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

16 Aug

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

 

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

 

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

Poetry Friday ~ Instagram

9 Aug

Hi, everyone! Welcome to The Writer Next Door (Blog).

I’m Vashti Quiroz-Vega (Vashti Q).

 

Let’s talk about Instagram. I joined Instagram a while ago but I created the account, managed to post some pictures and then never looked at it again for months. There was a lot going on in my life at the time and I couldn’t handle another social media site. I’ve gotten a lot more involved on Instagram in the last few months and I plan to stick with it, because it’s actually a great site. Now, I’m not claiming to be an expert. I’m still learning and making mistakes left and right but I’m beginning to catch on. I just discovered how to do an Instagram story and I’m having some fun with that.

I love photography and art, so at first, I had joined Instagram to look and share beautiful and interesting photos and art. Now, I realize that Instagram is a lot more than just a gallery for pretty pictures.

Did you know that Instagram has been around for about 9 years already? Did you know that influencers are charging up to $100,000 for a sponsored post?

Like Facebook and Twitter, hashtags are also used on Instagram and posts with at least one hashtag average 12.6% more engagement. As authors, we know the importance of engagement. And speaking of authors, Instagram is now the new social media place for writers. It’s a place where creativity and bookworms abound. So here are:

10 Instagram Tips for Writers | Jane Friedman

Instagram-writers-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q-poetry_Friday-author-book_cake

Book cake from the launch party of ‘A Touch of Gold‘ by Annie Sullivan

Also check out, 25 Instagram Facts That You Want To Know – PastBook

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As authors, it is extremely important for our work to be seen. What’s the point of writing books if no one knows about them or reads them? I believe we can gain visibility, followers, and increase sales by being active on social media and my favorite sites right now are Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

If you haven’t joined Instagram yet, give it a try.

Check out my Instagram and follow if you like.


UPDATE:

I’m done with the first draft of The Rise of Gadreel! Yay! I’m busy doing my first round of edits. I’ll probably do one more round of edits after this one, before I send it to my beta readers.

Here’s today poem for Colleen Chesebro’s Poetry Prompt Challenge. It’s the first challenge of the month, so it’s ‘Poet’s Choice of Words’.

BOOK

See me, read me, please!

I was written in her blood

for your enjoyment.

Unread I’m not a story.

Reading me will make me live.

The Rise of Gadreel-Vashti Quiroz-Vega-Fantasy_novel-ghosts-witches-medieval times-magick

I’d like your opinion on my WIP’s title, The Rise of Gadreel. What do you think? Is the title interesting, intriguing? You can be completely honest.

 

Celebrating Short Stories!

5 Aug

Hello! I hope everyone’s had a great start to the new week. I’m always grateful for your visit.

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Today I will share two short stories I read recently. The first, Voodoo or Destiny: You Decide was written by Jan Sikes. The second, Red Eyes in the Darkness was written by D. L. Finn. Both of these authors are extremely talented storytellers, skilled writers, as well as great supporters of the indie community and overall wonderful people. I truly enjoy their work.

 

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Author Jan Sikes

Bio:

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, weaves stories in a creative and entertaining way. She has been called a magician and wordsmith extraordinaire by her readers and peers.
Jan self-published a series of four Biographical Fiction books with a musical twist. They chronicle the life of Texas musician, Rick Sikes, a pioneer in the Outlaw Music movement before it ever had a name. She also released a music CD of original songs which match the time period of each story.
Her newest self-pub is a unique book of poetry and art, which combines heartfelt poetry with pen-and-ink drawings.
Jan has written songs, poetry, short stories, screenplays, and novels.
She is passionate about her writing projects and is driven to tell a story with the hope that it might touch someone’s heart or life in a positive way. 

 

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-author-short story-voodoo or destiny-Jan Sikes-Amazon

Only 99¢! Click to purchase on Amazon.

My Review of Voodoo or Destiny: You Decide:

Claire’s husband asked for a divorce after confessing he was in love with another woman. Devastated she turned to her friend Jade who remained by her side to console her.

After polishing off two bottles of red wine, Jade, whose grandmother was one of New Orleans Voodoo Queens, convinces Claire to perform a mock Voodoo ritual ceremony. They dressed the part, lit red candles, and Claire even made a Voodoo doll from yarn, fabric from one of her husband’s shirts, spare buttons, and her husband’s blond hair, retrieved from his comb. Then, she stabbed two pushpins right through the doll’s heart.

The next morning Claire received an alarming phone call which made her and her friend rush out of the house. What happens next will surprise you and you’ll have to decide, was it Voodoo or destiny?

I’d recommend this story to anyone who enjoys fun, quick reads.

 

Connect with Jan Sikes on Social Media:

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

BLOG

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE


The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega- Vashti Q-author-dl finn-red eyes in the darkness-short story-amazon

Author D. L. Finn

Bio:

D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include children’s books, adult fiction, a unique autobiography, and poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

 

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-author-dl finn-red eyes in the darkness-amazon

Click on image to get your 99¢ copy on Amazon.

My Review of Red Eyes in the Darkness:

This well-written short story hooked me from the beginning and kept me at the edge of my seat with its perfect amount of delectable tension in every page.

Cass and her husband, Will were wrongfully accused and arrested for the murder of her sister. In time, they were released for lack of evidence but the damage had already been done. Family and friends no longer wanted anything to do with them and kept away.

During a visit to Cass and Will’s home, Ronald, Cass’s brother-in-law confessed to having killed her sister and threatened to do the same to them.

Cass and Will immediately called the police and informed them of everything Ronald told them but the police didn’t believe them. Ronald was a well-liked and respected individual and he had already gone to the police to tell them awful lies about the older couple. He was the one who framed them and spread rumors about them to family and friends.

Cass and Will were in a terrible predicament but they were not alone. Someone was helping them and it wasn’t the police.

I recommend this riveting short story to lovers of the supernatural.

Connect with D.L. Finn on Social Media:

TWITTER

BLOG

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

**For more information on the authors click on their pictures or social media site. For more information on their books click on the book image or Amazon Author Page.

 

Enjoy the week, my friends!

Poetry Friday ~ Clear & Nature

2 Aug

Hi, everyone! Welcome.

 

August sort of crept up on me this year. My AC is working doubly hard since it’s sweltering hot outside. Thank God for afternoon showers to cool things off. August is a big month in my family because my sisters and I all have birthdays this month. We even have a couple of cousins born in August too.

Anyway, today I wanted to talk a little about book covers and the genre of your book. Do you think book covers are important? What should book covers actually do? I believe that book covers are important because they’re the first impression your book makes on the reader. I know there’s a saying, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ but many people do. I’ve actually heard people say that they can tell the difference between a traditionally published author and an indie author by the book cover. :/

Of course, what’s most important to me is the content inside but first, you have to attract the reader to your book. An intriguing cover will tempt the reader to pick up your book and once the book is in his or her hand the next natural thing to do is to turn it around and read the blurb and that’s when you hook them with your fabulous writing. A good cover needs to grab attention immediately, be striking, beautiful, clean and professionally made, but also let readers know instantly the basic genre.

The reader should know whether your book is a fantasy, horror, romance, sci-fi . . . by looking at your book cover. The cover also often convey the geographical locations and the main character’s age and sex which is also important.

I can’t stand it when a book misrepresents itself. Call me crazy. Also, and this may seem random, let me mention that the categories on Amazon are getting more and more ambiguous every day. It’s getting hard to figure out a book’s genre. I understand that putting general categories like Fantasy, Romance or Horror alone is not good for the Amazon algorithms but some people get so creative with these categories that they’re confusing the heck out of some people (including me).

If you wrote a horror book and there are ghosts and witches in your story then Kindle store>Horror>Witches>Ghosts are great categories, but I’ve seen some weird combinations that don’t make sense and it’s obvious that the author did it to climb up the ranks. And I’m telling you, your book may come up in the ranks at first, but readers are not going to be happy when they think they’re getting a romance novel and instead are getting hardcore erotica.

I found a great article that can help you make the most of the Amazon Categories while still representing your book accurately. Read this and you’ll thank me later. How To (Ethically) Hack Amazon Categories | David Gaughran

Okay, the bottomline is to be honest about the genre of your work and make sure your book cover, blurb and Amazon Categories clearly represent that genre.

**Check out the book covers below. I’m sure you can’t mistake their genres. If you’re interested in more info. about a book click on its image.

horror-Ellie Douglas-genre-Amazon_algorithm-Vashti Quiroz Vega- Vashti Q-Poetry Friday

 

Your book’s genre should

be expressed plainly or

readers won’t like it

 

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In honor of my birthday, both books in my Fantasy Angels Series are on sale, through the weekend, for 99¢! Please take advantage of my birthday special and spread the word. Thank you!

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

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

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

Happy Friday and thanks for the visit! 

Shadow of the Drill by Rhani D’Chae

29 Jul

Hello, everyone! Welcome!

 

Today, I’m happy to feature on my blog the wonderful and extremely talented author, Rhani D’Chae. Rhani is a fellow member of Rave Reviews Book Club and I recently read her book, Shadow of the Drill: Born of Circumstance, Bred for Revenge and really enjoyed it. I’m sharing my review of it as well as a little information about Rhani D’Chae.

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A little about Rhani:

Rhani D’Chae is a visually disabled writer who was born and raised in Tacoma, WA. Because of her failing eyesight, she no longer reads as much as she used to, but she does enjoy falling into the worlds created by other Indie authors as often as her vision will allow. Shadow of the Drill is her first published novel and is the first in a series that revolves around an unrepentant enforcer and the violent life that he leads.

She enjoys chatting with readers and fellow writers via Social Media sites and loves getting comments and other input from those who have read her work. She is on Facebook and Twitter. Also, if you have the time, please stop by her blog: rhanidchae.wordpress.com.

Ms. D’Chae is currently working on Winter of the Drill and hopes to have it completed soon.

Check out Rhani’s blog to see what she’s up to. She shares a bit about her upcoming novel Winter of the Drill here.

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Blurb:

A Gritty and Violent Thriller.

A brutal experience transforms an unproven young tough into a ruthless killing machine.
For fifteen years he waited, building his body into an unstoppable weapon so that vengeance would be had through the strength of his will and the power of his hands.

On the bloodstained streets of a northwestern city, the enforcer known as the Drill stalks his prey. Judge, Jury, and Executioner; he seeks out those who target the weak, condemning them to the kind of justice that has made him a legend.

Here’s my review (Goodreads & Amazon):

Shadow of the Drill by Rhani D’Chae is a suspense/thriller aimed at an adult audience. This kind of thriller is different from what I’m used to reading, but I found it just as enjoyable.

The characters are well developed and I enjoyed the friendship between Decker and Rudy. Although it was difficult for me to relate to their lifestyle I could relate to their love for one another and their need for revenge. A couple of scenes dragged a bit, one character’s function in the story was not clear to me, and I caught a few typos, but these issues did not interfere with my enjoyment of the story. For the most part, it is a well-written, thrilling, and entertaining book.

As a teen, Decker witnesses the brutal rape of a girl named Maria, the person he loves above all else. He tries to save her while risking his own life, but the three men assaulting her are out of his league and overpower him easily.

Although Maria survives, the violent attack leaves her in a comatose state and unable to function normally. Decker visits her regularly at the hospital, but he is guilt-ridden and seething and swears to take revenge on the men who did this to her.

This experience triggers a change in Decker. He builds his body, gains muscle mass, and learns to fight, ensuring that he will never be helpless again. He becomes the Drill, a fearsome and vicious enforcer who will stop at nothing to get vengeance on the men who ruined Maria’s life—and his. Will Decker get his revenge? Or will this maddening thirst for retaliation consume him and ruin his chances of a happy life with a good woman?

This gritty story is about love, friendship, and revenge. I recommend this book to fans of revenge thrillers, crime drama, and violent/dark fiction.

Rhani D'Chae-indie-author-thriller-Decker-shadow of the drill-book_blogger-RRBC

Visit Rhani D’Chae’s Amazon Author Page and check out all her books.

 

 

Thank you for stopping by today. Have a great week!

 

 

 

Poetry Friday ~ Kind & Shift

26 Jul

Hello, everyone! Thanks for stopping by!

 

Can people really change? Is there an age limit? Can a person be too old to become their best self?

I understand we’re all born with certain characteristics and traits inherited from our parents and other family members but aren’t our personalities also molded by how we grew up? Our environment? Our education?

I woke up this morning thinking about this; can a person after years of being a certain way suddenly change? Or is it too late for some?

I believe personality can change, especially over time. Using myself as an example, I know I’ve become more responsible and emotionally stable as I’ve gotten older. In addition, events in my life have caused changes in my attitude and character traits. I’ve also made choices through the years to change certain aspects of my personality. Does that mean I’m a perfect saint? Absolutely not––but I’m working on it.

I also believe that adults can change their character, no matter their age if they see that the present way they conduct themselves holds them back or causes them losses or harm. Your personality isn’t hardwired or a matter of genetics. I sense that our human nature is complex, yet capable of growth. You may differ in opinion and that’s okay.

So, what is the (my) bottom line? Unless you have a genuine personality disorder you can change and even those people with personality disorders can change if they seek treatment.

So there you have it. Whatever you believe there’s no excuse for being unkind or intolerant––you can change your behavior and way of thinking and be the best version of yourself.

 

Today I wrote two Cinquain poems. I hope you enjoy. 

 

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BEFORE . . .

 

Before

I was someone

I didn’t want to be

I was sad, lost, and invisible

I changed

Before

I became strong

I knew what it was like

to be weak and undeserving

I changed

 

Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-change-poem-cinquain-be the change

 

 

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

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

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

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Poetry Friday ~ HOME

19 Jul

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog!

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FOR THE MIDDLE OF THE MONTH POETRY CHALLENGE COLLEEN CHESEBRO WANTS US TO TRY SOMETHING NEW – A PHOTO PROMPT!

**USE THE ABOVE PHOTO AS THE INSPIRATION FOR YOUR POEM. ASK YOURSELF QUESTIONS AND TELL A STORY. BE CREATIVE! WHAT DOES THIS PHOTO SAY TO YOU?

 

“Where is home? Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart’s tears can dry at their own pace.”

~Vernon Baker

 

 

Home Is Where We Love

Beyond the black door

there are rooms and furniture

tastefully arranged

A home built with love and dreams

The sweetest sort of heaven

 

“There is a magic in that little world, home; it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits.”

~Robert Southey

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Poetry Friday ~ Pretty & Ugly

12 Jul

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog. 

 

 

Did you know that the average life of a butterfly is around two weeks? Some species only live a day or two and other species are capable of living around nine months. It makes me sad to think that such a beautiful creature’s life is so short.

On the other hand, Cockroaches are filthy, immortal scavengers that are unaffected by radiation. In a post-apocalyptic world, it will be these dirty little critters that survive. Okay, they’re not really immortal but when you read facts like: a roach can live a week without its head, you begin to wonder. The truth is that as long as there is shelter and food, cockroaches can comfortably live in a home or business for years, creating massive infestations.

Anyway, the average moth can live up to five weeks. Some people see moths as the butterfly’s ugly cousin. I’m not sure that’s true, since I’ve heard of some species of moths that are quite beautiful.

This week’s poem is a double Tanka. I hope you enjoy.

 

Poetry_Friday-envy-butterfly-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-Tanka_Tuesday-Colleen Chesebro

 

Pride & Envy

As a butterfly

you wore your wings high with pride

looking down on worms

forgetting what you once were

a crawling caterpillar

No plain butterflies

just lovely flowers in flight

while the moth looks on

Counting the days to their end

Death comes in a week or two

Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-poem-tanka-pride-envy

 

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

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

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

 

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read. I appreciate it. Have a great day!

Poetry Friday ~ Plan & Spend

28 Jun

Hi, everyone! Welcome. I appreciate your visit.

 

Vashti Quiroz Vega-the writer next door-author-Poetry_Friday-narcissist-Poetry-narcissism-personality disorder

 

 

A Nonet . . . 

Narcissist

You made me doubt my own sanity

with your consuming gas-lighting.

I am tired of your methods.

I spent my entire life

trying to please you.

A person with

a twisted

disease.

Sad.

Poetry Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-the writer next door-narcissistic personality disorder-Poetry

 

Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder

  • Grandiose sense of self-importance. …

  • Lives in a fantasy world that supports their delusions of grandeur. …

  • Needs constant praise and admiration. …

  • Sense of entitlement. …

  • Exploits others without guilt or shame. …

  • Frequently demeans, intimidates, bullies, or belittles others.

*Tips for spotting and coping with a Narcissist

 

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

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

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

Is there a Narcissist in your life? How do you cope with a person who has a narcissistic personality disorder? Have you had a run-in with a true Narcissist? I’d love to read your insights in the comments below.

Poetry Friday ~ Influence & Perception

21 Jun

Poetry_Friday-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q-Tanka Tuesday-Colleen Chesebro-Poetry

Welcome, everyone! Thank you for visiting.

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

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

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

tanka tuesday-colleen chesebro-poetry challenge-Poetry-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q

When your soul is bared

the judgment of others is

so often unfair.

Don’t let their opinions

control the way you reason.

You’re criticized by

what makes you unique––

opinions, not facts. 

You know you’re doing something

right when people are talking.

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