Life’s best profit…

13 Nov

When I grew up, one of my mom’s favorite saying was: kids are life’s best profit. I didn’t get it then, but I do get it now.

Some people measure their success by the amount in their account. Others by how high they climb up the career ladder.

Me I measure it by my son’s success. I have a tendency to brag about him because I’m beyond excited/ proud/ amazed by all that this kid, this incredible human being, who barely spoke English when we moved to Arizona back in 2003, has accomplished.

His latest achievement is receiving an internship with Amazon for next summer, while finishing his junior year in W. P. Carey International Business School at Arizona State University. Can’t tell you how nervous we all were during the interview process and then how impatient we became with every day of waiting. Can’t tell you how, during his phone interviews I listened on the other side of the door (Mama taught me not to eavesdrop but boy, some life lessons just didn’t stick with me, this being one of them), holding my breath and my fingers crossed, my rampant heart ready to explode in my chest.

Like all the major events in Patrick’s life, I took a memento of the minute he signed the contract, memento worth sharing with the world…

To the kids out there, trying to find their way: Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do it! 

To  the parents out there: No effort or sacrifice is too big when you help your children go after their dreams! 

To my mom: You were right! <3


Book Blast–Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager

10 Nov

Next door to a starNext Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager

Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte.

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken.

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.



Love gone bad.

Is this really what it’s like to live…

Next Door To A Star?


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The school year should end right after spring break, because all anyone can focus on is summer vacation. You can’t learn anything new, because all you can think about is all the fun stuff you’re going to do once you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Summer always seems full of possibilities.
Nothing exciting ever happens during the school year, but maybe, during summer vacation, you could run into a hot celebrity and he’d decide to put you in his next music video. Okay, it wasn’t like I knew anybody that happened to, but my grandparents did live next door to a former TV star, Simone Hendrickson, and Simone was discovered in an ice cream parlor one summer. Of course, she lived in L.A. at the time and was already doing plays and commercials, so the guy who discovered her had already seen her perform. But hey, it was summer, she got discovered, and that was all that mattered.
Amazing stuff didn’t happen to me. You know what happened to me last summer? I stepped on a bee and had to go to the emergency room. They’re not going to make an E! True Hollywood Story out of my life. I didn’t go on exotic vacations—like today, I was being dragged along with my parents to my cousin’s graduation party. Most people waited until at least the end of May before having a grad party, but Charisma was having hers early because she was leaving on a trip to Spain. I was dreading this party because I didn’t want to listen to everybody talk about how smart and talented Charisma was—making me feel like a blob in comparison—but my mom RSVP’d even though I said I’d rather die than go. My death threats meant nothing. But still, for some strange reason, I had a feeling this summer was going to be different.


Praise for Next Door to a Star:
From Readers’ Favorite:
Next Door to a Star by Krysten Lindsay Hager is a heart wrenching tale of a young girl growing into her teen years….Hager’s main character is representative of every teenage girl. The author really nailed the reality of a young girl’s early high school years. I think this is a valuable read for girls ages 12-18.
From Kelly Smith Reviews:
Hager wrote from a teen’s perspective, and it gave the book a very authentic feel. She has a real gift for that, something many YA writers lack these days. She reminds me a lot of a modern Ann M. Martin or Judy Blume.
From Author Erin Fanning:
If you, like me, have a soft spot for young adult novels then author Krysten Lindsay Hager should have a place on your bookshelf. Ms. Hager brings the teen years to life with absolute perfection in Next Door to a Star. Handling multiple plotlines with an expert touch, she’s crafted a young adult dramedy that on the top layer is a story about Hadley Daniels, an average teen whose only ambition is to fit in, have a few friends, and find her place in the world.

add to goodreads


Krysten LAuthor Krysten Lindsay Hager
Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is also the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series (True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, and the soon to be released, Landry in Like) and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/2/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner Announcement for the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

6 Nov

…. and the winner of the $15.00 gift card is…. Karin at comment # 6. Congrats!


Muses Fall Carnival Blog Hop– $70 gift card and many more prizes!

23 Oct

I took the liberty to steal a post from my dear author friends at the Muses’ blog. Why would I do that? Well, for many reasons, but the most important is because together we came up with the idea of a fantastic giveaway. Did I get your attention? I hope so!

With Fall officially here even for us in Arizona (yeah, we do get a break from the heat, but not from the sun–thank goodness) we’ve organized a Fall Carnival Blog Hop sharing prizes and fun.

Aside from the Muses blog’s grand prize which is a $70 Amazon gift card I added my own prize: electronic copies of all my books: Hidden Heart, A World Apart, Me Tarzan–You Jane, Born in Vengeance and Born In Sin. To win these copies all you have to do is become a fan of yours truly on Facebook. 

To enter to win the $70 gift card, simply subscribe to the Muses Blog. All subscribers between today and October 30th will be entered. However, if you want a greater chance of winning the gift card, you can visit each author’s website and enter their contest for their own individual giveaways. We will announce the winners on this blog on November 6.

Below are links to our Carnival Author blogs with details on their giveaways!

Camelia Miron Skiba

Mimi Sebastian

Shanyn Hosier

Anne Wilson

Jennifer Windrow

Sandy Wright

Leslie Jones

Hop on board and have fun!

Book Blast–THE HOUSE AT HOMECOMING COVE by Ginny Baird – Excerpt and $50 gift card giveaway

20 Oct

House at homecoming cove



From New York Times Bestselling Author GINNY BAIRD

A breathtaking romantic mystery set at the Virginia Eastern Shore…

Seeking out solitude in which to work, New York City music composer Melissa Carter rents a century-old farmhouse on the Virginia Eastern Shore. There, she meets a loner with rugged good looks and smoldering gray eyes, who has long-term ties to the property. When strange things start occurring at the historic home, the handsome groundskeeper comes to her aid, but is Melissa really safer in his arms?

When Stone Thomas meets a pretty northerner with a musical gift, he’s immediately drawn to her. He’s also determined to protect her from the increasingly odd happenings at the fifty-acre farm where he’s employed. Soon, Stone finds himself wondering whether he and beautiful Melissa might share a future. Yet the secrets of Homecoming Cove threaten to drive them apart.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo

add to goodreads


Her words came out in a whisper. “Thank you for everything. For coming to my rescue, for…” She was saying goodbye, yet her chin tilted toward his and she took a step closer, her lips barely parted, inviting. She peered up at him and met his gaze with a look that was surprisingly heated, decidedly predatory. There was no mistaking it. Melissa wanted him too. That was all the encouragement Stone needed to take her in his arms and bring his mouth down on hers with a hungry desire that surpassed all expectations.

Melissa gasped with delight and sighed into his kiss. Stone’s empty mug slid from her grasp and landed somewhere on the sofa. Stone pressed his eager body to hers and ran his hands up her back, threading his fingers through her hair. She was glorious, beautiful, her gaze sparking with reciprocal passion. Stone groaned and kissed her again, savoring the taste of her, delighting in the sweetness of her body molded to his, as his blood pumped harder and his heart beat like a kettledrum gone out of control. It was more than a kiss; it was like coming home.

“Stone,” she said breathlessly. He opened his eyes to find his cheeks nestled between her palms.

She looked up at him her face flushed with longing. “I think you’d better go.”

“Yeah,” he said, his pulse pounding. “I’d better go.”

Thunder boomed and rain slapped the windowpanes, while the fire hissed and moaned.

Neither one moved.

“Melissa,” Stone whispered, brushing his lips over hers. “You and me… It’s like… I don’t know.”

“I know,” she replied, meeting his kiss. “I feel it too.”

Praise for Ginny Baird Paranormal Ghost Romance
The Ghost Next Door (A Love Story)
“A fine suspense and you just won’t believe how it ends.” ~ Barbara Baker
“The twist at the end took me by surprise! Great job to the author!” ~ Melinda Burchett
“Wow…wow…wow!! I did not see that coming.” ~ Mary Ann
“This is a mind bender! Very well done!” ~ Sandra D. Griffin

The Light at the End of the Road
“A gripping tale with a hint of paranormal.” ~ Dawn Pearson
“New, refreshing twists and turns.” ~ Anna Gibson
“Ms. Baird has again exceeded any expectations.” ~ Dianna Plano
“Wow. I mean, WOW. This is not your normal romance…” ~ Anita Slaugh

GinnyAuthor Ginny Baird

NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling Author Ginny Baird has published novels in print and online and received screenplay options from Hollywood for her family and romantic comedy scripts. She writes heartwarming contemporary romance about single women facing everyday challenges. Known for featuring holidays and family themes in her work, Ginny frequently portrays the struggles of single parents or others who’ve given up on finding true love.

Ginny has two novella series, The Holiday Brides Series (holiday romance) and The Summer Grooms Series (summer romance), a Romantic Ghost Stories series (paranormal ghost romance), and additional single titles available. She is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling Author, a Top 10 Best Seller on Kindle, NOOK and iBooks, and a #1 Best Seller in several Romance and Women’s Fiction categories. Visit Ginny’s website to learn more about her and her books.

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BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 11/6/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

15 Oct

Yaaaay, another blog hop!!! Here we are for the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop (Oct. 15-31) organized by the amazing Kathy at I’m a Reader not a Writer.


I realize these types of hops are time consuming so for someone to make all the way to # 155 (where my blog was signed up) it has to pay of, so here my prize: one lucky winner will receive a $15.00 gift card to either Starbucks, Amazon or iTunes. 

What do you have to do to win it? It’s simple: either become a follower on Twitter @CamiSkibaOR follow this blog by clicking on the button to the right called “Sign me up!” (atop all images) OR become a fan on FB and leave a comment with your link.  

Enjoy hoping and good luck!



Europe trip–part 4

9 Oct

I’m hungry, so if I’m hungry I think food, as in what I would like to eat right now, which reminds me of awesome dishes I ate while on my trip to Romania and Italy. Let me take a moment to wipe my drooling.

Okay, I’m back.

While in Verona, Andrea (my cousin’s fiancé) made some awesome pasta dishes. Anchovies, black olives, prosciutto, or as simple as parmesan cheese or tomatoes only, somehow transformed pasta into super tasty dishes. “The secret is in the olive oil,” Andrea would say. We tried pizza at fancy restaurants and not so fancy, but no matter where we ate, it would be a sin to compare their pizza with ours. Prices were about the same as ours but portions much, much smaller but oh so filling. Refills are available at extra cost. Don’t recall seeing anywhere happy hour. IMG_4517IMG_4032IMG_4180

And then, there’s their pastry, gelato and coffee. (Drooling again). The tinniest cups, even a minion would have a tough time drinking out of one. Two sips, if you are lucky, but boy, the strength of it as much as an entire pack of coffee. I looooove coffee, and the more I drink the more I want. And yet, somehow, those two sips were enough to last me a whole day. I’m a vanilla-with-almond-ice cream kind of girl but I forced myself to try out all kinds of gelato (which is as close to ice cream as you get in Italy, only made with real stuff), and pastry. 


Once in Romania I tried out more yummies, some homemade by my mom, some just ordered in restaurants. From ciorba de burta (sour cow stomach soup; it sounds gross but it’s de-li-cio-ous!!!), to salata de vinete (eggplant dip),  to sarmale (cabbage rolls), to mamaliga cu branza si unt (polenta bread with cheese  and butter), to papanasi (doughnuts with jam and sour cream), shaorma and so, so many more dishes, my taste buds were beyond satisfied. I was expecting to gain a lot of weight, but to my surprise I did not, in fact I lost a few pounds. I can attribute it to walking for miles every day in search for another Italian treasure or walking down the beach at the Black Sea in Romania, but I think it has mostly to do with how simple all ingredients are. Simple as in no corn syrup; sugar or salt only in moderation. Not once have I checked a label in a grocery store and saw corn syrup in anything. Is corn syrup the evil of all? I don’t know enough about it to judge or point a finger. All I know is that I ate smaller portions and felt satisfied. Food smelled and tasted better, not sweeter or saltier, but rather real. 


I returned home, promising myself I will try cooking some of the pasta I had there. I did twice since then and, while wasn’t as good as it was there, it was close. And yes, I used authentic Italian olive oil courtesy of a friend of mine living there who has an olive orchard, but that’s another story in itself worth telling you another time.