Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vampire Sociologist Bertena Varney /Halloween Giveaway

Happy Halloween!

I'm thrilled to welcome back Bertena Varney!  She will discuss a little of her experience as an author and Vampire Sociologist.  She's written a fascinating book on the legends, literature and culture of the vampire that includes helpful links to websites and reading lists.  I was excited when she asked me to contribute an article for the book, a portion of which you can read at my website

In addition, Bertena and I are co-hosting a Halloween giveaway!  There are two different prizes you can win.  Bertena will be giving away an ebook version of her book The Lure of the Vampire.  I'm also giving away a prize bundle of an ebook of My Fearful Symmetry, an "I Love New York Vampires" t-shirt with the Twilight of the Gods cover on it, a MFS pen and some other Halloween goodies.  To enter for Bertena's book, simply leave a comment that answers her question at the end of the post.  To enter for my prizes: You get one entry for commenting on Bertena's post and following this blog (mention in your comment) and another if you like my page on Facebook (Please leave a comment there as well to let me know you're entering.)  Become a member of my website and get yet another entry. 
Deadline to enter: November 1st, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST.  Winners will be chosen by random drawing and posted on November 2nd.  Please leave an email so you may be contacted. 

Good Luck!

*Ebook prizes are in the published PDF format that may be downloaded onto any computer or reader.

The Perception of Vampires in Society


Bertena Varney

While writing my book lure of the vampire, I received many questions and comments that I found shocking. 

First people assumed that if I was writing a vampire book then it had to be paranormal romance. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy some paranormal romance, but am more into the historical or mystery vampire fiction. Plus I am not a fiction writer. I love to read it, but I am not that creative.

When I mention that I write non fiction I get the question-- so you think you are a vampire? Uh no!

When I try the academic approach I get weird looks as well. People who haven't experienced a liberal arts program in soft science can't understand how this can be taught in college. They can't fathom that history isn't just American history but history, mythology and folklore of other cultures. Sociologically many people think that one can only teach sociology as it relates to business. In my classes I use a text titled Real World Sociology where we examine sociology on the real world- comic movies games books and monsters. It's a lot of fun, and the kids love it. They said that they couldn't imagine studying sociology could be so much fun.

They then ask what can you do with this study, and I tell them what I do... Teach, lecture tours, on line classes, write and review vampire books, movies and more.

I tell my students, like I tell everyone who has questioned what I do, if you could study, write, lecture and share what you love with people, wouldn't you?

This is the Halloween season, and my favorite time of year.  So here is my challenge... Read my book or any other reference book and find three types of vampires that you may not be familiar with and learn more about them. Look at how you have encountered vampires in pop culture in your everyday life.

Open your mind to all of the possibilities of vampires that you may not have encountered. Remember that there is a vampire for everyone.

So after doing this which is your favorite vampire? Traditional like Dracula? Romantic like Henry Fitzroy and Mick St. John? Brooding like Angel? Insane like Spike ? New age like Edward, Damon and Stefan?
So comment below and enter to win a free ebook from me!

You can follow Bertena at this links:

Excerpt from My Fearful Symmetry

I reached for the golden door to the ashram, only to crumple to my knees again swooning and dizzy. With the last of my strength, I inched my way on my belly across the open courtyard to my room. The sky above turned from black to purple to lavender. In another thirty minutes, the rays of the sun would cook my tattered flesh into Bolognese. It seemed like a good idea. I collapsed against the paving stones. Deep inside of me a voice called my name—only it wasn’t my name.


I lifted my aching head. The sacred spring lay between my room and me. The Goddess stood sentinel above the pool. Hers arms beckoned. The waters hastened healing. I pulled myself over and eased in, letting the water bathe my broken skin. It stung and burned, but at least I knew that I was still alive.

Kali’s black face looked down. Her long tongue stuck out as if to taunt me.

I clung with what strength remained to the pool’s stone edge. “Is this what you mean about the tyranny of the flesh?” But she didn’t answer. She remained silent and oblivious as death. “Bitch…” I lost my grasp on the lip of the pool and slipped below the surface, still gazing into her unseeing eyes.

I thrashed, but couldn’t pull myself to the surface. My body sank like a stone. Water filled my throat and nostrils. Consciousness dissipated into an explosion of dots, like colored pixels. My Mum’s voice floated in my head.

Hush a bye, don’t you cry

Go to sleep my little baby

When you wake, you shall have

All the pretty little horses…

The wavering image above me dissolved into golden skin and waves of dark hair. The Mother reached out two arms and pulled me from the water. The avatar’s supple, golden form suggested Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva. An aura of pulsating color surrounded her. I sputtered and coughed the liquid out of my lungs, collapsing into my benefactor’s arms. My head rested against a bosom soft and rounded, not hard and bony.

She lifted me as if I were a child, bearing me away to my room, and rolled me belly-down onto my bed. My head lay on its side. The hand stroking the wet hair away from my face felt warm. Lips full and red with blood kissed mine. Was this real, or was I hallucinating?

The Goddess anointed and bandaged my wounds. She pressed her own wrist to my lips restore me. Blood never tasted so sweet. Warm tears bathed my face as she kissed my mouth again, a sweep of silken hair brushing over my arm. As she drew back, my eyes focused, and her image became clear.

A pained hiss passed my cracked lips. “Sandhya?”


Denise Verrico said...

Bertena, thanks for coming back to celebrate Halloween with me! You know I like my vampires dark and edgy, but still sexy. Lestat and Armand are my kind of guys, but I do love Spike.

Bertena Varney said...

Thanks for having me again. Lestat is ok.. they are too feminine for me. I love SPike but also Henry Fitzroy and Christopher Lee as Dracula. I also like Michael Nouri in Cliffhangers as well.:)

Mark said...

Giving it some thought, I'm going to go with Cat Crawfield as my current favorite vampire.

Teawench said...

I've always loved Lestat because he was my first intro into vampires. But I also like a more vicious vampire. I'm not a fan of how they've gone all romancy.