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Showing posts from May, 2013


It was standing room only last night at the 15th Annual International Latino Book Awards sponsored by Latino Literacy Now and held at the Instituto Cervantes in New York City during BookExpo America.  Actor Toni Plana was the Master of Ceremonies.   There were 190 winners!  Some of the night's most notable winners included: Sandra Ramos O'Briant whose THE SANDOVAL SISTERS' SECRET OF OLD BLOOD took first place in Best Novel, Historical Fiction-English and Best First Book, Fiction. Another double winner was Carmen Tafolla's REBOZOS for Best Poetry Book-Bilingual and Best Arts Book-Bilingual. Reyna Grande's THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US won for Best Latino Focused Nonfiction Book. Cecilia Velastegui's MISSING IN MACHU PICCHU won for Best Novel, Adventure or Drama. Melinda Palacio's HOW FIRE IS A STORY, WAITING won for Best Poetry Book - One Author, English. and Founder of Las Comadres Para Las Americas Nora Comstock's  COUNT ON ME: TALE


  “I’ve learned that only I am responsible for my life: the good, the bad, the positive, the negative, successes and failures. They all belong to me. They are the result of my decisions, my choices. Once I realized that my life truly means my life, I could say ‘I love my life’ and mean it.” --Nancy De Los Santos Reza STORIES INCLUDED: Nancy De Los Santos Reza – “Loving My Life” Josefina Lopez – “The Unlovable” Margo De Leon – The Pillar That Would Not Crumble Laura De Anda – “My Father’s Daughter” Susan Orosco – “The Clearing” Bel Hernandez Castillo – “The Power To Say I Belong” Joanna Ilizaliturri Diaz – “Que Te Dice Tu Corazon?” Rita Mosqueda Marmolejo – “Running In Place” It was Susan Orosco who came up with the idea for a book on how and why she loved her life. Her friend Margo De Leon improved on the idea and suggested they invite other Latinas to also contribute their life stories to the project. They thought of seven Latinas, seven stories, but ended up wi

MAY 24 -- PBS Special on Loreta Velazquez, Confederate Soldier turned Union Spy

REBEL - A VOCES ON PBS SPECIAL FRIDAY, MAY 24 at 10:00 PM ET REBEL is the story of Loreta Velazquez, Confederate soldier turned Union spy. She was dismissed as a hoax for a hundred and fifty years, but new evidence shows Loreta, a Cuban immigrant from New Orleans, was one of an estimated 1000 secret women soldiers of the American Civil War. Deftly weaving lush dramatized scenes of Loreta's riveting tale, vivid storytellers, archival material, and animation, this is a film about a woman, a myth and the politics of national memory. Who was Loreta Velazquez? Why did she fight? And what made her so dangerous she was erased from history?   Watch and find out! Click here for the trailer.     


  The air was charged with electricity as the crowd held their breath in suspense.   Both men took their left hands, which were wrapped in their shirts, and put them behind their backs.   They then held their machetes out in their right hands and approached one another.   It looked like an ancient duel...and it was.   It was a real life duel with swords.   No rules. Real swords. May the best man win. --FROM MACHETE FIGHTS TO PARADISE Daniel DiMarzio's book about the machete fighters in the Dominican Republic intrigued me from the first, because it was ...real.   These fighters and these "duels" are happening today, in our lifetime, on a tropical paradise, and they are to the death! "When I first heard of sword fights in the Dominican Republic," writes Daniel, "I was very skeptical. I thought maybe I was hearing about a freak occurrence or a story that was blown out of proportion. But, then I heard another story…and another. All of them about ma


Best wishes for a beautiful day to Mother's everywhere.


   Do you believe in Angels? For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.                                                                                         --Psalm 91:11 Angels are a big part of Christian religions, and are known to be messengers of God. The big ones every knows -- Michael, Rafael, Gabriel, Lucifer. But have you ever seen one? Tomie Gomez has. In her autobiographical book, GOD, PLEASE SEND ME ANGELS, Ms. Gomez shares her experiences with angels and how they help saved her and her family. BOOK SUMMARY: Since her conversion to the Christian faith, retired teacher Tomasita Gomez has overcome many challenges in her life and witnessed firsthand the reason for her ongoing success in the face of adversity. In this semi-biography, Ms. Gomez explains how after continued prayers for angels to help her and watch over her family, she explains how actual encounters began to take place. Each encounter delivered a message of its o


Here's another picture from one of the bronze plaques on New York's Literary Way , which is on 41st Street between Fifth and Park.  Happy Friday! by Emily Dickinson from 1212  


The Latina Book Club's mission is to promote Latina / Latino authors, which we do through book reviews, author interviews, publicity announcements, book of the month selections, etc. A new feature we are adding is "Writers Wednesdays." The first Wednesday of each month we will feature a writer talking about .....writing. Enjoy! ENRICHING THE JOURNEY:  DISCOVERING MY MUSE IN LATER LIFE by Beatriz F. Fernandez My writing journey began with a column cut out from a local paper: “The Poet’s Corner” by Rita Dove in which she showcased a poet, Andrea Hollander Budy, (now Andrea Hollander) and the title poem of her book, THE OTHER LIFE. In Hollander’s poem a woman takes out a scarf from a drawer and the waft of its faded perfume reminds her of other lives, unlived lives, pregnant with past possibilities. In the same way, over the passing years I would take out the brittle slip of newsprint and re-read it, taking solace in the voice of another who had put into words wh