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Countdown is ON!

 NINE days to go before

Moreno’s

releases!!

 

First the disclaimer:
If you’ve read my books before, you know I tend to sprinkle Spanish words throughout my stories, usually in the dialogue where the parents are speaking. Most of my characters are Mexican American, born and raised here and, like me, their parents are originally from Mexico and mostly Spanish speaking. This story is a little different. This couple was born and raised in Mexico and their first language is Spanish, but obviously the book is written in English. However, to stay as true to the story as possible, I used a LOT more Spanish words in this one than any of my other books. I had fun cussing in both languages. LOL. I don’t do any translating, but I try to make the meaning of said words clear in the context they’re used. My beta readers said they didn’t have an issue, and most are not Spanish speaking. They also pointed out that, in their readers, they have the translate option, so in case there is a word you can’t figure out, you can always use that. ¡Espero que les guste!

 

Prólogo

No Regrets

Alejandro

The music was playing, the crowd was in good spirits, and all Alej could think was, What the hell had he been thinking? While his head reasoned that he deserved to have fun—deserved to let loose and the feelings of guilt were unwarranted—his heart said otherwise.

“¡Ándale, güey,” Cido urged. “You promised you wouldn’t be a downer. What’s the point in being here if you’re not even gonna try to mingle? See those two at the end of the bar behind me?” His friend took a swig of his beer, looking behind Alej all overly inconspicuous. “They been looking this way, and I’m pretty sure the guerrita is eyeing you.”

Alej brought his bottle of cerveza to his mouth and took a swig. He glanced over at the girls casually as Cido ordered two shots of tequila. Cido was right. The girl with the blond hair smiled sheepishly at him. Going against his better judgment and only because it felt like the polite thing to do, he smiled back, tipping his hat at her.

The bartender poured the shots and Cido paid him. “Come on.” Cido picked one up and handed the other one to Alej. “It’s New Year’s Eve, man. Snap the fuck out of it already, and let’s do this.” Clicking his shot glass against Alej’s, Cido lifted it in the air. “To moving on.”

Alej frowned but took the shot with him anyway. Feeling the burn in his throat and then his chest, he winced, chasing it down with his beer.

“Smooth,” Cido said hoarsely before taking another swig of his beer. “Hell yeah!”

Glancing at Cido, Alej watched as his friend lifted his beer in the air in the direction of the girls. When Alej turned to them, they were lifting their drinks at him as well and smiling big.

“I told you.” Still smiling big, Cido didn’t bother looking at Alej. Instead, he leaned in against the bar. “Hey, Chief, can I get four more of these? But I’ll take them down at the end of the bar.” Now he turned to an already panicking Alej and slapped a hand on his shoulder. “Let’s go. I’m done with your mopey ass. Enough of this shit. You’re getting laid.”

“Wait. What?” Alej started off his bar stool but hesitated. “I said I’d go out tonight. Never said anything about getting laid or even . . .”

“Well, you can at least have some fun.” Cido tapped him so he’d move, and Alej did reluctantly. “We’ll play it by ear.”

They walked over and introduced themselves to Patty and Aleida, the blonde batting her lashes at Alej. First thing they mentioned was being sisters, even though there wasn’t much of a resemblance.

“You girls here alone tonight?” Cido asked.

“Yeah, but we’re not staying all night. We just stopped by to get a few drinks before heading out to a party.”

“Party, huh?” Cido smirked as the bartender dropped off the four shots. “This place ain’t good enough for you?”

“It is,” Patty said, glancing around. “But we’ve had plans to attend this party for some time now.”

Handing them each a shot, which they happily took, Cido raised his, motioning for Alej to take the last one off the counter. Alej did, despite the knot forming in his stomach. He could only hope these girls would leave for their party sooner than later.

“Here’s to taking chances.” Cido clinked Patty’s glass. “Living in the now.” He clinked Aleida’s then turned to Alej, lifting a brow. “And no regrets.” With one more lift of his glass, Cido tipped his hat at the girls and they all downed their shots.

“Taking chances. I like that. Speaking of,” Patty said with a wince after sucking a lemon wedge. “How do you guys feel about coche anchos?”

Coche ancho?” Cido asked.

Limusinas,” Patty clarified. “Our dad is very overprotective. So, when we told him we were going out for the New Year, he rented us a limu.” She bounced her eyes at her sister, who chewed her bottom lip. “Live in the now?” After Aleida gave the go-ahead nod, Patty turned to Cido with a big smile. “What do you say we go drive around for a while and then you two can be our dates for the party? Limo’s fully stocked with liquor.”

“Hell, yeah,” Cido said without even consulting Alej. Patty started looking through her purse as Cido turned to a now completely panicked Alej. “Hear that?” he said in a lowered voice. “A pinchi limo.”

“Cido, I can’t, man—”

“You can and you will,” Cido huffed in an even lower voice now. “Stop with this shit already. You owe this to yourself, güey. It’s New Year’s Eve and two beautiful girls invited us to a party in a fully stocked limo.” He placed his hand on Alej’s shoulder and squeezed. “Don’t ruin this for me. For all you know, nothing will even happen.”

“Is there a problem?” Patty asked.

Both girls were off their barstools now, eyeing them in question. “None at all, hermosa.” He clapped Alej’s shoulder again. “My friend was just worried about leaving his car here.”

“Oh, we can bring you back to pick it up after the party,” Patty offered; then her smile went a little playful. “Or tomorrow morning if you’re not up to driving tonight.”

Alej pressed his lips together as Cido turned to him with an equally playful smile. “You see there? Problem solved.”

Swallowing hard, Alej placed his empty beer bottle on the counter as Cido slipped his hand in Patty’s and they walked off ahead of Alej and Aleida. Feeling rude but unwilling to do the same with Aleida, he walked alongside her, not holding her hand. As they made their way through the crowded club, Aleida began to lag. Alej turned to her and slowed. She must’ve taken that as an invitation to hold his hand because she slipped hers into his as soon as she caught up and smiled timidly. Alej glanced down at their now clasped hands, working his jaw. This night was just getting started.

No regrets, his fucking ass.

 

 

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Moreno’s – We have a release date!


Available for preorder now!

(If it’s not linked it means it hasn’t gone live yet at that particular retailer yet, but I’ll be adding links as they go live so check back!)

Amazon US

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Amazon AU

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iBooks

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Nook

Kobo

Who’s ready for a teaser?

Set up: Alejandro is an older teen now who over the years has set the tone about his amiguita. Even his own best friend isn’t immune to his no bones about it attitude when it comes to this . . .

Alej was easily distracted by Cido, who was staring at Isa. She was out by the street, giggling with one of the paleta vendors, a young guy about their age who Alej didn’t recognize. The guy pulled out a paleta from his cart, handed it to her then, but shook his head and refused her money when she tried to pay him.

“Who’s that puto?” Cido once again touched on the very thing Alej was just wondering himself.

Only now he was wondering something else as well. He took his eyes off of Isa just to glance at Cido. “The fuck do you care?”

Cido shrugged as if catching himself. “Just wondering.”

Cido went back to cutting up onions as Alej continued to stare at him. He thought back to Cido’s annoyance about her spending Independence Day away and all the times Isa had laughed a little too much at his idiot friend’s jokes. Could it be that, because of that, Cido was feeling just as disappointed about her not being here to celebrate it with them as Alej had? Because of her age, and only because it was necessary to remain as respectful despite how intimate things had gotten between them, they weren’t out as a couple to anyone yet. But clearly, even her own mother had known for years Isa was his. Only now he wondered if maybe if Cido and infuriatingly even Isa needed reminders that this kind of shit, no matter how innocent, just wasn’t going to fly with him.

“Remember way back when I told you not to ever think of Isa in any other way than just a friend?”

Cido stopped chopping and glanced up at him. “Yeah?”

“That stands even more now. Only reason you should care if you see another guy flirting with her, is if it’s not me.” Removing his apron, Alej handed it to Cido “I’ll be back.”

“It was a quinceañera not a . . .”

The rest of what Cido had started to mumble went completely under the radar as Alej stopped in his tracks and turned around, feeling his brows furrow. “What did you say?”

For a moment, Alej thought Cido might take back whatever he’d begun to say because he didn’t even look up from the corn he was chucking. “¿Qué dijiste, guey?”

Finally looking up, Cida shrugged, and if Alej didn’t know any better, the guy was annoyed. “Just saying it wasn’t a wedding, dude. Her quinceañera. Just because—”

“This goes way back to before her quinceañera, and you know it.” Alej started back toward his friend, feeling every muscle in his body tense, but he was getting one thing straight right now. “You gotta problem with me saying she’s off limits to you for anything else than a friend, Cido?”

Wisely, his friend shook his head and went back to chucking. “No, I was just saying—”

“Good ’cause she is.” Alej was standing right in front of the table where Cido was working, glaring at him with a purpose. “And if I have to remind your ass again verbally or any other way, don’t think I won’t—every time.”

Looking up for a sec, Cido shrugged and the quick eyeroll wasn’t missed, but at least the idiot wasn’t stupid enough to keep pushing. Only because this was his good friend and Alej knew he could be a pendejo about a lot of stuff, Alej dropped it too. But he meant that last statement. Good friend or not, Alej hadn’t been willing to bend about this even before her birthday, but his feelings about this were even more fiery now.

Feeling even more flustered now than he had the first time he nearly walked out, Alej let his dad know he’d be right back. He walked out of the small kitchen. As soon as he came around the corner where he could see her still standing there chatting with the guy, he called out for her. She turned to him. The guy followed her gaze, and Alej stared him down as he walked toward them.

aaand now you get a better idea about where his sons got this attitude from. 😉


Moreno’s cover reveal!

They’d been sweethearts since grade school and by high school knew they were soulmates. Nothing would keep Alejandro Moreno from marrying Isabella as soon as she was of age. Making no bones about it, he made sure everyone in el pueblo who might get ideas about her, knew he’d set his very respectable claim on her.

Until the unthinkable happens.

How long do you wait for your soulmate? Months, years, forever? Or do you eventually move on . . .?

Ready for your first teaser???

Excerpt set up: Isabella our h has just overheard a girl flirting with our H Alejandro. For years they’ve referred to each other as just friends because they’re too young for more but she’s silently always hoped/felt there was more to their friendship . . .

Despite the gesture and his sweet words, her head was back to what she’d been thinking before he handed her the candy. Trying to hide the jealousy she still felt over the possibility of him hanging out with Imelda at the dance that weekend Isabella glanced away when their eyes met.

As usual he picked up on her disquiet immediately because when she turned back to him, his eyes narrowed. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” She lifted and dropped her shoulder.

The girl waiting on her esquites from Cido interrupted Isabella’s thoughts with her loud question. “How come I never see you guys at the rio parranda’s Saturday nights anymore?”

“Because those river hangouts are for middle school kids,” Cido said taking her money. “We’re preparatoria men now. We’ll be at the dance this Saturday instead.”

Isabella rolled her eyes. Ever since Cido and Alejandro started high school in the city he acted like he was all grown up. It’s why it was so hilarious when he made his dad mad and he was called a clueless mocoso in front of everyone.

Another group of kids walked up to the cart and ordered cobs from Alejandro. One of the guys in the group, Juan Carlos, a boy in Isabella’s class was immediately smiling when he saw her.

“Hey, Isabella. You going to the parranda this Saturday?”

Alejandro noticeably slowed his slathering of butter on the cob and eyed Juan Carlos, but then went back to focusing on what he was doing.

Juan Carlos hadn’t lived in Pueblo De Oro long enough to know about her and Alejandro’s history. Taking advantage of this, Isabella smiled feeling evil. But it was a necessary evil.

“I might, since I’m not allowed to dance yet.”

Juan Carlos smiled even bigger. “I’ve only been to a couple since I moved here, and they’ve been cool. I looked for you both times.”

“Yeah, I haven’t been to any lately. But I have been before and you’re right, they are fun. I’ll try and make it out this weekend.”

“Good.” He smiled sheepishly. “Last two times I brought my guitara. I’ll bring it again and play for you.”

As Alejandro finished preparing Juan Carlos’s corn and then his friends, Isabella asked Juan Carlos more about his guitar playing. She knew Alejandro as well as he knew her, to instantly pick up on his change in demeanor during the conversation she continued to have with Juan Carlos. Even if he hadn’t said a word throughout.

Isabella made sure to lay it on thick and did a little extra giggling at anything even remotely silly Juan Carlos said. When Alejandro was done with their food, she realized she may’ve laid it on a little too thick because Juan Carlos was suddenly a little too confident.

“So, what are you doing now?”

“Um . . .” She glanced at Alejandro whose intense glare practically burned a hole through her, then she turned back to Juan Carlos. “Nothing. Just hanging out.”

“Come hang with me at the placita. We’re just—”

“She can’t,” Alejandro said making her heart spike.

Juan Carlos’s eyes narrowed in obvious confusion. He glanced at Alejandro, then Isabella then back at Alejandro. “Why not?”

“Because she’s hanging out here,” he said simply then added. “With me.”

It took a moment for Juan Carlos to understand Alejandro’s attitude, but once he did, he nodded, even as his friend chuckled. Lifting his elote at Alejandro, he then tipped his bangora at Isabella but said nothing before walking away.

Alejandro eyed Juan Carlos then turned to Isabella. “I’ll be there with you at the parranda this weekend.”

Isabella did her best to hide the smile as her insides burst with excitement. “But I thought you’d be at the dance?”

“Is that where you want me to be, Isa? While you’re at the river listening to this guy play guitar for you?”

“No,” she said too quickly, then backpedaled. “I mean I heard you tell that girl you might be at the dance.”

“That was just me being polite with a customer, Isa. Why would I want to go to a dance without you?”

Feeling her heart flutter Isabella shrugged. “Well I thought because Cido said you two—”

“Cido,” he said openly and without bothering to lower his voice since their other best friend was busy flirting with three girls buying esquites. “Says a lot of shit, but you should know by now, he doesn’t speak for me. So, wherever you’re at Saturday night, I’ll be there right next to you.”

This time Isabella did smile. She was not about to argue. Not when she’d gotten exactly what she’d wanted. Confirmation that even as he’d gotten older and was now going to high school in the city with older girls, Alejandro was still one hundred percent feeling for her what she felt more profoundly for him with each passing day.

Share to enter to win a signed paperback of Orlando and one of FIVE ARC’s of Moreno’s once it’s ready!!! Release date TBA! I’m hoping for BEFORE the end of the year but we shall see!!!