Monday, November 24, 2014


Visiting this blog today is my friend and artist, SHREYA MEHTAto talk about life, art and inspiration...and a poem.

Hi Shreya
let's begin with your latest exhibit at the Indian Consulate in New York. What was it about? How did it come into being?

"The Spirit of Shakti" collection came about when I met Shri Mulay at a mutual friend's house where he happened to see my work and what I was about, which is art that is more. Art that goes beyond what you can see and touch, art that connects our spirits as much as our rationale.

The Empowered Woman, she moves through the world
with a sense of confidence and grace.

She now understands
how much to ask for herself and how much to give.
She has a strong, yet generous heart
and the inner goddess she emanates truly sets her apart. .

She hears the wind rustling through the trees;
beckoning her to live the dreams she holds so dearly.
She feels the softness of her hands
and muses at the strength that they possess. 

The spiritual strength and beauty within, shine through;
 and she becomes the embodiment of the Spirit of Shakti

How did you become an artist? In other words, tell us YOUR STORY.
Honestly, I wasn't very artistic as a child. I was creative, but not skilled enough to think I could be an artist. I used to color outside the box in school and it didn't work in my favor back then as it does now. Inspite of such early roadblocks, it so happened...I guess it was fate...that I applied to the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, where I grew up. They seemed to like my creativity even if I lacked skill, yet. It's a very prestigious old art school with alumni that list artists like Van Gogh. Incredibly, I was the first Asian woman to have attended the academy.

That is so interesting. Van Gogh? Whew. Anyway, moving on...

What does your day look like?

Most days I'm running about taking care of home and family, scooping out time to do sketches or pinning my thoughts down about what I might draw next. I have hundreds of sketches that may never become anything more than that preliminary idea.

What inspires you to make those sketches turn into paintings?

(click the above words to see a painting!)

Who is your favorite artist and why?

August Rodin, because his sculptures were alive and you can feel  the passion and magic within them. I think they have a divine  quality to them.

 What medium of expression do you find the easiest to create?

I find nothing easy or tough. I love playing in all kinds of  mediums. Right now, I love my charcoals. I love the simplicity of  that medium. From its creation from ash to what it can become on  paper. I also think its symbolic, because all of us, in the end, will  turn to ash. 

  Do you have a favorite painting? Why?

I don't. Each one of my painting are my favorite while I'm  working  on them. Then, when I finish, its done. I don't know whether  I  break my connection with them consciously or unconsciously.

What do you wish to convey through your art?

That beauty is strength and strength is beauty. It is inside and  outside and all around us. I am particularly drawn to women's  empowerment. Maybe because I'm a woman or because I come  from a land that is rich with culture and mythology but yet is  known to be harsh on its women. What I do with my art is pay it  forward. I want my art to mean something to me, to the buyer and  somehow become a vessel of joy to many others. All of my works  are for a cause. All the proceeds from a sale go towards various  educational and healthcare charities.

  What can we expect from you next?
Just about anything that calls to me. I'm exploring glass art, right now.

  To end lets try a Rapid Fire round. Your answer should be the first word/s that pops into your head when you think of:

LIFE: live
 PASSION: art and beauty
 HERO: father.
 LOVE: family
 HATE: superficiality

Thank you once again, Shreya Mehta, for being here and talking to me. It was vibrant, just like your art!

For more information on Shreya, her art and her charities, go to: 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I’m Choco, the super sexy heroine from Rachelle’s new book, Claiming Carlos. Well, actually that’s Concha, my alter-ego, the one Johnny Dee brought out. I think Carlos wants me back to Choco, the big sister and girl next door. Ahhh… but he really loves the sex kitten. Huh? Am I not paying attention? There are questions? Oh, got it. Ha, ha.

1.    First impressions count so what are you wearing? What do you look like?

I’m not wearing jeans and flip-flops and looking like a thirty-year-old mother. That’s just my Choco outfit. Hold on while I vamp myself up. I’m awesome and I know it, oh yeah, oh yeah. While we’re waiting for Concha to get dressed, she likes to put on sexy stuff, the kind with ladders and cut outs, butt hugging, side breast flashing teeny, tiny dresses. She’s hot and she knows it. Poor Carlos doesn’t stand a chance, especially when she traps him in the kitchen. But most of the time, I’m just plain ol’ Choco and I have to put up with Livy’s lip, and Carlos’s eye roll, and my family thinking I’m a sex addict because I love yummy kisses from one hot Pinoy cook named Carlos.

2.    Are you a girly girl or a tomboy?

Choco’s definitely a tomboy, except she can’t hit a pitch, but when I’m Concha, I’m as girly as they come. Love fashion, makeup, nail extensions, and high heel stilts!

3.    What do you do for a living? Do you like it?

I love waitressing and expediting the workflow in my family’s Filipino restaurant. It’s the perfect living for me, being in the thick of things. Creating the ultimate dining experience is my dream come true, and the fast pace keeps my batteries charged.

4.    Tell us your story.

I thought Rachelle told it in Claiming Carlos. She does a better job because she gets into Carlos’s mind and tells his side. For example, I never talk about my Concha personality, and I gather Carlos has mixed feelings about her. But I needed that makeover to get me out of being stuck as the family enabler. A girl needs to feel on top of the world and break out. Going on that spree with Johnny brought me out of my shell.

5.    Describe your Hero. Is he a Darcy or a Christian Grey?

Carlos? He’s more Darcy than Grey. He’s an alpha male, but he isn’t about control and domination. He knows everything about me, and he’s always there to pick up the pieces when I fall apart. I feel safe with Carlos, but he still challenges me. All the time.

6.    Just between us, what do you like best about your Hero?

He’s 100% Pinoy to the bone. And hotter than his kitchen. He’d never let a woman take care of him, but is always there to protect, care, and defend his woman and her family.  Oh, and the way he cooks, I can’t get enough of him, in the kitchen and in his bed.

7.    Do you prefer the bedroom door open or closed?

Open! I’m not inhibited at all. Maybe that’s why my family thinks I’m a sex addict.

8.    What TV shows best describe your relationship with the hero—Scandal or Game of Thrones?

Game of Thrones. Carlos and I are epic. We’ve loved each other for a very long time, but we kept it hidden to ourselves and our families. Did I say I’m not inhibited? I’m lying.

9.    If your story is made into a movie, what actress do you want to play you?

Definitely Kim Chiu. She’s going to play Mulan, a woman warrior who was also very feminine. That’s how I am, a fighter, but soft too. Of course Carlos is too flattering, but this is how he describes me: The woman had wicked curves, the perfect amount of softness over well defined muscles. Velvet over iron, a kind heart over a pit bull’s fight.

Tell us about your author.

My author is certifiable crazy.  But then, I’m the most like her, so what do I know? Of all her heroines, I, Choco S├ínchez, am the only one with freckles, like her. I’m the oldest sister and the shortest in my family. I think I’m tough but people say I have a kind heart. So I say, she should write me all the time. But… then she goes and writes boring people and I peek over her shoulder and yawn. They’re nothing like me. So I’m happy because I have her voice and nobody else. There will never be another book like Claiming Carlos, mmmwahh. I’m awesome and I know it, yeah, I’m awesome and I know it, know it. [walks off wiggling and jiggling].

Book #2 of Sanchez Sisters Series

Choco Sanchez is stuck in a rut. She's never hit a softball and has been friends forever with Carlos Lopez, the head cook at her family's Filipino restaurant. When flashy restaurant consultant Johnny Dee hits her with a pitch, she falls head over heels and gets a makeover

Carlos Lopez is not about to lose one for the home team. Johnny launches a full scale change on the menu, and Carlos sends him straight into the dumpster. Claiming Choco's heart proves more difficult. But never underestimate a man who can cook hot, spicy, and steamy, and we ain't talking just food.

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[Love to Hate Miranda]

“Stop.” Miranda waves a spatula and blocks our way. “No members of the wait staff allowed in the kitchen.”
“I need another order of vegan spring rolls. No meat!” Sarah yells.
“She stole my gluten-free bangus.” Susie pushes her way past Miranda, who bounces against the door to the cold room, opening it.
“Out, out of the kitchen.” Miranda sticks a finger in Susie’s chest. Big mistake.
Susie’s nostrils flare and her piercings dance. “Out of my way.”
With a hefty push, she shoves Miranda who stumbles back into the cold room. Her arms windmilling, she falls in between the sides of raw pork belly hanging up to dry.
“Ai ya!” Miranda slaps at the pork bellies and pulls on a trussed whole duck for balance, right when a wooden tray of balut, fertilized duck eggs with the intact embryo, falls and splatters over her. The slime and partially formed embryos ooze down her hair and face.
Everyone except Johnny bursts out laughing. I whip out my cell phone and snap as many pictures as I can before Johnny blocks my view to help his mother.
Out of nowhere, Carlos appears, and he gives Johnny a kick on the back of his tight leopard printed butt, sending him sprawling against the skewered suckling pigs. They tumble like dominoes, knocking Johnny on top of his balut-covered mother.

Carlos picks up a tray of the Vietnamese style transparently wrapped no-fry spring rolls and flings the contents into the cold room all over Johnny and Miranda. “Vegan spring rolls is off the menu.”

About the Author
Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling Asian American author of dramatic romantic suspense and humorous, sexy contemporary romances. Her heroines are feisty and her heroes hot. She writes emotionally challenging stories but believes in the power of love and hope.

Rachelle is the founder of an online writing group, Romance in a Month, an active member of the California Writer's Club, Fremont Chapter, and a volunteer for the World Literary Cafe. She is a very happy woman and lives in California with her husband. She has won awards in multicultural and historical romance

Connect with the Author:
Website I Blog I Facebook Twitter I Goodreads

Tour Schedule

1st Prize - $20 Amazon Gift Card
2nd Prize - Choice of Rachelle Ayala's eBooks

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


In honor of NO SHAVE NOVEMBER lets take a moment to admire these...erm...STUBBLES and the men they're rooted to :)

Shah Rukh Khan

James Dornan

Chris Pines

Ranbir Kapoor

Shahid Kapur

Sam Heughan

Well and truly inspired, Dear Readers. In my next book, my hero shall be STUBBLED!