Marie Lavender is an award-winning, best-selling author of 22 books including Second Chance Heart. She has been writing for over 20 years in a variety of genres.
1) Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?
Yes, I am very excited to announce that the boxed set for my historical romance series is finally available! It just came out on February 6th, and you can find it on Amazon or at my publisher, Solstice Publishing.
2) Is there anything specific that inspired you to write (title)?
Actually, I started writing the first book of the series back in college. You could say it originated from a particularly bad romantic relationship I was in at the time. By the time the book idea fully launched, though, it evolved into this Victorian maritime romance trilogy that quickly took on a life of its own. Plus, you don’t often see a historical romance series centered around a whole family. Every book honors the next generation, or even the previous one, and so on and so forth.
3) Who do you hope to reach with this book? Do you have a specific audience in mind?
Well, I hope to reach avid romance readers, as well as people who don’t mind reading about an interesting family.
4) As a fellow author, I know this is a tough question, but let’s try it anyway. Which of your books is your favorite? Give us a sample as a teaser.
I think I still have a soft spot for the first book in the trilogy, Upon Your Return. Fara and Grant are two of my favorite characters! But, here is something to tease you with:
Her tear-numbed eyes adjusted, and she saw him in the doorway. It seemed he would not take no for an answer.
“Shall I inquire to Pierre why he was not escorted to the library, why we were not informed of his presence? At this hour? Really it is not proper, mistress.”
“No, leave us,” she ordered her nursemaid. The woman left the room, frowning. Fara pulled her dressing sacque closer to her bosom and drew a hand across her eyes to stem the flow of tears. She took a deep breath, aware that her heart was hammering itself to death.
“I am sorry to have caught you at a time like this. I know your uncle’s death has been hard for you.”
Recovering from her emotional turmoil, she took a deep breath. “Oui.” She frowned. “Capitaine Hill, it is unlike you to enter a lady’s boudoir uninvited.”
“But can you really know, chère, what I am capable of?”
“Perhaps not. Yet there are rumors of your bedside manner…”
“Perhaps they are only rumors then,” he said softly as he sat on a nearby chaise.
“Oui.” Fara shook her head. “Why are you here, Grant?”
“That does not matter. What will you do now without an escort, Mademoiselle?”
Oui, her uncle was dead and she had no one to look after her. But, why should he care about that? “Are you to fill the position, Monsieur?” she countered with a grin.
“Perhaps with your permission. Is it so funny?”
“Only that you feel you must concern yourself with my affairs.”
“Have I not done so since that first night in the harbor?”
“Oui,” she replied. “But you are still in my boudoir—”
“Would you have me leave then—”
“Without permission…” she finished.
“Ah,” he exclaimed softly. “Then, Mademoiselle, may I enter your boudoir?”
She considered it, but with a smile playing on her lips, she answered, “No, Monsieur. You may not.”
He stood quickly and approached her, lifting a hand to gently touch her cheek. “You are a tease, Mademoiselle. You like playing with men, I think.” She frowned as he turned to leave. “Adieu, Fara. I shall see you on Tuesday.”
“What do you mean?”
He glanced back. “Tuesday. The reading of the will.”
“How do you know about that?”
“I have my ways.” He made his exit, whistling a sailor’s tune through the dark hallways outside her bedroom. She heard the front door close.
She groaned. Why did he feel obligated to attend the reading of the will? That was her business. His interference in her life was certainly not helping matters these days. It being Thursday, however, she only had the weekend to prepare for what might happen.
She couldn’t begin to imagine what the will would say; mostly she feared what was on that piece of paper would change her whole life. Losing her uncle had been enough of a shock; losing everything would be devastating.
5) Let’s tackle some general questions, all right? What book that you read in the past, would you say, inspired your love of reading or writing?
I’ve always been a book nerd. I have to blame my mother, for she used to read to me as a child. Beginning with books like The Boxcar Children series, I loved getting immersed in those fictional worlds. With regards to historical tales, Catherine Coulter’s Devil’s Embrace was a true eye-opener for me (I read it when I was sixteen), and from then on I was hooked on historical romance novels.
6) What does your writing process look like? Do you plot everything out before you write? Or, are you a pantster?
I’d call myself a hybrid, as I do a bit of both. I am a pantster at first. I write as many random scenes as I can. After that, I write a full outline of the book and use it as a guideline for the rest of my writing. However, I try to keep myself open to the idea that a character might change directions on me suddenly.
7) What subject have you always wanted to write about, but never had the chance to?
I’ve always wanted to write a Medieval romance. I’ve started the story, but it isn’t yet finished. I also have plans for a time travel series. I have so many works in progress. No worries. I’ll get there someday.
8) I see that you call yourself a multi-genre author and your author tagline is “Exploring worlds one page at a time…” Can you expand a bit on that?
Sure! Three years ago, I wrote and published a children’s fantasy story, and at that point, I realized that I needed to take a long hard look at my work and reevaluate where my career was going. I didn’t feel that I should call myself just a romance writer anymore.
It’s true that I favor romantic stories on some level, but after looking at my works in progress, I realized that I am truly all over the place when it comes to my writing projects. I am constantly dipping my toes in new-to-me genres. Heck, last year, I even started writing a horror tale. I also have a psychological thriller in the works. So, it just made sense to call me multi-genre. In any case, it’s more comfortable for me as a writer. I hate to be boxed in.
9) What project do you have planned next? Or is that a secret?
Well, Solstice Publishing has my manuscript for the second book of the Blood at First Sight Series. I just received the cover two weeks ago, and I’m waiting to be assigned an editor for the novel. That book, Blood Instincts, a futuristic paranormal romance, should be out sometime this year. Additionally, I am writing a romantic comedy, which is book one of a six-book series. Humor is quite a different approach for me (drama comes easier, as it’s second nature to torture my characters…LOL).
10) Is there anything you’d like to add? Any special advice for your fellow writers?
Be patient on your writing journey (with yourself and others), but don’t be afraid to try new things, to venture into different genres or try new marketing techniques. You never know when a unique approach will pay off in the long run.
Also, you will encounter adversity in the process. Just keep pushing forward, and don’t give up on yourself. For me, it’s the three P’s that are the best foundation for being a writer: persistence, patience, and perseverance.
Heiresses in Love Trilogy Blurb
An unforgettable, sweeping saga of romance, passion, and history rooted in tales of maritime suspense…
Three heiresses…three novels like no other.
UPON YOUR RETURN
Fara risks her heart every time she’s with him, but she cannot deny him.
UPON YOUR HONOR
Chloe never imagined that the man she deceived would be the one man she can’t stop loving.
UPON YOUR LOVE
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?