New Review for UPON YOUR RETURN!



UPON YOUR RETURN just earned a new five star review!

Upon Your Return is about Fara Bellamont, her trials, and her love for a man. Her character intrigued me. She was sweet, yet downright tough if she had to be. She had her own mind, yet she was vulnerable. She was smart, naive, and determined.

It’s apparent that her parents love her, but they leave her with a caregiver at such a tender age. She had to have been devastated because she was absolutely abandoned by them. That alone is enough to affect her for the rest of her life. But to make matters worse, her parents die at sea. One of the most precious gifts a child has as they grew up is feeling safe, so now with their deaths what feelings of safety she may have had are gone.

Then she moves in with her Uncle who is cold and really doesn’t care about her as a human being but as a project that was forced on him. He doesn’t show her that he cares about her leave alone that he loves her. He betrays her by setting-up her future with men who will also betray her.

So of course when she meets her night in shining armor she is not going to fall into his arms and believe he’s her one and only. It’s very logical that she’s unsure about him and doesn’t trust that he will stick with her until the end.

When she moves in with an aunt, it seemed she gains some balance in her life knowing that she cares for.

The end caught me off guard for a moment, but then I saw it as an ending that we’d see in a movie.

I very much enjoyed this novel. The most important thing when I read a novel is liking the protagonist, and I do love Fara.

http://www.amazon.com/Upon-Your-Return-ebook/dp/B00BFX8YLI/


Spotlight for UPON YOUR RETURN and book giveaway on the Romantic Historical Reviews site!

SPOTLIGHT: Upon Your Return by Marie Lavender

UponYourReturn_E-bookCover
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.
Purchase Now from Amazon

You can read our review of this title HERE

Excerpt

Fara fought the darkness to the coming light. It was so easy to stay in the dark. It was comforting like a warm blanket. But, the light held such possibilities. She knew she must rouse, as if something significant lay there in wakefulness. She stirred and felt a pair of arms holding her. Then she heard a heartbeat beneath a rough fabric, felt a coarse texture of chest hair. It was so secure within that embrace.
When she finally realized it was a man who held her, she gasped and tried to retreat from the cord of muscles. She glanced up to be temporarily blinded by the lamplight to her left.
“Don’t move,” said a soft but deep voice.
He spoke with the assurance of authority, and she could tell he was used to ordering people around. Well, he wouldn’t order her. She lifted her heavy head and whimpered as a stab of agony sliced through her skull. Fara squeezed her eyes shut tight. It was so much easier to be left in the dark for it was as if her head was being cut with so many knives.
“I will have you more comfortable in a moment. Please do not move.”
How could she possibly move with all this pain and that large man rendering her limbs useless?
Suddenly, she felt a light cushion beneath her. The glare from the lantern came into her vision again when she opened her eyes and was then replaced by the outline of a man towering above her. She gasped and crawled away from him, but his hold on her waist hauled her back. Her head hurt so as he studied her face.
“Madame, the pain will be less if you stay still. I promise I did not bring you here to harm you in any way.”
She gradually settled back on the pillows and looked at her keeper. He was an attractive man, if one liked the rough, indignant kind. Dark layers of soft waves covered his head and ended at the nape of his neck. He was large, but slim in the right places…it spoke of years of hard physical labor.
His eyes captivated her as she studied him in such proximity. The shade of his eyes…a charcoal color; they were the most intense and unreadable eyes she’d ever seen. It was an odd, yet strikingly beautiful color for a man.
Oh, you silly girl, she thought. Really…how ridiculous for her to be wooed by only a pair of eyes. “May I ask you a question?”
“I insist you do, if you are not too unwell.” He gestured to her jaw.
Fara nodded, acknowledging the wound provided by the man named Bernard. She imagined what he referred to must indeed be a hideous sight. She looked around the room. It appeared to be a cabin of sorts. “Monsieur…how did I get here? Are we on a yacht?”
“A ship. My ship, La Voyageur,” he announced firmly with a lifted brow.
She faltered at the damning tone in his voice. It gave the impression that he was accustomed to some ridicule, but she could not fathom the reason for it. “You are a captain?”
“Oui, Madame.”
“Mademoiselle.” She blushed.
“Ah. I knew you were too young to be saddled to one man, but thought it safer to say you were.”
“Monsieur…how long will I be here?”
He pointed to her throbbing jaw. “As soon as that is healed nicely, I will escort you to your home.”
Why, that could be days! Did he really mean to let her go, or was his intention to ask for a ransom? He had rescued her, but what if his motives were for reasons other than valor? “My uncle…he will be concerned for me. I insist you take me home now.” She realized her voice was too soft to sound commanding.
He shook his head. “I will have a message sent to him. What is his name?”
She sighed. “Michel de Bellamont.” She began to protest, “Monsieur, surely you do not intend to keep me here? That would not be right.”
“I do though. You fainted twice. I must be certain it won’t happen again. That bastard hit you. I would be surprised if you didn’t feel unwell. I will send the message to your uncle, informing him that his niece is in good hands. You will probably be better tomorrow. You may leave then if you wish.”
“All right, Monsieur. Merci.” He seemed to be concerned about her enough to care for her here. She still felt unsure about spending time alone with a complete stranger, especially a man, but she did not know how to convince him otherwise. He did not seem like the kind of man one questioned. And despite the fact that she’d thought he could be trusted, she still must be on her guard. She had no idea what he really intended.

TO WIN A COPY OF UPON YOUR RETURN ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY AT RAFFLECOPTER BELOW, AND BY ANSWERING THIS QUESTION IN THE COMMENTS:

What is the hero’s eye color?


About the Author

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.Mariepic2
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 seventeen 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. Upon Your Return is her first historical romance novel. Feel free to visit her website at http://marielavender.webs.com/ for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Marie has published several novels under different pseudonyms:
Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return
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; Leather and Lace
Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life
Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

 

 

Interview: Marie Lavender Talks with Eat Sleep Writer's Julie Cooper Brown

*This interview originally posted here.



Author:  Marie Lavender            
Book Title:  Upon Your Return

Country of origin:  USA
Genre:  Romance
 
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 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 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.




Hi, Marie!  Thank you for joining us!  Tell us a little about yourself.


I studied Creative Writing in college.  Since then, I have published seventeen books in the genres of literary fiction and romance.  My main focus is romance.  I have written historical romance, contemporary romance, paranormal romance and romantic suspense.  

How long have you been writing? Are any of your characters based on people in your life or possibly even yourself?

I have been writing since I was nine years old. I don’t intentionally write about the people in my life, but it’s possible they have been loosely based on them.  I know that my friends and family have noticed a lot of me in my characters, though.


What are the titles of your previous works ?


Here is a list of my books and pen names:

As Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return
As 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; Leather and Lace
As Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life
As Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things



What is the highest praise you have received for a book?

I always feel really good when the reader seems to understand the character really well.  I know I have done my job.  I had one reviewer who claimed to be cynical about certain types of historical romance and yet she likened me to greats like Sabrina Jeffries when she read Upon Your Return.  That is high praise.  To even be considered of that caliber of author is certainly a boost to my self-esteem.


What you are working on now?

I am polishing the manuscript for Upon Your Honor, the sequel to Upon Your Return.  I also plan to release an anthology very soon.  I just received a contract for a paranormal romance so that should be out sometime in 2014.  I have a lot of projects on the backburner as well so I am not exactly pining for new material.
 

Who is your favorite character and why?

Fara Bellamont, the main character of Upon Your Return, will always hold a special place in my heart.  Not only is she the first historical character I wrote, she makes a point to go against the dictates of society in most things.  I can respect that.  There’s a bit of a rebel in me too.  


How do you want the reader to feel when they have finished reading your book?

All romance novels are supposed to have an HEA, or happy ending.  I think I strive to not only create that in my romances, but to try to answer all of the questions the reader might still have.  I don’t intend to give a cliffhanger at all.  The idea for the sequels came later on.  Mostly, what I want is for the reader to feel a sense of satisfaction when they close the book.  I always like that feeling when I finish reading one.

How does your family feel about your work?

They seem pretty supportive.  My mother is trying to purchase all of my published books, and my sister has read some of them.  My father and brother don’t read fiction at all so I can’t expect that of them.  LOL.  But, I think they are glad that I was able to see my dreams come to fruition.

Are there other members of your family involved in your writing process, such as proofread for you or other things?

In the past, when I was taking writing classes, my sister volunteered to help proofread my work so she was kind of a beta reader.  When I started self-publishing, that became a solitary venture.  But recently, when I was working on the sequel to Upon Your Return, she offered to help me again.  I think she just wanted to help, and she has helped me catch some things here and there. I also sent it to quite a few beta readers and critique partners.


What is your definition of SUCCESS in writing?

Well, being published definitely helps.  I think writing is about goals that you set for yourself.  Maybe the goal is to get a few pages written per day or so many chapters per month.  Maybe the goal is to just finish the book.  I think you try to do anything you can to meet those goals because nowadays, the only person that suffers is you.  No one is tying your hands or forcing you to do it so you have to find the strength in yourself to keep doing it.  But, there’s no point in doing something you’re not passionate about either.  If it was about money or fame, I would have walked away a long time ago.  I write because I can’t imagine doing anything else.  I write because the characters talk to me and the scenes come into my head, and I have no choice but to get them down before I forget.  To me, success is being satisfied with where you are.  Do I have more goals for myself?  Of course.  I’m nowhere near done.  I think success means something different to everyone.  For myself, it means getting to a place where I can do the thing I love comfortably, to immerse myself in that fictional world and come up occasionally to talk to a reader or a fellow writer.


How did you approach finally getting published?

I’m a stubborn person sometimes.  You could say I took things into my own hands.  Starting in 2010, I began self-publishing books.  It became very enjoyable for me.  It was fun to build a book, to make the manuscript everything it could be, then focus on proofreading and cover art.  I started out publishing my literary fiction and poetry.  In 2012, I realized I had all of these unfinished stories sitting around, stories that were always meant to be longer.  So, I focused on one and published that as well.   

From then on, it became an obsession.  Before I knew it, I had a ton of books published.  In the midst of all that, I had been working on Upon Your Return since 2002 and by 2011, it was ready for submission.  I knew more than anything that I had to try to publish it traditionally first.  So, I started sending it to literary agents.  I had many rejections.  Eventually, I had so many that I decided to explore my options.  I tried sending directly to publishers.  In August of 2012, I received a contract for Upon Your Return with Solstice Publishing.  It was published in February.  I now have two book contracts with Solstice, and I hope to have another next year with the sequel.  It has been an interesting ride.  I haven’t given up on self-publishing either.  In November, I published Leather and Lace, a romantic suspense.  It just earned its first review this week.


What avenues do you take to promote your book?

Mostly, I use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to promote my books.  I also have a few book cover ads here and there.  All my book covers are displayed on Eat Sleep Write!


Answer this…   “I’ve always wanted to _________.”

Live in a castle.


Describe what the perfect day would be like for you.
 
The perfect day would be a day I spend with my fiancé.  I can imagine a private beach, lots of sun and just relaxation.  Maybe we would take a walk down the beach or look for seashells, maybe do some sightseeing locally.  When I am not immersed in my writing or working at my side job, I just want to be with the man I love. 
  

Do you have any plans for the future that you would care to share with us? 

Among everything else, I am doing a romantic suspense collaboration with another writer called Certain Death.  It is about a high level scientist who stumbles across a terrorist plot at the company she works for.  Fleeing from danger, she must rely on an enemy for protection.  As this project is still in the works, I’m not quite sure when we’ll be done, but we’ve made quite a bit of progress.

Links


http://marielavender.webs.com/
http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender
https://twitter.com/marielavender1
https://plus.google.com/104926404745289477307/posts
  

Historical Romance Gets a Boost

Hi, readers! So...I just wanted to drop by and inform you that, after getting the rights back from my last publisher, I am putting out the H...