I wrote my popular paranormal (or is it paranormal?!) short story, “Family Secrets” when I received a call from my publisher, Uncial Press, to submit a short story. The genre was open; the storyline was up to me. I decided on a contemporary romance with a touch of magic... just like the touch of magic that I included in my Regency romance, THE MAGIC TOKEN, that recently was re-released by Uncial Press. I liked the idea of a tie-in to this Regency... not that there is a magic token, but that a love ritual was performed on Midsummer’s Eve back in 1802, and now in contemporary times with Talia Fanetti. More on this below in my connections to real life section!
Talia Fanetti longs for true love. She’s just gotten engaged to eligible bachelor Edmund Bartholomew, so she’s all set in the love department.
Or is she?
On a romantic getaway in the country, she learns her future in-laws live in a house awash with secrets. Talia soon makes a startling discovery: she has a secret as well. When Grandmother Bartholomew offers Talia a chance to find out who her true love is, will Talia have the courage to use the magic spell?
I also loved the idea that every character had something hidden from the others. After all, what family doesn’t have secrets? It was fun considering each and every person and then deciding what the mysterious secret would be.
Sometimes secrets can reveal your true love.
This book is part of the Uncanny Paranormals line.
Real-Life Tidbit: Back in Junior High (or Middle School as it would now be called) a very good friend knew of my interest in paranormal subjects so she gave me a little fortune telling book. This book also contained a few charms and ceremonies. In “Family Secrets” I based Granny’s book, THE SAGE SEER, on my friend’s gift--THE LADIES’ ORACLE--which was supposedly first publishing in the sixteenth century. I slightly altered the Midsummer’s Eve ritual for both “Family Secrets” and THE MAGIC TOKEN but the end result was the same: to see one’s future husband.
Talia sat near the edge of the stream, close enough to peer into the dark water. The moon seemed to shine a beacon right where she needed it. She could see her pale image within the water below.
If this secret ritual was successful, her image would be replaced by her true love's reflection.
Her heart beat faster. Will the magic work?
Only one way to find out. She adjusted her shawl around her shoulders, then got to work. Putting down her supplies, she dug a hole in the dirt just large enough to make sure the candle would remain upright.
She looked at her watch. It was time.
Swiftly striking the match, she smiled as the flame blazed into life. Then she lit the candle. Next, she picked up the apple in one hand and the rose in the other. With the rose, she made clockwise circles around the apple--seven times, as instructed.
By the time she'd finished, her hand shook. She set down the rose and picked up the candle. Bathed in the flicker of its light, she took a bite out of the apple. One bite was all that was needed.
Now for the moment of truth. Tensing up and holding her breath, she leaned over the riverbank to gaze into the water below.
Her large dark eyes blinked back at her. Her hair, mussed by the wind, looked as wild as a lion's mane against the white of her nightshirt.
She released her pent-up breath. Unless she was her own true love, no other image reflected back at her.
I hope you enjoy Talia’s true love story.
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!