I'm extremely happy to host the amazing author,
Today Debbie writes about her favorite holiday--
Hi Cathy, thank you for letting me stop by and talk about my favorite holiday, Halloween and how it led me to write paranormal romance.
Like most things, it goes back to my childhood. My mother was an avid reader and a fan of all things supernatural (movies, books, etc.) especially Halloween. I was born in October, on Friday the 13th and my birthday parties always had an autumn/Halloween theme.
On Halloween night she’d hang sheets from the doorways in our house, dim the lights and strategically place flashlights around for maximum spooky shadow effect. When I was younger and returned from trick or treating, we’d run around on our candy high, trying to scare each other. As I got older, the Ouija Board would make an appearance Halloween night. I want to mention that nothing bad ever happened while playing the game. I admit to moving the planchette around once or twice and so did others. We asked typical teenage questions and put it away until the next year.
It was also in my teenage years I began to learn the history behind Halloween. The ancient Celts believed on this night they called Samhain (half way between the season of light and dark) the veil between the living and the dead lowered and allowed souls to roam the earth. They would light bonfires to pay homage to their deceased family and friends. They also wore masks and offered food and drink to keep unwanted spirits away.
By 1000 AD the Church declared November 1st All Saint’s Day and November 2nd All Soul’s day to help the pagan Celts transition to Christianity – and why it’s now called Halloween. In Old English ‘hallow’ means to make holy. It began as Hallowmas then changed to All Hallow’s Even (Even meaning evening in the middle ages). Instead of donning masks, the poor would ‘guise’ themselves, go to the homes of the rich and receive ‘soul cakes’ in return for praying for the homeowner’s dead relatives.
I love history but I focused on the spirits and souls. I think I’ve always had an innate curiosity about what happened after we died and if there were indeed such things as ghosts. After all, cultures and societies from all over the globe since the beginning of our known human history have worshipped the dead and believed in the spirit world.
I used to write stories for Halloween – which I showed no one but my mother. She loved my stories and always encouraged me to write but at that it was just a fun hobby. When I read a spooky or Halloween story, I’d think to myself “What if?” and come up with an alternate ending. As I got older, my love of the supernatural realm grew and when I discovered boys didn’t really have cooties, I’d add a boy or two to the story, and soon I had the beginnings of paranormal romance.
Then life happens. I got married, had three kids and things get put on hold. But I never lost my love of reading, writing or of Halloween and all things spooky. Then when the time was right, I sat down and seriously wrote down the many stories that had visited me through the years.
My mom passed in 1994 but she and I count down each year to our favorite holiday.
Here's Debbie Christiana's new novel:
Blurb for FOREVER FLAMES:
Sometimes the past won’t stay where it belongs.
Marc and Natalia are settling into parenthood, but can’t shake the feeling of déjà vu when it comes to their new baby.
Sensing they’ve been a family before and something horrible happened, they journey back in time, through hypnotic regression, to eighteenth century Belgium. Here they relive a shocking lifetime that challenges their love more than any other, and brings repercussions back into their present life.
Last time, remembering their past lives brought Marc and Natalia together, this time it may tear them apart.
“The dog comes at me. I leap away and hit the rocky ground hard. His jaw tugs at my leg. I kick and thrash at him with my other foot. It happens so fast but Maarten is on top of him and amid all the commotion I hear the dog’s neck break.
“‘Eline! Are you safe, my love?’
“Maarten scoops me up in his strong arms and I collapse into him. My heart is broken over the loss of a dear compan- ion, but I’m relieved and grateful the horrible ordeal is over. ‘Let me look at your leg. Did he break your skin?’
“‘No. My boot saved me.’
“I turn my leg so he can see. He brushes my long dress up past my knees. At the sight of blood running down the side laces of my boot, fear crawls deep into my chest. It isn’t possible. I clutch onto Maarten’s chest and want him to tell me it’s not really there, that my mind is playing tricks on me.
“‘Maarten, I never felt him bite me. It must be from my fall.’
“‘Darling, your injury may be from your fall but I won’t take the chance. You know what we must do.’
“With a dread-filled nod, I acknowledge what needs to be done. I gather up my terror and hold my tears for later. If the rumors are true about what happens next, tears will be of better use to me then, than now.”
“Despair hangs around my neck like a noose. There is no time to waste. There are two deep puncture wounds on her calf above her boot. They aren’t from her fall, and she and I both know it, but I don’t want to scare her more than she already is. A rabid dog has bitten her. I lift her up onto the seat in the carriage and the race to save her life begins.”
If you’re curious how Marc and Nat’s story began:
Blurb from Twin Flames:
She’d never met him before, or had she?
The last thing forty-year-old Natalia Santagario expected was to be sitting on a Manhattan barstool, ogling a man she’s never met, but swears she knows.
He didn’t know her at all, or did he?
The mysterious dark-haired woman at the end of the bar stops twenty-eight-year old Marc Tremonti in his tracks. His head says she’s a stranger, but his heart tells him otherwise.
Together they embark on an adventure that will change their lives forever.
Marc’s aunt Mariella, an expert in reincarnation, persuades them to relive their past to help explain their enigmatic attraction. As they open the doors to their past lives, they discover they have been lovers for hundreds of lives, are connected by an ancient bond, and are considered Twin Flame soul mates.But their reunion in this life is complicated by an almost ex-wife, a temporary bout of amnesia and a mischievous and meddling ghost with its own agenda. Will their strong connection find a way to bring them together? Or is this the lifetime they must go their separate ways?
Forever Flames is available at
AMAZON - http://goo.gl/ihGcZa
B/N - http://goo.gl/v4RwZb
You can find my at:
Facebook: Debbie Christiana, Author
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.
Black Opal Books: http://www.blackopalbooks.com
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Solstice-by-debbie-christiana?store=allproducts&keyword=Solstice+by+debbie+christiana
Smashwords : http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/312116
Thank you, Debbie for stopping by today!
Halloween is my favorite holiday, too! How cool that it eventually inspired you to write paranormal romance...ReplyDelete
Hi Heather - It's a great holiday, my kids love it and we have a haunted house in our garage each year for the trick or treater's. Thanks for stopping by.Delete
Oh Debbie! I totally heart Halloween, too!!! So much fun. So many yummy treats. An abundance of spooky...ReplyDelete
Hi SA - I love the spooky and the treats - those small tootsie rolls are my fav! So glad you stopped by :)Delete
Thank you again, Cathy, for letting me visit today. I always have fun talking about Halloween :)ReplyDelete
I also love Halloween, and having fun already checking out the decorations in the stores!Delete
Your mom would be very happy to know you followed your dream of being an author.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Alex - yes she would be, especially my Halloween stories :)Delete
I never knew the meaning behind Halloween. Thanks for doing the research for me. You Mom sounds like she was cool.ReplyDelete
Hi Nana, I love history especially ancient stuff that forms our holidays and customs today. She was cool most of the time. She also had her difficult moments like we all doDelete
Thanks for stopping by.
We don't really celebrate Halloween here in Australia. I feel like I missed out ;)ReplyDelete
Congrats to Debbie.
Thanks, Lynda. These days it's very commercial like every holiday. All the halloween decorations are out in the stores by the middle of August :)Delete
Debbie and I are soul mates! I'm a huge Halloween fan and I do my own countdown to Oct. 31. My kid think I'm wacky and love it that way. Congrats to Debbie and Happy Halloween.ReplyDelete
LOL, my kids loved all the Halloween things we did when they were little, then for a year or two during the teenage years, they rolled their eyes, but then they were back in full swing by late teens and now they're in college and ask me send them Halloween stuff to their school :) Thanks for stopping by and have a Happy Halloween!!!Delete
Congrats to Debbie on her release - sounds like an intriguing series!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Jami. I'm working on the third and final book. It's been fun to write.Delete
It was so fun to read about your childhood Halloweens, what wonderful memories to have. Your last line was so touching. I'm glad you and your mom are still sharing your countdowns. :)ReplyDelete
Congratulations on what I'm sure is another wonderful story, Debbie! And enjoy the autumn and Halloween season.
Hi Julie - There is a computer site that you can go to and it tells you how many seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc to Halloween. That's much easier than the old fashioned way we used to do it - counting on the calendar :) Thanks for checking in.Delete
Ooh! I love Halloween too. Here's to October-born awesomeness! I love the history and your memories are adorable. Now I want to get some ragged sheets out and hang the in my windows. =)ReplyDelete
Hi Crystal - October is just a great month all around :) If you have kids, they'll love the sheets hanging from windows or doors. It was so much fun. Glad you stopped by. Happy Halloween!!Delete
Halloween is my favorite holiday, too. The book that won my agent over was a ghost-themed book, although it ended up in submission so long, after a while other authors had swooped in and published their own books that were similar. (It was about ghost hunters, which was a big thing in the mid to late 00s.) Her book sounds awesome!ReplyDelete
Hi Stephanie - I'm sorry about story. I love ghost hunters and I watch all the shows on TV :) Ed and Lorraine Warren live here in CT and I've seen them speak. They didn't have all the fancy equipment back then the hunters have now, but they were so interesting to hear. Ed has passed and Lorraine is up there in years, but there is a Warren museum that I want to visit. Have a great Halloween!!ReplyDelete