June 28, 2009 at 10:59 am (Writing Journal)

It’s Sunday. Another week gone by. No progress. Each time I start to write, I find myself writing about the health challenges I’ve been facing this last week. I wrote a couple of paragraphs and in disgust erase theme. I don’t want to do another organ recital, I don’t want to whine and complain. But I envisioned this journal as a place to write down what I had done each week towards completing Darkhour Vampires. I did write an email asking for help to develop a market strategy. It helped me to realize that I am floundering and until I can develop something concrete, I won’t be able to move forward. No real help but a couple of suggestions of people to contact who have dealt with the problems of cross-genre work. I will keep you informed. And until I resolve my health issues, I giving myself permission to focus on them and not writing, rather than failing weekly to meet my writing goals.


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June 22, 2009 at 1:08 am (Darkhour Vampires, Uncategorized) (, )

Cassandra is one of the villains of Darkhour Vampires.

Cassandra is a mulatto slave that could pass for white. She was bought as a young girl of 13 to be the mistress, love slave of a sadistic vampire, Brandon. A gambler who used her as bait. Often she would play poker, with only her clothes to bet, losing slowly, clothed only in her wonderful long, black hair. The players would be so eager to win her for the night, they would end up losing to Brandon. After the Civil War, Brandon fell in with the wrong group. They learned his secret and killed him. They kept Cassandra. She kills herself in the hope that she will cross over and become a vampire. She has her revenge. When Donovan finds her after the war, she is killing union soldiers and Northerners. She is out of control. Donovan is attracted to her aloneness and her pain. He thinks she is like him. They become lovers. He tries to teach her as Amanda has taught him.

To escape the horrors of the south during the reconstruction, he takes Cassandra to San Francisco. Cassandra is insanely jealous of Amanda. Amanda tries to warn Donovan, but he doesn’t want to listen. It is at Donovan suggestion that Cassandra becomes one of the Charter members of Darkhour Corporation. But the situation between Cassandra and Amanda remains tense.

Donovan borrows from Amanda so that he can take Cassandra away. They travel to Europe. He wants to learn more than he knows now. He has reached his second life. He is 50 years old. The world is changing. Cassandra is young, pouty, with a great sexual appetite. Because he treats her with kindness, she does not respect him. As they travel through Europe, they begin to argue more and more. Cassandra becomes the root of Donovan’s later interest in psychology.Eventually in London, Cassandra finds another vampire, Sir Alfred, more like her original master. In a sense she wants Donovan to save her from herself, but he is sickened by her and lets her go. She ends up blaming him for abandoning her.

1907, Sir Alfred is dead, and Cassandra begs Donovan for help. She returns to California House. She is one of the bood mothers for Valentine’s offspring, Stefan. She convinces Stefan to abandon Valentine, to become her fledgling. They travel through Europe, even become part of Hitler’s entourage. Stefan and Cassandra try to convince the vampires to side with Hitler, but they are opposed by Amanda and Valentine.

In 1935, Donovan and Amanda have adopted a child Claire. They are living in Oregon, he has started his clinic.  Cassandra arranges for the murder  Amanda and Claire. She hopes to take over Amanda’s place in Donovan’s heart and Darkhour politics, but suspicious, Donovan hunts down the assassins and learns Cassandra’s role. As a site, she can’t be killed so she is  sentenced to an isolate lair in the Oregon mountains, where almost 50 years later, she  comes across a young boy, Wade Kain. She brings him back to her lair as her sexual play toy.

When a girl is kidnapped from Portland, and the picture is of Cassandra’s servant, Stanos, Donovan decides to investigate what Cassandra has been up to. Afraid he will report her crimes to the Board, she takes Donovan prisoner. Wade and Donovan must work together to try to escape before Cassandra kills them both.


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June 21, 2009 at 1:46 am (Writing Journal)

This week I am going to introduce Cassandra. She is one of the villains of the Darkhour series.  Much of what she is comes from her twisted and abusive childhood.  I found myself somewhat sympathetic to her and yet appalled by what she was driven to do.

I can’t remember whose advice it was that your villain never see themselves as evil, and so you should never write them that way.

As I re-read the introduction of Wade and Prane, then Donovan, I have found myself sharing more and more of the complex background that fuels the stories. And wondering if I am confusing readers with all the names and details. And yet, this is what I find fascinating about writing a vampire story, the backgound of the various vampires, their long history.

For more of the details, visit


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Urban Fantasy Book Covers

June 19, 2009 at 1:49 am (Guests, Sites, or Books, Vampire Blogs and Webs) ()

Urban Fantasy has become its own sub genre, easily recognizable by the cover of the book. Perhaps too easily recognized.

I discovered a new blog, Stomping on Yeti The tagline says They don’t deserve it, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. Ah, someone with a sense of humor.

He was blogging about why he refused to buy Daniel Abraham’s latest book because of the cover and the sameness of Urban Fantasy covers.

He also had a video, which I have managed to get working here as well. It is a real eye opening experience.


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June 17, 2009 at 1:52 pm (Classical Vampire Literature, Vampires around the World) (, )

The next classic vampire story is Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, There is much similarity between this novella and Dracula like Gothic atmosphere and writing style, the isolated castle in distant foreign lands, in this case Styria in Austria. The innocent young heroine who suffers from a mysterious illness and who must be save from the evil fiend. Why there is even another poor innocent, who despite best efforts is lost to the fiend like Lucy. Enter the smart older professor/vampire hunter, who knows the secret and leads a band during the daylight to find the crypt and destroy the creature in the traditional way, with stake, decapitation, and burning.

The major difference is that the vampire is female.

Carmilla was part of a collection of Le Fanu’s short stories published In a Glass Darkly in 1872, over 20 years before Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It is clear Bram Stoker was strongly influenced by it, although there is no concrete proof.

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu was born to a wealthy family in Ireland. He went to Temple University and studied for the bar, but turned to writing. Le Fanu’s best-known works include Uncle Silas (1864), a suspense story, and The House by the Churchyard (1863), a murder mystery. He is called by some the father of the modern ghost story, because his stories turned away from the Gothic’s emphasis on external sources of terror and toward the effects of terror, creating the psychological thriller. He was one of the most popular Victorian authors, but his popularity did not last much past his death.

He can’t be called a vampire author. Carmilla appears to be his only vampire novel, but it became one of the most influential.

Next week more about Carmilla.


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June 15, 2009 at 1:22 am (Darkhour Vampires, Uncategorized) (, )

Donovan Reed is a psychiatrist who runs a small private clinic in Fillmore Grove, Oregon. His patients include those with the psychosis that they are vampires. He is a recognized expert on the subject. What people don’t realize is that he is a vampire himself and often treats vampires. One of his jobs is to find newborn vampires and help them make the adjustment.

When Thom Barber is killed in a car crash and wakes up in the morgue craving blood, Donovan notices the news clipping about a missing body and later the unusual death of a wino. He hunts down Thom and stops him from killing again, taking him back to his clinic, where he helps him come to terms with his new existence.

Finding newborns and helping them adjust is a job Donovan has done since the Civil War. That is where he met Cassandra. Next time we’ll meet Cassandra.


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June 14, 2009 at 1:23 am (Writing Journal) ()

Friday, instead of writing, I spent the afternoon visiting Doctors. Learned that my second mammogram shows no signs of cancer and that I officially have severe carpal tunnel in my right hand and the recommendation is  surgery. At least go see the surgeon. What bothers me is that they don’t seem to be prepare to do any treatment except surgery. They seem to have no non-surgical methods, except sleep with wrist braces. I’ve done that for years. I also have sleep apnea so I wear a CPap mask, and end up looking like a space alien warrior when I go to bed.

I’m not keen on surgery, and I wasn’t keen the last time they diagnosed carpal tunnel and suggested surgery. That was 1985. Maybe I can find some alternatives this time too.

But after a long afternoon in waiting rooms, my husband took me to dinner at Marie Calendars. I enjoyed the meal (ribs, shrimps, bacon and cheese mashed potatoes.) Too full for pie. But they were having a special, so we brought home pie.

Then we decided to go see the new Star Trek movie. I enjoyed it and was glad we had gone. But afterward raised the issue of whether or not they would be able to do a sequel. I want to say, the movie sucked me in and definitely held my attention. It is only on later reflection that I found myself finding it wanting. First, it was not what I call a “Star Trek” story. It is hard to explain, but Star Trek stories had something unique about them, the fact that they tackled social issues, that they gave us hope for the future. That was missing from the script. Second, they ended up with caricatures of the characters and unfortunately the actors didn’t have the charisma to make me like them enough to want to come back and see them in another story. Although they certainly opened up the possibility for new and interesting future stories. The story concept was pretty brilliant. Not to give anything away for you that have yet to see it. As a long time Star Trek fan, I think you probably will want to see the movie and I don’t think that you will be disappointed. I wasn’t. But it just isn’t strong enough to support a sequel. But who knows, they might get the chance anyway to develop it. If it was the start of a new TV series, I might be interested in watching it, but big screen movie, I’m not sure.

Anyway, I have been at the computer for almost 12 hours and frankly I am bushed. I didn’t finish my blogging, so it will be a long day tomorrow. But at least I have something to post for my Sunday journal entry.

P.S. I was twittering and checked what others had to say about Star Trek. I recommend Passing the Phaser: 10 Tips for turing your kids into Trekkies You are sure to laugh.


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Wings become Crimson and Soar

June 13, 2009 at 10:35 am (Uncategorized)

Wings Press has been my publisher for 7 years and I can only applaud their step forward. Since I am sure that there are some readers here who write paranormal erotic I thought I would share the following announcement.

Press release: New Erotic Line Opening for Submissions

June 8, 2009

Crimson Moth Erotic Romance

In 8 years, Wings has transformed from a simple group of ladies wanting to make their dreams of publishing a reality, to an industry leader with those same dreams at its very foundation. The current economic climate is probably one of the most serious challenges we have ever faced. Many companies see it as a parapet that is showing them the end of their existence, but we see a different view… a launching pad from which to fly… we are Wings after all.

We are thrilled to announce our latest adventure Crimson Moth Erotic Romance.

On June 15th, 2009 we will launch Crimson Moth, and begin accepting submissions of highly sensual, plot-driven romances filled with passionate, monogamous relationships.

September 15th, 2009 marks the opening of our cyber doors, giving our readers the opportunity to soar with Crimson Moth romance.

When we began Wings we never dreamed we would be where we are today. We cannot abandon who we have become or where we came from, but we can continue to move forward to achieve more than we now believe possible. If we stand together and face the future, we can take off from here and fly into a success; a success that will transcend the current climate and glide us through to the brighter times ahead.

Visit our website at for submission guidelines.

Direct questions to Senior Editor Elizabeth Struble


permission to forward definitely granted


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June 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm (Writing Journal) ()

As I was reading Chester Campbell’s blog today called The Odyssey Project about where authors get their ideas, I kept wanting to add comments to what he said. In this scientific project, authors were studied to find out where we come up with our ideas.

I have a unique perspective because I am a handicapped writer.

Chester says: Authors’ pharmacy records were surreptitiously gathered to determine the possible effects of prescription drugs on fertile minds.

Yes, drugs to affect the mind. The pain relief I feel is at the cost of  no longer being able to fantasize. I no longer dream.

Chester said: Their final report was brief but concise. “These people who call themselves authors are nuts. They have no clue where this stuff comes from, and neither do we.”

But I do have a clue.  Because I no longer conscious  create, I have learned to rely on my subconscious.

Today I was writing a new scene for my book Revenge. Thom is trying to find Donovan. It is a simple scene and suddenly out of nowhere I found myself writing about the Incident Room, which resembles the NASA control center, where the vampires monitor what is happening, looking for signs of newborn vampires. It is a brilliant idea but I had no idea of writing about it. It came from my subconscious and I rejoice in the gift.

For me writing is full of these unexpected surprises. It makes it difficult, but it also makes it exciting.

Yesterday and today I managed 6 hours on my story. Wow, I am actually making progress.


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Some Fun

June 12, 2009 at 1:54 am (Guests, Sites, or Books, Vampire Blogs and Webs)

I spent some time on Google looking at vampire sites for something interesting to share here today. I added to the links list under Handy Resources a bunch of links to sites with lots of information about vampires.

But interesting and different sites, there weren’t very many.

The first was a video, actually it is a 9 hour movie, INTERVIEW WITH AN EX-VAMPIRE. – A real live vampire. Maybe.

Then I cam across a serious article exploring vampires and vampirism, especially as it relates to energy. Again real live vampires. I found the article interesting.

Just for fun, check out the Vampire Name Generator

But DO NOT take the test to find out if you are a vampire or which Twilight Vampire you are at They keep bleeding you for personal information and commitments to buy stuff.

Finally I found and their discussion of The Evolution of Vampires in Popular Culture. Funny and insightful, worth scanning.

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