I’m welcoming Andrea Buginsky back to my blog today because the second book in the New Avalon series will be arriving soon! Here’s a look at the beautiful cover, designed by Natasha Brown. Stay tuned for more on the book from Andrea in the coming days!
Elena Baxter’s second year at New Avalon may be more challenging than her first. The demons she was warned about show up, a visitor who greatly affects her arrives, and her best friend, Izzy, has to deal with her painful past. Can Elena survive everything that’s coming at her at once? Or will the future Lady of the Lake take on more than she can possibly handle?
Elena ran through the dark woods, tree branches leaving deep, angry, red scratches on her arms, legs, and face. Her legs were heavy and her feet were cold and damp. The moist dirt of the forest floor began to seep through her shoes. She desperately wanted to look behind her to see if the dark figures were still there, but she dared not, afraid it would slow her down and they would catch up to her.
She kept running; she felt as though her lungs were about to explode and her heart would burst out of her chest at any moment. Cold sweat broke out all over her skin.
Just when she thought she couldn’t run anymore, she reached the edge of a cliff that seemed to appear out of nowhere. Peering through the heavy mist, she realized she had run to one of the far edges of Avalon, and knew the only thing below her was the icy cold ocean.
With nowhere else to go, Elena turned to await the dark figures chasing her. She prepared to use her magic on them, even with the knowledge that the few spells she had learned so far would barely touch her oncoming attackers. She would defend herself – she would not let them see how terrified she was.
As she watched ahead of her, three dark figures appeared, and when they saw her, they came rushing at her. They reached out their hands, casting their own spells faster than she could react to them. As several fireballs headed toward her, Elena began to scream.
Releasing September 30
Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer with a BA in Mass Communication-Journalism from the University of South Florida. She has always wanted to be a published writer, and decided to try to write children’s fantasy books a few years ago. The Chosen is her first book, and was released on December 14, 2010, to her delight.
Andrea has written three more books since:
* My Open Heart, an autobiography of growing up with heart disease.
* Nature’s Unbalance: The Chosen, Book 2
* Destiny: New Avalon, book 1, a YA fantasy
She is currently editing the third book of The Chosen series, and writing the fourth.
Andrea lives in Kansas with her family, which includes her two precious puppies.
You can visit Andrea on her website or Google+
I’m so happy to welcome my friend A.R. Silverberry to my blog today! He just released a new book called THE STREAM and it sounds like such an intriguing and enlightening read. I’ve asked him to share the inspiration behind his very imaginative tale…
The Miracle of Now by A.R. Silverberry
Many years ago, when I was in college, I took a class called Eastern Religions and Philosophy. I’ve forgotten most what was taught, except I remember being fascinated as we discussed Buddhism. The professor, a thirty-something, hippie type, said that when Buddhist practitioners meditated, they, “Just sat.” At the time, I really didn’t understand the significance of that. Were they waiting for something to happen? How did this lead to enlightenment? Years later, I got it. There are so many ways to dodge reality. There are the obvious ways, like drugs and alcohol. And there are the subtle ways, like thinking about something else while someone is talking.
The other day, my wife and I dined in our favorite restaurant. At one of the tables sat a family of four. The boy was glued to his iPad. Okay, I get that. All kids are glued to them nowadays. What was striking was the rest of the family. The sister, mom, and dad were focused on their phones. No one talked to each other, let alone acknowledged the presence of the rest of the family. Family day—that special time to share, exchange, bond, and give love—was absent in this family. They were as disconnected as an unplugged phone line.
When we over focus on the past or the future, we miss the miracle of what’s unfolding right before our eyes. The risk is that we go through our lives running from phantoms that don’t exist, or we chase dream after dream, feeling empty and unsatisfied when we arrive at our destination.
For the past twenty-five years, psychologists have turned to the practice of mindfulness, studying the benefits on health, stress reduction, creativity, pain management, better coping, memory, relationship satisfaction, attention, and concentration, to name a few.
But there may be a more compelling reason to practice awareness of what’s unfolding in the here and now. True happiness, happiness that can fill us with a lifetime of joys, is found in each moment of existence. Try this. The next time you’re feeling stressed, turn off your phone, turn off your radio, open your eyes to the wind, the sky, the trees, the air flowing into your lungs. Listen to the song of the birds, of children playing in a park. Open your heart to the miracle of each moment.
Here’s a challenge. But first, a little background. My novel, The Stream, was born during a conversation I was having about how to best cope with the curve balls, even the tragedies life throws at us. Drawing on my background as a psychologist, I suggested that embracing the here and now and developing a sense of gratitude were two powerful responses. The metaphor of a stream came into my mind. In a few hours, the character of Wend, a small boy, alone, defense, trying to understand the ways of the world, popped into my mind. I saw images of him confronting the trials we all face: love, loss, pain, losing your way. In a way, we are all that boy, orphans floating on the flux of life, trying to comprehend the enormity of existence.
Such a boy needed a world that encompassed the enormity of life. What follows is a description of his world. Though it didn’t make it into the novel, it could have. As I leave you, here’s the challenge. How would you cope in such a world? Who would you turn to? What would be important to you? What would you hang on to for a sense of stability and continuity? What would give your life meaning? Feel free to post your responses in the comments section.
If Wend had stopped to think about it, he would have realized that his family, searching for fruit, nuts, and roots, never ventured far from either shore, that travelers never sailed upstream to tell tales of what lay ahead. Except for tacking and voyages of a few miles, his family never ventured upstream either. When he’d asked his father why, he was told, “It’s a law.” Wend must have looked blank because his father told him to jump as high as he could. Wend jumped, and after his feet landed on the ground, his father said, “Now jump as high as the top of the mast.” Wend had laughed, but declared that no one could do that.
“Why not?” his father asked.
“We come down first,” Wend replied.
“It’s a law,” said his father. “And it’s a law that we go that way.”
His father pointed downstream.
If Wend had thought of these things, he would have understood that everyone was tethered to the stream and could only go in one direction. People stopped from time to time, working at abandoned foundries to smelt metal for anchors, chains, and knives, cutting trees to build or repair boats, living in villages, taking over deserted houses like creatures that move into another animal’s shell. They never stayed long, always returning to their boats, always going with the current, always traveling downstream.
Here’s more about The Stream:
What if your world was six miles wide and endlessly long?
After a devastating storm kills his parents, five-year-old Wend awakens to the strange world of the Stream. He discovers he can only travel downstream, and dangers lurk at every turn: deadly rapids, ruthless pirates, a mysterious pavilion that lures him into intoxicating fantasies, and rumor of a giant waterfall at the edge of the world. Defenseless, alone, with only courage and his will to survive, Wend begins his quest to become a man. Will tragic loss trap him in a shadow world, or will he enter the Stream, with all its passion and peril?
Part coming-of-age tale, part adventure, part spiritual journey, The Stream is a fable about life, impermanence, and the gifts found in each moment.
Purchase The Stream:
Follow A. R. Silverberry:
About A. R. Silverberry:
A. R. Silverberry writes fiction for adults and children. His novel, WYNDANO’S CLOAK, won multiple awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Awards gold medal for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction. Silverberry, the pen name for psychologist Peter Adler, continues to balance his clinical practice with writing. THE STREAM is his second novel.
So happy to have my friend Andrea Buginsky’s lastest cover reveal on my blog today! Get set for the beautiful new cover of Nature’s Unbalance: The Chosen, Book 2!
During a time of celebration for The Chosen, a mysterious force appears on Phantasma, threatening to destroy Nature and all of her creatures. Will The Chosen find and defeat this force and save Nature before it’s too late?
Read an excerpt…
Suddenly, as if someone had cast a freeze spell, everything stopped. As everyone looked around, they saw the shamans and druids gather together nervously and look up at the sky. Everyone else’s eyes focused upwards to see what was going on; chatter and screams could be heard as the sky suddenly darkened out of nowhere. Day became night in an instant. Now in a near panic, everyone shouted out assumptions.
“It’s Gastle! He’s back!”
“That’s impossible! This must be a new monster.”
“Perhaps it’s Gastle’s descendants seeking revenge for his death.”
“Or an old enemy trying to replace him on the throne.”
“Everyone, please, stay calm,” Striker spoke up. As the head of The Chosen, he normally took command, and it was accepted by those around him. “Let’s try to get some answers before we make assumptions.” He turned to the druids and shamans, who talked animatedly with each other while they pointed to the dark sky. “Red, any idea what this is?”
“It’s definitely not Gastle, or any other creature in Phantasma. There’s something off with the elements. Whatever caused this is a natural entity, and comes directly from Nature herself. There is a definite shift, and it’s unbalanced. We can all sense it.”
“Any idea what it could be?”
“No, but the strongest feelings we received are coming from the North, in the Polard region. We need to go there and see the situation for ourselves.”
Halli glanced at Queen Laurali who stood nearby and listened to the conversation between Striker and Red. The queen came toward the group, and Halli knew what she would say.
“I know this is a day of great celebration,” the Queen said, “but under the circumstances, I think it would be best if The Chosen headed out at once to seek some answers.” She turned toward the bride and groom. “Halli and Silvor, I will send a replacement healer and mage, of course, so you two can start your honeymoon. Until we know more, there’s no reason for you to cancel your plans.” But Halli and Silvor wouldn’t hear of it.
“We go with our family,” Silvor said. Halli nodded in agreement. “We can celebrate our honeymoon once we know what’s happened.”
Queen Laurali bowed her respect to them.
“Very well,” she said. “The Chosen, in its entirety, will head out right away toward Polard to see what you can find out. You may change in my tower while your horses are prepared.”
Coming soon from Amazon!
Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer and author. The Chosen, a middle-grade fantasy novelette was her first book, and was followed by My Open Heart, an autobiography about growing up with heart disease. Andrea released Destiny, the first book of her New Avalon series, in 2013. She is currently working on more books in both series. You can find Andrea on her website. Her books are available at Amazon. Remember to sign up for Andrea’s newsletter to stay up-to-date on all of her exciting events.
I’m welcoming author Elke Feuer to my blog to showcase her latest book, Deadly Bloodlines!
Here’s a bit about the book…
Years after leaving Cayman because of her notorious serial killer mother, Angel Mason returns as an inspector on the police force. On the twentieth anniversary of her mother’s capture, someone is murdered in the same manner as her mother’s victims.
To complicate matters more, Angel’s old flame, Bren McDougal, is assigned to help her with capturing the killer, and soon it’s undeniably clear that the passion between them is hotter than ever.
As the killer repeats her mother’s deadly pattern, Angel must face the terrifying truth she’d been hiding for twenty years.
What people are saying…
“Elke Feuer skillfully keeps you guessing in this twisty-turny romantic suspense story about a Cayman investigator tracking a copycat killer-one imitating the crimes of a her own serial-killer mother. Suspenseful and satisfying!” ~Francine LaSala, author of The Girl, the Gold Tooth, & Everything.
Read an excerpt…
Angel Mason sat on the edge of her bed and squished the thick caramel carpet between her toes, assurance the deadly grip of another nightmare was gone.
On the nightstand her phone vibrated, startling her. It was Dustin Williams, Chief Superintendent. The time, 6:30 a.m., flashed in red from her clock. She cleared her throat and prayed there was no trace of the bottle of vodka she’d finished off the night before in her voice. “Inspector Angel.”
“Dead body at Galleon Bay.” He never minced words.
“Some tourist die in their sleep?”
“No, looks like she was murdered.”
Brittle silence hung in the air as the words echoed in her mind like a broken record.
“I’ll be there in half an hour,” she stammered.
“Good, I want this dealt with quickly. There hasn’t been a tourist murdered on the island since…”
“Since Meredith,” she finished for him.
“Yeah, and we remember how that turned out,” he said dryly.
The phone imprinted her hand as she squeezed it. No one had forgotten how it turned out, least of all her—no matter how hard she tried.
“I want you to collect the evidence,” Williams said.
“What? Why?” She didn’t normally question his decisions, but she hadn’t worked in forensics since she had been promoted to inspector.
“You’re the most experienced scene of crime officer we have.”
“I’ll take care of it, sir,” Angel assured him.
“Johnson, Sanchez, and Ebanks are already there controlling the traffic and crowd,” he said, his voice sounding miles away.
The phone went dead without a goodbye, not that she expected one. He didn’t converse beyond necessity, but she never took it personally. He was like that with everyone.
She went to the bathroom, took out the bottle of painkillers on the second shelf of the cabinet on the wall, and downed two.
As the pills made their way to her queasy stomach, she searched the cloud in her head for how she had gotten to bed last night. Leftover Chinese and drifting to sleep during the nightly news in a vodka-induced haze was all she remembered.
Horrifying screams and blood splattered across her hand paraded before her, remaining trickles from her dream, and the smell of blood filled her nose.
“No!” She gripped the edges of the porcelain sink to steady herself and clear her mind of the images. Her dreams were becoming more frequent and the vivid details lingering long after she awoke.
She let out the breath she was holding and splashed cold water on her face. The reflection in the mirror was an unwanted reminder that she couldn’t escape her heritage or the history that came with it, and there was nothing she could do about it.
Once she showered and got dressed, she pulled her hair into a ponytail. She walked down the short beige corridor to the living room and grabbed her keys off the hook on the wall. The cool morning air blew against her makeup-free face when she opened the door. She inhaled the salty air, and watched the sun peaking over the horizon of the ocean. They calmed her nerves as she made her way down the stairs and to her car. Starting the engine, she pulled out of the parking lot and towards the hotel where Meredith, her mother, had worked before she was arrested for murdering the guests.
Elke was born and raised on Grand Cayman and lives there with her husband and two kids who keep her on her toes. She has a sarcastic, quirky sense of humor not everyone gets, and is in a race to become the first Caymanian in space. When not writing, she’s helping other writers in Cayman through her organization CayWriters. Elke is the author of For the Love of Jazz and Deadly Bloodlines, book one in her Deadly Series scheduled for release in March 2014. She stumbled into writing romantic suspense because of her fascination with serial killers, but also writes other genres because characters keep telling her their stories and she’s a sucker for a crazy story.
You can connect with Elke:
Enter to win a copy of Elke’s first book, FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ.
Would you like to win a remarked copy of Conspirators of the Lost Sock Army and Loose Change Collection Agency signed by the author and illustrator?
Simply follow the author here and here and a few winners will be randomly selected on March 20th!
Another ‘Passion Patrol’ novel by Emma Calin
Today’s the day – the worldwide release of Emma Calin’s steamy action-romance novel SHANNON’S LAW.
Emma’s ‘Passion Patrol’ books are stand-alone stories that feature hot cops, hot crimes and hot romance. SHANNON’S LAW introduces another sassy female cop, Shannon Aguerri, who catches crooks, delivers justice and always gets her man.
In celebration of the launch, Emma is offering SHANNON’S LAW at just $1.50/£0.99 for all digital versions, until the 10th March. There are special offers in place for the paperback version too – it’s at a rock-bottom introductory price of $10.99/£5.99/€6.99 until the 10th March.
You can win free copies of the paperback and digital versions, as well as other cool book-related ‘swag’ in Emma’s launch day giveaway on Rafflecopter which includes a FREE GIFT for every entrant (see below.)
Launch Day Party…
Emma is having an online launch party “Afternoon Tea At Bloxington Manor” on Friday the 28th February and you are invited too:
Come along to share a cuppa and a slice of cake, win prizes and find out about the book and the author.
What the early reviewers of Shannon’s Law say…
5 Stars – Jenny Marston, Essex, UK.
“Move over Mr Grey – there’s a new Earl in town! Shannon’s Law is dramatic, mesmerizing and incredibly sexy. The ultimate fairy-tale.”
5 Stars – Anneli Purchase, Canada.
“Shannon’s Law will draw you in from page one and hold you fast, immersed in the love and suspense until the end.”
5 Stars – Petra Rovere, Slovenia.
“A fast-paced and intense story where two different social worlds collide in a vortex full of love, hatred, intrigues and passion. Emma Calin has done it again. A book hard to put down before its end.”
BUY LINKS TO SHANNON’s LAW…
SHANNON’S LAW Blurb…
Wild child inner city cop Shannon Aguerri walks a dangerous line between her methods and justice. When the bosses lose their nerve, after yet another maverick mission, she is transferred to green pastures to play out the role of a routine village cop. When she encounters signs of people and drug trafficking she homes in on serious millionaire criminals. As a loner she has attracted men but nothing has stuck. She meets Spencer, the hunky and widowed Earl of Bloxington and there is an immediate rapport between them. Their social differences mean nothing to their passion and need. Already in the mix however, is an upper class female rival – who has long plotted her way into the Earl’s bed. The jealousy is an evil shade of green and the anger is a violent scarlet. Often inhibited by a sense of duty and honour, Spencer is slow to reveal his feelings. When Shannon confronts him with the need to choose between her word and that of her rival, he does not immediately support her. All the same, when they are forced together to carry out a desperate rescue mission, their love is stronger than everything ranged against them.
Find out more and watch the book promo video here:
Revealing all on Pinterest…
Emma has been posting snippets from the story, photos of places and people that inspired the venues and characters on Pinterest during her pre-launch book tour…
There is also news about the book on Facebook:
(‘Likes’ are always appreciated…..)
You’ve read the story and felt the passion – now taste the love…
There’s a companion cookbook that Emma is also launching today – COP’S KITCHEN. This includes recipes for all the meals from the Shannon’s Law. The good news is that all entries to the Rafflecopter draw below get a free copy of this illustrated e-book.
Buy Cop’s Kitchen Here:
Other e-readers and PDF: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/407437
Shannon’s Law Launch Day Rafflecopter Draw…
Prizes include $30/£20/€25 Amazon gift card, paperback and digital copies of Shannon’s Law, various afternoon-tea related swag items AND…. a FREE COPY of Emma’s digital cookery book Cop’s Kitchen for EVERY entrant!
Special offer on the first ‘Passion Patrol’ book KNOCKOUT!
Watch out as well for a special discount on Emma’s first ‘Passion Patrol’ book Knockout! It’s on an Amazon Kindle Countdown Deal for 5 days at 99c/76p from 3rd-7th March. http://www.bookshow.me/Knockout
Please help me welcome author Emma Calin to my blog. She’s here today to present the cover reveal for her latest book, SHANNON’S LAW. Check it out below and learn much more about it and about Emma. Also, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. Welcome, Emma!
Thanks so much for hosting the Cover Reveal for my forthcoming contemporary romance SHANNON’S LAW. This is the second in my ‘Passion Patrol Series’ – steamy action-romances that feature sassy female cops who solve crimes, catch crooks and always get their man.
Here’s more about SHANNON’S LAW:
Wild child inner city cop Shannon Aguerri walks a dangerous line between her methods and justice. When the bosses lose their nerve, after yet another maverick mission, she is transferred to green pastures to play out the role of a routine village cop. When she encounters signs of people and drug trafficking she homes in on serious millionaire criminals. As a loner she has attracted men but nothing has stuck. When she meets Spencer, the hunky and widowed Earl of Bloxington, there is an immediate rapport between them. Their social differences mean nothing to their passion and need. Already in the mix is an upper class female rival – who has long plotted her way into the Earl’s bed. The jealousy is an evil shade of green and the anger is a violent scarlet. Often inhibited by a sense of duty and honour, Spencer is slow to reveal his feelings. When Shannon confronts him with the need to choose between her word and that of her rival, he does not immediately support her. All the same, when they are forced together to carry out a desperate rescue mission, their love is stronger than everything ranged against them.
(Pre-order paperback only at this stage)
I will be revealing snippets from the story, photos of places and people that inspired the venues and characters on Pinterest during my pre-launch book tour. There are already some scrap-book cuttings posted:
There is also news about the book on Facebook:
(‘Likes’ are always appreciated…..)
I’m having two launch parties “Afternoon Tea At Bloxington Manor”. The first is online on the 28th February on Facebook and the second is LIVE at the English stately home that inspired the home of my hero on Sunday 2nd March. A local favourite venue for me, Avington Park in Hampshire is steeped in history and tradition. (Think genuine Palladian style rather than Downton Abbey neo-Jacobean). The private owners have kindly agreed to open up for us with a tour of the house and then tea and cake – oh and launch the book of course!
Shannon’s Law Cover Reveal Draw
$30/£20 Amazon voucher
A pair of tickets to my Avington Park Launch Party 2nd March (UK only)
3 Advanced Review Copies of Shannon’s Law
EVERY entrant will receive a FREE gift of an audiobook of my short story Escape to Love.
About Emma Calin
Emma Calin was born in London in 1962. She currently lives in France and the UK.
She has been writing since childhood and has won numerous local, national and international prizes for poetry and short stories.
“Knockout!” is the first of the “Passion Patrol Series” a stand-alone love story set against a backdrop of international gambling corruption and deception. Interpol cop Anna Leyton finds herself torn between love and duty when her professional and private life intersects. This book is now available in both paperback and Kindle formats.
“The Love in a Hopeless Place Collection” is a bargain anthology of 5 short stories and novelettes, available in paperback and digital formats.
“Sub-Prime” is a prize-winning hard hitting short story about courage, exploitation and love. It is a raw and brutal exposé of life at the bottom in the aftermath of recession.
“The Chosen” is also a short story, set in modern times where working people struggle to keep their dreams alive. A world where the promise of love motivates desperate measures.
“Escape To Love” is a ‘novelette’ (longer than a short story but shorter than a novella), a gritty urban romance with suspense and mystery but a love story at it’s core.
“Angela” a short story about a late-night taxi journey.
“Love in a Hopeless Place” a novelette about a middle-aged woman striving to find her true identity.
Amazon links to books by Emma Calin
(Pre-order paperback only at this stage)
About.me page: http://about.me/emmacalin
Emma Calin Blog: http://www.emmacalin.blogspot.com
Emma Calin Website: http://www.emmacalin.com
and book page: http://www.facebook.com/ShannonsLaw
Just in time for the holiday season, I’m happy to feature six wonderful authors and their new book, Merry Chick Lit!
In the spirit of giving, six chick-lit authors “present” a charming collection of seasonal shorts sure to inspire holiday cheer-plus love and hope throughout the year, with all proceeds donated to Rocking the Road for a Cure! Featured authors & stories include:
Carolyn Ridder Aspenson
In “Santa’s Gift,” journalist Jessica thinks Santa’s just a silly myth for children, so when he asks what she most wants for Christmas she tells him the one thing she knows he can’t deliver–true love. Or can he…?
In “The Christmas Lights,” one competition pits two families against each other…who will win this war?
Pretty Izzy knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: hunky sales manager Jake Harrington wrapped up with a shiny silver bow–and nothing else. Except Santa may have other plans in “Carol of the Belles.”
In “Spinster Christmas,” Cara’s looking forward to spending Christmas alone until she learns her old–and she believes very gay–crush needs a place to stay. Though it soon becomes clear that while still hot, Ronan isn’t gay after all…
Ella’s dreams of making a better life for her and her daughter seem further away than ever in “Iced Dreams.” But as Christmas approaches, and she wishes for a fairy godmother to wave a magic wand to fix her life, things begin to change in ways she never imagined!
In “The Mermaid,” Allie’s content to spend Christmas by herself at a vacant beach house to make good on a promise made to her true love lost, Jeff. Until Jeff’s gorgeous college roommate Tim crashes in on her with his own promise to keep…
This compilation book is available for 99 cents on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble and will soon be available in paperback:
Learn about Rocking the Road for a Cure
Rocking The Road For A Cure is tickled PINK to be selected as the recipient of proceeds from your purchase of Merry Chick Lit.
We are a growing 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in the New York City/Long Island area, dedicated to improving the quality of life of people undergoing the often energy-depleting and emotionally draining treatments for breast cancer.
Our name came from our founder and President, Dawn Frey, a musician, who learned through personal experience that “it takes a village” to get through the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, and not every individual has the support network they need. Rocking The Road For A Cure provides free, in-home housekeeping, health and wellness services to restore strength and confidence, and to rebuild spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.
So, when you settle back and relax to enjoy reading Merry Chick Lit, please know that you have helped us help a breast cancer patient to also settle back and relax…and heal.
I’m so excited to welcome author Chrissie Parker to my blog for the first time. She’s just penned her debut book. It’s a novella titled Integrate and it sounds intriguing. As you can see the cover is quite striking (no pun intended) and here’s a little bit about the book, too:
A battered and broken body lies in the road. A discovery that leaves the local community gripped with fear. Suspicion as to who killed the woman is rife. Corinne’s peaceful life is shattered by the tragic death, forcing her to struggle daily with overwhelming grief and loss. A chance meeting with a stranger helps Corinne through the hurt and pain, but can she really trust Jack?
Because Chrissie incorporated the metaphysical world into her book’s plot (which fascinates me) I’ve asked her to share with us what inspired that aspect of the book. Here’s what she had to say…
I have always been fascinated by the unexplained. Why do people choose to read their horoscope each day and live their lives according to what they learn? Why are some people convinced they have seen ghosts or claim to have them living in their houses? Why is there a continued tradition of psychic ability and practice amongst certain groups of people?
These are all interesting questions. I never really used to believe in that side of life, the ‘unexplained’ that some people insist is there and is real. ‘The unexplained’ is generally something that most people cannot see and so don’t believe in it, dismissing it as hokum or madness. I have quite an open mind, and even though there are some things I still don’t believe in, there are some things that I have encountered in the past, such as dealings with a ghost at the theatre I used to work at and other phenomena, which made me wonder if some of it could possibly be true.
When I started working on Integrate I wanted to write something that had some dark elements or elements of the unexplained. I thought about how to do this, and the idea came to me via someone I worked with in the theatre (the one with the ghost). I used to get my Tarot cards read by one of my colleagues, they weren’t always right but occasionally the odd thing did ring scarily true. It intrigued me, so one day I bought a deck of my own and began to study them. With the knowledge I gained, I decided that using tarot would be a great idea, both visually and descriptively. So my female protagonist Corinne became a tarot reader.
I felt it wasn’t enough though, so I gave Corinne a sister, an identical twin called Helena. I liked the idea of Corinne and Helena being close and having ‘that twin thing’ that people talk about, a close connection that no-one else seems to have unless they were born as twins. But I wanted to make it more than that. So I gave Corinne the gift of premonition. Premonitions are usually thought of as future visions or foresight. They can be fleetingly subtle or sometimes strong, overwhelming and confusing. I have never had visions myself, but I have researched them and will admit to having encountered the strange phenomena of déjà vu. It is a strange experience, one minute you are sitting having coffee with a friend, and the next you suddenly get the feeling you have been there before and know exactly what is going to happen next, like you have seen or experienced the entire scene before. I get them often, and it can be more than a little unnerving.
I decided to expand on the idea of visions (premonition) by turning it on its head and throwing in the idea of déjà vu. Rather than seeing the future, the visions became a tool for Corinne to subconsciously reach into the past to see and learn what happened to her sister Helena. These elements push Corinne to the limit; at one point she even thinks that receiving the visions means she is going to be able to save her sister, but that would never happen. Fate always had a plan, and whatever happened, there was no way it could be changed.
I like the idea that there are elements of the unexplained out there, that some people believe they can see ghosts, or that they can predict the future from the way the cards fall or from how the tea leaves settle. But just because you think you can see the future, it shouldn’t automatically mean you get to do something about it. Sometimes it should just be about how you deal with it, the actions you choose to take from that moment on, and how you learn from what happens next. After all, if we were all meant to see the future and be able to change it, we would have been born with super powers. Wouldn’t we?
I am a sucker for ghost stories, near death experiences, psychic phenomena, and the mysteries of the Other Side, so I love when authors explore such things in their books. Thanks so much for dropping by, Chrissie, and best of luck with your book!
Thank you, Bonnie, for allowing me to guest post on your fantastic blog today!
Chrissie lives in London with her husband and is a freelance Production Coordinator working in the TV, documentary and film industry. She is also an Author. “Integrate” a suspense Novella, is her first release. She is currently working on two suspense books due for release in 2014. One is set in Egypt and the other on the Greek Island of Zakynthos.
To find out more about Chrissie visit her website www.chrissieparker.com
Twitter – @Chrissie_author
Okay, so my third novel is taking a bit longer to write than I hoped (I hate when my books don’t write themselves!) so I decided to release a book in the interim. It’s one that I wrote a few years ago and always wanted to publish. Unfortunately, I never seemed to find the time once my first novel, Wedlocked, took off. I felt bad about ignoring this little baby of mine, so last month, when it called out to me for attention, I decided it was high time I finally shared it with the world.
And so, today I present The Fine Art of Delusional Thinking: Happiness Means Never Having to Have a Reality Check. It is a funny, satirical book that teaches readers how to delude themselves to a happier life. With the explosion of books on the subjects of creative visualization, now more often called the laws of attraction, I thought a fun little parody was in order. As I reflected on all the years I spent floating through life in a delusional haze, I knew I was the perfect person to write it. Talk about books that write themselves—this one practically did! That’s probably because during my ten-year stint in Los Angeles, I packed a wealth of wild experiences, colorful people, and nutty behavior patterns into my daily life, all of which helped to inspire this book. I think it will appeal to an awful lot of people, because aren’t we all a little delusional sometimes? Enjoy!
Have you always wished you had a glamorous career? A spouse who worships you? An awesome set of wheels? A fantabulous social life? With The Fine Art of Delusional Thinking, all these goals can be within your grasp. You’ll never again fret about your weight, your monthly bills, your love life, or your bank account. This witty and concise how-to book from best-selling author Bonnie Trachtenberg teaches you everything you’ll need to know to turn your humdrum existence into a lifestyle others will envy. So delude your way to a happy life—with help from an expert.
EXCERPT FROM THE FINE ART OF DELUSIONAL THINKING:
THE FIVE FUNDAMENTALS OF FANTASY
You can begin the journey of deluding your way to a happier life by studying and implementing the basic principles of the delusional thought process. Incorporate them into your daily life. Never stray from them lest you reap the wrath of resistance: a crude and devastating reality check.
1. Turn a deaf ear to “practical” advice and criticism.
We all know them too well—the Naysayers. They dictate, advocate, and pontificate. They’ll beseech, belabor, and belittle you. They’re those vexing meddlers who think their all-knowing cynicism is the key to improving your life. Don’t fall prey to their prying antics. They don’t know better than you. Their advice is geared to bring you down to the depressing depths they’ve established as their own reality. They aim to burst your blissful bubble, and thereby validate their own depressing lives.
Take Jason, for instance. He always heeded the “good sense” his parents painstakingly instilled in him. When he said he wanted to be a performance artist, they sent him to law school. When he said he wanted to move to a commune and live off the land, they convinced him to get married. When he told them he wanted dogs and cats instead of children, they goaded him into starting a family.
Now he’s a miserable Capitalist who represents the privileged few, and is driven by the almighty buck. He’s beholden to his boss, his family, and his ulcer. He wonders from time to time what could have been had he developed a backbone early in life and stood up to his overbearing parents. “I used to dream about peace, love, and understanding,” Jason reflects, “now I’m lucky if I can get any sleep at all.”
And then there’s Elizabeth, a thirty-three-year-old legal secretary, who dreamed of quitting her boring job, packing up her belongings, and moving out to The Coast. She had always heard Hollywood calling her name and she wanted to claim her glamorous life before it passed her by. She didn’t have a job, an apartment, or friends out West, but she decided to follow in the footsteps of the brave pioneers and let adventure blaze the path for her.
Her family and friends urged her to come to her senses and get a grip on reality. How could she consider such an impulsive move without any definitive plan? They lectured and badgered, but they couldn’t convince her she was making the biggest mistake of her life. They tried to scare her, to shame her, and even to mock her “silly notions,” but Elizabeth managed to hold a tenuous grip on her dream.
When all else failed, the group got together and performed an intervention. They cornered her, locked her in her room, and pestered her until she finally broke. Anxiety and fear overtook poor Elizabeth and drove her back to her crappy job, her head hung in shame.
“I hated my job before my family and friends convinced me it was the path I was meant to take,” says Elizabeth. “Now I hate my family and friends.”
Don’t let anyone break you! The next time you are confronted with harsh opinions and admonitions that declare your blissful outlook to be naïve or preposterous, stare blankly at your accuser and IGNORE EVERY WORD. Think about other things as you drown out their negativity. Imagine the Publishers Clearing House people have just knocked on your door with your check and some colorful balloons. Daydream about the moment Martin Scorsese spots you having lunch in a downtown eatery and begs you to star in his next film. These images, and others like them, will help muffle the irksome voices that strive to destroy your delusional pleasures.
Find out my other four fundamentals of fantasy and much more HERE!
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