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Desert Blood 10PM / 9c is the first in a series of mystery novels featuring Gus González.  It was published by Simon & Schuster in February, 2006.

ISBN: 1-4169-1156-1

Reading Level:  Young Adult

Trade Paperback:  320 pages  $7.99

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Read a sample chapter from Desert Blood 10PM / 9c here!

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Synopsis:

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Fourteen-year-old Gus González’s life changes forever when he is adopted by Nicholas Hernandez, a twenty-six-year-old Latino actor whose red-hot career is the buzz of Hollywood.  This unexpected good fortune comes with a whole new set of problems:  A year after the adoption, Gus finds himself the subject of outrageous supermarket tabloid stories, his best friend Lalo wants to audition for a role on Nick’s hit television crime drama Desert Blood, and he discovers that the girl he likes has a crush—on his new dad.

During an open casting call at the remote TV studio where Desert Blood is filmed, a boy is brutally attacked and another mysteriously vanishes.  With the media swooping in to cover the story, it’s up to Gus and Lalo to find the missing boy and discover the attacker’s identity before Nick’s rising career is destroyed—and Gus’s new life along with it.  As the clues pile up, it becomes clear that Nick is hiding a secret about Gus’s adoption, putting their newly formed father/son relationship at risk.

Set in California’s Mojave Desert, Desert Blood 10PM / 9c features a cast of modern Hispanic characters working and living in the fast-paced industry of television entertainment.  At its heart, it is the story of a boy learning to be a son and a young man learning to be a father, in spite of the pressures of growing fame and intense public scrutiny.

Read a sample chapter from Desert Blood 10PM / 9c here!

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Other Completed Manuscripts:

Desert Bones:  The exciting sequel to Desert Blood 10pm/9c.  When the skeletal remains of an actress missing for more than two years are found buried in his new grandparents’ yard, Gus begins an investigation into who put them there--and why.

Border Patrol:  When seventeen-year-old Mark Malloy helps his older brother Josh become a contestant on a controversial new reality show called Border Patrol, he has no idea that something is about to go horribly wrong.  During the taping of the program, Josh vanishes without a trace, and a month passes without a single lead to his whereabouts.
 
Filled with feelings of guilt, Mark travels by himself from Chicago to the border town of Nogales, Mexico, determined to find his brother and bring him home.  There, he is immediately plunged into a dangerous and violent world of human smugglers, drug traffickers, thieves, and killers.
 
On his first day in town, Mark is brutally attacked by a vicious gang of thugs and left naked and badly injured in the harsh Sonoran Desert.  Dehydrated and close to death, Mark is found by Conejito, a local boy close to his age who has made his home in the desert after his family perishes during an unsuccessful border crossing.  Conejito nurses Mark back to health and agrees to help him solve the mystery of what happened to his brother.
 
Together, the teens begin the dangerous task of tracking down Josh’s abductors.  Their search takes them through the streets of Nogales, into the hellish tunnels under the city, and out to the remotest parts of the desert, where they come face-to-face with the region’s most feared and ruthless smuggler, El Chamuco.  With Conejito’s assistance, Mark launches a daring plan to defeat the coyote and rescue his brother.
 
Along the way, Mark experiences firsthand the dangers facing immigrants in Mexico today and the extraordinary risks they take to have a better life in the United States.
 

Mandy Garcia:  Teenager Sam Miracle’s life is turned upside when his father, the famous actor and director Lee Miracle, makes a racist comment during a routine interview with Rolling Stone Magazine.  Immediately after the interview is made public, the young and beautiful actress Mandy Garcia launches a campaign against both Lee and Sam.  Because of her public condemnation, Sam loses his job, his television show is canceled, his girlfriend leaves him, and he finds himself without friends.

When the producers of Mandy’s own show, North of the Border, offer Sam a chance to appear as a guest star on several episodes, he reluctantly accepts, in spite of the protests of his parents.

Forced to work alongside the girl who destroyed his family, Sam is horrified to discover that he is developing romantic feelings for her...feelings that she returns.
 

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