New Vampire Release

Please welcome the awesome Sheri Velarde on my blog today. She’s here to tell us more about her latest release of vampire shorts and her inspiration behind the collection.

I think that all authors have weird ticks in their writing, things that they can’t even explain why they exist. For me one of mine is the fact that all of my vampires seem to be French. I have other tick as well, like werebears are Russian and werewolves seem to be American in my writings. But none are more prevalent for me than my French vampires.

Why French vampires? I don’t know if I can full answer that. I suppose part of it is that I lived in France for a while when I was younger and the French culture really stuck with me. Especially their attitudes about sex and sexuality. They are so open and fluid about sex over there. I guess part of me just figures those are the same attitudes that vampires would have. Why be prejudice or prude when you get to live forever? Also, the French accent is just dead sexy. I don’t care what you say, French is one of the sexiest languages out there!

I think I also make my vampire French because I always assume their origins are in Europe, from countries with rich and vast histories. Well France is the country I know the most about, the one I am most comfortable discussing, so it seems to be a natural fit for me. That was extremely important in my historical piece, Curse of the Blood. Plus I want to be different, I don’t want my vampires to be from Eastern Europe. I want a sexy French vampire to dazzle my heroines and heroes.

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Here’s more…

Three vampire stories in one collection for the first time!

In Under a Ring of Fire, everything changes for Jackie thanks to an eclipse of the sun. She is a dying woman, living what’s left of her life in misery. One night, one mysterious guest and she will be forever altered. Is this her chance to live at last?

In Curse of the Blood, not even service to his king in time of war could prepare Melvil for the pleasurable evil he would suffer at the hands of Honnor. One act of kindness dooms him to a life that he never wanted.

In Alone No More, the tortured Melvil is back, living a life of penance. One night he saves a young woman from ghouls and sees hope for the first time in years. Ella is a woman alone in life, until a mysterious Frenchman saves her from more than ghouls.


Guest Post: Sheri Velarde

Hi Everyone,

It’s been a while. Please welcome Sheri Velarde to my blog. She’s here to promote her brand new book…

Book released November 25th

The world of publishing is forever changing and it up to authors to try to keep up. This year has been a great year and a difficult one for me on the publishing front. On the bright side I had my first fantasy novel come out, had a book signing for it, entered new some genres and published several shorts with various publishers. On the downside I saw two of my smaller publishing houses close their doors for good. That saddened me more than I can tell you. That is also what led me to the decision to start self-publishing some of my work. I am still with some small presses and may have something with a large house next year (fingers crossed), but I also want to have some control over my publishing as well. My fiancé and I are forming our own publishing house called Stoker Publishing and Not So Silent Night is our first step towards that dream.
Not So Silent Night is a re-release with expanded scenes and has been completely re-edited. I am pretty proud of this story and think it is the perfect book to launch my self-publishing career on. It’s steamy, sweet and hopeful all at the same time. I am hoping that it is the first of many of my stories that I will be putting out there myself as I move into the new age of publishing, well at least new for me. Scared and excited at the same time. I hope you enjoy a taste of Not So Silent Night.

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Here’s what the books about…

Another lonely Christmas approaches for Anna and her life of penance—until an otherworldly distraction appears and changes her life.

Anna is a lonely woman, running her dead grandmother’s flower shop. She hates Christmas and could not feel more lost when a handsome and mysterious Russian, Alexander, walks into her shop and her life. Each has secrets that they are harboring. Just as their passion erupts, the good old boys in town threaten to ruin everything. Getting to know each other is tough for most couples, adding in magic does not make it any easier. Now with a pack of werewolves out to destroy them, things become intense. They find themselves in a fight for their lives. Can their newfound love give them the strength to win against this threat and trust in the future?

She had almost finished cleaning up in back when she heard the bell on the door ring less than five minutes before closing. “Seriously? Can’t people let me get out of here on time just one damn night?” she muttered to herself as she stormed toward the front so she could wait on her customer and then get the hell out of the store.

Anna whipped around the corner in a huff, not caring if she scared the latecomer away. She stopped in her tracks and almost forgot what had pissed her off when she saw the customer in question. The most breathtaking back view of a man she had ever seen stood just inside the doorway, and her brain stopped working for the moment. Wow, who knew broad shoulders and a great rear could stop a woman in her tracks? While she gawked like an idiot, the man turned around and proved to be even more distracting from the front. This guy was like a wall of muscle, perfect body attached to a very masculine and handsome face with the deepest blue eyes Anna had ever seen.

“Sorry, I know you are about to close, but I need a gift of flowers,” he said when he saw Anna. He had a very thick eastern European accent that she thought might be Russian, which of course only made him hotter. She noticed his eyes taking her in, and she couldn’t help but stand a little straighter, showing her curves off to her advantage while she absentmindedly ran her fingers through her long, wavy, raven hair, which most men seemed to love.

It took Anna’s brain a few moments to catch up before she could speak. Her previous anger and frustration vanished, replaced by eagerness to help this particular customer. “No problem at all. Do you have an idea of what kind of gift you are looking for? Is this for your girlfriend or wife?” Anna held her breath as she waited for this mystery man to answer, a bit annoyed with herself that she cared so much about what he might say.

Sheri Velarde, lives in New Mexico with her husband and their two dogs.
Being an avid reader since an early age, she has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She has been writing all her life, but only recently started to actually try to pursue her dream of writing for a living. She specializes in all things paranormal and that go bump in the night. Her heart truly lies in exploring unknown worlds or adding the supernatural to our world. If it goes bump in the night or has magical connotations, Sheri writes about it.
She is constantly putting out new material with various publishers, so it is best to keep up with her on her website
In her spare time Sheri is an artist, jewelry designer, independent comic writer/artist and freelance non-fiction writer. Hiking in the mountains, going to live concerts, art openings, museums, and hosting intimate dinner parties.


Chapter One, Rescue Me

Hi Everyone,


I’m looking for opinions on my revised chapter.






“You did what?” Bree,  my best friend stares at me, stunned. Her brown irises remind of little chocolate buttons against the white of her eyes. A strand of spaghetti dotted with chilli sauce hangs out her fuchsia pink lips.

“I told my parents I want my trust fund,” I tell her calmly. “They offered it to me after I graduated and I told them I’d let them know when I needed it.”

Bree shakes her head and glares at me as if I’ve committed the ultimate sin. She sucks in the spaghetti. “You shouldn’t have been so hasty, Lana.”

We’re at a tiny Italian restaurant in Ballito – Pavarotti’s – Bree’s favorite eatery on the Kwa-Zulu Natal North coast. I haven’t told Bree the rest of my news yet. God only knows how she’ll react.

“I wasn’t hasty. I felt the time was right to use the money to live the life I’ve always wanted.”

“I don’t believe you. Anyway tell me what you’re going to do with so much money?” Her wild, red curls tremble when she mock shudders at what I could possibly have in mind.

I shrug.  “Settle down.”

She twirls spaghetti around her fork and eyes me surreptitiously. “Settle down? You’re only twenty. Whatever happened to the plans we had to travel the world?”

 “I’ve decided I prefer stability.”

“Stability? What the fuck’s gotten into you?” Spots of color appear on Bree’s cheeks. She points her sauce tipped fork at me. “Is there something you’re not telling me? Did you and parents fall out?”

“No.” I shake my head. “This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while.”

Bree pours herself more wine. “I swear you’ve been kidnapped by aliens or something.”

“We were supposed to take a gap year, remember?”

“I’m taking my gap year now.” I look away from her when emotion threatens to fill my eyes with tears.

“Now?” Bree stops eating. “Why? I know you love attending school full time.”

“I need a cha –” a sharp jolt of pain paralyzes me. Shit. Why now? I hold my head between my hands and concentrate on my breathing for a while.

“Lana?” Panic rises in her voice. “I’m calling a doctor,” she screams when I don’t respond immediately to her.

“No,” I gasp, “It’s nothing –” Please let her buy my lie, I pray. The blinding spasms cease after a few minutes leaving me weak and nauseous.

“Have you even been to a doctor?”

“Yes,” I nod.


“He ran some tests.”

“Shit, you’re shaking like a fucking leaf.” She holds a glass of water to my lips. “Drink.”

I manage to take a few sips. The headaches strike when I least expect it. There’s no particular pattern, warning or interval. They just happen spontaneously.

Bree calls for the bill. “I’m going to drop you off at home,” she insists after she’s paid. She stands up and holds my hand, ready to catch me if I fall.

“No. I…” Bree doesn’t know I moved out last weekend. She wants to drive me to my parent’s place.

She narrows her eyes. “Why don’t you want to go home?”

I might as well tell Bree the truth and get it over with. The nausea fades away and most of my strength returns. “I moved out.”

She sits in her chair with a heavy thud. “What the fuck did you that for?”

“I needed space and time to focus on my writing –” it’s partly true. My freelance writing career’s really kicked off in the last few months. “And since Beauty Bulletin decided to make my column a permanent fixture, I decided I needed more space to focus on my career…” Beauty Bulletin is one of the most popular magazines in South Africa.

Bree sighs and shakes her head. “I don’t know what you’re not telling me but I can promise you one thing, Lana. Whatever it is you’re hiding– I’ll find out sooner or later,” she vows. She watches me closely as I wake up. “You could tell me now and get it over with,” she pleads.

“I’ve told you everything.” Bree’s a tough cookie to convince. “My parents have been really supportive of my decision. Dad even bought me a car so I could be more independent.” The car was a gift from Dad when Beauty Bulletin told me they’d decided to make my column a permanent part of their magazine but Bree doesn’t have to know that.

Bree eyes my Ford hatchback. “What? Damn, you’re lucky.” Bree borrows her brother’s VW Golf to move around.

“Yeah.” My dad and I have always been close. I’m grateful he didn’t ask me too many questions when I told him and Mom I wanted to move out. Dad’s always been supportive of my decisions.

She shakes her head. “There’s more to this. I feel it in my bones.”

“Your bones are wrong,” I insist even though I know Bree’s bones have never lied. Bree and I have been close since fifth grade. We’ve cried with each other over failed crushes, shared fashion disasters and each other’s happiness. Lying to Bree is more difficult than lying to my family.

“My bones have never been wrong.” She looks up sharply. “Are you sure this isn’t about Zane?” Her brown eyes darken.

“Positive,” I assure Bree on our way to the parking lot. Zane and I dated briefly. He’s a model and fitness fanatic with a heart of gold. After two dates both of us agreed we were better off as friends.  

Bree sighs. “I’m happy things are working out your way, Lana, but I know you’re hiding something from me. She places her hands on either side of my shoulders. “Just because I’m dropping the topic now doesn’t mean I’ll forget.”

Our eyes meet.

“So where did you move to?”


She stares at me blankly. “Where the fuck is that?”

“About twenty minutes from here.”

Bree still has no clue what I’m talking about. “North or south?”

“North.” She’s going to freak out in five seconds. I count down mentally in my mind. Five, four, three, two, one…

“Are you kidding me?” She’s about a head shorter than me. Bree stands on tip toes to look me straight in the eyes. “You moved to the fucking heart of a sugar cane farm. I don’t believe this. You’re twenty. Not sixty. Sugar cane farms are for retirement – not starting out.”

“There’s barely any sugar cane farms left. Besides it’s on the beach. I love it there.” I try and sound as convincing as possible. “It’s quiet and peaceful and good for my writing.”

“Don’t use your writing to cover up. You’re going there to hide.” She leans against my car. “Are you pregnant?” she asks suddenly.

“What?” I laugh. “By who?”

“Zane,” she whispers. “I wouldn’t blame you for messing around with him. He’s got a great body and personality.”

I shake my head. “Zane prefers messing around with guys.”

“Shit. I’d have never guessed he was gay.” She shakes her head. Her phone rings then cutting our conversation short. “Fuck. I forgot I have to pick Mom up from the mall.”

“No problem.”

“I’ll call you later.” She promises before she gets into her car and takes off.

Thank God I didn’t get caught this time. I sigh in relief before driving to my new home.


My rented house overlooks Blythedale Beach. Lucky for me this section of beach isn’t busy and I have a clear, uninterrupted view of the Indian Ocean. The natural vegetation on the shoreline hasn’t been touched and provides a stark, green contrast to the golden beach sand. The standard, two bedroomed house has an open plan kitchen and lounge and a decent sized bathroom. I had my stuff moved here a few days ago and unpacked most of it yesterday. I sink onto the double bed and stare at the ceiling.

My own place. Tears burn my eyes. I always imagined moving into my first house would be a wonderful, joyous celebration – dinner followed by drinks with my closest friends and family. Instead here I am alone with the sound of the Indian Ocean for company. I lie on the bed and doze off for about two hours before my stomach growls. The fridge and cupboards are empty because I haven’t had a chance to do any grocery shopping yet. The joys of independence. My stomach rumbles louder. I have to eat before hunger makes me insane. There’s a restaurant on the beach – I recall seeing it on my way to my new home. I grab my car keys and move so fast I’m dizzy by the time I’m in the driver’s seat. I take a moment to calm down before driving.

The restaurant is quiet – it’s nearly nine p.m. and the sun’s last rays cast a dim glow over Blythedale. I rush inside Nando’s as if there’s a crowd behind me – I’m that hungry. Thankfully the restaurant isn’t busy. The smell of freshly grilled chicken permeates the air. My mouth water. I make my way to the cashier to place my order first.

“I’d like a regular chicken burger.”

“Anything to drink?” The waitress asks me.

“Yeah. Lemon water please. And could you please make that a take out?”

“Sure.” She smiles and confirms my order.

“Your order will be ready in about ten minutes,” she tells me.

“Thanks.” I take a seat in one of the vacant booths while I wait.

The atmosphere here is incredibly laid back – even the beach is quiet at this time although it’s the heart of summer. I plan to eat alone on the shore while watching night fall. Although there aren’t any signs of security guards or police fear is the last thing on my mind when I walk to the shore. I clean my hands with a wet wipe and dig into my burger. Eating alone isn’t so bad after all. Anyway I have to get used to it.

I’ve never eaten a burger that fast in my life. Something rustles behind me on my way to the bin.

“Who’s there?”

The parking lot is lit but the thick clusters of trees forming a part of the natural riverine forest casts a dark shadow over almost everything in front of me. Night falls in five seconds flat and my heart sprints. Holy honey coated crap. Suddenly being out on the beach in the dark doesn’t seem like a good idea at all. I’m shaking so badly the paper bag falls on the ground instead of inside the bin. I’m too scared to pick it up. My car’s parked a few meters away from me. I count to five and prepare to run just as someone steps in my path.

“Going somewhere?” It’s too dark for me to make out his face but I can see he’s heavy set and he’s not alone.

“Home,” I whisper and step backwards when he advances towards me.

“Aw. So soon? I thought you’d stay and keep me company.” He sounds like he’s smiling. Evil smiling. Fecal eating fuck nugget.

 The guy turns away from me when he hears a car. I contemplate running to my car while he’s distracted.  

Okay, Lana, run on the count of three, I tell myself, one . . . two . . . three . . . I brace myself for my getaway from this thug and his friends. They’re quicker than me though. Before I have a chance to suck in a deep breath they surround me. There are four of them and they’re just as heavy as the first guy.

“Are you new here?” One of the others wants to know.

I read somewhere that not responding to would be attackers makes them more aggressive.  

“No.” Fucktard, I add silently.

“We haven’t seen you around before,” another one sneers, “where were you hiding?”

“Um…I was away at college for a while.” How the hell am I going to get out of here? I’m outnumbered four to one. There’ll be no more dinners on the beach for me – if I make it out here alive. You and your free spirited ideas, I tell myself.

“So what’s a pretty girl doing here all alone?” The leader asks. They move around me as if they’re animals circling their prey.

“Dinner,” I whisper. These assbags aren’t going to leave me alone anytime soon.

“And you didn’t invite us,” the third one says.

“You will make up for that, won’t you?” the leader half – whispers. It’s more of a statement than a question.

I wish I’d taken self-defense classes or something. I contemplate kicking one of these douche bags in the balls but what good will that do when there are three others? Crap. Now what? I catch a brief glimpse of star splattered sky and wish Superman would soar out of the atmosphere and to my rescue. If only Superman were real.

“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” The leader asks.” Are you afraid of me?”

The others snicker.

“I’m thinking.” There I go again – speaking out the first thing popping into my head.

“About what?” He asks in a low voice as if he’s suddenly taken a keen interest in me.

At least my spur of the moment responses bought me some time. If I can keep him talking and carry on walking backwards I’ll reach my car in about thirty seconds. The keys are in the right hand pocket of my jeans. They’ll need excellent night vision to see my every movement.

“Dinner,” I reply when I realize he’s waiting for my answer.” I could buy you something to eat –”

“How about we skip dinner and go straight to dessert?” The Leader of the Fucktards suggests.

My butt grazes my car door. I slip my hands inside my pocket and press the button. The car unlocks silently. I reach slowly for the door handle. My hear picks up speed. Sweat breaks out on my forehead and my throat dries up. Leader’s hand grabs mine just as I press the lever to unlock the door.

“Going somewhere? Or do you enjoy it in the backseat?” The leader presses his body against mine. He reeks of alcohol and sweat. Nausea races upwards and pauses in my throat.

Oh fuck. This is the end of me. I close my eyes and pretend this isn’t happening. Oh God why couldn’t Superman be real – just this once.  If only he’d appear out of nowhere and pull this smelly bastard off me. A bike roars in the distance. I focus on its sound and imagine Superman is on that bike. Within seconds the sound of the bike is the only thing my mind holds onto. Leader’s hands tighten around my waist. His ugly breath clogs my nostrils.

Forget him. Superman will rescue me. Where do I come up with candy floss shit for dreams? Hello? I’m about to be eaten by a bunch of twat waffles.

Crazy thoughts race through my head as I squeeze my eyes tight and clench my hands into fists bracing myself for the impact of his mouth on mine while at the same time trying to shut him out altogether. Somehow the shutting out part works. The leader’s hands loosen on my waist and his pungent alcohol breath gives way to fresh sea air.

“Fuck!” He gasps suddenly before the sound of bones breaking sickens me to the pit of my tummy.

Instinct forces my eyes open. We’re surrounded by a group of bikers with bikes so shiny the moonlight reflecting off of them blinds me temporarily. One of the bikers punches the leader on his jaw. The others circle the remaining would-be attackers.

“I didn’t touch her.” Leader winces.

“Liar,” mysterious Biker says in a deep voice, “Didn’t your mama teach you to always tell the truth?”

My spine tingles at the sound of his voice.

“I warned you about stepping on my ground, Skull.”

My ground? This sounds like a movie script gone real life. To mean it means one thing. I found Superman. Unless this is a dream. And none of this is really happening., Shock probably stupefied me. Or I’m dead and I’ve stepped away from my body…I shut my eyes and pinch myself. Fuck. That hurt. No, I’m not imagining any of this. The bikers are really here and one of them is teaching Skull a lesson he’ll never forget.

“I want you to take your pack of vermin rats and get the hell out of here.” Superbiker  says.

Skull and his gang don’t need to be told twice. They disappear into the shadows so fast nobody would have guessed they were really here.

“Did he hurt you?” I’m stunned at how quickly my wish was granted. I asked for Superman and I got a Superbiker. My chest tightens. If only all my wishes were granted so easily…

Warm hands cup my face. I catch a glimpse of a shiny bracelet on his right hand. His left thumb is partially covered with a band aid.

 “Hey? Are you okay?”

Superbiker’s talking to me. Say something, Lana. “Yeah…I’m fine.”

He’s standing so close to me I smell his aftershave and cologne – the scent is woodsy, earthy and incredibly sexy. He’s pushed the visor of his helmet up but a clump of clouds block out the moonlight making it impossible for me to even catch a glimpse of my savior.

“You’re new here,” he says.

“You can tell just by looking at me?” Damn he’s got skills.

“No. The license plates on your car.”

Hmm. He’s an observant guy.

He steps away from me. “You shouldn’t hang out here this part of night,” he says, “tell me where you live and we’ll escort you home.” He opens the car door for me.

“What’s your name?” I blurt.

He pauses. Perhaps my question’s caught him off guard. “Why?”

I shrug. “It’d be nice to know.”

He leaves me standing outside my car and jumps on his bike. “Get in the car. My boys and I don’t have all night to wait on spoilt little rich girls who have nothing better to do than invite trouble upon themselves.”

Strangely his words sting. “I’m not a …” Oh why bother. I get inside my car and roll down the window. For a moment there I’d assumed he’d really cared when he’d asked if I’d been hurt. I guess whoever my mysterious biker rescuer is – he’s just doing his job. Hope and romance take a back seat.

They follow me home. Superbiker  pulls up beside me when I stop outside the gate and gestures for me to give him my keys. He unlocks the gate and waits for me to park. I roll down the window and wait for him to leave before jumping off. He pauses next to me while reversing out the driveway and lifts up the visor. Invisible waves of his seductive cologne and aftershave engulf me. It’s still too dark for me to see him properly.

“Thank you,” I tell him.

“For roughing up your haters?”


“You’re welcome.” A brief silence follows. “Tell you what, princess. If you can find me in the daylight I’ll tell you my name.”

“Deal,” I reply. Challenges are definitely my thing. I’ll find him all right even if the sound of his voice is all I have to go only have more though – his smell, the bracelet on his right hand and his built. Superbiker’s tall, broad shouldered and not even the darkness can hide his pert ass. I take in his silhouetted and hope he sticks around a few more seconds so I absorb more details about him. . Lucky I have an excellent memory.

“Good.” He sounds like he’s smiling as he reverses and roars away into the night.


Manicilous #Monday

Hi Everyone,

Moving In is with my awesome editor at the moment. I’ve plotted the entire four book series. Let me know what you think of the excerpt.

Honey, my pet Rhodesian ridgeback springs into the lounge and heads for Mom. Honey’s never been fond of my parents. Mom and Dad don’t relate to anything outside of the human species. She steps back and glares at Honey. “Get that thing away…”
“She’s not a thing. She’s a dog and her name’s Honey. Honey, come here girl.” She growls at Mom before she turns around and settles at my feet. Honey is awfully protective over me. Mason, the complex’s caretaker usually takes care of Honey while I’m away. Mom and Dad haven’t just screwed up my life. They’ve screwed up Honey’s future as well. God knows how I’m going to give up my dog for adoption if I don’t find a pet friendly place to live in. My heart breaks at the mere thought of giving Honey away.
“Dean…you have to understand this decision wasn’t an easy one for us to take.”
It seemed pretty easy to me. In fact my parents haven’t even waited twenty four hours since the blog post went live to kick me out of what’s technically their property.
“I need to pack.” I’m really not in the mood to talk. Where the fuck am I going to find a place at such short notice?
“I’ll let myself out.”
Honey barks in approval. She’s never taken to Mom and my mother’s never been a dog person. In fact the only species my mother is comfortable with is human beings. I found Honey lying on a freeway a year ago. She’d been pregnant, knocked, bleeding and left for dead. I got her to a vet and who managed to save her – Honey lost all her puppies – and she’s been with me ever since. There’s absolutely no way I’ll leave her at the SPCA or any other kind of animal shelter. She goes where I go. Period.
Which brings me to packing. I live light and travel lighter. It doesn’t take me more than two hours to neatly pack my life’s possessions and load them into my black Ford Ranger. I earned the van fair and square. Dad bought the Ranger for me after I got my Bachelor’s degree. Suddenly I want to get as far away as I can from this apartment and from anything my parents have ever given me. Who’s going to give me a place to stay at such short notice? Jace?