A few fun facts about our author:
An award-winning and eclectic author, Cara Marsi is published in romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. She loves a good love story, and believes that everyone deserves a second chance at love. Sexy, sweet, thrilling, or magical, Cara’s stories are first and foremost about the love. Treat yourself today, with a taste of romance.
Tell us Scribbler’s a bit about Her Frog Prince Holiday, and what inspired this story?
Who doesn’t love a fairy tale? I love putting a little magic into my stories too. I came up with an idea of three friends who find love and a little magic through some snow globes given to them by an eccentric elderly woman. I used the same “otherworldly” woman in A Cinderella Christmas, so I decided to give each of my snow globe stories a different fairy-tale theme.
I wanted to add an element of suspense to the story, because I enjoy writing suspense. When I read an account in the local paper about a woman who stole from the art gallery where she worked, I had my suspense.
What is the one thing about your heroine, Bella, that drives her hero, Chad, crazy? And what is the one thing about Chad that drives Bella crazy?
Chad knows Bella is attracted to him, but she insists she’s not, and she is determined to find a man for whom she has no physical attraction because of reasons that have to do with her past. Chad is determined to prove her wrong.
Bella knows Chad is smart and has a good knowledge of art, but he seems irresponsible the way he goes from job-to-job. She’s wildly
attracted to him, and loves kissing him. But he’s not the passionless, stable guy she’s convinced herself she needs.
How much influence do your characters have on the direction the story takes?
A lot. I start with a loose outline, but my characters take me places I didn’t plan. I let them have the lead.
How do you normally start your stories – with a phrase, a character?
Usually dialogue from one of the main characters.
How deep a backstory do you work out before you ever sit down to write?
Fairly deep. I may change my backstory as my characters lead me through the story, but I need a strong backstory before I start.
Her Frog Prince Holiday takes place in New York City. Did this require any on site research?
I’ve been to New York City many times, especially during the Christmas holidays, so I used those trips as research.
If you could cast anyone to play the roles of Bella and Chad in this story, who would you pick?
For Chad, it would be Tom Mison, of the TV show, Sleepy Hollow. I can’t think of an actress for Bella. It would have to be someone who looks like a young Angelina Jolie.
Do your stories have a common thread apart from the romance element?
Yes. I like the idea of, “He’s not who she thinks he is.”
Would you share an excerpt from Her Frog Prince Holiday?
Sure. Here’s the prologue, as it appears in the Seasons of Surprises Holiday Box Set:
Ten days before Christmas, Long Island, New York
Isabella Cassani reached for the snow globe with the grinning snowman inside. “I like this one.”
“No, dearie, this is for you.” The eccentric elderly woman with orange hair in a shade not found in nature and piled high in a sixties beehive style, squinted at Bella through green-framed-cats-eye glasses. The red sequins on the woman’s Christmas-themed sweater sparkled in the overhead lights as she handed Bella a snow globe.
When Bella took the globe from the woman, their hands touched. A shock ran up Bella’s arm and a wave of dizziness hit her. The happy babel of voices in the cavernous school gym that housed the Christmas craft show faded. Even her two friends, Avery and Carlyn, standing next to her, seemed to disappear.
Bella stared down at the small snow globe in her hand. “A frog?” Inside the glass orb, a smiling frog wearing a golden crown sat atop a rock. Glittering flakes fell on him, coating his green body in sparkling white.
“Your true love will find you. So it is fated,” the elderly woman said in a sing-song voice.
The strange woman had already chosen a snow globe for Avery, with the words, “That which you don’t seek will find you.” And now she handed a globe to Bella with equally enigmatic words. Bella shivered.
“What a cute frog!” Carlyn’s words snapped Bella out of her strange spell. The noises in the gym reappeared again.
Clutching her snow globe with a Christmas tree and Santa encased in the glass, Avery peered at the one in Bella’s hand. “It’s different.”
“Why a frog?” Bella mused.
Carlyn shrugged. “Why not a frog? You have to kiss a lot of them before you find your prince.”
Bella snorted. “You know I don’t believe in any of that fairy-tale stuff.”
Is there a secondary character in Her Frog Prince Holiday that you feel deserves his/her own story?
Yes, Bella’s friend, Carlyn. I’ll tell her story next in Her Riding Hood
Valentine, which is scheduled for release February 2016.
What playlist would you recommend listening to when reading Her Frog Prince Holiday?
Traditional Christmas songs. Although the story takes place between Halloween and Thanksgiving, Bella and Chad listen to Christmas music while preparing Thanksgiving dinner.
Do you write on a computer or longhand?
Computer now. I wrote the first drafts of my first two books in longhand. I still write the outlines and character sketches in longhand.
Who are the writers you first admired when you began writing?
Jude Deveraux, Anya Seton, Rosemary Rogers, Victoria Holt, Heather Graham, and many more.
At what point do you show your manuscript to an editor?
When it’s been critiqued and is completely polished.
Do you use a pen name/pseudo name? If so, why?
Yes, I do. My real last name, which I think is easy, is hard for most people to pronounce or spell.
Describe your writing space in one word?
What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?
If you want to publish, keep writing. Writers who quit never publish.
What books or projects do you have coming up in the future?
In addition to Her Red Riding Hood Valentine, I plan to write a short marriage-of-convenience story set in Las Vegas. I’m already plotting that out in my mind. After that, I’ll start writing a romantic suspense set in Ravello, Italy, a place I’ve visited; and I want to write a sequel to my award-winning contemporary romance, A Groom for Christmas.
Please visit my website, www.caramarsi.com, to learn about all my books and to sign up for my newsletter. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, and am always interested in meeting new friends.
Thank you, Scribbler’s Ink, for having me today.