Sweet Mary by Liz Balmaseda

octubre 8, 2009



Dulce Maria “Mary” Guevara is a woman with nothing to lose. She’s already lost the life she once loved. Wrongly accused of being a cocaine queen, she’s lost her job, her reputation and custody of her son. Suspicion lingers even after charges were dropped.

Desperate to get it all back, she has embarked on the only mission she believes will prove to the world she’s innocent: she is on the hunt for the real drug queen. And she must travel an unseemly path to get there.

The one person she knows may be able to help her is the man she left 10 years ago — her ex-fiancee, Joe Pratts. This man was her first real love, and the love of her life, but Joe dabbled in drugs and associated with known delinquents, friends from the old neighborhood. Mary wanted a bigger life. As much as it broke her heart, she dumped him.

When she returns to ask Joe for help, she opens a door to her most vulnerable self. The woman who had been on a fast track to super-success now feels lost in the past. As she allows Joe to accompany her on part of the investigation, she does her best to fight off old feelings, but falls hard again.

Through some of Joe’s contacts and her own real estate investigator skills, Mary tracks down the Drug Queen’s primary associate in a Central Florida beach town. And in the process, she finds the fugitive queen herself.

The twist is this: The Drug Queen has reinvented herself as an upstanding suburban citizen, very much like Mary used to be. She cooks, crafts, spas, decorates. This is her way of hiding in plain sight. Mary learns the woman is not only running from the feds — she’s running from her abusive drug lord husband. Turns out she stole his money and fled.

Posing as a real estate agent new to the neighborhood, Mary befriends her and begins to plot her takedown. And just as Mary makes her move to bring in the Drug Queen she learns something that rattles her to the bone: the Drug Queen has a little girl the same age as her own son.

Her dilemma tears her apart: does she bring down the Drug Queen and regain her life, or does she let the woman keep running with her little girl?

Sweet Mary by pulitizer prize-winning journalist Liz Balmaseda follows the story of a woman with nothing to lose. Wrongly accused of being a cocaine queen, she’s lost her job, her reputation and custody of her son. Suspicion lingers even after charges were dropped. Desperate to get it all back, she embarks on a hunt for the real drug queen. And she must travel an unseemly path to get there.

About the Author




Liz Balmaseda (born January 17, 1959, Puerto Padre, Cuba) is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a writer for The Palm Beach Post and a former columnist for The Miami Herald. She was awarded her first Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1993 for her writings on the plight of Haitian refugees and the Cuban-American population. She shared a second Pulitzer for breaking-news reporting in 2001, for the coverage of the federal raid to seize refugee Elián González.

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