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International program dean Luisana Duarte recently published a book Julieta and the Diamond Engima. The book is available on Amazon for pre-order to be released in May this year.

The book’s story tells of nine-year-old Julieta is finally about to put a purple pin in her family’s world traveling map! She’s off to Paris to help her art-handler dad collect pieces for a new exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Sadly, they must leave Julieta’s very pregnant mother behind, but they’re sure they’ll be back before the baby is born. Julieta sees the best of Paris: the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur, and plenty of great art. But things go awry when she and Dad walk in on a thief stealing the Louvre’s most prized piece–a priceless cursed diamond with a shady history. When Julieta runs for help, she accidentally frees the thief instead! Now Dad’s job is in danger and he’s become a suspect. Can Julieta determine who the thief really is before it’s too late?

Luisana has been working at Everest since August of 2019. She shared some reflections on the book.

How long have you been writing?

Officially, since college, but at heart, my whole life. (I wrote, edited, and distributed a family newspaper when I was 8 years old.)

What was the inspiration for this book?

Julieta, the main character what was first came to me. She’s curious, like Ramona Quimby, and adventurous, like Madeline. But, I also wanted to make her inquisitive and really into certain topics, like Flavia DeLuce (from Alan Bradley’s mystery series). Basically, I wanted to create a character that I would find interesting and love reading as a child.

I see the book won an award—what is that about?

The publisher (TU Books [and imprint of Lee & Low Books]) puts out a contest for previously unpublished authors of color. The New Visions contest is for Middle Grade and Young Adult books. Part of the prize is the publishing contract.

Anything else you want to share?

It would be extremely helpful if people left reviews on Amazon (if they end up buying and reading the book).To learn more about the book visit my website and social media handles on Twitter @nanerias or Instagram @nanerias.



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