Lisa’s Private Thoughts, December 19th, 2012 – Christmas Tree Time

Tonight we got our Christmas tree.  Some of you may may think we’d left it a bit late, but since I’m a December baby, my parents got into the habit of waiting until after my birthday to put up any Christmas decorations.  One of my mother’s sisters was also a December baby who often complain about how her birthday got overshadowed by Christmas, so my parents go out of their way to make sure that did not happen with me.  Especially not this year when I turned sixteen.

But that had been over a week ago and I was more than ready for Christmas now.  In fact, I’m thinking of telling my parents next year that we should get our tree the day after Thanksgiving.  We could just decorate it for my birthday and then redo it again for Christmas.

You see I love the smell of pine trees and forests.  Especially in wintertime and at night.  Which is why going out to get our tree was so much fun this time.  As soon as dinner was over, Dad told us to get our coats and pile into the Suburban.  “It’s tree time!” he smiled.

“More like about time,” Mom muttered under her breath, while getting her coat on in record time.

Soon we were driving down a snowy lane with snow covered trees on either side of us.  There was no one else on the road, so it felt kind of spooky in some ways.  I swear, there’s nothing like being surrounded by huge trees at night to make you feel really small.  Yet it was beautiful at the same time.

After a while Mom said, “Where are going?  There aren’t any tree lots out this way.”

“We’re getting our tree the old fashion way, straight out of the best supplier known to man.  The forest itself,” Dad smiled.

“We’re going to chop one down?” I cried in dismay.

“No, Sweetie, we’re going to dig one up,” Dad corrected me.  “Remember, cut trees don’t last very long around Uncle Nate.”

Immediately, my mood skyrocketed even higher.  “He’s coming this year?”

“Dear, you weren’t supposed to say anything,” Mom scolded.

“She was going to find out anyway,” he told her,  “See, that’s him up ahead waiting for us.”

I practically climbed into the front seat with them to get a better look.  Sure enough, in a clearing up ahead stood Nathan wearing a an old fashion burgundy frock coat, with a black cape over it.  While on top of his blonde hear, he had a black beaver hat angled every so slightly to give him a dashing look.

By now my little brother Geoffrey, who had been sleeping the whole time woke up and started yelling, “Unca Nate… Unca Nate…” at the top of his little lungs.  If you haven’t guessed, he adores our godfather.

Luckily we were able to park quickly and got him out of the car.  Since I was right next to him, I ‘fun’ of getting him out of his car-seat.  Let me tell you, trying to deal with an overexcited two-year old who won’t stop squirming is an experience I won’t soon forget.  Nor will my stomach where he kept kicking me without realizing it, because he wanted to get to Nathan so badly.

Thank goodness Nathan saw my plight and took Geoffrey from me.  Immediately, my baby brother calmed down and started babbling at him in a mix of words and childish gibberish.  Mom and Dad looked on with amusement while Nathan hung on my brother’s every ‘word’ until he was finished.

“Well you certainly have had an interesting day,” Nathan told him, “I look forward to having more of these talks with you over the coming days.  But for now, we need to find a good tree and we have lots to choose from.”

Looking around I saw he was right.  We did have a lot of choices, but there was one slight problem.  “Kind of big aren’t they?” my Mom remarked, taking Geoffrey from him.

Nathan turned to my dad the two began muttering to one another.  I managed to catch a few snippets like: “I thought you said she’d be okay with punching a holes into the ceiling and possibly the roof…”  and  “….we’d have had to cut through some of the crossbeams and…”

I noticed Mom rolling her eyes several times before they finally finished.

Clapping his gloved hands Dad said, “Nathan says there’s some really nice trees over on the north slope just a few hundred yards from here. I just need to get the sled and pot out from the back of the car.”

“Did you remember the shovels?” Mom asked, and he froze.

Immediately my father froze and winced.  “Oops.”

“Dad!” I cried but Nathan intervened saying, “Don’t worry, I’ve got it covered.  Just follow me.”  and with that he started heading off towards the north slope.

Naturally I raced to join him.  Soon the whole family was following close behind as we slowly made our way through the snowy woods.

At one point we spotted some deer nearby, who did not seem to mind our presence at all.  They stared at us for a while, until they were sure we didn’t have anything to offer them and then moved on.  Soon we emerged from the forest and into what was undoubtedly the north slope.

All around us stood pines ranging from four feet to heaven knows, all covered in snow.  It was a beautiful sight.  I almost felt guilty for our intruding on such a festive scene.  But, we were here on a mission and I knew weren’t going to leave until we located and secured our quarry.

After a few minutes, of knocking snow off a few of the six foot trees, my parents found one they liked.  I had to agree, that their choice was a good one.  It had a lovely shape and would fit nicely in the living room.  But first we had to get it out of the ground.

Turning to Nathan I said, “So how do you plan to get this puppy out of the ground without shovels?”

Smiling he said, “Funny you should mention the word ‘puppy’.”  With that he took a few steps away from me and knelt down in the snow, covering himself entirely with the black cloak.  For several seconds nothing happened.  Then there was movement under the ebony cloth and soon two large black dogs emerged from underneath the cape which fell to the ground and became flat.

“PUPPIES!” my little brother cried excitedly.  He loves dogs, but can’t play with them because he’s very allergic to their fur.  A part of me quickly surmised that this would not be a problem with these two beasts.  As if to prove my point, they went over to where my mother was holding Geoffrey, and allowed him to pet them.

Then the pair trotted over to where the tree we’d chosen stood and began digging in a circle.  Snow went flying in all directions, making the rest of us take a few steps back to keep out of range.  But soon, the dark soil began to replace the white stuff letting us know the real work had begun.  Out of curiosity I bent down and picked up a piece of the thrown soil and found it was still quite solid and frozen.

I shook my head in wonder and marveled at the power of my godfather once more.  I’ve long known of his shape-shifting talents, but sometimes forget just how much strength he is capable of demonstrating.

  

Within minutes the tree wobbles and tilts to one side, as the two dogs emerge from behind it and slip back under the black coat from which they’d emerged.  As my father brings the sled with the big pot on it near the tree, I watch the shapes moving beneath the cape and breathe a sigh of relief when I see hands appear and Nathan stands up.  As he readjusted his hat, I could see that there’s not a speck of anywhere on his hands or face.  He truly is a wonder to behold sometimes.

Anyway, he and Dad managed to lift the tree with its large ball of dirt and roots, into the big pot… or rather tub on the sleigh and quickly made sure it was a good fit.  Then we headed back to the cars and stood it upright in the back of the pickup, Nathan had brought.  In a few weeks, we’ll bring it back and replant it, just as Nathan has shown us so it can continue its life among its siblings.

Two hours later, we had the tree back at home and fully decorated.  Dad has just lit the log in the fireplace, while Nathan is resting on the sofa with a blanket over his legs.  Or rather where his legs would be.  On the floor nearby, Geoffrey is playing with a couple of smaller versions of the black dogs who dug our Christmas tree out of the ground.

Poor Nathan, he’s going to be legless for a good hour or more, meaning he’ll be stuck on the sofa.  I’m going to join him after I finish this post.  He’s going to be staying with us all throughout the holidays this year.  Normally he heads to Connecticut to visit another part of his ‘extended’ family to spend Christmas Eve, but they are celebrating elsewhere this year which means he’s all mine… or rather ours this time.

Glancing over at the archway that leads to the kitchen I can see my mom and dad enjoying a good long kiss under the mistletoe.   I love seeing them like that.  It really makes the season all the more right to me.

Love, family and friends, those are the greatest gifts to have at this time of year.  And I’m going to go get a little of the first, right now.  I’ve got a little bit of mistletoe of my own in my pocket and there’s a very inviting spot right next to Nathan on the sofa.

This is going to be very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year indeed….

****So ends this year’s holiday installment of The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it.  May all your hopes and wishes come true during this festive season.  And may each and everyone one of you enjoy some of the magic of this season.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE

New Beginnings For “The Vampyre Blogs” Side of Our Para-Earths Series…

Okay folks, Nathan here to tell you all about some new beginnings for me and my friends… oh and our authors too.

I know things have been on the quiet side over here for a while now, but a lot has been going on behind the scenes. As you all know, Allan and Helen have been experimenting with audio for some time now. But after a lot of discussions and even more rehearsals and test-runs they’ve decided Allan will be the one to who will be bringing all our stories to audiobooks. This project has involved a huge learning curve for Allan which has taken up a great deal of his time, hence things being quiet over here.  Allan’s a bit of a perfectionist and has been going to great lengths to find voices for everyone who will be appearing in the audios. But it seems he’s nailed everyone down starting with me, who’s voice you heard in “Wolves and the Northern Lights” (which was shared in the last entry). If you missed it, here’s the link again so you can hear what I’ll be sounding like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Mxg1nIibXI

Audio Star

He’s already finalized different voices for Otto, Brian, Richard (Low-Man), Dr. Jack, Lisa, Marisa, Isabella, and the rest of the cast from both “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” and “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At A Time”. Now begins the full-scale effort to bring all of us to life in audio. Mind you, Allan’s been going through one heck of a learning curve and is currently sharing all he learned over on our sister blog “The Musings of Two Creative Minds” where he and Helen talk about the writing and creative process. If you’re interested in seeing what he’s shared so far here are the first three installments:

Part I: https://www.musingsoftwocreativeminds.com/2019/07/adventures-in-audio-recording.html

Part II: https://www.musingsoftwocreativeminds.com/2019/08/adventures-in-audio-recording-part-ii.html

Part III: https://www.musingsoftwocreativeminds.com/2019/08/adventures-in-audio-recording-part-iii.html

NOTE: This particular series of blog entries about doing audio is still ongoing and more installments are on the way. So if you find yourself really enjoying those first three entries you might want to sign-up to be notified by e-mail when a new entry gets posted.

Now, besides working on bringing us all to life in audio, Allan has also been working on a collaborative story that does not involve the Para-Earth Series, with an old high school friend Mr. Richard Caminiti.

Rich

The two have just about finished the first draft of a five-year book called “The Pass” which also involves vampires, also set in the 1860’s but on the west coast. And the vampires involved are not like me or your traditional European types like Count Dracula. No, their characters are dealing with Chiangshi, vampires from China, more commonly known as the Hopping Vampire. And boy have Allan and Richard got some surprising twists and turns waiting for you all. It’s taken them this long to do write the story for several reasons:

      1 – They’ve been writing long-distance. Richard is on the east coast in North Carolina and Allan is on the west coast in California.

      2 – They’ve been doing a lot of Skyping over the past 5 years to brainstorm ideas, as well as give each other input on new directions the story kept taking.

     3 – Life got in the way a lot. For instance, Allan was still attending college full-time when they started and both have had health issues to contend with. Plus, Allan and Helen had to move twice during this period.

      4 – Allan was working with Helen on me and my friends and our stories.

    5 – Helen started a new solo-writing project called the “Forever Detective Series”. (Don’t panic, she’s not abandoning us or Allan, she’s still working on us with him). But Allan’s been helping her with that series as well, doing book covers and acting as her sounding board for ideas. But this too has taken up a fair amount of time and energies for both him and her.

Forever's Too Long Cover.jpg

And speaking of the Forever Detective Series, Helen’s first book came out just a couple of months ago and is available on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and many other outlets in both paperback and e-book form. The story involves a 1940’s detective getting hired by Interpol to help locate some stolen Russian art. As the story progresses our hero Raphael Jones will find himself discovering that magic and the supernatural do exist and his world will never be the same again. If you’d like to learn more here’s a little book trailer Allan and Helen put together (which also took up a fair amount of time and experience on the old learning curve). You’ll also find links to the various book sites to get your own copy of this brilliant new series, which Helen will be adding a second book to in late November/early December of this year. So please check it out, she’s done a brilliant job with blending 1940’s Film Noir with the Supernatural:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNoPA_ytUvc

hair rumple (3)

So as you can see, Allan and Helen have been QUITE busy ever since this year began. Which is why they haven’t been doing nearly as much updates here as they really would have liked to do. But that doesn’t mean they’ve been neglecting me or my friends. Stories have been quietly under way this whole time. A whole second anthology has been taking shape, again with stories from this blog as well as brand new untold tales.

Furthermore, Allan and Helen have been working on “The Door” which involves my old flame Police Sergeant Veronica Ross, her new fiancee Alex Hill (the lucky dog), my old friend Jason Cloudfoot’s niece Julie (who I helped rescue from a snowstorm when she was only 9 years old), and a few other people of my acquaintance. Why I’m bringing this book up is because I will be making several appearances in flashbacks, as well as me, Lisa and Marisa actually showing up at the end of that upcoming novel which will launch a whole new direction in the Para-Earth Series. For that point will actually bring all of us and the characters from “The Bridge”, “The Ship” and “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day At A Time” into a full-blown crossover as we take on the most haunted house in America, the legendary Harlequin House. It is within the walls of that terrifying place where people say “The only ones who walk those halls are the dead…”

At the same time, Allan and Helen have already gotten me and my friends’ next full-length novel “The Vampyre Blogs – Family Ties” already under way as well.

But first, my friends and I need to be re-introduced to a whole new set of readers. A little while back, Allan explained that after talking with readers that “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home” would be more at home under the YA (Young Adult) label since most of the story is told from Lisa and Marisa’s point of view. So, he’s been very busy working on making that happen as well. Including,  going as far as creating a whole new cover for the book featuring the girls.

Revised TVB CH Border Cover

He and Helen have also created a new backcover as well…

Ever since her father was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, Marisa has had nightmares about the disease taking the form of a vampire, slowly killing him. She can no longer stand movies or books involving even ‘good guy’ vampires, much less any of the old horror movies she used to watch with him. She even stopped hanging out with her best friend Lisa who got into Goth clothing and make-up, even though Lisa has been trying to be there for her this whole time.

But all that is about to change with the arrival of young and handsome Nathan, a family friend Lisa grew up calling Uncle. Not only does his arrival set both girl’s hearts beating, but it gives them a chance to renew the friendship both have sorely missed.  

However, there’s more to Nathan than Marisa realizes. Lisa knows he is a vampyre-like being, the very thing Marisa detests. Yet he may also be the only hope for Marisa’s father, as well as the entire town. For unknown to all, a truly horrific being from the Para-Earth where Nathan was originally “altered” has entered their reality. And now he is the only one who can stop it.

The re-release of the book will be taking place in just a few weeks on October 1st. And this time we will be available everywhere, not just on Amazon (although you’ll still be able to find us there as well). Though we do ask all of you to please help spread the word. We’re very excited to meet new readers and continue our adventures because there are a LOT of  them to come.

So that about brings you all up to speed. Clearly, there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes that Allan and Helen have not been talking about. But, as you can see, time has not been a luxury for them, which is why I felt it necessary to tell you myself.

Thanks again for all your patience and stay tuned, because as I already said, there is a lot more coming. Allan will be sharing some more samples of his audio work with you all and if everything goes well the first audiobook(s) will be out in time for this Christmas so stay tuned. We’re all very excited for you to hear from us personally as our adventures continue.

Until the next time I hijack this blog, take care.

Yours Respectfully,

Nathaniel Eoghan Steward

figure by a stream

Lisa’s Private Thoughts, December 19th, 2012 – Christmas Tree Time

Tonight we got our Christmas tree.  Some of you may may think we’d left it a bit late, but since I’m a December baby, my parents got into the habit of waiting until after my birthday to put up any Christmas decorations.  One of my mother’s sisters was also a December baby who often complain about how her birthday got overshadowed by Christmas, so my parents go out of their way to make sure that did not happen with me.  Especially not this year when I turned sixteen.

But that had been over a week ago and I was more than ready for Christmas now.  In fact, I’m thinking of telling my parents next year that we should get our tree the day after Thanksgiving.  We could just decorate it for my birthday and then redo it again for Christmas.

You see I love the smell of pine trees and forests.  Especially in wintertime and at night.  Which is why going out to get our tree was so much fun this time.  As soon as dinner was over, Dad told us to get our coats and pile into the Suburban.  “It’s tree time!” he smiled.

“More like about time,” Mom muttered under her breath, while getting her coat on in record time.

Soon we were driving down a snowy lane with snow covered trees on either side of us.  There was no one else on the road, so it felt kind of spooky in some ways.  I swear, there’s nothing like being surrounded by huge trees at night to make you feel really small.  Yet it was beautiful at the same time.

After a while Mom said, “Where are going?  There aren’t any tree lots out this way.”

“We’re getting our tree the old fashion way, straight out of the best supplier known to man.  The forest itself,” Dad smiled.

“We’re going to chop one down?” I cried in dismay.

“No, Sweetie, we’re going to dig one up,” Dad corrected me.  “Remember, cut trees don’t last very long around Uncle Nate.”

Immediately, my mood skyrocketed even higher.  “He’s coming this year?”

“Dear, you weren’t supposed to say anything,” Mom scolded.

“She was going to find out anyway,” he told her,  “See, that’s him up ahead waiting for us.”

I practically climbed into the front seat with them to get a better look.  Sure enough, in a clearing up ahead stood Nathan wearing a an old fashion burgundy frock coat, with a black cape over it.  While on top of his blonde hear, he had a black beaver hat angled every so slightly to give him a dashing look.

By now my little brother Geoffrey, who had been sleeping the whole time woke up and started yelling, “Unca Nate… Unca Nate…” at the top of his little lungs.  If you haven’t guessed, he adores our godfather.

Luckily we were able to park quickly and got him out of the car.  Since I was right next to him, I ‘fun’ of getting him out of his car-seat.  Let me tell you, trying to deal with an overexcited two-year old who won’t stop squirming is an experience I won’t soon forget.  Nor will my stomach where he kept kicking me without realizing it, because he wanted to get to Nathan so badly.

Thank goodness Nathan saw my plight and took Geoffrey from me.  Immediately, my baby brother calmed down and started babbling at him in a mix of words and childish gibberish.  Mom and Dad looked on with amusement while Nathan hung on my brother’s every ‘word’ until he was finished.

“Well you certainly have had an interesting day,” Nathan told him, “I look forward to having more of these talks with you over the coming days.  But for now, we need to find a good tree and we have lots to choose from.”

Looking around I saw he was right.  We did have a lot of choices, but there was one slight problem.  “Kind of big aren’t they?” my Mom remarked, taking Geoffrey from him.

Nathan turned to my dad the two began muttering to one another.  I managed to catch a few snippets like: “I thought you said she’d be okay with punching a holes into the ceiling and possibly the roof…”  and  “….we’d have had to cut through some of the crossbeams and…”

I noticed Mom rolling her eyes several times before they finally finished.

Clapping his gloved hands Dad said, “Nathan says there’s some really nice trees over on the north slope just a few hundred yards from here. I just need to get the sled and pot out from the back of the car.”

“Did you remember the shovels?” Mom asked, and he froze.

Immediately my father froze and winced.  “Oops.”

“Dad!” I cried but Nathan intervened saying, “Don’t worry, I’ve got it covered.  Just follow me.”  and with that he started heading off towards the north slope.

Naturally I raced to join him.  Soon the whole family was following close behind as we slowly made our way through the snowy woods.

At one point we spotted some deer nearby, who did not seem to mind our presence at all.  They stared at us for a while, until they were sure we didn’t have anything to offer them and then moved on.  Soon we emerged from the forest and into what was undoubtedly the north slope.

All around us stood pines ranging from four feet to heaven knows, all covered in snow.  It was a beautiful sight.  I almost felt guilty for our intruding on such a festive scene.  But, we were here on a mission and I knew weren’t going to leave until we located and secured our quarry.

After a few minutes, of knocking snow off a few of the six foot trees, my parents found one they liked.  I had to agree, that their choice was a good one.  It had a lovely shape and would fit nicely in the living room.  But first we had to get it out of the ground.

Turning to Nathan I said, “So how do you plan to get this puppy out of the ground without shovels?”

Smiling he said, “Funny you should mention the word ‘puppy’.”  With that he took a few steps away from me and knelt down in the snow, covering himself entirely with the black cloak.  For several seconds nothing happened.  Then there was movement under the ebony cloth and soon two large black dogs emerged from underneath the cape which fell to the ground and became flat.

“PUPPIES!” my little brother cried excitedly.  He loves dogs, but can’t play with them because he’s very allergic to their fur.  A part of me quickly surmised that this would not be a problem with these two beasts.  As if to prove my point, they went over to where my mother was holding Geoffrey, and allowed him to pet them.

Then the pair trotted over to where the tree we’d chosen stood and began digging in a circle.  Snow went flying in all directions, making the rest of us take a few steps back to keep out of range.  But soon, the dark soil began to replace the white stuff letting us know the real work had begun.  Out of curiosity I bent down and picked up a piece of the thrown soil and found it was still quite solid and frozen.

I shook my head in wonder and marveled at the power of my godfather once more.  I’ve long known of his shape-shifting talents, but sometimes forget just how much strength he is capable of demonstrating.

  

Within minutes the tree wobbles and tilts to one side, as the two dogs emerge from behind it and slip back under the black coat from which they’d emerged.  As my father brings the sled with the big pot on it near the tree, I watch the shapes moving beneath the cape and breathe a sigh of relief when I see hands appear and Nathan stands up.  As he readjusted his hat, I could see that there’s not a speck of anywhere on his hands or face.  He truly is a wonder to behold sometimes.

Anyway, he and Dad managed to lift the tree with its large ball of dirt and roots, into the big pot… or rather tub on the sleigh and quickly made sure it was a good fit.  Then we headed back to the cars and stood it upright in the back of the pickup, Nathan had brought.  In a few weeks, we’ll bring it back and replant it, just as Nathan has shown us so it can continue its life among its siblings.

Two hours later, we had the tree back at home and fully decorated.  Dad has just lit the log in the fireplace, while Nathan is resting on the sofa with a blanket over his legs.  Or rather where his legs would be.  On the floor nearby, Geoffrey is playing with a couple of smaller versions of the black dogs who dug our Christmas tree out of the ground.

Poor Nathan, he’s going to be legless for a good hour or more, meaning he’ll be stuck on the sofa.  I’m going to join him after I finish this post.  He’s going to be staying with us all throughout the holidays this year.  Normally he heads to Connecticut to visit another part of his ‘extended’ family to spend Christmas Eve, but they are celebrating elsewhere this year which means he’s all mine… or rather ours this time.

Glancing over at the archway that leads to the kitchen I can see my mom and dad enjoying a good long kiss under the mistletoe.   I love seeing them like that.  It really makes the season all the more right to me.

Love, family and friends, those are the greatest gifts to have at this time of year.  And I’m going to go get a little of the first, right now.  I’ve got a little bit of mistletoe of my own in my pocket and there’s a very inviting spot right next to Nathan on the sofa.

This is going to be very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year indeed….

****So ends this year’s holiday installment of The Vampyre Blogs – Private Edition.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it.  May all your hopes and wishes come true during this festive season.  And may each and everyone one of you enjoy some of the magic of this season.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE

ANNOUNCEMENT – COMING THIS NOVEMBER THE FIRST “VAMPYRE BLOGS ANTHOLOGY” AND OTHER NEWS…

With the completion of Nathan and Otto’s rather lengthy adventure with the Unicorns and Terror Raptors, I thought now might be a good time to let you all know that Helen and I have been hard at work on a brand new Vampyre Blogs book. This volume is set to be released just after this coming Thanksgiving, so you only have to wait another four months to get your hands on this latest installment of the Para-Earth Series.

However… unlike the first book, this one will be an anthology instead of a novel. We will be taking select entries from this nearly four year old blog site to be included in the anthology. Now you may be asking yourself, why put a bunch of stories that are available online into a collection? Well, I’d been getting some e-mails and messages on Facebook, that newcomers to the site telling us that they loved Nathan and company, but found scrolling through so many pages to get to the earlier stories was a bit tedious to say the least.

Upon repeatedly hearing this, Helen and I went over the site and found that had created almost fifty different stories. And while some of them were short, others were so long that they could have anywhere from two to six separate entries to tell entire tale.

While going over some of the earlier and more recent entries, I also began to notice some glaring problems that had been overlooked when they were originally published. This was the direct result of the fact that all of the stories in this blog were basically 1st drafts. Meaning of course they were not fully edited so the ‘occasional’ (massive understatement) misspelling or less-then-perfect punctuations appear in a number of them.

However I can tell you now that all the stories going into the anthology will be getting edited and have a few tweeks made to them for better clarity of reading. Also, the stories will be put in a chronological order. This means they will appear in the anthology by according to when the character telling the tale originally wrote/experienced the adventure. Furthermore, some adjustments being made to some of the stories to create a more smooth timeline for who met who when.

The purpose of doing these ‘adjustments’ is so that the readers can have a better idea of how each of these life events shaped the characters’ personalities before they appear in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.

And as they say on television…

 

Both Helen and I agreed right off the bat that any anthology we created needed to have new never-before seen tales in it. In this case, out of the 23-24 stories we currently have lined up for the anthology, six to seven (about a third) of the stories are completely NEW and will not be appearing on this site. Several of these new tales involve Nathan’s ‘long-time’ Otto, aka “The Professor”, who made his debut in “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”. Both his introduction in the novel and his comment, “Apparently, I am am made of NOPE…” have caught the imagination of our readers who have been clamoring for more details on this strange man who Nathan looks up to as a mentor, as well as friend.

Also, since Helen and I are both artists, we are going to try and add some original pen and ink artwork to a number of the stories. We will also be placing either an Intro or an Afterthought to each tale explaining either how the story came to be.

We are also planning more anthologies for the future, not only for the Vampyre Blogs, but also the rest of the characters appearing in Para-Earth Series such as: Alex Hill, Veronica Ross (who along with her boss Roy Petersen – appear in two of the tales in this anthology) and their friends…

Our goal is to release “The Vampyre Blogs – One Day at a Time” on Black Friday or Cyber Monday at the latest, so add it to your holiday wish list, or think about someone you know who’d love a good read on those cold winter nights.

Finally, we are also exploring another avenue with the Para-Earths namely… AUDIOBOOKS!  We’ve had a number of people asking us if and when we’d make the books available in that form.  So currently we are looking into that area and will be providing updates soon.  With we might even have a couple of short stories in audio form for free, to be released just in time for the holidays so we can get some feedback from all of you.

With all that said you can see we have a lot of plans for both The Vampyre Blogs and the rest of the Para-Earth Series in the works.  But have no fears, new stories will still be appearing here as well.  So stay with us and please help spread the word about Nathan, his friends, and the rest of the Para-Earth Series.  The fun has just begun…

Amazon US:

https://www.amazon.com/Allan-Krummenacker/e/B00B1W8TEU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1501360496&sr=8-1

Amazon.UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Allan-Krummenacker/e/B00B1W8TEU/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Barnes and Noble:

 https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/allan+krummenacker?_requestid=724422

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/1383

Questions, questions, and more questions…

Greetings dear readers.  I know its already 2/3rs of the way through January and there’s been no new posts here, which of course has prompted a number of questions such as “Are we getting any new stories?”, “Tell us you your still writing about these characters…”, “The book is still coming later this year, right?”and even “Are you planning on keeping this blog going?”

So many questions, but luckily I have a simple answer for all of them:

The blog is continuing and new stories are coming.  The book is still on schedule to be released around Sept/Oct of this year.

The reason why I haven’t been posting anything new lately has been because of a little thing called

I had really hoped that during the winter break from university I’d have a chance to catch up on my writing and get a bunch of stories lined up.  As it turns out, life had other plans for me.  Between the holidays and having family visiting, December and early January were quite busy.

Then as things started to quiet down I got a job offer, which I have accepted, with the County of Monterey.  This will be a full-time job which means I can only take 6 units of school at a time.  However, in order to keep my current housing situation here at campus I need to be full-time.  I still have a lease here that lasts until the end of May, so my wife and I have sent an appeal to allow us to stay until then while we arrange for new housing elsewhere.  If that is accepted, we’ll be okay.  Otherwise, we’ll have to scramble and find a new place much sooner.

I should have answer by this weekend or early next week. If our appeal is refused… things could get complicated for a while.  So please bear with me and I’ll fill you all in as soon as I have an answer and know what the next few months have in store for us.

Also, if you don’t mind, keep your fingers crossed for us as well…

We need all the luck we can get right now.

In the meantime, know that Nathan has been kept busy elsewhere.  I have been working on “The Door” which comes out before “The Vampyre Blogs-Coming Home”, and will guest star Nathan along with the characters from my first two books “The Bridge” and “The Ship”.

“The Door” will wrap up those storylines, as well as reveal more of Nathan’s past experiences that have been hinted at in several entries here and will be well-worth checking out.

So stay tuned and thank you for your continued patience.  I’m eager to get back to more stories involving Nathan, Marisa, Lisa and everyone else.  And believe me all of them have been clamouring inside my head with story ideas they want to see written next as well.

I might have to have them draw straws to see who gets their story told first.

That’s all I have for now.  Until next time my friends…

Nathan’s Private Journal, October 12th, 2011, “The Theater” – Conclusion

The kiss had taken me by surprise, but I didn’t fight it.  Instead I returned it with all the gusto and feeling I’ve always felt for her.  I think it took her by surprise, because when we finally parted she had to take a moment to catch her breath.

“You never did hold back,” she managed to whisper after a few seconds, but there was a smile on her face.   Then it slowly faded as she looked away saying, “Paul’s the same way.  The two of you are so alike.”

“Except he’s built like Mr. America whereas I’m still on the slender side,” I pointed out.  Paul Novak had been on of her muscle-man back-up dancers from her Las Vegas revue.  The two of them had been together for sixteen years, and as far as I knew all had been well.  But the kiss that Mae had just given me, was worrisome.  “Is everything okay between you two kids?” I asked.

She turned and gave me one of her trademark ‘looks’.  “Honey, if you think I’m a kid, you need glasses or to cut down on the drinking,” she smirked, but I could see in her eyes she was troubled by something.

Ignoring the opening she’d left me for a good comeback, I went over to her and asked, “What’s wrong, Baby?”

“Paul,” she answered with a sigh.

“He’s not stepping out on you, is he?” I asked in surprise.  From what I’d seen of the big man in the past, his devotion to Mae rivaled and even possibly surpassed my own.  Surely he wouldn’t be cheating on her after sixteen years.

Mae quickly shook her head.  “He’s as devoted to me as ever, it’s just…” Looking up and around at our surroundings she said, “This place is like me.  Older, falling down in some areas… while he’s still  pretty vibrant and young by comparison…”

“And can’t keep his hands off of you, right?” I finished for her with a smile.

That made her laugh and some of the old confidence came back.  “You’d better believe it, Honey,” she replied in her Diamond Lil persona.  “Not that I’m complaining, you understand?”

Nodding I smiled and leaned up against the doorway and asked gently, “So why did you kiss me?”

“Sometimes, I just wonder why he’s still so crazy about me,” she confided.  “I knew from the beginning there was a thirty-year difference in our ages, and that I wouldn’t look the way I did at fifty forever.  I see the changes, yet he’s still as in love with me as ever, possibly more.  Can he really be that happy with me or am I living in a dream?”

I’d seen her vulnerable side before, but it had been a long time ago.  Everyone believed the tough, wise-cracking, sassy-blonde act from her movies was the real her, but I and a few others knew better.   I also knew what she was really asking.  Was she still beautiful enough to fire men’s passion, especially with someone who had shared many intimate moments with her so long ago.

Before I could say anything she continued.  “You told me about your first wife, Madeleine and how she’d been twenty years older than you when you married her.”

I nodded, “She’d been married to my commanding officer and best friend, Brian Weston.  I was the one who brought the news to her about his falling at Gettysburg in 1863.  She and I married a couple of years later.”

“And you stayed with her until she died in her early seventies,” Mae continued.

“That’s right,” I told her.  And then I added without pause, “And I ravished her almost every night up until that day.”

“Even though she didn’t look the same as when you married her?  Didn’t the lines or other changes bother you?”

I’m proud to say I shook my head with complete confidence and honesty.  “She was still my Madeleine and I was as crazy about her as I was the first time I laid eyes on her when I was ten.  And had she lived another twenty years I would’ve held, kissed and caressed her every moment I could.”

“Is that what would be happening to me right now?  If I had said ‘yes’ all those years ago, you and I…”

“Wouldn’t be standing here simply talking, trust me,” I assured her and stepped closer.

She held up a hand, “Easy there, Tiger.  I’m spoken for…”

“I know,” I replied and took her hand and stared out towards the glass doors near the concession stand.  “And he’s waiting for you.”

A look of amazement crossed her face.  “Paul’s here?” she gasped, “I didn’t tell him where I was going.  Did he follow me?” she asked getting a little cross.

“No, he was just passing and I stopped him with a small dose of my mist,” I explained.  “I noticed him while I was still standing by the concession stand and you called out to me.  A part of me assumed something was up, so I let a piece of myself slip outside and got him to hang around while we talked.”

She studied me for a moment.  “Can you tell if he’s upset?”

“More like worried about you.”

“I’ve been a little moody lately, thinking about what you and I have been discussing,” she admitted.

“He loves you as much as ever,” I told her.  “Never doubt it.  And I know you love him the same way.  With love like that, age will never be an issue.”

She looked at me and smiled.  “I wish I could’ve believed you back in Roaring Twenties when you said those same words to me.  But I just couldn’t see you really staying with me as I got older and you stayed young.”

“That’s not true,” I pointed out.  “I do age, just at a much slower rate than most people.  The truth is I physically age 1 year for every ten that passes.  Remember, I was only sixteen when I joined the Union Army.”

“And now you look like you’re in your mid-twenties,” she replied with a sigh.  Then a sly grin crossed her face, “But you’re still on the scrawny side.  I like my men with a lot of muscle.”

“I’ve got plenty of muscle,” I protested.  “Remember that night when those five guys…”

She cut me off saying, “I meant muscles that show, Honey.  No offense.”

“None taken,” I assured her with a smile.  Then I took another look around us and asked, “So were you serious about restoring this place?  Or was it just an excuse to bring me here?”

“I’ve been thinking about it for a while actually,” she admitted.

“Then let’s do it,” I replied and then caught the smirk on her face.  Immediately I realized my faux pas and quickly added, “Restoring the theater, I mean.”  I could tell my face was turning red even before I spoke.

Not that it mattered, she was grinning from ear to ear.  Then she said, “Even after all these years, I can make you blush like schoolgirl.  I must still have IT.”

“You do, Mae,” I assured her, “Now why don’t you go and join Paul outside.  Tell him about your plans and then call me.  The three of us can get together and discuss how to get the restoration going.”

“Why don’t you come outside with me and talk to him now?” she asked.

“He’s been on edge for a while,” I told her.  “Finding out you met me in an old abandoned theater, may not look right, if you know what I mean.”

She nodded.  “You always were a gentleman.”

“Except for when you brought out the beast in me,” I smiled and waggled my eyebrows.

“I certainly did,” she grinned back and headed out through the lobby.

I stayed in the theater until she and Paul were gone, then I slipped out in my mist form to make sure they were doing okay.  I caught up with them as they were walking through a park, where I took a little liberty and spread myself out like a host of fireflies and illuminated their way.  I could tell Mae suspected it was me, but Paul remained blissfully ignorant.  He simply pulled her closer and enjoyed being with the woman he loved.

I did hear from them a few days later and the three of us bought the theater and started the restoration process.  We stayed close for the rest of Mae’s life.  After she passed, I kept in touch with Paul and watched over him, just as I knew Mae would want, until he joined her.  By then I was watching over her goddaughter who was now tugging at my sleeve saying, “Uncle Nate?”

I blink and find myself back in the present.  “Sorry, I was wool-gathering,” I told her.

“More like you were thinking about my godmother again, weren’t you?” Olivia teased.

“She was amazing,” I smile wistfully and look back at the playbill.  “Let’s go for it.  I think a few nights of burlesque and some vaudeville will be a lot of fun?”

Olivia smiles and turns to Gina, “See?  I told you he’d go for it.”

The Latina beauty nods and folds her arms saying, “Yeah, but what about the ‘other’ show you want to put on for next Halloween?”

“Whatever it is, I’m in,” I tell them, without pause and quickly regret it.  The two of them eye each other wickedly and pull out another poster and unfold it for me to see.  Immediately I regret my hasty words.  “And what part do you have in mind for me exactly?” I ask with a sinking feeling.

“The mad doctor of course,” Olivia smiles.

“NO!  No way!  Not happening!” I protest, but it’s already a lost cause.  Each of them has one of my arms and are dragging me off the stage towards the dressing room for a trial make-over.  I argue all the way to the dressing room, but it’s too late.  It turns out that Olivia can be just as persuasive as her godmother, and somewhere back in the theater I can hear Mae laughing herself silly.

An Entry From The Private Journal Of Doctor Jack Tyler – September 2nd, 201-

 *Greetings one and all.  Today I take great pleasure in introducing you to yet another character from “The Vampyre Blogs – Coming Home”.  Meet Doctor Jonathan “Jack” Tyler, or Doctor Jack as everyone calls him.  He’s another member of Nathan’s extended family, as well as a dear friend to Brian and his family.  Jack of course knows Nathan’s secret and being the town surgeon, keeps a good supply of blood on hand for him.  But Jack didn’t always know about Nathan, and he’s here to tell you all how he found out.  I hope you enjoy meeting him and hearing his tale…

Things were busy at the clinic today, as they’ve been most of the week.  With the start of school there were a lot of last minute immunizations, check-ups, summer sniffles and whatnot to deal with.  Things should quiet down for a bit, but soon it’ll be cold and flu season again.  Then of course there’ll be the holidays, not that I mind.  I love helping decorate the clinic with my staff.  I’ll also get to help with the decorations at home as well, but that won’t be for a few weeks.

God I love this time of year, seeing all the leaves turning it’s as if mother nature whipped out her most vibrant paints and started dabbing at the trees.  Looking up I saw the sun was already setting and quickly got into my car.  From there I drove out of town and soon found myself driving down some the most beautiful country roads, bordered by forest on both sides.

Turning down a well-known side road, I headed deeper into the woods until I started seeing cars dotting both sides of the street.  But I could see people heading back to their cars.  Not many folks like to wander the trails after the sun started going down, but me and my wife love it out here.  I manage to find a good spot to park near where the street actually ends in a wide circle, designed so folks can turn around and head back the way they came.  There’s also a fence with an opening that puts your right on the walking path that leads into the woods.

Getting out, I recognized a number of my patients and neighbors.  This is a popular stretch of woods and in autumn, none of us can get enough of this area.  As I make my way down the picturesque path I’m transported back to another time, some thirty years ago, when my life had taken a much darker outlook. My mother had been diagnosed with cancer, and suddenly my world of popularity on and off the playing field had become so meaningless…

My ruminations are suddenly interrupted by the appearance of a red fox who is standing in the middle of the path a dozen yards ahead of me.  The animal is looking at me and cocks its head in a curious fashion.  There had been a fox back then too, I remember.

The animal starts to swish its tail excitedly and then proceeds to trot towards me, stopping occasionally as if to check me out.  Finally, when it’s just a few feet away, it gets excited and then races around my legs and then starts heading off to the path.  It pauses briefly to stare at me and I just know I’m supposed to follow him, which I do.

Soon, I find myself deeper in the woods, listening to the crunching of the leaves beneath my feet, as well as enjoying the canopy of gold, red, yellow and green  above me.  I also keep track of my guide who keeps stopping to make sure he hasn’t lost me.  As we venture deeper into the woods the sounds of a running water reach my ears and I know for sure where I am and who’s waiting for me.

We come to a clearing that overlooks a large stream with a waterfall just off to my left.  Ahead of me there’s a big blanket spread out with my wife Cheryl setting out plates.  My son and daughter, Joe and Darlene are with her.  While over by the edge of the stream stands my mother and the man who saved her, Nathan.  Although she’s still in her late sixties, I have to admit she’s still a fine looking woman.  The fact that she wouldn’t still be here if not for our family friend and guardian, has never been lost on me or my wife.  She and I had been high school sweethearts and I’d nearly pushed her away when my mother got the cancer diagnosis, but Nathan kept me from losing her as well.

He’d found me in this very spot all those years ago and given me hope when I thought there was none to be found anywhere.  That was the day he’d also shared his secret with me and showed me that even when life throws you what seems to be the ultimate curve ball, that hope can appear out of that darkness if you just keep your eyes open.

I look up and see the sun is fading.  Soon the stars will be out.  I wonder if tonight will be the night that Nathan shares his secret with my children?  A part of me hopes so.  The truth can be frightening, but it can also be wondrous as he showed me that lonely autumn night so long ago…

TO BE CONTINUED…