Welcome to this weeks Book Club Thursday. This week, our them is It's a Vamp Thing. Over the last decade, paranormal romance has seen an explosion in vampires, werewolves, demons, shifters, and all things otherworldly. This week, we are concentrating on the Vamps. Join my fellow bloggers and I as we talk about the creatures of the night.
Back in the 80's, you would be hard pressed to find any romances with vampires. Every vamp tale was either horror or teen horror/romances by authors like L J Smythe and her "Vampire Diaries" series. Then, in 1997, I picked up a reissue of Forever and the Night by Linda Lael Miller and from then on I was hooked. This was a 4 book series and you meet a handsome vampire named Aidan, who resented being a vampire and who had been turned against his will. In the next story, his sister, also a vampire and she loved it. Throughout the four books, you meet their friend, a mesmerizing vamp named Valerian, complete with lavender eyes, who I still think about to this day. I enjoyed these books, but her publisher didn't want anymore and they left a sexy male witch without his own book.
So the hunt was on and at first it was hard going. Lori Herter also had four vampire books starting with Obsession, circa 1991. Vampire David (born in the 1600's) is a playwright who falls in love with a shy young woman named Veronica. He too, is a reluctant vampire, and when they fall in love she wants to be turned, but because she is only 25, he decides that they should part and see other people for the next 10 years (pretty selfless, right?) and if it was truly meant to be, he would turn her and they could have they're HEA. Of course, they keep bumping into each other.
So I didn't find too many more in the 90's, Elaine Bergstrom had a few starting with Shattered Glass, about the Austra family of vamp's who settled in the US after WWII. And Silhouette publishers had a small line of paranormal stories for a couple of years, Silhouette Shadows, and among them were the Twilight Fantasy books by Maggie Shayne which I loved. These vampires had an antigen in their blood which made them vampire and there are some government heavies trying to track them down to destroy them and experiment on some of them too. She has continued writing more books to this series until a few years ago after she retained her publishing rights.
These authors paved the way for the current wave of paranormal vampire stories. Now you have plenty to choose from. Christine Feehan, J R Ward, Heather Graham (Shannon Drake), Cynthia Eden...so many to mention. Contemporary vamps are no longer hideous and ugly, authors have turned the tables and have made them strong and sexy alphas and definitely the good guys compared to "humans" who want to destroy what they don't understand. Some are "bad boys" dark and sensuous, but they are protecting their kind. Vamps are now heroes and are in all genres, from contemporary to erotic. Lynsay Sands and Kerrelyn Sparks have even made them funny. Imagine a vamp going to the dentist because he broke one of his fangs! And one of my favorite books of 2013 was a historical vampire story called, Bite Me, Your Grace by Brooklyn Ann. Gotta love the title. So here are some covers of some of my favorites.
So, who are some of your favorite vamp writer's? Let us know in the comment section below and don't forget to visit my friends blogs for their take on vampires. See you next week!