Monday, October 31, 2011

Vampire Monday: Jae Lynn Davies

Why Vampires Will Always Be Popular

First, I want to thank Lynda for inviting me. It’s such a pleasure to be here!

Let’s talk about my favorite paranormal creature . . . Vampires.

Why will vampires always be popular? Variety.

The fanged creature of the night has come a long way since the days of Nosferatu. What’s not to love about them? Sure, they’re attractive, immortal, and deliver the promise of supreme sexual fulfillment, but it seems as though we’ve been witnessing a sort of vampire evolution. No longer do vampires come in one shape and size.

There are still the standard vampires who are unable to withstand sun exposure, fear garlic, crucifixes, holy water, etc. The brutal monsters of old are still present in literary fiction and film, but there are some with little or no limitations. In fact, the more modern vampires come equipped with some amazing abilities.

Some examples of evolved vampires:

In the film, The Lost Boys, the vampires slept hanging upside down in humanoid form by attaching a sort of talon to metal piping — no coffins for those bad boys. And they could fly. You’re under the impression they could take flight without completely shifting into a winged animal.

In Blade 2, the vampire race initiated an experiment that backfired. While attempting to find a pseudo drug that would allow vampires to walk in the light, things went terribly wrong. The injection transformed the familiar vampire into a more grotesque genetically altered vampire. We also see a rare occurrence. These mutant vampires sustained themselves by feeding on the blood of other vampires rather than humans. I have to admit, this concept grabbed my attention pretty quickly.

Last, in the widely popular HBO series, True Blood, vampires are out of the proverbial closet! The fanged exist amongst society and demand equal rights, because of readily available synthetic blood beverage designed for their consumption rather than the need to feed exclusively on human blood. Society’s knowledge of this product allows for the vampires to attempt to co-exist with humans. We even see vampire blood being sold as an illegal narcotic.

In my latest novel, Mythic, the vampire race is based on standard concepts (drinking human blood for sustenance, avoiding sunlight, strength, speed, etc), but there are some who don’t have a sun allergy and most of my vampires cast reflections. I’ve also added a new variety of vampire . . . The human/vampire hybrid — the result of humans and vampires breeding.

So long as there are stories about vampires, they will have a constant audience. You’ll always find a plethora of vampire novels in my reading queue, and that isn’t likely going to change. After all, where this immortal paranormal creature is concerned, there’s something for everyone.

What is your idea of the perfect vampire? Does he/she possess any special abilities? Do you prefer the tortured soul with the need to be saved from the curse of immortality, or the leather-donned badass who uses his gifts for a greater cause? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject! One lucky commenter will win an eBook copy of my vampire novel, Mythic!

Want to learn more about the Mythic series? Hop on over to my website, see what I have in store for my vampires!

Mythic blurb: Centuries after the death of her family, human/vampire hybrid, Gianna Marino is determined to shed the blood of the vampire responsible.

Disguising herself as a human wanting to be turned, she infiltrates the enemy’s coven with the hope of bending him to her will and destroying him from the inside.

But when a handsome stranger enters the scene and is lured into their seductive game that results in a heated love triangle, she discovers a secret that blurs the lines between good and evil, forever changing the course of her existence, and destiny will soon determine on which side she’ll stand.

Now available at All Romance eBooks:

Jae Lynn will choose one commenter to win a copy of her book. Leave your email address with your comment and she'll be in touch.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Paranormal and Me

I’ve always loved things that go bump in the night, mysterious communications from beyond and dark, enticing strangers with pointy teeth.

I come by my weirdness honestly, as I’m the latest in a long line of “unusual” women in my family. When I tell people I spent a lot of time locked away in closets during my childhood, talking to invisible friends, they assume I’m a little twisted. That’s probably true (grin), but the early experiences also made me more comfortable with my inner world and my imagination than with the outer world. By the time I was a young teenager, my fascination with the Tarot became another intriguing thread in the tapestry of my life.

Talking to ghosts, sensing things before they happen, reading peoples emotions, feeling energy – hmmm, what kind of books should I write? Let’s just say paranormal was a no-brainer.

Along with my love of all things spooky, I also had an interest in human psychology. What makes people tick? And why do we make the odd choices and decisions we do? After changing my undergraduate major back and forth a few times from music to psychology, I finally decided I loved singing but didn’t have the urge to teach others about it. So, psychology it was.

It took me a long time as a single mom to make my way through undergrad and graduate school, but I finally completed my Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and opened a psychotherapy office. As the years passed, I added skills like hypnotherapy, sound healing, and personal coaching, and expanded my business to include both psychic/intuitive/empathic and therapeutic services.

I’d spent years writing nonfiction articles, columns and teaching materials, but when the fiction bug bit me several years ago, I went down like a skyscraper in an earthquake. Writing about all the magical, mystical and bizarre things in my head was more fun than, well, almost anything. I knew there was a reason I’d spent so many years in those closets!

The idea for The Vampire Shrink came from a phone call and a client session. The mother of a young woman, obsessed with becoming a vampire, contacted me to ask for a referral in her part of the country. I’d also recently met with a client who made outrageous and extraordinary claims about belonging to a supernatural group. I went home that night and began writing, and Dr. Kismet Knight, Ph.D. was born. It’s a pleasure to bring all my various categories of knowledge to my writing.

The psychologist heroine in The Vampire Shrink is loosely based on me. Well, okay. She’s an idealized version of me: thinner, younger, prettier and sought after by lots of gorgeous guys. She lets me live vicariously through her, and we’re both having a ball.

Devereux’s character originally was going to have dark hair. That was my first vision of him. But he insisted on being blond. He also refused to give up his European accent, no matter how many times I tried to make him more contemporary.

With these two willful characters, who knows what will happen next in the series? I just type as fast as I can, trying to keep up!

The USA paperback of the new The Vampire Shrink can be pre-ordered at and/or now!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Vampire Monday: Amanda Ashley

Why Vampires Are (and always will be) Popular

Vampires . . . just the name conjures the image of a tall, dark figure in a long black cape, someone mysterious and deadly, sensuous and compelling. Think of Frank Langella as Dracula – in my opinion, the epitome of a vampire. He’s sexy, polite, suave, and charming, at least on the outside.

Then there is my current favorite vampire, Damon Salvatore, as portrayed by Ian Somerhalder.

Damon doesn’t wear a black cape, though he usually wears black. Damon is first and foremost the kind of vampire that romance writers love to write about – a tortured hero – a man turned against his will, hard on the outside, a bit of a cream puff on the inside. He has the most beautiful, expressive eyes I’ve ever seen.

I’ve been fascinated with vampires ever since I read Interview with a Vampire. Whether portrayed as good guys or bad guys or something in between, there’s no getting away from the fact that vampires are one of the most intriguing paranormal creatures in literature today. Myths and legends abound: They can turn into mist. They can change shape. They are almost indestructible. They can hypnotize you, and read your mind. They are able to move faster than the human eye can follow. They can control animals and the weather. They have the strength of 20 men. They are almost always Alpha males who know what they want and how to get it. The list goes on and on.

These days, it’s hard to find the ugly scary vampires of years ago, no doubt due to the number of romance writers who have taken Nosferatu and changed him into a sympathetic hero. Think of Mick St. John from Moonlight, Edward Cullen from Twilight, Angel from Buffy. Strong on the outside, hungry for love on the inside, just waiting for the right woman to come along.

How can you not love them?

Amanda Ashley is one of those rare birds - a California native. She’s lived in Southern California her whole life and loves it (except for the earthquakes). She and her husband share a home with a fluffy Pomeranian named Lady, a tortoise named Buddy, and a wild sparrow named Tweety. Amanda and her alter ego, Madeline Baker, have written over 70 books, many of which have appeared on various bestseller lists, including the New York Times Bestseller List, the Waldenbooks Bestseller list, and the USA Today list. Not bad for someone who started writing just for the fun of it.

Purchase Bound by Blood


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

Monday, October 10, 2011

Vampire Monday: Suzanne Rock

Top Ten Reasons Why I love Vampires

I love vampires, I really do. Many people feel overloaded by the number of vampire novels available and long for something different, but not me. Give me a good old vamp over other immortals any day of the week. Why do I like vampires so much? Well, I'll tell ya. ;)

1) Vamps like to stay up all night, and won't wake you up first thing in the morning.

2) Fangs and leather are so much sexier than slobber and fur.

3) Got to love all of that intensity underneath the calm exterior – especially when that intensity is directed at you.

4) Vampires don't think of playing World of Warcraft as foreplay.

5) All of those Buffy and Edward fans can't possibly be wrong.

6) After a hundred years or more, a vampire has learned a thing or two about pleasing a woman.

7) Vampires won’t ignore you to watch the game on television.

8) A vampire would much rather drink you than some trendy microbrew.

9) Admit it, there’s something very sexy about that cape.

10) Eric Northman.

Do you love vampires as much as I do? Tell me why in the comments section! Meanwhile, hop on over to my website and check out my Immortal Series ( The first book, Dark Deception focuses on the vampire Enrique. A Spanish vampire, what's not to like? :)

Dark Deception, Book one of the Immortal Realm Series (


After being plunged into a chaotic and deceitful society, Maria Guerrero finds comfort in the arms Enrique Torres, a man she believes is innocent of her world. She keeps him ignorant of her inner monster, and the blood oath she took to save her brother’s life. Instead she prefers to use their sexual play as an escape from her supernatural world. When her secrets catch up with her, Maria is forced to confess her sins. Will Enrique find it in his heart to forgive her deception? He must, before her vampire master demands that Maria pays him his due. With the help of a disillusioned fey warrior, she convinces Enrique that vampires are real, and danger lurks around every corner.

Enrique can’t allow himself to fall for Maria charms, or he’ll risk revealing secrets of his own — secrets which would not only scare her, but put his mission in jeopardy. He hopes that by forming a physical connection with the young vampire, he’ll lower her defenses and earn her trust, for only she can help him bring peace to the Immortal Realm. As they play out their sexual fantasies, her true identity is uncovered. On impulse Enrique gives her his trust, and her betrayal hurts him to the core. Now he wants revenge… but at what cost? As the Immortal Realm descends into chaos, Enrique and Maria must choose whether to trust each other again, or fall victims to the dark deceptions that rule their world.


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

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Many Incarnations of The Vampire Shrink

Lots of covers, huh? If you'd told me back in 2004 when I was writing this book that it would still be alive and kicking 7 years later, having had 4 covers/publishers, I would have laughed. But it has been a fascinating journey and I'm very grateful.

The brown one of the vampire with the tattoo on the bottom was the first cover from a small press. The one with the vampire carrying the woman was the cover I used when I self-pubbed the book and it became an Amazon best seller. The one with the cool purple background is the expanded/rewritten British version from Quercus/Jo Fletcher Books. And the one with the newspaper ad is the new (also expanded/rewritten) USA version coming from Sterling Publishing/Silver Oak on April 3, 2012.

My publishing journey has been a long, strange trip! The Vampire Shrink first came out from a small publisher in 2007, and the second book in the series (at that time), Dark Harvest, followed in 2008. The publisher and I parted ways and because my then-agent retained the e-rights for the 2 novels, I put them up myself on Amazon and Smashwords. They became best sellers and drew the attention of my current agent, who put together a new, 3-book deal for me.

Quercus Publishing in the UK, in a joint effort with Sterling Publishing in the USA, would be putting out an expanded/rewritten version of The Vampire Shrink plus two additional books in the series. The first book came out in the UK/Europe first (Sept. 1, 2011) and will release in the USA on April 3, 2012. The only kindle version that will exist will be the British version. Sterling Publishing will put out Nook, Apple, etc. versions 4/2012.

My new editor, Jo Fletcher, and I decided the old book #2 skipped too far ahead in the series arc, so we agreed that I would write a brand new book #2 in the series, Blood Therapy, which I'm finishing up now. That book should come out first in the UK/Europe sometime in 2012 (I think) with a Kindle edition available at the same time. The USA publisher will likely put out the American version of book #2 in early 2013.

The old book #2 (Dark Harvest) will be rewritten/expanded and might turn up as book #3 or #4. I don't know yet!

Clear as mud, eh?

Monday, October 03, 2011

Vampire Monday: Karin Shah

The Eternal Appeal of Vampires or How to be Popular for Eternity

Vampires. The word used to conjure a pale man with widow’s peak hair, red-glowing eyes, and fangs dripping blood, but those days are mostly gone. The vampire in fiction is now a character of admiration and desire.

Popular culture has moved from Bela Lugosi’s Dracula to Twilight’s Edward, and the shift has been the most dramatic in Romance. Why the change from monster to hero?

At first glance the appeal is skin deep. Immortality? Check. Eternal youth? Check. Magnetic attractiveness? Check. And then there are the optional, but also compelling abilities: shape-shifting, mind control, flying, sparkling (just kidding). And since they have lived a long time, they are, almost without exception, rich.

Still if you look closer, I think vampires appeal to Romance readers on a far more archetypal level.

1. Vampires are the bad boys. The unattainable. They provide an edge of danger and the promise of a truly everlasting love. There is often a mate bond. What woman wouldn’t love the idea of a soul mate who will never stray?

2. Rooting interest. The vampire hero has experienced untold loss and pain, often through no fault of his own. We want to be the one to ease his pain.

3. Limitations. Though the rules may change depending on the author, vampires are generally restricted from going out in the sun, entering without an invitation, or stepping on holy ground. They may also be burned by holy water, crosses, or deflected by some other magical means. (An early superstition stated that to slow a vampire you could throw down a handful of seeds and the vampire would be compelled to stop and pick up every one. Probably handy if you were in the middle of planting, but not so much any other time). These limitations are attractive because of the appeal of vulnerability. One of my favorite books is a Sherrilyn Kenyon Dark Hunter novel, in which Zarek, the hero, covers his vulnerability by pushing people away in the crudest ways possible. The heroine sees through this (ironic because she’s blind for part of the book). We want to be the one to see the something special inside the hero that no one else does, the only one who really understands him.

So what do you think? What are some of your favorite vampire novels or characters? And why do you think vampires will remain undead for many years to come?

Bio: From childhood, Karin Shah wrote herself into her favorite TV shows before falling asleep every night. But, despite graduating with a degree in English as a Writing Art from SUNY Oswego, Karin had no plans to write as a career. She got her Master’s in Library and Information Science at the State University at Buffalo and worked as a School Librarian in a suburb of Rochester, NY, for five years, before discovering writing was where her heart lay.

Her first book, STARJACKED, a Science Fiction Romance is available from Samhain Publishing. Her second book BLOOD AND KISSES will be available October 15th from Soul Mate Publishing.

Link to buy:


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