Monday, November 28, 2011

Vampire Monday: Louisa Bacio

Everlasting Love

The fascination with vampires varies greatly. Of course, there’s always that benefit of immortality. A vampire never grows old(er), loses one’s youthfulness and doesn’t have to worry about catching this season’s awful flu.

Mythology surrounding vampires differs, though. A few believe that if a vampire drinks blood from a human who’s diseased, that vampire also will fall ill – maybe just not as seriously. I’d like to believe that the strength of the vampire will fight through the germs with super-antibodies.

When it comes down to it, most people fear death. I’m not talking those who are highly religious and “wait” to join God in the afterworld. (I’ve met people like that, and they are free to possess their own beliefs.) I’m talking about the average, every day person: We don’t want the (imagined) pain. We don’t want to give up the life that we know. We don’t want to lose those that we love.

Wait. What was that last point about losing those that we love? Oh, yes. That’s the thing about immortality. Would you want to spend FOREVER alone?

Death, especially to those who are young, sucks. I recently met a man in his mid-40s, and extremely good looking. He was caring for his two youngest children, a boy, 3, and a girl, 4. In a moment of quiet, another member of our group whispered to me that a year ago, his wife died, and he’s the father of six. What? How is that possible?

You don’t meet the person of your dreams, fall in love, get married, start a family . . . and then lose the other person. Life doesn’t work that way . . . but, unfortunately, sometimes it does.

So the other mainstay that goes along with immortality is the concept of that forever partner. A vampire doesn’t want to continuously lose those they love lifetime after lifetime. That’s why one of the most common themes within vampire fiction is finding that companion, whether it’s Dracula and misguided and misplaced love, or the Twilight series and its “forever love.”

We want that forever happily ever after. We want everlasting love.


Louisa Bacio writes erotic romance, many of which delve into the paranormal realm. Her fourth full-length novel The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf 2: Chains of Silver recently was released via Ravenous Romance. She also collects anthologies of vampire fiction. In addition to writing, Bacio enjoys spending time with her family, and teaches college English, writing and popular culture.

The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf: Chains of Silver

Buy link to publisher


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

Friday, November 25, 2011

Interview with Devereux

Devereux, Kismet Knight's vampire lover, is a complex and multi-faceted man, er, vampire. Here's an interview he gave for Laurie on her Bitten by Paranormal Romance blog recently:

Kismet Knight: Hello, everyone! And Happy October, my favorite time of the year. I just stopped by for a moment to let you know that there’s been a change of plans regarding Devereux’s interview. I was going to do it, since I know him best, but we’ve been having discussions lately about the fact that his ego is a little, well, inflated. His self-esteem a bit excessive, and I’m not sure he needs even more attention . . .

Devereux: Ahem.

Kismet: Yes. I know you don’t agree. So, you’re good looking. And maybe your body can flame up a woman’s pilot light? Does that mean everyone with two “x” chromosomes has to genuflect in your presence? No way! You think because you can dazzle everyone with your vampire wiles that we’re all at your beck and call. Well, let me tell you . . .

Devereux: (Looking adorable.) Kismet, my love. I promise I will think about everything you have said. Later. But for now, I would hate to disappoint the ladies . . .

Kismet: Okay, you’re right. We can fight, er, talk, later. (Fans self.) What I meant to say is that since this interview is for readers who do want to know about Devereux’s physical attributes and sexy ways, I’ve been persuaded to step aside and let him be worshipped. I’m relinquishing the task to one of Devereux’s newest staff members, Tara, who loves nothing more than to sing the master’s praises. It’s all yours, Tara . Bye, everyone.

Tara: (Twisting her hands nervously.) Bye, Dr. Knight. Oh, Geez. I’ve never been alone with Devereux before. What if I lose control and jump on him, or something? I mean, wow. He’s just so . . . astounding. Those lips, that butt . . .

Devereux: (Smiling.) There is no reason for concern. I am sure you will be fine. Just ask the questions we prepared. (Pause.) Tara?

Tara: Uh, sorry. You’ve never spoken directly to me before. Your voice is so sexy. So hypnotic. It makes me want to . . . er, never mind. Is it hot in here? Okay. Can I ask a question of my own before I read the ones on the paper?

Devereux: (Pauses to read her mind.) Certainly.

Tara: How can Dr. Knight keep herself under control around you? I mean, you can make her do whatever you want, can’t you? How can she just walk away? After all, you’re the bad ass vampire.

Devereux: Bad ass vampire? (Smiles.) Yes, I do believe that is one phrase used to describe me. But to answer your question, Dr. Knight has a very strong mind. And lots of opinions. She has made it clear she does not wish to be controlled by me, or anyone so – because she is important to me – I honor her request. As you might imagine, it is challenging for me to find an equal of any kind. Not to be the arrogant soul I am often accused of being, but I have been a vampire for over 800 years and I have built my power purposefully. With great power comes great responsibility. I enjoy Dr. Knight’s discussions about the state of my ego. She keeps me from taking myself too seriously.

Tara: Well, er, that’s good. And speaking of responsibility. What’s it like to be one of the most powerful vampires on Earth? Do you get tired of being the boss?

Devereux: I have always had leadership abilities. There have been times throughout my long life that I wished to be relieved of the responsibility of keeping vampires off the human radar, but being the boss seems to come naturally to me. Maintaining the balance between the two species is a crucial task and neither side would benefit from the loss of that equilibrium. Many vampires prefer to be able to kill and feed on humans as they did in the past. To my mind, that would only encourage and unleash the vampire hunters again, which made vampire lives miserable for several centuries. Humans offer themselves to us freely. We can feed without killing.

Tara: Wow. Are you saying there are still vampire hunters?

Devereux: Of course. I have a vast network of observers – both mortal and immortal – who keep me apprised of the whereabouts and activities of the hunters.

Tara: (Hugging herself.) Oh, no! Vampire hunters! Will you protect me?

Devereux: (Half-shrug.) You have nothing to fear. Denver is home to many extraordinary vampire warriors. Under my leadership, they keep all vampire-kind safe.

Tara: Well, let’s move onto some of the meatier questions. How tall are you, and how much do you weigh?

Devereux: How long have you been a vampire, Tara?

Tara: Ten years. Why?

Devereux: (Smiles.) It is rare to hear a vampire use the word “meatier.”

Tara: Oh, yeah. I guess I still use a lot of my old human words.

Devereux: Charming. Anyway, you know we old vampires can transform our physical appearances at will. I can be as tall and weigh as much as I choose. But, for the most part, I normally stand about six feet, two inches and weigh around one hundred ninety pounds. I prefer to remain toned and muscular.

Tara: (Staring at Devereux’s body.) I’ll say. (Shifts her gaze to his face.) Your eyes are unusual. They’re not blue and not green, but a unique mixture of both. And you have dark eyebrows and lashes when your hair is so light. How did that happen?

Devereux: Actually, my hair lightened even more than it already was when I went through the transformation process from human to vampire. My hair originally was a darker shade of blond, so the brows and lashes were a better match. But I’m used to the contrast now and quite enjoy it. (Smiles.) Don’t you think my features suit me?

Tara: (Mouth slowly opening.)

Devereux: Tara?

Tara: (Closing mouth.) Sorry. Got caught up in a fantasy for a moment. Yes. Your features definitely suit you. Let’s go to the next question. You’ve lived a very long time. Can we assume you have had lots of experience with women? Did you have a favorite lover before you met Dr. Knight?

Devereux: It is not my habit to kiss and tell – or bite and tell, either – but it is well known by those who know me that I spent many years with the goddess Maeve, who has a reputation for being uninhibited and vibrantly, primitively sexual. We taught each other many things.

Tara: Yikes. You had sex with a goddess? Can you tell us how that experience was different from being with human or vampire women?

Devereux: (Dreamy expression on his face.) It was a passionate and amazing experience. Maeve is insatiable. She can have sex continuously for hours – as can I – so we often went without nourishment while we were caught up in sexual ecstasy. She appreciated my special gifts, (Glancing down at his crotch.) and my resilience. She showed me how to use one finger in a certain way to drive her mad with desire. That skill has served me well ever since.

Tara: One finger . . . uh, do you still see Maeve? Doesn’t Dr. Knight get jealous?

Devereux: Maeve and I have remained friends. (Gives boyish grin.) Dr. Knight insists she does not get jealous, but I happen to know better. Regardless, I am very loyal and give her no reason to question my commitment.

Tara: I heard that you danced for Dr. Knight at a protection ritual you created for her. I’ll bet that was very sensual.

Devereux: I enjoy dancing. Most pagan males do. Our ceremonies call for movements and I am quite good at all aspects of the physical. I spent many evenings throughout the centuries reveling naked around a fire. Beltane is especially exciting because first we dance and then we pair off and have wild sex. Would you like me to demonstrate?

Tara: What? (Eyes bulging.) Which part? Hey, you’re taking your clothes off. Are you really going to dance naked for me? Oh, my God! You are! Will there be sex next?

(A naked Devereux throws his head back, and sings loudly in a strange language while he moves in a Greek-like dance. His platinum hair flies out behind him as he stomps and claps along with his song.)

Tara: (Eyes still bulging, gaze glued to the firm evidence that dancing arouses Devereux.) Holy shit. How big is that thing?

(Devereux glides out of the room, singing.)

Tara: Devereux? Wait! Can I come? Oh, man. Look at those muscles. That ass. Hold on . . . (Voice fades as she leaves the room.)


The Vampire Shrink, the first book in the Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist series. The British version is available to USA readers on Kindle:
The USA trade paperback and Nook versions will appear April, 2012.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Vampire Monday: Betsy Dornbusch

Vampires have Staying Power

If I have to think of one thing that keeps the vampire mythos enduring, it’s immortality. (See what I did there?) With that one characteristic comes a whole host of fabulous traits, not the least of which is an eccentric nature. I think a writer does vampires an injustice if they don’t imbue them with intriguing peculiarities and deep-set flaws. Eccentricity lends the sense of depth and age, like scars on an old desk top. Of course, everyone knows vampires don’t physically scar…but scars on the psyche work better in fiction anyway.

Eccentricity also goes hand-in-hand with confidence. Aged vampires are creatures who know what they want and aren’t afraid of their own drive to achieve it. I think the best vampires are mature and self-accepting to an annoying degree (maybe a little like some parental types we know). Which leads me to wonder if sometimes a vampire might be frustrated at appearing young forever? I look younger than my age and I’ve run up against a lack of respe
ct because of it; sometimes people don’t give me credit when I actually have experience and age to back up my opinion.

Immortality lends a whole sense of mystery to a character, as well. In a whole lifetime it’s tough to know someone completely; what would it be to try to know someone who is a few centuries old? I don’t think a mortal can ever quite perceive the immortal in any way approaching entirety. But good stories often leave some questions unanswered, and a vampire is a wonderful vehicle for that device.

But mostly, immortality lends universal tension, bringing up that eternal question: what will the world be like after I’m gone? Vampires are generally succinct observers, even if only viewing humankind as prey. They have an objective, maybe even cold view of the world, which provides the opportunity for the characters, the writer, and the reader, to think in terms of future. I think vampires will always be with us because they transcend the human lifespan.

You can find me online at Sex Scenes at Starbucks

My vampire books are Quencher and Quenched, written under the penname Ainsley, and they center around a vampire dating service. My recent sexy space opera is called Lost Prince. All are available through:

in a variety of formats, including for Kindle. I also have an urban fantasy featuring hot twin demon brothers rebelling against the demon king Asmodai coming out from Whiskey Creek Press in January 2012 entitled Sentinel: Archive of Fire. Early reviewers are calling it “dark and juicy” and a “superb thriller.”

Betsy will be giving away a copy of one of her books to a commenter. Stop back by to see if you won.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vampire Monday: Margaret Carter

The Monster with a Thousand Faces

This is the title of a 1989 book about vampires in legend and literature by Brian J. Frost. The phrase summarizes what I consider the main reason why vampires are still popular almost two centuries after publication of the first known prose vampire story in English, "The Vampyre" by John Polidori — their versatility. Werewolves fall into only a few categories — contagious, as conceived by vintage horror films; voluntary users of shapechanging magic or victims of a curse or family hereditary, as in folklore — and they mainly symbolize one thing, the beast within us, whether viewed negatively or positively. Most zombies are either corpses raised by a sorcerer, as in Caribbean lore (not seen much in fiction nowadays), or Romero-type cannibalistic undead. Vampires, on the other hand, come in many types and have been used in literature and film for an almost infinite variety of symbolic purposes. In various works they’ve represented the combined yearning for and horror of the return of the dead, forbidden sexuality, plague and contagion, the threat of foreign invasion, satanic defiance of divine law, fascination with the Other, and the quest for immortality. Vampires can stick close to their horror fiction roots, follow the tradition but with variations such as making the vampire capable of ethical choices rather than demonic or otherwise automatically evil, or diverge into less traditional realms such as vampirism as an infectious disease or hereditary condition, or vampires as a separate species at the top of the food chain.

Another neat thing about vampires is that no matter what traits you want to give your fictional bloodsuckers, you can probably find support in some folklore somewhere. Many of the undead in European folklore rise from the grave as disgusting animated corpses who terrorize and prey their former relatives and neighbors. Others foreshadow the carnal appetites of recent fictional vampires, though. A sexually insatiable Gypsy vampire who returns to his widow’s bed and fathers a dhampir must have some trace of erotic appeal. Although some varieties of Filipino vampires are bloodthirsty female predators hiding a repellent aspect beneath their superficial beauty, the type called “danag” started out rather benign, until hostility broke out between them and their human neighbors. Not all legendary vampires are confined to their graves after sunrise. Like the classic nineteenth-century fictional vampires such as Carmilla and Dracula, who may be nocturnal by preference but aren’t harmed by sunlight, some folkloric vamps roam by day. Some vampires come in grotesque shapes such as the Malaysian monster who flies through the night in the form of a disembodied head with dangling intestines, which she shrinks with vinegar after feeding in order to squeeze back into her body before daybreak. In some European legends, on the other hand, the undead look human enough to mingle unrecognized with ordinary people. In Serbia and Albania it was believed that if a vampire isn’t destroyed within thirty years, he or she can move to another location and start a fresh life under a new identity. Sounds a lot like Count Dracula relocating from Transylvania to England.

Vampires as they're presented in recent fiction appeal to different readers for various reasons. The erotic implications of drinking blood form a perennial facet of the vampire’s allure. The undead hero as an immortal being who has experienced centuries of life offers a perspective on history and culture that human characters can’t. Furthermore, the traditional vampire can usually bestow undying life on his or her human companion. Another element that attracts many female readers is the “bad boy” image, the concept of a dangerous hero who may even have committed horrible acts in his past but has the capacity for redemption. And only the heroine’s love can redeem him. The repentant vampire’s struggles with his conscience and the temptation of bloodlust give the author opportunities for complex character development and philosophical speculation. My personal fascination with vampires started when I read DRACULA at the age of twelve and was mainly focused on the intimacy and eroticism of sharing blood, the essence of life. Later I came to see the vampire as a character type with an attraction similar to Spock on STAR TREK. A vampire looks like one of us but isn’t quite human and provides a slightly twisted viewpoint on human experience. He represents the allure of the alien, yet an alien we can connect with on a deep emotional level because he’s partly our kind.

BIO: Marked for life by reading DRACULA at an early age, Margaret L. Carter started as a horror writer and later expanded into fantasy and paranormal romance. In her teens she tried to create the kind of fiction she couldn’t find enough of, sympathetic to the “monster.” She included a chapter on DRACULA in her PhD dissertation and has written books and articles on vampires in literature, including DIFFERENT BLOOD: THE VAMPIRE AS ALIEN, about the science fiction development of vampires as a naturally evolved species. Her first published vampire novel, DARK CHANGELING, won an Eppie award (from EPIC, the Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) in horror. In her latest erotic romance novella, BLOOD HOSTAGE, a female vampire and a male vampire hunter join forces to destroy a rogue vampire while struggling with their attraction to each other.

Carter’s Crypt:


Margaret will give away one copy to a commenter. Stop back by to see if you won.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Contest: What Genre Am I?

Winner: Carol in Montana! Please contact me at and give me your contact info. Thanks so much to everyone for participating.

Ever since I started submitting The Vampire Shrink in 2005 (started writing it in 2004), it's been hard to place in a genre slot. I've tried and tried to fit in into an existing category without luck. Why does it matter? It matters because readers who think it is THIS get upset when it is THAT. Or they expect it is THE OTHER and definitely not THAT. If they think it's genre #1 and it isn't, or they expect it to be genre #2 and it never was, they get grumpy.

I haven't been able to think of any creative title that really encapsulates the Kismet Knight, Vampire Psychologist series.

So, I'm having a contest. I will give away a $100 gift certificate to Amazon or B&N to one commenter who suggests a brand-new, creative, out-of-the-box genre label for my series. Plus, after you come up with the new category, write a blurb for my book that would alert readers to what slot my series would fit into.

Fun, eh?

I'll pick a winner on Dec. 31, 2011. Just think about all the after-Christmas sales you can use $100 for.

Here's some helpful information: Is it paranormal romance? Not really. There's no happy-ever-after ending, but lots of romance and sex. Urban fantasy? I think so, but people who expect the heroine to be butt-kicking would disagree. My heroine is cerebral. Chick lit? Hmm. Well, the series is about her experiences, but there really isn't anything about shoes or shopping or working for an advertising agency. Dark fantasy? It's pretty dark in a humorous kinda way. Paranormal suspense? I like this one. What do you think?

Leave your comments here. Thanks for participating!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Vampire Monday: Shea MacLeod

Why Vampires Will Always Be Popular In Fiction

When people talk about vampires in fiction and why they’re so darned popular, they’re usually talking about one kind of vampire: Mr. Sexy Vampire.

Nothing wrong with that. I heart Eric Northman as much as the next red blooded girl (or boy). Mick St. James? Yes, please! A little Salvatore brothers? Be still my beating heart.

Sure, vampires look great in leather, look young and hot forever, and can stay up all night with Disco Fever. But that’s not the real reason vampires will always be popular in fiction.

I know, I know. I can see the look of abject horror on your face. The truth is, these sexy, sparkling minions of darkness are a fairly recent invention. And I’m thrilled with said invention, but they’re just a facet of the truth. The truth being: Vampires are us.

And that’s the real reason vampires will always be popular. Not because they’re rich or hot or eternal (Did I mention rich?), but because they embody all of our deepest, darkest fears and desires. Even the ugly ones. Especially the ugly ones.


Vampirism is about power. It’s about being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want. No more rules. No more pesky conscience.
They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. That was never more true than when a human being is given the power over death, life, and everything in between. His (or her) only weakness the sun (and possibly garlic).

Come on, we’ve all dreamed, at least on a small scale, of having more power than we do right now. The power of money, the power of sex, or just pure, physical power. Maybe it was to get back at those mean girls in high school. Maybe it was to show the ex just what he’s missing. Or maybe, maybe just for fun. It doesn’t matter. It’s a real, very human desire.

A desire imbued in the vampires our mythology has created. There’s no safer place to explore that power than in the pages of fiction. And explore we will. As long as we have a safe face to hide behind. Not to mention a nice set of fangs.


We all desire things. Things we’re not supposed to want, things we think we can never have.

Vampires can have all those things. They’re immortal (or nearly so). Over a thousand lifetimes they can accumulate experiences and knowledge we can only dream of. They’re witnesses to history first hand. They can speak a hundred languages and play musical instruments. They’ve travelled around the world.

Notice that vampires are almost exclusively immune to human disease. Convenient that, since their sheer number of sexual conquests could put Casanova to shame (Maybe he was a vampire. Hmmm…).

Through the vampire we can explore our innermost desires while pretending to be above it all. They’re just naughty vampires, after all.


Face it. We’ve all got nightmares. Things that frighten us so badly we want to crawl under the bed.

Through vampires we can explore our fears: Death, un-death, loss, disease, old age. Vampires expose our darkest fears. They are our darkest fears. Nightmares made flesh, hungry for our blood.

The ultimate serial killer.

The popularity of vampires both now and throughout history is far less about how good looking and young they are and far more about how frightened we are. And therein lies a wealth of possibilities.

Link to buy Kissed by Darkness on Amazon:

For more information about Shea, visit:


Shea will give away a copy of her book to one commenter. She will post the winner in the comments section later this week. Stop back by to see if you won.