Welcome back to my first Q and A for the 2021 season. I’m thrilled to be featuring friend and author, Vashti Q Vega today for a little Q & A and some insights about her riveting new book, The Rise of Gadreel, which I recently devoured and reviewed for my first Sunday Book Review of 2021. Vashti’s book is the 3rd in this engrossing fantasy angel series of good versus evil.
No thanks to Amazon for NOT displaying my review on their dot com page as usual, as they seem to treat us Canadians like lepers. But I really did put it up on Amazon too, as well as on Goodreads. But onwards, now that I got that out of my system, let’s get to know more about Vashti and her beautiful book!
About Vashti Quiroz-Vega:
Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of Fantasy, Horror, and Thriller. Since she was a kid she’s always had a passion for writing and telling stories. It has always been easier for her to express her thoughts on paper.
She enjoys reading almost as much as she loves to write. Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin.
She enjoys making people feel an array of emotions with her writing. She likes her audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.
When she isn’t building extraordinary worlds and fleshing out fascinating characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband JC and her Pomeranian Scribbles who is also her writing buddy.
In The Fall of Lilith, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega took readers inside the gates of heaven for a front-row seat to Lucifer’s rebellion. In Son of the Serpent, she introduced Dracúl, tormented offspring of fallen angels. Now, in The Rise of Gadreel, Quiroz-Vega is back with the next chapter in her Fantasy Angels saga—a gripping tale of hope and redemption set against the fiery backdrop of a demon’s insatiable thirst for power and revenge.
Lilith is gone, suffering the torments of the damned in hell. Satan, once known as Lucifer, endures endless agony in an earthly prison. Yet their foul legacy lives on, spread by a corrupted priesthood that uses the blackest magic to fan the flames of evil and hate throughout the world.
The former angel Gadreel, who fought and fell alongside Lilith and Lucifer, only to join Dracúl in his fight against them, is weary of war. Repenting of past sins, she wants nothing more than to be left in peace. But when a new threat to humankind arises, Gadreel is given the chance she has prayed for—the chance to earn God’s forgiveness.
Now, with the aid of Dracúl and a trio of uncanny allies—a man of air, a man of stone, and a woman of fire—at her side, Gadreel must find the courage to confront her past and forge a new future for herself . . . and the world.
Reviewed in the United States on January 5, 2021
As much as I loved Dracul’s struggle in the second book “The Son of the Serpent” it was Gadreel’s journey that mesmerized me in this story. A fallen angel, she now wants redemption and sets out to battle the evil threatening to take over the civilization. The relationship between Dracul and Gadreel is almost endearing as they join forces. The story is told from both sides of the battle, and I was always happy to get back to Gadreel and her new friends. Not that I didn’t appreciate the evil point of view, but there was a cruelty that rang true of how people treated each other during the dark ages that were captured very visually. Ms. Quiroz-Vega takes history and weaves biblical stories into it with a fresh take. This was a painful fight between good and evil. “The Rise of Gadreel” isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you love a well-told tale that will keep you reading late into the night, this is for you. I recommend starting at the beginning, so you understand how the characters developed. I highly recommend this book and series.
Okay, let us get to know about Vashti and her writing!
But before we get started, I just have to add that as luck would have it, at this posting, Vashti’s Book 1 and 2 – The Fall of Lilith, and The Son of the Serpent is on for just 99 cents now! Grab your copies now!
Do some of your own character traits or personal experiences spill into the book’s characters?
I don’t think as authors we have a choice as to what spills into a book’s
characters. Usually, I write my first draft as it comes out of my head. It
isn’t until I begin my revisions that I then notice that some of my traits
and quirks have made it into some of the characters. Honestly, there are
times that I don’t notice at all until someone I know reads the book and
points it out.
D.G. – I think it should seem natural that parts of us would naturally sneak into our writing. I know that’s why I write nonfiction – my fiction would be a dead giveaway lol.
Do events in your daily life inspire your writing ideas?
I don’t think my daily life is that interesting or inspiring. If I relied on
that, I wouldn’t have any writing material (ha-ha). I lead an ordinary life.
That being said, I do have an adventurous spirit and an imagination that
knows no bounds. If I see something that catches my eye or hear
something that winds itself around my ears, I make a note of it. If I run
into someone at the grocery store, pharmacy, mall . . . and they have an
eccentric way of pronouncing certain words or move their hands in an
oddly interesting way as they speak, I make a note of it. I enjoy watching
people and listening to them speak and then writing down any
appealing peculiarities they may have.
D.G. – So basically, you’re a writer who observes life to fill your pen – story of my life. 🙂
What would you like to see change to make the world better?
Empathy and tolerance for one another are sorely lacking in the world
today. I think, if people of different races and religions would make an
effort to learn about each other, we would see that we’re all the same in
the basic sense. We all want similar things. If we got to know each other
better instead of believing in the stereotypes shown on TV and in
movies and amplified in the media, we would definitely get along better.
It is impossible for everyone of a certain race, color, or religion to be all
bad or good.
D.G. – I couldn’t agree more!
Do you watch TV? If so, what is your favorite show and why?
For some reason, I am obsessed with crime dramas like Criminal Minds,
Law & Order, CSI, Chicago P.D., and others. I have to exercise discipline
because I can watch those all day. My husband always says he doesn’t
understand how I haven’t written a crime thriller already since I enjoy
reading and watching them so much. I’m actually working on one right
D.G. – Wow, that’s interesting because I love watching a few if those, and police procedurals too, fascinated at what spurs criminals to act as they do – the human condition. Although, I stopped watching Criminal Minds a few years ago as I found it was getting way more graphically violent, which I cannot watch.
Do your books have messages in them? If so, what are the messages you feel are well received by your readers?
Yes. All my books have messages in them: “there are always
consequences to evil deeds” is a predominant message in my Fantasy
Angels series. There are also messages of good and evil, physical and
internal suffering, deception, revenge, hope, and redemption in my
stories. I don’t believe in sugarcoating evil people or their acts. I
understand that good people do bad things at times, but sometimes a
person is just evil and enjoys doing bad things. I enjoy making that
D.G. – As one who has read almost all your books, I can verify those messages threaded in them.
Excerpt from The Rise of Gadreel
In this excerpt, my main character Gadreel and her close ally, Dracúl meet
Sabina for the first time. Although the three of them become close friends later, Dracúl and Sabina have a rocky start. (This excerpt is in Gadreel’s POV)
“My name is Sabina,” she said.
“What are you doing here?”
“Isn’t it obvious? I’m a plague doctor trying to save these people, like the sick
man said. They suffer from the plague.”
“I have seen plague doctors before, but none dressed quite as elaborately as you,”
I said. “All the doctors I have met have been men. I had no idea female doctors existed. What plague were you treating them for?”
“One of many afflicting the people of this land. And perhaps you’ve never met a
female doctor before because I am the first.”
I picked up the mask from where she had placed it on the ground. As I examined
it, I caught whiffs of lavender, mint, camphor, cinnamon, and sage. The herbs and spices were mixed with straw and filled the beak.
“I don’t understand. Why do you wear such garments and this mask stuffed with
herbs and straw?” I asked.
“To protect myself from disease and miasma, of course.”
“What is miasma?” I asked. She stared at me like I should have been aware of this.
“Miasma is a noxious form of bad air that spreads disease. The herbs and essential oils in the nose of my mask protect me from inhaling the bad air. I also rub essential oils and herbs on my body and on the bodies of the sick.”
“You’re a witch.” Dracúl jumped to his feet. I raised a hand, stopping him where he stood. “Is this true? Are you a witch?”
“I am. As well as a plague doctor.” She shifted on the ground and glanced at
Dracúl. “I practice white magic, but I’ve put no spells on these people. I’ve only used natural remedies to try to cure them. But what has worked five hundred times before hasn’t worked here.”
Dracúl lumbered to my side, pointing at Sabina, his eyes fixed on me. “A witch is
a witch to the church, whether she applies white or black magic. She practices witchcraft, so I thereby accuse her of heresy.”
“You’re wrong!” Sabina cried out as she jumped to her feet. “I come from a long
line of witches, and we’re not all the same. Does the church damn you as a devil?”
Dracúl lurched and clutched his heart as if struck in the chest by the hilt of a
sword. He swallowed hard, and his hands trembled.
“I had no more choice being born a witch than you had being born a devil . . . or
did you choose to be so?”
“I did not.” Dracúl’s emotional pain seeped out in his words. He stared at the
ground as he spoke, his tone much softer than before.
Sabina’s eyes followed something from the area above my head to my arm. A
purple emperor butterfly landed on my forearm. Afterward, a kaleidoscope of butterflies hovered around me, sporting iridescent wings that shone blue or purple in the light. Some landed on my shoulders, arms, and head, while others continued to float about.
“It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen butterflies. Not a single milk thief has
fluttered by since I arrived here. Perhaps they stayed hidden from the state of the world,” she said softly, as though shouting might scare them away. “Yet here they are. They are drawn to you. Butterflies represent hope, change, and life. You must be someone extraordinary. Who are you?”
I held out my hand, and a butterfly landed on my palm. “I see you,” I tell it. “Now
go. Do what you’re meant to do.” At once, the butterflies swirled to the sky in a colorful tornado, vanishing into the clouds. Sabina stood motionless, gawping at me.
* * *
I loved this book and the excerpt. Thanks to Vashti for visiting here today and sharing some of herself and her writing.
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