2011 In Review

Just like I do at the end of every year, this is the time to look back and review the blessings and lessons that this ending year had brought into my life as a writer and as a person.

This year was very different than the years before. If you look at my previous reviews there was an active participation in writing contests, but this year I decided to go a different route. I decided to take a step back and not just write, but learn about writing. I found two blogs that have been very instrumental in my recent growth: Bob Mayer’s Blog and Kristen Lamb’s Blog. These two authors blog very interesting postings teaching new writers how to path their ways.

The next thing I did was to get a writing accountability partner. A what you say? Yes, I found someone with the same interest to learn and write as I had to keep me accountable to deadlines and to share the nuggets of knowledge we were finding on separate sides of the country. This is my sweet friend Marilag Lubag whom has encourage me and supported me for the last few months.

Since the summer I started working on my platform and getting that first book publish. I started working with graphic designer Antoine Burch to start working on my book cover. As I’m working to get my first book I met wonderful author Melissa Foster, who has a group of author that help each other with knowledge, information and cross promotion called Women’s Literary Café. Between Kristen and Melissa I was able to meet many writers and learn a lot from their experiences. Melissa found out I was a Christian writer and gave me the best gift of all. She introduced me to a new group that was forming of Christian authors named Grace & Faith 4 U under the wonderful leadership of Author Staci Stallings. This group started with like five authors and now has over 80 members.

Finally in October 17th of this year, Growth Lessons came out and I’m proud of the things that God has already done through this book in this short time. I still did NaNoWriMo…What was I thinking? Not only I wrote for Nano, I hosted write-ins three times a week…Again, what was I thinking? But I made it through, only by the Grace of God.

In terms of this blog, I joined the post a week challenge. I am grateful to say that I succeeded. I was able to sustain for the most part a schedule of blogging three times a week, but in the few occasions that it was not possible at least I wrote that once a week post. It was also a learning experience of great accountability, organization skills and it allowed me to interact with other writers and readers that I would not have met otherwise.

In Summary, it’s been a year of learning, of success and a greater encounter with God to get me through it all. I’m very grateful for this year and looking forward to what 2012 will bring.

So what’s coming up in 2012?

  • The year will start with an interview on January 1rst at the Fashion Passion Faith Blog
  • January 14th will be the first official Book Signing at Five Spot Yogurt in Snellville
  • Spring 2012, Launch of my next book, “The Road Home”
  • Many more surprises.

GrowthLessonsNatyMatosI’m very grateful and humbled for all your support during these two years and look forward to much more experiences shared together. Remember there are only a few days left to obtain a copy of Growth Lessons for 99 cents in both Kindle, Nook and Smashwords. If you have already obtained an electronic copy and would like an autograph, go to Kindlegraph and submit your request.

Many Blessings and Happy New Year!!!

New Release for Melissa Foster: Come Back to Me

I had the honor of reading the book Come Back to Me before it’s official release. This is another great book from author Melissa Foster. It narrates a love-tragedy story of a couple separated by the war in Iraq.  The story is very intriguing and filled with suspense. It really draws you inside and you feel like you’re finally a fly on the wall inside the scenes of this book.

The book does have some language. I have to admit that around the second quarter of the book it got a little slow. If it happens to you, push through it…it’s so worth it! After that very small snag the story not only picks up, but get’s to be absolutely great and it will keep you at the edge of your seat. I know I found myself talking back at the computer screen, like I was trying to talk to the characters. (Yes, I’ve upgraded from reading on my phone…LOL)

This book talks about the strength of love, resiliency and the mistakes we can make when we run life on assumptions. “Come Back to Me” will be available on Amazon as of November 1rst. If you thought Megan’s Way was a must read, you should really pick up this one.

We asked Melissa some questions about this book and this is what she had to say:

Melissa what inspired you to write this book?

My husband was preparing to be deployed to Iraq when this idea came to me. When a loved one is sent into a war zone, all sorts of things go through your head, and of course one of those things is wondering what would happen if he never came back. I took that idea a step further, because I like to spin things into happy little yarns, and let the twists and turns come around after his return.

How did hard was for you to place yourself inside a culture different to yours?

That part of writing was really thrilling for me. It was very difficult, but I truly enjoyed it. Suha is one of my favorite characters, probably one of my favorite that I’ve written to date. Her personality is so different than mine, and her background, of course, is completely different, providing a challenging project. As for the culture, much of my research was done while my husband was in Iraq. I would provide him with questions and he would obtain answers from the Iraqi people who were on his base and from other Americans who had been stationed there longer and had lengthy exposure to the culture.

What’s next for Melissa Foster?

I’m very excited to be writing my next suspense book, THIRTY SIX HOURS. Here’s a sneak peak.

Kara Knight has just thirty six hours to find her way out of her obsessive captor’s delusional world. Mistaken for Roland Greer’s long-lost fraternal twin, Kara struggles to make sense in the darkness that envelopes her, and plan her escape, as the hours tick away and Roland Greer plays out his plan. In thirty six hours, at the exact moment of their birth, he will take them both into death–never to be separated again.

THIRTY SIX HOURS is a psychological thriller that will make you question your every memory.

Talking about new books, remember to check out my new devotional Growth Lessons, and obtain a 10% discount with the coupon code PN34W.


Book Review: Megan’s Way

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book to completion. My hectic schedule doesn’t allow to much leisure time to really sit down and read. I had heard about this book and read the reviews in Amazon, and like I do for most purchases, I read the bad reviews instead of the good ones and in my opinion they were not fair at all.

Megan’s Way is a true page turner. Let me place this in true perspective for you. I obtained this as an e-book, which is kind of a new concept for me, and my Kindle application is in my phone and I sat for hours in that little screen until I finished because I could not put it down. That’s what I mean about a true page turner.

This book has drama, action, love and a gut wrenching plot. I’ll try not to spoil much of it, but this is the very sad story of a mother of a teenager, her journey out of this world due to a terminal illness and how she stayed connected to this daughter after passing. She was loved and cherished by those around her, but she was not perfect. Megan is very real and relatable to any women’s struggles in life. Megan’s Way places in perspective the strong connection between parents and their children. The book also has a spiritual component.

When I walk away from a book I want more than entertainment, I want to learn something from it and Melissa Foster delivered that. This book reminds you the fact that life is very short, that we should not waste time in superfluous issues and move into what our purpose is. Finally I walked away with the reminder that our connections with others is all we truly take with us after we leave this world.

It is a must read book, but if you are very sensitive make sure your box of tissues is close by.

Talking about books, remember to check out my new devotional Growth Lessons, and obtain a 10% discount with the coupon code PN34W. 

P.S. You like books! The Women’s Literary Cafe is  having a big 99 cent book event next week. Readers can get 36 books for 99 cents each, plus we’re giving away free ebooks and a leather-bound edition of COME BACK TO ME!(Melissa Foster’s new book) Check it out at www.womenslitcafe.com.

Be blessed