June 5, 2019

BOOK OF THE MONTH: CONEY ISLAND SIREN BY THERESA VARELA



  
The Latina Book Club is proud to name CONEY ISLAND SIREN by Theresa Varela as Book of the Month.  It’s an amazing book on a hard topic with a surprising ending.  Readers will be captivated.

Theresa invites everyone to her book launch on Wednesday, June 12, 6-8 pm at the Nuyorican Poets Café on 236 East Third Street, NYC.  All readers welcomed. Books will be on sale.  Get your signed copy there!





“If I pen my thoughts on paper, are they no longer my secret?”   --Ellen

 “If you stay silent because of fear, you are forever voiceless.”  –Maggie



Pollen Press Publishing LLC
Astounding. Mesmerizing. Engaging.

Theresa Varela cleverly weaves fact and fiction, suspense and magical realism in her new captivating novel set against the backdrop of the joyful, chaotic, wondrous world of Coney Island.  

Domestic violence is not pretty.  It’s an endless nightmarish roller coaster ride; a vicious cycle not easily recognized from within or without until it’s too late.  Readers will sympathize with Maggie, even as they want to shake her into opening her eyes and doing anything, everything to get out from under a monster’s thumb.  However, that’s easier said than done.  Nothing will change for Maggie, or any woman, until they take a stand. Gods, Goddesses, friends, counselors, lawyers and cops can help, but the victim herself has to take that first step towards a new life, a new self.  

CONEY ISLAND SIREN keeps readers on the edge of their seat, lost in Maggie’s despair, then elated at her rebirth, and finally stunned at her shot at freedom.



BOOK SUMMARY:   Maggie Fuentes is a lucky woman. She has a great life: she lives by Coney Island, has a fancy apartment, is a well-liked nurse at a leading hospital, and her handsome boyfriend Police Officer Frank Ramirez is up for detective.  She is so happy.  In public.

In private, Maggie’s life is hell. She mistook Frank’s destructive possessiveness for love, and now she is a prisoner to his dark needs.  Cops can’t, won’t help.  She suffers in silence and “adjusts” her attitude after each insult, each blow.  Drugs are her favorite escape and soon she is hooked on opioids, which she steals from her patients.  Journaling is another escape, but she stops because she can’t be honest with herself. 

However, she loses herself in a journal she found at a Coney Island flea market about a turn of the century servant named Ellen; who also fell for a sweet talking monster.  The more she reads Ellen’s story, the more it echoes her own.  “I’m every woman,” thinks Maggie; every woman who has ever been abused -- her Mom, her best friend, Ellen and even Frank’s mother.  She dreams of being a siren and walking into the sea, of being free, of controlling her destiny, but she is stuck in an endless rollercoaster of violence.  Her job is at risk, her addiction growing out of control, Frank’s violence is escalating, all men turn out to be pigs, and her one friend turns her back on her.  Maggie’s chasing the dragon and the dragon is chasing her.  But, when her one chance at freedom arrives, a fearful but determined Maggie makes the most startling decision of her life.


AUTHOR BIO:   Award-winning Puerto Rican author Theresa Varela was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York.  She is the recipient of International Latino Book Awards for COVERING THE SUN WITH MY HAND in 2015 and NIGHTS OF INDIGO BLUE: A DAISY MUŇIZ in 2016.  Dr. Varela holds a PhD in Nursing Research and Theory Development, and currently works with the mentally ill homeless population in New York City.  She is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and a member of Las Comadres Para Las Americas, and is on the Advisory Board of the Latina 50 Plus program. Theresa is co-founder of La Pluma y La Tinta, a Writer’s Workshop.  Her blog, LatinaLibations on Writing and All Things of the Spirit, can be found at www.theresavarela.com. 

Check out our February / Valentine's Day interview with Theresa by clicking here.





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