Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Song of the Boricua - Excerpt #13 @oliviacauthor

SONG OF THE BORICUA by Olivia Castillo, Fiction, 335 pp., $18.95 (paperback) $.99 (kindle)

Author: Olivia Castillo  
Publisher: Independent  
Pages: 335  
Genre: Fiction


Puerto Rico an island of contradiction, serves as an enchanting backdrop following three generations of women.

Elena:  Resilient and ambitious, but trapped by duty to her children.

Maria:  Passionate and headstrong, but married to a man she does not love. Josephina: Optimistic and romantic, but in love with an alcoholic.

Isabella: Clairvoyant and spiritual, but denies her heritage and roots.

Like the land these women are held hostage, unfulfilled and unable to find their happiness. Each generation like the land is cursed. Can they defy the powerful bond of the curse and free themselves to find love everlasting?

New Author, Olivia Castillo, like the jibaros of the past weaves a tale of sorrow and joy. Castillos’ fiction is timely, offering a glimpse into the islands rich history and offering insight into the story that has plagued women for all of time, the search for true love and acceptance of self.



Book Excerpt 13 –

            During those late-night hours, the old fort was deserted, with the exception of a few amorous couples who embraced in dark corners, not caring if they were seen. From the top of El Morro, she would stare out in awe at the vast, black, beautiful sea, waves breaking along the rocks, stars bright above her.
            The melody of the coquí kept her company and she promised herself and God that someday she would finish school. The spirit of her grandmother’s Taino ancestors filled her and she felt at peace, knowing that her grandmother was watching over her.
            One balmy night as she was coming back from one of these walks, she was startled by a low whistle behind her. Regretting that she had ignored her mother’s warnings about being out so late, she swiftly removed her shoe to use as a weapon. She spun around to see who the culprit was and what she saw left her speechless.
            An older, sophisticated man smiled at her, white teeth flashing in the dim Spanish streetlamp. He was impeccably groomed, from his black brilliantine hair and thin, polished mustache down to his shiny black patent-leather shoes. He was dressed in a white suit, with a white fedora cocked down over one eye.
            She stood there, dumbfounded. Her experience with men had been limited to her father and a handful of childhood crushes. The man looked her up and down like a cat ready to eat a canary.
            “I am so sorry to have startled you, but has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?” he asked in a deep voice. Elena did not know how to respond. She had never heard anyone talk that way before and she had never given much thought to her own looks. She just looked up at him with trepidation, unable to respond.
            The sudden breeze tousled her long, wavy, black hair. As she stared into his dark eyes she sensed a danger that scared and thrilled her at the same time. He wasn’t very tall or handsome, but he had a sophistication about him that she had never encountered before.
            “No, not really,” she said, her voice oddly matter-of-fact despite her unease. “Sorry, sir, but I must be on my way.” She turned away, not liking that she was alone with a strange man.
            “I’m sorry to have frightened you,” the intriguing man responded. “My name is Ricardo Santana; you can call me Ricardo.” He smiled at her, one dimple flashing. He took off his hat and bowed swiftly, grabbing her hand before she could resist, pressing his warm lips to her fingers. “You should not be alone at this time, young lady; lots of wolves out there,” he purred with a smile in his eyes.
            “You’re right, Ricardo. I must go.” Elena quickly pulled her hand away, feeling quite vulnerable, and even stupid.
            “I promise you I won’t bite,” Ricardo told her sheepishly, realizing he was scaring the poor girl. “It’s not a good idea to be alone in this part of town,” he added with concern. Coincidentally, at that very moment a disheveled man appeared across the street and glared at them, and Elena realized Ricardo was right.
            “Let me walk you home. Please allow me that so I can make sure you’re safe.” Ricardo smiled with a warmth she could not resist, and with that he put her hand in his elbow. “A gentleman always walks on the right side,” he explained to her, trying to calm the little canary. He positioned her to the left of him. “That way you will not be hurt by anything coming from the streets or above.” Elena looked up at Ricardo, and as her eyes locked with his she knew in that moment that her life was about to change forever.

Olivia Castillo is a New York native. After going to the prestigious Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, she went on to study graphic design at Otis Parson's College in Los Angeles. Along with being an entrepreneur, she is the mother of three children, and grandmother of two. When not writing or spending time with her family, she travels the world and paints. Song of the Boricua is her first novel.

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