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Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Vivienne Vincent

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

So, without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Vivienne Vincent, who has some things to say about the question at hand.

I’ve never been a very romantic person, and romance to me means something different from a rich brat who acts like a bad boy but retains a basic goodness of the heart, eventually, falling for an ordinary woman.

I grew up reading Harlequin and I still read those books because they provide a great escape from reality. I don’t have the patience to sit through a 600-page romance so I prefer fast-paced fiction.

But life isn’t fiction and love doesn’t happen the way it happens in books. We suffer heartbreaks and if we’re fortunate we heal, otherwise we live with the scars. Love doesn’t essentially define the art of living.

To me, the most important thing isn’t getting to know the right man or the perfect woman, but getting to know yourself and staring at your own imperfections. That’s a very difficult process and most of us go through life getting over those who broke our hearts, instead of getting over our super inflated egos.

I was very surprised when people took my first publication, Dandelions, so literally. A man breaks a woman’s heart and then forgets her. Meets her again and falls in love with her. I understand that since the story was told from the woman’s perspective, the evolution of his character isn’t obvious. There’s a sequel where he tells the story. But the bottom line is that it was only symbolic of the horrible things we do and then completely forget how much damage we caused, until one day our actions come back to bite us.  We can justify just about anything to ourselves.

If human nature is so pathetic and inherently selfish, what redeems us? The ability to love someone other than ourselves.

Created by Freepik

I like to read literature from different parts of the world and there’s a beautiful concept in Persian mysticism about experiencing worldly love, which serves as a stairway to experiencing true love. You find a somewhat similar idea looking at the relationship between Socrates and Diotima.

Love only lasts if it’s more than momentary infatuation and lust. It requires you to give and surrender. There’s a wonderful novella Venus im Pelz by Sacher-Masoch (which is where the word masochism comes from, by the way). Another book that captures the essence of surrender is the French novel Histoire d’O. These books symbolize how much love can torture and in the end, break you. There’s no such thing as a happily ever after. There’s no element of winning or being rewarded.

To be honest, Dandelions was always the guy’s story and in the actual story, the girl killed herself in the end. But writing takes a toll on the author’s mind as well, so I decided not to take things that far. The first part of Dandelions that’s been released could be considered a very long prologue to the sequel or the actual story.

In the sequel, I want to highlight a few aspects of how men act toward women and how women respond to those things; not in an imaginary or ideal world, but in real life. I want to have a realistic approach which takes away the element of escapist fiction from my work. It will take at least two years or more to finish the sequel, because I’ve involved men in my process of research and I want some honest answers from them.

There’s a line in the book that “People love God and fancy the devil, but no one likes ordinary, flawed humans, which was what she revealed about me to everyone, myself included.” So I’ll be taking a flawed human and dealing with his flaws. He’s not going to achieve nirvana, but it’s going to be a struggle to improve and become a better person.

That’s what love, or romance if you want to call it, means to me.

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If we have the ability to love another, then we certainly have the ability to be a better human. Because life isn’t about being famous or being the best; it’s about quietly struggling to rise above our animal instincts and maintaining a balance between light and darkness.

 Nice! And how very true… 😉

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

Guest Bio

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Vivienne Vincent grew up in a fairly conservative environment which ironically sparked her interest in unconventional subjects and romance novels. As a young girl she became interested in novels from the Victorian era as well as modern day romance. She is pretty much obsessed with British and American sitcoms and crime series. Look her up on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with her. She loves to hear from readers.

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Author Links

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Vivienne-Vincent-850442295083956/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VivienneVincen8

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2abR73V

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/57734728-vivienne-vincent

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15486427.Vivienne_Vincent

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/vivienne-vincent/

Wait, we’re not quite finished!

So, I put the question to you as a reader today as well. What does the word ‘romance’ really mean for you? Is ‘romance’ a driving force in your life? How have your beliefs about romantic relationships informed your own relationships? Perhaps seeing other couples (parents or friends) were some kind of influence. By reading romance novels, does that help to reaffirm things for you?

If you’d like to participate in this special feature, please contact me at marieannlavender@gmail.com and I’ll schedule a spot for you. As you can tell from the schedule on the right hand side of the page, we’re getting booked fast, but don’t hesitate to join in! You do not need to be a writer or author. We want to hear from anyone. We’d love to get your take on how you feel about romance, and why you keep reading our books! ♥♥♥ 

Thanks again, Vivienne, for giving us your take on what romance has come to mean to you. Awesome! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Rachael Tamayo visits us on June 29th! Yay! 🙂

We’ll have other posts before then, though.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Guest Writer, Message, Readers, Relationships, Romance, Writers, Writing

Blog Tour Feature: Hell Yeah! Kindle World Tour presented by Sable Hunter

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Sable Hunter, an author I met during my journey! She is well known for her ‘Hell Yeah!’ sexy book series, and this time she’s invited a bunch of authors in her circle to participate as part of Hell Yeah! That’s awesome, Sable! :)

Kindle World Tour

All of the books in this Hell Yeah! Kindle World tour came out on February 13th. When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author!

About the Hell Yeah Kindle World:

Connected by blood ties and bonds of friendship, the Hell Yeah! world chronicles the lives and loves of a family of Texas men and women, the McCoys, who live by the code of the cowboy. Adventure, unabashed sexual tension and tender intimacy plays out in a saga of stories that offer action and humor, all set in scenic locales from the Hill Country of Texas to the mysterious bayous of Louisiana. The plots of the tales are as varied as our own lives can be, but the world is one where right prevails, love conquers all, and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream.

Sable is presenting us with all six books in the Kindle World tour as well as a bit about each author. But first, let’s hear a little about awesome author Sable Hunter…

sable

Sable Hunter is a New York Times, USA Today bestselling author of over 50 books in 9 series. She writes sexy contemporary stories full of emotion and suspense. Her focus is mainly cowboy and novels set in Louisiana with a hint of the supernatural. Sable writes what she likes to read and enjoys putting her fantasies on paper. Her books are emotional tales where the heroine is faced with challenges. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and swoon. If she can wring those emotions from a reader, she has done her job. Sable resides in Austin, Texas with her two dogs. Passionate about all animals, she has been known to charm creatures from a one ton bull to a family of raccoons. For fun, Sable haunts cemeteries and battlefields armed with night-vision cameras and digital recorders hunting proof that love survives beyond the grave. Welcome to her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where right prevails, love conquers all and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream.

Website:  http://www.sablehunter.com

So prolific! I’m impressed. 🙂

Now let’s learn more about the Hell Yeah! Kindle World.

Check out the RAFFLECOPTER at the end for a chance to win all kinds of prizes!

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Black’s Fall by Kirsten Lynn

He’s a spirit looking for redemption…she’s a heart looking for a soul…Separated by time… bound together by a love they can’t ignore… They will fight for his freedom, her heart, and a lifetime together.

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Here is the blurb.

After attending four weddings in one year, Faith Bannon isn’t looking forward to wedding number five. Unlucky number five brings with it more than the attempts to set her up with everyone from best man to caterer. This time Faith is headed back to Texas and a past that haunts her. When she witnesses a ghostly reenactment of man gunned down by a phantom posse, Faith questions her sanity and the intense pain she feels at the loss of a man she’s never met and who’s been dead for over a hundred years.
Johnny Black lived up to his last name right up until the night a bullet found the heart he’d offered to a treacherous woman. He expected damnation. He didn’t expect the hell of reliving his death every year on the anniversary he was shot down by a posse. Having a woman cry over him wasn’t ever a part of the recreation until Faith Bannon did just that. Now he has one chance to avoid eternal damnation and that’s to help Faith find her heart.
Despite the obstacles, Faith and Johnny are willing to take a chance with their hearts trusting only Skye and Noah McCoy with the truth about the tall, dark, and handsome Texan escorting Faith. But there are forces unwilling to see Johnny outside of purgatory and they’re willing to kill Faith in order to keep him.

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://tiny.cc/p1a6iy

Author Bio

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Kirsten Lynn is a Western and Military Historian. She worked six years with a Navy non-profit and continues to contract with the Marine Corps History Division for certain projects. Making her home where her roots were sewn in Wyoming, Kirsten also works as a local historian. She loves to use the history she has learned and add it to a great love story. She writes stories about men of uncommon valor…women with undaunted courage…love of unwavering devotion …and romance with unending sizzle. When she’s not writing, she finds inspiration in day trips through the Bighorn Mountains, binge reading and watching sappy old movies, or sappy new movies. Housework can always wait.

Website:  www.kirstenlynnwildwest.com  

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Hollywood Lights, Austin Nights by Michel Prince

The electricity on set between two of Hollywood’s rising stars could light the city for weeks. But can there be a happily ever after when the camera turns off?

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Here is the blurb.

Soren Birch wrote a movie deserving of the best Hollywood has to offer, but as a first time screenwriter, he’s stuck on a shoestring budget. Vision Star has offered him a deal and set him up in Austin, Texas. Now the actor turned writer will be donning a few hats, including director, as his passion piece comes to life.
In Hollywood, Alicia Winters’ star is rising, but she is slowly learning quantity over quality after being kicked off her latest set. She then finds her way to her sister’s bakery in Braden, Iowa. A few days of rest and little tough love has her ready to take a chance on a small budget film in Austin.
A dream actress and a company willing to take a chance on him, Soren is beginning to think he might actually make a name for himself beyond being a sex symbol. Can his luck finally be changing or will his attraction to Alicia derail his dream before it even starts?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://tiny.cc/q9a6iy

Author Bio

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Michel Prince is an author who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science.  Michel writes new adult and adult paranormal romance as well as contemporary romance.

With characters yelling “It’s my turn damn it!!!” She tries to explain to them that alas, she can only type a hundred and twenty words a minute and they will have wait their turn.  She knows eventually they find their way out of her head and to her fingertips and she looks forward to sharing them with you.

When Michel can suppress the voices in her head she can be found cheering for her son in a variety of sports.  She would like to thank her family for always being in her corner and especially her husband for supporting her every dream and never letting her give up.

Michel has been awarded Elite Status with Rebel Ink Press in 2013, the service award for her local RWA chapter Midwest Fiction Writers in 2013 and 2014, won Sweetest Romance at IREA 2015 and is a PAN member of RWA.  She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband, son, and dog, Bolt.

Website:  http://www.michelprincebooks.com/

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Off the Grid by Kelly Collins

A pampered princess risks everything for love.

offthegrid

Here is the blurb.

Twenty-five-year-old Nikola Stone has three months to convince her famous parents not to disinherit her. Scrambling to prove she’s more than a pampered princess, Nikola finds herself living on a wind and solar farm in Texas, owned by super hot environmentalist, Colton Becket.
Without the safety net of her silver spoon life, Nikola discovers living off the grid may in fact hold the key to her inner happiness, and bring her the surprise she never would have expected—true love.
But when Colton’s dream is threatened, she does the unimaginable to try to save his farm. Her desperate actions mean losing her inheritance for good—and possibly losing the only person who has ever truly cared for her.
Will her plan backfire, or will Nikola find out that giving up everything means she can actually have it all?
Find out in Off the Grid.

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://tiny.cc/KWkcotg3

Author Bio

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Kelly Collins writes with the intention of keeping the love alive. Always a romantic, she is inspired by real-time events mixed with a dose of fiction. She encourages her readers to reach the happily ever after but bask in the afterglow of the perfectly imperfect love.

Kelly lives in Colorado at the base of the Rocky Mountains with her husband of twenty-five years, their two dogs, and a bird that hates her. 

In her spare time, she enjoys walking the trails and visiting the mining towns like Cripple Creek. Could be there is gambling there, but she likes to think it’s the ambience that brings her there and not the amazing slot machine in the back of the casino. 

In the winter, you’ll find her tucked into her seat at The World Arena cheering her beloved Colorado College Tigers Hockey Team.  After several losing seasons she knows there’s a win coming soon.  Kelly is no fair weather fan. Tigers to the death. 

She has three amazing children, and she wonders how they all turned out to be engineers when only the creative side of her brain seems to work. She just chalks it up to the engineering genes her husband contributed to the mix. 

Creative minds need an outlet and writing books is where she focuses her excess energy.

Website:  http://www.authorkellycollins.com/

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All the King’s Horses by Katherine Rhodes

When the girl on the high horse belongs there, it’s a hell of a job to tame her…

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Here is the blurb.

One million-dollar horse.
One family farm.
One Jersey Girl with an attitude.
One recipe for complete disaster.

Well, if anyone had asked RJ Miller, anyway. To make matters worse, he started the whole deal firmly planted on the wrong foot–and Lucy da Silva made sure he knew it.
Visiting the Double Down Ranch outside Austin, Lucy is there with her sister Fatima to purchase a stock of breeding horses for her family back in New Jersey. She knows her horses. She knows her farms. She knows her mind–and she knows she doesn’t like RJ Miller.
Despite the rocky start, RJ finds himself falling for the high-spirited woman. It seems like there’s nothing she can’t do: ride, rope, clean, cook, and dance. Lucy can’t seem to stay away from RJ either, and they find themselves riding more than horses.
If only life were simple: find the girl, fall in love, happily ever after. But with people plotting to get their hands on Double Down’s beautiful thoroughbred, King’s Dominion, Lucy has to admit a truth she hid years ago to save RJ’s sister and her own life…

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://tiny.cc/KWkrkh3

Author Bio

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Author of erotica, light BDSM erotica and paranormal erotica. Expert in the profundities of bad movies and awful literature. Armed with her Bachelors of English Literature, she has set her mind to writing erotic romances which are kinky, dirty, and fun. A lackadaisical laundry goddess, Katherine resides in Philadelphia with her husband, three cats and a betta named Fishtian Grey.

Website:  https://katherinerhodes.com/

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Race to Tebow by V.A. Dold

Hell Yeah! The New Orleans Mob doesn’t stand a chance against A man in love and the Hell Yeah crew.

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Here is the blurb.

Bullets are flying, and Sheena Savoy is running out of places to hide.
In the wrong place at the wrong time, her boss wants her silenced-permanently.
The only upside is the sexy protection she’s been assigned.
Bastien Benoit, a no-nonsense, by the rules WITSEC Marshal, has never wavered. That is until Sheena Savoy. The sexy, courageous woman who makes him feel things he has no business feeling for a witness under his protection.
There’s a mole at WITSEC, and the only person standing between Sheena and a bullet is Marshal Benoit. Forced on the run, Marshal Benoit knows of one place to hide where the Syndicate won’t find them.

Can they make it to Tebow Ranch in Time?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://tiny.cc/KSvadrt3

Author Bio

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Vickie (V.A.) Dold is an Amazon best selling author of the Award-winning Le Beau Series.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, she was a  publicist for authors, owning ARC Author & Reader Conventions.

Her idea of absolute heaven is a day in the French Quarter with her computer, her coffee mug, and the Brothers, of course. Or a night with a sexy cowboy in the hayloft.

A Midwest native, with her heart lost to Louisiana & Texas. She has a penchant for titillating tales featuring sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably taking in a movie, reading, or traveling. Oh, and there is the distinct possibility she is out cowboy hunting.

Website:  http://www.vadold.com/

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Her Hell No Cowboy by Donna Michaels

Keeping it light has never involved more heart.

hellnocowboy

Here is the blurb.

Ever since his first deployment, Lincoln McCall came home a changed man, swapping life philosophies with his twin brother. No more playing it safe, or by the rules, or looking for “Miss Right”. Hell no. But holding onto that concept is hard when Linc falls into a pool with his arms full of the one that got away.
Coming out of the fog from her husband’s death, Ashley Patterson wants to live a little, have fun…feel alive. So when the sexy cowboy she crushed on in her youth hires her to work on his house, she gives herself permission to enjoy the attraction sizzling between them…after all, she’s only there temporarily, and he doesn’t do relationships.
But when their feelings turn serious, she’s in a heap of trouble. Linc is in the military. So was her husband and that got him killed. She can’t risk her heart to another man who could deploy and never return. Hell no. It was better to leave and take her heart with her.
Now, if only she could figure out how to get the cowboy to give it back.

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://tiny.cc/KSdmHNc3

Author Bio

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It’s all my mother’s fault.

She read to me before I could read and opened up that magical world where I still reside today. Then came television and movies. Now I had three avenues to feed my imagination…and boy could I eat! As you no doubt figured out, this led to my writing career. After several starts in between having a son, twin sons, then a daughter, I didn’t get serious until my youngest child entered 1st grade. Now, I’m multi-published with several publishers and self-published in e-Book and print with a ton of voices in my head. I love those voices! They helped me win awards and become a New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author. Hope they never stop!

Website:  http://donnamichaelsauthor.com/

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Enter the Kindle World tour Rafflecopter for a chance to win all kinds of prizes!

Oh, wow! These books looks great! Cowboys have a certain magic touch, don’t they?

Thank you for telling us about your awesome Hell Yeah! Kindle World book tour, Sable! I know readers can’t wait to get ahold of these! 😀 Visit Sable’s Hell Yeah! Kindle World page on her website for more info on this tour.

Kindle World Tour

Thanks again to Sable and all the talented authors who participated in this project! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Giveaways, Book Release, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Love, new release, participants, Readers, Romance, western, Writing

Blog Tour Feature: Hell Yeah! Kindle World Tour

I am pleased to announce a cool book blog tour going on right now, presented by Sable Hunter, an author I met during my journey! She is well know for her ‘Hell Yeah!’ sexy book series, and this time she’s invited a bunch of authors in her circle to participate as part of Hell Yeah! That’s awesome, Sable! :)

Kindle World Tour

All of the books in the Hell Yeah! Kindle World tour came out on August 9th. When a new book comes out, it is always an exciting time for an author!

About the Hell Yeah Kindle World:

Connected by blood ties and bonds of friendship, the Hell Yeah! world chronicles the lives and loves of a family of Texas men and women, the McCoys, who live by the code of the cowboy. Adventure, unabashed sexual tension and tender intimacy plays out in a saga of stories that offer action and humor, all set in scenic locales from the Hill Country of Texas to the mysterious bayous of Louisiana. The plots of the tales are as varied as our own lives can be, but the world is one where right prevails, love conquers all, and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream.

Sable is presenting us with all ten books in the Kindle World tour as well as a bit about each author. But first, let’s hear a little about awesome author Sable Hunter…

sable

Sable Hunter is a New York Times, USA Today bestselling author of nearly 50 books in 7 series. She writes sexy contemporary stories full of emotion and suspense. Her focus is mainly cowboy and novels set in Louisiana with a hint of the supernatural. Sable writes what she likes to read and enjoys putting her fantasies on paper. Her books are emotional tales where the heroine is faced with challenges. Her aim is to write a story that will make you laugh, cry and swoon. If she can wring those emotions from a reader, she has done her job. Sable resides in Austin, Texas with her two dogs. Passionate about all animals, she has been known to charm creatures from a one ton bull to a family of raccoons. For fun, Sable haunts cemeteries and battlefields armed with night-vision cameras and digital recorders hunting proof that love survives beyond the grave. Welcome to her world of magic, alpha heroes, sexy cowboys and hot, steamy to-die-for sex. Step into the shoes of her heroines and escape to places where right prevails, love conquers all and holding out for a hero is not an impossible dream.

Website:  http://www.sablehunter.com

So prolific! I’m impressed. 🙂

Now let’s learn more about the Hell Yeah! Kindle World.

The Song of Her Sighs by Lana K. Dempsey

Sex, secrets and second chances

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Here is the blurb.

Rodney Regent works hard running the family ranch, and it shows in every rock-hard muscle on his body. Known for his jaw-dropping smile, he has captured the hearts of women, young and old, all over the small Texas town he calls home. Rodney is single and loving it, until he sees a photograph that grabs his heart and won’t let go. As his luck would have it, the one woman he has always wanted is engaged to someone else. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t forget her.
Then the news comes that Joseph and Cady McCoy will visit Regent Ranch. The change they bring with them includes more than just Cady’s magic touch, it brings the woman of Rodney’s dreams to his doorstep.

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/2sYMkFt

Author Bio

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I’m Lana, a life long Texan, dog lover, and writer of sensual romance. When I say ‘sensual romance’ I mean I include real life in my stories, and real life includes sex.

I divide my time between Austin, Texas and a small family ranch not far from Shiner. Shiner is the home of Shiner beer, I’ve been known to stop off at their tasting room before rolling up my sleeves to get to work on the ranch. Like many Texans I’ve got a bit of everything in me, German, Native American, and some Creole influence. Nothing like a little spice to liven things up.

Writing is much like reading, I need to feel the story in the same way a reader would. I adore leading men who are strong, but aren’t afraid to love. My goal is to fall in love as I write, it’s the only way my reader will as well.

Come with me and get to know a hot cowboy or two. It’ll be fun!

Grab The Song of Her Sighs now!

Website:  http://www.lanadempsey.com/

Man of My Heart by Desiree Holt

An up and coming music star, a bitter security agent, and a man bent on revenge. Can real love emerge from all of this?

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Here is the blurb.

Jasmine Grey is an up and coming country rock star, just completing a successful tour opening for a top country rock group. If only her bass player, Cobra, would leave her alone. When he attacks her the last night of the tour she is so shaken she retreats from everything and buys a home in the Texas Hill Country. She is still spooked, however, by memories of Cobra and his vows of vengeance. Her cousin, Libby McCoy, Aron’s wife, insists she needs protection. Enter Caleb Branam, former Delta Force, now an agent for The Omega Team.

Caleb took himself off the active roster after a hostage rescue went wrong and members of his team were killed, but Aron manages to persuade him to take on the job of Jasmine’s bodyguard. As the days go by and she is writing music for her new album, the attraction between them grows more and more intense. When she returns to the road and Cobra begins his campaign of harassment, it will be up to Caleb to stop it for good and for both of them to realize what they feel for each other is the real deal. But will they be able to?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/gjHwf2I

Author Bio

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Known the world over as the oldest living author of erotic romance, and referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, Desiree Holt is three times a finalist for an EPIC E-Book Award (and a winner in 2014), a nominee for a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, winner of the first 5 Heart Sweetheart of the Year Award at The Romance Studio as well as twice a CAPA Award winner for best BDSM book of the year, and winner of the Holt Medallion for Excellence in Romance Literature. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications.

“Desiree Holt is the most amazing erotica author of our time and each story is more fulfilling then the last.” (Romance Junkies)

Grab Man of My Heart now!

Website:  http://www.desireeholt.com/

Cowboy’s Break by Lexi Post

Vance Gallagher never had an investigation so close to home. What if breaking the case means losing the woman he loves…again?

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Here is the blurb.

Cowboy and former detective Vance Gallagher never thought he’d have a second chance to convince Rachel Henderson they were meant to be together, nor did he think he’d want to. Now, after seven years, thanks to his old police academy friend, Vance is knee deep in numbers and computers, determined to save Rachel’s ranch and his own heart.

Rachel hadn’t expected to see Vance again…ever. In fact, she planned on it. Saying goodbye to him had been the hardest thing she’d ever done, but she couldn’t handle her sister, the ranch, and his job as an undercover detective all at the same time. Now she’s with him every day and buried feelings just won’t go away.

The closer Vance gets to solving the mystery of the missing money, the more convinced he becomes that Rachel is the one for him. But when prize animals start disappearing, he has to choose between revealing the culprit and keeping the woman he’s always loved from harm. He just can’t catch a break.

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/gwUHvHe

Author Bio

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Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of sensuous romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the literature she loved while reading her favorite romance authors. It wasn’t long before she decided to marry her two first loves. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a steamy read with a “whole lotta story.”

Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.

Grab Cowboy Break now!

Website:  http://www.lexipostbooks.com/

Seducing Sarah by Maddie James

Can a love-at-first-sight weekend turn into the happily-ever-after neither of them are sure they even want?

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Here is the blurb.

When Cole Stevens travels from Montana to Texas to close a business deal with his old friend, Heath McCoy, he never expects to close in on a relationship, too. But with one brief moment of contact in the airport with a pretty young woman carrying a guitar, his heart starts to unravel.

Sarah McClendon, fresh out of the gate after landing the runner-up spot on American Star, is touted as the up-and-coming country music star of the year. When she tangles with her manager at the Highlands Ranch annual barbecue, Cole steps up to the plate to protect her from the smarmy, poor excuse of a human being.

But it’s just a weekend, right? Cole will be back home on the ranch in Montana come Monday, and Sarah has a career to get off the ground. Can a love-at-first-sight weekend turn into the happily-ever-after neither of them are sure they even want?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/eGo14mv

Author Bio

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Maddie James writes romance – but don’t try to pin her down to one genre! From edgy suspense to flirty contemporary romance to darker erotic titles, she just wants to silence the people in her head.

She is the bestselling author of forty-two romance titles published worldwide in at least seven languages. Available in ebook, trade paperback and audio, her titles span the romance genre from contemporary to paranormal romance. Winner of the Calico Trails Cameo Award, and the Romance Book Scene’s Best Novella of the Year award, Maddie has enjoyed numerous Top Pick and 5-star reviews, and has been listed as a Top 100 Contemporary Romance author at Amazon. Affaire de Coeur says, “James shows a special talent for traditional romance,” and RT Book Reviews claims, “James deftly combines romance and suspense, so hop on for an exhilarating ride.”

Grab Seducing Sarah now!

Website:  http://www.maddiejames.net/ 

Cadillac Cowboy by Cynthia D’Alba

Hold on for the ride of a lifetime.

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Here is the blurb.

A Texas lawman finds more than fall foliage during a drive in an antique convertible Cadillac to his new home.

Newly-hired Texas cop Shade Gruber agrees to drive his grandmother’s prize car from Chicago to his new home in Big Branch. He expects some car issues. He doesn’t expect to pick up a runaway bride.

On the run from her mobster fiancé, Victoria Vaught dashes from the church thirty minutes before the I Do’s. Stranded in her bridal attire by an unreliable car, she starts walking, needing as far from Chicago as possible.

Their road to love is filled with twists, turns and bumps. Hanging on to the one you love can be roller coaster ride with surprising results.

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/4spm8q3

Author Bio

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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Cynthia D’Alba started writing on a challenge from her husband in 2006 and discovered having imaginary sex with lots of hunky men was fun.

She was born and raised in a small Arkansas town. After being gone for a number of years, she’s thrilled to be making her home back in Arkansas living in a vine-covered cottage on the banks of an eight-thousand acre lake.

When she’s not reading or writing or plotting, she’s doorman for her two dogs, cook, housekeeper and chief bottle washer for her husband and slave to a noisy, messy parrot. She loves to chat online with friends and fans.

Grab Cadillac Cowboy now!

Website:  http://cynthiadalba.com/

Boardroom Cowboy by Kandi Silvers

A Texas Cowboy and a Vegas businesswoman merge for a venture too hot for the boardroom.

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Here is the blurb.

CEO Vanessa Lockhart has had her fill of controlling men. So when she decides to take a few days off in the Lone Star State to kick up her booted heels with a little shopping and a night on the town, she doesn’t count on meeting Carson, getting ruthlessly kissed, or ending up in bed with the cute cowboy. A two-day Texas fling? Why not? A girl only lives once. After all, she’ll have something for her memoirs—until she goes back to work in Nevada to meet her new CFO…and in walks her Texas cowboy. Vanessa’s divorcing one man and doesn’t need another—too bad Carson has other ideas.

Carson Cutes didn’t plan to pick up Vanessa at the bar or spend two fun days and two hotter nights with the beauty. But it isn’t an issue since she blows out of town without a goodbye. When his godfather asks for help with his new hotel venture—he never expected to end up in Las Vegas or for the CEO to be the one woman he can’t get out of his mind. What’s a cowboy to do? He doesn’t believe in love at first sight—but now has doubts. How can he convince a girl under neon lights that she holds his Texan heart?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/58YbJgr

Author Bio

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Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, I still call Sin City home. I’ve always been a sucker for romance novels and movies, especially romantic comedies. Writing is more than just words to me; it’s capturing slices of characters’ lives and sharing them with the reader. I’m a firm believer that heroes and heroines had a life before page one of any story and their past as well as life experiences, made them who they are.

Coming from the southwest I have a major soft spot for cowboys, but also love suspense, a bit of intrigue and kick-ass heroines. Of course, there is always the time to slip in a good paranormal. I try to keep my writing diverse and always on the naughty side.

Happy reading!

Grab Boardroom Cowboy now!

Website:  http://www.kandisilvers.com/

Until There Was You by Ciana Stone

His fate is in her hands … her heart is in his.

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Here is the blurb.

Lola’s life is filled with mysteries. Why did her parents abandon her as a baby? What’s behind the baffling blackouts she suffers and the frightening images she creates while she’s out? Who is the strange woman claiming to hold the answers – and why does she say Lola has a life or death mission to perform?

Morgan has a few mysteries of his own. What was his father going to give him on the day he died, the gift he said would change Morgan’s life? Who is this bewitching woman who passes out upon meeting him and creates pictures of his past and future?

And was she really sent to save his life or is she in need of psychiatric help?

All they both know is that from the moment they meet a bond is formed and it is stronger and more passionate than anything either has ever known. And that fate has brought them together for a very important reason.

If only they knew what it was…

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/4H4TApM

Author Bio

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Happily-ever-after is something Ciana believes in with her whole heart. Love may be a bumpy road and there’s bound to be some perils along the way but in the end love should win. She tries to take that attitude into her writing and thinks that love, hope and laughter are some of the best medicine there is.

Along with books.

She loves to hear from readers and the most important thing she thinks she can ever say is – “thank you. To every reader who has spent his or her hard-earned reading dollars on a Ciana Stone book, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Grab Until There Was You now!

Website:  http://www.cianastone.com/

Gun Shy by Sabrina York

The last thing he expected when he blew into town was a reason to stay.

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Here is the blurb.

Returning to his hometown to sell his hated father’s ranch, the last thing Andrew Grant expects to find on his first day in town is a reason to stay. But there she is, Melissa Divine. The girl he loved all those years ago.

But Melissa has changed since those innocent days. She’s just escaped from a hellish marriage and wants nothing to do with any man. Especially not this big, burly alpha biker who reminds her of her ex.

Can this former SEAL change her mind before his time runs out?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/dHCoj0G

Author Bio

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Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & steamy to scorching romance.

Grab Gun Shy now!

Website:  http://sabrinayork.com/

Her Hell Yeah Cowboy by Donna Michaels

Years ago, he unknowingly rescued his soulmate; now she’s back in Texas and about to save his guarded heart.

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Here is the blurb.

Unlike his twin, Texas National Guardsman Sgt. Logan McCall would rather march barefoot and blindfolded through a cow pasture than date the same woman twice. After an active duty injury during a flood washed away his promising sports career and engagement years ago, Logan guards his heart more than his life until, fresh from deployment, he runs into a friend of the McCoys…literally. Hill Country’s newest resident is hotter than the wing sauce soaking into his shirt.

Mission on.

Graphic designer and carrier of misfortune, Chloe Davis is a danger to herself and those around her, so entertaining thoughts for the sexy cowboy wearing her hot sauce should be a no-no…not a hell yeah—especially considering he’s the guardsman linked to a horrible instance in her past. But when he turns out to be one of her clients, she can no more avoid him than the attraction sizzling between them. Chloe’s back in Texas determined to make a fresh start, and she succeeds in business but fails to resist the handsome soldier’s relentless pursuit.

But when he discovers her past, will he trust his heart or lose her forever?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/9Q8pFrH

Author Bio

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It’s all my mother’s fault.

She read to me before I could read and opened up that magical world where I still reside today. Then came television and movies. Now I had three avenues to feed my imagination…and boy could I eat!

As you no doubt figured out, this led to my writing career. After several starts in between having a son, twin sons then a daughter, I didn’t get serious until my youngest child entered 1st grade. Now, I’m multi-published with several publisher and self-published in e-Book and print with a ton of voices in my head. I love those voices! They helped me achieve award-winning status, and become a New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author. Hope they never stop!

Grab Her Hell Yeah Cowboy now!

Website:  http://donnamichaelsauthor.com/

Saddle and a Siren by Randi Alexander

He can’t help falling for her, but will she break her hero’s heart?

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Here is the blurb.

Responding to a late night 911 call, Paramedic Clint Black finds a T-boned pickup truck and livestock trailer tipping precariously at the edge of the highway. The injured driver is more concerned with her cattle than with her own welfare. She surprises Clint with her desperate need of his help for more than just her medical problems.

Kally Zappa hasn’t exactly been telling her family the truth. By taking on complete responsibility for her Chiangus breeding stock, she has left herself in a risky position. When her paramedic hero Clint turns out to be the answer to all her problems, and her heart races at his every touch, she can’t help wonder whether fate has tossed them together.

Finding in each other the missing part of their existence, Kally and Clint explore the captivating physical connection that keeps them running for the privacy of his bedroom. But when Clint believes she has ulterior motives for being with him, can Kally find the right words to convince Clint he is her forever hero?

Purchase Link:

Amazon link:  http://a.co/1I9SOFi

Author Bio

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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Randi Alexander knows a modern woman dreams of an alpha cowboy who takes the reins, and guarantees they’re rode hard and put up satisfied.

Published with Cleis Press, Wild Rose Press, and self-published, Randi writes smokin’ hot romance with heroes who’ll have you begging to ride off into the sunset with them. When she’s not dreaming of, or writing about, rugged cowboys, Randi is biking trails along remote rivers, snorkeling the Gulf of Mexico, or practicing her drumming in hopes of someday forming a tropical rock band.

Forever an adventurous spirit with a naughty imagination, Randi is also family oriented and married to the best guy in the world, her own cowboy, Kick. Give in to the allure of erotic passion, strong but vulnerable heroines, and irresistibly seductive cowboys, as Randi’s emotional love stories sweep you off your feet and leave you breathless with passion.

Saddle up! And prepare yourself for the sexier side of happily ever after.

Grab Saddle and a Siren now!

Website:  http://randialexander.com/

 

Oh, yum! These books looks great! Cowboys have a certain magic touch, don’t they?

Thank you for telling us about your awesome Hell Yeah! Kindle World book tour, Sable! I know readers can’t wait to get ahold of these! 😀 Visit Sable’s Hell Yeah! Kindle World page on her website for more info on this tour.

Kindle World Tour

Thanks again to Sable and all the talented authors who participated in this project! We hope to see you back on ILRB sometime. 

Happy reading, everyone!  ♥♥♥

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, new release, participants, Readers, Romance, western

A Character Interview with Izzy from DANDELIONS plus a conversation with author Vivienne Vincent!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Lana K. Dempsey’s character on July 28th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Vivienne Vincent, the debut author of Dandelions, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Elizabeth Goodenough (Izzy for short) from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Vivienne in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Izzy!

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

Character Izzy: 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?

Izzy:  Sure.

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

Izzy: When I was younger, I wanted to be an Ivy League student. But my family did not have enough money and I failed to get a scholarship. Which is sad because I was a really good student until Saber came along and broke my heart. The worst part is, I was in the final year of high school.

Later I took a few courses that qualified me to work as a typist. I was able to get a menial secretarial job at a newspaper office.

I was not in love with my job because I was overworked and underpaid. Also, my boss was always trying to flirt with me. He would keep staring at me which made me uncomfortable. But life does not always offer enough options to walk away.

Marie:  Oh… 😦 Sorry to hear that. I think we’ve all had those jobs that we’d rather not have…

And you’re right. It’s not always easy to get out. Let’s try another question.

Tell us…what is your family like?

Izzy: My parents died in a car crash soon after I was born. I was raised by my Grandma who was a fabulous woman. She used to work for Saber’s family. She bought me a puppy when I was eight. Saber named my puppy Dandelion.

Dandelion died when I was eighteen. And soon after I finished high school, Grandma also left me. It was just an awful year for me.

So I moved to New York to live with my uncle whose wife was a real shrew. Once I found a job, I left their place and moved into a studio apartment.

There was no real family after Grandma until Saber came back into my life.

Marie:  Really so sorry to hear you’ve had such misfortune…

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?

Izzy:  Oh, it was a very small house. Grandma and I did not share a room but it was quite cramped. I loved flowers so much but there was no garden. Although, later I learned that as long as you have a roof over your head, you should not be complaining.

Marie:  Very true…

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

Izzy:  I enjoy reading books. I love Emily Dickinson. When I was little I used to read a lot of fairy tales. When I grew up I fell in love with stories about vampires. I love watching cartoons and dunking muffins in a warm cup of tea. Muffins taste so much better that way.

Oh, and I read the tabloids regularly.

Marie:  Hmm…I’ll have to try that muffin thing. And I can’t blame you about the vampires! 😉

So, what is your greatest dream?

Izzy: As a little girl, the dream was to marry Prince Charming and live happily ever after. After the evil wizard broke my heart, I pretty much lost track of everything.

I spent a lot of time daydreaming, though. I kept telling myself that Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs made it so there was no reason that I couldn’t. Of course they were only pipe dreams.

But now that Saber and I are back together and he’s promised to become a better person, I want to see him live up to his promise. I am sure he will not let me down.

Marie: All right.

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

Izzy:  Well, if you look at my life, it’s pretty clear what went wrong. But life does not always work the way we think it should. All we can do is choose the best possible option.

Marie: That’s true.

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

Who was your first love?

Izzy: Saber, and he is the love of my life. I know he has his flaws and perhaps I forgave him too easily. But I don’t like to be a drama queen. Also, when you are in love, you can either play tough and be egotistical, or understand and accept the other person.

Marie: That’s right. And it’s better to realize someone has flaws, loving them for every facet of their character than to love an idealized version of that person.

So…let’s try another question.

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

Izzy: Life is a series of events. It’s difficult to pinpoint a single moment. I don’t think that one tragic event alters a person altogether. For me, it started when my dog died. Saber picked the worst moment to do what he did. He broke me so bad that I was no longer able to focus on my studies.

Then Grandma passed away and putting up with my aunt was nothing short of torture.

And, of course, the mistake that I made at the newspaper office, which brought me face to face with Saber, was a nightmare.

It’s been a tough journey but I am glad that things worked out.

Marie:  Me too! I’m still sorry about your hardships…

[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]

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

[Izzy 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?

Izzy:  Well, in one sense I did not achieve my dream but in another way I did. I did not get to be an Ivy League graduate. I was not able to have the kind of financial security and independence a stable job would have provided. But I am glad that Saber and I ended up together.

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

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So, who is your role model, Izzy?

Izzy:  I admired my Grandma a great deal. She was honest, hard-working, and very wise. After Saber broke my heart, she told me that “There are no Rhett Butlers and Darcys in real life. Only Heathcliffs.”

Grandma was tough but she was also incredibly kind and gentle. Sometimes I wonder if Saber had had her for a mother figure instead of his Grundy grandmother, he would have been very different.

Marie: That’s possible, but we also can’t change the past, no matter how much we wish. All we can do is make the best of what happened, try to better ourselves for the future.

It sounds like your grandmother was a very special person.

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Izzy: Not really. I am not much of a diplomat.

Marie:  Okay.

Can you tell us something else? What is your deepest desire?

Izzy:  At this point in my life, I just want to see Saber live up to his full potential. I think that he has a good heart. But peer pressure combined with other factors can make people do things that are contrary to their nature.

Marie:  That’s true.

How about one last question?

What is your greatest fear?

Izzy:  I don’t have any fears. Not anymore. I feel safe with Saber. He has given me a great deal of confidence.

Marie: That’s great!

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

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Author Vivienne Vincent: Hi, Marie, thank you so much for having me.

Marie: Really, the honor is mine. 😀

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

Vivienne: Izzy is an ordinary girl. I think she is pretty easy to relate to. Over the course of the book, we can see her evolve. She is very dreamy and naïve. She has a good heart, which makes her vulnerable. She is not a strong, feminist role model. But the way the book ends, I think that she has the potential to become one.

Marie:  All right.

What are your character’s greatest strengths?

Vivienne:  She is a good girl. She’s very kind. Because she has such a good heart, she thinks that the world works the same way. Being too naïve is certainly a flaw but she learns. She is very smart and intelligent. She is witty. She has the ability to become a strong woman who can bring out the very best in others as well.

Marie:  Great!

And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?

Vivienne: I think her love for Saber could be considered a weakness. She is too dreamy and gullible. She lives in a world of her own where she forgets that fairy tales might have a Prince Charming but there’s often an evil wizard involved. When reality slaps her in the face, she is unable to deal with it. Our perception of the world depends on how we treat others. So her attitude toward Saber might be a weakness, but I cannot call it a flaw.

Marie:  I think we all have certain people we can’t resist, for one reason or another.

So, what are some of Izzy’s favorite foods?

Vivienne: She is a simple girl. She does not have expensive taste. You might remember how much she hated caviar? She likes pizza, tea, and muffins. She also likes to munch on junk food late at night.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Well, who doesn’t?

How about another question?

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

Vivienne: One important thing to remember about Izzy is that we do not see the complete evolution of her character in the book. The book ends with the possibility of what is going to happen next. The way I see it, refusing to sign the prenup and taking a stand so that Saber will apologize means she is ready to become a more resilient woman. She starts becoming aware of what she is capable of.

Marie:  Nice!

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

Vivienne: That is something only the readers can tell. I have received some really, really hateful comments about Saber but the good thing is that most of the people admitted that they were eventually able to forgive him.

Izzy, on the other hand, is a likable character. There might be times when the reader wonders who is that dumb? But if we remember being young and vulnerable, all of us have been there. We learn with experience.

I never meant to create characters that my readers will fall in love with. No one is perfect or absolutely adorable. But I think that Izzy is likable and Saber is memorable.

Marie: Thank you for your honesty.

And you’re right. No one can be perfect. I think that most readers like to see ‘human’ characters who have strengths and flaws just like anyone else.

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

What first gave you the idea for Dandelions?

Vivienne: Four years of unemployment. I had so much free time on my hands and I thought why not write a book? The kind of book you read for fun when life starts to get on your nerves. Saber’s character had been there inside my head for quite some time along with a few other male protagonists. Actually, this was Saber’s story, not Izzy’s.

Marie:  Interesting how the muse works, huh? :)

Let’s try something else.

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

Vivienne: With Dandelions, I was a total pantser. When I started writing, all I had was Saber’s character in my head. Details of his interaction with Izzy were vague. But I have definitely learned my lesson. I want to be a plotter in the future.

Marie:  Can’t blame you there…I am a little of both. I let the ideas flow as much as I can, and then I start plotting around what I already have.

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

Vivienne: I think that writing is very difficult. It requires focus and women have to juggle so much at the same time. As a writer you don’t get to take a break. Ideas are always there; they pop up at random moments, and if you don’t jot them down right away, they vanish into thin air.

Like any other writer, I had my fair share of writer’s block. But there was something worse. When changes were suggested during edits, first of all, I could not figure out what and how to change. I would make one little change and that would change the entire chapter. Sometimes the whole book was affected.

During the course of edits, I had to do a lot of research which should have been done when the book was written. But I did not always plan to publish it.

I have been a Harlequin reader for a very long time, so I sent it to one of their imprints. I was rejected. I sent it to a lot of other publishers and agents. All of them turned me down. I think I must have sent it to more than a hundred publishers, I cannot even recall how many. Maybe fifty agents. Those who were nice enough, politely turned me down. Most of them didn’t even reply.

But I was determined so I thought about self-publishing. And then out of the blue, one publisher told me that it’s an interesting story but there are certain flaws; rapid shift of POV, head-hopping, and telling the story instead of showing etc. I had no idea what those terms meant but I was glad to receive constructive criticism and I started working on the book again so that I could resubmit the manuscript.

But then, I received an e-mail from Solstice. They accepted the manuscript and assigned an editor, Debbie Rowe, who helped me overcome a lot of problems. Dandelions was written in third person and Debbie told me to rewrite the book in first person so that I could avoid certain issues.

And it has been an amazing experience.

For my next book, I want to have a better outline and work at a consistent pace instead of sleep deprivation and starvation.

Marie:  (Laughs.) If you’re anything like me, sleep deprivation and starvation are pretty much a part of the job description.

It’s fascinating to hear about your journey, and what you learned from it. 😉

So much goes into the process, and we need all the help we can get.

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 Dandelions appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this sexy, contemporary romance by Vivienne Vincent, a very talented author! :)

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Here is the blurb for Dandelions:

“There are no Rhett Butlers and Darcys in real life. Only Heathcliffs.”

An avant-garde romance that goes beyond sexual chemistry and digs deep into human nature and relationships.

Elizabeth Goodenough met Saber Fergus for the first time when she was eight and he was twelve. He broke her heart when she was eighteen. Ten years later, an unwitting mistake on Izzy’s part once again brings her face to face with the same one-night stand that once brutally crushed her.

But something seems different this time. Has her dark knight really transformed into a knight in shining armor, or is he playing her all over again?

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

At this point, Saber cracked a crooked grin and asked, “What’s his name?”

His flat voice became ebullient. His mischievous smile created subtle wrinkles around his deep-set, ebony eyes. They were shining far more brightly than the stars I spent hours staring at trying to figure out which ones were my parents.

“I haven’t named him yet. I got him only about a week ago. I am still thinking of a name.”

“Got him or stole him? Just like you were trying to steal our flowers.”

He was teasing me and it was working.

“You cannot steal flowers. Flowers belong to Mother Earth and Mother Earth belongs to all of us.”

“This part of Mother Earth belongs to me, so I own everything in here including wicked little girls with their hideous looking sons of bitches.”

The way that stiff-necked boy retaliated right away, it became clear that he was not someone easy to take down.

He continued. “So since both of you belong to me, why don’t I name him for you? Dandelion. How is it?”

“Dandelion?” The name made me smile. “I like it. I will call him Dandelion. Now he has an actual name. Grandma says once you have a name, you become a real person. Dandelion too is a real person now.”

“No, he is still an ugly son of a bitch. Do you like the dandelion collection over there?”

“It’s beautiful. I wish I had some in my house, but our house is too small and we don’t have a garden.”

“You can take one from here. Come with me.”

Saber moved toward the garden and I followed him. He plucked a dandelion and handed it to me. It was my first time holding one. I was staring at the delicate dandelion when Saber came close and blew right into it making it vanish into thin air. I was still trying to figure out what had happened when I heard a giggle.

“You are a meanie,” I told him.

“Am I?”

His eyes shone like a polished apple. He snatched the stem out of my hand and flicked it. It fell on the ground.

“Dandelions are far too delicate. They are just an illusion. They look real but they never last. Here.” He plucked a red rose and gave it to me. “Take this instead. Red roses are far more resilient.”

Ooh! Interesting! 🙂

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01IG97RCU

B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dandelions-vivienne-vincent/1124112948

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6423501

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/dandelions/

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

About Vivienne Vincent

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Vivienne Vincent grew up in a fairly conservative environment which ironically sparked her interest in unconventional subjects and romance novels. As a young girl she became interested in novels from the Victorian era as well as modern day romance. She is pretty much obsessed with British and American sitcoms and crime series. Look her up on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with her. She loves to hear from readers.

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Book:

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

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Vivienne-Vincent-850442295083956/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/VivienneVincen8

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2abR73V

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/57734728-vivienne-vincent

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15486427.Vivienne_Vincent

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/vivienne-vincent/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Izzy, a female character from Dandelions, and Vivienne Vincent, 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, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Interview, Readers, Romance, Writing

On Writing Romance: a guest post by Ricardo Mejías

On Writing Romance by Ricardo Mejías

 

Writing, for me, is a second language. I’m not quite fluent in it, but it allows me to see and articulate the world in a very specific yet wonderfully abstract way. I can pick and choose my letters, line them up and listen to their sounds, playfully arranging similes like a child stacking Legos. It’s an experimental exercise, a fun, freeing and fantastic excuse to allow the tongue to sleep and the mind to clear its throat.

I started to write when I was twelve. I typed with my index fingers, very slowly, and very deliberately. I had a story I wanted to get out. No one told me to do it. I wasn’t going to share it with the world, tossing the pages out the window so strangers could say, “This child is a genius!” I was just tired of holding onto the letters in my head, tired of their weight. I had created an entire universe, and if I could only condense it into words then maybe I could be free! Free to think of something else. Free to write more. And when it came time to write another story, I learned to tilt my head to the side—watch as it tumbled out my ear, splashing on the page in a tangle of prose. Then I waited for the rain to fill me whole again, so I could continue the cycle until I ran out of pages, out of words, and out of ideas.

 

Unsplash, Aaron Burden, Creative Commons License.

Writing, as sticky as it is when preserved on the page, is a very flexible tool of expression. Like water, it is fluid, the meaning of a sentence changed by the deletion of a word, the inflection shifted by punctuation. The narrative is a shapeshifter, who might be a suspenseful point of view in one story or a cynical teenager in the next. It is putty in our hands, and we are artists in search of the figures that lie within.

In college I started to try out different styles. I eventually stumbled into a genre I didn’t think I’d ever consider: romance. Not just romance…steamy romance. And though it started as a simple writing exercise, I learned to respect the genre in a profound way. I had taken it for granted. I saw Romance as fluff. It was a guilty pleasure read and nothing more, filled with flowery language and prolonged sex scenes. But the romance genre is one of the few genres where the writer and reader are truly intimate. While other books take a reader’s hand to lead them down a wild adventure, romance stories kiss your hand and bring you closer. They cause you to blush. They whisper in your ear, waiting for you to make the first move: to undress and find pleasure in the state of being vulnerable.

Writing is inherently a close affair between the author and reader. Without you to read these words, I don’t exist. Right now I am closer to you than anyone will ever be, because I have the pleasure of occupying—for a very brief moment—the privacy of your thoughts, and that is a privilege I don’t take lightly. And while other books are granted this privilege as well, what they’re sharing with you isn’t a secret; romance, however, is. When the prose starts to move to the bedroom, the author is taking you along with them. In many ways, the reader is not reading about the heat of his body—she’s feeling it. The reader is not reading about the curves of her figure, he’s exploring them. So as a writer of romance, the reader is allowing me to enact a fantasy with them. It’s a quiet act that only works if one can earn the reader’s trust.

Unsplash, Alejandra Quiroz, Creative Commons license.

I learned this because when I started to write romance I wasn’t sure how to approach it. As it turns out, I wasn’t writing for myself but for you. It was like a relationship, I wanted you to be happy—and not just to be happy, but to enjoy what I was doing. So I treated you as the protagonist, and wrote scenes that only worked if you willingly participated in them, and to do that we needed to reach a level of intimacy other books never had to strive for. You have to woo a stranger before the kiss. When I realized this, it made me look at romance fiction in a completely different light.

And that was how my romance novella, Fixation, came into being. I learned that I couldn’t write it like I had with my other stories. It helped me understand the nature of words and the act of reading them. There is a lot happening between the lines, a playful back and forth that simply feels different when writing romance. It’s flirtatious and fun. I’m still figuring out who I am, but the great thing about words is that it allows me to be formless. Fixation started as a personal challenge, but it turned into a lesson that opened my eyes to the beauty of storytelling. Maybe that is why our language is so rich and overflowing instead of blunt and minimalist, because we know on a deeper level these sounds are doing more than making noises.

They’re asking us to dance.

Wow! As both writer and reader, I totally agree.

Thank you, Ricardo, for that riveting take on writing in the romance genre.

Well, readers, shall we take a peek at one of Ricardo Mejías’ books? Sounds like a plan!:)

Coming soon to major booksellers:

Fixation cover

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Fixation:

Michael has dreams, abstract fantasies of a woman wearing only a smile. He knows she’s not real, but she keeps appearing each night. She wants more than his body, but he can’t figure out what that is. To make matters more complicated, he’s falling in love with his co-worker, Lisa, and this makes the woman in his dreams angry. As the lines between love and lust blur, he must distinguish the difference and make a choice before he loses his soul to his fantasies.

Ricardo is also offering us a sexy excerpt from his upcoming romance novella.

He imagined the heat between her thighs, as if she’d spent the entire day drinking the sun’s warmth, her skin holding onto it like a cherished memory. His ghostly touch wandered playfully along her hips and stomach, stirring the passions until he searched for the one spot that would make her tremble.

“I want you to do exactly as I say.”

“Tell me,” she whispered. A tremor caught on the end of her voice.

“I’m sliding my fingers inside you.”

He heard a rustling sound as she mimicked his instructions. She was concentrating, likely wondering what it would feel like if they were actually together in bed, breathing on each other between long, lip-smacking kisses.

“I want you to come now.”

With an explosive release, she muffled her cries over the phone.

“I’ll call you next week.” He hung up before she could reply then stared at the ceiling, not quite sure what to feel. Phone sex only heightened his sexual frustrations. He was restless, bothered by a strange sensation that had settled uncomfortably on his chest. Emotionally, he felt parched, dehydrated and in need of…what exactly? If he knew what was good for him, he’d stop searching, but he was never one to listen to his own advice. Instead, his monthly credit bills were adding up to amounts that, at a glance, gave the impression there was real value to what he was doing, a tangible reward worth the risk of debt to his wallet and his soul. But he never got off during the calls. A conscious choice. Empty words for an empty orgasm, but he kept calling the 1-900 numbers, a road that led down familiar paths.

First, he’d scroll through porn, drawn by faceless women who promised to quell an urge he didn’t know how to control, only to be numbed by the flesh and fluids. He wanted to stop, to cut off what was an unhealthy habit, but what harm was it doing, really?

And then the dreams started.

The woman’s phone voice was similar to the woman in his dreams, hushed and raspy in the way she pronounced her words, but—

She wasn’t the same.

He glanced at the clock radio. “Crap.” There were still three hours left until he had to get ready for work. He wanted to sleep, to dream of the woman again, the woman who always appeared when he needed her, to tease him like a stripper might tease a crowd, but with a control so absolute it was a law of nature. She was the very definition of lust, the culmination of every man’s fantasy.

But something was very wrong with his dreams. She held the promise of granting him anything he asked for. Those crimson lips, like rose petals bleeding with the kind of sexuality that made him melt, begged him to take her. But she haunted him. He knew what she wanted: to feel his muscles tense, to enjoy the solid weight of his body on hers. But she had a secret agenda, and she was in no rush to reveal it.

Each night he woke up in a cold sweat, confused and dazed by the overwhelming emotions the dreams produced. No other woman had ever made him feel this way, but her love wasn’t any more real than the woman’s on the phone.

♥♥♥ Interesting! It looks like quite a romantic ride! 😀

http://www.twbpress.com/fixation.html

And readers, this riveting novella will be out very soon!

Fixation cover

 

Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Ricardo, and a look at your upcoming release, Fixation! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Author Bio

Bio Photo

Ricardo Mejías discovered his love for prose in his senior year of high school while taking a creative writing course. He majored in Creative Writing at SUNY New Paltz with a double minor in philosophy. Wanting to learn more about the publishing industry, he pursued an editorial career and worked at Disney Hyperion as an Assistant Editor for five years. During his time there, he personally edited several middle grade novels and successfully helped pitch an idea for publication. Currently residing in New York with his fiancée, he’s now looking to explore new careers as well develop his writing and poetry crafts.

Author Links

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

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ricardo.mejias.752

https://www.facebook.com/Fixation-124873584255732/

Amazon Author Page:  http://amzn.to/2aPa10O

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/112907865782283224885/posts

Publisher:  http://www.twbpress.com/authorricardomejias.html

 

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

As always, happy reading, everyone!   😉

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Fiction, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing