Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Vampires’ Category

Florence_Stoker

Florence Balcombe Stoker

If you don’t have access to ShowTime and you’ve been wondering what Penny Dreadful is all about, let me clue you in. I enjoy the show and recommend it. Ethan Chandler a Wild Bill Cody type is hired by Sir Malcolm Murray and Vanessa Ives to find and rescue his daughter, Mina Hunter, kidnapped by Dracula. Dr. Frankenstein teams up with them as well. And Dorian Gray is added to the mix.

This is my third post for Halloween month, October, so it’s Bram Stoker and Dracula’s turn. It is not a proven fact but it has been reported by many Stoker biographers that he died of syphilis. It was a disease that plagued many in the Victorian and Edwardian periods. When dracula attacks someone he infects them with vampirism and it’s easy to see the possible connection with a disease like syphilis. It’s not hard to discern his guilt and concern over possibly infecting his wife and also in being unfaithful to a woman he loved. Bram Stoker married actress Florence Balcombe in 1878. She’d previously been engaged to Oscar Wilde. From all accounts they had a strong marriage and shared a deep love for each other. We can see those intense emotions in Jonathan’s feelings for Mina.

Bram Stoker

Some interesting tidbits on Bram Stoker s he was  Irish, while Dracula is Eastern European For that reason, you may not have noticed the author’s Celtic roots showing in the story but I assure you they are there. It is said he actually wrote his first draft of Dracula while he was a guest at Slains. The Slain castle in Aberdeenshire Scotland is often considered an inspiration for Dracula’s castle in the book.

On his mother’s side Bram Stoker happened to be a direct descendent of ’Manus O’Donnell (Manus ‘the Magnificent. He was an Irish clan leader who led a rebellion against Henry VIII in the 16th century. Bram Stoker drew on his lineage to write of a man with a great past as a warrior and ruler now displaced by the passage of history, living in the shadows, in other words it is also the story of Bram Stoker’s ancestry.

It has been said that as a little boy in Ireland Bram Stoker’s mother often told him stories including horror stories. They must have included Irish folk lore.There are many tales of dark vampiric fey in Celtic mythology. These dark fey are often extremely beautiful and seductive. The vampiric fey, the baobhan sith,  always roamed together as sisters. In Dracula, Bram Stoker’s description of the three sisters in the vampire’s castle seems similar to dark Celtic fey.

Two were dark, and had high aquiline noses, like the Count, and great dark, piercing eyes that seemed to be almost red when contrasted with the pale yellow moon. The other was fair, as fair as can be, with great wavy masses of golden hair and eyes like pale sapphires. I seemed somehow to know her face, and to know it in connection with some dreamy fear, but I could not recollect at the moment how or where. All three had brilliant white teeth that shone like pearls against the ruby of their voluptuous lips. There was something about them that made me uneasy, some longing and at the same time some deadly fear. I felt in my heart a wicked, burning desire that they would kiss me with those red lips. It is not good to note this down, lest some day it should meet Mina’s eyes and cause her pain; but it is the truth. They whispered together, and then they all three laughed—such a silvery, musical laugh, but as hard as though the sound never could have come through the softness of human lips. It was like the intolerable, tingling sweetness of water-glasses when played on by a cunning hand. The fair girl shook her head coquettishly, and the other two urged her on. One said:—

“Go on! You are first, and we shall follow; yours is the right to begin.” The other added:—

“He is young and strong; there are kisses for us all.”

Because authors Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, and Oscar Wilde pulled deep from within and wrote emotion and human pain into their stories we can connect with the horrors they created. We feel what the monsters feel. We can see bits of ourselves in these monsters …and that is what makes them scariest of all.

~           ~            ~

Maeve Alpin, who also writes as Cornelia Amiri, is the author of 22 published books. She creates stories with kilts, corsets, and happy endings. She lives in Houston Texas with her son, granddaughter, and her cat, Severus.

Read Full Post »

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Or not.

Today is a happy day when you’re in love. Every shop has heart-shaped chocolate boxes and silly plush animals holding “I luv u” hearts. Jewelry stores have specials on diamonds and rings. Couples choose this day to get married or propose. My husband proposed on Valentine’s Day 14 years ago.

It’s all so very romantic…if you’re in love.

If you’re heartbroken or you’re alone or, worse, you’re recovering from intimate partner violence, nothing can seem more cruel than Valentine’s Day because cupid’s arrow has fractured your very soul.

ValentinesDayOMG

Start with a short story for under $2.00, some less than $1,00! That’s less than a good cup of coffee (or any cup of coffee, really).

  • Clockwork Heart,” only $1.49 on Kindle, tells a story about a man who went to horrific lengths to keep his love alive. Written in the Victorian style of H. G. Wells.
  • Heart of Stone, Flesh of Ice,” only $1.49 on Kindle, is based in Japanese Mythology about a supernatural creature who punishes those who exploit, disrespect, and deceive women.
  • The Handy Man,” only $1.99 on Kindle, is an erotic Steampunk story about a man who goes into the business of pleasing women.
  • A Kiss in the Rain,” only $0.99 on Kindle, is an erotic Gothic love story about a man who couldn’t let go of his wife, even after death.
  • Of Aether and Aeon,” only $0.99 on Kindle, is the first short story I wrote. It’s a tragic tale of a woman trapped in a time loop of falling in love and watching her lover die.
  • Zeppelin Dreams,” only $0.99 on Kindle, tells the tragic story of a woman waiting for her phantom lover.

If you want to take a bigger leap, or if you already know you love my writing, please support my work by buying one of my novels:

  • Avalon Revisited. My first novel, and the Amazon.com Gothic Romance bestseller, not to mention Steampunk Chronicles Best Novel for 2012. Available in paperback, Kindle, and other eBook versions. $9.62 paperback; $5.99 Kindle.
  • Avalon Revamped, its sequel, of sorts. This horror steampunk novel follows Constance, a succubus who punishes men that hurt women. Perhaps Arthur is next. $11.66 paperback; $5.99 Kindle (or borrow for FREE with Amazon Prime)
  • The Zombies of Mesmer, the first Nickie Nick Vampire Hunter novel. Teen Steampunk Romance. $11.66 paperback; $3.99 Kindle.
  • The Ghosts of Southwark, its sequel. $11.28 paperback; $5.99 Kindle.

Additionally, more of my work can be found in anthologies and magazines on my Amazon Author Page.

May you all find love, ecstasy, or sweet revenge this Valentine’s Day.

See you in Denver next month at AnomalyCon!

Come up, shake my hand, and tell me you read me on STEAMED!  x0

-_Q

OMG_2013Olivia M. Grey lives in the cobwebbed corners of her mind writing paranormal romance with a Steampunk twist, like the Amazon Gothic Romance bestseller Avalon Revisited and its sequel Avalon Revamped. Her short stories and poetry have been published in various magazines and anthologies, like SNM Horror Magazine and How the West Was Wicked. Ms. Grey also blogs and podcasts relationship essays covering such topics as alternative lifestyles, deepening intimacy, ending a relationship with love and respect, and other deliciously dark and decadent matters of the heart and soul.

Read more by O. M. Grey on her blog Caught in the Cogs, http://omgrey.wordpress.com

Read Full Post »

shirtAt an SF con a while ago, I bought a T-shirt that says, “Steampunk means never having to ask ‘Is this period’?” That’s always a big choice when you’re writing alternate history of any variety. How much to keep the same and how much to change? It can be a fine line, trying to give your world that historical flair without simply writing a period novel with some incongruous touches. To quote my agent, “You can’t start out with Downton Abbey and then turn it into Jules Verne.” Well, I guess you could, but it probably wouldn’t work very well. As a former scientist, I tend to want a little order to my fantasy. Yeah, I get the irony.

I try to set my world up with “butterfly effect” differences. In the Gaslight Chronicles, magick (sic) exists and so do paranormal monsters. Therefore, the Order of the Round Table still exists, devoted to protecting England from those threats. After all, who better to organize such a force than Merlin, and who better than Lancelot to head it?  In my version of the 1850s, their descendents are still fighting the good fight. It’s a change from reality, but it’s got a logic to it.

The same goes for technology. In my world a man called Charles Babbage invented the first computers in the 1840s. (He really did, it just never got built. That’s the key change for a lot of steampunk.) In my world, he was also ennobled, and is known as Lord Babbage. From there, technology boomed, and along with it, pollution and other sciences, and women’s rights. Since the code for the Analytical Engine was written by Ada, Lady Lovelace (daughter of the famous poet, Lord Byron), it was proven that women could stand alongside men in intellectual pursuits. And then she founded a college for women in the sciences at Oxford University, which a few of my heroines have attended. (Wink from Moonlight & Mechanicals and Geneva from Kilts & Kraken for starters.) Again, there’s a logic, a cause-and-effect to things.

Is my steampunk realistic? Not in the least. There are vampyres and robot dogs and all kinds of other creatures and creations. But does the world make sense in of itself? A little. At least to me.

????????????????????????????????????????

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

In non-steampunk news, Nailed, one of my older erotic romances is being re-released today. Find out more from Resplendence Publishing.

Read Full Post »

I’d hoped to do a cover reveal today, but that hasn’t shown up in my mailbox yet, (pout) leaving me with very little in the way of steampunk-ish goodness to talk about. I CAN say that Moonlight & Mechanicals, the fourth story and second full-length book in the Gaslight Chronicles will be out from Carina Press on Oct. 22.

Anyway, since I don’t have much of anything else to say about my own books or steampunk in general, I thought I’d sneak in another non-Monday book review, if it’s okay with the Lolita-in-Chief. These two stories are gaslamp fantasy rather than steampunk, but they really captured my imagination. The author, Christian Klaver, grew up about a mile from where I did, but we’ve only met recently, through the SF world, and I think the speculative fiction crowd is going to really love his voice once more readers find him. Maybe there’s something about us Detroiters that really gets into the gritty vibe of steampunk and gaslamp. I do believe these are Kindle exclusives, but with Calibre’s free conversion software, they can be read on any kind of e-reading device.

Sherlock Holmes and Count Dracula: The Adventure of the Solitary Grave (The Supernatural Casefiles of Sherlock Holmes) is Holmes like you’ve never seen him before. And by that I *do* mean that Holmes isn’t a vampire. That, I’ve seen. This blending of two major Victorian characters is written in a style so seamless you can almost believe it was found in the attic of one of Doyle’s editors. Yes, it’s a little darker than I usually read, but I honestly couldn’t put it down. The nuances of Holmes, Watson, and yes, Count Vlad Dracula himself are layered and well-drawn. You’ll hold your breath, I promise. It’s quite simply the most believeable Holmes/fantasy crossover I’ve ever read, and I’m a Holmes geek from way back.

Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Innsmouth Whaler (The Supernatural Casefiles of Sherlock
Holmes)
 combines Holmes with another great mythos: H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu, and proves once again how well Klaver can weave disparate universes into a single, and unique blend. This isn’t light and fluffy Cthulu, it’s got some gore and some darkness, but again, I really fell into the universe and could completely see Holmes and Watson in the unhappy seaside village of Innsmouth dealing with Deep Ones.

My Take? Klaver is definitely an upcoming author to watch. Here’s the cover for the upcoming third story, coming soon to a Kindle near you. I know I’ll certainly be waiting for it. I think Klaver is one of the next big discoveries in the world of Spec. Fic. And yeah, it doesn’t hurt that he’s a Detroit guy. 🙂

Read Full Post »

 Hello lovelies!! So, I’ve got some fun and exciting things going on I want to share with you!! First off, to celebrate the steampunk romance anthology featuring my story, ‘Love in a Time of Steam’ going into print, I am holding a contest over on my blog for a chance to win a signed print copy and also a signed print copy of the paranormal romance anthology, ‘Love’s Immortal Pantheon’ that has my story ‘The Depths of Passion’ in it. So head on over to my blog and enter to win, there are several options to accrue entries!

Also, I have an all ages appropriate steampunk novella releasing in the steampunk anthology, ‘Her Majesty’s Mysterious Conveyance’ next month, more info on that coming soon!

Finally, I am so super excited to announce that my paranormal romance, ‘Bound by Blood’ is set to release in print on July 1st! Join me in happy dancing this awesome news, I got the print cover and it looks fantastic!!

Read Full Post »

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!

 

Today we have paranormal writer Colleen Gleason who’s going to tell us about her new The Regency Draculia series–because Vampires look hawt in regency dress.

Born near Detroit, Colleen Gleason spent most of her adult life in Michigan. She attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, receiving her BA in English, and later went on to obtain her MBA from the University of Michigan in Flint.   After more than fifteen years of sales, marketing, and management experience in the health care industry, Colleen began her own health insurance agency, which she owned and operated for several years. However, her passion has always been writing fiction, and in late 2005, she sold her first two books to New American Library, a division of The Penguin Group.   Colleen also writes as Joss Ware.   The Vampire Voss, book one in the Regency Draculia series releases March 22, 2011. 

Paranormalizing History

by Colleen Gleason

I have to confess that I’m here to talk about books that aren’t precisely steampunk. Actually, they’re not even close to steampunk, except for the fact that they’re set in historic London (not even Victorian, no. Sigh.) and there are paranormal elements that don’t really feel steampunky at all.

However, Lolita Suzanne graciously invited me to talk about my historical vampire series called The Regency Draculia, which launches next week with the first of a back-to-back-to-back release schedule. The Vampire Voss, coming up first, can be described as Jane Austen meets J. R. Ward…or Stephenie Meyer, but darker and for adults.

My previous historical urban fantasy/romance series, The Gardella Vampire Chronicles, was actually more steampunkish than the Draculia series is simply because it was about a female vampire hunter who lived in Regency-era England. She had some gadgets and a few fun weapons, and it was actually my publisher at the time who suggested I might branch out into steampunk someday because I was so comfortable writing action and fantasy wrapped up with historical time periods.

I had to go look up steampunk, because at that time, I had never heard of it.

Now, of course, I’m much more familiar with it, and because of that, my 14-year-old daughter had to educate her Honors English teacher as to what steampunk was just a few weeks ago. (This being an English teacher whose favorite author is Charles Dickens.)

Anyway, I digress. I’m here to tell you a little about the Regency Draculia series, which I hope will appeal to the blog readers here because it’s fantasy set in a historical time period. The books have all the elements of a good Regency romance, but add in some sexy vampires—and some evil ones—a dark mythology, lots of action…and hopefully it comes out as a good story.

One of the things Suzanne thought I could talk about is paranormalizing history. (Nice term; I’m going to steal it.)

It’s so much fun to take what we “know” or think we know and add a paranormal element to it, and I find that doubly fascinating when doing it with a historical setting.

Those dukes and earls, the ones who have the strong family resemblance from grandfather to grandson? That’s because they’re really vampires, and it’s the same person, going out of sight (when the grandfather dies) and coming back into Society (when the grandson takes over the title).

And White’s—the famous gentleman’s club in London? That’s actually been financed by a cabal of vampires so that they have a place to hang out and feed without causing problems. They have private apartments in the back and below ground so they can consort without the sun burning them.

London Society is very conducive to being a vampire who is sensitive to daylight—partly because most of the time, London is befogged and the sun can’t shine very strongly. But also because it’s normal for the haute ton to sleep past noon and party all night. No one would think anything of it if a viscount or lady doesn’t spend much time awake during the day.

Also, my vampires find it incredibly titillating that every gentlewoman wears gloves during this time period. While their throats, shoulders, and a good portion of their bosoms are visible, it’s considered improper not to wear gloves. Which means if a vampire can charm a lady out of her gloves and take a little nibble on that soft, sexy part of the inside of the wrist….that’s quite enjoyable for them.

Those are some examples of how I’ve taken historical fact and “paranormalized” it for the purposes of the Regency Draculia. It was a lot of fun writing those books, and I hope you get a chance to check them out.

Here’s a little more about the books themselves:

In The Vampire Voss, Voss, the Viscount Dewhurst, has been a vampire for a hundred and fifty years. He agreed to sell his soul to Lucifer, and now he has everything he’s ever wanted: immortality, scads of money, imperturbable power, and all the women he can handle.

Everything is going along just fine, if not becoming a little routine after more than a century of pure hedonism with no negative consequences, until he meets Angelica Woodmore…who is the first woman he finds himself unable to enthrall and seduce.

The second book, The Vampire Dimitri, will be released near the end of  April, and is a Beauty-and-the-Beast-like tale about one of Lucifer’s vampires who realizes it wasn’t such a good idea to sell his soul after all. He gets paired up with Maia Woodmore, Angelica’s sister, who could be typecast in The Taming of the Shrew. Jus’ sayin’.

And in May we’ll see The Vampire Narcise, which is about a female vampire who believes there can be no such thing as love for an immortal. Because forever is a very long time!

Thanks to Suzanne for having me here to talk about my non-steampunky books. I’ll be around to answer any questions you might have!

 ~Colleen Gleason

 http://www.colleengleason.com/

Read Full Post »

We take a break from our normal Fantastic February programming to bring you the following diversion:

Books have been sighted!

The first copies of the fantastical vampire tale (aka – my latest release) The Truth About Vampires from Harlequin Nocturne have been spotted at a local Walmarts in Port Orchard and Bremerton, Washington, and reports are coming in (on Facebook) that they’ve also been seen in Mililani, Hawaii.

The book, which features a roguish cover of a vampire doing things better left unmentionable in the presence of those prone to vapors and other such lady-like sensibilities, recounts the story of a bluestocking (female, gasp!) reporter Kristin Reed intent on uncovering the purportrator of the vicious Bloodless Murders happening in Seattle only to uncover instead a clan of vampires living beneath the streets of the city in the Seattle Underground. While the security leader, Dmitri Dionotte, attempts to guide Kristin’s exploration of the vampires, he is also working to protect her from a rogue band of vampire reviers intent on harming the populace of the fair Emerald city and Kristin Reed in particular for her audacity to reveal their presence to humans.

a glimpse of the Seattle Underground

Now you may ask, what in blue blazes does a modern vampire tale have to do with steampunk? My answer: The Seattle Underground.

Created in the aftermath of the Great Seattle Fire in 1889, the Seattle Underground happened when the city decided to rebuild more than 25 blocks of prime business district waterfront, with the goal of elevating the streets to avoid the capricious flooding brought on by the tide. The city streets were rebuilt an entire story above the old. For many years during construction there were ladders that went up and between these sections of the city while the supporting walls and roads were built overhead.

Today that little bit of Victorian culture from Seattle still stands and can be viewed at hourly intervals by proceeding through the delightful auspices of Doc Maynard’s Public House, a restored 1889 era saloon, as part of Bill Spiedel’s Underground Tour.

As an author, I thought the tour was not only fantastic, but it inspired me to think what a perfect place for my vampires to make a city of their own beneath Seattle where no one would suspect.

And now, dear reader, I ask you, where else may you have spotted this book?

Until next time, truly yours,

Lolita Theresa

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: