From Hispanic PR Wire:

Tampa, FL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 5, 2006–

When Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez’s THE DIRTY GIRLS SOCIAL CLUB was published in 2003, Latinas everywhere celebrated the birth of their own commercial ethnic literature. Latina characters, Latina culture, Latina stories. Who then would have guessed that in three years the demand for stories featuring Latina characters would move beyond the Latina market and into mainstream America?

According to USA Today bestselling novelist Julie Leto, that’s just what’s happening, and she couldn’t be happier. As her new novel, DIRTY LITTLE LIES arrives in bookstores across the country, Leto is celebrating the popularity of her Marisela Morales novels. The series’ Cuban-American ex-bounty hunter has become the alter ego of women everywhere—not just Latinas—who long for adventure, thrills and, well—why not?—some good, hot sex. “No longer are Latinas the main characters in books targeted only for our ethnic group,” explained Leto, whose paternal grandmother was a proud Cuban-American.

“These characters have gone mainstream, starring in novels that are being snapped up by anyone who appreciates a great read.” In these lively books, the characters speak English, Spanish and Spanglish, depending on the situation, so readers everywhere are getting into the hearts and minds of Latino and Latina characters, enjoying their pursuits and tasting their culture. “Marisela is Cuban-American because I needed the conflicts that come with being ethnic in a world that doesn’t always accept that,” says Leto during a time when immigration controversy, walkouts and demonstrations are the target of the U.S. Latino culture. “I think readers enjoy the flavor that ethnicity adds to a book’s characters. And with all the controversies going on in the world right now about immigration, I think it’s important to portray my ethnic characters like the real, multi-layered, diverse people that they reflect,” said the Tampa author of 25 novels.

In DIRTY LITTLE LIES (Pocket Star, September 2006), after an assassination attempt on her watch, Marisela teams up with her ex-lover to find the shooter, a highly trained professional killer who believed the targeted Congressman deserved to die for a past transgression—murder. Leto is so hot right now that her publisher picked DIRTY LITTLE LIES as their September lead mass market title.

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