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Winter Love’s A Treat Mega Book Giveaway and 500th Anniversary Post

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Winter Love’s A Treat Mega Book Giveaway

Hi, readers! If you’re visiting the blog today, you are either a loyal follower, or you came across the site because you love “Romance” as much as I do. Both, perhaps? To mark our official 500th post, we’re having a rare, yet awesome event here on ILRB. And it’s just in time for Christmas…yay! 🙂

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Often enough, romance readers want to know…well, which book spurred an author’s interest in the genre. We all have to start somewhere, and a good writer is first a reader. So, I thought it would be cool to get a unique take on the genre straight from the source. Plus, what is more suitable for the blog’s theme – combining tips on romantic relationships with our avid love of romance novels – than a massive giveaway comprised of romance books?

Forty-two authors have banded together this week to not only give a hint of their reading preferences, but also to offer a chance to win some great prizes! These aren’t just holiday romance tales, but rather books you can read year-round, covering various subgenres (for an overview on different romance categories, refer to this post I wrote for Writing in the Modern Age). So exciting, right?

 The Rules

With almost 200 opportunities to win, we have a lot going on here! If you’d like to enter the contest, please comment on the thread below. Be sure to include YOUR NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS, or we won’t be able to contact you. Though you can, of course, state the book titles or titles which interest you, to be fair to everyone please LIST YOUR PREFERRED ROMANCE SUBGENRES (for example: if erotica offends you, let us know, and also tell us if you already have one of the books in the list). All contest entries will be compiled, and then a randomizer will be used to select winners. The goal here is to make sure every participant wins at least once, if possible, so don’t be shy about telling us what you like or don’t like in your reading preferences; also if you’re open to trying something new. A lot of books are available in ebook format, but some are signed paperbacks. Leave us all your information in a comment below, or IF you prefer anonymity, you can email me at marieannlavender@gmail.com with the subject heading ‘WINTER LOVE GIVEAWAY ENTRY’.

I can’t emphasize enough how much I WILL NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO REACH YOU. I can’t traipse all over social media, trying to figure out how to contact you. Some people have similar names, and it’s like searching for an earring in a pile of thumbtacks. Painful, and just plain irritating. LOL. So, definitely tell us (or at least yours truly) how to reach your awesome self. 😉

Without further ado, let’s have a look at the prizes, and learn just what our favorite authors are reading these days…

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The Prizes and Author Q&As

Prize #1

Author: K.C. Sprayberry

Title: At Home Christmas

Genre: Military Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 5

Blurb: Love found and lost in a day.

A heart shattered.

Christmas with the family. An ideal, sweet homecoming… Or the torturous reminder that family can be your worst enemy.

Cat Helmstead suffers a grievous loss while on temporary duty in Spain with the Air Force. Her heart shatters and she sinks into a grief so profound that she’s ready to join the man she loved so much. Until she’s sent home, to spend the holidays with her family and makes several important discoveries that will change her future forever.

Can Cat move on from losing the only guy she’s ever been attracted to?

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3L07d0

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books: Highland Velvet, The Velvet Promise, Sweet Liar, A Knight in Shining Armor, Velvet Angel – all by Jude Deveraux.

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: Sweet Liar by Jude Deveraux.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I’m rereading one of my own, Froliche Weihnachten/Merry Christmas. There may or may not be a sequel in progress…

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: Blackwater Burning, Where Have All the Cowboys Gone, Josey’s Mountain by Elle Marlow.

 

Prize #2

Author: Vina Arno

Title: Finder Keeper of My Heart

Genre: New Adult Romance

Format: Ebook (via Amazon or Barnes & Noble; provide the retailer you prefer and the appropriate email address for your device.)

# of copies: 2

Blurb: An aspiring Broadway actress believes her soul mate is named Avery, thanks to a message in a bottle. When she gets lost in a Hawaiian jungle, the mysterious Avery Bell saves her. Could he be The One? MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE meets SERENDIPITY.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/m2vw6r

Prize #3

Title: In His Corner

Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance

Format: Ebook (via Amazon or Barnes & Noble; provide the retailer you prefer and the appropriate email address for your device.)

# of copies: 5

Blurb: ER and romance—they don’t go together. That’s what Dr. Siena Carr thinks until an Olympic boxer walks into her ER with a cut that needs stitching and a passion that consumes her.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38raYZ

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre AND Your Top 5 Romance Books:

For a long time, I didn’t realize I’m a romance genre lover at heart because the books I like are not categorized as romance novels but as classic literature. These are the classics that I cherish the most. I re-read these books time and again. They inspire me as a writer and reader both.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Emma by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Prize #4

Author: Leslie Hachtel

Title: The Dream Dancer

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Lady Bryce has a gift.
She can enter dreams and persuade her will onto others.
It has served her well, especially in eliminating unsatisfactory suitors of her father’s choosing.
But when she encounters Lord Rowland she wants him more than anything and decides to visit him in his sleep and make him desire her above all others.
But will their love be able to conquer all once Bryce’s secret is revealed? Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bppv6z

Prize #5

Title: Emma’s Dance

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Headstrong Emma of Ashford is marrying Lord Alan, the man of her dreams, when her wedding is interrupted. A woman claims to be his long lost betrothed. But is she truly the woman thought dead since she was a child?
Emma is visited by a ghost. Is this spirit the long dead Carlyn who has come to help Emma declare the other woman an imposter? Or just another deception?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3G90or

Prize #6

Title: The Jester’s Dance

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: The Lady Margaret, widowed and lonely, seeks adventure and goes to court disguised as a jester. She falls in love with a handsome Scotsman, Seth, who enlists her help to rescue his family. Together they must face danger, intrigue, and enemies determined to pull them apart. Can their love survive? Can they?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4XKpE6

Prize #7

Title: A Dance in Time

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Signed Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Lady Grace imagines escaping her cruel husband and miserable life. A portal into the past offers her so much more than she bargained for. Including meeting the man of her dreams whose life is at risk. Can she save him? Can he rescue her?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGz7o

Prize #8

Item: $20 Amazon Gift Card

Format: Swag

# of prizes: 1

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The first romance I read was Ashes in the Wind by Kathleen Woodiwiss and I was hooked.

Prize #9

Author: Maggie Blackbird

Title: Blessed (Book 1 of the Matawapit Family Series)

Genre: Multicultural/Inspirational, MM Romance, Contemporary, Erotic Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: A mixed-blood Catholic seminarian struggles to discern his true calling:  the priesthood or his ex-lover, a proud but damaged Ojibway man.

It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man.  In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.

Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered:  the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon, and he intends on using his newfound power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and the church.

Hoping to save the church, Emery races home.  But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life:  please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.

An erotic spiritual journey.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bOAgpA

Answered Question

Your Top 5 Romance Books

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: The Guarded Trilogy by Addison Carmichael

Prize #10

Author: Debbie De Louise

Title: Cloudy Rainbow

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: When you lose a loved one, whether it’s a relative, friend, or precious pet, you wonder where that special soul has gone and if you will ever see him or her again. For Dulcie Mills, Long Island computer programmer, the answer may lie between a virtual world and the real one, between the past and the present, between dreams and reality.

Unable to get over her fiancé’s death and facing the impending loss of her 15-year-old cat, Dulcie escapes to a virtual world. When Dulcie’s best friend accepts a job from a clairvoyant who offers predictions regarding Dulcie’s dead fiancé and Dulcie becomes attracted to an online stranger, history begins to repeat itself in ways that are both promising and terrifying. What Dulcie discovers through a virtual séance may mean the only chance she has left for love or death itself.

Addressing topics of reincarnation and soul transfer in similar ways as Greg Iles’ Sleep No More and Nora Roberts’ Midnight Bayou, Cloudy Rainbow features an interesting mix of technology and the paranormal and will also appeal to cat lovers.Universal Reader Link: mybook.to/CR2

 

Prize #11

Title: When Jack Trumps Ace

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Jackie Riordan’s in trouble . . .

When her jewel-thief father is caught in the middle of a heist, Jackie makes her getaway to his ex-jail pal’s apartment. a man called Ace, who lives in an upscale neighborhood of Chicago. What she doesn’t count on is falling in love with him and becoming his partner in crime. She also doesn’t expect to compete with Ace’s old flame or deal with his cat Roxie who causes her allergy attacks.

All bets are off . . .

After Jackie discovers clues left by her father which lead her to a treasure that Ace may have stolen, she contemplates her next move. Should she trust Ace and believe her father gave him the money, or head home to her mother, a religious hypocrite who would have no qualms about ratting out her own daughter to the cops?

Things that sparkle aren’t always Diamonds . . .

Before Jackie can decide who the good guys really are, she finds herself atop the Willis Tower carrying her father’s ashes in her pocket and aiding Ace in the largest jewelry heist of his life. Things go terribly wrong, and Jackie’s only choice seems to be to walk away from Ace or face imprisonment. Universal Reader Link: mybook.to/Jackebook

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

  1. Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes
  2. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audry Niffenegger
  3. Time and Again by Jack Finney
  4. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
  5. The Gift of a Charm by Melissa Hill

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreLove Story by Erich Segal

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: The Dinner List by Rebecca Searle

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

  1. As You Wish by Jude Deveraux
  2. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
  3. Alaskan Holiday by Debbie Macomber

Prize #12

Author: David Russell

Title: Self’s Blossom

Genre: Literary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: A romantic, erotic tale of a vivid portrayal of the quest for the inner truth, empowerment and sexual liberation of Selene, a woman searching for primeval abandon and reckless adventure. Intelligent, a university graduate and a successful careerist, Selene became emotionally scarred by unhappy relationships. Riled and taunted through the years by her former college roommate Janice, Selene gave in to the long-term desire to ‘get one back’ at Janice by having a passionate holiday encounter. Immediately drawn to the sea and enthralled by its brutal yet sensual waves, Selene seduces a young boy on a deserted beach. Once she comes to meet the mature and powerful Hudson, Selene finally begins to claim her sensual destiny. Through a slow process, accentuated by Selene’s shyness, introspection and circumspection, she embarks on a long and elaborate interplay of leading on and rejection. The volcanic passion builds until there is a blazing row. A possible drowning, the final ritual undressing at long last, leads to the ultimate flowering of the woman Selene was meant to be.

Included in Self’s Blossom are: Blossom Reburgeoning Selene, a little older but still well-preserved, decides to retrace the steps of her holiday. Up-to-date in spirit, she procures a companion through the Internet, and in the key scenes, she opts for alternatives to the choices she made on her first expedition. She feels enriched by her experience, and her sense of satisfaction removed her inhibitions from expressing her bisexuality. Spatial Dimensions Selene becomes so fascinated by the Moon Goddess that bears her name, that she imagines and wills herself into becoming a goddess, to go on an ethereal quest, embracing space and time travel, with concomitant ecstatic fulfillment. Sci-fi embraces ancient mythology!

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3J8d5J

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe first romance book to grab me was The Girl Beneath the Lion by Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues. What really catalyzed me to write in this genre was The Lamorna Reach by Joy V. Sheridan, written in the 80s and recently published on Amazon.

Prize #13

Author: Bry Ann

Title: Enzio

Genre: Mafia Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: First things first, let me introduce myself.

My name is supervisory special agent Derek Enzio Johnson.

But many know me as Enzio, Underboss of the Italian-American Mafia.

Yeah.

To say my life is complicated would be the understatement of the century. I live two lives. Criminal by day, agent by night. My job you ask.

Simple.

Get enough intel to arrest three men: Adam Ruston, Frances Capello and Sven Xander. AKA, the mafia boss, Capo and what they believed to be the underboss.

I definitely didn’t plan on meeting such incredible people. One in particular.

Lacey Ruston, the boss’s wife.

As if this all wasn’t hard enough. By far, my hardest undercover job.

So, for the first time in my life, I’m torn between right and wrong. And to add to it, every day I have a role to play where my life hangs in a delicate balance.

I’m barely keeping it together.

And that’s before Iris Jane Shelby.

Trigger Warning: Sexual content. Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/boZRMv

Prize #14

Title: Saving Her

Genre: New Adult Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb:

SAM:

What is love?
Is it patient?
Is it kind?
Who the hell knows.
I don’t.
I just know I must save the one person I’ve ever opened my cold heart up to.
I don’t care what it takes to save her.
I sell drugs. I sell my soul. I don’t care. She just has to live.
Then enters Logan Prescott.
He makes sure to screw everything up. He makes me care.
He makes me feel…
And that is just not okay.

LOGAN:

Hollywood.
Lies. Sex. Fans. Attention.
Lonely.
I’ve been alone for far too long, caught up in a world I love but is slowly killing me.
The real me. The one behind the lights.
Then there’s her. The smart ass waitress who hates me with a fiery passion.

Trigger Warning: This is not a typical love story. Sam and Logan’s story contains disturbing scenes, drugs, sex and strong language.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3nY0M8

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe first book that made me love romance books was The Dark Light of Day by TM Frazier, and to this day it is still my all-time favorite book.

Prize #15

Authors: Lance and James Morcan

Title: Into the Americas

Genre: Historical Romantic Adventure

Format: Kindle ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: INTO THE AMERICAS (A novel based on a true story) is a gritty, real-life adventure based on one of history’s greatest survival stories. It was inspired by the diary entries of young English blacksmith John Jewitt during his time aboard the brigantine The Boston and also during his sojourn at Nootka Sound, on North America’s western seaboard, from 1802 to 1805.

Written by father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan (authors of The World Duology and The Orphan Trilogy), INTO THE AMERICAS is a tale of two vastly different cultures – Indigenous North American and European civilization – colliding head on. It is also a Romeo and Juliet story set in the wilderness.

Nineteen year-old blacksmith John Jewitt is one of only two survivors after his crewmates clash with the fierce Mowachaht tribe in the Pacific Northwest. A life of slavery awaits John and his fellow survivor, a belligerent American sailmaker, in a village ruled by the iron fist of Maquina, the all-powerful chief. Desperate to taste freedom again, they make several doomed escape attempts over mountains and sea. Only their value to the tribe and John’s relationship with Maquina prevents their captors from killing them.

As the seasons pass, John ‘goes Indian’ after falling in love with Eu-stochee, a beautiful maiden. This further alienates him from his fellow captive whose defiance leads to violent consequences. In the bloodshed that follows, John discovers another side to himself – a side he never knew existed and a side he detests. His desire to be reunited with the family and friends he left behind returns even stronger than before.

The stakes rise when John learns Eu-stochee is pregnant. When a final opportunity to escape arises, he must choose between returning to civilization or staying with Eu-stochee and their newborn son.

INTO THE AMERICAS has been adapted to a feature film screenplay and is in early development with Morcan Motion Pictures.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzP5qZ

Answered Question

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I’m currently reading OUTLANDER by Diane Gabaldon (Fantastic TV series, by the way).

Prize #16

Author: Devika Fernando

Title: Hidden Hopes

Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: A movie star hiding from the world – A teacher on vacation in the Rockies – Forbidden attraction that blooms into more

The last thing famous Hollywood actor Colby Williams needs is another personal tragedy splattered all over the media. To lie low and find himself again, the star stays incognito at a cozy bed & breakfast in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. But the solitude is broken by another guest: an intriguing woman who sees beyond his brooding surface and makes him feel alive again. Should he really open his heart and his life to her?

Hope Parker has come to Pleasant View to meet one of her best friends, not to fall in love with a mysterious stranger whose mood changes are infuriating. But something about this man on a quest for a second chance touches her. Can she handle the baggage he comes with?

* * *
This small town romance series features novels that each revolve around a bed & breakfast in a different country. The books are sweet romance, set in countries like England, Canada, and Italy. They can be read separately as stand-alones with a happy ending and are great for fans of Nora Roberts. No cliffhangers, no cheating, but some mild swearing.

Book 1: Tantalizing Temptations (Inn Love 1 – England)
Book 2: Hidden Hopes (Inn Love 2 – Canada)
Book 3: Sweet Surprises (Inn Love 3 – Italy) [releases in 2019]Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGzN8

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre: The first book that made me fall in love with the romance genre was one by Nora Roberts, more than a decade ago. I can’t remember the exact title (and I read it in German those days, as opposed to her English books now). She’s still my favorite romance author.

 

Prize #17

Author: Remy Marie

Title: Jason’s Awakening

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Is true love fated or based on free will?

Before the attack, Jason Barton had a friends-don’t-date-friends philosophy when it came to being with the person he adored, Trini Davos. Trini, however, shared a different viewpoint and wanted nothing more than to be with the boy next door. For the last five years, the two shared a will-they-or-won’t-they relationship. Always friends, but nothing more.

However a brazen attack by a group of outlawed werewolves changed everything the long-time friends shared. They narrowly escaped death only to discover they became the wild beasts they feared. Transformed into something else, the two go on a journey not only to discover themselves, but to discover the true meaning of love.

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

 “This book was not what I was expecting at all. First off, loved that it didn’t immediately go into the supernatural stuff; there was a lot of character building in the first few chapters and I loved Trini, Jason and Mohinder. (I have such a soft spot of Mo, he was my favorite) Each of the characters is very diverse and they really help to drive the plot. This book plays on the ‘soul mate’ trope in werewolf fiction, which is heavily used and turns this book right on its head. The mythology is brilliant, in-depth and well thought out. 5/5” – Amazon Reader

“I was very excited to read this book as I love all things related to werewolves. This book certainly did not disappoint and I was hooked from the beginning.” – Lost in a Book ReviewUniversal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mqZdO6

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance BooksI have so many, here are a few at the top of my mind. Heroes: Saving Charlie by Aury Willington, Breaking Dragon by Jordan Marie, At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey, Heartbreaker by Logan Chance, Breakaway by Heather Orgeron

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreHeroes: Saving Charlie by Aury Willington  (My first romance book!)

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Immersion by L.L Ash

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks, Stuck by Logan Chance, The Wedding Date by Jamsmine Guillory.

 

Prize #18

Author: Tanya W. Newman

Title: Winter Rain

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Gifted musician and singer Isabel Carson gets an unexpected phone call, asking her to come back for a reunion tour with a band she played for several years ago. Although she has serious reservations, Isabel reluctantly agrees…mainly because she can’t pass up the opportunity to see Spencer Logan, the man she loves, one last time. Six years ago, Isabel’s relationship with Spencer was sabotaged by Thomas, the jealous and possessive lead singer, and both men hurt her badly. However, once the band is reunited, it doesn’t take long for Isabel to realize she’s made a terrible mistake. Some things cannot be forgiven, and she would have been better off to have left the past in the past, where it belongs—especially since Isabel now hides a painful secret, one that, if exposed, could destroy what little peace and happiness she’s managed to achieve.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/m2vw07

Prize #19

Title: The Good Thief

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Two days before Christmas, shy bookstore owner Scotlyn Carter survived a traumatic bank robbery and subsequent kidnapping. Now, three months later, she still wakes up hearing the robber’s promise to find her—and kill her.

Then James McIntyre, the high school flame whose easy smile and mysterious eyes she could never forget, walks back into her life. As she falls for him once again, Scotlyn slowly begins to feel safe for the first time in a long time and thinks that maybe her nightmare will not come true, after all.

But James is not all that he seems. He is back in Scotlyn’s life for a reason and has been in contact with the very thieves who kidnapped her. And he’s harboring a dark secret that, if brought to light, could not only destroy their relationship—it could end their very lives.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4DlM0k

Prize #20

Author: Tina Donahue

Title: Adored

Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: A shameless fantasy come true…

When tall, dark, and delicious Adam Farrell crosses Danni’s radar at a Vegas trade show, it’s not lust at first sight. He’s starred in her wicked fantasies for a while, pleasuring her with domination and submission that leaves her breathless. Aching for his masterful touch, believing she’ll never have it, she indulges in an intimate public act Adam alone witnesses. What follows is a wild and impassioned night in his powerful arms. It’s only the beginning.

An undisclosed business deal has turned Adam from competitor to Danni’s new boss. His hunger for her is absolute and he’ll make her fantasies seem tame as he takes her in ways she never imagined – whenever he wants, wherever he desires.

Seduced by Adam’s plan to mix exquisite control with adoration, Danni’s swept into a sensual adventure she can’t resist. Until corporate politics intrude and she learns what he’s been hiding to protect her… a secret he’s long feared will tear them apart.

Publisher’s Note: This steamy romance contains elements of power exchange.Universal Reader Link:  https://books2read.com/u/bwYPXO

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

Top of Her Game – Emmy Holly

Seducing the Prince – Patricia Grasso

Wicked Loving Lies – Rosemary Rogers

Shanna – Kathleen Woodiwiss

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreRebecca (technically a gothic mystery, but I still consider it romance).

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: None. unfortunately – too busy writing my own and working a full-time job.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

Gone with the Wind – never read it, but have wanted to

Fifty Shades of Grey – haven’t had time to read it either

McKettrick’s Choice by Linda Lael Miller

Prize #21

Author: Fiona Tarr

Title: The Jericho Prophecy

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: The battle for divine power rages within the Eternal Realm.

As the conflict escalates a prophecy is born that will set god against god amidst the mortal world below.
When the young priestess Rahab saves two foreigners from execution, she sets in motion a sequence of events that could see the death of everyone she knows and loves.

The future of humanity hangs in the balance as two bloodlines converge to battle over the city of Jericho. Now the Goddess Asherah must protect the prophecy and ensure both ancestral lines survive.

If either bloodline dies, the Host of Heaven will continue to battle for eternity…

-Finalist – 2018 – Author Academy and Readers’ Favorite Awards

“Fiona Tarr is a highly entertaining writer with exceptional storytelling skills.” – Eeva Lancaster for Readers’ Favorite

“A truly wonderful read with the plot very skillfully woven throughout the book.” – Claire Simpson

“Great book by a great author!! Definitely a Must Read!!!” – Ellen EngelbrechtUniversal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGz0J

Prize #22

Author: Palvi Sharma

Title: A Second Tomorrow

Genre: Young Adult Reincarnation Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: 1876 – Arianna is living a simple life. Devoted to her family, she is ready to sacrifice her dreams and marry the man her father has decided for her. Then she meets Renaud and she faces a difficult choice: should she choose love over family?

Present day
Mayara isn’t looking forward to graduation because that would mean she would never get to see Kanvar again, a guy she’s had a crush on for two years. She is about to reveal her feelings to him when her younger brother claims that Kanvar has been bullying him.

It is up to Mayara to figure out whether her instincts about Kanvar are true or not.

Two different eras, a love that challenges the beliefs of two young women. Can they balance both their family’s happiness and their own?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/49D10w

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

A Girl Named Rose by Betty Neels

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke

The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreIt would have to be A Girl Named Rose by Betty Neels. I must have read it fifty times!

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Unfortunately, I haven’t found the time to read because I’m currently working on my new novel. Just a few chapters left before I take a break and get some reading done.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

Prize #23

Author: Viviana MacKade

Title: His Midnight Sun

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Tormented, fierce, and broken, sculptor Aidan Murphy has judged himself guilty. He yearns for love but pushes everyone away. He longs for acceptance but has lost the key to open his heart. Until he meets Summer Williams. Beautiful and smart, Dr. Williams promises haven for a man who believes he deserves none. All he has to do is let her in and risk his heart and soul.

Summer’s managed to keep her inner light alive, even through tragedy. She’s created a new life for herself and her daughter in Crescent Creek with loving, caring and fun friends–well, except brooding, breathtaking Aidan. She’s used to keeping away from his type, though. All she has to do is ignore the pull of a man who’s turning out to be much more than snarls and storms. Will her compassion and medical instincts let her?

Love can heal a broken soul and shake up a timid heart. Or it can unleash devastation and revenge.

Will Aidan and Summer survive the hurricane?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mYowkw

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

1. Edward Rutherfurd – London and Dublin

Both London and Dublin are cities I loved. I lived very close to London for five years, so I was able to visit and know her quite a bit. And I went to Dublin for the tenth anniversary with my husband, and I fell in love, totally and completely, with the city and Ireland. So those two books are a dream for me. I was able to witness how the cities changed and grew, and it was fantastic.

2. Nora Roberts – anything by her, really.

She’s the reason why I started writing, the one who got me hooked with the genre. Whatever she writes, I’ll read.

3. Marie Force – Fatal Series

The Hero and Heroine of this series are the only ones I love as much as I love Nora. Which is funny, because I’d read a book from Marie Force and hated it. Luckily for me, I have trouble remembering names so when I picked up the first book in the Fatal Series, I didn’t connect the author with the previous book and by the time I did, I was already gone for the series.

4. Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights

No need to explain this one.

5. Bernard Cornwell – anything and everything

Love the guy. In my mind, he and Nora are an item and reign together in Paradise Book.

Wouldn’t that be simply awesome?

Prize #24

Author: Diane Merrill Wigginton

Title: Angelina’s Secret

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Prize #25

Format: Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: If you were asked to keep a secret to save the life of someone you barely knew, would you?

Lady Angelina Stewart is a bold, beautiful, independent woman with a terrible secret to hide. After returning home from a sea voyage, she is touted as a hero for saving her family’s ship and crew from a band of ruthless pirates. But Angelina is a fraud. She allowed that dreadful pirate captain to touch a part of her that no other man has ever been able to touch before, until now; her heart.

Captain Jude Deveraux is leading a double life. He and his band of French privateers steal, rob and plunder unsuspecting ships that have the misfortune of wandering into their domain. Awarded a title by the King of France for bravery during battle, The Duke of Bayonne, A.K.A. Pirate Captain, takes what he wants from the world as he and best friend, Honore live each day as if it were their last. That is until the day Jude discovers that the only thing he truly wants is to capture the untamed heart of fiery tempered, Lady Stewart for his own.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/brGnEz

Prize #26

Title: Isabella’s Heart

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Prize #27

Format: Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: If you had a twin, how far would you go to save their life?

It is 1783 England and Isabella Deveraux is an independent, fearless young woman who has hardened her heart to everyone that mattered to her, until the night she experiences a disturbing dream about her twin brother, Charlie. It is the eve of their 19th birthday and Charlie and his two school mates have been abducted by the devil incarnate. Isabella resolves to do whatever it takes to save her beloved twin, even if that means reconciling with her estranged family and placing her life in the hands of an intimidating Irish mercenary Captain by the name of Townsend.

Captain Aiden Townsend is more than willing to save the lives of three privileged schoolboys, for the right price. Jaded by his own devastating loss years before, Aiden has worked hard to keep his distance from the female persuasion. That is until the day he is introduced to Lady Isabella Deveraux. He recognized her as a kindred spirit the moment he looked into her fiery eyes and as he sails his ship from England to Dublin, with the beautiful Lady Deveraux aboard, he formulates a plan to help her. But if his plan is to work, he must break through the walls that surround her heart while tearing down a few of his own.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bQ9Lk0

Prize #28

Title: Olivia’s Promise

Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Prize #29

Format: Paperback (U.S. only)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: If you had a unique set of skills and could save your best friend from a fate worse than death, would you?

Lady Olivia Sophia Allen Townsend is not only young and beautiful but considered by most in her polite social circle to be far too eccentric for her own good. Olivia’s been able to see and speak to spirits since she was very young, but the years of shunning by her peers caused Olivia to turn her back on those who need her the most; the spirits caught between two worlds. That is until the night her best friend Lilly comes to her asking for help. You see, Lilly can’t remember what happened to her, and finds herself in need of Olivia’s unique gifts to help her figure it out.

Coco, Olivia’s younger sister, is also gifted. She can touch someone and know their deepest, darkest secrets, often the very secrets they would prefer to keep hidden.

Together, the sisters set off on a sea voyage, from Ireland to America, intent on solving the mystery of Lilly’s untimely death.

Brody and Quinton Beaumont are fine-looking, eligible southern gentlemen: heirs to a successful cotton empire. They are also twins hiding a terrible secret. Their mother, Annabelle Beaumont died on the same night as their annual winter ball, eight years earlier, yet she continues to rule over their plantation home with an iron fist.

When these two families come together, secrets will be revealed.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bWzDk7

Answered Questions

Books That I Have Loved Over the Years and the Books That Made Me Want to Write: anything by Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series – the first 4 books in the series, Katherine Woodiwiss – A Rose in Winter, Come Love a Stranger.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Virgin to Victor by Trisha Hughes, a fascinating history of Royals from Mary of Scots and Bloody Mary, Elizabeth the Virgin Queen and on down. It is riveting the amount of research she has put into this book. Other than that, I am not doing much reading since I have just finished writing a novel, Lara’s Story, and I am working on a 5th novel, Compromising Position. I try not to read too much so that I am not influenced by someone else’s style while I am crafting my books.

The Latest 4 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: Forbidden Highlands – crafted by a group of writers, Highland Spy by Madeline Martin, Word of Honor by Alexa Aston, Everything Forbidden by Kess Michaels

Prize #30

Author: CJ Warrant

Title: Sweet Reunion

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

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

After a broken engagement, Bryce gave up on the idea of real love until he walks into Beth’s bake shop. He has no clue why she is curt with him. But to get into her good graces, Bryce gives her an offer she can’t refuse, which opens up both their hearts and exposes the love they had for each other.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bMQj8G

Prize #31

Title: Sweet Redemption

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Heading to Chicago for his mother’s funeral, Markus Landry is waylaid by a piece of metal piercing his gas tank. Stuck in the small town of Valentine, Oklahoma, he meets a vivacious spitfire librarian, Charlie White, who quickly gets under his skin. Markus wants more than a taste of her sweet lips and asks her to take a trip back to his hometown.

With just over a month left before Charlie has to close down her beloved Library, meeting Markus is a welcome distraction from her anguish about what she has to do. Even though she barely knows the man, Charlie takes a chance and lets her attraction for Markus take the lead and hope he doesn’t break her heart.

But seeing the brother he betrayed, Markus doubts he’s worth Charlie’s affection and pushes her away. Their chemistry is undeniable, but love may not be enough when you’re looking for redemption.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/m0gD8M

Answered Question

Your Top 5 Romance Books

  1. Lucy Lennox- any one of the Forever Wilde series
  2. Sarina Bowen –  Goodbye Paradise
  3. Tillie Cole – Hades Hangman Series
  4. Charlie Cochet – Love in Spades – Four Kings Security series
  5. Ella Frank – Temptation Series

Prize #32

Author: Amber Daulton

Title: Arresting Mason

Genre: Steamy Bad Boy Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.

Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.

When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bxZLxe

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe first romance book I read was True Blue by Ingrid Weaver when I was twelve years old. After that, I started reading as many romance books as I could find, and I started writing my own books.

Prize #33

Author: Penny Estelle/P.A. Estelle

Title: The Forgotten Ornaments

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Twelve years ago Jim Rustle packed up and left his home in Idaho and hasn’t looked back. He gets quite an awakening when Lisa Parker, whom he hadn’t seen in all those years, breaks into a business meeting and uses some colorful adjectives to tell him just what she thinks of him.
Sparks fly between the two when he decides to follow Lisa home and sees what has happened in his absence. Is the anger stemming from the present or the past?
It’s the Christmas season. Anger, hurt, and misunderstandings have boiled inside Jim and Lisa for so long. Can homemade ornaments, from years past, help heal the betrayals that have festered for years?
The Forgotten Ornaments is a short story with a heat level of two. Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/47Z9yg

Prize #34

Title: The Unwanted Christmas Guest

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Elizabeth McMurphy is an up and coming, high powered attorney and is after vengeance, involving one of the richest and most powerful families in Colorado. Steve York is an obnoxious reporter that thinks the ice queen has gone too far and does all he can to get under her skin.

When one of the worst blizzards in history hits Colorado during the Christmas holidays and leaves a hurt Steve York, stranded with Elizabeth in a mountain cabin, her hatred for him starts to thaw. But this attorney has a secret that she will guard, even at the risk of losing her only chance at love.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzP5xn

Prize #35

Title: The Christmas Outlaw

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Christmas Eve is five days away.  This is the day Sheriff Jim Hawkins will marry Charlene Lehman, the woman who will make his life complete and be the mother of his six year old daughter, Sally.

Adam Jacobson, a wanted murderer, is apprehended and it is up to Jim Hawkins to deliver him to Pueblo, Colorado. “I’ll only be gone for two days, Charlene. Nothing in this world will keep me from making you my wife.”

True to his word, Jim makes it home only to find both Charlene and his daughter missing. Heavy snow has covered any tracks to their whereabouts and nobody has seen a thing. All searches have come up empty.

Will the magic of the Christmas season come through or has Jim lost everything he has come to cherish?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgLQxR

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe book that got me hooked was Rosemary Rogers’ Sweet Savage Love.

Prize #36

Author: Carol Ann Kauffman

Title: Madison’s Christmas

Genre: Holiday Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: “This is a sweet, short story about a woman who is emotionally fragile during the holiday season. She finds love in the most unexpected way with a man who isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. I smiled often as the story developed. It was adorable!”Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/b5ryGR

Prize #37

Title: Christmas at Star Lake

Genre: Holiday Romance/Mystery

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: This is the perfect time for a Christmas Murder Mystery! Somebody is killing off Madison’s employees, so she closed down shop, sends everyone home, and heads to a cabin at the lake to think. What could possibly go wrong?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38raNL

Prize #38

Title: I Need Christmas

Genre: Holiday Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: The story of Betsy Curry, a woman returning home for the holidays with her big, happy family after a crushing divorce.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bppvxk

Prize #39

Title: Bentley Square

Genre: Romantic Adventure

Format: Signed Paperback

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Strangers see each other every day on the train, fantasize about each other, but never speak. Then one day they meet. International intrigue follows.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4XKp11

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreI first fell in love with romantic adventure stories after discovering Jude Deveraux’s wonderful tales of love and longing. Counterfeit Lady, Velvet Lady, The Montgomery Saga. A frontier one with Zeke and Abby…I can’t remember the name, but we all loved it! I was lucky enough to work with a bunch of avid readers. Usually non-fiction. Usually geared toward the education of primary children. But one evening after a teachers meeting, we discovered a little used paperback bookstore and bought everything they had by Jude, then passed them around among us at work. Discussions, late night phone calls, and tears in the teacher’s room ensued. Wonderful experience!

Prize #40

Author: Kenneth Sumerford

Title: Liberty: Romance Out of a Clear Blue Sky, Book 1

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 30

Blurb: Liberty Adair is recovering from her broken marriage and even has questions about God, science and her future. She is a Christian who unexpectedly meets a college professor who is good-looking, available but an atheist. Sometimes opposites attract. They are worlds apart but both need love and have disturbing questions about science, God and their future romantic relationships.

Dr. Ernest Siegfried is successful until he has a heart attack at age 39. Liberty was divorced from her preacher husband and now wonders if her life has meaning, or is her life without purpose and direction? Liberty has some past hurts from her failed marriage and longs for a good marriage and children. Ernest believes that modern science has replaced beliefs in God. Liberty is researching evolution, intelligent design and questions about the Creator to answer some burning doubts.

At age 28, can she be sure of what is real and what are outdated religious beliefs? How does God interface with humans? Does DNA prove intelligent design by the Creator? Did God create mankind in His image, or did humans create gods and goddesses in their image?

Additional option from Kenneth: I hope you review the book. I have a few paperbacks for free (10) and if you want one, then send me your physical address. Be sure to mention ‘Books Reviews Marie’ in your email. My Email address is bk@Sumerford.comUniversal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3yDAxp

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe Song of Solomon book in the Bible

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon

Prize #41

Author: McKenna Dean

Title: Ghost of a Chance

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: At sixteen, Sarah Atwell walked away from her love of horses and a promising career as a competitive rider after discovering she’d inherited the family curse. Years later, her grandmother stunned everyone by leaving Sarah her horse farm—worth millions—but with conditions Sarah might not be able to meet.

A former Redclaw agent, Casey Barnes retired when a security assignment went bad, killing his partner and leaving him as a partial amputee. His inner wolf is in hiding. He’s been living quietly as a horse trainer, but June Atwell’s death now pits him against her granddaughter for rights to the stable.

With both of them snowed in at the farm, a series of increasingly serious accidents draws Sarah and Casey closer together, but they each harbor secrets that might tear them apart.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGzEJ

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Duchess War by Courtney Milan

Pretty Face by Lucy Parker

To My Muse by Nicola Cameron

Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

Prize #42

Author: Seelie Kay

Title: Snatching Dianna

Genre: Romantic Suspense, some Erotic Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: The hours are counting down as investigators try to prove that Dianna Murphy has been snatched. Unfortunately, without witnesses and solid evidence, all the police really know is that she is missing.

When suburban Milwaukee law student Dianna Murphy fails to connect with her roommate, there is no real evidence that she has been snatched. Until Law Professor Janet MacLachlan, a former covert agent, discovers a single clue, one that points to a taking by a slave trafficking cartel. In a race against time, Janet recruits her husband, secret agent Cade Matthews, small-town Police Chief David Manders and his wife, criminal defense attorney Julianna Constant, and other law students to uncover the truth. Can they prove she has been taken, before Dianna disappears without a trace?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mvKgde

Answered Question

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Betting the Scot by Jennifer Tretheway

Prize #43

Author: Beverly Ovalle

Title: Dragons’ Mate

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Ménage

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: They had been searching for their mate, but when they find her she is traumatized and scared to be around strange men. They must get her to accept them before they reveal their true natures. Will their love be strong enough to break down her barriers? Could she truly be destined to love two dragons?

Today Annie’s dragons will shift and fulfill her every desire, which means a fiery threesome—and true love.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38r1l7

Prize #44

Title: A Saint’s Salvation

Genre: Contemporary Military Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Corporal Nicholas ‘Saint’ Santiago needs to go home to reclaim the man he used to be. To be the man he was before Operation Enduring Freedom slowly hardened his heart. He needs to reconnect to the values and the reasons he is doing what he does. Saint also needs to try to forget the courageous woman he fell in love with.

Petty Officer Angelina Jones’ life changed the moment Saint saved her life. She survived the blast but now has to deal with the fact that she will never be whole. She can’t believe that anyone would want her the way she is now. Digging up her courage, Angelina moves forward hoping against hope that she can live a full life again.

Crossing paths again brings their emotions to a full boil. A coincidence that will have them both reaching for their dreams.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/A-Saints-Salvation

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

Dark Fire by Christine Feehan – My favorite out of all of the series.

Blackwing Defender (Kane’s Mountains Book 1) by T.S. Joyce – really ANY of her books. I’ve read this whole series and all the spinoffs starting with the bears on Damian’s Mountain!

Ice Planet Barbarians: A SciFi Alien Romance by Ruby Dixon. Again, I’ve read this whole series and the spin offs.

Ivan (Her Russian Protector #1) by Roxie Rivera – Loved this whole series.

King by T.M. Frazier – This series grabbed me by the gut. I couldn’t get enough.

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreI started reading gothic romances in 4th grade so I couldn’t tell you. But I remember the first romance I absolutely fell in love with, The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I just finished Hacked by Love by Elisa Leigh and am waiting for the next one to come out.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List: I’m waiting on the next in the Daughters of Beasts series by T.S. Joyce, any of the Barbarians by Ruby Dixon, and the three books in Christine Feehan’s Dark Series I’m behind on. I like to save them up and stay immersed in a world.

Prize #45

Author: Skye McNeill

Title: Appointed by Fate

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Kindle Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: Can second chances really exist for a bad boy mobster and the only woman to ever steal his heart?

One of Iowa’s most prominent criminal attorneys, Joci Dorous is ruthless and devoid of emotion in the courtroom. It’s what makes her the best. Her most recent client allegedly committed murder and, despite a rocky start, Joci is determined to win Cameron Shearer’s case.

Since this is her first homicide, she has the support of a second-chair attorney—her ex who wants her back. To make things more complicated, her hunky cop of a booty call, Cameron’s arresting officer, isn’t quite ready to let her go either. Who knew being surrounded by three hot guys could be so deliciously exhausting?

As the mystery of the case unravels, she soon discovers the true reason behind Cameron’s impromptu visit to Iowa. It’s this knowledge that endangers all those she holds dear. Caught up in confusion, chaos, and criminal law, how will her heart survive the final verdict? Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/47Z9oE

Prize #46

Title: Hearts Abroad

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Kindle Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Taking a break from screenwriting in New York City, Londyn Bellerose takes a nannying job in Colorado to get away from the hubbub. A summer to live without regrets is all she wants. While her boss is British, gorgeous, and a millionaire, he has no clue how to have fun. Determined to mend the relationship between father and daughters, Londyn doesn’t expect to fall for the museum curator.

Londyn is American and everything Callum Archer swore to never fall for again. With her carefree spirit and energetic smile, she’s perfect to nanny Callum’s two daughters. The problem is she’s also perfect for him. She’s sassy, musical, and tends to speak her mind more than she means to.

When old history and new dreams threaten her happily ever after, will Londyn and Callum’s love survive?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4jDkn2

Answered Question

Your Top 5 Romance BooksDeep Blue by Kat Martin, The Highlander Series by Maya Banks, Spirited Away by Cindy Miles, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and A Little of Chantelle Rose by Cristina Hodgson

Prize #47

Author: Raegyn Perry

Title: Lavender Fields

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Prize #48

Format: Paperback

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Torrential rain spikes. A scream pierces the dark night.

Greye Fields has immersed herself in her literary work, with no desire to chase the inevitable sting of rejection she knows too well. She won’t allow herself the time or the desire to pursue love.

Until she meets him.

Connor Donovan is perfectly content with his bachelor status. Life is good, teaching middle school English, and being the favorite uncle. He wants for nothing.

Until he meets her.

Shattered glass. A wash of blood.

Is it a nightmare or a memory?

Can Connor and Greye overcome the obstacles to the love of all time, or is tragedy doomed to be repeated?

What if love found the right people in the wrong time?

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bP5PEx

Prize #49

Title: Cypress Groves

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Prize #50

Format: Paperback

# of copies: 2

Blurb: The journey continues…

Darkness looms.

A horrific event shakes the small, idyllic town of Roy, WA.

Tre Michaels, the new sheriff, has a job to do. He has sworn to serve and protect, with his life if necessary. Though he has no time to pursue the hometown beauty, Angela Donovan, he finds himself gravitating to her.

A supernatural presence is lurking in the shadows of the quiet town.

The once peaceful community is changed forever.

Can Angela and Tre find love, and a happily ever after despite the danger? Or will their fairy tale turn deadly?

The Eternal Journey Series

A journey toward redemption, and truth

A journey toward love.

Be sure to look for the third and final story of the series, Rose Gardens.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3L07Aw

Prize #51

Item: Holiday Romance Gift Basket (Includes wine, so 21 and over only)

Format: Swag

# of packages: 1

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

  1. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies-Michael Aiello
  2. Fault in our Stars – John Greene
  3. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  4. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas – James Patterson
  5. The Timepiece – Richard Paul Evans

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreCan’t recall the title now, but I know it was a Nora Roberts!

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Set in Stone by Aurrora St. James

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

  1. Outlander – Diana Gabaldon (love the TV series)
  2. Lucky Harbor Series by Jill Shalvis
  3. The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes

Prize #52

Author: Alice J Miller

Title: The Price to Be Paid

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Kyle Lawson needs a wife, and he needs one now. With his ailing business on the line, the only woman who can rescue him is the stepdaughter of the man who put him in this precarious position in the first place. Can he trust her to come through for him, and save his business?

When given the chance to marry the man of her dreams, while atoning for the sins of her family, Molly Wilson doesn’t hesitate. Propelled into a bogus marriage, she vows to make up for the mistakes of the past, even if it means breaking her own heart.

Can Kyle and Molly put aside their differences and unite, fight for a better future? When their plan is threatened by a secret from Kyle’s past, will it ruin the deal and destroy any hope of a life together?

Amidst the searing heat of Florida, will Molly and Kyle resist their inner desires? Or, despite their troubled past, can love, forgiveness and redemption find a way to shape their future?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/b5ry1l

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books: Very hard, but I narrowed it down…

Liz Fielding – Anything but Vanilla

Newly Weds of Convenience – Jessica Hart

A Nanny for the New Year – Barbara McMahon

S E Gilchrist – Legend Beyond the Stars

Diane Burton – Switched

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreWild Justice – Liz Fielding

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: The Lost King – Michael Cuell

It’s set in the days of kings and sword fights, but has romance at the heart of it.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

Kari Lemor – Fatal Evidence (Love on the Line Book 3)

Carrie Nichols – The Sheriff’s Little Matchmaker

Brynn Kelly – Edge of Truth

Prize #53

Author: Jenny Lynn

Title: Captive

Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense, Dark Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 5

Blurb: In the city of sin, who will be saved?

Beckett Carter is the last of his family; the head of Carter Enterprises and a reclusive billionaire living in a luxurious Las Vegas penthouse. Since his parents’ murder, his obsession with justice has steadily grown stronger, leading him to become the masked vigilante known to criminals as the Phantom. When he’s not out playing the part of a filthy rich playboy he trains his body hard, and in his disguise, he brings the criminal underworld to its knees.

Crime reporter Ella James keeps everyone at arm’s length, throwing herself into her work and her quest to find out what happened to her missing sister. She doesn’t let anyone get close enough to her to see how damaged she really is and afraid to trust anyone fully; she has never let a man touch her. While going undercover she puts her life in danger and discovers the secret identity of the Phantom as he ruthlessly eliminates a room full of criminals. This one night sets off a chain of events neither of them expected.

Faced with the threat of being exposed, Beckett is left with only one choice. He takes Ella captive, keeping her in a secret room until he can complete his mission. In Ella, Beckett finds an opponent unlike any he’s met before – she’s smart, resourceful, and worst of all, innocent. The untouched woman locked away in his penthouse is the greatest temptation he has ever faced.

A tense rivalry between the two grows into something so much more than either could have imagined. When Beckett gives in and shows Ella how dark he can be, can she succeed and show him the light?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3nY0oB

Answered Question

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: I’m currently reading Sin with Me by J.A Huss. I enjoy her writing style; it’s deliciously dark and sensual with quite a few twists and turns. I like a bit of suspense in my romance as a reader and a writer.

Prize #54

Author: Sofie Darling

Title: Three Lessons in Seduction

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Paris, September 1824 – Lord Nicholas Asquith needs his wife. Too bad he broke her heart ten years ago.

Can he resist a second chance at the love he lost?

When Mariana catches the eye of the man at the center of an assassination plot, Nick puts aside their painful past and enlists her to obtain information by any means necessary, even if it means seducing the enemy agent.

Even if the thought makes his blood boil.

Only by keeping his distance from Mariana these last ten years was he able to pretend indifference to her. With every moment spent with her, he feels his tightly held control slipping…

Can she trust the spy who broke her heart?

Mariana spent the last decade forgetting Nick. Now she has the chance to best him at his own game, an opportunity she can’t resist, even as her view of him begins to shift. Increasingly, she wants nothing more than to seduce her own husband …

It’s only a matter of time before mad passion ignites, a passion never convincingly extinguished. A passion that insists on surrendering to the yearning of the flesh and, quite possibly, of the heart.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bzP5Xq

Prize #55

Title: Tempted by the Viscount

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: London, April 1825

Lord Jakob Radclyffe left his past behind in the Far East. Or so he thinks until a ruthless thief surfaces in London, threatening to ruin his daughter’s reputation. With the clock ticking, Jake needs the scandalous Lady Olivia Montfort’s connections in the art world to protect his daughter’s future.

Olivia, too, has a past she’d like to escape. By purchasing her very own Mayfair townhouse, she’ll be able to start a new life independent from all men. There’s one problem: she needs a powerful man’s name to do so. The Viscount St. Alban is the perfect name.

A bargain is struck.

What Olivia doesn’t anticipate is the temptation of the viscount. The undeniable spark of awareness that races between them undermines her vow to leave love behind. Soon, she has no choice but to rid her system of Jake by surrendering to her craving for a single scorching encounter.

But is once enough? Sometimes once only stokes the flame of desire higher and hotter. And sometimes once is all the heart needs to risk all and follow a mad passion wherever it may lead.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mgLQqD

Answered Question

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James

Prize #56

Author: Carole McKee

Title: Maddie’s Garden

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Growing up in an unstable home, and then being tossed into the home of her estranged father and his new family, Maddie knows how it feels to be unwanted. All she longs for is a normal family where there is love, peace, and harmony. When she finds the twins hiding in her yard, her heart opens up and love spills all over them. They are running away because their widowed father is going to marry a woman they hate, and they claim she hates them, too. Maddie is taken in by the twins, and soon becomes good friends with their father. She steps in and helps out when he asks her, and she is glad to do it. When Adam has set a date for his wedding, he backs away from Maddie, hoping to give his future wife a chance to bond with his children. It is then that Maddie realizes that she is in love with Adam, and her heart breaks. Maddie isn’t the only one who is sad. The twins are devastated and resort to drastic measures to get Maddie back. In spite of their sad little faces, the wedding day arrives, and it is up to Adam to make it right.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bazeQQ

Prize #57

Title: Testosterone Poisoning, Book 1

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: After breaking up with Derek, Kyla Stanford meets the man of her dreams. Storm Galloway is the most gorgeous man she has ever seen. They are so right for each other, and they could not be happier. When Derek sees them together he is enraged. Kyla must pay for her lies and infidelity — Derek will see to it. He hatches a plan. Will Storm find her and save her? Will he be on time? And finally, what does ‘testosterone poisoning’ mean? Who is poisoned by testosterone?

This is Book 1 of the series of three.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/meAYMY

Prize #58

Title: Missing Memories

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: A car accident in the middle of a snowstorm wipes out Miranda’s memory. While she is being treated at a clinic by a pair of doctors, father and son, she begins to fall for the son. The feelings are mutual. But it is soon discovered that she has a family and a fiancé desperately trying to find her. They are complete strangers to her, but it is odd that there is something about Rob, her fiancé, that she does not like. While she doesn’t recognize her family, she feels safe with them. The Christmas wedding had been postponed, but Rob encourages her to set another date. She allows him to talk her into setting a date, but these feelings she has toward Rob won’t go away. Why? If only she could get her memory back. That may be the answer.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mKKnLZ

Answered Question

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Right now I am reading Cinderella Moment by Lulu Jones, and so far, it’s delightful.

Prize #59

Author: Bonnie McCune

Title: Never Retreat

Genre: Clean Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: A feisty single mom clashes with an ex-military, macho corporate star at a business retreat in the wild Colorado mountains, where only one can win a huge prize. But when a massive flood imperils their love and survival, they learn the meaning of true partnership.

Years ago, Ramona (‘Raye”) Soto faced harsh reality when a roving con man knocked her up. Now at thirty-something, she’s concentrating on her career in a major telecommunications firm and funding college for her teenaged son. Enter Desmond Emmett—a fast talker and smooth operator. New to the office, the ex-serviceman possesses every negative quality for a guy Raye should avoid.

Thrown together at a corporate retreat in the wilderness, the reluctant duo struggles to complete management’s extreme mental and physical tests for a huge reward. But only one can win the prize, and Des needs the money to underwrite medical treatments for his adored younger sister.

Seesawing between attraction and antagonism, the mismatched couple, Raye and Des, face their biggest challenge: learning the meaning of true partnership. When a massive flash flood sweeps down the rocky canyon and threatens their love and survival, they must put aside their differences to rescue their colleagues — and their future as a couple.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bQ9L5Z

Prize #60

Title: Falling Like a Rock

Genre: Clean Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: Watch out for falling rock! A mountain town and its rugged mayor captivate a woman in search of a new life and love.

Unloved and unemployed. That’s Elaine Svoboda, after she’s sacked, then flees across country to her boyfriend who drops her flat. Teetering on the abyss of disaster, she calls an old friend who invites her to a tiny mountain town with fresh prospects. There she meets rugged, hunky Joe Richter-Leon, mayor of Falling Rock, Colorado.

Sparks fly immediately, but major obstacles make a new life on the ashes of the old appear impossible. She must overcome a few obstacles like a broken ankle, an eating disturbance, his stubbornness, and her own fears. She’s smothering her hopes when a battle with a forest inferno illuminates their true feelings and desire.

Funny and frank, poignant and perceptive, when two people are “Falling Like a Rock,” they learn surrender sometimes means victory.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/3krMqG

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreRoberta Gellis, Bond of Blood. I discovered she excelled at historic romances which fully utilized her depth of academic expertise and made readers hungry for her accurate, enchanting stories.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Just finished Kristin Higgins’ Good Luck with That. In-depth, multi-layered story of three friends, all with weight and psychological problems. But which caused which?

Prize #61

Author: Young (Bernard Foong)

Title: No Distance Between Us

Genre: LGBT Romance/Memoir

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: No Distance Between Us is a short, coming-of-age romantic story about a gay teenager in an exclusive English boarding school. Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mVBEpr

Prize #62

Title: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up

Genre: LGBT Romance/Memoir

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up is a short yuletide story about a teenage prankster at a pantomime in an exclusive English boarding school.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mvKglq

Prize #63

Title: The Truth Will Set You Free

Genre: LGBT Romance/Memoir

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: The Truth Will Set You Free is a mistaken identity short story about a gay teenager at a Valentine’s Day party with a girl who had eyes for him.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bxZLlJ

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe trilogy that made me fall in love with the Romance/Erotica Genre was Anne Rice writing as A. N. ROQUELAURE, Classic Erotic Trilogy of Sleeping Beauty. These books were so beautifully written, I could identify one of the characters as that of myself. I read the entire series within a week in the early 1980s. I have yet to read another Romance/Erotica author’s work that can rival the Erotic Adventures of Sleeping Beauty trilogy. Although Ms. Rice penned a fourth book to the series three decades later, I was disappointed because her erotic romance mojo/emotions had dissipated. What was left was an empty repetitious shell of her glorious trilogy.

Prize #64

Author: Marie Lavender

Title: Blood at First Sight Series

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1 ebook set of 2 books

Blurb:

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?

BLOOD INSTINCTS

Enter the Other World at your own risk…
What if you found out that you weren’t exactly…human?
Myah Sullivan is suddenly living that nightmare. There are Others in the world, dangerous, supernatural creatures that make her mind spin and cause her to question the reality she’s always known.
Oliver King is her savior, a vampire who tries to show her the way. Through her journey she learns far more than she ever thought she would about herself, and about the past. Soon, she discovers that there is so much more to meeting Oliver than mere happenstance.
Can Myah accept her new reality, or will she retreat into that normal, safe world she once thought was her own?Universal Reader Link: http://Author.to/MarieLavender

Prize #65

Title: Blue Vision (book one of the Code of Endhivar Series)

Genre: Sci-fi Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Brooke Sanders just wants to get away from her life for a while. A remote cabin in Montana fits the bill. She doesn’t expect to encounter a mysterious stranger with unusual blue eyes, or events that cannot be explained…

Colin Fielding is on a mission – scout a planet and return home to Endhivar. Simple really. What he doesn’t anticipate is that fate has a pretty twisted sense of humor. Suddenly, this human calls to him, every part of him, like the call of a true mate, and he can’t deny the connection as he gets closer to her.

Little do they know, someone is out to do them harm, as well as the world Brooke holds so dear. Can they stop what’s coming before it’s too late? Or will the universe lose a perfect gem?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/md0BoX

Prize #66

Title: Heiresses in Love Trilogy

Genre: Historical Romance/Family Saga

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1 boxed set

Blurb: An unforgettable, sweeping saga of romance, passion and history rooted in tales of maritime suspense…

Three heiresses…three novels like no other.

UPON YOUR RETURN

Fara risks her heart every time she’s with him, but she cannot deny him.

UPON YOUR HONOR

Chloe never imagined that the man she deceived would be the one man she can’t stop loving.

UPON YOUR LOVE

Adrienne must decide whether to succumb to desire or fight for love.

…Will these remarkable women at last find what they’ve always wanted, or lose more than they can bear?Universal Reader Link: http://myBook.to/HeiressesTrilogy

Prize #67

Title: Second Chance Heart (book one of the Eternal Hearts Series)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: After a wild storm forces her to take shelter in a small town inn, Dana Nelson thinks that all she has to worry about is a brief stay before she heads back to the city. She gets far more than she bargained for…

The last thing she expects is to run into an old flame, and even worse, the man who broke her heart twelve years ago. She’s sure that the only thing remaining between them is a strong attraction for another.

She can’t be more wrong…

The more time she spends with Vince Reynolds, the more she begins to believe she can trust him again. But, can she put her faith in the one man who captivates her, body and soul, or are some wounds too deep to heal?

Universal Reader Link: http://books2read.com/u/brozre

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance BooksDark Lover by J.R. Ward, Under Her Skin by Susan Mallery, The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood, Emma’s Home by Maryann Jordan, Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreDevil’s Embrace by Catherine Coulter

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Wild Things by Chloe Neill

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor

The Ancient Blood Awakens box set by Angel Black

Prize #68

Author: Cleo Scornavacca

Title: Within Six Months

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: Ebook (and bookmark set in the mail)

# of copies: 5

Blurb: Time…escaping his past, struggling with the present, looking towards his future.

Time… a gift, precious, fleeting, ever-changing, moving quickly…too quickly, especially for a man searching for the woman of his dreams.

That’s exactly how photographer Tommy Conte decided he would begin his new life. He left everything he knew behind in search of something special…someone special. His plan was clear. He would move to the beach, renovate an old shore house and find the woman that he would ultimately marry…all within six months.

Was he delusional? Perhaps…yet after everything that had gone on in his life the last few years, he had to take that chance.

Then… as luck would have it, he met Jade Stanton, his new neighbor. Tommy was immediately drawn to her. He wanted and needed to know more.

Perfect right? Wrong…

There was one small problem. Jade wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship like Tommy was. She was done…over it. She swore off anything serious with any man that came her way…until she was backed into a corner and Tommy came to her rescue.

He pretended to be her boyfriend…for just one evening.

It was simple, no strings attached. It was only one night, or so she thought.

Due to circumstances beyond her control, Jade needed Tommy to play his part for a little while longer. She didn’t think it would be a problem. Tommy was fine with it and they both knew it was all just an act. Yet, Jade came to realize the more she pretended, the more she couldn’t deny that she was falling for him. Although she didn’t want Tommy to find out, Tommy knew better; he felt it too.

Tommy realized that the girl he had dreamed of was right there in front of him, and the life he wanted to share with her was finally within his grasp. He decided he couldn’t let her slip away. He wouldn’t leave it up to fate. He had to try, but Tommy also knew it wouldn’t be easy. Actually, it would be the hardest thing he ever had to do…prove to Jade that she could trust him enough to love him, as much as he loved her.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/38ra16

Prize #69

Title: Miss Taken Identity Series

Genre: Contemporary Romance, some Dark Romance

Format: Ebook Set (trilogy) with bookmark set in the mail

# of copies: 5

Blurb:

MISS TAKEN

Love… The Ultimate Loss of Control

Rain and Raven Medici are identical twins. Although they come from a loving close-knit family, their childhoods couldn’t have been more different. Raven went to school and was exposed freely to the outside world. Rain, on the other hand, was born with a blood disorder and denied many normal childhood experiences.

Once grown, Raven becomes a lawyer at their dad’s firm Kane & Medici in NYC. Rain along with her only childhood friend Tommy Conte, builds a very successful business as professional photographers. Traveling between Europe and Manhattan, and enjoying a world that was kept from her, Rain vows never to be controlled again.

Dominick Kane is a product of his upbringing. He’s powerful, self-assured and knows he can achieve anything he desires. Nothing gets in his way. There is only one thing he has ever failed at. A relationship with his father Vincent Kane. Upon his father’s death, Dominick vows revenge. The events he sets in motion put him on a collision course he himself will be unable to control.

In a bizarre twist of fate, Dominick kidnaps Raven as part of his plan for revenge. Only to discover afterward, he has taken Rain by mistake. Rain knows she can never survive being confined again. So she strikes a bargain with the devil and agrees to help Dominick get back what he feels rightly belongs to him. His father’s share of Kane & Medici.

Dominick decides to use the strong attraction growing between Rain and himself to control her in every way imaginable. Too bad no one ever taught Dominick you can’t control the heart. Nothing could have prepared him for the effect Rain would have on his.

Will this plan of revenge turn into unconditional love? Or will Dominick and Rain’s need for control ultimately destroy them and any possible chance for a real future together…

IDENTITY

…People aren’t always who you believe them to be.

Dominick Kane and Rain Medici started their relationship with one another in the most unconventional way.

He kidnapped her.

With the kidnapping now behind them, life returns to normal, right?

Not a chance.

The push, the pull and their fights for control that we’ve come to love about Dominick and Rain still exist. And so does their passion.

People aren’t who you think they are. Familiar faces are not so familiar. The past and the present collide, opening up all of those old wounds and struggles once again.

Now, everything you thought you knew, gets blown out of the water.

Can Dominick and Rain finally heal what’s broken? Or will new discoveries push them even further apart.

Will love win out and bring them back together? Or will ghosts of the past ultimately destroy their love once and for all…

THE TIES THAT BIND

When Rain Medici was taken, she never thought in a million years that her captor would be the man of her dreams, but he was.

Dominick Kane kidnapped his enemy’s daughter. He had no idea that his victim would be the one woman to capture his empty heart, but she did.

It’s been one full year since the kidnapping that brought Dominick and Rain together. In that time, they struggled with many emotions and fought constant obstacles. They discovered new identities, faced ghosts from their pasts and attacks against their family, that to this day remain unsolved.

Yet, regardless of the unexpected challenges, some self-inflicted, Dominick and Rain always knew that their undying love for each other had gotten them through everything.

But then… the unimaginable happened.

Dominick was arrested.

The charge?

The apparent kidnapping of his wife, Rain Medici.

Now, the couple faces a whole new set of challenges. Challenges that bring their pasts forward once again and others which force each of them to examine who they really are and what they have become.

Dominick and Rain’s future hangs in the balance. They are in the fight of their lives. Will it make them even stronger than before? Or will the delicate threads that held them together…in the end, ultimately pull them apart?Universal Reader Link: https://www.amazon.com/Cleo-Scornavacca/e/B00FW92ILS/

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe books that made me fall in love with romance…actually, I fell in love with it when I was younger; with books from Jackie Collins, VC Andrews, Debbie Macomber, but I had stopped reading for some time, as many readers do and one day I was at a Flea Market that had many books. I always look for old editions of Charlotte’s Web as it was the book that started my love of reading. Anyway, I found a book with a blue cover and just a flower on the center. It was called Night Gardening by EL Swann. It’s not printed anymore, but you can find it on Amazon in paperback. I loved the story of second chance love and the fact that the characters weren’t twentyish. I loved the caring and the heartache in this story. It was compelling and its one of my go-to re-reads of all time.

Prize #70

Author: Sable Hunter

Title: True Love’s Fire: Hell Yeah!

Genre: Steamy Romance/Women’s Fiction

Format: Ebook (MUST BE kindle copies or .mobi copies direct to kindle address)

# of copies: 2

Blurb: While vacationing at a cabin in the Ozarks, Scott Walker – Austin neurobiologist, gets snowed-in and has to be rescued by local, Lia Houston.
She brings him food, helps him fix his heat and tries to get his car on the road. A monster storm has paralyzed the mountain and as she’s trying to chain his car to her truck, a huge ice-covered limb falls, crushing the front of her pick-up and almost flattening Scott.
If she hadn’t moved fast, he’d be a memory – but the brave action on her part comes with a price, she’s injured and stuck with Mr. Know-It-All until the weather abates.
Scott doesn’t believe in love, much less love at First Sight. So when he meets Lia, he welcomes the attraction, but fights the tenderness with every breath in his body.
Join Sable Hunter as she chronicles their journey from lust to love with a lot of fireworks in between. They meet at the dawn of the New Year, and by Valentine’s Day the fires of True Love are burning bright.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bppvlg

Prize #71

Title: A Breath of Heaven: El Camino Real

Genre: Steamy Western Romance, Holiday Romance

Format: Ebook (MUST BE kindle copies or .mobi copies direct to kindle address)

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Cade and Abby have a history. Years ago they were in love. Undeclared and unrequited, Cade waited until Abby was old enough for him to declare his love. Abby wanted nothing more than she wanted Cade.

But something happened.

Abby pushed Cade away and he never knew why. Since then, sparks fly when they’re together. Antagonizing one another has become their favorite sport. The only problem is… it’s all a front. They bicker because they both want the same thing – each other. A wedding brings them together and Cade is determined to learn Abby’s secret. He’ll do whatever it takes to win her love.

Meet the King Family of El Camino Real – five brothers, one sister and a legacy as big as Texas.

Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4XKpGv

Answered Questions

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre

Slow Hand by Leslie Kelly inspired me to write.

Jude Deveraux made me fall in love with the romance genre. This is one book that I fell in love with. – A Knight in Shining Armor

New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux will capture your heart with signature classic novel, a time-travel romance featuring a present-day heroine and a dashing hero from the sixteenth century! Abandoned by a cruel fate, lovely Dougless Montgomery lies weeping upon a cold tombstone in an English church. Suddenly, the most extraordinary man appears. It is Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck…and according to his tombstone he died in 1564. Drawn to his side by a bond so sudden and compelling it overshadows reason, Dougless knows that Nicholas is nothing less than a miracle: a man who does not seek to change her, who finds her perfect, fascinating, just as she is. What Dougless never imagined was how strong the chains are that tie them to the past…or the grand adventure that lay before them. Hailed worldwide as one of the most romantic novels of all time, A Knight in Shining Armor is “a glorious love story that spans centuries, worlds, and souls. It is the epitome of every woman’s fantasy” (Chicago Daily Herald).

Prize #72

Author: Virginia Babcock

Title: Hear Me

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Action-Adventure

Format: Paperback (U.S., Canada or U.K.)

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Maddy has always been different, but lately she’s been lonely. Even those who love her avoid her because of her “gift” and the strange things it makes her do. Then one night, a ghostly visitor warns her to go with the handsome stranger who shows up at her door before dawn. Jacob needed a change in his life, so he quit his job. Before he could head out on his next adventure, his brother reached out to him for help. Will he ever know why a haunting dream told him to leave to help his brother now? On his way, he meets the beautiful Maddy. Together Maddy and Jacob help those they are called to help. Through triumph and tragedy, they find their own way and try to blend two varying paths into one.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/4NGzP6

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreI’m a voracious reader. The books that got me started on romance were 1960-1970s Harlequin romances. There’s not a single one I can remember, but the summer I started reading them, I read stacks and piles from my grandmother’s basement and have read romance ever since. I went from The Chronicles of Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, and the Little House books to Harlequin.

From Harlequin I found Julie Garwood and Nora Roberts. I have a wide swath of Christine Feehan to Lynn Viehl, Lisa Kleypas, and Kathleen Woodiwiss. Lately I’ve found Penny Reid and Irish Winters.

Prize #73

Author: Madison Michael

Title: Moonlight & Moet

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 2

Blurb: Can the Hottest Man Around Melt this Ice Queen’s Heart?

When her husband publicly cheats on her, Leigh Dobbs trades her humiliating reputation as an ice queen and a hometown that shuns her for the unknown of rural North Carolina. Taking over a small bed and breakfast, Leigh sets out to restore it, her dignity and her life. Excited at the prospect of adding more rooms and a full-service restaurant, Leigh’s big plans encounter the brick wall that is Caleb Rausch. Sparks fly even as Caleb votes no on the planning commission, crushing Leigh’s dreams.

Handsome powerhouse Caleb Rausch is a man on a mission, expanding his huge corporation without encroaching on the small town where it resides. His commitment to his products, employees and historic preservation are unwavering. What’s lacking is his commitment to one woman. Caleb is the most eligible bachelor in three states, dating celebrities and models, but never settling down. Until now.

Even as Caleb forces Leigh’s expansion plans on hold, the couple moves full-steam-ahead on their relationship, unable to resist the mutual attraction. So why, after a steamy night together, does Caleb disappear for weeks? Has Leigh put her heart out there again, just to be played?

Will the magic of a moonlit night be enough to kindle their love or will Caleb’s constant disappearing act prevent him from melting this ice queen’s heart?Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bazeKQ

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Romance Books

  • Kate Cantebary – Underneath it All – The first in the Walsh Series and the best of the bunch. I love the details, the humor and the chemistry.
  • Kathleen Woodiwiss – The Rose in Winter – A classic tale of true love that I can come back to again and again.
  • CD Reiss – Bombshell – Great writing, clever plots, great storytelling and scorching sex scenes.
  • Tessa Dare – Once Upon a Winter’s Eve – Ms. Dare writes fantastic historical romances that capture the era yet feel relevant, touching and are hard to put down.
  • Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice – It may be predictable that it is on my list, but I have a leather bound copy that has my mother’s maiden name in the front. That is how long my family has been reading and sharing this book. A classic romance with all the elements I require, a wonderful love story, wit and great writing, a handsome rich hero, and a protagonist I can relate to – not too perfect, not the prettiest, burdened with the family from hell. What more could you want?

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe Ring by Danielle Steele. I loved that story. Before that I read classic romance written by legendary writers or historical romance that felt repetitive. One made me think writing was out of reach and the other that it wasn’t worth the effort.

The Ring was different for me – approachable writing and a great story. Danielle Steele never let me down, then or now.

What Romance Book You’re Reading Right Now: Driven (series) by K. Bromberg. I think the author may have created the perfect hero in Colton Donovan.

The Latest 3 Romance Titles on Your TBR List:

The rest of the “Driven” series is on my list and already on my Kindle.

I just downloaded The Darcy Brothers by Alix Nichols and hope to read it over the holidays.

My Favorite Husband by Pam McCutcheon looks like a really fun read for a wintry Chicago weekend.

One guaranteed to be hot, one guaranteed to be funny and one full of aristocrats. They should make for great winter entertainment.

Prize #74

Author: Vicki-Ann Bush

Title: The Garden of Two

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 1

Blurb: Charlie Murphy and Lillie Whitman are surrounded by the innocence of young love, and the guileless early twentieth century. They fall deeper into each other, intertwining their very different worlds to create a bond that no one can break.

Or so they thought.

When the dawn of World War I comes to their Long Island town, and personal tragedies begin to spiral the lovers into an abyss of darkness, they must fight to hold on to their love. Knowing their bond will be the only ties that will get them through. From the horrors of Germany’s front lines to the emotional battle fields fought at home, Charlie and Lillie must find a way to stay strong, and navigate a path, back into each other’s arms. And how a garden, a very special garden, can withstand the coldest of winters and give the ultimate symbol of hope.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mKKnjZ

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreThe one I first read was Emma. A cliché, I know, but that’s it.

Prize #75

Author: Lisa Doughty

Title: First Two Books of the Ladies of Kent Series

Genre: Historical Romance/Mystery

Format: Paperback Set

# of copies: 1 set of 2 print books

Blurb:

ELLA AND THE EXPERIMENT

Lady Ella McHenry is a genius like her father. Following her father’s death, she steps into his role at the University as a problem solver and tutor. Now alone, she must contemplate marriage in order to keep the fortune her father left her as well as her independence. Her Aunt urges her to add physical attraction to her list of logical and intellectual attributes she wants in a husband. Not seeing the point, she decides to test her aunt’s theory by conducting an experiment on the subject. When the handsome rake Lord Dexter St Johns comes to her for help on his artillery project, she makes a bargain with him. She will help him with his project if he will conduct an experiment with her. Little did the analytical Lady Ella know how much of her heart would become entangled in her conclusion and how important attraction can be.

Lord St Johns was in a race to be the first to complete a smaller, more efficient weapon against his nemesis Lord Vanderguard. Desperate to keep such a weapon out of the warmonger hands, he is forced to enlist help from the most unlikely source, Lady Ella McHenry. At first glance he didn’t believe the petite and rather severe looking young woman could help his cause. Taking a leap of faith, he hands the top secret plans over for her analysis. To his surprise, she turns out to be the one person to solve his issues. When she asks for a favor in return, he could not refuse her and blindly agrees to whatever she needs. To his shock, she wants to conduct an experiment that is beyond scandalous and even more exciting than he could imagine. As Lady Ella knocks him off balance and steals his heart, his project and her involvement in it puts her in mortal danger. Now he must not only save her, but his heart as well.

LETITIA AND THE LETTERS

Lady Letitia Wentworth is no match for her older sister, Lady Deidra Wentworth, either in beauty or popularity. Refusing to be the companion of her self–absorbed and conceited sister during an event at the family estate in Canterbury, she planned to lock herself in the library the whole week. It’s there that she stumbles across her great aunt Gladys’ letters, which hint at the mystery surrounding her death and the disappearance of the Canterbury jewels fifty years earlier. Engrossed in the mystery, she is irritated when the bold, yet handsome, Lord Devin Armstrong interrupts her, determined to introduce himself. She puts him off, but when he happens upon some of her aunt’s letters, she finally has to meet him. She can’t resist the handsome Earl’s advances as he helps her unravel the mystery. She is also amazed that such a man was interested in her, not her sister. As she loses her heart, she discovers more about the mystery that is herself than she bargained for.

The handsome Lord Dexter Armstrong, Earl of Berkeley, was being relentlessly pursued by every husband-hunting lady in the ton. Irritated by the trappings of nobility, he was beyond angry when his parents forced him to escort his sister to Canterbury for the annual summer event. Dismayed to have to keep company with the vile Lady Deidra Wentworth, who was far and above the most despicable social climber of the ladies, he vowed to keep his distance. When he saw a fiery, bespectacled redheaded beauty stand up to Deidra, his interest is piqued. Determined to meet her, he is surprised to learn that she is Deidra’s sister. The more he finds out about her, the more intriguing she becomes. Offering his help to solve her mystery is just a ruse to get to know her at first, but he quickly discovers that the mystery they work on is dangerous. As the mystery unravels and Devin is losing his heart, he fights to keep Letitia safe and to keep the love they discover along the way.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/mYowXP

https://books2read.com/u/brGnnZ

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the Genre

I’m a cliché, probably the worst of the worst. I picked up my first romance novel because Fabio was on the cover. He was bare-chested and looking adoringly at the woman kneeling next to him grasping his thigh. I can remember how I felt at that moment. Oh, to be looked at in that way by such a man! I wanted to be her. What’s funny is that I cannot remember the name of that book, or the author, or even if I read it in its entirety. It wasn’t until I read A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiess, that for the first time her words made me feel that undeniable feeling that only a romance novel can give you. Like the best bite of dessert ever feeling, one you wish you could chew forever and never swallow because you’re afraid it may never come again feeling.  From then on I was addicted. But, like any addiction, it wasn’t enough. I wished for more adventure or more sex, or the need to find a stronger female character, one not so resigned and whimpering.

That’s when I realized that romance is a state of mind. A feeling evoked by the imagination, one different for every reader. Prompted by the right setting, fed with just enough information, simulation if you will, that your brain filled in the details making the story yours as well. If done correctly, it’s the most potent drug ever invented. I could not get enough after that. Approaching my reading from this new perspective, I binged on Johanna Lindsey as well as countless others until I found Julie Garwood. She had the perfect blend of unexpected characters and unusual situations but still gave her readers enough room to fill in the gaps to make it their own that she became a favorite. So, if you ask which book made me fall in love with the genre, I could not say it was just one in particular. It was a feeling I chased, one I still pursue today, that made me fall in love with this genre. I realized that it was the journey that made this genre so addicting. After all, it’s what we can’t have or control, that intangible thing that you cannot describe that keeps us wanting more, is it not? As well as curiosity about the hunky men or beautiful women on the covers that may first draw you in.

Prize #76

Author: Theresa Sederholt

Title: The Unraveled Trilogy boxed set

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 5

Blurb: This set contains all three full-length books of The Unraveled Trilogy plus a bonus short story “Follow Your Dreams,” not available elsewhere!
At twenty-seven, Raven Anderson experienced more heartache than anyone would in their lifetime. Finally, her life seems on track when she starts doing what she loves the most: teaching second grade.

However, the best-laid plans are not always the right path as Raven learns when fate puts her in the direct path of mega-billionaire, Jaxson James Phillips, owner of Raiders, Inc., a corporate raiding company. With the spotlight now focused on Raven, her past is threatening her future. So, she does what she does best—run!

This beautiful girl, with the violet eyes, has left Jax, who never gets rattled, totally speechless. Used to getting what he wants, he can’t understand why she’s running from him. As time goes on, he slowly unravels the many layers of Raven. What he finds . . . puts everyone around them in danger.

Can anyone survive?

Tragedy has struck and now it’s a waiting game. New beginnings, so full of promise, are overshadowed by a past that is continuously haunting them. Secrets are uncovered. Lies are revealed.
Raven and Jax will fight for their lives and the ones they hold dear. Will a normal life ever be in their reach? Will anyone truly be safe, again? Too much has happened. How can anyone survive this?

Lies are shattered, leaving death and destruction in its path. To save a child, they must make a deal with the devil himself.

They had a plan: two days—get in, ask the questions, and get out. Seemed simple enough. But you know what they say about best-laid plans. Life always seems to get in the way of living.

This book contains strong language, violence, and sexual situations. Mature audiences only.Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bWzDDz

Answered Question

The Book That Made You Fall in Love with the GenreChances by Jackie Collins

Prize #77

Author: Lilly Christine

Title: Candi for Christmas

Genre: New Adult Holiday Sports Romance

Format: Ebook

# of copies: 3

Blurb: Fresh-faced intern Candi Bamberger flies to Beaver Creek, Colorado for Snow Slammer Games action, but not the kind smokin’ hot snowboard star Shane McGreer has in mind! Shane shows her amazing moves, and not just in the half-pipe. Candi’s conflicted. Did she just throw away a career in sports management for a guy who scores new girls at every game?
He’s right up there with Shaun White, yet Shane McGreer knows his track record with women is the pits, but Candi’s different. She’s Olympic material, and a real girl, genuine in both curves and charm. . . He falls hard, so when a rival puts Candi’s in deep freeze, Shane’s stuck, too. He’s won the SnowSlammer X Games, but he’s lost Candi’s heart! Can he warm her up for a sweet McGreer Ranch Christmas Eve? Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, Tess has a Christmas surprise for Jake and Cassie. . .
The McGreers Series… Read ’em all!Universal Reader Link: https://books2read.com/u/bMQjja

Answered Questions

Your Top 5 Favorite Romance Books

  1. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  2. Any Man of Mine – Rachel Gibson
  3. The Cinderella Deal – Jennifer Crusie
  4. Casey, American Bullriding Tour – Kelly Hunter
  5. Indecent Proposal – Molly O’Keefe

Created by Freepik

Once again, if you’re entering the big giveaway, PLEASE give us your name, email address, and include your preferred romance subgenres. Leave a comment below, or for a private entry, you can email me at marieannlavender@gmail.com

This contest will run for a week, until December 20th at midnight EST. After that, winners will be selected and contacted. Given the upcoming holiday, some recipients may experience a slight delay with their prizes, but don’t worry. We’re on the case, and we want you to have your books! 😀

Good luck, everyone, and, as always, happy reading! ♥♥♥

Yuri Efremov, Unsplash

And Merry Christmas this year!

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Pre-order Release Feature: Lara’s Story by author Diane Merrill Wigginton

I am pleased to announce a great new release by Diane Merrill Wigginton, an author I met during my journey! Her young adult sweet historical romance, Lara’s Story, officially went up for pre-order and will be released on January 4th!

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

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

Diane is giving us a look at her sweet YA historical romance, Lara’s Story, today.Great cover!

This is the blurb for Lara’s Story:

SHATTERED BY HEARTBREAK
“When a heart breaks, it does not break evenly, cleaving in half exactly down the middle.”

Surrounded by her large, boisterous family in 1840s Ireland, Lara Flannigan has never known anything but love and belonging—until the day tragedy strikes, leaving her abandoned and forced into indentured servitude.

REMADE IN A NEW WORLD.

Just when all hope seems lost, Lara is discovered by a childless American couple, visiting Ireland to aid in the famine-relief effort. With barely a chance to look back, she’s swept away to a bustling new continent—and a dizzying new reality. One of petticoats, opulent townhouses, and the cold reaches of Philadelphia high society. Desperate for a future, Lara works tirelessly to fit into her new life… while still haunted by a past that won’t let her go.

Set in a fascinating historical period, Lara’s Story is a gripping young adult novel that explores the strength of the human spirit and the power of forgiveness to heal a broken heart.

And here is an excerpt to entice you with.

April 27, 1854

Philadelphia Wharf

 

EVERY QUESTION BEGINS WITH a quest for answers, and every testimony of what is true begins with a test of our resolve. I am reminded of this simple formula as I stand here on this boardwalk, looking out to sea. Each life is a journey, defined by turns we take or the roads we choose or those which fate chooses for us. Some of us move from one place to another, along a well-worn path or the path less taken; it really doesn’t matter much as long as it leads you home again.

Memories of my home involuntarily flash through my mind as Mama’s words come back to me like a sounding board that has followed me my entire life. She would often tell my sisters and me, “Don’t ever make yerself smaller to satisfy the needs of another.” Mama was always insightful and perceptive when it came to her children.

Oh, how I still miss her so, even to this day. I smile to myself, wishing my ears could hear that beautiful, rhythmic sound of Mama’s voice again, just one more time as a terrible memory of the last day I saw her alive flashes through my mind and I vigorously shake my head to dispel the thought.

When a heart breaks it does not break evenly – cleaving in half exactly down the middle. It breaks, jagged and rough, cutting one to the very core of their soul. And while things may appear perfectly normal to the naked eye, beneath the surface lies the real tragedy, fragmented and splintered beyond reconciliation. Heartbreak is not an innocuous pain, easily excused like a stomach ache. It is more insidious, spreading throughout ones’ system, like an infection. Merely closing my eyes to the pain does not eliminate it in the least.

Just breathe in, then breathe out and move forward, I remind myself. This simple little mantra is something I taught myself so many years ago, and it has gotten me through more than a few dire situations.

I was born Lara Flannigan, on the twenty-first day of April, in the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and thirty-three. Mama liked to tell me it was a beautiful spring morn, the day I was born, which would have been an unusual occurrence for that time of year.

Mama also said, “I knew ye were special and destined for greatness the moment ye took yer first breath, don’t ye know. Cause the sun poked out from behind the clouds with yer first breath of life. Why twere’ like the Heavens above truly recognized that an angel had been born to me,” she teased.

If truth be told, I believe mama told this exact story to each of her six children. But I loved hearing it nonetheless.

I was the sixth child of the seven children born to Rory and Laurel Flannigan, and I was named for my Da’s mother. Our days were long and our lives were hard, but our nights belonged to us. I never knew life could be anything other than what I had experienced. My world was very small in those days, so I never missed the things I didn’t have.

I am an Irish immigrant and I came to America at the tender age of thirteen, a disillusioned child, harshly mistreated by the very people entrusted with my care. I tell you this not to solicit your sympathies but to impart knowledge and gain your understanding, for I was a pitiful, angry child who was unaware of how many things in my life were about to change. People meeting me today might say that I was more fortunate than most. Yet they would never have heard my story nor known that I suffered in silence. I did not wear my pain, like a badge of honor, but kept it deep inside of me, hidden away from the prying eyes of others.

Fear has made me keep my story to myself. I was afraid of the repercussions from the actions I took in the name of survival, when my whole world fell apart. Furthermore, I feared the behavior of peers, those who would use the circumstance of my birthplace and subsequent difficulties to hold me back or bludgeon me with my story like a weapon.

For many years I have pushed from my thoughts memories of home and all that happened there. And yet, every now and again I indulge myself with less painful memories of the past, that push their way to the surface, and I give myself permission to embrace them, loving, bold, nostalgic memories that are impossible to forget. This is especially true today as I find myself waiting, yet another day, for a ship to come in, one that I thought would never arrive upon these great American shores.

Oh, I have everything a person could ever desire. Enough food to ward off hunger for a lifetime. Good health, a beautiful home, fashionable clothes, and the love of my family. I truly have every comfort one could want at my disposal, yet still, I long to recover the missing pieces of myself torn from me the day I left my native land of Ireland. A loss that can still be keenly felt whenever I lay my head down upon my pillow at night. And even though I am far from familiar old haunts, I swear I hear the land beckoning to me in my dreams, calling from across the ocean, summoning me home to the cliffs of Dunmore Head on the westernmost shores of Ireland. Closing my eyes now, I can still recall the smell and taste of the breeze on my tongue and the tangy feel of her salty sea air as it mixes with the sweet scents of wildflowers growing on her craggy cliffs.

The memories grab hold of my soul, leaving me longing for home, even more this day.

“Ireland,” I whisper, as it all comes flooding back to me — the green grassy moors waving in the gentle breeze like waves on the ocean. I can still feel the way the grass tickled my bare feet when I walked upon it.

In my mind’s eye I can see the ancient moss-covered rocks and hills that seem to roll on forever, and the overwhelmingly familiar smells of home assault my senses and kindle even more longing inside me. Peat moss burning in the hearth, the earthy smells of fresh mud coming from our simple thatched roofed dwelling, built from wattle and daub that plastered the rocks and boulders in place to form walls. The rain that often leaked upon my head in the middle of the night whenever a storm blew in just right. The way the sweet earthy tones mingled with the bitter as they played across my tongue whenever I chewed on a blade of grass.

Vivid, sweet memories wash over me, transporting me back in time as I see myself as a little girl, sitting in the middle of a field of tall grass, watching with fascination as the wind blew the grass to-and-fro. Then I see myself laughing and playing among the cliffs again with my best friend, Jamie. There are so many precious and sweet memories that I had denied myself for so long.

I swallow hard to push down the lump that forms in my throat. I can recall every ridge, crag, twig, and moss-covered rock that littered our unyielding plot of land.

There were so many afternoons spent upon those cliffs, basking in the glorious sun after bathing in the ocean with Mama and my two sisters. Alana loved tickling me just to hear me laugh while I lay upon the warm cliffs, soaking up the last glorious rays of sunlight. A cool breeze would kick up, washing over my skin, and chilling my flesh with her gentle touch. Those were the days I thought would never end, and it is those same sweet memories that now make me mourn the loss of them all the more.

I shake my head quickly, dispelling any more memories of the past as I hold back more tears, attempting to keep them from escaping. Swiping at the unfortunate few that trickle down my cheeks, I feel anxious and frustrated all at the same time.

Please do not mistake my tears for weakness, for they convey more than mere words are able and can express so many different emotions.

One should never assume that there is only one reason to shed them. There are tears caused by overwhelming grief and pain and tears of contrition. There are tears of joy and love, or tears of annoyance caused by situations that are beyond your control. Yet my tears today are a culmination of so many different emotions that are simply hard for me to put into words.

Book Info:

Genre:  Historical Romance, Young Adult, Sweet Historical

Release Date:  January 4, 2019

Pre-order Purchase Link:

Universal Reader link:  https://books2read.com/u/bMQjzV

Wow! ♥♥♥ This looks like quite an emotional read!😉

The story should appeal to Christians, young adults, and any readers who enjoy sweet romance tales…

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

 

Readers, don’t forget to pre-order a copy of this sweet historical tale!

Author Bio

Diane Merrill Wigginton was born in Riverside, California in 1963. Her family moved to San Diego near the end of 1970, where she grew up in the newly developed community of Mira Mesa. Spending portions of her summers each year in Burly, Idaho with her mother’s parents, Florence and Orval Merrill, Diane developed a love of animals and a respect for the land. It was during this time on the farm riding horses, herding cattle and taming wild kittens that Diane also developed a love of storytelling. She dreamed that one day she would become a published author and tell her stories to the world. Having spent her entire life in California, Diane and her husband made the move from Sacramento, California to Kalispell, Montana to retire in February 2018. Now she is able to pursue her passion of writing books full-time.

“I am thrilled and elated to be doing what I love.”

 

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

Happy reading, everyone!🙂

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Filed under Book Release, Books, coming soon, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, new release, Readers, Romance, sweet romance, Young Adult

63 FREE Romance Books!!

Hi, readers! I wanted to pop in here today to let you know about a very cool, mega giveaway going on over at the Writing in the Modern Age blog this week. Among other genres, 63 romance novels are available.All you have to do to enter the contest is comment on the thread with all your genre preferences as well as a contact email, and you’ll have 164 chances to win books! Awesome, right?

Here is a list of some of the books offered. They’re in no particular order, but I’ve included the subgenres so you know how varied the giveaway is.

Sports Romance

Paranormal Thriller with Romantic Elements

 

Mystery Romance with Horror

Multicultural Romance

Historical Romance

Paranormal Romance

Science Fiction Romance

Erotic Romance

Romantic Comedy

Holiday Romance

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Romantic Suspense

Contemporary Romance

Romantic Thriller

 

Western Romance

 

LGBT Romance

Time Travel Romance

YA Romance

Inspirational Romance

Fantasy Romance

This contest is exciting! There are swag prizes too! 🙂 If you’d like to participate, please jump on Writing in the Modern Age to put in your entry (you can also email me directly at marieannlavender@gmail.com with the subject heading ‘Early Autumn Giveaway entry’, in case you’re a little shy about including your personal info).

The giveaway will run until Friday at midnight EST, but winners won’t be chosen until the weekend.

http://marielavender.blogspot.com/2017/09/400th-anniversary-post-early-autumn-mega-book-giveaway.html

So, why not go for it? These are FREE books! You won’t be sorry! 😉

As always, happy reading, everyone! 😀

1 Comment

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Book Giveaways, Books, Contemporary, Erotica, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, inspirational romance, LGBT, Marie Lavender, Mystery, New Adult, Readers, Romance, romantic comedy, Romantic Suspense, sports romance, Thriller/Suspense, Time Travel, western, Writing, Young Adult

A to Z Challenge: Weather the Storm by Jean Ferris

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:

scoring-heart-rating

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?

Weather the Storm by Jean Ferris

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Genre: YA Historical Romance

Blurb:

When Raider takes Rosie to England she finds no living kin-and long buried family secrets. When Raider offers to take Rosie to New Orleans, she sees no other option. But it is a journey that brings her closer than ever to the daring buccaneer who has captured her heart yet farther from the romantic dream that torments her. As the war rages at sea, Rosie once again watches Raider sail into battle, driven by the obsession that consumes him, and taking with him the love that has become the very soul of Rosie’s life.

Also in the trilogy:
Into the Wind
and
Song of the Sea

 

A few choice lines from the book:

“The most extraordinary thing has happened,” she blurted. “I’ve just discovered I might have been a countess.”

The expression on his face remained impassive. It didn’t surprise her that he didn’t believe her. She could hardly believe it herself.

“There was a letter from my mother in Aunt Polly’s Bible,” she went on, in spite of his face. “Maybe that’s why the Bible was locked up; to keep the letter safe. My mother was a countess before she married my father, a Portuguese countess. I know it sounds unbelievable, but I believe it. My locket has her family crest. They disowned her when she married my father and she lost her title, but if they hadn’t done that, I would’ve been a countess!”

Why was she bothering him with this? He clearly thought it was preposterous. She did herself. And it didn’t make the slightest bit of difference in what her life would be like now. But she’d had to tell someone, and who else was there? And once, he might have cared.

Finally he spoke, his face unchanged, but his voice hollow. “I thought it might be something like that.”

“You…what?” She felt almost as if he’d struck her. “What are you talking about?”

“I don’t quite know how to…” He seemed unsure, almost embarrassed. He turned away from her and leaned his shoulder against a stable post, his hands in his pockets. The cloth of his jacket stretched across his wide shoulders. She stayed where she was because she was shaking too much to move.

“What are you talking about?” she asked again, somehow frightened.

“I have a jewel cask,” he said, not turning around. “I’ve had it for five years. My brother and I took it from a pirate ship that had taken it from a Portuguese barkentine on its way to Brazil. You may not be aware that the entire Portuguese court fled Portugal for Brazil, its colony in the New World, in November of 1807 when General Junot invaded. The capital of Portugal has been in Rio since January of 1808. When the nobility fled, they took everything with them: their books, jewels, archives, everything. Rich pickings for pirates, and many of the Portuguese ships were captured, looted and sunk. The cask I have once held a treasure in jewels of some highborn Portuguese family, all of whom are probably lying at the bottom of the sea now.”

“I don’t understand,” Rosie said when he was silent.

“I sold all the jewels long ago. They brought a great deal of money. A great deal. But I kept the cask. I’m not sure even why. I liked the look of it.” He paused again. When he spoke, his voice was so low she could hardly hear him. “It has a design on the lid. A silver hind with a golden apple around her neck.”

“A silver…? The same as on my locket?”

“Exactly the same. The same as in the story you told me when I was ill. Those jewels must have belonged to your mother’s family. You could have had a countess’s fortune if not her title.”

With the idea of a title not fully assimilated, the notion of a fortune seemed simply impossible. Rosie shook her head, as if to dislodge a swarm of gnats.

Finally Raider turned to face her. “I seem to have spent my life ruining yours. Even before I knew you.”

He looked so genuinely stricken her heart contracted. This lost fortune was too abstract for her to take seriously; in fact, it seemed to be causing him more pain than it did her. The notion that her mother had loved her enough to make the deathbed effort to speak to her across all these years meant far more to her than any kind of fortune.

She put her hand out to him. “It doesn’t matter. How could you know? And if you hadn’t told me, I’d never have known either. It will make no difference in what I do.”

“I should repay you. The jewels were yours.” He ignored her hand, which she withdrew into the folds of her skirt.

She was rather taken aback by such evidence of probity in his character, and at the same time, pleased. Perhaps the man she imagined to be hidden behind Raider’s alternately cool and hot facade actually existed.

“You can repay me by taking me to New Orleans,” she said, without knowing in advance that she was going to say it. “I’ve decided to accept your offer. Fowey isn’t a place where I could feel at home, if only because of the weather.” As she spoke, she recognized within herself the truth of what she said. And congratulated herself for finding the strength to say it, knowing what the price would be: more unrequited time with him, more anticipation of the painful farewell. “In New Orleans,” she went on, sound surer and more adult than she felt, “with its mix of people, I think I’m more likely to find a place for myself. That will be enough.”

“It’s not enough to satisfy me.” He stood looking at her through the gloom of the stable, his eyes catching what light there was. “My debt to you is greater than that.”

“Then I cancel your debt. You owe me nothing now other than passage away from here.” His insistence mystified her. Still, how unaccountable it was that he was the one to find her family jewels. It was as if their lives were fated to intersect, if only for an interval, if only glancingly.

“You can sell the land your aunt owned,” he said, as if he hadn’t heard her. “That will give you a stake. We should try to take care of that before we leave. That means this afternoon or tomorrow. If there’s anything from her trunk you want to take with you, you should arrange for that, too.” He had the inward look of someone preoccupied with plans. And what he was planning was her life. Again.

“Stop doing that,” she said, exasperated. “You keep taking over and making all the plans without ever asking me. This is my life, not yours.”

She was right. He couldn’t seem to stop trying to make them the same. “Do forgive me,” he said, willing mischief into his voice and his eyes, protecting his emotions once again by teasing. “Just what is it you think we should be doing in order to get on with this enterprise?”

“Well…of course I should see about selling that land. And there are a few things I’d like to have from the trunk. Oh, don’t look so pleased with yourself. I could have thought of those things without your help. You’re not going to be around forever to do my thinking for me, so you’d better let me have some practice.”

She was right; of course she was. “Very well,” he said.

My Score:

This book, along with the others in the series, has been on my shelf for a long time. I read it many years ago, probably when I was a teenager. I take it out now and then to remind myself of those rampant emotions in one’s youth, the heartaches and how simple, yet complicated, love could be somehow in the past. This series is the perfect example of how a good romance should be. It’s not without danger or conflict between the hero and heroine, though.

This series is also set in the Regency era, one of my favorite time periods. 😉

But seriously, this book is excellent. Rosie and Raider’s journey is one you’ll fall for over and over again. I’d recommend reading the series together to get the full effect!

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I’d give this one five hearts!

five hearts

3 Comments

Filed under Authors, Blogging, Books, Event, Fiction, Historical, Historical Romance, Readers, Reviews, Romance, Young Adult

A Character Interview with Amy Pearson from THE LIE plus a conversation with author K.C. Sprayberry!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Aurora Zahni’s character on December 29th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting K.C. Sprayberry, the author of The Lie, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Amy Pearson, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to K.C. in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Amy!

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

Character Amy Pearson: Thanks for having me here.

Marie:  Sure!

We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Amy: Okay.

Marie:  Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Also, what is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Amy:  Hi, everyone. My name is Amy Pearson. I’m a senior at Landry High School in Georgia, a band geek, and a musician. My brother, Bryce, is always telling me that I have to believe in what I can do, so I have to say I’m a great student with a 4.0 GPA. As a musician, I play the keyboard, flute, clarinet, oboe, and guitar. I also sing. And if my YouTube page can be believed, people actually like what I do.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Great!

So, tell us…what is your family like?

Amy:  Well… I have a brother, Bryce. He’s two years younger than me, plays football, always gives me grief about the stupidest stuff, but he’s a good person to talk to. My dad does reno on houses that my uncle sells. Dad’s kind of cool. He’s a volunteer fire fighter in his spare time. And then there’s my mom. Her and me—we don’t get along well. It’s because of my bestie, Jane.

Mom thinks Jane is a horrible influence on me, but she… Jane… doesn’t have any other friends. And she was so nice to me when I had asthma as a kid and couldn’t go outside much.

Marie:  All right. Sorry to hear that.

The mother-daughter relationship can be complicated sometimes.

If it doesn’t bother you too much, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

Amy:  Just like everyone else’s around us. A typical middle class southern home. Nothing spectacular. Until we moved into the old home place, a gift from my grandparents after our house sold and we needed a place fast. It was right after that happened. Don’t ask me about that. It was really awful.

Marie:  Okay, sorry. I sense it’s a touchy subject. I know there’s a story there, but I won’t pry.

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

Amy:  My music is my life. I love recording tracks with my instruments. Sometimes just one, or I might do a few tracks with two or three instruments. Then I write songs and my brother sets up videos on our YouTube page.

Marie:  Sounds like fun!

So…what is your greatest dream?

Amy:  Graduate high school, go to Jacksonville State University in Alabama. Be a Marching Southerner. And get a general music degree. I don’t know after that. It’s too far away to think about.

Marie:  That’s understandable. It’s hard to see that far ahead. It was for me too.

Let’s try another question.

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

Amy:  I want to be a person my mom can love without getting all mad because of my only close friend. I want to be able to just hug her and not have her ask what Jane did now. And I want to have more friends than Jane. It gets really weird only being able to do things with her all the time, but she says everyone else makes fun of her, so I can’t do stuff with them.

Marie:  Wow, sorry to hear that! 😦

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

Who was your first love?

Amy:  Trey Melton.

He’s a hunk, kind of like that actor, Brant Daughtery from Pretty Little Liars. Was the quarterback for the Landry Wildcats, until he blew out his knee. And he’s pretty sweet. We’ve just started seeing each other seriously, now that I kicked Jane out of my life.

Marie:  Good to hear! (Sighs.) I love romance…

The Lie

All right. So, let’s try something else.

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

Amy:  That. It’s really hard to explain, kind of complicated. See, the school board took away the band’s funding. And we got very upset. That’s when Jane came to me with this plan, but she couldn’t tell the other kids in band about it. I had to do that, or they wouldn’t have gone along. So, I did, but it didn’t feel right. And then it happened. We didn’t mean for it to happen. It was only supposed to be stink and smoke. The school wasn’t supposed to burn down.

Marie:  Yikes! Okay, I can see this is difficult for you.

[Briefly touches her guest’s hand.]

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

[Amy 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?

Amy:  To be a musician. To go professional. Maybe. I’m not really sure I can do that, though. The kind of music I do isn’t really popular, but it’s what I like. But the people that like my YouTube page are always telling me I’m good enough to be on The Voice or American Idol. I mean really? Me? That’s so crazy.

Marie:  Well, it sounds like you have the talent! What I’ve learned is it’s easier to try something and then decide it’s not for you rather than regret you never did it. 😉

Okay. Let’s try something else.

So, who is your role model, Amy?

Amy:  To be honest, my younger brother. Bryce is so cool. He’s really smart too. And he never lets anyone put him down. He’s hot too (don’t tell him I said that!). Not only is he great in the classroom, but he’s a gunner on Special Teams for football, and he’s stellar at that. The biggest thing I admire about Bryce? Even though I get irritated with him about the silly stuff, he’s always there for me when something Jane talks me into blows up.

Theo James (Bryce)

Marie:  Good to hear! I’m glad you have a close relationship with your brother.

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Amy:  It took me a long time to figure it out, but I really don’t like Jane. Probably never have. But she’s so needy. And kind of mean. She always puts down my family, but I can’t tell her to go away. I don’t know why, just that I can’t. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t have any other friends.

Marie:  All right. I can see how pity might have led you into a rough situation.

So, can you tell us something? What is your deepest desire, Amy?

Amy:  To have a normal life. Not to have to put up with Jane’s games, her constant innuendos that people hate her for no reason, or are down on her. She’s so harsh. Never gives anyone a chance. She even makes me feel stupid for wanting to do things without her. Jane smothers me, but I don’t know how to make her go away.

Marie:  Okay. How about another question…

What is your greatest fear?

Amy:  Losing the music in my head. I think I’d die if that happened. That music has always been there. I think I’d go crazy and fade away if it stopped.

Marie:  Funny, that’s exactly the way I feel about writing! 😉

Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Amy. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂

Amy:  Thank you for having me, Marie!

Marie:  My pleasure!

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Marie:  Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author K.C. Sprayberry on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here again! Hello, K.C.!

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Author K.C. Sprayberry:  Hi, Marie!  A pleasure to be here.

Marie:  The honor is mine.  🙂

So, we just got to talk to a female character of your story, Amy Pearson. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

K.C.:  Amy is a typical teen. She works hard for approval from her parents, but is also pulling away as she starts her senior year of high school. Amy has an inner core of strength but she doesn’t realize that because of her bestie, Jane. But Amy is starting to pull free of Jane’s toxic influence, to spread her wings by making new friends, getting involved with her classmates, and getting ready for college.

Marie:  Okay.

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

K.C.:  She’s a loyal friend. Amy is willing to do what’s needed to help out when necessary. She also loves to cook and bake. Amy makes a killer pumpkin cheesecake and some really great sweet potato tarts.

Marie:  Nice! But seriously, she sounds like a great person.

And what are her greatest weaknesses?

K.C.:  Amy’s greatest weakness is that she likes to believe the best about people. She won’t give up on a friend, no matter how badly that friend treats her.

Marie:  An admirable trait, but I can see how that could get her into some trouble…

Let’s try something else.

What are some of her favorite foods?

K.C.:  She loves pretty much everything. The spicier the better. Her favorite burger is from Fuddruckers, the Southwestern.

Marie:  All right.

How about another question?

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

K.C.:  That’s she’s a sweet, loyal person who can do so much better than she thinks she can.

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

K.C.:  They’ll hate how she won’t stand up against Jane, instead leaning on her brother heavily. But when things get tough and Bryce isn’t around, Amy will discover she’s a really strong person who can take care of herself.

Marie:  Great! 🙂

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

What first gave you the idea for The Lie?

K.C.:  My editor and I were kicking around ideas one night on Facebook PM. And somehow the conversation got around to lying. How a lie is like the ripples in a pond and you never know how far those ripples go. Then I told her that I’d be right back, knocked out an opening to the first chapter, and showed it to her. She read it, suggested a couple of things, and told me to run with it. Boy, did I run with it. The Lie finished at a little over 102,000 words, the longest and most difficult book I’ve ever written.

Marie:  Impressive!

Let’s try something else.

What is your writing style like, K.C.? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

K.C.:  I do like to plan, plot out my books, but honestly, after chapter three, all planning flies out the window once the characters take over. They will direct from the background, often screeching out, “I would not do that!” until I fix the problem. Some stories have just been “panster” from beginning to end. I’ve tried being a plotter, but it never works out.

Marie:  (Laughs.) Sometimes those characters just don’t listen to us…

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

K.C.:  The getting published part wasn’t hard at all, but I have a fabulous publisher in Solstice Publishing. The real challenge lay in writing this book. Originally, it started out as single viewpoint, Amy. Then younger but definitely louder brother Bryce started screaming in my head that he was not going to let his sis go through this alone. So, sigh, I went back to the beginning and began inserting his viewpoint into the chapters. And he’s good. So’s Amy. Anytime I tried to shortcut on the story line, they were after me to get it together and do it right. The end result was not just the most powerful story I’ve done to date, but also the longest one.

Marie:  Awesome!

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 The Lie appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by K.C. Sprayberry, a very talented author! 🙂 The book comes out on March 4th!

Here is the blurb for The Lie:

For high school siblings, Amy and Bryce, the night began with a football game. Bryce was stuck at home with a cold, brought on by an uncaring coach. Amy was in the stands, playing with the band whose funding had been taken away and given to the football team.

Her best friend, Jane, brought the band together to play a prank on the team in protest.

The prank went wrong. Horribly, tragically wrong.

And the lie that started it all would not stop.

K.C. is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

Amy:

The sun is peeping over the mountains all around us. The members of the Landry High School Band fill in the last of the holes where we placed our planned revenge to go off tonight. None of us has had any sleep since we woke up yesterday, yet we’re charged up and ready for the rest of today and well into tonight.

“Where are your friends?” I ask.

Jane Preston, my bestie, the true mastermind of this prank, smirks at me.

Her light brown hair flies around her face in the early morning breeze. She swipes a few strands away from her pinched mouth and grimaces. Jane is always angry, always ready to take revenge for what she sees as a slight against her. Her slender body hunches forward, what she calls a protection method against all of her enemies. A lot of people don’t like her. I’m her only real friend. That’s because I feel sorry for her. Honesty turned on… a trait I value not only in myself but everyone close to me… I sometimes wish that Jane will stop being so weird and mean, and learn to be part of the group.

And she won’t let me alone whenever I try to get away from her. Jane would make more friends if she tried a little harder. It’s like she enjoys scaring people, so they don’t get close to her. But she’s always complaining about how everyone hates her.

Bryce:

I hear Amy coming home. She doesn’t know that I’ve been awake all night, waiting on her. Not that she sneaks out much—she never does stuff like this, unless it’s a Jane plan. I pretty much figured that from what I caught of the muffled phone conversations going on until eight last night. That’s when I heard the window going up, a box being hidden behind the bush, and Amy sneaking away.

She’s lucky that Mom and Dad didn’t catch her. Thanks to me. If I hadn’t gone into the kitchen, faking that cough, Amy would have been in major trouble.

That fake coughing will have earned me another day off school, once Mom sees me this morning. She’s a total overprotective mom when it comes to our health. Big deal that I had asthma as a kid, even had to carry an inhaler that I lost whenever I could. I’m way past that now. The cough is what’s left of the cold I got doing sprints in a driving cold rain last Friday night, after we once again lost a football game.

At least I won’t have to do that tonight. Someone has to deal with Coach Williams. He’s totally out of control lately.

Interesting!

Pre-order Purchase Link:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01BX85XSG

About K.C. Sprayberry

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Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in Northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovated tales from the South and beyond.

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, others in magazines. Three of her books (Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, and Mama’s Advice) are Amazon bestsellers. Her other books are: Take Chances, Where U @, The Wrong One, Pony Dreams, Evil Eyes, Inits, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates, The Call Chronicles 1: The Griswold Gang, The Curse of Grungy Gulley, Paradox Lost: Their Path, Canoples Investigations Versus Spacers Rule and Starlight. Additionally, she has shorts available on Amazon: Grace, Secret From the Flames, Family Curse … Times Two, Right Wrong Nothing In Between, and The Ghost Catcher.

K.C.’s Books:
Coming Soon:

 

The Lie

Available:

 

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FamilyCurse

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing K.C. Sprayberry, here are some author links:

Website:  http://www.kcsprayberry.com/

Blog:  http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-Sprayberry/331150236901202

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/KC%20Sprayberry/e/B005DI1YOU/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

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

Authorgraph:  http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kcsowriter

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/kc-sprayberry/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Amy Pearson, a female character from The Lie, and K.C. Sprayberry, 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, Relationships, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips, Young Adult

A Character Interview with Angela from THE HEALER plus a conversation with author C.J. Anaya!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. If you remember, we interviewed Emily A. Lawrence’s character on December 8th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting C.J. Anaya, the author of The Healer, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her  characters, Angela Beaumont, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to C.J. in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Angie!

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

Character Angela Beaumont: Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  Of course!

We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?

Angela: Okay.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Angela:  Occupation? I’m currently maneuvering my way through the drudgery of what we all call high school. Gag. I’m extremely good at annoying my teachers, dating as many boys as I possibly can, and belittling freshman whenever I get the chance. So, yes. I’m very good at what I do.

Marie:  (Laughs.) All right.

So, tell us. What is your family like?

Angela:  Dad split when I was two. Good riddance. It’s just me and mom, but she’s MIA quite a bit due to her single mom status. I rely on my best friend Hope and her father Dr. James Fairmont to get me through the week.

Marie:  Sorry to hear about your father. 😦

Let’s try something else, shall we?

What did your childhood home look like?

Angela:  It’s a home, I guess. Four walls, a roof, and a huge Jacuzzi tub in the bathroom. Thank the good Lord for that unexpected addition.

Marie:  Okay.

So, do you have any hobbies?  What do you enjoy doing?

Angela:  My hobby is more like a life calling that was thrust upon me at birth, and I fully intend to chew out the higher powers that be who assumed I would appreciate the ability to view a person’s death upon physical contact. Usually has to be skin-to-skin, though. There went my social life. Do you have any idea how annoying it is to be making out in the back seat of some hot football player’s car only to see that in exactly seven days, six hours, and fourteen minutes he’s going to break his neck on the football field after a particularly nasty tackle? Mood killer. Then I’m scrambling to find ways to prevent him from playing which usually involves getting him suspended from the team in some sneaky, underhanded way. He’ll thank me later.

Marie:  Wow! That’s tough.

So, tell us…what is your greatest dream, Angie?

Angela:  I’d just like to be normal, to be honest. It’s a bit demoralizing to run into strangers, see their deaths, and then have no way of finding them to prevent the accidents or even murders that are about to happen. It’s even worse when I do know the person, but misread the situation. I lost an owner of a really tasty restaurant because I thought the kitchen fire she died in was at her eatery. Apparently, it was in her own house. Survivor’s guilt is a way of life for me, and watching people burn to death in visions without being able to actually save them sends me to a dark place that not even Hope can immediately pull me out of. So, yeah. Order me up a side of normal please.

Marie:  Sorry. 😦

Let’s try a different question.

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

Angela:  Well, if we’re picking anyone in the world, I’d like to be a celebrity with loads of money, buy myself an island to rival that of any island Johnny Depp owns, and surround myself with animals instead of humans.

Okay, fine. I’d like to be someone like Hope. She’s kind, caring, patient, and sees the good in everyone. I wish I could be as optimistic as she is, but I’ve seen too many things to make me believe that the human race is really worth all of the effort she puts into caring. Which is a bit ironic when you consider how often I try to save every single stinking human I see expiring from preventable deaths.

Marie:  I see.

All right, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now. 

Who was your first love?

Angela:  Never had one. I only date a guy if I’ve seen his death and I’m trying to figure out a way around it. Or if I’m due to let off some steam in the back of their car. Relationships are a no go for me. I can’t imagine loving someone and being witness to the various ways they’re going to die. I’d spend my life in constant contact with that person and never have a moment’s peace. Hope is the only person I can be around who doesn’t have that effect on me. When I touch her, I see nothing but light. It’s odd. I have no idea why I can’t see her death, but I’m not complaining. I consider it the one thing going right for me.

Although, recently Hope and I have run into two guys who are exactly like she is. Tie, blond, tan and gorgeous is all light as well. I can’t pick up anything with him, and it’s obvious he’s smitten with Hope. Victor is the hottest Asian dude I’ve ever laid my eyes on, and he falls under the light category as well. I must admit that every once in a while, I have fantasies that Victor and I will go live on our own secluded island where I’ll never have to see another person’s death ever again. Of course, he’s completely into Hope as well. I’m not jealous because Hope is amazing, but I am sad that the only two people I could possibly have a normal relationship with are so obviously infatuated with Hope. Ah, well. Guess I’m just meant to be lonely…and a total lip whore while I’m at it.

Marie:  That is rough. Sorry.

Let’s try something else.

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

Angela:  The first time I had a vision of another person’s death was when I was seven, right after a really bad fall from Hope’s tree house. I could have sworn I died and saw my grandma on the other side, but when I woke up, I was in a hospital with only a few bumps and bruises. My mom came in to check on me, grabbed my hand, and wham…I saw her getting into a car wreck that very night. I generally see things from the person’s point of view and experience the pain as they do. It was awful. I thought I was losing it and began screaming like a crazy person. Of course, my mom stayed with me after that. Crisis averted in that respect, but after telling her what I was seeing, my mom thought I really was crazy and that’s when the therapists came into play. I learned very quickly that sharing the details of another person’s eventual death gave people cause to lock you up. Not to mention the fact that it makes them fear you and the possibility that you could be right. No one wants the frailties of their human existence broadcast to them through a detailed description of their death. Best to keep that stuff to myself. I’ve never even discussed it with Hope, and since I never have to worry about her death, it works out for us.

Marie:  Wow. 😦

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

[Angela 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?

Angela:  My dream is to find someone I can have a normal relationship with. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can see and prevent unnecessary suffering and death. It took me a while to get on board with that, but if my role in life is to save people then so be it. I just wish I didn’t have to feel so lonely while doing it.

The Healer

Marie:  Well, I don’t think it’s too much to ask really. And I have faith that you’ll find what you’re looking for. 😉

So, can you tell us…who is your role model, Angie?

Angela:  Every fabulously dressed celebrity ever. I love fashion and generally follow all of the celebrities with voracious interest. My appearance is the one thing I can control in my otherwise abnormal existence so I pay attention to the details. If you were looking for something inspiring or empowering…I got nothing. I’ll always want to be like my best buddy Hope, but I think our differences work for us.

Marie:  Okay.

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

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Angela:  Nope. If I don’t like you, you’ll be the first to know about it. I’m not one for brown nosing, and I don’t suffer fools well. Life’s too short for that crap.

Marie:  Very true.

Let’s try another question.

So, what is your deepest desire?

Angela:  I would like to see where things go with Victor. So, yeah, I really don’t want to be alone anymore.

Marie:  You have plenty of time. And I bet Mr. Right is just around the corner…

How about something else?

What is your greatest fear, Angie?

Angela:  Someone finding out what I can do and locking me up for the rest of my life, or people believing I’m crazy…and locking me up for the rest of my life.

Marie:  Aww…well, I suppose that’s a reasonable fear. But I think things will work out for you. (Pats her guest’s hand.)

Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Angie. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂

Angela:  Thank you for having me, Marie!

Marie:  My pleasure!

(Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Marie:  Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have author C.J. Anaya on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to meet you! Hello, C.J.!

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Author C.J. Anaya:  Hello, Marie!

Marie:  It’s good to see you again!  The last time I saw you was during your interview on the Writing in the Modern Age blog.

So, we just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Angela. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

C.J.:  Angie is an exact carbon copy of my best friend, Jennifer Earl. Snarky, sarcastic, tough, compassionate, and fiercely loyal. You definitely want Angie on your side in a fight.

Well, yeah!  🙂

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths? Weaknesses?

C.J.:  Angie comes across as a bit abrasive at times, but her erratic, sometimes self-destructive behavior is something she does to cope with the visions of death she constantly sees. She craves companionship, but that physical contact comes with serious strings attached. She is trustworthy and loyal, but she doesn’t believe that she is worth much of anything when it comes right down to it.

Marie:  That’s very sad. Having that kind of gift must be extremely hard. 😦

So…let’s try something else.

What are some of her favorite foods?

C.J.:  Angie is all about double cheeseburgers and chocolate shakes.

Marie:  Can’t blame her there!  😉

How about another question?

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

C.J.:  Angie doesn’t realize how selfless she is. She puts her life on the line to save other people, but always berates herself if she isn’t able to prevent a death in time. She’ll spend more time focusing on that than on all of the good she has accomplished.

Marie:  Okay.

Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?

C.J.:  Readers will love Angie. She’s that type of friend who is wild and crazy. The life of the party, a bit irreverent at times and honest to the point where a little diplomacy and tact would be useful, but she’s so ready and willing to get in a fight for you. Her sarcasm and snarky attitude covers a multitude of pain and heartache. Her tough exterior covers a softer side of Angie that makes her a very likable, complex character.

Marie:  All right.

So, now that we have a real taste of Angie, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.

What first gave you the idea for The Healer?

C.J.:  I had a really amazing dream involving a spirit trapped in a Japanese statue. Then I developed the main character, Hope and her best friend Angie, from that dream. Even though this series focuses mainly on Hope, we see a lot of Angie in it, and fans of the series have loved her so much that I have decided to write a follow up series telling Angie’s story.

Marie:  Oh, that’s great!

Let’s try a different question.

What is your writing style like, C.J.? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

C.J.:  I’m a little of both, actually. I do a lot of discovery writing, and I certainly outline, but I find that I have to be willing to break away from that outline when the story and characters carry me in a different direction.

Marie:  I hear that!  Characters can certainly have a mind of their own.

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

C.J.:  I had to learn my own writing process and realize that it was okay and necessary to write a crappy rough draft. The important thing is to get it out there so you can go back and edit everything. Flesh out the scenes, the characters and the plot and structure once you’ve knocked out that first rough draft. Don’t edit yourself in the creation process. Wait to edit later. I think that for me, the next time I write a series, I will get all the books written and then release one every month or so just so people don’t have to wait so long for the next book, and I don’t have to feel the pressure of finishing a series that people are frustrated they have to wait for.

Marie:  Sounds like a plan! Thank you for the great advice. And I have to agree. As writers, we have to allow ourselves to make mistakes during the writing process, and still enjoy the arduous journey involved in it. The editing can come later.

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 The Healer appears to be.

Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome book by C.J. Anaya, a very talented author! 🙂

The Healer

Here is the blurb for The Healer:

A girl, a prophecy and two warring gods equals destiny!

Seventeen-year-old Hope Fairmont longs for a normal teenage life, but with a gift like hers, normal equals healing illnesses and injuries instantly. Keeping a secret like that isn’t easy, but a small town is the perfect place for her to heal those who can’t heal themselves, and an even better place for her father, James Fairmont, to hide his daughter from the rest of the world.

Life takes an unexpected turn when two handsome strangers move into town and begin unearthing other secrets concerning Hope’s future and past, revealing to Hope that her gift for healing may be the fulfillment of an ancient, Japanese prophecy gone wrong.

Staying away from these mysterious newcomers would be the smart thing to do, but Victor’s gentle, easy manner, and Tie’s mixed signals and strange mood swings draw her hopelessly closer to revealing the secret she and her father have been so desperate to hide.

Hope’s life is complicated further with visions of a previous life and the arrival of an unknown enemy sent to assassinate her before she learns what she is truly capable of.

With the support of her father, the fiery loyalty of her best friend Angie, and the child-like love of Kirby, a ten-year-old patient, Hope must fight against the forces of a relentless demon god while unwinding the tangled pieces of her past, proving to herself and those she loves that destiny isn’t determined by some cosmic reading of the stars, but by the individual choices one makes.

Embark upon a journey of heart-stopping adventure in this contemporary young adult paranormal romance filled with mythological creatures, Japanese gods, divine healing powers and a romantic love triangle. A romantic story of love, loss and second chances, this clean teen paranormal romance infuses traditional mythology, fantasy and contemporary themes to create a thrilling story readers are sure to enjoy.

C.J. is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!

Sandy nodded and gave Victor a flirtatious wink. He smiled bashfully. He didn’t seem to realize how attractive he was. It made me like him more. Sandy moved her attention back to me.

“So, what have you got for us this visit?”

“Huh?” was my dumb response.

“Your song for tonight. Are you entertaining us with something bluesy or maybe a nice up tempo rock song?” she pressed.

Realization came crashing down around me. “Oh, no. I’m not doing anything tonight. I’ve been a little busy, and I don’t really have anything ready.” I kept my eyes locked on Sandy’s and silently begged her to read the panic in them.

“That’s not true, Hope,” I heard Angie say.

My head flipped around, and I watched her hold up a folded piece of paper.

“What’s that?” asked Victor.

“The song Hope wrote today. At least I think you wrote it today.”

“Where in the world did you get that?” It was the song I’d written in my car before I’d left to see Kirby. The one helping me release all of Tie’s emotions from my system.

“I found it in your pants pocket at the hospital. The lyrics are pretty good. I can’t wait to hear you sing it.”

Her comment was given innocently enough, but her eyes gleamed wickedly, and full comprehension of her intentions for tonight became crystal clear. She’d set me up. She’d found the song and orchestrated this little date to Expresso to get me to showcase my singing capabilities in front of our dates. I was going to kill her.

“I didn’t know you wrote music, Hope,” Tie commented. “You seem to be endowed with several amazing talents.”

My discomfort was growing, as was his infuriating smile.

“Are you going to sing for us tonight?” asked Victor who seemed genuinely interested.

“Not a chance.” My reply was sharper than I’d intended. “That song isn’t finished yet, and I haven’t run the music by the band. They’d need a couple of practice runs before getting it right.”

“Oh, come on, Hope. You’ve done a lot of impromptu performances without practicing beforehand, and the band is always able to follow you,” Sandy argued.

“No worries. I made copies of Hope’s song at the hospital and already passed them out to the band. They should be good to go,” Angie said giving me a triumphant grin.

Sandy’s eyes lit with happiness. “I’ll go tell Jackson you’ll be singing next,” she said, jumping up quickly and heading toward the lead guitarist.

I wanted to leap up and run out the door. This date had been a mistake. Beads of sweat began forming along my hairline. I could hear Tie chuckling softly. I gave him an icy glare and then turned the full force of it onto Angie. “You are by far the worst best friend I’ve ever had,” I said.

“You’ll thank me later.” She reached across the table and gave me my lyrics. I ripped them from her hand and did my very best to hold back the biting remarks floating in my head.

There was some tapping on the microphone and a bit of feedback as Jackson cleared his throat. “Excuse me, everyone. Our next performance will be by one of our most popular musicians tonight. Please give it up for Hope Fairmont.”

Ooh…love it! I definitely want to know what happens next!

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00KPI7HX0

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-healer-c-j-anaya/1117444169

CreateSpace:  https://www.createspace.com/4900935

About C.J. Anaya

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C.J. Anaya began writing short stories for family and friends when she was thirteen years old. This soon morphed into an extensive project every year during Christmas as a way to create a fun and inexpensive Christmas gift.

Her passion for reading and writing led her to following her own dreams of becoming a published author. She was born in Utah and raised everywhere else. She even lived a few years in Brazil, enjoying the people, the culture and learning the beautiful language of Portuguese.

As a mother of four children she can be found at any given time changing diapers, playing dress-ups with her daughters, getting her fanny kicked in Mario Kart by her snarky little son, and escaping into a corner of the house with her kindle for a nice, quiet (LOL, in her dreams) read. She is also married to the most deliciously, handsome looking Latino. As always, she has plenty to write about.

C.J.’s Books:

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The Healer

And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing C.J. Anaya, here are some of her author links:

Website:  http://www.authorcjanaya.com/

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

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

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/cjanaya21

Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/C.J.-Anaya/e/B00IC5M3RI/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7803964.C_J_Anaya

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/116158733482155810639/posts

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/authorcjanaya/author-c-j-anaya/

Publisher:  http://www.beaucoupllcpublishing.com/cj-anaya/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Angela Beaumont, a female character from The Healer, and C.J. Anaya, 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, Event, Fiction, Interview, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Writing, Writing Tips, Young Adult

Free Romance Books!

Readers, I wanted to direct you to a huge giveaway of books by different authors, which is hosted on my alternate blog, Writing in the Modern Age. It runs until Saturday evening and the giveaway is Halloween-themed, so if you like either paranormal romance, romantic suspense or time travel romance with a bit of mystery thrown in, you’re in for a treat! And the list goes on in case you read other types of genres!

Also, you know I love romance so I can’t resist telling you about it. Scary and lighthearted books await you on the blog…

Halloween blog promo2

You can find the giveaway here:  http://marielavender.blogspot.com/2015/10/halloween-extravaganza-multi-author-book-giveaway-WritModAge.html

Or at the shortened URL here:  http://bit.ly/1ZHmrss

Don’t forget to leave a comment on the Writing in the Modern Age Halloween giveaway post (tell what you like to read and how to contact you), and you’ll be entered into this mega giveaway with over 135 opportunities to win! Yay!  🙂

Remember: there’s a limited time on the giveaway as it ends on Saturday night.

Happy hunting! Or romance reading, as it were…;)

Leave a comment

Filed under Authors, Book Giveaways, Books, Children's Books, Erotica, Event, Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Readers, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Thriller/Suspense, Time Travel, Writers

A Character Interview with Keri Sunderland from LOST & SCARED plus a conversation with author K.C. Sprayberry!

Today, we’re doing something a little different. It’s also our 200th post so it’s even more exciting! Yay!

If you remember, we interviewed Celia Kennedy’s character on February 24th and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it.  I had the pleasure of meeting K.C. Sprayberry, the author of Lost & Scared, on my author journey and I asked her if she’d let me borrow one of her main characters, Keri Sunderland, from the book.  We’ll get a chance to talk to K.C. in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Keri Sunderland!

Keri

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

Keri Sunderland:  Hello.  Thank you.  It’s a pleasure to be here.

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

Character Keri:  Sure.

Marie:  What is your occupation?  Are you any good at it?  Do you like it?

Keri: I’m a junior at Landry High School in Landry, Georgia, and like my twin, Shane (I call him big bro, cause he’s like ten minutes older than me), I get stellar grades. School is the best place in the world, and if I don’t get good grades El Creepo (AKA my dad) will give me grief.

Marie:  Okay. So, what is your family like?

Keri: Wow. Tough one. My family is complicated, and I mean really complicated. There’s Shane and me, Kenny, Stacy, Jimmy, and baby Krissy, but there are two other kids. Something bad happened a long time ago, but I don’t like talking about it, or even thinking about it. Not even Mom talks about it. She’s cool now but for years she put up with El Creepo smacking her around. Shane and I finally did a “come to Jesus” meeting with Mom, and now the jerk is out of the house. We’re learning to get along without him, which means a lot more laughter and fun.

Marie:  What did your childhood home look like?

Keri: Our house is this sweet Craftsman style with two floors. The bottom one is normal—a couple of bedrooms (one’s a computer place for Big Bro and I), bathroom, living room, a great eat in kitchen where I love, love, love to experiment with recipes, and a playroom for the little ones. The upstairs is two huge bedrooms, one for the girls and one for the boys, and a bathroom the six of us have to share. The boys always leave that bathroom so nasty, and I have to clean it. But that’s part of being in a big family. What I love most about our house is the rest of the lot. It’s absolutely huge! Like we can invite the all the cheerleaders over for a barbecue, and the whole football team, and there’s still room for the marching band and a bunch of our friends. Oh, and the little ones can still play without getting bumped around. And there are huge, old trees back there, some tables and chairs. It’s the most totally cool place to hang out in the summer!

Marie:  That’s great!  🙂

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

Keri:  I love cooking. Did I already mention that? Well, I do, and I love experimenting, to find great new dishes. There’s cheerleading, and I’m hoping with all my heart to be the head cheerleader next fall, when my senior year starts. Big Bro and I also do this thing at Christmas every year, to pay back all the people who have helped us in the past. We get local merchants to donate gifts, a local tree farm gives Christmas trees, and then most of the high school and some adults give this stuff to needy families on Christmas Eve.

Marie:  How nice!

So, what is your greatest dream, Keri?

Keri:  So much bad has happened in our house, but I wouldn’t leave that willingly for the world, because good has also happened there. My greatest dream is to have our dad out of our lives. He used to be a good person, but he’s not now and he hasn’t been in a long time. He hurts Mom all the time, physically and emotionally by bringing his girlfriends around while she’s at work. He’s always screaming at us or making the little ones cry. Then he disappears, usually taking all of our money, but then it’s good. We’re happy for a while, until he comes back.

So, yeah, getting El Creepo out of our lives is my greatest dream right now. Oh, please don’t tell Mom that I’m calling him El Creepo. She doesn’t think that’s right, but the name fits.

Marie:  So sorry to hear about your dad. That must be hard.

Let’s try a different question.

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

Keri: I want to be a normal teenager, with a normal home, and no worries other than what I’ll wear to school, or if the guy I’m crushing on thinks I’m cute, or if my bestie wants to go shopping with me. But I can’t be that now. I have to help my mom after I get out of school and before she comes home from work. Shane tries to help too, but he has a job, to save for college.

Marie:  I see.

Okay, so I’m going to throw another random question at you now.  Who was your first love?

Keri: Axe Markson. His first name is really Gerald, but only his grandma calls him that. He’s Axe to everyone else. Sigh! He’s so cute, and sweet, and I think he more than likes me but… this is so awkward… his dad is a cop, one of the cops who always show up when El Creepo acts like a total jerk. I mean, how can a girl get a guy to like her when he knows all her horrible secrets, and his dad is always at her house? But I hope one day that Axe will get past all that and actually ask me on a date!

Marie:  Oh, I hope so too!  I love romance…;)

lost and scared cover art

So, Keri, what’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Keri: The night Cindy and Sam died. Shane and I know the truth, but we can’t ever tell. We just can’t. El Creepo promised to do the same thing to us if we did, and that would totally destroy Mom. But that secret is getting so hard to hold onto anymore. I think Big Bro and I might tell soon, before we absolutely bust from this horrific secret.

Marie:  How terrible! 😦

Well, let’s move on to something a bit lighter, shall we?

[Keri 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?

Keri: My dream is to have a house where I don’t have to worry about my dad screaming at everyone, or hitting them for messing up. All I want is a place where I don’t have to worry, where I can think about the rest of my life without being afraid of doing something wrong and having to pay his price. ‘Cause his price is always too high.

Marie:  That makes sense. Everyone wants to feel safe in their own home.

So, who is your role model?

Keri:  My bestie, Carly Jameson. She’s totally cute, adores Shane, and I can’t think of anyone better for him. She is always there when things are bad or good. Carly is the best thing in my life, unless Axe decides to ask me out, and then she’s second best, but only ‘cause she’s probably going to be hanging out with Shane.

Marie:  (Laughs.)

Well…you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question. 

Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?

Keri: Not really. People know that what they see is what they get with me. Except for the big secret, I’m probably the most open person in the world. If something bugs me, I blurt it out. Well, except for my other girlfriends, who dumped me fast once they figured out my dad was a total jerk. That hurt, but I couldn’t tell anyone how I felt. That would mean opening up about other things, and I don’t think I’m ready to do that yet.

Marie:  So, what is your deepest desire?

Keri: To go on a date with Axe, to have a happy family, and to go to college. The college thing might a bit hard, since I can’t get a job, but Shane told me that he’d give me part of his money from the savings.

For the future, I’m not sure. I plan on getting a business degree and finding a job after college, but I’m kind of scared of getting married. Seeing what my dad did to my mom for so many years makes me afraid of commitment, but then there’s Axe. He’s always made me feel safe, but what if he turns out to be like El Creepo? I couldn’t handle that.

Marie: Yeah, I can understand that. I had a bad experience with my ex, and it was hard to trust again after that. Luckily, I found a very patient man and we are so happy now.

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

Keri: Losing someone else from my family. I still have nightmares about the night Cindy and Sam died, and my cowardice afterward. Yeah, I was seven when it happened, but still… it’s not like I’ve ever really held back from telling people what’s on my mind about anything else. I don’t get why I’m so scared of telling now, well, I kind of know why. Thinking about what he could do to me if I ever did tell shuts my mouth on the subject forever.

Marie:  So sorry to hear about the situation you’re in, Keri. That’s tough. (Pats her hand.)

Well, I hate to say it, but we’ve run out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Keri.  (Waves goodbye to her guest.)

Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective.  We have K.C. Sprayberry on the stage today. Hi, K.C.!

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Author K.C. Sprayberry:  Hi.  Thank you for having me here.

Marie:  My pleasure! 

We just got to talk to the heroine of your story, Keri. Quite an interesting character.  Can you tell us a little about her?

K.C.: Keri is a teenager, just completing her junior year of high school. In a lot of ways, she’s an overachiever, always ready to volunteer to help out, giving more than her fair share to her community, and studying hard to get the best grades. All of this hinges on an event when she was seven that has marked her, driven Keri to fight back, but she also is still very much the frightened child, terrified that her boogeyman will hurt her too.

Marie:  I see.

So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?

K.C.:  She’s loyal to those she knows won’t abandon her, a talented cook, and is willing to help out anyone in need. She also won’t quit, refuses to give up on someone she loves. These last two traits will serve her well when she’s faced with a situation she knew could happen, but never believed it would until it did.

Marie:  Okay.  Now let’s take the opposition on that. 

What, do you feel, are her greatest weaknesses?

K.C.:  She can’t bring herself to tell the truth about the night Cindy and Sam, twins two years younger than Keri and Shane, died. A great believer in going to church and her religion, she loses her faith during a very tough time, and almost loses the heart to keep fighting back.

Marie:  So, what are some of her favorite foods?

K.C.:  Keri loves Sonic’s Chicago Dogs and Pineapple Upside Down Master Blast, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese, extra pickles, no onions, and hot chocolate with tons of whipped cream.

Marie:  (Laughs.) All healthy choices, of course.

So, what’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

K.C.: Keri has never been called on to stand up to her abusive Dad directly or to go against him when she knows that he will lash out with his fists. She’s avoided that since he started using drugs and drinking. But she’s faced with a situation where she knows that she has to do the impossible, take on things she’s never done before, or possibly lose another sibling. No spoilers, but I can say that when faced with a life or death situation, she discovers an inner core of steel that allows her to do what is right instead of cowering in a corner.

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

K.C.:  Readers will like her plucky attitude, her resilience despite the tragic situation she finds herself in, and how she doesn’t ever really give up. They might dislike how she loses faith in her abilities or leans on Shane’s perceived strength, discounting her own inner strength. She points out that he’s better with the physical stuff without even thinking about what she’s capable of doing.

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

What first gave you the idea for Lost & Scared?

K.C.:  I had two names, Keri and Shane; they actually came to me at the same time, and they had to be twins. Then I saw a story about a child who had been taken by their non-custodial parent and I began to research the subject. Some of the information I discovered chilled me to the bone. Finally, I discovered this website for survivors of non-custodial parental kidnapping and couldn’t stop reading the stories on it.

That’s when a pivotal scene exploded into my head, of seven-year-old Shane and Keri hearing what’s happening to their younger twins, Cindy and Sam. The story evolved from there during the 2014 NaNoWriMo competition. I “finished” the book, about 51,000 words, during November and spent the next six weeks immersed in this book, as more and more information about them came out.

Marie:  That’s great! It’s interesting how research can spark more ideas.

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

K.C.:  More of a panster. Stories come to me. Sometimes as a whole, other times in bits and pieces. I have stacks of paper lying around my office with ideas on them and files in my computer with half-finished stories just waiting on me to get to them.

Marie:  (Laughs.) That sounds a lot like me!

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

K.C.:  The biggest challenge in writing Lost & Scared was in keeping it real. That can be difficult to do while also paying attention to the plot lines and crafting believable characters. Also, some of the scenes were so intense that I couldn’t stop working on them until I had finished, so that they didn’t kick me out of a sound night’s sleep.

What would I do next time? Honestly, I don’t think I’d do anything differently. All of my books are like this. They reach a point where I have to continue working, ignoring the dust bunnies, my husband and son screaming for food, even the dog whimpering at me to play with her. I’ll become immersed in the story, to the point where nothing else matters, and that’s when the layers start to come together, to make the characters three dimensional, the action intense and real, and the outcome believable.

Marie:  I hear you. I am just as determined when I am focused on a project.

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 Lost & Scared appears to be.  Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this awesome new book by K.C. Sprayberry, a very talented author!

lost and scared cover art

Here is the blurb for Lost & Scared.

When their younger twin siblings were murdered by their cold-blooded father, Shane and Keri’s own twin connection deepened. Their father shamed Shane and Keri into silence, and then went on to bring four more children into a house shuddering under the weight of his unpredictable temper.

Ten years later, what should have been a regular visitation turns into a horrific nightmare. Trapped in the Superstition Mountains with an addicted and dangerous father, Keri’s faith and determination wavers, but she knows she must save her brothers and sisters and return all of them to the home they love.

She now faces one insurmountable obstacle. He can’t afford to let her go.

Purchase Links:

Universal Amazon link:  http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00TXJ48FC

Publisher:  http://solsticepublishing.com/lost-scared/

About K.C. Sprayberry

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Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in Northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies, others in magazines. Three of her books (Softly Say Goodbye, Who Am I?, and Mama’s Advice) are Amazon best sellers. Her other books are: Take Chances, Where U @, The Wrong One, Pony Dreams, Evil Eyes, Inits, Canoples Investigations Tackles Space Pirates, The Call Chronicles 1: The Griswold Gang, The Curse of Grungy Gulley, Paradox Lost: Their Path, Starlight, and the soon to be released Lost & Scared. Additionally, she has shorts available on Amazon: Grace, Secret From the Flames, Family Curse … Times Two, Right Wrong Nothing In Between, and The Ghost Catcher.

K.C.’s Books:

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And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing K.C. Sprayberry, here are some of her author links:

Website:  www.kcsprayberry.com

Blog:  http://outofcontrolcharacters.blogspot.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/KC-Sprayberry/331150236901202

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/kcsowriter

Amazon Author Central:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005DI1YOU

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/kcsprayberry/boards/

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

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5011219.K_C_Sprayberry

Authorgraph:  http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/kcsowriter

Manic Readers:  http://www.manicreaders.com/KCSprayberry/

Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Keri Sunderland, the female main character of Lost & Scared, and K.C. Sprayberry, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by!  It was so fun to have you here! Readers, don’t forget to check out this awesome new release!  🙂

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Filed under Authors, Books, Character Interview, Contemporary, Fiction, Interview, Mystery, Readers, Romance, Thriller/Suspense, Writing, Young Adult

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!

Amelia

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:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/when-stars-die-amber-skye-forbes/1117050604?ean=9780989312875

http://www.amazon.com/When-Stars-Amber-Skye-Forbes/dp/0989312879

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/380995

http://store.kobobooks.com/en-au/books/when-stars-die/

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00H7PCAV8

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:

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Coming Soon:

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