Posts Tagged ‘Key West’

ISLAND AFFAIR Cover Reveal & First Look!

Helping us get through this HumpDay…

Big shout out to Silvana Reyes (aka @thebookvoyagers) and Frolic for helping me give readers a first look at ISLAND AFFAIR, book 1 in the KEYS TO LOVE series with Kensington Books!

Set in Key West, ISLAND AFFAIR is a May 2020 release best described as This is Us meshed with Blue Bloods, Latinx-style, in this familia drama featuring a  hunky fire fighter-paramedic and the social media influencer who convinces him to be her fake almost-fiancé.

For a sneak peek at Luis and Sara’s meet-cute, check out ISLAND AFFAIR’S First Look on Frolic!

 

#LatinxRom

Summer Fun

postcard KW
By now many, if not most, school districts and universities/colleges are back in session. Summer is over and it’s time to get back in a groove of school, homework, longer commutes and busier schedules.

The dog days of summer are behind us—though in the Southeast, we’re still feeling the heat and humidity. And typically will for months to come.

With our kids and teachers starting back to school, I thought I’d call upon a beloved class assignment from my past: the age old, “What did you do this summer?” essay.

I have to say, I had a blessed summer of 2014. My girls are older, so they’re not home all that often now and when they are, I treasure every moment.

I started off with a three-week visit from with my youngest before she headed back to college for the summer session. Yes, I tried to pack as much fun as I could in her short time with me.
zac brown band with belle

Then, my youngest niece and nephew arrived to spend two months with my parents and me. Talk about reliving my past. It’s been a while since I’ve had elementary and middle school kids running around the house. From World Cup soccer parties to 90 minutes of trampoline time at a local Skyzone…they certainly kept me hopping—in a fun way!

world cup gator dockside 1
Between two writers’ conferences, a rousing family reunion celebration in Texas
cousin love
and the passing of a beloved uncle, my June and July flew by.

To cap off my summer, my middle daughter arrived home for two weeks and we headed off for a long weekend in Key West, my old stomping grounds during junior high and high school.

We biked all around the island,
P & G biking KW
hit Duval for a little dancing and nightlife, watched a glorious sunset on Mallory Square, caught sunrise before hitting the tennis courts, spent a relaxing day on a boat with old friends, passed by my childhood home and enjoyed playing tourist. It was a jam-packed weekend of catching up with good friends and sharing my hometown with my daughter.

Some folks have commented on all the traveling I managed to do over the past few months. Yes, I’ve been blessed in that respect.

For me though, what I really count as a blessing is the time I’ve been able to spend with family. The memories we created together. The hours spent in each other’s company. The opportunity to say, “I love you” in person to loved ones I don’t get to see often enough.

I’d say the highlight of my summer was the blessing of family time. With the traveling being the icing on the cake. ☺

So, as the Key West sun sets, the homeschool teacher in me wants to know: What did you do this summer?
KW sunset

Exercise: it does a body, mind and soul good!

Image

 

Okay, so I’m sure we’ve all heard something similar to the title of this blog at some point in our lives. Either a friend’s told us, or we’ve read a magazine article about it, or maybe even our family doctor has shared this sage advice.

 

We know the physical benefits of exercising—improve heart health, increase muscle strength, ward off disease, etc. But we often forget the mental benefits of exercising.

 

For me, going out for a run is usually a great way to unwind. It allows me time away from other distractions to think, or to plug into my music and let the worries slip away. I come home tired, yet energized. My mood is lifted. I feel empowered. I feel stronger—mentally and physically.

 

As a mom who’s been called “other-focused”, I admit that I have a tendency to take care of others before myself. Trying my best to ensure that others have what they need.

 

Just the other day someone tried to explain why it’s important for me to make sure I have what I need emotionally and physically, too. 

 

She said:

“It’s good for your health and well-being.”

“No one else will take care of you as well as you should take care of yourself.”

“It’s good for you to model for you daughters that taking care of yourself is important.”

 

My friend and I both chuckled when I admitted that if there’s one thing that would motivate me to do my best to be healthy, it’s that last reason she gave. I’ll do almost anything if it’ll benefit my girls. Of course, my friend smirked a little as she reminded me that with “other-focused” people, explaining how their actions might benefit someone else can be the best motivator.  🙂

 

So, this past weekend, I took some time for myself. Sure, it’s a little easier for me since I’m a single mom and my girls are all out of the house now. But my schedule is so jam-packed, I almost backed out of the weekend. Nearly convinced myself I had too much to do. Too many projects at work and at home to warrant going away for a long weekend.  But ultimately, I hit the road and the ocean.

 

I made the drive to Ft. Myers, Florida from my current home town, hopped the Key West Express ferry shuttle, and sailed to my old home town to run the Key West half marathon.

 

Mind you, I hadn’t trained since I spontaneously decided to register for the race less than a month ago when an old high school friend let me know she was running. Hence one of the arguments I tried to use during my “should I-shouldn’t I go” debate—13.1 miles without training, are you crazy?

 

But I challenged myself to compete, justifying it as a chance to set my benchmark for 2014. Let this race time be a starting time for 2014, with my goal being to improve by the end of the year. Just like I’ve set a 2014 goal to improve in other areas of life.

 

And guess what, not only did I finish, but I finished in one of my best race times ever! Granted, it wasn’t a personal record and I did finish a little less than an hour after the #1 female racer, but my time of 2 hours, 19 minutes, 43 seconds was definitely respectable. In my eyes anyway.

 

I finished that race much like I finish a regular run—feeling energized, empowered and stronger. What better example can I set for my daughters? What better example can I set for myself?

 

Two days earlier my girlfriend had met me at the ferry landing holding up a sign that read: Priscilla Awesome Runner.  We had laughed together as we hugged hello. Post-race, we grinned as she bragged about how prophetic her sign had proven to be.

 

Awesome Runner isn’t a bad title to have. For me though, it’s more important to be Awesome Mom or Awesome Person. Regular exercise, staying healthy allows me to constantly strive for both.

 

What about you? Is running your go-to exercise? Or what do you regularly do to help your physical and mental well-being?

USA TODAY BEST SELLING AUTHOR

Represented by Rebecca Strauss DeFiore & Company

rebecca@defliterary.com

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