Saturday, 25 April 2015


Title: Second Nature
Series: Blood At First Sight
Author: Marie Lavender
Publisher: Solstice Shadows Publishing
Release Date: 9th December 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
She never expected it…

Desiree Edwards has a problem. She’s been attacked, kidnapped and forced to get along with a vampire of all things. It’s something right out of the story books she reads, or her worst nightmare. But, sometimes he’s not the monster he appears to be. He seems so humanlike that she can’t help it when her emotions betray her, when her body betrays her. To make matters worse, she finds out more about herself than she ever wanted to know.

She was unlike any other…

Alec has a problem. The animal in him wants Desiree. But, so does the man. The more he learns about her, the harder it is to deny what he wants. But, he’s a freak, and she’s just a human. The two species don’t mix that way. Then an old enemy surfaces and Alec is forced to make a choice. His life or hers. 

Can Alec’s soul be saved by this unique human? Or will it be far too late?



What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Marie Lavender. I was born in a small town in Indiana, and I still live in the Midwest, though I hope to move to the Pacific coast someday.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Yes, I feel like I’ve always wanted that. I briefly entertained other ways to connect with books:  starting my own bookstore, being an editor or launching my own publishing company. But, I pretty much knew that writing was my calling.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
Since I can trace my writing roots back to the tender age of nine, I think it was around then that I started saying I was a writer. To me, a writer was someone who wrote something in hopes of someday publishing. Of course, that term has totally evolved. Funny story, though. One of my uncles once asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said, “I want to be a writer!” As a kid, I think I didn’t clearly enunciate because he thought I was talking about horseback riding. LOL. Yeah, in hindsight, I should have said “author”.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
If you consider that I started writing at nine years old, yes. My first self-published book came out in 2010, five years after I graduated from college. That’s not a bad timeline to me. My first traditionally published book, Upon Your Return, which took me eight years to finish writing, was released in 2013. But, the timeline doesn’t really matter. It happened the way it should have.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Yes, I do. For now, I work as an appointment setter for an entertainment company.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is titled Second Nature, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy and it is book one of the Blood at First Sight Series. Here is my brief summary of the book:
Desiree Edwards encounters an “Other” world when she is abducted and forced to get along with sexy vampire, Alec Sullivan.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
A bit of both, actually. I have self-published sixteen books, and released four books traditionally through Solstice Publishing.

Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
Not really. I just hit the ‘submit’ button and pray that it worked, that the cyber demons didn’t eat it before the publisher received it. Then I go about attempting to distract myself for however long it takes to get a response back from the publisher about whether they liked it or not.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
That really depends on the book. I would say that my historical romance series, the Heiresses in Love Series, has taken longer than any other book project, mostly because of the difficult research involved in it. Upon Your Return took around eight or nine years, while Upon Your Honor, the sequel, was finished in a year. I am currently finishing up work on Upon Your Love, the final book, and I would probably give that a year as well. Phew! My novellas don’t take as much time, maybe a month to a few months to write and polish. The ideas for UYH and UYL actually came just after I received the contract for Upon Your Return in 2012. Suddenly, there were sequels in the works and though I did toil on them here and there, I didn’t really put a lot of focus into one until the previous book was published.  

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I try not to pin myself down, but I usually focus on romance in one way or another. I do, however, try different subgenres. I have written contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance/fantasy, romantic suspense, literary fiction, mystery/thriller and poetry.
I have a manuscript I am polishing right now called A Little Magick, which is the sequel to Magick & Moonlight. It is just about ready to be published. ALM is a children’s fantasy, something completely different from what I often write, and writing it was a fun way to dip into the genre. Beyond finishing up the writing on UYL, as aforementioned, I plan to finish the sequels in the Blood at First Sight Series. I also have plans to launch a new series about a coven of witches set around the time of the Salem witch trials. That will be titled the Witches of Moonhaven Series, and it will be a set of six books in the historical romance/fantasy genre. 

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I love romance - reading about it, watching shows or films about it. I always have. I love “love” so that kind of translates into writing romance novels. I think it’s so awesome that the genre is evolving and we now have time travel romances and sci-fi romance, and really anything you can think of with romance thrown in. It opens up the genre so much, and allows writers to write about whatever they want instead of being boxed into a typical mold.

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
Right now, the Heiresses in Love Series is my favorite. Though I will allow that the reason may be because I’ve been focused on that writing series for the most part, I totally love the characters, and hell, it makes me want to read my own books. That’s not a bad thing, right? LOL.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
Fara Bellamont is my favorite. The young Fara, the mature Fara – it doesn’t matter; she’s awesome. Fara is a redheaded spitfire, as one reader termed her, and she will do everything she must to find love and have her own adventures. All this during the Victorian era. Go figure. She is a compelling character, and I’m so proud of that little “firecracker” for coming into her own. Yes, that’s another term from a reader. I love my fans!

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
Oh, goodness. You’ll probably assume I’m going to pick Fara, but not for this one. I think I’d choose Desiree Edwards. I can relate to her interest in writing, and – do I really have to say it? – she gets thrust into her own adventure with a hot, hot, hot, um, vampire. Sigh. I love paranormal romance. If I could give my fiancé fangs, I would. LOL.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
No, it just comes to me wherever I am, which can be inconvenient if I’m in public. Good thing I decided to carry a journal with me so that I am prepared no matter what. Sometimes I listen to music while writing; it really depends on the story. At other times, I need absolute quiet. I can type on the fly on my PC, but I also use my Luddite fallback by flopping down on my bed and then I start writing in one of the cheap, one-subject notebooks I have on hand. And don’t get me started on colored gel pens and decorative journals. Love those.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
No, I never thought of doing that. I guess a beta reader is similar to that, huh? I definitely use critique partners and beta readers, and having that kind of feedback is paramount when polishing your own work.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Sure, I do. If a reader is willing to do an honest review, I do that sometimes. Mostly my freebies come through official book giveaways.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I confess that I do just for fun, but I try not to let the occasional lower score get me down. The reason I got into this was for the love of writing, and one person’s opinion is not going to keep me from pursuing my dream. I do love my readers though; I wouldn’t be anywhere without them.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No, no, and hell no. That is completely unprofessional. That is like going to your teacher in school, and saying, “Yeah, this isn’t working for me. Could you switch that to an A+?” Not going to happen, and it makes you look stupid. If an author was doing that, I would ask them to reconsider. No matter what, you should keep your dignity. Reviews are reviews, good or bad. And who knows? Maybe that somewhat negative review can still spark someone’s interest in looking a little further into your work.
If I am buying a book, I take many things into account: the cover, the blurb and then I see what most people are saying about it. Most of the time though, I don’t worry so much about reviews when buying a book. Any other product? Probably. But books are a literary gift to the world. I just love words, and I love reading. Life is too short to be so petty anyway.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
It usually depends on the book. I would say that most of the time, the book comes first and title comes out of the process of writing it. Upon Your Return came out of a piece of dialogue in one of the scenes I wrote, and the titles for the other books came when I got the basic plot ideas for the sequels. I hadn’t done any heavy writing at that point. Now and then, though, I do get a title in my head, and the plot naturally flows of that. Magick & Moonlight was that way. I also have an idea for a story called Mystery Falls; with that one, the title came first, the plot later. Also, sometimes I think I know the title, but then it changes later on. Like I said, it depends on which book I’m working on.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
I think I still prefer paperback over anything else. Ebooks are convenient if you have a reader, but if you don’t, you’re stuck trying to read them on the computer or on your phone. Hardbacks are nice collector’s items, but they are pretty bulky to carry around.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward. It is paranormal romance at its finest, and the male main character, Wrath, is my favorite book boyfriend. And yes, I have read it many, many times.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is your favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
Most of the time, I believe they don’t transfer well. The creators of the movie have to cut out a lot just to adhere to time limits. For example, I once read Michael Chrichton’s Jurassic Park, and in some ways I believe the book is better. There are ton of action scenes that weren’t even included in the movie, but if they had bothered to put them in, the film would have been three or four hours long. I did enjoy the movie, but after reading the book, it sort of ruined the idea for me. I understand why certain scenes get cut, but sometimes I wonder about quality too. Often we are forced to rely on a director’s perspective of something, and who’s to say the author ever intended that in the first place?
Do I want one of my books turned into a movie? Yeah, who doesn’t? But, I wonder how much we’re sacrificing when a book goes straight to a movie. I never read the Harry Potter books, but I liked the movies. I learned a long time ago that sometimes it’s best to do one or the other – either read the book or watch the movie. If you do both, in most cases, you’re going to get disappointed. Whereas if you focus, you will only be judging it based on one medium. 

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
Yes, I used to read a lot when I was a kid. I remember sneaking with a book light to read late at night when I was “supposed to be in bed”. I also wrote lots of stories during my childhood. I look back on them now, and I find it amusing because they were quite immature. There is one book project we had to do for class in the third grade, and mine was titled The Mystery of the Golden Chair. I still have it, and I’ll probably never show it to anyone. But, it reminds me that I’ve grown a lot since then. 

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
I read the Bobbsey Twins and the Boxcar Children back then, and I was kind of obsessed with those Choose Your Own Adventure books. Eventually, I got into reading The Babysitter’s Club Series and I remember reading two specific books from middle school: Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause and Say Goodnight, Gracie by Julie Reece Deaver, book very good books for different reasons. 

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
Yes. I recommend that you check out Mika Jolie and Linda Lee Williams. They are very talented writers.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
Yes, of course. I have one right now – Marie Lavender. I have also used Erica Sutherhome and Kathryn Layne.

Where can readers follow you?

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