Guest Bloggers! Vampire Empire!

Three years ago I fell in love with a new series called Vampire Empire, a lush epic adventure with a deeply romantic heart.  Written by the wonderful husband and wife team of Clay and Susan Griffith, the books are…well, utterly phenomenal.

The third novel in this trilogy is called THE KINGMAKERS, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.  It is such a good book.  To promote it, Clay and Susan have been on blog tour, and today they join us to discuss their “scariest experiences.”

There’s a huge giveaway, too.  Click on the link at the bottom for a chance to win the entire series — signed — and more.

And hey, feel free to share any spooky scary stories in the comments!

What Scares Us blog tour and giveaway:

Susan

My eldest sister was notorious for tormenting me with scary stories. I was the youngest and the therefore the easiest target for such things. We had a great old house in Eddyville, NY. It had a walk-in attic and a separate two-story garage. To get us out of the house my parents gave us a playroom in the garage where we could paint and draw to our hearts desire. In other words, make a mess without damaging the main house. Smart. So we were always going up the stairs and down the long hall to the room at the end to do our “art”. However, as we went down the hall there was a door on the left. It was always locked. Not, just locked but with a heavy chain and padlock. We were told never to go in there. It was dangerous.

I didn’t understand why. My sister was quick to tell me it was because our mad Uncle Eugene was in there, chained to the wall. He’d kill us if ever we went in there. Only our father was strong enough to manage him.

Of course, I believed her. Who doesn’t trust their big sister? Since my rubber stamp collection was in the playroom, I had to pass that door everyday. It took all of my courage to run past it. Even when I played, I did so quietly so as not to disturb him. One day I was so focused on my “art” that I didn’t hear the rattling in the room until too late. Uncle Eugene was awake! I could hear his footsteps as he shifted around, his chains rattling as he dragged them over the wooden floors. I clutched my newly inked masterpiece to my chest and looked down the hall. The door was unlocked and partially ajar!

Eyes wide and my heart in my throat, I stared down the long corridor. Did he know I was here? Was he already out of the room? I was alone in the garage with my Mad Uncle Eugene!

From the house, my mom shouted that it was dinner. I was so terrified I couldn’t even call out to her. I stayed there for several minutes listening for Uncle Eugene. He had stopped moving. I decided to try to sneak past without making any noise, praying Uncle Eugene wouldn’t hear me. I was just about to the door when I saw the knob twitch and it started to open. I ran, flying down the stairs and out the door, believing that he was on my heels. I didn’t stop till I was up in my room and slamming the door shut behind me.

As it turns out, the room was just my father’s tool room. He always kept it locked so we wouldn’t hurt ourselves with all the saws and nails and whatnot. For years I was terrified, but it was only equipment. I don’t even have an Uncle Eugene, mad or otherwise!

I’m kind of disappointed.

Clay

There’s this house. Whenever I’m there it’s always large and always interesting. The architecture actually changes from visit to visit. It can be Victorian with dark wood and heavy carvings and thick rugs. Or it can be modern with glass and sleek fixtures and open space. There are staircases, sometimes freestanding and circular, leading to other parts of the house. There are balconies and lofts. Sitting spaces are comfortable and intimate, even within such a vast house. Entire wings are rarely used, but always clean and ready.

The house is empty except for me, but it has everything I need. It’s cheerful and calming. I’m free to wander all the bright, sunny floors. Even if I’ve been there for a while, I always find unknown hallways and new rooms. It’s always a pleasure to be there.

Then it changes as the afternoon wanes and the sun begins to sink. The light in the house grows thin and shadows get long. It’s only then that I always realize that something will be there soon. And I always know I don’t want to see it. I have to leave the house and the staircase and comforting spaces and ever-expanding wings to explore. None of them are safe now. I can’t be there when it gets back. I don’t know what it is because I’ve never seen it.

I experience this dream every few months, and have for over twenty years. It’s never exactly the same house twice. I don’t always recognize it at the beginning, but just as I’m starting to relax and appreciate the quirks of the house, I realize with dismay “Oh, this is that house.” I always know how it will end because I’ve never brave enough to see what is coming home.

To enter Clay and Susan’s giveaway, check out the link below!

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14 thoughts on “Guest Bloggers! Vampire Empire!

  1. I loved this series so much!! Gareth was such a spectacular hero, his love for Adele showed thru out the series.

  2. When I was a kid, there were moments when we were sure our little house was haunted. Pictures on the walls would end up askew, sometimes moments after straightening them. Houseplants would get knocked over and seemingly dragged through the house. As I grew up, it was easy to explain these things: pictures askew was due to two hyper kids (my sister and I) running through the house all the time. Houseplants and cats (who wore collars and were rather clumsy) are not a great combination.

    There is still one thing I haven’t managed to explain. One time, my dad left our cassette player on “record” while we went away to visit our grandparents, sure he would pick “something” up. When we got home, we listened. My doberman pinscher was barking and snarling in a way I’ve never heard him snarl. And, sounding very close to the recording radio, then moving away (getting quieter), what sounded very, very much like a heartbeat. I have no idea what it was. I am guessing my parents found a way to pull one over on us, but I can’t figure out how. All I know is that I slept with my head under the covers for the rest of my childhood in that house. 🙂

  3. I’m always scared whenever my daughter get sick, but the scariest place I have ever been is the Tower of London where I swear something ran cold fingers across my neck when I was climbing the spiral staircase.

  4. I loved this series!! Excellent from start to finish! Thanks for hosting the blog tour!

  5. Adele and Gareth are in my top 5 favorite literary couples ever. You wrote their love story so beautifully. I hope that you may revisit their world with glimpses of them in the future.

    I am terrified of roaches. I know it’s goofy but I have a terrifying fear of them when I see one. I freak out. Which sucks since I live in the south.

  6. I have a well tuned startle reflex so almost anything startles me. I’m a joy at movies, scary or otherwise. 🙂

    What scares me – being alone at my grandmother’s farm house at night. She’s gone and the house has been demolished, but it was 100 years old and it would creak and moan at night. Shadows would skulk and dance across the walls and the floors. I always had this sense that something was watching me from the depths of the dark. The dreams I used to have, and still do occaisonally, about the demons who danced in that house. *shiver*

  7. This speaks to my mean streak, but I kind of love Sandy’s sister. Also, I have that recurring house dream, too.

    I’m afraid of the dark. I’m the sort who can’t sleep unless I’m wrapped up like a burrito, with the blankets tucked around my feet so nothing can grab them, and a pillow over my head to shield me from the monsters. I absolutely dread having to get up to pee in the middle of the night, and I always put my feet down as far away from the bed as I can when I get up, and then sort of jump back into bed from a distance when I return.

  8. I really don’t scare easily, but I would have to say if anything I am scared by supernatural occult type things.

  9. Susan you are so fortunate to have a slightly cruel older sister who twisted your creative mind into just the right angles!
    Reading the Vampire Empire series this autumn has been a special treat for me. I seldom get to read fiction anymore purely for pleasure, but I strongly recommend this series to any lover of adventure or vampire lore.

  10. I work in a retail business where sometimes I am in the building alone. I have been given reports that the store is haunted and once on and off, in the six months that I have been working there, I have been spooked. The other day I heard footsteps during my conference call and actually walked out of the office to go investigate. Being alone can allow your mind to play tricks on you!

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