Blog Archives

Star of the Young Pistolero

By Robert J. Alvarado

Publisher: Sierra Press – Queen Creek Arizona

This is the second book in the saga of Rafael Ortega de Estada and the author has once again managed to spin a good plot. I started to read the story and immediately it grabbed me – just like the first novel. If this saga doesn’t eventually make it into the big screen one day it would be disappointing. It is that good.

The setting takes place during the expansion westward of the United States, which includes Texas and New Mexico. The author not only rolls history and excellent storytelling into a seamless story, but he created a world that I want to continue knowing. He makes the reader feel as if they were right in that timeline and this is a great testament to magnificent writing. Read more ›

A Fighting Chance

By Claudia Meléndez Salinas

Publisher: Piñata Books – Arte Público Press (Houston, Texas)

This story is set in Salinas, California and captures the struggles of a teenage boy living in poverty yet with a dream to succeed. The author has not only done a great job of bringing this element of raw survival forth, but she has also woven intrigue, gang life, murder, and a love story into the plot. The author’s gift at writing is extremely notable in that she captured the essence of a male character perfectly. What an unexpected treat. Read more ›

The Romantic

By Felix Alexander

Publisher: Alex F. Chavez/Felix Alexander

This is a book that goes beyond the realm of the living and truly captures the essence of a true love story. It is a story about Hadriel Alighieri’s life and the love he has for one woman – Sophia.  It captures all the emotions and directions that Hadriel’s life takes in trying to obtain this woman’s love and yet she is always out of reach. The author does a fantastic job of taking you into the character’s head and he makes you feel the emotions and sadness, yet the adrenaline rush of a true love. Read more ›

Silence, Please

By Linda Chávez Doyle

It is the spring of 2010. This is the story about mostly three women who work for the library and how their personal lives become intertwined with the corruption at the highest level of the city government. The main characters are Veronica, Marisela, and Pilar.

The author captures the various problems that each of the characters encounter as they go through their daily routines. There are family and financial problems at every level and these subplots make the book that much more interesting. There are secrets that the characters keep from each other and this further creates tension and suspense. Read more ›

Verdict in the Desert

By Patricia Santos Marcantonio

Publisher: Arte Público Press (University of Houston)

A “white” lawyer named Michael Shaw is assigned to represent Maria Sanchez Curry who is charged with killing her “white” husband. Ms. Curry is a United States citizen by marriage; however, she speaks mostly Spanish and requires a translator to get her through the trial. Read more ›


Author: Gabriel Fraire

Published by: Gabriel Fraire

The author has done a great job of giving the reader inside knowledge and also historical background into the giant steel mills set in Northwestern Indiana. It really gives you a sense as to how it may be like working in this industrial arena. Read more ›

The Milli Vanilli Condition

(Essays on Culture in the New Millennium)

By Eduardo Espina

English translation by Travis Sorenson

Published by ARTE Pulbico Press

Espina has demonstrated a witty and humorous take on pondering modern-day paradoxes within our society – most notably the event when the German Pop group Milli Vanilli won a Grammy for songs that weren’t truly sung by them. The author has a way of getting people to think about things or look at situations with a different lens. Like for instance, the word ‘Hah.’ These everyday words are things we have heard before and we believe we understand their meaning, but then he takes us on a different spin and depth. It’s something that most people wouldn’t ordinary think about or go into too much depth, but the author does. These essays give you an insight into how he thinks. Read more ›

On the Nature of Gods

By Juanantonio

Published by Abbott Press

The author concentrates on two poems; however, with these two writings he explores a lot of life. He takes on love and its loss throughout time as well as he discusses greed and how all these elements can transform an individual. Read more ›

A Bean and Cheese Taco Birthday – Un cumpleaños con tacos de frijoles con queso

By Diane Gonzales Bertrand

Illustrations by Robert Trujillo

Publisher: Piñata Books – Arte Público Press, Houston, Texas

The story is centered on a birthday event for a five year old, but it’s not your everyday celebration. The author has managed to add a cultural twist to the story and makes it quite intriguing for the young reader. Come to think about it, it caught my attention as well.

It is the story of two brothers, Dario the eldest and Ariel the five-year-old birthday boy. They each have a different vision of what a birthday party should be like. Dario is not quite convinced that his younger brother knows what is best for an event such as this. Read more ›

A Charmed Life – Una vida con suerte

By Gladys E. Barbieri

Illustrations by Lisa Fields

Publisher: Piñata Books – Arte Público Press, Houston, Texas

Ms. Barbieri has captured the thinking of a young girl Felicia perfectly. Felicia comes from a working class family and is suddenly thrown into an environment which is out of her league. With this new encounter Felicia and her mother’s insecurities come through. Felicia quickly realizes that she isn’t in Kansas anymore and she begins to explore her surroundings; although, her mother has asked her to not to do so. Read more ›

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