was in a dark but determined place when I sold my first book. But let me back
track a little bit before I elaborate on what I mean. A couple of years before
I sold Taste, my debut novel, to Crescent Moon Press, I’d been working as an
Essay Consultant. Basically, I checked essays for students before they
submitted it to their teachers. Anyway, that job paid well, but I never felt
fulfilled. Something was still missing in my life.
this time, I started getting back into my writing. I quickly realized I couldn’t
juggle work and writing. My brain would be mentally exhausted for me to sit
down and think about chapters and plots. This was when I made the scary
decision of quitting my day job to concentrate on my writing. And what’s the
number one rule about being a writer? Don’t quit your day job. But I was never
one to follow many rules anyway.
a starving artist, I had lofty ideas about what being a writer would mean.
Write the book. Edit the book. Submit. Get an agent. Get published. I’d reached
the agent part and I thought to myself, just one more step. One more then I
would finally become a published author. How naïve I was back then.
and painful story short, I became one of the horror stories you’d read about
when it doesn’t work out with an agent. It hurt, like most break ups do. I gave
myself a brief mourning period, reassessed my situation, and got back up. I
went back to the editing board. By that time, I had three novels under my belt
that I could alternately submit to agents. At the same time, I thought about
submitting to smaller presses. I considered every possibility when it came to
kick-starting my writing career. I even toyed with the idea of self-publishing.
we’ve reached the dark yet determined part of my story. Dark because it had
been almost three years since I said I would concentrate on my writing. Being a
starving artist only gets you so far. A cold sweat came over me at the thought
of having to find a job again. I did not want to, but I knew I had to if my
plans didn’t pan out. Very dark place to be because just when you thought you
were on your way to living your dream the light at the end of the tunnel seems
farther than you first thought it to be.
because I gave myself a deadline and I challenged the universe. This was the
latter half of 2011. I was under multiple submissions at the time and waiting
on word. If by the end of the year I didn’t get a contract or at least another
agent, I would self-publish. I said this with so much conviction that the
universe listened. By October of 2011, I sold Taste to Crescent Moon Press.
Soon after that I signed Til Death to Entangled and Reaping Me Softly to
Omnific Publishing. It’s been crazy good ever since, and only getting better.
think the ultimate lesson here is never give up. If you really love what you
are doing, if you can’t see yourself as anything other than a writer, then you
have to keep at it. Don’t just rely on one book. Once you finish one, get
started on the next and then the next. It’s impossible that you only have one
book in you. Having multiple works in progress opens up more opportunities for
you to succeed. The three books I’d written turned into multi-book contracts.
road to getting published is different. There are multiple options available to
you today. I shattered the ladder I once had in my head. It’s not about just
writing the book, editing, submitting, getting an agent, and getting published
anymore. Well, the first and second rungs of the ladder still apply since how
can you get published without having written a book? But once you get passed
the first two, the world is your oyster, baby! Ultimately, if being a writer is
who you want to be, then don’t let anything stop you because the universe will
lead you to your goal. It might take more left turns than right, but you’ll get
Writing is a
career of attrition. Those keep at it, no matter the pitfalls they face, are
the ones that succeed. And by succeed I don’t necessarily mean making it onto
lists, selling tons of copies, or signing movie/TV deals. Although all these
things are very nice. What I mean by succeed is actually living your life doing
what you love: writing. This post was previously published on the Darkly Delicious YA Blog on January 10, 2014. Please visit and follow. Lots of lovely authors to meet there. *hugs*
I have someone to introduce to all of you! As you all know, Til Death, the first book kicking off my Fractured Souls series from Entangled Teen is releasing March 4, 2014. The FS FB Page is LIVE. Please LIKE it.
Sixteen-year old Selena Fallon is a dreamer. Not a day-dreamer, but an I-see-the-future kind of dreamer. Normally this is not a problem as she has gotten pretty good at keeping her weird card hidden from everyone in her small town. Except from her best friend Kyle and her grandparents, of course. But when Selena dreams of her own rather bloody death, things get a little too freaky even for her.
Enter Dillan Sloan. Selena has seen the new guy in a different dream, and he is even more droolworthy in person. Beyond the peircing blue eyes and tossled dark hair, there is something else that draws her to him. Something…electric. Unfortunately, Dillan makes it more than clear that he does not feel the same. They just met, so why would he act like he hates her?
When Dillan and Selena are forced together one weekend to work on a school project, Selena prepares to be ignored as usual. But when she stumbles across a few undead in the backyard, Dillan comes to her rescue and reveals a whole lot more. Not only is he part of a society that hunts otherworldly creatures…she is too. And she is being targeted by a force bigger and darker than anything she ever imagined. Despite her death dream, Selena is not going to give up easy, especially when she discovers that Dillan might not actually hate her after all.
Congratulations are in order. During the recent People’s Choice Awards, Reign, the fledgling
period drama from the CW, won Favorite New Drama. This is huge! The series
might just get picked up for a second season. *crosses fingers*
first heard about Mary, Queen of Scots, from the Tudors. She was always this
figure who threatened the English Crown. In Reign, we see Mary as a teenager
sent to the French Court to marry Francis, the crown prince. A better
description of the show can be found here. I don’t want to spend the rest of
your time describing the plot.
is actually one of the things I like about the series. Or should I say the lack
of it. Like in Tudors where King Henry is handsome and dashing instead of the
portly guy we see in portraits, Reign throws history out the window—a majority
of it, anyway. It’s historical fiction. In my opinion, that’s the saving grace
of the series. We wouldn’t have all the intrigue, the drama, and the sizzling
romance if the writers/creators strictly followed what really happened.
came into Reign late in the series. I’d hoarded six episodes when I began. Watching
episodes one after another without having to wait a week in between completely
addicted me to the series. By the time I got to episode six, I was a goner. I
needed more and I needed it yesterday. This is why the winter hiatus is killing
me. But January 23 isn’t far off. I just need to hold on for a couple more
weeks. Yes. *convincing self*
historical inaccuracy that added to the beauty of the series is the costumes. The
dresses are so beautiful, particularly this cream one with embroidery I’m
featuring. I want to wear it! I don’t care that I’m both inches shorter and
wider for it. I applaud the designers. They are giving 1557 an updated yet
still vintage-y look.
for one more inaccuracy that works for the series? The soundtrack. Lord, I’ve
downloaded all the songs from iTunes. From Twin Forks to The Lumineers to Band ofSkulls to Bastille, the music selection is both appropriate for the scenes and
eclectic. These are not your run of the mill bands and I adore each and every
one of them. No song in this series is wasted. Besides The Lumineers, which was
recommended to me by a friend, I wouldn’t have discovered these bands without
the series. You can find a complete list of the songs by episode here. You won’t
be disappointed. Each song stands on its own.
what drew me the most to the series is the story. I already mentioned the drama
and the romance, but there are paranormal elements too. Yes! They are subtle,
but they add an air of mystery to the story. From the predictions of Rasputin
to the palace “ghost” and the scary pagans in the Blood Wood, you’ll get your
paranormal fix. Reign is Tudors meets Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars
with a little of the scary aspects of Teen Wolf thrown in.
of romance? You have two hot hunks to choose from, with more to follow if I
know the CW MO. There’s Francis, the blond crown prince. The nice guy who’s
willing to do what’s right for France. And incredibly sweet. That episode where
he made her a boat? Slays me! He is torn between his feelings for Mary and his
duty to his country. Then there’s Sebastian (Bash, for short). Or should I say,
my Sebastian. Lay off, ladies. He is
the favorite son who happens to be a bastard, and I mean this in an
illegitimate sense. He is head over heels for Mary even if he knows he can
never have her. He defines smoldering stare. Like pantie dropping gazes. Man,
those eyes. They are a shade of blue that in certain light looks like bottle
glass. I miss him already, especially after what happened with the mid-season
not too late. Treat yourself to a Reign marathon before the series starts again
on the 23rd. But beware. This series is absolutely addictive.
Today, I'm one proud critique partner. I'm always a proud critique partner, but especially so because my writing sister's first cover reveal is happening today. Angie and I have been critique partners from the start. I mean, before agents and publishing deals. We've had our ups and our downs and we cheered and encourage each other through all of it. I'm feeling weepy because it's been a long time coming and now the world can experience her immense talent. Let me tell you, Angie is one of the only writers who challenges me to be better, to do better. I always have to up my game with her. And it doesn't hurt that she's a beautiful person inside and out.
Okay, I think I've babbled long enough. Go and check out this beautiful cover then enter the giveaway!
July 1, 2014
Grand Central Publishing/ Forever Yours
Mala LaCroix has spent her whole
life trying to escape her destiny. As the last in a long line of “witch women,”
she rejects the notion of spirits and hoodoo and instead does her best to blend
in. But when she finds a dead body floating in the bayou behind her house, Mala
taps into powers she never knew she had. She’s haunted by visions of the dead
girl, demanding justice and vengeance.
Landry Prince has always had a
crush on Mala, but when Mala discovers his sister, murdered and marked in some
sort of Satanic ritual, he starts to wonder if all the rumors about the LaCroix
family are true. Yet after Mala uses her connection to the spirit world to
identify his sister’s killer, he starts to form his own bond to her . . . a
very physical one. As they move closer to each other and closer to the truth,
Mala and Landry must risk everything—their families, their love, and even their
Angie Sandro was born at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Within six weeks, she began the first of eleven relocations throughout the United States, Spain, and Guam before the age of eighteen. Friends were left behind. The only constants in her life were her family and the books she shipped wherever she went. Traveling the world inspired her imagination and allowed her to create her own imaginary friends. Visits to her father's family in Louisiana inspired this story. Angie now lives in Northern California with her husband, two children, and an overweight Labrador.
thing you need to know about me as a writer, I live to deviate from what is
expected of me. This is especially true when I’m writing a series. I love
things that surprise me when I’m writing. I think this is why for the second
book of my Reaper Series, Balthazar was born. But we’re not here to discuss
Unreap My Heart.
we can get into Savor, we need some backstory. Taste was written when Twilight
was gaining momentum. I thought to myself, if Stephenie Meyer can do it, then
why can’t I? Galvanized by this motivation, I plunged into the world of Barinkoff
Academy. Since vampires were hot, and I’m the type to rebel against what’s
popular, I took the zombie route.
The Zhamvy were
But I didn’t want
them to be the regular zombies. I defined them as the walking dead in the sense
that they were dying of a decease that was rotting them from the inside out.
The only reason they weren’t dropping like flies was their ability to heal.
the core of the plot firmly in place, I focused on the characters, giving rise
to Phoenix, the hardheaded girl who was too curious for her own good. This made
her quite annoying, even to me, because she didn’t seem to have a lick of
sense. Those who’d been frustrated with her understand what I mean here.
was caught between two princes.
One who lived to
serve his people while the other ran away from the duties that were rightfully
his. So, Demitri and Luka were born, both crown princes, both handsome as sin,
with two distinct personalities. One had a stick up his butt. It made him anal
and uptight. The other was fun loving with a melancholy streak. I was addicted
to the both of them because they had their swoony moments.
the writing was done, I knew Taste was a standalone. Of course, there was a
little wiggle room in terms of maybe a second book, but after the manuscript
was acquired by Crescent Moon Press and I began editing, the idea of it being a
standalone reinforced itself.
Taste came out to the delight of many fans, I was surprised that they wanted
more. I was just happy that it got published in the first place. For the
readers to want more was a humbling experience. And they didn’t just want more,
they wanted Luka. Every email I got asked about a second book. Even to this
day. All my replies were the same: Taste is stand alone. Funny thing was my
publishers wanted a second book as well.
thought long and hard about the possibility of a second book. There were so
many options. Did I really want to continue Phoenix’s story? I knew she was
Demitri’s from the beginning, so the ending of Taste felt right to me. What
about Luka? I knew he definitely deserved a book. You should have seen the
tantrum he unleashed in my head. It would make the destruction of the music
room child’s play. Those who have read Savor know which scene I’m referring to.
the idea of a second book took root in my head, I began thinking about Luka’s
story. I knew I needed to do him justice. I love him and he deserves a book (in
the case of the Vicious Feast, a series of books) showcasing not only his
hotness but his complexity as a character. There are facets of him I haven’t
discovered yet and I’m already elbow deep into the series. He continues to
surprise me, and I love that.
Luka was already an established character, I needed someone to compliment him.
Someone who wouldn’t just fall all over him. Someone with some backbone but was
just as flawed. That was when Dakota walked into my life.
there is a different Savor manuscript sleeping in the depths of my laptop. It’s
completed, but it’s totally different from the Savor out today. You see, when I
began writing Luka’s book, I thought I would write two stories with two
different storylines. One was supposed to be a paranormal romance while the
other was going to be an urban fantasy with romantic elements.
first version of Savor has Dakota as a photography student without the eye
patch but she has an equally dark past. She cannot bear the touch of other
people. When she is given her final assignment of a ten picture nude introspective,
she almost drops out of college because of it. This is where her best friend
Silvia comes in. She happens to be Luka’s niece, making her Phoenix’s and
Demitri’s daughter. Yes, this storyline actually takes place about twenty years
after Taste. The Zhamvy are already human. Luka, who has become a famous male
model, is the last to transition. His reasoning behind this is that he’s the
king. He wants to make sure his people are properly integrated into human
society before taking the plunge himself. Because of Dakota’s phobia, Silvia
calls in a favor to Luka to help her out. Since he’s a model, he doesn’t mind
stripping down for a nude photo shoot. The romance between them grows as Luka helps
Dakota get over her fear while he struggles with his transition from Zhamvy to
I mentioned above, this manuscript is complete. It is still a little raw and in
need of editing, but as far as I was concerned it was Luka’s story. But something
wasn’t sitting right with me. The story wasn’t sitting right, so I didn’t submit
it to my publisher thinking I’d rewrite. But as the months passed, I still hadn’t
found a solution on how to fix the story.
one day, out of the blue (where I believe the best ideas come from) I realized I
needed to start from scratch. I was so excited that it didn’t even bother me
that I would be writing an entirely new novel. This is where the Savor you know
today came from. I knew in my gut that I couldn’t continue where I left off
from Taste. So, I took the characters from Taste with the addition of Dakota
and placed them in a new universe. This rejuvenated the story for me. I became
excited with the characters again and was curious to explore the world of
Vicious through Dakota’s eyes, or should I say eye. *laughs*
was so engrossed with the creation of this story that I never thought about the
readers connecting it to Taste. I should have added a disclaimer to the back of
similarity is the characters. I basically relocated them into the universe of
the Vicious Feast series. Which I think did the characters a solid good based
on the reaction to the book so far. For me, writing shouldn’t be laborious. Of
course, there are times when it’s like pulling teeth, but that’s par for the
this blog post has gone on longer than I expected. *shrugs* I’m longwinded when
explaining something. If you still have questions about the series just ask
them in the comments section and I’ll answer as soon as I can.
me head you off by saying: as to what they are in the Vicious Feast story?
The Savor Review Tour begins today and will go on until February 6, 2014. Over a hundred amazing bloggers are participating. I'm brimming with excitement, looking forward to the reviews. Please make sure to visit the blogs kicking off this event. The list is below.
My mother is the most beautiful woman I know. She's both beautiful inside and out. And I'm not just saying this because I'm her daughter. But I will not hesitate to defend her to my death when someone crosses the line and actually makes her feel bad about herself. I don't care what people say about me, but when they start saying things about my family I will gladly go to jail for assault. Verbal or otherwise.
The source of my ire came from a woman I hadn't even met. She's lucky I wasn't in the same room when she said those things to my mother. *shakes head* I'm still fuming over it.
New Year's Eve, I had a box of hair dye left over. It was Spicy Red and thought, why the hell not? I mean, it's New Year, and I have nothing better to do. So I asked my mom to help me color my hair to make sure I get all the hard to reach places. Because my hair is still relatively short, I had half the bottle of dye left over. For fun, my mother decided she'll use the color too.
One thing you need to know about my mother, she's conservative, so Spicy Red is a wild color for her.
Once we rinsed everything out, her's turned into this magnificent gold red color while mine is of a darker variety.
I get that there are people in the world who aren't happy with themselves and the life they live. This unhappiness they show as criticisms toward others really aimed at themselves. Well, my mother walked into our village office to ask about a meeting when a woman (who shall forever epitomize the word bitch to me) told her she didn't like my mother's hair. Point blank. I have several choice words going through my head right now for her.
Look, you're entitled to your own opinion, I get that. But really?
The encounter bothered my mother so much that she wanted to dye her hair back to brown. When I got the whole story from her, I went back to the office. Unfortunately for me, fortunately for the bitch, she was no longer there.
I grew up being bullied, so I know how it feels to be made fun of. Kids are bad, but adults are worse because they coat their hurtful words under labels like "Opinions" and "Truth." Or worse "Advice." If it happened to me, I'd ignore. But my mother? That's a low blow.
Again, she is a beautiful and decent woman who wanted to change things up by coloring her hair. No one, and I mean no one, has the right to make her question that decision.
want to start off by declaring 2014 the Year of Sharing! There are so many
things I discover during my adventures that I want to share with all of you.
Sometimes I forget. Well, not anymore. Whenever time permits I will sit down
and share something with all of you.
begin with foundation. Gentlemen, I give you permission to leave the room.
*raises finger* But, if you love the woman in your life, I suggest take a seat.
You might just learn something. That goes for anyone who wears make up on a
of my horrible complexion, I started wearing foundation at 6th
grade. My mother started me on it. Not makeup, mind you. Just foundation to
even out my skin tone and hide my ample supply of blemishes. Think Edward in
Edward Scissorhands when Peg the Avon Lady was giving him a makeup makeover.
*eye roll* For several years my face was one of my main insecurities. I could
never leave the house without at least one layer of foundation on and powder.
On really bad days, I needed concealer too, but that’s a whole different topic.
I was always afraid of what people might think if they saw just how red my
pimples were or how blotchy my skin got. Basically, I considered those years a
I practically grew up wearing foundation, it became an obsession of mine. My
mission? Find the right one for my face. In my exhaustive search, I’ve run the gamut
of super expensive, expensive, moderately pricy, affordable, and dirt cheap.
Since my face is a mix of oily in my T-zone and dry in the outer areas, I could
never find the right mix that would give me full coverage and would stay on for
the whole day without me looking like a melting snowman by the time I got home. I
hate caking on powder just to look refreshed again. Ugh!
realized some of the thicker foundations clogged my pores so much that I’d get
rashes. Not good. A rash on top of pimples? Oi! Not a pretty picture. No wonder,
to this day, I hate getting my picture taken. Or at least I’m not a hundred
percent comfortable. This led me to switch to BB Cream. The Korean kind to be
found out that BB Cream gives me the right mix of coverage and staying power.
Plus it’s light enough that it came off easily when I washed my face at the end
of the day. Hence, no pore clogging issues. For years I stayed away from
foundation of any kind and just stuck with BB Cream. The results were fairly good.
I got the smooth complexion I wanted without looking like I put a cake on my
I read an editor’s choice article on Yahoo declaring Revlon’s Colorstay Whippedfoundation one of her top picks for 2013. Normally, I don’t pay attention to
articles like this because I have a habit of staying with what works for me.
What made me stay and read the article was one little line. The editor
mentioned she had oily skin and found that the Colorstay Whipped foundation
gave her best coverage and stayed on her face the entire day. Since I’d just
run out of BB Cream and was looking to buy more, I decided, what the hell? So I
went out and bought a jar.
was skeptical at first, but when I prepped my face to use it I fell in love.
The creamy consistency allowed for smooth application. Since I use my fingers
to apply foundation, I always had a problem when the product stuck more to my
fingers than my face. This wasn’t the case for Colorstay. A single dot was
enough to cover an entire cheek, and the blending was instant. Just a few
circular strokes and your home free.
I’m from the Philippines where humidity is my number one enemy when it comes to
makeup longevity, I took Colorstay for a test run. The entire day it stayed on
with very little touch up on my part. In fact, I didn’t even feel like going to
the powder room to freshen up. When they say 24hrs. on the lid, I think they
really do mean it. I’ve never worn foundation this easy to apply yet stayed on
for an entire day.
in love. And when I’m in love, I have to gush. So, consider this my first
sharing of the year. If you’re looking for a new foundation to try, make it
Revlon’s Colorstay Whipped. I’m pretty sure that if it works well on oil skin
like mine, it’ll definitely work for normal to dry skin as well. I’ve found the
foundation of my dreams and it’s the affordable kind. What about you? What do
you normally use? Are you satisfied with it?
that’s it for me. I’m no beauty expert, so I’m going back to my writing. Have a
great day, lovelies!