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Butterfly Warrior

A Novel
First Edition
By Juan Blea, MA, Ed

A must-read story blending the music and
culture of Santa Fe's Barrios with high tech
action from a new Latino voice



"I  threw a couple of the peas in my mouth like they were a couple of magic pills, expecting them to make me as strong as ten men and give me X-ray vision. But they tasted like ordinary raw peas. And nothing happened. "What's up, Cuate," I said. "These ain't magic." Cuate just laughed and raced around the garden in a hyperactive trance. Before I could even blink, he collected every single pea-pod in the garden. To me, they were just peas. They weren't worth any of the effort Cuate was giving. "What are you doing?" I said, afraid that the old man would kick our butts if he saw his peas missing. "Do you like peas or what?""

 -- Excerpt from "Butterfly Warrior"


Butterfly Warrior follows the progress of four friends who grew up together in Los Arbolitos Barrio of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Bonded by a belief in the Aztec legend of the Butterfly Warrior, they a drift apart in adulthood. One of the four, commits suicide when he can no longer play his beloved cantares. Manny Lopez, now Cuate, Whitey, and Anna must resolve their differences in order to discover the strange truth surrounding Manny's demise. Cuate is the loose-tongued joker, Anna, Cuate's twin sister, was the voice of reason; Whitey was the outsider craving acceptance, and Manny was the Prometheus whose fire was music. The Butterfly Warrior, Iztpapalotl, is the warrior aspect of the Aztec mother goddess, Coatlique. She grants both the souls of soldiers who die in battle and of women who die in childbirth the privilege of returning to Earth as butterflies to collect the eternal reward of sucking on sacred nectar. The time came for the group to go their separate ways: Anna to become a literary star and political activist, Whitey to become computer scientist, Cuate became a womanizer. All the while, however, Manny kept the music of the Butterfly Warrior with the hope of somehow restoring the magic of their youth in the barrio. But, Whitey's greatest technological innovation, the nano-wasp, becomes the greatest enemy the friends could ever meet. Butterfly Warrior brings technology and tradition into direct conflict.

Though the conflict between language and customs is at the heart of all Latino fiction, Butterfly Warrior sets these dichotomies at odds with such the usage of technology and its potential for both good and bad within the traditional Latino community and the power of music to heal.  Juan Blea, MA, Ed was born in 1971 in Santa Fe, NM.
Juan's first language was Spanish, which has allowed him to navigate between Anglo and Hispanic cultures. He currently serves as the Software Quality Assurance and Documentation Team Lead at Envision Utility Software. He is also a bilingual poet and author with several published stories; most recently From Tug of War to Dance
in Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul and one novella, Under the Same Sky.

To Order:

Coming soon by Same Author:

Under the Same Sky
Poetry/Current Events
128 Pages


Western Edge/Sherman Asher Publishing

126 Candelario St.
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Telephone: 505 988-7214