Romance Writers of America® 2018 RITA® & Golden Heart® Finalists Announced!

Portrait of child in classroom against chalkboard. Kid with books in class. Success, idea and win concept. Back to school

Earlier this week the 2018 finalists in the Romance Writers of America® RITA® and Golden Heart® contests were announced.

It was an absolute thrill and surprise to get the call from RWA President Dee Davis letting me know that my debut novel HIS PERFECT PARTNER has been named a double finalist in the categories Best First Book and Contemporary Romance: Mid-length.

For the full list of authors and books, visit the RWA website or check out the article in HEA USA Today!

Congratulations to all the finalists!

See you in Denver for the Awards Ceremony and celebrations!

HEA USA Today Interview

 

HEA USA Today logo(HEA USA Today official logo)

 

I had some fun on the HEA USA Today site, doing a little Q&A about myself and my writing as we kicked off HIS PERFECT PARTNER’s debut release on September 26, 2017.

Swing by the HEA USA Today site to find out: what I do when I’m stuck, what distracts me from writing, a favorite moment in my writing career, what my go-to writing snacks are, my favorite dream vacation and whether I have a pet who joins me in my office (FYI: you don’t wanna miss the pic of my sweet Addi).

It’s a fun peek into the life of this Latina romance author….hope you stop by! And if you haven’t already, check out HIS PERFECT PARTNER on Amazon!

 

Hispanic Heritage Month

HHM pic 2

 

We’re in the midst of  Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from September 15th – October 15th!

I’ll be guest blogging at two sites during HHM:

1. the Contemporary Romance Writers chapter of Romance Writers of America– Wednesday, September 23rd

and

2. Limecello’s TartSweet— book review blog– Thursday, October 15th

Stay tuned for more info on my upcoming posts!

 

 

 

So Long, Farewell

Until we meet again

Goodbyes are never easy. At least, not for me. Especially when they’re shared with loved ones, people I’m fond of, places I enjoy being, or blogs to which I feel a connection.

I guess you can see where I’m going here.

It’s my final blog on the Peanut Butter on the Keyboard site. I haven’t been a PBOK mom for very long, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The camaraderie, the shared insight and advice, the comfort in hearing from other women with similar issues. Whether we have kids or not, have toddlers or adolescents or young adults, whether we’re married or single, whether we’re writers or not… we’re all women, striving to do our best, give our best, be our best… in a world that is ever changing, ever challenging, ever hectic.

There are times we want to fix everything, accomplish anything and feel like we’re SuperWoman. And there are moments when we just want to curl up on our couch, cover up with a warm blanket and take a nap.

We’ve shared celebrations, tragedies, family traditions, and posts about ideas or organizations or injustices we feel strongly about and staunchly support. We’ve questioned ourselves, our kids, our parenting, our actions—and in return we’ve received guidance, pats on the back, reassurance, tips, “hang-in theres” and commiseration.

I’m sad to see our time here come to an end. But the rose-colored-glasses, wide-eyed optimist in me refuses to think of this as “good-bye” but rather “FAREWELL!” Until next time. On the next blog somewhere on the internet. On the bookshelves. At a conference. In the grocery line. In spirit.

I wish you and yours a life full of peace, joy, health and love—much much love.

So, in the spirit of my musical theatre-loving family, I leave you with a song, a little dance, a little laughter and a fond, fond farewell.

If you’d care to share what movie or TV show farewell is your favorite, I’d love to hear it.

I watched many sad farewell videos before I selected this one. But seeing as how I prefer to close on a happier until-we-meet-again note, I close with this classic.

Until we meet again my friends…

<a href="[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qy9_lfjQopU&w=560&h=315]” title=”So long video” target=”_blank”>

Four-legged Family Members

addi and me minnie ears

I didn’t grow up with pets. We were a military family who moved a lot, so having pets wasn’t too conducive to our lifestyle.

Years later, when I started a family of my own, we eventually had three dogs—two that someone brought home (without giving me a heads up beforehand) and one that we got as a puppy. The first two unfortunately both died of natural causes after several years. Talk about traumatic experiences!

Not having grown up with pets I was nervous with our first two dogs—one a golden retriever and the other a black lab. They were fully-grown when they came to our house, so even though they were both really well behaved, I was still a bit skittish if they barked. If they had something in their mouth that they shouldn’t I was the last person willing to try to take it away.

But with our third dog, I’m completely different and I know exactly why.

Addi came to us as a puppy.

Addi puppy

I researched the right breeder, speaking with other owners who’d used the same person. We visited the breeder to meet the mom and dad dogs, and eventually we picked Addi out of the litter. In preparation for her arrival I read countless books about owning and training a puppy. I bought Cesar Milan DVDs, then watched and re-watched them.

The day we brought Addi home, when she whimpered in her kennel at bedtime, I took my pillow downstairs, opened the kennel door, put my pillow halfway inside and slept on the floor with Addi resting on my pillow near my head. I did this for a couple of days, then closed the kennel door and slept in front of it so she could still see me. Little by little I moved further and further away until I was back in my bed and she was sleeping comfortably in her kennel on her own.

It’s a similar technique I used when my oldest was two and feeling afraid of sleeping alone in her new bed. It worked then, and it worked 16 years later when I brought Addi home.

Now Addi’s about 20 times the size she was when she joined our family. She’s gone from a 10 pound puppy to a 70 pound dog.

addi with toy

Despite her size, I still think of her as one of my “babies”—if she’s got something dangerous in her mouth, you can bet I’m sticking my fingers inside to get it out. If she needs some attention, I’m on the floor with her and she’s “sitting” on my lap.

When my youngest daughter went off to college last year and I sat in my room teary, Addi came in to comfort me. It’s like she knew I needed a “hug.”

So, while maybe I’m not an “animal lover” yet because it just wasn’t part of my lifestyle for so many years, I can honestly say I now understand how and why people treat their pets like they’re family members. Addi is that to me. She was one of my babies. I’ve “raised” her.

I jokingly say she’s the child that doesn’t talk back to me and who is always eager for my hugs and attention. No moody adolescent years with this one! ☺

How about you guys? Does your family have a pet—a four-legged family member? We always share stories about our kids, how about stories about the pets that help make up our family? ☺

addi at beach

A Kensington Books Author & Multiple Golden Heart® Awards Finalist

Represented by Rebecca Strauss DeFiore & Company

rebecca@defliterary.com

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