#WeNeedDIverseBooks, Books

Explore the Backstory of “The Garden of Second Chances” with the Free Prequel

Hello, fellow book lovers,

In a couple of months, my YA novel THE GARDEN OF SECOND CHANCES debuts. I’m doing my best not to bite my fingernails and devour every chocolate candy in sight. Nerve-racking is the word.

But, I’m writing to you, not to detail my emotional rollercoaster, but because I wrote a prequel to the novel and I’m excited to share it with you.

The prequel is a chance to discover the backstory of the main character, Juana Maria Ivanov, and uncover the motivation that set her on a journey from Mexico to Los Angeles at age sixteen. (You’ll also find out how she acquired the surname).

You’ll find drama, romance, and action that I hope will grab your attention in ten short pages.

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

So, don’t miss out on this opportunity to dive deeper into the world of Juana’s journey. Sign up now to receive the prequel. Just go to the home page and enter your email. It’s easy to do, and best of all, it’s completely free!

Don’t forget to spread the word to your friends and family who love a good book. This is the latest editorial review:

An undocumented teenager is charged with manslaughter and works to remake her life in Mona Alvarado Frazier’s searing novel The Garden of Second Chances. Candid when it comes to relationships, immigration issues, and the harms that young women endure and inflict upon others (this) is an affecting novel in which a…youth finds the courage to move past her mistakes.”

Foreward Review

You can also find the book on Goodreads and add it to your Want to Read list. Adding books to your shelf isn’t just an easy way to track books you’re interested in; it also helps build a book’s buzz and gives you inside access to when the book comes out on the Goodreads Giveaway.

If you’d like to check out a little more about the book, visit my Goodreads Author Profile.

Warm regards,

Books, Junot Diaz, Sandra Cisneros, Writing

Burritos With A Side of Lit-No Salsa

Visible and Ignored
Visible and Ignored

I’m feeling like the above quote after reading about Chipotle’s “literary packaging series.”

They had author, Jonathan Safran Foer, select 10 authors to feature on Chipotle’s cups and bags.

“What interested me is 800,000 Americans of extremely diverse backgrounds having access to good writing,” the novelist told Vanity Fair. 


But not one of the 10 authors are Latino/a.


None of those “800,000 Americans of extremely diverse background” will be exposed to a Latino writer.

This “literary” campaign comes on the heels of #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #DiverseLit.


Chipotle’s move is why we need to continue a movement with #WeNeedDiverseBooks.


English professor Lisa Alvarez sums up my feelings:

Chipotle Snub-photo by Michael Calienes
Chipotle Snub-photo by Michael Calienes

Reaction to Chipotle’s ‘short stories’ on their cups and bags can be found on Gustavo Arellano’s article.

Author, poet and commentator Michele Serros gave this response on Facebook. Hundreds of readers are contributing their favorite Latina/o writer:

Michele Serros List of Latina/o writers
Michele Serros List of Latina/o writers


To the list, I’ll add my favorites: Sandra Cisneros, Denise Chavez, Michele Serros, and Junot Diaz.

Add any of your favorites to the list.

It’s a multicultural world out there. Read about it, think about it, write about it.