Posts Tagged ‘anna’s world’

The Soul of the Matter: Clouds…

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Clouds. They’re magical,  mystical,  dreamed of places in the sky. And if we let them in, if we stop and look up and outside of ourselved and beyond our earthbound needs and demands, they can change our reality.

clouds mountain tree

I take pictures of the sky as often as I can, when there’s something new to see, to remind myself to always look up. Whether you’re standing or sitting or lying on the ground, peering into the horizon can make you feel as if you’re standing on the edge of the world, about to fling yourself into something fantastical.

Storms and sun and wind and sparks of water shimmering into mist live there.

clouds sea storm tidal pool

Colors and parts of ourselves we don’t even know are missing until we find them there.

clouds pink sunset

Anything is possible.

Each picture I capture with my phone–yes, all of these worlds are the air above me as I lift my eyes and my iPhone and capture what I would have let slip by–is another place I’ve traveled, another reality I’ve dreamed.

At least that’s what I tell myself as I imagine dragons floating above a neighborhood park.

clouds puff the dragon

And history spreading out beneath the sky, above mountain ranges dancing like waves, just beyond my reach. (more…)

The Soul of The Matter: Islands in the stream…

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Sometimes you just need to go away. In your mind, in your world, and sometimes to a totally different place than you’ve never been. Going away and coming back are recurring themes in my writing, whether I use amnesia to symbolize it or physically send a character on a journey or bring the change into my book’s world, tossing and twisting everything about until things look and feel totally different. Because shaking things up is a what life’s about, whether we like change or not.

water cover color

Me, I’ve never been so keen on the changes. I’d like life to be a placid sea of calm. Guess how often that’s been my reality… Yeah. Not so much. And I’m not really sure how I’d handle the reality if life were ever to become that predictable. I mean, I DO write new people and new worlds and new realities into existence for a living. But that’s more going away into my mind, right? It’ s not like I’m messing with my own sense of stability, just to keep myself on my toes. Or am I?

I’m actually a firm believer that we can too often avoid the things and people that we want most. It can be easier that way–no risk, no commitment, no disappointment if it doesn’t work out. Life gets its own ideas though, and it tends to have a good sense of what we need as well, and those things we’re avoiding come to us whether we’re ready or not, floating by like perfect chances for happiness, if we’re brave enough to reach out and grab them.

sand toes

I feel that way about the books and characters and stories I write, and about the opportunities I sieze, even when they don’t always seem like the wisest or safest ideas at the time. My career in publishing (ever writer’s publishing career these days), is one risky venture after another. And I’ve been risking a lot the first six months of this year–me on my island, telling myself to reach out and grab what feels right, even if it means going away from feeling safe and maybe not coming back for a long, long time.

So here’s to risk-taking, even if risk terrifies you. Here’s to racing into the “new” even though the “old” feels safer. Here’s to putting it all on the line, when something juicy and exciting floats by, only it would be safer to let it go rather than make it your own…

I’ve “gone fishing” this week (more…)

The Soul of the Matter/How We Write: Calming and Nurturing Yourself

Monday, June 11th, 2012

I read an article recently that suggests that while the tendency toward having a depressive personality can be hereditary, how that part of your psyche manifests itself depends a lot on whether you were raised in a conflict/anxiety-driven home environment or a calming/nurturing one. Heh. Guess what the growing up years were like for this curly-haired bruentte  whose happy-ending stories begin with broken characters who are worlds apart from each other and their hearts desire, forcing them to fight the entire book for that loving, sigh-worthy place waiting in their Emerald City?


Yeah, so it’s no mystery that dark and angsty writers tend not to come from the most warm and fuzzy of family bosoms. Then again, neither have a lot of the romantic comedy writers you love. The difference between them and me, I think, is that I find catharsis in facing the shadows within. While the lighter writers I admire heal by focusing on the good without, to get them through the tougher stuff. As many a wise person has said over the years–there are many roads to Oz.

Still, as I look at my body of work or even my current projects (a heroine with amnesia that must remember her troubled past to save her life–June 15th Dead Sexy release; a heroine just out of an abusive marriage who must face the emotional trauma she’s running from in order to save an abused little boy–July Heartwarming release; and a heroine who grew up homeless who must face the mother who abandoned her and give up her dreams of making the past better in order to have the future she’s always longed for–October Montlake release), the patterns are there and a little staggering.

I’m a woman dealing with what a lot of us do as adults–the fact that as children we weren’t loved and nurtured that we should have been by those who “took care of us.” The result–we live life too often still feeling abandoned, and frequently expect our friends and loved ones to chose to protect themselves whenever we most desperately need them to help us.

I write about strong heroines and protective heroes–but my mind doesn’t seem to be satisfied with simply brushing over the darkness that calls these characters to fight their epic battles. I evidently need to explore those places and spaces in my character’s (and my own) mind that are holding them (and me) back. My writing, I’ve come to realize–my creating–is about learning how to fight for the nurturing and care that I need, right along with my protagonist.


I’ve been described as a hopeful, inspiring writer, one who lifts readers up through realistic journeys that make you feel as if you, too, will find a happy ending at the conclusion of your battles. (more…)

Dream Theories: Embrace what goes bump in your nightmares!

Monday, June 4th, 2012

I’m guest blogging today about the dream theory in Her Forgotten Betrayal. Link over, enjoy, and leave a comment for your chance to win a free digital copy of HFB.

Dreaming blog

The underlying message of Her Forgotten Betrayal is to follow your dreams—even the scarier ones. Because your dreams are just that—yours. They’re your thoughts and your intuition and your memories. And when your dreams go dark, it’s often your mind’s way of focusing you on the tough stuff you’re avoiding in your every day…”

The Soul of the Matter: Give ‘Em Hell…

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

“If you fall pick yourself up off the floor (get  up). And when your bones can’t take no more (c’mon), just remember what you’re here for… Give ‘em hell, turn their heads. Gonna life life ’til we’re dead. Give me scares, give me pain. Then they’ll say of me… There goes the fighter… Here comes the fighter… This one’s a fighter.” ~~Gym Class Heroes, ft. Ryan Teddar, The Fighter

Watch this video. Listen to the song. Find all the lyrics and read them. Then do it all again.

“There’s no reason you should ever have your head down… It’s gonna take a couple right hooks, a few left jabs. For you to recognize you really ain’t got it so bad…”

gym class heroes

It’s been a long week, and I’m being torn in about ten directions at once. But I’m living a life I’d only dreamed of ten years ago. And this is my time to shine, fight, work through the bruises and the challenges, come out swinging despite the obstacles, and give ‘em hell!

Here’s hoping you do as well ;o)

The Soul of the Matter: Your Own Skin

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Live in your own skin this week. Enjoy this amazing video by Ingrid Michaelson, Blood Brothers, then take another look at yourself and others, seeing what we all are rather than the differences between us.

“We’re all the same, under a different name… We’re all blood and bone.”


How We Write: Women…

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

You wanna sell in romance and women’s fiction, give your heroine a strong hook. But don’t make her too damsel in distress, don’t make her too bitchy, don’t make her so smart she’s bossy, don’t make her too dumb, and don’t, don’t, don’t do anything to run away the average reader who buys the majority of books like the one you want to sell. Or should you? Because if she’s a down-the-middle kind of gal, where’s the hook? I’m just askin’.

In my Naked Hero blog post yesterday (over there I’m the Goddess of Mischief), a bunch of us chatted about favorite hero attributes. Now it’s the girls turn. And while I’m all for pleasing the reader, it can get a little crazy-making, talking with a publishers and editors about what they’re looking for in a heroine, what makes them want to pull their hair out about an over-used cliche, or want to smack a whiny leading lady, or turn a book down flat, because the female protagonist, in their opinion,  just won’t sell to readers, she’s just not what most everyone is looking for in an easy read like a romance.

Okay, but what about the widow of a defunked televangelist. A man who was exposed as a lying, cheating sinner, run out of town, on the lamb from the law, then turned up dead, leaving his wife and son destitute and at the mercy of the small town he swindeled?

Dream a Little Dream

Or a former snotty, priviledged, cruel small-town beauty queen who’s fallen on bad times and wants to make amends/start over, only no one’s buying it? (more…)

Cover Copy!!! And LOVELY Author Quotes–

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Nope. No Her Forgotten Betrayal cover yet. Entangled’s got big plans for the Dead Sexy launch book cover reveals… But, I have the official cover copy, and it ROCKS! Plus killer cover quotes from some of your favorite authors. And an excerpt’s up on my homepage, so check out all the yummy gothic goodness of my June release and report back. Whatcha think?

gothic trees mountain

Here you go. Nina Bruhns’ amazing cover copy. That smile you’re feeling even though you’re not smiling yet? It’s me, projecting happiness into the universe, hoping some of the excitement I’m feeling finds you and makes this a kicking Saturday for you, too ;o)


Remembering will save her life. But will the truth destroy their love forever?

When the CEO of a global technology empire retreats to her ancestral mountain mansion to heal from a brutal shooting, she discovers the danger has just begun. Suffering from amnesia, she is at the mercy of nightmares that soon morph into something much more real…as well as a menacing stalker determined to toy with her sanity.

The FBI suspects her of illegally selling top-secret research, and has sent an agent to find evidence of her treason. She doesn’t realize the man who sweeps in from the cold claiming to be her protector, and her former love, is keeping dangerous secrets from her. She begins to trust him, unaware that he is about to repeat the most painful betrayal of her past–a past she doesn’t remember…a past that may kill her.

“Dark danger and lush romance, Anna DeStefano mysteries deliver!” —Catherine Mann, USA Today Bestselling Author

“DeStefano crafts a tense and touching suspense about forgotten pasts and reunited lovers.” —Caridad Pineiro, NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author

“Intrigue, danger, and a hero to die for make DeStefano’s Her Forgotten Betrayal a page-turner!” —Rita Herron, Award-Winning Harlequin Intrigue Author

The Soul of the Matter: A Mother’s Day…

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

I’m not your average mother (I know. Hard to believe, right?). What with the staying up all night, or basically for weeks at a time except for catnaps. And then there are the cooking and cleaning binges I go on, once the deadline’s met. And, oh yeah, my Mother’s Day ideal is dragging my family on mile after mile of interior hiking to untouched waterfalls. Dozens of them, that you can only get to by climbing down steep embankments from the safer high ridges where the rough trail runs, then scrambling over fallen trees and up steeper rises to the next ridge that’s been cut off by last year’s storms. Doesn’t that sound divine? Take a look at the presents you get, if you’re along for the ride.

 opening 1

opening 2

opening woods

Most of these were taken actually in the middle of “creeks” that are running high still from the spring thaw and a few weeks of steady rain. You have to get close, where the rush of the water is making you shiver, even though you’re wearing a sweatshirt and jeans in mid-May. You have to feel the mist after it crashes into the rocks that over time are worn smooth and covered in the greenest moss you’ve ever seen. You have to reach your hand into the ice-cold softness of this eternally-running perfection while you’re hunting for the ideal picture to remember your day by.

running 1 (more…)

Dream Theories: Premonitions, Schemonitions?

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Do you dream events before they occur? Do you believe the things you dream to the point where you look  for links to your waking life? While dream symbols and imagery shouldn’t be taken literally, there are many who believe, as I do, that our subconscious, sleepings minds work hard to learn from our experiences and teach us when they can, how to better deal with our “real” lives.

Unforeseen events, warnings, daja vu, illogical or irrational outcomes that somehow manage to come true…do you have to be psychic to believe that dreams can share things like this? I don’t think so. I’ve had my own premonitions for years, sometimes not realizing that’s what they were until the unforeseen event begins to play out, reminding me that I’ve “seen” something like this before. Scary, right?

dream purpose


That kind of heightened awareness can be spooky at first, but it can also be reassuring as you find your way through whatever event or potential conflict you face. It’s not so much about accuracy as it is about learning that your instincts talk to you in a lot of different ways, and they tend to keep talking until you pay attention ;o) Even if your subconscious has to weave stories within your dreams, in order for you to “see” what you need to see.


No, I’m not saying this sort of thing happens all the time, though I keep working premonition dreams into the fiction I write on a frequent enough basis that interviewers and book bloggers always ask when I’m going to do it again, LOL! I’m not saying everything you experience in a dream will come true. In fact, most dreams are about things that have already happened and what you should learn from the experience that your sleeping mind is storing away in your memory.

And, no,  you don’t have to be psychic to get something tangible out of your dream life.. (more…)