August 15, 2009

Damas, Dramas and Ana Ruiz Blog Tour & Giveaway!!


Damas, Dramas and Ana Ruiz: A Quinceañera Club Novel
By: Belinda Acosta
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 336 Pages
Available: August 11, 2009

My Rating: 4.5 Tiaras! Photobucket

Synopsis:

All Ana Ruiz wanted was to have a traditional quinceañera for her daughter, Carmen. She wanted a nice way to mark this milestone year in her daughter's life. But Carmen was not interested in celebrating. Hurt and bitter over her father Esteban's departure, she blamed Ana for destroying their happy family, as did everyone else. A good man is hard to find, especially at your age Ana was told. Why not forgive his one indiscretion? Despite everything, Ana didn't want to tarnish Carmen's childlike devotion to her beloved father. But Ana knows that growing up sometimes means facing hard truths. In the end, Ana discovers that if she's going to teach Carmen anything about what it means to be a woman, it will take more than simply a fancy party to do it...

"Belinda Acosta's Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz delivers all its title promises and more: it's a book about damas of all ages, from teenage girls to the struggling mothers of those teenage girls; it's packed with drama so you don't want to stop reading; it's a novel that deeply and honestly tells the story of Ana Ruiz, her own coming of age as a woman and as a mother. Belinda Acosta is up to all of the challenges of such a rich panorama of characters and events. She's sassy, she's smart, she makes it look easy! But it takes a lot of hard work and a pile of talent to write such an engaging, touching book. A wonderful quinceañera of a novel!" --- Julia Alvarez, author of
Once Upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA and Return to Sender"

Lively and perceptive... Acosta empathically captures the innermost feelings of her characters."--- Booklist

My thoughts:

What's a quinceañera? Before opening the book, that's something I needed to know! Here's what I found; It's a celebration or coming-of-age party held on a girl's fifteenth birthday that typically begins with a religious ceremony. This ceremony is usually a good way for the family to bond with the girl turning 15 (especially the mother).

When I first picked up Damas, Dramas and Ana Ruiz, I expected a humorous beach-type read with little sustenance. But, to my delight, I couldn't have been more wrong! Belinda Acosta does a wonderful job weaving a story of a heart-broken daughter who misses her father's love and a mother that will do anything to gain her daughter's heart back! Belinda uses a unique mixture of humor and narrative point of view to get the messages across to her readers. Which worked for me one hundred percent!

Carmen can only see all the goodness in her father and furthermore, she blames her fully for their immediate separation! A daddy's girl through-and-through she has only starry-eyed notions of just what type of a man he is. Her mother and father, Ana and Esteban Ruiz cannot even hold a civilized conversation, never mind connecting to try and figure out if and how the marriage is going to work! And while Carmen refuses to talk to her mother, Ana is determined to throw Carmen a beautiful Quinceañera with the hopes of bringing them closer together and strengthening their bond.

Most of the story is centered around Ana and her need to regain her own self-confidence along with her daughters love. Ana's Son Diego and her niece Bianca both are there to help with the planning. While Carmen shows her childish, immature and demanding self in this story, her brother is just the opposite. Diego is caring and compassionate and tries to help his mother with whatever she needs. Bianca's got her own mother/daughter issues. Her mother is mentally ill and therefore can't be there for her while she's growing up. Each one of these character's were so well developed that I felt as though I got to know each and every one of them. I cared about what happened to them. I laughed with them and I felt their pain. To me, that's one of the main things that makes a story a success.

I believe this book would make a fantastic book club read (and you can even find a RGG here)! There is so many aspects of this story you could discuss. Also, there are the different cultural aspects of the book that helped me learn a whole lot about a subject I didn't know much about to begin with. I was so angry at times with Ana for not telling her daughter the truth about her father. But, as a mother myself, I could see the struggle she had with trying to protect her daughter from all that wasn't "perfect" in the family. There are already so many different types of things that teen girls have to worry about while entering womanhood. Why add more stress?

Belinda has written a coming of age story and the issues that affect so many of us and not just Spanish families. You could feel the stress in the written word and just how strong the bond of love is between the Ruiz family. This story will at times tug at your heart-strings and at other times laugh out loud! I highly recommend this book and note Ms. Acosta an author to watch!

About the author:

Belinda Acosta has written and published plays, short stories, and essays. As a journalist, her work has appeared in the Austin American-Statesman, The Austin Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, The San Antonio Current, and AlterNet. Her short story Tortilla Dough appeared in Saguaro, a publication of the University of Arizona in 1992. In 1993, she produced, directed and performed in a multi-media dance-theater performance of La Llorona. National exposure came in 1995 when she read her personal essay Gran Baile, on Latino USA - the Radio Journal of News and Culture, carried on National Public Radio.

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Acosta received a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from The University of Texas in 1997. She lives in Austin, Texas and is the TV and media columnist for The Austin Chronicle.

You can learn more about Belinda Acosta by visiting her blog! I also please sign up for the Damas, Dramas and Ana Ruiz Facebook Fan Page - Here!

Want updates on Damas and Belinda? Follow here on Twitter!

I'd like to thank Miriam and Hachette Book Group
for letting me participate in this Blog Tour!
Want to WIN a copy for yourself? Of course you do!
You must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada only
and have a valid address (NO P.O. Boxes Please)
If you qualify above, here's how you win!
For your entry, tell me the best and/or worst gift you've ever gotten for your birthday
please include your name and email address so I can reach the winner.

Extra Entries? You KNOW IT!
You MUST be a follower of my blog
Each entry must be a separate comment with a link (if needed)
+2 if you follow me on Twitter
+3 if you tweet about this giveaway
+5 if you Blog about this giveaway
+10 if you put my button on my blog (or already have it there) and link back!
This contest will run until August 30th (Midnight EST) and I will draw a winner on the 31st!
Good Luck and Have Fun!!
Can't wait to WIN? Buy the book - HERE!
Kisses ~ XXX

50 comments:

  1. Hi Princess :) I just added your button to my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am a new subscriber and would like to win this book.


    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

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  3. Oh, the worst birthday was when no one remembered and it was when I turned 16! My mom woke me up for school, she didn't say anything, my three sisters didn't remember. It was one of my sister's friends birthday too...which my sister remembered that when we got to school. It was just a terrible day. It is funny now so many years later, but I was just crushed that everyone forgot!

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  4. I am a follower too :)

    Amy M
    atc218 at aol dot com

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  5. After reading all the great reviews of this book, I regret not participating in the tour! When I was young, we moved on my birthday one year. On the day of my birthday, my mom wished me a Happy Birthday and gave me a quarter to go to 7-11 to buy some candy (this was back in the Dark Ages, when you could buy something for a quarter). I thought that was my birthday present until about a week later when we actually celebrated. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

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  6. The worst birthday ever would be my 35th birthday. I was pregnant and went to the doctor to find out how far along the ultrasound dated me. Instead, the doctor told us that the fetus wasn't living and we had to wait for it to miscarry. I don't even remember what gifts we got because that kind of superceded everything else.

    melacan at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. follower

    melacan at hotmail dto com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Shauna! Thank you!!

    Marjorie ~ I have you!

    Amy M - Thanks for the story and entering! : )

    BermudaOnion - I had to laugh at "back in the dark ages" LOL It's a great book. Very fun!

    J.Kaye! Thanks for stopping by! I always LOVE to see you here!

    xoxo Amy

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  9. Pam - How sorry I am... that's just terrible. You're right, that's probaby your worst gift ever.

    I know how horrible and devastating life can be...my worst birthday was my 23rd. My best, 16th all the way!!

    *Hugs* and feel free to stop by anytime!

    xoxo Amy

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  10. This looks like a great giveaway - shame I'm in the UK :(

    I have an award for you. Come by and collect it here :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. My birthday is on April Fool's Day so I've gotten some interesting pranks, er ... gifts through the years. ;)
    My best gift ever was when my husband gave me a Jeep Grand Cherokee ~ it was the first vehicle of my own that I had ever had that wasn't a hand-me-down.

    hawkes(at)citlink.net

    ReplyDelete
  12. Please include me in the giveaway. My best birthday gift was red glass dinner set and matching glasses. I was saving these for my first apartment. Thank you.
    makeupgirl21@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  13. The best birthday present I ever got was the 2nd hand car my parents got me on my 19th b-day.

    jen4777[at]hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am a follower of yours.

    jen4777[at]hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I haven't heard of this book before. Oh, and I like your layout a lot. The header is really cute!

    -Danielle

    ReplyDelete
  16. I want to read this book and I'm a subscriber.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am looking forward to reading this book. I love your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  18. sign me up please

    chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  19. blogged: http://chocolateandcroissants.blogspot.com/2009_08_01_archive.html#5529222203171290043

    chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  20. Book Chic City...I'm SO sorry, this isn't my rule...but you are more than welcome to enter the Gift Certificate giveaway!

    Thank you for the award!!
    xoxo Amy

    ReplyDelete
  21. worst present-my parents forgot my birthday one year-and once I had a loser boyfriend that gave me slippers and no celebration-no cake, card, ice-cream.

    chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  22. Christy Jan, Lucy, and Jenny N. You are all in!

    Danielle! How sweet thank you! It was just all redone! I am getting used to working with it : ) Stop by anytime!

    Esme! You're in this one too!

    Best of luck
    XoXO
    Amy

    ReplyDelete
  23. TJE's Queen! (Fellow Royalty) You're in dah-ling!!
    xoxo Amy (Park-Avenue Princess)

    ReplyDelete
  24. tweeted it"

    aparkavenueprincess.blogspot.com/2009/08/damas-dramas-and-ana-ruiz-blog-tour.html giveaway for damas dramas and ana ruiz

    I see you are up late on the web-hello

    chocolateandcroissants at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thanks for Tweeting Esme! I'm ALWAYS up late! (waving hello)

    xoxo Amy

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am a follower.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Please count me in.

    cindyc725 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am a follower of your blog.
    The worst birthday gift was a sweater that had already been used and didn't even fit me.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I heart book gossip and Wanda - you're in! : ) And thank you both for entering and stopping by!

    XOXO Amy (Park-Avenue Princess)

    ReplyDelete
  30. The best birthday gift I receive every year are roses from my husband.
    megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

    ReplyDelete
  31. The best gift I ever received was a charm bracelet filled with charms my children picked out.
    Jennifer
    knittingmomof3(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. I follow on twitter (@knittingmomof3)
    entry1
    Jennifer
    knittingmomof3(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. I follow on twitter (@knittingmomof3)
    entry2
    Jennifer
    knittingmomof3(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  34. Your Button is on my blog and linked back to you: http://www.rundpinne.blogspot.com
    left hand column
    +10 (unless you want me to leave 10 separate entries, let me know)
    Jennifer
    knittingmomof3(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  35. My best birthday gift was being inducted to the National Honor Society in high school...it was a big deal (back in the day! ).

    karen k
    kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  36. i'm a follower :)

    karen k
    kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  37. Oh i'd love to enter! The best gift is probably my son, he was born on the 24th & my birthday is the 29th of Dec.
    Thank you!
    Nataliew2(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  38. I do follow you on Twitter!
    @nataliew2
    nataliew2(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I tweeted! Tweet Tweet!
    http://twitter.com/nataliew2/status/3647015970
    nataliew2(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  40. Put your button on my blog too.
    nataliew2(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I wanna read this one!

    Froggy
    froggarita@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. I follow you on twitter

    Froggy
    http://froggaritavillesbookcase.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. I tweeted about this contest

    I am Froggarita

    https://twitter.com/Froggarita

    Froggy
    http://froggaritavillesbookcase.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  44. I added a link in my sidebar under contests!!

    http://froggaritavillesbookcase.blogspot.com

    Froggy

    ReplyDelete
  45. your button is on my blog!

    http://froggaritavillesbookcase.blogspot.com/2009/08/links.html

    Froggy

    ReplyDelete
  46. Please enter me!
    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete
  47. My worst birthday - I can't remember a really bad birthday! I guess that's a good thing! LOL!

    I'm a follower - and love your blog!
    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

    ReplyDelete
  48. I follow you on twitter @dcf_beth

    dcf_beth at verizon dot net

    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I've subscribed via email (feedburner)

    also I'm following you on twitter via (@sensitivemuse)

    count me in on this book!! I want to read this.

    The best gift I got? ummm...it'll have to be a couple of games and a tanktop and a plushie from my mom and bf. Why? it was one of the last gifts my mom got me before she passed on.

    sensitivemuse at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete

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XXX ~ The Princess