There is only one book on my TBB for this Tuesday. The book, Dracula In Love by Karen Essex, started me thinking about 3 types of paranormal books that are being published more and more. At least it looks that way to me. I am referring to what I call 1) mash-ups and mimicries, 2) twisted histories, and 3) continuations and alternates.
I define mash-ups as classic books rewritten to include new paranormal elements. These can usually be identified by a classic author's name included with the writer of the new material. The story is the same as the original; new paranormal material is added. Mimicries are stories written in the style of a classic author and include prequels and completely new stories.
Twisted histories are defined, by me, as novels wherein an historical figure is now fighting against or dealing in some way with paranormal creatures.
Finally continuations are just that - a continuation of a classic novel with the addition of paranormal elements if they were not already in the original book. Alternates are simply a classic story told from a viewpoint not in the original book and again with paranormal elements if they were not in the original book.
Of course in many instances these categories overlap.
I have a few of these books in my collection. I wonder why they are so popular? I assume they are popular because more of them are appearing. Do the publishers think that perhaps reading one of these new books will inspire readers to read the original? Are they written for people who've already read the originals? Or perhaps it's simply all in good fun? What do you think?
Personally I prefer the twisted histories. I'm often left wanting when an author tries to write a parnormal in the tone and style and language of a classic author.
I've collected a list of quite a few of these books published in 2009 and 2010. I'm sure that there are books missing. Let me know in the comments.
MASH UPS and MIMICRIES:
Louisa May Alcott:
Little Vampire Women
Louisa May Alcott and Lynn Messina
The dear, sweet March sisters are back, and Marmee has told them to be good little women. Good little vampire women, that is. That's right: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy have grown up since you last read their tale, and now they have (much) longer lives and (much) more ravenous appetites.
Marmee has taught them well, and so they live by an unprecedented moral code of abstinence. . . from human blood. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy must learn to get along with one another, help make society a better place, and avoid the vampire hunters who pose a constant threat to their existence. Plus, Laurie is dying to become a part of the March family, at any cost. Some things never change.
This horrifying—and hilarious—retelling of a timeless American classic will leave readers craving the bloodthirsty drama on each and every page.
Little Women and Werewolves
Louisa May Alcott and Porter Grand
Little Women is a timeless classic. But Louisa May Alcott’s first draft—before her editor sunk his teeth into it—was even better. Now the original text has at last been exhumed. In this uncensored version, the March girls learn some biting lessons, transforming from wild girls into little women—just as their friends and neighbors transform into vicious, bloodthirsty werewolves!
Here are tomboy Jo, quiet Beth, ladylike Amy, and good-hearted Meg, plus lovable neighbor Laurie Laurence, now doomed to prowl the night on all fours, maiming and devouring the locals. As the Civil War rages, the girls learn the value of being kind, the merits of patience and grace, and the benefits of knowing a werewolf who can disembowel your teacher.
By turns heartwarming and blood-curdling, this rejuvenated classic will be cherished and treasured by those who love a lesson in virtue almost as much as they enjoy a good old-fashioned dismemberment.
Includes the original letter from Alcott’s editor, telling her not to even think about it!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
A deluxe edition of the book is available as well as a graphic novel:
Notecards, a journal, and a wall calendar are also available.
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters
As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon.
Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? It's survival of the fittest and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love!
I adore the book trailer:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
Journey Back to Regency England—Land of the Undead!
Readers will witness the birth of a heroine in Dawn of the Dreadfuls a thrilling prequel set four years before the horrific events of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. As our story opens, the Bennet sisters are enjoying a peaceful life in the English country side. They idle away the days reading, gardening, and daydreaming about future husbands until a funeral at the local parish goes strangely and horribly awry.
Suddenly corpses are springing from the soft earth and only one family can stop them. As the bodies pile up, we watch Elizabeth Bennet evolve from a naive young teenager into a savage slayer of the undead. Along the way, two men vie for her affections: Master Hawksworth is a powerful warrior who trains her to kill, while thoughtful Dr. Keckilpenny seeks to conquer the walking dead using science instead of strength. Will either man win the prize of Elizabeth's heart? Or will their hearts be feasted upon by hordes of marauding zombies? Complete with romance, action, comedy, and an army of shambling corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls will have Jane Austen rolling in her grave and just might inspire her to crawl out of it!
The book trailer:
Mansfield Park and Mummies
Jane Austen and Vera Nazarian
Spinsterhood or Mummification!
Ancient Egypt infiltrates Regency England in this elegant, hilarious, witty, insane, and unexpectedly romantic monster parody of Jane Austen's classic novel.
Our gentle yet indomitable heroine Fanny Price must hold steadfast not only against the seductive charms of Henry Crawford but also an Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh!
Meanwhile, the indubitably handsome and kind hero Edmund attempts Exorcisms... Miss Crawford vamps out... Aunt Norris channels her inner werewolf... The Mummy-mesmerized Lady Bertram collects Egyptian artifacts...
There can be no doubt that Mansfield Park has become a battleground for the forces of Ancient Evil and Regency True Love!
Gentle Reader -- this Delightful Edition includes Scholarly Footnotes and Appendices.
Emma and the Vampires
Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson
Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson
What better place than pale England to hide a secret society of gentlemen vampires?
In this hilarious retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, screenwriter Wayne Josephson casts Mr. Knightley as one of the most handsome and noble of the gentlemen village vampires. Blithely unaware of their presence, Emma, who imagines she has a special gift for matchmaking, attempts to arrange the affairs of her social circle with delightfully disastrous results. But when her dear friend Harriet Smith declares her love for Mr. Knightley, Emma realizes she’s the one who wants to stay up all night with him. Fortunately, Mr. Knightley has been hiding a secret deep within his unbeating heart—his (literal) undying love for her… A brilliant mash-up of Jane Austen and the undead.
Emma and the Werewolves
Jane Austen and Adam Rann
Beware the howls in the darkness and the light of the full moon.
As the ever headstrong Ms. Emma Woodhouse schemes and plots as matchmaker, a dark and deadly terror descends upon Highbury. A series of bestial murders fills the residents with fear as the ever mysterious Mr. Knightley leads a secret life, unknown to all, combating evils not of this Earth.
Carnage and destruction reign throughout the land, and though the residents of Highbury try to attend to day-to-day matters as civilly as possible, each cannot help but wonder what lurks in the shadows and if it'll be coming for them next.
Vampire Darcy's Desire
L. Frank Baum:
The Undead World of Oz
L. Frank Baum and Ryan C. Thomas
One day, on a peaceful farm in Kansas, a tornado appeared. The storm raged and ripped the house from the ground. Inside sat a little girl named Dorothy and her dog Toto. The house spun. The winds roared. The tornado showed no mercy, until . . . The house landed in a strange and magical land called Oz. But that's where the fairytale ends and the nightmare begins. The Wicked Witch of the West has cast a spell on the Land of Oz, a spell that brings the dead back to life. Only the Great Wizard in the Emerald City can stop this curse, but he has never been seen. It's up to Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Woodman to journey through this dangerous land of hungry undead and savage monsters and find him in the hopes of bringing life back to Oz. Come join hands with them as they travel down the Yellow Brick Road and see if you can make it to the Emerald City . . . alive.
Charlotte Bronte and Sherri Browning Erwin
A timeless tale of love, devotion . . . and the undead.
Jane Slayre, our plucky demon-slaying heroine, a courageous orphan who spurns the detestable vampyre kin who raised her, sets out on the advice of her ghostly uncle to hone her skills as the fearless slayer she’s meant to be. When she takes a job as a governess at a country estate, she falls head-over-heels for her new master, Mr. Rochester, only to discover he’s hiding a violent werewolf in the attic—in the form of his first wife. Can a menagerie of bloodthirsty, flesh-eating, savage creatures-of-the-night keep a swashbuckling nineteenth-century lady from the gentleman she intends to marry? Vampyres, zombies, and werewolves transform Charlotte Brontë’s unforgettable masterpiece into an eerie paranormal adventure that will delight and terrify.
Featuring a Gallery Books Readers Guide
The book trailer:
Alice in Zombieland
Lewis Carroll and Nickolas Cook
When little Alice falls asleep, she finds herself in an undead nightmare of rotting flesh and insanity. Following a talking rat, she ventures further into this land of zombies and monsters.
There's also something else troubling poor Alice: her skin is rotting and her hair is falling out. She's cold and there's the haunting feeling that if she remains in Zombieland any longer, she might never leave and forever be caught between life and death.
Have a seat at the table for the Tea Party of your life and explore the wondrous adventure that is Zombieland.
Robin Hood and Friar Tuck: Zombie Killers - A Canterbury Tale
Paul A. Freeman
When lion-hearted Richard ruled the roost Of England, he decided that to boost His regal reputation he should mount A war to wrest from Turkish men the fount Of Christendom; yet in that desert land A zombie plague emerged from midst the sand.
A necromancer s alchemistic spell Reanimated corpses bound for Hell
(And even bound for Heaven s pearly gate).
Soon after twas apparent that the fate Of all on Earth--the evil and the good--
Was in the hands of Robin of the Hood Whose outlaw men, along with Friar Tuck,
Against rampaging hordes of zombies struck.
They fought to save the likes of you and I,
Not caring that one slip might make them die.
Their tale lies here, within this humble book--
I pray you ll spare the time to take a look.
Romeo & Juliet & Vampires
William Shakespeare and Claudia Gabel
"You are deluded, Romeo. Vampires do not have the capability to love. They are heartless."
The Capulets and the Montagues have some deep and essential differences. Blood differences. Of course, the Capulets can escape their vampire fate, and the Montagues can try not to kill their undead enemies. But at the end of the day, their blood feud is unstoppable. So it's really quite a problem when Juliet, a vampire-to-be, and Romeo, the human who should be hunting her, fall desperately in love. What they don't realize is how deadly their love will turn out to be—or what it will mean for their afterlives. . . .
This riotous twist on the ultimate tale of forbidden romance is simply to die for.
The book trailer:
Leo Tolstoy and Ben H. Winters
As in the original novel, our story follows two relationships: The tragic adulterous love affair of Anna Karenina and Count Alexei Vronsky, and the more hopeful marriage of Nikolai Levin and Princess Kitty Shcherbatskaya. These characters live in a steampunk-inspired world of robitic butlers, clumsy automatons, and rudimentary mechanical devices. But when these copper-plated machines begin to revolt against their human masters, our characters must fight back using state-of-the-art 19th-century technology and a sleek new model of ultra-human cyborgs like nothing the world has ever seen.
Filled with the same blend of romance, drama, and fantasy that made the first two Quirk Classics New York Times best sellers, Android Karenina brings this celebrated series into the exciting world of science fiction.
The book trailer:
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim
Mark Twain and W. Bill Czolgosz
Free at last! Free at last!
This ain't your grandfather's Huckleberry Finn.
It's nineteenth century America and a mutant strain of tuberculosis is bringing its victims back from the dead.
Sometimes they come back docile, and other times vicious. The vicious ones are sent back to Hell, but the docile ones are put to work as servants and laborers.
With so many zombies on the market, the slave trade is nonexistant. The black man is at liberty, and human bondage is no more. Young Huckleberry Finn has grown up in a world that shuns the N-word, with its scornful eye set on a new class of shambling, putrid sub-humans: The Baggers.
When his abusive father comes back into his life, Huck flees down the river with Bagger Jim, seeking a life of perfect freedom.
When the pox mutates once again, causing even the tamest of baggers to become bloodthirsty monsters, the boy Finn is forced to question his relationship with his dearest, deadest friend.
In this revised take on history and classic literature, the modern age is ending before it ever begins. Huckleberry Finn will inherit a world of horror and death, and he knows the mighty Mississippi might be the only way out...
The book trailer:
The War of the Worlds, Plus Blood, Guts and Zombies
H.G. Wells and Eric S. Brown
(December 2010; released as ebook in April 2009)
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying.
Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire.
When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, "henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose..." Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.
While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.
Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War and uncovering the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.
The book trailer:
Paul is Undead
For John Lennon, a young, idealistic zombie guitarist with dreams of global domination, Liverpool seems the ideal place to form a band that could take over the world. In an inspired act, Lennon kills and reanimates local rocker Paul McCartney, kicking off an unstoppable partnership. With the addition of newly zombified guitarist George Harrison and drummer/Seventh Level Ninja Lord Ringo Starr, the Beatles soon cut a swath of bloody good music and bloody violent mayhem across Europe, America, and the entire planet.
In this searing oral history, discover how the Fab Four climbed to the Toppermost of the Poppermost while stealing the hearts, ears, and brains of smitten teenage girls. Learn the tale behind a spiritual journey that resulted in the dismemberment of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Marvel at the seemingly indestructible quartet’s survival of a fierce attack by Eighth Level Ninja Lord Yoko Ono. And find out how the boys escaped eternal death at the hands of England’s greatest zombie hunter, Mick Jagger.
Through all this, one mystery remains: Can the Beatles sublimate their hunger for gray matter, remain on top of the charts, and stay together for all eternity? After all, three of the Fab Four are zombies, and zombies live forever. . . .
Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter
A. E. Moorat
London, 1838. Queen Victoria is crowned; she receives the orb, the scepter, and an arsenal of bloodstained weaponry. If Britain is about to become the greatest power of the age, there s the small matter of the undead to take care of first. Demons stalk the crown, and political ambitions have unleashed ravening hordes of zombies even within the nobility itself.
But rather than dreams of demon hunting, Queen Victoria s thoughts are occupied by Prince Albert. Can she dedicate her life to saving her country when her heart belongs elsewhere? With lashings of glistening entrails, decapitations, zombies, and foul demons, this masterly new portrait will give a fresh understanding of a remarkable woman, a legendary monarch, and quite possibly the best demon hunter the world has ever seen.
In another incarnation as a more serious (though still satirical) author, A. E. MOORAT has won critical acclaim and been shortlisted for awards. Here, however, he was chained in the dungeon, fed tea and ghost stories, and kept busy writing the adventures of Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter.
Henry VIII: Wolfman
Henry VIII was the best and bloodiest King ever to have sat on the throne of England. This fast-paced, exciting, gory, inventive and just plain gross retelling of his reign will bring to light the real man behind the myth.
When it came to his size, Henry VIII was known for being larger-than-life, with a fearsome temper and bloodthirsty reputation to match; more beast than human, some might say...
Be dragged kicking and screaming back 500 years into Tudor England...
Boleyn: Tudor Vampire
Tudor England. It is during the reign of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. As her time in power nears an end, Anne is greatly disheartened by the false accusations of adultery, high treason and incest she is arrested for, and the cold-heartedness of her father for his lack of defense in her honor. Upon her death, she vows revenge on those who have wronged her, and the simple change of her death sentence from beheading to hanging grants her the opportunity to execute her wish on those who betrayed her.
Unknown forces of inconceivable dark magic abounds. Anne discovers she has risen from her grave because of her denouncement of God just moments before her hanging, and resurrects two others from their untimely, wrongful deaths--her brother, George, and her favorite court musician and dear friend, Mark Smeaton. This unlikely trio will drive Whitehall Palace to madness, bringing those closest to Anne to their knees, begging for mercy and forgiveness.
Once Anne executes her justice among those who have failed her, the last and final question will be whether Anne will finally have peace, or find comfort in haunting England forever.
The book trailer:
CONTINUATIONS and ALTERNATES:
Dracula in Love
From the shadowy banks of the river Thames to the wild and windswept Yorkshire coast, Dracula’s eternal muse, Mina Murray, vividly recounts the intimate details of what really transpired between her and the Count—the joys and terrors of a passionate affair that has linked them through the centuries, and her rebellion against her own frightening preternatural powers.
Mina’s version of this gothic vampire tale is a visceral journey into Victorian England’s dimly lit bedrooms, mist-filled cemeteries, and asylum chambers, revealing the dark secrets and mysteries locked within. Time falls away as she is swept into a mythical journey far beyond mortal comprehension, where she must finally make the decision she has been avoiding for almost a millennium.
Bram Stoker’s classic novel offered one side of the story, in which Mina had no past and bore no responsibility for the unfolding events. Now, for the first time, the truth of Mina’s personal voyage, and of vampirism itself, is revealed. What this flesh and blood woman has to say is more sensual, more devious, and more enthralling than the Victorians could have expressed or perhaps even have imagined.
Dracula The Un-Dead
Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt
Bram Stoker's Dracula is the prototypical horror novel, an inspiration for the world's seemingly limitless fascination with vampires. Though many have tried to replicate Stoker's horror classic- in books, television shows, and movies-only the 1931 Bela Lugosi film bore the Stoker family's support. Until now.
Dracula The Un-Dead is a bone-chilling sequel based on Bram Stoker's own handwritten notes for characters and plot threads excised from the original edition. Dracula The Un-Dead begins in 1912, twenty-five years after Dracula "crumbled into dust." Van Helsing's protégé, Dr. Jack Seward, is now a disgraced morphine addict obsessed with stamping out evil across Europe. Meanwhile, an unknowing Quincey Harker, the grown son of Jonathan and Mina, leaves law school for the London stage, only to stumble upon the troubled production of "Dracula," directed and produced by Bram Stoker himself.
The play plunges Quincey into the world of his parents' terrible secrets, but before he can confront them he experiences evil in a way he had never imagined. One by one, the band of heroes that defeated Dracula a quarter-century ago is being hunted down. Could it be that Dracula somehow survived their attack and is seeking revenge? Or is their another force at work whose relentless purpose is to destroy anything and anyone associated with Dracula?
Dracula The Un-Dead is deeply researched, rich in character, thrills and scares, and lovingly crafted as both an extension and celebration of one of the mostclassic popular novels in literature.
The book trailer:
An interview with Dacre Stoker:
Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker
Who is this magnetic, fascinating man? And how could one woman fall so completely under his spell?
Mina Harker is torn between two men. Struggling to hang on to the deep, pure love she's found within her marriage to her husband, Jonathan, she is inexorably drawn into a secret, passionate affair with a charismatic but dangerous lover. This haunted and haunting creature has awakened feelings and desires within her that she has never before known, which remake her as a woman.
Although everyone she knows fears him and is pledged to destroy him, Mina sees a side to him that the others cannot: a tender, romantic side; a man who's taken full advantage of his gift of immortality to expand his mind and talents; a man who is deeply in love, and who may not be evil after all. Yet to surrender is surely madness, for to be with him could end her life. It may cost Mina all she holds dear, but to make her choice she must learn everything she can about the remarkable origins and sensuous powers of this man, this exquisite monster, this . . . Dracula!
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre
Sourcebooks Landmark, the leading publisher of Jane Austen-related fiction, is excited to announce a major release: Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by international bestselling author Amanda Grange.
Amanda Grange, bestselling author of Mr. Darcy's Diary, gives us something completely new—a delightfully thrilling, paranormal Pride and Prejudice sequel, full of danger, darkness and deep romantic love…
Amanda Grange's style and wit bring readers back to Jane Austen's timeless storytelling, but always from a very unique and unusual perspective, and now Grange is back with an exciting and completely new take on Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre starts where Pride and Prejudice ends and introduces a dark family curse so perfectly that the result is a delightfully thrilling, spine-chilling, breathtaking read. A dark, poignant and visionary continuation of Austen's beloved story, this tale is full of danger, darkness and immortal love.The book trailer:
Dick and Jane and Vampires
Laura Marchesani (Author)
Tommy Hunt (Illustrator)
When innocent Dick and Jane meet a creepy, cape-wearing vampire, the unexpected happens: he becomes their friend! Dick and Jane and Vampires borrows from the classic stories and art we all know and love, but adds an of-the-moment twist: a vampire, illustrated in the classic Dick and Jane style.
ONE LAST THING:
I include the following book because it is, in part, a send up of all the Austen mashups:
Jane Bites Back
Michael Thomas Ford
Two hundred years after her death, Jane Austen is still surrounded by the literature she loves—but now it's because she's the owner of Flyleaf Books in a sleepy college town in Upstate New York. Every day she watches her novels fly off the shelves—along with dozens of unauthorized sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations. Jane may be undead, but her books have taken on a life of their own.
To make matters worse, the manuscript she finished just before being turned into a vampire has been rejected by publishers—116 times. Jane longs to let the world know who she is, but when a sudden twist of fate thrusts her back into the spotlight, she must hide her real identity—and fend off a dark man from her past while juggling two modern suitors. Will the inimitable Jane Austen be able to keep her cool in this comedy of manners, or will she show everyone what a woman with a sharp wit and an even sharper set of fangs can do?
Update 08/12/2010: I've found another Twisted History. The Secret History of Elizabeth Tudor, Vampire Slayer. It's written by "Lucy Weston" who is a character from Bram Stoker's Dracula. The book comes out in January 2011. When the cover is revealed I'll post it.