February 8, 2016


Atria Books

Today is the Chinese New Year.  We welcome the Year of the Monkey.

Now, whether you started your New Year in January or now in February, we are sure one of the things that has crossed your mind – maybe to add to your “New Year’s Resolutions” – is to get fit.

Univision Nutritionist and Fitness Trainer Claudia Molina and her new book on juicing and exercise can help you get started.  JUGOSA Y FIT may be in Spanish, but fitness in any language is important.  The book is full of wonderful and nutritious recipes, as well as exercise routines for everyone.  (English translation is in the works.)

Claudia encourages everyone to drink natural juices because they are easier for your body to absorb and are quick to energize you. Besides, if you want a killer body like hers, then you want to juice and exercise.

I got a Nutra Bullet for my birthday in November and I am loving juicing.  I add a hint of ginger to all my juice combos, or when I need something sweet I add a tablespoon of peanut butter.  I am looking forward to trying some of Claudia’s recipes and the exercises. I'll let you know which of Claudia’s suggestions turn out to be my favorites. 

Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthier New Year!---lbc

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   Claudia Molina was born in Colombia.  She is an expert in nutrition and fitness.  She is also a journalist and TV announcer.  Claudia works for Univision on various programs, including Republica Deportiva, Sabado Gigante and Despierta America.  Learn more about Claudia at www.claudiamolina.com.


Empieza el 2016 de una manera natural y saludable de la mano de la reconocida nutricionista y entrenadora de Univisión, Claudia Molina, y su libro de jugoterapia y ejercicios JUGOSA y FIT, disponible a partir del 2 de febrero (Atria Español).

Descubre el beneficio de los jugos, la importancia de las proteinas, los carbohidratos, las vitaminas y minerales así como cuales jugos ayudan a eliminar grasa abdominal, desinflar el vientre, eliminar liquidos retenidos, combatir la celulitis, e incrementar los niveles energéticos a través de las deliciosas recetas incluidas en esta guía.

“Cuando bebes jugos naturales, todos los nutrientes están ahí, vivos, listos para ser absorbidos. Tu cuerpo no tiene que luchar para extraerlos o descomponerlos”.  –Claudia Molina

La jugoterapia consiste simplemente en hacer jugos de frutas y vegetales crudos para incorporarlos en la alimentación diaria y obtener los beneficios de sus poderosos nutrientes. De igual manera es una alternativa ideal para hidratarte sin necesidad de acudir a saborizantes ni endulzantes artificiales. En Jugosa y Fit, Claudia comparte su plan de desintoxicación de tres días, los medios de intoxicación o hábitos que debemos eliminar y como reemplazarlos, así como la función de los principales órganos encargados de desintoxicar y las propiedades curativas de los ingredientes que usa para sus jugos. Podrás obtener las recetas de sus jugos favoritos, el modelo de alimentación que ha seguido desde su adolescencia y los ejercicios que ella practica con frecuencia.  Se trata del método que incluso ha implementado con las concursantes de Nuestra Belleza Latina y que ha revelado por años a la audiencia de Despierta América.

SOBRE LA AUTORA: Claudia Molina es experta en nutrición y en preparación física.  Es graduada en Comunicación social y periodismo y está certificada por la Federación Nacional de Entrenadores Profesionales (NFPT, por sus siglas en inglés) en nutrición deportiva y en diferentes disciplinas del entrenamiento físico.  En el 2001, Claudia se mudó a Miami e inmediatamente comenzó a trabajar para la cadena Univisión en varios programas. Ha trabajado como reportera y presentadora en los programas República Deportiva y Sábado Gigante, y también como nutricionista y entrenadora física para Nuestra Belleza Latina. Actualmente se desempeña como asesora de vida saludable en el show matutino Despierta América.


Y Feliz Año Nuevo a Todos!

February 4, 2016


The Latina Book Club congratulates author Eddie Cisneros 
on the second book is his HIS-PANIC trilogy.  
We are happy to share an excerpt with our readers.

HIS-PANIC: Exit to Boogie Down
By Eddie Cisneros


"I sluggishly walked around the neighborhood. The last few days had been disheartening to say the least. I was starting to second guess whether or not this whole drug life I'd become a part of was really something worthwhile anymore. There were mixed emotions running through my head. I felt lost and confused. That simple infatuation of selling drugs and making money had turned against me, betraying me. More so, was the fact that I now had a great deal of trust issues swirling. I remember talking with Taz while hanging out at Jerome Park one night. I was able to open up about a lot of things, about my argument with Duckie and the whole situation with Rosemary and her brother. I explained to him that I really thought my life had no meaning. That I felt like I was lost at that particular time in life and had to find myself, find something that would validate who I could really become. Taz was kind of hurt. He felt the group was finally breaking off. I agreed with him. I told him that all shows must eventually come to an end. It was a tender moment that we shared that night in the park. In the end, we did both agree that no matter what, we would always be friends. Taz also agreed to let me stay with him. I told him I would need a week, after that, I was gone."

SUMMARY:  In 1991, Jerome Avenue in the Bronx belonged to Antonio Pintero and his Foo Crew. They were the talk of the neighborhood, going from peddling nickel and dime bags to pushing drugs and money across town in packaged book bags.
      Antonio was only 15.
      But some things in life are often short lived.
      Antonio slowly begins to unravel. He begins to feel the pressure of the drug game, especially his step-father’s sudden shady disappearance, cops in hot pursuit and possible trust issues amongst his own group. With nothing left, Antonio wants out. His word has spiraled out of control and the only answer is to ultimately…

Click here for our interview with Eddie last year.  His book, HIS-PANIC, was The Latina Book Club’s June 2015 Book of the Month. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Employed as a doorman for over twenty one years, Edward Cisneros “Eddie C.” has been quoted as saying, “I am not a doorman who chooses to write, but a writer who happens to be a doorman.” Apart from his novel series, HIS-PANIC, Eddie has two finished screenplays under his belt. A stylized thriller titled BEND about New York City homicide detectives on the trial of a serial killer and its sequel. He also served as contributing writer for a real estate website with bi-weekly posts entitled, “A Doorman Speaks.” Eddie has resided in Queens, New York, for much of his life, and it is where he continues to live with his family. He is currently setting up a website, but he can be found on Twitter @eddiecauthor; readers can connect by searching @EddieCauthor  (Eddie C Author). And, he can be found on Amazon as well.

February 1, 2016


Cinco Punto Press

The real Cuba—the one that existed between the cracks, the one that was full of poverty, suffering and hopelessness—was revolting. It angered him that people allowed it to exist. – Frank

SOFRITO is a fun, entertaining and suspenseful novel that is bound to become a favorite with foodies and readers alike. This book has everything – mystery, espionage, romance, and an exciting trip to Cuba. Each chapter starts with an actual quote from celebrities which adds flavor and authenticity to the book. Readers are in for a favorable treat.

SUMMARY:  Frank Delgado, his brother and cousin own a restaurant in the Bronx that is going belly up. They are desperate for a solution to save their father’s legacy, when a crazy idea comes to them – go to Cuba and find a secret chicken recipe guaranteed to bring in customers. It’s supposed to be an easy trip, Frank would bribe one of the kitchen staff to sell him the secret ingredients and then return home. But the trip quickly takes a turn for the worse. Suddenly, Frank is embroiled in a Yames Bond-like adventures with secret messages, thugs with hard fists, and clandestine meetings in seedy parts of Havana. The only saving grace is Marisol, a jinetera with a heart of gold and a wicked kiss. Her support invigorates Frank and helps him accomplish his mission. But secret ingredients are not the only thing Frank finds in Cuba, he also learns secrets about his father that will change his life and family forever.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Born in the Dominican Republic, Phillippe Diederich was raised in Mexico City and Miami. His parents were kicked out of Haiti by the dictatorship of Papa Doc Duvalier in 1963. He spent his youth listening to his parents and friends talking politics and nostalgically dreaming of the day they would return to Haiti. In 1980, the family moved to Miami, where they joined a community of exiles from all parts of Latin America. Diederich traveled to Cuba as a photojournalist throughout the 1990s. He has an MFA in creative writing from the University of South Florida and lives in Florida. Visit him at http://www.phildiederich.com/.

January 25, 2016



Many thanks to the MCCBD creators Mia and Valarie for including The Latina Book Club in their lineup.  
We strongly believe in diversity in schools, on TV and 
at the Oscars.—mcf

Publisher: Making Spirits Bright...one book at a time

I love chocolate milk.  In fact, every Wednesday it is my ritual to visit my local Farmer’s Market and buy a pint of chocolate milk from the Ronnybrook Farm.  It is so rich and creamy. It’s like drinking a chocolate bar.  I also love making hot chocolate by melting pieces of a Cortés Sweet Chocolate Bar in Carnation evaporated milk.  Yum.

Hence, I was very pleased to receive a copy of CHOCOLATE MILK, POR FAVOR! by Maria Dismondy to review for Multicultural Children’s Book Day, January 27. 

It is a beautiful and touching story of inclusion, diversity and empathy.  As Maria Dismondy puts it: “It is about how actions speak louder than words!”  Children of all ages will enjoy this wonderfully written and illustrated book. 

SUMMARY:  CHOCOLATE MILK, POR FAVOR!, Maria Dismondy’s sixth book, is based on the real life experience of one of her first graders.  Gabe doesn't speak any English when his family moves to the U.S. and enrolls him in school.  Yet despite the language barrier, Gabe makes friends and is soon playing with the other kids.  It is his classmate Johnny who has the problem. Johnny can’t understand why the other kids are playing with Gabe when he can’t even talk. He steers clear until he notices how Gabe comes to school every day, and though he doesn’t speak, he is willing to learn new things.  Then one day Johnny sees Gabe performing a soccer move that he has been struggling to master.  He is surprised when Gabe offers to show him the move using hand gestures.  Soon Johnny realizes what all the other kids had already realized -- that language is not the only way to communicate, and that to have a friend one must first be a friend.###

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   Maria Dismondy is an award-winning author, specializing in books about challenges children face. A topic close to her heart, Maria’s own childhood experience inspired her first book, SPAGHETTI IN A HOT DOG BUN.  Her dedication to empowering children with courage and confidence has reached new heights, touching the hearts and hand of children the world over. As a sought-after speaker, Maria spreads her message by presenting at schools and conferences across the country. She holds degrees in education and child development. Maria lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband and three book-loving children.  Visit her at http://mariadismondy.com/.

ABOUT Multicultural Children’s Book Day

MISSION:  Multicultural Children’s Book Day’s mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these books into classrooms and libraries.

CREATORS:  The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for these dynamic ladies here.

SPONSORS:  The MCCBD Team wishes to thank all its Medallion Level Sponsors listed below:

CO-HOSTS:  Plus, MCCBD would like to thank all its amazing Co-Hosts listed below:

BOOK LISTS & RESOURCES:  The MCCBD Diversity Book Lists and Resources for Educators and Parents are available by clicking here.

READING CHALLENGE:  The Classroom Reading Challenge has begun! Teachers can earn a free diversity book by clicking here

SOCIAL MEDIA:  Connect with MCCBD here:

Official Hashtag:  #ReadYourWorld


January 18, 2016


Atria Books
This book also available in Spanish.

I would empty myself of everything but love. – Ichimei

Isabel Allende’s THE JAPANESE LOVER is an engaging and romantic tale spanning 70 years and multiple generations. The main themes in this novel are family, friendship, loyalty, identity and above all, love. 

Love makes the world go round and in this novel, love’s survival is at its heart. The forbidden love between Alma, a young Polish girl and her family’s Japanese gardener, Ichimei, lasts a lifetime in spite of their racial differences and the trials that separate them. Beautiful love letters and small token gifts keep them connected through his imprisonment in the Japanese concentration camps and afterward when they wed other people. 

Readers will laugh and cry as these lovers fall in love, only to lose their love.  Romeo and Juliet?  Maybe, but these lovers decide to live and to love even if it’s in secret and only in their hearts.  As Ichimei states, he will empty himself of everything but love, and by forgetting the prejudices and the despair, he will keep the memory of their love alive; just as Alma relives their love as she rereads his love letters and reopens his gifts.

It is at the end of her life that Alma meets Irina, the young caseworker at the senior center’s home. Their friendship helps to revive Alma’s spirits and allows her to share her story with Irina. Hoping to bring peace and a little romance back to her patient’s life, Irina partners with Seth, Alma’s caring grandson, to search for the missing Ichimei and bring the lovers together one last time.

It is curious to note that right now on Broadway, the musical Allegiance, staring George Takei and Lea Salonga is getting rave reviews.  It too deals with the imprisonment of Japanese Americas after the attack on Pearl Harbor. And it is heart-breaking to learn that George himself was a child internee at one of those prison camps.  For more information on Allegiance, the Musical, click here.

BOOK SUMMARY:  In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his family—like thousands of other Japanese Americans—are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forever forced to hide from the world.

Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to come to terms with her own troubled past, meets the elderly woman and her grandson, Seth, at San Francisco’s charmingly eccentric Lark House nursing home. As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, eventually learning about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years.

Sweeping through time and spanning generations and continents, THE JAPANESE LOVER explores questions of identity, abandonment, redemption, and the unknowable impact of fate on our lives. Written with the same attention to historical detail and keen understanding of her characters that Isabel Allende has been known for since her landmark first novel The House of the Spirits, The Japanese Lover is a profoundly moving tribute to the constancy of the human heart in a world of unceasing change.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Isabel Allende was born in Peru and raised in Chile.  Her books are bestsellers including THE HOUSE OF SPIRITS, DAUGHTER OF FORTUNE and MY INVENTED COUNTRY, whic have been translated into more than 35 languages and have sold over 65 million copies worldwide.  Visit her at www.isabelallende.com.