Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Debut Print Book: MARRIAGE WITH BENEFITS by Kat Cantrell

I’ve had some concerns by readers who are primarily print readers that the coverage at Dear Author has been too focused on ebooks. When I asked the readers what they were interested in seeing, they responded that they would like to know more about print debut authors. We developed a little questionnaire and every Wednesday at 10:00 AM CST (as long as we have content) we’ll post the questionnaire answers along with links to the author’s site and a buy link to her book. I hope this helps people discovery new books. Now, on to the answers.


Name of debut release: MARRIAGE WITH BENEFITS

Release date: 02/05/2013

Publisher: Harlequin Desire

2 sentence summary: Cia Allende needs a temporary marriage to access to her inheritance so she can open a women’s shelter. Lucas Wheeler is the perfect man for the job, until he decides the marriage should be anything but temporary.

Genre: Contemporary, Category

Characters: Cia Allende is determined to fulfill her mother’s wishes by opening a women’s shelter and needs to access her inheritance to ensure the shelter won’t ever depend on donations to stay in operation. A temporary marriage should be the perfect solution, particularly since Cia has no interest in becoming dependent on a man.

Lucas Wheeler values family and he’s prepared to do anything to erase a recent scandal’s effects on his family business. Cia’s marriage fix seems like a great opportunity, until he digs below Cia’s prickly surface to find the heart of a woman passionate about everything she holds dear.

What makes this story different: This marriage of convenience is contingent on Lucas filing for divorce, or Cia doesn’t gain access to her inheritance. When their relationship turns unexpectedly emotional, they’re both aware a divorce is not only eminent, but critical. And unwanted. The original deal is now the biggest source of conflict.

Is this a series?:

Why you wrote this book: I wanted to write a marriage of convenience story because there’s a lot of room for character growth when a couple is forced into intimate circumstances. These people are sharing a house and a life but plan to stay uninvolved? As a writer, I love turning a character’s expectations upside down!

Why is this your first published book? How many did you write before? I finally got it right! MARRIAGE WITH BENEFITS was my fifth manuscript and caught the attention of editors at Harlequin through their SYTYCW competition. I entered several Harlequin contests previously, and received valuable feedback from editors, which I then applied to MARRIAGE WITH BENEFITS. I’m very grateful for the guidance Harlequin graciously provides to unpublished authors-and continues to provide once they offer a contract!

What’s your writing process? I’m a neurotic plotter. I cannot put the first word on the page until I have a detailed outline and the characters fleshed out. I spend about a week on pre-writing exercises and then about eight-ten weeks on the manuscript. Once my readers and agent provide feedback, I spend another week on revisions and then submit. I’m lucky enough to write as my full-time job, so I work during the day for about four or five hours and spend the evening with my family.

Your next published book. THE THINGS SHE SAYS, releasing from Harlequin Desire in March, 2013

The last book you read that you loved. WAKING UP MARRIED, by Mira Lyn Kelly. She has such a way with dialog and characterization. I couldn’t put it down!

The last book you read for research. I’m reading Michio Kaku’s book, PARALLEL WORLDS, which is a fascinating look at string theory as a way to prove parallel worlds exist. If they do, Kaku speculates about the possibility of traveling between them. If I can get a grasp on the science, I hope to write a story about parallel worlds colliding.

The romance book character you most identify with. I’m kind of like Scarlett O’Hara. I get things done and often not how other people might approach it. She also gets in her own way and causes problems for herself by being so strong-willed. That’s pretty much me in a nutshell.

You can check out more about Kat Cantrell and her books at



Guest Reviewer


  1. I’m on Dear Author today | Kat Cantrell
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 11:39:11

    […] Author was kind enough to include me in their debut author Wednesday post. Click here to […]

  2. Melissa Cutler
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 11:44:43

    Hi, Kat! *waving* Congratulations on your debut! I’m so excited for you. Excellent interview, too!

  3. Lorenda Christensen
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 11:51:15

    I’m really looking forward to reading this. It’s in my “finish up your own book first” TBR pile.

  4. Robena Grant
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 11:58:23

    Congratulations, Kat! I’m looking forward to reading this.

  5. Terri Osburn
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 12:05:58

    Marriage of convenience is so hard to do in a contemporary setting, but this sounds like you made it work. Looking forward to reading it and congrats on the debut.

  6. Kay Hudson
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 12:11:39

    Hi, Kat! Just wanted to let you know that Marriage With Benefits arrived on my doorstep yesterday, and I’m looking forward to reading it. On paper, which I still prefer, as much as I like my Kindle.

  7. Kat Cantrell
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 12:18:27

    Hi everyone! Thanks for all the lovely support. You guys are so awesome. :) Thanks Dear Author for providing this wonderful opportunity to introduce myself to new readers.

  8. Kathleen Bittner Roth
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 12:27:08

    Congratulations on your debut! As soon as I finish this comment I’m off to order it. I love the idea of a marriage of convenience in a contemporary setting.

  9. Colette Auclair
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 13:04:45

    I’m in the midst of MARRIAGE WITH BENEFITS and having a great time! I only wish I had more time to spend with Cia and Lucas–especially Lucas–wait, did I type that out loud?–because they are such fun to be around. Thank you Kat, for such a delightful story and characters and a novel (no pun intended) twist on a marriage of convenience.

  10. Kate Pearce
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 13:17:05

    Congratulations on your debut, Kat. I’m sure we’ll see many more books from you in the future. :)

  11. Talia Quinn Daniels
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 13:42:53

    Sounds like a lot of fun, Kat! I especially like the twist that they actually need to divorce. Looking forward to reading it!

    I’ve had a parallel worlds story floating around in the back of my head for a couple of years. I really want to write it, but I need to solve some sticky plot problems first. Maybe we can be part of a hip trend? Such a cool concept to play with.

  12. Nikki McIntosh
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 18:12:39

    Woohoo!! Loved the book … and I’m with Colette on the Lucas part … he’s great!!!

    Congrats on the release!!

  13. Kat Cantrell
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 20:03:08

    Thanks ladies. :)

  14. Victoria
    Feb 20, 2013 @ 22:36:17

    Your heroine, Cia Allende, sounds refreshingly unique and very likable. Can’t wait to read what Lucas put her through…if you need any free tips on book PR let me know.

%d bloggers like this: