Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Interview, Review & Giveaway: The Valentine Challenge by Marisa Cleveland

Today I welcome Marisa Cleveland, author of The Valentine Challenge, which is a fast, fun romantic read that will make you remember why you love Valentine's Day, sigh . . .  So go grab your favorite cuppa, snuggle up if you are in certain parts of the country and learn a little more about Marisa and then check out my review of The Valentine Challenge.  

What three things do you need in order to write?
Oh, that's a tough one! I need... champagne to loosen my fingers, tissues to clean the blood
after pouring it onto the page, and an even sense of humor.

What's your favorite season?

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Wherever my husband goes. We like the Caribbean. If it's anywhere, maybe the center of the
universe or Mount Olympus...

What’s your ideal Valentine’s Day gift?
Time alone with my hubby.

What's the first sentence of The Valentine Challenge?
"Anyone but her."

Tell us what is The Valentine Challenge about.

Because it's a novella, it's short, so it's really about a moment. That moment when two
people realize they are friends, and then they realize it's more than anything else they've ever
experienced with anyone else. It's more than attraction. It's that moment when they need
someone most - that shoulder to lean on or cry on or bounce an idea off of - and that other
person is there in the most complete way possible. Yeah. That's what it's about.

Dish, who’s your favorite character?
From the novella or ever? From the novella, it's Simon. He's the CEO of Dimistar Enterprises,
the company that champions local businesses in South Beach. Favorite character ever is likely
to change depending on when it's asked, but right now and for a while now, it's been Fitzwilliam

What was your inspiration for The Valentine Challenge?

So many different situations inspired me to write the novella, and it's difficult to pin down, but I'm
inspired by love and couples in love and office romances.

What can we expect next from you?
Thanks for asking! My Entangled Indulgence, South Beach Serenade, is releasing this summer!

To follow the tour, click on the banner at the top of the post or go here.

My Review:
Novellas are hit or miss for me. I imagine it's hard for authors to write them. It's hard to get a full story in so few pages and really interest the reader.  But Marisa Cleveland manages to do just that in The Valentine Challenge.

She brings us two characters that I cared about from the start.  She starts us off on the very first page with conflict.  Marsh doesn't want Stacey as his assistant, he finds her attractive.  Stacey needs this job, she has an issue we don't know yet.  Yes, something to find out.  The attraction is immediate.  I felt it.  It zings on the page.  Ms. Cleveland makes the reader feel it and makes you care about the characters.

The conflict grows and I honestly was starting to wonder how it could possibly resolve. It got much bigger than I thought possible in a novella (and I loved it).  And then it did and when it did, wow.  I can only say wow.  You just have to read it.  Romance, love, hearts, Valentine's Day, more romance.  It just has it all, and it all started with conflict.

All I can say is buy it.  It's worth it.  You will enjoy the time spent reading this if you enjoy contemporary romance.  If you enjoy romance with a challenge in it.  Heck if you just enjoy romance period.  It will make you believe in love again if you don't already.  

My rating: 5.0/5.0    

About the book:

Stacey Bradford believes in love, but when her hot boss, Marshall Royce, decides to close her best friend's flower shop - days before Valentine's Day! - Stacey declares war.

Intrigued by Stacey's devotion to her friend, the hearts and flowers holiday, and belief in true love, Marsh issues a challenge - prove love exists or deliver the closing documents to her friend herself.

Stacey never could resist a challenge, but when Marsh makes Valentine's Day the deadline for their deal, Stacey must decide how far she's willing to go for love.


About the Author:

I have two giveaways today.  One thanks to the publisher is for one ebook copy of The Valentine Challenge and is open internationally, ends 3/12.  Enter through the Rafflecopter.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The second is the tour giveaway, and is for a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate!  Enter through the Rafflecopter below.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway