LV’s Monday Meanderings… October 21, 2019

blank pages banner.jpg



Stand-Alone: yes
Series: Blackbirds, Book 1
Publisher: Hot Java Press
Publication Date: October 18, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Literary, Family Saga
Heat Level: Sensual


When Elliott Vance sees his parents, Serena and Ethan, together for the first time, holding hands; it causes a tectonic shift in his perception of reality. Answering all the questions that bubble to the surface, will not always be easy or pleasant. But, there’s always a beginning, a middle, and an end to most stories, including Serena and Ethan’s.

The reconnection between Serena and Ethan Vance will lead to explosive revelations and a thousand and one questions about their past. But will it also give them and their only son Elliott, the closure they all so desperately need?

‘Ethan’s Choice: Blank Pages I’ and ‘Serena’s Vow: Blank Pages II’ by Lily Java brings full circle the story of Elliott Vance’s parents, Serena and Ethan, first introduced in the novel ‘Blackbirds’.

L.V. ‘s Review of Ethan’s Choice

Lily Java amazes me, first of all, as an author, because she’s done something spectacular in writing a duet of more than six hundred pages! Secondly, this first story, Ethan’s Choice, itself is a tour de force. Java writes about Ethan and Serena, their meeting, their falling in love, and the baggage they each bring into a relationship juxtaposed against a backdrop of the Bronx in the 1970’s and 1980’s . Her words draw the reader into the boroughs of NYC as if you lived and breathed in the “city that never sleeps.”

As you get to know Ethan and Serena, you also meet everyone else who played a part in their lives, particularly Ethan’s as Java expertly peeled back layer after layer of the nuances that made Ethan the man he was and what ultimately led him to make the choice he made. I confess, I read Ethan’s choice with a bit of low-key jealousy, because I kept thinking how I want to be as adept with stringing together my words and phrases as Ms. Java is. One particular scene that I practically salivated over was the one where there’s a deliberate POV shift involving Ian, the red-head and his run-in with an avenging angel, if you will. That was brilliant!

I found Ethan’s Choice to be rich in description that doesn’t succumb to purple prose, which paints a vivid picture of the story of Ethan’s turbulent life and Serena’s seemingly charmed one. The fraught relationship that Ethan has with both his father and his uncle make for a riveting read, placing the reader right in the middle of the actions that made Ethan the man he became, despite resisting his arrival there literally “kicking against the pricks.”

If you want to read a story that goes so much further than the surface of a relationship, one that carries you all the way back to its origins, that will have you rooting harder for these fictitious characters than you’ve ever done in your life, you must read, Ethan’s Choice.


He thought he planned for everything. But, what he didn’t plan for, was her.

Whether we are we born into the world a blank page has been argued since the time of Aristotle. Is it nature or nurture that makes us who we are? Do we choose our own fate, or are we chosen for the roles we play?

Serena Clay is a golden girl living in a soulful, turbulent time. Beautiful, intelligent, pragmatic, and so well cared for, one would think she’d be better prepared. But there’s no way, she could’ve known how overwhelming and passionate it would be to fall in love, until she met Ethan Vance—a fierce, charming, and enigmatic young man.

Ethan Vance lives a life filled with secrets and lies. He longs to be free of them as well as of the violent family legacy they stem from. With careful planning and avoidance, he hopes to keep the woman he dares to love and the person most precious to him, in his life forever. When things go bad as they often do, Ethan has a choice to make but now his heart won’t be the only one on the line.





Stand-Alone: yes
Series: Blackbirds, Book 2
Publisher: Hot Java Press
Publication Date: October 25, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Literary, Family Saga
Heat Level: Sensual

Keeping her promises has often meant sacrifice. But is it ever too late to try and live your best dreams?

Sometimes, re-imagining your life is your only road to salvation.

Long ago left by the man she loved and trusted, with a young son to raise alone, Serena Vance is now a grown woman. The vows she and Ethan made to each other, she has had to forget. Now there is nothing more important than helping her son become the best man he can be. But will reaching that goal come at the expense of her own happiness?

Ethan Vance is a lost, broken man—angry, alone, and teetering on the brink of disaster. The people and things that meant the most to him are disappearing from his life one by one. Every day has become a nightmare, and to survive he must turn his life around.

But is it ever too late to have a second chance at living your best dreams?

In the winding journey these two former lovers take further away from each other, they both lose a significant part of themselves. To thrive again, they must re-invent their lives apart … and maybe, in doing so they will find their way back together.






Serena was lying in his bed, reading. They’d made love late that afternoon. He’d elevated the hurt wrist and told her not to move it, no matter what he did. She was obedient, though he did not make it at all easy for her. As she writhed against his treacherous mouth, tongue, and hands, he kept her in endless pursuit of an orgasm until she could barely move from the effort. The sun set over their warm, conjoined bodies. 

He never seemed to have enough time with her to his liking. And now here she was— lying in hisbed, in hisshirt—and he still felt that way. He’d been studiously watching her while pretending to work on something else. It wasn’t just that she was beautiful. It was her earthiness—how full of grace she was. It made him feel like having her in his life was the only thing he needed to be sure he’d stay safe, grounded, and in touch with everything around him. That as long as she was there, as long as he could look at her every day, he wouldn’t lose himself to the dour or murky thoughts he sometimes had about his life—about the world in general. 

She reached the end of a page and adjusted herself while turning it when she noticed he was staring. 

Everything he’d been thinking, everything he’d been planning, Ethan blurted it all out at once. 

“There’s something I want to tell you. I’ve made a decision. I’m going to leave school after this semester.”

Her brow creased ever so slightly. He got the impression she was holding her breath a little. Stabilizing herself against the conversation, she took a deep breath, and then another, before she spoke. 

“Where will you go?”

“I’m thinking about going to the country for a little while.”

“The country? What do you mean?”

“I mean I’m thinking about renting that house we stayed in but for a longer time than just a weekend.” 

Serena sat up in the bed, pushing the book aside.  

“In Claverack?”


“Why there?”

“Good memories.”

He knew her downcast eyes and the subtle smile meant she was remembering too.


Lily is a freelance writer, blogger, and novelist who writes fiction in numerous genres. When she isn’t writing, Lily raises money for arts and cultural organizations or plans special events in iconic landmarks throughout her beloved hometown: New York City. A resident of Brooklyn, Lily is a true ambivert, who enjoys solitude just as much as she likes meeting and talking with other passionate readers and writers.

“I think every story is a love story of some kind. The whys and wherefores are usually as interesting as who or what you love, but you only know that if you delve deep. So in life, in love, and most definitely on the page, that’s how I like to do it.” –Lily



LaVerne Lewis’s Upcoming Re-Release!

Canticle, Caster Prophecy Book 1


Author of Intelligent, Mainstream, Multi-cultural, Hot Romance!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.