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Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – #FREE offer The Fall of Lilith: Fantasy Angels Series by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

3 Aug

Hello everyone! I’m inviting you to visit Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore today. Sally’s kind enough to feature me and my new release, The Fall of Lilith, on her blog. My birthday is on Friday August 4th and I’ve decided to give YOU a gift! 😉

The eBook for The Fall of Lilith will be FREE on Amazon for my birthday, Friday 8/04/2017 and Saturday 8/05/2017! Two days only! Please take advantage of this promo. The price will go back to the original price on Sunday.

*The Fall of Lilith is also available in paperback on Amazon  for $14.99

Enjoy Sally’s feature! Thank you!

“The Fall of Lilith is a compelling narrative that provides background on several well-known, supernatural figures. Though obviously religious in nature, Quiroz-Vega’s book strays far from traditional biblical text. Sea monsters, mermaids, and vampires share the stage with angels and demons. And illicit (and explicit) affairs, violent battles, and graphic injuries abound. Quiroz-Vega’s prose is incredibly descriptive.

A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”

–– Kirkus Reviews

 

The Fall of Lilith-fantasyangelsseries-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-Sally Cronin-free_book-ebook-amazon-The Writer Next Door

 

Source: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – #FREE offer The Fall of Lilith: Fantasy Angels Series by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack

11 Oct

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to my blog! Thank you for stopping by. It is my great pleasure to introduce to you today the fascinating, creative, unique writer and blogger C. S. Boyack

C. S. Boyack-Amazon-writer-books-The Writer Next Door-interview

Craig S. Boyack has released a new book called ‘The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II‘ which follows ‘The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack I‘ and is a second collection of short stories and micro-fiction. These are stories that can be read in a single session and include science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and horror.

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack-C. S. Boyack-books-writer-The Writer Next Door-interview

In his words . . .

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

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

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

Craig

Questions for C. S. Boyack

 

What were you like at school?

 

I was a good student, and got good grades. More on that in your next question. I was kind of the class clown too. We ran in a large crowd, but it was a small town. Everyone knew everyone else.

 

Were you good at English?

 

Oh, God no. English was my worst subject, and I even flunked it once. Mrs. Munger had us write a short story. She thought mine was “off color” and flunked me for the entire quarter over it.

 

Part of the reason for my dislike of the class is the way they taught it. We spent all of our time diagraming sentences and identifying verbs. They rarely ever let us actually use English either in writing or speaking. I think that short story may have been the only thing we wrote all year in there. We did more writing in science class.

 

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

 

We all have that secret dream in the back of our minds. You know the one, the one where we hit superstardom and can dedicate all our time to writing. I know it isn’t realistic, but it’s still there.

 

In reality, my long game is to supplement my retirement income in some way. An extra thousand per month would be wonderful. I have about ten to fifteen years to get there.

 

Which writers inspire you?

 

It probably seems goofy to say all of them. Writers struggle, learn, and grow. We all have a different pace, but as long as we’re improving it’s all good.

 

I’m sure you meant a roster of names, so I’ll check some off. Michael Crichton, Cheri Priest, and Jim Butcher. There is so much creativity there it amazes me. In some small way, they pioneered new things in fiction.

 

Who is Lisa Burton? Tell us briefly about her.

boyack-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Lisa Burton

Lisa Burton

 

Lisa is my original character. She was the first main character that I felt was worthy of sharing with the world. As such, I’m very proud of her. Her origin story is called Wild Concept, and while it may be a little rough around the edges, it marks the start of my writing career. Lisa is a robot, and it was fun using an artificial intelligence as a main character.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Lisa Burton-C. S. Boyack

I recycled Lisa and hired her as my personal assistant at the writing cabin. These posts are usually about my efforts as a writer, but are also a way of sharing some original fiction with my blog followers. I promoted Lisa to spokesmodel for my career, and she now makes blog appearances herself, and has promotional pinup style posters for my books. This year she started hosting Lisa Burton Radio, where she interviews the fictional characters of other authors. It’s been really popular, and I’m sure she’d love to interview one of your characters.

 

Do you have a muse? If so, what is your muse’s name? Tell us about your muse.

 

It all started back in the 1980s. This was a time of the first computers, and they didn’t even have hard drives. You used two floppy disks, one for the program, and one for your work product.

 

My boss just purchased one, and learning the word processor was my assignment. Lorelei, the Muse, approached me and talked me into trying some fiction. (We’re talking after hours, back at the office until midnight or later.) After I figured out the word processor, I gave it up. I was young and single, and there were better things to do.

 

Lorelei never gave up, and as an immortal, she had time on her side. She approached me again as a father of three who couldn’t afford to do much more than write for entertainment. She also makes occasional appearances at the writing cabin. She sends me so many ideas that I can’t use them all.

 

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

 

I believe in adding tools to my toolbox. I’m constantly trying new things. When I wrote The Playground, I wanted to weave together three different stories into a cohesive whole. It’s a cool way to tell the story, and they come together at the end to bring the conclusion. It wasn’t easy, but I’m glad I did it.

 

We never know what we’re capable of until we try. I feel that if a story called for this style again, I could do a workman like job of it now.

 

 

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.

 

I like having power over my covers. Some of them reflect a scene in the story, others give a reflection of what’s inside. I just talked about limited funds, but the cover is one place where I spend the money. It really is the first impression we never get to do over.

 

I tried to hit up the local universities and colleges, but nobody would even return my calls. Finally, I started stalking DeviantArt and looking for artists I liked. I’ve wound up with several different artists, and met some great people that way.

 

 

 

What was the weirdest thing you’ve ever ‘Googled’ while researching a story?

 

Authors are always researching things that are a bit sketchy. For one of my trunk novels, I researched how to make phosgene gas. It was one of three chemical weapons used in World War One. For my lone fantasy novel, I researched how to make black powder. I must be on a government watchlist somewhere by now.

 

What does your writing process look like?

 

I work best with an outline, but it may be different than other plotters use. I make a virtual storyboard. Index cards mark the beats I want to hit, then I free write between the index cards.

 

Do you have any strange writing habits?

 

Silence. Distractions pull me out of my game, and stop me cold. This makes it hard to get quality writing time around my house. Sometimes I set an alarm and get up early. Other times, I take vacation when my wife has to work. I can’t even listen to music and produce the kind of quality I want.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

 

I hate naming characters. Sometimes it works out well, and other times it just doesn’t seem to work. I tried going with meaning a couple of times, and the results were terrible. I think the sound method works best for me.

 

Funny aside; I like to search through the Major League Baseball rosters for last names. If you search through my old books you’ll see last names like Bench and Larkin. Now I’m writing a book of short stories about a new league, called The Enhanced League. I can’t use baseball names for these characters, and feel kind of lost. Maybe I should check the NFL or something.

 

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

 

Maybe a bit more slapstick than you’re looking for, but I split the crotch of my pants at work. It was a small tear, and I live twenty miles from the office. I spent my day behind my desk and prayed nobody needed me elsewhere.

 

What is your least favorite thing about humanity?

 

I don’t care for the way we’ve devolved into a kind of personal anarchy. The world seems to function around getting what we want and not what we earn. People throw tantrums, lie, accuse, and more to get what they want. There is no reverence for honor, respect, decency, and personal responsibility these days.

 

If I were to poll everyone that knows you, what percent would not be a fan of yours? Then, if I were to interview these people, what words would they most frequently use to describe you?

 

I’d say about half would not be fans. This has more to do with my paycheck job than anything else. Quite often, when I do my job well someone isn’t happy. They might call me nit-picky, draconian, and punitive. (We never talk about the paycheck job in the writer world. I have two lives and try to keep them separate.)

 

What is your writing Kryptonite?

 

Noise and distraction. I need to concentrate to write well. I manage a bit of short form with peripheral noise, but I don’t have to keep as many details straight like major character arc, tracking of time, etc.

 

What does literary success look like to you?

 

A little bit of extra income, like I mentioned earlier. I can put out about three books every two years. As long as I keep improving my craft I’m pretty happy.

 

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

 

Concentrating on the idea that they are the opposite sex. When I find myself doing that, I stop myself and rewrite. Worrying about specific issues is usually wrong. Little things are okay to weave in, like a woman needing a restroom instead of a tree.

 

I’ve been told that I write female characters well. I just treat them like people, and write them like that.

 

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

 

I could sluff off all the bad things here, but I don’t think that’s what we’re going for. My life is pretty darned good right now. My paycheck job keeps the lights on, and I have a great family. I wouldn’t give up any of those things. Writing is important to me, but it’s a sideline to the main things. I guess I’m not giving up anything. I’ll get there through hard work and dedication.

 

Do you believe in writer’s block?

 

No. There are times when a plot issue will stall me, a bit of thought is needed. I use those time to switch to short form, and the answer usually comes to me. Other times, I bull through the problem.

 

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

 

I overheard my grandfather talking about me once. I was quite young, and he said I could carry on an intelligent conversation about almost any topic. The way he said it told me that was important.

 

***

 

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Vashti. These were some tough questions, and I love a good challenge. I’m serious about a character interview too, whenever you’re ready.

Craig has a large body of works that you can check out on Amazon. His books are unique, fascinating, and well-written. He sells them at a price that is well worth the risk of buying.

Here are some reviews on The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack I:

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-interview-books-writer

Experimental Notebook is a collection of stories that have been written to entertain and not to leave the reader up in the air wondering what was the point of the story. So many times short story writers think they need to do a story that has an obscure ending to qualify as a literary piece. C.S. Boyack has taken a number of different circumstances and crafted stories that have entertainment value. He sometimes takes a bizarre look at a particular situation but in each case when the story ends the reader has the whole package. There is also an element of humor that the author continues to interject in most of the stories. The humor is not laugh out loud funny but carries a more wry intelligent, subtle tone. The reader more than once will chuckle at the onset and then find a smile as the humorous piece finishes much as one would experience with a sip of fine wine.
The creativeness of C.S. Boyack is apparent His stories have that familiarity that the reader would swear came out of the author living an experience. Of course, some of the plots and subject material make this assumption entirely impossible and thus the real talent of the artist is discovered. Boyack writes a story as if he lived it. The characters and plotlines are so simply yet so carefully designed that the author makes this kind of storytelling look easy. The reader finishes the Notebook knowing what looks easy and what turns out to be the types of stories written are at opposite poles of one another. The Creative Notebook is excellent writing, and I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to enjoy a wonderful reading experience. ~John W. Howell

Short and micro fiction is becoming more popular today, and after reading this unique collection of stories, I can see why. The author has done a wonderful job of bringing together a mixture of speculative fiction, oddities, sci-fi, and fantasy. There’s basically a treat waiting here for everyone, each tale unique and waiting to deliver a twisty ending.

You can read these tales anywhere—on a commute, during a coffee break, or even when you’re hovering around the water cooler. Or you might do like I did, and indulge with one right after the other. Whether you choose to savor them individually or all at once, a healthy mix of enchantment, adventure, humor, and shivers awaits! ~Mae Clair

Right out of the gate, you’re hit with a story that has a twist ending. This really set the tempo of the other stories, which kept me interested in the whole collection. Every story has something unique about it, which makes it really hard to do an overview of the collection. For example, ‘The Soup Ladle of Destiny’ is very humorous and rather lighthearted compared to some of the others. If I had to pick the one that really stuck with me it would be a tie between that and ’50 Gallon Drum’. Since many of these are micro-fiction, I can’t say much without spoilers and that would ruin all the fun since the author has knack for surprise endings.

I’d highly recommend this for anyone who wants to be entertained by several quick reads.

~Charles E. Yallowitz

There are many more 5 star reviews but I can’t fit them all here. Check out his Amazon Author Page and check out all his books and reviews.

Follow C. S. Boyack’s blog

Check out his novels

Twitter

Goodreads

Facebook

C. S. Boyack-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-author-interview

I hope you enjoyed this author interview. Please show Craig S. Boyack some love in the comments below. Thank you!

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

Shades of Greg_Angelic Business_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

 

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. 

 

 

BLOG TOUR: Author P.S. Bartlett

13 Apr

blog tour_Demons_&_Pearls_book

Hello everyone! I am participating in a Blog Tour for the launch of author P.S. Bartlett’s new book ‘Demons & Pearls’.

It’s always exciting when a talented writer releases a new book for the world to enjoy. A ‘Blog Tour’ will spread the word about the launch of the new book so that bookworms, like me, can check it out. Please take the time to read about Peggy aka P.S. Bartlett and the blurb from ‘Demons & Pearls‘.

Of course no one is obligated to buy anything but authors pour their heart and soul into every book so the least we can do is read about it. Who knows you may enjoy it. 😉

Author Photo-P.S. Bartlet-blog

Author P.S. Bartlett

 

Get to know a little about the lovely Peggy in her own words . . .

I was born on Valentine’s Day a long, long time ago in South Baltimore, Maryland, less than a mile from Fort McHenry and Federal Hill. I’m a very simple person. I love my life and am always striving to make it better for myself and my family.

I write, I draw and I still work full-time. I’ve been married for 20 years and together we have two sons, a daughter, three beautiful granddaughters and a ten year old Maine Coon cat named Columbus.

Pirate me-writer-book-bookworm

 

Title: DEMONS & PEARLS

Author: P.S. Bartlett

Release Day: April 14th, 2015

Genre: Historical Fiction/Adventure/Romance

Demons_&_Pearls_Cover_for_Kindle

BLURB

Had I known the repercussions of murdering the captain of a pirate ship, I may have taken the time necessary to rethink the act. As if I’ve ever had a choice that didn’t involve a fight or at the very least, defending myself against some man, hell bent on destroying me or my kin.

All we wanted was our freedom. All we found were demons disguised as men.

A woman pirate needs friends, big strong male friends, to survive in this unforgiving land of thieves and murderers—at least until she gets on her feet. Of course, trying to find one person you can trust is like finding an oyster with a perfect pearl in it—you have to break a few shells and get your hands dirty. We were lucky. I found the biggest, baddest and most honorable man in the Caribbean and he just happened to be in the pearl business.

Q & A

1) What inspired you to write this book.

When I wrote my previous book, The Blue Diamond-The Razor’s Edge, I had planned to write a sequel to the book right away. However, as I’ve done previously, I began wondering how and why my characters ended up in the situations they were in. I began to think about how they became pirates in the first place and once I opened that door, everything came spilling out at me like an overstuffed closet.

 

2) How did you come up with the title of the book.

Well, if I tell you that, it may give away too much about the story. However, if you check out the blurb for the book, it may answer your question somewhat.

 

3) What part or section of the book was the most difficult to write and why?

There’s a kidnapping scene. It’s extremely disturbing and very violent. I’d have to say it was the single most difficult scene I’ve ever written.

 

4) Which character in your book resembles you the most?

Although Cassandra is based on a dear friend of mine, I’d have to say her. I do like to believe though that there’s a little bit of me in each of the girls.

 

5) If you had to compare this book with any other book, past or present, which book would come closest to your book’s style, storyline . . .

That’s a very good question but I’m afraid I don’t have a very good answer. I honestly cannot think of another book I’ve read that is anything like Demons & Pearls. I did take a writing style test once and the answer came out to be that my style was like Anne Rice. I chuckled when I saw that. Hey, we can all dream can’t we?

LINKS:

 

Web Site: http://psbartlett.me/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSBartlett

 

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

 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7012732.P_S_Bartlett

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/P.S.-Bartlett/e/B00CP4PF4U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 

Instagram: Author_P.S.Bartlett

 

Do you enjoy reading about pirates? Do you like romance novels? Are you a bookworm like me?

The Search for the Last Flower – (Part 3)

26 Oct

I hope I’ve entertained you so far with my story, The Search for the Last Flower. Here’s the 3rd episode. If you haven’t read Part 1 or Part 2 please do so before reading this part. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Jurasha_jungle_the search for the last flower_blog

*

During an aerial search over the Amazon Basin, Dr. Caleb Wilson discovered the existence of a previously unknown tribe. The flyover was followed by a visit to Dr. Andrew Smith, a doctor in pharmacology and microbiology, who was like a father to him. Caleb had lost his mother when he was an infant and his father when he was an adolescent. Dr. Smith, Caleb’s father’s best friend, took on the duty of parenting after the death of Caleb’s dad.

 

Dr. Caleb Wilson’s girlfriend, Clarice, had gone on a missionary trip to a remote part of the Amazon. He had not heard from her since. She was traveling with only two others: Dr. Johnson and her assistant, Dylan. Caleb thought it was a bad idea to go to such a remote part of the jungle with so few people, since small parties could easily disappear in the Amazon, but once Clarice set her mind on something, it was near impossible to change it.

 

The destination of Clarice and her party was kept secret in order to protect the tribesmen who lived there. She did not want all sorts of characters invading these people who had managed to live in secret for so long.

 

Caleb had begged and pleaded with her to give him the coordinates of where she was headed. She didn’t give him exact coordinates, but he finally managed to get a general location. Now he was afraid she might be lost or worse—hurt somewhere in the jungle. He convinced Dr. Andrew Smith to go with him on a search and rescue mission. He put together a team, and they flew out as soon as everyone was together. They landed near the area where he had spotted the mysterious tribe and set up camp.

 

Caleb did extensive research of the area, including expeditions on the ground and a study of satellite images. Certain that this was the tribe Clarice and her party had visited, he assembled a small group of men and did daily searches near the village, always being careful that he and his men did not interfere in the tribe’s daily life or activities. They had yet to set eyes on Clarice, her assistant, or the doctor.

 

They kept vigil from afar until one day, the elder of the tribe invited Caleb to join him in the village. The tribe spoke a Portuguese dialect, and since Caleb was fluent in Portuguese, it did not take him long to establish communication with them. He asked the elder many questions, including if he had seen Clarice and her party.

 

Apparently, Clarice was memorable for the elder and his tribe; her light auburn hair, pixie haircut, fair skin, and green eyes had caused a stir in the village, where all the inhabitants possessed long dark hair and some shade of brown eyes. They had never seen a white woman before, or a freckle-faced redhead.

The elder told Caleb that Clarice and her party had left after a couple of weeks to go on another mission. Caleb was relieved. He thought it strange that she didn’t call to let him know. Then again, he realized that it would not be easy to place a call from this remote part of the world.

 

After several visits, Caleb won over the tribesmen’s trust. He then began lobbying for the others to join him, assuring the elder that he would select only a small group of his finest men. Dr. Andrew Smith and a few others were chosen by Caleb to stay at the village for a while. The others would remain on the perimeter, out of the way.

 

 

*

“Are you sure that’s accurate?” Dr. Smith asked.

 

“I ran the numbers twice, and I interviewed the head of the tribe.” Caleb stared wide-eyed at him. “There are eight generations of healthy, living relatives in this tribe.”

 

“That doesn’t seem possible!” Dr. Smith walked back and forth with a mobile expression. “Who is the oldest member of this tribe? And how old is he?”

 

“The oldest person is always the head of the tribe.”

 

“But that man could not be a day over fifty, for God’s sake! How could he be the father of eight generations? At what age do these people begin producing children––at six years old?”

 

“The elder of the tribe is one hundred and forty-four years old.” Caleb wore a satisfied smile. “These people marry young and begin procreating between the ages of sixteen and eighteen.”

 

Dr. Smith stared openmouthed at the young man with the tousled blond hair, scruffy beard, and eyeglasses whose gold wire frames were too large for his facial features. He walked away shaking his head.

 

Caleb ran after him. “Andrew! I have checked the facts and interviewed nearly every member of this tribe.”

 

Dr. Smith continued walking even faster.

 

“These people are living longer, healthier lives. Ninety-year-olds look and act like thirty-year-olds!” Caleb yelled after him. “Don’t you want to know why?”

 

Dr. Smith stopped short, and Caleb ran into him. He turned and gazed at Caleb for what seemed an eternity. Caleb fidgeted and pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose.

 

“You’re right. It’s worth looking into. Begin by documenting what these people eat, drink, where they bathe, what plants they use for medicinal purposes, and anything else we can find out about their daily habits. If I am to believe the facts you have presented me with, then somewhere in this isolated jungle is a cure for aging.”

 

 

*

 

Caleb sat on a tree stump and observed the men and women of the tribe. There was a cool breeze that tousled his already disheveled hair. He took a deep breath and inhaled the fresh fragrances of the nearby forest. There was a wall of trees around the village. If a person were not careful, it would be possible to wander into a jungle and never be found again. During the day there was a quiet cacophony of sounds, mostly insects and birds, occasionally monkeys. Overall, this was a peaceful place. The tribesmen were friendly, active, robust people. He jotted down in his journal any new observation, peculiarity or thought while watching them go about their daily activities.

 

“Magnificent people, aren’t they?” Dr. Smith said, jolting Caleb out of his zone. “The men are powerful, and the women are beautiful. They all get along so well. They respect each other and are kind to one another.”

 

“And they put up with us snooping around.” Caleb looked straight ahead.

 

Dr. Smith looked at him sideways and chuckled. “Yes, they do.” He sat down and made himself comfortable. “It is very peaceful here.”

 

“I’d like it to remain that way.” Caleb wore a grave expression.

 

“What do you mean by that”? Dr. Smith looked puzzled.

 

Caleb cleared his throat and sat upright. “We’re at the edge of a huge discovery. I believe I know now what is keeping these people young and healthy, but I don’t want this village turned into a laboratory or the tribesmen analyzed as if in a Petri dish.”

 

Andrew’s eyebrows shot up. He got to his feet. “Well––what have you discovered?”

 

“At the end of each year, the tribe has a celebration in which they dance and feast.”

 

“What are they celebrating?”

 

“Their immortality.”

 

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

 

jungle-trees-vashti quiroz-vega-blog

I hope I’ve met your expectations so far. I’d love to read your thoughts in the comment section below. All the best! 

Brave New Bullying: Goodreads Gangs, Amazon Attacks—What Are Writers to Do?

13 Jan

Is there no end to bullying? Please read the above article by Kristen Lamb and let me know what you think.

Stop cyber bullying

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Today is a tad of a touchy subject, but in this New year, I want everyone to have a the greatest gift any of us can have…peace. Bullies, in my opinion, are among the lowest known existing lifeforms. I wouldn’t want to insult cockroaches and fleas by drawing a comparison.

Kristen’s History With Bullies

I grew up most of my life being bullied. I switched schools at least once a year and there was always a new gaggle of Mean Girls to make my daily life a veritable hell. I think this is why I grew to love books. I skipped school so much (to seek sanctuary at the public library), that I’m fairly certain I’m the reason for the current Texas truancy laws.

I couldn’t get out of bed. I became ill at the thought of even walking through the front doors of my school. I was poor and…

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