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Catch a WAVE of suspense and intrigue ... click image to learn more.

Today’s guest is Marlene Sanchez, and she and I have scary amounts of writerly things in common. I am SO feeling her (not in the literal sense–she’s safely parked a few states away) so I’m wagering if you guys are able to tolerate me you’re going to just eat her up! (Also not literal because . . . well, never mind.) Anyway, assuming I’ve not yet run her off, grab something frosty and pull on the shades. We’re headed south for WAVES OF DECEIT in sultry Miami!

Welcome, Marlene! I love the first line of your bio: “Born in Manhattan, Raised in Miami, Living in Alabama.” Talk about a trio of extremes! What would you say is the greatest influence of each location on your life today?

Wow, never thought about that. Let’s see… I was only in New York until I was 9 and we didn’t live in the city, so I don’t think I have much from there except for my tough “whatever” attitude I seem to have sometimes. I think the biggest influence is my Cuban background and living in Miami. Big city with lots to do and having the honor of being first generation American. My mother came over from Cuba when she was very young, but she still remembers the “old” Cuba quite vividly. I am very proud of who my mother raised me to be. Now, Alabama, I can’t say being here has influenced me very much. I always tell people “I live here, but I am not from here”. It’s pretty quiet and laid back with a good amount of Southern hospitality.

Such a strong heritage! I can see how Miami plays into that influence. And speaking of it, WAVES OF DECEIT (gorgeous cover, by the way!) is set in Miami. How much of the story did you take from personal experience? Was it mostly setting, or did you have any run-ins with any of the plot threads?

I love my cover too. My cover artist, DJ Westerfield, is awesome. I don’t trust my covers to anyone else but her. I promise you, contrary to what some may want to believe, every aspect of my novel is fiction. Yes, it is set in Miami and I know Miami, but the situations and characters are made up. As cool as it might have been to know a crime family, or to have run with the wolves, I was never brave enough to do it. Besides, my mother would have killed me LOL.

“Run with the Wolves” … LOL! I feel like I know your mother already … that’s hysterical. :c) You have a fabulous “If I Could Choose the Actor” series on your blog for WAVES OF DECEIT. Did you have these faces in mind as you wrote, or did they come after you’d finished the story?

Thank you for the compliment, but I can’t take credit for the idea. I stole it from my favorite author and friend, DJ (she’s everywhere). The faces in my head were not these actors, but they are the ones that I felt best fit their descriptions, personalities and my visions of them. It was definitely fun hunting them all down too.

(DJ, your idea is awesome!) And Marlene, I have to agree hunting down the right photo for each character is a blast. (I won’t tell you how many hours I’ve lost to the pursuit, though, LOL!) If a reader is unfamiliar with your work, which of your books would you suggest he or she read first?  Why?

Hmmmm… I would have to say Waves of Deceit. Why? Well because it’s my baby and it was the most fun to create and write. This book took twists and turns I had not planned for, but the characters took it all in stride. Plus, I love my “bad guys”.

Oh, you are SO in the right place because do I *ever* love the bad guys. (Hey, what are y’all looking at? LOL.) Which genre are you drawn to as a reader?  Do you prefer to read in the same genre as your WIP or do you mix it up?

I think I am drawn most to my own genre. I grew up reading Nancy Drew. When I was a teen I read Silhouette and Harlequin, but I just can’t get into the mushy only romance stuff anymore. I don’t mind it sprinkled around for the storyline, but not as the whole premise of the book.

Oh, wow. I grew up on Nancy Drew and switched to Harlequin myself. And now I ADORE suspense with my romance! ::clings:: (I think we’ve just bonded.) Looking back over all of the intimate moments you’ve created between characters, which scene would you most like to experience for yourself?  What makes it so alluring?

I would have to choose Michael’s Valentine’s Day surprise evening with Bianca. Just the fact that he put so much thought and effort into making it the most romantic night he could makes me fall in love with him all over again. His attention to detail and his heart on his sleeve, those are qualities we all want in a man.

Oh, don’t we ever! Of course, they’re not always so well behaved. Have you ever battled with any of your characters over their personality traits?  If so, who won – you or the character?

I had a major fit with Jonathan, Michael’s FBI partner in Waves of Deceit. He was VERY adamant about staying in the book longer when I was trying to write him out. I wasn’t even killing him off or anything, he was just stubborn. Well, anyway, he won for a few chapters, but then I fixed his little red wagon. That certainly taught my characters not to take me too far off course LOL.

LMAO! I’m dying to know how *that* worked out. (Way to sell the books, Marlene! LOL.) Have you ever made big changes in your story because someone – your crit partner, a friend, or beta reader – really didn’t like it?  Are you glad you did (or didn’t)?

I don’t listen to anyone trying to get me to make major changes in my storyline or characters, only because no one but me knows what is coming up next for them and the story (if that makes sense). I always have something brewing further down the line where if I make a major change it will ruin the later. Don’t get me wrong, I do take suggestions and listen to criticism, but after explaining a little better the “critic” changes their mind and realizes I was right all along… Muahahahahaha LOL.

That’s a great point, and especially problematic with suspense when some of the smallest details can come back in BIG ways. Speaking of those details, how do you keep track of plot elements or twists?

Laugh if you must, but I actually outline my novels. It’s the only way I know how to keep everything straight.

Would you believe we’ve had a recent rash of post-it note users?  As long as you don’t outline on sticky notes, I am neither cringing nor laughing, LOL. (Well, that LOL was awkward! *grin*) Okay, you’ve outlined your way through a couple of them now, so let’s have it: which of your novels most reflects who you are as a writer?  Why?

Man, you ask hard “have to think” questions. My brain hurts LOL. I would have to say the Martina Rosequete Investigations series reflects me best. Not just as a writer, but as a person too. Marti is a strong independent Cuban-American woman who takes no bull from anyone. I was raised the same way. As a writer I would have to say that because it is a detective series it brings me back to my Nancy Drew childhood days. IN my opinion, Nancy ruled.

Oh, man, are you ever making me miss the Case Files! Two in the morning, and I’m still turning pages because the hook at the end of the chapter is just too good. *sigh* If your series is like Nancy Drew, I think I’m already in love! Now is a clearly a good time to woo me . . . what’s next? 

I am currently working on the sequel for NaNoWriMo, called Waves of Vengeance. I should have it finished by the end of the month. Although Waves of Deceit is available electronically now, it will release in Print on December 1st. Once I have finished with NaNo I will get back to my Martina series.

And that, good folks, means WAVES OF DECEIT is now available in print, and hopefully WAVES OF VENGEANCE is well on its way. (I hope that headache I gave Marlene didn’t slow her down too much, LOL!) Let’s take a closer look at this one, shall we?

WAVES OF DECEIT | Marlene Sanchez

The Pascual crime family is getting bigger and stronger and taking over more and more of Miami every day. The FBI has been trying to take them down for years, but they can’t seem to make anything stick. Enter former Marine sniper, Agent Michael Walker.

Until age 17 Michael was best friends with Manny Pascual, the heir and current head of the Pascual family. Now the FBI wants him to infiltrate the family he was once a part of in order to collect enough evidence to bring them down for good.

Although it has been more than ten years since Michael has been back to Miami, Manny is more than happy to have his best friend back where he belongs. Not everyone is as happy to see Michael, but one person is secretly thrilled to see him. Bianca Martinez, the family lawyer, can’t keep him out of her head.
The FBI is closing in, but Michael is becoming more conflicted between his job, his friendship with Manny and the life he missed in Miami. The hot relationship sparking with Bianca complicates things further when he learns Manny wants to claim her as his own.

Will the years of friendship between these three endure as they find themselves between the tightening vice of rivaling families and the hard fist of the law? Or will they all drown in their Waves of Deceit?

BUY IT @ ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS (More venues and versions coming soon!)


Born in Manhattan, Raised in Miami, Living in Alabama.

Marlene Sanchez is a Daughter, a Sister, a Niece, a Cousin, a Friend, a Wife, a Mother, a Step-Mother, and an Aunt… She thrives off her Family and Friends, and tries to live her life to the fullest… Her children are her life, but her passion is writing.

Her novels reflect her Hometown of Miami, her Cuban upbringing and her love for gangster movies (legal and police dramas too).


Contest scoop from Marlene:  I actually have a contest running on my facebook page. Once I reach 100 likes/fans I will randomly choose a winner to receive a signed copy of Waves of Deceit. Once I hit 200… hmmmm… dunno if I’ll get that many LOL.

Okay, I’m there. That sounds like a FANTASTIC prize! Guys, y’all head over and like Marlene so she’ll give one of us a book, and in the meantime leave your comments and say hello! Marlene, it has been a pleasure having you here. Thanks so much to each and every one of you for joining us today!