Big Announcement!


After many, many, many, many, many months of back and forth, earlier this week, I signed a 15-book publishing deal: an 11-book publishing deal with Permuted Press and a 4-book publishing deal with Post Hill Press. This includes the revision of, edited and expanded versions of, previously published titles and/or series as well as new books y’all have yet to see or read. These deals include electronic books, audio books, (mass distribution) print books, and more.

What can you expect?

Less of me and then more of me. I will be hiding out in my writing cave quite a bit more (more than usual) in the beginning of 2015 before breaking out into the sunshine and interjecting myself across every (social) media platform until you’re sick of me. lol I will be doing my best to keep up with your messages, but as it is, I’m extremely behind. Y’all have overwhelmed me in the best way. I can assure you, though, that I read every comment, every e-mail, and every message. Promise.

What will be affected?

1. The rights to the Vamp Chronicles have officially been signed over to Permuted Press. I fought hard for this series, as I know it means so much to many of you.

The details:
Each title in the Vamp Chronicles series will be revised, expanded, re-edited and reformatted, and each title will receive new cover art. There were 2 short stories previously released as part of this series; those shorts will now be attached to the back of the title before it. (TIoW will be at the end of book 3 and Reflections will be at the end of book 5.) Unfortunately, because each title will be re-copyrighted and will receive a new ISBN number through the Library of Congress, distributors will categorize it as a new title, rather than a previously released title. So those of you who have previously purchased any of the titles in this series, unfortunately, you will not automatically have access to the updated versions. However, many of you have asked for print versions of the Vamp Chronicles, and I’m excited to tell you that they are coming! Not only are they coming, but, at some point, you will be able to walk into your local book store and pick up a copy of Diary of a Vampeen. The print versions will be the updated versions. This and pricing are the single aspects I fought the hardest for. And Michael, the President of Permuted Press and Post Hill Press, fought hard for you as well. He stretched and compromised on a lot. They truly value each and every one of you the way I do, and will be doing all they can to get every book I will be giving them to as many readers as possible, making them as accessible as possible. They are offering fans of this series things I never could, bringing it into places and spaces on a world-wide platform that I never could, and I’m so excited to see where this series goes because of it.

The e-books will begin re-releasing in Spring of 2015 (or sooner) and will continue through until the final book in the series is released. (Yes, they have the rights to the previously unreleased final book in the Vamp Chronicles series: The Break of Dawn.) Print is a different ball game. I’ve learned a lot about the print market over the past months speaking with Michael. For instance, what Barnes & Noble will put on their shelves in November, they are typically buying for in Spring. There is a lag that requires precise calculation of the market to determine when the best time to release something would be. A meeting of the minds is happening in January of 2015, and they will prepare a release schedule then of exact dates for as many of my titles as possible. As soon as I have those dates, I will be sharing them with all of you.

2. The rights to the Future Alphas series has officially been signed over to Permuted Press.

The details:
Each title in the Future Alphas series will be re-edited, possibly expanded, and reformatted, and each title will receive new cover art. As with the VC, they will receive new copyrights and will be catalogued as new releases. Michael and his business partners are especially excited about this series for reasons many of you have expressed previously.

The e-books will begin re-releasing quickly (probably in Spring of 2015 as well). They also have the rights to the third book in the Future Alphas series, which is previously unreleased, and, as with the VC, the Future Alphas will be going into print. I had a conference call this morning and they are already beginning to set things into motion.

3. The rights to the One Soldier series has officially been signed over to Post Hill Press.

The details:
Each title in the One Soldier series will be re-edited and reformatted, and each title will receive new cover art. As with the others, they will receive new copyrights and will be catalogued as new releases.

The e-books will begin re-releasing quickly (again, in Spring of 2015 probably) with a fourth title (not yet released) rounding out the series. Post Hill Press only does mass market print distribution, so this series will likely be bundled and made available for purchase in bookstores nationwide. Post Hill is also looking into audio books for this series, which I’m super excited about. That is a platform that, again, without this contract, y’all would never receive.

4. The rights to a brand new young adult, sci-fi trilogy – Daughter of Dosai – has officially been signed over to Permuted Press.

The details:
This series has it all: emotion, drama, politics, action, suspense, thrill, sci-fi, mythology, romance – it covers so much in three books, with each one leaving you on the edge of your seat for more…hopefully. It’s a series that is ground-breaking in many ways because of the topics, theories and conspiracies it touches on. And it will be my first young adult piece that truly falls within the traditional definition of science fiction and horror. I’m equally nervous and excited about it!

The e-books will be released in rapid succession in the first quarter of 2017 (tentative) with a print book (if the final word count is conducive to a single binding) to follow.

I’m so excited about this next chapter in my writing career! (If you can’t tell. I’ve only used the word ‘excited’ a thousand time it feels…)I feel very good about my collaboration with Permuted Press and Post Hill Press, and I know my titles will be in very good hands.

As previously promised, as more solid information is passed on to me, I will begin sharing it with all of you.

I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. There are moments when you just know things, events, meetings, have been orchestrated by a higher power, and those are the moments when some part of your past seems to align with the present and make sense for the first time. The past four years of writing aligned when I met Michael, and the past six months of negotiating aligned when I signed on the dotted line, and I can’t wait for the next moment in my career when beauty aligns with brilliance and changes everything for the better.

Thank you to each and every one of you for reading my books, no matter the number. Thank you to each and every one of you for continuously supporting me in all I write, in all I release, and in all I continue to do. I have what I have because of each and every one of you. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you and the blessing you’ve been to me, my family, my career, and my life as a whole. So often people think they are just one person. Yes. You’re one person. But to every single author who makes a living as a writer full time, you are invaluable. It is all of you collectively buying each release that makes a difference in the life of the author and all of those he or she supports. You are the magic. You are the voice.

You are not the reason we keep writing, but you will always be the reason we keep publishing.


Here’s to 2015 and all it stands to bring for each and every one of us! – Christin


Happy Thanksgiving!

Despite what my family has endured this year, I know that I still have so much to be grateful for. No matter how bad my worst day is, I will always have something to be thankful for.

This year, my family lost someone pivotal, a vital link in our chain, someone that was a ball of super sticky glue that held us together. I can’t say that my heart has recovered yet. I can’t say that my children’s hearts have recovered yet. But we’re thankful anyways.

It’s so easy to lose sight of our blessings in the day to day shuffle and scuffle. It’s easy to overlook even the smallest things as a positive contributor to your life somehow. If you have something as simple as an automatic coffee maker, you have something to be thankful for. Some people have to hand-grind their beans, then brew it all in one pot over a fire and somehow strain it before serving it. If you have a washer and dryer, you have something a massive portion of the United States doesn’t. It’s always surprising when I come across someone who doesn’t own a pair, because I rely on my own so much, but people still exist that way. They load their kids up, sometimes on a bus, with bags of dirty clothes, soiled materials, and go to the laundry mat.

It really is so easy to lose sight of our blessings.

One that I assure you I’ve never lost sight of is you. I am so grateful, so appreciative, so overwhelmed with emotion every time I think about all of you. You make it possible. You made it possible for my family to eat today. You made it possible for me to pay my rent this month. No matter how I look at it, you’re the reason I am where I am and that my family has what it has. Words can’t express how thankful I am for each and every one of you. Whether you bought one of my books or all of them, you contributed, you helped, you blessed me. You bless me. Each and every one of you are a blessing to me and my family, and I am so thankful for you!

I will be making a large meal today with some traditional Puerto Rican dishes, as my children are half Puerto Rican, and some traditional Southern dishes, as I’m from South Carolina, and no matter where I live, I’ll never be able to kick the Southern out of me. I hope you all enjoy your day, whether you are celebrating with us in the US or not. Above all, though, I hope you realize your blessings, no matter how small, and can open your heart to the meaning of this holiday.

And, when your day is nearing an end, when your full, feeling comatose and utterly spineless, that would be the perfect time to read. And, I happen to have a new release for all of you adults out there. Details and links are below.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! – Christin



(A BBW paranormal holiday romance.)

Curvy Ember is not having a good Christmas. She was jolted awake by her brother, whisked off into the woods – against her will – to a secluded cabin, and then locked inside…by her own flesh and blood.

On the other side of that door, trapped with her, is her true mate, a werebear named Mack. He’s sexy, arrogant, and hates fat women, which means they could never work. Ember knows that, but darn if Mother Nature will let her turn off her attraction to the handsome grizzly. She’s drawn to him like a moth to a flame, even when she doesn’t want to be.

The holidays have always been a time for magic and miracles, though, and this Christmas, the sparks will fly, the claws will come out and the truth will be revealed. After all, Mother Nature never gets it wrong.

Warning: This title contains a feisty werewolf with plenty of excess sexiness, a smoking hot werebear who could charm the panties off of any granny, lots of sass, lots of banter, lots of growling; oh, and lots of flaming hot sexy scenes.

Please Note: Author assumes no responsibility for any e-reader damage.



Barnes & Noble

All Romance e-books



I’ve been out of town for a good part of this month. On the upside, I got a *lot* done. On the downside, I’ve still got a lot to do…


Many of you have messaged me and left comments about the Vamp Chronicles. The books will be re-released in 2015. The final book will be released in 2015. The moment I can provide anymore information, I will. The second I can be very specific, I will. The moment I have anything concrete, I will immediately be rushing to tell you all. I will say that you are not waiting on me at this point, though. (Yes. That was a hint.)


You will notice that a healthy amount of my adult titles are now in Kindle Unlimited, a subscription service through Amazon that gives you access to thousands of books for 1 flat rate every month. If you want to learn more, CLICK HERE.


I have a slew of releases coming up. Essentially, for the next 3 months solid, I have a new title coming out every 2 weeks. The first one – to be released Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 (just in time for Turkey Day) – is a BBW paranormal holiday title. (18 & older.) It’s a read with a lot of sass and angst, but, as always, it has a HEA. I’m really excited about it.

I’m not sure if anyone has noticed this or not, but every year, I release a BBW holiday short, since the year I first began publishing (2011).
2011 – Curvosity (Yup. It was a Christmas title.)
2012 – Her Xmas Present (This one is currently in a box set with a lot of other sexy holiday shorts. CLICK HERE to read more about it.)
2013 – Merry Christmas to Me (This one had a hot guy with an accent. Who doesn’t love one of those?)
2014 – A Were, A Bear and Mistletoe (It’s all in the title. A werewolf. A were-bear. Mistletoe. Oh, and a meddling alpha…or so it seems.)
2014 – A second holiday title will be popping up soon as well, and, dare I say, it’s even more indulgent than the others. Stay tuned.

I will be posting about each new title as it comes time for release.


Over the next few weeks, you will see a lot of updating happening across social media and this website. Some covers have changed, more covers will change, new releases will be added, out-of-date releases removed…there will be a lot being added, deleted and shuffled around. It will all be condensed as much as possible, more streamlined hopefully, and, overall, much easier to navigate. I’m the type of person who isn’t a fan of clutter anywhere but on a bookshelf. (Too many books = a lot of cramming and overcrowding on my shelves.)


I will be in and out a lot. Communication will be limited mainly to updates on releases rather than any blog-type posts…unless I’m inspired and suddenly have a window of free time that I can afford not to dedicate to penning another title.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the business side of writing/publishing. For most of this year, I was caught up in the administrative side of running this little business I have. I’m really ready to re-focus on the heart of why I write: because it’s my passion, because it’s what I’ve wanted to do for so long, because it’s what I’m driven to do. I would rather be writing than doing many things these days. Sometimes, in order to do that, I really have to unplug and withdraw. I’m in a house with 5 other individuals, 2 dogs, a bird and my “office” is in the center of it all: the dining room. I’ve begun to switch up my schedule. You’ll notice the time-stamp of when I post this. It’s after 3am and I haven’t gone to bed yet. I’m trying to do as much as I can while everyone is in bed asleep because I find I can actually concentrate then. I’ve always been a bit of an insomniac, but I can’t say I’m always a high-functioning one. Coffee gets me through the days…and nights. You do what you have to do, though, right?

Have a great day/night, everyone. Hopefully the next time I post, it will be with the information everyone – including me – has been waiting for. – Christin


Another update…and a new release.

Hello lads and lassies.

It’s 10am and I’ve yet to have a cup of coffee, so hopefully this will be a coherent post. I’m going to try to remember everything, but if I miss something, I will address it next time. Promise.


I know many of you have questions, and, unfortunately, I can’t answer them at the moment. I have nothing definitive to offer you as of this moment. Soon I will, hopefully. I have collected all of your questions, though, and am attempting to gather answers, which I know is cryptic, at best, but, I can’t do any better at the moment. Very soon. Very soon I will have the answers (hopefully) and will pass them all along to you.

As a reminder though, TOMORROW, OCTOBER 31st, Halloween, will be the FINAL day you can purchase any of the currently available Vamp Chronicles titles!

A few have asked for the order of the series; here it is:

1. Diary of a Vampeen – Available for Purchase through 10/31
2. Vamp Yourself for War – Available for Purchase through 10/31
3. Hit the Road Jack – Available for Purchase through 10/31
3 1/2. The Innocence of White (short story) – Available for Purchase through 10/31
4. Vamp Versus Vamp – Available for Purchase through 10/31
5. Darkness Falls – Available for Purchase through 10/31
5 1/2. Reflections – Available for Purchase through 10/31
6. Vigilante: Mel’s Story – Available for Purchase through 10/31
7. The Break of Dawn – Not Yet Released


I have a VERY large handful of titles that will be hitting Kindle Unlimited by tomorrow, October 31st. (Halloween is a big day for me this year.)

Even better, a lot of these titles are being thoroughly edited, re-written in places and expanded in others! Thus far, Merry Christmas to Me has been polished this way and I’m in the middle of doing the same with Curvosity. You will notice some brand new book covers along the way as well. So, get your Kindles ready. If you already own the book, you should have fun reading the updated version. If you don’t own the book yet, go snatch it up for FREE on Kindle Unlimited starting tomorrow!

Here is a list of books that will be hitting Kindle Unlimited:::
Note: All of the edits and updates will not take affect as quickly. By next week they should be updated, though.

1. Stars and Sparks – an interracial BBW Independence Day short (bwwm)
2. Falling for Cupid – a BBW Valentine’s Day short
3. Her Xmas Present – a USA Today Bestselling BBW Christmas short
4. Merry Christmas to Me – a BBW Christmas short
5. Curvosity – a paranormal (werewolf) BBW Christmas short
6. Culinary Delight – a BBW culinary short
7. Speechless – Delphina’s – of Delphina Reads Too Much – favorite short of mine – a BBW vampire short
8. Hello Stranger – an interracial BBW short (wwbm)
9. Hot Flashes – a humorous BBW senior citizen short (no dirty scenes)

1. Summer Nights – an interracial BBW title with lots of sexy scenes between a curvaceous white woman and an extra delicious Puerto Rican
2. Hers (Snowy Mountain Wolves, Book 1) – a f/f paranormal (werewolf) BBW title that ends in a cliffhanger
3. Theirs (Snowy Mountain Wolves, Book 2) – a f/f/m paranormal (werewolf) BBW title that makes you smile wide by the end


I also happen to have a brand, spankin’ new title out, and it’s a little different from anything I’ve written so far…which could or couldn’t end well for me, depending on whether you lovely peeps like it.

Even better, it’s part of a box set, meaning you can get my new title, Vixen, PLUS 6 other stories for the super low price of $0.99! (That breaks down to less than $0.15 per title!)


Inside you’ll find 70,000 words of erotic paranormal romance featuring shifters, ghosts, vampires, aliens and all sorts of sexy creatures that like to go bump in the night.

Tempted by Blood by Jacqueline Sweet—When the boy you love won’t give you what you need, maybe his evil twin will.

Knights in White Bondage by A. Regina Cantatis—An enchanted thrall and her Mistress visit a fetish resort, where they fascinate their fellow guests and attract the attention of a would-be knight in shining armor.

Forking Around by Audrey Lusk—When you see the world differently from everyone else, it takes something unseen to make it a less lonely place.

Mrs. Wong’s by Troy King—Take one jaded fixer, one mysterious young woman, a dash of magick, add a seedy dive, and mix thoroughly.

Spooked by Ruby Madden—When Clementine inherits an aging Victorian mansion from her late aunt, never did she suspect she’d uncover a mysterious secret about a lover from the past, brought to the present, in the form of a ghost.

A Dangerous Seduction by Heather Cole—Soledad has everyone fooled that she’s an ordinary librarian until a mysterious shapeshifter makes her want to reveal more than just her true identity.

Vixen by Christin Lovell—Plus size Jessickah Banderkoff is a bartender by day, a guardian to the Underworld’s Kingdom by evening, and the vampire king’s lover by night, but every good thing must come to an end, right?


Available for FREE via Kindle Unlimited!


I hope you all enjoy the new title, and enjoy the re-releasing titles all over again! There is a lot coming more coming your way very, very soon, too. Keep your eyes open and your Kindles ready, ladies and gents. – Christin


Dear Vamp Chronicles Readers,

October 31st, 2014 will be the final day that you can purchase any of the titles in the Vamp Chronicles series.

You know that leap of faith I talked about? This is part of it.

Big changes are coming.

The entire Vamp Chronicles series is about to undergo a massive facelift. Every book in the series will be thoroughly edited, expanded (with brand new scenes), receive a new cover, and will be re-released in 2015 in rapid succession leading up to, and including, the final book in the series. The short stories will be taken away and tacked onto the previous, corresponding title in the series, and, overall, it will have a lot more detail and fluency before it is wrapped up with a pretty red bow.

When I started this series, I wasn’t even an author. I was a hopeful. Lexi was my ticket into the industry. She was the first character I ever wrote and published, the first character I ever truly loved, and the first character I’ve had to let go of in a true sense of the word. The last book is a farewell to everything I’ve known as a writer for the last four years.

In these last four years, though, I’ve grown tremendously and have really honed my craft. Honest moment: I cringe when I look back at the first book. Where I am now versus where I was then is like (looking at) night and day, and I just know the series can be even better than it already is.

So, I’m carving out the time to give it the love it needs.

The one thing I can promise, without a doubt, is that this series will return, and it will return with more for all of you to read, to enjoy, and (hopefully) to love.

On October 31st, 2014, the entire series will disappear from every vendor and distributor’s website along with my own. If there is a title you’ve been waiting to purchase, you will need to do it by October 31st, or wait until it is re-released in 2015. (Just to forewarn you, the pricing will not be the same in 2015.)

Good things are coming for this series! I am really nervous, but excited. This is a long time coming.

To those of you that would like to, hang in there! – Christin


There are moments when you realize that, in the grand scheme of things, you are quite insignificant. I feel insignificant. It’s not to say I’m incapable of being significant; it’s to say that I often feel insignificant.

So blessed.

Yet, so insignificant.


When I began writing, my goal was to use my writing to fund charity work, to use my God-given talent to make a difference in this world, to leave a mark, to leave it a little better than when I arrived. I was young, ambitious, wide-eyed and hopeful. Despite all I’d endured in life, I still had hope.

These days, it feels like I’m fighting a losing battle.

There are days where I am frozen in place, staring at my children with a helpless ache in my chest.

How do you help a world that doesn’t want to help itself?

Most of us – myself included have the ability to do more, to be more.

Yet we aren’t. Yet we don’t.

And today I realized why.


I am so afraid of losing all I have, but, the hard truth is, we all lose it eventually.

I am so afraid of my children losing their stability, but, the hard truth is, they’ve already lost it.

My life has been ever-changing these last few months. One change after another has been happening, has been forced upon us, which has planted this seed in me, which has shaken me to the core and filled me with a new need, with a new desire that runs soul deep. It has me thinking of doing something drastic. It has me fired up and ready to do what I’ve been so afraid to do: to take a major leap of faith.

If there is anything I am overtly aware of these days, it is that: life is almost always shorter than we expect it to be. My mother died at 27. My father died at 30. My grandfather died at 55. My children’s grandmother died at 57. Marilyn Monroe died at 36. James Dean died at 24. Elvis Presley died at 42. Today, Joanne Borgella died at 32.

I’m 28.

Whether I have a few years remaining or half a century remaining, I will truly be insignificant if I don’t take risks, if I don’t make the most of every breath, if I don’t do what I set out to do originally, if I don’t fulfill my purpose. Writing was always meant to be the means. Art was always meant to be the expression. Giving was always what fulfilled me; doing was always what fulfilled me. We never gain by being selfish, and we never lose by giving it all we have.

We weren’t given eyes to see and not appreciate.

We weren’t given ears to hear and not listen.

We weren’t given a voice to speak and not advocate.

We weren’t given limbs to move and not do.

We weren’t given talents to possess and not use.

To this day, Gandhi said it best:

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Am I narcissistic enough to believe that I alone can change my children’s lives, and the lives of their future generations? No. Am I narcissistic enough to believe that I can have a significant impact on the world at large and end some world problem? No.

To the world I am insignificant, but to one person, I can be significant.

To the world, I probably always will be insignificant, but to a community, I could be significant.

It’s all about what we choose to do versus what we choose not to do (in fear). We all have the choice to act or to watch other people act. It’s always been a choice, and it always will be.

What I’ve learned over the past few months is that we will always be lacking something. There are some things you can survive without, and some things you can’t. I can survive with a lot less than I realized…and I don’t miss it. I do feel like I will miss my window, miss my opportunity if I don’t take some hard leaps of faith right now, though.

So, I’m going for it. Because I can. Because I want to. Because I’m ready.

I’m ready to stop being insignificant.

Fall is here…sort of.

Earlier in the month, I ran a contest. I announced a lot of winners. Unfortunately, I am still waiting on a lot of addresses. Those of you who haven’t e-mailed me your address, please take a moment to do so. I’ve decided I’m not going to make the others who have sent their information over wait. I will be taking all of the envelopes and packages to the post office to be mailed today. If I don’t receive your address before I leave for the post office today, then your prize will not be mailed for at least another week. Please, please, please do take a moment to do that. Send your name and address to: Please put your contest category in the subject field. (i.e. Contest Winner – Adult)


Living in Florida, it’s still hot and humid and miserable, but I do get excited this time of year. I love the potential the weather has to cool off. I love looking at photos of states further north, enjoy soaking in their beautiful fall foliage. I’m jealous. As happy as I am that fall is here, which brings the promise of heat relief in a couple months, I don’t have a true reason to wear Uggs or to sip a hot beverage unless I turn my air conditioner down to 65 degrees – which, being a Southerner, is definitely sweater weather. The saying is, “Fake it till you make it.” Unfortunately, there is no way to *make* Mother Nature do anything she doesn’t want, but a girl can dream. And I definitely dream about cooler days, longer nights and the holiday season.

Just because the weather is still sweltering here in Florida doesn’t mean the colds, flus and other crud of the season aren’t going around. I’ve been sick for the last 10 days, have gone through 2 antibiotics and have gained zero relief. I’m not alone. From interactions on social media, I know many others have hit the 10 day mark and are still fighting it. The strands of yuck are serious this year. I’ve been up and about doing as much as I can, but I’ve been operating on very little sleep. It’s one of those where every time I lay down, I suddenly can’t breathe…not that I can upright half the time either. I’m not complaining though. Best part is the kids haven’t gotten it. Roman started to show signs, but thankfully, it subsided after a day of lazing around with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Most of you aren’t aware of this, as I don’t openly advertise it, but I do social media and book cover art on the side. Any and every entrepreneur knows that you can’t put all of your eggs in one basket. You need multiple streams of income because not everything is guaranteed. I’ve been doing more of that lately between writing. I also worked a 30 hour-a-week job for a little while. While writing is my primary career focus, I do have many other side jobs I juggle. I think any mother, wife, sister, breadwinner, does. There is no such thing as a vacation from reality. I do feel incredibly blessed to be where I am and have the opportunities that I do have. My life hasn’t been perfect, and the Lord knows I am far from perfect, but I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. I’ve been through what I have for a reason. Even on the days when I cry and ask the question of why over and over, I know He has a purpose.

You all have a purpose. We are all here for a reason. Life is not a straight and narrow path; it’s a winding road with constant terrain changes, constant bumps and repeated obstacles. But surviving them makes the end of the journey more sweet. The look I saw on my children’s grandmother’s face as she passed is etched in my mind. After a day of crying out in pain, after over 3 1/2 years of chemos, radiations, operations, ports, medications, pain, pain and more pain, she was finally at peace. She was finally able to celebrate the end of a long, hard journey. She was finally able to reap her rewards for a life well-lived, which I liken to the exhilarating rush of adrenaline one gets at the end of a 5k, a 10k, a marathon or a triathlon, any event that forced us to challenge ourselves to rise above and we did. There are days when I miss her like crazy. I still have all of her text messages in my phone. Every time I take a picture of one of the kids, it’s my instinctive reaction to send it to her, nearly 2 months after she passed. And this holiday season will probably be difficult. She collected Santa Clauses. Her house was filled with them starting the day after Thanksgiving. It made her home warm, inviting and magical all December long. There are things that I will miss horribly for many years to come, but I think she fulfilled her purpose. She left a lasting impression on my heart, on the hearts of my children. She has forever impacted our family traditions; she has forever impacted all of the special needs children she taught, all of the people she worked with, and all of the many family and friends who crowded her home in Florida and a funeral home in Puerto Rico. She passed at the young age of 57, but I know she left a permanent imprint on the hearts of at least double that. And that’s all I can hope for. That’s all I can hope to do as well.

Which is why I push for self-love, for self-acceptance. Self-hatred is an obsession. Self-loathing is a time-consuming distraction. Constantly comparing yourself to the person beside you or across from you means that you’re comparing rather than conversing, that you are internalizing rather than impacting. You can’t dislike who you are and boldly, proudly share yourself with the world. You can’t treat yourself horribly and then expect to rise up like a champion. You can’t despise who you are and then embrace all you were meant to be. The longer your focus remains on what you’re lacking, the more foolish you’ll feel when you realize that, in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what you look like. It doesn’t matter if you are rail thin or if you are extra extra curvy. We all have a job, a purpose, and we all have the ability to do it, to fulfill it, regardless of our size, regardless of our beliefs, regardless of any discriminatory factors. You’ve got what it takes. Beautiful women do not accomplish more than “ugly” women. Plus size women do not accomplish less than thinner women. I’ve run 5k’s alongside women half my size and even a woman twice my size. Do not let the adjectives define you. Do not let the adjectives stop you. They are just adjectives. Take away the fat or thin, take away the descriptors and the only word that remains is the noun ‘woman.’ I don’t know if you’ve brushed up on your history lately or not, but women of all shapes and sizes have made history. Women of all statures, all cultures, all education levels have accomplished amazing, wonderful things. How? They didn’t focus on what they were lacking. They focused on what they had, what they were capable of, what needed to be done rather than what they couldn’t do. Their focus was never on themselves. It was never about them. It was about all those who needed them.

And that was the heart my children’s grandmother had. She was never focused on herself, on what she was going through. She was focused on how she could still be there for her grandkids. She was focused on spending as much time with them as she could. She was focused on what her boys needed, what she could do to prepare them for a life without her. She was focused on anyone and everyone but herself in the end. She no longer cared about what she looked like, because, it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter if she had arm flab, one breast or two. All that mattered was that others needed her. They were her focus. They were her drive. They were her reason for living. And, in the end, they were her purpose. You are never your purpose in life. Your purpose always revolves around others.

Love yourself every day that you can. Love others every day that you can. Make the most of the time you have. Make the most of the talents you were given. I will never stop writing. I will never stop creating. It’s engrained in me. And I just know that my purpose is connected to it. I don’t know how many writers you’ve met, but we all come in different shapes and sizes. We all come from different backgrounds and cultures. The adjectives don’t matter though. The adjectives others attach to me don’t matter. They don’t define my worth, they don’t define my abilities and they certainly don’t change my capabilities. Don’t allow the adjectives to be more than merely adjectives. If for no other reason than because it’s fall, beautiful weather is here or coming soon, and the more time you spend focused on the descriptors, the less time you have to enjoy the weather, to enjoy life, to enjoy each day, each breath and each cup of coffee.

It’s fall! It’s my favorite season. Though I have a thousand reasons to wallow, I have a million more to smile, to face each day with purpose, with drive and with appreciation. Life is a series of choices, and regardless of the descriptors surrounding me, I’m choosing to live it well. I hope you will choose the same. – Christin