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Thirsty: A Novel

Thirsty: A Novel

4.0 26
by Tracey Bateman

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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


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 earlier–and her unexpected arrival in the sleepy Ozark town catches the attention of someone–or something–igniting 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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Crown Publishing Group
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Random House
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2 MB

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Chapter One
I went up in a hot-air balloon once, when I was ten. The fair had come to Abbey Hills, and all the kids were buzzing about the ride. Everyone would be talking about it the next day, and I was determined that, for once, I'd have something
to talk about too.
The thing was, I knew I'd never get to go if I asked, so I snatched five dollars from Mom's purse and went anyway. Mom blamed Dad. He'd taken her last five dollars before when the shakes got the better of him and the call of whiskey grew too loud to ignore. He never even defended himself against the accusation. Just apologized and promised to do better. I felt a little guilty about that, but nothing could have
kept me from that balloon ride.
I knew I'd made a mistake the second I climbed into the basket and outrageous fear took hold of my gut. I could have gotten off before the rope released and lift took over, but I didn't.
Good choices aren't my strong suit.
Funny how much a person could sober up between last call and time to call a cab. An hour ago, when Nina had devised the brilliant idea of surprising Hunt and spending Christmas with him and the kids, she'd confidently imagined the warmth of his open arms. But now, as she stood on his doorstep watching the cab drive away into the dark, wee hours of the morning, she realized it had been an incredibly dumb idea. That was the problem with being only a little drunk—a girl was clear enough to see how stupid she was but not clear enough to make a smart decision.
An icy splash of wind shot across the porch, making her shiver as she waffled between knocking and risking the disgusted look on Hunt's face and running down the street in three-inch heels after the cab that had just rounded the corner.
Resolute, she ignored the voice telling her to sit on the porch all night and freeze to death. In the morning, Hunt would find her frozen corpse, and then wouldn't everyone be sorry for the way they'd treated her?
She knocked, taking extra care to avoid brushing against the eleven-year-old Christmas wreath—still as ugly as the day Hunt's mother had given it to her. Stomping her feet on the porch, she hugged her body to ward off the cold. Patience had never been her thing. And at thirty-four years old, she wasn't likely to develop any, so everyone could just deal with it.

Come on, Hunt. It's the North Pole out here.

She raised her fist again. The porch light snapped on just as she was about to knock a second time.
Relief poured through her, feeling a lot like that first warm rush of a semi-dry white wine. Pushing back her hair, she arranged her mouth into the smile she knew showed off her dimple best.
Please be happy to see me. A foolish hope, she knew, considering he had divorced her six months ago.
In view of that, she'd settle for not ticked.
The door opened. Nina's stomach took a dive at Hunt's dark, sleep-tossed hair. Why did he have to look so good?
He leaned against the door frame, arms crossed. "It's two in the morning. What do you think you're doing?"
Not the greeting she'd been praying for, but then prayer wasn't really her thing. "You invited me for Christmas Eve." Her hands trembled. She shoved them into the pockets of her black leather jacket. It had been a Christmas present from him last year, just before he'd finally ended things between them for good. Nice consolation prize.
She raised her chin. Buck up, Nina. Never let him see you cry.
 "The party's been over for a long time. You missed it." His eyes raked up and down her body, and not in a flattering way. "Looks like you made a party somewhere else, though."
She shrugged.
"Well, you missed out. Meagan and Adam are in bed. Sleeping."
"I figured. Guess I shouldn't have come."
"Probably not."
"Okay." An awkward silence thickened the icy air between them. "So I shouldn't have come." Nina dimpled. Time to turn on the charm. "But now that I'm here, do you think I can stay? I'd like to be here in the morning when the kids wake up."
"No, Nina. Not when you've been drinking."
"I jus' want to see them open their presents." Nina bit her lip hard. She'd slurred. Hunt hated that.
His mouth tightened, eyes cold. He didn't bother to respond.
She waved toward the street. "Well, my cab seems to have gone, so I really don't have any choice but to stay."
He drew a long, drawn-out breath. His God, give me patience breath. "The cab may be gone, but you've still been drinking."
"You don't have to keep saying that!" Nina closed her eyes and gained control. "I know I've been drinking a little, but I know better than to come over when I'm drunk. See?" She took three steps across the porch, then three steps back. Too bad her legs had crossed as she walked. Twice. Her lips curved. A conscious effort. "Dang heels."
 "Right." He rubbed his chin, his sign of weariness. "I'll call another cab."
She grabbed his arm before he could turn away. "Hunt."
Heat radiated from the touch, and their eyes met. His beautiful pools of blue, so honest in their search. He seemed to always be searching. For the woman she used to be? Nina wondered if he was remembering when he still cared. Every second of their relationship replayed in her mind. A heartbeat, a lifetime. Christmas mornings around the tree, peals of excitement, loving. Each wonderful second of joy. The heart-ripping torture of a home torn apart with her own hands. Nina softened her grip to a light touch."Pretty please? Just this once. For me?"
She knew she'd said the wrong thing even before his face hardened and his eyes lost the softness that only a second ago had weakened her knees. "No," he said, his voice ice, even colder than the god-awful air. "You can come in and wait for the cab if you want."
In the face of such blatant and harsh rejection, sarcasm worked its way into her tone. "I thought you didn't want me in your precious house."
"I don't. But I don't want you getting sick out here in the cold either." He stepped aside to let her in. "Come on."
"No, thanks." Too bad she'd given up smoking. Now would have been a great time to nonchalantly light a cigarette and blow smoke in his self-righteous face.
 "Suit yourself. But try not to make a scene. I saw Mr. Taylor staring out his window. You don't want him calling the cops again."
Nina turned and looked up at the second-story window in the house across the street. The curtain fluttered. "Nosy old piss ant."
Hunt grinned. "I'll be right back." He peered closely at her, and Nina's breath stilled at the softness in his face. "Be good."
"Please let me stay," she whispered.
His lips flattened into a grim line, and his guard flew back up. "You just can't leave well enough alone, can you?"
Nina's eyes swam as he stepped inside and closed the door. She stared at the big, blurry wreath bow in front of her as she tried to wrap her foggy brain around the facts. Instead of sinking into the pillow-top mattress in the guest bedroom at the top of the stairs and waking to happy squeals from her kids, she'd be waking up to a messy studio apartment and A Christmas Story marathon on cable.
Hunt wasn't being fair.
She shook as anger ignited in her gut. The elaborate wreath stared back at her, a mocking reminder that she'd never been good enough for Hunt.
She'd always hated that ugly, gaudy thing. Hunt's mother had given it to them their first Christmas together. "Now don't be offended, hon, but Christmas just isn't Christmas without a wreath hanging on the front door."
Well, when you'd been working three jobs to pay for school and raising a daughter alone, there wasn't much leftover for fancy lobster dinners and fifty-dollar wreaths, was there?
Every Christmas of their eleven years together, Nina's sense of duty had walked her to the door and lifted her arms as she hung the wreath on it. Well, guess what?
She reached up, snatched the ugly, fake-pine, bell-and-baubleladen monstrosity from its nail and began ripping it apart. She yanked and pulled, tore and tugged until all that remained in her hand was the shredded bow. Elation exploded through her, shooting
a flood of laughter from her lips.
She hadn't heard Hunt open the door. Still reeling with guilty pleasure, Nina turned to face him, but he wasn't looking at her. Instead, his bewildered gaze rested on the remnants of the wreath. Slowly, he raised his head and looked at her.
Fever rose to her cheeks. "You know I always hated it."
His silent stare shouted through the foggy mist in her brain.
"Don't look at me like that." Like she was something to be pitied.
"Nina, this has to stop. What's it going to take? You need—"
"No, don't tell me. Let me guess. I need religion." Nina threw the wrinkled bow onto the porch. It landed in the middle of the mangled wreath.
"I wasn't going to say that." Hunt's quiet voice made Nina's chest tighten.
 "Good. Because I tried that once, remember? That God of yours never bothered showing up."
"What do you want me to say?" He shook his head, helpless.
"Nothing, Hunt." Hunt opened his mouth, but she held up her hand. "I mean it. I don't want you to say anything."
He crossed the threshold and stepped onto the porch. "At least come inside and wait for the cab."
She lifted her chin, but a shiver claimed her body. Why couldn't she catch a break?
"Come on, Nina. It's starting to ice again."
"No, thanks. I'd rather wait out here. I'm too mad to feel the cold."
"Your teeth are chattering. Stop being so stubborn."
"I said no." She glared at him. "Why can't you just take no for an answer? We're divorced, remember? I don't have to follow your every command."
His nostrils flared and his eyes glinted. Angry calm. He was good at it. "No one expects you to follow my command. Least of all me. And you might want to lower your voice." His fingers closed around her arm.
Nina yanked free of his grasp and stumbled down the steps. Her three-inch heel turned. She fought for balance but fell hard onto the gravel path.
"Nina!" Hunt rushed from the porch, skipping the last two steps. He knelt at her feet and unbuckled her strappy sandals.
 "Leave me alone." She kicked at the air, a warning that the next one would make contact with him.
"Stop being stupid."
"Please, Hunt," she whispered through a lump in her throat. Couldn't he see she was humiliated?
He sat back, palms forward in surrender. "Okay, fine." She could hear his weariness.
Nina hauled herself up and stumbled, barely avoiding crashing back to the ground. Hunt's warm, familiar arm slid around her waist. Nina closed her eyes and tried not to give in to the desire to bury her face in his neck and take in his scent.
"Come inside and let me take a look at it," he said.
She fought the darkness rushing in around her eyes. Steeling herself against the pain, she pushed her words through clenched teeth. "Not even if there were a bone sticking through my skin and blood gushing on the ground, Dr. Hunter."
"Nice dramatics. I'm impressed."
Panic clutched at her as Hunt shoved her shoes into her hands and lifted her into his arms without waiting for permission. She knew that look in his eyes. He was like the Terminator. She'd need a vat of acid to stop him when he was committed to something.
Ironic. She'd been the acid in their relationship.
Headlights beamed toward them from the end of the street. With Nina still in his arms, Hunt turned toward the vehicle. "That must be your cab. Go home and sleep this off. You can come for dessert tomorrow night after the kids and I get back from my parents'."
"Thanks for the crumbs off your table."
Hunt shrugged. "Take it or leave it."
"Put me down."
He obliged. "Want me to help you to the cab?"
"Okay then. Meggie and Adam will be awake in a couple hours. I'm going to bed."
"I can't believe how mean you're being, Hunt. They're my kids too."
"I never said they weren't." His tone had reverted back to caution, ready to defend himself if necessary. "But when you've been drinking, you will not see them. I'll never give in on that point. It would be best for everyone involved if you'd save yourself the trouble of even trying."
A comeback was out of the question. She didn't have it in her to mentally spar with him. She wrapped her fist around her shoes. Who cared if he didn't want her? Who needed Hunt, anyway?
Her mind didn't have time to catch up with her action as she lifted and flung both shoes away from her. One landed harmlessly on the porch. But the other… Nina gasped at the shatter of glass.
Her wide eyes found Hunt's profile. He stared at his obliterated
front window, the muscle in his jaw jumping as he clenched
and unclenched his back teeth. Blue and red lights flashed in the
driveway, accompanied by the blip of a warning siren.
"Mommy? What crashed?"
Nina turned, her mind barely registering the police car at the sound of her son's voice. Seven-year-old Adam stood in the doorway, his eyes sleepy and confused.
"It was nothing, baby." She limped forward despite her screaming ankle. "The dumb window just broke on accident. But Daddy's going to cover it up in a minute." She stopped before the steps, not wanting to chance a stagger. Forcing gaiety into her voice, she grinned. "You best get back to bed. Santa's going to be here soon, and you know what'll happen if he finds you awake."
Adam's blue eyes widened as he looked toward the sky for signs of the jolly elf, then back to Nina. "Will you tuck me in?"
Hunt spoke up before Nina could respond. "Mommy has to go, sport, but I'll be up in a second."
Adam's face clouded with disappointment, and he turned to go back upstairs. Then his eyes hit the shredded bow and mangled fake pine. "The wreath!"
He raised a chubby foot. Anticipating the move, Nina sprang forward, but Hunt was a beat ahead of her.
"Don't move, Adam!" Hunt rushed barefoot up the steps and snatched up their son before Adam could bring his foot down on the broken glass that covered the porch.
Once again, Hunt had saved one of their children from her stupidity.
The sound of boots crunching on the gravel driveway made Nina turn away from the sight of her son being cuddled in his father's arms.
"Good evening, folks." A police officer strode toward them, his hand resting on his belt. "What seems to be the problem?"
Nina stared at Hunt. "I thought you were calling a cab."
"I did call a cab. Mr. Taylor must have called the cops. He did warn you last time."
"He didn't call," said a new voice. "I did."
Nina and Hunt turned.
"Meg?" Nina said, her voice suddenly small. "You called them?"
Their fifteen-year-old daughter stood in the doorway, wearing a pair of flannel pants and a T-shirt, shivering and wrapped in her own arms.
Nina expected Hunt to chastise the teen, but instead he spoke in the soothing tone he'd used when Meg was little and woke up screaming from night terrors. "It's okay, Meg."
Nina tried to hang on to her resentment, but Meggie did look a little white. She had probably awakened to their arguing and gotten scared. "Yeah, it's okay, Meggie."
No matter who called the police, Nina just wanted to get rid of this guy so she could help with damage control for the kids. Remorse flooded her. How could she have been so stupid?
Practicing her smile as she turned to the cop, she widened her eyes and concentrated on not sounding drunk. "Officer, there's been a bit of a mix-up here tonight."
"A mix-up, eh?" The officer smirked. Nina decided smirking at a person you're about to arrest should be illegal. What happened to protect and serve?
"The only mix-up is in her mind." Hugging Adam close, Hunt stepped forward. "My ex-wife came to my house drunk, destroyed my wreath, and as I'm sure you saw, threw her shoe through my window, scaring the kids half to death."
Nina's mouth dropped open. Hunt was throwing her under the bus?
The officer nodded, eyeing her sternly. "I saw."
Nina gave him a sheepish grin. "I was provoked. And it's not a very sturdy window. We—um—always said it was flimsy."
The officer stepped forward. "Place your hands behind your back, ma'am."
"You're arresting me?" Nina stared at Hunt. "You're just going to let him haul me off to jail like a common thug? In front of our kids?"
"Good night, Nina." Hunt walked toward the door, limping slightly.

"Good night? What are you talking about? Hunt!"
He ignored her, instead addressing the officer. "She hurt her ankle. Could you make sure someone takes a look at it? It looks fairly bruised and swollen. A sprain, most likely."
"Will do."
The icy air wrapped around Nina as Hunt cradled Adam and headed for the front door.
"How much have you had to drink tonight, ma'am?" the police officer asked.
"None of your business," Nina snapped. "Hunt, what's going on? Tell him you don't want me arrested."
Hunt waited for Meg to step aside so he could enter. As she turned into the house, Meg looked over her shoulder. Anger mottled her face, and her glare silenced Nina, filling her with shame.
"Is Mommy going to jail?" Adam's words trembled in his throat.
Nina didn't catch Hunt's reply as he stepped across the glass and entered the house. The door closed with a solid thud.
Bewilderment left Nina too weak to struggle against the cold steel circling her wrists. Pain pinched her right shoulder as her arms stretched unnaturally behind her back. Disbelief hauled her to the squad car, despite her screaming ankle. She didn't resist as the officer folded her like a lawn chair into the backseat.
She turned toward the house as they drove away, hoping to find some evidence that Hunt was watching. That he still cared.
The hallway light snapped off.
Turning, she settled into the seat for the silent ride to the police station. She'd been arrested twice before but had never made it to lockup. Still, she'd watched enough Lifetime movies to know what went on, and shards of fear sliced through her as her imagination went wild. But those violent images weren't the worst things that could happen.
Her shoulders slumped, and she blinked away a tear. If she'd really, truly driven Hunt to the end of his rope—if he truly didn't care anymore—then they might as well give her the chair, because her life was over.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Meet the Author

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.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Thirsty 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Novel_Teen_Book_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Alcoholic Nina Parker has lost everything. But she's just completed her ninety days of rehab and is ready to try and put her life back together. She doesn't know if her ex-husband will ever forgive her or consider mending their relationship. So she takes her teenage daughter to her childhood home to try and rebuild that relationship as well as the one with her parents. But there are horrors in her past she isn't ready to face and a murderer loose in town. Can she deal with all this and stay sober? I've heard a lot of people talking about this book as a Christian Twilight. It is not that at all. Thirsty is a combination women's fiction and Brandilyn Collins-like suspense. That said, this was a powerful story, vampire subplot aside. Whereas the vampire subplot fit well with the story and had some intriguing parallels, the book would have been just as good without the vampire subplot. Nina's story-her life-was so real it gripped me entirely. It got me thinking about my own addictions to busyness and work, my husband's side of partnering with me in life, my father and grandfather's alcohol addictions. I was overcome with intense emotions after finishing this book. Maybe that's because it was two am. I started it at nine and had to stay up until I finished. Always a good sign of a powerful story. But through Nina's husband's points of view especially, I was able to relate to my husband a bit more. I was able to thank God for sparing me from my family's generational addiction of alcohol and was able to consider the effect my addiction to busyness might have on my family. For that, I am grateful. Perspective is a hard thing to get in life, and here Tracey Bateman has done it with fiction by writing characters you become. As to whether this book is a good one for teens, it depends on the teen. It is an intense book. But the characters are so real that any teen dealing with addiction-be it their addiction or a loved one's-could benefit from the perspective this novel offers. A very highly recommended book.
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Elizabeth brown More than 1 year ago
I guess i am a bit bias because i love Ms. Bateman's writing, but needless to say I loved it! If you like historical writings, read her book kansas home! Idk if it is on the nook, but its worth the find!
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LauW More than 1 year ago
This was a terrific book. A quick read and holds your interest till the very end. Amazing how Tracey Bateman can spin together a vampire story, a sobriety story and bring it together with some God. I would reccommend this a thousand times over!
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titania86 More than 1 year ago
Nina Parker is a recovering alcoholic fresh out of rehab. The rehab was court ordered after she was arrested because of a drunken display in front of her ex-husband's house. She hit rock bottom, losing both her husband and her children. She moves back to her home town to start fresh, taking her teenaged daughter with her for a short time. Nina is really trying to reconnect with her daughter and make amends for her past mistakes, but Meagan is an obstinate teenager who doesn't forgive easily. Meanwhile in the town, there have been a rash of ritualistic killings of animals, and later a human, that are gruesome and shocking to the small town. Do these murders have to do with Nina's attractive neighbor Markus, who seems to follow her around? Or is it the work of something else more sinister? I liked this book, but it did have some problems. The story flowed very well and compelled me to read on. I stayed up way later than I expected to some days because I just got sucked into the story. Nina is a great flawed character, whose life and journey was the most interesting part of the novel. Her childhood dealing with an alcoholic parent to her adult life as an alcoholic (very much like her father) was interesting and heart wrenching. I was very emotionally invested in her life, her family, and what happened to her. On the other hand, I love vampire novels and I don't really consider this one. The main focus is on Nina and her personal journey. The vampires serve as a means progressing in that journey and act as a reflection to her alcoholism. The vampires weren't as fleshed out as the human characters and seemed to just be props in the story. It also bothered me that Markus was just viewed by author as pure evil even though he did good things and struggled against his nature as a vampire. The ending was conveniently wrapped up perfectly. With the rest of the novel being so vivid, I felt it was contrived. Also, I didn't realize it was a Christian novel when I started reading it, which didn't bother me at first. However, near the end, the Christian message became very heavy handed, which didn't match the fluidity of rest of the novel. Thirsty is an interesting novel about a woman and her addiction. If you are a fan of supernatural fiction, you might be disappointed. The novel has some flaws, but as a whole was a good, easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RBDM More than 1 year ago
Although the start of the book seemed to sound interesting with the hopes of Markus meeting Nina in the future and the possibility of a romance, it was a letdown to know that's not how it turned out. The story primarily focuses on Nina and her struggle with alcohol addiction and the mystery of Markus is not explored enough. The fact that he is a vampire was intriguing to see how his future encounter with her would turn out, only to find he was more of a fixture in her life, always turning up whenever she went anywhere. None of the fantasy or romance ever developed between the two. And the ending was a letdown. For this I rate this book 3 stars, as the story was still interesting, but took me in a direction I was not looking for.
amber_h_79 More than 1 year ago
The characters and the differnt take on vampires was amazing. Very well writen and I look forward to reading other books by tracey bateman.
MelodieFleming More than 1 year ago
A nice twist on the vampire theme. Pretty cutting edge stuff for a Christian novel. The main character is unbalanced enough to keep the pages turning. Her struggle and metamorphosis are pretty realistic. This novel is not trite, but it's full of hope.
Jennmarie68 More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. Not only was it a vampire story (which I'm really starting to love those) but it was an adult vampire story with a great story line! It kept my attention and I got really pulled into the story. Nina, the main character, is an alcoholic who's all but lost her family. I've never really known an alcoholic, but I'm sure that the struggles Nina faced are all too common. I really liked Nina, she'd made some mistakes in her life but she was really working on turning things around. Trying to regain trust in relationships that her drinking had all but shattered, and realizing that just because she was sober didn't mean everyone just forgave her. While it is a vampire story it's so much more than that. The writing was great. For those of you familiar with my reviews you know descriptions and I don't always get along... This had the perfect balance of description, enough to show you what was going on but not so much that it covered the story up. Great Job! Also the writing was realistic, the reactions and dialogs were actually plausible, and it didn't feel fake. If I had to give any criticism it would be that it was easy to figure out what was going to happen. Granted I didn't know the means by which the ending would come, but I had a pretty good grasp. Although there was one major thing that I didn't expect and since I don't want to give it away I'll just leave it at that!
bigguysmama More than 1 year ago
Alrighty, I requested this book after I read the publisher info, but not clearly. I'm not really a vampire genre fan so when I read that Thirsty was about an alcoholic, I stopped reading the rest of the information. Imagine my surprise when I started reading the book and found out, "Yes, Mimi, there are vampires in this story." Shoot. I was really hoping it wouldn't be scary, ridiculous, or unable to connect a Christian theme. Thankfully this wasn't Ted Dekker scary, but it had it's creep factor. It definitely wasn't ridiculous with the story lines that were circulating through the story. And there was an underlying Christian theme, but it wasn't in your face. Nina heads home to Abbey Hills and is faced with the past that has brought her to where she is right now in her life. Heading home she brings her 17 yr old daughter, Meg, with her who is furious that she has to spend time with her alcoholic mother, whom she calls Nina. Nina is heading back to the town that drove her away in the first place. She will eventually have to face the parents she left without a word. There she will come face to face with the man who fathered her child. Will she be able to handle it all without turning to the bottle? Along with Nina's story is the turmoil we see in Meg. She loves her adopted dad and has never eally questioned who her biological father is. She is very angry and has every right to be. Nina's husband, Hunt, has loved her throughout their alcoholic marriage, but to protect their children finally divorced her. We also meet Markus at the beginning of the story. He is the vampire. He meets Nina when she's a teenager, but she has no recollection of that meeting. Markus on the other hand hasn't forgotten that brief moment of time they shared. He has been waiting for her. He has his own demons to face in this story. You can see the correlation between Markus's battle against his natural tendency to drink blood and Nina's battle against alcohol, which has pretty much consumed her life. She doesn't realize it when they meet up again, but their lives are inevitably entwined as Markus tries to connect with her emotionally. This isn't a story about conversion or salvation, but one about the strength of love and family. Yes, there's a vampire in the story, but it doesn't take away from it. I wasn't sure that I would care for it because of the vampire element, but I was sucked into the story!
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
Thirsty by Tracey Bateman is not exactly Twilight for Christians. Nina Parker is struggling with her newfound sobriety after years of alcohol abuse that has destroyed her family. Divorced and without custody of her two children, she returns to the hometown she abandoned seventeen years ago. Daughter Meaghan is going with her, which doesn't please Meggie one bit, to help repair the damaged mother/daughter relationship. Their recovery is pushed to the back burner when a series of graphically brutal murders terrifies the town. Bateman meticulously renders the battle of an addict; Nina faces constant reminders of her disease, which run parallel to another character's addiction in the novel. I hope that this isn't the only book Bateman writes about Markus and his disease; it deserves a fuller treatment with explanation as to origin and such.
cherryblossommj More than 1 year ago
While reading this book I came across several reviews. Most of which are extreme opposites in their opinions. Some people were wanting a Christian Twilight, which I actually take offense to since I found so many Christian elements with in that story itself, but that is a conversation for another day. The only similarity here to that saga itself is the idea of a "vegetarian vampire", one who finds resentment in the idea of harming an innocent human. Other people think it is outrageous to the idea of having a Christian vampire novel, but the message behind the story is what makes it Christian. As in most things there are levels of evil within all of us that we must overcome. Be it something that we believe as from folklore or something that we know is passed down in our genetics, the importance of a lesson is learning from it and walking forward. There were some people who stated disappointment with this novel after having read other Tracey Bateman books. Well that is not my opinion and as an all you can not relate this to any book she has written in the past as it is entirely in a realm of it's own. I have also read reviews of people who were enthralled from page one and could not put it down or turn the pages fast enough. In my case, I definitely was not disappointed, but I was not fully captivated either. This story is good, the lesson underlying is deep, personal and important to read. I do think that the character of Markus could have been more. In saying that I am not sure if I mean more developed or more page time. I just feel that there is a lot more to his character than meets the page translation. To be honest it was about page 200 where I was truly intrigued and excited about the story, but it continued well and I overall liked it. My personal opinion is that there could have been more, but I am just not sure of what. Luckily, there will be more books to come from Tracey in the future.
Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
I want to first start off by saying this is NOT a Christian vampire story. The vampire in this book is NOT a Christian. I have enjoyed Tracey's books in the past so I knew that I was going to enjoy the story. I was a bit worried though at how the vampire story was going to come into play. Would the vampires be real vampires or would they be vampire-like characters with addictive tendencies? Would they be Dracula type vampires or Twilight style vampires? Would this be a fantasy world or a realistic setting? There were many questions running through my head when I picked up the book. After putting down the book, my thought was that Tracey had done an extremely excellent job. The story skillfully blends a story about alcohol addiction and the dependency on the drink and what it does to a person's life. It shows how the yearning for one last drop can ruin a person's life forever and cause great damage to the relationships with people they love. Thus this is the same as what it's like for a vampire and the thirst for blood. Nina's alcohol addiction parallels Markus's vampire tendencies and the two tend to circle around each other like vultures. Markus is a real vampire who is out for blood and there's nothing fake at all about him. The place where the story takes places gives off a creepy feeling. I kept picturing lots of fog everywhere. It's a good place to set the story in. I was happy with the ending of the story, there is no "vampire conversion" scene thankfully. If there's any problems I had with the book, it's the switching in narration without warning. The story goes from Nina's first person past recollections like a diary, then switches to third person telling the current story and then goes to Hunt's first person recollections. The problem lies in that it's never told that it's Hunt's talking in first person, it abruptly changed and it took me a while to figure out who was doing the talking. Plus while, Nina's first person is written in italicized font, there's no change in Hunt's and looks like it's part of the regular story. It was just confusing to read at times. Overall I really enjoyed this book. Vampires have never been a part of Christian fiction before. Mostly likely past authors had no idea how to use them or felt them to be so evil, that they didn't want them in their stories. This book does nothing to make a vampire seem good or Christian like so really it's just a story about good vs. evil. There's just more story in between to make a statement. I feel like both fans of Twilight and other vampire lit would enjoy this book as well as fans of Christian fiction. It is NOT a light read however. It's quite intense so I don't know if I would immediately pass this one right off to teens without reading it first. HIGHLY recommended.
steelergirl83 More than 1 year ago
Having read Tracey Bateman's sweet prairie romances I wasn't really sure what to expect with her latest release, Thirsty. It's a suspense and one of the main characters IS a vampire...completely the opposite of what I'm used to reading from Tracey! Being a lover of Christian fiction and paranormal/vampire fiction I was really excited to read this and I wasn't disappointed. For all those leery of the whole vampire, bloodsucking, type books this novel is NOT really one of those. There are some crime scene descriptions and a hostage type situation but nothing that I haven't read in other Christian suspense. That being said even if you're not a fan of Christian books, this is not at all preachy but rather a clean story of the life of a woman facing her past and all of the problems that came from life growing up as an alcoholic from a very young age. I'll admit I'm not a reader of a lot of suspense books and I'm not sure if this was really a suspense. It wasn't an edge of the seat type read. Nina's story was really touching and I was thoroughly entertained while reading Thirsty! I really liked, Hunt and Markus too and the ending was terrific. Nina's story is really sad, her struggle very realistic. Tracey did an excellent job with this, I would recommend Thirsty to all readers, guys included and am very much looking forward to Tracey's next book! I reviewed this as part of WaterBrook/Multnomahs Blogging For Books program.