Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Radio Interview on Urban Nation Radio!

I got the files back for my radio interview from September 4th if anyone wants to listen in.  Here is the interview:





A Character Interview with Chloe from UPON YOUR HONOR!

Upon Your Honor

“Upon Your Honor” by Marie Lavender (Heiresses in Love Series)
Published on… April 2014
Published as… Historical Romance

A Chat with Chloe

Bella: What is the name of the book where we’ll find you? Can you tell us a little about it?

Chloe: The book is titled Upon Your Honor. It is a tale about a young woman’s journey away from the nightmare at home and the danger that pursues her. In the story, a gentleman, Gabriel Hill, offers to protect her, but she keeps a lot of secrets from him in order to protect herself.

Bella: Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you fit into the story? What should we know about you?

Chloe: I am 19 years old. I lost my father to pneumonia a few months ago, and since then, I have been in a pretty precarious situation. Upon Your Honor is my story. What should you know? I strongly suspect that who I ran from is coming after me, but I will not return. I simply cannot live that way.

Bella: What do you think of the author? Be honest. We won’t tell.

Chloe: Well, Marie is interesting, I’ll give her that. She often thinks in modern ways, and I have to remind her that we are Victorians after all.

Bella: How do you feel about the story you’re in?

Chloe: Parts of it are a bit startling, but there are some relaxing moments.

Bella: Do you like being a character in the book?

Chloe: It is like being exposed on the front pages of the society column in the newspaper at times. It can be a bit too revealing for my own comfort.

Bella: How do you see your future? Without giving anything away about the story, naturally.

Chloe: I just want to be safe. I want to reach New Orleans, where I can find some kind of peace.

Bella: What do you know about your author’s plans? Can we expect to see you in any future stories?

Chloe: From what she tells me, she is moving on to focus on Gabriel’s sister next, but she assures me that each and every one of us will play a role in the final book.

Bella: Let’s say they make a movie about this book. Who do you want to play you, and why?

Chloe: I believe that Julianne Hough would be a good fit. She is just the right height, and, since she has played the role of a woman on the run before, it seems like this would be a familiar role for her, despite the historic costumes. Besides, I hear she is a lovely dancer.

About the Book

Deception is a dangerous path… New York City, August, 1891 – Orphaned after the death of her father, Chloe Waverly stows away on La Voyageur to escape the clutches of her cruel fiancé, Lamonte Beckett. Gabriel Hill, a strange and compelling gentleman, comes upon Chloe and promises to protect her without knowing the true circumstances of why she is running away. During their journey, Gabriel doesn’t bargain on being distracted by her fair beauty or succumbing to her many charms. As their attraction to each other grows, so does the danger and Gabriel suspects things are not as they should be. Both are determined to get to New Orleans, where she can start a new life. But, once they reach their destination, events spin out of their control and Chloe is captured by the fiancé she escaped. Gabriel is left wondering if he can overlook her betrayal. Soon he finds himself in a race against time, to reach her before Beckett can exact revenge.


About the Author

Marie Lavender Author Photo
Bestselling author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 18 other books. 2014 BTS Red Carpet Review Nominee. Finalist and Runner-up in the MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors. Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Marie has published nineteen books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Lavender just released Magick & Moonlight, a paranormal romance, in March. Upon Your Honor, released in late April, is her second historical romance.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another Awesome Review for UPON YOUR RETURN!


12,
Sep
2014

Book Review: Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

Title: Upon Your Return
Author: Marie Lavender
Publication Date: February 13, 2013
Publisher: Summer Solstice
Genre: Historical Romance

Blurb:

Fara Bellamont has been back in society for a year after leaving Cluny Abbey, where her uncle sent her long ago. When he chooses a suitor for her for marriage, she fears that she will be forced to marry a stranger and live a miserable life.

But, Fara finds herself thrust into an adventure of a lifetime when unforeseen circumstances cause her to place her trust in a strange man for protection. His intervention not only saves her, but puts her in an even more compromising position.

Grant Hill, a trading captain, is enchanted by the young heiress not only because of her beauty, but because she is hardly conventional. Underneath her ladylike exterior lies a tigress. Grant cannot help but offer his protection as she is in need and he is far from immune from her charms.

Fara just never bargained on the passion that she feels for Grant Hill. As events unfold, she must decide whether her desires and the dictates of her heart should trump the rules of society in this exciting tale.

Kayla's Thoughts:

I wanted to read this book after practically devouring the second book in the Heiresses in Love seres, Upon Your Honor. I had to know more about the relationship between Gabriel's parents. I mean, it was a given considering what we are told in the second book. It was enough to tide me over, but there was a nagging sensation in the back of my head. If someone gives me a tidbit, I long for the whole story. And here it is!

So, little bit of info about me...I am a redhead. Because of this, I always feel a sort of kindred closeness to characters, more specifically women characters, who have red hair in the books that I read. I also especially love it when the characters are both red haired and named Kayla, but that is for a different time. Anyway, as soon as it is told in the second book that Gabriel's mother has red hair, I was practically scrounging Amazon for this first book. I just felt a connection to her. I also thought it would be a bit fun to see her as a young woman. She just seemed like a bit of a firecracker to me. I mean, to be married to a captain of a ship she kind of has to be. I was completely right.

While in the book she does follow the rules of society, being raised since the age of nine by an uncle who thrives on the acceptance of society's patrons kind of forces that way of life into you, she does want to be able to choose her own path. At her uncle's sudden death quite a few chapters in, you find her questioning the mourning period that is considered acceptable. She just wants to be able to rip free from the confines of the life she has lived and be able to find herself. She wants to figure out who she is, not who society wants her to be. But there is always that nagging voice in the back of her mind reminding her that the people around her are always watching for that slight misstep in propriety. And when they find those missteps, they never let you forget you made them. 

I think meeting Grant Hill kind of scared a little bit as much as it almost thrilled her to meet a man of his passions. Yes, he saved her, and yes, he did treat her as a gentlemen should, but I think from the first moment he kissed her and the first moment she showed just a slight rebellion from the ways of high society, involving an awkward session for her where she woke up and found she had practically crawled atop him in her sleep, she was afraid of what society would think of her. Sub-consciously, I believe this supposed guilt followed her throughout the rest of the book. Yes, they did bed together, and both of them obviously enjoyed it, several times in fact, but I think the talk of the town made her question his true intentions. And even hers as well. All her life, or at least since being "taken in" by her uncle, and even at the convent where she was schooled most of her childhood, she had been taught that love was a frivolous endeavour. A dream. A fantasy. And once that fantasy became all too real for her and him both, it is like they both tried to deny it.

Fara and Grant have a sort of cat and mouse thing going on in this. Or, this might be a better picture, a "He/She Loves Me Not, He/She Loves Me" situation going on. They are both enamored by each other, and the fact that they do end up in bed at some point does confirm this, and it seems that both do kind of admit their love for the other person to themselves, but it seems that society's rules are so engrained in the mind's of both that neither seems willing to accept the possibility that their love might not just be one-sided. I think they are both so scared of being ultimately rejected in the end that they do not want to press the subject, but yet, when one of them doesn't press the subject, the other feels both confused and aggravated at the fact that the subject was never pressed.

It is a whirlwind of emotions, and one I would indeed have been annoyed with had I not completely adored this book. I think the way the author wrote this story just makes the whole love dilemma between the characters bearable to the point where if it weren't there, the story would be empty. It practically IS the story. And I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.

Verdict:

This book honestly did not disappoint at all. While the ending was expected because I had read the second book, I did not feel like I knew what was going to happen. Even in those cliffhanger moments where it was not guaranteed the characters would stay together, and the fact I even knew the outcome, I just literally couldn't breathe. In my head all I could think was that they had to. They had to be together, otherwise I didn't know what I would do. I have come to fall in love with Marie Lavender's characters throughout this entire series, and her writing seems to bring a smile to my face every time I reach that last page.

Links for Book:

Author's Bio:

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands.

At the tender age of nine, she began writing stories. Her imagination fueled a lot of her early child's play. Even growing up, she entered writing contests and even received a certificate for achieving the second round in one. She majored in Creative Writing in college because that was all she ever wanted --to be a writer. While there, she published two works in a university publication and was a copy editor on the staff of an online student journal. After graduating from college, she sought out her dream to publish a book.

Since then, Marie has published seventeen other books. Marie Lavender's real love is writing romances, but she has also written mysteries, literary fiction, and dabbled a little in paranormal stories. Most of her works have romantic elements involved in them. She is currently working on the Heiresses in Love series.

Links for Author:

Saturday, September 6, 2014

MARSocial Special Author Interview

I just wanted to tell you all about this great interview I had this past month on the International Book Promotion blog.  Eleven authors from different genres were interviewed using eleven questions.  This multi-author interview started off with author bios and spanned several weeks.  Here is the post which includes all of the entries.  Below I have included my answers as well as links so that you can check out the answers from the other authors.  There are some really great authors in there!  :)

MARSocial Special Interview: Question & Answers #1:  How do you promote your work?

I do whatever I can.  I make as many connections as possible on the various social networks.  I post about my books, but I also post about regular things too.  I do author interviews, character interviews and guest posts whenever I can on other blogs or sites.  I also post on my three blogs frequently.  I have author profiles in various places.  I also take out book cover ads on different sites.

MARSocial Special Interview: Question & Answers #2:  What made you choose the genre you write?

I love romance, the concept of “love”.  I always loved reading romance novels and watching romantic comedies.  It appeals to something deep inside of me.  I can’t imagine not writing about love.  It is essential.  To me love is more than an idea.  It is real, the fabric of the universe, what connects us as human beings.  I believe in the kind of love that can last lifetimes, cross time and place.  Why do I believe so wholly in such a thing?  I have my own true love story playing out in my life every day.  Have I always had that?  No, but I always believed I was meant to find that special someone, just as I believe there is someone for everyone.  It is this essential belief that inspires my characters and their stories, that I pour into my books.  When I am writing about romance, even if there are obstacles blocking the characters, I think there is no better high than telling someone’s story.

MARSocial Special Interview: Question & Answers #3:  What’s your favorite color and favorite dessert?

My favorite color is hot pink.  My favorite dessert?  Chocolate.  Anything chocolate, and the darker the better.  

MARSocial Special Interview: Question & Answers #4:  When did you decide to become a writer?

I often chuckle at this question because I can recall at an early age telling people, “I’m going to be a writer!”  Actually, I used the terms writer/author/novelist interchangeably, and this is the truth.  The moment you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard with the intent of “writing”, you’re a writer.  The moment those words spill out of you, sometimes even chaotically, you’re automatically a writer.  I have always been a writer, and I probably started this wild journey when I was nine years old.  Another thing I want to point out is that I didn’t just up and decide to be a writer.  It chose me.  I could no more stop “writing” than I could stop the passage of time.

MARSocial Special Interview: Question & Answers #5:  There was recently a message on ‘Books and Writers’ saying ‘please stop giving your books away’. What do you feel about this?

I am a total Libra on this topic.  I understand the message.  They are trying to discourage it because, as new or indie authors, we don’t reap any profits from it.  Although I do agree on some level, I also realize that word of mouth is everything in this business.  What better way to spread the word about your book than for a reader to tell his/her friends about it?  So, let me revise the original statement a bit.  “Don’t blatantly give your books away.”  Meaning, sure, offer a brief free period on Amazon.  And definitely promote it.  Run giveaways now and then with multi-author events if you find them.  Do a contest on your blog.  Don’t offer free books all the time because you’re devaluing your work.  But, do offer readers who haven’t even heard of you the chance to sample your work.

MARSocial Special Interview: Question & Answers #6:  If you could be transported into one of your stories as a character, would you or would you stay as far away from it as possible?

You just made me laugh.  Would I be a dual character, meaning would I be aware of myself and my character?  Or, would I be totally unaware of myself as the author?  In that case, you can’t really avoid interacting with the story.  You are the character so you will act like them.  On the other hand, as the architect of the original work, I think I would have the insane urge to “observe”.  That’s what writers do best.  However, I would have to seriously reign myself in, knowing I was a certain character.  And while we’re on the topic, I guess it would really depend on what character I was.  A minor character?  More doable, I think.  It would be hard to be the main character because you would still be thinking about your own life as reality.  I have never been a great actress, and it would definitely be challenging.

MARSocial Special Interview: Question & Answers #7:  What do you consider most important in  a novel – literary value or story?

I think the story is more important, and this is why.  Let’s say you read a book and you think, “Yeah, that was good.”  A couple of hours later, you are imagining the scenes play out in your head and you just realized a message could be drawn from it.  Did the author intend to convey that?  Who knows?  That’s the great fun about reading a book.  You have no idea what the author “meant” to do.  All you know is that there is something of value in any story, whether it’s a way to escape your worries for awhile or that you glean a message from it.  I think that’s the best part, not knowing what you’re going to encounter.  And maybe the author didn’t even intend to place a message or certain theme in the book, but inadvertently did.  Every one of us comes from a different background, went through different experiences.  What one person gleans from a text may be entirely separate from what the next person gets from it.  That’s the beauty of it.

MARSocial Special Interview: Question & Answers #8:  What are your reasons for writing?

I write because I can’t imagine doing anything else for the rest of my life.  There is no greater freedom for me than when I am deep in the construction of a scene, when so much is going on that I forget the world for awhile.  When I come out of it, there is almost a strange euphoria to it.  I blink and say, “Wow.  Did that actually happen?”  So much can occur.  I feel a lot while I’m writing.  With some scenes, I feel a character’s anger or what they would naturally feel if they were insulted or hurt.  Sometimes, with a particularly emotional scene, I know I’ve gotten to the heart of things when I’m writing with tears streaming down my face.  Neurotic?  Maybe.  But, that is the way of a writer.  We feel with our characters.  They become a part of us in a way, and when the book is finished, it is hard to step away from that connection.  So, why do I write?  Because doing anything else just feels wrong.

MARSocial Special Interview: Question & Answers #9:  Who could/would help a writer to sell books?

Tough question.  I think writers automatically assume that being an author is easy.  When they first approach the idea of publishing, they think, “I will write books and someone else, the publisher most likely, will sell them.  Easy!”  No, it’s really not.  And it doesn’t work that way anymore.  The industry has changed.  The term of “author” is changing.  Now an author has to be part writer, part marketing genius.  Publishers now are looking for writers who can not only write, but market themselves, basically “sell” their own books.  New authors tend to get jaded by this fact.  And, I agree, it is exhausting.  So, if you’re lucky, you get with a large publisher that has a whole marketing team to help you.  But, in most cases, you don’t have that.  And, even if your publisher has some marketing tools in place, they won’t cover everything.  You have to learn to be more than just a writer.  You have to be an author.  You have to sell your product.  You.  And your books, of course.  

Who else helps a writer sell books?  Fellow authors usually help by endorsing books or talking about them in social media.  Word of mouth is the best tool, though, and the best source is from readers.  So, how do we go about getting that?  That goes back on the reader in some ways.  All I can suggest is this.  If you are an avid reader of a certain genre, do your favorite authors (even if they are indie authors) a favor by doing these two things:  1) Leave a review.  You have no idea how much that helps an author, especially a fledgling one, sell books.  Be honest about what you liked or didn’t like, but be fair.  What one person doesn’t like may actually be someone else’s cup of tea.  2)  Tell your friends and family about this author and the books you loved, and why.  Chances are someone will get curious and look them up.  Word of mouth is everything in this business.

MARSocial Special Interview: Question & Answers #10:  When you hit a wall, how do you break through?

Ah, the age old writer’s block.  I haven’t had official writer’s block in years, but I will tell you now that I often feel like I’m “almost” having it and that, my friends, is just as terrifying.  Sometimes it will have been weeks since I wrote anything just because my life has gotten too hectic.  

Eventually, I have to step away from these distractions and get back to the reason I went on this journey in the first place.  Writing.  Sometimes just journaling or freewriting gets some of that clutter out of your head.  I have a few writing reference books if I ever need help with freewriting or doing a random scene.  I would recommend Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones.  I have returned to it time and time again.  It is a great book to help cut through some of those blocks.  It may not result in a scene, but sometimes writing just to write, even if it’s crap, is just as therapeutic.  Hell, maybe you’ll surprise yourself with another medium – essays or poetry.  Another good book is Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird.

There are, of course, other resources.  Sometimes I even do a search on “writing prompts” online and print out a few pages.  I pick an exercise and go with it.  But, mainly, my “walls” have more to do with a current work in progress.  Occasionally, I will hit a place in my manuscript in which I don’t know what road to take.  Sometimes the best thing to do is to walk away.  That might sound bad, but even a little distance from a project for a few days can make you look at it from a different perspective.  Maybe when you come back, something will jump out at you and you’ll wonder why you never saw it before.  

Feel like tearing yourself away is the worst thing you could possibly do?  Fine.  Do some research for the book.  Find some much needed information that you can throw in at any time.  Sometimes I find that filling in these blanks is just the boost I need to finish a scene.  In lieu of all that, I often will move on to a different project temporarily.  I will look through my numerous files and do some editing or write a little on those works in progress.  Any little bit helps, right?  Sometimes stepping away from the current work in question is just what it takes to get back on track.  Who knows?  Maybe reading a book, seeing a movie or having a conversation with a good friend will spark an idea.

 MARSocial Special Interview: Question & Answers #11:  What is your writing process like?  Is it spontaneous or do you do a lot of planning in advance before you begin writing?

A bit of both.  It is pretty spontaneous until I get heavily involved in a project.  At that point, I start doing a detailed outline.  Then I do some research.  I also look at what I have written already and decide what needs to be done for each chapter.  Of course, the story will still surprise me with certain twists.  Then I get to the heavy writing and I will stop and research something if I am blocked.

http://www.amazon.com/Marie-Lavender/e/B00C10Q94I/


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Radio Interview!

Hi, readers!  Drop by The Cooks & Books Show on Thursday, September 4th (yes, that's tomorrow!) at 5:00PM and you'll catch me on the radio!  I am so excited to be interviewed by talented author Adra Young on Urban Nation Radio.  Here is the Google+ event with all of the details.  You can also visit the Urban Nation Radio website.  www.urbannationradio.com  Please feel free to drop by or call in with questions.  I'd love to hear from my fans!  :)


In any case, it should be a blast, and you may learn something new about Upon Your Honor.


Book Promo/Spotlight on Elodie Parkes Blog

The spotlight is posted as is below (warning:  there is an adult excerpt):

Guest author Marie Lavender visits the blog today with new release, Upon Your Honor, #historicalromance

Deception is a dangerous path…

New York City, August, 1891 – Orphaned after the death of her father, Chloe Waverly stows away on La Voyageur to escape the clutches of her cruel fiancé, Lamonte Beckett. Gabriel Hill, a strange and compelling gentleman, comes upon Chloe and promises to protect her without knowing the true circumstances of why she is running away. During their journey, Gabriel doesn’t bargain on being distracted by her fair beauty or succumbing to her many charms. As their attraction to each other grows, so does the danger and Gabriel suspects things are not as they should be.

Both are determined to get to New Orleans, where she can start a new life. But, once they reach their destination, events spin out of their control and Chloe is captured by the fiancé she escaped. Gabriel is left wondering if he can overlook her betrayal. Soon he finds himself in a race against time, to reach her before Beckett can exact revenge.

Buy Links

SmartURL (UNIVERSAL):  smarturl.it/UponYourHonor
Read an Excerpt

He frowned, lifting her chin with his finger. “You can trust me, Chloe. I won’t hurt you. I would never hurt you, nor would I fail you.”
She shook her head. “No one can make that promise.” She thought of her mother then. She had been just as disappointing. “You don’t have to.”
“I can, and I mean to keep it.”
She trembled with the effort to believe him and could not look away from his dark gaze. The sensation of his nearness was far too tempting. With one hand, he gently cupped her chin, then the back of her neck as he pulled her closer into his arms. He lowered his lips to hers, questing, seeking, and giving comfort. Her lips parted on a breath and he invaded her mouth, plunging his tongue inside, meeting hers, and enticing her further. With firm arms around her, pressing her body against his, he continued the kiss. After a moment, he eased away, giving her a chance to retreat. “I’m sorry. I didn’t want to push you.”
Those were the only words she needed to hear. She knew that being with Gabe would never be a mistake. “What are you sorry for? I liked it, and you seemed to enjoy it.”
He grinned at her. “I did.”
Words escaped her for a moment. She wet her lips with her tongue. “Then there’s no problem. If…if you want to kiss me again, I wouldn’t mind.”
He lifted a brow. “I want to, but I don’t want to take advantage. Not again.”
“It’s not taking advantage if I give my consent, is it?”
“You don’t know what you’re saying.”
She smiled. He must be concerned that she didn’t know anything about making love. Well, she’d heard things, and she knew of Lamonte’s indiscretions. She knew Gabe would be a different man. He wouldn’t make her regret it. “I know my own mind. And I know I want you.”
He groaned, framing her face with his hands. “I’ve never met anyone like you before.”
“I’m glad,” she whispered.
“You are so beautiful. So special.”
His words touched her, spreading into parts of her she didn’t know existed. A slight tremor moved through her and the press of tears began in the back of her throat. She fought the onslaught, but it somehow won out. A lone tear tracked down her cheek. “Oh, Gabriel.” She wanted to protest, to tell him that she wasn’t who he thought she was, but when his thumb chased away the wetness from her cheek, and his eyes never left hers, she lifted her mouth to his.
His kiss became a subtle demand. He drew back once, as if to be certain it was what she wanted. When she remained silent, watching him, he only smiled and kissed her again. His manner became focused, more serious as he twined his tongue with hers. Chloe moaned, wrapping her arms around his neck. He held her close and kissed her for several moments. Then he pulled away, stepping back slightly to help her out of her dress, corset and pantaloons. When she was naked, Gabriel only seemed to stare at her. A strange dread grew inside of her. She clenched her fists even as she took the pressure of his intense gaze.
Mon Dieu,” he whispered. “I saw more than I should have before, but I never imagined…” he drifted off. “You are so lovely.” He drew her close and kissed her again. The sensation of his hands moving over the bare skin of her back and hips created a warmth she didn’t want to shy away from. Gabe stopped kissing her long enough to remove his own clothing.
She got a clear look at him and it heated her further. Gabriel had a light sprinkling of reddish hair on his chest and her gaze took in the defined muscles of his upper body and legs. The notion that he was a mythic god came back to her. Her gaze fell to the member that swelled from his desire. Her breaths grew short and she knew she should be afraid of him, but she was not. She had never wanted anyone more. Her core became tingly, creating a restless need she’d never felt before.
Chloe couldn’t resist touching his chest, dragging her fingertips over the hard expanse. He groaned, then kissed her before carrying her back to the bed in the next room. He placed her on the mattress gently.
His lips made a path that caused her breath to catch. His mouth against her skin was full of a kind of reverence. His tongue swirled around the tip of her breast and her hands moved eagerly into his hair, holding him closer. She couldn’t deny that she wanted him as close as possible in that moment. The firm press of his body against hers was too right to deny. He seemed to go slowly with her as if concerned he would make her afraid of him. Chloe welcomed each caress. 


About Marie:Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Marie has published nineteen books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Lavender just released Magick & Moonlight, a paranormal romance, in March. Upon Your Honor, released in late April, is her second historical romance.
A list of her books and pen names are as follows:
Marie Lavender: Upon Your ReturnMagick & MoonlightUpon Your Honor
Erica Sutherhome: Hard to GetMemoriesA Hint of ScandalWithout YouStrange HeatTerror in the Night;HauntedPursuitPerfect GameA Touch of DawnRansomLeather and Lace
Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life
Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other RamblingsRamblings, Musings and Other ThingsSoulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

Find Marie online: