Women, Words and Wisdom Blog Tour and a Contest!

Women, Words and Wisdom Blog Tour!Today’s the Day! My Women, Words and Wisdom story. When I first heard about the topic, I had no doubt what I was going to write about . . . my mom and the lessons she taught me.

Actually, one lesson in particular — That you could accomplish anything in life if you worked hard enough and never gave up.

My mom knew about never giving up. When she lived in Cuba, she didn’t like Batista so she helped make a change. When that change didn’t work out the way she envisioned, she tried to undo what she had done. That forced her into exile, but worse yet, had her making a very difficult decision — ending up in jail or leaving her two young daughters behind in Cuba while she fled to the United States.

When I mean young, I really mean young. I was just over two years old and my little sister was six months old. Even before I was old enough to have a child of my own, I understood how difficult a choice that must have been. Your life or leaving behind the things you loved most.

But my mom did it. And in the years that followed, she not only taught my sister and I that we could accomplish anything we wanted, she showed us by doing the same. She worked hard, struggling against a lot of odds back in the early sixties.

For starters, people didn’t want Cubans in their apartment buildings or neighborhoods even though they loved watching Ricky and Lucy. That kind of acceptance was mostly on the television tube. Mostly because there were some very kind people as well. Kindness overcame intolerance, a lesson also learned.

Mom was a working woman, something more common in the Sixties than in the Fifties, but certainly not as common as it is today. Worse, she was a woman in a man’s world — the legal profession.

But she persevered and worked hard. She pursued and obtained the American Dream — a house in the suburbs, car and college for her kids. Education was something she firmly believed in for her children because she believed, as had her dad, that they can take everything you own away from you, but they can’t take what’s in your mind. That’s yours forever.

So by example and by word, mom tattooed in my brain to never give up and always work hard. It’s something that’s served me well in my life. When things don’t necessarily go my way, I stop and ask myself, “Is this something I really want? Is this what’s best for me and my family?”

If the answer is yes — I go for it. Wholeheartedly and with every fiber of my being. Some say I’m mad crazy driven and they’re probably right. I’m my mother’s daughter and I know that I can accomplish anything that I desire if I persevere.

In the publishing world, that’s an especially good attitude. My friend Lara Rios blogged during the tour about Wisdom Applied to Writing and had Persistence as a necessary trait for writers as well as for all other aspects of your life. So true.

Persistence. Perseverance. Couple them with hard work. It equals Heart to me. It’s what keeps you always reaching for your dreams.

So I leave you those thoughts today from a very wise woman — my mom. I also have a special gift to you from me and from another friend who understands the words persistence and perseverance — Berta Platas.

Long before Indiana Jones found the Crystal Skull, six remarkable women came together and became the Skull Sisters. I had been working on this concept with some good friends and Berta and I were on the verge of selling the Skull Sisters series when the publisher decided to close the line!

Perseverance, I tell myself. We haven’t given up hope that one day this series will be acquired. For now, enjoy some action and adventure with some totally kick-ass heroines and the mystical crystal skulls. Be sure to pop over to Berta’s Blogspot to read from her story in the series!

Don’t forget that coupled with those thoughts, we’ve got a contest going on! Leave a message on this blog to win a prize of a complete collection of the SOUTH BEACH CHICAS books as well as a HOLIDAY WITH A VAMPIRE color t-shirt!

And don’t forget to check out all the other stops on the tour for their stories and prizes (look at the end of this post for the other stops!). I hope you enjoy reading from all these amazing women.

So last but not least, here’s the extra special Women, Words and Wisdom Free read — an excerpt from Book One in the Skull Sisters series! You can visit www.skullsisters.com for more info on the series.

Chapter 1


Sara Mendoza had taken no more than a step or two from the temple excavation when an explosion rocked the structure behind her.

She hurtled through the air, arms and legs flailing. A huge fireball from the detonation chased after her. As she neared her objective — a strategically placed crash mat — Sara tucked tight, preparing to absorb the blow from the landing. At the speed she traveled, the mat could be as hard as cement.

Her shoulder connected with the foam, but she maintained her natural momentum by rolling. Then that sixth sense that had served her so well in the past kicked in. Something was different from the earlier rehearsals.

Flattening instead of continuing with her controlled tumble, Sara raised her hand in anticipation of the blow. A tingle danced along her fingertips a second before sizzling heat skimmed along her body. A large piece of fiery debris sailed past her. With a dull thud, part of the scaffolding from around the excavation landed only a few feet away. It was a section that shouldn’t have come off the set.

The trio of pullers who had been busy helping her fly through the air thanks to the harness at her waist now quickly rushed forward with fire extinguishers to keep the crash mat from igniting.

Sara rose and stretched to work a kink out of her back. Reaching behind her, she undid the shackle which attached the cable to the harness beneath her shirt. Seeing that her co-workers had things under control, she hurried toward the trailer reserved for the stunt crew’s use. The RV was set quite a ways back from the temple built by the film crew in the Puerto Rican jungle.

She had one more scene to shoot today. She needed to mentally prepare and eventually change into the duplicate wardrobe that matched what the heroine of the movie would later be wearing. Plus — although she would deny it if anyone
asked — she was a little shaken about how close she had come to being pancaked by the flaming piece of the set.

“That was awesome, Sara. Way cool,” said the new assistant, a young man who was more boy than man and hoped to break into the business.

She forced a smile while they walked along and the assistant continued to carry on about her luck during her recent exploit. Her past luck during such feats had made her famous throughout the industry. No stunt was too hard or too dangerous for Sara Mendoza. The amazing part was that after nearly four years in the business, she was still in one piece, uninjured except for the occasional minor bump, bruise or road rash.

She snapped her hand up to silence the overeager assistant. “Gracias, Billy. Let’s just concentrate on the next one.” She hated the talk. Not that she was superstitious, but acknowledging her luck was almost like tempting the gods to remind her that she was human. Humans broke and bled and worse.

Right now soreness gradually awakened in the shoulder that had absorbed the brunt of the landing’s force. She opened the door to the trailer, but stopped the young assistant as he went to enter. “Do you think you can scrounge up an ice pack for my shoulder?”

“Do you need to see the doc? Is it bad?” he asked, almost too eagerly.

“An ice pack will do. Gracias.”

He scurried away, and she took a deep breath and entered the trailer.

Once inside, she walked to the small refrigerator, grabbed a can of Pepsi, and slugged down a good portion of the soda. Bracing her shaky hands along the counter in the kitchenette, she thought about the fact that she had just survived a close call. Not her first, but nevertheless scary.

Weakness slowly crept into her limbs along with a chill. A byproduct of the adrenaline rush from doing the stunt, she told herself, and finished off her drink. Combined with a little rest and some meditation to center herself, she would be ready for the next stunt later that afternoon.

A knock came at the door. Billy with the ice pack, she remembered, walked to the door and opened it.

His face was in shadow as he stood in the entryway, but Sara would have known it was Matt even if it was pitch black.

“Heard you had a slight problem,” Matt said.

Great, she thought. The shittiness of her day was now complete.

“I’m fine,” she said with a shrug, then grimaced at the twinge of pain and rubbed her shoulder.

Matt instantly moved to her side and eased away the collar of her shirt to expose the reddened spot at the top of her shoulder. Gently he ran his hand over the area and said, “I’ve already seen the crash mat and heard what the crew had to say. That’s not my idea of fine.”

She jerked back from his touch, flinching at the slight pain it created in her shoulder. “It’s nothing to worry about, ‘Mom’.”

“I checked and double-checked everything. That piece of the set shouldn’t have — ”

“Come off? We both know the unexpected can happen during a stunt. So just leave it alone already,” she nearly shouted, tired of Matt’s overprotective smothering. No one would intentionally rig the set to cause harm. Everyone on the crew was almost like family. None had a grudge to settle. At least, not that she knew, but in a cut throat business like Hollywood, anything was possible.

Matt clearly thought the accident might have been something else, but then again, Matt had been in paranoid mode since an accident on the set nearly two years earlier had badly injured him. He had been lucky to survive, but their relationship hadn’t. The stress and fear that remained with him after the incident had made it impossible for them to stay together.

Sara sensed that Matt itched to dredge up their battle about her stunt work. But instead he just stood there as she removed her shirt, followed by her black jeans to expose the flying harness. The main part of the harness encircled her waist snugly, while two straps slipped down and around the uppermost portion of her thighs. They were there to keep the harness from being jerked out of place during the stunt.

She tried to ignore Matt, who seemed disinclined to leave, but it proved difficult. Too much history joined them. A funny thing really. Matt had been the one to introduce her to the business. He had taught her much of what she knew. Had become her first lover.

Her hands fumbled with the webbing of one buckle and suddenly he stood there, brushing her hands aside.

He loomed over her, close to a foot taller than her own 5’4″ height. Broad-shouldered and still well-muscled despite the fact that he was now normally a stunt coordinator rather than an active participant.

She wouldn’t look at him while he undid the safety binding as easily as he had once undressed her. Caressed her.

She refused to notice the slight tremble in his hands when he accidentally brushed her skin with the back of his hand as he undid the second buckle and main lacings of the equipment.

The harness slipped off and Matt grasped it. She rushed to the opposite side of the trailer and grabbed her robe off a hook. Belting it securely, she turned and watched Matt check the equipment carefully, making sure that it was still in usable condition.

“It worked just fine.” She wished he would leave so she could get a little respite from his presence and prepare herself mentally for the next stunt.

“It’s great that the harness worked fine. What about the friggin’ piece of lumber that nearly flattened you? Was that fine as well?”

“I’m in once piece, Matt. That’s all that matters.” Despite saying that, she was a little spooked. Matt was right about one thing — he ran a tight ship where accidents rarely happened. She would have to keep a close eye on the preparations for the other stunts which remained to make sure no one was up to no good.

Meeting Matt’s gaze, she faked unconcerned and said, “There’s nothing to worry about.”

Matt nodded and seemed about to say something, but an angry buzz from her phone as it rested on the table prevented it.

She grabbed the cell phone and even though unfamiliar with the number showing up on the caller id, answered in order to avoid continuing the fight with Matt. “Sara Mendoza.”

“Ms. Mendoza? This is Detective Alvarez from the Huntington Beach PD. There’s been an incident at your home.”

Check out the rest of the tours on the Women, Words and Wisdom Blog tour:

May 19 – Mary Castillo (http://www.marycastillo.blogspot.com/)
May 20 – Barbara Ferrer (http://www.fashionista-35.livejournal.com/)
May 21 – Lara Rios (http://www.lararios.blogspot.com/)
May 22 – Mayra Calvani (http://www.thedarkphantom.wordpress.com)
May 23 – Caridad Pineiro (http://www.caridad.com/blog)
May 24 – Jamie Martinez (http://www.jamiemartinezwood.blogspot.com/)
May 25 – Berta Platas (http://www.bertaplatas.blogspot.com/)
May 26 – Tracy Montoya (www.tracymontoya.blogspot.com)
May 27 – Kathy Cano-Murillo (http://thecraftychica.blogspot.com)
May 28 – Misa Ramirez (http://chasingheroes.com)

Also — the winner of the contest at Marya Calvani’s blog is ZULMARA! Congrats. Please contact Mayra for your prize.

39 thoughts on “Women, Words and Wisdom Blog Tour and a Contest!”

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I think your mom and mine would have gotten along great and yes, it’s thanks to them that we are who we are.

  2. Mothers are the least of all heros that are thanked or remembered.It takes special women to be Mothers.May we all have the honor of being called one and live up to the challenge as your’s and ours has with the beauty and grace and love they gave selflessly of themselves to us our entire lives.
    Caridad is a crazy chica!
    Have a Wonderful Weekend!!!
    Happy Memorial Day!!!

  3. I loved this post. Mothers really are wonderful. We owe them a lot more credit then we give them. My mother struggled to give me and my brother an easy life here. I try to make things easier for her now but its simply a debt I won’t ever be able to pay back in full.
    I see everyone putting “Caridad is a crazy chica!” in their posts so I thought I would too. Happy Memorial Day.

  4. What a wonderful heritage you have! I just got done spending an evening with 3 very strong women, and enjoyed every moment of it. I sat with my Grandmother, Mother, and Sisinlaw looking through family photos for a 60th Anniversary DVD I’m putting together. Looking through those old photos and hearing the stories that were behind every one of them, I realized I come from a long line of crazy chicas!

    Thank you so much for your charming characters and wonderfully fun reads!

  5. Caridad is a crazy chica! It’s Good to honor mothers. With a new baby to babysit for I can say that Mother’s are a special breed. Wish my was still here so I could tell her.

  6. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing her story.

    Caridad is a crazy chica. 🙂

  7. We found a motel with Internet, so here I am! My mother was also a strong woman. She had two young children and my father was ill an out of work. She went back to college and got her teaching degree and taught for over 35 years. We need to pass this strength to the current generation. Caridad is a crazy chica and she and the others who posted here can do this.

  8. Caridad is a crazy chica!

    Thanks for sharing the story of your mom. She sounds like a strong, intelligent woman who should be an inspiration to all women. Also I loved the free read. It was awesome and I hope you plan to continue it later on. Happy Memorial Day and have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

  9. I enjoyed reading about how your mother’s struggle inspired you. It was a brave thing she did, and I hope that one day democracy will return to Cuba.

    I liked the opening of the novel, too. I hope we’ll have the chance to read more of it soon!

    It’s hard to say if the Indiana Jones film will ignite interest in the real crystal skulls enough to convince a publisher to buy the books. I enjoyed the movie, but too many people around me were grumbling and complaining as we left the theatre. I think they had it in their heads that they were going to hate the movie, so they did.

    I find the stories and myths surrounding the real crystal skulls to be fascinating, especially the one that says all the skulls must be brought together to prevent the end of the world!

  10. Caridad is a crazy chica

    Love the post today. Enjoyed reading chapter 1.

    Thanks for sharing and everyone have a great, safe holiday weekend

  11. Caridad is not a crazy chica. She’s an astounding woman forged in fire and tamed by intelligence, the true daughter of her amazing mother.

    Some day, I hope my own daughters can say something nearly as nice about me.

    Happy Memorial Day. Let the summer begin!

  12. Caridad is a crazy but very nice chica!

    My mother was a housewife and a very
    active mother. She was one of the strongest persons I have ever known!
    Some people might not think that is so
    great, but back in the day Hispanic women
    had to be strong to help provide for their

    Patricia Cochran y Castillo

  13. Great post, great excerpt!!! What a heartwarming post about your mother. Isn’t it amazing what we do learn from out mothers. I just hope I can past the same wisdom down to my children that I learned from my mother.

  14. What a heartwarming story. We are so lucky that God blessed us with our Mamas! This Mother’s Day hit me hard, it marked the 20th year without my Mama. Boy, it is true that the older you get the faster time flies. My Mama was first generation Irish-American. Her family came to this country to find a better life..They did, but they had to fight and struggle for it. We are so lucky for what our parents and grandparents did for us. The life that we are able to lead because of their work and sacrifices. May our kids feel the same when they become parents. Thank you for hosting this blog…It’s nice to be able to share with other people. God Bless

  15. Caridad is a crazy chica!

    That was extremely touching. So are the other comments! Thanks everyone.

  16. Caridad, thank you for sharing a wonderful and inspiring story. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman. I enjoyed the free read.

    Caridad is a crazy chica!

  17. You’re mom is definitely a model of perserverance. I love the premise of the Skull series.
    Caridad is a crazy chica!

  18. Caridad, that was a touching tribute to your Mom and her strength.
    My Mom was a wonderful person also and she raised 5 kids; later in life she went to work as a housekeeper in the OR–everyone loved her there and some workers were mad when she took their shift on their day off b/c when they came back the place was spotless, even the closet where the flower vases were stored. It did not look good for them when someone else cleaned where they hadn’t.
    Caridad is a crazy chica!

  19. Your mother was a strong and brave woman. She’d be proud of the person you’ve become, and all you’ve achieved in life. You’ve validaded her sacrifices!



  20. The human spirit is resilient and strong and caring. I’ve been so inspired by all these stories and thank each and every one of you for submitting them.


  21. I think that your mom’s story, those of some of the previous poster’s and millions more just illustrate the resilience of the human spirit. The pure guts and determination that ‘ordinary’ people have shown to live the best they can and to raise successful families are always inspiring, if people will just pay attention to them and not only to the more horrid things that usually make the news. I’m not certain if that makes us all crazy chicas, but it certainly can make life interesting.

    Caridad is a crazy chica!

  22. Forgot to say that I hope someone picks up The Skull Sisters. The excerpt is soooo good. Hugs.

  23. What a great post honoring your Mother. I had a great Mom also. She didn’t work outside the home as she was primary caregiver for my Father who was not able to work. She was not too proud to go on public assistance to raise us. We all turned out to be good people. I raised my two children to have a good work ethic and to be responsible parents. They both served in the Marine Corp and my son is a disabled vet who still works hard as a paramedic. My daughter is a stay at home Mom raising 4 boys. It sounds as if all who post here had great Mothers. How wonderful!! BTW Caridad is a crazy chica. But we love her anyway. Hugs to all.

  24. This is a beautiful tribute to your mother. I was also a single mother for 8 years, raising my daughter, working full time, and attending school at night.

    If it had not been for my mother and father, I don’t think I would have been able to complete my degree or feed my child.
    PS: I have a great pic of us at RT. I will send to you.

    Caridad is a crazy chica!

  25. Adelante, Zulmara! Congrats on the win.

    Separation does create a very special bond. My mom and I were best friends. She was my mentor and my mom.

    I’ve strived very hard to build the same kind of relationship with my daughter

  26. Mothers are amazing people. They lead by example, teach lessons that you carry all your life, love you unequivocally. My mother had different kinds of hardships than yours, family that was distant even mean at times, grew up during a time when women didn’t have the same opportunities that they do now. She worked hard doing work she didn’t particularly like, wasn’t terribly rewarding on a personal level, sometimes it was even more than she could bear. (She actually climbed out the window in nurses training to run away from it because the clinic she was forced to work in as part of her training was too emotionally wrenching. She was in her psyche rotation with a veterans hospital at the time.) She struggled with her purpose and direction in life and yet still managed to teach me to be an independent, adventurous, free thinking woman.

    Thank you Caridad for sharing your mother’s story and for sharing that wonderful excerpt.

    Here’s to remembering Moms on Memorial Day weekend…gj

  27. Wow, what a touching, inspiring post. You have wonderful mother.
    I really enjoyed the excerpt.

  28. Weird, it posted 3x???!!! Sorry!

    I dedicate the following to Caridad & her mom, and all the amazing women around the world! Much blessings everyone – enjoy *mwah*

    Every day, God gives us, as well as the sun, a moment when it is possible to change anything that is causing us unhappiness.

    The magic moment is the moment when a “yes” or a “no” can change our whole existence.

    Every day, we try to pretend that we do not see that moment, that it does not exist, that today is the same as yesterday and that tomorrow will be the same too.

    However, anyone who pays close attention to his day will discover the magic moment.

    It might be hidden in the instant that we put the key in the door in the morning, in the moment of silence after supper,
    in the thousand and one things that appear to us to be the same.

    This moment exists, a moment in which all the strength of the stars flows through us and allows us to perform miracles.

    Caridad is a crazy chica!

  29. Yeah…I won yesterday…what a treat this blog tour has been…first wonderful stories…and now…I win…que cool…

    CAridad, what a beautiful post and what a lovely story about your mom…my mom also left me behind in Brasil when I was 2…she was not fleeing for her life, but I it certainly created a very special bond between us as tried, for so many years to make it up to me…

    Thanks for sharing and for the beautiful trip down memory lane…



  30. Wow that incredible and so beautiful. Firstly my thanks to your mom for all that she did for you, it truly reflects, the wisdom that she taught you. I can grasp it from within your books. It shows, the dedication, the passion, the drive you put in to produce such great stories. Second thanks, is for you for your commitment to your fans – Bless you both, you are truly amazing women!!!

    Caridad is a crazy chica!

    From another “Louca Menina” *grin*

  31. Wow that incredible and so beautiful. Firstly my thanks to your mom for all that she did for you, it truly reflects, the wisdom that she taught you. I can grasp it from within your books. It shows, the dedication, the passion, the drive you put in to produce such great stories. Second thanks, is for you for your commitment to your fans – Bless you both, you are truly amazing women!!!

    Cridad is a crazy chica!

    From another “Louca Menina” *grin*

  32. Wow that incredible and so beautiful. Firstly my thanks to your mom for all that she did for you, it truly reflects, the wisdom that she taught you. I can grasp it from within your books. It shows, the dedication, the passion, the drive you put in to produce such great stories. Second thanks, is for you for your commitment to your fans – Bless you both, you are truly amazing women!!!

    Cridad is a crazy chica!

    From another “Louca Menina” *grin*

  33. Although Caridad is a crazy chica, I am going to try to blog today. We are on the road (http://mysite.verizon.net/cke76/MAY.htm) and:

    1. Today’s blog isn’t up yet

    2. We may not have the Internet wherever we stay tonight

    Have a great day anyway.

    Karin T
    (posted by Caridad for her!)

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