Agave Blues

Ruthie Marlenée


Sometimes, la sangre atrae, "the blood calls you back," and when Maya gets the call to go back to her agave roots to claim the body of her long-missing father, her world changes forever.

Set against the backdrop of her childhood in Mexico, this is the story of ailing attorney Maya, in a broken relationship and butting heads with her teenage daughter, Lily. Maya swears never to return, but once she sets foot on the mystical grounds, she unearths her family's turbulent history and discovers how Tequila has infused deep secrets that have altered her life, both emotionally and physically.

She soon realizes what's missing in her life―magic, mystery, art, unconditional love, and the stories of her past, including the myth her father shared with her about her grandfather, Pancho Villa. The fields seem to heal her and her relationships, so she extends her stay in order to reconnect with her family. But when she encounters the handsome, yet haunted Antonio, a childhood crush resurfaces, only to cause her more grief as she tries to master the art of Tequila.

“In the footsteps and spirit of Latin American magic realism masters, Ruthie Marlenée's Agave Blues transports readers on a journey of self-discovery. It's an exceptionally well-written tale of love, loss, family and following dreams. What a phenomenal book!” Rob Samborn, author of The Prisoner of Paradise

“Ruthie Marlenée's Agave Blues is distilled in secrets, ghosts and magic, a beautiful testament to the power of family, place and tequila.” Mary Camarillo, author of The Lockhart Women

“A tale of tequila and misplaced fathers, Agave Blues offers potent sips of magic and soars with memories of a half-forgotten childhood in Mexico. A charming read.” Stephanie Barbé Hammer, author of The Puppet Turners of Narrow Interior, and Pretend Plumber

“Fighting tooth and nail at work, in her love life, and in US culture, Maya is having a rough time. Despite her success as an attorney, she feels like an outsider, ashamed of her Mexican heritage. Called back to Mexico due to her father's death, Maya rekindles her joy and revels in the deep well of mystery and magic in her culture, past, and history. She grapples with what has haunted and hindered her and heals parts of herself she didn't know needed healing. By the end of this rich, evocative novel, you will come full-circle with Maya as she finds 'home' in all ways possible. A wonderful read.” Jessica Barksdale Inclán, author of 15 novels including The Play's the Thing, The Burning Hour, Her Daughter's Eyes, The Matter of Grace, and When You Believe

“Marlenée's rhythmic writing creates ancestral notes between the past and the present ultimately rewriting the future” Vanessa Chica Ferriera, editor of What They Leave Behind: A Latinx Anthology

Ruthie Marlenée is a Mexican-American novelist, poet and screenwriter living in the desert of the Coachella Valley. Marlenée earned a Writers’ Certificate in Fiction from UCLA and is the author of Isabela’s Island, Curse of the Ninth, nominated for a James Kirkwood Literary Prize, Agave Blues, which received an Honorable Mention by the International Latino Book Awards for the Isabel Allende Most Inspirational Fiction Book Award. And Still Her Voice is her forthcoming novel. Her writing has been nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. She is a member of Macondo Writers Workshop, Inlandia Institute, Palm Springs Writers Guild, and a WriteGirl Mentor.
Her poetry and short stories can be found in various publications, including Shark Reef, The Coiled Serpent Anthology, So To Speak, Detour Ahead, What They Leave Behind: A Latinx Anthology, Silver Birch Press, Slow Lightning: Impractical Poetry and Writing From Inlandia. She’s received awards for her screenplays from the Women’s International Film Festival, the Oaxaca Film Festival, Carmesi International Fest, Santa Barbara International Screenplay Awards and the Mexico International Film Festival.