“Verdict in the Desert” made it to the top 100 Amazon.com Best Sellers in Hispanic American Literature.
(The book did drop to 105 or thereabouts, but it was great for a while. however on Kindle, it hit no. 44 in Hispanic American lit best sellers)
About the book:
In the summer of 1959, everyone knows his place in Arizona. Michael Shaw is an alcoholic lawyer struggling with his reputation as the son of one of Mitchell County’s wealthiest, most successful attorneys. Toni Garcia, the first in her family to obtain a college degree, has returned to Borden, Arizona, because she’s worried about her father’s health. But as a Mexican American, she can’t get a teaching job in spite of her education and intellect. Their worlds collide when Michael is assigned to represent María Sánchez Curry in the bloody murder of her husband and Toni, desperate for work, accepts a job as the defendant’s interpreter.
María and Ben Curry’s tumultuous marriage was well documented by María’s many visits to the ER. The couple was also well-known at local bars, where they often drank to excess. But the killing of a white man by a Mexican woman—even in self-defense—is not permissible in a time when justice is determined by the good-old-boys club. Also unacceptable is the growing relationship between Michael and Toni, who fight to save María against all odds.
In this evocative exploration of class and race in 1950s America, Bobby Darin is on the juke box, Doris Day is on the silver screen and pink flamingos grace front yards. Former crime reporter Patricia Santos Marcantonio crafts a stirring tale of forbidden love in a world where democracy rules but due process and fair treatment aren’t as readily available on the wrong side of the tracks.
A few years ago, I quit my day job to focus on writing. It has been a productive period resulting in the publication of a book and near completion on two more. But when people hear I no longer have the proverbial day job, they ask me how I like being retired.
Maybe I’m sensitive but it makes me crazy.
No, I am not retired. In fact, I am working harder than I ever did at my day job on novels and screenplays. Of course, I am enjoying it more, but I am working.
My writing friend and I were talking about how non-writers don’t necessarily believe that we writers can be toiling away at a computer telling stories. Is that really work, they probably think. And if we aren’t receiving a regular paycheck or filling out a time card, that we must be just playing around.
They don’t understand the sacrifices, frustration and how much labor it takes to come up with stories, the right sentences and descriptions. How much pounding our hands and fingers take to get it all right.
Yes, I love it. And I will keep at it until I do decide enough is enough and I have told all the stories I want to tell. Until, then I am working, darn it.
Thanks Corina Martinez Chaudhry for the wonderful review of “Verdict in the Desert” on The LatinoAuthor.com
You can check out the review at:
Thank you, Michael Dunford of the Midwest Book Review for wonderful critique.
Marcela Landres was kind enough to mention my new book, “Verdict in the Desert” in the most recent edition of her outstanding e-zine, Latinidad.
Marcela is the author of the e-book How Editors Think: The Real Reason They Rejected You, and is the publisher of Latinidad®, an award-winning e-zine chosen one of the 101 Best Web Sites for Writers by Writer’s Digest. As an editorial consultant, she helps writers get published by editing their work and advising them on how to manage their writing careers. Past clients include Daniel Jose Older, author of the New York Times bestseller Shadowshaper and Charles Rice-Gonzalez, award-winning author of Chulito. She was formerly an editor at Simon & Schuster.
If you haven’t signed up for her newsletter or checked out her site, please do so.
Thank you, Marcela.
I was so honored to see students at the Edna Brewer Middle School in Oakland, Calif., perform a story from my book, RED RIDIN’ IN THE HOOD AND OTHER CUENTOS. They did a great job from what I saw, and I wished I had been there for the performance.