To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
Dawn, first I want to thank you for having me today.
My two newest releases are a sensual holiday romance--A Groom for Christmas. In addition I’ve brought out a three-book boxed set, Wedding Dreams Boxed Set that includes A Groom for Christmas, Loving Or Nothing (award-winning sensually sweet novella) and A Cinderella Christmas, a short story that is a 2014 EPPIE finalist.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
I’m a TV junkie. Some of my favorite shows are: Criminal Minds,
CSI, Elementary, Sleepy
Hollow, Big Bang Theory, Drop Dead Diva, The Mentalist, The Blacklist, Marvel
Agents of SHIELD, Once Upon a Time, Five-O, Bones. Grimm, Hawaii
If someone hasn't read any of your work, what book would you recommend that they start with and why?
A Catered Romance because it’s a traditional, sensual romance and it’s my first ever published book and I still love it. It was published under the title A Catered Affair in hardback by Avalon Books in 2003. When I got the digital rights, I added back the love scenes Avalon made me take out and renamed it A Catered Romance.
Are your characters able to love or do they need to be taught?
They’re able to love, but they’ve all been hurt or damaged in some way and have to work through that.
Do you have a book that was easiest to write or one that was the hardest?
The easiest was probably Logan’s Redemption (Redemption Book 1). That story had been in my head for so many years that once I started writing it, I couldn’t stop. The original manuscript was 120,000 words. I had to cut it down to 80,000. The hardest was probably my paranormal, Cursed Mates, because I’d never written a paranormal before. That book is no longer available as the publisher went out of business. However, I’m having it edited and will bring out a revised version in early 2014.
What is coming up from you in 2014? Anything you want to tease us with?
I’m participating in an anthology of marriage-of-convenience short stories. The other writers in the anthology are members of my critique group. One member has published over 20 books with Harlequin, and another member has written over 10 books for Penquin and Harlequin.
If you had a reporter follow you around for the day, what would the readers get to see in your daily schedule?
An hour of exercise a day, feeding the cat, doing some household chores, then finally writing. The reporter would go crazy with boredom following me around.
Is it hard coming up with titles or characters names?
Not really. I like at least one character to have an Italian name, as I’m of Italian heritage. I like to pay homage to my heritage. Also, I go onto a government site that gives the most popular baby names of the past 100 years. I figure out what age my characters are and what first names were popular then.
If you were to replenish your cabinets with one junk food, what would it be?
Potato chips. Whenever I get a rejection from an editor or agent, my comfort food of choice is potato chips and red wine. Now that I’m indie publishing I no longer get rejections. Yay, me! But I still love potato chips and red wine. Try it sometime.
If a movie or TV production company chose to produce your books into a series of shows or movies, who would your ideal cast be?
I fantasize that Hallmark Channel will do a movie of A Groom for Christmas. Tom Mison, the hunky actor from the TV Show Sleepy Hollow, would be perfect as Jake. And for Graceann, either Amy Adams or Emma Stone, each with dark hair.
A Groom for Christmas
When a young woman hires her hometown’s former bad boy to be her pretend fiancé for the holidays, she finds she can’t wrap up her feelings as easily as a Christmas gift.
New York jewelry designer Graceann Palmer has two days to find a fiancé to bring home to Pennsylvania for the holidays so her matchmaking mama will quit fixing her up with jerks. The Falcon, a motorcycle-riding, leather-clad former high school crush, helped her out once before. Maybe he'll do it again.
Jake Falco, man of many mysteries, is back in town on a mission—one the people of Spirit Lake most likely won't appreciate. When Graceann presents him with her crazy scheme, it gives him something he's always wanted—a chance to get to know Graceann. It also gives him the perfect opportunity to add fuel to his project of revenge.
But as Jake and Graceann grow closer, their engagement-of-convenience begins to feel like the real deal—until Jake’s secrets are revealed.
Can a relationship that began with lies and secrets bloom like a rare Christmas rose into happily-ever-after?
“I have two days to find a fiancé.” Ignoring the anxiety that tightened her stomach, Graceann Palmer dipped her fork into her apple pie à la mode and slipped the tasty treat into her mouth.
Her friend Kate sat next to her at the counter in the quaint fifties-era Spirit Lake Diner, located just outside the small
town of the same name. Kate grinned. “You could advertise online: Fiancé wanted for Christmas. Good pay. Temporary position.” Pennsylvania
“Like I’d get a real upstanding guy that way,” Graceann said.
Kate shot her a sympathetic smile. “Face it. You’ll have to tell your family you lied.”
Bing Crosby’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas flowed from the jukebox, mocking Graceann. Her lie had caught up with her. She would come home for Christmas, minus a made-up fiancé.
Graceann finished her pie and pushed the plate away. “Tell my family the truth and have my mom try to fix me up with someone like the dentist she invited to spend the holidays with us last year? Boring, conceited, and he couldn’t keep his hands to himself. Yuck.”
The door opened, bringing in a fresh round of cold, snowy late December air. Shivering, Graceann drew her sweater closer around her.
“I wouldn’t mind finding that under my Christmas tree,” Kate said.
Graceann followed her friend’s gaze to the tall man who’d just entered the diner. Dressed all in black—black motorcycle boots, black jeans, black leather jacket—and walking with the lithe grace of a panther, he took a seat at the other end of the counter. She studied him while he studied the menu. He had classic “bad boy” written all over his features—sharp cheekbones, dark stubble on a square jaw, and midnight black hair tied into a ponytail. Long, tapered fingers held the menu.
Suddenly, he looked up. Clear blue eyes connected with hers. Recognition spiked through her and sent her pulse jumping like a kid on Christmas morning.
“The Falcon,” she whispered.
“What?” Kate gasped. “You’re right. It is The Falcon.”
His full lips tilted in a slow, sexy grin, showing even white teeth. He nodded at them before turning his attention to the waitress. After he gave his order, he didn’t look in their direction again.
Kate gripped Graceann’s arm, her fingers digging into Graceann’s flesh beneath the heavy sweater. “Wow. The Falcon. I heard he left town the day after his graduation from Spirit Lake High fourteen years ago and hasn’t been heard from since.”
“Wonder what he’s doing back here,” Graceann said. In school, she’d had a crush on The Falcon even though he was two years ahead of her. She’d never told anyone, not even Kate.
“He’s a little scruffy,” Kate said.
“Scruffy, my tush. He’s hot.”
Kate grabbed her arm again as Graceann lifted her coffee mug. Coffee sloshed over the sides onto the counter. Setting the mug down, Graceann gave her friend an exasperated look. “What?”
“I have it,” Kate said. “Your fiancé.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The Falcon. I’ll bet he’ll pretend to be your fiancé. After Zach bowed out, you said you’d be willing to pay someone. The Falcon always needed cash. Do it. Ask him.”
“You’re crazy. I haven’t seen him in fourteen years. He could be a serial killer for all we know.”
Kate shook her head. “He’s not. We would have heard.” She leaned closer. “You’ll be at your grandmother’s with the whole family. You’ll be safe. Your grandmother is old-fashioned. She’ll put you in separate rooms. It’s not like he’s a total stranger. Bring him to meet the family, pretend you’re wildly in love. Your mom will quit trying to fix you up. After the holidays you won’t ever have to see him again. Once you’re back in
you can tell your family you broke the engagement. That’s what you planned to
do with Zach.” New York
Graceann put a hand up. “This is the craziest idea you’ve ever had, and you’ve had plenty. I can’t ask this guy to go along with my scheme. I’ll have to resign myself to fending off another loser my mom pushes at me. She means well, but she won’t accept that I’m not interested in marriage. After what Michael did, my whole family feels sorry for me. I don’t want or need their pity.”
“Michael was a jerk. He didn’t deserve you. Listen to me, Graceann. Ask. The. Falcon. What could it hurt to at least ask?”
“His name is Jake, and I’ll think about it.”
“Don’t wait too long. He’ll be out of here and you’ll have missed your chance.”
Graceann sipped her coffee and stole glances at Jake Falco. Maybe Kate was right. Jake had always been nice to her and had even come to her aid once when the mean girls were harassing her. He might help her out now. At her grandmother’s, they’d be surrounded by family. She wouldn’t be alone with him. Her gut feelings were usually on target, so she’d learned to listen. She’d ignored her instincts with Michael and look how that had turned out. Something was telling her to go ahead and take a chance on Jake.
“I’ll do it.” She stood before she lost her nerve.
Cara Marsi--Award-Winning Author
Sensual, Sweetly Romantic Love Stories
Sensual, Sweetly Romantic Love Stories