Writer Wednesday – Meet Author Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra

The Coin

Who ever thought a coin could get you killed?TheCoin_small-2


For artist Gabriela Martinez, life has become complicated:  she suspects her mentor and friend wants her as his mistress, her husband is neglecting her, and her latest illustration is ruined.  Seeking peace, she visits her favorite thinking spot in La Marbriére, the mountain overlooking her home in the Côte d’Azur.  Distracted, she winds up in an unfamiliar clearing, where she discovers a 1945 French coin half-buried in the ground.  Delighted with its beauty, she has it set on her favorite bracelet.


Richard Harrison, an American intelligence officer, is livid.  A simple favor for his boss has turned his vacation in the French Riviera into a hellish assignment.  Now, not only does he learn the truth about the coin, but he must also protect Gabriela from a cunning killer who will stop at nothing.


Together with Maurice Nôret, from French intelligence, Richard attempts to discover the madman’s identity, except his budding love for the beautiful artist is turning into a dangerous handicap.  Every one of his moves is thwarted with brutal countermoves.  Soon, the psychological games to terrorize Gabriela escalate beyond his control.  If Richard doesn’t find a solution, it may be too late for them both.

Set in the exotic French Riviera, The Coin is a story of hatred, betrayal, love and duty—of terrible and painful choices that, nonetheless, bring about personal triumph.

 The Book of HoursTheBookOfHours-200x300

For artist Gabriela Martinez, psychopaths do hit twice.


In 1993, artist Gabriela Martinez almost lost her life to a sociopath’s twisted vision.  If not for Richard Harrison, the operative sent to protect her, she would have ended up dead.  The dramatic showdown pushed them together, but there were too many obstacles temporarily pulling them apart.


After catching a glimpse of Gabriela’s new work, The Book of Hours, Arnold Wickeham has been like a man possessed.  Now, he will do anything—anything—in order to claim it, and nothing, especially not Gabriela, will stand in his way.


Richard Harrison has never given up his true love, Gabriela.  Now someone new is threatening her life, and he will risk everything to protect her.  But the stakes are now higher, and there is much more to lose.  And, if he doesn’t stay one step ahead of the danger, her life, but especially, their future, may very well go up in flames.


In The Coin, Gabriela and Richard were cruelly used by fate—and destiny isn’t done.  In the shadow of this new threat, their choices may not just save their lives, but also their love.

The Coin Buy Links

The Book of Hours Buy Links (Pre-order for Feb. 12 release)


Maria was generous enough to offer a rafflecopter giveaway. Just follow the instructions in the box to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet the Author

OMaria 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.




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Interview questions

These blurbs intrigued me, so I thought I would ask the author a few questions.

The Coin is set in the French Riviera. This is definitely a romantic location, steeped in James Bond lore. Tell our readers about your affinity for the Riviera.  (Did you travel there? Live there for a while, etc.)

Funny you should mention James Bond.  I always thought of my character, Richard, in The Coin, as a mixture between James Bond (worldly, sophisticated, drop-dead gorgeous, but with no gadgets) and Rick Blaine in Casablanca (cynical, noble, with a capacity for self-sacrifice).  But to answer your question, my affinity for the Riviera is simple:  I lived there for five years and those years were absolutely wonderful ones (wish I could afford a home there like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt).  Apart from the fact that the area is gorgeous, the architecture magnificent, and you can rub elbows with the rich and famous while walking the streets of Nice, Monaco, or Cannes, the area is also steeped in history–and I am a fan of history, especially ancient and medieval.  What more can a person ask for?

The main character is an artist who gets pulled into a world of spies and international intrigue. What called to you about that profession?

A lifetime of loving art and not being able to draw but stick figures!  I have always wanted to be a Raphael, a Da Vinci, or a Michelangelo.  I have a good amount of art books in my library and, whenever I have the chance, I go to museums.  Why not give my character, Gabriela, that profession?  That would also complement her personality with her career–a woman who creates beauty, but is drawn into a world that is the opposite.  Great conflict point.

What can readers of The Coin expect?  

Thrills, a window into the Riviera not many have seen, a unique love story, and moments of humor.  And did I mention a unique love story?

Does this series end here, or do you envision it continuing into a third book?

The series ends with The Book of Hours, which I set half in Monterey Bay, California and London, England.  I never planned for a third book about Gabriela’s and Richard’s lives. They have come full circle, overcoming everything I threw at them.  They have earned their rest, but you never know.



I hope you enjoyed this romp around the Riviera with Maria. Follow my blog to meet more romantic suspense authors. I am almost ready to send out my January newsletter, and I’ll be doing a drawing of my subscribers for a $10 gift card, either to Starbucks or Amazon. So sign up for my newsletter today. I send out emails no more than monthly, and usually I have fun recipes, and heads up about my book projects. You can sign up here. The list is run by mailchimp, so no spam ever.