Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bless Me, Ultima


I am proud to support Latinostories.com in its efforts to bring recognition to books by Hispanic and Latino authors. This is the second year that I have volunteered my assistance to be part of a committee to select "One Brown Book" for everyone to read during Hispanic Heritage Month.

I hope you agree with this year's selection and even though you may have read it before, pick it up and read it again, as if for the first time.

Thank you,

News Release
For more information, please contact:
Jose B. Gonzalez:


SAN ANTONIO—In commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month, LatinoStories.Com has announced this year’s selection for its “One Brown Book, One Nation” program that highlights Latino literature across the United States and promotes one book by a Latino author.

This year’s winner, Bless Me, Ultima by Chicano author, Rudolfo Anaya was hailed for its powerful prose by a national committee that includes Vincent Bosquez, president of the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio; Jose B. Gonzalez, poet and editor of LatinoStories.Com, and elena minor, editor of PALABRA: A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art.

Described by Bosquez as a “classic of Hispanic literature that continually needs to be rediscovered and appreciated for the coming-of-age story it tells,” Bless Me, Ultima was originally published in 1972 and has been translated into numerous languages.

The novel tells the story of a six-year old boy, Antonio, whose life is forever changed when his Aunt Ultima moves into his family’s home in New Mexico during the 1940s. He faces many challenges as he witnesses a death, is exposed to bigotry, and tries to figure out the role of faith. As he grows up, Antonio learns many lifelong lessons from Ultima, a curandera (healer) who guides him spiritually and morally.

Listed by the American Library Association among the top 100 “Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000,” Bless Me, Ultima has often been misunderstood for having a main character that is mistakenly perceived as a witch and for references to paganism. The winner of various awards, Anaya’s book has been taught in schools and colleges across the U.S., yet as minor points out, “there are a whole lot of people who haven’t read it yet.”

“This year’s selection should remind readers that Latinos have produced great classics of American literature,” said Gonzalez. “If you’ve never read Bless Me, Ultima, you owe it to yourself; if you’ve already read it, you need to hold it in your hands again and appreciate Anaya’s words as you turn those wonderful pages and watch them come to life.” Other 2008 finalists for the One Brown Book program were James Cañon’s Tales from the Town of Widows and Fred Arroyo’s The Region of Lost Names.

Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) celebrates the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively

Monday, September 29, 2008

Celia Yeary--Featured Author

Featured author on http://www.myspace. com/lesmora - Celia Yeary!
Please forgive me but I was ill over the weekend and am barely on the road to recovery. Ruben Soto was the featured author for Friday, but you still read the interview Lupe conducted with him on her site.

Today's Featured Hispanic Author

Today's featured author is Ruben Soto.

Lupe M. Gonzalez
Writing stories by and about Latinas and their lives and loves.
Too Late For Romance? (Debut Book, Jun 2008 The Wild Rose Press) http://www.thewildrosepress.com/

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Save the Date--Oct. 19

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lupe Ruiz-Flores

Lupe Ruiz-Florez, author of THE WOODCUTTER'S GIFT and LUPITA'S PAPALOTE is the featured author on www.myspace.com/lesmora today.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Villasenor Article

Fellow Writers,

Thanks to those of you who attended yesterday’s Hispanic Heritage Month event at Palo Alto College featuring Victor Villaseñor. It was an overwhelming success!

Bertha and Gabby also joined me and some colleagues in taking Victor to lunch yesterday at Mi Terra and I firmly believe a great time was had by all. I just wish you all had the opportunity to have one-on-one time with Victor like I did--the man is simply fascinating!

And did I mention he gave me his boots!!!

Here is Hector Saldaña article, which appears in today’s “S.A. Life” section of the San Antonio Express-News: Villasenor

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mary Ellen Hughes

I love cozy mysteries and Mary Ellen Hughes' Craft Corner mysteries are wonderful!

Go by and welcome her at www.myspace.com/lesmora. She's the featured author today.

Lupe M. Gonzalez
http://www.freewebs .com/lesmora
http://www.myspace. com/lesmora
Writing stories by and about Latinas and their lives and loves.
Too Late For Romance? (Debut Book, Jun 2008 The Wild Rose Press)
http://www.thewildr osepress. com

Awaken the Sleeping Poet!

Awaken the Sleeping Poet!
Thursday, September 25
7:00 p.m.

Diane Bertrand
After graduation from UTSA in 1979, Diane Gonzales Bertrand taught middle school and high school. She started writing for publication in 1989. She wanted to share Mexican-American themes in her poetry and wrote the stories about Latino families that she couldn’t find in local libraries. Her early novels were Latina romances published by Avalon Books; however the past fifteen years she has been publishing literature for children and teens through Arte Publico Press in Houston, Texas. Her novels include Sweet Fifteen (1995), Alicia’s Treasure (1996); Trino’s Choice (1999), and its sequel, Trino’s Time (2001). Her latest book is a bilingual novel Ruiz Street Kids/Los Muchachos de la Calle Ruiz which won a 2005 Skipping Stones award. She has combined her love of poetry with storytelling fun in her popular children’s bilingual picture books Sip, Slurp,Soup, Soup/Caldo, caldo, caldo, The Empanadas that Abuela Made and her forthcoming The Party for Papa Luis. Her poetry has been published in Concho River Review, Palo Alto Review, The Texas Poetry Calendar, and other magazines. Bertrand is Writer-in-Residence at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, where she teaches creative writing and English composition.

Also featuring:
H. Palmer Hall
H. Palmer Hall is the co-editor and director of Pecan Grove Press. Palmer's new book, Coming to Terms, was published in 2007 by Plain View Press. Palmer is the author of six books and chapbooks including From the Periphery: poems and essays (Chili Verde Press) ; Deep Thicket and Still Waters(Chili Verde Press) and To Wake Again (Pudding House Publications). His work has appeared in various literary magazines, including North American Review, The Texas Review, Ascent, Mizna: a journal of Arab American Culture, Palo Alto Review, The Texas Observer, Briar Cliff Review, WLA (War, Literature and the Arts) and The Florida Review among many others. His work has also been selected for several anthologies, including American Diaspora: poetry of displacement (University of Iowa Press), Letters to J. D. Salinger (University of Michigan Press), In a Fine Frenzy (University of Iowa Press), Best Texas Writing II (Firewheel Editions), The Practice of Peace (Sherman Asher Publishing) and others.Diane will begin at 7:00 p.m. sharp.

Both poets will read encore poems after the 8:00 p.m. open mic. At 8:00 we have open mic. Remember, open mic is where anyone from the audience can participate and read their own (or someone else's) poetry.
Where:Northwoods Barnes and Noble (281 & 1604)18030 Hwy 281 NorthTake the Henderson Pass Exit.
Bring yourself; bring a friend; bring a poem!
See you on the 25th!
Floyd L. Lamrouex

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sorry Sandra!

If anyone has contact with Sandra Cisneros, please let her know it was Victor Villasenor trying to call to invite her to a dance at the Market Square! I just spent an evening with Victor and the man is simply fascinating.

Villasenor at PAC

Read the entry about this event in the Express-News Latin Blog: http://blogs.mysanantonio.com/weblogs/latinlife/

Read the San Antonio Express-News Book Review of "Crazy Loco Love": http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/Review_Crazy_Loco_Love.html

Victor Villasenor at PAC

Best Selling Author
Rain of Gold, Burro Genuis
And newly released
Crazy Loco Love
Will host a
Reading/Book Signing
Palo Alto College
Student Center Annex
Monday, Sept 22
11 a.m.
Reception after Presentation
Free and Open to the Public
Books will be on Sale at event

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hispanic Heritage Month Authors

The following note is from our VP, Lupe Gonzalez:

The celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month continues.

Featured author for today is SARAH RAFAEL GARCIA, whose book LAS NINAS is being hailed as a "Latina Little Women".

Please visit www.myspace.com/lesmora (the blog part) and check out this author. Thank you,

I'll continue to feature authors through October 15, so if you have a story, contemporary, historical, YA, mystery, etc. with Latino/ Hispanic characters, primary or secondary, please email me at laniez4057@yahoo.com and I'll be happy to feature you.

Featured Authors so far:

Sandra Rodriguez Barron, HEIRESS OF WATER
Marta Acosta, CASA DRACULA series
Amber Leigh Williams, BLACKEST HEART
Lupe M. Gonzalez
Writing stories by and about Latinas and their lives and loves.Too Late For Romance? (Debut Book, Jun 2008 The Wild Rose Press) http://www.thewildrosepress.com

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Featured Author: Marta Acosta

From our Vice President, Lupe Gonzalez:

Hello, The celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month began 9/15. My first featured author was Sandra Rodriguez Barron, who wrote LA HEREDERA DEL MAR (HEIRESS OF WATER) published by Rayo, a division of HarperCollins.

Today, I'm featuring Marta Acosta who wrote a series of books about vampires and romance. The latest one is THE BRIDE OF CASA DRACULA.

At first, I wasn't going to feature these type of stories, however, Marta, and other multi-published and prolific authors, changed my mind, so if you have a story, contemporary, historical, YA, mystery, etc. with Latino/ Hispanic characters, primary or secondary, please email me at mailto:laniez4057%40yahoo.com and I'll be happy to feature you.

Please visit www.myspace. com/lesmora (the blog part) and check out these authors.

Thank you,
Lupe M. Gonzalez
Writing stories by and about Latinas and their lives and loves.
Too Late For Romance? (Debut Book, Jun 2008 The Wild Rose Press)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Note from Lupe

Hola Comadres,

Go visit myspace.com/lesmora today. I'm featuring Sandra Rodriguez Barron and her book, "La Heredera Del Mar". Please go and give her your support.

Lupe M. Gonzalez
Writing stories by and about Latinas and their lives and loves.
Too Late For Romance?
(Debut Book, Jun 2008 The Wild Rose Press)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Voices de la Luna Debut

New Quarterly Poetry and Arts Magazine! Please read the editor's announcement:

Dear Literary Comrades:

Thanks to the strong 27-member Editorial Committee of Voices de la Luna, a non-profit literary organization, shored up by hard-working staff and a supportive Board of Directors, we are proud to present to you the online version of:
Voices de la Luna
A Quarterly Poetry and Arts Magazine
15 September 2008 edition
The Web Address:


The magazine is published on Monday 15 September 2008.
Our first print magazine will follow soon

Please enjoy reading all 27 pages of this unique Online Poetry and Arts Magazine, originating in San Antonio , Texas . We welcome your comments and suggestions.

The Editors:
James Brandenburg
Mo H. Saidi

Associate Editors:
Beverly Monestier
Antoinette Winstead

Monday, September 15, 2008

New Southside Library Meeting

From our friend, Becky Barrera:

Hello friends:
I know you care about the Southside, so I hope you will help me circulate this information.



TIME: 6:30PM

Location: Frutería la Misión y Taquería
553 E. White At Roosevelt Blvd.
(Located Across From The Old Drive-Inn)

The Mission Neighborhood association is hosting a meeting tomorrow to discuss ideas for the new Southside library at the old Mission Drive-in. This is a very important meeting since it will help formalize the purpose and proposed services of this new library. This library will serve a predominantly Hispanic population. Its proximity to Mission San José calls for a distinctly Texas/Mexican flavor. In addition to regular library services, the community wants meeting rooms, a technology center, genealogy activities, literacy programs, etc. The list is confined only by creativity and money. Here is a perfect time for your input.

I hope you can attend the meeting.

Becky Barrera

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Immigrant Experience

The following note is from our friend and poet, Marian Haddad:

Dear friends,

OASIS is producing a class that is funded in large part by The National Endowment for the Humanities. It is an exploration of our immigrant stories. I am sending this to many of you who might know someone who has been eager to tell their story in written form; www.ellisisland.org will be publishing the stories of the rich and varied peoples who've made their way to America and who contribute to the fullness and diversity of this country.

If you know someone who'd like to take advantage of this experience and who is eager to share their immigrant story, I have been asked by OASIS to share the following information. Those who do not live in the San Antonio area, I would urge you to visit www.ellisisland.org and explore a way to share your own story. OASIS requires the minimum age for students and participants be 50. Please forward to the people you feel may benefit from this experience and let us make the most of this largely-NEH sponsored event. Thank you, on behalf of OASIS and myself.

The Immigrant Experience A new perspective on our history

Across the oceans

Through the centuries . . .

immigrants from around the globe and across the map have made a new beginning, and together formed a unique country, in America.

Produced by The OASIS Institute. Made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: great ideas brought to life. This has also been designated a We The People project.

“Thought provoking, stimulating real-life stories - read and shared.”

Attention all genealogy enthusiasts, don’t miss this new class designed especially for those who want to publish their family story.

“Tell Us Your Story”Instructor: Marian Haddad, B.A., M.F.A.
Class # 167

Do you have a great family immigration story to share? Would you like to add your family’s story to a national database of immigration stories that will be held at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and available to thousands of readers each month?
Visit www.ellisisland.org

If so, join a course continuing a collaboration between the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation and OASIS. The Foundation is inviting all Americans to tell their family immigration stories, whether from the earliest days of American life, voluntary or involuntary, through Ellis Island or other landing stations, across borders or a more recent arrival.

Previous Writing Experience Welcome but Not Necessary.

Tues. & Thurs., Sept. 16, 18, 23
Location: OASIS Macy's Location Ingram Area
Fee: $30

For more information or to register for this class call:
San Antonio OASIS (210) 647-2546
or E-mail Veronica Anderson at vanderson@oasisnet.org
and CC Marian Haddad at haddadmarian@aol.com

Marian Haddad, MFA www.marianhaddad.com

Monday, September 08, 2008

Society Meeting Tonight

Just a quick reminder that the monthly meeting of the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio will be TODAY, Monday, Sept. 8 at the Barnes and Noble, San Pedro Crossing, at 7:30 p.m. This month's featured poet is Eduardo Cavazos Garza. Eduardo has an interesting way of putting poetry and words to music. I hope you will be able to attend.

Other Notices:

The following invitaiton is from Alfredo Avalos:

El primer Encuentro de Escritores de los dos lados, letras de la frontera, tendra lugar el viernes 12 de septiembre a las 6;00 pm en UTSA Campus 1604. La dirección es JPL 4.03.08. Es en el cuarto piso del edificio de la biblioteca.

Estan invitados todos los escritores de la Sociedad de Escritores Latinos e Hispanos de San Antonio.

Espero verlos ahi.

Loosely translated:

The first Meeting of Escritores de los dos lados, letras de la frontera, will be held Friday, September 12 at 6 p.m. at the University of Texas San Antonio campus on 1604. The building location is JPL 4.03.08. It is in the fourth floor of the library.


SAN ANTONIO—Best-selling writer Victor Villaseñor, author of several critically acclaimed books such as “Macho!” and “Rain of Gold,” will give a presentation in the Palo Alto College Student Center in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 22 at 11 a.m.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a book signing and reception. Books will be available for purchase.

Villaseñor will also speak about his soon to be released memoir, “Crazy Loco Love,” a coming-of-age remembrance of growing up Hispanic in San Diego County.

Palo Alto College, one of the Alamo Community Colleges, is a fully accredited community college located on the Southside, and awards associate degrees, short-term certificates and offers non-credit continuing education classes. The campus is located at 1400 W. Villaret Blvd. at I-410 South and Texas Hwy. 16 or online at www.accd.edu/pac.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Glimmer Train Fiction Contest

From a Glimmer Train email:

Dear Glimmer Train readers and writers,

The Fiction Open competition closes on September 30. Word count range: 2,000 – 20,000. First place wins $2,000 and publication in Issue 73 of Glimmer Train Stories. Second- and third-place winners receive $1,000/$600 (or, if chosen for publication, $700).

Good Luck!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Villasenor Update

Best-selling writer Victor Villaseñor, author of several critically acclaimed books such as “Macho!” and “Rain of Gold,” will give a presentation in the Palo Alto College Student Center in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 22 at 11 a.m.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be followed by a book signing and reception. Books will be available for purchase.

Villaseñor will also speak about his soon to be released memoir, “Crazy Loco Love,” a coming-of-age remembrance of growing up Hispanic in San Diego County.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Build-A-Book Workshop

Build-A-Book Workshop Series for Aspiring Writers!

Registration is now open for, BUILD-A-BOOK, San Antonio Romance Authors' [SARA] uniquely designed series of four hands-on quarterly workshops that educate aspiring writers about writing, selling and promoting fiction in the twenty-first century.

This series is open to RWA members, the public and members of SARA. Beginning Saturday, September 20 at 8:30 a.m., SARA published members will lead the group in the first in a series of four quarterly multi-part workshops designed to help you write a novel.

Held at the Boerne TEXAS Convention Center, this first workshop will clarify the jargon in publishing industry and the etiquette in it. You will also learn how to take a concept for a novel and build it into a viable outline for a plot that zings with interest and sale-ability.

The second in this 4-part series of workshops will discuss characterization. Other workshops in will focus on how to build conflict, write dialogue that sings, and build useful climaxes and resolutions. The final workshop will teach students how to build a public relations and publicity plan that is cost effective and useful. All workshops are taught by multi-published South Texas authors.

Open to SARA, RWA members and the public, these workshops cost $12.00 each for SARA members, $20.00 each for non-members of SARA, or $60.00 for all 4 workshops. Each workshop will be 4-hours long.

Please registration on line at www.sararwa.net, or visit this website for more information and the registration form. This is an exciting, one-of-a-kind series you don't want to miss. We heartily invite one and all to come join us!

Gimoy Louie--SARA Vice President/Communications
Joni Hahn--Build-A-Book Workshop Coordinator

Monday, September 01, 2008

Saenz to Appear at Maverick Library

From Gemini Ink:

Join Gemini Ink and the San Antonio Public Library for a reading with poet and novelist Ben Sáenz and novelist C.W. Smith. When: Thursday, September 4, 6:30 pm
Where: Maverick Library, 8700 Mystic Park
For More Information: Call 210.734.9673

From Vince:

Benjamin Alire Saenz most recent book "Names on a Map" is on my list of the top 10 books written by a Hispanic/Latino author this year.

While America’s “Greatest Generation” had World War II and today’s generation has the ongoing Gulf War, a generation that lived through the Sixties had Vietnam, a military conflict that indisputably defined an era and carved a permanent wound into the nation’s psyche.

Award-winning author and poet Benjamin Alire Sáenz has boldly sidestepped contemporary history and set his sights on revisiting our nation’s turbulent past to tenderly tell the story of an immigrant family trying to adapt to its adopted land while coming to terms with the true cost of freedom in America.

Set in 1967, Sáenz’s “Names on a Map” follows the Espejo family of El Paso, Texas, during a momentous week in September when a draft notice forces them to drop the veil of secrecy that cloaks their fears and causes them to confront their internal conflicts etched by customs accepted in Mexico, but found to be out of date north of the Rio Grande.

Octavio Espejo is the son of a wealthy family that was run out of Mexico during a bloody revolution when he was a child. Now, as patriarch of a close-knit family in the United States, he tries to rule the clan with an iron hand only to find that strict adherence to house rules causes irreparable rifts in personal relationships.

Gustavo, Octavio’s son, is the recipient of the draft notice that sets into motion the novel’s overarching theme of loyalty to family, country and most importantly, one’s self. He broods over the price America extracts from its populace in order to sustain peace on the home front and the realization that dodging the draft may tarnish the family’s standing in the community more than his own reputation.

Sáenz tells his story through different points of views with voices that are unique, yet also reminiscent of the nation’s conscience at the height of the Vietnam War.

Among the characters that emerge from the novel to leave a lasting impression is Abe, a young Marine fighting in Da Nang. He doesn’t want to think of home, yet finds that home is all he can think about—especially when it comes to his unrequited love, Xochil.

Xochil is Gustavo’s twin sister, who is fighting her own personal battles with society. She learned early on in life that wars come in many forms and that no matter where the battlefield lies, a thousand other wars are being fought at the same time by the same participants, with no two skirmishes being exactly alike.

Finally there’s Lourdes, the matriarch who is the glue that keeps the family together. By the novel’s end, she comes to terms with what she’s known all along: sometimes you have to give up the things you hold dear in order to hold on to them a little while longer.

“Names on a Map” is an emotional journey down memory lane that reminds its readers that war indiscriminately affects everyone, extolling a price paid for in flesh, blood, and the loss of innocence in people of all ages.

Please join me on Thursday at the Maverick Library!