I Had This Little Idea, You See…
By: Marie Force 

The little idea was about a romantic suspense series that would feature the same couple in every book—Sam Holland, a lieutenant with the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, and Nick Cappuano, a U.S. senator. I figured there’d be endless conflict by setting my series in that other city that never sleeps. I also thought it would be fun to follow a high-profile couple through the ups and downs of every day life with a backdrop of murder, politics and romance. 

Time after time, I was told it’s just not done. Romance series have a different couple in every book. It’s the formula. (Just for the record, I hate the word formula.)

Every time I heard the “it’s just not done” response, I wanted to stomp my foot and pull a toddler tantrum. WHY can’t it be done? Rather than have a tantrum, I wrote the second book in the series, which people say you shouldn’t do until the first one sells.. I was thinking, what if I can’t do it? What if I am having all these silent tantrums and the reason there aren’t many romance series featuring the same couple is because they are damned hard to write? While writing the second book, FATAL JUSTICE, out this week from Carina Press, I found out it is rather challenging to keep up the conflict between two people who are newly in love. This is the rose-colored glasses stage for most couples. Add in a murder or two and those rose-colored glasses come off rather quickly.

In the midst of writing FATAL JUSTICE, I learned that despite the love editors had shown book 1, FATAL AFFAIR, they just weren’t willing to buck the dreaded formula to take on the series. After the expected tantrum, I had to decide—do I finish FATAL JUSTICE or put it in the scrap heap and move on to something else? That was when my mulish Irish pride kicked in, and I finished that book with tears in my eyes because I was so sad that no one would get to read what happens next for Sam and Nick. And what happens next for Sam and Nick is really, really fun (in my humble opinion!)

Then along came Carina Press looking to shake things up by letting no good story go untold. I’m so grateful that the editors and staff at Carina and Harlequin have fully embraced Sam and Nick’s story and have committed to two more books after FATAL JUSTICE—FATAL CONSEQUENCES (July 2011) and FATAL FLAW (February 2012). In September of 2011, we’ll offer a free novella, FATAL DESTINY, featuring Sam and Nick’s Washington wedding. In February, we’ll be running a promotion to let readers choose the wedding details with lots of fun prizes and giveaways. To say I’m having the time of my life writing this series is putting it mildly! FATAL JUSTICE was the book that wasn’t supposed to sell. To say that I am celebrating a bit this launch week is also putting it mildly!

Thanks to all the wonderful readers who have embraced Sam and Nick and their cast of supporting characters. I’ve got lots of fun ideas in store for future Fatal books, and I hope you’ll enjoy FATAL JUSTICE as well as the upcoming books. If you’re interested in print books, FATAL AFFAIR will be released in print from eHarlequin in July 2011, and both FATAL AFFAIR and FATAL JUSTICE (soon) are or will be available as audio books from Find FATAL JUSTICE in ebook format at under the Romantic Suspense tab.

My question for you is this: have you ever been told you couldn’t or should do something and then did it anyway? I’ll reward the best “rebel with a cause” story with a free copy of FATAL JUSTICE.

Thanks so much to Marianne and Judy for having me today! I look forward to visiting with you all.

Marie Force is the author of FATAL AFFAIR (June 2010) and FATAL JUSTICE (Jan. 2011), Books 1 and 2 in her new Fatal Series from Harlequin’s Carina Press. Book 3, FATAL CONSEQUENCES, is coming in July 2011, FATAL DESTINY in September 2011 and FATAL FLAW in February 2012. “This novel is ‘The O.C. does D.C.,’ and you just can’t get enough.” (RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars for FATAL AFFAIR). In its July 2010 issue, RT Book Reviews named Marie a “Future Star of Romantic Suspense.” 

Marie is the author EVERYONE LOVES A HERO (Feb. 2011), LINE OF SCRIMMAGE (Sept. 2008) and LOVE AT FIRST FLIGHT (July 2009). Of LINE OF SCRIMMAGE, Booklist said, “With its humor and endearing characters, Force’s charming novel will appeal to a broad spectrum of readers, reaching far beyond sports fans.” Wild on Books said, “LOVE AT FIRST FLIGHT by Marie Force is most definitely a keeper. It is an astounding book. I loved every single word!” Marie is also the author of TRUE NORTH and THE FALL, available as ebooks via and Smashwords.

Since 1996, Marie has been the communications director for a national organization similar to RWA. She is a member of RWA’s New England, From the Heart and Published Author Special Interest Chapters. 

While her husband was in the Navy, Marie lived in Spain, Maryland and Florida, and she is now settled in her home state of Rhode Island. She is the mother of Emily, 15, Jake, 12, and a feisty dog named Brandy. 

Find her at, on her blog at, where she runs the popular weekly Romance & Oreos Book Club, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at Marie loves to hear from readers. Contact her at

Blog/Publicity Tour Dates
Jan. 3: Romance Reader at Heart and Thoughts in Progress
Jan. 4: Suspense Radio Interview
Jan. 5: Night Owl Reviews
Jan. 6: Fresh Fiction and About Happy Books
Jan. 7: Book Junkie, Authors & Appetizers, Romance Bandits
Jan. 10: RomCon
Jan. 20: Fatal Justice will be featured on the Romance & Oreos Book Club on Marie’s Blog at


  1. Thanks for having me today! Look forward to chatting!

  2. Congrats on the release!!! I’m so glad Carina Press wanted to shake things up. I do love my creature comforts of “same old, same old”, but sometimes a fresh take is just the best thing ever!!! Having Sam and Nick around for multiple books is great. It’s great to see the progression of their relationship and I can’t wait for the wedding!!!

  3. Thanks so much, Kris! The wedding is going to be fun to write. Looking forward to that! 🙂

  4. ooo…you want me to admit to doing something I was told not to do? But did anyway?
    Just one thing??
    Probably when I decided (at the tender age of 19) to take off to Europe to go backpacking. For 6 months. My parents were not pleased.
    Of course there are a few stories of rebellion within that backpacking trip too….

  5. HEY MARIE…I have told you this before but I LOVED the Fatal Series soooo much and who doesn’t love planning a wedding?? What a great idea to let some of your “faithful” (lol) readers help plan the big event. I have to say, as much as I love Nick and Sam, I am REALLY looking forward to Everyone Loves a Hero 🙂

  6. Ohhhh, Ronlyn: do tell!!!!!

  7. Oh Sheesh, I forgot to tell you about my rebellion stage. Well, the summer before my senior year in high school, my parents moved me from my small little town that I lived MY ENTIRE LIFE across country to California. Soooo, the entire time of my senior year, I only went to school when there was a test and sometimes not even then. It was that year that I found my fondness for being a rebel (I had been a good girl till that point, I swear it lol). So, I would do ANYTHING that I was told not to, just really cause I wanted to.

  8. Hi Hope,
    I’m glad you’re excited about ELaH. Feb 1 will be here before we know it. GULP! We’ll have some fun planning the wedding. Looking forward to that!

  9. all of them? LOL. That would take a LONG time and is better told in person over a glass of wine. 😉
    highlights could include:
    -going pub crawling in Southern England with a rugby team.
    -hitchiking in Ireland
    -being stranded at a train station in Denmark
    -Skinny Dipping in Greece
    -Italian Police…nuff said there.

    Yeah, I think that’s about all the corruption I want to share on the internet. LOL

  10. Ohhh, yikes, Hope! I’m viewing that rebellion through the eyes of a mom with a 15 y/o daughter. Can’t imagine that from either side of the coin. Did you grow out of this bad girl phase or is she still going strong? LOL

  11. LMAO! Look at you! Italian police. I will need to hear more about that someday! You go girl! My writing rebellion is quite tame compared to your skinny dipping and law breaking!

  12. LOL. I didn’t break any laws….at least none that I’m aware of.
    The police officer was very nice…and very concerned about my being alone. Uh huh. That sounds like a plausable story. LOL

  13. I would like to say that I got out of the rebellious stage, but Keith would probably disagree with that one LOL. I was hell on wheels after my parents moved me across country MY SENIOR YEAR!!! I finally did start calming down at the end of the school year, a little 🙂

  14. Ronlyn “going pub crawling in Southern England with a rugby team” – And to think, I thought you were the good one of us all…sheesh the things you learn LOL

  15. I AM the good one. LOL I just never said what I was good AT.
    Ah, that was a fun night. Those boys are hilarious!

  16. You two are cracking me up! You think you know people….

  17. My boyfriend and I were told not to move to Atlanta out of college. That it was too risky and we had no family there. Not to mention the fact that it was a big city that was still growing. We went anyway with just a few suitcases of clothes and our cars. We got an apartment, an air mattress and some dishes. That got us by until we both got jobs. I landed my dream job at Turner Broadcasting working for Cartoon Network and then did some freelance on the side with the Braves, Hawkes, Thrashers and Falcons. Now we’re married with two handsome boys. If we didn’t take that risk, I would have never had those amazing experiences. It’s all about trusting your judgment and taking that risk! And it’s a great story to tell our kids…better than the old “I walked uphill both ways to school” story that our parents would tell us.

  18. good for you Cindy!!

    tsk Marie. LOL. I’m always amused when my stories suprise people. I guess *I* know I’m not that innocent….

  19. Cindy,
    That is a great story! Congratulations to you and your hubby for making it work! Sometimes we do have to trust the gut and go with what we know will work for us! Good for you!

  20. @Marie…who do you think you know? Who are these “people”? LOL

  21. I thought they were my friends. Hmmm, what do I know?

  22. LOL. the mysterious “people”…

  23. Marie, tell us about another rebelion of yours. I know you’ve got to have another one (or tweleve) lurking in there….

  24. Thinking, thinking…. I am kind of a goody two shoes… OH wait, I know…I drive kinda fast. Does that count?

  25. Only if you manage to talk your way out of tickets when you get pulled over. LOL

  26. Sometimes…. Other times, not so much….

  27. Last time I got pulled over the nice cop put my new tabs, which I’d been carrying around in my purse but forgot to put on the car, on for me. And he didn’t ticket me for running the slightly pink light, either. LOL

  28. Slightly pink–LOL! I am in a crisis here realizing that other than breaking the speed limit here and there (okay everywhere) and writing an unconventional romance series, I’ve missed my rebellious stage. Do you think there’s still time to have one?

  29. Of course!! It’s never too late to start. And, just think, if you have it now you have the side benefit of embarrassing your kids! *score!*
    But, should I remind you of a certain “Tequila incident”? I think maybe you’ve just blocked out your rebellious stage. LOL.

  30. The tequila incident wasn’t so much a “stage” as a “night gone bad.” LOL

  31. Ask the Turnip. I bet he could help you with your rebellion stage…or remind you of one. LOL

  32. He’s an even bigger dudly do-right nerd than I am! LOL!

  33. LOL! does he have the pants? If so, you guys are well on your way to embarrassing the kids…

  34. Just remember, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas unless we all take pictures LOL

  35. HI my little ray of sunshine.
    Yup one of my first jobs the head guy told me I wouldn’t like the data entry job I was going for, tried to talk me out of it. I got it. HA

  36. Ok dustmuffin is Judy F. OY

  37. LOL, Judy! I was wondering…. Thanks for coming by!

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