Archive for the ‘News/Events’ Category

Read an Ebook Week begins today!

Twilight Times Books, publisher of critically acclaimed Literary, Mystery and SF/F books, is offering a special during ‘Read an Ebook Week,’ from March 4-10, 2012.

A FREE ebook will be given away each day.

Some of these books include:

How I Wrote My First Book: The Story behind the Story
Twenty authors tell amazing stories about the efforts that went into writing their first book.

Book Reviewers Talk about their Craft
A series of interviews with 22 publishing professionals regarding book reviewing including Magdalena Ball, Judi Clark, James Cox, Lesa Holstine, Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Cheryl C. Malandrinos, Sharyn McGinty, Alex Moore, Stephanie Padilla, Andrea Sisco, Irene Watson and others.

Thirty popular titles are available for $3.50 or less via Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and OmniLit until March 10th during Read an E-Book Week.

In addition, ebook ARCs now available for the following upcoming releases:

Divided, historical novel by Ralph Freedman
Equity of Evil, medical thriller by Rudy Mazzocchi
Essentially Yours, mystery by Aaron Paul Lazar
Griffin’s Fire, fantasy by Darby Karchut
Shadows of Kings, epic fantasy by Jack Whitsel
The Patriot Spy, military historical by S. W. O’Connell.

Happy reading! Feel free to spread the word via Facebook or Twitter!

Read Full Post »

For the next two weeks I’ll be touring the Latino blogosphere with BronzeWord Latino Authors!

I invite you to check out the schedule and stop by the hosts’ blogs if you get a chance. I’ll be giving away print copies of my children’s books and ebook copies of my other books. To be eligible, just leave a comment at the end of each post on the appropiate date.


Latino Book Tour Schedule:

Monday, September 7 – Behind Brown Eyes – Paranormal Short Story: "Deja Vu"

Tuesday, September 8 – Spanglish Baby – Interview

Wednesday, September 9 – Mama Latina Tips – Interview

Friday, September 11 – Writing to Insanity – Article: "How to Write a Great Blurb"

Monday, September 14 – Efrain’s Corner – Guest Post: "I Hated Reading When I Was a Kid"

Wednesday, September 16 – Christina Rodriguez’s blog – Guest Post: "On the Author & Illustrator Relationship"

Thursday, September 17 – Unloaded – Guest Post: "The Responsibilities of Owning a Dog"

Friday, September 18 – Chasing Heroes – Guest Post: "Heroes Must be Angels and Demons"



Read Full Post »

I have some exciting news to share. There’s a new hot spot for Latino authors to promote their work: Bronzeword Latino Authors. Run by award-winning author Jo Ann Hernandez, this new site is aimed at spreading the work and accomplishments of Hispanic authors worldwide. Jo Ann will be offering various promotional services, including virtual book tours. Here to talk about her new endeveour and the Latino book market is Jo Ann herself.

Thanks for stopping by, Jo Ann. Your new site for Latino authors sounds exciting. Tell us about it.

BronzeWord Latino Authors opens on May 18th with the Top Ten Days of Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo. Leave a comment to be eligible to win a book.

What used to be BronzeWord’s Blog has moved and is thriving on BronzeWord Latino Authors at http://authorslatino.com/wordpress.

Come and read about your Latino/a authors and their accomplishments. Learn about contests, the publishing world, and about agents/editors. BronzeWord Latino Authors is a wealth of information to assist you in achieving your publishing goals.
We celebrate the Top Ten Days of different Latino/a authors with ten days of interviews/book reviews/articles by the author. We are creating the first ever Latino Virtual Book Tour. Latino/a bloggers are going to be highlighted every Saturday on BronzeWord Latino Authors. Blog Carnivals are in sight just down the road.

La famila awaits you. BronzeWord Latino Authors: the clearinghouse for all things Latino/a Literature.

The first Latino Virtual Book Tour is becoming an opportunity. I am seeking Latino/a bloggers who are interested in hosting a Latino/a author one day per month. Send me your email address and I’ll send you a letter with the details about being a host. However my letter is long. I’m a novelist and don’t know how to write short. The letter is long because I want you to know all the possibilities. But really other than hosting the author, letting your readers know, and passing your link on to the next blog, there’s not much to do. Please check it out. You would be making history.

What compelled you to start such a site?

With BronzeWord Latino Authors, I want to create a level playing field for every writer who has a manuscript to sell. If you have a question, ask it. If you have a problem with your writing, present it. If you need editing assistance, send your pages. If you want to know where to find the best agent to query and how to query, look on BronzeWord Latino Authors for the answers. Latino/a authors are treated with respect and honored for the great wonders they are creating. Here everyone can say what is really on their mind. We state our dreams, and we encourage each of us to obtain them. 

How is the Latino book market at the moment?

Everything you read tells you that the Latino book market is great. It is if you take into account that white people are writing our stories. That mystery writers (my favorite genre to read so can’t comment on other kinds) have more and more Latino/a sidekicks with thick mustaches and gaudy suits, and if they happen to make their Latino character the main protagonist, they are either half-something else or not connected to their roots. NYC say they are publishing many books by Latinos/as yet those books are about migrant or gang related stories. Latino/a authors have to go to small presses or university presses to write something that represents our growing middle-class audiences.

Also everyone desperately needs to speak to the issue of how buying our books produces a major difference. The dollar bill speaks loudly. Think Coke vs. Pepsi. Only when we buy our Latino/a author’s books will NYC understand that we want books about us by our own about our lives in all the manifestations our lives and ethnicity come in. They cannot box us into a generalization and expect us to spend our money on how they perceive us.

Each of us can make a difference. It’s a cruel world out there for a Latino/a writer. Don’t be fool by what NYC prints. Only you can make the difference. BronzeWord Latino Authors can put the information out there for you to read, and it is up to you to make NYC notice what we really want. Who we are. What we’re worth. 

How can readers follow you? Are you on Twitter or Facebook?

Join me on twitter: @LatinoBookNews @BronzeWord
Friend me on Facebook as BronzeWord
Subscribe to BronzeWord Latino Authors by RSS feed or by email. http://authorslatino.com/wordpress

Anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

Do you know that search engines make the difference between a blog being noticed or ignored? How? By the number of comments people make on the blog. The search engines count comments. The more comments there are on a blog the more certain that a search engine will bring up that blog on the search results page. If the blog doesn’t show up on the search results page, it will never be noticed, viewed, or ranked. Whenever you visit a blog or website and you enjoy reading it, I’m glad, but make a comment even if it’s only hello. Your comments will make a major difference in the existence of that blog. Your comments will make an enormous impact on the knowledge that Latinos/as exist and are thriving. Your comments are what count, really count.

Please comment. Please subscribe. Please join. Please buy.

Thanks, Jo Ann, and good luck with your new site!


–Mayra Calvani, www.MayraCalvani.com

Read Full Post »


Don’t miss tomorrow’s live chat and interview with Latina author Jo Ann Hernandez at Blog Talk Radio.


Saturday, April 18th at 11:00 AM EST



Call-in Number: (347) 237-5398

Jo Ann Hernandez, whom I had the chance of interviewing here two weeks ago, is the author of the award-winning young adult novel, The Throwaway Piece, published by Arte Publico Press. Jo Ann loves to promote Hispanic authors and created a blog just for that purpose. Be sure to visit her at BronzeWorld Latino Authors.

Jo Ann will be there to talk about her novel, her writing, and to answer questions from listeners and readers, so call if you have a chance!

About The Throwaway Piece:

The Throaway Piece won 1st place for Best Novel at the 2003 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize at the University of California in Irving. It also won first place in the 2007 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People Award. In addition, The Throwaway Piece was a finalist for ForeWord Magazine and was picked for the New York Public Library’s 2007 Books for the Teen Age List, considered the ultimate guide to teen reads.

From the author…

The Throwaway Piece is a story of a foster kid who doesn’t believe she has an impact on the world around her. Yet she changes the lives for the better of everyone who enters her life.

I was a foster mom for 8 years. My girls would tell me things about the places they had lived. Those episodes became the “Rules” Jewel speaks at the beginning of each chapter. Like make sure you know where the toilet paper is before you go.

Here’s an excerpt from the novel:

Chapter 1

Mother and Child

March 4, 1994


Rule # 1  What’s important is never you.

I didn’t start out as a State Kid. Name’s Jewel. When I was four, my mom and I lived in an apartment complex with an inner courtyard, where the smells of everyone’s supper mingled: boiled cabbage, roasted jalapeños, and spaghetti sauce.

My mom and I squeezed into three rooms and a kitchenette with smoke-stained paint, smudged fingerprints around the doorknobs, and bars on the windows. Neighbors became privy to each other’s lives through apartment walls. People turned up their televisions to drown out kids who screamed for mercy or maybe love. Families made do with what they had and dreamed their hope-driven dreams of what could be.

     “Mommy, where you going?”




        “Cause why?”

        “Because you’re such a little question box.”

            I stand next to the dresser, my hands locked on the edge, barely able to see over the top. In my jean overalls and a yellow shirt, I watch my mother in the mirror lining her green eyes with make-up. “So you be pretty.”

            “Jewel, I’ve told you to stop speaking like the other kids on the block. We want our new daddy to be proud of us. You have to speak proper English.” Mom smiles into the mirror and blows me a kiss.

            I catch the kiss and pat my cheek, enjoying the game she plays with me. If I can keep Mom playing, maybe she won’t leave me alone.

            “You’re the most beautiful daughter a mother could have.” Mom’s waist-length black hair shimmers as she bends forward to color in her lips. She smacks at her pale reflection and sucks in her cheeks.

            I don’t smile. The worry feeling leeches into my body as the stomps of the Dragon get loud. I saw him in a book, and now he haunts the nights when Mommy is gone.

When my mom is stronger, I’ll be able to tell her about the Dragon. She’ll chase it away. For now, I have to be a brave daughter for my mom. “I wanna go.”

            Mom tilts her head and winks at me. “No. This is grown-up playtime. Maybe tomorrow we can do something. Would you like to go to the park?”

            I nod then crawl on top of Mom’s double bed. The one place the Dragon can’t come. Mom crosses the room and picks a dress from the closet.

“What about this one, honey bunch?” She holds the outfit up by the hanger. A scarlet sequined dress, short-sleeved, split up the side, sparkles in the light.

            I smile. I like the color red. “You gonna bring me home a daddy?” This is Mom’s favorite game.

            Mom pulls the dress over her head, still talking. She pops her head out of the top. “Tonight’s the night, kid. The love potion is going to work. I’ve this strong feeling tonight is going to be magic.”

            I kneel and bounce on the bed, clapping my hands. “I like magic shows.”

            Mom struggles with the clasps on the back of her dress. “Yeah, your kind of magic’s fun, but it doesn’t pay the bills.”

            I hate the word “bills.” It makes the sound of my mother’s voice sad and sometimes mean. “What would we be like with a daddy? Would he pay the bills?” I flop forward and lie on my stomach, my feet in the air. I spy the face of the Dragon in the mirror, but the image is gone before my mother looks up.

            She checks her watch, which has her name, Angela, spelled in diamond chips across the band. From the closet, she pulls out silver strap heels, sits down next to me, and strokes my cheek. “One day we’re going to meet a magic prince. He’s going to take us away, out of this tenement to live in a fabulous house.”

            I ask more to keep the dream going and my mother from leaving. “Will I have toys? And dolls?” I roll over, hang my head off the bed, and upside down, watch my mother strap the heels to her ankles.

            “Yes, you’ll have your own room, filled with toys, dolls, everything your heart desires. I’ll have a room to do my art work. I won’t have to work at the drugstore because he will be very successful. People will respect him. Every time they meet me, they’ll treat me well because I’m his wife. Other fine ladies will invite me to their homes to play bridge.”

            “What’s bridge, Mommy?” I knot my forehead. Is this new to the game?

            “It’s a game your new daddy will teach me. He’ll like to teach me a lot of things so he can be really proud of me. I’ll learn fast.” My mother stands to check herself in the mirror and runs her hands over her flat stomach and her trim hips.

            I feel the Dragon’s hot breath on my legs. “Are you leaving me?” I search for magic words to keep my mother near.

            “It’s time, sweetheart.” My mother swings me onto her hip. She steps out into the hallway and walks on a once blue, now gray, strip of carpet. It runs the length of the hallway with worn out spots in front of each doorway.

            The hallway light bulb has been out since last week, and like my mother says the paycheck isn’t due for several more days. Light from my mother’s bedroom fades into the grey by the time we reach my room. My ears fill with the snorts from the Dragon. I bury my face in my mother’s neck.

            She gives me an extra tight squeeze when she feels me tremble. “Silly girl. Mommy won’t let the boogeyman get you. I promise. I’ll never let anything hurt you.”

            My mother squeezes me too tight, and I feel my breath caught in my body. This hug is more for her than for me, so I wrap my chubby arms around my mother’s neck. “I love you, Mommy.”

            She flips on the light of my bedroom. A small white bed comes into view. She sets me on the bed, helps me undress and slips my pajamas over my head. “When you get older, you’ll be able to help me more by doing this yourself.”

            I grab and pull my pajama top down hard to get rid of the wrinkles and check if my mother notices.

            She reaches over the bed, and I fill my nose with her perfume. She snatches a three-foot-long purple feather off the nightstand. I stand on the bed, and she waves the plume over me. “Evil spirits away with you. Only angels and good fairies visit my daughter tonight,” she chants.

            I jump from the bed and open the closet door; my mother shakes the feather at every corner. I shut the door and rush to lift the skirt of my bed. With the purple feather, my mother sweeps the floor beneath the bed and chants. I giggle as I stand at the door to the hallway. She wiggles the feather around the doorway then tickles me all over my body.

            I run around her, and she chases me onto the bed. I bounce on my bed, and she replaces the feather into the jar next to the lamp.

            My mother fluffs the pillow and slips the covers over my doll and me. I grip the ribboned edges of the blanket.

            “Dream good dreams tonight, baby.” She kisses me on the cheek.

            I touch my cheek and feel the sticky lipstick. “I don’t wanna be alone.”

            She stops at the door; her shoulders stiffen into corners. “If you need anything, you just go next door. Mrs. Flores will let you in, but she’ll charge me if you go over.”

            I stretch my arms out to my mommy. “I’m sad when you’re gone.”

            She stands at the doorway, sparkling in the light. “I know, honey. I’m sorry.” She turns around. “Mommy has to go. You want Mommy to find a new daddy, don’t you?” The whine in her voice is as loud as mine.

            I wipe my nose with the back of my hand.

            My mom sighs, goes to the bathroom, and comes back clutching toilet paper. “Wipe your nose. I count on my big girl to help me out. I can count on you, can’t I? You understand why I have to go. I’m doing this for you as much as myself.”

            I bury my face in the tissue and blow. She takes the knotted wad from me and drops it into the basket next to my bed.

            “I’m so very proud of you.” My mom tucks the sheet around my shoulders. “The best daughter in the whole wide world. I love you, sweetie.” She kisses my forehead. “You have to be the best daughter in the whole wide world to help your mommy. Okay?”

            I watch my mother walk to the door then flick off the bedroom light.

            “Look, I’ve left the light on in my bedroom. You’ll be able to see if you want.” She disappears down the hallway, the sounds of her footsteps disappearing with her.

            I reach over to the lamp but stop. I sniff and smell the scorch of Dragon flames. Quick, I hug my knees and smile at the light coming from my mother’s bedroom.

Light is where mommy is.

            I listen to the sounds of leaving. The rustle of her coat. The tap of her shoes. The door shuts behind my mother. The lock clicks loud. The best daughter in the whole wide world lies with her eyes bolted wide open and listens to the noises, picking apart the house-talking sounds from the Dragon sounds. The kiss on my forehead grows cold as the room fills with shadows that stalk and haunt.





Read Full Post »


Lone Star College
North Harris, Houston, Texas
[See Map]

April 7, 2009
2:00 to 3:20 PM
Room CE 101

A proud Houstonian, Sarah Cortez is a cop, poet, short story writer and editor of the award-winning nonfiction work, Windows Into My World, a collection of short memoirs written by young authors.

Along with Cortez, two other contributing writers will be present to discuss the art of writing memoirs.

Cortez is a consummate teacher…

sc2 “There is no joy like the joy of helping others become accomplished at something you love. My love of all kinds of writing – poetry, fiction, essay – has served as the inspiration for my teaching in a wide variety of venues, e.g. elementary school, college, and in the community. I have taught creative writing at the University of Houston for over six years, and I also teach workshops and master classes throughout the country.”

For more information about this author and her work, visit her website.

Read Full Post »

Hi all,

I’d like to announce that I’m the first Latino Books Examiner for The Examiner.

Read my first article: Marta Acosta’s World of Vampires


Read Full Post »


by Mayra Calvani
Zumaya Publications
Release date: February 2009
Print ISBN: 978-1-934841-18-1
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-934841-19-8
Parody/Satire/Women’s Fiction
Available on Amazon and as ebook from EReader.com

Sunstruck has its own site at: www.sunstruckthenovel.blogspot.com


Twenty-four year old Daniella is an architecture student living with her narcissistic artist boyfriend in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Abandoned by her father at an early age, Daniella always falls for the wrong type of man.

Her most enduring male relationship so far is with her 30-pound Turkish angora cat. Thankfully, Daniella’s mother is always there to offer a shoulder.

Several strange mysteries are threaded through Daniella’s everyday life: her ex-husband, Ismael, has just opened an outlandish hotel for animal lovers that has her distraught; Ismael’s wife, a rich woman Daniella fondly refers to as “Lady Dracula,” has some gruesome ways to keep her skin looking young; Daniella’s mother is founding a revolutionary, feminist society called The Praying Mantises; the island’s national forest is being depleted of hallucinogenic mushrooms; meanwhile, young girls are disappearing and there’s a nut loose dressed as Zorro slashing the rear ends of women who wear miniskirts.

Oppressed by all these crazed, eccentric characters, Daniella feels herself falling into an abyss. Then something horrendous happens, making Daniella wake from her stupor and take charge of her life.


“Salvador Dali meets Terry Gilliam in a surrealistic romp that skewers the society of dilettantes and artistic poseurs. Reading Sunstruck is like having one of those long, convoluted dreams that seem to be totally logical until they twist off into another dimension entirely. Monty Python’s Flying Circus would be proud.” -Blue Iris Journal

“Brilliant” –MyShelf.com

“Dark and quirky humor coupled with quixotic characters adds to the surprising mix found in Sunstruck… I’ve never read a book remotely like it. Everything from the humorously weird to the actue macabre can be found between these covers, and then some.” -Laurel Johnson, Midwest Book Review

Read Full Post »

Read an Ebook Week was created by Rita Toews in order to inform the public about the wonderful world of ebooks.

There are many benefits to ebooks, the most important ones being that they don't kill trees and that they're cheaper–sometimes A LOT cheaper–than their print counterparts. For a full list of benefits, you may want to visit EPublishers Weekly.

Between March 8-14, publishers and authors on the web will be offering special deals and discounts on ebooks. Two of these publishers are Zumaya Publications and Twilight Times Books.

Zumaya Publications publishes books in both print and electronic formats in a large variety of genres rnging from romance to mystery to fantasy and science fiction. In celebration of Read an eBook Week, 17 Zumaya authors will offer free copies of their books. All will be offered in eReader format suitable for reading on iPhone and iPod Touch and PDF, and many will be available in other popular ebook formats such as MS Reader.

In addition, copies of other titles by these authors will be offered at our online bookstore, Novel Ideas from Zumaya, at a 20% discount for the duration of Read an eBook Week. As a special offer, anyone who purchases a copy of M. D. Benoit's newest Jack Meter Casefile, Meter Destiny, can claim a free copy of Meter Made, the second book in the series, free. Since the first Meter Casefile, Metered Space, is among the freebies, this means readers can have the complete series for the price of one book.

Twilight Times Books also publishes books in both print and electronic formats.

Publisher Lida Quillen is offering Darrell Bain's autobiography, Darrell Bain's World of Books, as a free download, plus an additional free ebook each day. Among the selections will be Behold the Eyes of Light by Geoff Geauterre, Jerome and the Seraph by Robina Williams, No Place for Gods by Gerry Mills, Striking Back from Down Under by Dr. Bob Rich, The Last to Fall by Anne K. Edwards and Who is Margaret? by Celia A. Leaman.

Here is a list of ebook giveaways during Read an Ebook Week:

All week — Darrell Bain's World of Books by Darrell Bain
Sunday, Mar. 8th — Behold the Eyes of Light by Geoff Geauterre
Monday, Mar. 9th — Jerome and the Seraph by Robina Williams
Tuesday, Mar. 10th — No place for Gods by Gerald Mills
Wednesday, Mar. 11th — Striking Back from Down Under by Dr. Bob Rich
Thursday, Mar. 12th — The Last to Fall by Anne K. Edwards
Friday, Mar. 13th — Who is Margaret? by Celia A. Leaman
Saturday, Mar. 14th — Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine Issue Sept/Oct 2005
Saturday, Mar. 14th — Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine Issue Jan/Feb 2006

So why read ebooks? I asked Elizabeth Burton, Editor-in-Chief at Zumaya Publications:

"Books are books–ebooks are just more convenient than their print brethren. If you have vision problems, if you can't leave the house without something to read, if you spend any amount of time waiting for something to happen, if you have arthritis in your hand that makes holding a book uncomfortable, if you like to read in bed but your partner doesn't appreciate the glare–these are all good reasons to consider ebooks. That there are some incredibly good writers whose work you'll only be able to read digitally is just an added bonus."

On the future of ebooks, this is what she had to say:

"There was much lamenting when the mass market paperback crawled out of the pulp world that it would destroy the wonders of hardcover reading. The same, equally specious wail is not being aimed at ebooks. EBooks are just another way to read, one that appeals to the younger generations who've grown up with digital media but that also draws those who for any or all of the above-listed reasons want an alternative to print. They won't replace print books anytime soon, but the market for them will continue to grow."

There's no question that ebooks are the reading format of the future. Feel free to spread the word about Read an Ebook Week and don't lose your chance to get some free ebooks.


Read Full Post »

Hi all,

I just started a new promo blog for authors where my golden retriever, Amigo, interviews authors’ pets. In other words, your pet will talk about you and your book, from its ‘unique’ perspective.

I was wondering if any of you would like to be one of my first, er, victims… 🙂

There will only be five questions (I want to keep it short and funny) and I would need a photo of your pet and your book. You just have to answer as if you were your pet.

I’ll be promoting each interview on about 10 groups, sites, blogs, communities, and I plan to post one interview a week. I’ll also keep your book cover permanently on the sidebar (or as long as blogger allows me, LOL)

This is the blog. It’s empty for the moment, but I’m contacting dozens of authors, so I expect it to fill up quickly (already have 10 takers on day 1)


I’ll be happy to host authors on virtual book tours as well. If you’d like my golden retriever to interview your pet, contact me at mayra.calvani@gmail.com and I’ll pass him the message. 🙂


Read Full Post »

Hi all,

I was recently interviewed by NY Times Bestselling author Marta Acosta on her popular blog, Vampire Wire.

The link is http://www.vampirewire.blogspot.com

I’ll be giving away two free copies to two lucky winners who leave a comment.

Thanks in advance! It’s nice to be the interviewee once in a while 🙂


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: