Connecting Latinas All Over the World through Literature

July 2015 Teleconference: Eleanor Parker Sapia, Maria Duenas

July 2015: Eleanor Parker Sapia, author of A Decent Woman, A Novel published by Booktrope Publishing

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July 2015 Book of the Month

About the Book:


A Decent Woman, A Novel

By Eleanor Parker Sapia
Published by Booktrope Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1620154007

A Decent Woman was inspired by true events.

The character of Ana Belén is based on my maternal grandmother’s midwife who presided at the births of my mother, two aunts and my uncle. Not much is known about Doña Ana nor are there any known photographs of her. She was thought to have been from the island of Martinique because of her accent, and it is known she practiced the Yoruba tradition of her Afro-Cuban ancestors mixed with Catholicism.

My grandmother’s stories of childbirth always featured Ana, a woman she valued and respected, and they remained friends until Ana’s death. As a child, I was always fascinated by this mysterious midwife, who died before I was born, and on the occasion of my maternal grandmother’s ninetieth birthday, I wrote a tribute to my grandmother. As I wrote, Ana kept popping up and whispering in my ear, until I gave in to her with her very own story.

About the Author:

Eleanor Parker Sapia

From the Author:
I was raised in the US, Europe, and in the colonial city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, where I got the idea for my debut novel, A Decent Woman. As long as I can remember, I’ve painted with words and a palette, and I am living the life I’ve always dreamed about–a creative life.

I’ve lived in France, Greece, Austria, and in Brussels, Belgium, where I raised my two children for thirteen years. While living overseas, I was an exhibiting painter, and volunteered as a counselor, a Spanish-language refugee case worker, and became interested in spirituality and alternative methods of healing. For five years, I facilitated creativity workshops using the book, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. As I encouraged others to live a passionate, creative life, I was called to put my money where my mouth was. In 2006, I returned to the United States as a single woman with my children who were headed to university. I became a Reiki Master, graduated from a massage institute in Falls Church, Virginia, and worked in social services as a Spanish languge Family Support Worker. But that wasn’t the end–it was the beginning.

In 2010, I jumped off a creative cliff by quitting my job and landing in my creative life in Berkeley County, West Virginia, where I currently write and paint full time. By that time, my children had graduated from university and were out of my nest. My precious adult kids now live and work in Northern Virginia and Holland.
I have degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the Philippi Trust Counseling and Training Center, Blackpool, UK.

My debut historical novel, A Decent Woman, set in turn of the century Puerto Rico, was published on February 24, 2015 by Booktrope. I am currently writing my second novel, The Island of Goats, inspired by a story I was told, and by my journey on the medieval pilgrimage walk of El Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain with my two children. I focus on writing stories that introduce readers to Latin American and Spanish characters, who face challenges head on with courage and grace. A sequel to A Decent Woman, titled, Mistress of Coffee, is in the planning stages.

I write at The Writing Life blog where I love offering author interviews, book reviews on occasion, and I share snippets of my journey as a writer.

My areas of interest are – writing fiction, blogging, poetry, ancient history, mythology, archetypes, Puerto Rican culture and history, literacy, immigration, women’s issues, the Latino community, social media, social media marketing, spirituality, gardening, parenting and raising children abroad, facilitating creativity groups, coaching writers, wellness, health, exotic and local travel, reading, writing, meditation, alternative medicine and holistic methods and modalities.

July 2015 Additional Conversation


About the Book:


The Heart Has Its Reasons

By María Dueñas
Published by Simon and Schuster
ISBN-13: 978-1451668339
Declared “a writer to watch” (Publishers Weekly, starred review), New York Times bestselling author María Dueñas pours heart and soul into this story of a woman who discovers the power of second chances.

A talented college professor in Madrid, Blanca Perea seems to have it all. But her world is suddenly shattered when her husband of twenty years leaves her for another woman. Questioning the life she once had and whether she truly knows herself, Blanca resolves to change her surroundings. She accepts what looks like a boring research grant in California involving an exiled Spanish writer who died decades ago. Anxious to leave her own troubled life behind, she is gradually drawn into his haunted world, with its poignant loves and unfulfilled ambitions.

But in delving into the past, Blanca finds herself simultaneously awakened to the present by Daniel Carter, a charismatic professor with crucial knowledge about the dead writer that he has never before revealed. Amid this web of passion, conflict, and hidden feelings, including her own, Blanca advances like an avid detective, refusing to quit, and ultimately discovers startling answers that resonate deeply in her own life.

Evocative, lyrical, and humorous, The Heart Has Its Reasons is a journey of the soul from the pangs of the past to the vibrant present. It is a story about the thrill of creating one’s life anew. – See more at: Read More Here

About the Author:


María Dueñas

María Dueñas is the author of the New York Times and internationally bestselling novel The Time In Between, which was translated into twenty-five languages and inspired a successful television series under the same title, as well as the highly acclaimed The Heart Has Its Reasons. She holds a PhD in English philology and is currently a professor at the University of Murcia.

Dueñas has also taught at American universities, authored several academic articles, and has participated in various educational, cultural, and editorial projects. She lives in Murcia, Spain. – See more here

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