Monthly Archives: December 2013

Cover Reveal – What You Need by Landa Graf (#1NS #BDSM #Romance from @DecadentPub)

What You Need

Landa Graf was kind enough to host me on Rise of the Slush last week, where I chatted about Delicious Delay‘s journey out of the slush pile (here). Today, she’s over at my place to show off her brand new (and decidedly gorgeous) cover for What You Need, a BDSM romance from Decadent Publishing’s multi-author 1 Night Stand series. Her book will be coming out in January, but below is a blurb to whet your appetite.

Blurb

Royce is looking for a woman who won’t cringe at the words “sexual submissive,” and a chance for all his fantasies to come true. The 1Night Stand he signed up for was supposed to be simple with no attachments, but when his match is his ex-best friend, simple goes out the window. He can’t stop seeking the answers to why Victoria left or deny his new-found attraction to her.

Victoria has loved Royce forever, but his rejection of her affections eight years ago caused her to walk away from everything. She’s not the same girl from college, and no longer naive and willing to run too just anyone. A sexual dominant born from her mistakes, she wants a chance to start a relationship based on her terms. She’ll settle for one night, but she’s planning on forever.

About Landra
Landra Graf consumes at least one book a day, and has always been a sucker for stories where true love conquers all. She believes in the power of the written word, and the joy such words can bring. In between spending time with her family and having book adventures, she writes romance with the goal of giving everyone, fictional or not, their own happily ever after.

Blog: http://riseoftheslush.blogspot.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RiseoftheSlush
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/landra.graf

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Midnight Kiss Giveaway Hop – Delicious Delay by Tara Quan ( #Multicultural #Romance #NewRelease from @DecadentPub )

A Contemporary Romance

A Contemporary Romance

Welcome to the Midnight Kiss Giveaway Hop! As we countdown to New Year’s Eve, each participant will be sharing our favorite kiss. In my case, it’s a snippet from my brand spanking new release, Delicious Delay It came out last Friday and is available from Decadent Publishing (here), Amazon (here), and B&N (here).

Before I get on with my post, I probably should tell you I’ll be giving away a $5 Amazon Gift Card (electronic) to a random commenter on this blog. All you need to do is state the FULL NAME (as in First and Last) of the man doing all the kissing in this snippet (hint: it’s in the blurb, which I have conveniently placed at the bottom of this post). I’ll draw the winner after the hop ends on December 31st. Remember to leave your email so I can contact you with the good news!

Onward to the kiss:

His tongue delved. She closed her fingers over his broad shoulders before trailing them down his triceps. One of his hands cradled her nape as the other spanned her back. The contact melted her muscles. With his arms snaked around her body, she felt captive even though she sat on top.

She should be in charge. She should be taking the lead. Instead, his mouth set the rhythm and pace, guiding her through the sensual dance she only now realized she had barely known.

She reminded herself this was just a kiss—a single, sumptuous, seemingly endless kiss that threatened to turn her brain to mush.

Midnight Kiss Giveaway HopAnd that, folks, is my contribution to this hop. There are lots of other fabulous giveaways from authors and book bloggers, so be sure to click on the banner to your left to hop along (or here). Along the way you will have opportunities to earn more entries for the big hop prize: a $25 Gift Card from Liquid Silver Books. [Congrats to Lori P. from Reading Until I Fall Asleep for winning the grand prize!]

Winners will be announced within three days of the hop’s end. The blog stop right after mine is Romance Author Mac Rome. [And the name I drew out of a hat is *drumroll* BN100. Congratulations!]

Blurb for Delicious Delay (read this to figure out the answer to my giveaway):

Stranded in a Middle Eastern airport, Michelle Day finds herself the object of interest for an abrasive, but all-too-sexy stranger—a stranger who tempts her with the forbidden in a land where indecency could get her killed. But how does one say no to such a deliciously, relentless pursuit?

Khalid Al Dehri takes one look at the red-headed spitfire in the business class lounge and knew he’d either been transported to heaven—or hell. Her tart response to his surliness intrigues him beyond all propriety and the longer he spends in her company, the more he can’t deny his forbidden attraction. But will she explore the sensuality between them or will society’s rules keep them apart?

Double Dose of Decadence – Delicious Delay by Tara Quan and Liar Liar by Alexa Bourne

Liar, Liar

Okay, I have to admit the alliteration was too tempting to pass up (who thought I could get 5 Ds in a row?). If you’re a frequenter of this blog, you must know by now I have a new release today. My short and (more spicy than) sweet romance Delicious Delay is now available straight from the publisher (here) as well as from Amazon (here). It’s set in a Middle Eastern airport (I don’t specify which, but you should be able to guess). There’s an Arab hero, a red-headed heroine, and a ton of naughtiness. It’s priced at a mere $2.99, and did I mention Monday was my birthday *bats eyelashes*? (Click here to check out the excerpt)

And that, folks, is the extent of my self-promotional abilities. I actually prefer talking about other people’s books (as readers of my author interviews can probably tell). As such, I’m delighted to present the fabulous Alexa Bourne, whose Romantic Suspense Liar, Liar shares both my release date and cover artist (Tibbs Designs). It so happens that Delicious Delay may have never been published were it not for Alexa. You see, I wrote Delicious Delay in response to a call for submission from Decadent Publishing’s Tease line, for which Alexa has written more than one book. I actually perused her back list quite a bit before I decided to hit send on my submission. It turned out that Delicious Delay was a better fit for Decadent’s main line, but that’s a separate story.

Liar, Liar features Devin McQueen, a kick-ass heroine who works as a victim’s advocate (Side Note: I think she and Nulli from More Than Strangers would get along swimmingly). She prefers safe predicable men (don’t we all?), but that changes when she meets the gun-wielding (and rather lickable) hunk on Alexa’s cover. You can find out more about him in the blurb below.

Blurb

Unable to protect her mother from her father as a child, Devin McQueen has made it her mission as an adult to protect as many abused women and children as she can. The rare moments she’s not consumed with work as a victims’ advocate, she limits her involvements to safe, predictable men….until she meets bounty hunter Grady Cooper. He is big, bold, brash, and has no problem speaking his mind.

Growing up in a broken home, Grady realized early on that good deeds had a price. To survive, he learned to weigh every decision by what he could gain. Unfortunately, the successful, solitary life he’s worked so hard to create spins out of control when demons from his past shake his confidence. His boss has given him one last chance—bring in Devin’s latest client quickly, and quietly and maybe he’ll still have a job. It didn’t sound unreasonable until he met Devin.

Suddenly, Grady must make a decision: save his career or follow his heart?

Buy Links: Decadent Publishing, Amazon

For more information about Alexa Bourne and her books, mosey on down to her website! (here)

A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – Lupo (n. wolf)

Lupo

n. wolf

from Word Reference

For previous installments of Italian Word of the Week, click here.

You might be wondering why I picked a straightforward noun–an animal of all things–as this week’s Italian word. Honestly, I did it because it provides the perfect segway for me to plug my new release, Delicious Delay. No, said book is not a shifter romance (though I do have one bouncing around in my head, threatening to break free). However, in case anyone out there is wondering, the Italian words for “werewolf” are licantropo and lupo mannaro (yes, I have a vampire edition of this post planned for the not too distant future).

It’s always a relief for students to find idioms that exist in both English and Italian. Gridare al lupo (id. to cry wolf; to raise a false alarm), lupo vestito da agnello (id. wolf in sheep’s clothing) and chi si pecora fa, il lupo se la mangia (id. those who make themselves sheep will be eaten by the wolf) are great examples. 

And here comes the segway. Italians (or so my teacher told me) are superstitious. As such, they would rarely say “Buona fortuna.” Instead, they prefer to use “In bocca al lupo” (lit. in the mouth of the wolf) whenever they want to wish anyone good luck, to which the person would respond “Crepi il lupo” (lit. the wolf dies). Since my new book releases tomorrow, I’m need quite a bit of luck, so I’ll go ahead and say this a few more times to myself.

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment. This is a learning process for me as well. 

Author Interview – Krista Ames (#Christmas #Romance #NewRelease : Harper’s Wish)

Harper's WishKrista Ames is here to chat about her brand new Christmas novella, Harper’s Wish. It came out last friday and is now available at most major eBook retailers. Since the internet gods can be a bit finicky when it comes to book releases, the best way to find out the most recent buy links is by going to Krista’s website (here). However, here are a few to get you started: Amazon, B&N, and KoboSince Krista is super busy today, I’ll get my questions in while I can.

1. Let’s start with the title–Can you give me a hint about what Harper wished for in her letter to Santa this Christmas?

Hmmm…Harper’s big on the fact she never had any family growing up and kind of jealous of all the townsfolk always coming in to the post office so… guess you’ll have to read it to find out more ☺

2. On your cover, I can’t help but notice that Harper’s lips are only a few inches away from a decidedly attractive chin. May I ask who she’s smiling at? What does he do for a living?

Oh yes, I love that chin! That would be Fin Cole…tree expert extraordinaire! He helps his brother run the family tree farm.

3. Tree expert you say? Now I suddenly have all sorts of ideas about his other physical attributes. When it comes to men, I can be quite shallow. What does Fin look like (and there’s no need to limit yourself to the driver’s license description)?

Well handsome is one description you won’t find on the driver’s license. He’s muscled but has a lean frame. Brown hair and taller than me, which doesn’t say much since I’m only 5’3” so imagine 5’11”. Stubbled chin as you can see in his picture (sexy isn’t it?). Your typical farm guy with a big 4×4. Don’t ya just wonder what he looks like on a tractor in the middle of summer…..might have to stay tuned for that book ☺

4. How would you categorize the bedroom scenes in this novella–is Fin naughty or nice?

He treats Harper nice of course but he definitely knows how to be naughty, just how she likes it 😉 Driving her crazy, making her want more.

5. I always end my interviews with this question–How did you get your start as an author? Why did you choose to write contemporary romance?

I got my start a few years ago now by inadvertently friending the owner of a publishing house. We met on a chat group for a completely different publisher that we were both working with. She encouraged me, let me know that if I ever wanted to submit to her, she’d be glad to read what I have. Well I ended up publishing 4 short stories in anthologies with her house. Was a great start!! I think I chose to write contemporary romance because it’s what I like to read. Now, since I’ve read some historical and paranormal, of course my brain is working overtime trying to come up with material to create a few stories ☺ Thanks so much for having me today, I had so much fun answering ☺

As I said, Krista needs to be in quite a few places at once today, so I’ll let her run off. For more information about the book and author, just scroll down.

(P.S. Enjoy the holidays everyone. I’m taking a short blogging hiatus but will tune back in after Christmas. In case you haven’t noticed, Delicious Delay releases this Friday!)

Harper’s Wish

Christmas is supposed to be a joyous time of year, but for Harper Donaldson it’s just another day. Orphaned at an early age, she doesn’t have a single good memory of Christmas.

But, when a Santa’s Mailbox mysteriously appears in the lobby of the post office where she works as postmistress, Harper wonders what it could hurt to send her own letter to Santa.

Could he bring her the family she’d always wanted?

Buy Links: Amazon | Amazon (UK) | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Smashwords | All Romance eBooks

Krista AmesAbout Krista Ames

Born and raised in Northern Indiana, Krista now resides in Northern Lower Michigan. She is married to a very supportive man who allows her to follow her true passion of writing and never complains when she is pirated away on her computer for hours. Krista is also a mother of 4 ornery children who keep her plenty busy. With an addition of 2 beautiful chocolate lab sisters and a playful kitty, there is never a dull or spare moment in her household.

Krista has always loved to read and would often sit up for hours into the night not able to put down a book until she was finished. She still reads when she can but her main focus is creating her own stories to share with the world. She loves to communicate with her readers so please feel free to drop her a line anytime at krista@kristaames.com.

Website:  http://www.kristaames.com
Blog: http://www.apassionforromance.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/author-krista-ames
Twitter: www.twitter.com/kristaames
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/kristaames
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kristaames/
The Ladies’ Cave: www.theladiescave.blogspot.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Krista-Ames/e/B004FLQ9XM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
TRR Author Page: http://www.theromancereviews.com/kkames

A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – Bellissimo (a, i, e)

Bellissimo (Bellissima, Bellissimi & Bellissime)

adj. very beautiful, all-beautiful, swell

from Word Reference

For previous installments of Italian Word of the Week, click here. For an explanation of how adjectives that end in “o” change depending on context, take a look at my previous post on “Caro“.

As with last time, we start with a mini grammar lesson.

  • Italian adjectives can be modified with suffixes (that’s a fancy way to say “endings”) to express different levels of emphasis. “-issimo” is the Italian absolute superlative, which basically means it is used to show that a certain quality is expressed to a highest degree possible. In this case, Bello (adj. beautiful) is modified to become Bellissimo, which is often translated to “very beautiful.” However, it is probably closer to “the most beautiful humanly possible.”
  • Cultural Note: That said, the Italian language seems to favor the dramatic (try watching Grey’s Anatomy dubbed in Italian–it’s very interesting). Therefore, it seems bellissimo is used somewhat capriciously.
  • Side Note: Remember I went over “Caro” last week? You guessed right–“Carissimo” is “very expensive, dear, precious, etc.”

So obviously, bellissima (f.) can be used to describe a woman. To see the Italian hand gesture equivalent of Una bellissima donna! (What a very beautiful woman!), you can take a look at Berlusconi’s first encounter with Michelle Obama (since sarcasm doesn’t translate well in text form–THIS IS AN INAPPROPRIATE GESTURE!). However, when talking about men, there seems to be a preference for the unmodified adjective (i.e. a hunk = un bell’uomo, un bell ragazzo).

That said, bellissimo can be used to describe a whole host of other things. Most common among them seems to be food (Questa pasta è bellissima!) and the weather. Occasionally, it is also used to mean “good”, but I haven’t quite mastered when and when not to use it in this fashion, so I won’t elaborate.

That’s it for this week!

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment. This is a learning process for me as well. 

Author Interview – Shiloh Saddler (#Historical #MMRomance #NewRelease : Saltwater Lover)

Click on the Cover to go to Shiloh's Blog!

Click on the Cover to go to Shiloh’s Blog!

The lovely Shiloh Saddler and I are pub buddies twice over–we both have books accepted for publication with Liquid Silver Books AND Decadent Publishing. Shiloh is here today to talk about her new release, Saltwater Lover. It’s a M/M historical romance and it came out today. You may buy it directly from LSB (which I recommend since more money goes to the author), or through Amazon and other major ebook retailers. 
 
Now lets progress to the fun-stuff. 

1. I have to admit–the two hunks on your cover are quite delectable. What are their names and how do they come to be on a ship?

Captain Mather is a slaver. His men capture Kojo along the African coast taking him prisoner on board the slaving ship.

2. So it says in your blurb Kojo has a deep connection to spirits. Are there paranormal elements in this story? What kind of spirits are they?

Kojo is like a shaman. He has learned from the elders how to communicate with the spirits beyond the veil. The spirits of those dead and the spirits of those not yet born can give him advice and direction. So I guess you could say there is a bit of a paranormal element because he calls on them at times.

3. As a fellow erotic romance writer, I have to ask–was it lust-at-first-sight or love-at-first-sight? Why are Kojo and Captain Mather drawn to each other?

Ooh good question! It was lust at first sight for both of them. Kojo has had stirrings for men for many years and does not understand these feelings as his people do not believe a man should love another man. Captain Mather hasn’t had a lover in months. When the two men realize they share the same urges it is only a matter of time before they heat up the pages.

4. Since I decided to make this blog 18+ [*cough* adult content warning *cough*], I might as well take advantage. How steamy are the bedroom (ship cabin?) scenes and how much sex are we talking?

LOL. I’d say four out of five flames. Mather teaches Kojo about his sexuality and there are a lot of lessons! The longer I spent with these men and edited this story the hotter it became. I’ll give you a short excerpt and you can decide for yourself.

Excerpt:

Mather smiled. The heat emanating from him made Kojo shiver, made him want to be closer to this man, to feel him. If he could make himself valuable to him, maybe he’d have an easier life. Maybe he’d be able to spend more time with him. Maybe he’d be able to feel the man’s hands roaming his body again.

The captain pushed his chair back from the table. “Reward,” he said, “Stand.”

Kojo’s pulse stammered. It felt like a bird was caged in his chest, flapping his wings to break free. He had no idea what the reward would be, only that it could not be his freedom.

Mather offered his hand and Kojo grasped it, letting the captain pull him to his feet. He inhaled deeply. The man’s blond hair smelled clean and salty with a hint of fish. This close to him, it was impossible for him not to be stirred by the man’s scent. The captain came closer.

Mather ran his fingertips lightly from the base of Kojo’s shaft to his softly swollen tip. His eyes were gentle, uncertain. As though afraid to hurt him.

He inhaled sharply, undone by the simple caress. This was his reward? He’d never expected something like this. Dizzy from shock, he reached out with his one free hand to grab the man’s shoulder. Mather felt solid under his clothes. He longed to feel the captain’s bare skin against his, though the thought scared him—had scared him since the first day on the beach. He’d always imagined fear and desire were two very different things. Now he knew otherwise.

Mather gripped his member tightly, but not enough to hurt. “Do you like this? Hmmm?”

All he could do was moan. He hoped Mather would understand he enjoyed his touch. He certainly didn’t want him to stop. Oh yes, this was what he had been building up to before. His body trembled. Senses overwhelmed, he closed his eyes and leaned his head back, awash in the first pleasure he’d ever experienced. His cock grew in Mather’s hand, showing him in action what he could not tell him in words. He wanted this.

Mather slid his hand down the length of it, squeezing it, testing its firmness. He continued to play and fondle, watching Kojo’s face. “I want to watch you come. Come for me, Kojo.” Mather took his balls in one hand while pumping slowly with the other.

Kojo didn’t know what the captain had said. He just wanted time to stand still so this moment would last. The spirits had never told him this type of fulfillment existed.

Incredible pulses of pleasure raced through Kojo’s body. He panted loudly and his enthusiasm spurred Mather to pump his cock faster and faster, at just the rhythm he needed. His toes curled against the wood floor. His breaths came in little pants. Mather ate them all up with his gaze, his smile.

Kojo continued to brace himself with his hand on Mather’s shoulder. Tipping his head back, he let out a long low moan, his body shaking itself to pieces with ecstasy.

5. *fans face* I think I just lost my train of thought. Where were we? Okay, one last question before you go (I always end my interviews thus for consistency’s sake)–How did you get your start as an author? Why did you choose to write historical romance?

History was my favorite subject in school, and I’ve always read historical romance. Since I gravitate toward the genre I think it was only natural I decided to write historical romance.

I know Shiloh’s a very busy lady today, so I won’t keep her. For more information about the book and author (as well as a picture of Shiloh in a cowboy hat), just scroll down. If you get the chance, please leave a comment!

Blurb – Saltwater Lover

In 1800, Kojo is a native African with deep connections to the spirits—but those spirits choose not to save him from the slaving ship. He’s captured and taken aboard, where he meets Captain Mather. During the long journey to America, not even the spirits can save him from their growing attraction. Love blooms. A doomed love. For when they land, Kojo’s fate is to be sold.

Captain Mather can’t imagine Kojo being treated as a slave. Desperate to spare him from that life, the captain hides him, taking him to his home. When he’s blackmailed by a mutinous former crewmember, there seems little choice but to sell his ship and pay. Anything to save the man he loves.

Shiloh SaddlerAbout the Author

Shiloh Saddler likes to do research for her steamy romances first hand. She has invented a time machine and travels back to the 19th century on a regular basis. There are experimental settings on her time machine which could propel her into the future and even other worlds. She believes love and a good book makes anything possible.

Blog: http://shilohsaddler.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shiloh.saddler?fref=ts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShilohSaddler
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00H6CN5D4

Science Fiction and Fantasy Saturday No. 37 (#sffsat) – Rescued from a Trunked Manuscript – #Scifi #Romance

Here’s the next snippet from my nameless trunked manuscript. I’ll keep sharing it for quite a while since my sci-fi (post-apocalyptic) romance isn’t scheduled to come out until late February. 

For all past SFFSAT posts, click here. In the previous snippet, we witnessed Hades express some specie-ism with respect to a prospective employee. 

Nell made a show of glancing down at her slim platinum wristwatch. “You don’t have a choice—we have an infestation problem. The Order of Acolytes’ raison d’être is to kill undead, and their leadership is a veritable snakes’ den. And yet, that fragile human survived their employ for close to a decade.”

Forced to concede her point, he searched for another way out. “It says in her file this woman was fired.”

His sister gave him a disgusted look. “You know as well as anyone the Order’s idea of termination involves homicide. I don’t know how the girl did it, but she managed to get enough leverage to make them leave her alone. That feat, at the very least, should earn her an interview.”

Twitter: #sffsat SFFSat is a group of writers sharing snippets from both published and unpublished works of science fiction and fantasy. You can read more about the group by clicking the banner to the left, as well as follow links to the other participants. Any comments are much appreciated!

The Blog-O-Phone pt 2 – Christmas 250 Word Story Chain – Absolute Write

This post is part of the December 2013 Blog Chain at Absolute Write. This month, we’re doing things a bit differently. It’s a story chain (aka blog-o-phone), an each writer must add around 250 words to an ongoing holiday story. Where I last left Claire and Alan, she was about to dump a bucket of dye onto his head. Quite a bit has happened since then.

Previously, on Mossfollow Wood…
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
Ralph Pines – http://ralfast.wordpress.com (link to post)
ishtar’sgate – http://chickenscratchbc.blogspot.ca (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com (link to post)
MsLaylaCakes (me) – The Blog-O-Phone part 1 (WHERE WE LEFT OFF)
meowzbark – http://www.lizzylessard.com/ (link to post)
orion_mk3 – http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com (link to post)
ishtar’sgate – http://chickenscratchbc.blogspot.ca (link to post)
Angyl78 – http://jelyzabeth.wordpress.com (link to post)

And now, on Mossfollow Wood Part. 10…

Knowing her grandfather, Claire would bet her Christmas bonus he had something to do with the dog’s appearance. “So what’s your plan? Are you going to hang out on this tree all night?”

Alan scowled. “Do you have a better idea?”

“As a matter of fact…” She attempted her most winsome smile.

He shook his head. “Absolutely not. Whatever scheme you’re concocting will be the death of me.”

Men could be so melodramatic. “You have the longest legs. If you could be so kind as to jump off and run…”

The dog growled and snapped its teeth, jumping high enough its drooling mouth grazed Alan’s foot. He sent her a withering look. “Yeah. I’ll get right on that, Princess. Right after you agree to cut down this tree and deliver it to my doorstep.”

Hanging onto her branch with one hand, she used the other to pat his cheek. “I didn’t know you suffered from mental illness. Do delusions run in your family?”

He caught her fingers. “Are you sure you want to keep baiting me? I’m going to lose my temper one of these days.”

A blush warmed her face. “What are you going to do, lawyer boy? Sue me?”

His grip tightened. Then he turned his head and pressed his lips into her gloved palm. Even though a layer of cloth separated them, a tendril of heat traveled up her arm. She swallowed.

Cal cleared his throat. “I’m still right here, you know? So is the damn dog.”

And thus I reached my 250 word limit. So where is this heading? I have no idea. The story continues at Absolute Write!

Archive of Past Blog Chains

A Romance Writer Learns Italian – My Word of the Week – Caro (a, i, e)

Caro (and Cara, Cari, Care)

adj. beloved, dear, dearest, darling, sweetheart, precious
     good, kind, expensive, pricey 
n. a loved one, loved ones (fig. family)

from Word Reference

For previous installments of Italian Word of the Week, click here.

Since this is only my second IWoW post, I’ll start by very briefly and superficially going over two grammar points.

  • Adjectives that end in “o” (ex. caro), change endings depending on the noun it modifies. As such, caro (masculine singular) turns into cara if the subject/object is feminine singular, cari if it’s masculine plural, and care if it’s feminine plural.
  • Nouns that end in “o” also change when they become plural. Instead of adding an “s,” as in the case of English, Italians change the “o” to an “i”. In other words, caro (n. loved one) becomes cari (n. loved ones).

Basta (that’s enough) with grammar. So why do I think caro is cool?

First off, most romance readers have come across the expression “Cara mia” (my dear) at some point. For one, Lisa Marie Rice wrote quite a number of romances set in Italy and/or with Italian male leads. Of course, the “mia” (my, feminine singular) is just for emphasis–cara can be used on it’s own to express “dear, darling, sweetheart” as well. Oddly enough, what comes first to my mind when I hear cara mia is Gollum’s ravings over “my precious” from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. After all, “precious, mine” would be the most literal translation of cara mia.

I stumbled upon the use of caro/cari as a noun during my Disney Study Sessions, during which I watch youtube clips of Italian-dubbed soundtracks (that counts as work right?). In Mulan‘s Riflesso (aka. Reflections…yes, it’s a Christina Aguilera song), there’s this line that took me forever to figure out: 

se io facessi ciò che vorrei, i miei cari perderei

which roughly translates to “If I do as I’d like, I’d lose my loved ones (fig. family).” The line forced me to look the word up–until I did, I had no idea caro/cari could be used as a noun.

Of course, the usage of caro/cara a new Italian student would most likely learn is in reference to an “expensive” object. Since caro literally means “precious”, it’s very frequently used to describe the monetary value of items. Just to keep non-native speakers on their toes, however, poco (adv. few) caro = affordable.

By the way, a useful tourist-Italian phrase to know would be “No, grazie. è troppo caro,”  which means “No, thank you. (it’s) too expensive.”  And thus concludes this post. If you have any cool Italian words you’d like me to look up, just leave a comment pointing me in the right direction.

Disclaimer: I am writing this as a student of Italian. If there is anyone out there who would like to add to or correct my post, please leave a comment. This is a learning process for me as well.