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Eva Santiago

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Salsa! the Taste of Life
by Eva Santiago   

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Books by Eva Santiago
· As Clear as Claire Gets, A Conversation with the Past
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Publisher:  Tate Publishing


Copyright:  2012 ISBN-13:  9781621470090

A collection of short stories and poems from around the world. Salsa! is a fun,easy read that is multi-cultural,appealing to all ages.

Part book, part three-course meal, and part cultural
adventure, ¡Salsa! The Taste of Life is a collection of poems,
short stories, and prose that will delight your senses. Salsa is
not only a food; it is also a dance and a way of experiencing
life that will leave you asking, “Where is this party?”
No matter your reading appetite, you will be delighted with
what you see being served on the menu. You will find a
sailor, a princess, a mischievous cat, romantic islands, broken
hearts, young boys and burros, new mothers, mothers with
horrible choices to make, and fathers and daughters who
find redemption after long, long periods of being lost.
It encourages readers to go for the gusto, break with
traditions, and just let their hair down and live a little—or
abundantly—and it will leave you wanting another helping
or just one more last dance

Professional Reviews

Salsa! The Taste of Life! REVIEW
Book review: Salsa! The Taste of Life

by Michelle Cutler

February 27, 2013
Local author Eva Santiago’s stories are inspired by world travel and multi-cultural background.

“There are times when a person is called to starve those things that need to die and to feed those things that need to grow,” she writes in Salsa! The Taste of Life. Her second book, a collection of poetry and fictitious short stories set in locations from Bogota to Bavaria,represents the experiences that flavor Santiago’s life.

Salsa! will have a special appeal for young adults and people who are familiar with Colombian literature. Many of the short stories and narrative poetry pieces, including ‘A Burro Named Churro’, incorporate traditional Colombian humor which may go undetected by non-Colombians.Yet, the stories are simple and written to entertain a universal audience. Parents of young teenagers in any culture will identify with her first story, ‘Capers or Sandals?’

The book is also seasoned with lyrical poetry. ‘Smooth’, one of the shortest poems, sharply depicts a deceived lover and packs a powerful punch as Salsa!’s habanero pepper. ‘Mi Familia‘ was written as a tribute to Santiago’s siblings, who were separated in youth after her parents died. It is a tender, personal piece that Santiago said represents heaven.

While it’s an easy and overall light read, Salsa!boldly critiques a number of social issues including religion, abortion, and racism. ‘The Race Card‘ is a candid commentary that stems from Santiago’s experience of taking on her mixed-race heritage. Recalling a time when her own family members rejected her because of her mixed race, she wrote:

… that’s when I packed up my bags;

I threw out the board game,

And burned all of their cards.

I learned to travel light,

And I love all people, and treat ‘em the same.

I learned to pray, and that’s how I fight.

Parenthood is a prevailing theme throughout the book. Several stories depict imperfect men who try to be good fathers. Santiago also makes an interesting statement, portraying both nurturing and selfish mothers and prompts female readers to evaluate where they personally rest on the spectrum.

Many of the stories are warm and reminiscent of a mother telling a bedtime story. Santiago’s writings are much like the anecdotal conversations mothers often use to share their memories, wisdom,convictions, and warnings with their children. If you are nostalgic for those mother-child moments, or never experienced them and would like to give them a try, you might consider keeping this book handy and reading it periodically. Indeed, it could be like keeping a mom in your pocket.

Perhaps Salsa!’s most surprising ingredients are a few pieces written by Santiago’s daughter, Esther Starr. Readers will be surprised to learn that Starr was only 13 when she wrote ‘Nightmare in Jerusalem‘ and ‘Don’t Go’, as her writing reveals talent and insight beyond her years.

Eva Santiago and Salsa! The Taste of Life will be featured at a book signing event at Book Boutique, 19 W. Pacific Ave.on Saturday, Feb. 23 from noon to 2 p.m.For more information visit

Salsa! the Taste ofLife
Your website is very well done…so colorful and so informational. The Salsa book cover is very beautiful with the watercolor splash design.

So when is the movie version of Alhambra coming out? I was captivated by your storytelling skills…and I want more! One of my favorite lines from the poem is “Alejandro’s heart was no longer a flame; two years away, it had become a great bonfire.” To be that much in love is now my new fantasy….to experience a bonfire of love and passion.

Nature is a Dance, seems like a prelude to a meditation session. I want to experience all life has to offer…especially all the fun with lots of dancing.

I have plans to distribute a poem a day in our Heritage Park Senior Facility …so far I have be able to share local poets Judy Dettre and Andres Fragoso, Jr. with our senior population. Tomorrow our seniors will get to experience Alhambra! Thank you so much for sharing yourself with us.

I plan to include the following information that I obtained from your website on the pages of the handouts tomorrow:

Local author Eva Santiago’s stories are inspired by world travel and multi-cultural background.

“There are times when a person is called to starve those things that need to die and to feed those things that need to grow,” she writes inSalsa! The Taste of Life. Her second book, a collection of poetry and fictitious short stories set in locations from Bogota to Bavaria represents the experiences that flavor Santiago’s life.

I am so looking forward to meeting you. If you would like to meet up and get a tour of our facility before the Open House on April 26, please feel free to call me and we will schedule something that will work for both of us….

Sue Bobby

Salsa! The Taste of Life
“‘Salsa’ is an incredible journey of the heart and soul of a life lived.
The layers of ‘Salsa’ are put together precisely as a recipe should
be, using the ingredients of laughter, tears, and heartfelt observations
as told through short stories and poetry. Read the recipe
and relate to it, learn from it, or let it remind you of home. No
matter your walk of life, your heart will be full and you may even
learn more about yourself in the process. Just as a salsa is a mix
of distinctive ingredients that when brought together create the
perfect flavor, so too does this compilation of life’s moments that
formed a person into a perfect soul.”
—Tammy Defoe
San Antonio Relationship Examiner

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