Cover Reveal

I’m really excited to announce that I’ve scheduled a cover reveal for The Most Special Chosen for January 24th.

I’ve scheduled it though Lola’s Blog Tours. If you’re an author, or know one, I suggest checking out Lola’s services.

So far, the planning has gone smoothly and Lola has been incredibly knowledgeable and professional. I’ll keep you all posted on the progression of the “event” planning.

If you’d like to be a part of the reveal, check out the event page for more information.

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The Joy of Coco

There will be spoilers towards the end of this post, but I’ll warn you first.

I saw Coco for the second time on Saturday. And while it didn’t hit me quite as hard in the feels this time, it was still an amazing movie.

The first time I saw Coco (on Thanksgiving), I was blown away, absolutely enchanted, and amazed to see my heritage, Mexican heritage, portrayed on the big screen in such a beautiful way. As Chantel mentions in this Pero Like video, it was amazing to see a story that happens to be set in Mexico, rather than a story about being Mexican.

The Rivera family from Coco

At its heart, Coco is about family. That family just so happens to be Mexican, and living Mexican lives. Therefore you have a rich tapestry of Mexican culture woven into the story. But the central theme of family can be (and has been) played out in any other setting (think Brave, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, Inside Out, etc.). I think this is part of what makes Coco so special to me. The Mexican culture isn’t highlighted, isn’t glorified, it’s just there. But you can’t help but appreciate the beauty and richness of it.

Granted, in Coco, the focus is on one particular facet, Dia de los Muertos. But you get to see other bits as well. With Ernesto de la Cruz, you get a glance at old films. With the music competitions, you get a look at mariachi music. There are also alebrijes, lucha libre, ballet folklórico, chanclas, and on and on, but you get the idea.

Growing up multicultural, I never really paid much attention to people saying that it means a lot to see yourself represented in movies, TV, etc. That was a failing on my part, I know. But Coco opened my eyes to just how much it can mean. There were multiple times I found myself tearing up in sheer joy at seeing Mexican culture portrayed correctly. I can only imagine how great it was for all of the abuelitos going to the movies for the first time and seeing the magnificence that is Coco.  

So if you haven’t seen Coco yet, stop reading here (there are spoilers coming), and go see it while it’s still in theaters. Really, it’s worth it. If you have seen Coco, then let me share with you a little something I noticed when I watched it the second time.

 

***Spoilers Ahead***

 

It didn’t take me long on the first go around to figure out that Ernesto wasn’t Miguel’s great-great-grandfather. And it didn’t take much longer to determine that Hector must, therefore, be Miguel’s great-great-grandfather. What I didn’t pick up on, and really should have, is that because Ernesto stole Hector’s guitar, there was likely something nefarious going on.

And speaking of the guitar, did you notice that it’s the first hint the viewers get about who Miguel is actually related to?

The guitar has a gold tooth.

Head of the Guitar from Coco

Hector has a gold tooth.

Hector from Coco

Ernesto does not.

Ernesto de la Cruz from Coco

It’s even on the movie poster. Talk about fabulous foreshadowing. Did you catch that hint? Let me know in the comments.

Note: All images found through Google.

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Meet Shawn Dooley

Portrait of Shawn Dooley
Portrait of Shawn by artist Kyle McGill.

Welcome to my second character interview. This time I sat down with Shawn Dooley (SD). For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Dooley, he is Elysabeth’s roommate and has been her best friend for the past eight years.

We met in the quad between his classes, and I’m thankful he was able to fit me in at all. The life of a math major gets busy.  

I hope you enjoy getting to know Shawn a bit better.


Rachel de la Fuente (RdlF): Shawn, thanks for taking some time to talk to me. I really appreciate it.

SD: No problem. Lys mentioned she’ll be speaking to you, so I figured I might as well do it, too.

RdlF: You two are such good friends. How did you meet?

SD: She asked me about making games for my calculator on our first day of high school.

Continue reading “Meet Shawn Dooley”

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*The Most Special Chosen* News 12-11-2017

It’s been a while since my last series update. There hasn’t been a lot of news recently. I’ve been reviewing and editing The Most Special Chosen. I’ve been making a lot of minor edits, and even re-writing some sections completely.

I’m currently editing the last chapter before I do a final scrub-through and send it back to my publisher for round 2. I have to admit, I’m really happy with the edits. They’ve really improved the story, and the writing is much improved as well.

Part of the need for re-writes is an ever-changing society. Statements, ideas, and themes that were perfectly acceptable when I finished the story over four years ago are now somewhat iffy, so I’ve changed them. Anyone who picked up a copy of the self-published version a few years ago will want a new copy.

As a “thank you” for reading my blog, here’s a sneak peek of the story.

Continue reading “*The Most Special Chosen* News 12-11-2017”

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Author Spotlight Wrap Up

I’ve had fun with my Author Spotlight series. I’ve made some good friends, learned a lot, and have discovered some interesting books.

I announced the series just over four months ago, and have had some fabulous entries since then. If you missed any, here’s the full list:

What’s Next?

Finishing the series doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing spotlights entirely, they just won’t be a regular thing. I’d like to take more time with each spotlight in the future to really personalize them. One thing I don’t want to change, though, is asking “different” questions.

A lot of the authors I profiled mentioned that my questions were new and different. They weren’t things they’d been asked before, and I’m really happy about that. It’s what I was trying to do. I hope they didn’t get boring for the readers, either.

While I’m comfortable ending the series, I have to admit, it means the pressure’s on for coming up with blog content. The spotlights meant I had plenty of content to publish, and now I’ll have to come up with stuff regularly on my own again. As such, I may not post as often for a while, until I get back into that flow. I hope you don’t mind.

Anyway, if you enjoyed the spotlights, drop me a comment and let me know. If you’ve got suggestions, leave those in the comments as well. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.

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Author Spotlight: Edd Sowder

Welcome — or welcome back — to my last Author Spotlight! If you’re new and want to know more about how the series got started, go check out the introduction post.

This spotlight is special. I’ve got the spotlight turned on Edd Sowder, Vice President of Burning Willow Press, my publisher. He’s finding time to write again, among his MANY other duties and projects, and yet still managed to find some time to answer some questions both on paper and in his video interview (at the bottom of the page).

Burning Willow Press Banner

–  –  –

Let’s start with the most important. What’s your most recent/next book, and where can we go to learn more about it and you?

Cover of Crossroads in the Dark 3Okay, since I am the publisher and not sure when this will be produced, I will tell you the one I am finalizing currently with the author. I am currently working on finishing Crossroads in the Dark III: Monsters Under Your Bed which is an anthology based on what scares you, me, them, it, each other, whatever. Real monsters, make believe monsters, like the boogeyman or the politician. We are in pre-production of book 3 of The Human Undead War trilogy by Jonathan Ondrashek as well called A Kingdom’s Fall. Look for it to be released in September with CRITD III. [NOTE: Edd’s video spotlight includes an updated discussion of what’s coming out next]

Continue reading “Author Spotlight: Edd Sowder”

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Friday Reads: Memnoch the Devil

Here we are, at the end of the year. Happy December, everyone! It’s the first Friday of the month, and that means Friday Reads! In case you missed it, you can take a look at last month’s Friday Reads on The Other Boleyn Girl.

Unlike most of my other Friday Reads posts, I’ve only read this book once, but it’s stuck with me ever since. Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice was the first book that made me question what I’d learned in Sunday school. That’s not to say I unquestioningly accepted everything from the Bible. I’ve never really been religious. But I’d also not previously questioned what I’d been taught about God and the devil.

After reading Memnoch the Devil, I wanted to know more about other religions and their takes on various bible characters. For that alone, I’d say this is a book worth reading. After all, anything that makes you want to learn more is worth doing.

Having read it only once, and many years ago now, (I really ought to go back and read it again), I can’t regale you with all of the particulars, or awesome quotes. I wish I could. But I must have read it at least 8 years ago, very possibly more, and yet it still sticks with me as an important read.

Perhaps when I’ve gone back and re-read it — which means going back and re-reading the first four books of the series — I can write an updated entry. I can see if it gets to stay on the pedestal I erected for it, or if my experience since then has rendered it less inspiring.

If you’ve got the time, I highly suggest reading Memnoch the Devil, even if only to give your mind some “what ifs”. And Lestat really is a delightful character — when he’s not complaining about being human like in book four.

So, have you read any of the Vampire Chronicles? Did you like them? Which one was your favorite? Leave me a comment below. I love reading comments when I get them. I hope you enjoy the holiday season. Happy reading!

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