Thursday, March 26, 2009

My First Trailer

My mother is feeling better and I am smiling again.

I even worked, more like played, at putting a video trailer about my romance To Love A Hero.

My trailer lasts exactly one minute and forty seconds.

As this is my very first attempt at creating a trailer, please let me know your impressions and suggestions.

Thank you.

Monday, March 16, 2009


I was determined to post every day or every other day, but life has its way. My mother fell and broke two ribs. We spent Saturday night at the ER. She is in a lot of pain and I spend my days with her. No laptop, no Internet, no time to blog or email. Honestly even if I had the time, I am not in a mood to blog, except about assisted living, getting old, broken bones, hospital and other depressing things.

No wait. I can also blog about wonderful friends who come to visit and try to entertain her, about caring on-line friends who sent many emails with hugs and prayers. Thank you all.

I hope I will be back soon.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


When I was a schoolgirl, success meant having good grades, scoring well in gym and sports, or doing a double pirouette in ballet, and finally being accepted in the college of my dreams.

Later on, success meant being popular, attracting the guy I wanted, dating, falling in love and marrying him.

Success meant studying hard and graduating with a B.S, M.S and later a Ph.D.

Success meant struggling to get a job, being disciplined and learning companies’ policies, coping with good or bad coworkers, working hard and competing.

Success meant juggling family life and career. Raising kids, being a good mother and wife, without missing a day at work. Providing quality time for the children while working late hours.

Success meant being there for my children when they were sick, hurt, in need of special help, protecting them from dangerous situations, giving them good examples, valuable advice without pushing them away with overwhelming expectations.

Am I describing my dreams? Or the reality I fought so hard to achieve?

And once I achieved the above, the goals changed.

Success is writing a book, winning contests, getting requests for partial or full manuscripts, overcoming rejection, persevering, landing a contract.

Success is being published, living through the release of a book, holding my book in my hands, garnering good reviews.
[In this picture, my mother is holdong my first book, TO LOVE A HERO]

Success is selling more and more books, receiving fans’ letters, autographing my books.

Is that enough to be successful and happy?

I don’t know.

What about helping others? Playing with children? Caring for older relatives? Contributing to friends’ happiness? Staying healthy or fighting an illness?

Who is more successful?

The Olympic champion with nine medals?

The CEO of a mega industry?

The firefighter who gives his life saving a kid?

The marines who defend our country?

The nuns who devote their life to pray or care for others?

As I evaluate my goals and achievements, I really wonder.

How do you spell success?

How do you rate success?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Too Much!!! Not Enough!!!

Do you still remember your New Year resolutions?
I do, because I put them in practice right away on January 1st .

Resolution #1:

To balance my life and organize my time in a reasonable way, I mean a way that seems reasonable to others--because my schedule always seemed extremely reasonable to me. So what if I spent twelve hours glued to my chair in front of my computer. As long as my neck or fingers didn’t hurt, I saw no reason to stop writing.

But my family didn’t agree, and I finally listened to their complaints. My dear husband felt neglected. He is very supportive of my writing, especially when I receive a check or a good review, but apparently there are limits to how much a good hubby can take. Apparently, I focus so much on my monitor screen when I write that I don’t even hear him when he talks. Huh?

So to please my husband and soothe my conscience, I cut on my writing, devoted more time to my family and exercised to improve my health. I wrote my New Year resolutions. Same resolutions as last year and the year before. But this year I took action and signed up with a trainer for twenty-four sessions, or three months of supervised exercise. There was no escape out of my commitment.

Where do I stand two months later?

I went to the gym four times a week, for an average of an hour and half to two hours a day: half an hour of cardio followed by half an hour of weights with my trainer, and finally another half hour of cardio. My family and friends admired my determination at losing weight.

You would think that after this hectic program I should have slimmed down, become fit and felt happy with my perseverance.
Except that, I was exhausted after every session and hardly able to walk. My muscles ached, my right elbow was sore, and after four weeks I developed a serious back problem.

Not to worry. My trainer dragged me to the chiropractor who has his clinic in the gym itself. He asked me to inhale and exhale, pulled my legs (seriously) and then pressed them with all his strength. I heard a crack and thought my vertebral column snapped into two pieces, but after an hour of therapy, lying on a hot moving waterbed, and other relaxing methods, I was back in shape. To be safe, we cut down on the tougher exercises for a week, repeated the therapy four times and I went back to my routine.

After two months, my trainer pinched my waist, thighs, back, …with some measuring tool and proudly announced that I lost five pounds of fat. Unfortunately, I gained one pound in total weight. Huh???

Therefore, trainer and weights are not the right way to lose weight. At least for me. Once I finish the four weeks I still have on my package, I will need to find myself a different exercise program.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Black Swan by Linda Nightingale

The Author:
Born in South Carolina, Linda Nightingale has lived in many places, including Canada, England, Miami, Atlanta and now Houston. She has seen much of this country through the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer when she bred and showed Andalusian horses. She won the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia award and was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest. She loves piano, horses, reading, writing and…no, not arithmetic! She has completed four novel manuscripts, two about vampires and two about fallen angels. Visit her at There is a continuing vampire story on her web site.

The Book:
Black Swan was released on February 25 from The Wild Rose Press (

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Paranormal; Fantasy
Length: Short (43 pages)
Heat: Spicy

Black Swans, mortals who submit to the vampire's kiss to experience euphoria and sexual ecstasies. At birth, Black Swan had a twin story. But the Black Swan and Swan Song became one spicy vampire story.

The First Review:
Long And Short Romance Reviews
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Tiger Lily

Suffering from a broken marriage, Carol Langston meets Tristan McLaghlan at a Black Swan party. Black Swans are mortals who willingly barter blood for the sensual ecstasy and euphoria vampires give in return. To Carol, this looks like the real thing until her handsome vampire runs away from her and his true nature. Separated by miles, divided across two species, can their love survive?One tall, dark, and handsome vampire is seeking his perfect mate – if she’ll have him again. Tristan McLachlan needs to satisfy his bloodlust and Carol Langston is the only woman who’ll do. Now he needs to find the way back into her heart.

Ms. Nightingale writes an interesting plot. Her vampires have consciences and remorse. The twists are logical and believable because the reader can identify with the trials of the characters. The hero Tristan captivated this reader... The story is an enjoyable read. The love scene on the hood of the BMW is very hot because of the chance they may get caught. If you like brooding vampires and damsels in distress, then "Black Swan" is the read for you and your friends.

The fact that the man she loved was in bed with another woman ceased to be important when she saw the blood.

Her heart, which had been running on empty until she met Tristan, stuttered and stalled. Horror freeze-framed time—the shutter snaps of images flooding her brain almost audible. She couldn’t breathe or move, knew she hadn’t made a sound, but Tristan's head snapped up. Wild red eyes honed in on her. Blood smeared his mouth, drizzled from two wounds on his partner's throat. The woman he'd been screwing was deathly pale and deadly still.

She hadn't blinked but Tristan was on his feet. Her heart tripped over a beat. No one could move that fast. He shook back his mane of black hair and, holding her prisoner in his gaze, glided toward her. The last rays of the dying sun bronzed his body.

"I never meant for this to happen again." His lyrical Irish accent grew more pronounced. "I’m sorry you saw what you saw. I promise I wasn't cheating on you." He rubbed his forehead as if he could erase a memory then embraced her tight again. "But unfortunately I can't tell you what was really happening.”

She gasped. Tristan had literally vanished from her arms, reappeared by the window. In profile, he looked like an angry ancient god. From the apartment next door, Ravel's sensual Bolero and the sounds of lovemaking wove through the utter stillness.

"Love ... is rare in my life. I didn’t wish lose it again." His voice was part of the throbbing melody. "But I am what I am."

His last four words penetrated her misery. For a couple of stuttering heartbeats, she stared at him in shock. Fear invaded her fantasy world.

A hard shudder rolled over her. “What are you, Tristan?"

He whirled, his eyes glowing in the dark. "You don't want to know what I am." A muscle in his sculpted jaw twitched. "But perhaps you should."

Fangs dented the bottom lip of the most beautiful, evil smile she’d ever seen.

Answer the following question from the story to win a Black Swan coffee mug.

What instrument does Tristan play?

The winner must leave an email addy so that I can contact her/him for a snail mail address.