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Melanie Nowak

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Member Since: Mar, 2009

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Category: 

Fantasy

Publisher:  WoodWitchDame Publications ISBN-10:  098241028X Type: 
Pages: 

252

Copyright:  2004 ISBN-13:  9780982410288
Fiction

Felicity views going away to college as an opportunity to mature into a confident young woman; but her new beginning turns out to be more of an adventure than she bargains for when she finds that her new school is plagued not by bullies, but vampires!

Cain displays quiet confidence even as he struggles to overcome sins of his past. Centuries ago he was reborn as a vampire. Surprisingly, he found that in losing his life he gained his faith and a purpose. His mission: find the hostile vampires who have settled in this small college town, and educate them to live in peace with humans. Their leader, Sindy is a wicked temptress who has set her sights on Felicity's new friend Ben, and will be difficult to control; but after meeting Felicity, Cain's most difficult task lies in controlling himself.

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Melanie Nowak - Author of the Venomous Vampire series ALMOST HUMAN

In this witty paranormal adventure/romance, each chapter alternates perspective between a vampire and a young human woman as they join an ensemble cast to navigate the difficulties of addiction and desire; the perils of zombies and vampires; and struggles with abuse, morality and... college.
 


Excerpt

Almost Human - Volume 1: Fatal Infatuation - by Melanie Nowak

Prologue

Cain

“Tommy’s Place”
A little bar, in a small town, Upstate New York
A Friday night in early June

Cain surveyed the few patrons of the bar with a practiced eye. They were much as he had expected; mostly kids, barely of age. They were probably taking summer classes at the local college. There would surely be more come September. A few older men who looked to be regulars were sitting at the bar, engaged in easy conversation with the bartender. No one was particularly worth his notice; not a killer among them.

Until... she arrived. Yes, surprisingly enough, this young teenage girl was the one he had been waiting for. She was heavily made up, perhaps to try and disguise her age, but still quite intriguing and attractive. She had no trouble entering the establishment, the doorman seemed to find her bewitching as well.

She made her way to the bar, walking with a measured stride and an air of aloofness which told those around her, that she considered them beneath her attentions. The man who followed behind her gave a glare of warning to any who seemed to find her worth more than passing notice. Once at the bar, her companion ordered drinks for them both as she scanned the room.

Her eyes fell upon Cain and he instantly knew that he’d piqued her curiosity. She obviously intended to grace him with her presence. The man she was with seemed none too pleased when she made it known that she wanted him to wait at the bar. She hushed him with an artful smile and a kiss, which left him grudgingly pacified. Good, Cain was hoping to make her acquaintance privately. She approached.

“Hi there.” Her casual toned hardly seemed in accordance with her lofty attitude. “You here alone?” she asked, as she eyed him appraisingly.

“I am. I find myself alone more than not these days.” She would be quite fetching, without all the paint. Her long, straight hair had been tinted the deepest black. She was scantily dressed to show off her fine, lithe body to its utmost advantage. A little more blatantly than he found necessary, but effective all the same. She definitely had his interest. “I see you’re not lacking for company though,” he added, with a nod towards the bar.

She gave a little shrug of dismissal. “He’s not exactly living up to my expectations.”

“Perhaps I could help you do better,” he offered, inviting her to join him with a gesture towards an empty chair.

“Perhaps.” She said it with an amused lilt, teasing him. He wondered if she understood the meaning he’d actually intended. “I’m Sindy.” She drew the chair close to him as she sat and he gave her his name, Cain. “I dig the accent. Funny, when I think of old English dudes, I usually picture them all stodgy. You know, like with a pipe and tweed coat or something. But you’re actually kind of hot.” It was so strange to hear her speaking like an immature teenager when she had the presence of a queen.

He smiled. “Thanks, I guess I’ll take that as a compliment. It’s true I am older than I look, but I’d like to think of myself as anything but stodgy. I don’t smoke, and I hate tweed.”

She grinned and peered at him seductively from behind her long lashes. “Planning on staying in town for a while?”

“I don’t know... I might. I’m actually here on business.”
“Is that so? Well, I’m more of a pleasure seeker myself. Maybe I could show you around. Bet we’d have fun.” Unwelcome images of the blood soaked ‘fun’ she might enjoy invaded his mind as he sought to give her an unconcerned smile.

“I was hoping you’d offer. I would like to get to know you better, if you don’t think your friend would mind.” He gave another meaningful glance towards the bar. Her former companion looked as though he were barely restraining himself from coming over.

“Don’t worry about Ernest. He may not look like much, but I’ve got him wrapped around my little finger. Why don’t I ditch him for now, and we could take a midnight stroll?”
“I thought you’d never ask.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Chapter 1 - Firsts

Felicity

The DownTime Cafe and Bookstore
Upstate New York
A Saturday in early September

Felicity approached the store with a stomach full of butterflies. It was her first day at her new job. She wasn’t used to ‘firsts’. Back home everything had always been pretty much the same. In such a small town, nothing changed much. You always knew what to expect and who you were dealing with. Even when she’d started working at the Quickie Mart after school, it was a place and people she had known her whole life. Going away to college had sounded like a great idea. She’d been so jealous when her older brother Edmund had gone off to school in Syracuse and she was more than happy to get away from the two younger brothers she was left with at home.

It would be an adventure! And it was; but there were so many people, and she didn’t know a single one. She didn’t even have a roommate. The lady at the desk had made a big deal about how she was so lucky that there was low enrollment this semester, and Felicity would have her own dorm room. Secretly she had been kind of disappointed. It would have been nice to have had an ‘instant friend’. Popularity was something she had never aspired to. She had always been far too shy. All of her new classes, new professors, new books and ideas. It was a little overwhelming. Now, the new job.

Her parents were paying her tuition, but she had to pay for her own books and half of her living expenses. That was the deal. At least she was here; having to work wasn’t so bad, especially since her grades didn’t exactly warrant a scholarship. Books were expensive, and she had seen this place when she first came to enroll. She had applied for the job right then and there. Good thing too, so many college kids meant stiff competition for a nice job like this. That is, if it’s as nice as it seemed. Only one way to find out.

Before entering, she paused to check her reflection in the glass of the door. She wore a knee length denim skirt with a blue and white striped tailored shirt, opened a bit to reveal a light blue tank top underneath. She hadn’t really wanted to wear the tank, but she was afraid that if she couldn’t leave the top few buttons of the shirt open, it would pull too tightly across her chest. Her friend Deidre was always telling her how lucky she was to have a full and curvy figure, but to Felicity it was usually just something to be self conscious over. She tugged down her skirt a little and hoped she didn’t look too casual.

Her long wavy auburn hair had been pulled back from her face to be held behind with a clip. She’d worn only the usual spare make up that she preferred. A little eyeliner to help bring out the green of her eyes, a hint of blush to her cheeks and some light peach lipstick. After a last glance at her reflection, she resolved not to be shy, to project a confident attitude and hopefully make it through the day without making any embarrassing mistakes. She took a deep breath and opened the door.




Professional Reviews

Fatal Infatuation - Exciting New Paranormal - by ParanormalRomance.org
Going to college was supposed to be a new adventure for Felicity. A chance to get out of her childhood town and meet new people. A new place, a new job, and new friends. Walking home from work late one night, with a coworker, Felicity is attacked by vampires. Right before she is bitten, she is saved by a handsome stranger named Cain.

Cain is everything she always wanted; strong, smart and polite. He agrees to help Felicity learn how to protect herself. She starts to fall hard for the sexy man that is all she ever wanted. When she finds out Cain is a vampire, can she deal with the knowledge that the man she has fallen for is a creature of the night?

After centuries of being a vampire, Cain has come to terms with his immortality. He seeks out others of his kind and shows them ways to improve the quality of their long existences' without harming others. Most just hear what he has to say and move on, others listen and follow, but once again eventually they move on. Always alone, he seeks a companion. After saving Felicity he sees someone special and worth knowing. He becomes enamored with the beautiful human. Vowing to protect her from all who would harm her, even if that means from himself!

Fatal Infatuation is book one in a new trilogy that features a centuries old vampire and the college girl he falls in love with. The characters are well thought out, with an insight into the everyday workings of each character that I found enjoyable. Felicity is a well liked everyday girl who you can relate to, and Cain is everyone's hero trying to do good and looking for what everyone wants, companionship and love. With supporting characters Ben, Allie and the villian Sindy, the story line captures your attention and keeps it. If you're looking for a more grown up version of the Twlight series, this is it! Ms. Nowak has a vision all her own, not to be confused with any others, that is fun and enjoyable. I can't wait to read book two, Lost Reflections!

Reviewed by Missy Brown
Reviewer, ParaNormalRomance.org


Fatal Infatuation - 5*****STAR - by ParanormalRomanceGuild.com
Melanie Nowak has written a great new tale for Vampire lovers. The first book, Fatal Infatuation, is part one of her First Trilogy.

The book begins in a small, upstate New York college town, where we meet Felicity, a young, shy girl beginning her freshman year along with a new job. Working as a clerk at the Downtime Bookstore, Felicity meets Cain. He’s a ‘regular’, and usually comes into the store in the early evenings, staying most nights until closing. To Felicity he’s simply a good looking, rugged, strong, confident male who’s a little older and a lot wiser. But what she doesn’t know is that Cain is a 340 yr old vampire—one that’s spent lifetimes coming to terms with his fate, and whose experiences have shown him a better way to live. Now he’s trying to guide those newly turned, to a better path, and in doing so has become an inadvertent protector for the human race.

Very quickly we are introduced to the other characters in the story. We meet Sindy, a young vampire who has the personality of a spoiled child. She’s the type of character that you love to hate—selfish and petulant, with no respect for anyone, not even herself. We also are introduced to Ben and Alyson. Lifelong friends, Ben is a co-worker at the bookstore and a college student himself, while Allie is an imp of a girl, with blonde and pink hair who works at the local bar.

Felicity learns all too quickly that there are things out there that are not what they seem. Faced with the frightening and surreal reality of an actual vampire attack, she and her friends are rescued by Cain, and a whole world of danger and adventure opens up. Friendships blossom, even as lives, both human and undead become entwined. For Cain, Felicity’s innocence is a breath of fresh air, and after being alone for more years than he’d care to admit, finds himself drawn to her.

This is not your typical story of Vampire and Human. Ms. Nowak’s characters are so real, and the flow of the story so believable, it takes you away. As each chapter unfolds, we start to see the wonder of a girl growing into a woman, and the enchantment of a man struggling against his very nature. Ms. Nowak’s gifted storytelling weaves the tale from both POV, giving the reader the benefit of both Felicity’s awakening as well as Cain’s struggle against what he wants, and what he should do.

Reviewed by Gloria Lakritz
Senior Reviewer, ParanormalRomanceGuild.com


Books R Us Online Review: Fatal Infatuation (ALMOST HUMAN - The First Trilogy - Volume 1)
The Almost Human Trilogy is a paranormal fantasy that involves a vampire and a young woman. They are joined by a cast of characters as they deal with addictions, desire, struggles with abuse, morality, college life and zombies.

Volume 1: Fatal Infatuation
Felicity views going away to college as an opportunity to mature into a confident young woman, but her new beginning turns out to be more of an adventure than she bargains for when she finds that her school is plagued by vampires!

Cain is an elder vampire who displays quiet confidence even as he struggles to overcome sins of his past. Surprisingly, he found that in losing his life he gained his faith and a purpose.

His mission: find the hostile vampires that inhabit this small college town, and educate them to live in peace with humans. Their leader, Sindy, is a wicked temptress who has set her sights on Felicity's new friend Ben. She will be difficult to control, but after meeting Felicity, Cain's most difficult task lies in controlling himself.

My Thoughts:

I have always been a fan of vampires and Ms. Nowak's first volume of the trilogy was great. The way the author alternated chapters between characters was very clever and kept me interested. All the characters were developed nicely and I could feel their emotions. I was unsure of who the good or bad guy was, and that kept me thinking throughout the book.

I can't wait to sink my teeth into the other two volumes. There are some unanswered questions that I hope will be answered in the next two volumes but I knew that this was not a stand-alone novel before I started reading it. If you like vampires, mysteries and romance this is the book for you.

Reviewed by Melissa – www.BooksRUsOnline.com


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Reader Reviews for "Fatal Infatuation (Volume 1 - ALMOST HUMAN - The First Trilogy)"

Reviewed by Gigi Lupo 4/22/2009
LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT !!! I just finished the first volume in this series and have no doubt been bitten. Now I'm totally addicted to the Almost Human venom ;) This book kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning just to see what happened next. Melanie Nowak has created a wonderful world that is all her own, while merging many different genres in the process. She is now one of my favorite authors. It's obvious she took great care in developing the plot and characters (Cain, Felicity, Ben, Allie, Sindy, etc...) under a plethora of wit and imagination. So if you love vampires, romance, mystery, humor and suspense you've certainly come to the right place. My best friend is now reading the trilogy and I've recommended it to some fellow classmates. I'm really looking forward to continuing this great roller coaster ride with all it's twists and turns. Buy all three volumes, you won't be disappointed !!!
Reviewed by Melanie Nowak 4/2/2009
Reader reviews(as viewed on Amazon)
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***** Addictive Fun & Deeper than you expect, February 25, 2009
By Vamp Vixen (USA)

I already left a review for these books on the "Complete Trilogy" page, but after a re-read I wanted to come back and leave a review for each book separately, because I am really impressed! I enjoyed this book even more the 2nd time around.
I love how the characters feel so real to me, they are well rounded and really ring true as people. There are so many layers to this book! At first it seems just very light and fun, and you think you know just what to expect from the story - but you get so connected with Cain & Felicity that it's engrossing, and then the story does start to surprise you. The second time around especially, I started to notice some deeper insights behind things.
Honestly, I think that books 2 & 3 are even better than this one, but I had to give Fatal Infatuation 5 stars because it drew me in and had me spellbound and wanting more! Definitely worth getting emotionally invested in!

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***** I couldn't stop reading!, December 30, 2008
By NeverSleepsaWink ;) " <3" (CA)

This book became an addiction. So well written, almost as If I were there. I could picture everything, and only wanted to read more. This author is obviously talented. I'm one of those people who aren't easily entertained...this book was wonderful. There was never a dull moment. I'm on to book #2, I know it will be equally as great. Hopefully by the time I'm done reading #3, #4 will be released. Please make a #4! :)

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***** WOW - Coudn't put it down, October 4, 2008
By Micheal Cleggett "Book Crazy" (Lakewood,CA)

Wow, is really all I can say. I really enjoyed reading this book and can't wait for the continuation!!!.

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Reader reviews of the ALMOST HUMAN 3 book series (as viewed on Amazon)

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***** AMAZING!!, March 26, 2009
By Amber Smith (alabama)

These books are absolutley AMAZING!!! I have been caught up on the Twilight bandwagon for so long and have been unable to find ANY books that caugt my interest, until now!!! Melanie Nowak is a wonderful author, and she has made it SO easy to LOVE the characters she created!! These books are a MUST READ!!!!

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***** So GREAT!, March 23, 2009
By regina (Texas)

I just finished volume 3 and can't wait for volume 4. It was so good and addicting. I even read it while running on the treadmill tonight because I just couldn't stop!!! So glad it's coming out in print because those who don't have a kindle or don't have the kindle app on iphone will surely enjoy it! Great writing, very creative, and totally awesome!

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**** Worth the read, March 7, 2009
By T. Bergen "tbergen" (Sussex, NJ United States)

First let me say that I really enjoyed this story and will be looking for the next installment...hopefully sometime this year. Without giving away too much, I was satisfied with the choice made for the main characters at the end.
I did enjoy Twilight, but those characters were a little too perfect sometimes. The Almost Human characters are not perfect, the vampires are not nearly as invincible...and the content is more satisfyingly adult if you get my drift. Not to the other extreme of the Trueblood series, but just right. If you like vampire lore, you will enjoy these novels.

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***** Awesome stories... Can't wait for the next one, February 8, 2009
By Crystal Rose "Everyone needs a good book now ... (New Jersey)

I really enjoyed this 3 book series!!! I love all the characters, and the way Nowak intertwined them all. I adore Felicity and Cain's character and feel that Nowak wrote each character beautifully (The innocence of Felicity and the "heart" of Cain... Just great). I thought the friendships between Felicity and Ben/Ally were so pure and true. The instant connection between Felicity and Cain was a pure delight to read. The struggles that Cain dealt with within himself seemed real and heartfelt. Even Sindy's character along with her all of her minions were great.Arif was a very interesting character and I really help we hear more from him in the next set of books.All in all I am happy with the way the books turned out.

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***** Love this unique new series!!!, January 22, 2009
By Vamp Vixen (USA)

I really love these books! The characters and dialogue are very realistic and textured. They're light & fun, but can also be deep & emotional in an unexpected way.
It's really a trilogy, where one storyline is stretched over the 3 books, so you have to read them all - but it's well worth the read! It's very nicely developed and I liked the unusual pacing. Everything felt right without being predictable - and even things I expected, were done in a way that surprised me!
Great books! I'm excited to read book 4 - I hope it comes out soon!

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***** Very enjoyable read!, January 14, 2009
By H. Watson "mom" (Bel Air, MD)

This is a great series. I got hooked on the Twilight series and wanted more vampire romance when I stumbled upon this new author. While this series is very different than the Twilight books, if you liked them, there is a good chance you'll like these as well.
Once I started reading I just couldn't stop! I highly recommend these books and am looking forward to #4!

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***** Who needs sleep or T.V.?, January 8, 2009
By NeverSleepsaWink ;) " <3" (CA)

It takes a lot to fully grab my attention. Thanks to this wonderful series of books I've not watched my favorite T.V. shows nor have I slept. LOL! Its been a long time since I've read a great book. All of the books in this series were equally great. Buyer beware these books are addicting! Of course its a great addiction!
Melanie Nowak is a great writer, very talented. I know everyone could relate to the characters, and the stories were very realistic. Melanie Nowak knows how to paint a picture into the readers head. I'm anxiously waiting for #4. I was so sad to end my last book, and am looking forward to her next great works!

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***** Great new author of Vamp Romance! , January 8, 2009
By raeve (tulsa, ok)

Ms Nowak's stories relate the lives of vampires to the human world with such empathy through the eyes of lovable characters: Cain, a centuries old vamp with a mission of good, even when he struggles with the monster within. And Felicity, an innocent and smart young woman who befriends Cain and awakens the fire within. Throw in some intriguing characters from both worlds to surround them all and you're in for the night! I hope these get published soon so everyone can enjoy! Personally I can't wait for Volumes 4-6...

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***** Sooooo addictive!!, January 6, 2009
By Katie (Florida, USA)

I just want to say that if you're looking for a GREAT and EXTREMELY ADDICTIVE new vampire series to read then this is it!! I was looking for a good vampire series to read after I read the Twilight Saga and this surpassed what I was looking for...I would even dare to say that it was better since Twilight is very PG in terms of romance and leaves you wanting a little more. Melanie Nowak definitely has a cult following that is growing everyday...I wouldn't be surprised if she gets alot more attention in 2009.

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***** FANTASTIC, SUPERB, A MUST-READ, December 20, 2008
By Chanon M. Wolver "chanonwithac"

For anyone who likes/loves Twilight, or even those of you who have never heard of Twilight, this series is a MUST!! The characters suck you in, the plot twists you around and the end leaves you wanting for more. I would buy a Kindle just to read this series. I truly cannot wait for the next chapter in the series!

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***** Truly GREAT!! , November 6, 2008
By sherri "UrbanLove" (usa)

This is just a yummy series. I found myself really getting lost in it which is how I rate a truly great story.. After Twilight, few Vampire series have held a candle to it for me.. But this one I have to say almost gave me more satisfaction... Has everything you could want really... I was sad when it came to an end.. I just wanted more! Its a MUST READ!! :-)

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***** Simply Fascinating, November 8, 2008
By Ariel Danielle Arias

I have read this series twice now and its still amazing! Honestly These are truely great books! If you love paranormal romance, or a vampire lover such as myself, you cannot go wrong with these books!

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