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Exile in Isla Vista

March 9th, 2015 by admin | Posted in Uncategorized

to-die-in-the-usa-detailPublishing by the Seas is proud to announce the release of To Die in the USA by local author, UCSB Professor Emeritus, Víctor Fuentes. The public is invited to attend the book’s launch signing, which will take place at Granada Books on March 12th at 5pm.

This unique story, a fictional memoir in the picaresque style, was inspired by the author’s own experiences as a Spanish exile from the Spanish Civil War (1936 – 1939), and as a professor during turbulent times. The novel spans half a century with an eye-witness flavor of historical events including over two-thirds of the Twentieth Century. Satirical, lyrical, and dark, the book chronicles the painful, the hopeful, and the hopeless alike.

To Die in the USA, the first book by Fuentes translated to English, is part of a trilogy that includes Biografía Americana (2008) and Memorias del Segundo Exilio Español (2011).

Fuentes moved to Santa Barbara in the summer of 1965 for a teaching position at UCSB, after completing his PhD in Romance Language and Literatures at New York University. After teaching at Barnard College – Columbia University, he taught Spanish Literature at UCSB from 1965 to 2003, including theater and film. His work has been published in more than 250 outlets. His many books include an award-winning series on director Luis Buñuel, with the most recent, Buñuel, del Surrealismo al Terrorismo, published in 2013.

Fuentes served as co-editor with esteemed professor Luis Leal of the UCSB publication Ventana Abierta(with 34 issues, 1995-2013), sharing Latino literature, arts and culture in Spanish. He’s a member of the North American Academy of Spanish Language.

Fuentes has two other books launching this year, California Hispano-Mexicana: Una Nueva Narracion Histórico-Cultural published by the North American Academy of Spanish Language, and upcoming César Chávez y la Unión: Una Historia Victoriosa de los de abajo in press by Floricanto.


Moon Mother, Moon Daughter Now Available, 2nd Edition Released July 14th 2011

August 7th, 2011 by admin | Posted in Uncategorized

How would it be different if mothers looked forward to their daughters’ first steps into womanhood with the same anticipation and excitement as they had for her very first steps toward walking? What if there was a whole community of women waiting to receive her into womanhood? What if there was a way for mothers and daughters to walk together?

With the moon as a guide and a symbol, Moon Mother, Moon Daughter introduces a whole new approach to the coming of age years, a time to strengthen the mother-daughter connection with the support of community, and celebrate female gifts and wisdom.

Moon Mother, Moon Daughter is a practical and concrete guide rooted in ancient traditions and timeless wisdom. Each of the 12 chapters uses a goddess myth as its basis. The myth is followed by an exploration of the key coming of age concepts and divine feminine qualities (ie. intuition, creativity, dreaming) found within the myth, activities and suggestions for mothers and daughters, and a list of further reading and resources. Moon Mother, Moon Daughter also offers an ideal format for women’s groups and classes of all ages. It’s never too late to come of age.

Patricia Selbert’s Novel, “The House of Six Doors”, Premiered February 22

February 25th, 2011 by Patricia Selbert | Posted in The House of Six Doors

First Booksigning: Friday, Feb. 25, 6-8p, Santa Barbara

Inspired by the author’s odyssey from Curaçao to Hollywood, this captivating tale opens a door to compassion, gratitude and freedom.
The public and media are invited to a Dutch Caribbean evening to celebrate the launch of The House of Six Doors on Friday, February 25, 6-8pm, at the Faulkner Gallery, SB Library, downtown (40 E. Anapamu St., SB, CA). (Buy the book and enter to win a trip for two to Curacao, and rsvp here for the booksigning).
Santa Barbara author Patricia Selbert’s debut novel, The House of Six Doors, was launched on February 22, 2011! The reviews, book blogs, media attention and help from friends has been fantastic. Deep thanks go to all who’ve contributed.
The first book signing on an international book tour will be held at the Santa Barbara Library, downtown. The book launch and reception will include a reading and presentation by local Santa Barbara author, Patricia Selbert; a slide show of original images by photographer Isaac Hernandez; music and a reception featuring Caribbean hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. Books will be available for sale and signing, and a brand new Kindle ebook reader with The House of Six Doors will be raffled.

About The House of Six Doors

Thirteen-year-old Serena never could have imagined the streets of Los Angeles from the beaches of the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao. With her mother and sister, they leave the rest of the family and fly to Florida to then drive across the US, arriving in the city of angels on a wing and a prayer. With only the hope of a nursing job, the three land on 1970’s Sunset Boulevard, home of seedy opportunities. Their money and luck run out, and their 1963 Ford Galaxie becomes their first American home.

Serena’s grandmother, native Arawak and Black, was accustomed to the discrimination that was a key element in her island’s history. Serena learns to pretend that everything’s fine, afraid to send her mother into another depression. She juggles responsibility for her mother’s well-being with school, a secret boyfriend, and a growing desire for independence, in a foreign land: Hollywood, in the 1970s. The wisdom of her grandmother, a mystic, gives her solace, which she clings to tenaciously despite the thousands of miles between them. Coming of age in a foreign land, faced with enormous obstacles, Serena finds her way and the wisdom that sets her free.

The House of Six Doors can now be ordered as a soft cover for $14.95 at fine retailers everywhere. The eBook ($9.99) and iBook ($9.99) are available in an enhanced version (with exclusive photography, recipes, an author interview and information on the places, culture, and music from the story) on the Amazon Kindle Store and on the Apple iBookstore, as well as other online retailers. The book ships and is available for digital download as of February 22, 2011.

Early Reviews

“An honest tale of love, acceptance, and American dreams.” — El Mundo

“If you feel as though the circumstances of your life are against you and you wonder whether this will ever change, this is a story that will fill you with hope…. If you have ever wanted to believe that the circumstances of your life really do work for your ultimate best interest, read The House of Six Doors.” — David Robert Ord, author Lessons in Loving—A Journey into the Heart

“Intimate, at times lyrical, charged with pain and wonder, laughter and perennial hope, The House of Six Doors is terrific storytelling.” Olga Rojer, Associate Professor, American University, Washington DC

“This novel is a beautiful weave of hard reality and romance, so real that I couldn’t put it down.” – Nancy Marriott, co-author with Dr. Candace Pert, of Everything You Need to Know to Feel Go(o)d

“This evocative, moving, and relevant coming-of-age story follows a young girl swept into the crosscurrents of American culture. Selbert artfully shines a light on the transformation of a family, and the complex integrations all immigrants face.” — Carol Prunhuber, author of Woman: Around the World and Through the Ages

“Patricia Selbert weaves a powerful and poignant tale of wisdom in the tapestry of her writings that provides a source of strength. My applause to the author for her brilliant and beautiful portrayal of a young girl’s coming of age and her struggles with cultural differences.” — Reiki Master Julia Elizabeth Carroll, author of Nu Reiki Oneness

“This story rings true from beginning to end. From the moment we meet Serena with her fierce and erratic mother in the Miami airport, we know a heroine’s journey has begun.” — Janet Lucy, co-author of Moon Mother, Moon Daughter: Myths and Rituals that Celebrate a Girl’s Coming of Age

The House of Six Doors tells the story of Serena’s transformation: from young island girl to woman, from small town to big city life, with a strong helping of self-realization. This is my kind of fiction!” -Janice Cook Knight, author, Follow Your Heart Cookbook: Recipes from the Vegetarian Restaurant

“You will find yourself torn between cheering for the mother and wanting to sit her down for an intervention. You will think about yourself and how you would deal with things if you were in that situation. You will wish to be enveloped by Serena’s grandmother’s arms and hear her wisdom. You’ll take that wisdom to heart for your own life. You will want to take Serena and hide her away from herself but then on the next page feel a sense of pride for her achievements. You will wish to live in Curaçao but then thankful to live in your own town. You’ll find yourself wanting to read more of this book.” – Steena Holmes, author of Chocolate Blessings

About the Author

Patricia Selbert grew up on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao. Educated in three countries and four languages, she immigrated to California at age 13, inspiring The House of Six Doors. She represented the Netherlands Antilles in equestrian events at the World Championships and Pan American Games. She holds a BA in Communications from Antioch University, and currently lives in Santa Barbara, California, with her husband, two sons, three dogs, and a pig. Selbert is an avid supporter of The University of California, Santa Barbara Arts and Lectures program.
To request a media kit, images, an interview with author Patricia Selbert, or a review copy of The House of Six Doors, contact Jeanna Zelin at jeanna(at)publishingbytheseas(dot)com or 480.298.0928.

About Publishing by the Seas

Publishing by the Seas, a boutique literary publishing house based in Santa Barbara, California, gives voice to people who make a difference. Sharing rich multicultural roots, our authors explore themes such as positive solutions, self-discovery, beauty, environmental stewardship, and social contribution. Check out our growing collection of book trailers and author interviews.
The House of Six Doors is a natural fit for us,” says Nancy Black, CEO of Santa Barbara-based Publishing by the Seas. “We focus on authors who inspire, educate and make a difference—and Selbert’s work does just that. This story is about starting over from nothing, as a stranger in a new place, despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles, to find oneself and one’s place in the world. It will especially contribute to teen and young adult girls who may be facing similar challenges… even as those of us who remember the seventies will appreciate this trip back in time.”

BBC World Service interviews author Patricia Selbert

October 13th, 2010 by Patricia Selbert | Posted in The House of Six Doors

On 10-10-10, Patricia Selbert was interviewed by BBC The World Today for a segment on Curaçao’s autonomy. Selbert shared about the island’s history and beauty, and gave some nuggets of island wisdom from the novel The House of Six Doors, scheduled to launch on February 1, 2011.

Curaçao Becomes a Country

October 10th, 2010 by admin | Posted in The House of Six Doors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, October 10, 2010.

Curaçao becomes an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands today, Sunday, 10/10/10. The future of greater independence brings many possibilities, but the rich cultural history of the island remains. Curaçao author, Patricia Selbert, immigrated to the US (California) from the Dutch island of Curaçao when she was 13. Educated in three countries and four languages, her own story inspired her book, The House of Six Doors.

Selbert’s novel communicates Curaçao’s culture to the rest of the world in a very moving story of independence, capturing the flavor, the colors, the traditions and the wisdom of Curaçao. The novel is a coming of age story and a beautiful tribute to Curaçao, autonomous since 10-10-10. In it, author Patricia Selbert tells the tale of a young girl from Curaçao who finds herself in Los Angeles after her mother decides to leave behind all that they know in search of fortune. Serena’s American dream begins at the age of 13, in a 1963 Ford Galaxie that serves as home for herself, her mother, and her sister.

The novel presents a wonderful contrast between colorful Curaçao and grim Los Angeles, woven together with both humorous and deeply moving stories. She juggles an ambitious, bipolar mother, a lecherous acting teacher, an unwanted pregnancy, the loneliness of having her grandmother so far away in Curaçao, and the fear of being deported. She comes to some realizations about the idea of “home”. Despite the hardships, her mixed-race (native Arawak and black) grandmother’s island wisdom gives her courage and strength.

The House of Six Doors, now available for pre-order at, will be released on February 2011, by Publishing by the Seas. In addition to a soft cover edition, the book will be available as an iBook/eBook with enhanced interactive features, for US $14.95.

The independent boutique book publisher from Santa Barbara, California, is producing a number of beautiful trailers, released through its YouTube Channel. These short movies, true multimedia jewels, are being released regularly to an ever-growing audience, curious to learn more about this new country. The trailers include excerpts narrated by Perry Norton, slideshows of photographs by Isaac Hernández, showcasing the beauty of Curaçao. An upcoming release will be an animation of the process of creating the original painting for the cover.

The multimedia campaign will promote the new country of Curaçao as well as The House of Six Doors. Selbert’s novel may very well become one of the important literary works of Curaçao, communicating its culture to the rest of the world in a very touching story that El Mundo in Spain, the world’s largest news website in Spanish, calls “an honest tale of love, independence and American dreams.”

“I think this book will become a national treasure for Curaçao,” said Publishing by the Seas CEO, Nancy Black. “What better way to discover this little-known culture, than through a tale of a family from that Caribbean island, their history and journey? It will inspire for Caribbean food, music, and bright colors, peppered with island wisdom.”

The title of the book is a clear reference to the Dutch-Caribbean style architecture of the island. The House of Six Doors refers to the cobalt-blue plantation house in the story, but it also symbolizes the underlying wisdom of the new country. Curaçao’s architecture embodies its rich history, with elaborate Dutch-style ornate roofs and bright colors. Many beautiful plantation houses remain, known in Dutch as “landhuizen”.

“Most of the landhuizen have a salon in the center part of the house, with three doors on either side,” explains author Patricia Selbert. “They are directly across from each other in order to let the trade winds breeze through, which is why one of the characters in the book says, ‘Three doors to bring in gratitude, wisdom, and compassion, and three doors to let out greed, ignorance, and anger.’”

Curaçao, 40 miles north of Venezuela, is one of five islands that used to form the Netherlands Antilles. In 2004, each of the islands held separate referendums, and as a result, the country of Netherlands Antilles dissolves on 10-10-10. That same day, the country Curaçao and the country St. Maarten are born. Both of them part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, each with their own government and legislature. The three remaining islands: Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (the BES-islands), become special overseas territories of the Netherlands.

Curaçao is a polyglot society. Dutch and Papiamentu are the official languages. Papiamentu is a mixture of Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese and several African languages. Until recently, all instruction was provided in Dutch. Now some schools offer a bilingual primary education in Papiamentu and Dutch. Also widely spoken are English, and Spanish.

Publishing by the Seas, a boutique literary publishing house based in Santa Barbara, California, gives voice to people who make a difference. Sharing rich multicultural roots, our authors explore themes such as positive solutions, self-discovery, beauty, environmental stewardship and social contribution.

Author Patricia Selbert is available for interviews. She can discuss:

1) Curaçao’s traditions and culture. 2) Her story as an emigrant to California, a foreign land, with English as her fourth language. 3) Her novel, The House of Six Doors, inspired by her life and Curaçao’s rich culture.

For high resolution images (downloadable):

Publishing by the Seas can also arrange for exclusive images of Curaçao, available for publication. Images can be previewed here: -Media Kit Images: -Curaçao countryside images: -Curaçao city images of Willemstad: For more information about Publishing by the Seas, The House of Six Doors, to request more material on Curaçao (including photography), or to arrange interviews with author Patricia Selbert, please contact Jeanna Zelin: (480) 298-0928 or

Recognizing Difference Makers

September 19th, 2010 by admin | Posted in Difference Makers Project, Publishing by the Seas

Photography book honors Difference Makers


With a long legacy of non-profits formed and open space saved, Selma Rubin still sits on nine non-profit boards.

Selma Rubin at El Capitan, the California coastline that she saved from development.

(April 20, 2014, Santa Barbara, CA) In 1969 the Santa Barbara community confronted the environmentally catastrophic oil spill that sparked the birth of Earth Day a year later. To celebrate over four decades of solutions and forward thinking, Publishing by the Seas is proud to feature the work of photographer Isaac Hernández and Nancy Black with the release of Difference Makers: Portraits of Leaders in the Arts, Sustainability and Social Justice. The book will launch at Earth Day to honor Santa Barbara’s Earth Day pioneers Selma Rubin, Marc McGinnes, Paul Rellis and Bud Bottoms. These ordinary people who, confronted with the natural disaster of the SB oil spill, accomplished the extraordinary, and formed an integral core for the birth of a movement.

These activists share the walls with other like Andy Lipkis (TreePeople), Michael Pollan (author, Food Rules), ]Sylvia Earle (oceanographer), Larry and Linda Saltzman (local Santa Barbara EcoHeroes and permaculturists), Paul Erlich (author The Dominant Animal), Roberta Salazar (Birds and Rivers), Harold Powell (Telios Environmental), and more recognized leaders, Amy Tan, Gore Vidal, Javier Bardem, Will Smith and Isabel Allende.

These leaders embrace a bold future vision, dedicating their efforts towards the fulfillment of seemingly-impossible goals. This book aims to share their inspiration and solutions for a sustainable world.
Isaac Hernández and Nancy Black founded Mercury Press International in Santa Barbara in 1991, providing editorial and media services to dozens of publications worldwide and serving as US correspondents for El Mundo, the second largest newspaper in Spain and the world’s largest Spanish language periodical, with millions of readers worldwide. Carlos Fresneda is the London correspondent for El Mundo, and they’ve been collaborating on Difference Makers for over five years. Difference Makers launches on April 20, 2014, published by Santa Barbara’s Publishing by the Seas. For more information, to arrange interviews, or for additional photography, please contact Nancy Black,, 805-569-1559.