Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Feature and Photos From Our Trip to Costa Rica

Hello everyone!  I have finally returned to the blogosphere.  To kick things off this week, I am celebrating four things: 

  1. C. Lee McKenzie's release of her new YA novel, Sudden Secrets.  I brought my Kindle with me to Costa Rica expecting to read Sudden Secrets but I have a confession to make... I had no extra time to read!!  But Sudden Secrets is at the top of my list.
  2. I polished off two of my children's book manuscripts last week.  I had them on the backburner for quite some time now but I would really like to see them published, asap.  Of course, there will be tons of edits for them to go through.  I am on my 4th picture book as we speak and this idea came to me during my vacation to Costa Rica.  I am still feeling the story out but this is what I love about writing children's books.  I love to see the story and images unfold together as I imagine them inside my meandering head.
  3. I had a school author visit on Thursday of last week.  I seriously can't thank the Universe and God enough for providing my soul with these incredible blessings.  I absolutely adore spending time with the children, especially when it comes to presenting and storytelling.  The kids had a blast and I will share a couple of photos below=)  I have another visit in a couple of weeks and I am also teaming up with United Way for the 2nd year in a row to read to low income schools.  I can't wait!
  4. I wanted to share some of my photos and adventures from Costa Rica with all of you.  Hopefully, they will inspire you to book your tickets for a future trip there.  If you haven't had a chance to visit, I highly recommend checking it out!

Monday Feature 

Sudden Secrets by C. Lee McKenzie

One Secret 
Cleo has struggled to heal after her baby sister’s death, but the flashbacks to the accident won’t go away. With the move, she vows to keep her tragedy a secret and avoid pitying looks. 
One Mystery
Something’s strange about the abandoned house across the street—flashes of light late at night and small flickers of movement that only someone looking for them would see.
Everyone says the house is deserted, but Cleo is sure it isn’t, and she’s sure whoever is inside is watching her. 
Another Secret 
In one night, Belleza’s life changes forever. So famous, her only choice is to hide her secret from the world so she can silence small town bigotry.
Then Cleo happens.

You can enter to win a copy of Sudden Secrets during C. Lee's 20 book giveaway!!  Just click here:

School Author Visit




Costa Rica Photos

View from our suite

Sun setting over the mountains outside of our hotel

Me kayaking off the beach of the hotel

Monkeys were all over the resort

Our hotel, the RIU Guanacaste

Frogs were also all over the hotel grounds

My friend and I stumbled upon a sea turtle burying her eggs on the beach

The dear and me with another sea turtle

Pablo was such an awesome tour guide that he gave us a private tour of the Rincon Volcano where we zip-lined, bathed in volcanic mud, horseback rode to a gorgeous waterfall, toured hanging bridges in the jungle and swam in natural volcanic hot springs

Rincon Volcano

Hanging bridges... my face did not look like this at the end!!  I was so scared by the time we got to the 15th bridge!

Whitewater rafting with new friends from our hotel along the Tenorio River, class III/IV

We flipped over the first drop, sadly enough!  It was still such a rush!

12 foot drop

I'm cheering because we didn't flip!

We made some more friends at the hotel and hired our tour guide, Pablo, to take us to a surf town, Tamarindo.  We had such a blast!

Making friends with the locals who are some of the nicest people!

The Mariachi band stopped to sing and take a photo with us

Lazy day at the gorgeous pool.  It was so big that you never had a problem getting a chair or swimming with lots of room

Sunset on the very last day of our vacation.  We laid on the beach and I had tears in my eyes, lol

This photo is the inspiration for my 4th children's book which I am going to start writing this week.  I am very excited and will have this photo in the background while working=)

As sad as I was to leave Costa Rica, at least I had a school author visit to warm my heart back up and I look forward to reconnecting with all of your blogs.  How is your writing going?  Are there any vacations you plan on taking over the next year?  Will you be adding Sudden Secrets to your TBR list?  It's on mine! 




Monday, January 5, 2015

Monday Feature and Goals for 2015

I want to wish you all a Happy New Year!  Whether you are a writer, author, blogger or dedicated reader, I am sending positive vibes your way and hoping this year gives you everything you ask for and more.  From reading around the blogosphere, I have realized many of us have set up some amazing new goals.  Some of my goals for 2015 are as follows:

  1. Read more books
  2. Send my 2nd picture book off for publication
  3. Finish the edits for my WIP and look for representation
  4. Finalize a pitch I have been working on for a big time film company (Hey, we can all dream, eh?)
  5. Not allow the day job to get in the way of my personal space (I'm such a pushover)
  6. Give more reviews to my fellow authors
  7. Spend as much quality time with the dear and Luna (my rescue kitty) without having my writing goals suffer
  8. Be the best friend, lover, daughter, sister and auntie I possibly can be=)

Monday's Feature

Today, I am featuring 25 Roses by Stephanie Faris.  I will be spreading word about this book because I read one of her other YA novels, 30 Days of No Gossip, and absolutely loved it!  25 Roses is available January 6th but you can pre-order it today!

25 Roses

Stephanie Faris


Mia moves from the shadows to the spotlight when her matchmaking plans go awry in this contemporary M!X novel from the author of 30 Days of No Gossip.

Mia is used to feeling overlooked: her perfect older sister gets all the attention at home, and the popular clique at school are basically experts at ignoring her. So when it’s time for the annual Student Council chocolate rose sale, Mia is prepared to feel even worse. Because even though anyone can buy and send roses to their crushes and friends, the same (popular) people always end up with roses while everyone else gets left out.

Except a twist of fate puts Mia in charge of selling the roses this year—and that means things are going to change. With a little creativity, Mia makes sure the kids who usually leave empty-handed suddenly find themselves the object of someone’s affection. But her scheme starts to unravel when she realizes that being a secret matchmaker isn’t easy—and neither is being in the spotlight. 

Stephanie Faris:


Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, both with Aladdin M!x. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive. 


Buy (Autographed)
Buy (Amazon)

I am leaving for Costa Rica in six days!!!  I can't tell you how excited I am because the dear and I have been looking forward to this trip for YEARS.  We have traveled quite a bit together but this is the first time we found an impeccable deal for this gem.  We will be white water rafting, zip-lining through rain forests, visiting volcanoes and stumbling on whichever dive restaurants the locals steer us toward.   

This is where we will be staying.. I am syked!

I will be back toward the end of January after I have wrapped up vacation time, some writing and two school visits for my children's book.  See you all then!