Oh, my, another vampire novel? You may find comfort in The Lonely Vampire which has a ground-breaking take on the vampire as a creature with roots in folklore. A stand-alone intimate story with past tense writing, short (five-or-six-page) chapters, writing in first-person from Myrna Ivester’s perspective on how she becomes a vampire, and third-person point-of-view for the other characters in the novel to give insight into their motivations. Ann Greyson explores the inexplicable bond between the vampires showing readers just how broad a range her imagination can encompass.

In December 1539, fifteen-year-old Simona Bellu visits Ileana Amanar’s home in Toplita, a commune in Hunedoara County, Transylvania and turns her into a vampire. Simona takes her to Turcu Castle, 16 miles southwest of Brasov, Romania, where she receives the name Ileana Vladislava by Ruxandra Tepes. For the next thirty-eight years she stays at Turcu Castle with other vampires such as Karelyna the Seer and Morsus the Elder.

In 1578, Transylvania, Romanians and Hungarians everywhere unite for the sole purpose to remove the vampires from society by cutting off their heads or driving a wooden stake through their hearts. Ileana Vladislava flees to the town of Gheorgheni in the Szekely Land in eastern Transylvania. From there Ileana escapes to Constanta, a city on the shores of the Black Sea, where she boards a ship for England. Claymor, the werewolf, unique because of a pinch of gray fur on the left side of his face near his ear, plans to go after missing vampires.

2017, Newcastle upon Tyne city in Tyne and Wear, England, Ileana Vladislava is perpetually a lonely vampire in her castle, Wightwick Hall, overlooking the wooded valley of Jesmond Dene, a public park. At forever thirty-one, her pale complexion, striking raven hair and enticing brown eyes, make her a beauty of the first order. Ileana doesn’t like the idea of killing other people in order to survive, rather she feeds on the blood of wild animals or helps herself to bags of blood from the Blood Issue Rooms in the hematology units of hospitals. Watching the silent film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror on television, Ileana amuses in the inaccurate depiction of vampires when the character Max Schreck portrays disintegrates from exposure to sunlight. Most true that Ileana thrives in darkness and is sensitive to sunlight, but only long-term exposure will inflict severe burns to her body. When Ileana sees Myrna at the Newcastle City Library, she has her fangs set on her because there is something about Myrna that sets her apart from anyone else. Myrna, a beautiful twenty-four-year-old with blue eyes, long dirty blonde hair, a fair complexion and slim figure is a nursing assistant at Longwood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where she helps elderly residents with all aspects of their daily care, but is soul searching for something better which Ileana senses right away. Longing for a vampire family again, Ileana emerges from sadness and loneliness to make an eternal connection by appearing as a bat in Myrna’s dream. In all actual, Myrna is under hypnosis, in a state of deep trance, spell-inducing sleepwalking into the woods for a rendezvous with Ileana who turns her into a vampire without her full knowledge and consent knowing that it is Myrna’s destiny to want the vampire life.

Unlike her best friend and roommate Siobhan Mulcahy, whom she met while attending Northumbria University and who is satisfied with her status in life obtaining all the things she wants, ever since the death of her parents at the age of five Myrna has been longing for something better out of life and feels her life isn’t progressing along. In the midst of a life-shaping event, the reader will feel Myrna Ivester’s joys and pains, and will appreciate how her relationship with Ileana develops. An astonishing attraction that teases her at just the right time in her life, Myrna embraces her endless immortality without giving a second’s consideration to her bloodlust. Leaving her old life behind (only family aunt Eowyn Dymtrow, her job, and friend Siobhan) is sad enough to make you cry or hold back a tear or two, especially for anyone with experience of a heartbreaking fall-out between best friends, but Myrna finds what she has always been looking for in the vampire’s life, and it doesn’t get much better than this. Her senses heighten, and her dreams evolve into something premonitory as she develops the gift of second sight. Join Myrna as she truly discovers who she is and the truth of her destiny.

Nothing can prepare you for Lorraine Krag, a nosy busybody neighbor, who lives in a house nearby Ileana’s castle. A former schoolteacher of twenty years from Norwich, this haughty redhead in her mid-sixties nags at her husband Arthur with a never-ending stream of meddling that may lead to the discovery of the truth about Ileana or reach the wrong conclusion entirely, making things fall out-of-your-chair funny.

It goes without saying that vampire-novels are not all the same and never quite that simple as The Lonely Vampire moves in a different direction. So much more believable and down to Earth, this story will appeal to vampire aficionados as well as anyone who’s fed up with what passes for horror today. Ann Greyson ups her writing game, digging deep into the quirks of her characters. You can connect to a vampire’s world chock-full of characters (such as April Fielding, a seventeen year old with bleach blonde hair, a platinum tongue ring, a graphic tattoo of a vampire chick with blood dripping from a fang on her right shoulder blade, and who likes to wear mostly black clothes, takes interest in Ileana who orders plants for her greenhouse from Pike Nurseries where April is a sales associate; and Viktor Pavlovic, a former headline act magician of a circus from Zagreb, Croatia now a street performer with his side act Jasper, a little brown monkey, performing usually at Old Eldon Square) whose strength comes from being different, outcasts that reclaim the concept of weird, wearing it on their sleeve like a badge of honor. Needless to say, it is another highlight of the book’s non-conformist aspects which will no doubt be of interest to vampire fans.

Who Myrna is at the beginning of the book is not the same person she is at its end. Despite that Ileana and Myrna find friendship and camaraderie together, it is for readers to decide whether Ileana’s bringing Myrna into the darkness of a vampire’s life changes Myrna’s fate for the better, or for the worse.

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Professional Praise & Consumer Feedback for The Lonely Vampire

A surprisingly quick read despite its almost 400 pages, "The Lonely Vampire" is a simple story about companionship and self-discovery. The plot follows Ileana and Myrna, two women whose lives are missing something, and stays fairly straightforward for the duration of the novel ... The writing style is also uncomplicated and direct with much telling and light on dialogue ... Overall, "The Lonely Vampire" is a satisfying story about intimacy without being overly sexual and staying true to the classic vampire lore fans have always appreciated.
InD’tale Magazine online from InD’tale Magazine 3.5 star review by Arec Rain - December/January 2020-2021, pages 98 and 99

The Lonely Vampire is as mesmerizing as Ileana’s eyes ... Ileana has lived alone for so long, and Myrna may just be the cure for that. Dodging Claymor the werewolf and a nosey neighbor provides plenty of tension.
Goodreads 4-star review post November 25, 2020 and Liliyana Shadowlyn from The Faerie Review 4-fairies review by Liliyana Shadowlyn Greer - November 25, 2020

This tale of a good vampire will hold up on its own and engage your imagination right up to the conflict with the werewolf, who at long last finds the missing vampire from Transylvania. Or does he? The stakes are higher than ever in this dark, engrossing story full of passion, humor, and such a good finish, people who read it will feel like they are waiting for the ball to drop on New Year’s Eve and, when it does drop, you don’t see it coming and that’s the reason you’ll adore this book.
WE magazine for women Author Interview by Heidi Richards Mooney - October 25, 2020

Lorraine is inching closer and closer to the truth with her investigations and time is running out for Ileana ... Will she manage to court a new companion and make a getaway before Lorraine closes in on her? The Lonely Vampire is a chilling thriller with a horror undercurrent. I was so invested in the characters that I didn’t care who won between Lorraine and Ileana. The author, Ann Greyson, created a worthy nemesis for Ileana. I couldn’t decide who I was rooting for ... This is the closest I have gotten to finding a sequel to Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I recommend this to thriller lovers, mystery lovers and to anyone who is partial to a vampire story that pays homage to the original vampire, Dracula.
Booklife and Amazon 5-star review post November 13, 2020 from The Virtual Book Tour Company review by Maureen Muringo Wahu - October 11, 2020

The book is full of charm: Ileana and Myrna are fascinating protagonists, and the nosey neighbor Lorraine Krag provides lighthearted distractions. Readers will revel in Greyson’s moving depiction of Ileana struggling to come to terms with her lonely existence. The cliffhanger ending leaves hints of more dark tales to come with Ileana and Myrna in the lead. With its cinematic setting and dark intrigue, the book makes for a quick page-turner. Fans of urban fantasy will relish Greyson’s vivid portrayal of a lonely vampire’s life.
Goodreads 5-star review post by BooksCoffee from The Prairies Book Review Digital Magazine, Vol. 11, December 2020, page 94 and The Prairies Book Review review by Neena H. Brar - September 28, 2020

When there’s something that Lorraine wants to know, she is relentless. Will she discover Ileana’s secret or will Ileana succeed in scaring her off? ... Ann Greyson’s The Lonely Vampire starts with suspense and action. Amazing imagery brings the setting and characters to life instantaneously ... With an alluring yet calm tone, it draws the reader in ... It is also nice that the book is LGBTQ-friendly although Ileana’s decision to convert Myrna to a vampire so she can be with her might have some readers questioning it ... it’s entertaining enough to ignite the senses.
Google Books 4-star review post and Goodreads 3-star review post September 23, 2020 and Risah’s Book Reviews and Feathered Quill Blog from Feathered Quill Book Reviews review by Risah Salazar - September 25, 2020

Welcome to Newcastle upon Tyne where the weather is mostly cloudy to rainy. Near Jesmond Dene, a leafy woodland valley with waterfalls and rustic bridges, most of the houses in its vicinity are empty and the main road is dusty, and gloomy like a cemetery. That is where you will find lonely vampire Ileana Vladislava living in a castle ... Though much of the story is on cruise control, driven by the forward momentum of Ileana escaping the loneliness in her life, Greyson jerks the wheel and intentionally veers off course with the character of Myrna Ivester whose narrative voice is an intriguing tool that keeps my interest through the whole thing ... Her story is ultimately uplifting as she gives readers a compassionate glimpse into her emotional journey toward becoming a vampire soon after Ileana takes a bite into her. One can almost feel the heat rising from the pages while reading of the physical sensations occurring during Ileana’s seduction of Myrna ... The blending of fantasy and the everyday is so flawless, that you think anything is possible in The Lonely Vampire. At times in the novel, Ileana manipulates energy being that she is an energy feeder that can display various levels of psychic ability. It’s interesting how she affects electricity which cuts on and off in her presence in places like a subway car, hospital corridor and the public library.
Amazon 5-star review post September 16, 2020 from Goodreads 5-star review by Meaghan D’Otazzo - September 4, 2020

It’s very much its own thing and satisfies the itch for a new vampire novel obsession full of angst, dark imagery and a mash-up of slapstick comedy ... And it may be a bit risque, this enigmatic bond between the women vampires, that transcends such trivial distinctions as compatible personalities and interests, centering instead on a common desire for a supernatural existence ... When Myrna breaks away from her past to follow her true calling in life is where Ann Greyson captures the struggle between going against your instincts and satisfying your desires ... In the end, Ann Greyson delivers a struggle of good versus evil with the impending return of Claymor, the werewolf, that is the kind of unpredictable conclusion that all horror readers crave - utterly shocking yet craftily forecast, and sentimental to say the least. These good vampires, Ileana and Myrna, grow on you with every passing page, so much so, you find yourself hoping that the vampires will prevail.
LibraryThing 5-star review by Candice Jenkins - September 3, 2020

the dilemma is that Ileana Vladislava is a lonely vampire ... On a Saturday afternoon at the public library, all the stars in the galaxy line up for her. That magical moment she sees Myrna Ivester, who is a lonely soul herself. What happens next is exactly what you expect to happen, which is a great throwback to classic horror folklore! ... To be a vampire or not to be vampire? That is the question facing Myrna, who wastes no time in deciding due to her past struggles with the illusion of whom and what she is to be. Using the first-person perspective with Myrna Ivester, a darling and likable character whose narrative is both conversational and witty, readers fully experience the heartwarming bond she shares with her aunt Eowyn Dymtrow, and her wide range of different emotions and incremental growth as she undergoes a metamorphosis from an unsure young woman to a vampire. With many female protagonists, it isn’t hard to zero in on just one, as it is Lorraine Krag who steals the show with her brusque personality delivering consistent laughs. Residing in a house on Jesmond Dene Road within the spooky atmosphere of Wightwick Hall, the castle dwelling of Ileana, Lorraine’s surefire belief that something sinister is happening in the vicinity pushes her forward bringing a good dose of madcap fun in the story ... At some point while reading the book, it feels so real that I believe I am truly observing the life of actual vampires, as if they really do exist. But I think the real magic happens outside of the book, or indirectly beneath the flow of reading each chapter which Ann Greyson meticulously crafts. It’s hard to not get the feeling that she can write just about anything, on any subject, and it will feel very meaningful.
BOOKS etc. 10-star review by Melissa Boehm - September 25, 2020

There is a nagging indefinable quality that marks The Lonely Vampire as noteworthy, perhaps even memorable as there is some genuine comedy here. Greyson masterfully crafts a darkly funny story with a couple of laugh-out-loud lines, mostly from the character of Lorraine Krag, who is often nitpicking her husband about one thing or another, usually having to do with her obsession with the tenant of Wightwick Hall, who happens to be vampire Ileana Vladislava. Wow, it is almost impossible to escape the grip of The Lonely Vampire which is an eye-opening delight, gripping the reader from the first chapter and just doesn’t let go! Fans of the vampire genre will love the originality with the author successfully avoiding some of the more typical tropes, creating a story that feels familiar, yet different, setting this book apart from so many out there. This book strikes gold, indeed a reader-holding magnet for all!
ThriftBooks 5-star review by Melanie Cully - December 20, 2020

Having all the trappings of a campy TV-sitcom, Greyson has a knack for humorous and razor-sharp dialogue, giving her characters freshness that keeps the dramatic fireworks crackling. Case in point: The rollicking fun comes from Lorraine Krag, who displays plenty of antics to much advantage, funnier, and jarringly in sync with the whole story. Her over-the-top performance throughout The Lonely Vampire is what gives the story its edge including the fact that the plot constantly impresses you to no end. The end will positively move you when Claymor the werewolf battles Myrna delivering one seat-jumping scare after another.
Alibris 5-star review by Andrea Esparra - November 22, 2020

The Lonely Vampire link to short TV program c. 9/17, {Manhattan Neighborhood Network Lifestyle Channel 2 broadcast on Spectrum Channel 56 and Verizon FiOS TV Channel 34 and Residential Communications Network RCN Channel 83 in New York}