Posts Tagged ‘Kim Baccellia’
What it’s about:
Stephanie Stewart is a typical sixteen-year-old girl—she loves hanging out with her friends, going to concerts, and sipping mocha lattes. Yup. Just your average teenager . . . Except for one difference—she can see and talk to the dead. In fact, Stephanie helps dead girls who who’ve been murdered or killed, cross over. Just as Stephanie is getting used to her unique “gift”, her mom stumbles into some dangerous witchcraft that backfires and triggers similar abilities in Stephanie’s best friend Cura, and nemesis Hillary.
Stephanie already has enough trouble trying to maintain a “normal” life between school and her cute boyfriend Dylan, who happens to have a supernatural talent all his own. But now she has to help her friend Cura and her “frenemy” Hillary cope with their new-found powers as well as cross over two murdered cheerleaders and battle an evil demon who wants to use Stephanie’s supernatural strengths as a free pass to The Other Side. And she needs to do it all while still getting her term papers in on time. She’s definitely going to need an extra-large mocha latte for this.
In:amreading, amwriting, blog post, book reviews, Dark Paranormal, Hauntings, Lachesis Author Guest Blog, Lachesis Blog, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance fiction, romance hero, romance novels, YA, YA paranormal, YA Romance
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Reviewed by Kim Baccellia
Almost seventeen-year-old Daphne Wentworth finds out that she’ll be spending the next two months at her aunt’s lighthouse in Maine. While there, she starts ‘seeing’ things and hearing voices. Then she runs into Zach Philbrook, a cute Micmac native, who works for her aunt. Zach faces extreme prejudice from the town’s teens who don’t accept him. Daphne stands up to the bullies and is drawn to Zach. She finds that whenever she’s around him, chemistry literally sparks. But Daphne encounters things worse than bullies when she sees the ghost of the former lighthouse caretaker, Ro. Through possession, Daphne learns about Ro’s forbidden love for Vincent, a Micmac native that ended tragically. The closer Daphne gets to Zach, the more dangerous the ghostly lovers become.
Will Daphne be strong enough to withstand these ghosts and still stay true to her heart?
What worked: I’m a huge sucker for a good ghost tale. I enjoyed this paranormal world along with the mystery behind the centuries-old forbidden love story. Daphne’s interest about the lighthouse grows to almost an obsession. I liked how she pursued going after the mystery and her bubbling relationship with Zach. She has spunk and courage to not back down on seeing Zach even with the town’s racism. The scenes at the cemetery, which includes a ritual, are also very engaging.
What I did have troubles with was how fast Daphne went from just ‘liking’ Zach to having a consuming love for him though this could in fact be due to the possession.
Intriguing YA paranormal with a Wuthering Heights feel going for it. There’s a mystery behind the ghostly forbidden lovers; Native American lore; romance; and suspense. All of this set in a paranormal world that is complete with ghosts and a curse. A fast-read for fans of the paranormal and romance.
I never thought I’d homeschool. I taught for a combination of fifteen years in two different public school districts. I ‘used’ to believe the stereotypes that homeschooled kids were isolated and were ultra conservative.
Then I had issues with my son’s elementary school and had to come to a decision. Either keep him in a school that was failing him or take him out and homeschool through a charter school.
I had to make an adjustment by finding more creative ways to get my writing done.
One way to do this was to combine research for my projects with son’s science/history classes. For his world history unit, we attended the Pompeii Exhibition at the
California Science Center in L.A.
This research also helped with my GODDESSES series.
For his science unit, we went to the Grand Canyon. The terrain is very similar to the setting in my futuristic thriller.
I couldn’t resist the Biodome at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California. This center has great science topics for kids and more research for my futuristic thriller.
A trip to Sacramento, and the Sacramento Historical Cemetery helped with some background in my upcoming sequel to CROSSED OUT.
How else do I get any writing in?
One piece of advice I took to heart came from fellow YA author Marlene Perez. She had a number of deadlines to meet plus she just had twin girls. She told me, “You need to seize every opportunity you get to write.”
I figured if she could get books out with twins? What was my excuse?
Mar has been and continues to be a big inspiration to me.
I’m lucky as my son’s enrolled in a charter school that has a student center with other credentialed teachers. I drop him off at the center and go to the coffee house to write. I’m there for around 3 hours or more twice a week.
So this is my latest writing place:
I have Spotify Playlists for each of my projects. When I’m at the coffee house, I put in my earplugs and listen to the music. This gets me in the character’s mind and also tunes out the other people inside the coffee house. Though I do admit, I’ve stolen some great dialogue from conversations I eavesdropped on!
I have a planner that I schedule in writing time and check it off when I complete it. I also give myself little ‘rewards’ like an extra latte, colorful pen, or a new YA novel when I accomplish my goals. I figure I used incentives with my first graders to help motive them to complete tasks. Why not me?
In my purse I carry notepads and pens. This gives me no excuse not to write.
I think the biggest thing is giving myself permission to write. Some think that just because I homeschool, that means that I’m available 24/7. I’ve learned to say ‘no’ a lot more too.
I love the holidays! My mother used to go all out on Christmas. Some of my fond memories include tons of presents underneath the Christmas tree. No matter how tight things were, Mom always made sure to make Christmas special for all seven of us kids.
One big thing I remember though had to be how Mom stressed the importance of sharing with others out in the community that were less fortunate than us. One of the things she shared was her famous Swedish Tea Roll. The preparation would usually be an all-day event with her making the dough and letting it rise before rolling it out and adding all the yummy things like walnuts, cherries, and topping with icing.
Our neighbors across the street would also share some homemade tamales:
One year one of my friends from Mexico City had me over to help her made a batch of homemade tamales. It’s an all-day event but so worth it at the end!
We also had Mexican hot chocolate, pan dulce, sweet bread, and conchas too.
Not only do we celebrate with food but our church has some lovely events that we enjoying attending every year. One is a choir production called Sing Noel.
Another one is a live nativity scene that is held in the back of our church meeting house. It’s usually cold (well, for So. California that is!) but I just love sitting outside and having the story behind the nativity reenacted.
Here’s a little backgrounder to our holiday tradition: http://www.smstake.church/blog/2015/12/8/history-of-follow-the-star
When I first wrote Crossed Out, I played with the idea of having a Latina Rescuer who dealt with helping murdered teens over to the ‘Other Side’ only I’d share her diverse world. That idea might in fact become a future story with readers getting a glimpse of her Mexican heritage which would involve some of those paranormal urban legends.
Here are some I’d like to share:
I’ve always been fascinated with the story of a woman that ends up drowning her children for her lover who ends up rejecting her. After his rejection, in horror she finally realizes what she’d done. Horrified, she drowns herself. When I did some research for my diverse YA fantasy EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA, I found that some link this story back to La Malinche, a Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf Coast. She was an interpreter and later mistress to Cortez. Some feel she betrayed her people by helping the Spanish conquer their country.
This is basically a Latino version of the boogey man. He’s the stuff of nightmares. Some parents have used him to threaten their misbehaving kids to do better or el Cucuy would come and get them.
This is supposed to be a creature that sucks on the blood of animals. There’s been numerous so-called sights. Some though think this creature might just be a rabid dog or other animal.
Mal de Ojo-Evil Eye
Angelica, my sister-in-law from Mexico, shared this on Mal de Ojo-“When a baby is born some people put a small red ribbon to protect the baby from envy and bad energy, they say “Be careful, people can do evil eye, Mal de Ojo” and if is not protected the baby can be sick, also when you are happy and wants to protect yourself from bad energy or envy wear a red bracelet, or something with the little eyes.”
Not so much an urban legend but one that some Latino parents have used whenever a child misbehaves. Kids knew Mom might business if she whipped out her chancleta!
I’ve always been fascinated with a good ghost story. Growing up I heard lots of stories from my grandfather that had supernatural elements. I decided to combine these two elements when I used North Sacramento, California as the setting for my YA paranormal Crossed Out. Plus, one of the areas, the Sacramento tunnels, only recently has been opened to the public.
So here’s a few haunting sites I thought I’d share:
Sacramento City Cemetery: My Grandpa Baccellia’s father was an Italian immigrant who owned a saloon in Old Town Sacramento. His father died of consumption in the early part of the 1900s. His body originally was buried in the Sacramento Historical City Cemetery along with some founding fathers of the town.
I do know that some of the dead were ‘relocated’ to another site in the ’50s to make room for more urban
development. Some of the relatives of the dead, couldn’t be found so they ended up putting them in a few places with only one tombstone to acknowledge that they existed. I can’t help but think if my body had been moved and no one remembered me, I wouldn’t be too happy. There’ve been sightings of ghosts and other ‘unexplained things’ there. I can’t help but wonder why! But it has great potential for a horror novel!Old Town Underground tunnels:
There’s a lot of history in these underground tunnels in Old Town. Old Sacramento was rebuilt over the original town. There are tunnels and a hidden town underneath, buried because of the rising waters of the Sacramento River. Grandpa Baccellia told me that before the Oroville Dam was built, the Sacramento River would flood the city. There were lots of cases of malaria in the early part of the 1900s.
Rumors have been circulating of what might have actually happened in these tunnels. Some say they were used for bootlegging during the Prohibition to even smuggling in opium.
The tunnels are now opened to the public! I still need to go with my sisters and check it out.
3. American River
My Grandpa Baccellia used to tell us about these women all dressed in black who would walk up and down the river in the early 1900s. He said they were always so sad and mournful. Some say it’s not women but a man who haunts that site.
Here’s a little more info on that urban legend: The ghost of a man who drowned in the American River is said to haunt the banks. There’s something about water and ghosts. Urban legends are filled with them. This picture of the American River with the infamous thick Sacramento fog is certainly eerie.
Leland Stanford Museum
In 1883, Leland Stanford and his wife lost their only son to Typhoid fever. He was fifteen years old. Rumor has it that the spirit of their son appeared to the father to comfort him after his death. Also the spirit asked his father to put money into building a university for young men.
5. May Woolsey
In the Sacramento Historical City Cemetery is the grave of May Woolsey. In 1879 just before her thirteen birthday, she died of a possible viral infection fro the measles. She was the only child of Mary and Luther Woolsey. Her parents were so devastated by her death that they used a Spiritualist to try to contact her.
Fast forward 100 years later. When the family house was being remodeled by the newest owners, they found a closet with a false ceiling. Inside was a very old trunk packed with some of the Woolsey family’s belongings, including some of May Woolsey’s hair. Here’s where it gets interesting. Inside the truck was a letter:
I am so happy as I did write to you and say I was happy. Now Momma dear, do not weep for me. I am not dead, no, only gone before to wait your coming when you will be out of all sorrow and care and will be happy with me. Oh, what pleasure there is in the spirit life no one can tell. Only think of everlasting life and pleasure where we know no sorrow; all is sunshine, there is no cloud to darken our path as on earth; we have our choice of mission . . .
No one knows why and how that letter ended up in that trunk.
Do any of you know of places with hauntings? Do share!
What it’s About:
Following the light can’t be that hard, right? So why don’t the dead just do it and leave Stephanie Stewart alone?
However nothing is ever as simple as it should be, as Stephanie learns when her hidden ‘gift’ becomes more than a nuisance, quickly turning unto a liability.
If she can’t learn to trust someone with her secret, the world as she knows it will go to hell. Literally. But if she doesn’t choose wisely, she might just end up learning firsthand how hard it is to follow that light.
Because she’s next on the list to be crossed out.
I couldn’t deal with Mom and her holier-than-thou attitude about decorating crosses. If she had any clue why I needed to do this, maybe she’d back off.
I pushed my hair aside and looked down at the wooden beams. My box of Sharpie pens lay close to my side. I had to get the design just right. Roses, or something plainer? It didn’t help that it was so cold in the garage.
Why was it so hard to help the dead go to the other side? It’d be a whole lot easier if they told me what they wanted on their crosses. Dead girl comes, asks for help, and tells me she’s into pink roses. Yes, that would make my job a lot easier.
But one thing I’ve learned is, life isn’t easy. Cliché, but true.
Figures, this was how I’d spend my time on a Saturday – sitting cross-legged on the floor in our garage, worrying about finishing a cross for some dead girl. In a few hours, Mom would drag me to Mrs. Swanson’s house for a sleepover. I didn’t really have time to decorate a cross.
And each time I tried to sketch, thoughts of the meeting drove any thought of the design out of my mind. I mean, how could I even think of helping others – albeit dead ones – when my own life was such a disaster?
I didn’t want to go. But Mom was using the whole sleepover as a way to get me to be around Hillary, whom she thought would be such a good example for me. But I couldn’t tell my mother the truth – I hated Hillary. Yes, we’d once been close, but it wasn’t as if we were BFFs anymore. No, Hillary made sure of that when I was stupid enough to trust her with my secret. A secret that was better left hidden. No one believed the dead could talk to you.
According to my last counselor, the only way that could happen is through serious Steven Spielberg special effects.
When I admitted to seeing one of my dead friends, he didn’t freak. No, he did something worse. He ended up suggesting to my parents that I needed to see a doctor – for serious psychological help. I mean, only crazy people see the dead.
And, I hate to say this, but the anti-anxiety meds and antidepressants don’t keep them away. Sometimes I wished the drug cocktail could just erase them. It sure would make my life a lot easier.
Sighing, I decided to go with pink roses. What girl didn’t like pink?
A sudden coldness permeated the garage. Jeez did Dad forget to close the back door again?
I pulled my hoodie tighter. Working in near darkness was bad enough without the drop in temperature.
Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.
I dropped my black Sharpie.
Over in the corner of the garage loose papers and dust whirled around – a funnel growing larger and larger.
A light shone next to Mom’s holiday plastic boxes, illuminating some Christmas ornaments, tinsel, and wrapping paper.
The childish voice grew louder. A chill went up my back. I know that voice!
I blinked once and when I opened my eyes I saw the girl. Her long dirty blond hair was clumped into two pigtails, and her bikini top and cut-off Levis brought back memories of the YMCA pool three years ago where I‘d spent my summers.
Omigod! I pushed the wooden cross aside. A tingling sensation burned through my whole body. Once I helped a dead person cross over, that was supposed to end the whole rescue scenario. The bright light appeared and poof! Well, not this time.
I scooted away, over the rough, cold pavement. This didn’t make sense. Though I was used to visits from the ―other‖ side, having Allison reappear scared me. I didn‘t know what to do.
“Allison, why are you here?” My voice broke.
She took a step toward me. Her lips trembled. “Careful…danger….”
Danger? Did that mean her murderer was out of prison? Just the thought of that perv touching or killing someone else made me want to hurl.
“Allison, what are you trying to tell me?” I slowly got up off the ground. “Is the guy who killed you, out?”
Allison shook her head. It still freaked me out how much the dead looked like us, not fuzzy or semi- transparent like they show on TV. The ones I helped still looked the way they had when they‘d been killed, complete with all the blood and stuff.
Yet here was Allison. She should be in Heaven singing in one of those heavenly choirs Mom always talked about.
I bit my hangnail, ripping it off. I couldn‘t deal with this. Not now.
The wind picked up, tossing loose papers everywhere. None of this affected Allison.
I had so many questions to ask her. I missed her. I knew she‘d understand me, even when others – including my mom – were clueless.
“Allison, what‘s it like to be…?”
The wind howled drowning out her answer. And just as quickly, Allison left. I felt as if something had punched me in the stomach. I pushed back the sickness threatening to escape.
What was going on? But even worse, I didn’t know what to do. One thing had been made perfectly clear. The rules had all changed and no one bothered to give me the new players’ guide.
This week we’ve been spotlighting YA paranormal authorKim Baccellia. So our question of the week is a fun one! What is one of your favourite books from childhood? Leave a comment here or on our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook and you could win a free c-book of Crossed Out by Kim Baccellia.
I admit it. I’m a huge fan of horror novels, especially ones with a supernatural twist that force me to keep the night light on. To me, a sign of a great novel is when the pages of the novel haunt my dreams.
Crossed Out has subtle horror with Stephanie battling evil while helping murdered girls toward the light. I’ve always wanted to write something edgier and frightening. Maybe in the future?
Here’s a list of my top five horror novels. There’s something for everyone—a haunted house, demons, zombies, and a post-apocalypse tale. Warning: Proceed with caution and make sure you have a night light or two handy!
Everyone remembers that Amity house in Long Island where a family was killed and others claimed that paranormal influences were the cause. That was in 1975.
In this novel, another family has moved into the haunted Amity house some ten years later. Once again, horror strikes. Just like the movie, this book delivers with horror and edge of the seat terror.
A creepy tale of a girl who accidently unleased something sinister by reading from a book she found. This puts a whole sinister twist on the Greek mythology of a Pandora box.
**The sequel is equal parts creepy and haunting!
It’s been six months since Reggie saved her younger brother Henry from the Vours, those demonic beings that inhabit human bodies and feed on your worst nightmares. Then an unexpected person shows up and sends Reggie’s nightmares into reality. Nothing is what it seems.
I couldn’t put this book down! Edge of the seat suspense with twists and turns throughout. The nightmares are intense and very graphic. Reggie’s battle against the Vours is haunting yet you’ll find you can’t stop reading!
I really loved the whole twist on the ghost hunter theme. Only here, it’s a ghost slayer. Someone who goes out and slays ghosts. Yes, this person destroys the whole essence of a ghost. The unique twist, atmospheric scenery, and a forbidden love is the stuff of great novels.
What I love about this story is it’s not the usual zombie tale. No, this one doesn’t follow any rules. For one thing Bick isn’t afraid to have her characters go to hell and back. And believe me this new world is hell. There are some very intense scenes that would give Stephen King a run for his money. But the beauty of this story is how the little details strengthened the storyline. And the whole premise of an electromagnet wave tampering with someone’s brain in a horrific way is very plausible which makes this story even more terrifying and wonderful.
And finally, anything by Stephen King. Some of my favorites include: the living haunted hotel in THE SHINING; the bloody Prom scene in CARRIE; and the creepy killer clown in IT. But my all-time favorite….
This post-apocalypse novel is the stuff of nightmares. Don’t watch the mini-series, which didn’t capture the horror and terror of King at his best. Ohmigod, on that rat prison scene. Even now I have nightmares over that scene!
What are some of your favorite horror novels?
If you couldn’t be a writer, what other kind of artistic medium would you like to attempt and why?
A painter. My grandmother was a very talented artist and people bought her paintings. She loved to paint angels and cherubs. As a child, she’d write me and doodle these on the cards and letters. This painting is my favorite! Loved Grandma Allred. People tell me that we look and sound alike. She even shared a love of the same soft drink—Dr. Pepper.
Tell us about one book that you’ve read that had an impact on you?
BURNED by Ellen Hopkins. At first I put off reading this contemporary YA about a Mormon girl who was abused, as I worried it might in fact be anti-Mormon but once I started reading, I couldn’t stop. The tears started flowing along with the overwhelming desire I had to write this author and thank her for being courageous to write this story. It hit a cord with me as I had was abused, but was told that I should ‘just get over it’ and only write uplifting work. I did meet Ellen at a book signing. This book to this day is one of my favorites. Raw, courageous, and gripping.
What do you love about writing? And what do you hate about it?
I love when I’m able to express the feelings/emotions I have within and see them on the page. That has to be the most liberating emotion! I also love when I get emails from my readers, telling me how much they love my stories.
I have to say, I hate when I come up against a block in my writing or when the writing process feels like it’s being stifled.
If you could meet any character from a book – who would it be and why?
Claire from OUTLANDER with Jaime a quick second. I’d love to know her thoughts and feelings especially what drove her to leave Jaime to go back home even when they were soul mates. **I know if she stayed she would have died, but still! I’d love to ask Jaime if he ever contemplated coming to the twentieth century. Plus, I’d just love to be up close to him. I totally fell for him as a reader. I just wonder if I would recognize him in a crowd. Or would I be disappointed. **Uh, highly doubt anyone, including me, would be disappointed in this highlander!
Happy endings or cliff-hangers? Why?
I’m not “anti-happy-endings” but let’s just say I never liked Disney movies as a child as I felt they deceived you. My own childhood was dysfunctional and I learned right off the bat, no prince on a white horse (or car) would come in to ‘save’ me. I had to do that myself. I love cliff-hangers unless of course if the series is cancelled and then those drive me NUTS!
What is the best/coolest/funniest/sweetest thing a reader/fan ever said/wrote to you or did for you?
Hands down it had to be this teen during a Skype school visit, who got up to and went all shy-like with twisting her skirt and then out of the blue said, “I love your book so much! When will the next one come out?” She was totally adorable and it’s always so fun to hear from your readers!
THE SELECTION by Kiera Cass. Think The Bachelor meets a dystopian world. Loved this series something fierce. It has romance, suspense, tension, and did I mention, romance? I can’t help but feel it would be a fab movie. In a world of very dark dystopias? This one was a pleasant surprise!
How do you try to boost sales of your books?
I’m all over social media sites like Twitter, Face Book, and Tumblr. I’m a staff reviewer at YA Books Central. I also supported the #weneeddiversebooks when it first came out as I’m a believer of getting more diversity out there. **Fact, originally I was going to have a Latina in CROSSED OUT with a more Latino flare with the supernatural. Huh, I might still write that. I attend my local OCRWA and pass out business cards with my book info on them. **One of the
books, GODDESSES CAN WAIT, is a mock cover and not the finished one. I think the biggest thing is to not be afraid to speak out about your books and seize opportunities that come your way! I’m scheduled to speak in November at my local OCRWA chapter and there’s some other possibilities in the future.
When you’re stressed out on a deadline – what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Chocolate. Dark chocolate. The world looks a lot better whenever I take a bite or two or three of this food of the Gods.
What do you love to sing in the shower?
Depends. Right now it’s BELIEVE by Mumford and Sons as it reflects what my character in a current project is feeling with her doubts of her religious upbringing and the reality of what’s really happening outside of her community.
Kim Baccellia is the author of the YA paranormal Crossed Out.
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