All posts by gastratton

I watch my neighbor mow his grass in the ninety degree heat. The southern sun shows no mercy as  sweat trickles down his brow. I have a healthy respect for the Summer Sun both the dangers and pleasures it brings to us.


I brush the perspiration from my chin, the excess trickles down my neck and pools between my breasts.

A summer orchestra of cicadas, heat pumps and ice-cream trucks lulls me into a stupor.

The neon Georgia sun threatens to fry my retinas so I slip on my Ray Bans.

Sunbathers jockey around the pool making deposits on their dermatologists’ mortgages.

The aquamarine water promises cool caresses beneath the soft undulating surface.

I resist the temptation, vegetate on my lounger, then smile languidly at my lover and tease;” I bet we could fry an egg on the sidewalk.”

Summer struggles to maintain its hold on us, but kids are returning to school, the mornings are cooler and the calendar marches toward Autumn. As the season winds down take your last vacation days, do another lap around the pool and enjoy the last of the blistering heat.



Recently, a reader asked me if my goal was to become a best-selling author, become rich and famous. My first goal was to complete the book, having a best seller would be nice but my objective is less lofty and much harder to achieve. My brain is a warehouse of potential stories all jostling to escape their prison. I put pen to paper to free these ideas and breathe life into a host of characters. I want to connect with my readers, touch both their hearts and minds with words. Simply said, I just wanted to write a good book.

I measure my success since the release of Shadow of Life not by the number of books sold, but rather from the reviews from readers on Amazon and Goodreads. According to their comments, I wrote a good book. Thanks to all who have shared their comments.

Best vampire book I have read to date!!

Fans of Anne Rice will feel right at home in this world!

Great plot and story line, and I grew rather attached to the characters; the story developed at a good pace and had a nice flow to it.

There are twists and turns throughout and I had difficulty putting the book down.

A vampire book worth reading!

The love relationship between Nadira and Gregor is romantic and sexy.

This was a well-written epic tale with a lot of historical references. Almost impossible to put down!

I want to read it again!

Jam packed filled with action throughout the entire book, keeping you on the edge of your seat and always wondering what awesome things are going to come next!

I recently visited the Ireland to explore my Irish heritage and research my fourth book, Mac Tire, set in medieval Ireland. The temperate maritime climate provides a lush landscape that lives up to the moniker the Emerald Isle. The warm welcoming people share a sense of continuity as ancient as the Island itself. Life in the villages move at a casual pace strengthened by friendship and family ties as ageless as the castles that dot the countryside.

Tomorrow is a singular Irish holiday. St. Patrick was a fifth-century Christian missionary in Ireland. Known as the “Apostle of Ireland”, he is the primary patron saint of Ireland. Saint Patrick’s day is observed on March 17th, which is said to be the date of his death and celebrated inside and outside Ireland as a religious and cultural holiday.  It’s also the day to dye rivers green, throw back a pint of Guinness and proclaim to anyone who will listen your Irish roots.

Fada agus breac-shlainte chagat. (long life and good health)



Each year on February 14th, people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special someone. The day of romance we call Valentine’s Day is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday Lupercalia.

No matter the origin of Valentine’s Day, it is nice to have a day devoted to love. In the spirit of Amor, I will share an excerpt from Shadow of Life.

“Words cannot describe how I feel,” Nadira murmurs.

“Then don’t use them,” Gregor smiles.

She rises on her elbow to see his face. Their minds interweave and whisper their souls’ secrets, their hearts’ treasures communicated without speech because words are inadequate. A shared kiss becomes the stamp that delivers their silent message.

They rest with their bodies intertwined in a sweet lassitude, listening to their hearts beat in unison. One flesh—together at last.

So, kiss someone special to you and enjoy your Valentine’s Day!



This is a lush, lusty story of vampires who long for each other and their temporary desires for human skin and blood. In Shadow of Life, humans and vampires co-mingle in their daily lives. Humans think they understand the vampires but cannot, and the vampires can barely control their outsized emotions. The vampires are not evil monsters, but their interests are not particularly aligned with human interests, either. A vampire occasionally needs to feed.

The novel follows the tale of a beautiful, powerful vampire over the centuries, revealing who has loved or betrayed her. She wants to end the misunderstandings and conflict between humans and vampires, but one unpredictable vampire has plans for death and chaos.

Erotic in some parts, but not explicit, this is a character-driven story about vampire relationships expressed through power, hate, and love. Fans of Anne Rice will feel right at home in this world!



In my novel, Shadow of Life, Drostan is the commander of the Vigiles (vampire military), a former Templar knight.

Just who were the Knights Templar?

The Knights Templar were a medieval Christian order, the most hardened fighting units of the Crusades and among the most wealthy and powerful of the Western Christian military orders. The Red Cross that the Templars wore on their robes was a symbol of martyrdom, and to die in combat was considered a great honor that assured a place in heaven. There was a cardinal rule that the warriors of the Order should never surrender unless the Templar flag had fallen.

The organization existed for nearly two centuries during the middle Ages until it came to a tragic end.  Friday the 13th 1307, hence unlucky Friday the 13th, was the day Pope Clement V and King Phillip IV of France had the Knights Templar massacred. In order to carry on their activities in safety, Templars escaping persecution and arrest in France and some other countries of Europe needed to regroup somewhere. They chose the confederation of cantons now known as Switzerland.

I wove these historical events in my storyline.  Switzerland is the setting for part of the book, the seat of my vampire government and made the connection with theTemplars. An ex-Templar became the logical choice for the general of the Vigiles: brave, disciplined, devoted to his cause and lethal.

My knight, loyal Drostan, obedient to a fault. He is absolutely lethal and unstoppable, his movements ordered and limited to a defined direction. He is the knife that I wield to remove corruption.” Amon, Shadow of Life




December is the month of hustle, bustle and prepping for the big day, Christmas. A month filled with all the things that make it a wondrous season: family gatherings, shopping for presents, and hauling the Christmas tree home. It is wonderful and stressful, a roller coaster ride of festive cheer. So drink some more eggnog, wrap some presents and watch A Christmas story for the twentieth time.

However, for an author who has promised her book would be published before Christmas, it is a blur of emails, meetings with editors, cover design, interior formats, decisions, decisions and more decisions. Your doubts multiple exponentially and you question every decision. Is my cover too subtle all the other paranormal romances have half-naked men on them? Should the paper be white or cream, petal pink wasn’t available. Fortunately, my team pulled off the Christmas miracle and we published Shadow of Life on December 15th   a full ten days before the holiday.

So pull up your favorite chair, turn up the Christmas music and enjoy the book. Merry Christmas to y’all and to all a goodnight.

santa book


The release date for my novel, Shadow of Life, is rapidly approaching. Here is glimpse at the story line.

Shadow of Life is the first in a sweeping saga of an ancient vampire’s struggle to retain her humanity. The daughter of an Akkadian king, Nadira was betrayed by her father, resulting in her brutal transformation into a vampire. She found a mentor in Amon, and their immediate and intense connection inspired him to make her his adopted daughter . . . and the future queen of the vampires. Captured during the crusades, she fell in love with Cristo, a conquistador, but her happiness was short-lived when his murder hurled her into madness, saturating the next centuries with blood.

Now, years later, after running away to America, Nadira lives a life of seclusion, her only companion Gregor, a vampire she saved from his own self-destruction, not knowing that he would one day return the favor. Her relationship with Gregor begins to take a surprising turn just before she receives the unexpected news of Amon’s impending death, bringing her to a crossroads. Faced with the decision that made her run from the throne in years past, Nadira must choose power, love, or succumbing to the thirst.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

The air is chill, the leaves scarlet hued, apple cider donuts on the table, it must be fall. One of my favorite holidays is right around the corner, Halloween. Originally, the ancient Celt festival of Samhain when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. Halloween has become a mishmash of a lot traditions geared toward entertaining the child in all of us. For me, Halloween is the perfect holiday for someone with a love of monsters.

As a kid, I remember the excitement of carving pumpkins, picking my costume, painting my face and running (not walking) door-to-door Trick or Treating. Adults reward you with candy; everyone pretends to be something else, a celebration experienced in the euphoria of a sugar rush. Next the serious business, after you lugged your haul home, you dumped out your candy and traded with siblings and friends for the good stuff. One Hersey bar got you three bubble gums, a tootsie pop and if you’re lucky a caramel cream.

The evening Halloween party with apple bobbing, scary games and ghost stories continued the cornucopia of horror, throw in a haunted house and it was enough to make your toes curl. The night capped off by a monster movie marathon.

Some things never change, I can’t decide if I want to be a zombie or a vampire and need to remember to run to the store for more trick or treat candy because I keep eating the caramel creams.

Happy Halloween!o-HALLOWEEN-HISTORY-facebook