6/30/2013

Blog Tour Guest Post: The Secret Side of Empty by Maria E. Andreu

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!**

The Secret Side of Empty
by Maria E. Andreu
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Expected Publication: 2014
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.


Like Sab, I am a couch potato and a dog lover, I’ve been known to fall in love with a character or two in a book. I don’t eat books, but I do write them (and, yes, love them).  My debut novel, The Secret Side of Empty, is coming out next spring, and, being something of a planner, I am getting the jump on talking about it.
The Secret Side of Empty is the story of a teenage girl with a big secret:  she was brought to the U.S. as a kid and her parents overstayed their visitors’ visas.  So she is what the news calls “illegal.”  Without a social security number, there will be no college, no job, no driver’s license… nothing that her friends in suburban New Jersey see as their future.  For her, it looks like a blank screen with no options.

The story is close to my heart because, like M.T., Secret Side’s main character, I too was undocumented as a teenager.  It was a secret I kept hidden for a long time, even years after I became a citizen thanks to an amnesty.  The U.S. has always been my home, but I have also been keenly aware of how some people feel about immigrants.  The difference now is that I believe there are certain stories that should be told, and this story about exclusion and dwindling possibilities was important to share.

Did I make that sound like a bummer? I didn’t mean to. It’s actually a fun coming of age story too. M.T.’s got a great best friend with questionable driving skills, a thriving tutoring business and a boyfriend she meets on a slow-speed chase.  And the story is all about the human spirit, which we all know can’t be kept down.
Read more of my work at http://mariaeandreu.com

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.

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


About the author
Maria Andreu


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.