Monday, September 2, 2013

Arial Burnz: The voice of the historical vampire


Please give a warm welcome to author, as she tell sus more about her sexy Scottish vampire, who does NOT sparkle!
Thank you for having me on your blog today, Andi!! So excited to be here!
What was the inspiration behind the 'Bonded by Blood: Vampire Chronicles' series?
I wanted a hot, hunky, larger-than-life vampire hero that didn’t run around feeling sorry for himself, which seems to be the case for a lot of the vampire heroes today. They’re either angry or depressed. Broderick MacDougal is definitely the opposite. He’s 6’3”, has red hair, and is a rogue Scotsman…uhhnnnng! LOVE me some HOT, Scottish Vampire!
Which character was the most fun to write?
I think the above answer probably handled this. LOL…Broderick MacDougal. He’s such a rogue and has a great sense of humor. He’s really become a person in his own right. When I first wrote the story, I modeled him after James Mallory from Johanna Lindsey’s Gentle Rogue. Broderick’s a bit more artistic (he’s actually a painter), but just as commanding and rebellious.
What is one of your favorite scenes?
Broderick and Davina are playing chess. He’s come to her castle to try and win her respect and trust so she’ll let her guard down enough for him to get the information he’s seeking – which is to discover her involvement with his clan enemy, Angus Campbell. Or so Broderick tells himself. All he needs to do is feed from her to get that information, but because he’s falling in love with her, it’s almost like a boundary he doesn’t want to cross. Anyway, he’s being a rogue, as usual, and Davina is fighting her attraction for him because this Gypsy means nothing but trouble for her. This is the scene where the walls between them start crumbling. They’re playful. She’s defiant. And he is ohso sexy. And they share a little bit of their pain at losing loved ones, which is where Rick and Davina meet on common ground. Both of them have lost so many people they love and their grief is the bridge between them. This is the scene where they share their first kiss…and I just melt every time I read it.
What kind of research did you have to do for this series?
GAH! Constant research. I sometimes spend months on research and it’s a good thing my mom is a history teacher. I’ve been surrounded by historical information most of my life. Only a small portion of what I dig up (probably less than 20%) is actually in the books. But without that foundation, I can’t write. I have to research clothing, food, housing, marriage customs of the time, important historical events that would affect my storyline, etc. In Midnight Hunt, the story is set during the tail-end of the Thirty Years War in Europe and all the witch trials that were happening. Most people think the “church” that performed many of the inquisitions was the Roman Catholic Church. However, not only was the Protestant church as zealous as the Catholic (the main crux of the Thirty Years War was the fight for Catholic and Protestant territories), but many of the trials were conducted in the secular courts. Even though my town is fictional, I’ve located it on the northern coast of Germany, which was largely Protestant which a few Catholic hold-outs. Who conducted the trials affected what I wrote in my novel.
How many books do you anticipate there being in the series?
Hold onto your hat! For the overarching storyline of the series, there’s six books planned. Except for the first two books, which take place only 17 years apart, the books are roughly 100 years apart and finish in the 21
• Midnight Conquest – Book 1 – 1513 – Renaissance – vampires – Scotland

• Midnight Captive – Book 2 - 1531 – Renaissance – vampires – Scotland

• Midnight Hunt – Book 3 – 1636 – Age of Discovery – witches, werewolves & vampires – Germany

• Midnight Eclipse – Book 4 – 1765 (? – still researching year) – Norse Shapeshifting Pirates, vampires & mermaids – North Sea

• Midnight Savior – Book 5 – 1888 – Jack the Ripper & vampires – London

• Midnight Deliverer – Book 6 – 2015 (or the year I’m writing the novel) – vampires and all hell breaks loose…quite literally.
There will be two spin-off novels from Book 4, featuring the heroine’s brothers, Jericho “Jerry” Hunter (M/F romance) and Chandler Hunter (M/M romance). Both will take place in the 1760s, after Book 4. And I have three additional series, spinning off Bonded By Blood (which I don’t’ have names for yet):
• Bonded By Blood Contemporary Tales – Book 6, ending in the 21 whole range of contemporary stories as a result of the vampire wars that break out due to the conclusion of Book 6. Broderick, Davina, Angus and a few other characters will be making some cameo appearances, but most of these books will be relatively stand-alone, similar to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series – where the characters all have their own stories, but you’ll see the characters shared amongst the books as background.

• Elemental Witches – Monika Konrad, the heroine in Book 3, is an elemental witch and there’s a whole slew of mythology I’ve just started creating with these guardians of the earth. Be prepared for some really sexy, beta heroes from this collection of stories and if the M/M for Chandler works out as well as I’m hoping, I could have a slew of M/M stories in this line.

• Norse Shapeshifters – Also branching off from Book 4, I’ve entrenched my shapeshifters in Norse mythology and will probably tell some tales where the Gods will be playing a part – Loki, Odin, Thor, etc. I might even go back in time and tell some Viking tales. We will see!
Did that answer your question? LOL
The market is inundated with books about vampires right now. How do you make yourself stand out in this competitive genre?
It’s been tough! I think the historical element of my stories kinda helps out. Most vampire stories are contemporary and it’s the main reason I self-published. None of the publishers wanted historical vampires, but my readers have given me a lot of great feedback of how they’ve really wanted to read about the earlier years in a vampire’s life without doing back-flashes.

I’m also crossing genres a little with this series, doing both an HEA for each book, but it also fits into the definition of “Urban Fantasy” in that the hero and heroine are striving to get together throughout the series. I don’t want to tell any spoilers for those just getting into the series, so I won’t elaborate what that means right now, but the sneak peak at the end of Book 2 gives readers a hint on what’s to come. Book 3 will finally explain how the series will be moving forward.
What is it about vampires that are so intriguing to both writers and readers?
The sex appeal. Even in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He was a monster, but he seduced his female victims and they ended up being seductresses themselves. There’s nothing sexier than sucking, necking and nibbling! And many people like the underdog, the person who chooses such a dark existence for a great cause or for reasons they thought were right at the time, but might later regret. Of course, most vampires are bad boys/girls, so there’s that aspect, too.
Sparkly vampires - yes or no?
I’m fond of saying, “My vampires don’t sparkle – they EAT people…in more ways than one.

*eyebrow waggle*
What are your thoughts on Bram Stoker's Dracula - the original vampire?
LOVED it!!! I’ve re-read it several times through the years, and you’re reminding me I’m about due for another read. If anyone who’s visiting this blog has not read the novel yet, I HIGHLY recommend it! It’s not your typical novel as the entire book is a compilation of journal entries, newspaper clippings and letters. It’s almost as if you’ve been given a stack of papers, all put into the right order, and the story unfolds as you read all these pieces of information. It’s brilliantly written. I can see why it started such an amazing craze that is as immortal as Dracula the character.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a Desert Storm Veteran and served in the US Air Force. I was stationed in Germany and was a Ground Radio Maintenance Technician (I fixed and operated radios and antennas for communicating to aircraft from the ground).
Is there anything else you wish to add?
YES! This topic came up the other day and I really think I should share it. One of the things people don’t realize right now about Davina…*drum roll* is her weight. When I describe Davina, I sometimes mention she’s “curvy”. Davina is a plus-size gal, according to today’s standards. At 5’7”, she’s about 145 pounds and is roughly a size 12 dress. According to American women’s sizing charts, she’s “large”.

I don’t elaborate on her weight because her size was normal in those days. In fact, her size was a little thin in comparison to the women of her time, which is why Broderick sees her as taut and toned. Weight spoke of wealth. If you were thin, you were probably poor because you couldn’t afford to eat. A plump girl was a wealthy one!

This weight issue is going to peek out a little in Book 5 (1888) when he sees Davina struggling with a corset. I plan on having her faint due to the constrictions of a corset (as happened often in the Victorian era) and I see Broderick ripping her corset off and tossing the contraption aside, complaining about how it’s not only unhealthy, but it hides her curves, which he adores. When we get to Book 6, Davina is going to complain about her weight and even have some unhealthy eating habits (something most women today can relate to). Rick is really going to lay in on her in this book and be very angry at how society is boasting that skinny is in. “You all want to look like beggars and servants! All the models on the television and billboards look like twelve-year-old boys. If I wanted a skinny woman, I wouldn’t be with you!”

I got the idea from my own husband. Both husbands in my previous marriages complained that I was too heavy (5’7” and 145 lbs) and frequently harped on me about being skinnier. My now husband and romance-novel-hero LOVES my curves, and I’m 40 pounds heavier! Ya gotta love a man who loves curves!
Thank you so much for your time!
Thank YOU!! I’m available for questions and comments…and so are my characters. They’ve been known to pop in for comment, answer questions…and a little bite every now and then. ;)

Bonded by Blood: Vampire Chronicles

by Arial Burnz

~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Midnight Conquest

Masked in a Gypsy guise, Broderick MacDougal hides his vampiric identity while seeking to destroy the man who slaughtered his family. When an old Clan rival ensnares Broderick in a trap using an enticing widow, he is compelled to discover if she is bait or an accomplice, and the cinnamon-haired beauty is his next conquest.

Widow of an abusive husband, Davina Stewart-Russell clings to the only image that gave her strength during those dark times—the Gypsy rogue who stole her heart as a youth. After nine years, she is finally face-to-face with him again, but reality clashes with fantasy as she is confronted with Broderick’s passionate pursuit.

When Davina’s past returns to haunt her, Broderick is forced to reveal a dark secret worse than anything Davina thought possible. The challenge before them has fatal risks and neither of them is prepared for the sacrifices expected for the sake of eternal love.



Midnight Captive

Cailin MacDougal has lived a dangerous life being the adopted daughter of vampire Broderick "Rick" MacDougal, so she had no choice but to learn to fight in order to protect herself. However, such behavior is hardly desirable in a dutiful wife who's supposed to embroider and run a household. This aggressive side of her behavior should be easy enough to hide from her betrothed...shouldn't it?

After being away at fencing school for seven years, James Knightly has returned as a master swordsman, ready to captain his own ship and finally wed his childhood sweetheart, Cailin MacDougal. What he finds waiting for him is a dagger-toting hellion for a bride, an immortal father-in-law, and an enemy bent on extracting revenge by threatening the family James holds most dear--the MacDougals.

Broderick MacDougal is lured away from his family with the promise of-at last-learning a way to protect those he loves from his clan enemy, Angus Campbell. Broderick knows he's headed for a trap, but the bait is too tempting to resist...and he unravels the beginning of a prophecy that will lead to redemption for all vampires. The cost of such redemption, though, may be the very soul of the woman he would die for...his wife, Davina.



Read an excerpt:
Midnight Captive—Excerpt 1

There! The idiot shifted to straddle her leg, no longer pinning her, and rubbed his erection against her hip. Ignoring the blush that heated her face, she seized the long-awaited opportunity to pivot her weight, push him away and bring her knee up between his legs, gladly making contact with his offending member. Jasper collapsed to his knees, howling. Hiking her skirts, Cailin kicked the dagger from his hand, brought her foot back and swiped it across his jaw. He curled into an infantile position, groaning and clutching his groin. Cailin dusted her hands in triumph. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, she pulled at least one of her daggers out at the ready. Shaking her head at his pitiful display, she crouched beside him and searched his vest for her pouch.

A deep, rumbling laugh echoed against the brick walls and she contemplated the raven-haired figure standing at the entrance of the alleyway, a long dark cloak concealing his rather large frame. “And just who is robbing whom?”

Pale-green eyes assessed her as he sauntered forward, crossing his arms. Something seemed vaguely familiar about this man. A delightful shiver tickled over her skin when his eyes fell upon her breasts and the smile melted from his mouth.

He swallowed hard. “If you do not close your bodice, my dear, I cannot be held responsible for my actions.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Arial Burnz has been an avid reader of both paranormal and fantasy fiction for over thirty years. With bedtime stories filled with unicorns, hobbits, dragons and elves, she had no choice but to craft her own tales, penning to life the many magical creatures roaming her mind and dreams. And with a romantic husband who's taught her the meaning of true love, she's helpless to weave romance into her tales. Now she shares them with the world. Arial Burnz lives in Rancho Cucamonga, California, with her husband (a.k.a. her romance novel hero)—who is also a descendent of Clan MacDougal—along with their dog and two cats.

Links

Website: http://www.arialburnz.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorarialburnz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/arialburnz

Buy Link (Amazon Author Page where all my books are listed and available): 
http://amazon.com/author/arialburnz

See images of her characters: http://pinterest.com/arialburnz/boards/

Arial will be awarding a $15 Amazon or BN Gift Card (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Also, at every stop a randomly drawn commenter will be awarded a 5-Star Short Story eBook, Romance Trading Card set and signed Bonded By Blood series post card. A $20 Amazon or BN Gift Card (winner's choice) will be awarded to a randomly drawn host . Follow the tour for more chances to win!

11 comments:

  1. There does seem to be a lot of angst with vampire heroes. Love that you took a different road.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  2. Sorry I'm late!!! I'm usually on the blog earlier than 10am. Sheesh!! We're remodeling our house and I exhausted myself yesterday with construction efforts.

    I'm looking forward to interacting with everyone. Thanks so much for hosting me today!!!

    Hugs,
    Arial ;)

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  3. Hey, Mary!! *waves* Nice to see you here! Thanks very much for your kind comments. I do hope you're enjoying the series. Good luck on the drawing! :D

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  4. Enjoyed the interview

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, BN! See you at the next stop!

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  5. Ohh I love anything Vampirish.. this has caught my attention and will continue finding out more about the series! Thanks!

    vals_hemi at yahoo dot com

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    Replies
    1. Hello, Valerie!! So glad you could stop by. I'm thrilled by your interest! You have to write what you know, and I'm like you...I love anything having to do with vampires. There are so many of us out there. I wanted to write something different, which I hope I've accomplished with this series. And yet it still has some fun traditional elements.

      I do hope you enjoy the series. Looking forward to interacting with you more on the tour. Good luck on the drawing! :D

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  6. This sounds like a very intense read.. Dark.. and Passion.. with Vengeance. I'm IN!!! Thanks for the chance.. and the intro to your book.

    erikalrhodes at gmail dot com.

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    Replies
    1. Hello, Erika! Yes, it does indeed have its dark moments, lots of HOT passion (turn your fan on!) but I also love to weave in a little humor. Thank YOU for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the series. Book 1 is FREE right now, so be sure to pick it up. And good luck on the drawing!!

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  7. I finally finished my tour and I've done the drawing for the individual blogs and the overall winners.

    Overall Commenter Winner for the $15 Gift Card – Andra Lynn
    Blog Host Winner – Straight from the Library ($20 Gift Card)

    Individual Blog Winners (Commenters) for eBook short story & swag:
    Danita Minnis Blog – BN100
    Christine Young Romance Writer – Kate
    Crazy Four Books – Andra Lynn
    Musing and Ramblings – Shelley Summers
    Words of Wisdome from the Scarf Princess – Mary Preston
    Unabridged Andra – Amer (VampedChik)
    Andi’s Book Reviews – Valerie R
    Straight from the Library – Only 2 people commented, so they both win – Mary Preston & Eva Millien
    It’s Raining Books – Rita Wray
    Long and Short Reviews – BN100

    Thanks to everyone who participated!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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