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Interview With Romance Author Marin Thomas And Review of The Cowboy Next Door

Today I’m interviewing author Marin Thomas, writer of over 30 stories for the Harlequin American Romance line, enthusiast of sports and the cowboy way! I hope you’ll round up a few minutes to relax and enjoy learning more about her and her new Cash Brothers series!

**Please Note: All Entries Are Now Closed For Giveaway**

Laurie: Welcome Marin, and thank you for taking the time answer a few questions today so readers, writers, and those interested in a great romance book will be able to learn more about you and what you write!

Marin:Hi, Laurie! It’s a pleasure to be here—thank you for having me!

Laurie:To give everyone an idea of what life is like when you’re not writing your latest cowboy romance, what are your favorite hobbies and interests?

Marin:Sports….In the Fall, hubby and I try to take at least one weekend trip to Tucson to watch our Alma Mater the University of Arizona Wildcats play football.  And since we’re both big sports fans we catch several U of A vs. ASU (Arizona State) sporting events throughout the year…baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball and hockey.

Dining….Hubby is a big Diners, Dives and Drive-In fan so he scouts out the restaurants in Phoenix that Guy Fieri has visited and he’ll usually surprise me every few weeks and take me to one.

Traveling….I love taking weekend trips to check out Old West Historic Towns–Arizona is full of them!  

 Laurie: Sounds like fun! There’s nothing better than going to a good game…especially if the guy looks great in a uniform, the sweat, and is a hunk….a non-smelly kind of sweat, of course. Uhm….where was I again? Oh, yeah – How sweet of your Hubby to surprise you with delicious eats 😀  

Marin: LOL, Laurie! If you ever pass through Phoenix, I’ll get us tickets to a college sporting event and we can drool together. 🙂

Laurie:That’d be great Marin. I’m sure we’d have tons of fun! 🙂

I know almost every woman has a dream date in mind. If you were stranded with a cowboy, who would you choose to share a night under the stars with, what would you bring, and what would you do?  

Marin: Okay, this is easy. I’ve had a crush on Sam Elliot forever.  He’s my go-to guy for the perfect cowboy.  When I think of him whispering in my ear under the stars, I get shivers! What would I bring—maybe a blanket?  As for what would we do…this is a PG blog so I’ll let your readers fill in that blank. 😉

Laurie: *Sigh* Yes, the classic perfect cowboy. I’m sure many ladies have wished for Sam to give them the shivers. Good thing to bring the blanket – everyone loves the R rated stuff under the covers 😉 We’ll leave that a mystery for now, though 😀

Would you say Shannon, your heroine in The Cowboy Next Door, is a reflection of yourself in some ways? If so, how?

Marin:Oh, no!  She’s much braver than I am.  We’re both pretty determined gals in our own way but you won’t catch me riding on the back of a bull.  I become dizzy when I walk across bridges and look down 🙂

 Laurie: I don’t know…..I’m convinced some of the bravest women I know are romance writers! Speaking of writing…What did you enjoy most about writing TCND and why?

Marin:Writing a really gutsy heroine and researching women’s rough stock events. I love history and enjoyed learning about some of the women in this country who competed in rough stock events.

Laurie:I have to admit, your research paid off. When I read the rodeo scenes, it pulled me into a whole new and exciting world. It was intriguing to read about the risks involved in the sport for Shannon- being a woman on the rodeo circuit-in a man’s world.

Click To Read Excerpt :  The Cowboy Next Door

Marin:Thanks for saying that, Laurie! I do quite a bit of research for my rodeo books and a lot of the time the information never makes it onto the page but hopefully adds a more authentic feel to the story.

Laurie:You are currently residing in Arizona and I noticed The Cash Brothers Series is set in Stagecoach, Arizona. Has your current residence influenced the decision to have this series take place in Arizona? If not, how did you decide on the setting?

Marin:Actually, my editor asked if I’d write more western stories that took place in Arizona because many of the authors for the American Romance line are already writing stories set in Texas and the Northwest.

Laurie:I have to agree, there are a lot of stories set in Texas and the Northwest. I think when many people think of Texas, they think of cowboys. It was a nice break from the norm and a wonderful experience to read about an Arizona cowboy.

As I began reading The Cowboy Next Door, I thought it was unique and funny that Amiee Cash’s children were named after Country Music Legends. In TCND, did Johnny Cash, the Country Music legend, inspire you to incorporate some of his characteristics in Johnny’s character? How are they similar and different?

Marin:When I wrote the book I wasn’t consciously thinking of how I could compare the two Johnny Cash’s.  Aside from having dark hair and the same name, the hero in The Cowboy Next Doorand the real Johnny Cash don’t have much in common.

Laurie:In TCND, I’ve noticed in a note to readers before they read the story, you mention you like to explore family relationship dynamics. In this book it seems most of the characters come from broken homes and are affected by their circumstances. Is there a reason why you decided to go with characters with lesser than perfect households?

Marin:Lesser than perfect homes is the norm today—it’s what most readers have experienced or they know someone who has.  I just don’t think it’s very realistic to portray a perfect family, because most readers wouldn’t be able to relate to the story.

Laurie:Is there a particular issue you feel is close to your heart in this aspect that you’d like to voice?   

Marin:I have a real soft spot for children, because they end up paying the price for their parents’ mistakes.  In the real world I wish every child and teen could go to bed a night with a full stomach, a hug and a kiss from someone who loves them and that they fell asleep with no fears or worries about what the next day might bring.  

My favorite charity is One Simple Wish  which helps children.  Instead of my hubby or kids buying me birthdays presents each year they all pool their money together and donate to this charity in my name.  

And at Christmas our family heads to the mall together and each of us choose an angel from the Christmas trees for kids in need.  Sadly, it’s always the teenagers who get left on the trees so we make sure we pick the older kids.  Last year we bought these awesome bikes for two fifteen-year-old boys and a nice camera for a sixteen- year-old girl.  

Laurie: A sad, but true reality. How wonderful it is for your family to bring some light into childrens and teens lives by donating and giving gifts. I’m sure it means the world to those kids to know someone cares.

Is there anything else you would like to share that people may not know about you?


I’m really tall.  6′ 1″ 🙂

My favorite “stress” snack is Pepsi and Lays Potato Chips.

I collect Roosters—one can never have too much good luck in the kitchen… although I have to confess, all my roosters have done nothing to improve my cooking skills!


😀 Lol! Thank you, Marin, for taking the time to share with everyone thoughts on writing, life, and lucky roosters!


Marin Thomas grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin. She left the Midwest to attend college at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she played basketball for the Lady Wildcats and earned a B.A. in Radio-TV. Following graduation she married her college sweetheart in a five-minute ceremony at the historical Little Chapel of the West in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the years she and her family have lived in seven different states but have now come full circle and returned to Arizona where the rugged desert and breathtaking sunsets provide plenty of inspiration for Marin’s cowboy books.

My Review ~ The Cowboy Next Door

There are days when a woman wants to be lassoed into sweet and sexy cowboy romance, and for days such as these, The Cowboy Next Door fits the bill perfectly. The first book in The Cash Brothers series draws the reader into the rodeo world, gives them insight into broken families and relationships, and has them hoping for a happy ending for characters who deserve a better life and happiness with one other.
This romance will pull you into the story as you are introduced to the dutiful, determined, and irresistible Johnny and his growing desires for Shannon-stubborn and motivated rodeo cowgirl-who is also Johnny’s sister’s best friend and 9 years his junior.

Thanks to an especially hot encounter with Shannon in a shower, Johnny soon realizes she isn’t the tom-boy he had once taken care of like a little sister, but a fully grown and very alluring woman that stirs him in a way that’s not so brotherly. Meanwhile, overseeing his family’s pecan farm and being a father figure to his brothers has taken its toll, as he tries to figure out a way to save the farm.

Shannon has big plans to win Cowgirl of The Year, but it seems the men in her life are against her high-risk-taking tendencies and her dream of winning the rodeo title. On top of wanting to succeed while the odds are stacked against her, she has to deal with one sweet and sexy cowboy who gradually reels her stubborn self in for a chance at love at the worst time possible.

What I loved about Johnny was how he put his desire for Shannon to quit rodeo aside and instead tries to help her achieve her dreams by overcoming her worst fear. This type of unselfish compromise and encouragement is what every determined, strong-willed woman needs and appreciates from her man.

I think many women can relate to Shannon – she is a very strong-willed woman who enjoys her independence. At the same time she struggles with knowing the people she’s closest to have the ability not only to build her up, but also tear her defenses down. Shannon’s attraction to Johnny doesn’t surprise her, but her sudden desire to please him does because she wants full control of her situation and to not be side-tracked from reaching her dreams. This makes her more guarded.
With Shannon’s defenses up, and Johnny’s urge to protect the woman he’s reluctantly falling for, it makes for a great combination of sensual tension and desire between the two that jumps off the pages. You want them to be together. Believe me, the ending is well worth it 🙂 This wonderfully written love story will have you rearing to go for the next book in The Cash Brothers series. I highly recommend it!

by Laurie Kozlowski


The Cowboy Next Door On Amazon


Upcoming Release

Next Book Of The Cash Brothers Series, To Be Released October, 2013

Twins Under The Christmas Tree Book Blurb:

Cowboy Up, Daddy!

Conway Cash is finally ready to settle down, and he has the perfect woman in his sights. The only thing is, he’s dead set against being a father—and Isi Lopez has twin four-year-old boys. When he finds himself roped into babysitting for them, life starts getting complicated!

Kids or no, Conway soon discovers he and Isi make a great couple. And hanging around with her kids isn’t so bad—that is, until they beg him to be their new daddy. The pressure is piling up for this formerly footloose cowboy…but with some luck, and a whole lot of Christmas spirit, Conway just may find himself in the center of his own ready-made family!

 Read Excerpt for Twins Under The Christmas Tree

Connect with Marin:




 Marin has been kind in offering to send a free signed copy of The Cowboy Next Door to one lucky commenter. To enter for your chance to win:

*You must leave an answer to the question at the end of this post in the comments section below (any comments are always welcome, but to be entered, must answer question)

*leave your name and valid email address.

The heroine in The Cowboy Next Door is a gutsy bull rider–what’s the gutsiest or scariest thing you’ve ever done?


31 thoughts on “Interview With Romance Author Marin Thomas And Review of The Cowboy Next Door

  1. Scariest thing ~ getting on a retired bull in a pen at a rodeo event. I don’t care if he was cute & cuddly and only made noises at cowboys walking by in chaps, being up on his back is completely different than just being in the pen with him lol


  2. Wow, you actually got on the bull??? You are a brave woman, lol! I’ve done so much research on these animals I’m afraid to even pet them in passing 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment, Denise!


  3. Wow, Laurie you done a great interview with Marin Thomas. Learn something new about Marin, about her like sports, giving to charity,plus helping kids at C’mas. I think we all should give something back. Can’t wait to read Marin new book “Twins Under The Christmas Tree”. The scariest thing I ever did was to ride ole time wooden roller coaster,when my kids was about 5 & 7. it was over 50 yrs.,when we went up & then down., around the curves, thought we was going to fall. It rattles, so much. To me that was one of the scariest , things I did.


  4. Hi Iscarchuck 🙂 I saw where you were concerned your previous comment didn’t go through – No worries, I approve each comment before it shows up. Took me a while to get back to the blog, but I’m here now 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by to comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview!


  5. I love your candidness in your interview. So down to earth. Yes in today’s world, the “perfect” family us hard to find. I could relate to a lot of things in TCND. It is good to read about the way life is in America today; and yet not be able to put the book down, because it is SOOO good. I am looking forward to upcoming books. My husband asked what I was reading about….. I said “A chick flick only in book form”. 🙂


  6. Wow, Laurie you did a great interview with Marin. Learn something new things about her. Can’t wait to read ” Twins under the Christmas Tree. One of the scariest things, I did was to rice a ole time wooden roller coaster ( about 50+ yrs) with my two kids, 5 &7. Every time we went up, down, around the curves, the roller coaster creaks so badly, thought we was going to fall down. But, we did have fun. Denise, you could not pay me enough money to get on a real bull, plus ride it.


  7. Linda, thanks for stopping by 🙂 Glad you enjoyed reading the interview ~ It was so much fun doing this interview with Marin. That is why I think I also love reading her stories – They are so down to earth and intriguing.

    Lol – I like that response to your husbands question 🙂


  8. Really Great interview. I love this book cannot wait for Marin to write the rest of the brothers stories.
    I think the scariest thing I have ever done is raise my boys (one is 11 the other is 17) on my own.


  9. Thank so much, Teresa 🙂 It’s true – Life is better when a person gives back. If more people would do that, what a wonderful world it would be.

    Oh, wow. Yes, those rickety old roller-coasters are very scary. I’ve ridden on one a long time ago and had close to the same reaction. You are brave!


  10. Hi Renee, thanks for stopping by Laurie’s blog today! LOL….I might have to agree with you that motherhood is one of the scariest things we’ll ever experience…the worrying is 24/7 every day no matter how old they become 🙂


  11. Retired or not, I am not sure I could get on a bull. I rode my cousins horse once, when I was about 12ish. My cousin, being a year younger than me, didn’t get the cinch tight enough. I was riding along, when all of a sudden, I was upside down, still in the saddle. Never rode again. 😦


  12. Really enjoyed the interview! It’s always nice and refreshing to find people who care about others and are giving back, it’s something that seems not to happen as often as it should these days. Also love the books! They’re written in the away one really can relate to the characters and I enjoy that 🙂
    As for getting on a bull … well, I got a friend of mine to get on one and I took the pictures LOL … Bulls don’t like me in general, every time I go to the bull riding and walk by the bullpens they get all wound up and feisty … I wouldn’t dare to climb on one LOL


  13. LOL Gaby 🙂 I think I would be behind the camera, also instead of on the bull. Maybe the bull gets wound up because he knows a kindred (feisty) spirit when he sees her? lol 😉

    Thanks for stopping by, Gaby!


  14. Gaby, thanks for stopping by Laurie’s blog and aren’t you sneaky to make your friend ride the bull while you took the pictures, lol! I think just getting close to the chute is gutsy…so you get points for that! And thanks for your kind words about my books, I’m glad you’re enjoying The Cash Brothers series.


  15. The scariest thing I’ve ever done was to have a child. It’s mostly fantastic, but the scarry part is wondering if you will be able to prepare them for the world around them when they’re grown. I hope my Son knows I did my best and that I love him with ALL of my heart!!


  16. Sandie, I think many parents feel this way, including myself (though my daughter still has many years ahead of her). Even now as she is only 4, I worry about things like stranger danger, bullying, and being a good example to her. That’s all we can do is to do our best in our own situations and hope for the best as they grow more independant and go out on their own. My daughter is my baby, always – but I know the day will come when she has to fend for herself though I’ll always be there 😦 We just love on them when we can and make the most of those moments to try and hold on to the good memories ❤

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


  17. Sandie thanks for taking the time to stop by Laurie’s blog and leave a comment! I’m right there with you on the fears we mothers have raising our kids. We can’t be there with them all the time and it’s the “letting go” that’s the hardest part.


  18. Wonderful interview, Laurie and Marin! I’m such a huge fan of your books! The scariest thing I’ve ever done took place many years ago when I was 21 years old. After being tormented, physically and mentally, by an abusive boyfriend for three years, I somehow found the courage to tell my parents what was going on. During the three years this man and I were together, I kept a diary, and in that diary I recorded every horrible detail of the times he hurt me, and I let my parents read it. This started a chain of events that eventually led to a restraining order against him, but I can’t put into words how relieved I was that it was finally over, and he never bothered me again from that day forward. And even though telling the truth terrified me at the time, I’m SO thankful now that I managed to find the strength to seek help and get out of the relationship. It was by far the scariest – but ultimately the bravest – thing I have ever done in my life.


  19. Wow, Stephanie. I’m so sorry to know you had to go through that :/ I am glad to hear you found the courage to face your fear head-on and it was finally resolved.

    Thank you for stopping by to comment and sharing your story!


  20. Stephanie, GOOD FOR YOU!!!!! I know what you are talking about. About 26-27 years ago, with the help of my CURRENT husband, I walked away from an abusive marriage. Scott, my current hubby, and I dated in high school. He saw me again on my oldest daughters fifth birthday at a mall. I had a broken jaw and bruises everywhere. He asked me what happened. I was ashamed, but I told him. He asked me where I lived and when HE would be gone. He showed up later with his brother-in-law and a trailer. He moved my three kids and I out. He helped me through a bitter divorce, and termination of parental rights of my EX.
    We have been married for 25 years now. He adopted my kids, and is their DADDY!!! It is a scary thing. I left my EX several times, went to shelters for battered women…. He always found me, and the beatings were always worse after. You learn to just stay.
    I have heard so many times, Why didn’t you just leave? It isn’t that easy. I am so proud that you were able to get out of that situation. 🙂
    That is the scariest thing I have ever done also.


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