Thursday, December 9, 2010

Author C.J. Ellisson, Guest Blog and Free e-book!

Please welcome C. J. Ellisson, author of Vampire Vacation!  C. J. and I have been friends on Facebook for some time and finally met in person at A Day of Mystical Bloodlust back in October.  She's written a post on vampires and is offering a free e-book to all commenters in the next forty-eight hours.

Got Vamps?

What is it that attracts us to this creature? I've never stopped to analyze, I've accepted it as a reality.

When you look around at the over-stuffed bookshelves in brick-and-mortar establishments, troll the top sellers at large online retailers, and see the various imprints launched, it truly is a sight to behold. Whether your flavor is horror, light, dark, sexy, romance, crime-solver, or funny—there seems to be a vamp series to please.

I started writing as an escape. I wanted to have fun with it, so I wrote what I liked to read. The piece quickly evolved into an erotic suspense, tinged with humor, a bit of mystery, and a slight skirting of the dark. It doesn't fit into a cookie cutter mold. I'm not sure where it would belong on the shelves.

It would be arrogant to say next to Laurell K. Hamilton, but I can say her storytelling style certainly affected me when I read her work. She's a powerful writer who even though she has taken her series in a direction I'm not thrilled with, I can't deny she is a master in her craft.

What I want to know is what has happened to monogamy in regards to paranormal writing? Why is it the hero or heroine travels most of their path alone and—depending on the genre—may or may not wind up with someone in their lives at the conclusion? Who says you can't have fun in a tale with a team? Man and wife (or wife and wife, you get the drift) fighting against all odds, side by side, never wavering in their devotion to one another?

I hadn't realized when I penned my story I'd be one of the few writers who have married protagonists. Nick and Nora come to mind, so do Bones and Cat, or Amelia and Emerson... but the list is slim.

I wasn't sure if readers would respond to my unique tale with passion, adversity and strong characters. But I'm grateful to say they have. They reach out to me and write incredibly kind words about how they feel about Vivian and Rafe, how the story has moved them, reached them with certain passages, or just plain old turned them on.

Aside from the teasing I get from friends about my red-haired heroine sounding way too much like me, I can say I wouldn't change a thing. This rocky road as a new author has been a twisting, turning journey. Meeting other writers, like Denise, has been the light on the path when things get dark. We support, encourage, and inspire one another.

Have you ever had a dream you weren't sure could possibly come to fruition? In this season of dreams and good deeds, I encourage you to take a chance. The worst thing that can happen is you fail, right? And who among us has never failed? We've lived through it and will continue to—it is not our successes that define us, but our ability to overcome adversity.

Thanks for having me here today, Denise. In the spirit of giving and to show if I can make my dream come true then anyone can, I'd like to offer a free ebook to all commenters on your blog for the next 48 hours, please see below for the blurb. All they need to do is leave their email address and answer me this—what is your favorite flavor of vampire and why?
Wishing you all a very happy holiday season! And may all your dreams come true.

Thanks to you C. J. for your words of wisdom and your generous offer! Please read on for more information on C. J. and her work.

C.J. Ellisson, author of erotic urban fantasy, lives near Washington DC with her husband, two children aged 10 and 8, two Staffordshire Bull Terriers and a young cat she's newly allergic to.

After spending most of her working life dealing with real estate—either as a sales manager in wholesale mortgage banking, corporate trainer, Realtor or as a property manager—she's now writing full time and happy for the first time in years. Writing has become her passion and to find people want to read her stories feels like a dream come true.

You can visit C.J. at her website, on Facebook, Goodreads, or her Amazon author page. She loves hearing from readers, please drop her a line at


Here's a blurb from Vampire Vacation:
Meet Vivian. She’s a 580-year-old vampire who exudes sex, has a talent for drama, and is passionate about two things: her human husband, Rafe, and their resort for the undead. Her ability to project physical illusions has created the perfect vacation spot—a dark, isolated Alaskan hideaway where visitors can have their wildest fantasies come true.

Vivian knows the best performance requires perfect timing, but the powerful vamp is put to the test when she discovers a corpse in a locked guestroom minutes before the next arrivals. Always cool-headed, Rafe hides the body, convinced he and Vivian can find the culprit without disturbing their guests.

Juggling the increasingly outrageous demands of their customers while tracking a killer isn’t easy. Will their poking and prodding give them the answers they need, or will it uncover secrets Vivian would kill to protect?


Denise Verrico said...

C. J., I was interested in your comments on a vampire having a long-term monagamous relationship. I've always thought that kind of working relationship has been missing in the genre as well. Although Mia and Kurt in my books do stray, they share a deep bond and partnership. Good for you for striking a blow for long-term vamp commitment.

Katie S said...

Stopping by to show a little love. I remember CJ and Vampire Vacation from the Critique Circle. Absolutely love the book it's become! Kudos

David said...

I already have the book, so I'm just stopping by to offer, as a fellow Vampire writer, that C.J. (and Denise, as well) is well worth the investment of time and money to enjoy her work.

For those of us who enjoy the paranormal, especially peppered with a healthy dose of well-written erotica, this is a wonderful book to immerse yourself in.

David Nelson Bradsher, author of The Vampire Sonnets

C.J. Ellisson said...

Thanks again, Denise! And I think that's the first time anything I've written has been called "wise" ;-)

Katie! Of course I remember you and your book - speaking of which, I'm going to have to buy and read this season. It's exciting to think we worked on our stories at the same time together and they are finally a reality. I'll be emailing you - I bet you'd enjoying guesting on one of the blogs I'm on.

Cheers to you as well, my friend!

C.J. Ellisson said...

Thanks as well David!! You rock, my man!

Marissa Farrar said...

I'm currently about two thirds of the way through Vampire Vacation and I'm really enjoying it! It's definitely a different take on the usual angsty vampire stuff out there!
Thanks for the post C.J.

Anonymous said...

Nice to meet you, CJ. Your story sounds very interesting!!!

Amber Kallyn said...

Wow, thanks CJ. I like the dark moody vamps as long as they don't stray into A**hole territory. I expect a certain amount of haughtyness, but lately, it's - for me - a bit overdone. I get what you're saying about the relationships though. Some have 'em, most don't. Who know why? :)

Elizabeth said...

C.J. I enjoy your writing very much. I find your charcters so interesting and fun. How did you choose vampires in the first place?

Theresa @ TheCreativeWell said...

Wow! So generous of you!

I'm a totally smitten with most any vamp, but a dark, dangerous vamp wins my top award. :)

the_happy_soul @

author said...

Thanks for the awesome gift! For me, it's the danger, the possibility for a archetypal blending of light and shadow, and the fantasy element that can take us beyond the limitations of mortality that render vampires SO intriguing. My favorite vamps are strong, dark but not evil, powerful, yet complex - perhaps sensitive...containing all the paradoxes of humanity.

whitley gray said...

Hello, CJ.
I've read part of the book, and love the take on vampires (still my favorite paranormal creatures).
And yes, we need to take chances to succeed.
Cheers, Whitley

Cherry said...

Yikes! Thank you for the chance for a free ebook! :)

Anonymous said...

I'd kind of like to see more fun, carefree vampires. Probably sounds weird but I would.

Nicole Hadaway said...

I just want to say God Bless You for mentioning the much-loved Amelia Peabody series -- Amelia and Emerson rock (and they are still so attracted to each other and very much in love after all these years!).

Different is good -- I think the market wants new/different things, but publishers are afraid to take chances. Thank goodness the industry is changing and self-publishing is now a viable option to get good works out there.

Kelly M said...

HI CJ......
love the interview.... Would love to read more of your work... So thank you in advance...
So to answer your question...what is your favorite flavor of vampire and why?

I like the vampires that think that they are total hard a$$...Think that nothing can touch them, nothing effect them, they think that they need noone... Until..... they meet that one person..and everthing changes and they fall hard and find that they are nothing without this for why....because it is fun to see them struggle with emotions that they never knew they had......hehehe....

Thank you again,
Kelly M

C.J. Ellisson said...

Thank you all for such an amazing turnout! I'm sure Denise will be pleased. Remember, you need to leave your email so I can reach you later!

Thanks for all the interest, and I'm thrilled to read everyone's different take on vamps!

Jamie - I'm a guy, btw! said...

I'm a vampire nerd and I've heard positive things about Vampire Vacation...can't wait to read it!

kerribookwriter said...


I've gotta run out and Tweet about your giveaway here. But you know I'm already a fan (check), impressed by your writing (check), and a follower who knew you "when" (check).

So, let me just say how proud I am of you for doing things your way and making it look so easy.


Riley Quinn said...

Hey CJ,

Great post. I'm an equal opportunity vamp-lover. I like the funny, quirky heroine in Molly Harper's series, love Cat and Bones and more others.

I've got the book, so no need to give me one. Just wanted to stop by and say hi.

Jami Gold said...

What an interesting take on the genre! My personal favorite is the Spike of Buffy fame. He's obviously got a lot going on inside his head, he's tortured in many ways without being too brooding, but he's still the dark and dangerous kind of vampire.

Thanks! contact at jamigold dot com

Julie said...

I like the dark past type vampires who generally are currently good but still remember the past.