In honor of Cupid's favorite holiday, some talented author friends and I are teaming up to celebrate our female-centric genres. The #ChickLitLove party kicks off today with us shining a spotlight on the heroines of our fun, romantic reads. We're asking these ladies some probing (sometimes cheeky) questions about love and men, and I think you'll find their answers quite revealing. Read on to get a peek inside the head of psychologist Pilar Alvarez, the protagonist of my novel In Need of Therapy.
Honesty, loyalty, and a good sense of humor.
2) What’s your idea of romance?
Candlelit dinners, flowers, and pricey gifts are all well and good, but for me romance is spending quality time with the man I love and having really deep, meaningful conversations where we share our most intimate thoughts and secrets.
3) Who's your favorite on-screen couple (Film or TV)?
It's no secret that I'm a bit obsessed with The Notebook. I've seen that movie more times than I care to admit, and with every viewing, I am more entranced by Noah and Allie's beautiful love story. I hope to find a man as wonderful as Noah one day (They do exist outside of fiction, right?) and grow old with him.
4) What's been your most embarrassing moment in regards to the opposite sex?
Something happened recently involving a drunken confession of love and Twisted Pleasure condoms, and that's all I'm saying because I'm too mortified to relive the whole experience again. If you want to know all the embarrassing details, you'll have to read In Need of Therapy.
5) What was your first impression of your partner or crush? How accurate was it?
When I first met my ex, Victor, I thought he was a "catch" because he was charming, successful, and knew how to treat a woman. Unfortunately, he ended up being an old rubber boot kind of catch, instead of a marlin, and his charm quickly turned into smarm. I should have looked past his glossy exterior to the insincere, annoyingly possessive jerk underneath.
6) How have you coped with break-ups in the past?
I don't recall ever being really devastated over a break-up. Of course, being dumped is never fun. In those cases, I usually just vent to my best friend, Sara, over a pepperoni pizza and she tells me how unworthy the guy was and gives me a long list of all his shortcomings, then congratulates me on my lucky escape. I always feel much better after that.
7) Which hot actor would you want to be stranded on a deserted island with and why?
Since I've already expressed my fondness for him, the obvious answer here is Ryan Gosling. I'd never get bored on the island if I had his abs to look at all day and night.
8) What is the craziest thing you've ever done for love?
I treat crazy, so I don't normally do crazy. But there was this one time in college when I'd done a few too many Jell-O shots and let Sara talk me into doing karaoke. I sang a horribly pitchy version of The Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and dedicated it to this boy I was crushing on. The object of my affection did ask me out afterwards, so at least I didn't embarrass myself for nothing.
9) PDA: How much is acceptable?
9) PDA: How much is acceptable?
Well, I'm a Latina, so I'm pretty touchy-feely, but I do think there's a line you shouldn't cross in public. Hand-holding, shoulder rubs, a PG-rated kiss, a little sensuous dancing - all okay. Groping butts and boobs, playing tonsil hockey, or doing anything else that makes bystanders uncomfortable - not cool. Also, it's overcompensation and tells me that the couple may have serious issues they're not dealing with that's making them feel like they have to prove their couplehood to the world.
I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I think the best relationship advice I ever got was from my mamá. She usually advises ridiculous things, like "try not to act too smart" and "tell him how much you love babies," but once in a while she'll says something surprisingly sage that I'll take to heart. Just recently, she told me, "There are no guarantees in life. Sometimes, you just have to take the risk and hope for the best."
Read more Chick Lit heroine Q&As by following the #ChickLitLove hashtag on Twitter.
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.
Treat yourself to a fun read this Valentine's. Buy In Need of Therapy:
Barnes & Noble