silvia_derbezFirst mistake: Being brown. She’s praised for the healthy color of her skin, but as Lina wisely says in chapter 15, when Josie expresses her wish to become an actress: “A Mexican will never play anything other than a maid, or an Indian in a Western movie.”

Second mistake: Being fat… at least by 21st Century standards. She has an hourglass figure: round breasts, round legs, and a rounded bottom.

Mapy-CortésThird mistake: Being in love with a beatnik. Josie has it right when she says: “What I need is a generous man who could pay for the trouble.” Then again, isn’t it more fun to share a table with a group of misfits at the Gas House Café, than to drink champagne perched upon the legs of a banker?

Fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh mistakes, and so forth: Breaking her boyfriend’s heart, stealing from work, cheating on taxi drivers, attempting to hurt someone through witchcraft, passing out at a party, visiting a cemetery after midnight, etcetera.

56f8a017bc28fd3ea99e30e91eb50706Now, one thing she gets right: She’s a true princess. For if Disney movies have taught us anything, it is that only princesses deserve an audience. Commoners are too common! Not a single drop of royal blood runs through Josie’s veins, but you can tell that she’s of noble stock, without the need of a pea and two tens of mattresses, purely and simply because she’s pretty. And a little selfish and self-centered too.

From a flight on the back of a goat to celebrate sin at a ball hosted by the Master of All Badness, to the smoky interior of the Gas House Café during a beat poetry reading; from a werewolf’s apartment in Bunker Hill, to the gaudy mansion of a closeted vampire, Love, or the Witches of Windward Circle is a wildly imaginative tale that spans five decades, connecting the otherworldly occult to the out-of-this-world bohemia of fifties Venice Beach.

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Mexican actresses Josie