Tag Archives: writer’s life

Special Feature: What Does Romance Mean to Me? by Lilly Christine

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 to the heart of each person. And I’ve gotten some incredible feedback.

Without further ado, let’s turn the mic over to author Lilly Christine, who has a few things to say about the question at hand.

What does romance mean to me?

In both real life romance and fiction, a partner or would-be partner goes the extra mile to create a special experience for their beloved. I hope everyone has memories of first real life romantic gestures…the carnation or special Valentine in middle school, a first dance, prom, et cetera. My first “real” boyfriend would pick me up from work and take me out for milkshakes, so teaberry milkshakes STILL spell *romance* for me!
I write romances because I love developing a journey to love for my characters, and my readers seem to enjoy it, too! My McGreers series features flawed characters challenged by this “thing called love”, sending them on journey that is often inconvenient, difficult, or near impossible. In McGreers #1, Crashing into Tess, the new girl Tess gives up hope before single-dad rancher Jake finally comes around. In #2, Crazy on Daisy, Hank Gallagher’s pined for barrel racer Daisy for years, and in #3-6 Right Kinda Bull/Whole Lotta Bull, Lindsay keeps a secret, testing Ty McGreer more than any of my other heroes.
I also enjoy weaving contemporary challenges couples face into the mix, so in #5, Loving Lulu, Lulu, a young mom, wants a career, which puts stress on her marriage, while her brother Kyle, an Iraq vet and Janie’s beau, struggles with PTSD. In #8, My Kinda Bull, Heath McGreer, a fossil fuel engineer, bumps into Christina Rodriguez, a Greenpeace activist, in Alaska.
My novels mirror the challenges of love-in-real-life, which for me makes writing the stories and crafting the characters that much more exciting. Thanks so much for reading!
Wow! Thanks for stopping by with your fascinating guest post, Lilly! Lovely to have you here! ♥
Guest Bio

lilly-headshot

Lilly Christine’s debut novel, Crashing Into Tess, won TRW’s 2013 “Catherine Award”,  was a 2014 finalist in DRW’s “Best First Book”, and “Best Contemporary” categories, and is the first in the popular McGreers Series. Lilly returns to her birthplace for the setting of “Philadelphia Love!” an exciting new urban rom-com Holiday Novella Series! In 2017, look for Valentine, Baby!, Sing It, Baby! and Independence, Baby?

Lilly currently resides in Reno, Nevada. When not writing, she can be found walking her Daschahuahua rescue puppy on the Truckee River.

Sign up for Lilly News

She’s always available for book-signings, readings and appearances, especially to benefit her reader’s favorite animal shelters and rescues. Contact her at LillyChristine13@gmail.com, or find her on Facebook!

Author Links

Website:  http://lillychristine.com/Books.html

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/3sg8X

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lilly.christine.71

https://www.facebook.com/PhiladelphiaLove1/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/lillychristine1

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Lilly-Christine/e/B00GLY93A2/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7276542.Lilly_Christine

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lilly-christine-a4839bbb

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lillychristine1/

 

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, Lilly, for giving us your reasons for writing romance, and how you incorporate your own romantic beliefs into your books. Awesome! 😀

Readers, stay tuned for our next special feature on this topic when author Cynthia Helwig visits us on March 30th! 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, Fiction, Guest Writer, Hope, Love, Message, Readers, Romance, western, Writers, 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

The Secret Life of an Erotica Writer: a guest post by Charity Parkerson

The Secret Life of an Erotica Writer by Charity Parkerson

 

Follow just about any Erotica author online and you’ll be treated with pictures of delicious men, snarky jokes about spanking, and tons of other fun tidbits. No doubt, my online search of sexy topics—purely in the name of research, mind you—has landed me on more than one pervy, government watch list. Opening my email has become a daily adventure. I never know what sort of fan mail I’ll find inside. I’ve seen things…horrible things…things I cannot unsee. The award for keeping a straight face while answering questions should arrive in my mailbox any day.
During a recent interview, I was asked to describe a day in the life of Charity Parkerson. This was the moment I realized two important things. Not only is my life vastly different than what people think, I also have not lost the awesome ability to horrify people speechless.  For anyone interested in hearing about a day in the life of an erotica writer, here it is:
After dragging myself out of the bed—kicking and screaming—I get my two boys ready for school, secretly praying they are going to spend the day with someone blessed with infinite patience. Eventually, I discover we are already ten minutes late. I then spend another ten minutes standing by the door screaming for everyone to get their damn shoes on, and praying someone with tons of patience is waiting to greet me at the school. Thirty minutes of travel time from one end of town to the other— in order to drop them at two separate schools— is spent listening to several arguments. The top one usually consists of my youngest accusing my oldest of being mean. The debate landing in second place is the one where I am accused of never seeing how annoying my youngest is being to my oldest. If you add in my fervent prayers for all the wonderful teachers out there to have strength, you have the first couple of hours of my day.

 

coffee-and-laptop

Once I have the house to myself, I drink a ton of coffee while catching up on tweets, Facebook messages, and emails. After obsessively checking my sales ranking and crying into my third cup of coffee, I stare blankly at the wall for four hours while dreaming of hot MMA fighters, police detectives, and demons. When I catch sight of the clock, I spend another thirty minutes wailing over how I’ve wasted the whole day, before going on Facebook to confer with my friends, only to realize they’re doing the same thing. This, of course, makes everything right with the world again. With that said, if it’s a month until my deadline, those four hours are spent alternating between clicking away at the computer keys and hyperventilating into a paper bag. If it’s the day after I’ve completed my manuscript, I’m patting myself on the back and lying about how I wasn’t worried in the least. Oh, and occasionally I spend my day dreaming about an organized computer where all my files are competently labeled, making them easy to find. Then I remember I can’t afford minions and I’m over it.

Sorry to disappoint everyone who believed I spent my day swinging from the chandelier. Maybe one of these days hot cover models will feed me chocolate-covered strawberries. Unfortunately, it will—most likely— only be because I’m in the nursing home and it’s their job. Until then, you could always read about the lives I live inside my mind…

Thank you, Charity, for that amusing take on a daily look at an erotic romance author.

Well, readers, shall we take a look at one of Charity Parkerson’s books? Why not? 🙂

Break

Great cover!

This is the blurb for Break, Hard Hit Series, Book 6: 

 

Noah’s career means everything to him. That is, until he loses his true everything.

Noah has been in love with his best friend, Troy, for as far back as he can remember. There is no one else he can picture spending his life with. After signing a contract with the Blue Fires, Noah heads to New Orleans, ready to start his new life as a pro hockey player. With the career he’s always dreamed of having in his hands and the man he’s always loved in his bed, Noah thinks everything is golden.

But nothing could prepare Noah for how being the star player would change his life. Each time he finds a reporter’s mic underneath his nose, Noah can’t stop himself from pushing Troy farther away, making Troy the dirty secret. That is, until the day Troy has had enough.

With Troy gone, Noah can’t find his footing, but neither does he have the words to fix the things he’s broken. No matter how many times Noah picks up the phone, fear stops him from saying all the words he’s avoided. Until a single call and a tragic accident changes everything.

“He arrived at St. Luke’s Medical Center… Labels no longer counted. Opinions were out the window. Nothing mattered any longer.”

Hurt, anger, and bitterness have Noah throwing back the curtain, showing the world his every secret. But is it too little too late?

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

And readers, while you’re at it, why not add it to your Goodreads TBR list? You can also get this MM romance on pre-order on Amazon.

Purchase Links:

Amazon Universal:  http://mybook.to/Break

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/break-charity-parkerson/1123523392

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/6112849

 

Pick this title up on April 18th! 😀

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

Author Bio

Charity Parkerson Facebook pic

Charity Parkerson is an award winning and multi-published author with several companies. Born with no filter from her brain to her mouth, she decided to take this odd quirk and insert it in her characters.

*2015 Readers’ Favorite Award Winner
*Winner of 2, 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards
*2015 Passionate Plume Award Finalist
*2013 Readers’ Favorite Award Winner
*2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award Winner
*2012 ARRA Finalist for Favorite Paranormal Romance
*Five-time winner of The Mistress of the Darkpath

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Author Links

Website:  http://www.charityparkerson.com

Blog:  http://charity-thesinners.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/authorCharityParkerson

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/charityparkerso

Amazon Author Page:  http://author.to/CharityParkerson

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4506281.Charity_Parkerson

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+CharityParkersonAuthor/posts

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/authorparkerson/

Tumblr:  http://thesinnerauthor.tumblr.com/

Shelfari:  http://www.shelfari.com/authors/a2942626/Charity-Parkerson/

Publisher:  http://www.punkandsissypublications.com/charity-parkerson.html

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!   😉

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Erotica, Fiction, LGBT, Message, new release, Readers, Romance, Writers, Writing

The hard work of being an author

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be an author these days…

katemariecollins

Morning, everyone! It’s spring! Which, around here, means it’s raining. Still. Just a little warmer than it was last week.

People often imagine the life of a published author as one filled with red carpet invites, cavernous offices where we sit in a comfy chair. A maid or butler bringing us lunch on a silver tray so we remember to eat. And so much money in the bank that we don’t blink if our children want to go to Europe for a summer. Or Yale for six years.

Um, nope. This is work. Hard work. Our house is modest. My husband’s job pays the bills. Mine helps with groceries and, currently, the rest is being funneled each month to help make it so our daughter doesn’t start college knowing she’ll graduate with a mountain of debt. That’s the COO salary, anyway. The royalties? I get to go to my favorite…

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Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Message, Readers, Writers, Writing

Writers are not lazy

Fellow writers, a perfect article to show your families, or anyone who is not supportive of your job or your dreams!

Source: Writers are not lazy

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Filed under Authors, Books, Message, Readers, Writers, Writing, Writing Tips