1. Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
I live in central North Carolina with my husband, two kids and a dog. Plus, we are chicken-sitting some hens for my mother-in-law. I love visiting the beach and travelling with my family. Ocracoke Island and Disney World are two of our favorite places to go.
2. When did you know that you wanted to write professionally and how did you take the leap to get into the business?
I’m a former elementary school teacher, so I did get paid to teach little ones how to read and write.
But I know you mean romance novels, lol! About four years ago I wrote my first full-length novel—that will never see the light of day— and my husband suggested I keep writing. He also suggested I try to get published. I scoured the internet for resources, like writers’ groups, etc. Luckily, I found Romance Writers of America which led to my local chapter of the organization.
3. Can you tell me a little bit about your book and what inspired it?
I’d love to! THIRD TIME’S A CHARM is the second book in my Holland Springs Series and it’s about one of its most notorious residents, Rose Holland. The hero, Sasha Romanov, is a smooth-talking, fashionably dressed hero/villain that has been ordered to take away her land. Only things don’t go as planned, naturally.
Practical Magic (the movie, not the book) inspired me to write a rather witchy heroine…or is she? Honestly, I leave it up to the reader to decide.
4. What do you hope that readers take way with them after reading your book?
That everyone has a reason for why they *act* the way they do. I feel like the characters in my book wear masks, ones that hides their essence or real selves from the world, until they meet the hero or heroine. Then the masks slip away.
And I also hope that readers take away that there will *always* be a Happily Ever After in my novels. We all need a great escape every now and then, and a romance novel with a HEA is the perfect way to do it.
5. I find it interesting to know what environment authors find most productive… Do you use a pen and paper or laptop? Quiet room at home or bustling café? Basically, what gets your creative juices flowing?
Most of the time I write on my laptop. My husband and children surprised me by turning our guest room into my office, so I tend to write in there. I have to say that attending my local Romance Writers of America chapter, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, monthly meeting usually will get the wheels turning. Writing is so solitary and these meetings are a way of connecting in real life.
6. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The toughest criticism I’ve ever gotten was a reviewer saying that my book was just meh for them. Seriously, I want people talking passionately about my book—good or bad. But meh?! The best compliment I could (and have gotten) from readers is when they tell me they love my book and want to know when the next one is coming out. It doesn’t get much better than that.
7. What book is currently on your nightstand? And who are some of your favorite authors?
Currently, I’m re-reading J.R. Ward’s LOVER AWAKENED. It’s my very favorite of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and Zsadist is my favorite brother. As for my favorite authors…There are so many! Carly Phillips, Rachel Gibson, Lisa Kleypas, Sabrina Jeffries, Katharine Ashe, Lara Adrian, and Tammara Webber.
8. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love spending time with my family and friends, volunteering at my children’s school and pursuing my quest to know every useless fact in the universe. ;)
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Grow a super thick skin and get a support system of writers and beta readers that aren’t afraid to tell you exactly what they think. Don’t take reviews personally and for the love of God, DO NOT respond to a negative review in public and that includes Twitter and Facebook. That’s why you need the support system…and possibly, bottles of wine at your disposal.
10. What can we expect from you next?
Actually, I have a Christmas novella coming out this month called, HIS CHRISTMAS WISH. It about an ARMY Veteran, Joaquin Morales, returning home after years of estrangement from his family…and his wife, Sage.
11. Do any animals share your life? Please tell us about them.
Yes! We adopted a German Sheppard/yellow lab mix from our local SPCA about a year and a half ago. She’s very sweet and loves to play with our kids.
And now for a little bit of fun:)
This or That?
Coffee or Tea? Tea, iced and sweetened, but no lemon
Sweet or Salty? Sweet
Beach or Lake? Beach (Hot Builder, my husband, proposed to me on Ocracoke Island during my junior year of college)
Winter or Summer? Summer
Cats or Dogs? Cats (though I do love our adopted doggie lots)
Zombies or Vampires? Vampires
Country or City? Country
Shower or Bath? Bath (with bubbles, glass of wine and a great book!)
Morning or Evening? Evening
M&Ms or Skittles? M&Ms
Trains or Planes? Trains
Comedy or Drama? Dramedy (LOL!)
Author: Marquita Valentine
Reading Level: Adult
Reading Level: Adult
Release Date: September 2012
Size: 260 pages
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.
Rose closed the door and whirled to face him. “Could you be more rude?”
“Let me have a go at him and you can judge for yourself.”
Fisting her hands on her hips, she glared at Sasha. “You- you spoiled—”
Sasha pounced, backing her up against the door and placing a palm along each side of her head. “Yes, I’m spoiled. I’m ruined and it’s all your fault.”
She gaped at him. “My fault?”
“Yes, yours—the woman who drives me insane. The woman I dream about kissing. The woman I hunger to be inside.” His head dipped down, full lips and sexy beauty mark at the corner dangerously close. “And right now, I’m so damn jealous that I want to...” He turned away but she placed her hand on his jaw and forced his face back to hers.
The heat in his eyes made her legs tremble. “I want to lock you in my bedroom with me and not let you out until, until…”
She licked her lips. “Until when?” she prompted. A small part of her reveled in this, his torture. She wanted him to hurt. To feel something.
He laughed, but it was mirthless. “Never, I never want to let you out.”
“Why?” she demanded. “What’s changed between last week and tonight?”
“Nothing. Everything. Christ, Rose. I’m so damn sorry and...and I don’t know what to do or say.” He looked as though he truly meant it. Regret seemed to fill his green eyes and she couldn’t make herself look away. This was the real him.
“You made me cry,” she whispered.
He rested his head against her forehead, his golden hair soft and silky. “I’m a bastard.”
“I waited up for you. I put on my prettiest dress.” Tears grew thick in throat. She would not cry in front of him. She only wanted him to know how badly he hurt her. But honestly, if he’d cared, he wouldn’t have been so cruel in the first place. Lifting her shaking hands, she tried to push him away, but he wrapped his arms around her and held her close.
“Forgive me,” he said, his breath hot in her hair. He kissed the side of her neck, her jaw and her cheek. “I need your forgiveness, Rosebud.”
Turning before he could find her mouth and she lost all self-control, she said, “I’ll give you another chance.”
She wriggled out of his embrace, running upstairs to her room and shutting the door behind her. Pressing cold fingers to her heated cheeks, she closed her eyes and sank to the floor. What had she done?
Marquita has been kind enough to offer an e-copy of her book to one lucky winner! Open Intenationally!