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For the next two weeks BronzeWord Latino Book Tours is excited to present Sandra C. López as she travels on a virtual book tour with her new novel, Beyond the Gardens. It is the sequel to her debut novel Esperanza: A Latino Story. I invite you to visit these blogs each day to learn about the novel and Sandra’s writing experience, leave questions or comments for Sandra and her host, and be entered into drawings to receive a free autographed copy of Beyond the Gardens from Sandra herself! Or purchase your very own copy at Dulce Bread & Book Shop and support an Indie Bookshop! The tour schedule follows,

Mon        Apr 26     Bonnie S. Mata     Bonnie S. Mata, Author of Faith

Tues       Apr 27     Mayra Calvani     Latino Books Examiner’s Articles

Wed        Apr 28     Christina Rodriguez   Christina Rodriguez, Children’s Book Illustrator

Thurs      Apr 29     Lori Calabrese     Lori Calabrese & Children’s Books Examiner’s Articles

Fri           Apr 30     Mary Jo     Writers Inspired

Mon        May 3     Erin O’Riordan     Pagan Spirits

Tues       May 4     Joylene Nowell Butler     One Moment At A Time On Cluculz Lake

Wed        May 5     Terri Lee-Johnson     BrownGirl Speaks

Thurs      May 6     Romina Tybitt     Mama XXI    

Fri           May 7     Leslie Toledo     That Chick That Reads

About the Book

At the age of 18, Esperanza Ignacio begins her college years at an upscale Los Angeles art school, where she studies to fulfill her long-term dream in Animation. But she soon learns the truth to the old folktale: “you can take the girl out of the barrio, but you can’t take the barrio out of the girl.” Even though she’s getting financial aid, Esperanza works a part-time job during her break from classes just to make ends meet. Her roommate, Anna, is what she calls a “chicana from Beverly Hills” because of the rich daddy and the new car she got for her quinceañera.

Things get a little confusing for Esperanza when an old friend comes looking for her, hoping to start a meaningful relationship. But is Carlos the right guy for her? She never even considered him to be anything more than a friend since high school. Then comes Jake, a gorgeous mechanic, who shares her passion for books and loves her for who she is. What’s a girl to do?

Strength and determination help pave the way for the future. And, as she approaches her graduation, she is faced with a difficult decision: should she leave Los Angeles and leave behind her family, her home, and everything she’s known? Ever since she was born in the California barrio of Hawaiian Gardens, she’s always had to look over the fence, wondering what she’s been missing. Now she’s taking a flying leap over to see what’s beyond the little barrio. What’s beyond her family, her friends, and her past? What’s
beyond the little nothing town, where dreams don’t exist? What’s beyond the gardens? Is it life, love, a future? The story of Esperanza is finally concluded in this wildly entertaining and heart-warming sequel.

About the Author

Sandra C. López was born and raised in Hawaiian Gardens, California. She learned to read at the young age of two and strived to achieve the best grades in school. Her free time was spent reading, writing, and drawing. Sandra managed to be the first in her family to graduate from high school and enter college. Her first novel, “Esperanza: A Latina Story,” was published in March 2008 while she was still in college. Now, this young writer is a full graduate of Cal State University Fullerton with a BFA in Animation and Illustration, and she is anticipating a promising career as a writer and an artist. “Beyond the Gardens” is the follow up sequel to “Esperanza.”

Praise for Beyond the Gardens 

“Sandra Lopez’s sequel to EsperanzaBeyond the Gardens—reacquaints the reader with a compelling character, Esperanza, her barrio past and her college present, as she struggles to get an education and find her identity. A heartwarming story that young, female teens will enjoy!”

—Donna Del Oro – Author of Operation Familia and Hasta La Vista, Baby 

“Readers can’t help but cheer Esperanza on as she finds out what life is like Beyond the Gardens. Funny, smart, and heartfelt—all that you want in an inspiring story.”

—Margo Candela – Author of Underneath It All and More Than This

“It’s not easy to figure out who you want to be, especially if you’re a chica from the barrio. With a crazy family and un amigo, who has suddenly decided he wants her, brainy college student, Esperanza, finds herself having to make some tough decisions. In this humorous and sweet novel, Lopez brings us lovable characters we want to root for from page one. Don’t miss it!”

—Lara Rios – Author of Becoming Latina in 10 Easy Steps

“An emerging Latina voice, Sandra Lopez continues to inspire with her latest work, Beyond the Gardens. Her words are soulful and her images resonate with passion and humor.”

—Ray Michael Baca – Author of Brotherhood of the Light

“In Beyond the Gardens, Esperanza Ignacio confronts a new world with humor and humility. With peppy dialogue and energetic prose, Sandra C. Lopez brings us a story of a young girl’s strength and determination. As candid as it is entertaining, Beyond the Gardens leaves us all with a sense of hope.”

—T. M. Spooner – Author of The Salvation of La Purísima and Notes from Exile