On Writing


Hello, Lovely Readers!

I’m back with our final installment of “The Real Locations of the Full Hearts Series.” In today’s edition, we’re traveling all the way from San Diego, California, to rural Bebedouro, Brazil for Breaking Hearts!

If you’ve read the book, you’ll know that we meet up with Trey in San Diego, where he’s working as a bartender while he finishes his economics degree. His son, Tomas, has gone back to Brazil with his mother three years earlier, and even though they have regular Skype calls, the two are little more than strangers. Trey is working his tight buns off to finish school as fast as possible, so he can get a good job and provide for his little boy.

Because their story is set in Brazil, I needed to do a TON of research, from interviewing a journalist who lived and worked in Brazil for many years, to speaking with family lawyers regarding child custody laws, to finding a very kind teacher/translator who helped me for hours answering all my questions about life in Brazil. Her name is Cyssah Oliver, and she was such a gem that I named Alessandra’s best friend after her.

As you may recall, Trey ends up taking his chances as a bull rider to earn enough money to get himself and Tomas home to the USA. This turn in the story actually came from my research. I had put Trey in a real pickle—needing to get custody of his son and permission to take him home (which it turns out is tough to do because of Brazilian Law surrounding their under-aged citizens). He also was flat broke and wasn’t able to get a job because he had no work visa. In my research, I found out that the area of rural Brazil where Alessandra (Tomas’s nanny and Trey’s love interest) is from is an area with a big cowboy/bull riding culture. And therein lay his solution. Funny how life works sometimes, isn’t it?

Tomas spent the first three years of his life in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, pictured here. This is the view from Gabriela’s apartment. You can see the mountains in the distance.

And here is the real farmhouse that inspired the Santos Family Home. It is set on an orange grove in real life, just outside of Bebedouro.


Ahh, doesn’t it make you think of a simpler life?

Well, that’s it for my location series! I hope you enjoyed it. It’s been fun for me to go back and revisit my old writing haunts. 😊

I’ll be revealing all the details on my next series VERY soon! And I cannot wait. What I can tell you now is that it’s set in a completely fictional country—a small kingdom called Avonia.

In the meantime, let’s watch this video I made for Breaking Hearts. I still love this song…

Thank you for joining me!



P.S. For anyone interested, the results from the survey I sent out 2 weeks ago are in. CLICK HERE