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Vampires Don’t Sparkle – SSP Review & an #ArmchairBEA giveaway

 Welcome to Thursdays #ArmchairBEA post & my main review of the week!


I want to share a welcome back to my new #ArmchairBEA friends and offer my own giveaway of a GC (Int’l) or T-Shirt (one of the two choices.) Also I want to welcome the tour followers of Seventh Star Press’ Anthology Extravaganza which also has it’s own HUGE #giveaway!

Review of Vampires Don’t Sparkle
SSP Anthology Edited by Michael West

Are you surprised I am reviewing this? Really? Well than you are new to Kriss’ world because in my world, vampires… THEY DON’T SPARKLE!!! I will hold back because there are tons of new readers this week and promise to keep most of my normal diatribe free of my colorful vocabulary.. promise. On that note, vampires were the first monster my father handed me in a book and my grandmother had me watch with her in a movie and have always terrified me. I mourn for the terror they used to bring into our lives!

What caught my eye when I saw the announcement of this new anthology at the beginning of the year was the title and it’s promise to back the night. Also who the editor would be and later the list of authors I got even more excited. It is now almost June and I have read it through and through more than a few times and fallen a little more in love with it each read.

Some of my favorite comments and quotes from some of these deadly creatures and their hunters:

“If your victim didn’t die, you might as well be drinking water.” 

“Al liked to wait a bit before disposing of his empties, just in case they turned.” 

“My official title is ‘occult detective’ and yes, I wear a trenchcoat and fedora. Some clichés are just too good to mess with.”

“Van Dyck? Van Buren? Van… who knows? Don’t worry… I’ll come up with something.”

“…if Jesus loves him as much as those bumper stickers say he does, then he can shovel that stuff down himself.”

“As the sun rises, the fiend dies before our eyes, its body bound by the twinkling lights of a Christmas Angel. “Huh,” Sarah says, “I guess sometimes vampires do sparkle”

Oh dear, there are so many more, wonderful sound “bites” and these are just from the a small amount of stories  Top stories? I do not want to taint it. I was drawn first because it is an SSP title, second because Michael West as editor, Tim Waggoner whom I adore from his Nikropolis – Michael Richter series  and I was really curious what RJ was going to pull with a robot vampire! The rest, all of them have a little for everyone’s “tastes” (I slay me.. oh.. oh hehehe)

If you thought the circus was creepy because of the clowns? Think again! That tent in the back? You may not want to go back there, really I don’t think you should. Oh dear and dancing robots whose AI gets an upgrade? Be careful what you wish for … “When the machines take over” means something completely different in this story! Marrying an ancient terror with an unknown techno wonder(?) who knows what will happen! Sprinkle some humor with a tad bit of a Harry Dresdon and John Taylor flavored hard-boiled fun filled with snark (and I love my snark)! Add some beautiful esoteric and allegorical content plus a story from my neck of the woods and you have a complete meal delivered to you in a 16-course feast which will have you going on a secret run to the hardware store and buying a nightlight, a wooden garden stake and possibly sneaking in the local Catholic church with your Nigene bottle, just in case!

I want to say one thing, just a tiny one. I believe those who have created these sparkly vampires have possibly fallen for what Stoker was trying to get through with in a symbolic nature those gothi writers of old liked to throw at us. Evil doesn’t have to be in your face, ripping you to shreds, hanging you on meat hooks and grabbing your ankles from a storm drain. Evil can be a gentile creature, ask to be invited in and make you blush. Evil can tempt you to bare one of the most intimate parts of your body which protects your lifeline and as a vessel of light (since let’s face it the vampire myth is steeped in Christian mythology), your vessel which is full of blood… blood… *cackling maniacally*

All of this aside, the basic thing we keep forgetting about the vampire myth is this creature has been cursed, denied true death and rest because of some irreconcilable sin or religious taboo. So I will let these glitterfied authors slide, for now, because they have been glamored, after all. In this anthology, the only thing sparkling is the brilliant new shine on an ancient iconic monster.

To wrap this up, vampires were never meant to be moody century old creatures of the night who hang out in high schools and fall in love with jail bait! They are not threatening to become a martyr because they decide to try being Emo when they are about 150 years too old for Emo, by throwing themselves in to the sun where… get this.. OK … THEY SPARKLE!! You like them sparkly? That is fine! But you probably won’t like the true vampire mythology of blood sucking fiends! Awww *patting your glitter covered hair* I bet you cannot even remember what a real vampire is about! You should take a chance and check it out, you can read a sample on Amazon.

Michael West’s introduction to these sixteen stories shares two important things, one of a literary concern and one of a personal one which affects so many in our lives. Michael dedicated the book to Sara and his wife Stephanie. Proceeds from this collection and those to come will be going to support the fight with a donation to the American Cancer Society

“For two of the bravest women I have ever known, Sara and Stephanie. Promises to Keep.”

One lost her battle with breast cancer and his wife, Stephanie has won just in this last year. Having watched his passion being part of the Seventh Star Press group on Facebook (Seventh Star Sound-off, new minions err members welcome plus when you join you get an entry in the giveaway) and on his fan page it is evident how much this master of horror is passionate about all aspects of his life. He wants to bring the kinds of horror we love back into our lives and eradicate the real horror of cancer from it! Way to go Michael, and thank you!

Crap, I promised I was not going to go there.. I know………. I know but Michael said it first, so from the book, and I support this statement:

“Stephenie Meyer stole this monster from Bram Stoker. We’re stealin’ it back!”


Down for the Count by by poobear

Michael West edited an incredible collection of amazing tales with something for every real vampire lover. It is time to take back the night, people because these vampires don’t sparkle.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Vampires Don’t Sparkle! (editor Michael West)

What would you do if you had unlimited power and eternal life?  Vampires Don't Sparkle - SSP Review & an #ArmchairBEA giveaway

Would you…go back to high school? Attend the same classes year after year, going through the pomp and circumstance of one graduation after another, until you found the perfect date to take to prom?

Would you…spend your days moping and brooding, finding your only joy in a game of baseball on a stormy day? Or would you…do something else? Anything else? The authors of this collection have a few ideas; some fanciful, some humorous, and some as dark as an endless night. Join us, and discover what it truly means to be “vampyre.”

  • “A New Life” by J. F. Gonzalez
  • “What Once was Flesh” by Tim Waggoner
  • “The Darkton Circus Mystery” by Elizabeth Massie
  • “Robot Vampire” by R. J. Sullivan
  • “Beneath a Templar Cross” by Gord Rollo
  • “The Weapon of Memory” by Kyle S. Johnson
  • “The Excavation” by Stephen Zimmer
  • “Skraeling” by Joel A. Sutherland
  • “Dreams of Winter” by Bob Freeman
  • “Dracula’s Winkee: Bloodsucker Blues” by Gregory L. Hall
  • “I Fuck Your Sunshine” by Lucy A. Snyder
  • “A Soldier’s Story” by Maurice Broaddus
  • “Rattenkönig ” by Douglas F. Warrick
  • “Vampire Nation” by Jerry Gordon
  • “Curtain Call” by Gary A. Braunbeck

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to cancer research institutions to fight the real horrors of Cancer


Edited by Michael West ~ Foreword by Michael West ~ Genre: Horror/Dark Urban Fantasy


Michael West is a member of the Horror Writers Association and Indiana Horror Writers, where he serves as President. A graduate of Indiana University, West earned a degree in Telecommunications and Film Theory, and since that time, he has written a multitude of short stories, articles, and reviews for various on-line and print publications. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their bird, Rodan, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

His children are convinced that spirits move through the woods near their home. barbedwire

SSPLogoSeventh Star Press

Seventh Star Press is a small press publisher located in Lexington, KY.  SSP specializes in speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, and horror).  The company  was established in October of 2008.



  1. awesome post Kriss! I’ve got this on my kindle and can’t wait to read it 🙂
    Show me some love!

    • I got it the night it came out and it is SO SO SO good. You will LOVE RJ’s and Stephen’s WOW! GOSH all of them! HOLY COW!

  2. Omg no sparkly shit. Real vamps suck blood not themselves

  3. Without a doubt the classic vampire who DOES NOT sparkle but with lots of sex appeal (ie The Lost Boys)!
    Show me some love!

    • I think that is very Freudian *grin* this is still GLAMMED *giggling* but yes, the Lost Boys were BAD BAD Vamps!

  4. My favorite would be……I am going to be truthful I can’t decide.

    • haha AWESOME! At least you are honest!

  5. Yeah I don’t like sparkly vampires. I’ve had this anthology waiting for me for a while but who knows when I’ll get to read it. I’m very curious about it though and you make it sound fabulous 🙂
    Show me some love!

    • OHHHH its loverly!

  6. The classical sort is far more vampire-ish!! Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. As much as I like reading Twilight I do believe Vampires have no business shining or sparkling. They are creatures of night for sakes. So yeah I like the classic vampire.
    And ‘Vampires don’t Sparkle’ sounds like a very good humorous book!!

  8. Some of it is humorous and a LOT of it is SCARY as all get out! Believe me there is truly something for everyone…
    Show me some love!

  9. Vampires have always been my favorite. I find them fascinating. Of course, my first exposure to vampires was the Drac Pack, so a fairly innocuous form of vampires… LOL (my first horror movie, by contrast, was a werewolf flick) “Dracula” was the first of only three books to ever give me nightmares, but I still loves me some vampires – whether they’re totally evil and killing machines, or not. Actually, I rather prefer a more… umm can’t think of the word, but the type where you almost think they’re your friends, but they’d turn on you in a second, you know? Anyway, I’ve never read Twilight and don’t plan to, as it sounds like the sort of book I’d really dislike if for no other reason than the love triangle, so can’t comment on that.
    Show me some love!

  10. This is great! Now, I can appreciate both the “soft” vamps and the real ones and this sounds like a GREAT read!

  11. Sounds like a fun anthology. I like vampires too, even the new good ones, though my favorite are the demon ones like the ones from Buffy.
    Show me some love!

  12. I have a thing for the “real” monsters, and not the touchy feely ones. Give me some blood and gore, and I’m happy. 🙂

  13. I like my vamps blood-thirsty!

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

  14. Classic for sure! I recently read Bram Stoker’s Dracula. He ain’t sparkly! Check out my post, Armchair BEA Discussion: Classic Literature Pt. 1 (Dracula)
    Show me some love!

  15. I definitely prefer the classic vampires over the sparkly Twilight variety. Love Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys (and I do love Eric Northman from TrueBlood, but that’s mostly just because, well, it’s Alexander Skarsgård).

    • Eric is SO YUMMEH!


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