Friday, September 30, 2016

Review: A COURTROOM OF ASHES by C.S. Wilde

Santana Jones never thought she’d fall in love with a dead guy, but that was before she met John Braver, the incredibly charming and incredibly dead politician on the other side of her mirror. 

When an evil spirit drags Santana’s soul across the mirror and into Purgatory, she’ll need all the help she can get to return to her body. With John by her side, nothing can go wrong. But Purgatory is a dangerous place for a lawyer with a pitch-black past. Santana has always wondered if she’d go to Hell for defending rapists and murderers. 

Reviewed by: Magda
Rating: 3.5 stars 

Review:  You’re staring at your own reflection and you realize that your image is smiling…but you’re not. A mirror with a mind of its own? Or perhaps a trickery of an over-worked mind? Or a warning from beyond the grave?

For sensible and intelligent Santana, this could only be a dream or a lucid imagination. Until she realizes that the haunted mirror is a portal that connects to Death, a purgatory that is neither bad nor good. Just Death. Freaky!

But it seems that a dear friend of hers is trapped somewhere in Death, and Santana will stop at nothing to find her. Santana soon finds herself caught in a cryptic maze of darkness and horror. She finds herself trapped in Death.

Could this dark prison be her penance for her ruthless ways as a conniving and deceitful lawyer, freeing criminals into an unsuspecting society?

Yet, as her soul traverses the land of Death, she comes to realize that the spirits lead perfectly normal lives, more or less. “The Home is a sanctuary where people can go through the afterlife together.” (102) Of course, some of the details might sound trivial and they can be quite perplexing, especially when the story is taking place in the worlds of both the living and the dead and Santana simultaneously exists in both worlds. That can be a little confusing. However, they don’t steal from the core plot of the story: locating a spirit and returning Santana’s soul to her body before it’s too late. Before the devil takes over her body and begins the apocalypse. Chilling! But the more pressing question was: What happens when you die in Death?

Story is a wonderful and well-written tale of mystery and psychedelic intrigue. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Q&A with C.S. Wilde

C.S. Wilde wrote her first Fantasy novel when she was eight. That book was absolutely terrible, but her mother told her it was awesome, so she kept writing.
Now a grown-up (though many will beg to differ), C. S. Wilde writes about fantastic worlds, love stories larger than life and epic battles.

She also, quite obviously, sucks at writing an author bio. She finds it awkward that she must write this in the third person, and hopes you won't notice.

You can find her at:
On Twitter: @thatcswilde
Or on Facebook: thatcswilde

   1.       What inspired you to write A Courtroom of Ashes?

Someone once told me a joke about a lawyer going to hell, and I was all like, “Hmm, interesting.”

   2.       What was the concept behind the land of Death and how does it compare to a courtroom?

In the world of Death (Purgatory to those who haven’t read the book), your worst enemy is your own mind. So Santana acts as her own prosecutor and defender, and ultimately, as her own judge. When Heaven and Hell break into this scenario, Purgatory becomes a courtroom in a very literal sense, because those are the final destinations, the final sentence per say.

3.       How would you describe the relationship between Santana and John?

At first, Santana sees John as this perfect guy who can do no wrong, but as things progress, she realizes he’s far from perfect, and that he has his own demons, much like her. So it’s a very simple relationship at first, and then it becomes a little more complicated.

4.       Do you feel Santana changed in any way at the end of the story?
I would certainly hope so. In the beginning, Santana kinda ignored her dark side, so she couldn’t really repent for something she barely acknowledged. Once she accepts the fact that she caused pain to a lot of people, she can finally start making up for the things she’s done.

5.       What are some of the main themes and issues that you explore in this book and why did you explore them?

How we shape our own reality and our own image of ourselves is by far the biggest theme, I’d say. It’s a fun theme to explore, pretty easy to bend and break too. Another interesting aspect of the story is her mother’s suicide, and how the resentment Santana has toward her helped shape Santana’s personality.

6.       What do you hope readers will gain from your book?

An entertaining read and perhaps some food for thought? J

7.       What do you like best and what do you like least about being a writer?
BEST: My readers. They make everything worth it.
LEAST: The technical aspects of being an author nowadays (stablishing platforms, running giveaways, Facebook ads, mail forwarding, etc etc).

8.       Who are some of your favorite authors?

Machado de Assis (did Capitú really betray Bentinho?), Junot Díaz (The Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is simply flawless), Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind, my favorite high-fantasy-ish book), Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is my favorite book of all time), to name just a few.

9.       If your book would be turned into a movie, who would you imagine playing the part of the main character? (Actor can be ANYONE, living or dead.)

Either Alice Braga or Olivia Munn.

10.   Are you working on anything right now?
I’m working on a sci-fi romance called From the Stars, which is basically outer-space Romeo and Juliet. Find out more here : D

11.   And, finally, what do you think is in store for the future of Latino literature?

A freaking lot. Latino literature has provided some of the most thought provoking stories out there, and we’ll keep doing that. Nowadays, we see more and more examples of Latinos making it big in the arts. Guillermo del Toro, Carlos Saldanha, Junot Díaz, Julia Alvarez, Justin Torres, to name just a few.  So yeah, people can expect greatness from us, as they always should. ; )

UP NEXT: A review of A Courtroom of Ashes. Meanwhile, check out the chapter preview from the book.

Last week I had a mirror wall installed in my bedroom. Call me a narcissist, but watching myself full scale in a mirror feels pretty great. I can check the results of my Pilates classes and the effort is certainly paying off. Just look at those legs!
I’m still getting used to the mirror, though. It doubles the size of my room, and although I love the fake sense of space, it seems overly…empty. Well, ‘lonely’ is the better word. This might sound weird, but sometimes I have the feeling of being watched from beyond the mirror, that it’s not just me and loneliness around. But it only lasts a second.
Complete nonsense. I’m sure this will stop once Craig and I become more intimate and he starts coming over.
Craig is a cute Wall Street broker I’ve been going out with—wait, just ‘cute’ isn’t right. Craig looks like a freaking Adonis, with perfectly defined muscles and a flowing black mane suited for a shampoo commercial. We’ve had two dates so far, but things are looking good.
Not to sound like an obnoxious, self-absorbed ass, but I’ve earned the right to a guy like Craig, and the mirror wall, and my fancy apartment near Times Square. When you’re one of the biggest criminal lawyers in New York, you deserve the sweet cosmopolitan lifestyle that comes with the package.
It’s not all fun and money, though.
Last week, I won three pro bonos that made some families in need very happy. I didn’t get a dime, but that’s okay. Giving back to society is enough. A part of me wonders if that’s because I’ve wronged it so many times…but it doesn’t matter.
No one cares.
After checking out my perfectly Pilates-shaped body one last time, I drop over my bed. It’s been a hard day’s work, like any other.
I spread my hands over the silky purple sheets, and my reflection does the same: that honey-eyed beauty with black hair tied into a long braid that cascades over her chest.
Seeing myself in a T-shirt and sloppy shorts is unnatural, though. I spend so much time at the office that anything other than business clothes feels out of place. But something else is wrong…
Something is off with my reflection. She stares directly at me, but I’m not staring directly at her. She widens a long smile and adrenaline shoots through my body, because my reflection just smiled. I didn’t.
The woman in the mirror keeps staring at me with a crooked smile that isn’t mine.
What the hell is going on?
I’m alone. With her. Cold sweat beads on my forehead. The muscles in my legs tighten, but I shouldn’t run. This is a hallucination, it has to be. I raise my hand and arch an eyebrow. My reflection follows my actions, as it should. She doesn’t smile, because I’m not smiling.
That was weird…I must be too tired; anyone would be if they worked a twelve-hour day. I should spend less time at the office.
Seeing things in the mirror can’t be a good sign.
Perhaps a good night’s sleep is all I need. Falling over the comfortable sheets and wrapping them around my body, I doze off as easy as counting one, two, three…
“Santana Banana, wake up.” The whisper cuts through the darkness, but I ignore it.
“Banana,” it insists.
My best friend Barbie used to call me Banana. As kids, teens, and then Ivy Leaguers, we were inseparable. But when she slept with my boyfriend five days before graduation, well, that was it. We never spoke again.
I blink at the mirror. My reflection stands, but I’m pretty sure I’m lying in bed.
Rubbing my eyes, I mumble, “What on earth?”
“You know, I really like dreams,” she says with my voice. “People are less rational when they dream.”
“What do you mean?” I sit up straight.
“You’re talking to your reflection. Doesn’t that seem strange?”
“My point exactly.” She giggles. “You’re less resistant, less aware.”
I try to understand what she means and what’s happening, but I can’t think straight, like there’s this wall in my brain and I can’t climb it. “You mean I’m dreaming? Right now?”
She nods, eyes shining with excitement.
I scratch the top of my head. “Was I dreaming before? When you smiled?”
“Nah. I figured it would be better to do this through a dream. It wouldn’t freak you out as much.” She rests her hands over her hips. “Bad thing about dreams is that you usually forget them. Could you try to remember something?”
“I guess?”
“Catch me if you can.”
She starts running through her room like a manic bee. I jump from the bed and try to fetch her, following her moves as if her world and mine are one. I’m giggling like a six-year-old, because I’m Peter Pan, chasing his shadow in Wendy’s room.
“I can’t catch you, silly! I’m on the other side of the mirror!”
“Catch me, Banana!” my reflection says.
The scent of wet grass fills my nostrils and sunlight floods the room. Suddenly, I’m running through the backyard of my first home. I’m six, maybe seven.
“Catch me!” Barbie says as we play tag.
My tiny fingers almost reach her golden locks that shine under the sun, but she speeds up, adding distance between us.
This whole situation is so familiar…
Mother soaks us with the hose as we run around the yard in our flowered bikinis, but I barely notice her. I need to catch Barbie!
“Stay still, Barbiiiie!” I stop to suck in some air, but soon I’m running again.
Grown-ups grill burgers and chat in the background, the sun blessing them. The smell of grilled meat wrestles with the scent of wet grass and wins. My best memories have these glorious summer weekends as scenery.
“Come on, Bananita!” Barbie shakes her bottom mockingly in front of me. The lace of her pink bikini swings left to right. “Or else I’ll be gone baby, gone!”
I stop and squint at her. This is nothing new; it’s a memory.
Shaking my head, I’m back in my grown-up body, standing in my room and peering at my reflection. Her bright blue eyes stare back at me as if they’re deciphering my thoughts. But I don’t have blue eyes. Barbie does.
“Catch me,” she says in a voice that’s not really mine. Then she speeds to the mirror and stamps her hands against the glass with a rascal smile.
I wake up gasping for air. I’m in bed, heart beating in my ears. I free myself from the duvet and step toward the mirror. Sliding two fingers down my cheek, I watch Mirror-me do the same. I show my tongue and so does she. Of course. It’s only my reflection.
It was a silly dream, that’s all.
Calming down, I study the room in the mirror. There’s nothing different between her room and mine. Dark brown dressers match perfectly with the dark brown bed frame and stylish wardrobe behind me, all contrasting with the white from the walls. Flawless. It didn’t come cheap, of course. My designer is one of the best in Manhattan.
The alarm clock over the mirror-dresser shows 00:L0? Shit, it’s seven a.m.!
I run to Pilates, finish at eight, shower, and after bumping into five people to catch my train—which I almost missed—I arrive at work at nine. My hair is messed up like a cuckoo’s nest, but after five minutes in the bathroom, Santana Jones, junior partner and rising star, is ready for another day.
Five seconds after I enter my office, my intern, a guy who could be handsome if he didn’t look fifteen, knocks on the door and lets himself in.
“Morning, Miss Jones. Mr. Baker has requested you to review the file on Chase Mayhew.”
Checking the papers on my desk I say, “Already did, Jim. Not taking the case.”
One raised eyebrow, that’s all it takes, a silent message saying, I’ll deal with Mr. Baker. “Anything else, Jim?”
“Of course, I apologize, sorry,” he stutters, then clears his throat. “Bob from Bingham Associates called. He’s offering seven thousand.”
“Oh really?” I pick up the phone and dial. “Hi Bob, Santana Jones.”
“Morning, Santana.” He’s gloating, I can tell from his tone. “Did you hear about my offer?”
“Yes, I did.” My red nail polish is chipping, so I add a mental note to schedule a manicure.
He lets out a happy victory laugh. “You’d have to be crazy to refuse it, huh?”
“Well Bob, your client accused my client of theft and battery, when all he tried to do was help. Now my client has been proven innocent and your client is filthy rich.”
He’s silent for a second. “Let’s not get carried away now, I think—”
“I smell countersuit here, Bob, and I know I’ll get more than seven thousand if I go ahead. So save us the trouble and give me an offer I can consider.”
He waits for a while.
“Fine. Ten thousand.”
“Oh, that’s very generous. Fuck you, Bob.” I slam down the phone.
My intern stares at me.
“What?” I ask, but the phone rings before he can tell me. It’s Bob’s number. “Santana Jones here.”
“This is a pro bono for Christ’s sake!” he barks from the other side. “What’s in it for you?”
“I’m still going to fight for my client even though he can’t afford me.”
Bob is silent for a while. “Fifteen thousand, that’s the last of it.”
“Let me check with my client. Send my regards to Jill.” I hang up.
I turn to my intern and wonder for a second if baby face could ever grow a beard. Probably not.
“Jim, tell Mr. Trotter that we got three thousand more than we had discussed. I think he’ll be very happy.”
Jim nods, but before he leaves he turns back to me, mouth half-open. He wants to say something but for the life of him, he can’t.
“Nothing Miss Jones.”
I like Jim. He’s always ready to help and eager to learn, but he’s scared of everything. He has zero self-confidence. It puzzles me how a guy like him manages to survive in the concrete jungle.
“Jim, you can ask me.”
“W-was it wise to curse at another attorney?”
A snicker comes out. “Definitely not.”
“Then why did you do it?”
“Because I know Bob is a gentlemen’s club kind of guy. He likes his whiskey dry, his cigars Cuban, and his women in the kitchen. He won’t respect or fear me unless he sees me as one of his peers.”
Jim’s lips shape an ‘O.’ “Meaning you know how he ticks?”
I wink at him. “A fine skill for a lawyer, Jimmy-boy.”
He glances at the ground, a tiny smile curling on the left side of his face. “Mr. Baker said you can read anyone like a book in only two minutes.”
“Not nearly as fast as Mr. Baker himself.”
Jim nods and excuses himself before going for the door, leaving me alone.
He looks up to me and I wish he didn’t. I’m clearly not the best role model. Then again, it’s not my fault that two psychopaths walked. The system was built to protect my peace of mind: The judge ruled the sentence, the evidence was lacking, but the lawyer? She was doing her job, that’s all. She’s not freeing scumbags back into society. The system is.
So why does the idea of someone looking up to me sound so wrong?
 I shake my head, sending the thoughts away, but they land somewhere else: the phone, its keypad, and Barbie. I was chasing her in my backyard, and I was chasing her in my room. In that crazy dream, Barbie was my reflection.
What does that tell me?
I lean back in my chair, and a tiny part of my brain that hasn’t fully evolved yet, tells me that there must be a reason for the dream. Even though that’s nonsense, my right hand hovers over the phone.
I know we all make mistakes, God as my witness —wherever He is, if He is— but Barbie’s was catastrophically big. Ending our friendship felt like cutting off my right arm, literally and metaphorically, but what was I supposed to do? Best friends don’t sleep with each other’s boyfriends. Besides, what would I say after all this time? Hey, had a dream about you yesterday, and, um, yeah…that’s it?
Perhaps I’m overthinking it. Maybe calling her will shut up this irrational little voice that tells me it’s the right thing to do.
I pick up the phone and dial the numbers I’ll always know by heart. I’m faced with eternal ringing, then a perky voice says, “Hi, you’ve reached Barbara Townsend. Leave your messa” I hang up.
There. She’s not home. I did my share of the bargain.
Three seconds later the phone rings and my heart stops.
“Santana Jones.”
It’s a work call about a case that will hopefully increase my quarterly bonus by ten percent: a famous football player caught selling cocaine. I forget all about Barbie for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Review: CRISTINA by Jake Parent

Driven by a desperate need to escape her past, Cristina Rodriguez moves into a picturesque hilltop home with an ocean view. The same place where, four years earlier, a young girl was kidnapped and murdered. 

At first, both the house and the scenic California beach town seem perfect. Fresh air. Fresh faces. And the ocean is just ten minutes away. But as Cristina and her daughter set about rebuilding their lives, they soon discover that the past is not about to let go so easily. 

A gripping psychological suspense mystery by a #1 Amazon bestselling author, Cristina will grab you from the first page and keep you guessing until the very end.

Reviewed by: Sandra
Rating: 4 stars

Review: “It had been four years since the little girl’s body was found, mutilated and buried in a quarry near her home in Pleasure Point, California. The same home Cristina Rodriguez now wanted to buy.” (7)

I don’t know if I’d be willing to live in a house were a lot of deaths took place. But, then again, people die everywhere.

Having led a poor life, battling drugs and low-life scumbags, and escaping an abusive relationship, Cristina is a character that is both rough around the edges and nurturing at the same time. She’s a tattooed recovering addict with a young daughter and only wants to make a life for herself in a new home.  She is a feisty Latina! The best thing about her was that she comes from a long line of tough Mexicans, which made her as resilient as they come. Like her abuela always said: “quit crying and do what you need to do, because the only two choices you have in life are to fight or to give up.” Yes, Cristina’s past isn’t pretty and she’s had her problems, but her trying to make up for it and wipe the slate clean makes her an endearing character, especially when it came to her daughter. Her story is written with a raw, richly urban, and destitute Hispanic voice. Being Hispanic myself, I definitely related to this aspect.

“Cristina had always been a magnet for the eccentric people of the world.”  (81) And you can’t get any more eccentric than ghosts!

The story started off slow, at first, but it becomes easier and more interesting once you get into it. It was well-written with a cast of well-defined and relatable characters. I must admit that some of the characters are pretty kooky and just plain weird. Of course, once the ghostly brick-a-bracs started happening, that’s when it started getting better. A troubled history, a strange disappearance, and the wandering spirits that linger in that house—that mixed with Cristina’s bold, snarky attitude and her fight to survive made for a compelling read.

Readers will root for Cristina as she learns to face her fears, fight for her daughter, bury the past, and tries to put the demons to rest.

A great read!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Q&A with Jake Parent

Jake Parent is the author of Only the Devil Tells the Truth, a novel about a young man growing up in poverty and dealing with addiction. He has used storytelling as a tool for advocacy on several humanitarian projects, most notably his work founding an orphanage and school in Kabul, Afghanistan with Omeid International. He grew up in San Jose, CA but now lives in the Washington, DC area.

    1.       What inspired you to write Cristina?

As the father of a new daughter, I wanted to celebrate the strength and courage I’ve seen in so many women throughout my life. The book is dedicated to single moms, of which Cristina is one. It was a challenge to write a female main character, but my hope is I did women everywhere some justice.

    2.       In a few words, how would you describe this book?

It’s a suspenseful psychological thriller that takes place in a California beach town. There’s a murder mystery and a ton of intrigue. All within a setting and story that explores some of the larger ills of the world we live in.

3.       How would you describe Cristina’s journey in the story?

Cristina has been through a lot. She’s a single mother who comes from poverty. By no means is she perfect, but she has learned a lot on the path she’s traveled, and it’s given her an inner strength most people can only dream of achieving.

4.       What are some of the main issues that you explore in this book and why did you explore them?

Cristina dives deep into drug addiction, domestic abuse, poverty, gentrification, love, trust, and purpose. These are all issues I’ve personally witnessed or dealt with, as a kid and as an adult. I did my best to weave them into a rip-roaring story that will not only entertain people but make them think at the same time.

5.       What was the hardest part about writing this book?

With an infant daughter, time is always hard to come by. In fact, most of the book was written with my little girl sleeping on my chest. And actually I found looking at that sweet face incredibly motivating when it came to getting my work done. When I wanted to quit for the day, I just looked at her, put my head down, and kept moving forward.

6.       What do you hope readers will gain from your book?

First off, I hope people will be entertained. I try to write books that I want to read. Second, I hope people will learn a few things about the difficult journey that is being a single mom. And lastly, I hope people enjoy reading a somewhat atypical main character for the genre in a California Latina.

7.       What do you like best and what do you like least about being a writer?

I love being able to do what I love. Writing isn’t just a job for me. It’s a calling. A passion. And one of the few things in life that makes me consistently happy every time I sit down and do it. But it’s not without its challenges as well. You spend 6-10 months working on a project and can never be sure what people will think until it’s out there. And it can also be really hard to get up every day and start typing, especially when no one is saying you have to. But I guess it’s those times that separate the tinkerers from those who end up finding success at what they do.

8.       Who are some of your favorite authors?

I try to read a wide variety of writers, but a few of my favorites are Charles Bukowski, Stephen King, Maya Angelou, John Steinbeck, Honoré de Balzac, John Sanford, Junot Díaz, and Ernest Hemingway.

9.       Are you working on anything new right now?

Oh yah. I’ve got another completed manuscript in the editing process right now, as well as another one that’s currently in process. I wish I could say more, but I’m kind of superstitious about discussing works-in-progress until they are finished.

10.   And, finally, what do you think is in store for the future of Latino literature?

Growing up in California, I was fortunate enough to experience the richness of Latino\a culture and the vast contributions people from all over the hemisphere have made to the world and to the United States. I think at the moment, it’s a terribly underrepresented perspective in literature and a story that is ignored to the detriment of us all. However, I also believe there are some great storytellers out there just waiting to have their voices heard. I think we should all do everything we can to make sure they do. 

Find out more about Jake Parent at

Up next: A review of Cristina

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Q&A with Magnus Stanke

Magnus Stanke came to fiction writing relatively late in life, and via literary detours in song-writing, film scripts and film criticism. He has worked professionally as bank clerk, shiatsu practitioner and language teacher. In his twenties he spent a lot of time backpacking and he has now settled in Spain. 
He sincerely wishes there were more hours in the day to pursue his other hobbies, now, that the writing is increasingly taking over.

1.       What inspired you to write Falling in Death and Love?
‘Falling in Death and Love’ started with the memory of the scent of pine that I had enjoyed at lot in the summer months before I started to write. That and a certain sense of nostalgia for the 1970s when I grew up were the decisive factors in the genesis of the book.
I wanted to try my hand at a genre piece rather than emulating my favourite writers Haruki Murakami or Mario Vargas Llosa – which in itself would have ended disastrously, I know…
Crime and thriller fiction is timeless because our lives are always going to be precious. People will always try to preserve their own at all cost. That’s what makes suspense fiction simultaneously universal and existentialist.

2.       How would you describe the relationship between David and Aurora?
When Aurora and David meet they experience an emotional explosion, a ‘coup de foudre’ as the French say. It’s love at first sight, the crazy, overwhelming kind of love that paralyses all sense of reason and logic. The surrealists call it ‘amour fou’, ‘crazy love’, an emotion that doesn’t necessarily lead to stable, lasting relationships but is highly exploitable for cinematic or literary purposes. It’s bipolar love, can take you from Seventh Heaven straight down to purgatory in the blink of an eye, or the absence thereof.
Since Aurora and David meet while she is on holiday, they have to take drastic steps to find out whether their love is just a passing fad or something more serious.
The great thing about ‘amour fou’ is that it gives you the energy to try out things out of the ordinary. It take you out of your comfort zone and facilitates the opportunities for real change.

3.       What were the ultimate goals of each of the two main characters?
I have to quickly explain the historic context of ‘Falling in Death and Love’.
After the death of General Franco in 1975, Spain’s last fascist dictator, the years of transition began. The powers that be and the powers that wanted to be fought over the future of the country. The military and the conservatives strove to maintain the status quo while the progressive forces went against them, towards democracy.
You have to understand that in Spain of the 1970’s divorce was not allowed. Period. Women couldn’t even get a passport without their husband’s permission.
Aurora, my Aurora if you like, is a very independent, strong-willed woman who gained her freedom from an unhappy marriage by a stroke of ‘luck’. Her husband died in a drunk-drive accident after she had started the unlikely proceedings of an annulment. For the first time in her life she is free to enjoy the things she only ever read about. Like sushi. When she travelled to Mallorca she was certainly not prepared to meet her soul mate.
But that’s exactly what David is, her soul mate as well as the island’s first sushi chef. He is also a globetrotter who is slowly but surely growing weary of the endless sea miles he’s been accumulating. More than Aurora he is instantly willing and ready to commit to a relationship that promises lasting stability beyond the initial rush.
David is a romantic at heart while Aurora is a quiet rebel.

4.       What are some of the main socio-economic issues that you explore in this book and why did you explore them?
Mallorca is a small Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea. In the 50’s and 60’s flights were still prohibitively expensive for most Europeans, but by the last 70’s some 5 million visitors flocked there annually. However, once in Spain most tourists found their dollars, marks, pounds and francs went a lot further than at home. And the weather left nothing to be desired.
From the point of view of the islanders this is a mixed blessing. Urban development has been rampant at times and threatened to obliterate everything that was original and quaint. Still, tourism brought prosperity and somehow the locals have managed to maintain a certain level of dignity to the changes. Today Mallorca is still booming when the rest of mainland Spain is in a deep economic crisis.

5.       What do you hope readers will gain from your book?
Well, since it’s a thriller I hope people will be thrilled and entertained. It’s a chase narrative with twists and turns. It’s also a trip back in time. There was no internet or mobile phones in 1977 but that doesn’t necessarily make it more innocent as eras go.

6.       What do you like best and what do you like least about being a writer?
I like the actual writing the best, creating stories and character out of nothing, but I don’t like the selling which takes up a lot of my time and I know I’m not very good at it.

7.       Who are some of your favorite authors?
I’ve already mentioned Vargas Llosa and Murakami but I mustn’t forget about thriller authors. I dig (in no particular order) Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler, Patricia Highsmith, James Lee Burke, Jim Thompson, Carl Hiaason, Gillian Flynn, Sarah Waters and many others.

8.       If your book would be turned into a movie, who would you imagine playing the part of the main characters? (Actor can be ANYONE, living or dead.)
If the movie would be in English I’d go for Emily Blunt for Aurora and Jake Gyllenhaal for David. It’d be a totally different story if it was shot in Spanish, or course.

9.       Are you working on anything right now?
Yes. ‘Falling in Death and Love’ is the first book in a cycle of Retro-thrillers. While the second and third book aren’t direct sequels, they do echo and rhyme with the first one, and some of the characters re-appear. Since I’m currently between drafts of ‘Time Lies’, the second book, I have started plotting the third which is called ‘Murder in the Comfort Zone’ at the moment.

‘Time Lies’ should be ready for publication later this year if all works out well. Just watch this space

10.   And, finally, what do you think is in store for the future of Latino literature?

I hope it’ll grow and prosper of course, however I don’t claim to be an expert. My wife is Latina and I’m but a humble German living in Spain and writing in English. I seem to have a better understanding of the past than the present or the future. Still I’m willing to learn…