Monday, August 31, 2009

Vampire Love in the Afternoon!

Sadistic? Check. Domination? Check. Happiness?
Not for all.

Antonio Welshire accepts the mysterious Mestiphles' offer for vampiric power, but fails to consider that not all in his family desires evil. Daughter Victoria revels in the debauchery, but eldest daughter Samantha loathes the darkness. Charismatic rebel Gaston turns up to rival for Antonio's power; the vampire lover Jean can destroy them once and for all, and henchwoman Lilith seeks to supplant Antonio as Mestiphles' favorite. Who will be declared the victor? And in the end, though they've survived coven wars and persecutions since the 12th century, can The Vampire Family survive each other?

Killing his abusive parents isn't enough for Antonio Welshire. Rape and death follow him through his youth in the 12th Century-until a stranger named Mestiphles give Antonio unimaginable vampire powers. Fearful yet captivated by his allure, Antonio's adopted sisters Ann and Elizabeth share this gift with him and their children-Victoria, James, Samantha, and Stephen. Antonio is a cruel ruler , and after his defeat of the young rebel Gaston, Antonio struggles with Lilith-another magical pet also created by Mestiphles. Antonio's vampire family grows over the centuries, each vampire loving and losing vampire fledglings over time. Wars, persecutions come and go, but the family's troubles always stem from within. Elizabeth may be his wife, but Ann supplants her as Antonio's mistress. By the 20th century, Elizabeth has found love again-unfortunately her fledgling Jean shares Samantha's disdain for the vampire life. Will The Vampire Family self destruct before the 21st Century?

It may be afternoon, but here at The World of the Paranormal, we're always in the spirit of the night. So, Good Evening I say to all our Pale, spooky, and macabre friends! I'm ready for falling leaves, pumpkins, harvests, and Halloween-aren't you? Have autumn early with me and my 2008 Eternal Press release The Vampire Family!

The Vampire Family began life as a simple vampire story passed among friends in high school way back when. Since its 2008 ebook release from Eternal Press, The Vampire Family has grown in popularity due to hype from online stalwarts such as Paranormal Romance, Coffee Time Romance, Fallen Angel Reviews, and Night Owl Romance among others. This summer, the undead buzz exploded for our paperback release, currently available on Amazon. In addition to virtual appearances, I've visited the Philadelphia Book Festival and the Collingswood Book festival in support of The Vampire Family. This year, we'll be visiting the Collingswood Fest again, in addition to several local bookstore appearances. If you're in the New Jersey area, check out our calender at the Kristin Battestella Yahoo group for a complete list of real world signings.

Blending horror, dark fantasy, and paranormal romance; the trials and tribulations of The Vampire Family are tough to pigeon hole. There's plenty of historical action, contemporary horror, ill fated romance, and dastardly vampire covens to span the novel's journey from 12th century Britain to the 21st century and beyond. Here's a quick old world blurb to bring some vamp to your lunch hour!

“Catherine?” Antonio’s shadowy figure stood at her door. The tiny flame shortened in a clump of wax as the maid looked up.
“Yes, sir?” She set down her quill. “You sound different, sir. Are you ill?”
“Yes.” He stepped toward her. “I need your help.”
The dim light shined in his face. He couldn’t see. His eyes felt bloodshot, and his hands seemed pale as the candle flickered. He put his hands on Catherine’s arms. She felt warm to his cold touch. Sharp teeth cut the inside of his lips.
Antonio’s voice trembled. His hands shook. “I need your help.”
“Of course, sir.” She put her arms on his, but Antonio shook and felt the muscles of his forearm clench. “What can I do? Here, sit down.”
His arms came around her waist. Antonio heard her blood rush and saw her face flush. He put his head down on her chest. She trembled, but held Antonio’s head.
“Such overwhelming!” He spoke more to himself than Catherine. His words and hot breath were muffled against her. “Now I know what Mestiphles meant. I know what to do. I need to do it. I have to have it!”
“I’ll get some water.” Catherine was about to get up, but Antonio clenched his hands tighter around her.
“No,” he said hoarsely. His nails dug into her sides, and she winced. Antonio relaxed his grip, and she allowed his hands to roam. He unlaced her dressing gown. His hands stopped shaking, and bewitched, Catherine gave him total control. He pulled the loosened gown off her shoulders and swept Catherine to her feet in one swift motion. Yes, he knew she was captivated and paralyzed. He could be so frightening, yet masculine and desirable. Antonio put his head to her neck and bit the pumping jugular.
She flinched, but her blood flowed into Antonio’s mouth. The short life drain was ecstatic, but soon grew empty. Her life was now in him.
Antonio let Catherine’s limp body fall to the bed. He had her, and now he wanted more.

You can read more excerpts, reviews, and interviews at any of the following locations:

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Now, in keeping with the literary vampire, who doesn't love a good horror film fest? For a little bit of nonfiction and horror critiques from Yours Truly, check out my review blog I Think, Therefore I Review. There I rant about horror books, movies, television, and music-in addition to more quizzes and fanlistings to keep things interesting!

Up next writing wise is a horror short story I've been going back and forth on called The Haberdasher. Samples of this and other short stories are available on the Yahoo Group. I've also done some editing work on my pal Leigh Wood's sf erotica On The Way To New Isosceles. Looks for her release this November! I've done several interviews recently talking about these and The Vampire Family, most notably with Raine Delight

While I should be working on The Vampire Family's two sequels, tentatively titled Tales From The Vampire Family and Requiem for The Vampire Family- ingenious titles, I know!- I'm doing some more virtual appearances, too. Look for us this September:

9/3 Fallen Angels Reviews Loop
9/8 Eternal Press Authors Blog Paranormal Day
9/8 EP Authors at Cover 2 Cover

Fellow New Jerseyan and Eternal Press Author Leigh Wood also hangs out at the Kristin Battestella Yahoo Group, so look for her this month as well:

9/1 Eternal Press Authors Blog Erotica Day
9/9 EP visit Romance Bistro After Dark
9/15 Leigh Wood Guest Day at the Kristin Battestella Yahoo Group

October is packed up like a crypt as you can imagine! To get in on the vampire action, check out our affordable ebook edition from Eternal Press. If you need the feel of a real book in your hands, check out our paperback edition on sale from Amazon. If you have an account at Fictionwise or the Barnes and Noble virtual storefront, you can pick up a copy of The Vampire Family there, too.

All right, no more links! I've scared everyone enough for one day! Horror, sex, blood, and gore, it's back to the spooky sequel world for me!

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Funnest Thing Ever!

Hello Our Paranormal Readers,

Our awesomest Boss Lady Ally at Eternal Press has created a brand new chat room! My fellow Authors and I have been playing with it today, and it is soooo cool. Now you can talk with us live, right on the site.

Scroll down the page, and it’s right under the August 2009 Releases, right in time for our monthly launch day....Don't forget to check out all the excellent books from my fellows while you're there!

Pick your chat name and jump in!!!!!!!

Look Forward To Seeing You There…

Kayden McLeod

Do Ghosts Exist, and What Do They Want from Us?

A general belief in ghosts – or at least an open mind on the subject of the afterlife -- seems to be on the upswing. Television shows on the subject are guaranteed to attract viewers. Most people I know either swear they’ve seen or felt “something” in an old house or building which defies rational explanation, or they are willing to be convinced that the energy of every live person continues to exist in some form after the death of the body.

A friend of mine in cyberspace once asked me for advice (as though I would know) on why a real-life friend of hers who died young seemed to be giving her subtle messages by disturbing objects in her house. My friend was freaked out. She wondered what her friend wanted from her.

It often seems as if the dead (especially those we have known and loved) won’t leave us alone. It seems equally true that we won’t leave them alone. In a traditional ballad, a woman who died a year before begs her grieving lover to move on and stop mourning her, since his tears are wetting the winding sheet her body is wrapped in.

I tried to comfort my email friend by asking her to remember what she knew about her friend when he was alive. I reminded her that if he is still present in her life, he is the same person he was before. My clincher was that my friend probably knew, on a gut level, what her friend would want to tell her after death.

When an editor that I know sent out a call-for-submissions for lesbian ghost stories for an anthology, I asked myself why a ghost (and in this case, she could be completely imaginary) would haunt the living.

The answer came to me: because many people die with unfinished business, unreached goals and unfulfilled desires. Deprived of a living body, they might still want to say or do something they never did in life. The central character of my story, like a ghost materializing from the mist, began to take shape in my mind. I saw her as a dutiful wife and mother who never dared act on her unspoken desires.

Certain people in history appeal to writers because they showed great potential before their lives seemed to be cut off in mid-stream. The playwright Christopher Marlowe is a good example. He was a contemporary of Shakespeare in the late 1500s, and some still say he was a better writer. According to the records, he was killed in a tavern brawl before Shakespeare’s first play was performed in 1600. My old Shakespeare prof claimed that the real Shakespeare was a third-rate actor who died or disappeared before Marlowe’s “death,” which he faked because he was not in favour with Good Queen Bess. The theory – which was circulating in scholarly circles before my old prof grabbed hold of it – is that Marlowe used the identity of the dead or missing Shakespeare to continue writing brilliant plays under his name.

Truth or fiction? One thing is certain. Whether Marlowe desperately wanted to continue writing after his real or apparent death, his fans didn’t want him to stop.

So are the living haunted by the dead, or vice versa? Maybe it works both ways.

Where you can find me:

columnist ("Sex Is All Metaphors") and reviewer here: (Look in the Smutters Lounge gallery).
reviewer here:

& various other places.

Jean Roberta

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mundanity in the Supernatural

For the five years I have been writing (though this is my first novel to be published), I have sought to set out the answers to questions that have plagued me since childhood concerning the logistics of the paranormal. A sampling:

- Do vampires go to the bathroom?

- What does garlic do to them anyway?

- Do werewolves accidentally try to scratch themselves with their toes while in human form?

- If clothing can survive a transformation, what about things in pockets? What about ropes binding them? If clothing can't survive transformation, how do you handle a character turning up naked all over the place?

My need to address the pragmatic, at times embarrassing, aspects of any type of "condition" lead to Halloween Romance being more of a romantic dramedy rather than a straightforward, family-friendly romance. This is not to say that I don't enjoy an epic romance of fire and lyricism. I see that niche being filled admirably by many of my EP elders. This just happens to be what I'm good at.

Verisimilitude is a quality that inspires affection and loyalty in readers. I strive for it by taking mundanity into account. Sometimes you don't want to have characters to fantasize being, but characters you can imagine having over for a movie night. Characters who, despite their exotic trappings, have human pains, human pleasures, human flaws.

My favorite thing about my leading couple, Selene and Ferdinand, is that they are fully and wryly aware of their shortcomings. Selene is overly emotional and cries during the ending of The Phantom of the Opera on their first date, making Ferdinand feel a tad awkward. She blows her budget on rare steak and has trouble eating her vegetables. Ferdinand's sister describes him as "such a wet blanket that he can put out whole forest fires", and since he is so recently turned he forgets how strong he is and does things like accidentally crushing a hole in his car's dashboard.

The sequel, a coming of age story called Bite Me, will be out in September. I actually have written an entire series, which I call "Legends of Laconia, USA", starting with Halloween Romance that eventually involves multiple generations of four mixed-"race" families. I am waiting to share them, because they have been my neighbors for a long time, and I love them for their magnificent humanity.

You may purchase Halloween Romance at Eternal Press:

Or at

And you can learn more at the Google Site:

Become a fan of my Facebook page:

Or gaze at this humorous drawing for Halloween Romance that I comissioned from a friend and am thinking of putting on a t-shirt:

(Ferdinand's opening the envelope with his fangs.)

Real Monsters

Growing up, I had the advantage of both Saturday morning movies with the classic monsters, like Bela Lugosi's Dracula, Lon Chaney's Wolf Man and the original Frankenstein's monster. Then there were the horror comics. Loved them, devoured them. Then, I was also a reader of mysteries and horror and sci-fi. Couldn't get enough. I would read during math class (fiction-nokt math.)It was an addiction. When I began writing fiction, I started out with romance.Ummm-write what you read! Learned that, switched to mysteries. But they still fell flat. Added in the paranormal just for fun, and it worked, especially when sprinkled liberally with humor. So in my Tali Cates books, the setting is a small town in bible belt Texas.In the first book, "Privy to Murder" there is a murder in an outhouse coupledwith a ghost sighting. The main character has a paranormal gift, she can see the recent history of an object by touching it, but she hates everything to do with paranormal stuff. After her marriage breaks up, she moves in with her mom, who regularly communes with two spirit guides. Oops. Once the murder happens and Tali realises she must solve the mystery to get rid of an angry ghost, things become even more interesting.The premise behind my world of Love, Texas is simple.THE MONSTER UNDER THE BED IS REAL. I love taking to ordinary people and making them face a shift in the world they've always lived in, beliefs they've had since childhood. What if ghosts really could demand that you do something, or your boyfriend did turn out to be a vampire and your daughter was dating a werewolf? What woiuld you do, deny it, embrace it, run like hell?

Visit me at
You can find my books at:
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Join me next time for a look at the world of "Fairy Dust"


Sunday, August 2, 2009


First of all, I'm significantly older than any of the other EP writers, so I did see a lot of horror movies when they first were issued. I must have been ten or so, with bangs and pigtails, when I saw Frankenstein at a Saturday matinee in my local movie theater in my village of 3000 souls, where I was allowed to go alone, since it was no more than six blocks from where I lived. Some of you might remember the scene where the monster sees a little girl with pigtails tossing flowers into a lake. She's not afraid of him and he watches, looking from the girl to the water, and then an expression crosses his face that to me as a child clearly said he intended to toss the little girl into the lake. The viewer doesn't see him do this in the version I saw, but all the uproar later told me he'd done just that. I watched to the end, then ran all the way home and that night, crawled in bed with my mother. Never lost my taste for scary movies or books, though.
I read Bram Stoker's classic Dracula for the first time as a teenager. Looking back I can see how it affected my vision of vampires as evil. This was reinforced by watching Bela Lugosi in the movie and then seeing Nosufertu. The latter movie contains one of the most scary opening scenes I have ever viewed, all the more so because it is silent. And, of course the vampire is no handsome Bela Lugosi, but is ghastly looking. These first impressions have proved lasting, and I believe this is why I can't accept a vampire as sexy. After all, he's dead--never mind trying to explain undead to me. It's the same as dead as far as I'm concerned and evidently always will be. Any creature who intends to charm me to do things against my own will can never be a hero to me. Though I do write about vampires, they're always the villain.
Werewolves, on the other hand, are alive. Maybe as beasts sometimes, but they can turn back to human. The early Wolfman movies with Lon Chaney, Jr. were scary when he was a wolf-type beast, but he was also human and alive in both guises. So I do love were-beasts and can see them as heroes and heroines. I'm planning a another series around them, but whether I ever get it written is another question, as there are other projects ahead that need to be completed first.When we come to demons and angels, I'm neutral. I'll never write about them--oops. I did have a demon in one of my stories, but he was neither a hero nor a villain, just called up by a sorcerer. But that was on another world, not Earth. I've never written about an angel, though.
Ghosts. Don't believe in them, but enjoy stories about them and do use them in stories. Aliens and alien beasts are also fun and can be heroes as far as I'm concerned, providing they're not too repulsive.
Fairies? I did once write a story about a fairy, And I've also written about humans being transposed into ancient gods and goddesses, with evils from the same time period pursuing them.
Djinns and ghouls? Hey, the Koran says djinns did exist. Whether I believe that or not, they make great heroes. Actually I even wrote a story about a ghoul hero. Of course, the heroine suffered from a disorder since childhood--she had no sense of smell. Hard to get around the fact ghouls stink.
It's all fiction, though, so no matter how you feel about these paranormal creatures, any author is free to choose what she wants the reader to believe can happen and have at it. Which is the great thing about being a writer.
Jane Toombs' EP paranormal stories: "In The River" and "The Sometime Place" in A Twist Of Fate Anthology"
I Holler Oh, Hot Dog" and "It Can't Be Mine!" (my ghoul story) in Twisted Fayrie TalesAnd a novella: "Dance Of The Cedar Cat"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Small View of Tabitha Shay’s Vampire World

Hi Readers,

When I first began writing the Winslow witches of Salem series, I had no plans to write a series. Certainly, I had no idea of bringing vampires into the brand new world I was creating. I’m sure as with most authors, once I sat down and began to have a bit of a vision quest, the ideas went totally berserk. I couldn’t get a handle on them. First, the witch world of Ru-Noc grew. But then, I knew I had to have an antagonist.

Where were these characters going to come from? And why? What did they want? And again…why did they want it? Okay. I was on a roll. I had my witch characters…the good, the bad, the ugly.

Aha! As my world of magic grew and grew, I had to stop and think a bit more. Was this battle between good and evil only going to involve this one single realm? Then…Why should it? Why shouldn’t they have neighboring realms other than humans? If I have a witch world, then why not include all the other species we’re familiar with? Vampires. Werewolves. Demons. The plot thickened.

Slowly, my other realms began to take shape, but I didn’t want to overwhelm my readers with so many worlds and characters all at once. So I stuck to the original idea and developed my witch world. Then as each book progressed, I began to filter in the other realms and with these other realms, also came the good, the bad, the ugly.

It wasn’t just Ru-Noc that was in trouble and on the brink of war, on the brink of becoming extinct.

Like Ru-Noc, each of my realms has their great leaders…their heroes and heroines who fight just to keep their way of life alive, but as the battles start taking shape, as these wars begin to overlap, each hero and heroine find themselves pulled into the other realms when they really want no part of them.

As the heroes and heroines meet and fall in love, they discover they can no longer live in a vacuum and ignore what is happening in their neighboring worlds. Thus, the witch world spills over into the vampire realm, but more than this, the male witches suddenly discover their numbers are few. Their females are breeding with their one major enemy, the Demons. Their species is being eradicated.

In my vampire realm, they have their own war going on and choose to leave the witches to their fate. The vampires I create are mostly the typical vampires we’re all used to reading about. They can’t go out in the sunlight, but some have learned to tolerate a few minutes of early morning sunlight. They have to have blood to survive and they certainly aren’t ashamed of this fact. The males are sensual, sexual beings who have no problem ‘sexing’ any female from any race, be they witches, werewolves, humans…well, you get the idea.
Some sleep in coffins. Some don’t.

Their world is made up of laws and rules that have worked perfectly well for them for many centuries…but that is all about to change. After all, they no longer live in medieval times.
My vampires are an ancient race, even more ancient than my witches, but they didn’t begin life in the human realm they now co-exist in. They come from the realm known as Pi-Ram. They choose to live in Romania/Transylvania and have broken their bonds with their home realm…they think.

Of course, they arrived in Romania long before Vlad the Impaler made his debut. My vampires can read minds without sharing their blood. They have several rulers and each Prince of Darkness has a small principality where they will eventually become the ruling king, but they still answer to the ONE KING…Dracula.

You know I couldn’t leave out the Father of Vampires…right?

Dracula, of course, is ancient. He’s a bit on the testy side, a total womanizer, but he loves his clans and will do whatever it takes to see that their way of life continues.
When the vampires first enter the witch series, Valerian, one of the ruling princes is on the verge of becoming king of his domain. But you just know there’s a fly in the ointment. He has a twin brother, Brasov who challenges his right to be king and since so many centuries have passed and no one can recall which of the brothers was born first, a decision must be reached.

A race for the throne begins in a most unusual way. Who becomes the ruling king will be decided by the Ancients, based on which brother takes a First Bride and breeds an heir first.

Sounds easy?
Not so.

Finding and acquiring a First Bride and even managing to keep her once obtained suddenly turns into a major challenge for our sexy vamps. The Brides come from different species, but the one thing they all agree on: First Bride…Only Bride.

They aren’t willing to share their new mates…only, the Prince’s of Darkness have laws they must live by. Three Brides is the law and there’s no changing it.

Our hunky vamps are caught up in their private battle to win a Bride when out of the blue they’re attacked by the same race that is slowly wiping out the witch realm...Demons.
Suddenly, the battles taking place in Ru-Noc is at their own front door and the vamps find if they want to survive, they’ll have to join forces with the witches…easier said than done when the witches aren’t too keen to become the vamps next meals.

Now dear reader, we have all kinds of wars taking shape and everyone is losing, except of course….the Demons.

In my next installment, I’ll tell you a little about the Werewolf realm I’ve created, Na-Cyl. Note: Na-Cyl is Lycan spelled backward.

Until next time…happy reading.

Tabitha Shay