Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage





Thirsty by Tracey Bateman

Reviewed by April Gardner

"I never would have conceived of a Christian-vampire hybrid, but Tracey’s done it and despite the odd combo of interests, her writing is as strong as ever."

Nina Parker is a woman experienced in failure, and every fiasco can be traced back to one thing—the bottle. Her husband has left her and taken custody of their two kids. Thanks to her own negligence, she’s lost her job as a veterinarian. She’s a worthless alcoholic, or is she?

Sober again, no one has faith she’ll be able to pull the pieces of her life back together. Not even Nina. The thirst is too strong. Every moment is another challenge to overcome, another need to say “no”.

Only her sister, sheriff of Nina’s Arkansas childhood town, has offered Nina refuge and a job. With her alienated teenage daughter unwillingly along for the ride, Nina once again attempts to overcome the odds. But her hometown isn’t the peaceful little place it used to be. Maybe coming home wasn’t such a good idea?

After all, it’s not every day a person lives next to a vampire. Not just any vampire, but the one who’s waited over a decade for Nina to come home, to make her his own.

A rash of ritualistic murders keeps the Sheriff on her toes and makes the reader wonder…is it Nina’s pursuer or something else?

When I picked this book up, I had no idea it was about vampires. I chose it because of the author. I’ve followed Tracey Bateman’s writing since her debut novel and have enjoyed each one. She’s always been diverse in her genres but “Thirsty” takes the cake.

I never would have conceived of a Christian-vampire hybrid, but Tracey’s done it and despite the odd combo of interests, her writing is as strong as ever. Still, I feel compelled to say the “Christian” side of it was rather weak. The few blurbs about God could have been edited out without the slightest hitch in the storyline. And Twilight fans be warned. “Thirsty” has a relative lack of vampire intensity. Nina’s vampire is no Edward Cullen, but I imagine Ms. Bateman never intended him to be.
The story’s essence lies in Nina’s recovery and the parallels between Nina’s thirst and a vampire’s. These two alone are enough to intrigue and carry the reader through to the end. The author’s vivid portrayal of an alcoholic’s struggle was one I’ll not soon forget.

The characters’ unique movement on the timeline adds healthy variety, and I felt Ms. Bateman did a fine job keeping it immediately clear to the reader who was “speaking” and when.

While I find it wiser to keep vampires on their own shelf, I can’t say this story didn’t hold my attention. It was certainly different, and these days, with the glut of same-song-different-verse kind of books filling the stores, different is what most readers go for.

April GardnerApril W Gardner writes adult and middle grade historical fiction. Her first novel, Wounded Spirits, releases with Vintage Romance Publishing in November of this year. She is a member of ACFW and reviews for Title Trakk, At Home With Christian Fiction, and FIRST Wild Card Blog Tours. A military spouse, April has performed the art of homemaking all over the world. Currently, she lives in Georgia with her darling Hubby. A homeschool mom, she fills her mornings talking fractions and phonics with her two sweet kiddos. In her free time, April enjoys reading, gardening, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian. Visit April's Website or her blog, A Writer's Journey. You can also get to know April on Facebook and Twitter.