Author Spotlight: Marie Lavender, Directions of the Heart

 

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Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN, Marie Lavender has published over twenty books and is a Top Ten Author on AuthorsDB.com. Two of her books (Second Chance Heart &Little Magick) placed in the Top Ten on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll.

This week I had the privilege to talk with Marie Lavender about her upcoming book, Directions of the Heart, and ask her a few questions regarding her book and what it’s like being a writer. I especially loved what Lavender said when I asked her about her books message. 

When did you first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
I think I was nine when I began writing stories. I had ideas in my head well before that, but at least that age was when I knew to get them down on paper in order to make room for the rest. Writing makes me feel a certain freedom that nothing else can; with my stories, I can encounter new worlds and fall in love with my characters just like my readers do.

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
With Directions of the Heart, I wanted to cover aspects of PTSD that people don’t usually talk about, the darkness that we sometimes go through in our minds after experiencing various traumas. I also wanted each character to take an emotional journey, one that was unique yet easy to relate to.

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
I think one message is that we don’t have to be silent about our pain. I think a lot of people stay silent about their traumas, and it’s a personal choice, sure, but I think it only makes their shame or agony grow. I want survivors of trauma to know it’s okay to ask for help, and to find someone they can trust to talk about it with. Bad things happen sometimes in life, but we don’t have to go it alone.

What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
I can’t name a specific book (I have so many favorites), but I do admire Nora Roberts for not holding back about anything in her writing. That fearless approach has inspired me to do the same in my own projects.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
Be patient with however long the journey takes, but don’t be afraid to try new things, to put yourself out there in order to meet your writing goals.

Beside your book, are there any other books you would recommend reading this summer?
If you like vampires and magic, and you’ve never even heard of these books before, I’d recommend P.C. Cast’s House of Night Series, a YA paranormal saga. Think high school drama meets the supernatural. I have a pile of other books waiting on me; I just haven’t gotten to them yet.

 


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Published: July 25, 2017

Pages: 346

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Where to Buy:
Amazon
Barnes&Noble
SmashWords
Kobo
CreateSpace

 

Synopsis: Embark on a remarkable journey of drama, romance, and passion… In all of these amazing stories, there’s one burning question…is love worth the risk?

Without You
Reece and Jenna are two childhood friends separated by time and distance. Can they find a way to heal their bond, or perhaps forge a new one?

Strange Heat
Spurred by her friend’s close call, Victoria decides to take a risk and prove the lifestyle she led was her downfall. But as Tory sinks deeper into the tumultuous abyss of desire with the mysterious Rick, can she climb back out before it’s too late? Or does she even want to?

Memories
Struggling to run her family’s farm on her own, Sadie takes on a hired hand, Matt. As they grow closer, so does the danger. Someone wants her legacy. Can they combat this new threat, as well as the demons of the past, before Sadie loses everything, including her life?

A Touch of Dawn
Caitlyn thought she’d be in the dark forever. But with the light came Jack, the police consultant who found her. Can they take a journey of healing together, or will Caitlyn retreat into the darkness of her mind, where she lived for so long?

(CONTENT WARNING: With an abuse awareness theme in this collection, there may be triggers here for past trauma sufferers. However, HEAs are guaranteed.)

Book Trailer

 

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8Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

Marie Lawender           Blog- WordPress           BlogSpot            Facebook            Twitter


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I hope you are able to check this book out. If you do, let me know what you think! Have a Great day 🙂

Throwback Thursday – Miss Match (Miss Match #1)

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Welcome to the sexy, crazy, wildly unpredictable world of modern matchmaking, where fixing up strangers is part of the job—but falling in love is an occupational hazard… This weeks Throwback is of Miss Match (Miss Match #1).

Miss Match

Synopsis:
He’s The Perfect Catch.

Blake Donovan is tall, handsome, rich, and successful—so why would a guy like him need a matchmaker? Andrea Dawson has no idea, but a job is a job. After being blackballed from a career in marketing, Andrea agreed to use her unique profiling skills to play matchmaker out of pure desperation. But when she meets her highly eligible—and particular—first client face to face, she wonders what she’s gotten herself into…

Is She His Perfect Match?

Blake knows exactly the kind of woman he’s looking for—and it’s the total opposite of Andrea. Though smart and undeniably sexy, she is simply too headstrong for a man who’s used to being in charge. Still, Blake’s blood pressure rises whenever she’s near him. How can he explain the smoldering attraction that sizzles between them? And how can Andrea deny she’s feeling it, too? Maybe, just maybe, they’ve finally met their match…

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Thoughts on the book:
I found myself laughing throughout the entire book. The book was funny and exciting. The writing style was easy to fall into. The only thing I found difficult was the author switched POV in the middle of the chapter without warning. You’ll be reading Andrea’s POV and then all of a sudden you are in Blake’s mind. Somewhat confusing but still somehow easy to follow once you figured out the pattern.

Blake has such a detached approach to finding a girlfriend/wife. It’s almost like he is dealing with a job and not human beings. It’s almost comical if not completely sad how he goes about this. Andrea is down on her luck. Living with her sister for the past nine months, she has been unable to find a job. Now that her sisters hours were cut, she is forced to get any job she can. The thing is, she in unemployable because of the last position she was in. Therefor she is forced to accept the job as Blake’s match maker.

Blake’s character comes across as arrogant, pig headed, and demanding. But really he struggles with expressing himself, especially when it comes to emotions, and he is afraid to open himself up. Andrea is confident in her ability to read people but when it comes to her job skills or future, she is timid and skittish.

I loved the way Andrea puts Blake in his place. Although at times plot became somewhat childish and completely fictional, it was still a fun read. One I would recommend if you are looking for a good laugh, smile, or relaxed romance.

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Quotes:

“calling Donovan a pig was rather unfair to the noble swine.”

“But I’m being logical. My future wife needs to be logical.” He pointed at her open notebook. “Write that down. It’s a new requirement.”

“A feminist?” Blake said the word with equal exclamation, equal questioning. “God, that’s even worse.”


Let me know if you have read this book and what you thought, Happy Reading 🙂

Tuesday Talk- Gaps in Authors you read

Tuesday Talks

On Tuesday I will try to engage you in a question/topic/idea. You are welcome to write in with a suggestion you want to share or maybe talk about next Tuesday. My response is not right for everyone but I am hoping together we can generate some great conversation. And as always, I would love to hear from you on this topic or any topic out there!  

I was updating my Alphabetical Book Review Page and noticed I have not reviewed any books from authors whose last name begins with: Q U X

Are there just not that many authors with last names that start with Q U or X?

I’m curious, those who have an alphabetical section, do you see gaps or letters that have no reviews behind them?

And honestly does anyone even look at alphabetical lists? I could be completely wasting my time.

I guess this Tuesday is one for ponder. Happy Reading everyone 🙂

Throwback Thursday- Zeke (Breaking the Declan Brothers, #3)

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Todays Throwback is a book out of one of Kelly Gendron series, Zeke (Breaking the Declan Brothers, #3). This book is such a fun read and perfect for those times you need a little extra romance.

zeke

Synopsis:
Every girl in Galveston County knows about Zeke Declan’s rules and has agreed to them or is considering them.
Rule #1 Don’t call him. He’ll call you.
Rule #2 He doesn’t date.
Rule #3 No sleepovers.
Rule #4 Absolutely, no virgins.

When a couple friends talk me into going back to their hometown in the Bayou for the summer and challenge me to break “the best damn lay in Galveston County” along with every single one of his ridiculous rules, I’m confident that I can get the job done. I’m no stranger to men. I have five older brothers. I’m a teacher and I’m used to being around rebellious teenagers. However, Zeke Declan is definitely not someone that I could have prepared for. He’s not a testosterone-fueled, immature boy. He’s a confident, arousing, playful, and mind-melting man. But, behind that sexy charming smile, I know he’s hiding a secret. And, in order to break him, I’m going to need to find out what it is…

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Review:
As the first chapter opens up, you meet Lurlene who is spending the summer with her two best friends in Texas. But what catches the readers attention, or at least mine, is the intellectual and flirtatious conversation she has with the mysterious jogger. Although the encounter was brief, you couldn’t help but smile and get reeled into the book. I will admit, I went into this book thinking the opening idea to this plot was eye rolling ridiculous. In reality, you can never ‘break’ the bad boy and all of a sudden turn him into marriage material. Most books that try this usually fail and end up with a non realistic book that is more irritating than romantic. What Kelly Gendron did was almost make the concept of breaking the other character a side note within the story. What the reader discovers is this book is more about pain, guilt, heartache, finding courage and accepting love.

Even though the focus was on Zeke and Lurlene, I appreciated how the author took the time to develop strong minor characters. Zeke is a MMA fighter whose sexual confidence is gush worthy. Then again, the English major in me is in love with his literary mind. I never knew quoting Picasso or Dr. Suisse could be used as foreplay. Zeke’s past is heartbreaking. Although some of the things he does to Lurlene to push her away is cruel and started to irritate me, the author does a fantastic job of showing the reader the underlining intentions behind each action. I’m not saying that it makes them ok, but it helps you understand Zeke’s character better.

I loved Lurlene’s character. She is an English teacher with confidence and definitely knows her self worth. Her character is strong, feisty, and she doesn’t let Zeke get away with much. I will say I absolutely love the cat and mouse game Lurlene and Zeke play. What’s great is sometimes you never quite know whose the cat and whose the mouse. Their flirtatious banter and games had me smiling like an idiot throughout the book. Usually I don’t like it when characters play games with each other, trying to manipulate the other person. But the way it was done in this book, neither Lurlene or Zeke where the victim. The tension that built between the two characters was addicting but nothing compared to when the two of them collided and gave in. The sexual tension and scenes were hot and definitely fun to read.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s an easy and quick read. I was able to finish the book in less than a day. I’m a little disappointed that this is book three in the series and I didn’t read book one and two. I’m definitely going to go back and read the first two books.

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Quote:
“Man, she’s beautiful. Not the kind of beautiful your eyes alone admire. She’s the kind of beautiful that seeps deep inside your body. Her beauty seizes you, empowers you, and then it possess you, takes a hold of your heart, and hangs on tight.”


Let me know if you’ve read this book and what you thought, Happy Reading 🙂

Tuesday Talk- Splurge Much

On Tuesday I will try to engage you in a question/topic/idea. You are welcome to write in with a suggestion you want to share or maybe talk about next Tuesday. My response is not right for everyone but I am hoping together we can generate some great conversation. And as always, I would love to hear from you on this topic or any topic out there!  


You know those moments when life gets away from you? Those times when you get so caught up in school, work, kids. etc. nothing else seems to penetrate your mind beyond what your focused on. Then all of a sudden you stick your head up for a breath of fresh air and time has flown by.  

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That’s kind of how I feel right now. I have been so supper focused on recovering form my car accident that I have missed so many great books out there. I’m not even going to begin to talk about how much I miss running… So of course I did what any sane person would do…

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I might have gotten a little carried away… Probably not one of my better choices but I’m doubtful I’ll regret this purchase. But we’ll see!

So Tell Me- What has been your latest and greatest splurge and was it worth it? 

Happy Tuesday Everyone!! 🙂

Author Spotlight- Terrance Wolf, Featuring: A Gleam of Light

 

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I had the privilege to talk with T.J. & M.L. Wolf about their upcoming book, A Gleam of Light, and ask them a few questions regarding their book and being a writer.

When did you know first discover you wanted to be a writer and why writing?
BOTH: We first discovered common ground with The X-Files. But it was really Fire In The Sky that changed everything and began to open our eyes. As lifetime lovers of movies and books, creating our own novel trilogy seemed like the best way to tell a story inspired by life-changing encounters.

Tell us about your book and why you wrote it?
BOTH: A GLEAM OF LIGHT begins with a fictional account of a real event: Flight 564 from Dallas to Las Vegas in 1995. This otherworldly encounter changes the lives of everyone on board, including Una Waters, our central character. Twenty-one years later, a plea for help from the Hopi reservation where she grew up brings Una back, to help solve a mystery that threatens their traditional way of life.

We wrote this book to explore the concept of Earthly visitation through the eyes of ancient people who have also witnessed the rapid evolution of modern culture. For us, their beliefs ring true on many levels. Hopi prophecy speaks to the destiny of man…in a universe where we are not alone.

What message or lasting thought do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
BOTH: A new way of looking at our place in the world and maybe even the universe, anticipating humanity’s future through the eyes of other cultures–especially those that long preceded the existence of America as we know it.

What author and/or what book has had the greatest impact on your life?
T.J.: For me, it would have to be Michael Crichton. His incredible attention to detail and painstaking research made me a believer in so many ideas that it broadened my conception of what is possible.

M.L.: J.K Rowling. The Harry Potter books opened my eyes to creative storytelling like no others.

Can you offer any advice for beginning writers or those trying to get published?
BOTH: Believe in yourself and your vision. Never give up. Never surrender.

Beside your book, are there any other books you would recommend reading this summer?
UNACKNOWLEDGED by Steven M Greer, M.D. Filled with amazing testimonies and eyewitness accounts from people with firsthand knowledge regarding UFOs, including secret military operations, crash site recoveries and reverse engineering of Alien technology.


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Published: December 9, 2016
Pages: 256

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Where to Buy:
Amazon

Synopsis: In 1995, at the age of eight, Una Waters survived a terrifying encounter at 30,000 feet aboard Flight 564 from Dallas to Las Vegas. It changed her forever. After 21 years, and a decade away from the Hopi Reservation where she grew up as a child, a surprise plea for help brings Una back, to solve a mystery that threatens their traditional way of life. The U.S. Army’s sudden interest regarding a cave discovery in the Sacred Peaks has triggered alarm, leading to violence. With the help of friends, new and old, Una must confront her painful past, seek proof to qualify the ancient site for protection under law, and stand up to a stiff-necked general, whose agenda is more concerned with retrieving a mysterious power source.

Short Excerpt:
The petroglyph seemed alive, its symbols burning with fire, lifting her up, right out out of her body. No wonder Moki was never the same. Would she be? Would the epiphany of this moment change her perception of reality?

Time seemed irrelevant.

She could kneel here, communing with the gods for eternity, raptured in the glory of this feeling, because it would never end.

“Una!!!” they cried out to her, all at once.

A wave of emotion surged through her, memories of her parents, of Kasa’s letter, the moment she first set foot in Oraibi after so many years, and the spirit-guides who greeted her as a pair of wolves.

And incredibly, she thought of Ashcroft, not the general, but the boy, in his outfit, on the plane so many years ago. The light in his eyes, a light which seemed akin to hers, as if the two were one and the same.

The spark between them was no coincidence. More like destiny.

Her hand pulled away.

And in that moment, the incredible Gleam of Light–with all its wonder and promise of new life and hope for the future of humanity, all its power to transform one’s consciousness and open the door to another dimension, where the Sky People were real, waiting for us to join them–went dark.

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We joined forces to explore mutual interest in the work of UFO researchers like Budd Hopkins and movie directors like Steven Spielberg. The History Channel’s “Ancient Aliens” became a focal point of our quest to uncover the truth regarding humanity’s purpose and how it pertains to our future. Married twenty years, we write Speculative Fiction and live in Boardman, Ohio.

Authors Website


I hope you are able to check this book out. If you do, let me know what you think! Have a great day 🙂

Author Spotlight- Cathy Johns- A Beautiful Kind of Hope

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New Release!!!
A Beautiful Kind of Hope by Cathy Johns
“Everyday I’ll find a way to remind you and assure you why it had to be you and no one else.”

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Author: Cathy Johns
Published: August 1, 2017
Pages: 366

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Where to Buy:
Amazon

Synopsis:
Taylor;
I have lived my life without distraction, building a name and an empire in this competitive world, becoming a billionaire as I stayed true to my late mother’s wishes. But all that changed the moment I laid my eyes on her…

Butterfly;
That’s what they called her. The woman I couldn’t tear my eyes from as she captivated the crowd, swaying her curvy hips, her nude lingerie leaving nothing to the imagination. The one woman who made me want to break a few wrists when they tried to touch her beautiful mocha skin. I didn’t know her, and all it took was one taste of her intoxicating scent and I knew I’d never get enough of her.

I needed her in my life to be that ray of sunshine.

To be my beautiful kind of hope.


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About the Author:
I’m a Kenyan based Author who grew up in small village in Africa, one of the most beautiful places in the world. My family means the world to me, my greatest role in life is that of Daughter, Sister and Aunt and I wouldn’t be who I am today without their continued support and love. I had a remarkable childhood not completely without struggle but I consider myself lucky enough to still have good people around me who are still by my side.

My writing started as a healing process, reading and getting lost in the world of words and people’s stories has always been my greatest form of escape. I believe in happily ever after’s and expect to read about intense connections and stories that will leave you hopeful and longing for true love.

Facebook     Twitter: @AuthorCjohns     Instagram: authorcathyjohns     Author Page


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