About Rachelle Ayala

Rachelle Ayala is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it's within the pages of a book. Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers’ Favorite Gold Award, Christmas Stray received a 2016 Readers' Favorite Gold Award, and Playing for the Save got the 2017 Readers' Favorite Gold Award in Realistic Fiction. She is also a writing teacher and founder of the Romance In A Month writing community. She lives in California with her husband and has three children and two birds.

Do you Bitcoin? #mgtab @AyalaRachelle @mimisgang1

Photo by Thought Catalog from Pexels

Where were you when you first heard of Bitcoin?

If you’re like me, you probably thought it was money for a computer game or something boys did when betting on sports. Or maybe you heard of someone making and losing a lot of money on it, and you steered clear of it.

I first became interested in Bitcoin when the governments all around word started printing money in the middle of the pandemic. Suddenly, trillions and trillions of dollars flooded the economy. It was supposed to stimulate the recovery and create jobs for people who lost their jobs. It was supposed to help common folks make ends meet and give people an opportunity to improve their lives.

Instead, all that money [liquidity] flowed into the stock markets and the real estate market. Prices shot skyhigh and people were still out of work. Oil prices skyrocketed, lumber prices went through the roof, and the inflation rate just came out at an eye-popping 5%.

What does this have to do with Bitcoin? Well, it made me investigate Bitcoin’s claim of being digital gold, something that doesn’t inflate or devaluate. And that led me to figure out what sound money is. It’s money that keeps its value. Money that doesn’t lose purchasing power.

Did you know that every time they print money? When they create dollars out of thin air, that they are stealing from all of us? That our existing dollars become worth less? That inflation is a stealth tax on everyone, and extremely regressive? Meaning it hurts the lower class worse since they don’t own assets [real estate, stocks, and commodities]. It hurts those with fixed incomes, living on Social Security, getting a paycheck that doesn’t keep up with inflation, trying to keep their heads above water.

Well, it turns out Bitcoin is a non-inflating currency, and it is enforced on a decentralized network of computers by mathematical properties in such a way that no one can “print” more of it. There will ever be a fixed number of Bitcoin, and it can be used to store monetary value and help people who are disenfranchised by the traditional financial system be able to keep what they earn. The country of El Salvador became the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender in an effort to lift its citizens out of poverty. https://www.coindesk.com/its-official-el-salvadors-legislature-votes-to-adopt-bitcoin-as-legal-tender

So, if you haven’t heard of Bitcoin before, or you’re curious about it, then please look into it more, because it can hedge your financial health against all of the “money-printing” central banking system. I felt this was so important, that instead of writing my next romance, I wrote a book to help you take a deeper look at Bitcoin. I made it understandable and skipped the hype. My book is a common sense approach to taking a closer look so you can make your own decision, or at least understand what all the conversation and debate is about. https://books2read.com/smartwomansbitcoin

https://books2read.com/smartwomansbitcoin

This book is for the busy woman who wants to discover Bitcoin and understand enough of its mathematics and technology in order to gain conviction on how she’ll relate to Bitcoin.

  • You will learn about sound and unsound money, and why Bitcoin can never be inflated.
  • You will understand the way Bitcoin is created and why it is stronger and more secure than other cryptocurrencies.
  • You will get an introduction on ways to invite Bitcoin into your life: exchanges, wallets, payment systems, affiliate rewards, and tax considerations.
  • You will also get a dose of Bitcoin FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) and explore reasons why Bitcoin might not be the right date for you.
  • Finally, you will be treated to a short list of influential women in the Bitcoin space to inspire you and let you know what can be done with Bitcoin to make the world a more equitable and inclusive place.

Good luck and happy Bitcoining!

Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Romance! #mgtab @AyalaRachelle @mimisgang1

While everyone is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage by exploring history, cuisine, cultural events, and documentaries, I thought I’d write a few words about Asian romance characters. When I first started writing contemporary romances I naturally populated my romances with the people I grew up with and saw all around me, many who happened to have Asian heritage. I didn’t realize writing Asian characters was a “thing” until my critiquers and romance writing friends asked me why I was “mixing” themes by having Asian characters in my novels. One prominent romance author said your story should be about one problem or trope, so why are you adding diversity issues into a romance? I was also fact-checked by another critique partner when I wrote that a newborn baby had brown eyes. She said, didn’t you know that all babies have blue eyes until they are eight or nine months old? Not any of my babies, I thought. Finally, I was dissuaded from writing Asian romance characters by several famous romance writers I befriended. They said that Asian men are not known as romantic heroes and that it would be hard for readers to identify with an Asian heroine. One group putting together a boxed set suggested that I change my Asian hero into at least a Caucasian man adopted by Asian parents. The reason given was that he would be handsome enough to be a hero but still allow me to introduce cultural elements into the romance. Finally, several romance writing friends surveyed their readers for me and got answers such as “I didn’t know Asians had romances.” Or “Don’t they all have arranged marriages?” I even heard that “Asian men aren’t attractive or likeable” from an Asian author and therefore weren’t marketable.

At this point, I went ahead and wrote my romances with Asian characters, not because I was specifically TRYING to write Asian issues but only regular romances and romantic suspenses with two people who fall in love despite conflicts and obstacles [not dealing with diversity themes.] For example, Claiming Carlos is friends to lovers, and Roaring Hot is fake relationship. The characters just happen to have Asian or Pacific Islander heritage.

During the time I was writing romances that happen to have Asian characters, the hit movie, Crazy Rich Asians came out, and I became aware of this whole other dimension of representation. Because most “mainstream” romances do not have Asian characters, or at most they are sidekicks, any romance that included Asian characters automatically incurred the extra burden of representation. I couldn’t just write my characters any way I wanted [well, I did], but I had to be aware that my portrayal of my Asian characters could impact stereotypes and beliefs about Asian people.

Any writer should have the absolute freedom of writing any character into either a hero or a villain or taking any occupation or role in a story. However, because of the paucity of Asian main character in mainstream (English and American) romances, the writer has to be aware of secondary factors. Writing characters is not propaganda, and therefore, characters whether Asian or non-Asian will have faults, growth areas, as well as strengths. At the same time, I didn’t want to end up with a tilted portrayal, such having only negative characters of a particular group, who are only villains and unlikeable. Therefore, in many of my stories, the hero and the villain are Asian, or they are simply complicated people who have conflicts, but are not necessarily evil or demented.

Recently, after a lot of RWA talk about diversity and inclusion, many romance writers are interested in representation and making their books more diverse. After several friends mentioned they were interested in writing Asian romantic heroes and heroines, I wrote a book, Writing Asian Romance Characters, to help dispel some of the stereotypes as well as to celebrate the vast diversity of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage.

Writing Asian Romance Characters and some of my romances with Asian characters are on sale for the month of May. I hope you will open yourself to reading and writing romances with Asian and Pacific Islander characters. It’ll be a chance to learn about their heritage, but at the same time, portray them as well-rounded and complex people worth being the heroes and heroines in a well-crafted romance.

Please pick up Writing Asian Romance Characters (regular price $5.99, but on-sale for 99c) and my romances with Asian characters.

  • Knowing Vera (White H, Filipina h) Zach is a swimmer and Vera is a nurse.
  • Taming Romeo (Filipino H, Filipina h) Romeo is an actor and Evie is a medical student.
  • Whole Latte Love (White H, Chinese h) Dylan is a barista and Carina is an investment banking intern.
  • Played by Love (Korean H, White h) Jaden is a university student and so is Ella.
  • Playing the Rookie (Korean H, Korean-Filipina h) Jay is a professional baseball player and Jessica is a sports blogger.
  • Claiming Carlos (Filipino H, Filipina h) Carlos is a cook and Choco is a restaurant owner.
  • Roaring Hot! (Japanese-Greek-Filipino H, Japanese h) Teo is a motorcycle racer and Amy is an actress.
  • Christmas Lovebirds (half-Chinese H, White h) Rob is a doctor and Melisa is a kindergarten teacher.
  • Blush of Love (White H, Chinese h) Matt is a professional football player and Safire is a video game designer.
  • Spring Fling Kitty (White H, half-Chinese h) Connor is the fire chief and Nadine is an artist.
  • Black Tied (Chinese demigod H, Chinese human h) Johnny is the son of the kitchen god and Sapphire is a customer greeter at a bank.
  • Jade: Perfect Match (Chinese H, half-Chinese h) Aiden is a Navy SEAL and Jade is a writer.
  • Playing Fastball (Chinese H, White h) Timmy is a professional baseball player and Tina is a waitress.
  • Christmas Con (White H, half-Chinese h) Braden is a bounty hunter and Samantha is a computer programmer.
  • A Christmas Creek Caper (Chinese H, White h) Brad is the sheriff and Ivy is a decorator.

Spring Fling: New Beginnings @mimisgang1 #mgtab

Photo by Tetyana Kovyrina from Pexels

Spring is the season for new beginnings and renewed hope. It’s also a time to count your blessings and appreciate all the good in your life. This morning, during Bible Study, some of us shared what we thought last year at this time, versus where we are today.

One lady believed her family would go bankrupt and they’d have to move. Others honestly contemplated dying or not making it to 2021. We had many fears and uncertainties, and yes, some of us lost jobs and others got sick. Most of us have lost people, and many goodbyes were left unsaid. We shared what we learned through the trial, and while it seemed longer than we would like, we were reminded that Joseph was left in the Egyptian prison two years longer because the cupbearer forgot to recommend him for release. Those days and months must have weighed on him, but during that time, God was building his faith and preparing him for the exact right time of release. [Genesis Chapter 41].

Even though the trial seems longer than we thought, we look back and appreciate what we learned. Mainly I’ve decided that personal relationships are more important than anything, including word count and sales/list making, book marketing etc. I’ve learned not to “put off” visiting the people we love, and we visited my mother-in-law for the first time in years. Also not to skip parties or invites (including Bible study) just because of inertia or don’t feel like it, because who knows if that’s the last time you’ll see someone. So I’ll spend the rest of my life loving people instead of trying to achieve, or whatever other goals I used to have. Of course, I’ll always keep learning, because I love to learn. And I’ll keep writing because I love to share stories. It’s all part of relating and being human.

Spring is also the time for new reading and trying new authors. I have so many books and boxed sets on my kindle, more than 5000, that I often “book surf.” Grab a boxed set or a book at random and read. It’s fun to discover an unexpected story to enjoy from books I either downloaded free or purchased long time ago. Here are some surprises I unearthed from my fossilized kindle: The Vet’s Christmas Pet by J.L. Campbell, Winter’s Kiss by Sienna Carr, All I Want for Christmas by Chris Mariano, and Cooking Up Trouble by Judi Lynn.

And to help you load your kindle with more free surprises, check out the all new Authors’ Billboard Fabulous Freebie Series. These boxed sets are completely free and loaded with stories from authors who might be old to you or new to you. #1, Romantic Suspense, and #2, Steamy Romance are available now. #3, Paranormal will be coming soon, and #4, Sweet after that.

Authors’ Billboard Fabulous Freebies Collection https://books2read.com/FabFree1

A Wee Bit Sassy by @AyalaRachelle #mgtab

Hello Readers! Spring is here and everything is turning green. From California to North Carolina, everyone is a wee bit sassy, reminding me of the bunnies, bears, and fawns coming out from hibernation in the Bambi movie.

I’ve been traveling this week and visiting with my newest granddaughter. She’s a sweet and feisty little one, loves to stretch out, and making the cutest little sounds of squirming and squealing. So I’ve been babysitting, baby clothes shopping, and loving on the little one, and thinking about writing sassy romances that are neither squeaky sweet nor hot-pepper steamy–what I call a sassy romance.

How do I define sassy? It all has to do with the heroine. She’s got game. She’s flirty and suggestive, but not overly aggressive and demanding. She can be nice but she’s got a bark when you cross her. A sassy heroine might have a snarky mouth but deep insides, she’s vulnerable and wants to be loved and accepted. She just doesn’t go about it by being sweetie-pie nice. She’s selective to who she opens up to.

That said, it takes a special kind of hero to tango with a sassy heroine. He’s strong and has his own issues, but knows the give and take of the two-step. It’s a give and a take with strong sexual attraction but a slow burn on the falling in love. The clothes stay on and our sassy heroines and heroes don’t get ahead of themselves, but neither do they play hide and seek with their feelings. It’s too naughty to be nice, plenty flirtacious and feisty without steaming up the sheets, and a lick and a tease on the physical size.

I love writing sassy romances. I’ve marked my books [Sweet, Sassy, Steamy] on my booklist https://rachelleayala.net/books

Some of my favorite sassy heroines are Marisa Monroe who’s an outspoken nursing aide who’s bossy but always down on her luck. Seems she’s a little too abrasive for most of the bad boys she meets–until she hires not one, but two (mistakenly) for a dating reality show she’s determined to win. Check out her Irish (St. Patrick’s Day) romance for FREE [March 13-17], sassy as can be. Bad Boys for Hire: Liam

Don’t forget to enter the monthly contest here at Authors’ Billboard! There are so many wonderful books and stories, sweet, sassy, and otherwise!