WELCOME BACK TO THE BLOG MARINA!!!
Marina Adair is a National bestselling author of romance novels. Along with the St. Helena Vineyard series, she is also the author of Tucker's Crossing, part of the Sweet Plains series. She currently lives with her husband, daughter, and three neurotic cats in Northern California.
Connect with Marina: Author Site | Facebook | Twitter
Jamie and Kati: Hi Marina! Welcome to Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance. Congrats on your recent release.
Marina Adair: Thank, Kati and Jamie! I am so excited to be here.
J&K: Share 5 fun facts about yourself
- I have a major Eggo Waffle addiction.
- My daughter and I watch an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer every night before bed.
- I once met Meg Cabot (one of my all-time favorite authors) and went all fan-girl—I think I scared her a little.
- I am obsessed with Luke Bryan’s new song, Crash My Party…Okay, I am pretty much obsessed with all things Luke Bryan.
- I wrote in my high school year book that I was going to marry Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block.
MA: SUMMER IN NAPA is the second book in the St. Helena Vineyard series. It follows the next to youngest DeLuca brother, Marco, and releases today. This book was so much fun to write because my hero and heroine are not only fighting the need to get naked every time they see each other, they are also fighting against their past—Lexi’s cheat of an ex-husband just so happens to be Marco’s childhood best friend. Finding a good reason for Marc to break man-law and fall for—and into bed with—his best-bro’s ex was entertaining.
J&K: What inspired you to write the St. Helena Vineyard series?
MA: Several years ago my husband invited his cousin to Thanksgiving dinner, who in turn invited her aunt, who invited another aunt, who invited an uncle and in the end I was responsible for roasting turkey for 13 Italians—let me clarify, I put the turkey in the oven and as soon as his family learned I was A) NOT Italian and B) a vegetarian, I was promptly kicked out of the kitchen and given a glass of wine. The dinner was loud and long and we consumed 25lbs of Turkey, 14 bottles of wine and I knew that someday I would have to capture that kind of crazy on paper.
But the actual development of the DeLuca family came from a babysitter I had when I was in grammar school. She was the only girl in an Italian family of seven and her brothers were 100% alpha, extremely over protective, and, since they beat the crap out of anyone who looked twice at her, made dating virtually impossible. I merged the two experiences and came up with a series about a big, loud Italian family who were always in each other’s business and even though they irritated the hell out of one another, they were fiercely loyal.
J&K: What is it that makes your hero and heroine perfect for each other?
MA: Lexi is that girl who married her high school sweetheart, gave up her dreams for her husbands, only to find herself a divorcee by thirty. So even though she has been married, she’s never really dated, never had a one night stand, and never flirted with or kissed another man.
Marc is a self-admitted playboy who has had more women than actual relationships and dedicated every waking hour to perfecting how to treat, sweet talk, and seduce them into bed. The only thing he has never done with a woman is committ, and yet he finds himself wanting a relationship with a woman who has sworn off men. To make things more complicated, Lexi knows him so well that none of his usual moves work and she can see right through his BS.
J&K: If your book were to have a theme song, what would it be?
MA: Easiest question EVER! Luke Bryan’s album Tailgates & Tanlines. It was on repeat the entire time I wrote this book. First, because like Marc, it is obvious by his lyrics that Luke Bryan loves women. And second, this album just has that nostalgic feel of sexy and fun summer nights. (Oh that Luke Bryan...)
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Honors Splendor by Julie Garwood (Okay, any historical by Julie Garwood)
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
- The Mediator series by Meg Cabot
- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (creepy content, but blew my mind)
MA: I just handed in the next book in the St Helena series, AUTUMN AT THE VINEYARD, which releases October 2013. It is an enemy-to-lovers story that centers around Nate, the brother who always has a well-laid plan for every occasion. Until he lands the most sought after vineyard in the Napa Valley and finds himself locked in a land dispute, and forced to cohabitate, with a hot-headed, irrational, and incredibly sexy woman, who doesn’t have a logical bone in her luscious body. Nate is surprised to discover that chaos could be so much fun—especially when she sleeps in nothing but lace.
Here is a little sneak peek at AUTUMN AT THE VINEYARD:
It had taken three years, some tricky negotiating, her entire life savings, and a lot of ball busting—but Francesca Baudouin was finally a vineyard owner. Well, she was the owner of ten acres of prime St. Helena appellation soil, which would take another five years of sweat and, quite possibly, selling off a few of her vital organs before it fully became a quality producing vineyard.
But Sorrento Ranch, the most sought after property in the valley, and all of its belongings, was hers. She bought it right out from under the DeLucas’ noses. In part because the owner, Mrs. Sorrento, had played darts with Frankie and Frankie’s great aunt every Friday night for the past fifteen years, so her loyalties were clear, but mostly because Mrs. Sorrento knew that selling the land to either family involved in the great DeLuca-Baudouin feud would piss off her ex-husband.
“One more inch and I’ll shoot,” Frankie said to the alpaca in front of her, a four-legged garbage disposal whose mouth was currently wrapped around the plastic casing of the water tank. She stomped her ball-busting, steeled-toed combat boot in his direction for added emphasis.
The alpaca’s beady eyes narrowed and dropped to her feet. Extending its lips in her direction, he made a loud raspberry sound, stomped an aggressive hoof and then went back to nibbling. Yeah, ball-buster or not, hooves beat boots.
But Frankie wasn’t about to let some hardheaded alpaca with shaggy hair and buck teeth stick it to her on her first week in business. Being the youngest of four, and the only girl, Frankie was a pro at dealing with stubborn males who excelled at ignoring her completely, while messing with her life wholeheartedly.
She cocked her rifle.
“The only thing separating you from becoming a pair of next season’s mittens is my trigger finger, Camel Boy.” Because the only thing separating them from ten-thousand gallons of well water was the thin plastic seam-binding on the water tank, which “Mittens” had managed to chew loose. She didn’t want to deal with the cleanup and couldn’t afford a new irrigation tank. “I mean it, one more bite and the only identifying male trait you’ll have left is stupidity.”
That got his attention. In fact, the animal straightened and fluffed out the fur around his face, making him look like a cross between a camel, a koala, and Clifford the Big Red Dog. When he wasn’t destroying her property, he was kind of cute. In a big, dumb, oafy kind of way.
Mittens was the sole remaining alpaca from Mrs. Sorrento’s farm. The rest of his hooved brethren were living it up at Alberta’s Paradise Alpaca Farm and Pet Sanctuary. Mittens hadn’t even set one hoof in the back of the moving truck when the rest of the heard gathered their spit and took aim. Poor Mittens had been kicked out of his own family and before Frankie or Alberta had been able to catch him, his fluffy-butt disappeared, and Alberta had left instructions to call when Frankie secured the runaway. That had been four days, two patio chairs, and a motorcycle tire ago.
“See.” Frankie lowered her rifle to the ground, picking up the cushion from Mr. Sorrento’s old recliner in one hand and a rope in the other. “That wasn’t so bad. Now just come over here and I’ll give you a treat.”
Eyes glued to the nubby avocado-green cushion, the alpaca took a tentative step forward.
“Then you can go to your new house.” Another step. “Where they feed you gourmet hay and mud tires, and there are kids around all the time to play with you.” Step. “And you’ll get to see your family.”
The alpaca stopped, squared its body, and let out an ear-piercing bleat, which sounded like a cross between “wark” and Chewbacca screaming, right before he sank his teeth in the plastic casing and pulled. Hard.
The tank split at the seam and before either could move, a wall of water came crashing out with enough force to topple Mittens into Frankie and send the two of them skidding back several feet.
When Frankie stopped moving and the water had receded into a pool of mud, she shoved the hair out of her eyes and took stock. She was flat on her back, with a stick poking into her right butt cheek and a drenched Mittens sprawled out over the top of her.
“Move.” She shoved at the animal.
“I warned you! But did you listen?”
Mittens let out an apologetic nicker and dropped his head to Frankie’s chest, his big brown eyes looking up at her through long lashes.
“You could be half way to Paradise right now,” she said, giving him a little rub behind the ears. “Just think, in a few months it will be grooming season and all the ladies will be prancing around in nothing but sheered skin. Plus, you’ll have your family.”
This time the nicker was almost sad so Frankie, ignoring that he smelled like wet dog, called a temporary truce and dug both hands in his thick fur to scratch his cheeks. “Yeah, I get it. Family sucks, but I can’t let you stay here. Come spring, I’ll start planting my vines and you’d eat them.”
Mittens huffed, a burst of hot air hitting Frankie in the face.
“Liar.” She worked her fingers around his temples and behind his ears. The animal’s eyes slid closed in ecstasy. “You already cost me a water tank, which I can’t afford to replace by the way.”
His only response was to nuzzle Frankie’s chest and hum loudly.
“So, there is no way I have the budget to keep replacing everything you decide to sink your teeth into.”
Hum. Hum. Hum.
“I hope he bought you dinner first,” a voice said.
With a groan, Frankie turned her head and, wishing she were standing so she could glare at him without having to shield her eyes, swore. Upside down or not, there was no mistaking the man who was currently towering over her—or the way her stomach gave a lame little flutter when he lifted his mirrored glasses and delivered a heart-stopping wink.
“Afternoon, Francesca,” he said with enough practiced swagger that it made not rolling her eyes impossible.
Nathaniel DeLuca was six-plus feet of solid muscle, smug-male yumminess and he smelled like sex. He was also extremely Italian, annoying as hell and, for whatever reason, every time he entered Frankie’s space she felt all dainty and feminine. Which pissed her off even more because at one time she’d trusted Nate with her heart and a promise of keeping her deepest secret.
And he’d broken them both.
Thank God she had on her ball-buster boots today. Too bad they were currently covered in mud, alpaca fur, and pointing at the sky.
“Go away, Nathaniel,” she said by way of greeting.
Mittens hummed louder, arching into her hand as Frankie scratched down his spine.
“And leave a lady in need?” Nate asked, coming forward and squatting down to pluck a maple leaf off of Frankie’s forehead. “Nonna ChiChi would have my ass.”
“I know you’re used to your women poised and proper. But I’ve got this handled.”
“I didn’t know you paid that much attention to my women, but now that you mentioned the difference…” He plucked a branch from her hair and flashed his perfectly straight teeth in her face. His smile, like his personality, was lethal and his entitled attitude was one-hundred percent DeLuca. “That’s great,” he continued, “because I won’t have to worry that you’ll cry when I tell you to stop exciting my alpaca and get the hell off my property.”
Excerpt from Autumn in the Vineyard ©2013 by Marina Adair. All rights reserved.
Alpha or Beta? Alpha
Wallflower or Belle of the Ball? Wallflower
Debutante or Spinster? Spinster
Virgin widow or Secret baby? Secret baby
Titled peer or Working man? Titled peer
Love at first sight or Second chances? Second Chances
Naval officer or Swashbuckling pirate? Naval Officer
Vampires or Shifters? Shifters…although I LOVE Angel off Buffy!
Past, Present or Future? Reading: Past. Writing: Present
Writing or Reading? Writing
Paperbacks or e-books? Paperback
Plotter or Pantser? Major Plotter
Author’s choice: So, like Lexi, I have a pastry weakness. I LOVE cream-puffs…they are like doughnuts—only better! What is your favorite flakey, doughy, I-just-gotta-have-one, treat?
J&K: Thanks Marina for stopping by!
MA: Thanks for having me, Kati and Jamie!
When Alexis “Lexi” Moreau caught her husband, Jeff, sampling the sous-chef’s more intimate wares in their New York restaurant, she ran—all the way back to her hometown of St. Helena, California. Six months later, Lexi has no husband and no restaurant. But she does have a three-step plan: First, convert her grandmother’s bakery into her dream bistro. Second, ignore Grandma’s matchmaking attempts. And third, avoid Marco DeLuca, her ex’s commitment-phobic, distractingly sexy best friend.
In school Lexi was off-limits for Marco. After all, she was his buddy’s girl. But she’s still as smart and as gorgeous—and apparently as immune to his charms—as she used to be. Yet the simple fake romance they agree upon to dodge Lexi’s grandmother’s matchmaking plans soon turns deliciously complicated. And the sultry summer might bring together all the right ingredients for Marco to win the only woman he’s ever wanted.
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