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DOMINGO JIMENEZ and his wife BLANCA own a small repair shop across the street. Domingo's dream is to move to America as well so that his seven-year-old daughter NANCY can grow up speaking English and having a good education and a better life than he and Blanca had.
When armed gang members invade their neighborhood to demand "protection" money and threaten them with death if they don't pay, Thomas and Domingo's dreams for the future take on a new perspective. They decide to flee the country with their families through Guatemala and Mexico to seek asylum in the United States.
But their journey is more challenging than expected, and they face a myriad of difficulties and must overcome multiple obstacles that put not only their dreams but also their lives at risk.
Read an Excerpt
The two young men who entered the restaurant in San Salvador were slender and about eighteen, maybe younger, with scraggly adolescent beards and fashionable jeans full of holes.
It was Monday morning, and Thomas Bertram was preparing the dining area for the lunch service. After tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with the Marines, Thomas's entire body reacted physically to trouble when he saw it—and this was trouble. The hair on the back of his neck bristled, and he felt a swarm of tiny butterflies inside his stomach.
Thomas smoothed out the wrinkles on the clear-plastic tablecloth of the last of the six Formica-topped tables and rearranged the four matching chairs. As he straightened to his full height, he checked the time on the wall clock: 11:25.
“We’re not open yet,” he said in Spanish. “We open at noon.”
The young men didn’t answer. They wore tight jackets zipped up to the chest, one olive and the other red.
Tight jackets in summer in El Salvador?
Thomas realized how short and skinny they were when Olive Jacket strolled toward the counter near him—he barely reached Thomas’s shoulder. Red Jacket stayed by the door, staring at Thomas.
“Man, you’re tall,” Olive Jacket said as he slid past Thomas.
He had a squeaky voice, like a door needing oil. Thomas watched his receding back, wondering what the young men wanted, even though he had a suspicion—which was confirmed when he noticed the tattoo on Olive Jacket’s neck sticking out from under his jacket. He could only see a portion of it, but he knew what the letters meant: MS-13.
Definitely gang members.
About the Author:
Before devoting his time solely to writing and teaching, Pereda had a successful international consulting career with global giant Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked with the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, and Qatar, among others.
A member of MENSA, Pereda earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in California. He earned BA degrees in English literature and mathematics at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He loves sports and has won many prizes competing in track and show-jumping equestrian events.
Pereda lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where he teaches mathematics and English at the Asheville-Buncombe Community College.
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/David-Pereda/e/B002BML17Q%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share
Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B095137M8S/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
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