E.E.: Keela's physical appearance was inspired by actress Nadia Bjorlin from Days of our Lives. I always thought she was effortlessly beautiful and had the most amazing eyes. However, the character of Keela was inspired by my hidden desire to want to be like her. She embodies everything I always wanted to be. When I was younger I was also so concerned with what people thought of me. I always wanted to have multiple tattoos, but now only have the one. What I love about Keela as a character is her sassy attitude and her confidence. She doesn't need to be with Aaron, but she chooses to be with him because she wants to be.
M.R.: Oh, she sounds fun! What would you say is her best physical attribute?
E.E.: Keela's best features are her eyes. I made her eyes a shade brighter than my own green eyes, because I wanted her to have a part of myself in the book. My husband always tells me that my eyes are beautiful and that it was one of the things that made him fall for me, so I wanted the same for her. While Aaron noticed the attraction of her body when he first saw her at the airport, but it's not until she takes off her glasses and he sees her emerald green eyes. Shakespeare said that "eyes are the window to the soul," which is so true of Keela, because Aaron always knows how Keela's feeling even before she speaks because of what he sees in her eyes.
M.R.: Oh, an inceptive man. How does Aaron describe Keela's eyes?
E.E: Aaron describes Keela's eyes as the most breathtakingly beautiful emerald green he's ever seen. It is Keela's eyes that make Aaron's arousal for her grow. Keela also loves to wear purple eyeliner, so it really makes her green eyes pop. During their first encounter, Aaron described Keela's eyes as:
Her eyes were a deep emerald green which popped from the purple eye makeup she wore. On any other girl that makeup would have seen cheap and tacky, but on her it seemed to make her eyes sparkle as she made her way to the turnstile.
M.R.: I'm a green-eyed gal myself. I love being the minority. So, what does Keela do for a living?
E.E.: Keela is the head bartender and manager at Gypsy's Bar and Grill on Long Island, NY. Keela's roommate and friend, Nick Lacomo started Gypsy's once Keela graduated culinary school, six years before the novella begins. Keela majored in Restaurant Manager and Mixology. She also is in charge or schedules and helps with the payroll. Keela has always loved Long Island and loves working at the summr hotspot with her second family.
M.R.: Being a girl of fashion, I must ask, what's Keela's sense of style?
E.E.: Keela's fashion sense is a mixer of beach bum meets bohemian. She is most comfortable in maxi dresses, jeans, tank tops and t-shirts. Short at 5'5", she doesn't care much for heels and often is known to wear flip flops and uggs, but she does a favorite pair of zebra print wedges which she wears on her first date with Aaron. Aaron gives her the affectionate nickname of "cowgirl" because she wears a straw cowboy hat. Keela usually wears her long brown hair down when not bartending and is adorned with several tattoos. She has one tattoo on her right wrist that reads Be your own strength, a celtic knot shamrock on her foot, one on her left forearm which appeared to be the Bride of Frankenstein but as a pin up girl, which she calls Pricilla, on her right hip of a gypsy dancing, which Keela had gotten after Nicky opened the bar, a 12 Stones song lyric on her rib that read “Don't deny the child living deep inside” and, finally, a dream-catcher on the inside of her thigh with the words “Free Spirit” above it.
M.R.: The hero and heroine in Love on the Rocks sound like a couple I could fall in love with. I've added it to my TBR pile and can't wait to read! Thanks for hanging out with me today. Care to share the blurb and a few teasers?
Sergeant Aaron Samuels is a soldier returning to Long Island for a fresh start after more than a decade in the service. After the horrors of war and the loss of a friend, he’s left with demons that make adjusting to civilian life almost impossible. He lucks out and lands a job bouncing at Gypsy's Bar and Grill, a local place summer tourists flock to. Unsure of where is life is going, numbed by the past twelve years, he’s resigned to his misery, until he meets Keela, Gypsy's sexy manager and bartender. Suddenly Aaron sees a bright future and it all involved Keela.
Keela Harper sees relationships and love as a dangerous gamble not to indulge for more than a night, but when Aaron stumbles into her life and heart, will she finally be able to bury her past and take a chance on Aaron? Or will a blast from the past threaten to take away everything she’s worked for?
At 31 years old, E. E. Marino is a new writer who hails from the shores of Long Island, NY, where she lives with her husband, Andrew and their two fat cats, Pudgy and Linus. A long-time lover of romance novels, Marino lists Jane Austen, Cora Seton and Nicholas Sparks as some of her favourite writers. When she is not reading or writing her novels, Marino spends her time traveling with her husband and gardening in her yard. This is Marino’s first book and hopes for further success in the future.