Saturday, June 11, 2011

Guest Blog and Midnight Conquest Giveaway with Arial Burnz

Greetings! I’m honored to be a guest on the Fang-Tastic Book blog today.

I aim to provide some fun trivia information for paranormal fans while I share a touch of my debut novel. At the end of the blog, you’ll see links to an excerpt, my web site and blog, the first chapter, where to purchase my novel…and don’t forget to leave a comment so you have a chance to enter the contest. I’m giving away 2 eBook copies of my novel.

To start off my discussion, I’ll include the opening paragraphs of MIDNIGHT CONQUEST:

Scottish Fortress of the Vamsyrian Council—1486

“Death? Shall I—” Another wave of agony pressed upon his chest. Broderick MacDougal braced as razor-like pain raked through the inside of his body and coursed through his veins.

He dropped to his knees. Putting his hands in front of him, he kept his face from hitting the sandstone as the breath was knocked from his lungs. Panting, he laid his cheek against the floor. The cold stone soothed the fever of his skin. The sound of his ragged breaths echoed off the vastness of the Vamsyrian Fortress. As the agony subsided, he struggled to right himself and stared at the youthful faces of the Elders.

The Elders of the Vamsyrian Council sat on their black iron thrones behind the expanse of their black marble table, looking like anything but elders. They glared down at Broderick, who knelt on the floor before them. All three men of various unknown nationalities and features, garbed in formal brocade robes of deep red, seemed no older than five-and-twenty years. Yet they measured their ages in centuries, Cordelia had told him.

So begins the scene where my main character/hero of the story, Broderick MacDougal, becomes a vampire. However, the word “vampire” is never mentioned in my novel outside of the back of the book blurb or notes. You’ll notice I use Vamsyrian – a concoction of my own with some Latin derivatives—which can easily transform into the word “vampire” as what happens often with words through time. Why? Because the word “vampire” did not exist prior to the 1730s.

Many avid readers of paranormal fiction are well-versed in vampire lore, but I was amazed to find out how many of these fang-fiction fans were not aware of this trivia fact. Etymology states the earliest written account of the word “vampire” was in 1732, specifically referencing Hungarian vampires. Before that, such immortal, undead creatures were more commonly known as Remnants and they were NOT a pretty site nor anywhere close to the vampires we’ve all come to love and know today. They resembled what we know as zombies—decaying, mindless, wandering to prey upon the living—and rarely did they drink blood. Remnants, and later vampires, were frequently blamed for dry cows, failed crops, and sickness/disease.

Of course, I’d much rather stick with the newer versions of vampires—sexy, sexual, and let-me-catch-my-breath personalities. However, I’m a traditionalist in a lot of ways, and I do adore the old battle of God versus Satan, vampires being afraid of crosses, holy water and all that. I decided, instead, to put a bit of a spin on the old lore and make it harder to harm vampires.

Readers will learn in my book (not really a spoiler) that water or objects blessed by priests or people of the cloth aren’t effective against vampires:

“Water blessed by a priest or clergy of the church would do nothing to a Vamsyrian. They were only servants of God, and bore their own faults and sins upon their heads. Water to harm a Vamsyrian must to be touched by God Himself. Broderick’s teacher Rasheed said the only source known for that supply of water could be found in the deserts of Arabia, where it was rumored Moses struck a rock, bringing forth water to slack the thirst of the wandering Israelites during their exodus to the Promised Land. If Rasheed knew the exact location, he did not share that with Broderick, nor did Broderick expect him to. Rasheed taught Broderick what he must and nothing more. Such dark secrets were shared with few.”

There are other facts about my vampire lore; some of which are revealed in MIDNIGHT CONQUEST. Much more is revealed in Book 2 – MIDNIGHT CAPTIVE.

You’ll get a sneak peak of Book 2 at the end of Book 1.

But the big bomb – the identity of the first vampire – isn’t revealed until Book 6 – MIDNIGHT DELIVERER. Mwuhahahaha!

We are all busy people and have a million things to do, so I will leave you with the promised links and information.

Remember, post a comment on this blog to be entered into the contest- 2 ebook copies are being given away.

For your post, I’d love to know three things:

1) What do you like MOST about vampire lore (in modern or historical literature)?
2) What do you like LEAST?
3) Name at least two of your favorite authors and why.

Don’t be afraid to be honest if it goes against what I’ve posted. Opinions are like belly buttons…everyone’s got one! ;)

Thank you for participating and visiting Fang-Tastic Books!

I’ll be available to answer comments and questions throughout the day and I’ll announce the winner by 7pm PST.

That’s my two pence…

• Arial Burnz—web site—
• Arial Burnz—blog—
• First Chapter of MIDNIGHT CONQUEST--
• Book Trailer—
• Purchase AND Excerpt on All Romance eBooks—


June M. said...

1) What do you like MOST about vampire lore (in modern or historical literature)? I love when the vampires have extra powers and are total alpha males. 2) What do you like LEAST? I don't like stories with alot of violence or killing people.
3) Name at least two of your favorite authors and why. My favorite authors would include Lynsay Sands and Kerrelyn Sparks. Both write great humorous vampire series that are completely unique, each choosing what their vamps can and can not do in regards to sun, drinks, food, mind reading, other powers. I love too that the vamps do not hurt others, except bad vampires who are hurting humans.

GFC follower: June M.
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot cmo

shadow said...

1) What do you like MOST about vampire lore (in modern or historical literature)? Ill agree with you on the alpha male, so hot! I also like how there part of the unknown. Its like when someone tells you cant have something or do anything, it makes you want it that much more. 2) What do you like LEAST? I dont like it that some books make them cold and heartless, an empty shell. They make them untouchable and unfeeling. 3) Name at least two of your favorite authors and why. Two of my favorite authors is Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon. They both have differences and there filled with action, adventure, romance, puzzles and there packed with emotion. I like the way they write and how i get absorbed into the story within the first page. The books are a continuous series and has a little bit of everything. I just love them! :)

shadow said...

oops. forgot my email. sorry. its

Jen B. said...

1) What do you like MOST about vampire lore (in modern or historical literature)? I like that vampires are dark. They can't be creatures of the light. That opens up so many possiblities.
2) What do you like LEAST? Any vamp that sparkles!!!
3) Name at least two of your favorite authors and why. There is a lot of great vamp fiction on the market. But my two favs are not vamp authors. I love, love, love Jacqueline Carey. I am drawn in by her world building. Her use of the language is exquisite. I can literally read for an hour straight and never feel the need to stop. My other fav is Karen Marie Moning. Again, it's all about the world building. Her books tend to build a head of steam and then just rocket the reader through to the end. I know that the 2nd half of the book, I will want to read non-stop.

metallifan15 said...

1. I like how some have extra "powers" that are truly theirs. It makes then have more personality.
2. Least: how some have different styles of vampires.. with or without fangs, red/amber or grey eyes, etc.
3. Favorite authors: Laura Kaye and Ann Rice

Becky said...

1) What do you like MOST about vampire lore (in modern or historical literature)? I like that vampires have extra powers. I think it would be cool to have some of the extra powers that the vampires have.
2) What do you like LEAST? I guess the least thing would be I don't like stories with a lot of killing in it.
3) Name at least two of your favorite authors and why. One of my favorite authors is Lynsay Sands, I like how she creates her vampires. When I read one of her books, I don't want to put it down until I am done. Another favorite author of mine is Delilah Devlin. I love Delilah cowboy stories the most, but all of her stories draw me in within the first few pages.

beckyqward at gmail dot com

Chrisbails said...

What do you like most about vamp? Most are generally very sexy and usually alpha males.
What do I like least? I would say too much violence and can't be in sunlight. They should be able to come out whenever.
Fav authors? Just two. Okay Laurell K Hamilton and Charlaine Harris.

lindalou said...

1) I like the alpha male AND the special powers.
2) I don't care for the gory killings.
3) Deborah Harkness (loved her Discovery of Witches) and Deborah Hale (her 2-book foray into paranormalcy was so hard to put down!)
Thanks for the giveaway!

Tore said...

I love reading vampire stories. I love alpha males and how gorgeous they are and how powerful. I don't like alot of killings by evil vampires. Stephenie Meyers. I can't think of another author write now. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

arialburnz said...

Greetings, my fellow paranormal romance fans and participants in this blog post. Life threw me quite a curve ball this last couple of weeks and I TOTALLY dropped the ball on responding to your posts.

As such, since I'm such a slacker, everyone who posted is a winner on this blog post! Yep! Everyone wins an eBook copy of my novel MIDNIGHT CONQUEST.

PLEASE accept my sincerest apologies for not responding sooner. I will look at each of your posts and make comments as necessary. I promise I will follow up if anyone has any questions.

Arial "Slacker" Burnz

arialburnz said...

@June M.
Hello, June! Congratulations on winning a copy! Based on your answer for number one, I think you'll enjoy Broderick MacDougal - my hero in MIDNIGHT CONQUEST. Alpha male DEFINITELY. Extra powers: mind reading! As a general ability for all vampires of my books, they're telepathic and empathic - able to read thoughts and feelings of people. They can also plant thoughts into one's mind and even enter their dreams!

I have not had the pleasure of reading Lynsay Sands or Kerrelyn Sparks as I haven't been drawn to the humorous vampire books, but I will have to give them a try! Thanks for sharing!

Arial ;)

arialburnz said...

Hello, Shadow! Congratulations on winning a copy! As I said to June, you'll love Broderick! Six-foot-three, long red hair, a mountain of a Scotsman and he carries a silver sword! Oooo, and tight breeches, too! ;)

I agree with you on the cold, heartless qualities of some vampires out there. My villain, Angus Campbell has a heart...even if it is in the wrong place.

I'm a big fan of Chrristine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon, too! My kinda vamp stories for the same reasons! Thanks so much for sharing!

arialburnz said...

@Jen B.
Hello, Jen! Congratulations on winning a copy! Oooo, seems like you like Bad Boys!! Yes, the darker the better sometimes, eh?

And LOL to your answer for #2! I am fond of saying, "My vampires don't sparkle...they EAT more ways than one!" *eyebrow wiggle*

A friend of mind just recently suggested Jacqueline Carey's books! I need to update my GoodReads account and put them in my TBR pile. And looks like Karen Marie Moning writes about immortal highlanders (at least one of her books). Right up my alley!! That's my Broderick - immortal and Scottish! More for the TBR pile! *groan* Sooo many books, so little time! Thanks for sharing, Jen!

arialburnz said...

Hello, Metallifan15! Congratulations on winning a copy! As I comments on June's post, mind reading is the power my vamps have. I cover more of that ability and go in deeper on the vampire lore of my series in Book 2. On your answer for number 2 - do you mean within the book series themselves? Or do you mean you're not crazy about all the different ways authors have changed vampires outside of the traditional/Bram Stoker traits? I'm very curious to know!

Yes! Laura Kaye is a fun writer! And, well, Anne Rice is pretty much the reason I became an author. My book MIDNIGHT CONQUEST is actually dedicated to her and I had the privilege of letting her know. She was very touched. Talk about MADE MY DAY! Corresponding with the woman who inspired me to be a writer. *sigh* :D

Thanks so much for sharing! PLEASE contact me with your e-mail address so I can get your copy to you:

arialburnz said...

Hello, Becky!! Congratz on winning a copy! Seems like extra powers are the bomb for vampires! LOL...I likes it! (My previous comments, I said, "comments"...I'm starting to sound like Gollum!!)

There is a little bit of killing in MIDNIGHT CONQUEST, however, it's usually the bad guys. Also, I should feel I need to warn all my readers...MC has a bit of domestic violence in it. Davina's husband is a bit of a bastard...but he does get what he deserves, so justice is done. Just thought I'd give the "heads-up".

Another Lynsay Sands fan...she will definitely need to go on my TBR list! Thanks for sharing!!!

arialburnz said...

Hello, Chris!! Congratz on winning a copy! Aye, sexy is a must!!! Alpha male, too. Seems to be a consensus and I happily *drool* agree!!

I've heard similar opinions on the sunlight issue. Not a lot of people know it, but Dracula could be out in the daylight. Bram Stoker had made some reference, or alluded to, Dracula being weaker during the daylight hours. I hope it doesn't deter you from reading MIDNIGHT CONQUEST, as my vampires will die in sunlight. However, my lore justification is the origin of my vampires are actually steeped in Christian Theology. I won't completely spoil it, but in my stories, vampires are Satan's revenge against God, trapping the human soul. I pull on the old light versus dark, where light destroys darkness. Also, with the increased ability of their senses, they are more sensitive to the damaging rays of the sun. More of it will be covered on my web site and in future novels in the series, but Book 2 really delves into the Lore and explanations.

Aye, Laurell K. Hamilton is another one of mine as well. And hats off to the True Blood series! ;) Thanks for sharing!

arialburnz said...

Hello, Linda! Gratz on winning a copy!! So far the score is 4 for Alpha Males and 4 for Special Powers! Yay! Broderick should be a pleaser for all you ladies! ;) And IX-NAY on the killing! and I have BOTH Deborah's on my TBR list. Looking forward to them! Thanks so much for sharing!

arialburnz said...

Hello, Tore!! Congratz on winning a copy! So that's another for Alpha Males, bringing the tally to 5! ;) Yep, I agree, too much violence is not fun to read. You may have read my comment above about my vampires not sparkling, but since you're a lover of all vampires, I would wager you'll take them anyway you they come as long as they're sexy! Me too! Thanks so much for sharing!!!