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Spotlight: Olga Nuñez Miret Author/Translator

5 Jun

The devil whispered in my ear,

“You’re not strong enough

to withstand the storm.”

Today I whispered in the devil’s ear,

“I am the storm.”

I introduce to you today Hurricane Olga Nuñez Miret. Author, Psychiatrist, translator, blogger––these titles do not begin to describe the woman. It is difficult to keep tract of all of Olga’s accomplishments, believe me, there are a plethora of deeds. I am certain that you will take pleasure in getting to know Olga Nuñez Miret as much as I have because apart from being a talented author and fascinating woman, she’s also a lovely human being.

Olga is a great supporter of fellow authors, writers and bloggers. On her blog you’ll find many book reviews and author spotlights, so please be sure to check it out.

**Click on the picture below to read about a book event she and her mom helped organize in Madrid, Spain.

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LITERANIA 2017 | A Book Fair and Much, Much More . . .

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Author Olga Nuñez Miret

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In her words . . .

I was born in Barcelona and moved to the UK many years ago. I’ve worked as a psychiatrist, have a degree and PhD in American Literature and a Masters in Criminology. Yes, I like to study. I love books, and I’ve been writing since I was a child. Started self-publishing in 2012 and I’ve published a family saga, a YA story, a romantic book with three endings and a psychological thriller (collecting three stories with a psychiatrist/writer as main character). I publish all my works in English and Spanish. After working in the NHS for nearly 8 years I’ve decided to try other things. I’ll keep on writing stories and will offer my services as translator to other authors. Stories make the world go round. Apart from reading and writing I love to meet new people and learn about them, I also enjoy keeping fit. I’m trying meditation and I hope to stick with it. I love the cinema and going to the theatre. I crochet but don’t have much time for it these days. I don’t eat meat and love fruit and vegetables. I write a blog sharing the work of other writers, random thoughts, reviews (of books, movies, plays…) and anything else….Come along to meet me.

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Olga speaks, reads and writes both English and Spanish fluently, so if you are interested in translating your English books to Spanish follow this link (details are at the bottom of the page).

 

 

BOOKS

Olga’s 1st novel: The Man Who Never Was

(Also available in spanish) El Hombre Que Nunca Existió

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Twin Evils? A YA/Adult novella (paranormal, fairy tale)

Also in Spanish: Gemela Maldad

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Click Me Happy! A romantic novella, where the reader can choose between three endings.

Also available in Spanish

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Escaping Psychiatry A collection of three novellas (Psychological thriller)

(In spanish) Una vez psiquiatra…

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Family, lust and cameras (Psychological Thriller Novella)

(En español) Familia, lujuria y cámaras

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I Love Your Cupcakes (A sweet romance)

 

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**Click on any of the book cover images or follow the links if you’d like more information on any of Olga’s books or would like to read a blurb.

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**Check out Olga’s blog, Olga Author/Translator ~ Books, Writing, Life and Everything Else

 

Check out Olga’s Amazon Profile Page where you can find all her books including the Audible Audio Editions
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If you’d like to keep updated with all of Olga’s news subscribe to her Newsletter

Connect with Olga on Social Media:

Twitter

Facebook

Google+

Instagram

Goodreads

YouTube

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If you’re wondering about the little owl pictures throughout the post it’s because Olga loves owls. 😉

Spotlight: Hugh W. Roberts

22 May

Welcome to my blog, everyone! It is a happy Monday indeed because I have a wonderful guest today, Author Hugh W. Roberts.

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Hugh is one of the sweetest and friendliest people you’ll ever meet and he is also a talented writer. He writes about all kinds of everyday life. Nothing too serious, mostly about the little things in life and how important they can be to all of us. Some of his posts are humorous while others may bring a tear to your eye.

Hugh spends his days writing, reading, walking, cycling and likes to relax in front of the television with a glass of red wine. He’s always been a morning person and does most of his writing during the day.

Hugh’s first book ‘Glimpses‘ is a collection of 28 short stories that allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax. If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories.

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The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Spotlight-Guest_blogger-author-book-Glimpses

 

In his words . . . 

My name is Hugh, and I live in both the town of Abergavenny and the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.

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I have always enjoyed writing and the fact I suffer from a mild form of dyslexia has not stopped me. Yes, I get things wrong with my reading and writing but I now always find those mistakes humorous and always laugh about it. I no longer allow dyslexia get in my way. Now in my fifties, I thought it about time I let my writing become public. Becoming a blogger seemed to be the perfect way for me to do this. I lead a very happy life and always try to stay positive. I share my life with my wonderful Civil Partner, John, and our Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Toby, who I both cherish with all my heart.

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I write about life because I find it so fascinating. I have many stories to tell, some of which I have started to put into a book. I think my life has been incredible and I want to share it with anyone that wants to listen. I am also a wonderful listener and I love to be interactive with other people. I guess you could say I am a ‘people person.’

Hugh’s book Glimpses has gotten many wonderful reviews and it’s available on Amazon as a beautiful paperback or eBook.

Check out Hugh’s blog at: Hugh’s Views & News – A man with dyslexia writing about this and that and everything else!

You can also connect with Hugh on social media:

Twitter

Instagram

Google+

YouTube

 

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

 

Haiku Friday+ – Fairy Whisperer

12 May

Hello everyone and welcome to The Writer Next Door!

I’m excited because I have a very special guest today, Colleen Chesebro the Fairy Whisperer herself! It has been a great honor and pleasure knowing this sweet lady for the last couple of years. Colleen is a talented author and poet and a great supporter of her fellow writers, poets and bloggers. She is a veteran of the U. S. Air Force and a retired bookkeeper. She holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration, and another Associate Degree in the Arts, which she uses to blend her love of writing with her passion for all things creative. Her first book, The Swamp Fairy is the first installment of her series The Heart Stone Chronicles.

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You can get a free preview of The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy here.

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Available on Amazon

In Colleen’s words . . . 

My name is Colleen Chesebro. My blog is the place you can come to hear the stories of the fairies as they whisper their tales to me. I’m glad to meet you. I enjoy writing about the seven different nymph clans. I am a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and imaginative nonfiction.

My first YA novel, The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy, reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to actually belong to a family.

When I am not writing or reading, I enjoy spending time with my husband, dogs, children, grandchildren, and friends. When time allows, I also enjoy gardening, cooking, and crocheting antique doilies into works of art.  I live in the United States with my husband, Ron and my two Pomeranians, Sugar and Spice.

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You can learn more about Colleen Chesebro here.

Take some time to visit Colleen’s blog, Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

Also connect with this wonderful lady here:

Twitter

Google+

Facebook

 

Fairies

On Earth we dwell

Although fleeting in plain sight

A Dream too bright to last

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Fast and Plain are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

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

BLOG TOUR: Author Olga Núñez Miret – Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

18 Jun

Hi all:

First of all thank you very much for taking part in my Blog Tour for Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters. Reader, don’t worry, I’m not here forever, just twisting the arm of your favourite blogger and borrowing a bit of space.

 

Olga Nuñez-author-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

Author Olga Núñez Miret

 

My name is Olga Núñez Miret and I’m a writer, translator, reader, and psychiatrist. I love movies, plays, fitness, owls and have recently taken up meditation (mindfulness). I thought I might as well summarise and not take too much of your time. I’ll leave you some links at the end just in case you want to find out even more about me (I’m not sure I’d recommend it, but hey . . . do your worst!).

 

I’ve been writing since I was quite young and I write in whatever style the story I have in my head wants to be written in. So far literary fiction, romance, YA, thriller . . . and a few unfinished works.

 

Around five years ago I discovered and read quite a few interesting Young Adult books and had an idea for what I thought could be a series. At the time I wrote the first of the novels and after trying to find an agent or a traditional publisher without much success, I started self-publishing, but decided to publish some of my other books first. Since then I’ve published 12 books (6 original books and their translations, as I write in English and Spanish).

 

I kept thinking about Angelic Business and a few months later wrote the second novel in the series: Shapes of Greg.

 

And last year, as part of NaNoWriMo I wrote the third novel in the series, Pink, Angel or Demon?

 

As I had written the three, I thought I’d publish them pretty close to each other so people wouldn’t have to wait to know what happened next (at least not too much).

 

The three books in the Angelic Business collection are now available for pre-order at the special price of $0.99 each. It’s a bargain price and they’ll go up shortly after publication.

 

Video:

 

<a href=”https://youtu.be/ZKWP_Q89CiQ”>https://youtu.be/ZKWP_Q89CiQ</a&gt;

Don’t worry. My writing is better than my video-creating skills, but as I’d been taking all those pictures of angels, I thought I might as well.

The series:

 

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Angelic Business_Olga Núñez Miret_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

 

You are Pink, not the prettiest girl, but smart and with plenty of resources. What do you do when your best male friend offers to have sex with you, because he thinks you’re a lost cause? You plot your revenge with your two best female friends, of course!

 

It seems you’re in luck when a new and mysterious student appears. And, to top it all, he seems interested in you too. He could take part in the plan. But then, he seems to have a plan of his own… He insists he’s not just an ordinary boy. And what seemed so easy to begin with, gets more and more complicated when Heaven and Hell come knocking at Pink’s door.

 

Pink Matters is the story of Pink, a 17 year old girl, good student, articulate and smart. What she has never been the centre of attention or made the top ten of the most popular and attractive girls at school. When two guys, both claiming to be angels, insist that she is, indeed, ‘special’, fight for her attention and help and tell her she is the key to the future of the universe, she can’t help but ask: Why me?

 

Snippet:

 

“Who are you?” Lorna asked. Before she could say anything else, she froze as if paralysed. And the same happened to Sylvia.

 

“Oh no, not again” I said.

 

“Hi Pink. I’m Azrael. I’m…”

 

“Let me guess…You’re an angel.”

 

I could say he smiled but it was more like a white light radiating from between his lips. His voice also seemed slightly “otherworldly”. He was nothing like G. Flesh and blood didn’t seem to be his priority.

 

“Yes. I am.”

 

“O…K….And…to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit? If you are going to make an announcement of some sort…I could have done with some notice.”

 

The light now seemed to radiate from his whole “body” if that was what it was. Somehow his show was much more believable than G’s. And scarier.

 

“It’s not an announcement as such. But you should know…G…”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I know he told you he’s an angel.”

 

I looked at him. Maybe he was different to G but he could be as annoying as him. And interfering.

 

“Yes. I also “know” things…In my case it is because “I” am an angel. He has not been truthful about his identity.”

 

Pink Matters is currently available for pre-order and will be published on June 26, 2015 (Amazon time). So, if you’re reading this post after the 26th of June, you’re in luck and can get the book straight away! (I’m also publishing it in other platforms although as their processing speed is different the dates might vary. Do check there or in my website, that I regularly update).

 

Amazon link

 

In case you’re intrigued, I leave you the cover (reveal!) and links to the other two books:

 

 

Angelic Business 2. Shapes of Greg

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What more could happen after the death and resurrection of your mother? What could Heaven and Hell toss at Pink to top that? Well, to start with, she gets a new hellish babysitter, who is seriously hot. And although everybody likes him, he only has eyes for her. When she learns what the price was for the ‘miracle’ of saving her mother, she realises that she must be careful, as Hell doesn’t lose gracefully.

 

One of her friends wants to find the perfect man, the other one gets into a relationship she refuses to talk about, there’s a demon who doesn’t know when to give up and an angel who seems to have his own agenda. What on Earth, Hell or Heaven is going on?

 

Shapes of Greg is available for pre-order and will be published on July 15th.

 

 

Amazon Link

 

And last, but not least:

 

Angelic Business 3. Pink, Angel or Demon?

Pink, Angel or Demon?

OK, OK, OK. Pink gets it. She’s the Elected, whether she likes it or no. Heaven and Hell are closing in, and their envois are closer home than ever. So close she can’t ignore them. And she’ll do everything but.

 

However long she has, she’s determined to make it count. She’ll sort her friends out, she’ll help her family and, she’ll live a bit. And then, she’ll take charge. Because no one will say that Pink went down without a fight. However big and bad the enemy.

 

Gender benders, romances, old loves that come to fruition, new challenges, divine interventions, tears, laughter and magic. All of that and more. Because, if you’re gonna go, you might as well go with a bang.

 

Pink, Angel or Demon? is available for pre-order and will be published on July 30th.

 

Amazon Link

Olga Núñez Miret-author-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

As I threatened you before, here are some more links:

 

Website

 

Twitter: @OlgaNM7

 

BLOG

 

Facebook Page

 

Amazon Author Profile

 

Goodreads

 

Google+

 

Pinterest: (Don’t miss my board about angels)

 

 

Wattpad

 

Thanks so much for allowing me to visit and post, thanks so much for reading, and as I always tell them in my blog, if you’ve found it interesting, like, share, comment and CLICK! Oh, and I love reblogs! Ah, and thanks to http://www.lourdesvidaldisseny.jimdo.com/”>Lourdes Vidal for her covers. 

 

 

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GUEST BLOGGING to be, or not to be? That is the question.

18 Jul

GUEST BLOGGING to be, or not to be? That is the question.

I’d say Guest Blogging is to be, and to prove it I’d like to introduce Rebekkah Ford.

I am certain you will find her to be an interesting person as well as a talented writer. So have fun getting to know Rebekkah (Becki) Ford.

Rebekkah Ford

Rebekkah Ford

Rebekkah Ford grew up in a family that dealt with the paranormal. Her parents’ Charles and Geri Wilhelm were the directors of the UFO Investigator’s League in Fairfield, Ohio, back in the 1970s. They also investigated ghost hauntings and Bigfoot sightings in addition to UFO’s. Growing up in this type of environment and having the passion for writing is what drove Rebekkah at an early age to write stories dealing with the paranormal. Her fascination with the unknown is what led her to write the Beyond the Eyes trilogy.

my coverDark Spirits Cover

So if you’ve gotten the impression that Rebekkah is a quirky artist you’re absolutely right. Check this out… 

"Tree" a character from the "Beyond the Eyes" series

Jack a.k.a. “Tree” from the “Beyond the Eyes” series.

Rebekkah (Becki) chats with Tree one of her characters from the “Beyond the Eyes Trilogy” series

Tree is one of Paige’s (main character) best friends in the, “Beyond the Eyes” trilogy. He’s eighteen-years-old, Stand six-foot five, though appears taller because he’s built like a bouncer, hence the nickname “Tree”. He has brown eyes and a bitchen black Mohawk. He’s the type of guy who would give you the shirt off his back. He’s also loyal and protective over his friends. He’s into comic book heros, guitars, punk rock, and cars. He’s a grease monkey-works for his dad who is the top mechanic in Astoria, Oregon, fixing vehicles. And he’s of German descent.

I spoke with Tree a while back, but a lot has happened since then. I decided to hook up with him again via webcam. We still had each other in our Skype account, so it was rather easy to do. In respect to the people who haven’t read this trilogy yet, and because “The Devil’s Third” won’t be out until later this year, I’ll be mindful in what to ask Tree.

Okay, I just ringed him up and he agreed to come over. Oh! There’s the doorbell. He’s here! Let’s get started.

Becki: “Hi, Tree. How are you?”

Tree: “Hey, Rebekkah. Despite the major adjustments in my life, I’m doing well. Thank you.” He shifts the black knit cap on his head and smiles. “How are you?”

Becki: “Oh, I’m crazy busy, but that seems to be the norm lately.”

Tree: (Nods.) “Tell me about it.”

Becki: “Did you shave your Mohawk off?”

Tree: (His hand flutters to his knit cap again. He touches it, then drops his hand in his lap. A frown mars his face.) “No, but your readers will find out what happened when they read The Devil’s Third.”

Becki: “You also found out some shocking info. about yourself. One could even go as far as to say, mind-blowing.”

Tree: (Laughs.) “That’s putting it mildly.”

Becki: “So do you and Carrie plan on going to school in Portland, Oregon this fall?”

Tree: “I’m not sure. I’ll have to talk to her about it. I know my folks would be disappointed if I didn’t go, and the same with Carrie’s as well.”

Becki: “How are Paige and Nathan doing?”

Tree: (Smiles.) “They’re doing awesome. I think their relationship will be smooth sailing from here on out. So many things and people kept coming between them, but I think that’s over now.”

Becki: “Good to hear. What about Brayden?”

Tree: “I haven’t seen Brayden in a while. I’m sure I’ll see him again, because he’ll never give up on the possibility of having a relationship with Paige. He believes they were meant to be together. Period.”

Becki: “What do you think about it?”

Tree: (Shrugs.) “I really don’t know what to think. The way I see it is as long as Paige is happy and the guy treats her well, I’m good with it, otherwise, I’d have to kick his ass.” He laughs.

Becki: (I laugh along with him.) “You’re a good friend.”

Tree: “Thanks. Paige is like a sister to me. She’s been alone most of her life. Her father died when she was four and as she got older, her mom stayed away from her. Carrie and I always kept an eye on Paige, though, she wasn’t quite aware of it. We also knew she had a lot of pent up emotions she needed to deal with. Thankfully, Nathan helped her confront and deal with all the hurt and sadness she had harbored inside herself for so long.”

Becki: (Grins.) “Yay! Nathan. He’s a good guy. I like him a lot. The other day I had a fan tell me Nathan scares him.” I laugh.

Tree: (He raises his eyebrows and grins, laughter dancing in his eyes.) “Are you serious?”

Becki: “Yes, I am. The person who told me that, mentioned what Nathan had done to Aosoth in Dark Spirits.” I cup my hands around my mouth and stage whisper, “The toilet scene.”

Tree: (He chuckles.) “I thought what Nathan did that bitch was classic. She deserved much more than that for destroying Paige’s family and being flat out evil. Sometimes I think she’s worse than Bael.”

Becki: “Well, Bael is evil too, but it’s a subtle, darker kind, which to me is much worse.”

Tree: “Good point. Cloaked evil is far worse.”

Becki: “Well, Tree, I suppose I should end this chat. I enjoyed visiting with you. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me.”

Tree: “No problem. The feeling is mutual. Take care.”

Becki: “You too. Tell the gang I said hi.”

Tree: (Smiles) “Will do.”

Beyond the Eyes blurbs . . .

“A thrilling, wholly satisfying first book to a new young adult series. It will keep you wanting more.” –Valentina Cano,  Carabosse’s Library

“Beyond the Eyes is haunting yet passionate. This breakout novel is quick and hip, a saucy must-read.”–Charles Land, Judas Pistol

Paige knows evil exists in this world, but she never imagined it would want something from her.

After a ghostly voice whispers a haunting message to seventeen-year-old Paige Reed, Paige’s life takes a nightmarish turn. Unwilling to tell her friends about the supernatural occurrences happening in her life, Paige feels more alone than ever–until she meets Nathan Caswell.

Nathan is not only hot, but seems to peer into Paige’s soul, evoking a magnetic energy between them that cannot be denied. But he’s no ordinary guy. He tracks dark spirits, and becomes alarmed when they set their sights on Paige.

And then there are the two power-hungry dark spirits who believe Paige can find King Solomon’s magical ring for them, because when her father was alive, he was close to finding it. If Paige doesn’t comply with their demands, they’ll kill her.

Paige is forced to dig deep into her father’s past and unearths shocking secrets about him and his bloodline. With the past and present colliding, Paige is only sure about two things in her life: she needs to outwit the dark spirits to stay alive, and she’s completely and helplessly in love with Nathan.

Dark Spirits Blurb . . .

“Even more thrilling than the first. This is a captivating series you won’t put down and will leave you hungry for more.”–Felicia Tatum, author of The White Aura

“Paige is a strong courageous character and Dark Spirits will make your heart pound with the emotion and action!”–Julie Huss author of the I Am Just Junco series.

Now immortal, Paige is emotionally and physically stronger than ever. She must find the location of the ancient incantations to prevent mass genocide. But the war against good and evil is spawning another war–a battle between the dark spirits themselves. Paige is saddled in the center of both growing revolutions and is ready to take on the dark forces. But Nathan’s overprotectiveness prevents her from taking action, and he’s hiding things.

Paige’s personal life gets more complicated when Brayden arrives back in town and offers the equal partnership she desperately craves from Nathan. Then there’s Carrie and Tree, her two best friends and only family she has left. Unfortunate circumstances thrust them into Paige’s dark world, giving her no choice but to allow Nathan to arm them with combat techniques in hope they’ll be able to protect themselves.

Meanwhile, Paige is having visions and discovering abilities she was unaware of. When Anwar comes to visit, his weird behavior alarms her. Could he be turning to the dark side?

Time is running out. Paige not only needs to find the incantations but also to untangle the bands around her heart and make a decision that could leave her with a life worse than death–a life of betrayal from the ones she trusted most.

Where to find Rebekkah:

Blog
http://themusingwriter.blogspot.com

Facebook Author Page
http://www.Facebook.com/RebekkahFord2012

Twitter
https://twitter.com/RebekkahFord

Pinterest
http://pinterest.com/rebekkahford

Buy the books

Amazon:

Beyond the Eyes (Book One in this YA paranormal trilogy)
http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-the-Eyes-ebook/dp/B0088JF7HQ/

Dark Spirits (Book Two in this YA paranormal trilogy)
http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Spirits-Beyond-Eyes-ebook/dp/B00BEKJ9VG/

Note: These are the American Amazon sites. If you want the UK, let me know.
Barnes & Noble:

Beyond the Eyes
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beyond-the-eyes-rebekkah-ford/1111446053?ean=2940014746496

Dark Spirits
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-spirits-rebekkah-ford/1114506937?ean=2940016397214

Beyond The Eyes Book Trailer:

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The Evolution of a Novel

11 Jul

the-evolution-of-the-book

Hello! Welcome to my blog. My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega, for those of you visiting for the first time. I am a writer of Fantasy, Suspense and Thrillers. I do, however, have a tendency to mix a little Romance, horror or humor (among other genres) into my stories.

I love art, creativity and beauty, and I know these come in many forms. In my quest to build my author platform, I have met and befriended a group of incredibly talented individuals. Writers, poets, artists and even singers who are masterful at what they do. I feel blessed to have found them, and I would be selfish if I kept the beauty, artistry and creativeness of their craft all to myself.
So for the next few weeks I will be featuring their art, writings and music along with my own work on this blog. I guarantee you will enjoy every bit of it.
In today’s post I will feature the witty, creative and talented writer Chris Andrews.

Chris-with-book

The evolution of a novel

Hi Vashti! Thanks for having me over.
I’d like to share my novel’s story with you today… not the story within the novel, but the story of how it came to be.
So… A long time ago on a continent far, far away (from other continents at least), I saw a movie called Star Wars and dreamed of growing up to be Luke Skywalker.

Although the force wasn’t with me, I did retain a love of epic heroes.

Episode_4_Luke_Skywalker_3

Fast forward a few years and I began writing a horrible, clichéd thing derivative of every heroic story I’d ever seen and read.
Recognising it for what it was, I went to university, got qualifications, and began rewriting it, but no matter what I tried the story just wouldn’t come together in a satisfying way.
It got reworked, broken up, changed, added to and rewritten again, but nothing seemed to work. Readers didn’t react the way they should have (you know, with enthusiasm!).
I thought I knew a lot about writing, but writing and storytelling aren’t the same thing, and for a long time I didn’t understand that.
So what changed?
I found that readers have certain expectations, and if you don’t meet them you’re likely to fail.
Screenwriters figured that out long time ago, and screenwriting knowledge translates well to novels.
For example, an earlier draft began with: Princess Caroline rode along in bored silence, shivering against the cold… and continued on like that for several more chapters as I slowly built the situation.
I thought I was setting the story up. What I was really doing was boring people.
Now it begins with: Princess Caroline duFandelyon stared in numb horror at the luminous outlines on the insides of her wrists. She lay on her hard bed, bare arms above her, appalled. She’d come to the abbey to birth an illegitimate child under the pretext of piety, and now the Goddess of Healing had marked her for her temerity.
While some of it breaks one of the first rules of storytelling (show, don’t tell), I did it for a reason.
In three sentences I’ve:
• Set the scene.
• Introduced internal conflict.
• Defined the genre.
• Introduced the main character in very real and personal terms.
In an earlier attempt to fix things I mistakenly cut the story in half.writers-block
It was long (over 220,000 words), and so I attempted to shorten it into something more vibrant and manageable.
Halving it introduced a whole new range of problems; what began as a stopover on a quest to retrieve a sword had to finalise a story.
It needed a new purpose, and so it evolved into the story of a girl being hunted by assassins.
It also had to lay the groundwork for the sequels.
And there’s another problem – when do you say ‘it’s done’?
I figured it would only be done when someone read it and asked, “Can I read the next one?”
That happened a few months ago, and I’ve had more positive feedback since.
Do I regret spending so many years figuring out how to tell stories? Not at all. The entire story will be far stronger for it, and so is my writing and my knowledge of storytelling.
With a bit of luck, more than just my beta readers will love it too. In the end, getting someone to love it as much as you do is what it’s all about.
Thinking back, that’s why I wanted to grow up to be Luke Skywalker, after all.

I began my writing career when I boldly and ignorantly announced I could write a better novel than the one I’d just read. While I’m no longer ignorant about the challenges of writing novels, the dream remains.

ChrisAndrews

You can connect with Chris on twitter: http://twitter.com/ChrisAndrewsAU or visit his website: http://fandelyon.com

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If You Love Me…

9 Jul

If You Love Me…

Hello! Welcome to my blog. My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega, for those of you visiting for the first time. I am a writer of Fantasy, Suspense and Thrillers. I do, however, have a tendency to mix a little Romance, horror or humor (among other genres) into my stories.
I love art, creativity and beauty, and I know these come in many forms. In my quest to build my author platform, I have met and befriended a group of incredibly talented individuals. Writers, poets, artists and even singers who are masterful at what they do. I feel blessed to have found them, and I would be selfish if I kept the beauty, artistry and creativeness of their craft all to myself.
So for the next few weeks I will be featuring their art, writings and music along with my own work on this blog. I guarantee you will enjoy every bit of it.
In today’s post I feature a poem by gifted poet and writer Marta Merajver-Kurlat.

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IF YOU LOVE ME…

If you love me, do not clip my wings. Let me soar high up in the sky of my youth before the twilight dims the sun. Fear not for me. You carried me inside you. Now your sweet voice, a shield against venom-dipped spears, dwells in me.

If you love me, do not lock me in the golden cage of easy comfort. Let me fight my own battles with the weapons you taught me to wield. I cannot promise victory after victory, yet defeat will not take me to my knees.

If you love me, do not ask me to become your double. Do not wish me to succeed where you failed. Celebrate my choices and accept our difference. Take pride in my otherness, for it grew from your lessons and example.

If you love me, do not fret that I will walk the path alone. My eyes are sharp and my steps well guided. Think that on the train of life I will find fellow-travelers. Some will keep me company till they reach their destination; others will sit by me to the end of the way.

If you love me, do not weep when the door closes. Rejoice in my strength, for you spent long years building it. Rivers flow. You were a river once. When you conceived me in your desire for a child, a miracle of nature turned you into a mountain.

River and mountain feed on each other. Trust the bond between them.

Love me.

~ Marta Merajver-Kurlat

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Visit  Marta Merajver-Kurlat at the links below to enjoy more of her work.

http://www.martamerajver.com.ar/marta/

http://www.amazon.com/Marta-Merajver-Kurlat/e/B009TC8C5A

http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=7160675&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

 

Women Behaving Badly – Author Alana Munro

14 Jun

The writer Next Door-alana munro-women behaving badly

Women Behaving Badly by Alana Munro

Hello! Welcome to my blog. My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega, for those of you visiting for the first time. I am a writer of Fantasy, Suspense and Thrillers. I do, however, have a tendency to mix a little Romance, horror or humor (among other genres) into my stories.

I love art, creativity and beauty, and I know these come in many forms. In my quest to build my author platform, I have met and befriended a group of incredibly talented individuals. Writers, poets, artists and even singers who are masterful at what they do. I feel blessed to have found them, and I would be selfish if I kept the beauty, artistry and creativeness of their craft all to myself.
So for the next few weeks I will be featuring their art, writings and music along with my own work on this blog. I guarantee you will enjoy every bit of it.
In today’s post I will feature the beautiful and talented author of the fascinating book, Women Behaving Badly,  Alana Munro.

Alana Munro_Women Behaving Badly_interview_author

 I have included an early chapter that shows Alana’s struggle to get women to talk to her, and her early thoughts. I have also included an except from one of the many true stories that have personally happened to her. These true stories are an important part of her book.

The Fight to Write This Book

I think I prefer the way men conduct their relationships with their male friends. Why do I say this? I believe that males are in general fairer on their own kind.

Women are unfair on each other and women are often unfairly critical of themselves.

We are harsh on ourselves and often just as harsh on other women.

Women, who struggle to be fair and struggle to love themselves, will struggle to play fair and love other women.

It’s an important question to consider.

How can we women be emotionally generous to other women if we struggle with the concept of respecting who we are?

Men, in contrast, seem to have an easier ride with their friendships. I couldn’t ignore these inherent differences. There was little doubt in my mind that women conduct their friendships differently from men. It was time to probe deeper. I wanted to know more.

After having two fascinating conversations in the same week, I thought this book would be easy. I naively thought women were going to expose their female acquaintances and their friends’ challenging behaviors. They’d spew it all out. I’d change the names and details. No one would know who was who. Like a free therapy session, they would express themselves and feel better for it.

Aren’t women meant to be the talkers? I had visions of us getting right to the bones of the weird feminine behaviors over a bottle of wine. But it seems that women have also been taught the art of keeping their lips sealed.

I logged onto Facebook the following week and studied my friend list. I had more than 100 friends (perhaps after this book I will have a lot less), most of them female. I figured if most of these women can sit on Facebook for hours every week playing games, uploading image after image and commenting on someone’s outstanding cake baking efforts or adorable baby, then surely they can find the time to fill out my questionnaire?

The questionnaire was about personal experiences with female friendships. The responses trickled in. In total, three or four women responded. I sighed, a lot. I guess women are busy.

That’s when reality set in. This book wasn’t going to be easy.

If I couldn’t get my friends and acquaintances to reveal their negative friendship experiences in total confidence, then it seemed unlikely I would manage to get perfect strangers to be brutally honest.

Why was it proving so difficult to get the women in my life to open up and tell me what goes on with the females in their daily life or at least what had went on in their deep, dark past?

A few were polite and said they couldn’t help as they had never experienced any negativity from women. I felt this was either a cop out, outright denial or blissful ignorance. Or maybe they were lucky sods. I thought how nice it must be to only experience coffee mornings, homemade jam and loving hugs.

Maybe I had just been incredibly unlucky or ridiculously misguided in my friend choices? I felt utterly stupid. It was maybe just me after all. I am simply a loser in this friendship game with a capital L stamped on my forehead.

But I couldn’t accept this. I couldn’t be the only woman out there with painful experiences.

Ignoring my ego, which was now a burst and saggy balloon, I patched it up with some sticky tape and carried on, regardless. I felt fatigued, burnt out, irritated and despondent by my relations with many women. I refused to accept my reality as folly. The hurt I had felt was real. It was piercing and stung.

The next type of response was, “Yes, some women are bitchy, but I just stay away from them. I have no association with such women.” OK, better. There is something to work with here. At least some acknowledgement that women are prone to misbehaving with one another.

But the trouble with this response made me think that women believe they are simply able to stay away from troublesome friends. That it is easy to notice a negative friend and just step to the side. That they have a choice and can see a crazy bitch in their sights before she gets too close! Believe me, this is not the case. Often troublesome, negative women seek us out. They hide beneath smiles and loving hugs. And often their presence surprises us entirely.

Then there were a teensy-weensy amount of women who were frank and open. Interestingly, they were intelligent young women. They had experienced a lot of jealousy, bullying and unfair treatment from their female counterparts.

Relief swelled over me. (It’s not just me! I am not a complete loser in friendships – well, hopefully!) My relief was coupled with grief for my friends who had experienced terrible pain at the hands of other women.

Then, of course, there was the non-response committee.

Perhaps they felt uncomfortable talking about personal feelings. For this very reason, I didn’t push people. I assumed for some women it would be too painful and I respected that possibility.

I also concluded that for some women, the subject of my book was perplexing and they wanted no part in it. They did not want to support or encourage my ‘woman hating’ project (ridiculously unfair – I am in no way a woman hater. I’m only trying to understand women and how they behave.).

Or perhaps (I hope this was more likely) they felt they couldn’t contribute in a meaningful way and so they said nothing. They didn’t want to waste my time. They didn’t have enough dirt. They had been luckier than me.

After many more months of silence drifting by, I decided I was pretty much on my own. I would have to wring out the few responses I received and lean on my family for support. Mostly, I would have to rely on my own reflections and personal experiences to write this book. Well, it turns out, lucky for you, I have a ridiculous amount of bad experiences to draw from. But despite having so much personal insight, I knew this would be one of the biggest creative challenges of my life.

For starters, it was never going to be an easy subject for a woman to discuss. It naturally makes females uncomfortable and close down ranks. The lack of responses confirmed this natural reaction. Let’s close the blinds and pretend no one is home, hopefully she’ll bugger off soon enough. She thinks too much, she’s too deep, too emotional. Leave me alone, you freak! Women are always lovely to me, you’re the problem!

Another issue with this book’s subject is that I am going against the widely held belief that women are always nurturing and supportive to each other. Women are the carers. We look after each other and most days hold up the sky. We care for our families, soothe our babies, kiss away the tears. We are in many respects outstanding individuals.

However, females, by their very anatomy, nature and character, are complicated creatures.

Their behavior sometimes contradicts the common rosy stereotype of feminism’s idealistic ‘sisterhood’. Sometimes a woman’s behavior towards another woman is more inhumane than accepting, engaging or fair.

What was really going against me was this notion of sisterhood. The sisterhood myth ensures women keep their lips sealed. To be disloyal to our own team is unacceptable or frightening. After all, we women have experienced years of oppression (mostly at the hands of men); we must continue to stick together.

Understandably, there is the belief that talking out negatively about females is surely wrong. We must boost each other, support each other and minimize the negatives.

Of course, I agree; we should encourage feminine solidarity. It is a beautiful and rewarding experience. It is essential for our social progress that women appreciate and consider other women. We should advocate loyalty and respect other women’s differences. We cannot possibly create positive change in this world for women if we attack each other.

But equally, we must also accept that sometimes women do not stick together. Sometimes women rip each other to shreds in a frenzied verbal attack. Sometimes respect, solidarity and loyalties to one another are far from a woman’s agenda.

With all these conflicting thoughts swirling in my mind, it was clear this book would be a tremendous challenge to complete.

For weeks, I thought I won’t bother. Perhaps it is just too dangerous and I don’t want to make waves. I don’t want to provoke women and I don’t want to plague women with dark thoughts about their own kind. What good could come from this book?

My conscious kept hissing at me. This is stupid. Women will just hate you! They won’t want to admit to this behavior. I stuffed a sock in her mouth. I was tired of smiling and pretending everything was okay.

I said to my over-active conscious – I’d rather tell the truth, expose my female reality, than spend my life pretending that all is rosy in the garden with females, because you know and I know this – some gardens have more thorns than flowers. She pouted and huffed.

I found that when I started writing this book, the words poured out. It was uncontrollable. I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t. Did the truth of women like me need to come out? I’d like to think so. Was it now time to arouse debate and stimulate our awareness of what can go on between females? I thought yes, it probably is time to awaken and challenge our perceptions of women.

And so, despite all my doubts and fears, I carried on writing.

*** And one more sample – this sample shows one of the many true stories about how females can behave towards each other. This story is from the chapter about Jealousy. This excerpt is an example of my personal stories which are throughout the book.

A boy fancied me in school. He asked me out on a date and I took him up on his offer. I didn’t fancy him, but I thought I’d give him a chance and maybe I’d find out he’s a nice guy. I decided not to date him again. After all, I was only 16. I had plenty of time to have boyfriends and he wasn’t really my cup of tea.

The trouble was there was a girl in my year who fancied him. He didn’t fancy her. He was a free agent. When she found out I had went on this one date with him, she and her friends tormented me and made my daily life at school a living hell. They wrote on the toilets, naming me a slag, a slut, a bitch, a tart. They shouted at me, sneered, spat and ridiculed me. They stood outside my classrooms swearing and glaring at me. They launched an active campaign to break my spirit and self-esteem, but most of all, they tried to destroy my reputation. I was a virgin, but their slander was changing people’s perceptions without a doubt. I was made to feel like a leper.

No other girl wanted to be seen with me. I’d try to approach a group of girls and they’d huddle together, shunning me as if I was a dangerous beast. None of those girls dared to look me in the eyes. They all believed the propaganda. No one questioned it. No one stood up for me and told them to leave me alone. Not one person in my year wanted to know where all this targeted hate and persecution was coming from and why.

I’d spend my lunch breaks on my own, often by a railway bridge. I thought, This could all end now, this hell could all end. I just need to jump off this bridge. But I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it to the poor train driver, I couldn’t do it to my family and I was too stubborn to allow these girls to take my life. They had my present. They had my present in their hands and they were crushing the very life out of me. But they wouldn’t take my future. I wouldn’t allow it.

I’d walk back to school just before the end of lunch bell rang out. My heart beating, my hands and legs shaking, trying to hide the fear, trying to hold it all together for one more day. When would it end? Would they ever become bored of these cruel games? Would they never tire of tormenting me? How can these girls enjoy threatening me quite so much?

As time went on, the bullying showed no sign of stopping; it had become their daily habit like a cup of coffee or a morning jog. I couldn’t live in fear anymore. I didn’t deserve to be treated like this. I walked straight to the school office and quietly asked to see the school headmaster. I politely asked the ladies at the school office if they could please help me. I told them I was desperate and I must talk with the principal. They must have seen the torment creeping out from my red eyes or they must have seen my hands tremble. They told me to come into their office and sit down. Their compassion caused me to cry a little, but I had to stay strong. I needed to be able to explain what was going on. Thankfully, the principal was a good man and could see what was going on. “These girls,” he said, “have a terrible case of jealousy and it will stop. I promise you, Alana.” The bullying only stopped when he excluded the ring leader.

In the first week alone, 500 books were downloaded from Amazon and with lots of pleasant reviews doing the rounds, Alana has been encouraged to write her second book. Here is a recent newspaper article about Alana’s debut book. Watch this space for more media coverage and new book releases.

In recent times, Alana runs a Google+ Community  for all writers, bloggers and poets. Support-a-Writer offers support and encouragement to all new writers. The members share marketing tips, discuss their writing ideas and cheer each other on. It is a very active and friendly community, do consider joining if you hope to discover new talent or you are a writer looking to connect. You will be sure to receive a warm welcome!

Alana also writes articles for STEEL Magazine. It’s an American multi-cultural life style publication ran by ZAE Publishing. Alana is open to new writing jobs. If you have a blog or magazine and you need a writer to contribute – contact Alana Munro today.

Alana was recently interviewed by ABC Radio. You can listen to Alana’s full studio interview – http://alanamunroauthor.com/about/

Alana’s debut book is available to buy on Amazon and will be available from various online stores world wide this June, with plans to release paper books.

Amazon

Be sure to check out Alana Munro’s Website!

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Illustration by Anne Teubert

 

Best Friend

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

The sun shone brightly on the day we met.
The radiance of your smile promised eternal sunshine.
When darkness loomed I dried the sorrows you wept.
Always by your side, I offered dawn when you suffered stress.
I was gravity, ever-present for each trivial affair of your life.
But when I needed you most, you couldn’t care less.

As I neared my goals, and success was within my reach.
The luster of friendship began to dull in your eyes.
Why do you despise me? Tormented, in my mind I screeched.
You feigned to listen, when all the while
you gathered information to judge me with.
Why the hatred, my friend? Why am I on trial?

When you betrayed me, the skies grew gray and dark.
My heart bled within me as the storm clouds gathered in your eyes.
You held up a broken mirror to show me my heart.
Sodden by the tempest of envy, unable to tolerate my radiant soul.
You set out to drain my spirit with distorted images you presented.
Until one day, in another’s eyes, my heart’s true reflection I stole.

Eerie, cold, and turbulent was the night our friendship ended.
I was too fetching, too clever, too creative for you to love me.
How am I to release my disappointment? Will my heart ever be mended?
Your spiteful squalls tore a hole in my heart, but my spirit you did miss.
Some friends crush you with a cold glare or a hurtful word.
A jealous friend betrays you with a cowardly kiss.

 

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Disconnect

7 Jun

Disconnected

Photograph Feel Pain by Mehmet Turgut

 

 

Hello! Welcome to my blog. My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega, for those of you visiting for the first time. I am a writer of Fantasy, Horror, Suspense and Thrillers. I do, however, have a tendency to mix a little Romance and humor (among other genres) into my stories.
I love art, creativity and beauty, and I know these come in many forms. In my quest to build my author platform, I have met and befriended a group of incredibly talented individuals. Writers, poets, bloggers, artists, photographers and even singers who are masterful at what they do. I feel blessed to have found them, and I would be selfish if I kept the beauty, artistry and creativeness of their craft all to myself.
So for the next few weeks I will be featuring their art, writings, photography and music along with my own work on this blog. I guarantee you will enjoy every bit of it.
In today’s post I will feature the talented writer and poet Glendon Perkins.

 

 

Glendon wrote this piece when he was struggling with a major decision in his life. His writing touched me deeply, as I am sure it will touch you.

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Disconnect

by Glendon Perkins

The nurse walked in, said to me, “It’s time.”

My shoulders slumped. I drew in a deep breath, held it, and let it out slow. If I could have prevented the moment by holding my breath, I would have.

I followed the nurse through the door and down the hall. While I followed her through the constricting corridors, I focused on the carpet. There was consistency in the bluish-gray carpet; no change. Soon everything would change.

“Are you alright?” she asked.

I hesitated, trying to find the right words. Were there words that could convey how I felt? I’m not sure. I decided a simple response was best. “No.”

“We could try some other things.” Her face was drawn, as though she’d had a long night as well. “I know we could approach the doctor and find something or someone. We could contact Mayo or Johns Hopkins.” Her voice cracked a few times

I read clearing your throat helps to keep the tears from coming. I cleared my throat, my tears stayed back. “I…I…I th—think it’s b—best if w—w—we don’t.” Covering my mouth, looked away.

She hugs me. We stood embracing for several minutes. I broke away first.  Time to finish this.

We walked the rest of the way in silence. My emotions were wound as tight as a guitar string, and the slightest plucking would send me into a chorus of tears.

She stopped in the doorway. Pointing at a laptop on a stand she said, “Just press the DISCONNECT button. I’ll leave you with him.” She gave my forearm a pat and a squeeze before walking away.

Despite the warmth of the room, I felt like I had walked into an icebox. Shivers raced across my body, my blood cold, my heart solid ice.

I felt cruel. Was I the Reaper, the Angel of Death? Wasn’t I about to do what he did?

I walked further into the room, making a wide birth around the laptop. I looked up at the life support monitors. Several lines showed vital functions with jagged peaks and valleys. Some consistently moved up and down, others were furious with activity, their readings jumbled and mismatched.

A web of wires and tubes crossed each other and meandered around stainless steel poles and computer monitors. A respirator with a white corrugated tube led to the intubation line. White adhesive patches connected his damaged brain to the EEG machine with wires of several colors. The room smells of copper wire and plastic from life-supporting devices.

I approached his bed with trepidation and sat on the edge. He lay in a beige hospital gown, blankets tucked neatly around his waist. Clear tape secured the IV catheters to his wrists. The intubation tube connected to the tracheotomy.

I wrapped my fingers his hand, “Dad, I…” The words lodged in my throat.

Wiping my eyes and running nose with my forearm, I found the strength to continue. “The doctors don’t think anything can be—”

I broke down in rivulets of tears, every pent up emotion over the last three months pouring down my face, my head bobbing with each sob.

I was about to turn off machines that kept my father alive. Would I ever find peace again? Would I wake up every night screaming in the darkness? Would every look I received on the street, at work, or from my family and friends be anything but contempt? Worse, what if my dad lay there getting better and the doctors couldn’t see it? Would my dad forgive me? Would he look at me from the Afterlife and ask me, “How could you?”

As my contemplation threatened to destroy me, a voice from the past spoke up.  “Son, I don’t want machines to keep me alive. I am going to trust your decision. Give me peace when I need it.”

I choked back my despair. I whispered in his ear, “Dad, I came here to give you peace. I love you.”

Looking at his face, I wondered if he heard me.

I stood, walked over to the laptop, and stared at the screen for a moment. I raised my had to the keyboard, fingers shaking, palms sweating. I slowly lowered my fingers to the mousepad…I pushed DISCONNECT.

I walked back to the chair and sat down. I rested my head on his chest, placed his hand on my face, and felt his pulse and respirations slow, “I love you, Dad. May you be at peace.”

Would I ever have peace?

~by Glendon Perkins

 

Please check out Glendon’s links below, and if you like smart Horror with lots of suspense, thrills and chills, you’ll love Glendon’s blog novel Buried Alive. It is a must-read for all you Horror fans out there!

http://www.glendonperkins.com

http://www.glendonperkins.blogspot.com

http://twitter.com/glenperk

Father_and_son_by_Gloredel

Photograph by Marie Gloredel 

 

 

Father

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the facade of a brave man as his baby boy entered the world.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

What are my duties? There are no guidelines. Where do I start?

The babe in his arms felt so natural, yet so alien. A fire blazed in his chest.

“You are a father now.” The words were jolting, yet pleasing to his heart.

*

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the façade of a calm man as his son toddled, taking his first steps.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

What if he falls? What if he hurts himself? Then I would have failed as a father.

The toddler tottered to him and embraced his dad with dulcet giggles.

As he held his son, it did not feel alien. His heart gave way for love to conquer.

*

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the façade of a cool man as his son introduced him to his first girl.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

What if he falls in love? What if she breaks his heart?

He embraced his son and slipped extra cash in his pocket.

As he held his son, it felt like love, and he rested assured his son was smart.

*

His brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched with the façade of a brave man as his son grew and had sons of his own.

As if his mind and body were not consumed by overwhelming fears.

Did I raise him right? Did I teach him to be a good husband and father?

He embraced his son, and they were swathed by the love they both felt.

As he held his son, his questions were answered, and he grew calmer.

*

His son’s brown eyes deepened into polished onyx, and upon them came a mist of tears.

He watched his father wear the façade of a spent man as he lay on a hospital bed.

His son’s mind and body were consumed by overwhelming fears.

Am I doing the right thing? Who am I to decide when his time has come?

His face dampened with sorrow. He embraced his father.

As he held his father’s weary body and gazed into his dimming eyes, his questions were answered, and he grew calmer.

*

His brown eyes deepen into polished onyx, and upon them comes a mist of tears.

He watches with the façade of a pitiful man as his son reaches for that plug.

He is ready to leave this world and grateful his son has let go of his fears.

As his son holds his ruined body, and he feels the lifeblood drain from his eyes, he knows he has raised him right.

His mind and body are consumed with overwhelming love.

His son has given him the gift of peace, and his happy spirit travels toward the light.

~by Vashti Quiroz-Vega