Welcome to author Marie Lavendar and her book Upon your Return, a historical romance

Welcome Marie thank you for visiting the blog today

Tell us a little about yourself

I have been writing for over twenty years. I have always wanted to be an author. I recently published my first historical romance novel. I have published sixteen books under various pen names. My focus is the romance genre. I write both contemporary and historical romance novels, but I also write literary fiction.

What book have you brought along to tell us about today?

Upon Your Return.  It is a historical romance.


Fara Bellamont has been back in society for a year after leaving Cluny Abbey, where her uncle sent her long ago. When he chooses a suitor for her for marriage, she fears that she will be forced to marry a stranger and live a miserable life.  But, Fara finds herself thrust into an adventure of a lifetime when unforeseen circumstances cause her to place her trust in a strange man for protection. His intervention not only saves her, but puts her in an even more compromising position.  Grant Hill, a trading captain, is enchanted by the young heiress not only because of her beauty, but because she is hardly conventional. Underneath her ladylike exterior lies a tigress. Grant cannot help but offer his protection as she is in need and he is far from immune from her charms.  Fara just never bargained on the passion that she feels for Grant Hill. As events unfold, she must decide whether her desires and the dictates of her heart should trump the rules of society…

Are you working on another book right now?

I actually just finished writing the sequel to Upon Your Return.  I am still in the editing stages.  It will end up being a trilogy – the Heiresses in Love series.  I have also started on the third book.  I have a romantic suspense project in the works as well; it is a collaboration with a writing partner.  And I am working on an anthology.  I want to combine my first three self-published books (also anthologies) into one.

What do you enjoy most about writing? 

I like that thrill and the peace that comes when you’re really writing, really into the flow of a story. 

What do you like the least?

Ah, I would have to say research.  Though it can be enjoyable at times, it can be a chore as well.

Would you like to see any of your books as movies?

Oh, yes.  I have always thought that Upon Your Return would make a good movie.

Can you name any actors you would like to see as the lead characters in your book.

I have a weakness for Gerard Butler so I wouldn’t mind him playing Captain Grant Hill.   And accents drive me crazy.  For Fara Bellamont, I might choose Amy Adams or Isla Fisher.

What things do you like to do to relax?

I read a lot.  Occasionally, I will watch a movie or something.  But, reading is my way to escape into the literary world.  I also enjoy writing.

Do you have another job as well as writing?

For now, yes, I have a part-time job.  You have to pay the bills somehow.  I book appointments.

If you could have one super power in your existence, what would it be?

This probably sounds creepy, but invisibility wouldn’t be bad.  I have always been an observer.  I think writers are people watchers.  It really helps with writing.  Well, if I was invisible, I wouldn’t have to worry about people thinking that I’m staring.  I could freely observe.  Now, I know that could be a complicated super power.  No power comes without a price.  But, there are definite advantages.  And people are a fascinating species, aren’t they?  I’ve always thought so.

If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?

On the beach.  I’d love a beach house somewhere.  I would go out on my back porch, kick up my feet and write with the sound of waves and gulls in the background.

What kind of car would you have if money was no object?

I’m not sure.  I’ve always seen cars as functional.  But, a cool looking SUV or a fancy sports car might be nice.

What’s your favorite food?

I love pizza.  But, risotto is a close second.  Actually, I love any Italian food.

Favorite color?

Hot pink.

Can you think of a song or piece of music that could be your theme tune?

That is a hard question.  I find myself listening to Kelly Clarkson when I am in a power girl mood.  But, when I’m feeling romantic (I love romance), I am partial to love songs.  Fireflight’s “Wrapped in Your Arms” is a very romantic song.  I also love Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”.

Just answer these questions as quickly as possible.

Chocolate or vanilla?-----

Chocolate, of course.  Is there anything better?

Dog or cat?----

I love cats!  I have three.

The film or the book?-----

Of course, I prefer the book if it’s available.

Jeans or skirt?


Beach or Snow resort?


Heels or flats?

Flats.  I don’t want to twist an ankle.

Stockings or tights?

I prefer neither.  If I’m dressing up, I do wear pantyhose.

Top or bottom?

Bottom.  LOL.

What do you love best about yourself?

I am stubborn.  I go my own way in most things, to the utter dismay of my parents. 

What do you like least?

I am very sensitive, and I wish I was not sometimes.  I wish I could not be hurt, even if I am an adult.

Is there a question you would like to have been asked?

I write romance.  I guess I haven’t come across a question where an interviewer asked if there were any real life “heroes” in my life.  I would have to answer that there are quite a few good men in my life.  But, mainly who I think is a real life hero is my fiancĂ©.  He is my hero.  He is the best man I’ve ever met.  And like a good hero, he is not without faults.  But, through his actions, his many kindnesses, he inspires me every day.  I can’t imagine where my life would be without him.  And that is the mark of a true hero, someone who accepts you the way you are, strengths and weaknesses combined, and still loves you.

Do you have anything to share with other authors that might be a help?

Don’t sacrifice your vision for the sake of being published.  Only you know your book well enough to judge if certain improvements should be made.  If someone suggests you change everything that makes your story yours, I would think twice about that.  Now, if you’re stuck in a contract, I don’t know what to tell you there.  But, I think this advice works in real life too.  Stay true to yourself, and you’ll never go wrong.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

I am so grateful that so many people have read my books.  I only hope I have done my job well enough, and provided you with not only entertainment, but characters to care about.

Can you share one of your favorite parts of one of the books?

Excerpt from Upon Your Return

“You've bewitched me,” he murmured.

Her lips parted on a note of surprise and gently he kissed her. She felt his hand briefly at her white throat, almost as if he tested her racing pulse. He captured her lips and she sunk into his sweet kiss.

A stray hand traveled down her body, passed the hem of her skirt and he gently eased the fabric up her calf and thigh. With some shock, she realized what was happening. She wanted him; dear God, she wanted him, but she feared her inexperience would turn him away. His mouth smothered her protests. His fingertips danced lightly up her leg, pulling the skirt along, until he reached her hip. He abandoned the skirt and cupped the back of her knee to ease her thigh along the side of his body and pressed into the soft expanse of her pelvis. Her protests stilled then as she went deeper into the inferno he caused.

His masculine need for her seemed overwhelming, but it answered a silent call her body had made. Fara was hot, her blood racing with a growing heat. She felt she would explode or go mad in mere moments if the ache within her was not satisfied. Heedless of anything else, she brought her leg up to hug his other side, following suit as he'd silently instructed her to do. His able hands worked at the buttons of her dress and then eased away the fabric. He loosened the laces of her corset and removed her shift. The cool air was upon her naked body and she almost had second thoughts before he began to touch her again. Fara moaned softly as he brought a thumb roughly across a dusky nipple, and then captured it with his mouth, tugging gently. She arched against the ministrations of his lips and tongue. He pulled away suddenly, and she grasped at his arm, instead getting handfuls of his shirt.

“Darling,” he teased, “unless you want to be a selfish lover, you'll allow me to undress.”

Instantly, she released him and watched as he stepped back from the bed, stripping himself of his shirt to expose a tanned and wide expanse of chest muscle and a flat, toned belly. Entranced, she whispered, “Grant, perhaps you should close the door.”

He chuckled and complied. Returning to her, he unbuttoned his slacks and pulled off his boots, shucking both, and then slid his bare body over hers once more. She swallowed, her eyes wide and searching his searing gaze. His manhood was frighteningly close. “Will it be all right?” she whispered.

Grant laughed softly. “'Twill be glorious. Before it's over, you will beg for more.”

She liked the sound of that and a smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. “You are awfully certain of your ability to perform.”

He grinned. “Mademoiselle, there is no one else to take my position. I am certain of that now, and I will relinquish it to no man.” He nuzzled her neck and kissed her lips gently. “Any objections?”

“You are naked, Grant. You hold me at a disadvantage.” She sighed. “However, none come to mind.”

He nodded and kissed her again. “Let the battle begin. May the best man...or woman win.”

“The stakes are high.” Fara moaned as Grant locked his lips onto her breast again. “Hmm. What are we fighting for?” She arched her body against him as his fingertips found the soft, flame-covered skin at the apex of her thighs. She gasped, writhing beneath him.

“Our hearts,” he whispered.


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