Tuesday, August 19, 2008

From the Land of Reviews

I once wished for reviews from bigtime reviewers - getting rave comments from little remote pagan newsletters only boosted my fragile writer's ego and need for stability so far. Then my baby, Rogelia's House of Magic, got blasted by Kliatt and I decided that as an artist and an author I needed to stop putting so much stock in reviews, book sales, how long my books stayed in print or at the top of Amazon ratings. What was most important is how I felt about my writing and how others were affected by my words. I stayed pretty zen until this awesome review for Rogelia's House of Magic came in from School Library Journal. Now on this high, the first thing I wanted to do was share my good news with you!!

Gr 7-10–Set in Southern California , this novel is about three teens who find a common bond and grow in their relationships as they learn the healing arts from a curandera (folk healer). Marina , from a newly wealthy Hispanic family, struggles with her mother’s insistence that she forget her Mexican heritage and barrio roots. Fern, whose Colombian family still lives in the old neighborhood, is a free spirit who has trouble trusting a potential boyfriend. When Rogelia Garcia, a wise curandera from Mexico , becomes the maid at Marina ’s house, the girls befriend her granddaughter, Xochitl, who grieves for the twin sister she recently lost in a tragic accident. Rogelia takes the girls on as apprentices and helps them to understand and control their innate magical powers ( Marina hears voices from the beyond, Fern sees auras, and Xochitl has the ability to disappear) while teaching them that by caring for and healing others, they can help and heal themselves. The narrative is well written and descriptive, incorporating Spanish phrases that are easy to understand in context and add flavor to the telling. The characters and their relationships with others are solidly developed. The novel will appeal to readers interested in magic and astrology, and several spells are appended (charging a crystal wand, a confidence incantation, etc.).– Lorraine B. Wiener, Inglewood High School , CA, School Library Journal

YEAH!! om. YEAH!! om.


mama p said...

Wow! I've got a "Google Alert" through my own blog to find blogs about zen & paganism... and this morning's alert brought me here :) I'm very glad that you're being "zen" about your reviews ;) One of my VERY favorite books ever is "Bless Me Ultima" by Rudolfo Anaya, so your own book is very intriguing to me. I like very much that your focus, as the reviewer puts it, is empowerment through helping others by your own natural gifts. Lovely! Do you have any interest in writing such fiction for "adults"? Glad to meet you, and find your work!

Jamie Martinez Wood said...

Heya Mama

I think of my Rogelia's House of Magic as a combination of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Bless Me Ultima - the latter being a major influence of my first novel.

And yes! I am currently working on an adult work of fiction. As a matter of fact it will be a deepening of two short stories that I've blogged - one in February and the other in December.