This is so funny. It was posted by one of the members of the Florida Romance Writers. We have fun, we really do!
Not your typical Christmas Holiday Story, but you will have to admit it was a gallant effort to be funny amongst a good natured family.

Subject: [FRWriters] Christmas joke - not for the faint of heart

This is an article submitted to a 1999 Louisville Sentinel contest to
find out who had the wildest Christmas dinners. It won first prize.

As a joke, my brother Jay used to hang a pair of panty hose over his
fireplace before Christmas. He said all he wanted was for Santa to
fill them.


What they say about Santa checking the list twice must be true because
every Christmas morning, although Jay's kids' stockings overflowed,
his poor pantyhose hung sadly empty.


One year I decided to make his dream come true. I put on sunglasses
and went in search of an inflatable love doll. They don't sell those
things at Wal-Mart. I had to go to an adult bookstore downtown.

If you've never been in an X-rated store, don't go, you'll only
confuse yourself. I was there an hour saying things like, 'What does
this do?' 'You're kidding me!' 'Who would buy that?' Finally, I made
it to the inflatable doll section.

I wanted to buy a standard, uncomplicated doll that could also
substitute as a passenger in my truck so I could use the car pool lane
during rush hour.

Finding what I wanted was difficult. 'Love Dolls' come in many
different models. The top of the line, according to the side of the
box, could do things I'd only seen in a book on animal husbandry. I
settled for 'Lovable Louise.' She was at the bottom of the price

To call Louise a 'doll' took a huge leap of imagination.

On Christmas Eve and with the help of an old bicycle pump, Louise came to

My sister-in-law was in on the plan and let me in during the wee
morning hours. Long after Santa had come and gone, I filled the
dangling pantyhose with Louise's pliant legs and bottom. I also ate
some cookies and drank what remained of a glass of milk on a nearby
tray. I went home, and giggled for a couple of hours.

The next morning my brother called to say that Santa had been to his
house and left a present that had made him VERY happy, but had left
the dog confused. She would bark, start to walk away, then come back
and bark some more.

We all agreed that Louise should remain in her pantyhose so the rest
of the family could admire her when they came over for the traditional
Christmas dinner.

My grandmother noticed Louise the moment she walked in the door. 'What
the hell is that?' she asked.

My brother quickly explained, 'It's a doll.'

'Who would play with something like that?' Granny snapped.

I kept my mouth shut.

'Where are her clothes?' Granny continued.

'Boy, that turkey sure smells nice, Gran,' Jay said, to steer her into
the dining room.

But Granny was relentless. 'Why doesn't she have any teeth?'

Again, I could have answered, but why would I? It was Christmas and no
one wanted to ride in the back of the ambulance saying, 'Hang on
Granny, hang on!'

My grandfather, a delightful old man with poor eyesight, sidled up to
me and said, 'Hey, who's the naked gal by the fireplace?' I told him
she was Jay's friend.

A few minutes later I noticed Grandpa by the mantel, talking to
Louise. Not just talking, but actually flirting. It was then that we
realized this might be Grandpa's last Christmas at home.

The dinner went well. We made the usual small talk about who had died,
who was dying, and who should be killed, when suddenly Louise made a
noise like my father in the bathroom in the morning. Then she lurched
from the mantel, flew around the room twice, and fell in a heap in
front of the sofa. The cat screamed. I passed cranberry sauce through
my nose, and Grandpa ran across the room, fell to his knees, and began
administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

My brother fell back over his chair and wet his pants.

Granny threw down her napkin, stomped out of the room, and sat in the car.

It was indeed a Christmas to treasure and remember.
Later in my brother's garage, we conducted a thorough examination to
decide the cause of Louise's collapse. We discovered that Louise had
suffered from a hot ember to the back of her right thigh.

Fortunately, thanks to a wonder drug called duct tape, we restored her
to perfect health..

I can't wait until next Christmas.



Now get ready for New Year's Eve


Christmas is over and now the New Year begins. So what should be doing. We're the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writer's, there is only one thing we can do!


Let's all make a New Year's resolution to write, write and write some more! That's what author's do!
This is gonna be the year!! The year we have dreamed of our whole lives!! The year we become successful...
But not if we don't write.
Pl by FoxSaver®
Play by FoxSaver®
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Play by FoxSaver®

Blue Moon

Posted by Patrice Wilton | 8:04 AM | , | 7 comments »

Dear Readers and Writers,
Tomorrow night, New Years Eve we will be treated to a Blue Moon, something that only happens once every 19 years on this special night. Don't expect to look up into the sky and see a blue moon because it does not get its name from the color. A blue moon is when a full moon is seen twice in the same month and this happens every couple of years.
Tomorrow night, I am going to make a very special wish and send it out to the universe. Dream big. Set those goals high. You won't get another chance for another 19 years! I'm a huge romantic and find full moons extremely alluring, and could sit and watch it all night. Not that I'll get the chance because I have some celebrating to do with some wonderful friends, but for one moment I'll be alone with the moon, and I'll send it my dearest wish, and watch the sky light up with the energy I'm sending.
Help me friends. Everyone make a special wish and send it out to the universe. Maybe for once it'll be listening!
Have a wonderful New Years!

It’s a new year and if you’re like the majority of the human race you’re planning to set goals for 2010. You have a burning desire to tackle an area where you think you need to improve yourself or your life. You visualize where you want to be in a few months or by the end of the new year or even years down the road. Come midnight on January 1st, you’re totally focused. Your jaw is set and you’re determined to meet those goals until ...da, da, da! …your first set back.

If your goal is to get up earlier, the set back will be the morning you oversleep. If your goal is to lose weight, your set back will be the first cheeseburger or candy bar you’ll gobble up. If your goal is to write every day, the setback will be the day life took over and you didn’t have a minute to boot up your computer or grab a pad and pen.

It’s important to keep in mind when working towards your goals that there will be setbacks. As sure as the sun will rise in the east, there will be setbacks. They happen. How you handle them will determine if you will make your goals.
Like a cowboy who gets thrown off his horse, you need to get off your butt, dust yourself off and get right back in the saddle. Like a ball player who gets thrown a third curve for a strike out, you need to shrug off the disappointment, study the pitcher and stand up to him again. Like the chef whose cake falls, you need to start over. I could go on with the analogies, but you get the picture.

Hints for making your goals for 2010.

1) Make your goals reasonable. Something you can control. And be specific.
Ie: (Non-writing related) I want to lose twenty pounds in 2010. (Writing related) I want to write my next book- 375 pages.

2) Write the goals down. Yes you can have more than one. Excelling at one might help your determination to do better at achieving the other. Post the goals where you will see them every day.

3) Break the goal or goals into manageable bits.
Ie: (NWR) I want to lose five pounds by March. Five more by June and the final ten by the November 1st. (WR) I will write 10 pages a week.

4) If you’re the type of person who needs to report to someone, an accountability partner, find one and set up a schedule to report. IMPORTANT NOTE: Keep in mind there will be weeks, maybe several in a row, when you are the one having trouble making your goal. Remember that cheeseburger. It’s okay. There will be weeks when you will shine.

5) Don’t get depressed when a mini-step toward the goal is not met on time. Life happens. Computers crash. Kids get sick. Husbands come home with candy hearts. Enjoy life. A happy person is more productive.

6) Mondays are the first day of the week for many of us, probably because of the business world, and the day of the week we seem to be most productive. It’s a mind thing. If you have more time to exercise or write on the weekend, try thinking of Saturday as being your first day of the week. Make a calendar labeling Saturday as the first day of the week if that will help you. Again, it’s a mind thing.

7) For the most part, we know our schedules for the week. Plan the minutes or hours you’ll work toward your goal out.

8) Make a list of things that have stopped you from making your goal in the past. Post that list too and don’t go there. Ie: Television, email, over volunteering, buying junk food, over stocking the pantry.

9) Remember the old adage. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.

10) Remember this saying: Just do it. It says it all.

I hope my list will help you make your goals in 2010.

The first Nebraska Capitol building was built in 1867; the second in 1881. Both buildings had structural problems and after the second one literally crumbled away, the Nebraska Capitol Commission, in 1919, selected New York architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue to begin building the “tower on the plains” that would become Nebraska’s new (and third) Capitol building. Beginning in 1922, the construction took ten years and was completed in four phases at a cost of 9.8 million dollars. Think what that amount would be today! Hartley Burr Alexander, PhD, composed the theme for the decoration of the building, and sculptor Lee Lawrie and mosaicist Hildreth Meiere were hired to carry it out; Lawrie’s relief sculpture on the exterior representing “Government and Law in the Western World,” and Meiere doing the interior floors and ceilings in marble and ceramic tile.

The building is covered with Indiana limestone. It is 400 feet tall and 440 feet wide. Only the Louisiana capitol building is taller and was patterned after the Lincoln building. State law prohibits any building from being taller than the Capitol.

The Tower is crowned by a golden reflective dome which changes color with the weather. On it is mounted the bronze sculpture “The Sower,” facing northwest and weighing 9.5 tons. The tower’s drum is a frieze of thunderbirds and together with the dome and statue, represent weather and agriculture.

In the Vestibule, the floor mosaic represents Cosmic Energy with murals by James Penney depicting pioneer life. The Foyer art shows the Past, Present, and Future of life on the Plains, through three giant floor medallions, circular ceiling mosaics and six Venetian glass murals which were added during the state’s centennial in 1967.

In the 112-foot tall dome of the Rotunda, winged angels form a celestial rose. On the floor, Mother Earth provides Nebraskans with food and water while other pictures depict prehistoric life. On the 14th floor 200 feet above the Rotunda, is a memorial chamber where visitors may view the city.

There are also flags representing the various Sovereign Nations of the Native American Nebraska tribes. Nebraska is the only state which houses Sovereign Nations within its borders.

Three branches of Government reside within the Capitol, including the Governor’s Suite (designed in Italian Renaissance style); the Legislature, which has met since 1937 and is the nation’s only Unicameral, and the 7-member Supreme Court which contains an 8000-foot suspended walnut ceiling.

The Lincoln Capitol building is the heaviest capitol building in the nation. It is only one of four "skyscraper" Capitol buildings in the US, and was added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1976, becoming a National Landmark in 1999.


1. Kool-Aid was invented in Hastings, NE 2. Charles Lindbergh learned to fly at Lincoln Airplane and Flying School 3. The "McRib" was invented at the University of Nebraska 4. At the intersection of 13th and "O" Streets, a large brick star marks the exact spot where the American West begins 5. Dick Cavett and Johnny Carson went to school in Lincoln 6. Before they were the Cornhuskers, the University football teams was called the Antelope Boys, the Bugeaters, and the Rattlesnake Boys 7. Salt flats northwest of downtown Lincoln provided salt for Native Americans and settlers alike

PHOTOS (from right to left) 1.Capitol and tower; 2. Chandelier and ceiling mosaic; 3. stairway; 4. Floor medallion; 6. Vaulted archway leading to hall; 7. Murals; 8. Mezzanine ; 9. Hallway; 10. Inside Rotunda with Native American flag (note serrated door frame made of black marble); 11. Chandelier in Rotunda; 12. Viewing parapet surround exterior of Rotunda; 12. Statue of Lincoln on approach to Capitol building.

I was just thinking about my grandmother, we called her Ma Ma. Something Barbara M. said in an email made me think of her. You see, Barbara cooked a duck today--said it turned out wonderfully and she was looking forward to not doing the dishes. The not doing the dishes part was what reminded me of Ma Ma.

I love to cook, but I hate washing dishes, where my grandmother really didn't care for cooking, but loved washing dishes. We had the perfect relationship for holiday meals, I'd cook and she'd wash dishes. Every holiday she'd be up early, cleaning up behind me as I prepared all the family favorites. Oh, I didn't say she never complained, she did, but still she'd wash the dishes. Her pet name for me was Tootsie, and she would say, "Lord amercy, Tootsie, I don't know how you manage to mess up so many dishes." It was easy, I knew I wouldn't have to wash them!

She spent her last nine years living with me and my family. She was quite a blessing for us. I never had to worry about the children getting home from school before I got home from work because Ma Ma was always there to watch them.

Now Ma Ma had a favorite Christmas cake she called Lemon Cheese. Why she called it Cheese was a mystery, since it didn't contain cheese! Anyway, her Lemon Cheese Cake was famous in our family and all over the neighborhood. People always came by to sample "Belle's Lemon Cheese Cake." Nephews had been known to drive transfer trucks half way across the country just to get a piece of Aunt Belle's Lemon Cheese cake.

The last couple years with her health failing she wasn't able to stand to make the sugar icing for the cake because it had to be stirred constantly, so she asked me to make it for her. This was somewhat of an honor, because she guarded her recipe for Lemon Cheese Cake, even from me, her only granddaughter. So, early one morning she joined me in the kitchen and instructed me on making "Belle's Lemon Cheese Cake." It was a fairly simple recipe, a boiled sugar icing with grated lemon rhine. "No, ma'am, I won't give out your recipe, Ma Ma. Yes, ma'am, I promise. I'm just telling the story."

Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, we were making the icing. Remember I said it had to boil? I stood over the stove and stirred and stirred, then finally Ma Ma came over took the spoon from me lifted it to make the syrup spin a thread and pronounced it ready to spread. I took it from the stove, followed her directions to cool the icing, then spread it on the cake. Most of the icing ended up on the table! It just would not set! Finally, Ma Ma said, "It's alright Tootsie, we'll put it in the frig and it will set." So with the icing still trying to drip off the plate, we moved it to the frig and sure enough, it set up. But, I didn't recall Ma Ma having any such problem in the past.

The next year we again made the cake with the same result. I cooked and stirred, she declared it ready and it ended up on the table again. So off to the frig it went! Ma Ma had her own little kitchen in our basement, so she kept the cake in her frig to serve to her friends and family when they came by.

One afternoon a cousin stopped by and I decided to go down and visit with Ma Ma and her company. As I neared the bottom of the stairs I hear Ma Ma open the frig offering her guest a piece of her cake. "Tootsie made this one. It's not as good as mine used to be, she can't get the icing right, but still it is good."

Suddenly I realized I'd been had! MaMa had been deliberately having me take the icing off the stove before it set! She'd done it on purpose because she didn't want to share her prized Lemon Cheese Cake! The next year, sadly after she'd passed away, I used a candy thermometer and the icing set perfectly. The only detail she'd left out of the recipe was how to make the syrup spin a thread to tell it was set!

Day after Christmas Shopping

Posted by Mary Marvella | 12:35 PM | 5 comments »

Hey, readers! I'd love to hear from our readers who braved the mad "after Christmas" mobs to find bargains.
If I get out I'll report my savings.

What was your most exciting find?

What was the biggest savings?

Special Cards

Posted by Mary Marvella | 11:47 PM | | 3 comments »

Here is the special card from Angel Winks for today. I love these cards!

Click to send an Angel Card of the Day from AngelWinks

"I have always thought of Christmas as a good time; a kind, forgiving, generous, pleasant time; a time when men and women seem to open their hearts freely, and so I say, God bless Christmas!" -Charles Dickens

"Love came down at Christmas; love all lovely, love divine; love was born at Christmas, stars and angels gave the sign."- Christina G. Rossetti

"Let's dance and sing and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year."-Sir George Alexander Macfarren

(*Bob Cratchit and his dear wife pictured above.)

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day; their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the word repeat of peace on earth, good-will to men!"- Henry Longfellow

"Christmas is the day that holds all time together." - Alexander Smith

"Christmas is the keeping-place for memories of our innocence." - Joan Mills

"Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home."- Carol Nelso

Merry Christmas~God bless us everyone!
From Beth~

Merry Christmas wishes!

Posted by Mary Marvella | 12:21 PM | | 10 comments »

You were expecting a snow scene or a Christmas tree?

Mama Mary sends her wishes that each of the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers and our readers will have lives filled with love and joy. Have fun or make it! Hug a child or be one.

Merry Christmas from my house to yours!

Mama Mary

As some of you, possibly the entire country, are aware, last weekend saw the biggest snowstorm to strike the East in many years.  We haven't seen that much snow in the Shenandoah Valley since the 1990's.

The heaviest snow fell on Saturday, my younger sister's wedding day.  Major yikes!  Multiple phone calls to everyone and their brother and we had no solutions except to wait it out.  Yes, my farmer hubby has a snow blower he attached to his mighty tractor, but it could only do so much with the white stuff coming down at an inch per hour.  No snow plows even attempted our country back roads until later that evening after the blizzard slowed.

Then joy!  Sunday the snow fizzled out and the sun shone brightly on all that glistening white.  The wedding was on for anyone who could make it to the church in town.  Mostly those of us with four wheel drive.
The church is a beautiful old remodeled plantation home.

Handicapped parking was nonexistent.

Front yard of the church.

Lovely scenic setting.  Very romantic.

Hubby, Dennis, and me. Attire for blizzard weddings is informal, although note the necklace I added to my turtleneck.

My sister, Catherine, and darling nieces.  This is her second marriage.  Some of you may remember that they lived on the farm with my husband and me for a year and a half. :)

The happy couple.  Catherine and Andy.  He's a true hero and one of the kindest men I've ever met. My husband is another.  'God bless us everyone!'

Guardian Angels

Posted by Scarlet Pumpernickel | 1:01 AM | , , , | 12 comments »

Guardian Angels? Do you have one? I do and I even know his name. It isn't easy to learn the name of your guardian angel, because some won't just come right out and tell you. They make it a quest, something you have to do in order to discover their names. But don't worry if you don't know a name, you don't have to! You can just address yours as "my guardian angel", works just as well as knowing his name or hers.

It's a long story how I learned about my angel, but if you're willing to listen, I'll tell you. It was a long time ago. Anyone remember GEnie? I was on there one night late, lurking in a workshop where the psychic was giving readings. As usual, by the time I found the workshop, the que was full, so I didn't get a reading. But I stayed to read the messages anyway.

When she finished with all those in the que, she said "I have three messages left." There were only two people left in the room besides me, so I hung out a little longer to see what she would tell them. After giving them their messages, she said, "I still have one message."

Now, I was very timid so I didn't respond. She stayed in the room and repeated, "one message is left for someone."

Finally I typed, "Is it for me?"

I had no idea that it was, but she responded. "I was wondering when you'd speak up." She gave me a message from my grandmother and one from my brother, both messages were very personal and touching. Then she asked, "who is the man standing behind you?"

Let me tell you, I whirled around quick as a wink! But there was no one there. She went on to describe him as elderly with white hair and a handle bar mustache. I told her I didn't know any such person. She said he had been with me since before my birth and would always be with me. He was my guardian angel.

Now, after I got over the shock that someone might be standing behind me, I calmed down enough to ask her his name.

She said she'd ask, then came back with "He said he's not going to tell you, but you'll recognize him when you see him."

I thanked her for her messages, logged out of the room and forgot all about my angel.

Then one day about a year later I was doing geneology research with a cousin and we visited an elderly cousin who had a ton of family pictures. She was flipping through her album and suddenly I saw him! I knew instantly it was him. White hair, handle bar mustache, kindly-looking elderly gent.

When I asked her who he was she replied, why that's my granddaddy, and he'd be your great-great granddaddy! He died way before you were born. She told me his name and like I'd been told, I instantly knew that was my guardian angel's name.

He's never far from my side and always helps me when I ask him. He's really good at finding things I've lost. Which happens more and more the older I get! Been keeping him busy lately! What about you? Do you know your guardian angel's name? Or your guide, same difference. Native Americans call them guides, but it's all the same thing really.

Well it's Saturday night and the only thing on antenna TV is Survivor. I really don't mind because I am always amazed at the depths that people will go for money. The winner isn't the one who is the nicest, it's the one who can outsmart the others. The winner has to be willing to give up some principals for money.

Sexy Girls Comments

There is always a hot guy and always a hot girl but their looks don't guarantee a win.

Sexy Men Comments

It's the person who is able to sneak, trick, lie, bribe or use whatever means they can to win the money. So then is it all about money. I'm not sure it is. I know very few people who would give up their time and take a chance to do something like this. To live under conditions that are not exactly pleasant to win money. So there has to be more to it. A desire to be on TV. A competitive nature. Whatever it is, I am actually hoping for Russell to survive.
Well he did. What does that say about me? I like to watch people fight and then make up
without killing each other.

Animals Comments
He should win because he played strategically. No matter what you say.

Landscapes Comments

I'm watching this and here I watch a man, Russell, who is an oil company owner, (supposedly very wealthy), able to rule the game so far. Let's see if it works.
Now they address the last three people, Russell tells it like it is. You gotta respect him he's honest about being dishonest. If they outplayed me let then win. Oh, Doc. I think you blew it. What is the blonds name again?


Oh my goodness they picked the girl, Natalie, now they will have to tell us why. They say it's much like life, but that was funny. I like Russel, It shows you can like the bad guy!!!! Authors, this is a lesson to be learned. You can like the bad guy hero! You just have to write his story so it works. What is it that makes that work?,

(Lucien is first on the scene, looking dark, breath-taking, and determined. As Linda and Tony-Paul trail with the others behind them, he raises his glass in a toast, downs its contents in one swallow, then tosses the goblet into the fireplace, listening to the crash of broken glass with a satisfied nod.)

Lucien: No talk of killing tonight. Let’s speak of romance. (Sarcasm gilds his tone) Our Tristan here has a mortal concubine, a former Black Swan, those lovely mortals who donate blood for ecstasy and incredible sex. (Casts a black look at Morgan) And Morgan has a penchant for human females. Marek, can your species breed with humans?

Marek: Aventurieri consider themselves studs, and they have an enormous capacity for love-making plus enormous—

Linda: Gentlemen, this is a PG-rated blog. Let’s not be too graphic.

Tony-Paul: Wait, I want to hear this.

Marek: Mistress Linda, I bow to your charming request. (looks at TPV) You—later, we’ll have a barroom boasting session.

Domingo: Let’s get back to the subject, compadres. Not breed, perhaps, but love…? In California, where I now make my home, I met the human woman I married and that stopped my roving ojo. I’m now a widower—but I helped raise my stepdaughter, and I’d never thought of fatherhood until I saw that little muchacha. Such una angela! (reaches into his hip pocket) I have baby photos… (Tony-Paul shakes his head.) Bien, perhaps later. I went to PTA meetings, was a soccer dad…all went well until I attended a parent-teacher conference and took a couple of nips out of my daughter’s teacher, and… Well, fortunately, she didn’t remember that.

Damien: I’ve loved only once as a vampire. My Konstancza, who was so endearingly mortal. She died trying to protect me and I’ve never found another to take her place…but I’ve certainly had fun looking!

Marek: Again, I’m out of place here. To answer your question, Lucien, not only can aventurieri breed with humans, but our religion recognizes this and has made it unlawful to do so. Nevertheless, some of my people willingly break the law and face death because humans are so attractive. What are your views on that, Maestru Lucien?

Lucien: According to our laws, mating a vampire to a human is strictly forbidden. (Glares at Morgan who gives a cavalier smile)

Marek: Then you and our Prince are in accord. Unfortunately.

Morgan: As they say, forbidden fruit is always the sweetest.. I understand you can fly, Marek. Would it be indecent of me to ask if we could see your wings?

Marek: Not indecent, perhaps, though a little impolite. Aventurieri consider their wings another body part, and quite frankly, nothing makes a male prouder than preening his wings--before his female, and to have her touch them-- while we make love in the air… Ah! (shakes himself slightly). Excuse me, Mistress Linda. I think that might have been a touch crude. Tony-Paul, do I need to beg your forgiveness, too? Or is this one of those manly American moments?

Damien: You mean where one nudges the other and winks?

Domingo: No, I think that’s a British gesture.

Lucien (ignoring the Spaniard): Marek, do you also have a human concubine?

Marek: Not a concubine, no. I’ve someone I wish to marry, once I can figure out a way around that death-sentence legality, because even to think of marrying a human is illegal. I believe she’s the reincarnation of my beloved wife, Lily-Magda. I was devastated when Lily died and I refuse to put Maggie in danger, but I worship the girl! Law is sometimes so damned inconvenient. To answer your question, Morgan. My wings are hidden in internal pouches on either side of my spine, so to unfurl them, I’d have to be naked. Therefore—No, you won’t be seeing my wings—not in mixed company anyway. If this were a locker-room moment, I’d be more than happy to break them out and flaunt them—they’ve a combined total of 12 feet, you see. Size, you know. (smirks) If you need a description of them, check out Tony-Paul’s novel The Shadow Lord.

Domingo: I’ll put in a word here about los libros de nuestros. Damien’s story is told in Night Man and I have my own little epistle, the Legends of Sleepy Hollow, a play on mi nombre, de Leyenda. Sleepy Hollow is a quiet little subdivision, or at least it was until my stepdaughter and I moved in.

Tony-Paul: Our English guests, what novels are you featured in?

Tristan: My story is Black Swan.

Morgan: Lucien stars with Tristan in Black Swan. Our story, mine and… Mine is Sinners Opera, as yet unpublished. (cocks an eyebrow at Lucien).

Lucien: Though you are shielded and I can’t read your mind, I know what you’re thinking. I have not prevented Sinners Opera from being published. Why don’t you tell us a bit about Isabeau?

Morgan (a muscle in his jaw jumps): I refrain from answering.

Tristan (sensing tension rising): As the sun is rising, the only one of us who can continue this interview is Marek. Though crosses, garlic and the other accoutrements to ward-off or kill the vampire do not affect the Vampyre, the sun will immediately turn us to crispy critters.

Marek: (bowing slightly) Don’t let me keep you from your…tombs? Coffins? Murphy beds? It’s almost time for my restaurant in the French Quarter to close and my brothers and I have to be there to lock up.

Tony-Paul: I think this would be a good place to close our interview, also, don’t you, Linda? (bows elegantly) By the way, if you’ve nothing better to do, I’ve talked it over with Marek, and he wants me to invite you and the others back to his restaurant. We can pull the black-out drapes across the windows. There are still a couple of bottles of dark wine to kill, and I’ll find a nice Pinot Noir or something for you. I’ve just received a crate of True Blood Orange which I’m eager to try. If you won’t mind being the only femme at the party, that is

Linda: Who could refuse dinner with seven handsome men? Mind being the only female? Not in the slightest. I look forward to getting to know Damien, Domingo and Marek as well as I know Morgan, Tristan and Lucien. And you can fill me in a little more about your own life, Tony-Paul. Gentlemen, shall we adjourn to Stryker’s?

(Exit Stage Right, Linda and her entourage.)

PHOTOS: 1) A castle in the mist from Tristan’s Ireland; 2) Marek’s restaurant “Styker’s” in New Orleans; 3) a Transylvanian churchyard

(These Series of interviews have been brought to you to promote Linda Nightingale's novella Black Swan, available from The WIld Rose Press, and Tony-Paul de Vissage's new novel Dark God Descending, available from sams dot publishing.)

(Linda Nightingale and Tony-Paul de Vissage continue their tete-a-tete with the vampires in their literary lives.)

Tony-Paul: Tonight, we’re delving into vampire origins a little.

Linda: Since so much difference apparently exists among you, let’s take the time to explain your origins. Marek, as you seem to be the one everyone is curious about, please go first. Then Domingo and Damien, and lastly my darling Brits.

Marek: My origin is really simple if you think about it—and apparently no one has. I’m a product of evolution, Mankind’s second species. (glances at Lucien) I’m assuming that makes your kind the—ahem—third species. While Neanderthal was crawling around in his caves, my people were taking to the trees, becoming nocturnal hunters, and evolving wings to help them hunt. Our blood-craving is simply a need to replenish the nutrients we lack because of we don’t get the sun…that’s what humans don’t understand, and that why we keep ourselves secret from them.

Damien: Let it be said here and now, that none of us hide. Keeping one’s identity secret for self-preservation is in no way, shape, or form hiding. Is it, ami?

Domingo: Pues, no.. After all, discretion is the better part of staying immortal.

Tristan: So you evolved. Interesting. Evolution, (he points at Marek) and (points at himself) and Nature at work with the human species. Not so different after all. What of your family? If you have one?

Marek: Aventurieri have castes and a very strict ruling government. My caste is the assassin clan of the warriors, the Strigoi. In the States, however, I go by the surname Stryker. My family supplied our Prince’s executioners. Unfortunately or fortunately as the case may be, my brothers—I have twin brothers, sixteen years younger than I and I have a sister who is twenty-four years younger. No jokes about aventurieri virility, please! My brothers, sister, cousin, and I were exiled, and our branch of the family no longer is spoken of in Transylvania.

Tristan: I’ve heard that you’re heterochromic… (steps closer to Marek, and before anyone can stop him, lifts up the eyepatch, peering into his eyes. Marek sighs and doesn’t move.)

Domingo (bristles slightly): What is this heterochromic? We’re all hetero—

Damien (lays a hand on his sleeve): Calm down, copain. It just means his eyes are different colors.

Marek (patiently): Satisfied?

Tristan (replaces the patch and nods) Very. You’ve one green eye and one blue. An oddity within an oddity.

Marek: (dryly) So flattering. My people believe the leader of the clan must have a physical difference. My eyes are mine and that won me the ghidaj-ship of the assassin clan. Now, please stop staring! That’s why I hide one of my eyes. What makes your species so different? How do you chose your leaders?

Lucien: As Chancellor of our ruling Council Les Elus

Damien: Les Elus? A French name for a British council?

Tristan: There are many nationalities that comprise the Vampyre.

Domingo: Un Nacion Unidos de vampiros? I didn’t hear anyone asking us to join. (to Damien) Amigo, we’ve been slighted!

Lucien (impatiently): Can we get back to the subject? Thirteen of the oldest and most powerful of the Vampyre comprise Les Elus. Age is of less consequence than power, intellect and discretion. Since we are immortal, it is rare a new member is chosen—in a strict, secret ritual. If you have heard the legends, we are the fabled Illuminati. (gives Domingo a condescending stare) As to an invitation, you wouldn’t be eligible. You aren’t even of our race, Domingo.

Domingo (takes a deep breath): Pues, as far as I'm concerned, you're just uno garden-variety vampiro, Senor Lucien-el-High-and-Mighty!

Lucien (laughs): You don’t quite have my title right, but we’ll let you slide with high-and-mighty.

Morgan: We are a mutation by a potent but fragile virus. Outside the body, it dies instantly. The virus is passed in a ritual where the victim is drained then fed the vampire’s blood. A painful transformation follows and what emerges is an immortal killer.

Tony-Paul: Unfortunately, so true. However, I’d like to add that all of you have shown Linda and myself much different faces, and tomorrow, we’ll conclude our interview with a look at that more gentle emotion…vampire love.

(Tomorrow, everyone lets down his hair a little (as if it wasn’t already long enough) and reveals that special someone who looked past the fangs and saw the man he once was.
ALSO: WHO IS THE HOTTEST ? Lucien? Damien? Morgan? Vote for your Fave. Winner will receive a Black Swan coffee cup, courtesy of Linda. Tony-Paul, being a newbie author, has nothing to offer at this point but his brilliant Creole smile!)

PHOTOGRAPHS: 1) Marek; 2) Damien; 3) Domingo.

Linda Nightingale, author of Black Swan, and Tony-Paul Visage, author of Dark God Descending, interviewer their Undead creations.

Linda: Tony-Paul and I have persuaded the lads, rather forcefully, to cease hostilities between nations long enough to have this interview.

Tony-Paul: That’s right, Linda. Damian and Morgan have met before, with fairly amicable results, so I don’t see why the others can’t behave as civilized vampires for a couple of hours, at least.
(“The lads” are standing on each side of the room—Damian, Domingo, and Marek on one side, almost in a huddle, occasionally throwing slightly baleful glances at Tristan, Morgan, and Lucien, who are forcefully nonchalant.)

Damian: (French, disdainful, and knock-‘em-dead handsome, and has on many occasions): Look, mon amis, I know you two don’t want to be here, but this is Tony-Paul, our historian…and adopted brother…so what can we do?

Domingo: (Spanish and a lot more, a conde’s son and proud of it): What can we do? I’ll tell you! We can fly right out of here and back to those two girls we left. Dios! When I think how I’ve let that little Creole talk me into leaving my Estrellita! And for what? To face these…Ingles? (He looked over at the others with a dark-eyed glare. Morgan meets his gaze and slouches defiantly against a pillar, arms crossed over his chest. Tristan quirks a devil-may-care smile. Lucien just ignores everyone.) What a babieca I am!

Marek (A former aventurieri assassin, he’s tuxedo-clad, 6’8”, dark, and wearing a black patch over his left eye): You can complain all you want, Domingo. I’ve a restaurant to run in New Orleans, and while I personally have no complaints against the British, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing here. By all rights, I shouldn’t even be associating with the five of you. Tony-Paul knows very well it’s against aventurieri law for me to even be acquainted with the so-called Undead.
(In the meantime, Tristan, Lucien, and Morgan are having their own little debate about why they were insane enough to agree to this.)

Tristan: (Black hair and blue eyes. Reminds one of a young Pierce Brosnan) I’ve nothing against the French or the Spaniards, but I do think these chaps are a bit hostile. I didn’t know there were so many species of the Vampyre.

Lucien: (Tall and dark with black hair that streams to his shoulders, a mysterious man with the look of power) They aren’t members of The Vampyre. When Marek described the other two as Undead, he was referring to the traditional vampire of legend. I’m not familiar with Marek’s particular brand of vampirism. I’m curious, and that’s the sole reason I agreed to this farce. Otherwise, I’d leave and take the two of you with me.

Morgan: (6’2” of slender elegance with long blonde hair and blue eyes, a concert pianist and a British lord) The most powerful of the Vampyre speaks. Please, Lucien, stop throwing your weight around. I’ll leave as and when I wish. I certainly have nothing against the French, my mother having been French, but I’m not keen on the Spaniard’s attitude. At any rate, we’re here, and I do agree that Marek is a conundrum.

Linda: (sends Morgan a smile) All right, enough standing around, glaring at each other.

Tony-Paul: Oui! Let’s get this show on the road!

Damian (gives an ironic laugh): So here we are—the Quick (bows to TPV and LN), the Undead (gestures at himself and Domingo and the Brits) and the Undecided (nods at Marek.)

(Nothing but deadpan silence.)

Marek: Looks like a meeting of Vampyres R Us! (gives Lucien a smile that could freeze water) and I heard that remark! Conundrum? I may be from Transylvania, but I do know the meaning of the word! And (laughs good-naturedly) I heartily agree!

Domingo: So. What shall we talk about? Tony-Paul, Senorita Linda—ah, such a lovely name!--feel free to step in any time. A little help, por favor.

Lucien: (suddenly comes to life, turning a languid black gaze on Marek) Vampyres 'R us? I should think we’d have quite a lot to talk about.

Marek: I don’t care what you talk about…as long as it’s not about religion.

Lucien: An excellent idea. Why don’t we speak of religion? Linda, dear, I’ve heard that there is one among their group (a wave of one hand) who has no fear of the crucifix? Nor do we, of course, being a separate species, but I’m curious. Is that true or simply the work of an overzealous publicity agent,? What say, Domingo de Leyenda?

Domingo: No, I’m proud to admit. In fact, in my native Spain, those stupid peones could never figure out why their crosses didn’t stop me. They prayed and I preyed. The obvious never crossed their minds.

Lucien (with a knowing smile): The obvious being?

Domingo (shrugs): That crosses don’t bother me.

Lucien: And that is because…

(Domingo doesn’t answer. Damien grins, and elbows Marek, who manages a small smile.)

Morgan: Just say it, Domingo. Gads, it’s worse than pulling fangs to get you to explain.

Domingo (smirks): Sorry, Ingles. I’m Jewish. No cross is going to stop me. Now a Star of David… (shudders.)

Lucien: (flashes a fanged smile) Funny, you don’t look— No, I won’t be trite.

Damien: I remember when I first met Domingo—

Domingo: Si, it was just before the beginning of the Reign of Terror. I was sight-seeing in France—

Damian: And got yourself into a bit of a tight with the local gendarmes

Domingo: We won’t go there. We mustn’t take the limelight totally away from our—ahem—brethren from across the Channel.

Morgan (takes a step forward and looks Marek up and down): So you’re the aventurieri. (He gives a wry smile) Odd. You don’t look different from any of us. Unlike Damien and Domingo, however, you are still breathing.

Marek (dryly): You noticed.

Morgan: Rather hard not to notice a man almost seven feet tall. You stick out like a sore thumb beside that runty Spaniard and my old friend, Damien there.

Marek: I’m not certain whether to be insulted or flattered.

Domingo: I know what I am, and it is most definitely not flattered. And all I have to say is… (Looks at Tristan) You! You’ve a Spanish look about you. What do you there with Los Ingles?

Tristan: You’re a perceptive man. My ancestry is Black Irish.

Domingo: Ah ha! So our friend Tristan, who has been noticeably quiet during this little interview, is “offshore Spanish” because of that “Armada Incident.” I’m told those Irish lasses welcomed our hot-blooded marineros espanoles with open arms…

Linda: (holds up a hand) Whoa! Sorry hangover from my horsy days. I think we’d better stop here before someone breaks the truce.

Tony-Paul: Gentlemen, the bar is open!

(Tomorrow, the lads will answer the question: “Just how different are you guys, anyway?” and also explain about Heterochromia, among other interesting vampire traits.)