Even before the doomed mission to Hadley’s Hope on LV-426, Jenette Vasquez had to fight to survive. Born to an immigrant family with a long military tradition, she looked up to the stars, but life pulled her back down to Earth—first into a street gang, then prison. The Colonial Marines proved to be Vasquez’s way out—a way that forced her to give up her twin children. Raised by Jenette’s sister, those children, Leticia and Ramon, had to discover their own ways to survive. Leticia by following her mother’s path into the military, Ramon into the corporate hierarchy of Weyland-Yutani. Their paths would converge on an unnamed planet which some see as a potential utopia, while others would use it for highly secretive research. Regardless of whatever humans might have planned for it, however, Xenomorphs will turn it into a living hell.
The Haunting of Alejandra (April 18, 2023)
A woman is haunted by the Mexican folk demon La Llorona as she unravels the dark secrets of her family history in this ravishing and provocative horror novel.
Alejandra no longer knows who she is. To her husband, she is a wife, and to her children, a mother. To her own adoptive mother, she is a daughter. But they cannot see who Alejandra has become: a woman struggling with a darkness that threatens to consume her. Nor can they see what Alejandra sees. In times of despair, a ghostly vision appears to her, the apparition of a crying woman in a ragged white gown.
When Alejandra visits a therapist, she begins exploring her family’s history, starting with the biological mother she never knew. As she goes deeper into the lives of the women in her family, she learns that heartbreak and tragedy are not the only things she has in common with her ancestors. Because the crying woman was with them, too. She is La Llorona, the vengeful and murderous mother of Mexican legend. And she will not leave until Alejandra follows her mother, her grandmother, and all the women who came before her into the darkness.
But Alejandra has inherited more than just pain. She has inherited the strength and the courage of her foremothers—and she will have to summon everything they have given her to banish La Llorona forever.
Out of Aztlan
An ancient goddess rises up from an inverted temple in a lake of blood to purify the earth. Two pearl divers plot revenge against the Spanish merchants who enslave them. A mutant species of jellyfish fueled by garbage heaps wreaks havoc on beachgoers. Aided by mermaids, a pirate known as The Scorpion and her all-female crew challenge a corrupt king. And back on dry land, a mother avenges the daughters of her community with a very special batch of ancho chili salsa V. Castro’s spirited characters come alive in her uniquely playful, fiery style, from a vengeful lobster to a mother willing to put her life on the line for justice. In these and other stories, the descendants of Aztlan—the mythical homeland of the Aztec people—work to overthrow their oppressors and usher in the dawn of a new world.
From the lauded author of The Queen of the Cicadas (which picked up starred reviews from PW, Kirkus and Booklist who called her “a dynamic and innovative voice”) comes a short story collection of nightmares, dreams, desire and visions focused on the Chicana experience. V.Castro weaves urban legend, folklore, life experience and heartache in this personal journey beginning in south Texas: a bar where a devil dances the night away; a street fight in a neighborhood that may not have been a fight after all; a vengeful chola at the beginning of the apocalypse; mind swapping in the not so far future; satan who falls and finds herself in a brothel in Amsterdam; the keys to Mictlan given to a woman after she dies during a pandemic. The collection finishes with two longer tales: The Final Porn Star is a twist on the final girl trope and slasher, with a creature from Mexican folklore; and Truck Stop is an erotic horror romance with two hearts: a video store and a truck stop.
Purchase Mestiza Blood from Flame Tree Publishing
The Queen of the Cicadas
NOMINATED FOR A BRAM STOKER AWARD FOR SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN A NOVEL
2018 — Belinda Alvarez has returned to Texas for the wedding of her best friend Veronica. The farm is the site of the urban legend, La Reina de Las Chicharras — The Queen of The Cicadas. In 1950s south Texas a farmworker, Milagros from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, is murdered. Her death is ignored by the town, but not the Aztec goddess of death, Mictecacíhuatl. The goddess hears the dying cries of Milagros and creates a plan for both to be physically reborn by feeding on vengeance and worship. Belinda and the new owner of the farmhouse, Hector, find themselves immersed in the legend and realize it is part of their fate as well.
Purchase The Queen of the Cicadas from Flame Tree Publishing
Goddess of Filth
NOMINATED FOR A BRAM STOKER AWARD FOR SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN LONG FICTION
One hot summer night, best friends Lourdes, Fernanda, Ana, Perla, and Pauline hold a séance. It’s all fun and games at first, but their tipsy laughter turns to terror when the flames burn straight through their prayer candles and Fernanda starts crawling toward her friends and chanting in Nahuatl, the language of their Aztec ancestors.
Over the next few weeks, shy, modest Fernanda starts acting strangely—smearing herself in black makeup, shredding her hands on rose thorns, sucking sin out of the mouths of the guilty. The local priest is convinced it’s a demon, but Lourdes begins to suspect it’s something else—something far more ancient and powerful.
As Father Moreno’s obsession with Fernanda grows, Lourdes enlists the help of her “bruja Craft crew” and a professor, Dr. Camacho, to understand what is happening to her friend in this unholy tale of possession-gone-right.
Purchase Goddess of Filth from Creature Publishing
Las Posadas is V. Castro’s first Christmas horror novelette set in Texas.
Nola has been single for years as she has put her success over love, but this Las Posadas she hopes to find something more with the gorgeous mortician who has just moved into town to take over the local funeral home after the owners die in a house fire.
For weeks the tension has been building between Nola and Henry during their weekly meetings at Puzzle Club. At the start of Las Posadas, and her turn to host Puzzle Club, Nola has an unexpected guest in her new home.
Pozole and pinata sticks at the ready…
Purchase Las Posadas from Amazon
Hairspray and Switchblades (Rewind or Die Book 5)
When Maya and Magdalena lose their parents to a home invasion, Magdalena puts her dreams on hold and turns to exotic dancing. Cash is what the sisters need to stay together and keep Maya in an elite catholic high school that has set her on the path for an athletic and academic college scholarship. These sisters come from a bloodline of Jaguar shifters from Mexico and have gained unwanted attention. The San Antonio Stripper Ripper is stalking the streets, out for a specific kind of blood. Though Magdalena trades in skin, there is no way she will allow anyone to own her. Steamy. Bloody. Dangerous. Hairspray and Switchblades, what more could a girl need to survive the hot streets?
Purchase Hairspray and Switchblades from: Indiebound | Amazon