ChRiver of Love Publishing Date ~ September 24, 2019
“The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle.” ~ Anaïs Nin
My debut novel River of Love has found a home with Homebound Publications. I’m thrilled to be working with Leslie Browning and her talented staff. September 24, 2019, is the release date. Its genesis came to me while running along the banks of the Arkansas River in Cañon City, Colorado almost seven years ago. It took patience, perseverance and Grandma Barbara’s divine intervention to catch this dream and make it real.
River of Love is a supernatural love story about a fierce Mexican American girl growing up in a white Colorado town in the 1970s, River of Love is a love letter to the Southern Rocky Mountains, to the Spirits, to a close-knit family, and even to youth itself.
ROSE RAMIREZ receives an insightful epiphany while running along the Arkansas River during a visit to her hometown Red Cañon, Colorado also called Klanyon City for housing the headquarters of the KKK. Rose is part Apache, Navajo and Ute Indian, and has a strong connection to The River. The Arkansas River is an integral character, along with the environment. The link to her American Indian ancestors highlights society’s crucial role in saving Mother Earth.
At fifteen, Rose falls in love with JACK DILLON, a boy at the Catholic boarding school down the street. They discover together a mystical place at The River where local “townies” and preppy boarding school kids party together and form close friendships.
Rose and her cousin CHAVELA are considered poor “townies.” Chavela is pregnant at age 14, which has a profound effect on Rose. Poverty, the cruelest of characters, defines and limits Rose’s capacity to be a maverick and risk-taker and threatens her spiritual transformation. Rose’s brother ESSÉ joins the Air Force and gets shipped to Viet Nam. Their older sister RAE is a lesbian who finds a partner before coming out to their traditional Catholic Chicano parents. Rose and Jack hide their relationship from her family because of the strict and uncompromising parents won’t allow her to be with a white boy. Mexican Americans live for their families; everything revolves around la familia.
Jack graduates and goes to college at Tulane University in New Orleans. He and Rose have a brief reunion the following year. Rose attends one year at the University of Colorado, flunks out and moves to the Bay Area in Northern California with relatives. Jack visits her, it goes terribly wrong, and he severs the relationship.
Rose returns to Colorado heartbroken. She lost Jack and her other robust Love California – and spirals into a familiar bottomless sorrow. But again, she reinvents herself and learns to trust The River, the Flow, the Lover. It takes immense confidence in the Holy Mystery. She accepts the risk – to be in the present, to try not to make things happen, to not push The River. Let thoughts come and go on their own, to flow like a riverbed, which is continually receiving and letting go at the same time. Constant receptivity and non-clinging release, no forcing or holding back.
During this time, Rose’s Grandma Barbara manifests a life partner for her. A resplendent diamond among the rocks. One Memorial weekend, Rose returns to Red Cañon, Colorado for the Inaugural Balloon Classic Festival and the 40th high school reunion, Class of 1975, at the Sacred Heart High School.
Rose and her friends are baby boomers, some retired, all healthy. It’s a nostalgic romp similar to weekends spent in high school. They realize how we strive every day to make ourselves different and somehow manage to remain the same person we were years ago. The journey between who they once were and who they are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place. And Rose still loves her Beloved Band of Gypsies.
We are stardust (billion-year-old carbon) We are golden (caught in the Devils bargain) And we got to get ourselves Back to the garden
Hispanics are the nation’s largest racial minority at 17 percent, total population roughly at 57 million. Mexican Americans transform the definition of what it means to be mainstream American, by the enormity of our numbers – the new American majority of non-whites. Slowly, the face of America is changing – she’s turning brown. Every year, 900,000 Chicanos born in America reach voting age. They buy books and want to read stories that are relatable. Read us. Listen to our stories. If we don’t sing our world into being – no one else will. “We can’t let people drive wedges between us…because there’s only one human race.” – Dolores Huerta.
In the end – we’re only as great as the double doors we blast open. I will be posting updates on the publishing journey. I ask for your support and also to support Homebound Publications preserving contemplative storytelling that nourishes the mind and soul. Here’s the link to their website: