Life is full of surprises and sometimes—there pretty damn good. Recently I received a rather pleasant—and dare I say prideful—surprise. A little over a month ago, as I was browsing Good Reads trying to find new ways to self-pimp myself I came across a book competition from Lucky Cinda Publishing. I had never entered one before and decided on a whim to try it. I entered late at night, received a confirmation email that my entry was successfully submitted, signed off my email—and then proceeded to forget about it.
A couple of days ago I received an email notification that they had announced the winners. It was 7:00 a.m. and I was checking this on my phone, so I was going about it haphazardly. As I started to scroll down and looked at the list of winners, my heart stopped. In the Honorable Mention section in the General Fiction category I saw Valdivia: A Family Dynasty, by C.P. Desir. Talk about an early morning wakeup! My little engine that could actually got noticed. Considering all that it took to get me to this point—and lord knows how far I still have to go—that was a bit of sweetness that I never anticipated. So often you go through life hoping for the best, but anticipating the worst that when something pleasant comes your way, it throws you off a little.
For me though, as a writer, I think the greatest compliment was that a group of strangers actually picked up something that I sweated over and found it worthy of mention. That is gold. So in honor of this (and of course self-pimping; a self-publishers job is never done) starting today, and for the next four weeks, I’m running a Valdivia Monday special. You may have thought Monday’s were a bitch with Melrose Place, but I guarantee you that they just got a whole lot sexier. I’ll include excerpts from the book for your reading pleasure, and if you enjoy, you can learn more about the series on www.thevaldiviasagas.com. Valdivia: A Family Dynasty is now available for purchase on Kindle.
So without further adieu, here is Part One of this four-part miniseries. This excerpt I call – Facing The Demon.
Aurora was enjoying a relaxing Saturday evening. She had gone out with Delores and some of the other maids to see a new Spencer Tracy movie, and then went out for dinner in the city. She met Delores’ boyfriend for the first time, and as she had stated, he was muy guapo. He was also extremely kind, and clearly smitten with Delores. She was very happy for her friend.
It was close to eleven by the time she returned to the palace. Her plan was to take a quick bath and go straight to bed. In the morning, she would go down to her grandmother’s house, along with her mother, and have breakfast with her before attending Mass at Ana-Lucia. Then later in the afternoon, her mother would drive them to the city to have dinner with her uncle.
With such a full day ahead, she needed as much rest as possible. When she hit her bed after her bath, her eyes soon closed and she was in a deep and heavy sleep. Ten minutes later she was startled to hear a heavy rap at her door. Perplexed, she quickly put on her cotton robe and opened the door. She was more than a little surprised when she saw Jose, the hall boy.
“Yes?” she inquired.
“I was told by Senior Footman Don Marcello that El Presidente requests your presence in his office for his dictation.”
What? Was he kidding? It was eleven thirty at night! She had her rollers in for Christ’s sake. Was this man insane?
“You can’t be serious.”
“Please, Señorita Ortiz. This is a direct request from Don Marcello. If I do not communicate this to you, he’ll be most displeased with me.”
Oh my God, this cannot be happening to me. Another two hours of endless typing. What time was she going to get to bed? She prayed that El Presidente’s secretary got better soon, because she did not know how much longer she could take this.
“Okay. I’ll be over. I’ll need a few moments; as you see, I have to get myself prepared.”
“All right, Señorita Ortiz. I will make sure to communicate this.” With that, he quickly disappeared.
God, what a nightmare. How in the hell did Anuncio ever put up with this? She would take fifty Matildas rather than have to deal with this guy.
Knowing that he was a stickler for time, Aurora quickly got out of her night clothes, and put on her bra and a silk slip. She put on a light-blue skirt and matching top, and immediately pulled out the rollers and began brushing out her curls. Slipping on a pair of shoes, she was done within five minutes and out the door.
This time, rather than fear, she felt annoyance. This man had far too much power, and had no sense of restraint. He thought that because he was rich, and president of the country, that he could lord his will over people. There was a small part of her that was starting to think that maybe if she saved enough money, she could move out of the palace and find something for herself in the city. She was well-educated and had connections, and she knew that perhaps she could put that to good use. There just had to be other options in life.
As she made her way toward the presidential office, she found that the sitting room door was open. His usual footman was not there, so she walked in. The light in his office was on, but from what she heard, he was definitely not alone.
“WHERE IS THE FUCKING MONEY?” he bellowed.
“I’m sorry, Señor Presidente…”
“WHAT…WHAT? YOU’RE FUCKING SORRY? THAT’S ALL YOU CAN SAY TO ME?”
“I don’t know what happened. A bunch of thugs came in there and robbed the place…they took everything. I think the police were in on it, too.”
“Of course they were fucking in on it—pigs that they are! You know goddamned well that I’m supposed to get twenty-five percent of all the money in those fucking gambling dens and whorehouses! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?”
“You know that I can make you disappear, don’t you? You fucking know that, right?”
“Yes, Señor Presidente…”
“So why the fuck weren’t you putting stricter watch on those fucking places!”
“I’m sorry, Señor Presidente.”
“Oh, you’ll be sorry all right!”
Aurora was stunned. She recognized the voice of the man in the other room. He had been to dinners often at the palace. It was the mayor of Caracas.
“Let me tell you something! If you don’t get my goddamned money, and shoot those motherfucking pigs that robbed me, I swear to God they’ll never find your body! Understand?”
“Yes, Señor Presidente.”
“I can’t hear you!”
“YES, SEÑOR PRESIDENTE!”
“Now get on your knees!”
“ON YOUR FUCKING KNEES, PERRO!”
Aurora heard sobbing in the background.
“NOW BARK! BARK LIKE THE MALDITO PERRO THAT YOU ARE! COME ONNNNNN!!!”
Soon after she heard barking.
“BARK! BARK! BARK!” followed by violent sobbing.
Aurora thought that she heard something that sounded like a slap, then silence.
“Good,” Arsenio stated, seemingly satisfied. Suddenly the door to his office flew open, and Aurora stood absolutely terrified.
“What are you doing there gawking?”
“Go wait for me in my apartment.”
“I SAID—Go to my apartment! NOW!”
“Si, Señor Presidente.” She threw one quick glance at the shamefaced mayor who was still on the floor before quickly scurrying off. Her heart was racing and her mind was spinning. She could not believe what she had just witnessed. This was bad. Really bad. She wondered if La Doña knew. She was in absolute panic mode. She ran so fast that she was at the presidential apartment in a few seconds flat. She banged on the door as if she was banging for her life.
I hope you enjoyed. Check back next Monday for another excerpt.
Copyright © 2013 by C.P. Desir