Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vampire Legends

Lurking in the shadows throughout history, there have been creatures who exist in legends and myths who feed on the blood of the living. The names and attributes of these creatures may vary as do the countries of their origins, but they all have at least two common denominators. They are returning spirits or the undead, and they feed from the living in some form.

Some Hebrew legends claim that Adam had a wife before Eve, and her name was Lilith. Unlike Eve, Lilith was said to have been made at the same time as Adam and she refused to be subservient. Because of her constant disobedience to God, she was banished to the demon realm. Naturally, Lilith was pissed and was just waiting for her chance to get even with Adam.

Later, God created Eve, and Adam and Even produced two sons. And of course, we all know what happened between Cain and Able.

But according to this same Hebrew legend, when Cain killed his brother, God cursed him to walk in darkness for eternity. And because Cain had wanted his brother's blood, God cursed him with an eternal craving for blood. Hence, two vampire myths were born.

Later, Lilith became a succubus, a female demon who seduces men in their sleep. And so she seduced Cain, taking his blood and giving him hers in exchange, thus awaking him to his immortal nature.

Afterward, Cain spent years wandering the desert, ashamed of what he had become. Then he returned to the mortal realm and built the city of Enoch. He chose three mortals and created a second generation of vampires. In turn, those vampires created a third generation, but fearing God's wrath, Cain forbade the creation of other vampires.

Years later, a great fire destroyed Enoch and Cain left his fledgling vampires behind. Without leadership, his vampires created a fourth generation who rose up against their elders and destroyed all but a few. Those who were left swore they would never kill mortals needlessly nor create others of their kind.

It is said, that if a vampire repeatedly breaks either oath, Cain himself will rise up from his self-imposed tomb and destroy him.

And so, the modern legend of American vampires has its roots in Hebrew mythology, complete with built-in explanations as to why there are so few vampires running amok throughout major cities around the world.

They're obviously afraid of the Wrath of Cain.

But there are so many legends and so many creatures similar to vampires in other countries.

The Upior is an undead creature from Poland who consumes blood through his forked tongue rather than via enlarged incisors. The Upior has an insatiable thirst for blood. He even sleeps in blood. To avoid becoming an Upior, Polish people would bury their dead face down with a willow cross under the armpits, chest or chin. The body was also buried deep to prevent the dead from rising. And family members of the deceased who might become Upior would eat blood bread, made by mixing the vampire blood with flour and baking it. Eating this was thought to make them immune to vampire attack.

Staking and decapitation were the recommended methods of destroying a Upior.

In Germany, the vampire is known as a Nachtzehrer or Night waster in the Northern provinces and a Blutsauger or bloodsucker in Southern Germany and Bavaria. One usually became a Nachtzehrer by one of three ways. The main way was by an unusual death such as violent accident or suicide. But if there was an epidemic of some sort that claimed many lives, the first to die was branded a Nachtzehrer and accused of sucking the life from subsequent victims. And the third and most bizarre way to become a Nachtzehrer was for the family not to remove the deceased's name from his burial clothes.

Upon death, villagers in Northern Germany would place clumps of earth under a potential vampire's chin, place a coin or stone in his mouth, or tie a handkerchief around his mouth to prevent the deceased from becoming a Nachtzehrer. In extreme cases, the corpse would be beheaded or a spike would be driven through his head to pin him to the ground so he could not rise from the dead.

Those not baptized Roman Catholic, witches, and anyone who'd committed suicide or lived an immoral life in Southern Germany and Bavaria were in danger of becoming a Blutsauger. Others in danger of becoming the undead were those who ate an animal killed by a wolf or had a nun jump over their grave.

Of course, I have to wonder if grave jumping was something nuns did a lot of in Germany...

At any rate, to protect themselves from these bloodsucking creatures of the night, the villagers smeared garlic over their doors and windows and placed hawthorn around the house. To kill a Blutsauger, one had to drive a stake through the creature's heart and stuff garlic in his mouth.

The Hungarians, Turks and Romans all had myths about vampires and vampire-like creatures but Romania gives us our most famous legends. In regions like Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia, where Vlad the Impaler was once known as Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia, vampire tales are more abundant than in any other country.

Romanians believed a child born with a caul over his face was cursed from birth to become a Strigoi (male) or Srigoaica (famale) better known as a vampire. They also believed children born out of wedlock and those who died without being baptized could become vampires. The seventh son of the seventh son or the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter was also at risk.

Of course, being bitten by a vampire could transform a person and those who committed suicide or practiced witchcraft were in danger of becoming the undead upon their death.

To prevent the endangered dead from becoming the undead, garlic was placed in the deceased's mouth and a stake driven into the ground above the grave, in the hopes that the creature would impale himself should he rise from the dead. Sometimes, an iron or wooden stake would be driven into the deceased's heart or navel.

There are as many legends about vampires as there are names for these walking dead. And whether you like your vampires hideous and homicidal or heroic and hunky you're bound to find a vampire story to your liking.

OUT OF THE DARKNESS just happens to have a heroic, hunky vampire seeking a cure for his dark hunger. You can read about Vincent this summer when my book is released from The Wild Rose Press June 18, 2010.

Check it out this summer and let me know how you like your vampires!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Website news

Website news

My website has been updated with a link to this blog and my Facebook fan page. Check it out at

OUT OF THE DARKNESS is also listed on The Wild Rose Press's website as a coming soon novel on their home page. If you go to and click coming soon, then scroll down to paranormal and find vampires, if you click that link. OUT OF THE DARKNESS is the first book listed. Sadly, the website gives a release date of 7/9/10 as opposed to the 6/18/10 release date I was given in an email from one of the owners of TWRP, but either way, I'm expecting a summer release and I couldn't be more excited!

It's going to be a long, cold winter! So snuggle up with a good book from one of my HCRW writer friends or one of the many talented writers from TWRP. You can find hundreds of great books at and some fabulous, home-grown NC writers at and click the HCRW author link. My critique partners, Amy Corwin and Jenna Black both have books listed on that page and both are wonderful writers. So, snuggle up this winter. Stay warm. And enjoy a good book.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Coming soon!

OUT OF THE DARKNESS is listed on The Wild Rose Press's main page as a coming soon release. Check out the link!§ionid=16&id=70&Itemid=106

The release date on The Wild Rose Press website is 7/9/10 but I received an email yesterday that said the book would be released on 6/18/10. Either way, it's going to be one hot summer because OUT OF THE DARKNESS is a hot paranormal romance!

Okay, I hope folks think it's hot. Guess I'll find out when the reviews start rolling in. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I have a release date

Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I have a release date!
OUT OF THE DARKNESS will be released on 6/18/10! Not quite as soon as I would have liked but the original release date was moved due to some in-house shifting of other titles. This could work to my advantage as there should be less competition with other vampire and wolf stories if it were released near lets say, Halloween. And OUT OF THE DARKNESS will make a good summer read so be sure to get your copy before heading to the lake or beach in late June of 2010. You can order a paper back version from,, or Or you can use the ISBN to order it from most bookstores.

Print ISBN: 1-60154-730-7
Print ISBN 13: 9781601547309

But, the book will also available in electronic format at a lower price. I don't own an e-reader myself but I want one. I saw a woman reading from either a Kindle or Sony e-reader on the beach and while I was fumbling with pages and bookmarks and trying not to get suntan oil on the pages of my paperback, she touched a screen to turn the page. And I was amazed that the sun didn't make it hard to read. I could see the clarity of the screen from my beach chair, six feet away.

OUT OF THE DARKNESS received a HOT rating. There is no graphic language or violence but there is some profanity and folks do die. After all, some blood must be shed. It IS a vampire romance! OUT OF THE DARKNESS is part of the Black Rose imprint of The Wild Rose Press and my editor, Lil Farrell has been fantastic. She really did make this book better with her suggestions.

Thanks Lil!

To find out more about OUT OF THE DARKNESS please visit my website at

Monday, October 5, 2009

Line from Out of The Darkness

"A fairy tale only ends happily because that’s the point where the
storyteller stops telling the story. I’m sure even Prince Charming and
Cinderella had a few quarrels after they got married, but that’s just
life..."--Dr. Megan Harper. from OUT... OF THE DARKNESS, coming soon from
The Wild Rose Press.

Thanks to Bernie Delgado for giving me the idea of posting a line from my book here on the internet. He'll receive a free signed copy once the book comes out. Congrats and thank you Bernie! And check out my web page at You can also find me on facebook and myspace!