Saturday, April 21, 2012

Guest Post by Debbie Christiana

Another great Black Opal author is joining me today! Please give a warm welcome to Debbie Christiana...

This past Monday night I had the distinct pleasure of attending a unique revival of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, by the Gotham Radio Theatre Players.  The performance was at the charming Arclight Theater located in the basement of The Church of the Blessed Sacrament on West 71st.  Fellow Black Opal Author, Valerie Gilbert, was one of the stars.  She portrayed Ruth Condomine, the very alive wife of Charles Condomine, who’s being tormented by his dead wife’s ghost, Elvira.

I call the show unique, because unlike most plays, with scenes and set changes, this troupe of actors performed the play as if they were broadcasting it for the radio in the 1940’s.

The five members of the cast had multiply roles and worked together making the appropriate sound effect while delivering their lines. They knocked over tables, dropped plates, created footsteps, poured drinks, all with perfect timing.  It was a true group effort, choreographed perfectly.  The show was fun and entertaining. Valerie as well as the rest of the cast were wonderful.

As I sit and write this on my laptop with my IPad and IPhone not far from my side, it hit me how technology has advanced.  First radio, then television, transformed the way we received news and entertainment. Today, all the hard working people on the sound stage of the radio broadcast would be out of a job.  Computers generate sound effects, animation and it seems just about anything else we need.  

As writers, we spend a lot of time alone.  We join online groups and interact with people through email, Facebook, texting and the all powerful Twitter.  But do we KNOW them? We’re not really talking to them, we’re typing at them and they type back at us.

I’ve met some wonderful people since I began writing, both here and around the world.  I feel extremely lucky to be an author at Black Opal Books. We are a small, but growing, family and supportive of each other, connecting through our FB page and yahoo loop. If someone is having a bad day, we send a cyber hug.

I used the word met, earlier. Maybe I shouldn’t have.   I’ve seen pictures of them, but I’ve never seen them.  At the risk of being sappy and sentimental, I’d like to look in their eyes, say hello, shake their hand and hear their voices.  I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way. Once in awhile, during an online conversation, it comes up about how it would be fun if we could all get together.  As small as the world is these days, we all live too far apart for that.

I’m all for technology. It’s a great thing with many benefits.  While the older technology still brought people together, our newer technology sometimes drives us away from each other.  We’re all human beings, wired to have and need social relationships. Still, we sit on the train, bus or airplane, put in our headphones, listen to music, or become so absorbed on our IPads we don’t speak to anyone…unless we get a text.

That’s what made Monday night so special.  I was thrilled to meet Valerie, to watch her personality come alive on the stage and actually speak to her in person.  So a big “thank you” to Valerie and the cast of Blythe Spirit.  My husband and I had a great time.

Debbie’s novel, Twin Flames, is available through Black Opal Books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.

Twin Flames

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?


``No sooner had they hopped up on their barstools then a young waiter appeared.

    “What can I get you ladies this evening?”

    “Hi,” said Natalia. “I would love a glass of wa-.” She sat completely still staring past the waiter.

“We’ll have three glasses of Merlot, please,” Christine chimed in. “Could you bring my friend
some water? She isn’t feeling well.”

    “Sure,” the young man said and left.

    “Nat, what are you looking at?” Christine asked.

    “The man over there making drinks,” she said pointing to the side of the bar.

    “Looking? Ogling is more like it,” added Ellie. “She’s practically drooling.”

    “I know him from somewhere,” Natalia said.

    “His back is to us. You can’t see his face.”

    “I don’t need to see his face.”

Having no logical answers to give them, Natalia ignored the rest of her friend’s questions and continued to watch the fascinating man behind the bar.  He was tall with broad shoulders and dark curly hair.  His sleeves rolled up, he had strong arms and hands.  He was good at his job.  Quickly dipping his hand in the ice and dropping the cubes into the glasses, he had three drinks made in a few moments.

    Then something changed.


    “Hey, Marc, I need two Absolute Martinis and two Cosmos,” the older waiter said patting him on the back.

    “Okay, give me a minute,” he said reaching for Martini glasses off the shelf.  The regular bartender couldn’t have picked a worse night to call in sick, although Marc didn’t mind helping out. It beat sitting home alone on a Saturday night, which had become customary as of late.  He put the three drinks aside and started on the next order.

    Sitting four new glasses down, he suddenly started to feel warm and woozy.  Leaning over he reached into the ice with his right hand, relishing its coolness.  Straightening abruptly, he stopped what he was doing as the same odd affliction he felt a month ago, hit him once more.  Within seconds, first his left, then his right shoulder were overcome with a burning sensation. He took a few deep breathes and the throbbing subsided a bit.  Feeling startled, but not knowing why, his whole body twisted to the left knocking over the glasses.

    Clutching a fistful of ice, he turned and gazed into the considerable crowd at the bar. What was he looking for? He didn’t have clue, but when he saw it, he would know.  Of that, he was sure. He moved in a near full circle.

    Then he saw her.  She had a bewildered expression on her face but an intense gleam in her eyes.  He cocked his head and gave her a curious look knowing she had been watching him.

    As he walked toward her, the pain in his shoulders all but disappeared.  Feeling his whole body relax, the ice fell out of his hand onto the floor, but he kept moving.

    “Marc! What are you doing? Someone is going to slip on the ice,” said one of the servers.

    “Oh, sorry, I’ll get it in a minute,” Marc responded never taking his eyes off the woman as he continued to approach her.

    When he reached his destination, he was at a loss at what to say. “Hi,” he said unsure of himself. “Don’t take this the wrong way, but have we met before?”


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.

Twitter @DebChristiana
Facebook Author Page: Debbie Christiana   
Thank you so much for stopping by. I admire the friendship that all the Black Opal authors share, your commitment to the craft and to each other, shows :-)


Debbie Christiana said...

Hi Stacey. Thanks so much for having me as your guest today.

sharonstruth said...

Nice post, Debbie. A good points about technology, too.

L. R. Wright said...

Love this post, Debbie! It's so true. Technology is everywhere, but sometimes you just want to meet a person face to face.

Firetulip said...

Enjoyed reading the post, Debbie. I too prefer to see the person I'm talking to, or at least hear their voice, but even with my next door neighbours, we send emails and texts. No one seems to have the time to walk down the street and knock on the door. When I was growing up, mothers would yelled you name to come home for dinner. Now they text their kids. What's funny is that our kids and even moms of my generation see that as strange and weird. Quickly did we forget.

It really would be great if we could organize some kind of get together. But we live all over the globe.

Jami Gray said...

He Deb, love the post! And yep, technology has made it a smaller place just a little less personalized. It'd be wonderful to get together and I say we aim big--Hawaii, Bali, Ireland, hey I'm good with all those? Think we can write it off as a business meeting? ;0)

Debbie Christiana said...

Hi Sharon,

It was nice of you to stop by. I'm glad I get to see you in person now and again :)


Debbie Christiana said...

Hi Leslie,

Technology is everyone and that's good. We all wouldn't have been able to talk like this 2o years ago. But it's still nice to have a real conversation.

Thanks for stopping by.

Debbie Christiana said...

You're right Zrinka. I don't even call my daughter on her phone, I always text because she never answers the phone, but gets right back to me if I text her! I wonder how I'l get a hold of her 10 years from now?

Thanks for coming by.


Debbie Christiana said...

I always wanted to go to Bora Bora, but Hawaii will do just fine :)

I'm glad you stopped by.


Melissa Groeling said...

Hi Debbie! I am in total agreement with you that technology has advanced so far beyond us and in some ways, far beyond our own humanity. As convenient as it is, it also seems to dull our social skills which is why I would LOVE to meet all of you guys! Maybe someday!! Great post!

Debbie Christiana said...

Thanks Melissa - Maybe when we're all famous authors Black Opal will have a party for us and we can all meet :)


Bev Irwin / Kendra James said...

Hi Debbie. I wish we could all meet. Maybe as you say, someday we cold meet at a conference somewhere.

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