Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Celebrating Carolina Valdez' New Amber Allure Release

Today on our Cyber Launch Party Blog, we're celebrating a new Amber Quill Allure release for bestselling author Carolina Valdez - UNMASKED in Amber Quill's Masquerade Series.  

Carolina warns not to be fooled by the photo. "Even if you walk most of the race, you want to be sure to break into a run for the camera." Although most of her running days have morphed into walking days, she's completed over a hundred distance races - six of them marathons. Her short story about a murder on the streets she's actually competed on, in the Los Angeles Marathon, appears in a Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles anthology.

After a varied career as a registered nurse while winning awards and making sales writing freelance, she decided to retire to finish her first novel. Now she writes about searing passions and the sweetly explosive ecstasies of love.


UNMASKED by Carolina Valdez
Part of Amber Quill Allure's Masquerade Series

When they meet, Antony, an Italian-American, and Sam, a Frenchman, are immediately attracted to each other, even if costumed from head to toe for an elegant masked ball in Venice, Italy. Mid evening, when the men go into Antony's room to remove their full masks and replace them with those covering only half their faces, their attraction ignites sudden desire that drives them to fulfillment.

They're still drawn to each other when the complete unmasking occurs at midnight, but Sam isn't aware that Antony, a former hockey player, also harbors secrets he's not ready to reveal. As the weekend ends and the men each return to the United States, a discouraged Antony sees no future for their fling to build into something solid. He has a fledgling business to run on the California coast, and Sam's life revolves around energy-devouring hours of practice in a mountain ice rink in order to win figure skating's coveted World gold medal.

Their mutual love of skating might have kept these men together, but Antony still hides behind a mask. What will it take to strip it away and give the star-crossed lovers a chance for love?


WIN - Leave Carolina a question today at her Cyber Launch Party, and your name goes in the hat for a free download of her bestseller NIGHT TRAIN TO NEW ORLEANS. Please leave your email address so we can contact you if you are today's winner - Good luck!

**Be sure to check out Carolina's contest for an adorable denim purse on the contest page of AuthorIsland.com!


  1. Good morning Carolina and super congrats on the new release!!

    Love that cover! Tell us all about your new book. I know it's part of a multi-author series from Amber Quill Allure called Masquerade but how many books are in the series and how do they connect?

    Hope UNMASKED and the entire series is a huge it and another bestseller for you!

    Enjoy your special day!

  2. Good morning! That's a great question. These Allure stories are all written by different Amber Quill Press authors, and the only guidance we were given was that they were to be erotic male/male stories set at an elegant masquerade ball for Mardi Gras. The photos are the costumes of the new lover in the story.

    We were given a group of fourteen or fifteen photos to choose from for our book cover. Twelve stories have been published, and I don't know how many more were selected by authors.

    Go to http://www.amberquill.com/AmberAllure and click on "Series" in the left column. Scroll down to Masquerade to see those that are out now.

    Antony Veneto is my main man. He's an Italian American who meets a Frenchman, Sam D'Aval, at a masked ball in a palazzo in Venice, Italy.

  3. I should have pointed out that this series is different because only the masquerade covers connect them. Each story and the characters in them are different. Some are paranormal, some historic, some contemporary.

  4. Hi Carolina,

    Love this name since I'm from North Carolina. Are the Masquerade Series
    all going to take place in this time frame? Or will they be some stories taken place in the past like in different century's?

    I love the cover of the new book and congratulations. I go to New Orleans twice a year and I collect Mask. This mask on the cover reminds me of something from the French Revolution days.

    Teresa K.

  5. Hi Teresa:

    What an interesting collection!

    Since the only story I've read in the Masquerade series is mine--and it's contemporary--I can't answer your question. Nor do I know what era my cover costume depicts.

    Since I don't write historicals, it wouldn't have occurred to me to figure out the time in which it might have been used. I suspect it's contemporary Venetian.

    Pop over to my Web site and read about the history of the masked balls. They did begin in France, but prior to the Revolution.

    Good question.


  6. Congratulations on your new release. I love the cover and this sounds like a great read. Who did the cover and how much say did you have in it?


  7. Hi Sherry:

    Few authors, no matter the publisher, have a say in their covers. Award winning designer Trace Edward Zaber, an Amber Quill Press owner and its creative director, designs all of the covers for AQP's books. If you'll read my first post here, it will explain how I came to have this particular one.

    I love it, too.


  8. Hi Carolina, Love the cover. this guy seems rather intriguing. Do you have a favorite character> If so, who??

    debby236 at gmail dot com

  9. Congrats on your latest release! All of this series' covers are so gorgeous and unique :-) What are you working on now?

    smaccall @ comcast.net

  10. Hi Debby:

    I can empathize with Antony's dilemma, of course, but I think my favorite is Sam, because he understands unconditional love.


  11. Hi Sarah:

    I'm working on another contemporary, set in Provence, France. It's called OLD STONES AND NEW WINE, and will be released as part of THE FRENCH CONNECTION AMBERPAX in August. The only guidelines we five authors had for our stories were that they had to have some kind of French connection. It could be in France, New Orleans, Montreal or whatever. Could just be a Frenchman out on the town. Could be any time period, paranormal, mystery/suspense, contemporary, or futuristic, etc.

    Of course, they had to be erotic M/M tales.

    Thanks for asking,

  12. From nursing to writing. Was it hard to take the chance? Nursing is such a good career and writing is so unsure.

  13. Unmasked sounds good. How much research did you need to do--hockey, figure skating?


  14. Hi, Jen B:

    I've always been a writer. Most writers tell you from age 7 or 8. Even raising a family and working in nursing, I found time to write and be published and win contests. I left nursing when I realized I'd never finish my novel unless I retired.

    Nursing can be difficult and physically tiring...especially when you work double or triple shifts. Also, having had a career, I don't mind the insecurities of being a writer.


  15. Hello there, She:

    I've followed figure skating for twenty years, I think. Also, when I was young I used to skate a little. Had my own skates.

    As for hockey, I've watched it and been to a rink to watch once. My editor is Canadian, and her husband has played hockey since he was five. She caught a mistake I'd made! Which shows the value of a good editor.

    Thanks for the question.

  16. Congrats Carolina for release of Unmasked. Can't wait to read the story, kiddo. How long did it take you to write Unmasked & are you a panster or a plotter?

  17. Congratulations on the new release.

    I look forward to reading it.


  18. Hello JerryR:

    It takes me about three months to write a novella, and I've never been able to make myself outline. I give my two lovers names, put them in a setting I like, decide what they want and why they can't have it, then I start to write. The characters and the plot become fully developed only as I'm into the writing.

    Whether you plot it out first or start as I do, you'll run into at least one writers block in your story. For a long time, I thought the blocks happened because I couldn't plot ahead of time, then a friend of mine who's a plotter moaned that if she was only a seat-of-the pants writer she wouldn't get stuck in a story.

    So, my advice is to go with what works for you. Many writers do not plot ahead.


  19. Thanks for the comment, Andrea. I hope you enjoy it.