Archive for 'vampires'



Shopping for Vampires
by Our Guest on March 1st, 2012

From:  LolCatMan
To:  Lynn Viehl
Subject:  Darkyn Shopping List

From Richard Tremayne by the Grace of God High Lord of the Darkyn, Chosen Ruler of the Realms, Territories and Jardins, Defender of Truth and Eternity, to Our highly annoying and damnably persistent mortal ally Lynn Viehl, greetings.

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We have learned that you have chosen to entertain the masses with new tales of our personal lives, and once more risk exposing our existence to the mortal world.  While we should feel extremely displeased with you, we are in a mood to be generous.  As long as your readers continue to believe these “Darkyn novels” to be fictional we shall not trouble ourselves to hunt you down and persuade you to desist.

Since you are thus determined to revisit our dark world for your own profit, we would have you employ a portion of your earnings to obtain certain items for which we have pressing need.  Following is our first list of these products which, if they do not presently exist, should be invented immediately:

Copper Detector:  It is the only substance on Earth lethal to our kind, yet you mortals use copper in damn near everything:  coins, autos, laptops, telephones, door handles – do you know how often we have burned ourselves simply changing the batteries on a TV remote?  A small proximity alarm device we might clip to our scabbards would prevent future unwanted injuries.

Crystal Dark:  You mortals have some ten thousand flavoring mixes to add to bottled water; we Kyn simply want the same variety to add to the only beverage we may consume.

Fang Block:  Our warriors have complained loudly about the inconvenience they suffer when a nubile young female they mean to seduce suddenly draws back in horror and points a trembling finger at the razor-sharp canines protruding from their mouth.  Some sort of fitted covering that the men could pass off as a whitening strip would probably work best.

Insta-Tan:  We understand that the pallid look has become utterly passé, so we request for our lords and ladies a spray-on product that can tint their immortal flesh a temporary golden brown (but will not leave unsightly streaks on their god-like countenances or turn their medieval battle scars orange.)

Irreversible Mortgage:  You have neglected to note that all banking institutions close long before the Kyn rise to walk the night.  Walking about through the night is all my many suzerain and their warriors shall be doing in the future if they can’t obtain the proper credit to purchase residences and property of their own.  Consider as an incentive the fact that the Darkyn are the only beings on earth who may now live long enough to actually pay off these mortgages.  No adjustable rates, please.

Multi-Use Personal Groomer:  As you are aware our hair and nails grow spontaneously to annoying lengths, which presents no difficulty when we are at the stronghold and can summon a housewench to give us a trim (for my own needs I personally employ ten barbers.)  While on extended journeys away from the jardin, however, waking up with four yards of new hair and nails that could poke out an eye on the next block is somewhat more challenging to explain.  This device should be small, powerful and simple to operate.  Please remember to coat the edges of the blades with copper or we shall destroy the device the first time we use it.

Photo Stop:  One simply cannot escape the endless barrage of smartphones and point-and-shoots being wielded by mortals, and we are quite weary of seeing the immortal visages of our kind show up on Flickr vacation photostreams.  Please develop a program that will allow us to instantly delete any unauthorized Kyn image on the web and deliver a massive electrical charge to the originating device or the nosy mortal who posted it.

Scent Masker:  While we appreciate the many benefits provided by l’attrait, the pheremonal fragrance exuded by our eternal bodies, the effects on mortals in crowded spaces can result in our being mobbed by hundreds of inadvertently adoring love slaves.  Please make this neutralizer available in containers sized appropriately for pocket, vehicle and stronghold use.

Scotchguard for Armani:  Have you even the slightest idea as to how impossible it is to get bloodstains out of a designer silk jacket?  I thought not.

Zealot Anger Management and Immortal Tolerance Online Courses:  It is true that the Brethren are homicidal fanatics who for the last seven centuries have been hunting, torturing and stealing DNA from our kind, but we also understand that no mortal is perfect.  Please provide us with a copy of all the e-mail and ISP addresses of those who enroll in these much-needed courses so we can stop in to offer our personal support.

We trust you will attend to this at once, Lynn, else you can be sure you will hear again from us in a much more personal and painful fashion.

Dictated at Ì Àrd this first day of March in the nine hundred forty-sixth year of our reign.

 

Tremayne

 

P.S.  Éliane sends her love, and asks if you were able to locate your grandmother’s recipe for brazo de Gitano, which she wishes to serve to the next mortals who visit the island.  I confess, I also find myself quite interested in the makings of this dessertmust one chop off the arm of an authentic gypsy to properly prepare it, or will an upper limb from any mortal suffice?

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Dear readers, now it’s YOUR turn to help out the poor vampires. Come up with a useful product for vampire-kind and post your comment for a chance to win Provence flower-themed goodies plus a signed copy of NIGHTBORN.

Need more helpful info about Viehl’s vampires? Check out NIGHTBORN at:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Books-A-Million

Included in the giveaway:

A signed copy of NIGHTBORN

A book tote (hand quilted and beaded by me)

A decorative bird pillow with a real lavender sachet (also hand made by me)

A tube of lavender incense

A bookmark with a seed-embedded component to plant and grow into flowers

(Winner will be drawn Sunday at midnight Eastern time. Contest open worldwide!)

What Do You Do When Hello Kitty Happens?
by Our Guest on January 20th, 2011

Note from Jessa: I met Laurie at a signing up north when SEDUCED BY SHADOWS first came out. Learning that her debut novel was in the works too, I instantly felt affinity. Even if she’s not a plotter like me :) One of my favorite parts of being a romance writer and reader is that anywhere I meet fellow rom writers and readers, I have insta-friends.  If you need more romance lovin’ friends, you can find Laurie online on Twitter and Facebook, oh, and Goodreads.

Unlike Jessa, I’m not a big plotter. Let me admit that right up front. She showed me her plotting charts once, and I’m still getting over my hives. Before jumping into a story, I do the bare minimum of planning. Oh sure, I write character sketches and fill out a few simple character charts, and now that I’m on contract, I grudgingly write a synopsis for approval before writing the book, but I don’t plot much beyond that. I prefer to discover the story as it’s revealed to me while writing the first draft.

hello-kitty-keychain1However, this can lead to a lot of surprises. Enter Hello Kitty.

Ideal ending hooks for chapters, as well as a line or two of dialog, often pop into my head, and I find myself building scenes around them. This happened when I wrote the first chapter of BONDED BY BLOOD.

At the end of the scene, Dom looked down at Mackenzie’s keys in his hand and wondered, “…who was this woman with the Hello Kitty keychain? Hell, this was going to be interesting.”

Perfect, I thought. Mackenzie was already confounding him—even though she was unconscious at the time.

But now I had a problem. How in the world did a vampire warrior recognize Hello Kitty enough to identify her by name? He didn’t refer to it as a toy, or a Japanese cartoon character, or a keychain from a store at the mall. Heck, my own husband wouldn’t know Hello Kitty by name.

Sure, I could change it, but it felt so right. I just had to figure out how he knew.

Dom didn’t have children, so that couldn’t be it. He didn’t have family members with children, so that couldn’t be it either. Aha, Lily, his good friend and fellow Guardian, had a daughter. That was it!

Because she’s a single parent, Lily works two weeks on and two weeks off. While she’s on duty, her daughter stays up in British Columbia with her parents. It just so happens that Zoe is obsessed with Hello Kitty and Dom often buys little trinkets for Lily to take to her. A few chapters later, Lily tells Dom that Zoe loves the Hello Kitty purse he gave her, and voila, the reader (and I) now understands how and why Dom knew about Hello Kitty.

This process of discovery not only ended up answering questions in the first book, but it seeded events in the second book.

EMBRACED BY BLOOD comes out in July and is Lily’s story. Not being a single mother and never having read a paranormal romance about a vampire single mother (let me know if you have), I’m not sure I’d have thought to write about such a character if this whole Hello Kitty angle hadn’t happened.

So my advice to other writers is this: when Hello Kitty happens, don’t blow her off. Work with her. You might be surprised to learn just how powerful she really is.

bonded-prelim-front-coverThanks for having me on Silk and Shadows. I’d love to give away a signed copy of BONDED BY BLOOD to a commenter.

Jessa adds: To kick off comments, I’ll ask, does anyone know a real-life male who could touch a Hello Kitty object without fearing that he might burst into flames like a vampire exposed to sunlight?

Do I believe in Happily Ever After?
by Our Guest on May 26th, 2009

This week’s guest is Sharon Page. Sharon is the USA Today Bestselling author of The Club. She writes for Dell (Random House), Kensington, and Ellora’s Cave, and writes both very sensual and erotic romance. Her stories feature seductive regency rakes or sexy tortured vampires from both the past and the present.

Sharon has graciously agreed to give away a copy of Blood Deep to one lucky Silk and Shadows haunter, so be sure to get your comments in today!

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Thanks so much to all the Silk and Shadows authors for having me here, especially to Annette McCleave for the invitation. Annette and I belong to the same RWA chapter and when she announced her first sale last year, I was beyond thrilled.

This week’s topic is terrific. What a great idea to explore how authors really feel about ‘happily ever after’.

I love writing happy endings which, of course, lead up to the phrase, ‘and they lived happily ever after’. (I don’t write that, but it’s implied.) Do I think it can come true? I suppose that depends on how you define ‘happily ever after’.

I’ve been fortunate in many ways. My husband and I have been together for twenty years. I love spending time with him. We both work from home, so often behave, as a friend of mine described it, like two kids talking and laughing at the back of a high school class. My parents have been together for more than fifty years—of course, they’ve had ups and downs, bad times and good. But they’ve faced all those things together. My husband’s parents had also been married for almost fifty years, and it was only his father’s death that parted them.

My writing career has been chugging toward a happy ending. I’ve realized my dream of becoming published in 2004, I will have 10 books in print by the end of this year, and I made the USA Today Bestseller list this spring with The Club. The Club is the story of Lady Jane Beaumont, who on a desperate search for her missing friend Del, enters London’s most secretive Gentleman’s Club—only to encounter a sinful, notorious rake on a rescue mission of his own.

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Does ‘happily ever after’ mean you’ll realized all your dreams? I believe it involves discovering which dreams are the really important ones.

When my husband’s father was diagnosed with cancer, doctors told him he wouldn’t have long to go (in the end, he lived for 6 years longer than expected). He sat down to make a list of all the things he should do while he had time. Then he realized he would be happiest if he was doing exactly what he was already doing—working around the house and on his garden, enjoying his hobbies, spending his time with family and friends. World travel or other exotic things were not what he really wanted.

‘And they lived happily ever after’ is the reward for all the trials and tribulations in the story—it implies that everything from then on is peaceful for the hero and heroine. There’s no more stress or fear. In paranormals, where the hero and heroine have risked their lives and possibly saved the world, the idea of never having to do battle again is appealing. Obviously real life can’t be like that. We know life will involve sickness, death, sorrow, fear, or financial problems, along with the good times. But how can those be a part of a ‘happily ever after’?

I love reading and writing happy endings because of the emotional rush they give me—I cry poignant tears, I laugh with joy, I sigh with pleasure. As a writer, I want my readers to believe my characters will have a happy ending because they will last for the long haul. They will weather those bad times together. Each one will be the other’s support. What makes readers buy into that? They’ve seen each character go through pain and fear, battles and suffering, and survive. But mainly they’ve seen the hero and heroine grow, change, and become stronger people who are able to embrace love.

On a lighter note, I have a ‘happy ending’ of myself coming up—I’m sending the revisions in for my upcoming sensual historical from Dell, The Last Seduction, tomorrow.

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Today, I’m celebrating the release day of my newest erotic vampire romance, Blood Deep, from Kensington Aphrodisia, set in Regency England. This story completely fed my addiction to write happy endings.

My heroes were the villains from the two previous books of the series (yes, there are two heroes in Blood Deep as it’s a menage story). Zayan is a former Roman General who has suffered with guilt and pain over the murders of his children for two thousand years. Lukos is a former Saxon warrior who had to sacrifice his life to enter the mysterious Scholomance, the School of the Devil, so he could learn dark magic to save his people. He escaped imprisonment after a thousand years—and learned his sister was given to Lucifer as a prisoner too. The heroine, Miranda has discovered she has the power to resurrect the dead, and a society of vampire slayers wants to kill her to destroy her magic. ‘Happily ever after’ for Miranda, Zayan, and Lukos is definitely hard won.

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How about you—do you believe in happily ever after? Have you read any romances that left you feeling the hero and heroine wouldn’t survive life’s tough times?

Dark, with a twist
by Sharon Ashwood on November 5th, 2008

Why do some dark heroes attract us more than others? What keeps their brooding selves from being just plain nasty?

Here’s my take on things: My favourites may be a little twisted as well as dark, but there’s always some line they won’t cross, and it’s that restraint that divides these edgier heroes from the villains. Still, a little envelope-pushing keeps things interesting. A good example of this is the old tried and true comparison of Angel and Spike.

Both were good looking in their own way, both had their good and evil moments, and both were capable of thinking as well as fighting. They had that all-important sense of humour. I liked the two characters and enjoyed watching how they developed through the television series.

Still, what made them different in my mind was that Spike was more complex. Whereas Angel was either good or evil (the evil Angel arguably the more interesting of the two), Spike was unapologetically bad, vain, self-aware, selfish and capable of good all in the same breath. He made huge mistakes but kept a whisker away from irredeemable evil. By the end of the series, he chose self-sacrifice knowing there was ultimately no hope that he would ever be with Buffy. Yet, despite his long, long journey toward heroism, he was still himself. Spike would never be sunshine and fluffy kittens.

In other words, a really good dark hero has the capacity to go both ways—plus, he’s fully aware that he could fall off the wagon at any time. His essential dark nature doesn’t change even though he ultimately makes the right choices. He knows exactly what he’s doing, what he’s giving up, and why.

And, he does it for love. The woman of his dreams inspires that choice for good.

For me, the best kind of dark hero has to earn his way into the light, and the price he pays for his happy ever after is high. This kind of hero doesn’t find love easy or comfortable. He has to earn it, and it takes a very strong heroine to stand up to him. She has to understand that darkness isn’t the same thing as evil. It helps if she has shadows of her own—at least enough to appreciate a walk on the wild side.

And she’ll need a sense of humour. Especially if he’s a vampire. I mean, really. Too busy skulking to take out the garbage or do the dishes? Won’t mow the lawn ‘cause it’s daylight? Ran the HDTV right into the coffin and suddenly can’t get around to painting the kitchen cupboards?

Yeah, right. Tell me another one, Mr. Tall, Dark, and Broody.

But at least he’s never boring.