Recap: Memories from 2021
It’s a good idea to take a moment each year and review all that happened. The new year is right around the corner (tomorrow), so we should reflect a bit before the chaos of New Year’s Eve/Day paves the way for a beautiful reset. Because of space and time constraints, I won’t be able to go into everything, however.
For more details about the events from 2021, you can check out my author newsletter archives here, follow my website and look at the Updates/News page over there, or even make sure you follow any of my social media channels (the links are at the top of the page on my website). I also have an exclusive fan club on Facebook, as well as a ‘new releases only’ email list you can sign up for. That will always give you a good sense of things.
In any case, let’s get started, okay?
From December 24th to January 14th, voting occurred for the 23rd Annual Critters Readers’ Poll. There were nominations for my books in the following categories: ‘Romance Novels’, ‘Romance Short Stories’, ‘Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Stories’, ‘Book Cover Artwork’, and ‘Authors’. The categories in the contest covered all relevant works, authors, editors, artwork/artists, and services which were active or published in 2020. Here are the results! I made it into the TOP 10 on several of them. 😉
In early January, I reshared a useful article about how to have a sustainable or completely ethical wedding. That was on ILRB. Six days later, we had a unique type of feature on Writing in the Modern – a dual feature about a movie and a book. Learn all about Natalie Rodriguez’s The Extraordinary Ordinary, plus a fun interview with her, and she also informs us of her YA thriller novel, Elephant. On the 21st, Jennifer Conner visited the romance blog with a guest post, and let readers know what it’s like to juggle writing in different genres and having diverse careers. Check out her cool paranormal romance novel, Fighting the Fire!
And in case you missed it, the next edition of Second Nature, my first paranormal romance book, came out in the middle of December 2020. It’s available in all formats.
On January 22nd, character Dillon from Debby Grahl’s western holiday romance, Mountain Blaze, came to the Writing in the Modern Age blog, plus we had a great chat with the author! A week later, there was a spotlight on a steamy small town romance new release, R.V. Asher’s Jinx, and I asked the author a few questions. Check out her whole small town series!
On February 1st, readers could take a look at James Morcan’s psychological fiction novel, ANNO 2020. This was even more relevant, as the book covered how twelve individuals handled the Coronavirus lockdowns. Two days later, there was a new four star book review for my steamy romantic comedy, Chasing Ginger, featured on Amy Shannon’s reviewer website.
Thanks for your kind comments, hon! ♥ Seven days later, Maggie Holmes again blessed us with a helpful article, providing creative activities for Valentine’s Day, this time for the I Love Romance Blog. If you missed reading it that month, instead see if there is anything relevant you can go with for your next date with your significant other. 😉 Around February 19th, my new supernatural romance boxed set released through all online booksellers. Discover it here!
A week or so later brought a guest timeslot for yours truly, with a thirty-minute spot at Cathy Jackson’s multi-author posting event in her Facebook group. It was fun to meet new people, and to talk about my books!
Then, from March 1st to the 8th, I donated a copy of my new paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi romance starter series collection to Paranormal Romance Week on the TBR Pile site here. You can learn more about the giveaways they ran all week on their Facebook event page
On March 10th, I posted my own article on ILRB, detailing the reasons why reading and writing historical romance is a personal experience, not just about facts or details relating to the time period in which a book is set. Two weeks later, Amanda Boyd provided readers with a new perspective on the difference between basic, mainstream erotica and erotic romance, a guest post featured on the same blog.
The following week brought a fun post about the most popular wedding themes this year, written by guest blogger Janelle Urrutia. Two days passed, and Desiree Villena of Reedsy gave my romance blog readers five cute YA romance book recommendations.
Five days later, Amelia Ma’s article, including tips on how to have a memorable first date, gave us all something to think about. During the following week, I posted a new romantic poem, ‘Solace’, which I wrote, inspired by time I’d recently spent with my fiancé. On the next day, over on the MLB blog, Maggie Holmes offered her advice with a guest post, on ways to strengthen a parent-child relationship. A few days later, David Russell submitted one of his poems to the I Love Romance Blog, completing a poetry spotlight on the theme of ‘mysterious sensuality’.
As aforementioned, in February I had a supernatural romance release, a boxed set starter series collection titled Phenomenal Touch, which is set up to be a perfect collector’s item or at least way for new readers to get a real taste of the paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction romance books I’ve published.
Not a bad option to go for after reading the automatic freebie with my contemporary romance story, Second Chance Heart (get your complimentary copy here!), book one of the Eternal Hearts Series.
May 3rd – “How Writing Blog Posts Can Make You a Better Fiction Writer” – guest article by Desiree Villena on Writing in the Modern Ageold domain). (final post on
returned to work on romantic mystery collection, .
This Week in History - May
May 1, 1840 - England releases the first 1st adhesive postage stamp.
May 1, 1841 - The first wagon train leaves Independence, Mo for California.
May 1, 1883 - "Buffalo Bill" Cody's first Wild West Show.
May 1, 1884 - Construction begins on the first skyscraper, the 10 story Home Insurance Company building in Chicago, IL.
May 1, 1931 - The Empire State Building was dedicated.
May 1, 1941 - The cereal "Cheerios" hits store shelves.
May 1, 1951 - Slugger Mickey Mantle hits his first home run.
May 1, 1952 - Mr. Potato Head is introduced.
May 2, 1878 - The U.S. stops minting the 20-cent coin.
May 2, 1885 - Good Housekeeping Magazine first hits the newsstands.
May 2, 1932 - Jack Benny's first radio show premieres.
May 2, 1939 - Lou Gehrig plays in his 2,130th game, a baseball record that will last for 57 years until Cal Ripken comes along.
May 3, 1494 - Christopher Columbus discovers "St. Iago". It is later renamed Jamaica.
May 3, 1936 - Joe DiMaggio makes his major-league debut with 3 hits for the NY Yankees.
May 3, 1937 - Margaret Mitchell wins Pulitzer prize for "Gone with the Wind".
May 3, 1978 - Digital Equipment Corporation sends the first bulk unsolicited commercial emails... spam is born!
May 4, 1626 - Manhattan Island is sold! Native American Indians agree to the deal in exchange for $24 in cloth & buttons.
May 4, 1878 - Phonograph is played for the first time at the Grand Opera House.
May 4, 1932 - Atlanta Penitentiary has a new resident after Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion.
May 4, 1934 - Academy of Motion Pictures is founded. (1934)
May 4, 1964 - Soap operas "Another World" and "As the World Turns" premiere.
May 4, 1979 - Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
May 5, 1260 - Kublai Khan the grandson of Genghis Khan becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire.
May 5, 1862 - Mexican forces under Benito Juarez defeated French troops in the Battle of Puebla. Today this battle is celebrated as Cinco de Mayo.
May 5, 1865 - North Bend, Ohio gets on the map. It's the site of the first US train robbery.
May 5,1893 - The New York Stock Exchange crashes, causing the "Great Panic of 1893".
May 5, 1904 - Cy Young pitches the first perfect game in modern baseball history.
May 5, 1968 - Senator Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated.
May 5, 1971 - Alan Shepard rides "Freedom 7" to becomes 1st American in space.
May 6, 1833 - John Deere produces the first steel plow.
May 6, 1915 - The Yale lock is patented.
May 6, 1889 - The Paris Exposition opens with the just completed Eiffel Tower as it's centerpiece.
May 6, 1915 - Future Baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth hits his first home run.
May 6, 1937 - The Dirigible Hindenburg explodes into flames at Lakehurst, NJ.
May 6, 1994 - Chunnel linking England & France officially opens.
May 6, 2002 - Entrepreneur Elon Musk forms SpaceX.
May 7, 1789 - The first inaugural ball is held in honor of George Washington and his wife.
May 7, 1888 - George Eastman patents the Box Camera.
May 7, 1934 - The World's largest pearl (6.4kg.) was discovered in the Philippines.
May 7, 1941 - Big band leader Glenn Miller records the "Chattanooga Choo Choo".
May 7, 1945 - Germany signs an unconditional surrender at Rhims, France, ending WWII in Europe.
May 7, 1970 - The Beatles last album is released- "Long and Winding Road".
May 7, 1992 - The maiden voyage of space shuttle Endeavor.
May 8, 1794 - The U.S. Post Office is established.
May 8, 1945 - V-E Day, Germany signs unconditional surrender.
May 8, 1861 - Richmond, Virginia is named the capital of the Confederacy.
May 8, 1879 - George Selden files the first patent for a gas driven automobile.
May 8, 1952 - Mad Magazine hits the newsstands.
May 8, 1980 - The World Health Organization announces that Smallpox has been eradicated worldwide. (Let’s hope the same thing happens with the Coronavirus as well! 😉)
On July 21st, Jade Langton visited the I Love Romance Blog with an article, ‘Ten Signs You Are Ready for Marriage’. Some great advice here! A week later, I discovered a new book review for Phenomenal Touch on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog.
posted on July 28, 2021
I was also named in the TOP 20 Authors for 2021 on her site.
Just as a note, my blog policies have changed, and I started charging for some services in September of 2021. So, if you were a guest in the past, you can look over these pages:
However, I will never charge a fee for real articles, notices about blog tours from official promoters, or special events which I personally organize. The same can’t be said for various interviews, book spotlights, or cover reveals, et cetera. These take more time and energy to post and spread the word, and I’ve had to start valuing myself more to accommodate for that. Although, despite the work involved in the big events, I will not charge for giveaways which I host, as authors are already providing donations. But if you want me to run an individual giveaway posted on my blog and promoted across social media, that will cost extra. Believe me, I am asking for way less than I’ve witnessed at the blogs of my contemporaries; thus, I have done my best to offer competitive prices.
And in case you were out of the loop due to the Coronavirus in 2020, that was a busy time for publishing my books. Several second editions, complete with new covers, came out – UYR, The Missing Piece, Magick & Moonlight, and Second Nature – as well as a new rom com novel, Chasing Ginger.
I took a break from late July to mid-August. By August 27th, the new site for the Writing in the Modern Age blog had launched. We now have an all-new domain, complete with a different host and a new mailing list service. So, please take a moment and sign-up! ♥
On September 6th, most guest spots on my blogs resumed. Joel Foster offered a guest article on the updated WritModAge blog, with how to find one’s unique writing style. The following day brought an intriguing perspective from author Kelle Z. Riley, about disguised heroes, featured on ILRB. Two days later, I wrote a special post for the same blog, covering ‘what most people don’t know about romance novels’. On September 13th, Amy’s aforementioned review of Phenomenal Touch was featured in Uncaged Book Reviews magazine. See page 169 in the online journal for more details. Three days later, Sophia Zaccaria visited my romance blog to provide a guest book review on an urban fantasy romance with mystery elements. After posting the review, I skimmed over the book as well. It looks awesome! Pick up your copy of Blood and Hunger today…
On the following day, another article of mine, this time for Writing in the Modern Age, went live. Check out ‘Seven Ways to Recover Your Writing Motivation’ right here. On September 20th, author Francis H. Powell came to the same blog to talk about a Covid-themed charity anthology project he put together, and all about his new release. Discover the fascinating book, Together Behind Four Walls, featured on this blog post. I love that all proceeds are headed to help a great cause!
The next day brought a blog tour feature for Allen Wolf’s romantic comedy with a touch of drama, The Sound of Violet, highlighted on ILRB. There’s also a movie coming out soon! 😉
On October 1st, Ivy Nelson’s steamy romantic suspense novel (with some BDSM elements), Forever, was showcased in a blog tour visit on Writing in the Modern Age. Check out the fantastic teasers inside the post! Ten days later, I wrote an article for one of my blogs. Discover my impression of the industry here with some key terms in an A to Z blog post on Writing in the Modern Age here. October 19th brought a feature on the I Love Romance Blog, Julia Jones’ new paranormal romance release with a touch of mystery, A Wolf to Catch. Looks like quite a read!
A few days passed, and Claire Wilder’s friends-to-lovers themed contemporary romance, Speeding Hearts, had a book tour spotlight on the same blog. A blog tour popped up on Writing in the Modern Age on the following day, and Emilia Ares’ YA fiction novel, Love and Other Sins, was featured. Three days later, a women’s fiction new release, The Trials of Adeline Turner by Angela Terry was featured in a blog tour on the same site.
The next day brought an intriguing spotlight on ILRB for a book and contest with Ali Lucia Sky’s enemies-to-lovers themed new adult paranormal romance, The Dream Keepers. She ran a cool Amazon gift card giveaway as well. Three days passed, and Evelyn Sola had a blitz and blog tour feature for her steamy multicultural romantic comedy (with an accidental marriage theme), Takedown, on Writing in the Modern Age.
On the first of November, Dave Chesson offered us an article for Writing in the Modern Age, providing some tips for authors on how to avoid getting burnt out. How helpful and apropos! Nine days later, the new second edition for my paranormal romance with a slight futuristic angle, Blood Instincts, book two of the Blood at First Sight Series, was released. There’s also a hardcover version available! Yay!
On December 1st, the same title was nominated for AllAuthor’s Cover of the Month contest. Nine days later, a guest article of mine appeared on coming up on the food and fiction blog, ‘But What Are They Eating’. Find out how some culinary delights tie into Blood Instincts. 😉
Let’s shift over to some current info about my books…
Recently, the second edition of Blood Instincts came out. I’m excited to finally have all my rights back from my former publisher. I only adjusted the cover slightly, just went a tad darker for the heroine’s brown hair. I hope you get a chance to check out this futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy and the sequel to Second Nature.
Also, remember that I mentioned a hardcover edition release for the limited collector’s copy of Phenomenal Touch? So, if you normally love to grab hardcover books. I will make sure to start adding that format to my other titles as well, since Amazon is now offering it as an option. In other news, I’m close to finishing up edits on the second edition manuscript for Upon Your Honor.
Facebook personal posts to share:
Facebook author posts to share:
Links or news to share from author fan club group on Facebook:
Here are the top Twitter posts (most shared, liked, retweeted by others):
Instagram posts from 2021:
FINAL BOOK NEWS TO SHARE
My book contracts with Solstice Publishing have expired. And by February of next year, I’ll be going fully independent with my published works (Foundations Books and I have gone our separate ways as well), so that will be different.
Coming in March (cover redesign and book relaunch)
Also, despite all the person pitfalls (family emergencies and illnesses) from this year which delayed me, I hope to resume writing on First Target soon. I’m still working on some final details with that romantic mystery collection. So, with any luck, I can finish up and start edits shortly.
I appreciate your patience. To give you some hope, I’ll leave you with a temporary book schedule, to provide a sense of the next order of book releases coming up on the horizon.
Writing Projects to Focus on next (the order may change)
Upon Your Honor (Heiresses 2) – historical/maritime romance (editing & publishing/re-release)
First Target – romantic mystery collection
Upon Your Love (Heiresses 3) – historical romance/family saga (editing & publishing/re-release)
The Trouble with the Truth – YA mystery story
Magick Sunrise (book 3 of the Magick Series) – contemporary fantasy romance
Heiresses in Love boxed set – historical/maritime romance trilogy
Midnight Kiss (or Kiss from a Rogue?) – standalone Victorian romance, set in New Orleans – my only BBW historical romance to date
Awakening – a paranormal romance/mystery thriller collection with some visionary elements
Boxed set duology with Magick Series romantic fantasy stories – contemporary fantasy romance
The Bloodseer Legacy (Blood at First Sight 3) – dystopian/paranormal romance
Sharon’s Dirty Little Secret (The Misfits 2) – steamy romantic comedy
Out of This World (Code of Endhivar 2) – sci-fi romance
The Blood at First Sight trilogy boxed set – dystopian/paranormal romance
Dark Secrets – a romantic suspense collection
Yuletide Heart (Eternal Hearts 2) – Christmas romance/sequel to SCH
Madame Aubergine’s Compendium of Ramblings – literary fiction and poetry collection
Maeve’s story (Witches of Moonhaven book 1) – title isn’t finalized – historical romance/fantasy
As always, happy reading!
And Happy New Year!
Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and two cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years, with more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 21 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, romantic comedy, dramatic fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She also dabbles in graphic design. An avid blogger on the side, she writes adult fiction, published one story for children, and recently started some YA fiction. She also contributed to several anthologies. Though Marie has standalone titles on the market, there are six current published series, with many others planned.
Discover more about her and her work at the following links.
Universal Author Links: https://linktr.ee/marielavender1
Fan mail email: email@example.com