Sharings for Winter Soltice

Sharing #1: My new novel Death Song of the Dragón Chicxulub is a melding of peoples, generations and species. Here’s a “taste”:

In a somber tone, the bartender Julio said, “Bueno, if you might see el viejito Tomás tomorrow, you should have un traguito tonight. That way, when he chases you out of Los Búhos, you won’t be too thirsty to run!”

The teen Miguel worked up the courage to ask, “Traguito, ¿qué es?”

Julio made a long sweep of the bar with his towel, a magician unveiling more than a rabbit. “It means a little drink. In my bar it means a shot of tequila. ¡Ay de mí! What kind of Spanish do they teach you in school if they don’t teach you how to order a regular drink?”

He poured two Cuervo shots and set a saltshaker and platter of lemon wedges on the counter. He raised the glass. “Salud, joven. May you still have your health when you leave the cabin of Señor Tomás,” and followed a swallow with a lick of salt, a bite of lemon.

Downing half of his that made him choke, Miguel ventured, “I thought the salt came first, then the tequila.”

Julio lowered and shook his head. He brushed a smudge off his apron. “Why do gringos always have to bring that up? Tell me, chamaco, do Anglos always pour the milk into their bowl after the corn flakes?” Miguel shook his head while struggling to swallow another acrid sip.

“Do all gringos eat their salad first? Or do they always put sugar in their coffee?” Miguel again shook his head.

“Then why do you think there’s only one way to drink tequila?” Staring at the ceiling as if looking for guidance, Julio left to see to a table.

One of the business types yelled to Julio, “Is your young friend here to study us?” Julio nodded. “Parece que sí. And to learn about our quaint outhouses.” More laughter. “Well then, we should really teach him about our cultura. Julio, cinco tequilas, por favor.”

With that, a shot arrived in front of Miguel, the start of a series that replaced each glass before he had finished the last. After the fourth, he remembered his manners and bought the bar a round, which resulted in the ranch hands’ carrying the Cuervo feeding frenzy to an even higher level.

Two hours later Miguel made a giant physical leap of faith, off the barstool, and dared to stand, somehow coordinate his rubbery legs, 40/200 vision and out-of-plumb sense of balance to force his body toward the lobby door.

As he staggered, people waved, shouting, “Buenas noches.” “Que te vaya bien.” He managed a wide grin, a slow wave and a slurred, “Much, I mean … muchas gracias.”

Julio walked around the bar, totally sober despite having consumed more than Miguel. “And remember the Alamo, Señor Miguel. If Davy Crockett had remembered to steal more tequila, they might not’ve gotten the chingasos kicked out of their nalgas.” He slapped him on the back to drive in the punch line, his patrons showering him with jeers about his overused and just-as-often-vilified joke.

Next morning, plastered against the wall alongside the porcelain bowl, Miguel’s body relived that slap and guided his face back into the toilet to empty itself, full force. What was empty shouldn’t have worked so hard to become emptier. It was an awful redundancy.

An epic journey of discovery,

transformation and destiny will keep readers at the edge of their seats and gasping at every new twist.

-David Bowles, award-winning author of Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico

A tantalizing style of Chicano sci-fi-mythology,

challenging the rites of passage in masculinity, the american dream, and ancestral healing. An echoing voice from the past with a new style of the present, provocatively transforming and retelling U.S. history.

- Sarah Rafael García, author of SanTana's Fairy Tales & founder of LibroMobile

Powerfully evocative, lyrically descriptive,

rollicking, rolling, smart yet down-to-earth, authentic and as unpretentious as anything of beauty could be. The characters are unforgettable, diverse, with iconoclastic heroes and everyone else smashing stereotypes.

- Thelma T. Reyna, author of Dearest Papa: A Memoir in Poems