By Josefina Gutierrez
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Multicultural
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: July 14, 2015
From author Josefina Gutierrez, of “The Shadow of Loss”, comes a new New-Adult contemporary love story.
I thought my life began when I graduated high school and moved far, far away—okay three hours away. But I was wrong. My life didn’t start until it almost ended.
I’m Cristal Escobedo, twenty-two years old and a former wild child who favors tequila far too much. But that all changed when life happened, and I ended up being responsible for my younger brothers. To top it all off, I think I’m falling in love with my best friend—dammit.
This is my not-so-happy story of how I grew up and got my shit together. My story isn’t filled with a bunch of pretty analogies or hyperboles. The people are real, the hurt is deep, and the love is complicated. People are flawed in the ways that matter; it’s what makes us human.
“Do you feel like you’re missing something?” Charlie asks with a stern voice, but underneath I can sense his gentle nudge.
I shrug, “My phone.”
“You were supposed to meet my assistant, because she scheduled a meeting with a job prospect.” He drops a stack of papers on my coffee table.
“Yes! See I remember that…I was just going.” I claw at the inside of my palms nervously, “I needed my phone first, gosh where is that thing anyway—” I trail off laughing awkwardly.
“Looking like that,” he points at my ketchup stained Atreyu shirt, with a mixture of amusement and disbelief. I knew I should have looked at my shirt closer, the smell test is never a sure thing.
“Well obviously not. Hello! Who do you take me for? I was going to change.” I backtrack from the living room.
Charlie counters me, walking towards me with his stern face. “So you didn’t forget about the meeting then?”
“Of course not! I am totally prepared,” I say bumping into the wall.
“Good,” he repositions me, turning me around, “because I would hate it if you were lying to me right now.”
“Good?” I question him, slowly walk to my room. He only says ‘good’ when he’s already onto me. Shit, he’s on to me! He’s going to see scruffy-face guy—then I’m going to get a lecture about my poor choices in men. Ugh. Now he’s going to give me a disappointed long face, with a ‘good’ to top it all off.
“So you didn’t get plastered last night?” Charlie asks. I can sense him trying extra hard to smell me from where he’s standing. I knew coffee was a good idea!
“Of course not!” I stop in front of my door, blocking it.
“Good.” He swats at me to move and I nudge over a bit.
I turn around exasperated. I can’t keep this up. “Okay, fine. I lied. I’m lying! I totally forgot about the stupid meeting, with your stupid assistant, about the stupid job,” I roll my eyes. “Alright, that’s not fair of me. Your assistant isn’t stupid,” I say moving to block the door again.
“Uh huh,” he says, reaching for the door handle. But I smack his hand.
“You know my room is such a mess. You know me. I can get dressed faster than you can say…”
“Good,” we both say together.
“Yes! See I know you,” I smile—but he isn’t having any of it. I open the door slightly trying to nudge myself in without letting on too much, but Charlie barges on through as if he owns the place, which sure he found the place for us, but I still pay rent.
I ready my defense, hoping to calm him down, when I notice scruffy guy isn’t in the bed anymore. Huh. Where the heck did he go? Oh, well, who cares, at least he’s gone.
“Why do you look so surprised? It’s not like your room has ever been clean. Get dressed we don’t have much time,” he rummages through my closet. Finally deciding on my nice blue suit, throwing it in my direction.
You can find 3volve on Goodreads
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The Shadows of Loss
By Josefina Gutierrez
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Multicultural, Romance
Age category: Young Adult
Evelyn Gonzalez keeps losing people, which is always hard, but has she lost something much more? Has she lost her soul? Evelyn has a nervous breakdown and is institutionalized, after months of sorrow and pain she is thrust back into the world. The world of teenage angst and Calculus. Can she trust people again? Especially after hurtful assumptions and judgments made her miss her junior year of high school. Evelyn is just trying to heal what she lost and graduate from high school.
Ever heard the expression it all went down in a pile of flames? Well shit, I didn’t think life was going to get all literal about it.
Now I am quietly tucked away between four white walls and a twin bed, where I can touch opposing walls with my index fingers. I have been stuck with my thoughts in this box for months. I have been cut off from the outside world, because I went crazy. My own sister, locked me up, but I don’t blame her—I really don’t. Olive was trying to help me when everyone else abandoned me. She writes me letters every week. I guess it is another way to anchor me to the living. It’s not like I don’t see her on visiting days, but like she says, “Letters are better for communicating, they force you to realize what is important.”
“Miss Gonzalez, your sister has arrived. Please gather your personals and follow me,” the orderly tells me. She was nice, but firm. I’ve heard the opposite is usually true in these cases—so I was lucky. She introduced me to Stigmata.
“Yes ma’am,” I say and walk over to the desk. I was only allowed the basics. I was stripped of all the vital things that would keep me informed or busy. I grab my small travel bag and my copy of Stigmata, which is on loan. Stigmata did for me what others could not. Some might have chosen an entirely different genre or novel, but it was never a matter of deciding, I knew. Institutionalization was a no brainer.
I hand my personals to her and follow her to the front. I see her waiting for me. She was always the attractive one. She is pacing back and forth near the front desk. She doesn’t see me yet, but I wave anyway, hoping she can sense it. Her face looks swollen, she must have been crying. She also looks skinnier than our last visit. How is that possible? I saw her a few days ago. Tsk tsk, frozen dinners most likely.
“Okay, Miss Gonzalez here are your items you brought in,” the orderly says. She hands me my old clothes, “You need to get changed.”
“Yes ma’am,” I grab my clothes and change quickly. I want to leave. I need to leave. I will try harder. I know I can try harder. When I open the door, sure enough the orderly is waiting for me. “Follow me Miss Gonzalez,” she says and turns to leave. “Yes ma’am,” I follow her.
She walks up to security. It is procedure upon discharge to get searched. They have my travel bag open and are rifling through my belongings. Opening caps and peering inside bottles. Why would someone smuggle something out of here? This seems unnecessary, but I go along with it. Besides I am supposed to be a reformed crazy person.
“All clear,” he tells her, and she begins searching me. Yes, I smuggled something on my person when I was in the restroom stall. I desperately wanted that five year old edition of Times.
After I am searched, I grab my personals and hand the book back to her, but she just shakes her head. “Miss Gonzalez I hope we don’t see you again. You keep that book. Remember to take deep breathes to calm yourself,” she gives me a genuine smile. You know those smiles where a person’s eyes crinkle, so you know it is real, then it hits me I won’t see her again—hopefully.
You can buy Shadow of Loss here:
- Barnes & Noble
About the Author:
Josefina Gutierrez is a Young Adult eBook author, who resides in San Antonio. Josefina writes Young Adult Multicultural, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy literature in her free time when she’s not embarking on adventures with her son and gnomes Fitzgerald and Bartholomew. Her current projects in the works are a Fantasy dystopian series, a Mystery-Thriller eBook, and New-Adult Contemporary Romance.
You can find and contact Josefina here:
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