Featured: Reluctant Rebel by Parris Afton Bonds
Parris Afton Bonds
The eyes may be said to be the scouts of the heart, but these two rebellious hearts might as well be blind.
In January of 1917, young Piedad Arellano is riding the streetcar across the Santa Fe Bridge that connects Juarez, Mexico to El Paso where she works as a housemaid.
When she learns El Paso is using kerosene and toxic chemicals to “treat” workers for suspected lice, she takes a stand and says, No!
Thousands join her in the protest, shutting down bridge traffic and making international news.
Walter Stevenson is an agent with the newly formed Bureau of Investigation, on a mission to identify the “master spy” being handled by the precursor of the Nazi party there in El Paso.
Their two worlds collide when Piedad is arrested for inciting the Bath Riots and Walt reluctantly comes to her aid. No two lovers were ever more mismatched.
Spies are pursued, dark family secrets are revealed, and romance may be possible in this historical novel based on the true events of the Bath Riots.
Meet Parris Afton Bonds:
I’M DANCING ON SUNSHINE because you have dropped by my little part of Parris’s Paradise. We have some things in common ~ that we believe good overcomes evil; that love triumphs over everything, even death; that we love a tension-packed story; and that we feel the best books enhance our lives.
I write for the reckless of heart. Not surprisingly, I identify with my novels’ characters, both the protagonists AND antagonists. I suffer with their angsts and bewilderments and rejoice in their joys and triumphs.
And I believe that if we heroically hold fast to our own vision for ourselves in our journey’s confrontations and challenges, then Life WILL manifest our dreams and goals and visions, as it does for my characters in my novels.
Parris Afton Bonds is the mother of five sons and the author of nearly fifty published novels. She is co-founder and first vice president of Romance Writers of America, as well as, cofounder of Southwest Writers Workshop.
Declared by ABC’s Nightline as one of three best-selling authors of romantic fiction, the New York Times bestseller Parris Afton Bonds has been featured in major newspapers and magazines and published in more than a dozen languages.
The Parris Award was established in her name by the Southwest Writers Workshop to honor a published writer who has given outstandingly of time and talent to other writers. Prestigious recipients of the Parris Award include Tony Hillerman and the Pulitzer nominee Norman Zollinger.
She donates spare time to teaching creative writing to both grade school children and female inmates, both of whom she considers her captive audiences.
Review by Gini Grossenbacher:
In 1917 Walt Stevenson, war correspondent turned BI undercover agent, arrives in El Paso from Mexico City during Pancho Villa’s revolutionaries and General Pershing’s American Expeditionary Force.
El Paso was making brisk international trade, and its smuggling operations were no secret. Espionage agents abounded, in addition to German spies involved in shady political deal-making since America was on the verge of war with Germany during WWI.
His purpose in El Paso was to determine the identity of Germany’s master spy, Felix Sommerfeld.
Pia Arellano, a housemaid for a German family, feels someone staring at her as she exits the El Paso-Juarez streetcar: Walt Stevenson observes her from down the street. She dreams of a much better life, and she desires to buy land and build a house. After a typhus outbreak in El Paso, the entry point from Juarez changes.
Authorities require the Mexican workers crossing into El Paso to strip and spray their bodies with fumigating chemicals. A rumor circulates that inspection officers take naked women’s photos and distribute them.
Pia leads a women’s migrant worker riot on the international bridge, and Walt recognizes the same Pia Arellano and admires her defiance.
Pia and Walt’s amorous-but-hesitant relationship develops amidst border skirmishes as many nations vie for guns and ammunition, for cattle in exchange for American money.
This activity occurs in light of international espionage focusing on the Zimmerman telegram. Germany promises Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico if Mexico allies with Germany during WWI. Against this turbulent background, Pia offers Walt genuine vulnerability and honest love, but is he ready to accept it?
The answer lies within quickly turned pages filled with heart-stopping action, lovable characters, and well-drawn historical details—a sparkling novel that both educates and entertains.
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