Monday, November 30, 2015

Special blog post by romantic suspense author Donna Del Oro

Today’s feature is a special blog post by author Donna Del Oro. This is just one of Donna’s stops as she does a virtual book tour for her new novel, Athena’s Secrets.

During her tour, Donna will be awarding a print copy of The Delphi Bloodline, Born to Sing, Scheming, or Dreaming in Los Angeles to a randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

A little bit about the author:
Donna Del Oro lives in Northern California with her husband and three cats. She taught high school and community college English classes for 30+ years and is now happily retired. When not writing novels or reading voraciously, she travels and sings with the medal winning Sacramento Valley Chorus.

Donna is a member of Capitol Crimes, the Sacramento chapter of Sisters in Crime in addition to the Valleyrose chapter of the RWA. She has judged RITA entries and does developmental editing on the side. Two of her novels, Operation Familia and Born To Sing, have won national and international awards.

Follow clairvoyant artist Athena Butler in the next book in The Delphi Bloodline series: Athena’s Quest.

Excerpt from Athena’s Secrets:
“Got it.” She slowly mounted, excitement and fear surging through her. He counter-balanced her weight while she settled in back and clasped her arms around his waist.

“What did you think of your portrait?” She’d given the painting to his parents the night before and they’d hung it over the fireplace mantel after much ado.

He was silent as he backed up the Jet Ski and maneuvered a turnaround as he pointed the bow towards the open water. Before taking off across the lake, he worked the throttle a bit to juice up the engine. Then he turned his head to look at her.  His guard was down. No stone wall this time.

“I liked it. You captured a side of me that I forgot was even there. I looked young, idealistic. I’d forgotten I was like that once. You’ve got a lot of talent, Athena.”

She’s a girl but looks like a woman. What would it be like to make love to her? She could even be the one Mom has foreseen in my future, or maybe not…don’t even go there, just Mom’s fantasy dream, wants me to settle down…Never mind, it’s all nonsense, even though it’s superstitious of me to refuse to ride in a car with Alex, my own brother…just bullshit the way Mom manipulates us… Might as well not tempt fate, she tells us…she’s right most of the time… Fate? Is this pretty girl my fate? Hell if I know…this girl, Athena, she’s like a magnet, no doubt she has a powerful pull on me… I’ve got such a hard-on for her…oh well, the cold water will take care of that soon enough… I’m a big boy, I can resist her if I want to…

Do I want to?

His thoughts and feelings revealed so much more than what he said. Now she knew he liked her. Very much. As much as she liked him.

And now for the special feature:

Behind Athena’s Secrets and The Delphi Bloodline Series: Questions about ESP

            Sixty percent of Americans, according to parapsychology studies cited in the book, Psychic Awareness, claim to have had experiences they would call psychic. Those experiences might be: Hunches about your or someone else’s future; physical clues that alert you to danger or wrong decisions; intuitive feelings that guide you correctly through life; and/or receiving information through physical sensations, thoughts, visions or emotions. It could be a prickly sensation at the back of your neck about a particular person, place or thing. Or a warm feeling at the thought of a good decision. If you’ve experienced any of the above, then you’re in touch with your psychic abilities.
            My heroine, Athena Butler in Athena’s Secrets (Book One in The Delphi Bloodline Series), has already moved beyond the “I know but I don’t know how I know” psychic awareness, where most of us are at. Through her gifted mother’s instruction and guidance, Athena—the modern-day descendant of an ancient, psychically powerful bloodline of women—knows HOW and WHY she knows. There are numerous theories her mother and an Institute for Psychic Research classes have taught her are valid and might offer her an explanation. Her mother sees their clairvoyance as a Gift from God; that they (and their bloodline) were chosen to use their gift for the Greater Good. Athena’s not so sure about that. In her view, their Gift is also a Curse.
She’s a talented clairvoyant who sees visions and is able to access information simply by touching a person. This clairvoyance might take the form of reading that person’s thoughts or by seeing into that person’s past.
            While this ability of hers has caused her to lose boyfriends—who resent her intrusion into their privacy—her clairvoyance also alerts her to danger. Although warned to keep her Gift a secret, Athena is roped into helping law enforcement authorities with a Metro PD investigation into a series of murders of young girls. And then, when her father at the British Embassy uncover a possible plot to murder the Embassy staff, Athena is asked to help the security team thwart the attack. In Book Two, Athena’s Quest, she must help homicide detectives expose a serial killer. When a handsome stranger approaches her in a Reno hotel gallery (Book Three), where she is painting dead celebrities like Elvis and Frank Sinatra, Athena shakes his hand. Immediately, visions of his dark, violent past assail her, warning her that he is an impostor and even worse, that he means her harm.
            So what’s the origin of such psychic abilities? Are these talents truly genetic, do they run in families, as I suggest in my novel? Do they originate from an all-seeing God, as Athena’s mother believes? Do they come from an omniscient spirit world? Another dimension of energy as yet unexplored by man, as Athena believes? Or are they simply physical, biochemical reactions in the brain, as some neuroscientists suggest? Do brain waves play a role, as some parapsychologists have studied? That Theta brain waves in a fully conscious state enable a person to access knowledge in what some parapsychologists call The Collective Consciousness, and what Hindus call humankind’s Akashic Records.
            Sorry to disappoint you, but experts have no definitive answers to those questions. Theories abound and what I put forth in The Delphi Bloodline series is just one theory. There are many theories about psychic abilities, but no scientific proof.
Not yet, anyway.
What the scientific experiments (and I include some of these experiments in my third novel in the series) do prove is that these abilities exist in varying degrees among all of us. These are human abilities, like innate skills in art and music. Some of us can strum a few chords on a ukelele; others among us can write symphonies, like Beethoven and Gershwin. Some of us can paint by numbers; others become Titian, Michaelangelo, and Da Vinci.
The true psychics among us—not the charlatans—exercise and develop their extrasensory skills quietly and without fanfare or greed. For they know their gifts come with cautionary tales.

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