Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop

16 Apr

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4th Annual Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop
April 17th to 24th
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A WriterRead Now Sleep Later

This is going to be another fun hop with over 100 bloggers giving away awesome prizes for anyone stopping by. With Easter knocking on our doors I feel … playful. I personally am giving away one $10.00 amazon gift card. What do you have to do for it?

It’s simple: find the egg basket I hid somewhere on one of my pages and leave a comment below, letting us know where you found it. Then become a follower by clicking on the white button on the right side of the blog, atop all images called SIGN ME UP! Using random.org I’ll draw and announce the winner on April 26th.

I hope you’re having fun. Happy Easter everyone!

Debriefing Desert Dreams Conference

15 Apr

It’s been over a week since I’ve returned from the Desert Dreams Writers Conference held here in Tempe. I wanted to write and publish this post right away but I also realized I needed to decompress in order to gather my scattered thoughts. Overloaded on the amount of information, the thrill of spending time with fellow writers I call friends, meeting new ones and being scared out of my skin for meeting face to face for the first time with agents and editors I kept going and going for three days. By the end of the third day I was ecstatic for several reasons but also extremely tired.

I’m back to normal, whatever normal means. I have a lot of things I’d like to share with you so here it goes:

Best moment when . . . I was asked for a full manuscript of my newest novel titled Me Tarzan–You Jane, a contemporary romance with strong humorous elements. I won’t give any more info on this one so I won’t jinx it. But I promise once I have news worth sharing I will make the big announcement.

Worst moment when  . . .  at the end of Friday I was still unsure about my pitch (for those unfamiliar with what that is, a pitch is the essence of your book compressed in a few sentences). Arrived home around 10pm and went back to the board to draft yet another pitch. Close to midnight I had something that I liked better than the previous one, but still didn’t feel any goosies about it.

Aha moment when . . .  seating in the hotel’s restaurant Saturday morning and mulling over a bagel with my dear friend Shanyn Goodnight Hosier I wrote by hand another version of the pitch (can you tell I’m a perfectionist?) and reading it aloud I got all choked up and said, “This. Is. IT!”

Most painful moment when . . . I literally wanted to wrap my feet around my neck, they were hurting that much. I wore 2-inch heels which is a big no-no during conferences, but I couldn’t make myself wear anything else. Beauty suffers–I think that’s the saying. I need to “thank” my parents who couldn’t add to my DNA a little bit more height.

Funniest moment when . . . exiting my bathroom stall I saw Mrs. Sue Grimshaw of Random House coming my way. Without thinking too much I said, “I know I shouldn’t approach you here, but I have a copy of the February Issue of the Phoenix Magazine where you were cited during my interview. I thought you might like a copy of it. If you don’t mind I’d like an autograph on my copy.” She takes it from my hands, looks through it and, laughing she said, “Wow, I had no idea they published it. Thank you for bringing me a copy. Let me finish here and I’ll autograph it for you.” At this time my mind was already in panic mode for two reasons: 1). You NEVER EVER approach an agent or an editor during bathroom breaks and 2). I handed her a copy of the magazine without washing my hand. Mrs. Grimshaw was really candid about it and laughed when I said to her, “I apologize I gave you the dirty copy, BUT I’ll give you mine which I didn’t touch it until after I washed my hands.” She laughed, signed my copy and we made plans to meet during lunch. I hope she won’t always remember me as the “freak from the bathroom.”

One in a lifetime experience when . . . entering the elevator I realized that the one person standing in front of me was no one else but Mrs. Sylvia Day. The other lady I assume was her assistant. Sylvia smiled and said, “Lunch time?” I smiled, “Yeah, I need to feed the monster in my tummy.” She laughed and said, “Oh yeah, I know how that is.” Under different circumstances I would’ve run the other way, too shy to ever approach a person of her caliber. I’ve never read any of her book but I sure know of her fame. I hope one day I’ll be there myself…

Most inspiring moment when . . . during lunch time on Saturday we had the honor to listen to Mrs. Christie Craig talk. In the picture below she shows us how many rejections letters she got throughout her career. No one offered to count them, but they filled a plastic bin, that many.

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Her humor got us laughing out loud quite a few times. Her story brought tears to my eyes twice. What a woman! Diagnosed in third grade with dyslexia, high school drop out at 16, Mrs. Christie is nothing but the quintessence of perseverance and humility. There were several things she said that hit home and I will forever cherish them as part of the most treasured gifts I’ve ever received. Some of those gifts are: Never give up. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t; you know better. Surround yourself with people that look forward. Persist. If you fall, stand up and try again. It might not come to you overnight, but when it comes be prepared to say: I did it. Celebrate even the tiniest success. 

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I couldn’t ask for a better photo bombing although Shanyn tried to convince me the lady in orange was actually looking at my boobs. I can’t disagree more with her.

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Most relaxing moment when . . . Saturday night after the book signing event finished around 8:30ish we went out to celebrate each other.  Eager to apply what we learned from Mrs. Craig’s speech, we made the best out of it.

To old friends and new beginnings: cin cin everyone!

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Happy Birthday, Mom!

13 Apr

I remember very few things from my early childhood, perhaps because so much time passed since then and no, I’m not implying that I’m old, but rather that there were not too many memorable moments.

Whether dusty or fresh memories there is one constant always there: my parents. Rushed mornings when we yelled at each other to get out of the bathroom, or evenings when we piled up in the kitchen for supper, my parents raised us using the bad cop, good cop strategy, most of the times. On occasion dad used the “‘Tu-ti ziderea ma-tii” which I encourage you NOT to try to translate it; there is no equivalent in the English vocabulary for it. Let’s just say it came along with pain delivered either by a belt, a stick or plain palms.

Mom was the queen of good cop. Always. We had a good relationship and very rarely disagreements, never fights. As I grew older and moved out of my parents’ house I developed an even better relationship with them; I no longer was a child but rather an equal adult they shared laughters and tears with.

Since I moved to the US seeing my parents has been imperative. Skype is a godsend gift I pray never disappears because it makes yearning that much easier. Weekends are usually the days we talk, sometimes for hours, sometimes for only a short, “Hi, how are you?”

I always was proud of my relationship with Mom, but it wasn’t until she came here last year in September to help with family matters when our relationship reached new peaks. Until the day she left beginning of March, Mom and I spent quite some time together, mostly talking our heads off. Sometimes we cried in silence, wondering if my nephew’s health will ever improve. Sometimes we cooked. Sometimes we went shopping. Sometimes we shared a cup of coffee out on the patio under the Arizonan sky, not saying a word but just enjoying being with each other. Sometimes we laughed so hard, my husband would come out to see if we were okay. Sometime I read to her Mihai Eminescu’s poems while she knitted scarves for everyone in the family. Sometimes I’d take her hand, caressing that little palm of hers, feeling not only the soft and warm skin, but also tremendous love, care, support courage, and strength filtering from her into my hand.

I know for a fact I became stronger because of those palms. I know for a fact she’d go to the end of the earth if we, her daughters ask that of her, not complaining, not questioning, just do it because it’s asked of her.

Today is my turn to give back. I’m far away from my mom physically, but not in spirit. Despite the distance I’m by her side, once again taking those hardworking hands in mine and saying:

Thank you, Mom, for everything. Happy birthday!

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April Kindle Fire Giveaway

11 Apr

Enter to win 1 of 2 great prizes. Winner’s choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash!

The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter.

Kindle Fire April

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

All New Kindle Fire HDX 7″ Giveaway

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX (US Only – $229 Value)

Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)

Giveaway Sponsors:

I Am A Reader
Feed Your Reader
Inspired Kathy
Author Rachael Anderson
Author Carolyn Cooper
Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Laurie Here – Contemporary Fiction and MORE
Fabio Bueno, YA Author
A Book Lover’s Retreat
Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
Becoming Books
Fae Books
Author Christie Anderson
Author David Pandolfe
Jetpack Dragons
Clutter Your Kindle
Crossangels
Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke
Alexandrea Weis Author
Addicted Readers
Author Alecia Stone
Tressa’s Wishful Endings
Author Rae Z. Ryans
Bella Street’s Weird Romance
Bonnie Blythe’s Pure Romance
Author Inger Iversen
Author M.A. George
Theresa DaLayne
Buried Under Romance
Author Myrna Mackenzie
Owl Always Be Reading
Jacqueline Diamond
Author Joan Leacott
Free Bookster
Emma Michaels
Jennifer Laurens – author
My Nook, Books & More
LOVE. WITHOUT YOU
The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something year Old Girl
Bound 4 Escape
Reviews from a Bookworm
The YA Buzz
Claudia Burgoa
Lynda Raymond Books for Young Children
A. Wrighton, Author
Author Niki Danforth
Lori’s Reading Corner
Hearts On Sleeves Book Blog
The Forever Girl Series
Author Crystal Donahue
A Leisure Moment : A Casual Conversation about our love for Literature
Author Elizabeth Parkinson Bellows
Me, My Shelf and I
Author FA Michaels
The Reporter and The Girl
Author Ashley Stambaugh
Extaordinaryreads
Laurie Treacy, Author
Faithful Acres Books

Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here:

http://www.iamareader.com/category/kindle-giveaway-sign-ups

Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7″ HDX (US Only – $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International).

There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7″, $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash.

Ends 4/30/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com 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 participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A to Z Challenge–Letter H

9 Apr

Last week I was fortunate to start the A to Z Challenge on Rosie Amber’s blog where my novel A World Apart was making headlines for the letter A. Thank you Rosie for the incredible effort to organize this event, the love and support you show all of us, and thank you to everyone leaving comments and showing interest in my novel.

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Today I’m back again with yet another novel of mine covering the letter H in the challenge. Hidden Heart is my debut novel I published 3 years ago, a multicultural romance set in Romania and Italy, modern day. With stellar reviews, 100+ ratings and almost 1,000 readers adding it to their to-read-shelves on Goodreads I couldn’t be happier with the way people around the world received it.

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One of the latest reviewers calls Hidden Heart, “Drama galore, a hero to die for, a heroine with brains, that’s my kind of book. Hidden Heart delivers that and more.”

Please hop over at Rosie’s blog to see what else she has in store. Along with Rosie there are 2,000 bloggers from around the world featuring throughout the month of April authors from all kind of genres and what books you can read next. Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Happy reading!

Winner Announcement for the Fool For Books Giveaways Hop

8 Apr

The Fool For Books Giveaways Hop is over. Using random.org the lucky winner taking home e-copies of my novels is . . . Natasha D.

Giveaways at Night Owl Reviews

2 Apr

A while ago Night Owl Reviews or NOR for short opened their doors for giveaways sponsored by authors willing to spread the love for their novels.

I recently decided to take on their offer and created 4 different giveaways, for each one of my books:

Hidden Heart

A World Apart

Born In Vengeance–Dacian Legends, book #1

Born In Sin–Dacian Legends, book #2 

The giveaways run for another 3 weeks (the first three) and a month the last one. They are also posted on NOR’s site. If you click on any of the above titles you will be redirected to their site and able to enter the giveaways.

Good luck!