Thursday, November 1, 2012

Spotlight and Giveaway: Marin Thomas talks Character Bibles

Character Bibles

The authors of Harts of the Rodeo—Born to Ride series were all given an editorial bible…a few handouts describing the backdrop of the series and a brief outline for each authors' book.  Some authors cringe at the thought of not creating their hero or heroine from scratch, but I find being handed an editorial "bible" challenging and fun.  Best of all, I'm always surprised by how much I learn through research as I plot my book.

This was the character summary I was given for the heroine in Beau: Cowboy Protector. 

"Owns a restaurant in town, across from Wright's Western Wear and Tack, where Beau sells his custom saddles and bridles.  Has a genetic disorder where she is going blind, and she's wondering how she's going to work in the future. Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy, (a disease of the cornea). Her aunt Jordan has just come to live with her to help her out—but Jordan's genetic blindness is much more advanced."

I'd never written a character with such a forbidding future….I can't imagine knowing years in advance that one day you would wake up and see nothing.  My first job before beginning my book was to research the genetic eye disease that my character had inherited.  

According to Wikipedia  Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy (FED) is a slowly progressing corneal disease that usually affects both eyes and is slightly more common in women than in men. Although doctors can often see early signs of Fuchs' dystrophy in people in their 30s and 40s, the disease rarely affects vision until people reach their 50s and 60s.

Thankfully, I was able to give my character a little bit of hope… Some patients with FED are good candidates for a corneal transplant where their diseased cornea is replaced by donated corneal tissue.  And in much of the research I did, I learned that many people with FED don't go completely blind until they're in their 50's or older.

Since Sierra is 31, I decided that she'd had trouble with her vision for a long while before my book opened.  Because Sierra made appearances in the previous 4 books in the series I asked the other authors to give readers a glimpse of Sierra's vision troubles…for example, she had a small fender bender in book 1 because her peripheral eyesight was deteriorating and she hadn’t been able to see the car parked directly behind hers.  When my book opens in October the readers shouldn't be surprised by the predicament Sierra finds herself in at the end of the first chapter.

The challenge with writing a character with a debilitating disease was how to make her sympathetic yet strong enough not to lose faith in herself and her ability to confront handle her personal crisis. 

Sierra wouldn't be human if she didn't experience a wide range of emotions after receiving the devastating news…denial, anger, fear, determination.

 After the initial shock of her diagnosis wears off, Sierra decides to create her own bucket list and do the things she's always dreamed of doing before she loses her sight. So what's on Sierra's bucket list….?  You'll have to read the book to find out...

Giveaway: I will be giving away a copy of my Harts book Beau: Cowboy Protector and a little Texan door Hanger to one lucky Winner. 

To Enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter Form Below and post a comment:

After writing Beau: Cowboy Protector, I gave serious thought to creating my own bucket list.  I've always dreamed of driving historical Route 66 in a pink 59' Cadillac. 
If you could only do one thing on your bucket list…..what would it be?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

***** HARTS Blog Giveaway Alert : There will be a new giveaway posted here every week, where I will be giving away a copy of Beau: Cowboy Protector + Texas Gift to one lucky winner.
PLUS a GRAND PRIZE of $25 GC and a copy of Beau: Cowboy Protector to one lucky winner. ****
(To be eligible to win grand prize - you must post a comment on weekly blog post)

 About the Author
Marin Thomas Best-selling Harlequin author Marin Thomas grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin. She left the Midwest to attend college at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she played basketball for the Lady Wildcats and earned a B.A. in Radio-TV.  Following graduation she married her college sweetheart in a five-minute ceremony at the historical Little Chapel of the West in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the years she and her husband and two children have lived in seven different states but have now come full circle and returned to Arizona where the rugged desert and breathtaking sunsets provide plenty of inspiration for Marin's cowboy books.  Beau: Cowboy Protector is Marin’s 22nd book for the American Romance line. For more information on Marin’s books visit and stop by her blog, All My Heroes are Cowboys, where Marin chats about the men who wear Stetsons and Wranglers


  1. Driving Route 66 is on my list too!
    But I am going to go with skydiving. Yep, I want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.

  2. I want to travel thru Texas and visit historical places I've always wanted to do that. :-)

  3. I would like to go sailing aboard a yacht. I think I could be the captain and steer the ship.

  4. I have yet to make a bucket list. The only thing I can think of at this moment, would be, touring all of europe.

  5. I would love to travel to England, Ireland, & Scotland. Always wanted to go there. Your bucket list sounds fun.
    Sue b

  6. Would love to take my family (husband, son, and three grandsons) to Hawaii. It would be such a great time making memories.

  7. Holy Smokes, ladies! You've all got great ideas for your bucket lists and there's a few I'd love to add to mine....traveli through Texas--I love Texas, every inch of it :-) I've never been to Europe so I'd love to see the sites of Old World Europe....and would love to tour a castle in Scotland....I've been to Hawaii once--lots my wedding rings int he durf there...and need to return to look for them some day :-).....Taking a cruise sounds like fun--even more fun if it was a private yacht with a strong, handsome captain, lol.....ah but when it comes to skydiving--I'm afraid I'm a big chicken, so I'd have to watch someone else from the ground.

    Thanks for leaving a comment, Ladies!

  8. I am 35 and have had a cadaract in my left eye since I wss six. I completely understand losing your vision and how scary it can be. I would love to win this book!

  9. I done done quite a bit on my bucket list; like do a tandem jump at 11,500 ft with a hot RAF Paratrooper; White water rafted some scary river; gone to Alaska twice. I want to go to Australia for 17days, then do a 28 day Great Britain bus tour, Ireland, Wales, all over.

  10. I would like to travel with my husband. We've never had vacation time to travel anywhere together in the 22 years we've been a couple. Thanks for the wonderful post and giveaway!!

  11. I want to travel to Europe and see many of the different countries there! Thanks so much for the great giveaway!

  12. One of the items on my bucket list (a must do) is going on an African Safari. Going to Africa is so expensive that I'm saving up every chance I get.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  13. I would travel to Ireland, Scotland, and then to Egypt. All of these are must see places for me.

  14. I would love to travel to Alaska! I am from south central Texas and would love to see some snow!! It looks breathtaking from pictures I have seen and I also like Moose for some reason!

  15. Good evening ladies! I'm enjoying hearing what you all have on your bucket lists :-) Leanna, it sounds like you can really relate to the heroine in my book because of your experience with cadaracts--hopefully I made my heroine sympathetic, strong and believable. Suzanne--I've never met anyone who has done the things you've already accomplished on your bucket list--Bravo! Michele everyone deserves a real vacation at least once in their lifetime--I hope you get yours some day. Christine, you'll have a lot of comapny on your trip to Europe--that seems to be a favorite on people's lists. Kai-an African safari sounds amazing! Sheryle, my brother took his kids to Egypt three weeks before the riots broke out last year--he still talks about how amazing it was. bbosquez--I hate the snow--grew up in Wisconsin but I would go to Alaska just to see the polar bears!

    Thanks for entering my contest ladies and have a great weekend!

  16. I would like to travel around the world, and see some snow, i live in tropical country, so i never see or hold snow.

  17. I would love to visit Russia and see all the beautiful architecture. My grandmother was born there and it would be amazing to see where she grew up.

  18. Visiting New York City tops my bucket list.

  19. Lilian I sure hopw you get the chance to play in the snow one day :-) Growing up in Wisconsin I've built many snowmwn, shoveled many walks and trudged twelve blocks through snow and ice to school for years, lol!

    Ann, I'm sure your grandmother would love for you to see her birth country and you're right the architecture is amazing there.

    Mary, I've been to NYC a couple of times but for very short visits and I would love to go back and see more of the sights.

    Thanks for sharing your bucket lists, ladies!

  20. P.S. Ladies....this month I'm doing a blog tour to celebrate the release of Beau: Cowboy Protector--I'll be here at HarlequinJunkie all month doing giveaways each week but if you want to increase your chances of winning an autographed copy of Beau:Cowboy Protector stop by and leave a comment between now and the 10th. You'll find all the dates and links to where I'm blogging/interviewing the month of November in my newsletter which you can read on the web

  21. Hi Marin, your book sounds great. I love cowboy :))

    I only I could do one thing (and with money in my pocket of course *grin*), I want to travel around the world, alone.

    Thank u for this giveaway.

  22. i would go to any books conventions.... :D
    thx u for giveaway :)

  23. Happy Saturday, Ladies! Amel, I'm glad to see another cowboy fan said you want to travel the world alone but if you could travel with a cowboy, would you change your mind? :-)

    Nurmawati, I hope you can make it to a book convention in America one day. The Romance Writers of American puts on an amazong conference every summer.

    Thanks for stopping by the blog and sharing your bucket list with me!