Guest Author: Maggie Shayne & Her Vampires For Grown-up Girls

I’m thrilled to be hosting a guest blogger – New York Times bestselling author Maggie Shayne.  Maggie has been writing paranormal romance and romantic suspense since 1993, and she’s won oddles of awards and accolades along the way, including Career Achievment Awards from Romantic Times and the prestigious Rita Award from the Romance Writers of America.  You can read all about Maggie and her achievements here.

I’m going to turn the blog over to Maggie now, as she tells us all about her vampires for grown-up girls.

Dear Readers,

It’s very hard for me to fathom that Wings in the Night, my vampire series, is coming to a close.  It has within it 20 stories, including the series finale, TWILIGHT FULFILLED which goes on sale September 20th in print, October 1st in all electronic versions.  And the first review has just come in.  The reviewer calls the end of this series “Like the breaking up of the Beatles” and says that by the end, she “was a blubbering mess.”  So I guess she liked it.  🙂

When I started writing my first “Twilight” vampire novel, way back in the early 90’s, I had no idea it was going to be a series.  I didn’t even know whether it would be published, for that matter.  I was an aspiring writer with a growing pile of rejection letters the only evidence of my work.

But I had this idea for a vampire romance.  I’d only read one other.  As far as I know, there only was one other.  A book called OBSESSION, the first of a fabulous trilogy by Lori Herter.

Of course, at the time, I could barely give such a story away.  Then, I heard about a new line–Silhouette Shadows.  And I submitted Twilight Phantasies to editor Melissa Senate there.  (Melissa’s gone on to become an author in her own right, and has penned a number of novels, including SEE JANE DATE, which was made into a fabulous movie.)

I then took several other steps guaranteed to result in a sale.  I suggested that my local writers group should host a conference.  I volunteered to be the speaker coordinator.  And I invited Ms. Senate to speak.  She accepted.  Which, to my mind, meant that she couldn’t possibly be intending to reject my story.  She’d already had it for a few weeks by then.  Surely she had read it.  She’d have turned down the speaking gig if she were going to reject me.  Wouldn’t she?  So she must be intending to buy the book.  She was probably waiting to tell me the good news in person.  She would probably make the big announcement from the podium, and all my writing pals would burst into a spontaneous standing O, hoist me up onto their shoulders to carry me around the room.  Ms. Senate would likely then drag a giant sized check from somewhere out of sight–you know, like the ones on the Publisher’s Clearinghouse commercials.

It didn’t quite work out that way.  In fact, the day before the con, Ms. Senate phoned to tell me she had to reject the story.  It needed revisions, and it was against company policy for her to offer me a contract before those revisions were done, since I was an unproven author.  The main problem with the story was too much focus the hero’s best friend, Roland.  I said, “But I love this character!” and Melissa said, “Save him for a book of his own.”  The proverbial lightbulb went on over my head.  And suddenly, this was more than just one book.  The Wings in the Night Series was born.

I did the revisions, and while I was doing them, Melissa Senate offered me a contract on another of my projects–a romantic suspense called RECKLESS ANGEL for the Intimate Moments line,(now known as Harlequin Romantic Suspense.) And then, shortly thereafter, she also bought the revised TWILIGHT PHANTASIES for the Shadows line.  They were published in August and September 1993, and although TP was the second book out, and technically the second sale, it was actually written first, and I’ve always considered it the book that started my career.

It really was, because I’m more well known for these vampire books than for anything else I’ve done.  And here I am, just reaching the culmination of this series 18 years later.   It’s hard to believe.  I started the first book before my youngest daughter started kindergarten.  She’s nearly through with college now.

And yet, unlike those old days, today, everyone is writing vampire romance.  It’s a very crowded field, but I fear some may be writing it because they see it as a lucrative, popular theme, and a shortcut to bestsellerdom, and not because these are the tales burning in their souls to be told.  And a vampire novel really needs to be that, in order for it to work (for me, that is.)  A tale burning to be told, almost with a life of its own beyond the author.  That’s the way Anne Rice’s vampires always felt to me.  As if she were just the channel being used by these beings to tell their tales.  And that’s how I have felt about this series of mine, too.  I’ve never believed I was just making them up.  These stories are given to me from . . . somewhere else.

At any rate, that’s just my weirdness seeping through.

I’ve said often that this is the end of the series “for now.” I always qualify it that way, because I know these characters will never stop speaking to me, or through me.  We’re just…going on hiatus.

I feel very blessed and very lucky to have been the conduit through which these stories were delivered.  They’re very real to me, and I think they mean something, though I have yet to figure out just what.  I believe there are messages deeply engrained in each of the books, for every individual who reads them.  Indeed, I had a fan letter from a reader who had been advised to abort a pregnancy in order to save her own life, and told that the fetus she carried was not viable anyway.  Depressed, and in mourning as she approached this decision, one of her daughters gave her one of my books to read–EDGE OF TWILIGHT, a story with a hopeless pregnancy storyline.  Its ending made her decide to go against the doctors and follow through with her own pregnancy.  She and the baby were both fine.  Amazing!

I believe these books have magick in them for everyone they touch.

Their magick has certainly touched me.  And yes, Rhiannon is alive and well, somewhere.  She speaks to me every single day.

Right now, we’re running a video contest, with details at my website.  Viewers have been entering videos telling what they love about Wings in the Night.  Some are funny, some clever, and some made me cry.  Winners are chosen by viewer vote.  Details, including a link to see all the entries, and the email addy to vote for your faves, are at my website.

Much love,


For the full list of Maggie’s Classic Vampire Series, visit her website.

And coming soon….

TWILIGHT FULFILLED (Sept 20th print, Oct. 1 in E)

Maggie Shayne

Twilight Vampires since 1993…

The ones for grown up girls

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You can also find Maggie at Linked-in, Goodreads, Shelfari, Smashwords, and on an Amazon at her Author Page as well.



Sarah MacLean & Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart

I love Sarah Maclean, and even a quick visit to her website will tell you why.  First of all, there are her taglines:

I write books.  There’s smooching in them.

Best. Taglines. Ever.

But wait!  She has a Regecy-specific tagline, too:

Fetch the smelling salts.

And you’d best have your maid fetch those smelling salts because you just might swoon from reading her books – she’s that good.  Sarah is smart, funny, and her writing is impossibly accomplished.  Her first book, a Regency YA, debuted to enthusiastic reviews and her first adult romance, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, landed on the New York Times bestseller list, the USA Today bestseller list, and won the Romantic Times “Historical Romance of the Year” award.  Yowzers!

Sarah has a new book out this week.  It’s Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart, which is book 3 in the Love By Numbers series.  It’s already gotten phenomenal reviews, including a starred review from Booklist, a top pick from Romantic Times, and a coveted “A” rating from Dear Author.

Sarah’s books are witty, romantic, poignant, and utterly charming.  If you haven’t yet read her, you simply must!

There were some other fantastic books released this week, including Kris Kennedy’s Defiant, Mia Marlowe’s Touch of a Thief, and Anna Campbell’s Midnight’s Wild Passion.  In fact, Anna will be here on my blog this Friday to talk about her latest book and to give away a copy.  It’s always a good time when Anna is in the house, so be sure to stop back.

To celebrate the release of Sarah’s book and my own release of My Favorite Countess on May 3rd, I’m giving away a copy of Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s HeartJust tell me what books you’re looking forward to reading in the next few weeks.  One commentor will win a copy of this wonderful book!

Regency Friday Fun & Awesome Links

I’m guest-blogging today at Book Lovers Inc, talking about why I love the Regency period and giving away a copy of my new anthology, An Invitation To Sin. Stop by and join the fun!  I’ll also be at the Romantic Times blog later today, appearing with the other authors of Sin: Jo Beverley, Sally MacKenzie, and Kaitlin O’Riley.  It’s sure to be a great interview with a swell group of romance writers.  You don’t want to miss it!

As you can imagine, historical romance writers tend to be research geeks.  I have several blogs and websites I visit when looking for just the right bit of research, but two of my favorites are Two Nerdy History Girls and Patrick Baty. Patrick  runs a family paint business called Papers and Paints in Chelsea, London.  He’s an expert in the use of paint and color in historical buildings and has worked in some of the finest structures in England.  Although he specializes in the Georgian era, he’s consulted on projects as diverse as a Tudor garden and a 1950’s concert hall.  His work is simply fantastic and really fun to read about.  Patrick always includes lovely, lush photographs in his blogs, so have a look.

The Two Nerdy History Girls are Loretta Chase and Susan Holloway Scott.  Loretta writes Regency-set historical romance, and is one of my favorite writers of, well, anything.  And Susan writes wonderful historical fiction set in the time of Charles II.  These women know their history inside and out and talk about it in a very down-to-earth, entertaining way, bringing their respective periods to life.  Take my word for it–you’ll love this blog!

I’m heading over to my guest blogs, now.  Hope to see you there!