1--What is the title of your latest release?
A TOUCH OF MOONLIGHT
2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?
Larimar has found her soulmate in Ray. He just can’t find out she works for the corporation that wants to close his bakery, and he can’t find out she’s a ciguapa (mythical creature from Dominican folk legend).
3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?
I started writing the book during the lockdown in 2020, so my mind naturally went to several places I wanted to travel to and couldn’t, like North Jersey (where I’m from) and Philly (where I lived for several years).
4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?
Absolutely! We would go thrift shopping and eat cupcakes together.
5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?
Spunky, spirited, sarcastic.
6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?
I learned more about the moon cycle than I ever had in my life, since the events of the story happen around the moon cycle. There were some scenes I had to edit to match the moon cycle.
7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?
I try to wait until I’m done, but it doesn’t always work that way.
8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?
Dark chocolate ice cream with crystallized ginger on top.
9--Describe your writing space/office!
Most of A Touch of Moonlight was not written in my office but rather on my cozy couch. Couches are prominent in both of my novels, and I think that’s because mine is so restorative to me.
10--Who is an author you admire?
It’s hard to pick just one! There’s Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez, Josefina Báez. And also, Priscilla Oliveras. Besides her delightful novels, I see her continually working to support and uplift other authors, and I think that’s beautiful.
11--Is there a book that changed your life?
How the Garcia Girls Got their Accents by Julia Alvarez. It was my first time reading about a Dominican-American family and the way they mixed Spanish and English, Dominican culture and American culture resonated deeply for me.
12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.
I was in the Food Lion parking lot in southeastern North Carolina when I got the email that there was an offer on my first novel. I screamed in my car for five minutes straight.
13--What’s your favorite genre to read?
I like to read women’s fiction, romance, and rom-coms as well as literary fiction.
14--What’s your favorite movie?
Real Women Have Curves was a healing and validating movie for me that I can watch over and over. I saw it the first time as a curvy 18-year-old, and the protagonist, Ana, felt like she was me.
15--What is your favorite season?
When I lived in New York/New Jersey it was spring, and now that I live in Florida, it’s winter. Florida’s winter is somewhat similar in temperature to New York’s spring.
16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
I love going to the beach with my family, and friends, and a cooler full of fun drinks and snacks.
17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?
I am watching a K-drama called Extraordinary Attorney Woo, starring Park Eun Bin. It’s about a brilliant attorney who is also on the autism spectrum. I have only watched two episodes so far, because of time constraints. But I am loving it, although it’s also hard for me to watch sometimes. My son has autism and when I see people being rude or dismissive to the titular character, it hurts.
18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
I call what I’ve been cooking lately Dominiterranean cuisine. It’s mixed Dominican and Mediterranean, like grilled fish and eggplant with fried plátanos on the side and a glass of wine.
19--What do you do when you have free time?
I like to travel with my family, read, of course, and go to the beach.
20--What can readers expect from you next?
I think that my next novel will still be food-happy but will also get into some deeper issues. There will most likely still be a central love story.
From the author of A Taste of Sage comes another charming and engrossing novel in which a young woman must navigate her family’s expectations, the demands of her job, a new love, and a secret about her magical identity.
Larimar Cintrón works hard at three things: her job as brand manager for Beacon Café, a New York based corporate bakery chain; taking care of her parents and her abuela; and hiding that she’s a ciguapa—a mythical creature of Dominican folklore with long, straight hair and backwards-facing feet. Larimar may only be a ciguapa on full moons, but she feels like an outsider in her family the rest of the month too. Her love of ’90s punk rock music and style further sets her apart. But when her best friend introduces her to Ray, a bakery owner and fellow punk rock lover, Larimar thinks she may have finally found someone with whom she can be her true self.
As Beacon’s brand manager, Larimar oversees all new location openings, including its newest store in New Jersey, which could be the project that finally lands her a coveted promotion. But when she discovers the location is right across from Ray’s bakery, Borrachitos, Larimar is torn between impressing her boss and saving Ray’s business.
As Larimar continues to grow closer to Ray and the new store’s opening looms, she struggles to hide the truth about herself and her job. But embracing her magical nature may be the only way Larimar can have everything she wants. Witty and poignant, A Touch of Moonlight is a celebration of heritage, culture, and identity—of embracing yourself and finding your place in the world.
Women's Fiction | Romance [Harper Paperbacks, On Sale: October 25, 2022, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780063159037 / ]
Yaffa S. Santos was born and raised in New Jersey. Yaffa is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied writing and visual art. She lives in Florida with her family.
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