Guardian Extravaganza! Day 6 - Reviewette: Thicker Than Blood

Today, Meljean Brook is offering FIRST BLOOD to One Lucky Commenter! In addition, comments will also count towards a chance to win the Entire Guardian Series!!! See below for contest details.

Reviewette: First Blood Anthology, "Thicker Than Blood" by Meljean Brook
Four all-new stories of forbidden passion and dark desire.

You never forget your first blood...Susan Sizemore returns to the universe of her Laws of the Blood novels with a sizzling story of the relationship between a vampire enforcer and a werewolf.

Erin McCarthy's Sasha Checkikov flees the bright lights and dangerous slayers of Vegas for New Orleans, where she is saved by a vampire haunted by his past - and hungry for passion.

Set in the Vampire Babylon world, Chris Marie Green's story puts the bond between twin female vampires to the test when one of them falls for her prey.

Meljean Brook's vampire Annie Gallagher needs help to save a young human girl, but she doesn't expect the help to come from the FBI agent she loved - and had to give up - when she was transformed.

The Guardian Series Book Six

Jack Harrington knows he is being stalked. He continues to deceive the one who follows but he's soon shocked to discover that his stalker is none other the his deceased girlfriend, Annie Gallagher.

Six years ago, Jack had invested months of wooing Annie. Knowing her family's strong values, he wanted a ring on her finger before they made love for the first time. But all his time and preparation was brutally halted by her sudden death in a car accident. Jack, determined to never let the past repeat itself, met someone new within the first year of Annie's death and promptly proposes within weeks of the relationship. His fiance soon discovers what has happened to him and the relationship dies. Now for the past five years he's been on his own. Resigned from the FBI for digging into closed investigations that hinted to the supernatural, he is now on a personal quest to discover what happened to vanish more than hundred Philly residents without anyone batting an eye.

Annie Gallagher is the only vampire left alive in Philadelphia. The other 130 vampires in her community have disappeared, killed by a nephil - a demon housed in human skin. Indebted to the only people willing to take her in upon her transformation, Annie goes on a search for their human sister, Cricket. For two weeks she's been scouring the city, psychically touching thousands of minds looking for any sight of the girl with little luck and Annie is soon on the brink of madness. Without a consistent vampire food source, Annie has been forced to alternate her feeding with prepackaged blood and humans. The irony of her situation is that for the past six years she has been making a living executing those vampires who viewed humans as a food source and sometimes as an easy kill.

With the bloodlust building, Annie stakes out a bar in her old hometown of Northeast Philly. Memories of happiness and family flood her soul and sharpen her loneliness. That's when she spys her prey. A man, obviously inebriated, leaves the bar to walk home and Annie begins to stalk him. All the while she notices resemblances to the love of her life, the man she was forced to walk away from - Jack Harrington.

For the past six years Annie's life has been one of solitude. Due to the rejection of her human family, Annie never allowed herself to become too close to anyone in her vampire community. After being past around the community as a feeding partner and forced into sexual intimacy by the bloodlust, Annie had finally found sanctuary with a vampire couple who welcomed her to into their bed. Annie settles for seconds as the couple are deeply in love but she would rather have forced sexual intimacy with friends than a stranger. Now all that has been taken away and Annie's despair is great. Because of this emotional weakness, Annie allows Jack back into her life, if anything his FBI contacts may help in locating Cricket.

Now that Jack has found Annie, he refuses to let her go. She was the one for him and he sees her decision to ultimately stay away from him after her transformation as a fierce betrayal. Jack knows that she'll do anything to find Cricket and he uses this weakness to imerse himself back into her life.

I loved the subtle and slow way that Brook revealed the inner workings of these characters. Like the slow unfurrling of a flower, each pop of a pettle brought forth a new tidbit whether it be about Jack's or Annie's past or their gradual reconcilliation. It made the novella feel longer, deeper, captivating my interest right to the end. I wanted to know why Annie's human famly was no loger apart of her life. I wanted to know why Jack was no longer in the FBI. Answers were given slowly and sometimes in combination with a new question awaiting to be solved.

The only aspect of the story that left me wanting was the resolution of Cricket's disappearence. I thought there would be more participation by Annie with the Nephil, but still a wonderful installment to the Guardian Series.


B+

Lost? Unable to Read the Series in Order? Check out The Guardian Series Primer!

Question for Meljean: I know that as an author, you're likely to get this question a lot but I think for readers in general, we're fascinated with not only your imagination, but your ability to form it into words. What was your inspiration for writing The Guardian Series?

There were a couple of things that happened all at the same time. One, I was taking a graduate class on John Milton's works, and reading (and re-reading) Paradise Lost. I love, love that poem -- especially the first books, when we see Lucifer's fall and the scenes in Hell. I was also writing some Batman and Wonder Woman fanfiction, and began to play with the idea of an alternate universe. Very quickly that story became much larger than fanfic, with the characters going far, far beyond their superhero inspiration. I scrapped that story and began again.

About that time, my editor -- who'd read and liked my fanfic -- asked if I was working on anything original. I sent her the story, and that became the Guardian series.

That's the basic origin, but the inspiration from the series really does draw from everywhere. I love playing with references to mythology or literature, movies, even video games -- and I'm the type of writer where if I see something that I think would make the story better or richer, I'll use it.


*Contest Open to All*

**Contest Closes today, October 3rd at Midnight U.S. Pacific Standard Time and a Winner will be Chosen Randomly and Announced Sunday, October 4th**

***Additionally, Comments will Count towards a Chance to Win The Entire Guardian Series Novels and Novellas. Contest Closes Tuesday, October 6th at Midnight U.S. Pacific Standard Time and a Winner will be Chosen Randomly and Announced Wednesday, October 7th. Entrants are limited to One Comment Per Day in the Guardian Extravaganza Prize of the The Entire Guardian Series Novels and Novellas. Contest is Open to All***

53 comments:

Beleth said...

I would love to read this! count me in.
battyaboutbats at gmail.com

elaing8 said...

please count me in
thanks
elaing8(at)netscape(dot)net

joder said...

This sounds like a great story! Definitely count me in.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

sherri419 said...

My daughter would love this! It is right up her alley! Thanks for the chance!

sherri419 at gmail dot com

slb3334 said...

I would like this.

Cherry said...

Please count me in.

Cherry
mischivusfairy-spamme2@yahoo.com

Cheryl McInnis said...

I've read this one before-got it from the library- but I'd love to have my own copy :- )

Blodeuedd said...

I am in, would sure love to read an anthology like that :)
Great week VFG!

Mandy said...

Sounds like a great read! Count me in, please!

Mandy

mandyfish@gmail.com

Cybercliper said...

Oh, this sounds like a wonderful read. I don't know how missed this one! annhonATaolDOTcom

Sandra said...

Please count me in. Sounds wonderful!

Leontine said...

I feel that with each book Meljean Brook adds something that is one-of-a-kind to this series! I love reading your reviews VFG and feel your enthusiasm and love for this series!

To my utter shoch I found out I didn't have this book on the shelves...anthologies are no my #1 priority in book buying *blush* So if I can, count me in on this drawing :)

Chelsea B. said...

Ohh, sounds good! LOVE the cover!

Nicole H. said...

Oh so definitely count me in! This is AWESOME!

Nicole H. said...

whoops forgot email! nicole@howlinggoodbooks.com

Barbara said...

I love that you love her books so much. It makes everyone else so pumped up that they want to run out and buy them all, lol!!

Wonderful review, woman!! I'm a fan of novellas, especially now when I barely have time for ANYTHING!! LOL!

Count me in!

john ferris said...

Please count me in.
john ferris
guapo1317@live.com

abfantom said...

This sounds like an interesting book that I'd like to read. Please enter me in the giveaway.

abfantom at yahoo dot com

Jinxy and Me said...

Looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

Patti said...

This looks great - I love anthologies b/c you can "sample" several new authors at once. I've found some favorite authors through anthologies! Thanks!

angie said...

This sounds like a great read. I'd love to have it. :D

Sarah Z said...

Sounds like a great read! Love finding new authors!
Thanks
Sarah
believedreamcourage (at) gmail.com

jeanette8042 said...

The book looks awesome!

susan1215 said...

Sounds like a good book

Eva S said...

I'd love to read this great book, count me in!

eva.silkka at gmail.com

Barbara said...

Wow, Thicker Than Blood sounds interesting - I'd love to win this anthology. The other authors are great too.

maered said...

Looks amazing! Count me in!

Bella said...

Great Review VFG, and thanks again so much for hosting this FABULOUS giveaway week!

Anonymous said...

awesome sounding book!

mzpaw@yahoo.com

*ina* said...

*jumping up and down* the book sounds fantastic - pleeeease count me in!
Hugs,
Ina

Leslie said...

Would love to read this.

Cecile said...

Girl, this book sounds smokin!!! Throw my name in the hat! You are awesome!
I hope you are having a great weekend!

donnas said...

I would love to be included.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

linett said...

would love to read this, thanks

packerfantimmy said...

I would ove to win this great book for my mother.
titletowntreasures(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

Pat said...

This looks like a great book!

naynays1 said...

This sounds like a wonderful book. Thanks

mightynaynay(at)cs.com

flchen1 said...

Ooh, I definitely want this one! Please count me in :)

f dot chen at comcast dot net

ky2here said...

I need some guilty pleasure reading material.

wantsandwishes said...

I would really like to read this.

Alicia0605 said...

Count me in Please!!

Karin said...

Another great review! I can't wait to read this one!

Qwill said...

I know my daughter would love this book.

Pamk said...

Please count me in. I would love to read this.
scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

paryjeja said...

Looks like another great read.
paryjeja at sbcglobal dot net

purango said...

This sounds like a great book. I would love to win it. garrettsambo@aol.com

dvice said...

This looks great

Llehn said...

I'd love to play please!

kathy pease said...

Thank you for the AWESOME GIVEAWAY.. Please count me in :)

ann marie said...

Another great book, thanks for the week long giveaways.

annmariebro at yahoo dot com

Pissenlit said...

Spiffy cover!

Teresa said...

I know it's late, but I have to try anyway. grand prize is SO worth it!
teresa.fav AT gmail.com

Calila1988 said...

I can't wait to read this!

 
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