What do I do when I’m not writing or reading? Well, I enjoy movies. My favorites include It’s A Wonderful Life and My Fair Lady. My favorite TV show is Frasier. I also enjoy watching historical and nature documentaries, and the Columbo mysteries.

I love music, especially the works of Mozart, Beethoven, and Puccini… and I love John Barry’s Somewhere In Time score and The Beatles. My favorite songs are Moon River (as sung by Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany’s) and the Beatles’ Long And Winding Road.

I love many books. Among my favorites are Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O’Dell, Beauty, by Robin McKinley, The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Midwife’s Apprentice, by Karen Cushman, Grandfather’s Journey, by Allen Say, the Ramona books, by Beverly Cleary, and The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, by Judith Viorst. Judy Blume was the author I embraced most as a young girl, and she remains a favorite. I enjoy reading with my daughters Mia and Titi. Mia is old enough to read middle-grade novels on her own now, but we still share read-aloud times together. Titi, still a baby, already delights in our lap-time readings.

I’m not good at most sports, but I do enjoy swimming and leisurely walks. My husband’s cousin Michelle, an avid rock climber, got me to join her in a rock gym once, but alas the sport was not for me. I barely got eight feet up the wall (she insists it was only three feet, but I swear the woman needs glasses!). If only they would make those hand grips deeper…. I do well as a spectator, though. My husband and I try to attend at least one Red Sox game a season.

As a family, we look forward to blueberry picking every July. For me, there is no fruit as delicious as fresh blueberries! My other favorite foods include my mom’s Lobster Cantonese, my mom’s fried shrimp (no other fried shrimp comes close), and pasta dishes with light, white-wine and garlic sauces (my sister makes a shrimp scampi to die for). I think I’m the only one in the family who does not like pizza.

I like to cook (though I think I’d enjoy it more if I didn’t have to do it every day). I’m South-American, and my husband is North-American, so our kitchen cabinets house a variety of spices. Would you like to check out some of our favorite recipes?

Family & Friends

I am blessed. I have a husband who is not only a gentle, honorable, patient man, but is also an amazing father to our daughters. No child could ask for a more loving father than Mitch. I love to watch them interact. As for our daughters Mia and Titi, they have brought such unexpected joy into our lives. They inspire me to be a better person and a better writer. My parents live nearby in my hometown. It was my mother’s childhood experiences in the War that inspired me to write War Child, an essay I wrote in high school. I didn’t know it then, but War Child was, in many ways, the first draft of Peacebound Trains.

Along with my daughters, there is another child close to my heart, a young nephew named Michael. As for the rest of my family, I have a younger sister, Rhonda, and brother in-law, John, who also live in the same city. My sister in-law and brother in-law, Rachel and Anna, live just 25 minutes away in California, and my mother in-law lives within a 40 minute drive from our home.

I also have some extraordinary friends. My mother once observed that I have a gift for building rare, lifetime, true gold friendships. I don’t use the word “friend” lightly, so I wouldn’t say I have many friends… but the ones I do have are “true gold” indeed.

I am fortunate that my family was and is very supportive of my writing endeavors. I hope that all writers are so lucky. My husband, especially, believed that I would achieve my goal of becoming a published children’s author. He is my rock. I’m glad that I have this opportunity to introduce him and my family to you. They mean the world to me.


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