10 Reasons Why I Love The Paranormal

I’m thrilled to welcome Soul Mate author L.D. Rose to the Power of 10 series. Today, L.D. shares the reasons behind her avid interest in the paranormal.

Here’s LD!

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1. I was accused of being a vampire in the first grade.

Yep. That’s right. I went to an all-girls Catholic school for kindergarten and first grade (my mother yanked me out before second grade for acting out—oops!). My classmates already thought I was weird since I spoke broken English (my first language was Portuguese and I didn’t go to preschool; I learned English from Sesame Street). All of us kids were playing a game of tag at recess and I tripped on a rock and sliced my finger open. I immediately put my hand in my mouth to suck the blood away (c’mon, didn’t you do that when you were a kid?!). The girls freaked out and ran away from me, screaming vampire. I guess it didn’t help that I had a widow’s peak, dark hair and pale skin. I had no idea what a vampire was, but my feelings were hurt and I started to cry.

This was obviously quite traumatic since the concept of a vampire invaded my brain and I became obsessed with learning (and writing!) about them. ;)

2. I grew up in a haunted house.

Yep, that’s right too! My family was poor growing up and we bounced from apartment to apartment when I was a toddler. My parents bought a house when I was about five, both of them incredibly excited to have a home.

Too bad it was haunted, haha!

This could be a whole blog post in and of itself (and will be soon!) but my parents’ little Cape was over a hundred years old and two ghosts apparently haunted the premises (an eight year old boy and an elderly woman who died in the upstairs bathroom; later, my deceased German Shepard made a few ghostly appearances too). I never actually saw them, but their roaming footsteps, cold patches, whispers and little games such as dropping the blinds, turning off the radio and the occasional “push” made their presences unmistakably clear. I have no doubt there’s a ghostly world among us, no matter how much my logical doctor brain wants to argue it.

3. My first memorable books were horror stories.

Thanks to my vampire accusation, I began to read horror stories—a lot of them! My absolute favorite books as a kid were the SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK series by Alvin Schwartz. I couldn’t stop staring at the creepy images and rereading the melodious yet disturbing passages. My absolute favorite was THE HEARSE SONG and I used to sing it constantly while jump roping outside like the freaky little kid I was. As I grew older, I transitioned to R.L. Stine, Clive Barker and Stephen King, then it was all downhill from there.

See, kids? Be careful what you call your classmates!

4. Naturally, my favorite movies were horror movies growing up.

Gremlins. Ghostbusters. Poltergeist. The Exorcist. Friday the 13th. Nightmare on Elm Street. Halloween. Jaws. The Shining. Silence of the Lambs. CLASSICS! Although the horror movie industry has sorely disappointed me as an adult, these were my most memorable movies. My parents would let me watch a few of the more “benign” ones, but I usually snuck out of my room in the middle of the night (or hit the theaters) to watch the more graphic films.

5. My first writing ventures were horror stories.

Surprise, surprise! I’ve been writing for as long as I remember. The first actual “story” I wrote was on a typewriter at ten years old. It was called “The Secret Door”, about fifteen pages long, and starred a haunted house that held a portal to another dimension (no kidding!). My first ever publication is a short story in an anthology called “Horrors of History” (Fey Publishing) and it’s about two depression-era gangsters who get more than they bargained for during a bank heist (two words: zombie cops). I plan to do a lot more with these two boys in the future, since I loved writing them so much. Every story I’ve written has a preternatural edge to it—I just can’t help it, it’s part of who I am.

6. I wanted to be a paranormal investigator.

As a teenager, I used to raid abandoned houses (particularly those rumored to be haunted), trek into the woods after dark in hopes of running into a cult (or at least see a hanging body), and I played Ouija way too much (I’ve had some interesting experiences with that demonic game, let me tell you!). I know it sounds crazy but I loved to be scared; it was a rush, an addiction even, and my morbid curiosity never ceased to be satisfied. I never got into the real complex “ghost hunting” with detectors and such, but I still visit the occasional haunted spot (although my sixth sense has petered out, unfortunately). My hubby is quite averse to the supernatural world, so now I tend to explore it through writing and art. That and an occasional episode of Ghost Hunters. ;)

7. The type of music that draws me in most is rock, metal and rap of a darker flavor.

The darker the lyrics, the better. I’m madly in love with Trent Reznor (he’s my musical god) and some of my favorites are Marilyn Manson, Deftones, Godsmack, In This Moment, Disturbed, Staind and Stonesour. DMX is my favorite rapper of all time ‘cause he’s brutal and doesn’t hold anything back in his music. There’s something exhilarating about expressing one’s fears and discussing subjects most people are uncomfortable with through music (or any art in general). I try to do the same with writing and give it the realism it deserves.

8. Jogging in cemeteries gives me peace.

So, do you think I’m a total weirdo yet? :P Although my running tends to be on the street and residential neighborhoods as of late, I used to run through cemeteries all the time in college. I loved the silence and desolation—no people, no cars, just me, the trees and the graves. My favorite used to be Oak Grove Cemetery in MA, where the infamous Lizzie Borden is buried. Many of them were hilly too, which made for a great workout.

9. My acceptance of death and all things disturbing helped me to become a doctor.

Amongst other things, of course, but having a thick skin and a gut of steel helps. I’m going to let you in on a little secret: being a doctor is terrifying. You end up in situations so crazy you can’t even imagine and you must act quickly. There’s no staring or jaw dropping or sudden paralysis. A career that starts out by asking you to take apart a human body requires some serious nerve…and that’s only the beginning! Not to mention you need to soothe the fears of others and understand them. Needles, scalpels, blood and gore is no biggie to me, but my hubby will drop like a bomb at the sight of his own blood or an uncapped syringe. Being able to resist passing out is a major plus.

10. My passion for the dark and sexy (like vampires!) led to my first novel being published by SMP.

Yes, I love writing horror, but I also love writing about love. The books I’m most invested in involve a romantic relationship with a ton of conflict (usually of the frightening variety) and after much chaos and destruction, the hero and heroine have their well-deserved HEA. Dark paranormal romance and urban fantasy became my favorite genres to read…and write! I strive to put my readers through the same rollercoaster of emotions the characters experience—terror, lust, anger, sadness, relief, and of course, happiness. I think both fear and love bring out the best and worst in us, and I try to depict those ups and downs in my work. Now that my debut novel is out in the world, I hope it’ll be something memorable, whether you love the paranormal, horror or a romance that keeps you teetering on the edge of your seat.

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If you’re so inclined, check out RELEASING THE DEMONS, a dark paranormal romance, out now on Amazon! BUY LINK: http://amzn.com/B013GVCC7I

Thank you so much, Joanne, for having me on your blog! It’s been a lot of fun and I hope your readers enjoyed it too. :)

Bio

ldroseL.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but she’s been known to delve into horror, sci-fi, and medical suspense on occasion. L.D. Rose is a member of the RWA, FF&P, NEC-RWA and CoLoNY. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive boxer, and her two devious cats.

Where to find L.D.

Website | Facebook | FB Author Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr

Release Day – The Coming of Arabella

The Coming of Arabella is officially available today!

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Blurb

On the day of her engagement party, an ex-mermaid’s life is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of another mermaid—a sister she has never known. Under normal circumstances, Barbara Davies would be overjoyed, but her special day is already wrought with tension. While Barbara is not the first mermaid from the Mediterranean kingdom to settle in small town Ontario, she has yet to reveal her origins to her fiancé. So when Arabella, the gorgeous sister whose disturbing black eyes banished her to the island of Crete, saunters into her life, clutching the arm of Barbara’s discarded lover, a powder keg of emotion is released.

Relationships falter and careers stall as envy stirs in the hearts of the sisters. On the verge of meltdown after her fiancé leaves Canada for a teaching job in Vermont, Barbara flees to Arizona hoping for a reprieve. There, she finds solace at a retreat for ex-mermaids and a second chance at love with a charismatic preacher. As she contemplates a new life in the desert paradise of Sedona, shocking secrets emerge and tragedy strikes. A stronger and wiser Barbara rises up to face these new challenges and embrace the best parts of her mermaid heritage.

Buy Links

Amazon (Canada) | Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (Australia)

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To celebrate, I’m offering a $10 Starbucks gift card.

Enter the giveaway here.

The Starbucks Siren

Whenever I chat about the mermaids in my novels, I’m not too surprised when the children in my circle mention The Little Mermaid. But I was taken aback when one eight-year-old boy pointed to a Starbucks coffee cup and asked: “Does your mermaid look like that?”

With over 20,000 Starbucks in 65 different countries and more than 5 billion in sales, the trademark coffee cup is one of the most recognizable containers in the world.

And the cup has a history!

starbuckssirenIn 1971, Starbucks was a fledgling coffee shop on the Seattle waterfront. Hoping to garner more interest, the three founders hired consultant Terry Heckler to create an eye-catching logo. After spending days pouring over old marine books, he came up with a logo based on an old 16th-century Norse woodcut: a two-tailed mermaid. The mermaid was also topless.

Despite some initial complaints, the partners approved the logo. Howard Schultz explains: “Bare breasted and Ruebenesque, the mermaid was supposed to be as seductive as the coffee itself.” But the partners had to revisit their decision when it came time to put the logo on delivery trucks. Enlarging the logo created an unexpected problem: the mermaid breasts were huge. Back to the drawing board…Starbucks restyled the mermaid’s hairdo so it draped over her breasts.

When Schultz bought out his partners, he modified the logo by placing the mermaid in the center of a green circle.

More changes followed as the company grew. In 2011, Starbucks celebrated their 40th anniversary by removing the outer circle. “Throughout the last four decades, the Siren has been there through it all. And now, we’ve given her a small but meaningful update to ensure that the Starbucks brand continues to embrace our heritage in ways that are true to our core values and that also ensure we remain relevant and poised for future growth.”

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To celebrate the upcoming release of The Coming of Arabella, I’m offering a $10 Starbucks gift card.

Enter the giveaway here.

Follow Your Passion!

Welcome to my Second Acts Series!

Today, we have Tina Frisco sharing the rich and varied experiences of her multi-act life.

Here’s Tina!

tinafriscoThank you, Joanne, for hosting me on your Second Acts blog. I’m delighted and honored to be among so many talented artisans.

My ACT ONE began with knowing that I wanted to be a nurse at age five. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA, I attended parochial school for twelve years and academically pursued the fields of science and math. The nuns were excellent teachers, and by the time I graduated twelfth grade, I was well-prepared for further study in these areas.

Eager to leave the nest, I moved to New York to attend Nursing School. Back then, hospital-based schools were still in existence and proved to be far superior to college and university nursing programs. My class scored above all other programs in New York on our State Boards, including the Masters Programs. Needless to say, students and teachers alike were very pleased.

I worked as a nurse for many years in the areas of Med-Surg, Psychiatry, Hemodialysis, Family Planning, and Geriatrics. I’ve been a Staff Nurse, Charge Nurse, Assistant Director of Nursing (ADON), and Director of Staff Development (DSD). Seeking a greater challenge, I applied to the California State Department of Health Services for the position of Health Facilities Evaluator Nurse. These are the folks who visit hospitals, clinics, and home health agencies to evaluate their performance in adhering to state and federal guidelines. Since this was a civil service position, the candidate process took almost a year to complete. But it was well worth it; I not only was hired, but also was their first choice. I worked in the field of nursing until my mid-forties.

Music is also an integral part of my life. I received my first guitar at age fourteen and began writing songs and music. I emulated folksingers such as Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Donovan, Tom Rush, and Gordon Lightfoot. Later on, Emmylou Harris, Cris Williamson, John Denver, and many others also became favorites. I performed publicly throughout high school and much of my adult life, both as a solo act and with others. I enjoy all genres of music, with the exception of some types of jazz.

In my early twenties, I became an animal rights activist. The practice of vivisection filled me with anger and disgust, especially since the poor creatures often were not given analgesics or anesthesia. Non-human animals are treated with little or no regard for their sentience, and I was compelled to advocate on their behalf. Ever since corporations assumed the larger part of the industry involving animal research as well as the care and raising of animals for food consumption, the emphasis is now placed on profits rather than concern for the quality of life. When great distance is placed between the steward and her/his charge, it becomes easy to objectify. Once I became aware of this, I began advocating for all beings and remain politically active to this day.

In my early thirties, I became apprenticed to a Medicine Woman. This catapulted me into the realm of spirit and solidly placed me on a spiritual path. Everything I now do derives from a depth within my heart, soul, and consciousness. Once consciousness is awakened, there’s no turning back. Many lessons are difficult and the path can be arduous at times, but the benefits reaped are priceless and enlightening.

In my mid-forties, I became quite ill with an immunologic disorder and was unable to continue working. Many years passed before the pain and fatigue lifted enough for me once again to become productive.

Plateau Cover 8 (2)My ACT TWO began after watching several doomsday documentaries regarding the supposed end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar on December 21, 2012. I knew from a place deep within me that the world was not going to end on this date, and I felt compelled to put forth a message of hope into the world. I published Plateau: Beyond the Trees, Beyond 2012 in July of that year. Its underlying message is that we must keep our hearts open and act from love instead of reacting from fear; we must practice gratitude and compassion within every moment and with every breath; and in so doing, we’ll help elevate the human species to a higher consciousness, facilitating both personal and global peace.

About Plateau: W’Hyani, a fifteen-year-old tribal female, lives on a sequestered plateau where her people have little or no contact with the outside world. Born strong and willful, she is the predestined Keeper of the Crystal Heart, the key to unlocking the thousands-year-old mystery of the Great Mosaic of Life. Ignorant of her role as well as the shard’s significance, she carries it in a pouch around her neck, hidden from view and kept secret as her mother instructed before she disappeared. When cosmic forces begin testing her, W’Hyani meets every challenge with firm resolve. But ultimately she comes face-to-face with herself in a battle that would shrink the will of the most intrepid warrior, unaware that the realization of her destiny will irrevocably impact all beings on earth and beyond. The Great Mosaic of Life holds a message of hope that would allow us to see and live beyond our perceived horizons.

gabbyandthequadsLast year I published my second book, Gabby and the Quads. When my niece had quadruplets, I was inspired to write a children’s book that was ethically as well as traditionally educational. For example, Gabby’s family includes two pit bulls. I explain that pit bulls are born gentle and become mean only when mistreated by humans.

About Gabby and the Quads: Gabby is an only child, and her parents are concerned about how she’ll receive four new babies into the family. They decide on a unique approach to introduce her to and help her accept this awesome experience.

I’m now writing another novel, in yet a different genre. I thought I would try my hand at writing in a genre that’s currently popular and selling well. Writing is an inherent part of who I am, and it sure would be nice to make a little money from it!

Aside from writing and music, I enjoy reading, dancing, arts and crafts, exploring nature, and getting lost in working crossword puzzles.

My advice for anyone planning to pursue a second act is the same as that which I give to aspiring authors: Follow your passion! It will lead you to your heart’s desire. And don’t be disheartened if you encounter obstacles. Give your mind a rest for a period of time. Take a walk. Listen to music. Visit with friends. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you return to your project. Sometimes we have to take a step back in order to gain the perspective and momentum needed to move forward. And whatever you do, don’t listen to critics unless their criticism is constructive. If it is, learn from it. If it isn’t, turn a deaf ear and continue on. Above all, listen to yourself! Your intuition is your best guide.

Below are a few of my favorite quotes, the essences of which are reflected in my life’s philosophy and, thus, my writing:

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“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge – myth is more potent than history – dreams are more powerful than facts – hope always triumphs over experience – laughter is the cure for grief – love is stronger than death.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

“You can also commit injustice by doing nothing.” ~Marcus Aurelius

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” ~Edmund Burke

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Take the breath of the new dawn and make it part of you. It will give you strength.” ~Hopi Nation

“Love is the bridge between you and everything.” ~ Rumi

Joanne, it has been a pleasure meeting you. Your generosity and support of artisans is much appreciated. I’m an optimist by nature and hope that gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, and love will imbue the current tenor of our social fabric – and prevail.

Walk in beauty, my friends…

Buy Links

Plateau – Amazon | Smashwords | Spangaloo | iTunes | EBook Universe

Gabby and the QuadsAmazon | Create Space

Where to find Tina…

Website | FB Author Page | FB Book Page | Amazon | Twitter | LinkedIn | Goodreads | Google+ | About Me | Authorsdb | The indiePENdents | Ask David | Google Books | Radio Interview | What Say You?

Joanne here!

Tina, thanks for sharing your inspiring journey. Best of luck with all your creative endeavors.