Paranormal Party Guest – Tina Ferraro

Happy Halloween! It’s the last day of the Paranormal Party. Thanks so much for joining me and my YA writer friends as we celebrate the release of my debut book, This Is Your Afterlife.

My lucky last guest is two-time RITA®-nominated YA author and fellow cat lover, Tina Ferraro! We were introduced online by our mutual favourite person, historical romance author Anna Campbell, and finally met in person a little later. She’s funny and warm and one of the most generous souls I know. In addition to a love of all things Anna, we share a love of cats and peppermint tea. We once dined in West Hollywood alongside actor Topher Grace, who we now count as one of our closest friends. 😉 The covers of Tina’s sweet YA books are gorgeous, but I thought I’d show off her first one in the gallery below because it features a prom dress that looks uncannily like my wedding dress.

I invited Tina to talk about her upcoming novella, Half-Life (Shine/Leap Books). It’s got a Halloween theme and it’s perfectly paranormal!

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 Tina Ferraro

According to an old wives’ tale, a girl can get a glimpse of her future husband by gazing into a mirror at the strike of midnight on Halloween. Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking passed on by young girls.

I was about thirteen years old when word of it came my way, and while I was mesmerized by the prospect, I had more questions-­more worries­-than initiative.  What if my Mr. Right was hideous? Or old (you know, like thirty)?  What if I saw the weirdo who talked to himself in homeroom, or my best friend’s crush?  Or…or…what if I didn’t see anyone at all?  Did a no-show suggest I wouldn’t live long enough to get married?

Too much risk there.  Better to leave well enough alone.

But years later, as my writing career began to take shape, I revisited the mirror tale, realizing my fears were now what made it appealing. HALF-LIFE (Leap Books, 2015) was born, opening on teen Trisha and friends at a Halloween sleepover.  Trisha gets an eyeful in the mirror, not husband material, but her late twin sister, who is returning to try to keep her from a similarly early demise.

Part of the fun of making this sale was sharing the news with Vanessa, who’s been a valued friend since our meet-up at the 2009 Romance Writers of America Conference.  We’d both been nominated for Best Young Adult Romances in their contest’s published/unpublished categories, and after instantly hitting it off, decided to sit together at the award ceremony.  She wore her pink wedding dress, I wore my late mother’s charm bracelet, and we held hands for luck during the announcements of our categories.  Alas, neither of us won, but I like to think we got something even better from it: a lasting friendship.

Some months after the conference, I received a surprising e-mail from her: a thank-you for the feedback on an anonymous entry I’d judged in another writing contest.  It had been one of the best entries I’d ever judged, and I was delighted by this reveal on many levels.  Not only was Vanessa smart, charming and dear friend, ­but woo-hoo, could she write!

Since then, we’ve met up on both her continent and mine for meals and drinks and craft talk, have read bits and pieces of each other’s works-in-progress, and cheered the other on.

I was thrilled to hear she’d sold THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE to Bloomsbury Spark­-such a well-deserved recognition of her talent and perseverance.  Reading USA Today call her debut novel “a must-read” gave me chills.  And now comes the best part, cuddling up under my Scaredy Cat Halloween blanket, a bowl of trick-or-treat mini candy bars at the ready, and delving into Keira Nolan’s story, crossing from our world to the next as she goes about investigating her crush’s death…

It is an honor to participate in Vanessa’s blog tour.  I urge everyone to check out her marvelous book, and learn first hand what the buzz is all about!

– Tina

Tina, fantastic post. I can’t wait to meet Trisha! Thanks so much for being a terrific guest and dear friend. Thank you to all of my other Paranormal Party guests — Pintip Dunn, Amanda Ashby, Sara Hantz, Elizabeth Langston, Shea Berkley, Erica O’Rourke, Kim MacCarron, Stephanie Kuehnert — for posting such creepy but fun stories.

It’s almost time to wrap up this party. Before you leave, stick around and share more lore with us! We can’t get enough of the paranormal. How do you celebrate Halloween? Have you got a costume or party lined up? What’s the spookiest thing that’s ever happened to you? Luckiest thing? Strangest coincidence?


Last chance to enter my Rafflecopter giveaway! Click HERE to win a Kindle copy of my debut YA and a $50 Amazon e-gift card.


This Is Your Afterlife

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29 thoughts on “Paranormal Party Guest – Tina Ferraro

  1. Hi Vanessa and Tina! Great post and those Halloween gifs are sooooooo cute! Congratulations to both of you super talented writers with your successes! May there be many more to come!

    No Halloween party lined up for us but I did once attend a Halloween Party dressed as a pumpkin. Probably a butternut because all the cushion padding settled around my hips – so I had a large orange bum! Such a good look… actually I probably WAS the scary thing that night! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL, Sharon! I can picture you in that pumpkin costume and can’t help but think you wear the colour orange well! You may or may not want to know I’m making a pumpkin salad for dinner tonight…

      Thanks very much for coming to the last paranormal party post! (Sniffles) It’s been lovely to celebrate this milestone with you!


    2. Haha, Sharon, I love the idea of dressing as a pumpkin for a party! My husband and I once went to a Halloween party as rock stars. This started because my brother–a true rock and roller–had left his black leather jacket in our hall closet. My husband’s a pretty serious scientist type, but slick his hair back, don the jacket, and well, we were ready to roll…


  2. Hi, Tina! That story about the sleepover is similar to the Bloody Mary stories (at least one version.) Of course, i had to write a book about that. haha. My kids were into the whole say-Bloody-Mary-three-times-in-front-of-the-mirror thing, so I started doing research on the original idea. Alas, nobody really knows. The story “originated” in way too many places to be true. But one of the stories is that if you hold a candle and say her name in the mirror, if you look at the reflection behind you, you’ll see your true love or future mate. Or that Bloody Mary will scratch your eyes out, kill you, or drag you into the mirror to spend eternity with her. So, you see the problem. Which to believe??? I chose not to do it. Even for the research. 🙂
    Congrats about your sale. And the story sounds great. I can’t wait to read it. As I’ve loved all your books, I’m sure I’ll love this one as well. Finally made it to the dark side, eh? lol.
    Vanessa, thanks for providing so many interesting paranormal posts this week to celebrate your release of THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE. It was so fun! And quite educational as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kim! Your Ouija board comments on Stephanie’s post yesterday are still haunting me – LOL! It’s Halloween night where I am right now. Here are two things I won’t be doing:

      1. Holding up a candle to my reflection in the mirror and invoking Mary. (I’m sure she’d scratch my eyes out).
      2. Visiting the local cemetery where it’s clear some ghouls have escaped their graves. (See yesterday’s cemetery photos).

      One thing I will be doing is eating all the leftover chocolates that I bought for trick-or-treaters!

      Thanks so much for putting so much fun into the paranormal party, Kim! x


    2. Hey, Kim!!!

      What’s funny about the Bloody Mary lore is that I’d never heard of it until recently, since talking up word of the book/storyline has gotten out. I can’t help thinking that the game I heard about all those years ago is based on that! And I LOVE that you’ve got the scoop on that–thanks!

      And haha, made it to the dark side indeed…well, sort it. This one’s got a lot of my usual contemporary angst and laughs, too.

      Hope to see you at a writing conference again soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Tina, I’m so excited about HALF-LIFE’s twist on that old wives’ tale. Do I reeeeally have to wait till next year to read it? I guess I can always re-read your impressive backlist in the meantime. 🙂

    Thank you for joining the paranormal party and saying such lovely things! We’ve had a lot of unforgettable moments together. Lunch ‘with’ Topher in W. Hollywood, fancy feasting here in Sydney, awards ceremonies. And now this — a book release! Make sure you have your adorable cats nearby when you read THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE!


  4. Both of these stories sound wonderful. Memories of playing with my Ouija board are now swirling through my mind. I’m looking forward to reading your wonderful books!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, Vanessa, thank you SO much for allowing me to be part of your paranormal party! And I couldn’t be happier about your debut release of THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE.

    And for those who are wondering about our lunch with Topher Grace, the scoop is that Vanessa and I were “lunching on Sunset” a few years back, when she pointed out a handsome/familiar face at the next table. I agreed he was “someone…” When you live in L.A., as I do, that happens often enough, and it’s that old “tip of your tongue” feeling when you can’t quite come up with the words. She’s the one who nailed his name. And being he was close enough we COULD have talked to him if we wanted, we decided it counted. Vanessa and I had lunch with Topher Grace. And we’re sticking to that story. 🙂

    I also want to point out that the photo of us (at top) was from the first moments we met, at the Romance Writers of America conference in Washington, D.C., in 2009. The start of a lovely and lasting friendship!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tina, you’re more than welcome! I’m so happy to have you here. I love how that photo captures the very beginning of friendship.

      Thanks for recapping our “lunch” with Topher”! We were rather cool and blasé around him, and not all “OMIGODOMIGODIT’STOPHERGRACE!!!” I’m sure he appreciated that! But I wish we could have at least asked him to pass the salt or something!

      Now, it’s getting closer to midnight where you are. Be very careful around mirrors, won’t you?


  6. Tina, how lovely of you to stop by to celebrate Vanessa’s debut. I can’t wait to open this new book of hers, and I have to say yours has me intrigued now. Fancy seeing your sister in the mirror at Halloween!

    Sadly no Halloween dress ups for me – not a tradition where I’ve lived, but I’ve been to some memorable fancy dress parties in my time. I think my costume that struck me as most inventive was one I went to where the hostess was dressed as a cucumber sandwich, wearing a green garbage bag, a collar she’d made that looked like a slice of cucumber and with white bread sticky-taped front and back.

    Here’s wishing you both many more lovely lunches together, discussing your successes, and dining with stars!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Annie! Halloween wasn’t a big thing here when I was growing up. In the past couple of years, though, to our surprise, we’ve had darling little trick-or-treaters show up on our doorstep. The first time it happened, I didn’t have any lollies to give them. The next year, I bought a heap of chocolates, fully prepared to dole out Bounty bars to the little ghouls. But we didn’t get any trick-or-treaters. So…I had to eat all that chocolate myself. Imagine that…

      Love the cucumber sandwich costume. I went to a party a few months ago where you had to dress up as either book/movie title or song lyric (!). One guy turned up as Naked Lunch. He wore a nude-coloured bodysuit with sandwich fixings glued to it. Brilliant.

      Thank you so much for coming to the paranormal party!


  7. Haha, Annie, a cucumber sandwich! That IS creative! I’ve occasionally seen kids dressed as their favorite candy bars, but never a sandwich! Hmmm…peanut butter could be interesting!

    Thanks so much for weighing in!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you get a lot of trick-or-treaters in your area, Tina? Last night I spotted a few Spider-Men, vampires, and a couple of fairies. There was also a Dorothy. It would’ve been a great touch if she had a Toto in tow.


  8. Wow, I never heard of that mirror legend before, fascinating. And both of those books sound like a lot of fun. Our Halloween traditions include decorating our house with a scarecrow, pumpkins, leaves and a few black cats, inside and out. I like to dress up to hand out candy to the Trick-or-Treaters — nothing too fancy or scary for the little ones, though. This year, I’ll probably wear cat ears and draw a cat nose, whiskers and cat eyes on my face with eyeliner. And hope like heck all traces of it wash off. *G* Happy Halloween!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Diana, thanks so much for coming by! Halloween at your place must be fun! I love seeing how creative people get with holiday displays. Fingers crossed your “whiskers” wash off okay!

      I’m in Australia, so Halloween passed for us last night. My elderly black cat sat by the front door watching a parade of kids. He’s deaf now, so he can’t hear himself. He meowed VERY loudly and I think he scared some of the trick-or-treaters off!


  9. Hi Tina! Hi Vanessa!
    I’m late to the party, but I couldn’t let this party end one last time. Tina, your book Half-Life sounds awesome! I can’t wait to read it. And I love the story of how you and Vanessa met. It reminds me of when I met Vanessa – the part how you hit it off instantly and were blown away by how sweet and charming she was. It’s so cute how you held hands during the awards ceremony, and I agree completely: lasting friendship is so much better than winning.
    Vanessa, my dear friend, super duper congrats. This is the last time I will be saying this at your paranormal party, but just the beginning of me saying it during your long career. Thank you so much for inviting me to take part in such a wonderful event – I had a blast!


    1. Tina and Pintip, 2015 can’t come soon enough, when I get to toast your releases!

      So glad you enjoyed the festivities, Pintip! You were a terrific guest and your kind words brought a tear or two to the eye. It’s so wonderful when you find your “people” in the writing world. I have to give RWA a big shout-out for bringing us all together!


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