Before I introduce you to today’s guest on Wizards with Words, I’m pleased to announce the winner of my giveaway during the Purrrfectly Giftastic Holiday Blog Hop. Congrats to Marlena Fein who won a $10.00 gift card to Amazon. Santa and his elves have a wondrous cache of gifts at the North Pole, but Amazon comes in a close second! 😀
Speaking of blog hops, I want to rewind to the month of October because an interesting thing happened to me on the way to the Halloween Garden Hop – I found a book that I knew I HAD to have! There I was, hopping around, checking out all the goodies authors were promoting, adding to my growing TBR list in the process. Among all of those, I came across the blog of author Debbie Peterson. She was giving away a copy of her book SPIRIT OF THE REBELLION. I was immediately intrigued by the cover and the blurb, which combined several elements I loved – a Civil War hero, a modern day heroine, paranormal elements and Norwegian folklore.
I signed up for the giveaway but was impatient for it to end. I knew if I didn’t win a copy, there was no question I was purchasing it. During the three day wait, I finished the book I was reading, then hopped back to Debbie’s blog only to find that someone had won the hop. No biggie. Off I went to Amazon, bought the book and dove into it that night. Of course I devoured it. And, of course, I knew I wanted Debbie as a guest on my blog to talk about the book, her wonderful characters and *romantic swoony sigh* especially her hero, Captain Tristan Jordhal. Without further ado, please welcome Debbie.
Thank you Mae!
Debbie, I’m so excited to have you here. I didn’t think I’d ever find another author to combine the Civil War with the paranormal and modern day. Discovering SPIRIT OF THE REBELLION was like finding a glittery package under a Christmas tree. Before we talk about the novel, can you share a little about yourself and when you started writing?
Debbie: Well, I live in Southern Nevada with my beloved husband, children, grandbabies, and large extended family in close proximity. It seems we’re always a party waiting for an excuse to happen. As far as my writing goes, I can’t ever remember a time when I didn’t make up stories. Somewhere along the way, my husband encouraged me to start writing them down. However, my journey to published author is another lengthy story altogether and one that was several years in the making.
In scoping out your blog, I’ve noticed you have a passion for history and myth. I love when an author blends past and present and can toss something otherworldly into the mix. How about sharing the blurb for SPIRIT OF THE REBELLION?
Souls touch and emotions flare when a historian and an embittered spirit form an unlikely alliance to investigate the centuries-old riddle surrounding his death…
Ready for a fresh chapter in her life, Shae Lynn Montgomery accepts a job translating a cache of Civil War documents from Wisconsin’s famous Norwegian regiment. The assignment takes her to Chickamauga’s haunted Starling Plantation and face-to-face with a handsome captain—its angry ghost in residence.
Tristan Jordahl, falsely accused of treason, has no use for the living—not even the lovely translator invading his home. Despite Tristan’s best efforts to frighten her, Shae Lynn refuses to leave, and reluctantly, Tristan enlists her help to clear his name. But as they grow closer to the truth—and to each other—an evil spirit makes it clear he will do anything to stop them.
Can a love that transcends time overcome all obstacles?
I love it! A haunted mansion, romance, a horrible unjust wrong, and a vengeful spirit. Did you find yourself having to do a lot of research given the topics you chose to intermingle?
Debbie: Yes, and in all honesty I probably did far more research on the Wisconsin 15th Regiment portion of the story than what I needed. And during it all, I lost my heart to the men that made up this regiment. Let me share a passage found in the Annals of the Army of the Cumberland, written in 1864 concerning these valiant men:
“They are amongst the best and the bravest of our soldiers. Descendants of the sturdy Vikings of medieval times, they have in the long lapse of years lost none of that daring valor, power of endurance, and remarkable coolness in times of excitement, which characterized their ancestors. Next to bravery, their most marked quality is calmness. Always cool and collected, they act with the same deliberation and forethought in the trying hours of danger as in the transactions of every-day life. Temperate and virtuous, obedient and well disciplined, they are in every respect model soldiers, and challenge the admiration and respect of all whose good fortune it is to mingle with them.”
Wow! Reading that, I’m not surprised why I fell in love with Tristan. Not only did you choose one of my all-time favorite names for a male lead 😉 but there’s nothing more romantic than a noble hero, wrongly accused, who has suffered as a result. And I like friction, so I was glad that he initially wasn’t thrilled having Shae poke around in his past, and they butted heads. Which came first, plot or characters?
Debbie: For me, it’s always the plot. At the most random and unexpected times, I’ll see little “movie’ snippets inside my head. From there I’ll extend the scene in all directions, and then write my story around it…if that makes sense.
You have another novel currently available called SHADOW OF THE WITTE WIEVEN which pairs a 17th Century sea captain with a 21st Century female agent working for the DEA. And then there is SPIRIT OF THE REVOLUTION, currently in final galley with the Wild Rose Press. Once again, you’ll be weaving past, present and the paranormal, this time with ties to the Revolutionary War. How do you choose your time periods?
Debbie: Most of the time it comes from those “movie scenes” we just talked about and the way I see my hero dressed. At least this far, it’s always worked.
Given the amount of research that must surely go into one of your novels, approximately how long does it take you to finish?
Debbie: About six months or so.
Let’s go back to SPIRIT OF THE REBELLION for the moment. If you had to pick a favorite scene, what would you choose?
Debbie: The scene where Tristan and Shae actually come together for the first time and talk things out.
What did you find the most difficult part to write?
Debbie: Tristan and Shae’s reunion, because I wanted it to be perfect.
How about sharing an excerpt:
He caught sight of Shaelynn’s trembling hand as she finished reading the message given to Colonel Moore over a century earlier.
“If he had only followed the order as given, he need not have died in such a cruel manner,” she whispered. Then just as she picked up one of the fragments to toss it away, she gave it a second look. She placed the fragment beneath his name on the letter she had just read and gasped. “The handwriting is different.”
She stared straight ahead for a moment and turned at once to her computer with a look of sudden resolve. Comprehension dawned. She already knew. Somehow, somewhere she learned the story of his death, the circumstances surrounding it, and connected it to him. Unquestionably, she now looked for the document matching the fragment. Above all, he did not want her reading that damning report. At least, not if he could help it. Not yet. Not until he had a chance to explain it to her first. He just needed a moment.
Despite his wishes, Shaelynn selected the next batch of documents and sent them to the printer. He hastened to interfere with its function. The machine responded with grinding sounds, clicks, and whirrs. The first of the papers rolled out smeared and unreadable. She turned toward the printer, brows furrowed.
Then, before she could assess the problem, he caused blank paper to spew out of the printer. He sent the sheets hurtling across the room in every possible direction. She gaped at the torrent in total dismay.
He whirled around to face her. Before he could form the words for his defense, she rose from her seat, stomped to the center of the room and spun around.
“Stop it!” she demanded angrily. “Just stop it. Exactly what are you trying to accomplish with all of this? Is this your pathetic way of trying to erase your contemptible deeds from history? Do you think I don’t know who you are and what you did?”
At that moment in her tirade, the room grew increasingly colder. Shae could feel the rising anger of the spirit with each frosty breath she took, and she braced herself to face it head on.
“Why don’t you enlighten me with your newfound knowledge, Miss Montgomery?”
The hard, steely voice sounded directly behind her. Without question, the moment she turned around, there would be no more than a foot between them, and he would be completely visible. Nevertheless, she refused to budge from her rigid stance. “For starters, you betrayed your country as well as the trust of those who served under your command. In all likelihood, you are directly responsible for the Union defeat at Chickamauga and heaven only knows how many of the deaths that took place there. And last, but certainly not least, you killed your best friend in cold blood. You sir, are none other than Captain Tristan Jordahl!”
Having said her piece, she whipped around ready to face him. She gasped in shock as he leaned down, bringing his face close to hers. To say he was not at all what she expected would have been a gross understatement. The sight he presented diffused all further comment and all further thought as she stared up into his mesmerizing, deep blue eyes. The smile he gave her was at once terrible and frightening.
“Ever at your service, Miss Montgomery.”
So now let’s talk about Debbie 🙂 What are you currently reading?
Debbie: Celtic Fairy Tales by Joseph Jacobs.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what five books would you want with you?
Debbie: I don’t know…stranded means a long time, so how about the complete works of William Shakespeare, and Edgar Allan Poe to keep me busy. Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre because they’re two of my favorite classics. And I’d probably have to take Myths and Legends of the World…
Those would definitely keep you busy for a while! 🙂 If you could have a cup of coffee with a famous historical person, who would you choose and why?
Debbie: Another tough question. That particular list could fill a book all by itself. But since I just finished the final galley on Revolution, I’ll go ahead and choose George Washington, with Colonel Daniel Morgan coming in a close second.
Washington has always fascinated me, along with a number of men who fought during the Revolutionary War. When you’re not reading or writing, what do you enjoy doing?
Debbie: I’m a genealogy buff. I love delving into my family history, finding things out about my ancestors and then study all the historical events surrounding their lives.
Love that! We definitely have a lot in common! Some quicksilver questions and answers:
Favorite food: Mexican
Favorite holiday: Christmas
Favorite color: Sapphire Blue
Favorite rainy day activity: If not standing out in the middle of the storm in order to enjoy it (I live in the desert), then I’d probably be reading.
The last movie you watched worth recommending: I really enjoyed the Avengers. ; )
Dream vacation spot gifted to you by a fairy godmother: Great Britain with an emphasis on Scotland and Wales.
Thanks, Debbie. That was fun! Before we close, do you have any works in progress you’d like to tease us with 😀
Debbie: My editor now has possession of “Spirit of the Knight,” a paranormal romance about a cursed fourteenth century knight, the lovely artist who comes to paint his castle and the dark magic that envelops them both.
Thank you so much, Mae, for inviting me over today! I have had a ball!
I did too. And I can’t wait to get my hands on your upcoming titles!
Debbie has always had a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, and happily ever after endings. Stories of love and make believe filled her head for as long as she can remember. However, it was her beloved husband who encouraged, cajoled and inspired her to take up a pen and write some of them down. Her journey to published author could fill quite a few pages, but in June of 2010, she submitted her debut novel, “Spirit of the Rebellion” to her wonderful, patient, editor at The Wild Rose Press. A few short months after Rebellion’s release, her second novel, “Shadow of the Witte Wieven” was published through InkSpell Publishing. Her third novel, “Spirit of the Revolution” will be released in 2013, through The Wild Rose Press.
When she is not busy conjuring her latest novel, Debbie spends time with the members of her very large family. She also pursues her interests in family history, mythology, and all things ancient and historic.