NEW! Paranormal Cravings Box Set

Secret Cravings Publishing has just released their first Paranormal Cravings Box set. The price? Only $.99! That’s right, for under a dollar you can own four complete novels – a sampling of some of the best paranormal romance offered by SCP.

ParanormalCravings adBorn to be Wild – Cynthia Arsuaga

e548bc19542b6deab564fe251a1d4d54.image.250x400Alexandra Carlton, Alex to her friends, the only girl born into a family of vampire hunters with strict rules. She lives and hunts by the Code. Despite insecurities and self-esteem issues about her appearance, she eagerly tracks a rogue vamp carrying a contagious virus, deadly to vampires and humans alike, to prove her worth, to her family and herself.

Alex meets Stefan Marin, a brooding 500 year old vampire. He helps her not only on her quest but tames her wildest passions and discovers the true beauty within her, the beauty he can’t help but fall in love with.

Together, Alex and Stefan break all the rules uncovering more than a virus—hot sex, an uptight FBI Special Agent, spanking, hot sex, a nosy, meddling brother, more hot sex, bondage and submission, murder, and bad vampires.Will their love survive the wild side they were born to live?

Lustful Cravings, The Seven Sin Sisters – Paloma Beck

a6ec759fa09114462d252883cf5a2950.image.266x400Seven sisters are entwined in a legacy bigger than anyone ever expected. One by one, they will find their mates from the immortal Valendite breeds and secure their place in history. Each sister embodies one of the seven deadly sins only to be cast aside once claimed. But claiming comes at the price of separation, causing a weakening of their combined powers, which none want to happen… until Layla, holding the sin of lust within her body, locks eyes with Madden.

Madden is one of the strongest of the Valendite Breed, a group of near-immortal men originating from the Italian Wars in the 1500s. Today, the Valendite Breed serve as the Terrorist Elimination Unit (TEU), their only weakness being their body’s need for a mate to carry on the Breed.  So now that Madden has found Layla, he will never let her go.

With forces mounting up against the Breed, Madden and Layla will need to rely on their powers combined to get them to their Pronouncement.

Twilight Destiny, Haven’s Realm 1 – Tamara Monteau

Print Cover FrontCatherine “Katie” Mills has only one focus in life – to complete her education so she can lift her family out of poverty. She leads a simple life, ruled by order and practicality, until a mysterious, Scottish stranger with extraordinary good looks and a gentle spirit disrupts her plans. When she learns the man she loves is a vampire, fear rises to challenge her heart.

 

Mistakes made in his early past drive Joshua MacAaron to lead a solitary existence, avoiding mortal relationships, unable to trust without fear of reprisal. When his soul entangles with Catherine’s, he’s forced to accept the bond he cannot break. He guides her gently into his realm, teaching her, preparing for the inevitable discovery of his peers.

 

When a hunter strikes the Community, Joshua is called away to aid in Haven’s defense. Alone and uncertain, Catherine faces the judgment of the Council of Elders. She struggles for bravery as Joshua instructed, but how can she possibly withhold her terror and defend her destiny in the presence of so many powerful vampires?

Witch’s Brew, Winslow Witches of Salem – Tabitha Shay

0e54fc5d4edaedd30f52e400936482d1.image.266x400Saylym Winslow but is determined to ignore her awakening magical powers. She can’t be a witch; magic brings nothing but trouble. But when Prince Talon, assassin of witches is assigned to terminate her by stealing her soul, she discovers being a real, spell-casting witch is only the beginning of her problems. Talon is enchanted by Saylym’s beauty and charm and refuses to do his duty. He is given a choice by the powerful Waken Guild: Handfast with the trouble making witch to keep her in line or they will send Drayke, the most ruthless waken assassin, to hunt her down. 

Buy your copy today and enjoy this journey into dark and forbidden love!

Amazon  ~|~  Barnes & Noble

~Tamara Monteau

Reinventing the Vampire Genre – Sunlight and Silver

What’s it like to be a vampire? It all depends, I suppose, on the kind of vampire you’re looking at, and who developed his culture. After exploring a variety of opinions, myths and so forth, I considered each element and pondered its logic. There’s so much to consider, I’m afraid, that I’ll have to break it down into segments and call upon my friends for their help. Today I’ll ponder the effects of sunlight and silver, and correct a misconception concerning the properties of light.

Sunlight is the most common enemy of the vampire. Stars radiate a vast number of elements – radiation, heat, light. It is the UVA and UVB rays that cause human skin to burn and will, over time and exposure, lead to deeper damage. Therefore, it must be this radiation that more strongly affects the more vulnerable vampire. Like open flame, the sun causes severe and instant burning. As Joshua explained in Twilight Destiny

Print Cover Front“Although I must avoid contact with the sun, I do not have to sleep when the sun rises. Most of us prefer to, because the nighttime suits us and it is more convenient. Older vampires are said to have the ability to resist the powers of the sun for short periods…

“Even momentary exposure to the sun causes severe burns. I’m extremely susceptible to the heat and radiation. Within minutes, I can become burned beyond the ability to protect myself. ‘Tis, as I understand it, a very painful death, lingering in the soul long after the body ceases to exist.”

In fact, Jason, being the oldest vampire in the Community, at least at the beginning of Haven’s Realm, can tolerate moderate sunlight exposure, as he reminded Mirissa in Haven’s King

HavensKing_SM“You’ve only seen me in the early hours of morning. You noticed how I kept to the shadows inside Gale’s home. The older I become, the more sunlight I can tolerate.”

As I understand it, Bram Stoker agreed with this age v. tolerance issue, and I recall Mick St. John in Moonlight getting by with shadows and shields to avoid burns, although in one episode he was debilitated through prolonged exposure and needed an ice bath, and some blood, to recover.

Since we’re also talking about the element of light here, I’ll also address in this segment the problem of mirrors and cameras. I suppose it all springs from the core problem regarding the use of sliver. Since silver is supposed to be poisonous to vampires, it is probably assumed the element would resist all things vampire. Well, that’s just plain silly, isn’t it? I mean, how can silver possess the cognitive awareness necessary to recognize and reject the light bouncing off a vampire? My apologies and respects to those who’ve written before me, but I just can’t see it. What I can see, or could if he were present, is the light reflecting off the solid being that would be a vampire. If I can see this light directly, it only follows I’d see it bouncing off of any reflective surface, mirrors included. Since film, and now digital cameras, record only light wavelengths, well, there you go.

So what about silver? It’s a natural element, used as a catalyst for chemical reactions and in electrical contacts and conductors. It also has antimicrobial and disinfectant applications, which makes me wonder at the biology of the vampire. This fact does contain the possibility of chemical reaction to the negative elements present in a paranormal body. In Moonlight, silver bullets were used to incapacitate a vampire, while in Vampire Diaries, wooden bullets do the same trick. Since silver is more commonly associated with werewolves, probably because of their bondage to the moon and the cultural connection between the metal and our satellite, I decided to exclude this magic from my work.

Here, Cherished Readers, I’ll rest and allow you time to ponder. In my next article, I’ll take a closer look at vampire abilities and address the myth surrounding religious symbolism. Have a great weekend!

~Tamara Monteau

M. S. Spencer Visits Haven’s Realm

Good morning, cherished readers! Today I have the honor of hosting M. S. Spencer, who is here to share with us her new book, The Mason’s Mark.

* * * * *

TheMasonsMark_MEDMost of my new novel The Mason’s Mark is set at the George Washington National Masonic Memorial, in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Three hundred and thirty-three feet tall, it sits atop Shuter’s Hill overlooking the colonial city of Alexandria. The building has three sections—the ground level, the main floor, and the tower. The tower holds six progressively smaller rooms, each of which has a special theme. The fourth floor contains a museum of artifacts and documents related to George Washington, the Charter Master of the first Alexandria lodge. And since our heroine and hero meet there, it follows that the story would involve long lost papers, distant family scandals, and academic intrigue concerning our first President.

Here’s the story:

In both the best and worst first day at work ever,  docent Claire Wilding meets the man of her dreams, but her carefully rehearsed guided tour of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial falls apart when she discovers a dead body. Together with Detective Ernest Angle, she’s drawn into a dark world of black ops and Italian renegade masons. Also cloaked in mystery is her new love Gideon Bliss.  A George Washington expert, he haunts the Memorial, his manner evasive. What is his secret? Claire fears she’ll fall in love with him only to learn he’s a thief or even a murderer.

Juggling two eccentric mothers, an inquisitive sister, and an increasingly smitten Ernest, Claire must find answers to a complex web of intrigue, including which black ops agent to trust,  whether our first president strayed, and if she and Gideon will ever be together.

The Mason’s Mark: Love and Death in the Tower (an Old Town Romance)

Secret Cravings Publishing (released January 7, 2014)

eBook (79,000 words), Romantic suspense, M/F, 3 flames

Buy Link: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=4&products_id=800

Amazon: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Masons-Mark-Love-Death-Tower-ebook/dp/B00HUCFYH0/

Excerpt (PG) Dorcas Enters the Picture

Gideon finished his scotch and savagely ripped a piece of bread in half, scattering bits all over the table. Before he could answer, a disembodied voice spoke from the shadows. “Steak and kidney pie?”

The waiter hovered, balancing large crockery plates in each hand. As he bent down, the fire lit his face with a devilish glow.

“Here, thanks, and I’ll take a pint of Guinness. Claire? Another drink?”

Claire considered her order, a rather wilted Caesar salad. O’Connells apparently didn’t approve of vegetables that weren’t boiled to death. Or any dish that didn’t include potatoes. “A glass of the South African dry Riesling, please.”

At least the ambience fit their mood. They sat at a high oak table by an unnecessary fire, overshadowed by pendent dark wood choir stalls stolen from an Irish monastery and next to a heavily varnished organ façade stolen from an Irish church. A tea light made a heroic effort to pierce the obscurity. It all served to heighten the sense of approaching doom.

“You were saying?” she prompted.

“Why is Dorcas here? Simple. She wants to make my life miserable. According to Mother, the man she left me for dumped her unceremoniously. I imagine her plan is to take it out on me.”

“Was the man with her in Paris?”

“Yes, but Dorcas told Mother he went back to Argentina. That’s where she originally met him. When she arrived here she learned that he left Buenos Aires for the States a month ago and is somewhere in the District. She claims if she finds him she’ll give me my freedom.”

“That sounds promising.”

“Not if he doesn’t want to be found. This could go on forever.” He touched her hand. “I hate putting you through this.”

“Me?” Claire ignored the throbbing of a quickened pulse and did her best to assume an indifferent air. “What does it have to do with me?”

His emerald eyes bored into her blue ones. “I shouldn’t have to spell it out, should I?”

Claire blinked and took a large swallow of wine, coughing only some of it up. “I told you—I have renounced disporting with both jailbirds and married men.”

“Disport? Will you gambol with me then? Cavort?”

“The answer to any synonym you come up with is still no.”

The waiter skipped up and set a second Guinness down before Gideon with a flourish. “Compliments of the lady.” He gestured toward the long mahogany bar, sparkling with polished brass and crystal glasses.

Gideon followed the waiter’s pointing finger, and Claire followed his gaze. A woman sat alone facing away from them. She wore a burgundy Donna Karan suit and three-inch stiletto heels. The matching broad-brimmed hat hid her hair and most of her face. Claire checked the mirror behind the bar and dropped her fork when she saw what she would later describe to her sister as Audrey Hepburn’s doppelganger. A few tendrils of glistening black hair curled out from under the hat. High, aristocratic cheekbones flanked a flawlessly proportioned nose over ruby-kissed lips. The woman swiveled on her stool to face them and Claire nearly fell off her own. Dorcas—for it could only be Dorcas—would indeed easily pass as the twin of the late exquisite actress. Her huge, liquid, brown eyes locked on Claire.

If Gideon hadn’t stood up and stepped between them, Claire wouldn’t have been able to break the spell. She slumped, breathing heavily. “I feel like a trapped mouse.”

“Dorcas does that to people.” Gideon tossed the words over his shoulder. After a tense minute’s staring match he swung around to Claire. “Come on, let’s go.” She didn’t argue. He dropped some bills on the table and stalked after her.

She had reached the door when she realized Gideon was no longer behind her. She turned to see him nose to nose with Dorcas, their lips moving rapidly, showing off very white teeth. Claire could have sworn Dorcas’s canines were unusually long and sharp. She waited.

A minute later Gideon swept past her out the door. He didn’t speak as he drove Claire home, unless one counts foam bubbling from his mouth and an occasional snort. He left her at the door. She trudged up the steps. As she fit the key in the lock, she heard ringing. That’s the landline. Who would use that? She ran in and picked up the receiver. “Hello?”

“Claire? This is Ernest. I have news.”

****

Biography

M.S.Spencer Author 200x300Although she has lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia (bucket list), M. S. Spencer has spent the last thirty years mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. Blessed with two fabulous grown children, she has published eight romantic suspense/mystery novels. In an excess of optimism, she has recently heaved the entire ho to Florida with a detour to Maine, leaving behind the cherry blossoms, the monuments, and the political hacks.

CONTACTS:

Blog: http://msspencertalespinner.blogspot.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/msspencerauthor
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/msspencerauthor/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/M.S.SpencerAuthor

AUTHOR PAGES:

Secret Cravings Publishing: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=products_all&filter_author=56

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/M.S.-Spencer/e/B002ZOEUC8/

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/msspencer

SCP Paranormal Blog Hop – Haven’s Realm

1980625_10202533868726775_1603186861_nWelcome, cherished readers and new visitors, to Haven’s Realm’s portion of the Secret Cravings Publishing Paranormal Blog Hop! This weekend, I’m awarding one lucky commenter an electronic copy of any one of my Haven’s Realm stories, so please remember to leave me a way to contact you.

Writing about vampires is easy. Writing something original in a genre that hundreds of authors have already worked practically to the ground is a challenge. When I first put pen to paper in 1993, I had no idea where my imaginary friends would take me, but I accepted them into my life, and they helped me see their world, and mine, a little clearer. The culture grew as my writings progressed, and now I have a vampire lifestyle significantly different from those I’ve seen so far.

Six hundred years ago, with humans beginning to take uncomfortable notice of the supernatural violence escalating around them, Jason, one-time king from ancient Greece, gathered seven of his closest, most powerful friends atop Mt. Olympus. There, they appealed to the gods for help in calming the violence before all of mankind is threatened. They were taken to the Great Hall of the Gods, where they negotiated a Bargain with deities from a variety of cultures. Now charged with supporting human virtues among immortals, they strive for peace and anonymity, but war has, unfortunately, returned to the immortal world.

With all the problems that have been and continue to plague the Community, you’d think romance would be the last thing to be considered. Well, no. Actually, the one virtue they hold with the greatest reverence is love, a virtue not individually assigned, but charged to the whole of both King and Council. No matter the conflict, no matter how grave the circumstances, love must take priority. Not one member of this noble group would dare discount its power. Some, now, have even embraced it with their most sacred law, the Vow.

CollectionFive stories are currently available in the Haven’s Realm saga: Twilight Destiny, The Darker Path, Dragon Lord, Haven’s King, and Secrets & Promises. Please visit their pages on the Haven’s Realm website, and their sections in this blog, for details, background, and excerpts. The sixth, Midnight Skye, is still in work, but is going to be well worth the wait, I promise.

Don’t forget to comment below for your chance to win. If you have a question, I’ll be hanging around to answer it, so check back. Then return to the Secret Cravings Publishing Paranormal Blog Hop to visit our other authors!

Tamara Monteau, Author
Haven’s Realm

Secret Cravings Publishing Anniversary Blog Hop!

wwblogLet’s face it, it’s cold outside. If you’re like me, staying inside with a warm mug and a good read is much more appealing than going “out there”.

Secret Cravings Publishing carries books in a wide variety of genres, with heat ratings all across the spectrum, so there’s something for everyone! I’ve been a part of SCP since just before their first anniversary, and I can tell you they’re a wonderful group! We’re celebrating our third year with this Winter Wonderland blog hop. SCP is giving away some great prizes:

First Place: Ipad2
Second Place: Kindle HDX
Third Place: $50 Gift Certificate
Fourth Place: $25 Gift Certificate

The rules for this drawing are simple – visit all the authors on this blog hop, and make note of the letter on each one. The list of participants is here. Once you have them all, email the answer to Dawne Prochilo at Secret Cravings Publishing. My letter is somewhere below. I am also offering a free e-book from Haven’s Realm, so please comment for your chance to win, and leave me a way to contact you. Then return to SCP’s Blogspot and check out our other awesome authors!

Haven’s Realm is a unique series of vampire romances. Five titles are currently available, and the sixth is in work. The concept for the seventh has already sprung to mind, telling me my Community friends haven’t finished talking.

Print Cover FrontTwilight Destiny tells the innocent romance turned tragic as Lowlander Joshua MacAaron and young Catherine “Katie” Mills lead readers into the Realm and lays the groundwork for all the stories to come.

The Darker Path cover1The Darker Path brings an extraterrestrial into the arms of a reluctant and remorseful vampire. Ki’ara must learn the dark man’s dangerous secrets and solve the mystery of why she’d been taken from her home, and her journey of discovery leads her straight into Haven’s Realm.

Dragon Lord Cover_SMDragon Lord introduces a new kind of vampire, one in possession of a dark and terrible power. After living a life of seclusion since practically the dawn of time, he finds himself responsible for an astonishing young mortal. Tyler Jenkins, a Homeland Security field agent, must depend upon Ronan for her survival as they seek the aid of the Community.

lHavensKing_SMHaven’s King tells the traumatic tale of the founder of the Community. Readers of the series will know from the start that he’d been struck down and lay in a tormented coma. Jason, former King of Iolcus, embarks on a love hunt with Carrington Police Officer Mirissa Wellston, attracting the unfortunate attention of his ancient gods.

Secrets&Promises_MEDSecrets & Promises reveals the Heart of the Community, giving readers an indepth view of the Council and the foundation of the Bargain. Vincent, a stable character in this series and member of the Council of Elders, stands against his brethren for the sake of the very woman who slew one of their most esteemed and poisoned Jason. They must satisfy the condition of a Reckoning if they have any hope to escape the Council’s punishments.

Learn more about Haven’s Realm on my website. Don’t forget to comment for your chance to win, and please remember to visit all the authors in this blog hop and participate for a chance at the grand prizes listed above.

Tamara Monteau
Haven’s Realm

Cynthia Arsuaga visits Haven’s Realm!

Hello Everyone and thanks to Tamara for having me on her blog today! This week I’m the Author of the Week for Secret Cravings Publishing and trying to squeeze in some blog time. So, again, thanks a lot for giving me this opportunity to showcase my back list of fourteen titles! I’ve done a little write-up as to why you should read about some of my vampires, followed with an excerpt from Born Again in Dreams, Book 3 of the Born Vampire Series. I’ll be doing a sweepstakes, picking a winner by random from all the commenters over the three days on this and the other blogs I’ll be a guest on. The winner will receive a $10 Gift Certificate to Secret Cravings Publishing. Good Luck!!!

Ten Reasons to read The Born Vampire Series or The Forces of Beauty Series:

  1. My vampires come in all shades, at least 50.
  2. My vampires don’t sparkle.
  3. My vampires have sex with their human lovers. Lots of sex. The hot and steamy kind.
  4. My really bad vampire villains go after the hero and heroine in interesting ways, and they are bent on destroying the world if they can get away with it.
  5. My vampires fall in love with real women who are the most beautiful and sexy women only for them. Cougars, curvy, and intelligent women who set their vampire lovers’ hearts and parts afire.
  6. My vampire stories are well-written, full of action and excitement, and in worlds that feel real and easy to believe.
  7. My vampires come from all walks of life—medieval knights, cowboys, Native American/Dutch descent, entrepreneurs, businessmen—all with extraordinary powers.
  8. My vampires are dark and edgy, but have a loving side only their women can tame.
  9. My vampires aren’t for the faint of heart and can be a bit violent and pretty bloody at times. Sorry no pun intended, but hey they are vampires after all.
  10. My vampire stories have a happy ending, or at least one that continues on with new characters.

Check out The Born Vampire Series at Secret Cravings Publishing or any of your favorite retailers, Amazon, Bookstrand, Barnes and Noble, All Romance Ebooks.

WARNING: The stories are erotic romance, and should be read by those who swear they are over eighteen and can take the heart-pounding suspense and must be read with a glass of your favorite wine or ice water (they’re hot and steamy) and your significant other.

BLURB for Born Again in Dreams:

The Master of His Domain

Sorin Bochinsky, Master and Commander of the Eastern European Blood Family, controls everyone and everything around him, except the woman of his dreams with the face of an angel prevents his needed rest. She’s the light to his dark and pained existence. The search begins to find the mysterious woman of his nightmares before he goes insane.

An Angel Awakens

Merliah Travers suffered more than serious injuries from a car accident over four years ago. She awakens in a place where the pain and scars have hidden her away from the world. A fantasy lover leads her out of the darkness and into the light, then discovers a special ability acquired during the coma has put her in danger.

Two lost, scarred souls battle their inner demons and a fanatic killer to unite as one, to never be alone, and be born again in dreams, forever.

ADULT EXCERPT:

BornAgainInDreams_MEDHe stood up and pulled her to her feet at the same time. Merliah’s gaze dropped to the waistband of his black trousers, and then to the bulge at his groin, and with her eyes burning with intensity, he realized her highly aroused state. He didn’t need to use his vampire skills. Their times together in the dreams made him keenly aware of her preferences and desires. His stomach knotted with instant need with the knowledge, causing his cock to press harder on the zipper of his trousers, causing some discomfort. He enjoyed the new pleasure of reading her body instead of using his senses as a vampire to recognize them. His heart raced in anticipation of discovering the nuances of her body from this new perspective. Like exploring virgin territory.

“Do you think anyone will see us?”

“No, I believe the trees are thick enough where we are. We should be hidden. I can barely see the light on the other side.” His tongue slid along a full bottom lip. “Now, let me undress you.”

As he steadied her, he reached around her back and slowly drew down the zipper. He smiled as the dress slipped from her shoulders and down her body, landing in a puddle on the ground. She stood before him in matching black bra and panties. “I want to see every inch of your skin, to touch you all over. Experience you like this is our first time.” Then he slipped one digit under the strap of her bra and gently nudged it off her shoulder. Reaching around, he unclipped the fastener and the delicate lacy fabric fell to the ground. Cupping the lush flesh of her breasts, he kneaded the generous orbs until she leaned forward against him.

“Oh, don’t stop, Sorin,” she pleaded softly.

His fingers gently traced the contours of her brow, her cheek, her jaw, slowly moving toward the curve of her throat. Bending his head forward, he brushed his mouth across the tingling skin, trailing tiny kisses down her neck.

“Oh yes, I want that too. Please…” Her voice trailed off.

Sorin’s grin widened. “But first, I want to taste you.” He dropped to his knees between her legs and brushed his hand across the skin of her thigh. “Spread your legs for me, angel.”

Without hesitation, she did as he demanded. Using one finger, he hooked it around the elastic and tugged the slight slip of lacy fabric down over her hips, then tore them away from her body, growling his pleasure.

“Hey, those were my nicest pair.”

“I’ll get you another.” One hand held her hip and the other palmed her mound. He glanced up at her and licked his lips, then slipped his tongue between her tender folds, tasting her with a groan of what sounded like relief.

She threw her head back with a hiss, “Oh God yes!”

He sucked and licked, urged on as her cries and pants got more urgent.

BUY LINKS:

All Romance Ebooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-bornagainindreams-944022-139.html#.UFdBPr2fAnc.email

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Born-Again-in-Dreams-ebook/dp/B009CAPZ68/ref=sr_1_13?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1348497586&sr=1-13&keywords=Cynthia+Arsuaga

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/born-again-in-dreams-cynthia-arsuaga/1112927291?ean=2940015678000

BookStrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/born-again-in-dreams

Secret Cravings Publishing: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=book_info&cPath=36&products_id=407

WHERE TO FIND ME:

Blog: http://romanticwordsbycynthia.blogspot.com
Website: http://cynthiaarsuaga.weebly.com
Publisher Page: http://store.secretcravingspublishing.com/index.php?main_page=products_all&filter_author=1&zenid=7ea916acb5075615d6f30b6f25e77c3e
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CynthiaArsuaga?ref=tn_tnmn
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#%21/CynthiaArsuaga
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4715026-cynthia-arsuaga
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/cynthiaarsuaga/
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/cynthia-arsuaga/30/101/49b
Vampire Book Realm: http://www.vampirebookrealm.com/cynthia-arsuaga.html
Amazon Author Central: https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/profile?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0
Romance Books 4 Us: http://www.romancebooks4us.com/Romance%20Author%20Cynthia%20Arsuaga.html

Reinventing the Vampire Genre – Transformation

Many readers have asked me how I developed my vampire culture, where I did my research, and who’s works inspired me. While it’s true writers, at least this one, take inspiration from others’ writings, the challenge is to create something new and original in a genre that has been in existence for centuries.

Countless authors present their opinions on today’s marketplace, and there certainly is no right or wrong when developing a fictional culture. Some of my favorite authors in this genre are Maggie Shayne, Linda Lael Miller, and Cynthia Arsuaga. While I’ve never read the Twilight saga, I’ve seen the movies and enjoyed them. In the media, my favorite vampire television series are Forever Knight, The Vampire Diaries, Moonlight, and Angel. All of these creations vary dramatically, but each has an interesting approach to various points that I compared to the old legends before deciding on my “rules of engagement.” In this article, I’ll address the problem of transformation.

The most popular of the old assertions is that it takes three bites. This is close to Stephenie Meyer’s mention of vampire venom, for although she doesn’t require three bites, one can assume venom of some kind must exist for it to only take bites. I liked the concept when developing my killer clan, but stripped them of their basic humanity to make them more threatening. Rogues possess in their blood and saliva an agent that will turn a human, invading the body like a cancer, until that human dies. The soul goes into a tormented limbo while the practically mindless creature his body becomes carries out his instinctual acts.

When developing my more civilized clans, I realized I needed something a little different, and considered the works that had come before me. Shayne’s vampires spring from mortals she calls “the Chosen,” rare humans who possess the belladonna antigen in their blood that enables transformation. These few humans have a greatly reduced lifespan, and vampires are instinctual drawn to protect them. I had trouble with her restrictions, but liked the idea of the vampire taking life in the act.

In Vampire Diaries, one must have vampire blood in their systems when they die, and must feed on human blood within 24 hours of waking to complete their transference. I liked this idea, because it presents the mortal with one last point of no return. In Moonlight, I believe humans rise as vampires if they’re not killed, but drained to the point of death. In this case, they made it the moment they opened their eyes.

But I wanted something more than that, so put a bit of magic in with the ritual. In Haven’s King, Devon, a member of the Community’s Council of Elders, explained the process to Mirissa, the Carrington Police Agent in love with Jason, their king, in the following excerpt:

HavensKing_SM“In order for you to become a vampire, a vampire has to end your mortal life by draining you of your blood and binding your spirit before it has a chance to move on. Your body would begin a transformation that is completed the moment you rise and reclaim your blood from your master, inheriting his power and bloodline. It’s a tricky maneuver, requiring a great deal of concentration and skill. If your sire were, for example, to take you a little too far into death’s grasp, you’d simply die. Not quite far enough, and the transformation never takes place. Either way, your body would die of severe exsanguination.”

She stared at him for a few moments before she said softly, “That’s why Jason can’t turn me.”

He raised one eyebrow. The rest of his features were practically inscrutable. “You are correct, my dear. The moment he ends your mortal life, he condemns his own soul, even if his actions are meant to save you.”

She asked her next question in the hope his answer would quiet her sudden feeling of doom. “Could…could someone else do that first part for him? Does he absolutely need my blood in his system to finish the job?”

“Well, I don’t believe it’s ever been done before, but then, no other vampire I know of has this particular handicap hanging over his head. But if the person who drained you was close enough to Jason, say myself or Vincent, and shares your blood with him before you rose, it would probably work. Just a taste of your death would be sufficient. I honestly don’t think it would be a problem that cannot be overcome.”

She thought in silence for almost a minute before she asked, “So, what would happen to my spirit while my body does its thing?”

“I cannot give you a definitive answer to that one. Everyone I’ve spoken with on this subject has given me a different story. Some of them simply rested in peaceful oblivion until the time of awakening. Others remained awake and aware, though outside of their bodies, of course, and stayed with their masters during the entire process. Several visited with loved ones who’d passed on before them, or set out in search of loved ones they were about to leave behind, in a usually vain attempt at saying their goodbyes.

“In all cases, except for those who’ve failed to make the transition either by accident or choice, the fine tether keeping that spirit bound draws it back when the body nears wakefulness. If you did find yourself faced with a choice in that netherworld, you would have to be prepared to turn your back on Salvation if you are truly determined not to die.”

And that is, in my case, pretty much it, though I haven’t yet addressed exactly what happens to mortals in transition if they don’t retake their blood from their sires. I’ve mentioned in my writings thus far only that the consequences “didn’t bear thinking about.” After considering the alternatives, I’ve concluded that the hatchling, or freshly risen vampire, would fail to complete the transformation, much as it is in Vampire Diaries. Theoretically at least, within a few short hours, he or she would die of severe hunger, a rather painful way to go.

But the consequences run much deeper, because they need their sire’s power as well, and the vampire’s conservatorship of their souls. Without their sire’s support, they would be driven by instinct to feed on the first source available in order to survive. The moment they do, their link to the vampire that took their lives would be severed, and they’d lose a vital part of themselves. So I must conclude they would become more like Rogues, the true meaning in their spirits lost to them, but with enough rationality to understand and be tormented by what they’ve become.

In my next article, I’ll address what it’s like to be a vampire. If you would like to know more about the Community and Haven’s Realm, please visit my website. Five books in the series are currently available from Secret Cravings Publishing, and I’m working to complete the sixth!

See you next time!

Tamara Monteau

Hump Day Hook

Happy Wednesday and welcome to another Hump Day Hook from Haven’s Realm. Today I’m working on the edits for my work in progress, to be entitled Midnight Skye, Haven’s Realm 6. That’s right, six! I still can’t believe it possible.

Skye Renault, famous and incredibly young author of a popular vampire series, has dreamed about her vampire characters ever since visiting D’Arc Estate when she was a child. Now nearing her twentieth year, she returns to the estate seeking answers, and the return of dreams that have fallen oddly silent. Although she adamantly denies the truth of vampire existence, what-ifs find their way into her reasoning, forcing her to compare her beloved Lucien with Lucas D’Arc and wonder if the estate’s builder’s untimely disappearance had more sinister connections with her dreams.

After a full night exploring the mansion with Christian, the man who resembles in every way her second vampire character–but couldn’t possibly be him–Skye falls into fitful sleep. The following excerpt is the last dream she has while within D’Arc Estate…

She entered D’Arc’s front doors, wondering as she did why they were standing wide open. She swept her gaze at the dark interior with surprise and rising trepidation. Everything appeared as it had when she first arrived, covered in dust and cobwebs. The air around her tasted sour in spite of the open doorway, the atmosphere staid and cold.

In the study, she found her laptop resting on the antique desk and covered with a thick film of dust. She lifted the monitor and pressed the power button, but the computer failed to respond. It was still plugged in—apparently the power had been out for quite some time.

She went to the kitchen, noting as she passed through the dining room the broken chandelier in the corner, so heavily coated in webs and dust its features were no longer apparent. The kitchen was just as she left it. Two mugs, one tumbler, two plates and assorted flatware occupied the dishwasher. A quick peek, performed with breath held, confirmed the refrigerator had been left full.

Trembling, she climbed the stairs. Her bedroom door swung open as she approached, and with a deep swallow to clear her airway, she stepped inside. A gasp drew in putrid air when she saw herself lying on the bed—an emaciated, dried corpse wearing pain and surprise on her withered face, long shards of wood penetrating several parts of her torso, including one just below her left breast. Ceiling debris littered the bed and floor.

Sudden darkness enveloped the corpse, rising as if from within her dead body. She drew back, a scream lodged in her throat, as it approached her. A soft voice begged, “Let me in.”

humpdayhookVisit the Hump Day Hook for more teasers! Have a great Wednesday, and Happy Halloween!

~Tamara

Hump Day Hook

Happy Wednesday! I’m feeling a little sad today that we’re loosing our weekly hooks, but understand how much work goes into organizing them. Thanks, Kerrianne, for all you’ve done!

In the following snippet from The Darker Path, Ki’ara, an extraterrestrial visiting an angry and enigmatic vampire here on earth, has just stumbled upon the terrifying truth behind Colton’s self-hatred and remorse.

The Darker Path cover1“What are you doing here?” His voice was low and menacing, but his eyes caught and held her attention–they were aglow with feral red fire. “You followed me. I warned you not to interfere.” He closed the gap between them much more quickly than anyone should be able to move. “Why couldn’t you just stay away?”

She couldn’t move. Couldn’t think. With great effort, she pulled her gaze away from his and turned toward the man lying in the center of the alleyway. “You killed him.” Her voice came out a whisper and revealed her confusion.

“Yes. That’s what I do. Are you satisfied now?”

She saw the blood dripping from his anguished lips, the sharp fangs peeking from behind them. “Why?”

He laced his fingers in the hair at the back of her head and pulled backward sharply enough to bring tears to her eyes. “I need blood. This is what I am.” He pulled her closer, and she thought she saw a hint of regret on his face when he whispered tightly, “Oh, why couldn’t you leave this alone?”

He was going to kill her. She saw it on his face and felt it in his rage. Waves of torment and sorrow poured from his heart, mingling with a hunger both dark and insatiable. Instead of fearing for her life or the loss of her destiny, she felt pity for the man holding her brutally in his arms. She couldn’t hope to fight him. In his present state, he was far too powerful. Resisting him would only prolong the pain he’d surely inflict.

With surrender her only remaining option, she braced herself against the shock and opened her mind to him while he moved to her throat. His conflicting thoughts and feelings instantly flooded her mind, and just as it had the night she arrived, his power overwhelmed her. She lost consciousness before his fangs penetrated her throat.

humpdayhookVisit the Hump Day Hook for more teasers! Have a great Wednesday, and Happy Halloween!

~Tamara

SCP Wounded Warrior Blog Hop

WW2013To honor those brave men and women who placed their lives on the line to defend our freedom, Haven’s Realm is participating in the Secret Cravings Publishing Wounded Warrior Blog Hop. I pledge to donate a dollar for every comment I receive during this event, and will present one lucky commenter with an e-book from the Haven’s Realm saga. SCP’s goal is $30 for 30 comments – if I receive my personal goal of 50, I will give away two e-books!

Haven’s Realm is a unique vampire series written with the more sensitive reader in mind. These 3-flame romances contain an enduring cast of characters in an ongoing struggle to maintain peace among immortals. The vampires of the Community exist under a Bargain struck between their founders, Jason and the Council of Elders, and Higher Powers, and are charged with upholding the Seven Virtues.

S&PBannerAdSecrets & Promises, the fifth book in this series, focuses on Vincent, a member of the Council, and Chari, the woman who has been hunting vampires for research material. While these two struggle to fulfill the demands of a Reckoning, another member of the Council falls prey to a rival clan while attempting to bring his new love home. Hopelessly outnumbered, Rudy has no choice but to agree to his captor’s demands, his greatest concern the welfare of his ailing bride. He carries Lindsey as they follow Amos to the Savant stronghold. Before you ask, yes, they’re flying.

Excerpt:

Secrets&Promises_MEDThe miles swept past their feet until a massive house situated well away from neighbors came into view. The natural stone building wore accents in black–black marble columns, black wrought-iron fencing, black functional shutters. The broad expanse of front lawn was surrounded by snow-covered garden paths that wrapped around the house, and thick forest enclosed the entire property. “Mein Gott,” he murmured. “Blackhawk. I had no idea I was driving us into their territory.”

“What’s…?”

“The Savant’s version of Haven–their stronghold in this country. I’ve heard it rumored their vaults contain the vast sum of their knowledge. It would be a shame if the Community was forced to destroy it.”

“You think too highly of your precious Community,” Amos spat as he touched ground.

“Perhaps,” Rudy countered after his feet touched the earth, “or you’ve allowed yourself to underestimate us. That error will prove fatal.”

Amos so suddenly stood before them, his eyes glowing hotly in the darkness, Lindsey screamed and buried her face against his chest. “Do not tempt me, Community. I’d like nothing more than to relieve you of your troublesome existence.”

To her surprise, Rudy laughed. “Ah, but you won’t, my pathetic friend. Not if you intend to use me for bait.”

She peeked at Amos when he didn’t answer. He still stood staring Rudy down, his eyes molten pools of lava, his body trembling with rage. He turned away sharply. “Take them inside,” he snapped to his men before surging for the house.

“Are we going to be all right?” she whispered as Rudy followed the men into the massive estate.

He gave her a soft smile and tightened his arms around her. “We’re not in so much trouble yet. They want something we have. As long as it stays that way, they dare not harm us. Try not to worry.”

That’s easy for you to say, she thought when the front entry doors closed them in with a thud that sounded like doom.

*****

Secrets & Promises, and all the Haven’s Realm series, is available from Secret Cravings Publishing and your favorite online retailer. Don’t forget to comment below for your chance to win and raise my donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, and check out the rest of the authors participating on the Secret Cravings Publishing Wounded Warrior Blog Hop..

Happy Veteran’s Day!

~Tamara Monteau