Author Guest Post: Tony-Paul de Vissage

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Today’s Guest Author offers up vampires in his series Second Species.


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Tony Paul de Vissage

Zombie (zahm-bee) an undead being brought back to life through witchcraft or supernatural means.

So…what’s the difference between a vampire and a zombie?  Brains, man, brains.

Or perhaps not so much so in my series, the Second Species.

Take the case of poor Rachel Williams, for example…

In my series, the vampires in question don’t consider themselves vampires at all. They’re aventurieri, a second species of mankind (hence the title of the series).  Diverging from the first species, i.s., homo sapiens, somewhere along the evolutionary line, this branch of the Tree of Man took to the trees quite literally, becoming homo erectus aventurieri.  They develop night vision and wings to swoop down on their prey and carry it off. They acquire a much longer lifespan than their human brothers but are eventually as mortal as the rest of us.

They also heal much faster, except in one instance. Cursed with a pernicious sensitivity to the sun in the form of the disease X-P, a DNA weakness causing the body remain unhealed from the damage done to the skin of ultraviolet, they became night feeders, seeking to replenish the nutrition lost through avoiding the sun, by drinking blood…not continually, mind you, but once or twice a month. The rest of the time, they eat and drink and make merry as much as you or I.

These are the people portrayed in Second Species, specifically the Strigoi family, who are on a trail of vengeance against Mircea Ravagiu, murderer of their father, stepmother, and baby brother.

What does this have to do with zombies?  A little background, that’s all.

In Shadow Avenged, Book 6 of the series, Rachel Williams, a hooker, is enthralled Mircea Ravagiu to use as bait to ensnare Sabine Lavelle, the Strigoi physician. He’d thought to torture Sabine by having him watch as he turned her.

Performing the forbidden ceremony of scarba—killing a mortal human, then reviving her with his blood—he makes her into the actual creature humans called vampire.


“Without another word, he sank his fangs into her neck. There was a spurt of blood splashing against the elongated canines, spattering his face before it dripped down her

shoulder. Her skin was dead-white now, as if there were no more blood left in her. Rachel’s body stiffened, twisting and thrashing in a dreadful mingling of escape and desire. She jerked once more…and stilled. Her hands fell away from  Ravagiu’s shoulders as her body went limp.

The flow stopped, leaving only random splotches on Ravagiu’s shirt-front.

Mouth open, Ravagiu raised his head. Crimson drops fell from his fangs, shining like liquid gemstones on Rachel’s bloodless breasts. Taking a deep gasping breath, like a man deprived of oxygen, he opened his arms, letting her body fall to the dirt floor. She lay still, eyes rolled back, mouth open, tongue protruding, as white as the rest of her.

Kneeling, he touched her throat and began to count under his breath. “One…two…done…” He pressed his free hand against his mouth, dragging an eyetooth across his wrist.

Ravagiu held his hand over Rachel’s mouth. Blood flowed into the gash, gathering into a single drop. It swelled, lengthened and hung from the cut, stretching…

The drop fell…

There was a drawn-out choking gasp, like air being forced through a half-clogged pipe. Rachel’s chest rose and fell. Her body spasmed, back arching as it stiffened in a mocking return to life.

“Master?” With a moan, she opened her eyes, looking around in bewilderment as they sought Ravagiu’s. Her voice was dry and gravelly, as if old and unused for some time.”


Since turning someone, that is, making them into what most humans consider a vampire, a near-mindless corpse resurrected to carry out its creator’s orders, was forbidden by aventurieri law, Mircea is the more despicable than being a mere murderer because he does this with malice aforethought

Unfortunately, doing so robs the victim of most of its intelligence, though it does still have the power to speak and have rudimentary thoughts. Its bite and blood are venomous, thus making him more zombie than a true vampire. Even other aventurieri shun such a creature and are bound by aventurieri law to destroy it.

Wounded and dying from the lead in the bullet, Mircea sends Rachel out to find another of his kind so he can drain his blood and heal himself. Unfortunately, as robbed of her intelligence as she now is, she fails:


“Guideless and lost, she clung to the one order Mircea had given her…find a male aventurieri, entice him, bring him here…she could kill him but she couldn’t bite him. For some reason if she did that, he was no good to the master.

Rachel didn’t understand why. She was like the master now so why would her bite hurt any worse than his? Nevertheless, he’d said, Don’t bite him.

How am I supposed to get him to come with me?”

Rachel finds someone but she fails miserably in her attempt:

“The young man stiffened and turned. He took the cigarette from his mouth as he raised his head, sniffing loudly.

He knows I’m here.

“Who are you?” Dropping the cigarette, he jerked away, stepping back into the clearing. He inhaled again, face twisting in disgust. “Scarba?” His hand went to his back, reappeared holding a sling-blade. “Scarba. Abomination!”

Immediately the music stopped. Dropping their instruments, several aventurieri ran to the young man, shouting. One or two picked up fallen twigs or clods of dirt, throwing them at her.

They’re like me. Why are they doing this?

Rachel backed away, putting up her hands to protect her face. She fled.

“What th’ hell?” someone said, dropping the stick he held. “A scarba? Heah? Who’d dare do such a thin’?”

“It’s that foreigner,” the young man declared. He pulled a crumpled cigarette pack from his hip pocket, shaking out one. His hands were trembling as he put it to his lips, making him fumble with the nickel-plated lighter.

“Should we go after it an’ kill it? Tha’s what we s’pose to do with scarba,” his friend went on. “Patrice?”

“Let it go.” He had a grudge against the foreigner but if he were strong enough to make a scarba, there was no way they’d be able to get near enough to kill the thing, especially  with a gris-gris at work.”


Unlike a “regular” vampire, scarabs aren’t killed with a stake through the heart. They have to go the way of all zombies, with a bullet in the brain:


“They got there in time to see Vashon leap out of range of the scarba’s claws.

Rachel spat at him, snarling and slavering like a chained guard dog. One hand lashed out, fingers curled into talons. None of them dared get close for fear of being raked by those poison-filled nails.

“What have you done with my master?” she demanded, giving vent to a part-wail, part howl of rage. She dashed at Vashon, targeting him as the cause of her despair. “You, sectiuna’s trained hound…where is he?”

Vashon didn’t hesitate. Drawing the pistol from the shoulder holster as much a part of his clothing as his shirt and jeans, he shot Rachel in the forehead. The force of the bullet knocked her backward, spraying the wall with blood and brain matter as she fell into a crumpled heap.

“That’s one scarba won’t be comin’ back.”


Mircea escapes and his ill-turned minion dies but the vampire himself will be punished eventually. For the murder of the Strigoi clan’s patriarch, who is also the prince’s assassin, for the killing of his wife and young son, for the deaths of so many in the past two and a half centuries, and for the breaking of vampire law by creating an abomination, the zombie-like scarab, which his own people might consider the worse sin of all because it makes a sacrilege of death, Mircea suffers a retribution reserved for only the worse offenders of the aventurieri species.


Rachel is featured in two of the series’ novels: Shadow Law and Shadow Avenged.

The Second Species series contained the following entries:

Shadow Lord

Shadow Players

Shadow Passion

Shadow Duet

Shadow Law

Shadow Avenged

Shadow Slayer

Shadow Revealed

Shadow Liege


Tony photo

Author Bio:

A writer of French Huguenot extraction, one of Tony-Paul de Vissage’s first movie memories is of being six years old, viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter on television, and being scared sleepless—and he’s now paying back his very permissive parents by writing about the Undead.

Find out more about Tony-Paul at:

Twitter: @tpvissage


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