Tag Archives: spain

#WriteWed The Ironbound Section & At the Shore

One of the things that I wanted to show with the At the Shore contemporary romance series is the diversity of New Jersey, both ethnically and economically. While Maggie and Owen from ONE SUMMER NIGHT are both well-off, Connie and Emma, the heroines of #2 and #3 in the series respectively, have both had to work hard to achieve what they have.

As for ethnically, Connie represents the large Cuban population of Union City. Emma is a suburban girl from Edison. The hero in #3 is Carlo Texeira from the Ironbound section of Newark.

I’m getting ready to write a scene in #2 where you find out a little bit more about Carlo and his family, who play a substantial role in #3. In that scene, you get to see a big Portuguese-style family dinner at their Ironbound home.

The Ironbound is a unique section of the city of Newark. It’s located not all that far from Newark Penn Station and between the airport and the Passaic River. It is a largely Portuguese neighborhood with the first immigrants from Portugal arriving in the early 1900s along with Spaniards from Galicia (my family’s part of Spain). In fact, many Portuguese food dishes are very similar to those from Galicia.

The main avenue in the Ironbound is Ferry Street which abounds with a number of mom and pop Portuguese shops along with a number of other Latin restaurants. In #3, the hero’s family has owned a successful bakery there since the 1930s. Carlo’s older brothers now run the business and Carlo has struck out on his own to make a life down the shore. He’s Emma’s Go-to-Guy in more than one way, although she refuses to admit that.

Ferry Street, as you might guess, was named after a ferry that ran between Newark and other locations to the east. Check out the video below that shows you Ferry Street. If part of it looks familiar, it’s because it made an appearance in the beginning of the 2005 remake of War of the Worlds (2:30 to 2:45 in the video). If you can’t see the video below, use this link: https://youtu.be/PGP_94G3Vms

#ThrowbackThursday My Galician Mom

I’ve mentioned in the past that although my parents and my generation were born in Cuba, all my grandparents were from the North of Spain in the province of Galicia. Galicia is one of the Celtic nations and it has its own traditions and costumes, much like the other provinces of Spain have their unique identities.

This is a photo of my mom taken during a very early visit back to Spain. She is dressed in the traditional costume of Galicia and in fact, I have a doll that was given to me by my grandparents that has this same outfit. The doll was made just for me, so it had my lighter hair color and green eyes. I will have to take a picture of it for you some day!

#ThrowbackThursday My Celtic Grandparents

It seems like an apropos throwback to share a photo of my Celtic grandparents! Although my parents and my sibs and I were born in Cuba, all my grandparents were from Galicia in Spain. Galicia is one of the Celtic nations.

My dad’s side was Roman, though. His family was from Puentedeume, a coastal village originally settled by the Romans. That side of the family can apparently trace its ancestors to those Roman conquerors.

My mom’s side of the family is Celtic, however, and from a small town near Orense in Spain. I have lots of green-eyed and red-haired cousins on that side of the family. I guess that’s where my mom and I got our green eyes!

This is a picture of my mom and my grandparents. The picture was taken in Cuba either right before or after a trip back to Galicia to visit family.

#ThrowbackThursday My Grandma

There are people who are so influential in your life that you miss them every day. My mom was such a person, but so was her mom, my grandmother Nieves. I’m actually named after her since my real first name is Caridad de las Nieves, but when I was naturalized I had to change that to Caridad and Nieves became my middle name.

My mom was a working mom so my grandma was the one who was home for us, made dinner, chased after us to clean up and all-in-all, provided us with stability and wonderful stories of growing up in Spain and her life in Cuba. She was a strong woman in more ways than one. She survived going from Spain to Cuba and then to the U.S. She survived the loss of a son at an early age (she never talked about this) and the premature loss of my mom. She was stubborn and had a temper, but luckily my grandfather was a saint. But she always loved us and took care of us and we knew we could count on her to be there for us.

She got to see grandchildren and great-grandchildren and even in her nineties, she was still amazing. This is a picture of me and my grandmother. It was taken in Cuba when I was just a little one.

#ThrowbackThursday My Mom – Best friend and Mentor

My mom was my best friend and mentor and I know my daughter feels the same way about me. My daughter is my best friend and I am blessed to have her in my life.

This is another picture of my mom as a toddler. She’s wearing the traditional Galician dress and I’ve even got a little doll at home with this outfit. I’ll have to snap a picture of that for you to see it. The dolls were sent from our family in Spain for my sister and me. My doll has green eyes like me and my sister’s doll has blue eyes, like her.

Anyway, my mom. She was so cute as a kid and my sister looked just like her then and now as an adult.

#ThrowbackThursday My Mom & Old Time Grace

Whenever I see this picture, I think of how more formal people used to be and how the photos they took were filled with what I call “old time grace.” Of course, you didn’t just snap off a selfie back then. I’m sure having a photograph taken was expensive and quite an event, so you wanted to look your best.

This is a photo taken of my mom in Spain, I think. My grandparents had gone back to visit family before they returned to Cuba. My grandparents had plans to return to Spain to live, but the Spanish Civil War broke out and my grandparents just never got back there.

Many many years later, we would all have to flee Cuba and come to the U.S. and my grandfather would never see his native land again. My family finally visited Spain in 1973 to see where my grandparents had come from in Galicia and to find the family that had gotten lost over the years.

Anyway, my beautiful and adorable mother! Isn’t she lovely?
Carmen Pineiro Gonzalez


I always tell people that I’m so impatient, I couldn’t even wait for the thimble of patience that was being handed out. So, even though I’ve got a big cover reveal planned for July 16th, I could not wait to share an excerpt with you from FAITH IN YOU, the sequel to NOW AND ALWAYS.

I knew even as I was writing NOW AND ALWAYS that Connie’s little sister Carmen had to find someone special to love. I also knew that Connie’s antagonist, FBI Agent Paul Stone, had a lot more going on that made him hero material in a future book. So that’s how FAITH IN YOU was born.

Why July 16th for the cover reveal? Well, Carmen is named after my sister and mom and July 16th is the saint’s day for the Virgin of Carmen, also known as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. In Spain and other Latin countries, there are many festivals to celebrate the patron saint of sailors and other mariners.

It seemed fitting to have the reveal on that saint’s day!

So without further ado, here is a free read from FAITH IN YOU, the story of Carmen and FBI Agent Paul Stone.

FAITH IN YOU Contemporary Romance by Caridad Pineiro