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Random House, Inc / 2009 / Paperback
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"Hello, I'm Nina Parker.and I'm an alcoholic." For Nina, even in recovery, the truth of the declaration has demolished her hopes and condemned her to return to the town she ran away from nearly two decades earlier-Abbey Hills, Missouri. But the place she once called home is no safe haven. A ritualistic-style murder.
Animals disappearing from the Ozark reserve where Nina works, and turning up slaughtered. And someone-or some thing-watching Nina. Wanting her. Stalking her with a 250-year-old desire that burns like a raging wildfire.
Nina's ex-husband Hunt shows up, hoping to protect Nina and Megan, the angry teenage daughter who followed her to Missouri. But another man has entered the picture, testing Nina as she attempts to walk the tightrope of recovery-and the power of thirst. Much more than Nina Parker's love hangs in the balance. The battle between love and obsession is destined to unfold to its startling, unforgettable end.
There's no place like home, they say.
"Hello, I'm Nina Parker…and I'm an alcoholic."
For Nina, it's not the weighty admission but the first steps toward recovery that prove most difficult. She must face her ex-husband, Hunt, with little hope of making amends, and try to rebuild a relationship with her angry teenage daughter, Meagan. Hardest of all, she is forced to return to Abbey Hills, Missouri, the hometown she abruptly abandoned nearly two decades earlierand her unexpected arrival in the sleepy Ozark town catches the attention of someoneor somethingigniting a two-hundred-fifty-year-old desire that rages like a wildfire.
Unaware of the darkness stalking her, Nina is confronted with a series of events that threaten to unhinge her sobriety. Her daughter wants to spend time with the parents Nina left behind. A terrifying event that has haunted Nina for almost twenty years begins to surface. And an alluring neighbor initiates an unusual friendship with Nina, but is Markus truly a kindred spirit or a man guarding dangerous secrets?
As everything she loves hangs in the balance, will Nina's feeble grasp on her demons be broken, leaving her powerless against the thirst? The battle between redemption and obsession unfold to its startling, unforgettable end.
With close to one million books in print, Tracey Bateman is the award-winning author of more than thirty titles. Fan favorites include the popular Kansas Home historical series; Color of the Soul, a tale of race and prejudice; and her many intriguing Heartsong Presents romantic novels. Tracey resides in Missouri with her husband and four children.
Thirsty by Tracey Bateman is a refreshing twist on the recently popular vampire craze. Rather than focus on dramatic teenage romance or violent warfare, as seems to be the trend within the genre, Thirsty is centered on a story of redemption.
The protagonist, Nina, is a recovering alcoholic whose family has all but disowned her. She's been in and out of rehab, and she moves to her hometown to live with her sister (the local sheriff) and start a new life. She also aims to spend time with her teenage daughter, who despises her. As Nina struggles to confront aspects of her own past, an evil force settles over the town, manifested by a series of grotesque murders. In order for her and her loved ones to survive, Nina must finally come to terms with her addiction, reconcile with the ones she has hurt, and uncover an age old mystery that could threaten the town itself.
Thirsty is definitely a young adult/adult novel. It deals with some pretty heavy subject matter, including nightmarish addiction, grisly violence, and rape. None of these things are glorified in the least, however, and good and evil are clearly defined. The story is fast-paced, the characters well rounded, and the finale unpredictable. An entertaining story with strong Christian themes, it will leave both new Bateman readers and existing thirsty for more. Austin E. Sisson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Thirsty does exactly what a novel like this should do. It grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. But it does more than that, deftly delivering truth and beauty in a way that transcends the genre. Sigmund Brouwer, author of Broken Angel
Thirsty is one of those rare treats that not only delves deep into generational issues and addictive behaviors, but also keeps the pages turning. Tracey Bateman writes with a sensitive ear to dialogue and family dynamics, bringing a human, and ultimately redemptive, angle to the vampire story. Well done! Eric Wilson, author of Haunt of Jackals, Field of Blood, and NY Times bestselling Fireproof
Deep, cutting, an intoxicating blend of human and supernatural, of characters scarred by the past, drained by life. This is the book Ive waited for. Tosca Lee, author of Christy Award Finalist Demon: A Memoir
Thirsty is more than a run-of-the-mill vampire story. I loved the way Tracey Bateman incorporated the struggle against alcoholism into the theme. Great writing and a compelling read! Colleen Coble, author of Lonestar Secrets and the Rock Harbor series
The expansion of the Christian horror genre, the proliferation of vampire lit and a couple of vampire precursors aimed at Christian readers make this Christian vampire hybrid inevitable; also inevitable will be comparisons to reigning vamp-lit queen Stephenie Meyer, starting with the book's cover. Nina Parker is a recovering alcoholic trying to put her life back together after an alcohol-fueled divorce and professional negligence as a veterinarian. Nina returns to her hometown to live with her sister, the town police chief, with her alienated teenage daughter, Meagan, in tow; the unfolding backstory of her youth explains her alcoholism. A mysterious and attractive neighbor of Nina's sister complicates the action, as do ritualistic deaths of people and animals. The novel has some technical problems: the narrative shifting of time and viewpoints could be clearer; ex-husband Hunt's point of view on the action is weak. The redemptive arc that evangelical Christian novels require is natural for a story of recovery; its full implications will surprise some readers and leave others unpersuaded. Despite some narrative flaws, Bateman has written a page-turner with a compelling vampire character that will set evangelical Christian readers talking. (Oct.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
"Thirsty does exactly what a novel like this should do. It grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. But it does more than that, deftly delivering truth and beauty in a way that transcends the genre."
Sigmund Brouwer, author of Broken Angel
"Thirsty is one of those rare treats that not only delves deep into generational issues and addictive behaviors, but also keeps the pages turning. Tracey Bateman writes with a sensitive ear to dialogue and family dynamics, bringing a human, and ultimately redemptive, angle to the vampire story. Well done!"
Eric Wilson, author of Haunt of Jackals, Field of Blood, and NY Times bestselling Fireproof
"Deep, cutting, an intoxicating blend of human and supernatural, of characters scarred by the past, drained by life. This is the book I've waited for."
Tosca Lee, author of Christy Award Finalist Demon: A Memoir
"Thirsty is more than a run-of-the-mill vampire story. I loved the way Tracey Bateman incorporated the struggle against alcoholism into the theme. Great writing and a compelling read!"
Colleen Coble, author of Lonestar Secrets and the Rock Harbor series
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