If you follow me regularly,  you are privy to my time in the Caribbean..but what you didn’t know is this: Once upon a time, I lived in the paradise of the U.S. Virgin Islands. St. Croix. A big yellow house in the rainforest. I had a best friend. Natalie. An actress/singer—with a Canadian father and Bahamian mother—who had recently returned from years performing and working in the states. We sang together, although I’ll admit hers was the high voice and mine the low and twangy. We laughed and cried with each other. We shared our hearts and opened up about issues that seem like such lightning rods a decade later, almost like if you talk about them that makes you some kind of “IST” (rac-IST, for example): what it’s like to be mixed race, how it feels to be a minority (me in the islands, her in the Colorado, New York, and Los Angeles), the inherent privileges of birth. She taught me how to be a Fresh Water West Indian, how to RELAX and lime a little. We’ve visited: her in Texas, me back in the islands, but it’s not the same, and I miss her nearly every day.

So if you’re wondering how far fiction strays from truth when it comes to Ava, well, not too much. Sure, some of the stories are embellished. A few are made up. But most of Ava in the Katie & Annalise books and Earth to Emily is just a memory/love song to my faraway friend. Art imitates life after all. So it’s probably no surprise that I got most of my inspiration for the Emily books from another friend, Stephanie. And when Natalie/Ava and Stephanie/Emily met in Texas, it was magic. Two very different sides of my life coming together and creating a friendship of their own. Because of that, because of them, Earth to Emily was born.

Now your giveaway for the month: So, in honor of my dear friend Natalie/Ava and my other dear friend Stephanie/Emily, I am giving away three signed copies of their “collaboration,” Earth to Emily this week. Deadline to enter is January 28. To enter, follow me, or comment below if you already do. The follow button looks like this, in the righthand column. If you win, I’ll email you so you can send me your shipping address.


Have a great week,


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13 Responses to How “made up” are AVA and Katie, really?? Secrets to share in this weeks’s blog. And a signed copy of Earth to Emily could be yours…read on

  1. Renee Freeman says:

    I’ve read quite a few of your books and loved them all, but I must say the Emily books are my all-time favorite! I live in Colorado now, but I’m from Amarillo, Texas so those books really took me back. Excellent job of describing Amarillo, made me homesick!

    • Pamela says:

      Thanks Renee! I had fun remembering Amarillo. I was doing a radio show last night and an old friend of mine from Amarillo called in from Georgia! I recognized her voice immediately. Those accents we have/had :)
      You are entered!

  2. June Johnston says:

    Hoping I get lucky. :)

  3. Judith says:

    I loved the first book in the series. It’s very generous of you to give that away. I couldn’t put it down until 1 am the other morning when I finished it. Have just downloaded Leaving Annalise and looking forward to reading that.
    I was fascinated to learn a little of your history. Do you get back to St Croix for vacations now.
    Must go to start the new book.

    • Pamela says:

      Thank you Judith–it used to scare me to give books away, until I finally discovered that my chemical engineer/marketing genius husband was right: the more books I give away, the more readers find my other books. And readers are being generous with their time which is the most precious resource they have. So in the end it made perfect sense to take my bestselling book and make it free 😉 Thank you for the generous gift of your time reading about Katie. And you are entered in the contest!

    • Pamela says:

      Oh, and yes, we do go back occasionally. Our oldest daughter lives there, and we went to visit her this last summer. My husband was born and raised there, so it’s “going home” to him.

  4. Patricia Hanken says:

    I am already following you dear Pamela!

  5. Eric Hutchins says:

    I love the way you described your relationship with Natalie and your time in the islands. That was wonderful. I will never forget the sound to you two singing for a crowd of our friends standing in the empty swimming pool of that house. The acoustics were magical and your voices were as well.

  6. Susan Stokes says:

    I love reading any/all of your writing. I certainly remember when you and the family left Texas to live on St. Croix. I was heartbroken – it was just a short time after my daughter Mary was born.

    … So happy you went and met the man of your dreams! So many of your dreams appear to continue becoming reality. Best wishes Pamela!

    Wish me luck winning such a fantastic prize!

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