Meet Marie Lavender

Marie Lavender LogoI’m really excited to host Marie today! She’s the multi-genre author of Victorian romance, Upon Your Return, and 23 other books. Upon Your Love and The Missing Piece placed in the Top 10 on the 2017 P&E Readers’ Poll. Directions of the Heart was nominated for the 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards. The I Love Romance Blog became a finalist in StartDating DK’s Romance Blog Awards of 2017. The I Love Romance Blog landed on Feedspot’s 2017 Top 100 Novel Blogs and Top 100 Romance Blogs. Directions of the Heart placed in the Top 10 Books of 2017 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog. Top 20 Authors of 2017 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog. Mystery Blogger Award for 2017. A to Z Blog Challenge Survivor in 2016. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. Second Chance Heart and A Little Magick placed in the Top 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013, 2014 and 2016. 2013 and 2014 Amazon Bestseller Ranking for Upon Your Return. Top 10 Authors on Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Marie 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 24 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, dramatic fiction, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several anthologies. Her current published series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Eternal Hearts Series, The Magick Series, The Code of Endhivar Series and The Blood at First Sight Series.

Today, she’s talking about The Heiresses in Love Series.

About the series:

An unforgettable, sweeping saga of romance, passion and history rooted in tales of maritime suspense…

Three heiresses…three novels like no other.


Fara risks her heart every time she’s with him, but she cannot deny him.


Chloe never imagined that the man she deceived would be the one man she can’t stop loving.


Adrienne must decide whether to succumb to desire or fight for love.

…Will these remarkable women at last find what they’ve always wanted, or lose more than they can bear?

HeiressesInLoveTrilogy final cover-2700

Book trailer links:

Upon Your Return:

Upon Your Honor:

Upon Your Love:

Purchase link:  Ebook set

What’s the page count and publication date?

This is a boxed set comprised of three full length novels. The page count comes to 1,178 pages on Amazon. Heiresses in Love Trilogy was released on February 6, 2018 by Solstice Publishing.

Why did you decide to write this book?

The characters wouldn’t shut up! LOL. No, at first it was Fara and Grant wanting their say, and then all the other characters came along and I couldn’t get a moment’s peace until I told their stories too.

What genre are the books?

They are historical romance, but often set in a maritime backdrop in the Victorian era. There are elements of suspense at times as well.

Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?

It’s a combination of both. Though the characters are quite strong and could carry a tune on their own, events also direct the story forward.

What makes your books unique?

I believe they can be set apart from other novels in the genre, simply because the women are as strong in character as the men, and as I was writing it, it literally became a family saga as well as each story being its own romance novel. How many series span so many generations, set from the 1840s to the 1890s?

Do you plot ahead of time, or let the plot emerge as you write?

I let the story flow as organically as possible, and then I start plotting when I feel blocked. Filling in those blanks isn’t strictly from my own imagination, though; sometimes the characters interrupt me if they think I’m heading in the wrong direction.

How do you develop the names for your characters?

Very carefully! There are times I’ll start with the names first whenever I have a story idea. But mostly, I just put he or she (or I, if I’m using first person POV, which is rare for me) until I’ve gotten a feel for the character and I know the best name for that person. I have faith that the muse will guide me to the right name when the time has come.

How do you decide on the setting?

The setting is last, and sometimes it depends on the character’s chosen profession, or their family background. I have a loose idea of the location now and then, but I decide for sure when I’m adding the final touches. Then I can research the sites well and add descriptions. I think a sense of place is so vital to a story. When Fara Bellamont and Grant Hill first came to me, I had no idea of the time period for the book. Upon Your Return just eventually became what it is now.

Do you have a writing mentor?

I can’t say that I have someone on hand, per se. But I count my teachers from high school and my college Creative Writing professors as mentors, of course. They taught me a lot, and I wish we were all still in touch. I do, however, have a trusted critique circle to help me find the issues I can’t, and to look at my work objectively.

What’s your writing schedule? Do you have a favorite place to write?

When I’m fully immersed in a project, I try to work a little on it each day, even if I’m only writing one scene or doing research. I usually find myself writing bigger scenes in my bedroom, at other times I compose at my desk. I think there’s an organic link between a writer’s hand, and a pen and paper, so I write the old-fashioned way sometimes (call me a Luddite, if you will), but I can switch to composing on the laptop when I’m ready. Now and then, though, I like to try new things and maybe write outside or at a café.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Aside from my author website, I host three blogs, Writing in the Modern Age, the MLB blog, and the I Love Romance Blog. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Social Media Links:

Official Website:

I Love Romance blog:

Marie Lavender Books blog:

Writing in the Modern Age:






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Meet Ann Bradford

logo ann bradfordRomance and erotica author Ann Bradford was born and raised on the prairies. She loves her rural lifestyle and hopes the passion for the simpler things in life slips into her writing. A romantic at heart, Ann enjoys nature, reading, and spending time with her family and St Bernard. Ann is happily married with two children and works for a non-profit organization. Today, she’s promoting His Holy Stare A Truth or Dare Forbidden Love, published by Solstice Publishing.

About the book:

Gripped by daring passion.

James has suffered a great loss in his life, but he’s pulled himself up and started a new life he’s committed to with passion and fascination. His first big assignment in the Brotherhood is to run a college for boys on the forgotten prairies. When he arrives, Brother James finds an attachment to a family who suffered the same type of loss as him. To help them heal, he starts a game of Truth or Dare with the daughter who’s close to his age, forging a needed friendship.

In search of a ravaging truth.

Frustrated with life, Constance finds herself on the doorstep of the boys’ college where her father wants her to help in exchange for her brother’s tuition which he can’t afford. But meeting Brother James changes her entire view on life. He’s charming, friendly, and so blasted happy. What is his secret? Gripped by a determination to find out, she agrees to a harmless game of Truth or Dare.

When things aren’t so innocent.

Neither will back down from the challenges, but how far will they let things escalate? No matter how intense things get, he refuses to give in to the temptation of her body while she squirms under his not-so-holy stare.

His Holy Stare-001


254 pages

Published January 10, 2018



Why did you decide to write this book?

His Holy Stare came about while I was researching for something entirely different. I was digging through some files from the 1950s when I stumbled on a picture of a Brother who ran a convent in a forgotten town on the prairies. He had this incredible smile, yet his eyes had this… deep sadness to them. I was so intrigued, I told myself I’d write a short paragraph about the man to find out what the shadow on his life was. And well, Brother James was born and took me on a journey of self-discipline that impressed me.

What genre does your book fall into?

His Holy Stare is a forbidden romance from the 20th Century.

Do you consider your book character-driven or plot-driven?

Both. Sometimes Brother James’ actions, or lack of actions, push the story as much as the conflicts they face.

What makes your book unique?

Of course, the Truth or Dare aspect is a fun twist on things in this series as the characters challenge each other to do or not do certain things until the games escalate to a point of no return.

When it comes to forbidden romance, many of the ones I read have a character that is torn between their calling and their heart. I wanted James to suffer a different plight. And so Brother James is running from his past. He didn’t have a calling and he knows this. By pretending he had a calling, he’s keeping his heart safe. His refusal to break his vows is a thing of principal; a man stands behind his promises. This creates a huge problem for him, because if he’s to be the man Constance deserves, how can he break this vow to be with her? Yet… how can he watch her suffer alone?

And the last aspect that makes it unique is the plot. Sometimes, not everything is how it seems. In this series, each book reveals a new truth about the deaths in this backwater town.

Do you plot ahead of time or let the plot emerge as you write?

I let things emerge and allow my story to take me by surprise. I am a firm believer in the magic of writing and trust my creativity. My first drafts are raw but contain all the basic plot elements. It’s in the third and fourth drafts that I really focus on the elements of plot and character growth.

How did you develop the names for your characters?

The process is quite amusing. I write a sentence about my character doing something naughty and bring in another character to react to whatever they are doing. This shocked secondary character usually blurts out their name without thinking.

Of course, there is a bit of thought needed sometimes because I don’t like to have names with the same sounds or first letters, and do I use Constance or Connie? Well, it seems Mel likes to call her Connie, which is a fun friendly gesture I let go. But to hear the grounded, macho James roll that older delicate French name off his tongue as he pleads her to behave… there was a little magic to that moment.

How did you decide on the setting?

I love writing about the prairies, especially when settlers and pioneers were adjusting to the harsh lands. I am a prairie gal at heart and find inspiration in every blade of wheat I see. I love the idea of bringing my readers this magic and showing them the prairies I cherish through raw unfiltered eyes.

What’s your writing schedule?

I write for at least 4 hours a day. To me, writing includes, reading, researching, marketing, promoting, editing, rewriting, reviewing, and of course the actual writing. I steal time in the morning before work, at lunch, and at night when everyone is in bed. I can also steal time while at the dentist office. I have no schedule. I write because I can, when I can.

Do you have a favorite place to write?

I write everywhere. My favorite place is in my bed simply because my family can curl up beside me. And in those moments, all is right with the world.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you so much for having me on your site! Be sure to look for His Forbidden Stare a Truth or Dare Forbidden Love which will be out by Solstice sometime this year. In this story, Constance’s brother fights his attraction to his best friend at a time when men were not supposed to fall in love with other men. Plus, the plot thickens as more layers are revealed about the deaths in this prairie town where nothing is what it seems.

Where can we find you?