Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Valentine’s Day Encounter

14 February 2003

Valentine’s Day. How the Victorians loved this day, celebrating with handwritten poetry and gifts of flowers. I wonder how many of them realised the tradition stemmed from celebrations for an early Christian saint named Valentinus. Although apparently, the first association with actual romance should be accredited to Geoffrey Chaucer in the Middle Ages.

This Valentine’s night, I sit alone in my Georgian house in Highgate, writing my journal, just as I have done for more than three hundred years. So many things have changed over the centuries, including the actual journal itself – and my writing implement. Perhaps one day I shall even use a computer, although the thought makes me smile.

Do not waste sympathy on me, for I choose to live alone. I am dangerous. Too dangerous, perhaps, to live with others. I am a vampire – the Elder vampire of London. My responsibilities are many and varied, such is the penance for eternal life.

I have, of course, taken many lovers, a man is a man no matter how old he may be. But none have stayed. The human lovers perished, the vampires either left, or I tired of them. Never have I found the one true love for whom my non-beating heart yearns. Until ... perhaps ... now.

The first stirrings of the thirst alerted me a little after the grandfather clock in the hall struck nine. I needed to feed, and soon. My mind wandered to the beautiful little redhead I had seen dance at the Adelphi Theatre. For some reason I found it difficult to erase her memory. She danced like a dream, her grace and beauty so bright – like a captive star. Her personality captivated me, and I have been back several times to watch her performance. She never disappoints.

Throwing my pen down, I stood and walked over to the window and looked out at the peaceful walled garden. Moonlight picked out the tangled mass of ivy clinging to the wall, and bathed everything in a cold silvery glow. I needed to be out there. I could feel the compulsion to feed growing with every passing minute.


Once again, I found myself standing just over the road from the stage door of the Adelphi, and I watched for my quarry from a dark doorway. Eventually the redhead come out, surrounded by her friends. They called her ‘Ellie,’ and I stored the information away for future use.

Suddenly to my surprise, she looked across the road – directly at me – and smiled.

Could it be she had actually noticed me? An old woman stood nearby, selling long-stemmed red roses, and on impulse, I purchased them all – at an exorbitant price – and then strode swiftly across the road to ‘Ellie.’

She stopped when I stepped in front of her, blushing furiously, and looked up at me with startling eyes like twin sapphires.

“Happy Valentine’s Day,” I said with a smile. “You dance like an angel.”

She laughed a little self-consciously, and accepted the flowers. “Thank you, please tell my choreographer that.”

Her friends had stopped a little way up the road to wait for her, and were looking back at us with huge smiles on their faces.

“I have to go,” she said.

“Of course.” I stepped back to allow her to pass. “Until we meet again then.”

With her arms full of red roses, she walked away from me, glancing back once to smile again, before disappearing into the night.

A Happy Valentine’s Day indeed.

© Berni Stevens 2012


If you want to read more about Will and Ellie . . . you’ll find their story in Fledgling J

Published by The Wild Rose Press – in Black Rose of course!

I hope your Valentine's Days were wonderful!

Writing Blocked by Life

Writing has been a chore this winter. My schedule has been blasted to pieces and I haven’t been able to regain momentum.

In an effort to overcome the blank in my creative brain, I am trying the reliable methods I’ve used in the past.

Ocean Pond, Osceola National Forest
Since we don’t have a bathtub in the camper, I can’t soak in the tub with soft music, so cross that one off.

Yesterday I spent several hours afternoon sitting near the lake. The water was ruffled by the wind. Birds chirped and tweeted. Otherwise it was so quiet I could hear the earth turning on its axis. I emptied my mind of work. This was time to refresh and relax. Did I return home to write prolifically? Hah. Maybe next time.

Today I took a walk. The forest is priming for spring. Scattered mayflowers poke white faces toward the sun. Pinecones plop to the ground. (Did you know they need to burn to force the seeds to sprout? ) Squirrels race in crazy circles as they hunt a mate. Again the birds twittered and cheeped.  I found a heap of bear scat alongside the path. (That is the fancy term for bear poop.) This is black bear country.

Osceola National Forest
Did I return enthused about my story? Un-uh.

So what is the plan?

Today I stared at my computer screen.

I have a plan. I’m going to find my original enthusiasm by reading my synopsis/outline. I’m making notes. I’m looking at my story with clear eyes and focusing on where I’m going with it.

I feel better having shared with you. I know you understand.

In Ancient Awakening, Police Officer ‘Mel’ Petersen investigates a death only she believes is murder. By disobeying direct orders from the Rhodes End Chief, she risks her career to follow clues that twist in circles to her backyard and lead the killer to her.

Her neighbor Stephen Zoriak is a prime suspect. Steve worked for a major pharmaceutical company where he discovered a weapon so dangerous he destroys the research. He is exposed to the dangerous organism. He suspects he is the killer and agrees to help her find the truth.

In the course of their investigation Mel and Steve find the real killer and a love that defies death.


Legend gave him many names, but the wide halls of his mountain retreat no longer echoed with countless worshipers. He could have ruled the world had his ambition not died with the passage of time. The endless whispers were from the cold winds and the few praying priests. He didn’t care that he couldn’t remember his real name or birthplace.

For an eon he’d regretted the loss of softer emotions. Love had been the first feeling to die, along with the woman who had insisted he would never harm her. He couldn’t recall her features just the merry tinkle of her laughter and the bright smile she had greeted him with every morning. He licked his lips. She’d tasted sweet.

Fierce need flared in his gut and he sniffed the air. Outside his chamber a single acolyte in long brown robes waited to escort him. His mouth curved with a mirthless smile. The silent servants had ignited the flickering wall torches. Shadows jumped and shivered in the drafty halls like nervous virgins.

Check my excerpts on my website:

Ancient Blood

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Paranormal Lover’s Valentine’s Day

So, you’re looking for something to give to your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day. Most people may think of a dozen roses, a box of chocolate, a necklace of diamonds, or a candlelit dinner, which are all very nice ideas. But, what if your loved one likes something a little different? Something with a little more paranormal flair with his/her Valentine’s Day?

Here are some ideas on how to share your Valentine’s Day with a paranormal lover:

  1.  A candlelight dinner sounds marvelous, especially if it precedes a candlelit séance for two, or three, or four (invisible guests are included). 
  2. Spend your Valentine’s day in a haunted hotel. Nothing says hold me close as you listen to the spectral moaning, thumping footsteps in the hall when no one is there, or the blankets being yanked off your feet in the middle of the night. 
  3. Take your sweetie on a ghost hunt. The thrill of the chase, or the lengthy time just waiting for something to happen, will bring the two of you together for a special night. 
  4. Go to a psychic for a reading. Want to know if you’ll spend your lives together or perhaps already did in a past life? Perhaps a psychic specializing in those unique readings could shed some light for you. 
  5.  Need something a little more simple? Take your lover to a spooky movie where you can hold each other close while squealing in fright! Or watch one of the numerous TV series that feature ghosts, vampires, and other ghoulies, most of which are often falling in love these days.
Happy Valentine’s Day!!

~Tricia Schneider is a paranormal romance author. For more information about her books, visit her website or blog.