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Haiku Friday – Touch & Miss

22 Sep

Hello friends! A warm welcome to my blog!

 

Today would have been my father’s birthday. He’s no longer with me, but he lives in my heart. I’m going to try to make this day about remembering all the happy times we shared. All the deep conversations, laughs, and meaningful moments. I declare September 22nd a holiday –– in my house and within my family. There’s a heaviness in my chest, because I miss him. I’ll try to take solace in the truth that he’ll never be forgotten and he’ll always be with me.

“You will always be in my heart . . . because in there you’re still alive.”

~Jamie Cirello

word-cloud-Haiku_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-RRBC-Pay it Forward-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-Father-Poetry

Father

You taught me so much

But there’s one thing you did not

I never learned how

to exist in your absence

I never learned to miss you

You were always there.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz vega-Haiku-haiku_Friday-Poetry-Rave Reviews Book Club-RRBC-pay it forward

Touch and Miss are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.


Today is the Rave Reviews Book ClubPay It Forward‘ Day. I was supposed to choose one person from the club and dedicate this day to that member, but there are so many talented, creative and kind people I couldn’t choose just one. Instead I chose the wonderful club itself and will tweet, google, tumble, stumble, pin and share as many members as possible, as well as the club. Remember readers and writers are all welcome to join this fantastic family. If you’re a writer or an avid reader or both, please join us.

Have a great day, everyone!

 

 

 

Haiku Friday – Passion & Play

15 Sep

Welcome everyone! Happy Friday! Thank you for stopping by today.

 

Passion and Play are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

The first thing I thought of when I saw this week’s prompt words was my newly released novel, The Fall of Lilith and in particular one of the main characters, Lilith. So today’s poem was inspired by a scene in my book that involves her.

Fallen Angel

by Vashti Q

Exiled from Heaven

I stand at the edge of clouds

Game of throne lost

Laughing, as tears betray me

Bitter rage locked in my heart

 

Check out these two wonderful reviews on Amazon:

Gripping and Fascinating

Depraved –– Lilith is a very bad angel

Rave Reviews Book Club “Spotlight” Author Blog Tour

3 Sep

Hi Everyone! I am taking part in the RRBC’s ‘Spotlight’ Author Blog Tour. Please extend a warm welcome to September’s ‘Spotlight’ author/poet, Natalie Ducey.

Natalie is not only a talented writer/poet; she is also a sweet and kind person. She’s one of several members that have made me feel welcomed in the Rave Reviews Book Club . She has also been very generous with her encouragement and support.

I read her book, The Heart’s Lullaby and enjoyed it very much. It’s a beautiful love-themed poetry book that will move and inspire you and in some instances make you think deep thoughts. If you enjoy poetry you will enjoy this book.

Here’s my 5 star review:

This is poet, Natalie Ducey’s first book of poetry. She has a BA in Psychology and has worked in the field of counseling for fifteen years.

Although I enjoy reading poetry I had never read a book of poetry before now. I was inspired to read The Heart’s Lullaby, because I am a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club and many of the club’s members read the book and spoke highly of it.

The theme of this book is love and there are messages of compassion, grief, strength and hope.

I was impressed by the entire collection of poems. While some of the poems made me smile and inspired me, others moved me to tears, and many of the poems struck me with beauty and insight. As I read, I got a sense of honesty and passion in Natalie’s words. However, the overall mood of the collection is soothing and peaceful.

Poet Natalie Ducey used words in new and fascinating ways to create a unique book of poetry that I would gladly recommend to anyone who enjoys reading poetry.

♥♥♥

In her words . . . 

 

Life … it’s majestic and mystifying, and every day we are granted the opportunity to begin again.

Let’s enjoy the Journey!

Natalie Ducey-author-spotlight-RRBC-Rave Reviews Book Club-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

 

My first collection of poems, The Heart’s Journey Home, was published in February, 2015. I call it poetry for the soul. It is my hope that readers will connect with the verses in a way that is cathartic and soothing. I hope we can travel back with welcomed reflection, find solace and wisdom in the present, and feel inspired for the journey that lies before us.

 

Book Blurb:

We all love/loved deeply and most likely have been on both sides of goodbye. We know the exquisite and profound beauty of love. We know the immobilizing force of grief and the anguish between letting go and holding on. We know the acute distinction between second chances and new beginnings.

The Heart’s Journey Home is a celebration of the fragility and the resiliency of our hearts; the brilliant beauty of life’s journey.

Poems titled: Reckless Words, Borrowed Angel, Nobody’s Fool, Silence of the Heart, Love’s Illusion, Fallen Angel, Let’s Dance, Where Does the Love Go, Young Love, Small Town Girl, Winter’s Gift, Destined to Fly, Eternal Love, The War Within, To my Sister on our 40th Birthday, Goodbye without Warning, Old Oak Tree, Names in the Sand, Can’t Let Go, Memories Linger, Caged Bird Sings, Surrender, and Heart’s Journey Home.

 

***

Today, I’d love to share one of my favourite reviews for this collection.

These are prized moments for all authors.

 

“Natalie Ducey’s intensely emotional debut book of poetry is a collection of 23 poems reflecting upon her views during both her fifteen years counselling others, as well as her own personal journey. Both have given her ample fodder for writing of the many diverse facets of human emotion. Author Ducey says, “I try to capture the essence of the fragility and resiliency of our hearts—the brilliant beauty of life’s journey.” Her words are an apt description of her lovely and deeply moving poems.

This powerfully written book of poetry touches upon all of the emotions of humanity, sometimes with a gentle loving touch, other times with the raging agony of love lost. Her words speak in the brutally honest language of the soul, connecting with readers following journeys similar to her own . . . and to those whose emotional trials are yet to come.

Unlike poets who make their readers study and search for meaning, this poet writes directly to her readers, as the songlike meter of her joys and travails draw them into her journey; feeling with her.

As a published poet myself, I tend to judge poetry on how it affects me. If the meter is slightly off, but the words draw me in to them, I am content. I loved every single one of these poems and could not pick a favorite as each one reached out to me on so many levels. I laughed, loved and cried with these poems which drew out anew memories of my own. Most importantly, I stopped to read some of them yet again, drawn to words that felt like heartbeats, comforting me as I traverse my own journey.

By the books end I was left satiated by a warm sense of peace and an overall warm and fuzzy good feeling. That, to me, is the sign of a true poet.
Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang”

***

 

In celebration of my “Spotlight” tour, I’m delighted to say my second and recently published poetry collection The Heart’s Lullaby is currently available for 99¢!

The Heart's Lullaby-Natalie Ducey-poetry-spotlight-author-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Kindle

About Natalie

 

With a BA in Psychology, Natalie has worked in the Counselling field for 15 years. Through her work and personal journey, she has witnessed the remarkable power of the human spirit. Now, as an author and poet, she is passionate about stories that touch the heart and awaken the soul. Through words, she aspires to offer solace and hope, love and understanding. Natalie is the Co-owner and Writer of Peace by Piece Puzzles. She is the Owner/Writer/Designer of Whispers of the Heart (printable art/poetry/verse). She was born and raised in beautiful Newfoundland, Canada, with her two brothers and twin sister. She now resides in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a Soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces, and their little dog, Bella. She loves kayaking and the freedom and serenity of being one with water. She is an avid reader, passionate writer, and seeker of tranquility along life’s mystifying journey.

 

You can connect with Natalie on:

Website/Blog 

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest 

Google+

LinkedIn

Goodreads

Amazon Profile Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch WRISA Write Showcase Tour – Nonnie Jules

29 Aug

Hello everyone and welcome! Rave Reviews Book Club’s ‘Watch WRISA Write’ continues on day 29 with author and president of the club, Nonnie Jules. 

 

Nonnie is sharing a powerful and important piece with us today. Please read and share. Feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below. Thank you.

 

Nonnie Jules-Rave Reviews Book Club-WRISA-author-spotlight-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

Because of the division that’s going on in our world right now, the hate that’s being stirred up and spewed by these White Supremacist groups, we felt it appropriate and extremely necessary that we share a piece from our President, Nonnie Jules, that needs to be wide-spread.

“DOES MY LIFE MATTER?”

 

I am a black woman, and because of the shade of my skin and coarseness of my hair, because of the fullness of my hips, my lips and the bold colors I wear…some don’t find me as attractive as my fairer counterparts.  You see, I’m no longer your house-maid or here for your sexual pleasure; no longer Mamie to your children, I’m now someone’s Mother…a treasure.  But, does my life matter?

 

I am a black man, and because of my dark skin and the boldness of my stance, because of the kinky in my hair, the anger in my stare, and the wear and tear shown on my hands…some still don’t see me as a man.  You see, I’m no longer your field property or your whipping post.  I’ve freedom papers and own land now, maybe, more than most.  You build cages to hold me, guilty or not; where you should build institutions of higher learning, you lock me away for little things, then leave me there to rot.  Do you forever see my bed as a cot?  But, does my life matter?

 

I am a white woman, and because of my milk dove skin and cute, pinched nose, thin ruby red lips and fair skin that glows…with my pearly whites and prominent chin…some still look at me and despise the skin I’m in.  I was never privy to the pain that was caused.  I was born into that hatred…those God-awful laws.  So, does my life still matter?

 

I am a white man, born into privilege and wealth, easy life, perfect health, yet…I’m still persecuted and referred to as “the man.”  I, too, hate the ways of the Ku Klux Klan. My neighbors are black, white, green and red…still, I haven’t fled.  To be where everyone looks more like me, is not where I want to be.  I, too, would like to one day be FREE. Yes, FREE!  It also applies to me! FREE of the labels that bind because of the color of my skin; I’ve never owned any human or degraded any man. But, does my life still matter?

 

I am a brown-skinned woman and because of my accented words, you think I should be silent…quiet and not heard.  I can do more, than clean your windows and floors.  Just ask me what I’m capable of, you’d be surprised, I’m sure.  I may have come here via the back of a truck, or even the legal route, if I was blessed with such luck.  Maybe I was born here, and my parents, too.  In your eyes, would that still make me less American than you?  Does my life matter?

 

I am a brown-skinned man and though maybe a bit stocky, I’m no less in appearance, than your brawn and cocky.  I’m not a rapist, a thief or thug…but a man like you, with kids to hug.  I’m not ashamed to tend your lawns and trees, but Executive, also a title I wear with ease; whatever it takes…my family to feed. Don’t dismiss, or overlook my face; I may not have been born here, but I’m here to stay.  And, with that said, does my life still matter?

 

With all that’s going on, there’s much racial unrest.  It’s time to put differences aside and put real LOVE to the test.  We can’t keep fighting each other, when there are real wars going on.  We must come together in love, heal and stand strong.  There are real enemies among us, and their names we know not.  We must stand on the front lines, together and talk.

The differences between us are fewer than those in our heads; and in the end, until we draw our last breath,  we all still bleed red.  Yes, that small matter is what makes us brothers, and binds us tighter than any other.

That stream of red flowing thru our veins, is what should force us to…

release all blame,
stop the pain,
forge ahead,
no more blood we’ll shed.

Nonnie Jules WRISA Author Page

RWISA-RRBC-Rave Reviews Book Club-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Nonnie Jules-Vashti Q-author_spotlight-bog_tour-John Howell-The Writer Next Door

 

Book Launch: Murder at the Bijou – Three Ingredients 1

20 Aug

Hello everyone! I have a very special guest today, author Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. She’s been a guest here before and I love having her. Teagan is here to announce the launch of her new book. I’ll let her take it from here.

Teagan's Books-guest blogger-author spotlight-book-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega

Announcing the Launch of
Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Introducing the second “three things” serial, in novel form Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I.

Murder at the Bijou-spotlight-book_launch-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-guest blogger-novel

Yes, that’s the cover. (I love making covers!) I kept it similar to the one for the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story, but with different 1920s photos.

For those of you who are not familiar with my blog serials…

Ages ago I developed a writing exercise. I asked friends to give me three completely random things. Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things. I brought that exercise to my blog (Teagan’s Books), but I had the readers send me their things. I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters. That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to this culinary mystery. However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.

About the Book

As with the first serial, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is a spontaneously written, pantser story. I wrote by the seat of my pants and let the “ingredients” readers sent each week drive a new serial story. This is the “bookized” version of that serial.

This time the Jazz Age setting is Savannah, Georgia where our flapper, Pip, is “sentenced” to live with her grandmother and learn to cook. Pip gets caught up in a layered mystery that includes bootleggers, G-men, and the varied challenges of being a young woman in changing times. She meets new friends, including some animal characters.

If you have not read The Three Things Serial Story, be warned. This adventure contains a bit of a spoiler, but does not go into detail about it.

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is available through and Amazon and Create Space. If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon also offers a free app that will let you read Kindle books on your computer or other device. The purchase links are below. But first, here’s a snippet.

Murder at the Bijou-spotlight-book_launch-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-guest blogger-novel

In my imagination, a young Lucille Ball would play Pip.

Excerpt

Rutabaga Limbo

Either I woke up feeling horribly nauseated, or the queasiness woke me. I’m not sure which. I opened my eyes to complete darkness. There was no light, no sound. The way my stomach tossed reminded me of a small boat on the ocean. It was as if I sailed in a lightless limbo.

Oh… that was a bad train of thought to have with an unsettled belly.

Think of something else! Anything else, I told myself.

I stood unsteadily. The sound of a cricket came to me. Good. The utter silence had been very disturbing. I became aware of the cool moist earth beneath my palms.

Where the Sam Hill was I?

I sat back on my heels, focusing all my senses. My eyes might as well have been closed — it was that dark. Bare ground was beneath me. The air had a musty odor. A sickly sweet scent clung to my bobbed hair.

The cricket’s chirping was the only sound. Still sitting, I turned. My eyes widened and strained, trying to see in that heavy darkness. When I looked up I was rewarded with the sight of a thin line of pink light.

The faint glow allowed me to see vague outlines a few feet away. I stumbled over something and stooped down to let my hands figure out what it was. I felt a burlap bag and round lumps. Rutabagas? I felt around and found another bag. That one felt like potatoes. I moved closer to the wall and a tall shape. Yes, a ladder, my questing hands confirmed for my still foggy brain.

Gazing up at the line of pinkish light I realized I was in a root cellar.

But how did I get there?

***

Purchase Links

Amazon USA

Paperback 

Kindle 

Amazon UK

Amazon UK (Paperback)

Amazon Japan

 

Author Bio

Visual for Teagan_2017-Chris the story reading ape- Murder at the Bijou-spotlight-book_launch-Teagan Riordain Geneviene-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-guest blogger-novel

Image by Chris Graham

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there. Now a resident of a major east coast city, she longs to return to those enchanting lands.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type. Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one. And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest. Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes 1920s stories and Steampunk. Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

You can also visit me at:

Amazon
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube
LinkedIn

Haiku Friday – Hope & Stay

18 Aug

Lisa Burton Radio-The Fall of Lilith-Craig Boyack-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-characters-interview-Fantasy Angels Series

Happy Friday! Welcome. First, I wanted to let everyone know that I am Lilith, one of the main characters from The Fall of Lilith, is a guest at Entertaining Stories – Lisa Burton Radio. Lisa is author Craig Boyack’s robot assistant and the host of the Lisa Burton Radio Show. She interviews Lilith and things get a bit heated. So please stop by Craig’s blog and watch the sparks fly.

I also wanted to mention that Kirkus Reviews notified me that the review for The Fall of Lilith was published in the August 15th issue of their magazine.

“I wanted to let you know that your review for “The Fall of Lilith” was selected by our Indie Editors to be featured in the Kirkus Reviews magazine.

Congratulations! The review appears as one of the 35 reviews in the Indie section of the magazine which is sent out to over 5,000 industry professionals (librarians, publishers, agents, etc.) Less than 10% of our Indie reviews are chosen for this, so it’s a great honor.” ~Sarah Woodbyrne

**If you’d like to read the review follow the link: THE FALL OF LILITH KIRKUS REVIEW


Okay, let’s move on to this week’s haiku challenge.

White-Kirkus-doves-haiku_Friday-The Writer Next Door-The Fall of Lilith-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q

Release the Doves

by Vashti Q

I hear the chirping

My inner bird sings of hope

Doves perch near my heart

White-Kirkus-doves-haiku_Friday-The Writer Next Door-The Fall of Lilith-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q

Hope and Stay are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

I wish everyone a peaceful, happy and safe weekend! 

 

Haiku Friday – Painted & Lady

11 Aug

word-cloud-thank you-appreciate-grateful-haiku_friday-the writer next door-vashti q-vashti quiroz vega-ronovanwrites-poetry

Happy Friday! It’s ‘Haiku Friday’ and I do have a poem for you but first I wanted to give thanks to those amazing people that have been so kind and generous with their support these last couple of weeks.

When you release a new book into the word you then have to work twice as hard to spread the word and make sure that everyone that reads knows that your book is available. It’s a lot of work and almost impossible to do without help.

So, I’m going to do something that I usually hate doing, because knowing me, I will forget someone and then I’ll be kicking myself all weekend. But, I’m compelled to let everyone know how supportive and wonderful these people are.

 

Adele Marie Park – FireFly 465 Blog

Lizzie Chantree – Lizzie Chantree 

Annette Rochelle Aben – Annette Rochelle Aben ~Communicator, WordSmith, Artist, Guide, Mentor, Muse~

Allan Hudson – South Branch Scribbler

Craig Boyack – Entertaining Stories

Renekkah Ford – Wandering Thoughts of a Writer

Karen Oberlaender – My Train of Thoughts

John W. Howell – Fiction Favorites

Eloise De Sousa – Thoughts by Mello-Elo

Chris Graham – Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

Debby Kaye – D. G. Kaye Live. Laugh. Love. And Don’t Forget to Breathe!

Sally Cronin –Smorgasbord -Variety is the Spice of Life

Sue Vincent – Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo

Olga Núñez Miret – Olga Author/Translator

Natalie Ducey – Natalie Ducey

Tina Frisco – Tina Frisco

Paul WiersgallaPaul Edward Wiersgalla

Colleen ChesebroColleen Chesebro Fairy Whisperer

Harmony Kent – Harmony Kent Online Author and Editor

Belinda Bennett – Inform. Engage. Influence. Belinda Bennett

Mike Paine – Mike Paine Show

Paul DeBlassie IIIPaul DeBlassie III, Ph.D. Psychologist/Writer

Wendy ScottWendy Scott 

Mihran Kalaydjian – Mihran Kalaydjian’s Official Blog

Michael Eging – Michael Eging 

 

I appreciate the guest posts and all the sharing on Social Media. I’m also grateful for the kind words of encouragement and inspiration. 

Onto today’s haiku poem . . . 

painted-lady-Poetry-haiku_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-RonovanWrites

Butterfly

by Vashti Q

Her wings kiss the sun

She then dances on flowers

Sweet painted lady

painted-lady-Poetry-butterfly-Haiku_Friday-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-RonovanWrites

 

Painted and Lady are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Watch WRISA Write – Author Spotlight: John Howell

10 Aug

RWISA-RRBC-Rave Reviews Book Club-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Nonnie Jules-Vashti Q-author_spotlight-bog_tour-John Howell-The Writer Next Door

Welcome to the 10th day of the Watch WRISA Write Showcase Tour an event organized by the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC). Today, the spotlight shines on one of my favorite authors, John W. Howell.

He has a great blog, Fiction Favorites where you can read some of his work, see all his books and learn more about him, so be sure to check it out.

John W. Howell-Watch WRISA Write-RRBC-Rave Reviews Book Club-spotlight-author-blog_tour-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

 

*I recently read John’s thriller, Our Justice and enjoyed it very much. Here’s the review I left on Amazon. 

Our Justice-John Howell-spotlight-author-novel-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Rave Reviews Book Club-RRBC-WRISA-blog tour-Vashti Q

Book Review

If Our Justice by John W. Howell was a roller coaster ride, it would be one that begins high on the track right before the free fall, twists and loops––what a ride!
The Protagonist, John Canon is an authentic, likable guy whose not afraid to show fear or allow a woman to take charge, which is endearing to me. He’s a genuinely good guy with great morals. You’ll love to hate his nemesis, Matt Jacobs, a very rich and powerful, kind of charming lunatic bent on destroying him. And I loved Stephanie, a strong, intelligent, beauty. All-around well-developed and memorable characters.
Aside from the nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thrills and chills action, it’s obvious that a lot of research went into this story. Sometimes I wondered while reading if the author had been a navy seal or scientist, because the descriptions and scenarios were so on point and believable.
This story was written in first person, present tense and I felt like I was tagging along on all the adventures. This is the last book in the John Canon trilogy but it stands alone.
If you enjoy a fast paced, harrowing, thrilling story with a very satisfying ending then this book is for you.

John W. Howell is sharing a story he has written for this tour and it’s wonderful. Here it is. Enjoy! 

 

Last Night

by John W. Howell © 2017

 

So, with nothing better to do, I figure I’ll stop at Jerry’s place and grab a couple of drinks and a burger. Usually, I don’t go there on Saturday night since there’s a crapload of amateurs taking up what would be considered prime space. I figure since this is a Friday and close to Saturday, it may be packed, but not as crazy as Saturday. It’s the kind of place where everyone minds their business. They’re there for a good time and will likely not notice me. Even so, I go through the door, stop, and have a look around, trying not to make eye contact. I hope that the ball cap and large coat will keep me from getting noticed. The bar holds a weekday crowd, hanging on each other like they never had a date before. I tighten my eyelids against the smoke and make out four guys near the pool table, and what looks like a couple of girls fetching drinks. I search for a seat beyond the table in the back, but it seems like they’re all taken.

A guy bumps into me as I stand here. I say excuse me, and he looks me in the face. “Hey, don’t I know you?” he says.

“I don’t think so.” I make to turn away.

“Yeah, you’re the sports hero who lost all his money. I saw you on TV.”

“Naw, people always say stuff like that. I’m not him, buddy; trust me.”

He gives me a puzzled look but doesn’t want to push it, in case he has it wrong. I turn away and continue to look for a seat.

Straight ahead lies the bar, and it has a place right in the middle. I move in the direction of the empty place and look over to the other side of the room. The tables look full of happy drunks. Buckets of empties line the bar top, and the barmaid’s trying to sell more. She doesn’t have much luck since most of these people just spent their last five bucks on this outing. Upon making it to the stool, I hoist myself up and lean on the bar.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. “Whadda you have?”

“Evening, Jerry. I’ll have a Gin on the rocks with a water back.”

“Comin’ up.”

I like Jerry’s no-nonsense way of handling things. He doesn’t like small talk and gets right to business. My eyes smart from the smoke, and I wonder how Jerry gets away with letting people kill themselves, when clearly, it’s not supposed to be allowed in this kind of establishment.

“Here you go. Want me to run a tab?”

“Yeah, I would appreciate that. I intend to have another drink and then a burger.”

The guy who thinks he knows me grabs my shoulder from behind. I almost fall off the stool.

“You’re Greg Petros, the big fund manager. I knew I’d seen you on TV. You took a beautiful career in football and ran it into the ground.”

Jerry leans over the bar and lays his hand on the guy’s shoulder. “Move on, my friend. You made a mistake. This guy is nobody. Go sit down and let me buy you a drink.”

“You sure? You called him Greg.”

“Yeah, I’m sure. Go get a table, and I’ll send someone over.”

The guy looks at me one more time but does as Jerry suggests. He believes Jerry’s wrong, but the idea of a free drink lets him get away without losing face.

“Thanks. I didn’t mean for you to have to jump in.”

“No problem. Gimme the high sign when you’re ready for another drink.”

“Will do. Thanks.”

“For you buddy, anything.”

I should mention that Jerry and I go back aways. When I fell on hard times, he became the only one that seemed to give a shit. I take a sip of my drink and wait for the burn in my throat, which signals the good stuff. Here it comes. I take a swig of the water and almost believe life is good. The Gin needs to get to the brain before making any honest judgment.

While I wait for the warmth to go from my stomach to my head, I check out the folks seated on either side of me. They both have their backs turned to me and sit engrossed in some discussion with their neighbor. I figure it’s just as well since I don’t want to go through that old “don’t I know you?” bullshit again. Also, I don’t figure on staying the night, so no use in getting into any long discussions about life.

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband, either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still, and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but, I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that, too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

 

END

John W. Howell-Watch WRISA Write-RRBC-Rave Reviews Book Club-spotlight-author-blog_tour-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

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Book Promo – New Release – ‘The Fall of Lilith’ by Vashti Quiroz-Vega…

9 Aug

I am a guest author on ‘Chris, The Story Reading Ape’ Blog! Stop by Chris’ cool blog and say hello! Wishes don’t work unless you do!

Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-the fall of lilith-novel-guest author-Chris The Story Reading Ape-bookblogger

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Hello everyone! I’m so happy to be here at Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog. Thanks for inviting me, Chris!

My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega and I’m a writer of Fantasy, Horror and Thriller. If you enjoy reading short stories in those genres and poetry you can do so on my blog, The Writer Next Door | Vashti Q. I’m here today to tell you a little about myself and to introduce my new novel, The Fall of Lilith.

I began reading, writing and storytelling early. In elementary school I drew pictures and wrote stories in comic book form and sold them for a quarter a piece. I grew up in a religious home, attended a religious private school and went to church regularly with my parents. I read many religious books. I also enjoyed fairy tales and mythology and devoured many of these types of books. I’ve…

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Book Tuesday: Vashti Quiroz-Vega

8 Aug

Hi everyone! Since I released my new book, The Fall of Lilith I’ve had the pleasure of being featured in several very cool blogs. I am very grateful to these wonderful authors/bloggers. Today, I will be at ‘Thought by Mello-Elo’ for Book Tuesday! Please stop by and visit the lovely Eloise and say hello! Thank you!

Thoughts by Mello-Elo

Welcome to Book Tuesday.

Today, I have the honour of introducing a lady who has featured with her thrilling book, The Basement and is back to introduce her latest book, The Fall of Lilith. Her name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega.  I am excited to share Vashti’s new book with my readers and let you all get a chance to get to know her and her book.

vashtiHello everyone! I’m so happy to be here at Thoughts by Mello-Elo. Thanks for inviting me, Eloise! My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega and I’m a writer of Fantasy, Horror and Thriller. If you enjoy reading short stories in those genres and poetry you can do so on my blog, The Writer Next Door | Vashti Q. I’m here today to tell you a little about myself and to introduce my new novel, The Fall of Lilith.

I began reading, writing and storytelling…

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