Natalina has always been fascinated by the written word and by the age of eight she was already trying her hand in poetry and short creative essays. Alongside her fascination for words and storytelling, she has always been curious and amazed with the diversity of the human race. Her journey into publication was one of a lifetime and she often acknowledges that she has been in training for this career her whole life.
Natalina’s experiences and travels have given her the insight that now translates into the worlds she builds within her books. Her contemporary romances show signs of her love for world building where the setting often becomes an important part of the plot. In Desert Jewel, her first published romantic fantasy, Natalina used her familiarity with Africa and Afro-Brazilian mythology to build a world that is part-real, part-fantasy, wholly magical.
As a young woman Natalina could not get enough of fairy-tales (even the gruesome ones) and as an adult she continued to feed that love by getting lost in many a fantasy book and movie. Lavender Fields was inspired by that love of magic, fantasy and the constant curiosity of asking herself, “What if?”
Desert Jewel was a finalist for the Maine Romance Writers 2017 Strut Your Stuff contest in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Paranormal category and has received many glowing reviews both on Amazon and Goodreads.
In March 2017 she was invited to be part of a paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi romance panel during the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, Virginia. She had the great honor of sharing the panel with the great Pintip Dunn and Margaret Locke.
A linguist by profession, Mrs. Reis enjoys using language as an integral part of the plot, infusing even totally fabricated worlds with an aura of believability.
Natalina was born and raised in Portugal. She moved to the U.S. as an adult after marrying an American sailor. A lifetime learner, she has earned three degrees, speaks five languages, and dreams of learning a non-alphabetical language sometime in the future. She lives in Virginia where she teaches English as a Second Language to elementary school children, a job that challenges her creative and language skills on a daily base.
Natalina’s dream is to be able to dedicate herself full time to her writing and always be true to her muse. She doesn’t believe you can have too many books or too much coffee. Art and dance make her happy and she is pretty sure she could survive on lobster and bananas alone. When she is not writing or stressing over lesson plans, she shares her life with her husband and two adult sons.
I’ve always been a Johnny-come-lately in most things. Writing was not any different. I started writing when I was still in elementary and have never stopped. I started with poetry and evolved into short stories and then novellas.
When I was twenty-three I moved from my native country to the United States. I had been writing in English for a few years, experimenting with fantasy short stories all through college, dipping my toes in a foreign language that somehow had always felt natural to me.
Other than my husband I didn’t know anyone in this new country and was alone a lot. So, I did what I had always done when I was lonely and/or stressed—I turned to reading and writing. By the time my first son was born I had written a full-length fantasy/paranormal/historical romance. Yes, you read it right. The novel—set in Scotland—was one third historical fiction, one third fantasy with paranormal elements, and a third romance. I had no clue about the publishing world, but I asked questions, researched, found The Writer’s Market in my local library, and got busy with the business of being rejected by every agent and publisher in the country.
Being a navy wife meant moving a lot. We moved across the ocean again, this time to Scotland where I wrote my second full-length novel. This time a contemporary romance set in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo where I had lived as a teenager. Once again I braced myself for the barrage of rejections that soon followed my submissions.
I didn’t give up. Writing that is. I had sort of given up on being published and assumed that the fact I was writing in a foreign language would never allow me to be the writer I knew I had in me. But I kept on writing. After we moved back to the States, I wrote another novel. This time a paranormal romance set in Scotland. Can you see a pattern?
Then life got crazy with kids turning into obnoxious teenagers that required all my attention and sanity, the decision to go back to college for a second degree. Then a third, closely followed by a teaching career. I was still writing but the novels were slow coming. I wrote a few but never finished them.
A little over two years ago, after a very rough patch in my life, I realized I had moved away from the three things I loved the most—reading, writing, and dancing—and decided to refocus. I joined a couple book clubs, a Zumba class, and began writing again. One of my reading clubs led me to a small local writing online group. At the time we wrote flash fiction to prompts posted weekly by our site admin. I had never been read by anyone other than my teachers and all the publishers and agents who had rejected my novels. Even though a nervous-wreck every time my fellow writers read one of my stories, I found that it was also extremely rewarding and helpful. When they loved it, it made me soar. And when they criticized my writing, it helped me grow.
Enter National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I was a writing fool that month but by the last day of November I had a complete, spanking new romance. I’m not going to lie. It needed a lot of work but I was excited to have a viable manuscript in my hands. Now what was I going to do with it?
After many edits and revisions, the biggest hurdle was to be brave enough to send it out. My past experiences were not happy or positive ones and my doubts as a second language learner still crippled me. So when I got wind of this Twitter event called Pitmad, I threw caution to the wind and thought, “Why not? Nothing to lose.” Soon after I had a publishing contract.
Moral of the story? Don’t ever let your fears cripple you to the point of inaction. Challenge yourself and let the chips fall where they may. What’s the worst that can happen?
I’m far and foremost a romance writer, but I love trying new sub-genres from fantasy to suspense. One of my favorite sub-genres—both in writing and reading—is romantic comedy/chick lit. A few years ago I accidently stumbled upon an author I had never heard of. I fell in love with the simplistic, happy cover and decided to read it. Sophie Kinsella quickly became one of my favorite authors, one I would love to meet—even though I’m pretty certain I would freeze and say nothing.
I can only hope that my writing and my stories bring my readers the same amount of joy and pleasure, Kinsella’s stories bring me.
Loved You Always
The last person Emily Rose expects to reconnect with is Jeremy Peter, her childhood best friend. When Jem walks back into her perfectly settled life, Em puts up her guard. She has no desire to place her heart on the line again.
She’s moved on and is in a serious relationship with someone else. But the universe—and her kooky sister—have other ideas.
Thrust into an unexpected and dangerous adventure together, Em is forced to confront her unresolved feelings for Jem and decide what kind of life she really wants. That is if they both survive.
Publishing Author Pages:https://www.hottreepublishing.com/natalina-reis
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I'm generally pulled in a million different directions and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's a glimpse of my life - hope you enjoy it! And if there's a big lapse between posts, well, that's the way life goes in Amy's world.
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