Tag: Gracianna

*Blog Book Tour*: Gracianna by Trini Amador!

Posted Wednesday, 13 November, 2013 by jorielov , , 5 Comments

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Gracianna by Trini Amador - HFVBT

Gracianna by Trini Amador
Published By: Green Leaf Book Group, 23 July, 2013
Official Author Websites: Amador on Facebook; Amador on Twitter; Gracianna Winery
Available Formats: Hardcover and E-Book
Page Count: 296

Original HFVBT Tour: 15 July – 9 August 2013

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a stop on the second blog book tour for “Gracianna” hosted by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of “Gracianna” in exchange for an honest review by the author Trini Amador. I was thankful to be placed on the tour as I was able to not only able to read the book but interview the author! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Author Biography:

Trini Amador AuthorTrini Amador vividly remembers the day he found a loaded German Luger tucked away in a nightstand while wandering through his great-grandmother’s home in Southern California. He was only four years old at the time, but the memory remained and he knew he had to explore the story behind the gun. This experience sparked a journey towards Gracianna, Amador’s debut novel, inspired by true events and weaving reality with imagination. It’s a tale drawing from real-life family experiences.

Mr. Amador is a traveled global marketing “insighter.” He is a sought-after guru teaching multinational brand marketers to understand how customer and consumer segments behave based on their needs, values, motivations, feeling and values. He has trained over five thousand brand marketers on how to grow brands in over 20 countries in the last 15 years. His counseling has been valued at global brands including General Electric, Microsoft, AT&T, Yahoo!, Sun Microsystems, Google, Jack Daniel’s, The J.M. Smucker Co., DuPont, Mattel, and Rodale, Inc..

Amador is also a founding partner with his wife and children of Gracianna Winery, an award-winning winery located in Healdsburg, California. The winery also pays tribute to the Amador Family’s maternal grandmother, Gracianna Lasaga. Her message of being thankful lives on through them. The Gracianna winery strives to keep Gracianna’s gratitude alive through their wine. Learn more at: www.gracianna.com, like Gracianna Winery on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @GraciannaWinery.

Amador resides in Sonoma County with his family.

Synopsis of Gracianna:

Gracianna by Trini AmadorThe gripping story of Gracianna–a French-Basque girl forced to make impossible decisions after being recruited into the French Resistance in Nazi-occupied Paris.

Gracianna is inspired by true events in the life of Trini Amador’s great-grandmother, Gracianna Lasaga. As an adult, Amador was haunted by the vivid memory of finding a loaded German Luger tucked away in a nightstand while wandering his great-grandmother’s home in Southern California. He was only four years old at the time, but the memory remained and he knew he had to explore the story behind the gun.

Decades later, Amador would delve into the remarkable odyssey of his Gracianna’s past, a road that led him to an incredible surprise. In Gracianna, Amador weaves fact and fiction to tell his great-grandmother’s story.

Gracianna bravely sets off to Paris in the early 1940s–on her way to America, she hopes–but is soon swept into the escalation of the war and the Nazi occupation of Paris. After chilling life-and-death struggles, she discovers that her missing sister has surfaced as a laborer in Auschwitz. When she finds an opportunity to fight back against the Nazis to try to free her sister, she takes it–even if it means using lethal force.

As Amador tells the imagined story of how his great-grandmother risked it all, he delivers richly drawn characters and a heart-wrenching page-turner that readers won’t soon forget.

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As the Story Opens:

Amador reflects on his childhood discovery which launched him on a lifelong journey towards unraveling the truth behind his great-grandmother Gracianna. This innocent look into a young boy’ s childhood find of a German gun gives a pointed insight into Gracianna herself who even in this memory had a formidable presence. Upon recollecting her early years, he made a choice to focus not only on her hard work ethic but to give a light on her ability to realise how important knowledge and learning is to a person’s life; through her passion for reading. She was proud of her language (the Basque) due to its uniqueness as compared to the surrounding languages of the Spanish, French, and Portuguese. I noted this as a nodding towards her self-reflection of her self-identity and how interesting it is that she wanted to hold onto a language that might have been passed over for a more commonly spoken one by another.

The pacing of Amador’s narrative reads and asserts itself as a biographical fiction piece which is an ingenious way of writing a non-fiction story (i.e. biography or memoir) with the inclusions of painting in the in-between moments of a person’s lived life with a familiar resonance to where a reader can walk alongside rather than trudge through a straight-up recollection of dates. He walks between his own tellings of her life and borrowing from metaphoric and mythological stories of ancient truths. He chooses to paint his great-grandmother’s life in point-of-face and point-of-fact accuracy of bone-chilling realism that is at times gutting and emotionally convicting. The imagery is not always easy to drink in but neither is the life she lived an easy path to endure.

Her formidable training taking her from girlhood to womanhood (after her mother’s death) was due to the stability and presence of the imposing Anastasia. One begs to wonder if through this relationship, Gracianna formulated her own persona and identity as a reflection of Anastasia. Anastasia was Ann’s mother, making her Gracianna’s maternal grandmother. Proving that she comes from a lineage of strong women who endure as a living testament and legacy to those of whom they lose in death.

My Review of Gracianna:

The story of Gracianna’s life is pivoted against a brief re-telling of her ancestral roots and beginnings of her enriched life as a descendant of the Basque from the Pyrenees. (on the border of France and Spain) As Amador disclosed his great-grandmother’s ability to walk and read in harmony, I was drawn to think back on my own life where I would do the same during my school years as my head was always cast inside of a book whilst walking to and from class. She shifted from childhood into adulthood during harrowing personal tragedies which became an epoch of trauma and loss for her family. At the moment she lost her mother, she had to be reminded about who she was and how strong she was as despite her fortitude she lost her footing at the death of her mother. A fracture of her spirit was repaired by the family members who stood beside her and reminded her of who she was and of where she came. This rooted her ability to carry-on and proceed forward at a time when she didn’t feel motivated to do so.

My mind had trouble staying in tow with the story of Gracianna due to the overwhelming disconnects that ensue as you watch her life unfold. One moment she’s endearing to the point of humbling a graceful measure of humanity in every action she takes and on the next page, it’s as though this Gracianna your heart is rooting for is replaced by a stranger you have not yet met. I reflected that this could be due to the author’s stop-and-go writing process as he wrote Gracianna’s story whilst traveling for his work’s intense schedule. It’s almost as though he resumed the story without realising he had started a piece of it in a different vein of thought. I can sympathise with his situation but as a reader, it’s a bit difficult to work through as your second-guessing who Gracianna really is. His thoughts were being pulled in too many different directions for the story to fuse together properly. As the story proceeds, I began to wonder if Gracianna’s greater legacy would have been better off told through a collection of antidotes and short missives of life lessons rather than through a novel where her essence becomes entangled and muddled.

On wine and story-telling:

Originally I had wanted to select a hearty choice of red wine as my preferences are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, however I surprised myself by settling on Sangria! Sweet. Robust. Flowery. My choice of wine I felt would match well with a story of Gracianna as she originally came from a region of where there was a fusion of wine, story-telling, and living life with passion infused into everyday living. I occasionally admit that rather than pairing a book with a cuppa tea or a steamingly smooth coffee latte, I opt instead for a smooth glass of wine! Whether the atmospheric murmurings of the story about to be read is the inspiration or the pure indulgence of being an adult who can relax into a story with a subtle nod to the novel at large, makes reading a blissful adventure for me! Being that the author owns a vineyard it only felt fitting that I make a selection to pour a bit of decadence into a rose-hued glass goblet and have it accompany me on my journey into his début!

Fly in the Ointment:

Despite the flawless words of the author in recounting Gracianna’s young life, he failed to include the formidable years between eight and seventeen. It’s a shame we were not privy to more details of her young life. This exclusion jutted me out of the context of the story momentarily as it felt as though the story shifted forward without a proper segue to account for the loss of years. Perhaps this was due to a lack of information of the years in question, in which I can fully accept and understand. However, there wasn’t a footnote to guide the reader. There is a passage on page 12 which takes a detour from the Gracianna who is first introduced to us in the opening pages (as much as being included in his interview), where she is now painted as a humbled, caring, and empathic woman. I found this a bit out of step with her character as she was previously introduced as a hardened, slightly embittered, over-bearing grandmother. The juxtaposition feels a bit unrealistic to me either due to two reflections of the same woman or of a grandson unsure of which personality his grandmother was the truer one of the two. The disconnect truly stems from his interview answer in which he describes her as quick-tempered, stubborn, and controlling. If this was a woman whose personality shifted due to her life experiences I would have preferred this to be explained in the text as her life is described for the reader to drink in and accept.

My honest feeling in this last regard is that the story was rushed to print too quickly and needed a bit more time to become polished and absorbed into being. Amador has brilliant moments of flucidity in which he writes with heart and soul. Unfortunately, his pen undermined his passion to bring her story forward in the light I believe he was attempting to place her.

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Inspired to Share: I truly had expected this story to wrap around my heart and not let me go. As you watch this book trailer, the story in the heart of the premise unfolds before you as Amador narrates his grandmother’s story. However, I was unfortunately unable to fully conceive his vision of the story as I couldn’t connect with the context as it was presented in Gracianna.

“Gracianna” by Trini Amador Official Book Trailer

by Greenleaf Book Group on Gracianna Winery Channel

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The “Gracianna” Virtual Book Tour Road Map:

Gracianna by Trini Amador - HFVBT

Be sure to catch the first half of this showcase on JLAS:
Jorie interviews Trini Amador!

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Be sure to scope out upcoming tours I will be hosting with:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTon my Bookish Events Featured on JLAS!

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Gracianna” as well as Trini Amador’s photograph and biography, the blog tour badge, and the logo banner for HFVBT were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. The book trailer by Greenleaf Book Group had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Blog tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

Related Articles:

Virtual Tour: Gracianna – (closedthecover.com)

Gracianna – (doingdeweydecimal.wordpress.com)

Review: Gracianna by Trini Amador – (diaryofaneccentric.wordpress.com)

Gracianna by Trini Amador is the Story of a Women’s Strength During Nazi-Occupied France – (hookofabook.wordpress.com)

Book Review: Gracianna by Trini Amador – (westmetromommy.blogspot.com)

Book Review: Gracianna by Trini Amador – (confessionsavidreader.blogspot.com)

Gracianna by Trini Amador – (flashlightcommentary.blogspot.com)

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Posted Wednesday, 13 November, 2013 by jorielov in 20th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, California, Debut Novel, Fly in the Ointment, France, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Multi-Generational Saga, Sonoma County, The World Wars, Vintages and Vineyards