Friday, December 21, 2007
I know, I know. You just want to link. I understand. 80)
Thursday, December 20, 2007
First a few spooky ones. Even Drusilla!
And perhaps some that look like me....
And some cool fanciful works!
Check out The Sweet Girls who made these at the Doll on the Hill Factory!
And for more toys, check out my fun pages at FSO!
Since we were such a hit, here's a draft of The Vampire Family, Chapter 2. My livejournal seems to have the most reader friendly format, but I couldn't resist posting here!
Since we were such a hit, here's a draft of The Vampire Family, Chapter 2. My livejournal seems to have the most reader friendly format, but I couldn't resist posting here!
Antonio sat on a pile of hay. He violently plucked and pulled the straw apart.
“If he wants us to leave, he will have to build a wagon to carry us,” Antonio groaned to
Antonio threw the piece of hay aside and picked up another, “I will not help him.”
“We must go live with Uncle Henry. I don’t think even you can stop that,”
The sun shined on the town gate, and a partly finished castle lay beyond. The tiny wagon teetered to the new home, and Antonio looked at his tout Uncle Henry, “When did this happen?”
“It’s been growin’ steady. Sheepin’ is good business. I offered your dad a piece awhile back, but he refused it.”
Portly though he was, Henry’s face showed the wear and tear of his business. Still, he was jovial nonetheless.
“What exactly is your position in all this?” Antonio asked Uncle Henry.
“It’s all mine,” Henry smiled. “I’m not really a King, but I am the ruler here. More like a First Citizen actually.”
Ann and Elizabeth looked at Antonio. He wondered if they saw his evil plans churning in his eyes and chuckled.
“When I move on, all this goes to my son Gaston,” Uncle Henry twisted to face the young man. . “You remember Gaston, don’t you, Antonio?”
The rickety wagon pulled up to the Castle door. A young girl opened the door and ran out. . Antonio stared intently, smitten by this auburn haired, emerald-eyed beauty.
“My little Romina!” Uncle Henry stepped down and pulled his angelic child into his arms. . “Romina, this is Antonio. Antonio, Romina.”
Antonio bowed, “It is an honor to know the same blood runs through our veins.” He took Romina’s hand and tried to kiss it, but she pulled away before his lips met the fair and soft flesh. He knew he had her cornered with his very presence. Somehow, Romina would learn to live with him-and like it.
“Do you think she is promised to someone?” Antonio asked Ann.
“Romina?” Ann maneuvered the topsoil around her plants and planted her seeds on the side of the castle. Antonio didn’t help, just stood above her and blocked the daylight.
“Of course Romina. She is some sort of Princess or lady or something. Do you think she is promised to someone?”
“Do you think she likes me?” Antonio looked at Ann instead of daydreaming.
“Well, Antonio,” Ann looked up at him. “She didn’t seem to.”
“She didn’t like me?” Antonio pouted.
“Not really, Antonio.”
Ann stopped her gardening.
“We have a chance for a new life here. There’s no need to chase what cannot be had.”
Antonio clenched his fist. Ann stood and flinched away, yet she studied his profile. Antonio smirked at his control over her, then walked away with no care for the ward’s opinion.
“Then I’ll make her like me.”
Gaston rode through the main street lined with his worshippers. His bay horse was tall., Antonio’s cousin was sandy haired, grey eyed, tall, and proud. Gaston sat high above the peasants brushing his legs and waved. Antonio watched this spectacle from his room high in the castle.
A new casualty.
The door to Antonio’s room swung open.
“Have you seen my pin?” Ann hurried in and took the brush off the table. She brushed her hair a few times and opened one of the table’s wooden drawers.
“Did you ask
Antonio straightened his plaid dressing and smoothed his white blouse with his hands. Ann stomped in frustration but caught his humor.
“Are you making fun of me?”
“Of course I am,” Antonio approached her, but Ann’s hair was hanging in her face. Antonio reached up softly and swept the delicate hair back behind her ear.
“I like your yellow dress. It’s like your hair. You look lovely. Now, let’s hurry before we miss him,” Antonio pressed Ann out the door. He glimpsed his ax among his bed sheets, then left.
Gaston dismounted at the front of the castle as Antonio watched from inside the door.
“Glad you’re back in one piece, lad,” Uncle Henry shook hands with his son.
“Thank you, Father,” Gaston noticed Ann and Elizabeth with his sister. “I’ m glad to be back.”
Romina took Gaston’s hand, “These are our cousins, Ann and Elizabeth.”
Gaston took a fair hand from each sister and kissed them both. Antonio shifted as he cringed in the doorframe.
“Seems that Romina forgot about our other new arrival,” Henry put his arm around Gaston and led him to the door. “Gaston, this is Antonio.”
Gaston bowed his head as Antonio removed himself from the doorframe. He slowly sulked towards Gaston. Antonio’s body language told his opinion of Gaston and his arrival perfectly.
You shouldn’t be here.
Gaston put out his hand for a handshake, but Antonio ignored the outstretched hand. He stood still while Antonio’s eyes examined him, but Uncle Henry slapped both of them on the back, unaware.
“Come inside, boys. The butcher will have something special ready.”
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
A little taste to whet your appetites-unedited, of course.
The Vampire Family
“Ye sharpen that old ax,” Antonio’s father, Edward dragged him out of bed. It wasn’t a particularly comfortable bed nor was there any luxury in sleeping until dawn, but in sixteen summers Antonio’s penance was never paid. Edward pulled Antonio outside and shoved him up the jagged hill overlooking their shabby homestead. Antonio didn’t know why. He didn’t always care, either. Sometimes he looked upon the stone home’s smoking chimney, longing to be inside, but always he was left to grind away on the rocks.
“Ye stay there till supper and then I says if you can eat.”
Sunset came, and Antonio knew his father would stumble back up from the valley. Antonio watched the large bull block out the fading sun. He was old and vile compared to his own labored physique. The elder grabbed Antonio and shoved him down the hill as always. The wind picked up and dark clouds blew over the rising moon. Rain poured down on Antonio, and the ground quickly became soggy and muddy.
Antonio squinted through raindrops and saw two young girls running from the wet fields with the family’s animals. His adopted sisters knew Edward’s torment. Ann’s light hair clumped together as she pushed the sheep into the barn.
Antonio saw Ann and Elizabeth wrestling below with the horse.
“Father!” He tried to tell Edward, but fell silent on a jab in the face from the ax handle. The workhorse stomped in the mud as the thunder and lightning crackled. The natural sounds deafened Antonio, then the horse reared, and Antonio heard the leather bridal snap.
The horse screamed as it tumbled with the plow and rolled down the hill. His thud echoed- dead as the broken plow was useless. The Welshire Patriarch raced down the terrain towards Ann and Elizabeth. He grabbed
“No!” She cried as Ann ran to the house. “Please!”
Ann continued running towards the house as quick as her small legs and the natural circumstances would allow. Another bolt of thunder rumbled in the sky, and Ann ducked the lightning prick on the thatched roof of the stone home. Ann turned to the barn, but Antonio’s father was on her tracks. The elder Welshire grabbed the golden-haired child by her wet and sun-tipped strands. She was his ward now, and Edward drug her back to the hill’s crest.
Antonio watched the scene unfold from the top of the hill. He looked at his sharpening stone and heard Ann’s screams. Antonio leaped to his feet. His legs moved down the hill and past the smoking home. His hands touched his father’s evil body as sixteen years of anger, frustration, and pain helped him push his father down the hill.
The muddy hillside sank as Edward rolled down the rocky terrain. The old man’s ax ripped from its leather tie and dropped in the mud. Antonio spotted the shiny ax tip in the ground and raced towards it. The father fell into the mud but Antonio was over him with the ax. Now Antonio had the upper hand, and the elder Welshire tried to move from the danger. Antonio reveled in Edward’s turnabout-he was a turtle overturned onto its shell.
Antonio raised the ax over his head with both hands. He let the ax come down to meet his father’s flesh.
Antonio sat on the edge of the bed, tired but pleased with himself. He laid his palm against
“You may come in, Ann,” Antonio called. Ann peeked around the sheepskin curtain that divided the house into two rooms. Ann stepped into the space reserved by the curtain. There was much for Antonio to do, including the disposition of their spineless mother. Antonio continued to apply the wet rag. “Today we will repair the roof, and I will take care of mother.”
Ann said nothing and retreated outside to untied Mother Welshire’s horse from the post. She opened the basket on the horse and pulled out various coins and currency.
“I will take those,” Antonio stood in the doorway. He stepped over, took the coins, and dropped them one at a time into the pouch on his belt. Ann’s eyes widened at the ax hanging next to the pouch, but she led the horse to the barn. Kind as he was to her and
Antonio reached the slope where his mother mourned the now tiny body.
She fell for that robber’s story! Pathetic!
Antonio’s plotting had come swiftly once his hands touched the ax. No veil or cowardice shielded him now. Antonio took his time getting to the woman. After all ,she had plenty of time to look the other way while Edward did the things he did.
I can take my time. She only has so much time. When
Mother Eira hovered over the bloody face and kissed her husband’s lips.
“Mother,” Antonio shook his thoughts away. Eira wiped the tears from her eyes, stood, and straightened her long dress. The Welshire Matriarch opened her arms and embraced her son. Antonio tried to resist, then he broke the hug. “Come, Mother.”
Antonio sat up in his bed. He heard screaming, right before Ann burst into the house. Antonio tried to make sense of what she was saying.
“The frost came! The frost came early and killed all my crops!” Ann clutched some dead vegetation in her hands. She had labored so long against the unforgiving land, somehow finding joy in making life when hers was so dismal. Ann thrust the crops in his face.
Antonio stood outside the back window of the stone home. Snow piled up to his knees, but Mother Welshire sat inside by the fire and sewed. Perhaps she was not oblivious or uncaring, but simply incapable of doing anything about their humble existence. Goodness is easier said then done. Antonio eyed his mother with contempt. He was no longer concerned with inaction. He loaded a stone into his slingshot, pulled back, then released the weapon The jagged stone hit Eira in the back of the head, and she tumbled to the floor.
Antonio climbed in the window and walked to the main door. He was going to do things his way from now on. Ann and Elizabeth now belonged to him.
Oh no! I’ve tracked snow in the house. Who is there to tell me? Who rules me now? No one!
Antonio opened the door and shoved the body out into the snow. Ann and Elizabeth stood in silence while Antonio kicked at the body to knock it completely outside. He didn’t need to say his plans before them. Had they learned their submissive lesson from Father Welshire, or was it Antonio’s ways that chilled their bones? . He slammed the door shut, locked the cold metal latch, and gave no explanation to Ann or Elizabeth. Why should he?
Mother Welshire woke in the snow. Groggy, she sat up and touched the back of her head. Both her hand and the snow around her were stained with drips of blood. Numb from the hours in the cold, Eira’s body shook with trauma and panic. She stumbled to her feet and knocked on the door in time with her still pounding heart. “
The three children raised their heads. Ann and Elizabeth leaned closer to the front window and Eira looked at them.
“Do not move,” She heard Antonio ordered the younger two. “It is for the best.”
“Ann,” Eira banged on the door. The urgency in her voice grew. “Please let me in!”
Snowflakes fell fast and quickly raised the wintry blanket across the land. Mother Welshire pounded on the door with equal velocity. Antonio tricked me. I suspect he was behind his father’s death, too.
No! Antonio is only trying to scare me. A game! What a sick game! I feel so dizzy. No. I knew he was evil.
She collapsed against the door and sobbed, “Why won’t you let me in?” Eira smacked the door in vain. “What did I do? I didn’t do anything wrong! Why are you doing this to me?”
Ann jumped up from the window, and her mother heard the latch creak Eira hoped there was will left in Ann yet, but Antonio approached the window.
“No. Unless you want to join her.”
Mother Welshire rapped on the door, and her fingers bled. The vessels in her hands popped from impact and the cold. Eira tried to stand .
Maybe a window? The barn!
The rising snow and her freezing limbs thwarted her efforts.and she tumbled to the icy ground.
The young girls heard their adopted mother’s cries for a few more hours. Loud, then soft. Weeping, yelling. Slowly the wind carried away the faint moaning and whimpers. Now, there was silence. The snow stopped, and Ann insisted they open the door.
“She is dead, Antonio,” She found her tongue too late. “Let’s not leave her out there.”
“I’m leaving her to be sure,” Antonio warmed his hands by the fire-his plot had been the first step in his letting go. Ann ducked behind the sheepskin wall.
The sun rose and
She slid the bolt carefully, but it squeaked a little.
Mother Eira stood frozen in the snow. A contorted and morbid statue her arms were in the air, and her fists were clenched in their banging position. Frozen blood lined her arms and the collar of her sheepskin. Mother Welshire’s eyes were open. The blue irises were, glazed over with a white frost. Forever was her mouth to be open, too. Her tongue captured midway between the chapped lips, and saliva dangled like icicles from what yellow teeth she had.
He removed his hand, and
They are so mysterious. Deceptive? Frightening!
Antonio shut the door on his mother and returned to the fire.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Yes it sounds crazy, but allow me a few moments to tell you about The Vampire Family. Not your garden variety horror novel, instead of glorifying the darkness and spooky imagery, The Vampire Family warns of the consequences, issues, division, and conflict that will arise when flawed people come under evil’s power.
The Vampire Family and the Mature Youth
The Vampire Family is not for everyone, naturally. I began the initial ‘vampfam’ short story in high school many years ago, and the feel of angst and youth remain in the novel today. Scholastic has done several studies on the decline of youth readership. Teens are often distracted with games and television, but frankly, there isn’t quality reading material for the 15 to 22 demographic. Like most genre fiction, The Vampire Family provides serious allegory to inspire the young mind.
The Vampire Family’s story begins in the
The Church and The Vampire Family
You can take The Vampire Family merely at its face value-enjoyable enough to horror fans, sure. It’s not overtly mentioned in the novel, but The Vampire Family has an underlining Christian theme noticeable to the religious eye. Before their descent into vampirism, during, and after, The Vampire Family has struggled-no the Welshire’s relationships have been down right turbulent-stemming mainly from one thing: They don’t all agree on being vampires. Antonio’s daughter Victoria lives up the vampire lifestyle, but youngest child Samantha seeks an escape from the family’s decadent lifestyle. This darkness versus light theme runs throughout the novel. Unlike other popular horror, The Vampire Family reiterates one thing: darkness is wrong. In fact, its purpose may be to bring one to the light.
The division among the Welshires may oversimplify, in fact. Duality and internal conflict is constant for people of all times, places, and creeds. Perhaps however, this difficulty is found most in today’s Christian, with one foot in the service of the Lord and the other step caught in today’s secular and dissident world.
What The Vampire Family is Really About
I’m not one for special effects or fancy imagery. The Vampire Family is about people with problems. They need not be European vampires from the Middle Ages. It’s
Get Involved with The Vampire Family
Maybe you like a philosophical discussion, or perhaps you’re a youth leader who needs a new approach for an ornery group of teens. You may even be an individual searching for something more. If you’re an open minded church, business, or organization, perhaps an event with The Vampire Family is for you.
Samples of speeches or essays are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, and the first three chapters of The Vampire Family are available at http://jsnouff.com/kristin. A biography, photos, slideshows, other short stories, and non fiction are also available at the website. Please email me about the availability of advanced reader copies of The Vampire Family.
Alternatively, feel free to join the Kristin Battestella Yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kristinbattestella for additional news and discussions. If your group would like to host a chat, presentation, discussion, or workshop on The Vampire Family, please feel free to contact me.
About The Vampire Family Author
Kristin Battestella writes for her hometown newspaper in
Important Vampfam Links
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The first half of the interview is at my livejournal page,
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Directly, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kristinbattestella/cal. If you're not a member, join us!
Who knew there would be such a clamor for vampyness?
Don't forget that The Vampire Family is being re-released on Feb 7, my birthday!
If you have a horror site or book blog and would like to take part in The Vampire Family action, feel free to contact me! It's like a bluelight special!
Don't forget about the Eternal Press Readers Group or the Eternal Press ezine. Lots of Vampire Family-ness happening there in the next few months.