Hello and welcome to my author page!
I created this website to foster a connection
with all my readers and I am thrilled
to share my first young adult science fiction novel with you.
I completed my first novel "Nadir To Zenith"
while living on beautiful Bainbridge island
on the Puget Sound of Washington state.
My novel was six years in the making,
but the time in isolation allowed me the
mental space to complete this novel.
"Nadir to Zenith" is an adventure story of the
heroine Aurora as she overcomes her teen struggles to be an individual in an alien world.
Aurora not only flies squid vessels,
travels through wormholes, and has teen crushes, but also dreams of being back on Earth. You won't regret escaping eleven light-years to her world on Domina!
Back Cover Book Summary:
Aurora thought she was living an idyllic life learning to be a squid vessel mechanic while being raised by the alien Torquinox on the distant planet Domina. Now at 16, she feels the Torquinox’s shared mind technology is intrusive and annoying. She longs to feel more human and less alien. Aurora cannot help but question everything, even the story the Torquinox have told them of their rescue from Earth. The year is 2144. Earth, eleven light-years away, is now desolate, uninhabitable, and dreadfully distant from her imagination.
When the great alien alliance falters and the alien Kean attack her once peaceful planet, Aurora doubts her role in the Torquinox society and dreads all she has to lose. Abruptly she is ushered into a new era of awakening with forbidden dreams of Earth. She can only trust Harvey to plan an escape from Domina. Her escape plan is perfect until it falters. Will she be able to trust Tatum, her Torquinox mentor? Most of all, will Aurora find the courage to live a life she only dreamed of?
Nadir to Zenith
Available in Kindle Book and Paperback format
NADIR TO ZENITH
Published April 11, 2019
I am extremely proud and honored to share "Nadir to Zenith," my latest page-turner with you. My close friends and family know how much work was put into getting this book ready for release and publication. This is the story of Aurora, a 16-year-old girl living on a distant planet called Domina. She and other humans were rescued from Earth as infants by the Torquinox, an alien species who saved them from uninhabitable Earth. Aurora communicates with the Torquinox through the shared mind with the help of alien technology at the base of her spine. She wants to be free of the shared mind, to have her own thoughts and feel like an individual. This is part of her struggle to find what it means to be truly human. I only hope, the heroine Aurora, will inspire young girls to trust their intuition, intelligence, and self-determination as they move into adulthood, no matter what planet they are inhabiting.
I am excited to finally share "Nadir To Zenith," with a wider audience and hope you enjoy it!
Chapter 1 Audio excerpt below
Book Cover Art
Originally, my story was inspired by artist Rodney Sellars and his fantastical squid vessels. I love the art he created, and the worlds it inspired in me!
You can see his drawings and paintings,
and hear me reading chapter one excerpt below.
Later during the writing process, I scoured the internet for painters of fantasy and science fiction and found this image 'Die Rote' by Thomas Bossert. He paints transportive images with oils, in his studio in Germany. I found this female image very moving and filled with emotion. The mood of the painting, fit the main character of my novel, as she struggled with emotions of being a teenager, and being part of the shared mind. Thankfully, Mr. Bossert permitted me to use his image for my book cover.
The Writing Process
Takes Patience and Perseverance
Since reading great science fiction authors the likes of Ursula K. Le Guin and Robert A. Heinlein in college, I have been a lifelong fan. I wanted to challenge myself with writing in this genre and so the obsession began. I started writing the novel, Nadir to Zenith, in 2013. The characters' names and the setting came to me first, as if they already existed. Aurora was the main protagonist, a young girl with uncertainty and much to prove, living on a planet with aliens. Then I set out to plot out the chapters. I had multiple versions of the book outline. In 2014, I joined a writing group at the very early stages of the novel, which influenced my book development, and how I presented Aurora in the first few chapters. Thanks to the honest feedback of Louis and Dennis, I learned plenty about what I needed to fix. As I kept writing the novel over the years, often taking month-long breaks, I would return to my original chapter outline and be amazed at how much it had evolved. Finally, in 2017 and 2018, while working with a mentor program through Cornerstone Literary in Bath, England, I did the bulk of the serious re-writes and made the hard editing decisions. I was guided by an editor from Bloomsbury Publishing, one of the great publishing houses in England, to the final version you will be reading today.
Nadir to Zenith
Chapter 1 ~ Tatum
Art pieces by Rodney Sellars
Nadir to Zenith
Chapter 1 ~ Tatum
Lives depend on my repairs. What if I miss something? Hexes! Aurora mulled over her inadequacy, as the wind blew a wisp of hair in her face. She sensed Tatum was getting restless as they both stared at the open squid vessel’s belly. She was fond of the massive beasts. The one she was working on hung vertically in the repair hanger and the last bio-scan showed it was still not fixed. It felt hugely disconcerting to locate the infection, and all she could do was stare at the mass of arteries bloating out from the external access panel of the belly. Maybe, if the air wasn’t so biting cold, I’d be working faster. No matter, scanning one last time.
Tatum’s tall alien body shadowed Aurora in the afternoon light entering the portal doors. A storm was brewing in the distance, and the platform she and Tatum stood on, quivered with each gust. Tatum always spoke to her through the shared mind. Aurora, you have an aptitude. You must not doubt yourself, but a foreign body is affecting the squid vessel in one of the subcutaneous arteries. They are all connected and it is time sensitive.
Working on it! Aurora responded through the shared mind, but his remark made her feel more inadequate. She was used to Tatum hearing her thoughts, but she wished for just one moment of privacy. She blamed the Torquinox brain implants, for never having a second to herself in his presence. Fortunately, the shared mind was dictated by proximity of at least 15 meters near another, and often she used it to her advantage.
Your strength comes from within, not through my perception of you, Tatum shared. We must discuss beginning of actual flight training. You have completed enough squid vessel simulations.
One thing at a time, Tatum! I am trying to fix this damage. Aurora had started out riveted by the new repair training under Tatum’s supervision, but after a few hours with him, she was fatigued and her fingers were cold from the frigid air. A storm felt closer as the wind swept up to the platform, ten meters from the ground. She was distracted by the grumbling in her stomach but buoyed by the buzz of the docking station as the massive squid vessels came and went out of the open portal. After each squid vessel docked, both human and Torquinox pilots intermingled below, speaking through the shared mind. Through rigorous practice, she had learned the skill of ‘selectivity’ from the flood of voices among the shared mind. It was the one Torquinox skill she was most proud of, but sometimes she didn’t have the mental strength to keep it in order.
Not going to slip away from me this time! She rubbed her cold hands on her pants and reached her whole arm into the exposed artery casing; it felt warm and gooey inside. Her cheek rested on the edge of the hard exoskeleton. The squid’s inner tissue tightened on her arm as she dug inside the cavity for the exact large artery and yanked it hard towards her, exposing it to the cold air. There! She was sure this was the one she needed to repair.
Correct, Tatum responded, watching her intently. His skin was a calm shade of mauve taupe.
Aurora sighed with relief. It was exhausting constantly trying to prove to Tatum she was more than capable of handling the job on her own, and quickly got the biomatter out of her repair kit. For once he was letting her do the work and she was glad of it. Working swiftly with strokes of her palm, she covered the exposed artery, hoping the foreign body had not traveled into other areas. Then she scanned it with a tissue fuse gun to complete the binding of the different tissue. Be healed my beast! She ordered. The artery gently curled back into the cavity.
Excellent work, Aurora. Tatum’s shared thoughts had little nuance. I want to let you know about affairs coming to our planet. You must be prepared for the near future.
Uh huh. Aurora did not look up at him as she began the procedure to cover the open panel; the membrane needed to be flapped back down and sealed on the edges with the cellular heat gun. Otherwise, she was eager to discuss the flight training. She was tired of the squid simulators and was looking forward to more of a challenge. She was thinking of flying her first beast into space before turning 17. She tried to imagine flying the huge elephant size squid vessel into the vastness of space. Most of all, it would be a huge accomplishment after such a short time of training simulation. Aurora already knew, she only wanted Harvey as her co-pilot, and just maybe Tatum would let her choose.
Aurora glanced out the docking station doors. The Domina sky was sprinkled with silver formations of at least 100 squid vessels floating mid-air as they made their way from space back into the planet’s atmosphere. The squid vessels swirled and undulated from space, the clouds excreting them like new flower buds. It was mesmerizing how the beasts’ skins refracted and bounced prisms of light in every direction, circumventing all feeling in her body. Their reflective shimmer was an opulence so comforting, yet threatening since they could destroy objects with their pulsars. The thought of being outside the planet’s atmosphere in her first flight, looking down from within the squid vessel, made her nervous and excited at the same time.
Aurora, stay on task, Tatum directed her. She felt Tatum’s mood had turned unusually somber, his skin beginning to glimmer with shades of pale rose and a slight phosphorescence.
All right...back on track. He had caught her daydreaming. She returned to work on sealing the flap with the cellular heat gun. Tatum, you mentioned preparing for the future…
Yes…The Kean vessels have been on the periphery of our system, taunting our pilots, and putting us at odds with our friends the Zunic. He paused and began again with some attempt at emphasis. Yesterday, they fired upon our food sources on the Apricus moon. We cannot trust the Kean any longer when they have broken the interspecies alliance; We must be prepared for anything, Aurora.
She stopped working and looked up at him. “What?” She said out loud in shock. Using her voice always made her feel more human. “Is the alliance so easily ended? I thought the interspecies alliance with the Kean, the Zunic, and your species had been drawn ages ago and was solid.” The platform seemed to sway more under her feet, and her fingertips felt numb. She tried to read his face, but his dark eyes gave away nothing. She stared at him and waited anxiously for more information. Tatum’s skills at blocking her out of his mind were impressive.
It is complicated. And yes, the alliance is shattering. What is more, they have attacked our food sources in several locations. As you know, critical to the Torquinox and to the humans. Tatum was anxious, she could see it. His skin turned a slightly phosphorescent sheen and the unique discolored mark which wrapped around his neck was a deeper shade of mauve taupe.
It seems extraordinary they have attacked the Apricus moon base! Aurora felt the urgency of the situation sink in, and her mood turned gloomy just thinking of it. She worried about what this meant for her.
We are the salvus on our planet, as we have a shield for our AerHexagonal home base and of course, the squid vessels have proper shields once in flight, not to mention the pulsar weapons. Tatum reassured her.
Salvus? Aurora was not convinced. She rubbed her hands together to warm them up. She was going to question Tatum till she got to the bottom of this, and she felt the burden of ignoring the inert squid vessel splayed open and vulnerable. Tatum, the Kean scare me, from what you told me of their history. I feel we are not prepared for a confrontation. I expect the Zunic with those massive ships to join the fight with your species. Right?
Tatum sighed, an unusual gesture for his species. He turned away from her and faced the open portal of the docking station at the edge of the platform. Aurora could see his skin pulsed from rose to mauve, through his fibrous clothes that layered his upper torso. His silence was drawn-out as he stared at the barren landscape of Domina. I am telling you this before the announcement at the high council. Our species is prepared to do anything to save your species. He turned around to face Aurora, towering over her petite frame by two feet. His dark eyes scanned her face, and he blinked gently. You must believe this, Aurora. You have the skills needed to pilot a squid vessel. I see how you have improved in a short time of simulation training.
You really think so?
Tatum nodded and continued, you will begin flight training at the next star cycle. There is danger coming to our planet and I want you to be prepared for anything.
Aurora did not feel prepared for anything. Of course, she wanted the flight training to begin in a real squid vessel, but not for the purposes of fighting alien wars. She wanted to scream at him in frustration for not answering her questions, but it was not possible with the shared mind communication. Through the shared mind everything was so evenly communicated, lacking expression; and she felt half muffled.
I know the shared mind is frustrating but you must admit it is efficient, Tatum responded to her thoughts.
“Ughhhh!” She vocalized her frustration, rolling her eyes and throwing her hands in the air. The more he imploring her to appreciate the gifts the Torquinox had given her and the others, the more she despised them.
Ambient Synth music by
This single from Guest Nebula album was composed and produced by Dennis Bestafka. The track 'Lyra' features me
reading from my novel: "Nadir to Zenith." The reading is more to be felt than actually heard clearly.
Get transported and soothed by this chill ambient track.
REEP WHAT YOU SEW
A successful life rests upon nurturing, loving relationships along the way. After 20+ years with my life partner, I give him my gratitude. I could have never written a novel without his encouragement and belief in my creativity.
Take heart and honor those that believe in you and love you unconditionally.
They are diamonds in your life.
A Colombian Novella
Over the years I was inspired to write period piece novellas that captured the magic realism of my country of origin, Colombia, South America. When writing these, the landscape and the culture oozed out of my pen with ease. Some of my favorite authors are Isabel Allende and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This novella rests at the feet of the grand literary novels of Latin America. Please find this tragic and beautiful love story set in early Colombian history on Amazon. I look forward to your reviews!
Words are so precious that sometimes they cannot be spoken. Laying them down on paper like a puzzle, they sing, they prance about, they are captured and drank into the soul. These poems were written over the decade 2000-2010 while living in the biosphere of the Bay Area. I grappled with life amid beautiful nature, deep psychology, interpersonal relating, and the wars of nations and people. It is a must-read if you are a lover of Mary Oliver, Garcia Lorca, E.E. Cummings, Pablo Neruda, Sylvia Plath, William Carlos Williams, Robert Lowell, and Wallace Stevens.
Find current poetry releases read on: Soundcloud!
A Colombian Novella
Cecelia is eleven years old, living in a magnificent Colombian coastal town in the 1870s. She is sheltered by her beloved mother and open to the magic of the world she lives in. The innocence of childhood ends quickly as circumstances and betrayals beyond her control test her faith and her sanity. This story weaves the tale of a heroine who must overcome her mind and the challenges of her family. Reality and fiction must be teased out and shaped into something unexpected for her time in history. This novella is loosely based on my grandmother's life story living in Colombia. The novella is in English with some Spanish words included. I look forward to your reviews!
Storyteller at Heart
Born in Chicago, Illinois, to Colombian immigrants, I quickly returned to Colombia and had the fortune to be raised enfolded in the richness of Latin American culture. Later, I was transplanted to Southern California and developed my bi-cultural identity that still inspires my creative work. I cultivated my love of story at the California State University of Long Beach, where I completed a Bachelor's Degree in English Literature. Afterward, I relocated to San Francisco Bay Area and completed a Master's Degree in Transpersonal/Somatic Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. I practiced as a Marriage and Family Therapist for the Latino community for many years. In the meantime, I self-published three works: La Botanica, La Semilla, and a poetry collection, In Moments Like These. Current poetry published on Poetry Page.
While living on beautiful Bainbridge Island in Puget Sound, WA. I completed and self-published the young adult science fiction novel "Nadir To Zenith."
Currently, I am located in San Diego with my husband. When not writing you can find me Voice Acting, Singing on multiple music projects, designing leather goods for Prettyhawke Design, or updating my Food blog Foodie Out of the Closet.