Still I Rise

In honor of the late, great Maya Angelou, who has passed away this day, I want to take a moment and share my favorite poem of hers:

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you? 
Why are you beset with gloom? 
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken? 
Bowed head and lowered eyes? 
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you? 
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you? 
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs? 

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise. 

Ms. Angelou, you are with the angels now, writing them poems. We have never met, but your words connect me to the earth in which we both walked upon. We do not belong to the same generation, but your writing has reached beyond decades and touched my soul. Rise, Ms. Angelou, rise.

You taught me what it means to be a woman.

Thank you for gracing this world with your light.

Your words will forever be remembered.

Candy Mag Feature

The June issue of Candy Mag is out! Woot! 

Grab your copy. Tweet me a pic or tag me on FB of the pic and I'll put you on the list for an eARC of Relish. *winks*

Favorite First Line

So many books, so many opening lines. That’s why I really had to think about this post. I looked at my favorite books. I looked at my least favorite books. Nothing really stood out until I dug deep into my college days. The opening line that stuck with me over the years is an iconic one: “Call me Ishmael.” Even those who have not read Mody Dick know this line, or is at least familiar with it.

Because I’m a literature major, Moby Dick was on my reading list. I am happy to report that I finished reading this book. Did not even cheat or anything. Of course, it’s more a whaling manual than a work of fiction, but who can resist Captain Ahab and his quest for the white whale?

Three words, “Call me Ishmael,” bring you into the story right away. It’s a conversation between you and Ishmael, the narrator. But I won’t bore you with details about Moby Dick. If you haven’t read it, put it on your bucket list. What I like most about this opening line is its almost Shakespearean quality. It’s just as good as “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” or “To be, or not to be.”

As a side note, did you know, according to the Urban Dictionary “Call me Ishmael” is actually a phrase used to refer to a fat woman? Meaning she’s a white whale. Insulting, I know, but that’s how iconic this line is. The moment someone uses it as a pop culture reference it’s made it to the generation’s psyche.

My latest release is called Til Death from Entangled Teen. So, in accordance to the theme of this post, here’s Til Death’s opening line:


Yup. One word.

Make sure to grab your copy to find out why.


Wherever books are sold near you.

Happy reading!

Dishing Cover Secrets: Taste

            Hello, dear readers! Today I'm dishing about my cover secrets. To date, I have six novels out. I’ve been lucky to work with publishers that provided beautiful covers for each of them. But one has a special place in my heart, not only because the cover is from my debut novel. I’m excited to share with all of you the story behind it.

            Years before I signed the contract for Taste, a former critique partner of mine sent me mock covers. Taste used to be called Lunar Heat. Of all the covers—there must have been thirty of them—I was drawn to this particular one:

Here's the modified version done by my friend:

            Back then, I already knew the image you see today was meant to be the cover. So when I signed my contract with Crescent Moon Press and we started talking about potential covers, I sent them the image of the girl leaning against a tombstone. The universe is truly amazing because CMP fell in love with the image. Even if the price for the rights was a little above their budget, they still pursued working with the artist to make it the cover. A majority of my books out have cover art created by Liliana Sanches. She’s amazing.

            Here’s the finished product:

            Once Taste celebrated her book birthday, many of the readers were immediately drawn to the cover. I couldn’t blame them. And even more amazing is that it won 2nd place at the 2012 Judge a Book by Its Cover contest in the YA category. So we’ve come full circle in this story. Sometimes things are just met to be.

            I hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes of Taste’s cover. Please make sure to grab your copy. It's actually on SALE:

Sarabia Optical ATC Branch is the Worst

Dear Sarabia Optical,

I am Kate Evangelista, an international author, and a loyal patron of Sarabia Optical ever since I got my first pair of glasses in high school. Last September 2013, my mother bought me Tommy Hilfiger frames worth 9k as a gift. This is the first time I ever owed frames that expensive.

Today, I went to your ATC branch to have the lens adjusted because it was coming loose from the frame. The employee who took my glasses went to the back to have it fixed. Minutes later, he comes out showing me that temple of my Tommy Hil glasses has come off. He started explaining that it wasn't his fault, that it came off on its own.

That was the first transgression of the ATC branch.

I told him that I cannot accept his explanation because I wasn't there when the temple came off. How do I know that he's telling the truth? At the same time, someone in sales passing off a mistake made in their store onto a customer? That's like the worst attitude to have, especially toward someone who spent a significant amount of money on the frames that he broke.

When I told him that I wanted a replacement, he gave me such a hard time, saying that they will not replace my glasses. It's the only pair I have, so what will I use? Then one of the doctors took over and did a poor job of explaining away their mistake, still refusing to replace my glasses--that they broke.

Then they brought my frames to the back again and had someone stick the temple back into place, but it was clear that the frame was already distorted. The temple wasn't in alignment anymore.

And you know what the doctor did?

She tried to blame the distortion of my frames on me.

That's when I started getting mad. I insisted that I will not leave until they replace my frames. The doctor picked out the cheapest frames in the store--that did not even fit my face because she never asked me to try them on before putting lenses on them--and said they will be my replacement until they can all the manufacturer of my frames for a replacement. That pissed me off even more because the doctor made it seem like she's doing me a favor by giving me crappy replacement frames. What kind of service is that to a loyal customer?

You want to know the worst part?

Because there is one.

They waited until I was already stressed and pissed before calling the manufacturer about a replacement. Who knew they could do that right away? Why did I have to leave my frames if they could have just picked up the phone?

The manufacturer replaced the frames with exact same ones, just a different color, without complaining. Not like the staff of your ATC branch. They made me feel like I was the one at fault when all I wanted was to have my lenses adjusted and they broke the temple of my glasses. How is that called service? How is that something to be proud off? Your company better give the staff at ATC sensitivity training because they are the worst.

They could have owned up to breaking my glasses and called the manufacturer right away for a replacement. Instead they gave me a hard time when I wasn't at fault and waited until I was truly upset before doing something about the situation. They couldn't even face me, choosing to stand at the back of the store and solving the problem without consulting me, like the time they glued the temple back wrong and picked out crappy frames to replace my expensive ones.

I'm truly disappointed with you, Sarabia Optical. You have just lost a loyal customer. And every time someone asks me about your store, I will tell them this same story. Thank you for the inconvenience.


Birthday Giveaway Winners!

Hello, lovelies!

Now, I know you're all excited to find out who won the signed copies of my books. The great Rafflecopter randomizer has made it's decision and picked four great winners. 

But, before all that, I want to take a second to greet my father a Happy Birthday! He turns 85 today and eats more sweets than I do. He is a sturdy, sturdy man. I love him. 

confetti gif photo: Smiley Blow Out the Candles Party Confetti Happy Birthday Sign Smiley Smilie Emoticon Animation Animated Gif birthday_07_text2.gif

So, Happy Birthday, Daddy! *tackle hugs*

Okay, the winners...

Please give a round of applause and enthusiastic congratulations to:

Ana D.

from Brazil

wins the signed copy of Taste

Aurélia E.

from Belgium

wins the signed copy of Romancing the Bookworm

Alexandra H.

from Germany

wins the signed copy of Reaping Me Softly

 Brandi S.

from the USA

wins the signed copy of Til Death

CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners! Your packages have been sent.

confetti gif photo: Lijena Confetti Birthday Gif tumblr_maeuflwQ2n1rni7u1_zps2d0b30fd.gif

For those Rafflecopter didn't pick, blame the randomizer.


Don't despair. I'm planning an even bigger giveaway soon. Stay tuned! 
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