Friday, February 12, 2016

Shadows of Him by Debbie Zello

Shadows of Him

By Debbie Zello

As many of you know, (at least I hope you do…) I am a book reviewer and I love to read. And sometimes I just truly get into some books, and some are just… you know, a good read, and worth enlightening others to. And then there is always a book that just jumps out at you, and you truly just can’t get enough of it, and sometimes there just aren’t even the proper words to explain the fascination behind the book. Hopefully you can comprehend what it is I am trying to say….

I have just read the most amazing book I think of in my time. It was like being told a story, if you will, by another person as I read it. I don’t know what it is about Debbie, and her story telling ability, but when she reads to me, I feel like someone is literally reading ‘to’ me. Call me crazy, I don’t care, I know what I feel. 

I can read her books in just one setting, and I relax, even though someone is being taken from me as I fell in love with them as I read them. Missing from me, and I need them, I go to my facebook messenger and contact Debbie, “He’s gone!” She tells me “Yes, but keep reading.” I inform her I am upset. I was in love with the character and their relationship, you will be as well….

Dr. Alexzander Blackburn, who prefers to be called Zan, has a proposal for Aisling Coutier, a beautiful med student with, you know…needs. And Zan, he truly thinks he is something special, and honestly, he is. And his proposal leaves a lot to be desired. 

And then Lia text’s Aisling with: “Holy hotness Batgirl.” Because she seen Zan and was like wow, now that is something to take home to enjoy.

So Aisling decides to share the proposal that Zan said to her with Lia: “The “I want to have sex with you and absolutely no strings attached,” kind.” Lia couldn’t even believe he was ballsy enough to say that. So Aisling even added, “He did. According to him, he’s great in bed too…” Yeah confidence too! Zan was truly one of a kind.

But Aisling couldn’t help but be attracted to him still. And she kept remembering her own Mothers words in her head to, replaying them, trying to protect herself. But yet still, it didn’t work.

Eventually it was too late. She couldn’t fight him or their attraction any longer, it was like, they were meant to be. She couldn’t explain it. It was like she just belonged with him, every essence of her. 

Together, he was right. They made beautiful music and enjoyed one another. They were the perfect couple, they even looked at houses together. They were building the perfect relationship, the kind everyone dreams of.

And then one day, she just couldn’t find him. He was gone. Where had he gone? They hadn’t argued, they had even had plans. But to no avail, no where, he was simply gone. No explanation, no “Dear John” letter, no answers of any kind.

And then Aisling learns the inside story. Or the story finds her. The president of the Witches, Euthia Simmons, knew Aisling needed answers, that’s just how good of a witch she is. “You’re here about Dr. Alexander Blackburn.” 

Aisling thought someone else informed Euthia, but no, no one did. And Euthia had all the answers that Aisling needed, all of them, in detail. Because the witch had her own spiritual guides, without genders and heritage who told her things, before they happened, to prepare her. “Now do you want my help or not?”

Alexander Blackburn had slept with a woman, who he had no intentions of marrying. There was a founding member of the coven, her name was Alice. She shared the stories with everyone in the coven, passing the stories along through time. Alice put a curse on Alexzander, to keep him alive. Alice and Alexzander can never be killed, least wise not permanently. Together this spell was in cahoots with the Devil. This is where Aisling learned that the love of her life was almost four hundred years old. 

In order to remove the spell that was already failing as time went on, four things were needed. However, the hardest part will be convincing Alice to let go of Alexzander, and move on, because she herself, was very much still infatuated with him. We also learn that Alice may have even caused the actions of Zan in the first place, to be the non-marrying type of guy who just sleeps around.

Luckily Euthia convinced Alice to see things the way of Aisling wanted. She explained they would both end up stuck anyway, the vortex was closing, that this was the best option.
Alexzander and Alice must return back to 1692 and start everything all over again, and make the right choices from there. Alexzander is told, the only way back to the real world, is to his real love. And this time, they both need to make the right choices.

Aisling wished she had known about the fact that Alice and Alexzander would have to start over, and return back to 1692. You could tell she still had doubts, even some about Alice, and even the love of her true love. She wasn’t sure if Alexzander would ever return to her.

Five days go by, (in the book itself) and I am 98% on my kindle, growing frustrated. The only thing that kept me not going insane, was Aisling and Carter meeting a dog named “Damn it.” As I was still sitting there, wondering, and waiting, impatiently, I get to this part and nearly die busting out laughing. I say out loud, “Damn it get out of the bed!” My dogs (three of them) jump out of bed and give me evil looks. I had been sitting there quietly reading for hours. And then I bust out with that. I am laughing. I can’t stop laughing. And then I get annoyed with myself because I left Aisling waiting around on me. Because of me, she was left waiting even longer. Damn it again!

Here I am at 98% on my kindle and here is where I will stop. Leaving you wondering about Zan, the 348 year old hunk and whether or not he makes it back to Aisling, and whether or not they live happily ever after or he stayed with Alice.

I probably have already told you too much. But, I just don’t want you to not read this “Shadows of Him,” I need you to read it. The back cover does it no justice in gripping you enough to want to read it. I feel  a better description could have went into writing the back of the book than that, no offense to whom ever wrote it. 

Needless to say, this book, is a perfect five star book. An excellent comical, intense, historical read. Something worth reading, and enjoying over and over again. I truly enjoyed this book immensely. I felt like I was being told a story, directly by the writer, and it was just so totally enjoyable I couldn’t put it down. If you want something worthy of your time, get yourself a copy of this book!

Here are my questions for Debbie:

1. OMG I have NEVER written three pages of notes for a book. This was intense! So what made you write this book and how long did it take you?
You made me laugh aloud.  Zan started talking one night. He was confusing, because his story was of a paranormal nature, with witches and spells. I liked him because he was so different from the other characters that invaded my dreams. I was writing another story at the same time as his, so it took longer about three months to finish.

2. How do you pronounce the name Aisling Courtier? Is it pronounced fancy?
I loved her name. It's Asling with the I being silent and the A is long. She is a simple lady with a fancy name. 

3. Did you do any research for this book?
Yes, lots of research. First, I went for a ride around New Haven, Connecticut. I found a house that I thought could be Zan's house. New Haven has a large amount of Victorian homes. I ate at the restaurants in the book. 
Then I went to Salem. I found Rebecca Nurse's house. It's still there in Danvers. Walking the grounds of the house, the graveyard in the back where they believe Rebecca is buried, was amazing. I stayed in a B&B, I walked through the old graveyard in town, I left flowers on Rebecca's stone in the Memorial area. Salem is rich in history.

4. Do you have photos or descriptions of ANY of these characters?
I found a picture of a portrait of a Victorian era man. I use it as a teaser for Shadows. It resembles Zan in my minds eye. 

5. I love the dog named "Damn It" I shared this entire book with my husband. He truly enjoyed that comical part too! Whatever made you come up with that?!
I thought Damn it was a perfect name for a dog. "Damn it get down, Damn it come here." I have a funny bone. It was just a thought and it went into the book. 

6. Are you familiar with witch craft? Or even Salem?
I'm not familiar with witchcraft per say, but I'm fascinated with the concept. Throughout history, woman have been accused of being witches. Be a little odd, or have a physical difficulty and bam, you're a witch.  In the case of the Salem witches, it was a concerted effort to take property. If you were a witch, you lost your property. If you look at a map of Salem Village and Salem Town, the accusers are on ins side of the map, the accused on the other side. Knowing the history, you can see exactly why the whole thing was done.

7. The recipe for the cure. Did you create the four things needed? Or did you research them?
I came up with that when I was in Salem. Zan didn't finish the whole story. I wanted there to be a way out. I didn't want it to be a forever thing. I needed an end. 

8. I loved his proposal in the beginning. I mean, after-all, he 'knows' he's good in bed. And then Lia's text: "Holy hotness Batgirl" I so love how you write! Is this how your characters tell you to, or is this 'you?'
Yes, that was the characters. That's exactly what Zan said. He liked the fact that he's attractive and the ladies love him. At the beginning he was a real Neanderthal. As he went on, I could see it was a crust that he needed to protect his heart. Knowing he wasn't hanging around to have a future with any woman, meant, he had to be aloof in order to survive. 

9. Did you also study and learn about Covens?
In Salem, there are active covens. I did speak to two women that said they were in one. Unlike the accepted concept, witches don't stir big caldrons of, eye of newt. They are active in woman's issues and PTA meetings.

10. Do you keep a notepad or recorder by your bed? (For your dreams?)
I have a pad and pen on my nightstand. It's funny, sometimes I hear one word. An unusual word that I have to look up. If I get a whole story, I have to get up and write. I've gone to bed at 9:00 and been up by 2:00 writing. 

11. Please provide your links to social and books:

Debbie Zello Book list and links 

Facebook @
Twitter: @ZelloDzello1

Romancing Broadway by #DebbieZello 
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Barnes & Noble

Middle of My Bridge 
Amazon US
 Amazon UK

Shadow of Him
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Elizabet Under the back staircase 
Barnes & Noble 
Amazon US 
Amazon UK

The Viscount's Vices: The Love Story of Brook and William
Barnes and noble:
US Amazon:
Amazon UK:

Raising Ren and Cowboys: Sequel to The Viscount's Vices William and Brooks Love Story
Barnes and noble:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Love's Labyrinthine: Five Stories about Love's Twists and Turns
Barnes and Noble:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

The Kiss Me Chronicles: Four Short Stories about Love
Barnes and Noble:
Amazon US:
Amazon UK:

Amazon link 

Blog link

Facebook Page

13. Anything to add:
I find history so interesting. I had a teacher in high school that made it more than dates, wars and stupidity. She came to school dressed as a Pilgrim, witch, Colonial, and WW2 USO volunteer.  Everyone in her classes left with a renewed appreciation of those that came before us. She came to school wearing pantalets, chemise, and corset to show us the seven layers a proper Victorian woman would wear. After watching her get dressed, I was very happy to wear my jeans and tee shirt. 

About the Author:
Debbie has always been an avid reader, but writing was not her interest. That was until an illness gave her the time and inspiration needed to begin her journey in words. After writing down a few chapters of a story that had whispered into her head, she gave it to a few friends to read. The rest became her first book, The Kiss Me Chronicles. 
Debbie freely credits her stories to her muses, the characters themselves. They occupy her thoughts and dreams, presenting her with their narratives on their lives and loves. On occasion, she has tried to put her own take on their story, only to be quickly corrected by the true authors.
Debbie has traveled extensively and has a deep love of American history. Her novels are often based on historical events as well as places she has visited. She is also an amateur genealogist, having traced her own family roots.
Debbie currently has eight published books with many more in various stages of production, including a tetralogy of 'what or where is your safe place.' She is also branching out of the romance/historical romance genre to include a teenage appropriate story based on Dorothy's(The Wizard of Oz) great-granddaughter, Dee, and her adventurous shoes.