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Hi, readers! I hope you had a nice set of holidays over the past couple of months, and that you and your family are healthy and happy. I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the month. So much has happened; it just flew by!

I’m hoping this newsletter provides some updates about events you may have missed since last time, as well as exciting events coming soon!


On November 6th, my sci-fi romance, Blue Vision, was featured on Bernard Foong’s blog. Two days later, character Zoey, from Monica DeSimone’s Second Half, had an exclusive interview on the I Love Romance Blog, plus I got a chance to chat with the author! The following day brought a cool new release feature for Blue Vision on C.L. Bush’s site, as well as fun yet brief Q & A session with yours truly. On November 10th, I had an author interview on Debbie De Louise’s site here. Check out some of my publishing history, advice for new writers, discover what challenges I faced in the industry and some other hobbies I have! Also, on the 10th, Blue Vision was featured on Belinda Y. Hughes’ blog.

You may recall that in the last newsletter, I talked about an awesome anniversary event which was coming up on November 11th on my Writing in the Modern Age blog. This multi-author ‘writing process post’ was comprised of responses from 45 different authors. Take a gander here, and get a glimpse into the process of your favorite authors! :)

Four days later, Blue Vision, the science fiction romance I mentioned, was officially released. Yay! This is book one of the Code of Endhivar Series. We had a great book release party too! Other events going on that day included a feature on Linda Lee Williams’ blog, as well as two wonderful reviews, one of which appeared on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews. So, thanks, Amy and JoAnne! Three days later, Jennifer of Hines and Bigham’s Literary Tryst Blog gave Blue Vision a nice review! Also on November 18th, the book had a release feature on K.C. Sprayberry’s blog. On the same day, I wrote a guest post for The Writing Greyhound blog. It was titled “Writing Out of Your Comfort Zone”.

On November 19th, Blue Vision received a pleasant book review on the Que Sara Sera Book Blog. Thank you, Sara! On the same day, I had an author interview on Amy Shannon’s site. Learn some miscellaneous details about me as well as how I tick as a writer. Three days later, Monica DeSimone visited the MLB blog to tell us a little about herself and her sexy sports romance, Second Half! On November 27th, I visited Maighread MacKay’s (or Margaret Hefferman’s) blog in a fun interview. You can find out how I got into writing sci-fi, a new genre for me, and more news about me as an author. Two days later, Q.L. Pearce came to the MLB blog to show off her new adult horror new release, Spine Chillers! What a great cover!

The following day, Susanne Matthews’ western romantic suspense, Desert Deception, was featured on the I Love Romance Blog. On December 5th, I wrote a romantic poem, titled “You and the Muse”, and it was posted on ILRB. Four days later, Blue Vision got a book feature on Susanne Matthews’ blog.
On December 16th, Blue Vision received a lovely five star review on The Reading Room on Facebook and Amazon. Three days later, the book got a decent four star review on the Frustrated Ego site. Five days later, there was another great review on Amazon. So, thank you, J.C.! On December 26th, I discovered that Blue Vision was nominated in two categories for the P&E Readers’ Poll. That was exciting! :) Two days later, the book received a lovely four star review on the Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers’ blog.

If you’ve followed my newsletter, my blogs or me as an author thus far, then you likely know that I always write annual posts on my blogs around New Year’s Eve. Check out my end-of-year posts for the MLB blog, the I Love Romance Blog, and Writing in the Modern Age!

Before I mention a few more events for January, I’d like to point out that Writing in the Modern Age had some great posts from early November to the present.

Please take a moment to browse these wonderful guest articles, interesting events, interviews and character histories. Some talented authors and writers who visited Writing in the Modern Age – my writing and guest author blog – were Branka Čubrilo, Rival Gates, Jane Riddell, Tanya W. Newman, Rita Plush, Q.L. Pearce, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Mikki Smith, among others.

On January 12th, LaShanta Charles came to the I Love Romance Blog to introduce her new adult sports romance, Heart of a Savage! Sexy cover! :)

Four days later, I had an author interview/book spotlight on the ‘Meet Monday’ feature on the Eating Between the Lines blog. Check it out here, and learn some authors who inspired me on my journey, as well as some other interesting author tidbits. The following day, Stef Smulders visited the MLB blog to introduce the English translation of his travel book, Living in Italy: The Real Deal. Finally, three days ago, readers got an exclusive chance to grab a copy of Alistair Cross’ new dark fantasy/romance release, The Angel Alejandro. I met Alistair during my author journey, well, him and his sometime writing collaborator, author Tamara Thorne, and it is always a pleasure to feature Alistair’s work. In July of 2015, I had an interview on their awesome radio show, Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! I have another interview with them coming up in April. In any case, kudos on your upcoming release and that’s such great cover art on your book, Alistair!


Since a majority of my events from November to January concerned Blue Vision, let's switch gears. I wanted to let you know about two new releases coming very soon...

In early December, I submitted a new story to my publisher and very quickly received a book contract. This story, a new adult romance titled The Missing Piece, will be included in the Cupid's Arrow multi-author anthology, scheduled to be released on Valentine's Day.

A week later, the story will be released on its own in ebook format (I don’t have that cover yet). I am excited for readers to see this! It’s been awhile since I wrote a college-themed story.

In other news, the moment you’ve all been waiting for has arrived. Yes, everything has been finalized and Upon Your Love, the third and final book of the Heiresses in Love Series, will be released on February 28th. Woo hoo!

I wanted it to be as close to the anniversary of the first book’s release (Upon Your Return) as possible. UYL is a full-length historical romance novel as well as a family saga. I am beyond ecstatic to finally introduce this book to readers! :)

What else is happening? I am halfway through second round edits on Directions of the Heart, a contemporary romance/romantic drama collection. So, I hope to get that to beta readers and critique partners very soon!

Beyond that, I am finishing up work on Blood Instincts, book two of the Blood at First Sight Series. This is a futuristic paranormal romance/urban fantasy. I’ve included my main character muses in past newsletters, so today I will show a plot inspiration image as well as short teaser.

I also hope to fully immerse myself in work on Awakening, a paranormal romantic thriller collection, sometime this year. Here is my finalized cover:

So, anyway, a lot of new books should be released in 2017!

As always, you can keep apprised of my updates by checking this page of my website, or by following me on Facebook or Twitter.

Bizarre & Unusual

If you’ve followed my monthly newsletters thus far, then you know it’s my habit to include a bizarre or unique holiday for the month. Below are some that stood out to me for parts of this month and next month:
January, 2017 Bizarre and Unique Holidays
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Braille Literacy Month
  • National Hobby Month
  • Hot Tea Month
  • National Oatmeal Month
  • National Soup Month
January 2017 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

21 National Hugging Day
23 National Pie Day
23 National Handwriting Day
24 Compliment Day
25 Opposite Day
26 Spouse's Day
27 Chocolate Cake Day
28 Fun at Work Day
29 National Puzzle Day
30 Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day - last Monday of month
31 Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
February, 2017 Bizarre and Unique Holidays

  • American Heart Month
  • Black History Month
  • Canned Food Month
  • Creative Romance Month
  • Great American Pie Month
  • National Cherry Month
  • National Weddings Month
Weekly Celebrations:
3rd Week International Flirting Week

February 2017 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

1 National Freedom Day
2 Ground Hog Day
3 Feed the Birds Day
Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day - first Saturday of month
4 Thank a Mailman Day
5 National Weatherman's Day
7 Send a Card to a Friend Day
8 Boy Scout Day - celebrates the birthday of scouting
10 Umbrella Day
11 Make a Friend Day
11 National Inventors Day
11 White T-Shirt Day
12 Plum Pudding Day
13 Get a Different Name Day
14 Ferris Wheel Day
14 National Organ Donor Day
14 Valentine's Day
15 National Gum Drop Day
17 Random Acts of Kindness Day
19 National Chocolate Mint Day
20 Cherry Pie Day
20 Love Your Pet Day

So many to choose from, right?

Since I must narrow it down, I think I will choose ‘Get a Different Name Day’ on February 13th. This unique holiday was designed to honor those who aren’t too fond of their birth names. Some people even choose to officially change their names on the 13th.

I’m not really asking you to do that, but simply to pick a new name for a day, just for fun.

Remember when you were a child and you pretended you were a princess, or even an astronaut? Why not do the same with your name? A new name.

Is there a name you always wanted, but could never have? Ask your friends to call you that name for a day. What can you lose?

As a child, I was a bit unsatisfied with the name my parents gave me. My mother named me after a flower. And yes, your assumption is correct. Marie is not my real first name. Still, I always entertained the notion of having a different name. But see, that’s the fascinating thing about being an author. We get to live vicariously through our characters, try out not only new roles and discover cool places but also experience having different names. I guess we get to do the same with pen names too. ;)

So, why not try it out for a day? Let loose and get back to those childish tendencies. Try a new name for a brief time.

Well, I guess that moment has come once more. For now, I’ll sign off. Don’t forget the book releases that are going on in February. I’ll check in with you again sometime next month.

Happy Valentine’s Day, if we don’t talk before then!

Take care of yourselves. And, as always, happy reading!

Copyright © 2017 Marie Lavender, All rights reserved.

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