Name: Annette Chavez Macias
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Title: Making Tamales
Word Count: 77,000
Family bonds, romantic relationships and careers are all turned upside down during one tumultuous year for four Mexican-American cousins. Mi Familia meets Sex and the City.
“Who the hell breaks up with his girlfriend three days before Christmas?”
It was a rhetorical question, of course. I knew the answer. They knew the answer. I just asked it because I still couldn’t quite believe it.
The answer was my boyfriend…scratch that…my ex-boyfriend. That’s who.
“Ugh. I hate that pinche asshole,” I yelled and slapped my steering wheel. Instant pain burned my palm and I cursed again.
“Maybe you should pull over. It’s not safe for you to be driving when you’re so, um, ragey,” Gracie finally said through the Bluetooth speaker inside my Ford Focus.
“Rage is good. She needs to get it all out now,” Selena’s voice cut through next. “Besides, angry driving is better than weepy driving. Crying will just ruin her make-up and no one wants that. Right?”
Despite my anger, a smile tugged at my lips. While one cousin worried about my safety, the other fretted about my appearance. It was classic Gracie and Selena. And it comforted me, like always.
That’s why I had texted them 9-1-1 first thing in the morning. I had needed to scream and curse and call Greg all kinds of names—in both English and Spanish. I had needed to make some sense of how a man who had told me he loved me could simply walk away after two years together with barely an explanation.
My world had fallen apart last night and I needed my primas to help me put it back together.
A familiar twinge of sadness pinched my chest. There should’ve been three voices on the other end of the speaker. But I hadn’t even bothered texting Mari this time. Why should I? I was done holding out hope for replies that came days later—if at all.
No, the only cousins I needed to talk to at the moment were the ones on the line.
“I still can’t believe he first tried to break up with you over the phone,” Selena said, her disgust palpable even through the speaker.
I nodded as I glanced out my window at the passing storefronts. “Right? Only reason he finally came over was because I threatened to sell the video games and clothes he kept at my place. He could barely look at me even then.”
“I’m so sorry.”
The crack in Gracie’s voice knotted my own throat. Dear Lord, if she started crying then I was going to lose it too.
I blinked away the wetness behind my eyes. “Knock it off, chillona. You can’t be sorry or sad right now either.”
“I just hate seeing you get hurt…again.”
“Me too,” I admitted on a long sigh.
“Alright, that’s it. No more feely feelings,” Selena ordered. “Welcome to the single ladies’ club, Erica. You’re going to love it here. There’s lots of tequila and sex and all-around fabulosity.”
“That’s not even a word, Selena.”
The younger Lopez sister groaned. “God, Gracie. Do you always have to be the teacher?”