The Vampire With a Blanket of Stars Arnhem Knights of New York Book 3 by Susan Hanniford Crowley
Genre: Paranormal Adventure Romance
Print Length: 390 pages Publication Date: August 31, 2019
In 1938, Vampire Prince Răzvan and his companions on their way to see the king, take the snowy path into the Carpathian Mountains of Romania. In the deep woods, they find a gypsy encampment and take refuge with them for the night. His heart is lost gazing in the exotic pale blue eyes of a raven-haired beauty. Saraina and her people just want to be free and live peacefully. Meeting Prince Răzvan changes everything, first with his dire prediction and second, with his warm hands and gaze that tears at her heart.
Răzvan walked out into the forest beyond the camp. Snow stopped falling, and the moon broke through the clouds shimmering on the crystalline ground. He detected the soft sound of a song about rabbits and followed it. She was near. The Dragă’s presence was electrifying. He didn’t know why he called her that.
She came around the side of a tree and gasped in surprise, dropping the sticks she’d collected.
“I’m sorry. Let me help you.” He picked up the sticks.
“I am Răzvan.”
“I know who you are.” She moved away from him, circling back to the camp.
“I will not hurt you. You have my word. May we talk?”
“Talk about what?”
“Why were you looking at me?” He asked.
“I was not. You were looking at me.”
Răzvan laughed. “You are right, Dragă.”
“Don’t call me that.”
“I have no name to call you by. What is your name?”
She smiled and backed around the tree. He followed. “Saraina.”
“Saraina, Dragă mea (Saraina, my darling),” he repeated.
“Don’t call me that. I don’t know you.”
“Have you ever met someone for the first time and knew that you’ll know them forever, that their presence gives your heart peace?”
Vampire Princess of New York
Arnhem Knights of New York Book 2
Print Length: 334 pages
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing, LLC
Publication Date: October 5, 2016
Noblesse is the daughter of the Vampire King of New York Maximillion Vander Meer. In the over two hundred years, she’s been a vampire, Noblesse has never found a true love or discovered what happened to her mother who disappeared just prior to the French Revolution.
Noblesse has to choose between two men. Both profess their love. Both are keeping a secret from her. One wants to destroy her, and one wants to love her forever. But which one?
**Read FREE with your Kindle Unlimited subscription!**
Snapping out of his revelry, he laughed. “Yes, Sha. What do you need advice on?” Sha was a Cajun way of saying my love. He didn’t use it for everything cute or sweet like some people. Somehow it fit Noblesse perfectly.
She took his arm and guided him toward the middle of the shop. A thin man in a gray suit with brown hair and beady eyes stared at him through round silver glasses.
He stood by a large mirror with an elaborately carved wooden frame in shades of deep blood red etched with gargoyles, dragons, griffins, pythons, lions and every beast known and imagined, all entangled in a battle to the death with claws and teeth gnashing, biting, and slashing. On the top, two words were engraved in French—“Miroir de Sang.”
“Well, what do you think?”
“It’s says, Blood Mirror. That can’t be good.”
“It was created for the court of his majesty, Louis XVI,” the thin man added.
Donovan frowned. “Wasn’t Louis XVI beheaded?”
“Yes.” The man gave Donovan the once over.
Maybe he shouldn’t have thrown on his boots, jeans, T-shirt and beat up old bomber jacket. He did own designer clothes. His daughter had insisted he have an entirely new wardrobe before the wedding, but as soon as Evie had gone on her honeymoon he’d fallen into his old ways. Donovan was glad he couldn’t read minds like a vampire. He didn’t care what the man thought, but Noblesse’s opinion was another matter.
“From Marie Antoinette’s palace?” Donovan asked.
“Oui,” Noblesse replied.
Her smile almost made him forget his objections. “You don’t want this mirror, Sha.”
“It’s ugly. Besides, weren’t the mirrors of that time period gilded in gold, and smaller?”
“Very large mirrors were made for the palace. Not all were gilded in gold. This, however, is an unusual piece.”
“Ma chérie, it’s ugly. You don’t want that. Get something else.”
“Aww, mon cher,” she murmured.
Turning to the thin man she said, “Please, pardon us. We would like to discuss this in private.”
“Certainly.” He walked off in the direction of the Ming vases.
“Of course, Sha, if you want it, I will not be able to talk you out of it. You only want it because it’s French.”
“It’s more than that. Come and look.”
As she stood before it, Donovan finally saw what she was talking about. Vampires could not be seen in mirrors made of silver. When he should have seen nothing at all, he gazed upon her lovely reflection.
Vampire King of New York Arnhem Knights of New York Book 1
Print Length: 352 pages Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Max Vander Meer is a modern day Viking, CEO of VMeer Industries, and a Vampire. He makes a plea to the Goddess Freya to find the only woman who can heal his heart, the woman haunting his dreams. But, the Goddess strikes a bargain with him. To find this special woman, Max must return to the city he helped build-New York, which is threatened by an ancient terror. When he meets Evelyn, he is astounded. Could she be the one who inhabits his dreams? But Evelyn is haunted by loss and betrayal. How can Max win her love when she doesn't trust him as a man, and she doesn't want to be a vampire? If Max returns to Iceland without her, he will be encased in ice . . . forever!
Maximillion Vander Meer stood in the jagged mouth of the ice cave with a wolf skin girding his loins and fur boots on his feet. A frigid breeze breathed its welcome over his bare chest, arms and legs.
He smiled and closed his eyes to step back into the Viking past he loved, where he was free. He threw back his head and howled in exuberant abandonment. Then he ripped off the wolf skin and kicked off his boots. Max ran to the shadowed alcove he knew so well. A flicker of the past sparked in his brain and Vikings filled the cave, their voices rich in the chant of a ritual forgotten in the modern age, invoking the protection and wisdom of Odin, Thor, and Freya. Then he blinked and they were gone. Their voices silenced by time.
Every time he entered this sacred place hollowed out by his ancestors, their presence worked magic and distracted his weary heart from the curse inhabiting his body. This power brought him back to the Viking warrior deep within him, as only here could he reconnect with his lost humanity. Every passing moment the curse pulled him further from whom and what he’d once been. That was the danger in being a vampire. It wasn’t the chill of his body, but the distance that crept into his heart. He was on the edge of forgetting how the laughter of his son warmed him to his toes. The memory of Svenna’s delicious heat as her soft skin lay against his flesh igniting the fire between them, slipped through his fingers like water. Inhaling the fragrance of flowers in her hair had made him feel powerful. Even the excitement of the next adventure filled with salt spray and swords clashing faded away. His heart no longer raced.
The dire flaw in immortality was the sameness. Centuries of monotony blurred into others. Few ancient ones survived the deadly soul-numbing tedium of every day being the same. Closing on a thousand years, too many chose to lie in the sun and burn in agony over the course of two days until they crisped away in the wind. When the true burning began, night, the blessed night, offered no reprieve. The recent “chosen” death of his friend Coelhus was etched in his memory, making Max’s need more urgent than it had ever been. Coelhus had given up. After centuries of dreaming of a woman named Celeste, he ceased to believe she could be real. Coelhus could no longer bear the loneliness and the endless searching. Consumed by his dashed dreams, he gave his body to the sun. Max stayed with him in his last moments, and while he couldn’t deter his friend, he resolved not to end in ashes himself.
Time had robbed him of love, but today, in this moment, Max meant to get it back. Right now!
I'm married with two children and a granddaughter. Pete the dog and Bella and Buffy the cat sisters are the furry members of my family.
I have two college degrees, a BFA in Theater and a Master's in Education. I've explored a myriad of occupations from being a teacher to a deli worker to a webmaster. My favorite thing to do in life is writing.
My only goal for my writing is for my readers to have fun.
I write science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance. In addition to writing, I'm also an Associate Editor for Space and Time Magazine. I'm a member of SFWA, RWA and CTRWA.
My hobbies are traveling, collecting sea shells and dragons.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
When I was 8, I became an author. My teacher gave the assignment of keeping a journal. I wrote about the squirrels in my backyard. While she enjoyed their whimsical portrayal, she encouraged me to keep writing and widen my world. In 6th grade I wrote a spy novel to rave reviews by my classmates. At 16, my poetry was published in the local newspaper.
Since then I have written and edited almost every kind of fiction and non-fiction, including grants, radio spots, and television commercials. I loved science fiction and fantasy. After years of rejection, I ended up published and a professional member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. While at a conference, an author friend of mine said, “I’ve read your work and you’re really a paranormal romance writer.” When I got home, I rushed to my local bookstore, bought 6 books, and read them. I had been having a reoccurring dream for months about a vampire. That is when I crossed over from science fiction and fantasy to become a paranormal adventure romance author. It’s so much fun.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I didn’t know how to answer this question, so I asked my editor for The Vampire with a Blanket of Stars, Book 3, Arnhem Knights of New York series. After laughing too much, she said, “Susan Hanniford Crowley is an amazing writer. But not what she appears.” There’s my editor for you, being mysterious.
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
When I was a little girl, I didn’t think Santa had reindeer. My dad was in the Navy and every year at Christmas time, my mom would take my sister and me down to the docks on the submarine base. We stand there with the other families while a submarine docked. When one of the hatches opened, there was Santa. We followed him and the sailors helping with his big sack over to the Dealey Center Theater. There we each would sit on Santa’s lap and he would ask if we were good and then give us a toy. I never saw any reindeer with Santa, though my sister did a few years later. But that is another story.
Where were you born/grew up at?
I was born in the submarine base hospital in Groton, Connecticut. I grew up in Uncasville, a rural community at the time. As a little girl, I was enraptured with the storytelling of Gladys Tantaquidgeon, Medicine Woman of the Mohegan Tribe. I loved the woods and looking down my hill at the tributary that led to the Thames River. When the breeze blew through the pine trees, I felt free and brave.
If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
First thing in the morning, I would make calls and invite the children and grandchildren to come to my house. While waiting for their arrival, I would write letters to those dear to me telling them what I love about them. I would post on social media that I was moving to an offline new location and wishing everyone well. When everyone arrives, I would make cookies with the grandchildren and play games. Then we’d have dinner and watch one of my favorite movies. Maybe “Howl’s Moving Castle” or The “Last Starfighter”. I’d sit with my husband on the sofa and pet my cats and feel grateful for having all this.
Who is your hero and why?
My husband is my hero. I’ve been battling breast cancer and he has taken care of me through all the sickness I experienced. You see, I got breast cancer on top of having Lyme disease. When I got confused over my medications, he straightened it out and gave me my pills on time. Even when I lost my hair due to a chemo drug, he said that I was always beautiful. He took me to all my appointments. Still does. He is always with me whether I am in the hospital or at home.
After surgery and tests, my cancer is now gone. The difficult process of recovering is underway, and my husband is still with me every step of the way.
In March, we will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. I thank God for him.
What are you passionate about these days?
I’m passionate about writing my books. I currently have about 5 more in various stages of completion. I’m very passionate about family time, especially playing with my grandchildren.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Besides writing? Go out shopping or to the movies with my gal pals or family. Color. I have several coloring books I finished while going to chemotherapy and other treatments. Every other page is blank and perfect for writing poetry. I make felt angels and sometimes lace ones on the months before Christmas. I like to watch “Corner Gas” and “Bob’s Burgers” to relax. How to find time to write as a parent?
I started as a working writer when my children were small. I know they say when the baby naps, you nap. I usually wrote. As they got older, I wrote whenever I had any minute to myself—in a doctor’s waiting room, late at night when the children were in bed, and sometimes early in the morning before the family woke.
When they got older and I had part-time and then full-time jobs outside the home, I wrote late at night, sometimes very early in the morning, and always on the weekends. I kept a notepad with me to write down things whenever I was in a waiting room or standing in line. At one time, I used a handheld tape recorder and talked the story and then typed it up later.
Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Brave. Loyal. Funny. Happy. Adventurer!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was 8. My fourth grade teacher had given the class the assignment to keep a journal. For me, I kept journaling long after the assignment was over. I knew I was a writer at that point.
Do you have a favorite movie?
I have several favorite movies that cheer me up when I feel down. They are not ranked.
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Princess Bride
Fellowship of the Ring
Howl’s Moving Castle
The Last Starfighter
Which of your novels can you imagine made into a movie?
I think any of my books would make a great movie. Because I dream my books and then wake up to write them, I already see them in a movie type format. Max of Vampire King of New York is regal yet quirky at times and good humored. Vampire Princess of New York Noblesse is a romantic and a foodie. The two men that want her – the mysterious vampire from the court of Emperor Nero or the Cajun human--pose quite the dilemma. Born a royal, the handsome Prince Rǎzvan, who was made a vampire by King Max and considered his eldest son, is passionate and fierce and a great friend to have. The Vampire with a Blanket of Stars is Rǎzvan’s story.
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
Since it’s near to my home, I’ve been to the Mark Twain house and visited the house of his neighbor Harriet Beecher Stowe in Hartford, CT. My family and I traveled to Scotland and visited the home of Robert Burns. His poem “Auld Lang Syne” is now sung by many on New Year’s Eve. I’ve been to Nathanial Hawthorne’s house, and the partially dugout house on the banks of Plum Creek, Minnesota, which was the home of Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder. There is also a museum there.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A dragon. I am actually working on a young adult novel with dragons. That means I’ve been dreaming of dragons. Dragons have powers, love their hatchlings, and fly the distance in any storm. It is a creature of endurance and endless curiosity.
I collect dragon figurines and stuffed toys.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was on a midnight internet radio show, where the host asked me if I could possibly write a vampire book set in Romania that was not Dracula. I said if I dreamed it, I could.
I dreamt about Vampire Prince Rǎzvan of Romania in 1938. It actually took several months to dream the entire book. I loved the sense of passion and duty this vampire has to his country and to his beloved.
What can we expect from you in the future?
More paranormal adventure romance specializing in vampires and rare supernaturals. Outside the Arnhem Knights of New York series, there will be at least two young adult paranormal romance novels and a time travel novel.
Can you tell us a little bit about the hero inThe Vampire with a Blanket of Stars?
Vampire Prince Rǎzvan was the human son of a king of Dacia, which is basically Romania today. Since the prince was not a first or second son of the king, he became a warrior and fought for his country. When he was dying on the battlefield Vampire King Max made him a vampire and made him his son. There is a tight bond of love and respect in their relationship. Rǎzvan like his vampire father, sometimes has prophetic dreams and visions and serve the human King of Romania as an advisor.
Even though he is a royal, Rǎzvan is down to earth and treats people as an equal. He values family and friends. In 1938, he is tormented by dark vision and travels with his two best friends to Bucharest. This is where the tale begins with the snowy night and the crossroads in the forest.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
I dream. Then I wake up and write the book. I know the characters and most of the time their names in the dreams. The story can unfold over a few nights or several months.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
When I dream them, they come with names. Recently, I needed a name for a character because I didn’t clearly hear the name in the dream, so my husband and I brainstormed names. I heard the name being yelled over a distance in my dream. Other times, I have used phone books to mix and match names. I’ve gone to old cemeteries and found some unusual names. Baby name books also come in handy.
What did you enjoy most about writingThe Vampire with a Blanket of Stars?
There was so much I didn’t know about Romania. For the book, I had Romanian-American consultants. They told me things I would have never learned by wandering around Romania as a tourist. One of the consultants is also paranormal investigator and gave me the inside scoop on haunted places.
There are different cultures within the book, which I found riveting to portray.
Who designed your book covers?
The covers for Vampire King of New York and The Vampire with a Blanket of Stars were designed by Cynthia Samul. Fiona Jayde created the cover for Vampire Princess of New York.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
The history of Romania, where the group known as the Roma (Gypsies) originally came from, the castles of Romania, how a Romanian wedding is performed, and some facts about Romania during the war.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I think Liam Hemsworth would make a great Prince Rǎzvan.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Be open to adventure in reading and in your life. Life is a wonderful gift and we have only two jobs – have fun and care for each other. I believe that, especially with my very recent bout of cancer and I know I bring that out in my books. I write to transport the reader away from their troubles for a time. Everyone is overworked and tired, and my books offer a chance to have fun and in the scary parts to be brave as part of the adventure. I’ve been accused of being extremely romantic.
How did you come up with name ofThe Vampire with a Blanket of Stars?
For a long time the working title was “Vampire Prince of Romania”, which I knew I couldn’t keep because people would confuse it with Dracula. Then in looking at the entire book, it was there in front of me all along. Anyone reading the book will get it. I don’t want to spoil it.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
There are different parts of the book I loved and they all had to do with family. Family helping each other or coming together or both. I also loved how Prince Rǎzvan watched over the supernaturals in the city of Bucharest, and how being human didn’t exclude anyone from his friendship.
It don’t want to give too much away.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
My characters come straight from my dreams. Once I start journaling the dreams, I have more dreams and get more information about them. I don’t base them on real people.
However, being married to a great guy gives me a standard for my heroes to reach.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
Roses. The vampire family in my books are fond of the scent of roses. I personally would prefer lilacs, but they enjoy roses.
What did you edit out of this book?
I didn’t edit out as much as I filled in details in places to better show my character’s experiences. When I’m writing from my dreams, it comes out in my dream journal as more like a sketch with some specifics. Research comes in for me to get more information to fill in the holes to give a complete picture.
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?'-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
There is at least three true things in every book. Even though I write fiction, I usually have some very non-fictional scenes that actually happened.
In some of my books, I am actually a character in the story.
The place and feel knowledge of New York comes from my childhood from visiting my aunt and grandmother who lived in the city.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
I’m listing and the number is not a ranking. They are all my favorites.
Bianca D’Arc – Grizzly Cove series
Lynsay Sands – Argeneau series
Charlaine Harris – Sookie Stackhouse series
Ursula LeGuin - The Lathe of Heaven
Anne Rice – Prince Lestat
James M. Barrie – Peter Pan
J.R.R. Tolkien – Lord of the Rings
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter series
Diana Wynne Jones (once a student of J.R.R. Tolkien) – Howl’s Moving Castle
Mary Shelly - Frankenstein
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for over 50 years but not all that time in my current genre. I was also a creative writing teacher for over 20 years. Sometimes you have to learn about other writing jobs, before you find your fit. Many authors have told me that they have had lots of various jobs, some writing jobs, some not, and then used that career experience later in a book.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
I always dream my characters. The main characters are usually in the first dream, and I meet the others in later dreams.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
I don’t do any research until I have had that first dream. Then I start researching everything about the setting or settings, customs, beliefs, legends, and food. When the next set of dreams happen, I write that and then continue research.
Do you see writing as a career? Any advice for new writers?
Writing is a very tough career. I’m a professional member of the Romance Writers of America and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and I’ve learned from the writing stars, that most authors have a day job. I’ve been told they work at the day job until after the books have exceeded they day job salary for several years. I’ve also learned that authors make a good living when a big movie studio makes a movie from a book. One author told me that she paid off her mortgage, all the debts, and set up college funds for her kids. She had won awards and sold over 50 books and still camped in a campground outside the city of a conference she was speaking out. The difference the money from the movie made was huge. Another author praised the series contract she had with HBO. Books by themselves don’t usually make enough.
Writing is usually a solitary profession, so you are responsible for paying for health insurance and setting up a retirement fund in addition to paying all your bills. You have to take that into consideration before leaving a day job.
Write first, because you love it. Writing brings me joy. Write every day to make it natural like breathing.
What do you think about the current publishing market?
It’s is tough but doable. It’s changed in just a few years, and I expect it will change again.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I am equally in love with romance and science fiction and fantasy. I’m an associate editor for Space and Time Magazine (not a romance venue), so I read a lot of submissions and pass the ones I think are good quality and a fit for the magazine on to the fiction editor. I also read that genre and write in it from time to time.
I love paranormal romance and read it. I also read folklores and research documents on vampires and the paranormal.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I usually write with noise, so I can be in the room where my husband is watching TV. It becomes background noise, as I focus on the story. This comes from the years where I had to squeeze in time to write. I also found that if I was downstairs in my little office writing, I was away too long from the family.
I need silence to edit or proofread, because I often read aloud to listen to how the words sound and weed out any clinkers.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
I have four or five manuscripts in various stages. Some are in outlines and some have chapters and summaries for future chapters.
Pen or type writer or computer?
I start out a lot of books with pen. I love pens and collect different types. Then at a certain point I switch the book over the computer. It used to be the type writer. The computer is such a time saver.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
My first favorite character was and is Peter Pan. He wanted love but didn’t realize it. When he lost his shadow, he just wanted to be whole again. There is an eternity about him. Peter is always the hero for others.
Advice they would give new authors?
Give yourself a good writer’s education. Find out where the nearest chapter of the Romance Writers of America is. Look them up on the internet. They have the best education process for fiction writers. Many of the chapters like CTRWA in Connecticut have a yearly conference that provides workshops and talks that help any fiction writer.
Keep your day job, and enjoy being a writer.
What makes a good story?
Conflict, passion, and coming close to losing. The main characters can’t be perfect from the beginning and not learn and grow during their story. They need to be confronted with a problem so big, that they don’t think they can solve it.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I write the dream in my journal. I will summarize and/or do an outline that is more like a list of each action. When I’m writing it, I come up with chapter titles.
A common trap is to think you have to plot it all out before writing. Some minds don’t work that way.
Just get the story in your mind down on paper. Read it aloud. Dream on it.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I am always original and hopefully deliver what the readers want at the same time. My main characters are always different from book to book. My current readers know there is a familiar vampire family but that every book has a spotlight on a different vampire member and their individual story.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
That depends on the word count. I have written a book under 50,000 words in 3 months. Currently, I write the big full-sized novels and that can take a year to 3 years. I am including research time in that.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I know it is real. For many years, I was a creative writing teacher and helped people get past it.
For me, it happened when I was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. It wasn’t so much writer’s block as writer’s fragmentation. My dreams and thought processes weren’t as clear as usual. The wonderful authors at the Facebook group Writers Helping Writers told me to keep writing even if it isn’t clear. I had to get out as much as I could and also maintain my routine. I wrote two chapters and it was as if I skipped every other sentence.
I have writer’s overwhelming normally, which means I have 4 to 6 books in my head all waiting to land.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
Life. I try to live my life as fully as I can. I talk to people everywhere I go. I love meeting people. Become one with your experiences whether it’s going to a country fair, seeing New York’s Statue of Liberty, building a snowman, or doing other things and going places. Absorb cultures and history. See the food. Dance to the music. Listen to the silence of the forest. Inspiration is all around you. Embrace everything your life is and then write.
Love. Friends and family give us a wealth of secure happy feelings. Love inspires.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!