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 [...]

The Women of The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

When I started writing this novella, I did not consciously set out to bust Latina stereotypes. You know the ones I’m talking about because they’re popular in movies and TV shows: the maid, the fiery-tempered Latina, the Latina who wears tight clothes and shows lots of cleavage. Then there is [...]

A Map for The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

My daughter asked if I planned to include a map for my urban fantasy novella, The Monsters of Chavez Ravine. The answer was no. But as soon as she said it, I thought it would be a good idea. While the characters and plot are fiction, the setting is real. [...]

Learn about Chavez Ravine

While monstrous things happened to bring about the end of the neighborhoods of Palo Verde, La Loma and Bishop, “The Monsters of Chavez Ravine,” is a work of fiction. The characters and creatures are the products of my imagination and while the backstory of the eminent domain evictions follows the [...]

Cover Reveal: The Monsters of Chavez Ravine

Here it is! The cover for “The Monsters of Chavez Ravine,” an urban fantasy novella. Luckily, I have a graphic designer who talked me out of some pretty terrible ideas and with limited input, came up with a cover that captures what this book is about. A big thanks to [...]

After Chavez Ravine: Eviction Trauma

My mother and her family lived in Chavez Ravine. It’s the place where Dodger Stadium now sits, just north of downtown Los Angeles. Before the bulldozers arrived, it was a tight-knit community of mostly working class Mexican American families. The Castaneda’s lived in the Palo Verde neighborhood on Bishops Road [...]

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