Visit the author's website

           Visit the author's website

Interview Cecilia Velástegui

opics of conversation:

  • What is Bliss?
  • Evolution to Bliss
  • Essential oils that trigger memories
  • Ancestral memories
  • Genealogical findings triggering memories

Cecilia Velástegui was born high up in the Andes mountains in Quito, Ecuador, where she spent her childhood. Although she now lives at sea level in Monarch Beach, California, she still has two friendly alpacas, Tupac and Khipus. Cecilia was raised in California and France, and has traveled extensively in over 50 countries. Her favorite country is always the most recent country she visited.

She received her graduate degree from the University of Southern California, and speaks four languages. She was a marriage and family therapist, but now she is a devoted writer. Cecilia is on the board of directors of several cultural and educational institutions.

Cecilia is writing her third novel, which is set in Paris, with complete joie de vivre.




In her new psychological thriller, Traces Of Bliss, Cecilia Velástegui, acclaimed author of Gathering the Indigo Maidens, has created a spellbinding work of contemporary fiction rooted in the Spanish Inquisition. In the affluent Los Feliz enclave of Los Angeles, five wealthy seniors recall vivid memories of ancestors after Claire, a young massage therapist, uses her grandmother’s specially blended, Amazonian, aromatherapy, oil. The seniors’ live-in caregivers, each with a rich history, are inevitably caught up in the drama as the past collides with the present. TRACES OF BLISS reveals how memory can travel through the blood—and how much we are willing to sacrifice for lost treasures from the past.

The caregivers divulge details of the memories to Alma Ruiz, a pseudo-homeopath, amateur genealogist, and pathological liar. She conspires with Soledad to dupe the vulnerable seniors into paying them vast amounts for memory retrieval reenactments. Alma and Soledad’s transgressions awaken the buried shamanistic sense of Octavio, a gifted gardener who immigrated to Los Angeles seeking revenge from the oil companies that dumped oil in the Shuar* tribal lands of Amazonian Ecuador. He reacts instinctively to protect Claire and the susceptible seniors.