Promo for UPON YOUR HONOR and my article "Why in the World Do I Write This Crazy Thing Called Romance?" on Mark Iles' Blog

May 15, 2014

Upon Your Honour, by Marie Lavender

posted by Mark Iles

One of the great things about being a writer, is the friends you make along the way. Today I have the honour of hosting Marie Lavender’s blog tour, for the release of her new novel Upon Your Honour. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you, Marie, all the success with this wonderful novel.

Why in the World Do I Write This Crazy Thing Called Romance?
I had someone ask what really caused me to write romance, other than the obvious things like writing about hunks that make women sigh. Well, from the time I was a child, I always loved stories about romance or watching romantic movies. I can’t explain the reason why I was so enamored of the genre then, only that it made me happy. When other kids were immersed in their worlds of dolls or action figures, I had these love stories playing in my head. I always believed in the concept of true love. Okay, maybe I was a bit whisked away by the idea of a knight swearing fealty to his lady.

What further cemented this belief, I think, was seeing a true love story play out in my own house. My parents weren’t perfect; no one is. They fought occasionally, but you could always see the love between them. They probably wouldn’t believe that I based my expectations of romance on them, but in reality I did. To me, that’s what real love was like – not always easy, but totally worth it. Relationships are work, but the good ones make it look easy on the outside. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized there are different kinds of love, at least with regards to romance.

Did I ever experience it myself? Of course. I started dating in college, when most girls had already had a few boyfriends. So, needless to say, I was a little naive at first. My first relationship was a mistake. I learned from it, of course, but I wish I hadn’t made the decisions that led to what happened. The man I dated was very abusive in ways I won’t even describe here, and I regret wasting my time on him. I waited about a year after the breakup before I tried to find someone again. I met someone new, and after having knowing him for a year, I can say that was also a mistake. Though I was loyal to him, he ended up cheating on me when were supposed to be excusive. Cheating is a huge no-no in my book. I was understandably deflated and heartbroken after that.

So, you may ask, “Why do you write romances? Shouldn’t you be jaded by your experiences?”

Well, I was certainly affected by what happened, but in spite of it all, I held firm to my belief in true love. I knew that somewhere out there, there had to be a decent man, that there was someone for me. I knew that not having that belief, not having something to hope for, was just going to make me bitter. Of course, I was afraid of being hurt again, but there is never courage without fear.Upon_Your_Honor_opt

So, I just kept moving forward. I always wrote stories and having those experiences helped to shape my fiction. I could write villains better because I knew firsthand what forms that could take. Quite often heroines ended up with similar past experiences, and I guess you could say writing was my therapy. I think without that outlet, things might have been different. I was majoring in Creative Writing in college so I had plenty of opportunity to put pen to paper.

In 2004, my life changed drastically. I met someone online and despite how well we connected, I was really wary of meeting him in person. You never know what can result in something like that. We did eventually meet in a very neutral, very public location, and we instantly hit it off. We started talking and really never stopped. After meeting and knowing this man, I began to understand the difference between loving someone and being in love. I can fully admit that I have no doubts that he is my soul mate. We have been together for ten years and even after going through so many major life events together, we are still strong. We still remain in love and faithful to one another.

This experience has not only strengthened my faith in true love, it has also helped me write better. Being in love and being with a romantic person is very inspiring to me. And I really wouldn’t have had it any other way. I know now that events played out the way they should have, and I am a true believer in fate. We are all destined to find who we are supposed to be with. It just takes time and maybe a few mistakes along the way. So, where was I? Oh, yes.

I sincerely believe that all of these experiences helped to shape my conviction for writing romance. I am also an avid reader of romance. You couldn’t have guessed, right? Two of my favorite authors are Nora Roberts and Catherine Coulter. In recent years, I turned to a fascination with paranormal romance so I picked up J.R. Ward, Kerrelyn Sparks, P.C. Cast and Chloe Neill as favorites as well.

I think that my writing tends to have a lot of conflict. Life isn’t easy and I try to reflect that. With fiction, a character will always have to overcome something to get what he or she wants. I also don’t sugar coat the truth about a character. If they went through something, there is no use hiding it. I firmly believe our experiences only make us stronger. So, even though I write about romance and I truly love it, I know when to be more serious with a scene. But, love can also be a lot of fun. Romance books can be a great escape, and it’s no different when I’m in the midst of writing a scene. There is so much you can do with it as there are many different subgenres for romance now. I have published contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and in my spare time, I write romantic poetry. I even have works in progress that could be labeled as time travel romance.

Being a writer is my calling, but romance writing…that’s my passion.

Blurb for Upon Your Honor
Deception is a dangerous path…

New York City, August, 1891 – Orphaned after the death of her father, Chloe Waverly stows away on La Voyageur to escape the clutches of her cruel fiancé, Lamonte Beckett. Gabriel Hill, a strange and compelling gentleman, comes upon Chloe and promises to protect her without knowing the true circumstances of why she is running away. During their journey, Gabriel doesn’t bargain on being distracted by her fair beauty or succumbing to her many charms. As their attraction to each other grows, so does the danger and Gabriel suspects things are not as they should be.

Both are determined to get to New Orleans, where she can start a new life. But, once they reach their destination, events spin out of their control and Chloe is captured by the fiancé she escaped. Gabriel is left wondering if he can overlook her betrayal. Soon he finds himself in a race against time, to reach her before Beckett can exact revenge.

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Excerpt from Upon Your Honor:

“Is everything all right, chère?”
She gasped, turning, and saw him standing behind her. “Yes. Yes, of course.”
“I thought you and my sister were arguing.”
Gabriel must have spotted them from afar. “No,” she assured him. “She was concerned about her dance card.”
He frowned. “Her gentleman?”
Gabe scowled. “I hope he’s strong enough. She’s a handful.”
“Gabriel, if you had your whole future ahead of you and yet it seemed as if it was planned out for you, wouldn’t you be a little scared too?”
He nodded and joined her there at the railing. “I suppose you’re right. I’ll take it easy on her.”
She took a deep breath. “Maybe you can do a favor for her as well.”
He swung his head towards her. “What’s that?”
“Help fill up her dance card. Dance with her. Give her a break from her gentleman.”
He frowned. “Mon Dieu, if she truly does not like him, I can inform my father.”
“No, Gabriel. I believe she does like him after all, probably quite a lot. She is simply fighting her destiny.”
He gave her a long look, which was, of course, unsettling. It made her skin feel hot beneath her clothing and her breaths come short. “It seems a lot of people fight their destiny.”
“What do you mean?”
He only shrugged.
“A destiny is not an arranged marriage, Gabriel. But, sometimes we can find our places without even realizing we have.”
He smiled gently. “Have I ever told you how much I value your opinion, how intelligent you are, chère? How wise?”
She shook her head, could not form words for a moment. “Thank you,” she whispered. His faith in her meant a lot. But, she did not feel wise at all. She was, in fact, a fool for what she had done to him.
She wasn’t expecting it. It came without warning as she looked at him. A surge of love so strong it took her breath away. And she knew she’d never feel the same about any other man as she did with Gabriel. He would always be her destiny. She realized it was not chance that she had chosen La Voyageur. But, despite the fact that fate had drawn them together, she knew he would not forgive her for her deception. She deserved that. So, even if she could not be with him, it was some comfort to know that there really was nothing random about life. It seemed random with its twist and turns. But, it was simply ironic how she kept ending up right where she started, at his side. Perhaps fate had a sense of humor as well.
Gabriel moved close, cupped her cheek. His touch made her tremble. “You’re shaking,” he commented softly.
“I’m not afraid,” she denied easily. And she wasn’t. Even if she could not be with him, she would not fear love, at least not anymore.

Author bio:

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.
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 nineteen 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. She just released Magick & Moonlight, a paranormal romance, in March. Upon Your Honor, released in late April, is her second historical romance. Feel free to visit her website at for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

A list of her books and pen names are as follows:

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

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