"...her secret is patience..." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, December 31, 2010

Sad endings and Happy beginnings

You have been a good year. There is so much you have showed me. So much you have taught me. I’ve had happy days. I’ve had sad days. I’ve had busy days. I’ve had not as busy days. I’ve laughed. I’ve cried. I’ve created. I’ve destroyed. I’ve met people who have become important in my life. I’ve rediscovered friends who’ve been there all along. I’ve learned. I’ve taught. I’ve been blessed.
There is something about saying goodbye to a year. You never realize how fast time truly flies until one door is shutting. This time in 2009 I was babysitting two little girls with my best friend. At midnight, we watched the ball drop in NY and then went out back and lit sparklers. We wrote out “2010” in the air and took pictures of it with my camera. 
No, this is not my own work. New computer - misplaced files :)

I cannot believe its been a year since then. Even though 2010 is over, the memories I’ll carry with me are those I will forever be thankful for.
You are going to be a good year. I can see it now. I’m not big into new years resolutions but I will make one this year. This year I will be better. At being a Christian, at being a friend, at being a writer, at being a human being. I will work. I will create. I will laugh. I will cry. I will be happy. I will be sad. I will learn. I will teach. And in the end, I will always be blessed. 
God is giving me the gift of being part of another year. I will not waste it. 
My dear readers, its been an honor having you part of my journey in 2010. I hope you will continue these travels with me in 2011. 
Much love, 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fair-wells to 2010....

My dear readers, 
Can you believe it? This is the last Monday of 2010. I cant believe how fast the year has gone by. So much has happened and so much has not. On this last Monday I want to take a journey back to a few happenings of 2010. So read on!
First of all, I started this blog this year. 

I’ve never pictured myself as someone with a blog. Sure, I write. That’s what I do. But at the same time a blog was something weird to me. I want to thank all of my wonderful followers and readers for taking the time to visit with me on my humble “blog-abode.” It means the world to me! 
Second of all, my book was published in 2010. 

I’ve never even imagined that happening! Ever! And yet, here I am, a published author! To all of you who have read my book, I give the biggest thanks! I cannot express how much it means to me to have you hold my words in your hands. 
Third of all, I have met so many wonderful people this year, authors and readers alike. Authors - your support and friendship is the biggest encouragement I could have ever hoped for!

 Readers - you are a blessing to me! I couldn’t do what I do without knowing you will be on the receiving end of things. 

Now, I can go on and on. But I better stop. There might be another post before the end of the week (or two) :) 2010 has truly been an amazing year for me and I cannot wait to see what 2011 has in store for me! 
Have a wonderful day!
Much love, 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!!!

Its December 24th!!! Its December 24th!!! I'm truly amazed actually!!! Today was a long and busy day. I had another photo session with a family, and of course went to work. :)
I promised some more Christmas cheer for you, so here is some from my house!

Just a bit of our decorations this year!!! I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas Eve!!!! Love you all!!!

Much love,


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve-Eve!!!!

      I cannot believe it is almost Christmas! Time flies with the speed of a flying bullet.  Well, in honor of the Christmas season, I thought I’d share some Christmas cheer with you! 
First of all, I love this new song by Train! The Coca-Cola commercials are my favorite this holiday season. 

Second of all, this song is one of the most beautiful “reasons for the season” songs I have heard. I think more often than not we forget what Christmas is all about. 

In other news, I’m writing! Well, maybe not exactly news but there it is. I’m thinking of teasers on the blog and twitter in the coming year. What do you say? Anyone interested? 
Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas Eve - Eve! More Christmas cheer coming your way!
Much love,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Missing again....and some cute pictures!

Good evening my dear readers. As you have noticed, I have been missing...again. Life, it really gets in the way of things. :)
Well, I must say it has been a bit of a crazy 13 days since you've seen me last. Between two jobs, fighting this ever present sickness, and trying to write, I've been a bit...whats the word....overwhelmed? I've also had a few photography jobs lately. Let me tell you, I've missed those! I forget how much a part of me photography really is when the world spins in chaos around me. But I found a few precious moments to get back to one of my favorite activities and took some pictures. Would you like to see? Oh stop begging, you know I'm going to show you some!

  Isn't he the most adorable baby ever??? He's 9 months old and such a perfect model. Didn't cry a bit! I was a complete stranger to him and yet, look at that big smile.
  I had another photo session today, this time a family who is dear to my heart. I will be posting pictures a bit later. They get them first, people! :)
  Also, a bit of exciting news! Well, exciting for me. My best friend is home for a few weeks!!! I'm actually quite deliriously happy about that particular fact. This weekend we went to see the Star of Wonder put on by Phoenix First Assembly and it was amazing! Especially the fact that I had the privilege of sharing the evening with her! I'm thinking of putting her in a box and keeping her here so she cant go back to school. What do you say? :)
  Well, duty calls. Must go finish a few things up before I can call this day officially over! Hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas week! By the way, anyone watching the Lunar Eclipse tonight? 
  Happy readings and sweet dreams!

  Much love, 


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

One book, two book, red book, blue book...

Title courtesy of Dr. Seuss
          December. How I love thee? There is just something about knowing that Christmas is this month. The winter month. The month of snow, hot chocolate, and candy canes. The month of sitting by a fireplace with a good book (Simplicity-ha, I had to), snuggled under a blanket, with soft Christmas carols playing in the background. 
It has taken me seven days before I can rave about December because, sadly and very painfully, I’ve been sick. Actually, still am sick, but fighting through it. At least I am now mobile. :)

Now, it is December 7th. A book birthday to a few books I’ve been waiting for. First of all, Happy Book Birthday to Richelle Mead and Last Sacrifice! This series is a must read, so if you’ve never read Vampire Academy series, you really should. Just saying...
Lying Game by Sara Shepard
(Come on, admit it. How many of you watch Pretty Little Liars? )

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
(I’ve heard wonders about this book. I know technically it was published on Dec. 2, but not where I'm at :)

Entice by Carrie Jones
Honestly, I know I’m missing a few but I have to stop here and tell you some other awesome news. Well, awesome to me. Recently, I’ve won three books on my TBR list. 

Firelight by Sophie Jordan
(Thanks to Good Choice Reading. Take a look at their blog. Its beautiful!)

Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens
(Thanks to Jennifer! :)

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
(Thanks to Goodread.com This one came in the mail today. So excited!!)
Yay me! I love cover art and that is why I take the time to post pictures of the book I'm reading. I've notice a lot of you buy books based on the cover, so here ya go, some love for these beautiful books. One problem though, its becoming harder and harder to work on my book when all I want to do is read. I’ve been engrossed in the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa! Starting the Iron Queen today, but hopefully will have the will power to stop and write. 
Since I’ve been sick the writing has been minimal. I miss it like the desert misses the rain, or Pluto misses being a planet. :) But I’ve been outlining on random pieces of paper all day! Cant wait to put it all together. 
I also decided to share my playlist for Simplicity with ya’ll. I posted the first song on twitter today. “Never Alone” by BarlowGirl. Keep checking my twitter for daily updates. I’ll compile a list at the end and post it on the blog (maybe even with a little music). 
Well, I’m off to writer-land. Hope everyone is having a wonderful week! Read a book, it’ll make your day brighter!
Much love,

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving wishes...and a question to my dear readers!

Happy Thanksgiving! I couldn’t resist a day such as this. I apologize for my absence, it’s been quite a busy time for me. So here I am, having a day off and finally blogging. 
At the moment I’m enjoying the four “F’s” of Thanksgiving. Food, family, friends, and football. Oh look, the Cowboys just scored. Sadly, my boys (PACKERS) are not playing today, but football on thanksgiving day is football on thanksgiving day. I’m just enjoying the fact that I don’t have to be at work, or anywhere, today. Lounging in my comfy clothes, with my computer and food within easy reach is just the day I needed. 
Being Russian, we are big on salads. Our salads are a meal all on their own. So after spending the morning cooking and chopping, I will have to say that the food was delicious and nutritious. The best way I can tie this day in is by showing you a few pictures. 
Greetings from my plate :)
Because I just had to...

Oh ya! 
Do the "Gobble Dance" This is Old Navy add and I loved it!!!
Now, I’ve been toying with an idea of starting a blog told in pictures. Basically, a picture a day kind of a thing. It’s not a new idea by any means but I’m such a picture oriented person that I just feel like I should do it. However, I can either start a entirely new blog or just try to update this one with a picture a day. You chose! Let me know what you would prefer more and I’ll work it in! 
Because to tell you the truth the reason I’m posting this as a thanksgiving blog is because I am thankful for you! My dear readers, I would not be able to do what I do without your support. I’ve never imagined myself publishing a book, but now I can’t imagine not writing. All of you have been such an encouragement to me and I wanted to say thank you! 
Well, I’m off to enjoy my first day off in, lets just say, a while! :) Leave a comment letting me know which blog option you would prefer! Thanks darlings!!!
Much love, 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Surprises...and a story about a girl

How many of you out there love surprises? I have met a few people who cannot stand anything going out of comfort zone and therefore are terrified of surprises. While not all surprises are good, they are all thrilling and unexpected. There is just something about having your mind blown. That unanticipated rush of adrenaline because you’re whole head is spinning in circles. 
Now, aren’t you all curious to see what I’m talking about? Well, I own a MacBook! Surprise! Last entry here I was so excited that beta version of Scrivener was finally in the process of development, and now I don't have to wait. Some amazing individuals (who will remain unnamed for the purpose of protecting their constitutional rights) decided to help me out and purchased for me my very own MacBook. Granted, this particular purchase will be paid for in full by hard work and perseverance. But in the meantime, I get to kick butt and use the best programs to get my life together. 
Why yes, before you ask, it has been a bit hectic. My life, that is. Last night was  perfect example of how some surprised can be not so pleasant. 
It is 10:22 p.m. The house is quiet and settled for the night. A lovely (har, har) girl is sitting on the couch with a single light from her laptop eliminating the night. Suddenly, the night is pierced by mind shattering screeches coming from what seemed to be everywhere. The fire alarms were bursting! The girl jumps up and runs to make sure nothing is burning. The noise is overpowering. She struggles to concentrate while finding nothing amiss. Finally reaching for her phone, she dials a number. Getting precise instructions, she follows them to the letter and the noise stops. The night is quiet and peaceful again. The house is checked and rechecked. All seems to be alright. The girl sighs in relief. She makes her way to her bedroom and collapses in bed a little after midnight. Sleep comes swiftly as she is exhausted by the noise and labor. Alas, dreams come. She hears a cry for help, the screeching follows her into the dreamland. But no, it is not a dream. She awakens with a start as the noise once more fills her house. She grabs the ladder and proceeds in completing the tasks one more time. This time, she shuts the system off without turning it back on. It is now 3:12 a.m. Five o’clock will be here sooner than it should. She sleeps, if only for a moment. 
In case anyone is wondering, that was me last night. I am pretty much exhausted today but life goes on. No time for naps today. So instead of taking a break and sleeping, I’m taking a break and posting this blog. Enjoy it, my dear readers, and laugh on my behalf. :) 
In other news, I have read the three books previously mentioned and loved them all. Posted a review for Matched, but still working on the other two. If you are interested in my book review blog: www.writersarereaderstoo.blogspot.com

Right now, I am finishing up my various book collection of Nora Roberts. Western Skies collection is by far one of my favorites. If you have read a book by her, let me know which one is your favorite. 
Well, I’m off to do come more digging in the rehabilitation system of the United States. Happy reading everyone!
Much love,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Words, Books, and Red...

           Well, it’s been one of those weeks! Family drama all around and not much of writing done. Sad on both accounts. But the week is over and we are here, Tuesday, October 26, 2010 and I am finally sitting down for an update.
            So first of all, I just wanted to share the good news of finally hitting 40K on my next novel. It’s a record breaker for me so I’m quite excited! I thought this would be a halfway point but realized that it’s not even close. I’m falling in love with my characters more and more and it seems as if the story is expanding beyond what I planned. Yes, it’s much better than I planned.
            On the other hand, I have started outlining another book I’ll be starting here shortly. I want to get all the ideas on paper before I forget it. Book #2 is a priority now, but book #3 is not far behind.
            I’m also excited about the fact that Scrivener is now available for Windows. While I’m an Apple girl all the way, I have not been able to buy my own Mac as of right now. The Scrivener for Windows is just a beta version but I’m hoping it will help me keep my ideas organized nonetheless. 

This last week, although stressful, has been a great week for me in book universe. I received my copy of Torment by Lauren Kate in the mail and have started reading it.

I also found out that I will be receiving Matched by Ally Condie

and Real Live Boyfriends ARC by E. Lockhart.
 I cant wait to read all three and write dazzling reviews. 
            By the way, before I forget I saw two movies recently. Easy A and Red. While Easy A has been out for a while and I’m sure you’ve heard lots about it, Red has not. 

I loved that movie! Between the cast of characters, plot line, and fast moving action the movie was hilarious and surprising. Go see it and then let me know what you think.
            Well, I’m off to the magical land of …Boston. Hope everyone is having a fabulous week! Read a book or something!

            Much love,


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Birthdays, Breast Cancer, and Baby Brothers

            October 19th!!!! I’m so excited for today’s Book Birthdays! Happy release day to Becca Fitzpatrick’s “Crescendo” and Andrea Cremer’s “Nightshade.”
            I just had to get that in, my apologies! Seriously though, the YA world is getting better and better. They should get all the recognition they can!
            Alright, now what have I been up to? Work, work, oh, and did I mention work? I have been missing my writing so much, and of course you my darling readers.
            So, let’s see. My baby brother, who is in the Marines and stationed in Hawaii, came home to surprise my parents. I was his ride from the airport, and when we got home my parents were out shopping. After they came home, I helped them put groceries away before letting them come into the house and see my brother. He was lying on the couch watching television. My mom’s reaction was priceless. There was screaming, dropping of bags, and lots of hugging. Needless to say, I’m awesome!
            Now, you all know its October, which means its Breast Cancer Awareness month. So many are fortunate not to experience sickness such as this, and yet we are all touched by it. I encourage everyone to give back when they can. This world would be nothing without kindness. By supporting a charity, you become a friend to someone who needs one. Here are some of the ways I’ve done so this week. 

Yoplait offers 10 cents per lids sent in. Villige Inn is having special pies, and since we had company, we bought one that supports BC.
            I would love to hear some of the ways you like to show your support. It doesn’t even have to be BC but if you’re part of a charity or an organization, let me know!
            Well, I must go write some more! Happy reading everyone!!!

Much love,


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Buddy Holly... I Want It That Way...MMMBop

(Title courtesy of VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s....Don't judge, I was cleaning at the time)

            So the past week has been a bit crazy. To be honest, I’ve been slacking in everything, including this blog. I know, unforgivable! But before you come at me with pitchforks can I just say that I have a very good excuse? I was at a biker’s bar. Hold it, I will explain.
            Some of you may know that I have a photography business on the side. Well, this weekend, 10.10.10 to be exact, I shot a wedding at a bikers club/bar. I have never done a wedding like this before, so it was a completely unnerving/terrifying experience. While I had no idea what to expect, I was especially surprised by all the love. Ok, I have to confess that I had this image of tough dudes on motorcycles that would have nothing to do with a lowly photographer. Yet these people blew me away by their friendliness! While it was hard to shout over the music, the wedding itself went very well. And look, I’m sharing a few pictures!

Wait, hold it, and put the brakes on. Before we go any farther I just have to say one thing. Hillary Duff wrote a book??? Say what? Now how many of you remember her as Lizzie McGuire, please raise your hand. See, its not just me! This girl can do everything. She sings, acts, helps old ladies across the street, and now writes books??? I feel slightly like a failure. Ok, moment gone. But seriously, I’ve heard so many good things about this book I cant wait to read it!

Now, where was I? Oh yes, biker wedding.  

Let me throw something else out to you. My book is almost halfway finished! I’m so excited! The progress I’ve made in the last few days made me very happy. I don’t even want to think about revising yet, I’m just writing. I cant wait to share this particular story with you!
            Well, I must be off! The magical place that is inside of my computer is calling my name! See you soon!

Much love,


PS. Have you read any good books lately??? I would love some suggestions!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Meet an Author Monday!

So I finally decided to join the Meet an author Monday! Sorry this is late but the great thing about this, it repeats every Monday!!! So here is the post from Confessions of California Cheer Mom!

Authors! Have a book out? Are you under contract for publication? Make sure you join in the hop. This is a great way to network your blog and let readers know who you are!

Here's how it works:

  • Follow as many authors as you like. Just follow the Linky list and hop from author to author. The idea is to find as many "new to you" authors as you can, and hopefully some great new reading material as well. Leave a comment as you hop from blog to blog! We'd love to chat with you!


  • Follow the Meet an author Monday host (Cali Cheer Mom) along with any of the wonderfully talented authors on the list.
  • You will need to enter your name and blog url into the Linky tool.
  • Grab our super cute button and place it in a post. (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) If you don't create a post for the hop, your readers won't have a place to comment, and the hop will stop with you. So create a post, paste in the Linky code and start hopping!
  • The purpose of the hop is to meet "new to you" authors and discover great new reads. Follow as many authors as you can. Leave a comment and introduce yourself!
  • If you'd like to share the Linky list in a post on your blog ( Please do!) just follow the link and grab the code.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Simplicity Book Trailer

Hello darlings!

So, recently I've been asked about my book trailer. Where can you find it? What it looks like? How cool is it? (that last one was mine, I admit) Well, I decided to re-post the trailer here for your enjoyment. I had to put this together myself, so I would appreciate any feedback you are willing to provide! Enjoy! :)

Much love,


Friday, October 1, 2010

Winners! Winners all around! :)

            I know, I know, I was supposed to have this posted yesterday. Sorry darlings, it’s been a crazy week! But I am so excited to finally announce the winners! I can’t wait for you, my dear winners to read “Simplicity”! Ok, now on to the good part. Using random.org I have selected two winners. Drum roll please!

            Winner #1
                        Wanda (Sinfully Tasty Reads)

            Winner #2
                        Sophia Lee

            Congratulation ladies!!! I sent the emails out, and you have 48 hours to reply!

            I wanted to thank all of my new followers for your interest in my book! Keep reading my blog, and don’t worry, there will be more contests coming up!

            Happy reading everyone!

            Much love,


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Welcome to Fall Giveaway!!!!

            Hello everyone! So I decided to include my giveaway as part of the fall giveaway! For one week only Good Choice Reading along with others will be celebrating The Fall with a giveaway of nothing but books!  Celebrating the coming of fall with books, is there anything better? I believe there is not! Make sure you take a look at the list of blogs at the end!
            I will be giving out two prizes. Signed copies of my recent novel “Simplicity."

            ·    Name and email must be provided and counts as 1 entry.
·         Must be a follower to enter
            ·    Links must be provided for any extra links
            ·    Contest is US ONLY and ends September 29th.
            ·    Once contacted the winner will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address                     
            ·    The form must be filled out to enter.
                 Comments are not necessary but appreciated! :)

Happy reading!!!

Much love,


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Smart Chicks Kick It and...who am I kidding? That's all I want to talk about!

Prepare yourself for a lengthy post.

            Well, it happened. Last night I had the privilege of attending the Smart Chicks Kick It tour in Scottsdale, AZ. I have been waiting for this for a while now, and truth be told I didn’t know what to expect. Apart from this being the first time I was meeting these ladies, it was also a first time I have attended any books signing (apart from my own). Let me just start out and say that these ladies are incredible! To take the time out of their busy lives and put together a tour like this; serious kudos are in order.
Now on to the recap of the evening. I was fortunate enough to go with a friend, who although is not a reader, was sweet to spend an evening like this with me.
Smart Chicks Kick It at Scottsdale, AZ
We arrived at the center around five o’clock (two hours prior to the event) and got our names on the list of attendees. After securing our place, we headed off to Baja Fresh for some delicious dinner and conversation. We arrived back at the Civic Center at precisely six o’clock. There was already a line forming. They were giving out raffle tickets and free tattoos. No, before you ask, I did not get a tattoo. But I did get a front row seating for being there early. When the ladies came out a little after seven, with Holly leading the way (she was stuck at an airport, did her make-up in the cab, and looked gorgeous) and took their positions on top of the table the evening of fun began. Yes, on top instead of behind.  Hey, they can do whatever they want; it’s their tour after all! Introductions and Q&A followed. The ladies at this stop were: Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, Kimberly Derting, and Alyson Noel. They were so fun and sweet, even on four hours of sleep. I will not enclose all the questions and answers I can remember, but let me just say entertaining doesn’t even begin to cover it. Yes, Sarah that was a reference to you.
            Then came the book signings. The line formed even before the ladies gave a go ahead, so after purchasing White Cat (I know, I caved and bought a book) we got into the line. We stood behind three girls who were, for the lack of a better word, interesting. An hour and half later we were at the front.
            Now, let me make a little confession. I had no idea how Alyson was going to react when I finally made it to her seat. Yes, we’ve been internet friends for a few months now, but lets be real, she talks to a lot of people. I told myself, and my friend, not to be disappointed if she just greets me with a “Hi, its nice to meet you.” What I didn’t expect was her jumping out of her chair and grabbing me for a hug as soon as she heard my name! She loved how ‘cool’ I was about it, “Ya, I’m Valia; its not like we’re friends!” she said after hugging me. Then turning to Kimberly, who was sitting next to her, said “This is Valia, I know her!” We took a picture together as we talked and she signed.
Alyson Noel and I (Wooohoo!) :)
            I can’t even explain how amazing it felt to be welcomed with open arms, literally, by one of my favorite authors. The encouragement a struggling writer can find in that is indescribable. I can only hope that one day I can be the encouragement and a blessing to someone else the way Alyson has been to me.

           Moving down the line, I had the privilege of meeting the rest of the Smart Chicks and had my picture taken with each one.

Kimberly Derting and I :)
Kelley Armstrong and I :)

Melissa Marr and I :)

Sarah Rees Brennan and I :)

By the way Sarah, I will be looking for that book with my name in it! :)
           When I finally came to the end, where Miss Holly Black sat, I was on cloud nine. Handing over my newly bought book I told her I haven’t read it yet, but since I’m Cassandra Clare’s fan, who is one of Holly’s friends, I’m sure I will enjoy it. Well, Holly took me a bit by surprise when she decided to discuss Clockwork Angel with me. By the way, if you haven’t read that book yet, go get it now! Her exact words were, “That’s it, we have to talk about this!” She was such a sweetie, and I loved our five minute conversation! No, I will not post the exact script here because it does have a bit of a spoiler-y feeling to it.
Holly Black and I :-)
           As you can see, I had a blast! The ladies were amazing, and I loved spending the evening in their company. I just hope one day I can be behind that table, signing books, and meeting fans with the same grace and warmth they showed me.  

Monday, September 6, 2010

Survival...Sunburn...and Laziness

            Hello my dearest readers! I am back! As if you couldn’t tell. I had an amazing time! I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting to have as much fun as I did. Wilderness and I, I’m not sure if they mesh well together. However, they did this time. Yes, I am a big city girl. Give me noise, huge buildings, and of course, Internet and I will be happy. However, the time I had to spend alone while hiking, taking pictures, and writing did me some serious good. Except for the fact that my face is lit up like a ripe tomato. No, I will not be posting pictures of that.
            But if you’ve been following my adventures on twitter, I have posted an awful a lot of scenery and such. And guess what? There is more to come, because instead of describing the beauty I had the privilege to behold, I will show you. 

            Honestly, these picture are nothing compared to the real thing. The stars, oh the stars! When you are standing on that mountain, you are so close; you feel part of the heavens. Its breathtaking.
            Now, I feel lazy. Yes, I actually admit it. Tomorrow my work week starts and all I feel like doing is grabbing one of those amazing books I received in the mail, climb under my covers and read. However, duty calls. I must go check off a few items of my to-do list before the clock strikes midnight.
            So, sweet dreams my darlings! “Life is a beautiful flag, and laughter is the wind that makes it wave.”

Much love,