Excerpts

From AMAZON CAST OF CHARACTERS

I always love the smells of the third world countries, each with its distinctive mixtures of cooking fires of various woods or cow-chips, spices blending with herbs and vegetables, and delicious cuisines wafting through the air.  In a market the smells only intensify and shift like notes in a melody.

Whenever I enter a market, I feel I am inhaling the culture itself.

Colors assail me, the shiny reds of tomatoes, potatoes of 20 or 30 types from purple to red to tan, emerald and jade greens, the brilliant hues of tropical fruits, spices and herbs, all displayed with care and artistry.  I see flowers, tons of flowers.  I love that men in Latin America allow themselves to enjoy flowers.

The meat and fish market provide an anatomy lesson of unexpected body parts and changes in odor.  As we quickly traverse that area, the succulent smell of arepas sizzling in protesting, golden oil entice us into a nearby cantina.

From THE FLYPAPER WITCH MURDERS
Aniko grasped the lantern and herded the children into the night.  The Big Wagon cluster drew her eyes toward a star called the Nail of the Sky. It seemed to beckon her northward toward the Land of the Dead.  She was the living  dead, a tiny bit of matter swirling through time under the White
Road of Gypsies' Straw that stretched across the sky and led to a future as void as space.  The vastness of the sky penetrated her body, and a hole grew large inside her.
An invisible force sucked her forward.  Aniko's bent posture and reluctant steps were all that kept her from falling.  Her arms were twigs she feared might not support the baby's weight.  Joska limped beside her.  She longed to carry him but couldn't manage him and the lantern, as well as her satchel and Juliana.
Sari twirled, batted at blinking fireflies, and pointed at surging, distorted shadows created by the swinging lantern.  "Oh, Mama, look! How beautiful."

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