Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday's Guest - Christine DePetrillo Crosses to the Darkside!

Christine DePetrillo may get in touch with her darker side in Abra Cadaver, but she sure makes me laugh in her blog talking about the quest.  One lucky comment will be drawn for a copy of her crossover into the dark.  Get your coffee and relax for a fun read of both her thoughts and her excerpt!  Thanks for guesting with us today, Christine!!!!

Start with Death and Win a Free Book 


I was once accused of being too happy in my stories. Everybody was always smiling, the sun was always shining, puppies and kittens aplenty. I couldn’t help it. Creating love stories made me happy, and I wanted my characters to have everything good in the world.  
But that’s not very interesting now, is it?  
Characters need conflict in order to change and grow and realize what it is they really want out of life. Readers need a reason to turn the page. If everything always works out in every single scene, there’s no chance to hold your breath, to wonder, to worry, to rejoice—all things readers want to do. 
After receiving the feedback that maybe I had too much positive energy going on in my writing, I challenged myself to create something dark. This was really challenging me to be dark, which is not in my nature at all. I do smile a great deal. I like smiling. Smiling is good. Even if things are not going my way, a smile sometimes gets me through it. How was I going to keep the smiling to a minimum in my writing? 
Start with death, a voice not unlike the Grim Reaper’s rasped in my head.  
Sure, okay. I could try that. And so I did. My novel ABRA CADAVER is the result of my experiment with the Dark Side. A book with a synonym for corpse in the title has to be dark, right? My main character, Holly Brimmer, dies in a car accident. Her flesh has been torn away. She coughs up blood. Her heart ceases to beat. Breath no longer fills her lungs. Until Keane Malson comes along and gives her a second chance. 
Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Hold on. Wait a second. She dies, but gets to live again? Isn’t that a glass-half-full scenario, Christine? Isn’t that a lucky break?” It would be, except that in order for Holly to stay alive, Keane has to kill demons and give their life energy to her. That’s kind of dark, right? Not to mention the fact that poor Keane is a cursed Celtic warrior and has been wandering the planet for centuries, unable to go in the sunlight, unable to choose his own path, always getting called to save someone from death’s grip. The dude has no life of his own. I’m getting all choked up for him all over again. 
Don’t worry. Although I did take a trip to a dark place, it’s still a romance novel and there’s still a guaranteed happily ever after in the end. There are laughs along the way too, but not a ton of smiling. Honest. 
So if you’re looking for a way to cut back on the daisies and rainbows in your writing or limit the pink bunnies and butterflies in your reading, start with death, I say. It worked for me.  

Blurb for ABRA CADAVER: 

Holly Brimmer never expected to be brought back from the dead. After a fatal car crash, a mysterious stranger gives her a second chance at life—but it comes with a price. To stay alive she must pay it forward, accomplish an important deed, thus making her mark in the world. Until she does, her savior is bound to her. Now she has a backyard full of dead bodies and one unwanted houseguest.

Keane Malson kills bad guys to keep the innocent alive, but he’s still a monster. Cursed by a witch moments before an honorable death on the battlefield, he’s lived thousands of years, roaming from place to place with no end in sight. It’s a lonely life…until he meets Holly.

When a wanted man targets Holly, Keane will do anything to protect her, even if it’s the last thing he ever does. 

Slowly, Keane sat up and ran a hand through his hair. Holly was enchanted by the way the black strands fell back into place. Her fingers literally itched with the need to feel Keane’s hair against her own skin so she stuffed her hands underneath her legs.  
            Keane slid his legs off the bed and, holding onto the headboard, he stood. Holly edged off the bed as well and prepared to support Keane. He held out a hand as if to tell her to give him a minute. He took a few steps deeper into the room and turned around.    

“Feel better?” Sweet Mary, he looked better. Damn perfect standing at his full height and rubbing his stomach with his hand.           

“Much.” He came to stand in front of Holly. He was close enough for her to wrap her arms around him, but she didn’t. “Don’t let me do that again, okay? I felt human for a few moments drinking that beer, but it’s not worth the pain.”            

“Guess you need tighter supervision.” A heat washed over Holly’s cheeks as she glanced up at Keane. His eyes were back to the brilliant sky blue, his skin flawlessly pale.           

“Yes, Miss Brimmer. That’s exactly what I need.” He grinned, and Holly forgot the rules.

Holly and Keane visit Holly’s parents at one point in the book. Due to the curse, Keane doesn’t eat, but Holly’s mother offers him cookies. Here’s my favorite cookie recipe: 


What You Need

2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1-3/4 cups sugar, divided
2   eggs
1 tsp. ground cinnamon 
            What to do 
1. Heat oven to 375°F.
2. Mix first 3 ingredients in large bowl. Beat butter and 1-1/2 cups sugar in large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs. Gradually beat in flour mixture until well blended. Shape into 1-inch balls.
3. Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon. Roll balls in cinnamon sugar. Place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets.
4. Bake 10 to 12 min. or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 1 min. Remove to wire racks; cool completely and try not to eat them all in one sitting.  
Visit me at my website to pick up a copy of ABRA CADAVER along with my other books. I can also be found hanging at The Roses of Prose group blog at on the 4th and 14th of each month.  

Leave a comment here on this post and be entered to win a free copy of ABRA CADAVER!   
Thanks for having me, Lizzie! 


Shonna said...

Ohhhhhh,... enjoyed the excerpt, just wish it had been longer (hehee) Keane sounds like a very interesting character that I need to get to know better along with some of your other reads. You have cute fur kids too.
Thanks for sharing,

Christine DePetrillo said...

Thanks for having me, Lizzie!

Debby said...

Great excerpt. I need more. I love the title. Thanks so much
debby236 at gmail dot com