Friday, December 30, 2005

Meet Xenia Ruiz: Rising Christian Latina Author

I dropped by Xenia Ruiz's blog for the first time today, and now I suggest y'all scoot on over and pay her a visit. Xenia's got a wonderful blog voice--feminine, strong, opinionated, smart, sassy, with a touch of humor, and very, very Latina.

While she and I'd bump heads on some political issues, no doubt--I am not a Bush-basher (voted for him twice), don't believe he's a racist, do think many white politicos care about non-whites (I'm married to a white fella and he cares very much about non-whites, especially me, my family, and our two African sponsored children)--we'd have lots of common ground.

Yep. We would.

I grew up in a Puerto Rican neighborhood in the South Bronx, have a great fondness for P.R. food and music, and think P.R. is one of the loveliest islands on God's earth. (Not prettier than Cuba, ahem, but ya know, I'm biased.) Shoot, I learned En Mi Viejo San Juan in grade school for a school pageant before I'd learned the words to the Cuban national anthem! Haven't been to Borinquen in decades, mind you, but my SIL is Boricua (mmmm...home made alcapurrias and pasteles) and I'd love to go back and walk the streets sipping agua de coco straight out of a fat, green coconut or a big glass of chilled mavi (one of the absolute best natural drinks ever created, better than root beer or birch beer or sarsaparilla or mate); dance on the beach to some vintage Gran Combo; and sip a cafe or gobble up a tembleque in some lovely spot in Viejo San Juan.

(If you're lost, see glossary below.)

I found the excerpt of her debut novel intriguing, and the cover rocks! I just shopping-carted the book over at The title is CHOOSE ME, and it's published by Walk Worthy Press, the folks who also publish Angela Benson.

Her blog goes by the name of AfroLatina Debut Author and is described by Xenia as a "journal documenting a Year-In-The-Life of a new author AFTER the book deal: including waiting, promotion, publicity, book release, book tour, and sales of my debut novel, CHOOSE ME (June 20, 2005)."

Don't know about you, but that's a journey that sounds totally fascinating to me. I want to follow along and see how it goes for her. Maybe you do, too.

"En Mi Viejo San Juan"= "In My Old San Juan"
agua de coco = coconut water
cafe= coffee, usually the espresso type Latins favor served in a demitasse (or a thimbleful in a tiny paper or plastic cup)
Borinquen=alternate term referring to the island of Puerto Rico
alcapurrias and pasteles= two different types of edibles, both filled with meat (one ground beef, the other usually pork), the first one ball-like and fried, the other rectangular and flat and wrapped in a plantain leaf then some wax paper and string (like a present!), then boiled to hot yumminess that's perfect with ketchup or hot sauce (or both)
Boricua=a person of Puerto Rican ethnicity
mavi=a drink made from the bark of the mavi tree
tembleque=a coconut-flavored dessert that's akin to custard
Gran Combo= a superb salsa band whose name literally means "The Great Group"


Anonymous said...


I've never met Xenia personally, but I enjoy her blog...and her books. :) Thanks for mentioning her here.

Mary G.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

thanks for mentioning her! I like the blog!

Happy New Year!

LaEquis said...

Hey Mirtika,
Again, thanks for the exposure. I like the blog entry, especially the glossary at the end :).