Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Magdalena "Magda" Amador is a killer-for-hire. Spending her teenage years in forced prostitution, befriending the pharmacist who lived next door to the brothel, and building up a steely facade made her the perfect candidate for the murder-for-money lifestyle. But now it's time to come home. Upon her return to Southern California, she attempts to fit into a family unit who doesn't understand what she's been through and suspects she's a psychopath-which may not be entirely incorrect. And they don't have much room to point fingers anyway. They're embroiled in a money laundering and people smuggling business, which is currently under attack. Magda, as recalcitrant as a mule, sets out to unmask the threat and serve her own brand of justice. She wants to protect her family, but what she needs is to make amends with her wrongdoings, face her past traumas, and finally find a place in the world where she can fit in. High stakes, cold blood, and dark humor spiral around this fierce, female assassin, whose journey takes her through Baja California, Barcelona, and suburban Los Angeles in a snarky combination of crime noir and chick lit. Magda's story is an action-packed and emotional exploration of taking responsibility for your choices and paying for those of your parents.
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I was driving down to Santa Barbara about two and a half years ago when I remembered something from my childhood. I’m not sure if this actually happened, or if it was a nightmare I had, but I remember that around the time I was seven I was eavesdropping on my parents and hear them discussing a friend. They were saying he wasn’t allowed to come into the house because he had lost a huge amount of money gambling and had, in order to pay his debt, handed over his stepdaughter.
As an adult, the memory still terrified me, and in the following months I began to wonder, what happened afterwards? Was she still alive? If so, how did she get back home? How long did it take?
Up until the 11th revision, Mike and Magda were lovers! Each time I revised, I would have a Pirandello moment. That is, my characters started talking to me, complaining about what I was making them do and why I was doing it. As I was revising, I realized that Mike (like most of the men I know in my life) wants a healthy relationship and actively seeks one. I spent a few weeks ignoring the niggling voice, but I finally realized that Mike and Magda were intimate friends, and possibly former lovers, but that he would be the one who would distance himself because, knowing her best, he would know better than to start a family with her.
I think her childhood experience—the brothel, the life abroad, and the negotiations/compromises she had to make in order to get back to California—has shaped her so that she is utterly foreign. I believe her siblings want to bring her back into the fold, but her experience is too different from them and none of them, including Magda, have the emotional intelligence or stability to coax her back into the family fabric.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The who, what, where, why and how about friends, family, marriage and life in Los Angeles slightly fictionalized to protect the innocent, the not so innocent.
Reviewed by: Bela
Rating: 4 stars
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Reviewed by: Celia
Rating: 4 stars
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Felix Alexander (1976-Present) is a Mexican-born, American-raised novelist, and poet of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent.
Acclaimed by readers for his poetic prose, his indie releases include: Dear Love: Diary of a Man's Desire, a collection of love letters and poems; and The Romantic, a novel.
After his honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, he embarked on the long and arduous journey of a writer. Having made a name for himself during his tenure, serving his country, he vowed to himself and his fellow soldiers that he would answer his true calling.
Friday, September 26, 2014
Maggie and Jane become caught up in the investigation to the annoyance of the police officer first on the scene. The Hispanic cop responds with pithy Mexican proverbs to Maggie’s sleuthing efforts.
Then Maggie’s ex rolls into town scheming to sell the family home out from under her with the help of an unscrupulous realtor, who is a suspect in the murder. When her sons pop up into the crosshairs of the killer, Maggie sharpens her survival skills to protect them and bring down the murderer.
TURN KEY CONDITION features a heroine who stares down danger with the humor and grace gained from an earlier detour into life’s darkness.
Reviewed by: Sandra L.
Rating: 2.5 stars
Review: What could be more fun than cleaning celebrity homes at night? How about finding a dead body—naked!? All he had was a donut over the genitals. By the way, I also thought that the “donut” was a Krispy Kreme donut—you know, the kinds you find Homer Simpson salivating over. I actually thought that would’ve been funnier. Oh, well.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
M.L. Ortega was raised in the North by Southerners and thus learned to embrace dichotomy, which shows in her writing. With humor at the wheel, dark subject matter rides 'shotgun'.
Moving frequently throughout her childhood, her family finally settled in California, where she eventually married and had four children. The children have grown and moved away, leaving her in the care of a very patient husband and two independent cats.
UP NEXT: A review for Turn Key Condition