It's been a busy May and June for me. Part from writing and publishing 'I Am Eve', I've also written a novella, my first Daddy Dom. It's in editing. You'll LOVE Misha and Carrie.
A little snippet - just for you:
Los Angeles has a kind of heat that doesn't agree with me. I like boots, black jeans and heavy leather jackets, I like a thick wool suit of high quality. I prefer fog and rain and cold. I like a sad accordion playing in a dank alley. I like granite and pine trees.
I miss snow.
Everything here is bright and lean and so fucking streamlined. Everyone is trimmed until there’s no soul left in their bodies, no meat left on their bones, not a wrinkle on their faces.
I miss the old world, but I’m a man of honor and I’m here to pay off my family’s debt. My idiotsky younger brother likes his vodka a little too much, American women in excess, and doesn't always make the best decisions. He got himself into a significant gambling debt and a deal had to be struck. We brought Piotr home, and I took his place. For six months I will do the dirty work of the local rag-tag branch of organized crime. I’m not impressed with anything I’ve seen, but I’m here to shut up, do what they tell me, and execute anyone they point me at.
I’m good at what I do. They made a prime deal.
Six months, then my brother’s debt is paid off and I will go home to the motherland and smack that little bastard over the head for putting me through this and forcing me to America.
I was offered a car, but I declined it, raising a couple of eyebrows. I’m used to driving a motorbike and found myself a beautiful old Harley Davidson that I will have shipped home to Russia when this is over. It makes me more vulnerable, but I’m also never dependent on traffic. I can always get through a jam, always find a place to park. And I’m fast.
It’s the only time I can clear my head of the clutter that inhabits it, when I ride along the highway with no houses in sight, my hair fluttering around my head, and the wind whipping.
I’m still finding my way in this sprawled out city of angels and sigh with relief when I find a road sign that matches the name of the street I’ve been looking for. It’s a sleepy neighborhood with not much going on. It’s about an hour to the city center and it seems most people have taken their business somewhere else. There’s a corner cafe, a Laundromat, a little grocery store, several paneled-up store fronts, and then there’s the bookstore.
‘Sugar Princess’ it says with pink rounded neon letters along the facade. On one side of the sign is the outline of a book, on the other the outline of a cupcake. The store is no more than a hole in the wall, and the whole front is floor to ceiling windows that doesn’t cover much of what goes on inside. A young woman moves between crowded-up mismatching armchairs of various sizes and little round tables in between them. On the window are painted in pastel in an arc ‘Sweet Heroes and Spicy Heroines. We have a flavor for everyone.’
Behind the chairs and tables are shelves filled to the brim with books of all sizes. Hardcovers, paperbacks, coffee table books. Both standing up and lying on top of the standing books, passionately squeezed in to fit as many as possible in a seemingly disorganized manner. I don’t mind the messy display. There’s love behind it. That pleases me. I appreciate reading. It’s weight lifting for your mind, and I like staying in shape.
I don’t understand the shop’s concept, though. Is it a bookstore or a cafe? Well, it’s not my business. I’m here to collect.
Stopping right outside, I kick down the support and jerk up the bike so that it locks, then I pocket the key and march up to the door. Collecting protector money was something I did when I was twelve. At thirty-nine, I would have figured those days were past me, but thanks to my brother here we go again. Usually, I would go in with a bat when I introduced myself for the first time, smash up some shelves, and then let them know how much worse it would be if they didn’t pay us to stop thugs from ruining their stores.
I don’t come with a bat today, though. Usually my appearance and my name are enough when I do business, and my work has long since stopped revolving around threatening small business owners. Except today is the day when I go back to the juvenile phase of my life.
Pulling the door open, I step inside and take a deep breath. It smells of baking and vanilla, not musty old books like I’d have expected. Before me, the girl freezes with her back to me. I raise an eyebrow, appreciating the knee-long, wide, deep red skirt that ends in the waist with a broad, light brown leather belt, creating an alluring hour-glass shape. Her red and white polka dot blouse sits snugly around her chest and when she turns around, I have a hard time pulling my eyes off the plunging neckline and the shock of smooth-looking, creamy white skin it reveals. Her honey-blonde hair is tied into two braids that rests one in front of, and the other behind, her shoulders. Round blue eyes widen as they travel my body and her intense scrutiny is an almost physical sensation. She looks as taken aback as I feel myself.
I don’t remember what I had planned to say. The mouthwatering scents of something edible, something equally sweet as the girl before me, make all coherent thoughts fly out the door. My gaze finally lands on the glittering tiara that rests on top of her head, worthy a princess. Her heart shaped face opens into a smile that reveals deep dimples. What do they say, the Americans? Cute as pie. That’s what she is.
“How do you do, sir?” she asks, pulling me out of the near-trance.
I like that she is polite. I hope she’s obedient and will fold like a cheap lawn chair when I put pressure on her. I’d be a shame to have to come back and wreck her little shop. I’m sure she’s worked hard for it.
“Is that coffee I smell?” I take a step closer. She takes a small step back. Her instincts tell her something is off, but the polite veneer doesn't wear off just because everything inside her screams at her to be careful. She is first and foremost a shop owner and I am a customer.
“Ehm, yeah,” she stutters as a blush creeps up the sides of her cheeks, making her round features adoringly peach-like. “I just put it on. It will be a few minutes. Did…did you come here looking for something special?”
I sure did, and she’s not going to like it one bit.
Marissa Farrar is a British author of more than forty novels, and has been a full time author for the last eight years. She writes romance of all genres, including paranormal, dark, and suspense.
I've had the great pleasure to have miss Farrar visit my group on Facebook where she talked a little about herself and her work. She's a wonderful lady, her books sound amazing, and I ended up buying a bunch!
Q: Hello, Marissa Farrar, thank you for joining us! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: Hi, and thank you for having me, Nicolina! Well, I’m a British author of more than forty books of various genres of romance. I’m also mum to three girls, and lots of rescued fur babies! I’ve been writing full time for the last nine years, and when I’m not writing I’m normally drinking wine and binge watching shows on netflix.
Q: What inspired you to start writing?
A: I’ve always written stories - ever since I was a small child. I first talked about writing a novel and having it published when I was about seven years old, so it’s just always been in me to do. It wasn’t until I finished my degree in Zoology (I love animals) that I decided writing was the career for me. Of course, it took me about six years after making that decision to actually get published!
Q: How would you describe you genre and your favorite trope?
A: I’m mainly writing dark romance at the moment. I’d describe dark romance as romance where the bad guy is the hero. I always say it’s easy to get the reader to love someone is good, but we have to work twice as hard to make the reader love the baddie!
Q: What attracts you to the dark side of romance?
A: I’ve never been a flowers and sunshine kind of person. When I first started writing, I was writing horror, so this was a good direction for me to go in. I also read a ton of psychological thrillers, and I think dark romance is pretty similar, just with a lot more sex!
Q: How dark is too dark? Where do you draw the line and think hell no, that’s too far?
A: I won’t write a full on rape - especially not if that rape is done by the hero. I also won’t write about kids or animals getting hurt.
Q: If you could live in one of your books, which would it be?
A: I’m not sure I’d want to live in any of them! Lol. I think life would be kind of traumatic, and I couldn't be certain of survival! Lol. The sex would be good though!
Q: Favorite authors? Who are your one-clicks?
A: Stephen King, Joe Hill, Elizabeth Haynes, Tammy Cohen, Shalini Boland… just to name a few. I read a wide variety of authors and genres.
Thank you so much! Now last, but not least: where can we stalk you?
A: Well, my home address is…. (kidding!). You can find me over in my author group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1336965479667766/ or through my newsletter. If you sign up, you’ll get a free copy of ‘Caged Bird’ which is a spin off story from my dark romance ‘Monster’ trilogy.
This year has been very special to me, and I’ll hold it dear for the rest of my life. It’s the year when I kicked off my career as an author, when I told myself ‘hell, I can do this’, and just started writing.
I used to write fanfiction a long time ago, and that‘s where I learned to craft a story, (and some little grammar). I dreamt of writing something that was my own from start to finish, and publish it, but I never thought I had it in me. December 2017 changed everything. Nothing in particular happened, I just started writing again, after an eight year hiatus during which I missed writing as if I had lost an arm.
I began writing a story set in exotic Dominican Republic, with Sydney meeting Nathan, a chance encounter turning both their lives upside down. She’s your everyday girl, could be you or me, and he’s a professional hitman for some mysterious organization, on a mission to take down a local crime lord. Sparks fly, Sydney explores her sexuality, and Nathan realizes he has locked parts of himself away and that he doesn’t want to live like that anymore.
This tale, my first full length novel, went through a number of self edits, betas, rewrites, and it just never took off. I knew I had something good, but elements were missing and I didn’t have experience enough to find them.
Meanwhile I had begun writing a tale of Mia, having fled the world after a tragic accident, who has the great misfortune stumbling over escaped convict Martin, in an isolated cabin during a snowstorm. You guessed it: sparks fly. Hey, I write romance! I got great beta response, and I was pretty damn excited about it, because damn, this is a really good story. Something had clicked in my authoring mind. I had learned my lesson. The beats were there, the elements that keeps you on your toes. I submitted it to Blushing Books and they liked it so much that it will now be published through them on February 7, 2019.
I also produced a short erotica I still plan to expand on, and thoroughly rewrote an old novella about Bree and Roarke, two fundamentally disturbed people who find unexpected solace in dishing out as much pain they can toward each other. Both those are published, and I’m overwhelmed with the response. And humbled. To all my reviewers: I promise my future works are much longer and more fleshed out.
Blushing Books wanted me to add a little spanking to Mia and Martin’s already steaming hot encounters. I took on the challenge with great enthusiasm, and as I did that I suddenly knew how to fix the story with Nathan and Sydney. I slaughtered it. Rewrote. Cut and pasted. It turned out five shaders darker, and a helluva lot more exciting. All the beats fell into place and the big ‘oh no’-moment presented itself brilliantly.
Partners in Crime:
This story about 2018 won’t be complete if I don’t mention some of the wonderful people I’ve met and who have helped me along the way. Many have patiently answered my stupid questions when I was new and clueless. Plenty have given me brilliant insights as beta readers. Some has stuck around. Many have come and gone, as have I in their lives. It’s the sometimes natural order of things.
I especially want to mention the two ladies I work tightly with now. Carly, my alpha reader, sounding board, master of ideas, whip wielder, and friend. She has given me brilliant beyond brilliant input and has pushed me to new heights. And Kathi, blogger extraordinaire, lover of dark reads, and my beta reader. She kicks my ass, pokes and prods, and won’t let me leave even the tiniest stone unturned in fine tuning my work.
This year is ending on an extremely exciting note, a little something I’ve been planning and working on the last couple of months. My dear Carly who reads everything I write noticed a pattern. Bad boys, hitmen, fair ladies, enemies to lovers. Yes, I saw that too. It’s my favorite trope.
You can tie all of these together, she said. I moaned. What now? No, look, she said and pointed at Nathan, then at another story I haven’t even mentioned yet, about Anna and Eric, two poor souls getting stuck together in the most unfortunate circumstances and who are forced to cooperate. He is, wait for it, an assassin for some organization I didn’t quite spell out. Then she pointed at a behemoth of a rewrite I have yet to undertake, most of it already written, about Kerry and Christian, and guess what Christian does for a living? Kerry has the misfortune of meeting Christian at his worst, and the story takes off from there, spanning over six years. Look, she said, all these men can be part of a mafia family, you can make a whole new universe about this. Did I say I moaned? Then it took me three minutes, and the Russos were born.
The Russos came from Italy in the fifties, rooted themselves in Chicago and began building an empire that now spans from Chicago to San Francisco. In Chicago, Mama Bianca Russo is the capa of the organization, and in San Francisco her brother Luciano Salvatore is the capo of the mightiest network of organized crime on the west coast. Bianca has five children, Christian, Nathan, Matteo, Luca, and Angela. Tightly connected to Salvatore is Eric, his right hand man.
Eric, Nathan, and Christian have their books, Salvatore has his plotted out and he’s shouting at me day and night to get to writing it. The other Russos will of course get theirs, and I have plans for years to come for this universe. I’ve never had as much fun before in my writing. All the books are standalones, but there will be a natural order to read them and they will be released in that order. One doesn’t have to have read one book to understand the next, though. It’s intricate, tense, an emotional rollercoaster, hot as hell, and filled with naughtiness.
I expect to be releasing five or six books next year. If 2018 was the year that started everything, it looks as if 2019 is the year when everything takes off.