Tuesday, April 26, 2011

9 Great Vampire Books

If you are looking for a great vampire read, give one of my favorite vampire books a try!

Live Girls by Ray Garton

Live GirlsDavey's on the down and out when he loses his girl, his job and practically his sanity. While some men drown themselves in a forgiving bottle, Davey believes it's much more profitable to sink into Times Square's nightlife and lose himself inside Live Girls. They are the free ravishing pleasures who beckon Davey into a world of irresistible fantasy and ecstasy. One of them propositions him with a kiss, an insatiable kiss that leads him far from the misery he once felt to a demonic place where body and soul are sacrificed for obsessions.

Amazon | Goodreads

Here's a fantastic post on Ray Garton's blog that details the inspiration behind Live Girls: LIVE GIRLS: The Story Behind the Book.

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula (Townsend Library Edition)When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes a series of horrific discoveries about his client. Soon after wards, various bizarre incidents unfold in England: an apparently unmanned ship is wrecked off the coast of Whitby; a young woman discovers strange puncture marks on her neck; and the inmate of a lunatic asylum raves about the 'Master' and his imminent arrival. In "Dracula", Bram Stoker created one of the great masterpieces of the horror genre, brilliantly evoking a nightmare world of vampires and vampire hunters and also illuminating the dark corners of Victorian sexuality and desire.

Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Salem's LotPublished a year after his stunning debut novel, Carrie, 'Salem's Lot firmly cemented Stephen King's name in the literary lexicon of great American storytellers. His rich and finely crafted tale of a mundane New England town under siege by the forces of darkness is both a homage to Bram Stoker's classic Dracula and an allegory of our post-Vietnam society. Considered one of the most terrifying vampire novels ever written, it cunningly probes the shadows of the human heart -- and the insular evils of small-town America.

Amazon | Goodreads

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (The Vampire Chronicles #1)

Interview with the Vampire (Vampire Chronicles)Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force--a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses.

Amazon | Goodreads
The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice (The Vampire Chronicles #2)

The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles)Once an aristocrat in the heady days of pre-revolutionary France, now Lestat is a rockstar in the demonic, shimmering 1980s. He rushes through the centuries in search of others like him, seeking answers to the mystery of his terrifying exsitence. His story, the second volume in Anne Rice's best-selling Vampire Chronicles, is mesmerizing, passionate, and thrilling.

Amazon | Goodreads
The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice (The Vampire Chronicles #3)

The Queen of the Damned (Vampire Chronicles)In 1976, a uniquely seductive world of vampires was unveiled in the now-classic Interview with the Vampire . . . in 1985, a wild and voluptous voice spoke to us, telling the story of The Vampire Lestat.  In The Queen of the Damned, Anne Rice continues her extraordinary "Vampire Chronicles" in a feat of mesmeric storytelling, a chillingly hypnotic entertainment in which the oldest and most powerful forces of the night are unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

Amazon | Goodreads
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let the Right One In: A NovelIt is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last---revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door---a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night. . . .

Amazon | Goodreads

FOR THE KIDS (ages 9 - 12)

I only have the first Bunnicula book listed here, but the entire series is awesome.

Bunnicula by James and Deborah Howe

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of MysteryBEWARE THE HARE!

Is he or isn't he a vampire?

Before it's too late, Harold the dog and Chester the cat must find out the truth about the newest pet in the Monroe household -- a suspicious-looking bunny with unusual habits...and fangs!

Amazon | Goodreads


I haven't had the chance to check out Draculas yet, but it's coming up quick on my to be read list!

Draculas by Crouch, Kilborn (Konrath), Strand, and Wilson

Draculas: A Novel of TerrorA DYING MAN'S GREATEST TREASURE...

Mortimer Moorecook, retired Wall Street raider, avid collector, is losing his fight against cancer. With weeks to live, a package arrives at the door of his hillside mansion-an artifact he paid millions for...a hominoid skull with elongated teeth, discovered in a farmer's field in the Romanian countryside. With Shanna, his beautiful research assistant looking on, he sinks the skull's razor sharp fangs into his neck, and immediately goes into convulsions.


A rural hospital. A slow night in the ER. Until Moorecook arrives strapped to a gurney, where he promptly codes and dies.


Four well-known horror authors pool their penchants for scares and thrills, and tackle one of the greatest of all legends, with each writer creating a unique character and following them through a vampire outbreak in a secluded hospital.

The goal was simple: write the most intense novel they possibly could.

Which they did.

A Word of Warning:
Within these pages, you will find no black capes, no satin-lined coffins, no brooding heartthrobs who want to talk about your feelings. Forget sunlight and stakes. Throw out your garlic and your crosses. This is the Anti-TWILIGHT.

Amazon | Goodreads


Are you a vampire fan? Do you have any favorites to add to the list?


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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blog Hop: Music and Happy Easter!

Today's Follow Friday question over at Parajunkee's View is:

Q. What is on your current playlist right now?

My playlist usually consists of my running music: Metallica, Disturbed, Rob Zombie, Lacuna Coil... Anything with a great beat. I've been known to play air drums while running through the park.

I'm always looking for great running songs! Do you have any favorite workout music? 

Book Blogger HopJennifer over at Crazy For Books asks: 

If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?

Yes! Definitely. I will seek out other books they have already written, and I will keep an eye out for any new releases.

Happy Easter! Do you have any special plans? We are celebrating my dad's 60th birthday and my son's 2nd birthday on Easter this weekend! :)


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Review: Unsavory Delicacies by Russell Brooks

Unsavory Delicacies is a quick and entertaining short story trilogy by Russell Brooks.  All three stories begin in a restaurant but end as unique and enjoyable tales.

Creme Brulee unveils the end of a covert operation and introduces us to Ridley Fox.

To The Last Bite chronicles the first glowing review of a food critic.  I'm glad I review books instead of food!  This one made me nervous (in a good way).

Ridley Fox is back in Shaslyk and Morozhenoe.  This time he is taking down the son of St. Petersburg's most powerful crime boss.

Each story in Unsavory Delicacies offers a fast delight, but the whole collection can also be enjoyed in one sitting.

Unsavory Delicacies is the first book I've read by Russell Brooks.  I look forward to checking out more of his work.

Amazon | Amazon UK | Smashwords | B&N | XinXii

Review copy provided by the author


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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Review: Fangboy by Jeff Strand

Fangboy is a "bizarre yet heartwarming" bedtime story from the mind of Jeff Strand.

Book Description
Nathan Pepper seemed like an ordinary baby…except for a mouth full of scary sharp teeth. Because his life began with his grandmother strongly recommending that he be destroyed as soon as possible, it’s safe to say that Nathan was not destined for a typical existence.

He hated the nickname “Fangboy,” but nobody could deny that he was the most frightening little boy in town. And he would have adventures of every sort. Tragic adventures, like what happened to his parents. Dangerous adventures, like his encounter with the sinister Professor Mongrel. Thrilling adventures, like the part where he’s on an out-of-control horse and he can’t make it stop running and you think “Well, he should just jump off,” but he CAN’T because it’s going too fast and he could break a leg. And, yes, one particularly gruesome adventure, though it is not described in great detail.

Will things end happily for Nathan? Will he bite somebody? Gather your family and your most deranged friends, make some chocolate chip cookies, and share the dark comedy treat of FANGBOY, a bizarre yet heartwarming yet rather tasteless saga that—all ego aside—will define a generation.
Poor little Nathan Pepper was born with a mouth full of razor sharp teeth.  Despite being a freak whom everyone feared, his parents loved him dearly.  The night before Nathan turned six years old, both of his parents died from an accidental poisoning.  This was the first of many horrible events Nathan would endure.

Jeff Strand made Nathan's character so lovable, I longed to adopt him and raise him myself.  Instead, I was left to witness Nathan's tragic encounters with a world that judged him based on his looks.

The humor and positive outlook throughout Fangboy made this dark fairy tale uplifting.  If you love a dark comedy or enjoy bizarre stories, do yourself a favor and read Fangboy.  Nathan Pepper is a character I won't soon forget.

Do you have a favorite dark fairy tale?

Review copy provided by publisher


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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Book Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter (The Goddess Test #1)

The Goddess Test is the debut book of Aimee Carter and the first book of the Goddess Test series.

Book Description
It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.
Kate has made a deal with Hades.  She must stay in his mansion for six months and pass seven tests delivered by the Gods.  I made the mistake of assuming these Olympians tests would be of epic proportion.  Instead, I spent the entire book wondering along with Kate how she is even being tested.  The only two tests we are aware she is taking is a pencil and paper test and a test in which Hades gives her the answer.

The Goddess Test is told from Kate's point of view, and she spends the entire book waiting.  I will not be waiting for book #2.

Have you read the Goddess Test?  It is getting great reviews.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Review copy provided by publisher


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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Blog Hop: Real Life Book Relationships

Today's Follow Friday question over at Parajunkee's View is:

Do you have anyone that you can discuss books with IRL? Tell us about him/her.

Yes! My closest book pals are my mom and my grandma.  They taught me to love books and introduced me to some awesome authors and genres at a young age.  Now I repay them constantly with recommendations.  They pay it forward by passing those recommendations to their bookish friends.  I love hearing when people call my mom and ask "What is your daughter recommending?".  I just love that.

I use WeRead on Facebook to chuck books at my bookish friends.  If I go too long, they will call and tell me they need some recommendations.  I could never grow tired of discussing or recommending great reads.

What about you guys? Do you have many real life folks that share your passion?

Book Blogger HopJennifer over at Crazy For Books asks: 

Pick a character from a book you are currently reading or have just finished and tell us about him/her.

Before Leonora WakesI recently read a short book by Lee Thompson called Before Leonora Wakes.  It's a really great coming of age story about a 13 year old boy named Red.  He's a naive, innocent, and introverted boy.  The perfect character for a coming of age story.

Thompson has stated Red was based on himself at that age.  That's probably why Red is such a realistic character.  (And why I'm choosing him to share with you today.)

Do you find you connect best with a certain type of character?


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Review: Dreams the Ragman by Greg F. Gifune

Dreams the Ragman by Greg F. Gifune is another great novella from Delirium Books.

Book Description
As a young boy Derrick listened to his grandfather’s spooky tales of “The Ragman,” an old junk dealer and boogieman of sorts to the children in the neighborhood who he claimed had followed him throughout his entire life and stalked him from the depths of his own worst nightmares. But as an alcoholic ravaged with senility, his grandfather’s stories were dismissed as delusions.

When years later, murder comes to Derrick’s small hometown, he and his best friend Caleb—both teenage outcasts—discover that the killer is a hobo dressed in rags who rides the rails in and out of town when committing his crimes. They dub him “The Ragman” unaware of just how accurate that nickname may be, but the murders are never solved.

As time passes, Derrick weds and settles into a troubled marriage while Caleb moves to New York City and spirals into drug addiction and madness. Thirty years later, in a dying seaside resort town, the killings have begun again. Has The Ragman returned, or is something even more sinister taking place?

As Derrick and Caleb meet at the scene of the latest grisly murders, they soon find themselves confronted with an unsolved mystery that has haunted them for decades and an eternal evil they may never be able to escape. The rain falls, darkness descends, a train’s whistle blows, and the Ragman begins to dream…

Dreams the Ragman chronicles Derrick's lifetime struggle with the mysterious and evil ragman.  As a boy, the ragman came for his grandfather.  As a teenager, his best friend Caleb.  When Derrick begins investigating brutal murders that appear all too familiar, will the ragman come for him, too?

I loved the atmospheric and creepy tone of Dreams the Ragman.  I found myself engrossed in the suspense and mystery of the ragman.  There were times I wished the terror I felt would play out a little longer, but the build up and tension made for a fantastic read.

Greg F. Gifune has two novellas in Delirium's 2011 novella series: Dreams the Ragman with an April 2011 release date and Apartment Seven with a September 2011 release date.  I will definitely be checking out his next release.

Additional topics of interest:
Review: Beyond the Door by Jeffrey Thomas 
More Horror Book Reviews

Review copy provided by publisher


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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

TBR: Run by Blake Crouch

It's Blake Crouch week over at The Man Eating Bookworm.  I was super lucky enough to win myself a copy of Run!  Woohoo!  It sounds like an excellent thriller.  Check it out:
For fans of Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Thomas Harris, picture this: a landscape of American genocide...
5 D A Y S A G O A rash of bizarre murders swept the country… Senseless. Brutal. Seemingly unconnected. A cop walked into a nursing home and unloaded his weapons on elderly and staff alike. A mass of school shootings. Prison riots of unprecedented brutality. Mind-boggling acts of violence in every state.
4 D A Y S A G O The murders increased ten-fold…
3 D A Y S A G O The President addressed the nation and begged for calm and peace…
2 D A Y S A G O The killers began to mobilize…
Y E S T E R D A Y All the power went out…
T O N I G H T They’re reading the names of those to be killed on the Emergency Broadcast System. You are listening over the battery-powered radio on your kitchen table, and they’ve just read yours. Your name is Jack Colclough. You have a wife, a daughter, and a young son. You live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. People are coming to your house to kill you and your family.
You don’t know why, but you don’t have time to think about that any more. You only have time to….
This 80,000-word novel also contains a bonus interview with Blake, and excerpts from his other work.
I can't wait to dive into this one! Have you read any of Crouch's books yet?  He sounds like someone I really need to be reading!


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Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: Beyond the Door by Jeffrey Thomas

Beyond the Door is the next release in the Delirium 2011 Novella Series.

Book Description
Two strangers meet in a train station, and begin swapping stories—stories that eerily interweave, and grow more and more disturbing and bizarre. The headless undead, a gruesome flea circus, flesh-eating insects, and a menacing house that won’t stay put. These are just some of the tales that will reveal as much about the teller as they do the mysteries behind that frayed curtain we call reality.

When Ware mistakenly opens an occupied stall door in a train station restroom, he's quick to show his annoyance by telling the stranger, "Where I come from, people lock the toilet stall door."

The stranger retorts, "Well, where I come from, people knock on the door before they open it."

The replies continue in this manner until the reader is figuratively sitting around a campfire listening to bizarre town stories of ghost train rides, traveling carnivals, and legendary citizens. The stories between Ware and the stranger last through the night and build to a story as eerie and atmospheric as Dracula picking off the seamen of the Demeter one by one.
BEYOND THE DOOR is a story about how we connect with one another through storytelling—and tantalize ourselves with the unknown.
If you love reading or sharing ghost stories, urban legends, or strange tales, you will love reading Beyond the Door. Highly recommended!

Review copy provided by publisher


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