The best contemporary paranormal fantasy books that span the ages of time and go bump in the night

Who am I?

I’ve been a huge fan of vampires, werewolves, elves, fairies, and all sorts of supernatural-themed creatures since I can remember. In addition, I grew up on sci-fi and fantasy movies and novels, which inspired me to pen my first short story at ten years old and send it in for publication. Since then, I’ve enjoyed creating art and writing stories that feature fantastical characters and creatures in extraordinary worlds having adventures. Though I have had two book series and numerous short stories published, I have many more stories and novels in the vault that I can’t wait to share with my readers.

I wrote...

A Kiss of Ashen Twilight

By Rae Lori,

Book cover of A Kiss of Ashen Twilight

What is my book about?

Enter a world where Nightwalkers, Lycans, and Shifter Elves roam in the shadows of the mortal realm. An age-old rivalry unmasks a new enemy, and the key to the survival of all life lies with an Aziza faerie set to become queen. 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Blood Secrets

Rae Lori Why did I love this book?

This is the first book in the Valorian Chronicles, and boy, I wish it was a tv series! I like to think of this book as CSI: Paranormal (or Otherworld Crime Unit as it is named in the book). It’s a dash of police procedural in a world much like ours but with vampires, werewolves, and more creatures that live in a society that goes by their own rules. This book is mixed with a dose of sexy chemistry between the leads wrapped in a happily ever after bow. It’s great for those nights where I’m looking for a bit of suspense and mystery with my romance featuring a vampire hero.

By Vivi Anna,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blood Secrets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Caine Valorian and his Otherworld Crime Unit crack all the unusual cases before any humans take notice. When a young woman is found ritualistically murdered it's his team of professionals with paranormal gifts who must stop the nameless evil stalking the streets. But the toughest case of Caine's 200-year career gets even harder when a new member, Eve Grant, is assigned to their unit. Not only is she green and eager to impress, she's human.

As they sink deeper into the workings of the case, Caine's attraction to the alluring Eve is causing his blood to boil. And with war…

Book cover of Shewolf

Rae Lori Why did I love this book?

I have a soft spot for books about communities of supernaturals that live among mortals and this is another book that hit the spot. I read it years multiple times and it’s one of the books I think of when I need a paranormal romance fix. The hero is swoon-worthy, the heroine is engaging and the worldbuilding is inviting. There’s drama, romance, a bit of mystery and danger, and none of the story is sacrificed for the story which I’m always happy to read. I love the slow burn of the romance between the hero and heroine that allows you to see the attraction grow as the story advances. One of my faves!

By Teresa D'Amario,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shewolf as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A small town veterinarian has a big time problem. She's not human.

Plagued as a child with an extra-sensitive sense of smell, strength, and eyesight, Anna Callaway always thought she was special. But she didn't understand how special until she met Kieran Hunter.

He insists they are True Mates, but he's not human either. He's wolven.

Kieran is a protector of his race. No longer the Alpha of his pack, he spends his time searching out and punishing any who may reveal their race to humans. While patrolling, he finds two wolven about to kidnap Anna. He battles to protect…

Book cover of Blood Tears

Rae Lori Why did I love this book?

Wow! Talk about meaty and juicy with substance! I bought this book in paperback and it is the definition of a tome! When I first read it, it reminded me of a good gothic literature tale with a dash of the beautiful world-building of Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire sprinkled with the language of Gabaldon’s Outlander book. It’s another book that deals with life through the paranormal characters’ lives in a human world which I can never get enough of. 

Blood Tears takes place across the centuries throughout the large world wars and other historical events that nicely tie into our real timeline. Every time I cracked open the book to read just a little bit I would find myself entranced in the story and the characters.

By Raven Dane,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blood Tears as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A foreign child - taken to live under Azrar's protection as his ward.
But what strange ability does this girl possess, that so terrified her own people it led them to abandon her in Isolann's wolf-ridden forests?
And will it aid in Prince Azrar's destruction or his survival?

Book cover of Vampires of the Scarlet Order

Rae Lori Why did I love this book?

David Lee Summers’s wonderfully engaging vampire epic is another great story that spans the ages and features a community of vampire characters. Each character gets their own diary-like POV to tell the story, and as we continue throughout the book, we get to see how each character is related. We got the Ottoman Wars here, the Middle Ages, the French Revolution, and early America, to name a few, plus we see how the characters tie into these notable historical events. The lore feels fresh here with some twists and turns to keep the reader engaged. I couldn’t put this one down!

By David Lee Summers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vampires of the Scarlet Order as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new generation of vampires embarks on a quest to save humanity.

Opening a forgotten crypt during a military exercise, Dr. Jane Heckman is made a vampire and begins a journey to unlock the secret origins of her new kindred.

Elsewhere, solitary vampire Marcella DuBois emerges from the shadows and uncovers a government plot to create vampire-like super soldiers.

Daniel McKee, a vampire working as an astronomer, moves to a new town where he's adopted by a family, only to have government agents strip those he loves away from him.

All three vampires discover the government is dabbling in technologies…

Book cover of The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories

Rae Lori Why did I love this book?

This anthology holds a special place in my heart! Like most anthologies, my enjoyment varies with each story, but I love the variety of works published from the 1800s to the 1980s. In addition, it introduced me to John Polidori, a.k.a the father of vampire fiction, who I incorporated into my series as a family member to one of my characters. 

Of particular interest is the story "Bite-Me-Not" or "Fleur de Feu" by Tanith Lee, which is one of those stories that linger like a wistful, haunting dream that begs your return to its waiting arms. I am in awe of the lyrical prose, the dark yet beautiful characters, and the overall presentation. Though many of the other stories aren’t as engaging as this, I still love losing myself in all the vampire stories across the centuries and how the written word has changed with each take on my fave paranormal character.

By Various,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Penguin Book of Vampire Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They're lurking under the cover of darkness and between the covers of this book. Here, in all their horror and all their glory, are the great vampires of literature: male and female, invisible and metamorphic, doomed and daring.

Their skin deathly pale, their nails curved like claws, their fangs sharpened for the attack, they are gathered for the kill and for the chill, brought frighteningly to life by Bram Stoker, Fritz Leiber, Richard Matheson, Robert Bloch, Charles L. Grant, Tanith Lee, and other masters of the macabre. Careful they are all crafty enough to steal their way into your imagination…

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Those People Behind Us

By Mary Camarillo,

Book cover of Those People Behind Us

Mary Camarillo Author Of Those People Behind Us

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Novelist Music Lover Reader Traveler Cat servant

Mary's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Those People Behind Us is set in the summer of 2017, post-Trump election and pre-pandemic. The story takes place in the fictional city of Wellington Beach, California, a suburban coastal town increasingly divided by politics, protests, and escalating housing prices. These divisions change the lives of five neighbors--a real estate agent, an ex-con, a Vietnam vet, a teenage boy, and an aerobics teacher.

These characters care for elderly parents and rebellious teens and struggle with loss, loneliness, grief, and financial worries. They are also all searching for community in a neighborhood where no one can agree on who belongs. In the end, each neighbor discovers that, despite their differences, they are more connected than any of them would have imagined.

Those People Behind Us

By Mary Camarillo,

What is this book about?

It's the summer of 2017 in Wellington Beach, California, a suburban coastal town increasingly divided by politics, protests, and escalating housing prices-divisions that change the lives of five neighbors.

Longtime resident and real estate agent Lisa Kensington juggles her job, her shopaholic husband, a mother-in-law who knows how to push her buttons, and teenage children with ideas of their own, all while trying to hold on to her own dreams. Her neighbor Ray Gorman is a haunted Vietnam vet who is also caring for his aging mother. Keith Nelson, an ex-con, lives in his car, parked around the corner from…

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