Venice, Italy

In The Unique Women of the Venetian Republic, international award-winning author Connie Spenuzza vibrantly chronicles women’s contributions to Venice from the 1400s to the end of the Republic in 1797. Despite societal norms that prohibited these Venetian women to advance as artists, authors, craftswomen, musicians, publishers, scholars—and even divas and  courtesans  par excellence— they created a serenity and sovereignty in their city, which garnered it the nickname La Serenissima.These dauntless women persevered in a Venice that on the surface looked serene but underneath was struggling to survive economically and politically.

Since Spenuzza’s first sojourn to a decaying Venice 1973, she has returned to La Serenissima biennially (for over fifty years) to study what is at the heart of these trailblazing women. In this book, Spenuzza takes you for a stroll along the narrow calli of Venice, shining a light into the watery depths of a history that has submerged the accomplishments of its own Venetian female stars. Witness the brilliant trajectory of scholarly prodigy Cassandra Fedele in 1499 and her abject poverty by 1547. Vicariously attend the lively discussions held at the Venetian ghetto home of multilingual salonnière Sarra Copia Sulam (1592–1641), only to see her withdraw with fear once the Venetian government imposed even more severe measures on its Jewish population. Listen to the dulcet sounds of Barbara Strozzi (1619–1677), the successful composer, musician, and singer, as she rises to fame while maintaining a complex financial control over her wealth. Admire Julia Lama’s (1681-1747) artistic commitment and success despite facing society’s ridicule for her facial difference.

This invaluable compendium evokes the spirit of the Republic and celebrates the vitality of the many incomparable Venetian women whose talents uplifted La Serenissima. Spenuzza’s lavishly illustrated work offers a new perspective on the glorious Venetian Republic, and, crucially, the indelible women who were instrumental in creating it.

Local Author Connie Spenuzza’s Jubilant Journeys Named Finalist in International Latino Book Awards, Competes Alongside Nobel Peace Prize Nominee José Andrés

Jubilant Journeys available for complimentary e-book download June 3–14, 2019

DANA POINT, Calif., June 6, 2019 — Libros Publishing is pleased to announce that international award-winning, local author Connie Spenuzza’s  most recent book, Jubilant Journeys, has been chosen as one of three finalists in the “Most Inspirational Nonfiction Book — English” category of the International Latino Book Awards, the country’s largest Latino literary awards. Other finalists include celebrity chef José Andrés, most recently honored as a 2019 Nobel Peace Prize nominee and as a James Beard Humanitarian Award winner, with his Puerto Rican humanitarian aid account, We Fed an Island; and Dr. Anita L. Sanchez’s The Four Sacred Gifts. In celebration of the book’s honor, Jubilant Journeys is available for complimentary e-book download from June 3–14, 2019, at all major e-book retailers, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. All proceeds from the sale of Jubilant Journeys are donated to the fight against human trafficking.

Jubilant Journeys is an alluring travel memoir of the Connie and Peter Spenuzza family, spanning over 50 years and 125 countries in a pensive genealogical search fueled by both family history and legend to find ancestral tracings to the famed scribe aboard the historic Pinta exploration ship in 1492. With patience to encounter the natural reveal of small but significant affirmations leading to great discovery, Spenuzza captures the essence of her trademarked term, “wanderlust serendipity™.”

“I am honored to be named a finalist in this year’s International Latino Book Awards,” said Spenuzza. “To be considered ‘most inspirational’ alongside such a highly acclaimed humanitarian as Nobel Prize nominee José Andrés is a great distinction. I am humbled by and deeply appreciative of my opportunities for travel and am particularly grateful for the opportunity to influence others with my serendipitous adventures and discoveries. It is for this very reason that I have offered Jubilant Journeys as a complimentary e-book download for anyone to enjoy.”

The International Book Awards are produced by Latino Literacy Now, a nonprofit organization founded in 1997. Finalists are from across the United States and Puerto Rico as well as from 18 other countries.

“The 2019 Finalists for the 21st Annual International Latino Book Awards are another reflection of the growing quality of books by and about Latinos,” said Kirk Whisler, co-founder of Latino Literacy Now. “The Awards are now by far the largest Latino cultural awards in the United States, with 257 finalists this year in 95 categories. They are a major reflection that the fastest-growing group in the nation has truly arrived.”

The International Latino Book Awards Ceremony will be held on Sept. 21, 2019, at the Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles.