Don't miss my story "The Unfortunate Night" on EB Sullivan's STORYTELLERS!

This originally posted here, but I will go ahead and put it below.

I’m delighted to introduce STORYTELLER MARIE LAVENDER.


Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years and 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 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 sixteen 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 a romantic element involved in them.

Here's one of Marie's stories:

The Unfortunate Night

rain seemed like it would never stop. The storm just wouldn’t let up. Dana Lewis was stranded there at the bed and breakfast, sitting in the lounge with the last person on earth she’d ever thought she’d see again. Her ex. Vince Sutton.

The silence was deafening as they measured one another, then glanced away as if afraid to get caught.     

Dana clenched her jaw on the rise of anger. How dare he invade her vacation like this?  Everything had been going fine until they’d stumbled into each other in the hallway. She had already settled in, and he had just come in the door.

Water droplets dotted his face and he was pretty much soaked everywhere else. But, she remembered those eyes too well. Dark, mysterious eyes to drown in. And, of course, he still had the physique to make a woman sigh with longing.

But, she also remembered the pain, the heartache he’d left her with. The betrayal. Those feelings came rushing back along with the anger.

He had frowned, and his face was hard, unrelenting. He appeared older, and his manner was more arrogant, much harder than she remembered.

They both exclaimed in the same breath, “What the hell are you doing here?!”
And since that moment, after the civilized explanations and after he’d checked in, they’d been sitting in silence. It was unbearable, awkward. But, so was the storm. If it weren’t for that, she would have demanded that he find other accommodations. Once upon a time, he would have agreed, been considerate of her feelings. But, he was hardly that man anymore. He had changed, or circumstances had changed him.

It didn’t matter. She could care less how he’d fared over the years. She just wanted the moment over with so she could go back to her life. She had better options waiting for her back home, including that proposal that Finn had sprung on her before she left. She had yet to give him an answer, but she knew he was a good man and any woman would have accepted. Her hesitance had nothing to do with the emotional hang-ups of the past. She was just surprised, that was all. Next time would be different.

She began to wonder what she would have said if Vince had ever asked her to marry him. It probably hadn’t even crossed his mind. When she’d been serious about him, she’d found him in bed with another girl. So that was the end of that. She had shut him completely out of her mind until now, though she had occasionally wondered if he’d regretted his actions. But, it didn’t matter. She was so over him. Besides, he was like a completely different person now, definitely someone she wanted nothing to do with.

“I’m going to bed,” she stated with finality.

“Fine,” he replied.

She went upstairs to her room, still unsettled. She undressed quickly and donned a nightgown. It was infuriating that the man still affected her. She couldn’t let it matter.

She heard a soft knock then. Frowning, she went to the door.

He stood on the other side. His hair was ruffled, as if he’d mussed it with his hands, a habit of his she remembered well.

He sighed, didn’t speak for a moment. “I’m…so goddamned sorry, Dana.”  His dark eyes were haunted. “I’m sorry.”

She tried to block his view of her gown. “For what?”     

“You know what for.”
She froze. He was apologizing now?  After all this time?  “It doesn’t matter now,” she said hoarsely.         

“The hell it doesn’t. You don’t think I know you, Dana? I know what it looks like when you’re hurt. And that look you gave me downstairs nearly killed me.”          
She doubted it, but she wondered if he was trying to appear human. Why couldn’t he stay mean?  She could hate him easier. “Fine. You said your piece. Now go away.”  

Dana started to shut the door, but he blocked it with one hand. Even as she gasped, he shouldered his way inside and kicked the door closed. He reached for her when she would have backed away. His lips blocked her protests. It was a mistake, a total mistake. But, she sank into his kiss anyway. She remembered the passion  between them very well. If she was honest with herself, it had been missing with Finn.
“You’re mine,” he muttered against her mouth. “I should never have forgotten that.”
She could clearly hear the remorse in his tone, but her mind just seemed to stop working. None of it seemed to matter as he kissed the hell out of her.

Upon Your Return is Marie Lavender's first historical romance novel. 


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…

A list of Marie's books written under pen names are as follows:

Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other  Worldly Things

Marie’s Links