Tales from Los Cabos – An Excerpt

Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash

This has been on my mind for a few days, and today I thought I should just go ahead and share a first excerpt from my book Tales from Los Cabos, a collection of short stories about life in Los Cabos, Mexico. This book is based on my experiences in the beautiful Baja peninsula, a place I have called home for over fifteen years. In some of the stories I tried to re-create certain events, places, and conversations whereas other stories are pure fiction.

Life at the Club Information Desk is the first story I wrote for this book, back in the year 2001, when I didn’t know yet that one day I was going to publish this. It took me 18 years before I decided to release Tales from Los Cabos. Most of the stories were written in 2001 and 2002, but in 2018 – when I finally picked up the courage to go for it – I added a few more tales.

Since writing styles change over the years, you may or may not notice a difference between my old and new stories. This is normal. No author writes exactly how he or she wrote over ten years ago. Like all artists, we keep on creating and we develop our styles over the years.

I hope you enjoy this excerpt of the first short story in this book. Is this one fiction or based on true events? I’ll let you be the judge of that 😉

California Tea House

   Life at the Club Information Desk

We were a nice team. We worked well together, and we had a lot of fun. We gossiped a lot and told each other everything … well, nearly.We were six girls, and we all came from different places. If there were ever perfect candidates for an ad for racial tolerance, then we would be it. First, there was Serena, the only Mexican girl in our team. She came from Mexico City, but now her parents lived in Tijuana. Serena was pretty, sexy, and she really knew how to work her stuff. She was spontaneous and loved to party. Sometimes it seemed to me as if her whole life revolved around parties to the extent that she scheduled her days around them.

friendsThen there was Naomi from St. Lucia. Tall, dark-skinned, and absolutely stunning with long, shapely legs, shoulder-length dreadlocks, and large, black eyes. When I first met her, she seemed stern and arrogant to me. She did not warm to me right away either, but when I got to know her better I discovered that she was very nice. We overcame our initial dislike and began a genuine friendship that lasted for years.

There were two Canadian girls: Nina from Montreal and Ciara from Toronto. Nina seemed like a quiet girl with her long, brown cherub curls and her slightly slanted, amber eyes, but underneath that angel face smoldered a little devil, ready to leap out at any time. Ciara was beautiful with her freckles and her eyes that were so bright blue that people often thought she was wearing contacts. Her eyes were mesmerizing, captivating anyone who looked into them. Ciara was always in a good mood. She was friendly and kind-hearted, but she could also be stubborn. When she was angry, none of us liked to be on the receiving end of the gun fire.

And of course, how could I forget Diane from San Jose, California, or “Ding Dong” as we sometimes called her. Diane was a clown, whether or not she intended to be. Just the way she told us stories and made funny faces always made us fall on the floor with laughter. She was simply hilarious.

Last but not least, there was me, Helena from the Czech Republic, tall, blond curls, blue-eyed. People have called me different things; some have deemed me shy, others said that I was crazy and adventurous, some have called me brave, and some said that I was sweet. (Hmmm..?)

So, this was us in a nutshell. We could have been an ad for United Colors of Benetton. Diane and I with our blond hair, Nina and Ciara with darker skin and brown hair, Serena who was Mexican, and Naomi who looked a lot like her famous namesake who walked the catwalk. We were not only different in appearance, but also in personality.

Ricardo, our boss, was the only man on the team. No, do not say “poor guy.” He enjoyed being with his pretty women and listening to our stories about men, clothes, periods, and all the things women talk about. He often gave us advice even though we didn’t ask for it. He was the king of the hill.


We worked for the club section in an exclusive hotel, and we sent hotel guests to a presentation to view the facilities. Or in more familiar terms: timeshare. We earned commissions, and Ricardo got commissions from all of us. (That’s why we called him our pimp.) We were all single except for Ciara. She had been married for a few years, and she had a beautiful little daughter. Since Ciara was the married one, she usually ended up listening to our stories about horrible dates, cheating boyfriends, nights on the town, and so on, and she once told us that she was glad she was married and that she didn’t have to survive the dating scene anymore.


Naomi arrived at work, plopped down on the chair and put her elegant bag on her lap. She looked annoyed.

“What happened to you, little girl?” Ciara asked.

Naomi sighed and said, “I don’t understand Carlos anymore. He used to really like me and now he doesn’t even notice me anymore!”

Carlos was her roommate. She had dated him before, and there had been an intense attraction between them. Eventually they just became friends, and now he was her roommate. They shared the same bed, too, a queen size. I guess it seemed funny the way their relationship had evolved.

“I sleep in my panties and nothing else, right next to him. I even cuddle up to him and he does nothing; he doesn’t move. He just tells me goodnight and goes to sleep. Can you believe it?”

No, we could not.

“He doesn’t even get a hard on?” Ciara asked incredulous. bed

“No, well, two nights ago I thought he had one, but he did nothing about it.”

Ricardo, who stood by the desk arranging some papers, shook his head and laughed.

“And I think I have a nice body, right?” Naomi said.

“Well, yes,” Ricardo said, “You have a very nice body. Maybe Carlos is gay.”

“Oh, come on, Ricardo, we’ve had sex before. He can’t suddenly be turned off.”

“But I don’t understand,” he said, “Are you not supposed to be roommates?”

“Yes, but we sleep in the same bed and I just can’t get it into my head that he doesn’t even try anything.”

Diane got up from her chair and said, “Maybe he really likes you and is just … well … oh no, that doesn’t make sense. Don’t listen to me.”

“You may be right though,” I agreed.

“You think so?”

“Well, I don’t know him very well,” I said, “Who knows, it is weird anyway.”

Serena took Diane’s seat and said, “Naomi, you are very beautiful, and you have a nice body. Even if Carlos doesn’t feel anything for you anymore, with you sleeping naked next to him, how can he not do anything? I mean, he’s a man after all.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Ricardo asked, feigning offense.

“Men tend to keep their brains down below most of the time.”

“Are you generalizing again? Not all men are the same,” Ricardo argued.

“I can see that with Carlos,” Naomi remarked drily.

“But I don’t understand it, I think he still likes you,” Diane said.

“And what do you want, Naomi?” Ricardo asked. “Do you still like him?”

“I don’t know. It’s just that him sleeping next to me and not even moving a finger is driving me crazy.”

“Perhaps you can’t take the rejection,” he observed.

“Ricardo! That’s not like me.”

“Oh yes, that is exactly like you. You can’t take no for an answer.”

She smiled and said, “That’s why I’m your best worker.” He laughed and shook his head amused. “Well, I am,” she said.

“Yes, you are,” he concurred with a grin and walked over to the reception desk to talk to the couple that had just arrived. Diane made a phone call home to California, and Ciara and Naomi continued analyzing Carlos’s mystifying behavior, but I didn’t pay much attention.

My mind wandered off to Hugo, whom I had started dating a month ago and who occupied my mind a lot. Probably too much, actually.


When I first met him, I would never have thought that one day we would end up together because we had the biggest argument I could have imagined for two people who didn’t know each other.

We fought about my bag that had been locked in a room at a club that nobody had the key to open. He was one of the bouncers at said club, and when he told me to go home and come back the next day, I refused. I wasn’t going to leave my purse with my ID, credit cards, and money in a place where I didn’t know anyone. So we got into a huge argument. In the end, he caved and got someone to get the key and return my bag to me. The second time we met, a few days later, he joked about it and we started talking. That was how it began. We got to know each other, and we never fought again, but we often laughed about the way we’d met.

We seemed perfect for each other. We got on so well, talked about everything, and I felt so good when I was with him. Butterflies invaded my stomach and fluttered all the way to my toes. We couldn’t keep our hands of each other.  I got the impression that he trusted me because he shared so much about himself. He talked often about his daughters who were living in La Paz with his ex-wife.  I liked listening to him, and I was happy with the way our relationship was going. I really thought he cared for me. But then an unexpected confession had changed everything.

Photo by Justin Snyder Photo on Unsplash

“Hey, there you are,” Diana said when Nina finally arrived. I was grateful for the distraction, not wanting to dwell on what Hugo had told me.

“Sorry I’m late, the bus didn’t come,” Nina said.

“That’s ok, we’re not busy anyway,” Ricardo said. He’d just come back from his chat with the newly arrived couple.

“No? How many check-ins do we have?”


“No kidding?”

He gave her an apologetic smile as if it were his fault that the hotel had not secured more arrivals for that day.

“So, I guess I’m going home then,” Diane said, “My shift is up.”

“No, wait, there may be overflow.”

“With eight check-ins? I don’t think so.”

“I have a feeling that they are all going to arrive at the same time.”

Diane sighed and put her bag back under the desk. Ricardo returned to the couple and then he walked them to the sofa. Ciara took her pitch book and maps and took over for Ricardo, greeting the couple with her friendly, reassuring smile as she sat across from them. They were the only people there, and after twenty minutes Diane picked up her bag again and said, “I’m sorry, Ricardo, but I don’t think there is going to be any overflow.”

He shrugged his shoulders and said, “I thought they would all come together. I guess I was wrong.”

Diane kissed us each on the cheek in turn and left with a “Bye, chicas!”


I hope you enjoyed this small excerpt. 🙂 To find out Helena’s secret and what else life has in store for the girls at the club information desk, get your copy of Tales from Los Cabos at Amazon. It’s available in paperback and e-book version.

Signing off, and very nervous about sharing this 😉

Lila C. Duville
(copyright by Lila C. Duville)






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  1. Interesting short story.  Keep on working until you find pieces to fit the puzzles to create the story.  After I read the short story, I think that she is trying to figure out why her old friend is not same as before. I couldn’t help wondering that she did not know why her friend is not responding back or greeting as before.   Someday I will read that book to find out what’s going on about her news on her old friend.

  2. I must surely lay my hands on this tales from los cabos because this excerpt that I just read, I don’t know about anyone else, but I think it is very great and would be an interesting read all through. With all these shades popping up from different stories being highlighted, it would be a delight to read. Thanks for sharing insights to it. Thumbs up for this

  3. This is a teaser and I just fell right into it. I had forgotten I was reading an excerpts. For me to have read this small part and it is this much interesting, then I can bet that everything is simply awesome. Thanks so much for sharing this with me as I would be willing to get the whole story. Tales of Los cabos! It should be an interesting read.

  4. Oh this is quite interesting. I’ve been wanting to find another book to read after binge watching Netflix series. I used to read fantasy and fiction based on true stories, so I’m quite intrigued to read your book here. Is it a series or stand alone book? I will also tell my friend who loves to read this kind of book. Thank you and wish your book success 

    1. Hi!

      Thanks for checking out my book 🙂 It is a stand alone book, but I am considering a second book with more short stories. It will take some time though and I am not sure yet if I am going to go through with it. I’ll see. Many of the short stories are based on real life events, so it should be right up your ally 😉

      Lately I’ve also been binge watching Netflix series. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a break from that, right? 

  5. Wow! Excellent excerpt!  I am definitely intrigued by the secret that was hinted at and never revealed!  No fair!  *Pout*

    I have visited Mexico once and I work with a lot of people from Mexico, but I don’t know much about it other than a lot of horse and barn terms in Spanish. Lol.  I’m sure your book will be an experience for anyone who reads it. 

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  6. Hello Lila,

    I think it is good thing to share the stories you have written since 2001. Surely writing style would be different. But that will show how much you learn and grow with time and experiences. I think it would help us readers to grow along with you. 🙂

    This story seems very interesting. Now I want to find out what Hugo’s confession was? I want to know what happened with Carlos and Naomi.  I like the way you have portrait every character and how they struggle their own battles in life. The way you write the story as a puzzle, a mystery to be solved is really amazing and it made me read the whole article word by word.

    1. Hi Anjali,

      Thank you for your lovely feedback! it is much appreciated and it made my day 🙂 Hugo’s confession is revealed in the book 🙂 

  7. I thoroughly loved reading your excerpt of Tales from Los Cabos. Now you got me curious as to what happens, so I will have to get the book. By the way, Lila, you are an amazingly talented person. I love your writing style as it really drew me in. You should continue to share your talent with the world. 

    1. Hi Wendy, thank you so much! Your comment truly made my day! 🙂

      I will continue sharing my work with the world, definitely 🙂 And thanks for getting my book!

  8. Hi Lila,
    My mother is also called Lila, born in Italy, a beautiful woman’s name. I have read the excerpt from your book Tales from Los Cabos. I like the different personalities of the 6 girls who work for a timeshare company.

     I have no doubt that it is a very interesting book to read, I would like to share it with my wife. I will check with her before making the purchase. Thank you!

  9. I think your writing style is absolutely great.  Easy to read, entertaining and really interesting.  You definitely have a talent.  I am definitely going to get my hands on your book – Tales from Los Cabos – and read it from cover to cover.  Will let you know my thoughts, but I can already see that I am going to love it.

    Thanks so much for giving my a glimpse


  10. Intriguing!

    I wonder?  What could Hugo have told Helena to have her so distracted.

    These women sound awesome and like they would be great to have as friends.

    I am putting Tales From Los Cabos on my list of books to get my hands on.  

    From the excerpt, I can hardly wait to get my hands on a copy to find out what happens next.

    Well Done!

  11. Loved the story so far. The descriptions of them all really brought them to life, I feel as though I know them.

    The writing is so natural and flows well pulling the reader in. I found myself speculating about Carlos. Then being pulled into Helena’s romance, hearing how they got together after a clash at the start. Now I want to know what Hugo told her. I was disappointed the story stopped there.

    Thank you, enjoyed your writing style.

    1. Hi Linda, thank you! Yes, sorry for stopping the story right there, I wanted to have a little cliffhanger 😉 Hugo and Helena’s love story continues in the book 😉 

  12. Wow, this looks like a very good book to read. From your excerpt here, i feel like i need to get the book already. I have to say that it is reallly nice how you have revolved this story around so many characters. It is o hard to tell that this is based on your own experiences. I need to read these TALES OF LOS CABOS.  Great writer you are.

  13. Your book looks like a very good one. I must try to get one. I like the way you have used so many characters. I think the character in the book is a bit confused about things but i like her personality and how she has presented things. She’s very lucky to have friends to talk to. I will be getting one of the book having read your excerpt.

  14. Thank your for your post and excerpt of your book Tales from Los Cabos. You give such vivid description of the figures in your novel that I feel it is going to have so much stories unfolding.

    I love Serena, since she is the same kind people as me. I come from big city, New York, and now live with my parents. I am smart, handsome and know how to work with my stuff. I love going to and hosting parties. I wish I could go to parties every day. 

    I am a man. It would be wonderful if Serena and I could be a partner. Our life could be a interesting one. Now I am already going into your story. I am going to purchase your book now.

    1. Hi Anthony,

      That’s so great that you identified with Serena! I love it when we can identify with characters in books. I have not been to a party in a long time, I should go soon 😉 Thanks for reminding me 😉

      Thank you for getting my book! 🙂

  15. Sounds like you have lived a very interesting life, it is almost like I was there with you and your friends while I was reading this. I cannot wait until I get the book so I can read the rest of your stories! A unique collection of friends from all over America, and poor Ricardo 🙂 Thank you for sharing I look forward to reading the rest!

    1. Hi Travis,

      I’m very happy you liked my book excerpt 🙂 It was certainly an interesting life. “Poor Ricardo”, haha, he loved his job 😉

  16. Wow, Thant for such great work; the stories in this book are really interesting and you wrote on things that happen in real life.
    also I liked your courage wring a book for 18 years? that is what makes it different. am going for my copy on amazon so that I can read more of these interesting stories.
    thanks again.

  17. What a great description of the girls. I feel like I know them and can pin point them from a crowd. I love how the girls all came from different parts of the world and blended quite well with one another. The twists on Naomi’s relationship with her boyfriend turned room-mate is very interesting. I really would have loved to hear what Hugo told you! What a way to leave us in suspense. This is a great excerpt and you shouldn’t have waited this long to publish. Will be getting it. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hi Carol,

      You’re right, I should not have waited this long to publish it. I’m happy it’s finally released now though. Maybe now is the perfect time, who knows, right? 😉

  18. Its really courageous of you to have published this book. This excerpt is very interesting and I enjoyed reading through every line of it, the experience at the club desk was really interesting and for you to have been able to captivate my attention this much, I believe the whole book is gonna be a boom. I hope to see more from you. Thanks for sharing this amazing excerpt and I wish you all the best in your future works.

  19. This sounds like my kind of book. An interesting stories with several details and intricacies woven into it and people of different cultures and backgrounds adding to the variety of characters. These relationships involve various characters in and out of romantic adventures or even desiring one. I am looking forward to reading these tales. Where can I get a copy to purchase ?

    1. Hi JJ, thank you very much! Yes, those girls were/are a wonderful mix, very special. 

      You can get my book on Amazon. It’s available in Kindle and paperback 🙂

  20. Hi Lila. Thanks for publishing your book. Now I am intrigued. I forgot that this was an excerpt. I started reading and became so involved with the characters. I remember a friend that was like Nina. I like your style and I can’t wait to discover how the story ends regarding these 2 friends. I’ll have to go over to Amazon to continue reading.

    1. Hi Henry,

      Thank you so much! Nina was a character for sure! Wait until you read the rest of the story and see what she does 😉

  21. Hi Lila,

    You have reminded what somebody told me: writers see more than ordinary eyes see and that they hear more than what an ordinary ear hears. Your excerpt from your book: Tales from Los Cabos is an excellent piece of writing. I like the way you bring out your characters and the suspense that you leave your readers gasping for some more clues. You are a natural writer and only the sky is the limit for you.


    1. Hi Joseph!

      Thank you for your wonderful comment! I like that, “writers see more than ordinary eyes see and hear more than ordinary ears hear” That’s probably true, right? 😉 I’m happy you liked my excerpt.

  22. It was a interesting story, all the characters were described very well and sounded like they would be great friends to have. It did sound like it may have been one of your earlier stories. I Loved the plot, interested in seeing what happens. You are a very talented writer.  

  23. I really enjoyed the exert from your book. I found myself getting lost in the characters. You have an art for descriptive narrative. Your writing pulls your readers in and made it difficult to stop reading. Now I’m curious where things go from here and what news you heard that hasn’t been shared yet.

    Your topic is very ordinary, yet intriguing to most readers. We all need someone to relate to and I believe you have that covered. It seems that this unusual group of characters has a story that needs told and you are the one to tell it.

    Awesome work!


  24. I once worked at a desk at a hotel and the people with whom I worked were completely different from what you described in your story. They were boring. I would have loved to have coworkers as Nina, Naomi and Serena. I really enjoyed this excerpt and it even brought me some good memories back from the atmosphere those years at the hotel.

    1. Hi Paolo,

      It’s always nice to have good memories. I was lucky to work with such a great group of girls all that time ago. 

      Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  25. Those were the days!
    Amazing how you brought it back for us.
    You are so talented and gifted with your words ..
    Congratulations! Definitely worth the read.

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