FREE Copy of Second Chance Heart!

I have some pretty cool news! The Romance Reviews is giving away a copy of my latest release, a contemporary romance titled Second Chance Heart! Only today, so hurry before it's too late!!

What are the details? Well, I'll tell you...

All you have to do is visit the event page for TRR’s Year End Splash, then scroll down and find the Q&A for Second Chance Heart ! To qualify in the contest, you’ll need to register or log in to the site. Other than that, it’s very simple!

On top of that, there are more than 300 prizes available on the site. The Grand Prize is an Amazon Kindle Fire HD7, sponsored by Blushing Books! Pretty awesome, right?

Also, keep checking the site up until the end of the month, as these great prizes are running till the 30th! Here is the cool prize list! 

Here is the blurb for Second Chance Heart:

After a wild storm forces her to take shelter in a small town inn, Dana Nelson thinks that all she has to worry about is a brief stay before she heads back to the city. She gets far more than she bargained for…
The last thing she expects is to run into an old flame, and even worse, the man who broke her heart twelve years ago. She’s sure that the only thing remaining between them is a strong attraction for another.
She can’t be more wrong…
The more time she spends with Vince Reynolds, the more she begins to believe she can trust him again. But, can she put her faith in the one man who captivates her, body and soul, or are some wounds too deep to heal?

So, visit the site and don’t forget to enter the contest to win a free ebook of Second Chance Heart! Hurry, because the contest for SCH runs till 11:59 PM EST today.  

You won't regret it! Happy reading, folks! :) 

Cover Reveal Feature: S.A. Starcevic's UNMASKED!

Today, we're doing something a little different. For our 400th post, I wanted to bring a new release to your attention. S.A. Starcevic, a previous visiting author to the Marie Lavender's Books! blog, has an awesome new book coming out on December 18th. Let's check out the cool details, shall we?


Book Blurb


Superheroes are at war, but not with villains.

As the first few rumblings of discontent start to make themselves heard, Ethan and his friends in the Protectorate will have to face their greatest foe, one who is all around—the public.

Pre-order Links:


Amazon Universal link:




All Romance:


And S.A. is giving us an exclusive excerpt of his book!


“On three,” Lara said.

We stood in a loose formation—Lara, hovering a solid meter off the ground. Gabriella, her twins swords poised to attack. Zane, his hands crackling. Greyson, the air whirling around him. And Android, elbow joints bent back to reveal nozzles. Oh, and then there was me—tensed up, prepared to leap into battle, trying to pretend I wasn’t shaking like a leaf in a Katrina-sized hurricane.

Yeah, right. Who was I fooling? I wasn’t like the others—battle-hardened and uber-professional. I still had nightmares about facing down supervillains, like when I’d taken on Lord Manta and almost didn’t live to tell the tale. As hard as I’d tried, I’d never been able to scrub his face from my memory. I wondered if I’d ever be able to forget about it. Somehow, I doubted it.

Still, there was comfort in numbers. Between the six of us, we had enough firepower to blow the roof off the training room. Our opponent? That would be the giant robot suit with twin plasma cannons strapped to its shoulders. It looked like something out of a Japanese cartoon or a sci-fi video game. Behind the controls, Flo wore a crazy-wide grin and a white lab coat, looking like Einstein’s blonder, prettier, wackier granddaughter, if he had one.

“One,” Lara said.

Her blonde hair floated around her like a halo. Zane’s face was as tight as the bolt-shaped scar ridging his brow. Gabriella might as well have been striking a pose for a magazine cover. We’d all geared up in our rubber suits, and I didn’t know about the rest of them, but I couldn’t move a muscle without squeaking.


Even so, I tried not to show how badly I trembled. Adrenaline had that effect whether I welcomed it or not. Up in the control room, General Slade watched over us, his gunmetal gaze assessing. We couldn’t afford to mess up.


It was go time. Lara rocketed up and then dived down, fists outstretched. The giant robot moved with a whir of gears and pistons, slamming a fist into her and sending her pin wheeling backward. She crashed against the wall and slid down, managing to slow her descent before dropping to the floor.

Zane shoved out his hands, hurling twin bolts of lightning, which sparked against the giant robot’s metal shell like tinfoil in a microwave. Still, it didn’t make a dent, and a moment later, the beams snapped off. From the rise and fall of his shoulders, I could tell he was spent. Damn. We weren’t off to a sizzling start.

That was where Gabriella came in. Like a wraith, she sprinted across the distance, going in zigzags, dodging and ducking and weaving. The giant robot twisted around, tried to squash her, but she was too quick, too nimble. With a few quick jumps, she scaled its torso like the world’s most agile Everest-climber. She raised her swords, preparing to sink them into its metal shell, but before she could achieve her goal, its gauntleted fist detached from its arm, swooped around like a heat-seeking missile and knocked her off her perch. I winced at the crunch, but she managed to cavort in midair and land in a crouch. Still, her scowl showed she was more than a little miffed.

Next, it was Greyson’s turn. He gestured, and two spinning air elementals materialized, whirling over with howling war cries. I gave a silent cheer of support. However, that was when there was a sound like wind turbines revving up, and the machine’s shoulder cannons glowed white-green. Uh-oh, I thought. There was an explosion of light and twin beams obliterated the elementals, but the blast didn’t stop there.

The next few moments happened as if in slow motion. I glimpsed Flo pounding at the controls, the panic plain on her face as she realized she was unable to shut it off. And I saw the surprise on Greyson’s face as the shafts of light swept toward him. He didn’t move. He couldn’t move, like a deer caught in headlights. I thought I could see the reflection of the light in his gaze.

I stepped forward without thinking, bracing for impact. When the beams hit me, I stumbled. I could feel the atoms whizzing around, like little bubbles in a tall glass of soda, carbonating my blood. Still, I ignored the rush it gave me and pushed, pushed, back. I strained muscles I didn’t even know I had, physical and mental. It was all I could do not to lose it and self-combust like a satellite crashing out of orbit. That wouldn’t be helpful.

Without warning, the energy snapped off, and I was left blinking away the little fuzzy dots and trying not to pass out. When my vision cleared and I could be sure I wasn’t about to keel over, I noticed Android standing next to the machine, holding what looked like a giant aux cord. It took me a second to process what had just happened. Android had yanked out the power, I realized, and just in the nick of time. Much longer and I would’ve ended up like Mom’s Christmas turkey dinner after it’d been left in the oven for too long.

A hiss of static, and General Slade’s voice crackled out of the PA. “Good job, everyone. Nice teamwork.”

A trap door popped open, and Flo wedged her head out of the machine. Her hair stuck up at odd angles, kind of like bird feathers, and she looked frazzled. Still, she beamed. “That,” she said, “was awesome."

Cool! We'll be sure to check out this great superhero story! Congrats on the new book, S.A.!


Readers, you can grab it on pre-order now! :)

About the Author:


S. A. Starcevic wanted to be a superhero when he was little, but nowadays he settles for the next best thing: writing about them. You can snag UNTOUCHABLE (signed with Forever More Publishing) at a whole bunch of places. When he’s not slaving over the other books in the series, he blogs about writing, publishing and world domination at Bookshelf of Doom.

Author Links: 

S.A.'s Books:
Coming Soon:
Available Now:

Exclusive Interview with Author Andrea Perno

Today, we're doing something a little different. This is our 15th guest author interview on the Marie Lavender's Books! blog, and fellow author Andrea Perno is visiting us. 

Hello!  It’s such a pleasure to have you here. :)



Hi. Thank you for letting me visit.    


My pleasure! 

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out and where can we get it?

My latest book, Remotely Unplugged, was published February 22nd of this year. It’s about how people are becoming more and more hopelessly bound by technology. The story is built on the idea that if a society had access to all the technological information and advice they would ever need, people could live a happy, healthy, stress free life. That, of course, isn’t the case. This book follows the first person perspective of a woman plugged into the grid who finds herself needing a complete “reset.” But with the reset comes consequences.

Remotely Unplugged is nominated for two awards, one of which is through Red City reviews. You can read the amazing review Red City provided here:

(It’s the 9th review down in science fiction/fantasy.)

Remotely Unplugged can be found exclusively on Amazon in print and kindle editions. 


Is there anything that prompted your book? Something that inspired you? 
Remotely Unplugged was inspired by a trip I took to Canada with a girlfriend of mine. We went to college together and were on the equestrian (horse) team in college. When we graduated, we wanted to take a week long horseback riding trip. We chose a remote part of Banff, Canada for our trip. It was the most incredible horseback riding adventure you can ever imagine. It was just the two of us. And a mountain guide. We traveled for about six hours a day on horseback, getting more and more lost in the beauty that is the Canadian wilderness. I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. No cell phones, no computers, just pure survival in its most basic form. It was a fabulous trip, but at the same time I kept thinking, 'Man, if our guide was a serial killer or someone who wanted to hurt us, literally no one would know.' There’s no cell reception at the top of the mountain. Whom would you call anyway? Who would have the skills to come find us if we could actually get in touch with anyone? Thus the story of Remotely Unplugged was born.


So, tell us...

When did you know you wanted to write?  Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

Writing has always been a pastime. My parents used to drive myself and my two brothers all over the United States growing up. Every summer we would camp and fish and hike somewhere different in the USA. One of the things we did as kids was to write campfire short stories during the car ride to wherever it was we were going. We would each have a night to read our stories by the fire and enjoy one another’s company. I credit my parents for really starting my writing career and then my teachers for fostering a love of literature in school. 

Oh, wow! What an inspiring tale!  I credit my mother with my love of reading because she used to read to me as a very young girl. When I could read on my own, though, I was set! :) you have any favorite authors?

I really love Michael Crichton, Isaac Asimov, Suzanne Collins and Ray Bradury. They are what I consider true Sci-fi writers. I look up to them and enjoy their work. One day I hope to find myself counted among them as one of the great science fiction writers of our time. 

That's great!

So, we're curious. Do you write in a specific place? Or time of day? 

I usually write in my living room (that’s on the computer itself). I work so much during the day (I’m an Art teacher in Baltimore) that I do a lot of my writing as voice notes on my phone while I’m stuck in traffic driving to and from work every day. My average commute is about an hour so I have lots of time to think and record notes that I later transcribe from the comfort of my living room in the evening. My time of day is evening unless I’m on winter break or summer break from school. When I’m on break, my preferred time to write is first thing in the morning. 

All right.

Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice?

Advice to fellow writers? Just keep writing. Every day. Even if you only write one sentence or even one word. Keep going. Before you know it, you’ll have a full length novel ready to edit and show to the world! Make it happen each and every day. and be kind to yourself and your work. It’s hard to write a book and there are a lot of naysayers out there. Just remember, at the end of the day, no matter what anyone says, the story is still your own. If you’re happy with it, that’s what’s most important.  

Oh, I totally agree!  Thank you for your words of wisdom, Andrea.


And thank you so much for stopping by! It was such a pleasure to have you here.  :)

Readers, here is the blurb for Remotely Unplugged.
Technology is all around us. Humanity is becoming hopelessly bound by it. What if a society were built exclusively with dependence on technology? An existence where all the information you need is literally plugged into your head?
Sarah finds herself within this world, craving for change, but all she sees is a mindless compliance to the technology around her. Her unwillingness to follow the status quo has landed her in trouble and there are those who have had enough of her meddling.
In an effort to correct Sarah’s mal-compliance issues, she is taken to a remote facility to be “unplugged.” “Reset” in an effort to make her conform to the world around her. But hers is not a simple reset and what she discovers once she arrives will not only put her in mortal danger, but will also unravel a truth far beyond her expectations.

Here is an excerpt from the novel. 

Riveting! Readers, don't forget to check out this book!

Purchase Links:
Author Bio
Andrea Perno writes futuristic science fiction. She divides her time between being a full time art teacher in Baltimore and writing. With very little "sit down" time to herself, she creates most of her writing through voice notes on her phone while driving to and from work. She grew up in Florida and Pennsylvania and now resides in Maryland where she enjoys the company of her husband, family and friends. In her spare time she can be found writing, creating artwork or on the back of a horse soaking up the sunshine outdoors.
Author Links:


Andrea's Books:

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...