THE TRUTH ABOUT VAMPIRES
...is there is no One Truth--and frankly, that's the best part of this writing gig!!
My love and fascinating for vampires and all that stalk the night goes back to my early days, growing up in a house full of books and no restrictions on what I read. My parents had an eclectic mix in their library: everything from Harold Robbins to Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker.
I was a greedy child, soaking up books as fast as I could. I even had a teacher complain that I rushed through my classwork to get to my library book. Then, and even now, I failed to see the problem in this. At the time, I was a straight "A" student, and I figured why not? If I could finish soon, that gave me more time to read.
Early introduction to both the horror and romance genres (the wonderful gothics of Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney), led my brain to go there...yep, the sexy, strong vampire with a heart of gold...or at least, something to that effect. I made up stories in my head, rather derivative, but hey, I was only eleven or twelve. My knight in shining armor tended to wear a black cape lined in blood red silk.
As I grew up and continued to read in various genres, I started to see more and more contemporary treatments: Fred Saberhagen's THE DRACULA TAPE and eventually, Charles deLint's urban fantasies and Tanya Huff's Vicky Nelson series. These books took my game in an entirely new direction. I loved mysteries and science fiction. I adored Tolkien and tales about faery. I loved good stories with a romantic sub-element and I adored fantasy. Here were people doing just that in today's world. I could write a great fantasy, not set in Plrtz Glrb or a bad derivative of Middle Earth, but now, today. Using our modern world as a backdrop to a story that was grounded in the familar...cell phones, iPods, fast cars and faster lives. Better yet, I could set this all in a small town: a microcosm of the bigger world out there.
Thus was the Blood Lines series born. The stories are primarily set in Rio Seco, Texas, a fictional town in a fictional county (but based on Lago Vista, Texas, where I graduated from high school). Rio Seco is in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, one of the most gorgeous places on the planet. In addition to populating it with the normal ranchers, small business owners and the usual conglomeration, there's a supernatural clan, vampires, and now, in the book I'm currently writing, a werewolf pack.
Best of all? I can make it all up! I use the best (to me) pieces of vampire lore and work them into my mythos, my world, to fit my stories.
My vampires aren't the brooding emo Angel, Louis or Edward, nor are they the unrepentant vicious monsters from some other writings, but instead, are basically the same kind of person they were before they were vampires...with more power and a very different diet. The two specific vampires featured in my books are each sexy and strong and everything that makes a person interesting...including a lot of secrets, pasts that will come back to haunt them and a *lot* of shades of gray in their morality. They are creatures of the night, but as I state in MATTERS OF THE BLOOD, there's nothing inherently evil about the dark, it's just that it's harder to see what's hidden.
These are the kinds of characters that fascinate me--people (whether vampire, wer, shapeshifter, or other supernatural being) that have depth, dimension and must rise to the challenges presented during the story. Their experiences shape them, as much as they shape their own environment...and sometimes, they surprise everyone, including me.
Please visit Maria's website: www.thelima.com
Today you have a chance to win one of 5 books signed by the author. They are:
BLOODY GOOD by Georgia Evans -
THE VAMPIRE...IN MY DREAMS by Terry Spear - (Young Adult) Love bites when a seventeen-year-old vampire and witch tangle.
DEVOUR ME by Lydia Parks - They live in a world swirling in mist and darkness...Their mission is to tempt, tease, and seduce as they mesmerize us with their promise of taking our desires to the ultimate limit..."Dark Obsession": For three centuries, Benjamin Bartlett's desire for blood - and for the woman who granted him eternity - has consumed him. But when he discovers a group of four people taking refuge in his home after their van breaks down, he's immediately drawn to Star Reid - and soon she drives him over the edge in a white-hot lust that won't be denied..."Blood Lust Vampire": Christopher Marsh has searched for years for the talisman that could make him mortal again and give him the chance to fall in love. On the archeological dig he's supervising, beautiful professor Nicole Stephenson reminds him daily of what he wants but can't have. But when he abandons all control and gives in to his explosive desires, his quest takes on more urgency - for he can't lose the woman he's been waiting so long for.
DARK HARVEST by Lynda Hilburn - Denver Psychologist Kismet Knight counsels vampires. Her life changed forever when she discovered a preternatural underworld, met Devereux, the powerful leader of a vampire coven, and was forced to rethink her notions of “reality.”
Still adjusting to her new role as an expert on all things paranormal, she schedules what she believes is simply another radio interview. She couldn’t be more mistaken. Not only does the radio host behave very strangely, but an ominous, on-air call from day-walking vampire Lyren Hallow turns Kismet’s world upside-down -- again.
Shortly thereafter, Maxie Westhaven, a tabloid newspaper reporter in search of a juicy story, befriends Kismet, leading her into a bizarre world of role players, lost souls and death. Enter Victoria Essex, Devereux’s building manager and resident witch, who discloses a startling secret of her own.
Meanwhile, Luna, Devereux’s hostile femme fatal personal assistant, recognizes a perfect opportunity to throw a wrench into her boss’s blossoming relationship with the human psychologist, and, to complicate matters further, Kismet’s old boyfriend, self-absorbed Psychologist Tom Radcliffe, shows up with his own outlandish request.
MATTERS OF THE BLOOD by Maria Lima - "Maria Lima weaves a brilliant tale of supernatural power, revenge, and the excitement of newfound love." -- Darque Reviews
TO ENTER TODAY'S CONTEST, PLEASE ANSWER ALL 5 OF THE FOLLOWING SCAVENGER HUNT QUESTIONS, AND EMAIL THEM TO: firstname.lastname@example.org with VAMPBASH DAY 2 in the subject line. (Do not put answers in the comments.)
1) What number book is BLOOD KIN in Maria Lima's BLOOD LINES series? Please visit Maria's website!
2) What is the name of the hero in Lydia Parks' "Animal Instinct" from the Sexy Beast VI anthology? Please visit Lydia's website!
3) How old is the evil vampire in Terry Spears' THE VAMPIRE...IN MY DREAMS? Please visit Terry's website!
4) What is the name of the fictional town Georgia Evan's "Bloody" trilogy is set in? Please visit Georgia's website.
5) What is the name of the series Lynda Hilburn's Dark Harvest is in? Please visit Lynda's site!
Want to win a copy of DRACULA on DVD? It's released as a "Collector's Edition" and has a snazzy new cover art I love. (But I never did like that double-bun hairstyle on the old Dracula. Eww.) All you have to do to qualify to win is leave a comment today. All winner's (of scavenger hunt and today's prize) will be drawn and announced on Saturday.
Let's review for today: Give guest Maria Lima some love by visiting her website and commenting to let her know what you think of today's article. Have you read her Blood Line series? What did you think?
Then, to qualify for a drawing to win one of the five books listed above, do the scavenger hunt! Visit the author's pages, find the answers, and send all 5 to email@example.com with VAMPBASH DAY 2 in subject line. And if you are drooling over the Dracula DVD, simply leave a comment today (yes, it counts if you comment on Maria's post.)
See you all tomorrow!