Tag Archives: The Writer Next Door

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

23 Oct
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Hello, everyone! A warm welcome to my blog.

I’m participating in Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Prompt Challenge. Today’s photo prompt was provided by Trent McDonald. I’m sharing a Haiku and Tanka.

Swans glide together

as lake mirrors the trees

a serene portrait

Photo by Belinda Fewings (@bel2000a)

Mysterious swans

enduring all the seasons

dressed in white feathers

Together for a lifetime

A beautiful, loving pair

I hope you enjoyed the poems. Thanks for stopping by!

Magical Whispers

14 Oct

Hi, everyone! I’d like you to help me welcome the lovely and talented poet, Balroop Singh . She has released a new poetry book, ‘Magical Whispers.’ I’m excited to read all about it, because I’m a fan of her work. The floor is yours, Balroop.

Thank you for hosting me, Vashti.

Book Blurb:

I wait for whispers; they regale my muse. Whispers that can be heard by our heart, whispers that ride on the breeze to dispel darkness and ignite hope. I’m sure you would hear them through these poems if you read slowly.

‘Magical Whispers’ would transport you to an island of serenity; beseech you to tread softly on the velvety carpet of nature to feel the ethereal beauty around you. The jigsaw of life would melt and merge as you dive into the warmth of words.

In this book, my poems focus on whispers of Mother Nature, whispers that are subtle but speak louder than words and breathe a quiet message.

Each day reminds us

It’s the symphony of surroundings

That whisper life into us.

Book Information:

Title: Magical Whispers

Author: Balroop Singh

Genre: Poetry

Available at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KJQ6K5D

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Excerpt:

Sublime Sky

If you just look at the dark clouds

They may share your anguish

But they offer no solace

They drag you into deeper dumps.

If you look at the moon

It would speak to you calmly

Telling you timeless stories of change

And purge your heart of all regrets.

If you look at the sun and his hues

It would unravel stories of life

From dawn to dusk it spreads gold

And fills your heart with delight.

But I beseech you to look at the azure sky

When the sun’s amber song begins

Permeating through pink clouds

A melody that springs hope and light.

© Balroop Singh

Meet Poet and Author, Balroop Singh:

Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educator always had a passion for writing.  She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

A self-published author, she is the poet of Sublime Shadows of Life and Emerging From Shadows, both widely acclaimed poetry books. She has also written When Success Eludes,Emotional Truths Of Relationships Read FREE with Kindle Unlimitedand Allow Yourself to be a Better Person.

Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.

Visit her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Connecting linkshttps://twitter.com/BalroopShado

Thank you for visiting today. I hope you enjoyed the post. Please show my guest author some love in the comment section below.

Poetry Friday ~ Poet’s Choice

9 Oct
Photo by Joanna Kosinska

Welcome, everyone! This week is ‘Poet’s Choice’ on Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge. Poets can choose their own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc. I’ve chosen to share a witchy Etheree poem and a couple of quotes today.

“Isn’t it odd how much fatter a book gets when you’ve read it several times? As if something were left between the pages every time you read it. Feelings, thoughts, sounds, smells and then, when you look at the book again many years later, you find yourself there too, a slightly younger self, slightly different, as if the book had preserved you like a pressed flower, both strange and familiar.”

Resurrection

She had a mother that didn’t love her

that lied to her about her true worth

that singe her eyebrows with her sneers

taught her nothing of true love

so she dreamt of evil

writing purged the gloom

books gave her joy

nature taught

her to

love

“Do not let anyone tell you the next few months won’t be crazy. We have two full moons in October. An Eclipse in November. An Eclipse in December, and we close the year with a full moon December 29, 2020. This is wild card energy.”

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you liked the post. Enjoy the rest of the day!

The Ballad of Mrs. Molony

6 Oct

Hi, everyone! Today’s guest is no stranger to this blog. I’ve featured C. S. Boyack and his work several times. Craig is a prolific speculative fiction author, and I enjoy his writing style and quirky characters. I’ve read his book ‘The Hat’ and enjoyed it very much. You can read my review here. His personal assistant, robot girl and spokes model, Lisa will introduce us to his latest work. Without further ado here’s Lisa Burton.

Gosh, thanks, for the invitation Vashti. It’s been so hard getting out with all the troubles going on lately. I’m here to promote Craig’s new book, The Ballad of Mrs. Molony. This is the third one in The Hat series, but don’t let that scare you off. He worked pretty hard so readers wouldn’t absolutely have to read them in order. People can start right here and have a good time.

You asked for something about Craig’s characters, and I could tell you all kinds of stories. He has a definite style. He likes to use more stoic main characters, then add color with his supporting characters. The Hat Series is a little different, because it’s a buddy series. There’s still a bit of that framework.

Lizzie St. Laurent is a struggling twenty-something working multiple jobs to keep the wolf away. She’s the more stoic one in these adventures.

The hat is a being from another dimension. He was brought here years ago by witchcraft. He’s magically bound to Lizzie’s bloodline and must always take the form of a hat. The form varies, but there are limitations. He has a few magical skills, but no form he can use to accomplish anything. He’s a little more colorful than Lizzie is, to say the least.

Together, they team up to improve their lot in life, but also to fight against monsters.

Character is a big part of these stories. Because there is a huge generation gap, and maybe some differing values, they’re at each others’ throats all the time. Craig plays this for comedy, because that’s a big part of this series. Imagine a social justice warrior trying to deal with her own grandfather and you get the idea. This geezer doesn’t really understand cell phones, the Internet or anything very high tech. It’s enough to drive a robot girl crazy, so I kind of side with Lizzie.

Craig adds some colorful characters everywhere else, too. In this book you’ll meet Kevin, who’s probably the worst vampire of all time. Can you imagine a vampire with gnarly teeth and a speech impediment? Not quite the romantic image Dracula left us with.

Craig’s known for some pretty outlandish characters. Present company excluded. This series has some of the craziest ones he’s ever come up with. That’s saying something if you consider he came up with a talking yak and the root monsters in other tales. I hope your fans will give it a chance.

Oh, I’m also supposed to tell you they’re designed to be short reads. They come in at about half the length of a novel. Makes them easy to read on a Saturday afternoon.

Now let’s get to the fun part. Part of my job is to pose for promotional posters, and I have one for you and your fans. Remember, this series is supposed to be kind of corny, so the scene I’m representing has a little humorous nod to the Spaghetti Westerns of years gone by. It occurs toward the end of the book.

It was so nice visiting with you. Now I want to check out your area. Maybe get my nails touched up. Robot girls don’t actually breathe, but I have a cute mask with bunnies on it to make others feel comfortable. Do you think one of the salons might be open?

There are plenty of beauty salons around here, Lisa, but I haven’t been to one since the pandemic began. I have no idea if they’re open. Maybe we can do each other’s nails? When you wear your mask you’re giving others a good example. Thanks!

Blurb:

Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re chasing vampires across a subculture of America. A pair of rodeo cowboys are holding a woman captive to use like a milk cow since they joined the undead.

The person who put them onto the trail is also a vampire, but he has to be the worst vampire in history. Is he really that pitiful, or is he setting a trap for our heroes? Does the woman even exists? Can Lizzie and the hat find her before she also takes up blood sucking?

Follow Lizzie and the hat as they use their cover band to stalk vamps across the country music scene.

Purchase your copy hereThe Ballad of Mrs. Molony

Other stories in the series:

THE HAT

VIRAL BLUES

You can contact Craig at the following locations:

BlogMy Novels|  TwitterGoodreads |FacebookPinterestBookBub

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to leave Lisa some love in the comment section below. Even robot girls need love. 😉

New Book Launch: Eternal Road – The Final Stop

29 Sep

Hi, everyone! I’m delighted to feature author John W. Howell on my blog today. He launched a new book titled Eternal Road – The Final Stop. John is a favorite author of mine, and I’m excited to read his new book. I’ll let him tell you all about it.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Vashti, and for helping me launch Eternal Road – The final stop. I know you are busy with your next manuscript so I’m happy you could take time to help with the launch. Let me describe the kind of book it is. Eternal Road is the story of two people finding their way through the selection process leading to the place where one will spend eternity. Yes, it is true. They both have passed away. James Wainwright just died in an auto accident. Samantha Tourneau died seventeen years before. Sam is James’s guide to help him decide where to spend eternity. This is not your usual thriller or paranormal romance. It is a piece of fiction that is a combination of inspiration, adventure, time travel, sci-fi, a touch of erotica, and a dash of spiritual. In short, it is a lot of things, but hopefully, a story that will make you happy to have read it.

BLURB:

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer, who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save humankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

It is now available on Amazon in paperback and eBookThe Kindle edition is introductory priced at 99¢ until October 15th.

Here are the universal links

Kindle Universal link:  mybook.to/EternalRoad

Paper universal link:  mybook.to/Eternalroadpaper

Excerpt:

James steers Sam to a café that has seating on the sidewalk. They order coffees, and James then leans closer to Sam so that nobody will overhear and whispers, “Have you ever been to the Bellagio?”

She whispers, “No.”

No one pays them any attention, so James raises his voice to a normal level, “Neither have I. It will be hard to visualize a place that we’ve never visited.”

“How about going to a travel agent and getting a brochure? Would that work?”

James smiles. “It’s worth a try. I mean, how bad could it be?”

Sam shakes her head. “Don’t say that. The desert seemed pretty bad.”

James looks down. “Some parts were nice.”

Sam half-smiles. “My butt, right?”

James winks. “You said it, not me. Here’s our coffee.”

The server places the drinks on the table. James gives her twenty dollars. “Keep the change.”

Surprised but gratified, she leaves them to it.

James pulls out his phone while Sam enjoys her brew.

He sips while he concentrates on searching for a travel agent. “Looks like a travel place operates across the street.”

Sam nods. “Oh, yes. I can see the office from here.”

“So, after we finish our coffee, we’ll go over there.”

Sam nods at James’s cup. “How does it taste?”

“The coffee? Every bit as nice as when I was alive.”

“Good.”

When they’ve finished their drinks, they cross 79th street. The travel agent offers several brochures, so he and Sam select two that contain photos of the front of the Bellagio. They thank the agent and promise to come back as soon as plans get finalized.

The pair leave the agent’s office and head down 79th and toward Central Park. James says, “The park will give us the space we need from other people so that we can vanish from there.” They laugh out loud, trying to imagine the faces of those who might see them one second and then not the next. Still chuckling, they locate a spot that seems remote enough.

James says, “Hold my hand.” Sam takes his in a soft grip. “I’ll look at this Bellagio photo until it burns into my subconscious.”

“Just make sure you don’t have any other thoughts when you start the process.”

James stares at the brochure. “Don’t worry. The only thing on my mind is the Bellagio.”

Sam squeezes his hand. “You sure?”

“Yes. Well, confession time.” James grins at her.

Sam looks into his eyes. “My breasts, right?”

“Just for a moment.” James closes his eyes. “Okay, you ready?”

John’s bio:

John W. Howell is an award-winning author who, after an extensive business career, began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. The paperback versions are also available in the Indie Lector store

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact John:

Blog Fiction Favorites:  http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

John’s other books:

My GRL,

His Revenge

Our Justice

Circumstances of Childhood

The Contract: between heaven and earth 

Thank you for stopping by and visiting today. Please show this brilliant writer some love.

Poetry Friday ~ Whatever It Takes

18 Sep

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones.

Today I am featuring the book Whatever It Takes by S. Burke. Suzanne Burke is a talented author of fascinating and thrilling books with a dark edge. I’m a big fan. Visit her awesome blog, Welcome to the World of Suzanne Burke. Check out all her books here.

Blurb:

James Kincaid had it all.
He’d made it to the ‘A’ list in Hollywood, a town that prized and idolized winners above all else. Three golden statuettes currently graced the mantle of his Los Angeles mansion. Next year’s Oscars held the sweet promise of more.
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 his life or the dream without knowing why.
Andi O’Connor is the woman he’d 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 one besotted human’s insanity?
From Hollywood to New York, the body count continues to rise. Time is not on their side.

Click image to purchase on Amazon

My Review:

Whatever It Takes by S. Burke is an intricate, gripping, and entertaining crime thriller. It’s a smart and thoughtful page-turner that checks off all the boxes for me.

James Kincaid is a Hollywood A-list actor. His wife, Nicole’s sudden death left him unsettled with a plethora of unanswered questions.

He hires ex-NYPD cop Andi O’Connor to look into his wife’s death in order to get the answers he seeks. Soon afterward, a remarkable young actor playing the lead in James’ movie, “No Letters From Home” is found dead. Now he wants Andi to investigate whether the death of his wife is connected to the deaths of two others who died during the filming of this movie.

Andi begins to dig into what should be a routine case but finds far more than she had anticipated. As the horrifying truths uncoil, dark secrets are revealed, a string of murders are uncovered, and all the dots connected to a sadistic serial killer on the loose.

Whatever It Takes (Shadorma poem)

When you love

your love is so wrong

Possessive

Obsessive

You avoid reality

until it’s too late

“Be careful who you trust. Salt and sugar look the same.”

I hope you enjoyed the post. Thanks for the visit!

Poetry Friday ~ Book Reviews

11 Sep

Hi, everyone!

I love to read. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. I enjoy fiction most of all, especially the fantasy genre. There’s enough reality around me (24/7), sometimes it’s marvelous to take a breakation from real life and escape to another country, world, dimension. . . . Some people think that a person can’t learn anything from reading fiction but nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve been reading since I was a small child, and I’ve learned so much from fictional stories about life, love, friendship, duty, different cultures, animals, science, politics, religions, human nature. . . . I could go on and on. There’s a lot of truth in fiction.

I’d like to share a few of my most recent reads with you. Chronicles of the Diasodz is a young adult fantasy series by author, Yvette M. Calleiro. I’ve read the first three books and I look forward to reading the last two books in the series soon.

I wrote a poem (Nonet) for the first book in the series, The One Discovered. I had already posted a review for this book which you can read here.

Between the covers of my new book

a fearless girl takes a journey

what awaits she has no clue

leaving loved ones behind

to become who she

was born to be

the savior

of her

kind

You can read my review for The One Discovered here.

Blurb:

Sofia has lost everything that was important to her: her mother, her boyfriend, and her best friend. Even the belief that humans are the only beings in the world has been stripped away, but she has no time to dwell on her losses because she’s been transported to a new world to become the savior of the Diasodz. Sofia trusted Ar’ch and Angel to be there for her and to guide and protect her, but only Angel has held true to his word. Ar’ch has abandoned her, leaving her to feel tricked and betrayed.

Ar’ch brought Sofia home, fulfilling his mission to bring their savior safely to their world, but it didn’t come without a cost. Rafe, Sofia’s boyfriend, was killed, and Ar’ch believes Sofia blames him for it. Ar’ch’s sole focus becomes doing what is best for Sofia, and in his mind, that does not include him.

As Sofia deals with Ar’ch’s absence, she throws herself into learning about the Diasodz’s history. She grows stronger both emotionally and physically, and begins to accept her role in their world, but not everyone is convinced that she is the one whom the prophecy states will save them.

Beliefs will be challenged. Secrets will be revealed. Relationships will be shattered. And in the aftermath, evil will see its opportunity and strike. Will Sofia be able to handle it all? Or will the savior of the Diasodz lose her will to continue?

My Review:

The One Enlightened is the second book in the Chronicles of the Diasodz series. It picks up where book one left off as Sofia, Ar’ch, and Angel leave Rafe behind to travel via a portal to the world of the Diasodz.

Sofia had a hard time getting over the tragedy of losing a loved one as they escaped into the portal. She also misses her mom, and a few quarrels kept her and Ar’ch apart. However, she and her newly found brother, Angel, created a bond.

She trained with her brother as a Diasodz, and they learned about the history of her people with Nolan who had taken on the role of her father.

Sofia and Ar’ch cleared up their misunderstandings, and a secret romance progressed. Sofia embraced her new life, and she slowly accepted her role as savior of the Diasodz. She grew more confident and stronger both physically and mentally every day. As her relationship with Ar’ch became impassioned, and she rejoiced in their love for one another, an unexpected twist threatened to tear them apart forever.

I liked observing Sofia’s transformation from an innocent teen to a strong, confident young woman. I also enjoyed learning about the culture, faith, and history of the Diasodz. The vivid descriptions and beautiful world building were delightful. The characters continued to grow and develop, which was a lot of fun to witness.

I will be reading the third installment of the Chronicles of the Diasodz series, The One Betrayed. I recommend this series to readers who enjoy young adult fantasy sprinkled with romance and the supernatural.

Blurb:

When Sofia chose to leave Rafe to live with Ar’ch in another world, Rafe’s system shut down and sent him to an early death. But Rafe didn’t die, at least not permanently. Rafe is a Diasodz, and his death simply freed him from his human shell so that he could become the powerful Diasodz that he was meant to be.

He awakened to a completely new reality, a reality in which he was the prince to a kingdom of powerful beings. His parents, Drake and Damiana, were the rulers of the Raizyns, a group of Diasodz who were determined to take their rightful place in the world. And Rafe would be the savior who would lead them on their quest.

Rafe wanted to please his father, especially since he had just met him. To do that, he needed to learn how to fight like a Raizyn and how to master his newfound skill. He needed to become stronger, faster, and more powerful. Rafe needed to become the savior they all expected him to be. That was what was required of him.

But there was one thing that was more important than everything else. One person. Sofia. Rafe was going to find a way to get her back, even if it cost him his life. Again.

My Review:

The One Betrayed is the third installment of the Chronicles of the Diasodz series. It does not pick up where the last one left off, like the previous one. Instead, this book takes us back to the ending of book one and revisits the events of the first two books as told by the enemy, the Raizyns. At first, this was a little jarring because I was so involved in Sofia’s story in books one and two. It didn’t take long for me to get into this story, though. I was excited to see how the events unfolded from the point of view of the “other side.”

The author introduced new characters and gave us more insight into the older ones. I enjoyed the in-depth look into the “enemy” and their world. Rafe, Drake, and Mel were my favorites, but all the characters were well developed, interesting, and relatable in some way.

The world building was impeccable, and I enjoyed escaping into this realm. I also enjoyed the sci-fi elements the author sprinkled throughout the story with teleportation, force fields, hologram technology. . . .

The pacing was a bit slow at times but not enough to take away my enjoyment. Although I missed reading about Sofia, it was fun reading the other side’s point of view and getting to know these characters better. And as each book sets up the next one, I look forward to reading book four.

This week, Annette Rochelle Aben selected the words for Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry (syllables only) Challenge. This week’s words are: HINT & BOLD. I used the synonyms Clue and Fearless in my Nonet.

I hope you liked today’s post. Enjoy the rest of your day! Happy reading!

Poetry Friday ~ Fantasy Angels Series

4 Sep

Hi, everyone! I hope you’re all having a fabulous start to the weekend.

“It’s the first of the month and you know what that means! Poets get to choose their own syllabic poetry form, theme, words, images, etc.” ~ Colleen Chesebro

The 3rd and final book in my Fantasy Angels Series, The Rise of Gadreel will be released in a couple of months. So today I’d like to talk a little about the first two books in the series and what they’re about.

The Fall of Lilith, the first book in the series is an origins story. The origin of the angels, of the revolution in heaven, of other supernatural beings that came into existance when fallen angels evolved upon landing in different areas of a primitive planet, the origin of Earth, of mankind and sin.

“I really enjoyed this book. I love when stories put a spin on biblical/historical stories, and this one definitely kept me entertained. Lilith is a deceptive little thing, and I loved reading about her journey, though I will admit that Gadreel held most of my affection throughout the book (which would probably really anger Lilith…lol!).”–Amazon Review

BLURB:

In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate, conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels. 

If you think you know their story, think again.

Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.

Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.

Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.

“[A] compelling narrative that . . . strays far from traditional biblical text . . . A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”—Kirkus Reviews

Spark of perfection

snuffed by ashes of desire

deep in the horrors

of ambition and envy

you evolved into evil

Son of the Serpent, the 2nd book in the series describes the life of Dracúl, the son of Lilith and Satan. He was abandoned in a forest as a small child. Despite being the son of demons he rejected evil. Tired of feeling lonely and insignificant he leaves the forest where he grew up alone. As a young man he meets Cain, the eldest son of Adam and Eve, and his adventure through time begins. After the shock of discovering who his parents were and the fact that his mother tried to kill him, leaving him for dead in a forest he began a quest to find her, to learn why. Despite many trials he refused to be like his parents and continued his efforts to be good. While on his journey to find his mother he witnessed many historical events like: the murder of Abel by his brother Cain, the building of the Tower of Babel, and the flood among others.

“It is rare in my experience to enjoy book two of a series even more than book one. And given that book one earned five stars from me, the fact that this book exceeds even that is a testament to the skill and clear love of this genre that permeates the work of author Vashti Quiroz-Vega.” –Amazon Review

BLURB:

In Son of the Serpent, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts another fascinating glimpse into the dark, compelling world of fallen angels and demons, revealing more about their untold stories.

The war in heaven might be over, but the ambitions of the fallen angel Lilith reach far across the roots of history. Will there be a being powerful enough to stop her evil influence before the destruction of mankind?

Dracúl knows he is the son of Satan, but the rest of his memory has been taken from him. Alone and frightened, he awakens in a forest, beginning a quest to piece together who he is. The world he encounters is cruel, but he yearns to belong and find companionship. With each step he takes, another missing piece of his memory falls into place, revealing a truth that is ever more troubling . . .

A truth that will turn his quest for meaning into one fueled by the hot-blooded thirst for revenge. A truth that leads him to Lilith, the most wicked and ruthless of fallen angels and one he soon will have every reason to hate. His quest will consume him, perhaps ruin his life, but somehow Dracúl is determined to find both belonging and vengeance—to be good, in spite of his evil nature and the dark secrets that haunt him every step of the way.

The son of demons, and the last hope for the world.

A glance at the past

spark a pain my heart can’t share

an eye for an eye

revenge I planned from afar

but love & woe have worked their will

I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about my Fantasy Angels Series. I want to thank everyone who has purchased, read and reviewed the first two books in the series. I sincerely appreciate it. ❤

Poetry Friday ~ Photo Prompt

21 Aug

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog.

It’s the third week of the month! Time for a #PhotoPrompt

Aishwarya, aka, Kitty from Kitty’s Verses, was Colleen’s selection from last month’s challenge. She has provided the photo for this month’s challenge. Remember, don’t just describe what is in the photo. Engage your senses and work with implied metaphors to make your poetry sing!

It’s been a while since I’ve ridden on a train. I rode the trains to school in NYC. It was boring and scary at times.

Fun, adventure and excitement comes to mind when I gaze at the prompt picture, though. There’s something about those tracks leading to infiniti that depict freedom. My imagination goes wild.

The train gets underway, whistling off its baratone warning. Slow it begins, then picks up speed until tons of steel on wheels skim the tracks faster than fairies and witches, on its way to some magic land. Anything in this iron behemoth’s path should stand clear because it doesn’t mean to slow until it’s near.

Take a long rail trip

There’s nothing like the rhythm

of a train journey

slow to start then pick up speed

much like life’s tempo on tracks

Photograph by Denis Chick

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed the post. If you’d like to participate in Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge click here. It’s a lot of fun.

Poetry Friday ~ Unrequited Love <3

14 Aug

Hello, everyone! Welcome.

Here are the words from Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge:

“Circled and Squared”

I almost tossed in the towel when I saw the two prompt words for the week. What was I supposed to do with that? I thought. But in the end, I decided to give it a try. I’ve been hard at work with the blurb, cover and formatting for my upcoming book, The Rise of Gadreel. Please forgive me for not being consistant with my Friday posts the last few weeks. My Etheree poem was inspired by the second book in my Fantasy Angels Series, Son of the Serpent. I’ve also included an excerpt from that book. I hope you enjoy it.

Photograph by Mateus Campos Felipe @matfelipe

Unrequited Love

I fell in love with a beautiful mind

thoughts of him spiral out of control

as I crave what I cannot have

He entered my life and made

everything better

I can’t regret him

or corrupt him

he’s married

to the

church

Photograph by James Coleman @jhc

Dracúl came across a young girl named Miriam while searching the streets of Egypt for a place to rest for the night. She informed him that the pharaoh ordered every Israeli male child not yet walking be thrown into the Nile River for the crocodiles, and she feared for her newborn brother’s life. Here’s an excerpt in Dracúl’s voice from Son of the Serpent.

Gadreel and I left the waterfall and made our way to the street where I met Miriam. I found the house she disappeared into and knocked. 

      The door creaked open and a man stood before us. “Yes, how may I help you?”

      “We seek answers,” I said, bowing my head out of respect. “A girl named Miriam stated that we could get answers from her father, Amram.” 

      “I am Amram,” he said, creasing his brow. “You say you know my daughter, Miriam?”

      “We met once. She told me of a terrible decree ordered by the pharaoh. I have many questions. You could provide me with the answers I seek.” I glanced at Gadreel. She stared at the ground, and I returned my gaze to him.

      “Come in,” he said.

      I did not hesitate to do so. His home was humble but clean and cozy. The fragrances of incense and fresh bread wafted through the air. They did not have much but offered everything they had. Miriam came out of one of the rooms and helped serve food and drink to Gadreel and me. 

      “Why are Egyptian soldiers killing the innocent?” I asked once the meal was finished. 

      “Three months ago, a witch who passes herself off as an astrologer claimed that a liberator, a male child of Israel, was to be born. She told the pharaoh that this liberator would grow to be more powerful than any pharaoh of Egypt.” Amram’s face flushed as he gave us his account of the happenings.

      “Witch? Does this witch have a name?” Gadreel touched my arm and scowled at me. “Apologies. Please continue,” I said as heat bloomed in my face.

      “The pharaoh decided to end the threat by getting rid of the liberator while he was still a babe, so he ordered every male child that cannot yet walk be killed. My son was born three months ago, on the very day the witch predicted the liberator would be born. We believe our son is the liberator of Israel, for a radiant light filled our house when he entered this world.”

      Gadreel gasped, placing her hand over mine.

      “We have concealed him for three months, but it is becoming impossible to do so any longer,” Amram said as he wrung his hands, staring at us like we were his last hope.

      A woman approached and set a basket made of papyrus on the table. “My name is Jochebed. I am Amram’s wife and mother to Aaron and Miriam, and this is my newborn son.” She extended her hand toward the basket.

      Gadreel and I rose from our seats and looked into the basket. My eyes were fixed on the infant. He was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. I was mesmerized.

      “He is special.” My words were barely audible.

      “We must do something,” Gadreel said, standing on her toes as she gazed at the infant.

      “I can help your son, but you must trust me,” I told Jochebed and Amram.

      They glanced at each other and then Amram spoke to me. “I knew God had sent you the moment I opened the door and saw your face.” He nodded once, and I picked up the basket with the babe inside.

      “Is the basket impermeable?” I asked. “Will it float?” 

      “Yes, I weaved the papyrus reeds tightly,” Jochebed said.

      “Very well.” The babe, he smiled at me the way only one pure of heart could. “I will take your son to safety. Say your goodbyes.”

      The family came forth, kissed and caressed the child, and said their farewells.

      Gadreel and I made our way to the door with the infant.

      “I will go with you!” Miriam said, hurrying to us. “Please. Let me come with you. I want to see where my brother’s fate leads you.”

      I faced Amram. “It will be a dangerous undertaking. If we are caught with the child, they will try to kill us.”

      Miriam turned to her father, her face wet with tears of desperation and sorrow. “Please father! I implore you. Allow me to go with them.”

      Amram frowned and waved her to go. She grabbed my arm, pushing me forward and out the door, perhaps afraid her father would change his mind.

      We rushed through the streets. The babe fell asleep and remained silent. He looked comfortable, wrapped in soft cloths.

      “The witch they spoke of––it must be Lilith,” Gadreel whispered.

      “It is she. I am sure of it,” I said, moving quickly while scanning my surroundings. “I do not know what makes me so certain, but I am. I will save this child, and then I will deal with her.”

      As we reached the bank of the Nile we stopped to look out to the water. Gadreel gasped, slapping a hand over her mouth, stifling screams. Miriam was shrieking so Gadreel rushed to her side, holding her tight as the girl sobbed on her chest. I stood frozen by a sight so astonishing in its level of horror that I had to bite my lower lip hard enough to draw blood to be certain I was not having a nightmare. A myriad of dead and mangled babies floated downstream on the Nile. 

Son of the Serpent is a High/Supernatural Fantasy sprinkled with Horror and Romance for an 18+ audience. Get your copy and give this book a try. It may surprise you.