Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Interview – Tina Frisco

Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Welcome to the new series that is connected to Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore. After setting the cafe up last year I intend now to use as the focal point for all book promotions here on Smorgasbord. Once in the cafe, authors can be updated in the twice weekly posts with their new releases and also excellent reviews… but they can now also do a book reading and interview as they might do in a real bookstore.

I can think of no better author to kicke this new series off than Tina Frisco who is so supportive of all who follow her blog and on social media.  She is a friend, confidente and at times our conscience. Multi-talented with a deep understanding about all aspects of humanity, Tina is an example to us all of how we should treat people and animals.

This is intended to be an interactive interview with you the reader and it would be wonderful if you could therefore ask Tina your questions in the comments section. Tina will respond to those over the next couple of days.


First something about Tina Frisco

Tina Frisco is an author, singer-songwriter, RN, activist, and student of shamanism. Born in Pennsylvania USA, she attended nursing school in New York and lives in California. She began writing as a young child and received her first guitar at age 14, which launched her passion for music and songwriting. She has performed publicly in many different venues. Her publishing history includes book reviews; essays; articles in the field of medicine; her début novel, PLATEAU; her children’s book, GABBY AND THE QUADS; and her latest novel, VAMPYRIE. She enjoys writing, reading, music, dancing, arts and crafts, exploring nature, and frequently getting lost in working crossword puzzles.

Vampyrie: Origin of the Vampire

Welcome Tina and thank you so much for starting off this new series.

If one of your books was selected to be made into a film; who would you like to play your main character and why?

If my latest novel, Vampyrie, were made into a film, I’d want Julia Stiles to play Phoebe Delaney. She’s a strong dramatic as well as comedic actor, two qualities most evident in Phoebe.

Although Ms. Stiles is a bit older than Ms. Delaney, she has a youthful appearance. However, she’d have to be willing to dye her hair red and wear green contact lenses!

Changing the appearance of a novel’s protagonist in a script for the performing arts somehow invalidates the work for me. This was done when The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown was brought to the big screen, and I spent a good third of the film trying to reconcile the novel’s protagonist with the one before me in the theatre.

My second choice to play Phoebe Delaney would be Molly C. Quinn who played Alexis in the TV series, Castle.

Which four famous guests would you ask to a dinner party and why?

Tina Turner – American-born recording artist, dancer, actress, and author. Music and strong female energy are vital to the survival of humankind. Tina Turner is the epitome of a strong female and dynamic performing artist.

The Dalai Lama – Tibetan holy man and government leader. The world is in dire need of a formidable and compassionate spiritual presence exemplifying nonviolence and absolute awareness.

Woman Chief – warrior and chief of the Crow people. The energy of the Earth is female. As patriarchal dominance comes to an end, strong female guidance is the imperative for transitioning into the Golden Age of Enlightenment.

Oscar Wilde – Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet known for his ostentatious dress, brilliant conversation, and biting wit. Humor is to thriving what breathing is to life.

These four would make for some lively dinner conversation, don’t you think?

If you were offered three wishes to change the world, what would they be?

1. Destroy all weapons of war and prevent their re-creation by dismantling multinational corporations.

2. Encourage worldwide development of sustainable energy, organic farming, and natural forest conservation.

3. Teach children compassion and tolerance for diversity by establishing a weekly gathering, across the globe, where people of different cultures and religions sit quietly across from one another in pairs and do nothing but look into each other’s eyes for five minutes.


I was reading through the reviews for Plateau and it is clear that everyone who read the book was touched deeply in one way or another. Here is an extract from one of the reviews

You have the choice to nourish or you have the choice to destroy with your power,” is the statement made by Ruby Plenty Chiefs, and which begins the Prologue of Plateau, a superbly written book by Tina Frisco. In this spiritually guided story, the readers are introduced to the E’Ghali culture and its people in the experience shared by a young indigenous womon, W’Hyani, and guidance of the Power Deck Cards. In these pages, it is learned that to gain insight and meaning of life, one must observe and adhere to the value of each card; in doing this, it allows the individual to connect their physical life and their spiritual life on a conscious plateau.

Can you tell us the inspiration behind the story and also how long it took you to research the story?

In late 2011, I became very disheartened by the number of documentaries focusing on apocalyptic interpretations of prophesies in relation to the 2012 winter solstice. December 21st of that year marked the end of a 5,126-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. For the Maya, the end of a long cycle was always a cause for celebration. But many people today allowed fear to drive their thinking and determined humankind would be annihilated when that 5,126-year cycle ended.

In the early 1980s, I became apprenticed to a medicine woman. I knew the world was not going to end on 12-21-12 and felt compelled to inject a message of hope into our collective unconscious. Plateau was my way of doing that. No research was needed, as the story derived solely from what I’d learned during my apprenticeship, aided by my fertile imagination! This was not the case for Vampyrie, however. Extensive research was required; much more than I’d anticipated.

Apart from humanity you also consider animals to be very much part of our spiritual journey. Can you tell us of any particular experience you have had that touched you deeply and demonstrated this belief?

Much of my compassion for nonhuman animals stems from childhood abuse, both witnessed and experienced, perpetrated against both humans and nonhumans.

A neighbor family of my Sicilian grandmother had a dog who was neglected to the point of abuse. He was kept outside on a short leash, his fur was matted and knotted, and he had a terrible odor about him. Whenever anyone other than immediate family approached, he would growl, bark ferociously, bare his teeth, and eventually foam at the mouth. I felt as much compassion as I felt terror. I knew he behaved the way he did because he was in great pain, both physically and emotionally. I wanted to hug and care for him while simultaneously wanting to flee for my life. One doesn’t forget an experience like that.

It is clear that love and understanding lie at the heart of your writing. Particularly in your posts on your own blog and as a guest. Difficult I know, but could you give us the message you would like spread around the world to achieve peace and unity…. In around 100 words?

If humankind is to survive on planet Earth, we must keep our hearts open. If we close them to one, we close them to all. So no matter how painful, we must keep our hearts open and act from love instead of reacting from fear. We must practice gratitude and compassion within every moment and with every breath. In so doing, we will elevate the human species to a higher consciousness, facilitating peace, unity, and love.

Tina will now give us a book reading from her book Vampyrie.

She struggled to open her eyes against a light that glared with penetrating force. When she realized she was in a strange environment, she bolted from the sofa on which she was lying and ran across the room, knocking into several pieces of furniture along the way. She found the nearest wall, glued her back to it and pressed her hands flat against the surface, ready to spring on a moment’s notice.

“Where in the hell am I?” she shouted to whoever might be listening.

“You are in The Haven,” a voice answered from across the room.

She spun her head in its direction and squinted to adjust her vision. A lean-figured man was sitting in a chair with a book on his lap. He appeared to be in his early forties, with chestnut hair greying at the temples and parted to one side.

“Well how in the hell did I get here?”

“You fainted. I carried you.”

“Fainted? I don’t faint. I’m not the fainting type. And what’s The Haven? Where is it? And who in the hell are you?”

The synapses in her brain fired so quickly that she barely kept pace with her thoughts.

“Forgive my lack of etiquette, madam. I am Sir Michael Allan David. I found you lost in the catacombs and brought you to my dwelling. It is called The Haven, for it is the refuge of The Vampyrie.”

“Vampyrie? What in the hell is a vampyrie?’

“I will tell you all you need to know when I return.” He stood and placed his book and reading glasses on the small table next to his chair. “Now excuse me for a moment while I leave to prepare us some libation.”

Phoebe opened her mouth to respond, but before she could utter a word, he quickly added, “And I would be greatly obliged if you would cease using the word ‘hell’ in every other sentence. Cursing does not become you.”

Then he disappeared out of sight.

Not to be outwitted, Phoebe shouted, “And I would be greatly obliged if you would cease calling me madam. ‘Ms.’ is the correct form of address nowadays.”

She shook her head hard from side to side, attempting to clear her mind. Libation, cease, obliged, dwelling – who talks like that nowadays? And catacombs . . . in North America? The more she questioned the legitimacy of this man, the more she questioned the reality of her situation. As her thoughts collided with one another, she teetered on the brink of overload.

In an effort to wake up from what she hoped was a nightmare, she shook her head hard several more times. It didn’t work. She closed her eyes and repeated the action; but when she opened them again, the scenery hadn’t changed. This was no dream. She was where she was and had better get a grip.

Within that moment of decided resignation, it dawned on her it would be wise to orient to her surroundings in case she needed to make a quick exit. Her eyes darted around the room, looking for doors and windows. It seemed as though she’d entered a time warp.
The furniture was beyond antique, with frayed upholstery and wood that was scratched and worn. Wall hangings were faded black-and-white or sepia prints. A large threadbare tapestry hung over the fireplace. Lamps were cast iron with sickly yellow shades. The wallpaper peeled at the corners and along several of the seams. All windows were covered by heavy drapes drawn from one side to the other, making them appear like oppressive shrouds rather than potential exits.

Had she stepped into a Charles Dickens novel? And where were the doors? Were there any aside from the one through which her captor had departed?

And then, of course, there was Sir Michael. He spoke with a British accent, but Vampyrie sounded Norse. Not only did his home look like a bedraggled portrait of antiquity, he himself looked like a relic. His grey suit bordered on threadbare, and he wore an ascot. His cheeks were a little sunken and very pale. He had an odd odor about him; not repulsive, just unrecognizable, almost mysterious. She wasn’t afraid of him, yet she thought she should be.

The pitch-black, moss-filled tunnels were bad enough, but this place was downright creepy; the kind of creepy that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and run for cover. What on earth had she gotten herself into? This couldn’t possibly be the home of the gentleman who’d rescued her. Yet she knew he and the ash-white token of a man she just met in this room were one and the same.

Her knight in shining armor was at best a vestigial man, a remnant of the past.

Here is one of the reviews for Vampyrie.

Normally, I am not a fan of vampire or other “monster” genre stories, but when I read the book’s description along with Frisco’s idea for the book, I was intrigued. Plus, I am fascinated with the Viking myths. As I read this, it reminded me loosely of an old 70s movie, “Frankenstein: The True Story,” which told the classic monster story from a psychological and scientific point of view.

Author Tina Frisco offers a compelling and realistic view of the origin of vampires. The characters in Vampyrie are believable, although their penchant for keeping secrets delivers the story slowly, like the peeling of an onion, but with good results. The inexorable development of the heroine, Phoebe, is satisfying to see as she comes to grips with her past and her true identity.

This is not your average horror-genre vampire story, complete with bloody fangs, but a scientific, what-if story that is guaranteed to draw the reader into its paranormal plot with a sci-fi twist. Frisco’s writing is on-point, snappy and consistent. This is a page turner that will hold a reader’s interest for hours! What the “Twilight” series did for paranormal romance in the world of vampires, Vampyrie does with a realistic, medical explanation for the origin of the vampire.

Also by Tina Frisco


Read all the Reviews and buy all the books:

Here is how you can connect to Tina on her website and social media.

Website ~
Amazon ~
Facebook ~
Twitter ~
LinkedIn ~
Google+ ~
Goodreads ~

My thanks to Tina for starting this series off in such style and I am delighted that we have a wonderful guest list for you in coming weeks.

Please leave your questions for Tina in the comments section and she will answer them over the next couple of days.  Thanks Sally

If you would like to be on the shelves of the Cafe Bookstore or are already an author featured and would like to participate in this book reading, please take a look at the link.



122 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Interview – Tina Frisco

  1. Pingback: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Interview – Tina Frisco | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. This is a splendid idea, Sally. Lovely that you started with Tina’s book. My Mother is currently reading this. I wonder, Tina, if horror is a genre you read? Your book certainly is not the standard take on vampires based on the reviews I have read [my Mom hijacked this book on its arrival so I have to wait my turn to read it], what genre do you consider it to fall into?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Pingback: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Interview – Tina Frisco | Annette Rochelle Aben

  4. I enjoyed reading Tina’s interview. Always find a new morsel of interest about her.
    So, Tina, are you working on a new project and can you give us a hint what it’s about? Do you still work? How do you find the time to write? ❤ 😀 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Tess. Like you, I’m retired. It’s not so much about ‘finding’ time to write as it is about ‘making’ time to write. When I look back on the time before I retired, I wonder how I accomplished all I did. Now that I have those ‘extra’ eight hours a day, I seem to have less time than before! Time really is an illusion 🙂 I haven’t begun work on a new project, but I have several things in mind. One would be a sequel to Vampyrie and Plateau. Since two major characters from Plateau have dominant roles in Vampyrie, a sequel might be taking those characters, along with major characters from Vampyire, back to the rural village of Plateau and see what could transpire… 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      • I haven’t read the book yet but somehow I picked up a sequel had a good possibility. Glad to hear it.
        I’ve been retired 10 years, Tina, and wonder the same as you. How on earth did I get anything done while working? For me easy answer: blogging. Hard time splitting time between blogging world and writing world. Sigh. I have a couple new projects but can’t seem to get to them: a non-fiction and possibly a fiction counterpart. What was it you said about time. Yeah. Right. o_O 😀 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      • So true, Tess. Blogging can consume an inordinate amount of time, between writing posts and commenting and replying, not to mention reblogging and commenting and replying. And then there’s sharing the posts on social networks and replying to comments. I do hope you get to those projects soon, not only for your own satisfaction, but also because I love your writing. Maybe the solution is not to think at all about time and simply follow our passion in the moment; and then trust that all else will fall into place… 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What a powerful interview. Tina’s insight and compassion never cease to engulf me. We need to spread her messages of peace, humanity and compassion, far and wide.
    The story about the smelly, angry, abused dog was a poignant example of what inhumanity can do to a person or animal. Nobody is born angry – fear and abuse are powerful actions that can overtake the human psyche and spirit, and bring out our defense mechanisms, such as negative emotions, in order to survive. Tina Frisco for President! xoxo ❤ ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This was fun! I like your three wishes, Tina. They work for me too! I enjoyed hearing about how your books came to be, how your personal experiences formed who you are today, and more about your diverse writings. Lovely post 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Reblogged this on TINA FRISCO and commented:
    Please join me in Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore for my Book Reading and Interview, a new series on Sally Cronin’s blog. For those of you who don’t know Sally ~ and I’m sure you are few in number ~ she is a prolific writer and fervent supporter of authors, bloggers, and all creative artists. I am so appreciative of her, the passion she brings to blogging, and the open heart that informs her life 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  8. An excellent interview. A perfect start to this series. I love your choice of dinner guests, Tina. What will you ask Oscar Wilde when he attends your dinner party? I have always been fascinated by him and his wit.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Wonderful interview, Tina and Sally! Tina, have you read any of Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s books? She wrote series of historical horror novels about the vampire Count Saint-Germain. (I wouldn’t necessarily call them horror, but that’s what they are termed on the net.) I read them back in the 80s. Her hero is a vampire but he’s also, well, a hero. It’s fascinating to see how he lives through different time periods, beginning with ancient Rome. There’s a ton of history and social commentary in Yarbro’s books which I really enjoyed.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Great interview, Tina. I think the chat around your dinner table would be fascinating! I also really like the sound of sizzling rice soup and vermicelli with garlic butter sauce. Any chance you’d share the recipes?
    I’m so late to the post because I’ve been out all day/evening and everyone has already asked many questions. I was particularly interested in the answer to the one about which genre you write in. I know having the labels is supposed to make it easier for readers to find what they want but my books don’t fit into one or the other – glad to see I’m not the only person who finds genre labelling a bit frustrating.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Mary. You’re definitely invited to the dinner party! Alas, I have no recipes. Sizzling rice soup is my favorite Chinese dish, and I always order it when going out to dinner. As to the Vermicelli… My Sicilian grandmother never wrote anything down. I moved away from home at age 18, an age when we’re not yet considering the consequences of mortal life. My sisters tell me they got most of our grandma’s recipes by having her make each dish as they watched; a massive undertaking, especially since she also made her own pasta. But since, for the most part, I don’t cook (boil water, you say?), I’ve not been inclined to ask for those recipes. When rarely I do make a ‘reciped’ dish, I fly by the seat of my pants!

      I agree that genre labeling is frustrating. It’s also confining. Even adding subcategories doesn’t do many a book justice. This is one area where brick and mortar bookstores excel. Publisher representatives meet with book buyers and bring hard-to-categorize books to the buyer’s attention. We need online pub reps for indie authors 🙂 💜

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Pingback: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Interview – Tina Frisco | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

    • Thank you, John. We definitely need more and better laws dealing with animal abuse. The public is slowly becoming increasingly aware of this issue, thanks in large part to the growing number of animal welfare and animal rights organizations. The Animal Legal Defense Fund based in San Francisco was founded by attorneys in 1979. Their mission is ‘to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system.’ We need more groups like ALDF, because those who perpetrate crimes against animals see them as inferior beings, as objects to be owned and handled in any way they see fit ~ much like the tenor of societal sentiment regarding women and other ‘minorities’ not too long ago… 💜

      Liked by 2 people

      • I like the reference to gender and ethnic rights. I see animal rights in the same light. My wife and I volunteer for a rescue organization and I’m always surprised at how the legal system looks upon these offenses as somewhat less important. I’m reminded on how the system used to brush sexual assault cases under the carpet. I love the idea of ALDF and hope their work expands. Thanks, Tina and best wishes to you.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Janice. I suppose my favorite genre to write in is Mystery and Adventure with a Paranormal Twist. I just made that up, didn’t I ? No such genre exists as such, but I can’t imagine writing a story that doesn’t include all of those elements; unless, of course, it’s a children’s book. Why? It’s what I like to read. More accurately, it’s the type of film I most enjoy. Give me a good murder mystery with a lot of adventure and a dash of the paranormal, and I’m a happy camper. And oh, add to that a tub of buttered popcorn 🙂 💜

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I thoroughly enjoyed your interview, Tina. Your three wishes to change the world coincide with mine, and “what a wonderful world this would be” if they were to come true! Your dinner guests are very exciting, and quite varied. How would you approach the Dalai Lama? He is one of the people I most admire and respect.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Hi Tina! I’ve come very late to this, having buried myself in research for new novel and pancakes for a late Shrove Tuesday, but now I’m here I’m hugely impressed by your eclecticism and general wisdom. What a wide range you cover. I’d like to see you write from your experience about a singer songwriter now – have you done that already or might you have any plans for the future? (My son’s a singer songwriter, hence the personal chord struck, quite apart from all the brilliant singer songwriters in the world already. ) I do like it when one craft/art (writing) discusses another craft/art (music).

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Wonderful to see Tina here, Sally and great interview between you both. xx Tina, you mentioned that you had been apprenticed to a medicine woman, how did this come about? Have read Vampyre and loved it. Having a keen interest in Vampires since childhood this novel took a different approach which works very well. Also loved the characters. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for the question, Adele, and for reading Vampyrie. I’m so glad you enjoyed it and appreciated the characters.

      In 1983, a friend gave me a book and said she knew it would speak to me. Shortly thereafter, I learned the author was engaged to speak at a venue in a town an hour’s drive away. It was a weekday evening, and I would have to navigate rush-hour traffic to get there. It had been a hectic day at work, and I decided not to go. But the universe had other plans. My car mysteriously turned on to the freeway and headed in the direction of the venue. I was well into traffic before realizing what had happened. That’s how I met the medicine woman to whom I became apprenticed. I studied with her for many years and continue my spiritual practice to this day 💜

      Liked by 2 people

  15. What a beautiful interview, Tina. You captured my beliefs in your message to the world, and in the process warmed my heart. Blessings….

    Thank you, Sally, for hosting this wonderful interview with Tina. ♥

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Sally, this is a wonderful idea – bless you! I’m so happy to get to know more about Tina and her journey. As I read your comments about non-human animals, I was reminded that my wife, Anne, believes fervently that people who do not love animals, cannot truly love other humans either. Thanks for sharing your ideas and experiences with us, Tina!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Tina, how cool is this. I love this interview style. It is wonderful to read a part of your book. I have not had time to read it yet, but it is going on my list. You have a superb writing style, but this is definitely a page turner. Thanks, Sally, for posting this interview. It makes me rethink my interview style on Always Write.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. What a fantastic interview! I have purchased Vampyrie and excited to read it, especially after reading the excerpt. I am also fascinated with Plateau because I have been influenced tremendously by my Native American (Mohawk) heritage. In my life I have made the effort, as you have written, to “connect the physical life and the spiritual life on a conscious plateau.” These are ancient teachings and I have recently been reading some of the existential philosophers works about authenticity and incorporating this into the book I am currently writing. Thank you so much Tina and Sally for welcoming me into this remarkable community.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re welcome, Luna. Thank you for your thoughtful comment and for purchasing Vampyrie. I’m pleased to learn that you consciously integrate the spiritual into your physical life on a daily basis. So many of us have lost touch with our true natures, the brilliant light beings that we are. I hope at some point you will share with us what you’ve learned about your Mohawk heritage and its ancient teachings. We desperately need to get back in touch with timeless truth… 💜


  19. Hi, Sally and Tina. I enjoyed reading this wonderful interview and learning more about you, Tina. I’ve added GABBY AND THE QUADS and PLATEAU to my ever tumbling TBR. Looking forward to reading them. It was great getting to know more about you.

    Liked by 2 people

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

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