Bad Spanish and Bunny Feet

Count Fastracula recently took a trip to Mexico to meet his creator–Heather Harwood–the woman whose illustrations breathed life into his undead, plushy form. With a few hours to kill on a layover in Mexico City, he decided to take in some of the city’s tastes and sights.

A craving for seafood led us to a little restaurant known for its delicious crab claws–manitos de cangrejo (little crab hands). But thanks to the Count’s butchery of the language, he actually ordered a considerably less appealing dish–manitos de conejo (little rabbit hands). If not for our waiter’s ability to interpret the Count’s horrifying pronunciation, instead of a crab feast, we’d have dined on the appendages of Bambi’s little pal Thumper.

crab claws








20131116_114326But the embarrassments didn’t stop there. The Count doesn’t like seeds in his salsa, so he attempts to request it sin semillas (without seeds). However, his pronunciation sounds more like  sin semena (without semen). The next time you’re out for Mexican food, ask for semen-free salsa and enjoy the wild-eyed stares and giggles.

After some food, there was just enough time for a little sight-seeing before catching our flight to meet the Count’s creator, Heather. (Some sights were more interesting than others.)

IMG_0253 IMG_0250

The Count took to Heather right away. They got to know each other over margaritas.





All too soon it was time to head back to the airport and home. Until next time, adios Mexico! And may your salsa always be sin semena.



A Beach Weekend Vampire Style

IMG_0167Count Fastracula was feeling stressed. He needed a break from the daily vampire grind. We decided a quick trip up the coast would be the perfect distraction and just the thing to revive his undead spirit.

On our way to the beach we made a quick overnight stop in Solvang, CA (or as the Count calls it, Solfang). We arrived just in time to celebrate Danish Days. Although we’re not Danish, who can resist the lure of Viking horns.
We quickly settled into our hotel and went
off to explore the festivities. The Count even
crossed some things off his “to-do” list at
the candle shop where he stocked
up on lighting for the castle.

IMG_0163From there we surveyed the various vendor booths and food stands. All that walking made us both thirsty, so we visited the Solvang Brewing Company to drain a pint. In typical vampire fashion, the Count didn’t know when to stop drinking. Before long he started seeing double (or was that me?) and then embarrassed us both by passing out on the table. I carried him back to the hotel in my IMG_0165purse, poured him into his casket, and we called it a night.

After a quick shower the next morning, the Count was feeling like his undead self again, so we left Solfang and headed for the beach.

It was a glorious sunny day. Despite my protests, the Count insisted on sunbathing. Predictably, he started frying like back fat in an iron skillet. We relocated to a shady spot, which
we discovered was the perfect
vantage point to IMG_0179watch the elephant seals nap.

We decided to head back to the hotel. The Count insisted on stopping for “supplies,” which I now know is code for beer. I think the Count has a drinking problem. Or is it me?


Get Rid of Vampires at Work Once and For All

The idea for Bloodsuckers at Work started as a game my husband and I would play to pass time on long car rides or waiting in lines. We’d each try to come up with a name for a vampire that rhymes with Dracula that describes the vampire. For example, what do you call a vampire who drinks beer? Count Sixpackula. What do you call a vampire who rides horses? Count Horsebackula.

Stupid? Check. Fun? Double check. (Add alcohol and it gets even more fun.) Over the years, we played the game with friends and family. No matter who we played it with, people would always come up with their own bad Dracula puns. (You’re probably thinking of some right now, aren’t you?) Eventually, I started writing them down and before long I had an extensive Dracula puns. (Every girl’s dream, right?) For years, they did nothing but sit in a drawer. From time to time, I’d dust them off and look at them, but didn’t know what to do with them.


Fast forward ten years. I stumble on an article about emotional vampires at work. I thought what if bloodsuckers really do work among us? Not just those of the emotional variety, but actual pointy-toothed neck-nibblers.  I realized that almost anyone—from your boss and coworkers to your doctor or plumber—could be a jugular-jabber. Suddenly, the mission for that long neglected list of puns was clear.

I teamed up with the most amazing graphic designer and illustrator I’ve ever met, Heather Harwood, and before long we had created the definitive guide to spotting and outing pesky parasites at work.

Now anyone can protect themselves from pesky parasites by unleashing the secret code word—a monstrously bad Dracula pun. The puns are such an affront to the vampires’ refined senses that once unleashed, the vampire is forced to drop his human façade and reveal all manner of vampireyness.

This list of puns in the book is as complete
 as our lack of imagination and good taste allows. Keep in mind, though, that new bloodsuckers are popping out of the grave every day, branching out into new professions. For added protection, we created a plush toy ally to keep you safe no matter where you go. He’s not only adorably wicked, but he acts as vampire REPELLENT. One look at him, and the real fang-danglers will scram.

If you’re looking to avoid a nasty bite, I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Bloodsuckers at Work and the vampire plushy. Both are available on