing A Sibling’s Dilemma. However, I have had problems, in the past, with writing other stories.

My main advice for writing is that you need to love your own story. If you don’t love it, it’s not going to flow well and it’s going to come out bad. Or even worse, it won’t come out at all because you won’t want to write it. This novel just seemed to flow right out of me; it wasn’t super hard to write. Editing it and polishing it up was a whole different ball of wax (I’m eternally grateful for my editor), but the book itself was easy and fun to write.

As for getting published, my main advice is to not get discouraged. All you need is one publisher to say yes. Getting rejected will hurt, but you’ll move on. If you never try to put yourself out there, you’re in the same boat as you would be if you just got rejected. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. So, just try to put your work out there. And if you do get rejected, ask why. I know that it’s awkward to ask and having a conversation about all the things that you’ve done wrong. It’s not the ideal conversation that you want to have, but it’s a necessary one if you want to improve. Use that criticism to hone your craft and get even better. If you use the criticism constructively and you never give up, a publisher will eventually say yes. You can do it! 🙂

Marie:  Too right! Often if we try to force writing to happen when our hearts aren’t in the story, it doesn’t work out. 

Still, so much goes into the process, and we need all the help we can get. And like you said, we have to try first!

Thanks for the additional tips aimed toward our aspiring writers out there!

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 A Sibling’s Dilemma appears to be. Congratulations on your new release, Molly!

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this contemporary romance by Molly V. Lovell, a very talented author! :)

Here is the blurb for A Sibling’s Dilemma:

Edric Kensington promised himself that he would never be close to anyone outside of his family. Ellie Kent promised herself that she would always do what she thought was right no matter what. Cassie Kent promised herself that she would never date a married man. Sometimes promises get broken. Sometimes feelings get hurt. Sometimes friendships collapse. Sometimes standards slip. And yet, sometimes people overcome their flaws and find love.

A Sibling’s Dilemma is a contemporary romance novel that revolves around two sisters: Cassie and Ellie Kent. Cassie is a private detective and Ellie is a recent college graduate. Cassie is hired by Charlie Logan, the CEO of a company specializing in virtual reality games, to spy on Charlie’s greatest professional rival—Edric Kensington. This is no easy task–Edric Kensington is known for being as cold and guarded as he is handsome. To successfully infiltrate Edric’s company, Cassie needs to have an insider work there. Her shy-and-sweet sister, Ellie, is the perfect fit. When Ellie first works for Edric’s company, she is afraid of the cold and aloof CEO, but, over time, she develops romantic feelings for him, just like Cassie develops feelings for Charlie Logan. The two sisters become torn between their friendship with each other and the feelings that they harbor for the handsome CEOs who have stolen their hearts.

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

Ellie Kent sat nervously in the top floor of the Kensington group building. She wrung her hands and then fidgeted with the second copy of her résumé.

Am I qualified for this? I hope I’m good enough. I don’t want to let Cassie down.

She made herself as small as possible as she sat in the waiting room chair. Ellie smiled warmly at the nearby workers, turned bright-red, and then looked back down at her resume, avoiding all eye-contact with them once more.

They probably think I’m weird looking, or too scrawny. Ellie frowned. Her heart was racing a mile a minute.

“Mr. Kensington is ready for your interview.”

“Thank you.” She stood up and then followed the secretary over to the doors. The young woman went to pull the door open, realized that it could only be open by being pushed, blushed, and then pushed it open.

Oh God. I can’t even open a door right.

Ellie walked inside the room and saw Edric Kensington sitting behind his desk. He appeared to be quite bored and unamused. She was surprised by how young he looked, she guessed he was in his early-to-mid thirties. Surprisingly handsome too—he was tall and slightly muscular with strong and symmetrical facial features and unblemished, olive skin. The pictures in the paper didn’t do him justice.

Edric wore a crisp navy-blue suit and had silver cufflinks. His chestnut-brown hair was combed neatly and seemed to frame his face well. Everything about him seemed put together. Ellie immediately felt embarrassed by her own appearance. She wore a light grey skirt suit that she got from the thrift store, which was just slightly too big for her.

The CEO stood up from behind his mahogany desk and walked over to Ellie. She immediately felt intimidated by his height and somewhat muscular stature—it made her feel small and scrawny. And she hated feeling small and scrawny. Suddenly she wished that Cassie were there with her. Someone strong that she could draw strength from.

He reached over and extended his hand to her. “Edric Kensington.”

Ellie reached over to accept the handshake. It was strong and firm. Almost a little too much so; it hurt her small hand.

Oh no, I gave him a weak, limp handshake. I’m not supposed to do that. He probably won’t want to hire me because of it.

“Eleonore Kent.” Ellie’s pale cheeks were flushed red. She averted her eyes to the floor.

“Take a seat.” Edric pointed to the chair opposite his desk. He slowly walked away from the young woman and sat behind his desk—she noticed that he had a confident gait about him.

Ellie knew that she looked flustered. She was never good at faking confidence. Her violet eyes were wide and her cheeks were bright-red. She had a ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ look about her. When she sat down she made herself as small as possible—hunched over, with her hands curled up underneath her chin. In contrast, Edric sat behind his desk poised confidently.

Ellie took a copy of her résumé —the copy that she didn’t crumple nervously in the waiting room—and quickly handed it to Edric. He held his hand up in a ‘stop’ sign.

“I already have a copy, Eleonore.”

Ellie returned the paper to her lap and begun to wring this extra copy of her résumé, since she already tore the other copy to shreds.

“Your résumé is strong—I see that you’re probably going to graduate in a few weeks at the top of your class at an Ivy League university, with a master’s degree, no less. Excellent references. I see lots and lots of community service.” Ellie’s blush deepened. “I have one question. Why would you want to work here as my assistant?”

“I-I…” The young woman swallowed deeply. “I’m thinking of starting up a non-profit one day.” She blurted out and then looked at the floor.

“I see.”

He probably thinks my reasons are stupid and that I’m not cut out to run a non-profit or to run anything.

“What do you have to offer this office?”

The way that Edric said the word ‘you’ made Ellie feel even worse.

“I…” Her hands started to shake.

Don’t cry, Ellie.

“I’m organized. I work hard. I. Um. I’ll do the job.” Ellie stammered.

Edric scoffed at Ellie and shook his head. She blushed and ran her fingers through her silky white hair. “You’ll start now. If you can make it through the end of the day, you can keep it. You will work nineteen hours a week for the next two weeks until you graduate. Then you will work full-time. Understood?”

Ellie nodded her head. “Yes.”

Edric pointed to a wooden desk in the corner of the room. It was made of mahogany, like Edric’s desk, except it was smaller and less ornate.

“The computer is up to date and you’ll find whatever supplies you need in your desk. The computer has an email installed on it for you to use.” He handed her a large notebook and then began to pace back and forth. “This is my copy of my schedule for the week. You will take over managing it, since my incompetent secretary clearly can’t. Send out an email to my sales department to find out what our sales have been for the past four months then make a spreadsheet detailing these sales to me. Book a room for my four o’clock meeting and write me a report detailing all the people who are attending this meeting.” Edric paused. “Oh, and if you fail, you’re fired.”

Ouch! He comes on really strong, doesn’t he? But I’m really connecting with Ellie here. I can feel her pain.

Can’t wait to read this book…🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B0746PHKR1

B&N:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-siblings-dilemma-molly-v-lovell/1127020533?ean=9781625266231

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/7388674

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/a-siblings-dilemma/

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

About Molly V. Lovell

Molly V. Lovell is a law student at William and Mary by day, novelist by night. Her hobbies include writing (obviously), painting, looking at cute puppies, and reading books about political theory, a subject that Molly has a Master’s Degree in. Molly was born and raised in Amesbury, Massachusetts, by her two amazing parents and she now lives in Hyattsville, Maryland, with her loving husband.

Books:

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Molly V. Lovell, here are some author links:

Website:  MollyVLovell.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MollyVLovell

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Molly-V.-Lovell/e/B0747WCG9Y/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15587999.Molly_V_Lovell

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/Mollsie18/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Ellie, a female character from A Sibling’s Dilemma, and Molly V. Lovell, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so much fun to have you here!

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, characters, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Interview, new release, Readers, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips

Pre-order Release Feature: Directions of the Heart by yours truly, plus giveaway!

For our 400th post on the I Love Romance Blog, I wanted to pop in here and let you know about a new release by…yes, moi. My modern romantic drama collection, Directions of the Heart, is officially available for pre-order and will be released on July 25th!

Woo hoo! :)

When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author! So, I am really anxious to show this book to readers!

I’m giving you a look at this dramatic contemporary romance set of four tales, Directions of the Heart, today.

This is the blurb for Directions of the Heart:

Embark on a remarkable journey of drama, romance, and passion…

​In all of these amazing stories, there’s one burning question…is love worth the risk?

Without You

Reece and Jenna are two childhood friends separated by time and distance. Can they find a way to heal their bond, or perhaps forge a new one?

Strange Heat

Spurred by her friend’s close call, Victoria decides to take a risk and prove the lifestyle she led was her downfall. But as Tory sinks deeper into the tumultuous abyss of desire with the mysterious Rick, can she climb back out before it’s too late? Or does she even want to?

Memories

Struggling to run her family’s farm on her own, Sadie takes on a hired hand, Matt. As they grow closer, so does the danger. Someone wants her legacy. Can they combat this new threat, as well as the demons of the past, before Sadie loses everything, including her life?

A Touch of Dawn

Caitlyn thought she’d be in the dark forever. But with the light came Jack, the police consultant who found her. Can they take a journey of healing together, or will Caitlyn retreat into the darkness of her mind, where she lived for so long?

(CONTENT WARNING: With an abuse awareness theme in this collection, there may be triggers here for past trauma sufferers. However, HEAs are guaranteed.)

 

And here are some teasers to entice you with.

Book Info:

Genre:  Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance, Western Romance, Romantic Drama Novella Collection

Release Date:  July 25, 2017

Pre-order Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071WVZZPV

myBook.to/DoH

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/729271

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/directions-of-the-heart-marie-lavender/1126548251

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/directions-of-the-heart-a-romantic-drama-collection

CreateSpace link:  https://www.createspace.com/7239124

 

I hope you all get a chance to check out this romance! 🙂

☆.•°☆•°*EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY!*°•☆°•.☆

Just for being great ILRB readers and the fact that this is quite the anniversary for our blog here, I will give one ebook copy away to a random winner today. Simply comment on the thread below with why you’re still fond of romance novels – maybe it’s the hotties that continue to make you sigh! 😉 – and you’ll have a chance to win a free ebook of Directions of the Heart! ♥ Don’t forget to give us your name and email address for swift delivery. (Note: This giveaway will run for a week.)

Also, stop by the Facebook release party on the 25th for a chance to win a signed paperback, as well as other cool prizes, including books by guest authors!

 

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this book with characters that easily captured my heart!

Author Bio

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. Mystery Blogger Award for 2017. A to Z Blog Challenge Survivor in 2016. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

Author Links

Website:  http://marielavender.com/

Blogs:  http://marielavender.blogspot.com/

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58

https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/marielavender1

Amazon Author Page:  Author.to/MarieLavender

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

Youtube/Book Trailers:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

 

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Giveaways, Book Release, Books, coming soon, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, New Adult, new release, Readers, Romance, western, Writing

New Release Feature: Druid’s Portal: The First Journey by Cindy Tomamichel

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Cindy Tomamichel, an author I met during my journey! Her time travel romance, Druid’s Portal, officially released this week! Yay! That’s awesome! :)

Congrats on your new release! 😉

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

Cindy is giving us a look at her “timey wimey” (Yes, I’m a Doctor Who nerd) romance, Druid’s Portal: The First Journey, today.

Cool cover!

This is the blurb for Druid’s Portal:

A portal closed for 2,000 years.

An ancient religion twisted by modern greed.

A love that crosses the centuries.

An ancient druid pendant shows archaeologist Janet visions of Roman soldier Trajan. The visions are of danger, death, and love—but are they a promise or a curse?

Her fiancé Daman abandons her before the wedding, her beloved museum is ransacked, and a robed man vanishes before her eyes. Haunted by visions of a time she knows long gone, Janet teeters on the edge of a breakdown.

In the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall and 2,000 years back in time, Janet’s past and present collide. Daman has vowed to drive the invaders from the shores of Britain and march his barbarian hordes to Rome. Trajan swears vengeance against the man who threatens both his loves—Janet and the Empire.

Time is running out—for everyone.

And here is an excerpt from Druid’s Portal: The First Journey to tease you with.

“Sister, may I speak with you? I’ve been having dreams, visions of the past.”

“And these worry you, my dear?”

“Yes, I’m afraid . . .”

“That you’re losing your mind?” the gentle nun smiled. “Janet, my dear child, you’re perhaps too sane for your own good. What you have experienced has made you strong, but you ignore the truth of your heart. Perhaps these visions are your heart talking to you.”

“My heart?” stammered Janet, thinking of Trajan.

“There are many mysteries in these dark forests that science struggles to explain. People born here have the weight of history and the forest secrets in their bones. This is your heritage, too, to see things that may be hidden. But one mystery is hope. Your heart hopes and yearns for love, despite the pain inflicted by Daman. The human heart—your own heart—is a mystery.” She placed her hand gently on Janet’s shoulder. “Maybe it is time you listened to yours. Follow where it leads you.”

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071LBLQ1G

Wow! Love the emotional struggle here. ♥♥♥

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

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

Author Bio

Cindy Tomamichel is a writer of action adventure romance novels, spanning time travel, sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal genres. They all have something in common – sword fights! The heroines don’t wait to be rescued, and the heroes earn that title the hard way.

Cindy’s recent published work includes winning a fractured fairy tale competition with a twist on the Rapunzel story. The fundraising event Madwomen Monologues has presented two of her monologues on stage. She also has poetry and short stories in two anthologies by Rhetoric Askew.

Author Links

Website:  www.cindytomamichel.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CindyTomamichel

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Cindy-Tomamichel/e/B07148BH5Y/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16194822.Cindy_Tomamichel

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

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Authors, Book Release, Books, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, new release, Readers, Romance, Time Travel, Writing

New Release Feature: Timberline by Skye McNeil

I am pleased to announce a great book release by Skye McNeil, an author I met during my journey! Her contemporary romance, Timberline, officially released in April! Yay! That’s awesome! :) Congrats on your new release!:)

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

Skye is giving us a look at her modern romance, Timberline, today.

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Timberline:

After leaving heartache in the Midwest, Jessamine Davis ventures to the mountains of New York City to pursue her dreams of editing best-selling novels. At the top of her game, Jessie sees no pitfalls in her future until a wedding invitation makes its way from Colorado. After her assistant mistakenly sends her RSVP, which includes a plus-one to attend her ex-fiancé and sister’s wedding, Jessie searches for a picture-perfect date to drag across the Rockies.

Asher Whitaker is in a writing slump. The words that usually flow screeched to halt a year ago. Hoping to gain inspiration, he takes a part-time job at his favorite coffee shop. Nothing could have prepared him for the unusual meeting with a gorgeous tea fanatic. Despite his reservations, Asher agrees to accompany Jessie to a week of family time on Mount Princeton.

Hilarity ensues as the two strangers attempt to pass off their faux relationship to the onslaught of her family. Torn between wanting to keep her distance from the ex-Army Ranger turned barista, Jessie begins to feel something other than repulsion for the opposite sex. Asher isn’t the typical Wall Street type, so her attraction to him startles her. With his bold tattoos and teasing demeanor, Asher mirrors everything she didn’t think she craved in a man. His dimpled smile and tall stature puts her at ease and creates havoc in her celibate mind.

Between fishing and four-wheeling, Asher’s connection to Jessie deepens along with the tall tales he spins regarding the real reason he left his mundane side job. Every hour he spends at Jessie’s side only furthers his desire to be more than a boyfriend. Yet, his secret identity holds him back from fully disclosing the truth.

Though they had ulterior motives for their hiatus, the two discover something greater in each other.

In a moment of irony, Jessie discovers who the tattooed barista truly is—a well-known author of novels that leave women weak in the knees—but more importantly, the man she was supposed to sign with her publishing house before leaving New York City.

Jessie’s time spent with Asher forces her to choose between being scorned by love or transforming her heart for the future.

And here is an excerpt from Timberline to tease you with.

The commercial airplane taxied down the runway while Asher studied the sports magazine in his hands. It was opened to an article about baseball, a subject that enraptured him a majority of the time. Any words he read were lost to him. He couldn’t keep his attention fixed on anything with Jessie so close. She smelled like books. Freshly printed books with a hint of lemon. He might have been able to handle karma’s bitch-slap if she wore her hair up in a bun again.

Swiveling his eyes to her in a stealthy manner, he steadied his breathing at the sight of her mildly curled hair, which fell below her shoulders by a good four inches. That, coupled with her deep blue blouse and tan capri pants that exposed toned calves, sent him reeling. Today, Jessie didn’t look like the uptight executive who spilled her tea over them both. She looked normal. Well, normal for a New Yorker. The knowledge that she wasn’t born and raised in the city startled him at first. Her go-getter temperament and drive was typical for the bustling hub. Not many outsiders thrived under the circumstances. Many moved to the suburbs to escape the havoc, but she admitted to living in the heart of the city that never sleeps.

“What did you say you do for work again?” he pestered when he realized they never touched on the subject other than her offering to get him a job. He was shocked at her proposition, but then again, she knew him as a barista and that was all. He would never accept her job offer, but she didn’t need to know yet. Though he didn’t want to divulge his mainstream of income, he was interested as to hers.

Jessie tucked a curl behind her ear. “Oh, I um.” She stumbled as if in search for the right words. “I work in the publishing sector. Nothing too fancy. Books, magazines, websites, etc.”

Asher let his face relax, but only slightly. The little research he did online of her was somewhat satisfactory. In her personal life, she was an internet ghost, save one social media account which was marked as private. As to her occupation, Brecon Books boasted her as an established editor. Her titles varied were predominately romance, but a few mystery, and non-fiction titles had her name attached to them. A stray thought filtered through his mind, but he shoved it aside. Jessie didn’t recognize him, so she couldn’t be the editor who was supposed to meet with him from the publishing house.

“What about you? Is barista your sole job title?” Jessie asked, shuffling through pages of the latest fashion magazine.

“As a matter of fact, no. I’ve dabbled here and there with other professions,” he clarified, skirting the whole truth. She didn’t need to know the reason behind his coffee shop experiment. It would make things awkward.

“So a nomad hippie?” she asked with a disconcerting tone. “They will love it.”

The seatbelt sign flipped off, so Asher turned in his seat to face her. If she knew the truth, her family would love him. He didn’t like to deceive her, but the exposure on the other end was a far cry from the quiet getaway he longed for. “Yeah, it’s not a very stable occupation, but I’m fond of it.” She flipped another page. Her cavalier nature unnerved him. “Since you’re not a fan of me being a barista, what should we tell your relatives? Should we make up a profession? I can play along.”

Closing the magazine, Jessie eyed him from head to toe. As a rule, he would encourage such exploration, but the way her icy blue eyes slid over him was in no way seductive. “You’re an actor too? I guess it works to our advantage.”

Asher opened his mouth to explain, but slammed it shut as she continued. “Nothing pretentious. My mom will look you up online the instant she hears your name, so a quiet profession would be best.”

Asher grinned at the thought of a maternal form of Jessie. He pictured her now as a warm and nurturing type who had a bit of a stalking tendency when it came to the men her daughters dated. “Don’t worry. There isn’t much online to find about me. I’m not very active on the social media platforms. I like my privacy,” he concluded in partial truth. Her mom wouldn’t find anything about Asher Whitaker that wasn’t positive. Without a doubt, she would discover his military history, but it wouldn’t be so bad.

“So do I.” She unbuckled her seatbelt. “It looks like we have one thing in common.”

“Oh, I’m sure there’s more than one.” He plastered a grin on his face and it deepened when her face turned a shade of red. “Anyway, my occupation.”

Jessie tapped her index finger against her knee, deep in thought. “You were in the military, so what about a facet off that? A security company or military recruiter?” she proposed with a hopeful smile.

Thinking over those options, Asher figured they were safer than business. He was horrible at business. He had Mike to deal with the money side of things. “I could pass for a recruiter.”

“Perfect.” Jessie produced a book from her oversized satchel and handed it to him. “This should give you a rundown on what you need to know, although, I’m certain you already know most of it.”

Staring at the thick book, Asher held in his surprise. It was apparent that she’d thought this through last night. She managed to find a book on his fake career named The Basics of Recruiting. The humor wasn’t lost to him on the title either. Opening the bright green cover, he sucked in his breath. He could pass as a recruiter without reading this mumbo jumbo, but she seemed adamant he read it. “Thanks, Mina. It was real nice of you.”

Jessie’s blue eyes darted to his face at the nickname derived from her full name. “It’s Jessie not Mina.”

“Whoa, calm down there, Mina. Why the temper? It’s part of your name after all,” he prodded, skimming her features with his eyes. She was frustrated at his attempt at a nickname. He’d never met a girl named Jessamine before, and though he was surprised she chose Jessie instead of Jessa as a nickname, he liked to play with names. It was one of his favorite parts of his real job. The way her eyes turned to fireballs was irresistible.

“Because he called me Mina,” she somehow seethed through clenched teeth.

Asher understood the dilemma, and right off hated the man who turned Jessie to stone. It wasn’t fair of her ex to monopolize her future. He liked the nickname and he wouldn’t stop because another man tainted it.

Leaning toward her, he lowered his voice. “The best revenge is to move on and be happy. If your ex sees a new man calling you the same name, one I know you secretly love, he will accept the fact you’re over him.” Opening his mandated book to a new chapter, he added, “Plus, I like the name.”

He watched as her face went from prissy to understanding. “My dad wanted boys, but he didn’t get them, so he named us. Jessie for me and Bobbi for my sister. My mom was the one who fancied the names up so people knew we were girls.” She slapped a hand over her mouth. “I don’t know why I told you. Just forget it and read your book.”

Asher watched with vigilance as she jammed ear buds into her diamond-studded ears. The accidental tidbit told him quite a bit about his week-long girlfriend. She didn’t want to be a woman with a flowery name. She wanted to be mistaken for a man. A woman whose desire was to run with the big dogs of New York City.

He smirked when she all but scooted to the edge of her seat as though her insight somehow changed his perception of her. It did, in reality. Her slip up still resonated through her slender frame. The more he learned about her, the more Asher was enthralled. She would make an excellent story character.

Settling back into his seat, he skimmed the pages of the book which was altogether worthless. He was positive his date had also stuffed a book about the security profession in her bag, in case he opted for the other route. Holding in a grin when she mouthed the words from the song playing in her ears, Asher did his best to mind his own business. When she crossed her legs and sat upright like a jolt of lightning hit her, his focus was on her alone. “Everything all right?”

“The list. I forgot to go over the list with you,” was her stammered reply.

“What list?”

Her hands dove into her carryon and produced a notebook with scribbled handwriting in black ink. “I wanted to go over some ground rules for this week.”

Intrigued by her incentive to write out rules, he set his homework aside. “All right, shoot.”

Jessie licked her lips and kept her eyes on the book. “No ifs, ands, or buts on not sleeping together.” She looked up and explained, “My family has this rule where you can’t sleep in the same bedroom unless you’re engaged.”

Asher couldn’t help but insert, “We could pretend to be engaged.” The flush on her cheeks was worth the glare that followed.

“No.” She ticked the sentence off her list. “I’m not a real touchy-feely type of person, so limiting our physical interactions would be appreciated.”

Crossing his arms, he shook his head. “Well, I’m a very hands-on person. If your relatives are supposed to believe we’re together, some touching will be required.”

She narrowed her eyes but then relinquished her prude statement. “Fine, but minimal.”

“Unless you beg for more,” he said under his breath.

“What was that?”

Asher hid a smirk. “Nothing, Mina. What’s next?”

It was clear the use of his nickname aggravated her, but she didn’t correct him. “My mom is nosy, so try not to make up some outlandish story about us.”

“Duly noted.” He pointed to the next one. “No showering together? What? Now, that’s just irresponsible.”

Jessie’s face smeared in panic. “What? It’s not on there.”

“Oh, so we can shower together to conserve water? I know it’s important in the mountains.”

Her eyes flashed annoyance. “Not what I meant when I put ‘abide by mountain rules.’” Lickety-split, she scribbled more words after the sentence. “Yes, we need to conserve water and the like, but not by doing so together.”

“Mmm, you say so now.”

“Asher, be serious.” Jessie offered him a stern glance.

“Proceed.” He held out his hand, giving his approval.

For the next five minutes, the beauty next to him rattled on about the dos and don’ts of the week ahead. Well, five days, but who was counting? It was clear Jessie was a control freak, and her tendencies didn’t stop when they flew over the Midwest states.

By the end, he was somewhat peeved at her requirements. “If I’m getting this right, you want a perfect boyfriend for the week. Sound accurate enough?”

Jessie stuffed her notebook into her purse. “In essence, yeah. I mean, not too perfect, though, because they’ll see through you.”

“Right, because that would be horrible.” He let out a frustrated breath. “I don’t know why you want perfect, Mina. No one is perfect.”

“It’s what I want,” she said, her mind obviously set on that fact.

“And now I know why you’re single,” Asher pointed out, settling back into his seat. He didn’t bother to look over at the expression of malice which covered her face. It was an intentional jab. She desired perfection in an imperfect world. Though sad, it opened his mind to the real reason why her fiancé cheated on her.

The pilot announced their turbulence over the intercom and Asher buckled his seatbelt. He was in for one hell of a ride, beginning with navigating the dicey waters running through Jessie’s veins.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06XQXR5VR

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/timberline-skye-mcneil/1126183742

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/712494

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/timberline-2

Wow! Love the tension here. ♥♥♥

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

 

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

Author Bio

Skye McNeil began writing at the age of seventeen and has been lost in a love affair ever since. During the day, she moonlights as a paralegal at a law firm favoring criminal law.

Skye enjoys writing romantic comedies and cozy mysteries, novels that leave readers wanting more and falling in love over and over. She writes contemporary and historical novels ranging from sweet and sassy to steamy and sultry.

Her constant writing companions are two cats and two dogs. When she’s not writing, Skye enjoys spending time with family, photography, volleyball, traveling, and curling up with a cup of coffee and reading.

Author Links

Website:  www.skyemcneil.com

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Skye_McNeil7

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Skye-McNeil/e/B017Y63B6C/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14437675.Skye_McNeil

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

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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