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Beyond The Page & $25 gift card Giveaway: “Live (Burnside #1)” by Mary Ann Rivers

Jan 14
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Live cover

Mary Ann Rivers is my guest today on CABR 🙂

Find out more about the characters in her new book, LIVE, The Burnside Series #1


Enter to win a $25 Gift card to the book retailer of your choice or a Loveswept tote


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Welcome to CABR Mary Ann 🙂

Tell us, what inspired you to write about an unemployed woman finding love in her local library?

The economy is a serious issue for so many. People are often the most creative and the most open to change when they are challenged by financial realities, and challenged by uncertainty about what it is they want and need. Characters who are open to change, who are on the verge of change, are going to be the most interested to write and read about.

Destiny Burnside’s reality is one so many of us have experienced. We’ve been between jobs, accountable to our families, anxious about money and the future. However, this reality can also be rich for transformation and have positive outcomes and show us our best selves.

In Destiny’s case, how she distracts herself from her woes is by harboring a harmless crush on someone she sees in the library everyday while she’s using the library’s computers to look for work. It helps! It’s a little rush, it feels good, and it gives her something to smile over.

Except, he’s been harboring a crush of his own.

That’s the fantasy — that something sweet and hot and good that gets you by, is a harmless and private thought to nurture — could come true. He might approach you. Talk to you.

Kiss you.


What traits made your hero and heroine attracted to each other?

Destiny admires Hefin’s loyal heart. She is from a big family where the rule is that you stick by your family, and she sees in him this same value. Even though he is divorced, he takes on the majority of the blame and makes it clear his ex-wife is a good person — he honors the love that they once shared, even as they are no longer in love.

What’s more, though he is reserved and shy, is very passionate about his work and very passionate about creativity and life. He loved his parents and his homeland deeply, as well. These are very much shared values. Destiny is questioning, looking for a passion, and she very much loves her home and family. These are good things about herself that she is recognizing in another human being.

Hefin reflects back the best of Destiny to Destiny. So while she falls in love with him, she is able to love herself, as well.

I think this is so important.

Likewise, Hefin admires Destiny’s love for her family, and admires, above all, her dignity and determination while things are not going well in her life. This is something he wanted for himself, going through tough times — that strength and dignity, and again, Destiny shows him that he had that. That he does have that. She shows him what is good inside of himself.


What did you enjoy most about writing LIVE?

I loved writing a romantic and quiet story that really organically uncovered how it is that people fall in love. The characters are revealed layer by layer, and they are also revealed by their relationships with other people — family and friends. I loved writing secondary characters that intersect with the couple and help them find themselves and find love.


Tell us about your favourite scene in the book.

Hefin takes Des to the batting cages on their first date, and they have a competition going. She is terrible at hitting, so for every ball she hits, she will tell him something about himself. Hefin is a great ballplayer, so for every ball he misses, he has to tell her something.

This is the result: 

“Hit some balls for me, Hefin of Aberaeron.” She moved to sit on the bench and handed him his bat.
He swung it over his shoulder and picked up the big bucket of balls. He walked the bucket back to a big green machine at the back of their cage and then put everything down to dig in his pockets, his waistband dipping below some tight little hip-dips, the sight of which made Des determined to bite them.
He pulled out the handful of tokens he had bought from the counter and flipped a lever on the machine. “I’m going to keep it in slow for us, since you’ve never done this before.”
“Terrific.” She didn’t think there was any way she was going to hit a ball anyway.
He dumped the balls into a big hopper and put the tokens into the machine. It made a bunch of loud machine noises, and Hefin jogged up to the batter’s box. He watched the first pitch lop out of the machine, and then stood ready for the next.
He looked so hot standing in the box, ready to swing that she didn’t realize the next pitched had whoosed out until she watched him swing and heard the crack of his bat all at the same time. He looked over and winked at her.
She laughed, and she watched him smack one ball after another into the back net, easy and loose. At this rate, he would never tell her anything.
Unless she totally cheated.
She looked around at the other cages through the net, and no one had rented any of the ones around them. She snuck her hands behind her back and unhooked her bra strap from over her t-shirt. As soon as he cracked the next ball, she moved to catch his eye, and he smiled at her—she held his gaze. She waited until that moment right after the clunk of the ball entering the shoot and before he turned back to the pitch.
That was the sweet spot, and she flashed him, the hem of her t-shirt right to her chin, her nipples bunching as soon as they hit the breeze.
Swing and a miss.
It was just as awesome as she imagined it would be. 


Which couple will be featured in book 2 and when does it cone out?

LAUGH comes out May 6, 2014 and is about Sam Burnside, the oldest Burnside sibling. Sam is a local doctor with quite a few issues, but he meets his match in Nina Paz, an urban farmer who isn’t scared away by a few issues — it’s love that scares her.


Live coverBlurb:

Mary Ann Rivers kicks off a new contemporary romance series—sure to please readers of Ruthie Knox, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis—where love can be found unexpectedly.

If there’s an upside to unemployment, Destiny Burnside may have found it. Job searching at her local library in Lakefield, Ohio, gives her plenty of time to ogle the hottest man she has ever laid eyes on: the sexy wood-carver who’s restoring the building.

But as the rejection letters pile up, Destiny finds an unexpected shoulder to cry on. With his rich Welsh accent, Hefin Thomas stirs Destiny so completely that, even though he’s leaving soon, she lets herself believe the memory of his scorching kisses will be enough.

Hefin can’t help but notice the slender, confident woman with ginger hair who returns each day, so hopeful and determined. So when the tears start to fall, his silence -penance for a failed marriage – finally cracks. Once he’s touched her, what Hefin wants is to take her back to Wales

and hold her forever. But Destiny’s roots run too deep. What they both need is each other- to learn how to live and love again.

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Mary Ann Rivers photoMary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth.

While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients.

Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.


Facebook | Twitter @MaryAnn_Rivers | Website |



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