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Promo: The Secret Side of Empty - Maria Andreu (With Guest Post)

DISCLOSURE: Freda's Voice received no compensation.


COMING NEXT SPRING… The Secret Side of Empty
**Read about the book and scroll below for details on how to enter to WIN a $250 Amazon gift card just by liking the author’s Facebook page!**
BOOK BLURB for “Secret Side of Empty”
You've heard the news stories.  Now hear the real story.
M.T. is starting her senior year with a lot going for her.  She gets great grades, has a best friend she met in kindergarten and a boyfriend who is sweet and into her.  But life – at least as she knows it – is about to end.
M.T. is what the news calls “illegal” – she came to the U.S. with her parents as a baby and never got the right papers that allowed her to stay.  She lives in fear of her family getting deported, in even more fear that she’ll have to go to the home country she doesn’t even remember, of people finding out her ugly secret and of the increasingly volatile situation at home.  When senior year is over, the protected world she’s found in her small parochial school will disappear.  Without a social security number, she won’t be able to go to college, get a job or, maybe worst of all, get a driver’s license.

But she’ll worry about all that later.  First, she’s got a senior year to take on.


A Note from the Author, Maria Andreu:
The fulfillment of great dreams feels best when shared, which is why I'm inviting people to Like my Facebook page and come along with me on the fabulous and improbable journey of publishing my first novel.  As my thanks, when you like the page by July 31st, you'll be able to enter to win a fan-only sweeps for a $250 Amazon gift card!  
Be the first to get updates on the cover, new tour stops, and fan-only content (plus
enter a sweeps for a $250 Amazon gift card) by liking the author's Facebook page here:  https://www.facebook.com/maria.andreu.books

The book is already getting industry buzz and news coverage, so Like the FB page to get updates on that as well.



AUTHOR BIO


Maria Andreu is an author and immigration rights activist.  She lives in beautiful Bergen County, New Jersey with her two wonderful middle schoolers.  At the age of 12, she wrote in her diary, "Most of all, I want to be a writer."  Growing up undocumented and poor, she never imagined that dream might come true one day.  Her work has been published in Newsweek, The Washington Post and The Star Ledger and her first novel, The Secret Side of Empty, will be published by Running Press in Spring, 2014.




The story that didn’t want to be told
When I was twelve, I wrote in my diary, “Most of all, I want to be a writer.”  My first book wouldn’t be published for 30 years after that.
Growing up poor and an “illegal” (or, more accurately, an undocumented) immigrant in the U.S., I grew up knowing my choices were limited.  Without a social security number, I couldn’t get a job or a college education.  When, finally, an amnesty helped me get my U.S. citizenship, all I wanted to do was forget and try to build the life I had grown up believing was impossible.
In many ways I did.  I bought a house, had kids, became a soccer mom.  I wrote when I could, pitiful short stories that literary journals took 8 months to reject.  I wrote essays on education for a local magazine and kept a journal.  I read books about writing and went to writing groups.  But a writing career seemed hopelessly out of reach.
Then, one day, as I was driving on the Palisades Parkway, which is a gorgeous, tree-lined road not far from my house in New Jersey, I heard something on the radio that changed everything.  One of those hateful radio talk radio guys was ranting about immigrants and how they’re destroying America.  For the first time, I understood.  I had an important story to tell, but I had always been too afraid to tell it.  It was uniquely mine: what is it like to grow up in the shadows, with a secret too big to tell anyone, even your best friend?
So I began to write.  At first, I wanted to get it down perfectly, so I wrote it almost like a history.  But finally I realized that to make it a story everyone would want to read, I needed to let it “breathe,” so to speak, so I turned it into a novel.  I was sure that this, too, would be rejected, but I set my sights high and pitched the agency that represented the most popular YA books at the time (Twilight and Sarah Dessen).  And they took me on as a client!  My first novel, The Secret Side of Empty, will be released by Running Press in Spring, 2014.
The journey to getting my first book published was amazing and taught me many lessons about perseverance and believing in yourself even when it seems a completely illogical thing to do.  But most of all it taught me the power of being honest about who you are.  For decades I believed that my background was the most shameful thing about me.  But it’s led to one of the happiest accomplishments of my life.
Read more of my work at http://mariaeandreu.com
Like my Facebook page to enter to win a $250 gift card!  https://www.facebook.com/maria.andreu.books

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