Tag Archives: dark fantasy

The Rise of Gadreel ~ Excerpt

6 Nov

Hi, everyone! I’m happy to see you here. Welcome.

I’m currently doing the final reading of my WIP, The Rise of Gadreel, and I’m reading it (cover to cover) out loud. I’ve had a lot of fun writing this book. It’s been my favorite to write so far, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy process. Because the story is set in the Medieval Period I had to do an enormous amount of research to get the details right. I also had to research the Medieval Roman Catholic Church, the Black Plague, the Little Ice Age, among many other things. Although my books are fantasy fiction I like to ground my stories in reality. Luckily, I enjoy doing the research. I can’t wait to release this book. I truly hope readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I decided to share an excerpt from The Rise of Gadreel Book – 3 of my Fantasy Angels Series. Sharing the first excerpt of a new book is always a nerve-racking ordeal, but, here we go. I hope you enjoy it.

Chapter 13 – Gadreel Confronts the Beast

As we walked down to the harbor town of Whitby, the rising sun’s rays shone on my face, yet that didn’t prevent the cold from sinking into the core of my bones. In town, although early in the day, few people walked the streets, and the fields were void of serfs and farmers. 

Screams coming from the center of town sliced through the morning fog, so we hurried in that direction. Townsfolk gathered around three women who stood in the center of the town’s square, bound and held captive by five men in black tunics and hooded cloaks. The men smacked them and yanked them by the hair. One wrenched a woman’s arm so violently that I thought he would tear it out of its socket. As we ran toward them, another hooded man knocked a woman to the ground. The people watched and did nothing to help them.

“What is happening here?” I stood before them, panting, my breath rising in visible billows. “Why do you treat these women this way?” My hands closed into fists as heat rose to my face despite the cold.

One of the men stepped toward me, pulling his hood back to expose his face. “We’re inquisitors sent to bring order to this cursed city.”

“Who sent you?” I didn’t back down, keeping eye contact with this man at all times. “What curse do you speak of?”

“We were sent by His Most Reverend Excellency Abigor Chailín, bishop of London,” the man said. “His Excellency established The Inquisition with the blessing of both King Edward and His Holiness the Pope, to find and punish heretics and those practicing witchcraft, which is a form of heresy.” He measured me with a sideways glance. “What curse you ask? Look around you. This port city once thrived. Those who did not die of disease are now perishing from hunger due to poor crop growth and dying livestock as a result of this demoniacal frost. The rest of them lash out through violent crimes, even murder and rape. Witches are to blame for this. They cast spells, making people do atrocious acts they normally would never do. Sorcerers manipulate the weather.”

“So you’re claiming that these three women are witches?” I said.

“Yes,” he said with confidence as he held up a book. “This is the Malleus MaleficarumThe Hammer of Witches. The bishop of London wrote this instructional manual for his inquisitors. It lists ways to identify witches and explains the procedures in which to investigate, arrest, and punish them. We understand what must be done.”

I stood before him, unwavering. “What do you plan to do to these women? Judging by their bloodied and disheveled appearance, they’ve been punished enough.”

The man burst into laughter, as did his cohorts. 

“These women will burn at the stake for their crimes. I’ll not say another word until you tell us who you and your friends are and why you deem yourself worthy of interrogating the church.”

“My name is Gadreel, and I ask that you let these women go.”

The five men broke into hysterical laughter once more. Dracúl, Golem, and Sabina stepped forward and stood beside me. Thomas also stood by, a mere shimmer in the bitter air, the men unaware of his presence.

Dracúl moved closer to me. “We should verify if these men speak the truth. If these women practice black magic, they should be burned at the stake.”

His indifference in the matter of burning three souls alive shocked me. The doctrines of the church were deeply rooted in his psyche, skewing his perceptions.

“If I could touch them, I could determine if they’re lying,” Sabina whispered to me.

“Are you sure you want to do that? You’ll be weakened by the touch.”

“There’s no better way to find the truth.”

“Then you must do it.” Dracúl took Sabina by the arm, putting her in front of the women. “Apologies, but it would be irresponsible not to.”

I tipped my head in Sabina’s direction, and she wrested her arm from his grip. 

All the hooded men scrutinized her with their hands on the hilts of their swords, except one who stepped closer to me, his face hidden in the shadow of his black cape’s hood. “Did you say your name is Gadreel?”

“I did. Why do you ask?” 

The man stumbled backward so fast that he lost his balance. If not for one of the other men, he would have fallen on his backside. Jarred by his reaction, I looked to Dracúl. He gave me a half shrug and continued to focus on Sabina and the three women accused of witchcraft.

“We have a warrant for her arrest,” the man said, pointing at me as he steadied himself. “She’s a sorceress.”

“Oh bloody hell!” Golem rushed to Sabina, pulling her back in time to avoid getting trampled by the men who came charging after me. 

Dracúl transformed into his red fiend form to the gasps and screams of the hooded men and surrounding crowd.

Dóna’m la força que necessito!” Golem exclaimed, holding his stone figurine to his forehead and shifting into the stone giant.

The five inquisitors stopped in their tracks, eyes shifting between Dracúl and Golem. I revealed my massive wings, and although they were marked with a black band that ran horizontally across the top portion of them—a reminder of my past transgressions—they were otherwise pure white.

“What are you?” the first man who had approached me said as panic flittered across his face.

“I’m not a sorceress,” I said. “Go on, Sabina. Verify whether these women practice black magic or not.”

Sabina looked into the women’s eyes, and one by one she held their hands. When done, she staggered toward me.

“These women do not practice black magic,” she said. “They’re not even witches, not a one.”

Dracúl looked away and stared at the pebbles on the ground to avoid my eyes. I confronted the five hooded men. “You tortured three innocent women and were about to burn them alive. How should you be punished?”

 One of the men fell to his knees, whimpering. A steaming puddle formed on the ground between another’s legs, while the others trembled and gawked at us.

“Please forgive us,” the man who had lowered his hood said, holding up the inquisitor’s handbook. “We tried to follow the Malleus Maleficarum, but we must have done something wrong . . . missed a step somehow.” 

“Your master, Abigor, is a deceiver. I don’t care what that book says. Those three women are no more witches than you are. Save your regrets for them.” 

The men scrambled to the women, untying them while offering apologies.

“Do you have gold coins?” I asked. 

The men remained silent.

“Fine. Dracúl, please check them.”

Dracúl stepped toward them, and the men pawed at their belts to remove their coin purses. They threw them on the ground before Dracúl. 

“Give it all to the women,” I told him.

“Those purses hold gold coins,” the unhooded man said. “That’s too much money for peasant women.”

“There is not enough gold to compensate them for what you and the others have done,” I said. “The crosses you wear around your necks are fashioned from gold and hang from golden chains. Remove them as well, and hand them to the women.”

The men protested until Dracúl growled at them. Then they couldn’t remove them fast enough.

“Now leave this place and never return,” I said. “Be gone, but the horses stay.” 

“But how will we reach our destination without horses?” one of the men asked.

“On foot,” I said with a shrug. “You’re wearing expensive shoes. Many of these people do not own shoes, and yet they manage to get to where they’re going. You claim to be better than they are, so you should do just fine. Now go. I’d prefer it if we didn’t shed blood today.”

The men hurried away toward where the city’s edge meets the forest road.

Many of the bystanders had run away when Dracúl transformed into the red fiend, but those who stayed behind now cheered for us. The three women rushed to me and fell on their knees, reciting words of praise.

“No, please do not kneel before me. We are here to help you—all of us. It’s what we do.”

“I acknowledge what you are,” the youngest of the women said as she and the others got to their feet. “You’re an angel. Your skin has an iridescent glow, your entire being is surrounded by an ethereal radiance, and only an angel has massive wings like yours.” Her eyes were a silvery-blue, and although one of them wandered, she reminded me of my dear Cleodora. For once, I reveled at the thought of them living in the great depths of the ocean, for the world above had become a dark and dangerous place, full of misguided souls.

“You are safe now,” I told her and the others, including the crowd. “Your lives must change if you want to survive and live in peace. Stop the violence and depravity, because bad behavior will lead the inquisitors right back here, and next time we may not be here to help you.”

“Stay with us awhile,” one of the other women said.

Dracúl gave me a look before going behind a copse of trees to shift back to his man form and get dressed. Golem followed him. Sabina had regained the color in her face and looked more like herself again. She came closer to me.

“Our task is to find and destroy Abigor,” she said under her breath.

“I understand, but isn’t our main objective to help the people? They have been through so much. We wouldn’t have to stay long. There are sick people here who could use your aid, and the rest of us can assist them in other ways. I think we can stay a few days.”

“All right, but you have to break the news to Dracúl.”

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed the excerpt from The Rise of Gadreel. Books 1 & 2 of my Fantasy Angels Series are available on Amazon and you can read them free with KindleUnlimited.

BOOK COVER REVEAL | The Fall of Lilith (Fantasy Angels Series)

29 Jul

The Fall of Lilith-logo-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-fantasy_angels_series-novel-book-dark fantasy-epic-fiction

Writing to transport you to extraordinary worlds with a touch of dark.

 ♦

“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

Words cannot express how happy I was when I finally received and read the review for my novel, The Fall of Lilith from Kirkus. The entire review was great but it gave away too much of the story. The excerpt above is taken from the last few lines of the review. However, if you don’t mind spoilers and you want to read the entire review, you may do so here.

Kirkus Reviews (or Kirkus Media) is an American book review magazine founded in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus (1893–1980). The magazine is headquartered in New York City.

**You can read an excerpt from The Fall of Lilith here.

The Fall of Lilith-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-fantasy_angels_series-art-Jeff Brown

Floraison by Jeff Brown  | Animation by CK Dawn (Book Cover Animations)

So, without further ado, here is the book cover for The Fall of Lilith.

The Fall of Lilith-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-book_cover_reveal-novel-epic_fantasy-dark_fiction-fantasy angels series

Cover Design by Damonza.com |  Illustration insert by Michael C. Hayes

The Fall of Lilith-3D-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-novel-epic_fantasy-darf fiction-angels-fallen angels-book

 

Blurb:

“I merely assisted you in doing what you desired all along.”

So says Lilith, the most exquisite of the angels. The two most important pledges an angel makes to God are those of obedience and celibacy, and dire consequences await any who break their oaths.

At first, the angels are happy in their celestial home, learning and exploring together. As they grow older, though, Lilith begins to question these pledges, which now seem arbitrary and stifling. Her challenge of the status quo leads to disagreement, jealousy, and strife among her peers. As the arguing and acrimony grow, lines are drawn and sides are chosen. Is war inevitable?

Filled with robust characters, incredible landscapes, and exciting action, The Fall of Lilith is an epic tale of seduction, betrayal, and revenge.

Free Will involves asking difficult questions and making hard choices, choices that require strength and sacrifice. These decisions can tear apart friendships and cause rifts between allies.

They can even threaten the foundations of Heaven.

lilith-The Fall of Lilith-dark fantasy-epic_fantasy-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-novel-myths and legends-book_cover_reveal-fallen angels

The ‘Falling Angel’ illustration is by Michael C. Hayes *Click on his name to see more of his work.

**The eBook for The Fall of Lilith is available on Amazon! Yay! Get it here. 😀

*The Fall of Lilith will be available in paperback soon.

The fall of Lilith-fantasy_fiction-Dark Fantasy-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-novel-book-Lilith Bible-Lilith Eve

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As a promotion for my birthday and to encourage book reviews, the eBook for The Fall of Lilith will be FREE on Fri. 8/04 and Sat. 8/05! 

 

Haiku Friday – Fret & Chill

29 Jan

Happy Friday everyone! Today I’m participating in RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge #29 Fret & Chill. The prompt words as you can see are Fret and Chill.

luis-royo

Illustration by Luis Royo

Prelude to Death

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Ö

 

Do not fret, my dear

No longer will you feel the chill––

once you are dead

 

Luis Royo_fantasy_art

Illustration by Luis Royo

 

Do you enjoy haiku poetry? Do you write haiku poetry? If so, would you like to be featured here?

The Best of 2014

5 Jan

The year 2014 was a year of high highs and low lows for me. I kept busy with my writing and blogging which made the lows bearable. One thing’s for sure––I ended the year on a good note. And I plan to make 2015 a positive year––no matter what happens.

 

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” ~ Buddha

 

My second book, The Fall of Lilith, should be out a little later this year. It is the first installment of my Fantasy Angels Series. I’ve written a few short stories for this blog––The Cursed Tree, Fall From Desire, and A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance, using the same style in writing I used for The Fall of Lilith and the rest of the series to give you a taste of what it would be like to read the series. Soon I will post an excerpt from the book.

 

This year I would like to bring you more short stories in the genres I write, which are horror, fantasy, and suspense/thriller. If you know anyone who enjoys reading, especially in these genres, please let them know about this blog. I appreciate the support. I would also love to do more interviews, vlogs, spotlights on writers, poets, artists, and talented people in general.

 

To celebrate the new year I would like to list my most popular posts of 2014. Please feel free to click on the links, read, like, and comment.

 

Stories

 The Search for the Last Flower – (Horror) 12 Part Series about zombies

the search for the last flower

 

The Cursed Tree – (Dark Fantasy) 3 Part Series

The Cursed Tree

 

Fall From Desire – (Dark Fantasy) 2 Part Series

swamp-fallen angel-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

 

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance – (Dark Fantasy) 3 Part Series

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

 

The Train Ride From Hell – (Horror) 4 Part Series

13-photo-the-fire-demon-on-the-train-tracks

 

Murder She Wrote – (Horror) 3 Part Series

Murder She Wrote_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

Most Popular Articles

 I Love Animals! 

Ahhh! Fresh powder!

 Why I think The World Should End

why I think this world should end

 Work-In-Progress Blog Challenge

The Fall of Lilith-vashti-quiroz-vega

Do You Judge An Author by His/Her Genre?

mehitobel Wilson

Fantasy Angels Series – (Dark Fantasy)

Author-Vashti Quiroz-Vega-fantasy-stories

The Mysterious Origins of Valentine’s Day

Lupercalia

Are We Eating Beakless, Featherless Mutant Chickens?

kfcchicken

Writer’s Journey

Book Reading/Signing

The Basement_book signing_vashti quiroz vega

Rainbow Bridge 

RIP-Rascal-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

A Sad Father’s Day?

cemiterio-s-joao-batista-vashti quiroz-vega

The Basement: Robbie’s Rite of Passage

The Basement-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Popular Guests, Spotlights, and Reblogs

Stephen King

Stephen King 126

 Teachers Appreciation Week

248470-year-6-teacher-emidio-boto

 SPOTLIGHT: Photographer Robert Lino

robert lino_photographer

Risky Issues and Lorraine Reguly

lorraine-reguly-300x239

Interview With Vashti Quiroz-Vega Author of The Basement – Reblog from Ronovan Writes

Vashti Quiroz-Vega_writer_author

I hope you can stay a while and read one of my stories or articles. Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Contact me via my contact page or email if you’d like to be a guest blogger or be interviewed or featured in a spotlight on my blog.

Do You Judge An Author By His Or Her Genre?

14 Aug

You’d be surprised how many people make assumptions about authors’ personalities based on their works’ genre. Horror writers have dark, twisted minds and are capable of committing the atrocities they write about. Erotica writers are perverts. Writers of romance tend to be like their heroines—beautiful women who are lavished with flowers, candy and romantic dinners by more lovers than they can handle (and who all resemble Ryan Reynolds, Zac Efron, Gerald Butler, or Idris Elba) And comedic writers––well, they’re all clowns who don’t take life seriously enough. Really? Come on, people!

 

I have lost count of how many times friends and acquaintances have been shocked when they find out that I write horror and dark fantasy. “But you don’t look like a horror writer,” they say. So what is a writer of horror and dark fantasy supposed to look like?

Is this what I'm supposed to look like?

Is this what I’m supposed to look like?

We writers are unusual creatures, no doubt. We’re in our heads a lot. We often like to sit apart from everyone and just observe. We have outsized imaginations and we can be inspired by almost anything: a picture, a movie, someone’s smile, a word, a laugh . . . anything! But––we are not what we write. Think of us as actors. A great actor can play the role of a psycho, chef, cyborg, monster or saint and be very believable doing it, but that doesn’t mean he or she is any of those things.

 

Check this out!

interview-with-ramsey-campbell-L-ZHIfmu

Ramsey Campbell. Look at this guy. Doesn’t he look like he can play Santa Clause in the next remake of ‘Miracle on 34th Street’?

Yet, he has written his share of nightmare inducing horror stories like: Demons by Daylight, Alone with the Horrors, and Told by the Dead. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about them.

Meet these lovely ladies of Horror

mehitobel Wilson

Mehitobel Wilson

Read all about Mehitobel here.

Kathe Koja

Kathe Koja

Read more about Kathe here.

Angela Graham––Writer of erotica. Does she look like a perve to you?

erotic-writer-angela-graham

Nicholas Sparks is a Romance writer. Does he look like a romance writer?

Nicholas-Sparks

Nicholas Sparks

 

 

 

The comedy writer’s job is to make people laugh. That is serious business.

Read this article from WebMD: Give Your Body A Boost––With Laughter

Dr. Seuss-comedy-writer

Dr. Seuss

Learn more about Dr. Seuss here.

award-winning-comedic-writer

Diablo Cody Academy Award Winning Comedic Screenwriter

Read more about this comedy writer here.

There are many genres of writing and even more writers, and I’m not saying that some of us don’t have a few peculiar quirks and habits. What I am saying is that we are all individuals, and the genre we write has nothing to do with who we truly are. So don’t judge a writer by his or her genre. I guess you’ll just have to get to know us.

Check out these links:

Weird Writing Habits of Famous Authors

The Odd Habits and Curious Customs of Famous Writers

8 Strange Rituals of Productive Writers

Vashti-Quiroz-Vega-horror-writer

Vashti Quiroz-Vega writer of horror, suspense, thriller and dark fantasy

What are your thoughts on this? What’s your favorite genre? Have you learned anything new with this post?

Image

Fall From Desire – Part 1

30 May

 

swamp-fallen angel-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Artist Victoria Frances


Hello! I’m almost done with the editing of my Dark Fantasy novel, The Fall of Lilith. I’m very excited with the way it’s turning out and soon I will post an excerpt from the book. In the meantime, I bring you today Part 1 of my short story Fall From Desire. It is a dark fantasy written in a similar style to The Fall of Lilith, the first installment of my Fantasy Angels Series. I hope you enjoy. 

 

 

Fall From Desire

by Vashti Q

 

 

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

 

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

 

I splashed into a swamp.

 

It was night, and the only light source was the brilliance of a full moon.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

I staggered in circles, my feet sinking into the spongy, wet ground. The moisture was so dense in this habitat that everything was wet. A film of moisture covered my naked body. Water soaked my long, blonde hair and pulled my curls flat. I heard the hooting of an owl. My eyes lifted to a nearby tree and there it was, lurking in the shadows. Its large glowing eyes stared at me. Snakes slithered around my feet. Alligators peered at me with their strange eyes peeking over the surface of the water while they remained immersed. Where am I? There are only wetlands as far as my eyes can see. How am I to survive here? Do I desire survival? My body trembled, and desperate tears fell and blended with the moisture on my face. No one can hear me cry. I am alone. I continued to walk for miles. There were many sunrises and many moonrises, yet I remained alone in a world of swamps.

 

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

 

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

 

“What are you?” I heard a masculine voice ask. I jolted upright in a seated position.  I stared at a magnificent creature.

 

“I-I do not know what I am. I have only knowledge of what I used to be.”

 

“Very well, then what were you?” he asked with a curious look on his face.

 

“I was once called Rachiel,” I said. “When I was an angel in Heaven.”

 

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

 

“Have you ever seen an angel?”

 

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

 

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

 

He scrutinized me for a while with his piercing violet-blue eyes.

 

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

 

Artist Victoria Frances

Artist Victoria Frances

 

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

Check out PART 2 of Fall From Desire