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Friday, August 12, 2016

Paradise Bay: Resort 1 by Havana Scott & Summer of Yesterday by Gaby Triana Book Review & Interview

About Gaby Triana / Havana Scott

Gaby Triana is the award-winning author of six YA novels—Wake the Hollow, Summer of Yesterday, Riding the Universe, The Temptress Four, Cubanita, and Backstage Pass, as well as thirteen ghostwritten novels for best-selling authors. Originally a 4th grade teacher with a Master of Science in Elementary Education and ten years teaching experience, Gaby earned Teacher of the Year in 2000, wrote her first novel, Freddie and the Biltmore Ghost, then left teaching to launch a full-time writing career. She went on to publish young adult novels with HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, win an IRA Teen Choice Award, ALA Best Paperback Award, and Hispanic Magazine’s Good Reads of 2008. She spends her time obsessing about Halloween, Christmas, and Disney World, as well as hosting parties, designing mugs, making whimsical cakes, and winning costume contests. When she’s not writing, she might also be watching Jurassic Park movies with her boys, posting excessive food pics on social media, or helping run the Florida region of the SCBWI. Gaby lives in Miami with her three sons, Michael, Noah, and Murphy. She has one dog, Chloe, and three cats—Miss Daisy, Mickey, and the reformed thug, shooting survivor, Bowie. 

Gaby Triana also writes under Havana Scott

Find out more at


1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I’ve been an author of YA novels for 16 years and a ghostwriter of adult romance for four, but this year I’m new on the scene writing under my own pen name. I’ve been a teacher, a cake designer, and an author. I’m a mom of three awesome boys, and I’m obsessed with cats. Because cuteness. 

2. On your website I found that you like Halloween, a lot! Do you go all out at Halloween with decorating your house? 

Yes, my home becomes a haunted house on Halloween. There is no room you can escape to that doesn’t have some kind of eerie decoration. We throw Halloween parties every year. My favorite one was Nightmare Before Christmas themed. You can see the pics on Pinterest under @gabytriana. We had spooky lit up trees, Jack’s moon lit up, Jack Skellington caramel apples, a huge cupcake tree, and a candy bar containing poisonous, gross yummies.

3. What has been your (and your boys) favorite costume for Halloween? 

I believe Halloween costumes must be scary, so you’ll never see me dressed as a sexy nurse, bumblebee, or ballerina. Because I used to own a cake design studio, one year I dressed as a baker zombie and called myself The Baking Dead. But my favorite group costume with my boys was for their Doctor Who themed birthday party. My eldest dressed as David Tennant’s doctor, my twins were Matt Smith’s, and I dressed as Rose’s mum, Jackie. 

4. Because of the fact that you participate in costume contests. What kind of costumes do you love to create the most? 

Pretty much anything. I’ve been Ursula, the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid, a USO 1940’s bugle boy, a 1950’s housewife with Mr. Clean, Elvis Presley, and a black and white movie star. Literally…we painted ourselves gray to look black-and-white. 

5. What is your favorite scary movie? 

My favorite classic is The Shining, but my favorite modern scary movie is The Conjuring. I’m not really a huge fan of slasher flicks. Blood and gore aren’t scary to me. It’s suspense, haunted houses, ghosts, and what lingers in the darkness that makes a great scary movie to me. We can blame me growing up watching Scooby Doo for this. 
6. You also like Christmas. We also love this holiday very much. Could you describe your perfect Christmas? 

Christmas in my house is full of warmth, flickering candles, the smells of cinnamon and sugar, a fireplace, and curling up on the sofa listening to 1940’s Christmas music. I don’t know why I’m obsessed with the music of that time—Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Perry Como, and Bing Crosby to name a few, but I love the nostalgia. Also, we bake up a cookie storm every Christmas day, along with other delicious desserts like rum cake. 

7. Do you have a favorite Disney character and if yes could you tell us why you chose this character? 

I love Disney parks more than Disney characters. I was born a week after Disney World opened up in Florida in 1971, so I’ve grown up along with the park and have close ties with it. I’ve seen it change over the years, watched rides come and go, and have enjoyed many family vacations there, especially at Fort Wilderness Campground. If I had to choose one character though, it would be Mickey Mouse, because he started it all and he’s the cutest.

8. If you would be transformed into a dinosaur which one would you be and why? 

Probably the T-Rex because he’s a meat eater and a survivor, and I’m both those things too. Ha ha ha. 

9. You help run the Florida region of the SCBWI. What kind of children's books do you like best? 

YA/teen books. I’ve written and published 6 YA novels in the last 15 years. There’s something about being a teen—when you’re not yet an adult but not a child either. All feelings are magnified, and everything is a big deal. Teens are figuring out what they believe in, where they fall, where they fit in, and it’s an awesome time to write about. 

10. What does a typical day look like for you? 

I get my kids ready for school, drive them, then I try to fit in a little exercise. Then, I start my day with some social media or revision. My writing brain doesn’t kick in until the afternoon, so after lunch, I usually write a chapter. Then, I’ll hang with the kids, help them with homework, and make dinner, then once they’re in bed for the night, I’ll usually return to writing when the house is nice and quiet. At this point, I’ll probably get another chapter written. 

11. What can we expect from you in the future? 

More books. I’m always writing something. I’ve written 28 books in the last 15 years, between my own novels and ghostwritten novels. In September, you’ll see my 3rd book in the SURRENDER ISLE Series come out called Pleasure Cruise, and then I may be starting another romance series involving ghosts or paranormal investigators. We’ll see! 

Book reviews
Amazon USA Amazon UK
Review by Anniek

Paris Jones doesn’t have an exciting life. She divorced her husband and works at an almost non-existing travel agency. Encouraged by her coworker Paris enters an essay contest. The prize is a month long, all expenses paid, vacation at Paradise Bay. Paris is surprised when she wins, but she really needs a break from her ordinary life. Her goal for her month in Paradise is to finish her novel so she can, hopefully, become a published author.

Tristan is one of the three owners of Paradise Bay. He worked hard to get to this point and now he’s living the good life on a tropical island. Paradise Bay needs to be put on the map and to do that he and his friends/co-owners invented the essay contest. Tristan is immediately convinced that Paris is his winner when he reads her essay. He is curious about her. When Paris arrives on the island Tristan gives her the best accommodation they have.

Paris divorced her husband because they grew apart. She still feels guilty and can’t seem to find a way to break free from him. Paris doesn’t own much, but she makes the best of what she has. That is a character trait I appreciate in people. Paris is a person you can easy relate to. She is also funny and sarcastic, which made me laugh out loud more than once. Paris has a good head on her shoulders and will always take care of the people she loves.

Tristan is a hardworking man. He knows what it’s like to live with little money. Because of that he isn't a snob and is considerate towards his personnel. Tristan loves to live on his boat because this gives him the feeling of freedom. Living and owning a tropical island makes him a popular man with the ladies. This was never a problem for Tristan, until meeting Paris. He is captivated by her and goes to great lengths to make Paris stay with him. Who could decline living on a tropical island forever?

Paradise Bay captured me from the first sentence. The island sounds mesmerizing. While I was reading I kept wishing I was there. I could almost smell the ocean. The chemistry between Paris and Tristan will make your skin tingle. Paradise Bay is one of three books in a series, but they can all be read as a standalone. I am sure though that, like me, you would want to read the other books as well after you have finished Paradise Bay. Nobody wants to leave Surrender Isle behind after reading this story. If you are searching for the perfect summer escape, then I would highly recommend coming to Surrender Isle. The first time you read a book by Havana Scott certainly won’t be your last. Havana Scott got me hooked and I will certainly be returning to Surrender Isle.

Amazon USA Amazon UK

Review by Suze

After having a seizure Hayley now has to spend the summer with her dad instead of at a summer camp with her friends. She isn't happy about this and thinks her summer at Disney's Fort Wilderness is going to be awful. Fortunately Hayley finds some new friends and while she's taking part in a scavenger hunt she breaks into an old water park named River Country. There she has another seizure, one that takes her back in time, to 1982.

Hayley goes back to a time and place where her parents are still teenagers. She even has the chance to meet them, but how will she explain who she is and what she's doing there? She also has no idea how to handle being in a different time without anywhere to stay or money in her pocket. Fortunately she meets a nice employee of the park. His name is Jason and he takes care of Hayley without knowing who she is or where she's from, just because she needs it. Hayley likes Jason a lot, but she can't fall for him. Will Hayley find her way home again and does she even want to go back to her own time?

Summer of Yesterday is a wonderful romantic story about time traveling. I immediately loved Hayley. She's a sweet girl who doesn't like that her summer plans have changed and that she has to spend her precious time in a park where she doesn't know anyone. When she has a seizure something strange happens to her, she goes back in time. I liked this idea and Gaby Triana's execution is great. I loved the way she combines Hayley's experiences of her own time and the time she's being stranded in.

Gaby Triana's writing style is easy to read. I was hooked from the start and read the story in one sitting. I was intrigued and couldn't put it down. The setting is fantastic, I loved reading more about the parks and she describes them in a vivid way. Everything comes to life very well. The main characters are charming and cute, but at the same time they aren't afraid to take risks. Jason is such a nice guy and I could immediately imagine why Hayley didn't think ending up in the past wasn't so bad after all. I was curious to find out how the story would end and loved the direction Gaby Triana has chosen. Summer of Yesterday is a fun and fascinating story and I really enjoyed reading it.


  1. I love the plot, it sounds like a great read!

  2. I love the interview! Island life at its best!!

  3. Thanks for the reviews. Both books sound fascinating.

  4. Summer of Yesterday sounds like a very interesting book. I usually enjoy time travel books so I'll have to check this one out.

  5. sounds like a great book , i will def be reading it , thanks for sharing a great review Treen Goodwin Rafflecopter name :)

  6. "Summer of Yesterday" looks especially good to me. I've only read one or two books in the time-travel romance genre, but now I'm thinking that maybe I should read a few more!

  7. A month in Paradise Bay? Wouldn't it be wonderful?

  8. Thank you for the opportunity to get to know Gaby Triana.