Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ringing in the New

Happy New Year!

2015 is bringing in a lot of changes for our family… new meaning to “out with the old, in with the new”. 

In October, my husband was informed he would be let go from his job here in Phoenix. As of December 12, he became unemployed…although his official date is January 5.

Needless to say,  the news came as a big shock to us and the reasons for his termination made us more than angry, but after the emotions faded my husband realized it was a blessing because he had tired of the job and was no longer happy with the company or the direction they seemed to be going.  Because there was no legitimate reason (other than their standard “it’s just business” BS)---okay, I’m still angry, haha--- he was given a generous severance.  He’s already started looking for work (and many of his co-workers have started helping him…that’s how loved he was by many of them). He’s been off since mid December, doing small chores around the house, relaxing and just plain driving me crazy! We are very confident he will find another job, we just aren’t sure where….here in Arizona or back home in Texas and I have to admit, Texas is high on the list.  

All in all, I am very glad to see 2014 end!! It’s been a very stressful year….so much so, I haven’t been able to get any real writing done…and believe me when I tell you, I don’t stress easily. I’m from Texas and pretty laidback. Shit happens, I deal….but when it’s people putting the stress on….well, I deal, but my health suffers and my writing. 

Anyway….I’m really hoping 2015 is a banner year for us, although life is what you make of it. I’m going to stay positive and hope everything works out….after all, I’ve always believed things happen for a reason, so there’s no sense worrying about it.



Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Time is Here

Wow, less than a week til Christmas and I'm not even feeling it. I guess that happens when you get old and your kids have moved on although I still have two at home and the other two are close by....Christmas just isn't the same as when they were babies and their excitement of the day was contagious.

I've been trying to find ways to get into the holiday season by decorating the house and planning the days. My daughter Becca is driving in on Monday with her roommate and they'll be spending the whole week here. Today the sidekick and I are going to pick out our tree and on Monday all the kids will be here to decorate it. Our own tree trimming party! I still have a bit of Christmas shopping to do---which I'll probably do Tuesday-- and I haven't wrapped any gifts yet....that's always a last minute thing. On Christmas Eve morning we're going to make tamales because we have a small family party that night, we'll watch a Christmas movie then play some games and the kids always like to open a gift. Christmas day, we eat a big breakfast then have our big dinner. The girls and I may go to a movie that night as well.  All in all, it'll be a fun night.

Anyway....I hope you and your family are having a wonderful Christmas!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Free to be Me

I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.

I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition. <Martha Washington > 

Is it me, or does this year seem to be flying by?  Seems like just yesterday I was changing diapers, carting kids to little league or ballet and fighting bedtime. Now, the kids are grown and, for the most part, moved out and it's just me and my husband. Which is a good thing. Now we can do what we want, when we want, without having to worry about babysitters.

When my kids were younger I would hear stories about the "empty nest" couples would have to learn to be a couple again or get used to not having the kids around as buffers or excuses to do things together....and I waited for it to happen for us....but it hasn't.  Sounds kinda bad, doesn't it? I love my children to the Heavens and back, and I miss the days when they were young and home....but not to the extent of not knowing who I am without them. And, my husband and I have never had problems with being a couple. Over our 22 years of marriage, we'd do the occasional 'date night'....which happens more now than before. We enjoy each other's company but we also enjoy doing our own thing. He likes to golf, I like to be alone to read or write or maybe visit the local casino.  My husband's job requires him to travel a lot which has never been a problem for me and he was away a lot when the children were still in elementary school because of being in the service, which was still not an issue for me because I'm an extreme introvert...I LIKE to be alone with me. Plus, being raised by a single parent (my aunt) I had to step up often to be the adult and take care of the family (in a housewife sort of way) so I was used to it. The family and their needs always came first.

So, now that I don't have children to take care of (more or less) I can focus on me. Back in '99 I decided I wanted to pursue a writing career. I'd always loved making up stories and had an active imagination, so I started training myself on how to write a novel. In 2003 I sat down and wrote my first book, which I completed within two months. Now, because I was still 'green' and not as trained in the craft as I thought I was, it took a lot of time to fix the story in order to make it publishable. I did countless revisions, added scenes, pulled scenes and rewrote scenes. Eight years after I wrote The End on the last page, I sold the book, Forget Me Not, to Decadent Publishing!  In 2003, a couple of weeks after finishing Forget Me Not, I started a second book. It took me two months to write as well because the story had been in my head for a very long time. Again, the time between writing the end and publishing was quite long, but I'm thrilled to say Dark Obsession is now available online!

Back in the day when we lived off my husband's Coast Guard salary and money was so tight we had to pawn whatever we had of value just to buy food, I never stopped believing things would get better. Patience is a virtue I learned to hold on to. And faith is something I've never given up.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Vacation Memories

        So we’re talking vacations this month. It’s a bit premature since most vacations happen in the summer. 
I never really took vacations until after I was married and had kids and my husband retired from the Coast Guard and found another job, because we just couldn’t afford to. Our first family vacation was 2002. A trip to Florida. My nieces Heather and Sierra joined us, along with Sierra’s brother Nik. We went to both Disneyworld and Universal studios and had a blast! The kids were all at the perfect age to enjoy the rides and shows.  As much fun as that was though, I think my most memorable vacation was the one I took in 1975, with my whole family. It was the first and only vacation I can remember us taking and the last because a few months later my mom passed away.  I can still remember when she came to tell us we were taking a trip. She just walked in the room while we were watching TV and said, “We’re going on a trip, so pack some clothes and get some sleep. We’re leaving very early in the morning.”  Yeah, it was a spur of the moment thing. I think my aunt and uncle talked her into it, they came with us.

So we all piled into our Suburban…seven kids aged nine to seventeen, a two year old toddler and three adults and took a road trip south along the Texas gulf coastline. I remember we made stops in Alice, Kingsville, Corpus Christie and Brownsville….visiting with family mostly. Then we took a trip across the border to Mexico to do some shopping.  I don’t remember which town it was, there are a few you can cross into that welcome tourists.  Along the river on the Mexico side, you’ll see children of all ages begging for money and scrambling like ants for the measly coins people toss down to them. Once you cross the river via the international bridge and you’re accosted by merchants trying to sell you everything from candies to clothing to wall hangings. Even children, some as young as five, will try to sell you packets of gum.  The streets are lined with stores and the sidewalks are crowded with carts filled with leather belts, handbags, jewelry,  everything you can think of. And, occasionally you’ll pass a store and your senses are filled with the spicy aroma of Mexican food.  I don’t remember if anyone bought anything, although I’m sure we did.  But, you have to be careful who you turn down because if it’s the wrong person, you could end up cursed. I saw a woman give my mother a dirty look when she told her no and a couple of months later mom got sick. (Superstitious much?)

I’ve made a few trips back to Mexico over the years and not much has changed.  The children are still begging for loose change, merchants are still trying to make deals, and you won’t find better Mexican food. Of course, I avoid eye-contact, for obvious reasons. Hah

A few years back, while I was working on my book Dark Obsession (available May 5th), my aunt, cousin and I took a trip back down the Rio Grande Valley (the gulf coastline) so I could get some visuals. Dark Obsession takes place in the valley….almost all of my stories do, actually.  I got some great stories from my aunt’s in-laws as well as some great scenery to use in the story.  

Anyway, speaking of Dark Obsession, the book is being re-released May 5th. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and help spread the word. =)

Here’s the blurb and a short excerpt for your reading pleasure. 


        A chance encounter seals the fate of a reclusive farmer and a mysterious woman who's on the run from a man who will stop at nothing to control her--including murder.
Ray Chavez  doesn’t believe in visions or omens or the mysticism of his Mexican/Indian heritage. When he’s awakened by the spirit of this great-grandmother with a message that something is coming, Ray passes it off as a bad dream. But he may just reconsider his position when he finds Lexie Solis stranded on the edge of town, in search of a new life. Ray feels an instant attraction, as well as a connection, to the skittish young woman, and he pursues a relationship with her. But what Lexie doesn’t tell Ray or his family, is that she is on the run from an abusive ex-boyfriend and he may be more powerful than even she wants to believe. When Lexie is assaulted by an unseen force, they learn that the man she is hiding from is a master of the dark arts and his obsession with Lexie goes beyond his need to control her; he wants to possess her soul as well. As their past lives parallel, Lexie’s only hope for salvation is in Ray’s hands. But can he accept his destiny in time to save the woman he loves? 


Sylvia dropped onto the kitchen chair and scowled at her brother. She’d rushed straight from work after her grandmother called and told her about their new visitor. She couldn’t help but wonder if it were the same visitor her cards had been warning her about for the past week and even after she voiced this concern Ray still had the nerve to patronize her.

She’s not some stray puppy you picked up from the side of the road, Ray,” she said. I’m just saying you don’t know anything about her.”

Ray leaned against the counter, crossing his legs at the ankles, and sent her a crooked grin. Damn. And I was really looking forward to teaching her a few tricks.”

Stop thinking with your glands and think with your head, Big Brother,” Sylvia snapped.

I’ve been thinking with my glands since I was fourteen. It’s a hard habit to break.”

Sylvia curled her lip at him and turned to her grandmother for support. She had sensed a mal puesta in the young woman and performed a limpia to heal her. It was a ritual they often worked for the families in town who came to see them about their curses. The inflicted would lie on a small cot and her grandmother would wave an egg over them, chanting a series of novenas.

She did this same cleansing on the young woman in Ray’s old bedroom. When she finished she took the egg and cracked it into a glass of salt water. The egg sizzled and cooked, curling its way to the surface like a snake trying to escape the flames of hell.

 Look for this and other works at my website:

Monday, January 20, 2014

I knew....

Josephine Martinez Molina
January 20, 1935 - June 15, 1975 

It's so true when they say your life can change in an instant. I've always believed things happen for a reason, that there's a purpose for why or when. Events in your life, good or bad, build the person you become. You just don't realize it until later if they made you better or stronger.
My mom died on Father's Day, 1975, two days before my thirteenth birthday. I remember the day vividly; waking up at eight in the morning and seeing my oldest sister climbing into my aunt's car. My first thought, before I fell back asleep was, "she must be going to the hospital because mom died." Yeah, pretty morbid thought to have, but I just had that gut feeling. In fact, several months before, when my brothers and sisters and I gathered on the floor around my mom's easy chair and she told us she had to go into the hospital my first question to her was, "are you going to die?" She spent a lot of weeks in the hospital and in that time I mourned her loss. I just knew she wasn't going to come home. And, a couple of hours later, when my cousin came to the house and ushered us into our Suburban without caring if we'd had breakfast, I knew. When he dropped us at the entrance and said to go to the nurse's station. I knew. When we rode up into the elevator to the fourth floor, my younger brother and sister chattering and laughing, I knew. When the floor nurse told us to go to the room opposite the one our mother was in, I knew. And when I opened the door and found it full of my family, tears streaming down their cheeks, my brother standing still against the window, his expression blank...I knew.
Over the years, as I got older, I thought a lot about what it must have been like for her, raising seven children, alone, widowed at the age of 36. As a child, I didn't give her the respect she deserved--children rarely do when they're young. But, I was number 5 in the bunch (of 7), and I didn't feel like she cared about me as much as the others. I now know, with that many children, it's hard to give time to just one. Especially when all they do is fight...yeah, we fought often...not physically, verbally. I used to wonder if maybe she begged God to take her away.

When I started having children I used to think: don't let me be like her.  When, in fact, I want to be like her. She was strong and caring and loving and she didn't let anything break her.
I don't know what kind of relationship we would have had if she lived, but I like to believe we would have been close.

I think about her often, especially during the holidays when my children are gathered around me.  I wonder if she knows how much I love her and miss her. And I hope I've made her proud.

There's a song by Christina Aguilera called Hurt, that resonates with me and sums up a lot of what I would say if she were here today. The lyrics are below.

But, most of all, I would tell her, Thank you. 

Happy Birthday.

Seems like it was yesterday when I saw your face
You told me how proud you were but I walked away
If only I knew what I know today
Ooh ooh
 I would hold you in my arms
I would take the pain away
Thank you for all you've done
Forgive all your mistakes.
There's nothing I wouldn't do
To hear your voice again.
Sometimes I wanna call you but I know you won't be there
Oh, I'm sorry for blaming you for everything I just couldn't do
And I've hurt myself by hurting you
Some days I feel broke inside but I won't admit
Sometimes I just wanna hide 'cause it's you I miss
And it's so hard to say goodbye when it comes to this, ooh, whoa
Would you tell me I was wrong?
Would you help me understand?
Are you looking down upon me?
Are you proud of who I am?
 There's nothing I wouldn't do
To have just one more chance
To look into your eyes and see you looking back
Oh, I'm sorry for blaming you for everything I just couldn't do
And I've hurt myself, oh, oh, oh.
If I had just one more day
I would tell you how much that I've missed you since you've been away
Oh, it's dangerous
It's so out of line
To try and turn back time
I'm sorry for blaming you for everything I just couldn't do
And I've hurt myself by hurting you

Oh, and, in honor of mom's birthday,  from now (January 20) thru Wednesday (the 22nd) my novel House of Cards will be on sale for just .99 cents. 

The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews