Lone Star Legend

Lone Star Legend

by Gwendolyn Zepeda

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Overview

PARADISE LOST
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 . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780446539609
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 01/25/2010
Edition description: Original
Pages: 340
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

Lone Star Legend


By Zepeda, Gwendolyn

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2010 Zepeda, Gwendolyn
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780446539609

1

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.


Love,

Miss TragiComic Texas



Continues...

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.

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Lone Star Legend 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
VickiLN on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've never read a book about a blogger before, so this was very interesting to me. Sandy was very likable, as were most of the other characters. This is a book that you can relate to about your own blogging life, work life and relationships and you find yourself drawn into the book. The author has added a lot of humor and that was also a very big plus to me. The main thing I liked about this book was how "real" Zepeda made the characters. I think there's a little of Tio Jaime in so many of our own grandfathers or neighbors. I also liked the fact that Sandy wanted to stay true to her beliefs in her personal and professional lives, and that each chapter started with an entry from her "blog" and sometimes a few comments. This was the first book I've read by this author, but now I really want to read another book of hers, "Houston, We Have A Problema"
FrenchMonkey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I give this book a solid 3.5 stars. It's not the tip-top best book ever but I enjoyed it a lot. I've been following the author's blog for several years so I wanted to like her book. Thankfully I did. There were times when the main character, Sandy, was a bit unlikeable but I had to remind myself how young she is and that this is a story about her lessons in life, specifically learning how to be the person she wants to be. Sandy is Dominga Saavedra, a recent journalism graduate from the University of Texas. She's working as an online reporter for a latino blog which gets bought out by a large media company and turned into a snarky pseudo-news and entertainment site. Sandy sticks around and begins to thrive, not without some real bumps along the road. Her boyfriend is a pompous douche so he gets jettisoned early on, to return later in an unexpected and embarrassing way. She meets Tio Jaime, her great-aunt Linda's long-time partner. Tio Jaime helps her jump-start her career by offering sage advice that becomes a regular feature on the blog. His failure to sign a release form cause some problems but that gets worked out quickly. The whole story takes place over less than a year; Sandy grows up a lot in that year. On the whole it's an entertaining and fast read.
ReviewsbyMolly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Gwendolyn Zepeda's Lone Star Legend was not a bad read at all. I will be honest and say that it did start off a bit slow. I had trouble keeping focused on the book. But once I got past the beginning, I found that it is a book with characters that I enjoyed reading about and became friends with. Zepeda takes us on a journey into the cyber world of online mags, blogs and gossip columns. Zepeda did a great job at bringing some reality into this book. She also added some humourous parts, which finally captured my attention and boosted my thoughts on the book. While this is one I felt was slow in the beginning, I still give it 4 stars and recommendation,if you want a book that will make you laugh and smile at the inside look of an average,everyday person whose private life quickly becomes public in the center of cyber world. *This book was provided for review by Hachette Book Group*
reading_crystal on LibraryThing 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.
bookwormygirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story. Sandy was such a great character - and she had such growth throughout her story. As Sandy's dreams of writing on important topics goes down the drain and she begins to write pieces a-la-TMZ, it seems like not only has her job gone to hell, but so has her love life, her living situation and just about everything else. She strives to make changes in her life (including a makeover), but she slowly begins to realize that these changes are superficial, she must make real changes that will bring her to a place where she will be happy not only with life, but with herself.I loved being brought into the world of online magazines, blogs and gossip columns. The characters were one of a kind (my favorite being Tio Jaime) and the scenarios were definitely laugh out loud funny. Ms. Cepeda has a fantastic sense of humor - I found myself literally cracking up at times.This was a light read with some witty dialogue, heart-warming moments and a one of a kind ensemble that I can definitely recommend.
LoriHedgpeth on LibraryThing 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.
haleyknitz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lone Star Legend by Gwendolyn Zepeda Genre: YA FictionRating: 2.5, DNFSandy S. has a second identity online¿she blogs at a personal blog as Miss TragiComic Texas, and works for a website called Nacho Papi. Sandy is good at living her dual-identities and keeping them separate. But when people start connecting the the personal blog and the new website, and then recognizing her on the streets from the videos¿(From back of the book:) No matter how many passwords and aliases we use, there really is no such thing as privacy when you live your life online. Celebrities expect this, but what about the average person? Gwendolyn Zepeda¿s novel plays with this idea of public vs. private and what happens when those lines get crossed.I found Lone Star Legend to be very slow. It was hard to get into, and even halfway through the book I wasn¿t sure what the actual plot line was. There is a lot of drama. She breaks up with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend¿s students find her personal blog and her rants about him and it embarrasses him. People recognize her in the coffee shop from TV. The man she interviews on a whim becomes the new biggest internet phenomenon, but he doesn¿t want his photo on the t-shirts that she has already started to sell. These are just a few things that happen in the story, and none of it really leads anywhere. And if a story doesn¿t lead anywhere, and I have no desire to finish it, I¿m not going to. Because I could be reading other things.With that in mind, my positive comments include these: Zepeda is a pretty good writer. The writing and the dialogue is witty and fresh and alive and pretty funny at times. There were some great lines, great scenarios, and great laugh-out-loud sections¿ there just weren¿t enough to keep me reading. The characters are well developed and defined and likeable, and it¿s a pretty enjoyable read¿ little bits at a time. But Lone Star Legend just wasn¿t my thing, I guess. It kind of stinks, too, because I love the idea. As a blogger, people I know personally always tell me about stuff they read on my blog¿ but however much I wanted to enjoy it, I just couldn¿t get into it.
jo-jo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed books that give me a taste of other cultures and Lone Star Legend not only touched on the hispanic culture, but legends as well. Before reading this book I had no idea what a Chupacabra was, and for your information here is the definition: a purported creature resembling a gargoyle, said to exist in parts of Mexico and on Puerto Rico.The main character in this novel is Sandy, an aspiring writer who happens to live in an apartment above her mother's garage. Life doesn't seem too difficult for Sandy, as the rent is very low so she doesn't have many expenses. She also has a decent job as a writer on a website and a boyfriend who happens to be a writing professor at a nearby college. If only her boyfriend could look past his own aspirations and find some respect for the work she does, she would be much happier with that relationship.After Sandy's aunt passes away, the opportunity arises for Sandy and her mother to take a little roadtrip to Aunt Linda's home to take care of some housekeeping items. They arrive to find that basically everything has been taken care of by Linda's neighbor Jaime. This becomes the first of many visits that Sandy will make to Jaime as they develop a lasting friendship.When Sandy returns to her job she finds that she has a new boss and the company has decided to change the way they operate. They are basically turning their website into an outlet for gossip and trashing the latino celebrities. Although Sandy finds this type of assignment a struggle, she does find a way to persevere and deliver the type of articles that her boss is looking for.Trouble starts to brew for Sandy as she becomes one of the more popular authors on the website. Up until she became a celebrity of some sort, she maintained a blog in which she was able to retain complete anonymity. After a couple of hints about her blog were dropped by a close friend her identity was revealed and her personal information that she shared on her blog was available for the whole public to see. Some things that she wrote about on her blog she wouldn't have otherwise shared with anyone knowing that she would remain anonymous. This was obviously a humbling experience for Sandy that changed her outlook on how she was living her life.I found myself enjoying this story that had themes of forgiveness, starting over, and making the right choices in life. I think that those of us that have a blog can easily understand how things could get so quickly out of control if you don't monitor your posts. This was a fun book to read that besides the story itself, also included posts and comments from both the website Sandy worked for and her personal blog. A reading group guide is provided at the end of the book and I think it would make an entertaining group discussion.
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.