The Monsters of Chavez Ravine: An International Latino Book Awards Finalist

The Monsters of Chavez Ravine will always be my favorite “book child,” so I was thrilled to learn that it’s an International Latino Book Awards finalist for Best Novel Fantasy/Sci-Fi English. Empowering Latino Futures will announce the awards in October. Here’s why it’s such a big deal to me: 1.     [...]

Meaningful Connections: The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

Some of the most surprising and delightful things about running Facebook ads for my book, The Monsters of Chavez Ravine? People leaving comments about their connections to the old neighborhoods where Dodger Stadium now stands. Someone’s grandparents lived in Palo Verde, like my mother and her family. Had I heard [...]

My Mother as the Main Character in The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

My mother always wore her hair short. Really short. It looked fantastic on her with her high cheekbones and high-bridged nose. Then I was scrolling online and saw one of those clickbait galleries that show you what a famous person would look like today. Love those! My big takeaway is [...]

The Monsters of Chavez Ravine & Social Injustice

The Monsters of Chavez Ravine is an urban fantasy, but it's based on real events that happened in Los Angeles. I had some choices to make in writing this story with its theme of social injustice. I wrote about it for the online literary magazine, "Women Writers, Women's Books." If [...]

A Book Review Without Stars

Starting out as an independent author publishing her own books, I quickly came to realize how important reviews are to attracting more readers. One learns fast. MUST. GET. REVIEWS. If a potential reader happens upon your book and sees it has no ratings or reviews next to it, well, it [...]

Meet Dog Face Bride from The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

The monsters in my urban fantasy novella, The Monsters of Chavez Ravine, are many and come in different shapes and sizes, but the one that first popped into my head was Dog Face Bride. I’ve been thinking about it since I was a kid. Thank you, Grandma Chata. Whenever I asked [...]

My Really Odd Release Day for The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

As can only happen during a pandemic, the release of my new urban fantasy novella The Monsters of Chavez Ravine collided with Covid reality. I planned to spend the day continuing the marketing push for this book that is so close to my heart, monitoring Amazon's author site to see [...]

Choosing Not to Italicize Spanish Words in The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

One day, I was scrolling on Twitter and came across a tweet I found fascinating. A young traditionally published author announced in very bold terms she does not italicize Korean words in her novels. In fact, she said she REFUSED. Another author chimed in. This woman is Latina, like me. [...]

Family Secrets and The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

There is a character in my urban fantasy novella, The Monsters of Chavez Ravine, nicknamed Ripper. The residents of the old neighborhoods of Palo Verde, Bishop, and La Loma were big on nicknames. In photographer Don Normark’s stunning book, Chavez Ravine 1949: A Los Angeles Story, he includes two pages [...]

The Monsters of Chavez Ravine: The Chinatown Connection

In my urban fantasy novella set in the hills above Los Angeles, a doctor from Chinatown makes several house calls to the injured residents living in Chavez Ravine. Chinatown is a little over one mile away, and less than five minutes by car without traffic. I don’t know how many [...]

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