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Sunstruck Paperback – March 3, 2009

12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Zumaya Embraces (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934841188
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934841181
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,272,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer's Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Represented by Serendipity Literary.

She lives in Belgium with her husband of 25+ years, 2 wonderful kids, and her two beloved pets. When she's not writing, reading, editing or reviewing, she enjoys walking her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Visit her website at For her children's books, visit

Favorite writing quotes:

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." ~Ray Bradbury

"Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand." ~George Orwell, "Why I Write," 1947

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Sunstruck was of interest to me in part because the author Calvani lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico and this is where Sunstruck comes to life. Having been born in Puerto Rico myself I found it fascinating to run into an author from the island. I found Sunstruck to be quite funny and throughout the book I caught myself laughing many times. The crazy characters and atmosphere of Old San Juan create a perfect narrative for this mix of madness. Daniella the main character seems like a regular college student until you step into her life and meet her psychotic friends. For a little while you feel Daniella's mother, a widow is the only sane one, until you find out what her true interests are. While her best and only friend fills her ear with her amor for a priest, Daniella feels there are more important things to think about. Like Zorro the psycho going around leaving his mark on the rear ends of woman. Sunstruck is like a nutty Whodunit with a little twist. Who really is in the Zorro costume? With all the crazy characters I caught myself pointing fingers again and again. A great read that will make you forget where you are, while you giggle yourself to complete oblivion from all the silliness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Margaret L. Fieland on April 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
Daniella, an architecture student living in San Juan, is surrounded with mysteries. Why has Ishmael, Daniella's ex-husband, opened a hotel for animals? Why are young women disappearing, not even leaving a body behind? Who is Zorro, a masked man marking min-skirted young women on the rear?
Calvini has assembled a wonderfully weird cast of characters: Daniella herself, an architecture student who keeps getting involved with the wrong kind of man, her mother, fond of retail therapy, Ismael, Daniella's ex-husband, now married to the truly creepy Irene, nicknamed appropriately Lady Dracula by Daniella, Tony, Daniella's handsome, self-centered artist boyfriend, and the mysterious Zorro.

Mayra Calvini is a master of wit. The descriptions contain just the right telling detail, as when she describes Daniella's red hair as the color you'd get if you mixed brandy, carrots, and raspberries in a blender. Calvini makes the absurd seem reasonable. I found myself nodding at death from hiccups, coffee enemas, and drugged cats. The writing is exquisite, and the narrative strangely compelling. Do yourself a favor and snap this one up.
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Format: Paperback
Reviewed by: Sandra L

Review: First off: the cover--confusing but alluring, like a painting you can't take your eyes off of.

Then we get into the story. Daniella is a college student--nice, friendly, normal. I wonder why she was hanging out with such weird (and crazy) people, like her art critic ex-husband and his gothic, witch-like wife or her dope-smoking, live-in boyfriend that hates her cat. Was she lost or confused or something?

At times, I felt Daniella had no mind of her own. She says she wants to be "free of men" but yet she does nothing about it. Did she have "daddy issues?" Maybe it would've added more to the story if we had learned more about Daniella's absent father figure.

The whole story has many different points of view, but it is mainly told from the eyes of Daniella--a pro in my column, because I know who is the "star." I am always concerned with multi-POVs because there is usually a lack of focus; but this book didn't have that issue.

Another character I found interesting was Zorro, the crazy psycho who makes his mark with a huge "Z" on womens' bare ass. Very funny!

With Zorro suddenly in the mix, it made me question on whether this was a thriller or a mystery? Was the objective to catch Zorro and bring him to justice?

I thought the whole animal hotel from Ismael, Daniella's ex, was of little interest to me. At times, I didn't even read the whole paragraph on it. But don't be fooled! As you approach the end, strange mysteries--dark and gory--spring out of nowhere and you can't wait to unravel them all. Is Ismael a mushroom dealer? Is "Lady Dracula" a real vampire? The end will leave you shocked.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Take a college student studying architecture, her artist boyfriend who hates her cat whether he (the boyfriend) is strung out on LSD or sober, her ex-husband and his new wife, AKA Lady Dracula, who keeps bottles of blood in the fridge. Add an atheist friend in love with a priest, a Zorro look-a-like who goes around slashing the rear ends of women wearing mini-skirts, and a mother who may just be involved in a women's revolution against Zorro. Mix them all together, and you have a story that will make you laugh until the tears roll. You'll also play the guessing game of who did what and why.

Author Mayra Calvani's novel SUNSTRUCK introduces the reader to Daniella and a cast of zany characters, along with some unexpected plot twists along the way. Just when I thought I knew all the answers new questions appeared, and I discovered I knew very little. Besides her studies at the university, Daniella works at Ismael's, her ex-husband's, hotel for animals, which isn't quite what it seems. But then nothing in this book is. The author switches point-of-view characters in some of the chapters, giving the reader an inside glimpse at some very disturbed minds. Ms. Calvani has a gift for describing a scene that makes the reader, at least this reader, feel like she's there, experiencing the events along with the characters. This book looks at the world though a cast of characters that made me laugh but also made me think how sad their lives are and how glad I am that they're fictional characters. And when an author writes characters that you care about, she's accomplished her goal. The author has done that in this novel.

I've read Ms. Calvani's picture books and her non-fiction books, but this is my first
novel of hers to read. It won't be the last.
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