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Based on eight years of historical research, Daughters of the Sun is a tale of young Cloud Warrior sisters who, after being kidnapped from their village then held in the Inca's Temple of the Sun, plan their escape from the barbaric religious ritual of capacocha--child human sacrifice.
The legendary Machukuna—the giant Children of the Moon send T'ica, a young misfit living in a remote village on a cryptic journey to the peak of the sacred Salkantay Mountain where she collides with Inca priests intent on sacrificing the Cloud Warrior siblings.
Around the same time, a mysterious plague begins to decimate the indigenous population, killing commoners and royals alike, even the much celebrated warrior emperor, Inca Huayna Capac, who having failed to assign a successor before his gruesome death, leaves the empire on the cusp of a brutal civil war between two royal half-brothers, Huascar and Atahualpa.
Only the most perfect children--the daughters of the sun (generally female, infants to teens) were kidnapped from their villages, taken to the Temple of the Sun then, after many months of indoctrination were either sacrificed to Inti the Sun God or forced to be concubines to Inca royalty, who often had more than 4,000 secondary wives.
Blond or red haired, fair-skinned, and blue or green eyed Cloud Warriors of northern Peru (the still extant though relatively sparsely populated Chachapoyas region) fought against Inca tyranny as did many other tribes.
Though few survived the plague and the ravages of war, recent DNA evidence confirms the long held belief that the Cloud Warriors are of Celtic descent,
Because of support from historical novel fans like yourself, Daughters of the Sun became the #1 New Release on Amazon in Spring 2018!
Question: How big was the Inca Empire? And what did the Incas call their empire?
Answer: At its height, the Inca Empire stretched from southern Venezuela to Argentina, well into the wilds of the Great Jungle (Amazon) and along the coast of South America.
The Incas called their Empire Tawantinsuyu, lit. "The Four Regions (northern, southern, coastal and jungle)
Question: Is there empirical evidence of capacocha, child human sacrifice?
Answer: Yes, many of the ancient chronicles describe the Inca's religious rituals in detail. Plus, well-preserved sacrificial children have been discovered in the remote high altitude peaks of the Andes as well as in mass sacrificial burial grounds; most recently in Miraflores a suburb of Lima, Peru., where hundreds of swaddled infants were apparently buried alive.
It all started when the young, beautiful, petite Elvira Vivanco, wanted to become a registered nurse. Born and raised in Chorillos, a seaside suburb of Lima, Peru, Elvira was one of a family of 13 children, supported by a fisherman father, fed and clothed by a devoutly Catholic mother.
An excellent nursing student and fluent in English, Elvira was sponsored by the Catholic Church to finish her nursing training, first in Iowa then in Washington, D.C. where she worked long grueling shifts in pediatrics at George Washington Hospital. It was there that she met a handsome young American Airman, my father, Robert G. Laster. They would go on to marry and have three children; a son and two daughters. Theresa was the second born and named after her mother's favorite sister.
Because flights to Peru were expensive, Elvira ("BeBe") and children visited Peru infrequently until the family moved there on an extended "education vacation" when Terry (Theresa's nickname) was eleven. She and her siblings attended John F. Kennedy elementary school in Mira Flores, a Spanish only school, despite its name. Afterward, the family moved back to the USA, living for a short time in Tennessee then finally settling in Roanoke, Virginia where the children attended a local catholic school.
As a college voice major, Terry also learned Italian and German then worked as a proofreader and editor at a now defunct vanity publishing company in New York City. Later she moved to Europe with her German husband where she began translating primarily business, technical and legal documents;. While raising 4 sons, she became a a freelance literary translator, using her maiden name Terry Laster. Since then she's translated more than fifteen titles some of which became bestsellers, including historical novel, “The Secret Healer” by Ellin Carsta.
The product of over eight years of intense research, where Spanish and German fluency came in very handy, Daughters of the Sun is Theresa's first solo novel. She is currently working on the second novel of the Inca Empire series dealing with the brutal seven year Inca Civil War between royal half-brothers, Atahualpa and Huascar; many of the same characters from the first book will reappear in this and also in the third novel about resistance against the barbaric Spanish rulers by indigenous tribes of the Inca Empire.
My Peruvian mom and American dad, shortly after their wedding day.
I'm so glad to have a great studio photo of my now deceased grandparents, my deceased brother and me.