Jewelry for the Hopeless Romantic

My new Etsy shop is open! Romantic earrings and brooches inspired by my books, and in plenty of time for the holidays (even Halloween!).

Each brooch or pair of earrings comes in a gift box, and I will even wrap it for free!

Visit my Etsy shop here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/RiaDimitra?ref=shop_sugg

You can also search for “Ria Dimitra” in Etsy’s search box.

Stay tuned for additional pieces coming soon, as I will be adding to my shop in the coming months.

Using the Force

“Luminous  beings are we – not this crude matter.” – Yoda

I’ve made it through chemo and radiation and surgery. Now I am, by the grace of God, cancer-free!

I feel kind of like Luke Skywalker during the battle over the Death Star – shutting off his computer to trust the Force to guide his torpedo into the shaft that will cause the explosive chain reaction to destroy the Death Star and save the day. So I am putting my trust in God to guide me from here. Who cares about those TIE fighters? On we go!

While convalescing from my surgery, I began work on a new novel – one that marks a new direction for me. I’m very excited about where this will take me. Watch this space for updates.

 

Meet Felix!

After Josh passed away, we adopted a new kitten – meet Felix, the craziest kitten ever! He makes me laugh, which is something I really need right now. I’ve never seen a kitten with so much energy!

He loves his cat tower and spends hours lying on it in the living room window, sleeping, chattering at birds or greeting his fans – I’ve heard at least three people walk by outside and call him “Pretty Kitty”!

Unfortunately, Morticia is not enamoured of him – she views his playful pranks as aggression. Why can’t we all just get along?

Can you believe this is the same cat as the first photo? My baby is already growing up!

BFF – Best Furry Friend!

Yet another demon

It seems I’ve been battling demons most of my life, so you’d think I’d developed a flair for it. Now, I have yet another demon to face – in January, I was diagnosed with Stage III uterine cancer. I spent Holy Week in the hospital, and it is not over yet.

It still seems sort of surreal. The moment you hear your doctor speak the words, “I’m afraid it’s cancer,” your whole world changes in the blink of an eye.

She said it’s curable, that hopefully it can all be removed – but who knows how much time we have? It has lent a certain urgency to the completion of my latest novel, which I had just started before receiving the diagnosis – a sequel to “The Visconti Devils.” It might be more accurate to call it a new adventure with some of the same characters. It takes place 15 years after the events of “Devils,” and the central character is Michael and Maggie’s son Gabriel.

Perhaps this novel will be my swan song, or perhaps I will be here many more years and write quite a few more. It’s in God’s hands, and you know what? I’m at peace with that.

It all started with Dracula…

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Dracula and I go way back.

I first decided to write a vampire novel when I was in high school but didn’t actually do so until many years later. When I was in high school, I took drama class and we once took a field trip to Birmingham-Southern College for a drama convention. The drama majors at the college put on a production of “Dracula” which, I found out later, followed the storyline of the novel much better than any of the movies of it I’ve seen. (This was before “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” the one with Gary Oldman in the title role, which, although an improvement over much of the older crap, still doesn’t get it quite right. Although Gary Oldman is awesome.) One of my older brothers has always been fond of campy Universal Studios monsters and my first thought, upon hearing that we would be seeing a stage production of “Dracula,” was, “Some guy running around in a cape and biting people…yawn…not scary.” Was I in for a surprise!

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Not only was the story fascinating – and it WAS scary! – the drama students were all VERY good in their roles. When I got home from that trip, I had to read the book! And I did – stayed up late, after everyone else had gone to bed, and I was almost afraid to fall asleep.

I tried reading other vampire novels – none of them did anything for me. I was disappointed. Well, I thought, I’ll have to write one myself.

At the time, I was quite addicted to Gothic romance novels – you know, they all have a young heroine who, for some reason or other, finds herself in some creepy, remote castle or mansion, surrounded by shifty characters, none of whom she can trust, and one of whom is, invariably, some devastatingly attractive man. Does he have evil designs upon her? Who is behind all the sinister goings-on? Will she come out alive? I wanted to write one of those, but the devastatingly handsome man’s secret would be that he was a vampire. Keep in mind, this was before “vampire romance” became its own genre – I’d like to say I started it, but since I am far from being a household name, of course I will get no credit.

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I had the beginning and the end of the story, but no idea what happened in the middle, which was kind of a problem. So the idea kicked around in the back of my head, literally for years. In the meantime, I got the idea for another vampire novel, about a vampire who hides in plain sight as a rock musician in a sleazy little club, and the teenage girl who falls in love with him and learns his terrible secret, to her horror. It went through several versions before finally becoming Fiend Angelical, which was actually the second novel I published.

And while I was working on it, the inspiration for my first vampire novel idea – the woman in the creepy castle – came out of the blue. What was missing was a key character – who turned out to be the main character, who took the story and ran away with it. I couldn’t write it fast enough. It was The Blood Waltz. Originally, Philip was the mysteriously handsome guy who turned out to be the vampire. But the story couldn’t go anywhere until Kieran dropped in, because, as it turned out, Kieran was the romantic hero (anti-hero?) and the story was all about him.

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I published The Blood Waltz in 2000. The self-publishing option was still fairly new then. I resurrected my contract with iUniverse to bring it back in preparation for the sequel, Selena’s Requiem, which I have just finished and released this fall. It’s been kind of a reunion with old friends. If you enjoyed the original, hopefully you find this one…satisfying.

True love deserves a second chance.

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Selena’s Requiem is now available!

 

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Selena’s Requiem is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! Please check back, as I will post any upcoming events and local bookstores carrying it. And giveaways!

The lovely lady above is a companion statue to the one on the front cover – you can find both of them at the  Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh. Happy hauntings!

Book Cover for Selena’s Requiem!

book-cover

Wow, those guys at Aventine Press are freaky fast! Here is the cover for Selena’s Requiem – looks like it will be out in time for Halloween, after all! Love the creepy font.

In The Blood Waltz, writer Selena D’Agostino answered a mysterious invitation from distant and previously unknown relatives to visit them at their family estate, Castle Cormoran, in the north of England. Selena’s irresistible attraction to the mysterious Kieran Ramsey, and her relatives’ dark designs upon her, spurred her flight from the castle. Plagued by nightmares and regrets, she seeks to deal with her grief by writing about the entire ordeal under the label of “fiction.” At the first signing for her book, Selena receives a surprise visitor.

In this sequel, Selena’s Requiem, Selena receives another mysterious summons from the U.K. – this time from a solicitor who urges her to return to Cormoran to claim her inheritance. Knowing that she will find Kieran there, Selena approaches her return with both elation and dread – how will Kieran respond to her attempt to destroy him when she fled? Will he forgive her, and give her the reunion she longs for? And what dark forces are still at work at Cormoran? Can Selena protect herself, and those she holds dear, from a dark adversary’s thirst for revenge?

It’s away!

SELENA’S REQUIEM has been sent to the publisher, and I received a confirmation e-mail yesterday. I’m using Aventine Press this time – I’ve heard a lot of good about them. It’s too soon for a potential release date but, hopefully, it should be out before the end of the year. In the meantime, if you have not yet read THE BLOOD WALTZ, it is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s website.

Any reviewers out there, let me know if you are interested in reviewing it once the reviews copies are available.

True Love Deserves a Second Chance

“…Selena, the moon, lighting up the darkness of my night.” – from The Blood Waltz

For those of you who enjoyed The Blood Waltz, Selena and Kieran’s story continues!

Despite the ending, I really did not intend to write a sequel at first. I just like to go out with a bang. I will only write a sequel to anything I’ve written if I have something new to offer. I can’t stand sequels to books – or movies – that simply rehash the same thing all over again. It’s lazy, and an obvious ploy to make more money out of the fans who liked the original.

But Kieran and Selena’s story wasn’t over yet. I am working on the final draft and hope to have it out before the end of the year, if all goes well. My target is, appropriately enough, Halloween. It will be print-on-demand, like the original.

For those of you who haven’t read The Blood Waltz, I’ve gotten iUniverse to re-release it. You can find it on their website and Amazon. You really need to read it first, because the sequel takes up where it leaves off. Keep checking back here, as I will post updates and previews as things roll along.

You can’t keep a good vampire down!