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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:  0982410247 Type: 
Pages: 

272

Copyright:  2004 ISBN-13:  9780982410240
Fiction

Felicity has helped her friends to escape Sindy and her evil coven, but cannot divine the motives of Cain, the vampire who captured first her gratitude and then her heart. She finds the historical account of his past enthralling and frightening. Now she must decide whether he really is the gentle and sincere man that he seems, in desperate need of love and understanding in his fight against his own vampire nature, or if his thirst for her blood is a driving force too strong for their love to conquer.

It’s difficult to contemplate such questions while under the attack of an evil vampire coven and their zombie slaves. How will Felicity ever truly know if the addictive venom in Cain’s kiss is clouding the judgment of her mind? Her heart has already been lost to him; will she lose her life as well?

Amazon
Amazon
Print Edition Sale Page: CreateSpace
Melanie Nowak - Author of the Venomous Vampire series ALMOST HUMAN

In this paranormal fantasy, each chapter alternates perspective between a vampire and a young 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 2: Lost Reflections - by Melanie Nowak

Chapter 1 - Morals

Felicity

Alyson’s apartment
8:00, Sunday night

As the last blazing colors of sunset faded to deep violet in the sky, Felicity made her way up Alyson’s front walk and knocked on the door. It took a long time for Ben to answer, but she trusted Cain’s sense that he was still there. He finally did appear, stifling a yawn. She must have woken him. She was glad he’d been able to get some rest and try to recover from his ordeal. She still had a hard time getting the mental image out of her mind, of his chest and stomach covered in bruises from his beating. She could barely even see evidence of Sindy’s bite on his throat, but she knew that psychologically, Ben probably considered that trespass far worse than any more painful physical injury. “Hi,” he said sleepily.

“Hi. Allie’s not back yet?” she asked in concern. The sun had only just set, but she didn’t find as much comfort in that as she used to. Cain had reminded her that this was real life, not a vampire movie and she shouldn’t be so confident that she knew all the rules of the game.

He shook his head. “No, but she called. She got stuck going in to work. She’s gonna try and get out early, but I doubt it.”

“You staying here? No more visions of Vermont?”

“For now. You wanna come in?”

“Do you want me to come in?”

He gave her a look that said he felt bad that she should have to ask. “Of course I do,” he answered, backing away some more to let her in. Ben eyed the denim jacket she wore, as she took it off and laid it on a chair. He didn’t say anything, but he surely knew who it belonged to.

They went to sit in the living room, on the somewhat lumpy couch. Felicity fidgeted into the corner until she could get comfortable, as Ben sat down quietly next to her. He gave her a sidelong glance. “Sorry I flipped out before.”

“It’s understandable.”

“Yeah, but I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.”

She shrugged. “It’s okay.” That sat in silence. She’d like to talk more about what was going on with Alyson and her vampire lover, but figured that she should let Ben be the one to start that conversation.

“You went to go see Cain, didn’t you?”

“Yeah.” He just sat there, waiting for more. “He asked after you.”

“I’m touched,” he said in sarcasm.

“He thought you might be planning some kind of revenge. He even offered to help.” Why had she even said anything? She hadn’t really planned to just blurt that out. But she was getting tired of Ben always thinking Cain was against him.

This got Ben’s full attention. “What kind of revenge?”

She pondered for a moment whether she should even tell him. His expectant face wouldn’t let her think of a way around it. “He knows where Sindy and her coven are sleeping, he followed them. Even though it was almost morning and he could have gotten himself killed. As it is, I think he came much closer to being dust than he lets on. Anyway, he figured if we knew where they were, we could plan to confront them in the daytime. They’d be at a serious disadvantage. Maybe we could even let the sunlight in on them somehow.”

Ben was becoming more and more animated as she spoke. “Of course! It’d be easy! All of our problems neatly turned into dust!”

“Hold on there VanBuren, it’s not...”

“Who?”

“The vampire hunter.”

Ben groaned. “That’s VanHelsing! VanBuren was a president!”

“Oh. Well you know who I mean!” Ben rolled his eyes, she ignored him and pressed on. “It’s not quite as simple as it sounds, this isn’t the movies. If Cain can be awake during the day, they can too. What are you going to do, invite them to follow you outside for a stroll? Besides, they’d know you were coming from a mile away.” He didn’t seem to understand. She spoke as lightly as she could. “You’re marked now, remember?”

He flinched and looked a bit sick. “So are you, right?”

She gave a little nod. “Anyway, I don’t know about you, but I never really wanted to play vampire hunter. I just want them to leave us alone.”

“Alyson could do it.”

“It’s too dangerous.”

“Did she say that?”

“I didn’t ask her.”

“Didn’t Allie go with you?”

“To Cain’s?” she asked in puzzlement. “No.”

“I saw you leave together.”

“She dropped me off.”

“You went to see him alone?” Ben seemed completely outraged, as though he thought that she had lost her mind.

“I trust him,” she said simply.

He looked like he thought she was a fool. “I don’t.”

“Well, you’re not me.”

“He bit you, ‘Liss!”

“Once, for a reason. Now that I’m marked, the others have to leave me alone.”

“Oh I see, it was a good deed. That couldn’t possibly wet his appetite for more, even though now he’s got his own private stock.” She shook her head and turned away. “Are you feeding him?”

She turned back to him fiercely. “Want to check my neck?” she asked, sharply pulling her collar away from her throat on both sides.

“No.”

She noticed that he still looked. She let go her collar and put her head down into her hands. They sat in silence. After a minute, she looked up to find him staring at her. She stared back at him for a second and then asked, “Think Alyson’s got anything good to eat? I haven’t had any dinner.”

“The Chinese food place delivers.”

She turned to him with a smile, she was so relieved to have something to divert their attention. “That sounds wonderful, I’m starved.”

He got up and she followed him into the kitchen. “I think Allie’s got a menu in here somewhere,” he said as he began rifling through a drawer full of papers, scotch tape, scissors and assorted odds and ends. He reached towards the back and winced as he stretched a sore muscle.

“Why don’t you go lay down? I’ll find it.”

He looked at her in annoyance, although he was rubbing his side, under his arm, in pain. “I’ve been lying down all day. I’m sure I’m capable of getting a piece of paper out of a drawer.”

“Sorry.”

She stood watching him for a minute, until he looked up at her. “What?”

“Well, I wanted to ask how you were feeling, but I don’t want to get counted at.”

He tried not to smile. “I’m fine.”

She wanted to ask more, but wasn’t sure how to phrase it. “You haven’t felt anything... weird, have you?”

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly before looking at her to answer. “No, I’m just very, very sore.”

“I guess I should tell you...”

He didn’t let her finish. “Could we have that talk after we eat?”

She nodded. “Yeah, sure. Hey, isn’t that the menu?” She picked it up off the floor. It must have fallen out when they began their search.



Professional Reviews

Lost Reflections - our beloved characters, with new villains to hate! - by ParanormalRomance.org
After helping her friends to escape Sindy and her coven, Felicity can still see the "scars" the experience has left on her friends. It also brought her closer to Cain. After needing his "mark" to survive, Felicity does not know if what she feels for Cain is her own feelings or just the after effects of the mark. All she knows is that Cain is a good man and would never hurt her.

Deciding to take his relationship with Felicity to the next level, Cain reveals to her all about his past. He hopes she will see what kind of man he is today, and not what he used to be. But Felicity is coming into her own, stepping away from the shy tentative teenager into a strong young woman. Will she accept him for the man he is and not for what he is? Or will the sins of his past tear them apart?

This is book 2 of the Almost Human series, Lost Reflections, which takes up where Fatal Infatuation left off. I found that the story just keeps getting better and better. Love the aftermath that their run in with Sindy caused. All of their relationships are changing and makes for additive reading! I could not put it down. I found myself feeling for Cain more so in this book, for his past and what he went through. You will see such developments in all of our beloved characters, with new villains to hate! I am starting volume three, Evolving Ecstasy immediately! I am hooked!

Reviewed by Missy Brown
Reviewer, ParaNormalRomance.org


Lost Reflections - 5*****STAR - by ParanormalRomanceGuild.com
Book two of the Almost Human trilogy continues where book one leaves off. This is where you really get to “know” Cain the 340 year old vampire. You also see the beginnings of Felicity growing up and you can see why Cain finds her so much “more”.

If Felicity is addicted to Cain, then he truly is becoming enthralled by her. First, I must say, Cain’s history as Ms Nowak writes it is incredible. Her historical research is clearly evident in the vivid descriptions and authenticity of the time periods mentioned. As Cain recounts his life to Felicity, the reader is held breathless as his story unfolds. His resolve that Felicity understand the exact nature of his existence before she makes any decisions about him, speaks volumes about his character. In his eyes she must know his past—both the good as well as the ugly.

The story evolves along with their relationship. Cain fears that he will not be enough for Felicity because he cannot give her a normal existence. He worries that the venom in his bite will eventually make her an addict, and her continued hesitation at the prospect of being turned tells him that his gut feeling is correct—that Felicity was not meant for this kind of existence. He begins to feel that Sindy might be his answer, as she is already of his kind. If he could just teach her he might have a companion that could fill the loneliness and the hope that Felicity has stirred in him. Cain does some things that readers will not like, but once the reasons why are revealed, forgiveness is a given.

I have to give more kudos for Ms Nowak in her handling of Felicity’s ‘first time’. As a woman I found this to be a powerful depiction of a young, inexperienced girl, in love. Cain empowered Felicity to be open and unafraid of who she is and in doing so made this an endearing moment…
Sindy, in the meantime has formed her own band of undead, and has decided on a game of cat and mouse with Felicity and her friends, setting her sights on Cain as the prize. As the war between human vs. vampires continues, the story twists and turns, entwining the characters lives even more. We learn that the two worlds have collided in the past, and that Ben lost his best friend Mattie, to a vampire attack years before to a vampire coven passing through their town. Stunned and afraid, Ben sees Mattie as a vampire but denounces his existence and runs. The excitement and peril involved in fighting dangerous vampire covens explodes as the plot thickens in anticipation of book three.

Reviewed by Gloria Lakritz
Senior Reviewer, ParanormalRomanceGuild.com


Good Choice Reading Review – Lost Reflections (ALMOST HUMAN - The First Trilogy - Volume 2)
It has been weeks since I read this book and I am still thinking about it and recommending it to everyone. I just cannot get it out of my head!

What I liked the most about this book was that the world and characters Melanie Nowak created were very believable. Some of the things in this book happens in real life on daily basis, of course not the vampires, but school, work, life in general. So it was very easy to relate to her characters and be pulled into the town as if you were living there as well. It was not hard at all to feel like you were there at every scene just watching it all play out.

There were scenes that actually gave me goosebumps, and some that turned my cheeks red. I never had a book make my whole body tingle from just reading a scene. The scene was written so well that I felt every single emotion they were feeling towards each other. It was just perfect in every way!


Everything in this book just went together perfectly. From the first page until the very last. Honestly, there were so many times I thought I knew what was going to happen and was shocked when it went in a whole different direction. This book was well written and has a little bit of everything. You'll cry a little, laugh a little, scream a little and be in shock from time to time. I definitely recommend this book.

Reviewed by Damaris (Dee) Cardinali
Reviewer, GoodChoiceReading.blogspot.com


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Reader Reviews for "Lost Reflections (Volume 2 - ALMOST HUMAN -The First Trilogy)"

Reviewed by Melanie Nowak 4/2/2009
Reader reviews(as viewed on Amazon)
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***** An Amazing Journey, February 25, 2009
By Vamp Vixen (USA)

I really enjoyed this book! Lost Reflections picks up right where Fatal Infatuation left off, but definitely has it's own 'flavor'. I love how it continued the story, but also added in some exciting historical background for Cain!
There is a lot more action in this book and things heat up well past the YA level of the last one. Although Cain & Felicity are the stars of the story, I love the 'ensemble' feel of the book. The characters are all so unique and yet they mesh so well together. In this book it was fun to see them interact - especially when there's tension & drama. Some of the dialogue is just LOL delicious!

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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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