She credits her love of romance to the old Thirties and Forties romantic comedies she watched on late night TV growing up. In her teens, she discovered romance novels and decided she wanted to tell her own love stories. Cara is published in romantic suspense with The Wild Rose Press and has also published numerous short romance stories. Cara and her husband enjoy traveling and she loves to write about the places they've visited. They share their house with a fat black cat named Killer.
MURDER, MI AMORE'
AND A SWEET GIRL CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE
What if someone you loved and planned to marry betrayed you? To heal, and get a little revenge, you sell the jewelry he gave you and treat yourself to a month in Italy. You’ll eat, sightsee, and maybe even have a fling with a sexy Italian guy. But what if jewel thieves, terrorists, and murder intrude on your Roman holiday? And what if you have your fling with a very sexy guy, but that guy isn’t quite what he seems?
This is the premise of my romantic suspense novella set in Italy, Murder, Mi Amore, from The Wild Rose Press. I love Italy. I’ve been there twice, once many years ago with my parents, and the second time in 2006 with my husband. I wanted to write a story set in that beautiful, amazing country. When The Wild Rose Press announced a new series of romantic suspense stories that could be set anywhere in the world, but had to involve a blue diamond, I had my Italy story.
I love tales about innocent, ordinary people caught in extraordinary, even dangerous, circumstances. And my heroine, Lexie Cortese, finds herself in a world of danger.
Here’s the blurb for Murder, Mi Amore':
Lexie Cortese is in Rome to forget. The last thing she expects is to meet a sexy Interpol agent who suspects her of being part of a terrorist plot involving a stolen diamond. Suddenly thrust into a world of murders, muggings, and kidnappings, Lexie doesn’t know what to think—or who to believe.
Dominic Brioni’s assignment is simple. Befriend the American and bring her to justice. Only Lexie seems the most unlikely terrorist Dominic has ever met. Sweet, determined, and direct, she faces life with courage and fire, a fire that sparks his protective instincts and a longing for something more—something he allowed himself to hope for only once before.
But that woman betrayed him, and his boss isn’t about to let him forget it. With his career on the line and Lexie in danger, will Dominic learn to trust his heart before they both get killed?
We all know Italy is filled with art, history, great food, and stylish men and women. But every city and country has an underbelly. I used my imagination to interject this dark side onto the touristy Italy I visited. All four of my grandparents came from Italy, from the province of Abruzzo. So I have more than a passing interest in the country.
Writing Murder Mi Amore allowed me to relive our trip. I pictured the places we’d seen, then imagined putting Lexie into danger in those very places.
As I wrote about Lexie and Dominic meeting for the first time at Trevi Fountain, I could hear the chattering of the crowds and the snap of cameras and feel the sun’s heat. I could almost taste the wine Lexie orders. But underneath this holiday atmosphere is the constant threat of crime. Rome teems with pickpockets. During our trip, when my husband set his digital camera on our table near Trevi, our waiter told him to put the camera away as thieves like to run by and snatch valuables off the tables. I used this idea when Lexie’s new designer handbag is stolen - the handbag that starts her spiral of murder and mayhem.
Every location in Murder, Mi Amore is authentic. When Lexie is dragged through dark and narrow streets by her would-be kidnapper, I pictured the little alleyways dotting Rome. Like mosquitoes, motor scooters swarm through the city, sometimes even on sidewalks. Dominic is almost run over by a scooter when he and Lexie are attacked by a mugger (or so they think he’s a mugger). No one is my story is exactly what he seems.
I even have a chapter set in my grandparents’ hometown of Ripa Teatina. On our trip we traveled the same mountainous road between Rome and Abruzzo that Lexie and Dominic traverse. Only we weren’t chased by someone trying to kill us.
Lexie’s decisions - to travel to Italy alone, to buy a way-too-expensive handbag - have consequences. Determined to change her ways from a woman who does what others expect to a woman who does what she wants, Lexie is thrust into a dark world she could only imagine. Instead of letting fear rule her, she faces the danger with courage. When the police don’t believe her, she refuses to back down. I loved seeing Lexie grow as the story progressed.
Having raised his younger sister, Dominic is protective of women. Although his job for Interpol is to bring Lexie to justice for her alleged involvement with terrorists, she appeals to his protective instincts. Lexie isn’t afraid to fight her own battles, but Dominic is by her side, fighting with her. She knows he’s hiding something, but finally decides to trust him. On the morning they trust each other enough to make love, Dominic learns some disturbing news about Lexie that makes him question everything he feels for her.
I loved writing Murder, Mi Amore. I liked writing the villains too, and they are some very bad guys. Think of all the Mafia movies you’ve seen. I loved putting Lexie and Dominic in danger, in Italy and again in Las Vegas.
Dominic is a warrior, but so is Lexie. Together they’re formidable. I hope my readers think so too.
BK, thank you for having me as your guest today. If any of your readers have questions, I’ll be glad to answer them.
You can visit me at www.caramarsi.com
Thank you so much for stopping in today Cara. It's been a pleasure having you. I wish you much success in the future.
Until next time,