Reviewed by Connie Anderson
Texas author Gwendolyn Zepeda’s first book was To the Last Man I Slept With and All the Jerks Like Him –so you know she is an in-your-face kind of writer. All this fits very well with the storyline of Lone Star Legend that takes place in Texas where the heroine, Sandy S (legal name Dominga Saavedra) writes for a Latino Web site that really goes after Latinos in the public eye–actors, writers, etc.
Sandy has two blogs, a personal one called My Modern TragiComedy, and the one she writes for the popular Latino Now! Somewhat an idealist, and a lot naïve, she spews out some very hurtful stuff about her recently ex boyfriend–and her divorced parents, especially her mom. However, she says enough identifiable information that people start to know it is her, and then recognize her. The comments about her blog entries run from funny, to supportive to mean. When readers connect the two blogs, the back and forth begins.
How thick skinned is she? Can she dish it out to the Latinos in the public eye, but not be able to take it herself? When she is the focus of a blog post from a rival site, she has to decide whether she is going into hiding, or face this.
The Latino Now! bloggers make extra money based on the number of hits to their postings, and Sandy needs to keep coming up with ideas. When she and her mother went to clean out the home of a recently deceased aunt, they meet the neighbor, Tio Jaime. He has been keeping on eye on Aunt Linda’s home while she has been ill, and everything is already packed up for them to take.
Sandy is intrigued by Tio and his wisdom, and soon he allows her to record him talking. When the video is posted, it becomes a hit, and people ask him questions. Sandy does more interviews–but she has not gotten Tio to sign the release to use them or his likeness–anywhere, anyhow. He becomes a mythical Chupacabra, revered in legends, and the viewers can’t get enough of his sage advice.
Lots of backstabbing, 21st Century style, via screen name hits. Is this demeaning others what it takes to make this Internet site a sensation? Can Sandy do this every day? When she is the victim of a cyber attack, her wise mother said (paraphrasing), “what made you think they wouldn’t figure out it was you?” and, “if you wouldn’t say it to his face, why would you say it online for all the world to read?”
Is there a message here?
Armchair Interviews says: Throw in a little romance, Tio’s suspicious lawyer nephew, Sandy’s conscience, her reconciliation with her mother–and you have a book filled with rich descriptions of action, emotions and people–all combined with her storytelling to give a really good page-turner read.