Book Review & Giveaway: Life Long by Ronald L. Ruiz

Book Title: Life Long by Ronald L. Ruiz
Category: Adult Fiction, 268 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Amika Press
Release date: June 9, 2017
Tour dates: Sept 18 to Oct 6, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (For foul language and questions about the existence of God)

 

Book Description

Ray Lopez is on the run with a duffel bag full of cash. Both drug dealers and the police are after him. But Ray is not a criminal. His last brush with the law was over traffic tickets. Recently released from the hospital with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, he is haunted by voices, auditory hallucinations, that frighten him and cause him to question his every move.

Ray’s journey from California to Laredo is perilous. Like so many Americans before him, he travels through unfamiliar territory with no clear way of knowing who will help and who will harm him. And he may well find himself on the wrong side of the border with a mind that has no borders.

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Life Long started out a little slow but once I got into it, once Ray was on the run, it got very good all the way until the end. Ruiz does a good job of describing life with schizophrenia as well as delving into some of the social problems for Mexican Americans.

Poor Ray lost his parents and then his grandma. On top of that, he has a psychotic break and is in the hospital for a couple months where he finds out he has schizophrenia and must take his medicine every day in order to keep the voices away. He doesn’t like hearing the voices, they terrify him, so he obsesses over having his medication with him.

If Ray didn’t have a criminal cousin, he’d be a productive citizen but instead he ends up on the run from the police and drug dealers. He finds himself in Mexico with no passport or Visa so he can’t get back into America. And now he’s running out of medicine. Ray is alone and desperate. It was difficult reading about his circumstances not knowing how in the world he was going to get out of the mess he was in. Or would he?

I definitely recommend Life Long. From what I’ve learned about schizophrenia, Ruiz seems to have captured the thoughts a person may have to deal with. He has also captured some of the social problems in our world today.

 

Praise for Life Long:

“Ruiz proves to be a very sharp social critic, and no detail gets past him in this richly imagined book. A highly recommended novel that appeals to both the heart and the head.”
– Kirkus Reviews

 

Buy the Book:
 
To read reviews, please visit Ronald L. Ruiz’s page on iRead Book Tours.
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Meet the Author

 

 Born and raised in Fresno California – Educated at St. Mary´s College California, University of California Berkeley, University of San Francisco – Practiced law from !966 to 2003 as a Deputy District Attorney, a criminal defense attorney, and a Deputy Public Defender – Appointed to the California Agriculture Labor Relations Board by Governor Jerry Brown in 1974 and later served as the District Attorney of Santa Cruz County California.

Ronald L. Ruiz has published 5 novels and a memoir. Happy Birthday Jesus (1994), Giuseppe Rocco (1998), The Big Bear (2003), A Lawyer (2012), Jesusita(2015). and Life Long (2017).Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook

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Audiobook Review: Fling by Lily Iona MacKenzie

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When ninety-year-old Bubbles receives a letter from Mexico City asking her to pick up her mother’s ashes, lost there seventy years earlier and only now surfacing, she hatches a plan. A woman with a mission, Bubbles convinces her hippie daughter Feather to accompany her on the quest. Both women have recently shed husbands and have a secondary agenda: they’d like a little action. And they get it.

Alternating narratives weave together Feather and Bubbles’ odyssey. The two women travel south from Canada to Mexico where Bubbles’ long-dead mother, grandmother, and grandfather turn up, enlivening the narrative with their hilarious antics.

In Mexico, where reality and magic co-exist, Feather gets a new sense of her mother, and Bubbles’ quest for her mother’s ashes—and a new man—increases her zest for life. Unlike most women her age, fun-loving Bubbles takes risks, believing she’s immortal. She doesn’t hold back in any way, eating heartily and lusting after strangers, exulting in her youthful spirit.

Readers will believe they’ve found the fountain of youth themselves in this character. At ninety, Bubbles comes into her own, coming to age, proving it’s never too late to fulfill one’s dreams.

Available on Amazon.

 

My Review

I chose to review this audiobook after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

While listening to the first quarter or so of Fling, I wondered how I was going to get through the whole thing. The more I listened to it, though, the more it grew on me. Not only did Feather and Bubbles make things interesting, but some strange things were happening and they didn’t seem to think anything of it!

The characters in Fling! are compelling. Bubbles is 90 years old and is quirky. Her daughter, Feather, is in her fifties and has always been unconventional. The two of them taking a trip to Mexico makes for an interesting story, especially once they get the ashes of Bubbles’ mother who died many years ago. When Bubbles’ mother, Heather, and her grandparents show up in the flesh, Bubbles and Feather think nothing of it.

Feather, Bubbles, and Heather take turns thinking about the past. It got a bit confusing for me at times because I was listening to the audiobook and I couldn’t just flip back a couple pages to see who was talking at the time. They all did have interesting experiences in their pasts.

The narrator, Anna Crowe, did a good job narrating. Her voice was clear and pleasant. 

I definitely recommend Fling! It starts out slow but it end up being a good, different story.

 

About the Author

5414100 A Canadian by birth, a high school dropout, and a mother at 17, in my early years, I supported myself as a stock girl in the Hudson’s Bay Company, as a long distance operator for the former Alberta Government Telephones, and as a secretary (Bechtel Corp sponsored me into the States). I also was a cocktail waitress at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, briefly broke into the male-dominated world of the docks as a longshoreman (I was the first woman to work on the SF docks and almost got my legs broken), founded and managed a homeless shelter in Marin County, co-created THE STORY SHOPPE, a weekly radio program for children that aired on KTIM in Marin County, CA, and eventually earned two Master’s degrees (one in Creative writing and one in the Humanities). I have published reviews, interviews, short fiction, poetry, travel pieces, essays, and memoir in over 150 American and Canadian venues. Bone Songs, another novel, will be published in 2017. Freefall: A Divine Comedy will be released in 2018. My poetry collection All This was published in 2011. I also taught writing at the University of San Francisco for over 30 years, and I blog at https://lilyionamackenzie.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.