Friday, August 21, 2015

#FridayReads: My Fight / Your Fight by Ronda Rousey

According to EarlyWord,  Paramount Pictures has bought the rights to the book and will cast Rousey in the starring role – playing herself.

“The fight is yours to win.”

In this inspiring and moving book, Ronda Rousey, the Olympic medalist in judo, reigning UFC women's bantamweight champion, and Hollywood star charts her difficult path to glory. 

Marked by her signature charm, barbed wit, and undeniable power, Rousey’s account of the toughest fights of her life—in and outside the Octagon—reveals the painful loss of her father when she was eight years old, the intensity of her judo training, her battles with love, her meteoric rise to fame, the secret behind her undefeated UFC record, and what it takes to become the toughest woman on Earth. 

Rousey shares hard-won lessons on how to be the best at what you do, including how to find fulfillment in the sacrifices, how to turn limitations into opportunities, and how to be the best on your worst day.

Packed with raw emotion, drama, and wisdom this is an unforgettable book by one of the most remarkable women in the world.

Ronda Rousey said she’s proud of her cultural heritage and is especially glad that she now has a platform to showcase her roots.
Ronda Rousey is the UFC’s undefeated women's bantamweight champion and an Olympic medalist in judo. Arguably the most dominant athlete in UFC history, Rousey is responsible for the inclusion of women in the Octagon. She has taken Hollywood with her signature force, landing roles in major films and exploding onto the scene with the drive, commitment, and command that has made her a champion.

Maria Burns Ortiz is a journalist who has written for numerous publications including ESPN.com, Fox News Latino, and the Associated Press and was named the National Association of Hispanic Journalists’ Emerging Journalist of the Year. She is also Ronda Rousey's sister. She lives with her husband and their three amazing kids.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Q&A with Ami Vega, Author of Designer Nails: Create Art at Your Fingertips

According to Univision, "Ami Vega is a force of nail art in NYC." Ami Vega is the creator of El Salonsito, the innovative nail art business and blog (elsalonsito.com) that brings art to people's fingertips. She has worked with such major beauty companies as Revlon, Essie, and Maybelline and her work has been featured in national and international publications. She also has a monthly showcase column in Scratch magazine in the UK. Since the launch of El Salonsito, Ami is often called on to provide her signature nail art on high-end fashion shoots and runway shows. She created a set of tutorial videos with Maybelline NY for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and has created nail art for super models, celebrities such as Demi Lovato, Vh1’s Mob Wives, and even art royalty like Diana Picasso, granddaughter of Pablo Picasso. Other clients include Monika Chiang, Donna Karan, and Chado Ralph Rucci. 

With over 13,000 followers on Instagram, it's easy to see why she's a hit amongst beauty bloggers and fashionistas in the trip-state area. 

I recently had a chance to ask her a few questions and here is what she shared:


What have you been up to, Ami? 

Professionally, I've been working on quality nail care and educating my clients on the importance of nail care and how vital it is to showcasing perfect Designer Nails. I'm also working on opening my first full nail studio in Manhattan for 2016. As far as personally, I've been working on getting back into illustration, a passion I've had all my life and the foundation for what I do today with nails. I'll be launching a website for my illustration and prints, which will be for sale.


Why did you decide to publish a book?

My desire to create a book came from my desire to answer many of the questions I get asked via social media. A huge part of my following are girls who are heavily into nails and are eager to learn all the techniques to get perfect nails and nail art. At times I can't reply to every questions, so I felt this book was a great way to address all questions and provide all I know when it comes to great nails and nail care.

Where do you draw inspiration from?
I'm inspired from life. I literally look around for things around me, from the pattern of a leaf to a pattern on a woman's dress. I love art as well, one of the key inspirations in my life has been Keith Haring. I'm obsessed with lines and patterns. I'm also in love with the art of architecture, great masters like Frank Gehry truly fueled my love for geometric shapes, lines and forms.
Any advice for young Latinas?

Never lose sight of your goals, and know that the road to success is not a straight forward ride. You're going to hit bumps in the road, so sigue pa'lante and don't let them slow you down! Also, embrace the greatness that is you - as an Afro-Latina woman, I know certain odds are against me - but I work through them and love who I am and you should too!

Follow @Amivnails on instagram and be sure to get a copy of her book!




Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Q&A Michael Nava, Author of The City of Palaces

The City of Palaces published earlier this year won Best Latino Novel at the 2015 International Latino Book Awards. I had a chance to ask its author Michael Nava a few questions myself and here's what he shared:

Lit: What inspired you to write this book? 

MN: Of course, any book has many sources of inspiration. In this case, my immediate inspiration was my own family history. Like millions of other Mexican-Americans, I am descended from refugees from the Mexican revolution; my great-grandparents who fled in 1920 for California.

The Mexican Revolution is, along with the Russian Revolution, one of the two greatest 20th century revolutions and yet it is almost unknown in this country where it had a direct impact that continues through to this day; the first great wave of Mexican migration to the US. It's as if Irish-Americans knew nothing of the potato famine that drove their ancestors to this country. I wanted to tell that story because it is one that Americans, Latino and non-Latino, need to know.

Lit:Where do you draw inspiration from? 

MN: I draw my inspiration largely from my desire to tell the story of the disenfranchised, the outsiders and all those people -- whether, for example, LGBT or Latino/a -- whose histories have been suppressed or ignored. I am in the broadest sense a political writer. My politics don't get in the way of the story, but the stories I tell reflect my politics.

Lit: What's your writing routine like? 

MN: I write in the morning before going to my day job as a staff attorney at the California Supreme Court.

Lit: Which books have had a great effect on you? 

MN: As a young writer I read almost no fiction because I intended to be poet so until I was in my early 20s I really only read and studied and wrote poetry, everyone from Shakespeare (the sonnets) to modernists like Wallace Stevens, Eliot and Auden as well as a healthy dose of poets in translation from Pablo Neruda to CP Cavafy. From the poets I learned compression and the love of language which, as it turns out, are valuable tools for a novelist.

Lit: What advice do you have for young Latinos/as based on your own experiences? 

MN: Except for token figures, the mainstream literary establishment continues to ignore us. The City of Palaces was turned down by 13 New York publishers who said the same thing -- good book, but whose going to buy it. Since there are 33 million Mexican-Americans in this country what statement reveals is provincialism and ignorance. So, you must persevere, find ways to get your stories out the rest.


Friday, August 07, 2015

#FridayReads: Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera

I came across Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera in Flavorwire's 15 Best Fiction Books of 2015 So Far
Signs Preceding the End of the World is one of the most arresting novels to be published in Spanish in the last ten years. Yuri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it. He explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there’s no going back. 
Traversing this lonely territory is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages – one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld. 
In this grippingly original novel Yuri Herrera explores the actual and psychological crossings and translations people make—with their feet, in their minds, and in their language as they move from one country to another, especially when there's no going back. 
Born in Actopan, Mexico, in 1970, Yuri Herrera studied in Mexico and El Paso and took his PhD at Berkeley. Signs Preceding the End of the World (Señales que precederán al fin del mundo) was shortlisted for the Rómulo Gallegos Prize and is being published in several languages. After publishing Signs Preceding the End of the World, And Other Stories will publish his two other novels in English, starting with The Transmigration of Bodies (La transmigración de los cuerpos) in 2016. He is currently teaching at the University of Tulane, in New Orleans. 
 

Friday, July 31, 2015

#FridayReads: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

The book everyone is talking about right now: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Go get it!
“This is your country, this is your world, this is your body, and you must find some way to live within the all of it.”

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. 
What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. Coates has received the National Magazine Award, the Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism, and the George Polk Award for his Atlantic cover story “The Case for Reparations.” He lives in New York with his wife and son.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Free Mp3 Download: Concha Buika's Latest "Vivir sin miedo"

Here's your chance to listen to a little Concha Buika,a Spanish singer who goes by the stage name Buika, you may not be familiar with but should be.

Her music will haunt you.

Her album Niña de Fuego was nominated for the 2008 Latin Grammy Award for Album of the Year and La Noche Mas Larga was nominated for Best Latin Jazz Album at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in 2014.

Through Thursday, July 30, 2015, you can download and preview a single off her upcoming album here: Buika

 
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