Book Spotlight: Esteban’s Quest by Nick Iuppa and John Pesqueira

| June 1, 2017

Esteban's Quest by Nick Iuppa and John Pesqueira-Group

Esteban’s Quest by Nick Iuppa and John Pesqueira

Magical Madness

A fireball launches itself from the Arizona desert leaving behind three camels, a magical jukebox, and a five-year-old girl who only speaks Italian.

Soon, the nearby town of La Sentencia is reeling from a series of disasters. The copper mine, which supports the town, shuts down leaving most of the population unemployed. Massive sandstorms batter the place. And then the Devlin Lucero shows up. He seduces a pretty substitute teacher and then uses her to spread greed, anger, and vengeance everywhere.

In the face of all these trials, Esteban Dorantes decides to retrace the steps of his great, great grandfather, who once led a quest to find the Seven Cities of Gold. Aided by the camels, the wisdom of the little girl, and the spirit of the magical jukebox, he hopes to locate a great treasure and bring it back to save La Sentencia.

Esteban is accompanied by Ceci Moreno, his old high school sweetheart, the only person in town who doesn’t think he’s a madman. But Ceci is still in love Gabriel Romo, another dreamer who somehow feels he can bargain with the devil to save the mine and the town.

Wacky, scary and spectacular, Esteban’s Quest blends science fiction, Aztec lore, classic horror, and offbeat humor into an unforgettable tale of love, destiny, magic, and redemption.

Book Review

Step aside Indiana Jones. There’s a new adventurer in town. Esteban Dorantes may be a little more reluctant, but he has an even greater sense of destiny than even Dr. Jones. Dorantes is goaded by the desperate needs of his impoverished hometown and visions of his great, great grandfather… an African slave who once led Spanish Conquistadors on the first quest for the Seven Cities Of Gold.

The story opens in the Arabian Desert where a wall of wind a mile high and a hundred miles wide, roars though an oasis carrying off a husband and wife team of archeologists but leaving behind their five-year-old daughter.

We move to La Sentencia, a small town in Arizona, which is devastated by its own windstorms and other disasters including the immanent closing of a copper mine… the only business in that part of the state.

What’s the link between these two desolate desert locations… the little Italian girl who suddenly shows up on the winds of a sandstorm to advise the residents in Arizona? And then there’s an ancient artifact that may have been left by space travelers. Does it hold the key to the building of great earthly civilizations… and the salvation of La Sentencia?

Esteban Dorantes must have some sense of all this as he decides, at the little girl’s bidding, to takes up his great grand-fathers quest for The Golden Cities and save his home town in the process.

The novel’s fifty-six chapters of action-packed adventure may surpasses some of the greatest quests ever told, with its Aztec lore, science fiction spacecraft, magical jukebox, a destiny that spans generations, horror, humor, three camels, talking coyotes, a very sexy substitute high school teacher, the devil himself, and, of course, a love story.

I invite everyone to read Esteban’s Quest and experience this compelling tale for themselves.

Theodocia McLean endorses Esteban’s Quest by Nick Iuppa and John Pesqueira. I encourage you to purchase other books by the team including: The Carlos Mann Trilogy (Alicia’s Ghost, Alicia’s Sin, Alicia Bewitched) and Avenging Adelita (romance), in addition to the stand-alone novels by Nick Iuppa include Bloody Bess And The Doomsday Games (fictional horror drama featuring ancient vampires, teenage romance, and a top-secret military project) and Taken by Witches (a modern horror story based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales). This review was completed on July 26, 2016.

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Taken by Witches Group

Taken By Witches by Nick Iuppa

When he was a child, Niko Madonie was terrified of his over-protective grandmother. Somehow he knew she was a witch possessed of overwhelming supernatural powers and determined to save him from the real and imagined dangers of the modern world. Now a successful writer in Hollywood, Niko is helping create an animated version of Hansel and Gretel while he struggles to protect his beautiful young wife from sexy, New Age witches who hope to sacrifice her to please the ancient crone. This is an epic horror romance set against a background of legends, with complex villains, a magical young couple, and a storyline straight from the darkest pages of the Brothers Grimm.

Book Review

If you have ever thought that reading Grimm’s Fairy Tales to your children or grandchildren might frighten them, then you’d better keep the lights on while reading Taken by Witches to yourself.

Author Nick Iuppa asks questions you might not ask aloud. “Do witches exist; where does their power come from, and to what ends will they use it?”

Masterfully written, this multifaceted story begins in the small Polish village of Zakopane high in the Carpathian Mountains. A warlock skillfully tells the story to a shopkeeper and his young daughter after he returns a collection of gruesome masks that the shopkeeper once sent to America so they wouldn’t fall into the hands of the Nazis. The masks are all images of the same woman, a witch named Babcia (pronounced Bob-cha) the Polish name for grandmother.

The warlock’s story begins with a young boy named Niko Madonie who realizes that his grandmother has supernatural powers that terrify him up until the day she dies. As an adult, Niko marries and becomes a successful writer in Hollywood. But even there he is haunted by memories of Babcia and he finds he must struggle to protect his wife from new age witches who decide to sacrifice the beautiful young woman to please the ancient crone.

Imagine Babcia’s evil smell: (the stench of blood sausage mixed with the spicy sweetness of gingerbread) and realize that ancient history doesn’t always stay in the past. Centuries after Niko’s grandmother lost her first baby to medieval witch hunters, she bears a new family to a new husband in a new land, America. But even in this future place and time, she remembers the vow she made when the infant was murdered: “Atrocities to her loved ones will never happen again,” no matter what the consequences.

Author Nick Iuppa has impressive credentials as the former Creative Director of Paramount Pictures’ Digital Entertainment, Head of Apple Computer’s Learning Technologies Group, and Writer for the Wonderful World of Disney.

Theodocia McLean  endorses Taken by Witches by Nick Iuppa as a modern horror story based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales, which first brought the essence of ancient witchcraft into America’s bedtime stories. Nick’s other novels include Alicia’s Ghost, Alicia’s Sin, Alicia Bewitched, Bloody Bess And The Doomsday Games, and Avenging Adelita. This reviewed was completed on November 12, 2015 from a Kindle format.

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Bloody Bess Group

Bloody Bess And The Doomsday Games by Nick Iuppa

“Nick Iuppa loops a brilliant mix of technology, romance, military lore, and vampires into a terrifying, sexy spree in the Swiss Alps. The details are 3D. If you’re looking for a heart-pounder, this is it.” S.B. Stinnet

The castle of 15th century duchess Elizabeth Laskaar looks down on the little Swiss village of Murdenwald and the secretive military complex nearby. There, the UN hopes to end world conflict with a vast military simulation that will dramatize the apocalypse that will follow the next major war. To head the project, they hire notorious Hollywood producer Donald Vito, master of explosive action adventures, who still mourns the murder of his teenage love in the 1950s.

Vito and the simulation team use new technology to build hundreds of virtual soldiers and terrorists you can touch, speak to, and reason with. But they also begin to feel the influence of Elizabeth Laskaar. She’s often called Bloody Bess – the first real vampire – because she maintained her youthful beauty by slaughtering her maidservants and bathing in their blood.

Recklessly inspired by their surroundings, the team creates a virtual vampire that soon takes on the characteristics of Elizabeth’s magnificent, long-dead husband. Soon, he and Bess stalk the compound, seducing everyone working on the project, until vampire blood surges beyond the humans to the virtual characters with unthinkable consequences. In the end, perhaps, only the power of Vito’s long lost love can save humanity.

Book Review

Bloody Bess And The Doomsday Games is a magnificent fictional horror drama featuring ancient vampires, teenage romance, and a top-secret military project. The Doomsday Games, as the project is called, involves a team of international scientists, engineers, and military personnel who gather in the ancient town of Murdenwald, Switzerland, to do no less then put an end to war.

Nick Iuppa developed a cast of authentic and unique characters like Elizabeth Laskaar (Duchess of Hungry) known as “Bloody Bess” to her victims in 1580 in the small village of Nyirbator Hungary. She prowled the streets of Murdenwald seeking out young women to murder so that she could bathe in their blood. Her husband Ferenc, some say, is still the director of the town’s ancient library. A most beautiful man with midnight blue eyes, he waits for naïve young women to come to his tower and aid him in his evil work.Then there’s Donny Vito, the world’s greatest film producer, called upon by the U. S. President to breathe life into the Doomsday Games. Elli Capadonico is the girl Donny loved in his youth; she fell victim to Arnie Cudgel, an obsessive young man with both romantic and sadistic intentions. The cast also includes scientists, mathematicians, military personnel, writers, artists, technicians, Chu Yun Trang (the director of a rogue nation seeking to build nuclear weapons), and a myriad of simulated characters who populate the virtual Armageddon.

Nick’s highly descriptive writing takes the reader from the Middles Ages to a 1950s high school romance, to mysteries surrounding the ‘knowledge’ held in the ancient Murdenwald library, to the International Simulation Center itself where the final challenge becomes solving “the God Problem.” Nick weaves these stories together so skillfully that the separate lines merge to become plot twists in an amazing and unexpected ending.

The author, Nick Iuppa, is the son of a prominent Rochester, New York doctor. Nick attended the University of Notre Dame and did his graduate work at Stanford. Nick’s first job was at MGM Studios in Hollywood where he worked on TV specials with Dr. Seuss and Chuck Jones (creator of the Road Runner). He also had the privilege of writing for the Wonderful World of Disney, working as an instructional designer for Eastman Kodak, leading Bank of America’s in-house TV production group, managing the Learning Technologies Group within Apple Computer, and finally returning to Paramount Pictures in Hollywood where he designed Internet entertainment and built Hollywood-style simulations for the military.

Nick’s extensive travels to Europe have inspired some of his characters and settings. His work history, technical knowledge, and experience have given him the tools and concepts for his novels.

Theodocia McLean endorses Bloody Bess And The Doomsday Games by Nick Iuppa for the creative genius of the Doomsday Game. Reviewed on October 2, 2014.

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Avenging Adelita by Nick Iuppa and John P. Mendoza-2016 Group

Avenging Adelita by Nick Iuppa and John P. Mendoza

A tender romance with a ticking time bomb at its heart. There’s a bomb on this train. It will explode before you reach your final destination…because you murdered my wife. University professor Tom McKeever has just lost his wife Adelita to cancer. But the more he thinks about it, the more he realizes she didn’t have to die. The faculty and administration of the university where he teaches in Mexico played a major role in causing her death. Now, Tom relives powerful memories of his life with Adelita as he and the rest of the faculty take a train ride into the mountains. He plans to gain revenge by blowing up the train, killing all those who have wronged him and everyone else on board… including himself.

Book Review

Nick Iuppa, Author of ‘Bloody Bess And The Doomsday Games, has teamed up with John P. Mendoza to bring us another fast-paced, action suspense thriller that will keep readers turning pages and biting their nails.

There’s a large cast of unique characters, many of whom are confined to business class cars on the Copper Canyon Railway as it speeds through the Grand Canyon of Mexico, unaware of the impending man-made disaster that’s about to shatter the serene environment.

Somewhere in the process of grieving for his lost wife, Adelita, his “warrior woman” love, Professor

Tom McKeever walks a thin line between reality and golden memories that keep pulling him back into his her beauty, delicious aroma, and open arms. The gut wrenching knowledge that there was an experimental cancer treatment that might have saved Adelita’s life, had it not been for the decisions of one man, is more than Tom can bear. The need for revenge seethes like red-hot embers but conflicts with thoughts dredged up from a Catholic School upbringing: “Vengeance is mine, saith the lord!”

Time is running out, but somehow the collateral damage begins to seem more and more defensible… a justifiable murder suicide. Is it? Find out; come ride the rails into Copper Canyon when time is definitely not on your side.

Theodocia McLean endorses ‘Avenging Adelita’ – by Nick Iuppa & John P. Mendoza as these two authors give the reader what they have come to expect; great descriptive writing, with dialog and startling transitions from present to past and back again placing the reader in the mind of this widower. This review was completed on December 15, 2014.

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Alicia's Ghost by Nick Iuppa and John P Mendoza-2016 Group

Alicia’s Ghost by Nick Iuppa and John P. Mendoza

Carlos Mann Trilogy

“IT’S WONDERFUL; I LOVE IT! I love the characters. And Alicia, OMG, she’s so real I think I know her.” B. Escamilla, Palo Alto, CA

“Every time I thought I had it figured out, there was a new twist to the story. I couldn’t put it down. Great read!” C. Gallagher, Chicago, IL

LOVE, OBSESSION, MURDER, DEATH, MANNEQUINS, RATTLESNAKES, DRUG LORDS, CHINATOWN, GHOSTS…AND THE WORLD’S MOST HAUNTING HEROINE!

The astoundingly beautiful Alicia has ended her modeling career in Mexico City, married the love of her life, helped pay his way through college, settled into a comfortable life in Los Altos, California, and now she’s dead… MURDERED.

Her husband, Professor Carlos Mann, has wrapped himself in an obsessive-compulsive disorder to hide from that fact. But when Amy Joy, one of Carlos’s students, is sold into slavery by a Chinese mob that traffics in Asian girls, Alicia returns with a vengeance.

Can Alicia save her man, foil the human traffickers, and destroy her murderer? Overwhelming supernatural forces stand against her. But, hell, that just makes her stronger!

Told in the voices of Carlos and Alicia Mann, Alicia’s Ghost is a funny, imaginative and thrilling ride through the human and spirit worlds of Mexico and the American Southwest.

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Alicia's Sin by Nick Iuppa and John P. Mensoza-2016-Group

Alicia’s Sin by Nick Iuppa and John P. Mendoza

Carlos Mann Trilogy

“One damn inventive thrill-ride of a story!” Suzanna B. Stinnett, author of Starship Interlude

REVENGE, MURDER, ADULTERY, OBSESSION, GHOSTS, GYPSIES, TIGERS, WITCHES, FREUD, MYSTERY, DRUG LORDS, CHINATOWN, MEXICO, VIENNA… AND THE SPANISH INQUISITION!

To avenge her parents’ death, sadistic sex trafficker Tiger Joy sends deadly assassins after Carlos and his beautiful ghost wife Alicia. The pair escapes to Cancun where they battle witches and drug lords to help their friend Señor Popcorn win the love of his life. But the Afterlife Judges aren’t happy with Alicia’s temper, and they send her off to anger management therapy with the ghost of Sigmund Freud. In old Vienna, the spirit of a seductive crown prince tempts Alicia, and then she’s captured by gypsies who put her on display in the Ghost Chamber of their traveling carnival. Alicia commits an unforgivable sin, and it finally gives Tiger Joy the perfect chance for revenge.

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Alicia Bewitched - by Nick Iuppa and John P. Mendoza-2016 Group

Alicia Bewitched by Nick Iuppa and John P. Mendoza

The Third Carlos Mann Adventure

Logic Professor Carlos Mann sets out to murder Tiger Joy in her prison cell. Unfortunately, the gorgeous queen of human traffickers captures him and ships him off to the Yucatan, where the evil witch, La Bruja, uses all her powers to try to weaken and destroy him. Meanwhile, Alicia calls on friends both living and dead to help save her husband, and in the process she learns many terrible secrets that were born in the days of the great Mayan Empire … secrets that could save or even destroy Carlos and Alicia.

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Nick Iuppa

Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Nick Iuppa

Bio Quote: “I grew up in Rochester New York; my dad was a prominent doctor there. I attended the University of Notre Dame and grew up to marry the prettiest girl in Rochester… by far. (We’re still married.)

I always wanted to work in the movies. My graduate program at Stanford got me an internship at MGM and I worked on TV specials with Dr. Seuss and Chuck Jones (creator of the Road Runner). I became good friends with both of them. Later I wrote for the Wonderful World of Disney. I left Hollywood for a while and worked for Eastman Kodak as an Instructional Designer, Bank of America as manager of their TV studios, Hewlett Packard Television as manager of their creative group, and Apple computer as manager of learning technologies. When my boss at Apple went to Hollywood, she took me with her. I was back working in Hollywood again… but was still able to live in the San Francisco area.

I commuted to LA every week and used the accumulated miles to visit Europe a lot. That’s why some of my books have realistic European settings. At Paramount Pictures I designed Internet entertainment and built Hollywood-style training simulations for the military. Through all of this I was writing novels, but I could never get them published even though my friend Dr. Seuss worked with his publishers on my behalf. I found a tech publisher and sold lots of books about the technology on which I worked, but that wasn’t really what I wanted to do.

When I left Paramount I started writing novels so that I could build my own worlds. My first sci-fi novel was about a high tech simulation like the ones I worked on for the army, but this simulation had futuristic technology and was invaded by vampires. I first called it Virtual Vampires but eventually published it as Bloody Bess and the Doomsday Games.

I also wrote other horror novels inspired by Stephen King’s deep, creepy characters. Now, I work with a writing partner, John Pesqueira and even though I do all the writing, his participation in story development makes things much simpler. I love creating characters and letting them tell me where the story should go.

These days, my favorite person is Esteban Dorantes who is the driving force in our newest novel Esteban’s Quest. I tell a lot more about my writing experiences and ideas in my blogs at http://www.nickiuppawrites.com and http://www.nickiuppawrites.com

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from San Francisco, Silicon Valley? San Francisco gives me a built-in atmosphere for my stories. Everyone loves the place. So it’s easy for me to write about exotic locations all within driving distance. It has also given me entre to Hollywood, Stanford University, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the surrounding desert. I also worked for several high tech companies so I can add that element into my stories. And this locale rounds out my experience growing up in Upstate New York and going to college in the Midwest.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? My father was a well-know doctor and a world war two hero. But I could tell that he really wanted to become a writer. He talked all his life about the books he wanted to write. But he died relatively young and never got a chance to do it.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? When I was in grade school I wrote a book that the nuns told me they wanted to get published but never did. When I developed a fast friendship with Dr. Seuss, I tried to get several children’s books published. But it wasn’t until I retired that I decided to write full time and make a concerted effort to get published. I had written and had published (By Focal Press) many technical books, but I really didn’t like doing non-fiction. Writing fiction is what I really enjoy.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing, and did you use it to your advantage? I still set parts of my books in Upstate New York. I feel that I know the area very well and can write to the time and place and create that period.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I came up with the title Management by Guilt, in the 70s and then wrote the book. It was my biggest success, picked up by Fawcett Books and released by them in paperback. I’d like to say I never come up with the title first, but in fact all 3 of the Alicia books started as titles before I even knew what they were about.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I love writing horror novels. I was afraid of the Horror genre all my life, never went to horror movies, had nightmares all the time, which is why I may be good at writing it. I’ve written several blogs about this topic and they are up on my blog site. I wrote an autobiographical novel and showed it to famous screenwriter Bill Idelson. The only chapter he liked was the one in which I told how my grandmother always reminded me of a witch and how I was scared to death of her. In the novel I wrote under his direction I explore our relationship under the assumption that she was one of the most powerful witches who ever lived. Several people read my horror novels and suggested that I try the genre Magical Realism. It brings supernatural elements into everyday life. Esteban’s Quest is far more magical realism than horror.

How many published books do you have? I have published seven novels, six technical books and one humorous management-training book.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? My writing partner, John Pesqueira, mentioned a film he saw that portrayed Esteban Dorantes, the man who led the first quest for the Seven Cities Of Gold. He was an African slave, not a Spaniard. We did some research and found that he was a very interesting character. Then we wondered what would happen if he actually found the mythical land and came back to tell his great, great grandson how to get there. After that we just started adding supernatural and sci-fi elements, flying saucers, sandstorms, the devil, and on and on.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I love rewriting. Getting the first draft of a chapter down is painful, but once it’s there I can polish endlessly, that may be why people tell me that my writing is so easy to read, because I polish it maybe twenty times before I think it’s okay.

Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so, please explain how it could have been avoided? All those rejection slips before I finally decided to self-publish.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? I put an e-mail link in the back of my books and asked readers to send messages if they liked the work. Every one of those messages that shows up is the greatest thing I can think of. Just like finding a new positive review on the amazon page, just like holding one of my books in my hand for the first time.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? A good, original story is everything. And they can probably build one from their own experience or personal dreams or nightmares. It has to be unusual and simple, something that readers can grasp in a single sentence. But almost as important, are good characters. It’s easy to write shallow characters who are only in the story to make something happen. You need complex character who may have doubts about everything they do. That complexity is what catches the readers’ attention.

Who is your favorite author and why? Stephen King, because of the depth of understanding he provides for his characters. Also his book On Writing is a manual on how to write. I follow religiously.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? There are mountains of background details in my blogs. I try to make them short stories about my experiences in Hollywood and as a writer. Also, I almost died of some lung disease when I was 25. That was the subject of my first bio novel, which I later rewrite as the witch horror story I told you about. However, I really don’t like to talk or write about that period of my life and promised at the start of my blog that I wouldn’t deal with it.

Please add questions and the answers to any questions that you believe your readers would like to know.

  1. Do I ever fall in love with my female characters? Every damn time.
  1. How hard is it to kill off characters you love? It’s murder in every sense of the word.
  1. How erotic your novels? My editors hold me down or there would be much more sex. Alicia is a little sexy. Bloody Bess has several very sexy scenes, and some very romantic ones. Some of my as yet unpublished novels are much more erotic.
  1. Do you write romance novels? I read them for background, but there is generally too much action and adventure and horror for my novels to be considered pure romance.

Author Nick Iuppa’s Published Books
Alicia Bewitched
Alicia’s Ghost

Alicia’s Sin
Avenging Adelita
Bloody Bess and the Doomsday Games

Esteban’s Quest
Taken

Author Nick Iuppa’s Websites
http://www.nickiuppawrites.com/
https://www.nickiuppa.com
http://aliciasghost.com/Welcome.html
https://www.facebook.com/NickVIuppa

Amazon Author’s Page
Author Nick Iuppa’s Blog
Cold Coffee Café
Cold Coffee Press

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