Start the year with CARA MARSI

Monday, January 3, 2011
Dominic sprang up and flew at the mugger, knocking him to the ground. The two men grappled, rolling together on the cobbled street. Lexie, her heart thumping wildly, looked for an opening to bean the mugger again, to give Dominic a better chance at overcoming him.

“Stop it! Stop it! Leave him alone!” The mugger ended up on top, and she whaled away with her bag, getting in any shot she could.

Shouts and the slap of running feet vibrated through the alley. The mugger swore, jumped up, and raced away, a few men giving chase. Several others helped Dominic to stand, yelling in excited voices, and gesturing toward where their attacker had disappeared.

Dominic winced in pain. Lexie looked down at his ripped, blood-soaked pant leg. “Dominic, you’ve got to get to the hospital. You’re bleeding.”

“I’m okay,” he said. “It is nothing.” Brushing dirt off his jacket, he turned to the men who stood nearby and said something to them in rapid Italian. With nods, they strode away.

Breathing heavily, Lexie disagreed. “You’re not okay. We’ll get a cab and take you to the hospital.”

He cupped her shoulders. “I’ve been through worse. I’m fine. Really. Are you okay? Did he hurt you?”

“No. I’m…” The full impact of what had happened hit her. The adrenaline that had given her strength suddenly dissipated and she began to tremble. “I’m not okay.”

“Lexie.” Dominic moved forward to take her into his arms. She held on for dear life, needing his strength. He rubbed his hand along her back. “It’s okay, Lexie. We’re both okay. It was just a mugger. You’re safe with me.”

She clung to him. It wasn’t her imagination. Strange things were happening. She had nothing anyone could want. She didn’t know who to trust. Dominic said she was safe with him. But was she really?

You just read an excerpt from:
Murder, Mi Amoreby
Cara Marsi
The Wild Rose Press

Today, we’re here with published author, Cara Marsi.

Linda Kage: Tell us a little about you and what you write please.

Cara Marsi: First, thank you, Linda, for inviting me here. I write in several genres: traditional romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal. I also write short romance stories for the confession magazines. My first book was a traditional romance with Avalon Books. That one, A Catered Affair, is published under my real name, Carolyn Matkowsky. I use Cara Marsi now for my books.

Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?

Cara Marsi: The very first book I ever wrote is in the proverbial drawer. It will never see the light of day in its present state. However, I love my characters and plan to write another story for them. At the time I wrote it, I hadn't even heard of POV. And the story is set on a ranch in Wyoming, which I still think is very exotic. However, I'm an East Coast girl and I know nothing about ranches anywhere. They say "write what you know." I can attest to that. My first published book is set in my hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. Not as exotic as a ranch in Wyoming, but I sure know it.

Kage:What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like?

Cara Marsi: I wish I had too many to mention. A Catered Affair is a hardback and I believe you can find used copies online. My first romantic suspense, Logan's Redemption, is available exclusively now on Amazon Kindle. It was originally published by The Wild Rose Press. My newest romantic suspense, Murder, Mi Amore, was released in December 2010 from The Wild Rose Press. My werewolf paranormal romance, Cursed Mates, from Noble Romance Publishing, was also released December 2010.

Kage: So, what story are we going to talk about today?

Cara Marsi: I'm promoting my romantic suspense, Murder, Mi Amore, released December 15, 2010, from The Wild Rose Press. Murder, Mi Amore, is about an American woman, Lexie Cortese, who is in Rome, Italy, to forget a hurtful breakup. Her Roman holiday is uneventful until the day she buys a designer handbag. Then she is suddenly thrust into a world of terrorists, jewel thieves, murder and attempted kidnapping. And she meets a very sexy, mysterious Italian man who may or may not be involved in the strange events surrounding her. Through it all, Lexie learns to fight for what she wants, including learning to trust herself and to open her heart again.

Murder, Mi Amoreby
Cara Marsi
Jewels of the Night Series
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?

Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?

Cara Marsi: Most definitely R. Once you meet Dominic Brioni, you'll understand why..

Kage: If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?

Cara Marsi:
I would say whodunit, save-the-world, foreign adventure with a sexy Italian.

Kage:Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit Murder, Mi Amore under, what makes this book so unique from every other book out there?

Cara Marsi: Murder, Mi Amore is set almost entirely in Rome, Italy. I have a chapter set in Ripa Teatina, Abruzzo, Italy, where my grandparents came from. I doubt you'll find many books with scenes in Ripa Teatina. I used the setting, including hotel, from my 2006 trip to Italy. What haven't I told anyone before? The heroine, Lexie Cortese, is named after one of my nieces. The designer handbag that starts all the trouble for Lexie is dark green. My favorite color is green and I have several green handbags. Lexie's favorite gelato is kiwi melon. My favorite gelato is kiwi melon. The story ends in Las Vegas. My son lives in Las Vegas. The story was such fun to write and very personal. I felt as if I were reliving my trip to Italy. The Las Vegas ending is a nod to my son, and also to my recent trip out there to visit him.

Kage:What was the easiest part to write?

Cara Marsi: The setting was easy because I was so familiar with it. Lexie was fun to write and I pictured myself having her adventures. I have to say writing any scene with Dominic was the easiest. I fall in love with all my heroes, and Dominic is no exception. I find my heroes the easiest to write.

Kage:What do you like most about the main character(s) and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?

Cara Marsi: What I like most about Lexie is she grows through the story. In the beginning, she is determined to be her own woman after a life of always doing what others expect of her, and she succeeds. The fact she travels to Rome alone without knowing the language shows her determination. I admire her pluck and the way she is sure someone is after her even though the police don't believe her. She suspects Dominic is hiding something, yet she recognizes a core of goodness in him and learns to trust him. The thing I like least about her is in the past she always did what her parents and her ex-fiance wanted. But she is truly her own woman by the end of the book. Dominic is strong, a warrior, with a soft spot for women in trouble. He had to raise his younger sister and this makes him very understanding and respectful of women. He's an agent for Interpol and his job is to bring Lexie, suspected of working with terrorists, to justice. But he soon realizes she isn't like any terrorist he's ever met. At the risk of losing his job, he works with Lexie to fight the people who are trying to kill them both. I can't think of anything I don't like about Dominic. He's been hurt in the past and keeps his heart close, but he also learns to trust Lexie and open his heart to love.

Kage:Cara, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?

Cara Marsi: I hope you'll buy "Murder, Mi Amore," and that you'll enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope you enjoy the exotic locales and Lexie and Dominic's adventure. I hope the love they find for each other will make you sigh at the end. I love hearing from readers. You can contact me through my website. Thanks again, Linda, for having me.

If you're still curious about Cara Marsi, here are other places to find her on the web:

(I love to hear from readers. Please contact me through my website.)

Facebook: Carolyn Matkowsky

YouTube: CarolynMat2*

Twitter: Cara Marsi

Goodreads: Cara Marsi


  1. I enjoyed the interview. Thanks for sharing some insight to your world. Good luck! :)

  2. Great interview. I think that all writers fall in love with their male characters and that's what make them so easy to write about.

  3. Linda,

    Thank you again for having me. And Amber and Marie Rose, thank you for visiting and commenting. Yes, we romance authors always fall in love with our male heroes, just as our heroines do.

  4. I love Rome! It's one of the most exciting and beautiful places in the world. Dominic sounds like the perfect story hero in a great setting. Congratulations on your release!


  5. Adele,

    Thanks for commenting. Yes, Rome is one of the world's greatest cities. And Dominic is sexy, just like the city.

  6. Rome...a place I've always wanted to go. That's why I love books—they take me places where I've never been. I wish you well on your new release.

  7. What a lovely book this is...Cara's imagery of the setting is spectacular! So are Lexie and Dominic!!!

  8. I love the setting in this story and how it works itself into the story. I envy you for visiting there!

  9. Elizabeth, Tess and Ari, thank you for posting. I hope you read Murder, Mi Amore and that it transports you to Rome if even for a while.

  10. Nice interview. Nice setting. (Just watched a movie with my Mum and she remembered visiting Verona. She's been to Rome too.)

  11. Really enjoyed both the interview and the snippet posted on the book. Congrats!

  12. Loved reading the interview. This book sounds absolutely lovely. The setting outstanding. The beginning of the snippet showed me I have to read this book. Thanks Linda and Cara.

  13. Thank you, Sheila, Robin and Robyn. I'm glad you stopped by. I love Rome and I hope anyone who reads the book will feel they'll living Lexie's Rome adventure.