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N. N. Light's Book Heaven presents Ruthie Marlenée #authorspotlight #fiction #magicalrealism #literaryfiction #mustread

Hello Dear Readers,


My name is Ruthie Marlenée. I am a native Californian who’s lived in just about every county from Los Angeles to San Diego. My husband and I currently reside in the desert of the Coachella Valley.


Besides being a writer full-time now, I am a wife to the most loving and caring man who is also my greatest fan. I am a mother and a grandmother (10 grandchildren in our blended family). I am the oldest sister of four girls. I am an aunt and a cousin in a large Mexican family. In short, I am a family person and that does make writing a bit of a challenge – not just finding the time, but in navigating sensitive themes. They say write what you know and I do, but I also write a sort of hybrid fiction/non-fiction. 


In a couple of my novels, I use a bit magical realism as a way to talk about themes such as identity, resistance and human rights and subjects that may not be easy to hear about. Female voices have also used magical realism to say aloud the problems of women across the globe. I use it as an element to make a point about reality.


Some of the books from my childhood that hold a special place in my heart are: Charlotte’s Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, all of which I imagine led me to write with a sort of magic realism or paranormal twist.


I would say that in all of my stories, the most important theme is love. “Humans are made for love…Humans are born in truth, but we grow up believing in lies. One of the biggest lies in the story of humanity is the lie of our imperfection.” – Don Miguel Ruiz. Whether my writing is fiction or non, my goal is to uncover certain truths along the odyssey and end with love, which to me is a satisfying way to conclude a story.


Title  Agave Blues

Author  Ruthie Marlenee

Genre       Fiction/ Magical

Publisher    Pelekinesis


Book Blurb     


Mix together a little family, drama, ghosts and Tequila and you get a hell of a cocktail!


Sometimes, la sangre atrae, "the blood calls you back," and when Maya gets the call to go back to her agave roots to claim the body of her long-missing father, her world changes forever.


Set against the backdrop of her childhood in Mexico, this is the story of ailing attorney Maya, in a broken relationship and butting heads with her teenage daughter, Lily. Maya swears never to return, but once she sets foot on the mystical grounds, she unearths her family's turbulent history and discovers how Tequila has infused deep secrets that have altered her life, both emotionally and physically.


She soon realizes what's missing in her life―magic, mystery, art, unconditional love, and the stories of her past, including the myth her father shared with her about her grandfather, Pancho Villa. The fields seem to heal her and her relationships, so she extends her stay in order to reconnect with her family. But when she encounters the handsome, yet haunted Antonio, a childhood crush resurfaces, only to cause her more grief as she tries to master the art of Tequila.




STANDING AT THE border, breathing in the field, I suddenly missed this place, like I’d missed a favorite cousin. And then when a little dove landed on the tip of an agave plant, I stepped a little closer, but the bird took off deeper into the field. Dwarfed by agave on either side, I chased the dove, remembering at once how I would run through here as a child with my cousin, Gabriel.


When I came to a slight peak in the meadow, I stopped. Hands on my knees, I lifted my head, gulping in more air. The sound of children squealing pierced the wind but when I looked all around, I was alone. As I took in the view across to the north, like a valley of death, I felt my eyes go wide, goose bumps erupting on my arms. What used to be rows of thriving agave were now just shriveled plants in dirt choked by weeds. Beyond the edge of the field, scrubby mesquites and ancient oak trees dotted the landscape. Further out, I could see a dried-up riverbed where a couple of emaciated-looking cows grazed. I rubbed my arms and then reached into my pocket to pull out the picture from Papa’s wallet. I held it out in front of me. The river used to be full. I felt a twinge in my stomach, steeling myself for the pain to follow. But surprisingly, I felt no aching.


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Author Biography  


Ruthie Marlenée is a native Californian with Mexican roots. Marlenée earned a Writers’ Certificate in Fiction from UCLA and is the author of Isabela’s Island, Curse of the Ninth, nominated for a James Kirkwood Literary Prize and Agave Blues which received an Honorable Mention by the International Latino Book Awards for the Isabel Allende Most Inspirational Fiction Book Award. Her writing has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. She is a member of Macondo Writers Workshop, Inlandia Institute, Palm Springs Writers Guild, and a WriteGirl Mentor.


Her poetry and short stories can be found in various publications, including Shark Reef, The Coiled Serpent Anthology, So To Speak, Detour Ahead, What They Leave Behind: A Latinx Anthology, Silver Birch Press, Slow Lightning: Impractical Poetry and Writing From Inlandia. She’s received awards for her screenplays from the Women’s International Film Festival, the Oaxaca Film Festival, Carmesi International Fest, Santa Barbara International Screenplay Awards and the Mexico International Film Festival.


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Title    Curse of the Ninth

Author     Ruthie Marlenee

Genre      Fiction/ Speculative

Publisher     E.L. Marker

Book Blurb   


Such lovely prose you’ll feel like you’re reading an old classic (except you won’t be bored). Nothing like a fantasy novel but Curse of the Ninth dips just slightly out of traditional reality.


In the fall of 1930, Charley, not yet born, knows what happened to his father Doc as he lay dying. Like a changing of guards upon his death, Doc transfers over his consciousness to his unborn son.

Now sharing the life of his dead father, Charley has no choice except to carry out his father’s plans, including taking revenge on Doc’s killer. Despite the consequences.

Charley floats in and out of juvie, jail, and finally ends up in the U.S. Naval Hospital’s mental ward as a perfect candidate for the government’s “Project Chatter.”

Confused and threatened, Charley only wants to live like a normal person and marry the woman he loves, goals that feel impossible unless he can somehow get rid of his father’s beyond-the-grave influence.




It’s a Boy!


1930: Queen of Angels Hospital


Phoebe had gone into premature labor. I could only imagine what she might be experiencing and yet all the suffering she experienced and would continue to experience would be numbed by this incredible force rumbling inside her.


Do not suffer my dearest creature.


From somewhere deep within a warm, dark place, as if under water, I strained to hear the low sounds of a man and then he shouted at Phoebe. “Push, Phoebe, push!”


“The baby is breech,” Dr. Larson shouted in a frequency so loud I shuddered. “We need to prepare her for a Caesarean.”


The bones in my soft skull vibrated and then from somewhere even deeper, the warbled sounds of Beethoven’s First Symphony – the dawn of a new century – surfaced, becoming more acute. I knew she had to be hearing it, too. 


Opus 21, considered by those at the time, a musical joke, a “comedy of manners.” Beethoven’s bold musical experimentation and advancement consisted of four movements. Phoebe once explained this all to me in terms I could understand as a man of science. The composition started with a sequence of repeatedly accentuated dominant-tonic chord sequences, however, in the “wrong” key.


Adagio. Queer, I thought I would have had more of a vacation, get to play the harp or something. At least I wouldn’t come back like one of those reincarnated cows Marie saw in India or a grasshopper. But why must I come into this world the wrong way — breach. This can’t be good.


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1 Comment

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jul 05

Thank you, Ruthie, for sharing your writing journey and books with our readers!

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