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Lone Star Legend
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Lone Star Legend

3.7 7
by Gwendolyn Zepeda

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If she can find the time, Sandy Saavedra will stop to breathe. New management has turned work upside down and her father's upcoming marriage-something he forgot to mention to Sandy-means there's no peace at home, either. But it's okay. No matter what's thrown her way, Sandy can deal. Because Sandy has a secret, and his name is Tío Jaime.


If she can find the time, Sandy Saavedra will stop to breathe. New management has turned work upside down and her father's upcoming marriage-something he forgot to mention to Sandy-means there's no peace at home, either. But it's okay. No matter what's thrown her way, Sandy can deal. Because Sandy has a secret, and his name is Tío Jaime.

A short drive out of Austin delivers Sandy into the wide-open spaces of the Hill Country, to the front porch of grandfatherly hermit Tío Jaime. There, in the company of pepper plants, a shaggy dog, and fresh squeezed lemonade, the old man imparts down-to-earth advice. Overbearing boss? Work smarter; she'll leave you alone. Disrespectful boyfriend? Pack your bags; a real woman tolerates only a real man. His simple perspective reminds Sandy she can make her own choices-something she's been forgetting lately.

Feeling inspired, Sandy posts their chats online. But as she introduces the world to her personal Eden, her own life heads straight to hell . . .

Editorial Reviews

"Zepeda... presents a debut about the everyday struggle to find one's way but adds unusual and alluring touches, namely the vibrant Houston setting and the novel's emphasis on Tex-Mex culture, art, and folklore."
Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
"Zepeda is a master wordsmith."
Mary Castillo
"Reading Gwen's book was like going to a family BBQ-full of drama, juicy gossip, and lots of laughs."
From the Publisher
"Fresh and smart"—Booklist

"Zepeda (Houston, We Have a Problema) gives readers a funny and smart heroine that readers will easily pull for."—Publishers Weekly

"Zepeda is a master wordsmith."—Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, New York Times bestselling author of The Dirty Girls Social Club

"Zepeda... presents a debut about the everyday struggle to find one's way but adds unusual and alluring touches, namely the vibrant Houston setting and the novel's emphasis on Tex-Mex culture, art, and folklore."—Booklist

"Jessica's evolution from self-uncertainty to self-empowerment is amusingly charted, and Zepeda's take on the popular fascination with good luck charms, horoscopes, psychics and unreliable predictions is laced with rueful zeal."—Publishers Weekly on Houston We Have A Problema

"Reading Gwen's book was like going to a family BBQ-full of drama, juicy gossip, and lots of laughs."—Mary Castillo, 2006 on Houston We Have A Problema

Publishers Weekly
Private lives become fodder for public consumption in Zepeda's sendup of the blog/traditional media divide. Austin, Tex., investigative journalist Sandy Saavedra blogs for LatinoNow when Levy Media turns the hard news Web site into a cheezy entertainment Web site, Nacho Papi. Becoming a pun-writing gossipmonger is not one of her goals, but Sandy dives into her job with total OMG results: a post about the Chupacabra leads to a recurring advice column (“Ask the Chupacabra”) and a booming sideline in related merchandise. Problem is, the source of the Chupacabra craze is a little bit off, didn't sign a release form, and has a personal connection to Sandy's beloved late great aunt Linda. Then Sandy's outed as the author of her anonymous and very personal blog, My Modern TragiComedy, leading to outraged responses from those she's skewered. Internet celebrity follows, as do the inevitable office politics and romantic troubles, and though they get more stage time than warranted, Zepeda (Houston, We Have a Problema) gives readers a funny and smart heroine that readers will easily pull for, even in the dull bits. (Jan.)

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

Lone Star Legend

By Zepeda, Gwendolyn

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2010 Zepeda, Gwendolyn
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446539609


Blog entry from My Modern TragiComedy, Wednesday, March 8

Here’s a little story that’s also a metaphor, or maybe a pattern in my life?

It was a sunny September afternoon, the first day of school at Lorenzo de Zavala Senior High School, East Austin, 1997, and I was on top of the world. It was my sophomore year, and yet I’d already been made Assistant Editor of The Monthly Bugle, our school paper. I was sitting at my new desk—which was actually just a table, but closer to the teacher’s desk than the table where I’d sat the day before—licking my teeth. Not only was I Assistant Editor, but I’d had my braces removed the week before, so I was literally sitting pretty. Prettier, I guess. Well—at least less nerdy-looking than before.

Aaron Lieberstat, our best boy reporter, walked up and asked me how my summer had been. I’d always thought Aaron was kind of cute, but had never spoken to him outside of academic discussions on student council elections or the merits of various brands of glue sticks.

“You got rid of your braces,” he told me, a nervous smile lighting his freckle-rimmed lips. “It’s nice. Your face is very symmetrical now.”

How romantic, I remember thinking, to be complimented by a boy who knew such big words.

From there we segued into a conversation about our plans for the paper. I was looking forward to trying some new features and formatting that would finally bring our publication into the (very late) twentieth century. Aaron was excited about a photo essay he wanted to do on the Chess Club’s annual tournament. We were in Nerd Heaven.

Ten minutes after the tardy bell rang, Mr. Jenkins, our beloved editor-slash-teacher, still hadn’t put in an appearance. My classmates and I set to work without him. Whereas other students, given that opportunity, would’ve cut class or set about destroying school property, we newspaper staff students were single-minded in our scholastic dedication.

I’d fired up my trusty IBM Selectric Word Processor and was already typing up the first draft of a story when the Assistant Principal showed up with Coach Taylor, a woman for whom a broken tibia had long ago ended the dream of a professional cheerleading career.

“Kids, I’m sorry to have to tell you that Mr. Jenkins won’t be back this year. He had some family issues and went to teach at a school in North Carolina. Coach Taylor here will be your new editor. Coach Taylor, here you go.”

His words rang in my ears, for those few moments and for the entire school year that followed. For they signaled the end of my budding success as an editrix. Coach Taylor ushered in a new era at our paper, an era filled with sports scores, jock profiles, and cheer, cheer, cheerleaders.

We entered Nerd Hell, and in junior year I switched my Newspaper elective for its distant, genetically inferior cousin, Yearbook.

It wasn’t until college that I’d attain journalistic nirvana again. As you all know, I’ve been working at a very respectable online publication since my second senior year at the University. (And no, I’m still not going to tell you which one.) But that, I fear, is about to end. We’ve just had a visit from our own Coach Taylor, and it looks like the writing’s on the wall.


Miss TragiComic Texas


Excerpted from Lone Star Legend by Zepeda, Gwendolyn Copyright © 2010 by Zepeda, Gwendolyn. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Gwendolyn Zepeda lives in Houston, Texas. Her blog GwenWorld.com and her first book To The Last Man I Slept With and All the Jerks Like Him have been mentioned in the NY Post and Seattle Post. Zepeda is a member of Nuestra Palabra, which hosts Houston's Latino Book and Family Fesitval, the largest book festival in Texas.

GCP will publish her first novel, Houston, We Have A Problema in January 2009.

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Lone Star Legend 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
I entered a giveaway and won this lighthearted, behind-the-scenes look at a professional writer who maintains two blogs and writes for an online Latina gossip magazine. Using a pseudonym, Sandy S. writes about her life and lives to regret it when she becomes a bit of a celebrity. The situation is reversed as others gossip about her, revealing her true identity. Sandy's privacy evaporates. The theme is a warning to all bloggers and online writers: if you don't want people to know what you think, don't publish your thoughts. Guard your privacy. The characters are well written, and although the plot is a bit expected, I think that this is a book worth reading.
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
On paper fame and fortune sound invigorating and exciting. But the fantasy of being an internet legend is not what the reality plays itself out to be just ask Sandy Saavedra. Sandy discovers that when people find out your secrets they are less than kind about their choice of words and when they are aimed at you the hurt can't be fixed with a simply I'm sorry. Sandy started out her writing career with a legitimate news organization that got bought by an entertainment organization looking for gossip, rumors and trash talk. The internet readers needed what Sandy could produce; quick spots with allot of information in a quick sound byte. Sandy got the web browsers viewing, talking and communicating but not just about her articles but about her personally. Her ex-boyfriend, current love life situation and anything that looked like it could be controversial was food for the masses. Sandy kept what she thought was anonymous blog about her life but quickly learned nothing is a secret on the world wide web because everyone and anyone can find out who you are and turn your personal information against you. She stressed out family, wore down her friends and commuted around the country looking like the made-up doll her boss had created. But was this the real Sandy or a disguise she created to keep the hurt inside and not be offended by the damage her "fans" could do to her. The only haven in her life is the elder gentleman she makes friends with while cleaning out her late aunt's home. She finds he is a calm in the storm that her life becomes and learns the lessons of life from someone who has lived them but didn't feel the need to broadcast them to everyone. She uses his folksy wisdom to her advantage for a period of time but once the true Sandy comes back from her blogging hiatus real life becomes better than the fantasy life she was looking for. What a wonderful surprise this book turned out to be. It was not that I did not expect it to be good as Ms. Zepeda's books are a treasure but this book stands out because of Sandy and her convictions. Sandy is a fighter yes but she is a rare gem in the world of news as she has a conscious and while it does go on vacation for awhile when it comes back she shows the world what she is about. Sandy is a woman with a statement to be made - I have a brain and a heart and will use both simultaneously. Mary Gramlich (The Reading Reviewer) www.marygramlich.com
LHedgpeth More than 1 year ago
As a blogger, Lone Star Legend appealed to me from the get go. What blogger wouldn't want to read about a fictional blogger who made it to the "big time" of working as a reporter on an internet gossip site? This storyline alone would have been enough, in my opinion , to make the book an enjoyable read. Lone Star Legend, however, surpassed my expectations and I found it hard to put the book down. Heroine Sandy Saavedra, otherwise known as "Sandy S." to her internet audience is witty, ambitious and, deep down, cursed with a conscience that conflicts with her job at Nacho Papi. She is also a secret blogger, writing about her personal life, using her screen name as a pseudonym. While Sandy yearns for success as a writer, hoping that her internet job will lead her to greener pastures, she doesn't expect the overnight celebrity that comes with it - - exposing her and her academic boyfriend to the spotlight. Sandy has a strained relationship with her mother and a disjointed one with her father. Such flaws make Sandy more human, as does her relationship with Tio Jaime - - her late great aunt's neighbor and the kind old man who brings clarity to Sandy's life. As likable and down to earth as Sandy was, Tio Jaime was my favorite character in the book. His warm grandfatherly figure was as comforting as a bowl of chiciken noodle soup and his no nonsense advice made me wish I could drive out to Texas to spend a pleasant afternoon with him and his dog over a glass of lemonade. Ms. Zepeda's writing style was light, breezy and humorous. I particularly enjoyed how every other chapter began with an entry to Sandy's personal blog, along with the sometimes comical reader responses. Changes in Sandy's professional and personal life are reflected in not only her blog entries but in the number and content of reader responses. Lone Star Legend gives an interesting spotlight to Texas and the Latino community, not only through Sandy's voice but also through Tio Jaime's, her great aunt Linda's through a journal and even the Nacho Papi website, where the focus is on Latino celebrities. While the ending may have been a bit predictable or even pat, it was justly satisfying, sprinkled with a bit of romance and leaving me content with Sandy's fate. Overall, I would recommend Lone Star Legend to anyone looking for a fun, entertaining read. Lone Star Legend may not change your life but it is a pleasant diversion.
LegalBeagle More than 1 year ago
In Lone Star Legend by Gwendolyn Zepeda the Latina heroine Dominga Saavedra a.k.a. Sandy S. is a serious young writer for a respected web site LatinoNow as well as the keeper of an anonymous personal blog My Modern TragiComedy. All of this changes when LatinoNow is transformed into Nacho Papi, a gossipy Latino web site. The novel follows Sandy S.'s dance with the devils at Nacho Papi who offer nuggets of fame and fortune in exchange for journalistic integrity. To stay gainfully employed Sandy undergoes a personal makeover and learns to write snarky celebrity copy. Soon Sandy S. becomes a minor celebrity with all of the corresponding benefits and detriments that go with living in the public eye. She also befriends an elderly goat farmer, "the Chupacabra" (literally translated as the goat sucker) who offers Sandy S. and her readers common sense advice. Although Lone Star Legend follows a fairly predictable plotline trajectory, the characters and blog entries are unique and refreshing! Zepeda knows how to craft witty passages and interesting characters. In addition, the book also features a bilingual reading guide with great discussion questions. Lone Star Legend is a fun multicultural read! (Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (January 25, 2010), 352 pages Advance Review Copy Provided Courtesy of the Publisher.)
crystal_fulcher More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It is a good look at how a character changes and grows due to what is going on in their lives. Sandy starts out idealistic and I think this is very realistic of someone not far out of college in any field, not just in writing/journalism. She wants to make a difference and do serious writing. But then life throws her a curveball in that her work gets taken over and essentially becomes a gossip blog. No longer is Sandy writing her idea of meaningful journalism, now she is reporting about celebrities and drinking and pretty much doing whatever her boss and the sponsors tell her to do. And not only has her professional life gone wrong, but she still lives in an apartment she rents from her mother. She is still dealing with her parents' divorce and her father's emotional distance from her and she also has boyfriend troubles. So Sandy's life is going down the tubes and fast. However the book is really about how she deals with all of this. How her ideas change due to circumstances and how she turns her life into something she likes again at least for a brief time and then it's time to learn again. This isn't a beat you over the head with ideas book. The values and lessons are subtle to Sandy and to the reader. The writing is beautiful and although the beginning starts a little slow setting up the book, once the book gets going you really start to enjoy it all. Strong characterization and a well-thought-out plot make Lone Star Legend a delight to read and a book whose lessons will stick with you long after the book is finished.
Slessman More than 1 year ago
LONE STAR LEGEND Gwendolyn Zepeda Grand Central Publishing ISBN: 978-0-446-53960-9 $13.99 - Paperback 352 pages Reviewer: Annie Slessman If I were a blogger, which I am not, then I would have to say that LONE STAR LEGEND by Gwendolyn Zepeda would not have show up in the blog until almost the parting piece. This book is slow to "get into" but picks up toward the end. It is the story of Sandy Saavedra who writes a blog for a popular Latino website. She dates a man with a Phd with an ego that needs constant stroking. She still lives in an apartment above her mother's garage and has her heart set on obtaining her moment of fame as a writer. It is an elderly man who places her name among the recognized and it is this man who she harms the most in her rise to fame. This book takes on all kinds of relationships from parental, personal and working to relationships with an adoring public. While the story is fairly classic in its content, its blogger format makes for an interesting new idea given today's popularity in blogging. Don't expect this book to take you by storm. However, if you give it time, it does have meaningful value.