Hi there everyone. I?m Rachel Bridges, the protagonist in Mari Carr?s erotic romance book,?Assume the Positions. I?m here today with the author and she?s agreed to talk with us about why she decided to write my story. Welcome Mari.
Mari: Hi Rachel. Thanks for inviting me.
Rachel: I think the question that is first and foremost on everyone?s minds is ?Why cougars??
Mari: Well, I have to admit with Ciana Stone approached me about participating in the anthology I was a bit worried about what I would write. I?ve never penned a story based on a May/December romance. I immediately starting thinking of a premise, trying to decide what my cougar lady did for a living, where she?d been and what had driven her to search for a younger man. Then?pow?you were born!
Rachel: And I?m so glad I was. The hero of my story is Ethan and I just want to say a big thank you for making him so hot! He?s an injured cop who comes to me for physical therapy. Is Ethan based on anyone you know in real life?
Mari: He is a compilation of a bunch of young male teachers who work at my high school. They?re a great group of guys and on occasion, we all go out for happy hour. I?m a relentless eavesdropper and line-stealer! I?m always listening to conversations and there are actually a couple lines in the book that the guys said that I thought were funny, so I used them.
Rachel: I noticed that you used a lot of humor in?Assume the Positions. Ethan and I spend a lot of time joking around and laughing.
Mari: I?ve always incorporated humor in my books, but I will confess that with your story I was working toward writing a true romantic comedy. I hope the readers will find it funny!
Rachel: A great deal of the sex scenes in the story revolve around the Kama Sutra. Where on earth did you get that idea?
Mari: I like to bounce my story ideas around with a group of writer friends. As I was discussing the budding relationship between Ethan and Rachel, one gal, Jambrea suggested that Rachel use Kama Sutra positions in her treatment of Ethan?s injury. She was sort of joking and we laughed, but the idea stuck. Next thing I know, Ethan?s giving Rachel a copy of the book and telling her to pick out her favorite positions.
Rachel: There are other characters in the book as well. What is their role in the story?
Mari: Part of the premise Ciana suggested with the anthology was that a group of older women meet and become friends at Romanticon. Through their conversations, they discover they all have a passion for cougar books. When they return home, they create a blog?a place where they can go to chat about their everyday lives as well as share some of their wildest fantasies. One night, Monica dares the ladies to put their money where their mouth is. Stop fantasizing and start living the dream. Next thing they know?the Cougar Challenge is born.
Rachel: And am I correct in saying that this blog you mention really exists?
Mari: Yes, it?s up and running and ready for some visitors to come and share the cougar love! The link is http://temptthecougar.blogspot.com/
Rachel: Can you share an excerpt from Assume the Positions?
Mari: I?d love to!
?Potential Younger Men for Cougar Challenge??
She prayed to God he didn?t know what the concept ?cougar? stood for. She?d only learned of the term while reading her erotic romance novels. She?d been shocked to discover how much the idea of an older woman hooking up with a younger man turned her on, pushed her hot buttons.
?It?s just something silly, something stupid really. Give me back my notebook and we?ll get started on your exercises.?
He ignored her and she watched as he scanned the list of names. When he closed the book with a snap, she flinched at the unfamiliar look on his face. She?d never seen him look so serious or?angry. ?What are you doing, Rachel? What the hell is this list about??
She took a step back, confused by his reaction. Over the course of the past two months, she?d felt a friendship forming between her and the young cop. As a result, she found her fears, her anxiety over the challenge falling from her lips, uncontrolled. Even though she was sure she was making a mistake, she told him everything?from meeting her friends at the conference to the blog to the dare to sleep with a younger man. She didn?t leave out a single detail and through her entire confession, Ethan was quiet. In the end, it was his silence that unnerved her more than his initial anger.
?So there,? she said at last. ?That should keep you busy in the teasing department for months. I?m an insane, horny-as-hell woman who?s actually contemplating throwing herself at a younger man as part of a dare. And before you say anything, yes, I know?I?m old enough to know better.? She walked away from him as she said the last, too embarrassed to see what he was truly thinking written on his face.
She?d only made it two steps when he reached out and gripped her forearm, turning her back around. ?Old enough to know better?? he asked. ?You think you couldn?t land a younger guy??
?Maybe I could,? she said, surprised to find him taking this conversation so seriously. ?I mean I don?t think I?m unattractive, just sort of ?out of practice? with the whole dating scene.?
Ethan grinned and she spied the usual mischievous sparkle in his gaze she?d grown accustomed to over the past few weeks. ?Wish you?d mentioned this horny problem of yours earlier, Rach.?
?It?s not something a polite woman advertises,? she said.
He continued pulling her toward him until they stood face to face, close enough that she could smell his skin, a pleasant combination of fresh shower, soap, and?yummy?man. Rather than look up, she stared straight ahead, placing her line of vision at the top of his chest. There was no way she could look at his handsome face and not spend the rest of their session imagining him naked. He wore a tight T-shirt and she could just imagine what his bare?sculpted in smooth skin?pecs would look like. She swallowed heavily, her mouth watering at the sight.
?Isn?t that a shame?? Ethan added. ?Advertisements like that sure would take a lot of the guess work out of dating.?
?I haven?t been doing a lot of dating since my divorce from Voldemort.?
?Mm hmm.? She watched his throat move in response to her words and felt certain if she hadn?t been standing so closely, she wouldn?t have heard the small, guttural sound?a growl??that emanated from him. Did it make him angry to hear her mention her ex?
?Look at me, Rachel,? he said as she felt his gaze bore through the top of her head.
?I am,? she said, her eyes remaining locked in place, several inches below his chin.
He reached down and gently forced her head back with firm fingers at her jaw. She took a deep breath and faced him. His head was cocked to the side, his lips painfully close to hers. An impractical woman would lean forward and initiate a kiss. A woman without any common sense would rise up on her tiptoes, close the gap separating them and take a nice, long taste of him. An adventurous woman?her mouth stroked his briefly, and her mind struggled to understand how he?d gotten close enough for that touch. She was certain he hadn?t moved.
Her lips brushed his again, but rather than move away, she continued to push closer.
Rachel: I?m afraid that?s all we have time for. Is there anything else you?d like to add or share?
Mari: I?d love to put in a quick plug for my other Ellora?s Cave series, Wild Irish. Book one, Come Monday, releases on November 6. You can find a blurb, excerpt and see the cover here –http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-7770-50-come-monday.aspx.? I?d also like to invite folks to check out my new and improved website. I?ve done a bit of rearranging of the furniture and I?m tickled to death with the results. You can find it at www.maricarr.com.
Some people fall apart on their thirtieth birthday, others on their fortieth.??For Mari Carr, thirty-four was the year that took her down.??After she spent the day crying and saying, ?I haven?t done anything I thought I would,? her husband finally asked what was left undone.??Her answer was simple?she hadn?t written a book or decorated her house.???So do it,? he said.
Six years later, the house is sparkling with fresh paint and new furniture and her computer is jammed full of stories?novels, novellas, short stories, and dead-ends.??The lesson:??it?s never too late to achieve a goal or two!
High school librarian by day and mother of two teenagers, Mari Carr found her time for writing by squeezing it into the hours between 3 a.m. and daybreak when her family is asleep and the house is quiet.