A warm welcome to author Laura Bailo joining us today to talk about her first book “The Sun Still Rises”, part of Dreamspinners World of Love series.
Welcome Laura 🙂
What’s with all the Spanish billionaires?
The Sun Still Rises is my first book, which means this is also my first blog tour. I had no idea what to write about when my publisher gave me the dates for the tour stops, so I did what I always do, I went and asked a group of author friends. We brainstormed ideas, and someone suggested I could write a post about my favorite Spanish heroes in romance. This was all well and good, until I remembered I haven’t read any romances with a Spanish hero or heroine in them – although I’ve probably read a few that are only available in Spanish.
So what did I do? I set out to look for some Spanish heroes. And then I came across the Spanish billionaires. I found not only one, but five Harlequin books with those exact words in their titles! We’ve got Mistress: pregnant by the Spanish billionaire, Kept by the Spanish billionaire, Spanish billionaire, innocent wife, The Spanish billionaire’s Christmas wife, and The Spanish Prince’s Virgin Bride.
Now, I haven’t read any of those, so I won’t judge, but I’m really curious; where did this fascination with Spanish billionaires came from? And where are they hiding and why haven’t I met any of them? Really, I don’t want to be swept off my feet, but they could treat me to coffee from time to time. Harlequin and other publishers seem to have a stash of them hiding away. They could loan me one, is all I’m saying.
I should tell you that there are no billionaires in my book, but it does have a Spanish guy. David has lived in Pamplona all his life, and has made the city his way of living, in a way. He works at a tourism office and dreams of having his own agency. He loves his work, and his city. I’m leaving you with an excerpt in which we can see him talking about it:
David groaned. “Oh man, you have no idea. I had to tell so many people that they couldn’t jump from the fountain, I thought about tattooing the words on my forehead.”
Erik frowned. “Jump from the fountain?”
“Yeah. There’s a fountain in the old part of the city, and nobody knows when or why, but someone started the ‘tradition’”—David put air quotes around the word—“of jumping from it to be picked up by the people on the ground. It’s more than five meters high and a lot of the people down there are drunk, so you can imagine how that ends.”
“Badly, I guess. But why would anyone jump?”
“Because some tourist guides for the festival sell it as a traditional activity. Some travel agencies even charge the tourists fifteen euros for a ticket for the jump, and since it’s prepaid, once they’re here there’s nothing we can do. We’ve told them not to, we’ve put up posters, but every year, people keep jumping, and a lot of them end up being seriously injured.”
“That must be hard. Can’t the town hall do anything?”
“They’ve tried to, but there have never been any results. Someone always jumps. I love this city, but I don’t really care for what the festival has been doing to it these latest years.”
“What do you mean?” Erik didn’t know much about the festival at all, but what he’d seen so far was similar to what he’d imagined.
“The extension, people thinking we just run with the bulls, drink, and party all seven days. A lot of the traditions are getting smaller audiences, and those are the soul of the festival and the city. It just makes me so mad. And even some of the locals don’t know about their own traditions. I’ve tried to convince the office to do tours for the locals during the year, explaining to them the origin of the festival, the activities that are not the bull running…. But they always shut me down.”
“That actually sounds like a good idea—getting the locals to know their own culture better. I would totally sign up for it.”
That got him another smile. “Thank you. A colleague and I, we’re thinking about leaving the office and starting our own agency. Doing themed tours, dramatized ones, that kind of thing. We’ve been saving some money, and I think we’ll be able to start by the beginning of next year if it all works.”
Erik’s father lived for Pamplona’s yearly festival and the running of the bulls. Now he’s gone, and Erik flies to Pamplona on a whim to see the festival his father loved—without booking a room first. He’s looking at sleeping on the ground until friendly David from the tourism office offers to share his home.
When Erik realizes he trusts David, that he might even be willing to face his anxiety to get to know David better, he begins to understand what this trip could mean. Pamplona is even more beautiful when seen through David’s eyes, and Erik might have traveled around the world just to find himself. But can he hold on to his newfound confidence—and to David—when it’s time to go home?
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
She lives in Spain with far too many books and boxes full of notebooks. She loves exploring the narrow streets of Pamplona and she’s known to have gotten lost in her own city. She loves reading, singing and trying out new cooking recipes, and if she’s feeling adventurous she may try to do all of these at the same time.
She loves hearing from people and you can find her at: