• Family Literacy Day

    On Monday it was ABC’s Family Literacy Day, where people took time to raise awareness and celebrate the importance of reading and participating in literacy based activities.

    I was super excited to kick Family Literacy Day off with Mary Immaculate School in Chepstow with a Virtual Author Visit! I was able to share a little bit about being an author (the kids always love that), and then read The Big, Bad Bully with them. My favourite part was at the end, when a number of students came up and asked me questions. 

    I just LOVE doing Virtual Author Visits! It’s so easy to connect with the students, and it provides just another great option for schools that are far from my home in Niagara. 

    For those of you who are in warmer parts, we had hail that morning. Hail! I love Canada, but sometimes, especially in January and February, I really miss warm Bolivia, haha. 

    I Read Canadian Day is coming up on February 19th and I am going to offer the virtual author visits again for five lucky schools. It is FREE when the school places an order for 20 of my books or more. 

    For schools that send book orders home with students or make them available through school cash online, you get a special deal where tax is included, AND, as long, as you are in Canada or the USA, I will ship those books to your for free. 

    I want to make it as easy as possible for schools to get a live author visit for their students, and Family Literacy Day and I READ Canadian Day are just wonderful excuses to do so. 

    If you would like to have me pencil in your school and reserve one of the spots for I Read Canadian Day,  let me know ASAP. I will be booking schools on a first-come, first-served basis. 



  • My Daughter’s Quinceañera

    Last weekend was my daughter's Quinceañera, and as promised, here are some pics.

    Photo Credit : Zaluski Designs and Photography

    If you are wondering what a Quinceañera is, it’s a coming of age party when a girl turns 15 in latin cultures. It started off in Mexico where parents would introduce their daughters to the community as young women who are now available to marry (not that Alissa is available to marry now, haha). Even though that tradition is far removed from our culture today, I still believe it is important to acknowledge the transition form girl to young womanhood and to acknowledge my latin heritage. 

    I moved to Bolivia when I was 14 so my memories are full of attending the Quinceañeras of other girls. Back then, this marked the time when the girl could now wear heels, wear makeup, and dance with a boy for the first time. It was funny, too, when the weekend after a Quinceañera the girl would suddenly show up with TONS of makeup on! Haha.

    A Quinceañera is a big party with a few formalities. The girl gets to choose a “court of honour” which is 1-14 of her “best friends.” They get ready together, take photos, have a lot of fun, and sit at the head table with the girl who is coming of age. 

    Photo Credit : Zaluski Designs and Photography

    There is the first dance, which is between the father and daughter, and then it’s followed with other significant men in the girl’s life (grandfathers, uncles, and brothers.) 

    Photo Credit : Zaluski Designs and Photography

    The weather did not co-operate for Alissa’s Quinceañera. We had a snow storm the day “of” and all day I thought everyone would cancel. I was so happy and surprised that almost everyone was able to make it, and we only had one person cancel due to weather. 

    We had a great time. It was important for me to have this party for my daughter as a way to keep the latin tradition alive in my family. Both my parents are from Bolivia, and of course, I lived there for seven years of my life. We had 180 guests, and the majority of them had never heard of a Quinceañera.

    It was months of planning, but it all paid off seeing my daughter so happy. The next day her comment was, “that was the best day of my life!” 

    I love that my family and friends were able to learn more of latin culture and that we were able to celebrate this special time in my daughter’s life. 

    A big thank you to Boutique Linen Rentals, who really made everything so beautiful and achieved the “winter wonderland” look that we were going for. What cultural traditions do you keep in your family? I'd love to hear about them. 



  • Virtual Author Visits

    Booking now for Family Literacy Day Jan 27th! 

    Limited Spots Available.

    I LOVE visiting schools and inspiring the students with the positive message of my I CAN books, but sometimes things can get in the way, like distance or our famous Canadian winters. I decided there HAD to be an easy, more affordable option for schools to get an award-winning author visit for their students. I discovered that visiting a school virtually is super fun and easy with the magic of the internet. Virtual Author Visits with me are the latest thing for small groups of students…. and best of all… they are free with the purchase of 20 books!
    It’s easy to reach a 20 book order with our take home order forms or the paperless option, school cash online. Your students will gain access to a special deal on all of my books (tax included), with free shipping (YES!)*, AND the chance to get their books signed.

    Students love meeting an author and being able to interact with them and ask them questions, just like an in-person visit. All you need is a projector or smart board and a decent internet connection.

    Choose from one of FOUR positive presentations! Your Virtual Author Visit will include a book reading and a question and answer period. A visit is approx. 30 min long and best suited for small groups (1-2 classes).

    Virtual Author Visits include access to all the materials and exercises that an in-person author visit does, so you will have engaging materials available to take the message further with your students. Contact us now to reserve your spot and get the ball rolling! I am scheduling five bookings for five lucky schools in honour of ABC's Family Literacy Day on Jan 27th.

    Those spots are going to fill up fast, so let me know right away if you want one!