Monday, September 9, 2013

Five Things You'd Probably Never Guess About Arial Burnz -- Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Arial will be awarding a $15 Amazon or BN Gift Card (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Also, at every stop a randomly drawn commenter will be awarded a 5-Star Short Story eBook, Romance Trading Card set and signed Bonded By Blood series post card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

~~~Welcome to Arial Burnz~~~

It’s Raining Books – I LOVE that! What a fantasy come true! It’s pretty close to being a reality for me and most readers I know…so many books, so little time! Gah! Regardless, I’m happy to be here today to hopefully throw another few books onto that TBR pile!

I won’t elaborate about my stories since that information is included in this post. Instead, I’m happy to share…

5 Things You’d Probably Never Guess About Arial Burnz

I Love Snakes

I know! Most people cringe when they hear the “S” word mentioned, and honestly I did too before I actually owned one. As much as I dislike my ex-husband, I do have to credit him for introducing me to reptiles. He had a red-eared slider (water turtle) and I had so much fun learning how to take care of it, we got another one. Then, for his birthday, I bought him a red-tail boa constrictor. He named it Samson (after the Bible character), but we later found out it was girl! Since I was home most of the time, I ended up being the one to take care of her. I seriously did not want to do this, but since she was only about 10 inches long and the width of my index finger, she wasn’t as intimidating as a full-grown snake.

I was told that in order to ensure a snake didn’t grow up aggressive (aka bite you), it needed to be handled…OFTEN. GAH! Okay…so I took her out of her tank almost daily, held her…and actually started to like it. Her skin was smooth and since they’re cold-blooded, they love to cuddle. I know, I know…people are afraid of cuddling with a constrictor. The truth is, they won’t squeeze you to death unless they consider you a meal. And quite frankly, we’re just too big for them to eat. Now, an anaconda…that’s a different story.

Anyway, Sammy and I got to know each other and as she grew, it became easier for me to carry her around. And since she loved my body heat, she would wrap around me and then fall asleep. What surprised me the most was I actually loved this animal like I loved a cat or a dog! I know…weird, right? I’d have her around my shoulders, her tail wrapping around me and curling onto my belt loop at my waist, while she would actually push her head through my French braid and rest her little noggin on the top of my head and just fall asleep. I’d do housework, laundry and write…all the while she was hanging around. It was great!

I Used to Sing Professionally in Chicago

It wasn’t anything major and I’m no Christina Aguilera, but I could hold my own on the stage. I used to sing a lot of old standards in cocktail lounges when smoking was still allowed inside. Sometimes I would have a band or a piano accompany me, but most of the time it was recorded music, similar to singing Karaoke, but without the screens. I still love to sing Karaoke and my husband is my best supporter. Some of my favorite tunes to sing are Black Velvet (Alannah Myles), New York State of Mind (Billy Joel), This Masquerade (George Benson), Love Shack (B52’s), Bring Me To Life (Evanescence), Think (Aretha Franklin), some Cole Porter, Barbara Streisand…and so many others.

I Was a Software Instructor for Fifteen Years

Yep…I used to teach people how to use computers, from basic computer skills to graphic programs and MS Excel. I was the IT Training Manager for 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures Entertainment, and my job was to manage all the Desktop software training for the company. I did scheduling, maintained training room computers, tested network connectivity to ensure all my computers had network access, blah, blah, blah! This was my first job as a writer, too. I have written over 50 training manuals, not counting online tutorials, brochures, marketing materials and dozens of websites.

My favorite part of training was teaching people something new. The ooos and ahhhs when someone learns a new skill is music to my ears! The sparkle in their eyes…priceless! In fact, I come from a family of teachers, so it’s in my blood! My mom was a history teacher and her parents were school counselors and general education teachers. I love to share a good thing and I have an aptitude for teaching people just about anything. The first classes I taught were in the crafting industry – knitting, crochet, tole painting, wood working and wood burning. And if all goes well, I’ll start teaching some classes for the San Diego’s Writer’s group in the fall – self-publishing classes on how to format and publish books, show versus tell, and many others.

I’m a Certified Hypnotherapist

Hypnotherapy is something that has always interested me and it was a dream career for me until I realized how many people were afraid of being hypnotized! I was very shocked at how difficult it was to get clients. Usually the first question someone asks me is, “Are you gonna make me cluck like a chicken?” My response is, “Not on the first visit.” Ba-doom-CHEE! I’ll be here all week! Try the tofu and don’t forget to tip your servers. Though it was always a laughing matter, further conversation revealed people thought they were going to lose control when they were hypnotized. It’s simply not true, but stage hypnosis has taught everyone that people do crazy things when they’re hypnotized. In reality, stage hypnosis is just an excuse for people to act silly. If you don’t want to do something when you’re hypnotized…you won’t. Period.

I’m a US Air Force Veteran

Yep! I’m proud to say I served my country as a Sergeant in the United States Air Force and I served in Desert Storm during the Gulf War. I was also divorced twice…which means I’ve seen combat three times. Doh! I gotta million of ‘em! Anyway, I was a Ground Radio Maintenance Technician (30454 for those who know an AFSC is) and basically fixed and operated the radios and antennas that communicated with aircraft from the ground. I was part of the 39 SOW (Special Operations Wing) and was stationed at Rhein-Main AB in Frankfurt, Germany. I was also stationed at RAF Alconbury in the UK, about 60 miles north of London. Boy do I miss Europe! My husband and I plan on moving overseas once we’re retired (in about 5 years…early retirement for us – woo hoo!). I can’t wait!!

So there ya have it! I’ll be available if anyone has any questions about those fun little facts or about my Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles. And if anyone has any questions for my characters, they are known to come out and play…even for a little bite!

Thanks so much again for having me as a guest today! Mwah!

About the Author:
Arial Burnz has been an avid reader of both paranormal and fantasy fiction for over thirty years. With bedtime stories filled with unicorns, hobbits, dragons and elves, she had no choice but to craft her own tales, penning to life the many magical creatures roaming her mind and dreams. And with a romantic husband who's taught her the meaning of true love, she's helpless to weave romance into her tales. Now she shares them with the world. Arial Burnz lives in Rancho Cucamonga, California, with her husband (a.k.a. her romance novel hero)—who is also a descendent of Clan MacDougal—along with their dog and two cats.

Find Arial at her website, Facebook, Twitter, or her Amazon author page. To see images of her characters, see her board on Pinterest.

Masked in a Gypsy guise, Broderick MacDougal hides his vampiric identity while seeking to destroy the man who slaughtered his family. When an old Clan rival ensnares Broderick in a trap using an enticing widow, he 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.

When Davina’s past returns to haunt her, Broderick is forced to reveal a dark secret worse than anything Davina thought possible. The challenge before them has fatal risks and neither of them is prepared for the sacrifices expected for the sake of eternal love.
Cailin MacDougal has lived a dangerous life being the adopted daughter of vampire Broderick "Rick" MacDougal, so she had no choice but to learn to fight in order to protect herself. However, such behavior is hardly desirable in a dutiful wife who's supposed to embroider and run a household. This aggressive side of her behavior should be easy enough to hide from her betrothed...shouldn't it?

After being away at fencing school for seven years, James Knightly has returned as a master swordsman, ready to captain his own ship and finally wed his childhood sweetheart, Cailin MacDougal. What he finds waiting for him is a dagger-toting hellion for a bride, an immortal father-in-law, and an enemy bent on extracting revenge by threatening the family James holds most dear--the MacDougals.

Broderick MacDougal is lured away from his family with the promise of-at last-learning a way to protect those he loves from his clan enemy, Angus Campbell. Broderick knows he's headed for a trap, but the bait is too tempting to resist...and he unravels the beginning of a prophecy that will lead to redemption for all vampires. The cost of such redemption, though, may be the very soul of the woman he would die for...his wife, Davina.


  1. I'm not afraid of snakes, but I wouldn't want one as a pet.

    I'd NEVER guess any of the 5, but fun to read through thank you.


    1. Hey, Mary!!

      You're definitely not alone. I felt the same way at first, but was surprised. I don't think I'd have a snake now because I have cats. I'd HATE to come home one day and find one of them consumed by the snake. *shudders* That is what snakes do after all.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the information I shared! Looking forward to seeing you at the next stop. :D

  2. I'm not afraid of snakes, but I wouldn't want one as a pet.

    I'd NEVER guess any of the 5, but fun to read through thank you.


  3. I'm afraid of snakes so I can't imagine having one as a pet.


    1. Hey, Rita! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. As I said to Mary above, you're not alone. More people actually fall into your category of have a measure of fear about snakes. They're never really shown in a positive light in spite of how docile they are. But since they eat the warm fuzzy creatures we tend to cuddle up with, that in itself is the creepy part about owning a snake.

      Good luck on the drawing! ;)

  4. Sorry I'm late!!! I'm recovering from getting sick over the weekend. BLAH! Slept in a little this morning so I could get some rest. But I will be popping in and out of the blog today to answer questions and comments. Thanks for your patience and for hosting me for my blog tour!!

  5. I see you're a Jack of All Trades. :-)

    1. Yeah...dat's how I roll. :) LOL

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Lisa!! Good luck on the drawing! :D

  6. I see you're a Jack of All Trades. :-)

  7. Hi Arial. I have a question about writing. Though from what I have heard about your wonderful life of love and support I hope you can give me some insight even though you don't suffer from the lack thereof.
    With writing being filled with all emotions,and for it to be successful,if passion and consideration and selflessness is lacking in the love life department, where or how can one write as such without it being evident or poorly expressed? I find without it being present in ones real life it is hard to continue to write. There are only so many scenes you can write and as it stands anger and bitterness in a negative sense is not going to cut it for me and my writings.

    1. Hello, Savannah!!

      This is a great question, but a bit difficult to answer. Writing is an art, but it's also a job. So there are times when research must be done to fill in the blanks. However, one of the things that's stressed on authors all the time is, "Write what you know." I'm of a mind that if one doesn't know about the inner workings of the medical industry, one shouldn't really be writing about medical thrillers. The setting just doesn't ring true...unless one has done a lot of research to make up for the lack of experience.

      Can the same be applied to emotions? That's where it gets tough to answer. And in all honestly, it's only something the writer can answer. My two pence on it...if one has never experienced true love, can they write about it? The answer is yes. People do it all the time and there are endless published novels filled with such content. Most of it is written from the perspective of what they DREAM of having. The balance has to come between writing what we dream of and how realistic it sounds. And that’s where knowledge comes in. What we experience can be the balancing factor of what we imagine.

      For instance: I write about vampires. Other than the psychic vampire I met (you’ll have to read my article on that -, I have no real experience with blood sucking vampires, what they eat, how they feel when they eat, their world and everything about them. I can only imagine this world of vampires we’re all so fond of. But I know what a delectable mouthful of dark chocolate tastes like and how orgasmic it can be to enjoy the true art of chocolate. That’s how I imagine a vampire experiences the taste of blood. So what we experience can sometimes be translated to other area where we lack experience.

      Emotions are difficult. Much of what we write comes from the heart. And if our heart isn’t into it, the writing doesn’t flow. Been there, done that! If you’re in a negative and bitter situation, but you want to write about a positive and fulfilling love affair, here are a few tips:

      --Be sure you’re reading the kind of books you want to write. They can not only give you some ideas that might spark inspiration, but they’ll also let you know what’s out there. Read the books that are selling well and getting great reviews to get a better picture of what readers enjoy.
      --You might want to look into some books about the psychology of love and why we love the people we do. As writers, we are writing about the human race. You can’t write realistic stories about people if you don’t have a basic understanding of their psyche.
      --What are YOUR ideas of the perfect love? Don’t write them here…examine them yourself. Remember that your characters all have a little piece of you in them. You created them, after all. So your ideas of love and passion will translate to your characters.
      --The same struggles you’re experiencing might work well to put in your stories as your characters work through their own struggles of finding love. They may have the same problems you have. And that’s, “Writing what you know.”

      I hope all this helps. It’s a long answer for a comment on a blog, but I’m hoping it might help some other people who have the same questions. And this is a tough subject to answer completely.

      Thanks so much for participating and good luck on the drawing!

    2. Well....I had hoped you would volunteer to send Rick to remind me how hot the flame gets :) but I'll try this advice first. lol

      Though in all seriousness, I appreciate your advice and help.You are such a wonderful and AWESOME person.

    3. Well, Lass, if you wanted to see me, you should have just asked. (winks)

      I've read the snippets on your website. You have the passion within you, Savannah. Just reach inside...and feel around for it. Double entendre intentional. And if you think about the creative process too much, you'll stifle it, lass. Let it come forth on its own.


    4. (giggles) Aww Rick! (hugs tightly) You are such a doll! Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. And I'd much rather have a partner every once in a while, that is to help with the feeling around, its just not the same by "yerself" . I am sure you know what I mean (winks)
      Thanks again you sexy devil!

  8. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    1. Thank YOU for the kind comments and for commenting. Good luck on the drawing! :)

  9. Thanks for sharing the fun post and the giveaway. I love this series. evamillien at gmail dot com

    1. Thanks, Eva!!!! You're always a joy to chat with. Good luck on the drawing! ;)

  10. Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles sounds like an intriguing series. How many books do you plan for this series?
    The 5 things post was very interesting. Do you still have Sammy, the boa constrictor?

    1. Sorry for the delay, BookLady! There are 6 books planned for the main storyline of the series, but I have 2 spin-off stories from Book 4 (1700s) and two spin-off SERIES from the Bonded By Blood Chronicles - contemporary stories that take place after Book 6 and a series featuring the Elemental Witches introduced in Book 3 (historical and contemporary).

      Nope, I don't have Sammy anymore. My ex-husband got her in the divorce. It was his snake, even though I was the one taking care of it.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Good luck on the drawing!

  11. Fun facts to share

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  12. sounds very interesting,although I wouldn't consider a snake as a pet :o

    1. LOL, Karin! I know what you mean. You're not alone. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Good luck on the drawing!

  13. I finally finished my tour and I've done the drawing for the individual blogs and the overall winners.

    Overall Commenter Winner for the $15 Gift Card – Andra Lynn
    Blog Host Winner – Straight from the Library ($20 Gift Card)

    Individual Blog Winners (Commenters) for eBook short story & swag:
    Danita Minnis Blog – BN100
    Christine Young Romance Writer – Kate
    Crazy Four Books – Andra Lynn
    Musing and Ramblings – Shelley Summers
    Words of Wisdome from the Scarf Princess – Mary Preston
    Unabridged Andra – Amer (VampedChik)
    Andi’s Book Reviews – Valerie R
    Straight from the Library – Only 2 people commented, so they both win – Mary Preston & Eva Millien
    It’s Raining Books – Rita Wray
    Long and Short Reviews – BN100

    Thanks to everyone who participated!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?