Oct 29

Very Superstitious Anthology: Guest Post from Dianne Salerni

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Verysuperstitious Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Very Superstitious: Myths, Legends and Tales of Superstition!  This is an anthology of short stories from a variety of different authors.  Here’s more details about the book:

The stories are based on urban legends, myths, tribal tales and superstitions from around the world.  A charity anthology to benefit SPCA International with stories by Shannon Delany, Jackie Morse Kessler, Stephanie Kuehnert, Jennifer Knight, Marianne Mancusi, Michelle E. Reed, Dianne Salerni and Pab Sungenis.

Find the book on Goodreads

Purchase the book:  Amazon | Kobo


I have a guest post from Dianne Salerni, who contributed the story Bloody Mary to this anthology.  This story is a fast read but was rather enjoyable to me, being that it was set around the time of the Civil War.  If you ever played Bloody Mary as a kid, this story may make you glad you never saw anything in your mirrors on those occasions!

Here’s Dianne’s inspiration for the story:

What Inspired Me to Write My Book

When Georgia McBride invited me to be a part of the 2013 Month9Books charity anthology, she said I could contribute a retelling of a legend from any culture – including urban legends. And I immediately knew what my legend had to be, the only one it could be.

I don’t remember how old I was when some girl at a slumber party told the story of Bloody Mary, or Mary Worth. But I remember everyone at the party was dared to go into the bathroom in the dark, look in the mirror, and say her name three times. Not one of us was brave enough to do it, because Bloody Mary would appear and scratch our eyes out.

I think there were two major reasons this story haunted me long after that party. The first was my fascination with the supernatural, and the second was my exceedingly poor eyesight. In the dark without my glasses, my own image in the mirror was nothing but a dark blur. Was it really me? Or someone else? I’d heard my doctor tell my mom that if my eyes got any worse, I’d be legally blind. Blind! Was I safe if I didn’t say her name aloud? What if I just thought it – and accidentally thought it three times? Have you ever tried to NOT think about something? Suddenly you can’t think of anything else!

From that point on, I always turned on a light when I had to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Or I kept my eyes on the floor, on the sink – anywhere except at the mirror in the dark.

I wish I could say I outgrew that fear. But it became too ingrained a habit. I am still skittish about looking at a mirror in the dark without my glasses, which is an embarrassing thing to admit at my age.

So, I told Georgia yes, I would write a story for her anthology. And then I did my research. There are countless versions of this urban legend. Her name is Bloody Mary, Mary Worth, or Mary Worthington. Sometimes she is the spirit of a young woman, sometimes an old witch. Sometimes she claws your eyes out; sometimes she cuts your throat. The legend can’t be traced back to any real person, however it is often linked to a 19th century party game where girls called upon a spirit in the mirror to show them the face of their future husband.

I decided that my story for Very Superstitious would begin in the dark with two jealous cousins: Marianne and Mary Louise Worth.

Two Marys and a mirror.


Dianne Salerni

DIANNE K. SALERNI is a fifth grade teacher by day and a writer by night. She’s the author of YA historical novels, We Hear the Dead (Sourcebooks) and The Caged Graves (Clarion/HMH), and a forthcoming MG fantasy series, The Eighth Day (HarperCollins 2014).

The Caged Graves is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and We Hear the Dead was the inspiration for a 10 minute short film, The Spirit Game, which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.  http://vimeo.com/64738099

In her spare time, Dianne is prone to hanging around creepy cemeteries and climbing 2000 year-old pyramids in the name of book research.

Connect:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Information:

  • An ebook of each authors’ work (INT)
  • One (1) physical copy of the Very Superstitious Anthology (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  1. 11

    I am superstitious about bad dreams or bad omens.

  2. 10
    Buddy Garrett

    I am not very superstitious but I try not to break a mirror indoors or elsewhere. walk under ladders, turn my hat when a black cat crosses the road in front of me-oh darn I’m not wearing one or walk on cracks.

  3. 9
    Shari Klyn

    I stay away from the number 666.

  4. 8
    Steven Phillips

    Numbers, especially 3 and multiple of

  5. 7
    Ed Nemmers

    I am superstitious of Melanie Griffith’s facial work.

  6. 6
    Debra Holloway

    Mine superstition is breaking a mirror and 7 years of bad luck.

  7. 5
    kristin sims

    i am superstitious about black cats running in front of my path!

  8. 4
    ron frampton

    the number 13

  9. 3

    I don’t have any superstitions. When I was a kid I did the whole “don’t walk under ladders” “throw spilled salt over your shoulder” thing, but mostly just for fun, not because I believed 🙂

  10. 2

    This looks super cool!

  11. 1

    what i a m superstion aobut is not the ghost well i would love to see what happen to me in the futre

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