Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Vacation inspiration for One Sinful Night in Sao Paulo

With: Amber Belldene

Giveaway Alert!

If my wonderful friend Ricardo, for whom the charming Catholic priest Padre Ricardo in One Sinful Night in Sao Paulo is named, ever reads this book, I think he will spit caipirinha all over his e-reader.  He’s quite handsome and has always been popular with the ladies, so casting him as a celibate priest was my own private little joke. Fortunately, he’s moved back to Brazil, gotten married to a lovely bride, and just become a father over Christmas, so I don’t expect he'll be doing much pleasure reading anytime soon. I’ll be in the clear for a quite a while, yet! 

One Sinful Night in Sao Paulo is my contemporary debut and it was so much fun to write because I set it in one of my favorite places in the whole world. My husband and I traveled to Sao Paulo with Ricardo and two other friends in 2006, a year after we got married. It was romantic, exotic, and yet also comfortable and welcoming. I couldn’t think of a better place for my characters, Cassie and Adam, to face up to their long-denied attraction, or for Cassie to indulge her need for one sinful night before she started seminary. (Yep, she's a good girl going to seminary, and she's got it bad for her brother's best friend.)

For our little tour group, having a guide native to the city made it an amazing adventure. We ate everything—feijoada, pão de queijo, brigadeiros. But we drank pretty much one thing—caipirinhas.  In the US, they are usually made with lime and cachaça, but in Brazil the cane liquor might be mixed with one of many fruits, some of which I’d never even heard of.  If you want to see pictures of all these delights, check out my Pinterest board for the book.  I used it for inspiration and research, but beware, it may make you hungry or inspire a serious case of wanderlust!

Maybe it's silly, but tasting fruits I’d never eaten, much less ever even heard of before was one my favorite parts of that trip, and perhaps one of the most truly exotic experiences I’ve ever had. We visited an enormous open air market and saw strange orange, red and green fruits, large and small. They just blew my mind—particularly the caju, the yellow or orange "apple" that bears the cashew nut. How could I have eaten cashews in a can of Planter’s mixed nuts my whole life and not known where they came from and what they looked like?

Years later, everything about that trip remains vivid, from listening to bossa nova with Ricardo’s wonderfully gracious parents to strolling down Paulista Avenue and around Ibirapuera Park. 

It was a no-brainer to set a destination wedding story in that land of exotic fruit and incredibly warm, generous people, like Ricardo and his family. Maybe when you read Cassie and Adam’s romance, you’ll also fall in love with Brazil. And if you decide to go visit for yourself, I might just tag along with you!


Because this seminary student can’t always be the good girl.

Cassie Wilson has traveled to Brazil for her brother’s wedding; yet she’s the one with cold feet. She’s all set to begin seminary, but she’s sick and tired of being treated like a saint, especially by the best man. What she really needs is one sexy night with him to ease her jitters and give her a taste of normal life.

Adam Forrester crashed and burned at his dream job, screwing up all his hopes for a better life. Now he’s moved home to start over, but first he must confront the irresistible Cass, apologize for whatever happened on that drunken night he can’t remember, and make damn sure it doesn’t happen again. Only she has other plans.

He has typecast her as the good girl in his heart. Can she force him to see her as a real woman, desires and all?


Author Bio: 
Even as a kid, Amber Belldene could never pull herself away from a book.  She hid her Nancy Drew novels inside the church bulletin to read during sermons–an irony that is not lost on her when she preaches these days. Amber is an Episcopal Priest who believes stories are the best way to explore human truths and sexuality is an important part of spirituality. Amber writes scorching, smart paranormal romance and quirky-hot contemporary for Entangled, Lyrical/Kensington, and Omnific Publishing. She lives with her husband and two children in San Francisco.

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  1. Thanks so much for having me on Just Contemporary Romance!

  2. I love exotic locations! Adding it to my TBR list. Thanks!

    1. Forgot to add: great cover, very eye-catching.


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