Hottest Male in Literature contest!

The Hottest Male in Literature contest is back at Inner Goddess. July 1-4 is nominating, July 5-6 is voting on top 10 nominees. They will also be giving a prize basket to a random participant.  Click the pic below to access the site for those days.

Don’t forget to nominate Grant Hill in Upon Your Return

or Gabriel Hill in Upon Your Honor


Celebrate the Summer Solstice!


 Celebrate the Summer Solstice!

Summer Solstice Publishing celebrates the Summer Solstice, June 21, 2014, with a giveaway of books. 24 authors – 38 books! And bling with some of those books. We all love that beautiful bling.

First, we would love to offer you a free download of our cookbook here:

Just who are these authors? We’ll let you know in groups, and give you breaks with another video, some music, and a Rafflecopter link to get in to the drawing.
Our first group of authors:

Jessica Tornese                      E.B. Sullivan      

Linked Through Time             Christmas Guardian Angel
Lost Through Time

K.C. Sprayberry                        P.A. Estelle                  

Softly Say Goodbye                  Her Cracked Heart
Where U @                                 At What Price
Who Am I?                                 Hike Up Devil’s Mountain

Michael Thal                                       Marie Lavender

The Abduction of Joshua Bloom       Upon Your Return
The Legend of Koolura
Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback

Geraldine Solon                      Rebecca Frencl

Love Letters                            Ribbons of Moonlight

Marelee Lowder                    Crackerberries

The Gold Bluff Deception     Blackhorse 2015

Mary H. Collins                     W.H. Matlack

Nadia’s House                      Waiting to Run
                                              Noir Town

Reagan Werner                    Peter N. Bernfeld

Red Wing                              Eliezer’s Journey

Elle Marlow                            Angela Burke

Pour Me                                 Lucidity
One Hundred Horses            Beneath the Mayan Moon

Mysty McPartland                         Olivia Gracey

Plundering the Treasure              The Allow Factor
Her Faithless Prince

Chrystal Vaughan                          Janice Clark

Dead in the Water                         Hall of Doors 1

Kiss Carson                             Mary Filmer

Come the Blue Moon         Mary Sumeridge Beginnings
Fairview                          Mary Sumeridge and The Golden Locket

Vic Nikitin                                      Rebecca Stevenson

Hijack                                             Another Summer

What a fabulous collection of books, and they can be all yours. All you have to do is click on the Rafflecopter link below. Each entry you complete gives you 5 points. This drawing is only for 24 hours – so enter now. The winner will be contacted as soon as we get the info.

Rafflecopter Link for giveaway:

Surprise Interview on James McAllister's Blog!

My Interview of Marie Lavender


Hello, Marie. Thank you for joining us. Please tell us a little about your background: where are you from, where you live now, your family, if you have or did have a career other than writing.

I came from a small town in Indiana. I still live in Indiana, but I do plan to move to California someday. I live with my family and three cats. Writing has pretty much always been my main job, though in the past I took side jobs as a waitress, hostess and call center agent. Currently, in my other life, I am the executive vice president of a medical devices startup. 

Do you have any hobbies, interests, or activities that you enjoy?

I love writing, of course, but I also do a lot of reading and I love shopping when I can afford it. I also like to try new restaurants. I am adventurous with food. I enjoy cooking at home as well, and I spend a lot of time making up recipes.

If you were beginning your writing career today, what would you do differently?

In some ways, I wouldn’t change it because what I did got me here. But, I might try to focus more on projects instead of flounder from one story to another, which is what I did when I was younger. Although, if I had a deadline, I always had to the uncanny ability to finish something when it was necessary. I am more organized these days.

Did you have a mentor, someone who helped you through the process?

I wouldn’t say I had a specific mentor. I had several Creative Writing teachers and professors that inspired me. I also used my favorite authors as inspiration.

What advice would you give new authors?

For one, never give up. That persistence or bullheadedness will save you in a number of situations. If it seems like you’ve failed at something, pick yourself up and start again. We never truly fail; we are just delayed for a time. And secondly, start promoting yourself as a writer or author early on, even before you’ve published. Gain blog followers. Just try to gain a following of people who like to hear what you have to say. Word of mouth is the best marketing tool around.

How do you form the story lines for your writing?

Ideas just come to me at any time. There is no recipe for it. When I am ready to focus on it, I will sit down and come up with a basic outline. Later, I come up with a very detailed one. But, in between all of this, scenes can come to me in any order.

How do you research your books?

I write until I get stuck. If I know I need to look up information, I stop and do that. At some point, I have to come up with a detailed research document filled with links and notes on whatever topic I’m covering. This helps because I can refer back to it when I need to.

Out of the books you’ve written, do you have a favorite, or one that stands out in your mind?

There are two. Upon Your Return will always be my baby because it was my first historical romance. Fara and Grant will always have a special place in my heart. I was also affected by the characters in A Touch of Dawn. Caitlyn and Jack were very special people who deserved so much to be happy, and I was glad to step back from the writing of it and realize their story was told the best way it could have been.

When writing a series, do you map out the entire story of the series at the beginning?

Truthfully, I didn’t know there would be sequels to Upon Your Return until about two years ago. It wasn’t planned at all. One day, the idea came to me. I saw a scene for the second book in my head. A few months later, I started thinking about the third book. I would say that I have a basic idea of how they will play out, but the good stuff, the core of the story, doesn’t come out until you’re working on it. I didn’t know the motivation of the heroine for Upon Your Honor until well into the writing of it. Now, I have other works in progress where sequels are involved and it is the same. I have a basic idea for them, but I am just as surprised as the reader to find out what happens.

Tell us about your latest book.

My latest release is Magick & Moonlight. It is a short paranormal romance about two characters who have their own secrets and the lengths they go to in order to figure out what they want in life.

What did writing this book teach you?

Oh, I learned a lot about Wicca. I never have judged people for their beliefs, but it certainly does make me respect the religion more. And I have other magickal books planned for the future.

How can readers learn about your new projects?

There is a “projects and writing” section on my website where readers can see my temporary titles and plans for books and series. I usually include a sample of a work in progress.

Where can readers find your writing?

Links to all of my books can be found on the homepage of my website.

Is there anything you would like to leave our readers with?

You can find updates about me and my books on my blog.

Surprise Review for LEATHER AND LACE!

I just found an awesome four star review for Leather and Lace.  How exciting!

4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Woman, June 18, 2014
This review is from: Leather and Lace (Kindle Edition)
The book is a good combination of romance and action, the first part heavy on romance, the second on action.
Patrick Dreyling , a police officer meets Angie Lewis while investigating a murder. They don’t actually meet. He sees her bending over the body of the murdered man, and she runs away before he can question her. He tracks her to the Glass Slipper, a strip club where she is employed.

Patrick finds himself strangely attracted to her. There was something about her eyes that fascinated him. He rules her out as a suspect in the murder, but he wants to get to know her better. As a result, he pays for her to come to his house to dance for him in private. Dancing becomes sex. Sex leads, in this case, to love.

Angie dropped out of college when her little sister became an addict. She works where she does to pay her sister’s supplier, so that she can remain in rehab. It is an old debt, one that still haunts her. Patrick is determined to help her solve her problem, even when it puts his life in danger.

The book is relatively short and is easy to read. It is well-written and will hold your interest. It’s perfect for an afternoon at the beach!

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

My author interview on A Lover of Books blog!

Interview with Marie Lavender

Marie Lavender has written 19 books so far.  She expressed an interest in participating in an interview for my blog.  Below you can find out all about her latest book.

Tell me a bit about your latest book.

My newest release is Upon Your Honor, a Victorian romance that also has quite a bit of suspense in it.  The story covers Chloe Waverly’s journey as she stows aboard a clipper ship in an attempt to flee from the nightmare at home.  A handsome, mysterious gentleman offers to help her, but he doesn’t know the real reasons for why she escaped.  As you can probably guess, her past comes back to haunt her ​in many ways. I’ll leave it there for now, as I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

Where do you get your ideas from?

My ideas can come from anything – out of the blue or I can be inspired by current events, things that are happening to me or to other people I am close to, films or books I read.  Anything small can spur an idea.

Roughly how long does it take you to write each novel?

Well, that really depends on the book.  Some of what I have written is only stories or novellas so I would say not too long at all.  For my longer pieces, my novels, it can take months to years.  Upon Your Return, my first historical romance, which is also book one in the Heiresses in Love trilogy, came to me in 2002.  I finished writing it around 2010 or 2011.  I received a contract for it in 2012 and it was published in February of 2013.  Upon Your Honor, the second book in the series, came to me in 2012, or at least the idea did.  From the time I fully concentrated on writing it to when I was done, it took about a year.  I don’t know how long the third book will take.  I think a lot of it just depends on how much research has to be done and how much time you have to write it.

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment, I am finishing up a paranormal romance novella titled Second Nature.  It is about a woman who stumbles into the world of vampires.  Her life drastically changes, and in the process she learns more about herself than she ever imagined.

What advice do you have for anyone wishing to pen their first book?

Read anything you can on writing, on the craft.  Take writing classes.  I definitely encourage that you do workshops or have critique partners to look at your work.  And don’t forget to read books.  As you read them, you’ll start to pick up how the authors write, what styles or elements are used.  You want to read as many books as you can, especially those in the genre you’re planning to write.  This helps familiarize you with how things are usually done, though in some cases you can break the mould if you like.  Most of all, never give up.  Be persistent with your goals.  And try to organize yourself so that you’re always making progress, whether writing, editing or researching.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I read a lot.  Of course, I do a lot of writing.  But, I also love shopping.  I like to cook as well.  Sometimes I make up recipes.  I like to go out and see movies now and then.  My idea of a fun time is to just unwind with my fiancé ​for the evening with a nice meal, a great conversation and a good cuddle later on.

Who are your favourite authors?

I love reading books by Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, Tessa Dare, Emma Wildes, J.R. Ward, P.C. Cast, Kerrelyn Sparks, Chloe Neill and Kris Tualla.  I read other authors as well, but these are the ones I can name off the top of my head.


Book blurb

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.​

Purchase links

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. 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. She has published books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry.  Lavender 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, Google+ 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

Author links

Marie Lavender’s Blogs:-
Facebook Pages:-
Twitter –
Google Plus –
LinkedIn Page –
Goodreads Page –
Authors Directory –
Amazon Page –

Surprise Review for M&M on Big Al's Books and Pals

Okay, I had to post this.  First of all, I started laughing right away when I read this part:  

"As a heads up I would like to warn others not to leave a personal item behind when you offer to drive the crazy naked woman home from the middle of the woods.) I am pretty sure Jessie did not walk out into the woods naked but no effort to pick up her clothes was taken, and from that point on my belief was shaken enough to not buy into the story as much as I wanted to."

I am not one to usually comment on reviews other than to thank the reviewer, but with this one, I feel I must say something to readers.  Jessie really did not leave her clothes behind.  She left her cauldron, for sure, but no articles of clothing.  You may ask how she got there naked.  Well, she does elude to it in the story.  In any case, here is the full review and I have to thank the reviewer for reading the book.  Thanks!  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Magick & Moonlight/ Marie Lavender

Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin

Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Contemporary Romance

Approximate word count: 20-25,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: NO
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


“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. Marie has published nineteen books. Her real love is writing romances. She has published historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry.”

For more, visit the author’s website or blog.


“Messing 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?”


I picked up this novella on a whim for a quick read. Jessie, a practicing Wiccan, runs a small candle and gift shop in Yachats, Oregon. Ethan Hamilton, an ex-cop, has recently relocated to the area to escape a past he would rather forget. I thought the premise had a lot of promise, although somewhere along the line the story fell flat for me.

When Ethan comes across Jessie dancing naked in the woods around a cauldron under the full moon, Jessie is afraid her secret will be exposed. Ethan offers to drive the crazy naked woman home wrapping his coat around her. (As a heads up I would like to warn others not to leave a personal item behind when you offer to drive the crazy naked woman home from the middle of the woods.) I am pretty sure Jessie did not walk out into the woods naked but no effort to pick up her clothes was taken, and from that point on my belief was shaken enough to not buy into the story as much as I wanted to. Once she is home Jessie begins to fret about being identified as a witch and casts a love spell on Ethan to protect herself from exposure.

The only fantasy element was the casting of the love spell, which Jessie knew would come back in a bad way. Otherwise, the story is about the journey of two souls who needed to find each other. Ethan, a hard-nosed cop, who refused to believe in magic and Jessie, an insecure Wiccan, who was raised with magic all around her. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Perhaps you should take the risk and give it a try.


Some sexual situations that are not too graphic.

Format/Typo Issues:

I found no significant issues.

Rating: *** Three stars

Character Interview with Gabriel from UPON YOUR HONOR on Mika Jolie's blog!

Meet Gabriel Hill, the MMC from Upon Your Honor – Character Interview

I had so much fun interviewing Marie Lavender, Author of Upon Your Honor, I decided to have a Q&A session with the MMC Gabriel Hill. What a great hero he is.


What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

I believe I am where I should be at this point in my life.  When I was a child, I wanted to be a pirate, but that was when I romanticized being a sailor or a captain.  It is hard work, and now that I am older and much wiser, I want to acquire a ship of my own and run it as my father does.  So, perhaps I haven’t achieved all that I want yet, but I am here for a reason.  I will attain it when the time is right.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I would like to be settled down with a family at some point.

You’ve gone on several adventures with your father. What was your favorite journey?

Just before my 24th birthday, we arrived in Falmouth.  We were to meet a client and drop off cargo.  I accompanied my father and George into town.  Eric had stayed back in New Orleans to keep watch over Maman and Tante Lina.  We got into a skirmish outside of a tavern one night and I quickly felt the adrenaline move through my system.  Of course, I had my sword as did my father.  George, on the other hand, carried a pistol and a well-placed dagger.  I really got to see Captain Hill, my father, in action that night.  He had trained me in dueling, but this was real danger and I saw how effective his technique was.  The bastards who confronted us were quickly incapacitated, and we were able to finish our business in Falmouth as soon as possible.  Afterwards, my father and I had a drink in his cabin and spoke of the future.  I think it was one of the few times I really felt close to him.

Do you have any siblings? If so, will we have an opportunity to get to know them better?  

I have a sister.  Her name is Adrienne and yes, I believe you will be hearing more about her in the future.

Considering the time period of Upon Your Honor, do you feel your love/sex scenes were hot enough? Anything you have liked done differently by the author?  

That is between the lady and myself.  If the author did not go into graphic detail, it is merely because she was trying to respect our wishes.

Any particular scene you enjoyed the most?  

(*Blushes.)  I do believe I will never forget our first kiss.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?  

I like someone fair and kind, of course.  But, I don’t mind a woman who can stand up for what she believes in either.  I think I’ve seen enough of that in my own family.

Is your hero/heroine a good kisser?  

Oh, I think she does very well for not having much experience.

When did you know you were in love with your hero/heroine?

I wrestled with my feelings for her for awhile.  I believe I was drawn to her from the beginning so I can’t really pinpoint the moment I realized it for sure.  I began to suspect that I was in trouble the night she almost went overboard.

Did your story end too soon? 

(*Smiles.)  Our story isn’t over yet.  I think there is more to tell.

What is your greatest fear?

Sometimes I believe I’m not good enough for Chloe, that she deserves better than a sailor.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I spend a lot of money trying to acquire books for my library.  I can’t get enough of the written word.

Which living person do you most despise?

I don’t hate anyone really, but anyone who goes after Chloe deserves a special punishment.

What is your greatest regret?

I wish I had established with my father sooner what my future plans were.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would like to be a great leader.

Where would you like to live?

I would spend my days at sea, but have a house in New Orleans, where my family is.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Unrequited love.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  

Sometimes I am arrogant, like my father, and it is a not comfortable seeing that in myself.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

John Harmon/John Rokesmith in Charles Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend.

Who are your heroes in real life?

Both my father and mother are my true to life heroes.  Despite the odds, they still persevered and attained happiness.

Look for Chloe Waverly’s Character interview to be featured soon. 

Upon Your Honor is available in ebook stores other than Amazon, B&NSmashwords, CreateSpace and at Marie’s Publisher’s website:

Purchase Links

Her other books are available on Amazon or through

You can also find all of Marie’s books at her website at

Marie Lavender – Author of Upon Your Honor

Intrigued by what Gabriel Hill might look like? Check out the cover:

Taking a Break from MLB

Yes, readers, that's right. I'm on hiatus for a while. I know I haven't posted for a bit, and that's really the reason why I...