Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Waking Up in the Land of Glitter by Kathy Cano-Murillo

Publisher Synopsis:

With glue guns, glitter, twigs, or yarn, the ordinary can become extraordinary . . . especially at La Pachanga. Owned by Estrella "Star" Esteban's family, the restaurant has a rep for two things: good food and great art. La Pachanga brings people together-even when it looks like they couldn't be further apart.

One ill-fated evening, Star jeopardizes her family's business, her relationship with her boyfriend, and her future career. To redeem herself, she agrees to participate in a national craft competition, teaming up with her best friend, Ofelia-a secretly troubled mother whose love for crafting borders on obsession-and local celebrity Chloe Chavez-a determined television personality with more than one skeleton in her professional closet. If these unlikely allies can set aside their differences, they'll find strength they never knew they had, and learn that friendship, like crafting, is truly an art form.

My Thoughts:

When I found out one of my favorite crafting personalities, the Crafty Chica was coming out with a novel AND crafty goodness would somehow be involved, it immediately got moved to the top of my must read list. Since meeting Kathy Cano-Murillo, would likly result in me turning into an overly enthusiastic craft groupie and embarrassing myself, this is a much better way for me to rave about her.. Although, I do dream of going to CHA, the real life version of the Craft Olympics in the book, which I assume she goes to.

I love Cano-Murillo's bright and colorful pop art and collages that to me convey her enthusiasm for life. Her book is exactly what I'd expect from her. It's like sitting down with bowls of menudo, which by the way my Santa Fean friends attempted to get to try, and having a chat with her. Like she's just telling you about some crazy chicas she knows.

I was thrilled with Waking Up In The Land Of Glitter, from the first moment I first saw it's glittery cover. I can't help it! Glitter makes me giddy and after working for seven years at a major bookstore, I'm a bit of a snob about that kind of thing. A good cover can make you want to pick it up; just like a bad one lets you keep on a walkin' by. It just sets the right tone.

From the first page to the last it's a fun and delightful read that delves into the complexities of relationships and friendships, as well as finding yourself. I was instantly drawn to it because it's setting reminded me a great deal of our two years living in the Southwest, from the Spanglish terms sprinkled through out to the artsy atmosphere Cano-Murillo creates.

But regardless of the setting, Waking Up In The Land Of Glitter tackles universal situations that we can all relate to. She deals with her troop of crafters with kindness and compassion as their lives and relationships deal with the upheavals and downward turns, before they realize the strength they gain from one another. Their story, told from multiple points of view, unfolds at a good pace. Revealing just the right amount at a time and interweaving the women's lives, and one teenage boy's - can't forget Theo, deftly. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and at the end you'll have read a really good satisfying read.

One more thing, you don't have to be a crafter to enjoy this book. The themes are universal, but if you happen to have some crafty friends, who's obsession you just don't get. This book might just give you a little glimpse into our lives. Can't wait to read her next novel! While we wait for it, I suggest all my crafty friends check out her website, Crafty Chica. There's tons of inspiration to be had! I'm there a lot to read her blog.
About the Author:

Kathy Cano-Murillo is a lifelong writer and artist. Her crafts have been carried by hundreds of retailers including Bloomingdales, Target, and Hallmark. She is a former entertainment reporter for The Arizona Republic, and has authored seven books including Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing. She is the founder of, a wildly popular web site to inspire women to brighten their lives with clever craft ideas. She has a web series on, and can be seen on HGTV and DIY Network.


Disclaimer: Thank you to the Hachette Book Group for providing the reviewers copy of this title. This review relates my personal unbiased opinions and yours may differ.

4 Friends Said:

CamilleKimball said...

Just want to say, brava, Kathy!

Kathy does have an enthusiasm for life that makes you feel bubbly yourself. Anyone who has ever met her falls in love with her.

I'm delighted to see this wonderful review of her book, which is, as you say, full of compassion, humor and GLITTER!

A Sudden Shot: The Phoenix Serial Shooter

Mommyof2girlz/StephD said...

Great review! Thanks for the link to her blog, heading over now :)

Unknown said...

I just started this book. Thanks for the great preview.

Vickie said...

So cool! A book about crafters. Another book to put on my list. Now I just have to get back to reading;)

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