New Novel Features Amazonian Oil Triggering Ancestral Memories

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When a Los Angeles massage therapist uses her grandmother’s special Amazonian oil on her clients, five senior citizens find themselves recalling vivid memories of their medieval Spanish ancestors in Cecilia Velástegui’s new novel “Traces of Bliss.”

Traces of Bliss
Cecilia Velástegui expertly weaves together past and present to create historical fiction with fantasy touches that make the story come alive in rich, realistic, and astonishing ways.

Ancestral memories lie within the blood, and when triggered, they can create life-changing experiences, as happens to five seniors who recall their Spanish medieval ancestors’ lives in Cecilia Velástegui’s new novel “Traces of Bliss” (ISBN 9780983745877, Libros Publishing, 2011).

When Claire, a massage therapist in the affluent Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, has begun to use her grandmother’s specially blended Amazonian oil on her clients, neither she nor they have any idea of the euphoric bliss that will result. Claire’s five senior citizen clients suddenly find themselves vividly recalling memories of medieval Spanish ancestors.

Once the flashbacks of ancestral memories begin, the women eagerly want them to continue. Alma Ruiz, a neighbor to the seniors, sees this situation as an opportunity to get rich quick, so she begins to impersonate a doctor of holistic medicine, claiming she can help the women recall more of their ancestral memories by holding memory retrieval sessions. At first, the plan seems to work, but Octavio, a gardener who was once a powerful shaman in Ecuador, is watching, and he intends to protect Claire and her clients.

Cecilia Velástegui expertly weaves together past and present to create historical fiction with fantasy touches that make the story come alive in rich, realistic, and astonishing ways. The novel reminds readers of the past’s value and its influence on our lives. The diverse cast of characters provides insight into class and race issues in California and medieval Spain, while taking readers on a fantastic historical adventure that includes Moorish invasions, Basque Witch trials, duende, prehistoric caves, flamenco dancers and gypsies, cross-dressing seventeenth century military men, mermaids, Sephardic Jews, poets, and shamans, and enough surprising events to fill centuries.

Chosen for the 2012 National Latino Book Club by the Las Comrades and Friends and the Association of American Publishers, “Traces of Bliss” is winning fans everywhere. The Kirkus Indie Review declares, “Velástegui’s psychological thriller is a dark tale of angst and redemption spanning centuries….” The Foreword Clarion Review proclaims, “Velástegui spins her lush tale with a sense of the sacredness of inner vision. Hers is a celebration of language that readers have come to expect from Latin American writers; Velástegui deserves to be recognized as a distinguished member of that group.” And Reader Views states, “‘Traces of Bliss’ is a hauntingly beautiful book, which will certainly appeal to readers of intelligent fiction….While happiness might not be found easily in this story, it definitely exists, and reminds us time and again what really and truly matters.”

About the Author
Cecilia Velástegui was born in Quito, Ecuador where she spent her childhood. She was raised in California and France and has traveled extensively to over fifty countries. She received her graduate degree from the University of Southern California, and she speaks four languages. She serves on the board of directors of several cultural and educational organizations, and she was nominated for the Arts Orange County Award. She lives with her family in Dana Point, California. She is the author of the novels, “Gathering the Indigo Maidens” and the newly published “Traces of Bliss.”

“Traces of Bliss” (ISBN 9780983745877, Libros Publishing, 2011) can be purchased through local and online bookstores. For more information, visit or the author's website Publicity contact: Review copies available upon request.

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