Sunday, November 8, 2020

Meet Award-Winning Romance Author Marie Lavender and Read About UPON YOUR RETURN, Book One of the Heiresses in Love Series

I've known Marie for several years, and am happy to host her again. Her latest release, UPON YOUR RETURN, will be on sale November 23, in which Marie brings excitement and passion to two coastal France towns in this captivating love story about a young heiress and a devilishly charming ship captain. 

About Marie

Multi-genre author of Victorian maritime romance/family saga, Heiresses in Love, and 20 other books. Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and two 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 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. An avid blogger on the side, she writes adult fiction, as well as occasional stories for children, and has recently started some young adult fiction. She also contributed to several anthologies. Though Marie has standalone titles on the market, her current published series are The Eternal Hearts Series, The Magick Series, The Code of Endhivar Series, The Misfits Series and The Blood at First Sight Series, but she has many others planned. Her Victorian maritime romance series is returning, and the second editions of the trilogy will be released under her new publisher, Foundations Books. Discover more about her and her work at the following links.


Utterly captivated by a man who rescues her one night, Fara embarks on an unexpected journey…

 After being raised to believe that love is just a frivolous endeavor, French heiress Fara Bellamont has always kept her dreams of adventure and discovering a soul-searing passion to herself. So, when Captain Grant Hill makes his grand entrance into her life by way of rescuing her one fateful night, she knows she’s in trouble. He completely steals her heart.

But, as far as society is concerned, he’s also not a suitable husband.

Grant Hill, a beguiling, rugged ship captain, is just as enthralled with Fara as she is with him, but he too knows such things aren’t so simple. Not only must they overcome social expectations to be together, but wars, and lies, as well. And with a long-time yearning neither has managed to achieve, the pair must fight to attain their deepest desire:


If you loved Surrender of a Siren by Tessa Dare or The Other Miss Brigerton by Julia Quinn, you’ll love this “exciting” and “intricate” standalone Historical Romance set by the sea. Get your copy today…



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Brief Excerpt

Fara fought the blackness to the coming light. It was so easy to stay in the dark. It was comforting like a warm blanket. But, the light held such possibilities. She knew she must rouse, as if something significant lay in wakefulness. She stirred and felt a pair of arms holding her. Then she heard a heartbeat beneath a rough fabric, felt a coarse texture of chest hair. It was so secure within that embrace.

When she finally realized it was a man who held her, she gasped and tried to retreat from the cord of muscles. She glanced up to be temporarily blinded by the lamplight to her left.

“Don't move,” said a soft but deep voice.

He spoke with the assurance of authority, likely used to ordering people around. Well, he wouldn't command her. She lifted her heavy head and whimpered as a stab of agony sliced through her skull. Fara squeezed her eyes shut tight. It was so much easier to be left in the dark for it was as if her head was being cut with so many knives.

“I will have you more comfortable in a moment. Please don’t move.”

How could she possibly move with all this pain and that large man rendering her limbs useless?

Suddenly, she felt a light cushion beneath her. The glare from the lantern came across her vision again when she opened her eyes and was then replaced by the outline of a man towering above her. On a panicked breath, she crawled away from him, but his hold on her waist hauled her back. Her head hurt so as he studied her face.

Madame, the pain will lessen if you stay still. I promise I didn’t bring you here to harm you in any way.”

She gradually settled back on the pillows and looked at her keeper. He was an attractive man, if one liked the rough, indignant kind. Dark layers of soft waves covered his head and ended at the nape of his neck. He was large, but slim in the right spoke of years of hard physical labor.

His eyes captivated her as she studied him in such proximity. The shade of his eyes...a charcoal color; they were the most intense and unreadable eyes she'd ever seen. It was an odd, yet strikingly beautiful color for a man.

Oh, you silly girl, she thought. ridiculous for her to be wooed by only a pair of eyes.

An Interview with Marie

 Let’s start with your inspirational journey to publishing.  

I’ve been writing stories for nearly all my life. From the age of nine, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for a living – to be a novelist. I lived to fuel my creativity into a passion that might eventually result in a writing career. By 2010, I was ready to try the world of indie publishing. I began planning and released three literary fiction and poetry collections in subsequent years. After that, I tried publishing books in other genres – contemporary romance, romantic suspense, mystery, even a paranormal thriller. By 2012, I’d received my first official book contract with a traditional publisher. I kept stories and novels in various subgenres of romance with that company for a while. I also learned to focus on one project a time, and to stick with one pen name. The rest, as they say, is history. 

  1. Other than historical romances, what genre(s) would you consider writing and why? 

I have written all sorts of books, even comedy, sci-fi, paranormal, and fantasy. I guess what I have not yet achieved – and I’ve considered it for a while – is a horror story. The idea I have for it has a touch of paranormal and mystery, but it would have enough horror to please that audience. I’m hesitant to dive into it, but I shouldn’t be because I’ve tried other genres and those journeys have turned out well. Why wouldn’t that one, too? I try to not to box myself into always writing one type of book. 

  1. If you were going to write a non-fiction book, what would the title be? (this is my novelist’s version of the Barbara Walters’ special question of “If you were a tree, what kind would you be?”) 

I have often thought I probably would never write non-fiction books, as I get enough of that when I write articles for different blogs. But if I’m going off the top of my head, perhaps 101 Ways to Write the Novel of Your Dreams

  1. Who is your favorite romance author? Who’s your favorite non-romance author, if any? What books are you reading these days? 

I would still have to say my favorite author right now is J.R. Ward. I can always count on her to produce a steamy and exciting story. As for non-romance…that’s a tough one. I used to enjoy Kurt Vonnegut’s and Barbara Kingsolver’s books. Very diverse authors, of course, but I can’t say there was much romance in their tales. 

I’m currently reading The Sight by Chloe Neill. That series has become an unusual, dystopian take on urban fantasy.

 Tell me your favorite most zany “when I was doing research for this novel you wouldn’t believe what I did/what happened” story: 

The wildest thing about it is that it was a nine-year project. Life and the roller coaster of creativity – plus my unwillingness to pin the story down to a specific era – conspired to delay the completion of Upon Your Return. But in 2011, it was finally done, and I handed it over to my critique partner circle. After that was polished, I began submitting queries to publishers and literary agents. The book remained with my former publisher for six years before they handed the rights back to me. Last year, I submitted queries all over again, and soon I found my current publisher. 

So overall, what really stands out about the process is how long it took to write the book, and the pile of rejections I had to plow through to get this historical romance published.

 6.How long, on average, does it take you to write a 100,000 word novel?  What is your typical writing schedule like when you’re on deadline for a novel? 

The rate at which I wrote Upon your Return is hardly typical. For a full-length novel, it often takes me a year to write. Maybe a year and half if the concept is more complicated, or if I’m dealing with unforeseen family emergencies. When I am focused on finishing a manuscript, I make it a point to work on the project every day, even if all I accomplish is research or outlining the synopsis. 

7. I know you’ve had a few, so please share your other fascinating jobs/careers.  Do you, or will you ever, write full-time? 

Hmm. The types of jobs I’ve had included working in a tuxedo warehouse in the shirts and accessories department, being a hostess at two different restaurants, a reservation agent for the U.S. national parks, cell phone data support, a booking agent for a talent search audition camp, and a few other customer service representative jobs. And, at the moment, I do a lot of blogging on the side. 

Honestly, I’d love to write full-time and dedicate myself to the task at hand. It’s such a distraction to get bogged down in the business aspects of being an author. 

8. If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

I would be hard-pressed to pin it down to a specific character, but I know I’d definitely choose a heroine from the Heiresses in Love Series. I relate so well with them. Weird, right, since those books are historical romance. Maybe that makes me an old soul?

9. If you could jump into any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

Perhaps the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. It seems like there would never be a dull moment in that fictional world.

10. Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

My ideal snack is sweet and salty, so maybe a combination of pretzels and M&Ms. Anything to stave off cravings during the creative process. Also, one of my weaknesses is dark chocolate.

11. Do you have an all-time favorite book?

I love far too many! But because of my fondness for J.R. Ward, my favorite of hers is probably Dark Lover.

12. If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

I already made the mistake of meeting my idol years ago, and I found out one of my fave authors was a total jerk to people. So, I’d have to say that if I did plan to meet another in real life, I would rather go back in time and meet two legendary writers. 

The first is Samuel Richardson, who wrote Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, the first official romance novel (1740). I’ve often wondered what inspired that book. Did he witness a strange courtship between a gentleman and his servant? Was it, perhaps, a personal story? So, I think I would want to discover what drove him to write the book, which is so unique, as it’s told through a series of letters the heroine pens to her parents. 

The second author I’d wish to meet in person is Kurt Vonnegut – of course, before he died. He was from Indiana too. I guess I’d like to pick his brain, see how he came up with some of his books. Judging from the style and voice of his stories and novels, as well as former interviews I’ve read, he appeared to be quite an interesting guy. 

13. Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I can actually sing. I used to be in a choir, and I sang soprano. I also took a voice class for fun in college. Once upon a time, I’d entertained the idea of being a real singer in life, putting myself out there like that on stage. But the dream just kind of faded, and I found that becoming a writer was a far more fulfilling experience.

14. Anything else you’d like to share with readers that I haven’t asked? 

Please join or share my official launch party for this upcoming historical romance release on Facebook. We look forward to seeing you stop by then! Click here to join






  1. Congrats, Marie, on the re-release of your heartwarming historical romance! Always a pleasure to learn more about you and your writing journey. Wishing you continued success!

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