Monday, February 10, 2014

*BLOG TOUR* DEATH OF THE BODY by Rick Chiantaretto

Accepted Readers,

I am so excited to be part of this tour for DEATH OF THE BODY by Rick Chiantaretto! This book was one of my top favorite reads of 2013; it absolutely scared the hell out of me! I have a very special tour post for you guys, filled with various teasers, a giveaway, and an interview with the marvelous Rick along with an exclusive short story Rick wrote in response to one of my questions. I have literally been dying to share "Making Mine" from the very second I read it. *insert fan girl scream here*

I hope you enjoy my tour stop! Please take a moment to check out some of the other blogs that are participating in this tour, we have so much in store for you! *evil grin*

My review for Death of the Body can be viewed by clicking here.   
Title:  Death of the Body
Series: (Crossing Death #1)
Author:  Rick Chiantaretto
Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy

I grew up in a world of magic. By the time I was ten I understood nature, talked to the trees, and listened to the wind. When the kingdom of men conquered my town, I was murdered by one of my own—the betrayer of my kind. But I didn't stay dead.

I woke to find myself in a strange new world called Los Angeles. The only keys to the life I remembered were my father’s ring, my unique abilities, and the onslaught of demons that seemed hell-bent on finding me. Now I must learn who I really am, protect my friends, get the girl, and find my way back to my beloved hometown of Orenda.

 Add Death of the Body to your To-Read Shelf on Goodreads:

| Kobo | Barnes & Noble |

DEATH OF THE BODY is now available as an audio book,
Go check it out and listen to the sample

Everyone loves a teaser right? I have not one but several for you today! I don't know about you, but I think these teaser images are stunning! *click on the image to enlarge*

Rick Chiantaretto was kind enough to be subjected to a series of my crazy and off-the-wall questions... fortunately for me he isn't fazed by a little weirdness. This is without a doubt one of my favorite interviews I've ever taken part in, MANY THANKS to Rick! He is an outstanding and fascinating fellow indeed.

AW- Hi Rick! Could you tell my readers a little bit about yourself?

RICK- Hi Helena, and Accepted Wisdom Readers! Honestly, I think I’m not what you would expect a normal horror/dark fantasy writer to be. I think people sort of expect me to sulk in the dark, dress in black, and be un-bathed.

In reality, I’m a very extroverted introvert, love people, like color, and am properly groomed. And funny as hell, right?

I do like to write at night though. I find writing an escape where all the frustrations of the world can materialize in a way where they don’t have to hide from the darkness within.

When normal teenagers were taking out their frustrations playing bloody shoot-‘em-up video games, I was killing off my high school enemies in a novel (which, I’m sure in the present climate, would get me arrested… AND there is a copy floating around out there somewhere, damnit).

AW-  Is there a message in Death of the body that you want readers to grasp?

RICK: Is the right answer to this question “yes?” Because if it is I might get it wrong.

There isn’t a specific message that I hope changes the world in Death of the Body. My desire with the entire Crossing Death series isn’t to teach the world how to be a better place, but instead to poke at that little dark place we all have inside of us. What the lesson we learn from that becomes, I hope, will be entirely personal. For some, the reaction may be to dislike the book. For most, I think it will echo the darkness in each of the characters in the book.

Hopefully, it will make you uncomfortable enough to start asking yourself some questions about the world around you. If you do, regardless of what those questions are, then you got the message.

AW- What challenges do you face when it comes to being a writer?

RICK- Time is my worst enemy. I want to get books out as fast as readers can read them, and it’s impossible to do that. Death of the Body was an “on-again-off-again” project for 5 years. I get easily distracted with life, jobs, and people, and that makes it hard for anyone who wants to sit down and write 10,000 words in a day.

So finding time between full-time work, family obligations, friends, housework, and the distracting dog—that’s my biggest challenge.

AW- I loved your book it scared the crap out of me! So tell me, what scares you?

RICK- You probably won’t be surprised by the fact that I can sit in a dark room and spin so many scenarios in my own head that I end up terrified of absolutely nothing—I think we all do that. I do think that most of our fears are self-created, and I’m no different.

I did go on a hike with my husband a few years ago, and it was rather treacherous. For the first time in my life I found myself afraid of heights: not of falling myself, but of watching him fall.

So my fears definitely center on my loved ones: I don’t want to lose them, I don’t want to watch them in pain. When I was single and didn’t have anyone to care about, it was much easier to be fearless.

AW- What inspired you to write Death of the Body; anything based on real-life events?

RICK- The entire book series, except for book 2, was the result of two dreams that I combined into one story. Book two will be my fluff to fill in the missing pieces, ha.

From Max the dog, to Madame Lucacious’ test on the hillside, to the Death Ring and the surprise at the end of Book One, and even further on to the ending to the whole series, all of it was in a dream. I played Edmund, and as a result all of his losses were mine. It was my family, my friends, and my childhood (interesting how that plays into my fears, isn’t it, ha) that were betrayed.

As a funny side note: in my dream I had died and come back so many times, and had visited so many “levels,” that when my alarm went off and I didn’t have “the ring” on my finger I wasn’t sure if I was dead or alive, in the dream or out of the dream. I walked into a building where a friend of mine was standing, and asked her “can you see me!?” I wasn’t convinced that she could without the ring…Oops… that may have given something away from book 2 ;)

AW-  Which of your characters remind you most of yourself? Why?

RICK- Well, as I said I played the part of Edmund in the dream, so I would have to say that I see a lot of my hopes and fears echoed in his own. We are similar in our understanding of the world, in a way, in that our life experience simply doesn’t align with what we’ve been taught.

But I see myself in all of my characters. I hope I’m as bright and as snarky as Xia, I want to be as beautiful and forward as Nicholas. I want to be as loyal as Ralph.

But the one that might surprise you (and again, I’m giving something away here), is that I think I see myself most in Linda Rose. At least, I see the most of my DARK self in her.

AW- I heard that an ad for Death of the Body was banned recently because it is “offensive toward organized religion”… what are your feelings on this issue?

RICK- When I wrote the book, I didn’t think anything of the religious undertones. They make sense to me because that is how we are raised in the world—often with some religious background. The questioning of what our experience tells us vs. what we are taught is exceptionally close to my heart, so it makes sense to me that it would manifest in the book. It wasn’t until my PR representative mentioned that some people may be offended that I really started to think about it. Then, my final editor wrote me a note and said, “You might not just offend the Christians, but the Wiccans in this scene.”

I released the book anyway. I don’t find it offensive, and I think those who do haven’t resolved for themselves the question I’ve now mentioned twice: How do you resolve what your experience tells you is true, and what religion teaches you, when your experience doesn’t align with what you are being taught? Do you trust the teachings, or yourself?

I think for some people their experiences and their religious teachings line up. Those are the religious people who aren’t offended.

I think for some people their experience and their religious teachings don’t line up. Those who have chosen to trust themselves aren’t offended.

It’s those who are too afraid to trust themselves that will take offense. And that’s ok. I poked the darkness.

AW- Some scenes in your book were quite gruesome, as an author where do you draw the line on the gory descriptions/scenes? 

RICK- You know, I hear this a lot, but as I go back and re-read, while there is quite a bit of blood (in four scenes in particular), I think most of the gore is played out in people’s minds (*POKE*). We are our own worst enemy when it comes to what we experience with the horror genre. My goal was to bring you into Edmund’s world, but let you fill in the darker details.

I doubt I’ll ever write about entrails and body parts. The shock value of gore isn’t the kind of horror I enjoy. But you still may see entrails and body parts in my work—they’ll just be of your own creation.

AW- Are you currently working on any projects? (We would love to hear all the juicy details)

RICK- Well, I stupidly committed to finishing Death of the Spirit (Crossing Death #2) this year, ha. I hope to have it ready to go by late 2014. Then I’ll start Death of the Soul (Crossing Death #3)—which is planned as the final installment of the Crossing Death series.

But that won’t be the last you hear from me. I’m currently spinning my quintessential haunted house novel, which will be a standalone book. I am extremely excited for this one.

I also have another standalone novel planned that I’ve had in my head for years, which is an urban fairytale about a detective whose friends and family all start dying in fairytale fashion (poisoned apples and such).

AW- Now for my morbid question… How would you write your own death scene? (No, you can’t take the easy way out…we want gore)

RICK- Uh… I loved this question so much!

Well, it should be no surprised that I’ve already planned this out, should it? Since I am such a fan of writing about death it should also be no surprise that it’s gritty, yet romanticized (and therefore, not gory). I have written a short story exclusively for you (until this blog tour is over, hahaha). Enjoy!

AW- Sorry Rick, I couldn't wait any longer..I'm totally sharing the short story right now.  =-P

So without further delay, here is the Making Mine. 
Dear Friend,

I suppose we all want to leave our mark on the world, something for someone to remember us by, even if no one knows that the mark is specifically ours.

I was standing at the urinal with my hand pressed against the wall, my head resting on my forearm. I admit that thinking about leaving my mark on the world while standing at a urinal with my pants unzipped reminded me of my dog: he makes his mark on the world by lifting his leg and spraying what’s his.

He would be disappointed in me: just pissing away my piss.

I adjusted my stream so that a bit bounced out of the urinal and dribbled down the wall.

There. The wall’s mine.

Really though, I knew that it wouldn’t be long before some poor sap would have to push a bucket into the bathroom, carefully placing one of those “caution, wet floor” signs before moping up my dribbled urine and making the wall nobody’s again.

I don’t want to be a nobody.

But that’s why I had my hand on the wall in the first place. Believe it or not I didn’t have it there to brace myself against a giant stream of piss that could propel me backward if I didn’t brace myself and lean into it. I’ve met quite a few giant dicks in my life, but not the kind of dicks that could turn urinating into a one-man rocket show to the moon. Even the giant dicks don’t HAVE giant dicks—at least not giant enough to actually require their owner to hold onto the wall while peeing.

No, I had my hand there because I knew it would leave five greasy smudge marks just above the toilet, and for some reason, no one ever cleans those.

Seriously, just take a look the next time you’re at the urinal. Look down the row at them all. There’s always someone’s handprint.

So there. The wall’s still mine.

I’m usually pretty meticulous about washing my hands, but not today. Today, I want to leave little bits of me all over the place: a bit there on the wall, some on the door handle on the way out, some on the water fountain as I fill my drinking bottle.

I don’t know why, but today I’m just really afraid of disappearing.

Have you ever hiked Angel’s Landing? It’s this really beautiful hike in Zion’s National Park. The bathroom where I left my five greasy fingerprints is actually down at the trailhead.

The hike is pretty incredible, especially if you hit the trail the right time. Sometimes, the way the sun hits the red cliffs makes the sky catch fire. The hike isn’t too horrible either, although you know you’re in the last half mile of the hike when you run into the scary parts.

My personal favorite is the bridge of rock, about three feet wide, with thousand foot drops on both sides. For some reason, it’s not unnerving when you have a thousand foot drop on one side of a trail and can cling to a mountain on the other, but when both sides are cliffs, even with a three foot wide path to stand on, it feels like a soft breeze could be enough to send you plummeting over the edge.

They put up chains though, for most of the dangerous parts. That was fine by me, just more places to run my greasy hands over. I doubt that anyone cleans the chains.

So there. The chains are mine.

The top is quite spectacular. You can see the entire Zion’s canyon, and if you’re brave enough to get near the edge, you can see the Virgin River winding lazily at the bottom. I definitely had a fit of courage today. Not only did I see the Virgin River at the bottom but I sat on the very brink of the plateau and dangled my feet over the edge.

One woman decided that I wasn’t very smart. “You teenage boys all think you’re invincible,” she said. “Something stupid like that could kill you.”

I don’t think she expected what I did next, although I don’t understand why. Any boy stupid enough to be dangling his feet over a 1400-foot cliff certainly can’t be in his right mind anyway. So when I waved, and pushed myself over, she started to scream.

Dumb bitch.

So there. The bitch is mine.

Have you ever been bungee jumping? I haven’t, but I imagine the moment when the cord jerks you back upward must be rather thrilling. I wonder if the end of my ride will be similar?

I’ve planned this for a long time, actually. It’s quite thrilling to be falling through the cool air surrounded by the red rock of this beautiful landscape. When I’ve told people that if I had my choice I would die by falling, they always look at me in awe and wonder, and inevitably ask the same question: “What if you change your mind half way down?”

Well, if only they could experience what I’m experiencing now. The feeling in the pit of your stomach that rises and tickles only lasts a few seconds, and then everything is completely and utterly serene.  The entire world is seriously perfectly still, and the only way I can tell I’m still falling is that there is a roaring of air in my ears. It’s almost like white noise, like turning on one of those sleep machines to drown out the sirens on the street, or the neighbor’s barking dog.

It’s too peaceful to be terrifying.

They say a person reaches terminal velocity after 1200 feet, which equates to ten to twelve seconds of free-fall. I can’t really say for sure, but I do know that now it feels like I’m slowing down, almost hovering in the air. For a moment, everything is stopping and the world around me is in Technicolor. The sunset is beautiful, and I can’t tell if the red rock is staining the sky or if the sky is staining the rock, but everything is dancing with vivid waves of color, just for me.

I sort of need to pee again, but that’s okay. I know that every piece of me will soon belong to the world. All the urine, and blood, and skin and bone… it will all leave a mark.

So there. The world’s mine.
What did you guys think of Making Mine? I LOVED IT! So much in fact, I hid in the bathroom at work to sneak and read it the moment Rick sent it to me... a bit strange considering the story starts off in a bathroom huh? hehe It was faith I suppose. =-P

Leave a comment below telling me... how would you want to die?
I've often been accused of having done more in my life than the average person my age, but if I were completely honest I'd have to tell you my secret: I'm really 392.
So after all this time, I'm a pretty crappy writer.
I have one book published but out of print, one coming out soon, and a bunch half written (when you have eternity, where's the reason to rush?). I've been favorably reviewed by horror greats like Nancy Kilpatrick, and my how-to-write-horror articles have been quoted in scholarly (aka community college freshmen's) papers.

I enjoy the occasional Bloody Mary, although a Bloody Kathy or Susan will suffice.

Mostly, I just try to keep a low profile so people don't figure out who I REALLY am.

Check out these amazing prizes for the giveaway! Tons of cool stuff to win....including...yes you read that right....5 TAROT READINGS from Rick.

death 2

Rick is indeed a certified Tarot card reader...and most like certifiable.

Snarky Bloggers and Helena *Accepted Wisdom* can attest to his abilities.  Just....WOW! This is something you DON'T want to pass up getting the chance to win. Plus....look at all of the other amazing prizes!

Prizes are:
  • 1 $25 Amazon, B&N or Paypal gift card
  • 3 Amazon or B&N $5 gift cards
  • 5 Signed Print Copies of Death Of The Body ( US Only – Ebook & Amazon gift card for price difference for international winners)
  • 3 Audible audio copies of Death of the Body
  • 5 Tarot Readings via email by Rick Chiantaretto
  • 25 Mother Tree bracelets

Here is the teaser that helps to explain the Mother Tree bracelets. Beautiful isn't it?


This tour proudly brought to you by:


  1. Hi Helena and readers! I'm so excited about this short story. Please share away! If any of you have any questions for me that aren't answered here, don't hesitate to ask.

    And as always, THANK YOU!

  2. What an amazing story. Although it kind of makes me want to call Rick and ask if he's ok. :)

    1. Had I not been IMing him when I read it, I'm pretty sure I would've felt the same way Jammie! :)

  3. How would you write your own death scene?

    Well, I'd have to go down in a blaze of glory fighting for a good cause such as gay rights or autism awareness and education. The villain is society and their warped and deluded views of what is "beautiful" and "acceptable." Which, ironically, sounds much like our own society.

    I am mortally stabbed, yet I still have enough time to put a bullet in the head of society's leader freeing us from the cruel tyranny and making a way for my son to grow up happy and loved.

    Sounds kind of morbid to write my own death but somethings (my son) are worth dying for.

    Elizabeth H.

    1. Such an honorable and brave way to go! <3

      There is a poem by Tupac Shakur that reminds me of what you wrote... it's called "In The Event Of My Demise" it starts of like this:

      In the event of my Demise
      when my heart can beat no more
      I Hope I Die For A Principle
      or A Belief that I had Lived 4

      I love that you took out the leader... you without a doubt died for Principle and a Belief you stood for!

  4. My own death scene:

    This is easy. Man creates machine. Man relishes in their genius. Man made a mistake.

    The machines end up, as Ray Kurzweil said they would, rising up and taking over. There's nothing the humans can do, the machines are stronger and faster than we are. There is a war.

    All the humans are called to make a final stand, and I am with them. There's no hiding, the machines will find and hunt down every last human. In that final stand, I am taken down by a robot - unceremonious head smashing.

    (I can't see it happening any other way. Ray Kurzweil's Spiritual Machines was one heck of a scary book and it stuck with me!)

    1. I have the exact same fear Danica! Something like this is bound to happen... at least your death was quick. (but gruesome)

      I'm going to check out Spiritual Machines, I'm always looking for books that can scare the tar outta me!