Vampire mythology in the Lilly Frank series

Today I’m so happy to have a great vampire author here to guest post for me. (Jeanie you are the first person to guest post here, and the first to ever take over Vampire Wednesday.)

Jeanie was kind enough to tell us a bit about the mythology of her series. Jeanie Grey has a great vampire romance/erotic series. If you haven’t read Awakening and Awakening 2 you can buy them on Amazon. I definitely recommend them.  

Now on to Jeanie’s guest post

I’ve been fascinated by vampire mythologies since I read Christopher Pike’s The Last Vampire series and L. J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries as a teenager. Since then I’ve read every book and seen every movie about vampires that I’ve come across, and one thing I’ve noticed is how the vampire mythology changes—slightly or drastically—with each author.

In some stories, vampires can’t come out during the day (e.g. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, Blade, and Underworld), while in others they can (e.g. the Twilight series). Some vampire mythologies claim that vampires can only drink the blood of human virgins (e.g. Blood for Dracula, aka Andy Warhol’s Dracula), or that being bitten by a vampire either kills a person or turns them into a vampire (e.g. From Dusk Til Dawn). In some stories, humans and vampires can be bound to each other by the exchange of blood (e.g. Octavia E. Butler’s Fledgling). In others, a psychic exchange accompanies the exchange of blood: vampire and human can see each other’s memories, hear each other’s thoughts, experience each other’s feelings (e.g. Annette Curtis Klause’s The Silver Kiss). There are rules about crosses and garlic and holy water. About stakes and beheading. Rules about whether being bitten is pleasurable, erotic, or painful. About shape-shifting and controlling the weather. And these rules change from story to story as each author creates his or her own mythology.

But there are three constants: vampires are stronger and faster than humans; they live a lot longer than humans (unless killed); and they drink blood.

When I started thinking about creating a vampire mythology for the Lilly Frank series, I knew I wanted to do something a little different, but I also wanted strong ties to the more traditional mythologies. I knew I wanted my vampires to be able to go out in daylight, but I asked myself, “Are there conditions under which vampires could go out in daylight but people would think they couldn’t?”

That’s how I came up with the idea that vampires are hypersensitive, especially in their first few years of vampirehood. (Is that a word? Well, it is now.) If vampires were hypersensitive to heat and light, it would make coming out during the day really uncomfortable, so they would prefer the nighttime.

(Vampirehood… I love it. I in the name of all that is vampire, on this day of the vampires, hereby state that vampirehood is now a word! At least on here it will be!)

The hypersensitivity would also explain their aversion to garlic: it’s a strong smell and offends even some human noses, so if vampires had a much better sense of smell, they might want to stay away from it (though it doesn’t kill them).

Here are some other characteristics of the Lilly Frank vampire mythology:

• Vampires can eat human food, but it does not sustain them; they need blood to stay alive, and human blood is best.
• Being bitten by a vampire can be either pleasurable or painful, depending on technique, but it neither kills you (unless they drink too much) nor turns you into a vampire. It takes a significant exchange of blood to become a vampire.
• Crosses and holy water have no effect.
• Wooden stakes hurt a lot (remember heightened sense of touch), but they do not kill a vampire. Vampires are immortal and heal quickly, and the only way to kill a vampire is to deprive them of blood for an extended period of time or to behead them and make sure the head and body stay far away from one another.
• They cannot control the weather or change themselves into bats, wolves, or other animals.
• Drinking blood from a human or vampire allows one to feel the blood donor’s dominant emotions—this is what happens when Lilly tastes Torren’s blood in Awakening.
• Drinking or exchanging blood does not create a bond between two individuals; bonds form between individuals for other reasons.

The one that surprised me the most, when I was writing Awakening 2, was the idea that there are more than five senses that can be heightened and that each vampire has a “gift”—one sense that is heightened more than all the others and whose sensitivity does not lesson through the years. I totally did not see that coming.

Jeanie Grey is a feminist reader and writer of romance and erotica who lives in Portland, Oregon. Her short stories have been published on and She self-published her first book, Awakening in the summer of 2012. Awakening 2 was just released on Monday, July 1, 2013. Both are ebooks for Kindle and available to purchase on Amazon.

For more about her work and her views on writing romance and erotica, please visit her website at You can also connect with her on Twitter (@jeaniegrey) or email her at

I love your mythology, Jeanie. Some of it I’ve proven to be ancient lore here on this very column. Thank you so much for sharing with my readers.

Jeanie has agreed to another 2 posts regarding vampires in the following two weeks make sure you come back.

Aswang Shape-Shifter Vampire

Its Vampire Wednesday, Baby!

Okay so last week we looked at Aswang Mannananggal, this week we’ll look at some other “Aswang” vampires.

If you remember from last week, the Aswang Mannananggal comes from the Philippines. She’s some freaky vampire because she rips herself in half to hunt. Her guts trail out of her torso as she hunts. Do you also remember I said there were quite a few Aswang vampires. Today will learn about the Shape-shifter Aswang

Aswang Shape-shifter

This vampire can be either male or female, but it prefers the shape of an old woman with bloodshot eyes. She has long black hair and a tongue to match. A sorcerer can become this kind of vampire by performing a special ceremony, but if he/she wants to change someone else, all she has to do is blow on his or her neck.

There are healers (mananamble) who can make a special potion that will have to be poured down your throat (because come on even vampires have survival instincts) and you convert. The Aswang will vomit; weird things like eggs or live birds. When the Aswang’s vomiting stops, it’s cured, but the willing sorcerer isn’t she’ll die.


“So, what does this weird vampire eat, how does it hunt?”

I’m so glad you asked. Aswang Shape-shifter hunts women, children, the sick, and the old. They prefer to attack while the prey sleeps. If the prey wakes up, Aswang Shape-shifter will emit a strong smell that paralyzes the victim. If her intended prey is awake when she attacks, she’ll overpower them.

Once she has taken what she wants, she makes a replica out of banana leaves, grass, and sticks. She then uses her magic (remember she was a witch/sorcerer to begin with) to animate the replica. Over the next few days, the replica will get sick and die. You must look into the person’s eyes to find out if it’s the true person or the replica.

“How do I know by looking in its eyes?” You ask.  If it’s a true person, you will see your reflection, if it’s a replica your reflection will be upside down.

While you’re looking into sick replica eyes, the Aswang has carried her prey off to her lair where she tortures it and slowly eats it. The liver is the favorite part.

You’re sitting there thinking, “This just might be as strange as last week’s vampire but I have one question for you Mari. Why shape shifter….”
Oh, you brave of heart who still reads here. You who continue to come back week after week to get your vampire fix…

The Aswang shape-shifter is called a shape-shifter for no other reason than her amazing shape-shifting abilities. She can change into any animal and/or person, but also (here is the amazing part…) inanimate objects! Are you freaked out yet? You should be this vampire can even fly, not while in bird form. She can fly! An oily substance secreted through her armpits lets her FLY! Your desk or couch just might be an Aswang Shape-shifter.

So are we doomed to be prey to Aswang shape-shifter?
There is a way to know if she’s nearby… On Good Friday, complex oil can be made. (No word on how to make it) After it’s made, it will boil anytime she’s near.

Sorry folks that’s all I know, I can’t tell you how to protect yourself. I don’t know what kills her. I’m thinking keep the tried and true close by.

Next week another “Aswang” vampire..there’s still a few left.

Photo Credit:

Vampires of Czech Republic

Last week I wasn’t feeling well, so I flaked out on Vampire Wednesday. I promised I’d make it up this week.

A few weeks ago, a friend mentioned he thought of Czech Republic when he thought of vampires. So today, we will look at all the vampires from the area I could find. Because Czech Republic was at one time Czechoslovakia, I’m including that too. We have 8 count them eight vampires today. (I won’t do The Count thing. I loved The Count!)
Are you ready? This is going to take awhile…

The Upir was believed to have two (yes 2) souls. The second soul was indicated by the corpse’s flexibility, open eyes, and (get this!!) Two curls in its hair. The upir was/is sometimes-called Nelapsi.


the Nelapsi is similar to the upir. It has two souls but it also has two hearts. This vampire can destroy a whole village in one night. (I guess he has one hell of an appetite!) Nelapsi is incredibly fast and strong. He can kill a human with a single blow. It’s also believed to be a plague carrier. (Strange how those from times past thought vampires carried plagues but we think they can’t, or they can’t themselves get sick.) So how can someone kill a nelapsi? Place money, religious icons, or personal items in the coffin at the time of burial. Those who are suspected of becoming a nelapsi must have a complex ritual performed. A stake must be run through the heart. Carry the body head first to its grave. Be sure to add some Poppy seeds into the grave with the body.
If for some reason, you didn’t do this at the time of burial or an unsuspected person rises. He must be staked through both hearts with a stake made of Hawthorn (wink wink I wrote about Hawthorn already. Go check it out.) iron or oak.

The Muroi pronounced ME-oy in Czechoslovakian vampire lore is a vampire spirit meaning fatal destiny. When an evil person dies, remove the heart from the corpse. This should make it harder for the corpse to rise. If you didn’t it will rise. It has a red face. It will prey on people from its village each night. It has a cry that will freeze a person with terror. Whoever hears the cry will be the next victim. Spirits rest in the grave by day. To find the vampires grave walk a stallion through the graveyard. The horse will refuse to walk over the vampire’s grave. With the body exhumed, you must place a nail through the heart and the skin between the thumb and index finger must be cut with iron scissors.

The Mahr lives in the Carpathian Mountains. The area of Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and ending near the Danube River in Serbia. This species lives by consuming human souls! (Yes, souls not blood). It swoops down in the form of a moth and takes a bite or two before it flies off. The more it attacks one victim the easier it will be to keep attacking him/her. Eventually the prey is killed and the soul is consumed. There are two ways to kill a Mahr. First, drive a wooden stake through its heart.  –If you can kill it this way, all of the souls it has consumed will return to their bodies. Second, find where it hides during the day and expose it to sunlight. The sunrays will turn it to ash. It isn’t stated if this method will return the consumed souls.


The Moravia is a Czechoslovakian revenant. It leaves its grave to search for blood in the NUDE! nightly. It can be laid permanently to rest if its burial shroud is destroyed. (I guess you have to burn it.)

The Ogoljen (stripped bare) is a revenant from the Czech Republic. It rises from the grave to hunt for human blood. It keeps dirt from its gravesite in its navel. It can’t be destroyed, but you can capture it and bury it at a crossroads. That will keep it from ever rising again.

The Poludnica pronounced Poe-low-NICA meaning noon is from Slovenia. She is a vampire demon that looks like a beautiful tall woman. She wears white or is dressed in mourning clothes. She carries a scythe or shears. At harvest time right around Noon she will attack laborers who aren’t resting. She caused heatstroke or madness, if their lucky. She seduces the unlucky to a secluded place and drains them of their blood. If anyone happens to come by, she will break his or her arms and legs. If she comes across a field-worker, she’ll ask him hard questions. Once he can’t answer one she’ll chop of his head.  If you happened to see a Poludnica drop to the ground and be perfectly still until she leaves. She also attacks children wondering alone while the adults worked. A bundle of grain is usually decorated when harvest starts the offering keep Poludnica away. It’s burned after harvest.
My source states it is probably a tale told to keep the children behaving or allowing a worker to take a break.
The male version is called Polevoy. No word if he only attacks females.


The Poludnitsi pronounced pole-ah-NITS-ee , meaning noon wife, is a spirit vampire from Czechoslovakia. She preys on young first time mothers and their children. (I have reason to believe she is related to Poludnica, but I can’t confirm it.)

Photo Credits:

Mahr Vampire Moth:

A stake through the heart?

Okay, so we know that a stake through the heart kills a vampire.

I want to know WHY?

If a vampire is “undead” and no longer has a beating heart, how would a stake through the heart kill him?

So when I started writing my vampire story (Awakened By Death is what I’m calling it) I researched this heartbeat thing.

First , we all agree that the point of staking the heart is to stop the heart from pumping blood right? Yes. Okay. So, you’re being chased by a vampire you just happen to have some sharp object and are alive and close enough to shove that object into the vampire’s chest. Oh Yeah! You just killed your attacker, right? But wait! His heart doesn’t beat. He glares at you, pulls that stake out of his own chest and proceeds to see you as a steak.  Yummy, a fiesty one, he thinks. So all you accomplished was really pissing him off. NOW you’re in for it. Prepare to die at the hands of an Angry and hungry vampire.

OR! Maybe you are lucky and our beliefs of vampires are wrong and he does have a beating heart. Not beating as your’s or mine (some 60 – 72 beats per minute, more like under 25 beats per minute) but beating none the less. That stake sticking out of his chest, stops him for enough time that you are able to get away. (HOPEFULLY) We all know vampires have incredible rates of recovery.

Many ancient legends believed in living vampires, so we would have to agree there is a chance of a beating heart. The idea of killing a vampire with a stake only makes sense if the heart beats. Also we have to think why a vampire needs to feed off living blood. Most agree that he needs the blood of the living to keep him in a state of reanimation. Once the blood he’s fed off of gets to the stomach, what happens?

Somehow that blood has to move from the stomach to the rest of the body to allow him to move. I read somewhere that the muscles move the blood to various places in the body, instead of the heart. However, that would mean (under normal circumstances) that the muscles would have to spasm to push the blood through the veins. Yet, we never see or hear of a vampire having constant muscle twitches in able to move. Normally the muscles aren’t able to do that job of moving the blood, so either that was very wrong or Vampires have some special rule for their blood flow.

Please don’t tell me they don’t need blood moving through the body! They would not be able to move if blood was not in their whole body some way or other. Unless you want to say Vampires are a fictional character and as such don’t have to follow any of biology’s rules! In which case I would smile slyly and turn. “To each his own.” But, if you are like me and want to believe in the possibility of a true creature…

Leave me your thoughts. Lets get deep into this.