The News Girl is finally out!

Dear readers,

news-girl-sml-copyIt is a coincidence that The News Girl has been officially released on Thanksgiving Day. One of my New Year’s resolutions will be to write more blog postings and be more active on my website. It’s so easy for me to share quick things on Facebook that I forget I can share anything with you here.

But today is all about gratitude, because it feels good. It’s impossible to feel grateful and be angry at the same time, because those two feelings can’t live together. So, first I’m grateful for my wonderful family in Spain, North Carolina, and California. I’m grateful for those friends who feel like family, and many other awesome friends who are scattered around the globe on different continents. I’m grateful for the ten years, five months and ten days of Chiqui’s beautiful presence in my life. I’m a people person, and that means people always come first. I’m grateful for my job, and the people I work with, including my fun teenage students who drive me crazy sometimes, but who give me a reason to try to be better every day. imagesI’m grateful for my health and for having a home with a cute patio where the hummingbirds come to say hello while other birds bathe in the fountain. I’m grateful for all the yummy meals and good times shared with our amazing friends.

Last, but not least, I’m grateful for having the most supportive hubby in the world, who has helped me go through the loss of our dog—my baby—and has encouraged me and made my life easier so I could write and publish The News Girl. He’s always there when I need a hug, or a coffee . . .

Thank you for being here, for reading this. I’m grateful for YOU.

Have a wonderful day!

Silvi Martín

 

Back to Coronado

Dear Readers,

Thank you for your patience. It wasn’t easy to go back to “normal” after our dear Chiqui left us in April. I just couldn’t find the magic button to stop the pain or lessen it. Not that I’ve found it, but I can only accept it and carry him in my heart…

Last week, my hubby and I attended the Romance Writers of America Conference in San Diego, which has infused me with energy, ideas and inspiration to keep writing, finish The News Girl and share a few things with you. Mi playa y yoWe arrived in San Diego three days before the conference started, so we could spend two wonderful days in my beloved Coronado Island, where Juli and Eric (The Postgirl) said hi to all of you, and Alex and Mia (The News Girl) can’t wait to make you fall in love with the island just a little bit more. Have I told you I fell in love with Coronado four years ago, after just a few minutes there? It was love at first sight, awakening my creative juices so the idea of a series started forming in my mind.

1. EagleOn this trip I’ve had the honor, the pleasure and the thrill of visiting The Coronado Eagle & Journal—a family business newspaper in a historical house built in 1889—and meeting Dean K. Eckenroth, who has been helping me in my research for The News Girl. I first contacted Dean in January of 2016 with a modest request for information during the research process. Dean responded, not only giving me permission to use the name of the Coronado newspaper in my novel, but he also offered a physical description of the office and was happy to answer any questions I had as the novel developed. Dean, Jax and IDean is the editor, IT guy and production manager, a man who loves his profession, his workplace and its wonderful staff he calls family. I have no words to describe the feeling of finally being there in person, meeting him and his adorable big puppy, Jax. Advertizig girlsI also had the chance to chat with some staff members, such as the copyeditor, Susie, and the advertising team, Tracy, Brandy, Trisha and Daniel. They were all kind, fun to talk to and happy, just the way I pictured them and the office with Dean’s help.

IMG_3159Then we visited the legendary Hotel del Coronado—known by the locals as “The Del.” The hotel was built in 1888, becoming the most luxurious and elegant Victorian seaside resort in the country—a national historic landmark visited by eleven US presidents and royalty from Europe.

There I was lucky to meet Brook Berryhill, a lovely and welcoming concierge, who feels proud of being part of The Del and was so kind to open the Crown Room for me—so I could get a physical feel of the setting for one of the scenes in The News Girl. The Crown Room offers the famous Sunday brunch, with seven different stations in a lovely setting. The crown chandeliers you can see in the picture below were designed by Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz. What luck to be in there on a Tuesday!

Crown room and meI got to talk to other hotel staff at the shops, and did some research in situ, including the story of the famous ghost, known as The Beautiful Stranger, who’s been living there since November 1892.

I love The Del. Just being there makes me want to write a whole book about this absolutely mesmerizing, charming and mysterious resort. Maybe next time I’ll enjoy the experience of staying there.

FlowerLadyOne of the first people I met on the island was Debbie Otto, The Coronado Flower Lady, the place where Mia Carrera loves to buy her flowers at Rotary Park —on Orange Ave. and Isabella. I told her about The News Girl and how I mention her business in both books. It took less than a minute to see all the love and pride she feels for her flowers, and how much she cares about what she does. After so many years, she’s still there and always happy, like everybody I’ve met on the island.

On day two we visited Bay Books, a locally own bookstore that keeps the charm and the beautiful smell of the classic bookstores—a place where the staff knows where everything is without having to check a computer.

Bay BooksErna Lockhart and Barbara Chambers were very sweet, chatting with us about the book signings and readings they do regularly for authors. How exciting! I’d love to do a book signing there in the future, maybe after book three of my series…

It shouldn’t be a surprise that we went to the beach and enjoyed a long walk on the white sand by The Del while indulging on a scrumptious ice cream from the Mootime Creamery.Ice creamWait a minute! I don’t think the ice cream made it to the beach. I devoured it before that.Pizzza

Dinner at Island Pasta on Orange Avenue was casual and delicious, with friendly staff and cozy tables by the window. This time we had pizza and Caesar salad. Yummy!

The evening ended with a fun and refreshing ride on the Coronado Ferry that took less than ten minutes to the San Diego Marina by the Convention Center.

I feel so happy and grateful to have met such wonderful people—in a place that already feels like home— that I can’t wait to go back to Coronado!
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Love and loss

Dear Readers, I wrote this posting because I’m one of those people who overcomes hard times by talking about it, writing about it and letting it out. You don’t have to read this if it’s going to make you sad. This is like therapy for me to deal with the loss of my beloved dog, Chiqui Martin. My baby. P1050531

Every time I’ve heard people talking about losing their dogs, my heart ached for them, because even though I had never experienced it, I could imagine it. That had been my biggest fear since Chiqui turned eight and the clock started ticking. P1010916

Chiqui was born on November 4, 2005 in Galveston, Texas, to give me ten years, five months and ten days of pure and unconditional love and teach me how to love.Jueves dic. 15chiqui 7 semanas copy

He always looked younger than his age. He was a healthy, handsome and happy dog almost until the end. My baby boy was a beautiful, considerate, adorable and loving puppy. Now he’s gone. Cancer took him from me fast. He left me yesterday, and the hole is so big nothing can fill it. I wasn’t ready to let him go. I had more love to give him, I needed to touch him longer, feel his fur and kiss him thousands of times. Ten years were not enough for me. I miss him in my life.

Dic. 21 (2)I always hoped he would die very old, in his sleep, not this way. The pain of seeing him die in my arms was almost unbearable. Part of me died with him yesterday, but he will live in my heart for as long as I live. We had such a strong connection that I felt he could read my mind sometimes, when I was planning on doing something he didn’t like so much (cutting his nails or giving him a bath), or leaving him at home because I couldn’t take him with me. He always knew.

He expressed everything with his eyes and his body language. Chiqui-patio copyHe communicated with me, and it truly seemed like he was trying to articulate words. Chiqui was hilarious. He made us laugh every single day.

No matter how hard or frustrating my work day had been, getting home and seeing his face smiling at me, his tail wagging in anticipation as I got out of the car, ready to smother me with kisses and love, changed my day.

This is the saddest part now… A few times over the last year, he got in the habit of chewing on his backside, close to his tail, when we left him alone. We thought it was separation anxiety and we bought him a cone to prevent the chewing. Then he started doing it when we were home as well and we thought he had pain in his hips because when he ran or did more exercise he had the urge of chewing on the same spot that had already healed. The last time he did it was on March 25th when he stayed with his adoptive family while we went to Boise for a wedding. Then the third possibility came out, a flea had bit him and maybe he was allergic so he had a hot spot there where he chewed because it itched. Everything made sense but cancer.Chiqui y yo en la arena copy

His wound healed fast and we gave him antibiotics so it wouldn’t get infected. But then he didn’t want to eat and began to look more uncomfortable.

We took him to our wonderful vet, Dr. Dadwal last Saturday, April 9th (less than a week ago) and everything appeared normal except for something he could barely touch when he did a rectum exploration (nobody had ever done that to him before). The doctor seemed worried about the mass he discovered and urged us to get an ultrasound. On Monday they did the blood work and it showed fifty-fifty possibility of an infection or some kind of cancer. He had completely lost his appetite by then.

Chiqui y yo en Aptos copy

On Tuesday he had the ultrasound and a FNA (fine needle aspirate) to get a sample of that 7cm mass between the colon and his pelvis. By then his legs got swollen and he had edema, since that thing was pressing the blood vessels, causing them to leak.

On Wednesday we knew he had cancer.

Lymphoma is fast. We knew time was running out, so we took him to the beach in Aptos, his favorite place, his happy place. He ate, ran and played. For just a few hours he almost looked normal (even though they had shaven his belly and his legs were swollen). He still looked like a happy puppy. That was his last day. I joined him in the back seat and pet him the entire ride to the beach and back.

Jugando con Chiqui Dic. 16

Yesterday at around 11AM his beautiful life ended peacefully, his head resting on my hands and his eyes fixed on me, letting me know how much he loved me. I didn’t see fear or pain, just love and trust. I closed his eyes, let his head rest on the towel and kissed him and hugged him for the last time after his heart had already stopped. My tears didn’t let me see him anymore.

Pain hit me straight in the heart, beyond words. The rest is emptiness, silence, memories, tears, more memories, absence, desperation and deep, deep sorrow. My baby had a tumor growing inside and I couldn’t help him. He tried to chew it out and I didn’t know. Dr. Dadwal wanted the ultrasound to prove him wrong, but our worst fear was confirmed and I had less than three days to say goodbye to my baby. This last picture is his very last, about fifteen minutes before he left me for good.

5. His very last picture today 4:14:16I’m so grateful to the two best vets in the whole world: Dr. Laura de la Prida (also one of my best friends from Galveston, Texas who is a real animal lover and an awesome surgeon), and Dr. Raminder Dadwal in San Jose, California. Both have proven there are some honest, compassionate, decent and loving vets we can trust a hundred percent. Both Dr. de la Prida and Dr. Dadwal treat pets as if they were their own and care about their owners as if they were friends. Thank you on behalf of Chiqui .

Book 2 of the Coronado Island series, The News Girl

Coming Spring 2016

FNews Girlree-spirited reporter Mia Carrera doesn’t believe in fairy tales. After her boyfriend dumps her for his ex, she quits her job and moves to Coronado Island. Determined to make a fresh start at the local paper, Mia discovers that her new boss is the man who fired her ten years ago in New York.

Single father Alex Mitchell recently accepted the position of editor-in-chief of the Coronado Eagle & Journal. His stable life turns upside down with the arrival of new reporter Mia Carrera. The feisty dark-haired rebel drives him crazy as he fights the undeniable attraction between them.

My Passion for Reading

My parents married in their early twenties after dating for five years. Soon after that they were brave enough to leave their safe environment in a little town in Andalusia, Spain, to move to the amazing continent of Africa. I grew up in Dakhla, a picturesque town with rounded white houses and flat roofs, located on a tiny cape between the Sahara desert and the Atlantic Ocean. I was a healthy, confident and happy child, full of energy, fantasies and dreams.

Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 8.40.30 PMMy father was a math teacher, like all of his friends in Dakhla. I believed it was fun to be a teacher and I wanted to be one too. Dad used to go to school every day, to teach children how to solve problems, equations and an infinity of things related to numbers and signs. I looked up to my father. I was one of those children who loved to ask questions. He knew everything. He always had an answer, always delivered with kindness and love.

Once a week, big students—most of them older than my parents—came to our home for private lessons that, surprisingly for me, were easier than the ones he taught at school. At the age of five, I didn’t understand why grown ups were learning things that children already knew in their early years. My mom explained to me that they didn’t have the chance to go to school when they were little, and my father was helping them catch up. I admired my father for that too.

I used to watch his lessons from a distance, Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 8.33.26 PMquietly secluded in my bedroom with a side view of his clean-shaven face, long sideburns and Roman nose. My favorite part was when he wrote the alphabet on the huge blackboard my mom had given him for his birthday, while the attentive students asked questions and took notes. That is how I learned to read, secretly, hidden, peeking behind the doorframe, with voracious big brown eyes semi-covered by my natural golden curls. I loved the letters and I wanted to write so badly that I couldn’t wait to go to school.

Soon after that I had almost as many books in my bedroom as my parents had on their shelves. I developed a passion for reading, and a curiosity for learning. Reading before sleeping became a routine that I have kept throughout the years. Now, I can’t go to sleep without reading, even though sometimes I can only manage a page before my eyes close 🙂

My debut contemporary romance novel is here!

This holiday season is being very special to me, since I’ve made a dream come true. I’ve published my first novel, The Postgirl.

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This dream started many years ago, even before I was a teenager. I fantasized about seeing my name on the cover of a book, which in my mind was the closest thing to impossible.

It was my grandmother who put the seed of hope in my head. She always believed in me and told me I could become anything I set my mind to. She told me to keep writing and one day my name would be on a book cover. That moment has arrived, but she’s not here to see it. Still, I kept my promise and dedicated the first book to her. The Postgirl is for you, Maína. To my grandmother, my godmother and my guardian angel. With all my love.

The thing about dreams is that many times we have them, without realizing that it’s entirely up to us to make them happen. It takes just a step and then another. The moment we take action, set a deadline and start moving in that direction, the whole universe joins us to make it happen. It took me many years to realize something as simple as that.

What am I going to do now? Write more books in the series and keep dreaming. But I can’t dream without the love, the company and the support of my friends and family, so please join me in the adventure and let’s dream together!

Happy holidays!

Love always,

Silvi

Debut novel coming soon!

702f08_86a06d90e98343988638077a337249d0Thanks so much for stopping by!

I just got the manuscript back from the editor and I’m working on the final revision. The Postgirl will be released later this week! I’ll definitely keep you updated. Yay!