Poetry Friday ~ Beginning & Consume

14 Jun

Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-the writer next door-Vashti Q-New York_City-big apple-poem-Tanka Tuesday

 I mentioned my trip to New York City in my previous post, so I thought I’d share a few pictures this week. Although I enjoyed my visit to NYC, the huge crowds, hurried pace, peculiar smells, and loudness was not for me. At first, it was exciting but after about six days I was over it. Like the saying goes, NYC is a great place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. Of course, millions (8.623 million (2017)) of people live there and love it and that includes my sister Kathy––to each his own.

I would definitely visit again because there are so many amazing things to see and do. If you’ve never been I do recommend you go at least once. You won’t be disappointed.

Beginning and Consume 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.

 

Hurrying Human Tides

 

New York

The Big Apple

Fast walkers devour streets

My leisurely Miami pace

annoys

St Patrick’s Cathedral seemed incongruous in the midst of the surrounding modern skyscrapers. I was mesmerized by this palatial church’s architecture and luxurious adornments.

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We saw King Kong on Broadway and we loved it! I was so impressed with the puppeteers. They controlled every facial gesture and movement the giant ape made and they almost disappeared into the shadows on the stage as they did so, except in times when they wanted you to see them––it was fascinating.

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Another thrilling part of my trip was visiting the New York Public Library. What an iconic building! The literary treasures they must have stashed away in there. There were special areas where the public could not enter, so of course, my imagination went crazy wondering what literary masterpieces must be hidden from the masses.

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Well, I hope you enjoyed my Cinquain poem and the NYC pictures I shared. Thank you for stopping by and have a happy Friday!

 

Poetry Friday ~ My NYC Vacation

7 Jun

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I’m back from my vacation in New York City and I think I need a vacation from my vacation––phew! Ha, ha! NYC is a great place to visit, there’s always lots to do and when you’re there you want to do it all. The weather, for the most part, was beautiful which was conducive to walking and exploring. One of my sisters, Kathy lives in Brooklyn (Bayridge) which is one of the boroughs of New York City, so we stayed two days with her and the rest of the time in a hotel in Manhattan. We still saw Kathy almost every day because she would take a train and meet us.

We had some unforgettable moments in NYC, from exploring my sister’s neighborhood, cruising the New York Bay to walking the streets of Manhattan it was an amazing trip. Here are some of the highlights.

BookCon

New York Public Library (this is no ordinary public library)

Yacht Sunset Cruise on the Bay

Arts & Craft Fair at Bryant Park

King Kong on Broadway

Godzilla in 4D

St Patrick’s Cathedral

I’ll share pictures in later posts. In the meantime, I do have some up on Instagram if you’d like to check them out.

And don’t get me started on the food! Italian food is my favorite and you can find the best Italian cuisine in NYC. Angelo’s Italian Restaurant on Broadway right next to The Late Show has traditional NY style Coal-Oven Pizza and a full menu of Italian cuisine––mamma mìa! (This is a shoutout, not an ad)

Now you know why we chose to walk so much. The truth is that my favorite part of the trip was the unforgettable moments I spent with my husband, sister and I got together with one of my cousins too. Making these wonderful lasting memories with my loved ones was everything.

 

The best things in life

are not things, they are moments

we share with loved ones

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Have you been to NYC? What was your favorite part of the trip?

Poetry Friday ~ Random Acts Of Kindness

17 May

Hi, everyone! 

 

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This week has been “Random Acts of Kindness” week at the Rave Reviews Book Club and I must tell you it’s been an amazing week filled with love, generosity, and numerous selfless acts. I’ve never been happier or more proud to be a member of the RRBC because I’m surrounded by extremely talented, kind, and unselfish people. I’d like to thank Nonnie Jules, the founder of the club, her supporting staff, Tweet Support Team, sponsors, and all the members that participated in this event and have shown me love all year round. A sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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T  Author D.L. Finn (Blog)

H Natalie Ducey & Designs (Blog)

A Suzanne Burke (Amazon Author Page)

N Join The Adventure! | Author, Karl J. Morgan (Blog)

K Fiction Favorites with Author, John Howell (Blog)

 

Y Scribblings of a Southern Belle | Marlena Smith (Blog)

O Gordon Bickerstaff (Amazon Author Page)

U Books and Music | Author, Jan Sikes (Blog)

 

V THE INDIE SPOT! | Author, Beem Weeks (Blog)

E Flossie Benton Rogers, Author | Conjuring the Magic (Blog)

R M. J. Mallon YA/Paranormal Author (Blog)

Y Wendy Scott Award-Winning Writer of Fantasy & Books for Children (Blog)

 

M Stephen Geez.com (Author Blog)

U My Independent Editor | Susan A. Hughes (Blog)

C Lizzie Chantree (Amazon Author Page)

H Emotional Shadows | Author, Balroop Singh (Blog)

 

M The Showers of Blessings | Author Miriam Hurdle (Blog)

Y Author, Forrest Robert Stepnowski (Amazon Author Page)

 

F Reflections by Gwen M. Plano (Author Blog)

R The Long and Short Stories of Life | Author, Linda Mims (Blog)

I Writing What I See | Author, Charles W. Jones (Blog)

E Author, Joy Nwosu LoBamijoko (Amazon Author Page)

N Outshine Ovarian Cancer | Author, Karen Ingalls (Blog)

D Rhani And Friends | Author, Rhani D’Chae (Podcast)

S Our Lady of Victory Remembered! | Shirley Harris-Slaughter (Blog)

! Yvette M. Calleiro’s Author Blog 

! Mary Adler Writes (Author Blog)

 ♥

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Grateful for good friends

Their kindness, it knows no end

I’ll pay it forward

So that all can comprehend

What it’s like to have good friends

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Thanks for the visit! Enjoy the rest of the day!

 

 

 

Poetry Friday ~ Mother’s Day!

10 May

Hi, everyone and welcome!

Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.

In the USA Mother’s Day is always celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

Although the custom of setting aside a day to honor mothers has ancient roots, our observance of Mother’s Day mainly came about through the efforts of a devoted daughter, Anna M. Jarvis.

After the death of her own mother in 1905, Jarvis wanted to recognize the sacrifices mothers made for their children. She organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration in May 1908 at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia.

On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May Mother’s Day, and within a few years, the idea gained worldwide prominence.

Think about your mom as a person. What are some of her favorite things? What does she like to do? Show your mother you know her by choosing a thoughtful gift that she’s sure to like.

If you’re going to give your mom flowers make sure you give flowers that have meaning for her. You can also give her a plant if she has a green thumb.

Bring mom breakfast in bed! 30+ Mother’s Day Breakfast and Brunch Recipes

 

Peach Ginger Bellini Recipe

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Peach Ginger Bellini (Recipe by Tyler Florence)

Breakfast Tart With Pancetta and Green Onions Recipe

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Breakfast Tart With Pancetta and Green Onions (Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis)

Breakfast Lasagna Recipe

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Breakfast Lasagna (Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis)

Marmalade Muffins Recipe

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Marmalade Muffins (Recipe by Ree Drummond)

No one knows your mom better than you do, so do whatever you feel she would enjoy on this special day. 

Mother

savor your day

Croissants, quiche, cheese soufflé

Have a miracle for breakfast

Je t’aime

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Mother and Child by Gustav Klimt

To all you wonderful mothers out there have an unforgettable Mother’s Day! This also goes to women that have helped raise children and to moms of fur-babies (which is like having a child that never grows up). 

RRBC “Spotlight” Author Blog Tour ~ Charles W. Jones

7 May

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog.

 

I am a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club (#RRBC) and every month a “Spotlight” author is selected. I am thrilled to host this month’s “Spotlight” Author, so please welcome Charles W. Jones

Today Charles is sharing an excerpt from his horror book, Circus Tarot. I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

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BIO:

Charles W. Jones grew up in the small town Shoshoni, WY, and he managed to break free from its grasp with his soul intact. Growing up in a small town scared him to death most of the time. It’s very dark at night – really dark. To top it off, it is full of ghosts; well, that’s what Charles thought when he was a kid. Turns out it was just the constant wind blowing dirt and tumbleweeds. Two of Charles’ novels are set in Shoshoni, Dreamwalker: The Second Plain and HOME A Novel.

There isn’t a part of the horror genre Charles doesn’t like. He likes it creepy, filled with suspense, or even brutal with intense torture scenes. His favorite horror movies have always been the slasher movies; give him the gore. Clive Barker is Charles’ greatest influence but is also inspired by Lewis Carroll, Stephen King, and Frank Beddor. Real life is a large contributor to his writing, where he finds beauty in the most unexpected places.

Music has always been a great contributor to Charles’ life, by means of not only entertainment but the personal soundtrack. When he writes, he listens to different types of music to set the mood of the scene he is writing. Eurythmics will always be at the top of his playlist, but many other bands and genres occupy his mind.

 

 

About Circus Tarot

In the strange land of World Circus, Mary and Darrin discover they aren’t in their safe, dull life any longer, but have taken the identity of one of the cards from the Circus Tarot. After a terrorizing encounter, resulting in death, they learn the bizarre rules of the land and discover that the denizens of the sinister World Circus want more than to entertain them.

 

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I think there’s something special about Circus Tarot. Not only did I create a world, but I also created 78 cards to represent everything and everyone in it. Each has two personalities, depending on whether they are “flipped” or not. Some changes aren’t physically noticeable, like Moon when is present, you wouldn’t know from looking at him, but you’d feel insecure or unsure or even terrified. Flip him, and you find your way through the chaos without trouble. The following excerpt is about Nine of Buckets, the “wish card.”

 

Chapter 17

Mary pinned her hair into a tight bun. She was excited to have a full house tonight after only having the Midgets and Poles the previous night. Muffled applause wafted on the breeze to her trailer, alerting her Magician’s act was coming to a close. An elephant let off a trumpet, intensifying her titillation for Darrin to see her under the silvery light of Star. The elephants led the Wild Animal Extravaganza. After the animals came Empress and Emperor on the trapeze covered in Star’s inspiring illumination, then her magnificent performance. The Clowns closed the show.

Once again, after the Ladies and Gentlemen returned to their castle, the performers were allowed to do whatever they chose now that the curfew and treaty had been lifted, and she and Darrin had the chance to spend the night however they wished.

She heard whispering and lewd giggles outside her trailer. She leaned to the side to look through the window slats. A few Clowns passed the window. They acted stranger than usual this afternoon. She wrinkled her nose, looking back into the mirror; her hair looked fantastic.

Scraping at the end of the trailer distracted her from her reflection. She turned her head, wondering what it was. She stood and went to the door. Outside, the Clowns had become restless. They were flipped, and no longer forced to maintain control of their primal needs. Mary hoped they held back until after the show, but it seemed they wanted to play now.

Nine of Buckets walked around the trailer. His thick fingernails scraped the pink paint from the walls. He smelled High Priestess, and it hungered him. The Ace had said she and Knight of Foils were his. It wasn’t fair, why did he get first dibs? Besides, didn’t she belong to Devil? He stopped at the door, seeing her silhouette in the frosted glass slats of the jalousie window. His swollen lips formed into a pucker, and he whistled.

“Don’t be a pervo, Nine,” she said, rolling her eyes. “I’m not ready for you to take me to World Tent yet.”

The sound of her voice made his hunger grow. Licking his full lips, he thought of his teeth nibbling her supple flesh, then ripping and pulling it from the bone.

“I thought you’d wish to see your fantabulous man before you performed.” He laughed.

“What a marvelous idea,” she replied to the happy thought. “Let me grab my wrap, and we’ll go.”

Nine of Buckets mocked her, mouthing back what she had said, tilting his head side-to-side, then muttered, “Stupid bitch.”

She turned the knob. He licked his lips. Her eyebrow pencil rolled across the vanity, then fell to the floor. She turned her head, watching it roll toward her. She released the doorknob, squatting to take the pencil. With the pencil back in the cup with make-up brushes and combs, the door slowly swung open.

Nine of Buckets watched the door move toward him and stepped back. His heart accelerated with anticipation, expecting her to step outside. Any second now. He squinted. Why hadn’t she come out of her trailer? He waited another second. Confused, he eased himself to the door and peered in. Gone. Where was she? He looked around spastically.

“What is the meaning of this, Magician?” she demanded outside World Tent.

“The House of Buckets is completely flipped,” he warned. “And I’m afraid they meant you harm, High Priestess.”

“Oh, well, I see. Thank you.”

“No need to thank me,” he replied. “Devil sent me to check on you.”

She stared at him without further word, and he vanished in a puff of smoke. Pulling open the side of World Tent, she peered in. He had delivered her to the First Ring entrance while her horses were at the Center Ring entrance. She saw the side of the risers and turned heads watching the lions and tigers and…she smirked.

Following the corridor behind the grandstands toward the Center Ring entrance, she watched pieces of popcorn fall like snow. Shadows jumped and bounced around her from the Ladies and Gentlemen above.

“Fab-u-rific to see you, High Priestess,” the Clown said.

She froze in her tracks. In the lattice of the grandstands’ under-workings, an exuberant Clown smiled at her. She squeaked.

“Oh, how horrific of me to startle you,” Fool apologized. “I must be a sight, what with the House of Buckets being flipped and all.”

“It’s OK. I just didn’t expect anyone to be back here.” She paused, looking him over. The dancing shadows made his orange and purple striped pajamas pulsate. “What are you doing in there?”

“I’m rehearsing my tightrope routine,” he replied in a stern Clown tone.

She looked down at the pink-fuzzy slippers on his feet balancing on a rope: his white-with-pink, polka-dot parasol dangled from his left hand.

“Why don’t you do it in the rehearsal arena?”

He looked at her with disappointed disbelief.

“What?”

“You want me dead.”

“No, I—”

“If I were to fall from this height,” he interrupted. “It’d be certain death for me.” Her eyes returned to the tightrope. It stood no more than a foot from the ground. “In here, if I feel woe-belly, I can grab hold of the rails or crossbars.”

“Uh, all right,” she said, shaking her head. “Well, carry on then.”

“Thank you, High Priestess.” Fool grinned. “Have a funnerific night.”

She smiled back at him, continuing her journey. A partially eaten fluff of cotton candy floated down in front of her. She looked up to see a small girl glaring down. She winked, putting her finger to her mouth to keep the girl quiet.

She looked behind her at the curve of the grandstand’s backside, never realizing how far it was to the Center Ring entrance. I haven’t passed it, have I? She thought. Nine of Buckets stepped from the folds of World Tent a short distance away. She stopped, fear attacking her. His hands twitched at his sides.

“There you are,” he said, his puffy lips barely moving when he spoke. “I thought you wished for me to be your escort as always.”

“Well, I thought so, too,” she replied, looking for a way to get past him. “Then Magician whisked me away without my consent.” She choked out a laugh.

She saw his demeanor was not his usual joviality. He appeared tense. His eyes were dark. The puffiness of his full lips was taught, making the red grease paint crack. The Clown shook as though he were detoxing. She swallowed hard.

“It’s OK, High Priestess.” His voice cracked. “I can take you the rest of the way. Your wish is my command.”

She forced a smile. “Since I’m almost there already, you don’t need to.”

“I insist.” He quivered.

She stared at him without moving. His pink tongue slipped between his lips, quickly, sweeping across them. He shuffled toward her. Her pulse quickened. She willed her legs to move, but they did not respond. He came closer, his breath harsh and body shaking.

Finally, her legs realized the urgency of flight, and she turned, running. The layers of her sheer dress ruffled in her propulsion. She reached the First Ring entrance in no time, and without looking back to see where Nine of Buckets was, she shot into the Circus grounds at the back of World Tent.

She hoped for a chance to stop and catch her breath once she had made it outside, but to her dismay, other Buckets were lurking there. Deciding her trailer to be safest place wait out the Clown revolt, she kept up her pace. Possessed laughter followed as she ran to the trailers. Ahead, Knight of Tokens glared up at Knight of Buckets.

“Stop it now and get ready for your act,” the Token yelled with a gravelly voice.

She skidded to a stop in the gravel, her shoes erupting a dust cloud. The Knights looked in her direction. Her eyes bounced around as she decided what to do. She ran towards the main Circus entrance, then veered back towards the area where the high fence opened to the Poles area. Wicked laughter pushed her to move faster. Running past the House of Poles’ campfire, she shot into the woods. Moon’s reflection glittered in Meeting of Wood Lake, but she didn’t stop to take in the sights.

 

Don’t forget to get your copy of Circus Tarot at Amazon.

 

Connect with Charles W. Jones on social media:

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE

 

Thank you for stopping by and have a great day!

 

Poetry Friday ~ Sodom And Gomorrah

3 May

Hello, everyone! Welcome to The Writer Next Door blog.

 

I’d like to share a beautiful poem written by Poet, Gary Bryson. This poem goes so well with one of the chapters in my book, Son of the Serpent, I decided to share a short excerpt taken from this chapter. I hope you enjoy the poem and the excerpt. 

 

Sodom And Gomorrah

by Gary Bryson

 

Surely there’s a righteous man,
Surely there’s a few.
Lord surely some would keep their Faith,
And trust alone in You.

As Sodom and her sisters,
Lie prosperous on the plain,
So surely there are ten or more,
Who still call on your name.

Preserve them Lord, preserve them,
Before it is too late.
I know there must be eight or more,
Who trust your Holy state.

Deliver Lord, deliver,
From judgment’s righteous call.
If there be only six or more,
Would you deliver all?

I feel Your anger kindled Lord,
And evil cannot win.
If I can find you four or more,
Will You forget this sin?

So be it Lord, So be it,
Justice demands your wrath.
You never change or compromise,
They freely chose their path.

Surely there’s a righteous man,
Lord, maybe there are two.
Is there only one who keeps his faith,
Alone I trust in You.

 

 

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Illustration by Jonas Åkerlund (gerezon) DeviantArt

 

 In this chapter Dracúl’s search for Lilith brought him to Sodom, a damned city. This city along with the city of Gomorrah had been targeted for destruction by God. Messenger Angels came to warn the only righteous man in Sodom, Lot, to leave the city at once lest he and his family be destroyed along with the Lilituens and demons that reside there.

Dracúl had met Lot’s daughter, Plitith outside the city gates where she broke Sodom law by feeding the poor, sick and starving people who had been banished to the desert outside the city to die. He gave her all the food and water in his possession to help and afterward she invited him to her home where he heard God’s messengers warn her family to leave the city of Sodom at once or die. Dracúl decided to help Plitith and her family escape before it was too late.

 

 

Excerpt from Son of the Serpent:

 

I put my arm around Plitith, and we hurried out of the city. The moment we traversed the gates, they closed behind us, with the deafening groan and clank of bolts sliding into place, as if God Himself had bolted them shut.

      Lot led us in the direction the angels had told him to go. At first we ran and then walked as fast as we could. Lot held a shroud over his wife and younger daughter’s heads, trying to shield them from whatever was happening behind us. The look of discontent on Lot’s wife’s face concerned me. I was compelled to remind them of the angels’ warning again.

      “Let’s not forget what God’s messengers told us,” I said, watching Lot’s wife. “Do not look back toward Sodom, no matter what you hear.” I pressed Plitith closer to me, and we continued our escape.

      Before we got much farther, a thunderous growl made the ground beneath our feet tremble. Plitith gasped and Lot held his wife and youngest daughter closer as they screamed.

      “Keep moving!” I rushed, pushing Plitith along as Lot and the others lagged behind. “You must move faster!” I was no longer a child who jumped at the smallest noises, but the sounds we heard would bring the bravest man to his knees.

      Lot hurried and ran beside us, pushing his young daughter along ahead of him as we hastened toward the mountains. I kept an eye on Lot’s wife. She peered over her shoulder several times, and then she pulled away from Lot, stopped in her tracks, and looked back at the city of Sodom.

      “No, no, no!” Lot cried as he reached for her, but his daughter did not let him go to her. He fell to the ground and sobbed while she tried to lift him.

      “Help your sister and father. Do not look back or allow them to turn,” I whispered to Plitith.

She held on to me and shook her head. “Do not fear. I will not look.”

      I toddled backward until I was beside his wife. She looked frozen––pale and motionless, her eyes fixed on the city of Sodom. I moved back further to stand before her, my back to the city. I waved my hand in front of her eyes, but they did not blink.

      Then I heard a soft crackling and hissing coming from below. I crouched next to her legs and looked. Her body, beginning with her feet, altered before my eyes, transforming into tiny, colorless crystals. A briny scent wafted into my nostrils and burned. She had turned into a statue of salt. I scrambled to my feet and reached out to touch her neck with one shaking finger. I gasped as she crumbled before me.

      “Dracúl, help us!” Plitith and her sister were trying to get their father off the ground, where he lay facedown sobbing. I ran to them and helped get him to his feet.

      The sun burned orange and sank, and the moon threw its shadow to the earth. “We must hurry.” I took the youngest and put her ahead of us. Lot walked with faltering steps, swaying and tottering as he wailed, so Plitith and I put our arms around him and dragged him along.

      “What of my mother?” Her voice was soft and brittle. Lot and her sister turned their sights to me, also waiting for an answer.

      “She perished the instant her eyes gazed upon Sodom. Her body changed into a sort of crystalline mixture––salt. She was converted into a statue of salt. She crumbled to the ground before me and was carried away by the wind.” Shocked faces stared back at me, and then they wept in silence.

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Thanks for stopping by and have a happy day!

Poetry Friday ~ The Muse

26 Apr

Hello, everyone!

I’m happy to announce that I’ve finally reached the halfway point of my WIP. I take my time with the first draft because I’m setting down the foundation of my story and I don’t want to come back later and have to rewrite half of it or switch a bunch of things around. I could really use my muse’s help during this process but I can’t wait for her to come around on a whim. She’s a capricious little bitch. I’ve learned the hard way that muses are too unreliable and that inspiration comes from hard work and focus.

 

 

The Muse

 

I’m a playful ghost

teasing your sense of wonder

I will inspire you

if to do so is my will

Fact is I won’t be summoned 

 

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Today I thought I would mention some of the places in my Fantasy Angels Series, along with some of the supporting characters and other beings introduced in Son of the Serpent.

“Son of the Serpent features a conflict of phenomenal proportions, characters that are richly developed and compelling, and a skillfully designed plot that keeps the reader turning the pages. I loved every bit of the narrative, especially the author’s unique phraseology and clarity of expression.” ––Readers’ Favorite

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FLORAISON by Jeff Brown

 

Dracúl is the main character in “Son of the Serpent” and Lilith is the villain in the book. Interspersed chapters in Dracúl’s voice and chronicles in Lilith’s voice divide the book.

 

There are three realms of Heaven:

 

Heaven Most High Where God resides.

 

Metá Heaven  Where God’s presence could be reached in His throne room. Only by His expressed permission could one cross the portal to this level of heaven. It is in the throne room God passed laws and judgments.

 

Floraison The lowest realm of Heaven. A paradise where angels are born.

 

Different dimensions separate these realms and only God traveled between them as He pleased.

 

*Hell, also known as Netherworld, Sheol or Underworld is also divided into complex levels and realms.

 

 

Sila:

She is one of Lilith’s three close allies. She is an intelligent and cunning jinn with the ability to shift into human and animal forms, with the exception of wolves. Wolves are her foes. Her father was a fallen angel who fought in Lilith’s army during the war in Heaven. Her mother was a fallen angel who, upon arriving on Earth, was transformed into ifrit jinn.

 

Gremory:

He was a fallen angel who fought by Lilith’s side in the battle in Heaven. He was a four-winged cherub before he was cast out of Floraison. When he landed on Earth he changed into a vile creature—half demon, half wolf. He can transform into human form. Although he is male he prefers to take the form of fetching young women.

 

Asmodeus:

He is another one of Lilith’s allies. He was a fallen angel who had also fought in the war in Heaven in Lilith’s legion. He, like Gremory, was a loyal four-winged angel. Asmodeus was beautiful, powerful, and capable of flying and running at high speeds in Floraison. Upon crashing to Earth, he transmuted into a creature so hideous to look upon that doing so made tendrils of terror curl in your stomach and bile rise to your mouth.

 

Artemisia:

She was a beautiful and powerful woman. She was the granddaughter of one of Lilith’s many demon servants. Her grandfather was a reckless fool who slaughtered his entire family. She managed to kill him and escape the slaughter. She lived on the streets when Lilith took her in as an apprentice. Artemisia was eleven years old and already lethal. After being beaten and raped many times, she learned how to defend herself. Lilith recruited her because she saw much potential in her. Artemisia became the Persian king’s highest-ranking advisor and Grand Admiral and leader of the Persian Fleet. She was the most powerful person in Persia barring the king, and she lived like a queen.

 

Kailash Seers:

These were powerful beings born with the gift of sight. These creatures could invoke visions with incantations and contact. Their power of sight was much stronger than that of Lilith’s. Seers are cave dwellers with a taste for human flesh. The Kailash Seers are the oldest and most powerful of the species. With one touch they would be able to see more than your future. These creatures are known to be treacherous. They are never alone. There are usually three or more together in a cave. They also have the ability to drain one of their powers.

 

Princess Aini:

She is a stunning young woman daughter to the King of Persia. She is intelligent, charming, and innocent to the evils of the world. Before meeting Dracúl she spent a lot of time with her nose in books and daydreaming of adventures and romance. The princess was promised to a prince from a neighboring kingdom but she fell in love with Dracúl.

 

Orc Demons:

These creatures are the lowest form of demons, animalistic and dim. They had the distinct odor of flatulence mingled with sulfur and the stench of decomposed bodies. These demons took pleasure inflicting fear and pain onto others. It made them stronger. They had no sexual preference––man, woman, child, animal. It was all the same to them. They had no conscience, no morals. They are not known for leaving their victims alive.

 

Aurora:

She is a woman of otherworldly beauty. Her smile could tickle your heart, and make you want to dance with glee at the sight of it. Her hair is a resplendent silvery-white and waist long. Her skin is smooth and flawless like the finest alabaster. She is quite tall for a woman, and her eyes are said to be of many colors, like the sky near sunset. Staring into her eyes could put you in a dream state. Her father is a Watcher, an angel sent to live amongst the creatures on Earth to observe them. She received many of his gifts, and he taught her much. She was a well-known and powerful oracle.

 

The Dark World:

A world located in a different dimension from the world of man. He who visits there will be filled with true awareness and gain the ability to understand with perfect clarity the suffering he had inflicted on his victims. One by one his victims would appear before him, and he would understand and feel the anguish and pain he had caused them and their loved ones.

 

The World of Light:

This is another world located in a different dimension and it was white and bright. The landscape was dreamlike, unnatural and eerie. The sky was white with a hint of pink, and only the subtle hint of color differentiated it from the landscape. There was no contrast between the ground, landscape, and sky. Everything was bright and blinding––and clear. There were no shadows to blur your ugliness. The astonishing hideousness of a depraved soul would be displayed with great clarity. In this world, you saw yourself exactly as you are inside and out.

son of the serpent-fantasy angels series-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-novel-fantasy-dark_fiction-fallen angels-demons-lilith-gadreel-book_tour

Characters so life-like they fly off the page.

Happy

Happ◊

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

virtual_book_tour-son of the serpent-melanie delon-art-novel-fantasy-vashti quiroz vega

Illustration by Melanie Delon

 

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

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

Who falls in love with a ghost?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“Then you must nourish yourself, Abigail.”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

She took my hand as we began our stroll.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

“I must leave now.”

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Illustration by AStoKo

 

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

PART 2

PART 3 – FINALE

Book Cover Reveal: Whatever It Takes by S. Burke

9 Apr

S. Burke-Cover Reveal-new_book-thriller-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-vashti quiroz vega-author-blog

Hello, everyone! Please join me in giving a red carpet welcome to the very talented Author, S. Burke. Today S. “Suzanne” Burke will be revealing the book cover of her latest novel “Whatever It Takes” on my blog! I am thrilled and can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. I was one of Suzanne’s beta readers and I can tell you that this is a good one. I can’t wait to read it again. So, without further ado, I will hand things over to her. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Whatever It Takes

by S.Burke

Available to Pre-Order NOW.

At the special Pre-order price of $0.99c
Release Date: May 8th, 2019
>Psychological > Thriller & Suspense >.

It is such an exciting time for an author when releasing a new book! I would be remiss in not sharing my heartfelt thanks to the marvelous people who gave of their time so readily to beta read my latest book. Their valuable insights helped me enormously when crafting “Whatever It Takes” A big thank you to my wonderful editor and friend Rich Bowden @Bowden_Writing

At long last, I’m able to share the cover and blurb for “Whatever It Takes” my latest Psychological Thriller. “Whatever It Takes ” is due for release on May 8th, 2019.

It is NOW available for Pre-Order at the special Pre-Order price of $0:99

I have many good friends sharing this cover across the blogosphere today and tomorrow, so you’re likely to see it pop up in various places. Thank you to the marvelously generous hosts participating in my cover reveal splash, and to everyone dropping by to share in my excitement. Here’s my new baby . . .

With much gratitude to Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khaleesi for the cover creation.

Cover Created by Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khalessi

And now the cover

cover reveal-S. Burke-whatever it takes-new_book-thriller-suspense

BOOK BLURB

James Kincaid had it all.

He’d made it the ‘A’ list in Hollywood, a town that prized and idolized its winners above all else.

Then life began exacting a price that no man could be expected to pay as the people he cared about began dying and dying badly.

He couldn’t move on with the dream without knowing why.

Andi O’Connor is the woman he’s hired to do ‘whatever it takes’ to find him the answers.

Could this disenchanted, street-hardened, ex-homicide cop uncover the truth without adding to the growing list of those already sacrificed on the altar of a serial killer’s insanity?

From New York to Los Angeles the body count continues to rise.

Time is not on their side.

***

Prologue.

James Kincaid had long held to the belief that the red carpet he’d walked so often was stained that color with the blood of all those that had bled on the journey to satisfy their heady and addictive dreams of fame.

He’d shed more than his own fair share to get there. He hated the dream destruction, as much as he understood it. This town drew dreamers from every place on the planet, all in need of completion, all hungry for fame and holding on for dear life to the belief that it was only a matter of time before their artistic genius was recognized. No other drug ever gave them that high pulsing adrenaline rush that you soon became reliant on and addicted to. Those first glimpses of recognition hit harder than heroin. Until even those with a strong moral compass became lost.

Lady Luck had become his constant companion only five years before. After twelve years struggling to make headway in the business he became the latest ‘overnight’ sensation, winning the coveted role in what was tipped strongly to be the next ‘big thing’. He knew he could do justice to the part and that knowledge became abundantly clear as the audition cameras rolled.

James Kincaid found himself launched into the stratosphere. This was the only game in town and he was now a lead player.

He was feted and celebrated, pimped out and postured until the day when everything in his world fell into an oxygen-deprived free fall as people he cared about started dying from anything but natural causes.

**

Pre-Order Whatever It Takes HERE on Amazon

Suzanne Burke Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

On Facebook.

My Blog

Thank you so much for joining in my excitement. Your support is very much appreciated.

I would be delighted to hear your thoughts and comments below.

cover reveal-S. Burke-whatever it takes-new_book-thriller-suspense

Poetry Friday

5 Apr

Hello, my friends! I hope it’s been a happy day so far.

 

This week I was inspired by my friend, Annette Rochelle Aben to try a Shadorma.  The Shadorma is alleged to be a Spanish poetic form but no one knows for sure where it originated from. It’s made up of a stanza of six lines.  It is a syllabic poem with a meter of 3-5-3-3-7-5.  It’s a fun and simple form with an enjoyable ebb and flow to the lines.

 

It’s the first of the month! Poet’s choice of words!

*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.

Baby_chickens-Poetry_Friday-springtime-Vashti Q-the writer next door-vashti quiroz vega

Freshly Hatched

Awaken

from a different

kind of sleep

peck peck peck

chaotic scuffling begins

the egg cracks open

Quickening

curiosity

peep peep peep

chirp chirp chirp

A twenty-four-hour tussle

rewarded with feed

Poetry_Friday-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-the writer next door-Shadorma-Poetry-Spring-Colleen Chesebro-Tanka_Tuesday

Thank you for stopping by! Enjoy the rest of the day!