The International Latino Book Awards presented San Gabriel author Cecilia Samartin the prestigious Mariposa Award for best first book (English) by a Latina or Latino for her stunning debut novel of 2007, Broken Paradise. The critically acclaimed book about Cuban best friends separated by politics and has also been published and praised in Spain, the United Kingdom, Holland and Germany.
Selected as a ‘«£Discover Great New Writers‘«ō featured novel by Barnes & Noble, the impressive 2007 debut has been praised by National Book Award winner Carlos Eire and newspapers nationwide. Eire calls Broken Paradise ‘«£a stunning literary achievement.‘«ō
Fittingly, the news of the award came at BookExpo America (BEA) on May 29-June 1, 2008, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where Ms. Samartin was asked to speak regarding her new, all-the-more acclaimed book "Tarnished Beauty".
The Association of American Publishers (AAP)'s Publishing Latino Voices for America Task Force chose "Tarnished Beauty" for its Latino Recommended Reading List and Kirkus Reviews awarded the book its prestigious star of merit. Ms. Samartin has also recently been featured by the ‘«£Comadres‘«ō book network in New York, by Sirius radio‘«÷s ‘«£Angels On Call‘«ō, and was asked to be a celebrity author for the new Borders in Mira Loma.
In recognition of the many positive contributions being made to Latino literature by publishers and writers worldwide, Latino Literacy Now, created the Latino Book Awards in 1999. Due to the dramatic increase in recent years in nominations of literary works from Mexico, Central and South America and Spain, the title of the awards was changed to the International Latino Book Awards in 2006. These awards honor literary excellence in a variety of categories. Latino Literacy Now is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes literacy and literary excellence within the Latino community.