Friday, February 15, 2013

LOVE IS IN THE AIR - V-DAY Q&A WITH PILAR ALVAREZ (IN NEED OF THERAPY)


In conjunction with the amazing 99 cents Valentine's e-book sale that I, and 8 other Chick Lit authors, are participating in, we wanted to treat our wonderful readers, blog followers, and friends to some fun, romance-themed Q&As with the heroines of our novels. Miami-based psychologist, Pilar Alvarez, the lovely, Latina protagonist of In Need of Therapy, is on the hot seat here. Read on to find out some never-before-revealed tidbits about her love life . . . 


1) Are you currently in a relationship? If so, tell us a little bit about your S.O. And if not . . . what are you looking for in a romantic partner?

Much to my mother's dismay, I am not currently in a relationship. In fact, I recently broke up with the man she'd decided was the future father of my children. SIGH She's always accusing me of being too picky when it comes to men, but I don't think I ask for much. I just want a guy who's honest (This eliminates Victor, the cheater!), intelligent, funny, hard-working, family-oriented, and a good listener. It would, also, be nice if he liked strong, independent women because I'm not changing for anybody!


2) How old were you when you had your first kiss -- and can you share what you remember about it?

Oh, gosh, let's see. I was in sixth grade when I got my first kiss, so I guess I was 12. Oddly enough, it happened during a fire drill. We were filing out of the school in a not-so-orderly fashion when this kid named Jeff gave me a shove from behind (Jeff had a lot of anger issues; his parents were going through a divorce at the time.) I fell out of line, down on to the blacktop, and the adorable Luke McCabe stopped to help me. I'd been crushing on him for months, but wasn't sure if he even knew I was alive. He was so sweet. He knelt down and asked if I was hurt. I shook my head 'no,' then he leaned in close and said, "I've been wanting to tell you . . . I think you're the prettiest girl in this school," then he kissed me right on the lips! It was all over so fast that I thought I might have imagined it, but no, Luke helped me to my feet and held my hand all the way through the rest of the drill. He was my boyfriend from that day forward for two years. I've had a thing for dark-haired men who wear glasses ever since because of Luke. You never forget your first love!   


3) Describe your ideal romantic evening.

My ideal romantic evening would have to involve some delicious Cuban food, great conversation, and dancing. I love to dance, especially Salsa! Dancing is a great way to connect with someone and have fun, plus it's just sexy (two bodies moving as one, feeling the rhythm of the music, etc.)


4) What's the best romantic gift you ever received - and the best one you ever gave?

I loved the poem my boyfriend, Tommy, wrote for me in high school. It was really beautiful, and I was touched  that he put so much thought, effort, and feeling into it. A gift that comes from the heart means so much more than something that comes from a store (Victor never understood this. He always thought that the more he spent on a gift, the more I should like it.)
 
Food means love to me. So, a few years back, I spent hours in the kitchen, cooking a really elaborate meal that included all of my boyfriend's favorites for his birthday. And I served the dishes to him while wearing something out of the Victoria's Secret catalog. He seemed to like that!  
     

5) What's your favorite romantic comedy, book, or movie, and why? What about love song, and why?

I adore RomComs! My favorite would be My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I just watched that movie again recently and I could so relate to what poor Toula goes through with her family. There's really not much difference between a Greek family and a Cuban one; both are full of people who are loud, opinionated, big on drama, and always in your business! I can only hope that I will one day find a guy as wonderful as Ian Miller (Toula's love) who will be able to put up with all of the Alvarez craziness!

I've never really been into ballads, so my idea of a love song is something a little quirky, like Adele's "Crazy For You." Love her soulful voice and the emotion in the lyrics. 
 



6) What food gets you "in the mood?"

Sharing food with someone, no matter what it is, can be a very sensual experience. Being Cuban, I get turned on by foods with a lot of flavor. There is nothing more delicious and satisfying than a good lechoncita (shredded roast pork that's super juicy and succulent) smothered in a tart, citrusy mojo sauce. It's, also, a food that's easy to feed to someone else, and if one is so inclined, many creative uses for mojo sauce can be found.


7) Can you tell us about your worst date ever?

SHUDDER My worst date just happened recently. It was a set-up by my never-helpful mamá. The guy was a fitness and nutrition-obsessed jerk, which made eating a meal with him an absolute misery. I'm still suffering from PTDDD (Post-Traumatic Disastrous Date Disorder), so I really don't want to relive the experience again. But you can read all the gory details in In Need of Therapy.
 

8) How far will you go on a first date? And how many dates do you need to go on before you knock boots?

I always tell my patients not to rush into intimacy and I apply that same credo to myself. There's no need to jump into bed with someone you've just met. Sex will be much more satisfying, both emotionally and physically, when you actually know the person. Having said that, I am a passionate woman and if I'm feeling chemistry with a guy on the first date, I'm up for ending the evening with a kiss.
 

9) Have you ever had a secret romance? And if you have, will you share about it here?

Secret romance? You mean, like with a married man or a patient? Someone who is totally off-limits, someone whose love would be forbidden to me on so many levels that it would be wrong for me to contemplate the possibility for even a second? Uh, nope, absolutely not. I would never get involved in that kind of relationship. Not me. No way. I'm not that kind of girl. <whistles innocently>
 

10) Describe your dream wedding. If you're already married, was the wedding you had the one you always dreamed of?   

My dream wedding would be a casual affair that took place on the beach at sunset (a total fantasy because my mother would never allow me to get married outside of a Catholic church and she would insist on all the bells and whistles for the ceremony.) I'd wear a lacy, strapless, cream-colored dress, probably cocktail length, and walk barefoot down the aisle, on my father's arm, carrying the family bible that my grandmother,  Rosalinda, my mother, and my older sister, Ana, all carried when they were brides. The ceremony would be followed by a fabulous party with all my family and friends, lots of great Cuban food and plenty of alcohol to keep everyone friendly, a band that could play everything from standards to Latin dance music, and a delicious tres leches wedding cake with fresh mango on top made by my Aunt Solana, who owns a bakery. Of course, I'm open to suggestions from my future groom if his tastes differ from mine. I'm all about compromise!


To check out the heroine Q&As of the other Chick Lit authors who are involved in this amazing Valentine's promo, please click on the links below:

Samantha Stroh Bailey
Francine LaSala 
Cat Lavoie 
Samantha March
Libby Mercer
Meredith Schorr
Nancy Scrofano
Lucie Simone   


If you'd like to read more about Pilar, be sure to pick up a copy of In Need of Therapy while the e-book's on sale for just $0.99! This special Valentine's Weekend promo will last through Sunday (2/17.)



Book blurb:   

Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be:  warm, compassionate, supportive.  She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart? 

While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can't stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.”  Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim.  Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her.  A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes.  And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger.

When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she's left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt.  With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart.




 

22 comments:

  1. Great interview! I loved learning more about Pilar! <3

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    1. Thanks, Tobi! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  2. Loved these answers - my favorite question/answer was #9 - very funny :)

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    1. Hee! Thanks, Meredith! That question really made Pilar uncomfortable. I wonder why . . .

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  3. Great interview, Tracie! I cannot stop staring at that piece of wedding cake. When Pilar gets married, I NEED to score an invite! YUM! :)

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    1. Well, of course, you're invited when Pilar ties the knot with ______, Cat. You can sit in between her mother and Izzy; that should be fun! :)

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  4. Amazing graphics, I am now so hungry, and that disastrous date is hysterically awful! This has been waiting for me on my Kindle, and it is time to jump into Pilar's fascinating and crazy life and family.

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    1. Oh, you don't know the half of that horrible date, Sam. Wait until you read that scene in the book!

      I hope you enjoy INOT! :)

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  5. Great interview. Looking forward to reading more about Pilar!

    I agree with her on #8! :)

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    1. Thanks, Jackie! Of course, Pilar has a very cerebral approach to sex. She likes to think things through, not jump into them! :)

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  6. I really want Pilar's Mom to get an interview to discuss her daughter. She was a hoot!

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    1. That is a fantastic idea, Renee! It's only fair that I gave Pilar's mama a change to speak, right? I'm sure she'd like to set the record straight on a few things. :)

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  7. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is one of my favorites, too! Great Q&A! I've read 3 chapters of In Need of Therapy so far, and I'm really enjoying it. :)

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    1. Aw, thanks, Nancy. So nice to hear that you're enjoying INOT. Happy reading!

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  8. Fab interview and love the graphics!

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    1. Thanks, Samantha! I spent a lot of time looking for the right visuals to accompany this Q&A! :)

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  9. Great interview! I love Pilar! she would be a cool chick to get a drink with.

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    1. A mojito, naturally. But don't forget Pilar's a lightweight when it comes to alcohol, Tracey. You have to stop her at two drinks or she'll be hating life the next day. :)

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  10. Great images, awesome interview. My favorite here was the answer Pilar gave about her first kiss (explaining anger management issues, parents divorce)--super-shrink to her core. Loved this, thanks!

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    1. Thanks so much, Francine! Pilar can never stop being a shrink, can she? She's been psychoanalyzing people since she was in grade school. It's part of her charm! :)

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  11. Love this! I have INOT on my kindle and I can't wait to read it!

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  12. Hi Tracie! Fantastic interview! I love number 2, so sweet! :-)

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