Monday, January 2, 2012

Mari Carr Guest Author

I’m pleased to have guest author Mari Carr with us. She’s sharing an excerpt on her book Because You Love Me , due for release at Samhain Publishing on January 24.

Because You Love Me300dpi (1)

Check out Mari's other great books on her website:

-Tell us a little about the book and where did you get the idea to write this story. Because You Love Me is the sequel to Because of You. Both stories have romantic suspense elements and center around the James brothers. Because You Love Me was a fun story to write because I love a good old fashioned cowboy ménage story! Mark and Matt James are twins and while their faces may be identical, their personalities are anything but! Their lives are turned on their ear when Bridget crash lands into their world. She’s a New York city journalist on the run from a dangerous hit man. Lucky for her, both alpha cowboys are ready to offer her protection…in and out of bed. The book presented some fun challenges because I’m not a romantic suspense writer normally, so the story allowed me to stretch my thinking muscles as there’s a code the characters have to break to find the evidence the hit man is after. I’ve known ever since Because of You released in 2009 that I wanted to revisit the James family. Unfortunately it took me awhile to make my way back. Next up for this trilogy will be the final tale, a short story that features the youngest James brother, Jacob.

- What is your writing schedule like? My writing schedule isn’t a schedule at all. It’s a hit and run! I have a fulltime day job so my writing time is limited to early mornings, evenings and weekends. Unfortunately those times are also subject to change according to my kids’ social lives, laundry, housework, etc. Let’s just say I write fast and furious when I manage to eke out a few quiet hours.

- What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Keep writing. Rejection is a part of this career. I once joked I had the rejection letter from Ellora’s Cave memorized because I’d seen it so many times. The important thing is not to give up. With each story you write, your craft improves. My other advice is to read, read, read. It’s amazing how much you can learn about writing simply by reading.

- Have any of your titles ever been changed from your original choice? Oh—this is a fun question and the answer is YES! It doesn’t happen often and usually the reasons for the switch vary, but I thought it might be fun to tell you what some of the original titles were. Retreat was originally called Commitment. I can’t recall why that had to change. Because of You was Love’s Recovery, but my editor didn’t like that. I took the original title from my favorite Indigo Girls song. Power Play was True Colors and I think of all the titles I lost, that one made me the most sad. Again, my editor didn’t think it fit the story or was hot enough. Covert Lessons was Undercover, but EC already had a book by that title, so I had to make the switch. Kiss Me, Kate was At the End of the Day and yeah, that original title sucked. My editor simply said, “Um. No.” What can I say? I was on a huge Les Miserables kick at the time! Rough Cut was Darkest Night and that title switch was Jayne Rylon’s fault. She had a book called Night is Darkest coming out a month before my story was slated to release. She got to keep her title and I made the switch. I like to tease her and tell her she still owes me for that. J

- If you could turn any of your books into a movie which book or series would it be? Oh wow! Can I pick two? I’d love to see the Wild Irish series made into one of those HBO series like True Blood or the Sopranos. I think the Collins clan could definitely cook up a lot of red hot mischief week after week. Especially Riley. As for a movie, I think the four Compass Brothers books could be combined to make a really cool, sexy modern-day western. I can totally see Sam Elliott as JD.

- Do you have a character in one of your books that continues to haunt you at night or surprised you when you wrote the book? I don’t know if he haunts me, but Travis was supposed to be just a secondary character in Black Jack. However, from the first page of that book, he sort of took over. His story was crystal clear to me from the first time he spoke. After I finished Black Jack, I knew I had to write it. White Knight sort of fell out of me. Travis is such a tortured soul and his story was a sad one to write. Yet, I felt like, despite the abuse he suffered as a child, his book was a hopeful one. It took me a long time to come up with his heroine, Shea. Mainly because I knew the woman Travis gave his heart to would have to be very special. I was pleased when Shea showed up because I feel like they were a perfect fit for each other. Two lost souls stumbling around looking for a happily ever after. My favorite kind of story.

- Are you a morning or night person? Morning! I assure you 99.9% of the books I’ve written were put down on the page prior to noon. Most were probably composed before 9 a.m. I’ve never been one of those people who can burn the midnight oil. It’s all downhill for me after lunch!

- Which books were the most fun to write? The hardest to write? It’s interesting to note the most fun books were also the hardest to write. I love series books. If you look at the books page on my website, you’ll see I have very few stories that don’t have at least one other companion story. I think that stems from the fact that I become very attached to my characters and I start to miss them after writing the words “The End.” With a series, I can visit them once more. The Wild Irish series and the Compass Brothers books were the most fun to write. I loved the Wild Irish books because the Collins family became real to me. The same goes for the Compton brothers in the Compass series. I finished revising the ARC of Western Ties recently and I cried. It is so sad leaving those beloved characters and the awesome experience of co-writing with Jayne Rylon. Somewhere along the line, she ceased being a friend and became a sister. It was a new venture for both of us and there were some bumps in the road, but I think we’re both stronger writers for the attempt.

- What’s next? Oh my. Where do I begin? I plan to write a short story for Samhain to complete the Because trilogy. It will involve the budding relationship of Jacob and Rodney and it will be my very first attempt at a straight m/m story. I’m also in the midst of writing the second book in the Cocktales series, Screwdriver. Anybody up for a red hot ménage? After that, I’m tackling another co-writing project. This time, I’m pairing up with the amazingly talented, Lexxie Couper, to write two romantic comedies—Misplaced Cowboy and Misplaced Princess. Lexxie is one of the freshest, funniest voices in erotic romance, so I’m really going to have to step it up to hang with her! I can’t wait to try.

- For fun. What is your favorite kind of chocolate or chocolate dessert? (I love chocolate covered cherries) I’m actually not a huge dessert person. My extra weight is strictly caused by an overindulgence in carbs! Watch out potato chips and French fries! LOL. BUT…I love chocolate ice cream and candy bars (mainly Milky Ways and Reese Cups—they are my vice!).

Excerpt from Because You Love Me:

WARNING: Must me at least 18 years of age to read this excerpt please!

Walking into the hallway, she locked the door to her room and descended the wide staircase. Glancing in several of the B&B’s common rooms for Todd or Steven, the hotel proprietors, Bridget took a few minutes to study the beautifully restored old home. When they’d arrived yesterday afternoon, Rodney had hustled her to their room immediately, sequestering her there while he checked out the property and secured food for their dinner. It felt good to be free.

She was about to cross the foyer to check the other side of the house when the front door opened. Her new habit of hide first, ask questions later emerged and she panicked, trying to dodge back the way she’d come. In her haste to escape, her foot caught on the edge of the Oriental rug, and she took a hard tumble.

Four boot-covered feet appeared before her. She felt strong hands on either side reaching down to help her up.

“Sorry,” she said, keeping her head down. It was foolish to think anyone in this small, middle-of-nowhere town would know who she was, but Rodney had taught her well in the art of making herself as invisible as possible. She fought to suppress her trembling hands. Her heart was racing a mile a minute. God, why did she have to be frightened of her own shadow? She hated living like this, feeling this way.

“You okay, miss?”

All of Rodney’s tutoring went out the window as her nipples pebbled and a slight shiver of arousal wove its way through her body. She lifted her face to see the owner of that deep, sexy-as-hell voice. Identical faces etched with concern greeted her.

She opened her mouth to speak, but no sound emerged. Standing before her were twin Greek gods, kings of the western frontier, complete with rugged, dimpled cheeks, blue eyes that—honest to God—twinkled, and shaggy, made-for-running-her-fingers-through dark brown hair only partially concealed by cowboy hats.

If she’d lived a hundred years ago, she would have felt compelled to fucking swoon. Instead, her twenty-first-century sensibilities took over and she simply muttered, “Holy double wow.”

Both men grinned widely at her ridiculous comment. “I take it that means you’re not hurt, darlin’.”

Her pussy clenched at his term of endearment. Could there be anything hotter than a gorgeous cowboy calling her darlin’ with that slight country twang? Briefly she imagined him—hell, who was she fooling, them—whispering it to her while they lay together naked in bed.

She cleared her throat and forced herself to stop staring—and drooling—like a love-struck teenage girl. “I’m fine. Clumsy and embarrassed, but otherwise unscathed.”

The hot cowboy on her left chuckled. “Unscathed, huh? Pretty talk. Where are you from?”

“New York,” she confided before her brain engaged to scream a warning. Jesus. Rodney should have locked her in the room. She was going to blow their cover in under thirty seconds, and all because of a couple good-looking men. Stupidity due to horniness was not something her cop friend would forgive easily.

“City girl,” the other cowboy said, though his tone indicated interest more than disdain.

She nodded, determined to keep her mouth shut before any more little tidbits—like the fact she was hiding out from a corrupt judge—fell from her desperate-to-taste-the-cowboys lips.

“I take it you’re one of the guests staying here?” her hot cowboy number one asked.

She paused, decided the question was harmless and nodded once more.

“So what brings a city girl to our neck of the woods?” This question was posed by hot cowboy number two.

She and Rodney had sketched out a rough explanation for their visit with the intention of refining it this morning. Now, it appeared she would have to fly by the seat of her pants. “I’m here with my half-brother.” Shit, five words in and she was already straying from the script. She and Rodney had agreed to pose as a couple, but for some reason, she didn’t want these two men to think she was in a relationship.

That thought led to a major internal eye-roll.

Right, Bridget, like you have so much time to try to hook up with a cowboy—or two.

“Vacation or business?”

“Vacation,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to try my hand at being a cowgirl.” Where the fuck had that come from? She’d never considered such a thing in her life until laying eyes on these two Wonders of the Western World.

“Well, now. If you need some help with that, Matt and I are pretty good teachers.”

Matt. Cowboy number one had a name.

“You teach a lot of cowgirls the ropes, do you?” she asked with a lilt in her voice. Christ, could her flirting be any more obvious? Why not post a sign on her forehead that said, Hasn’t been laid in a year.

Matt’s smile grew, his dimples deepening. A girl could fall into those bottomless caverns on his chiseled face and never be found again. She could think of worse places to get lost. “My brothers and I own the ranch next door. We train horses, give riding lessons. Stuff like that. We’d be more than happy to help you give that cowgirl lifestyle a whirl if you’re interested. We’ll even supply the rope if that’s what you fancy.”
Thanks so much Mari for being a guest at the Passion Sense Blog!
I'd like to ask readers what is their favorite Mari Carr book? Please share and tell us why it's your favorite.


Mannouchka said...

Dear Kathy,
I want to thank for inviting Mari Carr I was able to know her better and her new book
I wish you both a wonderful year and nice week

Amber Skyze said...

I'm with you Mari. I can't do any productive writing after noon! :)
Great interview and Happy New Year ladies.

Looking forward to your new release.

Kathy Kulig said...

Hi Mannouchka,
You're very welcome. It was a great interview. I was so happy to have Mari as a guest. You have a wonderful week too.


Kathy Kulig said...

Hi Amber,

I like mornings the best too. But I can only do morning on weekends.
Happy New Year!