Sunday, September 29, 2013

Debbie Christiana - Author

I'm am honored to host on my blog today the talented and gifted writer Debbie Christiana. A fellow Black Opal Books author, Debbie has penned the remarkable novel, Twin Flames and her newest release Solstice!

Hi Cathy. Thank you for having me as your guest today.

The late, great Ray Bradbury was quoted as saying “Young writers shouldn’t kid themselves about learning to write. The best way to do that is train yourself in the short story.”

Mr. Bradbury is one of my favorite writers as is his novel Fahrenheit 451 one of my favorites. He himself wrote over four hundred short stories. 

I’ve been fortunate to have two dark fiction short stories published and now I’m taking a course on how to write a short story to promote your novel. It’s been a wonderful class and I hope to have my short story, Choose Wisely, up on my website as a free read in October. Wish me luck!

My recently released paranormal romantic suspense, SOSLTICE, is set in the New York Metro area, and is a story of magic, murder, mayhem and of course, love.

My short story, Choose Wisely, doesn’t have the same characters from SOLSTICE, but it does revolves around Mia Leone, a Strega who owns an unusual antique store, named CURIOSITIES in lower Manhattan, a strange man and the very real, but shrouded in myth, Liquore Strega.

Liquore Strega is an Italian liqueur that has been made in only Benevento, Italy since 600 AD. It’s known for it’s bright yellow hue and is sipped after a meal. However it has an important role in the ritual magic of the Strega.

While my short story is dark fiction, it was fun to write and will be perfect for the upcoming spooky Halloween season. If you’d like to know more about the magical Liquore Strega and the craft of Stregheria, check out the blurb and small excerpt from SOLSTICE below.

Time is running out for Armend Zogu. The 250-year-old curse on his head will claim his life on his 30th birthday, the winter solstice.

Sofia Palmalosi is just the Strega who can save him. A descendant of a long line of powerful Italian witches; her family’s magic was a gift from the Goddess Diana.

Together Sofia and Armend embark on a journey from New York to Sicily and the ancient ruins of Diana’s Temple, back to New York all the while fighting a battle of magic and wits with a psychopath who wants them both dead and the curse intact.

If the curse doesn’t kill Armend, breaking it just might.

“Sofia, are you all right?” Armend asked.
She was pale and her breathing labored. “This particular ritual drains me of my strength. That’s why we eat afterwards. How do you feel?”
“Better than you. But I’m glad to be sitting down.”
Ersilia poured them each a glass of the yellow liquid. “This is Liquore Strega. Bevanda. Drink.”
He was curious about the foreign drink and sniffed its slightly sweet aroma. He took a sip and let the semi-thick liquor settle on his tongue. He savored the bold combination of mint, fennel and a taste he couldn’t place. “That’s good.” He smacked his lips. “What makes it yellow?”
“Saffron.” Sofia took her own sip and closed her eyes. As she swallowed, she let out a happy groan.
Silvio handed Sofia and Armend a plate of food and sat a warm bowl of olive oil between them. “Mangia. Eat. It’ll make you strong again.”
Armend dug into the small, but wonderful feast. The sweet and salty pairing of the melon and prosciutto, the bread, and the sting of heated garlic-flavored oil on his tongue warmed his weary soul.

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Debbie Christiana loves to read and write about things that go bump in the night, mysteries and unusual love stories. She’s been fortunate to publish two novels, Twin Flames and the recently released romantic suspense, Solstice, by Black Opal Books. In 2012 she had two dark fiction short stories published in The Ten Tales anthology series edited by Rayne Hall. Debbie is a member of RWA, her local RWA chapter and the International Thrillers Writers, Inc. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children.

Twitter: @DebChristiana

Thank you Debbie for sharing with us today.


  1. I loved Solstice so your short story should quench the thirst I've had for more of your writing. What I'd like to know about Liquore Strega is how I could get my hands on some.

  2. I'd be very intrigued to try Liquore strega, sounds like it could be nice.

  3. Thank you so much, Cathy, for having me as your guest today. Liquore Strega is a favorite topic of mine :)

    1. My extreme pleasure, Debbie. Can I find Liquore Strega locally?

  4. Debbie, now you made me hungry. I can't wait to read Solstice as I am very fond of magic and all things mysterious. As for the Strega...where can I find a bottle?

  5. Thanks Nana and Aneta for stopping by :) I buy it in NYC. There is a great place called Eataly and it's 3 floors of fresh Italian food and restaurants. A liquor store is attached to it with Italian wine and lots of Strega Liquore. My little town in CT doesn't have it but I'm sure bigger cities do.

    I don't know about in Ghana, Nana. You'll just have to make a visit to the US to meet all of us and sip some Strega :)

  6. Hi Joss, I don't see the other comment so I apologize for posting twice if that's the case. It's delicious. It starts out sweet but ends strong. Saffron gives it it's yellow color :)

  7. I remember this scene and wanted to ask you about the word bevanda. In our dialect it's a drink of wine diluted with water. If you substitute water for mineral water it's a gemisht or what you call a wine spritzer. I know in Italian when they say drink up it's bevi or beve so I'm kind of intrigued how you cam up with this word. As for the short stories, I'm fortunate to have my first one accepted for Quick & Dirty Christmas anthology by Foreword Literary It is a whole different animal from writing the full length novels or even novellas. Since you have to develop the story, the characters and the plot in limited number of words. My two previous attempts are now "Treasured Chest" a pirate's romance published at 75 000 words and "Deck the Halls" a Christmas novella to be released on Nov. 21st by Tigearr Publishing.

  8. Hi Zrinka, I don't know. My grandmother always said Bevanda. We're Sicilian which has a different dialect all together than the rest of Italy - so that's what I used. Might be wrong but we knew what she was saying :)

    Good luck with your short stories

  9. To paraphrase a line from an I Love Lucy episode set in Italy: "The Winter Solstice? She's-a my birthday, too!" And, I have to say, there's a story in my family that I was cursed as a baby. Interesting coincidences! :-)

    Dig the premise of your story, will check it out!

  10. Hi Mina - I loved when Lucy and the crew were in Italy ;) Italians love curses, LOL - Thanks for stopping by and checking out my book!

  11. Lovely excerpt, Debbie. I look forward to reading your story.

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it and thanks for stopping by :)

  12. Hmm...might need to try some Liquore Strega next time we have dinner together...

  13. Oh....! I love the setting New York to Italy? I mean, who can resist that? Awesome.

    1. Hi Crystal - it was so much fun to write and travel around with Sofia and Armend ;) Thanks for stopping by.

  14. Choose Wisely sounds like an awesome story. Another one to add to my list. I'm on Solstice now and love it! :)

    1. Hi Julie - I'm still tweaking Choose Wisely so I hope to have it done soon. So glad you're enjoying Solstice :) Thanks for stopping by.