Tag Archives: urban fantasy

A Radio Interview!

Hi, readers! I have exciting news! ♥

This Thursday, August 30th, yours truly will appear on Thorne & Cross’s Haunted Nights Live! radio show. Favored hosts and writer duo Alistair Cross and Tamara Thorne are set to read a cool excerpt from my paranormal romance, Blood Instincts, and they’ll be interviewing me about my work. Yay!


It should be a fun time for all! I’ve been on their paranormal themed show in the past, and it was always an enjoyable experience.

You do not want to miss this radio interview, but if that is the case, it will be uploaded to the site afterward. Here is the link:


If you’d like to tune in live, you’ll find the details here on BlogTalkRadio, or you can find more updates on the Thorne & Cross blog, and their Facebook and Twitter pages. The show usually runs on Thursdays at 5 pm Pacific, 6 PM Mountain, 7 PM Central, 8 PM Eastern.

Here is the eternal link for the interview, though the aforementioned one should work until the end of the year…

Very exciting! Don’t forget, and enjoy your week! 😉



Filed under Authors, Books, Event, Guest Writer, Interview, Marie Lavender, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Radio, Readers, Romance, Writing

A to Z Challenge: Face the Fire by Nora Roberts

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


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?

Face the Fire by Nora Roberts


Genre: Fantasy Romance


In the conclusion to her acclaimed Three Sisters Island trilogy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts masterfully evokes the quaint charm of New England, weaving a spellbinding tale of true love—and sheer magic…

Mia Devlin knows what it’s like to love with your whole heart—and then watch your love walk away. Years ago, she and Sam Logan shared an incredible bond built on passion, legend, and fate. But then one day he fled Three Sisters Island, leaving her lost in memories of the magic they shared—and determined to live on her own…

As the new owner of the island’s only hotel, Sam has returned to Three Sisters with hopes of winning back Mia’s affections. He is puzzled when she greets him with icy indifference—for the chemistry between them is still sizzling and true. Angry, hurt, and deeply confused, Mia refuses to admit that a desire for Sam still burns in her heart. But she’ll need his help—and his powers—to face her greatest, most terrifying challenge. And as the deadline for breaking a centuries-old curse draws near, they must take the first step toward destiny—and come together to turn back the dark…

Don’t miss the other books in the #1 New York Times bestselling Three Sisters Island trilogy…
Dance Upon the Air
Heaven and Earth

A few choice lines from the book:
From across the street, he studied Café Book. He should have known Mia would have taken what had been a neglected building and turned it into something lovely, elegant, and productive. The front window held a display of books and potted spring flowers scattered around a lawn chair. Two of her deepest loves, he mused. Books and flowers. She’d used them both in a way that suggested it was time to take a break from the yard work, sit down and enjoy the fruits of the labor with a ride in a story. He stood where he was, hands in his pockets, until he realized he was procrastinating. There was little more turbulent than Mia Devlin in full temper. He expected her to lash out at him in blistering fury the minute she laid eyes on him again. And who could blame her? Then again, he thought with a grin, there was little more arousing than Mia Devlin in full temper. It would be…entertaining to strike words with her again. Just as it would be satisfying to soothe that temper away.

He crossed the street and opened the door to Café Book. Lulu was behind the counter. He’d have recognized her anywhere. The tiny woman with a gnome’s face almost swallowed up by silver-framed glasses had, essentially, raised Mia.
Because Lulu was ringing up a customer’s purchases, he had a moment to look around the store. The ceiling was pricked with lights for a starry effect and made the prospect of browsing through books a festive one. A cozy seating area was arranged in front of a fireplace with a hearth, scrubbed and polished, used as a haven for more spring flowers.Glossy blue shelves held books—an impressive array, he reflected as he wandered through, and as eclectic as he would have expected of the proprietor. No one would ever accuse Mia of having a one-track mind. His lips quirked as he saw that other shelves held ritual candles, Tarot cards, runes, statues of faeries, wizards, dragons. An attractive arrangement of another of Mia’s interests, he thought. He’d have expected nothing else there, either. He plucked a tumbling stone of rose quartz from a bowl, rubbed it between his fingers for good luck. Though he knew better. Before he could replace it, he felt a blast of frigid air.

Smiling easily, he turned to face Lulu.

“Always knew you’d come back. Bad pennies always turn up.”

This was his first barrier, the dragon at the gate. “Hello, Lu.”

“Don’t you hello-Lu me, Sam Logan.” She sniffed, skimmed her gaze over him. Sniffed a second time. “You buying that or do I call the sheriff and have you hauled in for shoplifting?”

He laid the stone back in the bowl. “How is Zack?”

“Ask him yourself, I don’t have time to waste on you.” Though he had her by a foot in height, she stepped forward, jabbed her finger at him, and made him feel twelve years old again. “What the hell do you want?”

“To see home. To see Mia.”

“Why don’t you do everybody a favor and go back to where you’ve been gallivanting these past years? New York City, Paris, and oo-la-la. We’ve all done fine without you taking up space on the Sisters.”

“Apparently.” He gave the store another casual look. He wasn’t offended. A dragon, in his mind, was meant to be devoted to its princess.

In his memory, Lulu had always been up to the job. “Nice place. I hear the café’s particularly good. And that Zack’s new wife runs it.”

“Your hearing’s just fine. So listen up. Go on and get.”

Not offended, no, but his eyes turned edgy, the green in them deepening. “I came to see Mia.”

“She’s busy. I’ll tell her you stopped by.”

“No, you won’t,” he said quietly. “But she’ll know in any case.”

Even as he spoke, he heard the sound of heels on wood. It could have been a dozen women, descending the curving steps in high heels. But he knew. As his heart stumbled in his chest, he stepped around the bookshelves and saw her just as she made the last turn. And the look, that one look at her, sliced him into a thousand pieces.The princess, he thought, had become the queen.

My Score:

This novel is part of the Three Sisters Island Trilogy. It’s actually the third book in the series, and I have all of them on my shelf at home. I just adore Nora Roberts’ style. She tells it like it is, no holds barred.

Mia and Sam have a troubled romantic history, and when Sam returns to the island, they are both in for some big surprises. There is so much tension between these two, and the sparks literally fly. I love a good second chance romance. Add to that a trio of powerful witches, and you’ve named my weakness! I love witch stories. I would seriously recommend the whole series!

Threesisters island trilogy

I give this one five hearts, for creativity, lots of passion and heart-stopping supernatural danger to keep things really interesting. Grab a copy if you can! I doubt you’ll regret it! 🙂

five hearts


Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Reviews, Romance, Writing

Great review for SECOND NATURE!

I just stumbled across this wonderful review on Amazon for Second Nature, book one of the Blood at First Sight Series! Thank you, Stephenee!  🙂

SecondNature-final cover

4.0 out of 5 stars A fun take on vampires, May 3, 2015
This review is from: Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
* I received an ebook in exchange for an honest review. *

This book is a paranormal romance book and it starts off a bit on the odd side – It begins with Alec stalking Desiree based on one glimpse and smell of her. I thought that the story was a bit slow going for the first few chapters but once Desiree and Alec actually meet the story gets much more interesting and has a much quicker pace.

The author made sure that the fact that Desiree was weary of men, relationships and getting close to anyone jumped right out to the reader. I felt like this was important for the story. Alec was also weary of being alone, getting too close to anyone and being out in the sunlight – and they both had good reasons for the way that they were. The author did an amazing job with the details of the characters and the reader was able to feel a connection to them. The details that the author used to describe Baltimore and the surrounding areas was spot on – including the restaurants and this made me love the book even more. If you have never been to Baltimore it will feel like you have after you finish reading this book!

The plot did start out a bit slow but by the middle you are hoping that it was a never-ending story. The reader can barely keep up with the twists, turns, loops and curves that the author throws out. The reader also can feel the emotions of the characters through the descriptive writing that the author uses. The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger in the fact that the reader wants to know what happens next to the characters that they have bonded with throughout the journey.

This is a fun read that has a bit of a different take on vampires and their blending into society. If you like vampire stories you will enjoy this one! Make sure that you add it to your TBR list and add it soon – it is a great afternoon read!

***Review has been done in conjunction with Nerd Girl Official.



Filed under Authors, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fiction, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Reviews, Romance, Writing

A Short and Sweet Five Star Review!

Awesome five star review for Second Nature!

Marie Lavender- Multigenre Author

I just stumbled across Cindy’s review of Second Nature on Amazon. How exciting! Thank you, Cindy!  🙂

5.0 out of 5 starsThis book was a gift for an honest review, February 25, 2015
This review is from: Second Nature (Blood At First Sight Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
I just loved this book. I will be keeping this in my library to read again. Marie Lavender has written a great book. Can’t wait to read more of her books. Buy this book you will not regret it. If you love Vampires you’ll love this one.
Woo hoo! Thanks again, Cindy!  ♥
SecondNature-final cover

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Author Interview on Rachael Stapleton’s blog

Monday, January 12, 2015

Today I’m interviewing bestselling author Marie Lavendar who prefers a gel pen to a keystroke and a journal page to a computer.

When asked if she had any quirks she admitted that while she doesn’t write in the shower, she does find herself working on scenes in there. I had to agree…this happens to me all the time. 

SecondNature-final cover

Desiree Edwards has a problem. She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things. It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare. But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be. He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her. To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.
She was unlike any other…
Alec has a problem. The animal in him wants Desiree. But, so does the man. The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants. But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human. The two species don’t mix that way. Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is forced to make a choice. His life or hers.

Can Alec’s soul be saved by this unique human? Or will it be far too late?

So, Marie, your book is a love story involving vampires. How did you become “involved” with vampires? 

LOL! That’s funny because my “book boyfriend” is Wrath from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Series. But seriously, vampires have always held a fascination for me. Whether they came from movies or books, I was always interested in them. I always wanted to write about them too, and with Second Nature, I got that chance.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The vampire element! It was fun to write about something mythical and to use my own imagination to fill in the details. I’ve read a lot of vampire books; therefore I had a foundation. I just had to make it my own. Of course, I loved and found myself identifying with the characters too.
Are there vocabulary words or concepts in your book that may be new to readers?  Define some of those.

There are a couple of terms. ‘Others’ are supernatural beings, and another term is ‘bloodseer’, but readers won’t see that one until the sequel.
What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn’t so?
All I can say is…my vampires don’t sparkle.  Oh, and they don’t sleep in coffins.  LOL.

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

For the main characters in Second Nature, I would choose either Henry Cavill or Matt Bomer as Alec, and for Desiree I would probably pick Moon Bloodgood because of her exotic features.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I think names are important. Sometimes I choose them because I simply like the name, but mainly I choose a character’s name because it really fits him/her. I have used a baby name book that I own, but I have also used other baby name sources online (http://www.babynames.com/).  The meaning of a name or even its origin can be very significant in some stories so I spend a lot of time on http://www.behindthename.com/ or for last names, I use http://surnames.behindthename.com/. When I write historical romance, I want to be period specific. Often I will just do a search to see what common names were for the time period. With the Heiresses in Love Series, I spent a lot of time looking for both English and French names.

Have you always liked to write?

It seems like I’ve always loved it. I’ve been writing stories since I was nine years old. I’ve never felt more freedom than I do when I’m telling a story.

Do you do a lot of research for your books? Do you enjoy doing research?

Yes, I believe you have to do research for every book. Some, such as historical novels, require more than others. I don’t mind the research portion of writing. It helps me find the answers I need, and sometimes it will even help jar me out of writer’s block.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

Maybe science fiction. I don’t mind watching the films, but I think I would find it pretty hard to write.
Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

Heavy action scenes can be challenging because I need to really visualize it before I can put it into words. For example, with my last historical romance, Upon Your Honor, I did a lot of study on fencing before I attempted to write the scenes about dueling. I watched fencing videos and I tried to understand and picture the terms they used.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)

No, it’s not my first book. Other than Second Nature, I have written and published 19 books.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?

Right now, I am working on the final book in the Heiresses in Love Series. It is titled Upon Your Love. I am also perfecting the manuscript for A Little Magick, book two of the Magick Series. For my next project, I will probably finish up Blood Instincts, the sequel to Second Nature.
What made you choose romance as your particular genre? Do you write in other genres?

I guess I just love “love”. That obsession sort of translated into a love for books about love, or romance novels. Even as a young writer, some of my stories tended to have a romantic tone. I poured over romance novels as I grew up (I still do), and it just felt natural to keep writing about romance. Eventually, I started including other elements, which would work for subgenres like historical romance, paranormal romance, romantic fantasy, time travel romance, western romance, contemporary romance and romantic suspense. I have tried writing in other genres, of course. I have written and published mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Recently, I even wrote a children’s fantasy story.
Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I think from the time that my mom read books to me when I was tiny, I loved books. And then when I learned how to read, it opened up a huge world, a world of wonder that I couldn’t help but immerse myself in. I just loved flipping through tomes from any genre, loved the smell of new and old books and pouring over the words within. Writing, I think, naturally came out of my love of books.
What kind(s) of writing do you do? Just fiction or have you tried other things?

Yes, I also write other things. I write poetry in my free time and, since I’ve been published, I started writing articles for my blogs.

What are some of the references that you used while researching this book?

Since Second Nature is set in Baltimore, I did a lot of research from the city of Baltimore website as well as understanding where everything was through Google maps. Via the city website, I was able to find the best park location for one of the scenes in the book. I did other types of research for Baltimore. I also did research on the Civil War, and found a lot of information on http://www.history.com/ and http://www.civilwar.org/.  It did take me awhile to get access to the Roster of Civil War Soldiers, though.
Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?  What impact have they had on your writing?

Both Catherine Coulter and Nora Roberts definitely influenced me. Catherine made me love historical romance, and Nora Roberts taught me to be fearless about any topic while writing.

What did you find most useful in learning to write?  What was least useful or most destructive?

I studied Creative Writing in high school and college. There are several elements I always use. I have to agree with 1) constructing three-dimensional and believable characters. 2) Start a story “en media res”, or in the middle of things, or mid-action. 3) Oh, and don’t kill off main characters. This is a failing I have seen not only in movies and television, but also in books. It is shocking to the reader, and can ruin the whole story in most cases.  I have seen only a few authors pull it off well, and only because the death was necessary for a major plot element.

So, all of these were helpful guidelines. I think the most useful thing was simply the freedom to write what you wanted, what your heart was telling you. The writing community as a whole is pretty supportive, and having that is important to writers at any stage. Any feedback I received in workshops only helped to make my stories better. The same goes for any time I use beta readers or critique partners now.

I think that the most destructive thing to tell a writer is to rewrite something. What was it that our English teachers told us all through school when we were writing essays or research papers? “Revise, revise, revise.” That is a far better strategy because even if you have one terrible paragraph, you can always use parts of it to improve what you have. The idea of starting from scratch is a far more daunting task, and can make it that much easier to give up on writing in general. A smart writer will start to see what is wrong with the paragraph and how they can adjust it. That’s what editing is, and it’s a very necessary instrument in a writer’s toolbox.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

Part-time for now, though I’d love to do it full-time. It can be a real challenge finding the time to write, but I just push myself to get something done every day, despite the distractions in my life.
For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start? 

Start with the paranormal or urban fantasy genre. There are a lot of unique spins on the world of vampires, shifters, etc. I would suggest books by J.R. Ward, Kerrelyn Sparks, Chloe Neill and P.C. Cast as well as any other authors in the genre.
Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? 

I guess it would be a combination of the two. Intuition helps with writing some scenes, and then logic helps me figure out the wording or if I need to stop and do research in order to continue writing the manuscript.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I love reading paranormal, historical and contemporary romance novels. Recently, I have been reading more paranormal, but I will probably go back to historical soon.
What projects are you working on at the present?  

As aforementioned, I’m working on Upon Your Love, which will be the third and final book of the Heiresses in Love Series. This is a Victorian romantic suspense, and I am excited to show the book to readers! On the side, I am also working on Blood Instincts, which will be book two of the Blood at First Sight Series.

What do your plans for future projects include?

I have a ton of works in progress. There is a romantic suspense collaboration called Certain Death, and that is with another writer. There will probably be at least two books in that series. I also plan to re-release all of my self-published books under this pen name. A big future project I have in mind is called the Witches of Moonhaven Series, a set of six books about a coven of witches around the time of the Salem witch trials. I have other ideas as well, so I doubt I’ll ever have a problem coming up with what’s next.

How on earth do you start writing one of your stories or books? What is your process during the course of writing?

My ideas come to me randomly, and the scenes pop into my head in any order. This causes the story to become a puzzle I need to piece together and once I start the plotting portion of the book, I can work at making it seamless.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00Q7FWIWA

Publisher: http://solsticepublishing.com/second-nature/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/second-nature-marie-lavender/1120879883

CreateSpace link: https://www.createspace.com/5131233

Book Trailer

Mariepic2 - small

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Marie has published twenty books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance/fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Lavender just released Second Nature, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy, in December of 2014. She released Magick & Moonlight, a romantic fantasy, back in March. Upon Your Honor, released in late April, is her second historical romance. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series. Feel free to visit her website at http://marielavender.com/ for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Bestselling author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 19 other books. 2014 BTS Red Carpet Review Nominee. Finalist and Runner-up in the MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

A list of her books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor; Second Nature

Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things


Filed under Authors, Books, Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Research, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips

Book release party on Facebook!

Awesome release party for my new book, Second Nature, book one of the Blood at First Sight Series!

Marie Lavender- Multigenre Author

Drop by the book release party for Second Nature, my new paranormal romance/urban fantasy book, today! There will be lots of giveaways and prizes! It will run for 12 hours and you have up to 24 hours to leave comments in order to compete for prizes. So, make sure to take a few moments and drop in! We’d love to have you there!  🙂


SecondNature-final cover

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00Q7FWIWA


Link to print book: https://www.createspace.com/5131233 

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***New Release*** Second Nature by Marie Lavender.

A promo for SECOND NATURE on L.T. Kelly’s blog!

L.T. Kelly Romance Writer

SecondNature-final cover

Title:  Second Nature, book one of the Blood at First Sight Series

Genre:  Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Second Nature Blurb:

She never expected it…

Desiree Edwards has a problem.  She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things.  It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare.  But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be.  He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her.  To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.

She was unlike any other…

Alec has a problem.  The animal in him wants Desiree.  But, so does the man.  The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants.  But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human.  The two species don’t mix that way.  Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is…

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Book Spotlight on Devika Fernando’s blog!

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Exciting news about SECOND NATURE!

I just wanted to drop in and announce that Second Nature, book one of the Blood at First Sight Series, will be released on December 9th.  Yay!  I’m giving you a sneak peak of the cover here, but it won’t officially be revealed until a few days before the release.  Pre-orders should be starting up around that time.


I am so excited about this paranormal romance/urban fantasy series.  🙂

Here is the blurb for Second Nature:

She never expected it…

Desiree Edwards has a problem. She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things. It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare. But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be. He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her. To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.

She was unlike any other…

Alec has a problem. The animal in him wants Desiree. But, so does the man. The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants. But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human. The two species don’t mix that way. Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is forced to make a choice. His life or hers.

Can Alec’s soul be saved by this unique human? Or will it be far too late?

I hope you can come by and join us at the release party here  on Facebook.  It is shown below as well:



There will be lots of prizes from me and book donations from other paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi authors! How exciting, right?  So stop by the awesome release party on Tuesday, December 9th.  You won’t be disappointed!  😀


Filed under Authors, Book Giveaways, Books, Contemporary, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Love, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Writing

A Character Interview with Amelia Gareth from WHEN STARS DIE plus a conversation with author Amber Skye Forbes!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Branka Čubrilo’s character on November 10th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting Amber Skye Forbes, the author of When Stars Die, recently and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Amelia Gareth, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to Amber in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Amelia Gareth!


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

Amelia Gareth:  Hello.  Thank you.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

Marie:  We’re going to start out with some simple questions, okay?

Character Amelia:  Sure.

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

Amelia:  I am merely training to become a nun, part of the Professed Order. I am horrible at what I do, a tree in a forest choking itself to death, and I hate it. I’m only at Cathedral Reims to be professed with the hope Deus will forgive my younger brother for being a witch and allow him to join Paradise with me.

Marie:  I see. So, what is your family like?

Amelia:  I don’t know what they’re like right now. I ran away from home with my younger brother when I found out he was a witch. My father was an accountant, though, a very busy man, but a family man. My mother was hardly present, but she loved my younger brother more than I, so she would take him to more places than me. At most, I am apathetic toward my mother. My father is someone I would do anything for.

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?

Amelia:  Enormous. It looks like some mad castle. It’s stucco, with black trimming. Ivy has made a home in all the right places on my mansion, blooming flowers in spring that make my home look less…intimidating. There are turrets and spires. There is an archway you pass under with our family seal. When someone in our immediate family dies, we erect statues of them. It’s just a common Gareth tradition, one I find bizarre.

The inside of our home is a traditional mansion: a parlor, dining hall, study for my father, our rooms, a drawing room, and so on and so forth—nothing particularly special that stands out from other mansions of the aristocracy.

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

Amelia:  I’ve never had time to develop any hobbies, at least none I can think of. I was involved in my studies. Is that considered a hobby? Outside of these things, my younger brother and I loved to play in the woods, so perhaps that is a hobby? I am uncertain. When I think of hobbies for women, I think of knitting or reading or gossiping or drinking tea—all things I don’t like. I suppose adventure is my hobby.

Marie:  So, what is your greatest dream, Amelia?

Amelia:  My greatest dream is that hatred for witches will vanish from our world. The Vulgate says they must be hated because it is Deus’s will.

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

Amelia:  I wish I could be more assertive, more confident. At Cathedral Reims, I thought I’d feel more powerful for being able to protect my brother, but I don’t. I feel powerless. My fate on whether or not I can join the Professed Order lies in the hands of our Mother Superior, Mother Aurelia. I don’t know what she looks for in a good nun.

Marie:  I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Amelia:  Oliver Cromwell. He will always be my first love. I still love him, even now.

Marie:  Amelia, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Amelia:  I would rather not talk about the most terrible thing that has ever happened to me. I died and rose again. That’s all anyone needs to know.

Marie:  All right.  Well, let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

(Amelia nods.)

Marie:  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?

Amelia:  I didn’t have my own, personal dreams. My dream was to meet my Father’s: find a husband with a stable income and become the perfect wife who would care for her family in their ailing years. My younger brother would be able to go off to university.

My “dream” was never achieved when I went to Cathedral Reims. My dream changed by my own merit. I never even met that one.

We live in a dreamless world. No one gets what they want. They think they have it all, they think they’ve met their dreams, but they truly haven’t. We keep dreaming and dreaming and dreaming, but there are no such things as dreams, other than the ones that exist in our sleeping hours.

When Stars Die Cover

Marie:  I see.  So, who is your role model?

Amelia:  My father, but I lost him as a role model when I left for Cathedral Reims. My best friend, Colette, became my role model. She is everything I want to be: confident, poised, well-liked by everyone, so certain of her own future. I tried to become like her in so many ways, but no one can duplicate the person they so desperately want to become. We can only take their traits and try to instill them in our own personalities.

I failed.

Marie:  Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.  Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Amelia:  I don’t pretend to like anyone. I generally keep myself away from people I dislike so that way I do not have to perpetuate a false façade. At least I am true to myself. That is one positive thing I like about myself.

Marie:  (Nods.)  So, what is your deepest desire?

Amelia:  My deepest desire? To have my younger brother grow up in a world blooming with love. I will fight for that, even through death.

Marie:  Let’s switch to another question.  What is your greatest fear?

Amelia:  My greatest fear is that I will always exist among hatred for witches—or hatred period. I can tell you for certain that hatred exists more than love. I live in Malva now. Hatred for witches is etched in everything, from the cobblestones of our roads, to statues of mangled witches, to signs, propaganda abounds.

I yearn to bring love to this world. I know I can do this, but the way I have to go about doing so is terrifying. Yet, it is necessary.

Marie:  Well, thank you for visiting us today, Amelia.  (Waves goodbye to Amelia.)

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

Amber Skye Forbes Author Photo

Author Amber Skye Forbes:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

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

Amber:  Despite what Amelia thinks of herself, she does have many strengths. She is loyal, determined, and more confident than she believes herself to be. She is loving, kind, and she is a fighter. She will never give up going after what she wants, even if her dreams have to change.

Marie:  What are your character’s greatest strengths?

Amber:  Everything I’ve mentioned above. Perhaps her greatest strength, however, is love, especially for her younger brother. Her existence pretty much revolves around him, and this is true in book two, and will especially be true in book three.

Marie:  All right.  Let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

Amber:  Love is her greatest weakness. She stretches her love out so much that it breaks her in the end of When Stars Die. In fact, this weakness of hers transcends into book two, and readers will understand this once they read When Stars Die and its sequel, The Stars Are Infinite.

Marie:  I see.  What are some of her favorite foods?

Amber:  I don’t show Amelia eating a whole lot in When Stars Die. In the second and third books of this trilogy, she will soon have no desire to eat, and it will no longer be necessary for her to eat. She doesn’t have a favorite food at all. She ate foods typical to the aristocracy when she lived in Norbury with her parents, but when she comes to Cathedral Reims, she begins to eat food considered bland in nature, so she doesn’t have that time to develop a favorite food or even tell anyone what her favorite food is.

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

Amber:  Her determination. She never acknowledges this as a strength of hers. She persists in spite of obstacles, despite the consequences. She may think that, in a way, she loses in the end, but she still has determination to do what is right, even if it means doing what is wrong at first.

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

Amber:  Readers, for the most part, do like Amelia. They love her loyalty to her younger brother. That is a relatable thing to teen readers with younger siblings they want to protect. They love her determination. They love her indecisiveness. They love that she is simply a teen experiencing teen emotions and trying to grow through both her perfections and flaws. She may not have an enormous amount of backstory for herself in this novel, but for her, the past is the past. Her current life and future is what she remains fixated on. Yet, in book three, her backstory will begin to unfold as it relates to her current situation, which will be far more intense than her situation in When Stars Die.

Marie:  Great!  Well, now that we have a real taste of Amelia Gareth, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for When Stars Die?

Amber:  Simple. Writing its sequel gave me the idea. I realized the sequel was too complex to be the first book, so I had to create a new first book to make the sequel understandable. Amelia already existed in the sequel, but as someone different. So she needed to exist in the first book to show how things were before book two began.

Marie:  Oh, wow!  That’s an interesting approach!

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

Amber:  My writing style is generally lyrical, and I am a plotter. I have to be a plotter to lessen how many times I have to revise my novel. I like having a direction set out for me already. That gives me a sense of control.

Marie:  That’s understandable.

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

Amber:  The only challenge I came across was writing action scenes because I spent too much time with Amelia’s internal monologue than I did with the immediate action, but I feel like I’ve learned greatly from that, and it didn’t present a problem at all in my publisher’s edits of book two. So I learned how to write action scenes, and I believe I wrote them well in The Stars Are Infinite, because they weren’t torn apart like they were in When Stars Die.

I also want to mention that just because your first book in a trilogy gets published doesn’t mean your second book will get accepted the first time around, so with the third book, I am going to ensure it is no more than 100,000 words and that I do a wonderful copy edit of it before sending it off to my publisher.

Marie: Oh, yes, I agree.  Editing is very important.  That’s why I not only self-edit, but use critique partners and beta readers.

I also agree with your comment about trilogies.  I was nervous that my publisher wouldn’t accept Upon Your Honor, the sequel to Upon Your Return, because it was much longer than the original and definitely went over 100,000 words.  But, it all worked out.  I will still have to be careful with the third book; judging by how things are going, it may be longer than Upon Your Honor, but I will pare it down if I have to.  LOL.

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 When Stars Die appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by Amber Skye Forbes, a talented author! 

When Stars Die Cover

Here is the blurb for When Stars Die:

“Yet, even when stars die, they leave a lasting impact through their light, their diamond brilliance as they scatter their material to form new stars. When people die, they leave the same impact with the footprints they leave on people’s hearts. Even the ones who feel insignificant go out, leaving behind dust that can nourish the world anew.”

Amelia Gareth’s brother is a witch and the only way to save her family from the taint in his blood is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims in the snowy city of Malva. However, in order to become professed, she must endure trials that all nuns must face.

Surviving these trials is not easy, especially for Amelia, who is being stalked by shadowy beings only she can see. They’re searching for people they can physically touch, because only those they can touch can see them. Amelia soon learns why she is being stalked when she accidentally harms her best friend with fire during the third trial. Fire is a witch’s signature. The shadows are after witches.

Now Amelia must decide what to do: should she continue on her path to profession knowing there is no redemption, or should she give up on her dream and turn away from Cathedral Reims in order to stop the shadows who plan to destroy everything she loves?

Purchase Links:






About Amber Skye Forbes

Amber Skye Forbes Author Photo

Amber Skye Forbes is a dancing writer who prefers pointe shoes over street shoes, leotards over skirts, and ballet buns over hairstyles. She loves striped tights and bows and will edit your face with a Sharpie if she doesn’t like your attitude. She lives in Augusta, Georgia where she writes dark fiction that will one day put her in a psychiatric ward…again. But she doesn’t care because her cat is a super hero who will break her out.

Amber’s Books:

When Stars Die Cover



Coming Soon:


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

Website:  http://www.amberskyeforbes.com/

Blog:  https://amberskyeforbes.wordpress.com/

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AmberSkyeF

Tumblr:  http://thedancingwriter.tumblr.com

Amazon author page:  http://www.amazon.com/Amber-Skye-Forbes/e/B00FNR85UM/

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7239827.Amber_Forbes

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Amelia Gareth, the female main character of When Stars Die, and Amber Skye Forbes, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here!  🙂

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