SPOTLIGHT-Author Interview with Alberto Hernando from Catolonia, Spain

Life has changed so much over the last few years and I have tried to keep up with the times. One of the most exciting things as a writer and yoga lover is connecting with others online that share similar passions. I have had gotten to interact and correspond with so many lovely individuals. I feel inspired by their story and life and story as well.

One such person is author Alberto Hernando from Catalonia, Spain.  He is passionate and inspiring as a person and as a writer. I am excited to share an interview with him on my blog here. I have also included links below so you can check out more of his personal world, too.

His novel, HOLO The Adventures of Ainos De Belle was just translated into English this year. Here is our interview:

What inspired you to write this novel and how do you find time to write?


Well, Machel  I strongly believe that it was kind of miracle. I started writing three years ago, take a note that I am 43, and it was during my first fifteen pages, that I realised that the story might be a trilogy and I had always dreamt of being a writer some day.

I was given the push by the person to whom I dedicated the first book in the saga HOLO THE NOVEL. She ignited a spark that became a latent heat, part of a fire that I apparently carried inside without even knowing it.

More than who, what. Look, imagine a situation where you’re having drinks with friends… something one of them said triggered my inspiration. From there, from that one sentence, I was able to create this character and this first story. When I designed the first strokes of the personality of Àinos De Belle, I realized that everyone could somehow identify with her. Many of us, in one way or another, on occasion, have thought about how our lives would be if they were different than the ones we are living.

Now I write fiction novels and fiction is fiction. And by that I mean that, sometimes, you do not need any special inspiration when you are writing fiction. The only thing that you have to do it is create a character and think about what you want to do with he or she.

In terms of style, fantasy literature offers a wide range of possibilities that other genres don’t, and I feel very comfortable within the genre. I’ve got a great imagination that helps me to be visionary and because of this I couldn’t start out with another type of genre.

In this case HOLO THE ADVENTURES OF AINOS DE BELLE tells the story of a woman who discovers that she has the power to turn people into holograms, which makes them lose any connection they had with people in the real world. Àinos decides to take an emotional leave from her familiar and social environment and make a new life for herself without creating any apparent consequences.

Time to write? Sigh! Excellent question, Machel… If you really want to do something you can always find time. However, my family and specially my wife do not say the same… I am joking, of course they are actually very happy for me… it is not easy although everyone knows that writers do their job while everyone else is sleeping.


You are active on social media and seem to be a professional at networking and creating events to promote your books. What advice would you give other writers to becoming more plugged in to the benefits of social media and networking?

 Before I became a published author I was not really active on social media. Believe me! It´s hard to say (haha) I wasn’t on Facebook. As a result of the way I designed the website it was necessary to connect it to other social networks and you know how it works… It was the beginning of a chain reaction, you should be available online if you want to find people and if you want people to be able to find your books. Currently it’s an easy way to manage opportunities. Clearly, social media networks are essential for further development of an article, product or promotion event. Nowadays, you don’t need be an internet master because the essential settings are easy and at the tips of your fingers. Uploading pictures and videos is not difficult and there are a lot of templates to create your own web. That’s why I strongly recommend that everyone who want to say or write something should be present on the net. All of us can be a part of the global communication. For example, I love your web Machel… and why wouldn’t I share your webpage with other people that I know? So this is one of the reasons why I created a page inside my web to post websites from my friends, colleagues or collaborators. It is like a small social net…in my particular point of view, life improves when we share things, places, feelings… It is a bit poetic, but I believe in that.

Regarding book launch events, I love them… they are like a family party, at least from my point of view. The fact that you introduce people to something that has come from your heart – tell me: what can be better than this? So the common thread here is the enthusiasm over something I have achieved… and that is marvelous. And I usually, during this kind of events I get rid of my ego, because I feel that the majority of book launch events are created to fatten the author’s ego but I personally prefer to offer a gift to the audience, a special present, something to carry inside their minds for a long time. During my first book launch event the main issue to address was to encourage people to fulfill their goals… nothing related to the book but actually related to my life… and something I wanted to share with them.

By contrast, during the second book launch event the gift was the Country music from USA, which in this case is already related to the second book, at least in some of the pages. So there was a band who played Hank Williams covers throughout the event. So you can link here some parts of the things that we are talking about.

Spotlight on Author Alberto Hernando, from Spain.


Were you ‘over-the-moon’ when you found out your book was being translated into another language? That’s very exciting.

It was awesome and it felt practically like when my publisher invested on me the first time and told me he wanted to publish my novel. That day I walked for 4 hours through Barcelona’s outskirts so I could take in the the good news. You know… having the novel translated to English meant that I could get worldwide readers and that my dream of being present on “the big screen” (Hollywood) could become a reality. Who knows!! beautiful Machel.

One of the most amazing experiences of HOLO. THE ADVENTURES OF AINOS DE BELLE has been meeting Gemma Cuatrecasas. She’s the one who translated the story… it was like a joke: a writer from the Basque Country, a translator from Catalonia and a reviser from Scotland… we are, definitely independent people.

Working with Gemma has been a rewarding mission. Sure we will repeat the experience with the other books in the saga. Even my publisher wants to try other languages such as German or French. We will see.

Are you writing your second book right now? How do you inspire yourself to write and stay committed to finishing the book when life can be so busy?

I think I have thought about the second story more than when I was writing the first book. I mean… the story has given me plenty to think about it. Because I began the story when I had finished writing the first book. After that I just had to write, seriously maybe it was like a brain game or a smart brain game. I had to write when people sleep, again (ha, ha). I would say that the worst thing was that I had a deadline to send the draft to my publisher company… it was a bit stressful.

Anything you would like to share as last words to inspire and connect with your fans and readers?

I would say… people must love. “To love” is one of the most important verbs in life.

We live in an age where many people use hypocrisy, lies, and brute force… I think you can struggle with these bad things. Others have a kind of infectious goodness; qualities such as a passion for life, excitement about doing things and devotion to the good side of humanity. All of us can offer the best version of ourselves to other people. Do this every day and your life will change so much for the better all around.

Let’s be friends! Follow the social media of holothenovel and enjoy the story of holograms. This has only been the beginning.




As a self-help writer and essayist, one of my favorite genres to read is the self-help (spiritual) section in the bookstore. I remember when I found my first self-help book that hit home, I became hooked to reading more. As a previous model and actress during the 90’s, trust me, these books helped me  discover more peace in the jungle concrete of La-La Land. So when I received a call from a great friend that an author/actor from Los Angeles would be coming to San Diego, I was thrilled. Why? Because SPIRITUAL GANGSTA has the chance to infuse someone’s soul with new perception they hadn’t discovered on their own.  This book could be the grounding element for a reader out there ‘searching for their own truth.’ This book, SPIRITUAL GANGSTA looks like a definite win.  If you miss this book signing chance, here is a link to order book here, too: Order book now. 

For me personally, reading books like Bailey Chase has written have become like a beacon of light when I needed it the most. What were a few of my books that helped me?

  • A Return to Love by Marrianne Williamson
  • As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
  • The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman
  • Mental Fitness by Michiko Jane Rolek.

SAN DIEGO – BAILEY CHASE’S book signing details (happening at the family owned bookstore in the


United States):

Warwick’s is hosting author Bailey Chase on Thursday, June 22nd at 7:30pm to discuss and sign his new book Spiritual Gangsta. Bailey Chase is a highly-acclaimed actor who starred in Saving Grace, Longmire, As the World Turns, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the soon to be released remake of Twin Peaks and 24: Legacy on Fox. He attended Duke University on a football scholarship and graduated in 1995 with a BA in Psychology. This event is free and open to the public. Reserved Seating is available when the book is pre-ordered from Warwick’s for the event. Only books purchased from Warwick’s will be signed. Please call the Warwick’s Book Dept. (858) 454-0347 for details.

Spiritual Gangsta is part memoir and part self-help book ensconced in a search for the truth. Bailey not only pulls from his 20 plus years of experience navigating the waters of Hollywood as a professional actor but shares heartfelt stories about his spiritual journey across the globe to finally settling down and becoming a new father to twins and a toddler.

Bailey will teach you how to rise above our self-defeating emotions and see things for how they truly are. He also shares some very spectacular personal failures and how he has used them to increase the level of happiness and meaning in his life.

Bailey Chase is a highly-acclaimed actor who starred in Saving Grace, Longmire, As the World Turns, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the soon to be released remake of Twin Peaks and 24: Legacy on Fox. He attended Duke University on a football scholarship and graduated in 1995 with a BA in Psychology.

Bailey was compelled to write Spiritual Gangsta because he was tired of seeing others suffer from common, fixable frustrations and how disenfranchised our society has become. He not only shares the gems he has learned from studying psychology, meditation, parenthood, acting and sports but explains how you can find the truth in any situation and make that human connection as well.


Event date:
Thursday, June 22, 2017 – 7:30pm
Event address:
7812 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037
information from Warrick’s books signing events.

Morning Routine Suggestions for a Better Day Every Day

Article Author Image

The 15-Minute Morning Routine That Keeps Me From Hitting The Snooze Button

Mornings are often a challenge. The alarm goes off. You roll over and hit the snooze button. The tendency for most of us, including myself, is to then take those extra 15 minutes of “snooze time” for exactly that—more sleep. But what if instead of closing your eyes to avoid that early morning hour, you spent those extra 15 minutes on yourself?

When you don’t create time for yourself, your attitude and your overall sense of well-being suffers. You inner light dims. Your daily schedule begins to feel like a chore, and that snooze button seems like the obvious choice.

I used to struggle with early mornings too. As a busy working mom, I always felt one step behind. I was constantly rushing out the door, trying to make it to school and work on time. But I discovered a few years ago that if I went to sleep a little earlier at night and took those extra 15 minutes of snoozing and applied it to my morning routine instead, my day improved immensely.

Here’s how I conquered my snooze blues by using those 15 minutes for three key morning moments:

The first 5 minutes: Connect with your body

When you first wake up in the morning, take some time to stretch. When your feet hit the floor beside your bed, stretch your hands upward and greet the morning by acknowledging your body first. If you can, just take that moment to fully stretch up with your hands above your head and take a deep breath in. Then release with a nice long breath out as you reach down for your toes. Take another nice deep breath in and release it out as you rise and place your hands on your hips.

What does this do for us? This one little moment gives our inner self an awareness of “being inside our body” by being fully present in those two stretches. Instead of hopping out of bed and going on the run, I’ve now started the day with a simple stretch that connects my body to my mind and myself. I am setting a slower pace and taking a moment just for me.

I then continue this feeling for a few more minutes, while I make my coffee downstairs. I open all of my curtains to let the light into my kitchen. I take a moment to just connect to my breath as I listen to the sound of my coffee brewing, which warms my soul instantly. No rushing. Just relaxing and being with just myself in the early morning hours.

The next 5 minutes: Focus on affirmations

Get ready for your morning hug. Greet yourself and say, “Hey, I like you; you matter.” I take this time to create positive moments of love and affirmations for myself. I take my arms and squeeze them tightly around myself. I squeeze gently and say, “I am excited about today! Life is beautiful. I will have a great day!”

In the beginning, I used to say this in the mirror in my bathroom. That really helped to develop the habit. Then, once it became a natural part of my morning, I started taking these five minutes downstairs with my coffee in hand. Before the rush, before the grind, I could reflect on my morning time and how lovely it felt just to be quiet and centered. The kind words and extra time of reflection were mine and mine alone.

The final 5 minutes: Tidy your space

Before taking a shower and getting dressed, I spend a little time tidying my home. I make my bed, fluff pillows, or even just clean up my coffee area. I found that these simple actions send a signal to my inner self that says, “Hey, I care about you, so let’s keep the house tidy.” This time may seem like a task, but trust me, it feels like a little gift when you come home later to a clean room and fluffed pillows on the couch.

After you start incorporating practices like this early in your day, you actually start enjoying your mornings. So forget the snooze button. Take that secret gift of time for a better day and a happier you!

Tulum, Mexico: Machel Shull shares inside secrets on traveling to Tulum, Mexico
Blog, Travel

Yoga Retreats in Tulum, Mexico


It is 2017 and if you are a yogi or yogini, there is a high probability that you are online looking at yoga retreats to add to your calendar of events for this year. In addition, if you have been in the yoga community for a while, you know that taking a yoga retreat anywhere — even nearby where you live can be costly for your wallet. Not to mention, space availability goes quickly.YogaShala-Tulum-Yoga

I know that self-care and self-love is number one for us and good to keep in the forefront in terms of health and well-being. However, it can be a little depressing when, just as you’re about to sign on the dotted line for your next yoga retreat, you realize airfare and transportation are not always included.

After researching online, I was shocked at how much the total bill would be if I add up the retreat cost – which usually ranges from $1500 to $4500 – with travel and food expenses. I have good news, though! There are options out there and other ways to take a retreat by yourself or with a friend. After visiting Tulum last fall and seeing some of the yoga retreats in person, I discovered ways you can go to this wonderful place and enjoy a week of yoga practice right near the beach, without breaking your pocket book.


Yoga Shala


This yoga spot is just on the other side of the road from the turquoise water and the white sands in Mexico. Nearby are many other hotels and a few restaurants.

I checked with Yoga Shala, and found out that you can buy a one-week pass for $50. You can check room and other rates on their website. But keep in mind that this popular yoga spot in Tulum gets fully booked pretty quickly. If you book in advance, you can reserve a single room for under $50 a night, or share a room with a friend for under $80.00.

Why stay here? Besides the excellent pricing, the tropical atmosphere surrounding the yoga studio, which is made with a thatched, bamboo roof, will make you feel like you are in paradise, and the beach is within walking distance to the studio. Location, location, location.

Air Travel

Check Volaris Airlines. If you live in Southern California or nearby Arizona, you can fly out of Tijuana, Mexico and book a red-eye to Cancun for a direct flight. Sleep on the plane and wake up in paradise. Go on their website and sign up for their emails. This is how I found out about their lower airfare prices to Cancun and their monthly specials. I have purchased a round trip ticket for under $300.

You can book Volaris out of the U.S.A., too. You simply need to check their route map on their website. For economical airplane travel, they are similar to US-based Southwest Airlines.



You can ride a bus from the ADO line from Cancun to Tulum for under $20 one way, depending on the time you arrive. We averaged about $15 a ticket one way.  This bus is like a charter bus, with air conditioning and comfortable seats. Travel time is about two hours with a couple of stops along the way.

Tulum, Mexico, Yoga

Maya Tulum, Mexico

Cab to Hotel

Taxi fares cost roughly under $15 when you hail one from the beach. Some accommodations in Tulum that are near bus stops typically offer you the option of renting a bike. I just took cabs when I traveled or walked, because a bike rental, if not included with place is about $12.00 a day. This amount still isn’t too much if you consider your own personal budget and what works for you. It does get humid, so consider that, too.

Total Price

If you booked a 4-night/5-day stay, you could do a trip with yourself alone or friend for under $900 to Tulum—including airfare, transportation, breakfast and yoga included. You could make it less, too if you decide to share expenses and living quarters.

Other Options


Tulum has many choices for yoga retreats, ranging from different pricing and experiences.  If Yoga Shala is sold-out for accommodations, you can still buy a yoga pass to practice yoga for the week and book at other nearby options on the map. There are hostels, bed and breakfast spots within two miles and biking distance with good reviews.

You could also stay on the beach in a cool camping Bed and Breakfast place at Turquesa Tulum Jungle Camping. This lovely spot is within walking distance to Yoga Shala. It’s under a 9-minute walk on a street in paradise that will inspire your soul right before you begin your yoga practice.

Tribal Yoga Tulum, offers budget yoga retreats, too. It is very close to the beach and the pictures look stunning inside the yoga space. They have a yoga retreat for $353 to under $850, based on days of stay.

Another wonderful option for those who prefer to stay on the beach is Play Esperanza which is about 3.5 km away from Yoga Shala. It’s located along one of the most beautiful streets in Tulum, with a view of the Mayan Ruins.

Two other hotel properties that I also saw were Shambala Petite to Maya Tulum. Thesare right on the beach, so expect these prices to be higher.

This year in 2017, I look forward to my return so I can try out these retreats, too.

I hope these tips helped you discover a few new retreats and ways to enjoy yoga. From a midlife yogini still working on her yoga groove, cheers to you and your new goals in 2017.

Keep dreaming.

Adopt a Pet

Siamese Kitty Adopt Today


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Hi! My name is Sadie. I am a Siamese kitty looking for a warm and cuddly home in Southern California. Could you be my match? I am in the Carlsbad Animal Shelter. I hope you come and visit me. I would love to give you lots of love and help make your life happier by being there for you always as your new kitty.

DID YOU KNOW? I am #4 in The Smartest Cat Breeds in the World? 

Siamese Kitty Adopt Today

My name is SADIE.

I’m a spayed FLAME PT
My age is 9 YEARS.
My weight is 14 lbs.
I’m in the San Diego Region shelter.

My ID number is A1775180
My necktag number is C712
My kennel number is CB001

(This information if from

North Shelter

2481 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad, CA 92011

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Which Book Cover?

Which Book Cover?

Hard Knock, Easy Answers “How to Win at Life” is my fourth book and my second book in the HAPPY SERIES BOOKS.

This book is based on universal laws mentioned in Florence Scovel Shinn’s book, “The Game of Life and How to Play It.”

Everyone needs their own arsenal of supplies to help them win at their own dreams, goals and life’s wishes. I hope this book helps the reader stay in-tune with their road map of dreams, while encouraging the reader to believe in their self-worth and inner confidence. This book will be available to buy this summer!

Life has hard knocks always. But the question is, what do we do with hard circumstances presented to us on our journey? How do we continue on when life can knock level us and blindsiding us? I hope this book helps you conquer your fears, remain on your path and you continue to take a ‘win’ for your own life’s story.

Which cover do you like? Thanks for your input! In the meantime, I hope you are having a fabulous day and taking a win for you, yourself and your loved ones today.

Sincerely, Machel



HARD KNOCKS, Easy Answers "How to Win at Life" is the follow up book to Happy Soul in the Happy Series books. Tentative release date: December 1 2016.

Thank you so much for taking time to help me decide on my next book cover. This is always an exciting part of the process as an author. I have come to realize though as a reader myself, it’s great to just go right to the source and ask for advice from those that read your books! Thank you in advance for taking time to check these out. I appreciate our connection on social media.

Helen Keller once said, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Thank you, again, M


Middle Age Beauty

Middle Age Beauty

Inspire your weekly routine by finding out tips and easy tricks to feeling and looking great. While society, ads and plastic surgeons to even your friends might have you feeling ‘middle-aged,’ This book reveals the ‘beauty trinity’ that is key to unleashing your vibrant, and beautiful true ‘self.’

Written in a memoir style by sharing her own personal struggles as a woman, Middle Age Beauty is a book many will want to read, share and find inspiration that they can apply to their own personal growth and discovery. You will  read personal interviews top experts in the world of health, soul, beauty and holistic healing that share their advice on important actions one can take to enhance, heath and connect deeper with ones wishes and dreams. Find out WHY to avoid BOTOX and avoid the popular trends that promote face fillers as a glamorous option to combat wrinkles. She uncovers the hidden dangers and facts that you should know before ever injecting your face with a foreign substance.

You will also uncover the ‘Three Dos’ that all women should follow in order to stay in sync with their health, beauty, and soul. In a world that is encouraging women to feel insecure about their looks and age, “Middle Age Beauty” promotes and empowers women to embrace their natural self first by seeking a more soulful, meaningful experience. 
Also find out:
  • Why you should avoid BOTOX and other synthetic face fillers
  • Do you know what your Persona is?
  • Find out how to overcome personal defeats and how to stay inspired each week.
  • What is the $1.00 wrinkle reducer that you need to know about?
  • How to overcome discouragement and defeat and create a new space to develop your dreams.
  • Also, which Hollywood fictional character from a legendary movie can motivate you to find three moments of glory each week?

A quick read with three easy sections to navigate through, Middle Age Beauty can help you reach your resolutions for 2014 for peace of mind, health and over all sense of well-being.


Live Love Soul: A Soul’s Guide to Happy

Live Love Soul: A Soul’s Guide to Happy,

Midewest Book Review

LIVE LOVE SOUL “A Soul’s Guide to Happy” out September 25th, 2015 published by AYNI BOOKS

invites you to explore habits and exercises that can help you discover your own inner joy. Machel shares personal interviews with successful individuals who are achieving their soul’s dream. Find out what their secrets are and how you can apply their advice to empower your own journey. This book is dedicated to helping the reader cultivate real self-love, release negative thought patterns, and to live a more balanced, exciting life. Get ready to take the journey within and discover what makes your soul happy.


LIVE LOVE SOUL, Machel’s second book, was named by “Small Press Watch” for 2016 by The MIDWEST REVIEW – “If you only buy one self-help book in 2016, make it Machel Shull’s LIVE LOVE SOUL.”
HAPPY SOUL hit the hot new releases Internationally in the UK and in the US in the first week it was released in November 2016.

Some say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” With Machel, what you’ll find is that what’s soul deep on the inside is just as beautiful as the cover. Read on and see for yourself. And most importantly, let Machel inspire you to reach inward to be the superhero of your own story. ~ Michiko Jane Rolek,

International Bestselling Amazon Author, Machel Shull

author, teacher, lecturer and life coach

Machel’s beautiful, honest and easy-to-use guide shows you exact steps to infuse happiness into your daily life. Machel proves you don’t have to go to India and sit on a mountaintop somewhere to find your bliss. You can find it right here, right now. Her book is an invaluable resource for women ready to reclaim their happy! (Rosemond Perdue Cranner, Former Entertainment Executive, Producer of Web Content The Discovery Channel, HGTV, MTV and Animal Planet)

Machel has written a very liberating book which acts as a roadmap for tapping into the wellspring of peace, joy and happiness. Though written in a light-hearted manner, this book has the power to totally transform your life. (Mary Elizabeth Coen, International bestselling Irish author Love and the Goddess)


HAPPY SOUL New Cover Reveal

I am excited to finally share my third book in it’s updated make-over that captures

the essence of this book.

HAPPY SOUL “10 Simple Steps to Happiness” Discover 10 steps that will help you become the master of your thoughts and the inspiration to your dreams. Also discover: • Powerful words that can help reshape your thinking • What difference is between ‘faking it until you make it’ and the ‘Act as if’ Principle • What is Right Thinking? • Easy to learn affirmations and prayers • Suggestions on dealing with grief and loss • Find out what your yearly Mini-Purpose is • Why should you strive to be happy? • Why relationships matter What others have said about Machel Shull Books: “LIVE LOVE SOUL is a riveting read from first page to last. If you only have time for one self-help book this year, make it Machel Shull’s LIVE LOVE SOUL.” ~Midwest Book Review I am adding Middle Age Beauty to my selected few bedside books. With Machel’s light to guide us home to our true beautiful selves, we can celebrate being the hero of our own story.” ~Michiko Jane Rolek, Bestselling Author of Mental Fitness, Complete Workouts for the Mind, Body and Sou l About Machel Shull:

Her first book, MIDDLE AGE BEAUTY gained world-wide media attention for its soulful approach on aging naturally. Featured in the New York Post, Daily UK Mail, Mind Body Green, World Beauty News and the Midwest Book Reviews, Mrs. Shull inspires readers to take daily action on implementing easy steps toward cultivating a happier life. Happy Soul is her first book in THE HAPPY BOOK SERIES. She lives in Cardiff by the Sea, California with her husband and son, two dogs and two cats.

Bestselling Author Machel Shull