Gosh, can’t believe 2018 is over! Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Honestly, 2018 has been a blur for me. Feels like I’ve been running around like a mad woman.
What am I working on right now? Well, it seems like I’ve been working on the edits for Man Behind The Uniform forever. I just can’t seem to find the time to really sit down and get it done.
Honestly, I’ll have to perhaps make a schedule to work on it after work in the evenings. It’s such a great story! I know many of the readers have been waiting anxiously for this release since Girl Behind The Veil was a crazy ending! I promise, I’m going to figure out how to get this done. The goal is to release it by April the latest!
Speaking of Girl Behind The Veil, it won the Gold Medal from Readers’ Favorite in Fiction Cultural category and also another Gold Medal from Florida Association for Publishers and Authors. I was lucky enough to attend the award ceremony in Miami to retrieve my gold medal. I met some very talented authors, and wow! What a privilege to be ranked amongst some of the top authors from all over the world. Here are some pictures:
Oh and in other great news… I was a guest on this amazing podcast called, The Things She Does! It was a new experience for me, but I think it turned out really great! Gosh, the interview was so in depth. Shout out to the host, Nickie Snyder, for having me and empowering/inspiring women all over the world. We talked about so many things, ranging from my books, being a physical therapist, being an immigrant, raising children, being a military wife, and life in general. How do we try to balance it all? What are some ways we can pursue our dreams? Would love for you to listen to this podcast. Like I said, the interview turned out great.
Here’s the link:
So what are the goals for 2019? Gosh, who knows what tomorrow will bring? But, I’ll do my best to control what I can. Goals:
- Publish Man Behind The Uniform
- Drink more water
- Continue to go to the gym 2-3 times a week.
- Spend quality time with my family
- Do some sort of PR for the books at least once a week.
What about you? What would you like to focus on in 2019? Remember, if you want to make changes in your life, there is no such thing as the “right” time. Start now!
As always, thank you all for your ongoing support. Here’s to an amazing 2019! Love you all. Remember, books can be found here: Amazon
Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016
What a busy year it has been! I’m proud to say I got two books out in 2015 (Chaysing Destiny and My Perfect Imperfections). I also have a short story out called Beauty and the Beast in an anthology, The Cat, The Crow, and the Cauldron, with other talented authors. Getting all these stories out is pretty huge for me since I work full time as well.
Outside of that, Chaysing Destiny won the Bronze medal in Readers’ Favorite 2015 Book Awards in Fiction/Thriller/Terrorism. What an honor and an unforgettable event in Miami for me!
Chaysing Memories and Chaysing Destiny also received the Book of the month award from Long and Short Reviews.
Additionally, Chaysing Dreams and Chaysing Memories took first and third place award in Best Paranormal book of 2015 by Readers’ Junction. The Cat, the Crow, and the Cauldron also took third place award in Best Anthology.
My Perfect Imperfections received the five star seal from three different reviewers from Readers’ Favorite.
I’m proud to say it also received the Epilogues Authors Seal, was voted #4 in 50 Best Indie Books of 2015 by the readers, and also won several other recognitions: Best Ugly Cry book, Top Five Books read in 2015, and Most Memorable Book of 2015.
There have been lots of nominations for all of the books in 2015, ranging from Best Series to Best Book Boyfriend to Best Book Couple. What’s been really cool is that all of the books were #1 Amazon best sellers in their categories. Yes, it has been an incredible year.
But, do you know what’s really been incredible? I’ve met some amazing people online because of all of my writing endeavors. I was lucky enough to meet my friend, Charisse Hogan. Because of her, I was inspired to write My Perfect Imperfections. She is a remarkable young woman with cerebral palsy, and each day, I am in awe with her strength, beauty, and positive energy. Here’s the link of her YouTube video when she reviewed My Perfect Imperfections: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4WPNs5cYJ4
My new friends have sent me a ton of messages on how much the story of My Perfect Imperfections have opened their eyes and inspired them. If this story has made a difference in even one person’s life, then that’s the ultimate reward for me.
I must mention all of the other amazing authors and readers I’ve met in 2015. I swear, you guys keep me motivated. And, I was lucky to meet my amazing Personal Assistant, Amanda Walker, who is so much more than just a PA. Thank you, Amanda, for all that you do.
Okay, what’s next for 2016? I have another short story, “Touch of the Untouchables,” featured in an anthology called, “Eye of Fear.” Again, I’ve teamed up with other best-selling and award winning authors for this one. This will be released in March of 2016.
I decided to write my own anthology, which is due to be released around Valentine’s Day, called “Loving you Hurts So Good.” I am really excited about this for several reasons. For one, I had never written short stories, so this was especially challenging for me. But, I’m a firm believer that the only way to grow is to challenge ourselves. It’s a collection of “forget me nots,” and I promise, each story will touch your heart. Here are some teasers:
While writing these short stories, I decided some of the characters have more to say about their stories. So, Fate’s Cry (formally known as Beauty and the Beast), will be a full length novel, and I plan on releasing that in 2016 as well. Touch of the Untouchables will most likely be my next big series (I hope to have the first book done by the end of 2016).
Outside of my writing endeavors, personally, life is good. My family is healthy and that’s a huge blessing. My daughter is in her second year of college, my son is about to graduate high school, and my youngest is in fifth grade. My parents’ health is good, my husband and I are still able to work hard, and my little niece brings light to my world. Yes, life is good.
So in 2016, I challenge you to write down what you’d like to accomplish. Remember, no dream is too small or too big. Life is short, so your time is now. Learn from your past, and focus on the future. I leave you with this quote from My Perfect Imperfections. Love you all!
I can’t believe 2015 is almost here. How can that be? I still remember listening to Prince’s song “1999” and I used to think that 1999 seemed so far away. Man, if there was only a way to slow down time.
Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to that. But as I’m getting older and hopefully a bit wiser, I’ve learned to force myself to slow things down. I’ve promised myself that if there’s a moment in time I want to remember, I’m going to stop what I’m doing and just feel. It could be somebody singing a beautiful song, or my kids opening their gifts, or my dog playing with her toys, or welcoming the birth of my beautiful niece, or finishing my manuscript…
Memories are very important to me. Since time is slipping away, I at least want to try to remember things that touch me—you know, just to internalize it all and live for the moment.
I know, I know…we all try to come up with a New Year’s Resolution, promising ourselves that this new year will be different. We all work hard on it for the first couple of months and then we fall back on our old habits. Trust me, I’ve been there many times!
But this year, I challenge you to come up with realistic goals. It could even be simple things that are easy to achieve. You just really have to look within yourself to see what’s important to you.
Somebody once told me that nobody is responsible for my happiness but myself. I thought about it for a long time, and I realized that the person was right. At the end of the day, it’s up to me whether I see the cup as half full or half empty. I’m in charge of my own happiness—not my family, not my friends, not my work. It’s up to me to find where my happiness lies. So guess what? I decided to laugh more, to appreciate the little things in life, to just live my life to the fullest. Because before I know it, things could be taken away from me in a heartbeat. Yes, life is moving that fast, folks.
What are your dreams? What are some things you always wanted to do? What is your calling? Only you can answer these questions. The only way to do that is to really do some soul searching. Sure, you may not be able to drop all that you’re responsible for and pursue your dreams. Unfortunately, that probably is not very practical. But maybe you can come up with some sort of compromise.
Let me explain. In my case, I wanted to see if I could write a novel. Granted, this has nothing to do with my career field. I’m a physical therapist for heaven’s sake. But I wanted to just challenge myself. And do you know what? I realize I absolutely love it. I enjoy creating my own world through my books, my characters, and most of all, I love bringing these books to my readers. Who would have thought that this was something that would be my passion? But does that mean I’m going to drop my job, go to other countries to do my research for my books, and just focus on my writing? That’s just not very practical for me. So what do I do? I compromise. I try to focus on my writing/marketing on evenings and weekends. Instead of writing two or three books a year, I write one every ten months. It’s the best I can do and that’s good enough for now. Like I said, I enjoy creating stories, and it’s a nice therapeutic escape to lose myself into my fictional world.
So don’t sell yourself short…just go for it! Don’t wait for the right time because it’ll never come. 2015 is YOUR year! Embrace it and take control of your own happiness!
As you think about what you want out of 2015, I’ll leave you with a little excerpt from Chaysing Dreams. This is actually New Year’s Eve party and Tess and Jack are nineteen years old in this scene.
Chaysing Dreams Excerpt (New Year’s Eve)
Jack takes my hand and leads me under the mistletoe. He lifts my chin up to look at him and says, “Ok, Tess, don’t freak like you did last time I tried to kiss you.”
“What? I didn’t freak. I didn’t know…” Before I can finish my sentence, he leans forward and plants his lips on me. It’s a brief kiss, but full of tenderness.
“See, not too bad, right?” Jack asks.
“Shut up, Jack,” I say, laughing with him.
Jack takes my hand, leads me to the rest of the guests, and we begin mingling.
Right when midnight is about to strike, we start the count down.
All of us yell, “10, 9, 8….4, 3, 2, 1!” We all jump around, hugging one another, and screaming, “Happy New Year!”
As I embrace everybody, suddenly my phone buzzes. I glance down at my phone and notice a text that says,
“Thinking about you as this new year starts. Happy New Year!”
I don’t recognize the number. So I reply:
“Thank you. Who is this?”
“Come on, Tessnia, you know who this is.”
Oh my god, it’s him! My heart skips a beat.
“How did you get my number?”
“You gave it to me, a while back.”
“I don’t remember giving it to you?”
I know I hadn’t given it to him.
“I guess where there’s a will, there’s a way. Have a good night, Tessnia.”
And that’s that. The conversation ends and I’m left wondering if that really happened. I quickly save his phone number, purposefully ignoring my shaky fingers and erratic heartbeat.