Guest blogger: Anne Hope
Whenever I have a guest blog to write, my first impulse is to talk about my latest book. I’m an author, after all, and we authors are extremely invested in our stories. But this time, I want to talk about something different, something—or should I say someone—near and dear to my heart: my grandmother.
You may ask yourself what my grandmother has to do with the paranormal books I write. Well, the answer is, more than you’d suspect. Let me start by telling you a little about her, then perhaps you’ll understand what I mean.
At first glance, she was like many of the grandmothers often depicted in movies and books—a quiet woman, always ready to greet you with a sweet, gentle smile that spoke not only of kindness but of wisdom. She was as calm as she was selfless, and she had a way of always making you feel loved, whether you were well-behaved, mischievous or just plain naughty. She made the best pizza, despite the fact that she wasn’t Italian, and had the nasty habit of always burning her toast. Till this day I can’t smell burnt toast without being instantly transported to her small, cozy kitchen with its medley of enticing aromas.
But there was another side to her, as well. A side that was almost magical, especially to a kid with a penchant for the supernatural. Maybe it had something to do with all the strange tales my mother told me when I was growing up. Tales about how my grandmother apparently had the ability to commune with spirits, how she’d willed my grandfather’s car to break down when she was mad at him, and how she’d once been visited by the saint to whom she prayed.
When I was a child, these stories were fascinating, full of mystery and wonder. But as I grew, they lost their luster. They became just that … stories. Reality and maturity swept in to dull my belief.
Then something happened to make me question my new-found pragmatism. My grandmother had a stroke and lapsed into a coma. It was a difficult time for all of us because she was such an important part of our family, the glue that held us all together. We sat by her bedside, held her hand and prayed. We spoke soft words of encouragement to her, but she gave no sign that she could hear us.
We had begun to despair, when my mother-in-law—who’s a very devout woman—gave me a little bag with a cross embroidered on it and told me to pin it to my grandmother’s bed. She said it came from a small church from her hometown in Kefalonia, Greece. She explained that this church was special, that people came from all over the world to pray to the priest who’d once belonged to it. His body is still there, oddly preserved. I’ve seen it, mummified skin stretched over bone and draped in gold-trimmed robes. This priest is apparently renowned for the miracles he performed and the tree he planted in the church’s yard. A tree that still stands today.
The following morning, we witnessed our own little miracle. My grandmother awakened from her coma and described the dream she’d had the previous night. She insisted she’d seen a priest with a long white beard standing beneath a majestic tree. My mother and I were speechless. Neither of us had told her of the church in Kefalonia nor of the divine powers it’s rumoured to possess.
People often ask me if I believe in the supernatural, and my gut instinct is to say no. I’m merely using my overactive imagination to craft stories that push the boundaries of our reality. Stories that I hope will inspire and entertain people looking for a little escapism. But whenever I think back to my grandmother, to the mystery and preternatural aura that always enshrouded her, I can’t help but wonder. What if there’s more out there?
And that is the reason I write paranormal romance. I guess you could say, it’s in my blood.
A great big THANK YOU to the ARRA team for having me over as a guest today. To show my appreciation for those of you who took the time to hang out with me, I’ll be giving away an electronic copy of Soul Bound, the first book in my Dark Souls series. Just comment for a chance to win, and don’t forget to leave your email address. Thanks!
The one man she wants is the one man destined to destroy her.
Sooner or later we all end up dead. Jace Cutler doesn’t have the luxury of staying that way. After receiving a fatal stab wound, he awakens in a hospital room in Portland, Oregon, with no memory and a big hole where his soul used to be. Worst of all is the glow. Everyone is surrounded by a strange white aura he hungers to possess, none more compelling than the one enveloping Dr. Lia Benson.
Lia has always been ruled by reason, refusing to put stock in such nebulous things as destiny. Until Jace dies in her arms, then miraculously comes back to life. Whenever he’s near, her soul responds and her body burns. And she’s consumed by odd dreams she’s convinced are Jace’s lost memories.
When Lia is kidnapped, Jace tracks her and discovers a shocking explanation for who—and what—he is. Something no longer human, a dark legacy that until now has lain dormant within him. Something that could destroy the one woman he’d sacrifice everything to protect.
“A page-turning love story…!” 4.5 Stars, RT Top Pick and 2012 Reviewers’ Choice Award Nominee
“I highly recommend this book to anyone and am impatiently awaiting the sequel!” Aimee, ARRA
Read the first three chapters of Soul Bound here.
Save her life…or save mankind. His choice could cost him his soul.
For nearly two centuries, Marcus has been the Watchers’ most faithful soldier. Sworn to protect humanity, driven by an unrelenting compulsion to atone for past sins, he has rarely found a compelling reason to question his mission, let alone defy his leader.
His partner, Regan, is his exact opposite, an enigma he longs to solve. A free spirit and reckless to a fault, Regan acts first and thinks later. Her smart mouth and tender heart have fascinated Marcus for decades, but the Watchers’ strict vow of celibacy has forced him to ignore the sizzling attraction between them. Until now.
When Regan goes rogue to protect a very special little boy, Marcus is forced to make an impossible choice—commit an act of treason or watch the woman he secretly loves die.
Hunted by enemies and allies alike, Regan and Marcus run for their lives, fighting to thwart an age-old prophecy and guard a boy whose destiny may very well be to destroy the world…or save it.
“A dark and dangerous ride!” 4 Stars, RT Book Reviews
“If you’re looking for something with a little more depth than your average paranormal, grab this one.” Jessie Potts, USA Today
Read the first three chapters of Soul Deep here.