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When Val unearths a Japanese scroll and a cat figurine inherited from her grandfather, magic invades her world. The statuette, actually a cat spirit named Yuki—a yokai—enchanted into that form for her own protection, comes to life. Over a century ago, an evil magician cast a curse on her, and a wolf-like demon conjured by the curse still hunts her. Because Val is the one who broke the protective spell, that dark magic endangers her, too. She must turn for help to the last person she wants to get involved with, her former high-school boyfriend, now an officer in the Navy. Together they search for a way to vanquish the threat from the spirit realm, while facing the attraction they thought they’d long since put behind them.

The summer when Heather was eighteen, her dream beast’s nightly visits warded off loneliness and swept her away in flights of ecstasy. Now, returning to the mountains to sell her dead parents’ vacation cabin, she finds her “beast” again. But he turns out to be more than a dream, and she is not the only woman who craves his kiss.

Devin’s first love, centuries in the past, died horribly because of her devotion to him. Does he dare to expose another mortal woman to that risk?

Terrie Figueroa of Romance Reviews Today says: “CRIMSON DREAMS is a unique and intriguing tale. Detailed characterization and vivid narrative move the story forward and keep the reader interested from beginning to end.”

 

Different Blood: The Vampire as Alien

Different blood flows in their veins-but our blood quenches their thirst.

From Bram Stoker´s 1897 creation of Count Dracula, portrayed as a foreign invader bent on the conquest of England, the literary vampire has symbolized the Other, whether his or her otherness arises from racial, ethnic, sexual, or species difference. Even before the bloodsucking Martians of H. G. Wells´ War of the Worlds, however, popular fiction contained a few vampires who were members of alien species rather than supernatural undead. Guy de Maupassant´s Horla is only one of the best-known.

An extensive bibliography guides the reader to numerous novels and short stories on the “vampire as alien” theme, many of them still in print.

S. T. Joshi says in WEIRD TALES: “Veteran novelist, critic, and anthologist Margaret L. Carter has issued an admirable critical study. . . a penetrating survey of vampire fiction from the late nineteenth century almost to the present day.”