My boyfriend and I had a road trip this weekend. Now usually when we take long drives, I bring a book of short stories and he sneaks in one of his history books. So on our way to San Antonio, we had an opportunity to read from my Dark Dreams: A Collection of Horror and Suspense by Black Writers book.

Most people know who Zane is, and my boyfriend (the non-fiction reader that he is) is no exception. Unfortunately, he’s never read a story by her. Wanting to expose him to her “writing style,” I read the opening story “Resident Evil,” figuring we would have a good laugh (since he’s such an intellectual) and move on to whatever story followed. Let me set the scene for you. Imagine a pimp-like vampire named Sangue who lures women into the apartment building which he owns so that they can become one of his blood-sucking followers.

Now, when I read to my boyfriend, I like to aggravate him by throwing in my own details to make sure he’s paying attention. So early on in the story I made an inappropriate fictional Zane-like addition. He looked over at me, unsure if I was serious. Of course I couldn’t hold in my laughter. About a page later, the following appears:

He took his time going to the door and hesitated briefly as he whiffed the air. They were both in heat. He could smell their wet…through the walls.

Sangue grinned as he opened the door. No one said anything. The two women just stared at him with their mouths open and their tongues hanging out once they realized that he was completely nude.

He saw the way they took in his more than ample…and his perfectly molded body.

“Can I help you, ladies?” he finally asked as they continued to struggle to regain some composure. “Is there something I can do for you?” He glanced down as his…, which was pointing at them like an arrow. “Anything at all?”

As you will note, I censored this excerpt for my readers. Save your comments about that. My question is, Massey has a book with authors like Steven Barnes, Tananarive Due–and even himself, right? Why would he want the first story to be from Zane? Another author featured in this collection is L.A. Banks who is known for her vampire stories. I will admit that I just came across one of her books in the bookstore a few weeks ago and plan on reading one of her titles soon. I know I’m late, but has anybody else heard of her? Here’s a quick bio:

L.A. Banks, the author of The Vampire Huntress Legends series, has written over 30 novels and contributed to 10 novellas, thus far, in multiple genres under various pseudonyms. She mysteriously shape-shifts between the genres of romance, women’s fiction, crime/suspense thrillers, and of course, dark vampire huntress lore. A graduate of The University of Pennsylvania Wharton undergraduate program with a Master’s in Fine Arts from Temple University, one never knows how or when this enigma will appear… her forms are many, her secrets of crossing genres vast, and she does this with her teenaged daughter and a dog from some remote, undisclosed lair in Philadelphia.

Since I provided an excerpt from Zane’s short story, I feel it’s only right to provide a summary of L.A. Bank’s first book, Minion. The book is one of many in the Vampire Huntress series. I would provide an excerpt, but the one available on most sites, isn’t as good as the one available on Google Books.

There is one woman who is all that stands between us and the eternal night.Here is an account of her legend….All Damali Richards ever wanted to do was create music and bring it to the people. Now she is a Spoken Word artist and the top act for Warriors of Light Records. But come nightfall, she hunts vampires and demons—predators that people tend to dismiss as myth or fantasy. But Damali and her Guardian team cannot afford such delusions, especially now, when a group of rogue vampires have been killing the artists of Warriors of Light and their rival, Blood Music. Strange attacks have also erupted within the club drug-trafficking network and drawn the attention of the police. These killings are a bit out of the ordinary, even for vampires. No neat puncture marks in the neck to show where the life’s blood has been sucked from the body. These bodies have been mutilated beyond recognition, indicating a blood lust and thirst for destruction that surpasses any Damali has encountered before. Damali soon discovers that behind these brutal murders is the most powerful vampire she has ever met, and this seductive beast is coming for her next. But his unholy intentions have also drawn the focus of other hellish dark forces. Soon Damali finds herself being pulled deeper into the vast and horrifying vampire world.

View more excerpts and books by L.A. Banks at Powell’s Books. Interestingly enough, Banks writes more than just vampire novels, so be sure to check out her websites to find out more:

Vampire Huntress

Leslie Esdaile Banks

L.A. Banks – MySpace

Happy reading, ya’ll!