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Cover Reveal: Never Enough

June 1, 2020

Guys, I’m not going to lie, I’m flying by the seat of my pants right now.

Remember, once upon a time, I was a published author? Let’s get back to that, shall we?

Never Enough by Kristina M. Sanchez
Never Enough by Kristina M. Sanchez

At thirty-seven, Valentin Belmonte returned to his mother’s house with his tail between his legs. No surprise there. His life had been a long line of bad choices, failures, and trouble. Also returning home, freshly graduated and on the hunt for a job, was Mina Toussaint, the orphan Val’s mother and stepfather had taken in when he was already grown. She’d been the only person who’d ever really liked him, but he’d screwed that up a long time ago.

Mina’s adoptive family had treated her like the perfect princess and little girl they always wanted. Val was the only one who’d ever seen her for who she really was; she’d never wanted to be a princess. But after what happened when she was sixteen, she thought she hated him. Now, six years later, things were different. She wasn’t the child she’d been when she got so angry. The trouble was that Val hadn’t changed. He still saw her.

I’m excited to get back in the game. Thanks to my Mina for my gorgeous cover. I’m so glad to finally be able to share this with you.

The Long Wait

November 22, 2019

Hello, guys. Long time no see! What a crazy time it’s been.

I’m committed to writing about my journey, but since it’s been too long, let’s skip to the end of the story: it worked. I’ve been a mother for the last nearly-thirteen months, and it’s…

Jaina Esme Sanchez

Jaina Esme Sanchez – Dare you not to smile when she smiles.

For now, I’d like to take an interlude to talk about infertility. About waiting. About hoping. And about all the tests that came up negative before I finally got my big fat positive.

Going into this journey, I was ambivalent about the endgame. I thought motherhood was probably something I wanted. Clearly, I wanted it enough that I’d taken all the steps and started to put some serious money down. I balk and having to spend $60 for a pair of shoes. What the hell was I doing shelling out thousands to try to create a human being if I wasn’t sure?

My desire to have a baby was never a given. I thought I wanted it, but it was never the end all, be all of my life. I never daydreamed of motherhood. I never longed for it. I never ached when I passed a stroller or the baby section in any store. I could easily picture my life without children. I have ambition and drive—plenty of things to do and accomplish.

I went into the experience with logic and rationality on my side. Now was the time to try; I knew that. I wasn’t getting any younger. Adoption had been my first choice, but that was out of reach at the time. Biology wasn’t always going to be an option so it was time to start.

I knew the odds. There is a relatively small fertile window in every reproductive cycle. At best, there’s a thirty percent chance of pregnancy each month if egg and sperm were introduced on the right dates. My first few tries were natural cycle. After that, even with medical assistance, the odds were still less than fifty/fifty. I was committed to trying more than once, but I knew I couldn’t try forever. I’m not a woman of means. I live paycheck to paycheck, and I was already using my credit card to fund my journey.

I’ve read countless stories about the journey through infertility. I’ve read about the emotional turmoil, the despair. That, I thought, would never be me. I knew the numbers and, if it never happened, I would be okay with that. It wasn’t going to hurt. Except for the battering to my wallet, the journey of trying to get pregnant wasn’t going to hurt.

At first, the whole process was matter-of-fact. I went to my appointments. I reported my cycle dutifully. I took the trigger shot. I was curious during the two week wait before I was supposed to test, but I wasn’t overly hopeful or eager.

I was sitting in the hospital, writing the blog post explaining how I chose the Cryobank where I purchased the sperm that eventually became my daughter when I realized how damn tired I was. It was the morning of my third attempt. I’d dropped off the tank of sperm and was waiting for my insemination. I’d finished but posting seemed like too much.

When had my shoulders begun to slump? When had this sadness become a part of me? When had honest curiosity become trepidation, waiting for this try to become another failure?

When had my empty arms begun to feel so heavy with loss and want?

Back then, I found I couldn’t continue telling my story—not until I knew how it ended. While I was still trying, I couldn’t deal with the idea of talking about the preparation, the steps, the cycles while wondering if all of it was for nothing. Was my final blog post going to talk about bitter loss—letting go of all the things my life could have been to embrace a childless existence? Or would my journey end with a new beginning?

The answer to that question is almost thirteen months old.

I’m ready to tell the rest of my story. I’m ready…but fair warning. I can’t write the way I used to. My hands are usually too busy.

Dear Baby,

Somebody once told me that they truly believed people only had the children that were meant for them. The ones that suited them perfectly. I told her I thought that was ridiculous as someone who wanted to be a parent would enjoy any child they had. But now, while I still know I’m right—I would have loved the children you aren’t as much as I love you—I understand what she meant.

I think sometimes about the babies that didn’t spark. I think about the DNA written into each and every sperm and egg that washed away, the possibilities that never were. Who would they have been? What would they be like?

And then, I think of you. I think of the four eggs I started with that cycle, and I can’t be anything but glad you were the one who took hold. You’re perfect. All the things that make up the person that is you are just right, and I couldn’t imagine anything else, anyone else.

As you grow, you continue to show me more of who you are, and I couldn’t be more enthralled.

I ask you sometimes why you chose me when you were just a spark. I love you, Jaina.

Go back to: Episode 4 – It Takes A Village

So, Hi?

June 26, 2018

Long time no see, friends, neighbors, random-blog passers-by.

So. Not going to lie—2017 was a bad year for me. It was a bad year for a lot of people and for my whole country, but personally? Yeah, it was an all around suck fest.

I’ve had the next post in my series, Turkey Basting, queued for well over a year and a half—probably closer to two at this point. I remember writing it. I’d dropped off the tank that stored my donor’s sperm, and I was sitting in the hospital’s cafeteria, waiting for my insemination appointment. I think it was my third attempt.

I was beginning to really come to terms with the fact motherhood might not happen for me. Logically, I always knew this, and I was mostly sanguine with it. I’m a woman of limited means, and I knew I couldn’t try forever. I’ve always prized myself on being a realist. I haven’t ever pinned my every hope and dream on being a mother—in fact, there are many things I want more than motherhood—but I was surprised at just how draining the cycle of overcoming infertility was on my psyche.

On top of coming to terms with that, 2017 held a lot of change for me. A lot of upheaval. I’m a homeowner now. It wasn’t my first choice, as my financial situation was already tight where I was and got exponentially tighter with a mortgage. The situations that led to the change were fraught with varying levels of bad juju.

In other words, fun to be had on all fronts—emotional, economical, etc.

I’m happy to report that 2018 is, in so many ways, treating me better. I finished another book. It’s with an editor for first round edits, so you’ll be hearing about it soon. My other books will be put on sale in the next few days.

Oh, and I’m currently five months pregnant. My alien unit with two healthy X chromosomes is due in late October. I’ll save that story for my Turkey Basting adventures, though.

See you guys really soon.

Spaces Between Notes is Live!

October 27, 2016

ebookcoversbnbyks2Spaces Between Notes is live and available for purchase on Amazon. Pick up your copy today.

Spaces Between Notes on Amazon.

Read what others are saying about Spaces Between Notes on GooodReads.

Also, to celebrate my new book, remember that my other three books are available for free through tomorrow.

Finding Purgatory on Amazon

Duplicity on Amazon

One to Tell the Grandkids on Amazon


Buy One, Get Three Free!

October 24, 2016

Actually, you don’t have to buy anything to get free books.To celebrate my new book, my three previous books are available absolutely free for the next five days.

Check out my books, Duplicity, One to Tell the Grandkids, and Finding Purgatory free here on Amazon.

Pre-order Spaces Between Notes here.

Spaces Between Notes Release Date and Pre-Order Link

October 21, 2016

My fourth book, Spaces Between Notes, finally has a release date. Pre-Order Spaces Between Notes here, and it will be delivered to your Kindle on 10/27.

On release day, my other three books, Duplicity, One to Tell The Grandkids, and Finding Purgatory, will be available at discounted rates.

You can read reviews for Spaces Between Notes on Goodreads.

Spaces Between Notes Cover Reveal and ARC Request

October 3, 2016

First, if you’re interested in an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) in exchange for an honest review, fill out the Spaces Between Notes ARC request form here.

Now, my gorgeous cover. Are you ready? Mina is a true artist.


More news including release information will be up soon. I’m so excited for this.Please fill out the form if you’re interested in an advance copy.

Book News

October 2, 2016

It’s that time again. I’m getting ready to release my fourth book. This book will be called Spaces Between Notes. I’ll be doing the cover reveal later today (or tomorrow for those of us on the West coast) along with an ARC sign up.

For now, I’ll leave you with the summary:

Nikolai Amorosa is one of those men’s men. You know the type—allergic to feelings, couldn’t have a heartfelt discussion if he tried, which he never did. Then, he lost his voice, and any chance of communication went out the window.

Unable to speak or otherwise interact with anyone, Niko’s anger was off the charts. It could’ve been worse; he could’ve been in jail. Instead, he found himself doing construction on Carys Harper’s house. Carys talked—a lot—both with her voice and her hands. She was also at the beck and call of her deaf little brother, Benny, which drove Niko nine kinds of crazy. Not that he would’ve said anything, even if he could.

Something else that drove him crazy? Carys was stubborn. She wouldn’t let him wallow.More than that, she seemed to hear all the things he couldn’t say. She understood him like she understood music. She heard what existed in the spaces between notes. She knew that sometimes silence screams the loudest.

It Takes A Village

May 22, 2016

Sorry about the delay between posts. Life got all…lifey. Go figure, right?

After my initial appointment with the infertility doc and her vampiric practice (eleven vials of blood…I’m pretty sure she’s feeding her habit), I made an appointment with a social worker at my doctor’s request. Now, remember, Kaiser Permanente is my medical provider. They’re all about preventative care, which is something I appreciate. In this case, the idea is to make sure I’ve thought of all the basics and that I know what my resources are.

What are the basics of deciding to have a baby? Well, money, for one. But we’ve talked about this. I don’t have a lot of it. However, lots of people have raised amazing children on much less than I have. I do have a steady and secure job with reasonable prospects for bettering my position. I’m also an author. Self-published, but hey, it pays a few bills. Curious? Check me out: Kristina M. Sanchez on Amazon.

People keep asking me what I’m going to do about child care, and I don’t get the point of that question. Day Care was always going to be a reality for my child. Even if I had a choice—which I don’t—day care would be the way to go. Mommy has writing to do, kiddo. I’m one of those people who doesn’t think that’s a bad thing. My kid knowing they can rely on someone other than Mommy? I’m okay with it. Here’s the only thing I know about who’s going to take care of my kid while I’m at work: he or she is going to love Baby. Not like me. No one is going to love this kid like their mother, but they’re going to be well cared for. Just don’t ask me about the money, because I have no idea yet.

The social worker asked about my support system.

Meet the family

MommyAndMeThis is my mother. My mother is a rock-star. This is a chick who, in the sixties, fought the State of California when they said she couldn’t have a promotion because she was a woman and won. We have our moments. What child doesn’t have a complex relationship with their parent? But my mother is aces. Boy or girl, I want my kid to grow up like my mother: strong, fierce, independent, and always able to pick herself up when the world pushed her down. Despite significant struggle, my mother has raised three children, is well traveled, and has always had an interesting career. One of the reasons I’m so keen on having my children now is so that they’ll get to know their grandma.

My siblings

SiblingsRJ, my baby brother. No one believes he’s my little brother. They all think he’s older. I’m proud of this kid, man. He works hard, and he’s accomplished so much. And he’s the funniest person I know. We fight like cats and dogs, but at the end of the day, I know I can count on him when the going gets rough. Plus, I’m depending on him to take Baby shopping. Trust me, he has a better fashion sense, boy or girl.

Adriana, my little sister. RJ’s wife. Sweeter than pan dulce. I have no idea why this chick hangs out with a guy like my brother, but I’m glad she does. She’s been my cheerleader through all of this. Always sunny, always kind, always supportive. I lost my biological sister when I was nineteen, and I missed that sisterly bond until Adriana came around. I’m glad she’ll be here with me.

My Baby Daddy

MellyDon’t ever let people tell you the Internet is no place to make good friends. That’s a bunch of bologna.

So, I’m hanging out in a chat room one day (a chat room about a mutual interest, not romance) and I meet this woman. The woman who would become my Melly. Fast forward years later, and she’s my best friend. We travel together and see each other often despite the fact she’s a NorCal girl.

Why is she my baby daddy? Well, that’s what I call the person who provided the sperm. I have no idea why she loves me that much. It’s overwhelming. But I know I’ve made a friend for life, and my baby will have something more than an auntie. They will have a Melly.

Dear Baby,

The social worker asked if I had any male influences for you. It was important, she said, for a child to have positive male and female influences.

I guess now is a good time to tell you, your momma has opinions. What that means for you, is you’re not going to get to just accept popular opinion. Question everything, little one. Think about everything people say, everything that seems ‘normal’, everything you read, and everything you hear. Which doesn’t mean to be skeptical—though a healthy dose of skepticism won’t go amiss—but to be aware. The world is not a two-sizes-fits-all place.

Ugh. I can already see teenage you rolling your eyes. I know, Baby. It’s going to get tiring. I feel you.

Here’s the thing that gets me about her question. I’m a sociologist, and I know that gender is a spectrum. Sex is a spectrum too, by the way. I can’t figure out why anyone would think seven billion people would fit into one of two categories.

What makes a good male role model? Do you have to have a good role model in your life that has a penis? What if I exhibit a lot of traditionally male traits? Do I count as both your primary male and female role models? If there was not an adequate role model in your life who happens to have a penis, does that mean you won’t be well-rounded?

Why is this penis, or lack thereof, so important?! I don’t understand.

I’ll tell you what, when you have questions about how to do your hair all pretty, what shoes to wear, all that traditionally girly stuff, I’m sending you straight to your aunt. I’m useless with that stuff. I own dresses, but I don’t like wearing them.

The world isn’t black or white, baby. There are way too many colors in the world to limit yourself to black or white. Question everything. Try not to see gender as something solid—it isn’t. I promise, I won’t hold you to any gender, regardless of the genitalia you’re born with. And heaven help the first Mcdonald’s employee that asks whether I want a girl’s toy or a boy’s toy with your Happy Meal.

Go Back to: Episode 3 – Infertility


January 30, 2016

I have insurance through my work with Kaiser Permanente. I love Kaiser. Aside from a couple of years here and there when I had no insurance, I’ve had insurance with them all of my adult life.

My first doctor appointment was with my primary care provider. I went in rather than just shoot her an e-mail because it had been a while since I’d had a pap smear. I figured that was probably going to be on the list of things I needed to get done.

Here’s a good thing to keep in mind if you have to see your PCP to start this process: your PCP doesn’t know with any certainty how other departments and specialties work. Remember that.

Infertility Doc – Visit #1

I have to admit, I chafed when everyone kept saying I was having problems with infertility. It’s not a word anyone wants to consider unless they can’t help it, right?

“Just so you know, I’m not having infertility problems,” I told the scheduling nurse. “I want to have a baby by myself, that’s all.”

“Same thing,” she said. Good thing she couldn’t see me flipping her the bird.

I got to the office. As the nurse took my vitals, she set a laminated page in front of me and asked me to read the questions. They were asking me if my partner had made me come there or if I was suffering any kind of abuse from them.

How awesome. Sad that it was a necessity, but awesome that they took the precaution.


…At least take me to dinner first.

Anyway, without getting derailed—I could go on about domestic violence and rape culture forever—I was ushered to a room with one other occupant—this fellow, pictured on the right. That was when I remembered the scheduling nurse had said something about a physical exam and an ultrasound. Maybe she said vaginal ultrasound. I was too busy being pissed at her for calling me infertile. Whoops.

The infertility doctor came in, interrupting my staring contest with my friend who was so obviously ready to go. She invited me to come chat in her office where Mr. Intimidating couldn’t get in the way of our conversation.

My doctor is a trip. She’s prone to phrasing her conversation in questions which she then answers herself. She drew everything out as she talked.

First, she explained what I ‘suffer’ from is situational infertility. The problem is I can’t get my eggs fertilized on my own. Hence, I’m infertile for lack of sperm reasons. Ahh. I forgive you, scheduling nurse.

Then, she said she had to let me know my options.

“Adoption,” she said. “Either of a child or of a donor embryo.”

Adopt an embryo? I’d never heard it phrased that way. Regardless, I’d already nixed adoption of a child for situational reasons, and if I’m going to have to be pregnant, I might as well use my own eggs.

“You can freeze your eggs now as insurance so when the right person comes along, they’ll be available for your use or for a surrogate,” the doctor said.

No. I’m not waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right. I want to have a baby. Everyone else can fuck off.

“Then there’s what you want to do,” the doctor said. “Intrauterine insemination.”

When I assured her that was still what I wanted, we continued. The doctor laid out the basics–Kaiser didn’t have a place to store the sperm, so I would have to rent a tank. Kaiser didn’t endorse any particular sperm bank. That was all up to me. She did have a recommendation about what to look for in donor sperm.

“You want sperm that’s CRV negative,” she said. “Why do I care? Essentially, there’s a slight risk of birth defects in CRV positive sperm.” She rolled her eyes and waved her hands. “It’s so tiny, but why worry about it if you don’t have to?”

Then, she started in on me.

Addictions? I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I drink at parties. Caffeine?


I’m not addicted. I know I’m not addicted. I’ve gone for a couple of weeks without caffeine. No headache. No withdrawals. I just happen to like caffeinated beverages, okay? Jeez.

“Why am I asking?” the doctor asked. “Caffeine has been linked to birth defects. It’s a small chance, but again, why worry about it if you don’t have to? Better to get help with any addictions now.”

Fair enough, doc.

Now, onto my friend we left ready and waiting in the exam room. “We want to make sure there are no problems that we can see. The ultrasound is to examine your uterus and fallopian tubes. We want to see five or more eggs in each tube.”

I’ve never been on a date, but hey, I’m open minded.

The doctor had a nurse there to “assist” her. Really, I knew she was there to hold my hand if I needed comfort. Like I said, I’m not ashamed of any of my various parts, but someone shoving an instrument–sheathed in a condom, as pictured–into your vagina is rarely going to make for a good time. Unless you’re into that kind of thing. I didn’t need the comfort, but I appreciate that it was there.

It’s not a horrendous procedure. The wand is only about an inch or so in. Again, not comfortable, but not painful. And it’s a quick exam as these things go. There was some pressing and probing—a slight pressure. The doctor narrated. There was my uterus. It looked like the millions of pictures of uteruses I’ve seen in my life, just sans the baby that’s usually there when people wave those things around. Then she went searching for my fallopian tubes. She pointed out the bumps in them—apparently indicators of how many eggs were hanging around, ready to be released. She pronounced herself satisfied with the number, and that was that.

Next step? Downstairs to the lab to let them take half my blood. No kidding—the technician pulled out eleven vials. Eleven. I suspect they’re feeding vampires on the side. If they have a Dr. Carlisle Cullen on staff, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Dear Baby,

Am I the only one who finds it funny that conceiving a baby this way includes the use of a condom? Would that be considered ironic? Ah, your mom’s easy to amuse. Don’t mind me.

The walls of the clinic here are lined with beautiful babies. I wondered what you would look like amongst all those pudgy faces. I wondered if the doctor and nurses ever stop to look at all the little people they’ve helped into the world, and what it must feel like to know they all exist partially because of them. Wow.

It’s funny, Baby. All my life, I’ve read stories and heard about how special it can be to make a baby with the person you love. Usually there are just two people involved. There are so many people who will play their part in bringing you to me. I think that’s pretty damn special too.

Go Back To: Episode 2 – Frequently Asked Questions or Go Forward To: Episode 3 – It Takes a Village