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.



Smorgasbord Christmas Party -Guest Tina Frisco with Jewel and the Christmas Tree

christmas party

I am delighted to welcome author and friend Tina Frisco to the Christmas party, with an ethereal short story about Jewel a little girl with special powers.

Jewel and the Christmas Tree by Tina Frisco

“Get away from that tree, you little gamine! I didn’t decorate it only to have you come along and ruin everything!”

His voice was harsh and threatening. Jewel ran all the way home as fast as her little seven-year-old feet could carry her. Mumzy was there ready to comfort, but they had no heat and the walls were stone. They also had very little else worth mentioning. But mumzy always made her feel safe and well-provided for.

The townspeople called Jewel’s mother Ruby, because when the sun caught her flaxen hair, it shone blood-red. They didn’t like her. She never hesitated to speak her mind. So whenever anything went missing from their yards or chicken coops, they blamed her. They thought she was dangerous because the thefts always took place at night.

To Jewel, Ruby was simply mumzy, the protector who loved her unconditionally. Mumzy always let Jewel light the fire in the cauldron that kept them warm at night. They would curl up together in a tiny nook in order to share their body heat.

Jewel dreamed of sparkling Christmas trees surrounded by ornately wrapped gifts, all bearing her name. A feast-laden table sat in the center of a huge dining hall, awaiting the smartly dressed guests. Cakes and pies baked in the ovens, filling every corner of the mansion with delectable aromas. The fortunate family was large, and all gathered together every year on December 25th.

Every morning, Mumzy woke Jewel in time for school. They had no refrigerator or cupboards to speak of, yet there was always cereal and milk for her breakfast. The kids made fun of her because she had only two dresses, one pair of badly scuffed shoes, and a threadbare coat that frayed around the cuffs and hem. She tried to ignore them, but it was especially difficult at holiday time. They also were afraid of her, because whenever she touched them, their hair would stand on end as if electrified. They called her the human generator.

Mumzy sent her off to school with a little brownbag lunch. Her teacher was stern, but Jewel had always liked her; until today. Today during spelling, teacher picked on her to spell every word beginning with “S.” The kids laughed and laughed. The harder they laughed, the more Jewel tried to make the “S” sound. But she could not. She looked to teacher for help, but the once rigid face now wore a smirk. Jewel was devastated. She flew out of the building and into the cold winter air.

Her eyes flooded with tears that froze and stuck to her cheeks. Her breath hovered in swirls of crystalline smoke. Her heart beat like a fist trying to get out of her chest. When she finally stopped running, she didn’t know where she was. There were very few houses and all of them sat on the hillside. She shivered in the cold under her thin cotton dress. Sitting on a flat stone, she rubbed her bare arms and legs in an effort to get warm. But the temperature plunged faster than her arms could move. The sun dropped below the hills, and the last bit of warmth disappeared. She lay down on the large stone and drifted into a frigid sleep.


Something tapped her on the shoulder. She tried to open her eyes, but they were frozen shut. Then a warm glow penetrated her entire body and she sat up. She brushed the snow from her arms and legs. The hillside glistened, winking like a gigantic bed of twinkling diamonds under the full moon. She felt an arm slide around her waist and instantly warm her.

“It is time, Jewel. Come.”

“Who are you?”

“My name is Sapphire, and I have come to take you home. But we have a stop to make first.”

“Where are we going?”

“We are going to the Christmas tree.”

The beautiful woman was dressed like the good witch in Peter Pan, but her skin was dark, and her hair was long and black and silken.

Jewel thought they were walking until she looked down. The hillside was a few yards beneath them. When they reached the crest of the hill, Jewel saw all the townspeople gathered around the magnificent Christmas tree on the other side.

“They do not know it, but they are waiting for you.”

“For me? But why?”

“You must light the tree.”

“I thought the lights just plugged in.”

“They do, but there is an electrical outage in this part of town. You will have to light the tree the same way you light the fire at home every night.”

As they glided down to the tree, Jewel noticed her dress was now a beautiful lilac color and her shoes were silver patent leather. Sapphire held her up to the angel on top of the tree and told her to touch it. The angel threw a light so bight that the whole town was bathed in ivory white. All the other tree lights shimmered in colors of red, green, blue, and yellow.

No one moved. No one spoke. No one saw Sapphire and Jewel. The rest of the town was still in darkness, but the Christmas tree shone brighter than it ever had before.

“It is time for us to leave.”

“But my home is over that way.”

“You have a new home now. It is the home that was in your dreams.”

Jewel was so happy. She threw her arms around Sapphire and kissed her on the cheek.

Then she remembered Ruby and felt very sad.

“I can’t leave mumzy. She needs me.”

“Ruby and I are old friends. I will watch over her as I have always watched over you. She

knows this. And she knows you are leaving.”

Sapphire pointed to the hilltop. The silhouette of a magnificent wolf stood outlined against the brilliance of the full moon. She threw back her head and howled to let Jewel know that she loved her and would see her again soon. Then she darted away before the townspeople had a chance to turn their heads.

Ruby returned to her cave and was never seen again.

christmas party

Tina has written a book that would make a terrific Christmas gift for any family especially if there is another baby on the way.

51g5hqdj8tl-_uy250_About Gaby and the Quads.

Gabby is an only child who is about to become big sister to quadruplets! How will she handle this? Her parents decide on a unique approach to introduce her to and help her accept this awesome experience. Follow Gabby as she learns all about babies and the joy of loving.

Here are some of the reviews for the book.

Gabby is a single child that is about to have not one new baby brother or sister, but four!

As a parent, how can you make sure that your first born will not be filled with jealousy and insecurities when she sees four new babies come through the door? If you had siblings or if you are the parent of more than one child, I am sure that you know what I am talking about! If you felt you had less attention from your parents when they were struggling to keep the house together after the arrival of one baby, you can only imagine the consequences of a set of quadruplets.

In the book, Gabby’s parents decide to try a unique approach to get her support and secure her unconditional love for the little ones. Sure enough, Gabby reacts positively and is happy to lend a helping hand whenever it’s needed, which is always. The story has a happy ending, with the big family of seven enjoying each other’s company.

The book has the lovely illustrations of Amy Tokarczyk.

A delightful story! By Jan Sikes on December 26, 2014

If you are a mother or a father trying to deal with your children’s sibling rivalry, pick up this book today and read it to them. If Gabby was able to turn all her love and attention to her little brothers and sister, I am sure your little one will be able too.

This is a delightful story about an only child who is about to have four new siblings. Tina Frisco has written this story in a way that would be helpful to any household with a new (or multiple new) little ones on the way. The way the parents prepare Gabby to meet each child is insightful and shows a great method for involving the child with the new siblings.

The fact that this story is based on a real family makes it even more appealing. This book is beautifully illustrated. I loved that Tina included pictures of the family this story is about.

Entertaining and educational with great parenting tips.

Also by Tina Frisco – Plateau – Beyond the Trees, Beyond 2012


A Native girl’s adventures hold vital message for modern society on August 26, 2013

Read all the reviews and BUY the books:


Connect with Tina via her website:

christmas party

My thanks to Tina for sharing such a wonderful story and it would be great if you could sent it on its way so others can read it too. Thank you Sally