Tag Archive for Marie Lavender

See More of the Amazon with Your Imagination

Books can give you a better picture and help you feel a scene with all of you senses and emotions. Sometimes better than a video can. See the video and read the descriptions from “The Patron’s Wife” and compare.


There is still time to explore the Amazon and
Be a member of The Patròn’s Wife Launch Team before the release date on Aug. 7, 2017

Get an ebook copy of The Patron’s Wife with your name on the Launch Team Thank You page and a coupon to share it with your friends for 3 days.

Books vs Videos Traveling up the Amazon River

The wonderful thing about your imagination is that you bring all of your experiences to a scene in a story or novel. Sometimes a written description can spark a different and more focused experience as compared to a video. A video can be very well done and can certainly tell a story. But we are limited to what our eyes can take in and the score to elicit the proper emotion or reaction. With a video we are truly witnesses. With literature we are more participants. I hope I did that in my description of Emilio’s trip down the Rio Oscuro in the Amazon in my latest novel, ‘The Patròn’s Wife”. Many moons ago, I was stationed in the Florida Keys and at Homestead Air Base, that was very near the Everglades. Both places were hot, sticky and buggy. In the summer you could just about set you watch to the time of the daily thunder storm. Those were the experiences I drew from for the opening description.

Compare this Video to Emilio’s Trip
down the Amazon in The Patron’s Wife

“The dull pulse of the boat motor echoed back from the dense wall of tangled greenery that crowded its way to the edge of the river bank. The chirps and clicks from a thousand insects set an unearthly cadence that was palpable.  Mist swirled overhead, opening now and again to let the sun’s rays play off the living pearls of dew that rolled down from leaf to quivering leaf, back into the brown waters of the Rio Oscuro”

Emilio The Patron's Wife

Emilio, traveling in the Amazon
The Patron’s Wife

“My clothing was always damp with sweat. The heat and humidity made the trip unbearable. Even the breeze coming off the water was warm and fetid. The chatter of monkeys was tiresome; the biting insects were bothersome and painful. The occasional shadowy animal, drawn undoubtedly by the sound of the motor, would stalk us, making its way through the undergrowth that grew along the riverbank. The relentless heat, discomfort, and unpredictability reached out like a smothering and heavy hand from the jungle and kept its dank grip on me and the boat.”

Another scene has to do with the protagonist Emilio being driven up from the Rio Oscuro in the Amazon to El Paradiso, the name of the plantation where the greater part of the story takes place.

“The road was rutted and bumpy. Branches and fronds reached out and clawed and scratched at all sides of the Land Rover as if trying to pull us into the undergrowth. There was no view to speak of, only a twinkling tunnel made through the tangle of low brush, large green leaves and overhead, vines and flowering creepers and still higher, the canopies of the great trees.

Amazon Jungle The Patron's Wife

Amazon Jungle
The Patron’s Wife

“We traveled inland for maybe twelve kilometers. I heard birds and the chatter of monkeys but I saw no animals. Leòn came to a jarring stop. A jaguar appeared out of the brush and stopped on the road.  Its golden eyes burned into mine. Leòn looked away from the animal; he even held his hand up to shield his face and gave the big cat a wide berth. I expected him to say something, but he did not. He did not even look at me. We drove off in silence.”

All of those scenes have to do with the Amazon jungle. By reading the words you become part of the story. You become an active participant by reliving your own set of experiences and memories and those of the character. A video can never do that.


The Patron's Wife Mark Giglio, author

The Patron’s Wife
Mark Giglio, author

See more videos and audio of the Amazon at
The Patron’s Wife Book Release Party

Win prizes of books and swag from Mark’s collection and Guest Writers, Marie Lavender and George Knox. See videos and hear audio interviews from Mark and his guests. Aug. 7 from 10am-9pm PacificTime on Facebook. Invite friends and win for inviting the most.




Thanks for your interest.

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Mark Giglio, Author and Artist

Mark Giglio, Author and Artist

Marie Lavender New Release Directions of the Heart

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Marie Lavender's New Release: Directions of the Heart



Hi, everyone! This will be a brief newsletter. I just wanted to pop in
and let you know about a new release coming this Tuesday, July 25th.“What, Marie? Already! What if I miss it then?”No worries! It’s available on pre-order right now at the following links:Amazon Universal link: https://bookgoodies.com/a/B071WVZZPV
Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/729271
Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/directions-of-the-heart-marie-lavender/1126548251
Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/directions-of-the-heart-a-romantic-drama-collection
CreateSpace link:  https://www.createspace.com/7239124I am really excited for you all to have a look at this modern romantic
drama collection, Directions of the Heart. All the characters are
very close to my heart.You can view the book trailer here:
https://youtu.be/4gkk4wmrtHQThis collection of four novellas is a little different from what I usually write,
but I promise it’s worth the journey.


Marie Lavender















Marie Lavender Author

Marie Lavender Author

Additionally, we’re having a release party on
Facebook at the link below:

So, please stop by the party on Tuesday at
any time during the day from noon EST to midnight,
and you’ll have a chance to win lots of awesome
prizes (we have donations from eight other authors
too)! Exciting, right?

I look forward to seeing there, and I’ll catch you closer to the end
of the month with the next newsletter. Have a wonderful week! 🙂


Follow the Story by Marie Lavender

Follow the Story

by Marie Lavender

Newist Release: “Directions of the Heart”

Marie Lavender Writer

Marie Lavender Author

Like any other writer, the muse speaks to me and I must listen to it. People joke now and then about hearing voices in their heads (because in most cases that’s a bad thing, right?), but for writers it’s a typical day. We pay attention to the call of the muse, or the voices of our characters bugging us to keep telling their stories. For a nonfiction writer, I imagine it’s the pull of the topic itself that drives him or her.

I’ve always done my best to honor my characters and the original vision for the story, while keeping an open mind for when a character decides to change things on me. Many times, I’ve been just as surprised as the readers. And I relish that moment because even though it may be somewhat inconvenient at the time, it makes for a better story.

Marie Lavender treasured-stories-poems

Marie Lavender

Let’s start at the beginning of my publishing journey. It was 2002. I was a sophomore in college (OMG! Am I showing my age?), and I was going through my first romantic relationship. Don’t judge; seriously, I was a late starter! Anyway, this was a case of the bad boy who’s really no good for the girl. So, the turbulent emotions of that romance fed into my subconscious. At least, that’s what I believe now. And while I was waiting for a friend to come out of her doctor’s appointment, I sat in the parking lot and scribbled on my notepad. Suddenly, a scene played out in my head. An argument between the hero and heroine popped on the page in full detail – colors, emotions, the room they were in, the sounds of the harbor nearby – and this cathartic release occurred. I was pouring my rampant feelings into my work (writers often do this, and most of the time they’re not even aware of it), and I didn’t feel so alone then. There was this historical romance I could focus on, and maybe my crazy relationship would resolve itself. Okay, it didn’t, but eventually ended months and months later, as most first loves that are so wrong for you often do. But I digress.

Marie Lavender upon your return

Marie Lavender
upon your return

That novel became Upon Your Return, a Victorian maritime romance set in France. Sure, the book took me nine years to finish, but it became a big part of my life, so much so that I still mourn all of my characters in the Heiresses in Love Series, though I know they’ve moved on to bigger and better things. What I really want to point out is I followed the stories, no matter what the critical side of me wanted to say. I’d advise that you try to quiet that internal editor until well after the story is written. You’ll likely thank yourself for it. While writing Upon Your Honor, the second book in the series, I worried a little about how there weren’t many sex scenes, as opposed to other historical romance novels I’d read. But soon I figured out that it was meant to be; I was only honoring my characters, as well as the events that kept getting in the way of their physical relationship. It was quite a different situation when I wrote the third and final book, Upon Your Love. What I encountered then were other characters that strived to keep me up at night, demanding that I tell their stories too. Eventually, to get them to shut up, I forced myself to listen. Surprisingly, that helped, and it worked out perfectly. UYL became a full-length novel, not only a historical romance, but a family saga. Something far different from what I’d written before. And I’m so glad I opened my heart to all those characters.


It took me a moment to reply, Dude, it’s fiction. Click To Tweet


Let’s see…what other obstacles have I encountered in my writing? Ah, yes. Magick & Moonlight, a lighthearted romantic fantasy, came to me just after I received the book contract for Upon Your Return. This emotional, yet fun and brief tale about a witch who cannot allow anyone to know about her powers was well-received. Except for the occasional critic on a forum, of course. I was called a devil worshipper there! The same was said about my vampire romance, Second Nature, though. Aghast at this response, it took me a moment to reply, “Dude, it’s fiction.” But seriously, I had a lot of fun writing the novella, and learned all kinds of stuff about the Wiccan religion (which, believe me, has nothing to do with Satan). The second book in the series, A Little Magick (a short, children’s fantasy), actually surprised me when it materialized in my head not too long after the first book was released. And all this after I swore there wouldn’t be a sequel! I bit my own words, and learned never to plan that far in advance. The muse always wins.

Marie Lavender blue-vision

Marie Lavender

In any case, I had some misgivings about approaching a book for kids. I mean, geez, what do I know about writing children’s stories? Even though I’d taken a children’s literature class in college, I was still on the fence. Then a friend offered some wonderful advice. “Think about yourself as a kid. Just use your imagination!” And voilà! There was a whimsical little story about a girl who struggles to figure out these new powers, which are both scary and far too tempting. Yeah, I had a blast writing that one. Still, I followed both stories the best way I knew how. I look forward to tackling the third and final book of the Magick trilogy, Magick Sunrise, next year. I implemented the same advice about using my imagination when I wrote Blue Vision, a sci-fi romance and book one of the Code of Endhivar Series, last year.

Marie Lavender second-chance-heart

Marie Lavender

How do other books tie into this idea about honoring one’s characters, as well as a story’s vision? Well, a little over two years ago, I worked on a tale titled Second Chance Heart. Knowing some romance readers hate to see cheating happen in novels, I was a little hesitant to finish writing it at first. The story was about a woman who runs into her ex while she’s on a business trip. Unfortunately, he’s the man who broke her heart long ago. Still dealing with his past betrayal, it’s tough for her to see that he has changed. But I forged ahead, curious to find out if someone really could forgive something that bad. The book was well-received, though, and I found that following the story can never steer you wrong.


Marie Lavender

I encountered the same idea this year as I was writing Directions of the Heart, a modern romantic drama collection which will be released in late July. The four novellas in the book span a wide range of plots, but also various emotions the characters must deal with. In the past, I’d approached sensitive topics more delicately, but with this project I faced a new challenge. In order to honor my characters, I’d have to dig much, much deeper. Certain parts of the book were uncomfortable to write, but after re-reading it, I realized how necessary they were to accurately describe what each character was experiencing. Looking back, I don’t regret a moment of it. I fell in love with those characters, and I hope readers do too.

But I have a lot of other books. These were just a few examples of obstacles I encountered, and how sticking with the characters and story brought me to where I am today. This actually brings to mind a Natalie Goldberg quote that I truly swear by:


“If something comes up in your writing that is scary or naked, dive right into it. It probably has lots of energy.”

She’s a genius, right?

I’ll put this into perspective. Let’s say you’re writing a book. Would you want a publisher to approach you and say, “Hey, no problem. I really like your story’s premise, but you gotta scrap the whole thing and rewrite it. We’re only accepting a certain kind of book.” What?! Of course you’re going to freak out. On a side note, I don’t like the term ‘rewrite’ when it comes to a writing project. It implies that none of what you wrote is salvageable. So, when necessary, I ‘revise, revise, revise’. But, you wouldn’t rewrite your whole book, right? Of course not. It has enormous potential.

So, you have to ask yourself a few important questions. At what point does self-directed censorship sacrifice my story? If I ignore my characters and force them to do what I want, who am I hurting?

Remember that moment when you began writing? The joy of it all? Slow down and go back to that. Never forget why you began this process in the first place.

Look, not everyone is going to love your book. That’s a lot to expect. But, a certain audience is out there for every story. I guarantee, however, that you’re going to come out with a cleaner conscience by honoring your characters and your story’s vision than by writing whatever is the standard these days.

Write the book first. You can worry about where it fits later. Follow the story, and just see what happens. Encounter new worlds, and on the way learn everything you can. I bet you’ll be surprised where it takes you.

Meet Marie Lavender

Marie Lavender Author

Marie Lavender Author

Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. 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 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors. Marie 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 Bloodat First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
-Ray Bradbury
Newest Release “Directions of the Heart”

Marie Lavender directions-of-the-heart



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