Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Wall by David Pereda @DavidPeredaAVL @GoddessFish


The Wall

by David Pereda

GENRE: Mainstream Fiction, Thriller



THOMAS BERTRAM is an American living in San Salvador with his fiancée CECILIA. They own a popular neighborhood restaurant and plan to wed soon. Thomas's dream is to obtain a resident visa for Cecilia and return to the United States.

DOMINGO JIMENEZ and his wife BLANCA own a small repair shop across the street. Domingo's dream is to move to America as well so that his seven-year-old daughter NANCY can grow up speaking English and having a good education and a better life than he and Blanca had.

When armed gang members invade their neighborhood to demand "protection" money and threaten them with death if they don't pay, Thomas and Domingo's dreams for the future take on a new perspective. They decide to flee the country with their families through Guatemala and Mexico to seek asylum in the United States.

But their journey is more challenging than expected, and they face a myriad of difficulties and must overcome multiple obstacles that put not only their dreams but also their lives at risk.



Going through the jungle into Chiapas was harder than Domingo expected.

Damian, the coyote, set a fast pace, and they either followed or were left behind. The trails were narrow through the thick forest, and Damian often had to clear the way with a machete. Blanca was having great difficulties breathing, and Nancy was crying all the time; she needed milk, and there was none. It was hot and suffocating, which gave Domingo a feeling of claustrophobia. It was dark because the vegetation was so dense; he couldn’t see the sun or the sky, which made guessing what time it was confusing. Occasionally, a little ray of sunlight managed to sneak through the foliage, illuminating an isolated plant or trunk of a tree, giving Domingo the impression of being in a prison cell with a tiny window up high that let light in to remind him life existed elsewhere. There were only five people in the group besides Nancy—Damian, José, Blanca, Octavio, and Domingo. Octavio’s two friends, Ramiro and Manuel, had decided to save the little money they had and take a chance at crossing the Mexican border without being stopped by the Federales.

The group had slept overnight on the bare floor of a little hut in the jungle provided by Damian, who woke them at sunrise the following day. Besides the accommodations, Damian hadn’t offered any food or drink.

What you eat and what you drink is up to you,” he had told the group. “I don’t provide any of that. My job is to get you through the jungle to a place close to Huixtla, where I’ll transfer you to Carlos, the coyote who’ll take you to the US border.”

After munching on nuts and granola bars, or whatever else they carried in their knapsacks that they could eat quickly, the group, led by Damian, started their journey single-file through the jungle trails at around 7:00 AM. They had been going now without rest for several hours. The men were still full of nervous energy and eager to get across to Mexico, but Blanca was exhausted and laboring for breath.

I need to stop,” she said to Domingo, pale and gasping. “Eat something. Take a break. Anything. I can’t walk anymore.”

Hey, Damian!” Domingo yelled as he stopped walking to tend to his wife. “Let’s stop for a few minutes. Blanca needs a rest.”

Damian turned around and marched to the back of the file where they were. The rest of the group stopped too and watched.

Just a little longer,” Damian said. “We need to keep moving. The Indians here don’t like illegals crossing into Mexico. If they see us, they’ll report us to the authorities, and you’ll get caught and sent back to Guatemala.”

How much longer?” Domingo asked. “We’ve been going non-stop for almost four hours. My wife is tired. She can’t go anymore.”

We’re almost there. Just a little bit longer.”


Interview with DAVID PEREDA

What made you want to become a writer?

I don’t know who or what inspired me to become a writer. I was a voracious reader as a little kid and read everything, but I mainly loved reading westerns. I was eight or nine when I wrote my first novel in Spanish, a western called David Patterson, El Temerario. I wrote it by hand, and my favorite uncle typed it for me. I remember thinking in my ignorant youth that I could write better than many Western authors, which motivated me to write the novel. (My favorite western authors were Zane Grey, Max Brand, and Louis L’Amour. I still have all of Max Brand’s books, by the way). After that, I just kept on writing.

What inspired you to write THE WALL?

I owe the idea for this novel to my undocumented students. During the past fourteen years, I have taught ESL (English as a Second Language) to thousands of students from all over the world. They shared their usually happy, sometimes sad, but always poignant and courageous stories of coming to America. Over the years of listening to the accounts of my undocumented students, I felt the need to write a meaningful but entertaining novel that would address controversial immigration problems in our country but wouldn’t preach. THE WALL is that novel, and many of the most dramatic episodes described in the book happened.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in THE WALL?

The Wall is the saga of two families threatened by gangs who flee El Salvador crossing three borders and facing multiple obstacles seeking a better life in the United States.

The main characters in the book are:

- Thomas Bertram, an ex-Marine American restaurant owner living in San Salvador, and his fiancée Cecilia, a Salvadoran.

- His movie-star, womanizing, swashbuckling friend and also ex-Marine, Prince Alexander Stanislaw Poniawtoski—Alex to his friends and Prince Stanislaw to everyone else

- Domingo Jimenez and his wife Blanca, owners of a “Repair All” store across from Thomas and Cecilia’s restaurant

- Nancy, the most dramatic character in the book. Nancy is the four-year-old daughter of Domingo and Blanca and symbolizes hope and love and innocence and redemption. She is the character who ties the entire book together and where all the storylines converge. Nancy is like that red dot hidden in paintings that you never notice but makes you react and assimilate the artistic composition.

You know, I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

My favorite author is Ernest Hemingway. I read Cervantes’s Don Quijote when I was seven, and the Greeks, and Steinbeck, and Emilio Salgari, and Sherwood Anderson, and Fitzgerald, and Jane Austen, and Mary Louise Alcott, and Daphne Du Maurier, and many other great writers, but it was when I read The Old Man and The Sea (the first Hemingway book I ever read) that the strength of the writing bowled me over. I made Hemingway my favorite author then and have never wavered. However, my favorite Hemingway book has changed from The Old Man and the Sea to The Sun Also Rises, which I believe is his masterpiece.

Can you tell us a little bit about your following books or what you have planned for the future?

I’m halfway through writing another novel with the main characters of THE WALL, a thriller titled GOLDEN, already scheduled for publication in 2022. Someone is trying to kill Alex, and he doesn’t know who—so, he enlists the help of his best friend Thomas and they chase around the world following leads looking for the responsible individual until they finally find who the person is: and it is shocking. You can read the first chapter of GOLDEN at the end of THE WALL.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed just about everything about writing this book. It was bubbling inside me, so I had no problems connecting the storyline chapter by chapter. I let the main characters tell the story, and the secondary characters and the minor, colorful characters appeared magically along the way. At the Dean’s request at the college where I teach, who wanted to entertain students and staff during the pandemic, I serialized the novel online, as I was writing it, a chapter at a time, on the Creative Writer’s Workshop. I’ve never done something like that before, and it was an exhilarating experience. The novel became hugely popular, and I developed a fan base eagerly waiting for each weekly installment. I couldn’t let those readers down, so I forced myself to write and post online a chapter every week—which helped me finish the novel on record time.

It was such a great experience that I’m doing the same thing with GOLDEN, serializing the novel online a chapter a week on the Creative Writer’s Workshop—and with the same results. I am already halfway through writing GOLDEN, and its weekly readership has already reached 500. 


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

David Pereda is the award-winning author of eleven thrillers and mainstream novels. His books have won the Lighthouse Book Awards twice, the Royal Palm Awards, the National Indie Excellence Awards, and the Readers Favorite Awards twice. He has traveled to more than thirty countries around the world and speaks four languages.

Before devoting his time solely to writing and teaching, Pereda had a successful international consulting career with global giant Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked with the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, and Qatar, among others.

A member of MENSA, Pereda earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in California. He earned BA degrees in English literature and mathematics at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He loves sports and has won many prizes competing in track and show-jumping equestrian events.

Pereda lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where he teaches mathematics and English at the Asheville-Buncombe Community College.


Visit him online at:

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

Followers of the Goddess Fish Tour can now receive an exclusive and hefty discount on the ebook price of The Wall - from $6.99 to only $2.99. Here are the details:

1) Go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1084282

2) Choose to Buy the book

3) Select the format when prompted.

4) When checking out, enter this discount: TV96K

5) Follow directions to check out and download the book and pay only $2.99 instead of $6.99.

--> The code TV96K can be distributed to anyone you'd like without limit. The coupon expires on December 31, 2021.

This discount will also become available at Barnes & Noble, Apple Store, and other ebook retailers but it may take up to 72 hours for the price to be updated on those platforms. Meanwhile, ordering it from Smashwords will work on any ebook platform and device.


$25 Amazon/BN GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


David Pereda said...

Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog today. Throughout the day and periodically during the coming days, I will be checking in to answer any questions that you or your readers may have.

p. m. terrell said...

I enjoyed this interview and I really enjoyed reading The Wall. You mentioned that Ernest Hemingway is your favorite author. How do you think his writing helped to shape your own, or did it?

David Pereda said...

Excellent question, p.m. terrell. Hemingway was a great influence on my writing, so much so that I had to stop reading his books for a while. I've been influenced by other writers as well (in no paticular order)--Shakespeare, Dickens, Joseph Conrad, Ken Follett, Harlan Coben, Kazuo Ishiguro, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Anton Chekhov, Max Brand and Erich Maria Remarque--to mention a few.

Sherry said...

Sounds like a very good book.

David Pereda said...

Sherry, I assure you that it is a very good book. Thank you for your comment. Good luck on the giveaway.

Bea LaRocca said...

Thank you for sharing the author interview and book details, I have enjoyed reading this post and am looking forward to reading this story. It is on my TBR and wish-list

David Pereda said...

Thank you for your comment and following the tour, Bea. If you have a Kindle or similar, this is the time to buy the e-book, which is on a special promotion. Good luck on the giveaway.