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Poetry Friday ~ Gadreel

7 May

Hello everyone! Today, I have an interesting guest on my blog. Her name is Gadreel and she is the main character in my latest novel The Rise of Gadreel. She has written a poem for us but before we get to that I have a few questions I’d like to ask her.

Character Interview

Vashti:

Hello Gadreel! Welcome. I’m so happy you could join us today.

Gadreel:

Greetings. I am delighted to be here.

Vashti:

Let’s get right to it, okay? Tell us about your home, Floraison.

Gadreel: (She frowns. She gives me a wounded look and then lowers her eyes to the floor)

Floraison is no longer my home, for I was cast out along with Lilith, Lucifer and the rest of the rebel angels.

Vashti:

Oh––yes, I’m sorry. (I squirm on my seat) If it’s too difficult for you to talk about it, it’s––

Gadreel:

Apologies. It is for this reason I was invited, so I shall answer your question. Although, there are no words to fully describe Floraison, none that humans can understand. I shall do my best. Firstly, there are three realms of Heaven: Heaven Most High where God resides, Metá Heaven, and Floraison, the lowest realm of Heaven where God chose to place his angels. Different dimensions separate these realms and only God travels between them as He pleases.

There was no need for a sun, moon or stars to give Floraison light. God’s splendor lit the lowest realm, and the skies were beautiful beyond compare. There was no true darkness where the angels lived. In Floraison’s unit of time there was brillante, when the light was at its most intense and nightglow when at its dimmest.

There were many trees and meadows adorned with colorful flowers that emitted fragrances evoking happiness and vigor. Magnificent creatures abounded, large and small––perfect in every way and pleasing to the senses. Some of these creatures were prototypes for beings God created on different planets, and others were unique to Floraison.

The River of Life, a pure river with crystalline healing waters, flowed between realms and proceeded from God’s throne room.

(She stopped and gazed at me with doleful eyes that made my heart ache a little)

Vashti:

It’s okay, Gadreel. I think we get the picture––Floraison is a celestial paradise. You mentioned that there was no true darkness in heaven, so what was it like the first time you experienced night on Earth?

Gadreel: (She shivers and wraps her arms around herself)

When I fell from heaven I landed in a hot area of grasses and small dispersed trees. The sunlight was harsh and glaring and singed my angelic skin. There was no shade or area to escape from it. The heat enveloped me and the air was so dense I had to drag it into my lungs. I hated this new environment, but nothing prepared me for night.

It was like I disappeared. I could not see my hands in front of my face. It was like not existing, but yet living. I felt like God no longer saw me and that made my heart very heavy. I never felt farther from my home.

The grasslands came to life at night with unfamiliar noises. I heard a sharp, thrilling call overhead, the leaping and bounding of fleet-footed creatures avoiding predators on the ground, and all manner of growls, clicks, and hoots. An eerie, cold sensation crept into my bones. I curled into a tight ball and trembled in the darkness.

Vashti:

That sounds awful. I won’t be alone in the dark any time soon. (Awkward pause) Gadreel, did you ever see God?

Gadreel:

In Floraison there are golden double doors that opened to a portal that lead to Metá Heaven where God’s presence could be reached in His Throne Room. Only by His expressed permission could one cross this portal. I was never given permission to enter. Michael, who had entered the hall, said it was aglow with the most exquisite light ever seen. But in order to truly see God angels must elevate to Heaven Most High and that’s a difficult process.

Vashti:

You’re obviously remorseful for joining Lilith and rebelling against God and the holy angels, so why did you do it?

Gadreel: (She swallowed hard and looked down)

I never felt rebellious in my heart. I loved God and my heavenly home. Lilith was my best friend and she is a powerful influencer. She made me feel that I needed to be loyal to her––and I was also a bit afraid of her, of what she would do if I did not follow her. She also told me it was the only way for me to be with Samael and I believed this. I loved Samael and he joined Lilith and Lucifer in their rebellion. I wanted to go wherever he went, even if it meant that I would end up in hell.

Vashti:

So much has happened since the war in heaven and your fall from grace. How have you changed?

Gadreel:

I am much stronger and confident in my abilities now. I know I have done many wrongs for which I must make amends. I will seek God’s forgiveness, although I know I can never return to my home in heaven. I shall no longer ally myself with Lilith, Lucifer or Samael. I have new allies now even in the Animal Kingdom, for I have the ability to understand and communicate with them. However, I shall always miss Floraison.

Floraison by Jeff Brown

Homesickness pulls at my heart

Tossed down from Heaven

I lie broken on the earth

I know in my mind

It is not over for you see

Although the fall split my spine

I shall survive this

Long enough to make amends

I don’t belong here

but I am homesick

for a home I shall not see

Home needs a whole heart

My heart’s a thousand pieces

so homesick am I

Earth shall never be my home

I am wishing for heaven

Gadreel-fallen_angel-The Fall of Lilith-Haiku_Friday-Poetry-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-fantasy angels series

“There was no sun in Floraison to torture us. We had brillantes, a time of divine light, which was like the warmth of God’s smile. Here on earth, we have to endure days of glaring, fiery light, which stings our bodies and perturbs our minds. In Floraison, we had nightglows when light dimmed to a soft glow, which reminded us that God was still near. Here, we have night––the absence of light when we are left on our own. I miss our home.”

~Gadreel

Lilith, the main character from my novel, The Fall of Lilith was also interviewed by Lisa Burton (Robot Girl) of Lisa Burton Radio | Entertaining Stories. You can read that interview, here.

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Poetry Friday ~ BOOK REVIEWS

30 Apr

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog. I appreciate your visit.

Stephen King (Horror, Dark Fantasy author)

Why do you write horror, dark fantasy, and thriller? 

I’ve been asked this question many times. Since I was a child I’ve always loved dark, suspenseful, and spine-chilling tales. Scary stories taught me that it was okay to be afraid, and that I could use my brain to solve problems, even when frightened or use my natural survival instincts to safely escape from dangerous situations. They also taught me about courage, loyalty, hope, and facing my fears.

Reading these stories gave me a bit of a thrill, an adrenaline rush from being scared, and in some ways, it was fun to read about things that frightened me. We all experience a rush of adrenaline and a release of endorphins and dopamine when scared. The biochemical rush can result in a pleasure-filled, opioid-like sense of euphoria. In the end, there is a catharsis to it. There’s darkness and light in all of us, and as I write my complex, dark tales I purge the gloom and feel sunnier having done so. 

Horror and dark fantasy are extremely popular genres. I believe it’s because these genres revolve around our emotions. These stories evoke in people – emotions that aren’t just abject terror. Many fans of horror, dark fantasy, and thriller are actually seeking “controlled” fear and suspense, knowing we are safe.

“It was the possibility of darkness that made the day seem so bright.” ~Stephen King

Today I’d like to share some of the books I’ve read recently and my reviews of them.

SITUATION Z by A.M. Semple

BLURB:

The heat is the least of their worries when the dead begin taking over Phoenix. Out of the ashes of destruction rises Wilson. He begins gathering survivors, helping them escape the city and the dead. Along the way, the challenges multiply and Wilson’s behavior becomes questionable. Is he trustworthy or will they all end up being someone’s next meal?

BOOK REVIEW:

Situation Z is a fascinating story about a zombie apocalypse. This was a fun and thrilling read that kept me turning the pages long into the night.

The protagonist, Wilson, was one of the most intriguing characters I’ve read in a long time. While all the characters were fascinating, some were endearing, and others were annoying and fun to hate.

One thing that did bother me about the story was how overprotective the men seem to be over the women. They were always trying to shield them from what was happening around them. It’s a zombie apocalypse! If the women did not develop a thick skin, they were not going to survive. I did enjoy seeing the emotional growth in the women in the end.

Author A.M. Semple did an amazing job building this horrific world, and I also enjoyed the development of all the characters. Her description of the victims’ turning was done so well. The imagery in this book is fantastic.

If you enjoy a well written zombie story that focuses on the characters and keeps you at the edge of your seat from beginning to end, this book is for you.

xoxoxoxoxoxox

LEECH by Ellie Douglas

BLURB:

Captain John Lancaster’s ship is critically damaged in an asteroid storm, leaving John and his crew stranded. Drifting off course. 

He was returning to earth with supplies and samples from planet Sol. When he and his team discover they are not alone on the ship. 

Something is hiding onboard and is taking the crew members out, one by one.  

Will John make it home to see his wife and child? Can he save his remaining crew? 

BOOK REVIEW:

Leech is a short and enjoyable horror sci-fi. Author Ellie Douglas’s imaginative and descriptive writing style is gripping and easy to follow.

Captain John Lancaster and his crew were on a mission to study and collect samples on an Earth-like planet called Sol. The year was 3010, and mankind traveled through space at warp speed, so they went back and forth, to and from, Earth in only a few days, and the captain had been on many missions to Sol. On one of Captain John’s missions, a meteor crashed on Sol. John picked up a smooth, black stone from the crash site and decided to take it back to Earth with him to gift it to his young daughter as a souvenir.

On the voyage back to Earth the rock fell to the floor and broke in half. John’s friend, Nico, picked up the stone and black goo that was stored inside it got all over his fingers and then was quickly absorbed into his skin. After this incident, all hell breaks loose.

Nico became infected with a parasite that ate him from the inside out, multiplied, and then left his body in search of other hosts. With each host, the parasites grew larger until they would no longer need a host. One by one, the crew became infected until it seemed no one would survive. 

I enjoyed this fascinating short story. The characters were lifelike and the dialogue believable. Lovers of horror and sci-fi would enjoy this book.

xoxoxoxoxoxox

THE BONE WALL by D. Wallace Peach

BLURB:

Blue light ripples and crackles as the shield walls fracture. The remnants of a doomed civilization stand vigil outside, intent on plunder and slaves, desirous of untainted blood to strengthen their broken lives. With the poisons, came deformities and powers, enhanced senses and the ability to manipulate waves of energy—lightbenders and fire-wielders.

For those who thrived for generations within the walls, the broken world looms, strange and deadly, slowly dying. While the righteous pray for salvation, Rimma prepares for battle, fueled by rage and blinded by vengeance. Her twin, Angel, bound to her by unbreakable magic, seeks light in the darkness, hope in the future, and love in a broken world. 

D. Wallace Peach’s fourth novel combines elements of fantasy and science-fiction into a character-driven adventure. The Bone Wall foretells of a dystopian world where a poisoned planet no longer sustains its inhabitants. Who survives when there isn’t enough for all? Who decides? 

The Bone Wall begins three hundred years in a post-apocalyptic future. Precisely controlled communities with forgotten histories thrive beneath protective energy fields…until those fields begin to fail. What happens when the facades crumble and the past’s dark truth is unearthed?

Twins Rimma and Angel share this first person tale of a life unraveling and mending. Both are strong female protagonists who chose opposing paths when thrust in the broken and perilous world. The simplistic lines dividing good and evil blur, and beg the question: Can one survive without the other? What is the secret of their lives that even they can’t comprehend?

If grimdark tales of spiraling destruction and redemption crowd your bookshelf, this fantasy adventure desires a place among them. 

The Bone Wall contains scenes which some readers might find triggering. 

BOOK REVIEW:

The Bone Wall is a post-apocalyptic fantasy sci-fi. I was hooked from the beginning because this story was so unique and creative. I also enjoyed the author’s writing style.  

It’s the future, and mankind has survived a worldwide catastrophe. Rimma and Angel were 16-year-old twins who lived in an environmentally controlled paradise within a dome protected by a mighty force field. Their home was called Heaven, and this domed city shielded them from the broken world. Other domes existed housing similar civilizations. However, there were people living in the harsh conditions of the wrecked outside world. They were called biters and among them were the touched many of which had extraordinary powers, including the ability to create fire or bend light. Time and again, biters attacked and tried to breach the dome. Many would leap into the force field only to be disintegrated into bones that accumulated at the base of the dome, creating a bone wall. 

The twins were taught that they, along with their community, were chosen by God to survive and thrive. They were not allowed contact with the outside world. Rimma questioned the laws of Heaven while Angel was innocent and naïve, accepting the teachings of the elders

One day Rimma noticed that the shield protecting the dome was operating abnormally. It would turn off in certain areas and sparks would fly. She was shocked to find out that the elders knew that there were issues with the force field. She was told to have faith—that the shield would hold. Sometime later, the weakened shield fades. The biters seized the moment, invading Heaven, attacking and killing many, and taking others as slaves. The twins were suddenly thrown into a world of horror, cruelty, and bloodshed. They became molded by the broken world and their experiences within it.

The story is told in first-person point of view from the perspective of the twins. Rimma, the angry one bent on revenge for the lies she was told growing up and for the death of her father, and Angel the eternal optimist who hopes for peace, love, and harmony.

This is an intriguing and complex story. The writing is beautiful and vibrant, but at times, it was a bit flowery, and the story dragged a bit in the middle. I also had questions. What destroyed the world? I assumed it was a nuclear holocaust. Who built the dome? How was it powered? Why did it fail? There was no explanation given for any of this. Also, only one of the twins was visible at a time to most people, which was both creative and bizarre. However, these things did not deter me from enjoying this well written story with its unique world and compelling characters. I highly recommend this book to fans of post-apocalyptic sci-fi fantasy.

Click on any of the books’ image or title to purchase on Amazon.

To Live in the Zombie Apocalypse

Burlee Vang 

The moon will shine for God
knows how long.
As if it still matters. As if someone

is trying to recall a dream.
Believe the brain is a cage of light
& rage. When it shuts off,

something else switches on.
There’s no better reason than now
to lock the doors, the windows.

Turn off the sprinklers
& porch light. Save the books
for fire. In darkness,

we learn to read
what moves along the horizon,
across the periphery of a gun scope—

the flicker of shadows,
the rustling of trash in the body
of cities long emptied.

Not a soul lives
in this house &
this house & this

house. Go on, stiffen
the heart, quicken
the blood. To live

in a world of flesh
& teeth, you must
learn to kill

what you love,
& love what can die.

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy the rest of your day!

Poetry Friday – BookTour: The Rise of Gadreel -4

16 Apr

Hi, everyone! Welcome. Thank you for visiting my blog today.

Heroes & Villians

Heroes and villains seem harder to define
when somethings happen to blur the lines
The villain style of justice may appear better than no justice at all
When the system fails the victim and makes the victim feel so small
Where are the Heros when evil abounds?
Are they still around? 
Who fights for truth and justice throughout the land?
Who is brave enough to take a stand?
Remember heroes often are easily disguised as ordinary people and don't stand out in a crowd
Their anonymity allows them to work behind the scenes 
they effectively crush the evil villains dreams.
The Heros tirelessly fight for truth and justice and selflessly care for others in need.
They support and encourage those that the villains of this world have knocked down.
The villains can too easily be found courtesy of our television screen they often make a showing on the 6 or 10 o clock news they are promoting violence they don't care about anyone else's views.
As far as Heros go you may discover that a Heros heart is contained inside of You.
Hero or Villain?
The choice is yours
Today you could take a stand to right some societal wrong
Today you can be strong and be a Hero to a friend or loved one or a stranger in need. To them can  make a difference indeed.
Hero's Traits:
H elping
E ncouraging 
R espectful
O pportunity 
Perhaps these traits are within you
Be the Hero that you long to see! 

Poem by Ann M. Johnson


Every story needs its hero and its villain. They are both important to the plot. I enjoy a villain who believes he’s the hero in the story. I also enjoy a villain who is clever, proud, vengeful, deceitful, merciless, and who totally embraces his dark side.

These are a few of my favorite villains:

Annie Wilkes from Stephen King’s Misery. A nurse and serial killer, Annie, rescues her favorite novelist Paul Sheldon from certain death after a horrible automobile accident. She sweetly nurses him back to health, only to break his legs with a sledgehammer after she finds out his plan to end her favorite novel series. She loved him, but she had to save him from himself. 😉

Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. Cersei was extremely clever and had many of the same characteristics of a hero but was completely misdirected. Everything she did was for “the good of the family,” especially, her kids, which she adored. Unfortunately, her eldest son and daughter were poisoned, and her youngest committed suicide.

Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. Dr. Hannibal Lector was charming, classy, well read, and highly intelligent. He was also a terrifying, serial killing, cannibal psychiatrist. He knew what he was and embraced his evil ways completely.

In The Rise of Gadreel, the main villain is Satan, who escapes his earthly prison with the help of Lilituen witches by absorbing the body and essence of a young sorcerer, Abigor Chailín. Abigor volunteered to be Satan’s vessel, even though he knew he would perish. During the process of absorption Abigor’s knowledge, experience, and innate magical powers passed on to Satan, who would take over his identity. The following excerpt is in Abigor Chailín’s (Satan’s) voice.

Excerpt:

The day moved at the pace of a three-toed sloth, and when evening came at last, bodies willing and able to do my bidding crammed the great hall.

“The time has come,” I said. “Gadreel and her allies, dubbed the Fearless Five, shall enter the gates of London soon, and we must be ready.”

A Lilituen monk stepped forward, his head hung to avoid eye contact, and he wrung his hands as he spoke. “Many have spoken of a persuasive phantom who accompanies Gadreel, as well as a warrior priest who shifts into a fiend at will, a mighty sorceress, and a rock giant.” 

I watched him squirm for a while, and then stepped toward him. 

“Look at me!” I said. His eyes met mine. “Peasants tend to exaggerate, making issues appear grander than they are. But even if matters were as they claimed, who cares? Have we not formidable warriors and sorcerers in our midst? And most importantly, you have me, and there is not a creature on Earth who can defeat me. Do you disagree?”

            “No, Master,” he said. “The people of London, especially the peasants, suffer cold, sickness, and hunger. Their opinion of you, Master, if I may speak freely”—he paused and waited for my permission to go on—“has declined.”

            “And why should I care about the opinions of peasants?”

            “Because they may decide to join forces with the Fearless Five against us.” 

            “You stand in a room filled with mighty warriors, sorcerers, and demons, and you are worried about a handful of emaciated farmers? Oh ye of little faith.”

            “God is on their side,” the monk said.

            “You forget God is up there, and I am down here.” And with those words I placed my hands on the monk’s head, whispering a spell under my breath. 

Soon, my hands took on a green aura, and his face came to be the color of a pickled cherry. He convulsed, his eyes bulging out of their sockets, blisters distorting his skin as it darkened to the color of a ripe plum. Steam exploded from his ears, followed by dark blood which also oozed from his eyes and mouth. I lifted my hands and he crumbled, dead, to the ground.

            “Take away this filth,” I instructed my servants. They came forth and did my bidding in haste. “Anyone else have doubts? There’s no time for misgivings. Either you are with me or against me. Decide which it is, here and now.”

            The assembled remained quiet.

            “I shall take your silence to mean that you are with me and ready to do all that I ask of you. The whole of England is in peril, and so is the church. I’ll restore order, and the people shall keep the faith. First, drastic measures are required.”

Lilituens – A sect of witches and sorcerers which include demons and half-breeds with innate magical powers.

Fearless Five – A band of heroes that defend and protect human beings from evil forces. Gadreel, Dracúl, Thomas, Sabina, and Golem make up the Fearless Five.

I hope you enjoyed the post. Thank you for visiting!

COVER REVEAL: The Rise of Gadreel (Fantasy Angels Series – BOOK 3)

11 Dec

Hi, everyone! A warm welcome to my blog.

WHY YES IT IS COVER REVEAL DAY! I am beyond excited to be sharing all the details of The Rise of Gadreel on my blog today! The Rise of Gadreel is a High/Dark Supernatural Fantasy sprinkled with Horror aimed at an adult audience (18+). It is set in Medieval Scottland and England. There is suspense, danger, grief, adventure, hope, and redemption. This book encompasses a range of emotional tones and moods. However, the overall tone is clear, impassioned, frightening, and optimistic. The ebook is availabe for preorder for the special price of .99¢ and will be released along with the paperback version on 12/22/2020. First up is the blurb.

Blurb:

In The Fall of Lilith, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega took readers inside the gates of heaven for a front-row seat to Lilith and Lucifer’s rebellion. In Son of the Serpent, she introduced Dracúl, tormented offspring of fallen angels. Now, in The Rise of Gadreel, Quiroz-Vega is back with the next chapter in her Fantasy Angels saga—a gripping tale of hope and redemption set against the fiery backdrop of a demon’s insatiable thirst for power and revenge.

Lilith is gone, suffering the torments of the damned in hell. Satan, once known as Lucifer, endures endless agony in an earthly prison. Yet their foul legacy lives on, spread by a corrupted priesthood that uses the blackest magic to fan the flames of evil and hate throughout the world. 

The former angel Gadreel, who fought and fell alongside Lilith and Lucifer, only to join Dracúl in his fight against them, is weary of war. Repenting of past sins, she wants nothing more than to be left in peace. But when a new threat to humankind arises, Gadreel is given the chance she has prayed for—the chance to earn God’s forgiveness.

Now, with the aid of Dracúl and a trio of uncanny allies—a man of air, a man of stone, and a woman of fire—at her side, Gadreel must find the courage to confront her past and forge a new future for herself . . . and the world. 

Next, I will share a snippet from The Rise of Gadreel.

I thought this snippet in Gadreel’s POV really sets the stage nicely and makes the stakes clear:

“Through the years, we’ve both been told stories about your father,” I said. “Many have said Satan lived, imprisoned deep in the bowels of a great volcano, until the end of days.” I observed him as I spoke, and his tilted head and blank stare told me he had no idea where I intended to go with this. “He is alive. For the first time I’m sure of this. He spoke to me.”

“What?” All color drained from Dracúl’s face as he jumped to his feet and paced back and forth on the beach. “How is this possible? I witnessed holy angels bind him and wrap him in chains along with his ally, Samael. Hashmal breathed fire on them, burning them until their skins melted over the metal chains, and then another angel took the form of a dragon the size of a mountain and flew them away. This memory is still vivid in my mind, despite the many centuries gone by.”

“Yes, that’s true. Somehow, your father survived. He’s not the being you remember. He’s something else.”

** You can read an excerpt from The Rise of Gadreel here.

And now, without further ado, the cover for The Rise of Gadreel (drum roll).

There you have it. As with the other covers in this series I wanted this one to have an ancient feel, like an old tome someone might have found buried in a church from the Medieval Period. I hope you like it.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out the cover for my new book. Please share this post on social media to help me spread the word. Also, if you plan on purchasing the book at some point please consider taking advantage of the preorder price. By doing so, you will also be helping me get a jump start on the Amazon algorithms. I appreciate your support!

Amazon Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08Q2HBVNN

Launch date for both paperback and ebook versions of The Rise of Gadreel is December 22, 2020.

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.

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.

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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.

 

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.

the curse of time-m j mallon-novel-fantasy-book-blog-tour-the writer next door-vashti q-vashti quiroz vega-bookworm

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.

M J Mallon-author-blog_tour-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega

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.

young_adult_fantasy-novel-curse of time-M J Mallon-author-book-blog_tour-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-writer

(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.

The Writer Next Door-blog_tour-novel-the curse of time-m j mallon-author-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-book-YA_novel

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!

Writers Quote Wednesday – Fall From Desire

23 Mar

Hello everyone and welcome. It’s Writers Quote Wednesday. Today’s quote reminded me of a short story I had written a while ago, so I revised my story and decided to post it along with the quote. I hope you enjoy.

vampire_quote_writers quote wednesday_The Writer Next Door

Fall From Desire

By Vashti Q-Vega

For my transgressions, I was cast out of Heaven and exiled to planet Earth.

My fall was brutal as my six large white wings caught fire entering the Earth’s atmosphere. I cringed, cried and screamed as the flames consumed feathers and flesh. I looped and spiraled in the air, all the while stirring and reaching toward the flames, but there was no relief from the oppressive pain or the stench of roasted flesh. The fire was quenched when only the burnt bones of my wings remained. I wailed writhing in the air as the bony frames were yanked from my skeleton by a powerful force. This is what the male angels I led astray with my insatiable carnal appetite experienced as they fell from grace. I deserve worse for corrupting so many.

 

I splashed into a swamp.

 

The only light source was the brilliance of a full moon.

 

The swamp was dominated by woody plants and teeming with animal life. The water seemed to push down on me from all sides. I floundered and flailed my arms and legs, which only made me sink faster. I sank further and further into the swamp and away from the light of the moon. Soon, I was shrouded in darkness. My lungs burned for air. In horror, I screamed and warm, murky water filled my lungs. I shook and convulsed as alligators, snakes and all manner of swamp creatures witnessed the water take me away.

 

I opened my eyes. I was floating over the water. I survived? I was not sure how long I was unconscious, only that it was a different night—for the moon was no longer full. I trembled in fear and remained still, allowing the current to carry me wherever it may. As I came near the bank of the swamp, I took hold of a cypress’s knee, clambered to my feet and waded out of the water. I teetered and faltered, inexperienced in walking without wings. I am no longer an angel. The realization pierced my heart. What am I now? I broke the rules of celibacy in Heaven and tempted so many to do the same with my female ways. My lustful desires and sexual appetite were my ruin. Now I am alone, never to feel the pleasure of a caress.

 

My wide eyes flickered in every direction, trying to find a way out of the desolate and wild place. The potent, musky smell of decomposing vegetation and animal matter wafted into my nose, making me grimace with revulsion. There were no such smells in Heaven. Oh, how far I have gone from Heaven’s joyful fragrances!

 

I staggered in circles, my feet sinking into the spongy, wet ground. The moisture was so dense in this habitat that everything was wet. A film of moisture covered my naked body. Water soaked my long, blonde hair and pulled my curls flat. I heard the hooting of an owl. I turned toward a nearby tree and there it was, lurking in the shadows. Its large glowing eyes stared at me. Snakes slithered around my feet. Alligators remained immersed as they peered at me with their strange eyes peeking over the surface of the water. Where am I? There are only wetlands as far as I can see. How am I to survive here? I was not sure I wanted to live––not here. My body trembled, and desperate tears meandered over my cheeks and mingled with the moisture on my face. No one can hear me cry. I walked for miles. There were many sunrises and many moonrises, yet I remained alone in a world of swamps.

 

Swarms of mosquitos tormented me with their stinging and their buzzing in my ears. I had to deter countless attacks from snakes and alligators. I was covered in welts, bumps, scratches, bites and bruises from such attacks. My body itched, ached and throbbed. I deserve no less for sating my erotic desires without a second thought for the countless archangels, seraphim and cherubim I debauched with my impious, enticing and lustful ways.

 

I continued to wander the soggy swampland and began to feel an unfamiliar burning sensation in my middle. My strength was depleting, and I dragged my feet and panted. Feeling faint, I collapsed. I lay on the water-saturated ground and looked up at the heavens. What is happening to me? What have I become? I lay frozen for hours, feeling so alone, waving off a plethora of insects trying to invade my body. I would rather draw my last breath than spend the rest of my days alone in this sodden nightmare.

 

“What are you?” A masculine voice asked.

 

I jolted upright in a seated position and stared at a magnificent creature. “I––I do not know what I am. I have only knowledge of what I used to be.”

 

“Very well, then what were you?” He squinted his eyes and his eyebrows came together as he stared.

 

“I was once called Rachiel . . . when I was an angel in Heaven.”

 

He looked at me sideways. “You do not look like an angel to me.”

 

“Have you ever seen an angel?”

 

“Yes, as a matter of fact, I have, and angels have wings.”

 

“I, too, had wings. Large white wings—six of them,” I said, my voice quavering. “They were torn from me as I fell through the skies.”

 

He scrutinized me for a while with his piercing violet-blue eyes. “I believe you. I am not sure why, but I do. Perhaps something in your verdant eyes tells me you do not know how to lie.” His wide smile was stunning. “My name is Mendrion.” He was tall. His hair long, thick, the color of nightfall. Lengthy, heavy eyelashes framed his violet-blue eyes. His skin was like an ivory mist. He looked like divine pleasure. Enough, Rachiel! This is why you were cast out of Heaven! I shuddered and got out of my own head.

 

I gawked at his muscular body while he stared at my face and came closer. He searched for some of my hair that was not soiled, grabbed some and sniffed. He proceeded to nuzzle his nose against my neck, my shoulder, the top of my breasts. I closed my eyes. He breathed me in, taking in my essence. He looked up. I opened my eyes, and he stared into them. Then he walked around me, slowly, as he evaluated every inch of my bare body. He parted the long hair that fell down my back and saw the jagged stubs from where my wings used to stem. He passed his hands over them with a gentle touch, and then I felt him bring his face closer to smell the stumps. He came around to face me again.

 

“Are you in pain?” He did not look concerned but more curious.

 

“Since I have arrived on this planet, I have felt only pain, fear and sorrow.” I looked toward the ground.

 

“I can rid you of these malignancies.”

 

“How?”

 

“You need only say yes.”

 

I gazed at him. What am I to do? I am in much pain and I grow weaker with the passing of time. I shall not survive much longer without help. I bit my lip. I was unable to think with clarity.

 

“You do not trust me and I understand, for I have given you no reason to trust in me.” His voice was soothing.

 

“You are an elegant creature, but I do not know your mind.”

 

He grinned and lifted his muscular chest. He swaggered toward me and extended his arm. He passed his hand through my hair and caressed my face. Desire for him grew quickly inside me like a vine strangling all other emotions. Every fiber of my being was ignited. My chest heaved in rhythm with my shallow panting. It is happening again. I am overwhelmed with lustful desires.

 

“You, too, are beautiful to look upon,” he said. “But if you wish to rid yourself of pain and fear you must become what I am.”

 

“What are you?”

 

“I am vampire.”

 

I jolted and gasped. In Heaven, I had heard stories of such creatures from the Observers––angels whose task was to observe the beings on Earth. Vampires are the spawn of Dracul, the infamous son of Lilith and Satan. I recoiled from him.

 

“You know of my kind?” He came closer.

 

“I do.” My lips quivered.

 

“You need not fear me. I mean you no harm. I only seek what you seek.”

 

“What do you think I desire?”

 

“Companionship.” He extended his hand. “Come with me and never be alone again.”

 

I stared at his welcoming hand for a while.

 

“I shall offer this only once.” His piercing eyes were fixed on me. I reached my trembling hand to meet his and he pulled me toward him.

 

He held me tightly and pressed his full moist lips against mine. After the kiss I became lightheaded. Through eyes half opened, I watched as he opened his mouth exposing large canine teeth growing into fangs. I gasped, but before I could move, he sank his fangs into the flesh at the base of my neck. A combination of his saliva and my blood streamed down my neck. I cocked my head back and moaned, my eyes rolling back in their sockets. Both pleasure and pain moved through me. My body tensed. My entire being was at peak response. As he drew my blood greedily, I felt my body meld into his. A delightful pressure began to build inside me. I gasped and groaned with pleasure. The pressure continued to build until I thought I would explode. My body went into spasms of incredible delight, and my mind was flooded with a variety of pleasurable sensations. Then I felt a wave of dizziness, my body slackened, and darkness began to close in on me.

 

Upon opening my eyes, I saw the world differently. The colors of cypress trees became more vivid, and plants were verdant jewels. I almost felt the fragrances of nature. The alligators’ bellows and the hissing of snakes became mellifluous. I lay on the ground, and Mendrion sat next to me. He smiled, and I returned his smile. He kissed me on the lips, neck, shoulders and breasts. His hands caressed my body, and his touch was heavenly. As a vampire, my body was made for pleasure. I sensed so much more and every nerve ending in my body was excited. Every touch sent waves of pleasure throughout my body. I need not food, nor water—I may well live on his touch alone. I was in ecstasy, but then he stopped. He got to his feet.

 

“No, do not stop. I implore you.” I gazed into his eyes feeling affection for him and wholly devoted. “I love your hands and lips on my body.”

 

He extended his hand like he had done before. “Take my hand, Rachiel.” I beamed when he mentioned my name. “I shall allow you to keep your original name, for it pleases me. Now go and join the others.” His words filled me with confusion.

 

He pointed to the swamp.

 

I turned my face and gasped. My eyes opened wide with disbelief. There were other fallen angels like me in the swamp. They were all converted into vampires—no doubt in the same way as I was. There was not a happy face among them.

 

“Go on,” said Mendrion. “Take your place among them. You are now a swamp vampire. You shall feed on the blood of alligators, snakes, beavers, frogs and other swamp creatures.”

 

“I shall not!” I screamed. I clenched my jaw and held back tears. “You deceived me.”

 

“I told you only the truth. You no longer feel pain, am I right?” He waited for my response wearing a wry grin. “If you do not feed on the blood of these swamp creatures, you shall die a slow and agonizing death.”

 

“I shall go away!” I turned my head this way and that, my eyes flickering in every direction.

 

“You have nowhere to go. You belong to me now and there is no escape, for your blood calls out to me and I shall find you wherever you go. Besides, you can no longer live without my touch.” He was right—losing his caressing is what I feared most. “Join the others now, or you shall never feel the gratification of my touch.”

 

Upon hearing his final words my face slackened. I shuffled through the bog and entered the dark, gloomy water. I stood amongst the others, merely another beauty in the murky swamp. The others glared at me––another to whom they must share him with. We were all doomed to the same punishment. Our bodies made for pleasure and overwhelmed with desire, condemned to long for the touch of the same master.

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

Fall from Desire-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog-Victoria Frances

Illustration by Victoria Frances

 

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog.

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Short Stories

17 Feb

It’s the middle of the week and that means it’s time for Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Welcome, everyone! I love short stories. I enjoy writing them and reading them as well. I have written several short stories for this blog, although it has been a little over a year since I wrote the last one. That’s because I’ve been so busy working on my Fantasy Angels Series and what little free time I have left after working on my series I use to work on my blog posts, social media, and blogging.

I haven’t had the time to write short stories in a while and that makes me sad because I love doing it. Anyway, I have gotten several new followers since I posted my last short story, so I decided to post the links to some of these stories. That way, those of you that have not read them can check them out, if you like.

A Town’s Perception

Murder She WrotePart 2, Finale

Raven’s Masterpiece

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance, Part 2, Finale

The Writer Next Door

“I would also suggest that any aspiring writer begin with short stories. These days, I meet far too many young writers who try to start off with a novel right off, or a trilogy, or even a nine-book series. That’s like starting in at rock climbing by tackling Mt. Everest. Short stories help you learn your craft.”

~George R.R. Martin

“A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick – a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.”

~Neil Gaiman

“I love short stories because I believe they are the way we live. They are what our friends tell us, in their pain and joy, their passion and rage, their yearning and their cry against injustice.”

~Andre Dubus

“I find it satisfying and intellectually stimulating to work with the intensity, brevity, balance and word play of the short story.”

~Annie Proulx

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog.

Ronovan, from Ronovan Writes and Colleen, have joined forces! He has been linking his #BeWoW blog share (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) now to include: Be Writing on Wednesday. If you would like to combine both posts feel free to do so and link them to Colleen’s post. She will make sure and add you to the quote wrap-up she does each Tuesday. Please make sure and check out Ron’s blog for more writing inspiration and motivation!

Enjoy your day! And don’t forget to read one of my short stories.

They will haunt you . . .