Echoes from 2017



Echoes from 2017



With the holidays wrapping up and a new year just on the horizon, it’s a good time to look back on all the things that happened this year. 




As is my habit, I’ll do a brief overview of some events that occurred in 2017, offering highlights month by month. Because of space and time constraints, I won’t be able to tell you everything, however. For more details you can check out my author newsletter archives here, subscribe to upcoming issues, and you’ll also find more information by following my website and other two blogs, Writing in the Modern Age and the I Love Romance Blog (ILRB). 


Well, shall we get started?


The Year 2017


January


On January 17th, I had an author interview/book spotlight on the ‘Meet Me Monday’ feature on the Eating Between the Lines blog. You can learn about some authors who inspired me on my journey, as well as some other interesting writing tidbits. Actually, it looks like her blog has closed down since then, so I’ve included the gist of the interview in my linked repost. Last January, I also found out about some great book reviews for my science fiction romance, Blue Vision, which actually posted in December. You can check them out here, here and here.


February


On February 9th, I had a guest post, titled “A Labor of Love”, on Natasha Murray’s blog. The article detailed my journey from writer to author, while also highlighting the development of the Heiresses in Love Series. Since then, it seems Natasha’s site has closed, so I’ve taken the liberty of posting the article here. Two days later, I was interviewed by Fiona McVie on her blog. Take a look here to learn about me as a writer, as well as how UYL came into being. On February 13th, ILRB and the MLB blog both hosted a new release feature about Cupid’s Arrow, a Valentine’s anthology released through Solstice Publishing the previous day. Quite a nice set of romantic tales, plus one of my own stories was in there! Three days later, UYL had a book feature on Bernard Foong’s blog. Check out an exclusive excerpt from the book here! On February 17th, Blue Vision got a decent official review on the Knockin’ Books blog


http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01MXKPLYX


February 20th brought a new release, The Missing Piece, my new adult romance story, as the story officially released on its own! Woo hoo! :) Check out the details in this post. Also on the 22nd, I had a guest post on Nina Soden’s blog. The article was titled “The Process: A Writer’s Perspective”, and it provides a little insight into the way the writing process works. 


On February 24th, there was a UYL feature on the Smile Somebody Loves You blog. Get a deeper look at the book here, and you’ll even find the book trailer in this spotlight. On February 26th, Upon Your Return, book one of the Heiresses in Love Series, got a great five star review on Amazon. Thank you for your kind words, R.R.! Also on the 26th, the same day the final book in the series, Upon Your Love, released, I had an interview on Carl R. Brush’s blog. Find out more about my writing quirks here. The following day, I was interviewed on Malay Upadhyay’s FlyZpeak blog. Learn some interesting facts about how historical romance/family saga new release, Upon Your Love, was developed, and watch how the host inspires me to write a quick horror tale. February 28th not only brought the official book release party for UYL on Facebook, but also many other spots on various blogs, including a guest post of mine on Fiona Tarr’s site about conquering fear as a writer. Also on the 28th, UYL received its first official review when Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews had some great words to say about the full-length novel. Yay! Thanks, Amy! ♥♥♥
 

March


On March 1st, UYL had a spotlight on Fiona Tarr’s blog. Check out the link to the book trailer in the post! Also, during the same week, Fiona hosted a giveaway of UYR, the first book in the series, on her site, plus I received a book contract renewal for book two and UYH got a new cover! So, essentially the whole series had a makeover in 2017, as the cover for UYR was changed recently. I think they turned out beautifully!


amazon.com/author/marielavender


The same day brought a feature for UYL on the Reading Renee site, and then one on Linda Lee Williams’ blog. On March 2nd, I wrote a guest post about writing a series for Tony Riches’ The Writing Desk blog. See my unique take on what the Heiresses in Love Series came to mean for me. On March 3rd, I visited Stefan Vucak’s site in an author interview. Learn some tidbits about me as a writer, plus a little about my historical romance! Three days later, readers had the chance to win a free ebook copy of UYL by heading over to the 6th Anniversary Party at The Romance Reviews. Fun! Additionally, March 6th brought an official five star review for my new adult romance new release, The Missing Piece, on Readers’ Favorite. Thanks so much, Rosie!


https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06W5RYBD8


During the week of March 6th, The Missing Piece, my new adult romance which was released in February, was voted book of the week on book reviewer Rosie Malezer’s Facebook page. Thank you so much, Rosie! :) On March 7th, I wrote a short post about the Heiresses in Love Series for Olga Núñez Miret’s blog. Check out more information about UYL too! The same day brought another guest post, this time providing tips about doing historical research for book writing, on Nancy Christie’s site. The next day, character Adrienne from Upon Your Love was interviewed on Devika Fernando’s blog. Check out this untamed woman straight from the Victorian era! Also on March 8th, I turned the tables around and wrote a guest post, focusing on villains and anti-heroes for Reading Between the Wines Book Club. Also check out an excerpt detailing a confrontation between the hero and villain in UYL! Two days later, The Missing Piece had another official review on the Ethereal Pages blog. Thanks for your kind words, Catherine! On March 13th, I wrote a guest post about how the Heiresses in Love Series developed on Michael J. Sahno’s site. 


On March 20th, I penned a love poem titled “Dream with Me” for ILRB. Also on the same day, Second Chance Heart, a contemporary romance, received a great five star review on Amazon. Thank you for your kind words, Azia! Two days later, character Alyssa, or Aly, from The Missing Piece, visited Devika Fernando’s blog in a cool interview. Find out all about this college character here. Also on the 23rd, I was interviewed on A.B. Funkhauser’s site. Get a little more info about UYL in this fun Q&A! Closer to the end of the month, I wrote an article for Dan Buri’s Nothing Any Good blog. It details questions writers can ask themselves before they dive into their first book project. 


April


On April 4th, I had an interview on The Indie View. Check it out here, and learn some background into how I wrote Victorian maritime romance, UYL! April 5th brought an author interview on Reading Nook. Check it out here, and learn a little more about me as a writer, as well as a few things about The Missing Piece, my new adult romance short story. In the evening on the 6th, I participated in a fun radio interview on Tamara Thorne and Alistair Cross’s HAUNTED NIGHTS LIVE! show. I love talking to team Thorne & Cross. :) As readers, you can listen in here and get a sneak peek at future works, Awakening and Blood Instincts. Woo hoo! 






April 15th brought a feature for Magick & Moonlight and A Little Magick on Susanne Matthews’ blog. Check out the M&M book trailer on the post! I am so honored to have made it on her M feature for the A to Z Challenge for April. ;) On the same day, an official review for The Missing Piece appeared on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews. Thanks, Amy, for your awesome words about my new adult romance! The next day brought a great character interview with Christian du Plessis from Upon Your Love. This is part two of the previous character interview with his female interest, Adrienne. Check out what this cocky hero has to say here


On April 20th, The Missing Piece got an official review on Feathered Quill Reviews. Thanks for your kind words, Ellen! Four days later, I received quite a surprise, as one of the beta readers for Directions of the Heart went ahead and wrote an early review on Goodreads. Thanks for your wonderful commentary, JoAnne! 


May 


On May 3rd, character Claudette Giroux from my historical romance/family saga, Upon Your Love, book three of the Heiresses in Love Series, visited Devika Fernando’s blog in an exclusive interview. Discover what she has to say! On May 5th, my new adult romance story, The Missing Piece, received a lovely, official four star review on Sandra’s BookClub blog. On the 10th, character Eric Caron (also in his fifties) from Upon Your Love, was interviewed on Devika Fernando’s blog. Hey, he’s quite the looker! 

 
Also on the same day, a fun interview centered on my sci-fi romance, Blue Vision, popped up on the Shh, I Am Reading blog. Check out how the book came about, and some insider secrets! On the 17th, I found an awesome five star review for UYL on Amazon. Thank you, thank you, thank you, David! Check out this post on the MLB blog, as I explain some background on the Heiresses in Love Series. On the 18th, I posted some romantic food for thought that, I believe, may help everyone no matter what stage they’re at in the quest for romance. The following day brought something interesting into my author realm. Carol Balawyder mentioned me in her post about pen names. Check it out here! Two days later, I was actually nominated by Juneta Key for the Mystery Blogger Award. So exciting! Discover my post, in which I answered her questions and continued the chain of nominations. You’ll find the award listed on my author website on the right hand side. 




On May 25th, The Magick Series was featured on Susanne Matthews’ blog. Don’t miss a sneak peek from book three of the trilogy, lighthearted romantic fantasy Magick Sunrise! The next day I had the awesome honor of finding a great review for The Missing Piece on Crystal’s Many Reviewers site. Also on the 26th, I provided an exclusive teaser to readers from my current romantic comedy work in progress, Chasing Ginger, featured on the I Love Romance Blog. Yay! The following day, character Annabelle D’Aubigne visited Devika Fernando’s blog in a cool interview about her journey. 



June


On June 4th, The Missing Piece, my new adult romance, received a five star review on Amazon. Thank you for your kind words, Linda! Two days later, The Missing Piece got an official four star book review on Crystal’s Many Reviewers blog. Thanks, Kim, for your commentary! June 7th brought a fun character interview with André from historical romance/family saga novel, Upon Your Love, featured on Devika Fernando’s blog. 

Created by Javi_indy - Freepik.com
 
I love these types of interviews, because my characters really get to shine! June 13th brought a brief Q&A with yours truly on Angela J. Shirley’s Networking for Authors blog. Check it out here! The same day brought a great five star review for Upon Your Love on Amazon. Thank you so much for your awesome words! Such a humbling experience to know I made a difference in a romance reader’s life. :)


On June 18th, I got to participate in a really fun blog hop/book tag on ILRB. Find out about some of my reading quirks here! Two days passed, and readers had a chance to win a free copy of The Missing Piece, through a great month-long summer celebration that The Romance Reviews was hosting! Yay! Here are two posts about it, one on ILRB and the other on the MLB blog. On the 27th, I discovered that the I Love Romance Blog landed on two major blogger directories on Feedspot. 


 
One was the TOP 100 Novel Blogs list (#57), and the other was the TOP 100 Romance Book Blogs list (#32). Awesome! :) The following day, I wrote an article of my own for Writing in the Modern Age, providing some insight for readers if their favorite author gets too silent on social media and such.


July


This was a very busy month. On July 4th, I had an author interview featured on the Home of a Book Lover site. In this Q&A session, you can learn some background about me, as well as my latest release, Directions of the Heart. You’ll also catch an excerpt during the feature! Two days later, the I Love Romance Blog had a nice 400th anniversary post, featuring my new book. On July 9th, Directions of the Heart (or DoH, as I affectionately term it) was featured on the Reviews by Crystal Blog. July 11th brought another spotlight for the book on Christi Williams’ Some like It Hotter blog. Check out a dramatic, yet sexy excerpt here! Three days later, Mark Giglio’s Alchemist Gift blog was kind enough to let me provide a guest article about my journey as an author and some of the obstacles I’ve encountered. At the end, I include some advice for fellow writers. See my ‘Follow the Story’ post here. On July 18th, I had a blast while doing a takeover slot during Diana Nixon’s In A Whisper release party on Facebook. I love meeting new people!


Olga Núñez Miret was kind enough to feature DoH on July 24th on her awesome blog. Check out some teasers here! The following day was the official release for the book, and I hosted a book release party for it on Facebook here. It was so much fun! On the same day, Directions of the Heart received its first review, and it was five stars! Thank you so much, Amy, for your awesome words! Also during that week, I learned that DoH was the TOP 10 Book of 2017 and I made the TOP 20 Authors of 2017 on the same blog. You can see the badge awards here and here on my author website. 





July 25th also brought another great five star review for Directions of the Heart, which I found on Amazon. Oh, thank you for your kind words! On the following day, I had a guest post on Margaret Egrot’s Writing and Breathing blog. Check out this article about my blogging journey, as well as some tips for beginning bloggers, here. Also on the 26th, readers got to see the first character interview from DoH on Devika Fernando’s blog. Check out cool Jenna here

 
During the same day, I stumbled across this awesome five star review for the same book. Thank you so much for your sweet words, Debbie!




On July 27th, I had a very cool interview on the Forward Scribes blog. Check out these fun facts about me as person, and learn all about my writing process! On the same day, Directions of the Heart got a feature on Susanne Matthews’ blog. Read some teasers in the spotlight here! Also on the 27th, I had an interview on Tina Holland’s blog. During the same week, I found out that a DoH book review made it into that month's issue (page 111) of Uncaged Book Reviews Magazine! So exciting! 

 

August


August was quite busy too. On the first of the month, character Reece showed up for an exclusive interview on Devika Fernando’s blog. Check out his and Jenna’s story here

 
The next day I discovered a four star book review for Directions of the Heart on Amazon. Thank you for your kind words, Leigh! :) August 6th brought an interesting occasion in the form of a Cover Wars contest, in which DoH (Directions of the Heart) was featured for a week, on Author Shout. The next day, the book was offered in a contest during Mark Giglio’s Facebook release party for his supernatural romantic thriller, The Patron’s Wife. Additionally, I had a brief radio interview featured during Mark’s event. You can listen to the full radio spot here, where Mary Ellen Wilson asks me some interesting questions. 


On August 7th, Cindy Tomamichel was kind enough to interview me on her blog. Check it out, and you will not only discover some of my favorite characters, but also a little more about my three blogs. On the 9th, Victoria, a character from Directions of the Heart, was interviewed on Devika Fernando’s blog. See what she has to say here! Did I mention I looovee character interviews? So much fun. ;) Also on the same day, one of my cats, Emma, was interviewed on Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog. Check out this feisty feline here!




August 11th brought an interview with yours truly on the Bookish Michelle blog. If you scroll down the page, you’ll discover all the fun questions she asks. Additionally, two of my books received five star reviews on the same day, The Missing Piece and Second Chance Heart

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B01593TDO6
 
Woo hoo! Thanks so much! 

Two days later, kitty character Ivy from Directions of the Heart was interviewed on Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog. See what she has to say! The following day brought a character interview with Rick from Directions of the Heart, when Devika Fernando invited him on her blog. (Panting over here…) He’s such a hottie! ;) 




Also on the 16th, my cat Kit (short for Katerina) was interviewed on Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog. Debbie De Louise is a genius; I love these feline interviews. Anyway, check out Kit’s sweet personality! Sadie, a character from DoH, visited Devika Fernando’s blog on August 18th. See what she has to say here! On August 20th, I had a brief interview on the Bound to Be Me blog. Check it out here


August 21st brought several events in a row. First of all, I was interviewed on Yecheilyah Ysrayl’s PBS blog. Read it here, and learn more about me as a writer, plus a few things I really love. Secondly, a new four star book review for The Missing Piece popped up on the Reading Nook blog. Thank you for your insight into this new adult romance, Sarah! :) On August 22nd, I wrote a guest post for the Just Contemporary Romance site, covering a little about post-traumatic stress disorder, and how it fits into modern romantic drama collection, Directions of the Heart. On the following day, Matt, a character from DoH, had an interview on Devika Fernando’s blog. It was blast to have all of my characters from the book featured! In any case, you can learn more about Matt here

 
On August 24th, I had an interview on BooksGoSocial. It was a lot of fun! The following day paranormal romance and book one of the Blood at First Sight Series, Second Nature, received a five star book review, on Amazon. Wow! Thank you so much for your lovely words! Also on the same day, my article appeared on Writing in the Modern Age. This offers some tips to writers of all stages on how to cope with that dreaded situation – writer’s block. On August 30th, Jack, another favorite character from Directions of the Heart, was interviewed on Devika Fernando’s blog. Discover what makes him tick! 




Thank you, Devika, for featuring all my characters! You’re awesome! ♥♥♥ 


Also on the 30th, Smokey, one of my kitties, had an interview on Sneaky the Library Cat’s blog. Find out more about this sweet guy here, and check out a sneak peek from a work in progress that he somehow got his paws on! And to top off the end of the month, both books from the Magick Series received five star reviews! Yay! Here is the one for Magick & Moonlight (a lighthearted contemporary romantic fantasy), and here’s the one for A Little Magick (a children’s fantasy). Thanks for your amazing commentary! :) 


amazon.com/author/marielavender


September


On September 6th, my sci-fi romance, Blue Vision, received a cool five star review on Amazon. Thanks for your kind words! Two days later, I was interviewed on Cynthia Ley’s blog. Learn more about me as a writer in the interview! On September 14th, I got to participate in a fun author chat on Facebook when I donated two fantasy books to the Circle of Friends Harvey Relief Book Auction, and one of the hosts Belinda Hughes interviewed me on the spot. You can still check out the details here. The following day was pretty significant. What occurred was a HUGE multi-author book giveaway, over at the Writing in the Modern Age blog. The contest lasted for a week, and marked a real milestone for us, the blog’s 400th post. I hope you didn’t miss out!


On September 20th, Directions of the Heart received a great book review on Sandra’s Book Club blog. Thanks for your kind commentary, Sandra!


https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071WVZZPV


Sandra once again blessed one of my books with a book review the following day, when she offered some kind words regarding my lighthearted romantic fantasy, Magick & Moonlight, in a review on Amazon. Thank you! September 28th was National Poetry. Check out my post about it here on the MLB blog, and discover some of my poems with different themes! On September 29th, I wrote an article about the importance of editing one’s manuscript for Writing in the Modern Age. Check it out if you need help answering the big question, either as a writer, or even as a reader, you can learn why your favorite author might be taking time to publish their next book!)


October


With October 17th came the start date for voting on a cool cover contest involving two of my books. That’s right. Directions of the Heart and UYL, book three of the Heiresses in Love Series, were both nominated for this contest on Authors Database. Recently, I adjusted the eye color for Adrienne’s character on the cover for Upon Your Love, to honor her unique, violet eyes. 

https://bookgoodies.com/a/B06XBPVS7D
  
I did the same for the cover on Second Nature, for Desiree’s character. You’ll see blog posts about the voting process on ILRB and the MLB blog. This contest is still going. So have at it, and choose the one you like best! ;) On the 28th, a new five star review popped up on Amazon for Second Nature, my paranormal romance and book one of the Blood at First Sight Series. 


http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00Q7FWIWA


Wow! Thanks, Rachael, for your kind words! :) 


November


In November, I discovered that Directions of the Heart was nominated for the Reader’s Choice Awards on the TCK Publishing site. So exciting! 




The voting ran until December 10th. You can see my posts about it on all three of my sites and blogs here, here and here.


December


A few things happened in December...well, other than Christmas! ;) On the 6th, I wrote a romance post for the I Love Romance Blog, urging people to stay kind during the holidays and to keep an open mind about finding their soul mates! Plus, December 18th brought some very exciting news. I received a book contract for Blood Instincts, my futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy novel and book two of the Blood at First Sight Series, which was accepted by Solstice! Yay! The book will likely be released in the new year. A cover should be assigned soon, as well as an editor with my publisher. You’ll see more updates on that here on my website, and also in my monthly newsletter




On Christmas Eve, I discovered that three of my books were nominated for the Annual P&E Readers' Poll; The Missing Piece for the short romance category; Upon Your Love for the romance novel category, and Directions of the Heart in the anthology category. Wow! ♥







Vote for the one you like in each category! You can also vote for me as author on this page, or choose whoever. To participate in all the voting categories, here is the main site.


In any case, I hope you had a great holiday season this year!




Updates 


With regards to other books coming out in 2018, I am writing a romantic comedy titled Chasing Ginger, book one of The Misfits Series. Barring any sudden delays, I hope to see that one out in the new year as well. 



I’d also like to tackle a few new projects, namely the third book of The Magick Series. Magick Sunrise would finish out Rosie’s story, but tell her tale as an adult. 

 
Additionally, I may find time to work on polishing Awakening, a paranormal romantic thriller collection. Beyond that, I’m considering the idea of another historical romance. I have many works in progress in that realm. So perhaps a western romance or a good Regency, hmm? 

 
Or even a historical romantic fantasy might suffice. 

 
Those are the book projects planned this year, but as you all know, the muse has a way of surprising me. :) Feel free to follow not only my website and blogs for further updates, but also my personal Facebook profile, official Facebook author page, my Twitter handle and my Google+ page for other news.


One more thing I’d like to add here is an extra special thank you to all the guest authors on my blogs, specifically here on the MLB blog. 




We had 20 guest authors on this blog alone in 2017. You can check out the end of year posts for my other blogs here and here. I appreciate all of our guests, as well as our readers, for visiting and making this blog spectacular! Here is a brief listing of our guest author posts categorized by each type of format. Plus, our new feline-related guest posts and takeovers. Hey, maybe you’ll find some posts you missed!


Book Spotlights











New Releases, Blog Tours and Sales







Emma’s Corner Blog Takeovers







Guest Kitty Posts






Readers, thank you all so much for being a great part of my author journey this year! 




Here’s to an awesome 2018! Happy New Year, everyone!


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