June 20, 2016

REVIEW: LUCK IS JUST THE BEGINNING BY CELESTE LEON

  
  The Latina Book Club continues to celebrate and honor our Fathers.
Here’s a loving tale about a Dad who is a true hero to his family and his town; 
and an inspiration to men everywhere.


If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.—Maya Angelou

And for the cruel person who tears out the heart with which I live, I cultivate neither nettles nor thorns; I cultivate a white rose.—José Marti  
It’s your family, your friends, and our belief in one another that count most in the end.—Ramón Carrasquillo.

 


“Ramón León Carrasquillo had a powerful premonition. Something extraordinary was about to happen.”


Floricanto Press
So opens LUCK IS JUST THE BEGINNING, a novel by Celeste León based on her father’s true story.  It’s a beautiful, inspiring, mesmerizing tale written by a loving daughter to honor the man and father she admires most. 

But don’t think this is just another emotional retelling of a father’s life.  Oh no, LUCK IS JUST THE BEGINNING is a heroic adventure. Our hero Ramón wins the gold, but then faces demons from every quarter.  He is challenged repeatedly and comes close to losing his life a few times, and, in true champion style, our Hero rallies himself to conquer all evil and save the day.

Ramón Carrasquillo is a hero not only to his family, but to the town of Maunabo as well.  He was the seventh child, born in a caul on the seventh day of the seventh month. On November 17, 1944, he saw numbers in the clouds and had a strong urge to play the lottery. He did and he won, and so his life changed forever.

Ramón wasn’t frivolous.  He didn’t want the money for a house or a car; he wanted to use that money to fulfill a promise he made to his old mentor; a promise to become a dentist and open a clinic for his village.

But with his good fortune came the bad – a long line of people begging, even demanding, that he helped them; friends who promise to help him succeed getting into college but for a price; an aloof girl who suddenly welcomed his courtship but in the end would not marry him; dark temptations that prove hard to resist; and worse of all an enemy who threatened his life and his integrity.

LUCK IS JUST THE BEGINNING is also about paradoxes.  Good and bad fortunes.  It’s about winning the lottery and gaining enemies.  It’s about winning the girl but not her hand.  It’s about helping your family but losing your friends. It’s about fighting for your country but not winning its respect. 

But luckily, this novel is also about admitting your mistakes and correcting them.  It’s about paying bad actions with good ones.  It’s about being honorable and faithful; and most of all, it’s about being true to yourself.  Hard lessons all true Heroes most learn.  Lessons Ramon learned and lived.  He changed his actions to positive ones, and in doing so changed the fortunes of his family and his beloved town.

Celeste León has good reason to be proud of her heroic father, and after reading this novel, readers will also be cheering for this Hero Dad.###
  


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Celeste León is an award winning author. Her debut novel, LUCK IS JUST THE BEGINNING, was awarded Finalist in the Multicultural Fiction Category in the 2016 International Book Awards and the Mariposa Award for Best First Book in the 2016 International Latino Book Awards.

Celeste was named “One of Ten Latina Writers to Watch and Read” by The Latina Book Club, and shortly thereafter they published this interview in honor of Women’s History Month (March): Beyond a Stroke of Luck: An Interview with Celeste León by Teresa Dovalpage

Celeste is a 2013 alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. She is the recipient of First Prize in the annual contest for the High Sierra Writers group in Reno, Nevada for her essay, Finding Home, about her travels to Puerto Rico in search of her family roots. When Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor read the piece, she said, “If your work on your short story reflects your work on your book, it will be successful.” The piece was also a finalist in the 2014 annual contest for The Preservation Foundation.  Celeste is a physical therapist and lives in Truckee, CA with her family.  Visit her social media sites:




For 2016 International Book Awards announcement, click here.

To watch her NPR interview, click here.


  

Here’s to our first heroes – our Dads.

Thank you for loving us and inspiring us.

Happy Father’s Day….every day!


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