Monday, November 28, 2011


“Marking Time” continues the story begun in “Treading Water” as Clare Harrington begins a new life. She’s considered a miracle, but everything that’s happened since she recovered from a three-year coma has been something less than miraculous. Now left to grapple with the aftermath of a selfless decision, she is home from the hospital and trying to figure out what the next chapter in her miraculous recovery has in store for her. Meanwhile, her eighteen-year-old daughter Kate, a talented singer and songwriter, sets out to pursue her musical dreams in Nashville. Her parents have agreed to allow Kate to spend a year there, but they couldn't have anticipated Kate falling in love with a much older man. Her newly divorced parents are forced back together to confront their wayward daughter. Spanning from Newport, Rhode Island, to Nashville, Tennessee, to Stowe, Vermont, "Marking Time" is the story of new beginnings and new loves. 

Read an excerpt of Marking Time.

Get Marking Time:

Other retailers coming soon!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

Tis the season in the U.S. of A. when we take a day to honor the turkey, gather with our families and, in most cases, spend most of the day eating and watching football. In my family, we also try to take a moment to offer up our thanks for all the blessings we've received in the past year, so I thought I'd share the Top 10 things I'm thankful for as 2011 comes to a close.

1. My children. They are teenagers, so they often drive me crazy, but I wouldn't trade them for any other crazy teenagers, unless, of course, the circus came a'calling and offered the right price. Seriously, I'm abundantly grateful for their good health, good (and often inappropriate) humor, relatively good grades and positive outlook on life. They are a joy to live with and a constant source of amusement with a healthy dose of consternation thrown in to keep things real. I repeat: they are teenagers, so they can't help it. And even though the teenage years are rife with challenges, I much prefer them to the baby years. I genuinely like my kids and the people they are becoming.

2. My husband. Yes, I call him The Turnip for a variety of well-earned reasons, but he showed his true stripes this year, handling my health crisis with equal parts humor and determination to get us all through it. I appreciate that he's always where he says he's going to be and never gives me a reason to wonder what he's up to. He's true blue all the way, and I am lucky to have him. (Just don't tell him I said any of that or he will be unlivable.)

3. My dad. At 77, he is going strong, enjoying good health and keeping me entertained. He is one of my best "girlfriends," and I'm very thankful to have him here to laugh at me as I navigate the teenage years with my kids. I'm also thankful for his lovely boat, which is one of my summer happy places. He enjoys every minute he spends with my kids, and they appreciate the time they have with their only remaining grandparent. He is very much their "third" parent. I'm also grateful that he will be over later to take care of getting the turkey ready. Since the process gives me the dry heaves, I am appreciative of his assistance (which is largely self-serving because he is VERY fond of turkey).

4. My health. You all know I had some health challenges this year that led to surgery, which fixed the problem once and for all. I'm feeling a thousand times better than I have in a LONG time, and I'm grateful it wasn't something more serious. It was treatable and fixable, and the entire ordeal made me thankful for the good health we often take for granted.

5. My dog. My dear sweet Brandy brings me joy every single day as my steadfast work-at-home companion. Whether we are chasing her down to retrieve a pair of socks or trying to coax her off the beach by pretending we're going to leave without her, there is never a dull moment with the Brandana around. I'm grateful that this year she realized we like to READ the newspaper, so it's better if she doesn't shred it for us every day. She sleeps right smack between us every night, and we wouldn't have it any other way. I also love how much joy she brings my dad, who is her biggest fan. Tomorrow they will carve the turkey "together." My favorite Brandy moment of 2011 was when my boss and his wife were here for dinner and he made the mistake of lowering his hand when he was holding a potato chip. GONE. "That," he said with typical good humor, "was unexpected." We still giggle about that months later!

6. My extended family. My brother, my niece, my nephew, my aunts, uncles and the gaggle of cousins who are more like siblings than cousins, I'm grateful for every one of you. We recently celebrated my aunt and uncle's 50th anniversary and had most of the large family in attendance. Many of them will be at my house tomorrow night, since we still spend holidays together even in our late 30s and 40s. I wouldn't have it any other way.

7. My friends. Whether you are near or far, whether I've met you in person or online, you know who you are and you know what you mean to me. I found out how many friends I have when I was sick, and each of you means the world to me.

8. My readers. I am one extremely lucky author to have such a loyal, dedicated group of readers. I've had an incredible year with my books, and I'm thankful to everyone who bought one or more of my books. The lovely reviews, emails and postings make me smile, and I treasure every one of them. As long as you all keep reading, I will keep writing!

9. My characters. Sam, Nick, Mac, Maddie, Joe, Janey, Luke, Sydney, Jack, Andi: thank you all for appearing in my imagination, becoming real people to me and real people to my readers. I don't know where this stuff comes from, but I'm not asking any questions. I'd appreciate it if the characters and stories could keep on coming so I can keep on doing what I most love to do. In 2012, we'll be hearing from Grant, Evan, Adam, Tiffany, and of course, more from Sam, Nick and the gang!

10. The Kindle, Nook, iPad, Kobo, etc. Thank you, thank you, thank you to the brilliant people who invented these life-changing devices and to Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Apple and all the retailers who've made it possible for authors to take their stories direct to readers. I'm eternally grateful for the opportunities I've been afforded this year, and look forward to growing my business further in 2012 when I will become a full-time writer.

Bonus: Oreos. Need I explain?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Now tell me what you are most thankful for this year!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Treading Water Winner

Thanks to everyone who came out this week to join in our conversation about some of the tough issues covered in Treading Water. I think we decided there really are no easy answers to some questions in life. I promise you that Clare gets her happy ending in Marking Time, so I will look forward to another chat after you've had a chance to read that one!

If you didn't get the word about the new reading group that was born as the result of this discussion, find us on Facebook under my main profile Marie Force (Author). The name of the group is Marie Force Book Talk. The group is open to anyone who has enjoyed my books and wants some reading buddies for future books. Thanks to Amanda for suggesting the group. We're already having fun over there!

Now, for the winner of the advance copies of Marking Time and Starting Over: JOY! Contact me at and I will send your copies a few days ahead of the launch dates for each book. Thanks again, everyone. It was a great thrill to see readers debating the finer points of the book of my heart.

UPDATE: Whoa, I totally forgot to say yet another thank you to Jennifer Marriott and Kellie Harker who got the ball rolling on this week's fun and were wonderful hostesses! Thanks ladies!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

And Now for My Take...

Yesterday, Jennifer and Kellie posted some great questions about Treading Water, and we had a spirited conversation about the book. Before I invited them to come on the blog, I answered some questions for them. So I will post our Q&A here and look forward to hearing what readers have to say.

Question 1 from Jennifer and Kellie: Was Andi Jack's "true love?" I know you touched upon it when Jack himself asked Jamie his opinion of what Jamie thought would've happened had Jack met Andi while married to a healthy Clare. I mean he was going to meet her anyway...the project was in the works, etc regardless of the accident happening to Clare, right? I feel like Jack would still have been torn about his relationship with Clare. I guess what I'm leading up to is WHAT IF the roles were reversed and it was Andi he was married to and ended up in a coma and Jack had met Clare...would he have had the same pull he did with Andi? I don't think so. I think his bond to Andi was stronger than it was to Clare? He even admitted to it when he told Andi that she knew him better than ANYONE ever had.

Question 2 from Jennifer and Kellie: Clare - There's a part of me that feels like she gave up on Jack too soon. I would've preferred if Clare and Jack lived together for a bit in the same home after her hospital stint and then Jack would be then be the one to approach Clare that it just wasn't going to work although he had given it his darndest to make it work. Andi would already have the twins and in her own way moving on with her life....although heartbroken. There's a part of me that thinks that if I was Andi I would still wonder if Jack was really over Clare so it would've felt better for ME had he lived with Clare and realized it was really done.

Marie on Questions 1 and 2: The thing I like best about TW and Jack's dilemma is that it's one of those things where you can't possibly know what you'd do unless you are IN the situation. I'm with Jamie: Jack might've looked, he might've been attracted to Andi, but before Clare was injured, he wasn't in a place where he'd be OPEN to what might be possible with Andi, which made all the difference. That said, in the end, I do think Andi was Jack's true love. He and Clare had a great run, but by the time she rejoined the land of the living their time had come and gone. It took great courage on her part to be able to recognize that and not belabor the point by trying to get back what was already gone. Remember, she had a couple of months to watch and observe and by the time she made her decision she knew he was hopelessly in love with someone else. What else COULD she do?

From the author's standpoint, I needed to get Jack out of the marriage "cleanly" so he could end up with Andi. Readers were committed to their relationship by then, and there was no other possible ending but for them to end up together. When I was writing the first (of many) drafts, Clare had woken up and I was like, well, this is a fine mess. Now how do you propose we get him out of this? LOL! And please rest assured, Clare gets her happily ever after in Marking Time with a guy I love almost as much as Jack!

Another thing I want to say is that Andi never had any reason to doubt that Jack truly loved her. Look at what they went through to be together. He had proven himself to her. I don't think she relished the idea of him "choosing" her over Clare. Then she'd have to live with the fallout of that. I think, especially knowing what happens in book 2, it was better for Clare to be the one to pull the plug on the marriage. In the opening chapters of Marking Time, she is grappling with the reality of that decision and she is quite heartbroken over it when she gets home to the house he built for her and it really sinks in that she will have to live the rest of her life without him. Sigh....

Question 3 from Jennifer and Kellie: The Ending - Thank You for a Happy Ending. You had me worried there. The ending made me love Clare. In the end, we were both so impressed with Clare's strength and dignity. She did the RIGHT thing although it would've killed ME to do what she did.

Eric - Adorable and so touching how Jack adopted him and changed Eric's last name to Harrington. Perfect.

Marie: I'm glad you approve of the ending. I love the way the whole thing came together in the end and that Jack managed to make it all work out the way it was supposed to. I loved writing Jack and Eric's relationship. The scene where Eric tells Jack he loves him gets me every time.

My turn to ask a question: What would you do in Jack's situation? Your spouse is in a coma, you are told he or she will never recover and you have a second chance at love. Would you take that chance?

Just a reminder that I'm giving away copies of Marking Time and Starting Over (copies will be provided the week of their respective releases) to two commenters this week. Comment on yesterday's blog or today's to be entered into tomorrow's drawing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Jennifer and Kellie Take Over to Talk About Treading Water

By: Jennifer Marriott and Kellie Harker

Type faster Jennifer, before Marie comes back...

Hi, we’re Jennifer and Kellie and we’ve taken over Marie’s blog. Well…..“taken over” might not be completely accurate. She did give us permission and all, but we are so excited to be here we can’t stop giggling like school girls. Marie asked us to share “our” story with you.

K - So last March, it was March right Jennifer?

J - Yep, March!

K - Ok, last March I finished Marie’s book The Fall and was left with lots of questions and emotions. I wrote a blog post about this being the first book I read that made me feel so much all at once.

J - Marie is a master at emotionally “messy” books.

K - Messy is exactly right, Jennifer! Feeling entirely too brave, I sent a link to Marie with a link to my blog,, and went back to bed. When I woke up hours later I realized Marie had posted a link to my blog on her twitter and Facebook page! Marie, HERSELF had come and commented and slowly other people started commenting as well.

J - Including me! That’s where I came in. In Kellie’s post she admitted she had read 120 books in the last year and I knew we’d be friends. I finally “met” someone who read as much as I did. We commented back and forth and got to ask Marie a lot of questions about her books and she took the time to answer each one. It was just awesome!

K - We can be honest, we were totally star struck.

J - SQUEE!!! We couldn’t believe she took the time to answer our questions. A few weeks later Kellie and I started emailing each other about this book or that book and at some point we decided to read a book together and then meet online to talk about it. We would start a book on a Monday and have an online discussion just between the two of us around Thursday. It was a virtual book club….with two very cool chicks as members.

K - Oh we should mention. We’ve never met. Jennifer lives in New Jersey and I live in Arizona. If we had met through a classified ad it would have read something like “Enjoys devouring romance novels, time alone with our Kindles and looking for someone to have long chats on the internet with about books” We both would have answered that ad..

J - So true! It was SO fun. Our friendship grew quickly from that point. We could no longer wait to finish a book before we started commenting. We were e-mailing and then soon we were texting every day. It started with texts about the characters, story lines and soon followed with our own personal lives, discussions about our children and families and all that fun stuff. Recently, we finished Treading Water and the text messages going back and forth were classic. When we finished the book we of course sent Marie our questions. Here is just sample of our texts to each other about Treading Water:

J - I’m at 57%. I swear at this point I would dump Jack.
K - What??? Dump jack? R U ill?
J - Are you reading? I don’t think I can move on.
K - Tell me when you get to the beginning of Part 3 and tell me what you’re thinking!
J - I think I’m about to cry. Poor Andi
K - My heart is absolutely broken for her. Can you imagine?

K - We tried to keep out any comments that would give the ending away for the few of you out there who may not have read it yet. Hurry though because the next book is coming out soon and you'll want to keep up. Marie didn’t pay us to say that either.

J - When Marie wrote back and graciously answered all our questions again she asked if we'd be willing to write a blog post about "Our Story" and share how we met, meet online to talk about the books and share the questions Marie gets after we finish her books.

K- I think we’re still star struck.

J – Ya think?!? Totally!!

Here are a few of the questions we posted to Marie about Treading Water. What do you think? Thanks for letting us stop in and tell a little about us. We met through Marie's books, quickly became close friends and share an absolute love for romance novels. Doesn't get much better than that! Come leave your comments and let us know what you think about the questions we were rattled with after reading Treading Water.

1. Was Andi Jack's "true love?"
2. Do you think Clare gave up on Jack too easily?
3. If Clare had not made the choice she had, what do you think would have happened between Jack and Andi?

Marie: Thanks so much to Jennifer and Kellie for sharing their totally cool story of how they met through my books. I LOVE that, of course! So, weigh in on their three questions and tomorrow I'll post my answers as well as a few other questions we talked about as we planned these blogs. On Friday, I'll give away copies of all three books in the Treading Water Trilogy, so make sure you comment today and tomorrow to be entered into the drawing. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fun Three-Day Event This Week!

Very exciting three-day event coming up on the blog this week! Two of my favorite readers, Jennifer Yao Marriott and Kellie Zondlo Harker became friends through my books. What a kick, huh? They'll be sharing how they bonded over The Fall and their thoughts and questions on Treading Water, beginning Wednesday, Nov. 16, with other readers welcome to weigh in on their questions (and they ask some GOOD ones!). 
On Thursday, Nov. 17, we'll post my answers to their questions. And Friday, Nov. 18, we'll give away copies of all three books in the Treading Water trilogy (winners will receive Marking Time and Starting Over just before they launch on Nov. 29 and Dec. 27). Make sure you've read Treading Water before you come by the blog as the girls will be spilling some spoilers. :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Love at First Flight hit the shelves in Japan this week!