January 15, 2018

REFLECTING ON LOVE AND MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Reflecting on the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Conclusion --- I too choose to stick with Love.

Wishing you many blessings in 2018.  Stay positive.

My focus word this year is Celebration. I am celebrating small and big things. Join me---mcf


I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
---Martin Luther King, Jr.


Stick with Love

Read Latino



December 28, 2017

5th ANNUAL BOOKS OF THE YEAR FOR 2017


  
Stories can’t be featured unless they are available to read.  We all need to share our stories…. – Lisa Guerrero, Journalist, Latina, Leader.



We can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by.  We were happy to discover new authors and new stories – stories that made us laugh, cry, cringe, scream and fall in love.  We’ve put together an easy reference list of our books of 2017 for readers everywhere.

Remember that books make great gifts all year around, and the best way to support an author is by buying their books, reading their stories and telling your friends and their friends and so on.

We wish you the very best for the New Year, and we look forward to discovering new stories and new authors. 

Happy Reading. Happy 2018! --- mcf




BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017

A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying by Laurie Ann Guerrero (University of Notre Dame Press) – poetry

All that Glitters by Liza Treviño (Koehler Books) -- fiction

All the Agents and Saints by Stephanie Elizondo Griest (University of North Carolina Press) – memoir, travel

All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry (Algonquin Young Readers) – fiction

Answered by Silence by Theresa Varela -- poetry

Anthology 2016 edited by Thelma T. Reyna (Altadena Poetry Review) -- poetry

Before Snowfall, After Rain by Ariel Francisco (Glass Poetry Press) -- poetry


Bravo! Poems About Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt and Co.) – children books

Break My Heart by Esther M. Soto (Sunny Girl Publishing) – fiction, paranormal, romance

Cantos Del Alma y Del Corazon by Dr. Maria Alma González Pérez – poetry, Spanish

Captain Mama’s Surprise / La Sorpresa de Capitan Mama by Graciela Tiscareño-Sato (Gracefully Global Group) – children book

Citywalker by Orlando Ferrand -- poetry

Codex of Journeys: Bendito Camino by Liliana Valenzuela (Mouthfeel Press) – poetry

Diaspora: Selected and New Poems by Frank Varela (Arte Publico Press) -- poetry


Dust Unto Shadow by Linda LaRoche – fiction

Dysfunctional Males by Fernando Sdrigotti (La Casita Grande) – fiction, short stories

Hispanicus: The Apostate Life of Antonio Pintero by Eddie Cisneros – fiction

I Got This: To Gold and Beyond by Laurie Hernandez (Harper Collins) – memoir, young adult

Imagining: Beyond Purpose & Creativity by Carlos Aleman – inspirational

In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende (Atria Books) – fiction

It Concerns The Madness by Nancy Mercado (Long Shot Productions) – poetry


Las Estrellas De Los Reyes Magos by Tere Rodríguez-Nora (Ediciones Norte) – children books, Spanish

Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times edited by Carolina de Robertis (Vintage Books) – essays

Rising, Falling, All of Us by Thelma T. Reyna (Golden Foothills Press) – poetry

SanTana’s Fairy Tales by Sarah Rafael Garcia (Raspa Press) – fiction, short stories, bilingual

Self Made by Nely Galán (Spiegel & Grau) – self-help

Sonnets to the Japim by Yolanda A. Reid -- poetry

Spanish Coffee: Black, No Sugar by A.B. Lugo (La Casita Grande) – poetry


The Boss by Aya de Leon (Dafina Books) – urban fiction

The Case of the Three Kings: The Flaca Files by Alidis Vicente (Piñata Books) – children books

The Legacy by Ed Cárdenas -- young adult, Spanish and English

This River Here by Carmen Tafolla (Wings Press) – poetry

Torrent Tragedy by Raquel Zepeda Fitzgerald – fiction, thriller, horror

Trained to Kill: The Inside Story of CIA Plots Against Castro, Kennedy & Che by Carlos Harrison -- memoir

Tristiana by Jonathan Marcantoni (La Casita Grande) – fiction, Spanish only


When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (Thomas Dunne Books) – fiction, paranormal, young adult

Wicked Remnants by Manuel A. Meléndez – thriller, horror

With the River on Our Face by Emmy Pérez (University of Arizona Press) – poetry



Read Latino.

Happy Reading. 

Happy New Year !



December 6, 2017

BOOK OF THE MONTH: IN THE MIDST OF WINTER BY ISABEL ALLENDE


  
Tell your super-ego to fuck off, man. The way you examine every single action, past and present, is twisted. The sin of pride. You’re not that important. You have to forgive yourself once and for all.
 --- IN THE MIDST OF WINTER


ATRIA BOOKS
Isabel Allende starts a new book every January.  IN THE MIDST OF WINTER must have been started during a snow storm because this book takes place during a hard winter in Brooklyn.

IN THE MIDST OF WINTER is a heartwarming, captivating, suspenseful, adventurous, gratifying novel.  It’s about love and loss, about justice and redemption, about survival and rebirth, about friendship and family.

Allende tackles issues like gang violence, political atrocities, domestic abuse, illegal immigration and human rights se with truthfulness and integrity. Her characters are so realistic they could be your next door neighbors. This novel is fast-paced and with enough plot twists –I did not see that dead body coming! -- to keep readers warm all over.  And best of all, it’s available in English and Spanish.

IN THE MIDST OF WINTER is mesmerizing!   



SUMMARY:   Snow storms make strange bedfellows. Richard Bowmaster, a 60-year-old human rights scholar, is a loner. Not even his tenant the lovely Lucia Maraz, a 62-year-old lecturer whom he brought over from Chile to teach at his university, can tempt him, and she’s tried. But when Richard gets caught in a fender bender with Evelyn Ortega, a young, undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, and then she shows up on his door step hysterical, he turns to Lucia for help. Trapped indoors, these three strangers begin to thaw towards each and begin to share their life stories. Evelyn’s tortured childhood at the hands of the MS-13 gang; Lucia’s youth amid the violence of the 1973 Chilean military coup; and Richard’s father’s escape from the Nazi’s and his volatile and disastrous marriage. Secrets are shared and friendships are formed so that when the dead body in the trunk is revealed, the trio are united in purpose. They can’t go to the authorities because Evelyn will be deported or worse, so they become co-conspirators in an icy, suspenseful adventure to dispose of the body.



Click here for an excerpt.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende – novelist, feminist, and philanthropist—is one of the most widely read authors in the world. Her books have been translated into more than 35 languages and have sold nearly 70 million copies worldwide. Some of her bestselling and critically acclaimed books are THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS, EVA LUNA, PAULA, and most recently THE JAPANESE LOVER.  To learn more about this beloved and prolific author, visit her at www.isabelallende.com.




November 20, 2017

BOOK OF THE MONTH: ALL THE WIND IN THE WORLD BY SAMANTHA MABRY (excerpt)


Algonquin Young Readers 

 “The goal is to get to the heart.” 

 “The desert has a way of erasing the things that make us each unique.”

 “We do not kid ourselves in the desert: life is hard here, even in the best of circumstances.”

        --ALL THE WIND IN THE WORLD




Captivating. Mysterious. Nightmarish. Magical.

Samantha Mabry’s new book, ALL THE WIND IN THE WORLD, is a stunning mixture of magical realism and romantic suspense. It was selected for the National Book Award longlist; a 2017 BookExpo YA Editors’ Buzz Book; a Fall 2017 Indie Next Pick; and now Latina Book Club’s Book of the Month.


SUMMARY:  Set in the desert fields in Texas, ALL THE WIND IN THE WORLD is the story of two lovers in desperate straits, who will do anything and everything to protect their love and escape their meager existence. 

Sarah Jac and James are transient jimadors/ farm workers in the maguey fields in New Mexico. The desert winds and dirt both polishes their skins to a shine, even as they erase all that makes the workers individuals. The lovers dream of leaving the desert and buying a small ranch near the ocean, but a tragic accident has them fleeing for their lives, towards the cursed Real Marvelous Ranch in Texas.

Life as jimadors is hard, and has taught Sarah Jac and James to hide their love because it can be used against them – to hurt them, blackmail them or separate them. At the Real Marvelous Ranch, all their nightmares come true.  The lovers are faced with a tough boss, a harsher land, superstitious workers and scheming scoundrels eager to separate them.  Soon jealousy, lies and betrayal split the couple. Their love and dreams are shattered by fears and doubts, but when all hope is gone, their love will burn with an energy that will destroy all evil and set them free. 


BOOK COVER! The cover for this book is also stunning and worth mentioning. A picture is worth a thousand words, and this cover is gorgeous and portrays the story perfectly. One can see the desert, the lovers and even the wind if you look closely enough.  The wind that eases away sad memories and can make one happy. Overall, ALL THE WIND IN THE WORLD is a wondrous read and would make a great Holiday gift.  Hint. Hint. 


EXCERPT! Read an excerpt of Samantha Mabry’s new novel courtesy of Bustle by clicking here.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Samantha Mabry credits her tendency toward magical thinking to her Grandmother Garcia, who would wash money in the kitchen sink to rinse off any bad spirits. She teaches writing and Latino literature at a community college in Dallas, where she lives with her husband, a historian, and a cat named Mouse. She is the author of A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON and ALL THE WIND IN THE WORLD. Visit her online at samanthamabry.com or on Twitter: @samanthamabry.



READ LATINO LIT !




  

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 !