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Showing posts from August, 2012

REVIEW: MAGNOLIA CRISTIANA ST. CLAIRE by Maria Mitchell

“Let’s just step on the wind and let it take us where we should be.”  --Roberto Kingsley

“An anthropologist is someone who discovers life by immersing herself/himself into the unknown world of others.” – a definition


This book is “peachy keen” to quote our heroine.

In Magnolia, Maria Mitchell has created a great character. A steel magnolia – pun intended! – from New Orleans, with a smart mouth, generous heart and adventurous spirit. This is her story and she’d be the first to tell you that she’s led an interesting life worth reading about.

The story is charming and enchanting, and a quick read. Mitchell breaks the story towards the end into two juxtapose parts – Magnolia’s college adventure and Bobby’s (her sweetheart) trip to Spain. The addition is a bit jarring but it’s great to see how Bobby comes into his own in Spain. And, the ending reunites them for a festive happy ending.


SUMMARY: Magnolia St. Claire is born in New Orleans. As an only child on both sides, she was born to be spoi…

BLOG: TALES FROM THE EAST SIDE by Diana Diaz

The Latina Book Club is pleased to welcome our Guest Blogger Diana Diaz.



Years ago, my screenwriting professor once told us that writers were unheard children. The statement struck me like a chancleta. The first in my family to attend college, like so many Latina Gen-Xerers, I was very much seen. But even sitting in the intimate, hand-picked class, I rarely felt heard. I was 18 years old for all of three weeks, fresh out of childhood, high school and the Projects that I could see from the window of the NYU library penthouse.

At 18, I took professor Dickerman’s statement age-appropriately and literally. But, decades later, I began to recognize my Nuyorican heritage as largely unheard in my own birth city and almost completely unknown of outside of it. So, over the past several years, I wrote creative non-fiction memoirs of growing up on the Lower East side in the 70’s and 80’s. These stories became the basis of my new book, TALES FROM THE EAST SIDE: ONCE AROUND THE BLOCK.

Though my boo…

REVIEW: UPTOWN MENANCE: TO HELL AND BACK by Carmen Noboa Espinal

"Life is all about loving yourself. It's all about knowing when to follow and know when to get on your own path, even if it means looking soft or being called a chump." – Jenny Rivera


UPTOWN MENANCE was first published in 2000 and its message is as powerful today as it was twelve years ago when it debut. It is the chilling and harsh story of a young Latina born into New York's most violent housing project. It's a story about drugs and violence, family and friends, betrayal and death, but most of all this is a story of survival and perseverance. Our heroine is vulnerable yet tough as nails. Like all good Latinas, she cares for her family and is loyal to her friends, and no police, nosy social workers, crazy Santeras or gun-packing drug dealers can change that.

Noboa Espinal has given our heroine a strong voice. Readers will be entranced as Jenny tells her story from its explosive beginning to its hopeful end. She reveals herself to us, warts and all, and dares us t…

BEING A LATINO WRITER IN AMERICA

The Latina Book Club welcomes guest blogger Jonathan Marcantoni.  Jon is an author and editor, and believes strongly that all Latino writers should Learn Spanish.  Read his reasons why below.





BEING A LATINO WRITER IN AMERICA
by Jonathan Marcantoni



Being a Latino comes with a myriad of complications. Your relationship with the U.S. and your native country depend heavily on how many generations your family has been here, your family’s attitude toward your native culture, and also your personal exposure to your native country. As an artist it is your natural inclination to look as much inward as you do outward, and how much you investigate your Latino identity, the more it will influence your work.

I’ve met many minority artists, whether they are African, African American, Asian, and Latino, who don’t want to be defined by their ethnicity. Who would rather just write stories and keep their personal culture outside of them. I’ve met just as many who spend all their time exploring cultura…

REVIEW: THE TRAITOR’S EMBLEM by Juan Gómez-Jurado

Gómez-Jurado tells a riveting, redeeming love story... and a villain so evil he makes Hitler look like a pretty nice fellow" --KIRKUS REVIEWS


Our Spanish friend, Juan Gómez-Jurado, continues his winning streak with his third bestseller in a row.  THE TRAITOR'S EMBLEM is the story of a daring rescue at sea, a Spanish captain, four German survivors, a desperate request, a mysterious emblem, a harsh betrayal and the quest of a lifetime.  This story is about fathers and sons, heroes and villians, love and hate, loyalty and death. A must for every Gomez-Jurado fan worldwide.


From the press release:

In the vein of Dumas' and Zafon's masterpieces, Juan Gómez-Jurado's THE TRAITOR'S EMBLEM is an epic novel about decades of family betrayal, impossible love and the high price of vengeance. Set against the dark and menacing streets of Depression-era Munich and the cruel rise of Nazism, Gómez-Jurado's spellbinding thriller proves again that he is a master of narration.

SU…

BOOK OF THE MONTH: THE LOST by Caridad Piñeiro

MEET CARIDAD!   New York City.  Join us on Tuesday, August 21, at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore in the Citicorp Building at 6:30pm, 2nd floor, Learning Center (through Music section).  We are going to talk Sin Hunters, books, writing and mojitos!



THE LOST is a fascinating tale of surprising discoveries, intense passions and unique supernatural abilities.” --Single Titles reviews



I am happy to announce August’s Book of the Month, THE LOST, by my friend and author, Caridad Piñeiro. She is an inspiring dynamo: a lawyer by day, a writer by night, weekend and whenever she can fit her writing time in.

Caridad began writing romances with Latino characters for Kensington’s Encanto line. Now, years later, she is writing paranormals, vampires (her Calling series is immortal!), romantic suspense, etc. And, yes, she still incorporates Latino characters in her writing.

THE LOST is the first book in Caridad’s new Sin Hunters series. It was a 2012 RITA finalist – RITAs are the Oscars of the ro…