Friday, January 7, 2011

Interview with Cara Marsi

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Cara Marsi. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Cursed Mates. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Thank you for having me at Much Cheaper Than Therapy. I’ve just grabbed some dark chocolate and have settled into a comfortable chair, and I’m ready to talk about Cursed Mates, my dark, sensual, werewolf paranormal romance set in Maine. Cursed Mates was released Dec. 13, 2010, from Noble Romance Publishing.

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 who 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 together 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.

Cursed Mates is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

The original title was Love Came Howling because the story started out as a light paranormal and gradually got darker and darker. After an editor told me Love Came Howling was “corny,” I knew I needed another title more fitting to the story. One of my critique partners came up with this title. Although the story has a witch and assorted demons, I needed a title that focused on Kyla and Nick, who are truly cursed mates.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I love paranormal and I wanted to write one. I always write the type books I want to read, and Cursed Mates has a storyline I love. I also love wolves, real wolves, and I’m afraid of vampires, so writing about a werewolf came naturally.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

I’d visited Maine a few years ago and fell in love with it. I decided to set the story there because of the rocky coast and all the quaint towns. Maine’s terrain lends itself to mystery. After all, Stephen King lives there. I thought, “what if one of those quaint towns harbored a terrible evil?” There are no wolves in Maine, but what if I put one there? I wanted to do the werewolf hero and I wanted a kick-ass heroine. So why not make my heroine an elite were-hunter who’s not afraid of anything except losing control? And what if she meets a man who makes her lose control? But what if that man’s her target and she’s duty-bound to kill him? And what if something far more evil than a werewolf is terrorizing this little town? As you can see, I love playing “what if.”

What are your favorite paranormal research books or sites, and why?

Before I started writing Cursed Mates I read a lot of Harlequin Nocturnes and paranormals from a variety of publishers. I also researched werewolves and the phases of the moon online.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

Nick, my hero. He’s so tortured, yet so determined never to kill a human despite his bloodlust at each full moon. He fights his inner demon, then falls in love with a woman whose job it is to kill him. But there’s something else lurking in the woods, and to save his soul and the world, Nick has to fight that too.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research and/or world affect your character development?

I usually write out, in longhand, each main character’s background, what they think they want, what they really want, what they fear the most and what they’re willing to sacrifice to get what they need.

How do you go about building your world if you use one? Do you use maps, charts or drawings?

I build the world in my head. In the case of Cursed Mates, I drew on my memories of my visit to Maine, but embellished the setting. I also used a little of the flavor of the old Dracula and Wolfman movies. I decided to throw in some demons and witches to make things more interesting and dangerous for Kyla and Nick. And an ancient curse figures prominently in the story. I tried to put myself in Nick’s place. In 1530, he was a noble Englishman, and then one foggy, evil night he was cursed to life as an immortal werewolf. How did that make him feel? I tried to portray his frustration, anger, and despair as he feels his humanness slipping away. And Kyla, so controlled, so sure of her powers, is suddenly thrust into a world where her powers are diminished. I asked myself how that made her feel, and what would I do in the same circumstances. Also, what would I do if made a vow to kill the man I love? Would I do it, or would I try to find a way out?

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Jude Deveraux and Heather Graham are two. I love their books. Also, a writer named Elizabeth Howard, who wrote YA romances many years ago when I was a young teen. I even wrote to her once and said I wanted to be a writer, but didn’t own a typewriter (told you it was many years ago). Ms. Howard wrote back that I didn’t need a typewriter to be an author. I wish I’d saved that letter.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

Not sure yet. You know what they say about advertising: only half of it works, but no one knows which half.

What do we have to look forward next?

My romantic suspense novella, Murder, Mi Amore, from The Wild Rose Press, was released Dec. 15, 2010. Murder, Mi Amore is set almost entirely in Rome, Italy, and tells the story of an American, Lexie Cortese, who comes to Rome to forget a hurtful breakup and finds herself involved with murder, kidnappings, terrorists, jewel thieves and a hunky, mysterious Italian named Dominic Brioni who may or may not be involved in the things happening around her.

Thanks, Cara!

To celebrate her book release, Cara is offering a free e-book of Cursed Mates to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

We're also doing something different this year and you will get an extra entry if you are a follower fo this blog.

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...


Cara Marsi is a former corporate drone and cubicle dweller with a romantic soul. She craves books with happy endings and loves to write about strong heroes and feisty heroines. She loves to put her characters in dangerous situations and see how they’ll get out. Cara has recently gone over to the dark side with her romantic suspense, Murder, Mi Amore, set in Rome, Italy, and involving murder, jewel thieves and terrorists. And she’s gone even darker with her paranormal romance, Cursed Mates.

She credits her love of romance to the old Thirties and Forties romantic comedies she watched on late night TV growing up. Cara is published in traditional romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and has published numerous short romance stories in national magzines. Cara and her husband enjoy traveling and she loves to write about the places they've visited. They share their house with a fat black diva of a cat named Killer.

Check out author’s website at
Buy Cursed Mates:

Also available on Amazon Kindle. Buy Murder, Mi Amore:

Also available on Amazon Kindle.

Watch the video trailers for both books here:


Anonymous said...

Good morning Cara. We're so glad to have you back here on Much Cheaper Than Therapy. Thanks for helping yourself to the chocolate bowl, I'll make sure to keep refilling it throughout the day. Wow. Two books in one month and in two completely different genres. You rock. What is the hardest thing you discovered in writing in two such different stories? Having already read your first two releases, I can't wait to sink my teeth into Cursed Mates and Murder Mi Amor. Have a great day.

Cara Marsi said...


Thank you for having me. Much Cheaper Than Therapy is one of my favorite blogs. I wrote the books at different times so writing in two different genres wasn't a problem. However, having them released within days of each other keeps me busy. I have to switch hats often between the two. Although Cursed Mates is the darker of the two, both books involve murder and danger so in that they're alike.

Sarah Ballance said...

What a fantastic interview! Your description of the story is powerful and sucked me right in (and I love the title!). Congratulations on your new release!

Cara Marsi said...


Thank you for visiting. I'm glad you like the title. I owe my CP one for that.

Tia Dani said...

Cara Marsi, what a pleasure to meet you. We love talking and reading authors, like you, who write in different genre's. Romantic suspense and paranormal are our fave's. Ya gotta love a sexy werewolf, especially one who is struggling with his inner demons. Cursed Mates sounds like a good one. We plan to get it on our tbr list. Thanks for the great interview! Hope to meet you in person someday.

Cara Marsi said...


Thank you for posting. I hope to meet you too someday. I hope you enjoy Cursed Mates as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Estella said...

Congrats on your new release!
I love werewolf stories.


Cara Marsi said...

Thank you, Estella. I love werewolf stories too.

Laurie Schnebly Campbell said...

Cara, I love your mention of visiting Maine -- isn't that an amazing place? Now I've gotta tell my friend who married a Maine guy that she'll HAVE to introduce him to your werewolf, even though she's never yet read a romance novel...this one just might change her mind!

Cara Marsi said...

Hi, Laurie, thanks for posting. Maine is so beautiful, and I can truly picture werewolves and other monsters there. I'd love for your friend to read about my sexy werewolf.

Tina LaVon said...

Interesting plot and great cover!
Thanks for stopping by MCTT and good luck with your book.

Cara Marsi said...

Tina, thanks for posting.

Rebekah E. said...

Congrats on your new release. Sounds like a great story.