B. Zaragoza
  • Thrillers

B. Zaragoza

B. Zaragoza is a novelist in San Diego, California. A naval spouse for fifteen years, she studied International Relations and worked for government before becoming a writer. She lived in cities on the West Coast, East Coast and in Europe. She is currently working on a photographic history of San Ysidro and the Tijuana River Valley for Arcadia Publishing.

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"... a welcome deviation from the genre’s standard fare."

Kirkus Reviews


Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-0983509936
Page count: 334pp

In Zaragoza’s debut thriller, Navy SEALs are unwitting participants in a secret experiment that renders them murderous, suicidal addicts.

At the San Diego Naval Medical Center, psychiatrist Elise Kardiner is concerned about a new admittance, Petty Officer Bayden McCourt. While she wants to keep the officer under supervision after a suicide attempt, Capt. Marcelo “Ike” Rizal—Elise’s ex-husband—hopes to question Bayden about a mission, from which several fellow SEALs did not return. Both Elise and Ike find ties to the Frithur Corporation and Xialep, a baffling drug that may explain why Bayden can see people’s “hurts.” Readers won’t have trouble pinpointing the villains in this precise story, which zeroes in not on Xialep’s positives—creating stronger soldiers with heightened alertness—but on its adverse effects, including withdrawal and, according to a Bayden’s account, the kind of dismal experience suffered by him and his SEAL team. Before Leif Gunnarson, the owner of Frithur, even makes an appearance, he’s painted as a baddie for simply being in charge, so his sweaty-palmed handshake with Elise comes as no surprise. The relationship between Elise and Ike is convincingly developed, from their first encounter at Georgetown University to their marriage and the death of their toddler son. It’s a sturdy, viable connection that’s maintained even though the two are separated for much of the novel. Likewise, Bayden is an absorbing character, plainly intended as a surrogate child for the estranged couple—he’s near the same age their son would have been—which makes Elise and Ike’s determination in helping him all the more believable. Though the novel is pleasantly understated, sans profanity and with implied violence, there are a few shocking scenes, mostly the result of Xialep; those under the drug’s influence commit murder, and some even commit suicide. Suspense creeps in, too, particularly in a standout scene where, after she’s been suspended, Elise defies authority by sneaking onto the base to see Bayden. For his part, Leif considers profound concepts, such as a clear distinction between facts and what the public truly wants to know.

A reunified couple helps make Zaragoza’s thriller a welcome deviation from the genre’s standard fare.


PASS THE SALT, PLEASE! (Unpublished)
Historical Fantasy

Licentia, land of women and wine. Where men willingly serve their women and Juno rules over all. Diana, huntress supreme. Kills boars with her bare hands and waits for her lover on the eve of her deflowering. Actaeon, banished sailor. Determined to win Diana’s love and stay at her side forever. In a land where women rule supreme and men have only to pleasure the woman who chooses them, it appears nothing can go wrong. Until Actaeon returns from the sea to win the woman he loves. No woman in Licentia will have such a man: he’s coarse, untaught, and can’t even make a decent bowl of soup. Still Diana favors him. Until the night all of Licentia discovers Actaeon doesn’t know how to pleasure a woman. The wounded lover strikes back, throwing Licentia into a chaos of desire and destruction. Follow Diana and Actaeon on this gender-bending romp through the wilds of Licentia and learn just how potent forbidden spices can really be.
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In this readable, entertaining information guide for tourists, Zaragoza takes readers from the heights of Mount Vesuvius to the ruins of Pompeii and beyond.

ISBN: 978-0983509929
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A chaplain sex-chats with an Iraqi girl who tells her eerie tale.
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