Tandem

( 39 )

Overview

As obsession and loss become dark partners, how far must the people of Abbey Hills go to survive? 
 
Six months ago, brutal murders shook the small Ozark town—murders that stopped after a house fire reportedly claimed the killer’s life. Lauryn McBride's family auction house has taken responsibility for the estate sale of one of the victims—the enigmatic Markus Chisom. Submerging herself in Chisom’s beautiful but strange world, Lauryn...
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Tandem

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Overview

As obsession and loss become dark partners, how far must the people of Abbey Hills go to survive? 
 
Six months ago, brutal murders shook the small Ozark town—murders that stopped after a house fire reportedly claimed the killer’s life. Lauryn McBride's family auction house has taken responsibility for the estate sale of one of the victims—the enigmatic Markus Chisom. Submerging herself in Chisom’s beautiful but strange world, Lauryn welcomes the reprieve from watching Alzheimer’s steal her father from her, piece by piece. She soon realizes that centuries-old secrets tie Abbey Hills to the Chisom estate and a mysterious evil will do anything to make sure those secrets stay hidden. Even the man who grew up loving her may not be able to protect Lauryn from the danger.
 
When Amede Dastillon receives an unexpected package from Abbey Hills, she hopes it might be the key in tracking down her beloved sister, long estranged from her family. Visiting Abbey Hills seems the logical next step in her search, but Amede is unusually affected by the town, and when mutilated carcasses begin turning up again in the small community, the local law enforcement isn’t sure if they are confronting a familiar evil or a new terror.
 
Two women brought together by questions that seem to have no answers.  Can they overcome the loss and darkness threatening to devour them—or will their own demons condemn them to an emotional wasteland?
 
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bateman (Thirsty) revisits her vampire venue of Abbey Hills, Mo. Months after vampire-related killings, the estate of one of the victims, Markus Chisom, is being settled by an auction house owned by the family of Lauryn McBride. Lauryn is doing the work; her father, her only close relation, is declining from Alzheimer's. Chisom is tied to a really old New Orleans family, and a letter from Lauryn brings Amede Dastillion to town, ostensibly for family heirlooms but really in search of a family member. Both women confront pain in their histories even as ritual killings resume in the town. This sequel is less successful than its imaginative predecessor. The villains are less well drawn; Lauryn's former love, Billy, a preacher's kid become missionary, is a bit of a holy roller in an evangelical Christian novel that deals logically with the theme of redemption without getting preachy about it. Still, this is a well-plotted novel that offers a plausible Christian take on the ubiquitous vampire theme. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

"Pam Turlow delivers this lively mystery, which presents the possibility of the existence of vampires from a Christian viewpoint. With precise intonation she portrays Lauryn McBride, of Abbey Hills, Missouri, and Amede Dastillon, from an old New Orleans family, who is drawn to the Ozark town in search of a family member. Together they are lured into a situation that suggests strange connections and long-held secrets. Providing clear differentiation between the characters, Turlow delivers the story in a tone reminiscent of a young adult who has witnessed the events. Her delivery gives the characters a feeling of authenticity but also creates a distance between the listener and the story." 
J.E. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307457172
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/5/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

TRACEY BATEMAN is an award-winning author of more than thirty books including Thirsty. Tracey has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers since it began and served as its president for nearly two years. She lives in Missouri with her husband and four children. 
 
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Reading Group Guide

1.

From the very start of Tandem, we feel Lauryn’s burden of caring for her ailing father, while watching his mind slip away. Have you ever been torn by the need to care for someone you love and the desire to escape the burden?

2.

Amede has to leave her sanctuary home and venture out to “a place of torture, loneliness in the midst of a crowd.” What circumstances are the cause of this in her life? Have you ever personally experienced this type of loneliness?

3.

How has all the loss in Lauryn’s past caused barriers in her life towards relationships? How has this affected her relationship with God?

4.

What parallels do we find in Lauryn & Amede’s lives?

5.

Trapped, Eden’s memories and thoughts consume her. She carries a huge sense of guilt and shame over hurting and disappointing others. How can she free herself…physically? Mentally? Is it possible for her to find that absolution of sin she thinks about? Did her father?

6.

Amede resents the curse of not growing old. Stuck in a perpetual fountain of youth, so to speak, she could only imagine what she was missing. Change is difficult in most people’s lives, would you want to stay 30 forever…while the rest of the world passed you by? What would be some benefits of this? What would you miss the most?

7.

After the night of their highschool graduation and that first kiss, Billy left home to pursue his calling into missions. In what ways, do Lauryn and Billy misunderstand each other? How much of Lauryn’s heartache and anger is warranted?

8.

Relationships and co-dependancy play a key role in Tandem. Amede and Eden. Lauryn and her father. Are there others? What did these relationships have to endure to get to a point of healing?

9.

Throughout the book, Charley is an odd character, subtly manipulating others. How does he complicate the lives of Lauryn and Jill? What is his stake in the story?

10.

Do you have any sympathy for Charley’s character and the choices he made? Why or why not?

11.

We see a wide range of personalities and characteristics among the vampires. How does Amede differ from her half-sister? What parallels can we draw between them all?

12.

The emotional and psychological connection between Amede and Eden had a deep impact on Amede’s behavior. What changed?

13.

When the killings started again in Abbey Hills, did you begin to suspect Amede’s appetite could be changing?

14.

Lauryn has never needed anyone besides her Dad. The realization that he would not be around forever left her empty and shaken. She needed something more. More than contentment. More than herself. How did she “know” when she had found it?

15.

How would you describe Lauryn’s spiritual journey? What role does her father play in it? Can you relate to her hesitance in the pursuit of spirituality?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    "Her own screams woke her. She had dreamed she was alone

    "Her own screams woke her. She had dreamed she was alone in the dark, captive of a madman. When she opened her eyes and realized the nightmare was real, she couldn't stop screaming." With a striking balance of family drama, mystery and a perfect dose of chills Tracey Bateman had me engrossed in her novel "Tandem" within the first chapter.
    The story takes place in the quaint little town of Abbey Hills. Nestled in the Ozark mountains, this once idyllic town has found itself the host of some sort of evil. People are being murdered. For awhile it seems that a house fire has killed the murderer but a fresh string of murders has demolished that theory. 20 something Lauryn Mcbride has inherited her father's auction business and is in charge of the estate. It is her actions that unearth dark secrets as she works to balance her work, personal life and still care for her father who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
    I wasn't sure what to think when I realized that I was reading an inspirational vampire story but I must say that the author made it work. She skillfully wove a story that was both touching and thrilling. The characters were complex and the themes were subtle but strong. I was blown away by the thought provoking last paragraph. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    I received a free copy of this book to review from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2012

    NOT FOR ME

    In Tracey Bateman's sequel to Thirsty, Amede Dastillion has arrived in the small Ozarks town of Abbey Hills for two reasons, one known and one very secret reason. Charley Baylor still mourns the murder of his sister, Amanda, and still seeks answers. Lauryn McBride is busy caring for her father who has Alzheimers, while trying to run the auction house he built many years before. Her main focus at the moment is the Marcus Chisom house. When Mr. Chisom died in a mysterious fire months earlier, he left behind a legacy of fine antiques and not a few questions. When these stories come together, centuries-old secrets are brought to light, causing Lauryn to rethink everything she's always believed.

    This novel left me with mixed emotions. Although there were perhaps too many storylines to follow coherently, and the changing point-of-view left me confused several times, it is still a well-written novel with an engaging plot. Unfortunately, the synopsis on the book cover left out an important element to the story; it's about vampires. Now, this is probably more of a personal preference than an editorial comment, but the concept of vampires in Christian fiction still has my head reeling. From a theological standpoint, the novel and its murky conclusion is totally off-base. However, I realize that there are people who would enjoy this. As I said, it does have at times a good plot and was enjoyable. Therefore, even though I might not read another novel of this type, I still give it 3 stars.

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  • Posted July 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I will be the first to admit that I grew up loving vampire stori

    I will be the first to admit that I grew up loving vampire stories. I always felt sorry for them because, raised as a Christian I always wondered, what happened if you were a Christian and were bitten and became a vampire. Evidently Tracey Bateman had these same kind of thoughts. One thing I really loved about this book is that it showed both kinds of vampires. It showed those who were evil and those who truly wanted not to be what they were.

    I loved the way Amede decided to follow in her father’s footsteps believing there was the possibility of redemption. I also loved the way she helped Lauryn McBride realize the changes she needed to make in her own life so that she would not have the regrets that Amede had lived with. I enjoyed the fact that I didn’t feel preached to. The reason this is so important is that I have a student who has been reading adult books for quite a while. She will devour anything about vampires.

    I know that she will be just as surprised at the ending as I was. It took a major twist that has made me think about this book all day long. Will I recommend this book? You’d better believe it. It was very good. Since this was the first book I’d read by this author I figure I’d better check out some of her others. I had read about “Thirsty” quite some time ago. I was afraid I wouldn’t like it. However, I now have it on my to be read list. If you aren’t sure whether this is a book for you then click on the link below and read the first chapter. I guarantee you will like this book.

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    Needs to be made into a movie!!!

    This has to be the most surprising surprise of this year. In an age where vampires rule the media with Twilight, Vampire Diaries, and True Blood, I was looking forward to tearing this book apart in a review. I was pleasantly surprised that the author did not take a Twilight approach at all.

    Tandem contained many stories all squished into one book. There is the story of an old lady and her caretakers, a young lady with a father who has alzheimers, and very spunky supporting characters.

    The author beautifully switched from one story to the next, eventually intertwining them. Not only is Tandem full of DRAMA, but it can be suspenseful and thrilling at times, as well.


    The plot deserves a three, but the writing totally made up for that! Trust me, this book is a refreshing breather. Pick it up, now!


    The bottom line- I am looking forward to reading this book over again, a privilege that many books of mine don't get to have!

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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The author captured a fan!

    The cover caused me to look twice.

    The book grabbed my attention.

    The author captured a fan.

    While preparing for an estate sale, Lauryn discovers some old letters that had been hidden. After doing some research, she quickly drops the letters in the mail to their rightful descendants and returns to cataloging the rest of the estate. Eager to keep her mind off her father's failing battle with Alzheimer's, she immerses herself in preparing for the sale of the estate and in helping her friend Charlie get over his break-up.

    Amede Dastillion has been searching for her sister for many years. After receiving letters from the city of Abbey Hills, she believes she may finally have a lead. Perhaps her search for her sister will soon be over. When the bodies of dead animals and then humans begin to turn up in the small city of Abbey Hills, the local law enforcement are not sure what to believe.

    Was the timing of Amede's arrival in town coincidental with the killings? Will Lauren be able to deal with her father's disease? Will the two women have to work together or against each other?

    Tracey Bateman did an amazing job of making me want to keep turning the pages. If you are looking for something slightly out there, but oh-so-exciting, this is the book for you!

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    Tandem: an almost christian themed vampire novel.

    Tandem is the 2nd book in Tracey Bateman's christian vampire series. I have not read the first book "Thirsty", but this is not necessary to understand the plot of Tandem.

    Tandem takes place in a small town called Abbey Hills where animals and people have been mysteriously killed and drained of their blood. The main character in the story is Lauryn McBride an auctioneer who has dealt with growing up without a mom and is now struggling with the loss of her father to Alzheimer's.

    Tandem also follows the point of view of two other characters; Amede Dastillion a centuries old vampire who only feeds off of the blood of animals, and her sister Eden who does not follow this practice.

    Cons: The many different points of view make the first half of the book confusing. For one, there is a woman being tortured and beat throughout almost the entire book, and you do not find out who it is until almost the end.

    Tandem also jumps from first person narrative to third person, which adds to the confusion.

    Pros: The 2nd half of the book definitely becomes a page turner. By the end I did not want to put Tandem down, because I had grown to like Lauryn and Amede and could not wait to find out what was going to happen. There are also a couple of surprising twists that I did not see coming.

    I also like that you do not have to be into christian/inspirational books to like Tandem. Yes, there are a few characters in the book who will briefly speak of God and religion, such as Billy, Lauryn's high school crush that comes back to town from being a missionary. But Lauryn is more of an agnostic than anything.

    Overall, I liked Tandem and would give it 3.5 stars. I think Tandem would be most enjoyed by young adults who like books such as the Twilight series.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    Thirst comes in many forms--How is yours?

    "The girl's scent lingered as she walked to the back of the car to retrieve the bags. Amede closed her eyes and tried to center herself before Juliette returned. Juliette smelled of fresh air and salty flesh. Humanity. Amede hadn't felt this strong an urge to feed in many years. The force of it set her off guard. She would need to feed soon!" (Bateman, 2010. para. 4 & 5. p. 33).

    Sisters, separated by force brought together by chance and separated again by fate. Tandem is everything you can imagine it to be: antiques, letters, old flames, vampires, lost family, kidnappings, but all with a twist. But I'm not going to tell what, you will have to read for yourself!

    With all of the vampire authors why would you expect this novel to be any different? Bateman writes with the flare of an expert in the field as if she were a vampire herself. This novel, provided by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers, for me to read and let all of you , kind folks know how well you will find this book if you desire to purchase it, is an all out "Let it rain, let me bundle in my blankie, and put the phone off the hook for I have a date with Tandem tonight!"

    Chapters are started with memories from the past, split with the life of Lauryn McBride, Amede Dastillion, and Eden, the sister of an adulterous affair. Lauryn is a curator of antiques while Amede is trying to find her long lost sister, Eden. Eden on the other hand has been told so many stories that she doesn't know who to trust and blames Amede for Eden not having a true family of being a part of the Dastillion heritage.

    Does Eden become one of the Dastillion and Amede welcome her with open arms? Or does Lauryn have something they both want that not even Lauryn herself knows about? Curiosity got you, well it should. I promise you, you won't be disappointed. Go buy a copy for yourself and find a quit place to read for you won't want to put it down until you finish the very last words "His arms are strong, His experience vast, and we're falling. . . tandem" (p. 312).

    Bateman, T. (2010). tandem. New York, NY: WaterBrook Multnomah

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Decent Read!

    I'm torn about this book. First I want to say the book is not a bad read. It's not a GREAT read but it's not bad. The story is structured well and you can read this book without reading the prequel Thirsty (I did not read Thirsty). The story lines are good, the struggles about doing the right thing are realistic, I tried to think what I would do if I was in some of these situations. What bothered me is that this is marketed as a Christian fiction book. I have no problem reading "non-Christian" fiction but I was expecting to see more about faith and victory. While this was alluded to, there was no really proclamations of faith, or demonstrations of God's faithfulness. There was a lot of darkness (think the Twilight series which I read entirely), much more than I expected. I would say I wouldn't let anyone under the age of 16 or so read this book, the material is too mature in the darkness sense (no sex or anything like that).

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  • Posted March 2, 2011

    Impossible to Put Down!

    Wow! At a time when vampire books are so popluar, enter Tandem, a novel written by Tracey Bateman. A completely different "vampire" book than all of the others on the market, this novel is much more adult, not focused on teen readers or lifestyle. A read so hard to put down I nearly read it cover to cover without interruption.

    Quick to pick up on the story line, the reader quickly finds themselves immersed in a small town, surrounded by the past of a few characters, leading up to a breath taking and surprising end as the present day story weaves itself together piece by piece. An easy book to read, an immersing story line that deepens with each page turn, characters that become familiar as a friend and a plot that awakens the mind to a world of curiousity, intrique and mystery. As the plot thickens and the story gets deeper, the reader finds themselves stuck in the story as an observer, even a character, wishing the pages to turn faster so as to discover the final event. Filled with small town life, a little romance, history and lots of drama, sure to be a quick favorite!

    Highly recommended to anyone who has read such series as the Twilight novels or other vampire type books as well as to those who have not done so. No need to be a follower or fan, this book tells the story on it's own, without hype or cult following. 5 stars in my book for creativity, uniqueness and intrigue.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated for writing this review.

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    Tandem- Something new but not my favorite

    Brutal murders consumed the quiet little town of Abbey Hills six months ago. Shaking the community to its core. After a fire allegedly claimed the life of the murderer the killings stopped and things slowly began to return to normal once again. Today Abbey Hills is almost completely healed except for the memories.
    Lauryn McBride is in charge of auctioning off Mark Chisom's, one of the victims, estate. With her father under the debilitating clamp of Alzheimer's, Lauryn must sort through the mysterious old house alone. She soon realizes an evil still threatens her small town and she might just be in over her head.
    Amede Dastillion had just about given up searching for her long lost sister. That is until she received an unexpected package from Abbey Hills, giving her a new lead.

    I didn't completely fall in love with Tandem but it definitely wasn't the worst book I've ever read. The romantic part wasn't the most unique idea anyone has ever come up with. Just another guy certain of his faith in God, falling for the girl who has none. Can he help her find God? I was, however, pleasantly surprised at the combination of the Christian theme and vampire characters. Believe me I know how that sounds but Tracey Bateman made it work. So I say, if you're lookin for a vampire novel with a little more substance than Twilight's sparkly ones give Tandem a try you won't be disappointed.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Posted February 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Bateman's Evil lurks to find forgiveness from God in a town were people lack human emotion and disregard that animals have soul.

    What drew me into choosing this book to review was the reveal of Lauryn dealing with her fathers Alzheimer's. The writing style of Bateman seemed a little confusing at first as she switches from character to character without revealing who they were. Although I knew this novel had evil and secrets I was disappointed to find out the type of evil. Not that I have my preference of evil in a book, however there are certain books some of us just don't touch. It felt like reading the first pages of a really good steamy love story, then part way through when they finally get to kiss, out from one mouth comes a slimy snake thing. I am a true Science fiction nut don't get me wrong and no this book has nothing to do with aliens, just a comparison. But that was the disappointment I felt and vampire thing, it really should have been included in the books excerpt.

    Blinking I placed my disappointment to the side and I let the idea settle in. I can finally admit I read a vampire book. The reason it wasn't to much to my disliking was due to it centering itself more on the relationship of Lauryn and her sick father. The other characters in the book seemed a little comical in a sense and I found myself moving them around in my mind that way. At times I could relate to Lauryn because she seemed so wrapped up in her own world and driven to her purpose. At times pushing everyone aside and thinking only about herself and her own problems. Something many of us do in real life and is one of the lessons in this novel. God is brought up in many of the conversations throughout this book including the evils pretense to turn toward God for forgiveness.

    Would you like a sneak peek at Tandem? Download and read the first two chapters at WaterBrook Multnomah.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    A Surprising Story

    Can a woman of faith write a vampire novel? This was the question that circled through my mind when I heard Tracey Bateman was writing a vampire novel. Her first vampire novel, released in 2009, is called Thirsty and I admit that I did not read it before I read Tandem. My only excuse is that I was busy, so when I snagged a copy of the more recently released Tandem from Waterbrook, I decided to figure out what was going on.

    My original question should not have been could a woman of faith write a vampire novel, but why shouldn't why shouldn't a Christian, like Tracey Bateman, write a story about misunderstood mythical creatures damned to hell and suggest they can find redemption? The very fight between good and evil suggests all kinds of opportunities for a redemptive story.

    Tandem explores the idea that vampires might possibly walk in this world and that some of them have chosen to abstain from the abomination of consuming human blood. Lauryn, who runs an auction house, is tasked with selling the estate of an enigmatic figure with a mysterious side and a link to a secret vampire visiting the small Ozark town from New Orleans.

    I appreciated the artistic way that Tracey used different points of view to knit the story together and as the novel progressed, I was able to see the pattern of the voices and anticipate the clues that each gave to the story.

    I liked this novel for its page-turning plot and its theme dealing with the quandaries we all face about choosing the easy way, or choosing what is right. Now I must go back and read Thirsty. - Tina Ann Forkner, Author

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  • Posted February 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    What If?

    Tandem, by Tracey Bateman was a thrilling surprise. What I thought would be an intriguing suspense mystery turned out to be that and so much more. One of the endorsements on the inside cover read, "Is it possible for a writer of Christian fiction to pen a vampire tale with an inspirational message?" I thought, are you kidding me?

    No joke. A Christian vampire novel. Or a novel that includes both vampires and Christians, and definite beliefs about God.

    Needless to say, I was hooked, and finished the book in two days. Once again, a book preceded this one (I think I've finally figured out how WaterBrook press indicates sequels...they note "author of insert previous title here" on the cover.), but that fact didn't hinder me at all as I read this one.

    Tandem is set in Abbey Hills, a small town in the Ozarks, where strange, ritualistic murders have taken place. As the killings continue, fear abounds, and all visitors are suspect. A cast of strong characters helps move the story along, and we find ourselves pulled into the minds of three separate women:
    Eden, a tortured, captured vampire who escapes her prison by remembering her past.
    Amede, a vampire who refuses human blood, and who comes to Abbey Hills in search of her long lost sister, Eden.
    Lauryn, an antiquities dealer whose life revolves around caring for her father who has Alzheimer's.

    My one critique would be the author's choice of vacillating between first and third person points of view. Lauryn's story is told in the first person, but when the point of view shifts to Amede or Eden (or any other character), it becomes third person. This frequent shift was a little jarring, and took a while to figure out. But once I realized the pattern, I could follow the story without difficulty. I just wonder why the author chose to write in that way to begin with.

    I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading the paranormal. It was an added pleasure to receive an inspirational message along the way. My thanks once again to WaterBrook Press for providing this book for review.

    ~Karina Harris, author of Second Chance

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  • Posted February 18, 2011

    Tandem by Tracey Bateman, A Review

    Hold up a copy of Tracey Bateman's book Tandem next to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, and you will notice some similarities. Both authors' names appear to be in the same font (though it looks like Meyer chose to go bold), and both titles are scripted entirely in lower case. Coincidence?

    Covers aside, Bateman and Meyer have chosen different plots, though both books begin with quotes and a prologue/preface that hints at the novel's ending. Whereas Meyer chose to write about the teenaged affair between girl and vampire, Bateman writes about a slightly older girl taking care of her Alzheimer's stricken father in a small town shaken by murder.

    Lauryn McBride grew up helping her father with his auction business, and now she has the responsibility of auctioning a local Victorian home and the pricey antiques of a man who died mysteriously in a fire. After sending some old family letters found among the items to be auctioned to who she thinks is a decedent of the letters' writer, Lauryn is inadvertently pulled into a mystery where the main participants are vampires. Along the way she is reunited with her childhood crush, the preacher's son who is back from serving as a missionary in Haiti.

    After Stoker, King, Rice, and Meyer, the vampire theme has been tapped to the point that it is going to take a lot to make an original vampire novel. Being Christian fiction, Tandem does have the distinction of being redemptive, but that only brings up a problem for the author.

    Christian fantasy seems like a difficult genre. If you want to write a fantasy book with God in it, it would be a plus to explain how the fantastic elements of the story and an Almighty God can coexist, even just on paper. Bateman offers no explanation for why vampires and God are in the same small American town.

    All in all, the story in Tandem was okay, though not something I think I would read again.

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Misleading and Confusing

    Bateman's writing is fantastic. The words flow. There's no doubt in my mind that Bateman has talent especially when you begin your book with a one paragraph prologue that goes like this, "I've always despised smoke. Avoided the acrid smell, the burning eyes, stolen breath. The way it catches hold of fabric and bangs on with long, pungent cloves. And yet in my dream-my recurring, "Is someone trying to tell me something?" dream-I float blissfully through a wall of gray, wafting, vaporous smoke, blind to what lies beneath the dark expanse of haze. In this dream that so often robs me of sleep, I'm aware that I'm falling, falling far, and yet I'm not afraid. But then I awaken, sweat soaked, heart pounding, afraid to die alone." Yet, halfway through this novel I stopped. She lost me in the many different points of view from third person to first person in the same chapter. My interest waned and died on page 48. The problem was not just the fact that it had three points of view and one of them a first person point of view, but nowhere in the back of the book did it say one of the characters was a vampire. The teaser read like a normal suspense thriller type of James Patterson book. And I don't really care for vampire novels. Even if I was into vampire books, it was too confusing to follow the story line. When you fist open the book there are four authors who praise this book like Kaci Hill, Tamara Leigh, Robin Caroll, and Lyn Cote. Perhaps this book would interest someone else, and though I love all sorts of different books, the organization of the pages distracted from what could have been a page-turner. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2011

    Hoping for more!

    Having read the first book in the series, I was thrilled to receive the advance copy of Tandem. It turned out to be a very good book in its own right, one that works better than most sequels as a stand-alone read. In Tandem, the vampire theme that is hinted at but mostly an undercurrent in Thirsty, comes out full force. Bateman still manages to use the vampire theme as something symbolic for struggles we all go through.

    I did find the alternating-narrator device a bit hard to follow at times, but if I set that aside and just went with the flow, it wasn't problematic.

    If you aren't a fan of neatly tied up endings you might bristle just a little at the last few chapters, but I have to say that there is most definitely enough left hanging for a third book to take place in Abbey Hills! I'm hoping that is the case!

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  • Posted January 18, 2011

    Tandem by Tracey Bateman

    This book is an inspirational paranormal fiction novel. It is full of suspense that gives a real in-depth feel about the tragedy and betrayals of two women who are brought together to find answers to questions that they can't seem to find the answer to.

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  • Posted January 17, 2011

    Entertaining...about halfway through

    The GOOD:

    * The characters and their struggles are relatable to real life. Especially Lauryn. Her struggle with the shift of the parent-child relationship as a result of her father's illness compels the reader to react with compassion and mercy.
    * It turns into a real page-turner about halfway through. The story is great and really draws the reader in.
    * There are elements of redemption woven throughout the novel. As a non-Christian, Lauryn experiences redemption firsthand through one of her relationships. One of the vampire characters performs a redemptive act - but you must read to see who it was!
    * I felt that this book could be useful in opening up a dialog about Christianity with those that do not profess to be believers.

    And what I found to be NOT-SO-GOOD:

    * I am still unsure how I feel about vampires residing in the Christian fiction genre. And I don't know why. I'm comfortable with the fictional idea of vampires - I'm just unsure how they relate to Christianity. I guess I can see that it is a tool to entertain the reader, but... I will chalk this up to something that is something I don't prefer as opposed to something I have a real objection to.
    * I felt some of the characters were just caricatures of a person to serve a purpose instead of a fully developed character.
    * Just to be aware, there are suggestions of alcohol use and cohabitation without marriage (to be fair, these are neither glorified nor vilified)
    * If you are looking for a book with a strong Christian message, then don't read this book. I would say that compared to other Christian novels I've read, the Christian message of salvation was minimal. While there were elements of the Christian life included, there was none to little mention about the purpose of the salvific acts of Jesus Christ.


    So - to SUM IT ALL UP:

    If you are interested in vampire lit and are looking for an intriguing mystery, definitely pick this up! While it isn't the best supernatural or paranormal Christian fiction I have ever read, it was a good read (well, once I got about halfway through). When deciding if books are great, good, and okay I typically depend on my internal meter of how much the literature provoked my thoughts or inspired me. Some books just don't inspire but they definitely entertain. I would classify this book as one of those that entertains and is not particularly inspiring or life-changing. So, if you are looking for a quick read (think 1 week or less) that provides some entertainment, you should look no further and pick this book up.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    good story

    Lauryn McBride is burning her candles at both ends, working hard to keep her family business afloat, all the while trying to take care of her father who is rapidly declining with Alzheimers. She is not really keeping up with local news but is saddened by the fact that her best friend in high school was murdered, and another man found dead in a fire.
    The secrets that Lauryn is finding as she prepares the dead man's estate for auction is quite alarming and the supernatural suggestions are overwhelming to the people in her small town in Missouri. Her friends and she herself have trouble believing that such a thing would happen in their small town. Lauryn's schoolhouse crush is back in town with his child and is pursuing Lauryn again, but she is not sure that love has a place in her busy life at this time. Especially with people turning up dead all over the place.
    I must conclude my review by saying if I had realized this book was about vampires, I would not have chosen it to review. That being said I did enjoy the story. It was a very good book, and the story was not scary, nor spooky. I just have never been interested in fantasy type books about vampires. I was disappointed there was not a clearer gospel message in this book, but it was a good clean story with a good ending. 312 pages 4 stars $13.99US
    This book was provided by Water Brook Press for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    God and Vampires

    Vampires. In Christian Fiction. What? As a teacher for a creative writing class for Christian teens, I was aware that books covering this latest phenomenon existed. However, I still had a hard time reconciling that with my heart and spirit. That being said, when I received "Tandem" by Christian fiction author Tracey Bateman for review and realized it was indeed about vampires, I knew it wouldn't be fair to the author or the book to put it away without at least giving it a shot, so I did. "Tandem" is essentially the story of three women. Amede Dastillon, her half-sister Eden and Missouri auction house owner, Lauryn McBride. While researching and cataloging items from an old Victorian home that she needs to auction off, Lauryn McBride comes across some letters, centuries old, written by an Amede Dastillon. Knowing the letters are personal in nature and would be treasured by her descendants, she is able to track down the Dastillon estate in Louisiana and sends them there. She has no way of knowing that the Amede who wrote those letters over a hundred years ago, is still alive. Amede is a vampire. And once she realizes that those letters were found at a home in Missouri, she heads their straightaway to find her long lost sister Eden. And that's when the trouble begins. Abbey Hills, MO is now overwhelmed with ritualistic animal slayings and murders of their beloved citizens. Interestingly enough, they didn't start until Amede came to town. But is she really the one responsible for them? And now the story gets really interesting. However, I can't say more without having to list this review as a spoiler. But the book does deal with vampires. And with that you usually get a plethora of blood trails, grisly murders and cultic activity. In "Tandem" however, although there were animal slayings and murders, they were not written out in graphic detail. As far as my own personal comfort level goes, I could have done without some of it (keep in mind that I'm of the squeamish sort anyway) especially in regards to the animal slayings, but all in all it did not sink to the level that I had presumed it would. And there were Christian messages sprinkled throughout, but again they were subtle. Though I do believe her last sentence in the book explains the message she was intending. Due to the multiple point of views in which the story was told it was a bit hard for me to follow, especially in the beginning. I also was disappointed with the ending. It wrapped up really fast and seemed rushed. However, what I loved about this book is the level of suspense it had. It kept me turning the page and just when I thought I knew what was going on and who was doing what it changed. These twists and turns were done very well by Ms. Bateman. But most importantly, there were no gory graphic scenes or glorifying of vampires. What it did try to show was that our God is big enough to extend grace, mercy and salvation to the vilest amongst us, which in this case would include vampires (that is, of course, if they really existed). I enjoyed reading "Tandem" by Tracey Bateman. It kept me interested enough to where I was able to finish it in less than a week. I kept going back to it because the storyline was compelling and intriguing. Will I read other vampire novels? No, probably not. But would I read other books by Tracey Bateman? Yes. I would. "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"

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