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RELEASE WEEK BLITZ: LAVENDER IN BLOOM BY LILY VELEZ

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LAVENDER IN BLOOM BY LILY VELEZ

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

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It’s the year 1802 in Avignon, France

Noah Capet has spent most of his young life living simple and unvaried days in the hushed countryside of southern France. Quiet, reserved, and diffident, his preference for existing is to do so in solitude, keeping to himself both in town and on his family’s farm—a predilection that’s altogether disrupted when a newcomer to town by the name of Jeremie Perreault begins an unremitting quest to befriend him.

Jeremie is everything Noah is not. Charismatic and gregarious, he leaves a trail of charmed admirers in his wake wherever he goes. Expressive and idealistic, he talks without end about his deep love for old books and his spirited dream to one day travel the world on a literary pilgrimage.

Over the course of a single summer, the two form an unlikely friendship, but just as quickly as it develops, it soon entirely dissolves as they’re forced to face the truth of what has unexpectedly emerged between them.

Lavender in Bloom is a tender and tragic coming-of-age story about first love and self-discovery, and a poignant reminder that time is fleeting and always takes with it the choices we’re too afraid to make.

Publication Date: July 25th, 2016
Genre: Historical, Coming-of-Age Romance

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GUEST POSTThe Lavender in Bloom Playlist:

I absolutely love music and its power to stir the heart and so deeply move us. Creating a playlist for my books is one of my go-to strategies in my writer’s toolbox because listening to that playlist is the easiest way for me to get into the mood of a scene or the headspace of a particular character. Below, check out the tracks that made it onto the playlist for Lavender in Bloom, along with commentary on why each song’s so perfect for the story.

You can listen to the entire playlist for Lavender in Bloom here.

Frail Love by Cloves — This song was an absolute Godsend and I’m so glad I found it, as it ended up becoming the ‘theme song’ for Lavender in Bloom. Every last lyric was just perfect for Noah and Jeremie’s story. Especially these particular lines: I can’t live it like I’m living, I can’t live a lie, I’m giving up more than I should, forgive me for my frail love. 

All I Want by Kodaline — For the longest time, this track was the theme song for Lavender in Bloom. I honestly couldn’t listen to it without getting teary-eyed, as it so perfectly captures the tragedy of Noah and Jeremie’s story. Favorite lines: When you said your last goodbye, I died a little bit inside and If you loved me, then why’d you leave me?

The Beautiful Ones by The Battle of Land and Sea — I love this song because, for one, it’s a break from the sad songs, but also because I feel it sets the mood for Noah’s life in the countryside. It has a very rural feel to it that makes me think of a simple and tranquil living.

Say Something by A Great Big World ft. Christina Aguilera — Another perfect song for Noah and Jeremie’s story. In fact, there’s a point in Lavender in Bloom where Jeremie outright tells Noah to just say the word, and he’ll be his. There’s also a point where they’re sort of at odds, waiting for the other to make the first move (or speak the first word, as it were), and this song really captures that. Favorite lines: Anywhere I would’ve followed you and I will swallow my pride: you’re the one that I love and I’m saying goodbye.  

The Power of Love by Gabrielle Aplin — I included this song because it really captured the mood for a fable that’s featured in Lavender in Bloom. In fact, it’s a fable that describes how lavender first came into bloom in France. It’s based on an ‘alternate universe’ story featuring Noah and Jeremie, and it would be the perfect song for a montage of their love. Favorite line: The power of love, a force from above, cleaning my soul.

Make it Holy by The Staves — This is such a pretty song, and it’s perfect from Jeremie’s perspective. Favorite lines: I could make you want me, make you need me, make you mine. I could make it holy, make it special, make it right. 

Forgetting by David Gray — Another sad song. From the very first chords, this song just sets the mood for a scene of heartbreak. It kind of has a nostalgic feel to it. Despite the title of the song, it’s the type of song that makes you remember times long past.

Ashes by Madi Diaz — This is another song I see as being from Jeremie’s perspective, especially toward the end of the book, when he asks Noah to make a certain decision. Favorite lines: Don’t you let me down and No, I won’t stand to keep watching you stay. 

I Will Love You by Gin Wigmore — One of the few happy love song on the Lavender in Bloom playlist, and the only one with a more upbeat melody. As such, it’s very much treasured. This is a cute one, too. I love every single lyric, but my favorite lines are: If you die before I do, I know that heartache will kill me, too, so if I ever lived again, it would be to find you. It’s especially perfect because I can definitely see Noah and Jeremie as living many lives and finding each other in each one.

Tell Me How to Feel by Maggie Eckford — This song captures one of the main character’s thoughts in the wake of the book’s concluding actions, in which they just feel so blindsided, lost, and heartbroken.

Benediction by Luke Sital-Singh — This song has a sad vibe from the start, and it’s also one I picked because it instantly makes me think of the lavender fable and Noah and Jeremie’s ‘alternate universe’ story. Favorite lines: There’s a knock in the silence, I see death at the door, But I know we’ll be alright, ‘Cause your hands are still warm and I’m sorry we don’t have forever, but come die with me.

Hengilas by Jonsi — This song’s in another language (Icelandic!), but it has such an atmospheric quality to it that just draws you in. Favorite lines: We look into foreign eyes, yet we have always known each other. Perfect, because Jeremie has a line in Lavender in Bloom about Noah’s eyes feeling like home even from the moment he first looked into them.  

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DSC_6040fourLily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she’s not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at www.lilyvelezbooks.com.

CONNECT WITH LILY:

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

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COVER REVEAL: Lavender in Bloom by Lily Velez

COVER REVEAL FOR LAVENDER IN BLOOM BY LILY VELEZ

(+ a $25 Amazon GiFt Card Giveaway!)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00023]

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00023]

It’s the year 1802 in Avignon, France

Noah Capet has spent most of his young life living simple and unvaried days in the hushed countryside of southern France. Quiet, reserved, and diffident, his preference for existing is to do so in solitude, keeping to himself both in town and on his family’s farm—a predilection that’s altogether disrupted when a newcomer to town by the name of Jeremie Perreault begins an unremitting quest to befriend him.

Jeremie is everything Noah is not. Charismatic and gregarious, he leaves a trail of charmed admirers in his wake wherever he goes. Expressive and idealistic, he talks without end about his deep love for old books and his spirited dream to one day travel the world on a literary pilgrimage.

Over the course of a single summer, the two form an unlikely friendship, but just as quickly as it develops, it soon entirely dissolves as they’re forced to face the truth of what has unexpectedly emerged between them.

Lavender in Bloom is a tender and tragic coming-of-age story about first love and self-discovery, and a poignant reminder that time is fleeting and always takes with it the choices we’re too afraid to make.

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Publication Date: July 25th, 2016
Genre: Historical, Coming-of-Age Romance 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DSC_6040four

Lily Velez has been writing stories since she was six years old. Not much has changed since then. She still prefers the written word and her overactive imagination over the ‘real world’ (though to be fair, her stories no longer feature talking dinosaurs). A graduate of Rollins College and a Florida native, when she’s not reading or writing, she spends most of her days wrangling up her pit bulls Noah and Luna, planning exciting travel adventures, and nursing her addiction to cheese. All this when she isn’t participating in the extreme sport known as napping. You can learn more about Lily and her books at www.lilyvelezbooks.com.

CONNECT WITH LILY:

Website / Goodreads / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY:

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The Trouble with His Lordship’s Trousers (Ladies Most Unlikely #1) by Jayne Fresina

Trouble with His Lordship's Trousers CoverRelease Date: March 14, 2016
Published by Twisted E-Publishing, LLC 
Review Copy from Author

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In Regency London, Georgiana Hathaway has no intention of falling into the conventional trap of marriage and motherhood. She has so much more to do with her life, and a few tortuous years at ‘The Particular Establishment for the Advantage of Respectable Ladies’ has done nothing to change her mind. In fact, she’s already taken the first steps to carve out a career, by anonymously crafting a scandalous, satirical column, called His Lordship’s Trousers, for her father’s newspaper.

But as the misadventures of her comical rake become the most talked-about story in London, and the naughty column earns greater popularity, it is also bound to gain critics. How much trouble can “His Lordship’s Trousers” get her into? She’s about to find out.

Meanwhile, “Dead Harry” Thrasher eagerly reads that wicked column every week. It is one of the few things— other than the obituaries— that make him laugh out loud these days. He lives vicariously through that fictional rake’s antics, because his own life is suspended in time and he sees no reason to move forward. After all, when a man’s obituary has been printed in the newspaper, not once but twice, he has a tendency to believe it. What’s the point of a life over which man has no control? What, exactly, has he been saved so many times for? He’s about to find out.

When Dead Harry meets Miss Hathaway, they will both find their worlds, and their long-ingrained opinions, at risk. She does not want to fall in love with a man when everybody knows the male animal only gets in the way of a girl’s ambitions. And Harry may have survived a “mortal” wound, and eight hundred and fifty days stranded alone on an uncharted island, but can the very private life of this semi-recluse survive the reckless curiosity and impertinent sauce of Miss Georgiana Hathaway?

He’s a naval war hero— even if he does have an aversion to decent clothing and polite behavior— so if this young woman thinks to conquer him and put his life in order, she’d better have a battle strategy. It’s been a while since he enjoyed a skirmish at sea, but Harry has a feeling he’ll love every moment of this one.

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OUR THOUGHTS:

There’s nothing like a really good historical, am I right? Jayne Fresina has penned some stories I’ve highly enjoyed, and I’m adding The Trouble with His Lordship’s Trousers to the list. Her particular brand of historicals is sure to delight and never bore. In a quirky, humorous approach to an otherwise classic trope, Fresina matches wits – and more – of the unlikeliest of bedfellows. Readers will find the end result truly magical.

I’m always drawn to a heroine who’s a tad bit rebellious, and  Miss Georgiana Hathaway certainly fits the bill. Unwilling to simply abide by society’s standards for young ladies, Georgiana dreams of an independent life as a writer. She has a pretty good start on that already, secretly writing an anonymous column for her father’s newspaper.  Now if only her amusing shenanigans wouldn’t attract so much attention and keep getting her into trouble! Her heart’s in the right place, though, and that’s what counts.

In what seems like more than coincidence, Georgiana finds herself frequently crossing paths with “Dead Harry” Thrasher. The former naval war hero is the stuff legends are made of! The rumors and myths surrounding him are never-ending and endlessly entertaining, except perhaps to Harry himself. He’s a quiet fellow who’d love nothing more than to battle his demons in private and live a solitary life peacefully in the countryside. His meddlesome aunt, however, has other plans.

As Georgiana and Harry fumble their way through a forced acquaintance, it’s obvious there’s something more to it. Nevermind being warned to keep her distance, Georgiana is far too curious and strong-willed for that.  Besides, Harry’s odd behavior and secrets present the perfect mystery.  It’s a good thing she’s so persistent, because it presents the perfect opportunity for Fresina to build a relationship between them that’s unique and special.

All in all Fresina’s creativity and powerful storytelling show through in this rather eccentric romance. Her ability to create and develop unique, independent characters demonstrates a depth and complexity readers appreciate.  The interaction of these distinctive characters is the pleasing reason readers keep coming back for more. I know I’m looking forward to reading more of the adventures of the Ladies Most Unlikely.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!

BLOG TOUR: Hector and Anatolius (Trojan Men #1) by Vanessa Mulberry

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Where are all our m/m historical fans? If you’re like me, you rejoice when you stumble upon a new book in this genre, because it seems there are so few. Enjoy an excerpt and a chance to win on the Hector and Anatolius Blog Tour!

ABOUT THE BOOK:

HectorBookCover1

Hector has been a dutiful son and prince his whole life until his father orders him to marry. The Trojan was meant for no woman, and when he meets a handsome youth named Anatolius, he is more determined than ever to rule one day with a man at his side. However, after he is betrayed by his brother Paris his fate seems unavoidable. Hector needs all the courage he has learned in battle, and the assistance of a goddess, to win the hand of the man he loves.

This is a gay (M/M) romance novel set prior to the events of the Trojan War. It depicts romantic and sexual love between two men in a broadly tolerant society.

Hector and Anatolius is the debut novel of British author, Vanessa Mulberry.

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Series: Trojan Men #1
Release Date:May 9th 2016
Genre: Historical MM Romance, Paranormal

PURCHASE A COPY: Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

EXCERPT:

After the meal, Hector drew the lad to him, and they relaxed on the shared kline to talk about their histories and their beliefs.

Both drank strong wine, but Hector watched Anatolius carefully, mindful of its dizzying effects. “Just a little,” he said when Anatolius asked one of the servants for a third cup. “I won’t touch you if you’re sotted, and you will have to wait another day for my attentions.”

Anatolius appeared embarrassed, but when the servant stepped away, he whispered, “Thank you. I don’t want to wait.”

When the conversation lulled, Hector scooped his guest up and carried him from the room.

Anatolius put his arm around Hector’s neck and rested his head against the prince’s powerful shoulder. He laughed and said, “I will walk to your bedroom if that is where we are going. I’ll run if you like.”

Hector strengthened his grip, pulling him a little closer. “You may race me there another day, but tonight you go in my arms.”

“Don’t you think you can beat me?”

“It wouldn’t worry me if you did. I carry you because I want it to be known I will be your man tonight. Tomorrow I will follow you to the bed if you wish.”

Soon they reached his private apartment. It was a magnificent space: large and airy, with room on one side for cozier entertaining than the andron permitted and a soft bed for afterward. It led onto a terrace, which looked down over the city, and, as the night was warm, the imposing doors to it stood open, their silver casings glowing faintly in the moonlight.

The lamps were already lit, illuminating murals dedicated to Eros. Hector set Anatolius down and saw the lad’s eyes widen as he looked around at the walls. “Gods,” he murmured, “is this a shrine or a bedchamber?”

Hector had worshiped a lot of men in that room, but he didn’t think the pictures so unusual. He reminded himself that Anatolius hadn’t been in as many beds as him.

“Do you want to pray? I don’t usually conduct rituals in the palace, but we can if you like.”

Anatolius continued to stare at the walls. Hector saw his eyes rest on an image of two men making love. One was bent over, being penetrated by the other who kissed his back.

“Do you think we should? I want my first time to be pleasurable.”

“You needn’t ask Eros for such a blessing. I will ensure that.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Vanessa Mulberry lives in England with her husband and daughter. Her achievements are numerous and of no interest to anyone reading this. Her hobbies include cheap alcohol and romance novels. Growing up, Vanessa dreamed of becoming Mr. T, but the position has not yet fallen vacant. She has settled for being a romance novelist instead.

CONNECT WITH VANESSA:

 WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS

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