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Saturday, July 28, 2012

I Want To Take You To…Funky Town by Guest Erotic Romance Author Marie Harte


  • Alpha male: the growly, overbearing leader-type who’s big and strong yet a push-over when it comes to his perfect love
  • Kick-butt heroine: typically found in urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and usually the type I make my heroines
  • Shapeshifters: the new black.  Humans who can shift into animal form and back, who are often as much affected by instinct as reason

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  • Erotic romance: romance that centers on couples (or more) in love who express that journey through a physical courtship
  • Funky town: that place I’ve created to toss in the
    characters like salad in a bowl
Put those all together and I come in. Hi. I’m erotic romance writer Marie Harte.

I write erotic romance in several different genres, mostly paranormal and futuristic, but I do like to play with contemporary stories to keep my mind fresh.

I’m as avid a reader as I am a writer, so I try to figure out what makes me, the reader, like what I, the writer, should be creating. Interesting characters, sure. An engaging plot that’s more than tab A sliding into slot B, definitely. But there’s that something else that makes me read a book and want to know more long after the book ends. A lot of times it’s the world in which the characters interact, the rules by which they live, that intrigues me to no end.


Take Robyn Carr’s Virgin River stories or Debbie Macomber’s small town romances, like in her Cedar Cove series, where the town is a big part of the story. Lora Leigh’s Breed series, where genetically altered men whose DNA is part animal live in structured compounds. Or Christine Feehan’s Carpathians, vampire-like beings so named because of the Carpathian mountains from which they came.
 Cougar Falls is a small town in Montana outside Glacier National Park. A place where everyone knows everyone else. There’s an ice cream parlor, a popular diner, places to eat and shop down the main street, and a central park where seasonal festivals and fun times are had by all. The sheriff enforces the rules made by the town council, and justice is swift and fair. 

I’d like to live in such a place, where I could feel free to be myself surrounded by friends and family. Unfortunately, I will never find it, because I’m not a shapeshifter.

You have to have some Ac-taw blood to be recognized by the powerful totem protecting the town and its residents. Bummer of it is that I’m all too human. But my characters aren’t. A family of prankster mountain lions rule the catamount pride. There are sly silver foxes, chatty raptors, anti-social bears and obnoxious gray wolves interacting with one another on a daily basis, which makes for equal parts chaos, drama, and sexy shenanigans. And every time I think I know everyone in town, someone new shows up.

That’s the kind of world I want to read about. And I can prove it, because my extensive reading library is filled with books like this, about characters that interact on alternate worlds, in western towns, and in English countrysides. What’s funny is that about a year ago I moved into a place like this. Not the shapeshifter part, which is too bad, the small town part. Bend is in Central Oregon, and I think the population is now somewhere around 86,000. The Cascade Mountains frame my new high desert landscape, and the people are really friendly. I know my neighbors. I say hello to people I recognize in stores, and I’m at one festival or another just about every weekend because there’s always something to do here.

So it makes me wonder if all the stories I read have influenced my life in a larger way than budgeting for books.  The Cougar Falls books were a way for me to reach out to Big Sky country without being there. But the Internet, books and reference material can only get you so far. I currently have a psychic series set in Bend, Oregon, and it feels good to put my characters in places I imagine downtown, or in actual downtown. So I guess it’s time for me to head to Montana and see the places I’ve created in my head. Except the next book I’m writing in the Cougar Falls series is in Miami…  Time for a road trip.

To read more about Cougar Falls or Marie, check out her website  www.marieharte.com.
 

A Matter of Pride is her latest release, available from Samhain.

7 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Marie,
Thanks for being our guest at RTG. I think what we read does affect us on some level. I don't read books that are scary, etc. because I have nightmares at night and am hypervigilant during the day - that can last a couple of days. Since I don't like those side-effects, I've stopped reading thosse books and seeing those movies much less watching that type of programming on television.

I also think a well-written book can inform readers of how relationships can be if they put the work into them.

But you asked about 'influence'. And, yes I do think books influence us. There are places I've visited because a story I liked was set there. I did read "The DaVinci Code" skimming through the violent parts (still can't watch the movie) and when is Scotland a few years ago, visited Roslyn Chapel.

Your next road trip promises to be full of inspiration!

Sarah Raplee said...

Ahhh, shapeshifters! One of my favorite books books as a teen was a SF story set in the future about an amnesiac shapeshifter wolf who falls in love with the daughter of the scientist who tries to help him. And yes, they got their HEA.

Your Cougar Falls Series sounds AWESOME. Love the covers!

I definitely believe what we read influences our lives, sometimes in unexpected ways.I think that we...Oops! Sorry, gotta go - my Alpha Male is growling at me from the bedroom. sounds like he needs a butt-kickin'!

Sarah

Diana Mcc. said...

Are your Cougar Falls books stand alone books? I think in every book I read I glean something on a personal level from each and everyone of them. Sometimes, it is as simple as don't ever go into an amusement park at night when it is closed!!!! DANGER!! And sometimes it is where to plan the next vacation. Love your book covers!

Karen Duvall said...

Hey, girlfriend! Congrats on the new release! Now that I have my new Kindle (squeee!) I'll be downloading quite a few Marie Harte books. Yay! This one sounds great, I love the setting. Hugs!

Paty Jager said...

Setting and secondary characters helps make the book a good read for me. I'm glad you moved to Bend, otherwise I might never have met you. ;) Your books all sound interesting. I need to grab a couple more.

Marie Harte said...

Judith and Sarah, thanks for having me! I must say, I'd also like to go to Scotland. And Sarah, I hope you didn't have to kick your alpha hero around too hard. :)

Marie

Marie Harte said...

Dian--Yes, all of my Cougar Falls books are standalone, but characters reappear in the books. So you can read about Burke's story in one book and see him again later in Grady's book. Glad you like the covers. Samhain has incredible artists. :)

Karen--Thx for the congrats. And right back at ya for getting a Kindle! Happy birthday.

Paty--I agree. I'm glad I moved to Bend too. Thankful to have met you as well. And I get a kick out of your Facebook posts. You bale a lot of hay!