You know what I love? Series. Seriously. I’m one of those readers who never wants a book to end with The End. If the story has characters who speak to me, I always hope for another book and then another and another. I was really sad when I realized Meg Cabot’s Mediator series was over at book six. When I finished The Amber Spyglass, the last book in Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy, I went to his website, hoping I was wrong and that there were more. I went into a depression when the Harry Potter series ended for nearly a week. No lie. A real depression because I knew those characters, who had become like family to me, weren’t going to be in my life anymore. The movie releases sort of alleviated that for an extra year or two, but now they’re done too. Sob!
As a result of my love affair for series as a reader, I find myself drifting toward writing series as well. It took me months to write the final book in the Wild Irish series, Any Given Sunday, because I just couldn’t say goodbye to my Collins family. My editor finally put her foot down (God love that woman) and said “Just write the damn book!”
A couple of weeks ago, the last book in the Compass Brothers series, Western Ties came out. I cried for days as I wrote that story. Finally, my hubby looked at me and said, “You know this is fiction, right?” I told him it was still hard because those characters felt SO real to me. Those were some of the toughest scenes I’ve ever written. Plus, on top of leaving the Compton brothers, my collaboration with Jayne Rylon (who is like a sister to me) ended as well. It was a double whammy!
But…my love of series still perseveres! I’m in the midst of some new ones. I’m excited about them so I thought I’d do a bit of shouting here.
I recently finished Misplaced Princess, book one in the Crossed Wires duo, I’m co-writing with Lexxie Couper. They are fun books that take place in New York City and Australia. I’m about to start writing Fix You, the first book in a new series for Samhain called the Second Chances books.
And…last, but not least, the second book in my Cocktales series at Ellora’s Cave, Screwdriver, released yesterday! Woot! It’s a fun series about four friends who own a combination bar/bookstore in Portland called Books and Brew (this is my DREAM business). Each woman runs a different aspect of the business—bartender, bookkeeper/office manager, the marketing/events coordinator, and the bookstore gal.
In the Party Naked, Stephanie Harper receives a parking ticket from hot cop Jarod Nolan and ends up getting way more than a fine. Handcuffs, anyone?
In Screwdriver, Jordan Lance, Books and Brew’s bookkeeper harbors a secret crush on the uber-wealthy and handsome landlord of their building, Gabriel. However when construction worker, Casey comes in to do some work on the store, her attention turns to him…much to Gabriel’s chagrin. How’s a girl to decide? Um…does she really have to?
In Bachelor’s Bait, Sophie Kennedy, marketing/event coordinator for Books and Brew can’t stand Marc Garrett, a free-aid lawyer and do-gooder who rubs her the wrong way. When fate steps in, tossing them together, Sophie’s passionate anger turns to another kind of passion…
In the final book, Screaming Orgasm, Jayne is depressed. She’s watched all her friends meet their Mr. Rights and fall in love. Little does she know, Elias Clark, the unassuming professor who is a regular at the store has had his eye on her for quite a while, but Jayne will find out he’s not at all what he appears to be. Underneath his quiet exterior lurks the Dom who speaks to her submissive heart.
To read more about this series and the others I’ve mentioned, please stop by my website, www.maricarr.com.
Screwdriver, Cocktales, Book Two
When Jordan Lance isn’t pouring over spreadsheets for Books and Brew, she’s fantasizing about the store’s landlord. Too bad she’s squarely in Gabriel’s “just friends” column.Jordan’s prepared to pine forever—until she meets Casey. The handyman is hot, handsome, charming…and Gabriel’s best friend. Suddenly her wicked fantasies are porntastic times two.
Casey has suspected his friend’s interest in Jordan. If he can push them together, he might get Gabriel off the bimbo train he’s been riding. The plan? Jealousy. And it’s working. It’s not long before Gabriel’s deeper feelings for Jordan emerge. Problem is…so do Casey’s. What happens when two friends want the same woman? Red-hot ménage, baby.
Two gorgeous men playing every inch of her body? Um, yes please!Jordandoesn’t know if threesomes are considered acceptable, but she’s sure of one thing—being this bad feels far too good.
Casey looked closer at the AC unit. “Damn. I was afraid of that.”
“What is it? What’s wrong?”
“I was hoping it was an issue with the belt, but the motor bearings are shot. I’m going to need to order a part.”
“So it’s not getting fixed today?”
“I’ll see if I can rig a work around for the time being.” He stood and stretched. “God bless it, Jordan. I apologize if this offends you, but it’s hot as hell in here.” Reaching for the hem of his t-shirt, he whipped the thin cotton over his head and fanned himself with it.
Her now-familiar blush returned and Casey felt compelled to prod, to see if his suspicions about Jordan’s underlying naughty side were true. “Just so you know, I absolutely will not be upset if you decide to follow suit and work shirtless for the rest of the afternoon.”
The twinkle in her eyes let him know she enjoyed his joke. “I’m fine with my shirt on.”
“You sure?” he teased, taking a step closer. “I don’t mind helping you peel it off.” He reached out but she darted away, her smile widening.
“Casey,” she said, swatting his hands away. She dodged behind the AC unit and he followed.
The two of them played a quick game of cat and mouse as Casey chased her around the storage closet.
He’d just captured her,Jordansquealing loudly, when the door to the closet opened.
“Jordan? Are you okay?” a deep voice asked from the hallway.
Gabriel peered around the door and Casey wondered what his best friend thought he was seeing. They certainly presented a risqué picture—Casey shirtless, his arms wrapped aroundJordanfrom behind while she laughed.
“Hey, Gabe.” Casey releasedJordanand pulled his shirt back on. “What are you doing here?”
Gabriel’s response was slow in coming as his gaze traveled from Casey to Jordan. “I was checking on your progress.” Gabriel’s eyes landed back on Casey’s face and they narrowed angrily. “Looks like you’re making some.”
Shit. Casey’s suspicions about Gabe’s feelings for Jordan were confirmed in an instant. His friend was hot for the accountant.
Problem was…so was Casey.
“We were taking a break,” he explained.
Gabriel looked at Jordan, his expression softening. “You’re blood-red, Jordan. You need to get out of this heat.”
Casey glanced at her face. Gabriel made the same mistake he had. Jordan wasn’t hot. She was blushing. Big time.
“I’m okay, Gabe. No worries,” she answered. “I can see why you two are friends. Casey’s cure for the heat wave is going topless too.”
Gabriel’s expression darkened even further as he snapped his gaze to Casey once more. “Topless?”
“Actually, I think we’re done for the day,” Casey said, anxious to change the subject before Gabriel pulverized him. “I need to order a part before I can fix the unit.”
Jordan frowned and he sensed she was surprised by his sudden retreat to safer territory. Gabriel had never referred to Jordan as anything more than a pal, but Casey could read between the lines—even if his oblivious friend couldn’t.
“Um, yeah. That’s right. We were just wrapping things up. It was nice of you to come by and check on us.” Jordan’s gaze drifted to Gabriel’s face and she smiled.
Crap. The pure longing on Jordan’s face told Casey all he needed to know in regards to her feelings for Gabriel. It told him more than he wanted to know.
Jordan’s cell phone rang. She looked at the caller ID. “It’s Steph. We made plans to do a late lunch. I should take this.”
She walked toward the door as she answered the phone. Gabriel stepped aside and let her escape. Casey suspected he wouldn’t be freed as easily.
“What the fuck were you doing?” Gabe’s question was murmured, but even in the quiet tone, Casey detected the anger. A small part of him was thrilled to hear any emotion at all from his friend.
“I told you. Taking a break.”
“With your clothes off?”
Casey shot him a dirty look. “I took off my shirt to cool down. I’ve been in this godforsaken sweatbox for nearly two hours. Besides, what the hell are you so pissed off about? I’m here because you asked me to fix the air conditioner.”
“Why was Jordan in here?”
And now they were getting to the heart of the matter. “I asked her to help me.”
“Since when do you need an assistant?”
Casey was hot and tired and annoyed. Not a good combination. Gabe was poking the bear. “I spotted a gorgeous woman and an empty closet. Come on, Gabe. You’re a smart guy with a degree in finance. Put two and two together. I’m not averse to mixing work and play.”
Gabriel shook his head. “You’re not playing with Jordan.”
His friend’s vehemence tweaked Casey’s temper. “Last time I checked, you weren’t my keeper. Or Jordan’s.”
Gabriel rubbed his neck wearily, and for the first time, Casey noticed the dark circles under his friend’s eyes.
When he spoke again, Gabriel’s voice was calmer. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to snap at you. I saw you with Jordan and I…shit, I guess I lost it.”
“Why? I’m not an asshole to women. You know that.”
Gabriel shrugged. “I know. She reminds me of Annie in a lot of ways. Somewhere along the line I’ve become a bit protective of her.”
Annie was Gabriel’s only sibling, and no little sister was ever loved more. Casey wasn’t sure how to respond. Gabe’s initial reaction screamed of jealousy, not brotherly instinct. “I can see why. Jordan’s very sweet.”
Gabriel didn’t seem to appreciate his answer. “So sweet you felt compelled to strip off your shirt and corner her in a storage closet?”
Yep. Definitely jealous.