Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Excerpt -- Havana: Killing Castro



The two women left the bar arm in arm, giggling. To a casual observer, they could have been two friends who had had too much to drink, maybe even lovers. The parking lot was crammed with cars.

“Where’s your car?” Marcela asked.

“Over there.” Tula made a vague gesture, slurring her words. “I think I’m drunk.”

“Give me the keys,” Marcela said.

Tula opened her purse and looked inside. “I’m dizzy.”

“You had a lot to drink.”

Tula handed Marcela the keys, wobbling. “I think I’m going to be sick.”

“Breathe in deeply and you’ll feel better,” Marcela said. “What kind of car is it?”

“A Corolla.”


“That’s the one.”

“I see it.”

“Where are we going?”

“I’m going to take you home, undress you and tuck you into bed.”

“No, no, no.” Tula giggled. “You can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“You’re as drunk as I am.”

“Not quite.”

Marcela opened the passenger door for Tula and helped her inside. Tula’s short dress climbed up her thighs as she slid in, and Marcela felt a glow in her belly. The night is promising. She lifted Tula and positioned her in her seat so she could buckle her seat belt.

Marcela went around the car and got in. “Where to?”

Tula slurred the address, eyes unfocused and head lolling. She slumped in her seat and rested her head against Marcela’s shoulder. Tula’s warm breath on her arm sent delicious shivers down Marcela’s spine. She started the engine.

“You’re strong,” Tula said, raising her head and squeezing Marcela’s right bicep.

“I go to the gym a lot.”

Very strong.”

Marcela couldn’t control herself. She leaned forward in her seat and kissed Tula’s open mouth. Tula’s saliva tasted of mojitos.

“Don’t do that,” Tula said, head bobbing.

“Why not?”

“You’re a woman.”

“I’m really a man disguised as a woman.”

Tula snickered. “No, no, no. You’re just trying to confuse me. You’re a woman.”

“What if I’m a woman? I can’t kiss you then?”

“I like men, not women.”

“You ever been with a woman before?”


“How do you know for sure then?”

Tula giggled. “The smell.”

“The smell?”

“I like the way a man smells, sweaty and rough. Not sweet and soft like a woman.”

“How do I smell to you?”

Tula leaned in her seat and smelled Marcela’s neck.

“You smell a little bit like a man.”

“Who’s your favorite film star?”

“Brad Pitt.”

“Would you have sex with him if he invited you?”

“I might. I don’t know.”

“Just close your eyes and imagine I’m Brad Pitt.”

“But you’re a woman.”

“Let your imagination flow. With your eyes closed, who knows who I am?”

Tula closed her eyes, and Marcela kissed her. With the tip of her fingers, Marcela caressed Tula’s thighs and ran her hand all the way to Tula’s crotch. Tula moaned and opened her eyes.

“Are we home already?”

“You were snoring.”

“I don’t snore.”

“Okay. Give me your hand. Good. Now lean against me.”

Marcela helped Tula walk to her ground-floor apartment in back. She tried a couple of keys until she found the right one, pushed the door open, and stepped in, dragging Tula behind her. Once she closed the door, she lifted Tula easily and carried her to the bedroom.

“You are so strong,” Tula said.

“I told you I’m a man.”

Tula giggled. “No, you’re not.”

Marcela propped up Tula by the bed while she yanked the bedcover to the floor. Then she lifted Tula again and deposited her on the bed.

While Tula rested her head on the pillow, Marcela undressed her. She removed Tula’s dress and black-laced brassiere. Marcela’s head pounded with excitement. She removed Tula’s black-laced panties. Tula hardly stirred.

Marcela removed her clothes and got in bed beside her. She ran her fingertips over Tula’s body, kneading her nipples gently. She nibbled Tula’s ears and kissed her neck. Then she opened Tula’s legs slightly, leaned over her and gave her little sucking kisses all over her body. Tula stirred restlessly, eyes closed.

Marcela finally got down between Tula’s legs and started licking, first the inside of her thighs, then around her labia, and finally her clitoris.

Tula moaned. Marcela inserted a finger in Tula’s vagina and the tip of her thumb in Tula’s anus and squeezed. Tula’s body jerked. Marcela licked faster.

Tula lifted her back, and her body became taut. Marcela knew what was coming. She stroked Tula’s clitoris with her tongue with rapid motions. A moment later Tula stopped moving for a long instant and then screamed. Her anus puckered and started twitching. Marcela loved that feeling in her hand. She removed her hand and smelled Tula’s aroma.

What a wonderful scent. Only one of my favorite smells is missing.

Marcela lay on top of Tula and rubbed her body against hers while Tula continued to gasp and moan. They were both bathed in sweat. Marcela was so excited that the moment she started massaging her own clitoris, she felt the wave coming. She closed her eyes and moaned. The wave came fast, toppling everything in its wake, and she lost consciousness of what she was doing. When she stopped convulsing, she slid off Tula’s body and lay on the bed next to her. Tula was snoring softly again.

Marcela smiled and drifted into sleep.

Havana: Killing Castro is a 2009 Readers Favorite Awards winner, and is now available as an eBook from Eternal Press, and also in print and eBook format from Amazon.com and select booksellers.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Excerpt -- Havana: Killing Castro


Pepe didn’t arrive in an hour, as promised. It was nearly two hours later that Raymond answered the knock on the door. This left him ample time to unpack, shower, change into fresh clothes, and get organized.

“Raymond!” Pepe cried effusively and gave him a bear hug. “Long time no see!”

Pepe’s cancer was definitely in remission, Raymond decided. His cheeks had a healthy pinkish color, and his eyes projected an intensity that wasn’t there the last time they saw each other.

“Fidel, how nice to see you.” Raymond returned the hug, speaking loudly and carefully for the benefit of the two muscular black bodyguards behind Pepe. He noted they had physiques and facial expressions similar to Marcela’s. He wondered what had happened to the old bodyguards. Maybe it’s a matter of security, he thought. The old bodyguards knew Fidel too well. “It has been a long time indeed. You’re looking good.”

“I feel good. You don’t look so bad yourself, Raymond. Still run every day?”

“Every morning.”

“You look healthy and fit.”

“Gracias, Fidel—so do you.”

“I brought good Cuban rum and hierba buena so we can drink some mojitos while we talk.” Pepe laughed loudly, showing a brown paper bag to Raymond. “You like?”

“I like.” Raymond smiled back and stepped aside to let him enter.

“Por favor, come in.”

“You stay outside,” Fidel instructed the two bodyguards. “Watch the door, and don’t let anyone interrupt us.”

“Sí, mi Comandante!” the two men shouted as one, clicking their heels and saluting smartly. “You will be undisturbed.”

“What’s with your new security personnel?” Raymond asked as soon as the door was closed and he was certain he couldn’t be overheard. “You seem to have changed everybody.”

He slumped on the living room sofa. Pepe sat on a chair across from him.

“It’s Raul’s idea. He and Fidel are great believers in Santeria. All the people in charge of my security now are Abakuas.”



“What’s that?”

“It’s a secret organization that believes in African gods, very tight. It’s very difficult to become an Abakua. And they’re very loyal.”

“Is it safe for you?”

“The religion?”

“The security.”

Pepe nodded. “Security is tighter than ever. These people take their job very seriously. It’s a matter of honor with them.”


Pepe made a face, pursing his lips as if he had bitten into a lemon, and Raymond stared curiously at him.

“Something wrong?” Pepe was smiling at him. “Hey, I’m talking to you, Raymond!”

“No, nothing’s wrong. Why do you ask?”

“I was talking to you, and you were in limbo.”

“Disculpa, Pepe. What were you saying?”

“The code of honor of the Abakuas is well known and feared in Cuba. An offense to one of them can lead to a knife duel to the death.”

“Sounds like a pretty bloody group,” Raymond said, watching Pepe’s hands, which seemed smaller and less gnarled than he remembered.

“And you feel safe with them?”

“They are very honorable.” Pepe threw his head back and laughed. It was obvious that the years of impersonating Fidel Castro had changed his friend. “Well, Raymond, are you going to help me fix some mojitos, or are we going to sit here and talk all afternoon?”

“Both, I hope.” Raymond grinned. “I didn’t know you could make good mojitos.”

“Not good, Raymond—great. I had to learn to make great mojitos to impersonate Fidel. Remember, it was his favorite drink.”

“I remember.” Raymond rose from the sofa. “Well, let’s go make a batch of mojitos so we can continue our conversation. We have much to talk about. What are we waiting for?”

“Let’s go.”

Pepe stood, and Raymond followed him to the small bar in the corner. As kids, he used to be nearly a head taller than Raymond was, and now he seemed to be almost the same size. Something was different.

Maybe it was the aging process. Maybe his own memory was failing him.


“So what did you want to talk to me about, Raymond?” Pepe stretched on his chair to clink glasses and then took a long pull of his mojito, drinking with his pinkie finger straight up. Raymond shook his head in disbelief as he sipped from his own glass. He put his glass on the table as Pepe gazed at him. “You said it was important.”

“It is.”

“You know who killed Fidel?”

“You mean the fisherman shot dead in Mexico?”

“Yes.” Pepe drained the rest of his drink in one mighty gulp and stared at his empty glass. “Ready for another, Raymond?”

“Not yet.”

“Mind if I have another?”

“Go right ahead.”

“Keep talking.” Pepe leaned forward to refill his glass from the pitcher on the table, settled back in his chair, and took another pull of his drink. “I can drink and listen at the same time. You know who killed the fisherman?”

“I think so.”

“And that’s the reason you’re here?”

“Not really, Pepe. I came to confirm information—and to talk to you in person. As you always say, you never know who’s listening on the phone. By the way, where is Raul?”

“He’s going to join us for dinner tonight. Drink up, Raymond. I’m already finishing my second, and you haven’t really started on your first.”

Raymond sipped his drink thoughtfully. “Remember what you said to me a couple of years ago in Miami?”

“I said many things to you in Miami, Raymond.”

Pepe drained his glass and served himself another. This time he didn’t ask for permission.

“True. I mean, do you remember how you convinced me to come to Cuba with you? You told me that story about us as kids and how you had saved my life?”

“Of course I remember.” Pepe gulped greedily from his third drink.

“Do you? Tell it to me again.”

Raymond laughed amiably. “The same old Pepe, testing me out.”

Pepe laughed too.

“Okay, I’ll tell you—so you’ll know I still remember that story. We were in the park, and I got in a fight with Marcelino. He pulled a knife on me and tripped me. He was about to plunge the knife into me when you knocked him out with a punch. I’d never seen someone hit with such force. Marcelino’s head hit the grass so hard he was out cold several minutes. We were so scared you had killed him, remember?”

“Of course I remember,” Pepe said.

Raymond rose slowly, glowering at Pepe.

“That’s not the story. In the real story, you saved me from drowning in the Almendares River—remember? You’re not Pepe Orozco. And you sure as hell are not Fidel Castro either.” He leaned forward and said in a sharp voice, watching the man’s face blanch, “Who are you?”

Havana: Killing Castro is a 2009 Readers Favorite Awards winner, and is now available as an eBook from Eternal Press, and also in print and eBook format from Amazon.com and selected booksellers.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Excerpt -- Havana: Killing Castro


In three days, Marcela had been able to locate the suspected killers. And like the experienced predator that she was, she had selected her first target, the weakest link: the stocky man named Mauricio. He came to the Versailles

for coffee every afternoon at around three p.m.

Today she would make contact.

Mauricio was there when she sashayed around the corner. She skipped past the cars cramming the Versailles’s parking lot and took a place standing next to him at the counter of the crowded coffee bar. The dark-haired waitress looked at her and posed a silent question with her arched eyebrows. She held a steaming pot in each hand, one filled with coffee and the other with boiled milk.

“Un cafesito,” Marcela said. “And a guava pastry.”

“Con leche?”


“Coming right up.”

Marcela felt Mauricio giving her the eye, but she pretended not to notice. She had stuffed herself into tight yellow latex pants and a white sleeveless cotton blouse with a plunging neckline that left little to the imagination. She wore minimalist dental-floss panties, so her buttocks showed nice and round, and no brassiere. To bring out the color of her eyes, she had combed her hair back and tied it with a bright yellow band. Marcela knew she looked good.

She was dressed to kill.

The waitress put coffee and pastry on the counter, and Marcela, smiling, turned to Mauricio and caught him staring at her. “Pass the sugar, please?”

“Sure.” Blushing, he placed the glass sugar container in front of her.

“Never seen you around here before.”

Marcela poured sugar into the small cup and stirred it with a teaspoon before answering. “Never seen you here either, so that makes two of us.”

“I come here every day.”

“Good for you.”

Marcela took a bite of her guava pastry and chewed. For effect, she breathed in deeply and kept her back straight. God, she looked good, and she knew it. She had a terrific and fit body, with large, pointed breasts, long legs and a muscular ass. Cuban men liked nice asses, and she had one of the best.

Mauricio was looking at it right now.

Marcela let him ogle a little longer, build up expectations, before talking to him again. “I was living in New York. I just moved down to Miami. Too cold for me there.”

“How do you like it here?”

“I don’t know yet. I’ve been here a week, and I haven’t been anywhere.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t have a car, and I don’t know anybody here.”

“You know me now.” Marcela noticed how Mauricio puffed his chest when he said that and knew the fish had taken the bait and was on the hook. “And I have a car.”

Marcela cocked her head and inspected him up and down. “You married?”


“Let me check your hands.”

Marcela took Mauricio’s hands, one at a time, and checked the fingers for evidence of wedding rings. Oh, the human touch! She let her fingers linger a while before removing them. Mauricio had goose bumps.

“I guess not.”

“How about you?” Mauricio coughed.

Marcela put her arms on her hips. “Do I look married to you?”

Mauricio cleared his throat. “No boyfriend, either?”

“That’s the reason I left New York. I broke up with him. He used to get drunk and beat me.”

Mauricio scrunched up his face sympathetically. “Sorry to hear that.”

Marcela gave him her alarmed face, squinting eyes and all. “Say, you’re not one of these men who like to beat up women, are you?”

“No, no,” Mauricio mumbled. “Of course not.”

“Or one of these sexual predators from Miami I hear about all the time. My girlfriend Elisa warned me. She told me there’s a rapist on Calle Ocho who has killed dozens of women. Is that true?”

“It is, but the police caught him already.”

Marcela looked directly into Mauricio’s eyes while Mauricio tried hard not to look at her breasts. Men are so predictable.

“No, you don’t look like a sexual predator.”

“You have beautiful eyes.” Mauricio fidgeted. “Yellow. I’ve never seen eyes that color before. They’re odd.”

You haven’t seen anyone like me before. “Is that the best pickup line you have?”

“No,” Mauricio blurted out. “I mean, it’s no line.”

“You’re not trying to pick me up then? I thought you were going to offer to show me Miami?”

“No, I mean yes.”

Marcela placed a hand on Mauricio’s arm, resting on the counter. “I was just teasing. When?”


“When are you going to take me out and show me Miami? I’m so tired of seeing only the four walls of my room.”

Mauricio hit his cup with his elbow, sending a small wave of coffee splashing to the counter. “Whenever you want.”

Marcela was getting excited, imagining what was coming. Her nipples became erect. She leaned forward so Mauricio could glance inside her blouse and feast his eyes on her breasts. Time to yank the line and reel the fish in. She batted her eyelashes.

“You have anything planned for tonight?”

Havana: Killing Castro is a 2009 Readers Favorite Awards winner, and is now available as an eBook from Eternal Press, and also in print and most eBook formats from Amazon.com and selected booksellers.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Excerpt - Havana: Killing Castro


To Marcela’s delight, Tula arrived promptly at eight. She paused at the door, scanning the crowded bar. Her red halter dress and black spike heels with ankle straps did the job she’d obviously intended them to do.

Marcela waved from her small table in the back of the room, her heart quickening. Tula waved back and started skirting the tables. Men and women stared at her as she passed by, triggering in Marcela a strange jealousy.

She rose when Tula reached her table, and both women greeted each other with the customary exchange of kisses on the cheek. Tula’s eyes were somber.

“Something wrong?” Marcela asked, sitting down again. “You look— ”

“Sad?” Tula said, sitting down next to Marcela.

Marcela nodded.

“A friend of mine died recently,” Tula said. “A very good friend. We used to come here sometimes. It made me sad when I walked in.”

“Sorry,” Marcela said. “You want to go some other place?”

“No. This is fine. I need to get over it.”

“What did your friend die of?”

“He was murdered.”

Marcela raised an eyebrow. “Miami is a violent city.”

“You can say that again.”

“How did it happen?”

“He was shot in his apartment.”

“My God!” Marcela said. “A thief?”

Tears came to Tula’s eyes. “Who knows? He was such a good person. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to kill him.”

“Poor thing. Did they catch who did it?”

“Not yet.”

“Do the police have any leads?”

Tula shook her head and suddenly started sobbing.

“Now, now,” Marcela said, leaning forward and patting her hand. “You need a drink.” She waved to the waiter. “What would you like?”

“A mojito.”

“Just what I was going to order myself,” Marcela said as the waiter arrived. “Two mojitos. And when you see these glasses empty again, you bring some more.”

“Yes, ma’am,” the waiter said.

An hour and four mojitos later, Tula had to go to the bathroom. Marcela got up to go with her. When Tula’s head was turned, Marcela slipped two roofies into her drink.

Havana: Killing Castro is a 2009 Readers Favorite Awards winner, and is now available as an eBook from Eternal Press (http://eternalpress.ca ), and also in print and eBook format from Amazon.com and selected booksellers.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Havana: Killing Castro - help the author

I would like to ask everyone who reads my latest work, Havana: Killing Castro, to help me promote this exciting work by writing comments and/or leaving a review on one or both of the following sites:



David Pereda

Reading scheduled for Havana: Killing Castro

Hello Family, Friends and Scribes,
This is an advance notice that the first reading of my award-winning thriller, Havana: Killing Castro, will take place on Friday February 26 at Montford Books at 6:30 PM.
The event promises to be quite exciting and may have several overseas visitors present, including Princess Elizabeth Von Alexander who has vowed to fly in from Paris for the occasion if her duties as a UN goodwill ambassador don't interfere. The inimitable Rosita La-La and her dancing partner, Agustin "El Apache" from the Salsationals will get us all in the mood by showing us how to dance Cuban salsa. And Juan Benavides, the accomplished Flameco guitarrist, will accompany my readings playing his guitar.
Havana: Killing Castro is the second book of the Havana Series of thrillers and continues the adventures and misadventures of the same cast of characters you met in Havana: Top Secret. Here's a brief synopsis of the book:
When an old fisherman is gunned down on a Mexican beach, prominent Miami surgeon Raymond Peters becomes the prime suspect. The dead fisherman is believed to be Fidel Castro, whom Dr. Raymond Peters helped disguise through clandestine plastic surgery on a trip to Cuba two years earlier. In order to save his own life, the beleaguered doctor must find the killers and retrieve a mysterious journal while outwitting a ruthless woman assassin named Marcela, sent by Castro’s brother Raul.
So mark this event on your calendar and come join the fun!
David Pereda

Saturday, January 9, 2010

In the midst of all this snow and freezing weather, I want to share with you a warm spot. My new thriller Havana: Killing Castro -- the highly anticipated sequel to Havana: Top Secret -- was released this week by Eternal Press. For those of you who are into this series already, I'm hard at work writing the next book, Havana: Twin Powers, which will take readers on another whirlwind chase around the world, this time as far away as the Middle East.

I have great expectations for Havana: Killing Castro. It has won several awards already and is now one of four finalists in the thriller category of the Readers Favorite Contest.

To learn more about it and to purchase the e-book version (the print version will not be available for another week), please go to www.eternalpress.ca or visit my website: www.davidpereda.com

Have a great weekend and whatever you don't do, please do keep writing!

See you all soon.
David Pereda

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Havana: Killing Castro launches Jan 7

Havana: Killing Castro, the latest thriller from David Pereda, will be released tomorrow, January 7, 2010 by Eternal Press. This book has already won many awards... why not let it win your personal Reader's Favorite award? (Also available soon at Fictionwise, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other fine eBook merchants.)