Thursday, March 10, 2016

Spotlight on Shadows of the Past by Carmen Stefanescu @Carmen_Books for #EggcerptExchange

Today on The Maze begins a new style of presenting book spotlights, featuring Amazon's preview-pane embed code. It's a great way of giving readers more information about a book without having to load a large cover graphic, or being stuck with an author-provided graphic that's so small that the low resolution doesn't show the cover to its best advantage.

I have tinkered with Amazon's HTML to create code that allows the flow of text to the right or left of images without the text appearing too crowded. I have also developed the smaller versions of the preview panes shown in the sidebar; scroll down a little to see those examples.

I'll be blogging about this topic in a Business of Writing post soon, but if you need the code fragments in a hurry, please leave a comment (along with a way to reach you) and I'll be happy to share!

In this post I feature returning Maze contributor Carmen Stefanescu and her novel Shadows of the Pasta touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss, and the power of endless love and good magic—for the 2016 Eggcerpt Exchange. 

Anne's relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.

The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world--one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil's vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve's soul from its torment.

Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?

The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.

Buy links

"Anne, Anne, wake up. Wake up, please," the insistent voice whispered next to her ear.  The touch of a hand, on her shoulder, startled Anne.

She opened her eyes, still half between sleep and reality. Her gaze stopped on a stranger, a woman, by her side.

The moon's pale face, the only light, filtered through a small gap in the tent's entrance; yet the stranger's whole body emanated a kind of soft ray, a yellowish halo making her figure and face easy to discern.

A long, dark robe, similar to those worn by nuns in monasteries centuries ago, covered her body. No traditional headdress covered the woman's red hair, which fell loosely over her shoulders in long, heavy tendrils and continued down her chest and back.

Anne stood up and studied the intruder with open curiosity. The stranger’s wax pale face looked corpse like. Anne opened her mouth to ask her who she was. She looked Anne straight in the eyes, placed her forefinger on her lips and whispered, "Hush, come. Follow me."

Anne's eyes widened.

The woman, moving away from the sleeping bag, appeared to glide above the ground. Her bare feet didn't make a sound.

As if hypnotized, Anne followed the illuminated silhouette heading into the forest, without questioning her own actions.

An onrush of sensations unfamiliar to her followed. Dizziness and a malevolent feeling of unreality suffocated her. The presence of evil, creeping up and enveloping her, became almost palpable. Her throat turned dry, and she gasped for air.

Book trailer:

Character interview of Genevieve:

Please, have a seat. Make yourself comfortable, Miss...
G: "Genevieve. My name is Genevieve, but Sister Clementa, the Abbess,  and some of her followers call me the witch."

Tell me, Genevieve, where are you living?
G: ( a small sigh escapes her lips. Then she shrugs.) "Well, for the moment I reside at St. Mary’s Abbey. On top of a mountain in Britain, in the...cursed forest."

Do you have any schooling?
G: (nods and pats an invisible crease of her dress) "Kind Old Bertha, who took care of me after my family perished, taught me to read and write. Not only English but also Latin. And, most important, she taught me how to prepare healing potions from plants and herbs. Perhaps that’s why the Abbess hates me so much. A peasant girl of the 13th century is dangerous if she knows more than her superiors, I think."

What is your worst nightmare?
G: (throws a shy look around her. She shivers and her voice is small) "I fear the cursed forest. This forest is responsible for what happened to my family. My father’s odd behavior, the death of my siblings. All the evil that lurks in it.
My nightmare - the Abbess, sister Clementa, who threatens me all the time with sending me to the stake. I can’t understand why she wants me out of the way."

Is there anything that you secretly desire?
G: (blushes and wrings her hands. Then she looks me directly in the eyes. Her voice is strong now. ) "To become Andrew’s wife and grow a family. If his family agrees....If the Abbess lets me go... If God  forgives me for giving up being a nun.....If I escape alive from the forest.... If....”

Author bio:
Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books.

She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989, and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.

Shadows of the Past, paranormal/light romance/light mystery/light horror was released at the end of 2012 by Wild Child publishing, USA.

Carmen Stefanescu's Links:


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  1. Thank you, Kim, for hosting Shadows of the Past and Genevieve's interview, today!

  2. SHADOWS OF THE PAST is a book I greatly enjoyed. I hope others discover its mesmerizing blend of history, paranormal and romance which crosses and intertwines centuries. Kudos to the author!

    1. Thanks for visiting and for your kind words, Mae!

    2. I am so glad that you enjoyed this crossover story, Mae!
      Thank you for your support!

  3. You're welcome, Carmen! Hopefully Triberr and/or Twitter will sort themselves out and you'll start seeing more shares of this post in your notifications feed soon. :)


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