August 11, 2009

Blog Tour: Damas, Dramas, And Ana Ruiz

Ana and her husband have separated, leaving Ana to raise their two children. Their daughter Carmen seems to think that everything that is wrong with her life, is her mother's fault. Ana desperately craves a better relationship with her daughter and tries everything to get through to her. Ana decides to throw Carmen a quinceanera party and together they learn that nothing is handed to you, you must work to get what you want.

This book is perfect for anyone who has worked hard to make a relationship better. The characters were easy to relate to and there were several laugh out loud moments. A heartwarming read.

Belinda's Guest Post:
I graduated from Lincoln High School in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1977—so my high school years are ancient history! What I remember: I couldn’t wait to get out. I had my first real job in high school, working at a department store. The first thing I bought with my hard earned money was not shoes or makeup or albums, like my friends. I bought luggage! I was ready to get out of town. I wanted to see the world!

The important thing about high school was that I found my voice there. I was painfully shy and would never speak in class. I was the kid the “mean girls” picked on. I had friends, but the people who rescued me were my teachers, especially my English, journalism, and social studies teachers. Each one of them took a special interest in me, at times in my life when I most needed it. I didn’t know it at the time, but in retrospect, I now understand how their intervention, quite literally, saved my life. And it was Mrs. Elizabeth Karnes, my high school English teacher who said to me, “Wow, Belinda. You can really write.” It was shocking enough, except she said it in front of the whole room. And in spite of the eye rolling that came from the other students, I was thrilled to hear that. Teachers are very powerful influences and up until that point, I thought of writing as a solitary pursuit. It never occurred to me that I could write something for a larger audience. After that, I got on the newspaper and yearbook staff.

The other important thing I remember about high school is that when I started, I decided I did not want to be scared anymore. I distinctly remember sitting in first period history class. The teacher asked a question and I raised my hand to respond. The kids who had matriculated with me from junior high, to high school were shocked. I was terrified—not because I didn’t know the answer, but because I had been silent for so long. My hand was literally shaking as I raised it, as was my voice. But I remember thinking, “I don’t want to live the rest of my life being afraid, always cowering, always “knowing my place.” After that, you couldn’t shut me up! I became a big ole drama geek and got involved with a touring production that started in the local community theater. After high school, I made a living as an actress in Omaha, Nebraska. I eventually wrote and toured with a one-woman show (MACHISMA, voices from the past) until I decided that I wanted to finish my degree. That’s when I moved to Austin, Texas. At that point, it was either get an agent (I was on the cusp of becoming an Equity actor) or become a writer. It was a huge crossroads: move to LA or New York to pursue an acting career at that level, or be the writer I really, always wanted to be. I went for the writing career. But the seed of that writing career was planted in high school, thanks to Mrs. Karnes.

Check out Belinda's blog here.

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Participating Sites:
August 10

August 11

August 12

August 13

August 14

August 15

Thank you Miriam at Hachette for allowing me to participate in this blog tour.

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