January 24, 2012

Spotlight On... Cara Marsi

My special guest at Off the Keyboard today is multi-published author, Cara Marsi. Cara is here today to tell us about her wonderful books. Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

I've always loved romance, from the time I was a young teen. I watched the old romantic comedy movies on late-night TV and I read YA romances, especially the ones by Elizabeth Howard. I loved her books so much I once wrote to her and said I wanted to be a writer but I didn't have a typewriter. She wrote back that I didn't need a typewriter to write. I finally realized by dream of being a published author when my first book was published by Avalon Books. "A Catered Affair" is a traditional sweet romance written under my real name, Carolyn Matkowsky. I have the digital rights now to that book and will be publishing it myself early this year. When I republish it, I'll add back the sex I had to take out for Avalon Books. I now use a pen name, Cara Marsi. I found that Matkowsky was too easily misspelled and was confusing to readers and reviewers so I went with a shorter, easier name. I'm published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance, contemporary romance and romance short stories. I've published a dozen short stories in the confession magazines.

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

My upcoming release, which I hope will be up by March, is a steamy, contemporary romance called "Storm of Desire" about a couple with a sexual history who find themselves stranded together by a January nor'easter. Needless to say, they can't keep their hands off each other, but they've got other issues that interfere with their chance at happiness.

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?

"A Catered Affair" is about a caterer so that title was easy for me. "Storm of Desire" takes place during a storm so that one was easy. Usually I struggle with titles. One of my critique partners came up with "Murder, Mi Amore," my romantic suspense set in Italy, and a 2012 EPPIE finalist for best romantic suspense. Another critique partner gave me the title "Cursed Mates" for my paranormal romance about star-crossed lovers from Noble Romance Publishing. My editor gave me the title "Loving Or Nothing," my sexy, sweet contemporary novella which is set in the fictional town of Loving, New Jersey. My online critique group helped with the title for my short story anthology, "A Cat's Tale & Other Love Stories." In addition, I have a romantic suspense called "Logan's Redemption," which was originally published by The Wild Rose Press. I came up with that title all by myself, as my hero, Logan, has a dark past that haunts him. "Logan's Redemption," with a very hot guy on the cover, is available on Kindle, Nook and Apple. All of my books are available for download. "Loving Or Nothing" is also available in print. By the way, the hot guy on the cover of "Logan's Redemption" is a model and photographer from Serbia named Marko Geber. He contacted me when he came across my book with his picture, which I'd gotten from a royalty-free site. He was very pleased that I used his picture, and because of my using him on the cover, he's gotten work for other romance covers. It was very cool hearing from him.

What happened to the first book you ever wrote?

It's still in the proverbial drawer. I want to rewrite that one someday because I love my characters, especially my hero, a very gorgeous and troubled Native American.

What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?

I love the idea of two people letting go of their fears to take the leap of faith that lets them love each other and want to spend their lives together.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I completed my first manuscript.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I go to the gym five days a week, I read, watch TV, meet with my critique group, meet friends for lunch and dinner. And I do try to spend time with my husband, but he'd argue that I don't spend enough time with him. My son lives 2500 miles away and I miss him. My husband and I share our home with a sweet, fat black cat named Killer. The cat on the cover of "A Cat's Tale and Other Love Stories" looks just like my Killer.

Where can we find you on the web?

Website: www.caramarsi.com 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/CaraMarsi
Facebook: www.facebook.com/carolynmatkowsky

Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

What do you like about reading romance? Who is your favorite type hero?

Look for Cara's release, Logan's Redemption, available NOW in paperback from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Smashwords.

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.

Logan never belonged in Doriana's world, but a long time ago he allowed himself to dream of a future with her, until the awful night he was forced to run. Now he's back and he needs her forgiveness, but first he must forgive himself.

Despite the fact that Doriana kept the existence of his son from him, Logan vows to protect her. He races against 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? The clock is ticking on a second chance at love.


Lisa closed the office door and leaned her very pregnant body against it. A huge grin split her pretty face.

Doriana arched an eyebrow. “You find it amusing that my father overstepped my authority and hired your replacement?”

Lisa made an unsuccessful attempt to look sympathetic. “I know you’re upset with your dad, but he is CEO. So I guess he can do whatever he wants.” Her gray eyes twinkled. “Your father should do more of the hiring around here.”

“What are you talking about?” Doriana asked.

“You’ll see. Should I send him in?”


“Yup,” Lisa said. “Your dad hired a guy.”

Doriana made a face. “I’ve always had a female assistant. What will I do with a guy?”

Lisa giggled. “Trust me. You’ll figure out what to do with this one.”

“This pregnancy is affecting your brain.” Doriana pushed away from the desk and stood.

Lisa gave her a sly smile. “When you see your new assistant, you’ll know what I mean.”

Doriana sighed. “Wait about five minutes before sending him in.”

“You need to primp,” Lisa said.


Laughing, Lisa opened the door and squeezed out.

Rubbing her aching temples, Doriana sat down and swiveled her chair to face the large window that took up an entire wall. Smog blanketed the Philadelphia skyline, obscuring her view of Billy Penn atop City Hall. She missed old Billy’s comforting presence, especially now.

She needed time to mentally prepare to meet the temp her father hired She did her own hiring for her department, but her dad had insisted on this temp. Why?

Her gaze drifted to the long table under the window. Family pictures rested on the marble top. Most were of Josh growing up. She smiled, remembering how Franco wanted to name his new nephew Noel because he was born on Christmas Eve.

She couldn’t believe Josh would be sixteen next month. She bit her lip as an ache, sharp as a stonecutter’s chisel, stabbed her. Nearly sixteen and out of control. When had Josh stopped being her sweet, lovable little boy and turned into the arrogant, rebellious almost-man who fought her every chance he got? A hellion who reminded her more of his father every day.

Thinking of Josh’s father brought the old, familiar pain. She’d never revealed the identity of her son’s father to anyone. Seventeen, scared and humiliated, she couldn’t admit that her baby’s father had walked away without a word.

Inhaling deep breaths, she counted to ten. It didn’t help. Nothing helped these days. The demands on her time gave her constant headaches. Her son needed her, but so did Dad and the company, especially with the recent setbacks.

The intercom on the desk shrilled. “Doriana,” Lisa said from the outer office. “You have that meeting in a half hour. And Mr. Tanner is waiting.”

Doriana’s hand froze over the reply button. Tanner? Long hours had her imagination working overtime.

“Doriana?” Lisa said.

Doriana shook herself back to reality. “I didn’t forget about the meeting. Please send in Mr..., the temp.”

Wearing her best professional smile, Doriana stared at her office door. Of course it couldn’t be him. It couldn’t be him. The refrain ran through her head like a mantra.

The door opened and her gaze connected with gold-flecked hazel eyes. Josh’s eyes. No, Logan’s eyes.
“Hello, Dorie.” His voice, deeper than she remembered, held the rough edge that had so excited her as a teenager. He closed the door softly and leaned against it, a black-clad Adonis who, despite the years and the hurt, took her breath. Unmoving, he studied her.

Was he looking for the young girl he’d romanced, then abandoned? That girl died the night her son was born. Their son. Anger and bittersweet sorrow roiled Doriana’s stomach. She brushed hair from her face with a shaky hand.

“You look good,” he said.

So do you. She couldn’t say the words. Pulling her gaze from his, she glanced toward the window. The pictures. Josh. Fear splashed over her like ice water from the Delaware River. One look at the pictures and Logan would know. She wasn’t ready for this.

Resolve stiffened her spine. She would protect her secret and her son until she discovered why Logan was here. “Is this some sort of joke?” she asked, returning her attention to Logan. “What are you doing here?”

“Working for you, last I heard.”


Sarah Grimm said...

Cara, so happy to have you as my guest today. Logan's Redemption sounds like a wonderful read! I've added it to my TBR list.

Mona Risk said...

Hi Cara, I loved Murder me, Amore, and I'm sure I'll enjoy Logan's Redemption. If you are going indy why don't you join the Indy loop. I learned so much there.

Calisa Rhose said...

Oh my, Cara! I almost forgot that was an excerpt! Now I'll have to read the book! I love that moment of discovery with secret babies.
I like all of your titles and YUM the hot Serbian! I need a pic of him for one of mine right now!

Cara Marsi said...

Sarah, thank you for hosting me today. I hope you enjoy "Logan's Redemption," a book close to my heart.

Mona, thank you for posting and thanks for your remarks about "Murder, Mi Amore." Where do I find the Indy loop?

Calisa, thanks for posting. You can check out more of Marko Geber's pictures on his Facebook page.

Susan Macatee said...

Great cover and excerpt! Best of luck with this story!

I'm terrible with titles too. They always end up with a character's name and something relating to the story. But I really hate having to do them. I try to come up with a title before I write the first draft though. Kind of cements the story in my head.

Cara Marsi said...

Hi, Susan, thanks for stopping by. Sometimes I've come up with what I think is a great title for one of my short stories, then I have to try to write a story to fit the title.

Katherine said...

Great interview ladies. Cara, wow! I love your cover - Those eyes, goodness you could get lost in them.

Logan's Redemption sounds like a great read. Hope you have lots of sales. :o)

Joya said...

Great excerpt and interview, Sarah and Cara. Interesting stories behind your titles, Cara. What I'd like to see in a hero: sense of humor. Gotta love a good guy w/ a sense of humor.
Best wishes for continued success!

Cara Marsi said...

Thanks, Katherine and Joya. Glad you visited.

Katherine, you can most definitely get lost in Logan's/Marko's eyes. Joya, I agree a man with a sense of humor is sexy.