Monday, October 13, 2014

Author Spotlight: Cara Marsi

The Jazzy World of E's Bookshelf is happy to present Cara Marsi as today's Author Spotlight. Marsi is an award-winning author who writes books across various genres including paranormal, suspense and contemporary romances. She has contributed to a few anthologies in addition to her own personal works. Before becoming an award-winning author, it took Marsi 10 years to get her first book, A Catered Affair published.  During that time Maris learned never to give up and keep going. Marsi discusses in my interview with her what she learned during that time and as well as what has been her favorite part of writing books.  It's my pleasure to introduce to you, Cara Marsi.

Cara Marsi's Biography

Cara Marsi, an award-winning author and self-proclaimed TV junkie, is a former corporate drone and cubicle dweller. Freed from her fabric-covered cage, she can now indulge her love of all things romance. She craves books with happy endings and loves to write about independent heroines and the strong heroes who love them. And she loves to put her characters in dangerous situations or situations merely dangerous to their hearts and watch them fight for the happy endings they deserve.

An eclectic author, Cara is published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. She's also published numerous short romance stories in national women's magazines and online. When not traveling or dreaming of traveling, Cara and her husband live on the East Coast in a house ruled by their fat black diva of a cat named Killer.

An Interview with Cara Marsi 

Hi Cara, thank you for the opportunity to interview you. Your books cover various genres, paranormal, suspense and contemporary romances, is there one genre you would say you gravitate more to?

Thanks for having me.

I describe myself as an eclectic author, but the genre I most gravitate to is contemporary. I like to write other genres to mix things up, but I always come back to contemporary. Harlequin romances, especially Harlequin Presents, have influenced a lot of what I write.

When you decided to pursue writing, it took 10 years to publish your first book, A Catered Affair(Which is now known as A Catered Romance), what are some of the most important things you learned as a writer that you still use today?

Never give up. That’s not always easy. Of the group of writers I started out with (about seven of us), one other writer besides me published. She quit writing when her first book came out. I’m the only one who stuck with it, and the only one still writing. I was certainly not the most talented writer in the group. Several were very talented, but they all gave up. I got discouraged a lot in the beginning, especially when I wasn’t finaling in contests and when I’d get rejections. I was reading articles in RWR Magazine (the magazine of Romance Writers of America) that said if a writer wasn’t finaling in contests and wasn’t getting personal rejection letters, that author should give up because she’d never publish. That was me, but rather than discourage me, that advice made me dig in and try harder.

Whenever I got a rejection or didn’t final in a contest, I’d allow myself to wallow in self-pity a few days, then I’d pick myself up and write. I still do that when things aren’t going well with my writing or my sales. Being published doesn’t mean everything will be perfect going forward. I work hard, and some days it doesn’t seem as if I’m getting much for that work, but I keep going. It’s all I can do.

About contests: I didn’t final in a contest until after I was published. Now, I’ve finaled and placed in quite a few contests with my published books.

You have a few books that are part of an anthology. One of them, The Marriage Coin was has five original stories about this mysterious coin passed down through the generations. How was it writing your story for this project? Did you find it easy to write a story that was tied together in a set by a coin?

The other writers in the anthology are members of my critique group. One of the members has over 20 books with Harlequin and another has over 10 books with Kensington, Harlequin and Pocket. It was fun writing something together. In October 2013, we had a weekend writers’ retreat at the Jersey Shore at the summer home of one of our members. We brainstormed and wrote at our laptops all weekend until we had our stories. We met over several months to polish and critique our work and make sure there was continuity with the coin.

The anthology has been an excellent seller. A lot of readers like marriage-of-convenience stories, especially when you throw in a little magic.

Do you have any current works in progress you can tell us about?

I’m polishing a short story that will have elements of fantasy. It will be the first in a series of three. I like to put a little magic in my stories whenever I can. I’m participating in another boxed set called Entice Me: The Boxed Set. My contribution will be a very steamy story set in Italy, Capri Nights. The short stories and Capri Nights are all contemporary. Capri Nights will be my second story set in Italy. The other is a romantic suspense, Murder, Mi Amore.

Out of all the books you’ve written so far, do you have a favorite that stands out and why?

I’ll always have a warm spot for A Catered Romance (formerly A Catered Affair) because that was my first sale, to Avalon Books. All my books are special to me, but Logan’s Redemption (Redemption Book 1) is especially so. I had this story in my head for years before I wrote it. It’s my first romantic suspense, and it was a particular thrill to finally get this story on paper. I’m a fan of classic Fortie’s Romantic Comedy movies. While Logan’s Redemption isn’t a rom-com, I got the story idea from a movie with Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray.

What has been your favorite part of writing and publishing books?

Just being able to sit down at my computer and write. Nowadays an author has to do so much promotion and she has to have a presence on social media. That cuts into the writing time. I like the planning stage of a book, when I “pre-write,” which is thinking about the book and characters for a week. I’ll write out basic plot points and character studies in longhand. Then comes the dreaded first draft which I hate. But I love revising. I just need to get the story out before I can begin revising. It’s such a sense of accomplishment when the book is finally up for sale.

Who are some of the authors that have inspired you as a writer?

That’s hard to say. I have my favorite authors but I can’t say they’ve inspired me. I went through a stage where I devoured Harlequin Presents. A lot of those authors inspired me. I have two characters, Chloe and Matteo DiMarco, who have made appearances in some of my books. I want to write their story, which will be very much a Harlequin Presents with shades of suspense.

When you’re not writing what do you like to do in your free time?

I like to read, which is a real luxury any more. I’m a TV junkie. The Fall premiere season is my favorite. Now that I have a DVR, there’s no stopping me, and I can make up my own viewing schedules. I’ve also been involved with a cat rescue group to trap, neuter, release some of the feral and stray cats in our neighborhood. I’m a cat lover and am owned by a fat, spoiled diva of a cat named Killer.

Do you have any advice for authors just getting started in the business?

The same advice they’ll hear from other authors: read the books you want to write; join a writers’ organization, like Romance Writers of America; take workshops and classes. Write, write, write. And NEVER give up.

In 10 words or less can you tell readers why they should read your books?

Sweetly sensual stories of redemption, second chances, hope, and love.

Is there anything you would like to say to your fans and/or readers new to you?

I hope you’ll read my books and I hope you like them. I love to hear from readers. I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. You can also reach me through my website:

Books by Cara Marsi

Her Forever Husband:
*This 13,000-word short story is included in the anthology, The Marriage Coin*

If a man offered you $1 million dollars to marry him, what would you do? That's Poppy Duval's dilemma when yummy billionaire Jack Crossan proposes a temporary marriage.
Jack Crossan needs a wife fast, to prove to his grandfather he's reformed his playboy ways and is ready to take control of the family business.
Poppy Duval, laid-off art teacher, has crushed on Jack since the first day he walked into the coffee shop where she works. When he proposes a marriage-of-convenience and offers to pay her one million dollars to be his temporary wife, she accepts. The money will help free her from debt and get her life back on track. And she'll use any excuse to get closer to Jack.
To bring them luck, Poppy gives Jack a mysterious coin a stranger gave her. The coin promises the holder luck and love. Will the coin help their temporary arrangement flower into forever?

Kick-Ass Heroines & Hot Heroes:

A collection of romances that will thrill and captivate readers with their strong heroines and oh-so-hot heroes.

The Wedding Wager by Regina Duke
The Silver Cross by Debra L. Martin
Murder, Mi Amore by Cara Marsi
Kiss Me, Tate by Karen Cantwell
Eyes of Jade by Tess St. John
Target of Betrayal by Melissa Ohnoutka
Love by Secrets by Debra Elizabeth
Forgotten Soul by Sandra Edwards

The Marriage Coin
“Flowers make the perfume of love stronger.”

A mysterious coin is passed down through the centuries to those deserving of Luck and Love. Five couples in different eras each come into possession of the coin and enter into a marriage-of-convenience. Will the coin lead them to love as well as luck?

Five original novelettes by three award-winning authors and
two talented debut authors.
Violet-Any Earl Will Do by Gwendolyn Schuler
Lilly-The Bronze Talisman by Martha Schroeder
Rose-The Power of Hope by Kate Welsh
Poppy-Her Forever Husband by Cara Marsi
Dahlia-A Gypsy’s Flower by Daria Grady

The One Who Got Away

When one fantasy ends, another begins....
Is it possible to go home again, to reconnect with the guy you’d crushed on during high school, your “one who got away?” Bianca Dillon intends to find out when she attends her ten-year high school reunion. But fantasies have a way of crashing and burning.
In Bianca’s eyes, Adam Campana had been her buddy, the guy who’d taught her to play chess, but nothing more. Now, at the reunion, he’s determined to make her notice him in a whole new way.
Will Bianca’s dream become a new one with Adam?

Cursed Mates

"What if you were honor bound to kill the man you love?"

Nick Radford is a reluctant werewolf who’s been fighting the Beast within for nearly 500 years. He’s never killed a human, but the Beast is gaining strength and Nick may not be able to ward off his inner demon much longer.

Kyla Yaeger is an elite were-hunter with a scarred past. Her life’s mission is to slay the werewolves that slaughtered her parents. Her quest has brought her to Maine, where she’s been summoned to destroy the werewolf terrorizing the quaint little village of Heavensent. The last thing she needs is to get distracted by her mysterious—not to mention hunky—new neighbor, Nick Radford.

By the time Kyla learns Nick is her target, she’s already fallen for him, making her task of killing him that much harder. She is torn between her love for him and her duty to kill her sworn enemy. Nick fights his forbidden love for Kyla, knowing she is duty-bound to kill him. Kyla and Nick must join forces to fight an even bigger threat—one that will destroy all humanity. Only by their combined powers, can they destroy the evil and bring an end to a centuries old curse.

Wedding Dreams Boxed Set by Cara Marsi
Each title in this boxed set is available separately.

In Loving Or Nothing and A Groom for Christmas,
two bad boys hell-bent on revenge are redeemed by love. In A Cinderella Christmas a woman learns that fairytales do come true.

A Groom for Christmas
A sensuous romance that is like a Hallmark Christmas movie with some intense love scenes.

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.

Loving Or Nothing
A secret crush. Two wounded hearts. A tale of love, hope and redemption.
No stranger to loss, Tami Morrelle is holding on with one satiny thread to the only thing she has left that ties her to her loved ones - the family bridal shop.
Local bad boy Daniel Ramsey is back in town and on a mission - to turn Tami's world upside down - any way he can.

A Cinderella Christmas
Jessica Gallo no longer believed in fairytales or happy endings. And she certainly didn't believe she'd find her Prince Charming at Saks Fifth Avenue. Her Fairy Godmother thought differently.


This sensuous romance is like a Hallmark Christmas movie with some intense love scenes.

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?


Jessica Gallo no longer believed in fairy tales or happy endings. And she certainly didn’t believe she’d find her Prince Charming at Saks Fifth Avenue. Her Fairy Godmother thought differently.

MURDER, MI AMORE by Cara Marsi

Lexie Cortese is in Rome to forget. The last thing she expects is to meet a sexy Interpol agent who suspects her of being part of a terrorist plot involving a stolen diamond. Suddenly thrust into a world of murders, muggings, and kidnappings, Lexie doesn’t know what to think—or who to believe.

Dominic Brioni’s assignment is simple. Befriend the American and bring her to justice. Only Lexie seems like the most unlikely terrorist Dominic has ever met. Sweet, determined, and direct, she faces life with courage and fire, a fire that sparks his protective instincts and a longing for something more—something he allowed himself to hope for only once before.

But that woman betrayed him, and his boss isn’t about to let him forget it. With his career on the line and Lexie in danger, will Dominic learn to trust his heart before they both get killed?


Tami Morrelle is a struggling business owner who’s trying desperately to hold onto the only thing she has left that ties her to her parents...a beachfront home on the coast.
Daniel Ramsey, Tami’s high school crush and the poor boy from the wrong side of the tracks, is back in town and he’s on a mission—to prove his worth now that he’s a wealthy developer.
Too bad Daniel’s plans include an oceanfront development and he needs Tami’s land to make it happen. Will the pair be willing to give up what they think they want in order to find what they really need?

THE RING by Cara Marsi

A short story from Boroughs Publishing Group.
After Heather DeLuca's fiancé is killed in Iraq, an eccentric elderly woman and a handsome new friend teach her to bury her fears and dare to dream and love again.
This approximately 8500-word short story is dedicated to our brave men and women in the military who keep us safe, and to their loved ones who have endured so much.

LOGAN’S REDEMPTION (Redemption Book 1) by Cara Marsi

Doriana Callahan’s life is unraveling. Someone is stalking her and sabotaging her father’s company; her teenage son is rebelling; and Logan Tanner is back in town. For sixteen years she’s kept an explosive secret from Logan, a secret he soon discovers. Despite the fact that Doriana kept the existence of his son from him, Logan vows to protect her. He races time to stop the culprit threatening Doriana and works to forge a bond with his son. Can the love and passion that still burn between Doriana and Logan overcome old lies and new dangers?
Stay Up-to-Date with Cara Marsi

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