*Starred* Kirkus review for THE QUEEN OF WATER!

Hey guys,

So, after seven years (I started this book in 2004!), The Queen of Water will soon become a reality.... on March 8th, just over a month away!  Maria Virginia (my co-author) and I have been doing lots of happy-dancing (her in Ecuador, me here in Colorado)... not to mention LOTS of happy squealing over the phone...  The reviews have been lovely, lovely, lovely!  This book is very special to me for so many reasons (which I'm going to write about and add to my website soon).  For now I'll just say that Maria Virginia and I are incredibly grateful that the story feels special to readers, too.

Here's an excerpt of the ***starred*** review from Kirkus Reviews, which calls the book "riveting.":

"Bright spots of humor and warmth are woven throughout, and readers will agonize for Virginia while seething at her tormentors. The complexities of class and ethnicity within Ecuadorian society are explained seamlessly within the context of the first-person narrative, and a glossary and pronunciation guide further help to plunge readers into the novel's world.  By turns heartbreaking, infuriating and ultimately inspiring. (Fiction. 13 & up)"

Thank you thank you thank you!!!  (You can read the whole review here.)

And there's more!  VOYA calls the book "a richly described coming-of-age story set in a culture both foreign and familiar... by turns, shocking and funny."

I'm so glad these reviews mention the humor... I really love this aspect of Maria Virginia's story, too.  She was an incredibly spunky girl (and still is!), and she found all kinds of creative and funny ways to resist her oppressors.  And although she went through very rough times, she wasn't a victim, not at all... her girlhood was indeed inspiring.

In case you're curious what I've been up to since I handed in my manuscript a couple weeks ago... I've been doing all the fun, relaxing things that I put on hold during that final push to finish: long walks by the river, NIA dancing and yoga (very helpful, since those long hours in front of the computer wreaked havoc on my neck and shoulders), tea parties with my Lil Dude, reading books, watching movies with girlfriends (saw I Love You Phillip Morris (weird and funny) on Friday and plan to see The King's Speech, Black Swan, and Blue Valentine soon).  And, the ultimate in fun-creative-inspiring entertainment... went to the Cirque du Soleil show "Allegria"! Wow, wow, wow! Breath-taking and so worth the money (er, pretty pricey).

If you've read The Ruby Notebook, you know I love this stuff... fire dancing...

 whimsical acrobatics...

and clowns, of course...

Lil Dude was enamored of this "beautiful lady" (singer)... and insisted that we try to talk with her after the show (no go)...

 Okay, now to work on updating the website... Thanks for reading!