Monday, August 29, 2011

Vampire Monday: Jeanne C. Stein

Why Vampires Are (and always will be) Popular

My name is Jeanne Stein and I write about vampires. I can tell you exactly why vampires have always resonated with me—it’s the idea of immortality.

If you write about vampires, immortality is a subject you give a lot of thought. It goes with the territory. Besides needing to drink blood to survive, the one constant in all vampire mythos is eternal life. In fact, it’s what distinguishes vampires from other supernatural creatures—while a werewolf, for instance, emphasizes what is mortal in us—primal urges—a vampire emphasizes what is immortal—never ending life.

As I get older, the thought of immortality sounds better and better. For the first time in my life, I may have more years behind me than ahead of me. It’s scary. I think back on all that’s happened in my lifetime. Wonders of space and technology, both for good and bad, are opening up new frontiers. Who wouldn’t want to be around for a hundred or a thousand more years to see what will be accomplished?

But at what cost?

Here’s the downside of immortality.

My protagonist, Anna Strong, a newly turned vampire, has a human family. She was turned by accident and trick of fate. Now she deals with the ramifications. She knows she will have to face the loss of everyone she has ever known and loved. Can she ever regain the warmth of a family? Or will her existence be reduced to mere survival?

As a vampire, as a woman, Anna seeks satisfying relationships, sometimes with other vampires. But vampires more often seek relationships with humans and not just as a convenient food source. Perhaps vampires recognize that having a finite life span enables mortals to have deeper, more meaningful relationships than immortals with unbounded lives.

Can vampires fall in love? Can they really care for each other? Power and control are part of the makeup of a vampire. Does being forced to associate with such beings make eternal life more of a curse than a blessing?

By her nature, Anna cannot have children and can’t contribute to future generations. Because she has a soul and a moral compass, will she seek then to dedicate herself to fighting evil? To use her strength to make the world a better place? Will this be her way to leave a mark on a world that will never recognize or acknowledge her? Can she be content to live forever in the shadows?

Would you?

Which is the question I put to you today. Yes or no. Would you accept the “gift” of immortality? Or is the price too high?


Jeanne Stein is the National bestselling author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Anna Strong Chronicles. She lives in Denver where she is active in the writing community, belonging to Sisters in Crime, Romance Writers of America and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. In 2008 she was named RMFW's Writer of the Year and in 2009, her character, Anna Strong, received a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best Urban Fantasy Protagonist. The seventh in the Anna Strong series, Crossroads, will be released on August 30. She has numerous short story credits, as well, most recently the Anna Strong Novella, Blood Debt, in the Berkley New York Times best selling anthology, Hexed.

Amazon Link:


Jeanne will give away a copy of her book to one commenter. Stop back by to see if you won.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Kindle edition of the UK Version of The Vampire Shrink is Now Available

I'm in Florida, helping my mom find a secured nursing home for my dad, and I noticed the Kindle edition of the UK version of THE VAMPIRE SHRINK is available.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Vampire Monday: Arial Burnz

Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog, Lynda! It’s a great privilege to be here to talk about my favorite subject . . . VAMPIRES.

To answer the question posed for this Monday blog, I had to think back on the countless vampire novels I’ve read—romance as well as horror, including Lynda’s Vampire Shrink -- and to the reasons that motivated me to write my own vampire tales.

Immortality is a big factor. Who doesn’t wish they could live forever and cheat death? However, there are plenty of stories about immortals out there. What makes vampires so popular? I believe there are a few reasons.

Take a walk on the dark side and explore the danger of immortality. I believe one of the reasons vampires are so popular is the forbidden aspect of vampire lore. Most vampires have chosen this way of life, be it for revenge, a longer lease on life, or for love. As such, it takes a dangerous personality to choose such an existence.

But other creatures of the night share this similar “bad-boy/girl” feature. What’s the additional lure of vampires? Hands down, I believe it’s the overt sexuality of the crimson kiss. Dracula was a monster, and he wasn’t the first in vampire fiction of his time. Yet Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the true immortal over his peers . . . because of the intense sexuality associated with him. The vampire’s kiss is usually through a bite on the neck. One must surrender to a vampire . . . either by psychic charming or a willing gift to the immortal. And vampires in fiction today are more about seducing your blood from you versus taking it by force. The hunt for such an intimate encounter drips with sensuality and intimacy, appealing to our sexual natures.

That’s my two pence on the subject. Thanks again, Lynda!

Arial Burnz has had a love of paranormal and fantasy fiction since childhood, scratching out her stories on her lined notebooks and getting in trouble in class for daydreaming. Today, she is an author of paranormal and fantasy tales, writing for young adults, children and adults. She lives in Southern California with her husband/romance novel hero (DeWayne), their two cats (Nicodemus and Cody) and their dog (Zeddicus Drool Zorander).

Arial will give away one copy of her book to a commenter. Check back to see if you won!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My New Book Video: The Vampire Shrink

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vampire Mondays: Gerry Bartlett

Why Vampires Are (And Will Always Be) Popular

I never thought I’d write about vampires. Just didn’t like the idea of a deadly creature sucking down blood to survive. But then I took another look at a genre that keeps going strong despite naysayers’ predictions that it has run its course. First, there are many different takes on the vampire mythology. Authors create their own worlds and it’s foolish to stereotype either the characters or the books. One thing is certain. Vampires in literature are here to stay. What is it that captures readers’ imaginations? Why are we hooked? I know what works for me.

Let’s talk about the vampire male. Alpha, usually. Why? Well, these creatures of the night are in survival mode as soon as they get their fangs. Some of them are filled with angst at their fate and others revel in it. I tend to write books that take the lighter approach but those unhappy guys make great villains. Are all vampire males beautiful? It seems a common luck of the draw, maybe because not many sires want to turn an unappealing guy into a fledgling. So we like to read about these gorgeous, powerful men who seem to have a way with women. Part of their power is that they are sensual, in touch with the emotions of the women they meet, and able to control the situation.

Wait. Am I saying we all secretly want to be controlled? I hope not. But there is that universal fantasy of taming the tough guy. So if you can bring a strong vampire to his knees? Yes, that’s a story I want to read. And if the female is a powerful vampire? That’s another popular concept that draws in readers. Who wouldn’t want to be a woman who can have any man she wants? Plus she’s strong physically, sensual and mesmerizing. Count me in. My own female vampire has figure flaws yet still gets the men she wants. It’s a fantasy that readers enjoy playing along with.

Bloodlust and fangs aside, the vampire is a metaphor for every man and woman who dreams of taking control of his or her mundane life. Once turned, he or she could come back to take charge, get revenge, dazzle co-workers, you get the idea. It’s fantasy and that’s what readers have always enjoyed--escaping into a story, one that lets them imagine themselves in a perfect alternate universe. That’s just one reason readers will keep vampires popular. It doesn’t hurt that the vamps have a great time in the sack too.

Gerry Bartlett is the nationally bestselling author of the REAL VAMPIRES series about a vampire who was bloating the day she was turned in 1604 and who now runs a vintage clothing shop in Austin, Texas. Gerry has also been published in historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense. This former teacher lives south of Houston, not far from Galveston, Texas, where she has an antique business. You can check out Gerry’s website and blog at
, friend her on Facebook or follow her on twitter.

Gerry’s current release is her eleventh published novel, REAL VAMPIRES DON’T WEAR SIZE SIX, from Berkley Publishing. Book 8 in the series, REAL VAMPIRES HATE SKINNY JEANS, will be an April, 2012 release.

Gerry will give away a copy of her book to one commenter. Check back to see who won.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Vampire Mondays: E.Cameron Stacy

Viva la Vampires!

Like mosquitoes, leeches, and needles, the vampire has ‘stuck around’ for centuries and will continue to live on. Something about a good bloodsucker story always ‘hooks’ me, doesn’t it you? I mean, is it just me, or do you also get all giddy to think about your next visit to the doctor and getting punctured by a hypodermic?

Thank you, Lynda, for inviting me to pipe in about the longevity of vampires. Considering the success of your Vampire Shrink series, it’s an honor to be here. So I’ll try to behave now and seriously deconstruct our attraction to the great grave escape artist.

Actually, has the vampire endured because of the immortality thing? Yeah, that’s probably it—my wager anyway. The idea of transcending the big doomsday by merely enjoying libations made of some poor bystander’s corpuscles has got to be the reason we keep coming back for more vampire stories. It’s impossible to resist this premise. When one takes into account that eternal life has been the theme of many epics, not just horror, it makes perfect sense that the nosferatu emerged as one of the most memorable characters.

Of course, as the vampire continues to survive the ages, it will be reinvented. Like Anne Rice is known for coining the sympathetic vampire story written in the undead’s point of view, some bold new voice will take the mythological creature in an unforeseen direction that will strike a chord thus entrancing a whole new flood of believers.

Good stories never die. That’s the real reason old V is timeless. As long as each generation catches wind of this night stalker, they’ll hunger for all the chilling, thrilling tales about it. And filmmakers, novelists, or even old uncles around the campfire will gladly deliver their spin on the very same historic folklore that spawned Dracula.

E.c.Stacy (E. Cameron Stacy) has been accused of coming from another galaxy. A horror aficionado, streaker, bon vivant, she lives with her fam in Colorado.

Link to Quencher by E. Cameron Stacy and Ainsley published by Whiskey Creek Press Torrid

E. Cameron will give away a copy of the book to one commenter.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Cover for the UK Version of The Vampire Shrink

Just got this in the mail. The USA version will have a different cover. I was thinking that there will eventually be 4 English versions of The Vampire Shrink cover floating around!

What do you think of the UK cover?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

My Friend Bertena Varney's book: Lure of the Vampire

Lure of the Vampire: A Pop Culture Reference Book of Lists, Websites and Very Personal Essays
By Bertena Varney, M.A.
Paperback: 176 pages
Also available as an ebook
Publisher: Search for the Lure
Published: June 22, 2011
ISBN-10: 0615501567
ISBN-13: 978-0615501567

Lure of the Vampire is a pop culture reference book that begins with history and mythology and ends with modern living vampires. The author has provided "fun" lists like the Powers of Dracula, Real Live Vampire Murders, Television Shows and African Americans who have Played Vampires. There are also websites in each section that show the most popular vampire books and even children's shows and books. But, there is a personal twist when it comes to Lure of the Vampire. The author has provided personal essays from national and international vampire authors as well as her own. They range from a personal look at vampires in mythology to the romantic lust filled vampire. There are also interviews with various groups and individuals involved in the vampire community. Lure of the Vampire: A Pop Culture Refence Book of Lists, Websites, and "Very Telling" Personal Essays is a perfect quick to grab reference book for the vampire fan or author. It is concise enough to assist you in finding links to what you are looking for without our being too cumbersome and confusing.

Lure of the Vampire contains essays from authors: Denise Verrico - David MacDowell Blue - Charles E. Butler - C.J. Ellisson – BittenTwice – Elizabeth Loraine. Interviews with: Vampiric Council of New England, Vlad the Gothic Vampire Magician , Audrey Koogler, Vampire Priestess , and Hugo Pecos, creator of The Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency

Lure of the Vampire is great for any writer who would like to find fun facts to give their vampires in their story. For example, what powers have vampires in mythology possessed or the first literary vampires? There’s a section for that.

What if you are a vampire fan who is looking for new YA or adult authors- there is a section with titles, authors and their websites.

What about vampire games? There’s a section for that too.

Sections include: Mythology, History, Literature, Movies, Television, Recreation, Children’s Vampires, On the Web, Education, and Real Life Vampires. There are lists, websites, essays, and interviews included in throughout the book.

Lure of the Vampire: A Pop Culture Reference Book of Lists, Websites, and "Very Telling" Personal Essays is a perfect quick to grab reference book for the vampire fan or author. It's concise enough to assist you in finding links to what you are looking for without our being too cumbersome and confusing.

You can buy Lure of the Vampire at in print here-

Ebooks are available on Kindle and Nook.

About the Author

Bertena Varney is from Winchester, KY and currently resides in Bowling Green, KY. She attended Morehead State University where she received the following degrees:
- B.A. in Social Science and Education - M.A. in Social Science and Education
- M.A. in Sociology and Criminology - Rank 2 Secondary Education Certification

While in college She used all of her extra essays, projects and independent study classes to study vampires in pop culture . . . thus the creation of Lure of the Vampire.

She has been employed as a middle and high school as well as college instructor. Here past employers include Morehead State University She has been employed Morehead State University, Eastern Kentucky University and National College and will be lecturing at Bowling Green Community College in the fall.

Currently she is planning her lecture tour schedule. In the past she has presented papers at conference such as Sirens in Vail, Colorado and The Harry Potter Witching Hour in Salem, Mass. Currently she is scheduled for ScareFest, Dance on the Dark Side and A Day of Mystical Blood Lust.
She is also planning to begin a vampirology course based upon her studies of vampires in pop culture.

Find Bertena on the web:

Her writing website is
Her vampire research website

Twitter @tenavarney
To sign up for her newsletter go here.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Wanted: FBI Profiler Alan Stevens

Update: I found this photo and thought he was Alan material. What do you think?


I'm in the midst of working on a book trailer for the new, revised/expanded version of THE VAMPIRE SHRINK. I have a photo of a guy who represents Devereux. But I've never come up with a photo of a handsome guy to be the FBI Profiler, Alan Stevens. He's in his early 30s, in good shape, around 6 feet tall, brown hair (probably brushing his shoulders or just a little shorter, since he's a renegade, but he IS in the FBI), and his eyes are sorta bluish-purple. Any nominations for models or actors (or anyone) who might make a good Alan? Send in your suggestions!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Vampire Mondays: J. Paulette Forshey

Why Vampires Are (And Always Will Be) Popular

Besides being tall, dark, handsome, mysterious, and ultra sexy in or out of formal wear? I think it’s because they have the expanse of knowledge from the years they’ve lived. They have witnessed events we mere mortals can only dream about. These walkers of the night have seen humans at their best and worst and still crave their company beyond just being the entree of a four course meal. Vampires have power, wealth, immortality, the good looks of youth and its energy. All the things many crave. Vampires hunger for unconditional love. Or that elusive lost love, or unattainable love. They travel the world indulging in all that it, and life offers up. The undead are the bad boys, and girls, we all yearn to tame. Lately, vampires have taken a turn from undead, ghoulish evil keepers of the night. Today they are totally cool, walk in the day light, some come from the mythical land of Atlantis, sparkle, or are born like the rest of us. But they all still need to consume blood. These drinkers of human’s life liquid are misconstrued , ill-fated heroes fated for greatness and love. Why are Vampires popular? I believe it’s because they call to a deep physic need in us which we recognize, crave, don’t understand, but yearn to be part of.

J. Paulette Forshey lives in a small Ohio town with her husband, a Basset Hound, and a Jack Russell who thinks she owns the place. Her mornings belong to her writing, her days are spent loving her five grandbabies, and her nights belong to her husband, the inspiration for her heroes. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Central Ohio Fiction Writers, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter of RWA, and Northeast Ohio Romance Writers of America.

Link to buy:


J. Paulette will give away a copy of her book, The Tarczal Alliance to one commenter here.

Also: every commenter goes into a drawing for a Kindle or Nook giveaway. One winner will be selected on January 1, 2012. Comment on as many Vampire Monday blog posts as you like.

Additional giveaways to my newsletter subscribers!