The NYT recently featured an article on the Mexican drug wars. The statistics are startling. Until a year ago, the official number was 40,000 but with the change of regime last year, the true stats are being released. The official tally is now 61,637 people who have disappeared since 1964, Ms. Quintana said, the vast majority of disappearances are since 2006, the year the crackdown on drug cartels was launched by then-president Felipe Calderón. I think the total is much higher.
I lived and worked in the coastal town of Puerto Vallarta from 2002. I never witnessed any violence of any kind. But, when you are not actively looking to score, you are unlikely to meet those that sell or transport the product. Still, the overall feeling of danger persists in the small drug towns up in the mountains.
In the early 2000’s I met a man we will call “Carlos.” He worked in a bar/restaurant and came from the small mountain villages where drugs are grown and trafficked. I didn’t know any of this at the time. However, as a writer with a vivid imagination, I began to piece together a story of his life. It began with the murder of both his parents, and how he grew up on the streets of Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, one of the most violent states in Mexico. His story and his romance with a writer became the award-winning novel TARGET in the SUN. Target is FREE to download on Amazon right now.
The second book in my series, VANISHED in the SUN continues the story of Mia and Carlos and is based on one of the most horrendous disappearance cases of the drug wars. In 2014 43 students from Ayotzinapa were attacked and kidnapped by local police officers working for a local drug gang in southern Mexico. Their bodies were never found.
When you write contemporary fiction, somewhat based on fact, and running through the story is the story of an extremely unlikely couple, it’s difficult to classify the books. Are they Romantic Suspense? Contemporary Romance? Contemporary Fiction?
TARGET in the SUN is free today. You will be pulled into their story as I was when I wrote the book.
Comments on the books:
“Gripping and suspenseful, clever and sharp, Target in the Sun is a romance thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed the format, telling parts of the story through letters. I also enjoyed how smoothly it read, the type of book that sucks you in. Highly recommended. ” Vine Voice
“I never expected such a compelling story. The book is written in a very unique style; told from the perspective of three characters through using e-mails and journals as well as narrative. It’s much more than a romance; it’s the story of people struggling to make sense of their complex lives.
From his childhood through his life Carlos is a forceful character. I couldn’t help but be fascinated by him. His eventual relationship with the older American woman, Mia, is just a drop in the swirling ocean of his life. As I read I found myself unable to put the book down wondering what would happen to them, would they end up together, would one or both die? It created a delightful tension. Then there is Lucia, a highly decorated FBI agent who puts her life on the line to help the lovers escape the dark past Carlos carries with him. What impact would her unprecedented actions have on her life and career? She is also an intriguing character. After the events of 9/11 she seems to change. Using her relationships with Tony, Michael, and Israel, Filler creates a character that is complex.
Creating a character who is involved in the drug trade yet remains a sort of hero is a challenge most authors would not attempt. Filler not only attempts but succeeds in the effort. The inevitability of Carlos becoming involved in the “family business” is offset by his growing feelings for Mia.” E. H. Newton