Friday, July 05, 2019

New Books

This week, another New Books column featuring an unlikely trio of new fiction for discriminating tastes -- and readers who enjoy a good story.  Included is the debut novel from Richie Narvaez, an author I interviewed back in 2012 here on La Bloga. Here's the link to that earlier conversation. Congrats on the debut, Richie.  Hope your book sells a million.


Hipster Death Rattle
Richie Narvaez
Down & Out Books - March, 2019

[from the publisher]
Murder is trending. Hipsters are getting slashed to pieces in the hippest neighborhood in New York: Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Latinx reporter Tony “Chino” Moran and his community lawyer ex Magaly Fernandez work to solve a missing person's case while dealing with the realities of gentrification, skyrocketing rents, and class tension.

Filled with a cast of colorful characters and told with sardonic wit, this fast-moving, intricately plotted novel plays out against a backdrop of rapid gentrification, skyrocketing rents, and class tension. New Yorkers and anyone fascinated with the city will love the story’s details, written like only a true native could. Entertaining to the last, this rollicking debut is sure to make Richie Narvaez a rising star on the mystery scene. 

Richie Narvaez was born and raised in Brooklyn. His work has been published in Latin@ Rising: An Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy, Long Island Noir, Mississippi Review, Murdaland, Pilgrimage, and Tiny Crimes: Very Short Tales of Mystery and Murder, among others. His first book of short stories, Roachkiller and Other Stories, received the Spinetingler Award for Best Anthology. Hipster Death Rattle is his debut novel.

Praise for Hipster Death Rattle:

“Richie Narvaez has created something that’s been missing from recent fiction: a vivid, loving look at city living from the street view.”—Sara Paretsky, award-winning author of Shell Game

Hipster Death Rattle is a smart piece of work featuring the unlikely yet likeable hero Tony ‘Chino’ Moran. Fierce and funny…with a light touch that masks Narvaez’s biting social commentary.” —Reed Farrel Coleman, New York Times bestselling author of What You Break

“[Narvaez] has one of the most compelling writing styles I’ve come across in years.” —Lawrence Kelter, author of Back to Brooklyn

JL Ruiz
Wpr Books: Latino Insights - June, 2019

[from the publisher]
The Katie Suarez Social Justice Book Series introduces a reluctant heroine Katie, the sometimes insecure daughter of two successful Mexican-American lawyers. Raised in a sheltered and loving environment in the beautiful, affluent, and mostly white Paradise Valley, Arizona, Katie’s privileged life allowed part of her family to become complacent and ignore political and social attacks to the Mexican-American community, which for different reasons, they feel removed from.

Greedy, unscrupulous and sometimes evil political and financial forces have decided to use Mexicans in America as scapegoats for partisan gain, with devastating consequences to the people Katie loves, as well as countless others. The attacks first divide Katie’s family and later divides society.

Important events and people shape, and ultimately transform the shy Katie into a social champion. Her father Lorenzo teaches Katie the importance of knowing the history of the past to understand the present and predict or alter the future. Other people in Katie’s circle allow her to view events from different perspectives. Her friend Mallory with an undocumented family, her close friends Blaire and Brandon, and most importantly, her handsome, popular and dominant brother Mark.

Katie’s increasingly successful crusade to fight injustice makes her a target, as powerful forces become aware of the danger to their interests and scheme to squash her movement. The outcome could change the lives and futures of hundreds of thousands or could leave her an outcast or even worse, dead. This compelling American story shows the irreversible damage caused by greed and scapegoating, as well as cultures coming together with the power of knowledge, friendship, love, respect, and human kindness.

Dámaso Avilés - Illustrations by Quinn McSherry
Coming Soon

[from the author]
For a long time, the Yanirens lived in peace on the Yanira Island. Their place in the world was to keep watch over the flow of the River of Life – a river that gave sustenance and life to the whole planet. But human life on the rest of the planet was not as peaceful as it was on their beautiful island, and the gods were divided on how to fix it. Some of them, disgusted and angered by the human beings, waged war. In a fierce battle, some of the gods cursed the river, obstructing its flow with a massive stone that no god or human could lift. But, in their anger, the cursing gods forgot one thing – the possibility of a demigod who could remove the stone. It was then that the gods who loved humans saw an opportunity to break the curse with the help of Terronius, a young peasant who had survived the battle.

Dámaso Aviles was born and raised in Puerto Rico. From a young age, he developed an interest in writing, from poems, short stories, and novels, to plays and songs. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Middle and Secondary Education in Spanish and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Interamerican University. Prior to his career as a writer, he was a teacher in Puerto Rico; later, he moved to the United States where he began teaching in public schools in both Clayton and Atlanta, GA. Along with his passion for education, Avilés is inspired by his love for the environment and his vivid imagination, which can be seen in his upcoming release, The Yanira Island.
Avilés also has a passion for music and is skilled in various string instruments like the cuatro, the guitar, and the bass.


Manuel Ramos writes crime fiction.  His latest is The Golden Havana Night (Arte Público Press.)

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