Thursday, July 5, 2012

Her Forgotten Betrayal: The Blog Tour and Interview with Anna DeStefano

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 home to heal from a brutal shooting, she discovers the danger has just begun. The FBI suspects her of selling top-secret government research, and has sent an undercover agent to find evidence of her treason. Still suffering from amnesia, she is at the mercy of nightmares that soon morph into something much more terrifying—a determined enemy, plotting to make sure she never regains her fragile memory.

When a handsome stranger sweeps in from the cold, claiming to be her protector—and her former lover—she suspects he’s not telling her the whole truth about his sudden appearance on the mountain. As their unwilling attraction blossoms to sizzling passion, 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 just may kill her.

A crash beyond the kitchen's door jolted Shaw from her thoughts. The wooden spoon rattled from her fingers to the stovetop. She whirled toward the dining room.

“Esme?” She raised a hand to cover her heart.

She was scaring herself senseless for nothing. She was going stir crazy, that was all. She’d simply been alone for too long. The unexplained rattles and noises and sometimes even voices she kept thinking she heard were symptoms of cabin fever.

The house answered her with silence, except for the soft hum of the refrigerator. She took an uncertain step forward, determined to conquer her fear. There was no one there, she told herself firmly. No one was ever there. There was no threat, except from her own panic. All she had to do was turn on the dining room lights, and there’d be no one lurking around the next corner, waiting to attack her.

She reached for the door.

“Sorry, Shaw,” the faceless, scratchy-voiced man whispered from her nightmare.

She clenched her hands into fists, her nails digging into her palms.
“Don't be such a baby,” she said out loud. “Stop this.”

Fear and the amnesia it fed had stolen everything from her. She had no recollection of the four high-tech research centers she was said to oversee. Or how she’d come to be the sole living heir to an estate that included not only this mountain house near the North Carolina border, once used by her family as a summer retreat, but also a loft in Atlanta and homes on several other continents. And to add insult to injury, no one had yet been allowed to tell her more. Doctors orders.

She wanted her life back, damn it. She smoothed her hand against the dining room door, and braced herself to push it open. She could do this. She had to.

Sudden darkness swallowed the kitchen.
Her thoughts were immediately swamped with the panicked claustrophobia of being trapped in a closet, waiting to be discovered.

“No.” She blinked, willing the lights to come back on. Her imagination was merely playing tricks on her, anticipating the worst.

But regardless of how many times she tried to force the room into focus, there was nothing to see. Someone had killed the power for real. Her nightmare was coming true. It was waiting for her in the very next room.

She backed away.

Fell over one of the kitchen chairs.

Landed hard on her backside.

“There's no one there,” she insisted. “The electricity's gone out. That's all.”

Something else crashed in the dining room, followed by the distinct sound of a man's footsteps, inching closer. She covered her mouth with her hand. She scrambled backwards on the floor, her nightgown and robe twisting around her legs. Disjointed dream memories swirled through her mind. She lurched to her feet. She felt her way along the wall, blindly heading for the storage room and its back door to the outside world.

She was a fool, a weak, clueless fool. But she couldn't stop herself from panicking.

“Kill the bitch...” the night whispered.

She clawed at the back door's stubborn deadbolt. A glimmer of sanity kept her from running into the freezing, moonlit darkness. If she really was in danger, heaven only knew what waited for her outside the mansion’s protection. And there was suddenly nothing but silence behind her, no movement whatsoever.

She tried to believe this was just like all the other times when she’d freaked herself out and then realized how ridiculous she’d been. 
She was running from ghosts. She tensed to turn back, to confront her paranoia. And heard footsteps again. Closer than before. 

Behind her. Coming for her. And there she stood like a paralyzed idiot, trapped between the shadows beyond her family's home and the nightmare crowding closer within.

A hand clenched in her hair. A gun pressed into her skin. When it fired, the sound of the blast shattered her reality all over again.

Well, I don't know about you, but that has got to be one of the most suspenseful scenes I have read lately! 

Join me as we welcome ... for a glimpse inside of Her Forgotten Betrayal.

Hi Anna. Thanks for stopping by Bookgirl Knitting today to answer a few questions about your book Her Forgotten Betrayal and your writing life.

1. One of your main story elements for Her Forgotten Betrayal is amnesia. How did you decide to add that into the story and have you ever experienced it in your life?

I’ve actually had major concussions a couple of times in my life (insert obvious jokes about me not being in my right mind). Both times, I’ve lost significant time—memory I’ll never get back. And it’s definitely creepy to come out of that passage and realize you don’t know how long you’ve been away.

But what intrigues me about writing an amnesiac heroine is what the mind hides and what the search to discover the past reveals—and in Shaw Cassidy’s ace, what her subconscious continues to try and hide, no matter how hard she fights to remember. There are so many fun layers to her story—who’s the stalker who’s after, what’s happened in the past that’s tempting her mind to continue to forget absolutely everything, and who is the handsome, intriguing neighbor who shows up to protect her and seems more real, more familiar than anything else in her world?

There’s a lot of dream theory neatly tucked away in Her Forgotten Betrayal ;o) I’ve been fascinated by it for years—how if we look closely enough at our dreams, we’ll see the connection to and patterns from our own life, and will see the messages our dream work is sending us. I blog about that sort of thing regularly… It was fun to combine it with Shaw’s amnesia and explore dreams in a more real way in a contemporary romance—up ‘til now, I’ve only dabbled with it in my sci-fi/fantasy novels.

I’ve been an active dreamer my whole life and have regular conscious (lucid) dreams. Playing in a gothic thriller like HFB with dream symbols and themes and watching such Shaw and Cole Marinos figure out what her sleeping mind is trying to show her was super fun!

2.  Gothic romance has always been a favorite of mine. What authors do you especially love in that genre?

Anything Bronte, particularly Wuthering Heights. Du Maurier’s Rebecca. All the creepy historical romances I read as a young girl.
I love a setting that seems a threat to our heroine at every turn, the mystery, the always present villain the reader knows more about than the heroine, and the hero who may or may not be a good guy, the heroine’s never really sure… It was a blast playing with these elements into a contemporary setting. To the very end of this suspense, pretty much every element of the story and setting I focus on in the first few chapters is still paying off in the mood and atmosphere and sheer creep factor of the plot, the relationships, and the heroine’s interaction with her world.

Basically, will Shaw have learned enough by the end of Her Forgotten Betrayal to be able to shed the skin of her creepy, shadowy past and embrace the new beginning trying to rise from its ashes… Bwahahahaha!

3. What are your favorite genres to write in?

Romance… Whatever I write, it will always have a strong romance element. I like deeply emotional journeys with flawed characters that start from a broken place and have a long way to go before they find their way. Without a happily ever after ending to look forward to, what reader in their right mind would find that entertaining ;o) And I totally believe in the power of hope and enduring love. That’s why we read romance, to keep searching for what sustains us. I’ll be writing that for the rest of my career!

4. Do you write to music?

I write to ocean sounds. Each book has a unique soundtrack that I like to build now in Pinterest. But listening to music while I write distracts me. The sea, on the other hand, or the sound of any type of moving water, inspires me every time. I have a favorite Bed and Breakfast in the mountains set against a waterfall (it’s a working grist mill), that I retreat to several times a year when I’m on deadline. And writing near the ocean is always an amazing experience.

Nature is my music, I guess. Long hikes, filling up on the sites and sounds of it… I love music, but it doesn’t touch me in the same way.

5. What is one thing you would want to tell a new author about writing romances or erotic scenes?

Before you sit down to write a romantic or erotic scene, understand the story and character turning point that the scene triggers. Focus on the emotions of the characters in the scene. What are they learning about themselves and each other and the conflict between them? What’s being made worse and better by the intimacy? How will the story shift in a totally new direction once the scene is over. THEN write the hottest, most dramatic scene you can given the sub-genre you’re writing in.

Make the sex/romance about more than going through the motions. Make it about story and character growth, and you’ll never go wrong.

6. What is your next writing project?

I have another Dead Sexy book under contract, so I’m dying (heh) to dive into that. I’m currently waiting for my Harlequin Special Release, A Sweetbrook Family, to launch July 1st. And I’m working on the first in a three-book Amazon Montlake series—Christmas on Mimosa Lane, due out in October. I’m absolutely loving the project. It’s a women’s fiction/contemporary romance hybrid, and one of the most layered, satisfying, poignant stories I’ve ever written.
Thanks for having me over! Check out my blog ( for fun weekly posts on an array of topics, and to keep up with my all the latest news about all my releases!

Thanks Anna! It was great to have you on the blog today!

What I Liked:

This story was all action and intrigue. I loved it. It was a page turner  from the start. The character development, dialogue and action all kept me reading long into the night. Who was the familiar voice Cassidy heard? Who was it that shot her and is now haunting her dreams. No spoilers here. You will have to read to find out!

What I Didn't:

Not a thing. I want to read much more from this author.


The description of this book was a total hook and starting to read I was impressed with how the pages flowed and the story branched out. Being in the closet with Cassidy as she overhears some things she probably shouldn't have, lead her to getting shot and then things really start to get interesting. Who shot her? Who can she trust? Who is the voice in the darkness whispering her name? Is she crazy, or is someone out there trying to kill her- again? If you love a good romantic suspense, you have to give Her Forgotten Betrayal a try. I was impressed with the author's voice and completely fell into this novel. If I could have holed myself in a room to keep reading without stopping, I totally would have.


About the author:

Nationally bestselling author Anna DeStefano has searched her entire life for the soul of the matter at the heart of her world's mysteries. As a small child, she drew from her experiences, senses, and dreams to paint a lush fantasy world, filled with endless possibility and characters of her own creation. Putting pen to paper, Anna transforms these inner landscapes into rich storytelling.

Hers is a realistic but optimistic vision, searching for hope and transformation through intense emotional journeys. Her fuel--the inner passions and conflicts of the characters she crafts. Much like a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, Anna's characters face the ultimate of human choices: finding the courage to conquer their fears and thrive until, despite every obstacle, they become the beautiful things they're meant to be.

An author, workshop and keynote speaker, writing coach, and acquiring editor, Anna's creative vision permeates every challenge she undertakes. She wants you to stop, look, and keep digging, until you find the soul of your own fantasies. Her novels' rich blend of realism and fantasy invites Anna's readers into her creative mission to dig deeper and see each of life's moment with emotional honesty and clarity. 

Discovery and joy are her touchstones, regardless of how difficult her characters' journeys might be. She will challenge you to transform into all you're meant to be, as well. She speaks and blogs regulary. Join Anna each week for Soul Of The Matter, Dream Theories, Things My Teenager Says, How We Write, Waterfall Challenges, and more.

Past President of Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), Anna's also Senior Tech Writer with a GA Tech honors degree an 10 years of experience working in Corporate IT. Her novels have garnered numerous awards including twice winning the RT Reviewers' Choice Award, the Holt Medallion, the Golden Heart, the Maggie Award for Excellence, and finalling in awards such as the National Readers' Choice and Book Seller's Best Awards. She's the author of over 16 novels since 2004 in four different genres, with nearly half a million copies of her books in print in over 5 different languages.

Her interactive workshops and keynotes on the writing process regularly attract standing room-only crowds. She's presented to over 60 groups and conferences, and also teaches half-day and one-day seminars to smaller groups interested in a more intensive, interactive experience.

She's an acquiring editor for Entangled Publishing's Dead Sexy suspense line, and takes on a select number of freelance clients, coaching authors to create the very best books they can from their individual visions.

Want to win your own copy of Her Forgotten Betrayal? Entangled is having a tour wide giveaway. Enter a comment below to have a chance to win!

Happy Reading!

1 comment:

Jeff Rivera said...

I will definitely going to love this book. This is a romance story with full of suspense. A kind of book that you would love to finish in one sitting. You did a great review!