Feature – Sleeping with the Boss by Marissa Clarke

SLEEPING WITH THE BOSS – On sale August 11, 2014

About the book

For the last five years, bookish Claire Williams has been living for the dying. Now that her stint as caretaker is over, she’s off to see the world. She needs quick cash first, so a temp job at Anderson Auctions seems perfect, especially with the unexpected benefits, including the hottest man she’s ever laid eyes—or hands—on.

Former Marine William Anderson has been burned one time too many. His military training makes him the perfect man to flush out the spy undercutting his family business, but no amount of training can prepare him for the kind of undercover work he’ll have to do when the sexy new temp is implicated. Desire lands them in bed…but duty may cost him his heart.


“Do you dance?” he asked.

“Not really, but I can fake it.”

“I can’t imagine you faking anything.” He pushed play on the sound system and smooth, jazzy music filled the room. He slid his arms around her and swayed to the music. She looped her arms around his neck and relaxed in his embrace, making him heat up until he thought he might go up in flames. He ran a hand up her back and down again, pressing her closer. “I want you, Claire.”

Her response was to push harder against him. He made a low, growling sound and ran his hands over her ass, pressing her to him so that there was no doubt about how turned on he was.

With a soft moan, she slid her hands around his waistline and unbuttoned his jeans, and then ran her fingers just inside the waistband of his boxer briefs. He no longer swayed, but his chest heaved in time to the song.

“Claire.” It almost sounded like a plea. Hell, it was a plea.

Guest Post
My Writing Process – Marissa Clarke

What’s your process? It’s a question I get often. That and if I write both my YA novels and romance for adults the same way. Yes. Just the same and my writing procedure is simple: Cultivate the premise, plan well, write blind in huge marathon sessions, revise in short spurts.

Simple, yes? If only it were that simple in practice…

1. Cultivate the premise

First, I need an idea or inspiration for the story.

The inspiration comes from everywhere. Anything can spark a scene or character in my mind. In the case of my first novel, Shattered Souls, written as Mary Lindsey, it was my daughter complaining that she wished I could put my soul in her body and walk around with her so I could see how hard school was. Not switch places, just be an observer from the inside. Voila.

With Sleeping with the Boss, it was a compilation of a million embarrassing things over the course of my life that inspired the elevator scene in which the heroine, Claire’s, skirt splits in two down the back and the hero gets a fantastic view of the results in the polished brass doors of the elevator. So embarrassing… for one of them anyway.

After brainstorming with my editor, Liz Pelletier (who is the world’s all-time best brainstormer), the other pieces fell into place and I went into planning mode.

2. Plan well

I start with a typical plot diagram. The picture below is a whiteboard plot diagram of the sequel to Shattered Souls that was never written. I wrote a companion book instead. Black are day breaks, green character development, red action scenes, purple is the romance arc.

After I have a rough idea of where the story is going, I do a standard, three-act outline. For Boss it was 4 pages. For Ashes on the Waves, it was almost 40 pages due to the complexity of the plot and source material.

I’ve tried pantsing, but I wander in circles. I have to outline. That’s not to say I don’t deviate from the outline. I do. But ultimately, since I know where it’s going, I get the characters back in line and meet the next plot point. The moments where I veer from the plan are often the best and make the book better. Still, unchecked, I’d produce a mess of a plotline.

3. Draft fast with blinders on:

In the drafting stage, I just sit down and go. I usually turn off the monitor altogether in order to prevent myself from editing. I can’t obsess over what I can’t see, can I? Getting the story out is all I’m about during this phase. I can write up to 100 pages a week when focused—making it possible to write 2-4 books a year with time to do all the edits and promo.

This doesn’t suit many people or some genres. For me, it works great. The downside, at least right now, is finding huge 14-hour chunks in which to hammer out that first draft.

4. Edit/revise in small bursts

Coming off of a writing marathon, I’m exhausted, and need a slower pace. I love this phase, though. Absolutely my favorite. I love to revise–sick, I know, but it’s true love.

I do several sweeps starting with a simple read. Of course, I fix minor things as I go, but I try to leave the story alone and take it in as written.

Then, depending on the needs and what really stinks, I will focus on one element per sweep, changing other things that stick out along the way.

First is plot problems.
Second is time consistency—making sure the timeline works inside the story.
Third, I look for voice—Claire and William could not sound the same, so I focused heavily on that in this book written in 3rd person dual POV.
Fourth is word choice and craft—naturally, I make adjustments to this on every sweep.
Fifth is grammar and nit picky stuff along with more craft changes.

Once I do that, I start all over again with time consistency, marking out days, locations, and descriptions to be sure there are no holes. Then, voice again, finishing with another craft round.

So that is seven full revision passes before I even call it rough draft. I close with a final read and then send it off to whomever handles it next.

Everyone is different as is his or her writing process. This works for me—especially turning off my monitor when I write the original story. Words flow for me when I can’t see them.

Thanks for hosting me on your blog today and thanks for being a part of the Boss Tour.


About the author
Marissa Clarke lives in Texas, where everything is bigger, especially the mosquitoes.

When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, husband, and a Cairn Terrier named Annabel, who rules the house (and Marissa’s heart) with an iron paw.

Marissa Clarke is a pseudonym. Her real name is Mary Lindsey and she also writes young adult novels for Penguin USA. http://www.marylindsey.com

She loves to connect with readers and can be found at http://www.marissaclarke.com and on Twitter at @MaryL_MarissaC

For updates and insider information on Marissa’s upcoming books, subscribe here: http://tinyurl.com/marissanews

Where to find the author

Buy Links
Barnes and Noble
Entangled Publishing

There is a Kindle Paperwhite and gift certificates up for grabs – go and check it out right over here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

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One Response to Feature – Sleeping with the Boss by Marissa Clarke

  1. Sarah Ahiers says:

    I’m also a person who has to outline, otherwise i hit the middle, realize i don’t know where i’m going, and then give up


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