Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Have a Crush on Manolo Suarez - 'House Divided'

I’m putting humor aside for now, to tell you about a blockbuster in the making, which was written by my prolific friend and colleague, Raul Ramos Y Sanchez. He is an International Latino Book Award-winning author, who has written a best-selling trilogy.

The first release, America Libre was made available at bookstores in July 2009. It is an action-packed story of love, ethnic turmoil, and intrigue; plus the author adds deeply moving, thought-provoking commentary. I just read an advanced copy of the second book in the trilogy, House Divided. It is a page-turner that will keep you entertained for hours.

Raul recently received the “Latino Literacy Books Into Movies Award” for America Libre. I don’t know who will be cast as the main character, but I know that I already have a crush on Manolo “Mano” Suarez.

Author, Raul Ramos Y Sanchez, receiving the Latino Books Into Movies Award (notice Eddie Olmos, the presenter).

Watch an excerpt of the awards VIDEO

Mano Suarez, a former decorated U.S. Army veteran turned insurgent, and his family live in a Los Angeles barrio scarred by many years of ethnic war. His focus is to keep his family together and survive. His wife, Rosa, is deeply religious and opposes the fighting. His son, Pedro, is a teenager trying to find himself; in the process, Pedro joins an extremist group that attacks innocent civilians. This does not set well with his father, who must battle both a fractured country dominated by demagogues and the terrorists in his own ranks—without betraying his son or losing his wife.

From a woman's perspective, I especially liked Rosa’s relationship with Celia, a local curandera (faith healer); but I don’t want to spoil this engaging novel for you by giving away the good parts. Just put this one on your “must read” list. One scene was written so well, it had me multi-tasking - dodging bullets, while smelling and craving cake.

“Contrary to what many might think, my novels do not defend illegal immigration. In fact, none of the major characters are undocumented and most are second and third generation U.S. citizens. But this assumption that AMERICA LIBRE and HOUSE DIVIDED support illegal immigration or are manifestos for an insurrection illustrates the often toxic misinformation that pervades this volatile topic. My novels are actually cautionary tales, a call for reason in an escalating war of words between extremists on both sides of the immigration issue. I also hope my work provides a more nuanced portrayal of Hispanics than is commonly depicted by the media.” Raul said, in a recent interview my Michael F. Stewart at The Big Thrill. You can read the entire interview here: The Big Thrill

Amazon is taking orders for House Divided here AMAZON.COM I’m going to order another copy for my Kindle.

You can read more about the author and the book on Raul Ramos Y Sanchez’ website.

Please follow him on Facebook, as he tends to have monthly autographed book giveaways. I have been following him there since we both attended a writer’s workshop at the University of Dayton in 2008.

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