Celebrating Kids and Books Featuring Alma Flor Ada

It is my great pleasure to announce that I'm participating in a fabulous celebration of children and books called Día Blog Hop, organized by Latinas for Latino Lit. The Blog Hop features the very best of Latino children's book illustrators and authors. 


It's very cool to be a part of such a great group and program. 13 Latino authors and illustrators have been paired up with 12 top Latina bloggers to champion Latino children's literacy.

The schedule of blogs that will be hopping along with me are:

Monday, April 27th

Pat Mora on Latinas 4 Latino Lit

Monica Brown on The Wise Latina Club

Margarita Engle on MommyMaestra  

Tuesday, April 28th

Alma Flor Ada on My Big, Fat, Cuban Family

René Colato-Laínez on Modern Mami

Meg Medina on Atypical Familia

Wednesday, April 29th

Angela Dominguez on My Friend Betty Says

F. Isabel Campoy on Family is Familia

Mariana Llanos on Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

Thursday, April 30th Graciela Tiscareno-Sato on Viva Fifty!

Rená Saldaña, Jr. on Mama Latina Tips

James Luna on Latinaish

I'm so proud to add my voice to this group. I hope you have a chance to check out all the wonderful offerings.

For more information, please visit Latinas for Latino Lit and their Facebook page for event updates.

The Día Blog Hop will be culminating on April 30th in honor of Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros. 

But, right now, it's my great privilege to introduce you to Alma Flor Ada, the prolific author who is my special guest today.

Alma Flor's Story


Sharing the diversity and richness of the Latino roots is a constant in my work and the books I have co-authored with Isabel Campoy. Children growing up in Latin America or Spain are immersed in the Spanish language and the Hispanic culture, while, in the United States, Latino children may have only a reduced contact with their cultural heritage.

This is why we try to offer them, in books and CDs, as much of the culture that contributed so significantly to shape our own lives.

In the collection Cuentos que contaban nuestras abuelas /Tales Our Abuelitas Told co-authored by us, as well as in many of my books: Mediopollito/Half-chicken; The Three Golden Oranges, The rooster who went to his uncle’s wedding/El gallo que fue a la boda de su tío, The Lizard and the Sun/La lagartija y el sol we have retold the stories that delighted us as children, trying to make them as enjoyable as they were in our grandmothers’ voices.

The books Pío Peep, Mother Goose, MuuMoo, andTen Little Puppies/Diez perritos are compilations of our nursery rhymes.

Merry Navidad a collection of villancicos organized to tell the Christmas story. We have also created poetry anthologies, biographies, and books on art and various aspects of the culture.

Alongside collecting what already existed, we have also written our original poetry. Something particularly exciting is that the great composer and singer Suni Paz has created music for many of our poems. All the poems of my books Gathering the Sun, honoring the farm working families, Abecedario de los animales and Coral y espuma Abecedario del mar have been recorded as songs by Suni Paz.  

Todo es canción, includes many of my most cherished poems and Arrullos de la sirena, poems for the very young child which I wrote while waiting for the birth of two of my granddaughters.

Yes! We Are Latinos, published in Spanish as Sí, somos latinos is our most recent effort to present important aspects of our history introduced by free verse fictional narratives of latino boys and girls, from various origins, to provide specific circumstances for the reader to better understand the quest for identity.

Me llamo María Isabel /My Name is María Isabel, Dancing Home/Nacer bailando and Love, Amalia/Con cariño, Amalia are all books that explore being Latino from the perspective of protagonists with very different circumstances.


Many of our families are now bicultural and that reality more common each day inspired I Love Saturdays y domingos / Me encantan los Saturdays y domingos about a child who spends Saturdays with her English speaking grandparents and Sundays with her abuelita y abuelito.

Children and adolescents’ search for understanding life can motivate their desire to know about those who lived before and Latino youth also wonder about the lives of their ancestors. In Where the Flame Trees Bloom and Under the Royal Palms, which was awarded the Pura Belpré medal, I share memories of my childhood, written from the desire to honor those who had enriched my growing up years, hoping that  recreating the past, it can continue to live in the present and perhaps inspire others in the future.

Now, 15 years later, Under the Royal Palms and Where the Flame Trees Bloom will appear together in one volume, enriched by Days at La Quinta Simoni, a third new collection of childhood stories, and numerous photographs, with a cover from Edel Rodriguez and illustrations by Edel and Antonio Martorell. This new book, called Island Treasures is a recognition to the appreciation shown by numerous students and the teachers who encouraged them to write about their families and childhood after reading my memoirs and the tribute of the publisher, Atheneum, to the importance of Latino experiences.

Thank you, Latinas for Latino Lit for including My Big, Fat, Cuban Family in this project. 

'A Falling Star' - A Book Giveaway

My friend and Cuban American author, Chantel Acevedo is at it again.


She's just finished her latest novel, 'A Falling Star' and I know you will be anxious to read it. Here's the synopsis:

Daysy Maria del Pozo and Stella Maris Morales-Quinn both came to the United States as part of the 1980 Mariel Boatlift—Daysy settling in South Florida with her family and Stella starting a new life with her mother and step-father in Pittsburgh. Over time, they each find themselves haunted by their families’ complicated and painful Cuban pasts. As Stella deals with her mother’s suicide and it slowly dawns on Daysy that there are family secrets she must uncover, the reader hears the del Pozo family history, piece by piece, from Daysy’s mother. Soon it becomes clear that Daysy and Stella may share more than their Cuban-American heritage.

Chantel told me this is a very personal story for her and her family and, as she does with all her projects, she's poured her Cuban heart and soul into it. As is usually the case with all of our stories about leaving Cuba and making a life here in the U.S., it will strike a very personal chord with many of you. 

Right now, the book can be purchased as an "Advanced Copy" via the Carolina Wren Press website exclusively. Here's the link:

A Falling Star - Carolina Wren Press

Lucky for you, I have a couple of advanced copies to give away today (because I'm cool that way). Also, I just want to share the Cuban love and help support one of our own. 

The beautiful cover image was shot by another Cuban-American, Elaine Palladino, a very talented photographer in Miami.  (We are a supremely talented bunch, aren't we?)

Two winners will each receive an Autographed (!) Advanced Copy of A Falling Star by Chantel Acevedo. 


1) To enter this drawing for one autographed, advanced copy of A Falling Star, please leave a comment on this post and answer one or both of the following questions:

  • Where were you when the Mariel Boatlift happened?
  • Did it affect your family personally?

Please leave your comments on this post and I'll choose a winner on Monday, May 5th, 2014 at 5 pm PST.

2) For extra entries, please "share" this giveaway on your Facebook page and come back and leave me another comment telling me:  

  • "I shared!"

3) If you're on Twitter, please Tweet about this and include this hashtag: #AFallingStar. Come back and leave me a comment telling me:

  • "I tweeted!"

So that's not one, not two, but three entries. (Because I love you.)

I've saved the best part of this story for last: The Book Trailer for 'A Falling Star' was done by another Cubanita, whom you may recognize if you have spent any time here on my blog.


That's right. That's my girl, Lucy Darby, budding Graphic Designer and Book Trailer Creator. 

I hope that you are as blown away by the book trailer as I was. (I swear I'm not just saying that because Lucy designed it or because my friend, Chantel wrote the book. I just kind of burst into tears everytime I hear that song, but that's not important right now.)

When you stop crying, leave your comments and share everywhere (please!) and do all the entry stuff. I'm so excited and pleased that I get to share it here with all of you first. 

If you're in Charlotte, North Carolina, Chantel Acevedo will be doing a reading at Park Road Books on May 8th at 7pm. Here's the link: http://www.parkroadbooks.com/event/author-event-chantel-acevedo-falling-star

Celebrating Kids and Books (Día Blog Hop) Featuring Margarita Engle

It is my great pleasure to announce that I'm participating in a fabulous celebration of children and books called Día Blog Hop, organized by Latinas for Latino Lit. The Blog Hop has been happening for the entire month of April and it features the very best of Latino children's book artists and authors. 

The Día Blog Hop will be culminating on April 30th in honor of Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros. 

L4LL-dia-blog-hop-2014 badge

The entire list of authors and illustrators and the blogs they are featured on can be found here:


I'm happy today to introduce you to Margarita Engle, who is, of course, Cuban-American. 

Margarita Engle is the Cuban-American author of The Surrender Tree, which received the first Newbery Honor ever awarded to a Latino.  Her young adult verse novels have also received two Pura Belpré Awards and three Honors, as well as three Américas Awards and the Jane Addams Peace Award, among others.  

Final cover Tiny Rabbit

Margarita’s next verse novel is Silver People, Voices From the Panama Canal (March, 2014, Harcourt).  Books for younger children include Mountain Dog, Summer Birds, When You Wander, and Tiny Rabbit’s Big Wish (March, 2014, Harcourt).

Final Silver People cover-1

Margarita lives in central California, where she enjoys hiding in the forest to help train her husband’s wilderness search and rescue dogs.

Learn more about Margarita at www.margaritaengle.com.

Reflecting on Childhood by Margarita Engle

Looking back at the reading experiences of my childhood is like standing on the shore of a bioluminescent beach, gazing at radiant sea water.  In the Caribbean, glowing beaches are both common and miraculous.  When fingers and toes move through the luminous shallows, they take on the light from microscopic organisms.  We see the glow, but we can’t see its source.

It’s the same with books that children read for pleasure.  They learn, without realizing that they’re learning, because the experience is so magical.  When a child is caught up in the thrill of a story or the rhythm of a poem, something happens that can’t be explained, measured, or tested.  It’s the complex satisfaction of exploring.  A sense of wonder is the invisible source.

As a child, I loved history and folklore, but there were no children’s books about Cuba, and all the folktales were from continents, not islands.  That didn’t stop me from reading every fascinating book I could find, but as an adult, I want something more.  I want children of all backgrounds to have the chance to read stories rooted in a wide variety of cultures and viewpoints.  

Most of my verse novels are about Cuban historical themes, but my newest is set in Panama.  I wrote Silver People in honor of the Caribbean islanders who were hired by the U.S. as laborers to dig the vast canal. It was completed exactly one hundred years ago, and still serves as the shipping route for most of the manufactured-in-Asia products we use in daily life.  Silver People is also my personal love letter to the tropical rain forest, written not only in human voices, but in the cries of howler monkeys, and moans of threatened trees.  It’s the unusual sort of story that I would have been happy to read when I was a child.  In those days, the only tributes to the people and creatures of the tropics were travelogues written for tourism, or archaic fiction told from a colonial standpoint, with references to “savages” and “primitive” cultures.  I hope that my reflections on history will help young people of all backgrounds understand that being different does not mean being inferior.  

In addition to history, fiction, science, and poetry, I loved reading folklore when I was a child.  I still love folklore, but it’s not easy to publish, so I’m thrilled to have a new picture book inspired by a Cuban folktale.  Tiny Rabbit’s Big Wish is a poem about a little bunny who wants to grow.  I hope it will help very young children see that each of us has unique strengths.

With a wealth of multicultural books now available, I hope parents, teachers, and librarians will expose children to all sorts of books.  One of the most difficult to find is memoirs by Latinos.  While there have been quite a few published for adults in recent years, childhood memoirs are scarce.  Under the Royal Palms, by Alma Flor Ada, is one of my favorites, but my own childhood memoir---scheduled for publication by Harcourt in March, 201---is quite different from Ada’s, because I grew up in the U.S., with only a few precious summer visits to my extended family in Cuba.  

Writing is challenging.  Reflecting can be scary, but facing that challenge means that children who read a variety of books will feel inspired to perceive their own widely varied stories as valuable.

ALL the Picadillo at the Blurb Books Food Fair

I am a Cuban mother. And I cook. I love that I get asked to cook at different foodie-type events. See here. I always love doing those.

But the real story is that I basically like to eat Cuban food, so I cook it. And I have a family to feed, so they appreciate that I cook. Also, I really enjoy oversharing, hence this whole blog thing. So, in a nutshell, I cook Cuban and I share my food and I write about making and sharing Cuban food.

I know that not everyone wants to print out every single recipe I have (and, believe me, it's all really good), so I've collected my favorite recipes along with the stories that go with them into a you-can-actually-hold-it-in-your-hand cookbook.

Mbfcf cookbook

I self-published my first collection of recipes and called it My Big, Fat, Cuban Family Cookbook through Blurb Books. I have made other personal books with Blurb and the quality is always wonderful. Publishing with them was a fabulous experience. I highly recommend them. Also, you should totally get my cookbook!

Last month, Blurb hosted a group of us foodie/cookbook/bookmakers for the Blurb Book Bash in San Francisco.

Blurb Book Fair

When I arrived at the Blurb offices I met the photo and video crew who would be filming me all day and can I just tell you that I fell in love immediately. Plus, they totally made me feel comfortable in front of the camera. I felt like I was just telling my story to friends.

Me and my cookbook

Let me give a shout out right here to the fabulously talented folks at TR Proz for the gorgeous photos and video. You made me look so legit. (They also very kindly mentioned me on their blog. Thanks, guys!)

Marta in the kitchen

I cooked picadillo, people. Lots of it. Which meant lots of sofrito and lots of meat and lots of my favorite spices. Look at me go! I was a picadillo-cooking fool!

ON A SEMI-RELATED, BUT TANGENTAL SIDE NOTE: My eyes disappear when I smile or laugh. It has been like this my entire life. I still remember school photographers telling me to smile and then scolding me for closing my eyes. "No! They're open! I promise you!" These guys just let me be me. I'm so grateful for that.

Marta in kitchen

Look at ALL the picadillo.

Marta's picadillo

This beautiful video will give you a feel for how much fabulous food and fun was to be had at the Blurb Book Bash. (Look for your favorite Cuban Food Blogger at about the 17 second mark.)

These talented folks followed me around all day with all kinds of cameras like I was "somebody." (It was kind of surreal and totally awesome all at once.) The other author/foodie/bookmaker people who were also featured were quite talented and I was humbled to be included in this amazing group.

Marta darby. jpg

They interviewed me. I like to talk anyway, but let me tell you that it's weird seeing yourself talking (so much!) on camera. And I knew that I talked with my hands, but wow! I didn't know I was so....what's the word? Expressive.

I explained how much I love my Cuban culture and how I've tried to pass that on to my kids via our music, our language and of course, our food. I shared how family and food have always been intertwined for me. I talked (and demonstrated) the beauty of a perfect sofrito.

I'll be completely honest here, I was nervous about how I would come across on video, but you know what? This is me. This is how I look and how I sound. (Also, I was having a really fantastic curly-girl hair day, but that's not important right now.)

So here's Marta Darby, Cuban Cook. Unplugged.

Of course, the video happens to catch my weirdest face for the still. *sigh* So, I'm not quite ready for the Food Network, but then....maybe they're not quite ready for me.

Leave a comment and tell me your thoughts. Be kind.

Also, here's the recipe for Papi's Favorite Picadillo.

Thanks again, Blurb Books and TR Proz for an absolutely wonderful time.

Cuando Sali de Cuba - Fernan's Story (A Giveaway)

Cuando Sali de Cuba image

Marta here:

A friend called me recently: "There's a new book called, The Cubans. You're mentioned in it."  I was intrigued and contacted the author, Fernando Hernandez who very kindly agreed, not only to share his story, but to share his book with MBFCF readers.

First, let's let Fernan tell his own story.


  July 8th, 1962 was the day I left Cuba, my parents, other family members, friends, and all the memories that a nine year old boy had experienced. On that fateful day my life was changed, transformed, I was never to be the same again. It was to be also one of the saddest days of my young life as I waved goodbye to my mami.

  My brother and I were among 14,068 young children who left Cuba via Operation Pedro Pan, a clandestine operation from 1960-1962 that brought youngsters from 5 to 17 years of age to the United States by themselves. I am sure the communist authorities knew perfectly well that thousands of Cuba’s youngest citizens were leaving, but I believe they did nothing to abort the operation. Family separation was one of the many tactics the regime enacted, and having heart-broken parents in the island assured them of fewer political troublemakers and contrarevolucionarios. When we left from our hometown of Banes, in the Oriente province (now called Holguin), only mami accompanied us to La Habana. You may wonder, where was your father? He was too despondent, emotionally wrecked to muster the courage to bid us goodbye. He never came to see us, as my brother, mother and I got on a bus for a long ride to the capital. Papi stayed behind, comforted by our abuela and other family members. Sometimes we don’t fully grasp or comprehend the suffering that so many of our parents endured when we left our homeland. The other day a man who knew my dad told me he never met a man who shed so many tears for his children as my papi had. Our separation was close to four years, did he have any tears left?

  Mami showed me what unconditional love is as we spent a few days in La Habana, a city we had never visited. She took us to the zoo and went sightseeing while we waited for the departure day. She never cried or displayed any emotional weakness during the ordeal, I can still see her permanent smile and her encouraging words to my brother 11, and I. All that she knew was that we were going to a boys’ camp in Miami and then we would be relocated to either a foster home or an orphanage somewhere in the United States. My parent’s main concern was that we would live in a democratic society and that they would join us in the near future. Her anxiety, anguish, and motherly instinct of being close to us did not cloud her judgment and she proceeded to send us to the promise land. Her pain was secondary; she knew this difficult decision had to be made for our benefit.

  The day finally arrived. We were placed in the pecera, a large room in the airport enclosed with glass that resembled a fish bowl. We were the fish and those on the outside looked at us as if we were in an aquarium. Mami reminded us to behave well and to take care of one another. But I do not recall mami kissing or hugging us one last time. She walked out of the pecera firm, stoic, and walked to the upper level to see the plane depart. My brother and I, along with the rest of the people waiting, were notified to board the flight.

  As I took a seat in what was my first flight, I glimpsed out the window and saw my mami frantically waving a white handkerchief toward the plane. Then I saw her embrace another woman (perhaps another Pedro Pan mom?) and began to see her collapse in a torrent of tears. Even after 51 long years, I have to dry my eyes as I write this. I cannot forget, and I don’t ever want to forget, that moment when a mother’s heart could not be contained. Mami waited to the very last, possible second to unleash what her heart felt, she could no longer conceal her parental anguish. She thought I could not see her from the plane but my eyes were fixed on my precious mom who gave everything she had for my brother and I. As I watched helplessly, the mother I loved was baring her soul and spirit in a continuous cry. What a great blessing to have Maria Elisa Lorenzo Gonzalez as my mami! Thanks to mami and papi I had an opportunity to live as a free man. May my parents reside in a special place in heaven, a palace reserved for all the loving and courageous Cuban parents who sacrificed all so that we could live in an open, free, and democratic society.


by: Fernando “Fernan” Hernandez
Author: The Cubans Our Footprints Across America (July 2013) Amazon.com.

Fernan has graciously agreed to share his book with MBFCF Readers. So let's do a giveaway!

The cubans

MBFCF Giveaway:  

The Cubans, Our Footprints Across America by Fernando "Fernan" Hernández.

One person will win the book, autographed by Fernan. Please leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the book. Answer one or both of the following questions:  

  • Do you know (or are you related to) any Pedro Pans?
  • Did you ever have your own "Cuando Sali de Cuba" moment? (The realization of what an enormous thing had happened to your family.)

I'll choose a winner on Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 at 11 am.

Five. (A giveaway)

I sat down at my computer on October 1st, 2006 and wrote out my very first blog post with the title, "Life on the hyphen..." 

You're welcome to click over and read it. I lifted that post title from a book written by my friend, Gustavo Perez-Firmat, called Life on the Hyphen: The Cuban-American Way. In that book, he brilliantly describes how we Cubans "straddle" the hyphen between being Cuban and American. That so resounded with me that I was inspired to write about my everyday life here in The O.C. as a Cuban-American wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.

I've written about how I've homeschooled my kids, which is an odd proposition for someone with my history.

I often say that I'm 100% Cuban and 100% American. I'm quite proud of being a part of both of the cultures that have informed my life and personality and for the last five years, this blog.

I have been celebrating Cuban-American life here on this little corner of cyberspace for five years now. And I'm very proud of what I've created.

So, please, help me celebrate my Five Year Blogoversary. Five whole years, people! (I'm like Methuselah in the blogging world, but that's not important right now.)

Cuban Living Magazine Cover for MBFCF

I'm so grateful that I have had a place to share my stories and my kitchen and the cool stuff I get to do and the people who are so important to me. I'm humbled, too, by the constant and generous attention that you pay me.

I appreciate those of you who have been around since 2006 and have watched my children grow up on these pages. And I appreciate every member of my family who have been gracious enough to let me share their lives here. They are now used to having Mom pointing a camera at them and they're okay with seeing themselves in their fabulous goofiness. 

I am grateful to those of you who have just recently Googled a Cuban recipe and found yourselves here and have decided to continue coming back to visit. Please stay. My blog-casa is your blog-casa. ;-)

To celebrate this auspicious occasion, and as my way of saying thanks for reading my blog, I'm going to give away 5 (!) MBFCF items from my online shop, Cuba To GO! (because I can).

I'm giving away:

1) A MBFCF Mug:


2) A Cuban Spice Apron:

Cuban spice apron

3) and 4)  Two people will win an autographed copy of My Big, Fat, Cuban Family Cookbook:


5) And last, but certainly not least, an autographed copy of my friend, Gustavo Perez-Firmat's lastest and absolutely delicious book, The Havana Habit:

  Havana Habit

I thought it only fitting, since he was my inspiration for this whole thing. Gracias, Gustavo!

So, by now you know the drill...

To enter the drawing for a chance to win the above mentioned uber-cool MBFCF stuff, please leave a comment on this post and answer one or all of the following questions:

  • If you're a regular MBFCF reader, why do you keep coming back ? 
  • Do you also live "on the hyphen?"
  • Is it the recipes? 
  • The stories?
  • The giveaways?
  • Or is it like a bad habit you picked up that you can't break? ;-)

I'll do a random drawing on Monday, October 3rd at 12 noon Pacific Time.  

Happy 5th Blogoversary to me! 

*throws confetti*

Rice. An in-depth look. (And a giveaway.)

In keeping with our Hispanic Heritage Month, I've decided to tackle a subject that's near and dear to us. It's something that we feel absolutely passionate about.

But we Cubans are passionate about so, so many things. (Well, everything, really....but that's not important right now.)

I know I shouldn't be surprised when the mildest topics bring up so many intense and varied opinions.

Today's seemingly innocuous topic is rice.

Much to my everlasting delight, my beautiful and enormously entertaining cousin, Yllien, takes on the topic of Hispanics and Asians and Rice and Rice Cookers and a poor mook named Osvaldo.

Please enjoy. (And get some popcorn. I'll wait.)


My friend, Ana Quincoces has an entire section in her cookbook ¡Sabor! A Passion for Cuban Cuisine about rice. She even shows you how to make it old-school in a pot on the stove. (Page 82.)

Ana Quincoces makes rice

I, personally, use a rice cooker. Often. Next to my pressure cooker, it's the hardest working appliance in my kitchen and is in constant use.

Pressure cooker and rice cooker

So now, let's talk rice.

Today's giveaway is an autographed copy of Ana's cookbook, ¡Sabor! A Passion for Cuban Cuisine.

Of course, you know that the real reason you should have this book in your kitchen is because my recipe for My Big, Fat, Cuban Family Torrejas (made with guava and creme cheese, thankyouverymuch) can be found on page 204. *takes bow*

¡Sabor! A Passion for Cuban Cuisine Cookbook

But I digress......


To be entered in the drawing for the cookbook, please answer one or all of the following questions:

  • Do you wash your rice?
  • Do you use a rice cooker or are you an old-school pot-on-the-stove-topper?
  • Isn't my cousin, Ylli adorable? ;-)

I'm guessing we have a lot of rice to talk about, so let's let this contest run through the weekend. Please share it with your friends. Ask them the questions on Facebook. You'll be surprised at how much emotion rice engenders.

I will pick a winner randomly from your comments on Sunday, September 25th at 5 pm.

So, rice.....your thoughts? 

Why I * heart* Amazon

My family and I are all voracious bibliophiles. 


Personally, I don't care either way if the book is the old-school paper kind or a good e-book. I love to read. Full stop.

I have been loving the free Kindle for iPad app because I can store dozens of books on my iPad and make notes and add highlights and do all the things I like to do when I'm reading a wonderfully informational or entertaining volume. 

But sadly, my iPad with its digital screen is all but impossible to read in full sunshine.

I spend a lot of time in full sunshine. And I'm just spoiled enough now that I resent carrying big, heavy books to the beach, but that's not important right now.

So, Eric got me an Amazon Kindle (with built in Wi-Fi, thankyouverymuch).

It has an honest-to-goodness-reads-like-real-paper display. And it has been my best and most reliable Beach Buddy all summer.

Kindle on the beach

But somehow, this past week when we were cruising, I must have dropped it or something, because suddenly my beautiful I-swear-it's-just-like-real-pages-in-a-real-book Kindle began looking more like an Etch-a-Sketch.

*insert really sad face here*

Broken Kindle

So I called Amazon.com customer service and told them about my new Etch-a-Sketchy Kindle and the great sadness it has caused me and inquired as to how would I go about replacing it.

"We'll send out a new one today and you just mail back the damaged one."

What? They actually said this. *hand on heart*

This conversation took place on Tuesday morning.

My new Kindle arrived on Wednesday morning. Shut. UP.

New Kindle

That's what I call customer service!

So, I'm giving an unsolicited shout out to Amazon.com as a big, fat, Cuban GRACIAS. 

I'm taking extra good care of my new Kindle with its I-swear-it's-exactly-like-real-paper-no-glare screen.

Because now it looks like they're starting to keep score. ;-)

Marta's Kindle

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Amazon. You so seriously ROCK! 

Do you have a Kindle? Do you love it as much as I love mine? Tell me.

The Help - And the winners are...

Thank you again for your willingness to share your stories. (And for letting me share mine!)

If you must know, my very favorite character, especially in the film, was Celia Foote. I loved how she totally disarmed Minny with her innocence - or was it ignorance?


And the winners of the giveaways are:


The Dreamworks The Help Gift Pack goes to:

Screen shot 2011-08-10 at 9.01.44 PM

A copy of the book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett goes to:

Screen shot 2011-08-10 at 9.01.26 PM

Congratulations to both of you!

Please send me an email with HEY, MARTA! I WON STUFF ON YOUR BLOG! in the subject line and your snail mail address so that I can forward to Dreamworks and get this cool stuff out to you ASAP.

Thanks again to all of you who played with me. And seriously.....GO. SEE. THIS. FILM!


Sabor! Cookbook Winner

Thank you all for being so patient. I just got back from San Antonio last night and I have sooo much to tell you, but before I do that, I'd like to thank you for sharing your menus for your family celebrations. You gave me so many ideas! Check the comments section of the post entitled:

Happy 40th Birthday, Versailles! (An homage and a giveaway.)

Sabor autograph

The winner of Ana's beautiful (autographed!) cookbook, Sabor! A Passion for Cuban Cuisine is (drum roll, please)......

Screen shot 2011-07-18 at 11.37.21 AM
Congratulations, Karen! Please send me an email with HEY, MARTA! I WON STUFF ON YOUR BLOG! in the subject line (so I don't accidentally delete you) with your snail mail address so I can get the cookbook out to you right away.

If you want a copy of Ana Quincoces’ amazing cookbook, you can find it on Amazon.com.

For the rest of you, don't give up! I have another awesome giveaway coming up next weekend, so stay tuned and as always, thanks for reading and playing with me. =D