This week's time travelling guest is none other than BEST SELLING AUTHOR Marie Lavendar. Follow along for a glimpse of the fantastical. First stop is Ireland. Ah...a girl after my own Irish heart! Marie Lavendar has published twenty books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction.
First Stop: The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher can be found in the southwestern Burren region in County Clare of Ireland. Ireland is a country I’ve always been particularly drawn to, and the coast is stunning. I can’t wait to see this site. Despite my mild fear of heights, I still plan to check out this wondrous view here. The Cliffs of Moher rise 390 feet above the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head and reach their maximum height of 702 feet to the north of O’Brien’s Tower. These cliffs were featured in the movie, The Princess Bride (1987), and termed as the Cliffs of Insanity. That seems pretty apropos!
2. Chillingham Castle
I can’t make a list of places to visit without mentioning the macabre. Chillingham Castle, in Northumberland, England, is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in Britain. Originally a monastery in the late 12th century, Chillingham became the base camp for the attack on William Wallace by “Hammer of the Scots”, King Edward 1st, in 1298. And in 1344, King Edward III gave permission to add battlements to the castle. Later long galleries, a park and gardens were added to the grounds. It is now open to the public, and has become a popular site for events such as weddings. Paranormal investigators have also been attracted to this castle. Also many movies have been filmed there, including the film Elizabeth. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, the poet, even penned a few lines about Chillingham:
"All houses in which men have lived and died
Are haunted houses: Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sounds upon the floors.”
There have been numerous reportings of ghostly activity at Chillingham even to this day, a fact that can both unsettle you and draw you to its brilliant façade. But, where does the truly macabre come in? Ah, the dungeons, of course, and the chilling tales of what was done there. Despite all of this, I know I’ll stop by if I’m ever in the area! I love castles.
Now for the fantastic, and the whimsical. I love the scenic landscapes in The Chronicles of Narnia. No matter what season, Narnia is so beautiful, capturing your imagination like no other. Full of magic and fantastic creatures, what more can you want? If I could visit Narnia in real life, I would. For now, I will settle for movies and books.
4. Oak Alley Plantation
If I could, I would definitely visit Oak Alley Plantation located near the Mississippi River in Vacherie, Louisiana.
It is full of history, and simply stunning in my opinion. This Greek Revival mansion features 28 columns on all sides, high ceilings and large windows. The estate harbors 25 acres and 28 oak trees in the alley. When I look at the pictures, it’s almost like I can step back in time. After a visit to New Orleans, I would stop here to see this lovely estate.
This plantation home was also partly the inspiration for the Bellamont Plantation in my historical romance series, The Heiresses in Love Series. Book one and two are available for purchase now, and I am polishing the manuscript for the third.
New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Science determines it was probably settled somewhere between 1250 and 1300.
The country is made up of two main islands, and several small islands. From hopping cities to beautiful coastlines, to lovely hills and forests with cottages that remind you of the Grimm’s fairytales, as well as interesting flora and wildlife, New Zealand is definitely a place full of magic.
To me, this would be the perfect setting for a story. I can imagine a fantastic world unfolding here. If I visited, I would certainly find it to be incredibly inspiring because the pictures tell a unique story with enormous potential.
Bestselling author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 19 other books. 2014 BTS Red Carpet Review Nominee. Finalist and Runner-up in the 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 50 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 over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published twenty books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry. Lavender just released Second Nature, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy, in December of 2014. She released Magick & Moonlight, a romantic fantasy, back in March of 2014. Upon Your Honor, released last April, is her second historical romance. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series. Feel free to visit her website at http://marielavender.com/ for further information about her books and her life. Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
A list of her books and pen names are as follows:
Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor; Second Nature
Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace
Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life
Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things
Marie’s Books and Blurbs:
Upon Your Return – genre: historical romance, Victorian
Release Date: February 13, 2013
Series: Heiresses in Love, Book 1
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…
Book trailer: http://youtu.be/tpwAq8YFdv8
Magick & Moonlight – genre: lighthearted romantic fantasy, contemporary
Release Date: March 2, 2014
Series: Magick Series, Book 1
Messing with free will is always a bad idea…
Ethan Hamilton moves to a lazy little town in Oregon, hoping to escape his demons. But, instead he discovers a woman dancing nude in the moonlight. This woman who claims she is a witch dazzles him with her sensual presence. He thinks she’s crazy, but what if she’s not?
Jessie Anderson has been taught that her kind hides who they really are. And she has a problem on her hands. Someone knows her secret and she has to do all she can to protect herself. What other choice does she have? Jessie casts a love spell on a good man, a man with whom she can’t fight her attraction. The spell doesn’t work quite as planned – she ends up falling for Ethan.
To top it off, Ethan’s treatment of her, his “love”, is so addictive. Deep down, she knows the spell will wear off, and yet his feelings seem genuine. It’s just a spell…right?
Book trailer: http://youtu.be/G5p9UijAgsQ
Upon Your Honor – genre: historical romance, suspense, Victorian
Release Date: April 20, 2014
Series: Heiresses in Love Series, Book 2
Deception is a dangerous path…
New York City, August, 1891 – Orphaned after the death of her father, Chloe Waverly stows away on La Voyageur to escape the clutches of her cruel fiancé, Lamonte Beckett. Gabriel Hill, a strange and compelling gentleman, comes upon Chloe and promises to protect her without knowing the true circumstances of why she is running away. During their journey, Gabriel doesn’t bargain on being distracted by her fair beauty or succumbing to her many charms. As their attraction to each other grows, so does the danger and Gabriel suspects things are not as they should be.
Both are determined to get to New Orleans, where she can start a new life. But, once they reach their destination, events spin out of their control and Chloe is captured by the fiancé she escaped. Gabriel is left wondering if he can overlook her betrayal. Soon he finds himself in a race against time, to reach her before Beckett can exact revenge.
SmartURL (UNIVERSAL): http://smarturl.it/uponyourhonor
Universal Amazon: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00JTKTODG
Book trailer: http://youtu.be/dLOteuscV04
Radio interview on Urban Nation Radio with Adra Young: http://youtu.be/dFzeKq1z5Vo
Second Nature – genre: paranormal romance/urban fantasy
Release Date: December 8, 2014
Series: Blood at First Sight Series, Book 1
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?
Universal Amazon: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00Q7FWIWA
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/second-nature-marie-lavender/1120879883
CreateSpace link: https://www.createspace.com/5131233
Book trailer: http://youtu.be/CaD_-pJ0fE8
Reviews for Marie’s Books:
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