Perfection is a Barbie doll, and, unless you're looking for a guy with a fake smile, a hard head, and no genitalia, then you're better off NOT being perfect―Single Chicas
Single Chicas is a collection of stories about modern Latinas being in, out, and around the zany hurdles of relationships. One woman receives strange calls from a lonely soul, another seeks advice on how to love herself, and another wakes up in a parallel universe to a man she's never met. These chicas will make painstaking effort to survive the complexities with humor and grace. Once again, López dazzles audiences with her brilliantly candid craft. Smart, witty, and funny, these stories will explore the true endurance of singlehood.
#1: My Brother's Funeral
I'll never forget the day my brother gave me a stroke. Of course, being that he was my little brother, a stroke should've been classified a recurring condition by then. Instead, the most he had ever given me was a chronic eye twitch, which, now that I think about it, may have been an indicator of an on-coming stroke. But, yes, it was definitely a stroke I had when Benito (I always called him Benny) came over that day to tell me he was getting married.
My brain blew a short and my whole body went numb. I think, at one point, the world before me was engulfed in a white flash, and then somehow I ended up on the floor. When I finally got the feeling back in my jaw, the only thing I could muster to say was: "Are you a moron?" The clear answer was "yes." He was a moron. Getting married? Was he out of his freaking mind? Oh, hell yeah! Let's put aside that he was only 19, not even old enough to drink, for god sakes; let's put aside that he'd only known the girl for 6 months, at most; let's even put aside how annoying the girl was and how I couldn't stand her. Why in the hell would he want to hang himself like that? Had he forgotten that marriage is basically a prison? Had he not paid attention to all the disaster stories I'd told him? Broken marriages from all around the table, starting with our parents and going all the way to our grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, to damn near everyone else we knew. It all ended the same: divorce, the blissful release from a life sentence.
"Why, Benny, why?"
"Oh, Bea, don't you even start," he retorted with a dismissive wave of his hand. "I don't want to hear your putdowns on marriage…again. I've heard them over and over and over."
"Well, have you heard that marriages basically suck the big weenie?"
"I believe I did hear that from you, yes."
"Well, then tell me why? Why the fuck would you do something like that!?" Oh, I could feel my poor blood pressure rising. Good grief, the boy was going to give me a heart attack. I tried taking in a few calming breaths, but the whole thing was basically useless. I was in total freak-out mode. "C’mon, Benny, tell me, please, because I'm not understanding here. What, did she pull that voodoo-hoodoo crap on you? Did you crack your head on something? Have you just completely lost your mind? C'mon, you gotta give me something here."
With an easy shrug, he said, "Oh...you know."
"No, I don't know!" Okay...one, two, three...breathe. I shot him a stern glance and asked directly, "Did you knock her up?"
He looked at me accusingly, his dark eyes narrowing. "You would think that, wouldn't you?"
"Well, I don't know what else to think."
Benny shook his head with a petulant eye roll. I know that eye roll. It's the same one he pulls whenever someone tells him to pick up his socks or wash his hands. In a huff, he simply stated, "No. I didn't knock her up."
"Because she's just..."
"What? Say something."
"You know..." At a loss for words, he paused then added, "she's just so...you know...great."
A literary master at work here. "Great? What's so great about her?"
He shrugged his shoulders.
"That's a good answer," I inserted wryly.
"Well, I can't think with all these questions," he snapped.
"I'm sorry, do you need a minute? I mean, I know I'm throwing really hard questions at you. Worse than poking your nose or scratching your balls, evidently."
"Why you gotta be like that, huh?"
"Hey, I'm not the one ruining my life here. I'm not the one going after those little titties."
Pulling his "talk to the hand" gesture, Benny turned to walk away.
"Furthermore," I continued, following on his ass, "she calls you forty times a day, she has you running to her every time she cries at all hours of the night, and she's dragging you to all these girly places you wouldn't be caught dead in, even if you were dead. Plus, she's annoying, she's rude, she's just plain crazy. Face it, she's nothing but a big, bi—"
"Okay, Bea, that's enough!" he yelled, twisting around to face me. For a long time, he stood there staring down at me, his nostrils flaring, his jaw tightening. I could tell he was getting pissed. What guy wouldn't? I was basically pointing out that his girl was wearing his huevos like a necklace.
"Look, bottom line: she treats you like a slave. She will ruin your life. She's gonna suck you dry 'til there's nothing left of the old Benny. Seriously, get out of this thing and go live your own life. C'mon, before it's too late."
He stood there in brooding silence for a moment, his gaze lingering on his sneakers. Then, looking back up at me in resignation, he said, "She really wants this."
"What do you want?"
"I want to make her happy."
"But what's gonna make you happy?"
Biting his lower lip, my brother shifted awkwardly, his head hung low. He had no words.
"She's already started planning with her mom," he shot out, tearing his eyes from the floor.
"Who cares!? Just don't do it."
"But I already told her I would."
"Oh, god!" My frustration had mounted to unbelievable heights. Oy, there go those chest pains again. The boy was definitely killing me here. But what else could I do? I swear he was as loyal as a dumb dog, and he was bound and determined to live out his days with his tail between his legs. I knew then that he wouldn't back out on her for any reason. Not even if she was kidnapped, I don't think (although that was an idea that crossed my mind.)
I stood quiet for a moment, taking long calming breaths. Then I looked up at him, disappointment drawn on my face, and said, "You're making a big mistake."
That day I told my brother not to expect me at his funeral.
Sandra C. López is one of today's influential Latina authors in Young Adult literature. Her first novel, Esperanza: A Latina Story, was published in March 2008 WHILE she was still in college. Since then she has published several other books, including the Single Chicas series. She was named as one of "2011 Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch" by Latino Stories, and her book, Beyond the Gardens, was a Silver Medal winner of the 2016 Global Ebook Awards in Multicultural Fiction and a finalist in the Int'l Latino Book Awards. Art, literature, and travel are her passions, and she aims to keep doing them as long as she can.
Next Week @ Books, Books The Magical Fruit Week of November 28 – December 4, 2016
*11/28 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - Escaping Trouble Prerelease By Eva Winters
*11/28 - Thunderclap (Twitter/Facebook) - JINGLE BOOTS by Em Petrova
*11/29 - Thunderclap (Twitter/Facebook) - Burn with me campaign by Rachael Tonks Author
*11/30 - Thunderclap (Twitter/Facebook) - BangShift is LIVE! by Winter Travers
*11/30 - Thunderclap (Twitter/Facebook) - Love hot #Romance? by Melissa Foster
*11/30 - Thunderclap (Twitter/Facebook) - Secrets and Shadows Boxset by Rhonda Sermon-YA Author
*12/01 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - ‘Opal’s Story’ By Sara Knight
*12/01 - Thunderclap (Twitter/Facebook) - Gilded Cage Book Launch by Sherry D. Ficklin
*12/01 - Thunderclap (Twitter/Facebook) - It All Falls Down cover reveal by Mallory Dauphin
*12/03 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - Tough Wisdom By Diane Morasco
*12/04 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - Saving Zoe Sale By Eva Winters
11/30 - Teaser Blitz (InkSlinger PR): THE CEO'S SEDUCTION by Diane Alberts
Stacking the Shelves #61
Sunday Post #39 Sale Blast (Reading Addiction Blog Tours) : CYBER MONDAY SALE BLAST
Reading Challenge Sign up Always looking for new ones – any suggestions?
*12/05 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - Escaping Trouble Release By Eva Winters
12/05 - Release Blitz (Reading Addiction Blog Tours) : Still Air by Freya Barker
*12/05 - Thunderclap (Twitter/Facebook) - Inferno Release Day Blast by Amber Garcia
12/06 - Promo Blitz (Reading Addiction Blog Tours) : Hard to Regret by Kris Pearson
12/06 - Promo Blitz (Reading Addiction Blog Tours) : Running On Empty by Meg Benjamin
*12/08 - Guest Post (Prism Book Tours): THIS IS NOT A WEREWOLF STORY by Sandra Evans
12/08 - Promo Blitz (Reading Addiction Blog Tours) : The First Few Steps by Kelli Hackett
12/09 - Cover Reveal (InkSlinger PR): EASY MAGIC by Kristen Proby
12/09 - Social Media Packet (InkSlinger PR): THE CEO'S SEDUCTION by Diane Alberts
*12/10 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - Galactic Safety Ambassadors By Christina Weigand
12/12 - Release Blitz (Reading Addiction Blog Tours) : Steam Ahead! DIY For Kids by Sumita Mukherjee
12/12 - Release Day Blitz (InkSlinger PR): THE CEO'S SEDUCTION by Diane Alberts
12/13 - Release Blitz (Reading Addiction Blog Tours) : Disaster at Roosevelt Ranch by Elise Faber
12/14 - Cover Reveal (InkSlinger PR): COME CLOSER by Brenda Rothert
*12/14 - Thunderclap (Twitter/Facebook) - Dangerous Ways, are you ready? by R.R. Virdi
12/15 - Book Blitz (Reading Addiction Blog Tours) : Knights in Time by Chris Karlsen
*12/16 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - The Incident By Hugh Williams
*12/16 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - Dark Humanity–iBooks–By Nirina Stone
*12/17 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - A Book Test By Sara Knight
*12/17 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - Double Dare – Jeanne St. James By Pure Textuality PR
12/19 - Book Blitz (InkSlinger PR): GIRL BREAKER by Harper Kincaid
*12/23 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - Dark Humanity–kobo–By Nirina Stone
*12/30 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - Dark Humanity–Amazon–By Nirina Stone
*12/31 - HeadTalker (Twitter/Facebook/Tumbler) - 99 Bottles By Ebony McMillan
01/03 - Release Day Launch (InkSlinger PR): ROCK CHICK REAWAKENING by Kristen Ashley
01/09 - Release Day Launch (InkSlinger PR): FULL PACKAGE by Lauren Blakely
02/03 - Book Spotlight/Giveaway (Pump Up Your Books Tours) : YOUR BODY YOUR STYLE by Rani St. Pucchi
GoodReads: A Silly Monsters rhyming counting picture book for kids.
One sniffly grumpwuzzle scratches his nose.
Two giggling fluffwimples wiggle their toes.
A companion picture book to Gerald Hawksley's Silly Monsters ABC.
Count along with silly monsters from one sniffly grumpwuzzle to twenty silly bumblerabbits.
Which silly monster do you like the best?
Mine: A fun way to count to 20 with silly monster names : bumblerabbits, moppleheads, and socksnafflers.
A book not to be read fast as some of the names are real tongue twisters, but they are fun names
2016 Pages Read ( The Crafty Engineer's Bookshelf)
Let's Turn Pages Challenge (GoodReads - 2015 and 2016 Reading Challenge)
2016 Reading Challenge (GoodReads)
2016 I Love Picture Books (Bea's Book Nook)
2016 What an Animal Reading Challenge IX (Socrates Book Reviews)
Today we are celebrating a sale of THERE IS NO LIGHT IN DARKNESS by Claire Contreras! This is the first book in her Darkness series and it should not be missed! If you haven't had a chance to read this series yet, now is the time to pick it up. It will only be on sale for a few days. Be sure to check out the buy links for it, and the second book in the series, below.
THERE IS NO LIGHT IN DARKNESS by Claire Contreras
Darkness Series, #1
A past hidden in darkness. Her present cloaked in secrets. The future holds the only truth that cannot be escaped.
After the mysterious and violent death of her parents, Blake Brennan finds comfort with an unconventional family. As the dramatic loss of her parents continues to haunt her—and hinders her from reciprocating love that others give freely—Blake embarks on a harrowing journey in search for the truth.
Living in a constant state of fear and need for control, vivid nightmares reveal details that lead to perilous situations. The past begins to collide with the present, and Blake must decide if the truth is worth losing the ones she loves.
Can love conquer all as her past comes to light? Or will Blake realize that there is no light in darkness?
Book contains: Explicit language & sexual content.
Claire Contreras is a New York Times Best Selling Author. Her books range from romantic suspense to contemporary romance and are currently translated in seven different languages.
She lives in Miami, Fl with her husband, two adorable boys, three bulldogs, and two stray cats that she refuses to admit are hers (even though they live on her porch, she named them, and continues to feed them). When she's not writing, she's usually lost in a book.