Friday, October 21, 2011

Guest: Mayra Calvani

Please welcome Mayra Calvani—er, Alana Piovanetti to VampChix today.  Alana is the protagonist of Mayra's EMBRACED BY THE SHADOWS, and she has a few things to tell us about her life, and an offer for a free electronic copy of her story to one lucky commenter.  [Photo is Mayra].

Hola! My name is Alana Piovanetti—Corsican descendance, no mafia connection, that I know of. I’m 22 years old and live in San Juan. I recently graduated from Boston University, Magna Cum Laude, with a degree in Philosophy. Yep, I’m wild about Nietzche, Kant, Hegel and all the rest. I have long reddish hair (it doesn’t have a clear style, it just falls all over my back and shoulders) and black eyes—gypsy eyes, some people say. I guess you could say I’m beautiful, though I’ve never let that fact affect me, really. Oh, I forgot one thing… I’m also immortal.

My creator, Mayra Calvani (nice gal, by the way, though too wimpy for my tastes—she once fainted at the sight of blood in her vet’s office, for Christ’s sake!), asked me to take over this guest post for her. Talk about lazy, not to mention that fact that it’s shameless promotion. After all, Embraced by the Shadows was just released two weeks ago. But how could I refuse? She gave me life, after all… and what a life this is!

So please, allow me to humor my creator…Allow me to tell you a bit about myself, at least enough to awaken your curiosity.

When I’m not feeding, I love listening to Baroque music, especially Bach and Vivaldi. Bach’s Air on G String, for example, will usually send me into a trance which only the lust for blood can break. I’m fiercely protective of those I love, but merciless with the unjust. If provoked, I can be quite mean. I’m also volatile and temperamental; I can tear a murderer to shreds one minute and help a little old lady cross the street the next.

Paintings of angels captivate me. I always give money to street beggars. Am I some weird sort of saint? Far from it, and if you saw my deadly teeth, you would agree. My best friend calls me ‘The Virgin Vampire’ because I was innocent in the ways of the flesh when I joined the club of the undead. I love to argue about good and evil, justice, the higher good. Because of my high concept of justice and strong convictions on what is right and wrong, I’m an eternal vigilante at heart. I have a black Firebird, a gift from Sadash (he must appease his conscience somehow, for robbing me of my soul), that looks like a coffin on wheels, very appropriate. And of course, I never drink… wine. (Okay, that was a lame one.)

One more thing: I have been accused of being self-centered. What do you think? Hmm...

Anyway, Mayra is already signalling me with an annoyed look on her face, telling me to keep it short. But I haven’t even had time to tell you about what happens in the story—my stormy, love-hate relationship with Sadash and how I drive him crazy 24/7, the mystery of my mother’s death and how I come to solve it, but, most importantly, the inner turmoil that twists my insides day and night… for eternity.

So please, I’m BEGGING you, get a copy of Embraced by the Shadows! It’s only $2.99. The price of a latte! (Subtlety has never been one of my greatest qualities). Best of all, Mayra is giving away 2 FREE paranormal books on Smashwords—whether you buy Embraced by the Shadows or not. Her gift to you this October! Didn’t I say she’s a nice gal?
The free books are:

The Cat Cellar and Other Stories
What more can you ask for?

Well, there’s more! Mayra will be giving away a FREE electronic copy of Embraced by the Shadows! Just leave a comment at the bottom of this post to be eligible and answer the question: “What do you like or dislike about Alana?”

But I’m getting sleepy... In fact, I can hardly keep my eyes open. I can feel it approaching… dawn. A force so powerful, so much stronger than myself. I must leave this desk… quickly, down to the cellar where it’s cool and completely dark… quickly… I must…

Just released: Embraced by the Shadows 
In a bazaar in Istanbul one evening, ten-year-old Alana Piovanetti sees a man standing in the shadows. He smiles, and over time she convinces herself that it was just her imagination that placed sharp fangs amongst those flashing teeth.
Twelve years later, Alana is surprised when she is chosen to manage a new restaurant opening in her home city of San Juan. She has neither training nor experience to justify her success. But La Cueva del Vampiro has the kind of ambience she adores, for Alana has always had a penchant for horror and the dark side of life. Yet she is also plagued with dreams of dark sensuality, dreams that take on shattering reality when she meets the stunningly handsome, charismatic Sadash.
For Sadash is the man she saw in the shadows so many years before...and Sadash isn't human….
You may read the prologue and first chapter here:

The link to Kindle is:

The link to B&N:


Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. A reviewer for over a decade, she now offers online reviewing workshops. When she’s not writing, reading, editing or reviewing, she enjoys walking her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family.
Visit her website at, join her mailing list, and automatically receive the free ebooks, Reviewers Talk about Their Craft and the first lesson from my Slippery Art of Book Reviewing Workshop.


Roni said...

Embraced by the Shadows sounds really good. I'll have to watch for it.

Mayra Calvani said...

Thanks, Roni!

Thanks for hosting me, Michele!

Donna M. McDine said...

Michele, thank you for hosting Mayra. Your time is greatly appreciated!

Best regards,