Fans of the series will remember him as the handsome, quiet guy that won the first rounds and went on to complete alongside Jill Ripley in the national competition. Judges had secretly disparaged him, claiming there was “no room for taco trucks on the marina”, but he proved them wrong, showing that a young Mexican immigrant could win the hearts of viewers for several rounds before ultimately faking flubbed lines so that he could go home to what really mattered to him–his two younger brothers, Carlos and Emilio. Now settled back in Lincoln City, Oregon, he works as a program director for a community center called La Casa.
Enter Zaira Vasquez, single mother of adorable toddler Gabriela, and brand new RN at the local hospital. When she moves into the apartment complex across the street, the Seneca boys all fall in love. But dating while balancing work and raising children is complicated. Priorities and possibilities shift all the time. This love story is about them all overcoming the past and building a new future together.
Let me switch gears and chat with you as a writer to other authors and readers. I specifically dedicated 2018 to completing this six-book series as a challenge to myself. You see, writing romantic comedies is way out of my comfort zone. Until this year, I hardly ever even read them unless I was beta reading for a fellow author. I was definitely in over my head … but I’m capable of treading water for two hours at a time (literally and figuratively), so I just kept plugging away at it, trying my best to follow the tropes and plot beat expectations of romance readers. At times, it felt very confining, and at others, it was a snap because it was a matter of saying, “X needs to happen in this scene. Add snappy dialogue.” Engaging dialogue, I can do. Keeping readers twitterpated for chapters at a time…a little harder for me. (Okay, a lot harder for me.)
I am exceedingly grateful to writers in my Clean Indie Reads network who have nurtured me in this growing experience, teaching me the ropes, patiently reading multiple copies of manuscripts, and calling me back to my standards and vision when needed. I couldn’t have done it without them, and I think that’s true of any major fete we tackle in life. An African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” Writing a six-book series in a new genre was a long, tiring journey, but I’ve definitely gained some new skills and insights about writing which I hope will only improve my craft as I move on to the next big project–fleshing out the rest of the Gypsy Pearl series, a young adult science fiction saga. Perhaps you’ll join me for that, too!