Saturday, September 29, 2007

Vampire Television: Moonlight and Blood Ties

I have to admit I'm such a vampire fan that I'll watch almost any show about the undead.

Even really bad movies with very cute actors in the lead vampire roles wind up on my DVD shelf.

I like different things in my vampires than a lot of vamp fans like, and one of my favorite things is when the vamps in a story actually ENJOY being vamps.

I saw Moonlight twice so far. The first time I was less than thrilled by the lead female and the vampire's strange need to rescue humans. But I also found some things I liked. The vampire is a nice looking fellow. He has a good -- but not too snarky or adolescent -- sense of humor. So, I guess the show has possibilities and I'll tune in next week.

It's already being compared/contrasted with Blood Ties.

What do you think?

Did you watch Moonlight last night? Did you like it? Are you a fan of Blood Ties? Which show do you like best and why?

Leave a comment here and I'll choose one commenter next Sunday (October 7). The winner will receive a special surprise. (Please make sure I can find your email address to contact you if you win.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Impatient To Be Born!

I found out today that "The Vampire Shrink" is listed as "in stock" on Amazon. com and a lovely soul just told me she purchased it, and the book is on its way to her.

Yikes! It's actually real. It's happening. Somebody pinch me. Or give me a hug. Yeah, that's better. grin.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Guest Blogger: Tawny Taylor

You just released “Real Vamps Don’t Drink O-Neg.” What’s that book about?

It’s about a woman (Sophie) who discovers her best friend, an author, is possibly married to a lamia--a snake like vampire muse. She spends the rest of the book trying to figure out if vampires really do exist, chasing ancient relics, and falling in love with a science professor with yummy abs and shoulders...and a set of fangs that would make the average girl swoon.

How long did it take you to write it?

About three months.

You’ve released other paranormals. Please tell us about those.

I have written quite a few paranormals over the years, including several vampire series (Twilight’s Possession and Carpe Nocturne), a couple of shapeshifter series (Animal Urges, Passion Unbound and Immortal Secrets), a couple of ghost stories (Sex and the Single Ghost, Body and Soul), and even a selkie book (Wet and Wilde). Although I originally started writing contemporary romance, I quickly learned it was a lot of fun writing paranormals. I’ve been writing them ever since.

What makes your books unique?

I blend humor, paranormal romance and mild BDSM in my stories. I love writing about sexy Alpha heroes (YUM) and feisty women who have the guts to do and say stuff that I never would in real life. I also love to write about the unexpected, like a water Jphobic woman falling in love with a selkie.

How long have you been writing?

Professionally, with an eye toward publication, six years.

What was your “getting published” process like?

My first contract was with a small epublisher, Echelon Press. I was extremely fortunate. I was writing less than a year when I received that first contract. Shortly after that, I submitted to Ellora’s Cave. Again, I was lucky. I signed my first contract with them when they were still very small. I’ve learned that sometimes timing is *everything* and submitting a story at the right time can make the difference.

Why do you think paranormals are so popular?

Oh ack. This is a tough question. I guess I’d have to say because the stories represent the current woman’s absolute fantasy, which is shaped by our culture and real life relationships. Confusing enough for you? LOL. What I mean is, paranormals tend to star alpha heroes who are domineering, powerful men. With women (we’re talking real life now) being more or less equals with men in our society, I think a large number of women still look for men who hold some kind of power over them. Fictional paranormal characters can possess super natural powers. They’re dangerous. Dark. Mysterious. All the things many women fantasize about. It’s funny, but in our book club we’ve talked about this topic, and we all agree we wouldn’t want to live in real life with our favorite romance novel heroes. They’d drive us nuts, LOL. But they’re still a lot of fun to fantasize about.

Do you have any advice for all the writers out there?

Learn what your strengths and weaknesses are as a writer. And then learn to improve where you need to and capitalize on your strengths. Finally, be prepared for LOTS of rejection and negative feedback. Even if your novel is the best thing since Woodwiss’ Flame and the Flower, (or more recently JR Ward’s Immortal Lover) it’s pretty likely it’ll be rejected from dozens of publishers and agents (if not more).

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Visual for Devereux (my main vampire)

Ever since I wrote "The Vampire Shrink," I've been searching for a real male to represent what my main vampire, Devereux, looks like.

I looked and looked. Recently, I started seeing this gorgeous morsel (Ryan) on some of Ellora's Cave's covers. Then I discovered he was the centerfold of their calendar.

When I imagine Devereux, this is what I see.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

Where's the Joy?

I've probably said those words to hundreds of clients over the past 20+ years.

They come to my office, or schedule a telephone consultation, and recite a list of things that are wrong. Problems. Difficulties. Huge dramas. Often they are sure they know who to blame (sometimes it's the self).

I was in the middle of speaking those words yet again yesterday, when my voice trailed off.

I've apparently not been listening to my own advice.

After my divorce, I became a goal-obsessed hermit. I'd have to go through my piles of paperwork, but I think the divorce was 6-7 years ago. I've lost track of time. All I do is work. Now that work includes writing, since I have a deadline (which I'm very grateful for).

This is very strange for a psychotherapist to admit, but I'm really out of touch with being with people socially. I suck at small talk. I usually maneuver the situation around so that I'm doing the wise listening and head nodding, and the other person is doing all the talking. Old habits die hard. And, even though I make sure things end up that way, I get annoyed when they do. Hey. I never said I was rational.

The point of all this is that I've stopped expecting joy. Maybe even stopped believing in it.

Well, since we can't have what we don't believe, I'm in a bit of a soup.

So, I'm exploring. Within myself. Turning from the "reality" I've created to one I'd rather have. Maybe I'll even date. Well, maybe I'll think about dating. Yeah. That's better. But it's progress. So, I ask myself, "Where's the joy?"

Where's yours?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Guest Blogger: Yasmine Galenorn

Book signings. Reader letters. Both can be a blessing, or a curse, though most fall somewhere in between. I get some genuinely fascinating questions from both venues, and a few that I’d rather not deal with. And recently, a reader at a book signing tried to trip me up (albeit in good nature) by asking a very astute question. ~grins~

First, a little intro: I’m Yasmine Galenorn, USA Today bestselling author, and I’m guest blogging at Lynda’s gracious invitation.

I write books. So far, a lot of books—or a lot in my estimation. When I started out in life, I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was three. And the only way to get there was…to write. So over the years, I’ve written. A lot. I knew I wanted to write fantasy/science fiction so that’s what I focused on. I wrote seven novels and they all ended up in the closet. And then, I made my first sale: a nonfiction metaphysical book of guided meditations. Not quite what I’d envisioned, but hey, I was thrilled—I’d finally gotten published and a publisher was paying ME to do what I loved best. Not a lot, but hey, they were footing the bill. I went on to write seven more nonfiction metaphysical books before I knew it was time to get back to my first love: fiction.

So I wrote a new novel…after six revisions, I found an agent, and landed a three-book contract with Berkley. But wait! The books were mysteries—paranormal, fun and exciting, but mysteries weren’t ever something I envisioned myself writing. But I was still writing and now I was writing fiction. I went on to write eight books—in two series before I had landed my dream contract.

And now, I’m writing urban fantasy, and I’m one very happy woman. I’m writing The Sisters of the Moon Series. The D’Artigo Sisters—three half human, half-Faerie, sisters, work for the OIA—the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. Camille, a witch, Delilah, a werecat, and Menolly, an acrobat extraordinaire turned vampire, have been sent Earthside to keep them out of trouble by their superiors, who consider the girls nothing but a bunch of bumbling half-breeds. But the girls soon find themselves smack in the middle of Demon-Central when Shadow Wing, the leader of the Subterranean Realms, decides to attempt a coup on both Earth and Otherworld.

From their home in a seedy suburb of Seattle, the sisters must use every ounce of erratic power they have to thwart the havoc about to unfold. Together with Camille's lust-crazed and not-quite-human boyfriends, an FBH (full-blood-human) detective named Chase Johnson who has a penchant for spicy beef tacos and wild women, a gorgeous hunk of dragon flesh named Smoky, Iris the house sprite, and Maggie—their baby calico gargoyle, they must use all of their collective talents to prevent the demons from taking over as the three sisters attempt to save two worlds, one monster at a time.

So…back to the reader’s question. Someone asked me, “Who’s your favorite among the three sisters?”

Ha! I thought. Trick question! It seems each one of my readers for this series has their own favorite and it would be very easy to offend 2/3 of my readership by identifying too strongly with one character. The PC answer would be: I don’t have a favorite, I love each of them equally. But that would be a lie—just ask any mother privately. I always knew my mother loved one of my sisters better than the rest of us. It was obvious, even though she tried to hide it. So…to be honest, Camille is my favorite. I adore her—I love the others too, but I just adore Camille. But even as I say that, I realize, they are all my favorite, but for different reasons.

I love Camille best because she’s sexy and seductive, she’s snarky and doesn’t give a damn what anybody says about her clothing choices, her love life, her multiple lovers. She’s a witch—and that resonates with me because I’m a shamanic witch. Although her magic is the ooo-ahhh kind, and mine doesn’t really produce fireworks, I feel a kinship with her. She’s a gurly gurl—and so am I. Makeup, shoes, clothes, she loves them all without shame or apology, just like me.

But I also love Delilah best. She’s a werecat, and she also has a secret shadow self inside that I identify with deeply (telling you what that shadow self is would be a spoiler if you haven’t read Changeling so I won’t say what it is here). My totem is the black panther, I’m an ailurophile, I have four cats, I know cat. And so I love her very strong sense of catness. And Delilah genuinely wants to be believe the best about everybody, even though she’s coming to realize that sometimes, reality overrides fantasy in that department.

And then there’s Menolly. Menolly’s a vampire, but before she was a vampire she was an extremely athletic spy. She had the ability to climb up the smoothest of walls, to cling from the barest of finger holds…until she ran into the leader of the Elwing Blood Clan and was tortured and turned into a vampire, then sent home to destroy her family. But Menolly’s strength of will, her pure refusal to play by anybody else’s rules, prevented that from happening. I love that Menolly doesn’t take prisoners, she plays to win, she’s kick-ass and not afraid to get her hands dirty. And she has a deeply macabre sense of humor—again, which I identify with.

So dear readers, yes, I love them all best. For different reasons. And given the books rotate—each book is narrated from the viewpoint of a different sister—it’s a good thing. Go ahead, try and trip me up with questions! ~grins~ I’m ready for you!


PS: Yes, there are more than three books in the series, there will be at the very least, six and hopefully a number more after that.

Yasmine Galenorn is the USA Today bestselling author of the Sisters of the Moon Series (Changeling; Witchling; Darkling—1/08; she also penned the Chintz ‘n China Mystery Series, the Bath & Body Series—under the name India Ink; and 8 nonfiction metaphysical books. She can be reached via her site:, Myspace:, her blog:, and several other venues.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Guest Blogger: Caridad Pineiro

When I decided to write paranormals, it was because I was eager to explore not only a whole new world of creatures, but also the darker aspects of my characters that such a new world provided to me.

In THE CALLING vampire series, the paranormal world let me play off the tortured pasts of my heroes, both mortal and immortal, to create characters that were complex and multi-dimensional. Since I had a series going, that complexity allowed me to slowly peel off the layers of the heroes as if they were an onion, exposing new aspects of their nature in each book of the series. For readers who had been with the series from the very beginning, that meant that they would see the constant growth and change of the characters, providing them with a reason to come back for the next book - seeing what else would occur with favorite characters. Besides the constant evolution of the characters in THE CALLING series, there was the added challenge of trying to keep the stories unique, especially since vampires stories seem to abound everywhere now.

How did I try to keep THE CALLING series unique? First of all, I decided this was going to be a cross-genre series. Not only is there a paranormal element to all the books, there is also a strong romantic suspense element. This has helped to not only keep the stories from getting stale, it has brought in readers who might not normally consider reading a paranormal novel.

In addition, the level of paranormal versus romantic suspense varies from book to book. For example, the first book in the series, DARKNESS CALLS, was more about a chase for a serial killer than the paranormal aspects. The fact that the hero, Ryder, is a vampire, does not play a key role in the story until very late in the book. This helped draw in non-paranormal readers, but it also gave paranormal readers who were used to a heavy vampire element a chance to experience a different kind of vampire.

In later books, for example DEVOTION CALLS, the paranormal element took the forefront and the story revolved primarily around the vampires and vampire-like creatures.

Secondly, while I followed many of the established rules of vampire mythology, I also changed a few (with the appropriate explanations) and also added new elements, such as how vampires can procreate or why their blood chemistry is unique (which will lead to some new developments in future stories). Making such changes keeps things fresh for readers who might be tired of the same old vampire traits.

Finally, although the main demons in THE CALLING are vampires, I make it a point of trying to also include demons who are vampire-like, but different. In BLOOD CALLS, the villain is actually a chupacabra - a goat sucker. The chupacabra is a Latino type of vampire demon and relatively unknown which made it fun for readers. In fact, one reader recently wrote to me to let me know about the apparent discovery of a chupacabra in Texas. If you're interested, here's a link to the article:

In future books, I'll be introducing Chinese vampires and using their differences to create mayhem in FURY CALLS, which will be out in the spring of 2008.What else do I do to provide fans with variety and keep them guessing? Well, I also write straight romantic suspense (SECRET AGENT REUNION, August 2007) and women's fiction (SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN, September 2007).Do readers like seeing these different sides of me? Definitely. Many of my paranormal readers also take the time to explore the action and adventure of my romantic suspense and the fun and friend of my Chicas books.For more information on all of my novels, please visit and

Monday, September 03, 2007

Awesome Guest Bloggers and a New Review

I'll be hosting two wonderful authors this week as guest bloggers:

Wednesday, September 5: Caridad Pineiro
Friday, September 7: Yasmine Galenorn

Check back to read their posts. They're gonna be good.

Here's a link to a new review of THE VAMPIRE SHRINK. This one hasn't been put on my website yet: