Tag Archives: vampires

Book Spotlight: Thirst by R P Channing

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Thirst by R P Channing CoverBook Title - Thirst Blood of my Blood-1

Thirst Blood of my Blood is a new young adult paranormal romance with vampires, demons and witches from debut novelist R P Channing. Here’s a little about the book.

 

~ Kira Sutherland ~

After a near fatal accident (and getting cheated on by her ‘boyfriend’), and beating up the lead cheerleader (with whom the boyfriend cheated…), and being labeled as having ‘issues’ in her school because she, uhm, sees ghosts, Kira is left with two choices:

  1. Continue her ‘therapy’ (where she’s told the ghost is a hallucination and also gets her legs ogled too often…)

Or

  1. Go to Starkfield Academy, a boarding school for “Crazies and Convicts” (as the social media sites call them.)

She chooses the latter…

~ Cory Rand ~

Cory Rand has not had an easy life. His mother died in a car accident when he was twelve, and so did his mother’s best friend…sort of. You see, Janice made a promise to take care of Cory just before she died, and so she lingers. Undead. A ghost that watches out for him.

Brought up in an abusive home, Cory quickly falls into a life of disreputable behavior. After his third offense (which was prompted by a girl, as usual – he has a weakness) he’s left with two choices:

  1. Be tried as an adult and share a cell with a guy named Bubba (he thinks…)

Or

  1. Go to Starkfield Academy, which Cory is pretty sure is run by vampires. But, hey, at least he’ll get an education.

He chooses the latter…

It’s at Starkfield that Kira meets Cory Rand, a boy with an insatiable Rage who sees ghosts, too. As well as other things, other things from his past, things that confuse him, things like fire and witches and demons.

Things he’s always ignored.

Until now.

 

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Now a little about the author of Thirst Blood of my Blood.

 

R P Channing started writing three years ago, but never published anything even after churning out over a million words of fiction. Thirst: Blood of my Blood is the first book he dared to publish. When asked why, he said, “Because it’s the first thing I wrote that my wife actually enjoyed reading.” When not hammering away (most literally) at his keyboard, he can be found buried in a book, reading anything from romance to horror to young adult to non-fiction to comedy.

Find the latest news and information on R P Channing’s website, or follow him on Twitter.

You can purchase Thirst Blood of my Blood from Amazon US, Amazon UK, and Kindle Unlimited.

There is also an Amazon voucher giveaway link at the back of the book! Once the book hits fifty reviews on Amazon, one of those reviewers will win a $20 (US Dollars) Amazon Gift Voucher!

Now the best bit, read on for a taster of Thirst Blood of my Blood.

PROLOGUE

-1-
The Puppy Eyes

My life was perfect.

I had the perfect shoes and the perfect friends and I lived in the perfect house. My nails were perfect and my hair was perfect (except on Sundays, it was always windy on Sundays) and I had the perfect clothes. My lips were a perfect red and my hair perfectly straight. My eyeshadow was perfect, my hips were…okay, and my waist…well…also okay. Nothing was wrong in my life.

But then there was Jack.

Jack was a problem.

He needed to go. I mean, when you’re dead, you’re dead! I had told him this endlessly. Somehow, Jack didn’t get it. I mean, I felt sorry for the guy. Sure. Being stuck between this life and the next. But just because I found him, does that mean I needed to keep him?

I think not!

Sadly, when Jack got that look in his eyes, that weary, almost teary (if his tear- ducts worked) look, I melted. I just couldn’t send him away. Not even Jack knew where he would go after he died.

Would he, like, die? As in — dead, nada, kaput, finito, gone, no more? Bye bye, sayonara, ciao, hasta la vista baby and all that?

I couldn’t have that on my conscience. No way.

I lay on my bed, wondering what to do about him. “Jaaaaaaack,” I hollered.

“Jaaaaaaack!”

Still no answer.

“Jack!”

Jack…materialized.

His eyes rolled down to the ground. He was making those puppy eyes again. “Jack, I told you not to do that. I told you not to play on my sympathies.”

His puppy eyes became worse.

His skin was gray and, well, dead.

“Oh, brother,” I said. “I have to do something about you. If mom finds out I have another ‘imaginary friend’ — at my age — well, I’d die of embarrassment. But, like, really die. Not like you.” I wondered about this. Would I die? Was Jack a freak accident, or did all people live on like him? Think of the cemeteries…

The idea excited me somewhat.

“What would you have me do, Miss Kira?”

“Knock off the Miss Kira crap. I told you it’s just Kira.”

“Yes, Miss Kira.”

The dead. There’s just no reasoning.

“Fine, Miss Kira it is then.” Rover barked like a lunatic in the garden. No one else might be able to see Jack, but I was sure my dog could.

“I have to do something about this,” I mumbled.

 

-2-

The Rat

Mike knocked on the door before I had time to leave the house. Mike was the guy I thought (at the time) was perfect.

“Who is it?”

“It’s me, baby.”

Baby, urgh — I wasn’t his baby. I dated Mike because he was the quarterback, because girls are supposed to like the quarterback, because it’s just so darn perfect to be seen with the quarterback, like we’re brainwashed into thinking these things from the first romantic doll set mom buys us.

This was my previous life. “Mike.”
“Uh-huh. Gonna let me in?”

So you can try rub me up and then complain when I don’t let you? This, dear reader, was the big problem with Mike. The second we first kissed, his hand went way too far south for me to be comfortable — and I pulled back.

Mike suddenly wasn’t so perfect.

“Uhm, I was just on my way out,” I said.

“Kira? C’mon, open the door.” He sounded upset. “Is there someone in there with you?”

Boys. As if.
I didn’t know much about love (nothing, actually) but I knew this wasn’t it. “Uhm, now’s not the time, Mike.”
“C’mon, Kira, what’s going on?” He banged harder.

When in doubt…lie. I opened the door a crack. “There’s a dead rat in the house, Mike. Been here for days. I gotta go get some detergent and stuff to handle the stench.”

Mike stepped back. He peered through the crack of the door.

“It’s really bad,” I said.

“I’ll drive you.”

“I’m afraid the smell” — I stuck my armpit to my nose — “has found its way all over me. I’ll drive myself.”

“O — okay. Fine.” And then he grinned like he wanted something. “Later? My place?”

Urgh. “Uhm, sure…er…later. Not sure when though.”

“Six.”

I fought the urge to roll my eyes. According to girls at school, he was apparently so damn good looking — theoretically. But for me personally, he did nothing. Moved nothing. Twisted nothing. “Look, I gotta go, Mike. I gotta — ”

“Kira.” His eyes grew stern. “You’ve been avoiding me…”

Bingo! Well done contestant number one! And what have you won? A brain!

I tilted my head. “Mike, look, this…rat — I need to deal with it. We’ll talk later, okay? Bye.” I closed the door, not waiting for an answer, and peered out the peep hole. Mike hung around for a second, shoulders wide and eyes glaring straight at me through the door. Could he see me? Did he know I was looking at him?

He kicked something off the ground, and I had the distinct impression he mouthed the word Bitch before leaving. But I wasn’t sure…

 

-3-

The Mack

“Roll down the window, Jack.” Jack was recently dead, so he still had a smell about him. (Which only I could smell…)

I had purposely skipped breakfast. Maybe Jack would help me lose weight. I was (still am) a little wide, although it had never stopped guys flirting with me. I know how to dress.

But I could be skinnier.

Lucy Rogers was skinny. All bones and no boobs.

Charlene Carverton was a babe. Cheerleader. Big chest (which she pushed out generously with a push-up — if only guys knew). Toned thighs. Charlene only dated college boys (back then), which I still think is pretty gross for a girl her age.

“He’s not for you,” Jack said out the blue.

“Hmm?”

“This…Mike — he’s wrong for you, Miss Kira.” For all Jack’s faults (mainly, being dead), he has a good heart. Factually, probably it’s why I kept him around at first.

“You think I don’t know that?”

“Then why don’t you dump him?”

I braked at a stop sign. Looked left and right. “Because I’d look like an idiot. I flirted with him and showed interest, and one kiss later I can’t stand the sight of him.”

“So dump him.”
“It’s not that simple. Kids at school — they can be vicious. I have to let it fade slowly. If I drop the bomb on him, I’ll never hear the end of it through senior year.”

“And you care?”

Yes, I did. Forget Guantanamo, schools are rough. “You don’t understand, Jack. Maybe school was different in your day. But in mine, well, we walk through metal detectors.”

“Schools weren’t too different in my day.” I noted the sadness in his voice. “You okay?”
“I’m dead.”
Right. “You miss…your life?”

Jack shrugged. “I like being with you, Miss Kira. And I don’t remember much of my life. I think I’m in limbo.”

“Limbo?”
“Yes, like I have some unfinished business. If only I could remember…what…it is…” He scratched his head. “Any ideas?”

“Well, it can’t be love. If it were love, I’d be a vampire. That’s who teenage girls fall in love with these days.”

“A vampire? That’s just what I need — two undead beings stalking me.”
“I feel I have something to do around you, Miss Kira. I don’t know what, but something. Something important.”
I looked over at him. “Me?”
I was still looking at him when I missed the stop sign. The Mack truck drove straight into us.

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Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

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The Twilight Saga is composed of four sequential books exploring the interaction of vampires, werewolves and humans through the eyes of a clumsy, stubborn and rather naive teenage girl. I think this series would appeal to teenagers and adults interested in vampires and the supernatural, or those just looking for something a bit different in the romance line. It follows a fairly predictable course of girl meets boy, they fall in love, they aim to live happily ever after, but I enjoyed the supernatural complications of this story.

 

IMG_4633Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, young adult paperback, 434 pages, published by Atom in 2006, this edition published by Atom in 2007.

In the first book of the Twilight Saga, we are introduced to Bella, an ordinary, though somewhat clumsy teenager. She has moved from the warmth of Phoenix to the constantly overcast and drizzly town of Forks, where her father is Police Chief Swan. During her first day at her new school her eyes are drawn to five of the most beautiful teenagers she has ever seen, one of which is her biology lab partner, Edward Cullen. He seems to take an instant dislike to Bella, but she is intrigued, and soon becomes obsessed with him. Discovering that he and his family are vampires doesn’t deter Bella from dating Edward. However, she soon finds that not all vampires are as nice as the Cullens, as she is chased from Forks by a vampire that would like to eat her for dinner.

 

IMG_4641New Moon by Stephenie Meyer, young adult paperback, 497 pages, published by Little, Brown and Company in 2006, this edition published by Atom in 2007.

In the second installment of the Twilight Saga, Bella attends a birthday party at the Cullen’s house that goes dreadfully wrong, resulting in Bella being injured and almost attacked by Edward’s brother, Jasper. When Edward fails to convince Bella of the risks of dating a vampire, he leaves her instead. Bella is destroyed, and spends several months surviving, but forgetting to live, totally consumed by the hole in her chest that Edward’s departure has left her. In an attempt to help her overcome her depression, her father encourages her to spend time with her friends, especially an old family friend, Jacob Black. Bella finds it easy to be with Jacob, and soon they are spending large quantities of time together. Bella is again devastated when Jacob stops talking to her and stays away. Jacob is keeping a secret from her, but why, and what could be so shameful he can’t share it with her?

 

IMG_4637Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer, young adult paperback, 559 pages, published by Little, Brown and Company in 2007, this edition published by Atom in 2008.

This third book in the Twilight Saga, sees Bella wondering how to have both Edward and Jacob in her life without antagonising the ancient tensions between the vampires and the werewolves. This is complicated by a string of disappearances and deaths in nearby Seattle that might spill over to hurt the Cullens. It appears to be the work of a gang of violent and uncontrollable newborn vampires, but who is creating them and why? Meanwhile Bella is preparing for her high school graduation, and the issue of whether to stay human or allow Carlisle to change her, as Edward refuses to do so until Bella marries him.

 

 

IMG_4636Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, young adult paperback, 702 pages, published by Atom in 2008.

In the final chapter of the Twilight Saga, Bella is still human, and preparing for her life with Edward. They decide to consummate their marriage on their honeymoon, even though Edward thinks he may hurt Bella in the process. The product of such a liaison is a surprise to them both, and may kill Bella or lead to her transformation into a vampire. To Bella it is her baby, but is it really a monster, an abomination that she carries? The child will change all their lives, including Jacob’s, and will bring conflict and danger close to home. The vampires and wolves need an alliance to survive, but still they may not be able to better their enemy, and Alice and Jasper have abandoned them to their fate. Is this the end of the Cullen family?

 

This series reminded me a lot of the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris, though Twilight is definitely the junior version, much more suitable for high school students. Twilight contains some violence and sex, but essentially it is a love story. Love between a vampire and a human was bound to be fraught with issues, but Bella and Edward are so devoted to each other, that they will fight hard to stay together. Jacob’s love for Bella complicates matters, and I actually hoped for a lot of the story that Jacob would triumph and win Bella over, as she obviously loves him too. Perhaps I just prefer the idea of spending a mortal life with a warm and loving werewolf, than an eternity with the constant thirst for blood as a vampire, even if it is for love!

I found Edward to be somewhat dislikable, with his controlling ways, and his tendency to keep secrets from Bella in the guise of protecting her. This makes their relationship uneven, and I think truth is always better, so that decisions can be made together. Edward is rather resistant to this idea, and even goes to the lengths of having his sister kidnap Bella and keep her hostage while is is off on a hunting trip. Protection is one thing, but such overt control dismayed me, along with her inability to be angry with him when he returned. I also found him to be arrogant and smug. His attitude improved through the story, but I had already formed a dislike for him, while championing Jacob. Though Jacob has his own problems, with his adjustment to discovering his werewolf side, and the whole ‘mortal enemies’ thing with the vampires, he really just wants Bella to be happy. He loves and respects her, and will be there for her, even when it’s not in his best interests. I liked his fierce devotion and his honesty with Bella. I felt like he deserved to have Bella’s whole love in return. This story made me think of that saying ‘nice guys finish last’.

Bella is a complicated character. In some ways she is strong, when accepting that she has fallen for a vampire, and that her best friend is a werewolf. Yet, then she shows a weakness by being unable to live when Edward leaves her, and just forgives him easily despite how his actions have hurt her. I know we should all forgive, especially those that we love, but I wanted her to be a bit stronger in making him understand how his actions were inappropriate, and how they made her feel. Then I remember that she is only eighteen for most of the story, and she has little in the way of experience in relationships. I also found her intense desire to become a vampire baffling, when it would mean leaving her parents behind, whom she loves and is close to. I was pleased that by the end of the story she had become more than just Edward’s girl, as she discovers her own identity and her own strengths.

This series is not high brow literature, but they are entertaining and I found them to be an engaging read. The plot was somewhat predictable, though fairly well developed. My biggest complaint was that I got a bit tired of hearing about how beautiful and perfect Edward is! I was also a bit disappointed that there wasn’t more action of the vampire fighting kind, especially in Breaking Dawn. There was a lot about sexual desire and allusions to sex, but no actual sex scenes, which surprised me. The whole series was actually pretty clean with no foul language and no explicit scenes, just innuendo and plenty of kissing. Along with the dearth of vivid vampire killing, this does make it better for younger readers. Overall the Twilight Saga is a likable series of books to relax with.