Chance to win a free ebook of my new release UPON YOUR HONOR!

Drop by The Romance Reviews tomorrow, June 1st, for a chance to win a copy of UPON YOUR HONOR!  Answer the Q&A and you will be entered into a drawing for it.  Remember, you must register for TRR and be logged in before it will allow you to answer the question.  But, that is painless, I swear.



Excerpts from MAGICK & MOONLIGHT on Seasons on Love

Magick and Moonlight – Excerpts

A great weekend read…excerpts from Magick and Moonlight by Marie Lavender. Enjoy!

Excerpt 1

Moonlight and Magick by Marie LavenderHe cleared his throat.  “Is there a reason I found you naked out there?  I mean, you lost your clothes somehow, right?”
The secret smile she gave him made his throat feel dry.  “Do you want me to lie?”
“Of course not.”
“The ritual was best practiced in the nude.  Skyclad rituals are very common, you know.  The Goddess tells us, ‘You shall be free from all slavery, and as a sign that you be truly free, you shall be naked in your rights.’”
He lifted a brow.  “Even if that were the case, you didn’t walk there naked, did you?”
“Didn’t I?”
Maybe she was crazy after all.
“I didn’t walk at all.”
He thought she might be saying that she was transported by magic.  Yep, she was batty as hell.  He was so not touching that one.  He cleared his throat again.
A sharp cry startled him and instinctively, he reached forward and grabbed her when she started to fall.  Unfortunately, she ended up right in his arms.
Or maybe it was fortunate after all.  With her luscious lips so close, he could almost taste her.  And her scent…dear God, she was intoxicating, like a mixture of night air and jasmine.  “You all right?” he managed.
She nodded.  “My foot caught on a rock, I think.”
“Is it bleeding?”
“My foot or the rock?”  Her cheek dimpled.
He laughed.  “Your foot, of course.”
“No, I don’t think so.  It’s all right.”
“Good.”  He realized his mistake immediately.  Some strange instinct caused him to keep her close.  Stepping back would be a crime and she was seductive.  Knowing she was naked underneath his coat didn’t help anything.  She was way too accessible.  Heedless of the costs, he plunged a hand into the soft waves of her dark hair and lowered his mouth to hers.
She tasted like wine, potent and sweet.  He explored her mouth slowly, allowing her the chance to pull away or slap him.  He knew he’d deserve it.  He’d never stolen a kiss before, and he couldn’t think why he’d done it now.  But, she tasted delicious.  And her body felt so good against his.  He groaned and drew her closer.  When she moaned in return, he kissed her deeply and moved a hand down her back.  His hands wanted to roam further, but he held himself in check.  If he was a real gentleman, he’d pull away now.  Reluctantly, he did.
He drew back and tried to get his libido back under control.  “Ah…sorry.  I wasn’t thinking.”  He swept a hand through his hair.
He thought she looked just as shaken.  But she smiled a little.  “It’s okay.  No harm done, right?”

Excerpt 2

When his truck was gone, she released a long sigh.  She also felt strangely bereft, though she had no idea why.  She shrugged it off.  Maybe she was simply tired.  It had been an eventful night.
She removed the coat and lifted it to her nose without thinking.  It carried his scent, of cologne and something very male.  It made her feel warm.  She carefully laid the coat on a table, then moved upstairs to locate something to wear.  At the closet, she paused.
She thought of Ethan Hamilton.  He had only been wearing jeans, a tee shirt and hiking boots.  He had looked really good though.  Ethan wore his hair long on top in dark brown layers.  His blue eyes were very compelling.  The moonlight had caught the color so perfectly, she had wanted to drown in his gaze.  He was tall and muscular, built very well.  And dear Goddess, his kiss was really something.  She had never felt like she had when he’d kissed her.  There was such passion, such power in his embrace.  She had nearly lost herself in the moment.
But, why had she told him what she was doing out there?  That was so stupid.  She wondered if she’d momentarily lost her mind.  The man made her want to be completely honest.  And that was just crazy.  Sure, he was a cop, or a former cop – she wasn’t sure – but, that didn’t mean she had to give him full disclosure.
She had told him her secret.  The implications really hit her then.  She could be found out.  What if he told someone?  Her grandmother had told her to be careful for a reason.  Her business might suffer because of it.  What if something worse happened?  What if they ran her out of town?  Or institutionalized her?  Panic could make people crazy.
This wasn’t good at all.

For a chance to win a copy of Magick and Moonlight, enter Marie’s giveaway.
Winner will be chosen Sunday morning  7:00 AM CDT

Visit tomorrow for more information about author Marie Lavender and her books.

Article - "Love is a Spell" on Seasons of Love Blog

Love is a Spell by Marie Lavender

From Christina: Marie Lavender shares a few thoughts today about magic…the kind of magic that comes from love. Enjoy!


By Marie Lavender

Since Magick and Moonlight is about the practice of magick, I wanted to discuss love and how it relates to spells.  There are love spells, of course.  And some people may do them.  But, what I mainly want to talk about is the spell of love.  If you’ve ever been in love, you know what I mean.
Love Spell For a time, you are infatuated, so overwhelmed with feelings that you don’t know what happened.  Everything that person does is amazing or wonderful.  If you’re lucky, you stay in love, but some of that freshness ebbs.  This is not a bad thing.  Love is no longer a shiny penny.  No, it is wiser and you can see the one you love in a new light.  You can see strengths and weaknesses, and still love them for it.  Because we recognize our own flaws, we can appreciate theirs as well.
There are going to be days that something annoys you, some little quirk.  There are going to be days when you don’t agree on something, usually something small.  But, we call those moments life.  If you’re a romance reader, you’re familiar with the fact that nothing is always rosy in a romance novel.  There are conflicts just like in life.
If you’ve found a forever kind of love, you are with that person for life through the ups and downs.  And if you’re wise, you recognize it isn’t always easy.  So, once the freshness of being in love wears off, you start to see if these little annoyances or quirks are things you can live with.  You decide you can.  Then what?  Well, then it gets good.  Because there are other moments when you are reminded why you fell in love with that person.  I hope they happen every day for you.  If you are in love, you will feel that “spell” again and again.  Life and its stressors may take you away for a time, but the one you love will always bring you back somehow.
In writing Magick & Moonlight, it was interesting to show this very normal progression in a metaphorical way.  Ethan falls under Jessie’s spell, but she doesn’t expect for the same thing to happen to her.  She tries to fight it because it’s safer for her to look at things practically, but we all know that love isn’t practical.  It is messy and it just happens.
The conflict does come in the book, however.  So, do they figure things out?  I guess you have to read Magick & Moonlight to find out!

“Do you want me to lie?”

Tomorrow, Marie will be sharing excerpts.  Be sure to stop by to read more.
For a chance to win a copy of Magick and Moonlight, enter Marie’s giveaway.

Dancing in the Moonlight

I'm visiting Seasons of Love blog this week.  Here is a promo that posted today:

Dancing in the Moonlight

Magick & Moonlight

by Marie Lavender

Moonlight and Magick by Marie LavenderMessing with free will is always a bad idea…
Ethan Hamilton moves to a lazy little town in Oregon, hoping to escape his demons. But, instead he discovers a woman dancing nude in the moonlight. This woman who claims she is a witch dazzles him with her sensual presence. He thinks she’s crazy, but what if she’s not?
Jessie Anderson has been taught that her kind hides who they really are. And she has a problem on her hands. Someone knows her secret and she has to do all she can to protect herself. What other choice does she have? Jessie casts a love spell on a good man, a man with whom she can’t fight her attraction. The spell doesn’t work quite as planned – she ends up falling for Ethan.
To top it off, Ethan’s treatment of her, his “love”, is so addictive. Deep down, she knows the spell will wear off, and yet his feelings seem genuine. It’s just a spell…right?

Be sure to visit tomorrow for Marie’s’s featured post.

Don’t forget about Marie’s Ebook Giveaway!

Click HERE to enter!

And now, for another “snippet”…

“You’re a clever woman.”

Magick & Moonlight on Seasons of Love Blog

Magick and Moonlight by Marie Lavender

Please join with me in welcoming Marie Lavender for a return visit to Seasons of Love.

Magick and Moonlight

by Marie Lavender

Moonlight and Magick by Marie Lavender

 Love spells are dangerous…
Even more dangerous for those who cast them.

Marie says,
Magick & Moonlight was a joy for me to write.  It came to me as an image, of a man kicking rocks along the shoreline while the full moon sat above him.  He is lost in his own thoughts until he notices something out of the ordinary.  It was fun to show exactly what he saw and how he reacted to it.
* * * *
Tomorrow Marie will be back to tell us more about “Magick and Moonlight”.
On Friday she’ll be sharing a few thoughts about love and the spell it casts upon us.
* * * *
Marie will be giving away an ebook copy of “Magick and Moonlight”.
To enter, click below !

Marie’s Ebook Giveaway

* * * *
Until tomorrow, here’s a little snippet!

“What the hell did you do to me?”

New 4 Star Review for MAGICK & MOONLIGHT

Just came across this review on Amazon.
4.0 out of 5 stars  When the Spell Wears Off, May 26, 2014
This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)
Ethan sees the light from a campfire burning in the woods as he walks back to his cabin one night. He turns aside to check on the fire and encounters a woman, dancing around an iron pot set over the fire. She is nude and is chanting in an unfamiliar language. Her name is Jessie, and she claims to be a witch. He doesn’t believe in witches and believes that she is a bit “off.” He gives her his coat and he drives her home.

Jessie had not intended to tell him was a witch, and she is concerned that he might repeat what she said. She owns a store in the small town and she fears what might happen to her, to her lively hood, if anyone were to find out. To keep her secret, she casts a spell, causing Ethan to fall in love with her. Problems arise− she finds herself falling in love with him, and, then, spells do not last forever. What might happen when the spell wears off?

The author calls her book a paranormal romance, although she does admit that it may not be a “typical” paranormal adventure. I tend to agree. The only paranormal elements are that Jessie is a witch and she casts a spell. I would expect more paranormal activity than this.

On the other hand, as a romance, it is a good story, one you would enjoy reading. As always, Marie Lavender writes well, and she holds your interest. It is a short work, and I only wish that she had made it longer.

David Burnett for The Kindle Book Review
I received a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Guess Who and Meow, Meow, Meow?

Meow, Meow, Meow!

This week’s guest author is a cat lover. In fact, she’s got three of the little lovelies. Yep, I realize “cat lover” could apply to many of us! Cats are special. Maybe they’re even magical.
Our guest author’s three kitties are Emma, Smokey, and Katerina — also known as Kit Kat. Gotta love it!


Think you know who this cat-loving lady is?
Check back tomorrow to find out the identity of this week’s guest and see what story she’ll be sharing.
Here’s a quick look at what will be happening throughout the week:
  • Wednesday: Our guest author’s identity will be revealed along with the cover art for the book she’s sharing.  She’ll also tell “the story behind the story” — her personal thoughts on writing the book.
  • Thursday: Find out more! Our guest author will be sharing the book blurb with you…and not just in 25 words or less! You can read the blurb and find out what this story is all about.
  • Friday: Our guest author takes center stage today.  You won’t want to miss her feature post.
  • Saturday: Come back today for excerpts from this week’s book.
  • Sunday: Our guest author will be wrapping up the week’s visit with links you can use to keep in touch.
And now…let me leave you with this enticing little  snippet from the book our guest author will be sharing:

“Is there a reason I found you naked out there?”

Guess Who: May 26

Pop Quiz!

Guess Who

You’ve seen this little charmer before.

Yes, she’s been a guest at Seasons of Love in the past.

I’m delighted to welcome her back.

It’s a different photograph, but the same talented author.

Do you know who she is?

Be watching for a hint tomorrow.


Usually, I do these separately, but I found them at the same time, so what the hell, right?  How fun to be inundated with all these reviews at once!  Yay!  :)

5.0 out of 5 stars Magickal short story, May 21, 2014
This review is from: Magick & Moonlight (Kindle Edition)
As a practicing Wiccan, I was excited to find a story where one of the main characters is a practicing Wiccan and not doing it for show. I was impressed with the knowledge imparted, especially when Jessie was casting the love spell and going through all the reasons why she shouldn’t be doing it. Most Wiccans that I know do exactly the same thing and most do not cast if it will harm another. Just like the Wiccan Rede states: “Harm None, Do What Thou Will.” Love spells fall in that category for most. And to see the negative repercussions fall into place was a nice surprise. It is clear that Ms. Lavender respects the Path enough that she asked for expert help and it was clearly given and used.
Jessie and Ethan are a well matched pair. Both with their own issues, but coming together, they were each able to help the other grow and love.
My only wish was that this book was longer, I did not want it to end. The writing was great, the characters bold and refreshing. Thank you Miss Lavender for a great read…I can’t wait to read some of your other works.

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, May 21, 2014
This review is from: Upon Your Return (Kindle Edition)
I really did not know what to expect from Ms. Lavender. I had read her short story Magick & Moonlight and absolutely loved it, but wasn’t sure about her historical romances. Well, I am here to say, great job! The book was awesome. Set in the late 1800’s in France, the time of the World’s Fair and Napoleon. It is a story of 2 people from different classes who meet and fall in love. Of course, love is never easy. They are torn apart for years, only to come back together and struggle to finally reveal their love. Fara and Grant are two strong individuals that have to learn how to reveal what is in their hearts and let the past go so that they can move forward with their lives. Five stars for me….wish I could paste more stars up there!!

5.0 out of 5 stars So So Good!!, May 21, 2014
This review is from: Upon Your Honor (Kindle Edition)
This is the second story in the Heiress in Love Trilogy and I must say I loved it more than the first one. This is the story of Gabriel and Chloe. Gabriel is the son of Fara and Grant from Upon Your Return. I love this idea and rarely see it occur in other series, where the subsequent novel is the child that is spoken about in the first book. Now it is Gabriel’s turn to find his way and to find love. The characters are fresh and surprising. The story well fleshed out. There is enough drama to keep the story going, yet enough of a love story to keep you hooked. I wanted Chloe and Gabriel to get together so bad, I would talk to my laptop to tell them to hurry it up. LOL. My boyfriend thought I was going crazy when I was speaking to the characters out loud. This is definitely a five star novel for me!!! Thank you Ms. Lavender for another wonderful novel. I can’t wait to read the next one!

Appropriate Social Media Behavior

We all get involved with social networking for different reasons.  Some join to make new friends or to converse with old ones.  Some simply look to cultivate contacts that might benefit them in the future.  Maybe they are looking to start a new business or are open to getting a new job, and they need that channel to grow those necessary connections.  Some already have a business or product and that social network is simply a way to find potential clients or customers who might be interested in their product.  For some, they do it for more than one reason.  And there are a select few who use it to find a potential mate or conduct a tryst.  This boggles my mind, but whatever site you use (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest or any other social media out there), there are certain behaviors that are just not appropriate.

1)      Harrassment.  Whatever you do, don’t harass people.  Use your timeline and Facebook pages wisely.  If you are in discussion groups and you are selling a product, find an appropriate group to post in.  Do a search for a related group and read the rules to make sure you can post freely.  Use common sense.  If you are selling sunglasses, don’t post in groups about books or writing.  Do not tout your unrelated product or service on other people’s posts.  There is nothing more infuriating than when the individual sees you have posted something about a financial institution or bank loan on a post that has nothing to do with that.  If you insist on staying in such groups, foster discussions by liking and commenting.  If you must mention a product, give it as an example, but please make sure it is associated with the topic of the group or post. 

Also, don’t direct message people randomly with a plea to buy your product or service.  That gets old.   

I suppose, if you really have the time, you can politely ask someone to “like” a page if you’ve liked theirs.  But, just keep in mind that it’s not cool to keep asking, especially if they have already liked your page.  Don’t show your desperation.  It’s best not to act desperate in any case.  Just don’t inundate people with requests via direct or private message.  This is the equivalent of having an annoying neighbor asking you for something all the time.  If you need page likes, the best thing is to post your plea in a related discussion group or to find a Facebook group/event that is specifically designed for gaining likes.  They do exist.  There is a good “like” exchange on those, and your numbers will naturally increase.

What other kinds of harassment are there?  Oh, yes.  If you’ve joined social media to find a date, good luck.  You have to keep in mind that most people are not on there for that reason.  If you’re going to seriously date online, don’t you want to make sure it’s feasible in real life?  Be reasonable.  Here is an example:  if someone lives in Botswana and they pursue someone in the United States, that is not going to work.  Long distance relationships are hard, but by doing this, you have made it impossible.  

Choose someone that lives closer to you.  Also, pay attention to an individual’s status on their profile.  If it says “engaged” or “married”, that is pretty indicative of the fact that they wouldn’t be interested or even open to flirting/dating anyone online.  Leave these people alone if you’re connected with them for romantic reasons.  It is wrong to harass someone you know is unavailable, especially if he or she has already stated they are taken and not interested.  This is stalking and it’s not comfortable for the recipient.   If you want to date online, there are dating sites for that.

Just don’t harass at all.  According to, harassment is defined as “the act or instance of harassing, or disturbing, pestering, or troubling repeatedly; persecution, torment or confusion by persistent attacks or questions”.  The word is also derived from the Old French word harer, meaning “to set a dog on”.  All of these descriptions are negative.  Would you want to be dogged by someone?  

Especially do not connect with someone and immediately start hitting on him or her, either dropping blatant sexual innuendo or by talking about how that person is the love of your life and you know you’ll be happy together.  Really?  That is totally inappropriate behavior.  If you dropped such hints in real life, you would either get slapped or punched by that person, or by their significant other.  And if you confessed your undying love for a complete stranger in the public domain, you’d be viewed as a social pariah.  If you’re a man, women would use any excuse to get away from your blatant approach.  Just don’t harass anyone that way.  

Harassment is wrong.  Period.  This also includes blatant direct messages, trying to get someone’s attention.  If they don’t respond, they are probably not online or have stepped away from their computer or phone for awhile.  And that leads into my other thing about harassment.  Never call a complete stranger via Facebook or Google unless they have given you express permission to do so.  If they wanted to talk via phone or video chat online, they would tell you that.  It is definitely not appropriate to harass anyone, but especially via social media.  Some of the stuff I’ve seen on social media is amazing, and not in a good way.  Here is one example and it has happened to me twice.  In my Twitter notifications, someone said, “OMG!  Marie Lavender, what you said was so hilarious!” Of course, this got my attention because I couldn’t remember what was so funny.  They included a link that my virus software flagged as malicious.  Okay, obviously someone hacked into their account or something or maybe they are a hacker.  Whatever the reason, just don’t do this stuff.  Do you want to get blocked or unfollowed? 

There are two ways to avoid becoming a social media pariah.  Ask yourself: 

1. If this was real life, if I was in public, could I get away with any of this? 

The answer is most likely a resounding “no” because you’d want to avoid a lawsuit or getting punched.

2.  How do I want to be treated? 

If you want respect, you have to show respect and that includes not harassing people.  

Plus, if you use the basic moral principles you were taught from childhood and you learn how to be diplomatic in your conduct, that can help you a lot in life.  Sometimes I think people harass online because they think they can get away with it.  I guess it’s appealing to do something that is taboo; they like the risk.  But, don’t do it.  It will only leave you wondering where all of your “friends” on social media went.

2)      Do try to avoid topics that can create problems.  Politics and religion are good ones to avoid.  There is always going to be someone who disagrees with you, and that individual won’t hesitate to start a fight about it.  In any case, especially if you have to worry about a business reputation, it’s best to avoid hairy topics.  This leads me to my next point.

3)      Review before you post anything.  As an English major, I might have said this specifically for grammatical purposes, but we can broaden that a little for this article.  I’ll say it again.  Review before you post anything.  You know that moment when you’re in a heated argument and you said something you didn’t mean, something you regretted later?  No matter how much you apologize for it, you know you said it and it was wrong.  And that person may never forget it even if they do forgive you.  Well, social media has a way of biting you long after the fact. 

It’s best to seriously evaluate anything you’ve written, but especially if your reputation or your business’ reputation is on the line.  Stop and think about how smart it is to retort to something someone said.  Think about how well a complaint could be taken.  What is it you’re posting about and how important is it in the scheme of things?  Yes, in most cases, you can delete or edit something, but what if you couldn’t?  Technology is glitchy at times.  What if people did see it even if you removed it later on?  Think about your emotions too.  Do you really want to post when you’re not as level-headed as you could be?  I’m not just talking about what you put on your timeline on Facebook, but how you comment on any kind of social media.  

You’re in the public eye now (don’t pretend otherwise), and it’s your reputation at stake if you lash out and behave unprofessionally.  It’s all on you.  If you need to, find a friend and vent.  You are accountable to yourself now.  This is real life and there isn’t going to be a parent or teacher to keep you in line.  If you say something that can drastically affect you, you’re the only one that will regret it.  This leads into my next point as well.

4)      Tit-for-tat.  If someone has said something negative about you or product online, it may seem very appealing and easy to seek some kind of revenge on that person.  Don’t.  Be smart.  Let it pass and don’t be petty.  Sometimes just getting distance from that person or their comment is the smartest plan. 

Also, never expect any kind of return or reward for what you’ve done.  Just because you’ve done something nice for someone doesn’t mean the favor will be returned.  Continue to do those nice things for others.  That’s great.  It does get noticed.  If they didn’t “like” your page, they probably got distracted with life or maybe Facebook put a hold on how many pages they could like.  Whatever you do, don’t track that person down and beg for something in return.  It only makes you look desperate, and this is just harassment too.  A lot of people don’t have a ton of time to spend on social media, and you have to respect that.  They may only have just enough time to check their notifications and sign back out.  Don’t expect anything in return, but give when you can.  Diversely, know your limits with social media.  Don’t commit to something (like an event) you can’t do. 

5)      Observe.  If you do use social media to grow your business, one of the best strategies is to observe others who appear successful and see what they do.  I am not telling you to copy anyone.  We are all unique, and you will excel by creating your own voice in the world.  But, it doesn’t hurt to see what works and what doesn’t and to use those tools or tips effectively.

6)      Use your best judgment at all times.  If your gut is telling you that it’s a bad idea, you probably shouldn’t do it.  We have to get back to listening to our moral compass, our conscience.  Sure, it’s tempting to let loose and say whatever you want on social media, but if you’re concerned at all about reputation, you probably shouldn’t.  Think about it.  You’ll thank yourself for it later.

I know I probably haven’t covered everything in this article.  This is all I can think of for now.  If you know me, you know that I’ll come up with a “part two” to this if I think of other tips.  I can’t stress enough that if you can’t get away with it in public, why should you get away with it on social media?  Overall, just use your head.   

Oh, and don’t forget to have fun!  Social media shouldn’t be serious all of the time.

I hope I’ve helped to steer you all in the right direction.  Happy posting!


Magick & Moonlight by Marie Lavender

Cryssy's review
May 14, 14

Read on May 14, 2014

Thank you Miss Lavender for a great read. The writing was great, the characters bold and refreshing.
Jessie and Ethan are a well matched pair. Both with their own issues, but coming together, they were able to help the other grow and love.
My only wish was the the book was longer, I did not want it to end. I can't wait to read some of your other works! 
5.0 out of 5 stars What a true ride you will have with this book, May 18, 2014
This story is brilliantly written, the intense moments that take you back to a place of mystery, romance, and heart stopping thrills that will keep you reading to the wee hours of the morning, I really enjoyed spending time reading this Historical Romance and feeling like I was the Heroine, I already started reading the second in the series and I am just as intrigued as the first book, Love you Marie you are a truly Gifted Author

Author Interview and Spotlight for UPON YOUR HONOR on Belinda Y. Hughes' Blog!

Author Interview: Marie Lavender (Upon Your Honor)



Leaving had proven to be very difficult. Chloe had no allies in the house. All of the servants worked for Lamonte now, so she couldn’t enlist the help of any maids. Her own nursemaid, Veronica, had quickly become controlled by her fiancé after her father’s bout of pneumonia. He made it clear that it was better to be loyal to him than to Chloe. Therefore, when she began planning her escape, she did it alone. She had to wait until Veronica had gone to her own quarters and everyone else in the house was asleep as well. Of course, as she’d assumed, Lamonte would be preoccupied with his own pleasures and so he wouldn’t notice her leaving.
She gathered what she could and wrapped it in a makeshift sack that she slung over her shoulder on a pole. She had retrieved the items while observing the gardeners a few days before. That was also when she had discovered the extra men’s clothing lying about. They were clean and simple, but they would do. She hid everything under the bed so that a maid wouldn’t find them. She had left the house tonight and had taken one of the spare horses to the docks. Luckily, the boy who guarded the stable was asleep.
Chloe chose a ship called La Voyageur. It was large enough and it appeared to be a cargo ship of some kind, but she could not be sure. She figured she could hide easily enough among the shipments or pretend she was a sailor at least for a while until she could find a way off.
Now, on the ship, she tried to look busy or move out of the way of the sailors moving crates around. She ducked her head to avoid eye contact with any of the men. She feared that if enough attention was drawn to her, they would notice she was not who she claimed.
Chloe moved towards the back of the ship and went down the companionway below only to shrink back when a massive form came into view. His dark auburn hair was rakishly drawn in waves over his head and he had the darkest eyes she’d ever seen. Her heart raced, and her breath came in small gasps. Stunned, she tried to get control of herself, but she came to the realization that she wanted to drown in that gaze.

Today I’m interviewing Marie Lavender, about her new release, Upon Your Honor. We’re going to cruise back into the New York City and New Orleans of the late 1800s. Please be sure to check out Upon Your Return, another fine work in this historical romance series. Marie is a dear writing friend of mine from G+. She is also a prolific, best-selling and award-winning multi-genre author and blogger. I highly recommend subscribing to her writing blog and keeping up with her books, if you want to see how a professional author does her job, while carrying on a real life with a family and job outside the home. Welcome, Marie.


Please introduce us to your latest romance, Upon Your Honor. What inspired the concept for this particular book? 

I guess you could say that one day the first scene of the first chapter came to me.  Chloe Waverly, in non-descript costume, goes aboard La Voyageur, the ship that was also mentioned in the previous book.  Suddenly, I knew that I wanted to write sequels to Upon Your Return.

How did you choose the period and location settings?   

I had to do some math to figure out what date I wanted it set in, a date that would coincide well with Chloe’s introduction into the series.  As for locations, I did some research to figure out possible routes the ship might take and I explored everything I could about the ports in that time period.

What gave rise to the characters?  

As aforementioned, Chloe’s character automatically came to me.  More of the facets of her personality and background came out as the book progressed.  I did have to explore Gabriel Hill, the hero, a little more.  He was introduced in the first book, as were other characters.  Some new characters came along in Upon Your Honor as well, and it was fun to create names for them and go into more detail about who they were.



She thought it was morning when she woke for the light streamed bright through the porthole, casting sunrays over the bed. She sighed and turned over only to squeal. Gabriel Hill was sitting beside her on the bed. “What are you doing? Are you mad?” For a moment, she was reminded of Lamonte and how he’d entered her bedchamber once or twice without permission. And she did not know this man. What if he was just as bad? Good Lord, he’d nearly seen her unclothed, hadn’t he? Of course, he had sworn it was platonic, but some men were prone to lying. Her heart raced erratically, and her cheeks grew warm under his steady gaze.
He chuckled. “No, chére. Just concerned about you.”
She took a deep breath. “Well, your concern could have knocked, you know.”
Gabriel laughed at her, amused for some reason. “Perhaps you’re right. It might be remiss of me, however, if you were lying here unconscious and no one knew.”
“And if I were not decent? How would you explain yourself?”
“The benefits would outweigh the consequences, of course.”
“Pardon me?”
His eyes narrowed. “Saving your life would be more important than your maiden’s sensibilities, I assure you.”
Chloe was miffed by his comments, but tried to calm down. He meant well, she supposed. “I am well enough. You may leave.”
He cocked his head, as if he didn’t think she had the authority to dismiss him. Well, she had usurped him. It was his cabin. But, it was hardly proper to allow him that kind of behavior.
“How can I be sure? Perhaps you are just saying that to be rid of me. Perhaps you are not well at all.”
She frowned. “I am not foolish either.”
“Did I say that? I am simply saying that you might be gravely injured, yet you wish to save me from the truth.”
“Don’t be daft. If I was truly unwell, you would know.” Was the temperature in the room warmer now? Perhaps she did have a fever after all.
“Would I? I’m not so sure, Chloe Waverly. You are a mysterious lady.”

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Marie, how long have you been writing now? 

I’ve been writing for over twenty years.  I started when I was nine years old.

What is your writing space like and how do you settle into it when you’re ready? 

I try to get as comfortable I can, but it is not out of the ordinary for someone to find me sprawled across my bed or hunched over a notebook when I’m sitting somewhere.  When the moment comes, when I am in the “zone”, there’s no stopping it.

Why do you favor the romance genre?

I love “love”!  There is something completely appealing to me about romance.  I love watching the characters fall in love in books and movies.  As a child, I was fairly obsessed with it.  Even my childhood fantasies included princesses being whisked away by knights.  I think it’s even better to find out that it’s not all pretend, that there are actually good men out there, though they are hard to find.  I found one of them, and he has been very inspiring to me.  I wrote love stories way before I met him, but truly loving a man has helped me to understand romance better.


How do you juggle your outside job, home and family with your writing life? 

Good question.  It is very hard to do.  Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy.  I guess I just try to make time to get everything done.  If I know I can’t do a task right then because something else has taken priority, I write a note to myself as I reminder.  It is not out of ordinary for me to have post-its everywhere.  Also, if I am working on a writing project, I try to keep myself organized with major outlines or notes on what sections I need to work on next.  That tells me if I need to tackle research first or just start writing.  I do run three blogs, and I moderate different groups on Facebook and LinkedIn.  Would I like to write full-time?  Of course.  But, that’s not feasible right now so I just do what I can.  Sometimes tasks get put off until the next day, but as long as it’s not something with a deadline, you do what you have to do to get it all accomplished.  A virtual assistant would be nice though!  LOL.

Do you have a dedicated time and place that you regularly set aside for your writing career? 

Two or three locations stick out to me.  I write in a journal before I go to bed, I compose on my computer or I write in a notebook while sitting on the couch.  The couch is a really dangerous place because my cats get curious and want to sit on my papers.  LOL.  As for time of day, anytime I can is good.  Some of my best writing comes at night as I’m settling in bed, however.  I have to write to get my mind to shut off sometimes.  I also love to write outdoors when I can.

Emma the Instigator and Cutie Pie
Emma the Instigator and Cutie Pie

How do your cats relate to your writing activities?  Help you access your Muse?

Their names are Emma, Smokey, and Katerina (or Kit Kat for short). I have written about cats occasionally in my stories, but as for how they relate, I would say that they like to keep me from writing by being dramatic or causing trouble.  Emma likes to start fights with the others to draw me away from what I’m doing.  Or, she will climb in my lap and act her cutest, which sometimes tears me away from writing.  If I am really in the writing zone, I will sit her on a pillow next to me so that she feels comfortable being close to me, but won’t distract me too much. 

Do they help paper come out of the printer?  Play with discarded crumpled pages?

You asked about the printer; that’s funny.  Yes, Emma will sit on the printer and mess with the buttons.  There have been many times where she forces a print or copy of something.  If paper comes out, it usually scares her and she runs away.  Yes, they love discarded pages.  I have one cat who likes to bat paper balls around.  She also lays across my desk and takes up the space so I can’t use it. She also enjoys knocking my speakers over.

Keep you company once the house is quiet?

If the house is quiet though, they are very comforting.  Actually, I would have to say that a cat is a great companion.  When you don’t feel well, they want to be near you to make you feel better.  It is very calming to have a pet.

Magick and Moonlight


Chloe was charmed further when Gabriel stopped her beneath a tree, bent to pluck a lavender flower and placed it into her rarely pinned up hair. “Thank you,” she murmured.
“How can anyone resist such a picture?” he said in accented English. There was a bright quality to his eyes that she wondered about, but he reached his hand out to her.
She took his offered hand. Her breath caught when he lifted her hand to his lips in the ancient gesture of respect. Even through the fine material of the glove, she could feel the brush of his lips over the surface of her hand. His eyes were trained on hers, and she could not look away. There was no denying the man had done it well. But, what was more compelling was the fact that his steady gaze made her want to press her lips to his. She briefly entertained it, despite the fact that it was so wrong of her. How much that would shock him. He was utterly proper most of the time. But, she sensed an untamed quality to Gabriel as well, that perhaps he was not driven by propriety always, that he might be compelled by something else at times.
She imagined leaning forward, raising her mouth in invitation, waiting for him to kiss her. Would he do that? She could not be sure. In her dreams he would lower his mouth to hers, move his lips moderately over hers until she opened to him. He would band his arm around her back to draw her closer, so close that she couldn’t remember who she was. There was only Gabriel.
Chloe leaned forward without meaning to, and Gabriel’s gaze dropped to her mouth. His eyes became very dark, and the rapid thud of her heart against her chest was unnerving. And it happened so swiftly she had no time to react. He drew her to him and set his lips to hers. On a confused breath, she opened her mouth. Their tongues danced gently. His kiss was so compelling and she blinked when he quickly drew away.
“Forgive me,” he whispered. “You did not ask.”
She opened her mouth to protest, then thought better of it. He had no idea how wanton her thoughts had been. Perhaps it was better not to voice it. She nodded. “No harm done. Shall we go to dinner?” she asked, noting that the park had grown a bit dark.
“Of course.” He led her back to the hansom cab, where he handed her in.



Who does your editing and cover art?  How did you find them?

With my self-published books, I did my own editing and cover art.  I purchased royalty-free images and gave credit to each photographer.  I used sites like Stock Xchng, Pixabay, Fotolia, MorgueFile, 123RF and others.  As for my traditional books, released through Solstice Publishing, the publisher hired editors and cover artists to handle the work.  Kayden McLeod did the cover art on Upon Your Return.  Select-o-Grafix did the cover for Magick & Moonlight.  Deborah Melanie was the cover artist for Upon Your Honor.  The editor for Upon Your Return was Shawna K. Williams; she also did the editing for the Discreet Gentleman series by Kris Tualla (I totally recommend that series if you love historical romance).  And my other editors were Cynthia Ley (for Magick & Moonlight) and Kathy Collier (for Upon Your Honor).  I also had numerous critique partners and beta readers for all three of those books; I found them on Yahoo! Groups, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Exactly how do you work with them to accomplish these optimum results? 

In most cases, the results were achieved by suggestions.  With the manuscripts, the editors made suggestions and I corrected them.  If there were occasional typos, I fixed that.  If there was something that needed more description, I fixed that as well.  With the cover art, most of the covers came from a simple method.  I put out my initial thoughts of what I might like, the artist came up with something and I approved it based on what I knew the characters should look like or the theme I wanted to convey.

Do you have any favorite authors or fellow authors you look up to?

I have a lot of favorite authors:  Catherine Coulter, Nora Roberts, J.R. Ward, P.C. Cast, Kerrelyn Sparks, Chloe Neill and Kris Tualla.  The list goes on.  As for anyone I look up to, I admire any writer out there who has made it through the tough publishing journey and come out a success.  Some such writers I have met on my journey, just to name a few, are Linda Lee Williams, Aubrey Brown and CJ Heck.

What are you presently working on?

Right now, I am working on a paranormal romance about a woman who stumbles into the world of vampires.  In the process of falling for one of them, she learns more about herself.

Mariepic2 - small


Bestselling author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 18 other books. 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 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. In college, she published two works in a
university publication, and was a copy editor on the staff of an online
student journal. Marie has published nineteen books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Feel free to visit her website at for further information about her work and her life. She is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

A list of her books and pen names:

Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor
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

Please connect with Marie on your favorite social media channels. Thanks again for joining us, Marie Lavender, to discuss Upon Your Honor. We look forward to seeing you again when you get the chance.


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