Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Hunk for the Holidays from #ABloodyGoodCruise by @DianaLRubino #cruises #vampires #sexynovels

Today on The Maze I am pleased to welcome back author Diana Rubino, who talks about the yummy actor who is a drop-dead ringer for the hero Fausto in A Bloody Good Cruise! You're welcome. :D

Diana says...

A Bloody Good Cruise is a fun-filled blend of the vampire world and luxury cruises, starring romance author Mona Rossi and Fausto Silvius, a full-blooded vampire. The popularity of cruises and vampires make it a unique blend, but a very fun setting.

My stories are romances set against a backdrop of political upheaval, court intrigue, poverty, general drama of the surroundings, and at times a splash of the paranormal. What I’m trying to get across in my stories is that love can prevail no matter what the conflicts and obstacles, earthly or not.

Coffeetime Romance says in its review, “A Bloody Good Cruise is a high seas adventure with twists and turns around every corner. The lively cast spins non-stop excitement with thrills and enough snags to keep the pages turning.”

Actor Vincent Irizarry
A Bloody Good Fausto

I wanted to combine Italian vampires, comedy and cruising in one package, so I hopped on my imaginary ship The Romanza to get my characters in all kinds of trouble. I envisioned the hero, Fausto, as actor Vincent Irizarry (Dr. Hayward on All My Children). That made my job so much easier. He is THE perfect vampire. Italian vampires and hunters (the Vampire Ball Busters) leave the field wide open for comic relief, and I had plenty of chances in this story. Since I'm hooked on cruising and I'm Italian, I didn't need to do that much research. The name Fausto came from an Italian woman I met in the 1980s, Fausta. I knew I had to use some version of that name in one of my books. I finally got the chance with the hero Fausto, close enough!

My husband and I are hooked on cruising, and my very first cruise was on the Eastern Mediterranean, beginning in Rome and ending in Istanbul. The ports of call included Rhodes, Cyprus, Santorini, and Egypt. Because I love Italy and cruising, I wanted to combine those passions with a humorous story about vampires and how they face prejudice in the human world.


Mona forced a dose of cheer through her jangly nerves. Vampire hunters wouldn’t have the balls to attack Fausto and his friends on this ship. Security was tight. “Well, you’re here, so does that mean you’ve been going out, and aren’t confined to your house any more?”

Fausto shrugged. “Almost. I couldn’t wallow in self-pity forever. And I knew seeing you would make it worthwhile.”

She smiled and gave him a genuine Italian cheek pinch. “I’ll cheer you up, faccia bella, you can count on that. You must feel safe.” She gestured at the tacky duds. “I mean, relatively speaking.”   

“Don’t let this scare you, but –” He glanced around over the rims of his shades. Uh-oh. Whenever he said “don’t let this scare you,” it scared her. “I got an ominous message at the doctor’s office earlier.”

“What—” She swallowed a lump. “What kind of ominous message?”

He looked away, shaking his head. “Nothing to get alarmed about. The hunters just want me to know they’re here. After the initial jolt wore off, I said, ‘okay, I’m being stalked again.’ But I’m used to it. It doesn’t make me constantly look over my shoulder like in the old days. My family’s murder gave me a reality check. If they want me, they’ll get me. I can’t let it interfere with my work, or what little leisure time I have here. And you shouldn’t either.” He gazed at her adoringly and cupped her cheek. His hand was surprisingly warm. “But you’re still scared. All the blood’s drained out of your face, and not in a good way.”

Thank you for sharing a member of your Dream Cast, Diana.

As a bonus, here is an interview of Fausto himself!

How did you meet Mona?
We met through a mutual friend, the first violinist of the Vienna Philharmonic, who’s also a SF author. Mona knows him through her network. Since I’m a violinist, the three of us got on great, then he went back home, left me and Mona alone, and…here we are.

If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why?
Two hours in a row is rare for me, being on call all the time as the ship’s doctor. But occasionally everybody stays healthy, so I crash in front of the TV and watch Roma,  my soccer team.

You own the team???
No [laughs] – I wish. But I know a few of the players. We met when I worked on a chartered yacht. They visit me when I’m at home in Rome, and we kick a ball around just for fun…then we play chess, where I can beat them!

What do you care about, live by?
Being a good citizen, but I want to stay close with my own kind. That’s why I became a doctor, a lot of us are doctors. I love to travel, so I took the job on the cruise line.

I’m proud of my heritage, yet ashamed on some level. I want to have a noble profession.

How do you behave in a crisis?
I want to work it out in gentlemanly manner. I abhor violence, because of my distant past.

What are your hobbies?
I play violin, piano, flute, I read all of Mona’s novels, and I sing opera arias in the shower.

What kind of books do you love to read? Why?  

I like medical thrillers by authors like Robin Cook, mainly to see how accurate they are, but to enjoy them, too. Another author I like is also a doctor, Larry Gold, M.D. I also like nonfiction books about Ancient Rome, where I came from. I mean, I’m not that ancient, but…I do like reading about the good old days. And, being an opera buff, I love biographies of opera stars, and I enjoy reading a libretto once in a while, although I know most of the storylines, having seen so many operas. To me, that’s light reading.

What is your stress buster?
I love to run when the weather’s good, around my home near Rome. My sister lives nearby and has three Great Danes. I enjoy taking them for a run. When I’m on the ship, I jog around the promenade deck with my iPod playing rock 'n roll music. I dance when I’m all alone, too. That’s a great stress buster. It transports me into another world. But you know what helps me forget my problems? Making love with Mona. Now that’s a stress buster.

What is your favorite food? What food do you seek when you’re sad, sort of a comfort food?
When I’m sad, I get my cook to whip up a chocolate Italian cream cake. One day, he was off, and I made it myself, with no recipe—just how I remembered my Nonna makes it. It came out more like pudding. But I devoured it, and it sure lifted my spirits.

Then if not cake, I reach for good old fashioned Italian anisette cookies. Brings me right back to my childhood.

Describe yourself in one word.  

What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?  
Marrying Lucrezia Borgia. I knew it was dangerous, but I was in love with her, and as a young—well, relatively young—guy, of course I thought it would last forever. I should’ve done more asking around—after all, references on her were easy enough to get. 

What makes you happy/sad/disappointed/frustrated/hopeful/angry? (Pick one)
Let’s keep it positive. What makes me happy is seeing people board the ship, especially those who’ve never cruised before. Their excitement is contagious. They buzz with pent-up energy. I try to keep that energy level going by inviting the best bands I can get on board and the funniest comedians. It isn’t always easy—sometimes I have to do some serious bribing.

What are your wildest dreams/fantasies/kinks/quirks?
My wildest dream is to visit outer space. Not live on another planet, just get a ride up there, orbit Earth and the moon, and head back again. And take some great pictures.

What do you most want out of life, and what’s its opposite? 
I most want people to accept us for who we are, and realize we’re not all Dracula. We’re getting there…I try to get a live TV show broadcast from the ship every Christmas, and we televise the Vampires Ball, our famous costume party. Now they hold those balls on land…so it’s catching on.

What would you never say, do or think?
I’d never give destructive criticism. All my criticism is to be helpful...and only when I’m asked. I’d never do a strip on stage again. Even to make the point that we’re like everybody else. I’d never think I’m superior to anyone just because I have this unusual gene in my DNA.

What are some of your faults?
I bottle up all my emotions, which is very un-Italian and unhealthy. But Mona has done a good job of bringing me out of my shell. She forced me to blow my top when the Vampire Ball Busters tried to torch my home…I did call the police and they got arrested, but I kept all my anger inside, until she urged me to yell and scream and throw things. I admit, it made me feel good for a while. So now when I get really aggravated or sad or even ecstatic about something, I let it all hang out. Even if I have to go into my private den and close all the doors and windows to have a good scream-fest. 

What’s your background, your history?  

I’m a vampire, born in Rome, from long line of vampires, dating back to ancient Rome. I inherited it, it’s genetic. I had no choice. I can trace my ancestry to ancient Rome. So, I’m undead. I was born during the Middle Ages in Rome. Rome was too hot for me, so I moved to England during Mary Tudor’s time.

Over the centuries, our family tried to hide it--we were good Christians, etc., but we had to drink blood. But we never want to bite anyone to get it. We don’t attack strangers, or drink from them directly. We just need the blood of whoever our soulmate is. So if we do bite their neck, it’s part of the sex act.

I’m proud of my ancestors, but know most people wouldn’t understand. I love the sea because of my ancestor Cherubino, who had the sea in his blood. I also revere Columbus; he’s my hero.

There are a lot of descendents from that bloodline. They keep in touch and some are very good friends. Some even intermarried. That makes it easy, they already know what they have to do.  

Thank you for sharing with us today, Fausto!

Diana Rubino is a longtime a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society, and the Aaron Burr Association.

Please visit Diana at

and on Twitter @DianaLRubino.

A Bloody Good Cruise is available in:
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