"I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared to meet me is another matter."
-Winston Churchill

Monday, April 16, 2012

Black Opal Books - Twin Flames by Debbie Christiana

Welcome to Immortality & Beyond Debbie, may I offer you a beverage?

I would love a glass of Liquor Strega, on the rocks.

According to ancient Italian legend, in the city of Benevento where STREGA is made, all the witches of the world would meet, disguise themselves as beautiful young maidens and mix a magic brew. When two people drank this potion, they were forever united. Today, it is still believed that if a couple drinks Strega together, they will never be far apart. www.strega.it

That is interesting, I'm so going to check it out. 

Debbie is visiting from Black Opal Books today, chatting about her new release, Twin Flames. 

BK: Please tell us a little about your current release.

Debbie: Twin Flames is a story about Marc and Natalia, who discover they are soul mates who have spent hundreds of lives together spanning thousands of years and the obstacles they must overcome to be together in their present life.

BK: What inspired this particular novel/book?

Debbie: Most of us have had a déjà vu moment when we feel like we’ve experienced “that” before, be it a conversation with someone or meeting a person for the first time. I like it when it happens to me. The experts who work in the field of past life regression believe birthmarks are similar to ‘battle scars’ that we carry with us into each incarnation. I put those two notions together and an idea was born.

BK: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Debbie: Ever since I can remember, I’ve been an avid reader. At some point, probably around 10 years old, I thought it would be fun to try to invent a story as cool as the ones I was reading. I still have a few of my original attempts at writing. But they are hidden away in a safe spot.

BK: How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this genre?

Debbie: This novel is about reincarnation complete with a ghost from one of their past lives. I was lucky enough to have a vampire short story published. I’m developing a character named Spookie Millane who possesses a unique ability when it comes to the dead. So for me, it’s fun to write about different subjects within the paranormal realm.

BK: What was the hardest thing about writing this story?

Debbie: Making the past life regression scenes realistic and engaging. But it was a labor of love. I spoke with two therapists who have both written books about regression. I even had the opportunity to meet with one of them. They were lovely women and very helpful. One gave me permission to use her method of having her patient/client visualize a long hallway lined with doors. Each door represented a past life and you opened the door you wanted. Whatever you believe about hypnosis and regression, it’s very real for the people undergoing the process. They actually relive all the experiences, good, bad, happy or terrifying. I wanted to show the hero and heroine’s emotions.

BK: What character was your favorite to write for in this story? Why?

Debbie: Well, I’m very attached to the main characters, of course, but I’m particularly fond of Natalia. She’s stubborn, speaks her mind, drinks whiskey, plays poker and swears in English and Italian. However, some of the minor characters from their past lives were a blast to write. There’s Amelia, a spunky Madame who worked within the underground railroad, hiding slaves at her brothel on the way to Canada. And Giovanna, the mischievous ghost that lives with Natalia. They have the same temperament, so, they bicker quite often.

BK: Which was your favorite scene to write?

Debbie: The whole book was a pleasure to write. I’ve had this story in me for a long time and it poured out easily. If I were to pick something, at the risk of being repetitive, I’d have to say the four past lives Marc and Natalia relive.

BK: Will this become a series? If so, what inspired it to be a series?

Debbie: No, it won’t be a series but I hope to start on a sequel this summer. I left a few things open at the end, anticipating one more book. Marc and Natalia have a few more adventures to go on and figure out which past life Giovanna is from and why she is ‘haunting’ them this time around.

BK: Now for a little fun, and into your everyday life, what is a day in your life like?

Debbie: For ten years, I ran a local food pantry. It was a great job and I loved it. At the end of the year, I had to leave the job because of my dad’s failing health. So these days I spend a lot of time with him and at doctor visits. Then I come home to the normal wife and mother stuff. I’m an early riser so I get a lot of my writing done in the morning.

BK: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Debbie: Like most writers, I love to read. We have a small boat on a local lake and I enjoy being on the water. I practice yoga faithfully. I watch a little TV – The Walking Dead, True Blood. I’m a fan of the show ‘House’ and I’m sorry to see it end this season.

BK: What do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

Debbie: Horror, thrillers, and the paranormal. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice.

BK: Please tell us one piece of advice you were given as an author that you carry with you when you write.

Debbie: I have a quote hanging over my desk by Agatha Christie: “Write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you are writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.” That says it all to me.

BK: What is one piece of advice you can give to aspiring writers/authors?

Debbie: Don’t be afraid and don’t get discouraged. One of the scariest things is putting your work out there for other people to read and judge. I have a folder full of rejections for Twin Flames. The same day I received another rejection was also the day Black Opal offered me a contract.

BK: What are you currently working on?

Debbie: I’m finishing a manuscript about an Italian hereditary witch (Strega) named Sofia. She has the daunting task of breaking a 250-year-old family curse the hero, Armend, has on his head by the winter solstice.

BK: Where can readers connect with you?

Debbie: My website is www.debbiechristiana.com. Follow me on Twitter @DebChristiana. My
Facebook author page is Debbie Christiana.

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 assures him she’s a stranger, but his heart tells him otherwise.

 Together they embark on an adventure that will change their lives forever.

Their attraction instant and enigmatic, they undergo past life regression and discover that,
not only have they spent hundreds of lives together as lovers, Natalia holds the secret to
Marc’s puzzling birthmark.

But what should have been a joyful reunion is complicated by a kind, albeit confused,
almost ex-wife, a bout of temporary amnesia and a mischievous ghost from their past.

What else could possibly go wrong?


Natalia unlocked the door, walked in and threw her purse on the couch. Relieved to be off the crowded train and in the coziness of her family room, there was no solace from the chaos spinning in her head. Since that cold December evening, Marc and his birthmark haunted her thoughts day and night. As handsome as he was, it wasn’t reason she was attracted to him. There was something else, something deeper; something she didn’t understand.

He was an exciting but dangerous enigma and she was tired of behaving like a teenager with a forbidden crush. Enough was enough. It was time to act her age and be sensible. She didn’t need any more strange occurrences in her life; living with Giovanna was plenty. There was no need for further contact with Marc. Fumbling through her purse, she found Mariella’s business card and threw it in the garbage.

Later that evening as she sat at her computer, she spotted Mariella’s card on the
keyboard. “I know you’re here.” Natalia felt a cool breeze blow past. “Why do you want me to go online and look at her Center?”
Natalia often wondered how and why she was able to have these conversations with Giovanna. It was telepathic. One-sided, but telepathic nevertheless. She understood Giovanna’s communication but heard it in her head, not with her ears. Natalia, on the other hand, always had to speak aloud. Another unsolved mystery with no resolution in sight.
Do you really have no one else to bother?”

The small garbage can next to her desk tipped over.
I know I haven’t been sleeping but I don’t think I need to check myself into a facility.”

The computer booted up all by itself. “You’re a pushy ghost, aren’t you?”
Typing the website into her browser, she began to read. Mariella, as well as the other doctors on staff, were licensed Sleep Therapists, all accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. She clicked on therapies and read thoroughly the services the center offered their clients.

Okay, I read the whole thing.” Natalia felt a slight nudge on her arm.

No, I don’t want to read that. It has nothing to do with me.” Giovanna prodded her harder. Giving in as usual to her unseen houseguest, she clicked on hypnotic regressions. Mariella hired two new doctors specializing in hypnotic regression. Usually, the regressions only went as far back as childhood, using this procedure to uncover some trauma occurring during a person’s younger days. Occasionally though, it was used to go back further to look into past lives of clients. This was a not a new phenomenon by far. People had believed in reincarnation for thousands of years. However, the therapy was new to Tremonti’s Sleep and Dream Center and they were asking anyone interested to contact them.
When she was through reading, Natalia heard Giovanna in her head and spun her chair around.

What did you say? How do you know about Marc?”

The door to the library slammed shut. Natalia got up, darted to the door and opened it.

Come back here, right now!”
She ran into her family room but didn’t feel Giovanna anywhere. “I asked you a question and I want an answer.” Silence. Walking over to the steps, she shouted up the empty staircase.

You want to screw with me? Fine. You know there are certain individuals that can make unruly ghosts leave a person’s home. We’ll see how quiet you are when you’re being shoved out the damn door.”

Natalia stood there fuming with her fists clutched at her sides. The threat was
meaningless, she would never make Giovanna leave.

They needed each other too much and they both knew it.

Debbie Christiana would sit in her room as a little girl and write stories about ghosts, unexplained events and things that go bump in the night. She combined her love of the paranormal with her fascination of unusual love stories and decided to write paranormal romance. Her novel, Twin Flames, was released in the summer of 2011 with Black Opal Books. In February 2012, her short story, The Land of the Rising Sun, was one of ten included the anthology BITES: Ten Tales of Vampires. Debbie is a member of RWA and Secretary of the Romance Writers of Connecticut and Lower New York. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children.


Debbie Christiana said...

Thanks for having me today, BK. It was fun to talk with you.


Elle Wright said...

Great interview! Love the quote by Agatha Christie and it's so true.

Debbie Christiana said...

Thanks, Leslie. Yeah, I love her. She had the best mysteries. I'm glad you stopped by.


Firetulip said...

Great interview. So is the Strega kind of like Grappa? Or is it more a dessert liqueur? I'd like to give it a whiff and if it doesn't burn my nostrils maybe I'd drink it. Not big on hard stuff.
I love the name Strega, I named the ship in my pirate's romance that. She doesn't have any magic powers, but people seem to think so, since no one would swear they saw the ship. Only stories got passed around and in each the ship and the crew became more eerie and bigger.
Twin Flames is on my tbr list and I'm so looking forward to reading it.

Debbie Christiana said...

Hi Zrinka, It's an after dinner drink to help with digestion. I have a bottle, it's very good. Sip a little (I prefer it over ice) in the evening. It's got a mint and fennel taste to it. Saffron gives it it's yellow color. I think you might like it.

Your pirate story sounds just as good as Bonded by Crimson. How could I pass up a story with a ship name Strega, LOL?

I hope in the next couple of weeks to have time to catch up on my reading.

Thanks for stopping by.


Bev Irwin / Kendra James said...

Hi Debbie.
Great post. I want to get some of that Strega. But first I'd have to find some terrific guy to drink it with, LOL.

Debbie Christiana said...

If you open a bottle, maybe the witches will do their magic and you'll find someone, :)

Thanks for stopping by.


Paige Cuccaro said...

Great interview. I really enjoyed the excerpt! And the tidbit about the Strega was REALLY interesting! Thanks for sharing!!