I keep a queue folder on my laptop for stories that are in-process or forthcoming. Sometimes all I have is a title, or the main character’s name, or just a few paragraphs of plot or maybe the opening sentence. I couldn’t remember when exactly I came up with the idea for Pen & Xander so out of curiosity I decided to check the file for the date it was created. Turns out I created it way back in October of 2013. That was four years ago right after I published my first contemporary YA romance–Breathing Ghosts.
I can’t believe I’ve been mulling over and fleshing out these characters for so long. But at the time I had no idea The Girl In Between was going to turn into a 4-book series. I definitely didn’t think that my most popular books would be in the paranormal romance genre. And yet, things turned out exactly the way they were supposed to and four years later, Pen & Xander is not my 4th book…but my 8th.
And now it’s FINALLY out in the world ready to connect with readers. And…exactly 12 months after publishing my last book, I’m feeling…optimistic.
And suddenly superstitious like maybe I shouldn’t have just declared that someplace as public as the internet. But I’m going to leave it here, for me, and everyone else to see so that in case something miraculous happens and this book ends up making all of my dreams come true I have proof that I believed in me first. I believe in me and I believe in these characters and the story they have to tell. I believe that it’s my best work and I believe that it deserves an audience. I just hope that once I find them they’ll believe in this story just as much as I do.
Pen Prado has a passion for cooking. Specifically, cooking her father’s food in her father’s restaurant. It’s the heart of their immigrant neighborhood, a place where everyone belongs, and second chances are always on the menu. Except for Pen. Despite the fact that there’s something almost magic about her food, her father can’t imagine anything worse than her following in his footsteps. And when Pen confesses to keeping a secret from her family, he fires her, ensuring she never will.
Xander Amaro is undocumented but that doesn’t stop Ignacio Prado from offering him a job at his restaurant. For Xander, it’s a chance to make amends and to sever his toxic relationship with the druglord, El Cantil–a man whose been like a father to him since his own disappeared. Soon after, his mother abandoned him too, leaving behind a void that not even his abuelo can fill. Until he meets Pen.
Both seeking a place where they feel like they truly belong, they end up finding each other, and in the face of tremendous fear and self-doubt, they end up finding themselves.
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This story is so important to me that I want to make sure that every reader who wants to read Pen & Xander has access to a copy. If you’re unable to buy a copy, please reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org) so I can send you a copy directly. You can leave a review if you like but there are no strings attached to this deal. I just want to say thank you for your continued support, and because I believe so strongly in this story and these characters, I want to get it in the hands of as many people as possible.