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A.C. Pitones

It all started when…

Alexandra and Cheryl saw a photo of a cool abandoned cafe. As the mother/daughter duo often weirdly do, they began riffing on what that cafe really was. They decided it was a portal to a parallel universe called Sanctum where garden gnomes revolt when the sacred altar isn’t properly tended and giant worms attack innocent people—and terriers.

<A.C.: The dog survives, don’t worry.>

The only way to get to Sanctum is through an empty, dilapidated cafe in the Arizona desert on our side of the Divide. If you’re lucky enough to own a cafe card, it will take you to the One Way Cafe in a town called Dead End.

Then came the girl and the story soon belonged to her.

Not really a girl, but a young woman. Her name is Maria Guadalupe and she makes the earth move. Literally.

Life is complicated for the bookish seventeen year old. For one thing, she can’t control her ability and, as a result, can’t attend school. For another, she’s in love with a ghost who can only communicate with her through a steamy bathroom mirror. And lastly, she’s on the run from a brutal man with a long reach and unlimited resources. Fortunately, she has her father with her—and her best friend, a rescue terrier named Toby.

<A.C.: We swear, the dog survives the whole book. This is not John Wick.>

In a last ditch effort to protect her, Maria’s dad sends Maria and Toby to Dead End, the side of the world where her late mother was born. There, she meets the grandfathers her mother told her about. Even her backstabbing, ghostly, now ex, boyfriend follows her there, much to her dismay.

But, as much as she loves her grandparents, Maria isn’t happy in Dead End without her dad. She’ll do anything to get back home to make sure he’s safe from their shared enemy.


Even if it means using the ability she fears.

Even if it means she puts herself in danger.

Even if it means destroying the barrier between Sanctum and Earth.

Dead End was a finalist in the YA category of the 2018 Lone Star Writing Competition.

A.C. Pitones December 2018

A.C. Pitones December 2018