Friday, December 7, 2012

I’m Not Who You Think I Am…

By Valerie Mann

Thank you for having me on your blog, Louisa!

I’ve had people ask me why I write stories with Latin heroes. For the longest time, I just shrugged. For most authors, their characters tell them who they are and what their story is. Mine definitely speak to me. And most authors will tell you that their characters rarely do what the diligent author’s outline planned.
Characters are like toddlers. They run away, they say inappropriate things and generally don’t follow directions well.

My first Hispanic hero is a firefighter. He was supposed to be a hot Italian from New York. He ended up being an immigrant from the Dominican Republic who grew up in Atlanta. But he was still hot, so he redeemed himself for his disobedience.

My second Latin lover is Jackson Castillo, owner of the Castillo Hotels and Resorts highlighted in the 1Night Stand series from Decadent Publishing. Now, I knew he was going to be Latino, but I envisioned him from Texas, probably Mexican-American. Instead, he emphatically insisted he was Cuban-American, from Miami.

Seriously? I don’t know squat about the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Miami, or even Hispanic culture. But darn it, that’s what Google is for. And amazingly, some of the little details the guys told me to write down coincided with their individual heritages, and that was more than a little weird. Sort of validating, because I knew I was on the right track.

Then I wrote Christian Ramos’ story, First Comes Marriage. I knew he was Jackson’s college roommate, but did he have to be Latin? I didn’t think so. Chris insisted. Okay, I give. You’re a tall, dark, sexy Cuban-American from Miami.

I recently pulled out an old NaNo WriMo story from 2009…I knew the hero was Cajun, but with the heroine, I drew a blank. Yeah, you guessed it. Latina with Peruvian heritage. Peru?! I don’t even think I could point it out on a South American map, let alone figure out where I came up with her! Thank goodness for Google!

After that, I told one of my bestie author friends that this is proof I’m reincarnated from a huge Hispanic family and I can’t leave my roots behind. It explains everything…

I hope you enjoy my latest book, First Comes Marriage, with the hottie Latin lover, Christian Ramos. You’ll get a chance to meet his off-the-wall scene-stealing brother, Alex. And Jackson even puts in an appearance a couple of times, for those readers who remember him.

In fact, if you leave a comment, you could win a copy of Jackson and Leah’s 1Night Stand book, To Feel Again. Jackson and Leah’s story launched the 1Night Stand series, so it’s a great place to start if you love the series as much as we do!

Who agrees to an arranged marriage in the 21st century? Beth Malone can’t believe a date request with the 1Night Stand service morphed into an arranged marriage offer. But after a heartbreaking divorce and no knight in shining armor coming to sweep her off her feet, her desire to find that knight and have a family is looking more like a dream than a reality.

After filling out a 1Night Stand questionnaire worthy of the CIA, Christian Ramos is stunned when Madame Eve offers to arrange more than a date for one night: she suggests a wife! What the hell? After his best friend Jackson Castillo stops laughing, he advises him to consider the offer. Between the fortieth birthday looming on the horizon and his Latino upbringing, Chris is forced to take a hard look at his life. Reality check—time is running out for what he wants—a family and a woman to share his life.

First comes love, then comes marriage
isn’t part of their matrimonial situation, but neither Beth nor Christian anticipated the immediate attraction and contentment that comes with saying, “I do.” 

Buy links for First Comes Marriage:

“We need to get this over with.”
Her eyes widened in shock. “Get what over with?” But she knew.
He dropped his hand and gave her a rueful smile. “We’re married. I want to make love to my wife.” He waited for her to respond again and when she didn’t, he added, “Now.”
Beth blinked. Her heart started beating again. She liked a man who knew what he wanted. Especially when he wanted her. Stretching up, she gave him a light kiss. He clasped her waist with both hands and pulled her against him, fusing his mouth to hers, nothing like he had during their wedding. He invaded her, tasting and exploring with his tongue, forcing her to open for him.
She wound her arms around his neck and gave in, letting the invasion happen. Every fear disappeared and the only trembling happening was from desire. Her breasts swelled, aching to be touched. She wanted him. How wonderful he was hers.
Chris eased away but didn’t let go, wearing the same dazed look she must have had after their wedding kiss. He stepped back a few paces, bringing her with him, until he reached the bed.
“Turn around.”
Beth narrowed her eyes but obeyed. The zipper on the back of her dress descended and the silky garment puddled at her feet as he turned her back to face him. His hungry gaze swept over her, and she shivered with anticipation. Leaning in, he kissed the space between her breasts, his face tight with desire. No man had ever looked at her body that way…so appreciative.
Reaching behind her, he unhooked her bra, and tossed it on the floor to join the dress. Her nipples stood at attention, swollen and needy. She shivered again.
He tilted his head back. “Am I going too fast?”
She cupped his face and gave him a hard kiss. “Hurry,” she whispered.

About the author:

Valerie Mann has lived from sea to shining sea and currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has her own romance hero husband, five children, and two lazy cats. She started writing when she figured out her school chums would listen to her stories, with “The Stolen Ring”, a riveting tale about a ring stolen from a museum gumball machine, being her first critical success. Between family, authorly stuff, managing and editing for an electronic publisher and whatever else she can cram into a day, she’s having way too much fun. She loves to hear from her readers!

Author Contact links:


  1. That's an interesting twist on the 1NS series (arranged marriage). I love it! Will have to check this one out.

    1. I've found that lots of people seem to like the concept of an arranged marriage, even if they'd run the other way rather than consider it for themselves, LOL!

  2. I'm loving the sound of this 1NS. An arranged marriage is sort of taboo for most of us. Which definitely makes me want to read this one.


    1. Arranged marriages are taboo, but they still do happen all the time. A few years ago I had a student in class that was about 19. She was not allowed to date, because her parents were going to choose her husband. Thanks for coming by Nikki!