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"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Book Spotlight & Excerpt: LOVE IN TRANSLATION

Love In Translation by Sara Palacios
ISBN: 9780988937826 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780988937802 (ebook)
ASIN: B00BEMZ2OW (Kindle edition)
Publication date: February 6, 2013

Still reeling from an unexpected breakup, Emily nurses her broken heart by spending time with her best friends and taking one-too-many vodka shots. After one long night, she takes a hard look inside herself and doesn't like what she sees. She realizes that she has sacrificed too much in her failed relationships from the past and vows to never settle for anything less than almost-perfect again. As she picks up the pieces and regains her confidence, a sexy Spanish chef moves in across the hall and knocks her off her feet. What ensues is an unexpected and tantalizing affair that opens her eyes - and her heart - to a whole new world and leaves her feeling sexier than she has ever felt.  Emily finally sees how easy love is supposed to be. Is happily-ever-after actually possible? Just when she starts to think so, she realizes that sometimes life gets more complicated before it gets easier. And complicated is an understatement when Steven (her best and oldest friend in the world) confesses his love for her. Everything spirals out of control as Emily must make a choice between love and friendship, and in doing so, possibly risk it all. 
LOVE IN TRANSLATION is a modern day love story about following your heart to unexpected places and taking chances in life…because sometimes you will find exactly what you are looking for. 

Excerpt:

We finish lunch and I make my way back to my apartment. I notice that most of the boxes that were stacked up in the hallway earlier are now gone, and there are only a few remaining. There is still no sight of my new neighbor. 
I maneuver through the remaining boxes and then fumble around in the bottom of my purse for my keys. 
I feel a soft tap on my shoulder and jump.  
I turn around and my heart begins to race. A gorgeous man stood in front of me. His eyes are deep brown, his hair is long and a silky shade of chocolate and his skin is glistening and tan.
My mouth goes dry. I stand there speechless, and staring upward because he is a few inches taller than me. The view from down here is actually very, very nice.
"Hola," he says in a deep Spanish accent. Then he smiles; his lips curving slightly up toward the right side of his mouth. 
He is getting more gorgeous by the second. 
I stare a little longer while I muster up the courage to say something. "Hi!" I say sweetly. I try to remain calm, "My name is Emily. Are you my new neighbor?" I ask, feeling like a complete idiot for stating the obvious.  
"Neighbor, sí," he says as he nods enthusiastically and smiles nervously. He points at himself, "Andres," he pauses, waiting for a reaction, "Andres Antonio Guadalupe Ramos," he says with pride. I watched his mouth closely as he said this – rolling his tongue around the Rs in his first and last name – and felt the hair on my arms stand up.  
I point at myself and tell him that my name is Emily, even though I am pretty sure that he got that the first time. 
Andres stood there smiling. I can tell that he is nervous, which is good because I am nervous too. I look at him curiously, "Do you speak English?" I ask nice and slow. I'm not trying to offend him, but judging by his introduction and the pointing to his chest, I assume that he isn't fluent.
He pauses for a second, and then pinches the air with his right index finger and thumb. "Un poco," he says, indicating that he only knows a little. 
This is going to be difficult since I only know a little bit of Spanish. It's been years since I've said anything en español that wasn't off a menu.  I make a mental note to go to the bookstore as soon as humanly possible to get some books to brush up on my conversation skills. 
I took Spanish in high school, which meant I pretty much only learned nouns. I can tell you that a "cat" is a "gato," and that a "mountain" is a "montaña," but that is about it. Unfortunately.
I decided in college that I wanted to study French in case I ever wound up in Paris. Well, I haven't ever been to France, let alone Europe, so that was obviously a mistake. I should have taken Spanish just like everyone told me to, but no, I didn't listen. If I had only known then that 10 years later I would be holed up in my hallway with my gorgeous neighbor who only spoke Spanish, then I might have changed my mind. It was another case of, "if I had only known then what I know now." 
I shyly glance up at Andres, hoping that he will say something more, but he doesn't. He just stands there smiling. I am dying to know more about him, and although I am usually the shy one, I can't imagine how he feels. I know that I am going to have to be the one to initiate the conversation. 
I think back to my junior and senior years of high school. I try a little harder to remember specifics from Spanish class. At first, I draw a blank, then suddenly, out of nowhere, several key introductory phrases pop into my head. 
"¿De dónde eres?" I ask, excited to remember how to ask where he is from. 
His smile grows wider, "You speak-a Spanish?" he asks in choppy English. 
I smile sweetly and tell him that I, too, only speak "un poco." 
He laughs and says something I definitely don't understand. He then follows with, "Soy de España, de Madrid." 
My earlier guess was right. He isn't from around here, but boy am I excited to have him as my new neighbor. 
He looks at me eagerly. 
Another question pops in my head. 
"¿Dónde trabajas?" I ask, curious to see if my question about his current work situation would lead me to any more information.
His smile widens, and now I have a full view of his perfect white teeth. "En un restaurante, soy un cocinero," he says proudly.
This conversation is getting difficult. I can't think of what a "cocinero" is for the life of me, and he knows it too. He looks around anxiously. "Un momento, por favor," he says as he rushes inside his apartment. There are several large clanks and then within a matter of seconds, he is back in the hall, a cooking pan in hand. He holds it out for me, and then points at himself once again. "Cocinero," he says eagerly again, and this time I nod, now fully understanding what he has just said. He is a chef, and he works in a restaurant.  
I rummage for something more to say, for another question or two, but my mind is blank. We are both eager to converse with one another, but since I can't remember any more Spanish, we fumble through a few more questions and that's all. It is a little awkward standing in the hallway in silence, but, luckily his phone rings and he excuses himself. 
I am upset that I couldn't remember more things to ask. 
Hopefully, we'll have better luck in the future.


About the author:

Sara Palacios is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a major in Advertising and a minor in English Literature. It was during her time in college that she really fell in love with the written word and ventured into writing her own stories. In addition to writing, Sara spends a majority of her time reading the works of other authors. She reads most genres  – but thoroughly enjoys chick-lit, women’s and historical fiction. When she isn't busy reading or writing, Sara enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is happily married, the owner of two precious doggies and a new mom to a handsome baby boy. Sara is also an avid animal-lover, runner, yoga enthusiast and wannabe vegan.

Connect with the author:

Email:  sararpalacios[at]gmail[dot]com     |     Facebook      |     Twitter 


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1 comment:

  1. Love this! Thank you so much for hosting me!

    XOXO!
    Sara

    ReplyDelete