Can hearts that beat as one in life really be parted by death? Author Ernesto Patino considers the metaphysical ramifications of love that transcends mortal limitations in this poignant tale of loss and renewal. Marco Anissi, devastated by the death of his fiancee in a car wreck, has reason to believe they are still spiritually joined. Because she was an organ donor, his fiancee's heart lives on in the body of a young woman, whom he follows to a dance studio in Tucson. He has no doubt their spiritual connection is real, but so are the physical barriers that threaten a happily-ever-after-conclusion. With this sweet, short novel, writer and part-time private investigator Patino raises interesting questions about life after life, karmic conjunctions, and love in its many guises.
Because my novel is set in Tucson, readers familiar with the city might recognize some of the places and locations mentioned throughout the book: San Xavier Mission, Tohono O'odham village, aircraft boneyard, Agua Caliente Park, La Encantanda Mall, Catavinos Wine Shop. Rattle Snake pedestrian bridge, Fourth Avenue, Speedway, Tanque Verde, Fronimo's Greek Cafe, and of course, the Sonoran Ballroom where many of the scenes take place. The ballroom has since closed, but I remember it fondly as the place to be on a Friday and Saturday night.
One Last Dance is my first book set in Tucson, which has been my home for the past thirteen years.
For those who have read or plan to read my novel, One Last Dance, there is a secondary character, Ramona, that appears throughout the book. The character is based on a real person, Ramona Daniel--her true name. She is a well-known professional dance instructor in the greater Tucson area. She was my teacher for many years, and so it was easy for me to turn her into a believable, likeable character in a story set in the world of ballroom dancing.
Through her fictional character, the reader is introduced to basic elements of dance, ballroom etiquette, and even some insightful advice about the meaning of love. In one scene she explains, "My grandmother once told me that a good relationship is like an apple pie. To make one the most important ingredient is the apple. But you also need flour, butter, and other ingredients. Without them, all you have is a bunch of apples. And the same with a good relationship. The most important ingredient is love. But you also need other things like being able to communicate, having a strong spiritual connection, and most importantly, having the same philosophy of life...how you see the world, the universe... Well, you get the picture. Without them, all you have is love, which is great but not enough to bind two people together--like the dough that binds the apple pie."
Were the novel to be made into a movie, I can easily see Eva Mendes or perhaps Eva Longoria playing the role of Ramona.
My novel, One Last Dance, has just been released by Indigo Sea Press. The book is available through Amazon, B&N, and many other internet outlets. It can also be ordered through your local book store. The story is set mostly in Arizona.
Marco Anissi comes out of a coma, days after his car slams into a light pole--the same pole he had crashed into exactly ten years ago, killing his fiancee, Susan. Coincidence? Not to him. Her spirit has reached out to him in a way he would understand.
With the help of Susan's mother, Marco learns that a woman named Julia Tinsley had received her daughter's heart. She lives in Tucson where she works as a dance teacher. Obsessed with the idea of reconnecting with Susan's spirit, Marco travels to Tucson. But he can't just walk up to Julia and introduce himself. What would she think--a complete stranger wanting to meet her? He signs up for lessons, hoping to develop a relationship.
Now, Marco must make a decision: tell the truth about himself and risk losing Julia with whom he's falling in love, or remain silent and enjoy his new life with her.
I would like to recommend a memoir, written by my friend, Bill O'Brien, who passed away before its upcoming release. The book is titled The Extraordinary Life of Bill O'Brien: an Ordinary Arizona Irish Cowboy. Bill was a rancher, a pilot, WWII veteran, businessman and founder of the Irish Cultural Center in Phoenix. His latest project was Los San Patricios de Arizona, which he formed to honor the memory of the Irish solders of the St. Patrick's Battalion who gave their lives for the cause of Mexico during the Mexican-American war. The book can be pre-ordered at Amazon.com or through the publisher inkwellpoductions.com.
I've signed a contract with a new publisher, Indigo Sea Press, for the release of my novel, One Last Dance. The story begins in Florida and ends in Arizona. Release date is scheduled for later this year.
My novel, Web of Secrets, is among the many books that International thriller Writers (ITW) organization will give to readers who enter the ITW contest during the month of November, 2014. Each of twenty winners will receive a new thriller every week for a year. To enter go to http://www.thebigthrill.org/1000-thrillers/ Or click on the arrow above. Good luck!
I am pleased to announce that my novel, In the Shadow of a Stranger, was a finalist in the 2014 National Indie Excellence Book Awards--Thriller category. It was originally published in London in 2001 by Robert Hale Ltd. and in 2002 by Thorpe Publishing.