Anna DeStefano – What’s at the Heart of Your Fear?

I am so excited today because I have the honor of having the talented and lovely Anna DeStefano in the house today.  Anna, I’m thrilled you are here in my little slice of the blogosphere and let me tell you, I can’t wait – like hardly stand to wait one more second – for the release of your book. Can’t you just let me read it now? I won’t tell anyone, I promise. Pinky-swear?

Alright, before I get ahead of myself, let me properly introduce Anna and her upcoming release and let her have the mic, so to speak.

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Her Forgotten Betrayal

What’s at the Heart of Your Fear?


Best-selling, award-winning author Anna DeStefano wants to you stop, look, and keep digging, until you find the soul of your own fantasies. Her latest release, Her Forgotten Betrayal (available digitally and in print on June 15th), one of the launch books for Entangled Publishing’s Dead Sexy romantic suspense line, the Nina Bruhns Collection, is a psychological thriller she hopes will creep you out (she’s really playing up the Gothic imagery and spooky nightmares with this one). But she’s also dying (heh) to inspire you with another of the happily-ever-after romance ending she’s famous for. No matter how moody the setting or impossible the dilemma, Anna’s characters and stories challenge you to hope and dream for your own exciting future, the way her strong heroines and hunky heroes do!

Today, she’s discussing Her Forgotten Betrayal’s heroine, how fear of the truth might destroy Shaw Cassidy’s world, and why Anna loves to write deeply into the heart of emotionally-charged stories.

Join the conversation! A free digital download goes to one randomly selected commenter, compliments of Entangled Publishing. For more about Anna’s unique brand of storytelling, follow her blog (http://www.annawrites.com/blog), which she updates several times a week on a range of topics such as The Soul of the Matter, Dream Theories, How We Write, and Things My Teenager Says.

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In Her Forgotten Betrayal, remembering could save Shaw Cassidy’s life, but will the truth destroy her love forever?

Thanks for having me over to visit, Ginger ;o) I’m a dark and angsty writer who loves happily ever after endings…

Actually, I’m not that dark. I just enjoy putting characters into as difficult a situation as I can at the beginning of a novel, so their journey through their problems and on to the amazing new life they deserve, is as thrilling and satisfying as it can be. I live for readers to feel and experience everything my characters do. And in the relatively safe world of contemporary romance, we all know that things are going to work out well in the end. What could be better than that?

Naturally, my job then becomes making you suspend disbelief, particularly in a suspense novel, and beguiling you into believing for as long as possible that everything isn’t going to be okay. While I spook and surprise and test my heroine and hero to the limits of their endurance. Let me give you an idea of what I mean.

In Shaw Cassidy’s case, she’s not only injured and being stalked, but she has no memory. She doesn’t know who’s after her, and actually, no one really believes anyone’s after her at all. Why? Because she’s quite possibly, as far as the authorities are concerned, the villain herself. Oh, and the key to her memory is her childhood love, our hero, Cole Marinos, whom she wronged as a teenager. It’s quite possible he’ll never trust her enough to believe what she thinks is happening either, even though he’s a federal agent and sworn to protect her—on an isolated mountain estate in the dead of winter. And…what else? Oh, yeah. Most of the book happens at night, since the plot unfolds in less than forty-eight hours, beginning at midnight. Bwahahahah…

So, we have amnesia, stalkers, second-chance at love, treason and espionage (what Shaw’s being investigated for doing at her global research corporation, and many believe doesn’t want to remember), a creepy gothic setting, nightmares, and a house that’s literally, or so it seems, trying to kill her—unless there really is a threat to her life, but there’s no evidence to back up her claims. Fun, right??? ;o)

But, really, all that’s just back drop. It’s all about the characters for me—and bringing the emotional conflict at the very heart of their problems to life. What’s most important to them? What are their greatest fears? How will these driving forces behind the decisions they make resonate with readers? How can I use my setting and back story and plot to draw you into the non-stop action, the psychological journey, that I’m inflicting on my long-lost lovers?

Because that’s what we read for, right? That hit of awareness and identification and escape that comes with a story or a character. We want it to feel so real, so close to what we want to believe we can feel and do and conquer ourselves, that our hearts beat and bend and soar, too. What better place to find all that, than a creepy, gothic suspense with an over-the top, happy ending waiting for you to land softly in? You know, once you survive the harrowing, exciting race for the truth that Shaw and Cole face as they confront their villain AND the relationship hurdles that might keep them apart forever. Sigh…

See? Aren’t romance’s lovely!

So, without revealing too much about a book that won’t launch for a couple of months, those are some of my favorite things about Her Forgotten Betrayal’s heroine. My challenge for you today, should you choose to accept it, is to share what’s at the very soul of your current battle. Whether it’s a battle of the heart, or within your career, or even in your own writing journey, what’s your greatest fear, what’s your secret dream, and how are these essential pieces of who you are driving the choices you’re making?

Like Shaw and Cole, what is that very hard, impossible, choice you need to make, in order to have everything you’ve ever dreamed of at the end of your exciting journey? And if you’re a die-hard reader like me, how does experiencing a thrilling new story with a happily-ever-after ending help you believe in the possibility of your own success?

Thanks again for having me over to visit, everyone. In addition to blogging regularly and being obscenely addicted to Facebook (Anna’s FB Page), I’m also loving Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/annadestefano/), where you’ll find boards for The Soul of the Matter, Her Forgotten Betrayal, What Do You See?, and lots of other fun stuff—including my popular Shoes Are My Heroin pins ;o) Pop over and play whenever you get the chance. I’d love to hear from you.

And look for more updates soon on Her Forgotten Betrayal’s June 15thLaunch!

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Anna, as I mentioned above, you’re book sounds amazing and I truly can’t wait to read it.  I’m sure I’m not alone.  What a challenge you’ve set before us in recognizing and facing our greatest fear!  I’m really looking forward to reading the comments.  Thank you again for guest blogging today. It’s been a huge pleasure for me.

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About Ginger Calem

I never met a notebook I didn't want to buy. Pens speak to me. Sticky notes are dear to my heart. Some of my best friends are those clambering in my head trying to get onto the page. And when they have their stories told, and I release them to the world, I hope they'll be your friends too.

Posted on April 23, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Rachel, I’m so excited that you’re having me over to play. And your enthusiasm for Her Forgotten Betrayal makes me smile this morning. It’s a wonderful way to beign a Monday!

    I hope to hear from lots of folks about how fear and courage and happily-ever-afters have made their life journeys rewarding ;o) Oh, and to give away a digital copy of the book, too!

    Thanks again!

  2. Coleen Patrick

    Sounds awesome! 🙂

  3. Wow – the book sounds INCREDIBLE! I wish you all the success in the world Anna.
    My secret dream is to be a best-selling author but I think my fear of not being good enough is stopping me from pursuing it full force. Also playing into things is my knowledge that I’d do amazingly well in a second career that I’ve been consider although I know it’s a safer bet. Right now, I’d say my fears are driving me to make no choices/decisions as I trust that as I continue to ponder and self analyse, the answers will come to me. And I think that’s what I LOVE most about a Happily-Ever-After story is the HOPE it fills each of us with!
    Here’s to your success!
    Thanks so much for hosting Ginger – rocking!!!

  4. Fear of failure is a common stumbling block with creative people, Natalie. I taught an interactive craft workshop on Saturday, and this is one of the issues that came up.

    If we don’t feel in our souls that we’re capable of acieving our dreams (or even worthy of them), we too often tend to create an environment where that reality is what comes about.

    The solution (and I’m still working on this one myself ;o)–to cultivate hope and faith at the very soul of what you create, within yourself. See the voice and the message and the vision only you can bring into this world through your writing. Believe in that first, in everything you work on, and you’ll be creating success with each project–even with the difficult, scary choice to putting your work out there to be considered for publication.

    You can make that happily-ever-after ending come true, Natalie. We all can!

    Keep hoping ;o)

  5. I love when we don’t know if the MC is a hero or a villain! Congrats on your upcoming release! Sounds great!

    • Well, Aubrie, the tricky thing with an amnesiac herione (and typically a gothic suspense), is that the reader knows a lot more than the heroine does. Somehow, the writer must show clues to the reader without drawing a map to all the ansers, while the mystery unfolds on the page. And, since other characters in Her Forgotten Betrayal have points of view of their own, I have to show the book’s world and details through their eyes, yet keep the heroine’s ignorance of what these people know believable.

      Craft stories like this is like painting a puzzle…. Soooo much fun for me as a writer.

      I’m dying to know if readers have as much fun with it ;o)

  6. Sounds like a great book! Dark and angsty, I’m loving that description of you, Anna. Right now, I’m not fearing too much. I used to be where Natalie was, but then I just started writing and the more I did it, the less I had fear. It’s that whole, being worthy thing that I had to stare down. Once I got it in my head that I was worthy, then I kept reinforcing that belief. I’m still a work in progress… but I’ll get there.

    • Tameri, I’ve longed believed that our writing helps us work through own issues, while we create make-believe worlds where emotion and difficulty and success can work themselves out in safe ways. Yes, I find writing cathartic.

      A therapist once told me that fiction writers get to “dissociate” for a living. After 7 years as a commercial fiction author, I’m TOTALLY a believer ;o)

  7. Great post Anna. Looking forward to reading this book.

  8. Great post, Anna. I have a fear of heights and of the dark, but I try not to let either stop me from trying new things.

    • Caridad, your heroines always kick ass. And you’re kind of a super hero of mine ;o) I have to say, I suspect there isn’t much that you let stop you from doing whatever “new” thing you want to try next!

      Everyone, look for Caridad’s Dead Sexy debut, too. Coming soon from Entangled Publishing…

  9. Congrats on being one of the launch authors for the Deadly Sexy Line! Your book sounds wonderful!

  10. Great post, Ginger and Anna.

    And this sounds an awesome read.I think fear of failure is the kicker for me. Even though I know failure is actually good for us to move on and achieve something better or greater.

    • I know I have a fear of failure, for ‘some’ things. I’m a perfectionists by nature. As I’ve gotten older, er, wiser and better, I’ve learned to let go of the need to be perfect and in control of everything. That said, with things that hit me in the soul, that mean the world to me like my writing, I battle that fear of failure, not being perfect, failing at the one thing that means the most to me. (outside of my family of course!)

      I’m facing that demon right now, Christine. I’m trying the ‘drink more wine’ approach. 😉

  11. I think the battle going on with me now is knowing what I want, but just not being there yet. It takes time and I tend to be an impatient person. So, really being patient is my challenge. 🙂

    • Emma, I’m totally impatient so I get this!

    • I am a queen of impatience myself… And I’ve learned over time that part of what my “why can’t I have it now,” reaction to things I’m working hard for is a niggle of that “I’ll never have it, no matter how hard I work,” fear sneaking in the back door.

      Doubts are important to recognize and master. My advice is not to shrug them off. Face them head-on. Patience means waiting until you know the timing is right to make something work the very best it can. Impatience can be a self-defeating way to ensure (insure?) that never happens.

      Learn everything you can bout what you want, Emma, so that when time is right, you can knock it out of the park! And keep telling yourself that time is your friend. Not being ready would be a mistake. So waiting, while you work hard to move ever forward, is the very best gift you could give yourself…

  12. So… having been the most fortunate recipient of Anna’s astounding psyche evaluation for my Heroine , I can vouch for Anna’s method of cultivating characters who will come to life for the reader in all of their angsty glory and raw emotion.

    And people, if you get the opportunity to take Anna’s workshop on Meeting Your Characters – DO IT!! Totally worth your time! I was Scared ___ [fill in the blank with your favorite metaphor].
    Anna has a way of making you understand that you not only CAN do it, but you WILL do it, and you’ll be Successful at it! Thank you again Anna, and forgive me for stalking!

    Watching for the release of Her Forgotten Betrayal too – see the DeStefano plan in action !

    • Pamela, you’re so sweet. And, the check is in the mail ;o)

      Seriosuly, I’m so glad you had an insightful experience Saturday. I can’t wait to hear more about your heroine/story!

  13. Karen McFarland

    Hi Ginger and Anna! Wow, fear is so huge for many of us. Moi, fear? Oh yes. I’m afraid of my own shadow. I fear almost everything. I worry about everything. Mostly I fear that I won’t have the energy to achieve my goals. But I guess most things that we fear can lead to fear of failure. Great post! Nice to see you Ginger! Take care. 🙂

    • Generalized anxiety is a common condition, Karen. I empathasize completely. I think getting down to the core of what’s driving that overall feeling of “doom” is important. Again, stopping and looking for common emotions and reactions and aversions that crop up over and over, regardless of the immediate cause of the impuse to be afraid. It’s not fun at first, and it can be harder to work through the bigger issue than it is to simply cope with the everyday things that crop up. But in the end, understanding yourself and your core motivation is such a powerful place…

  14. lynnkelleyauthor

    Your book sounds delicious, Anna!

    Thank you, Ginger, for hosting Anna. I enjoyed this post.

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