Please give a warm welcome to the lovely Carmen Falcone, who stops by Book Lovers Inc. to celebrate the release of Heating Up Hawaii, her brand new romantic suspense novel! You might remember how much I loved Carmen’s debut novel, so you can bet I have Heating Up Hawaii on my TBR list! 😉 So join us as I interviewed Carmen about this new novel of hers, how she realized her dream of becoming a published author and what she originally wanted to be when she grew up! 😉 And she comes bearing gifts, so don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a $15 USD Amazon gift card! 😀
Stella: Hi Carmen. Both Marlene and I loved your Entangled release, A Vengeful Affair, so it is our great pleasure to welcome you to Book Lovers Inc.! 😀 Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Carmen: Hi Stella! Hi Marlene 😀 Thank you very much! How nice of you to think of me. 😀 Hhhmm… Where do I start talking about myself and what should I leave out? Lol. I was born in Brazil and moved to the US ten years ago after graduating from college. I’m an English-to-Portuguese translator by day and steamy romance writer by night. Growing up, I always loved reading romance, and I am just so lucky to be paid to do it now. I’m married, have a spunky four-year-old and another baby on the way. Given that, along with our three high-energy dogs, there’s never a dull moment at our house 😉
Stella: Are you a planner or pantser? Could you tell us a bit about your writing process? How do your novels come to life?
Carmen: I’m a pantser. I was raised Catholic, so like everything else, I feel guilty about that, lol. I’ve tried to become a plotter, though, which I think would make my life easier in the end, but it’s just not me. I struggle a lot. I need that adrenaline rush and I need to get to know the characters as I go! To be able to surprise the reader, I need to let the characters surprise me first.
Stella: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real book lover?
Carmen: A reader will read a chapter or two every night before going to bed. A book lover still has the bedside lamp on at 2:00 a.m. because she wants—no, needs—to finish that book before she goes to sleep. If she goes to sleep. 😉
Stella: With the Entangled Publishing release of A Vengeful Affair in July 2012, you have become a published author. 🙂 Could you tell us how your dream came true?
Carmen: Sure! I always enjoyed writing, but after a writing contest in 2011 I realized I should be more aggressive if I wanted to make my dream come true one day. So, I honed my craft, networked with fellow aspiring authors and hired a freelance editor to point out my weaknesses. Entangled was accepting submissions, and in January 2012 they offered me a contract after reading the full. It all happened very fast, and I can’t tell you how excited I was.
Stella: On your website you say you write “sexy contemporary romances.” For you, what are the crucial and indispensable ingredients of such stories?
Carmen: Oh, a lot of ingredients! We need to care about the characters, to want to be around them and to feel that sexual tension lurking. The stakes need to be high, and I love it when sex rather complicates things for them—but they just can’t not do it.
Stella: Your latest novel, Heating Up Hawaii, got released recently—congratulations! Could you tell our readers what they can expect of it?
Carmen: Thanks! Heating Up Hawaii is a sexy contemporary novella about two reunited lovers who are working together but are at different moments in their lives.
Stella: Could you introduce the hero and heroine of Heating Up Hawaii to us?
Carmen: Luc Leoni is hotness on a stick! Tall, dark and handsome, he’s been branded with duality all his life: He’s half French and half Italian (the perfect combo!), he’s got mismatched eyes (“one lighter than a clear blue sky, and the other reminiscent of murky seas”), and he’s conflicted between the troubled history he shares with Penny and the sizzling pull drawing him to her again, eight years after their original romance ended.
And then there’s my heroine. Don’t let Penny Asbrook’s adorable hazel eyes and petite frame fool you. She’s all strength and pragmatism—unless, of course, her newly re-stirred feelings for Luc are involved. A PR consultant on the rise, she’s had to make sacrifices to be true to herself. But is being with Luc again a bad decision or a sacrifice she can’t go without?
Stella: If Heating Up Hawaii were to be made into a movie, who would be your perfect cast?
Carmen: Gilles Marini would make a great Luc. And Kadee Strickland could play Penny.
Stella: Now, could you tell us three reasons why people should read Heating Up Hawaii?
Carmen: Fabulous setting, strong emotions, compelling characters.
Stella: Could you please summarize Heating Up Hawaii for us Twitter-style (in 140 characters or less)?
Carmen: After a long separation, will Penny and Luc’s sizzling attraction be enough to surpass their startling secrets?
Stella: Could you tell us any “behind-the-scenes secret” related to the writing of Heating Up Hawaii? I’m talking about a real-life moment/person inspiring a scene, something that didn’t make the final edits, a character who went through…
Carmen: In my early draft, Penny was still engaged to Darren (now her ex, the jilted fiancé) when she accepted the assignment to work for Luc. I tried to make it work, but while I enjoyed the conflict, I realized it’d be hard for the reader to cheer for a heroine who’s engaged to one person and all hot for another. Plus, I kind of like how the current Penny called off her wedding simply because she discovered that wasn’t what she wanted to do—a decision she made herself. It takes a lot of guts to do that.
Stella: What is your favorite part of a romance novel to read or write? The beginning, the first meeting, first kiss, getting to know each other, first love scene, big fight, happily ever after or something else?
Carmen: My favorite scene to read and write is the first thing that happens after the first love scene. A lot of times, if the first love scene happens too soon or doesn’t have a lot of conflict right after, I’ll lose interest. So I’m always curious to see what the author will do to keep the conflict going.
Stella: What is next on your schedule? Any future plans you’d like to share with us?
Carmen: I’ve just finished Heating Up Las Vegas, the sequel to Heating Up Hawaii that tells Darren’s story. My editor at Breathless suggested he needed his own. Since Darren’s so complex, I gave him a damaged heroine that was just a joy to write. Also, I have an Entangled Indulgence releasing in December tentatively called Kidnapping the Brazilian Tycoon. On top of that, I have a couple of other projects in the works and hopefully will share good news soon.
Stella: Could you share with us something that not many people know about you?
Carmen: Growing up, I wanted to be an archaeologist. No princess or ballerina for me. I was obsessed with Indiana Jones movies and thought his was the kind of adventure the occupation entailed. Lol. 😀
There is just one person standing between Penny Ashbrook’s dream of opening her own PR business or being stuck at her job–the formidable Luc Leoni–her first lover, and the man who lets nothing and no-one get in his way. Seeing him after so long brings all the hidden emotions after a life altering break-up to surface. Pain, denial and…lust.
Luc has made many sacrifices for his career, including Penny Ashbrook, the woman who set his aspirations back a year, but now she has returned and is more alluring than ever. After all these years, he thought a self-made billionaire as himself could master everything, but to resist the strong pull toward the one woman he can’t have is an impossible task.
When this unlikely pair is reunited they will have to face the many challenges set in their way, especially an attraction that has only heightened with time and a deadline quickly approaching. Can their new bond surpass old—and new—fears?
Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters and places beat doing Math homework any day. She traveled the world, achieved a B.A. in Tourism in her hometown in Brazil and was soon invited to work in the USA, where she met her Swiss husband. She’d always dreamed of becoming a published writer, and after her daughter was born, she revisited that dream of writing – this time, unwilling to give it up. Her debut romance A Vengeful Affair released in July 2012 from Entangled Publishing. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family and three high energy pugs.
Connect with Carmen at:
Carmen has generously offered a $15 USD Amazon gift card to a lucky commenter!
All you have to do is leave a comment and tell us: What exotic location would you like to set a romantic suspense story?
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).
This giveaway is open to all!
Giveaway ends on Saturday 29 June 2013, and we will announce the winner on Sunday.