Extract and Giveaway: Win a copy of Princess Maria by @LauraESanchez_

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This Novel is Special. It is the story of 10 year-old Elena's quest to unite her family. A little girl. An Impossible journey. Living 5 years without her mother Elena bravely boards a bus - to see her mother once again. The only thing standing in her way is the 2000 mile bus trip across Mexico, robbers with machetes, trigger happy Federales. Her journey will shake her to her core, challenge her values as she fights for the family she loves

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Excerpt:

This scene occurs when Rey is taken from a bus at gun point

Each Federale armed with a tactical carbine - killing machine, allows the Federale to adapt to any enemy, blast a target at short, intermediate or long range; keeping gun flat and on target, match grade, 5.56 chambered stainless steel 14.7 barrel.
            Jose looks back at all his passengers and silently prays that this checkpoint will pass

without incident. The military pressure, the unevenness of their presence and demands gives Jose

an internal breakdown that he covers with an outward veil of calmness……


            “Well you will have to get off this bus. You cannot cross without a passport.  I don’t care if you are with the band.”
            He shoves Rey with his hand and slams Rey into the seat, “ GET OFF THIS BUS,” the automatic rifle dangling in front of his face.
            Rey looks down and tells him. “I am not getting off this bus.”
            “WHAT DID YOU SAY?” said the Federale leaning his face into Rey’s nose, shoving him with two hundred and ten pounds of concentrated mass and muscle.
            THUD.   Rey’s right leg hits the bus floor. His back hits the floor, bounces up and slams down a second time. Rey’s head hits the floor of the bus.  His eyes seal shut.
            Elena stands up and looks over to Rey.   Juana holds Elena back from running over to Rey. 
            “Sebastian, stay here,” says Felix, trying to keep his son out of danger.
            The cowboys, the old women, the salsa champions, the students from Guadalajara, the members of Sebastian’s band stand up to see Rey slumped over on the floor.
            Rey, reeling from the pain, opens his eyes and gets up, “ I AM NOT GETTING OFF THIS BUS.”
            The Federale, sensing everyone is looking at him, shoves the rifle so hard into Rey that he falls backward.
            THUD.  THUD. THUD.  Rey tumbles back and lands against the floor of the bus.
            “GET OFF THIS BUS.” The Federale tears up the birth certificate, “THIS COULD BE FAKE,” and throws it on the ground.
            The two pieces of his birth certificate slowly float onto the bus floor, landing near his feet.
            Rey gets up and repeats,  “I AM NOT GETTING OFF THIS BUS.”   He looks straight into the eyes of the Federale fighting the pain searing thru his back.
            The Federale puts his darkened googles over his face, takes the safety latch of the carbine, looks down the scope and points it directly at Rey’s head.
            Princess Maria, in full on jeopardy, risks her life, runs over to Rey and gets in between the rifle and Rey, pleading for his life, looking into the eyes of the darkened goggles.    
            Araceli, Maria Elena, Gloria, Rick, Valente, Miguel Angel, Raul, Arturo, Manuel, Francisco, Sebastian, Juana, Felix, the cowboys, the elderly women, the salsa champion, the students hold their breath – hoping that it isn’t true.
            The Federale is unmoved.  Right here, in front of everyone, the Federale is ready to shoot Rey and Princes Maria – dead.
            Elena gasps in a lightening rod of terror -- blood discharging from her face and draining into feet.    Her dog is going to be shot and Rey -- will die on impact.  
            In one second, one heartbeat, Elena bolts up and vaults over the seats and nine passengers.  With one daring sweep  -  she captures Princess Maria, snatches Rey’s hand and instantaneously moves past the Federale.
            Rey defiantly goes to the front of the bus with Elena and Princess Maria.
            All the passengers whisper in disbelief.  Shock.  Traumatized by the actions of the Federale.
            Elena comes off the bus with Rey.   Rey, irate, resentful, and enraged – and scared, says, “Now what?”
            The Federales on the truck point their weapons at Elena, Princess Maria and Rey.
“I will come for you.  Princess Maria and I,” says Elena, petrified.  “Where did you leave it last?”
            Indignant and heartbroken, “At the hospital.”
            “What hospital?”   
            Rey closes his eyes for a few seconds and forces his mind to replay the accident.  Rey slowly opens his eyes, fully depleted by the memory of the death of his parents. He weakly says, “Tarin Memorial. It was Christmas and we --- were going to see my grandmother --- all the family was going to be there.”

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