Saturday, October 31, 2009


A big thanks to the following authors and guest bloggers:


You guys all rock~!!


Vampire Boyfriend and Happy Hour at Casa Dracula:

Coffin Ring and Choker:


Congrats! Email me your contact information!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Last Chance to Win!

You have one more chance to win!

Tomorrow I will randomly select winners from previous polls and

Prizes include:

Two "Vampire Boyfriends" from Velvet Brown Studio

A Coffin Ring and Slit-throat Choker from Tiana Rutledge
and a copy of Happy Hour at Casa Dracula from Marta Acosta at Vampire Wire

Happy Halloween Eve!

To enter, leave me a message telling me why you find vampires so attractive

Be sure to enter here to win a copy of Michelle Hauf's new book as well!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Extra! Extra! Vampire Author Almost Faints at the Sight of Blood!

A big thanks to today's guest blogger!
Mayra Calvani is the author of 10 books for children and adults. Her vampire novel, Embraced by the Shadows, is available from Twilight Times Books. Visit her website here. Mayra’s dog, Amigo, has his own blog at

I’d like to share with you an ironically funny incident that happened to me two weeks ago. My tale involves vampires, a vet, and a golden retriever with an abscess on his head…

Since we bought our beloved golden retriever, Amigo, on February of last year, he had a small ‘ball’ on top of his head, close to the left ear. Dr. van Ketts, the vet, wasn’t sure what it was, so she said to wait and observe if it got any bigger. After all, he didn’t seem to have any pain at all. Well, as Amigo grew, the thing grew with him, so last week we finally decided to remove it. We went to the vet’s office early. She’d told me I could stay with Amigo during the whole procedure, so I was both glad and anxious. Though I trust this vet 100%, I’m always scared of the words ‘total anaesthesia.’ But anyway, to make the story short: while she prepared to sedate him, she asked me if I was afraid of blood and if I would be able to handle the operation. I said: “Are you kidding? I write vampire fiction!” I was so sure of myself, so cocky… that is, until she began cutting with the scalpel and all the blood—Amigo’s blood—started to flow. After a few minutes, as I held and gently stroke his stomach, I began to feel a soft whistling in my ears, followed by a tingling sensation along my legs, arms, and back of my head. My breath became short. The assistant told me, “You don’t look too good. Do you want to sit down?”

Yep, you bet. I sat down, leaned over, and brought my head between my knees (I’d read this was good in this kind of situation). The feeling of malaise gradually passed and I was able to join the operation once again—though by now it was practically over. Of course, this time I had the decency to look humble.

Dr. van Ketts put the small ball of flesh on a metal tray and cut it open with her scalpel. And do you know what came out of it? A lot of long blonde hair! It had been growing there since Amigo was a fetus. Weird stuff.

But what kind of vampire author am I, who almost faints at the sight of blood? Tsk, tsk, tsk… a total disgrace.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Vampires: Modern Day Heroes?

Thanks to Chrisopher Buecheler - author of The Blood that Bonds for today's guest post! Be sure to click the book link to visit his great book website and to get to know the characters in his free book!

Much ado has been made over the current "vampire trend" and its potential longevity. People are curious: why and how have vampires become so popular? What has caused them to capture the fancy of the mainstream public after years of being appreciated mainly by fans of the horror genre? The answer to that question lies in the slow move from terror to sympathy that people have made over the past few decades, due in large part to the efforts of many authors, screenwriters, directors, and other artists.

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, vampires were the bad guys. Remember those days? Dracula bending menacingly over a delirious Lucy Westenra; Kurt Barlow and his servant Mr. Straker slowly bringing the town of Salem's Lot to ruin; Keifer Sutherland and his cronies menacing Corey Haim's family ... vampires were nearly always portrayed as voracious, evil killers.

While Anne Rice's 1976 novel Interview with the Vampire was among the first works to lend a credible sense of humanity to vampires, and to look upon them with a sympathetic eye, it nonetheless cast them as dangerous outcasts, as much cursed as blessed. Since then, we've seen a slow but steady push by authors and moviemakers that has significantly changed the way vampires are portrayed in modern pop culture. While it's still very possible to find blood-sucking nasties haunting your bookstores and cinemas, more and more we're seeing a new theme.

Movies like the Underworld trilogy give us vampires who, apart from an allergy to sunlight and some spectacularly bad boob-jobs, are largely bereft of any of real weakness. Books like Twilight give us vampires who sparkle in direct sunlight and occasionally find humans very tasty-smelling, but are otherwise capable of blending in to a high school crowd without much question. The brooding vampire pretty-boy (or girl) has replaced the hideous, reeking half-bat creature crawling from a coffin filled with ancient earth in the popular consciousness.

Many modern vampires are more superhero than monster, usually possessing stunning good looks to go with a host of spectacular powers. They're often the story's protagonist, or at least a major character on the side of good. Even in a television show whose title contains the words "Vampire Slayer," we've been presented with at least one good-looking vampire who'd rather date humans than eat them.

None of which is to say that our vampires are super-men ... but most of us don't want Superman anymore, anyway, at least not as he was originally conceived. The concept of a perfect hero has become outdated, with characters like Batman and the incredibly screwed-up members of the X-Men holding the greatest public interest for the past few decades. Lately, though, vampires have fallen nicely into this "flawed hero" niche, which runs through human storytelling all the way back to the ancient Greeks and beyond.

Modern vampires may act nice, may possess many desirable abilities, may try to do as much good as possible, but there's no getting around the fact that they have to drink human blood to survive ... and few humans really dig the idea of parting with large quantities of their blood. This, then, is the flaw that allows for these characters who would otherwise be something more like gods than men to be identifiable. They're often tormented by guilt, feared by their fellow man, persecuted, hated, forced to live on the run. We can relate to these things on a more visceral level than we can relate to the ability to stop a moving vehicle by holding out one's hand (physics be damned). Bella isn't attracted to Edward because he's strong ... she's attracted to him because he's hot and broody and intense. Kind of like a guitarist in a local garage band, just with the potential to suddenly go berserk and tear her throat out.

Lest I be accused of condemning this transition, let me point out that my own novel, The Blood That Bonds, which I recently released for free, features several vampires who are, if not outright heroic, at least sympathetic. The lead protagonist is made a half-vampire without granting her permission first, and she's pretty ticked off by that, but it's not altogether very long until she's asking to complete the transition. Over the course of the book, she meets or hears about several other vampires, and some of them do indeed resemble Edward, and Selene, and True Blood's Bill Compton.

Human beings need characters they can relate to, and just about everyone can relate to a hero who has noble intentions but must sacrifice and suffer due to his or her flaws. In many modern tales, vampires have often come to fill that role, acting as an outlet not only for our worst fears, but also our greatest desires. They scare us, and they thrill us, and that is why vampires are so "hot" at the moment, and why people will continue to write books about them, make films chronicling their lives, and draw illustrations of them long after the current craze has passed.

Christopher Buecheler is a professional web designer and author living in Indianapolis. You can find his free eBook at, or visit his blog, Cerebral Debris.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Remember Me

Genella deGrey is our special guest blogger for today! Below is an excerpt from her vampire book Remember Me. Thanks Genella!

Something was dreadfully wrong. There were awful sounds coming from the direction in which he was headed. He rushed forward only to stop short in the center of the room.

Vlad turned observed him there. “Ah, Dacious, I am glad you could join us,” he smirked, wiping his bloody lips down his naked forearm.

A handful of vampires, including Vald, were detaching themselves from a body that was chained to a wall. The long coppery hair on the victim was disheveled, and hung past her face down to her upper thighs. The puncture marks in her practically colorless flesh were fresh and raw, her arms were stretched so that her shoulders where contorted and out of joint.

Gemmah! The air in Dacious’s lungs didn’t seem sufficient while he gasped deeper for breath. Tears stung his eyes as he took in the ghastly sight.

My beautiful Gemmah.

He felt his insides constrict as he fought to remain upright. Greed and lust had cruelly ripped asunder a love that had taken thousands of years to come to fruition.

He felt himself shaking with violence when his gaze fell upon Erzebet, the director of this morbid tragedy. The overwhelming urge to destroy her and her entire court for taking his Gemmah from him caused his chest to tighten.

Dacious’s jaw clenched. Becoming the angel of death to these killers was his new objective. He would not sleep until every last vampire had been hunted down and wiped from the face of the earth. At almost the same moment he began to stager forward, Erzebet spoke.

“I have it within my power to restore her to you.” Erzebet’s words went unheard and he continued toward her, stalking her, clenching and unclenching his fists. “I said, Dacious, that I can bring her back.”

He shortened his steps, but continued forward. “I do not see how that is possible, Erzebet. The last time I checked, you had not been granted the ability to give life, only take it away. Nor has your generosity ever been so accommodating.”

“I can and I will, you have my word.”

“Oh, the word of a vampire, how reassuring,” he replied menacingly and lifted his hands reaching for her throat.

“Dacious, if you defeat me here, like this, how will you ever know for sure?”
He paused just inches from her windpipe. He glared down at her. “What is your price, Erzebet?”

“I want what I have always wanted from you. I want you to pleasure me. I want you naked and in my bed. I want your head between my legs. I want you to give me earth-shattering orgasms. I want to bathe in your seed.”

“Only you can take the beauty of lovemaking and turn it into a vile and repulsive act.”

“I do not care how you put it, as long as you pound me until I can no longer walk.”

“When you put it that way, it has its possibilities,” he bared his teeth in lieu of a smile.

“You agree to my terms, then?” Erzebet said, and licked her lips likely at his promise of violence.

“No. You have done nothing but confirm how much I loathe you.”

“How can I prove to you that I can bring her back?” she purred.

“One would presume that you could think of a way to do that.”

“Close your eyes.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, you and your minions have not earned my trust as of yet,” he shot at her with verbal sarcasm.

Erzebet clapped her hands twice. “Everyone, out of my sight.”

“But, my queen—” Vlad, still naked and blood-smeared, stepped forward raising his hands palm up in appeal.

She growled at him. “I said out.”

Everyone in the throne room scurried toward different outlets. She even shooed her hands at her maid, who had been sitting at her feet.

“Now, it is just you and I,” Erzebet said. “Close your eyes.”

In the blink of an eye, Dacious reached out and took hold of her wrists none too gently. “If you are not forthcoming, I shall pull your arms from their sockets.”

She winced. “You have my word.”

Dacious narrowed his eyes at her just before closing them. In his mind, he heard Gemmah’s voice. She was calling to him! With an audible intake of breath, he opened his eyes, dropped Erzebet’s hands and shouted at the deathly still figure on the wall, “Gemmah?”

Erzebet chuckled. “You see? I told you I have the power.”

At her words, he looked at Erzebet. “All I have to do is have relations with you—”

“And I will bring her back from the dead.” She smoothed a stray lock of hair behind her ear with a sweep of her hand and smiled at him in invitation.

Dacious again glanced doubtfully at Gemmah’s lifeless form.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Vamp Overload?

Today's guest blogger is author Michelle Hauf. Michelle even has a special suprise for a lucky winner! Thanks Michelle!

I write vampires. I love vampires. But I admit, lately, I’m feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of vamps. They are everywhere. On the silver screen. On the small screen. Crowding out non-vamp books in bookstores. Featured in magazine articles and bloggers everywhere are swooning over this fabulous ‘new’ trend of the vampire. (New? Seriously?) Vamps are in the grocery aisles, tempting me to munch their sugary sweetness. They want me to sip down blood-orange soda, and indulge in vamp-ish truffles. They are on my clothing, bedsheets and shoes. They twinkle, shimmer and drool blood.

Whew! Enough already?

Actually, no. I embrace this indulgence in one of the most popular ‘monsters’ we’ve had throughout the ages. Sure, the vampires we like to read in our romances are a bit sanitized from those original, horrific vamps who would as soon rip out their victims throats than even consider drinking blood from a plastic bag stolen from a blood bank. I can deal with that, because romance is just one ‘genre’ within the realm of vampires we have to choose from. Not in the mood for swooning, broody, aristocratic vamps? Pick up a horror book or check out Let The Right One In. The Nightwatch and Daywatch books and movies are another great horror choice. Vamps can be found in fantasy, mystery, action-adventure, erotica, young adult, manga, just to name a few. True Blood and The Vampire Diaries are more great choices on TV. So many choices! I love it.

So what about you? Do you feel it’s time for vamps to climb back into their coffins and just give us a break? Or do you embrace it like I do, and wonder how soon before book stores actually put in a ‘Vampire’ section? What’s your fav genre of vamps to read about or watch

Winners will be announced on Halloween.... just leave a message answering whether or not you think there is too much "vampire" out there.

To learn more about Michelle - visit her blog!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Team Cullen vs. The Original Gangstas vs. The Hopes of Single Men

Today's guest blogger comes from my friend Brian - you semi-typical, middle 20-year-old American male. Thanks Brian for being a guest!

Note: The views and opinions of Brian do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of this blog.

When I was in high school, the latest craze regarding vampire literature was the newest Anne Rice novel, an author who, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be getting enough respect for a genre that she more or less dominated for a span of many years. I read Interview With The Vampire, The Vampire Lestat, and The Queen of the Damned. These three books served as the core of vampire mythology for a good long while. Sure, there were others, but Anne Rice had a veritably unmatched saga of vampire fiction rolling off her fingertips. Any vampire movies watched with friends always fell back to being compared to the novels’ sense of history, the beauty of these creatures was one borne out of time, the romance inherent in vampire affections, the laundry list of behaviors and various mythological truths embedded in the pages of Rice’s central three novels.

Rice’s vampires were beautiful, terrible beings. Incredibly powerful, ancient, terrifyingly gorgeous products of their original time mixed with the present (whichever time period that present happened to be). Now, is the rest of this diatribe going to be about how nothing found today really seems to measure up to the (what in my mind) is the original testament of vampiric lore? Most likely. And don’t get me wrong, I understand the fact that things change, evolve, progress. If human history has shown us anything, it’s that we move forward. But are the new models really an improvement on the original, or are they more of an impediment to the single male?

I thought this stuff burnt out when the sun started shining on all those freak-wannabe-vampire-punk-goth-rocker-stoner-make-up-wearing-juggalo kids from high school, the day after graduation. The day that whole, “Oh, shit, we can’t all work at Hot Topic,” mentality settled in and took root in the cerebellum of these daywalker posers who wished more than anything that they actually needed to feed off of blood. Welcome to Reality. These people disappeared for a while, leaving behind the romanticism of the bite, the penetrating stare that reads souls and minds alike; the vampire faded from beatific glory and into the shadows from whence it came, becoming again a creature to be feared, not adored. And then, recently, they got pretty again.

Enter Team Edward. A seventeen-year-old kid who was made into a vampire two hundred years ago is supposed to be the new heartthrob of women the world over. Forty-something-year-olds getting caught up in the craze of teen-girl-fiction, falling in love with a fictional diamond-skinned vampire, whose character flaws spawned a whole line of t-shirts? These new vampires are too pretty to be seen in sunlight (because they get all shiny), they convulse and fight massive erectile temptation whenever their soul mate walks into the room, and this Mr. Cullen happens to be the only gentleman left on the planet, it seems—minus, of course, the creepy stalking bit.

Here’s the thing I witnessed with the new vampire craze: they took the evil out of them. Over-romanticized the hell out of these once evil creatures. Good luck to any normal guy trying to measure up, now. We’ve all been irrevocably screwed by the vampire system. And the vampires know it. They’re in their coffins right now laughing at us. The newer, bolder, modernity-ridden bloodsucker leaves no room for human error, no room for improvement, either. They don’t exist, so one would think that mankind has an edge. But we don’t. Team Cullen blew us out of the water.

Vampires in the olden days had to be sexy without sex, if you catch my drift. Theirs was a beauty held in mannerisms, appearance counted, yes, but not for everything. The capacity to love was outside of the vampire’s realm of existence, or knowledge, beyond their reality. Love was a human thing. Granted, Louie did care deeply for Claudia, but when Lestat made him a vampire, he made sure to make him weak, that’s why the other vampires ‘loved’ him: he was the most human. The Anne Rice suck-heads had a measure of evil that maintained a balance in the world, as far as vampires were concerned. It wasn’t just anybody who could be made into a vampire. The majority of people weren’t even close to being candidates for vampirification, only those that had that special something. What a twenties-era gangster might call ‘moxie.’

[Side note, I hear that this show “True Blood” takes place in the South… Any self-respecting vampire would move him/herself to larger, more popular epicenter of sophisticated human culture, not the sour-mash capital or Bible-belt central. But anyway…]

We can have moxie. Hell, some of us have it in spades, but will we it be enough to take the girl’s mind off of Edward? Doubt it. Talk a good game, walk a straight line, open a door or three, pay for dinner, movie, drive, be a gentleman and kiss her on the cheek instead of moving in for a full on mouth-bath, and you still won’t measure up, not to the new vampire standard, which says this to the modern male:

When you step into the sunlight, we see your flaws, your wrinkles, your missed-a-spot-shaving patchwork jaw line, your pimples, uneven eyebrows, your receding hairline. We see your wardrobe’s mismatched color scheme, dirty shoes, untrimmed fingernails, mustard stains, and your sweat.

There are no diamonds embedded in the small cracks of your skin. You can’t promise immortality. You don’t come from money this old, you aren’t this strong, this fast, this controlled. You aren’t this mysterious, this enchanting. You aren’t us.

And never will be.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Vampire Series Coming Out

Independant Film Channel is releasing a brand new series - and it's available to anyone - online.

Dead and Lonely is a new web series premiering Oct 26th about two lonely Los Angeles singles who are brought together via the popular Internet dating website The only problem of them is a vampire.
Get more info here.

Friday Freebies - Winner of Roxanne Rhoad's New Book!

Congrats to Linda Henderson!
Linda Henderson said...
I like Ryder from Caridad Pineiro's The Calling series. He is really hot.
Linda - email me at bookswithabite(at)gmail(dot)com
and congrats!
Next week will be the last day to enter into the drawing for lots of great prizes!
Saturday I will randomly pick several winners and announce them on Halloween.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Year's Toast

Chapter 16 of Release by Nicole Hadaway.

This chapter of Release published with permission of Vamplit Publishing, all rights reserved


Neil walked down the cold, damp London streets. It was shortly after three in the morning, on what was now, officially, January 1, 1945. You couldn’t tell, really, that the New Year had been celebrated at all. Morale was rather low in London after nearly five years of air raids, bombings, evacuations and blackouts. Neil himself had finished his shift at the air raid siren station and was now headed to his mate Mark’s place for a subdued celebration. He couldn’t wait to get a taste of the black market whiskey that Mark had managed to get, for his hands were nearly frozen; this entire winter it had been so very cold.

So Neil walked along the deserted streets lined by terraced houses, thankful that the moon was still bright enough so he could find his way around without tripping over too many curbs or bumping into lampposts. It was bad enough that he’d had to serve as an air raid warden, but the fact that they gave him the night shift for that night was just intolerable. Though when he thought about it, a few scraped knees and cold fingers was a small price to pay for having escaped an entire war of army duty.

He’d been lucky that the injury on his right hand, received when, at the age of five, he’d stuck them in the meat freezer at the same time the butcher had decided to close the case, thus chopping off three fingers, had been his ticket out of serving in the army. He couldn’t very well shoot a gun with only two fingers on his dominant hand. Britain had still made him ‘do his part’ by manning the air raid sirens. God, the noise those things made; even though he wore earplugs, he didn’t think his hearing would ever be the same. Still, better than being a corpse on a Normandy beach, like his brother.

Neil pushed the glum thoughts about his brother from his mind by looking around at his surroundings. He’d left the part of the neighborhood where houses and apartments abounded, and now entered the warehouse district. To fill the silence, which only made him think of his brother more, Neil started to whistle, concentrating on the tune.

As he sucked in a breath to start another verse, he heard the flutter of wings behind him, like a bird or maybe a bat, which was odd, as there was nothing to attract birds on this street in London. There were no trees or fences for them to perch on, just the unlit streetlamps, like the one he’d just bumped into, and the warehouses that kept wartime supplies, such as the plethora of gas masks that all London citizens carried, even the babies. When he thought about it, the warehouses were probably perfect places for bats to nest in. Yep, that had to be it.

Neil mused on how he’d never seen a bat before, and he wondered if perhaps they minded flying about in such cold weather. He thought about turning on his lamp; the cowl over the top of it made the light shine downward, so it shouldn’t attract too much attention. Then he remembered that bats might be attracted to light, and he didn’t want the bat to get caught in his hair. He’d heard that bats could be awfully nasty if they flew in your hair – they got caught in it so badly that the only way to get them out was to shave your hair off. He had a bad enough time with women as it was; he didn’t need to be bald as well.

The fluttering over him stopped, and Neil heard what he thought was a low, soft thud! behind him. He turned around, partly out of curiosity and partly out of fear – did something just knock the bat out of the sky, why would it drop to the ground like that? Switching on his handheld lamp, Neil slowly, cautiously looked behind him.

There was no bird or bat, but a man, standing about ten yards away from Neil, well out of the glow of the lamp. In the moonlight, however, Neil could make out the man’s features; he was tall, with curly, dark brown hair, and light, piercing blue eyes that Neil could see as if they were only a foot in front of him in full lamplight. The oddest thing was that the man was standing with his hands on his hips, watching Neil, nonchalantly, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to do. They stood like that for a few moments, staring at each other, until the man smiled, and started to laugh, slightly throwing back his head at whatever he found amusing.

Neil was worried. The war and the bombings had chased most of the crazies out of London, but this one must have stayed on for some reason. So he turned back and started walking briskly, hoping that Mark had left his door unlocked. Neil hadn’t bothered to turn off his lamp, let them fine me if they want; even better, I’d welcome a bobby right now to keep that nutter away from me. Mark’s small apartment was above a warehouse at the end of the street, about fifty yards from where Neil was now. He was thankful that he didn’t have too far to go to get away from the crazy bloke and out of the cold, which was hurting his throat and lungs as he sucked in air.

Neil hadn’t traveled very far before his breathing, heavier now from his increased pace, hurt too much, he slowed down. Forcing himself to breathe quietly, Neil listened for any sounds coming from behind him. Nothing. The absence of noise made him hope that he was no longer being followed. Neil chanced a look behind him, shining his light broadly around, and saw with relief that the crazy man was gone. Probably gone back into the warehouse or something, he reassured himself. As he turned his head back towards Mark’s apartment, a dense fog rolled past him. He coughed for a few minutes, thinking it was odd that the fog had suddenly appeared like this, out of nowhere, in the middle of these warehouses. But that’s London for you.

The fog cleared, and Neil could see ahead of him. An icy frisson of fear ran from the tip of his head, down to the bowels of his stomach. The crazy bloke was now in front of him, leaning against a building wall between Neil and the safety of Mark’s place. The man’s casual air was gone. He suddenly stood up straight in one movement, which was very strange because he hadn’t even bent his body. It was as if invisible wires had pulled him into a standing position. Then the man started walking towards him as if he expected Neil to just stand there and wait for him.

There was no way Neil was going to get messed with tonight. He hadn’t made it this far through the war, with its air raids, rations, and the threat of Nazi invasions, only to meet his end at the hands of some crazy on a back street of London. No sir, not tonight, especially not on New Year’s Day.

Neil dropped his lamp, and then made two moves simultaneously. He turned to run – he was a pretty fast runner, and had kept in shape. He also pulled out his pocketknife and opened up the blade. He didn’t want to get into a fight; it had been ages since he’d been in one, and with his right hand he was well aware of his handicap. However, just in case…

Neil’s foot had barely touched the pavement when he was stopped dead in his tracks again, as there was now another man, one who seemed to have been standing behind him this whole time. A blond man this time, with pale skin, yet very dark, almost black eyes. A Nazi – oh my God, they’ve made it here! he thought in a panic. Before he could think of his next move, the man opened his mouth and, speaking English without any accent asked, “Hey Cray – how much longer? Daylight’s not too far away.”

“Awww, Denny, relax! They’re on double daylight savings time here,” an amused voice called out from behind Neil.

Neil heard a whoosh of air and before he could turn around, he felt a hand on his shoulder.

He turned towards the hand on his shoulder, and found himself staring into pale blue eyes. Eyes that seemed to bore into Neil, forcing him to drop the knife, which he’d been holding out, poised to strike. The man reached over with his other hand and took the knife, tossing it to the side, saying, “You won’t be needing this, friend and we’ve our own ways of getting your flesh and blood.”

Neil knew he should have been afraid – he was afraid – but he couldn’t move; for some reason, he was rooted to his spot. One part of his brain screamed fight, fight, fight!, but the rest just wouldn’t allow it. Maybe it was because he knew the man was strong and he could feel that his shoulder might break from the crazy man’s grip.

It did break. Neil heard a loud snap! and felt the pain shoot forth from his shoulder down his arm and across his chest. Through the pain, he thought he heard someone say, “Sorry chum, but I like it when the marrow gets into the blood, with the adrenaline. Makes it tastier.”

Neil tried to scream, but something was at his throat, almost strangling him. He felt the fire of his shoulder meld with the burning at his throat. All he could do was look up at the bright light of the moon as its white aura quickly engulfed his entire body.

The Vampire and the Vamp

Today's guest blog is from author Susanne Saville - who has an absolutely charming website (who doesn't love hats on cats?), thanks Susanne!

The Vampire and the Vamp

While this year's Halloween feature in Salem, Massachusetts is Zombies,
vampires always have a place at the festivities. Not only is there a horror exhibit named Dracula's Castle, there is The Vampires' Masquerade Ball.

Why are vampires so popular? One reason is their image. Their modern image. Male vampires were originally portrayed as horrific and frightening. Have you seen F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu?
That vampire is the antithesis of sexy.

Yet at basically the same time, the word "vamp" - yes, from the word vampire - was being used to describe a highly eroticized, sexy woman.

This is the original vamp, Theda Bara.

In fact, female vampires have been portrayed as sexy right from the very beginning.

This probably has more to do with fear of female sexuality than anything else. You might think this fear was limited to the Victorian period. You would be wrong.

I just came across an interesting example in Landis MacKellar's book The Double Indemnity Murder. Judd Gray used this as a defense against a murder charge: he accused Ruth Snyder of being an "erotomaniac" who exhausted him through sex until he agreed to participate in her plan to murder her husband.

His lawyer said she "was abnormal, possessed of an all-consuming, all absorbing sexual passion, animal lust, which seemingly was never satisfied." And that, "...she sapped his strength" resulting in his "exhausted vitality" which made him her love-slave and gave him no choice but to do her bidding and commit murder. (p. 221)

Sounds like a vampire to me. :)

Male vampires didn't create love-slaves. Bela Lugosi's Dracula was powerful and mesmerizing, but not particularly sexy. Hammer Horror's Dracula, Christopher Lee, certainly could have been sexy, but the scripts did not help him with that. In one of his movies, as I remember, Dracula never even speaks!

The male vampire was a threat to men - The Other who is out to Have Our Women and must be stopped - and a source of pain and death to women.

This portrayal changed after Frank Langella took the role in 1979.

His Dracula was charming and suave; his bite was enjoyable rather than painful - something erotic rather than something dreadful. He was a source of excitement and pleasure to his female "victim" - who did not class herself a victim at all and had no wish to be "rescued."

This is generally the male vampire we read about in vampire romance today.

Thank goodness! ;)

Susanne Saville is the author of Vampire Close, a vampire romance set in contemporary Edinburgh, and for Kindle users, Dance Macabre, a vampire romance set in 1897 London.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Vampire Film Festival

Today's special guest blogger is Catherine Karp of Suburban Vampire. She is here to give some details about the exciting upcoming Vampire Film Festival. Thanks Catherine!

I've had the opportunity to work behind the scenes on this year's Vampire Film Festival (a.k.a. Vampire Fest), coming to New Orleans October 23-26, 2009. If you can make it down to The Big Easy, here's what we have in store for you:

The four-day festival will showcase films, the vampire ballet A VAMPIRE'S TALE, a New Orleans jazz-style funeral, literary and film panels, and a French Quarter scavenger hunt. We're also giving away thirty passes to an exclusive New Orleans sneak preview of the upcoming Universal Pictures film THE VAMPIRE'S ASSISTANT. You can enter the contest at here. A winner will be chosen after midnight on 10/21/09.

Vampire Fest has declared 2009 the Year of the International Vampire and will screen over fifty films from over eleven countries. We are open to films of the vampire, Gothic, zombie, werewolf, and ghost genres.

Since vampire literature is interconnected with the movie genre, Vampire Fest will present a literary panel on Sunday, October 25th starting at 2 pm. Writer Sue Dent will be moderating the event, which will feature best-selling writer Erin McCarthy, graphic novelist Van Jensen, and Louisiana’s own Nicole Peeler. These established and debut novelists will be happy to detail what it's like to be a part of the astoundingly popular world of vampire and shape-shifter fiction.

This panel will be followed by a Shoot Louisiana Panel in conjunction with the New Orleans Film Commission. With filmmakers invited from around the world, this will be a perfect time to introduce them to the great filmmaker incentive programs in Louisiana.

Both panels end with the Film/Lit Mixer where new and established writers and filmmakers can mingle in the Absinthe Den, presented by Le Tourment Vert, and craft films for next year's festival!

Pull out your cape, slip on your fangs and join the Big Easy’s undead film fanatics at the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center on October 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th. Zeitgeist has long been the hub of alternative arts scene in New Orleans and is located on 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, New Orleans.

For more information, call Vampire Fest New Orleans at (504) 298-VAMP or visit our official site,, an intriguing and provocative door to supernatural-based media.

Purchase your tickets now at! $6.00 in advance, $8.00 at the door

Monday, October 19, 2009

Haunts Around Town

First, I will say that I am super excited that I won Blood Ties: Season Two from Vampire Wire.

Speaking of Vampire Wire, Marta Acosta interviewed one of my favorites: Jennifer Rardin.
Jennifer Rardin just released Bite Marks - Book 6 of the Jaz Parks Series.

This weekend many of you wanted more vampire myth! And it just so happens, some of my guest bloggers have been digging into non-fiction vampire books.
Visit Magia Posthuma to read about what books he bought will traveling Europe:

I bought a couple of books while in London. One of them being Theresa Cheung's voluminous The Element Encyclopedia of Vampires: An A-Z of the Undead (Harper Element, 2009) 'dedicated to the memory of Montague Summers'.

Diary of an Amateur Vampirologist has been adding a handful of books on his wishlist that might interest you too!

...some books on Amazon that I've got my eye on.

Last night, a few more captured my attention.

It looks like Paul Barber's coming out with a new edition of one of the best ever books on vampires, Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality (1988). At least, I hope it's a new edition. The item's description only alludes to a "New Introduction".

Be sure to tune in Tuesday for Suburban Vampire guest blog!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Morning Comics

And when I say "comic" I mean it in the broadest sense... which is why today I am reviewing Roman Dirge's Lenore: Noogies.

Lenore is a sweet little girl who has died. And now she is not so sweet anymore.

Noogies is a compilation of the original first four Lenore issues. Roman Dirge has painted painted a demented, disturbing world, now available in full color.

While Lenore isn't necessarily a vampire, there are vampire elements throughout, and even a lovely story about a cursed vampire named Ragamuffin.

If you like demented visuals and story lines, this is something right up your alley! I think my brother might enjoy this quite a bit. Some of the stories are pretty funny, most of them at least a little bit disturbing.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Halloween Costume Search

Halloween is fast approaching! Have you got your costume yet? If you are thinking about being a vampire, there are lots of cliche options out there for you - just do a Google Image Search and you will see - most of them are black and maroon in color, capes, short skirts, and sometimes high collars. If you aren't looking for anything specific, more often than not, if you are male, then you are going to wear black slacks, white shirt, and a black and red cape... don't forget to slick your hair back, apply some white make-up and wear some fangs.

Here are some ideas for males:
Go as a specific vampire character - how about David from The Lost Boys? or spoof Edward from Twilight - just wear a brooding look all night, mess up your hair and apply some glitter and fangs.
Or how about Count Chocula? You can even eat the cereal all night to keep up with appearances.

And if you are female, well, add some fishnets, a corset, and some fangs and you have yourself a vampire... you can pretty much slut-up and goth-ify any costume and just add fangs and you are a vampire. Although this costume still fits those categories, it's a little different than the usual. Looking around I also found a bad photoshop job turned different vamp costume - the vampire Marilyn Monroe. Us girls, I think we have it easier than the guys for vamp costumes - we can really choose any costume, show some skin and wear some fangs and we are a vampire. I know I am guilty of wearing the above mentioned attire and slapping on some fangs.

For those of you who have, or planned to wear the vamp fangs - what costume did you, or have you gone with?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Giveaway Take 3!

We have a lot of great prizes to win this month!

Here are some of our prize contributers:

So to enter to win in the big giveway on October 31st leave a comment answering the following question:

What Do You Want to See More of On Vampire Blogs?

More music? More pictures? More Myth?

I will be accepting entries until 11:59PM Sunday night (Pacific Time)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Special Guest: Roxanne Rhoads

Today's special guest is Roxanne Rhoads of Fang-tastic Books - and she even comes with a special treat!

Thanks Roxanne!

The Appeal of Darkness

By Roxanne Rhoads

Why are we drawn to the paranormal? Perhaps because it is the Other, it is the great unknown. The lure of the darkness that resides inside us all.

Are Others real? Are there really paranormal creatures that exist?

Who knows, but some of us sure like to believe.

Maybe we just need an escape from the everyday existence that has become so…ordinary. In today’s world people want to stand out and be noticed or at least experience something that is different. Perhaps that’s why so many of us turn to the world of the supernatural for an escape from the everyday.

Wouldn’t it be great to have super powers? Or to be immortal? Super strong? Have mind control? Or just be super seductive and a fabulous lover (we can all dream right)?

Of all supernatural creatures, vampires seem to be the most seductive. People are drawn to the vampire more than any other creature of myth and fantasy. Vampires grace the pages of books and appear on the movie and television screen over and over again, each new vampire a source of amusement and desire to us. But why? What is the everlasting attraction of the vampire?

Before the 19th century vampires were just mindless monsters, myths and legends that were horrible and frightening, not sexy, not desirable. Literature changed all that.

Consider this description from the introduction of Blood Read: The Vampire as Metaphor in Contemporary Culture written by Joan Gordon and Veronica Hollinger.

[The vampire is] “an ambiguously coded figure, a source of erotic anxiety and corrupt desire, the literary vampire is one of the most powerful archetypes bequeathed to us from the imagination of the nineteenth century.

Vampires were turned into seductive and inherently sexy creatures that we just haven’t been able to get enough of. The unknown allure is there, evil has become sexy, darkness is beautiful. Once the monsters of myth and legend were shunned for their differences but today we embrace them because they are different, because they are Other.

Our modern society is full of disquiet, pain, suffering, depression, things that spiral out of control-real monsters and horrors face us every day on the news.

In entertainment we want monsters that we can control, monsters…Others that are appealing in their difference and offer us an escape. The vampire offers us all that and more.

I love many creatures of the Other world but the vampire is my first love and will always hold the top spot in my monster loving heart.

In my fiction, the characters are more often than not Others, with a vampire playing either the hero or the heroine of the story.

In my latest release, Eternal Desire, you’ll find a seductive vampire who chooses to hide in the shadows and stay on the sidelines of his human’s life. But while he’s biding his time she’s falling for someone else. Set in New Orleans during Halloween,Eternal Desire is an erotic paranormal story about LizBeth, a paranormal researcher, and her elusive vampire, Quillon, who seems content to hide in the shadows of her dreams but never comes to her in the flesh.

Want to know more about me and my fascination with Others? Drop by Fang-tastic Books to learn about the books I love and what I write.

Eternal Desire is Roxanne's new book!

Liz Beth, a paranormal researcher, is haunted by the seductive vampire, Quillon, who may or may not be real. She arrives in New Orleans the week of Halloween to search for the elusive vampire of her dreams and instead encounters a handsome stranger, Christien, with whom she begins a passionate affair with.

Soon she is torn between her dream lover and a flesh and blood man, both of whom are a mystery to her. The closer it gets to Halloween the wilder things become. LizBeth gets closer to the truth about Quillon while Christien has her under his own spell.

Will all be revealed at the Vampyre Ball or will the masks stay in place?

In New Orleans at Halloween anything is possible.

For more information and to purchase, click here.

Here's a part of an amazing review by Kiki Howell:

After reading Eternal Desire, I would have to call Roxanne Rhoads a master of words. Each sentence flowed into another with a nice blend of old elegance and contemporary style which I think is important in this type of paranormal writing to best blend the modern day setting with the ghosts and vampires of another time. I have to give you an example from the beginning of the story, “a shadowy figure in my dreams, whispering of longings and ancient secrets. I never saw his face, but his voice lingered in my soul. He was an invisible guardian, calling to me…”

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vampires Converge on Halloween

Today's special guest blogger is Anthony from Diary of an Amateur Vampirologist .

Make sure you visit the links provided in the article - I found the psychology of vampire and other creepy costume choices interesting. Thanks Anthony!

Truth be told, there's very little connection between vampires and Halloween. At least, from a folkloric perspective.

The closest thing they have to their own "special" time of the year, is described in Agnes Murgoci's "The Vampire in Romania" article for Folk-Lore (Dec. 1926), along with some attributes and characteristics:

It is more especially on St. George's Eve that these vampires go to the boundaries to take rain and the "power" of animals, so as to have enough for the whole year. If they do not take "power" for themselves, they take it for those who pay them. They bring "power" and beauty to women who pay; also they cause men to hate the rivals of those who hire them. They can take "power" from women, and thus take milk away from nursing mothers. They can turn themselves into horses, dogs, or cats, so as to frighten people. The female vampires are dry in the body and are red in the face both before and after death. They go out on St. Andrew's Eve to the boundaries even if they have just borne children. They go out by the chimney, and come back worn out and in rags. The male vampires are bald, and after death grow a tail and hooves. (332)

Rosemary Ellen Guiley mentions two separate, modern-day events baring the name "Vampire Day" in The Encyclopedia of Vampires, Werewolves, and Other Monsters (New York: Checkmark, 2005), p. 293.

The first occurred on November 4, 1988 in Los Banos, California, to publicise the publication of Vincent Hillyer's Vampires (Los Banos: Loose Change, 1988).

The second was held in Saõ Paulo, Brazil, on August 13, 2002, to promote a city-wide blood drive.

However, in keeping with the horror theme of Halloween, vampires still get sizable representation.

For instance, the National Retail Federation in Washington, D.C. predicts that the second most popular costume on Halloween, among adults, will be the vampire.

Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen gives some coverage on why people even choose such costumes at all.

There's also a whole range of vampire-themed merchandise for the occasion, like capes, severed heads and baby pacifiers.

You can get some helpful suggestions on throwing your own "Vampires Ball" from Halloween Costume Party.

Or, you could go to Transylvania itself, and take part in a "Dracula Tour". One of the things you'll see is "an actual "vampire" wedding ceremony as conducted by a local monk and his chanting nuns."

As a side note, I'll also mention that I dressed up as a vampire hunter for Halloween back in 2006 and walked about the streets of Melbourne. (Sorry, don't have any pictures!)

So, even though historic - and folkloric - vampires have no real connection to Halloween, thanks to their pervasiveness in Western pop culture, they certainly come alive on the Spookiest Night of the Year.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Date a Vampire? Heck Yeah?!

By Diana Laurence, author of How to Catch and Keep a Vampire: A Step-by-Step Guide to Loving the Bad and the Beautiful

I’m delighted to be visiting Reading with a Bite today! And I hope you don’t mind if I use this opportunity to get myself out of a little hot water. With vampires. So it’s kind of urgent.

Here’s the back story: I was asked a few weeks ago by Glamour magazine to provide my answer to the question “Should you date a vampire?” Needless to say, I was thrilled to appear in Glamour talking about my book. Unfortunately, they required me to take the “no” position. I agreed somewhat trepidatiously to that, because I knew my vampire friends would not be pleased. But I figured Glamour had received the “yes” reply from someone smart enough to answer in a way that would not get them in trouble with the undead. I found out when the magazine came out that the “someone” was Charlaine Harris! Now I see why I got second choice!

Well, I did give a pretty backhanded reply for my “no” answer (“Being with one is no easy feat. Just try to focus on work during the day when you’re being transported to realms of ecstasy by his bite at night.”) Nevertheless, no is no, and I really need to set the record straight with the immortal community...before they decide they need to “teach me a lesson,” fang-wise.

So I’m here today to give you my complete and sincere recommendation: If you’ve been wanting to date a vampire, by all means, do it! Because, frankly, there are dozens of great reasons to want to date a vampire. I could rattle on about it all day. Let’s start with these:

He can look out of the tops of his eyes in that spine-tinglingly sexy manner.
He has a lair that would make HGTV’s toes curl, if it had toes.
He can hail a cab with a silent glance.
He’ll never cancel your date because he has a cold or is hungover.
And he bites. In a fun way. A really fun way.

I’m not saying that vampire dating is without its challenges and perils. If it were, I wouldn’t have had to write my book. Vampires do tend to give a girl or guy an inferiority complex. Giving them their way isn’t exactly a chore (the way they go about it, that is) but it can wear thin after awhile. They’re not exactly monogamous, in most cases. And some of them are pure evil.

So, there’s a lot you need to know to pull off a healthy and happy relationship with a vampire. My book shows you how to develop the various skills you’ll need: Like recognizing pure evil vampires and avoiding them. And not becoming completely obsessed with your vampire boyfriend or girlfriend (just the proper amount of obsessed). And explaining to others why there’s nothing wrong with associations with the undead.

Even if you don’t want to actually date a vampire, you’re simply trying to figure out why you love these nasty and lovely beings and what to do with your longings, my book will help with that too. Because no one should beat themselves up just because they constantly daydream about Edward or Bill or even Dracula himself. To my mind, such thoughts are as normal and healthy as the day is long. Or, if you prefer, the night.

So now you know my true opinion: And my dear Conner, Sven, Mordred, Colin, Gunnar, and the rest of the vampiric crew can be reassured that no one has the wrong idea about me. Tuck in those fangs, boys, I’ve cleared it all up now!

Please do ask for How to Catch and Keep a Vampire at your neighborhood bookstore (worldwide!) or order online, and find out for yourself about these undead charmers and all I’ve learned from them about vampire dating. And join me in an enthusiastic “Date a vampire? Heck yeah!”

To learn more about the book, visit,, or join the Facebook fan page at It was a pleasure to be with you today, thanks for reading, and happy vampire dating!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Vampire Survival Guide

While most of us love the mysterious and sexy vampire - who is sweet on the inside and a bad boy on the outside, chances are, if vampires existed they probably wouldn't be the type you would want to run way with. The Vampire Survival Guide: How to Fight, and Win, Against the Undead by Scott Bowen is here to do just as it promises - to fight and win against the undead.

On a side rant, before I continue, you will notice that Scott Bowen has no link attached to his name - because I could not find a blog, website, or a social networking site on him... which I think is inexcusable. There is no point these days for a business or author to not be available online. Free advertising! Ok. I'm done.

The Vampire Survival Guide is a fun, gimmicky book - one of those funny things you get a friend for a gift, scan through the pages reading about this or that and probably keep it on your bookshelf - probably not ever completely read through. Sadly, it is quite easy to give as a gift because it's selling price, new, on Amazon is $2.47. That being said, I will admit that I didn't read the whole thing page for page... I did scan through several times and read some entertaining excerpts. The book covers vampire anatomy and power structure through how to kill them, and is filled with random questions (like can a vampire dog bite my dog and turn it into a vampire dog too?). If I didn't already own this book I would buy it for $2.47. It's a good book for a vampire fan... not exactly 100% following popular myth and legend, but fun none-the-less. Here is an excerpt that I found entertaining (page 156):

Random Question: What if my spouse/significant other fantasizes about a relationship with a vampire?

Vampires have a strong sexual element, both in a literary sense and in person, assuming that the vampire in question looks a lot like Antonio Banderas in Interview with the Vampire or Monica Bellucci in Bram Stoker's Dracula (yeah, she was in that). Indeed, there will be some really hot vampires. Your spouse's fixation, however, could easily go beyond the imagination: He or she could desire some kind of self-destructive tryst with the undead.

Psychologists and psychotherapists will have all fled to their second homes in gated communities in Martha's Vineyard and the Caribbean, so finding professional help will be out of the questions. (Yes, some dedicated psychotherapists will stay in the country, and they'll be swamped with calls and will probably get turned into vampires anyway.) So, you'll have to deal with it yourself.

First, to what degree does your spouse fantasize? Is this a true fantasy, that is, does she know it's ludicrous, but indulges it in a wholly fantastical way? That's merely insulting, not real trouble (for now). Do what you can to shift her undead fantasies to the killer of the undead (you), and you'll find yourself getting some hot lovin'. Maybe dress a little more provocatively, and shoot vampires more than you need to (ammo store providing). Get a little aggressive. Show your passion. Cut off a vampire's head and nail it to the wall, and make sure your spouse sees you do it. She'll slowly realize that the desired fantasy figure is the person of action - a dangerous person (not an undead person) and you're it.

But if you spouse really has it in for a vampire, in a psychotic way, you might have to resort in some extralegal actions. This will involve duct tape. Figure it out.

I think most of us like the vampires capable of fulfilling our fantasies. Tomorrow tune in for a guest blog about why it's a good idea to date vampires.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Morning Comics

The Lost Boys: Reign of Frogs is a comic book that bridges the gap between Lost Boys and Lost Boys: The Tribe.

Click here to view the whole plot and details.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Halloween Costume Search - Lost Boys

Since so many people's vampire movie was Lost Boys, I thought it would be fun to do a Lost Boys costume search.
I thought David would be the best choice:

Here's his vampire face:

Lost Boys Wig? Make sure the sides are slicked back...

Lost Boys Fangs

You can also get the facial prosthetics - two different types to chose from:

This one, and this one

Instructions for make up and tips. - don't forget the stubble too.

To top off the Lost Boys face look don't forget the gold dangly earring in the left ear. I have a hard time finding a detail, but I found this picture:

if you have your ear's pierced I would just find a cheap pair at Forever21, Walmart, or anywhere.

I found these for a few bucks at Forever21

Finish the look with your clothes: Black shirt, brown or dingy denim coat or shirt under the coat, and black overcoat, black pants and boots!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Enter to Win Friday - Take 2!

We have a lot of great prizes to win this month!
Here are some of our prize contributers:
So to enter to win in the big giveway on October 31st leave a comment answering the following question:
What vampire scares you the most?
this can be from any movie, TV Show, book, etc.
I will be accepting entries until 11:59PM Sunday night (Pacific Time)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

In the Presence of Saint Modwenna

Today's guest blogger book excerpt is from Andrew M. Boylan at Taliesin Meets the Vampires. Not only is he an author, and has a great movie and book review site, but I also love his rules of the game (devised from a list of research material). To read more from Andrew Boylan, head over to his sister site: Taliesin Writes the Vampires.

The following is an extract from Concilium Sanguinarius, actually chapter twenty, and has also been published as a stand alone in the zine Ethereal Tales.

Thanks Andrew - readers enjoy!

West Yorkshire, England – 1347

The campfire had just, grudgingly, flickered into life; the damp sticks producing as much smoke as they did light. The woman, a nun, knelt on the floor warming her hands whilst the two guards stood nearby grumbling to each other.

“Dame Startin,” the taller of the two guards addressed the woman, “begging yer pardon, but I’d ask you to reconsider. This forest ain’t safe.”

The woman shook her head and, silently, asked God for strength before replying. “Master Warder, I have left the title of Dame behind. I am the Prioress of Kirklees now.”

“As you say ma’m, but I’d still ask you to reconsider.” There seemed to be a small edge of panic or anxiety in the grizzled man’s voice.

“Master Warder, for better or for worse I fear that we are stuck in the forest until day breaks. I will not risk the horses by stumbling blind through the undergrowth.”

“But the inn is only two hours ride and ‘tis a lot safer than this ‘ere forest.” He insisted.

“The inn may as well be a hundred leagues distant if one of our mounts breaks a leg, and we have no need to fear the forest. The outlaws in Sherwood are centred around Nottingham and we are in Yorkshire. I doubt they will travel all this way to rob a penniless nun. Now will they?”

“Ma’m, the notorious brigands are to be found round Nottingham way, I grant you, but the forest is still thick with thieves, none-the-less.”

For a moment her voice carried the edge of her previous station in life. “Sir, I will broke no more discussion on the matter, we make camp here.” Her voice softened slightly before she added, “How long until we reach the priory if we ride at daybreak?”

Jack Warder groaned inaudibly, if she wanted to make good time to the priory they would not be stopping at the inn to break fast. “God willin’, we’ll be there by sunset tomorrow ma’m.”

Startin’s voice dropped into a mumble as she turned her attention back to the fire, “Good… good…” The discussion was over.

The guards moved out of earshot to confer.

“What do you make of it James?”

“It’s a rum ‘un, I’ll give you that,” replied the second guard, “But I can un’erstand it. A trip will lame a horse an’ that’ll slow us down on the morrow.”

“Not as much as ‘avin’ our throats cut.” Warder ran a dirt-encrusted finger menacingly across his throat to illustrate his point.

“Aye, you ‘ave a good point Jack lad, we’ll just ‘ave to keep a good watch.” James shrugged and then added, “As it is I ‘ave to make water, you make sure her ladyship don’t stray from the fire now.”

Neither guard noticed the shadow slipping through the trees, outside the light from the campfire.

James Goldborough watched his companion return to the campfire and then headed into the trees; he wanted to make sure he was out of sight of the camp. It wouldn’t do him any good to allow a lady of God to see him making water.

His friend’s concerns were well founded; the forest had become notorious in recent years. That said the Prioress was also right, most of the trouble was out round Nottingham. Thieves were not a localised problem though and caution was always needed. That was why Lord Grafton had insisted an armed guard escort the Prioress to her new position. Warder had been irritable through the entire journey, however, probably down to the fact that they’d had to take horses; he’d never been much of a horseman. If the truth was told neither of them were comfortable around the Prioress. She was a devout woman, of that there could be little doubt, but that also meant that when they stopped for the night, on the nights when they had stopped at inns, there had been no chance to play dice or get drunk or whore. Plenty of time for that on the way home though, James grinned to himself.

Once out of sight of the camp James lifted his padded aketon and dropped his hose. A relieved sigh escaped his mouth as the hot stream of urine splashed against the side of the oak.

He never saw the shadow creeping behind him, never knew it was there until two icy cold hands gripped his head. He managed a startled grunt before the hands twisted, snapping his neck and killing him instantly.

His body dropped softly to the floor, his own urine running back from the tree and pooling around his corpse, and the shadow slipped back into the night.

Jack Warder took off his kettle hat, placing it gently onto the floor so as not to disturb the Prioress, and then removed the padded coif that sat beneath it and scratched. The damned coif made his head itch. Probably full of lice, he thought, as he scratched furiously at his sweat-dampened hair.

The sooner they were out of the damn forest the better. He believed all he had said about outlaws true enough, but then there was the other thing. He hadn’t had the courage to mention it to the Prioress, she’d never believe him, nor to James for that matter, the younger guard would have laughed until he pissed himself. Jack knew better though, Jack knew the forest was haunted.

His cousin Ben had told him the stories. The tale of the White Lady who haunted the forest. Some said it was the ghost of a Saxon lady restless after the Normans had taken her husband’s lands and then raped and killed her a few hundred years back.

Others said it was the presence of Saint Modwenna punishing those who broke the Commandments, though Jack couldn’t say why a Saint would attack those out in the forest. Worse thing was, he thought to himself, if it was the Blessed Saint then he was doomed if she found him. He had never been one for observing the Commandments.

Thing was, this White Lady was real enough, Ben had sworn it, and he’d never known the boy lie.

He scratched at his head again. The prioress seemed lost in her own thoughts and the horses, tied to a nearby tree, were quiet enough. James was taking his own sweet time though.

“Jack come ‘ere.”

He looked at the Prioress but she hadn’t reacted. The other guard’s voice had seemed odd, no more than a whisper. He might have seen something in the trees, something that had forced him to lower his voice. Maybe he had caught sight of brigands in the woods. Warder picked up his rough handled knife and moved to the edge of the clearing.

“James, James Goldborough, where are you?” He hissed.

The shadow touched his mind again and whispered “Over ‘ere Jack.” To Warder it sounded like Goldborough, though he wasn’t to know that his friend lay dead amongst the trees.

Warder moved further into the forest, away from the light of the fire, fear gripping his stomach. Damn the boy, he thought, what sort of game was he playing? Tree branches caught at his clothing, tugging at him in the dark, and scraped across his rough face. A sound made him whirl around, cracking his head on a low branch. He swore lightly, it had been an owl. As he rubbed his sore skull he realised that he had left his helm at the camp.

“Goldborough?” His voice was stretched, barely audible above the frantic pounding of his own heart.

James Goldborough did not reply.

“What the hell…” He thought he saw a shadow flitting through the undergrowth, but then rationalised that it was just the thin moonlight moving through the swaying branches. Even so his hand gripped the knife tightly, his knuckles white.

“To Hell with you Goldborough, enough of your games.” He said almost too loudly. He turned to move back to the camp.

He glimpsed her for just a second before the talon like fingernails ripped his throat. Enough time for him to recognise the White Lady. Enough time for his feverish mind to realise that he had been right to believe Ben and for a stream of urine to soil his dirty grey hose.

He fell to the floor, clutching the gapping hole in his throat, blood spraying through his fingers and spilling onto the forest floor. Unable to make a sound.
Unable to warn his charge.

The shadow flitted towards the clearing.

At the edge of the clearing, outside the light flickering from the fire, she watched the Prioress. The older woman was praying, her fingers flickering over a set of ornate rosary beads.

The shadow circled around until it stood behind the Prioress, head still bent in prayer. She edged closer and closer until she stood directly above the nun. Her white fingers, stained red with Jack Warder’s blood, reached out slowly and then gently pulled back the wimple.

The Prioress’ eyes shot open; she twisted around to see a young girl, beautiful and yet so pale of skin. She was about to ask the girl her name when the girl’s mouth opened and she saw the fangs and the luminescent flash of red in the girl’s eyes.

She lifted the rosary, holding the tiny crucifix up to the devil, for devil it surely must have been. “God preserve me… I beg of you Lord, preserve your servant.”

The vampire laughed, the woman was absolutely sincere in her prayer, sincere in both her will to live and her belief that her God would protect her. She took the rosary from the Prioress’ hand and looked at it for a moment before throwing it to one side. “Which God would that be?” She asked the trembling nun, and then she struck, her fangs burying deep into the older woman’s neck.

For a moment the Prioress felt the touch of paradise. She sank into the vampire’s embrace willingly, offering up her life.

The horses panicked, neighing and whinnying franticly, pulling back at the ropes that tied them and kicking back into the night, kicking naught but air, or each other. One of them managed to break its head collar and ran into the night, neighing furiously.

The vampire ignored the horses and fed.

Two nights later the new Prioress of Kirklees arrived at her post, her habit stained from her travels, her ornate rosary clutched in her hands.

Her appearance took the nuns aback at first. She was so much younger than they had expected and she was also a day late. They asked her where her escorts had gone, concerned that she should have travelled the roads alone. Her escorts had been forced to return to their Lord with all haste after ensuring she was safe, she explained. Surely the nuns had seen the horsemen galloping off down the road. One remembered that she had and then another. Foolish men, thought one, always rushing here and there. They should have come in for the night, rested and returned to their Lord on the morrow.

Within hours Danaan had settled into the Prioress’ room, leaving explicit orders that she was extremely fatigued and was not to be disturbed the following day.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The happenings around town

Jennifer Armintrout, author of the Blood Series is running a hilarious commentary/review on the Vampire Diaries TV show.

This is old, but absolutely hilarious. It's a little hard to navigate through, but Smart Bitches Trashy Books does a chapter by chapter summary of Dark Lover by J.R. Ward.

Bitten by Books is doing a 31 Days of Dark Delights

The Mystery of The Haunted Vampire is posting chapters of his book.

Be sure to check in with other authors and bloggers participating in my Halloween event too!

October Events: (originally posted by Suburban Vampire)
KCon (Sherrilyn Kenyon Convention): October 9-11 - New Orleans, LA
Vampires Rock: October 14 - Bournemouth, UK
Bram Stoker International Film Festival: October 16-19 - Whitby, England
Festival of the Dead: October - Salem, MA
The Vampires' Masquerade Ball: October 23 - Salem, MA
Vampire Film Series and Festival: October 23-26 - New Orleans, LA
The Transylvanian Ball: October 24 - Portland, OR
Vampire Ball: October 24 - Flint, MI
Queen of the Damned Ball: October 30 - New Orleans, LA
Hallowhedon: October 30-November 1 - Heathrow, UK
Flight of the Vampire Race: October 31 - Brevard, NC

Vampire Film Festival has announced their international movie line-up

The 4- Day Vampire Festival slated for Oct. 23- 26 will showcase films, a vampire ballet, a New Orleans Jazz Style Funeral and a French Quarter scavenger hunt.

Over 50 films will screen from over 11 countries this month in New Orleans. Vampire Fest has declared 2009 the Year of the International Vampire and will screen films from Japan, Spain, France, Italy, Norway, Austria, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. We will screen films that could be classified in the context of vampire, supernatural, the bizarre, the grotesque, the mysterious or the desolate. The legend of the werewolf is interconnected with that of vampire and Vampire Fest is open to films of the Gothic, zombie, werewolf or ghost genre.

“This will mark Vampire Fest’s first time in NOLA!” Mary Beth Romig, Director of Public Relations and Communications for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, recently declared, “We are excited to welcome the Vampire Film Festival to what we think is the perfect city for showcasing this genre. With our reputation for being one of America's most haunted cities and our rich history, we feel our city will be the perfect backdrop for the festival this year and for many years to come, adding another exciting and unique festival to the line up of great events in New Orleans."

The lineup screening at the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center is as follows (tickets are now on sale at
Oct. 23rd, the Australian short, 1271, opens the festival with a 3:00 p.m. screening.

1271 is followed by the feature film, The Kiss, the story of a high school outcast who heeds the pleas of Santa Maria, the queen of the Snake Clan of Vampires, who has been left for dead under a neighborhood house by her archrival. Unfortunately, after our hero brings Santa Maria back to life with the blood of neighborhood pets, she begins feeding on his high school friends.

At 5 p.m., Vampire Fest presents a series of Gothic shorts including Rakthavira, Dreams, The Music of Eric Zahn, Electra Zen Suite from Italy and The Ward.

The opening night films at 7:30 p.m. include Sucker and Shadowland, the story of a young woman left for dead who encounters a young man who might be her savior or her killer.

At 10 p.m. Vampire Fest will screen the Kathryn Bigelow classic, Near Dark, the tale of a mid-western farm boy reluctantly becomes a member of the undead when a girl he meets turns out to be part of a band of southern vampires who roam the highways in stolen cars.
The Midnight Screening will begin with a costume contest with prizes followed by a program of selected shorts includes Canadian Anime, The Urge, CannibAlien from Japan, Childhood Fears, Exposure, Bloodrayne, Nosferajew . The evening concludes with Blood Bound. All midnight screenings during the festival will include surprises, and some live entertainment.

Oct. 24th, the program commences at 2:00 p.m. with a series of international vampire shorts including Forgotten Sunrise, from Norway, Here Lies Lucy: A Vampire, from the United Kingdom, Killer from Australia, D’Entre Les Morts from France, Blood Sisters from Austria and Bad Reception from Australia.

At 4:30 p.m., Vampire Fest presents the award-winning feature, The Revenant, a story about an ancient pestilence recurring in modern society that turns the infected into moldy, putrefying, living corpses
The screening is followed at 7:00 p.m. by the Canadian feature, The Death of Alice Blue, the story of Alice, the creative young intern at Raven Advertising, a firm run by vampires and the Canadian short, Initiation.

At 9:30 p.m. Vampire Fest will present a series of mythic-themed short films including College Video #13, Hellcat & Tala, Trojans, and the mythic feature Mangal Sutra,

Wear your costumes to the Midnight Screening! Vampire Fest is hosting a costume contest complete with prizes then screening an eclectic mix of short films including the Gothic-themed The Blind Date of Coffin Jose, vampire-themed Spanish short, Sweet Blood and mythic-themed short films, Nights Moves and Shrove Tuesday from the United Kingdom. The program ends with a musical short from Samoa, Vauville Dead.

Oct. 25th, the screenings begin at 5:30 p.m. with the Gothic Shorts series, Morella, X-Mess Detritus, A Hammer Fell In Jerusalem, One Dark Night, Café and The Fine Art of Poisoning, a music video by chanteuse, Jill Tracy.

The program begins again at 9:30 p.m. with more vampire short films including Vampire Killers, The Union, Third Shift Mr. Moonlight, and Diaries of a Teenage Vampire. The short series ends with a musical short by Gothic chanteuse Jill Tracy, Haunted by the Thought of You.

Vampire Fest presents a cult favorite at the midnight show, the feature, Nadja, filmmaker Michael Almereyda’s take on the Dracula myth set in urban New York.

Oct. 26th, at 2:00 p.m., Vampire Fest screens the vampire short, Now That You’re Dead followed by the British vampire feature, Strigoi, a unique feature set in a post-communist Romanian village and introduces us to an ancient myth, the Strigoi, souls that rise again after death to seek justice if they have been wronged, their appetites intensified by a hunger for blood.

4:30 p.m., Vampire Fest presents a Gothic double header, Grotesque followed by the feature film, Let Me Die Quietly, a neo-noir thriller in which a brilliant psychiatrist, a beautiful seductress, and a jaded detective unexpectedly crash into the disturbed world of a death-obsessed loner.

The winning entries from the Hunted Contest will be screened at 7:00 pm and audience favorites.

Since vampire literature is interconnected with the movie genre, stretch your mind with best selling writers at Vamp Lit. Vampire Fest will present a literary panel on Sunday, October 25th starting at 2 pm at the Zeitgeist. Writer Sue Dent will be moderating the event that will feature best-selling writer Erin McCarthy, graphic novelist Van Jensen and Louisiana’s own, Nicole Peeler. These established and debut novelists will be happy to detail what it's like to be a part of the astoundingly popular world of vampire and shape-shifter fiction.

This panel will be followed by a Shoot Louisiana Panel in conjunction with the New Orleans Film Commission. With filmmakers invited from around the world this would be a perfect time to introduce them to the great filmmaker incentive programs in Louisiana.

Both panels end with the Film/Lit Mixer where new and established writers and filmmakers can mingle in the Absinthe Den presented by Le Tourment Vert and craft films for next years festival!

Pull out your cape, slip on your fangs and join the Big Easy’s undead film fanatics at the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center on October 23rd,
24th, 25th and 26th. Zeitgeist has long been the hub of alternative arts scene in New Orleans and is located on 1618 Oretha Castle Haley
Boulevard, New Orleans.

For more information, call Vampire Fest New Orleans at (504) 298-VAMP or visit our official site,, an intriguing and provocative door to supernatural based media.

Purchase your tickets now at! $6.00 in advance, $8.00 at the door.