My new novel, A House of Light and Stone (due out this September 2014 from Inspired Quill, UK) is a story of strangers. Known strangers. The strangers we are in our lives, all of us. We can be strangers in a new neighborhood, strangers inside our own family. Strangers in society, even, strangers to ourselves. Strangers within our own skins.

A common point of this is that those feelings of disassociation can come at any age. In any calendar year. Today, yesterday, or tomorrow. To a ten year-old girl, or to grown women. Stories of strangers, denying them or embracing them, can be set in a city you know, or simply in one you know of, like East Los Angeles.

If there’s a touch of the stranger in our lives, we’ll recognize it, in reading this novel, set in 1966, in the BoyleHeights district of L.A.

There’s a mystery of sorts in A House of Light and Stone, an inner layer of storytelling that you don’t always find in a story with a child’s POV. But that may be because the story is actually one of a family and more. A la, To Kill a Mockingbird, or Bastard Out of Carolina, or Letters in the Attic. A mystery writer I really enjoy reading, Lawrence Block, has a line about comedy and tragedy in one of his novels. How life for some is one or the other. And his character feels maybe it’s both. For the narrator, Duffy, here in this novel, it’s surely both. She, her neighbors, and her family are joyous as often as they aren’t. They fail as much as succeed.

What I wanted was to show the puzzle though a pair of naïve eyes. Eyes that were perhaps too wrapped up in other worries to see what might really be right in front of her. The reader will say if I’ve managed it or not. Managed the puzzle, the glimpses of stranger in more than just our Duffy here. The comedy right up next to that tragedy and those mis-steps.  

Becca and Mrs. Betancourt, and the corner market. Joanna with her cello and her chess-playing father, Mr. Degado. Father Rudolf. Barking dogs. A day at the beach. Our little Duffy’s mother and all the kids, in that house of light and stone.

I hope you’ll give it a read.

(Links to sell point info to follow soon)