Friday, 12 June 2015

Rio de Janeiro

Do not go to Rio de Janeiro. You'll fall in love and never want to leave!
Yep. That's exactly what happened to me. I researched house prices, nice neighbourhoods and average wages on day three.
The reason I went was the launch of my book In a Heartbeat (Num piscar de olhos in Portuguese) in Brazil. My wonderful publisher Ediora Charme organised a fabulous signing event for me and invited me to visit Rio. How could I resist?

Even the thought of an eleven hour flight with a seven-year-old didn't make me hesitate one bit.
Veronica Goes - one of the partners in Editora Charme - met us at the airport with her lovely daughter Julia holding a huge poster with my name on it. She's an amazing human being and I'm so lucky to have met her in person!. This is someone who's never before met me, has never even talked to me besides a few comments on my Facebook posts, and she treated me like a life-long friend. She introduced me to her family, took us all out to show us around, checked in every day to make sure we were fine and repeatedly asked us if we needed anything at all. Such a warm, kind person - I'm blown away!

Ju, me and Veronica

Just like her, most Brazilians are very warm, touchy-feely kind of people. They'll hug me without any reason at all, always be smiling and welcoming, and ready to help in any situation.

We spend most of our time at the beach. 

May is not Rio's peak season - it's actually their autumn/winter. But the weather was gorgeous - very hot and humid! The beaches were not overcrowded so I could ogle the hot men without any problems. 

It was our first time in Rio so we had to do all the touristy things like take the cable car to Sugar Loaf mountain (scary!!!)...

And feel at the top of the world once up there...

 Visit the statue of Christ the Redeemer...

Try Acai berry smoothie...

It looks gross but I promise you it's very delicious!

We also drank green coconut juice straight from the fruit, walked along the black and white waves pattern on Copacabana, drank our weight in caipirinhas, went to a football match at Maracana... OK, that last one is not exactly touristy but I'm a huge football fan so it was unthinkable that I'll go to Rio and not visit Maracana. 

I can honestly go on for ages! There's so much to do and see in Rio de Janeiro that 10 days were definitely not enough! I can't wait to go back next year.

Now, let's not forget I was there for work. It might seem like fun and games, but I had a very, very hard job to do - meet my readers, sign their books and be hugged to death by sweet, Brazilian women. Yep, it's a hard job but someone's gotta do it!

The day before the event I went to the bookshop where it would be held and couldn't resist taking a picture with the giant poster right at the front of the shop window.

How cool is that?? My very own gigantic poster! I must admit I was ecstatic, and yet nerves were starting to settle in. I've never had my own signing event. It's always been shared with other authors and being the sole focus of so many people's attention was frightening.

I forgot all about my nerves when we got to the event and everyone was so sweet! They were so happy to see me - some of the girls were literally shaking when they met me. I can't believe someone can get that excited about meeting me!

I also met the entire team working in Editora Charme and on my books. Brilliant, talented, smart women who inspired me to keep writing more books so that they can publish them all.

After everyone had their books signed, we sat down and had a chat. It was so much fun! We talked about everything, and laughed so much my cheeks hurt!

I had the best time and didn't feel nervous at all, all thanks to everyone who made me feel so at ease and so welcomed. I can't wait to go back for the launch of my next two books - Then, Now, Forever and Colour me Inside.

Till next time!! xx

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Happy hump day!

I haven't done a Hump Day post in a while and I think it's way overdue!
So, keeping the spirit of my recent visit to Rio de Janeiro, I present to you Marlon Teixeira!

It's really not fair how perfect he is! *sigh*

Till next time!! xx

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

All my books are now on Kindle Unlimited

You can now find all my books on Kindle unlimited and read them for free with your subscription.
I've been thinking about doing the move for a while since 90% of my sales are through Amazon anyway, and decided to take the plunge. I'll keep the KDP subscription for at least 3 months according to the contract, and decide if it's worth it after that. Until then, feel free to try any of my books for free.

Till next time!! xx

Monday, 8 June 2015

Rainbow Book Fair, NYC and a girls holiday

I know, I know... I'm super late writing this post! It's been over a month since I came back from NYC but life has been crazy and I'm so bad at regular blogging...
Anywhooo, they say better late then never, right? That's certainly true for a lot of things, including blogging, haha!
I've been desperate to go to New York for ages, but I never found the time, money or reason to make it happen. So when I stumbled upon Rainbow Book Fair, I knew that was my chance! I loved what I saw about the book fair and I really wanted to be a part of it, plus - it would give me a reason to visit one of the most iconic cities in the world. Win-win!
And it was! I went with my sister for about a week and we had an amazing time. It was a girls holiday and I loved it. My sister was even more excited than me about going to NYC, so I had someone to share my enthusiasm with.
Before I go into any more detail about the city and the trip itself, let me just say that I had a fabulous time at Rainbow Book Fair and I'm definitely planning on going again next year. I shared a table with my dear friend Rhys Ethan and we had so much fun!

We met with readers who were enthusiastic about the genre and who were happy to stop and chat; we met fellow authors who we've only chatted on Facebook with and who turned out to be so sweet and welcoming! I can't wait to see everyone again at the other book events I have planned for the rest of the year, mainly Euro Pride Con and UK Meet.
The organisers of the event - all of them volunteers who did not get paid - were simply flawless. The event was very well organised and we all know how hard that is to do for an event of that size. Everyone was really helpful and really friendly, and it'd be a pleasure to attend the event again.
As for NYC itself, it's a city that needs to be experienced. We've all seen countless movies set in New York and somehow I felt like I knew the city before I even got there. I was wrong. I might have known some of the sights by name, but that was about it. New York is a vibrant place, a place where contradictions hit you harder than expected and where you can be swallowed and eaten alive. But it's also a fun place, somewhere where you can be yourself and if you show it who's boss, it'll treat you right.
I don't know if any of that will make any sense to anyone who's never been there, but I'm not going to bore you with an account of our sightseeing, daily manicures, way too many cocktails and late nights. New York is something different for everyone, it really depends on what you're looking to find there.
If I had to sum up my trip in a few pictures, it would be these:

Oh, and when you do visit NYC, go see a musical on Broadway! Book it well in advance though - we went to see Aladdin (it was brilliant!!!) and booked our tickets in December! The theatre was packed, I couldn't see a single available space.

Till next time!! xx