Buenos Aires, mid- to late-'70s. German ex-pat Edward Hitzig is an introverted cab driver with no real friends and no real past, at least not from what the few people who know him have gathered. But Edward is haunted by his history in Germany, a history that includes a failed marriage and years of work as a high-ranking nazi doctor at the Kulmhof concentration camp in Poland (the first camp during WWII to employ gassing laborers).
After the war Edward flees to the southern hemisphere to start over again under an assumed identity and an assumed vocation, but when he falls for a stranger at a nearby cafe and befriends a family down the hall, his secretive world begins to slowly unravel after 30 years of silence. Will he overcome his prejudices? Find redemption? Can we ever really start all over in our lives, or are our pasts meant to follow us forever?
Status: First draft completed. Currently revising.
"Untitled" (possible working title: "Paradise Sought")
A story written in three parts, this book follows three generations of a family in the small Mexican town of Lamadrid where religion does not exist.
It's from this hedonistic atmosphere that Incendio Luna, the eldest of three brothers from Lamadrid's most respected family, ventures to Spain to close a business deal and in the process finds himself a bride, the beautiful and chaste Sofia Manderiaga.
After Sofia emigrates to Lamadrid with Incendio her attempts to acclimate to the carnal clutches of the town fail, yet it's when she is nearly raped by Incendio's younger brother and learns the truth of Incendio's illicit ways that she crusades for staunch Catholicism to cleanse the "Godless" town. Her demands fall on deaf ears until she falls in love with a powerful man from out of town who promises her that a church could be built in exchange for an affair.
After a months-long affair the man leaves and Sofia is left with an illegitimate child that Incendio believes is his own. Don Miguel is born a Luna and enjoys the entitlements that come with the name, but after escaping a tragedy that befalls the rest of his family, is raised by the town whore, Victoria, who -- like most in Lamadrid -- find no place for religion in daily life.
But it is when Catholic priests arrive from Mexico City, on a mission to convert Lamadrid and all its inhabitants, that the town begins taking on the history of Mexico itself. Don Miguel falls in love with the indigenous and independent Esperanza, a Bolivian girl who was raised by coyotes traveling North to find wealth. When Don Miguel marries Esperanza he also unwittingly marries into her family's business, a business that is fueled by money, drugs and greed.
Lamadrid soon becomes a crossroads where Catholicism and drugs, repentance and indulgence, cleric and cartel converge. It's on this crumbling battlefield where Don Miguel and Esperanza's daughter, Dia, is born and later taken from for a debt her parents cannot repay. After Dia escapes from her fate as a cocaine mule at the hands of her captors -- a new, venomous band of coyotes whose only faith lies in violence and wealth -- she cannot return to Lamadrid and so flees North toward America, where in the darkest hours of her travels her family's collapsed past is the only thing propelling her illegally across the border to rebuild her remaining years.
Status: Nearing completion on first draft.