The 19th International Latino Book Awards:  A Reflection of the Quality of Books By & For Latinos

Book Award LOGO & Image rgb
The 19th International Latino Book Awards:
A Reflection of the Quality of Books By & For Latinos
By Kirk Whisler


       The Int’l Latino Book Awards is a major reflection that the fastest growing group in the USA has truly arrived. The Awards are now by far the largest Latino cultural Awards in the USA and with the 233 finalists this year in 91 categories, it has honored the greatness of 2,404 authors and publishers over the past two decades. These books are a great reflection that books by and about Latinos are in high demand. In 2017 Latinos will purchase nearly $700 million in books in English and Spanish.
       The 2017 Finalists for the 19th Annual Int’l Latino Book Awards are another reflection of the growing quality of books by and about Latinos. In order to handle this large number of books, the Awards had 196 judges. The judges glowed more than ever about how hard the choices were. Judges shared how the books “Enriched my life” and how much they “Loved the books”. Another judge stated ‘This book appears as candy for the soul and senses’. Several dozen judges exclaimed ‘I could not put the book down until I finished.’ The Awards celebrates books in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Finalists are from across the USA and Puerto Rico, as well as from 20 countries outside the USA.
       This has been a great year of growth for Latino Literacy Now’s efforts. Our most recent Latino Book & Family Festival in San Bernardino was our 61st – and brought our combined attendance to over 900,000. The Int’l Society of Latino Authors is now just under a hundred members. Education Begins in the Home, a Latino Literacy Now program, has impacted literacy for over 25,000 people. The first formal event for the 2017 Finalist will be at the American Library Associations Conference at the end of June in Chicago. Latino Literacy Now is now an Affiliate of the ALA. The Award Winning Author Tour has 10 more events in just 2017.
       The Awards Cermony will be held September 9, 2017 in Los Angeles at the Dominguez Ballroom at California State University Dominguez Hills. This is part of the Award Winning Author Recognition Weekend that also includes the Award Winning Author Celebration Night on Friday, September 8th and the Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes on the 10th. The Awards are produced by Latino Literacy Now, an organization co-founded by Edward James Olmos and Kirk Whisler, and co-presented by Las Comadres de las Americas and REFORMA. Major sponsors include the California State University Dominguez Hills, Libros Publishing, and Scholastic.



Puerto Rican-born Eleanor Parker Sapia is the author of the award-winning historical novel, A Decent Woman, published by Scarlet River Press. Her debut novel, set in turn of the century Ponce, Puerto Rico, is a finalist for Best Latino Focused Fiction Book in the 2017 International Latino Book Award with Latino Literacy Now. The book also garnered an Honorable Mention for Best Historical Fiction, English at the 2016 International Latino Book Awards with Latino Literacy Now. A Decent Woman was selected as a Book of the Month by Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club in 2015. Eleanor is featured in the anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses, edited by Mayra Calvani.

A writer, artist, and photographer, Eleanor currently lives in Berkeley County, West Virginia, where she is working on her second novel, The Laments of Forgotten Souls, set in 1927 Puerto Rico.

Eleanor’s book, A Decent Woman, available in paperback and ebook format:
Please visit Eleanor at her website:


Let’s Talk About Writing Host Marsha Casper Cook


Join Marsha Casper Cook on August 13 at 4PM EST 3PMCST  2PM MT 1PM PST- When she welcomes Jack Remick and Eleanor Parker Sapia. Jack Remick is a poet, short story writer, novelist and a frequent guest on the World Of Ink. He has contributed to the show by bringing wonderful authors to the network and with each visit he is appreciated that much more.

Jack has brought to the network Eleanor Parker Sapia, a Puerto Rican-born novelist, poet, and artist, raised in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Europe. Her life experiences as a counselor, alternative health practitioner, Spanish language social worker, and refugee case worker inspire her passion for writing.

Marsha is a Partner of the World of Ink Network, Award-winning Script Writer, Novelist, Writing Coach, Media Release Specialist, Blog Talk Radio Host and Founder of Michigan Avenue Media. Marsha is the author of 11 published books and 11 feature-length screenplays, a literary agent with 15 years of experience and the host of BTR’s World of Ink Network shows: A Good Story Is a Good Story, and special editions of The World of Ink Network.

Call in number (714) 242-5259

For more info



Great Kismet

You know the feeling you get when you visit a town or city and you feel completely at home like you were meant to live there? Berkeley Springs, West Virginia is that town for me.  Last weekend, I took a little road trip to the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia to attend the Uniquely West Virginia Wine and Food Festival hosted by the Ice House Community Center and Gallery. I expected to sample, offered by over a dozen vendors, great West Virginia wine and food and I wasn’t disappointed. Where wine and food make an appearance locally, in West Virginia and Virginia, I’m usually there.  What I didn’t expect on that chilly Saturday was meeting and making contact with three awesome women- local award-winning writer, Jeanne Mozier, Joyce Morningstar Barron, owner of Star Eagle Studio & Gardens in Berkeley Springs, and Lynn Lavin, owner of the Carrot Patch Pottery also in town. These women have already enriched my life, as author, artist and alternative health practitioner in many wonderful and mysterious ways.

Writer, Jeanne Mozier is the author of Way Out in West Virginia,  the novel Senate Magic, Images of Berkeley Springs: Historic Photos, and West Virginia Beauty: Familiar and Rare, a coffee table book with photographer Steve Shaluta.  What I later learned about Jeanne is that in addition to her earned degrees in political science from Cornell and Columbia universities, she also reads Tarot cards, gives astrology and palm readings, and she is the founder of Morgan Arts Council. This is a woman I want to get to know better.

I had a great chat with this fun lady who graciously invited me to share my historical novel, A Decent Woman, out in June 2014, and to offer a short talk on reviewing books at the Berkeley Springs Bookfest on June 14. I was thrilled!

As one radio host characterized Jeanne: “Ivy League-educated, CIA indoctrinated, West Virginia marinated.” It’s a potent combination that makes for fun reading what Jeanne writes.

From Jeanne’s Goodreads page:

Jeanne has practiced astrology for more than 40 years using it to analyze and project social and political trends as well as applying astrological insight to individual lives. A “full service oracle” she also consults tarot cards, Nordic runes and reads palms. She lectures widely delivering annual Oracles talks.

Currently, Jeanne lives with her husband in the historic spa town of Berkeley Springs, WV where they own and operate the Star Theatre, a vintage movie house. A noted social entrepreneur and popular writer, Jeanne has accumulated many honors and awards in her years of creating an enclave for all things and people with a slightly different perspective. 

I thank my lucky stars that I met author, Oracle and all-around fun lady, Jeanne Mozier, on Saturday! I’m excited to read my autographed copy of her book, Images of Berkeley Springs: Historic Photos. I invite you to discover this talented author and  her adopted hometown of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. I would move to Berkeley Springs in a heartbeat and might just see about selling my house in order to move to this artsy town!

I will be contacting Morningstar about the 16th Annual Festival of Light Psychic Fair and Alternative Health Expo in Berkeley Springs to be held on November 8 and 9, and Lynne about an exhibit she is currently planning for July. Ya gotta love synchronicity and kismet!