Thursday, December 27, 2018

Olivia Castillo's Song of the Boricua Book Excerpt Tour - Excerpt #14

SONG OF THE BORICUA by Olivia Castillo, Fiction, 335 pp., $18.95 (paperback) $.99 (kindle)

Author: Olivia Castillo  
Publisher: Independent  
Pages: 335  
Genre: Fiction


Puerto Rico an island of contradiction, serves as an enchanting backdrop following three generations of women.

Elena:  Resilient and ambitious, but trapped by duty to her children.

Maria:  Passionate and headstrong, but married to a man she does not love. Josephina: Optimistic and romantic, but in love with an alcoholic.

Isabella: Clairvoyant and spiritual, but denies her heritage and roots.

Like the land these women are held hostage, unfulfilled and unable to find their happiness. Each generation like the land is cursed. Can they defy the powerful bond of the curse and free themselves to find love everlasting?

New Author, Olivia Castillo, like the jibaros of the past weaves a tale of sorrow and joy. Castillos’ fiction is timely, offering a glimpse into the islands rich history and offering insight into the story that has plagued women for all of time, the search for true love and acceptance of self.



Book Excerpt 14–

Chapter 3


            San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 1937

            Ricardo Santana continued to stare at one of the most beautiful girls he had ever seen. I have been around the block a few times, but this time, ¡ay, Dios mío, que bella! he thought to himself with pure delight.
            Twenty-nine-year-old Ricardo Santana was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, to an extremely poor family. His father was a mulatto, an agregado. He was also an alcoholic and a womanizer who delighted in hurting women and would beat Ricardo’s mother mercilessly on nearly a daily basis. Young Ricardo hated his father, Pablo, with a passion and swore to himself that he would never be the lowly bum that his father was. He had ambition and wanted to take his mother away from his father and provide her with a better life.
            In his teens, Ricardo was introduced to the exciting world of rum-running. Prohibition had made rum a lucrative and profitable business, with Puerto Rico becoming the center of all rum production. Ricardo began to make more money than he could ever imagine. Pretty soon he had his own operation, with his men bootlegging rum from Mona, an island near Puerto Rico, to the US mainland. They would use small boats to smuggle the rum to San Juan and then hide the boxes aboard larger passenger boats that were sailing to New York or Florida.
            As his fortune increased he was able to buy a large, beautiful Spanish hacienda for his mother in Ponce, high on El Vigia Hill. Ricardo’s mother, Rosa, never asked questions. She was just happy to be away from her abusive husband and living in such a beautiful place.
            One day, his hate for his father bursting from him, Ricardo decided to rid the world of his pendejo father forever. “Vete pal carajo, Papi,” he said out loud, damning his father while simultaneously instructing the two men to do as they wanted with his worthless scumbag of a father. They grabbed the sleeping Pablo and he disappeared that night, never to be seen again.
            Nineteen thirty-three was the end of Prohibition but even so, Ricardo still made a good living gathering other goods to smuggle and sell on the black market along with the rum. Some nights he would walk the docks to meet up with some of the smugglers he had hired and he would sometimes hear racial slurs directed at him from the white American Marines who had ships docked there. He would continue walking, not wanting to be noticed, but his hands would be shaking he was so enraged. He would remember his father ranting and raving about those pendejos Americans and how they were better under Spanish rule.

Olivia Castillo is a New York native. After going to the prestigious Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, she went on to study graphic design at Otis Parson's College in Los Angeles. Along with being an entrepreneur, she is the mother of three children, and grandmother of two. When not writing or spending time with her family, she travels the world and paints. Song of the Boricua is her first novel.

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