Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Author Interview: Marquita Valentine on "Twice Tempted" - Holland Springs Series #1

Read Sallie's review

Marquita is answering questions
in the comment section below

Self-published author Marquita Valentine is with Ravishing Romances today and she’s giving the scoop on her debut novel "Twice Tempted."  Marquita, I’m thrilled to have you and am excited to ask you the one question I’ve been dying to know:

Thanks for having me today, Sallie. I’m super excited to be here!

Q: Where did your parents get the name Marquita and do your friends call you something for short, like Mar Mar?

A: LOL! It’s actually a family name. My grandmother is the original Marquita, but some of us call her Diva. I prefer being called Marquita, but my family and friends from school and college tend to call me Quita (key-ta). Although I did have a professor in college call me Marky. It didn’t stick.

Q: Your website mentions you met your husband at Sonic. You can’t just type that and leave us hanging. Exactly how did you meet your future husband at America’s should-be favorite drive-in? (Extra tidbit, I used to carhop at Sonic. I’m very happy to share a love for cheesy tater tots with you.)

A: I was cruising the strip (driving up and down the main street of the town I lived in) with my best friend and decided to stop at Sonic for a drink. Hot Builder aka my husband saw my best friend (his cousin) and pulled in beside us, then asked both of us to ride with him. He asked me out that night, I said yes, and the rest is history. :) Not that exciting but he did accidentally on purpose lock me in the trunk of my car once.

Now on to Twice Tempted

Q: The heroine, Zoe, is a best-selling romance writer who is clumsy and dresses like a gypsy with bells on her clothing. You’re a romance writer. Is Zoe you and does your clothing make sounds?

A: LOL! The only thing Zoe and I share (besides occupation) is a love of (fictional) bad boys and hair color. I actually based her klutziness and looks on Jessica Alba’s character in the movie, Good Luck Chuck, with a little Lucille Ball thrown in. ;)

Q: Twice Tempted is different in that the hero, Christian, is already a changed man. He has overcome his drug addiction and is now a spokesperson for a back-to-school campaign. Why chose this road of redemption instead of letting Zoe change him?

A: Great question. Personally, I don’t believe in people changing for another person, not for such deep-rooted issues as Christian has. Now that’s not to say that meeting a woman like Zoe couldn’t be the catalyst, but the majority of people (myself included) change their ways because it doesn’t work for them anymore. Or they hit rock bottom. Plus, I didn’t want it to be an extra conflict for them to work through. They have enough to overcome in Twice Tempted. LOL! :)

Q: Christian lends his private jet to Angel Flight, a real organization that arranges free air transportation for those in medical and financial need. Are you purposefully drawing attention to Angel Flights or is this just another way to show Christian’s sincerity?

A: A little of both. When I first heard about the organization, I was blown away. I love to learn about people ( some of the donors really are anonymous to the public) who are helping those who are doing everything they can to make it, but just need an extra hand. And yes I did want to showcase Christian’s sincerity. That this very public figure, who could use extremely good press, was doing something that no one knew about. In that way it made sense for him to go from supporting Angel Flights to supporting an organization that helps kids get off of drugs and back into school. Underneath it all, Christian is a good guy who genuinely wants to do the right thing-most of the time. ;)

Q: Zoe’s keeping significant secrets from Christian while he is fairly open and honest with her. Usually it’s the other way around. Why this approach?

A: Compared to Christian, Zoe’s a saint. However, she’s still human with foibles. Ones that are relatable (and hopefully empathized with) to the reader. And I had to find a way to showcase them in such a way that when she finally reveals her secrets to Christian, he’s devastated. To him, she’s perfect in every way. (Which is another reason why he couldn’t change his former drug habit for her: She lets him down, now he turns to the one thing that won’t. Bad, bad, bad. )

Q: Twice Tempted is very contemporary with mentions of sex tapes, Twitter, TMZ, Facebook and Twilight. What’s the reader response to this and will we ever hear more about those sex tapes?

A: So far they’ve loved it. I had one tell me that technology and pop culture references felt like such an integral part of the h/h lives, just like it is for us. As for the sex tapes…Christian and Zoe earned their happily ever after. So, no sex tapes appearing on the internet for them. :)

Q: Have you ever flown in a helicopter controlled by a drunken pilot or seen a heart-shaped vibrating bed? If yes, please explain.

A: LOL! Unfortunately no, but the minute I do, I’ll let you know.

Q: Sex happens at a strategic time during Twice Temptation. Will this be a reoccurring theme in your stories?

A: No. The timing worked for this story and this hero and heroine. Besides, how often would a guy like Christian have work that hard for sex? Hee! On a more serious note, I treat sex and sexual tension like very powerful characters in the story. Like what is sex doing now: helping or hindering the h/h? However, the theme that does reoccur in my books regarding sex is that it changes the relationship of the hero and heroine.

Q: Rose and Alexander “Sasha” Romanov are the next heroine and hero in the Holland Springs series. Tell us about the story.

A: Rose and Sasha. *dreamy sigh* I adored writing their story. It’s a big change of pace from Twice Tempted. The book is set almost entirely in Holland Springs.
Here’s the blurb:
Not even Holland Springs' Most Notorious Resident can stop this Love Spell. 
Customers come to Rose Holland’s apothecary shop for three things: to hear her uncanny matchmaking advice, to buy the “magical” hair and skin products she sells, and to accuse her of trying to steal their men. For years Rose has been entirely innocent and almost content with that status quo. But that was before sexy, smooth-talking Sasha Romanov came to town and made her want to use her love potions on him… until he broke her heart. Now corrupt town officials want to seize her land and sell it to an industrial giant, and her only hope for help looks like the one man she can’t trust—or stop herself from falling under his spell. 
Alexander “Sasha” Romanov seems like every woman’s dream: charming, handsome and fabulously rich. But while the people of Holland Springs think he’s in town to generously invest in their economy (and possibly one of their daughters), Sasha struggles to save his sick mother from his vicious uncle’s plans by doing everything the greedy businessman wants. And Vlad Romanov wants Rose Holland’s land—at any cost. 
Despite Sasha’s vow to get the job done and keep his hands (and everything else!) off Rose, the blue-eyed witch enchants him. But his mother’s life remains in the balance. Sasha must find a way to protect his mother, sabotage his uncle’s plans, and win the woman who’s captured his heart without destroying everything she loves.

Q: You recently kidnapped The Romance Man’s blog and talked about *man candy*. (Okay, you talked about Twice Tempted, too.) I noticed you didn’t show a picture of Karl. Have you met Karl? Everyone should know Karl

A: In my defense, RM told me that my blog post had to be dirty, but he didn’t say how it had to be dirty. So dirty man candy was born! And Hello, Karl! Everyone *should* know about Karl. Let’s spread the word!

Marquita's answering your questions in the comment section!
Someone please ask her about that trunk incident.

What readers are saying about Twice Tempted:

This was a fun read full of unexpected twists. It reminded me of an "I Love Lucy" episode, with Zoe trying to be sophisticated and Christian trying to be suave, but always falling a bit short and ending up in one scrape after another.
- Andrea Wenger via Goodreads
This is a novel of love, family, and small town life. It’s about starting over, the right way. The sexy scenes are plentiful and HOT. Ms. Valentine has given us a very enjoyable story. I am definitely looking forward to the next installment!
- Pat F., review requested by The Romance Man via Goodreads
I truly enjoyed was that the hero wasn't perfect and his redemption was believable. The heroine was multidimensional...not perfect either, and likeable because of it. The supporting characters are intriguing...can't wait for Sasha's story.
- Elena Compo via Amazon

Website - Twitter - Facebook
MARQUITA VALENTINE writes small town romances that are anything but small. Lisa Kleypas, Carly Phillips and Rachel Gibson are her favorite contemporary authors. Marquita met her husband aka Hot Builder at Sonic when they were in high school. She suggests this location to all of her single friends in search of a good man -- and if that doesn't work, they can console themselves with cheesy tatertots. She lives in North Carolina in a very, very small town with Hot Builder and their two children. 

Ask Marquita your questions.
She's responding!


  1. Thanks so much for being here, Marquita!

    You are a very lovely person and I've enjoyed working with you. MUCH luck on "Third Time's a Charm."

  2. Thank you for having me here today, Sallie! I loved answering your questions!.

    Hopefully, readers will love Sasha and Rose's story. :)

  3. Hi Sallie and Marquita! I already know all of Marquita's secrets (even the trunk incident!), so I just wanted to stop by and say congratulations on Twice Tempted! I can't wait for everyone to meet Sasha and Rose too because I KNOW they will love them!!!

    1. LOL! There might be a few secrets I'm keeping hidden, Andris. ;)

      And thank you! xoxo

    2. That's very sweet of you and I LOVE your name.

  4. Good morning, Sallie and Marquita! I loved TWICE TEMPTED and, like Andris, I'm really looking forward to folks reading Sasha and Rose's story and loving it too. Sasha is... *breathlessly fanning self*... very, very hot, and Rose is adorable.

    Now I want to know the story behind Hot Builder locking Marquita into the trunk of the car. Fess up, Marquita!

    1. Good Morning, Katharine! I'd rather talk about hot heroes like Christian and Sasha, but....hee!

      Okay so the trunk story: Then boyfriend/now husband and I were TEENAGERS at the time. Keep that in your head: silly, stupid teenagers.

      Anyway, I was cleaning out the trunk of my car and had to get in to to get something that had slid to the very back of it. Hot Builder kept teasing me about closing the trunk (it was fall, so the weather was chilly) and I was playing right along, daring him to do it.

      So he did. Only the keys were my pocket and there was NO other way to unlock the trunk. The spare key wouldn't and there wasn't a button to press either. HB had to call 911. EMS, Firetrucks and Sheriffs all descended upon my house.

      Luckily, they were able to get me out without using the jaws of life my car. ;)

  5. I have a question about hot heroes! Sasha's name is Alexander, yes? How did he get that nickname?

    1. In Russian culture, Sasha is a diminutive of Alexander. :) And I chose it because it was such a different name for a contemporary hero. :)

  6. Great interview Sallie. I have not read the book - but will add it to my ever growing TBR pile.

    Marquita, Sallie commented in her review there were lots of characters - why was it important to bring them all forward in the first book and not a few in each book?

    1. Hi McEckK,

      Thanks for adding Twice Tempted to your TBR pile. May it never topple over!

      What can I say: Zoe is next to the oldest in family of six brothers and sisters.

      Personally, I like a big cast of characters and my reading tastes reflect that:Sabrina Jeffries, Alexander Hawkins, Beverley Kendall, Rachel Gibson, Lara Adrian etc. Chalk it up to my background in teaching. I used to having tons of people around me. ;D

      BTW, I haven't brought *all* of them forward. ;)And even those who were in TT, with very small speaking parts, won't necessarily have a book of their own.

      In fact I think people might be surprised that Third Time's a Charm *isn't* about one of Zoe's siblings.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    2. I was surprised. Do you plan to write Christian's brother's story??

    3. Actually, yes I do, and I have a perfectly good excuse to bring him to Holland Springs to do it. :D Although I picture his story as more of a novella. ;)


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