Now Available in Print: Cuentos Wela Told Me

Now you can purchase paperback print of Cuentos Wela Told Me That Scared the Beeswax out of Me! Follow the link to purchase: Cuentos

Book Blurb: Have you experienced an eerie chill crawl your skin and give you goosebumps for no apparent reason? Have you been haunted by a ghostly apparition you can’t seem to explain? Has your abuelita told you stories about the legendary cucuys that have, for centuries, been a part of our Valley folklore? These stories are simply cuentos many are skeptical to believe in. Leyendas my family has shared with me. It is up to you to decide whether to believe in these cuentos or not. Regardless, they are intriguing and will continue to be told for generations on end. Read on, enjoy, and beware of the cucuys!

The Smoking Mirror by David Bowles

I have often been told not to judge a book by its cover – and I usually don’t listen. So when I saw the cover for ‘The Smoking Mirror’ by Dr. David Bowles, I knew I had discovered a gem. It doesn’t hurt to know the author is known for the amount of research he puts into his projects, and the charismatic nature of his work makes it almost impossible to put a book down.

‘The Smoking Mirror’ is a Young Adult Fantasy that mixes folklore & mythology with modern day adventures, bringing Aztec/Mayan histories into mainstream pop culture in a most credible scenario for a fictional story. Keep in mind, the plotline is based in South Texas and Mexico, something we don’t often come across is novels. The story is thoroughly relatable to those of us from the border who have family ties in both countries.

Carol and Johnny, twins who have learned their mother has gone missing, are trying to pick up the pieces as their world begins to tumble at home. The twins are your average tweens dealing with issues youth often experience – bullying, doubts, moods, fitting in. The problems at home lead them to an extended stay with maternal relatives in Mexico, away from their home environment and their father. What they don’t know is the journey and revelations awaiting them! Peeling the layers of secrets their mother has kept from them, Carol and Johnny discover they have inherited powers from her and are introduced to their nagual forms – just the fuel they needed to journey into the underworld and search for her, with the help of new friends and allies.

‘The Smoking Mirror’ kicks off a Young Adult book series in a fast paced adventure sure to teach you a thing or two about regional histories often forgotten.

New Border Voices: An Anthology

Borders transition for an array of reasons, time being the indicator of how a new generation comes to rely on the histories of their land(s), reminiscing about what was and accepting (not eloquently though) that change alters realities. This anthology of voices are direct proof of how recent experiences, particularly in the Southwest region, have caused a metamorphosis in our communities. We slowly alienate ourselves from our ties to el otro lado because in our minds, borders close and fears become our distances.

As a fan of many of the prolific authors who form a part of this anthology, I am delighted current reflections from the border are represented well.

Barrio Writers by Sarah Rafael-Garcia

Reading this anthology brought clarity to obstacles often overlooked that affect many of today’s youth in the barrios. Striding with hope and writing about their ambitions, ranging from careers to bonding with family, these brave writers share their diverse experiences with an honesty that is captured by their words. From their perspective, Barrio Writers is a platform that introduces participants to an outlet where their voices can be heard, and their documented stories can emerge as an inspiration to other youth.

With outlined activities at the end of each prompt, this book is a must for middle and high school classrooms!

Canicula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en La Frontera by Norma Elia Cantu

La frontera is a mystical region influenced by an embrace of cultures, the lapses of time, the economy of two countries, and the growth that comes with opportunities. To explain it is difficult because so much is lost in the intent, trying to translate a community’s language with the vocabulary that divides our accent. But that doesn’t stop us from trying to share our Mexican/American borderland because our culture is about extending a hand to the world.

Dr. Cantu’s snapshots take us back to a youth where traditions are molded and family is an expected backbone. Her stories are shared, rather than told, and the history tejanos have experienced are documented without boundaries.

Not exactly fictional or autobiographical, Canicula immerses readers into a family’s timeline that spans generations and captures the essence of life bonds.

Rant.Chant.Chisme. by Amalia Ortiz

As a child growing up in South Texas, I knew what being a hocicona meant.

It meant you were a repelona who enjoyed arguing. A chismosa who told everyone’s business. A cabrona who often picked a fight. A metiche who put her foot down when nobody asked her opinion.

Mostly, I understood a hocicona to be someone who had something to say and the best part, had an audience to listen to her.

Someday, I want to be an hocicona like Amalia.

Her chismes entertain me like a good Mexican telenovela. Ella suelta la sopa and speaks in volumes through her resonating verses, opening up conversations often suppressed, as with ‘Women of Juarez’ and ‘the short skirt speaks’.

Amalia’s poems remember. They cry. They tell on you. They don’t know how to play hide-and-seek well. They count you in when you try to blend in. And caray, do they speak!

Cuentos Wela Told Me: That Scared the Beeswax Out of Me!

theworldis youroyster.

Author: Priscilla Celina Suarez
Cover Image: Chusy Ocala

Purchase a copy of my new ebook by clicking here!

Have you experienced an eerie chill crawl your skin and give you goosebumps for no apparent reason? Have you been haunted by an apparition you can’t explain? Has your abuelita told you stories about the legendary cucuys that have, for centuries, been a part of our valley folklore?

These stories are simply cuentos many are skeptical to believe in. Leyendas my family has shared with me.

It is up to you to decide whether to believe in these stories or not. Regardless, they are intriguing and will continue to be told for generations on end.

Read on, enjoy, and beware of the cucuys!

Save

Poxo by Isaac Chavarria

Desarraigados are those of us who have been uprooted and confused by the theories of fronteras. Confused by labels and labeled because it is logical. Regional subcultures mess us all up – so how can we associate with labels that marginalize the distinctiveness or our South Texas community?

It’s a conversation meant to have us running in circles. Jumping from being Hispanic or Latino to being Chicano, possibly Mexican-American or Tejano. I’ve lived all these labels without ever truly owning them. Sometimes, it’s all about the occasion.

And that’s what I appreciate about Isaac Chavarria’s collection of poems. In reading Poxo, I was able to identify with the author’s jumble of lenguajes, never settling between one world and the other. Aware that he can distance himself from one root and never be able to branch away from it.

Unwoven by Erika Garza-Johnson

Erika Garza-Johnson’s debut, Unwoven, is a collection of poetry that refuses to be labeled. It is an anthology that explores the author’s identity and plays with a variety of genres. At times, it is autobiographical, contemporary,a saga, or a narrative. At others, it is an observation, a mystery, a drama, or a reflection. But most of all, it is a collection of love poems.

I have known my comadre, Erika, for almost a decade. We’ve traveled together all over the valley and central Texas for poetry readings and workshops. I’ve heard her voice deliver those punches in her work up close and know the shifting of her borders are obvious with her spoken word. Erika has one of the greatest stage presences I’ve encountered because she does not shy away from the intentions of her poetry.

After reading Unwoven, I can honestly say her words vaporize from the page and into one’s perceptive consciousness. So honest and with the lenguaje that is typical of a South Texas community. The rhythm a pattern of words that make it simple for others to comprehend our Tex-Mex slang.

From writing about ‘Heridas Abiertas’ to ‘Pinche Princesses’, my comadre reveals her love. For her family, her community, her culture, her experiences. Sometimes it is not so obvious. Sometimes, her love is coraje. Sometimes, her love gives you the finger.

In all possible explorations of her work, one cannot mistake how she has unwoven her world to share it with her audience.

Beautiful Scars by Edward Vidaurre

I first met Edward Vidaurre a few years ago at a Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival – I believe it was the Poetry Pachanga at the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito, TX. Every year that I’ve attended VIPF, it’s always a great opportunity to meet new poets and listen to a diversity of voices. I remember how Edward’s presence was inspiring. His poetry unique because although we have claimed him as a valle poet, his memories of an upbringing in East Los Angeles add a twist of flavor to his verses and allows for us to discover some semblances to life in South Texas that are not quite the same at all instances.

From being an acquaintance to becoming a poetry compadre I am truly inspired by, Edward’s passion in sharing his writing supersedes the idea of simply promoting his work when invited to read at events. Edward shows up to events with the intent of inspiring others to collect their own experiences into writing. A proof of this is the periodical Pasta, Poetry and Vino events he hosts to promote other poets and to open a space for the literary community.

As you can probably imagine, when his latest poetry collection “Beautiful Scars: Elegiac Beat Poems” was released, I was first in line to grab a copy. One can always count on having a great time when reading my compadre’s stuff. I know it’s a rule to not judge a book by its cover, but Edward’s book…well, the cover is enough to have made me grab a copy anyways! The photographs included in between poems offered an extra glimpse into Edward’s world and incorporated a story of their own.

evidaurreOne look at the table of contents and I knew I’d read the book in one take. I mean, who wouldn’t want to read a book about his “greñuda”? As a daddy’s girl, I was able to relate to the bond the author has with his Bella, and embraced the language of amor eterno flowing from those verses. Perhaps not visible to the naked eye, but his corazón bled between the empty spaces on those pages dedicated to his daughter.

I feel this was the most beautiful scar he shared with me as I read his book. Sometimes, loving is just too much!

Visit Edward’s Blog Here: http://edwardvidaurre.blogspot.com/
Purchase a Copy of His Book Here: Beautiful Scars