Background of the Book by Luki Belle – Guest Post and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Luki Belle will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Background of the Book

The Delicate Affair of Colonel Baquiste (TDACB) is a story from a fictitious colonization era set within two fictitious nations, Hastan and Llehstanz, nevertheless, the human elements showcased in this novel are very real and pertinent to our current times.

I wrote TDACB because of my personal life experiences having been born and grown up in post-colonial countries, having been on the receiving end of hate, racism, and prejudice. Call it a means to self-heal with an aspiration to believe that it is possible to overcome prejudice if we recognize that in our human imperfections lie the opportunity for change and the power to choose towards a positive outcome. If we were perfect and absolute, change would not be possible, if we all put our anger out into the world it would be destructive. But, if we helped ourselves compassionately, we would inevitably help others positively. It all begins with self-healing and the means to do that is to learn to change our psychological masks by allowing ourselves to immerse in another person’s world, to view the world through a different lens, to take off, even if momentarily, any forced uniform and imposed roles and to disguise ourselves, if only to catch a glimpse of our own former self and to understand the world from a different perspective.

In TDACB, the Colonel goes under disguise to fulfill a military mission while immersing himself in the same society that was conquered by his nation, by the military of the Llehstanz Monarchy. Under the disguise of naturalist Gulaan Dasmire, is the Colonel able to see his actual self (Valstohl Baquiste) and begins to reconcile Valstohl’s tragic past. The persona of Gulaan and Valstohl are examined by the Colonel only in disguise which ultimately leads to Colonel Baquiste’s delicate change of heart and allows him to reconcile his past grief.

Things could have gone very differently for the Colonel if he chose differently. What I beautifully learned while writing TDACB, which holds true to my personal experience is that positive messages are never the loudest. They are usually the gentle nudges you get in the journey of life, coaxing you into choosing towards beneficial progress. I depict this in several ways throughout my novel (no spoilers), to nudge the Colonel into accepting something he has been consciously, subconsciously, and unconsciously denying or has been avoiding. In contrast, I have found from my personal experiences that negative factors scream the loudest and the Colonel sure had his share of tragic events that impacted him.

All the other characters in TDACB are also forced to choose. Master Jeshn Yervaan’s choice mattered the most and I have found myself asking many times how I would have chosen differently if I were him. Important to note that there were domino effects from decisions that were made by Colonel Baquiste and Jeshn Yervaan. This is also pertinent to our lives because we do not exist in isolation, and we must try our best to assess how our individual choices can affect those directly and indirectly connected to us. We are all empowered in some way or another to choose. Even a child is empowered to choose as is shown by the Hastana boy Chamcham who is at the center of the tense relationship between Gulaan (Valstohl) and Jeshn. While the boy is impacted by choices made by the adults around him, he too is empowered, and he makes a couple of bold and brave decisions.

Now to choose we must observe first, and this is another important aspect in TDACB. The act of observation is a key trigger to most events in the novel starting with a very subtle act of observation hinted at, at the very beginning, which is explained at the very end. I believe that what we observe is impacted as much as we who are observing are impacted. An observation does not have to last for minutes or hours, it could be in a matter of seconds, and it is about what gets transpired, in that split moment, by what observes you or what you observe. Our brain is super powerful, and it does make very fast decisions. See if you can identify the key observation trigger that started off the story for Colonel Baquiste when you get near the end.

Layering upon the theme of observation and in conjunction with the act of being in disguise, the Colonel is able to observe himself objectively as Valstohl while being in disguise as Gulaan. Many monologues are possible for the Colonel only through this means and it is ultimately his way to reconcile tragedy and prejudice.

Finally, in the path to self-healing and or reconciliation it is important to be empathetic to oneself as well as to others who impacted you negatively. To do this one must try to imagine. It is easy to create the negative story about what is unknown to fill in the gaps, the brain does not like gaps, and it will create its own story to be able to happily put away something that is nagging or is open ended. In TDACB, I intentionally create a latitude for the reader to be able to imagine the past of the characters and the events that could have led to an outcome, which the Colonel experiences. The reader can imagine Valstohl Baquiste’s military past, the Yervaans’ past, what led to Lieutenant Colonel Brune Farmagash’s decision in chapter 13. Even the Colonel is forced to imagine what happened to his father and what decisions could have led to the fateful night at the Yervaan palace many years ago from the present moment in the story.

Imagination keeps us alive, and it can also get us into trouble, but it has the beauty and the potential to make us empathize with another when we do not know what led to another human’s actions and words. Imagination is a powerful tool if we can use it positively.

The setting: two fictitious nations, Hastan and Llehstanz, in a past imaginary era of colonization.

The Llehstanz Monarchy won its final battle over Hastan to colonize the nation after years of war. The battlefield charge was led by a reputable, young, ruthless, and handsome Colonel Valstohl Baquiste. Highly skilled but equally arrogant, he holds a prejudice against the people of Hastan. Tragically, Colonel Baquiste was unexpectedly attacked during the last battle leaving him physically disabled. Realizing his military life is over, the embittered Colonel Baquiste awaits his dismissal to return to Llehstanz. However, he is offered a second chance for victory.

Colonel Baquiste is called back to military duty on a secret mission. He must go alone in disguise to capture elusive thugs terrorizing the Llehstanzite regiment. In accepting the mission, Baquiste realizes he is no longer fighting an enemy on a battleground when he travels to stay at the palace of renowned Southern Hastana landowner, Sir Bojeshnomaan Yervaan. Yervaans’ sinister nature ensnares Baquiste while the delicate assignment compels him to confront his tragic past and his prejudice against Hastanas. If the ambitious Colonel wants victory, it will require him to use not just his grit but also his heart.

Enjoy an Excerpt

I would take your place if you ordered me Valstohl. You still have five hours to get on that ship and go home. Let Masim clean up this mess on his own reputation, this is not your problem. And if you fail then he will just find another officer and keep trying. Your life is not worth this! Go home, start a family, you are the only Baquiste heir. Don’t take this mission!

About the Author:Luki Belle works in the media industry. Storytelling was a fixture from childhood when she would listen to stories told by her grandparents, parents, sisters, and cousins who would read to her from diverse cultural fiction books. Growing up, Luki was fortunate to live in various parts of the world and experience beautiful cultures. During this time, she embraced and appreciated diversity among people while recognizing through love, overcoming pain, or grief, one can truly bond with others leading to unimaginable positive outcomes.


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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Luki Belle says

    Dear Long and Short Reviews! Happy Monday and greetings to your team 🙂 I am so happy and thankful to have this virtual day to connect with your readers on this platform!! Much appreciation to you for making this possible for The Delicate Affair of Colonel Baquiste. Looking forward to the conversations today with your readers!

  3. Tami Vollenweider says

    Sounds like an intriguing story and good luck on your book!!!

    • Luki Belle says

      Dear Tami, thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wishes and for your thoughts on my book’s theme!

  4. Marcy Meyer says

    This sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for sharing.

  5. The book sounds very interesting.

  6. Luki Belle says

    Dear Long and Short Reviews, thank you again for your kindness to host The Delicate Affair of Colonel Baquiste! I wish you and your readers a pleasant week ahead! 🙂

  7. Tracie M Cooper says

    Do you have a preferred time of day to do your writing?

    • Luki Belle says

      Dear Tracie, that is such a cool question! Indeed, when it is dark outside and on gray rainy days 🙂

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