Monday, March 7, 2016


Giveaway Alert!

Do you hear voices…?

No, not those kinds of voices. Not characters’ voices either. But the author’s voice embedded in the writing itself.

I know we all love romantic suspense or we wouldn’t be visiting here, right? But I suspect that you—like me and many other readers—occasionally stray from your preferred sub-genre. Once in a while, you may pick up a sweeping historical, a steamy contemporary, a sweet inspirational, or a sexy paranormal.

I’m sure some of your beloved romantic suspense authors also write these types of romances. Have you ever noticed that her voice varies depending on the kind of story? Would you recognize your favorite author’s voice in another sub-genre? Think blind taste tests like Prego vs. Ragu or Coke vs. Pepsi. Or let’s switch it around and find out if you were given samples that you knew were written by the same author, could you tell which sub-genre voice she was using?

I’m going to put your sleuthing skills to the test. Below are snippets from three different stories. Can you tell just from the voice whether it comes from A) a contemporary, B) a romantic suspense, or C) a paranormal? Write your answers in the comments section. No peeking at the correct answers below!

Sample One:
The man in the gray hoodie was watching her. Amber Jollett couldn’t see his face, but he was the right height and build. Even from the opposite street corner, the intensity of his stare bored into her. She shivered despite the sunny morning.

Her focus never wavered as she slid behind two people. The man’s head turned with her movement.

The traffic light changed, and the crowd surged forward. Amber’s hand dug into her purse until it gripped reassuring metal. Weaving between bodies, she moved to the outside edge to put as much distance as possible between her and the man before the other pedestrians passed on the street. With each step, her heart beat faster.

Sample Two:
Gasping for breath and struggling to slow her racing pulse, she hoped her loud cry had frightened the rats away. Her gaze darted around the shadowy sinkhole to be sure.

The place gave her the creeps. Not only were the stench, heat, and humidity overwhelming, the ancient cenote was spooky. The description wasn’t a very professional assessment from a trained archaeologist, but she couldn’t deny her feelings.

The abundance of bones proved the long-departed Mayan residents hadn’t used this huge hole as a water reservoir. No, this cenote was a mass grave or a place for fatal punishments.

Sample Three:
Sneaking a discreet peek, Ginny watched the bartender’s efficient, fluid movements as he mixed drinks and chatted with the customers. The sun had woven wheat-colored streaks through his wavy, chestnut hair and bronzed his face and arms, giving him a healthy, outdoorsman appearance. The short sleeves of his Hawaiian print shirt revealed taut muscles, and his khaki cargo shorts hugged narrow hips and a sweet ass.

Hot, hot, hot…

After a mental shake, she swiveled on the barstool, her gaze sweeping around the buzzing bar and reaching the crowded dance floor. Friday night was cranking up. The brilliant colors of the tropical motif added another layer of sensual heat to the already sizzling scene. Temperatures and decibels were on the rise. Upscale Club Lahaina vibrated with pulsing music. Uninhibited dancers pumped and gyrated, performing erotic mating rituals. Their wild abandon mesmerized Ginny and tugged at a longing she was reluctant to acknowledge.

Okay, time is up! Pencils down! Could you “hear” the different voices? Let’s see how you did.

Sample One: B (From my edgy romantic suspense, HUNTED, FBI Heat series book one)
Sample Two: C (From my unpublished paranormal romance, FORBIDDEN LOVE)
Sample Three: A (From my steamy contemporary, THE MARRIAGE TRAP, Hawaiian Heat series book one)

I hope you enjoyed this little exercise. You can read longer excerpts from my stories on my website.

Buy HUNTED here:  Amazon     B&N     iTunes
Buy THE MARRIAGE TRAP here:  Amazon     B&N     iTunes


For San Diego’s elite FBI agents, risking their lives is standard procedure when it comes to capturing the city’s most dangerous criminals—but falling in love is the greatest risk of all.  

Catching bad guys in San Diego’s underworld isn’t just FBI Special Agent Ben Alfren’s job, it’s his life. He doesn’t have time for a serious relationship, doesn’t want one either. So when he meets his sexy new neighbor, Amber Jollett, he has nothing more in mind than unwinding with a glass of wine, a romantic walk on the beach…and maybe a hot fling.

But Amber is more than he bargained for. Hunted by an obsessed ex-boyfriend, the fiercely independent nurse chooses fight over flight for the chance at a future with her hot, blue-eyed neighbor. When she gets caught up in Ben’s plans to rescue five kidnapped women, their lives get entangled and their attraction flares into passion. But they’ll learn that in this dangerous game of cat and mouse, real love can save—or doom—them . . .

BIO: I'm Marissa Garner. I'm a wife, writer, chocoholic, and animal lover, not necessarily in that order. As a little girl, I cut pictures of people out of my mother’s magazines and turned them into characters in my simple stories. Now I write edgy romantic thrillers, steamy contemporary romance, and sexy paranormal romantic suspense. My stories will titillate your mind as well as your libido. I live in sunny Southern California with my husband, but enjoy traveling from Athens to Anchorage to Acapulco and many locations in between.

Enter THE MARRIAGE TRAP Amazon E-book Giveaway on Marissa Garner’s Facebook page and website.

Where to find Marissa Garner:

                                             Check out more giveaways on the JRS SHOWCASE


  1. Love all three of your excerpts, Marissa! I won't "guess" because I cheated and read your answers before I could respond. :-) (Yeah, I peek at the last page of a book, too.) Hunted sounds like a fantastic story. Wishing you much success with it!

  2. Thanks, Leah! No problem with peeking at the answers. :) This was just for fun anyway. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I was correct! (Although, to be fair, I am familiar with all three stories :)). Fun post...your voice is great no matter which genre you write in!

    1. Ah, Alicia, you're so sweet! The variety does help keep it all fresh.

  4. Such an informative and interesting post! I'm not sure I would have recognized JD Robb as Nora Roberts had I ever read one of JD's books....not my favorite genre so I may not have but it may be something I do just to check.

    Great post!

    1. Thanks, Pamela! I feel like my contemporary voice is very different from my romantic suspense, but it may not seem that way to all readers. Maybe voice is in the "ear" of the reader.

  5. Great post! Voice is what makes an author memorable.

  6. Nicely done! I've got to say, I like your writing style. It flows well and is very descriptive. Thanks for sharing with us!

    1. Thanks, MJ! I hope I've made a few more readers aware that an author's voice is another element in a story.

  7. Love the post. I wrote a YA anti-bully novel, a trilogy of cozy mystery/Southern Gothics and my next work may be a snarky new adult based on my 30 years of public school teaching. Different voices in my head! Hunted sounds wonderful.


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