Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wicked Haunt-o-ween with Sheila Stewart and Vampire Lore

KAREN:  Sheila Stewart is an author of 'Scary Good Love' tales from Breathless Press. She is here to today with a sneak peek at vampire lore and why we're so fascinated with the creatures of the night.


***CONTEST Only FOR 18yrs AND OLDER: Sheila is giving away an Ebook copy of Seducing the Darkness to one lucky trick or treater. Read on to see how you may add this wicked tale to your goodie bag. CONTEST ENDS on OCT. 23RD at midnight.

Sheila's post with a bite is for all! Enjoy!
The Lure of a Vampire by Sheila Stewart
What is it about vampire’s that is so intriguing? Is it their power? Immortality? Strength? Whatever it is, vampires have drawn people in for centuries. Let’s have a look at what a vampire is and how it’s evolved into the most talked about fictional character.

Vampires are most often dead. In past lore, vampires were created by one vampire drinking the blood of a human, killing them. The human would then be buried, assumed dead, and would rise some time later as a vampire.

Another way a vampire is created is a vampire drinking the blood from their victim until their heartbeat slowed, then forcing the victim to drink the creators blood. The victim would then be a vampire.

Other belief is that a vampire could bite a person but not kill them. The victim may carry on living as a human for years but upon their death, would then become a vampire.

Where did the idea for vampires begin you might ask? Some say it began with Dracula. Vlad (the impaler) 'Tepes' Dracula who lived between 1430 and 1476. We’ve all heard the horror that Vlad inflicted on his victims including impaling them, blinding, skinning, castrating, dismemberment and much more. It is said that Vlad never claimed to be immortal, which was evident when he was killed and his head presented as a trophy to the Sultan of Constantinople. So where did Dracula come from in regards to Vlad? The peasants of the time painted him in the supernatural light, bringing forth the rumor that he was of the undead, but it wasn't until Bram Stoker created his vampire Dracula that the blood sucking damned vampire was popularized.

The ancient vampires of Eastern Europe describe their vampires as half-rotted corpses crawling from their grave to which they must rest in each night. In modern lore, the image of a vampire is quite different. Gone is the shriveled, impish fiend worn by the ages as depicted as Nosferatu and in it’s place the vampire has become somewhat of a creature of great beauty with pale skin and fanged teeth.
Then we have Bela Lugosi who the mere mention of his name makes a person think of Dracula. Gone were the less than attractive features as mentioned in Bram Stoker’s novel. Lugosi’s vampire was suave, wore a tuxedo and long black opera cape. His voice held a thick rich Hungarian accent that was thought to be sexy. Bela Lugosi posed an image of the vampire that would be remembered and imitated even in such characters as The Count on Sesame Street or even the cereal Count Chocula.

However, there was one thing missing. Bela didn’t have fangs. Although Bram Stoker’s novel mentions peculiar sharp white teeth it wasn't until late 1950’s when the fangs began their popularity.

Today, however, fangs are the norm for vampires, as is drinking blood.

Buffy the vampire Slayer really drew people’s attention to vampires and why not. Angel was one sexy vamp but instead of running around killing innocent victims, he chose to “Help the helpless” And what about Spike. He started out as a sniveling human, turned to a vampire and became a legendary vampire who loved to torture his victims. But it took Buffy to tame his soul and turn him into a kind-hearted vampire willing to sacrifice his life for the world.

Now we have Stephanie Meyers portrayal of vampires as “sparkling”.

So is it any wonder vampires have become revered over the centuries. They have gone from decayed, rotting grave dwellers to suave sophisticated creatures with a conscience. And we can’t get enough of them. Each decade it seems a new vampire is created with its own powers or flaws.

I am not immune to the lure of vampires. My Darkness series came about as a thought. What would happen if the sun was blotted out in a town with vampires? Mayhem of course, and so book one, Seducing the Darkness was created and seven books followed.  My vampires don’t all have powers, only the pure blooded original vampire’s posses the ability to transform, transport, and use mind control. The more diluted the vampire is, the fewer abilities they have. Sunlight does not make them go poof, but instead scorches their skin to produce boils, which are extremely painful. They can be killed by a steak to the heart, or decapitation. And they do not sleep in graves or in coffins.

Whatever the lure is, vampires have been around for centuries, and it doesn’t look like they’ll be going anywhere anytime soon.

***CONTEST QUESTION TO ANSWER. Post a sentence from the second book in the Darkness Series, Desiring the Darkness, to be eligible to win a copy of Seducing the Darkness. http://www.shielasbooks.ca/Desiringthedarkness.htm

Seducing the Darkness
Available in ebook and print at www.breathlesspress.com
Author website: www.shielasbooks.ca
 
Blurb:
An outcast by her kind, Trinity Ford has learned to live on her own…not an easy thing to do when you’re a vampire.

Trinity was once a fragile girl. Being taken by a powerful vampire prince changed her. Discovering him in the arms of another woman changed destiny. Alone, she’s learned fast how to be tough, how to survive, and how to protect the people in her city from the evil that lurks in the dark. She was managing just fine, until Basil walked back into her life.

Basil Hawthorn has been the reigning prince of vampires since banishing his father to the Realm of Dark Mystics decades earlier. When a prophetic dream makes him realize Trinity’s life is at risk, he decides the only way to save her is to push her away. Doing so is not easy. Trinity is the only woman he has ever loved, ever will love, and he can’t seem to let her go.

When rumors arise of a plan to raise the King and blot out the sun, both Trinity and Basil know they must do everything to stop it. Even if it means working together. Despite the betrayal and the threat, they find themselves drawn to each other. Love has no boundaries, especially in the face of danger. But will they be able to stop the ritual before it’s too late?

Or will the darkness capture them both?

Excerpt:
Trinity came to in a dark room that smelled of mold and old dirt. She was familiar with the smell. Often, the older vampires preferred to sleep near damp, musty dirt where there was no light whatsoever and the crisp temperatures kept their bodies cool. She never understood it. The smell of the dirt made her nose burn. But then again, her death had been made by Basil in his bedroom with candles burning and soft music playing and flowers strewn about the room.

She’d never had to live in the cellars like most other vampires chose to.

Shaking that thought away, Trinity focused her eyes on something beyond the darkness. It was handy that vampires could see in the dark. Or ones made from a true vampire, such as herself. And damn it, why couldn’t she stop thinking of Basil.

There was a huge wooden plank, chiseled to a point at the end, rigged to some sort of metal arm that was attached to the ceiling. The point of the plank was painfully jabbing into her chest right over her heart.

This was not a good place for a vampire to be.

It was then she noticed she was as naked as the day she’d been born. Though she knew they hadn’t assaulted her, she couldn’t be so sure they hadn’t fondled her when they’d stripped her of her clothing.

She shuddered, feeling very dirty.

“One wrong move and it is dusty dreams for you.”

Her eyes shifted from the plank to the voice to her left.

As he moved towards her, Trinity simply glared at him. Of all the vampires in the world, she hated Chaos the most. He was a cutthroat vampire that found torture as pleasing as savoring a cold beer on a hot day.
“Am I supposed to be terrified now?” she replied with a dry, dismissive tone.

Chaos stepped a little closer, his dark jacket rustling as he moved. “I would be if I were you.”

“Well, isn’t it fortunate that you’re not me. What's the point to this….ridiculous show of dominance, Chaos?”

“Stop killing my people,” he said with a stern, strong voice.

“Say please.” She bared her teeth at him.

“I wouldn’t be so smug if I were you, Trinity. I do have the upper hand.” Waving his hand, the point of the plank pressed against her skin with a little more force.

She didn’t wince or hiss or even show one ounce of fear. That would give him too much leverage. “And you know killing me would start the biggest war your kind has ever seen.”

He closed the distance between them. “I don’t intend to kill you, my dear. Just rough you up enough to get my point across.”

“You know, that word keeps coming up. Funny, huh, as I have one stabbing me in the chest right now! All I would have to do is open my mind and call Basil and this would all be over with and you and your kind would be in the fight of your life.”

Chaos didn’t show any signs of being fazed. “You would call him for help after what he’s done to you?”

That grated. Did everyone know that she’d been made a fool of by Basil? “I didn’t say I was calling him for help. I can get out of this perfectly fine on my own. I thought you might like a visit from your sworn enemy.”
His laughter, a high, squeaky sound rippled in the dark dank room. “Aw, are you still hurt at the fact that he was banging another cunt while he was pretending to love you?”

He wasn’t quite quick enough to stop the wad of saliva she spat at him. Wiping it from his cheek, he snarled at her as he stepped back. “Have at her boys, but do leave her breathing in the end.”

Trinity had a moment to think, “Shit” before the four snarling beasts entered the room, whips ready. If her arms and legs hadn’t been tied to the damn brick wall, and whatever drug they’d hit her with dulling her abilities, she might have fought them off easily.

“I’m gonna take great pleasure in having my way with you, sweet thing.”

She’d rip her own arms off to stop him from going any further.

“I bet she tastes great. What do you think, Reggie, should we take a taste?”

“Try and stop me.”

“Go any further and die, pigs.” She squirmed, realizing that she had been drugged enough to dull her strength.

Damn it.

“Ooh, I’m scared.”

“You should be.” The four beasts turned as Basil materialized behind them.

“Shit,” one said as he scurried away from Trinity.

“Good, now the rest of you back off as well, and we won’t have to start anything,” Basil warned, his fangs bared.

“Go away, Basil, I can do this on my own.” Trinity struggled, fighting the ropes holding her in place. It grated on her that he would come to her rescue, even though she knew without his help, she would have been defenseless against the beasts. And he wouldn’t be here if she hadn’t been thinking of him in the first place.

 “Sure you can, my sweet. But a true gentleman, such as myself, couldn’t possibly leave a damsel in distress without aiding in her rescue.”

“Aw, man.” Why did he have to talk like that? It always turned her heart to mush.

 “How about you back off?” one of the beasts challenged.

“Don’t be an ass, Mudge. Do you have any idea who this is?” another beast remarked.

“Slime,” the beast denounced, his chin jutting out, his fangs bared.

“There is always one.” Shaking his head, Basil began by simply twirling his index finger and had a dust cloud forming on the ground. “One.”

“Let’s get the hell out of here,” one of the men cried out.

“&#@* that,” another spat, eyes defiant.

“Two.” Basil twirled his hand, creating a vortex of dirt nearly as tall as he.

“Jesus, can’t breathe here.” Trinity coughed, keeping her eyes closed. She hated when he used his powers like this. But creating a tornado was one of his favorite forms of distraction against his enemies. It was a good weapon, providing you weren’t caught in the cross-fire.

“I ain’t budging, buddy,” the beast defied, holding his arm over his mouth, blinking his eyes rapidly as the dirt caked his face.

“Three.” With a loud roar the vortex swept them all up, spinning them endlessly without any effort on Basil’s part.

“Jesus, Basil, enough. I can’t &#@*ing see or breathe.”

Trinity hacked, her eyes watering something fierce. She felt the stake as it was pulled back, then her arms and legs being released. She was about to step down from the platform when she felt herself being swept up in his arms. “Put me down.”

“I will when we’re out of here. Get on my back.”

“Forget it.” She shoved him, trying to break his hold.

 “It’s the quickest way out of here, now get on my back.”

Growling, she did as he asked.

As he changed into a silver wolf she straddled his back and wrapped her arms around his neck. He took a running charge and burst through the open doorway and down the corridors, avoiding the vampires charging after them. His feral growl and fanged teeth were enough to have them backing off. Everyone knew perfectly well he could rip into them faster than they could attempt to break away.

The instant Basil made it out of the compound, she tugged on his ear. “This is good, let me off.”

She tugged a little harder when he refused to stop. She huffed as he ran through the front gate and down the road before coming to a stop.

Trinity climbed off his back and wiped the dirt from her burning eyes. “I don’t need your help.”
He turned to her, still in wolf form and bore his pearly white fangs before transforming back into a man. Rolling his neck, Basil turned and swept a sultry look over her body. “Could have fooled me. Here.” He removed his long jacket and held it out to her.

 “I don’t want your clothes either,” she snorted, her lip curled.

“Suit yourself. Personally, I like looking at you innothing but your birthday suit.”

“What?” Glancing down, she nearly gasped. She’d forgotten that she was nude. “Give me that.”

She snatched the jacket from Basil and slipped into it. “Are you following me now?”

“I heard my name being mentioned.”

She glared at him with a great deal of hostility in them.

“Get over yourself already.”

“You know, I’m the one that should be pissed at you after what you did to my dick.”

“You deserved it.” Holding the jacket closed, Trinity turned and stalked off.

 “No man ever deserves that.” He hurried after her.

“You’re not a man.”

“Ouch!”

“&#@* off, Basil.” Trinity stopped to get her bearings.

She had no idea how far from her apartment she was. And the drug was still in her system, disorienting her.

“Keep going straight for the next few blocks, turn left straight for another six, then right, and you should be on your block,” he supplied as he followed at her side. “Or, I could change back into a wolf and give you a ride home.”

She narrowed her eyes at his innuendo. “I like to walk.”

It helped to clear her mind.

“Fine, walk. Want to tell me why Chaos’ men had you?”

“I messed with his men. Guess he didn’t like it much.”

She rubbed her arm, remembering now the sharp sting she’d felt in her tussle with Moose.

“He’ll hear some words from me. No one, no one, takes my woman hostage and—”

She stopped abruptly and in doing so, he slammed into her back, knocking her forward. “What did you just call me?”

“I will not have anyone hurting you, Trinity.”

The tone in his voice sent shivers throughout her body.

It wasn't the anger she heard in it, but the vow. “I’m a big girl, Basil, and I can take care of myself just fine.”

“You may think you’re brave and capable of taking care of yourself, but we both know you need me.”

If there wasn't steam coming from her ears, she would be surprised. “How dare you. I don’t need your help; 
I’ve never needed your help.”

“You and I both know that is not true. Where would you be now, my love, had I not come to you and changed your life?”

She refused to answer that because it would prove him right. She would have been alone, broke, and most likely working as a waitress in some dive, barely able to make ends meet. “What the hell is wrong with you? Why can’t you just leave me alone?” she snapped at him.

“Because, I love you,” he said simply.

She snorted. “Yeah, you loved me so much that you showed it by banging another woman in our bed.”

About the Author:
Raised on a rural farm in Saskatchewan, Shiela Stewart relied on her vivid imagination to fill her days.
 

Never did she realize that her need to tell a story would someday lead to becoming a published romance author. In the fall of two thousand and six, Shiela published her very first book and hasn’t stopped since.
 
AND FOR ANOTHER TREAT...If you dare... SHEILA'S offering a free Halloween read at her website: http://www.shielasbooks.ca/Free%20Read.htm

9 comments:

Jean MP said... Best Blogger Tips

Enjoyed reading your post and the excerpts from the books.

"Well, looky here. What have we got? Oh, and I smell lots of fear. Gonna be a nice snack for me."

skpetal at hotmail dot com

katsrus said... Best Blogger Tips

Enjoyed your post about Vampire Lore. Loved your excerpt. Love vampire books.
"Good shot," Basil stated as he lowered down to the vampires body. "But next time, aim higher. If you can get the neck or near the heart, he'll go down with one shot."

Sue B
katsrus(at)gmail(dot)com

Faith said... Best Blogger Tips

I've always been fascinated by vampires, but I like the legend and lore of werewolves, too.

bicknellbrown AT sbcglobal DOT net

bn100 said... Best Blogger Tips

"The dart hit the vamp right in his backside and as Dante stood up, he saw the vamp pull back in shock."

bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

orelukjp0 said... Best Blogger Tips

He missed his privacy.

orelukjp0 at gmail dot com

Shiela Stewart said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks everyone for stopping and posting your sentences. Originally everything was tied up in Seducing the Darkness. My then publisher asked if I would consider making it a series and that was all it took to have the ideas flowing. It surprised me that I created 8 books in the series. :)

The winner is....Katsrus!! I'll be in touch shortly.

katsrus said... Best Blogger Tips

Wohoo! Thank you so much! Replied to your email.
Sue B

dusty katt said... Best Blogger Tips

Eight books in the series? Good for you!

While the sun was nonexistent they had all agreed to stay at Basil's castle. It was a smart idea, keeping them all under one roof, but Dante was feeling the crunch of hanging around the same people day and night. He needed a bit of a break now and then, and though Basil's place was huge, he still managed to run into someone often enough. He was used to living on his own, having no one around but himself.

dustykattc(at)hotmail(dot)com

pc said... Best Blogger Tips

Love this line (very apropos for Halloween)-
"Well, looky here. What have we got? Oh, and I smell lots of fear. Gonna be a nice snack for me."
ivegotmail8889@yahoo.com