I took about a two – three month hiatus to get my personal life together. It truly was a trying time for me when it came to writing, because it was the first time that I found myself blocked. Well, I wouldn’t really call it blocked, it was stress from my outside world clouding the richness of the stories in my fantasy world(s).
I am back with a bang. Many of you, new and old, have graced this list because of the popularity of a particular second-chance, interracial romance between a husband and wife who let the world come between their love. Wronged Desires has been a huge success for me being that it graced the Amazon bestseller lists/rankings for nearly two months. The book, six plus months later, still remains in the top 100k for overall books on Amazon. It ranked in Japan, France, Australia, and Canada to name a few and there’s always room for more.
With that being said…let’s give me a round of applause for pleasing those patiently waiting. Book two of the Never Throw Stones Series has been completed and accepted by Amira Press to be published. Book 2, titled Entangled Desires, is simply the story of Sandra Santiago and Manuel Domingo after the baby, after the stress, after the incarceration of Carlos Santiago. I had a lot of soul searching to do when it came to writing this piece. A lot of people ended up not liking the character of Sandra for various reasons after book one, and I always feel that there are two sides to a story. This is her story. This is her unveiling of why Sandra is the way she is and why the men who love her…love her.
I am planning on having an extensive promotional campaign for this release that covers at least a two month span. A few giveaways may be mixed in and possibly a Facebook event. You will get reintroduced to the Wronged Desires crew all over again, but this campaign will definitely tap into some subjects you will see in Entangled Desires.
As a matter of fact, this is the first posting of my promotion. This is a short piece that will serve as a refresher and a bridge between Wronged Desires and Entangled Desires.
Here is Carlos’ letter…
He scowled at the thought that he treated his wife like she was a mere puppet. Some fancy Barbie Doll for him to flounce around his family and friends when he was ready to play with his trophy. However, the things he did while he was away were unforgivable. How dare he sit and judge her for having a night of miscalculated judgment that resulted in the creation of a life. He was never around. He never treated her like he should have. He took her for more than granted. Carlos knew that no matter what he did to Sandra, the guilt of their family values and traditions would dictate that she would never leave him and he used that as leverage for his coldness.
“Mi amor Sandy…tiene un nino – a baby boy,” he whispered to himself.
He had to be careful with his utterances. There were five other men in his pod and they were already leery of him and his self-discussions. Talking to himself was something that Carlos normally did when he was on the road so it was natural to do it from time to time especially in an environment where all he had was time.
Carlos felt the sting of tears to the creases of his eyes when he thought of Sandra holding a fat baby. He always wanted to give her a son but due to powers higher than his own might, he was never able to accomplish it. With a baby, their life would’ve been perfect he thought. She would’ve been approving of him – the man of her household. Yet he continually let her down even in areas that she was still in the dark about.
To be truthful, Carlos wasn’t a saint. What Sandra had done was only a blimp in the world of lies and deceit that he created with her. To think that she loved and believed him while he was away from home on monthly campaigns was awing. Her loyalty was unwavering. He had an unhealthy addiction for the seedy underbelly of trucking. Lot lizards, prostitutes, alcohol, and drugs. Over the years he had experienced them all. Thanks to being a lifetime member of the family business, Carlos learned early how to occupy oneself while on the road.
He remembered looking up to his father. The man was like a king and Carlos wanted to be just like him. His family lived in a huge estate in South Fort Worth, Texas and his mother never worked a day in her life. His father alone provided for their comfortable lifestyle. To own a productive trucking and shipping company was to live the good life and he was next in line to rule the empire.
Carlos sat on his metal bunk and reclined back on the thin mattress sitting on a bed of creaky springs. He fingered the curled edges of the only picture of Sandra that he held in his wallet. It was the day that he got his first truck with a customized deluxe cab and tractor trailer. They were both so excited and talked of traveling the US together while he was on assignment. Later on that night, his father pulled him to the side stating that it would be in his best interest if Sandra manned the home-front while he experienced life on the road…alone.
Thoughts of his first ride with his father plagued and damn near haunted him. He was seven and his mother had fought and argued against him going on the road, but she finally gave in. He didn’t understand the apprehension being that he was only a child. It was going to be a long trip from Texas to upstate New York, but he was prepared for the excitement along the way. His father took him to all types of restaurants along the way. From fast-food joints like McDonalds to hole-in-the-wall steak houses. All the grimy food that his mother would never consent to him eating, yet they were on “the road” and the “the road” had a different set of rules according to his father.
He remembered about eighteen hours into the trip, his father told him to start preparing for bed. Carlos was excited because his father’s cab had a queen-sized bed, a shower, and a TV with a satellite connection. They parked at a large rest stop – the kind with a store, restaurant, showers, and park area that was twenty-four hours a day. Carlos quickly brushed his teeth and put on his favorite pajamas and nestled in for the night. He thought that he and his dad would share the bed, but his father said that he was going to do a little work and chat with some of his trucking buddies before coming to bed. Carlos kind of shrugged it off and nestled in for some rest. There was a problem, the excitement of being on an adventure with his father kept him restless, so he turned on a late-night cartoon to occupy himself. That didn’t work. He figured he might as well sit upfront with his dad and take in the nightlife. Sure his mother would be upset that he stayed up past his bedtime, but he was on “the road” with his dad.
After sliding into his slippers, he shuffled to the cab door but he heard muffles like someone was talking. He quickly deduced that his father was talking to one of his buddies, so he decided against joined him in the front. As he turned to head back to bed, he heard a high-pitched sound of laughter. It was a woman visiting with his dad. As far as Carlos’ juvenile mind could reason, most truckers were men and not women.
His curiosity got the better of him and he slowly inched to the door and slid it open. From his vantage point, all he could make out was his father’s flannel shirt and her blond tendrils strewn all over her head. He could smell her perfume—pungent flowers of the valley that wafted dangerously up his nose. Strong and loud.
Her hand was at his shoulder and Carlos found that to be odd. His father was a tight, stonelike man that wasn’t one for affection of any kind. As far as he could remember, he had never kissed his mother publicly or even hugged her. He just wasn’t the type, yet this woman was caressing his shoulder like they were old friends. While Carlos pondered over the gesture, his jaw dropped when he saw his father reciprocate by placing his arm around her shoulders. Her tawdry, greasy yellow strands ran over the sleeve of his shirt and back down her back. Then his father ran his hand through her stringy hair and pushed her head to his lap—out of Carlos’ sight. In a fright, Carlos slammed the cab door and ran back to bed.
His father shouted his name, beckoning to him, yet he didn’t come check on him until at least fifteen minutes later. He was physically trembling trying to figure out what his father was doing with the nasty woman. Why was he touching on her? Laughing with her. What were they doing? Then his father entered the cab and called out for him to sit up and pay attention. No matter what, Carlos wouldn’t defy his father so he complied. That night, he got his first orientation in the rules of “the road”. As the years went on, Carlos took more trips with his father—experiencing and learning the lifestyle firsthand.
He scoffed to think, Sandra was supposed to be his first and only. The hooker that his father bought for him on his eighteenth birthday trumped that notion. Carlos rolled over toward the wall and curled his body into a ball. The other inmates in his pod were chattering amongst themselves while he was in a thick, thunderous storm of his life. He reached under his pillow and pulled out the pen and pad that he had been attempting to fill for months. It was time to bare his soul and tell his wife the truth. However before he could pen that letter to his one and only love, he had to tie up a loose end that was frayed and hanging in another end of his life.
Dear Arely Santiago,
Hey babe, this is Carlos. I know I haven’t been home lately, but there’s something I have to tell you…