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Alexa PenaVega

Not long after their wedding, Carlos Pena and Alexa Vega, who uniquely took the liberty of legally
combining their last names as PenaVega on their marriage certificate, wondered how cool it would be to
write a book about their individual and collective life experiences as a young married couple in
Hollywood who found each other through Christ.
A veteran actor and voice actor, Carlos was a member of the hugely successful recording and touring
group, Big Time Rush, formed for the hit Nickelodeon series of the same name and largely credited for
bringing the boy band concept back. A working actress since age five, Alexa became famous as Carmen
Cortez in the mega-popular Spy Kids film series. She performed on Broadway in “Hairspray,” and played
Ruby Gallagher on ABC Family’s “Ruby & The Rockits.”
The couple’s incredible, divinely orchestrated life over the past decade makes “now” the perfect time to
share their deeply personal story and testimony about God’s love and grace in their lives. Their new book,
What If Love Is The Point? from HarperCollins, is artfully structured with alternating chapters, building
the story via first person narratives by Carlos and Alexa, co-written with Margot Starbuck, a New York
Times bestselling writer and an award winning author of more than 20 books, who specializes in Christian
works.
Now married for more than eight years, the PenaVegas have two sons, Ocean and Kingston, and a
daughter, Rio, all under five years old, splitting their time at home between Maui and a 60’x30’
catamaran in Florida.
While facing and overcoming many financial, emotional, spiritual and marital challenges, the two have
countless TV and film appearances under their belt - including an influential season on “Dancing with the
Stars,” where they made history as the only married couple ever to compete against each other. Those
appearances in Season 21, which are powerfully chronicled by Alexa, brought the two to a whole new
national audience, and gave them weekly opportunities to witness about their faith and to speak positively
about their Christ-centered relationship. Their segments talking about marriage as a sacred commitment
people should still believe in (even while negotiating the ups and downs of show business), led thousands
of people of all ages to write in, thanking them for taking a bold stance and even, in some cases, helping
reignite the marriages of some viewers. With all that buzz around them, Alexa and Carlos had some offers
to do a reality show, but they wanted to steer clear of that world because they felt a heartfelt inspirational
book would be the ideal way to chronicle their amazing lives.
A few years later, after moving to Maui, the two were contacted by their friends - bestselling Christian
authors Jeff and Alyssa Bethke - whose publisher, Jenny Baumgartner, editorial director and acquisitions
editor for Nelson Books / HarperCollins Christian publishing knew the two couples were friends. Jenny’s
interest was piqued after seeing an Instagram post by Alexa detailing her years battling a debilitating
eating disorder and how faith brought her through, and the pieces that led to the publication of What If
Love Is The Point? quickly fell into place.
“Carlos and I felt eager years ago to write about our lives and how God has worked with and helped us to
grow through many difficult circumstances,” says Alexa. “But rather than force the issue when people
weren’t showing interest, we just let it go and believed that it would happen when the time was right. As
with everything we do, our thought was, if God’s not in it, we don’t want it. And now, in His perfect

timing, we have so many new stories to tell and testimonies to offer. Honestly, what could we have shared
in a single year of marriage versus nine? We’re still growing and learning every day. God wanted to
season us more before we shared our stories. He brought us through a lot, and we have come out stronger
and better for it – all the more equipped to bring Him more glory.”
Allowing themselves to be open, honest, and vulnerable, so that others who face similar challenges in
their lives can feel less alone and like someone has their back, What If Love Is the Point? is the couple’s
plain spoken shared testimony about the true joy they’ve come to experience in Christ, and the insights
that have changed their lives. They freely admit that as 30-something human beings, working performers,
husband and wife, and now parents of young children, life is not easy – and committing to their Christian
walk is often difficult and stressful despite the love and beauty of God at the center. Often, they don’t see
God at work in the moment, but in retrospect can see how He was working with them in their struggles.
At its core, the book is about performers who seem to have it all – fame, fortune, opportunities, love and
admiration – but feel empty, discouraged, fearful and out of control until they encounter and embrace the
true Source of it all. Along the way, Alexa and Carlos discuss the charming, offbeat details of their
unexpected courtship after meeting through their mutual friend Andrew, whose sense of inner peace and
example ultimately led Carlos to a relationship with Christ. Yet the narrative also includes difficult
passages about Alexa’s years-long battle with bulimia; and Carlos’ journey (with her help) from an
immature, self-centered understanding of God and an attachment to materialism to a true, meaningful
relationship based on humbling himself and asking Jesus for help, trusting God in all things he cannot
personally control. They also talk frankly about the challenges in keeping their family together in an
industry where work often demands that one spouse or the other is gone on set or on tour for months at a
time. They have “two weeks max” apart from each other rule and while some think it’s crazy, they travel
everywhere together with their kids.
Drawing on one of the chapter subheads, Carlos says, “The only way to be impactful in this world for
Christ is to be consistent. We’re not always going to be perfect, but we will always strive to live in a
manner worthy of His love.”
Alexa adds, “Choosing to be consistent is what takes the fear out of our life. We no longer worry about
what people think about us on social media. If we mess up, we own up to it and apologize for it. We don’t
just show perfect moments. We talk about messing up and how we can be better people and parents.
Writing this book was a wonderful and cathartic way to reflect on how God has always worked in every
situation in our lives. It was a cool, awesome and healing way to talk about the many things that have
gone on in our lives up till now.”

June 29, 2022

Alexa PenaVega

You might know Alexa PenaVega best for her roles in movies like Spy Kids and Twister, but she’s so much more than an actress. As …

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