Cynthia Cina Pelayo
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About Cynthia Cina Pelayo
Cynthia “Cina” Pelayo is a two-time Bram Stoker Awards® nominated poet and author. She is the author of LOTERIA, SANTA MUERTE, THE MISSING, and POEMS OF MY NIGHT, all of which have been nominated for International Latino Book Awards. POEMS OF MY NIGHT was also nominated for an Elgin Award. Her recent collection of poetry, INTO THE FOREST AND ALL THE WAY THROUGH explores true crime, that of the epidemic of missing and murdered women in the United States. Her modern day horror retelling of the Pied Piper fairy tale, CHILDREN OF CHICAGO will be released by Agora Books on 2/9/21. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, a Master of Science in Marketing, a Master of Fine Arts in Writing, and is a Doctoral Candidate in Business Psychology. Cina was raised in inner city Chicago, where she lives with her husband and children. Find her online at www.cinapelayo.com and on Twitter @cinapelayo.
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Titles By Cynthia Cina Pelayo
2021 INTERNATIONAL LATINO BOOK AWARD WINNER
"GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOUR HEART THUMP AND SKIN CRAWL”—The New York Times
A gripping, modern-day spin on the Pied Piper fairy tale, as well as a gritty love letter to the underworld of Chicago from acclaimed Bram Stoker nominee Cynthia Pelayo.
Reminiscent of the Bloody Mary urban legend, the Pied Piper’s story can be tracked back to the deaths of children for centuries and across the world—call to him for help with your problems, but beware when he comes back asking for payment.
Chicago detective Lauren Medina’s latest call brings her to investigate a brutally murdered teenager in Humboldt Park—a crime eerily similar to the murder of her sister decades before. Unlike her straight-laced partner, she recognizes the crime, and the new graffiti popping up all over the city, for what it really means: the Pied Piper has returned.
When more children are found dead, Lauren is certain her suspicion is correct. Still reeling from the recent death of her father, she knows she must find out who has summoned him again, and why, before more people die. Lauren’s torn between protecting the city she has sworn to keep safe, and keeping a promise she made long ago with her sister’s murderer. She may have to ruin her life by exposing her secrets and lies to stop the Pied Piper before he collects.
Cynthia Pelayo sings a song for the least of us, the victim we want to forget as soon as possible, the one who disappeared before ever really appearing. With a fairy tale gaze and a heart bigger than the world, her siren song insinuates itself past our defenses, past the hardened calluses and apathy we’ve erected to protect ourselves from the everyday horror of another missing girl.
Pelayo relates the familiar story, poem by poem; a body is found, a brutal crime investigated, clues take us in circles, and lead us nowhere. We are on an epic journey, the hero’s journey, and it must play out to the end in all its painful, ticking moments. Pelayo imbues her hero, Agent K, with the entirety of our dedication and that crumb of hope we’ve been hiding, saving for later. We will need to save for years, for decades, if we want to come out the other side. The job takes its toll, the answers are never complete and whys fracture, crack and spread. Still there is no turning away. We must bear witness, though it changes and contorts us.
Praise for this Collection
“In Crime Scene, Cynthia Pelayo dips her quill in a secret wound of pain that not all writers are brave enough to explore. Unflinching and raw, Crime Scene is a harrowing exploration of human suffering and firmly establishes Pelayo as one of the most exciting and original poets working today.” —Eric LaRocca, author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke and Other Misfortunes
“Crime Scene is a held breath without release or escape. Pelayo dissects our grimmest cultural obsessions and aims an unrelenting microscope at our tragedies and sins. There is lightning beneath this book’s skin. Harrowing to the last.” —Hailey Piper, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Queen of Teeth
“Just read Cynthia Pelayo’s Crime Scene in one sitting. This book rips true crime away from the fabulists and, with all the shock of a blood spatter, brings it back to the stark, lonely dead end it has always been.”—Daniel Kraus, The Ghost That Ate Us
“Few poets dig so deep into the dark heart of human suffering as Cynthia Pelayo, and I can think of no better example of her lyrical fearlessness than the epic narrative poem that is Crime Scene. Raw and uncompromising, Pelayo is, quite simply, one of the best and most important writers in the business.” —Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Sour Candy.
“Pelayo’s Crime Scene is undoubtedly the Odyssey of crime literature. Each poem unveils the darkest parts of human existence while seeking to understand the reasons behind those most evil impulses. The result is a beautiful, heartbreaking reckoning that lingers long after reading the final passage.” —Heather Levy, author of the Anthony nominated Walking Through Needles.
Award-winning author Cynthia "Cina" Pelayo's acclaimed short story collection Lotería, now with added illustrations and new bonus stories...as well as an exclusive preview for her upcoming sequel to CHILDREN OF CHICAGO, THE SHOEMAKER'S MAGICIAN (out this Spring).The Mexican board game of Lotería is a game of chance—similar to bingo. However, in Lotería instead of matching up numbers on a game board, players match up images.
There are 54 cards in the Lotería game, and for this short story collection you will find one unique story per card based on a Latin American myth, folklore, superstition, or belief—with a slant towards the paranormal and horrific. In this deck of cards you will find murderers, ghosts, goblins and ghouls. This collection features creatures and monsters, vampires, werewolves and more.
Many of these legends existed long before their European counterparts—passed throughout the Americas via word of mouth, collected just like the tales the Brothers Grimm. These are indeed fairy tales—Latin American fairy tales—but with a horrifying slant.
Into The Forest And All The Way Through is a collection of true crime poetry that explores the cases of over one hundred missing and murdered women in the United States.
"This book shook me, ripped my heart out, and haunts me still. Into the Forest and All the Way Through shines a harsh light on a subject society has been far too content to ignore...and it's about goddamn time. This Is a vital collection." -Kealan Patrick Burke, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Sour Candy
Chad P. Brown - THE PEEPERS
Tara Cleves- THE B&B OWNER
M.N. Hanson - SLENDER MAN
Phil Hickes - THE BEAUTIFUL DEAD
Emma Hinge - PENANCE
K. Trap Jones - THE FLAILING ARM
Daniel Kraus - NORA AND THE GRAVEDIGGER
David Massengill - BELLEVUE
Carl Palmer - VISITATION
Cynthia Pelayo - BLASPHEME
Gerardo Pelayo - FIRST DATE CHECKLIST
Cortney Philip - WHEN THE SUN STAYS DOWN
Wednesday Silverwood - ANGELIQUE
Jennifer A. Smith - LAST SUMMER
Melissa Stanziale - THE CHLIDREN OF ORORO
Helena Marie Carnes-Jeffries – The Beach House
John Everson – The Tapping
Abe Grace – Death and All His Friends
M. N. Hanson – The Squatter
K. Trap Jones – The Realtor
Ben McElroy- Emergence of the Hidden Things
Greg Mollin – Where the Fault Lies
Monica Nickolai - Doll
Cynthia Pelayo – The Gravedigger
Gerardo Pelayo – El Convento
Marc Ruvolo – The Ladies Escape
Jordan Scrivner – Attic
Courtney Sloan – Antidote for the Soul
Lisa Stock – The Wild Hunt
Cynthia (cina) Pelayo
NOMINATED FOR THE ANTHONY AWARD FOR "BEST ANTHOLOGY OR COLLECTION"
*Alex Segura's story "90 Miles" has been selected to be included in the 2021 edition of THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY AND SUSPENSE* and is a 2021 Anthony Award winner for Best Short Story
A collection of original and riveting stories that tackle one of the most important and controversial issues of time: The Border.
La frontera is full of stories. Real stories, not the ones you see in the news. The border is a powerful place where countries collide. It’s a weird space of dreams, struggles, promises, lies, fear, and redemption. It’s a multicultural and bilingual space where people know that hustling to protect your loved ones or offer them a better life is a drive strong enough to blur ethical codes. Sadly, the border is also a place where drugs make people a lot of money, corruption stains everything, and violence fills the landscape with danger and ghosts. Now, some of today's most talented authors will visit this space from their perspective—showing the world what they see on both sides.
In a landmark anthology, acclaimed author Gabino Iglesias presents 15 stories from an incredibly talented and diverse roster of authors that look at all aspects of border crime—immigration, law, trafficking (both human and narcotics), and everyone trying to exploit the divide for their own benefit. Thought-provoking, shocking, violent, raw, emotional, and unforgettable, BOTH SIDES will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about borders, both domestic and international.
Featuring stories by: Isaac Kirkman, Shannon Kirk, Alex Segura, Rob Hart, Nicolás Obregón, J. Todd Scott, Christopher David Rosales, Daniel A. Olivas, Cynthia Pelayo, Johnny Shaw, Rios de la Luz, Sandra Jackson-Opoku, Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason, Nick Mamatas, and David Bowles
In “Lockdown,” 19 of today’s finest suspense, horror, and crime writers explore how humanity reacts to the ultimate pandemic. From New York City to the Mexican border, from the Deep South to the misty shores of Seattle, their characters are fighting for survival against incredible odds. An anthology for our time, showing how the worst crises can lead to the best of us. Proceeds from LOCKDOWN will go to support BINC, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, as it seeks to help booksellers recover from the devastating COVID-19 crisis.
Contributors to LOCKDOWN include:
Ann Dávila Cardinal
Angel Luis Colon
Terri Lynn Coop
Michelle Garza/Melissa Lason
Renee Asher Pickup
The island still hasn’t recovered completely; a victim of continued neglect and the continued efforts of many to demean and frame Puerto Ricans as “other” or “lesser” even though they are citizens of the United States.
Net proceeds from ¡Pa’Que Tu Lo Sepas! will benefit The Hispanic Federation: UNIDOS Disaster Relief & Recovery Program to Support Puerto Rico, a program working to help those still affected by the disaster and ensure continued safety in the face of continued weather-related events that can and will happen again.
With a foreword by editor Angel Luis Colón and 11 stories from veteran and newcomer Latinx authors who need to be on your radar, ¡Pa’Que Tu Lo Sepas! is a loud and proud celebration of Latinx writing, joy, trauma, and most of all, love.
Contributors: Chantel Acevedo, Hector Acosta, David Bowles, Hector Duarte Jr., Carmen Jaramillo, Jessica Laine, Richie Narvaez, Christopher Novas, Cina Pelayo, Alex Segura, and Désirée Zamorano.
Praise for ¡PA’QUE TU LO SEPAS!
“While cause-related anthologies aren’t unusual, what clearly separates Pa’Que Tu Lo Sepas from the pack is the diligence and care the contributors obviously put into their work, and how deftly Angel Luis Colón curated the writers and their stories. This is an important, necessary, lovely collection, one that plunges the reader into the variety of cultures and beauty within the LatinX community. Truly, Sepas is magical, and filled with magical writing. A must-read, now and always.” —E.A. Aymar, author of The Unrepentant