The hunter’s moon skittered across the starless sky, casting its blood-red glow on the nearby cemetery. For a fleeting second, the ghostly image of Dracula materialized above a headstone, his black cape rippling in the wind. Dayana’s flesh tingled at the sight. He had the face of a Greek god, six-pack abs she’d love to run her nine inch black fingernails through—and he was dressed in low cut black jeans, his belt buckle undone. His eyes gleamed with fire. Oh what a thrill.
From deep in the woods, a werewolf howled, its keening wail befittingly foreboding. Dayana smiled as she scurried into the courtyard surrounding the Gothic mansion. It was Halloween, her favorite holiday of the year. And what better night for the supernatural to come out and play. Costumed in her Gothic best, a brushed emerald velvet gown with a tight lace-up bodice and creamy lace trim, her flesh tingled with eager anticipation. The wind swooshed through the willowy pines in the forest, causing her long flowing sleeves to billow and flutter. The werewolf howled again, the cry of the wild crawling inside her skin. Oh how she loved this night, the paranormal, the supernatural, the otherworldly.
The torch lit candles shed an eerie glow on the two wolves keeping vigil at the fortress gate. Their eyes red-hot and gleaming, low growls spewing from deep in their throats, they granted her access to the mansion. As Dayana tugged on the rope to announce her entrance, shivers of anticipation raced down her spine. And with a groaning creak, the heavy oak door opened and Oliver stood there grinning, his razor-sharp fangs glowing like shards of molten glass.
You rang? Extending his hairy arm, he escorted the Gothic queen to the parlor where the guests had gathered for the Halloween party. The pet raven soared down the spiral staircase, his massive wings edged with spider webs. With a chilling screech, he swooped down on Dayana’s shoulder. An eerie whistle snaked its way through the dark corridor, the only light the gleaming red eyes of the mounted heads of werewolves. From the parlour, the theme song from Dark Shadows drifted, filling Dayana with nostalgic memories of centuries past.
The parlour was dark and sinister, rose-scented candelabras bathing the guests in ghoulish light. Sweeping branches from the pines painted willowy shadows on stained glass windows. The Werewolf of London stood in the dark recesses, chatting with the Queen of Darkness. Souls of the Living Dead floated about and the Tiger of London purred with feline delight. Sharon fluttered about, socializing with her guests, donned as a Gothic vampiress, her blood-red gown and ruby choker the perfect ensemble. She rushed to greet Dayana, snapping her fingers for Oliver to bring Dayana’s beverage of choice.
Sharon: Good evening, Gothic sister. You look most befitting on this night of nights. And here comes Oliver with your Kuluhah and Creme and a platter of Ritz crackers smothered with butter and strawberry jam and some PB & J sandwiches, your favorite comfort food.
Dayana: Sharon, thank you so much for having me and remembering my favorites. You are always such a dear!
Sharon: Raises her glass of Merlot. So while the guests gather around to meet you, do tell us about yourself.
Dayana Knight grew up near the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey where the legendary 13th Son, better known as the Jersey Devil was born and the popular television shows Dark Shadows, The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.
As a young girl, Dayana thrived on anything supernatural and paranormal. It only made sense she’d grow up with a desire to write her own stories about her favorite creatures and things that go bump in the night. Dayana enjoys solitary walks in mist-covered forests, visiting century-old cemeteries, and spine-tingling ghost stories. And, of course, her favorite celebration is Samhain, All Saints Day, better known as Halloween.
She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Florida Romance Writers, Inc. and does free lane reviews when time allows. She can be found in the following venues
Sharon: Most excellent. And here comes Oliver with a refill and some dark chocolate delights, and a peanut butter mousse pie, smothered with whipped cream. He presents the culinary treats to Dayana, casting her a wicked wink.
Dayana: Oh my! Maybe I could smother you in whipped cream and dark chocolate as well,
Oliver. *Dayana winks and grins seductively licking her cherry red lips* You have certainly outdone yourself once again. Where did you find this delicious tall drink of a man or should I say vampire, Sharon?
Sharon: Raises her silver chalice, an evil smile curling her lips. Well,dear,let’s just say I got rid of Oliver’s nemesis and he is eternally grateful. Sharon winks. Ah, yes, this Merlot is most befitting tonight. So Dayana, now that you have the attention of the guests, why not tell us about your books and then answer a few questions before the dancing commences.
Curse of the Marhime
A routine visit to the grocery store and a chance encounter with a psychic plunges
Pita Sedgwick into a dark world of shape-shifting, magic, and Gypsy lore. Pita finds
herself on a plane to Romania, seeking the answers to her mysterious birth and in
search of her biological family. Fate intervenes in the form of handsome seatmate,
Niko Ionesciu. Pita is sure she’s found love and her history. But as her innocent
fact-finding mission spirals into a dangerous game of revenge and deceit with the
Gypsy Matriarch, the psychic’s words come back to haunt her. Can she trust the people
around her with her terrifying secret or will the search for her family end in the
Vesta Johns has everything going for her—except her health. Desperate to find the
answers to her lethargy and her insatiable desire for raw meat and sex, she seeks
out the help of her doctor, but Dr. Cohen can give her no answers. Or can she?
Torrence Simiene is a medical consultant with a unique specialization. As an alpha
werewolf, it’s been his job to aid Dr. Cohen’s special patients through their transition
from human to shifter, for years. This time, however, it’s different. Vesta arouses
his primal lust, and he’s having a hard time keeping her at a distance.
Will the doctor’s plan of care offer the ultimate cure for Tor and Vesta’s bestial
cravings, or further drive them apart?
Sharon: Ah, let the fun begin. So tell us, what inspires you to write the paranormal, the supernatural and to what lengths to you let your imagination go?
Dayana: Ho boy! My imagination is why I write paranormal. I have a vivid imagination and had no problem anytime in my life entertaining myself. I used to playact the serial television show Dark Shadows as a child. I’d toss sheer curtains all over my room and pretend they were the cobwebs of the deserted “east wing” of the mansion and pretend I was wandering through its eerie halls. Of course, I was always AngeliqueJ I have loved the paranormal from a very tender age and it just feels natural to write it.
Sharon: Dark Shadows was always one of my favorites, especially on rainy, dreary days. So tell us about your book, the setting, the hero and heroine.
Dayana: The Roma Wolf Tales Series is set between Romanian Carpathian Mountains and the Montana Rockies. Curse of the Marhime is the first book of the series. (Book two is under construction as we speakJ)
Pita is an introverted young woman who is for the most part secure with her life. She lost her parents in a tragic car accident only a couple of years back and has always known she was adopted but had no interest in seeking out her biological parents…That is until now.
Niko is a self-assured artist that was born in Hungary and later migrated to Romania. He’s handsome yet has a devilishly boyish smile and very charming. Pita’s reaction to him is immediate.
The two meet as seatmates on a plane to Romania and pass a long layover in Munich as if they are new lovers. The strange thing is they share this eerie sensation when they touch, like an electrical current. They make plans to see each other again sometime and part ways.
You’ll just have to grab the book to learn moreJ
Sharon: Do you have one character in particular that lingers in your mind and if so why?
Dayana: If you speak generally, the one character that has touched my heart and will always remain in my mind is one from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. I fell in love with James Fraser aka Jamie. I’ve read the series no less that the number of books in it. Each time I got the newest book, I went back and reread the series!
Sharon: Do you believe in magic and legend and lore?
Dayana: Absolutely! I believe there are unexplained things, entities, forces out there. Not in a crazy way. I believe that behind every legend there is fact. The legends and stories came from somewhere.
Sharon: Ah, a woman after me own heart. Tis the wee Irish lass in me! LOL Tell us about the Black Rose line and the supernatural
Dayana: The Black Rose line takes the darker paranormal stories such as Vampire, Were/Shifters, Demons, Gargoyles, you get the picture. I know they would never turn away the lighter stories, but since the creatures we write about are more sensual, they typically consist of a spicier to hotter rating.
As far as the supernatural, I grew up with tales and family experiences that delved into the supernatural. I loved the adrenalin rush of hearing those tales and I, myself, had the desire to seek out the supernatural. We would take off into the night and drive into haunted woods, cemeteries – you name it. My favorite place was Batsto, an old village, now a historical landmark in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. I did a blog on the site not long ago and am writing a novella about the famed 13th Son or Jersey Devil now.
Sharon: What type of research do you do for the paranormal?
Dayana: Typically, I read and follow most things paranormal just for the sheer interest but I research anything I’m not familiar with thoroughly before I sit down to write it. For instance, I have never been to Romania, though people thought I had been and commented after reading Curse of the Marhime. I just dug in a gleaned any information I could about the country, its history, and its people. Also, I have a source in Romania as well as a friend who worked there for ten years that helped me immensely with the atmosphere and facts. I spent months printing out and researching the country. I have a four to five inch file just on that, LOL I did the same for Montana. I’ve not ever been there either.
I will tell you that I will see both Romania and the Rockies before I die! As well, Wolf Park in Battlecreek, Indiana.
Sharon: What’s next for Dayana Knight?
Dayana: I’ve got several projects in different stages. I am working on book two of the Roma Wolf Tale series, and I should probably mention here that Bestial Cravings, my latest work, is a companion short, which in effect introduces two of the newest characters into the mix. If you’ve read Curse but have not yet read BC you may want to pick that one up.
I’ve also got The Jersey Tale (working title) as I mentioned before in the works and am rewriting my first published novel for re-release sometime in the future. Now if I only had more hours in a day, more days in a week, I’d be getting somewhere!
Sharon: I adore superstitions and collect them in my magic wishing well. Can you share a favorite with me?
Dayana: Hmm…mine would be, I will not go out one door and come in another—Ever! People think it strange but I just can’t bring myself to do it, *grins* I always use the same doorway no matter how inconvenient.
Sharon: Hmmm. I have so many! So what do you suppose draws us to the rituals and customs of Halloween each year? The costumes? The decorating?
Dayana: For me, it’s the spirit and atmosphere of the holiday. It’s my way of celebrating the Pagan beliefs of nature. I am very basic and love the belief that the elements rule life. Mother Nature, earth, wind, water, fire. The moon and sun. For me it’s that simple. This is the day that signifies it for me.
Sharon: What is your favorite Halloween memory?
Dayana: My mother was always a great celebrator of Halloween as well and one year she made me a beautiful costume by hand of a Gypsy woman. I was so proud and felt so grown up (I was all of nine or ten, at the most). From my colorful ankle-length skirt to my huge silver hoop earrings and my long blonde hair now colored black (Whoa! Mom wasn’t happy with that decision when she couldn’t get the black stuff out of my hair, LOL) and all the bangles dangling about my wrists. I was definitely the cat’s meow that Halloween. I will always cherish that memory.
Sharon: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I would have to say Romania because I am infatuated with the country’s charm and imagery. After all that’s where Dracula came from and btw he was a real person and highly revered though his history is dark and brutal his goal was to protect his country first and foremost, thus legends come from fact, as I stated earlier. I love the image of the rolling hills, eerie forests, and wolves—my favorite creature next to domestic dogs.
Sharon: If you could star in any literary fiction which would it be and why?
Dayana: I would have to say Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, LOL
Sharon: And last but not least, who would you want playing your romantic hero?
Dayana: Okay, here’s where we get a bit tricky. It would definitely be Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, but instead, he would be Mica, the shifter in the series:)
Sharon: Thank you, Dayana. Now what do you say we mingle and mix and do some dancing. And look who just blew in from Rumania. Why it’s Dracula!
As the theme from the X Files drifted through the room, Dracula pulled Dayana into his arms and shrouded her in his long, flowing cape.