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The Rise of Gadreel ~ Excerpt

6 Nov

Hi, everyone! I’m happy to see you here. Welcome.

I’m currently doing the final reading of my WIP, The Rise of Gadreel, and I’m reading it (cover to cover) out loud. I’ve had a lot of fun writing this book. It’s been my favorite to write so far, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy process. Because the story is set in the Medieval Period I had to do an enormous amount of research to get the details right. I also had to research the Medieval Roman Catholic Church, the Black Plague, the Little Ice Age, among many other things. Although my books are fantasy fiction I like to ground my stories in reality. Luckily, I enjoy doing the research. I can’t wait to release this book. I truly hope readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I decided to share an excerpt from The Rise of Gadreel Book – 3 of my Fantasy Angels Series. Sharing the first excerpt of a new book is always a nerve-racking ordeal, but, here we go. I hope you enjoy it.

Chapter 13 – Gadreel Confronts the Beast

As we walked down to the harbor town of Whitby, the rising sun’s rays shone on my face, yet that didn’t prevent the cold from sinking into the core of my bones. In town, although early in the day, few people walked the streets, and the fields were void of serfs and farmers. 

Screams coming from the center of town sliced through the morning fog, so we hurried in that direction. Townsfolk gathered around three women who stood in the center of the town’s square, bound and held captive by five men in black tunics and hooded cloaks. The men smacked them and yanked them by the hair. One wrenched a woman’s arm so violently that I thought he would tear it out of its socket. As we ran toward them, another hooded man knocked a woman to the ground. The people watched and did nothing to help them.

“What is happening here?” I stood before them, panting, my breath rising in visible billows. “Why do you treat these women this way?” My hands closed into fists as heat rose to my face despite the cold.

One of the men stepped toward me, pulling his hood back to expose his face. “We’re inquisitors sent to bring order to this cursed city.”

“Who sent you?” I didn’t back down, keeping eye contact with this man at all times. “What curse do you speak of?”

“We were sent by His Most Reverend Excellency Abigor Chailín, bishop of London,” the man said. “His Excellency established The Inquisition with the blessing of both King Edward and His Holiness the Pope, to find and punish heretics and those practicing witchcraft, which is a form of heresy.” He measured me with a sideways glance. “What curse you ask? Look around you. This port city once thrived. Those who did not die of disease are now perishing from hunger due to poor crop growth and dying livestock as a result of this demoniacal frost. The rest of them lash out through violent crimes, even murder and rape. Witches are to blame for this. They cast spells, making people do atrocious acts they normally would never do. Sorcerers manipulate the weather.”

“So you’re claiming that these three women are witches?” I said.

“Yes,” he said with confidence as he held up a book. “This is the Malleus MaleficarumThe Hammer of Witches. The bishop of London wrote this instructional manual for his inquisitors. It lists ways to identify witches and explains the procedures in which to investigate, arrest, and punish them. We understand what must be done.”

I stood before him, unwavering. “What do you plan to do to these women? Judging by their bloodied and disheveled appearance, they’ve been punished enough.”

The man burst into laughter, as did his cohorts. 

“These women will burn at the stake for their crimes. I’ll not say another word until you tell us who you and your friends are and why you deem yourself worthy of interrogating the church.”

“My name is Gadreel, and I ask that you let these women go.”

The five men broke into hysterical laughter once more. Dracúl, Golem, and Sabina stepped forward and stood beside me. Thomas also stood by, a mere shimmer in the bitter air, the men unaware of his presence.

Dracúl moved closer to me. “We should verify if these men speak the truth. If these women practice black magic, they should be burned at the stake.”

His indifference in the matter of burning three souls alive shocked me. The doctrines of the church were deeply rooted in his psyche, skewing his perceptions.

“If I could touch them, I could determine if they’re lying,” Sabina whispered to me.

“Are you sure you want to do that? You’ll be weakened by the touch.”

“There’s no better way to find the truth.”

“Then you must do it.” Dracúl took Sabina by the arm, putting her in front of the women. “Apologies, but it would be irresponsible not to.”

I tipped my head in Sabina’s direction, and she wrested her arm from his grip. 

All the hooded men scrutinized her with their hands on the hilts of their swords, except one who stepped closer to me, his face hidden in the shadow of his black cape’s hood. “Did you say your name is Gadreel?”

“I did. Why do you ask?” 

The man stumbled backward so fast that he lost his balance. If not for one of the other men, he would have fallen on his backside. Jarred by his reaction, I looked to Dracúl. He gave me a half shrug and continued to focus on Sabina and the three women accused of witchcraft.

“We have a warrant for her arrest,” the man said, pointing at me as he steadied himself. “She’s a sorceress.”

“Oh bloody hell!” Golem rushed to Sabina, pulling her back in time to avoid getting trampled by the men who came charging after me. 

Dracúl transformed into his red fiend form to the gasps and screams of the hooded men and surrounding crowd.

Dóna’m la força que necessito!” Golem exclaimed, holding his stone figurine to his forehead and shifting into the stone giant.

The five inquisitors stopped in their tracks, eyes shifting between Dracúl and Golem. I revealed my massive wings, and although they were marked with a black band that ran horizontally across the top portion of them—a reminder of my past transgressions—they were otherwise pure white.

“What are you?” the first man who had approached me said as panic flittered across his face.

“I’m not a sorceress,” I said. “Go on, Sabina. Verify whether these women practice black magic or not.”

Sabina looked into the women’s eyes, and one by one she held their hands. When done, she staggered toward me.

“These women do not practice black magic,” she said. “They’re not even witches, not a one.”

Dracúl looked away and stared at the pebbles on the ground to avoid my eyes. I confronted the five hooded men. “You tortured three innocent women and were about to burn them alive. How should you be punished?”

 One of the men fell to his knees, whimpering. A steaming puddle formed on the ground between another’s legs, while the others trembled and gawked at us.

“Please forgive us,” the man who had lowered his hood said, holding up the inquisitor’s handbook. “We tried to follow the Malleus Maleficarum, but we must have done something wrong . . . missed a step somehow.” 

“Your master, Abigor, is a deceiver. I don’t care what that book says. Those three women are no more witches than you are. Save your regrets for them.” 

The men scrambled to the women, untying them while offering apologies.

“Do you have gold coins?” I asked. 

The men remained silent.

“Fine. Dracúl, please check them.”

Dracúl stepped toward them, and the men pawed at their belts to remove their coin purses. They threw them on the ground before Dracúl. 

“Give it all to the women,” I told him.

“Those purses hold gold coins,” the unhooded man said. “That’s too much money for peasant women.”

“There is not enough gold to compensate them for what you and the others have done,” I said. “The crosses you wear around your necks are fashioned from gold and hang from golden chains. Remove them as well, and hand them to the women.”

The men protested until Dracúl growled at them. Then they couldn’t remove them fast enough.

“Now leave this place and never return,” I said. “Be gone, but the horses stay.” 

“But how will we reach our destination without horses?” one of the men asked.

“On foot,” I said with a shrug. “You’re wearing expensive shoes. Many of these people do not own shoes, and yet they manage to get to where they’re going. You claim to be better than they are, so you should do just fine. Now go. I’d prefer it if we didn’t shed blood today.”

The men hurried away toward where the city’s edge meets the forest road.

Many of the bystanders had run away when Dracúl transformed into the red fiend, but those who stayed behind now cheered for us. The three women rushed to me and fell on their knees, reciting words of praise.

“No, please do not kneel before me. We are here to help you—all of us. It’s what we do.”

“I acknowledge what you are,” the youngest of the women said as she and the others got to their feet. “You’re an angel. Your skin has an iridescent glow, your entire being is surrounded by an ethereal radiance, and only an angel has massive wings like yours.” Her eyes were a silvery-blue, and although one of them wandered, she reminded me of my dear Cleodora. For once, I reveled at the thought of them living in the great depths of the ocean, for the world above had become a dark and dangerous place, full of misguided souls.

“You are safe now,” I told her and the others, including the crowd. “Your lives must change if you want to survive and live in peace. Stop the violence and depravity, because bad behavior will lead the inquisitors right back here, and next time we may not be here to help you.”

“Stay with us awhile,” one of the other women said.

Dracúl gave me a look before going behind a copse of trees to shift back to his man form and get dressed. Golem followed him. Sabina had regained the color in her face and looked more like herself again. She came closer to me.

“Our task is to find and destroy Abigor,” she said under her breath.

“I understand, but isn’t our main objective to help the people? They have been through so much. We wouldn’t have to stay long. There are sick people here who could use your aid, and the rest of us can assist them in other ways. I think we can stay a few days.”

“All right, but you have to break the news to Dracúl.”

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed the excerpt from The Rise of Gadreel. Books 1 & 2 of my Fantasy Angels Series are available on Amazon and you can read them free with KindleUnlimited.

Rave Reviews Book Club

17 Jul

Hello, everyone!

To say it’s been a crazy week would be an understatement. So much has been happening around me, including renovations to the inside and outside of my house. It’s enough to make your head spin, believe me. 😮

Some of you know that I’m a member of an online book club called Rave Reviews Book Club. This is a wonderful organization for writers and readers established by author Nonnie Jules. This month has been hectic and a little rough but the one great thing that came out of it was that my novelette Memoir of a Mad Woman was selected “Book of the Month” by the RRBC. Not only is it an honor for your book to be chosen from thousands of fabulous books, it’s also a great opportunity for your book to be seen by a wider audience. You see, when your book is selected by the RRBC as a BOM all the members of the club are encouraged to buy, read, review, and share your book all over social media. That’s an amazing boost!

I am always thankful for the Rave Reviews Book Club. I’ve met and befriended so many kind, talented, and supportive people in the three years I’ve been a member. We’ve become one big happy online family.

This week I was supposed to take part in a book club discussion specifically for those whose books were selected BOM, but I wasn’t able to attend the zoom meeting because something happened to my WiFi Tuesday morning and it wasn’t working. I called Comcast several times. They gave my husband and me different instructions of what to do, but nothing worked. They finally sent a tech out to our house, and he discovered that the cable had been severed, no doubt by the men working in our side yard, where the cable was buried.

I was beyond upset to have missed the Book of the Month discussion because it would have been a great opportunity to discuss my book, give new insights, and answer questions about it. My iPhone has it’s own internet service from the provider, but I didn’t have the zoom app on it. I tried to get into the app store to download the zoom app to my iPhone, but I was given instructions to turn on the WiFi which of course I couldn’t. I also sent an emailed to RRBC to let someone know the situation and asked if there was a phone number I could call to join in the discussion. I received an email from someone letting me know that she was out to lunch when my email came in and it was too late by the time she read it. I’m truly sorry I couldn’t make it to the discussion. The circumstances were beyond my control. 😦

I was planning to make this a short post but I guess it’s too late for that. :/ The bottom line is that I’m happy to be a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club and highly recommend it. This is a wonderful organization for aspiring writers, experienced authors, and avid readers. There are so many great opportunities to grow your author platform and to gain sales and reviews for your books. There are also fascinating books to read and the members are amazing. If you’d like more information on how to join the club visit the RRBC website.

I hope everyone has had a better week than I did. I’m looking forward to a restful break this weekend. Happy Friday and weekend!

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I’m exhausted, so I’m going to escape into my fantasy world this weekend. See you soon!

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

21 Feb

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge: It’s the third week of the month! Time for a #PhotoPrompt

Photo Credit: Ritu Bathal

The clouds reflected the light of a full moon. For a while longer, I’ll be able to spot them at a distance, but that meant they would be able to see me, too. It’s difficult to know who’s side the moon’s on. As I searched for refuge, I moved quickly dissolving into shadows whenever I heard their creepy grunts and shrieks. The night was hot and humid making me feel sticky and sofocated. I couldn’t help thinking it might be too late for me to make it to safety tonight.

A golden light shone brightly in the distance. My heart rapped against my ribs in anticipation. It could be a safe house. I followed the light, and saw a house lit like a beacon beckoning me to come. A scream cut through the night sky followed by numerous growls. They were close. I gasped and hurried. The house seemed to bend forward like a mother trying to reach for her child to bring him to the security of her arms. If I could make it to the light I’d be safe. I heard a crash to my right, a garbage can rolled in my direction spilling its garbage and stench along the way. More growling sounds came from the gloom to my left. Behind me, I heard the unmistakable sounds of feet pounding the ground. I bolted down the bumpy uneven paving stones. Exhaustion threatened to wear me out as my legs turned to lead. They lurked in the shadows all around me. I don’t think I’m going to make it.

A

light shines

giving me

hope that I may

survive this nightmare

It guides me to safety

A house of refuge from pain

offering protection from death

by zombies in this apocalypse

Photo Credit: Yohann Libot @yohannlibot

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the post. Have a great day!

Quote

Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, @VashtiQV

16 Aug

Hello, everyone! My books and I are featured at Author, Colleen Chesebro’s blog. I’d like to invite you to visit her blog and check it out. If you enjoy the interview, please share it on social media. I appreciate the support. Happy Friday!

 

Conversations With Colleen-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-author_interview-writer-indie-supernatural-occult-horror

 

via Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, @VashtiQV

Poetry Friday ~ A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

12 Apr

Hello and welcome, everyone!

The last couple of weeks have been crazy busy for me and I was not able to do as much writing as I wanted, so I plan to spend the day and weekend catching up. Please enjoy my story series, A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance, if you haven’t already done so and I will see you next week for another Poetry Friday. Happy Good Friday, Passover and Easter!


 

Doing the right thing

is hard when you do not know

what the right thing is

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Illustration by Melanie Delon

 

Today I’m sharing Part 1 of a short story series called A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance. I hope you enjoy it.

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

Who falls in love with a ghost?

 

I recall the first time I saw Abigail. She wasn’t attractive in my eyes. Her skin was as pale as an ivory mist. Her limp, blonde hair reflected merely a glint of sun. Her lips were thin and uninviting, but when she glanced my way with heavy-lidded sea green eyes, she captured my soul so completely I couldn’t look away. I should have looked away.

 

I had a task to do–so I watched. Abigail had a sweet way about her that lured me further into her world. Was it possible to take part in her world? I observed her. This girl did caring things for those around her and had a generous heart. Oddly, she never seemed to expect anything in return. Showing kindness to animals and nature was her way. She enjoyed singing, although she wasn’t very good at staying in tune. I spent hours, days, and then weeks watching her–trying to find something that would make my errand easier. I could not. What was it about this creature that held me captive?

 

Abigail was good, but also an odd and clumsy creature. I lost count of how many times I had to swiftly cover my mouth, fearing that my laughter would betray my presence. Once, she picked up a tarantula spider. It appeared to prance happily in place on her palm. She gazed at it wide-eyed and giggled with glee. Then she dropped it. The spider shattered when it hit the ground. She wailed for hours.

 

Another time she witnessed a small boy feeding bread to a swan. She ran to them and picked up a piece of bread lying by the boy’s feet. She attempted to feed the swan at the same time the boy did, but instead, she clumsily struck the swan’s beak, making it irate. She gasped as the angry bird took the boy’s arm in its beak and pounded his small limb with one of its massive wings. Abigail screamed for help and managed to pull the boy away, but not before the swan had broken his arm. The boy ran away to his parents, red-faced and howling, his arm dangling by his side. She dropped to the ground and created a puddle with her guilt and sorrow. She did not eat for days. That’s when I finally approached her.

 

“Why do you starve yourself?” I asked. She jumped and stared at me. “Do you wish to die?”

 

“No, I wish to live,” she responded, her eyes wide and pale lips trembling. “I hurt a small boy and deserve to suffer.”

 

“You did no such thing. The bird hurt the boy, but his arm is healing well. He plays happily as we speak, regardless of the cast he wears. You have no need to go on tormenting yourself.”

 

“How do you know this?” she asked, looking at me askance.

 

Thinking quickly I responded, “I was told about what had happened to the boy, and I just saw him minutes before I ran into you.”

 

She stared at me, brows crumbled and eyes squinted, and then she smiled faintly. “I’m glad to know this, thank you. My name is Abigail.”

 

“Then you must nourish yourself, Abigail.”

 

I looked around. A red fruit hanging from a nearby tree caught my eye. I picked it and handed it to her. She extended her hand slowly and took it. She bit into it, repeatedly holding the ripened, sweet fruit with both hands. She devoured it in no time. As she swallowed the last morsel, I wiped a bit of dribble off her chin. Her grateful smile turned her cheeks the color of an orchid rose.

 

I chuckled at how her face lit up. “My name is Azrael,” I told her. I’m not sure why. I reveal my name to few.

 

“It’s nice to meet you, Azrael. Would you like to walk with me?”

 

 “Yes. This forest is quite beautiful. I have always enjoyed hiking here. The smells, the sounds–fascinate me!”

 

She took my hand as we began our stroll.

 

“This beautiful place can also be quite dangerous,” I said. “Doesn’t that scare you?”

 

“No,” she said, her face as innocent and pure as a daisy.

 

We continued walking. She stopped to smell wildflowers, drink water from a small waterfall that emptied into a noisy river, to point at birds she recognized and insects. I thought today would be the day, but torrents of crystalline water gushed, white fluffy clouds whipped across intense cerulean skies, daffodils vibrant as stars quivered and danced in the wind. It was much too lively a day for death to intrude.

 

“I must leave now.”

 

“So soon?” She sighed heavily and her body slumped.

 

“The sun will set soon. Perhaps you should go home before it becomes dark and you can’t find your way back.”

 

She nodded with a frown. “Goodbye. It was nice exploring the forest with you. Thank you for a lovely time,” she said as she departed.

 

I rushed in the opposite direction. When I was sure to be far enough away, I crumbled to the ground.

 

“Why? Why must I carry out this burden?” I cried to the heavens. “There is no malice in her. She is a lamb!” I rubbed a deep burning ache in my chest as large drops fell from my eyes. I touched my cheek and looked with amazement at my wet fingers. A voice in my head reassured me that my daunting task was for the best. I rose from the ground and with dragging feet left the forest. 

 

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

Vashti Quiroz Vega-author-Azrael-angel of death-story-Vashti Q-blog tour-virtual_book_tour-son of the serpent

Illustration by AStoKo

 

Be sure to read part 2 and the finale of A Time To Mourn And A Time To Dance

PART 2

PART 3 – FINALE

Book Tour: Voyage of the Lanternfish by C. S. Boyack

24 Jan

Hi, everyone! I’m excited because today I have the privilege to host talented and creative author, C. S. Boyack. Enjoy!

CS Boyack-author-voyage of the lanternfish-blog tour-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-craig boyack

 

Thanks for the invitation, Vashti. You’re welcome to promote at my place any time you like. I’m here to talk about my newest book, Voyage of the Lanternfish.

I try to make every tour post unique, to give people a reason to read the post. This time the topic is some of the big decisions that went into this story. All authors have to make these kinds of decisions, and I’m interest to see if others faced similar things in drafting their stories.

I’ve written before about the plate of peas approach, where you scrape options away until the peas that remain are your story. That’s kind of the topic here.

My big decisions were Earth, or a fantasy world? Cutting throats or a bit more compassion. And finally, “Ere ye gonna write a whole novel wi nought but pirate speak, lad?”

One of the things on my mind was distancing myself from the most popular pirate franchise in history. I love Captain Jack, but this isn’t intended to be fan fiction. I decided to create my own world.

Part of this was to avoid going to places like Port Royal, Tortuga, and the rest. There may be some similarities, but I want my world to be bigger and contain different possibilities. I may have pulled a fast one on naming an island. Tortuga means turtle or tortoise. It’s the pirate stronghold. I needed one of these too, so I called mine Lagarto, which means lizard. I changed one reptile for another.

I also took my crew to places similar to Asia, the Mediterranean Coast, and even some wild moors.

I stayed consistent with the countries, even if readers don’t pick up on it. The bad guys are from a country much like England. There is a northern country that never gets visited, but all the ties to it are Germanic. This includes the original name of the ship that will become Lanternfish. My Asian part of the world is a mash up of several cultures. I stayed mostly Chinese, but allowed some drift into other areas too. It’s a fantasy world and this is one of the luxuries.

Pirates weren’t good people in reality. They came from all walks of life, but the situation that appealed to me was desperation. Common folk were treated like animals by those in power. Some of them developed a bit of backbone and rebelled. These people are the bulk of my pirate crew.

There were some looking to get rich quick, others who were more interested in striking a blow than gaining riches. In a novel, it’s a balancing act. I need readers to like my characters and be on their side. I went with the compassion, but a tempered version of it. No torturing prisoners, or walking the plank in this story. They are pirates, so there are some violent moments involved.

When it comes to pirate speak, I love it. However, it’s a nightmare to write, and spell check doesn’t like it either. This is one of those things that could drive readers insane too.

I chose to write it like any other book, but there are some secondary characters who drift into pirate speak. I ain’t afraid to butcher the English language a bit… in small doses. I want enough to get the point across without burning out my readers’ eyes trying to get through it all.

Readers will have to decide if these were the right decisions, of course. I love the story, but I could be a bit biased.

I hope your readers will give Lanternfish a chance. I’ll drop off all the important stuff for Vashti to add to the post.

How about it, you authors out there? What similar circumstances have you faced in writing your own books? I’d love to get some conversations going in the comments.

***

Voyage of the Lanternfish-C S Boyack-author-spotlight-novel-amazon-vashti quiroz vega-vashti q

 

Blurb:

An honorable man is mistaken for his disreputable father. Now he’s pushed into a political scheme to start a war that will spread across multiple kingdoms. James Cuttler’s fiancé is being held captive to ensure he goes through with the plan.

He soon decides his skills are at sea and procures a ship to wage war upon those who disrupted his simple life. He can’t do it alone, so he recruits a band of cutthroats to help him. But first, they need guns and munitions to outfit the ship properly. Deception and trickery will only get them so far. Eventually, they’re going to have to engage the enemy.

James’ goals aren’t necessarily the same as his crew. It’s a delicate balancing act to collect enough loot to keep his crew happy, while guiding them back to rescue the girl.

Voyage of the Lanternfish is filled with adventure, magic, and monsters. Lots of monsters. Hoist the colors and come along for the ride.

Purchase Link:

http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07MP8V633

 

Bio:

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

blog tour-book blogger-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-C S Boyack-Lisa Burton_radio

Connect with C. S. “Craig” Boyack on social media:

Blog: Entertaining Stories

Twitter 

Amazon Author Page

BookBub

Goodreads

Facebook

I hope you enjoyed today’s feature. Check out Craig’s fascinating blog and follow him on social media. He’s a very talented author and a great supporter of other indie writers.

 

Poetry Friday ~ There’s something wrong with Emma.

18 Jan

Hi, everyone! I hope you all have had a great start to the new year.

 

First, I have some news. I have a new short story available on Amazon titled, Memoir of a Mad Woman. Today’s poem (my first attempt at a Sonnet) was inspired by this story. Memoir of a Mad Woman is a fictional memoir loosely based on the case studies of a female Psychopath and it’s aimed at an 18+ audience.

Mystery and Attract are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

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I can’t compare you to another girl.

You are an enigma that frightens me.

In your gleaming eyes I see rough winds whirl,

yet your smile makes me wonder what you see.

In life alluring souls are born to shine,

and everyone dances in their sunlight.

Except you, because you plan her decline.

Perhaps she’s not what she seems in your sight?

You see things in ways that others cannot.

Crazy thoughts in your head are real to you,

but in the “real” world would be a long shot.

Your madness is a thing to look into.

So long as you can breathe, and crazy spurs,

you’ll sing a deadly song of gray to her.

“Emma had nothing to lose but her mind.”

Blurb:

A short story from the award-winning author of The Fall of Lilith and Son of the Serpent, Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

Who can explain how madness begins?

This is the story of Emma. Raised by a religious fanatic, orphaned at a young age and sent to a mental institution and an orphanage. Molested and betrayed by the people who should be watching over her…

Who can say that madness has no logic?

During a fight, Emma’s best friend punched her in the abdomen. Since then, Emma has believed there’s something damaged inside of her.

Every month… she bleeds.
She tries to fight it all her life, but the pain and the blood return twenty-eight days later… and the cycle begins again.

But Emma, even in her madness, knows how to take care of herself.
She knows how to make things right…

You may not agree…
But, who can reason with insanity?

Read this sad but fascinating tale and traverse the labyrinthine passages of madness.

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I would like to share a wonderful review written by Author, D.L. Finn.

“Memoir of a Mad Woman” is a short, but chilling read. You’re taken into the mind of a young girl, Emma, who had a very unstable upbringing. Emma ends up in an orphanage. This is where she’s finally pushed completely over the edge. It’s brutal and almost unthinkable what follows. The characters feel real, which makes it all the more terrifying in their cruelty. How Emma responds to what she considers a complete betrayal, you can’t help but to root for her and feel her pain. I thoroughly enjoyed this psychological thriller and felt like I understood her madness. I highly recommend this well-written dark short story.

 

I hope you enjoyed this post. Take care!

 

 

 

 

Poetry Friday ~ Congregate & Passion

10 Aug

Hello, everyone! Welcome to my blog!

 

Today I wrote a two sentence Horror/Romance story and a Haiku. I’m not sure if the combination of these can be called a Haibun. I also wrote a Tanka. I hope you enjoy.

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Sprint Turned a Wrecked Car Into a Mangled Emoji for This ‘Don’t Text and Drive’ Sculpture.

Each night on the stroke of midnight her young, dead husband would text her. His final message, the one found beside the body at the crash site, read, ‘Stop texting me. I’m driving’.

Final rendezvous

Fire ignited your obsession

A text snuffed it out

On a less tragic note . . . 

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Soft rosy petals

Your lips pressing against mine

Under a blanket of stars

In a place where there is love

Rendezvous in the moonlight

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Congregate and Passion are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer. *The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

Thanks for the visit and have a happy Friday!

Don’t text and drive. 

Poetry Friday ~ Happy & Morose

3 Aug

Hi, everyone! Welcome!

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There once was a tall oak tree who lived in a small forest. Night and day it complained about its noisy leaves. It protested when the leaves sang songs with the wind. It grumbled about the music they made when it rained.

One day a blue jay landed on one of its limbs and overheard the oak gripe about its noisy leaves.

“You know,” the blue jay said. “I once knew a cactus who lived alone in the middle of the desert. He was a sad and lonely thing with no one to talk to. The snakes, scorpions and other desert creatures avoided him, for he had sharp spikes all over its skin.”

“What has that to do with me,” the tree grumbled.

“Well, every time I land on one of your branches I hear you complain about your leaves.”

“So what,” the tree said.

“The last thing the cactus told me before it died of a lonely heart was that it wished its prickles were leaves, so that it may hear their melody,” the bird said.

“If I never hear another leaf sing I would be a happy tree!”

“That is a horrible thing to say,” the bird said, fluttering its blue feathers. “Your leaves are beautiful and the rhythm they make with the wind and the rain is enchanting. They also attract all kinds of birds, snakes, and squirrels. Your days and nights are filled with cheerful pieces of music, laughter and conversation.

“I don’t need music, laughter or conversation. I just want silence!” the tree yelled.

The bird flew away.

One hot, dry summer day a fire broke out in the small forest. Some of the animals escaped the wildfires but many were killed. The crown fire burned the trees up their length to the very top, and few survived.

The tall grumbling oak did survive, but it was no more than a scorched and leafless trunk with naked limbs. None of the nearby trees survived and were chopped down. The colorful birds and animals were gone and only soot and smoke remained. The oak’s world was gray and silent.

Months passed in a blur. The oak tree began to miss the happy lilting of its leaves and their verdant color. “If only I could hear them sing once more I’d be a happy tree.”

A year passed in the blink of an eye and the sad and lonely oak tree was ready to give up. He thought about the beautiful lush canopy it once had, full of lively green leaves. He missed their songs and music and the birds and animals they invited.

Every night the oak prayed. “Mother Gaia, please return my leaves, so that I may hear them sing with the wind.” But every morning he awoke to bare branches. The pain of living in silence, in complete solitude was too much to bear.

As the life began to seep out of its heartwood, he noticed a little green sprout coming out of the ground a couple of feet from him.

“Little sprout,” the oak tree said. “Grow tall with a strong heartwood and a huge canopy made verdant by a myriad of leaves. Always be grateful for what you have. And, be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.” And with those words the oak tree left the world of the living.

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Do not wish away

the cheerful things in your life

on your grumpy days

 

Happy and Morose are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer. *The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

Enjoy your day!

 

Blog Tour: The Curse of Time by M J Mallon

14 Apr

Hello, everyone! 

 

So, I had surgery on Monday––nothing life-threatening, but surgery nonetheless. Therefore, I’ve been a bit off my game this week. I apologize for the lack of ‘Haiku Friday’ this week, I will try to make up for it next Friday.

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I have a special treat for you today. Author, M J Mallon recently released the paperback version of her book, ‘The Curse of Time’ and it is my pleasure to feature her and her book. I’ll turn it over to her now. Please give her a warm welcome.

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In Her Words . . . 

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years at my lovely blog home Kyrosmagica: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, middle grade fiction and micro poetry – haiku and Tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

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(Click On Image To Purchase)

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Blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

Q & A with Marje

1/ Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they are inspired?

When I have an inspiring idea I am driven by a demonic desire to write! With The Curse of Time, a flood of possibilities kept bouncing around in my brain and I could hardly keep up! Last week, I had a similar eureka moment. I was driving on my way to work and an idea for a ghost story hit me (fortunately no cars were damaged in the production of this story.) When this happens I get very excited and I am compelled by a sense of urgency to write my thoughts down. That’s a dangerous process when you’re driving!

2/ Do you prefer writing over reviewing the work of others.

It depends. I’d say I love both. When I read an exceptionally well-written book that stirs my deepest emotions I adore that feeling. I often cry. My tears might be tears of sadness triggered by a sad passage but sometimes I’m crying because I’m immersed in a book that speaks to me through the author’s voice. Equally, when I write a powerful paragraph I have the same depth of feeling. There is nothing like the power of words, words can thrill, shock and transport you to places you have never been before.

3/ How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

It has been such a phenomenal experience. It will be interesting to see how my writing process will change with book two –The Curse of Time is a series. The next book’s framework has already been written. Recently, I had the idea of incorporating the Midsummer Chronopage (which features a mythological fly,) into book two so I will be adding some extra passages/chapters to the narrative and looking at how this fits with the plot as a whole. Also I will be paying attention to constructive, well-written reviews to see how my readership responds to my book.

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Photo courtesy of Dr. John C. Taylor OBE:

4/ Do you base your characters on real people?

Some of my characters are based on facets of one or two people amalgamated together! I love observing people’s idiosyncrasies; listening to conversations, seeing how people dress, walk, move… From these impressions I create a character bank in my mind for future projects.

5/ What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

I’d like to give up full-time work! Working part-time would be ideal; I’d still have lots of anecdotes from my working life to inspire me to create characters. I currently work as a receptionist and I meet lots of visitors from different backgrounds and cultures. This is a perfect job for a nosy writer!

6/ Does a bad review affect your writing?

I haven’t had a really bad review and I hope this continues. My reviews range in star rating, some reviewers have ratedThe Curse of Time #1 Bloodstone five stars, some four and a few have rated it three stars. I think this demonstrates the authenticity of my reviewers. If I had all five star reviews I’d be suspicious! I do believe that reading a book is and should be a very subjective experience. Some people might not like my book, I get that, I just hope that the majority do!

7/ What’s next? Are you working on another book?

I am working on the second book in The Curse of Time series which I have entitled, The Curse of Time Book 2 – Golden Healer. In the second book in the series expect the growing friction between the protagonist Amelina and the antagonist Ryder to escalate. Ryder will introduce the reader to his birthplace, a place you would never want to visit and he will reveal aspects of his darker, shadowy side which have been partially hidden by his hypnotic personality. Be prepared to fly away with The Grasshopper to meet the most twisted rollercoaster you have ever imagined.

Beware-Time is indeed a cruel, relentless monster.

Esme and The Creature-illustration-book-M J Mallon-YA-novel-blog_tour-characters

Illustrations by Carolina Russo

 

Fun facts about Marje:

  1. I wish I could be wonder woman or MJ from Spiderman.
  2. I adore crystals, alternative therapies, the unusual and the strange. I’m a qualified Aromatherapist, Reflexologist, (I no longer work as a therapist instead I devote my spare time to reading, writing, blogging and reviewing.)
  3. Some say that I am a white witch…my blogging friends confer and have included me in the Sisters of The Fey, a writerly collaboration.
  4. My husband can’t remember asking me to marry him and neither can I. He suspects I cast a spell on him!
  5. I have travelled to many foreign destinations, including: Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Caribbean, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Rome, Venice, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Portugal. I would love the funds to travel some more!
  6. I currently work as a receptionist in a massive building, home to twenty companies. In quiet moments I observe peoples’ mannerisms, listen to snippets of gossip and dream up new story ideas.
  7. I love food! Asian food and anything spicy, yum…My mother is Malaysian and my father is Scottish so I grew up with a very varied diet.
  8. My motto is to do what you love! Stay true to your heart’s desires, remain young at heart, and inspire others to do so, even if the odds are stacked against you like black-hearted shadows.
  9. I studied Communication Studies at University, (marketing, media studies, public relations, etc.) My degree is coming in mighty handy now.
  10. I love cats but don’t own one (my husband and daughter are allergic,) so I adopted a virtual black cat called Lily who looks like my black cat character Shadow in my book: https://mjmallon.com/2017/05/17/shadow-welcomes-lily-the-cat-to-kyrosmagica/

 

Social Media:

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com

Collaborative blog: https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and @curseof_time

My Facebook Authors/Bloggers Support Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mjmallonauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Tumblr: http://mjmallonauthor.tumblr.com/

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Follow The Curse of Time Blog Tour

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Enjoy the new week!