Memories from 2021
It’s a good idea to take
a moment each year and review all that happened. The new year is right around
the corner (tomorrow), so we should reflect a bit before the chaos of New Year’s
Eve/Day paves the way for a beautiful reset. Because of space and time
constraints, I won’t be able to go into everything, however.
For more details about
the events from 2021, you can check out my author newsletter archives here,
website and look at the Updates/News page over there, or even
make sure you follow any of my social media channels (the links are at the top of
the page on my website). I also have an exclusive fan
club on Facebook, as well as a ‘new
releases only’ email list you can sign up for. That will always give you a
good sense of things.
In any case, let’s
get started, okay?
December 24th to January 14th, voting occurred for the
23rd Annual Critters Readers’ Poll. There were nominations
for my books in the following categories: ‘Romance Novels’, ‘Romance Short
Stories’, ‘Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories’, ‘Book Cover Artwork’,
and ‘Authors’. The categories in the contest
covered all relevant works, authors, editors, artwork/artists, and services
which were active or published in 2020. Here are the results! I made it into the TOP 10 on several of
early January, I reshared
a useful article about how to have a sustainable or completely ethical wedding.
That was on ILRB. Six days later, we had a unique type of feature on Writing in
the Modern – a dual feature about a movie and a book. Learn
all about Natalie Rodriguez’s The Extraordinary Ordinary, plus a fun interview
with her, and she also informs us of her YA thriller novel, Elephant.
On the 21st, Jennifer
Conner visited the romance blog with a guest post, and let readers know what
it’s like to juggle writing in different genres and having diverse careers.
Check out her cool paranormal romance novel, Fighting the Fire!
And in case you missed it, the
next edition of Second Nature, my first paranormal romance book, came out in the middle
of December 2020. It’s available in all formats.
On January 22nd, character
Dillon from Debby Grahl’s western holiday romance, Mountain Blaze, came to the
Writing in the Modern Age blog, plus we had a great
chat with the author! A week later, there was a
spotlight on a steamy small town romance new release, R.V. Asher’s Jinx,
and I asked the author a few questions. Check out her whole
small town series!
On February 1st, readers could take a look
Morcan’s psychological fiction novel, ANNO 2020.
This was even more relevant, as the book covered how twelve individuals handled
the Coronavirus lockdowns. Two days later, there was a new four star book review for my steamy
romantic comedy, Chasing Ginger, featured on Amy Shannon’s reviewer website.
Fun Romance and more
Lavender pens a comedic romantic story in Chasing Ginger. I have read work from this
author before, and I really enjoyed it. Ginger is a great character and is a
little self-conscious but fun, as she fits in with her friends lovingly called
the Misfits. This author brings the stories to life, and while most of the
story is fun and lighthearted, emotions while reading and with the characters,
can run very deep. Lance and Ginger had chemistry that wasn’t forced, and they
could get very steamy, but it was so much more than attraction, and a lot of
self-doubts. It’s a great story to follow and try to figure out what will
happen next. I look forward to reading many more stories by this author. This
book is a definite recommendation by Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews.
for your kind comments, hon! ♥
Seven days later, Maggie
Holmes again blessed us with a helpful article, providing creative activities
for Valentine’s Day, this time for the I Love Romance Blog.
If you missed reading it that month, instead see if there is anything relevant
you can go with for your next date with your significant other. 😉 Around February 19th, my new
supernatural romance boxed set released through all online booksellers.
Discover it here!
A week or so later brought a guest timeslot for yours
truly, with a thirty-minute spot at Cathy Jackson’s multi-author posting event
in her Facebook group. It was fun to meet new
people, and to talk about my books!
from March 1st to the 8th, I donated a copy of my new paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi
romance starter series collection to Paranormal Romance Week on the TBR Pile
site here. You can learn more about
the giveaways they ran all week on their
Facebook event page.
March 10th, I
posted my own article on ILRB, detailing the reasons why reading and writing
historical romance is a personal experience, not just about
facts or details relating to the time period in which a book is set. Two weeks
Boyd provided readers with a new perspective on the difference between basic,
mainstream erotica and erotic romance, a guest post featured
on the same blog.
following week brought a
fun post about the most popular wedding themes this year, written by guest
blogger Janelle Urrutia. Two days passed, and Desiree
Villena of Reedsy gave my romance blog readers five
cute YA romance book recommendations.
days later, Amelia
Ma’s article, including tips on how to have a memorable first date, gave us all
something to think about. During the following week, I posted
new romantic poem, ‘Solace’, which I wrote, inspired by time
I’d recently spent with my fiancé. On the next day, over on the MLB blog, Maggie
Holmes offered her advice with a guest post, on ways to strengthen a
parent-child relationship. A few days later, David Russell
submitted one of his poems to the I Love Romance Blog, completing a
poetry spotlight on the theme of ‘mysterious sensuality’.
As aforementioned, in February I
had a supernatural romance release, a boxed set starter series collection
titled Phenomenal Touch, which is set up to be a perfect collector’s
item or at least way for new readers to get a real taste of the paranormal,
fantasy, and science fiction romance books I’ve published.
Not a bad option to go for after
reading the automatic freebie with my contemporary romance story, Second
Chance Heart (get your complimentary copy here!),
book one of the Eternal Hearts Series.
May 3rd – “How Writing Blog Posts Can Make You a Better Fiction
Writer” – guest article by Desiree Villena on Writing in the
Modern Age blog.
(final post on old
May 4th – returned to work
on romantic mystery collection, First Target.
This Week in History - May
1, 1840 - England releases the first 1st adhesive postage stamp.
1, 1841 - The first wagon train leaves Independence, Mo for California.
1, 1883 - "Buffalo Bill" Cody's first Wild West Show.
1, 1884 - Construction begins on the first skyscraper, the 10 story Home Insurance Company building in Chicago,
1, 1931 - The Empire State Building was dedicated.
1, 1941 - The cereal "Cheerios" hits store shelves.
1, 1951 - Slugger Mickey Mantle hits his first home run.
1, 1952 - Mr. Potato Head is introduced.
2, 1878 - The U.S. stops minting the 20-cent coin.
2, 1885 - Good Housekeeping Magazine first hits the newsstands.
2, 1932 - Jack Benny's first radio show premieres.
2, 1939 - Lou Gehrig plays in his 2,130th game, a baseball record that will
last for 57 years until Cal Ripken comes along.
3, 1494 - Christopher Columbus discovers "St. Iago". It is later
3, 1936 - Joe DiMaggio makes his major-league debut with 3 hits for the NY
3, 1937 - Margaret Mitchell wins Pulitzer prize for "Gone with the
3, 1978 - Digital Equipment Corporation sends the first bulk unsolicited
commercial emails... spam is born!
4, 1626 - Manhattan Island is sold! Native American Indians agree to the deal
in exchange for $24 in cloth & buttons.
4, 1878 - Phonograph is played for the first time at the Grand Opera
4, 1932 - Atlanta Penitentiary has a new resident after Al Capone is
convicted of income tax evasion.
4, 1934 - Academy of Motion Pictures is founded. (1934)
4, 1964 - Soap operas "Another World" and "As the World
4, 1979 - Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman Prime Minister of the
5, 1260 - Kublai Khan the grandson of Genghis Khan becomes ruler of the
5, 1862 - Mexican forces under Benito Juarez defeated French troops in the
Battle of Puebla. Today this battle is celebrated as Cinco
5, 1865 - North Bend, Ohio gets on the map. It's the site of the first US train
5,1893 - The New York Stock Exchange crashes, causing the "Great Panic of
5, 1904 - Cy Young pitches the first perfect game in modern baseball history.
5, 1968 - Senator Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated.
5, 1971 - Alan Shepard rides "Freedom 7" to becomes 1st American in
6, 1833 - John Deere produces the first steel plow.
6, 1915 - The Yale lock is patented.
6, 1889 - The Paris Exposition opens with the just completed Eiffel Tower as
6, 1915 - Future Baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth hits his first home run.
6, 1937 - The Dirigible Hindenburg explodes into flames at Lakehurst, NJ.
6, 1994 - Chunnel linking England & France officially opens.
6, 2002 - Entrepreneur Elon Musk forms SpaceX.
7, 1789 - The first inaugural ball is held in honor of George Washington and
7, 1888 - George Eastman patents the Box Camera.
7, 1934 - The World's largest pearl (6.4kg.) was discovered in the
7, 1941 - Big band leader Glenn Miller records the "Chattanooga Choo
7, 1945 - Germany signs an unconditional surrender at Rhims, France, ending
WWII in Europe.
7, 1970 - The Beatles last album is released- "Long and Winding
7, 1992 - The maiden voyage of space shuttle Endeavor.
8, 1794 - The U.S. Post Office is established.
8, 1945 - V-E Day, Germany signs unconditional surrender.
8, 1861 - Richmond, Virginia is named the capital of the Confederacy.
8, 1879 - George Selden files the first patent for a gas driven automobile.
8, 1952 - Mad Magazine hits the newsstands.
8, 1980 - The World Health Organization announces that Smallpox has been
eradicated worldwide. (Let’s
hope the same thing happens with the Coronavirus as well! 😉)
On June 18th, Max
Jones visited the MLB blog and offered his take on how to organically increase
site traffic via an intriguing guest post on there.
July 21st, Jade
Langton visited the I Love Romance Blog with an article, ‘Ten Signs You Are
Ready for Marriage’. Some great advice here! A week later, I
discovered a new book review for Phenomenal
Touch on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog.
posted on July 28, 2021
Phenomenal Touch … by Marie
Full Title: Phenomenal Touch: A Supernatural Romance Series
Starter Collection and Boxed Set by Marie Lavender
Love, love, loved all three stories!!
Touch: A Supernatural Romance Series Starter Collection and Boxed Set has three different, but
magnificent stories written by Marie Lavender. I have read work from this
author before, and I really enjoyed every one of them. This author brings the
story to life. The characters had a lot of depth, and were very realistic. This
author has a great imagination and I’m glad it’s being shared with stories. So,
let’s start with MAGICK & MOONLIGHT. OK, if I said it was magical, it may
sound hokey, but it was. No only does Jessie have this magical power, but
secrets she feels like she has to protect herself. A wonderfully majestic
story. Now for BLUE VISION, here we are introduced to Brooke, who is attracted
to mysterious Colin, but that is just the beginning, and I read this story more
than one. Maybe it’s my favorite of all three, or as I read each one, each one
became my favorite. SECOND NATURE, and yes, it has vampires, and I like
vampiric stories when they are written well, and this one was. The story brings
in the believable, even if almost impossible. (but you never know, vampires
could be real). This author is not just a writer but a great storyteller. The
stories capture the reader’s attention at book 1, chapter 1. Who could ask for
more, when it’s filled with magical/fantastical creatures and other interesting
beings (even the humans are interesting). If this is a starter collection as
the title says, I look forward to what comes next in each of these
Touch: A Supernatural Romance Series Starter Collection and Boxed Set is a definite
recommendation by Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews. I look forward to reading many more
stories by this author.”
also named in the TOP 20 Authors for 2021 on her
Just as a note, my blog policies have changed, and I
started charging for some services in September of 2021. So, if you were a
guest in the past, you can look over these pages:
However, I will never charge a fee for real articles,
notices about blog tours from official promoters, or special events which I
personally organize. The same can’t be said for various interviews, book
spotlights, or cover reveals, et cetera. These take more time and energy to
post and spread the word, and I’ve had to start valuing myself more to
accommodate for that. Although, despite the work involved in the big events, I
will not charge for giveaways which I host, as authors are already providing
donations. But if you want me to run an individual giveaway posted on my blog
and promoted across social media, that will cost extra. Believe me, I am asking
for way less than I’ve witnessed at the blogs of my contemporaries; thus, I
have done my best to offer competitive prices.
And in case you were out of the loop due to the
Coronavirus in 2020, that was a busy time for publishing my books. Several
second editions, complete with new covers, came out – UYR, The Missing Piece,
Magick & Moonlight, and Second Nature – as well as a new rom
com novel, Chasing Ginger.
I took a break from late July to mid-August. By August
27th, the new site for the Writing in the Modern Age blog had
launched. We now have an
all-new domain, complete with a different host and a new
mailing list service. So, please
take a moment and sign-up! ♥
On September 6th, most guest spots
on my blogs resumed. Joel Foster offered a guest article on the updated
WritModAge blog, with
how to find one’s unique writing style. The following day brought an intriguing perspective from author Kelle Z. Riley, about
disguised heroes, featured on ILRB. Two days later, I wrote a special post for the same blog,
covering ‘what most people don’t know about romance novels’. On September 13th, Amy’s
aforementioned review of Phenomenal Touch was featured in Uncaged Book Reviews magazine. See page 169
in the online journal for more details.
Three days later, Sophia
Zaccaria visited my romance blog to provide a guest book review on an urban
fantasy romance with mystery elements. After posting the review, I skimmed over the book as well.
It looks awesome! Pick up your copy of Blood
and Hunger today…
On the following day, another article of mine, this
time for Writing in the Modern Age, went live. Check out ‘Seven
Ways to Recover Your Writing Motivation’ right here.
On September 20th, author Francis H. Powell came to the same blog to
talk about a Covid-themed charity anthology project he put together, and all
about his new release. Discover
the fascinating book, Together Behind Four Walls, featured on this blog
I love that all proceeds are headed to help a great cause!
The next day brought a
blog tour feature for Allen Wolf’s romantic comedy with a touch of drama, The
Sound of Violet, highlighted on ILRB. There’s also a movie
coming out soon! 😉
On October 1st, Ivy
Nelson’s steamy romantic suspense novel (with some BDSM elements), Forever,
was showcased in a blog tour visit on Writing in the Modern Age.
Check out the fantastic teasers inside the post! Ten days later, I wrote an
article for one of my blogs. Discover my
impression of the industry here with some
key terms in an A to Z blog post on Writing in the Modern Age here. October 19th brought a feature on
the I Love Romance Blog, Julia Jones’ new paranormal romance release with a
touch of mystery, A Wolf to Catch. Looks like
quite a read!
few days passed, and Claire
Wilder’s friends-to-lovers themed contemporary romance, Speeding Hearts,
had a book tour spotlight on the same blog. A blog tour
popped up on Writing in the Modern Age on the following day, and Emilia
Ares’ YA fiction novel, Love and Other Sins, was featured.
Three days later, a
women’s fiction new release, The Trials of Adeline Turner by Angela Terry was
featured in a blog tour on the same site.
next day brought an
intriguing spotlight on ILRB for a book and contest with Ali Lucia Sky’s
enemies-to-lovers themed new adult paranormal romance, The Dream Keepers.
She ran a cool Amazon gift card giveaway as well. Three days passed, and Evelyn
Sola had a blitz and blog tour feature for her steamy multicultural romantic
comedy (with an accidental marriage theme), Takedown, on Writing in the
the first of November, Dave
Chesson offered us an article for Writing in the Modern Age, providing some
tips for authors on how to avoid getting burnt out.
How helpful and apropos! Nine days later, the new second edition for my paranormal
romance with a slight futuristic angle, Blood
Instincts, book two of the Blood at First Sight
Series, was released. There’s also a hardcover version
On December 1st, the same
title was nominated
for AllAuthor’s Cover of the Month contest. Nine days later, a guest
article of mine appeared on coming up on the food and fiction blog, ‘But What Are They Eating’. Find out how some culinary delights
tie into Blood Instincts. 😉
Let’s shift over to some current info
about my books…
Recently, the second edition of Blood
Instincts came out. I’m excited to finally have all my rights back from my
former publisher. I only adjusted the cover slightly, just went a tad darker
for the heroine’s brown hair. I hope you get a chance to check out this
futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy and the sequel to Second Nature.
Also, remember that I mentioned a
hardcover edition release for the limited collector’s copy of Phenomenal Touch?
So, if you normally love to grab hardcover books. I will make sure to start
adding that format to my other titles as well, since Amazon is now offering it
as an option. In other news, I’m close to finishing up edits on the second edition
manuscript for Upon Your Honor.
NOTEWORTHY SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS FROM 2021
Facebook personal posts to
Facebook author posts to share:
Links or news to share from author
fan club group on Facebook:
11/1 - https://www.tiktok.com/@marielavender1_author/video/7029596874969484550?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1
11/12 - https://www.tiktok.com/@marielavender1_author/video/7029847304718929158?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1
3/2/21 - https://www.tiktok.com/@marielavender1_author/video/6935124397648923910?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1
4/5 - https://www.tiktok.com/@marielavender1_author/video/6947723691815980293?is_copy_url=1&is_from_webapp=v1
Here are the top Twitter posts (most
shared, liked, retweeted by others):
Instagram posts from 2021:
Thanks for visiting my annual post here! Also, check
out the New Year’s Eve blog posts on ILRB
in the Modern Age.
FINAL BOOK NEWS TO SHARE
My book contracts with Solstice Publishing have expired.
And by February of next year, I’ll be going fully independent with my published
works (Foundations Books and I have gone our separate ways as well), so that
will be different.
Coming in March (cover redesign and book relaunch)
Also, despite all the person pitfalls (family emergencies
and illnesses) from this year which delayed me, I hope to resume writing on First
Target soon. I’m still working on some final details with that romantic
mystery collection. So, with any luck, I can finish up and start edits shortly.
I appreciate your patience. To give you some hope, I’ll
leave you with a temporary book schedule, to provide a sense of the next order
of book releases coming up on the horizon.
Writing Projects to Focus on
next (the order may change)
Upon Your Honor (Heiresses 2) – historical/maritime romance (editing
First Target – romantic mystery collection
Upon Your Love (Heiresses 3) – historical romance/family saga (editing & publishing/re-release)
The Trouble with the Truth – YA
Magick Sunrise (book 3 of the Magick Series) – contemporary fantasy romance
Heiresses in Love boxed set –
historical/maritime romance trilogy
Midnight Kiss (or Kiss from a Rogue?) – standalone Victorian romance, set in New Orleans –
my only BBW historical romance to date
Awakening – a
paranormal romance/mystery thriller collection with some visionary elements
Boxed set duology with Magick Series romantic
fantasy stories – contemporary
Bloodseer Legacy (Blood
at First Sight 3) – dystopian/paranormal
Sharon’s Dirty Little Secret (The Misfits 2) – steamy romantic comedy
Out of This World (Code of Endhivar 2) – sci-fi romance
The Blood at First Sight trilogy boxed set – dystopian/paranormal romance
Dark Secrets – a
romantic suspense collection
Yuletide Heart (Eternal Hearts 2) – Christmas romance/sequel to SCH
Madame Aubergine’s Compendium of
Ramblings – literary fiction and poetry collection
Maeve’s story (Witches of Moonhaven book 1) – title isn’t finalized – historical romance/fantasy
As always, happy reading!
And Happy New Year!
Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her
family and two cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years,
with more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie
has published 21 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary
romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, romantic comedy, dramatic
fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and
poetry. She also dabbles in graphic design. An avid blogger on the side, she
writes adult fiction, published one story for children, and recently started
some YA fiction. She also contributed to several anthologies. Though Marie has
standalone titles on the market, there are six current published series, with
many others planned.
more about her and her work at the following links.
Universal Author Links: https://linktr.ee/marielavender1
Fan mail email: email@example.com