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STEPHENIE MEYER RETURNS + A Vampire Renaissance?


It’s been fifteen years since Stephenie Meyer shifted our literary and pop culture paradigms with the force that was the Twilight Saga. Five days ago a mysterious countdown appeared on the #1 bestselling author’s website, stirring fans new and old into hysteria. The countdown ended on Monday morning, seemingly crashing her website. The suspense then ended with Meyer’s surprise appearance on Good Morning America where she shocked Twi-hards everywhere with the pending August 4th release of Midnight Sun.


An early version of the Twilight companion novel had made a brief appearance in August 2008, when a leak of the first twelve chapters made its way around the internet, thus halting Meyer’s progress. Fast-forward twelve years later and overall fans seem all the more delighted to delve into our beloved Edward Cullen’s mind.


Based on the past few months—and certainly now that Meyer has staked her claim with a shocking return—we can only assume that vampires have returned with a vengeance… That is, if they’ve ever left to begin with. Anne Rice, Bram Stoker, Charlaine Harris, L.J. Smith, and certainly Meyer (amongst many others) might believe otherwise.


Perchance they’ve waited in the shadows all along, watching the literary trends roll in and dissipate like cemetery fog...


Our Blog and Publicity departments have accumulated a brief collection of recent and upcoming releases regarding our bloodthirsty counterparts in order of publication. We’ve included the release dates on upcoming titles and relevant sequels for your convenience.


1. Of Light and Darkness (Of Light and Darkness, #1) by Shayne Leighton - The Parliament Press (June 2011 and February 2016)


"A stunning debut that is a fiercely imaginative, multilayered dark fantasy for fans of The Bear and the Nightingale.


Raised among a secret society of Witches, Shifters, and Elves, human-born Charlotte Ruzikova finds that she is the freak in her world of magic and monsters. When she stands before an army of impossible obstacles, the likelihood of survival in this coming-of-age modern fairy tale is slim. After Charlotte captures the attention of the young Elven prince, her scorn results in an all-out war between light and darkness.


Charlotte knows no other home than the one nestled deep in the woods of the Czech Republic, where Witches draw spells of enchantment, Shifters throw tea parties, and Elves are the closest in kin. But as genocide and war threatens life as she knows it, Charlotte will fight for what she believes in...truth, bravery, and most importantly...love. Fighting with a coven of rogue monsters is tougher than it seems, but she will stop at nothing to save them...and she'll do it before the sun comes up and light takes over forever."





Leighton's sequel in the OLAD series, OF BLOOD AND MAGIC, is currently in the works and scheduled for a November 2020 release!


The Blog Maven and Shayne Leighton on her vampire characters and folklore:


Who are your vampire characters in Of Light and Darkness? Can you tell us a little about them? What role do they play in society?

The main Vampire character in Of Light and Darkness is Valek. He’s the center of it all. But the Of Light and Darkness series also has a rich Vampire culture, including secret societies, governments, rules, hierarchies, a ton of drama, and lots of politics. Francis is Valek’s creator and liege of their small rogue coven with seven other undead characters…and that’s just the beginning. As they are in our world, the Vampires in OLAD are also wildly misunderstood. 


Is there a certain type of folklore your vampire-related characters or their traits are based in?

The lore in Of Light and Darkness is similar to that of Anne Rice’sVampire Chronicles or the original Dracula, with some small changes. Garlic and crosses don’t bother them, but they physically die during the daylight hours and are resurrected at night. They are blood-ravenous, have fangs, and are equal parts seductive and scary. 


What do vampires symbolize to you in terms of storytelling?

For me, Vampires represent real-life human monsters. I think some people have monstrous tendencies. And it’s interesting how many parallels there are between addicts and Vampires. Addicts are most certainly not villains, but like the Vampires in Of Light and Darkness, I think a lot of behaviors are misunderstood. Vampires represent the darkest parts of the human experience. 



2. Clouded By Envy (Laith, #1) by Candace Robinson - The Parliament Press (February 2019)


"Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.


Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.


When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes."





The Blog Maven and Candace Robinson on her vampire characters and folklore:


Who are your vampire characters in Clouded By Envy? Can you tell us a little about them? What role do they play in society?

Brenik strikes a deal with a creature of wishes to stay young and become human. In turn he becomes a vampire and to remain young, he will have to feed. The problem is, the hunger becomes uncontrollable, even if he decides he doesn’t want it anymore. In society, he has remained hidden for years with his sister because they came from another fae world.


Is there a certain type of folklore your vampire-related characters or their traits are based in?

I tried to put a new spin on things. Yes, he needs blood as vampires do, but he can’t die from the sun or anything like that. I also took some of the inspiration from Dorian Gray for the never growing old part, just as vampires can be immortal.


What do vampires symbolize to you in terms of storytelling?

I’ve always loved the really old vampire stories and other classics like Lost Boys where vampires are beautiful but they are still a predator and deadly. They can love, yes, but with humans, they can’t help but naturally want to feed from them.


3. An Unholy Magick (The Vile Sacraments, #1) by Kali Rose Schmidt - The Parliament Press (October 2019)


"She’s an assassin with a gift her parents died for.

He’s a reluctant prince content to drink himself into oblivion.

And hiding in plain sight amongst them both, a monster is searching for redemption.


In a kingdom where magick is forbidden and spoken of only in whispers, they must each face their own demons, walking the line between loyalty and betrayal.


Enter a dark new world full of forbidden love, painful loss, and a growing war between those with power and those who crave it. An Unholy Magick is a bloody and spell-binding fantasy debut, the first from Kali Rose Schmidt’s shadowy series, Vile Sacraments."





The Blog Maven and Kali Rose Schmidt on her vampire characters and folklore:


Who are your vampire characters in An Unholy Magick? Can you tell us a little about them? What role do they play in society?

In AN UNHOLY MAGICK, Matvey is my “vampyre” boy. His vampyre status is low key, because the King of Anglar is NOT about that life. Vampyres and Magicks of any kind are hunted and killed in AUM. However, as people in power often do, despite the laws against it, the king craves magick for himself. Thus, Matvey is given the unique position of being the only sorcerer in the kingdom allowed to live openly with his abilities. Even so, it is not a known fact that he’s a vampyre, and it’s a secret he keeps closely guarded.

Is there a certain type of folklore your vampire-related characters or their traits are based in? 

Not specifically, however, I wanted to shy away from the idea of pretty vampires (although I do enjoy a beautiful vampire as much as the next Twilight fan). Matvey “wears” human skin (for lack of a better word), but his true form is that of a monster, as is all vampire’s in AUM’s world.

What do vampires symbolize to you in terms of storytelling?

I think vampires are the ultimate manifestation of human desires: immortality, namely, alongside a dark, sinful deliciousness in the form of blood sucking. They’re taboo in many ways, but I find that when something is taboo, humanity craves it all the more. That’s the vampire: wanting what we can’t have, and looking for a way to never die.


4. The Beautiful (Beautiful, #1) by Renee Ahdeih - Penguin Random House (October 2019)


"In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she's forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city's glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group's leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien's guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.


When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.


At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful."





5. The Nightshade Cabal (Isaac Barrow, #1) - The Parliament Press (March 2020)


"All Isaac Barrow wants is to be left alone to pursue his supernatural research and tinker with his inventions. But when you’re the only technomancer openly practicing the craft in 1880s Halifax, trouble has a way of finding you. When a routine mechanical service call reveals the grisly handiwork of the Nightshade Cabal – an underground cult of necromancers – Barrow finds himself in a race against time to put a stop to the Cabal’s depredations before they can kill anyone else and turn them into... office machinery?


Then there’s the mystery of Emily Skye, a missing teenager with strange abilities of her own. Believing her disappearance to be connected to the Nightshade Cabal, Barrow agrees to help track down the missing girl. But even if he can find her, will Miss Skye aid him in his struggle against the Cabal? Or might she turn out to be the deadliest threat of all?"





The Blog Maven and Chris Patrick Carolan on his vampire characters and folklore:


Who are your vampire characters in The Nightshade Cabal, or do they appear in later books in the series? Can you tell us a little about them? What role do they play in society?

There actually aren't any vampires in The Nightshade Cabal. At least, none that have been revealed as yet! Vampires definitely exist in Isaac Barrow's world, but they're only mentioned once in the book, and even then only in passing. As far as anyone knows, they haven't made their way to North America. Will readers find vampires in the darkened alleys of Halifax in the next book? Well, that would be telling...


Is there a certain type of folklore your vampire-related characters or their traits are based in? 

I grew up reading the Anne Rice books and watching Dark Shadows reruns and various versions of Dracula, and the vampires in my worlds draw on that classic, very aristocratic European representation. Immaculate bespoke suits and lavish evening gowns. Lots of lace and stiff collars, and courtly manners masking deadly purpose. It's a perfect fit for a steampunk urban fantasy setting!


What do vampires symbolize to you in terms of storytelling?

Vampires are the most human of the classic monsters, and not just because they start out as us. Zombies are driven by hunger without intellect, and werewolves represent a total loss of socially-imposed restraint. But vampires are what you get when you peel away just the tiniest veneer of humanity. Vampires are the malice concealed behind a practiced smile. Manipulative, predatory, merciless, and wholly rapacious, they're a perfect metaphor for the ruling class, whether that means titled aristocracy, or more modern one-percenters. The irony is they need a society to feed off; they couldn't exist without a large pool of victims to draw from. They're an interesting vehicle to explore current and persistent social issues, which is why I think vampire stories remain so consistently popular.


6. Disenchanted (Disenchanted, #1) by Brianna Sugalski - The Parliament Press (March 2020)


"A Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents' castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst... Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever.


Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch.


This is the story of a cursed princess,

A crestfallen killer,

The town that wants them to burn,

And the witch that can save them both."





The Blog Maven and Brianna Sugalski on her vampire characters and folklore:


Who are your vampire characters in Disenchanted? Can you tell us a little about them? What role do they play in society?

The vampires in Disenchanted are a faction of Darkling species scraping by in the forest Brocéliande. In Lilac and her parents' kingdom, Darklings are considered underlings as much as they are monsters. The main vampire in Disenchanted goes by the name of Garin though he doesn't revel in the fact that he's a vampire—not anymore, anyway. Like the princess, he's been bestowed a curse that he doesn't like talking about because it humiliates him. Toward the start of the book, he is introduced to us as a barkeep at the Fenfoss Inn, where he maintains his livelihood through cooking, bartending, and breaking up the occasional drunken Korrigan brawl.

Is there a certain type of folklore your vampire-related characters or their traits are based in? 

Although Disenchanted is based in Breton/ Arthurian and French lore, this origin of inspiration does not include our vampires. Instead, they were inspired by so many of the more modern vampire tales I've read and shows I've watched, from Dracula to L.J. Smith's The Vampire Diaries, to Shayne Leighton's Slavic lore-filled Of Light and Darkness Series. The Brocéliande vampire coven is comprised mostly of former soldiers from the Breton War of Succession and the Hundred Years' War, and since then they've been hunted and chastised by the kingdom and surrounding duchies along with the Faeries, Korrigans, Ogres, shape shifters and magic folk. Most of these men and women were turned in battle, so as of now, they have no clue what's going on and what or who made them the way they are; like everyone, they're just trying to survive while managing—or succumbing to—temptation.


What do vampires symbolize to you in terms of storytelling?

I think in all facets of storytelling, authors tend to mirror some of a story's most whimsical traits with real life. My vampires and Garin especially symbolize how precious time and humanity are. He lost his parents at a young age, lost them to the years-long war he nearly lost his life to a decade later. I wanted to make the most intriguing part of Garin his past. What made him the scathingly funny and quick-witted but pessimistic person he is? Where did he get his distracting obsession with foreign swords?


7. Crave (Crave, #1) by Tracy Wolff - Entangled: Teen (April 2020)


"My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.


Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.


Which could spell death for us all.


Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait."





8. The Southern Bookclub’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix - Quirk Books (April 2020)


"Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the '90s about a women's book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.


Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia's life has never felt smaller. The days are long, her kids are ungrateful, her husband is distant, and her to-do list is never really done. The one thing she has to look forward to is her book club, a group of Charleston mothers united only by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction. In these meetings, they're more likely to discuss the FBI's recent siege of Waco as much as the ups and downs of marriage and motherhood.


But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the book club's meetings turn into speculation about the newcomer. Patricia is initially attracted to him, but when some local children go missing, she starts to suspect the newcomer is involved. She begins her own investigation, assuming that he's a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. What she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she--and her book club--are the only people standing between the monster they've invited into their homes and their unsuspecting community."





9. Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer - Little, Brown and Company (August 4th 2020)


"When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.


This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting beautiful, mysterious Bella is both the most intriguing and unnerving event he has experienced in his long life as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he let himself fall in love with Bella when he knows that he is endangering her life?


In Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer transports us back to a world that has captivated millions of readers and, drawing on the classic myth of Hades and Persephone, brings us an epic novel about the profound pleasures and devastating consequences of immortal love."





10. The Curse Of the King by Winnie Lyon - The Parliament Press (September 1st, 2020)


"Laura Wilson is the heir to an ancient curse.


As a young witch descending from the very powerful trio of witches that had cursed Macbeth, the pressure she faces daily is non-stop. When Laura is forced to participate in her school’s rendition of the classic play, she gives herself a single task: breaking the curse once and for all.


This task proves itself to be more difficult than she ever could have imagined when a miscast spell leads to the summoning of her dead ancestor, Cecily Wilson, one of the very witches that cursed Macbeth.


As Laura attempts to send her resurrected relative back beyond the veil, she is faced with one of the harsh realities of high school—having a crush on her best friend, Holly. However, things only get more complicated as Holly pines after Peter, a lonely, quick-witted vampire.


While she grows closer to Cecily, Laura sees first-hand the true horrors of being a witch in Elizabethan England as demonic forces arise in her little town of Shipley Hollow.


Can Laura break the curse and save her family name before the curtains rise on opening night?


Brought to you by Winnie Lyon, The Curse of the Kingis an action-packed novel with mysterious and magical twists at every turn."





The Blog Maven and Winnie Lyon on her vampire characters and folklore:


Who are your vampire characters in The Curse of the King? Can you tell us a little about them? What role do they play in society? The vampire character in The Curse of the King is Peter Greenwood. He's a young vampire who is still a high school student, trying to maintain apparent normality as he figures out what vampirism really means-- for now, it's volunteering at the local hospital to steal blood bags and taking part in theatre to stay out of the sun. His best friends, Laura and Holly, know him to be scathingly funny and incredibly loyal. Is there a certain type of folklore your vampire-related characters or their traits are based in?  I wanted to bring a modern twist to the generic vampirism. My favorite vampire lore comes from J. Sheridan LeFanu's Carmilla, which predates most vampire lit by several years. I drew the most inspiration from that, but for the most part I took "undead, drinks blood" and ran! Pop culture has a lot of different examples of vampires and there's no right answer, so I had a lot of fun expanding my own interpretation. What do vampires symbolize to you in terms of storytelling?

Vampires in my storytelling, especially Peter, represent the phrase "life is too short." Peter is eighteen when he's turned, and quickly understands the ephemerality of human life; not only his own, but the lives of those around him. Peter represents the importance of keeping close with the friends you make along the way (and that life really is too short to not have a good time).



11. Vampires of Portlandia by Jason Tanamor - The Parliament Press (September 29th, 2020)


"When Marcella Leones relocates her family of aswang vampires from the Philippines to Portland, Oregon, she raises her grandchildren under strict rules so humans will not expose them. Her only wish is to give them a peaceful life, far away from the hunters and the Filipino government that attempted to exterminate them.


Before she dies, she passes on the power to her eldest grandchild, Percival. He vows to uphold the rules set forth by Leones, allowing his family to roam freely without notice. After all, they are Aswangs.


However, when the aswang covenant is broken, the murder rate in Portland rises drastically. Who is behind the murders? And who is behind the broken covenant? Along with sensie Penelope Jane, Percival must find the truth.


It's then they discover that there are other breeds of aswangs—werebeasts, witches, ghouls, and viscera—who have been residing in Portland for years.


Based on Filipino folklore (aswang), Vampires of Portlandia is a fantastical tale of different monsters coexisting in the weirdest city in America."





The Blog Maven and Jason Tanamor on his vampire characters and folklore:


Who are your vampire characters in Vampires of Portlandia? Can you tell us a little about them? What role do they play in society?

The vampires are a family that comprises Marcella Leones (head vampire), Percival (eldest vampires), Roger (second eldest), and Geena and Marco (twins and youngest). They are basically like any other family—they fight, they tease, and they cheer each other on; although that may not seem the case at times during the story. They left a contentious situation in the Philippines, having been hunted by the government and vampire hunters. Now, they're living as everyday folk peacefully in Portland, Oregon. Marcella owns and operates a Capiz shelled oriented accessories store; Percival delivers meals for a company via rickshaw; Roger is a teenager whose only responsibility is to go to high school; and the twins, who attend grade school but learn to become better vampires via their experiences in Portland.

Is there a certain type of folklore your vampire-related characters or their traits are based in? 

The traits are based on aswang folklore - which is a Filipino shape shifter. Vampires are just one breed of five. The others being viscera, witches, ghosts, and ghouls, which are all introduced in the book. I did, though, include my own interpretation and tweaked many of the traits and personalities in order to retrofit the lore. Aswangs are evil spirits in folklore, but I changed some of the breeds to be “ordinary” and “likable” so people would relate to them. The family is loosely based on people I know, a homogenized version of a lot of different Filipinos I've come across. However, the young female twin, Geena, is based on my niece when she was younger. And the younger brother, Roger, has traits similar to those my son possesses. Percival probably has a lot of me in him, but I won't admit to the bad traits. ;)


What do vampires symbolize to you in terms of storytelling?

My favorite movie is "The Lost Boys". Something about cool looking vampires resonates with me. Perhaps because I'm the opposite: I'm not cool, I'm moderately attractive, and I can barely stay up past nine o'clock. Although this is my first vampire novel—which really isn't a vampire story but a story based on Filipino folklore—I don't particularly want to be known as a vampire writer like Anne Rice. I'd much rather write entertaining stories that appeal to the masses.


Vampires and their lore amass a variety of book genres and narrative styles—we hope you understand our list barely scratches the surface. Throw yourself to the wind and discover your favorite new vampire, whether it be one who sparkles, one with a drinking problem, from one of our Parliament Press catalogue, or beyond. We’ll be waiting in the dark.


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