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 http://www.onesimplewish.org 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
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:
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The heroine in The Cowboy Next Door is a gutsy bull rider–what’s the gutsiest or scariest thing you’ve ever done?