||Highland Press Publishing
||November 17, 2008
Young Adult Parnormal Romance
Barnes & Noble.com
Amber Dawn Bell
Do you believe in vampires?
I sure didn't. Not until on my 16th birthday when I discovered I'm anything but human. And to add the cherry on the freaky sundae called my life, I'm the first Vânător born in over 500 years. You see, it means I'm destined to be a hunter of evil. That's right; I'm a real life Buffy.
And to make matters worse, I'm falling for Ryan-this new guy at school. I never thought I'd be this love struck, hair tossing, dorky teenager. It's enough to make me want to hurl.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that on top of all this, I have an entity stalking me that wants to use my rare blood for his own evil deeds, a girl at school who lives to make my life miserable, and a gymnastics coach who is determined to see I make it to Nationals.
Yep, things are really looking up for me. Welcome to the never boring, anything by normal, you never know what's going to happen life of Cheyenne Wilde.
A Blood Sucking Discovery
My sixteenth birthday totally sucked.
Instead of having a rockiní party, I was initiated into a vampire clică.
Nothing like finding out your parents are blood suckers on the most important day of your life. I mean, how had they hid it for all those years? And why the heck hadnít they told me until now?
Iíve always considered myself to be a logical person living in the real world where Dracula existed only in the minds of wacko writers. Sure, the movies are good for a laugh and an occasional scare, but they arenít factual.
Vampires donít really exist.
Well, apparently they do and Iím one of them. Nice. Somehow, the excitement over getting my driverís license faded in light of this new development.
Instead, I fixated on more life-altering thoughts like would I be able to walk in the sun or would I have to actually drink blood? Or would I have to sleep in a coffin? Iím claustrophobic, so that wouldnít be the greatest sleeping arrangement for me.
After thinking about it, I realized both my mom and dad go out in the daylight hours. They have normal jobs, after all. My dad owns a computer software company, and my mom is a psychologist. Yet, we never really spent extended hours in the sun, and weíve never had a family vacation that included the beach.
I think Iíd know if they slept in a coffin or drank blood. Wouldnít I? Every night they had wine or at least a liquid that appeared to be wine. Itís not like I ever took a drink or anything. Surely, they wouldnít be gulping down the DNA of another human right in front of me. Thatís just plain nasty.
Can you imagine all the crazy thoughts going through my head? One minute Iím a normal teenager turning sixteen, and the next Iím being led into some kind of ritualistic coming-of-age gathering full of vampires congratulating me on reaching maturation. So much for thinking my parents had planned a sweet sixteen party all my friends would envy. Guess I wouldnít be starring in the reality show, My Super Sweet 16.
My mom and dad had promised to answer all my questions after the induction. And questions they answered. I donít think they knew what hit them.
One thing was for sure, everything I thought I knew about vampires went straight out the window. Well, almost everything.
Sunlight wonít burst vampires into flames, reducing them to a pile of dust. Thank goodness for small favors. Thereís no such thing as the living dead. Vampires are very much alive with a beating heart and everything. Sunday morning church congregations include vampires. Holy water is just blessed water. Vampires put on their make-up in front of a mirror like everyone else. Garlic is a tasty addition to many dishes. Crosses make nice fashion accessories. Coffins arenít part of a vampireís bedroom set. And wooden stakes arenít any more deadly than other weapons, which brings me to a rather disturbing and disappointing fact.
Vampires arenít immortal.
Sure, they live longer than the average humanóa lot longer, heal abnormally fast, and arenít plagued by most human diseases and ailments, but they donít live forever. Talk about a bummer. Immortality was the one bright spot in the whole situation.
Iíd saved the one big question for last. Was I expected to go around biting people and sucking their blood? I mean, wasnít that what vampires were supposed to do? My mom laughed and my dad shook his head and grinned. I didnít get what was so funny.
My mom explained that centuries ago, before the convenience of modern technology, vampires didnít have a choice and had to take nourishment directly from humans. I shuddered. I mean, how gross is that? But, over hundreds of years, they had evolved. They no longer needed long fangs to pierce skin. Eye teeth shortened and now only extend when threatened or angry. Or when a vampire doesnít feed regularly and goes into a full bloodlust. I didnít even want to go there. Bloodlust? No, thank you. I was quite happy to find out Iíd be able to continue eating the same foods Iíve always eaten. Iíd just have to start supplementing my diet with, you guessed it, blood. Yick!
I did find out something rather cool. Every female vampire acquires a special ability unique to her physical make-up on her sixteenth birthday when she reaches maturation. I couldnít wait to find out what special power I had. I just hoped it wasnít something too weird or too noticeable.
Since Iím a gymnast, I spend five hours a day in the gym training. Itís hard enough to fit in without being a freak. I donít have much time for a social life, so that makes me a big enough freak as it is.
Iíve never had a boyfriend to speak of. Not unless you count the cute boy in kindergarten who rubbed sun block on my back on water day. I donít know if boys are afraid to ask me out because I donít have the time to devote to them or if itís because I could quite probably kick their butts with little or no problem. Thatís what five hours in the gym gets you.
What can I say? Gymnastics is my life. Iíve been doing the sport since I could walk. I donít plan on quitting now so some silly boy can drool all over me. Ainít gonna happen.
Anyway, I spent the rest of my birthday waiting for my special ability to show itself. It never did. I went to bed very disappointed and frustrated, thinking I must not have any powers. Figures.
I was a powerless vampire. And I still had to drink blood.
Where was the silver lining? Where was the something good to go along with the whole bunch of bad? It just didnít seem fair.
The next day at school, during a biology fieldtrip, everything changed. This is where my story begins.
Before you turn the page, I think itís only right to caution you. If you are faint of heart, stop now before itís too late. This is no Cinderella story. Itís a true account of my life and will forever change how you see the world and the creatures that live on it.
You have been warned.
Fallen Angel Review
Cheyenne Wilde has had one heck of a sixteenth birthday. As if there isnít enough pressure on a teenager who trains in gymnastics five hours a day, she found out she is a vampire. Of course it canít even be that easy, not only is she a vampire but a special vampire, a V‚nător, or hunter of evil. Not exactly something you blab to all your human friends or the new cute guy that seems to actually like her. Changes are happening quickly to Cheyenne, can she live up to all the expectations or will she fall flat on her face?
Highly entertaining and fun, Cave of Terror was impossible to put down. Though at times dark and evil, Ms. Bell never failed to inject some light-hearted humor into the story. Delightfully funny with a true sense of teenagers, Cheyenneís character will appeal to many girls of that age. She is believable and her emotional struggles are on par with most teens. I found this to be an easy read; the author gave just enough background to understand the workings of her vampires without boring the reader. I truly enjoyed the male characters, Ryan and Constantine. Ryan was adorable and a teenagerís dream. Constantine was deliciously dark. I look forward to reading more by this talented author. Ms. Bell has done an admirable job of telling a story suitable for young adults.
Reviewed by: Dawnie
Night Owl Romance
Most people have sweet sixteen parties or look forward to getting their driverís license on their sixteenth birthday but Cheyenneís birthday was a bit different. On Cheyenneís sixteenth birthday she was inducted as a vampire. Up until this time, she thought vampires were just a product of someoneís imagination and there was no way that they could be real. Her biggest concerns centered around high school and doing well at the Nationals in gymnastics. Now, she has all these things happening to her like hearing stuff sheíd never heard before and smelling things she never smelt before. Her body was going through all kinds of changes again like it didnít already do this when she hit puberty! At least, someone developed a vitamin type pill to take instead of her needing to get blood directly from the source. Her parents tell her that besides the normal vampire powers; each person will have their own gift of powers.
Cheyenneís sixteenth birthday she was inducted as a vampire. Up until this time, she thought vampires were just a product of someoneís imagination and there
It figures that the day after her birthday, Cheyenne has a field trip to a local cave. Strange things start happening around her like there are more bats than anyone has ever seen before in the cave and they seem to be attacking her. She also is hearing voices when no one is there. On the plus side she meets a really good-looking guy!
When Cheyenneís vampire gift manifests, she only wishes she could return it. She the first one with these particular powers in 500 years and while that is cool and all, sheíd rather go back to before she was a vampire. The cute guy she saw at the cave is a new student in school and he seems interested in her though a cheerleader, Val, keeps making plays for him. Adding to Cheyenneís stress is an evil vampire that she is somewhat drawn to which is so yucky!
Cheyenne is in for a busy couple of weeks as she comes into her power and learns to use her gifts. With two guys in her sights and gymnastics practice, her life is anything but quiet!
I loved this book. Cheyenne seemed so like a normal teenager and her responses were some Iíve heard. Cheyenne wasnít a model teen. She made mistakes. She is trying to figure out this dating thing. She doesnít always think before she acts. Sheís also trying to do what is expected of her. She has goals that she is striving for, In other words, she a typical teen.
The story was fantastic. It was laid out that you werenít sure what was going to happen next. As the characters emerged more and more they developed their own personalities and quirks. Situations were presented in a natural way and nothing seemed to be forced. The world presented was thought out and presented logically by Cheyenne as she learned about it herself.
While there was a love interest, in fact, there were two, they were written very age appropriate for a teen. Cheyenne was just beginning to date and wasnít sure of all the rules. She was hesitant and unsure of herself. If she was attracted to one guy, how can she have feelings for another? What do you do when the guy you think youíre dating is with another girl? No sex scenes just a girl learning about dating.
By the end of the book, I wanted to know where Cheyenne was going. I wanted to know what next. She was still learning about her power and gifts. She was still working on her relationship with a guy. She was still trying to figure out what it meant to be a vampire.
This book is written for young adults and I think it hits its target audience well. However, I would go so far as to recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good paranormal story. It has enough twists and turns to keep adults interested while realistic enough so that teens can relate to the characters and situations.
Patricia's Vampire Notes
On her 16th birthday Cheyenne Wilde receives unexpected news from her parents. She is a vampire they tell her. Of course they too are vampires, but as Cheyenne quickly realizes this does not mean undead. Vampires live and breath much like humans but there are some differences. Although not immortal they age quite slowly, have heightened senses, and need special dietary supplements. This is not welcome news to any teenage girl who just wants to fit in with her friends and maybe meet a cute boy. At the age of 16 vampire females discover the special gift that they have been given genetically. Unfortunately Cheyennes gift is not immediately apparent.
The following day Cheyenne's class takes a biology field trip to nearby caverns. Two important events occur. First she meets a really cute boy (Ryan) who lets it be known that he is quite taken with her. Second as she and her classmates tour the caves, Cheyenne senses the oppressiveness of evil. Breathing becomes difficult, the pain is indescribable, but when she thinks she cannot stand it any longer the presence disappears. But there's more. Bats, which according to the tour guide are rarely seen, pop up in almost every room. They begin flying around and at time appear to attack Cheyenne. The guide jokingly dubs her the bat magnet.
All these uncool happenings do little to lighten Cheyenne's mood. When she describes events to her folks that evening they immediately call on an assembly of elders for guidance. It turns out that Cheyenne's special gift has revealed itself. She is a Vanator, a hunter of vampires from the Liliac clica (clan), those who have clung to the old ways, evil ways. One of their characteristics is being able to turn into a bat. This, of course, is only the beginning of the many complications that enter her life.
Cheyenne bargained for none of this, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Our heroine has a very distinct narrative voice. It is not hard to imagine her as a nice, likable teen, who suddenly finds herself as part of a world she never had a clue existed. She is bright, funny, loyal to her friends, and a tad sarcastic. Cheyenne's narration provides humor and drama in this delightful young adult story. I'm looking forward to more adventures with her. The next book in the series is A Ghostly Affair: Vanator Diary Series will be published in late 2009.
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