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IT’S NOT ABOUT THE ACCENT traces the bold transformation of Caroline Darcy, a college-bound beige-blonde born and bred in small town Hampshire, Ohio, into “Carolina,” a half-Cuban aspiring actress, with striking Havana Brown hair, a caliente wardrobe, a taste for platanos, and a hunger for adventure. Carolina has no problem dressing, dancing, and talking the part, down to her effortlessly rolled rrrs – even though she’s only one-eighth Cuban. She owes her attraction to her exotic heritage and her yearning for something… different to Elisa Maribel Teresa de La Natividad Sevilla y Tabares – her Nana Ellie, the great-grandmother she loved, dearly and fiercely, and lost when she was thirteen. Carolina vividly remembers Nana Ellie’s romantic stories of her encounters with everything from the Eiffel Tower to Russian nobility. And she regrets missing the chance to unravel the facts from the fantastic tales – and learn more about her Nana’s mysterious, scandalous past.
The story opens at the beginning of Caroline’s Latina rebirth and undergrad career at the University of Southern Ohio for the summer session. To her thrill and amazement, her Cuban act works like a charm on the opposite sex. Faster than her first beer buzz, Caroline finds herself becoming more popular and getting increasingly intimate with Erik, a smooth-talking frat guy with gorgeous baby blues. The only male on campus who doesn’t fall for Carolina’s Latina allure is Peter, the full-blooded son of Cuban immigrants, who hails from Miami. Despite the danger of being exposed as a fraud, Caroline is drawn to this quiet, serious student – on a strictly friendship basis. But when Carolina gets in over her head and on the edge of a dangerous situation, Peter is the one who comes to her rescue. What’s more, he accepts her for who she is – and leads her on a real adventure to discover the truth about Nana Ellie and the very wealthy family she left behind in Cuba. What Caroline discovers about her ancestors – including one unknown living relative – is more exciting than she ever could have imagined.
Part mystery, part romance, and all captivating, IT’S NOT ABOUT THE ACCENT affirms Caridad Ferrer as a gifted teller of stories that resonate with young women, both Latina and Anglo.
CARIDAD FERRER is a first generation, bilingual Cuban-American, born in Manhattan and raised in Miami. Her debut novel, Adiós to My Old Life (MTV Books), was named Latinidad’s Top Teen Read for 2006 as well as winning the Romance Writers of America's 2007 RITA® for Best Contemporary Single Title Romance. Writing as Barbara Ferrer she has also contributed to the anthology, Fifteen Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and Other Quinceañera Stories (Harper Collins/Rayo). Find her on the web at CaridadFerrer.com and BarbaraFerrer.com.
Caridad's Answers to My GCC Questions:
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TYPICAL “WRITING DAY”?
Well, especially now that my kids are back in school, it’s a case of wait for the coffee to kick in— while I’m doing so, check email and a few websites, then after doing a quick review of the latest new material, settle down and keep going. I’m a very linear writer, so I find that reading a little bit of what I last wrote helps get me in the groove, as it were. If I’m particularly stuck, I’ll either do some editing or research for later chapters. But I always try to do something that keeps me in the writing headspace. If it’s really bad, then I’ll just go cruise by Bluefly.com or Anthropolgie.com.
DO YOU RECALL THE KERNEL OF INSPIRATION FOR THIS BOOK?
It was very simple, actually, when I was trying to think of what I wanted to do for a second YA— I had long been fascinated by how many girls, especially Latinas, seem to want to anglicize themselves by changing their hair color or their eye color. I thought it would be fun to turn it on its ear and have a very white bread, at least on the surface, character, try to transform herself into a more “exotic” girl. As I worked through the plot, other elements fell into place and I found myself with a much bigger story, but as far as the kernel goes, that’s where it started.
PICK A CHARACTER IN THE BOOK AND TELL US WHAT TRAIT YOU SHARE (OR COME CLOSEST TO SHARING) WITH THAT CHARACTER.
Caroline turns out to be a bit of history geek and enjoys research, which is a trait I share with her— I absolutely adore history and when people have asked why I don’t write historical fiction, my response is always, “I’d get too sucked into the research and would never write an original word ever again!” When it comes to that kind of research, I’m like a little kid in a toy store, going, “Oooh, SHINY!”
IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND, WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE A MAGICAL TRUNK THAT GAVE YOU LIMITLESS BOOKS TO READ, OR A LIMITLESS SUPPLY OF PAPER ON WHICH TO WRITE?
Paper. Without a doubt.
BEER OR WINE?
CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA?
Chocolate. Dark, dark chocolate.
WHAT’S YOUR ALL-TIME FAVORITE BOOK?
Oh man... are you SERIOUS?? I don’t know— it’s probably a tossup between Anton Myrer’s THE LAST CONVERTIBLE and Anne Rivers Siddons’ HEARTBREAK HOTEL.
There you go! Don't miss this book!!!!!!