by S.O. Esposito
Have you ever been haunted by a goddess?
Over the past few years, a character named Alice has haunted me. She made her debut in a piece of flash fiction I wrote in 2011 called Mario’s Goddess. She now officially has her very own full-length story in my new psychological suspense, THE BURNING.
This book came to me differently than my cozy mysteries, and it’s a much darker tale. In the flash fiction story, Alice is the goddess of war and is locked up in a mental institution. Over the past couple years, her character wouldn’t leave me alone, but I didn’t know what she wanted. What were the opposing forces in her life? What was her story?
Some of her life came to me in pieces, scenes actually, that I dutifully wrote down over the years. She was a mother with two small children. She was orphaned at birth, spent her life in and out of a children’s home. She couldn’t remember anything before her thirteenth birthday.
I have to say, she confused me. Was she a goddess of war? Was she a human mother? Was this a fantasy story? Magical realism? Paranormal? And then it hit me. She was both a human mother and the goddess of war, and this was a psychological suspense.
They don’t call it multiple personalities anymore, now it’s called dissociative identity disorder, and this is what Alice has. Or does she? (I’ll let the reader decide.) One of her personalities is Kali, the goddess of war, and she insists she’s a goddess having a human experience. She’s also the one who gets Alice into serious trouble. Arrested for arson and murder, in fact.
As more of the scenes came to me, I knew Alice/Kali needed an antagonist, but what kind?…READ MORE
I just finished the most compelling book I’ve ever read! The Burning is so amazing, riveting, spellbinding engrossing novel that every woman should read & take to heart!! -Bonnie O. (Reviewer)
Now Available on AMAZON, NOOK, iBOOKS and KOBO
Alice Leininger seems to have the perfect life. She’s happily married, has two beautiful children, a close-knit group of friends, and a cause she cares deeply about. But beneath the surface, her world of safety and comfort is unraveling.
The periods of lost time she’s kept secret—even from her husband—are happening more frequently. She certainly doesn’t remember leaving her Sarasota home at three-thirty in the morning to burn someone alive. Now she sits in a Florida state mental institution, awaiting judgment on whether she’s fit to stand trial on charges of murder and arson.
While a psychologist works to help Alice face her past, her future depends on the answer to one question: How far did she go for justice?
*This book is recommended for mature audiences. While there are no explicit scenes of graphic violence, it does touch on mature themes.
How about you? Have you ever felt like you were haunted by a god or goddess? Do you believe in the Goddess of War?
S.O. Esposito began her writing career as a cozy mystery author under her full name, Shannon Esposito. She has four books in the PET PSYCHIC SERIES (misterio press) & two books in the PAWS & POSE SERIES (Severn House). But to keep her muse happy, she’s ventured into darker territory with her suspense debut THE BURNING. She lives in the sunny state of Florida with her husband, twin boys and two mastiffs, where she is an avid reader, beach-goer and lizard wrangler.
We blog here at misterio press about twice a month, usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.
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K.B. OwenApril 10, 2018 at 9:44 am
This sounds fascinating, Shannon! It’s so cool when an idea grabs you by the throat, isn’t it? Best of luck with the launch!
Shannon EspositoApril 10, 2018 at 9:58 am
Thanks, Kathy! Yes, I think the best stories are the ones that seem to come from somewhere else and demand to be told. 🙂
Nolan WhiteApril 10, 2018 at 10:10 am
Shannon, the idea of a goddess of war caught me off guard, but it’s intriguing. My own novel has many “goddesses” who are so extraordinarily beautiful that observers refer to them as glamour freaks. Just wondering about the difference between fantasy and magic realism. How are they defined? Can’t wait to read The Burning to see how you transitioned from cozy mystery to psychological thriller.
Shannon EspositoApril 10, 2018 at 11:06 am
Hi Nolan. Glamour freaks sounds intriguing, especially if it’s in a YA context. Fantasy is usually when an author creates a whole new world where the magical/supernatural elements are logical and have rules that make sense within that world. (Think Tolkien) While magical realism is more about inserting magical elements into real life, asking the reader to suspend disbelief. (Think Rushdie or Haruki Murakami) I tend to get bored with writing a story if there’s not some type of paranormal or magical element to work with, but this book I sort of leave it up to the reader to decide if they want a supernatural or medical explanation. Thanks for joining the discussion!
Kassandra LambApril 10, 2018 at 11:25 am
To me, the sign of a really excellent book is when the characters linger with you for days after you’ve finished reading. This happened for me with Alice. I found myself wondering how things were going for her and for her friends.
Shannon EspositoApril 10, 2018 at 12:16 pm
That’s a good point, and I’m glad you connected with Alice at that level. To have a character live on in the reader’s mind long after the story is finished is the greatest compliment.
Vinnie HansenApril 11, 2018 at 7:50 pm
It’s a good read, everybody! I hope it flies off the shelves, Shannon.
Shannon EspositoApril 12, 2018 at 9:34 am
Thanks Vinnie, both for your support and invaluable editing input.