Reviews of El Hermano
my debut novel
Rudolfo Anaya, author of Bless Me, Ultima—“El Hermano is an excellent addition to New Mexico literature. Congratulations!”
Barbara Villaseñor, Owner/Publisher at Charles Publishing, Oceanside, CA— “Carmen, I really think your father would be proud of your account of his life and times. You have written about your people with compassion and dignity, and I, for one, learned a lot. You have succeeded in portraying a people who live by the noblest of standards and the deepest of allegiances, to each other and to God.”
Dr. Belinda Laumbach, Retired Professor of Education—“Your writing flows and your style kept me wanting to read on in order to find out what happened next. Your development of each character is well done. As I read, I could see each person and scene clearly.”
Jimmy Santiago Baca, author of A Place to Stand—“It’s always great to read a book about New Mexico and its cultural/spiritual history. When the book happens to be well written, deep with mystery and magic and suspense, with great characters and scenes, well, it makes the reading pure enjoyment and high excitement. This book is a cultural treasure! Highly recommended.”
John Benigno, photographer, 5 stars
Carmen Baca charms her readers with the fictional story of 15-year-old Jose, a story loosely based on her father's passion and desire to be accepted into the village morada as a Hermano. Jose and his "gang" of cousins and friends struggle with the transition from mischievous boys to responsible young men.
Jose's story takes place during the late 1920s through the early 1930s -- a far more innocent time than those we live in today. It is a time when the community church and morada were the center of village life. Baca's prose captures the intensity and importance of tradition, religion and ritual for all who live in this remote Mora Valley community -- a community where love, respect and caring for one another motivate the residents.
Steven Carr, author, 5 stars
...El Hermano is like listening to a beautiful and magical song. The words, sentences, paragraphs and pages are written masterfully, with an artistry all their own by an author who clearly loved the story she told. It was enjoyable beyond belief and once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down...
Bert Prouty, reader, 5 stars
...This book captures your heart, reminds us of our own innocent youth and portrays love for faith and family. I was so entrenched in the book that I began to think I lived in the same little valley. It reminded me to "remember the sacrifices of my own forefathers and mothers." A MUST READ! Especially if you like the mystery of New Mexico! This is different from anything you have ever read.
reviews of Las Mujeres Misteriosas
a ghost story mystery
photo of a loyal reader, Rita Sanchez, and me (on the left)
Scott Duncan, asst. editor, Somos en Escrito Magazine
October 31, 2018
I loved the book...I found the ending surprising in a good way...I liked the two stories' lines--a woman's life with great verisimilitude and the female spirits, which seem in some ways to embody how Rosita copes with her power and personhood--Llorona, both a giver of gifts and a destructor in response perhaps to toxic patriarchy. Lunatica, perhaps the bond of family and interdependence of women...Santa Sebastiana seemed to embody mercy...I really enjoyed the portrayal of Rosita's life (the danger, the gossip, family life, all seemed very real and not shied away from).
To read more from Scott Duncan, asst. editor of Somos en Escrito Magazine, click on the "Get in Touch: button.
Phaedra Greenwood, editorial reviewer, Enchantment Magazine
January, 2019 issue
La Muerte (death) battles with la Llorona to save the life of young and beautiful Rosita...[who] is bewitched by [the Weeping Woman]. [The evil] Llorona perfects her dark spell of madness and death...a compelling journey into the Hispano culture of New Mexico in the 1950s.
To read more from Phaedra Greenwood, editorial reviewer, Enchantment Magazine, click on the "Get in Touch" button.
Aaron Sena-Stevens, Enchanted Air Radio, editorial review
I enjoyed this book from cover to cover! ...I absolutely love the story and how the author intertwines our Northern New Mexican lore, Spanglish, and overall cultural authenticity...
I have to say that is the word that describes Mrs. Baca's work-authentic. This story is so unique, and unravels into quite an adventure that keeps you wanting to read "one more page", it is intriguing! hose years of my parents and grandparents.
I highly recommend reading this book as it is a treasure for both New Mexican culture and Southwestern influence.
To read the entire review by Aaron Sena-Stevens of Enchanted Air Radio in Raton, NM, lick on the "Get in Touch" button.
Reviews of Cuentos del cañón
They don't call New Mexico "the Land of Enchantment" por nada. Welcome to a world where the mysticism of la Médica enables her to heal the sick in mind and body, where the magic of la Muerte brings her to life, where el Diablo feeds his insatiable fascination with classical poets through sueños, and where la gente del Cañón live under the majesty of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range watched by Hermit's Peak towering over all.
Scott Duncan-Fernanzez, asst editor, Somos en Escrito Magazine
These are answers you may find in Cuentos de Cañón. There isn't another voice like Carmen Baca's. Mexican American and Latinx Literature has many fine writers, but none have done quite what she does. She records the tales and beliefs of a specific region and has created places seeming magical or fictive akin to those by Garcia-Marquez or Faulkner, yet are real places on a map, here in Cuentos, the town of 1950s Las Vegas, New Mexico.
May 4, 2019
John Franklin Green, author, 5 stars
...expertly written, it expands on some of the characters in the first book and gives even deeper insight into a culture almost gone in New Mexico...
February 18, 2019
Jeanette Yara, retired educator, 5 stars
I just t finished reading Cuentos del Cañón last night. It is my favorite so far in the series by Carmen Baca...I was amused by Bueno Pues, Adios...It is a fitting story for the end of the book, and is so true of our heritage. Thank you, Ms. Baca for your decision to write these tales down for us to enjoy!