Nashville Heat Back to Blog

UPDATE:  Congratulations, Maria63303! You’re the winner of your choice of one signed copy from my Samhain backlist. E-mail me at marie AT marienicoleryan DOT com with your choice. Please note that my work ranges from mystery/suspense to sensual to erotic, so you might want to check to read about the selections. Love Me if You Can isn’t included…sorry. 

lovemeifyoucan_w3642_680-51First I want to thank Cynthia for the opportunity to participate in her Deadly Days of Summer and tell you about my upcoming August 6th release, LOVE ME IF YOU CAN. It’s amazing the small things which can start the creative juices flowing. Several years ago I was watching Extreme Home Makeover, on ABC when one of the featured families was a blended family of siblings. The parents had passed away—I’ve forgotten the details—and the older siblings abandoned whatever plans they had, got jobs and took care of the younger siblings.

I thought what if the eldest of the siblings was in law school and had to drop out in order to run the family business, a P.I. agency founded by his late father? I envisioned a series of six books, one for each sibling. LOVE ME IF YOU CAN is Scott’s story ten years after the parents’ death. He meets and tangles with Metro Nashville Homicide Detective Tess O’Malley when she comes to investigate him as part of a cold case which rapidly heats up.

Nashville, TN, has been my home town for the last forty years so it was a joy to set this story here. As familiar as I am with the city, I still had to do some “drive-around” research to keep it up-to-date. Obviously it was written and already edited before the 2010 spring flood, but Tess’ building and Scott’s office building would’ve incurred some damage as both are located right down town in historic buildings along First Avenue. The flooding will be addressed in one of the sequels.


Tess took another bite of pizza, her silver gaze never leaving his. “You going to help me out or not? Forbes is your client, after all.” Her voice rose and, again, heads turned in their direction.

“Calm down. I’d like to live long enough to walk you home…and maybe get a good-night kiss.”

Taking a deep breath, she leaned back and signaled everything was cool. “You want to walk me home and kiss me good-night? How sweet.”

Her soft tone mocked him, but he didn’t care.

“Like we’re high school sweethearts.” She wrinkled her nose, but her eyes shone with moderate good humor.

“Would you rather I said what I was really thinking?”

Her lashes fluttered briefly, then she eyeballed him directly. “Maybe. Depends on what you were really thinking.”

He lowered his tone a notch. “About pressing you up against the wall and having my way with you.”

For a second, her gray eyes flashed silver.

Damn. He was a goner—as in, he’d gone too far. Said too much. Too soon.

She leaned forward. “I’ll have you know I don’t engage in up-against-the-wall, wild animal sex on the first date, not that this is even a date.” Her tone was matter-of-fact, but her cheeks flushed a pretty pink. Maybe he could still pull his nuts out of the fire before they went up in smoke.

“A guy can always hope,” he said, without a chance in the world she wouldn’t kick him to the curb. Or have one of her fellow officers do the honors.

“A guy can hold his breath…until he turns purple.”

“I can see I’ve put my foot in it. I’m sorry… But damn, the sight of your mouth. Your skin. Your eyes. Dammit. You’re driving me up a wall.”

“Another reference to the wall? Would that be the same wall?”

“Bad choice of words.”


CONTEST: At the end of the day, I’ll pick a winner from the comments to win a copy of my print backlist. Be sure to check back to see if you’ve won. MNR


You can find out more about me on my web site. You can also find me on Facebook. Currently I’m contracted with Samhain Publishing and The Wild Rose Press. LOVE ME IF YOU CAN will be released from The Wild Rose Press on August 6th. You still have time to enter my August Release Contest.





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47 responses to “Nashville Heat”

  1. cait045 says:

    I love the ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover show because the people who get the houses really deserve it. I think its so cool you got a book idea out of it.

  2. Ideas are like mosquitoes–they’re everywhere, Cait.

  3. Cynthia Eden says:

    Hi, Marie! Thanks so much for blogging with me! Love the excerpt and trailer! I haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Nashville, but I sure hope to change that fact soon!

  4. Susan says:

    Oh wow, can’t wait to read! I love books set in the South.

  5. Taylor Z says:

    I’ve never read any of your books, but this looks very intersting. I like your namr choices. And i love your idea of having siblings take care of each other!! Enjoy your summer!

  6. Hey there, Cynthia. I really appreciate this opportunity. Your Deadly Days of Summer is fabulous. In spite of the recent flooding, Nashville is a fantastic city, and it’s rapidly repairing the flood damage to the Opryland Hotel and Opry Mills, but the personal losses for so many will take a lot longer. I was very fortunate to live in a high area and didn’t suffer any damage at all.

    Susan and Taylor Z, thanks for stopping by to comment. Family always plays a big part in my stories, even the super sexy ones.

  7. Sharon Chambers says:

    Sounds like a great read. Can’t wait to pick up a copy to add to my collection.

  8. Thanks, Sharon. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

  9. Isn’t it funny where we get ideas? Your series sounds great and I love the cover. :)

  10. Diane Sadler says:

    I loved the excerpt and I enjoy series that involve family members.

  11. Martha says:

    This sure sounds good. I will be getting a few copies. Love your stories.

  12. Valerie says:


    Great post and loved the excerpt. Another one for the wishlist!! :))

    in Germany

  13. Judy Cox says:

    This looks like a very good read!! I enjoy cold cases! Thanks for the excerpt and trailer. I really enjoyed reading them. It fascinates me how stories come off the top of your heads:)

  14. CrystalGB says:

    Great excerpt. Sounds like a good book. :)

  15. Maria63303 says:

    I’m really looking forward to this book- love the cover. It’s always amazing what inspires a story.

  16. Jane Squires says:

    I love the extreme makeover show. I used to watch it until an electrical problem left us without a tv now. I would love to win your book.

  17. Wow. Thanks everyone who has posted so far. Even though I’m currently working on a couple of other projects, I hope to write the rest of the family’s stories as well which will make a total of six. I’ve spent so much time with the Holt-Lackey family that I’d hate not writing the rest of the series.

  18. BTW, the cover artist was Rae Monet. I think she did a fabulous job, and that is definitely the Nashville skyline, and the area that was flooded in May.

  19. Oh, and the male cover model is Jimmy Thomas. He’s featured on a ton of covers and has his own web site:

  20. kylie says:

    Hi Marie-Nicole – I have to also say that the cover is beautiful: sexy and a nice cityscape! I enjoy series books where characters are somewhat connected whether by blood or friendship; it makes for a more well-rounded read as the series progresses. Also, it sounds like Nashville will be quite special too as you love it so!

  21. Hi, Kylie. I do love Nashville. I’ve lived here since right after my son was born. I’m moving back to Kentucky as soon as my house sells. That’s where I’m from originally. I’ll really miss Music City, but going “home” really has appeal to me. It’s a smaller town of 23k or so, but with Evansville, IN, right across the river, I’ll have the best of both worlds.

  22. Viki says:

    You really got my attention, especially w/the trailer. WOW! Thanks.

  23. Thanks, Viki. I was very happy with how the trailer turned out.

  24. Hi, Marie! Nice to see you here. Enjoyed the excerpt and loved the story of your inspiration. Great idea for a series, too.

  25. Chris says:

    Hi Marie-Nicole, congrats on the release – your book sounds really interesting and the book trailer makes me even more curious.

  26. Hi, Annie and Chris, thanks for stopping by. I’m very excited to see this book come to life.

  27. In case anyone is interested in seeing something that didn’t make it into the final version, I have a link to a takeout scene. It’s part of the prologue, none of which made it into the final book, where Scott received some bad news. It takes place ten years before the book starts.

  28. Ali says:

    I love how you came up with the idea for this story, Marie-Nicole :)

    Thanks for sharing the excerpt! Ooh, and will definitely have to check out the takeout scenes

  29. Colleen says:

    Enjoyed the excerpt and trailer… thanks for sharing them with us!!! 😀

  30. Hi, Ali. Just be warned the takeout scene hasn’t been professionally edited. Just my faulty eyeballs looking over the scene.

  31. Thanks,Colleen. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

  32. Denise T. says:

    The excerpt was great! I watch Extreme Home Makeover all the time (even reruns). I love how you came up with this series!

  33. Thanks, Denise T. Coming up with ideas is the best part about being a writer.

  34. cories says:

    Great excerpt! I like the book video, too!

  35. Thanks, Cories. The video was fun to do.

  36. Jackie says:

    Sounds like a really interesting series…I’ll be sure to get your book and read it. The Excerpt helped me a lot.

  37. Jane says:

    Congrats on the upcoming release, Marie. I loved “Too Good to Be True.”

  38. LSUReader says:

    What a great concept for a series. I look forward to reading more.

  39. Thanks, Jackie and LSUReader. I hope you’ll give me a try.

    And Jane, double thank you since you’ve actually read one of my books. Is this Jane from NY?

  40. Joder says:

    Sounds like a great story coming from a unique inspiration. It sounds very emotional and the perfect series. I’m really hoping to win.

  41. Thanks, Joder. Best of luck.

  42. guest says:

    Many thanks to everyone who took time to read and comment today. I really appreciated it. And thanks again to Cynthia for letting me take over her blog for a day.

  43. Karin Tillotson says:

    Loved the excerpt. Are yu sure we can’t win this one?

  44. No, Karin, I’m sorry. But you’ve entered the August release contest on my web site, and you have a chance of winning a weekly contest and then being eligible to win my new release.

  45. GladysMP says:

    I was impressed with the many different types of stories you write. I read a bit of everything.

  46. That’s good to hear, GladysMP. I think it’s because I like to read a bit of everything, too. There’s always some suspense and family drama in everything I write, so even when I’m in a different genre those two elements (in different degrees) are pretty much a given.

  47. Victoria Zumbrum USA says:

    Sounds like another great book I can’t wait to read.