Post by Christy Gissendaner
Baoule people of Africa’s Ivory Coast believe a parallel universe, called the
Blolo, exists where the spirits of newborns waiting to be born and the deceased
co-exist with the real world. Every spirit has a mate in the Blolo, who can be
enlisted to save their mate’s problems while in our world. Interesting? I
certainly thought so. Enough to write a Christmas novella centered on the
problems, infertility, and general unhappiness in the real world can be cured
by commissioning figurines of spirit mates. Blolo bian (males) and Blolo bla
(females) are generally carved from wood and are created to the specifications
found most desirable in a spirit mate. Food, money, and attention can be given
to the spirit mate to keep them appeased, thus allowing a person to find
happiness in the real world.
relationships are maintained between spirit mates, particularly in a dream
state. It is believed that nocturnal visits from a spirit mate will initiate
healthy interaction between a person and his or her physical mate.
detail is given to these figurines - plump bottoms, elegant necks, thick legs.
All the attributes desirable in a proper Baoule mate. Social status and
individuality is acquired by use of adornment, costume, and hairstyle. Even
skin tone is considered when commissioning a spirit mate statue.
primitive…yet romantic...practice provided the inspiration for Christmas
Spirits, a holiday themed novella set in modern-day Georgia. A chance reading
in an old encyclopedia and Tedros, the “spirit” of Christmas Spirits, was born!
The story is meant to portray the reality of spirit lovers, and I took a very
atypical approach to most romance novels.
reading to learn more about Kia’s quest for happiness and just what role Tedros
plays in her search for happiness.
Contemporary, African American, holiday romance
Kia Mays has
little time for anything as her lifelong dream of being a fashion designer
comes to fruition. For Christmas, she takes time out of her busy schedule to
visit her family in Georgia where her beloved grandmother, Naya, reveals a
secret of her Baoule heritage.
In Baoule, located
on the Ivory Coast of Africa, the people believe in spirit lovers, which you
are separated from at birth. Tedros, Kia’s lover from the spirit world, appears
to her and reveals that he is there to assist her in finding a mortal lover.
Elliot Melton, the
brother of Kia's new sister in law, is also invited to share the season with
the family. With the help of a meddling grandmother and an otherworldly spirit,
Elliot and Kia soon find out that Christmas is the best time to fall in love.
motioned her toward the living room with a smile. “Sit down.
I’ll be right back.”
was the same one that had been in the home Naya had shared with Geoff for
decades. It was worn and threadbare, but
into the cushions with a heartfelt sigh of relief, dropping her head against
the crocheted afghan that always hung on the back of the couch. Not a thing had changed except the fact that
her grandfather wouldn’t be there to greet her.
several times to clear her eyes. It was
their second Christmas without Grandpa Geoff, and it still saddened her whenever
she thought of him.
up expectantly when Naya appeared carrying an item wrapped in tissue
paper. Naya glanced at the gift in her
hands, then gave Kia a considering look.
Her dark eyes seemed as if she held the secrets to all life’s
mysteries. “I’ve never shared this with
anyone but your grandfather. Not even
with your mother.”
Kia sat up
straighter. It wasn’t like Naya to beat
around the bush. She was about as
straightforward as they came. “What is
beside her, still cradling the item in her hands. “The others wouldn’t understand, but
you…” She paused to touch Kia’s
cheek. “You’re the most like me. You’ll understand the importance of what I’m
about to show you.”
used to her grandmother’s dramatics, but this was different. A force inside her recognized the truth of
it. She barely drew a breath as Naya
unwrapped the tissue paper to reveal what was beneath. She didn’t know what to expect, but it surely
wasn’t what was revealed.
at the wooden figurine with a puzzled frown.
“No, not a
doll.” Naya’s wrinkled fingers stroked
the figure gently. “It’s your soul
Naya? I hate to disappoint you, but I’m
not really into wood. Rubber, maybe,
bifocals, the rolling of Naya’s eyes seemed overly pronounced. “Hush your mouth. He may hear you and take offense.”
deepened. Naya was getting on in years,
but Kia had never suspected senility.
“Perhaps you should rest.”
her a stern look, one that brooked no argument.
“I’ve not lost my mind, Kia LaShae, and shame on you for thinking
so. This figurine…” she held it up to
the light. “Is the physical
reincarnation of your spirit lover, the one you’ve been separated from since
birth. The one you will rejoin in
lover, hmm?” Kia tilted her head to one
side and studied him. “He’s a bit
smaller than I would’ve liked.”
Naya put a
hand to her forehead and mumbled a few words of her native language, ones Kia
doubted were very complimentary. “In
Baoule, when you experience bad luck with your flesh and blood lover, it’s
because your spirit lover needs to be appeased.
You must show attention to him to end the bad luck.”
the figurine from Naya and turned it over in her hands. “Nice ass.”
like you poking fun at him,” Naya warned.
poking fun? He does have a nice
ass.” Kia pulled up his shirt and ran
her forefinger over his ridged wooden abdomen.
“Nice six pack also.”
him according to your specifications.”
an eyebrow. “I didn’t say anything about
a six pack, Naya.”
grandmother shrugged. “I took the
liberty of adding a few of my own.”
the waistband of the hand sewn, miniature jeans he wore. “Really?
Exactly what sort of traits?”
slapped a hand over hers. “Later,
Kia. First I must know if you have any
the figurine, her supposed spirit lover, on the coffee table and crossed her
legs. “Yes, I do. Did you forget your medication? You don’t seriously expect me to believe this
mumbo jumbo, do you?”
ever lied to you?”
that bit about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.”
Christy Gissendaner is a paranormal and
contemporary romance author who believes laughter and love should go hand in
Christy lives in
Alabama with her husband and three sons. She’s always hard at work on her next
novel, but in her spare time she loves blackjack, karaoke, and anything
resembling a vacation!
‘philanthropic + epiphany’ (=so much to give + vision):ReplyDelete
~let these two words be the start of your journey~
I looove RITErs;
I looove giving'm new opportunities
for thots/ideas/structural integrity,
taking'm in a completely-new-direction:
Why else does a moth fly FROM the night
than to a bold, attractive candle Light??
Don’t let His extravagant Brilliance be extinguished.
You’re creative, yes?
Then, fly-away with U.S. to the antidote…
Whether you obtain moralityB4mortality to wiseabove
or just glean tantalizing specimens for thy next best seller,
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withe extraordinarily explosion of maelstrom mellowdramatic??
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the greatest of these is love –
jump into faith…
and you’ll VitSee with love”
Doesn’t matter if you don’t believe (what I write);
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Meet me Upstairs, girl, where the Son never goes down
from a super-passionate, lucrative iconoclasm where you’ll find
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Do it. Do the deed, dude. Sign into the Big-Zaftig-House.
PS “It is impossible that anyone should NOT receive all that they have believed and hoped to obtain; it gives Me great pleasure when they hope great things from Me and I will always give them more than they expect”
-our Lord Jesus to Saint Gertrude
...think about it, girl:
if 1-outta-1 perishes in 88ish years;
then, how WE sinfull mortals have lived
is where we go for eternity, Up or Down,
Seventh-Heaven or the Abyss o'Misery.
Life is extremely tough now…
yet, life’s extremely short now.
And Satan’s working overtime.
I Choose Heaven.