The Weird Wonderful World of Monique Quintana’s Debut Novella – Cenote City


We are excited to announce the publication of Cenote City, the debut Novella by Monique Quintana! Monique Quintana’s words will pull you under, down to the depths, where tears flow, hearts break, and dreams are reborn every day. Monique is an exciting new voice in Latinx fiction.


ARC’s for review available upon request:






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Lune’s mother cannot stop crying after all the hospitals shut down. She cries and cries and finally she is exiled to the cenote, where her tears endlessly fill the giant sinkhole. She becomes a big tourist attraction. People come from miles to see Marcrina cry into the cenote—part prisoner, part carnival attraction, part saint, Marcrina’s story is one of heartbreak, love, and endurance. This is the story of Lune, of Marcrina, of Lune’s son Nico, and of a strange place called Cenote City, where the world of magic and the dead entwines with daily life in enchanting and unsettling ways.





My son has magic in all of his blood. My mother will never know this, but Nico looks a lot like his father’s family. Nico was born during the full moon with free earlobes and a full head of curly jet-black hair and eyes the color of sap. He was born at the foot of my bed on striped sheets and a plastic pink shower curtain, escaping from my bones to his grandmother’s hands. If his father had been there, he would have watched his son come out, unafraid of the sight of blood and he would have tattooed his son’s name on the web of his hands, but he wasn’t there, alive and in his body. I could only imagine his ghost sitting between the red and black candle flame that my mother set on the windowsill to celebrate her grandson’s new skin. She had made the candles herself. There was a red candle for power and a black candle for protection. My mother bathed Nico quickly with a yellow sponge from the sea and cradled him between her palms and hummed a song that was unrecognizable to me.


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Monique Quintana was born and raised in the Central Valley, “the other California” and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from CSU Fresno. She is a Senior Associate Editor at Luna Luna Magazine, Fiction Editor at Five-2-One Magazine, and a contributor at CLASH Media. She blogs about Latinx Literature at her site,, and her work has appeared in Winter Tangerine, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Grimoire, Huizache: The Magazine for Latino Literature, and The Acentos Review, among other publications. She is an alumna of the Sundress Academy for the Arts and has been nominated for Best of the Net. She is a Pocha Xicana and still working on herself. You can find her at

Twitter @quintanagothic  IG @quintanadarkling


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