Welcome to the Virtual Blog Tour for Song of the Boricua by Olivia Castillo. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Also check out an excerpt from the book and a Q&A with the author. Follow the blog tour by clicking on the banner image above. Commenting on blogs increases your chance of winning. Please only comment once per blog (unless it’s active conversations with an author, multiple comments from the same person will be deleted.)
Song of the Boricua
Puerto Rico an island of contradiction, serves as an enchanting backdrop following three generations of women.
Elena: Resilient and ambitious, but trapped by duty to her children.
Maria: Passionate and headstrong, but married to a man she does not love. Josephina: Optimistic and romantic, but in love with an alcoholic.
Isabella: Clairvoyant and spiritual, but denies her heritage and roots.
Like the land these women are held hostage, unfulfilled and unable to find their happiness. Each generation like the land is cursed. Can they defy the powerful bond of the curse and free themselves to find love everlasting?
New Author, Olivia Castillo, like the jibaros of the past weaves a tale of sorrow and joy. Castillos’ fiction is timely, offering a glimpse into the islands rich history and offering insight into the story that has plagued women for all of time, the search for true love and acceptance of self.
The book is on sale for $0.99
Yauco, Puerto Rico, February 1932
A young man Josephina had never seen was toiling alongside the workers. He had black hair and was very tan. She watched him work and felt an unfamiliar feeling come over her.
It was something she had never experienced before. She heard Marie chuckle beside her. “Il est beau,” Marie said with a knowing little smile.
Josephina’s cheeks turned as bright as a Poinciana flower. “Mon enfant, he’s like you, an orphan. Le petre asked if we could hire him. How could I deny him, fille?” Marie asked, shaking her head wearily.
“We have nothing, but when our priest speaks, how can we refuse direction from up high?”
Marie kissed the rosary she had around her neck and made the sign of the cross. She closed her eyes, fanning herself.
Josephina peeked at him, trying not to be obvious. The young man stood up, wiping the sweat from his brow, and took off his hat. He looked toward the house and spotted Josephina staring at him.
She quickly turned away, embarrassed. Again, with telepathic clarity, Marie spoke gently beside her. “His name is Alejandro. He is such a nice boy. I will introduce you aprés mon somme—after my nap.”
A flushed Josephina quickly protested “Mère, no, you must not.” Marie chuckled louder, the wrinkles around her eyes deepening. “Listen to your old mère.
You need to be with people your own age, not us vieux gens, old people.”
Please tell us a little bit about your book. What inspired the themes in your story?
Song of the Boricua is a multi-generational story set in Puerto Rico. The themes explored are racism, women’s issues, indigenous people, and the search for acceptance of self. What inspired my book was my children and wanting to tell another version of the Puerto Rican American experience, besides the one told in textbooks.
Do you outline before you write? or just dive right in?
I have an idea in my mind, but I dive in most of the time.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you currently reading?
Some of my favorite authors are Alex Haley, Leo Tolstoy, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Margaret Mitchell. I will be reading Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon.
If you could visit any setting from one of your books, which one would it be and why?
I would and have visited Puerto Rico because it is the home of my ancestors, and to feel the spirit of the Puerto Rican people.
Who are your celebrity inspirations? If you were to cast your characters, which actors would you choose?
I love Mads Mikkelsen, a Norwegian actor, Cate Blanchett, and Meryl Streep. I also love Penelope Cruz.
I could choose Mario Casas, perhaps Penelope Cruz or Lily James to portray my characters.
How do you come up with the names of your characters?
I was inspired by people I know and looked up the meaning of several of the names.
Name one item you can’t live without.
I can’t live without a good book.
What are some of your hobbies?
I love to dance and to oil paint.
If you were presented with the opportunity to travel through time, which period would you choose and why?
I would probably pick the 1940s because I love the music and the clothes.
What’s next for you?
I am writing a sequel called, Daughter of the Boricua