Tag Archives: travel

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Devika Fernando

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 Devika Fernando, who has some things to say about the question at hand.

A few years ago, I decided to become a romance novelist. I’d always wanted to be an author, and romance was the first genre that came into my mind because I’d always been partial to reading it and because I believe in the power of love. But, what does romance mean to me, on a personal level and as a writer?

Sometimes people ask me whether I write from experience. The answer is yes and no. In a way, a little of me finds its way into every character and story. I think it’s inevitable when you write, especially when you think of what and how you want your heroine and hero to be. But, interestingly, the romance part is something certainly not stemming from experience. In fact, it’s my parents’ damaged marriage that paradoxically made me search for love stories that endure. It’s what I witnessed indirectly and directly while growing up that led me to exploring how relationships work, and they may or may not be salvaged. On top of that, I was always the loner and the quiet bookworm, the nerd and writer.

Created by Jcomp – Freepik.com

And looking back now, I think that not only paved my way to becoming an artist but also gave it that much more sense to seek solace in romance novels (reading them and now writing them). Because I understood the yearning to be completed, understood, valued, seen as special and worthy of attention. Because I knew the feeling of wanting someone to scratch the surface and embark to find the real me.

It’s something I ultimately inject in all my romance novels. That’s why I create characters who are flawed and unique, who are believable and struggle and love like all of us. On a subconscious level, it might also be why I chose to write paranormal romance novels like PLAYING WITH FIRE and its two sequels. Writing about a heroine with a magical gift, who was shunned as an outsider and imprisoned in the confines of this world, made it possible to free something and to convey the message that we’re all special and we all yearn for and deserve love.

Created by Freepik

That being said, my own ‘romantic story’ has also influenced by novels. When I left Germany after having spent the first 19 years of my life there, I met the love of my life in Sri Lanka. And that changed everything – above all, it made me realize that true love really doesn’t care about ethnicities or family issues or even previous plans for the future. It will find a way, come what may.

Created by Whatwolf – Freepik.com

All of this reflects in my multicultural romance novels like SAVED IN SRI LANKA and SEDUCED IN SPAIN.

I write not just about physical attraction and that first rush of falling in love, but also about compromising and trusting, about discovering oneself as one falls for someone else who’s more like a missing piece than a stranger.

Created by Teksomolika – Freepik.com

 

Romance – and love – means all that to me.

 

Wow! How incredibly romantic. I couldn’t have said it better myself… 😉
Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Devika! Lovely to have you here! ♥

Guest Bio

Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Her trademark is writing sweet and sensual, deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust.

What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, Devika is a faithful servant to all the cats and dogs she has adopted. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.

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

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Tanya Newman visits us on June 8th! Yay! 🙂

We may have other posts before then, though.

Have a great week, everyone!

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Multicultural/Interracial, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

New Release Alert: Upon Your Love by Marie Lavendar

My newest release!

Ruff Drafts

upon-your-love-final-cover

Amazon Universal link:  

https://bookgoodies.com/a/ B06XBPVS7D

myBook.to/UYL

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/ upon-your-love/

CreateSpace link:  https://www.createspace.com/ 6969887

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ book/show/29083654-upon-your- love

Book Trailer:  https://youtu.be/UVENg4kOros

My historical romance/family saga novel, Upon Your Love, book three of the Heiresses in Love Series, releases on February 28th. This is a Victorian era romance and the final book of the series. 

Blurb

The Hill family saga concludes as loyalties are questioned, faiths will be tested and undying love may come at a terrible cost…

uyl-promo-aFara Hill, mother and faithful wife, is torn between her family at home and her urge to be at sea. Soon, she learns some disturbing truths. Was the past a fairy tale instead of reality?
 
uyl-promo-c-adrienne-and-christian1Chloe Hill, loving wife and young mother, questions her faith when her husband sets an ultimatum she cannot meet. Will she be able to keep her marriage from falling apart?
 
Adrienne Bellamont Hill, born…

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

A to Z Challenge: Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

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

A2Z-BADGE_[2016]

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

This is my scoring system:

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

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

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

41qlcWWuFNL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Blurb:

Lizzie Nichols has a problem: she can’t keep anything to herself. And when she opens her big mouth on a trip to London, her good intentions get her long-distance beau, Andrew, in major hot water. Now she’s stuck in England with no boyfriend and no place to stay until the departure date on her nonrefundable airline ticket. Fortunately, Lizzie’s best friend and college roommate, Shari, is spending her summer catering weddings in a sixteenth-century château in southern France. Who cares if Lizzie’s never traveled alone in her life and only speaks rudimentary French? She’s off to Souillac to lend a helping hand!

One glimpse of gorgeous Château Mirac—and of gorgeous Luke, the son of the château’s owner—and Lizzie’s smitten. But thanks to her chronic inability to keep a secret, before the first cork has been popped Luke hates her, the bride is in tears, and Château Mirac is on the road to becoming a lipo-recovery spa. Add to that the arrival of ex-beau Andrew, who’s looking for “closure” (or at least a loan), and everything—including Lizzie’s shot at true love—is in la toilette . . . unless she can figure out some way to use her big mouth to save the day.

A few choice lines from the book:

He has to be here somewhere, he
swore he’d be here to pick me up–
Oh
my God, that can’t be him, can it? No, of course it’s not. Why
would he be wearing a jacket like that? Why would ANYONE be wearing
a jacket like that? Unless they’re being ironic. Or Michael
Jackson, of course. He is the only man I could think of who would
wear red leather with epaulets. Who isn’t a professional
breakdancer.
That
CAN’T be him. Oh, please God, don’t let that be him….
Oh,
no, he’s looking this way…he’s looking this way! Look down, look
down, don’t make eye contact with the guy in the red leather jacket
with the epaulets. I’m sure he’s a very nice man, it’s a shame
about his having to shop for coats from the 1980s at the Salvation
Army.
But
I don’t want him to know I was looking at him, he might think I
like him, or something.
And
it’s not that I’m prejudiced against homeless people, I’m not, I
know all about how many of us are really only a few paychecks away
from being homeless ourselves. Some of us, in fact, are less than a
paycheck away from being homeless. Some of us, in fact, are so
broke that we still live with our parents.
But
I’m not going to think about all that right now.
The
thing is, I just don’t want Andrew to get here and find me talking
to some homeless guy in a red leather breakdancing jacket. I mean,
that is so not the first impression I want to give. Not that, you
know, it will be his FIRST impression of me, since we’ve been
dating for three months, and all. But it will be the first
impression he’ll have of the New Me, the me he hasn’t met
yet….
Okay. Okay, it’s safe, he’s
not looking anymore.
Oh,
God, this is awful, I can’t believe this is how they welcome people
to their country. Herding us down this walkway with all these
people LOOKING at us….I feel like I’m personally disappointing
each and every one of them by not being the person they’re waiting
for. This is a very unkind thing to do to people who just sat on a
plane for six hours, eight in my case if you count the flight from
Ann Arbor to New York. Ten if you count the two-hour layover at
JFK–
Wait. Was Red Breakdancing
Jacket just checking me out?
Oh
my God, he WAS! Red leather jacket with the epaulets totally
checked me out!
Oh,
God, this is so embarrassing. It’s my underwear, I KNOW it. How
could he tell? That I’m not wearing any, I mean? It’s true I don’t
have any visible panty lines, but for all he knows, I could be
wearing a thong. I SHOULD have worn a thong. Shari was
right.
But
it’s so uncomfortable when they go up your–
I
KNEW I shouldn’t have picked a dress this tight to get off the
plane in — even if I did personally modify it by hemming the
skirt to above the knee, so I’m not hobbled by it.
But,
for one thing, I’m freezing — how can it be this cold in
AUGUST?
And
for another, this silk is particularly clingy, so there’s the whole
panty line thing.
Still, everyone back at the
shop said I look great in it…though I wouldn’t have thought a
Mandarin dress–even a vintage one–would actually work on me,
seeing as how I’m Caucasian, and all.
But
I want to look good, since he hasn’t seen me in so long, and
I did lose those thirty pounds, and you wouldn’t be able to tell
I’d lost all that weight if I got off the plane in sweats. Isn’t
that always what celebrities are wearing when they show up on Us
Weekly
‘s “What Were They Thinking?” page? You know, when they
get off a plane in sweats and last year’s Uggs, with their hair all
crazy? If you are going to be a celebrity, you need to LOOK like a
celebrity, even when you’re getting off a plane.
Not
that I’m a celebrity, but I still want to look good. I went to all
this trouble, I haven’t had so much as a crumb of bread for three
months, and —
Wait. What if he doesn’t
recognize me? Seriously. I mean, I did lose thirty pounds, and with
my new haircut, and all —
Oh,
God, could he be here and not recognize me? Did I already walk
right by him? Should I turn around and go back down that walkway
thingie and look for him? But I’ll seem like such an idiot. What do
I do? Oh, my God, this is so not fair, I just wanted to look good
for him, not be stranded in a foreign country because I look so
different my own boyfriend doesn’t recognize me! What if he thinks
I haven’t shown up and just goes home? I don’t have any money —
well, twelve hundred bucks, but that has to last me until my flight
home at the end of the month —
RED
LEATHER JACKET IS STILL LOOKING THIS WAY!!! Oh, God, what can he
want from me?
What
if he’s part of some kind of airport white slavery ring? What if he
hangs out here all the time looking for naïve young tourists
from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to kidnap and send to Saudi Arabia to be
some sheik’s seventeenth bride? I read a book where that happened
once…although I have to say the girl seemed to really enjoy it.
But only because at the end the sheik divorced all his other wives
and just kept her, because she was so pure, and yet so good in the
sack.
Or
what if he just holds girls for ransom, instead of selling them?
Except that I am so not rich! I know this dress looks expensive,
but I got it at Vintage to Vavoom for twelve dollars (with my
employee discount)!
And
my dad doesn’t have any money. He works at a cyclotron, for crying
out loud!
Wait,
what is this booth? Meet Your Party. Oh, great! Customer
service! That’s what I’ll do! I’ll have Andrew paged. And that way,
if he’s here, he can come find me. And I’ll be safe from the Red
Leather Breakdancing Jacket, he won’t dare kidnap me and send me to
Saudi Arabia in front of the pager guy —
“Hullo, love, you look
lost. What can I do for you, then?”
Oh,
the booth guy is so nice! And such a cute accent! Although that tie
was an unfortunate choice.
“Hi,
I’m Lizzie Nichols,” I say. “I’m supposed to be being picked up by
my boyfriend, Andrew Marshall. Only he doesn’t seem to be here,
and–“
“Want me to page him for
you, then?”
“Oh!
Yes, please, would you? Because there’s a guy following me, see him
over there? I think he might be homeless, or a kidnapper, or the
operator of a white slavery ring–“
“Which one?”I
don’t want to point, but I do feel I have a duty, you know, to
report Red Leather Breakdancing Jacket to the authorities, or at
least to the Meet Your Party booth attendant, because he DOES look
very odd in that jacket, and he IS still staring at me, really
rudely, or at least suggestively, like he still wants to kidnap
me.
“Over there,” I say,
nodding my head towards Red Leather Breakdancing Jacket. “That one
in the hideous jacket with the epaulets. See him? The one staring
at us.”
“Oh,
right.” The Meet Your Party booth attendant nods. “Right. Very
menacing. Hold on, then, I’ll have your boyfriend over here, giving
that git the thrashing he so richly deserves, in a second. ANDREW
MARSHALL. ANDREW MARSHALL, MISS NICHOLS IS WAITING FOR YOU AT THE
MEET YOUR PARTY BOOTH. ANDREW MARSHALL, PLEASE FIND MISS NICHOLS AT
THE MEET YOUR PARTY BOOTH. There? How was that?”
“Oh,
that was great,” I say, encouragingly, because I feel a little
sorry for him. I mean, it must be hard to sit in a booth all day,
yelling over a loudspeaker. “That was really–“
“Liz?”Andrew! At last!Only
when I turn around, it’s Red Leather Breakdancing
Jacket.
Except.Except that it WAS Andrew,
all along.
And
I just didn’t recognize him, because I was distracted by the
jacket–the most hideous jacket I’ve ever seen. Plus he seems to
have had his hair cut. Not very flatteringly.
Sort
of menacingly, in fact.
“Oh,” I say. It is
extremely difficult to hide my confusion. And dismay. “Andrew.
Hi.”
Behind the glass of the
Meet Your Party booth, the attendant bursts into very, very loud
laughter.
And
I realize, with a pang, that I’ve done it.

Again.

My Score:

OMG! How embarrassing. Still, you can’t help feeling sorry for the girl. And seriously, who can’t be attracted to this book? Not that you can physically be attracted to a book, though I’ve heard some people like the smell of new books. Oh, geez…I have to blame Lizzie’s character for making me babble. 😉

Well, anyway, this one sounds hilarious and irresistibly cute! I love when a good comedy is paired with a romantic tale! And, ooh…Lizzie gets to go to France? This girl is jealous.

Sign me up, though. I’ve always wanted to travel all over the place.

I just added this title to my Amazon Wishlist, and it looks like a real winner! 😀

I give it four hearts, for originality and I can’t say ‘no’ to a FMC (female main character) who sounds as clumsy and as weird as me! LOL.

four hearts

Oh, and it looks like there are two more books in the series! 😉

babble sequels

 

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