Havana Blues by David Pereda – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David Pereda will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The year is 1952 and Ramon Rodriguez’s life as a teenager in fun-loving Havana is filled with typical activities and concerns: girls, education, religion, baseball, parties, and hanging out with friends. The country is enjoying a period of prosperity and happiness–until General Batista stages a coup that topples the government and Ramon’s life is flung into chaos.

In a few short years, the carefree fifties morph into a vicious and repressive dictatorship highlighted by corruption, organized gambling, school closures, student demonstrations, police brutality, and assassinations.

As Ramon experiences the thrills of his first romantic relationship, graduates from school, and struggles to plan for an uncertain future, he is forced to make important decisions that may be dangerous to him, his family, his friends, and his girlfriend – the beautiful Sonia — and could turn deadly.

Enjoy an Excerpt

My room was on fire. Orange tongues licked the crumbling walls and snaked across the burning floor toward my bed. Thick gray smoke choked me. My ears throbbed with an insistent and reverberating sound.

I couldn’t breathe.

I gasped for air. My palms felt sweaty, and my heart thrashed against my rib cage, as if trying to escape my chest. I opened my eyes. For a moment, I was in a bright and silent void – then I heard my parents arguing in the kitchen.

It was a hot and sunny morning. I had been dreaming of hell again, and the alarm clock was ringing.

I shut it off.

Ever since Brother Santiago had given in Religion class a week ago a vivid and realistic description of hell as punishment for masturbation and having sex with prostitutes, I’d had the same dream over and over. Amid much commotion and speculation, Pacheco, the frail student with a perennially runny nose who sat behind me in class, fainted and had to be carted off to the school infirmary, pale and limp like a noodle in won ton soup. Everyone in class knew Pacheco was an assiduous masturbator – he bragged about it to other students often enough – but his blackout generated great speculation
in the school about his frequent visits to brothels. I wondered what kind of nightmares Pacheco was having.

On second thought, I really didn’t want to know. I had enough with my own nightmares of hell.

I stretched lazily in bed. Today was a special day. It was my birthday. I was fifteen years old.

A door slammed somewhere, and once more I was aware of my parents’ angry voices in the kitchen. I likened their arguments to a sort of word symphony, the sound of their voices harmonized so well. My mother’s shrill, piercing sting was a nearly perfect complement to my father’s placating hum.

Though I couldn’t hear them clearly, I guessed what they were arguing about – money. Ever since Papa’s broom-making business started going bad, it seemed money was all they ever talked about.

About the Author:

David Pereda was born in Havana, Cuba. The award-winning author of seven previous novels, he enjoys crafting political thrillers and edgy mainstream novels with unique characters placed in exotic settings. He has traveled to more than thirty countries and speaks four languages. Before devoting his time solely to writing and teaching, David had a successful international consulting career with global giant Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked with the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru and Qatar, among others.

A member of MENSA, David earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in California. He earned bachelor degrees in English literature and mathematics at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

He lives in artistic Asheville, North Carolina, with his youngest daughter Sophia, where he teaches mathematics and English at the Asheville-Buncombe Community College. He loves sports and is an accomplished competitor in track and show-jumping equestrian events.

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Comments

  1. James Robert says:

    Congrats on the tour and thank you for the excerpt and giveaway.

  2. Thanks for hosting!

  3. I want to thank you for hosting me in your blog today. I’ll be checking in and out throughout the day — before, in-between and after my classes — to answer questions or respond to comments from your readers about Havana Blues, my next upcoming book to be released in March, or any other topic regarding my writing. As a special concession, my publisher has reduced the price of the Kindle book on Amazon to only $2.99 during the length of the Goddess Fish Blog Tour. Again, my thanks.

  4. Thank you, James. Good luck on the giveaway.

  5. kim hansen says:

    Sounds good.

  6. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and, if so, how do you overcome it?

    • Luckily, I don’t suffer from writer’s block; or, at least, I haven’t suffered from writer’s block so far in my life. I do suffer, however, from a disease called procrastination, which afflicts me sometimes. When that happens, I usually resolve it by having a serious conversation with myself while jogging around a nearby lake. Most of the time, that does it. When it doesn’t, I resort to abject manipulation. I give myself permission to buy a particularly good bottle of wine as long as I don’t drink any of it until I write at least five more pages. That usually does it.

  7. Kris Meldgaard says:

    Thank you for sharing! Congrats on the tour & Release!!🎉

  8. Sounds like a great book.

  9. Great post!

  10. Thank you Kim, Kris, Rita and Victoria. Good question, Peggy.

  11. This book sounds very interesting. Congratulations on the publication of it! How long did it take to write?

  12. Astilbe, it usually takes me about two years to write a book. Havana Blues, however, took me thirty years. As I say in the Author’s Note, I was so close to it that I couldn’t edit it. Finally, I let it go, so it wouldn’t lose the energy and veracity of its scenes. It’s not a perfect book, and it’s not for everyone. An unknown illiterate reviewer declared on Amazon that he didn’t like the book because it lacked enough action. Other reviewers loved it. You can’t please everybody — and that includes me. Had I kept the book longer, I may never have published it. This book makes me feel naked and exposed. Does that make any sense to you?

  13. Thanks

  14. Thanks yo you for visiting this blog and taking an interest in my book, Whitney.

  15. It was my pleasure to answer your question, Astilbe. Thank you for asking it — and understanding the meaning of “naked and exposed.” You must be a writer yourself.

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