Fiction Book Tour & Giveaway: Las Hechizadas by Anne Garcia - Tour Dates 1/29/14 – 2/12/14
Link Back to the Tour
http:// fireandicebooktours.wordpress.com/ 2014/01/19/fiction-book-tour-giveaway las-hechizadas-by-anne-garcia-tour dates-12914-212 4/
Blurb: When Juan Romero decides to visit his Abuela in Aguas Puras he doesn't realize the magical healing powers that exist in the high mountain valley. His journey to reconnect with his family's past transforms his life and the lives of generations to follow. He becomes involved in a battle to save the valley from a multinationa mining company and the struggle threatens to destroy "Las Hechizadas," or healing women, and their way of life. Twenty years later his sister, Silvia makes her way from the U.S. to again discover the secrets of her family's past, but in contrast to her brother what she learns finally sets the universe straight and the women of the valley are once again in balance. Anne Garcia weaves her own experiences of living in South America into this magical novel that ll to the extraordinary women of the valley of Aguas Puras.
Sofia arrived just as the altar was receiving its final touches. Those who are not familiar with altars often think of them as objects of pagan rituals, however, an altar is a persona sacred space where anyone can offer and receive blessings. In this case, it was a family altar, welcoming not only Sofia, as a new member, but the unborn child into the family.
Abuela had built it around the same base her great-great grandmother had made and that had been used for each generation since. The path leading to the altar was aligned with stars. Each woman who attended the ceremony to welcome the new child placed a gift at the base of the altar decorated with photos of several generations of children interwoven with daffodils, bring the higher powers to bless the child.
A loaf of bread to stave off hunger a bottle of wine to attract everlasting joy and laugher and, stems of birds of paradise to attract creative energy were only some of the many offerings Sofia was led to the front of the altar and seated on a hand painted stool Abuela began o light the candles made with Echinacea extract to boost Sofia’s immune system.
The other women hummed a calming melody and circled Sofia. No one knew what she was asking for or thinking, but it was none of their business so they didn’t wonder When Abuela was done she took a glass jar from her bag and smeared a lavender salve on Sofia’s forehead. The blessing was to pass Abuela’s knowledge on her grandchild. Again, her secret desire for a girl reappeared.
What she didn’t know was that Sofia too, wanted a daughter. She placed a crown on Sofia’s head and the women left her alone to present her own offerings and prayers.
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/ 1891554387/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
Genres: Literature, Fiction
Goodreads Direct Link https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/ 18751443-las-hechizadas?ac=
About The Author:
I am a bilingual teacher and author in Colorado. Writing and reading has always been my passion and as part of my teaching I have documented my thinking as the years have passed. I have written one professiona development book for ESL teachers and contributed to a book on comprehension strategy work. Currently am working on a title that documents the importance of partnerships between community-based organizations and schools. In my free time I also write fiction. My first novel, Las Hechizadas, is available in paper book and on Kindle. I am also writing two new bilingual children's books.
Connect with the Author:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/ Author-Anne-Upczak-Garcia/ 486096314831032
Author Anne Garcia is giving away five print copies of her book on Goodreads! The giveaway runs 1/29/14 2/12/14 - make sure to enter for your chance to win.
Direct link to giveaway
https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/ show/78761-las-hechizadas? utm_medium=email&utm_source=giveaway
Author Guest Post:
Developing Powerful Female Characters
By: Anne Garcia
As I write and develop characters I often wonder how to create personalities that are true to themselves realistic and believable. Trying to develop powerful female characters can be tricky only because there are so many opinions about what that looks like. As a child of the 70s and the daughter of a powerful, loving and successful woman I have been part of a generation of women who has had to examine and evaluate what “powerfu and successful” even means. Thus my own process was still in the works when began writing this book.
I began by writing character sketches based I women I already knew. I drew with my friends and the women in my family. In my lifetime I have been blessed with valuable, deep friendships with women who have fought and survived. They have overcome economic hardships, illness, death, divorce and more and through it all they come out smiling and fighting for new and better lives. Watching and sharing with these women helped me weave their stories and their experiences into the characters in my book. These women shared with me their deep emotional psychological and spiritual needs. I took these characteristics and interlaced them with my own imagination to come up with a cast of women who could handle anything I threw their way.
I knew that the protagonists had to be women who understood their own journey and maintained focus in trying to achieve their goals. I brought in the power of Mother Nature to exude the teachings for the women. They are both recipients of her knowledge and skil and serve as teachers. It is the teaching and the care giving that makes these women who they are. Their wisdom makes them stable and balanced Their willingness to risk and lose everything makes them strong and resilient. Their ability to connect with family and community makes them authentic.
Las Hechizadas are women who follow their hearts, and their paths with a quiet fervor, because they know that understanding human life and each of our struggles is what is important to the flourishing of their own community. It isn’t about men vs. women or good vs. evil, but about internal power that spreads love. These women embrace La Pachamama, or the interwoven relationship with the Earth Pachamama is the Goddess of fertility, of planting and harvesting. She embodies the creative life sustaining powers on Earth and when she suffers so do we. It is with this in mind that I developed this group of women who could be emissaries for the idea that there is equilibrium between nature and human beings that must be maintained for us all to survive.
There is an eternal struggle about the definition of a feminist, yet my view is such that women should be who they are and guide themselves with their hearts and minds. We do not have to be bound by societal norms if we don’t want to, but neither should we be judged if we choose more traditional roles. We have a plethora of gifts to offer to the world and none of them should be oppressed. It is in these gifts that we create diversity and life. We have the power and ability to do whatever we want be whomever we want and model for those young women to come that the feminine within has a strength not seen in others. It is from this perspective that I wrote the female characters in my book. None of them are weak, although they show moments of weakness. In these moments of weakness other women in their families or communities sustain them. This support system is what rejuvenates their strength and allows them to move forward Living in a society that values individualism, we get caught up in the idea of competition, but working together with respect and value as underlying precepts only makes us more resolute.
While there is violence and gender power struggles in the story, my hope is that the intelligence and passion the women feel about peace and instilling curative powers in their community outweighs the negative, tiresome politics that invade the lives of the other characters. I try to show the dichotomy between the masculine and the feminine, between nature and ambition. The women in the story serve as a conduit to a bigger picture which is that without balance we cannot exist.
I want to thank Author Anne Garcia for stopping by Books & Chocolate on her blog tour, hosted by Fire And Ice Book Tours.
Please feel free to enter the giveaway and leave your comments or questions below!