Obstacles

(Long sigh) I haven’t been responding to emails or private messages on GoodReads regarding my second book, Pinned Down because frankly, I don’t have much to say. Has the book been completed? Yes, but it hasn’t been edited. I’m currently working on the third book. I was afraid of releasing book 2 in case I decided to alter it while writing book 3. I wanted the freedom to make any necessary changes.

Now…what’s taking so long? I’ll be honest. (I’m about to air out some of my dirty laundry so feel free to stop reading. I don’t feel I should lie on behalf of others to paint a pretty picture of what my life is “supposed” to be.)

When I decided to write my first book, Pinned Up I did it because I felt like I was starting to lose myself. Yes, I’m married (to a great and loving husband) and a mom (to three awesome kiddos), but that doesn’t mean my personality and interests are now nonexistent. I quit my job a few years ago to be home with my kids. I’m truly blessed to have that opportunity. Somewhere along the way, I lost myself. I used to be funny, raunchy (after hours…lol), and free spirited. Slowly, I realized most of the joy I received was from seeing my kids grow although, truth be told…they’re also the reason for my grey hairs! (I know what you’re thinking, “but she’s too young to have grey hairs!” My thoughts exactly!)

Soon, Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey instantly became my escape from reality along with several other amazing books. After a short while, a story began developing in my mind. I started jotting down my ideas and before I knew it, I had a detailed outline and spreadsheet. When I wrote Pinned Up, I felt as if a part of me was receiving fresh air for the first time after being trapped in a dungeon (I’ve never been trapped in a dungeon, but that’s what I envisioned so just roll with it). I would laugh out loud like a crazy person with the ludicrous things my characters came up with. I enjoyed every bit of writing my first book.

Months later after its release, I reread it with “fresh eyes” keeping in mind the few negative reviews on GoodReads and Amazon. As I read my book, I made changes…changes that (to me) definitely improved the flow of the story and omitted the “clinical” feel. With a much better feeling, I released the second edition of Pinned Up a few months ago.

Since some people couldn’t get enough of my characters (OMG…I completely love you for that!), I decided to continue with their story. Unfortunately, the writing process with Pinned Down has been a nightmare for me. I no longer have the support I did with my first book. Well…I do have financial support, but that’s about it. This “hobby” I have developed has become a burden onto my family. It intervenes with family functions, some household chores, and family time. In the last ten years, I have always put my family first and taken a backseat to their needs. Now that I’m doing something for myself, it’s frowned upon. I’m a fairly neat person so I can’t allow too much chaos in my house, I know I have small children who can’t fend for themselves…cooking is a must, piled up dirty laundry is one of my many pet peeves so I have to ensure that is taken care of DAILY in order to maintain my sanity, because I’m a control freak…I insist on doing the grocery shopping. So with that in mind, how is it that I put my writing first? Because I choose to take two hours of my day for myself? Do I deserve being referred to as a selfish wife or mom? I don’t think so. Is it fair that comments laced in guilt are directed at me? I don’t think so. Once every other month, I send all my kids to my mother’s house. The purpose? So that I can write…GUILT-FREE and be able to focus. But noooo…when the kids are away, I still have to remember I have wife responsibilities to tend to…sometimes just spending quality time together. Is it wrong that I want to do something for myself? I don’t go out with friends…I just want to be home in silence and meet the writing endeavors I set for myself. This is supposed to be something positive. Why doesn’t it feel that way?

So now…I’m having an affair…with my writing that is. I don’t mention it to anyone and I don’t do it in front of anyone. Throughout the day, I’m constantly texting quick notes on my phone…most of the time, they’re funny. When it’s time to incorporate them into my story, I’m disheartened and with a lump in my throat…refusing to shed unwanted tears. It hurts to hide what I enjoy doing from my loved ones.

So, that’s my situation and the reason I haven’t released book 2, Pinned Down yet. In November, I have a book signing in Houston, TX…I’m determined to have my trilogy completed and released by then. I apologize for the delay, but thank you kindly for your patience. It would be nice to have the support of my household, but since I don’t…I’m just going to find alternative ways of making time to write. I have always accomplished the goals I have set for myself, I refuse to stop now…no matter what my obstacles may be.

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Update – Pinned Down

Hey, everyone. I hope you’re all doing well. Today was the expected release date of Pinned Down, but due to unforeseen circumstances, Pinned Down will now be released at a later time. I am working vigorously to have it released as soon as possible. I’ve literally pored my heart, sweat, and tears trying to get the next two books in the Pinned Up trilogy completed. I hope you like them.

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AUTL Book Signing

I had a great time this past weekend! The AUTL signing was held on Saturday, March 22nd at the Hilton in Universal City, Ca. It was an intimate setting that allowed plenty of time to meet readers, bloggers, and amazing authors.

I had two awesome assistants. My wonderful husband and dear friend who I finally got to meet for the first time. (We met through Instagram several months ago.) She’s real! She’s really REAL! Lol!

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I had the pleasure to sit between two great authors, Carlie Sexton and Tania Penn. My husband spoke with Carlie first and later told me I HAD to listen to her story. He was right. If you don’t know her, look her up! Now, I have to read her books since they’re based off actual jaw dropping events. And Tania…she had to have been a girl scout as a child…she was so well prepared! Such a PRO! (I was definitely taking notes.) A million thanks for the wine…it definitely came in handy. She writes different genres, I’m excited to read her books as well.

Although I didn’t have a chance to meet all the signing authors, the ones who I did meet were really nice and friendly. Can I just say that if awards were given for the most BAD ASS shoes the winner should have been author Jenna Galicki…her shoes were AMAZING!!!

I also had the privilege of meeting members and bloggers from the SMI Book Club and a Naughty Smutty Book blog (just to name a few). These ladies were absolutely fabulous!

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As I was busy interacting with readers and bloggers, my wonderful husband did me a huge favor and collected book swag on my behalf and had my PINNED UP tote bag signed by all the authors. Yes, I absolutely love this man!

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The AUTL event ended with raffles of various cool prizes and a group picture with all the authors. A special thanks to authors Dani Hart and S. C. Ellington for allowing me to be a part of such a great event for such a worthy cause. You ladies are fabulous and I truly appreciate all your time and effort in putting this signing together. A million thanks!!!

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After the book signing, my assistant and I were THIRSTY from all the chatting we did. Staying hydrated was a must!

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We ended our evening at Camacho’s Cantina. Overall, it was a fabulous day spent meeting new people and making new friends.

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WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! How could I forget about dessert? Hello eye candy! (Two of the book cover models that attended AUTL)

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Seeeeee…I told you I had a blast! I hope to see you at my next book signing in Houston, Texas this November! Oh, but if you’ll be at the San Francisco signing…I’ll be there too…fangirling all over those amazing authors! Lol! I hope to see you there.

Last, but most definitely not least…I’d like to thank everyone who purchased my book and complimented my book covers. Your kind words truly melted my heart. I hope you give the Pinned Up trilogy a chance and enjoy my characters along with their stories. Happy reading!

C.

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***COVER REVEAL*** PINNED DOWN

imagePinned Down is the second installment in the Pinned Up trilogy. The story continues right where it left off in the first book.

Nina and Josh’s relationship survived betrayal and deceit. Revelations that could have hindered their connection proved to make their bond stronger than ever. But will they have their happily-ever-after? As Nina and Josh rekindle their love, challenges arise threatening to break  them apart. Some old habits are simply too hard to break and resist. Their sexual chemistry, humor, and unexpected links to their past continue to unravel as do unforeseen new bonds.

Are you ready to embark on another wild ride? Nina, Josh, and Kade sure are! Friendships and relationships might just have surprising new twists…

Be sure to add Pinned Down to your TBR list on Goodreads!

Expected release date: May 5, 2014

A million thanks to Michele Catalano Creative for designing this beautiful cover! Once again, she turned my vision into a reality. Her talent, patience, and professionalism is simply amazing. I highly recommend her.

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Book Swag

Hey, everyone! Just curious…from the book signings you have attended, what has been your favorite/most useful book swag item?

I’ve only been to two book signings. My first one was when I met E.L. James in San Francisco. I’m not sure I was breathing much and once she signed my three books, I was definitely hyperventilating. Such an awesome experience!

Then, I met Sylvia Day in Los Angeles. Wow. Simply WOW. I think at one point I may have floated away from my seat while I was listening to her give the audience advice about writing. I was awestruck…to say the least.

I look back and see the items both authors provided on my bookshelf. Immediately, I’m reminded of great experiences. They always bring a smile to my face. (Oh, Christian and Gideon…the things you do to me!)

So, now that I have the AUTL book signing on March 22nd and the Houston Book Rave event on November 15th, I’m curious to see what readers enjoy having as book swag. I’ve already ordered some items, but having some suggestions for future reference would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for sharing!

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Book signings

Guess who will be signing at the Houston Book Rave this November? You guessed it! Meeeeeee!!! I’m so excited!

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Don’t forget…next month on Saturday, March 22nd, I’ll also be signing at the Authors Under the Lights event in Universal City, Ca. Hope to see you there!

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Note: The cover reveal for Pinned Down will be mid-March. Be on the look out! I hope you like it as much as I do!

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Reminiscing…My wedding

Hello, beautiful readers! I hope everyone has recovered from the holidays and hope your new year is off to a great start! I was blessed to end the year with my wonderful family at the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland! It was awesome! My hubs and I then celebrated not only the New Year, but also our 12 year wedding anniversary. Oh my goodness! I can’t believe we’ve reached the dirty dozen! Who would have thought…certainly not me, especially after how everything went down. Let’s go back to memory lane…shall we? Ummm…yeah! It’s only one of my favorite stories!

Okay, soooo….It’s Saturday, December 29th, 2001, my boyfriend and I had just broken up. I was DEVASTATED! Naturally, I drove to my best friend’s house for comfort, to bash him, and to drink the night away. Being the best friend that she is, she DEMANDS me to go to Vegas with her and her sisters. (Dang! She’s soooo bossy!) With tear filled eyes, nonstop sobbing, and alcohol breath, I agreed. Why? Because there’s no better cure for a broken heart than Sin City…that’s why.

So, I sobered up and went home to pack. The next day, I returned to my best friend’s house, she informed me that she still had some things to take care of and would meet me in Vegas, but that I should go with her sister to remain distracted. Hesitantly, I agreed. I wanted her to be by my side during my time of heartache, no…I needed her! Buuuuut…we’re talking about Vegas here and I NEEDED Sin City even more, so I hugged her and said my goodbyes. Before I left, I made sure to threaten her…faking on me was not an option!

So now, I’m in the car with my bestie’s sister and her friends having a good time. During the whole road trip, guess who was blowing up my bulky flip phone? (Yes, I had one and thought I was the shiiiiiiiit!) Mmm hmmm…you guessed it! The EX! Although I desperately wanted to answer his calls, I declined each one and eventually, turned off my phone. Once everyone in the car heard my story, they all agreed that I should forget him for the moment and focus on Vegas. (How could I go against that logic? I couldn’t.) My priority was to go crazy and have a great time in one of my favorite cities.

Once we arrived, I turned on my phone. As soon as I did, I had tons of voicemail messages all from “the EX.” With a broken heart, I turned off my phone again and focused on getting ready for a night filled of dancing and drinking.

After partying all night, we finally returned to the hotel around 5 a.m. The first thing I did was turn on my phone to see if my ex had called. Within a few minutes of my phone being turned on, he called. Without hesitation, I answered. Needless to say, he was shocked that I was in Vegas. He asked me to return home. I said no. He became frustrated then sad. He made my heart melt. For whatever insane reason, I decided to go back home. Once I informed him of my decision, he stated that he would just fly to me instead.

He caught the first flight to Vegas. I picked him up at the airport. Seeing him gave me a feeling of relief. I was in his arms again…right where I belonged. We spent the day together by ourselves happily. Later in the evening, we joined the rest of the group who had now become a lot bigger and hung out, waiting for the year to come to an end.

Finally, that moment came. At the stroke of midnight, in the middle of the Las Vegas strip while everyone was celebrating the New Year, my ex gets on one knee and asks for my hand in marriage. My heart literally stopped. Although we were surrounded by thousands of people and the sky was lit up by a spectacular fireworks display, I didn’t see or hear anyone or anything, but him. He had taken my breath away and had made every inch of my body melt. He professed his love to me under a beautifully lit night sky and surrounded by several spectators and friends who had now formed a circle around us. Once I was able to gather my thoughts, I said yes. He raised himself and excitedly planted a kiss on my lips. I couldn’t stop smiling. (You should see the pictures! Talk about a cheesy smile!)

Once everyone around us congratulated us and we were able to get to one another, he held me tight and said, “The thing is…I want us to get married here…tonight. I don’t want another day to pass without you being all mine.” (Talk about getting my panties wet!) So, I turned to our group and said, “Hey, guys! We’re getting married tonight! Let’s hurry before the alcohol wears off!” (We weren’t drunk, but we like to tell people we were! We’re so silly.)

Getting to the courthouse proved to be one hell of a challenge…the streets were closed and packed with people, there were no cabs available, it was just a mess. Somehow, my “fiancé” ended up getting us a limo. We agreed to meet everyone at the Little White Chapel after we went to the courthouse. Once we took care of all legalities, a limo took us to the chapel. Within moments, everyone showed up. When I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE and their mom! Apparently, my best friend’s other sister showed up with her crew (they roll deep), the chapel was PACKED with people even standing, all waiting for my fiancé and I to say our vows.

We declared our love and commitment to one another and at 3:40 a.m., we were pronounced husband and wife (with part of my g-string showing the entire time). You should see the video!!! OMAIGA!!!

Well, that’s my wedding story. I have been blessed with an amazing husband. He has given me the best gifts a woman could ever ask for…our three kids and his heart. I pray that we continue to be blessed with a lifetime of happiness, respect, loyalty, and love.

NOTE: (My best friend never made it to Vegas. To say that I was PISSED is an understatement. Once we were on our way home, I called her and informed her of the news. Needless to say, we cried like little bitches from happiness and regret that she wasn’t there to share my special day. Don’t get me started on my family’s reaction…that’s a whole other story! Lol!)

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