Jacqueline Devine, Las Cruces Sun-News
Published 6:32 p.m. MT Sept. 21, 2019
LAS CRUCES – Las Cruces-based children’s author Jennifer Cervantes — pen name J.C. Cervantes — is now a three-time New York Times best selling author.
Her latest book, “The Fire Keeper,” released on Tuesday, Sept. 3, debuted at no. 4 on the list. Her first two books — “Tortilla Sun” and “The Storm Runner” — also made the prestigious list.
Cervantes, who writes books for children and teens, said she’s humbled at the distinction.
“Writing for kids is about more than entertainment,” she said. “You hold their minds, and often hearts, in your hands. So to know that my books are being widely read is not only a dream come true but a responsibility I take seriously.
Jennifer Cervantes said she has been an avid reader since a young age and was inspired by her youngest daughter to take up writing.
“I always say that I didn’t go looking for writing, that writing found me. My youngest daughter inspired the first story I ever wrote which ended up being my first book, ‘Tortilla Sun,'” she said. “When I first began to create stories, I had no idea I was writing a book. So, this journey — like that book — has been sequential. I have been fortunate to meet some incredible mentors along the way, to find the right resources at the right time, to venture to writing retreats where I pushed the limits of what I thought I could do as a writer.”
Rick Riodan presents
“The Fire Keeper” is a sequel to “The Storm Runner” which is based on Maya mythology and follows the story of a young New Mexican boy named Zane Obispo and his three-legged dog named Rosie. Zane spends every day exploring the sleeping volcano in his backyard he calls “The Beast” which is the one place where he can be himself and escape other kids who make fun of him for having a limp and walking cane. In the story, Zane meets with colorful characters inspired by Maya mythology.
The “Fire Keeper,” introduces spirited new characters, sneaky gods, Aztec royalty, unlikely alliances, and dark secrets — secrets that will change Zane forever.
The third book in the series, “The Shadow Crosser,” will be released sometime in 2020.
Cervantes is the second author to publish under Rick Riordan Presents, a Disney-Hyperion imprint, headed by Riordan, best-selling author of the “Percy Jackson” series.
In addition to the “Storm Runner,” series, Cervantes also has another project up her sleeves.
“I am working on a project that I can’t talk about yet but that will hopefully be announced soon,” she teased.
Cervantes’ books can be purchased anywhere books are sold. For information, visit her official website at https://www.jennifercervantes.com/.
Set in New Mexico
Cervantes, a San Diego native, attended the University of New Mexico where she met her husband, Joseph Cervantes, who is a state senator and last year ran for governor.
Jennifer Cervantes said New Mexico is the perfect backdrop for her book because its vast and open beautiful rural spaces that offer many adventures.
“I love New Mexico because of the energy and mysticism that’s found in the beauty of our landscape that reminds me how big the universe is and how small we really are,” Cervantes said.
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