Ready, Set, Drama! The Family Portrait Series so far

We’re 4 books into the Family Portrait series and I thought I’d chat about the series so far and what’s to come 😉

Ready Set Drama special

In Changes you were introduced to the Banovics and DaCostas. You got a brief history of these families and it left you wondering how they would all tie together.

Changes fits the name of the book as the Banovic Family experienced many changes from their life as a family and individually. Add to the mix, there’s the DaCosta family who’s also experiencing changes in their life. – Musings of Fictional Ally

My favorite: I loved the dialogue between Astrid Wilson and Adriana Banovic. Astrid is the queen bee at Westwood Academy and when Adriana reluctantly returns to school, Astrid’s reign is threatened and she goes out of her way to make Adriana’s life at Westwood Academy, horrendous! Adriana is no shrinking violet so hatches a plan to put Astrid in her place. Ready, Set, Drama!

Banovic Siblings Family Portrait

Banovic Siblings took you deeper into the lives of the Banovic Siblings and how they crossed paths with the DaCosta girls. Claws came out as well as the dark side of the second generation Banovic siblings.

I loved this one! This was my favourite. This is when the Banovic and the DeCosta children start to come into their own. They are not innocent like other NA book characters. Rachel P

You also got to experience the relationship between the first generation Banovic siblings; Robin, Roxanne and Adrian (who remains a mystery).

This book set the stage for the other books to come. Readers loved “Siblings” the most and it has the most reviews.

I’m sad that the book ends on a cliffhanger but it’ll make picking up the book 3 much more exciting! Jolanta Daab

My favorite scene: Adriana encourages Leighann to try pot for the first time, the result is a hilarious mix of hijinks and close calls. I laughed when I wrote that scene in the television script and a year later when I rewrote the scene for the book it still had me in stitches.

Bastard's Brew promo

Bastard’s Brew is my favorite so far. I loved that this book focused on 3 major characters and really gave readers a lot of meat. Adriana, Kevin and Haze all had major events happen in their lives. A lot of ethical issues were addressed, but knowing these characters, what is ethical to you and me, flies out the window by their standards.

What I really like about these books is that Ms. Felix delves deeply into the lives of each character. She doesn’t just skim the surface of everyone; I feel like I really get to know each of them really well. – Tina VanDynHoven

My favorite scene: This scene is my favorite because it broke my heart. Haze is one of the better behaved characters in the series so I celebrated with him when he got his well deserved big break, but it was overshadowed by a horrible incident. His relationship with Adriana was put to the test and we got to see a different side of her as she proved her love for him.

Perfect Escape promo

Perfect Escape was really hard for me to write. It dealt with the relationship with Leighann and her father… my own dad passed by the time I finished writing this book.

This book was about Leighann, who people loved since Changes and they really got to know her in “Escape”. We got to see how mean her mother can be making readers love Leighann even more. She got to experience her first crush, taking readers back to their first love in high school.

Being a mom, it was hard for me to read how heartless Savi is with Leighann. – Karen-Anne Stewart

My favorite scene: Zax sitting on Leighann’s stoop waiting for her to come out and talk to him. He orders chinese food, pops on his headphone and casually dines, like it was the most natural thing in the world.

That’s where we are are so far in the series. What’s to come?

  • More Frankie, Kristin, Zax love triangle.
  • Can Adriana continue to hide her secret from Haze?
  • Will Joel’s facade crumble?
  • Did Kevin really create the perfect escape? Will his “business” dealings catch up with him?

All will be revealed in Book 5 releasing in the summer 2015.

Learn more about the series here.

 

Logo for the Novel series Family Portrait by Gillian Felix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Teen Sensation Leighann DaCosta

Leighann DaCostaLeighann DaCosta was born in Bristol, Connecticut and became a singing sensation at the tender age of 6 after winning a local singing competition. Managed by her mother Savannah (Savi) DaCosta, Leighann and Savi travelled all around the country where Leighann sang and performed at state fairs.

Leighann was discovered by a junior A&R rep who happened to be at the Ohio State Fair while visiting family. Leighann’s road to stardom was paved when she won a Grammy at the age of 10 for a song she sang on the soundtrack to a children’s movie.

Leighann was 13 when her record hit platinum status following a string of #1 hits targeted at pubescent girls.

Touring became the status quo for Leighann who toured 345 days a year.

“That time was very stressful for me, I’d wake up and not know what city I was in.”

At 15, Leighann shocked the world when she walked away from the only life she’d ever known.

“I could feel my body slipping away from me, I wasn’t living, I woke up and did what everybody wanted me to do. I had been all around the world and to many different cities, yet I’ve only seen them from the window of a tour bus.”

Leighann left fans wondering what went wrong. On the outside she was living the life many people only dream about.

“Even though I had tons of people around me, I still felt lonely. I felt lost and longed to stand still, to wake up and not have to be somewhere. I wanted the quietness of having a crappy day without asking permission to do so.” Leighann went on to say that she knew a normal life existed because she kept in touch with her sister L’Wren.

“L’Wren and I are very close, she and I talked everyday; didn’t matter what part of the world I was. My conversations with her kept me grounded. She always made me laugh. In a way I envied her because she got to go to a regular school and have friends, things I never had.”

Months later it was released to the public that Leighann had moved to Los Angeles and moved in with her 21-year-old sister.

“Moving in with L’Wren was like a breath of fresh air for me. For the first time I did what I wanted and it felt great!”

Leighann also enrolled in the prestigious international school Westwood Academy of Higher Learning.

“I had never had any formal education, I always had a tutor on tour, it was always just me and her. Attending Westwood Academy is intimidating, the campus is huge and I sit in a class with 15 students and one teacher. Most of the kids had been going there for a while and everybody knew each other.”

Leighann said she has no regrets and is excited to see where life takes her. As for if she’ll ever return to the music industry, Leighann said she is focusing on being a teenager for now.

Learn more about Leighann DaCosta in the Family Portrait series, she will be headlining the soon to be released 4th novel in the series called Perfect Escape. Here is a preview chapter and sign up here to review the series.

 

The Family Portrait Series Gets Branded

One of the hardest things I’m figuring out about being a hybrid author, is not having people to do all the stuff that you don’t particularly want to do or like to do. I’m not complaining because the benefits out weight the alternative.

What is a hybrid author you might ask? A hybrid author is an author who owns their own publishing rights, does all the marketing, advertising and overall production of their books. I first heard the term coined by my virtual mentor, and international best selling author Joanna Penn, who will be visiting us in December (YIPPEEE). Another term used to describe a hybrid author is authorpreneaur, also coined by Joanna.

Ok so I’d been thinking of branding my series for quite sometime now but kept putting it off. Why? Because trying to grow this baby empire, leaves me exhausted by the time my toes hit the covers. A potential reader emailed me and nudged me, she pointed out how disconnected the covers were. She liked everything else but like a few people have said in the past, the covers didn’t do the books justice. So I bit the bullet and looked at several “book cover designers”. A lot of the graphics you see on this site was designed by me, but I wanted a professional, who had experience in the field to do it.

I also wanted someone who didn’t design a cover with the same look as almost every other novel out there. Nudity seems to be the running theme with novels in the same genre as my books and I didn’t want that.

Although the Family Portrait Series has its fair share of naughty, raunchy behavior by some characters who shall remain nameless (to protect you if you haven’t read the books) I didn’t want it displayed on the cover.

Here are a couple of mocks I designed.

Design 1

This was when I was in the I what bright colors! phase.

Bright colors Family Portrait covers

The idea behind this one was, I wanted bright colors, and a bold look. In the covers above, the characters are on a stage and the world is watching them, yet people don’t really know them, hence the silhouettes. I used the same color elements from the original books.

There were many things I liked about these covers, one of them is the graphic identifying the book placement in the series. I loved the wood floors, it reminded me of the barrels of wine at House of Banovic, the family’s (in the book) winery. I liked the colors because lets face it I am from the Caribbean and I love color, or colour as we spell it back home 😉

Design 2

After sleeping on the above designs for a few days, I felt I wanted more options. For some reason it felt a bit crowded. I kept seeing white space in my mind’s eye.

Cover #2 The Family Portrait series

I wanted something simple, mysterious and clean. I looked at other book covers in the same genre that was published a few years back. The covers that struck me were the covers for the Pretty Little Liars series. I liked that it was simple and clean, loved the solid colors to differentiate between books. I was also drawn to the original cover of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Since the movie, she redid the cover and pulled the one I liked.  It was a solid black and I think there was a slight blue graphic.

The clip art element represents something significant in the book. I did it in color, because I like color, but my sister felt that it looked odd among the silhouettes.

Design #3

With branding in mind which ever design I choose, would have to have similar elements so that the series is easily recognizable. For instance putting my name at the bottom, the book number identifying graphic, and the banner.

Family Portrait final cover

I loved this design because it has color, nothing too crazy, it is clean, and it has white space, which didn’t leave my mind until the design was finished. I love that I am able to add a blurb to the cover to give a little insight into the story.

I wanted to do something with the title font so I designed something myself. There was a font that I liked and considered purchasing, but when purchasing fonts or images there are copyright laws that need to be followed. Some of them can be too much to deal with. So I designed everything.

Which one do you prefer? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Xo

Gillian

The Banovic Siblings New Cover and Tour News

We are celebrating the release of the sexy new cover for the digital version of The Banovic Siblings with a new blog tour. The cast and I hit the virtual road from August 4 to August 30.

Family Portrait book tour banner

Click on the banner to join the tour

This is your opportunity to chat with Adriana about her eclectic fashion sense. Learn 10 things about Leighann, get to know Zax Banovic, or chat with Haze about growing up multi-racial in America. You also have the opportunity to ask the cast whatever you want.

The books

A new adult novel written by Gillian Felix

Adriana Banovic’s 15th birthday sucked! She got fired after eight years of playing Shayanne Montgomery on the #1 soap in the country, found out that her family was on the verge of bankruptcy and worst of all, forced to return to Westwood Academy. Her only saving grace was a chance glance at dreamy mystery boy Haze Lyndon. Armed with only his picture and a determination to find him—even if it means turning Los Angeles over on its ass.

In this new adult novel you’ll meet Robin Banovic, Adriana’s father; financially challenged, dealing with the death of a family member and his brother’s disappearance.

You’ll meet Savannah DaCosta aka Savi, mother/manager; Savi enjoys the life her rock star daughter Leighann has provided. When Leighann makes a choice to end her career, Savi sees it as a personal attack.

You’ll meet college boy Haze Lyndon; New to Los Angeles, Haze soon realizes how quickly money changes hands in the City of Angels. Will he return to questionable ways to survive or go back to the safety of his family in Wisconsin?

The Banovic Siblings new coverCollege boy Kevin Banovic’s casual affair with Savi DaCosta suited him perfectly. Things change when he finds out that Savi is his mom’s high school bestie. When Kevin tries to end their affair, Savi blackmails him.

After Kevin rescues Savi’s stepdaughter, L’Wren, from her abusive boyfriend, he can’t stop thinking about her. He must find a way to handle Savi, protect L’Wren, and keep his sanity.

Bad girl Adriana Banovic is pleased with herself for getting her nemesis expelled from Westwood Academy. As feelings between her and her latest victim Haze Lyndon escalate, an unexpected rival discovers her secret and threatens to expose her. With emotions on the line, will her new rival beat her at her own game or end up another casualty of Adriana’s wrath?

Zax Banovic has it all. Tall and handsome, he’s an academic genius, with a killer smile and a heart of gold. When his best friend gets into trouble, he feels responsible and covers for him. But his best friend is not as honorable and has other plans for Zax.

The Banovic Siblings learn that blackmail is a gift that keeps on giving. This is the second book in the Family Portrait novel series.

Bastard's Brew Book coverWhen L’Wren’s ex-boyfriend Jeff suddenly disappears, she turns to Kevin to help her find him. With one phone call, Kevin makes sure that Jeff stays hidden and that L’Wren’s heart is broken, leaving the door open for Kevin to pursue her. But Kevin is not as free as L’Wren thinks; she is in the dark about his affair with her stepmother, Savi. Savi constantly reminds Kevin of his devious ways and uses their secret to keep him as her toyfriend.

“You don’t deserve to be loved, and you don’t deserve to be happy. You and I are the same … we’re broken inside. Everything we touch, we destroy. We don’t get happily ever after … we don’t get to ride off into the sunset. You know who gets that? L’Wren … she gets it, she gets the guy, and she deserves a decent guy.”- Savi

Kevin desires to be the man that L’Wren deserves, but before he can assume the role of white knight, he brews one last plan to get rid of Savi for good. Will L’Wren, the innocent victim in their twisted game, become a casualty?

Kevin may have sold his body to the devil in stilettos, but he’d be damned if he let her have his heart. Suitable for adults 18+

Read what people are saying about the Family Portrait series and be sure to download the first book in the series FREE.

If you’d like to receive a complimentary copy of the entire series for review please use this form.

Bookaholic Fairies Q and A

Q & A highlight from the Bastard’s Brew tour. This interview was originally published on Bookaholic Fairies.

Gillian Felix headshot1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad. I moved to the United States 15 years ago. I lived in New York and Los Angeles for a number of years. I moved to Albuquerque 5 years ago and love it out here. I love to hike, being in nature, enjoy good music, hiking and books with unforgettable characters. I never force myself to write, I do it because I love it and let the inspiration come to me naturally. I live a very peaceful drama free life.

2.. When did you decide to become a writer?

I have always written. As a kid creative writing was one of my favorite subjects. I got my highest marks in that subject. Growing up I was told you have to “get a real job” I’ve had ‘real’ jobs and it always brought me back to writing. I worked at a television studio writing Prime time news, it was fun at first but then it got depressing. I tried to put a positive spin on the stories but that’s not what ‘news’ is about.

3. What do you do when you are not writing? Do you have a day job as well?

When I am not writing I am marketing my books and books by other authors. I volunteer, read, play video games and hike.

4. What inspired you to write your first book?

The Family Portrait series was a television series I’d written. I just fell in love with the characters and hadn’t planned on anyone reading it. Then one day I got a feeling deep down to put it out in the world, I hired a story editor and proofreader, had the cover designed and the rest is history in the making.

5. Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Jackie Collins, I love stories about strong, independent women, and interesting characters.

6. How do you come up with the titles?

Awesome question. I name the chapters in all my books, I pick a chapter that sums up the book and that is what I use for the title. I mull around it a bit if it feels right then I go with it. So far that has worked. I can’t guarantee it will work for the rest of the books in the series.

7. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

When I am writing an emotional scene, I bring up emotions from my past and use that to channel the anxiety or joy the characters are feeling. My characters are fictional so as much as I try to make them seem real, I have never been in any of their situations or know anyone like them, we may feel the same emotions but the situations are different.

8. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

I usually create the character first and name them afterwards. I chose a name by how I think will fit with the character. You know how some people’s name seem to suit them? Kind of like that. In the case of the main characters; Adriana, Kevin, Leighann, Haze, these are characters I’d created years ago I don’t even know why I chose that name for them.

Although I went to high school with a boy who’s brother’s name was Haze. Continue reading

Haze Lyndon – His Journey to Stardom

Today’s guest post is by up and coming model Haze C. Lyndon. Haze, 22 relocated to Los Angeles, California from Madison, Wisconsin and enrolled in UCLA’s art program. Having lived in Los Angeles myself, I chatted with Haze about his move and the culture shock that is Los Angeles.

Haze C Lyndon Hollywood star“I had been to LA a couple of times to visit and work, but living here is a completely different story. My mother was born in Los Angeles, and I noticed that people are either ashamed to admit they were born here, or there are more transplants living out here. I dunno maybe my circle is too small.” Haze laughed.

Haze never dreamed of living in LA, “I actually never really thought about it, I moved out here as a means to an end.” Lyndon said that he really wants to live in Paris where he can feed his love for art and hone his skills as an artist.

Haze got into modeling by accident, “my high school girlfriend loved photography and she would always use me as her guinea pig. I wasn’t really comfortable in front of the camera, but being the supportive boyfriend I sucked it up. Long story short she sent my pictures to a couple of agents who actually booked me on a couple of print shoots.” At first Haze booked local gigs, his then agent booked him on a couple of bigger shoots and soon Haze had enough stills for a portfolio.

Several agencies showed interest in him but he turned them down because he wanted to finish high school. Things got quiet for a couple of years as Haze went on to college. With one more year to go, he longed for something more. At the urging of his then girlfriend he returned to modeling. Then one day Jordan Talent Management (one of the top entertainment agencies in Los Angeles) reached out to him after his girlfriend sent them his updated portfolio.

“It was hard leaving my home and all the people I loved but I felt a deep calling to give modeling a shot.”

Haze contacted his high school friend who lived in Venice Beach, Ca. who at the time was looking for a roommate. “The timing was perfect! I believe in signs from the universe and this was a sign.”

“One of the things that shocked me was the cost of living out here. Fuel is through the roof and so are the basics like food and rent.”

Haze said that it shocked him how many people owned BMW’s and Mercedes and slept in their cars just to project an image. “Nothing is as it seems out here, things look perfect on the outside yet things are shit on the inside.”

I asked Haze if he was afraid that being in that environment would change him and he said he doesn’t plan on staying that long in LA. Once he makes enough money and graduates college he plans on heading off to France.

Learn more about Haze Lyndon in Changes, The Banovic Siblings and Bastard’s Brew.

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Weed Control – Research For My Novel

While doing research on the side effects of weed for my novel Bastard’s Brew (Family Portrait 3). I came across these points that I thought I’d share with you.

Marijuana, despite many studies proving its medical value, is still classified by the government as a Schedule I Substance.

So what exactly is a Schedule I Substance? And what does a substance have to be to deserve such a title? According to Wikipedia the drug has to have a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or have a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision. The drug is therefore illegal for any person to manufacture, distribute, or dispense, or possess with intent to manufacture, distribute, or dispense (the other part was confusing but this is the jest of it).

The UK’s Medicinal Cannabis Research Foundation found that cannabis has the potential to improve the quality of life for people suffering from the following: Continue Reading

The #Siblings Tour

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The #Siblings tour swings onto a blog near you.

Here is what readers are saying about The Family Portrait Series

Crystal Martin from Random Musesomy: on The Banovic Siblings

So many questions come out in this volume. The ending leaves you wanting more. We’re far from wrapped up here folks! It’s all just coming to a head and then the dreaded words “The End”. I’m hoping there is more coming in this family saga. I want to know more about Kevin, L’Wren, and Haze.

This series is different from what I’m used to, but it pulls you in. The back story confused me at times, but once I understood what it was about I was ok.  I’m not one for Soap Opera’s at all, however, this book is more like reality tv celebrity high school edition.

I give the series 5 STARS and hope it continues.

“What is it about the DaCosta girls and the Banovic boys?”

She said this about Changes: 

http://www.randommusesomy.blogspot.com/2014/01/review-family-portrait-changes-vol-1-2.html

This is a read like no other. Welcome to the world of Soap Opera’s both literally and figuratively. Adriana has just gotten the ax from daytime’s leading show and now is struggling with the after life of celebrity. What her family doesn’t realize is that they are all living a virtual soap themselves. Bring along the DaCosta family and they could make a reality tv smash hit!

Tome Tenders Dianne Bylo, Amazon’s top 100 book reviewer had this to say about #Siblings:

Author Gillian Felix has created primetime-worthy reading here, so set up your mental wide screen and sit back and take a deep breath, because once you start page one, you will be going at warp speed as these teens navigate the webs they have woven. Great characters, flawed, too mature for their own good and most definitely entertaining, you will love them one page and while on the next, you’ll be ready shake some sense into them. All the while, you have to marvel at how they have managed to survive in the dog-eat-dog world they live in!

Teresa Beasly from AR Book reviews raves about Changes:

Family Portrait’s Changes was about family and how different they can be. The DaCosta’s and Banovic’s become intertwine and don’t even realize it. Readers will be able to relate to these well-developed characters. Each character has a different story to share with readers that will definitely keep him or her turning pages. I am anticipating what happens next and can’t wait to read the next volume. I recommend this book to others.

Jovon Tucker from Book2Buzz gushes about #Siblings

Why, oh, why did this book have to end? Seriously, I was reading, reading, reading, and the inevitable “The End” comes. I literally was like “OMG, Gillian, you are torturing me!” 2013 has been jammed to the brim with books for me and I have to say that the Family Portrait series is by far, one of the best series I have ever read in my life!

You guys need, and I stress it, neeeed to get your hands on a copy of both Changes and The Banovic Siblings and start reading. They are shorter books, (I read mine in a couple hours…and I am a slow reader) so you cannot go wrong! You will LOVE them and will be left crying out for more, like me!

Dianne Bylo on Changes:

Gillian Felix writes in crisp tones, drawing on her knowledge of the entertainment industry as she introduces us to the world her characters are struggling to survive in! You will meet a domineering stage mother, a close-knit family whose life is undergoing a huge shift, failed dreams and new dreams yet to be realized, and we mustn’t forget the whole larger-than-life high school scene on steroids in a world where appearances often mean more than substance.

These are just some of the reviews the Family Portrait series have been getting. Read more on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes and Noble.

Here is the schedule so far (new hosts are coming on during the tour, so I will update this list as that happens).

January 14

A Room with Books – hosting a book review and except.

Tome Tender – review and excerpt

The Mis-Adventures of a Twenty-something girl – excerpt

Chic Chat – Interview

January 17

Bound for Escape – Review

From Bows to Books – Review and excerpt

Cat’s Bookish Blog – Excerpt

January 20

The Pleasure of Reading – Guest post, excerpt

January 23

Panda Lover – Excerpt

Romance Bookworm – Review

January 24

Svleta Random blog – Review, excerpt

January 25

Laurie’s interviews – Excerpt

January 27

Book Hostage – Excerpt

January 28

A Reader’s Review – Review (after the tour), Excerpt

February 1

The Undercover Reviewer – Excerpt

February 2

Samantha Holt – Guest post, excerpt

February 3

KemMcCoy – Review, interview

February 9

Hello Book Lover – Review, excerpt

February 10

Beanie Books – Review, excerpt

BC Brown Books – Guest post

Celtic Lady’s Review – Excerpt

A&R Book Reviews – Review, interview

February 11

Book Wyrming Thoughts – Interview

February 12

Adrian Woods Reviews – Review

Reader’s Muse – Review and excerpt

February 13

Library of the Unseen – Review, interview, excerpt, guest post

The Book Cove – Interview, excerpt

Play The #Siblings Game

Sibs-tour-banner

Below you will find games associated with the #Siblings tour. Check back daily for new opportunities to win digital copies of my books.

Contest #1

Caption this picture then post your caption on our Facebook Fan page, and/or Tweet it to @Gillianfx #Siblings. Winners will be announced every Friday. Good luck.

 Pushpin-tree

Other ways to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Siblings Tour – Location! Location! Location

The locations used in my novels The Banovic Siblings and Changes are a huge part of the story and I consider them non human characters. The major locations I used all have a special meaning to me.

Since moving to the United States in 1998, I lived in New York, Los Angeles and now Albuquerque. I have been blessed to have lived in 3 completely different cities with such rich tapestry of cultures.

Los Angeles.

The Grove The-grove-comp
The Grove is located at the corner of Fairfax and 3rd Avenue. Back in the day before The Grove was cool (before Access Hollywood and Modern Family started filming there) I used to spend all my time there. I didn’t have a car or job and I lived a block away, The Grove was my hang-out spot for entertainment and keeping my anxiety in tact. I spent many hours people watching, browsing the shops or at Barnes and Noble. I remember spending Christmas-eve admiring the decorations, and watching the water from the fountain dance to Christmas carols. The Grove made being broke in LA suck less, and will always have a very special place in my heart. http://www.thegrovela.com. Photos courtesy The Grove LA.

Westwood Village

Westwood-comp
The village of Westwood is located between Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. It is a college town and the home of UCLA. Don’t go looking for Westwood Academy in Westwood village California because there is none. The Westwood Academy mentioned in the books is actually located in Albuquerque (kinda), more on that later.

I fell in love with Westwood Village because of its quaint shops, cafés, and rich architecture. I used to go there to movie screenings and to browse around. By then I had a job but still no car. I use to ride the bus on Wilshire Blvd, from West Hollywood to Westwood Village to Santa Monica on my way to and from work. I used to spend 2 hours in traffic in Westwood Village alone! http://www.westwoodblvd.com/. Photos courtesy SeeingStars.com, Wikimedia

Holmby Hills

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Holmby Hills is a neighborhood in the district of Westwood in western Los Angeles. It is bordered by the city of Beverly Hills on the east, Wilshire Boulevard on the south, Westwood on the west, and Bel Air on the north. (Wiki)

My fascination with Holmby Hills started because my idol, the late, great Aaron Spelling lived there. I drove through Holmby Hills (with friends, I still didn’t have a car) a few times on our way to the coast. I remember seeing these amazing mansions and long driveways lined with huge palm trees. One of the reasons I used Holmby Hills in the series is because it is not as known as Beverly Hills, Hollywood or Malibu, yet it packs a mean punch by way of decadence. Photo courtesy: BusinessInsider.com

Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque Academy aka Westwood Academy

WWA-composite
Albuquerque Academy is located at 6400 Wyoming Blvd NE. Less than a mile from my home. I fell in love with Albuquerque Academy while scouting for locations to add to my media package (when the book was actually a television series), and was blown away by the grounds and the academic opportunities at the school. The grounds are open to the public outside of school hours and I frequently go there to hike or run/walk their trails. Yep they have a few hiking trails located on the premises. I usually do the 3 mile trail, which is a mixture of hills and rough terrain. I can’t begin to tell you how beautiful the campus grounds are. There are sculptures around the campus, Mediterranean architecture, beautiful arches and tree line walkways connect the buildings. The school houses students from grades 6 – 12. I don’t know if they have marble floors, state-of-the-art facilities and gourmet lunches as mentioned in my books, that was my imagination running rampant, but wouldn’t to be cool if it was really like that? Photos courtesy http://www.nmlocations.com/

You can purchase my novels Changes (Family Portrait v1) and The Banovic Siblings (Family Portrait v2) on Amazon or your favorite online bookstore.

Family Portrait 1 and 2

Book covers by Kendell Clarke and Sherrian Felix