Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Blog tour: The Wedding Gift by Cara Connelly

The Wedding Gift
Save The Date #3.5
By: Cara Connelly
Releasing May 5, 2015 

What's the New-Jan-Plan? Discover the answer in Cara Connelly's newest Save The Date Novella, and see how mousey Jan Marone gives herself the gift of living, laughing, and finally loving … all under the hot Key West sun.

She'd come to Key West for a wedding, only to discover the hotel had messed up her reservation. So although Jan Marone has to share a tiny room with sexy Mick McKenna, it shouldn't really be a problem. Mick's her best friend, and he doesn't think of her "that way" … or does he?

Mick McKenna loves hard and plays hard. His thick black hair, chiseled jaw, and hard, muscled body make him irresistible. But when once-innocent Jan walks into his hotel room, Mick can't believe his eyes. Now she's wearing a sexy bikini and telling him it's time for her to "get lucky," making him protective and tantalized at the same time.

Worried she might be in over her head, he decides never to leave her side … and suddenly their hotel room seems smaller—and hotter—than ever. Mick's always been hands-off with Jan—but has the right woman been under his nose the whole time?

CARA CONNELLY is an award-winning author of contemporary romances. Her smart and sexy stories have won high praise, earning Cara several awards including the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart, the Valley Forge Romance Writers’ Sheila, and the Music City Romance Writers’ Melody of Love. Cara, who lives in rural upstate New York, works as appellate court attorney when she’s not crafting steamy novels of love and romance.

Hello Cara! Welcome to Roberta’s Dreamworld and thank you for your time. First of all, tell us something about yourself, both as a writer and as a person. 

Hi Roberta, thanks for having me on the blog. I’m a lawyer-turned-romance-author, I live in upstate New York with my husband, and I have a sister named Roberta who I’m very close to, so it’s a favorite name of mine. :) My brother and his family live in Paris, so I’m a frequent traveler to France. That’s obviously not a hardship, especially since I love to travel and do it whenever I can. If you’ve read my Save the Date series, you’ll have noticed that my books are set in lots of exciting locations, like Paris and Amboise (France), Portofino (Italy), LA, a private Pacific island, Key West… I like to take my characters out of their comfort zones and put them in unfamiliar places so they have to adjust to their surroundings while also dealing with all the other complications they’re facing. Plus, it gives me a chance to mentally revisit some of the fantastic places I’ve been! 

How/when did you realize you wanted to become a writer?  

I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer! But I didn’t get serious about it until 10 years ago, when I sat down at my computer one day and started typing. The story I began that day – and finished about three years later – is still one of my favorites, a sprawling western historical romance that tipped the scales at 300,000+ words. In case you’re wondering, that’s about three or four times the length of a typical romance. :) That story still hasn’t been published, but one day I’d love to go back to it and rewrite it with the benefit of all I’ve learned about storytelling since then. 

Let’s speak about “The Wedding Gift”. We’ve read the synopsis but can you tell us a little more about what the book is about? 

The Wedding Gift is about opening your eyes to the wonderful things right under your nose, and then finding the courage to speak up and say that you want it! To do that, you need to understand that you’re worthy of it, and of happiness. And sometimes it takes being out of your comfort zone, out of your usual day-to-day routine, to realize that. Sadly, if Jan and Mick hadn’t been forced to room together in Key West, they would’ve continued in their respective ruts without reaching out and grabbing what they wanted – each other. Lucky for them, a destination wedding in Key West came along! 

If you should describe your books in three words, what would you pick? 

Funny, sexy, and emotional. 

Do you have any favorite authors and did they influence your choice of the genre? 

I started writing romance after reading Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. It was big and emotional and sexy and smart, and I loved it. I was devastated when I reached the end of the series, so I sat down and wrote my own big, emotional romance, the aforementioned western that is still serving as my office doorstop. :) After that, I read Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jill Shalvis, Kristan Higgins and more, and I discovered that my voice works much better in a contemporary story. 

What else do you enjoy doing, when you’re not writing? 

I travel (not as much as I used to, now that I have deadlines), walk a lot with my husband and my dog Bella, paint (poorly), hang out with my sister and my friends, and I read, read, read. To me a perfect cocktail hour will find me sitting on my deck (or any outdoor patio anywhere in the world) with a glass of Prosecco and a good book. 

As a writer do you get support from your family and friends? 

I get nothing but support from my family and friends! They’re so proud of me! 

What are your dreams and plans for your future as a writer? 

My dream as a writer is for people to close my books with a sigh and a smile … and immediately check to see when the next one is coming out because they just can’t wait to read it! 

Would you like to say something to the readers to encourage them to read your books? 

All I can say is that I love all of them, and I think you will too! 

Thanks for hosting me today, Roberta -- it’s been fun!


            “I’m sorry, ma’am, there’s nothing I can do.”

            Jan Marone wrung her hands. “But I have a reservation.”

            “I know, I’m looking at it right here.” The pretty blond at the desk tapped her screen sympathetically. “I’ll refund your deposit immediately.”

            “I don’t want my deposit. I want a room. My cousin’s getting married tomorrow, and I’m in the wedding.”

            The girl spread her hands. “The problem is, when one of the upstairs tubs overflowed this morning, the ceiling collapsed on your room. It’s out of service for the weekend, and we’re booked solid.”

            “I understand,” Jan said, struggling to remain polite. Hearing the same excuse three times didn’t make it easier to swallow. “How about a sister hotel?”

            “We’re independently owned. Paradise Inn is the oldest hotel on the island—”

            Jan held up a hand. She knew the spiel. The large, rambling guesthouse was unique, and very Old Key West. Which was exactly why she’d booked it.

            “Can you at least help me find a room somewhere else?”

            “It’s spring break. I’ll make some calls, but …” A discouraging shrug and a gesture toward the coffeepot.

            The girl didn’t seem very concerned, but Jan smiled at her anyway. “Thanks, I appreciate you trying.”

            Parking her suitcase beside the coffee table, she surveyed the lobby wistfully. The windows and doors stood open, the wicker furniture and abundant potted plants blurring the line between indoors and out. The warm, humid breeze drifted through the airy space. Her parched Boston skin soaked it up like a sponge.

            To a woman who’d never left New England before, it spelled tropical vacation. And it was slipping through her fingers like sand.

            Growing ever gloomier, she wandered out through a side door and into a lush tropical garden—palm trees, hibiscus, a babbling waterfall.


            And at its heart, a glittering pool, where six gorgeous feet of lean muscle and tanned skin drifted lazily on a float.

            Ignoring everything else, Jan studied the man. Thick black hair, chiseled jaw, half smile curving full lips. And arms, perfect arms, draped over the sides, fingers trailing in the water.

            He seemed utterly relaxed, the image of sensual decadence. Put him in an ad for Paradise Inn, and women would flock. Gay men would swarm.

            As if sensing her attention, the hunk lifted his head and broke into a smile. “Hey Jan, getcha ass in the water!”

            Mick McKenna. Her best and oldest friend. 

            He rolled off the float and jacked himself out of the pool. Water streamed from gray board shorts as he crossed the flagstones.

            Stopping in front of her, he shook his hair like a Labrador.

            “Geez! Don’t you ever get tired of that?” She brushed droplets off her white cotton blouse.

            He laughed his big happy laugh. “Never have, never will. Get your suit on. The water’s a perfect eighty-six degrees.”

            “I can’t. They don’t have a room for me.”

            The grin fell off his face. “What the hell?”

            “Water damage.” She shrugged like it wasn’t tragic. Like she hadn’t been anticipating this weekend for months.

            “They must have another room.” Mick started to go around her, no doubt to raise hell at the desk, McKenna-style.

            She stopped him with a hand on his arm. “I tried everything. They’re digging up a room for me somewhere else on the island.”

            He tunneled long fingers through his hair. “Take my room,” he said. “You found this place, and it’s great. You should stay here.”

            “Forget it. I’m not taking your room.” She wasn’t that pathetic. Mick would give her the shirt off his back, which he’d literally done more than once since they were kids, but she wasn’t taking his room out from under him.

            He knew better than to argue with her. Disappointment slumped his shoulders, but he buttoned his lips, looking down at her from troubled eyes bluer than the pool gleaming behind him.

            She mustered a smile. “Can I use your bathroom?”


            She followed him inside, down a short hallway, and into a room that was eighty percent bed.

            “Yikes. The reviews said the rooms were tiny, but sheesh.”

            Mick shrugged. “Who comes to Key West to sit in their room?”

            That was Mick. Mr. Brightside.


1 commenti:

  1. Thank you for hosting Cara today! and THE WEDDING GIFT!