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Showing posts from November, 2011

REVIEW: VIDA by Patricia Engel

    VIDA By Patricia Engel Black Cat, Grove/Atlantic “In each life, particularly at its dawn, there exists an instant which determines everything.”                                                                                        --- Jean Grenier, ISLANDS. “There is no love. Only people living life together. Tomorrow will be better.” ---Vida Patricia Engel makes her literary debut with VIDA, a bright collection of narratives with a fresh voice, intriguing characters and raw emotions. This is not just another Latina-in-the-USA-coming-of-age story. VIDA is a story about family, life and death, friends and lovers, beginnings and ends. From Colombia to New Jersey to New York to Miami and back again, our protagonist Sabina, searches for identity and meaning.  A child of two lands, Sabina is uncomfortable in both, but she would like to believe her Uncle Emilio when he tells her that she carries the salt of her country in her blood. And so she remembers her parent's h


         “We are all slightly delusional under the California sun.” Beautifully written and meticulously researched, GATHERING THE INDIGO MAIDENS is a must read for anyone who loves a good thriller. Velastegui does a excellent job of mixing fact and fiction, imaginary characters and historical figures, for an explosive combination of history, art, good and evil. Readers won’t want to put the book down. SUMMARY: Paloma Zuibiondo is a rich art collector and philanthropist living in a gated community in a gilded cage in Laguna Beach. Her life is perfect, quiet and safe, until a frantic phone call from a mysterious girl claiming to be sex-slave shatters her sanctuary. The girl begs for help; her capturers promise to free her if Paloma will return the 17th century painting of the Immaculate Conception the girl claims is rightfully hers. And thus is the shallow Paloma rudely awaken to the harsh realities of stolen art treasures and human trafficking. Now – along with the aid of her

LATINA HOLIDAY BLOG TOUR: 23 writers, 23 blogs, 23 days

by Icess Fernandez Rojas ( The Latina Book Club is proud to be part of the first Latina Holiday Blog Tour.  We thank Icess for letting us be a part of it.  Please note that the Tour begins December 1.  Below is an excerpt taken from Icess' blog detailing the tour.  To read the full article, click here .) I have found 23 writers in both fiction and non-fiction who are both up-and-comers and forever favorites. They will post brand new stories about the holiday season. This tour is all inclusive and I am so proud of that. We have Jewish writers participating and I can't wait to read their work. We also have some romance writers who I'm sure will brighten your season. The mystery writers have been cooking up something wicked mixing tinsel and egg nog. The poets are perfecting their verses and the memoirists are choosing just their memories with care. Below is a list of writers and their blogs. The tour begins on Dec. 1 with Julia Amante. As we get closer to the tour,


    THE TIME IN BETWEEN By Maria Dueñas Atria Books I left behind my neighborhood, my people, my little world forever. My whole past remained there as I set out on a new stage of my life, a life that seemed luminous….             –Sira Quiroga And then, as I became aware of my possible scope, I knew the time had come for me to stop going blindly down the paths that other people had set for me….Time for me to take up the reins of my own existence, to choose my own path, to decide how and with whom I was to follow it. I’d stumble along the way, make missteps, encountered broken glass, accidents, and pools of dark mud. I wasn’t facing an easy future, I was quiet sure about that. But the time had come to stop moving forward without any awareness of the terrain I was on… In short, it was time to be the mistress of my own life.           –Arish Agoriuq (Sira Quiroga spelled backwards) THE TIME IN BETWEEN is a word-of-mouth phenomenon that catapulted Maria Dueñas, a debut author


   IF I BRING YOU ROSES By Marisel Vera Hachette Book Group Marisel Vera makes an amazing debut! IF I BRING YOU ROSES is an emotional roller coaster. It’s at times sweet, heart breaking and inspiring. Vivid descriptions and well-rounded characters bring the story to life. Readers will travel with Felicidad and Anibal from the pueblos of Puerto Rico to the Windy City of Chicago. And, they will cheer as the newlyweds mature and realize that marriage is not a fairy tale but something much better. This is definitely an author to watch. SUMMARY: After a childhood of deprivation and heartbreak in 1940s Puerto Rico, Felicidad Hildago believes herself unloved and forgotten—even by God. Then one afternoon she meets Aníbal Acevedo. Aníbal, visiting his family on the island, is not in need of a wife, but how can an ordinary man resist a beautiful woman in distress? Soon, they are married and living in 1952 Chicago. The two young people must learn to navigate not only the cold, unknown


    Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid... He is the hero, he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.          –Piri Thomas, DOWN THESE MEAN STREETS DOWN THESE MEAN STREETS was written by the late Piri Thomas over 30 years ago, but the book is still as true and relevant today as it was then. It's Piri’s memoir of a young dark-skinned—“morenito”—Puerto Rican growing up in Spanish Harlem during the 50s and 60s. He talks truthfully about being an outsider in his home and his neighborhood; of his drug addiction; of joining a gang; of making bad choices; of shooting a police officer; and, of his conviction and sentencing. Piri didn’t find religion or salvati