Waking Up in the Land of Glitter: A Crafty Chica Novel

( 20 )

Overview

With glue guns, glitter, twigs, or yarn, the ordinary can become extraordinary . . . especially at La Pachanga. Owned by Estrella "Star" Esteban's family, the restaurant has a rep for two things: good food and great art. La Pachanga brings people together-even when it looks like they couldn't be further apart.

One ill-fated evening, Star jeopardizes her family's business, her relationship with her boyfriend, and her future career. To redeem herself, she agrees to participate in ...

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Waking Up in the Land of Glitter: A Crafty Chica Novel

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Overview

With glue guns, glitter, twigs, or yarn, the ordinary can become extraordinary . . . especially at La Pachanga. Owned by Estrella "Star" Esteban's family, the restaurant has a rep for two things: good food and great art. La Pachanga brings people together-even when it looks like they couldn't be further apart.

One ill-fated evening, Star jeopardizes her family's business, her relationship with her boyfriend, and her future career. To redeem herself, she agrees to participate in a national craft competition, teaming up with her best friend, Ofelia-a secretly troubled mother whose love for crafting borders on obsession-and local celebrity Chloe Chavez-a determined television personality with more than one skeleton in her professional closet. If these unlikely allies can set aside their differences, they'll find strength they never knew they had, and learn that friendship, like crafting, is truly an art form.

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Editorial Reviews

Kate Jacobs
"A fun read about stumbling into love, honoring friendship, and celebrating the power of craft. Full of good cheer!"
Laurie Notaro
"Waking Up in the Land of Glitter is wildly addictive! Funny, sweet, and slyly wicked, it draws you in so deeply that you're not even remotely mad you've spent the night on the couch, reading, and missed all of your shows on Bravo."
Alberto Ferreras
"Kathy Cano-Murillo is an amazing storyteller--her narrative is as bejeweled as her crafty creations!"
Vickie Howell
"Kathy's novel dazzles! Through Ofie's purity of heart, Chloe's emotional transformation and Star's awakening to the shine that was always there, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter weaves a story of friendship, trust and self-discovery. Whether you're a painter, crocheter, sewer or have nary the crafty bone in your body you'll leave reading this book with the feeling that creativity is key, but love conquers all! A must-read for crafty women of all generations!"
Terri O
"Who knew that glitter really does make the world a better place? Kathy's book is creative, inspirational and empowering, just like she is. I couldn't put it down!"
MonstersandCritics.com
"Clever character building and a fun storyline will leave readers with a case of the warm fuzzies. Just the thing to curl up with on a cold stormy day or take to the beach."
RT Book Reviews
"Cano-Murillo celebrates friendship and crafting in her fun, fabulous Crafty Chica novel. You'll want to get out your glue gun and invite your best friends over after reading this one."
Las Vegas Review-Journal
"Cano-Murillo, known as the 'Crafty Chica' and for her line of craft products, has delved into the writing world to create one of the most lively, imaginative novels I've run across lately. Full of humor, love, friendship and some pretty cool art projects, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter will have readers howling one minute, sobbing the next, and reaching for their trusty glue guns to create their very own 'love shrines' before the end of the book. This novel was just a delightful glittery, shiny, light-hearted treat."
From the Publisher
"A fun read about stumbling into love, honoring friendship, and celebrating the power of craft. Full of good cheer!"—Kate Jacobs, New York Times bestselling author of The Friday Night Knitting Club

"Every word in this hilarious, fun read sparkles. Kathy Cano-Murillo is certainly an author to watch. I woke up in the land of happy reading!"—Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Waking Up in the Land of Glitter is wildly addictive! Funny, sweet, and slyly wicked, it draws you in so deeply that you're not even remotely mad you've spent the night on the couch, reading, and missed all of your shows on Bravo."—Laurie Notaro, New York Times bestselling author

"Kathy Cano-Murillo is an amazing storyteller—her narrative is as bejeweled as her crafty creations!"—Alberto Ferreras, author of B as in Beauty

"Kathy's novel dazzles! Through Ofie's purity of heart, Chloe's emotional transformation and Star's awakening to the shine that was always there, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter weaves a story of friendship, trust and self-discovery. Whether you're a painter, crocheter, sewer or have nary the crafty bone in your body you'll leave reading this book with the feeling that creativity is key, but love conquers all! A must-read for crafty women of all generations!"—Vickie Howell, host of DIY Network's Knitty Gritty and author of Pop Goes Crochet

"Who knew that glitter really does make the world a better place? Kathy's book is creative, inspirational and empowering, just like she is. I couldn't put it down!"—Terri O, TV Personality, Spokesperson, Craft Expert www.terriocraftprojects.com

"Clever character building and a fun storyline will leave readers with a case of the warm fuzzies. Just the thing to curl up with on a cold stormy day or take to the beach."—MonstersandCritics.com

"Cano-Murillo celebrates friendship and crafting in her fun, fabulous Crafty Chica novel. You'll want to get out your glue gun and invite your best friends over after reading this one."—RT Book Reviews

"Cano-Murillo, known as the 'Crafty Chica' and for her line of craft products, has delved into the writing world to create one of the most lively, imaginative novels I've run across lately. Full of humor, love, friendship and some pretty cool art projects, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter will have readers howling one minute, sobbing the next, and reaching for their trusty glue guns to create their very own 'love shrines' before the end of the book. This novel was just a delightful glittery, shiny, light-hearted treat."—Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446509244
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Series: Crafty Chica Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Kathy Cano-Murillo is a lifelong writer and artist. Her crafts have been carried by hundreds of retailers including Bloomingdales, Target, and Hallmark. She is a former entertainment reporter for The Arizona Republic, and has authored seven books including Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing. She is the founder of CraftyChica.com, a wildly popular web site to inspire women to brighten their lives with clever craft ideas. She has a web series on LifetimeTV.com, and can be seen on HGTV and DIY Network. She has been profiled in The New York Times, USA Today and NPR, and now has an extensive Crafty Chica product line. Kathy lives in Phoenix, AZ, with her husband, two kids and five Chihuahuas. Her motto for life is "Crafts, drama and glitter".

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First Chapter

Waking Up in the Land of Glitter

A Crafty Chica Novel
By Cano-Murillo, Kathy

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2010 Cano-Murillo, Kathy
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446509244

1

Hello, Arizona! Crafty Chloe Chavez here—braving the heat in front of La Pachanga Eatery with your weather update! It’s already ninety-eight degrees on this otherwise lovely Phoenix August morning, and it is time to break out the ice cubes, because we’ll hit one hundred and ten by this afternoon! Coming up after the break—why was this beloved local business a target of vicious vandals?”

“Um, you can’t go on live TV with blood on your arm; our viewers are eating breakfast,” the cameraman said, nodding at Star’s elbow as he hoisted his equipment up on his shoulder.

“Crap!” Star whispered before she licked her finger and scrubbed off the stain. “I wish it was blood,” she mumbled, while standing in the parking lot of her parents’ restaurant.

“Ah, don’t be so nervous. You’ll do fine,” he said.

“I’m far from fine this morning, but I’ll deal. And for the record, it’s not blood, just a smidge of spray paint.”

“Spray paint?” he repeated, his attention piqued.

“Hey!” Star chirped. “Speaking of blood, by any chance, do you knit?”

Star set aside the current troubles on her mind to enthusiastically explain the blood-to-knitting transition. “See, I’ve been working on this high-impact art project—the Victims of Violence blanket. It is dedicated to those who have been wrongly hurt all across the world. I want to get as many people as possible to help create a ginormous knitted blanket to represent our unified offerings of comfort and warmth. I feel that if we all just came together in the name of peace and love—”

“I don’t knit,” he deadpanned, cutting off her passionate plea. “You’re live in less than three minutes.”

Star shoved her arm into her limited-edition Tokidoki messenger bag that was slung across her chest and fished for her cherry lipstick. “It’s totally cool if you don’t know how,” she said as she retrieved it. She whisked the color across her mouth, and then wiped the sweat from her neck with her other hand. “It’s not about technique or even knitting itself. It’s about the intention. Each stitch is original and represents that person’s energy. That’s what makes it art. Art that matters. Not silly crafts that Crafty Chloe does. The Victims of Violence Blanket project could change the world.”

“We’re outside, sweating like pigs in a sauna, and you’re talking about knitting? At least it’s for a good cause. Almost done?”

“Actually… I haven’t started. I don’t know how to knit either. I’m more of a visionary type.” She raised a fist, shrugged, and grinned. “But I have hope! All I need is to find the right person to partner with, and I’m on my way!”

Star mentally congratulated herself for being so perky and positive, despite her current off-color condition, which consisted of a guilt-ridden hangover and eighty-seven minutes of half sleep. Who was she kidding? Every time someone cornered her, she changed the subject to an endearing topic. It served as her cutesy defense mechanism.

The cameraman didn’t find her cute. He appeared as if he wished he had taken the evening shift, where they cover stories like trials, riots, murders, and football games—or any combination thereof.

“Live in one minute. Can you harness that hair?” he barked. “Chavez is territorial about her screen time, and your head’ll take up more than half the shot.”

“Sure. Hey, has anyone ever told you that you look like that actor Ving Rhames?”

He ignored her.

Rude! Star thought. That was a compliment. Ving Rhames rocked. Hello, Pulp Fiction? Even if this man knew how to knit, she didn’t want his grumpy vibes woven into her blanket. She grabbed a stray lock that hung over her face and used it to tie back her curly mane, which hadn’t been tamed since the day before.

Meanwhile, a concerned crowd gathered in the parking lot to witness the damage to the property. Star looked at them and bowed her head. “Oh God, this is really, truly happening.” Suddenly the magnitude of last night’s crime sank into her gut and, even worse, her conscience. She bit her lip, looked to the sky, and chanted a power prayer seconds before she would lie to thousands of TV viewers across Arizona.

Star kept her knees in locked position as she stood in front of La Pachanga, Phoenix’s most-famed Mexican restaurant, adored by art enthusiasts, culture hounds, visiting celebrities, and wealthy folks in Hummers looking for a dash of instant culture.

Chloe’s chubby red-haired assistant powdered the reporter’s satiny cheeks. She then whipped out a toothbrush, spritzed it with hairspray, and used it to smooth the cone-shaped crown of the reporter’s stick-straight frosty blond hair. She then gave her shoulder-length tresses a heavy coat of spray.

The Arizona sun was beyond hard-core. Star had lived in Phoenix all her life and still couldn’t adjust to the summer temperatures, which included driver’s arm sunburn and the melting of sentimental mementos—most recently a memory stick with all her favorite French pop songs. She inspected Crafty Chloe’s flawless appearance and wondered how, even without the touch-up, she could look so fresh in a long-sleeved suit standing in direct sunlight. There wasn’t a drop of sweat on her, whereas Star could feel her own T-shirt damp on her back. Then again, Crafty Chloe wasn’t the one in the karmic hot seat.

Chloe stepped next to Star and gave her a courtesy smile, trailed by a horrified sneer at her hair. Star bypassed the visual insult and gulped back tears of shame as Chloe began the interview.

“It’s a sad day for Phoenix’s art community,” Chloe stated, somber, as if she were covering war in the Middle East. “In the darkness of the night, vandals ruined the award-winning mosaic mural here at La Pachanga Eatery—with, of all things, spray-painted happy faces. Local artist Theo Duarte garnered national attention when he created an ornate replica of the Sonoran desert. Using only pebbles and river rocks from Arizona locations, the neighborhood-funded project that took more than a year to complete was heartlessly defaced in one night.”

Star’s head throbbed, cottonmouth set in, and she became dizzy. She focused on a tan Chihuahua across the street, joyously lapping water from a lawn sprinkler. She wished she could be that dog right now.

“I have with me Star Esteban, daughter of La Pachanga’s owners,” Chloe announced to the viewers of Wake Up Arizona. “You look absolutely devastated, Star. What does your family make of this atrocity?” Chloe scrunched her brows together as all dedicated reporters do. She shoved the cordless handheld mic to Star’s mouth.

Estrella “Star” Esteban considered herself a worldly girl. But this morning, no goddess, saint, healer, shaman, or even Nana Esteban in heaven could repair the anarchy she had ignited last night. Star cleared her throat, knowing her disappointed parents watched from home. Even worse, Theo had just walked up and stood a few feet away, his art-repair caddy in tow. Several patrons patted him on the back to show their sympathy. He shook their hands and graciously thanked them. Theo must have sensed Star’s pain because he offered her a smile and two thumbs-up for support. Poor guy had no idea about the knife sticking out of his back.

Like a pirate on the edge of a plank, Star prepared for the death plunge. She gripped the bottom of her glittered el Corazón shirt, inhaled, and went for it.

“No, Chloe. Unfortunately we have no idea who would have committed such a cruel act. It’s such a horrible shame,” Star replied with so much false confidence, she almost believed her own lie. “But we are a loving family, and we’ll get through it. Regardless, our award-winning menudo is still just one dollar a bowl until noon!”

Chloe paused and tilted her head, confused, then went on.

“As you can see, the crime hasn’t even sunk in yet to this emotionally exhausted girl,” Chloe said, yanking the microphone away. She appeared irritated by the spontaneous sales plug, though she attempted to cover it with her fake local-TV-reporter sympathy.

“Star, there must be a surveillance tape that shows the perpetrators in action. On behalf of the artist of the mural, the community, and La Pachanga Eatery, of course, you will prosecute, correct?”

“And Art Space,” Star blurted. “It’s La Pachanga Eatery and Art Space. You always leave off the Art Space. Aside from the restaurant, we’re a nationally respected gallery.”

“Point taken, Star. About the mural, you will prosecute, correct?”

“Well, my father is a firm believer in second chances. It was probably just a silly prank by some kids. At least it was just happy faces and not anything vulgar. Right?” she asked. Star shrugged innocently, then clapped her hands in front of her chest. “Well! I better go check on that menudo! Thank you, Chloe!” Star took one giant step backward out of the frame, bent down, and blew out a burst of stress.

Chloe pursed her glossy lips and wrapped the segment.

“If anyone has any information about the Happy Face Tagger, please call our station’s hotline. And speaking of hot—don’t forget to come see me this weekend at the twenty-fifth annual Home and Garden Show! I’ll show you how to turn your flowerpots from frumpy to fabulicious! This is Crafty Chloe Chavez, reporting to you from La Pachanga Eatery for KPDM-Channel 11 News. Amy, back to you!”

Chloe held her supersized grin until the camera light went off—then she slapped the mic in the cameraman’s hand and ripped out her earpiece. She smoothed her taupe linen suit and approached Star with a glare wicked enough to rival any animated Disney villain.

“Everything okay?” Star asked, batting her eyes, even though one of them twitched uncontrollably from nerves. Why, she didn’t know. This was just the silly TV craft lady who took herself way too seriously.

“Something’s not right,” Chloe accused. “Is this some kind of sick publicity stunt?”

“No! Not at all! How could you even think that?” Star shot back, offended at such a rude claim.

She had never been a fan of Crafty Chloe. She loved channel 11, but changed the TV every time her face came on. Her beat was supposedly the local art scene, yet Chloe had never once covered any of La Pachanga’s exhibits. Chloe always discounted the “Art Space” part of La Pachanga’s name, just proven on live TV. As PR director of La Pachanga, Star had sent Crafty Chloe numerous press releases for events and shows, none of them featured. But right now, Star represented her parents’ business and she would do her best to be professional.

“I’m sorry if I flubbed the interview, I—I—I couldn’t think straight. I promise to fill you in if we hear anything.”

Chloe took a step closer and lowered her voice. “Look, Miss Esteban, how do I present this without sounding disrespectful… I find it odd that one of our city’s most well known public landmarks has been defaced—it happens to be on your parents’ property—and you’re pushing the Sunday menudo special. All we need is to air that surveillance tape so viewers can help identify the culprits. Case solved, right?”

Star clasped her hands behind her back and rocked back and forth on her shabby Converse sneakers. “It’s not that cut-and-dry…”

As always, Theo stepped in to defend Star. He set down his caddy and extended his gentle, broad hand to shake Chloe’s tense, thin one. “Ms. Chavez, hey. I’m Theo Duarte. It’s no big deal. I can remove the paint with turpentine.”

Chloe recoiled her hand. Even Theo couldn’t soften the crusty exterior of her personality. “That doesn’t erase what happened. I’ll just wait for the police report,” she said.

Star couldn’t be polite any longer. This glorified content deliverer made it impossible to be polite.

“What do you care anyway, Crafty Chloe?” she snarked. “Isn’t there, like, a pastel centerpiece crisis somewhere that needs tending to?”

Just then, the cameraman walked up to Chloe, whispered in her ear, and motioned to his elbow. They both looked Star up and down.

As if Nana Esteban found a way to intervene, Star’s iPhone rang from inside her bag, which she had set by her feet. Thank God! A reason to ditch this scene. She flashed Theo an uncomfortable “Thank you” grin, Chloe a sarcastic “Later” one, reached for her cell, and turned to walk away.

“Hey, Star,” Chloe called out. “I have one more question.”

Star stopped and looked back. “Yah?”

“Is that blood on your arm, or perhaps—spray paint?”

Star froze, and then replied, “Speaking of blood—by any chance, do you knit?”

Moments after sneaking away from the circus in front of La Pachanga, Star slipped around to the side of the restaurant’s compound to answer her best friend Ofie’s call—or rather, to field the barrage of questions about her crafty idol.

“Sweet mother of Martha!” Ofie shrieked. “You met the Crafty Chloe face-to-face! She showed how to decorate a water bottle the other day. Did she have it on her? Did she talk about crafts? Is she as pretty in person as she is on TV?”

Star peeked around the corner to ensure Chloe or Theo didn’t follow. “Crafty Chloe is pretty, all right, pretty brutal. She totally harassed me, as if I were the one who spray painted Theo’s mural!”

“But, Star, you did spray paint it.”

Star dropped her bag to the ground and collapsed against the hot concrete wall. “Ugh. Was it that obvious?”

“You couldn’t lie to save your favorite cat-eye sunglasses. Don’t worry. Most people won’t catch on like me. It’s because I know you so well. Oooh, I have an idea to get you off the hook! Why don’t you hit another mural tonight? It’ll throw everyone off the trail of La Pachanga! There’s a brand-new one on the I-10 freeway. It’s dark, you can do it as a drive-by, but use a water-based paint so it’ll come off easy. I have a 40 percent-off coupon we can use to buy some!”

Star giggled at the thought, even though she knew Ofie was serious. “That’s okay, I have my hands full as it is.”

“Did you at least get her autograph for me?” Ofie asked. “Lord knows I need a pick-me-up. I think the scrapbook group I just joined is already trying to dump me, and this morning, I had a mishap with the glitter spray and ruined Larry’s new suit. Wait. Enough about me, your crisis is much bigger.”

“I doubt Chloe is kind enough to give autographs unless it’s to endorse a check. Screw the scrapbookers, and try masking tape on the suit. I never should have left the house last night,” Star stated as she started to pace back and forth between the side of the building and the thick wall of oleanders.

“Correction. You never should have left with Maria Juana,” Ofie lectured. “Every time you get in trouble, she’s there. I thought you swore her off after the cockatoo switcheroo snafu last summer?”

“She’s my cousin, Ofie. She joined that Roller Derby team. Remember? I told you. Las Bandidas del Fuego. Last night was her first bout and she invited me. I promised my dad I’d try to get along with her. We’re the only two kids left in the Esteban bloodline. I meant well.”

“Wait,” Ofie countered. “If you went to the bout, what happened to the big dinner with Theo? Oh my gosh! The wedding proposal! Did you get engaged?”

Star covered her face with her hand and muffled her mouth. “I bailed.”

Ofie sucked in a gallon of air. “No! So you not only trashed his mural, but you ditched him too? Ay, pobrecito, Theo…”

Star’s eye caught another paint smudge on her arm, this one green. She rubbed her elbow against her sequin-accented gypsy skirt to remove it. When it didn’t come off, she grunted at the guilty residue.

“Ofie, it gets hella worse,” Star said into her phone. “The lead jammer from Las Bandidas set me up with this irresistible rocker dude from Ireland. He had gobs of tats, and his accent was so Hollywood. He turned me on to this drink that is supposed to make you see little green fairies. You know I’m not the saucy type, so it just about killed me. I don’t remember much else except making out with him in the back of Maria Juana’s tacky convertible… He tasted like mint. I guess afterward I went and spray painted the mural, which I only know about because my parents made me watch the surveillance tape this morning. And then they made me come down here to do that segment on Wake Up Arizona. What was I supposed to do? Tell the truth? I’d never make it home alive! Now I have Crafty Chloe on my ass and Theo to contend with.”

“You know better than to mix cocktails and your cousin, Star.”

Star rubbed her head in disbelief, and knew Ofie was doing the same. “You know, I bet Maria Juana set me up. I have no idea. I know I screw up, like, every other day, but this is the worst. How am I going to explain this to Theo? I don’t know what he’ll be more freaked at: that I’m the one who spray painted his mural, my new tattoo, or the hickey on my neck.”

“Tattoo?” Ofie asked.

Just as Star spun around to make double sure Chloe wasn’t eavesdropping, she bumped into a buff chest.

Theo’s chest.

And the hardened expression on his face confirmed he heard the confession in its entirety.

“Ofie, uh… Theo’s right here. I gotta jam. Bye, love you, peace out,” Star whispered, turning off her phone and slowly slipping it into her purse.

She opened her hands and raised them to the sides of her face, as if it would help her say the right words. “Theo, from every ounce of my heart and soul, I am so sorry—I can totally, totally, totally explain this—”

“No need,” he replied. “I’m through with you.”



Continues...

Excerpted from Waking Up in the Land of Glitter by Cano-Murillo, Kathy Copyright © 2010 by Cano-Murillo, Kathy. 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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

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(12)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 31, 2010

    A great book!

    This is a great read for crafters and non-crafters alike. The three main characters are quirky and vibrant and illustrate the power of friendship and love. The strength and influence of family is central to this book. You will laugh, choke back a tear or two, and squeal with delight!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    Reviewed by: Celia Rating: 3 stars Review: I liked the way it

    Reviewed by: Celia
    Rating: 3 stars


    Review: I liked the way it started—very gripping and honest. I totally understood Star’s desire to live her life for herself first and foremost before settling into anything. I especially liked how the author rendered both sides of the complicated love/hate relationship of Star and Theo in a zany, confusing “tug-of-war” way (they basically wanted to love and hate each other at the same time.) The love that Theo had for Star was endearing yet overwhelming (who wouldn’t freak out at the sight of wedding brochures?) Yet he was a good guy, perhaps too good for Star. My first impression of her was that she was a whiny, selfish brat that expected everything to be done for her without doing anything to earn it. Seriously, what did Theo see in her?


    Almost every character (particularly Olfie) in the story succumbs to the belief that crafts are the answer to life’s problems and that they make the world happy and perfect. I felt that the whole idea was kind of surreal and unimaginable; it was like believing that a round of Candy Land will turn everything into lollipops and marshmallows. Don’t get me wrong. Crafts can be an art form that can reflect one’s spirits and identity, and, yes, they can even bring a little happiness. Clearly, that was the message the writer wanted to convey with much success—perhaps too much success.


    The book was filled with flawed and diverse characters that can annoy you at times but you can definitely relate to. To put it better, they all intertwined together like colored thread with loose ends and tight knots.


    Honestly, the story didn’t get good for me until about 2/3 of the way when the “truth” comes out on everyone. The drama was so flavorful and exciting that I couldn’t sit still for the most part.


    Ultimately, the characters had to find their true “crafter” to see who they really wanted to be, and I think it all came together pretty well in the end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Super sparkling beautiful fun!

    I'm not sure if i treasure my autographed copy of this book more or the special Crafty Chica glitter that the author handed out at the Phoenix signing I attended but both are more fun then i think should be allowed at a book store and i guarantee laughter and tears and tons of creative sparkling inspiration from this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing is better.

    I read this book after reading Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing and I think the writing and content are much better in her second book.

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    Glitteriffic!

    The Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo has been writing books for years instructing her fans in various crafty techniques. Her latest foray into writing strays from the instructional path to a novel, and it's my opinion that she has created a whole new genre of fiction: Crafty Fiction. It's a novel like no other that I've read. Kathy melds her love of crafting with a beautiful story of love, friendship, loss, and hope. She's artfully created characters that you come to care for throughout the novel.

    There's Estrella "Star" Esteban, the main character. She's free spirited, fun, and artistic, but a bit flighty...at first. She's done something terrible, and she needs to prove to her parents, friends, and most of all herself, that she can be the person she envisions herself to be. Her best friend Ofelia is a craftaholic who doesn't seem to have any real talent at the projects she attempts until she takes a long, hard look at herself and finds her calling. And there's Chloe Chavez, a local TV reporter locally known as Crafty Chloe, who has grand plans of becoming a crafting mogul. The only problem there is, though, is that she hates crafts, and the life plan she's created for herself isn't her own.

    The supporting characters of Star's parents and boyfriend, Ofelia's husband, daughter, and mother-in-law, and Chloe's work associates and boyfriend help to round out the characters in a cohesive manner that adds life and vitality to this book.

    For several years I've followed Kathy's career through her books, TV appearances, and on the internet. Her good nature, encouragement, and belief that anyone is crafty have been an inspiration to me. I hope her fingers are ready for more novels like this one, because I'm one of many fans who want to see more!

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  • Posted April 27, 2011

    For the reader, the Crafter and the Artist

    A good book makes you think a little. Otherwise, what's the point? If I wanted something happy, easy and mindless, I'd read nothing but the Sunday comics. Which I do read, and love. The point is that I don't go back to the comics after I've read them and feel like I need to read them all again - but this book by the Crafty Chica did make me feel like I needed to go back to the beginning as soon as I reached the last page. The story itself is like hot chocolate, sweet and satisfying. But remember, Mexican hot chocolate has its cinnamon, too. There are characters who seem unlikable at first, until the author strips them down to their most human beings. There is the very real debate between Art and Craft, which is well played. But the most important thing, what stays with you, is the joy that comes from creating what is in your heart, and living your love.

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  • Posted April 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Nothing better than reading and Crafts!

    I really enjoyed this book - and not just because it combined two of my favorite things - reading and crafts. Star is very much a free spirit. She lives at home and works at her family's restaurant, doing press releases for the art shows they host. Her life isn't very demanding, and she doesn't really have a lot of tough decisions to make, so when she suspects Theo, her best friend, is about to propose - it kind of causes her to lose a little control. She ends up getting drunk with her cousin Maria Juana (I laughed too) and doing some things that she is not too proud of. These things cause her to lose Theo and for her parents to lose their faith/trust in her. Her dad basically tells her she has 6 months to get her act together - working somewhere other than La Pachanga. Star gets involved with the Craft Olympics, as La Pachanga is in charge of the center pieces for the tables - 200 of them. . . Olfie jumps right in to help, but her ideas are not very attractive. No one is willing to tell Olfie that her crafts and awful, as she tends to melt down. Olfie has been struggling with being a good enough wife and mother her entire marriage. It doesn't help that her mother-in-law is always there to help out, and does things much better than she ever hopes too. Her husband and daughter both love her unconditionally though, and do not discourage her crafting. Chloe Chavez and Star did not get off to a good start the first time they met. When they discover they are both going to be making the centerpieces together, you think that sparks are going to fly. But together with Benecio, a teenager, who with his passion for fashion hopes to score a booth at the craft olympics, they come up with an idea and begin the process of making centerpieces. Unfortunately, their individual lives are each spiralling out of control and they each have to make some tough decisions before they can begin the process of starting over.

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  • Posted August 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    loved it!

    I read this for my book club and really enjoyed it. You do not have to be a fan of crafts to get into the story. Its a book cater to all types of women big or small. If you are a fan of Jennifer Weiner or Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez then you will enjoy this book. Its about 3 women who come together with their own set of problems to participate in a national craft competition. I felt a connection with each women and loved how the story came together. Can't wait to read more for Kathy Cano-Murillo.

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  • Posted August 9, 2010

    This one SHINES.

    There's a reason so many crafters love Kathy Cano-Murillo. She "gets it." You don't have to be good at crafts to enjoy them. Moreover, being creative can save your sanity. Even if you don't know glitter from glue, you're going to love this book. Need a gift for a crafter? Or a good read to give a girlfriend who needs a pick-me-up? You can't go wrong with Waking Up in the Land of Glitter. Trust me. This one SHINES. Joanna Campbell Slan, author of Paper, Scissors, Death: A Kiki Lowenstein Scrap-n-Craft Mystery.

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  • Posted June 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting Women's Literature

    In Waking Up In The Land Of Glitter, Kathy Cano-Murillo follows three women as they prepare for the annual national Craft show, held in their town. Chloe, known as Crafty Chloe, is a TV reporter determined to make her mark. Although she hates crafts, she has determined that it is the easiest way to get a TV show, book deal and all the perks of being a personality on the national stage. Ofelia is a true crafter, and one of Chloe's biggest fans. Ofelia loves crafting, any craft, no matter how difficult or how expensive. Unfortunately, while her heart is good, her end results are hideous and her family and friends cringe when she gives them her creations. She is also spending way too much time and money on her crafts, and her family is hurting as a result.

    Then there is Star. A fountain of ideas and energy, she just can't quite get it together in life. She starts a hundred projects and doesn't finish one. Moving at the speed of light, she leaves disasters behind, as she doesn't take the time to follow through on details. Star is at a crisis point. Her parents are going to start charging her rent or make her move out, three years after she has finished college. They've fired her from her job at their restaurant. Worst of all, she has alienated the love of her life who has decided he has to move on to protect himself from her wild mood swings and energetic ambitions that seem to go nowhere.

    The three come together to work on the craft show. Ofelia is Star's cousin, and Chloe joins with them to further her image as a crafting queen. Can these three pull it together in time for the show? Can Ofelia learn to keep her love of crafts without ruining her family? Will Chloe make it to the top of the crafting world? Can Star find her way, both in life and love?

    Cathy Cano-Murillo has created an engaging book that will please the reader. The characters, while very different, are all written so realistically that the reader will feel they know them. Star, in particular, is a vibrant character, a whirlwind with a love for others, that the reader won't soon forget. The writing is breezy and the story never drags. This book is recommended for women readers.

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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    WAKING UP IN THE LAND OF GLITTER

    WAKING UP IN THE LAND OF GLITTER
    Kathy Cano-Murillo
    Grand Central Publishing
    ISBN: 978=0-446-50924-6
    302 pages
    $13.99 - Paperback
    Reviewer: Annie Slessman

    WAKING UP IN THE LAND OF GLITTER by Kathy Cano-Murillo presents a story of a young Latino artist, her friends, family and acquaintances who pull together to make the life within the craft community more exciting.

    Star (Estrella to her family), the book's main character has been challenged by her father to "get her life together" and sets a timeline for which she is to have completed certain tasks. In an effort to do as her father asks, Star recruits her friends, a young unknown artist and a rather prima craft show celebrity into making this year's table decorations for the Craftolympics which is being held this year in Arizona.

    The story takes the reader into the lives of each of the "crafters" and their journey through life. While this doesn't make for particularly exciting fare, it does provide a rather amusing trek through the Latino community and its residents. My favorite has to be Star's friend, Ofelia who thinks herself an artist while her friends and family alike have problems with thinking of her creations as art.

    At the Craftolympics, Ofelia shows everyone she is a true artist but not in the media she has worked in previously. Star, and her craft group join together in celebration of their friend's accomplishment and find new avenues for themselves.

    This is the type of book you can read and put down and pick up again at will. The story will be easy to get into again after an absence and will provide a reader with the opportunity to read in spirts.

    Kathy Cano-Murillo is a writer and artist. Her crafts have been carried by retailers including Bloomingdales, Target and Hallmark. She lives in Phoenix, AZ with her husband and two kids and five Chihuahuas.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2010

    Fun!

    Fun Latina women in all shapes and sizes. Very orginal plot and a super relaxing read.

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  • Posted March 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Glitter Makes the World Go Round

    The Crafty Chica Kathy Cano-Murillo has been writing books for years instructing her fans in various crafty techniques. Her latest foray into writing strays from the instructional path to a novel, and it's my opinion that she has created a whole new genre of fiction: Crafty Fiction. It's a novel like no other that I've read. Kathy melds her love of crafting with a beautiful story of love, friendship, loss, and hope. She's artfully created characters that you come to care for throughout the novel.

    There's Estrella "Star" Esteban, the main character. She's free spirited, fun, and artistic, but a bit flighty...at first. She's done something terrible, and she needs to prove to her parents, friends, and most of all herself, that she can be the person she envisions herself to be.

    Her best friend Ofelia is a craftaholic who doesn't seem to have any real talent at the projects she attempts until she takes a long, hard look at herself and finds her calling.

    And there's Chloe Chavez, a local TV reporter locally known as Crafty Chloe, who has grand plans of becoming a crafting mogul. The only problem there is, though, is that she hates crafts, and the life plan she's created for herself isn't her own.

    The supporting characters of Star's parents and boyfriend, Ofelia's husband, daughter, and mother-in-law, and Chloe's work associates and boyfriend help to round out the characters in a cohesive manner that adds life and vitality to this book.

    For several years I've followed Kathy's career through her books, TV appearances, and on the internet. Her good nature, encouragement, and belief that anyone is crafty have been an inspiration to me. I hope her fingers are ready for more novels like this one, because I'm one of many fans who want to see more!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Simply a wonderful story that should be read by everyone it is that good!

    Female friendships are born from diversity and survive by tenacity. The relationships that make it are road tested over the years but each person in the friendship knows that while bumps in the road come and knock you off the cart they do not stop you from getting back in and finishing the ride. Ofie, Star and Chloe are three sides to a triangle that are different from one another but there is a superglue that has them sticking it out regardless of the cost. While Ofie and Star are old friends with years of memories it is the new addition of Chloe that breaths life into their circle and a little bit of anguish as everything starts to change.

    Ofie is a wife, mother and crafting addict gone wrong; Star is an out of control woman who refuses to be a responsible adult and her crazy antics have cost her the love of her love and the tolerance of her parents; Crafty Chloe is a TV personality that while appearing put together and acting all about it on the air is an insecure mess after the camera shuts down and the truth of her crafting inefficiencies comes out.

    With the CraftOlympics coming to Phoenix these three unlikely people are drawn together to create some of the most beautiful artwork ever seen and push each other toward greatness when hidden talents start bubbling to the surface. Each of these women has been forced to face the reality of sick or swim for this event and when they come together to create they make one another more independent and create such magic tears are shed even some family drama can't slow the crafting process. But all good relationships get tested and the real push for any true friendship is when you get to the top of the mountain and your fears of failure come out and you know your worth of self is built around the complexities of your friends and they share their strength with you not keep it for themselves.

    This book covers so many areas but has the basis built in friendship and moves the story out from there. Friends are the wonder in your life as well as create some of the difficulties but building on these difficulties we realize all is not glitter and gold in our lives and you can't always put memories in a scrapbook but you can pull together something beautiful and touching with the right word or having a sincere friend stand beside you when you need it the most. Life is not about crafts that have gone wrong or pictures hanging on the wall crocked, it is about what we show with a simple act of kindness which after all is a grand deed. However, everything seriously does look great with glitter on top and you cannot put too much on anything.

    Mary Gramlich - The Reading Reviewer - www.marygramlich.com

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2011

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    Posted June 29, 2010

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    Posted July 4, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2011

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    Posted August 8, 2010

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