David is giving away an e-print copy of his book, Hummingbird, to one randomly chosen commenter. Please be sure to leave your comment and your email address. Now a little about David and his book:Bio:
David Stearman is a novelist, recording artist, songwriter, and missionary whose travels take him around the world. He loves to write about exotic locales, describing them as only a cultural and physical eyewitness can.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
His blog: http://davidstearman.wordpress.com/.
It all seems to be working out perfectly, too--the robbery, the escape to Mexico, the whole enchilada, until Lexa and her greasy boyfriend/partner-in-crime Justin go surfing near the West-Mexican town of Manzanillo. Lexa wipes on an outsized wave, pops her head on a rock, and has a near-death experience in which she could swear she’s being dragged downward into Hell by a hideous specter. Afterward, while she’s recuperating in the hospital, Justin takes advantage of her moment of weakness by absconding with their ill-gotten stash. And Lexa finds herself alone and homeless...as usual.
Determined to survive, Lexa checks out of the hospital and drives sullenly up the coast, where she makes a pit stop at a Podunk called El Nido. Over breakfast, she strikes up a conversation with an elderly restaurant owner called Doña Angela, who recites a local proverb: “as a hummingbird draws nectar from the heart of a blossom, a benevolent soul extracts kindness from the hearts of men.”
Hardened by life on the streets where taking seems more reasonable than giving, Lexa considers the adage to be so much bunk. Nevertheless, she recognizes isolated El Nido as an ideal sanctuary from US bounty hunters and takes up temporary residence there.
Soon, Lexa meets several other societal rejects: a street-urchin named Pablito, a teenaged hooker called Mercedes, and Roberto the Marijuana farmer. Her own sense of seperation from society enables her to empathize with their needs and she helps them as she is able. As the four misfits rely upon one another for friendship and support, they begin to function as a rudimentary family.
Lexa learns of a cliffside bay north of down, where an huge shark is reputed to dwell. Upon seeing the distained beast, she empathizes with it, nicknames it “MC Hammerhead” and begins feeding it with cast-offs from her daily fishing trips.
Lexa’s newfound habit of helping others engenders a positive evolution in her character. Though helping the downcast, she strengthens her human connections and discovers a newfound sense of belonging. In response to this change in behavior, Doña Angela begins calling her Colibrí, or Hummingbird, a reference to the proverb about generous souls. The new nickname catches on around town and aids Lexa in forming a more constructive self-image, which in turn inspires her to even greater personal transformation.
About this time, California bounty hunter Jeff Winn stumbles across Lexa’s case file. His partner and unrequited lover Jen Jones objects to their taking the case, since Mexico forbids US bail bondsmen to ply their trade within its borders. Irrespective of her objections, Jeff heads southward to Puerto Vallarta, where he undertakes relentless pursuit of his quarry. What he doesn’t tell Jen is that he has an old score to settle with Lexa Morales; that for him, this case is personal.
Jeff is forced to leave Puerto Vallarta in response to a hurricane evacuation. He departs during the onset of the storm in a hastily booked, low-budget charter plane, which crashes, leaving him wounded and struggling in rugged seas. Upon rescue and return to California, he has the opportunity to interrogate Justin, the ex-boyfriend who made off with the cash and is now incarcerated. As part of a plea bargain, Justin begins emailing Lexa in an attempt to uncover her whereabouts. Meanwhile, Jeff becomes romantically involved with his bounty hunter partner, Jen Jones.
Lexa learns that her friend Mercedes has had a near-death experience eerily similar to her own. Mercedes explains that the apparition Lexa believes she’s encountered is the stuff of local legend called the Chupacabra. The unusual similarities between the two girls’ experiences drive them to to seek answers from a the pastor of a small church, where they find mercy and pardon for their sins. Afterward, as an expression of penitence, Lexa contacts the California storeowner she robbed, a Mr. Fong, and sends money to help compensate for his losses.
Meanwhile, Lexa’s grungy fishing job is driving her nuts. She wracks her brain for a way to survive without it and conceives the idea for a new business called Hummingbird Tours. The plan, as she describes it to Doña Angela, involves driving busloads of tourists from Puerto Vallarta to El Nido for an evening of dining at Angela’s café among the exotic hummingbirds.
Doña Angela likes the idea and invests in a used school bus, which Lexa uses to make twice-daily runs ferrying tourists to and from the café. The restaurant’s profits increase, giving Lexa yet another idea.
Again, Doña Angela is intrigued by her scheme, and drives Lexa to Guadalajara to meet a doctor with sufficient funds to invest in her idea of a rustic little motel. Lexa swoons upon meeting dreamy Doctor Solís, who chooses to buy in to her enterprise.
Jeff hatred for Lexa drives his blood pressure through the roof, causing an aneurysm he acquired during his plane crash to rupture and kill him. Jen, overwhelmed by grief, blames Lexa for Jeff’s death and vows to take revenge. Fueled by rage, she hatches a plot to murder Lexa in Mexico and then escape back to the US, where she can’t be prosecuted for the crime.
Jen ventures to Puerto Vallarta, where a spirit calling himself the Chupacabra haunts her dreams. She disregards her visions as mere imagination and continues to pursue Lexa, ultimately locating her in her little rented beachside shack. Jen forces Lexa at gunpoint to the cliff north of town, where she attempts to shove her off the edge. Lexa manages to slip out of Jen’s way, causing Jen to lose balance and plummet over the precipice. Jen winds up wounded in the sea below, where MC lays waiting to consume the easy prey. As the monstrous hammerhead drags Jen beneath the waves, she again encounters the Chupacabra, who is in reality a demon that drags her screaming into Hell.
Afterward, Lexa learns that Dr. Solis has inquired about Lexa’s dating status. And yet there’s even better news: Lexa learns in an email from Justin that Mr. Fong has refused to co-operate with the State of California in prosecuting her case. Evidently, her feeble attempts at restitution have moved him profoundly. As a result, the State of California has been forced to drop all charges against Lexa Morales.
“You’re free to come on home,” Justin writes.
She glances out the window, taking in the town and people with whom she’s become so deeply connected through her new giving lifestyle, and the once lonely Lexa replies, “Justin, I’m already home.”
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