Edison author puts a twist on creatures of the night

Caridad Pineiro ScordatoCaridad Pineiro Scordato

EDISON — The Latina leading ladies in Caridad Pineiro Scordato’s romance novels always get their man.

But in her latest book, "Darkness Calls," the dark-haired diva will also get some teeth marks.

"Darkness Calls," (Silhouette, 2004) a multicultural vampire romance novel by the 20-year Edison resident and Cuban native who writes under the name Caridad Pineiro, hit bookshelves earlier this month.

Darker and edgier than her six previous works — yet still "very sexy" — "Darkness Calls" tells the story of Diana Reyes, a Latina FBI agent who falls in love with a vampire disguised as a Manhattan nightclub owner.

After months of researching vampires and other creatures of the night, Scordato said she was able to create a bloodsucking character that is not only emotionally scarred, but also "physically wounded" and sadly immortal.

"I have always had a fascination with vampires from my early days of watching horror movies," said Scordato, who, by day, is a partner in a Manhattan-based law firm.

"Vampires struck me as tragic creatures, more so than other monsters. Once human, they knew the joys of a normal life and now were seemingly blessed with eternal life. But life without end carries many burdens," she said.

But while "Darkness Calls" takes a paranormal twist, Scordato’s mission to create strong Latino heroines remains constant.

Her aim as a novelist, she says, is to portray Hispanic woman as powerful, educated and successful.

"I stay away from the stereotypical Latino. Latino women are not always portrayed positively. They are either manual laborers, domestic helpers, or always hysterical or funny. … In ["Darkness Calls"] the woman is a strong character; she happens to be in the FBI."

Scordato’s ability to create three-dimensional multicultural characters has put her on the map as a romance novelist.

Aside from writing six bilingual novels for Encanto, Kensington Publishing’s 5-year-old multicultural romance line, she was one of the Latino authors featured at the first-ever Spanish Pavilion at the 2000 Chicago BookExpo America.

Scordato also leads writing workshops on creating multicultural characters and has spoken on the subject at Barnes & Noble bookstores throughout the state.

"There is a big market for multicultural romance," she said. "I got a lot of fan mail. … People wrote me letters, and a large part of them are not Latino."

When she is not writing, Scordato may be the real Latina heroine.

Juggling a full-time law career with both writing and raising a family, she only finds time to write in the early mornings, on Saturdays and on the commuter train to New York City.

She is working on several new projects, including a novel for Bombshell, a romance line that features "kick-ass heroines," and follow-up novels to "Darkness Calls."

"Hopefully, it will be a series," she said.

— Sandi Carpello