Friday, March 30, 2012


A Variety of Vampires…Make your Choice 

        Author of vampire novels…a rather heady and sometimes controversial title...

Each of us in this very esoteric and close little circle (close and esoteric compared to other genres) has his own favorite type.  The Undead…the sinmort…Nightwalkers…nosferatu…they have as many names as there are those who write about themand if the characteristics don’t exactly fit our criteria, why we’ll just use that good ol’ literary license and invent some that do.
          I know one writer who allows her vamps to be able to utter the Holy Name without injury, and actually have images in mirrors.  Another gave his nos the ability to walk unharmed in sunlight and to die of old age.  Some are repelled by garlic, others by various herbs and spices such as basil and oregano.  They’ve come to this unholy state by the bite of another Undead, a virus, the commission of some heinous crime, or by simply having the misfortune to be born on a specific day.  Some even spell their species differently…vampyre instead of vampire.
          A couple of centuries ago, undeath was so simple; now being a vampire gets more complicated by the night.  Then, the handbook on How to Become a Vampire, would’ve consisted of two pages and these instructions:
1. Be bitten by a vampire
2. Die
3. Revive as one of the Undead
Simple, huh?
       And the second page would read:
       Congratulations!  You are now one of the nosferatu.  Please keep in mind these precautions:
1.     Do not, repeat, DO NOT, go out in daylight.
2.     Return to your place of shelter before sunrise.
3.     Avoid garlic, and the sacred objects of your specific mortal religion and especially holy water.
4.     Refer to your local nest for further instructions as to regional differences and customs.
Now, the handbook would probably contain so many pages, it would have to be in pdf form and downloaded into a Kindle.
Currently, today’s literature features vampires as varied as the humans on this planet, depending on where and when he originally walked the Earth, as well as his writer-creator’s own particular preferences and originality.  It’s a very rare one indeed who hasn’t allowed himself to change with the times and avail himself—to some extent—of the technologies now present, unless he’s a die-hard old fogey holed up in the highest Carpathian peak.  Hey, the vampire hunters are certainly taking advantage of the Internet, etc., so why shouldn’t the vampires, also?

         Since there are so many types of literary vampires around now, I classify my vampires as the traditional kind—they’re repelled by crosses, Holy water, and garlic; they can’t come out in sunlight, don’t necessarily sleep in coffins but do rest on Native Soil, and can Turn another person if they so desire.  Even in the lighter moments of their stories, they still hold to these rules.

          My band of merry little bloodsuckers are:  Damien La Croix, Domingo Leyenda, Karel Novotny, Semris II, the (as yet unpublished) members of the Clan Andriescu, and Vlad Chemare.

          They cross a number of nationalities and borders.  Damian is French.  A member of the aristocracy, he voluntarily allowed himself to become a vampire in order to escape the ravages of the Black Death.  Damian is traditional to the core.  He is vampyre, hear him roar…Undead and proud of it.  His adventures are told in the novel The Night Man Cometh

          Domingo Leyenda is a vampire of a different stripe.  To start off, he’s a Spanish Jew pretending to be Catholic, having been turned in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella.  After many an adventure, Domingo makes a featured appearance in The Night Man Cometh, before ending up in Orange County, California, where he lives in a subdivision called Sleepy Hollow, with his wife and stepdaughter, who are both very human.  Having a sense of humor, he likes to make mention of the fact that his last name means “legend” and thus his little family became the Legends of Sleepy Hollow, Domingo makes a wholehearted attempt to be accepted, but at present, he’s been banished from PTA meetings, since he decided to nip at the teacher’s neck during a parent-teacher conference.  His wife now goes to those alone.   Domingo was introduced to the reading public in the short story “The Best Dentist in Orange County.”

          Then, there are the Andriescus.  A group of genuine Transylvanian vampires.  Exiled from their home because older brother Marius stole too many females from their Prince, the Andriescu clan now resides in New Orleans, right at home with all the other supernatural elements of the city.  Marius runs an art gallery and younger brother Valerius and cousin Timon help out.  They’ve been seen in “Love, Vampire Style,” “Sometimes Love Returns,” and “Working-class Vampires,” as well as being featured on my website in the story of how I met them in Savannah.  All their stories have now been gathered into a volume called The Clan Andriescu, as yet unpublished.

           Mention should also be made of Semris, the Mayan vampire from Dark God Descending, another story to be told.  The Mayan mythology is a vast treasure house of supernatrual creatures just waiting to be discovered.  Karel Novotny, both the human and the vampire, in Vampires are Forever, introduces the Irish vampire, the Dearg-dul, and the Celtic myths, another area which is slowly being explored.

          Vlad Chemare of the unpublished The Last Vampire Standing, is also Transylvanian, a hot-headed young (only 650) Undead from the Old Country who’s come to the New World bubbling with revenge for his sire who buried him alive after a thwarted attempt at rebellion back in the 17th century.  Vlad’s traditional, no doubt about it, but he has his moments of NuVamp angst, especially when he falls for mortal Meredith.  Still, he doesn’t let her get in the way of his thirst for blood (specifically his sire’s).  After all, a woman’s just a woman, but revenge is a dish that can be enjoyed no matter what the century.

          With the coming of the new year, I’ll be adding another family of vamps to the de Vissage fold, and I’ll announce their arrival now.  The Strigoisti…the members of Casa Strigoi…vampires of a definitely different ilk, because they’re not really vampires and they’re very much alive.  They’re simply victims of a disease called X-P, xeroderma pigmentosum, a congenital condition in which DNA can’t repair the damage done by ultraviolet rays.  Thus, they have to avoid sunlight or be burnt to a crisp. In fact, the Strigoisti can be blamed for starting the vampire legend if someone wants to point fingers.  Since the aventurieri, as they’re called in their native Transylvania, have existed as long as the rest of us, they’ve managed to acquire a bit of magic, un-human physical characteristics, and a few skills not possessed by normal humans, such as the ability to transport, telepathy, possessing having wings…and that rather upsetting habit of drinking blood (though they do eat regular food, also).  Otherwise, they’re just plain folks…

          Members of this family are:  Marek, the ghidaj or leader, his brothers, fraternal twins Vlad and Andreas, and their cousin Bogdan.  They’ll soon be unleashed on the reader world in their own series, The Second Species, so more on them forthcoming.

          Most of my stories, with the exception of Damian, and up to the arrival of the Strigoisti, have been slightly whimsical, played mostly for laughs.  Even Vlad has his lighter moments.  I’ve tried to see the amusing side of being a vampire, if such a thing can exist.  All my Undead, even the members of Casa Strigoi, are, by turns, jealous, spoiled, petty, curious, amorous, and reckless.  They make mistakes and sometimes do foolish things, and in their own way, are still very much “human.”

          If you should happen upon any of their stories, pause a moment and browse.  I think you’ll enjoy them.

          I'd like to thank Tony-Paul for stopping by and sharing this interesting post. Please give Tony-Paul some love and leave a comment.

          Visit Tony-Paul at


Monday, March 26, 2012


Yep, that's right, I'm blogging somewhere else. The Vampire Book Realm is a new site featuring vampire authors in different sub-genres. Stop by anytime this week and leave a comment about the myths, legends, and folklore of vampires! I'll be giving a away a little gift for one lucky commenter. And while you're at the site, check out the other great authors!

Saturday, March 24, 2012



March 22 - March 25 
Join me and 100+ others to win various giveaway prizes.

To enter mine, all you have to do is sign-up to follow my blog and find the TEN words highlighted throughout my excerpts (tabs above) and email me with the entire list. Your gift will be the shown necklace in honor of my Texas Heat novella as well as a PDF of the book (US delivery only). My email: cynmar19(at)yahoo(dot)com.

When you're finished, don't forget to link back to other author's and their giveaways by clicking on the 18+ ICON above.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cynthia Arsuaga

Friday, March 23, 2012


I'm honored today to have Willa Edwards in my crib presenting her latest release as well as offering her opinion on the pros and cons of promoting our "babies". Thanks everyone for stopping by. Take it away Willa....

To promote or not to promote?

I’m not one of those authors that bemoans promotion, I actually kind of like it. Some of the aspects of promotion are rather fun to me, and allow me to be creative in whole different way than I am during the rest of my boring number focused life. 

Designing a website to me was lots of fun, investigating what other authors had on their websites, what I liked, what I didn’t. It took time, definitely, but I enjoyed it. The same is true for creating a book trailer. I watched others, searched for just the right photos and music.  Now I’m working on learning Photoshop so I can create some graphics for my website and covers for some upcoming free reads I’ll be putting out.

I’ve always loved trying and learning new things, and my writing allows me to do that. Both in the writing itself, and research I have to do to create those stories. Promoting my writing gives me just as much opportunity to try new things.

I also like how promotion offers me the opportunity to take my destiny and career into my own hands. This desire might be due to my history in sales. But in the real world, where I’m often at the mercy of timing and luck, not to mention the sways of the economy and corporate America, it’s nice to have the ability to do something, run a contest, make a blog post, to have the control over your life and career.

That’s not to say that I don’t get frustrated by promotion, just like everyone else. It’s a lot of work, and sometimes it really can get in the way of my writing time, which is really what I want to be doing most of the time (at least when real life will let me). And of course I have that same devastation as other authors when I write a blog post and see that no one stops by or leaves a comment, but I understand everyone’s busy and can’t read every blog post out there.

Over the course of my last few releases, I’ve developed a few rules on how to promote that work for me. Promotion is a very personal thing, and everyone has to make their own decisions on what they want to do, how they want to do it, and where they want to take their career, but this is what I’ve decided works well for me.

·   I love twitter. I’m a new follower but I’ve grown to really enjoy it. I love the short quality of the messages. I can mention more about my day and my life, and get them off quick while I’m standing in front of the microwave at work watching my lunch spin or while I’m watching Law and Order. Plus I love how easily it can be uploaded on my website, facebook page, amazon author page and goodread’s author page (I love anything that can that easily be uploaded to multiple sites in one push of a button, saves me time and headache).

·   I only promote one work, once a week. I don’t want to over saturate everyone with my promotions. I know as a reader it drives me crazy when people send out four or five promos in a day, or the same one every day for months. I don’t want to do that to my readers, so I pick one work I want to emphasis during that time and just send out information on that book. (The only exception is publisher’s days, when I do promote all the works with publisher).

·   I try to be as interactive on these sites as possible, respond to emails, respond to comments. I’d like people to see me as much as a person as possible, not just a faceless name putting out books or responding to emails.

·   Sometimes it okay to not promote. There’s nothing wrong with having a break, for me or for the readers.

·   I like to take a break between releases (it has been happening a lot for me lately, with a new release every month, but I’m not complaining). I make a big push and hit a lot of blogs when I have a new work come out, but after that I like to ease back and rest, both for me and my readers. I still post on my own blog, talking about my life and my writing, but I don’t do massive promotion. It gives me time to recoup, write and time for readers to have a break and be interested in the next thing I have to say.

·   I try to blog about interesting topics that inspire discussion. Whether you agree with me or not, I hope you want to jump into the conversation and give your opinion.

·   I try to hit most of my friends’ blogs as much as I can and leave a comment if I stop by. I also like to hit other people’s blogs that have interesting subject matters. I try to always leave comments because I know how it feels to get no comments on a blog, and I’d hate for other authors to think no one was reading what they worked so hard on. 

There’s no tried and true way to promote your work, or time to be silent. But this is what I found works best for me, though it’s a continued work in progress. As my career evolves and technology evolves, I’ll have to change or adapt these rules to a new world.

If you’re curious about what you should do for promotion, I would start by figuring out what you like as a reader and what you enjoy doing. If you like long excerpts and having conversations on facebook, than that’s probably the best way to go. Play to your strengths. If you’re most convinced to buy a book by a short exciting blog post and excerpt, that’s what you should put out into the world. And don’t be afraid to change things up if they stop working, or you’re not getting the return you want. Remember, it’s your destiny, take all the control you want.

And speaking of promotion, here’s a little snippet of my latest release, Snow Day. I hope you enjoy it.


Michaela is thrilled to get home after the tense drive from work on the snow covered highway. And she may be just a little bitter that her boyfriend and teacher, Ben, spent all day in bed, on a snow day from school. 

But she's relieved to be let out of work at least a few hours early. That is until she hears noises from her bedroom, that in no way resemble monster trucks or football announcements, and sound way too close another woman's moan. 

Michaela can't help but investigate. She never could have guessed what she finds in her bedroom would be just as stimulating to her as it is for Ben. With a little bit of sexy help, Michaela plans to show Ben exactly who he belongs too, and make him wish every day could be a snow day.


Michaela dropped her purse on the small cherry entranceway table. Slamming the door shut behind her to keep out the fierce chilly winds, she let out an exasperated sigh, enveloped by the warm heat.

“God, it’s good to be home,” she whispered into the empty mudroom.

She shucked off her jacket and scarf, thick with the moisture of melted snow. Her nerves still jangled from the slow, slick drive home from the plant. Everyone moved at a crawl, each one increasingly afraid of what could be under the thick, fluffy, white layer. Could it be black ice? Or slush? Anything could send their cars careening off the side of the road into the imposing bank. It was enough to set anyone on edge.

The whole ride she’d been petrified of the same thing, sliding off the road, getting stuck in any of the number of ditches and sloped banks beside the twenty-three miles of highway she drove each day home from work. Most days, the long stretch of highway appeared benign, lulling her into a hypnotic state till she reached her door, but today it had been ugly, angry, hungry, and malcontent.

Lucky Ben got to stay home today. He didn’t have to brave the roads at all, or worry about the possible risk of property, life, or limb. She should’ve listened to her mother and become a teacher. She could’ve been a good math teacher, found a school where Ben and she could both work, and spend their snow days at home, together.

They could have stood by the radio this morning, like kids, anxiously awaiting the name of their school to be called. Instead, she’d quickly slurped down her coffee, with no solid food to accompany it, and ran out the door, already late. They could’ve returned to bed together, as Ben no doubt had done after she left, instead of racing down the slick roads to arrive at her desk, before her boss noticed she’d appeared twenty minutes late.

“Ben, I’m home,” she called up the stairs, only to be met by silence.

No, she had to rebel against her mother’s advice. She’d gotten her engineering degree instead, and spent most of her days fighting the arrogant male chauvinists working next to her at the electricity company, instead of helping teenagers learn the quadratic equation.

She placed her thick winter jacket and scarf on the coat tree next to Ben’s unused one, her lips turning up in a slight snarl. Even though she’d gone to work, and put in almost a full day, leaving two hours early due to the road conditions, Michaela knew Ben had spent his day sleeping and watching TV.

From the corner of her eye, she spied a used cereal bowl sitting on the living room coffee table, the spoon lying ajar across the lip. “At least he managed to get himself a bowl of Cocoa Peebles,” she whispered sarcastically.

She slipped her snow-caked boots off her feet, placing them on the rubber, winter mat to prevent a large puddle from forming in her newly tiled entryway. She paused, debating throwing the snow she’d tracked in with her boots back outside to prevent too much from melting on the tiles. She should, to maintain her brand new slate floors, but she loathed opening the door and braving the harsh winds or whipping flakes again for a few snowballs.

Amidst her quandary, a soft foreign noise prickled her attention, emanating from up the stairs. A muted, feminine moan appeared to come from the region of her bedroom. Her entire body froze, colder with fear than the temperature outside. Her mind swirled, the possible reasons for the noise coming from her bedroom coiling in her stomach, tightening every nerve in her body.

Was there another woman in her house? In her bed? With her boyfriend? Michaela's body clamped down with rage, her hands balled in tight fists, all thoughts of slate tiles and snowballs vanished from her mind, and far scarier images took their place.

Ben and Michaela had been together for seven years, since their freshman year of college, and they’d never had any problems in the bedroom. Both of their creative and open attitudes led to many satisfying nights. But like all relationships, over the years those explosive crazy nights drifted further apart, a pleasing consistency taking its place.

She still enjoyed every moment with him, their lovemaking fulfilled Michaela to heart-pounding, earth-shattering pleasure, but what if Ben wasn’t as satisfied? What if he’d grown tired of fucking the same woman every night?

Ben never seemed the type of guy to cheat. Steadfast and constant, Ben preferred the same routine, rather than the excitement of something new. Surely a guy who ordered the same turkey sandwich at work every day, couldn’t be searching and desperate for something new?

Even if he wanted to leave her, which Michaela hadn’t noticed, she was sure he’d tell her. He’d face the conflict with the same respect he did every aspect of his life, from the cable guy to the kids failing his class, and tell her the truth, instead of screwing around behind her back.

Except for the complication of this monstrous house they’d bought together, a house neither of them could afford on their own, especially with all the upgrades and renovations they’d done since buying it. With the housing market crash, they’d never get the same money out of it they’d put in. They’d never discussed what to do if their relationship ended when they’d started looking for a home or picked this house. At the time, it hadn’t occurred to Michaela to have an exit strategy. She never thought she’d need one.

She hadn’t been upset by the downturn, she’d planned on being here a long time, but she did remember Ben being bothered by it. Was it possible he’d been thinking of leaving her then? That he’d only stayed because they couldn’t sell the house without ending up with a mountain of debt? Would Ben stay with her because he didn’t have the money to start over?

In her stocking feet, Michaela slowly made her way up the stairs, trying not to step too hard on any tread and give away her presence. Her approach undetected, the soft moans and groans of another woman in her bedroom continued, uninterrupted.

She’d always wondered why women walked in on their lovers in the throes with another, why they seemed so intent to catch their man red-handed, or inside a redhead, whichever maybe the case. Now, actually in the situation, she understood. She had to witness it, had to see the evidence right in front of her face, to truly believe it.

Find me Online:

Thanks for honoring me by being a guest today, Willa! Please give her some love and leave a comment.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012



PRIZE: $50 Gift Card to Amazon or Barnes & Noble
plus RBRU tee and tote. Contest begins 1 March and ends midnight EST 18 March.
Note: Tee and tote will only be shipped to US and Canadian addresses. Gift Cards can go anywhere!

Send a list of the words and pages you found them on to: