Because I'm writing vampire books, I often get asked what my favorites are. So, here goes. Let's see if you agree with me!
1. ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
I read this years ago, and I was terrified throughout the entire book. If I heard a noise in the house while I was reading it, I’d have to go investigate it! I’ve never had a book terrify me as much since. Ben Mears returns to his home town to write about the Marsten House, where he witnessed something terrible as a child. His arrival coincides with the new owner taking possession of the Marsten House, and darkness quickly spreads. Salem’s Lot is steeped in Gothic tradition. But it uses King’s natural gift and love for writing small towns being torn apart. The evil that seeps out of the Marsten House turns everyone against each other, resulting in a fantastically chilling novel. For me, it is quite possibly the greatest vampire book ever written.
2. Dracula by Bram Stoker
This story has been told over and over in film and television. So, it’s easy to forget how powerful the original is. Harker’s trip to Transylvania is terrifying. This masterpiece has often been imitated but rarely outdone.
3. Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
Anne Rice’s has had the most influential interpretation of vampire novels since Bram Stoker. Her vampires are elegant, disaffected, beautiful, tragic creations. While her later novels focus on Lestat, it’s Claudia, Louis and Lestat at the center of this first novel that makes it so memorable.
4. Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris (and the True Blood Series)
How could I resist the combination of a mind-reading heroine, newly legal vampires, a serial killer, a shape-shifter? The plot is tightly woven, and the psychological effects are fascinating and disturbing at the same time! It’s a real gripper! I loved the entire series!
5. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer (and the entire Twilight Series)
Okay, I admit it. I loved the Twilight series, particularly the first book. Isabella Swan and Edward Cullen make for an alluring couple. A human and a vampire couple who find themselves balancing their razor-sharp desire for each other and the danger that surrounds them. I loved it because it was so romantic and suspenseful at the same time. It’s a great love story with lots of spunk. The entire series captivated me.
6. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
This is an interesting concept that is flawlessly executed! The author went the distance to create a plausible melding of vampire mayhem and history. It was well-researched, and the history was on target. It’s a surprise and a wonderful, fun read!
7. The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
This is amazingly different from the first two books (Interview with a Vampire and The Vampire Lestat) of The Vampire Chronicles. Several new characters are introduced, several truly old vampires we have only heard of up until now become part of the action, and the story is woven together into a mosaic much wider in scope from what has come before. It’s Lestat’s book, but he isn’t the focus. He narrates his own role in events, but much of the book is written in the third person. The action is spread out over six thousand years from one end of the world to the other, with a lot of mythology taking the place of the energetic action of the earlier novels.
8. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel is one of the greatest vampire stories ever written. Robert Neville is the sole survivor of a vampire plague. He lives in a boarded-up house which he only leaves during the daytime to hunt. At night, the monsters return the favor, taunting him through the boarded-up windows. The power of his isolation and the powerful moral twist of the book’s finale make it a must-read.
9. The Shepherd by Travis Luedke
I must include my friend Travis Luedke’s book, The Shepherd. It totally took me by surprise. From the uncensored male teen dialogue to the games girls will play, I totally returned to high school. Travis captured the entire clique strata. The story is about Mike, who has had visions that he doesn’t discuss. His life is depressing with an unemployed, emotionally absent, alcoholic father. Then, we meet Nadia, a young girl Mike nearly hits with his car. She is quirky and mysterious, and she totally connects to Mike. We don’t know who she is, where she’s from or why she acts as if she’s always known Mike. Strange and awful things begin to happen, and Nadia is the key. Travis keeps this tale going in high gear with twists and revelations and will captivate you all the way to the end.
10. The Vampire Tapestry by Suzy McKee Charnas
Stephen King said he couldn’t put this book down. I think he called it “unputdownable.” I agree. Even though the New York Times Book Review called it one of the genre’s few modern classics, it hasn’t gotten much notice. Try it. You’ll like it!
Vampire Fiction, Paranormal Fiction, Shifter Fiction
Date Published: 5/1/2018
Publisher: Troll River Publications
Attacked by the werewolf nation, sworn vampire enemies, Kane and Moon are thrown into turmoil to defend themselves and those they love. With a stalking shifter network out to destroy them, every battle could be their last.
Traveling from Nova Scotia to Kane’s Italian Tuscany estate, they stand ground against their enemies. As they prepare to fight, a mysterious female attracts Kane. Who is she? Could she have ulterior motives? As Kane and Moon unravel the threat she poses, they realize the real reason behind the werewolves’ plot against them. Not a cookie cutter version of this genre, the mystery stays alive as McKibben once again raises the level of paranormal, narrated by a hybrid wolf. The result it a battle of strength, power, and ultimately, love.
While we sat watching the crowd at the bar, I noticed a female gazing seductively at my sire from a table across the patio. My hackles rose.
Kane took his glass of wine from the waitress and savored its aroma, twirling it in his hand.
I see her. Kane’s voice slid through my mind.
Two things struck me about the woman. She resembled Selene with black hair and golden-brown eyes. Her voluptuous body exuded sex. Her sensual mouth curved into a smile when her eyes met Kane’s.
Her large-necked sweater slid off one olive-skinned shoulder. A short black leather mini skirt and knee-high black suede boots completed her sultry appearance.
Kane, impeccably attired in a dark-blue Boglioli jacket, blue turtleneck, and Brunello Cucinelli jeans, dusted off his Bruno Magli boots. He picked up his expensive glass of wine and sauntered over to the woman’s table.
I padded over and around to the gate behind her table and growled at her. Sniffing the air, I took in her aroma. She smelled of forest.
Kane sat opposite her, and she glanced over her shoulder at me.
“Your companion does not trust my motives.” She turned and eyed my master.
“What are your motives?” He leaned his handsome face toward hers and gave her a smoldering, unmistakable look.
“Nothing nefarious. You are just the most attractive person here tonight. Can’t a girl dream?” She sipped her wine.
“You can do more than dream.” Kane reached across the table and took her hand. “I am Kane de Medici. What is your name?”
“I know who you are, Kane. Everyone knows the most eligible bachelor in Tuscany.”
“Well, now that we both know my name, perhaps you have one as well?” He smiled, and his dark-brown eyes squinted at the corners slightly.
“Have you lived here for very long, Zandra, or just passing through?” Kane let go of her hand.
“All my life. Tuscan born.”
“How have we never met?” Kane sipped his wine, noticed her glass was empty, and called to the waitress. “Another glass of what I’m having, please.”
“You are gone often. A world traveler, no?”
The waitress brought another glass and set it down in front of Zandra.
She took it and sipped it. “This is one of yours, no?”
“You appear to know more about me than I do about you. Why don’t we rectify that?”
I could hold my silence no longer. Be careful. She isn’t human.
Yes, I know that she isn’t what she pretends to be. If she was sent to trap me in some way, I need to let it play out.
Zandra sniffed the wine, tasted it, and then drained the glass.
“Good wine should be savored, not gulped.” Kane frowned at her.
She reached into her black purse, pulled out a small card, and slid it across the table at him. “I’m late for an appointment. Call me.” She rose from her chair slowly, letting Kane’s eyes feast on every curve. “I’m sure you’ll like me once you get to know me.” She strode away, and Kane’s eyes never left her as she disappeared.
My sharp bark jarred him back to reality.
She’s a shifter, but different than the others. I stood and paced around.
Kane finished his wine and responded. It will be fun discovering just exactly what she is.
About the Author
Carol McKibben writes from the heart of a dog’s eyes. Her books help support her dog rescue efforts and focus on unconditional love.
When Carol isn't saving Siberian Huskies, Labrador Retrievers, or feeding the horde of rescue dogs she and her husband Mark rehabilitate, she's out riding her sixteen-hand Frisian among the San Gabriel mountains.
In addition to her passion for writing, she rides and competes with her dance partner Okido I.T. in Classical Dressage.