Thursday, August 11, 2011

Guest Post: Arial Burnz

Hello, Andrea! Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog today!

One of the first questions most people ask when they learn I’ve just released my debut novel MIDNIGHT CONQUEST is: How long did it take you to write your first book?

*Arial collapses on the floor with a laborious groan* I cringe at that question because I’m afraid the answer will scare people away from writing! Why? Because it took me…


Seriously…from the time I wrote my first draft until it was available for sale this past June 2011…twenty years had passed. Did it take me twenty-years of constant writing? No. At the same time, the story I penned in 1991 only slightly resembles the story I hold in my hands today, so it did keep evolving through the years.

MIDNIGHT CONQUEST started out as BONDED BY BLOOD and was originally meant as a single-title. The period in history, characters and basic plot are the same. However, amidst the fog and obstacles of life (e.g., two divorces, moving from England to Germany, back to the USA, and finally meeting and marrying my romance novel hero), I developed other stories. But my main character Broderick kept nudging me, saying, “Those are my stories, too.” (Yes, writing is one of the few careers where hearing voices is encouraged!) BONDED BY BLOOD is now the title of my Vampire Chronicles and MIDNIGHT CONQUEST is the first in the six-book series. You’ll get a sneak peak of Book 2 at the end of Book 1, so be sure to keep flipping pages.

If I could, would I turn back time and push harder to get MIDNIGHT CONQUEST published sooner? No. MC wouldn’t be the book it is today without the wealth of experience I’ve gained through the years. Not only have I developed as a writer, honing my craft and becoming published in other areas, I’ve grown as a human being, and gained a depth of wisdom about relationships I never slightly conceptualized at age twenty-three.

Not only that, this book is all-the-more richer because of my husband. Besides supporting the pursuit of my dreams as an author, he dives in to help me brainstorm and explore the vast storylines behind my characters. He is the role model for various heroes in my stories, supplying personal experience on what true love means, and how physical and emotional attraction blend to create a magical union. (For those of you wishing for your own HEA, it’s really out there if you don’t settle for second best!)

A little advice for aspiring writers: Don’t beat yourself up for not getting published sooner or despair over the years gone by. The road to your dreams is not like a trip to the convenience store. You don’t zip there, get what you want, mission accomplished. It’s more like watching your kids grow up. Your dream as a writer needs to be nourished, fed, tolerated, endured, educated and embraced. And every single moment contributes to your success.

I’ll close with my favorite quote…

"Never give up! NEVER surrender!"

~Tim Allen playing Jason Nesmith playing Commander Peter Quincy Taggert in "Galaxy Quest"


Book 1- Scotland, 1513

Masked in a Gypsy guise, Broderick MacDougal hides his vampiric identity in a quest to disappear from the heartaches forged by revenge. Running from his past is no longer an option when his old Clan rival ensnares him in a trap using an enticing widow. Broderick is compelled to discover if she is bait or an accomplice, and the cinnamon-haired beauty is his next conquest.

Widow of an abusive husband, Davina Stewart-Russell clings to the only image that gave her strength during those dark times--the Gypsy rogue who stole her heart as a youth. After nine years, she is finally face-to-face with him again, but reality clashes with fantasy as she is confronted with Broderick's passionate pursuit of her.

When Davina's past comes back to haunt her, Broderick is forced to reveal a dark secret worse than anything Davina thought possible. The challenge put before them has fatal risks and neither of them are prepared for the sacrifices expected of them both for the sake of eternal love.



Snapping out of her stupor, she gawked at Broderick. “What?”

He sauntered toward the chess table and picked up a black marble pawn. “Do you play?”

“Very well, thank you.” Davina maintained a defensive posture. “And when do Gypsies find the time to play chess?”

“I have not always been a Gypsy, you know.”

“I gathered that, considering your current attire.” Davina hoped he would take the conversation further and she could learn a bit more about his past, which intrigued her. Broderick chuckled and sat at the table. She sighed with disappointment.

“Please,” Broderick pressed, motioning toward the chair across from him. “Join me in a friendly game.”


Broderick traveled his eyes down Davina’s body, sending delightful, heated tingles through to her toes. “Because I enjoy your company, and wish to engage in a battle of wits.” His eyes met hers, challenging.

She refused to take the bait. “Well, I do not, sir. Please leave.”

“Do not wish to engage in a battle of wits, or do not enjoy my company?”


Broderick’s head tipped back in laughter, a laughter that filled the parlor and her soul. She shook off the strange desire to join in, reminding herself he mocked her.

“I really must ask you to leave.”

“I am making a valiant effort to pay you a proper visit.” Shaking his head, he crossed his ankle upon his knee. “I will not leave this room until you play me a splendid game of chess.” His leveling eyes told her he meant to do just what he said. With his deep voice, he added, “If you force me to leave, I shall steal into your bedchamber in the middle of the night, and seduce myself into your dreams.”

Her stomach fluttered, and Davina cursed him under her breath as she seated before him. “You are intolerable, Gypsy.”

“Thank you, milady.”

“‘Twas not a compliment.”

Broderick chuckled.

Oh, how insufferable! He was too damned comely for his own good, and he knew it all too well. He charmed her to annoyance—and he seemed to know every move she made on the chessboard! In minutes he called checkmate.

“‘Tis unfair to use your seeing abilities in this game!” Davina protested.

“Madame, I did no such thing,” he returned with amusement. “Your moves are entirely too predictable.”

Davina rose from her chair. “Well, you have had your game. Now leave.”

With a slow shake to his head, he said, “Nay, milady. I said I would leave when we had a splendid match together. ‘Twas much too easy. You were not into the game at all.”

Davina started away from the table. “Well, I am not playing—”

Broderick snatched her arm and Davina tumbled back into his lap.

“Damn you, Gypsy,” she cursed as she continued to struggle against his impossible hold. “I will scream if you do not let me go!”

Broderick’s deep chuckle rumbled from his chest through her body. “Keep moving upon my lap in such a manner, and I will have to toss your skirts up right here in the parlor.”

Davina gasped so hard, she almost choked. “A pox on you, savage! Let me up or I will scream!”

“I shall enjoy the following scene, then. Your servants will come running to your rescue, no doubt your mother leading the pack, and I will have the pleasure of visiting your chamber before the sun comes up on the morrow.”


Arial’s web site:

You can purchase MIDNIGHT CONQUEST at:, Barnes & Noble, iTunes (for iPad/iBook),, All Romance eBooks (ARe)


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