When you get invited to a black tie wedding in Rio de Janeiro, you go. You find a babysitter for your kids, you forgo those new tires on your car, and you spend that money watching your friend from college get married in the most lavish conditions possible—then you put that wedding in your next YA novel. See, work expense! It was meant to be.
My dad says I “keep in touch with every friend I’ve ever made in my life.” Maybe that’s true. I’ve been to a lot of weddings. This particular opulent occasion was for a friend I studied abroad with in Madrid, Spain nearly twenty years ago. Finally, the study-abroad group was back together:
It was the year before the Rio Olympics, also the year before Zika, so the crowds were minimal and the dollar stretched forever ($8 Havaianas flip flops!). We traveled to so many exotic locations during our #nokids trip to Brazil that I put many of them into Lies that Bind, the sequel to Proof of Lies in my Anastasia Phoenix YA thriller series.
Wearing a fancy black dress, Anastasia sambas in Parque Lage, the historic ruins where the wedding reception was held:
She gets into a dramatic confrontation with super spies in a high-end condo with a view of the Lagoa:
She fights a covert agent near the Botanical Gardens, where toucans fly about like pigeons:
And I of course plopped Anastasia’s toes in the hot sand to enjoy some time at the beach:
So the next time you get invited to a destination wedding, before you roll your eyes and tell yourself it’s impossible, stop and wonder: “On my death bed, will I regret going to a wedding in Rio and wish I had instead spent that money to replace the dishwasher?” Trust me, this question worked on my husband. And it made ending of Lies that Bind so much better. I don’t know where the book would be without that trip.
Maybe the timing was all divine intervention?
Check out Diana’s newest YA Thriller, Lies that Bind!
Reeling from the truths uncovered while searching for her sister in Italy, Anastasia Phoenix is ready to call it quits with spies. The only way to stop being a pawn in their game is to remove herself from the board. But before she can leave her parents’ crimes behind her, tragedy strikes. No one is safe, not while Department D still exists.
Now, with help from her friends, Anastasia embarks on a dangerous plan to bring down an entire criminal empire. From a fire-filled festival in England to a lavish wedding in Rio de Janeiro, Anastasia is determined to confront the enemies who want to destroy her family. But even Marcus, the handsome bad boy who’s been there for her at every step, is connected to the deadly spy network. And the more she learns about Department D, the more she realizes the true danger might be coming from someone closer than she expects…
Diana Rodriguez Wallach is the author of the Anastasia Phoenix series, three YA spy thrillers set to debut beginning in March 2017 (Entangled Publishing). She is also the author of three award-winning young adult novels: Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and Adios to All The Drama (Kensington Books); as well as a YA short-story collection based on the Narcissus myth, entitled Mirror, Mirror (Buzz Books, 2013). In 2011, she published a highly regarded essay in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperCollins). It was the only essay chosen from the anthology by Scholastic to be used in its classroom materials. Diana is featured in the anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses (Twilight Times Books, 2015), and she is currently on staff as a featured blogger for Quirk Books. In 2010 Diana was named one of the Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch by LatinoStories.com, and she placed second in the International Latino Book Awards. She is an advisory board member for the Philly Spells Writing Center, and is a Creative Writing instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia.