Hope, The Garden of Second Chances, Debut YA Book,

Countdown Alert: Just 7 Days until The Garden of Second Chances Release!

Hey there! Can you believe it? We’re only a week away from the highly anticipated release of The Garden of Second Chances. The excitement is real, and I can’t wait to share this incredible novel with you. ( A reader’s word, not mine, but I’ll take it, lol).

By the way, have you heard of the word “Anxcited”? I made it up, but it perfectly describes the mix of anticipation and excitement I’m feeling right now!

In other news, the Goodreads Giveaway has officially come to a close, and we have our 10 lucky winners. How awesome is that? But there’s more good stuff coming.

My friend, Mia Wengen, who happens to be an amazing children’s book author, is running a fantastic Rafflecopter Giveaway. I assembled a list of Middle Grade and Young Adult books that deal with one of the subjects in the novel: Intimate Partner Violence. This is subject that affects many young people, and sometimes, having a book that deals with this area can be helpful in opening up a conversation with someone.

You have a shot at winning a signed copy of the book, along with some cool customized bookmarks and custom stickers. Only 2 winners will be selected, so make sure you don’t miss out on this opportunity!

By the way, Mia’s website, Pragmatic Mom, is an absolute treasure trove of kidlit resources and captivating books. Be sure to check it out and dive into a world of imagination and wonder.

Check out the Latino Book Chat if you’d like to catch a podcast interview about me and the book. I’ll be with the host, Christianne Meneses Jacobs, on June 7, 2023.

Now, let’s shift gears and talk about something equally important: my upcoming book launch party! I can’t contain my excitement as I look forward to celebrating this long, rocky, but exhilarating road to publishing my very first novel.

The support from my writing group and family (especially Mom) has been phenomenal, and I’m grateful for them every step of the way on this journey.

Wish me luck and send me good thoughts as I present my first reading and author signing at Timbre Books and a signing at Barnes and Noble, both in Ventura.

I’ll post photos and reels of the party on Facebook and Instagram (except no embarrassing ones) to show you my unique book cover earrings and the cool decorations my daughter came up with for the party. 

Thanks for reading!

The Garden of Second Chances, Debut YA Book,

Preparing for Book Debut: A 20-Month Journey

You know when you’re pregnant, and the sudden realization hits you that you’re going to give birth in two weeks?

Maybe you don’t know, but that’s the way I feel right now at 14 days to my book’s debut.

Back in July 2022, I wrote this in my first newsletter:


Nope, not the memory or the ability to recognize myself in a mirror. The similarity? The duration of a pregnancy.

Whether an Asian or an African pachyderm, the average time to carry and birth a little one is 22 months.

I’m not with child, but I am “with book.” My first.

Twenty months ago, I reviewed and signed an agreement before I agreed to carry this book.

The signed contract was like the ultrasound for a book baby.

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

During these months, I’ve been in the preparation stage.

It takes more than a village to launch a book. More like a small town that gets together to help bring the book baby into the world. These people helped prepare me:

  • My publisher (SheWrites/SparkPress), editor, cover designer, and PR staff. They answered questions, did a couple of rounds of editing, and gave feedback.
  • My writing group has cheered me on and has been my emotional support for 15 years.
  • My family. My mom & kids have been my biggest supporters. Mom’s legally blind, but she read the Advanced Reader Copy. It took three months, and she loved the book. (Believe me, she’d tell me if she didn’t.) My daughter (D) talks up my book to strangers. One turned out to be a journalist on a local TV station who is pitching my book to her boss. My youngest son (YS) patiently taught me how to make reels on Instagram.
  • Social media. Twitter is fairly easy, but it’s like talking into a canyon. Sometimes, someone hears you. Facebook is so much more engaging, but my reader demographic skews much younger, so I learned Instagram posting, reels, and stories.
  • Baby clothes or book swag is a must. YS designed a bookmark, stickers, and graphics. A friend gave me earrings that are my book cover in miniature
  • Planning a party. D is taking care of most of the decorations because I’m not good at that. My oldest son used to be a DJ and will provide the music. YS is the video man.
  • Readers. A successful launch isn’t possible without readers who pre-ordered the book or helped spread the news via social media or word of mouth.

As I enter the final stretch, I’m reminded that in two weeks, my book will make its debut, marking the culmination of a 20-month journey filled with anticipation, support, and preparation.

I am grateful for the support of my publisher, family, and friends, as well as the invaluable assistance from my readers and social media community.

If you’re excited about this upcoming milestone, I invite you to join me by getting into the Goodreads Giveaway, pre-ordering the book, or spreading the word through social media. Let’s celebrate together as we bring this labor of love into the world.

Thank you for being a part of my book’s story.