Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Road From La Cueva - 2008 New Mexico Book Award Winner

Many thanks to the New Mexico Book Co-op for
choosing the book as a 2008 New Mexico
Book Award Winner!

Review by "Terra57" - Theresa M.Studer (My Favorite Review!)

Courageous Survival, April 17, 2008
Theresa M. Studer "Terra57" (Hopedale, MA USA) - See all my reviews "Reviewed for Front Street Reviews" The Road from La Cueva by Sheila Ortego is such a wonderful read. It was short, far from sweet and to the point without all the added fluff and filler you will find in most books. This book could pertain to any number of women around the world in trouble. Ana Howland is an almost to perfect woman for a fiction novel. She's a wife, mother, friend, daughter and lover. Lacking self esteem, being depressed, feeling trapped and scared to death keeps her in a marriage of hardship. The story is a journey through a year of Ana's life and of the changes that come from a welcoming hand out of the blue. Each day, week, month offer up steps forward and steps backward while Ana tries so hard to find the tiniest morsel of courage to make the right decisions for her and her daughter. Ana is in an abusive controlling marriage with the constant threat of danger at every turn she makes. What she thought would be a life long loving relationship has been anything but. The only kindness her husband does show is to their young daughter and she wonders how much of that is true. A stranger comes along and offers her salvation but at what cost. A neighbor becomes friends with her on such a deep level that Ana's husband is jealous and forbids her to stay friends with this person. Both of these people help Ana see that life is not always what you're handed and you can change the outcome. All you need to do is ask for help but does she have the courage and will she escape unscathed. The author of this book deserves the best of reviews for this touching, heart melting story that could be of any one of our lives. The novel seems too real to be a work of fiction and I wonder how much is fact and how much is truly fiction. I would give this a 5 star rating because it captured me, educated me and let me see that there are true friends and love out there, you only have to reach for them.

Excerpt of Review by Bestseller Eric Wilson, Author of The Best of Evil

A Heartfelt Gift, October 27, 2008
Eric Wilson "novelist" (Nashville, TN United States) - See all my reviews I had the pleasure of meeting Sheila Ortego at a book festival in Nashville. She was unassuming, pretty in an unpretentious way, and there were stories of beauty and pain lurking behind her eyes. Within minutes, we discovered that we were fellow writers and decided to swap books. The pleasure was all mine. "The Road to La Cueva" is a wonderfully wrought tale of New Mexico's landscape and people, and yet it's also a microcosm of many who have lost and loved and tried to adjust to the changes of modern society. The story centers around Ana, a stoic wife who must endure her husband's carelessness and controlling ways. As she negotiates the treacherous mud and ruts of her rural road, we see her own inner turmoil with life and relationships. Along the way, she meets a male nurse with a tender soul, and a rugged Mescalero Apache woman who has scars of her own to bear and wisdom to impart...I think this storyline reflects a very real and desperate need many had to be free of a long-time, male-dominated society. In conclusion, we find Ana growing as a person, as a mother, and as a friend. She learns how to love by giving and serving, and this becomes her true ticket to a new existence. Ortego has offered a heartfelt gift to many who have felt this disconnection and loneliness, and she does so with poetic grace.

Review by Alex Pattakos, Author of Prisoners of Our Thoughts (A Best-Seller in Spain!)

I'm going to do a few postings with a variety of the book's reviews, so you can see all the different and insightful perspectives! Here's the first:

Review from Alex Pattakos, March 24, 2008
Sheila Ortego "Sheila Ortego" (Santa Fe, NM) - See all my reviewsHere's a review from Alex Pattakos, author of Prisoners of Our Thoughts: The Road from La Cueva"A powerful and passionate story about the defiance of the human spirit! The Road from La Cueva is an existential drama that needs to be read by anyone who has ever questioned the deeper meaning of their life's circumstances. In an engaging and empowering style, Dr. Sheila Ortego takes us on an adventurous road trip through the hills and valleys of the human experience. And she does it with characters with whom we can all resonate on some level! Here's an intimate, authentic account of the struggle within that all of us, as human beings, must face in our everyday lives."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Southwest Literature

While some have billed The Road From La Cueva as Southwest Literature, others have tagged it as a Romance NOVEL or Relationship Book. I like to think of it as women's literary fiction, with a strong (and spicy) southwest flavor.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Review by Bestselling Author Michael McGarrity

Michael McGarrity, bestselling author of Nothing But Trouble and Dead or Alive, provided this review of the book:

A touching story of the search for fulfillment. Sheila Ortego's tender voice will move you.

Nice! Thanks, Michael!

2008 New Mexico Book Award Winner!

The Road From La Cueva is a winner (for the 'first book' category) in the 2008 New Mexico Book Awards competition! Many thanks to Melissa Weiner, my publicist, and Sunstone Press, for entering the book in the competition and for all their support in general.