September 6, 2017

BOOK OF THE MONTH! WICKED REMNANTS BY MANUEL A. MELENDEZ


  
Our Book of the Month is one that will make you laugh, cry and scream.
 And why shouldn't it? It's Halloween!! 
Here's an excerpt.  Happy Reading!!




“Gypsy Moon”
WICKED REMNANTS
By Manuel A. Meléndez
Book cover by Carlos Aleman
Illustrations by Henry Simon


EXCERPT

He rose from the black bushes like a solid shadow from death. His nightmarish yellow eyes stared at me with hatred. His enlarged pointed nostril flared as mucous dripped from its depth. His muscled hairy torso expanded to proportions of unbelievable massiveness. His arms were like tree trunks that ended into sharp huge claws.

From behind me I heard Deanna scream and my own fears were increased for the safety of us. With foolishness or machismo bravado overcoming my anguish I clenched my hands into fist and prepared if not to save my life, to at least save Deanna’s.

The wolf-like creature ripped through the shrubs, his almost human hoofs inching closer to me. His putrid breath an abomination. He glared at me with a grin of hellish confinement. A grin that grew and grew and grew, until all I could see was fangs crisscrossing other sharp fangs. Heavily steel-like jaws stretched beyond comprehension. He tilted his ponderous head and he howled with blood-dripping thunder from a throat that was neither human nor animal, but more from a demon spawned in the darkest and deepest gutters of Hell.

His bellow destroyed the entire concept of what was sacred and holy in this world. His knife-like claws slashed at me, and like a mere puppet I was thrown across the open meadow. My breath escaped from my lungs and added a tension of agonizing panic. I rolled to my knees and I searched for something to support me and to give me strength. To my delirium, what I found was the fast moving legs of the freak. He grabbed me in his claws and lifted me at least eight feet from the ground. I struggled for my freedom, but the more I battled the deeper his claws cut into my back. The warmth of my blood retreated from my veins as my head spun and my consciousness began to vanish from me. I knew that I was screaming, but the sounds were only vibrations in my throat as the shrieks of the fiendish hulk belittle my cries.

Deanna, my lovely and brave Deanna was still at my side. Instead to succumb at the atrocity before her, she armed herself with a splinter of a tree and clobbered severely at the beast. He ignored her feeble attempts in rescuing me as he trashed me to the ground embedding my face into the soft dry grass. He picked me up above his Herculean shoulders and bawl at the moon. With one talon he held me high and with the other he brushed Deanna aside as if she was an annoying fly.

I dug my fingers inside his eyes and the mad hurting scream that protruded from his foul-smelling mouth gave me an assertiveness to take this demon back to his savage land. He roared with bloodthirsty fury as he seized me by the neck and he flung me to the ground sending a numbness pain through my spine. He leaped upon me like a lover in heat as his fangs severed my neck in half. I felt the tendons on my neck pulling away from the bones and the blood splattering like a fountain out of control. I wanted to scream, but the scream only rose from my belly and stopped in my chest. As I entered a cold darkness that sooth my pains, faintly I heard the sound of gunshots and something amazingly heavy buried me to the blood soaked ground.
And there I died and there I was reborn under the Gypsy Moon.###

© Manuel A. Meléndez.  All rights reserved by author. Permission was granted to reprint excerpt and illustration.



WICKED REMNANTS SUMMARY:  Award winning author Manuel A. Meléndez dares you to walk with him on the dark side and enter into the macabre world of WICKED REMNANTS.  It is a collection of 16 bone-chilling stories that will take you to the place your nightmares begin.  From an old Gypsy curse to a serial killer at large to a whining tree possessed by old secrets to a diabolical enigmatic vampire.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Manuel A. Meléndez is a Puerto Rican author born in Puerto Rico and raised in East Harlem, N.Y. He is the author of two mystery/supernatural novels, WHEN ANGELS FALL, and BATTLE FOR A SOUL, five poetry books, OBSERVATIONS THROUGH POETRY, VOICES FROM MY SOUL, THE BEAUTY AFTER THE STORM, MEDITATING WITH POETRY, and SEARCHING FOR MYSELF. Two collection of Christmas short stories, NEW YORK CHRISTMAS TALES, VOL. I and II, and IN THE SHADOWS OF NEW YORK: TWO NOVELETTES. The novel WHEN ANGELS FALL, was voted by The LatinoAuthors.com as the Best Novel of 2013, while BATTLE FOR A SOUL was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2015 International Latino Awards for Mystery Novels. His short story A KILLER AMONG US was published by Akashi Books in SAN JUAN NOIR anthology. For more information please visit his website. www.manuel-melendez.com.


ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:  Henry Simon was born in Barcelona, Spain. He began his art studies on illustration, painting and comic books in 1995. He began his professional career in 2000 as a cartoonist and illustrator in various newspapers and books. From 2001 to 2004 he worked as a comic book artist and writer for different publishers in Spain and USA. From 2004 to 2010 he moved to Japan where he was one of the animators for I.G. Studios and was a Mangaka’s assistance for Kpdansha Publisher. He returned back home to Barcelona in 2011 and began his career as a comic book artist and illustrator, working for publishers in USA, Europe, Canada and Japan. Please visit his website www.simon-artist.deviantart.com   to follow his amazing work.



READ LATINO ! 

September 4, 2017

TRISTIANA. A TALK WITH AUTHOR JON MARCANTONI.


  
The Latina Book Club congratulates author Jon Marcantoni on his first Spanish-language novel, TRISTIANA.  We were happy to learn all about the novel and what is happening with La Casita Grande. 

  
Darío: When you look at my body, what do you see? You see muscles, chest, arms and legs, my sex? Or do you see skin that is destined to decay? Bones destined to be picked apart by insects until what remains is grinded into dirt. Do you see a walking death that fights to stay within this body? You see my inevitable end, and the hole it will create in the lives of those who love me? What you see if a passing thing, like a memory. And I am alive, I live within your mind, because my destiny is to be buried, and in truth the ground is where this body desires to be above anywhere else. When I look at my children sleeping under the mosquitero, I see a piece of my Isabella and I, a piece which will suffer when we die. The time is coming. Even though in the city everything is at peace, I know that our time is coming. I read the news. I read about La Sombra Negra, and Varela, and El Chapín. I know enough about history to see what will happen next. I am not naïve like my kids, who laugh and play, and kiss us sweetly every night with all the confidence in the world that in the morning, we will be around for them to kiss again. One day, closer than not, they will wake up, but they will not be able to find us. They will not be able to kiss us, or be held by us, or hear our voices. One day, closer than not, my wife and I will be nothing more than shadows in their memories.
                                                                               ----Excerpt from TRISTIANA





LATINA BOOK CLUB: Tell us about TRISTIANA. What is the story? who are the protagonists?  

JON MARCANTONI:  The story of TRISTIANA is the story of Latin America, a land that is both sovereign and at the mercy of foreign interests, where the gap between rich and poor is enormous, yet also where the government is very much an active one, impressing itself on people in a way that, even when they are right wing, is the antithesis of what we would see as Republicanism in the United States. So, there is a lot of lip service to serving the “people” in a very populist sense, even though in practice, the rich are the only “people” being truly catered to. Tristiana is an island that embodies a huge swath of Latin America, with a government who was “freed” from Spanish rule by the United States yet is still beholden to the whims of that country in a neo-colonial relationship. The story takes place during a time when two groups of rebels, one led by a man named Varela and the other by a foreign interloper, El Chapín, who join forces to bring about a Marxist state that will overthrow the capitalist and colonialist government. While in the capital city, we follow the lives of a group of artists and intellectuals, Joaquín, Darío, Amelita, and her father Antonio, as they become increasingly aware of and involved in the rebellion. 


LBC:   In your novel, Tristiana is a beautiful corner of Latin America, but no stranger to violence; a lot like Puerto Rico, our homeland.  A big part of the novel deals with the debate of justice vs politics; assimilation vs diversity; conquistadores vs slaves.  The novel seems very timely given the current political climate on the island and across the USA.  Are the debates in the book a mirror of current political debates on prime time and/or are the debates like carnival mirrors with distorted portraits of the hidden ugliness of man?

JON:  The book takes the ideas behind revolutionary politics and either deals with them directly or deals with them through a funhouse mirror, particularly in the portraits, where a couple of them show scenes of the wealthy in all their decadence or as monstrous distortions of their actual selves. The topics you mentioned and others are shown in a variety of lights, some humorous, some allegorical, some in very barebones, logical terms. We see multiple angles of how the events in the book are perceived, and while the story has a distinct message, it allows room for those alternate views. Ultimately, the story is a sort of Socratic dialogue that begins with two revolutionaries discussing the potential futility of their actions, and ends with a person ruminating on that futility, and all the things one must lose in fighting for something that isn’t even guaranteed. Everything in between those two scenes investigates all the factors that contribute to societies being the way they are, and humans being the way we are, and asks the reader if any other way of achieving a just society is even possible. I’ve done my best to leave that question open ended, because I most certainly don’t have the answer.


LBC:   You mention in the book, and you have also stated it in some of your blog posts, that the saving grace of mankind -- and art! -- will be women.  However, you also point out that for woman to get rid of man, she may have to become just as cruel an animal as he or worse.  Is this correct? But then we have to wonder, what happen to past matriarchal civilizations and why did they not survive? how did man conquer them?  If woman is the savior, how and why did she become victim? Can woman rise again?

JON:  I think that, as much as we’d like to think that putting a woman in power changes things, if they are operating within the power structures as they already exist, then change, if any, will be minimal. You have seen, also, with politicians like Margaret Thatcher, where a woman in power can be used to further entrench patriarchal practices. With Obama, you saw how difficult it is for even the most skilled and well-meaning politician to change the structures they are working within. So changing gender or race does very little to effect change. Perhaps I’m just cynical, but there are enough examples of revolutions changing one level of bureaucracy while everything else remains the same. Marx warned about it, hence his attacks on the petit-bourgeoisie (the middle classes who seemingly support revolutionary change but who inevitably fall back on the attitudes and structures that were already in place. In other words, they become the new aristocracy, stifling any long-lasting reforms), and Mao’s attempts to reinvent Chinese society every five years. The thing about change is it must be ever changing, a status quo cannot be settled on or else the revolution was meaningless. But because humans prefer stability to chaos, even when a massive change occurs, like the Bolshevik Revolution, society will settle back into the behaviors of its past, much like the Soviets became the new tsars and the Soviet Union became little more than the Russian Empire under a new name.

My cynicism, then, is fairly justified, so while it would be great to change society into a matriarchal one, I have difficulty believing it’ll mean anything other than women will be the ones starting wars and implementing social policies that oppress some group of people, much like men did before them. Even in a society of supposed equals, someone will feel left out, or feel like equality is restricting, and they will lead a new revolution to return to a more hierarchical system. That appears, from countless historical examples, to be the way humanity works. Otherwise we never would have started organized societies. To have order requires there to be winners and losers, and so far, no society has demonstrated that an alternative is possible.  That is not inspiring, I know, and as full disclosure, TRISTIANA is perhaps the most depressing book about revolution imaginable.


LBC:  What do you want readers to come away with after reading TRISTIANA?  

JON:  On a story level, I’d want it to be a book people will want to discuss with others. Discuss the various stances the characters take, and discuss how activism and concepts like revolution are used in the modern sense. I hope it forces readers to look hard and long at their belief systems and question who they are as people, and what they would be willing to sacrifice to make the world in their desired image.

On a stylistic level, I hope the book is inspiring to people who want to tell stories in a non-traditional sense. Tristiana is a hybrid novel, which is beginning to pick up steam in the avant garde world, especially in regards to mixing poetry and narrative. Here I use film, painting, theatre, and classical narrative to create a story that is, in many ways, a dialogue with the reader, a lived-in experience that can be consumed in a number of ways. I would hope that readers finish the book and see how expansive the possibilities of literature are, that you don’t have to write in any one way. That is a key component to visualism, which is the movement I place Tristiana in, a story that relies on visceral techniques to capture a reader’s attention. To practice visualism, you very consciously reject the dominant models of literature as archaic and outdated.


LBC:  What is the meaning of the cover?  Is that a Taino warrior on the cover?  Is that one of the murals in the story?  another mirror?

JON:  The cover image was made courtesy of my good friend Taylor Kelsaw, who shared it with me when I was looking for the right cover to embody the conflict between man and nature that is the overarching theme of the book. I responded to the way in which the human figure is prostrated before the sky, and that the sky is foreboding yet beautiful, magnificent, dominating the human. Throughout the book, the characters speak of how we are really on Earth as guests, and that a time will come when we are no longer welcome and there is no turning back the clock. The image embodied that reverence and fear. It also captured the portrait sequences of the book, where I create images using language designed to imitate specific artistic styles.



LBC:   TRISTIANA is written in Spanish.  You did that purposely.  Why was that important to you?  Is there a Spanish reading market?  How is that Latino Spanish reading market different from the Latino English reading market?  Will there be an English translation?

JON:  It has been my dream, since I was a teenager, to tell stories in Spanish. I didn’t become fluent until I was in my early twenties, and my love of the language only heightened the desire to do so. This particular story felt like it couldn’t be in English. I was taking a point of view and attitude that is very Latin American. The book is unapologetically Marxist and militant, which is frowned upon in the U.S. Even so-called progressive literature in the U.S. is very tame and adheres to the U.S. structure of government and what is acceptably leftist, which is very passive and more about being morally superior than it is about changing society in a more inclusive manner. In Latin America, leftist politics is much more aggressive and chaotic, as well as more educated. Latin Americans are more sophisticated politically, if you read the literature and the news and speak with people there, they have a real understanding of, say, the differences between socialism and Marxism and capitalism, whereas in the United States, politics are very much simplified and generalized. I knew that to tell a story as complex and as dense as this one, a Latin American audience would appreciate it the most. And this was confirmed for me when my first few readers were Latin Americans, and every single one felt that it wasn’t a story that would appeal to Americans because of how deeply it invests in the Latin American worldview.

As for the market in Latin America, all I’ll say to that is that the city with the most bookstores in the world is Buenos Aires, and Mexico City has a larger publishing industry than New York. We are not an illiterate people.

Latino readers in the U.S. I think would have mixed feelings about the book. The more educated they are in Latin American history and U.S.-Latino relations, the more they would appreciate it, but the Latino community is also largely pro-United States, and this book is decidedly anti-American. There is even the line, said by a military commander in battle: “We fight for the highest honor, and the highest honor is not to kill a Yankee, but to kill a piti-Yankee (Latino who supports the U.S.), for they are the true traitors of Latin America.” That character is not a villain, by the way. I have a hard time imagining these Latinos who push so hard to be accepted by U.S. culture enjoying a book that decries the very thing they want to be a part of.

The only way an English translation will happen is if there is enough demand for one, and/or somebody else does the translation.


LBC:  Aside from being a writer, you are also editor of La Casita Grande publishing.  How is LCG doing? what new authors have you discovered?

JON:  LCG is doing very well. Our second book, Spanish Coffee: Black, No Sugar, had its book launch at Word Up! Community Bookshop in NYC, and they not only sold out of copies, people had to order copies online when they ran out. Our Lounge blog has run two successful series this summer, thanks to our wonderful intern Sydney Joy Boryga. Our blog has attracted enough material that we are publishing new pieces four to five times a week, with the weekends being used to highlight recent posts. We also are consistently receiving book submissions from all over Latin America and the U.S. Our other fabulous intern, Heather Gutekunst, has been a major help to me this summer in picking out new and exciting books.  

We have discovered some really phenomenal talents. Most recently, a trifecta of writers from Cuba, Elaine Vilar Madruga, Laura Domingo Agüero, and Eric Taylor Flores, have been published in the Lounge. And Elaine and Laura both will be doing books with us as well. In October, Puerto Rican author Carlos II Ocasio Díaz will premiere his supernatural thriller Mateo, and 2018 and 2019 will offer books set in Japan and Australia, a story collection about mental illnesses, a feminist magic realist book, a YA fantasy novel, and an experimental novel that captures life in 1980s Chicago through different musical styles. We have been running a series called Meet the Author where readers are introduced to each of our writers and learn more about their books. You can check out a few here, here, and here.


LBC:  Please share your website and social media addresses with your fans.  

JON:   Visit LCG Press here
Visit the LCG Lounge here
Follow LCG on Twitter @lcgeditores and on Facebook here

TRISTIANA was launched on August 5 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. ###


READ LATINO!


August 30, 2017

INTERVIEW WITH DEBUT AUTHOR LINDA LAROCHE


  
The Latina Book Club congratulates Linda LaRoche on her first book.  
DUST UNTO SHADOW is the story of immigrants returning to their homeland and not being as welcomed as they thought they’d be.  
Linda has gracious shared an excerpt with us via video.  Enjoy!



EXCERPT!  To hear an excerpt read by the author, click here.


Q: Congratulations on your first book. We understand your grandmother and mom inspired the book. Tell us how? What is the book about?

LINDA LAROCHE:  My mother inspired the book and her immediate family. From the time I was a child I had an interest in genealogy and would ask my parents and grandmothers questions about their growing up years. In the early 1990's while living in Berlin, I had the opportunity to explore my creativity- I trained as a method actor and made a living from having a small part on a television series and commercials, A friend suggested that we do our genealogy through the LDS church. I thought it was far-fetched that the Mormon Church, a young American Institution would have records from Mexico. It wasn't until 2010, when I watched the reality show, "Who Do You Think You Are," that for the fun of it, I went online and by chance found my mother’s paternal grandparents wedding certificate. That got me started on a genealogy search that was facilitated through baptism certificates.  It’s then when I realized that no matter how humble one's circumstances, one wanted to ensure their child's soul a passage to heaven.

The search culminated in my finding that my mother wasn't Mexican as she had claimed. She was descended from Criollos and contrary to what she has said her family had not been in Mexico long. As I asked her questions, she slowly opened up to the past. She had always been an intensely private woman.  Perhaps it was her age or the timing, but as she opened up I heard stories unknown to me. As she spoke I knew the trust she placed in me was sacred and I was compelled to chronicle. 

Her parents had left Guadalajara and came to the United States, setting in northern California, had children and my grandfather who was well-educated made a living as a telegrapher. However, he took to drink and abused my Grandmother. My grandmother fearing for her life had 6 children in the span of 8 years that depended on her, fled to her hometown for safety. But she miscalculated and encountered a living hell in Mexico. All comfort and modernity was gone and they leaped back time living more violence, the bleakness of poverty, cultural displacement, and color-consciousness.  The book explores the dark underbelly of life in Mexico in the 1930's and 1940's.   



Q:  Children of two cultures are often caught between two worlds, unwelcome in either.  Is there a way to make them feel more at home, wherever that home is -- in Mexico or in US? Is assimilation the key to survival in "new land"? Is there a way to be part of the new home without losing one's culture?

LINDA LAROCHE:  My mother in Mexico constantly yearned to return to the States. Her transition coming to Los Angeles, with her young son was a city that was not familiar to her and she acclimated; she held onto her conventional beliefs and embraced the American life aspects of life she admired. She also instilled into her children Latino sensibilities (etiquette, manners, hospitality, etc.) not found in American culture.  While I wrote this book, I realized my grandmother felt rootless without a home.

I myself never felt American and Mexico doesn't hold my interest either. So where is home? Is it a geographical place, a place in time, or a state of mind? Whatever it is, it is a human dilemma which consumes emotion and contemplation. And transplants like me who go to Berlin, New York, San Francisco and float around seeking this elusive refuge.  Mystics would say home is within you. If I were to apply that statement to the concept of home, there would be no need to question because home can be anywhere one claims it to be.


Q:  You are a journalist by profession. Did that experience help you write faster? Better? Any advice for new Writers eager to pen their story?

LINDA LAROCHE:  I have a diverse background in the media, although of the many things I've done, I was in tune with journalism because I had equal parts of solitude and time with others. As a journalist, I worked freelance which gave me the opportunity to write about topics I cared about it. This empowerment and authenticity was and remains important to me. As a creative writer, I imagined the time and setting in DUST UNTO SHADOW since I have never been to where my mother grew up. Although we had the means to travel, we were shielded from trips to Mexico.  As a young woman, I made the voyage but an accident prevented me from visiting the village thus cutting my trip short. I used my imagination to add dialogue and give the story richness and texture.

However, like a journalist, I remain objective to the storyline and took a step back, only adding my thoughts at the end, including what I perceived to be at the root of the social injustice and the redemptive power of Love.  A writer first and foremost needs passion to sustain their goal. They should start with what they know, not talk about it, but write, be open to re-writes (there will be many more than you can imagine) have steely determination and most of all, fulfill their self-promises! 

I wrote the book in 2010 while I was teaching creative writing at the College of Southern Nevada; my goal was to have it published the traditional way. I never gave up. Then on New Year’s Eve, saying good-bye to 2016, I said, that's it Linda, what are you waiting for. You see the value in this, don't wait for anyone else, and do it now! I then edited the copy, compiled the photos, started to research art, fonts, etc. and thoroughly enjoyed the process.  I'm highly organized so publishing was natural for me but when something technical went wrong, ordinarily I get frustrated, but I embraced it as you would a child I had given life to.   

My maternal grandmother’s spirit was with me every-day. Other family members who I never met; literally jumped off the page. I knew their flaws and attributes and fell in love with all of them and was honored that we had this time. When it was time to say good-bye, I knew it wasn’t final, only a matter of time until we meet again. ###





DUST UNTO SHADOW SUMMARY:   Benilde and her family lives are readjusted when they return to their homeland in Mexico.  There is ritual and routine, as it has been for generations. Having encountered a modern life in Northern California, the family shares the customs of Mexican life and rejects the insular rules that shape village existence.  They are viewed as outsiders and remain in the minority and despite trying to make a happy home life they find hostility that has molded their family's destiny for generations.   A powerful story about a family bonded by honor and separated by circumstances and culture.  Dust unto Shadow celebrates the bond of love that connects families while painting an unforgettable portrait of a dark period in Mexican history. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Linda LaRoche is a writer with extensive experience in screenwriting, journalism, public relations, teaching, and short stories.  While working in the film industry, she produced The Trouble with Tonia, starring Lupe Ontiveros, and won the Silver Star Award for Producer in the Houston Film Festival.  It also won best film award in the San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain and is listed as one of the top 100 Hispanic-American films, on Chon A. Noriega’s, Aztlán Film Institute's Top 100 List.   

As a journalist, her work appeared in many periodicals including The Los Angeles Times Sunday arts section, In Style magazine, and the Pasadena Star News.  Her fictional short stories have been published in literary magazines such as Glimmer Train Press and the Missouri Review.  She taught creative writing at the College of Southern Nevada mentoring budding writers, and helped others nurture their creative ideas from the abstract into polished execution.  Currently, she is an independent public relations consultant representing clients in the arts and personal development.  DUST UNTO SHADOW is her first novel.

To learn more about Linda LaRoche visit her on the following platforms:



READ LATINO !



August 28, 2017

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR ED CARDENAS




The Latina Book Club welcomes author, musician and counselor Ed Cárdenas 
We admire his fortitude, his productivity and his love for his family and 16 grandchildren.  It is for them that he writes and composes.





Buenos Dias! Yo soy Ed Cárdenas. I was born in Taos, New Mexico, and raised on a small farm by my maternal grandparents. Growing up in a traditional home - where the only language spoken was Spanish - my grandparents taught me old traditional virtues, like respect and cariño, which set the foundation for my chosen field of social work. I am blessed to have roots in Taos. The land has presented a serene and wholesome milieu from nature; and its amable gente, that still practices cultural virtues like respect.


LOVITO
Inspiration for LOVITO began in 1999, when I developed heart disease. My cardiologist told me, “only love can save you.” I asked myself, where I could find such love? The answer came from my 16 grandchildren.  I spent two weeks visiting with them and absorbing their sincere cariño (tender love). Their love inspired me to leave them something of substance that they could share with their children. I prayed to the Creator to guide my writing. After two amazing weeks, 13 Lovito books were written.

The main character in the series is Lovito, a 4-year-old boy wolf. The name "Lovito" is a combination of the English word, "love," and the Spanish suffix, "ito," which translates into "Little Love" or "Amorcito". Following is a description of the series:

LOVITO is a series of 13 children’s stories that build on character and life skills. The main thread throughout the series is teaching responsible behavior by emphasizing the balance between firmness and cariño (love). The LOVITO topics include: Respect, Responsibility, Generosity, Love and Truth, Trustworthiness, Confidence, Citizenship, Humor, Communication, Patience, Goals, Fairness, and Family Love. All stories are based on old cultural dichos (proverbs) and are bilingual (Spanish and English). The series can be of benefit to children from pre-school to third grade, parents and teachers, and mental health workers.
      
A total of 13 books have been written in both Spanish and English. In each story, you will find at least one main dicho to support the main concept in each book. Some of the dichos in Lovito were based on the dichos I grew up with, but I researched over 2,000 dichos to select ones that best supported the concepts in each story.  The books have been used in the classroom to inspire internalization of cultural virtues in students and teachers. It has successfully been used in classroom management

EL LEGADO
I recently published EL LEGADO, a young adult story. The book is written in English and reinforced by cultural dichos and Spanish vocabulary words. The following quote on EL LEGADO from the renowned author of BLESS ME, ULTIMA Rudolfo Anaya, very well describes what the book is about:

I found EL LEGADO an easy-to-read book, sprinkled with enough magic to keep the reader interested to the end. The main character, Antonio is on a journey to reclaim his Hispanic heritage. The advice Antonio’s grandfather gives him becomes his guiding light, for it is our abuelitos (grandparents) who are keepers of the culture. The book is especially relevant to today’s young Hispanos who, like Antonio, want to learn the Spanish language and the traditions of their culture.


ABOUT THE WRITING
I find it easier to write for children, as I enjoy thinking like a kid. I must also say that I really enjoyed writing for youth in EL LEGADO. I see a need for youth to retrieve their culture and heal from its loss.

My writing schedule varies. At times, I may write for hours straight for 2 weeks. At other times, I write in short spurts whenever inspired. I let the Creator guide me. I don't force things.

I write in both Spanish and English. The Lovito series is written in Spanish and English, because it is imperative that young children have access to both languages - "El que lenguas sabe dos vale por dos." I thought EL LEGADO would best reach of our youth in English as many are more proficient in it. Since the main character grieves the loss of the Spanish language, it makes sense that the story would be told from in the English language.

My favorite Latino authors are Rudolfo Anaya and Yolanda Nava. They are both very inspiring as they write about our gente from the heart. My Favorite non-Latino writer is William Glasser, MD, who presents a down-to-earth theory on mental health that is very practical to use for most cultures.

Next for me is to continue developing the Lovito Bilingual and Bicultural Training Institute. The institute trains parents, teachers, and other human service workers in how to teach and model the Lovito virtue concepts.###



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   Ed Cárdenas, LISW is a native of Taos, New Mexico and has family roots in Río Lucio. He received his Master’s degree in social work from the University of Denver where he received the Dorothea Spellman Award for his creativity in working with groups. His graduate emphasis was in working with children, treatment, community service, and social planning. He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate from Metro State College in Denver.  

Ed wrote and published the book, Beach Ball - Balancing our Relationship World. He released five of the thirteen LOVITO series books, stories that build character and life skills for children. Ed has also published EL LEGADO, a cultural retrieval novel for teenagers, and is currently in the process of publishing a book called El LIBRO DE DICHOS Y CONSEJOS, which is an accompanying book to EL LEGADO, and reinforces its concepts.  Visit Ed at www.edcardenas.com.


READ LATINO ! 





August 17, 2017

REVIEW: ALL THAT GLITTERS: A TALE OF SEX, DRUGS AND HOLLYWOOD DREAMS BY LIZA TREVIŇO



Timing--everything always came down to timing. It seemed to her that her timing had always been off. Not crazy off, just that extra millisecond that pushed everything either too early or too late. And now, she understood that it was too late....she couldn't even bear to go through with the whole charade of her life any longer.----Alex Moreno



Koehler Books
Captivating and Original. ALL THAT GLITTERS is a well-written rags-to-riches tale, with a quick pace and engaging characters. The novel was inspired by Jackie Collins’ Hollywood sagas and Treviño’s five-year stint as a script girl in L.A.

Alexandria Moreno is a powerful, complex heroine, who is any and every woman. She represents woman’s thirst to excel and determination to shape her own destiny.  We love that Alex is flawed but courageous; selfish but loyal; scarred but free.  We love the sexy cover; it’s so Audrey Hepburn-ish. And, best of all we love that this is book 1 of a forthcoming Hollywood trilogy.  This is definitely a writer and series to watch!

SUMMARY:  Hollywood or Bust!  It’s the 1980s and Alexandria Moreno has had enough of Texas. Her brother and beloved mother are dead so she sets out to L.A. to make her Hollywood dreams come true.  Armed with a smart mouth and a bad attitude, Alex and her BFF Ellie hit the road. Times are rough for two penniless girls, and a person can get lost in the big city. Then opportunity knocks and Alex gets her shot and a job for Hollywood’s hottest producer. It’s a rough climb to the top and not everyone will lend a helping hand. Alex gets one from Australian heartthrob Jamie Douglas. The actor is welcoming and super-hot, and very much married. For once the love-them-and-leave-them Alex plays by the rules and keeps her hands off.  While her career climbs, friends are left behind and Alex loses herself in the arms of different men and different vices.  Suddenly, she is on top of the world, with two Oscars, a sadistic lover, no family, no friends and no purpose. She has sacrificed everything and everyone in her life. Her blind ambition has brought about her self-destruction. But this feisty Latina refuses to give up, and come what may, she will fight for a new future and a new destiny.###


Read an excerpt from ALL THAT GLITTERS by clicking here.


  
About the Author:  Liza Treviño hails from Texas, spending many of her formative years on the I-35 corridor of San Antonio, Austin and Dallas.  In pursuit of adventure and a Ph.D., Liza moved to Los Angeles where she compiled a collection of short-term, low-level Hollywood jobs like script girl, producer assistant and production assistant.  Her time as a Hollywood Jane-of-all-trades gave her an insider's view to a world most only see from the outside, providing the inspiration for creating a new breed of Latina heroine.  Learn more about Liza at www.lizatrevino.com.



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