Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra, author of The Book of Hours., stopped by to share details of her life as well as her book. It is a romantic suspense and was released on February 12, 2015.
Nancy- Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
Maria- My novel, The Book of Hours, continues the interrupted-by-fate love story of illustrator Gabriela Martinez and Richard Harrison. She, once more, finds herself the target of a maniac, who has set his sights on possessing the manuscript she reproduced and which she plans to sell at a charity auction. Expect sparks, thrills, and suspense as her life is threatened while Richard tries to keep her safe.
Nancy- Did you have several manuscripts finished before you sold? If so, did you send them out yourself?
Maria- I finished The Coin first and began sending that one out while I wrote the follow-up, The Book of Hours. Was lucky that, throughout the process of queries and was lucky to get agent representation. However, back then, publication didn’t pan out and life interrupted. I decided to go Indie this time.
Nancy- Why have you become a published author?
Maria- I always thought I had a good story to share and the readers seem to agree. I am grateful.
Nancy- Do you have any rejection stories to share?
Maria- Yes. The most brutal, to me. It simply said, “NO,” and nothing else. Disheartening.
Nancy- What sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?
Maria- Any promo. Web, word-of-mouth, sweepstakes, personal appearances, handing out bookmarks to people in the supermarket. However, I do have someone who helps me, a lot. My assistant and friend, Mari Christie. She keeps me organized and sane, especially through a novel launch. Handles all things techno, which I really am not good at, at all.
Nancy- Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
Maria- Hearing from the readers that they loved or enjoyed the novel, and that they will recommend it to friends and family. It is a great feeling.
Nancy- Are you a member of any writing organizations and, if so, have they helped
Maria- I am a member of the RWA, the Kiss of Death chapter, and Carolina Romance Writers. Their workshops are fantastic and, even when you have already heard it all about a topic, you always wind up learning more. I have learned a lot about self-publishing, marketing, making your novel stronger, revisions, even book cover creations.
Please Share three fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
1) I was a professional dancer.
2) I sing in the church choir.
3) I am a nerd when it comes to things medieval.
Nancy- What’s next for you?
Maria- Keep writing. Keep writing. Keep writing.
For artist Gabriela Martinez, psychopaths do strike twice. In The Coin, two star-crossed lovers were cruelly used by fate—and now, in The Book of Hours, destiny isn’t done.
Back then, Gabriela almost lost her life to a psychopath hoping to claim her artwork, her career, her body, and her love. If not for Richard, the operative sent to protect her, she would have fallen victim to his twisted vision. The dramatic showdown pushed Gabriela and Richard together, even in the face of countless obstacles.
With someone new threatening Gabriela's life, Richard will risk everything to protect the woman he loves. But with a new villain on the horizon, bent on possessing Gabriela's latest work no matter what it takes, she is forced to fall back on old friends, including the man who changed her life not so many years ago.
With an even more dramatic threat looming, and far more to lose, if they don't stay one step ahead of the danger, their lives, their love, and their future may very well go up in flames.
“Chérie,” Jean-Louis said, keeping his voice soft, as if he were approaching a nervous fawn. “We need help, and you know the kind I’m referring to.”
Silence answered for her, but her hands gripped the banister until her knuckles turned white.
“Gabriela, we can’t dismiss this situation with a shrug, not anymore, not after that accident.” Jean-Louis continued persuasively. “This man Wickeham is a potential psychopath—maybe not as deadly as Heinige, but still a very real threat.”
Taking her shoulders softly, he turned Gabriela to face him. Apart from Julien, his life partner, Jean-Louis admired and loved no one like the woman he held. “Ma belle. We need to get Harrison involved. Please. Call Maurice. Find him.”
Gabriela’s golden eyes locked with her friend’s. The hesitation was there. Unspoken, but there.
Frustrated, Jean-Louis threw both hands toward the sky and swore. The stubborn, stubborn woman. He grabbed the railing in lieu of knocking some sense into her and pinned her with his eyes.
“When are you going to let go of this groundless guilt? Of your fear? You can’t continue this way, mon amie. The stress level is tearing you apart.” When Gabriela remained mute, Jean-Louis thrust his face close to hers. “But that’s not the real issue here, is it?”
“Jean-Louis—” she warned.
“Forgiveness. That’s what’s really at stake here. You’ve always readily forgiven others, but when it comes to yourself, you don’t. It’s that simple. Tell me, mon amie, I’m curious. When will the self-flagellation stop? How many more years of punishment will you allow? When will enough be enough?”
Gabriela flinched and Jean-Louis knew his words had hit home. He saw the heart-wrenching vulnerability in her eyes and, for the first time, read a resignation. A capitulation?
How can my readers buy your book?
Readers can go to the author’s HOME PAGE at to buy direct —OR—
Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra is a full-time novelist based in North Carolina. With Cuban roots, she has lived in many countries, including France, the setting for her first novel, The Coin. She speaks English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German, and reads Latin, Middle English, and old French. She holds a Masters in English literature, specializing in medieval romances, and is currently an active member of the Carolina Romance Writers. She loves to hear from her readers, and always hopes to open a dialogue with her fans.
You can find more information about Maria Elena here: