Not only is Sherrill a prolific author, but she also finds time to work on charity board projects. To see which charities Sherrill supports visit her website.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Not only is Sherrill a prolific author, but she also finds time to work on charity board projects. To see which charities Sherrill supports visit her website.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Today we get to visit with historical and paranormal romance author, Carolyn Jewel. Carolyn is the author of ten books, the latest released in June was MY FORBIDDEN DESIRE.
Carolyn Jewel has been writing stories ever since she could scribble. Now that she's grown up she writes historical and paranormal romance because she loves history and imagining the lives of people who lived in years past, and because she's fascinated by the loves and travails of the not-exactly-human in any time period.
About MY FORBIDDEN DESIRE:
Torn Between. . .
Alexandrine Marit is a witch in mortal danager. An evil mage craves the powerful, mysterious talisman that supplies her magic, and the only person who can keep her alive is a dark and dangerous fiend called Xia. With his fierce animosity toward witches, he's hardly the ideal bodyguard. Yet as days turn into nights, she can't deny the white-hot passion between them.
Desire and Temptation . . .
Xia hates witches. They enslave and mercilessly kill his kind. But he's been ordered to protect Alexandrine, who, to his surprise, has a spirit he admires and a body he longs to possess. With the mage and his henchmen closing in, Alexandrine and her protector must trust the passion that can unite them . . . or risk losing everything to the enemies who can destroy them both.
Visit Carolyn's website to read and excerpt of MY FORBIDDEN DESIRE and even view a trailer and read the great reviews!
Don't forget to return with your comments to be entered in the drawing and win Carolyn's book.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Robyn is a historical romance author who wrote four novels for Avon, before moving to Grand Central and releasing SEDUCE ME last July. On her site, she shared a bit about being a writer: "I'm one of those writers who always knew that she wanted to be a writer. It took me a while, however, to figure out precisely what I wanted to write. Reading Kathleen Woodiwiss' "A Rose in Winter" sealed the deal for me and I've been reading and writing romance ever since. I should have known I was destined for this when my Barbies insisted on hosting elaborate masquerade parties, complete with stolen kisses in the moonlight."
SEDUDE ME has gotten many well deserved great reviews. One of my favorites is from Seductive Musings - "If you like fast paced, hard to put down action, intrigue and romance a la Indiana Jones, with a charmingly independent heroine, a handsome treasure hunter, an ancient curse...this is the book for you!"
About the book: Fielding Grey is a treasure seeker with a taste for danger and experienced women. His latest mission: wrest Pandora's fabled box from a notorious criminal mastermind. Not in the job description: save an innocent damsel in distress.
A bookish miss, Esme Worthington has favored dusty tomes over society balls, and thrilling tales over flirtations. But when two scoundrels break into her home, she is thrust into a real-life adventure. Pursued and suddenly possessing the forbidden box, Esme can't resist peeking inside. Under the spell of Pandora's seductive curse, she's soon offering herself to Fielding – body and soul. With her reluctant rescuer determined to resist her charms, can the two outwit an enemy who will stop at nothing to seize their precious prize?
To read an excerpt from chapter one visit Robyn's SEDUCE ME page.
I think you'll enjoy visiting with Robyn. Drop by her website and then come back and leave a few comments. Because I know that everyone is still buried under ribbons, boxes, and after party dirty dishes left over from the very busy holiday celebrations, I will collect comments until the end of the year before awarding a copy of Robyn's book.
Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to return for our last two author visits with Carolyn Jewel on December 28th, and Sherille Bodine on December 30th!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Historical romance author, Jennifer Haymore grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii, where she surfed, learned how to fly airplanes, raced bicycles, and developed a love for sailing. She was an avid reader and completely destroyed her eyesight by sneaking a flashlight under her covers and reading far into the nights — making her mother wonder why on earth she couldn’t get up for school in the mornings…
Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in Education from UCLA. Before she became a full-time writer she held various jobs from bookselling to teaching inner-city children to playing bit roles in soap operas.
Jennifer's novel, A Hint of Wicked was released in June of 2009. Here is a taste of what you'll find in the book:
Sophie, the Duchess of Calton, has finally moved on. After seven years mourning the loss of her husband, Garrett, at Waterloo, she has married his best friend and heir, Tristan. Sophie gives herself to him body and soul…until the day Garrett returns from the Continent, demanding his title, his lands—and his wife.
TORN BETWEEN TWO HUSBANDS…
Now Sophie must choose between her first love and her new love, knowing that no matter what, her choice will destroy one of the men she adores. Will it be Garrett, her childhood sweetheart, whose loss nearly destroyed her once already? Or will it be Tristan, beloved friend turned lover, who supported her through the last, dark years and introduced her to a passion she had never known? As her two husbands battle for her heart, Sophie finds herself immersed in a dangerous game—where the stakes are not only love…but life and death.
To win a copy of Jennifer's book, visit her website, then return to this blog with your comment.
Happy Holidays to all!
Monday, December 21, 2009
In the mean time, I'll share a bit about a Tamalada I had the pleasure of attending on Saturday. What a fun day!! The organization MANA has a Tamalada every year to raise money to help young girls. People that want to learn how to make tamales are guided through the process and at the end of the day, they leave with a dozen tamales to take home and cook for their family. It's a fun, social event. And circling the room are vendors who sell a variety of crafts and goodies to again raise money for the "hermanita" program. If you live close to Orange County, Ca., plan on attending next year. You'll love it!
I'll post better pictures when I get home after Christmas. I borrowed this one from facebook : )
See you all tomorrow when we'll visit Jennifer Haymore!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Elizabeth's newest book, just released on November 2009 is TO DESIRE A DEVIL. Here is a little teaser:
NOTHING IS MORE INTOXICATING—
Reynaud St. Aubyn has spent the last seven years in hellish captivity. Now half mad with fever he bursts into his ancestral home and demands his due. Can this wild-looking man truly be the last earl’s heir, thought murdered by Indians years ago?
Beatrice Corning, the niece of the present earl, is a proper English miss. But she has a secret: No real man has ever excited her more than the handsome youth in the portrait in her uncle’s home. Suddenly, that very man is here, in the flesh—and luring her into his bed.
THAN SURRENDERING TO A DEVIL.
Only Beatrice can see past Reynaud’s savagery to the noble man inside. For his part, Reynaud is drawn to this lovely lady, even as he is suspicious of her loyalty to her uncle. But can Beatrice’s love tame a man who will stop at nothing to regain his title—even if it means sacrificing her innocence?You can read an excerpt on Elizabeth's website or view a trailer. This book is on my Christmas list for sure!! I know you'll want to add it to yours as well.
For today's contest, Elizabeth has generously donated three books from her Princes Triology! THE RAVEN PRINCE, THE LEOPARD PRINCE AND THE SERPENT PRINCE.
Please visit her website to learn about Elizabeth and her books, then come back to my blog and leave a comment. Elizabeth has shared tons of interesting facts about herself, so you'll enjoy your visit.
I'm also still taking comments for Lisa Dale! Her book has not yet been awarded.
Thank you all and good luck!!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Hopefully, everyone enjoyed visiting with Susan Crandall on Monday.
Today, we leave the world of suspense and visit with author Lisa Dale and her heart warming, romantic stories that take readers on wonderful, emotional twists and turns.
A lifelong bookworm, Lisa Dale is a firm believer that there are few things in life better than curling up with a novel and a cup of tea. Lisa Dale grew up in rural Northwestern New Jersey before attending McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. She worked briefly in publishing before going back to school to get an MFA in fiction at Fairleigh Dickinson University. A nominee for Best New American Voices and the Pushcart Prize, her writing appears in many literary magazines, such as Fourth Genre, Flyway, Fugue, Sou’wester, The Southeast Review, The MacGuffin, Many Mountains Moving, and more. Lisa is the author of two books for Grand Central:
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT - Lana Biel longs to leave her family’s Vermont wildflower farm so she can travel and see the world. And her sister Karin wants nothing more than to put down roots and conceive the child she and her husband just can’t seem to have. When a lighthearted fling with a mountain biker leaves Lana expecting, she finds herself tumbling headlong into motherhood while her sister Karin can only look on.
For help, Lana turns to Eli Ward, a professional meteorite hunter and her best friend for the last ten years. But Eli’s keeping secrets that could turn their friendship on its head. As the Vermont seasons change and the flowers in the wildflower meadows begin to fade, Lana must make some meaningful decisions about her family, her friendships, her love life, and her dreams.AND
SIMPLE WISHES - Adele Matin couldn’t wait to put her lonely childhood and hometown behind her. Amid the bright lights and hustle and bustle of New York, she built a life for herself—until one terrible mistake brought it crashing down. Now Adele is running again, this time to a cottage she inherited from her mother in rural Pennsylvania. And she’s about to realize that a small town has more to offer than she ever dreamed.
An artist and woodworker, Jay Westvelt knows a thing or two about living in the country. Adele is intrigued by her mysterious green-eyed neighbor, a man who took care of her house and soon cares deeply for her. But even as Adele’s steely heart begins to soften toward him, dark secrets from her mother’s past threaten to send her running once again. Can Jay convince her to stay with him?
Only if she can learn an important truth: that happiness begins with Simple Wishes.Lisa is an amazing writer! Don't miss out on a chance to read her books. One perfect opportunity is by visiting her website, then returning to this blog and leaving a comment about and for Lisa. And of course, authors love to hear readers share that they've bought their books, so don't forget to add IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT and SIMPLE WISHES to your Christmas list!
Monday, December 14, 2009
I'm excited to start our visits with women's fiction and suspense author, Susan Crandall. BACK ROADS was Susan's first published work, and her first award winning novel, winning a RITA for Best First Book and two National Reader's Choice Awards. After this amazing start, Susan sold eight more books. The latest will be released in January of 2010 and is titled SLEEP NO MORE.
DANGER NEVER RESTS
The night was always Abby Whitman’s enemy. As a young girl she walked in her sleep, and one night, started a fire that scarred her sister for life and left Abby with unbearable guilt, and a loneliness that echoes within her
AND EVIL NEVER CLOSES ITS EYES
Now Abby has begun blacking out again—with apparently fatal results. A car accident has killed the son of a prominent family. Even though the evidence seems to exonerate her, Abby is plagued by doubts—and soon by mysterious threats. A young psychiatrist, Dr. Jason Coble, is intrigued by Abby and offers to help her explore the dark recesses in her mind. Through this terrifying journey, Jason’s interest turns to passion, and he yearns to give her the love she craves. But first, Abby must trust him—and shed light on
secrets that will rock this Southern town and reveal a danger that threatens them both.Doesn't that sound great?! I can't wait until it's released!
Visit Susan's website to learn more about Susan and her books, then come back and leSEEING RED which was released this year. Romantic Times Magazine said about SEEING RED, "A tight and suspenseful story that will have readers guessing until the last chapter. Poignant in places and nail-bitingly tense in others..."
Good luck on winning SEEING RED, and don't forget to put SLEEP NO MORE on your Christmas list!
Friday, December 11, 2009
I loved Salt Lake City, and want to return to Utah in the spring time to be see the gorgeous national parks. The little we got to see on our drive was enough to interest us in returning.
Now, I'm back home where it's cool and raining, but not even close the zero degree weather in Utah. I can pull out my normal leather jacket and be on my way to all those stores to do my Christmas shopping.
As my Christmas present to you, starting Next week I will begin my Grand Central contest, highlighting a few of the great authors at my publishing house. So, please stop by and read a little about these authors and leave a comment to be entered into a drawing to win a copy of the author's latest book.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Her initial writing forays led to the exploration of poetry in Spanish as an outlet for her creativity. In 1970, she received a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship for poems later included in Palabras de mediodia / Noon Words (Fuego de Aztlán Publications, 1980; bilingual edition Arte Público Press, 2001). Her first collection of poems appeared in Fireflight: Three Latin American Poets (Oyes, 1976), and a third poetry collection followed: Variaciones sobre una tempestad / Variations on a Storm (Third Woman Press, 1990).
After her first collection of poetry appeared, Corpi experienced a long and personally worrisome poetic silence. To ease the tension, she turned to prose, penning several award-winning short stories. In 1984, she wrote her first story in English and her first English-language novel, Delia's Song, was published by Arte Público Press in 1989.
In 1990, Corpi was twice honored: she was awarded a Creative Arts Fellowship in fiction by the City of
The publication of Eulogy for a Brown Angel: A Mystery Novel (Arte Público Press, 1992) was the culmination of a life-long dream. The novel won the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award and the Multicultural Publishers Exchange Best Book of Fiction. Corpi holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from UC-Berkley and an M.A. in World and Comparative Literature from
Lucha, can you give us a brief overview of your last three books and tell us how your current book relates to those?
I write detective novels, four in the Gloria Damasco series: Eulogy for a Brown Angel (1992), Cactus Blood (1995), Black Widow's Wardrobe (1999), and the recently published, Death at Solstice (2009). Each of the novels highlights various aspects of the history and culture of Chicanos/Mexicans and Latinos in the U.S., and in particular in California. These aspects are always integral to the plot. However, each of the novels stands on its own and may be read separately.
Eulogy for a Brown Angel: Gloria Damasco and her friend, Luisa Cortez, find a murdered a child, his small body defiled, during the 1970 National Chicano Moratorium (on the Vietnam War) protest march and subsequent riot in East Los Angeles. Gloria is deeply impacted by the death of the child, and she begins a search for the murderer. It leads her on a trail of international conspiracy and bloody vengeance. Before long, two other people are dead. Gloria is determined to piece the mystery together, no matter how long it takes her. The mystery comes to its hard-hitting conclusion eighteen years later in the Napa Valley, California's wine country.
Cactus Blood: Visions of striking rattlesnakes and a crucified woman haunt Gloria Damasco's dreams. Who is the naked woman she sees tied to a cactus cross? And who would do such a horrible thing? What role does a young undocumented Mexican girl, dying of pesticide poisoning and with ties to the United Farm Workers movement, play in the death of one of Gloria's poet friend, the disappearance of another poet, and the death of a third person? Is the naked woman tied to a cactus the next victim? Gloria races against time as the intensity and poignancy of her visions compel her to follow the trail of a ritualistic killer to save the life of the woman on the cactus cross.
Black Widow's Wardrobe: Gloria Damasco, a widow, and her mother and daughter take part in a street procession during the celebration of The Day of the Dead, in misty San Francisco. Soon after, they witness the bizarre abduction of a young woman and the attempt on the life of notorious convicted murderer, Licia Lecuona, otherwise known as Black Widow, and an heiress to a fortune. Gloria is hired by Black Widow's good friend and manager of her estate to find out who wants Black Widow dead. Her investigation takes her from the fog-shrouded San Francisco Bay Area to the remote sunlit peaks of the Sierra de Tepoztlan near Cuernavaca, Mexico, and perhaps, she fears, back in time to a mysterious and violent encounter as ancient as Mexico itself.
In Death at Solstice, just published, Gloria is hired by the Chilean owners of the Oro Blanco winery in the California's Gold Country, to investigate the theft of a family heirloom, a pair of antique diamond and emerald earrings rumored to have belonged to Mexico's Empress Carlota. But she soon finds out there's more to the case than stolen jewelry when a young woman believed to be a saint disappears and her nurse is found dead. Gloria follows the alleged Death at Solstice arrives as I enter and celebrate my 40th year as a published poet and writer.
Wonderful! I love your settings and use of real historical events as the background for the mysteries. So, what has been your motivation to write this series?
I fell in love with the detective story when I was a girl in Jaltipan, Veracruz, Mexico, hiding and reading the crime page--la pagina roja--of the regional newspaper. Although for the first two decades of my writing career I wrote and published only poetry (written in Spanish and published bilingually) and short fiction, I dreamed of writing a mystery novel one day. Eulogy for a Brown Angel was the fulfillment of that dream. But what can I say--I grew addicted to the writing of mystery stories. I enjoy the challenges it presents. Since the publication of Edgar Allan Poe's The Purloined Letter, the detective story has changed little. It is a plot-driven long or short story, leaving room for little more than the solution of the crime. The challenge--the art--for any crime writer is precisely to find ways to offer much more than the unraveling of the plot or bringing to justice those who have broken the law, thus finally restoring the social order. My novels follow some, many or all of the conventions, traditions and structural demands of the mystery genre. They are solid, fast-paced mysteries, but they are also multilayered. Yet anyone reading them will immerse themselves in Latino/Mexican American culture and history and become aware that what we share in common--our humanity and the human condition anywhere and everywhere in the world and together in the U.S.--makes us more alike than different. That is the beauty of reading bicultural and/or multicultural literary works.
Will there be another book in this series? What are your plans for the future?
I have begun researching topics and other motifs that I believe belong in a new Gloria Damasco mystery novel. The research for any of my novels takes almost a year, and I like to complete it before I sit down to do the actual writing of the book. In the meantime, I continue writing poetry and working on a book of personal essays, The Orphan and the Bookburner, which combines selected memoirs to illuminate those events and people that have formed and informed my poetry and fiction, but also lead beyond my personal experiences to larger themes, such as the nature of justice, the education of women, colorlines, bilingualism and biculturalism, and the quest for meaning and destiny, among others.
I wish you great success with your work, Lucha. Thank you so much for stopping by. I enjoyed our online chat. Besos!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Seemed to me from what I saw that Friday was the expected, profitable Black Friday for most stores. I spent the day on the road, not shopping, but on my way to visit friends in Utah. But whenever we pulled off the freeways for gas or food or bathroom breaks, people mobbed the shopping centers and it was difficult to find parking.
Are deals really better, the day after Thanksgiving? I don't know - I'm not sure it's worth going out in all the craziness. But hopefully people got great deals and stores made lots of money.
As for me, I had a great time driving through the desert, passing through busy Las Vegas and the gorgeous landscape of Arizona. I visited the Barnes & Noble in St. George, Utah, leaving autographed copies of EVENINGS, then spent a great night with friends.
Today, I'd like to announce that I'll have a guest author, Lucha Corpi visiting on December 3th, so be sure to stop by. She will be on a blog tour and will be giving away copies of her book, DEATH AT SOLTICE to readers who comment. In fact, a grand prize of the collection of all her books will be given to the person who leaves the most comments. Below is her tour schedule and what she'll be discussing.
Death at Solstice Book Tour
Have fun following Lucha and don't forget to stop back on December 3rd.
Friday, November 20, 2009
For now let me share a bit about the authors who were interviewed.
Belinda Acosta lives and writes in Austin, Texas where she is a columnist for the Austin Chronicle. Her non-fiction has appeared in Poets and Writers, Latino USA, the Radio Journal of News and Culture, AlterNet, the San Antonio Current, and Latino Magazine. She is a member of Macondo, the writers' collective launched by acclaimed writer Sandra Cisneros.
She loves knitting, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, chips & salsa, mariachi (good, make your soul leap from your body, mariachi); conjunto music (todo old school), and given the opportunity, will square dance.
Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz is her first novel. Published by Grand Central Publishing.
For Lucha Corpi, art has always meant activism. As a woman, a Hispanic, an immigrant and a mother, she has always found herself breaking down barriers in both life and literature. She is a poet, novelist, and children's book author.
She has written three other mystery novels featuring Gloria Damasco: Black Widow's Wardrobe, Cactus Blood, and Eulogy for a Brown Angel.
Corpi was a tenured teacher in the Oakland Public Schools Neighborhood Centers Program for over 30 years and retired in 2005. She holds a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California-Berkley and an M.A. in World and Comparative Literature from San Francisco State University. Published by Arte Publico Press.
Anjanette Delgado is a writer and television producer living in Miami. She began her career in as a journalist, working for outlets such as NBC, CNN, Univisión and Telemundo, covering presidential coups, elections, Olympics, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, both Iraq wars (which she executive produced), and winning an Emmy in 1994 for her human-interest series, "Madres en la lejanía," about the plight of Latino mothers who leave their own children behind and come to the United States to work as undocumented nannies.
She has written for Urban Latino, TV Más and the International Documentary Association magazine, written and produced lifestyle programs and documentaries for MGM Latin America and in 2002, wrote and developed the sitcom "Great in Bed" for HBO Latin America. The Heartbreak Pill is her first novel. Published by Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group.
Bitten by the writing bug, Caridad continued with her passion for the written word through high school, college and law school. In 1999, Caridad's first novel was released and a decade later, Caridad is the author of over twenty novels and novellas. When not writing, Caridad is an attorney, wife and mother to an aspiring writer and fashionista.
The talented interviewer was Himilce Novas who has a distinguished career
in journalism in New York City and is the author of seven acclaimed books, both fiction and nonfictio
n. She is an expert in Latino history, culture, and literature and has
taught English and Latino literature as visiting author at Wellesley College, the University of California, Santa Barbara, Clark College, Tulane University, and other
colleges and universities. She lectures across the country on a variety of artistic and academic subjects, and on human rights, and is a frequent guest on radio programs. She was Fiction Editor for The Multicultural Review since 2005. She lives in Arizona and California. She is currently working on her poetry collection.
As a human rights activist, Novas was a founding member of the National Organization for Women. She continues to work on behalf of women and those in the GBLT community and was featured in the book Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975. She is a member of Veteran Feminists of America.
Her Web site: http://supernovas.org
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Part of the reason is that Argentines speak in slang. A lot! And another reason is that they speak Castillian Spanish which I learned has it's own unique vocabulary and a heavy useage of the vosotros. In fact, I would often get asked by other Argentines if I spoke Castillian when I was young - not Spanish.
Luckily, about 80% of Spanish is similar in all Latin American countries. The basics, at least, tend to be the same. So, I can understand and speak with my other Latin American brothers and sisters, however there is enough difference for us all to get confused at times.
I remember when I visited Argentina as a 17 year old. And my grandmother told me we were going to ride a collectivo. A what I thought. A collective? Come to find out a collectivo is a bus. Argentines out there probably think I'm a complete idiot for admitting this, but I had never heard that term before.
Same with a choripan that my cousin asked me if I wanted at a soccer game. Again, no idea what he was refering too. A choripan is a delicious Italian sausage sandwich, sort of like a hot dog, but much, much better.
The great thing I found . . . is a dictionary for Argetine Spanish, called Wally's Dictionary of Argentine Colloquialism and Culture. Now that I'm writing books with Argenitine characters, I'm very excited that someone was wonderful enough to put this out on the web. I had a great time reading through some of these and remembering my father using so many of these.
"Que quilombo hicieron esos chicos."
What a mess those kids made.
I remember that one from my dad : )
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
She began her career in as a journalist, working for outlets such as NBC, CNN, Univisión and Telemundo, covering presidential coups, elections, Olympics, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, both Iraq wars; which she executive produced, and winning an Emmy in 1994 for her human-interest series “Madres en la lejanía,” about the plight of Latino mothers who leave their own children behind and come to the United States to work as undocumented nannies.
She has written for Urban Latino, TV Más and the International Documentary Association magazine, written and produced lifestyle programs and documentaries for MGM Latin America and in 2002, wrote and developed the sitcom “Great in Bed” for HBO Latin America.
THE HEARTBREAK PILL is her first novel. And today she is sharing her thoughts on the writing of this novel.
The Post-Feminist Chick
By Anjanette Delgado
Okay. So I’ve done it. I’ve written a novel and gotten it published by a major publishing house. And now, some of my more “literary” friends are attacking me for it.
You see, in a world where people still wonder if “we’re ready to elect a woman candidate,” and where most of the people who engage the question readily admit that it’s their notion that “excess emotion is dangerous,” that first brought up the question in the first place, I have written a book about a Latina scientist who may have discovered the formula for a pill against heartbreak, after excruciating betrayal left her unable to function. And so people who haven’t even read “The Heartbreak Pill” now derisively call it chick-lit, which must mean I’m anti-feminist, a traitor to the cause, not to mention wholly unliterary.
That criticism is actually normal in a world where we’ve come to equate chick-lit with brain-dead and in which feminine heartbreak is a superficial, or even worse, a superfluous topic.
But chick-lit is simply literature written by, and aimed at, women. Like all literature, good examples reflect the issues, struggles and aspirations of contemporary female society. Yes, it’s true there seem to be many books about talented assistants in glamorous professions who can’t get ahead because their mean bosses keep them from the wonderful jobs they were meant to have, and who are simultaneously dealing with men unwilling to engage in committed relationships, who in the end figure out how to produce the life they dream of.
It’s called aspiration. And it does reflect our times, though I’m only arguing for those well-written, from the heart, books that feel true to those writing them. Not for the blatant copies of the copy of the copy. Those are another phenomenon, if not enough there for another story.
And if aspiring isn’t part of being a contemporary woman in the world, it should be. It’s part of being a woman in America, and it’s certainly a big part of being a Latina woman in America. This verse from my poem, “Women in the Land of Having” might more effectively drive home both points.
Alicia is just a Woman Who Loves
Too Much, doesn’t know The Rules and hasn’t figured out What Men Want.
She watches Sex and the City on DVD,
twelve for the price of one,
nothing more to buy ever,
hopes to become a butterfly,
be Codependent No More; change
her life for $12.99
And so, on that note, I say let’s bring back the real meaning of chick-lit, the one that gives it a place in the world of global post-feminism.
The difference? Well, I think New York Times Book review columnist Laura Miller made the point squarely when she said about “Fear of Flying” that it was “about a flawed but endearing young woman trying to sort out her life in a world that suddenly allowed women a lot more leeway” and differentiated it by its humor and frankness. These days, it is about having figured out that the corner office, in and of itself, wasn’t all that, or maybe that being a woman didn’t mean having children because everyone had them… or that we weren’t all meant to “have it all.” That is chick-lit: a book that can be a friend with whom to look inside and figure ourselves out, and with which, regardless of what we find, we can laugh about afterwards.
Somehow, I’m feeling an irresistible urge to reread, Pride and Justice. And I’m going to indulge it, whether Loreal says “I’m worth it” or not.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
So all scenes are important, but not all scenes stick in your mind long after the book is over. For me this is true of books I read and books I write. It's even true of movies. There have been a few movies where I wanted to rewind and see a particular scene again.
In EVENINGS there are many scenes that I loved writing. I loved writing the scene where Victor finally tells off busy body Mrs. Apolonia for criticizing his daughter. Before that, one of the most important scenes for the development of Victoria's inner growth was when she quit working for her father, because this moved her closer to independence. This scene had to be just right, so I worked and reworked it, and it became another of my favorite scenes. Many of the scenes with Eric and his father were also challenging to write, but I loved those because they showed the battle that often goes on between men and their fathers. They love each other, but at the same time there is a sort of competition - a need for the younger man to be viewed as a man, and the need of the older man to still maintain his authority and power even as he feels it slipping away.
I'd like to know as readers, what was your favorite scene? Share your thoughts. On November 16th, I'll draw someone's name for a copy of EVENINGS.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
This contest was announced on my newsletter. If you're not getting my newsletter, it's super easy to sign up. Visit www.juliaamante.com and you can subscribe right on the first page.
Changing the subject to something completely unrelated -- update on my daughter's closet. I wanted to be able to post my awesome job for you all to see what a great builder I can be (after all, I took wood shop in Jr. high and high school while most girls took . . . who knows what) but the kit not only came with half the instructions not printed, but with the wrong kinds of shelves. They took ten days to get me the right shelves, and now I find that the hanging bars are too damned long. So, two weeks later, I'm still trying to get this closet finished. Maybe next week I'll finally be able to post a completed job.
Have a great weekend!!
Friday, October 30, 2009
Okay, so who has the best decorated house this Halloween? This year, it's not me. Not that we ever have the best looking house on the block - one of our neighbors had an actual pirate ship in his front yard last year! There's no way we were going to beat that, but we usually do pretty good.
I love Halloween and I usually get my fix of spooky fun and creativity this month. The kids and I pull out all the scary stuff and make the front yard look like a grave yard. hang windsocks from my trees, put out all the screaming gadgets and the ones that jump out at kids (those are great!). But this year, with a book release in September, I just didn't have time.
While on my way to a book signing a couple of weeks ago, I called my husband and asked him to help the kids get the decorations up. He did a good job, but I think he only put up half. My house doesn't very look spooky.
This year, I guess we'll be that house that just gives out lots of candy. But next year I plan to go all out. I used to have a friend in high school who would get together with her neighbors and create the best haunted house. I've always wanted to do that, and I think my kids are old enough to help now. So, I'm writing it in my planner for next year!
And by the way, this is the time of year I wish I wrote those awesome suspense books or paranormals, but I don't. Luckily, my good friend, Caridad Pineiro does and she has a new book out this week (and have to give her a shout out) called SINS OF THE FLESH. This will be my treat for Halloween. Tomorrow night, I'm going to pass out candy then indulge and begin reading it. Check it out, it's getting great reviews!
And tell me about your Halloween decorations. What do you do to your house? What can I incorporate into my haunted house next year?